Facebook’s Many Problems

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When I joined the Facebook community a little over 7 years ago, I thought maybe that I could keep in contact with my friends from my former job or even more so those people who I went to high school many years ago.

 

Little did I realize that there would be so many issues along the way.  Having some people friend me and then unfriend me months later for no really good reason given.  Why did these people friend me in the first place if they knew they had no intention of wanting to continue to be my friend?

 

Add to that the few that have even blocked me for no real good reason either.  To uncover those who blocked me, I created a second account under an alias to spy on others and find out who blocked me by testing their URL with my primary account.  I was shocked at how many people have blocked me even though they never really friended me.

 

However, Facebook has more issues than that as far as who hates me on their site.

 

Recently, it was reported that the site’s trending topics have been slanted to support certain viewpoints.  I will say that I see significant differences in trending topics between my 2 Facebook accounts.  I believe that part of this is because my primary account has so many liked pages and my secondary account has hardly any liked pages at all.  Could they be slanting trending topics toward topics that I have liked pages of before?  It certainly appears that way.

 

Now onto other issues with Facebook:

 

When I started using Facebook, it was on a PC with a browser.  When I got my smartphone, I started using the Facebook app.  However I found the app to be huge and a significant space hog taking up as much as 280mb of precious space.  It has slimmed down somewhat since then but it is still unusually large,  I have tried many of the so-called alternative wrappers of Facebook, which usually are rather small but are hindered by a large number of ads or just don’t work properly.  Currently, I am using the Chrome browser on the phone to access Facebook.  If anyone knows of a really good Facebook alternative app, let me know because none seem to work well for me.

 

The next problem has been with Facebook Messenger.  This program started out as being part of the Facebook app but has since been separated into its own app.  This too is a fairly large program and since I don’t communicate much at all with anyone using the PC version, I find this program totally useless.  However, Facebook still thinks that I need this to use Facebook.  I think not.  If I regularly had any conversation at all with anyone, then I might consider it, but I see it currently as a waste.

 

Next up is the onslaught of friend requests that I have received lately.  I know that most of these requests are fake, but I accept most of them just because I want to report the content in which they are sharing.  Many of these fakes delete their accounts within a few days but others have lingered so they may very well be real.

 

I report at least one post or profile daily.  However, the results from these reports mostly are disappointing as many of them are not considered violating their “community standards”.  This makes me wonder if a real person is looking at what I am reporting or if this is being done by some sort of bot program making the decision.  My usual feedback is negative if the offending item is not removed.  I would say that 80% of the posts are not deleted.  This is a high percentage of material that should not be on Facebook, but somehow still remains.  Sometimes after several times reporting the same post, it does get deleted.  However, nobody should have to report the same thing multiple times to get something deleted.

 

Overall, Facebook continues to be a very mixed bag of frustration, happiness, and hatred.  It doesn’t seem that there is a way to ever make anyone ever happy on the site, so sometimes I still wonder why I stay there except to announce the postings of my blogs.

 

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The Mysterious Case of the Former Friends

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Today is the 12th anniversary of Facebook.

 

This makes it the perfect day to discuss the disappearance of 2 people from my friends on Facebook.  Let me say that I knew both of these people in person and quite honestly I have no idea why either of them decided to unfriend me.

 

Unlike other posts, I will not disguise their names as I feel it is better to expose them for what they are rather than protect them.  People who leave without any explanation don’t deserve any protection as far as I am concerned.

 

First up is Norma Jean.  I have known her for over 30 years, actually since junior high school.  I was never overly friendly with Norma Jean as we had different circles of friends.  My friends were a cross section of jocks and smart people for the most part.  Her friends were more of the lower class bunch.  She hung around the bullies and troublemakers.

 

For the most part, I tried hard to stay away from these people as they were always getting into trouble and most had nothing to do with me.  Unfortunately, there were a couple of times where I ended up in classes with some of these lower lives along with Norma Jean herself.

 

After high school, I (thankfully) lost track of everyone from my graduation class.  When I came onto Facebook in mid-2006, Norma Jean became one of the early people who wished to friend me.  Reluctantly, I accepted her friend request as I thought that after so many years, people would have changed and matured, but with people like her, I was mistaken.

 

While I did have a couple of online comment sessions with her, I always felt that she really was not interested in anything I said.  So I believe out of boredom, she decided to unfriend me.  A few months later, I confronted her online in a mutual friend’s post as to why she unfriended me.  She seemed to blow it off and didn’t give me an answer.  Apparently, she has not changed in over 30 years. I have declined to friend a couple of people from high school as I felt that those people would unfriend me as well because they were part of the same bullying group.

 

However, the most bizarre unfriending happened over the past week, with my now apparent former friend Bridget.  She and I became friends while we both worked at Staples.

 

During her time at Staples, it was apparent that Bridget had social problems.  She never really seemed to get along with many of the associates, managers and most importantly the customers.  It was this type of attitude that made her be called into the manager’s office for one of their “little talks”.  These talks never really seemed to help and she seemed to always get a little meaner and ruder with each passing day.

 

I am not saying that she overall was a bad person; we always seemed to get along as we both had similar feelings toward people in general.  She always seemed like a rollercoaster of emotions, one minute happy the next angry and the following giggly.  Overall, she was rude to people as she did not seem to have the words “please” or “thank you” in her vocabulary.

 

I think this type of disrespect has more to do with her upbringing, sort of like how Norma Jean treated me.  Unfortunately this type of rudeness continued when she became one of the earliest people to friend me on Facebook.

 

Rarely did I ever make a comment to any of her postings, but when I did I was either ignored or never acknowledged for it.  For someone who was a friend of mine at work, I really thought that she would have a little more respect, but apparently I was very wrong.

 

Everything seemed to be fine, up until this last week when surprisingly decided to unfriend me.  I have absolutely no idea why she unfriended me as I have not had any conversations with her online in weeks.  So this was certainly a headscratcher at best.

 

I will probably never find out the true reason why either of these women unfriended me, but all indications point to the fact that both shared a common rudeness, which is not the type of indication of what a real friend is.

 

Overall, let me point out that I found out about these people unfriending me by using a plugin to the Chrome browser (also available for Firefox as well).  Without using a tool like this, both of these women could have remained anonymous in their unfriending of me.

 

But in the world of the internet, you can run but can never hide.

 

Maybe both of these rude people should go and hide forever if they have no respect for me anymore.

Way Over the Edge

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This week’s post discusses one human and one flag, both of which seems to be getting no respect for reasons that are less than reasonable.

 

First let me start off with the human:  Donald Trump.

 

A couple of weeks ago, Donald seemed to turn the world upside down when he announced his run for the Presidency.  His claim of all Mexicans being bad people who are coming across the border left a firestorm behind as companies started abandoning him everywhere.

 

Let’s look at some of these abandoners:

 

  • NBC television network. Sure the company is still stinging over the whole Brian Williams thing, but by dumping the “Miss USA” and “Miss Universe” pageants was just totally uncalled for.  It is understandable why “Celebrity Apprentice” was cancelled given that Trump’s run would not be allowed.  However, it should be noted that Al Sharpton, who is employed by sister station MSNBC makes many more inflammatory comments than Donald does, yet Sharpton is still employed.  Does anyone else see a problem with this?
  • Univision television network. They dumped the pageants as well and Trump is suing them for hundreds of millions dollars for backing out of a contract.  While the amount is excessive, my hope is that Trump gets something out of this broken contract besides cancellation.
  • Macy’s. They are going to stop selling Trump clothes and Trump branded beds.  Seriously, as if they really need to get rid of more overpriced merchandise.  Of course, the local Macy’s  has a large number of non-US born employees so I would assume that this is the case nationally, which means they didn’t want to offend all their low wage employees.

 

Overall, nobody likes to hear the truth and Trump is speaking the truth despite how much it really hurts.  It would be nice if the other Presidential candidates would get a backbone and start saying something that they would do if elected to the highest office.

 

Honestly, I like what Trump has to say despite what so many haters don’t like him talking and considering him a “sideshow” or a “clown” – it is the others that are the real clowns.

 

Now onto the non-human:  the confederate flag.

 

Yes, this flag got a lot of attention after pictures surfaced of the church shooter posed with the confederate flag.  As disturbing as it was, the flag quickly sparked outrage by many as to why it is still being displayed anywhere.

 

Yes, this flag does represent a time when the nation was divided and slavery ruled the landscape in the south, but now it seems to be part of the southern culture more as an icon than a remembrance of the past.

 

This is the problem.

 

People have wanted to get rid of flying the flag over the North Carolina capitol building, which the state has been taking a lot heat over.  However, it has gone far beyond that.

 

Now it seems that the flag is not welcome anywhere.  NASCAR wanted people to leave their confederate flags at home or they could trade them in for a US flag at the day of their races, just as an example.

 

But the biggest crossing the line is the removal of the “Dukes of Hazzard” from TV Land as the flag is shown prominently on the show’s General Lee car.  Anybody who ever watched this show would realize that this flag never was part of any storyline that I could remember and was mostly just decoration than used to cause any harm.  Compare this, however, to the extra short shorts that Catherine Bach wore on the show, then we can talk about some possible offensive stuff, otherwise this show was fairly innocent.

 

This brings me to this point:  Where is the line of being offensive and being politically correct drawn?

 

Will every show have to come with a warning of possible offensive material?

 

Will Donald Trump have to be preceded by a notice that he could spew out truths that the world would not like?

 

Will society crumble under political correctness?

 

I may not know the answers to these questions but I do know that I personally will always tell it like it is, both in this blog and my Staples blog.  After all, somebody needs to hear the truth no matter how much it hurts.

The Law of the Land?

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Warning:  The following post contains material that may be offensive to some readers.  Reader caution is STRONGLY recommended.

 

Note:  The following is being posted in both blogs this week as I feel it is important enough to appear in both of them.

 

Yes, everyone the government has officially gone wild and stupid.

 

Back when I was in school many years ago, I learned that we had 3 divisions of government:  executive, judicial, and legislative branches.  Nowadays, these divisions have been crossing paths with each other because each of them wants to make laws that we are supposed to live by.  Of course only the legislative branch has the power to make laws.

 

Tell that to our government today.

 

Recently, the President made an executive order regarding immigrants and last week the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.  The latter is what I am going to talk about in this post.

 

Nos while this may seem fine on the surface, let’s get to the real problem here.  Quite a few states have yet approved gay marriage and some have rejected it more than once.  To have the courts decide what is good for the country in one fell swoop is not only a bad move but creates the type of problems that have been plaguing this country for years.

 

For someone to call this “the law of the land” makes me sick, as this law was forced down the throats of people whether they want it or not.  Let’s add to this the following things that irritate me just as much as just passing the law:

 

  • Lighting up the White House in the rainbow flag colors. What can be worse than having the “People’s House” not representing all the people and being paid for at taxpayer’s expense?  When you don’t represent everyone you should not force the values on everyone else.
  • Having people change their Facebook profile picture to be covered in the rainbow flag colors. Do these people even have a clue that their so-called support is just flaming the fire of those who don’t like having a law slammed down their throat?  Apparently all these rainbow people have not done their research on this “law”.
  • The celebrating in the streets by those who feel like they won the lottery. Truth is, your rights are still limited despite being the law.

 

It is this last point that is the most critical of them all.

 

Even though gay people have the right to marry, the bigger question is who will marry them.  Any religious leader can still deny a gay marriage performance if they don’t want to do it.

 

Add to this that places like bakeries can deny a customer who wants to create a wedding cake for a gay couple as well.  Let’s even add more to this as gays can be fired from their jobs, denied seating in restaurants, and can still be treated like second class citizens.

 

And the gays think they won the marriage battle?

 

Honestly, what has now happened is a Pandora’s box of problems that will sprout and raise its ugly head.

 

Oh sure, those of you wearing blinders waving your rainbow flag and showing your gay pride by changing your Facebook profile pic may feel happy, but the truth is that the gay community has won nothing.

 

NOTHING!!

 

Are you people hearing me?  If anything, the passage of a law that goes against the views of the people will cause nothing but problems.  More discrimination and more hatred will be coming.

 

If the black community think that they have been hated lately, that is nothing compared to the firestorm against the gay community to come.

 

Since the Supreme Court was a 5-4 decision, the court was pretty much evenly divided, however since 2 of the justices on the affirmative side have performed gay marriages, they should have recused themselves from making a decision on this case.  If that happened, then this law never would have passed whatsoever.

 

So here is the problem with our court system.

 

Instead of going by the Constitution, which makes no mention of gays in it, the justices decided to go by their own personal beliefs to put forth their decision.  Let’s forget that there were any evidence to support either side, the fact that the court even made a decision on this at all just proves that the court wants to make its own laws just like the Congress does.

 

It is bad enough that Congress can’t make laws but to have the courts step up and make laws just shows how wrong our government has really become.  It appears that the courts wants to make laws and then execute them in any way they like even if it means screwing the American people.

 

Now let me say that I am not in favor of gay marriage, however I do have several gay friends.  I am not a racist or a bigot but I do believe in what the religious teachings I grew up with are.  Even though I no longer practice religion, I still stand behind the faith that I have known all my life.  I do however support the idea of gay unions just not the idea of redefining marriage.

 

Of course now the courts have opened themselves up to yet another problem.  What about those who are bigamists or those who believe in marrying their pet horse?

 

Shouldn’t these people be given their rights as well?  Shouldn’t they be given the chance to be happy as well?  Should we not discriminate against these people either?

 

If you are going to give rights to one group, it should be fair to give rights to all groups.  Certainly we don’t have a fair and balanced court system if they refuse to have everyone get an equal playfield.

 

Certainly if I had my way, I would be impeaching the Supreme Court and remove them from their lifetime tenure that they so enjoy.  I believe that our entire court system is riddled with problems and that judges should be replaced on a regular basis.  Of course, only Congress can make that decision unless the Supreme Court wants to make a law barring that from ever happening.

 

Finally, let me say that our entire government system is broken.  Those of you who read my blogs probably already knew that.  However, I do believe that we need an honest system where everyone is fairly represented and that we don’t have laws shoved down our throats without the type of representation that this country was built on a couple hundred years ago.

 

It seems that the more we try to go forward in advancing equality for all, the further we seem to go backwards.

 

Unfortunately, our Pledge of Allegiance statement of “and justice for all” seems no longer apply to everyone anymore.

 

Our only hope is that someone will try to repeal the national gay marriage bill and allow states to make their own decisions on if they want it.  It was the right thing to do and the smart thing to do.

 

For those of you, who read this and appreciate this, thank you.

 

For those of you, who hate me for what I have written, maybe you should really dig deeper into what you personally stand for.

 

In the end, I know I will be hated for what I have written, but I did forewarn you.

 

To all, thanks and let’s repeal this ugly law.

 

 

 

 

My 2015 Commencement Address

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Warning: The following post may be offensive to some readers.  Discretion is advised.

 

Welcome folks to my annual commencement address!

 

This year I am not only addressing those graduating school, but I also have some brief advice to others as well.  I am going to do this in a top down fashion starting with those graduating college.

 

Fellow college graduates, you have that wonderful degree that you just received from your favorite school with a degree in Amish electronics.  The problem is now that you have that paper but for some stupid reason you cannot find a job using that degree.

 

Ha!  You just became the victim of going to college and wasting money on a useless degree.  Of course, if Obama has his way, that money you paid for that degree will be forgiven and you will not owe anything for it.  That’s right, friends, get that useless degree and enjoy those years not having to join the workforce.

 

Naturally, you will have to join the workforce at some point.  While places like McDonald’s could be an option that is not what you were going for.  So your only choice is to get some low wage job that you can get, more than likely retail is certainly a fine choice, just like your humble speaker did.

 

Now onto the high school graduates, you are in the pretty much the same boat as the college grads.

 

You have the choice of spending money you don’t have to go to a college for a degree that will be useless in 4 years or so or you can go out and get a real job in the real world with the high school education you have.

 

Naturally, many students are not prepared for college.  I was one of them.  I found myself in trouble very early but I persisted and kept at it until I got my degree after 8 years of going part-time.  I could never get into a work-study program with my major because apparently I was “too rich”.  Seriously, too rich when I was taking out student loans every year to survive, what are they thinking?

 

This brings me to the point of a disclaimer that I have been hearing that “a degree doesn’t guarantee a job”.  It used to be that colleges would offer job placement assistance, now all they do is send you out the door with a “good luck” attitude.  They should just hand you a Walmart name tag at graduation instead.

 

Now for the kids in middle school and elementary school, you are the rebel group.

 

You spend your time with your little smartphones.  You play games, texting, talking to your friends, and using them to help you cheat on tests.  You may also be using them to send out those inappropriate pictures of yourself to your friends and to everyone else in the world as well.  Believe me, I have seen pictures before and the parents should be ashamed of not teaching proper etiquette.  Instead the parents shame their kids on the internet, sometimes with tragic results.  One child just recently committed suicide after being public shamed by their parents.

 

Which finally brings me to the parents and the little babies in their lives; you are the ones who should be acting like grownups here.

 

You opt out of vaccinations because people like Dr. Jenny McCarthy (not a real doctor, by the way) say that they cause autism.  You do other readings from others who echo these false claims.  Sure, you can send your kid to school unvaccinated, but you run the risk of not only having the kid getting sick but also spreading disease to others as well.  I am not just talking about in school, but any public place as well, such as shopping malls, where large numbers of people gather.

 

As livings in one of the states with the highest opt out rates in the country, I am disgusted that such behavior can go on.  When I was young, I could not even go to school unless I brought in proof that I was immunized and then the school secretary called the doctor to verify the information.  Back then, there were very few exceptions and if you didn’t follow the rules, you weren’t allowed to go to school period.  We should go back to those ways when everyone was protected.

 

Now I place the blame for this on parents.  You know you are a bad parent.  You may even be a single parent.  You may be a single mother.  You may not even know who your child’s father is.  You may have even had several children and don’t know who any of the fathers are.  Just watch any of the afternoon TV programs and you will see this played out in all its glory.  Parents need to become more aware of their children and more responsible people.  You are raising the future generation and you only get one chance – don’t screw it up!

 

In conclusion, let me say that society is going to hell fast.  We are all hating each other.  Authorities are not being respected.  People are becoming liars just so that they can get ahead in this world.

 

So people put down your gadgets and look around you.

 

We are becoming a world where nobody likes each other and just want to create chaos everywhere.  Add to this, a President who is out of touch with reality and wants to do nothing to make the world a better place.  I am ashamed of the USA and you should be as well.

 

Remember after 9/11, how we all came together united as one nation.  What happened to that?  Now we are beating each other in the streets, murdering each other, setting fires to local businesses and creating chaos everywhere.

 

This needs to stop today and we need a leader who can bring forth the kind of change that will bring us back to the greatness we once had.

 

Soon, we will be electing a new President.  I recommend that everyone pay close attention to each of the candidates and see how each of them plan on bringing this country back to greatness.

 

After all, we are ONE NATION.  We are AMERICA!

 

You are now free to go and continue to live your lives.

 

Thank you and good day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tribute to Roger Snow

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Photo/Obituary Published by Maine Sunday Telegram

Photo/Obituary Published by Maine Sunday Telegram

There are very few teachers during my years in school that had such an impact in a couple of aspects of my life as Roger Snow did.  Posted above is his obituary as it appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram this week.

 

His passion for his craft exceeded anything that I ever saw from anyone.

 

It is difficult to call him a real teacher because he traveled amongst the different schools here in South Portland, Maine to spread his talents of teaching others the fine art of music.

 

When I was in the 5th grade, I wanted to learn a musical instrument.  So my parents and I went to my cousin’s music shop to look for an instrument.  My thoughts were that I really didn’t want to have any instrument that I had to blow because I usually had a shortness of breath so this type of instrument was out of the question.

 

So my choices were limited to something like the piano or violin.  Since my parents could not afford a piano and it would be heavy to bring to school, I decided on the violin.  The violin that my parents purchased was new and it cost about $500.  After shelling out that much money for the instrument, they could not really afford to purchase a new case which would have set them back a couple more hundred.  So I ended up buying a used and sort of rough-looking case.  It didn’t look great and was a little discolored but it served its purpose.

 

I used a DYMO label maker to put a label with my name and address on the case so it could be returned if ever lost.  Ironically that label has lasted many years later.  Unfortunately, my violin career hasn’t lasted that long.

 

I was one of two people at my elementary school who were interested in playing the violin, me and a girl.  As it turned out, her affection for the instrument varied and she would not show up for the practice sessions set up by Mr. Snow, our teacher.

 

I practiced the violin for about an hour everyday trying to learn the notes and songs from the songbook which was provided to me.  The learning of the notes was extremely difficult for me as I could not read music that well.

 

However, Mr. Snow was persistent that I could learn to read the notes even if I had to write down every translation below the bars in the book.  That, unfortunately, is exactly what I had to do.  Mr. Snow did not care if I did that because he felt that it was the best way to learn.  Unfortunately for me, I did this all the time throughout my short but beneficial musical career.

 

My high point of my musical career came at the 6th grade Christmas school program.   The girl who was supposed to perform with me was no-show.  So a decision had to be made:  would I perform alone or not perform at all.

 

Mr. Snow came to the rescue.

He encouraged me to go out and face the audience and perform what I had long been practicing.  I could feel the sweat dripping down my back as all of a sudden I felt the tie I was wearing suddenly tightened like a noose around my neck.

 

So Mr. Snow and I walked out onto the gymnasium floor together, where we started performing together.  Shortly he would stop, leaving me to continue the songs by myself.  I was still nervous even though he was sitting beside me.  After performing my 3 Christmas songs, Mr. Snow prompted me to stand up and take a bow. The crowd had given me a standing ovation.  Nervously I held my instrument with bow in one hand and violin in the other and bent over like I was going to have a stroke or something worse.  At this point, I could not wait to leave the floor and go out into the entry way.  Mr. Snow congratulated me on a job well done and I watched the remainder of the show from in the back of the room.

 

This night was probably the high point in my entire musical career.  Correction, this was the high point as things sort of went downhill from here.  The girl never returned to violin class ever again after this particular night.  So I spent the rest of the year alone in this class.

 

When I got into junior high school (7th grade), I was not alone.  There was one other boy, Michael, and 3 girls in the violin class.  Michael was not a great student, but he excelled at the violin.  As a group, Michael led us when we needed help because he had been playing the violin for several years and was a couple of years older than the rest of us.  His passion along with the passion of Mr. Snow  made our time very enjoyable over the next year and we performed well together during all the junior high programs that we were invited to.

 

Then came 8th grade and for some reason Mr. Snow was removed from the South Portland school music department.  It was never known if he retired or if he was forced out of the department.  This was the worst thing that could have happened to us.

 

His replacement wanted to transform Mr. Snow’s orchestra into the new head’s band.  What this meant was that the violin section would be history.  We had a choice: pick up a new instrument or leave altogether.  However, Michael would have none of that.  He led a protest to keep the violin section and keep the whole group as an orchestra.

 

Michael’s passion led to failure and unfortunately for the 5 of us, we were shown the door.  It took a few weeks before the final decision to oust us happen but when it did, Michael took it the worst.  He became so distraught over the whole situation that he dropped out of school and allegedly got hooked on drugs.  As far as I knew, he never went back to school becoming a victim of the ignorance of the school department.  I saw Michael a few years ago and he seemed to be off drugs and much more mellow, but he looked much different and appeared to finally be at peace with the world and himself.

 

However, the real question for those of us who cared was what happened to Mr. Snow.  Rumors circulated that he was fired; others said he was forced out, and others thought he just retired.  My violin ended up getting retired living in the storage space in my parent’s garage.  It has not been opened in many years so I don’t know the condition of the instrument, but I have no intention on selling it.

 

That question would always remain unanswered for me, but his disappearance would not be long as during high school in 10th grade he made reappearance in my life.

 

During my sophomore year in high school, when I had the first chance, I decided to take the driver’s education course offered in the school.  Since the course was held at the school, we all were sitting there on the first day anxious to find out who the teacher was.  To my surprise, and the surprise of others, the teacher was Mr. Snow, the music teacher who inspired my musical aspirations.

 

He was a great teacher of driver’s training, but when it came to actually getting behind the wheel of a car that became a different story for some.  I remember the car being a bright red Chrysler K car, a popular type of front-wheel drive car of its day.  The car clearly was labeled a driver’s education car with a big sticker on both front doors and on the trunk.  The label had the Chrysler logo on it with the words “STUDENT DRIVER” clearly written on it.

 

For me, it should have said “LOOKOUT CRAZY LOON ON BOARD”.  Given that Mr. Snow took out 4 students per day for their driving lesson, my day was always met with the same sort of sweat that haunted me years earlier at the solo Christmas concert back in elementary school.

 

My first time behind the wheel, the vehicle was parked near a cliff overlooking Sebago Lake.  Naturally, the first thing I did was to put the car into drive and almost sent the car over the cliff.  Thankfully, Mr. Snow had a brake pedal on his side of the car to stop me from making him, me and the others a stupid lesson on how not to drive and end all of our lives in a heartbeat.

 

Over the next few weeks, each of the four of us, were allowed about a half hour of drive time so we were together in the car for about 2 hours a week.  While everyone else in our group progressed rather well, I still struggled with the whole driving thing.

 

However, Mr. Snow was persistent in seeing me succeed as I did in music class.  When the course ended, everyone else was ready to take their driver’s test, but Mr. Snow did not want to see me fail.

 

Since he had the driver’s education car for another few weeks, he decided to give me additional lessons free to give me more time behind the wheel.  This extra time made a huge difference as this extra training along with the time my father gave me driving his car allowed me to pass my driver’s test in the first try.  I was extremely proud and happy that Mr. Snow did this much to help me succeed for a second time in my life.  Also, the Chrysler K car survived with all the bumpers and 4 wheels still on it.

 

He went above and beyond anyone in wanting to help me.  I think he would have done this for anyone who needed the help.  It was just part of his nature.  However, I believe that anyone who would do something without pay just shows his dedication to his craft.  He had the drive to make anyone succeed whether behind the wheel or behind a musical instrument.  (Writer’s note:  Sorry about that pun I could not resist.)

 

In the years that followed, I only saw Mr. Snow a couple of times when I worked at the mall.  He pretty much kept a fairly private life despite having such a talented existence.  Maybe that is why he was so great, he knew when to stay out of the limelight and let others get the glory.

 

But here in this blog post, I felt it was time that he got the glory that he long deserved.  Unfortunately, I had to write it as an obituary tribute rather than as a lifelong tribute to someone who always went that extra mile.  (Writer’s note:  Sorry about that one too.)

 

When I decided to write this, I wanted to find a current picture of Mr. Snow to put into this post, but I could not find one.  Since my old yearbooks were not accessible, the only picture that I have is an old picture of someone at the beginning of their career rather than the older white-haired gentleman that I knew all those years.  Either way, he had a long honorable life and always had my respect.

 

Rest in peace, Mr. Snow.  I know someone up there wants to hear you play one of your many instruments that you played so well.  You will never be forgotten especially every time I get behind the wheel of my car.  Just as long as I don’t ever find that cliff and forget which way to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year, Old Problems?

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Well, here we are at 2015.

 

Did you notice any REAL differences from the year that past?

 

If you answered no, then you came to the right place.

 

If you answered yes, then you really came to the right place.

 

First off, let me say that this post is being placed into both of my blogs as I am only writing one year-end summary this year instead of two.

 

For those of you who read the annual report that I posted last week while I was off, let me say that I am more than disappointed by the results.

 

On the “Staples” and “Rants” blog, it seemed that more people were interested in my relationship with Tanya going south rather than most everything else.  It was sad that she decided to block me from all social media after her marriage.  Apparently, she never really cared about me whatsoever.  I am not the least bit surprised by that at all.

 

Both blogs also saw a lackluster number of comments to each.  Even though I limited the period for comments to 30 days after a post has been made, it still seems that I should have received more comments than I did.  Maybe it was because some people decided not to post rude comments as they knew they would be deleted anyway.

 

For all the bad things that my report stated, I am proud that the blogs continue to gain followers.  Granted the numbers are not huge yet, but I really would like to see the number close to 100 followers by this time next year.

 

Now onto the breakdown of each blog:

 

First we have the “Staples” blog.

 

The biggest topic of the year without a doubt was hacking.  I predicted the Staples hack about a year ago and by year’s end, Staples finally admitted that it was indeed hacked into.  However, their claim is that only about 115 stores were affected and a little over a million customers were affected.  I believe that Staples will eventually come clean with the real numbers as I believe that this was indeed a full company wide hack job.

 

I expect that hacking will continue to be a major topic in 2015 as companies will continue to do stupid things that will allow hackers to do their dirty duty.  With hacks such as the celebrity hacks and the Sony hack is only the beginning of something much bigger that will happen.  I really hate the idea of having to report this stuff as it just gets to be monotonous and just gets to be downright boring.

 

Besides the ongoing hacking scandals, I plan on discussing other topics as well.  My upcoming calendar includes (subject to change):

  • The continued decline of RadioShack.
  • The Night That Changed Everything.
  • org – Good Idea or Agenda driven.
  • Charity begins at home.

 

Along with these topics, I plan to continue my own story of my decline with the Staples Company.  After all, that was what this blog was originally set up as.  I don’t think I have actually strayed from my original goal, I just have taken many detours along the way and made several stops through this journey.  I am a long way from the end as if to say that there will actually be an end.

 

Now onto the “Rants” blog:

 

The major part of the blog this last year was dedicated to the continued decline of the Time Warner Cable service and how their so-called upgrades have caused more harm than good.

 

Certainly the political scene is scarred nationally and here in Maine by the onslaught of the republicans winning both the governorship again and taking control of the US Senate and the US House.

 

Probably the most popular topic of the year was my discussion of why I didn’t attend my high school reunion.  My belief is that some people can relate to what I am talking about and therefore I am continuing my story with a few more parts this year.

 

Television also was a topic of interest as well.  Some shows were complete failures while others have shined brightly.  Amongst my favorites are “Gotham”, the pre-Batman series and as I have mentioned before my absolute favorite show “Girl Meets World”.  This show blew me away with the Christmas episode reunion.  This is the way to do a reunion show and if you liked the older “Boy Meets World” series, the Christmas episode is a definite must-see.

 

I am less excited for the series “The Flash” as this show seems like it hasn’t completely broken away from the shadow of its birthmother of “Arrow”.  The crossover episodes were fun but the Flash may become a flash in the pan if the show doesn’t get more interesting.  They certainly have the villains from the comic books, but this show reminds me of the campy 1960’s Batman series.

 

Speaking of that series, it finally got its video release in 2014 in somewhat of grand style.  While this nearly $200 Blu-ray box set contains all 120 episodes and other special treats, it still is missing some episode content.  I still recommend this limited edition set despite its flaws.  A cheaper DVD box set also exists without all the extra products, but I still would ante for the better set while it is available.

 

So what is in store for 2015?  Here is a brief rundown of my possible topics:

 

  • The continuing story of why I didn’t attend my high school reunion.
  • TV Hits and Misses of the Season.
  • The biggest obituary of 2014 that was not reported.
  • Tag, Like, Share: A Dumb User’s Guide to Facebook failures.

 

Overall, 2014 saw its share of hatred against me.  From one person who wrote that I was a bad person and then stupidly liking that statement to the people who decided to unfriend me on Facebook and then not even having a logical reason why, this last year was a year of idiots showing their true colors.

 

I expect a better reception this year as things should get clearer in some aspects of my continuing drama and the drama of the rest of the world.

 

Speaking of getting clearer, next post will have my annual predictions as I once again bring out the crystal ball and look back on how I did last year and make new predictions for the year.  After that, the two blogs will hopefully separate into their own stories for most of the year.  I continue to plan on writing each blog on alternating weeks with the next post to be next week to both blogs.

 

Until next time, enjoy 2015.

 

 

 

 

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