Category Archives: Society

Hopping off The Facebook Grid … for now, anyway

I hopped off the facebook grid today at around 5:30pm (Eastern).  The overarching reason is that facebook’s 80/20 rule is tilted in favor of crap I don’t care/ want to see being the 80%. That’s bad. Some specifics:

Politics
Stating your political beliefs is your choice, but it’s usually boring, uninformed, and so terse as to be impenetrable.

Work
Many people I’ve ‘friended’ are through work. They end up stating their political viewpoint, and (see also: Chick-fil-A) an argument ensues. You’re wrong. You’re right. In the end, it turns out that Our Context doesn’t include giving a rat’s ass about your politics, and suddenly the work relationship is fouled, or at least altered.

Relationships
All relationships have boundaries. Not so on facebook. You can argue with me and say, “well, you friended too many people,” or “you can organize your friends, blah blah blah” but when I go to work, I’m around my work friends, and at home I’m with my home friends. Some intersect. Some don’t. On facebook it’s all one big blur.

All Selling, All the Time
Selling yourself. Your work. Products. Games. Facebook is the modern junk mail.

What’s it For?
I have a blog. So I can write there. A little blog is lost among the bajillions of web sites out there, but so is any photo I have of my family’s vacation amidst the political grandstanding and organic chickens on facebook.

What’s Next
I’m still on Google+, which means I am still fairly anonymous. But the photography experience is far superior to facebook’s. The interface is a bit wobbly. It really should be a lot easier to post a message to my niece. Never make me undo things to do something, which Google+ is currently forcing me to do by defaulting where I want my message post seen.

Google+ iOS App vs. Facebook
Hard to believe I’m saying this, but Google+ iOS App is far more beautiful than facebook’s and – here’s the real rub – a lot faster. Why am I sitting here for minutes on end waiting for … all the stuff I mentioned above that I don’t really want to see?

NFL Week 15 (Already?!) Thursday Night Edition

The End Is Near

Already at Week 15, and still only 9 teams have been eliminated. Hard to believe that San Francisco, St. Louis and Seattle are not among those eliminated.

Poor Officiating and Michael Vick

I was stunned Sunday night during the Eagles-Cowboys tilt, when penalty after penalty went uncalled. Of course, I was biased in the Eagles direction. In particular, there was a missed facemask on Trent Cole, and, perhaps more egregiously, Anthony Spencer’s unnecessarily rough treatment of Michael Vick as Vick was going out of bounds.

I’ve watched football for a long, long time, and yes, that call can occasionally be missed. But only rarely. I don’t see running backs, or wideouts, or even kick returners getting roughed up like that. And if they do get roughed up like that, there’s a flag.

And there should have been a flag Sunday night. Vick was clearly letting up and clearly headed out of bounds. Is something more afoot here?

We'll Just Plop Our Hockey Rinks Right HERE

I find it difficult to blame the players. They will take anything they can get. Just ask James Harrison. But I am curious about the non-action of the referees. And I found someone else questioning this issue, too: Gregg Easterbrook, in this week’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column (published at, of all places, ESPN, the Cartoon Network of Sport). Easterbrook writes:

Are officials, as Andy Reid contends, allowing hits on Vick that they would flag if against Tom Brady or Peyton Manning — or for that matter against other quarterbacks who run, such as Aaron Rodgers (55 rushing attempts) or Ryan Fitzpatrick (36 rushing attempts)? That zebras are letting Vick take illegal hits seems indisputable. It’s not just that officials regard Vick as a runner even when he’s in a passing stance — penalties should be called if defenders hit the knees or helmets of players in a passing stance. TMQ thinks there is a psychological factor, too. Vick is an African-American who has been to prison. Society devalues people of that description, and allows them to be treated in ways that others are not. This is subtly different from racism, but a factor nonetheless. Ex-convicts who show no remorse are one thing; Vick paid his debt and by appearances at least is a changed man. Yet officials seem to view him as someone who’s OK to try to harm. The NFL and its officials need to have a look in the mirror about this.

113,411 people turned out to watch the Michigan – Michigan State Hockey game. NFL (not to mention its Criminal Co-Conspirators, NCAA Division 1 and the BCS) Football is not the only game in town.

8:20pm

  • SAN DIEGO -10 over San Francisco. I have no clue about this game. Is anyone hurt? I can’t imagine San Francisco pulling out this road game, and quite frankly, don’t want to.

Your Government (Not) At Work.

Let Me Eat Cake!

I cannot imagine what makes people think that Excess Government can ever make anything any better. Have they never dealt with Government? Consider my lunch today:

After listening to a dizzying array of menu options for Camden County court, I finally tracked down the family court option. The phone then rang for a solid 11 minutes and 45 seconds. Not answered. No voicemail. Not disconnected. Just ringing and ringing and ringing. I eventually gave up and hung up, which I am pretty sure is what the Court employees wanted me to do in the first place.

Call The FCC!

Next up: Riverside, NJ. There, I got voicemail – on the first call! And to their credit I did get a call back within an hour. I was then interrogated as to why I was calling there. I said I thought this was where I could get the information I needed. This went on for about 10 minutes when, finally, the caller relented, and just looked up the records – turns out, “not found.” Which we could have not found about 10 minutes earlier had we simply looked it up in the first place. But, I guess policy is policy, and policy dictated that I needed to call Delanco.

So I called Delanco. My first 3 calls ended when I pressed “0″ – as instructed – for the operator. A recorded voice nicely said “Please wait while I transfer you,” and promptly hung up on me.

The system had provided me with an option to dial by name, apparently under the assumption that I know the name, extension,  title and responsibilities of every municipal employee of Delanco. In fact I knew only roughly what department I thought I might need: Vital Statistics.

Rather than simply type in names at random, which as far as I could tell is what the phone system wanted me to do, I returned to Google. I got a name and an extension and dialed again and … of course got a voice mail recording. Is the Delanco Statistics Bureau even now, at 1:57pm on a December Wednesday, so overrun by requests for marriage certificates that no one can get to the phone?

The next time you think you want the government to do Something Big, like launch an FCC investigation into Bristol Palin’s appearance on Dancing with the Stars, think twice.

Or at least once.