1 Comment

Administrative: That Line Has Been Disconnected.

As I continue to cut ties to Twitter, I realised WordPress pushes new post notifications to my main Twitter account. This will be the last blog post that does this; no blog posts after today will post a notification to my Twitter feed. If you’re using Twitter for notifications of updates to my blog, you will no longer see these notifications.

I invite you to continue and stop by to visit, follow with your favorite RSS client, or sign up for email notifications through the various buttons scattered about the site.

This blog turned 17 years old earlier this month. I have no intention of slowing down my efforts around here and honestly, with the distraction of Twitter removed from my life I may get back to more frequent updates.

I’m inviting folks to click the “Tell Me Something Good” link at the top of my page to leave a comment that spreads good news with the world. I think we need more of that.

And as always, please be kind to one another. Thanks for stopping by.

Let’s Talk About Apostrophes.

The dumbing down of America is never more obvious than when folks try to use an apostrophe in their prose. After they look up the word prose to understand what it means in this context, folks begin throwing apostrophes around with unbridled abandonment in an effort to segregate letters they feel do not belong together. 

Below are some examples of the proper use of the apostrophe. For those wondering what an apostrophe is, it’s sometimes called “the single quote” or as one woman once said in my college sophomore level English class, “the comma in the air”.

  • The frosting on the cake is chocolate. Therefore, the cake’s frosting is chocolate. Since there were actually two identical cakes, the cakes’ frosting is chocolate. You could say the cakes’s frosting is chocolate, but not a lot of people do it that way.
  • Many members of the Edwards family attended the reunion. There were many Edwardses. There were many Edwardses at the Reunion of the Edwards. There were many at the Edwards’ Reunion.
  • Many members of the Kennedy family went down to the Cape. There were many Kennedys. There were many Kennedys at the vacation home. There were many people at the Kennedy’s vacation home.
  • Mr. and Mrs. Voss had many children.  They were the children of the Vosses. They were the Voss’ children.
  • Mr. Jones has a car. It’s Mr. Jones’ car or it can be Mr. Jones’s car, but it’s NEVER Mr. Jone’s car, because the car belongs to Mr. Jones, not Mr. Jone.
  • The cat has food. It’s his food. Actually we don’t know if the cat is male or female, so it’s its food.
  • It is a wonderful day. It’s a wonderful day.
  • Be a hero with the zero. Heroes gives zeroes the ‘es’ they deserve.

Journeys.

Everyone has their own journey. One of the cool things about being human is we are each unique. No one else in the entire universe will experience a moment the same way you do. We may see the same things, but we don’t feel the same things. Only you truly know your own feelings.

I was watching TED Talks while working today. Most of my TED Talk viewing selection is based around the responsible use of technology, especially when it comes to Internet Privacy. I enjoy educating myself on how much we compromise our privacy when we opt to go for the latest and greatest gadget experience. Education makes us better. I had finished a video when another was suggested. The cover snap included a tall, smiling woman who had a positive energy emanating from the screen. The title was intriguing, “I’ve lived as a man and a woman — here’s what I’ve learned”. The speaker was Paula Stone Williams. I’ve included a locally hosted link to the video at the top of this blog post.

As the title suggests, Paula speaks to her experiences as a trans woman from the perspective of not transitioning until later in life. She has plenty of first-hand knowledge to compare how society behaves towards men and women, specifically white men and white women. Her candor, storytelling style, and honesty made this a fascinating video for me to enjoy.

I consider myself fortunate that my soul feels mostly comfortable in this vehicle I’m using for this round of incarnation. Not everyone has that experience, and it’s important for us to educate ourselves about the journey of others, at least as far as it can be shared through storytelling. Learning about others gives us insight and perspective.

In a time when many are content to live within borders and their own little silo, perhaps it’d be better if we stepped outside and learned a bit about those around us.

2 Comments

Twitter.

Photo courtesy of Mashable.

Yesterday, Twitter part-time CEO Jack Dorsey announced the reasoning for not following the lead of other tech and social media companies and removing Alex Jones’ from Twitter. For those not familiar, Alex Jones is most associated with Infowars, a conspiracy/”alternative-facts” website known for spreading disinformation and perpetuating several conspiracy theories, including that the Sandy Hook school shooting was either staged or faked and that all of the grieving parents are paid actors. Parents of killed school children have relocated hundreds of miles away from their home in high security residences to avoid the loonies threatening them for being paid actors of what Jones calls a staged shooting. I’ve avoided Megyn Kelly and her schtick since she featured Jones on her Sunday night talk show on Father’s Day 2017.

Part-time Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey says the platform will not suspend Jones’ account because he hasn’t broken any of Twitter’s content rules. By the way, I say “part-time CEO” because Dorsey’s ego also allows him to be the CEO of Square. When the president of the United States is tweeting nuclear war threats at North Korea on your social media platform, running the platform is truly a part-time job.

I’ve been on Twitter for over a decade. Since the 2016 election I’ve really struggled with the platform. Admittedly, I’ve probably tried to quit Twitter at least a dozen times but like any well-trained tech addict, I’m addicted to the stream of information flowing from Twitter, as plagued with negativity, lies, and dumpster fire chic as it has been for the past year and a half.

I think @Jack’s asinine behavior has finally pushed me over the brink and sobered me up from my addiction to Twitter. Dorsey’s focus on profit for the fledging tech company, and his allowance of perpetuation of outright lies and dangerous conspiracy theories is doing more harm than good for society today. There will always be negativity in the world, that is very much apparent in what has honestly turned out to be thus far a horrible century for the world, but there’s a line of morality and I believe Twitter has crossed to the dark side. We wouldn’t expect someone to investigate if there really was a fire if someone yelled “Fire” in a theatre.

I firmly believe that the growth of tech, and especially the Internet, has outpaced society’s capacity to control, contribute, and consume much of value with all the technology we have at our fingertips today. We are behind what we are capable of, and all of this tech at our fingertips is being weaponized by bad actors in the world. This weaponization is being willfully perpetuated by greedy, power hungry people like part-time Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. When he and his Facebook counterpart Mark Zuckerberg say they’re trying to connect the world in good faith, don’t buy a word of it. Jack and Mark are greedy, power hungry men, with little regard for society, morality, or even a quality human connection.

It’s time for me to say goodbye to Twitter. It will not be easy for me. I’m an addict and I will have my struggles. I have grown reliant on some of the good information that comes from the platform. But I can’t pollute my well-being with the negativity that is rampant on the platform any longer.

I hope to maintain the quality connections I’ve had with folks that I’ve met on Twitter over the years. Godspeed to them as they try to wade through the muck.

Godspeed to all of us.

Storms.

I’ve been watching the forecasts from the Storm Prediction Center all week. When they started mentioning severe weather yesterday, I told Earl I was interested in doing some storm chasing this weekend. He packed me a cooler with sandwiches, salads, fruit, and drink, along with the necessary silverware and other accessories, and told me to go have fun. “Be careful. See you Sunday.”

I’m writing this from the River Hills Mall parking lot in Mankato, Minnesota. I’ve been following heavy rain around all morning; the forecast calls for severe storms this evening and into the overnight hours. I’ll probably move to the east just a bit, as the forecast probability is strongest to the west of I-35 along the Minnesota-Iowa border.

Adventures like this are awesome. I am lucky to have such a supportive husband.

Saturday.

I’m sitting here at Wittman Regional Airport during #OSH18, or EAA AirVenture 2018, the largest aviation celebration in the world. This is the fifth time Earl and I have been here, this is my sixth time total. We’ve been here since Thursday.

Watching the crowd during the afternoon air show, I can’t help but imagine how many different ways people are excited by aviation. Some folks are here to learn how to build an airplane, others are looking to find the best deals to upgrade their existing aircraft. Families are here to see the air show. Some see it as a NASCAR event in the sky, others see it as a feat of magic when man can fly like a bird.

My dad loved aviation. He was always reading aviation magazines, he watched war movies featuring a lot of aviation, and we spent a lot of time as a family at the nearby grass field we called an “International Airport”. Both my dad and grandfather loved building airplanes; my dad built two of them from scratch. This week I described my dad as a “build and fly” guy, and I referred to myself as a “buy and fly” guy. I don’t have the patience nor talent required to build an airplane. I could barely get through a model airplane when I was a kid. But like my dad, I enjoy reading any and everything I can and courtesy of the Internet, I love sharing photos, videos and experiences with other aviation enthusiasts.

This little vacation at Oshkosh has been too short. It has been immersive, it has been thoroughly enjoyable, but I’m not ready for it to end. I can’t get enough time around aviation. I’ve already told my husband that next year I want to spend the entire week here. We will make that happen. He thoroughly supports my aviation endeavors and I will be forever grateful for that.

I am fortunate that my family was able to pass their love of aviation down to me, which sparked a fire that I know was meant to be there. Earl and I don’t have kids; to pass this enthusiasm forward will require me to fulfill my dream of becoming a CFII, or a Certified Flight Instructor. I’ve been saying this for a couple of years. To make this happen I need to reposition my focus and eliminate distractions. I have a finite amount of bandwidth; it’s my responsibility to use that bandwidth the best way possible.

I need to keep an eye in the sky and keep the nose on the centerline.