“Camps”

I was thinking about my last post, and the response I received from Clean App’s creator, and something that had been bothering me about it sorted itself out.

He referred to “people in your camp and people in my camp.” So, I’d have to ask him about this, but without doing so, is this saying that I’m in a “Profane Camp” while he belongs in a “Non-Profane Camp?” Isn’t that being a little judgmental, simply based on the fact that it doesn’t particularly bother me to have some profanity in my books? It sounds like it extends beyond that, to an entire sense of morality and ethics in general. Truthfully, I don’t like a lot of profanity in my books that I read, either, but generally, there’s a point to it. I wouldn’t ever read “American Sniper,” so the troublesome F-word wouldn’t be an issue; I find the subject matter one that bothers me a lot more than profanity, and the fact that someone is capitalizing on his profession as a former sniper even more troublesome. Did the NRA really just run an ad where if you joined you got a free duffel bag, or was that a joke? Yet another subject.

But using an app to “draw lines in the sand,” so to speak, as to where people stand in terms of profanity; what is the purpose of that? “My camp, your camp.” All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others?

 

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A Constant State of Confusion

I’m finding it less and less worthwhile to try to state opinions on public forums. People, it seems, are more likely to be interested in being right, regardless of whether they actually are or even fully understand the argument.

The latest example is an app called “Clean App,” which removes profanity from books and replaces the word with one that’s more “suited” to the reader’s taste. This was covered in Christian Science Monitor (http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2015/0306/App-removes-profanity-from-books-is-it-a-good-idea) and someone posted it to Facebook. The whole idea is offensive to me. What are the chances that if a book contains “offensive language” it also contains other objectionable material? But no, according to correspondence with the creator of the app, “American Sniper” is a great book, it just uses the word f*ck too much. Now it can be enjoyed as a clean version. The fact that it’s about America’s most lethal marksman isn’t disturbing at all–what’s a dead person compared to the word f*ck?

There are many issues around this, and that’s just one of the ones that bothers me on the level of subject material. The other is the concept that this could be the beginning of a slippery slope toward censorship, or did no one else posting on that particular conversation note that The Christian Science Monitor’s article included not one but two links to banned books? I’m not, apparently, the only one to think that. We are living in a country where religious Right beliefs are, perhaps in a backlash to the success of same sex marriage reform in the courts (slowly but surely the USA is headed toward equality in marriage), rearing their ugly little heads, and while textbooks exist in Texas claiming as fact that Moses took part in the construction of the Declaration of Independence, I am uneasy as to what direction apps like this could take. Call me paranoid, fine. I’m trying to look at the bigger picture here.

I blithely referred to it as “book terrorism,” which was a mistake on my part since people seem unable to differentiate between books and people. But I also said it to try to get people’s attention, which it did, just not the way I’d intended. One of the problems with writing and not conversing is that explaining things usually isn’t worth your time once someone gets rolling on their MO. I’m not sure why someone would immediately take “book terrorism” and equate it to terrorism against people except that’s what has been drilled into us by the media and the government. What I did is called generalization–comparing the two–it isn’t the same thing. I stand by my statement that destruction of ancient cities because they were considered blasphemous by ISIL is a terrorist act–against culture, yet another kind of terrorism. Destroying someone’s culture, their past, is one step closer to obliterating them without even killing anyone. Instead, my point was lost with one person huffing off with the comment, “I guess I’m a terrorist then. Geesh.” Another, who just said she was sorry I didn’t understand her view, simply used semantics about terrorism and killing thousands of people to “win” her argument, which had nothing to do with what I was talking about. But some people have to be right.

So how on earth, then, does this have anything to do with an app that sanitizes texts for people who have fallen out of love with reading because of profanity contained therein? It shows, for one thing, how lazy people are in finding suitable reading material. There are huge categories I avoid precisely because they are “cozy,” “spiritual,” or “Christian.” Somehow I manage to do this without an app. I like romances, but I don’t particularly care for BDSM, at least not for myself, and I manage to notice that before I buy a book, generally. Sometimes some slips in. If it’s well-written I might read it–I’m not completely close-minded. If it’s badly written I don’t. If it’s badly written chances are I may not have gotten that far. I don’t feel the need to compulsively finish books anymore; there are too many good books waiting to be discovered for me to waste my time. Another thing the creator of the app mentioned: people wasting much of their valuable money on books to find them profanity laden. Here’s an idea. Use the library. Some independent authors you’re going to have to buy–which is good for them, but too bad for the library going population who don’t have the disposable income to buy books but happen to like to read, without needing an app to help them fall in love with it again–there are a lot of authors they aren’t able to read because libraries often can’t afford to buy, or won’t buy, a lot of indie books, which is, literally, a crying shame. There are many, many indie authors who are excellent. It’s not the library’s fault; they too don’t have a lot of disposable income and have to choose carefully, and they try to buy what they think the bulk of their patrons want. And don’t get me started on how much publishers charge libraries for eBooks, that’s another subject altogether. Libraries and emergency services, the first two things to get cut. It makes no sense to me either.

Do these same people watch TV? Movies? How far will this “customization” go? Yes, books, including the bible, have been rewritten to serve the rewriter’s purposes for thousands of years. It might not bother some authors, who don’t seem to care what happens to their work as long as they get paid and no one tries to resell it. That’s one way to look at it. Yes, people may mock me for stating that I believe it smacks of censorship. One little addition to aid in the sanitization of America’s books and the dumbing down of the American mind. I can see other quotes now: “Oh, I just simply couldn’t find anything to read until Clean App came along and made everything nice and squeaky clean for me!”

I suppose I should just be happy people are reading. Maybe.

Here’s an enlightening list from the American Library Association:

Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books: 2000-2009
1. Harry Potter (series), by J.K. Rowling
2. Alice series, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
3. The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
4. And Tango Makes Three, by Justin Richardson/Peter Parnell
5. Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
7. Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
8. His Dark Materials (series), by Philip Pullman
9. ttyl; ttfn; l8r g8r (series), by Lauren Myracle
10. The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
11. Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
12. It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
14. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
15. The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
16. Forever, by Judy Blume
17. The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
18. Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
19. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
20. King and King, by Linda de Haan
21. To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
22. Gossip Girl (series), by Cecily von Ziegesar
23. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
24. In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
25. Killing Mr. Griffen, by Lois Duncan
26. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
27. My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier
28. Bridge To Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson
29. The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline B. Cooney
30. We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
31. What My Mother Doesn’t Know, by Sonya Sones
32. Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo Anaya
33. Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson
34. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler
35. Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging, by Louise Rennison
36. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
37. It’s So Amazing, by Robie Harris
38. Arming America, by Michael Bellasiles
39. Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
40. Life is Funny, by E.R. Frank
41. Whale Talk, by Chris Crutcher
42. The Fighting Ground, by Avi
43. Blubber, by Judy Blume
44. Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
45. Crazy Lady, by Jane Leslie Conly
46. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
47. The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby: The First Graphic Novel by George Beard and Harold Hutchins, the creators of Captain Underpants, by Dav Pilkey
48. Rainbow Boys, by Alex Sanchez
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, by Ken Kesey
50. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini
51. Daughters of Eve, by Lois Duncan
52. The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
53. You Hear Me?, by Betsy Franco
54. The Facts Speak for Themselves, by Brock Cole
55. Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Green
56. When Dad Killed Mom, by Julius Lester
57. Blood and Chocolate, by Annette Curtis Klause
58. Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
59. Olive’s Ocean, by Kevin Henkes
60. Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
61. Draw Me A Star, by Eric Carle
62. The Stupids (series), by Harry Allard
63. The Terrorist, by Caroline B. Cooney
64. Mick Harte Was Here, by Barbara Park
65. The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien
66. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred Taylor
67. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
68. Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
69. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury
70. Harris and Me, by Gary Paulsen
71. Junie B. Jones (series), by Barbara Park
72. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
73. What’s Happening to My Body Book, by Lynda Madaras
74. The Lovely Bones, by Alice Sebold
75. Anastasia (series), by Lois Lowry
76. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
77. Crazy: A Novel, by Benjamin Lebert
78. The Joy of Gay Sex, by Dr. Charles Silverstein
79. The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss
80. A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
81. Black Boy, by Richard Wright
82. Deal With It!, by Esther Drill
83. Detour for Emmy, by Marilyn Reynolds
84. So Far From the Bamboo Grove, by Yoko Watkins
85. Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, by Chris Crutcher
86. Cut, by Patricia McCormick
87. Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
88. The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood
89. Friday Night Lights, by H.G. Bissenger
90. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeline L’Engle
91. Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
92. The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
93. Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
94. Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
95. Shade’s Children, by Garth Nix
96. Grendel, by John Gardner
97. The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende
98. I Saw Esau, by Iona Opte
99. Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
100. America: A Novel, by E.R. Frank
http://www.ala.org

Befuddlement and Clarity. Somewhat.

This is a strange post for me to write, and one I didn’t think I would be writing, because I thought the whole issue was in the past and wouldn’t come up again. In fact, it doesn’t need to come up again other than for the fact that I’m bringing it up, because it digs at me a little, still. Why? Because I’m an insecure person who doesn’t like to be lumped in with the “crazies” when authors refer to fans. Granted, this was when the authors were breaking up and going through a lot of stress, and I’d been going through an extremely hard time myself, but I was trying to help, in my own misguided way, got frustrated when I thought I was being made fun of and said some things I shouldn’t have, but was immediately shut off and blocked before I could explain anything.

That is one thing I hate about the internet. The fact that someone can just shut you off as easily as they turn off the tap. Yes, I might have been a genuinely crazy person, and yes, I do refer to myself as mentally ill, but after finding out what I did last night, I had to wonder if people who are hiding bigger secrets about themselves tend to trust other people less. If they are actually less secure, or were less secure, than I was, and that was the reason for the reaction.

I’m not up to date on the “gossip” in the M/M Romance world, because there are a fairly close-knit group of people I follow and talk to. The two authors I was following, but didn’t anymore after that incident, I had no idea what was going on in their lives anymore. I heard rumors about a woman who had been pretending to be a man writing M/M Romances, which I didn’t really pay attention to. There are so many women writing in M/M I didn’t see what the fuss was about.

It was about the putting on of an identity and presenting that identity as an author to fans, who connect pretty passionately at times. I had no idea that A.J. Snow wasn’t a man, or that Theo Fenraven was twice the age I’d thought and had been born a woman, but is a man now, and really, always has been. I hope I phrased that right, Theo, if you read this–if I messed up, it’s unintentional. I never saw you as anything other than a man, although, as you said, a younger one. I kept what you told me a secret, and I’d hoped that had proved I was worthy of some trust on your part, and I didn’t mean what I said; I was very, very frustrated and of course had no idea of the difficulty of what the two of you were going through on top of just separating.

The problem is that I am basically WYSIWYG–I have never been able to put on a persona of any type, so I am just me, for better or worse, and I have a thin skin, mostly for worse.

That isn’t really important here, but it is in a way for the reason that I am impressed with how well both authors were able to present their images to the public. I can understand how some fans would be really upset to find out those identities weren’t real, but a true fan is one who would give you their support whatever the case. A.J. Snow had an excellent reason for changing her identity, and I think she’s extremely brave, both for pressing on with the identity and for coming out. I know this is late support, but you have mine, even if I am one of the blocked crazies. And Theo, you have my support as well. I think you’re both fantastic friends for sticking together and supporting each other the way you did, and I’m so happy A.J. Snow has met someone she’s truly, truly happy with. Theo, I’m glad you’re out of the grey you were so miserable in and someplace warm and sunny, and your photos are as gorgeous as ever.

Because whatever their author identities, it doesn’t change the quality of their work, which is excellent. Sometimes people have to do things for reasons of their own which have nothing to do with the fans. Fans need to be mature and accept that. People don’t like fairweather friends. What about fairweather fans? Authors are people too, with lives that are sometimes messy and hard, really hard, with difficult decisions. Would you rather respect an author for telling you the truth, a difficult decision for them, or turn your back on them for being honest? Yes, it may burst your bubble, but I can’t imagine living a lie, sort of why I wrote that I can’t live with a persona online–I can write in a fantasy world, but I can’t live one online. The closest I come is when I sometimes get a little delusional and think sometimes people are better friends than they are. I don’t know if that’s always delusional or just hopeful.

I know that’s a really odd image to put up, but I bought those socks, compression socks, because I realized I might be wearing them for a while (I do wash them, obviously) after I was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (non-progressive–still trying to figure out why I have it). The point of that is that it’s invisible. No one knows I have it unless I say something, in real life, and online, no one knows at all unless I say something. I know you can’t compare socks and sexuality (unless you have a sock fetish, granted, some of these are kind of cute, but I don’t think they count), but there are people who want to make some things invisible and they try to force everyone into little boxes of invisibility so they don’t have to see or hear the truth.

I think what A.J. Snow and Theo Fenraven did deserves admiration and respect, as well as the support of those who have been their fans. It does hurt to be lied to, but when someone is also willing to tell you the truth, you should listen, because there’s often a really good reason. It doesn’t change who they are (in real life)–it changes something that never existed in the first place.

So I may be mentally ill, with my ups and downs (I can relate to fear of crowds and the need to escape, I have a generalized anxiety disorder that used to cause panic attacks; I’m on medication for it now, but there’s still a lingering fear sometimes, and being around a lot of people is exhausting. I was also “mobbed” at work for a year and a half at my last job, which makes it hard for me to be around groups of people or to trust groups of people, so there are some things I can relate to, if not everything) but it still hurts to be a blocked crazy. That was before this, because I didn’t even know this happened until last night and I just felt compelled to offer my support. Neither of you deserve any ill treatment for having the courage to be who you really are, and I think it’s terribly sad that we live in a world that makes it so difficult and harsh. Love is love. A good book is a good book.

I wish both of you the best and all the happiness you deserve. And sunshine. 🙂

 

To Narcissistic Mothers

From a daughter.

Why try? Nothing is ever good enough. That’s why I said whatever I thought, because you didn’t listen. It didn’t matter, I always had to apologize, even if I was right.

“Why do you argue with people who aren’t capable of thinking rationally?” my best friend asked, and it dawned on me why. Because I used to do it every day. It’s just a habit I never got rid of. A piece of baggage I still carry. No one stuck up for me then with you, no one does now. Because you’re still always right.

Did you ever think that you may still be ill because you think you know more than the “doctors” you see? You don’t see them long enough, because as soon as they say something you don’t like or disagree with, you switch to someone else. You need to see a rheumatologist, not all these other people. They’re fine to go along with traditional Western medicine, but they don’t seem to be working too well on their own.

But I’m “too sick” to know how sick you are. And your illness has become like a pregnancy; “since we’ve been sick,” dad says now. What will the product of this be? An enlightenment of sorts?

Why now, when I’m down and ill myself, tell me what a difficult child I was, colicky and hard to deal with. Because I said we had a narcissistic family structure? Why now, when I was pushed from all sides to have children, tell me you really support my decision not to have them? Twenty odd years later? I’m “too sick” to be a good parent? I stuck to my decision myself because I didn’t want to pass on any mental illness. It was a good decision, and I did it without any encouragement from you then, I don’t need your praise for it now when it sounds like a backward compliment.

I am still looking for my mother, and now you’re swallowing my father too. We are getting over the flu, we have been tired, we have just been so busy, busy. We fill up our time with DVDs. How are the Roosevelts these days? We are one unit now. I can still have good conversations with dad unless we talk about anything medical. Which is everything, just about. A life consumed by illness.

Is this all because one doctor told you it was in your head? Get over yourself. Thousands of women have heard that, from more than one doctor. Yet they persevere until they find an answer. I try to fill out a medical history form and I don’t know truth from self-diagnosis. Your flights of fancy about what you cannot possibly know are possibly killing you. You know nothing about what your insides look like, just what your imagination tells you. But you don’t listen, because I don’t say what you want to hear, and I’m tired of apologizing. I live under death now from someone who made the decisions you have been making. Thinking you know more than the doctors. That you have the right to do what you will with your own body, which is true. But it effects more than just you.

And I know it’s hard, to feel crappy and tired and achy, and to not know how you’ll feel from one day to the next. But I’m not too sick to keep from trying to see the right doctors to try to fix the problem. Or problems.

The thing is, I know it’s not your fault. I know it has to do with your upbringing. But your hatred is so strong, and there are so many unresolved issues that you have, I don’t know how you’ll work them out. But that’s for you to figure out, not me. I have my own issues to work on, to recover from. Ones you were too sick to notice were happening, or to understand truly when I talked about them. So I don’t talk about them, because there’s no point.

The thing is, I don’t know that we will be friends, that I will be able to talk to you about things. Because you haven’t been there. Your personality changes. You’re lucid, then you’re not. You’re not rational. You can’t be reasoned with. I don’t know why. No one is ever good enough, really. But there’s nothing I can do about that. That’s your issue, or issues. I see someone else’s life being ripped up by a narcissistic mother, only she’s strong enough to stand up for herself and fight back, and her mother isn’t passive aggressive the way you were. It doesn’t just all wash away, water under the bridge, forgotten. There are scars, behaviors, adaptations of behaviors that I’ve done for years without knowing why.

I write this out of frustration for the other daughter whose narcissistic mother makes her cry every time she’s with us, and I ache with the inability to do anything for her except listen, because the pain is too raw for her to offer advice. But she’s leaps and bounds ahead, because she wants a therapist now, and knows what the problems are. But I hate that she says the same things I still do thirty years later, that they’re already ingrained, how easily the damage is done and how hard it is to repair.

Women already have strikes against them in society, how to look, how to behave, asshole misogynists who think it isn’t rape if you have sex with your unconscious wife, standards of unattainable beauty, men who want to control your body with religion. Why does it have to be this way with our mothers?

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Bastian Badger’s Flower Fashion Show

Bastian Badger

Bastian Badger

I think it’s time for a little levity, thanks to my new stuffed buddy Bastian Badger and simplyserra from Etsy’s grab bag of flowers, meant for another purpose, but for this one, to entertain my three-year-old niece. It was a lot of fun, even over messaging. We have identical stuffed badgers, thanks to my indulgent sister–who indulged me, not the other way around; that is, indulging her daughter–the original badger, whose name is, I believe, Badger, I first saw when I was asked to identify the animal in a picture. That’s me. The animal identifier and Auntie Instigator (this took place while my niece was supposed to be taking a nap. The flower show, that is.) I know my critters. I fell in love and said I wanted one. I was surprised to receive an identical one for my birthday. We won’t go into the fact that I’m now 43 years older than my niece–you can’t help who you fall into an infatuation with.

When I received the flowers from simplyserra, one of them looked just perfect on him (it was the perfect size and color–I had to try it on him):

 

 

The flower that started it all.

The flower that started it all.

I texted this picture to my sister as I thought it made Bastian look quite dapper, and when she showed the picture to my niece, she thought it was adorable and immediately wanted one for her badger, Badger.

A couple of days later, I had the flowers out again, and a flurry of other photos followed. Thus, the Bastion Badger Flower Fashion Show:

Tulle

Tulle

Rose with Glitter.

Rose with Glitter.

A little pink on the side.

A little pink on the side.

 

The latest in floral and rhinestone shoulder pads, for the most fashionable badgers.

The latest in floral and rhinestone shoulder pads, for the most fashionable badgers.

Can't quite see this one.

Can’t quite see this one.

Lily boutineer.

Lily boutineer.

 

And last, but not least:

 

Hibiscus, the Height of Hip.

Hibiscus, the Height of Hip.

 

 

 

Is Anyone Paying Attention, or Do they Just Not Care??

Regarding the issues with Apple’s connectivity problems. My stats, which I never talk about, say one (1) person has looked at that post. One. I just tried to report a problem with my handy dandy feedback reporter as I’m a beta tester again, since I volunteered when Yosemite was first up for testing. I tried to report that the wi-fi was effecting everything at that point, including, it turned out, the feedback reporter, which gave me a cute little message:

“Oops, an error occurred. Please try again later.”

Yes, I know it’s a long post. Try, please, to focus for just a few minutes. I normally don’t get upset at the few readers I have, because I am mostly writing for myself, I figure, anyway. But for the love of Aperture, if you’re an Apple user, pay attention for just a little bit! Please! I dearly love my iMac. I love my iPad, and my iPhone. It’s getting to the point where I am near the point of ditching them because I am furious at the way Apple is treating their customers. I hesitate to say it, because I don’t honestly know anymore, but I don’t think this would have happened if Steve Jobs were still alive. He loved Apple. Tim Cook loves money. But who can prognosticate the past?

When this computer shuffles off it’s technological coil, what awaits? I should possibly start learning to speak Penguin.

 

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

 

Made with Repix by W. Clements. Made on an iPad.

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Is Yosemite for Apple what Windows 8 was for Microsoft?

“My hope is that the reliability issues we are seeing in iOS and Mac OS X in recent releases are largely the inevitable result of Apple going through numerous transitions simultaneously. Extensions, XPC, iCloud Drive, Continuity — these things require coordination between all three of Apple’s platforms (mobile, desktop, cloud). That what we’ve been seeing the last few years is this decade’s equivalent of the first few years of Mac OS X — rapid development and flux that precedes an era of relative stability and a slower pace of change. Let iPhone, iPad, and Mac settle in — and let the rapid change and flux flow through Apple Watch, CarPlay, a new Apple TV, and whatever else comes next.”

In a nutshell, Apple is dealing with a lot right now. It’s not that it wants to give competitors a run for their money simply by speeding up software releases. The reality is Apple may have bitten off a little more than it can chew. But it’s nothing that can’t be fixed.

via John Gruber Explains Why iOS and OS X Today Are Buggy – Softpedia.

I really hope it’s nothing that can’t be fixed. Apple has not been fixing the wi-fi issues since the release of Yosemite. I know they are probably trying. Are they trying as hard as we deserve? I really don’t know the answer to that question. They re-opened the beta testing to the public. The beta testing? Yes, to the next fix. As if we’re the one who are some sort of addict, as opposed to the fact that they’re trying to fix everything that went wrong, or was never right in the first place, from releasing software too soon.

I am not a programmer. There was nothing wrong in Mavericks with the wi-fi, however. How could something so intrinsic, not just in general, but to the use of their own devices such as the iPad, many of which have no other way of connecting to the internet, go so, so wrong in just one release? To the point it still isn’t fixed? I have gone past the point of looking at my connection. On, looking for wireless, on, looking for wireless, that I have gone past the anger and have gotten to the ridiculous stage of acceptance, which one should never have to do when using a product like this that is supposed to work. We’re not supposed to just sit back and accept mediocrity, but we’re being, in a way, forced to. Unless we want to switch OSes.

I love my iMac. And all its devices, infernal or otherwise. And no, Cassandra Clare doesn’t own the TM on that one, it’s been used by others and is pretty much a Steampunk term, as far as I know–I’ve definitely seen it elsewhere. But this has been bordering on the ridiculous for a while now.

Too much, too fast, and too soon. Part of what differentiates Apple from the other major players is that they haven’t in the past debugged their software on the public or turned out shoddy merchandise in their attempt to “keep up with the Joneses.” Now, I do think that their elitist attitude sucks in terms of pricing their phones. Is it as bad as Abercrombie and Fitch simply coming straight out and saying, “That isn’t the market we’re selling to.” I think Tim Cook sort of has said that. When someone shoots a parent for not getting them an iPhone for Christmas… A brand shouldn’t carry that much power. Any brand.

And it’s fine and dandy for Steve Wozniak to say that Apple is not doing what he thinks it should in terms of releasing components. Well, Steve, come back, then, and straighten things up. You’ve given up your baby. Apple lost its creative heart and soul when Steve Jobs died, and I think it shows in what has happened since. Tim Cook might not be the right man for the job. I’m not sure he has the same creative vision. You need to have a certain child-like quality to possess the right type of creativity that makes a man like Steve Jobs, along with at least a little sense of fun.

Some Engineering schools are requiring their students to attend Art School and take classes there simultaneously, saying the creativity has gone out of engineering, and without it…phfhhllt. Okay, that’s my intelligent take on the situation. But I think they are spot on–the arrogance of the hard sciences (in some cases, not all–I hate blanket statements) is just that, hard. Creativity is one thing that has definitely fallen by the wayside these days. Look at what is being cut from Primary and Elementary curriculums these days due to financial constraints. And then look at what’s happening with this new development in Engineering schools. To make up for having the creativity beaten out of them (not literally, I hope) because this is science, folks (oh, please, tell me, oh ye great hard science nerds, that you don’t have just as much fun as I do with those big expando balls, which I’m sure are some fine example of a scientific principle at work, but also help with breathing examples and, occasionally, putting over over your head, just for fun).

When Antonio Gaudi graduated, the professor who handed him his diploma told him they were either graduating a genius or a fool, only time would tell. Well, time has told, and quite spectacularly so. It also shows that while I applaud the efforts of the Engineering schools mentioned above, I think the melding of the creative and the scientific needs to be a little more complete, and I hope what they’re trying works.

But back to Apple and Yosemite. Well, and Microsoft, too. I am not broaching this situation blindly, with no knowledge of Windows 8. I needed a laptop for work (I know I have written about this before, or else I’m just having nasty Badger flashbacks, what I named my HP laptop. Now, this isn’t a knock on HP–I just bought an HP printer–I know, different thing, peripheral, not an actual computer, but HP printers, in my experience, rock). I love badgers, mostly because I’ve never run into one in person, which might change my opinion of them slightly. I also know better than to corner them, but an OS isn’t an animal, which leads to another of my theories which I’ll discuss shortly.

Granted, I approached Windows 8 with a great degree of caution. I liked the tile system, most likely because I was already used to iPhones and iPads. So that was a vague correlation for me. The OS itself was a disaster. It needed constant rebooting from the neverending stream of updates, it crashed, it generally wasn’t user friendly, which earned my laptop the name of Badger. The one redeeming quality was the bubbles screensaver, which my then two year-old niece loved.

Now, I hated the name, “Mavericks.” I thought it was full of Hubris, which I suppose summed up Apple’s mentality at the time. What was wrong with having the names of cats for the OS? Linux has no problem with their penguin, who probably has a name and is instantly recognizable. It may even be dwelling in my house, things continue to go this way for Apple, when it comes time for me to invest in a new desktop. No, I still don’t have a laptop, that’s why I bought an iPad, which is now usually available for use in terms of going on the internet, depending on the mood of the wi-fi. Apple is so clever there is no other way to transfer work to the main computer–I haven’t examined whether or not there are lightning compatible external hard drive peripherals in lieu of their abandoning even the micro USB. As consumers, we are told to back up, back up, back up. Lovely. How do we do that when, say, you work at home, don’t want to go out (and shouldn’t have to), and your wi-fi is wonky.

But, no more cats, so we get Mavericks, and no, I don’t buy the reasons for the name, Mr. Cook. And then, to top that off, you pick something less annoying, but still one of the biggest National Parks, Yosemite. It is any wonder this OS hasn’t been plagued with problems? Has Apple learned that “haste makes waste?” It also pisses people off. I love my iMac. My iPhone. My iPad. I do not love what Apple is doing right now in terms of the iOS and OS for these products. And people wait with bated breath (wormy tongues, a friend of mine aptly described once) to see new products.

In my opinion, f*ck the new products. Fix the ones that you have now, and fix them well. This is becoming a country that doesn’t protest enough when given inadequate technology. We’re already being spied on with it, the least it could be is good quality. It makes the wi-fi issues…odder than they already are, whichever way you look at it. Just fix it. Fix the problems you have made and be accountable for what you have messed up before trying to distract the public with your latest gizmo or gadget or the next iPhone that won’t work reliably with Yosemite.

Accountability. This is something our entire nation lacks by the truckload right now. Oh, I don’t have to sell to you, Jesus told me I didn’t have to. We don’t like gays, let’s just say as a state we don’t want you here. How utterly pathetic and despicable. And I still can’t get over Moses helping to write the Declaration of Independence. Such staying power the man had. If he wasn’t just a parable. Accountability, folks. We’re lacking it from the government on down. Religion doesn’t think it needs it, because it can just say “God or Jesus said–” and that seems to be enough. Well, you know what, it isn’t. No one just gets to pass Go, get out of jail, and get $200 anymore, unless you’re in sports, in which case, that seems to be all the accountability you need. Or Congress.

And I’m stopping there with that, because it makes me too upset. And yes, that does mean I have to stop. I’m trying to be responsible about my health, which is why I don’t blog as much as I used to, at least about things like this and other political issues. I am doing something completely alien to me for my own health and sanity, literally, and trying not to pay attention. This is effecting me personally, however, the wi-fi bit, and I always get off tangent.

Apple, basically what I’m saying is, be accountable for what you’re doing. Clean up your mess, which is a pretty damn big one, before going off and jumping up and down in glee over your new infernal devices that won’t connect either. Get your act together. Windows 8 lost Microsoft China. Think about that for a minute. That’s huge. Now we find out you have yet another security leak, on top of the wi-fi issue. The madding crowd is so wild for the iPhone, and seemingly not tech news readers, that I don’t think you have anything to lose right now. But it doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. I am disappointed. I hope things improve.

This One I Will Let People Make Up Their Own Minds

I subscribe to a newsletter online, it might actually be helpful to some people–it usually is for me: it’s called Medical News Today, and covers what is new in many medical fields. I’m particularly interested in what’s going on in depression research and some of the other medical areas, and while I’m supposed to be keeping away from the news, there’s usually nothing upsetting in it to me. Until today. An article published by Drs. Wiltermuth and Cohen, titled, “I’d Only Let You Down’: Guilt Proneness and the Avoidance of Harmful Interdependence.” Now, from the title it doesn’t actually sound so bad, it wasn’t until I read the abstract that I got upset and sought out more information. This is from USC’s business site:

USC Marshall Research has Implications for Team Building in the Workplace
December 23, 2014 • by News at Marshall

Some people hate to disappoint—and you should definitely get them on your team. It turns out individuals who are highly prone to feel guilty for disappointing their co-workers are among the most ethical and hard-working partners. However, new research suggests that these highly guilt-prone people may be the most reticent to enter into partnerships.

Scott S. Wiltermuth, assistant professor of management and organization at the USC Marshall School of Business, along with Taya R. Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University, explains how guilt proneness may prevent people from forming partnerships in “‘I’d Only Let You Down’: Guilt Proneness and the Avoidance of Harmful Interdependence,” which will be published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Understanding this phenomenon, managers can make the best decisions about team building and increase productivity.

The Guilty are Good Workers
Highly guilt-prone people (i.e., people with a strong dispositional tendency to feel guilty for wrongdoings) make valuable work partners because a concern about letting others down drives them to complete at least their fair share of the work.

“Because of this concern for the impact of their actions on others’ welfare, highly guilt-prone people often outwork their less guilt-prone colleagues, demonstrate more effective leadership and contribute more to the success of the teams and partnerships in which they are involved,” Wiltermuth explained.

However, these same behavioral tendencies may, in some instances, also lead these individuals to be reticent to enter into certain partnerships at work.

In five studies, Wiltermuth and Cohen demonstrated that highly guilt-prone people may avoid forming interdependent partnerships with people they perceive to be more competent than themselves, because benefitting a partner less than the partner benefits them could trigger feelings of guilt.

“It may come as a surprise,” Wiltermuth said, “but our findings demonstrate that people who lack competence may not always seek out competence in others when choosing work partners.”

In studies where Wiltermuth asked participants with whom they would like to partner to complete a task, given information about their potential partners’ expertise in that area, highly guilt-prone people with less knowledge or skill in that area were less likely to choose the most competent partner. They were afraid to contribute less to the task than their partner and, thus, let them down.

But They Won’t Ask for a Bonus
In the studies, highly guilt-prone people were also more likely than others to opt to be paid on their performance alone and to opt to be paid based on the average of their performance and that of others whose competence was more similar to their own.

“Guilt proneness reduces the incidence of unethical behavior,” Wiltermuth said. “Highly guilt-prone people are conscientious. They are less likely to free-ride on others’ expertise, and they will sacrifice financial gain out of concern about how their actions would influence others’ welfare.”

Those in supervisory roles can use this research to create the most effective dynamics in the workplace and increase productivity.

“Managers could try to ensure that highly guilt-prone people are creating the partnerships and perhaps even assuming leadership roles on teams,” Wiltermuth said, “despite highly guilt-prone people’s fear that by accepting these leadership positions they might be putting themselves into position to let their teammates down.”

http://www.marshall.usc.edu/news/releases/2014/guilt-complex

Above link goes to USC’s Marshall Business school.

Now, part of me sees the advantages in this, the other 95% screams out that it’s taking advantage of the guilt complex, which isn’t a good thing, as is something a lot of people with depression suffer from. I was so upset at the thought of people being used for something that makes them so easily manipulated by others that I simply started to cry. Granted, I’m going through dosage changes of my current med. I’m wary of businesses ability to use things like this in ethical and moral ways, and since I don’t think it’s ethical or moral to start with… I know businesses use personality traits already. In our society, which is so Corporate centered, the person at the top gets the money (the CEO), the heading, “But They Won’t Ask for a Bonus,” was just another kick in the stomach. So people shouldn’t get paid what they’re worth. It’s like Scrooge. This is a particularly Capitalistic p.o.v., where the concern is for how much the people at the top make. Look at where the US is compared to other countries financially. Last. Along with other English-Speaking countries that had followed the same model; eliminating apprenticeships, not caring so much for the workers and caring more for the shareholders and the CEO in terms of who benefits financially. The European model is different. Germany was at the top. They have apprenticeships. They are not as Capitalistic as we are. No, I don’t know a lot about business, only that they do things differently than we do, and the reason they have companies that have been around for a couple hundred years and are still at least all or partially family owned is that they are invested in the companies at a personal level. They are proud of them. Koh-I-Noor, who makes some of the coolest darn pencils ever, is celebrating their 222nd anniversary this year. They are Czechoslovakian. I’m noticing this a lot in art supplies from Europe. Faber-Castell has been around for a very long time, at least a hundred years, maybe longer. They did merge with another company. I don’t think they play the crazy take-over games there–I would have to ask my friend who lives in Germany, but I don’t think he pays a lot of attention to business either. He tries, like me, to support indie businesses, of which I’m a supporter as well. And which I’m sure doesn’t use guilt in their employees as a factor for putting together teams.

I have calmed down a lot, but I am appalled that this is considered psychology, and is being published as such, and as seemingly acceptable practice. It’s published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. I wrote a comment to the “article” on MNT, definitely influenced by the fact that I had a terrible experience at my last job and my current state of depression, which is accompanied by some feelings of guilt as well:

My opinion on this research is that using people because of their tendency to feel guilty about letting others down, “but they won’t ask for a bonus” is sick and unethical, and part of the reason that I hate the structure of business culture in America and other places that use tactics like this. At others’ expense to get ahead, and make more money for themselves. And this is Psychology? I subscribe to this, MNT, because I have MDD and have been suffering from a long episode of severe depression for over a year. I want to see what is being done to help other people like me who are running out of options, and also what is being doing to help with the other health issues I have, chronic kidney disease, migraines, etc. Not how our psychological problems can be used against us for profit. This is so disheartening. I recently had a breakdown because of stress and a med change that jumped too quickly for my system. If any of you corporate types read this and think this article is a good idea, consider the following; the Abilify that keeps some of your employees that may have guilt issues coming to work costs approximately $1,100 out of pocket, and some insurance companies only cover enough so they “only” have to pay around $431. That’s per month. That’s just one drug of many. Some of us have tried all the lower level, first line of defense against depression drugs, and they don’t work, so we have to up the ante. I’m very happy knowing I’m a long term guinea pig for Merck, when they don’t even know the dosages yet for their latest foray (that I’m aware of) into the anti-depressant market, but when you’re in a battle against depression, and you do happen to have a lot of guilt, you don’t have a lot of choice. It’s so nice to know that I’m a good candidate to help people, not because I’m altruistic, which I am, but because I also feel guilty for a lot of things which aren’t even my fault. Thank you for your support in my healing process by using me or people like me for your own ends. I’m not equating that everyone with guilt issues has depression, but often they do go hand in hand. For you to get ahead and build your little successful teams, how much are you putting out for your employees’ health insurance? What do you really know about your employees? I am so disgusted by this–you can just say that this is some troll, someone raving because of their “mental illness” that they would rather not see the “mentally ill” side of. But this is the truth, and sometimes is takes a mentally ill person to point it out in a way that you can see it for what it really is; not a good business decision, but an unethical money-grubbing ploy.

I hate the fact that I get melodramatic when I’m upset, but I have issues with people so isolated from real life, either because of socioeconomic reasons or Ivory Tower reasons (I considered going on to get my Ph.D in English Lit and teaching, but that fact, the isolation from reality, is one of the reasons I didn’t), that their grand “ideas” for improving business, despite how good they sound in their bios and how impressive their educational backgrounds, and despite the fact they are writing about psychology, they seem to know nothing about the morality of dealing with people empathetically, which in my mind is the most important aspect of treating people with and earning their respect. That’s how you get them to work their best for you. Acknowledge them as human beings, give them a living wage, good health insurance, days off without question, flexibility with their schedules if they need it; acknowledge that life is messy and it doesn’t just fit into a little box because the office manager wants it to. They may have sacrificed their life, but the people who work for them don’t have to. Genuine kindness and understanding, knowing the people who work for you, are what win their loyalty. Treating them with dignity. Do we really need to resort to using their guilt against them? Just because it’s easier than actually doing any of the aforementioned? Big business is killing itself. It merges and takes over and bloats itself like a giant amoeba, until, eventually, will it just collapse on itself? Because an amoeba is an ever changing thing, with no strong foundation, and without that foundation, in this case, the workers, the companies are only as strong as their weakest link. And when they resort to using guilt because it gets more done for less money from them, the word pathetic isn’t adequate. And if that’s what the psychological research is telling them to do? The psychological research from people who pride themselves on their interest in moral and ethical behavior in the workplace, what is the world coming to?

There are a couple of Robin Williams quotes I’ve been wanting to put somewhere, and I’ll probably make them email signatures at some point, but for now here they are, and feel free to use them as your email signatures if they touch you. They sort of have to do with the topic, kind of, but the first, I think, more with perserverence, and the second, a little how I started to feel at work, which was a sign I was in the wrong place, and if it weren’t for the financial issues, I should have left before a lot of what happened did.

“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”
–Robin Williams

“I used to think that the worst thing in life was to end up alone. It’s not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people who make you feel alone.”
–Robin Williams

 

leavingbio.net

leavingbio.net

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South Eugene High School Choir

And yet another cause, though this one is near and dear to my heart.

https://www.indiegogo.com/project/send-south-eugene-hs-choir-to-carnegie-hall/embedded

My apologies for the belatedness of the post.

Video

Dear Facebook, Redux

No sooner than I post my post and happily move along to writing my review of well, a very nicely illustrated children’s book about mice who cook delicious cheese soup, which reminds me, I need to get the recipe, than I am posed with my first dilemma about not having a Facebook, Twitter, or Tumblr account. I may still have a Tumblr account but don’t remember how to get into it. I did mention in my previous post that there is a good side to social media. It has just boppopped me on the head and reminded me of its existence. It’s ridiculous that I needed a reminded, because I have helped fund a few projects on this site–Kickstarter–and really think it’s the future for people who are in any way clever about anything and want to do something about it. For me, specifically, this is in the way of art and publishing, but I get pulled in the tech direction sometimes; that’s how I first found out about the site. My boyfriend is a gamer, and he started to help fund some PC games he thought looked interesting. I’ve checked out the games since, and was particularly pleased when a bear simulator, yep, a bear simulator, where you get to be the bear, was successfully funded. That was one cool idea. Who’d have thunk it? All the projects I have donated toward, however, have been publishing or art projects, and they have all (yay!!) been funded–except for one, which is in tech, that I read about on Softpedia (I will admit that Softpedia for Mac is my homepage) and immediately thought, “I am so there!” because there are a lot of things Apple does really well, except wireless and keyboards, in my experience. I have learned to live with the keyboard. The wireless issue I’m still pretty darn ticked off about, not that my posting a post or a whole series of posts would do anything, but seriously, Apple, I’m beginning to question my commitment to SparkleMotion. I know I’m not a tech person. I wish I was. I can fix some things, I just can’t tell you how I did it. I can break them, too–I learned that on a PC, unless you know what you’re doing, you don’t mess with the .dll files. But I have a Mac again. Don’t mess with the registry or the library unless you have a really good reason. I have done that and my computer lived to tell the tale. But the wireless–months now, Mr. Cook, months. Worse things have happened at sea, but while I may have issues with the dark side of social media, there is the light, and that’s what I’m here to discuss.That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally think someone should be flying from the yardarm. Looking for networks, on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on. You get the idea. If this is something I have done to prevent the happy union of my iMac and my Airport Whatchamacallit Tower thing (memory issues, did I mention the memory issues? My RAM, not the computer’s) however they both shall be happy together, I am fully willing to admit it was my fault, but I really don’t think it was. Anyway, again, not the main topic of discussion.

By de-activating my Facebook and Twitter accounts, I also cut off two of the areas of information dissemination for some of the good things on the internet, in this instance, the Next Keyboard for iOS, and I really hope I won’t get in trouble if I use the picture they have on their site. It probably says somewhere in the tiny print that I can’t, but for now I’m going to say, in all honesty, I don’t remember seeing that in tiny print. See, this is where the moral conundrum comes in, and I’m not talking about the picture. For the developers of Next Keyboard, they needed some help to get the project off the ground, so they turned to Kickstarter.

Now, my best friend and I have discussed how, in the olden days (no, not the 80s, even though things from then are now considered practically antique on Etsy) there used to be Patrons of the Arts, people who, when they found someone whose art they liked, would support them while the artist did whatever work the patron wanted. That way, an artist could live, though not exactly doing whatever they wanted, now that I wanted. I imagine that if any cherubs on the ceiling had been making rude gestures, we’d have heard about it by now. But music, art, writing, there were patrons for all of these things. Now, while you wouldn’t think so to look at it on the surface, society doesn’t value these things as much, unless you’re from a certain socio-economic level of society and up. Before anyone gets huffy, look at school curriculums, and the teachers on staff of public schools across the nation, and find out how many of them have full time music teachers and full time art teachers. At ONE school. I know of districts who employ full time art and music teachers yes, but on Monday they’re at Chestnut Elementary, Tuesday they’re at Walnut Elementary, Wednesday they’re at Filbert Elementary (I had to get that one in before I stopped, this is Oregon), and so on. The arts are languishing at lower levels of education. If you look on Kickstarter, I’d wager there are more than a few projects to try to get some sort of art, music, or literature program at an elementary school somewhere. And there’s no stratification in society. Oops. I’m not supposed to be talking about these things. No news. I can’t just forget everything now, though, can I? The important thing is, Kickstarter is making a difference. Five of the documentaries that made it to the Academy Awards were funded through Kickstarter. That’s the only one I can think of right off, but the number of video games on Steam funded through Kickstarter–55 (I had to ask my boyfriend that one). These people on Kickstarter are making a difference, and by funding them you are helping them to make a difference. Check out Kickstarter’s website after you look at Next Keyboard’s info here, and, especially if you’re an iOS user, send a little love their way:

photo-1024x768
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/robjama/next-keyboard-the-perfect-keyboard-for-iphone/widget/video.html

So, I guess, one has to weigh out the pros and cons. For me, I know I won’t go back on unless I have to–but I will help people how I can from here, because they deserve it. These are brilliant and talented people, programmers and artists (an interesting juxtaposition, because in a way, it’s all art; isn’t there beauty in a perfect program?). Social media gives these projects the attention they need to succeed. On the same theme, I wouldn’t want it just to be limited to things like this. I think most of what happens and goes on is just fine. I was normally able and even eager to discuss news items and support the causes I believe in, and will be able to do so again, once I’ve recovered some resiliency. Facebook, in my experience, in the groups I “hung out” around, was fine. Twitter confused the h*ll out of me, quite frankly. It was worse than Facebook in terms of reporting every single thing someone does. But it also seemed much more likely to have gangs of, for lack of a better term, thugs (I don’t like the term trolls–trolls are from fairy tales and I’m sure if one were to do enough research, there were nice trolls. Not in Norway, though, if you’ve ever seen the Norwegian movie, Trolls, which I highly recommend. It’s just a downright awesome movie. And there was that phase back in the 1970’s, which then repeated recently, with the fuzzy haired trolls–I loved those. So, no, I won’t call them trolls). They’re thugs, and they’re out to beat up people’s reputations and online personas without caring that there are real people involved, seemingly at the drop of a hat–they literally seem to go around looking for arguments. That I won’t abide. The unfortunate thing about that is no sooner than you kick one off, they’re back with a new email and new username before you can say “venomous thug generator.”

I don’t understand people who have no moral qualms about having more than one username that they go under, say, to cast more votes in something, or to manipulate a situation using different names so others actually think there are more people involved than really are. I’m creeping back to the dark side again, aren’t I? Maybe I’ve either just had more bad experiences with others on the internet, I’m a thug magnet, or I’m just very thin skinned. Probably all of the former, coupled with the fact that I have a strong sense of right and wrong, but I am willing to admit, oh, this is bad, but I have to do it, I have to, there are at least 50 shades of grey. No, there are a lot more than that, it just takes a discerning eye. LOL. I know because I look in the mirror. 🙂 I prefer silver, even though it makes me sound like an elf. Not that I have anything against elves. Let’s just not go there.

There are some people, especially after reading this post, who might say that giving anyone the freedom to blog is as bad as signing in with Facebook. That may or may not be true, although after having some trouble learning (am still learning, thank you) about my new Kobo, having a small explosion about how it’s supposed to be partnered with indie bookstores but I couldn’t get the books I bought at indie bookstores on my Kobo, downloading the user’s manual, in English (Kudos to Kobo for how many languages they offer support in), I learned that it’s supposed to have facial recognition and you can turn it on by moving it in small circles in front of your face. I am guessing there is some prep to this, for example, it learning my face, which will simply not happen–I am odd enough in real life without moving an eReader around in front of my face to turn in on, and doing it in the privacy of my own home, and thinking about what it would like, would just make me laugh, also most likely rendering it useless. So I found that out and ended up getting the Aldiko app to upload all the books I had bought, along with the free goodies (All Romance eBooks, great for free reads, and they carry lots of good diverse fiction as well, AND I realized last night–yes, sometimes I have the supreme gift of oversight, if you hit the Omni lit tab (how many times have I looked at that Omni lit tab?) it’s a whole, regular bookstore! OMG! Thank you, Aldiko! I seriously wouldn’t have checked that out if not for that app, and we’re talking years that I have been using ARe. I am not saying how many, it’s just too embarrassing). I am annoyed that the libraries won’t mingle. This is one of the places my tech knowledge falls flat on its face and cries mercy. They’re not computers, but…they sort of act like them…I can’t fix it! I can’t figure it out! I’m a reader, Jim, not a miracle worker! Not with these chameleon tech things. iPhones included. Though I have managed to get my Kindle working, somewhat, again after it futzed out.

And so we’ll come full circle here. I think a lot of the difficulty is from attempting to use wireless at home that is simply not a happy camper. Do you or do you not want me to use my iDevices at home, Mr Cook? Because for some reason, this Looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks…on…looking for networks thing doesn’t seem to be working to well for them, or their VPN. I’m beginning to wonder if it’s a conspiracy, after I started having problems with the VPN not be able to stay on. A collaboration? Cast aspersions, me? In this country? Wait, homing in on news territory again. Sigh. So I have to resort to my TV hero memes, like Trust no one. Fix the wi-fi and I’ll have to stop casting aspersions, won’t I? Prove me wrong. I just want things to work, that’s all.

Alright, I think I’ve gone on enough. I want to do some reading. I have a challenge goal to meet.