Tag Archives: Facebook

Hurricane Sandy and incredibly silly people

First off, I should note that I’m fine, we’re fine, in Albany. 150 miles north of New York City, we got a little wind and a little rain, but nothing substantial. They closed our public schools in the city for two days due to an abundance of caution; the new superintendent is from New Jersey and I think she was taking her lead from the mayor, who had proclaimed a state of emergency for a day or more.

And because it wasn’t a big weather event HERE, I’ve heard people calling it a “dud”, that they were “cheated”, which frankly ENRAGED me. (I referred to such people as “idiots” on Facebook; maybe I should stay off Facebook. Continue reading Hurricane Sandy and incredibly silly people

Mocking Religion

The question on Facebook the other day, I’m only mildly paraphrasing: “Should the US government be condemning a movie” – we know which movie, I think – “to improve diplomatic relations?” For me, it’s an unequivocal “yes.” Not that that the audience of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s denunciation really cares. They seem to be of the opinion that the United States should arrest the filmmakers, or worse.

This leads me on all sorts of further questions. Should a government official comment on art at all? I use the term “art” loosely. In 1992, Dan Quayle, then the Vice-President, complained that TV character, Murphy Brown, deliberately had a child out of wedlock. Should he have been allowed to do that? Indeed, there are devotees who believe Continue reading Mocking Religion

Making peace with Facebook

I didn’t “get” Facebook for a long time. I joined Facebook on May 7, 2007 – it’s on the timeline it’s forcing on everyone eventually, not that I’d committed the date to memory. In fact, I had forgotten I had an account (or forgot the password) and started ANOTHER profile, allegedly verboten in Zuckerland, and only recently deleted it.

Moreover, if I were required to give my Facebook password to my employer, as certain people think is OK, I’d delete the other one too, even though there is little on my page that isn’t already public.

I don’t become Continue reading Making peace with Facebook

Military Losses

Here’s a weird thing. A friend of a friend of mine had a husband in the military. She (FoF) started making comments on her Facebook page that people should send pictures of her husband so that her children would have mementos by which they would be able to remember him. Oddly, she never actually wrote that he had died.

So I began searching. I discovered that the most comprehensive listing of those who were killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan I could find is provided by MilitaryTimes.com, “honoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.”

But, as it turned out, he didn’t die in battle. He was stateside and had committed suicide. Apparently, after a third tour of duty in Iraq or Afghanistan, it was just too much.

From this ABC NEWS story:

The increase in suicide deaths is one of the most distressing issues facing military leaders who want to reduce the rates among active-duty service members. More than 2,000 of them have killed themselves in the past decade [PDF], including 295 last year compared with 153 in 2001.

Despite their best suicide-prevention efforts, reducing the number of military suicides has been a frustrating challenge, military leaders acknowledged [in September 2011] at a congressional hearing in Washington, D.C. Recent efforts have included increasing at-risk service members’ access to mental health professionals, while reducing the stigma attached to mental health care. Internet outreach, including “video chats,” has also shown some promise.

The difficulty, however, is in identifying which initiatives work best and deciphering the multiple triggers that can lead to suicide within the armed services, which accounts for a small fraction of the total number of people who serve.

Despite my lack of understanding of the reasons for going to war, I feel real grief over the sheer despair these men and women must have been going through to take their own lives. Here’s hoping that the Telehealth programs now being used by the military can stem the tide of these horrible losses.

No, I won't blog about THAT


Almost everyone I know is aware of the fact that I blog. This doesn’t mean everyone READS my blogs, only the fact that they’re aware of them, or at least one of them. The local folk know because my Times Union blog gets excerpted in the print “Best of the Blogs” section of the newspaper. It happened at least thrice in April.

There is this situation that involves someone, not in my family, that is pretty dire; can’t tell you more than that. And when I had to blow off choir rehearsal one night because of said situation, someone said, “Well, I guess you can blog about it.” And the thing is: no, I can’t.

I think the problem is that because Continue reading No, I won't blog about THAT

March Ramblin'


For my birthday this year, I had come across this Facebook thing whereby people could contribute $10 in my name to the American Red Cross. I picked them specifically, not only because they do good things, but because they helped me possibly save a life. Back in May of 1995, I successfully performed the Heimlich maneuver on an older woman in my church at the time who was choking on some meat, without breaking her ribs. I learned that at a Red Cross training that I took in high school.

Anyway, some people did this, some people were confused by how to do it electronically and instead gave me checks. Hey, it’s all good.

And that was before the Japan earthquake, and aid organizations such as the Red Cross in whatever country you are in can use your help even more.

Still, I got a couple gift cards, one from Amazon, one from Borders. So I got my fix of new music Continue reading March Ramblin'

MOVIES-The King's Speech; The Fighter; The Social Network

I had seen a paltry number of 2010 films. Once the nomination period – SAG/Golden Globes/Academy Awards – starts, I tend to at least try see a lot more of the movies that a) are still available in theaters and b) reviewed well. I’ve discovered in recent years, though, that a third criterion has creeped into the movies, ones that c) won’t totally creep me out. For instance, despite the PG-13 rating, the True Grit remake reportedly contains surprisingly bloody bits of action and violence.


Whereas, The King’s Speech, which I saw with my wife on December 30 at the Spectrum Theatre for our monthly date, is rated R, but it is almost certainly based entirely on Continue reading MOVIES-The King's Speech; The Fighter; The Social Network