Saturday, August 6, 2016

I need you to wake up for me...

All elections in a "democratic" society are contentious. But this year marks one of the most contentious I've seen in my life. Social media is abuzz with very strong opinions about which candidate should be supported or, in actuality, which way our nation should advance into the future. The passion with which Americans are debating their "side" is so strong as to ruin friendships and family relations. Crazy!

But how many of you have taken the time to stop and rationally think about what role you actually play in this, or any other, election? How many are even aware of what they are so passionately fighting for? What is the cost to you and yours?

Let me put it this way. What role did you play in the decision to put "your" candidate on the ballot? When you heard that Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or Bernie Sanders, or whoever, was going to be running for president, how many of you were able to celebrate what you can genuinely say was the result of any effort of your own? How many personally went to any local political party meetings and discussed who might be a good candidate, or voted or petitioned to have that candidate put on a ballot? What did YOU personally do in the years that led up to this election?

Well, honestly, if you're anything like me, you didn't do jack. You don't vote in local elections. You have no idea who's on your kid's school board, let alone who wants to be. You didn't choose your railroad commissioner; hell, you don't even know what a railroad commissioner is. You didn't vote for your sheriff. You didn't vote for your judges. But you're pissed about those traffic tickets they gave you. You didn't participate in democracy in your own home town, so why are you surprised when your choices nationally are between a douche and a turd? Watch that South Park episode BTW, it's true.

Anyways, I guess I'm just tired of hearing all the rants for or against presidential candidates, once every four years until someone "wins" and then we all go back to not giving a crap. I really want everyone to wake up and just see that the entire system is flawed, and that if the only time you're involved in the democratic process is when you're presented with choices that are not yours, then it always will be. Let's not ruin relationships based on our slavish devotion to a false choice.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

I'm not going to quit you.

I've noticed that over the years, I've lost a few twitter friends. I can only assume that, aside from those who only follow you to get a follow back and then unfollow you after, it's because of something I say. Look, it's twitter. Everyone has an opinion, and if we merely surround ourselves with those who think like we do, then we're just using those people as a sounding board to bounce our own righteousness off. That's not the way that I approach social media.

I follow people because I care about them in some way. I don't use twitter to monetize my life or sell a product (or even myself.) I use it to get to know people that I, for whatever reason, have become interested in. Sure, it's also great for news, and to keep up with my favorite sports. But it's mostly about people. People I care about.

Since I care about you, my twitter friends, whether you follow me back or not, I promise I won't unfollow you just because I don't agree with you. I might not share your political opinions or religious beliefs. I might not like your language, or attitude. But I care about you, so I'll put up with those things. Because it's all those things that make you who you are; the person I'm interested in. Just thought I'd share that.

Friday, April 10, 2015

No, I don't want to buy Twitter followers from you.

I'm annoyed by these Twitter accounts that offer to sell or somehow increase your number of Twitter followers. For one thing, I hate that it seems the only reason for social media now seems to be marketing. I use social media for fun, and if I ever do decide to promote anything on Twitter for marketing purposes, I like to think that my product or service will stand on its own merits, and people who enjoy that product will promote it because it is useful or entertaining. I understand "marketing reach" and other crap that those in the business of business use, but to me it's just that- crap.

The products I use on a regular basis have been around for a long time, and I've never seen an advert for them. This is because the quality of the products speaks for them, and people who use the products recommend them to others. Good old fashioned word of mouth. Incidentally, those unadvertised products are much cheaper than others, due to the lack of added marketing costs. They are often also much healthier. It seems food products that are heavily advertised are usually laden with unhealthy, unnatural ingredients.

So no, I don't want to buy followers. I'm not that desperate for attention, and if I have anything to sell, it will be worth buying and will sell itself. This might lose me some temporary exposure, but will gain me loyal followers who genuinely enjoy and appreciate what I have to offer.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lego is so much more than just blocks now

I remember playing with Lego blocks as a child- who doesn't? But back then you just got a big bucket full of bricks. No "sets" or any of that stuff. You just had bricks and your imagination. Well, for the past several years they have had awesome Lego machines that make me wish I were a kid again. Actually, screw it, you don't have to be a kid to buy these Legos, as the above video of a really cool Lego car assembly line shows.

I'm glad that a toy exists to inspire children to learn and experiment with technology. Oh yeah, there are Erector sets, too. Kids these days are sure lucky to have such great technology available to them. If you are a parent and want to buy a toy for your kid that will provide hours of fun as well as expand the mind a bit, I recommend something along these lines. Just make sure you stop playing with them long enough to let them have a go!

Sorry for the short posts- I'm still trying to get another laptop. Smartphones are great, but writing with them sucks!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Why I am hating Battlefield 3

I have been playing Battlefield 3 for about a week now, and I must say it has the potential to be a great game. But I am hating it more and more for one reason- there are absolutely ZERO hardcore servers. Now, I have been playing nothing but hardcore for several years, starting with CoD2 and through BFBC2. I love hardcore because it requires a totally different style of play than normal mode. Hardcore tends to force one to actually use strategy, since a single shot can, and often does, kill you. Rarely will you see idiots running and gunning in HC mode. Instead, there is the satisfaction of using teamwork and skill to accomplish the objectives. Objectives. There is another thing I like about HC. People who play it are more likely to be interested in actually attempting to capture flags, destroy MCOMs, etc. than normal players. On normal mode the only objective seems to be to kill as many people as possible. Sorry, but if all I wanted to do was run around and kill people, I woulfd just play the campaign mode.

And speaking of killing people, I hate how Godlike normal mode makes a player. Yesterday I emptied an entire 21 round clip into a guy's back from twenty yards away and he then turned around and shot me. The only way to kill someone seems to be to get incredibly good at aiming for the head- something counterintuitive in the extreme, since anyone who knows how to shoot knows that you aim for the largest target- the upper body mass. It is still the part that I automatically aim at, and no matter how hard I try, I just can't make myself aim for the smallest target on a person's body.

But I digress. Where the heck are the Hardcore servers, EA? Or indeed any of the non-normal servers that you show in the filter? What is this Infantry mode that shows up? Don't know, because, you guessed it, no servers for it. I even set it to show full servers in the event everyone might just be playing HC? But no, ZERO servers. In fact there are absolutely no servers for anything but normal mode. What a ripoff. Hey EA (or Origin or whoever you call yourselves now) do you think I am going to go Premium or buy any of the expansions without Hardcore mode? Think again.

Edit to add that I did find out the problem- the Multiplayer update never automatically installed because when it downloaded the Xbox stored the download on the USB stick I had in it, rather than the HDD. So since I never rebooted til after I removed the USB, the update was never applied. I have enjoyed mad Hardcore BF3 action since a few days after this post.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Notepad++ blows MS out of the water

Man, I wish I had known about this C++ coded Notepad alternative a long time ago. This text editor is just awesome, I haven't used a text editor this awesome since Emacs. Besides being just a notepad-style text editor, it is also a powerful developing tool. It supports color coding and auto-complete for a wide variety of programming languages, and it also supports a wide variety of human languages. I love the tabbed document layout, and I especially love the fact that you can close it and when you reopen it, all your documents that you were working on are right there just as you left it (assuming you saved them of course.) Besides that, Notepad++ has a powerful search feature, the ability to record and run macros, the ability to launch your code in a variety of browsers, and to add plugins to increase your productivity.

Best of all, Notepad++ is open source software published under the GPL- it's free as in "speech" and free as in "beer". So if you are looking for a great free Notepad alternative, or an Emacs alternative for Windows, go grab Notepad++ today. Consider making a donation if you like it, the author(s) put a lot of work into this.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Facebook Stole My Friends!

I deleted my Facebook account a few months ago. I won't go into the ten hours of hassle that entailed, but I didn't just 'deactivate' the account, I deleted it. Went through and hand deleted every post, picture, comment, page, note, and "like" that I had ever made, as is required by those pigdog assholes before they will actually delete your account. I gave everyone plenty of warning. Told everyone that if they wanted to keep in contact, to please give me their email address. Told them that I would be committing Facebook suicide and that they would never see me on that marketer's wet dream again. Nobody gave me their emails, and nobody even seemed to care. Guess they thought it was a big joke. I mean, after all, who would actually do such a crazy thing as delete their Facebook roflmaomglol??

Well, I did. And now I have no friends. I realize that most of the "friends" I had on FB were not friends at all, but I even lost my actual, real friends. One friend that I have had for years, emailed me a couple of times. Said that she hadn't forgotten about me and would keep in touch. That was months ago. People act like I am dead now. My sister won't talk to me. She has a Twitter, so I Tweeted her and asked for her email and those of my other siblings so I could send them Christmas cards. Haven't heard back from her, and I know from her Tweets that she has been online and must have seen my request. But it's as though she is angry at me and refuses to speak to me. Seriously? Just because I left Facebook? Yeah.

I don't know if it's that people think it's too much of a pain in the ass to send an email, which is sooo '90s, or whether they feel as though I'm no longer "one of them. One of them," or what, but wow. Just wow. But I can guarantee that every one of them are logged into Facebook even as we speak. Telling the world that they just had a nice chicken salad sandwich or some shit. But I'm not on there to "like" that fact, so fuck me. It is absolutely amazing how brainwashed that site has everyone. Oh well, whether I have friends and family anymore or not, I really don't care. I'm free of the Facebook trap, and I have so much more time to study, read a book, or just think now.