The Last Post of 2016

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To say that this year was not a tough year, would be an understatement.  

At least, for me, it probably was the worst year I ever had or close to it.

Everything seemed to be going smoothly for the first half of the year, then it seemed everything went wrong.

First, my computer became the victim of a bad Windows 10 update, which made me having to start from scratch.

After I got that pretty much solved, I became technically blind in my left eye and not much better in my right.

The healing process has been long and hard, but hopefully in January, it will be pretty much over.

Beyond those issues, 2016 also saw a number of longtime friends decide to become former friends for reasons unknown to me.  However, with one of those friends, I know it was them just being a jerk for not accepting my opinion on a political topic.

It seems that anger dominated the political process this year as it was less about who you voted for rather who you voted against.  I found myself a couple of times showing anger against some of the candidates even going as far as writing emails to my own party criticizing their choice of candidate.  Ironically, the more times that I responded to their email donation unsubscribe list, the more of them I received.  Eventually, it appeared that they blocked my email address as I noticed that my later emails bounced back to me despite that I was still receiving contribution emails from them.

In the end neither candidate deserved to win as we now see that the swamp that should be drained is now being loaded with billionaire alligators.  So much for supporting the little guy.

I suspect that the next 4 years will be great for the rich while the dwindling middle class continues to suffer.  I don’t expect to see my own situation to improve over the next year as my health still seems to waining somewhat.

This brings me to the ongoing continuation of this blog.  I plan on alternating writing for this blog and my newly renamed “Retail Land” on alternating weeks.

At least that is my plan for now, however there may be times when one blog may go for a couple of weeks without a post.  The reason for that is that sometimes I just don’t have a good topic for that blog for that week.  Hopefully, that does not happen often and that I remain healthy enough to write for both blogs.

For now, I am using the WordPress mobile app to write my blogs and it seems to get better all the time.  I recommend this app for those who want to do mobile blogging.

Finally, I want to briefly discuss this holiday season.  As some of you may know, I don’t really celebrate this time of year nor do I say any holiday greetings to anyone.  I started doing that many years ago as I felt that it was inappropriate to do so.  

This year it seems that people are more ignorant and rude more than ever in public.  Add to this that many sales associates are uncooperative and it leads to a very unhappy holiday season and many angry people.  Combine this with the ongoing political anger and nobody seems happy anymore.

Overall, I feel that 2017 will become another so-so year as much of the anger will last for several months.

Now what is ahead for the new year.

First up is my annual crystal ball look back and forward.  I will then go into highlighting my Florida trip from last year.  Along the way, I also expect to see a major upgrade to the Spectrum (former Time Warner Cable) system.  I will report on that when it becomes available in my area.  Some areas may already have it so maybe it might be more refined by the time I get it.  As far as any other topic goes, that will be a surprise.  As always, things can change as events warrant.

For now, this is all I have.  It you wish to contact me, you can do so through Facebook, Twitter, or email.  I will usually respond within a few hours.

Until then, I will return in January.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

Aftermath and the Angry Pig

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First let me open by saying that nationally only 60% of the voting population actually took the time to vote during the last election.

 

This meant that the other 40% was either fed up with the whole process, didn’t care at all, or just didn’t have the time.  Of course the latter excuse doesn’t fly at all because of absentee voting.  The first 2 may be because of social ignorance.

 

Then there is the other major factor in this entire nightmare this year.  I heard stories of duplicate names, people who could not be found, and overall problems with the voting system in general.  To add to this is the list of people who are either incapable of voting or who are in jail or deployed overseas in the military.  These numbers add to those who can’t or unable to vote.  Overall, the system needs to be fixed to make sure those that are able to vote can and those that no longer can vote won’t have somebody use their identity and vote for them.

 

To add to this mess is the Maine State Voter Program.  The first email I received a couple of days before the election listed our family and if we “voted” over the last few elections.  It also listed our “neighbors” and if they voted over the last few elections.  The first red flag in all of this is that this email showed up in my Spam inbox in Outlook.  This right here should be an indication that even Microsoft thought something suspicious of this email.

 

There were several errors in this email.  The first is that it said that I did not vote in 2010. This is WRONG!!  I did vote that year and I am offended that it said that I didn’t in all capital letters.  This is certainly a calling out as if I did something completely wrong when in fact they are wrong.  Secondly and even more inaccurate is the listing of my so-called neighbors.  Every one of the “neighbors” listed has moved away in the last couple of years.  Honestly why should I care whether these people voted or not in the last few elections especially since they no longer even live in my neighborhood.  The biggest offense of all in this is how this group got my email address in the first place.

 

Later, the next day I received a second email from this same group.  This time the email was similar with the listing of my family and again if they voted (again with the wrong info on me), but this email contained a listing of some of my local Facebook friends and where they live and if they voted in the last few elections.  This email, like the first one, sets off many red flags.  However the flags in this one are significantly worse than the first.

 

The biggest gripe that I have is like the first email is that the email listed my Facebook friends’ names but also their addresses as well.  The worst thing about this is that listing where somebody lives could create a dangerous situation especially if some of these people were not so-called friends of mine.  I have always felt that somebody’s address should remain private if they want it to be.  It should never be considered public information.  The fact that some of these people were former work associates and a couple were people I knew back in high school makes it that much worse especially given that I left my previous employer in a less than glorious manner.  Add to this that the people from high school I haven’t had a conversation with them in years just adds to the aggravation and paranoia with anybody knowing your private information.

 

The Saturday before the election I received in the mail a letter that was exactly like the first email I received.  Why this group would waste postage on sending this false information out in a letter is beyond me?  All I can say is that I am thankful that they never sent out the information of the second email through the postal service.

 

In last week’s local Sunday paper, a reader wrote that they were angry receiving a letter from this group after it falsely reported that a relative of theirs could not vote in the last few elections because they were in a home for Alzheimer’s patients.  What I can’t figure out is why anybody in the family didn’t have this person removed from voting roll call when they knew they no longer were going to be able to vote.  This reader called for an investigation as to why this information was even sent out in the first place.

 

Honestly, I totally agree that this group should be investigated.  While much of the information is freely available information it is the fact that it was distributed without the consent of others listed is where my biggest criticism is.  Add to that the incorrect info about me and it just adds to the problem.  The second email sort of clued me in that much of this information for both emails were in fact gathered from Facebook and the friends that I have on there that live locally.  I believe that such gathering of information from Facebook is both unethical and illegal and Facebook should be investigated to see if they gave out people personal information along with its user’s friends list for their own gain.  This should be considered a complete violation of Facebook policy especially since I keep my address private on Facebook.  Hopefully, this group is investigated and I would join any class action lawsuit that comes about for violating the privacy of myself and the privacy of others.  I would be glad if this information is never released ever again in any format especially being so wrong.

 

Now onto the elections results.

 

As expected it was a nightmare as nationally the Republicans took a majority of the U.S. Senate to now control both houses of Congress.  I see gridlock for the next 2 years at the national level as Obama will take his pen and do executive orders no matter what the Congress thinks.

 

Now that the ads are gone this year was one of the dirtiest political seasons ever with more money than ever coming in from out-of-state sources.  More mud was slung this year than ever before and more egos were severely damaged.  Some of the damage is probably socially, politically and personally permanent.

 

First up is the Maine governor race.  Once again, Paul LePage won over his Democratic opponent Mike Michaud.  Was this any surprise that this race was once again given to the person who made this state the biggest joke in the country.  How much further can this state slide and how many more people can end up being uninsured after LePage’s next 4 years?  I bet the number will go up significantly

To make matters worse is that LePage refused to accept the concession call from Michaud after the election saying that he doesn’t want to see Michaud ever again.  What a wonderful way to start a new term.  The only winner in this race are the political cartoonists who have 4 more years of great material coming.

 

In the second district Congressional race, the criminal Republican won handily over the extremist Democrat.  I still won’t give out their names as I feel none of them were capable of winning and none should have won.  We should feel sorry for those people in northern Maine as they need support, but not from who they chose.

 

As expected the other races were determined well before election day and not worth mentioning here.

 

However, the bear-baiting issue ended with the NO side winning against the YES side by a small margin.  We continue to be the only state in the country to allow the feeding of bears to kill them.  While the YES side had graphic images in their ads in the last days of the campaign, it was a little too late to get the victory.

 

The other referendum questions passed with ease despite most of them were for funds to places unknown and for uses unknown as well.  I feel that people just thought that if it meant jobs no matter where they are, then the issue should be supported.  Again, voter ignorance dominated these questions.  I guess most people don’t believe that it is the taxpayers’ money used to pay for the bond issues.

 

As far as the South Portland marijuana referendum was concerned, the YES side won by a small margin.  However, the NO side is challenging the vote and the police have already said that they will be stepping up their arrests of people possessing the drug.  If anything, the vote might have been symbolic but may not ever be enforced.

 

Overall, I felt that voting this year was under minded by the wrong information given by the Maine State Voter Program.  No matter what they say I DID  vote this election and I certainly have every right to complain about the results as most of them turned opposite of what the way the voting should have gone.

 

Maybe we should blame the 40% that didn’t vore…

 

Note: This will be the last post before Thanksgiving.  I will return in December with a new post at that time.  So have a happy holiday and a happy Black Friday.

 

 

 

 

Bad or Worse

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Writer’s note:  This week’s post is being presented in all my blogs as I feel that the information is important enough to be told to all audiences.

 

All right class.

 

This week’s word is bad.

 

It is such a simple 3 letter word.

 

However its meaning is quite vast.

 

It could mean defective.  It could mean evil.  It could mean awful.  It could mean any number of things.

 

Back in the 1980’s Michael Jackson sang about “being bad”.

 

Back then, Jessica Rabbit stated that “she wasn’t bad, she was drawn that way”.

 

Last weekend on Facebook, a friend of mine stated that they thought they were a “bad person” because they had no father figure in her life and she was going to spend Father’s Day with her daughter.

 

To me, this is certainly not the making of a “bad person”, but to some people they like to jump to conclusions with little or no evidence.  I will get back to that in a bit.

 

But first, let me rewind time back to last Wednesday, June 11.  That day everything seemed normal as I had just put my weekly blog posts online and was done for the day.  I decided to do my normal checking in on my ex Tanya on Facebook as I normally do.  Granted I had never friended her nor did really ever intend to, but I am still curious about her post-wedding life.  For those who read my open letter to her a couple of weeks ago would realize that she still holds a special place with me despite being married to someone else.  There seemed to be nothing new on her page or her husband’s, as I regularly checked his too after they got engaged.

 

So I closed down and called it a day.

 

Then came Thursday June 12 and well let’s just say something was very wrong.

 

My first thing that I normally do is check my Twitter account.  I usually check to see if I have any new followers or lost any old ones.  I had noticed that a couple of people who I had followed seemed to have disappeared.

 

So just for the heck of it, I checked Tanya’s profile and noticed that she had 1 less followers.  Granted, she has never tweeted anything so following her may seem counterproductive.  When I checked her list of followers, I noticed that I (yes, me) was no longer a follower of hers.

I had wondered what happened.

 

So I decided to try to re-follow her.

 

Apparently that was NOT going to happen as she appeared to have blocked me on Twitter.  I, then decided to check her husband’s account as well.  Even though I never followed him, I was blocked there as well when I tried to follow him.

 

Ok, this is not good.  Not good at all.

 

So then I decided to go to my Facebook account.

 

I did a search on her and her page did not come up.  I tried typing in the URL that would lead directly to her page and got a “page not found” message.  I then repeated the same thing with her husband and received the same result.

 

At this point, I decided to log into my alternative Facebook account where I am not under my name, and low and behold BOTH of their Facebook accounts were there in all their glory.

 

So now it was quite apparent.

 

I was blocked not only by her, but by her husband as well, somebody who has never met me, seen me, or know anything about me at all.

 

So here I was blocked on both Facebook and Twitter by both of them with no real justification.

 

At this point, I was shocked and wrote a quick post on Facebook stating that feeling.

 

Before I get into the response to that, let me just say that I really don’t know what made Tanya to block me.  The only thing I would think is that somehow she might have gotten wind of my open letter and somehow might have been offended or angered by it.  While I don’t believe that I said anything offensive, she decided that it was best to slam the door on me on as much social media as possible.  To add her husband to this blocking made me think that she must be angrier at me for reasons unknown to me.  In some ways, I really wish I could turn back the clock and apologize to her for everything that went wrong even though it wasn’t totally my fault.

 

Now for the response on Facebook I received.

 

First I am going to call this female responder Janie as to protect her identity.

 

Janie and I had gone to high school together and really were never that close, however like many others from high school she friended me on Facebook about a year or so ago.

 

Janie usually spoke her mind and while sometimes mean-spirited, she was rarely ever offensive.  That was until this most current posting, which did bother me somewhat.

 

While her remarks are only 5 lines long, they speak volumes on feelings that really should not exist at all.  In one recent message to me, she stated that she “was not my enemy”.  I will leave it up to you, dear readers to decide the fate of that statement.

 

So here we go:

 

Her first sentence is “I’m sorry to know how depressed you are”.  I see nothing wrong with that statement at all.

 

Sentence 2 is “No one deserves to feel that way”.  So far nothing wrong with that statement either.

 

Sentence 3 is “I’m sure you are a bad person.”  Just as the train was rolling smoothly down the tracks we now have this huge derailment.  Honestly, where does this sentence follow the first 2 especially when she said just a few weeks earlier that she was “not my enemy”?  This sounds like a HUGE contradiction to me.  What does she mean by a bad person?  Maybe the next sentence might give us a clue.

 

Sentence 4 is “After just having read some of your last blogs, I think your view of the world is rather narrow.”  Ok, you have read only SOME of my blogs and you think I am a bad person because of it?  Of course, Janie doesn’t say which blogs she finds me narrow-minded on, therefore her theory falls flat with zero proof.

 

Sentence 5 is “Have you had a thorough medical check up?”  Now unless Janie has a medical degree, this statement is way out-of-place and certainly uncalled for.  However, let me set the record straight, mentally I am absolutely fine, physically walking and standing is an issue and has been since before I lost my job over 5 years ago.  Beyond that nothing about my health should even be discussed.

 

Sentence 6 is “Are you (sic) parents aware of how you’re feeling?”  Is she serious?  I am well over 21 and this just goes beyond absurd.  Again this statement holds no value as Janie doesn’t hold a medical degree so it is not her place to make type of diagnosis.

 

Finally, sentence 7 is “I believe there are ways to hear (sic) yourself so that you can feel better.”  What does this even mean?  It makes no sense whatsoever.

 

Overall, I was quite offended by Janie’s posting.  However, I decided not to either unfriend or block her as I feel that would really be the wrong thing to do.  I feel that I have a lot to say that would benefit her as would fellow readers.  Unfortunately, none of the sentences that Janie stated followed any of the others.  No proof of any problems were given, which presented a non-existent case on her behalf.

 

It is ironic that some of the same things that Janie brought up were some of the same conversations that I used to have with Tanya during her employment with me.  However, in Tanya’s case, she talked more of her own problems and how we had similar problems and how we could solve our problems together.

 

Yet, in the end, Tanya ended up blocking me from her existence and turned her back on me.  Hopefully, Janie doesn’t end up the same way.  I think she is smarter than that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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