Anti-Social Networking

For a couple of years now I have been immersed in the world of Social Networking. Specifically Facebook and Twitter. About a year ago I deleted all of my friends on Facebook, save three, with the idea that all of those people were not my real friends. They were just contributing to me having a high friend count and stroking my non-existent ego just a little. Twitter was a way to link to interesting news articles and a way to post status updates on the two pages at once. I had the misguided idea that anyone really cared about my status or anything about me. I again had the illusion that anyone else wanted to see my pictures or videos. After about a month of no Facebook I again started to rebuild my friend count and reached a number of 275 friends on Facebook and 78 followers on Twitter. Last night things had to change again.

I was laying in bed not sleeping. I have gained about thirty pounds back and with every pound acquired another 10 minutes it took to get to sleep. My snoring has worsened to the point that Michele has to sleep with earplugs. I am all too familiar with my food addiction but there are other factors that contribute to my weight gain. Actually, there are MANY factors that contribute to my weight problem. After going through the long list, one reason stood out. The things that I do that enable me to stay on the couch inactive are some of the worst weights on my weight. I will never completely give up the computer but two of the main reasons for booting up are the aforementioned social networking sites. So as a man I want to solve this problem. Eliminate the sites. So at three o’clock in the morning I busied myself doing just that. I first deleted my Twitter account. I deleted the Twitter and Foursquare apps from my cellphone. Then I logged onto Facebook and went about deleting all of my friends except Michele. I feel I need to have the account just to keep up with Michele and see what she is interested in. She surfs the net with unequaled enthusiasm and that leads to interesting stories. I locked down my privacy settings so I can’t get messages or friend requests. No one can search for me or see anything about me. That was that.

Eliminating these distractions allows me to do other things without feeling like I have to keep up with posts and what’s going on. I’m retired. I don’t need to know what’s going on with anybody unless they are close enough to call me and tell me. The freedom will allow me to get out of the house more and actually become more personally social. So it is my opinion that someone like me who is a loaner and does not socialize the web-based social networking sites are just contributing to our phobias of people. They allow the individual to remain the individual and stay at home and hide from the world. I’m not going to be running for public office but I will be out of the house more, Socializing and Networking.

 

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Funeral For A Friend

For the third time in as many weeks I found myself loading Windows Vista on my Gateway laptop. I keep having weird crashes, extremely slow performance and just weird things happening in general. I have loaded Windows and downloaded all of my necessary programs over and over again. It’s just not working. Finally, on the last attempt, it simply wouldn’t work. After the Vista Service Pack downloads the computer screams about a corrupt or missing file and it’s all over. Another load of Windows doesn’t replace this file either. Luckily, Tinkerbell was there to save the day.

Either out of pity for me and my computer woes or out of just plain being tired of my whining my wife offered to buy me a new laptop for Christmas. She says she had already planned to get me one but was hoping that my old computer would limp along until Christmas so I would have the big surprise on the big day. Alas, she wouldn’t hold on. I politely protested because I do feel a sense of guilt having that much money spent on me. But in the back of mind I was overwhelmed with joy. A new computer is just about the best gift I could receive. I am an electronic geek extraordinaire. Michele countered my polite protests with advising me that I was going to get a new laptop and I could either pick it out and get it now or she could pick it out and give it to me Christmas morning. With the possibility of using my phone  browser for internet usage for six weeks I quickly opted to go ahead and pick it out.

The shopping begins. No there wasn’t a lot of store jumping and deep research going on. Twelve months of interest free financing through Sam’s was the way to go. Choosing from the Sam’s in stock line up I found and fell in love with the HP G62. 4G of RAM and 350G of hard drive space is all I need. It has more features than I expected and it ACTUALLY works. I must admit I didn’t read all the reviews before hand and I didn’t consult anyone. The price was right and the RAM and ROM were what I needed. The screen is bigger than I thought I wanted for my next computer but now that I have it I’m glad that I didn’t go with a smaller one. I don’t travel much and I don’t take my laptop to many places outside of home. So I’m perfectly happy with what I have.

I have only used it for two days now but I have no regrets. Windows 7 is not that different and seems to be easy to use. some people will tell you to get a Mac but I just can’t seem to bring myself to spend that extra money for something that isn’t all that much better. There must be some reason more people use Windows than Apple based products.

I now have to figure out what to do with my old friend the Gateway. She was a good computer for almost four years. I have thought about buying a new hard drive and selling it on Ebay. I have also thought ab out drilling a hole into the hard drive and throwing it away. I’ll decide soon.

So a big thank you to Tinkerbell and off into the wonderful land of internet addiction I go!!

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Behind The Times (Written SPRING OF 2010)

A lot has happened since I last posted. I have been demoted, transferred and humiliated. I guess if I thought I deserved such treatment I could take it better but I know the reasons and the politics behind it and that has caused the most pain. Other than that turmoil, here are a few updates:

Daphne has grown to be quite the young lady. She had her first Westie Style haircut and looks like a real dog now. She has gotten protective of her yard and house and can’t stand for Michele or me to give anyone any attention. I must say I like it. It’s nice to have someone jealous of you whether you admit it or not. She has increased her cat chasing to a point that we are going to have to curb her appetite for feline fur. As much as I despise Bud I would hate for him to get hurt. That would bring on more drama in the house than I can stand right now.

Jacob is getting taller and leaner. He is 130lbs of bone and hair. He is behaving better in school but he is still not giving the scholars a run for their money. He could if he would. But that’s another story all together.

Sarah is about the same although she has gotten taller and leaner as well. The exercise from swimming seems to have done her well.

Michele is sweeter than ever. She has become the dream wife. We are finally planning a short Honeymoon. We are going to Savannah for a few days and are just going to be child free and happy.

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Memorial Day

To the American Soldier: Thank You.

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A River Ran Through It

Last night Michele and I attended the Theater Albany production of “Big River”. This musical is an adaptation of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. I must admit that it has been about 25-30 years since I read either “Tom Sawyer” or “Huckleberry Finn”, so it was really all new to me. Here is how the night went and my opinion of the whole thing. Yes, my opinion.

Michele and I promised each other that we would always have dates no matter how long we are together. Last night was a date night. About a month ago we went to see Sarah in the Deerfield spring musical. They did “Hello Dolly”. There were some issues with sound and a few goofs but we were entertained nonetheless. They did a great job. This experience had me longing  for more sophisticated forms of entertainment. That weekend I went online and purchased tickets to see “9 to 5” at the Fox Theater in Atlanta for next Fall. Since that was a long time to wait I started searching for closer and cheaper options. I found the Theater Albany website and immediately saw the advertisement for Big River. I gathered Michele’s opinion and we were off. I bought the tickets and looked forward to it .

We left the house with Jake in charge of himself and Daphne, the Westie. I always wonder which one to leave in charge in these situations but Jake’s opposable thumbs seem to give him the edge. Jacob, left with pizza, Coke and hopes of hidden candy was happy to see us go. No control for at least four hours. Michele and I struck out to Harvest Moon. Our favorite little spot that provides a great atmosphere and wonderful service. While there, we learned that our favorite waiter, Bill, was no longer employed there. This was a great disappointment to us because Bill had become part of the experience. He was personable, polite and pretty much kissed our ass. We tipped him well for it. He would even go next door to the drug store and get ice cream so we could have our favorite desert. Brownie Bites. The waitress we did have was good and remembered us from the last time we were there. She was diplomatic and didn’t tell us the whole story.  Really it wasn’t any of our business.  Michele had the usual and I had had the Grouper Sandwich and Rohos. YUM.  A couple of adult beverages and we were off to the show.

The is no parking at the theater so we parked on the street. It was a rainy night so we had to scurry into the house pretty quickly. Yes, the house. Theater Albany is an old mansion that was turned into a theater in 1932. They added the auditorium  to the back of the house and use the rest of it as a box office and places to “be” before the show  and during intermission. Once inside I checked my phone to make sure it was on vibrate. This reminded Michele to check her phone. She looks into her clutch and yep, you guessed it, no phone. Now we had to wonder if her phone was in the Jeep or on the table at Harvest Moon. Guess who had to go out in the rain to the Jeep and check…..just guess. You are correct!! I found the phone on the seat where it was forgotten. I came back in to the theater and noticed there was wine for a small donation. Yes, I had a glass of white. I would have had another but it was showtime.

I won’t bore you with the whole show because you would rather read the real book. I can tell you that after a little of a slow start the whole thing got better and better. I was most impressed with the gentlemen who played “Jim”, the runaway slave. That man has a strong, powerful but still beautiful voice. He was the best singer in the show in my opinion. The second best, though not very far behind, was  a lady who sang an old slave song as they were captured and marched back to the plantation. Her voice was also powerful and beautiful. The scenery and music were all wonderful. I saw no bad acting and only noticed one mistake, a mistake I would have made. And I wouldn’t have recovered as well as that actor did.

I am no critic so I will not act like one. The sum of the whole thing is that it was a wonderful show and I was truly entertained, which was the point. I was surprised when Michele told me that all of these players were local Albany area folks. I just assumed that they were professionals from a large city. Michele and I had a great time. We ate good and were pleasantly entertained. Another wonderful date with a wonderful girl.

 

 

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So Sorry

Apologies First

OK I’m sorry. I haven’t blogged since December 5th. I have only updated a few videos of Michele since then. But guess what. Things are about to change. I am retiring from my oppressive freedom-hating job and I will soon be free to tell you all kinds of stories. Stories that I promise will be of interest  to anybody in my “former” line of work. Once the glorious day gets here that I can unleash a flurry of scandal and lies I will be relieved. Keeping it all to myself and maybe only a few other close people  just isn’t cutting it.

Catching Up

As far as catching up goes, there are a few things and situations that are new. I guess the most glaring thing is that I am retiring. It’s finally over. I will be Mr. Mom. Not that I ever dreamed about being Mr. Mom, it’s just what’s fixin’ to be. The whole story behind all of that deserves a blog of it’s own.

Jake got braces last week. He is adjusting to them well. He is like every other teenager. He gets a little excited about the whole thing at first but when the pain hits the attitude changes.

Sarah is doing well and is getting better at swimming. She started last fall and has continued with a private team this summer.

Michele, my beautiful bride, is still the best thing since sliced bread and Cable T.V. She has been very supportive and loving during my trials and tribulations over the last year.

The most frightening that has occurred was that mom decided to have an aortic dissection. She almost died. I know a lot of people say that but when I got the call from Bill I could tell that he didn’t expect her to hang on long enough for me to get to Valdosta. Momma ,being the tough girl that she is , fought it through and has now recovered. As a matter of fact, she got results today that show her aorta has completely healed and there is no need to have surgery. Thank GOD.

That’s enough for the brief catch ups. Since I am at home now I will have more opportunities to blog and stay in touch.


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Hot Potato

I went to the doctor’s office yesterday to get back on track with my diabetes care and getting some tonnage off of my fat-ass. This was the first visit to this doctor so I didn’t know the process there because they all work differently. Just finding a new doctor in Albany was a challenge but I finally consulted my wife who directed me to this “group office”.

I walked in and was greeted by two ladies who started me on the process. Not too long after that I was summoned to booth #2. This nice lady started the dreaded paperwork we all know we hate when you go to a new place. I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that this lady just got my driver’s license and did all of the work herself.  So far, I am impressed. Their computer system went down so I did get to hear a few complaints about the new system but I was sympathetic because I have been there and done that.  After she discovered where I worked she became more light an talkative because she knew one of my old Albany coworkers. She asked why I was there and she appeared  to  be  entering this into their system. I was not surprised that she collected the  copay at this time because I have experienced this at other offices. It seems that some folks will pull a doc-and-dash. That part of the visit was relatively quick and painless.

I waited a very short amount of time and was called back by Ma-Kettle. “It’s a little air-ish out there ain’t it?” Air-ish is a southern term that means it’s too cold for short sleeves but not cold enough for a real jacket. I understood that. She gets my weight and takes my blood pressure and shuffles me off to a exam room where we find the nurse. The nurse is covered in blood but in relatively good spirits. She is more concerned that it is on her white shirt and wants to make sure she gets it out. We then have every employee in the place consult her on how to accomplish this. Southern women love to give advice on laundry and cleaning. Ma-Kettle left me there as she pursued my nurse down the hall filling her ears with valuable advice.

After a change of clothes and a better attitude acquisition my nurse reappeared. She logged onto the computer system asked me why I was there and what could they do for me. I explained all of my issues to her and she dutifully typed all of this in the system. Then she was gone.

I waited for about five minutes and then a young man came in and announced that he was a medical student and he needed to check me out first. We did the old listen to your heart and lungs deal and I laid back for the gut pushing. He wanted to know why I was there. He typed this in the system and he was gone only after he voiced his dismay about my previous doctor’s care.

Next it was the doctor. Guess what. He wanted to know why I was there. I told this story again and received a look not unlike a dog hearing a distant siren.  He listened to my heart and lungs and also pressed on my belly reminding me how big it is. He then gave me a little lesson on how things work around there. It seems they are a training facility and he could not prescribe the meds I wanted/needed. He would need to talk to the doctor. He explained he was just a resident. Somebody shoot me please, it will be quicker.

The resident and the med-student return excited that they have obtained permission to give me a script for the meds I needed. I had to remind the good resident that he had stated earlier that he wanted to get blood from me. You see, I am old hand at doctor’s offices. I knew to not eat that morning because every new doctor wants blood. Even though I had to remind him of this he did remember that he wanted it.

I was ushered to the lab where they are not allowed to bring their personalities to work. The technician did a very good job but I still don’t know if she has a voice or any blood of her own for that matter. Lucky for her she didn’t ask me why I was there. That would have been a Fox News Headline. I would have acted a fool.

I made a new appointment and I was gone. All in all it not a bad visit. I met about 20 new people. They all know my life story. Maybe I’ll get a Christmas card from my new friends. We’ll see.

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