Archive for the 'Just sayin'' Category

10
Mar
11

Here’s the deal

How some react to being unfollowed on Twitter.

The tweet read something like this: “For all you haters who can’t handle me talkin about the Steelers, #UNFOLLOW.”

And when I say “something like this,” I mean that it was chock full of internet speak and misspellings and such, but that was the tweeter’s style, and I kinda let those things go.

But the tweeter had a point. Why argue or be annoyed by what someone is tweeting? You have a choice to follow them or not, so exercise that choice, right? It’s a simple click of the mouse, almost like changing the channel on your TV. Annoyance, gone. Life can go forward unhindered.

So I took the tweeter’s advice, and I unfollowed some people. Probably less than 10, but it also included the tweeter. Why? Because said tweeter and I were/are different people. That person was all RAH RAH Steelers to a point of ultra-obnoxiousness. I mean, I love my team … but I don’t feel the need to scream in your face about it or trash talk the opponent. Nor do I feel the need to bet on it. Nor does my happiness hinge on their winning/losing. That behavior gets boorish. I figured it was probably for the best that I moved on. Click, bam, done.

The next day, said user called me out (and about 4 or 5 other people) for unfollowing, calling us “lame.” And then a few of said tweeter’s fans called us out, too … one being an avatar of a muscular chest that explained, “Maybe they just couldn’t handle THE GREATNESS.”

Yes. Greatness. Couldn’t handle it. That’s it.

The response reassured me that I had made the proper decision. And after that, I unfollowed a few more folks. They weren’t terrible people by any means, but a tweeter can’t live on 4square check-ins and a couple of RTs alone.

Next thing I know, I’m on a list called, “The Unfollowers.” This list claims that the people on it violate the unwritten “follow me, I’ll follow you back” rule … or if they do follow you back, they’ll unfollow you shortly after in some silly attempt to look ultra-popular. Whatever the case, this list says, “We’re watching you.” Whomever “we” are. Twitter secret police, I guess.

At any rate, this kinda pisses me off. First off, I’ve gone from someone who didn’t understand the value of Twitter to being a complete Twitter addict. I’ve met a lot of new folks because of it … and by met, I do mean in person. Craft beer snobs, bikers, hikers, newspaper veterans, photographers, IT folks, chefs … with the circle of friendly folks out there, if I have a question about something, I can ask, and chances are someone has a good answer for me. It’s awesome.

But the whole unfollowing thing? Most of the folks who I have unfollowed are celebrities or pro-atheletes. Out of the local crowd, if you’re spamming contests or constantly (and obnoxiously) promoting your business or site, then chances are I’m going to unfollow. If we’re just different people that can’t find a common ground to communicate on, I’m going to unfollow. And, quite honestly, I’m not going to feel badly about it. You don’t get along with everyone in real life, why would something like Twitter be any different? It’s just on Twitter, it’s much easier to deal with that whole thing. Click, bam, done.

Not all bots are created equally

Secondly, that whole “unwritten rule” is bubkis. You know what I learned? I don’t care if you follow me or not … if you’re providing info about stuff that I’m interested in or that brightens my day, I don’t need you to follow me back. If you do, that’s a bonus. Quite honestly, I don’t even pay attention to who is following me anymore. If you pop up in my “followers” list (not that I look, but the new Twitter shoves that in your face), cool! If not, cool! The amount of spambots that follow my unlocked account have crushed my will to check on that kind of thing. Honestly, out of my 500+ followers, I assume that 50 are real people. That’s probably way off, but that’s about the number of “regulars” that I interact with … so the other 450 have to lurkers, stalkers or bots, right? Right. Bots it is.

But if Twitter’s “Follow me, I’ll follow you” unwritten rule IS important to you, here’s a key ingredient to getting followed … LET ME KNOW YOU’RE A HUMAN. And if you are human, PLEASE HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. Retweets and links to pictures get really old. I really don’t mind you promoting your business every now and then, but constantly … well, you’re going to make me earn my spot on the Twitter secret police list.

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26
Jan
10

No shame

You know, I really hate those cut-and-paste status updates on Facebook. Usually I just ignore them or leave a snarky comment, but the one I saw today struck a nerve.

When it comes to Haiti, obviously I’m a bit touchy about it (as if you couldn’t tell from my completely irrational Proactive rant). Working in the media, I’ve read too many stories and seen too many pictures about this tragedy. But it hits a little closer to home for me than for a lot of folks because I knew, and worked with,  Haitians when I lived down in Florida.

Let’s take a closer look at this statement.

First off, we aren’t the only country that has these social ills like the author implies. I challenge that person to find one country that doesn’t have homeless, where all children are fed properly and the elderly and mentally ill have all of their needs met, unfailingly. If you find it, let me know so I can move there.

Secondly, if you work and pay taxes in this country, you are already paying for programs to help the homeless, feed children, elderly health care and provide services for the mentally ill. Let’s see: Medicare, Medicaid, welfare and CHiP are a few… not to mention the property taxes that we pay to schools for programs that include buying school supplies and breakfasts/lunches for poor children. I’m not saying that these services are perfect and are 100 percent effective. I’m not saying that all of these services address every social ill in our country, and hey, that’s good enough for me.

What I am saying is that in this country, there is help available for the poor. It may require crossing through a bureaucratic nightmare, but still, IT IS THERE.

How it differs from Haiti? Well, Haiti suffered a huge natural disaster. People are scrambling and scavenging for food. There’s little clean water. Shelter is a pipe dream. No sanitation. No power. Corpses piled in the streets and in the rubble of destroyed homes. Elderly people sitting outside of destroyed nursing homes with no caretakers, just waiting to die. Rats running everywhere. Disease outbreaks are imminent and could claim thousands (if not tens of thousands) more lives if something isn’t done.

In other words, the author is comparing long-standing societal ills that have been around for hundred (if not thousands) of years with that of a country that has its entire infrastructure destroyed by a natural disaster.

Yeah, there’s a slight difference there.

Sorry, but I’m not going to feel “shame” for donating to Haitian relief efforts. Not one bit. And I’m not going to feel ashamed of my friends, neighbors and family members who CHOOSE to donate to the relief effort. In fact, I’m happy that in this economy, my fellow Americans opted to sacrifice a little bit of comfort for those who are obviously in much greater need than they are.

Besides, who are you, author of said status, to tell anyone how to spend their hard-earned cash? As an American, they can spend it however they want — if they want to send it to the Red Cross or some TV evangelist, it’s his/her own business, not yours.

And if we’re on the topic of how we spend our money, how much money have you donated to help the homeless, the children and the mentally ill? Probably nothing outside of your taxes — assuming you even pay them.

Oh, and as for that “challenge” at the end — you are right, 99% of people won’t post it, but it has nothing to do with guts.

It’s because they completely and emphatically disagree with you.

(And to answer the burning question, no, I did not and will not defriend the person who posted this — everyone is entitled to their opinion, and there will always be topics where I will disagree with someone — that doesn’t mean that a friendship has to end over it. However, I did express my displeasure about it on the status.)

19
Nov
09

There’s hot, and then there’s hot

I went over to my buddy Mike’s last night, just looking for a little R&R after shopping for Xmas decor all day. (Side note: I was the only man I saw shopping for decorations. That was freakin’ disturbing.) When I arrived, Mike was deep into an episode of Mythbusters, which is cool.  And it was when either Kari or Jessi was on (I believe it was Jessi) when Mike said, “Wow. She is just so hot,” that a conversation about hot nerd women was sparked. We started discussing our nerd girl crushes, when Mike brought up someone I’ve never heard of: Sarah Haskins.

Apparently, Sarah is part of a show that has a segment called “Target Women.” (I really haven’t explored beyond this point, but you would have to expect that.) Here’s the clip where I was introduced to her:

See, now if you were just to look at a picture of Sarah, you probably wouldn’t think much. Sure, she’s no movie starlet — she doesn’t have DD boobs and a 30-inch waist — but she’s definitely attractive in the girl-next-door way. But what separates her from the crowd is, in fact, her obvious brains. And this is why a lot of us men love nerd girls. Women with personality can actually hold our interest! For example, as I type this, I’ve probably stopped about 15 times to watch other “Target Women” segments.

OK, this one cracked me up.

Ah, to hell with this. I keep losing focus. So, uh, the point of this blog — ladies, don’t be afraid to show us your brains! (OK, but be sure to use those brains — because if you see a bunch of guys holding up signs that say, “Show us your brains!” — chances are they are male zombies.)

Now, back to youtube…

15
Nov
09

close, yet no cigar

Go Panthers!

A disturbing feeling came over me today while visiting friends at a tailgate for the Pitt-Notre Dame game.

As a bus came by filled with the Pitt band playing the fight song, we instinctively screamed out what we’ve yelled for years…

Band: Dun dun da dun dun!
US: PENN STATE SUCKS!

Band: Dun dun da dun dun!
US: PENN STATE SUCKS!

P-E-N-N-S-T sucks!

Stay klassy, Flyers.

Stay klassy, Philly

And it was right then when I realized it was the closest I’ve ever been to being a Flyers fan.

See, one of the reasons I loathe the Flyers is because the fans never really actually cheer for their team. Seriously. Anytime I see the Pens play them, it’s chants about how Crosby sucks, or they make crybaby gestures, or their doing something that’s completely douchey toward the opposing team — but the one thing you don’t hear is a cheer such as “Go Flyers go!” They exist only to heckle, harass and name-call their opponents — the Flyers themselves are only an instrument to give their fans more ammo to hurl at their opponents.

I mentioned my realization to my friends. “Guys, we’re like the Flyers fans of collegiate football since all we love to do is yell ‘Penn State sucks.'”

But my friend Mike, ever the logical person, quickly said, “No. See, if we were like Flyers fans, we’d be booing Notre Dame. But we’re not. We’re just yelling that Penn State sucks, and that’s only because they are Penn State, and they do suck.”

And somehow, this made sense, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Go Panthers!

And Penn State sucks!

(Forgive us, we’re still not used to this whole “winning” thing.)

09
Nov
09

Moving right along

Cali and I recently went on a walk through Frick Park and the Regent Square area, just hanging out and relaxing in the beautiful weather we’ve been having.

So, after we we walked around Frick Park (which is a great little park), we opted to head up to D’s for hot dogs and root beer (cause it was Sunday morning). We were guesstimating the cost of houses in the neighborhood as we walked back to the car, and then we noticed something …

Residents of Edgewood/Regent Square — I’m happy you chose to get into the spirit of things for Halloween. And it was really cool to see your police force playing Halloween music as they patrolled. But when your jack o’ lanterns start looking like they belong in a nursing home, it’s pretty much time to put them to rest, know what I mean?

06
Nov
09

Beer sharing etiquette

Recently, long-time friend Funkyskull posted an interesting question in the “bad form” blog entry. It’s about beer fouls at parties. Her question was this:

Recently, we were at a party with about 100 people – big party, little house. I knew exactly four of those people. Anyway, my partner in crime and I went to the grocery store beforehand and each selected a sixer. Neither were fancy, just the ones we felt like drinking that night. Long story short, I got to drink ONE of mine before they were all bogarted. Is it a party foul to then take one of someone else’s? I did, but then felt guilty. Is it wrong that I felt slightly salty about it? I just felt sort of like, well, if they wanted to drink Blue Moon, maybe they should have bought Blue Moon (and had the foresight to purchase and slice an orange…).

First off, let me answer the questions presented:

  1. All of my beer has been bogarted by other guests at the party. Is it OK to then take others’ beer? Should I feel guilty about taking someone else’s beer? Is it OK to feel salty about people taking my beer?: Yes. Variable. Yes. I mean, nothing is more irritating than bringing beer you feel like drinking and having some random folks you don’t even know drink it all. But if those types of shenanigans are going on, it’s safe to assume that all beer is fair game. HOWEVER, since I know you are a person who respects rules and boundries, I would recommend asking around before taking someone else’s beer. I know I would hate to be caught by some angry person saying, “You’re drinking my beer! That shit’s expensive!” and having my only defense being, “Well, that’s cause everyone else drank mine already.” Both people have a right to be mad, and both have a point.

This leads to Rule No. 1: When attending a party, assume someone else will drink your beer, unless you’re protecting it all night. I’m not saying it’s right or good form, but some folks go to a party and see the beer brought there as a buffet, while others get drunk and just take what’s available. This is why I just bring a swill beer that I don’t mind anyone else drinking. I mean, yeah, I might get a little miffed, but let’s face it, I’m not going to make a big deal out of someone taking a Straub as I would if someone took my Mad Elf.

This brings up interesting points about sharing and respect. Some folks automatically assume that any and all beer brought to a party is community beer. “Why else would you bring a case if it wasn’t to be shared, right? And if everyone brought a case, what’s the big deal? There’s plenty of beer for everyone!”

And in principle, I agree with this logic.

But generally speaking, people who use this argument use it when the playing field benefits them — “I brought a case of Budweiser … why shouldn’t I be able to drink your Dogfish Head all night?” This, in my mind, is akin to the people who, in a group setting, order the $30 steak dinner, drink a lot, and then suggest everyone in the group just “split the check equally because it all works out in the end” — even though half the people in the group just ordered a Coke and an appetizer. Basically, this type of sharing logic is fine, WHEN EVERYONE KNOWS THE RULES GOING INTO IT.

(These 2 things are not equal.)

But let’s say you are the more respectful type. Let’s say you’d really like to try a beer that someone else brought. What should you do? In my opinion, find out whose beer it is, and Rule No. 2: Always ask first. There’s no harm in that — and someone may have perfectly legit reasons for not sharing. And, by being respectful and asking, you may make a new friend.

Rule No. 3: If the person does give you permission to have one, don’t think that means you have access to that person’s beer stash all night. I know it sounds harsh, but really, if someone says, “Sure, you can have a beer,” that’s far different than the person saying “Help yourself! That’s what I brought it for!”

Lastly, for hosts, a way to help alleviate some of these problems is what I’ve seen called “the community beer cooler.” I know I’ve been on both sides of using this phenomena — where people contribute to a community pool and it’s fair game to everyone — and I loved it. At a BYOB event, a community pool is a great option. Everyone can contribute whatever they feel comfortable in giving, and it keeps the people with different beer standards happy — and their grubby little hands off the good stuff.

13
Jun
09

So long, virtual friend!

My life is relatively drama free. I work hard to keep it that way. But I have to admit, sometimes all that stability gets a little boring.

Thank God I sit next to Pigpen Jen at work.

I say this because PPJ gets tons more crazy shit flowing to her than I ever have, and that includes my days with The Freak or when Season of the Freak is in full effect.

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Now look what you've done, young Fleury!

Here’s the latest that has left me a bit confused. Recently, PPJ updated her Facebook status to celebrating her love for Penguins’ goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Now, she really isn’t a hockey fan, but she things he’s pretty hot and therefore cheers him on.

Apparently, one of her Facebook friends took exception to her admiration of the young lad and the Penguins in general. Since PPJ is originally from Philly, he not only chastized her for cheering on a non-Philadelphia sports figure (despite her favorite team being the Sixers), but went on to call Sid Crosby “hockey’s cancer” AND blast her for “living in a second-rate city like Pittsburgh.”

And then he took it a step further and dropped theI don’t know if I can be friends with you” bomb.

What makes this really funny is the fact that PPJ barely knows this guy. He graduated high school with PPJ’s sister, and that’s the only connection.

But what really amuses me is when people fire off that the warning shot of “I’m on the verge of defriending you because of such-and-such.”

Really? Defriend her? Oh noes! Not that, virtual friend! What would she ever do without you and your Facebook quips to help guide her life? Let me tell you how she sits at her desk, pining for your every post, every status update, and every comment that you leave for her. Your pearls of wisdom just brighten and enlighten her existance! You can’t leave her, virtual friend! I’ll see to it that she complies with every piece of advice you toss her way, for even a second-rate-city dweller like me can see how wonderiffic you are, and how poignant and thought provoking your comments are. I know you’re just looking out for her well-being, as you Philadelphians are known to do. Rest assured, virtual friend, I’ll get her back on track.

Seriously, where do these people come from?

I mean, I’ve heard of people being defriended for stalker behavior, but because you like the Marc-Andre Fleury and you live in Pittsburgh? Where’s the sin in that?

Or let me phrase it another way — I have 220 Facebook friends. I know the vast majority fairly well — well enough that I have met them in person, had beers with them or went to school with them. The strangers tend to be friends of friends or people who have been kind enough to add me because of my blog (and strangers are welcome, however you need to tell me why you are friend requesting me — “follow your blog” tends to be good enough).

However, not one person has ever fired that “I don’t know if I can be your friend” shot at me. I’m a goofy mofo — I freely admit it. I’m known for it. My status updates are rarely serious, and often the threads take turns to the surreal. That’s  the way my life rolls, and I prefer to laugh the entire way.

Hey, I know I’m not for everyone. Don’t want to be my friend because of something I said (or am perfectly willing and capable of saying)? Here’s an idea — don’t pull out that passive agressive “I don’t know if I can be your friend” stuff — just balls out defriend me. Trust me, I’m a big boy. I’ll still sleep at night.

But the “defriend warning” — I guess I just don’t get it. I have no idea of what kind of mentality someone would have to have in order to think that their virtual friendship means THAT MUCH to other people.

Well, suffice to say, while PPJ’s fine virtual friend may not have a pair enough to defriend her for her comments, she and her sister DO, and have nuked his ass from their lists.

God I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

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Pittsburgh, City of Champions, baby.




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