It's uncanny how often I Google something... then come to Facebook and see an ad for what I Googled pop up first thing.
What's bizarre is that most of the time the ads I'm served are useless. I Googled to find local landscapers. As predicted, Facebook has an ad for landscaping services as the second thing in my feed. But it's for a company 3-1/2 hours away? That company just wasted their ad dollars because Facebook apparently can't tell my location... despite them having my address.
We're told all the time that we should welcome being tracked because it allows companies to serve us information that benefits us. But the only beneficiary in this case is Facebook, who gets paid for serving a useless ad. Neither me nor the advertiser benefits at all. But, yeah, you keep selling that utopia, Facebook.
Lord. So a person can have a fake profile with NO posts that they use to spam comments about "witch doctors" casting spells... but when you report the profile as being OBVIOUSLY FAKE AND ABUSIVE, Facebook treats you like you're lying. I mean, hey, you can spam comments everywhere using a fake profile and technology doesn't exist to combat it? That's just way out of Facebook's capabilities?
Facebook is toxic AF and they just don't give a shit.
I don't do Twitter or Instagram. I mean, I have accounts, but I look at them rarely and hardly ever post. TikTok is something I actually enjoy, but I never post there. I'm merely a voyeur. The only social media I'm involved in is Facebook and I hate it. They can randomly ban you for arbitrary reasons that make no sense. I once got a three day ban for posting "sexual content." There was nothing remotely sexual about it. I don't even understand how they came to that conclusion. I appealed, but nothing came of it. Meanwhile, friends have been targeted with threats of violence and reporting it only gets them ignored. Needless to say, if you're popular enough, powerful enough, or rich enough, you get to post whatever the fuck you want. Including hate and misinformation which is literally killing people.
But, alas, Facebook is a necessary evil because friends from around the world are there and it's the only way to easily keep in contact with them.
And then there's Blogography.
Blogging isn't the social platform it once was. It used to be that everybody had a blog and you kept in touch by reading and commenting back and forth around the blogging community. Now only the tiniest fraction of my blogging friends are still at it. Bloggers who were only in it to keep in touch moved to social media platforms because it was so much easier. Bloggers who were in it for the money left when the money dried up. Bloggers who were in it for fame abandoned it when the fame never came.
Those of us who remain each have our own reasons.
At this point, blogging is a habit for me. But I do like being able to go back through old posts and remember stuff I was doing my life. Next year I'll have 20 years worth, which is a big chunk of my time on this earth.
From a historical perspective, I sure wish that blogging existed in the 1980's.
That's when my life just started getting interesting, and all I have are random memories from 1985 through 2003. That was college. That was time with the best friends I'll ever have. That was when I first started traveling. Sure I have photos, but they're just snapshots. What happened in-between is a messy blur that's mostly lost because alcohol might have been involved. Had I written things down, I'd be able to remember them too.
What triggered this post was my struggling to remember details of my first trip to Japan in 1996. I had found a journal where I wrote out single sentences with a bunch of space between them. I had always intended to go back and expand on what I had seen and done so it would be documented and I wouldn't forget. Well, that was over 25 years ago now, so there will be no filling in anything. Half of the sentences are meaningless to me. Take this one, for example...
"I hear it is a custom over there, to exchange cigarettes as a form of greeting..."
All I know is that it was a tag line written in English on a cigarette vending machine in the lobby of my hotel (which I was able to find thanks to some Google sleuthing back in 2014). I guess I wrote it down because I thought it was funny. But four pages later I wrote...
"Lonely night in Akihabara. Was happy to get back to my hotel where my best friend Fred was waiting to exchange cigarettes with me again."
And I'm like WTF? Because I have no clue what that means. If I were to venture a guess, there was probably an illustration or a photo of a guy holding out a pack of cigarettes next to that tagline on the cigarette machine. And I guess I named him Fred. Or something. I haven't a clue. And there's no way I'll ever know. Unless they invent time travel. Or I invest in hypnotherapy... maybe.
If this trip had happened any time after 2003, it would have been documented here. If it had happened any time after 2007, it would have been photographed multiple times and posted. But oh well.
There's still 20 years sitting here for me.
I watched the last episode of 60 Minutes about the Facebook whistleblower because I was expecting some serious dirt. Some people were saying that the Facebook outage was intentional so that people on Facebook wouldn't be discussing the 60 minutes interview, so it must be juicy, right?
Turns out that it was not.
It was the opposite of juicy. Which, according to the listed antonyms of the word, means it was dull, bland, juiceless, moral, withered, sere, desiccated, boring, dehydrated, unfavorable, shriveled, unexciting, disadvantageous, clean, unsexy, uninteresting, and dry.
The story was all those things because all the allegations were just so fucking obvious. Facebook puts profits above its users? ZOMFG! I may die of un-shock.
Facebook is a piece of shit company. They put users like me in Facebook jail for the stupidest crap so they can say "SEE! WE ARE DOING SOMETHING!"... yet some people can say whatever the fuck they want, and spouting COVID misinformation (which is LITERALLY KILLING PEOPLE) is perfectly okay. I can't joke "all men are pigs" when I am, in fact, a man and am clearly joking... THAT will get deleted... yet a man can threaten to beat up a woman and there are ZERO consequences on Facebook, even if you report it.
So, yeah. What a waste of my fucking time. If I didn't have so many people important to me which I only have contact with on Facebook, I'd have ditched them long ago.
What was not a waste of my time was the the story after the whistleblower non-story about Tony Bennet preparing for his final concerts amidst him having alzheimers. It was absolutely fascinating. And heartbreaking. Especially if you've had to go through it with somebody you care about.
Cannot possibly recommend watching this highly enough. Worth your valuable time...
The reaction by Lady Gaga at the end when Tony knows her name... it's like... all the feels. I've been there. And you feel exactly like that. And when it happens less and less, you are hit by it harder and harder. I still remember the last time my mom remember who I am, even as I am forgetting all the less happy times around it.
But that's how it works, right? That's how we cope? Cling to the good things and let go of the bad?
It's how I cope, anyway.
ZOMFG! FACEBOOK IS DOWN! FACEBOOK IS DOWN! Everywhere you look in the news today, it's the same story and the same headline... Facebook is indeed down. What a tragedy (insert eyeroll).
Which struck me funny because I recently re-read Watership Down... a beautiful story about rabbits which is surprisingly deep and smart for something meant to be a children's tale. If you haven't read it yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.
So every time I see "FACEBOOK IS DOWN!" I'm thinking "WATERSHIP DOWN!" which is a far more important thing to focus on.
And so I shall.
So I shall.
For the first time in over a month, I was able to get through all the "to-dos" due on my list before leaving work. I celebrated by ordering a pound of fries at the local drive-thru for my dinner. I was going to make spicy black bean soup... but this was easier. Less chopping and cooking and dirty dishes and such. Oh well.
What I should have done after consuming a pound of potatoes and grease is catch up on all the sleep I have been missing because I'm staying up late working. What I actually did was a bunch of housekeeping on my work files while watching the What If... T'Challa was Star Lord episode of Marvel Studio's What If... cartoon anthology...
This is my third time watching it. And every time gets harder as it sinks in that this is the last time we'll be blessed with Chadwick Boseman starring as Black Panther. And it's absolutly gutting. He was taken from us far too early, and it just seems impossible that he's gone.
In other news... I'm in Facebook Jail. Again.
The previous time I was jailed was just plain stupid and ridiculous. This time is monumentally stupid.
I was watching a Hallmark movie last night when I saw an actor who looked familiar. So I Googled him to see what I might be recognizing him from. The first photo that popped up was the actor with one of his hands partly in his pants, but it wasn’t sexual. He wasn’t grabbing his junk. You couldn't see his junk. He wasn't even licking his lips. Nothing even suggestive... unless you call having his shirt off "suggestive."
I dropped the image in a CLOSE FRIENDS ONLY POST and asked the question "Why would an actor promote himself with a photo that looked like he has jock itch?" Within minutes... REMOVED FOR EXPLICIT SEXUAL CONTENT! Three days in jail.
It’s just the most insane thing.
People regularly post music videos that are actually sexually suggestive and absolutely nothing happens. And then there's me.
I would love to tell Facebook to go fuck themselves, but a huge chunk of my friends are on the platform. And since they're scattered around the globe, this is what I got. And so... I'll probably just take a step back. Not devote so much of my time to Facebook, who can pull the rug out from under me over idiotic shit I have zero control over.
Tonight I was finally let out of Facebook prison. I guess 24 hours was all it took to be rehabilitated from stupid shit that should have never got me banned in the first place. But, hey, it's not my world... I just give up my privacy and time to play in it.
I did finally end up doing what most every person who regularly gets hit with the ban-hammer does on Facebook... create an alternate account.
Meet John Baron II...
Obviously I can't let my cats on Facebook without a disguise as well... meet Bubair and JennAir...
And now that Fake Jake is back, it's time to meet Faker Jake...
Yes, it's childish and juvenile... but so is stupid Facebook and their inconsistent and absurd policies for banning general statements out of context while ignoring direct threats to specific people.
Facebook is the craziest thing.
I just got banned... again... for suggesting that anybody committing violence against airline cabin crew who are just trying to do their job by enforcing mask requirements deserves to get shot. I made no threat against any specific person, just commented on a scenario figuratively speaking. The result? Banned for 24 hours. Meanwhile, there's a guy I know who routinely gets highly specific threats of death or bodily harm... not to mention a woman I know who has received multiple rape threats... and Facebook is all "nothing to see here... business as usual... carry on!"
Fortunately on my blog I can say whatever the heck I want.
So I can make my feelings very clear here... people know that masks are required by airlines. So if you're reminded of that fact by a flight attendant and rather than obey their rules you instead assault other passengers or the cabin crew then, yes, absolutely, you should probably shot. There's simply no excuse.
Consequences and all that.
There's good news to be had, however, I've finally figured out how to fix my blog. What else could I do if I wasn't wasting time on Facebook with this stupid crap?
I'm bored out of my mind without being able to hang out with my friends, but excitement awaits me... because an all new Bullet Sunday starts... now...
• Nadiya! One of my favorite Great British Bakeoff contestants, Nadiya Hussain, has a new Netflix series out... Nadiya's Time to Eat. Not all of it is vegetarian, but I've gotten some good ideas from her show. Including this gem...
Sounds amazing, right? And how charming is she with her lovely British accent? Nadiya's got some cool ideas for quick and easy meals that makes her show a great thing to watch. Just keep in mind that the British terms for certain foods can be different ("caster sugar" there is "fine baker's sugar" here), and sometimes products (such as Double Cream, which is 48% milkfat, for example) may not even exist where you live (the thickest I can get is Whipping Cream, which is only 36% milkfat. Also? Nadiya provides all oven temperatures in Celsius, so you'll need to convert to Fahrenheit.
• Facebook "Standards!" It's gotten to the point where I can't understand the point of Facebook any more. They are so wildly inconsistent with the posts they ban that you can't really know what is acceptable or not. Take for instance this tweet I reposted that is clearly a joke on all the "5G causes the Coronavirus" conspiracy theorists...
Meanwhile, some of the anti-vaxers and homeopaths and flat earthers and other morons are posting shit that is ACTUALLY MISINFORMATION THAT CAN CAUSE HARM and have free reign? Dafuq? I have posts taken down more and more lately, and in no case did I agree with the decision or even see why they took it down in the first place. Facebook has no concept of context or humor and are acting like total dipshits with this ban-hammer crap.
• Love Is Love! One of the members of my "Bible Study for Non-Christians" group brought up the movie Road to Edmond, which they decided to watch because it sharply divided Christians who saw it. None of the rest of us had heard of it, but it was free to watch on Amazon Prime Streaming, so we all agreed to take a look so we could have a discussion about it. I honestly don't know what my takeaway is. I almost stopped watching 20 minutes in because one of the characters was driving me crazy and the non-budget and amateurish acting was almost too much to take. But I stuck with it because I didn't want to be left out of the conversation with my group. Turns out that everything was building to something, not everything is what it seems, and it's actually a fairly remarkable film. I definitely understand why some people are completely incensed with it... heaven only knows there's enough to provoke that reaction. But I also understand why some people have fallen in love with it too. As I said, I honestly don't know how I feel about it... maybe I'll have more perspective once I've discussed it. All I definitely know is that I love the closing credits song as much as I could possibly love any song... it's Love is Love by Trey Pearson.
Trey Pearson has a lot of great songs, this one is called Silver Horizon and is every bit as good...
And if not for Road to Edmond, I likely never would have found it.
• Download! Boo! BOOOOOOOO! AMAZON'S GREAT NEW SHOW, UPLOAD, ENDS ON A HUGE CLIFFHANGER! And what are the odds that they won't renew it? Fuck all the television studios who refuse to show a complete story in a season. All this does is fuck over fans of the show when they cancel it.
BOOOOOO! And what's so frustrating is that they didn't need the cliffhanger. It's just lazy writing, and NO show should end a season on a cliffhanger unless they have the next season already started. So rage-inducing. If Amazon cancels Upload I'll be more furious than usual when this happens.
• After! Somebody edited together the underlaying narrative of grief that runs through one of my favorite shows so far this year... and it's almost unbearable to watch. What makes After Life so amazing is how it tempers the grief with humor. Without the humor though? It's a serious exploration of the human condition. Spoilers, obviously...
Ricky Gervais really knocked it out of the park with this show. He's already said that he's been so touched by the outpouring of love for the show that he's working on a third season. And, oh well yeah, HE DOESN'T END HIS SERIES ON A FUCKING CLIFFHANGER BECAUSE HE KNOWS THERE'S NO GUARANTEE THAT THERE WILL BE A NEXT SEASON! He's talented enough to come up with a way to start a new season without cliffhangers.
• Suess Raps! These videos of a guy rapping Dr. Suess over Dr. Dre beats is total genius...
I hesitate to guess how many times he had to practice these before getting this good.
• Better! TIME IS JUST A SOCIAL CONSTRUCT TO KEEP YOU FROM DOING WHAT YOU WANT TO DO WHEN YOU WANT TO DO IT! WELL SCREW THAT! I AM IN CONTROL OF MY OWN DESTINY! SO... MORNING DRINKING at 9:00AM IN MY UNDERWEAR WITH CHEETOS AND TELEVISION, BABY! — MY DAY IS BETTER THAN YOUR DAY!
So how was your day?
And that's that for bullets on this fine Sunday in quarantine.
If Facebook has a redeeming quality, it's their "Memories" feature where they give you a run-down of what you were doing on this day a year ago... two years ago... three years ago... and so on.
Well, kinda redeeming. I find that much of the time there's at least one painful memory which you'd just as soon not re-live, but that's life I guess. In general, it's a good thing though.
And that got me to thinking...
I should be able to do something like that for my blog!
I started writing out the code I would need, then remembered that there's nothing new with WordPress, and surely somebody else had already done this. Sure enough, there's a bunch of plugins available.
Alas, none of them work for me.
And so... I'm back to coding.
How else would you know that a year ago today I was returning from my Antarctica trip?
Or two years ago I was wishing you a Happy World Monkey Day?
Or five years ago I was saying goodbye to Peter O'Toole?
Or twelve years ago I accidentally smacked myself in the balls with a shampoo bottle?
Heaven only knows your life isn't complete without reading all about that!