Tag Archives: Facebook

Bad Moon Rising

29 Sep

Last night, we went outside and looked at the eclipse of the Supermoon. It was cloudy, but, in my mind, it made the event more cool. As the clouds floated by, we could see the eclipse behind them. The special effects people on a scary movie could not have done a better job.

As we looked into the night sky, the words of Creedence Clearwater Revival entered my mind.

I see the bad moon arising.
I see trouble on the way.
I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
I see bad times today.

It is a great song, and the words were fitting. However, some people took those words to heart and believed that the eclipsed Supermoon heralded the End Times. I have been reading about these people and wanted to tell them that their idea could not be true. As I wrote in an earlier post, the Second Coming has already occurred. I was there when it happened.

As this day progressed, I began to think that their beliefs may have some merits. Seriously, think about some of the strange things that have gone on.

Facebook went offline, and the lives of many people were altered forever. I read about it on Twitter, which did not have any Apocalyptic problems.

NASA announced that there is water on Mars. That means the Martians that seeded our planet may still be around. If they are still around, then they may show up and punish us for bad behavior.

The night before the eclipse of the Supermoon, Mick Jagger performed on a Nashville stage with Taylor Swift.Mick Taylor

That may have been the true sign of the End Times. At least, it was the final death knell for Rock and Roll. If that is the case, then there is no reason for humanity go survive.

It is enough to make someone crawl into a bunker filled with canned goods and a ham radio. I only hope that the radio picks up real music from Creedence Clearwater Revival and Mick Jagger in the days before he was Taylor Swift’s BFF.

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Let Howard Beale Be Your Guide

29 Apr

I am addicted to Twitter. It is where I get all of my information about news, sports and entertainment. It is also where I keep up with the thoughts of friends and coworkers. However, there is something about Twitter that I have noticed.

A lot of people are mad.

Democrats are mad at Republicans for ruining the country. Republicans are mad at Democrats for ruining the country. People are mad because someone is wanting to take away their rights. People are mad and want other people’s rights taken away.

A Twitter timeline can quickly turn into a stream of rage.

A few months ago, a woman followed me, and, since we had some common relations, I followed her. Before long, I realized that she is one of those mad people who thinks Republicans are the spawn of Satan. Every tweet was filled with anger toward the people who she blamed for all of the ills of the world. There were no tweets about anything else.

After a while, I began to feel sorry for her. Is her whole life focused on political hate? I could not stand it for long and stopped following her. A few weeks later, she stopped following me.

She is just one example, and I can find plenty that come from the other side of the aisle. My point is not to disparage political ideals. It is to come to grips with the fact that the world is full of anger.

When it comes to politics, people have always gotten upset. Heck, politics is all about winners and losers, and losers usually do not walk away happily. However, in the social media world in which we live the anger has been ramped up.

Simply, people say things on Twitter that they would never say to someone’s face. It is like they are behind a protective wall and cannot be held accountable for the hateful things they say about others.

This also spills over into the world of sports. You have not seen anything until you have seen the messages that grown men send to high school kids who did not choose to play football for their favorite schools. They call them losers. They hope that they will get hurt.

The anger on social media is over the top, and I have not even mentioned Facebook, a domain in which I refuse to enter. On Twitter people only have 150 characters to spew their madness. On Facebook, they can write paragraph after paragraph. I cannot imagine what people say on that platform.

All of this brings Howard Beale to my mind. If you do not know Howard Beale, then I bet you know what he said. Howard is a character in Network, a 1970s movie about the television industry. Howard is a news anchor who becomes unhinged, and the network gives him his own show to spout his ramblings.Howard Beale

He becomes popular when he talks about the problems of the world and the frustrations they cause. He asks his audience to go to their windows and yell, “I’M MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!!

Soon, people all over the country are yelling out of their windows. I wish more people would do that. Instead of getting on social media and talking about other people, they should just go outside and yell. Then, they are relieved of their frustrations without filling my timeline with senseless anger.

I say senseless because we can get on Twitter or Facebook or a blog and talk about how terrible other people are making our world, but it is not going to stop anything. If you are really mad then get off social media and do something to fix what you think is wrong.

Of course, you could just do what Howard Beale said 40 years ago. Yell out a window.

Letting My Fingers Do the Typing

20 May

I had this well-structured post ready to roll, but I am not feeling it. Honestly, it seems too mechanical, and I am in a more organic mood. It is a night to let my fingers move over the keyboard and type what comes out of them. It is like playing with a Ouija board. Put your hands on the pointer and see where the energy goes.

In college, my roommates and I decided to break out the Ouija board. It was going good for a while. We asked about the hot girls in our classes and if we had a chance with any of them. We asked stupid questions that college guys ask. Then, one of the roommates asked if the Devil was in the room with us. To make a long story short, we became convinced that our apartment was built on top of an Indian burial ground. Everyone ended up sleeping in the same room.

I think there is a Ouija board somewhere in the house.

Wait, it suddenly got quiet. My wife and stepdaughter had one of those competition shows blaring. I think it was The Voice. It could have been American Idol. Anyway, they turned it off, and things suddenly got quiet. It is almost an eerie quiet.

There is a video on my desk called Rock and Roll: The Early Days. I watched it when I was a kid, and it fascinated me. The rise of the first stars is followed by their fall. Next semester, I am teaching a class on the history of American music and knew that this is something I wanted to show. Unfortunately, it only comes in VHS format. Luckily, we still have VCR’s on campus that work.

The quotation bubble at the corner of the screen just turned orange. That means someone left a comment. I just commented on a few blogs, so it is probably a reply. I got into this blogging business to write and have found that I enjoy reading just as much. It is always good to leave a comment on a post that you find fascinating.

By the way, do you want to know how powerful blogging can be? In my last post, I complained about Nashville not having a proper amphitheater. The Tennessean just unveiled a rendering of Nashville’s new downtown amphitheater. Now, that is power.Amphitheater

I found out about that through my wife’s Facebook. A friend who read the post sent over the link and said I would like it. I do not have Facebook. I am convinced that the Devil my roommate asked the Ouija board about is the one who invented Facebook. Obviously, it does good things, but those only cover up the evil within. Do you know how many problems are started on Facebook? A bunch.

There is a local controversy going on as I type this. A well-known guy has been accused of taking $5 million from people through a fraudulent scheme. There are people on Facebook actually defending him and saying everyone makes mistakes. That is true. We all make mistakes. However, stealing $5 million from people you have known all of your life is not a mistake. It is a calculated crime. Wait, all of that is alleged.

Anyway, it is not my point to talk about an alleged crime. The point is that Facebook makes us too connected. I know it is hypocritical to say because I blog and am on Twitter, but I am going to say it. We were not meant to be that connected to everyone else.

I suppose that I am finished with this string of thought. I should get out of my office and pay attention to other people in the house.

Play It Pretty for Atlanta

16 Apr

This weekend, I did something that I never envisioned doing. I went to market, the industry name for a women’s clothing convention. My fiance, owner of Beauty Boutique, needed to attend because that’s what boutique owners do. I needed to go because, well, I just wanted to. Life is full of experiences, and this would probably be an interesting one.

Shockingly, we got a late start, but, once we hit the road, it was smooth sailing. Actually, there was one rough patch. When we crossed Monteagle Mountain, I serenaded her with the theme from Smokey and the Bandit. She laughed hysterically and wrote about it on Facebook. Did I mention that I hate Facebook?

My sentiments exactly.

My sentiments exactly.

We arrived in Atlanta, and, after some fancy driving on my part, we made it to the hotel. She immediately wanted to head to market to check in and browse before they closed for the day. I had no idea what to expect, but I felt like that I had walked into the cantina on Tatooine at closing time.

The girls all get prettier at closing time.

The girls all get prettier at closing time.

There was some strange-looking creatures hanging around, and they all looked worn out. That’s not totally correct because there were some fair looking creatures there, too. However, they looked just as tired.

We went back to the hotel and started wondering about dinner. We didn’t want to venture too far out, so I looked up the hotel restaurants. That’s when my eyes bugged out. The lower level of our hotel housed Trader Vic’s. I only knew two things about Trader Vic’s. It is a hangout for werewolves who like pina coladas, and I had to go there.

I didn’t see any werewolves. However, I felt like I had walked into a 1950s postcard from Hawaii. I don’t even have the words to explain this surreal experience. Imagine getting swallowed up in a song by The Ventures and being served an umbrella drink. That’s Trader Vic’s.

How can you go wrong with a menu with this cover?

How can you go wrong with a menu with this cover?

The next day, we got up bright and early for market, and it was a completely different experience. The cantina crowd was ready to go and buyers from stores throughout the nation were cramming the aisles between the booths. They had everything that a woman could possibly wear, and there was a thousand varieties of each item. Heck, there were ten stories filled with stuff. As a crowd watcher instead of a buyer, I started to figure out the difference between the serious buyers and the sightseers. I could also pick out the guys who were doing the exact same thing that I was.

However, that was just the appetizer for what I really wanted to see, the runway fashion show. I couldn’t wait to see a bunch of models strut their stuff on the catwalk. I wasn’t disappointed because they looked like I imagined. But, there was a problem. There was a woman in front of me wearing cat ears, and she was blocking my view. I promise that there is nothing worse than sitting behind a woman wearing cat ears at a fashion show.

After the show, we needed to eat. There wasn’t much around, so we ended up at The Hard Rock Cafe. The cheeseburger and 80s videos were great, but there was another form of entertainment. Atlanta’s version of The Amazing Race was going on. Some teams were taking it serious, and other teams were coming into the bar to get drunk. After this much activity, I needed a nap.

I slept most of the afternoon and woke up hungry. I didn’t want Trader Vic’s or a cheeseburger.  I wanted something good. Not knowing anything about Atlanta dining, we searched for Atlanta’s best restaurants and found Rathbun’s. I have written about Nashville’s booming food scene and know that we have some great restaurants. Rathbun’s would fit right in. The duck breast was awesome but not as good as the appetizer. If you ever go to Rathbun’s, then you have to get the Pan Fried Kefalotiri Cheese. It’s the most awesome thing ever.

Yesterday, we packed up to head home but not before going to Lenox Square Mall. I have heard of people going to Atlanta just to shop, and now I know why. It’s a cool mall. Wait, I went to Atlanta just to shop didn’t I? Weird. Anyway, we drove back to Tennessee and crossed Monteagle Mountain once again. This time I just hummed.

Interweb Alphabet

10 Oct

When I was a kid, it was a family tradition to take a road trip every summer. We would get in the car with a semblance of a plan and drive across the country. It was a great way to travel and allowed me to eventually visit each of the 50 states. Of course, we had to fly to Hawaii.

Sometimes, the drives would get boring for a kid, so we would play games along the way. My favorite was the Alphabet Game. My mom would come up with a category, and we would take turns naming things in that category in alphabetical order. If the category was Cities, then it would go from Albuquerque to Baltimore to Chicago. We would do that until we made it to Z. I didn’t realize that it was probably educational.

Tonight, I have been at a loss as to what to write about. In fact, I’m not really in the mood to write anything, but that feeling is going to be pushed aside. Anyway, I came up with another version of the Alphabet Game. I am going to Google each letter and see what pops up first.

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

A – the Twitter account for Andrei Zmievski

B – the Wikipedia entry for the letter B

C – the Yahoo summary of the stock activities of Citigroup, Inc

D – the homepage of D Programming Language

E – the online version of the E! Network

F – shockingly, it’s FaceBook

G – the Wikipedia entry for G-Force

H – the official website of the 4-H Club

I – a site called “I Am Bored”

J – the website for California’s J Vineyards & Winery

K – news of the music made at K Records

L – beautiful faces on the L’Oreal website

M – the M Resort of Las Vegas

N – a puzzle game that involves ninja and homicidal robots

O – the site for O: The Oprah Magazine

P – the Wikipedia entry for the letter P

Q – Q the Music entertainment depot

R – the R Project for Statistical Computing

S – the Yahoo summary of the stock activities of Sprint Nextel Corp

T – the website for T-Mobile

U – the history of the U-Boat

V – the website for V Magazine

W – the site for W Magazine

X – the music of X-35

Y – the rabbit hole that is YouTube

Z – the Wikipedia entry for the letter Z

I hope you didn’t find this post as boring as I did. I promise that I will never do numbers.

A Chiropractor, an Insurance Agent, and a Private Eye Walk into a Bar…

7 Jun

Actually, they were sitting at my Rotary table. I have written previously about the deep, dark secrets of Rotary meetings and have returned to this topic because I found this week’s grouping kind of interesting. Like most civic organizations, Rotary is designed to bring together people from different walks of life. At times, it succeeds in that endeavor, and this week provided a good example of that.

Sitting around the table were:

“The Body Shop Owner” – A long time business owner in the community, he fancies himself an amateur historian. He is a nice guy and a friend of my family, but when you talk about history for a living you don’t always want to talk about it in during leisure time. With that being said, there is a bright side to wrecking your car in my town. It gives you an excuse to go to his shop and look at his vast collection of historic photographs.

“The Convenience Store Owner” – This one is a huge hockey fan and follows the Nashville Predators religiously. However, the season came to an abrupt end, so I asked him about business. His store sits close to campus, and I asked if he sees reduced sales during the summer, when most students are away.

“Absolutely! Beer sales drop off, but dip sales are the worst. Baseball players buy a lot of dip from me. You’d be surprised how many softball players (which are women) buy dip from me, too.”

“The Private Eye” – This one is an interesting character because he tells tales of following wayward spouses and sitting at stakeouts for hours on end. I asked if he drove a red Ferrari back then, and he admitted that he had a silver Corvette. Of course, those were the old days when being a detective meant a lot of legwork. Guess where he does most of his work now. Yep, on Facebook.

“The Retired Cook” – This lady used to run the kitchen at the country club where our meetings are held. I have heard that the meals were great back then. By far, she is the most respectable person at my table and is filled with stories of humor and wisdom. I always ask her questions about her time at the club and her best dishes. People say that her fried chicken is the best around.

“The Chiropractor” – Honestly, there is not much to write because he never says much. He just looks around the table and studies us. Maybe, he thinks we are all crooked. Get it. Crooked. Chiropractor. Well, you get the point.

“The Insurance Agent” – He seems like a nice guy, but I am not sure about insurance agents. I was always told that if you can’t do anything else then sell insurance. Anyway, he kept complaining about business. A few weeks ago we had a hail storm and people are getting work done on their roofs. He was going on and on about how people needed to get their roofs fixed and waited until after the hail storm to do it. Well, hell…I mean hail. Who’s not going to do that? I’m doing it.

Then, there was me – taking it all in and thinking about a blog post.

Looks Like I’m the Imbecile

22 Feb

The following actually happened last night.

My girlfriend and I had plans to see Ron White, the comedian, tape a television special honoring the troops. Before that, we dropped off her daughter with her dad and stopped by Longhorn Steakhouse for a quick meal. We sat at the bar to insure quick service that we never got. By the time we got the bill, I was itching to get on the road. I hate…Let me make this plain. I hate being late to anything. So, when the bartender returned the check I signed it, and we headed out.

The drive to the show was pleasant, and we arrived to find a full parking lot. People were walking everywhere. That’s when my girlfriend asked why so many people were walking in one direction. Uh, to see the Ron White show. She thought it was the other direction. We parked and walked to the door when I pulled out my wallet to get the tickets. That’s when I discovered that my credit card was still at Longhorn. I always watch out for leaving it behind and have never done that before. Stupid. Stupid. I called the restaurant, and the manager said she locked it away and not to worry. I was worried. I wanted to go get it right then. My girlfriend said that was a dumb idea. So, we stayed, and I didn’t find any of the six comics a bit funny.

After the show, we came home, and I attempted to sleep. But, everything would be ok. I would go to class then head to the restaurant and get my card. However, this morning my girlfriend got up and immediately got on Facebook. I will have to post about Facebook sometime. I know everyone is on it, but I don’t understand why. Anyway, Facebook was filled with news of the stabbing in front of Longhorn – the same Longhorn that my credit card was in. Now, it was part of a crime scene. Around lunch, I took the chance to see if they were open. A crew was cleaning blood off the sidewalk.

Not knowing how long this would last and worried about having the credit card out of my possession for days, I went to the bank and had it cancelled. Good move? I don’t know. I just know that this is a story no one would believe – especially the lady at the bank. When I said I wanted to cancel the card, she asked if it was lost. I said no. I know exactly where it is. It is sitting in a Longhorn Steakhouse that is now a locked-down crime scene. She said she had never heard such a story. I replied that neither had I.

The part that makes me mad is that none of this would be happening if I had just picked up the card and put it in my wallet. I am an imbecile. But, at least I wasn’t stabbed.