Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Good News! This Domain For Sale!

I was looking for a domain name for a new project and I found this:
Can you guess my mood? Then I thought this might be excellent for a fireworks company:
And then, of course, for those lonely nights when domination is the fascination of the nation:
If you hurry, you can snag these valuable names at GoDaddy.com!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Oh, No, Mr. Bill!

Seems that the people at Scunci (sorry, I don't know how to create the required umlauts) apparently have a wicked sense of humor. On the top is a photo-image depiction of a 14 piece hair accessories gift set which I came across on Walmart's website, in their "Clearance" section. I wasn't doing anything other than idly browsing, mind you. It's not as if I'm running short on barrettes. Please note that this is the "Tiger Print" variety of hair accessories and is, in my opinion, like, Totally Eighties.

Below the first picture, there is an image of Mr. Bill. If you don't know who "he" is, then you are too young to be reading this blog anyway, so, scoot. If you might be a somewhat recent immigrant or were in jail or in a coma during the period between 1976 and around 1982, please see this link. And this one. Hahaha. Okay.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Bribery is only effective until the offered inducement becomes expectation, at which point, it becomes ineffective. Therefore, a threat that's viable must be in-pocket as a fallback position.

A tactic perceived is no tactic at all.

I've taught you everything I know, and what do you know? Nothing!


Here, Look

Negotiation is a way of staving off inevitable change. Humans hate change. Personally, I really dislike pennies.

Negotiation is sometimes defined as the willingness of an initiator of change to accommodate the desire of the receptor to resist the alteration of an existing state. I believe that this is too nicey-nicey. After all, if the initiator had the position to overcome the receptor, there is no argument: the initiator wins. So, there must be a weakness, either in the perception of the initiator regarding the position of the receptor or in the factual position of the initiator.

Here's an example: say you want to buy a car. No, don't actually say it. C'mon, work with me. You go to a new car dealer with ten grand in pocket. The change you want to initiate is the ownership of the purple mettalic Honda Fit from the dealer's figurative hands to your own. The dealer states that he can't part with this model of fine motor vehicle for less than, say, twelve grand. Would you shut up? Okay, so, what to do? What do we know?

  • The dealer doesn't know what you are truly able and willing to spend.
  • The dealer doesn't know anything about you or your Shatner-like negotiating skills, so you may walk out at any moment.
  • The dealer doesn't have facts about your perceptions.
  • You don't know what circumstances surround the dealer's need to sell his vehicles.
  • You don't know whether the dealer is in a position to sell you the car of your dreams for ten grand.
And so, the dance begins. The dealer is at an advantage simply because he is much more experienced at sussing out what he needs to know about you and your position and your perception of the position.
If you retreat from your position, you will become the receptor and the dealer will win. And, of course, vice versa. So, fair dealing, while a nice concept, is never the tilt-all that's the step down from total conquest. So, one must be better armed and arrive with the understanding that this is a battle and it's winner-takes-all.

Not very nice, is it?

The one thing I learned from dealing with a BPD'ed person within the process of divorce is that nice guys finish second. In a two-man race, that means finishing dead last. Go for the gut, smile and tear out the jugular, put one in the solar plexus and two in the head. And don't forget to say, "Thank you!" This insures that the receptor will be ripe for the plucking next time simply because he not only perceives he's weak, but amply demonstrates the willingness to be weak in order to be concilliatory. Bad plan, buddy.

The lesson is that Win-Win sounds great in management school, but come loaded for bear, even if you're expecting squirrel. The hunter with the biggest barrel WILL win. And as Gordon Gekko said, never let 'em know what you're thinking. Ever.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dig We Must

I have a massive problem in my backyard. Dirt. About three tons of it. It's a problem not because it's there, but because it's in the wrong place.

Backstory time: when I bought this house, one condition was that the buried oil tank wa to be removed before closing. The oil tank was at the north east corner of the house. Above the tank was one section of a huge 20 x 50 foor deck. I agreed to allow the portion of the deck that was over the tiny corner under which lay the nasty-assed oil tank to be removed to allow for excavation. In exchange, a very small allowance was made to the purchase price of the house. A month went by with no work done. One day, I drove by the house to see what was going on. Okay, I drove by every day. So, Im a house-a-holic, just like Lindsay. In the very long driveway could be seen a huge roll-off container, empty. Two days later, I drove by and, lo and behold, the dumpster was full. Can you guess with what? If you guessed a thousand-square foot redwood deck that would cost $25,000 to replace, you'd be right. What's more, it was sawn into tiny chunks - this, I couldn't fathom at all. Why would anyone waste the time carving up all that wood into tiny pieces?

I got on the horn to my lawyer. He checked the contract. "It doesn't say they can't remove the deck. It say that they can remove whatever portion of the deck would provide the contractor access to do their excavation and remediation, if needed. So . . ." "Portion," I pointed out, "portion. When I go in for a portion of Freedom Fries and Denny's, they don't haul out a fifty pound bag of frozen potatoes, now, do they?" "Well, 10% is as much a portion of the whole and 100%, so, there you go." There was nothing to be done. As usual, the lack of precision in the language of a contract screwed me. Or rather, I guess I screwed myself. So, I concluded, I would have to screw together a deck if I wanted one. In the meantime, it was destined that I would be deckless. Ahem.

In the meantime, the splendid tank removal people, and yes, I DO mean that sarcastically, no, causticlly, left a mound of dirt as high as a groundhog's eye while filling in the hole that was significatly un-level with the rest of the now-barren area behind the house.

I had grand designs for that deck, all now dashed. And dirt up the wazoo. The first alarm went off a few days after closing when heavy rains fell and the burial mound created an ersatz lake a foot deep with waves lapping against the foundation. I created a poncho out of a garbage bag and dug a tiny Suez Canal to Let My Water Go away from the house and down the hill to puddle the neighbor's property. By the way, garbage bags don't work very well as ponchos. And ShopRite bags make pretty terrible rainhats.

Slowly but surely, I've been rehabbing the exterior grounds by myself, mostly because I'm cheap, but also because I'm stubborn. The landscaping was a train wreck. Though the lady who owned the house was an avid gardener, so I'm told, she was blind in her later years and had been in an assisted living warehouse until she died, absenting herself from her green-thumb duties on what would become my property. Her ungrateful children didn't see fit to do more than the minimum, which was to have the landscaping lord across the road trim the grass in exchange for permission to park some of his equipment in the lustily long driveway that runs up to the house. I've worked over the large lawn in the front, torn out, tilled and replanted with perenials the side hill that's adjacent to the driveway, rearranged, for now, about a ton of stones in what was the garden area behind the house and hacked away the mass clematis that seemed intent on taking over the west side of the house and that had seen much better days indeed. I also cleaned out the little shed at the back of the property that seems to have been the home of wild things for the last ten years, with a roof covered in growth that I had to weed-whack before digging it clean. God. Oh, and I pruned everything that was spared my executioner's ax and shovel.

But, the mound issue remains. So, today, I called an excavation to get a quote. A rough man, he rolled off his references: Town Hall, the somewhat-more-ritzy-than-open-kitchen local Chinese restaurant, Walmart. I instantly knew that I wouldn't want to afford him because he was clearly and enemy of the Proletariat. He called and quoted, all right. When he told me the number - the number to deliver dirt and level it out, to rake dirt, to spread it and rake it, to make it flat and sloped away from the house so that water would run away from the foundation, for dirt, for dirt to be put on my dirt, the number, the figure he wanted, what he said was twenty-five hundred. That what he said. That's what he wants - twenty-five. Hundred. Sorry for getting all Mamet-y there.

I texted my daughter about it and I asked her to guess. She did, to the penny. "Do you know that guy, somehow?" I queried. I then texted her again, "Say, how are you with a shovel?" She has yet to text me back.


We're meant to be. We're meant to be a pair of equals. One-to-one is our ratio, though not Golden. I think about you every day, of how you have added to my life and how to add mine to yours. We are divided from each other for the moment, yet when we're together, your happiness multiplies mine. Would it be a better thing if I could somehow subtract the common denominator of despair and loss and solve for X? I estimate that it would.

No matter how I look at the problem, in the end, there seems to exist no solution. The numbers are daunting, towering over me, nullifying my will to act, zeroing this tangent to success. It just doesn't tally, since it all has to count.

What's the method, the theorem, the formula, the algorithm? I've always been bad at math. Could you be my tutor?

It's Official: I'm Pregnant

It's true: I'm expecting. I'm going to have a baby. That's why I'm up at four in the morning, hacking away on a keyboard with oddly spaced keys that have me wondering whether I have arthritis of whether I'm actually shrinking. Piece of crap.

Not a literal baby, silly, but a figurative one. A child sprung from the loins of my mind, borne of the Muses' insistent insemination of my brain-vagina with copious quantities of Creative Juices. And they promised to pull out - damn!

So, what will it be? A book, since I have dictation, background and yes, chapters, ready to coalesce into a finished thing with sketches for three other things done? Starting working out with band now that my voice is back and consistent? Finally finishing the three websites I put on the back burner four years ago?

Oh, heck. Who am I fooling? I have yard work to do. Here comes the sunrise. Better wash up.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

All Things Old Are New Again

For months, you've been trying very hard to both communicate your feelings to me and to tell me that you were getting ready to stop waiting for something to change. At first, I felt panic and sorrow, then I began to see that you were on an inexorable march to that conclusion.

I felt that you would need a reason and that such a reason would make it less painful for you to make the choice you truly wanted to make. I see that the path that's evolved is along the lines of blaming me for dragging you in to a relationship dishonestly, in your view, along with some of my flaws thrown in for good measure.

So, I focused on the things I had to do. It became obvious that I could fight, but that this would only cause you more pain and that was never my intent. I thought that I had to be as selfless as my nature would allow and, if the timing was right, maybe it would play out. But, I was determined to respect where I knew you were going. The more space and distance you took, the more I gave. I intentionally made it more difficult for you to stay for the sole reason that I knew you desperately wanted to go. If you could, you might want nothing better than to "go" with me, but I also knew that I could be replaced and easily at that.

What you want, or I should say, what you need is a vibrant, ongoing love affair that includes all the normal things you crave, that anyone would crave: security, excitement, fun, intimacy. That you would want such things with me and that you would offer me the opportunity to take part, as a part of and, in your life is a great gift, one that was only inches away from my grasp. But, just like a high fly ball that misses the fielder's glove turns from an easy out to a massive home run, it's still a miss.

You are the best person I have ever known. You are complex and funny, smart and thoughtful. You levelness has been a source of persistent admiration on my part. And I find it impossible to say goodbye. To me, that's like death, leaving a void where a luminescent soul once stood. No more can the urge to share tete-a-tete be satisfied nor can the the role of number-one fan-dom be exchanged. Pleasant memories fade into a gray, image-less uncertainty when unreinforced by renewing reality.

But death comes to all things, I guess, or at least, the entropy of the soul. Aspirations wane with a weakened will, hopes blow away like summer-ending dandelion plumes and the last cup of tea grows colder on the night-stand. Change occurs and the cycle begins again. The rusted timeline of what we thought could be waits to dissolve without attendance as we are distracted with the new.

I hope that you can forgive me my trespasses. I want you to believe that I always meant well, that I wanted more, that I hedged my bets on all sides, only too heavily on yours, but only in the interest of making something happen. This is the sin of pride in fine form, to think that time could be over arched by will alone by one man. So, once again, I apologise and I hope you can forgive me for never being able to say goodbye.

Songs Of Lament

A number of tunes have been rolling around in my head of late, some in the genre that's least typical for me, that is, Country. (God, these ginger snaps are U 238 snappy!) But, hey, listen, if it's good enough for Robert Plant (Raising Sand) and Elvis Costello (The Delivery Man), it's certainly good enough for me.

It's no myth that the majority of popular music over the centuries has to do with love, loss and lost love. Okay, Frank Zappa may be the exception, but that's not really pop, anyhow. We shout into the steering wheel and showerhead with laments that express the joy, frustration and loss at, and of, love. Country music happens to do this very, very well. For instance, Willie Nelson, who wrote "Crazy," which was sung by Patsy Cline to hitdom in the early '60s, also wrote:
It's not supposed to be that way.
You're supposed to know I love you
It don't matter anyway
If I can't be there to console you
Willie knows the truth about love, alright. In this song, it's clear that there's a mixture of lament and warning by the spurned lover amounting to, "go ahead and leave me, stomp on my heart, but you ain't gonna like it, mark my words."

In America's country rock hit, "Sister Golden Hair" produced by Beatles ex-producer, George Martin, the lament is more of a negotiation and an explanation for the lack of attention Mr. Man is providing to his love interest:

Well I tried to make it Sunday, but I got so damn depressed
That I set my sights on Monday and I got myself undressed
I ain't ready for the altar but I do agree there's times
When a woman sure can be a friend of mine

Well, I keep on thinkin' 'bout you, Sister Golden Hair surprise
And I just can't live without you; can't you see it in my eyes?
I've been one poor correspondent, and I've been too, too hard to find
But it doesn't mean you ain't been on my mind

This could be any man's lament, but I claim it as mine, okay? But wait, as the now quite dead Billy Mays would say, there's more. Another tune, this one written by Fred Rose and famously performed by Willie Nelson (yeah, so I think he's pretty damn good - got a problem with that?) that really hits me in the gullet because of the poignant resignation in the tone of the poetry is "Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain":

In the twilight glow I seen her
Blue eyes crying in the rain
When we kissed goodbye and parted
I knew we'd never meet again

Love is like a dying ember
And only memories remain
And through the ages I'll remember
Blue eyes crying in the rain

Someday when we meet up yonder
We'll stroll hand in hand again
In the land that knows no parting
Blue eyes crying in the rain

This song is far less direct and is subject to all kinds of interpretation. Did she leave him? Did she have a night job working at a smelting plant and fall into a vat of molten steel? Is it about his Mom? Perhaps it's about all those things, and more . . .

Like love, love songs represent many aspects of desire and compromise. In Elvis Costello's "I Want You" from Blood and Chocolate, one can imagine the stark confrontation that's punctuation with the begging "I want you" answering each line:

Oh my baby baby I love you more than I can tell
I don't think I can live without you
And I know that I never will
Oh my baby baby I want you so it scares me to death
I can't say anymore than "I love you"
Everything else is a waste of breath
I want you
You've had your fun you don't get well no more
I want you
Your fingernails go dragging down the wall
Be careful darling you might fall
I want you
I woke up and one of us was crying
I want you
You said "Young man I do believe you're dying"
I want you
If you need a second opinion as you seem to do these days
I want you
You can look in my eyes and you can count the ways
I want you
Did you mean to tell me but seem to forget
I want you
Since when were you so generous and inarticulate
I want you
It's the stupid details that my heart is breaking for
It's the way your shoulders shake and what they're shaking for
it's knowing that he knows you now after only guessing
I want you
It's the thought of him undressing you or you undressing
I want you
He tossed some tattered compliment your way
I want you
And you were fool enough to love it when he said
"I want you"
I want you
The truth can't hurt you it's just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark
I want you
Go on and hurt me then we'll let it drop
I want you
I'm afraid I won't know where to stop
I want you
I'm not ashamed to say I cried for you
I want you
I want to know the things you did that we do too
I want you
I want to hear he pleases you more than I do
I want you
I might as well be useless for all it means to you
I want you
Did you call his name out as he held you down
I want you
Oh no my darling not with that clown
I want you
You've had your fun you don't get well no more
I want you
No-one who wants you could want you more
I want you
Every night when I go off to bed and when I wake up
I want you
I want you
I'm going to say it again 'til I instill it
I know I'm going to feel this way until you kill it
I want you
I want you 

Listen to the performance. It's frightening, threatening and sad. What's worse, I can relate. All too well.

God, this is getting depressing. Now where's my copy of "Walkin' On Sunshine"? Ba ba ba di bop. Yeah.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's All About You, Babe!

I've been accused of being hyper-logical rather than emotional, and that's true to some extent, but not for want of trying. I am sentimental and caring, though not in the ways that the typical human expects. (Sorry - try a little acceptance, will ya?) This is certainly a major influence on my interest in matters of the heart. I'm in love with the logic of love.

The haunting continues with questions like:

If love is chemical, then why isn't hate?
If love is chemical, then why isn't it instant?
If love is chemical, then does it build?
If love is chemical, then why does it sometimes just go away?
Why is the sky blue? Why am I writing this?

We know the scientific answers and they are facts. In brief, love is "chemical" in the sense that pathways as set up in the brain to seek reward from success in activities such as breeding, primally speaking. Mates are sought and won on the basis of physical qualities, such as body and face shape, along with the release of hormones through breathing and secretion in mucus, urine and through the skin. The senses are heightened in the courtship phase leading those "in love" to think better, have more energy and take more chances than they ordinarily would, which certainly explains why lovers can stay up all night and talk (or do other things, heh heh) until dawn breaks.

Love in humans is complicated by this species' ability to think, reason and learn. If it was only a matter of attracting a mate, breeding to offspring and providing food and shelter for same, things would be a lot simpler, yes? But humans have to spoil it all by thinking about stuff. The upside is that the chemical aspect gives the next phase of the love relationship, bonding, a headstart. After a predictable period of time, if bonding doesn't occur, "love" will "fade," that is, if some greater connection isn't established to replace the initial chemical "rush" of biological imperative, the whole damn thing falls apart. Again, it's simply scientific fact.

Now, it's not as easy being a friend as is blind abeyance to the pull of lust. There needs to be a basis for the friendship - common interests, especially on a meta-level, excitement and interest by both people involved in similar things. In other words, opposites may attract for the short-term, but we know, scientifically, that choices of mates by women will tend toward those individuals with more similarities in terms of beliefs, interests and long-term goals. This same-pagedness is essential for a non-dysfunctional friendship. So, long-term love is part and parcel of friendship.

Let's not be confused here. One may have friends with whom one doesn't have sex. In fact, that would be far less tiring. Those friends are platonic and while certain intimacies are shared in terms of personal information about thoughts and feelings. The intimacy between lovers is different. The typical idea is that the sex act is only partly about physical pleasure and has similar importance in terms of building and maintaining a sense of trust and intimacy. This is why a breakdown in physical intimacy between, say, husband and wife, must be addressed with immediacy since the partners will begin to feel mistrustful and wronged and ultimately, this will affect their ability to communicate and then, the whole thing goes down the toilet.

Which brings us to the third phase of the human love relationship: communication. Us humans so love to talk. Yup, we're happy to chatter away like monkeys that have been nefariously exposed to mass quantities of sugary beverages for the sheer amusement of observing scientists. And studies have shown, including the UCLA Marriage and Family Development Study, that it's not only that communication occurs, but that the quality of communication is effective. Those in the relationship have to be able to express their beliefs and opinions freely and without recrimination with acceptance and support of a disfavoured position an essential goal. See how all this thinking stuff puts things awry? Again using the example of a married couple, an ideal outcome would be each supporting the individual view, arriving at a compromise through discussion without ad hominem elements and for both people to feel that a satisfactory position, if not conclusion, has been reached. If not, to keep talking about it without the constraint of a limit on time but with a limit on scope - that is, one thing at a time. And should no agreement be possible, the acquiesing party must leave the discussion with a sense that although he or she isn't in agreement with the conclusion, that it may be accepted and supported without reserve. Sounds impossible? It's not - again, more pesky scientific fact. The couples who were more successful in the practice of this approach were, in the study I cite above, the beneficiaries of longer and happier relationships. Period.

Communication isn't limited to verbal exchange. There are all forms of non-verbal communication between those in love. Eye contact, physical touching, hold hands, hugging, smooching - all good stuff. And that ultimate act between lovers - sex. That's doesn't necessarily mean missionary-style intercourse 24/7. In fact, the ol' in-out every day without change is insulting to the human need for variation. We need change in what we eat, the music we listen to, the scenery we view. Sex is no different. And all of the other contact we make that doesn't involve contact with genitalia is part of the sex act, including dinner at Spirito's.

Through all of these phases, we build on the initial chemical love-charge and, hopefully, at least for us incurable romantics, something will happen. But if it doesn't, that's natural selection telling us it's a bad idea, and we should listen. After all, you can't polish a turd.

Love and hate are both emotions, indifference is the absence of emotion. In some sense, a spurned lover is better off being hated, as my ex-wife hates me, unjustifiably, I might add, instead of being relegated to the arena of dim memories like that bad shellfish meal at the Lobsterfest that year. Hate is most certainly chemical. Hate comes from unrequited frustration and, like bad seafood, will repeat unless the attitude of the person feeling that hatred adjusts to acceptance. Now, that's accetance in some form, which may include accepting the fact that it's necessary to remove one's self from the locus of the nasty-ass that's causing all the trouble in the first place.

So, we love, we bond, we build OR we love, we don't bond because he's just what-a-dick OR we love and that moron keeps taking my car without my permission and picking his nose while he's watching the game and he just won't stop and I don't like it and I'm not gonna take it anymore. And then, you're Beyonce, singing, "to the leff, to the leff . . ."

As to why I'm writing this - I must. It's the possibly the only way I can connect with the rest of the planet in a way that's without specific consequence and, like a good physician, it's my charge to "do no harm." On the other hand, it's impossible to do this topic justice in a thousand-or-so word essay. Love and human relationships in general are mysterious to me. I forever feel like the younger brother sneaking a peek at the babysitter making out with my jockish older bro. It looks like fun, but I can't be sure I understand what's going on. Or, do I?

Pure love should be untainted by practical considerations. That's a decision a human can make. Love for the "wrong" reasons will certainly dive headlong into the abyss of despair. However, we all make choices based on our experiences and our means. And, as the doyen of do would say, "there's never enough time to do it right, but there's always time to do it over." Come to think of it, that doesn't even make sense. Huh. Hmm.

Is there a doppelganger under the broad blue sky (made blue by sunlight passing through suspended water vapor and then reflecting off of the surface of the planet, by the way) just waiting for you to call? I can say, unequivocally, yes. A connection like that is worth seeking and once found, the search is over, forever.

Even if the relationship fails on a practical level, and let's face it, there are so many influences in our lives that make for bad decisions that look like good ones at the time, the connection is permanent and immutable. Imagine one for you who is your private, safe place amongst the billions of humans fighting to grab the food right out of your mouth. One for you who thinks you're better than you know you are, loves you for both that and your humility and will kick your butt all the way up the hill, where, once you arrive, he will wait just outside of the spotlight in case you need something more. And you will need, or want, something more. And you will need and want to give in return and it never stops. Not ever. It's the Cupid disguise that more or less survives - now that is love.

Coward. No More.

I'm haunted every hour or every day about the paths taken out of expediency and fear when holding tight would have been the better option. I've had success when avoiding convention and have failed miserably when doing the right thing - for others. In retrospect, it would seem that as selfish as it might be, making the right, gut choice for myself would benefit those who had the misfortune, or good fortune, depending on the point of view, of contact with my admittedly pedestrian sphere of influence.


I'm not all that, but still, there have been those who believed otherwise and, I must admit, that their collective faith in me over time was scary and so, I backed away. Art, love, business, family - my modus operandi has become clear to me through my own retelling and wholesale forgetting of history.

Before the reader decides this is yet another "chew me up and spit in my face" post, be assured it's not. I'm getting to a point. Or two.

Since I'm insufferably frustrating, it would follow that I'm fairly well hated. If I stop to bear the consequences of playing the politics of the individual, time will again be lost and because it's so unnatural for me, I will fail - pure and simple. So, no can do.

I feel the tick-tock of my biological clock more than ever before, so much so that I feel that I must make decisions that will hurt in the short-term but that will get me to the goals I should be pursuing, that is, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Gotta love those founding fathers. Though I'm not ready, there isn't enough time left for me to be ready. There just isn't. I am compelled to make whatever time is left count for something.

Therefore, I am making a public commitment to the following goals and since I delete nothing from this blog, may this stand as a testament to my discard of cowardice:


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Oh, Snap! Smurfs Are REAL!

Dear Fellow Beings;

Ya know, any time I start to think it can't get any stranger on this fair planet, the typical cracks in reality range wide to reveal its darker crags. For instance, there's Paul Karason:

I mean, really. Sure, there's a "scientific" explanation, but I am certain, just as sure as the rooster calls the dawn, that this man is a Smurf.

And, he's not the only one. A Libertarian and former candidate for a senate seat in Montana, Stan Jones, is also a Blue Dude. Which means they're trying to take over our government! This can't happen! Not Here! Not Now!

I propose that police powers be expanded to include the right to stop and deport all non-beige, brown or yellow peoples. Further, our sons must be counseled to avoid personal or conjugally-initiated manipulation and involvement on the occasion of the Blue Moon so that these aberrations will not have access to our precious genetic material to be used to propagate their <ech!> species! Only our diligence will prevent this scourge!

Yours truly,

Monday, May 3, 2010

Mood: Silly

I'm not a big fan of FaceBook, Twitter or that other thing - what is it? Oh, yeah: MySpace. I've been designing for the web since a fast computer was running at 66 mHz. That's a long time ago, especially in Web Years. I have taken a bit of a hiatus since, oh, about 2008 but, I'm going back to the future again. Things have changed quite a bit from the coding standpoint but, it's not that hard, really. That there's a challenge factor of more than 2% leaves the field open to those who can actually think, problem-solve and apply the experience of what keeps a user at a particular site.

It seems that "social media" is important to businesses who, for some reason, think it will make a difference to their bottom line. I don't agree at all. No one wants to know whether your HVAC company is putting in a whole-whole AC system in that Victorian stunner on Dogwood Circle unless you're doing it for free. And if you are, the normal rules of PR apply - content, reporting, content. Twitter isn't really a broadcast medium. but local cable is effective for small business, certainly, and it's cheap, too. Some PR is free because it's news-worthy. Anyway . . . I digress.

I am putting together a template for a low-budget site at the moment and it seems that folks would like to collect metrics and opinions from visitors. I don't think long-winded surveys accomplish anything from uncommitted visitors anyway, but I needed to fill in my page, so, here's what I did:

Clever, huh? I amuse myself. Which is a god thing, since no one else does. Oops - I meant, "good thing."

Facebook doesn't impress me, either, except for big-budget endeavours. And MySpace is starting to even bore the thirteen year-olds who seem to exclusively inhabit it. Still, Motorola and Samsung now have "hooked in" phones that allow "streaming" updates to these "major" social media outlets. Even their advertising is unimpressive in terms of what they're touting, for instance, "This just in via text and Twitter," (so and so) "loves Pepperoni pizza." I'm sorry, but in the real world, if you have time to Tweet your pedestrian food preferences and then to confirm same tendencies by text then you simply have too much damn time on your hands.

Disclosure: I own a high-tech smartphone which I use to check the weather, e-mail, stock reports, Google stuff (not porn) and, yes, text. Works for me. ;)