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Posts tagged ‘Internet’

9
Jan

uh, iPhone jailbreaking? for real?

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

There are things in this world, especially when it comes to technology, that wow me.  One of those things is something called “Jailbreaking.”  It’s something you do to an iPhone that removes the restrictions that Apple adds to the phone and allows you to download a bunch of Apps (applications) for free.  It even allows you to download Apps that were created for the Android market.

When you jaibreak your iPhone you can do so many things that you couldn’t do with the Apple version.  You can change wallpaper and the icons on your phone; you can video chat, watch live TV, play games that require Flash – like the Facebook games, and so much more.

And, when you jailbreak your iPhone, you also “unlock” it.  Unlocking the iPhone means to remove restrictions that keep you with the original AT&T or Verizon carrier.  You can take your phone to T-Mobile, or just about any carrier of your choice. That’s a huge benefit because AT&T is so expensive.  I can attest to that.

It’s going to cost you about thirty bucks to jailbreak your iPhone, but it will pay off in the long run.

I found out about all this unlocking and jailbreaking is due to signing up as a Consultant with a global outsourcing company called oDesk.  I applied through oDesk for a job as a writer for a company that writes about this technology.

Let me tell you a little bit how oDesk works.

The oDesk folks provide the website and a listing of jobs that come from employers all over the world.  The employer posts jobs and identify the skills required to do the job(s) they want filled, usually on a temporary basis, though some are long-term.  The oDesk system matches the potential employees skill-sets with the skills the employer indicates he or she needs.  If a job looks like a fit, the employee can apply to the job, and then wait to see if the employer wants to interview the prospective employee.

So, I applied yesterday to an employer who needs a writer.  To my surprise, I got contacted by the employer who asked me to submit work specific writing samples.  I had to write two articles about jailbreaking and unlocking the iPhone.

He sent me the keywords and I had to strategically place the keywords in the content.  The better the keywords, the better Google recognizes what the article is about and the higher they rank the article, thus driving business.

But, I thought, huh?  What kind of scam is this?!  Jail breaking???

But, I said okay, I’m open to anything.

So, I did some research, and wrote the articles today.  But, I haven’t heard anything.  I don’t know if my articles were good, really.  I enjoy technical stuff, but it’s pretty boring to write about.  So, I wrote one of my articles in a kind of a “dude-ish” slang, and the other article I wrote with lines borrowed from Shakespeare! In hindsight, I they may have been too creative.  Oh well.

Well, I had no idea what the employer really wanted other than to use the words “jailbreak” and ‘unlock” in my articles.

So, I made them interesting!

I’m working really hard at finding a job.  The thing about not working but looking for work, it’s a lot of very hard work!  I’ve been working since the wee hours this morning and I’m still at it!

Well, I’m getting calls and responses.  And I do have real irons on the fire.  It’s all about patience.  Finding and securing a new job is a long process and a juggling act, too.  You have to keep a lot of balls up in the air hoping the best one will drop first.  Nothing worse than saying yes to Acme Computer Company and then have Microsoft call!  (I did apply to Microsoft, by the way….I can only hope to be considered….!)

So, it’s a busy time for me. But a good time, too. I’m in a good place with a lot of opportunities… the only thing I need now is patience. Not always my virtue.

I want to do the Post-A-Day Challenge for 2012, like I did in 2011, but I have decided it’s too much.  Although blogging everyday has become a habit, it will be nice to take a night off now and then.  So, that’s the plan! No pressure this year.

On a totally different note, here’s a present for your eyes!  I took this yesterday while I was walking my dog.  It was a beautiful day – birds, bees and butterflies were everywhere!

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3
Nov

bald-faced lies about Margaret Sanger for political gain

I don’t have very much time to write tonight because I stayed too late at work finishing a project.

Margaret Sanger, founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation. Photograph: Corbis

Regardless, I want to express my total dismay at the attempt by some horrible people to alter history for the benefit of their political cause.

How dare people deliberately re-write the legacy of Margaret Sanger  (1879 – 1966), on the Internet.   How dare Herbert Cain make up lies and spew them on national television?  We are just learning of his misogyny now – wasn’t his timing poetic justice!

You know, it’s true that we must not believe all we read on the Internet.  It’s important to take it all with not a grain of salt, but with a rock of salt!   Otherwise that rock-salt will hit us from behind – hard.

I did a Google search yesterday using key word:  Margaret Sanger and found vicious lies and horror stories that were absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, 100 percent false.

I was appalled.    However, what is worse are the people who actually believe what they’re reading!

And then we learn that the alleged sexual harassment presidential candidate Herman Cain had the gall to either out right lie about Sanger being a racist, or else he’s totally ignorant of history.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain issued a blistering, and factually incorrect, attack on Planned Parenthood on Sunday’s Face the Nation. During the interview, Cain confirmed remarks he made six months ago at the Heritage Foundation, where he said: “When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world. It’s planned genocide.”

Cain’s accusation is not only dangerous, it’s inaccurate. According to the Guttmacher Institute, white women account for 36% of abortions compared to 30% of black women and 25% of Latinas. Sixty-three per cent of abortion clinics are in neighborhoods where more than half the residents are white. Beyond that, Planned Parenthoods do much more than provide safe abortion services: contraception, prenatal care, HIV testing and breast and cervical cancer screenings, to name a few.

by:  Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, writing for the Guardian.    http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/alexander-sanger

People must remember Margaret Sanger from high school or college studies?   She did so much for women’s rights!

She dedicated her life to legalizing birth control for women all over the United States.  This act alone saved women from certain death and from the horror of having multiple children.

She saved scores of women from death that nearly resulted from botched abortions.  An underground of abortionists thrived – not by doctors, by people who pretended they could do a quick five dollar abortion.

These “back alley $5 abortions” were the only thing available to poor women or to immigrant women who were the poorest of the poor. Margaret Sanger, trained as a nurse, cared for the women who were near death as a result of having their uterus sliced like a melon.

Desperate women resorted to using wire hangers to force a miscarriage.  She was relentless in her efforts to save women from the future abuse and torture of a child they could die having, or could not afford to have.

She’s was a remarkable women.  A crusader who holds an esteemed place in history for establishing fertility rights for women.

She believed that a woman should be in full charge of her own body, and have sexual freedom and fulfillment without the haunting fear of pregnancy.

What women would not want to own her own body?  Would you appreciate busy-bodies you don’t even know tell you what to do with your body?  Of course not!

God help all women if Rowe v. Wade is overturned.  If  the clock goes back and outlaws abortion, woman will experience desperate times.

9
Oct

browsing for a browser

I’m having a tough time settling on a browser that I really like.  I’ve been using Firefox for a long time and I like it except when it crashes, and it does – often.

Today, I was talking to “Dork” (he said his name was “Dork” I am not making that up!), he’s was the Hewlett-Packard (HP), Tech Support person who today was helping me figure out why my laptop lags on the Internet – and it’s a new laptop, too!  (Yes, I broke down and bought the little HP DM1, 11 inches, and ultra-portable – light as a feather.)   I love the little lap top, but am a tad disappointed with its performance.

So Dork looked at the laptop specs, and now I know why the performance is not as blazing fast as my desktop.  The new laptop processor speed is only 1.60 GHz, which is “okay” but not top-dog.   I never really looked at the processor speed – dope that I am, I thought RAM and hard-drive were the important things.   Heck, the laptop has 4 Gigs of RAM, and just ordered 8 more Gigs to add to that, which should make it blazing fast, said Dork.   The hard-drive size is 500 Gigs – that’s pretty good, I thought.   The processor is an AMD E-350, which was my only option for the HP Pavilion DM1.  Dork doesn’t like AMD, he said Intel dual core is the way to go.  Oh well, but that wasn’t an option on my little dog.  Plus, this little DM1 has won tons of awards.  HP can’t make them fast enough – I waited a month to receive mine.

To make a long story longer, as I was talking to Dork, he suggested I try a different browser.  He suggested I test how Internet Explorer (IE) versus Firefox responds.  And, sure enough, there was a difference!

IE loaded fast, whereas Firefox was sluggish.   I uninstalled Firefox and went back to IE, but then Dork – who by now is my fast friend – told me I might prefer Google Chrome above IE.  So, I said, “Hmmmm.”  And installed Chrome.

Chrome is okay, but my blog looks different in Chrome.  I don’t like how it looks!  The text is really light – kind of muted.  And, I don’t like that.

What I’m leading up to here is to find what the best browser is.  I don’t really like IE, though it was fast.   And, I forgot to ask Dork what browser he likes best.  I need a Techie person to give me pointers…. though, I will also do a bit of research.  Maybe IE is the best?  I just don’t know…..

5
Oct

steve jobs has died. he was 56

Steve Jobs, the creative and visionary force – the heart and soul behind Apple Computers and Apple products – has died.  He was only 56.

Steve Jobs - Graphic / Photo Credit: ABC News

It’s been said that Jobs will be thought of as the Thomas Edison of our generation.

I am sorry for the computer industry and what he may have produced in the future.

Geniuses like Jobs are far and few between.  I am glad we had him for as long as we have.

He was a devoted family man – passionately protective of his private life.

He married in 1991.  His wife Laurene was the love of his life, as were the three children they had together.  He also has a daughter, born earlier, out of wedlock in 1978.

He was given up for adoption at birth. He met his biological sister later in life, when they were adults.  I am not certain if he’d met his biological parents.  I do know his father learned only a few years ago that the baby they gave up was named Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computers, Inc.

I cannot imagine that shock.  I cannot imagine how a person lives with that.  After so many years, on a day like any other, you find out that your first-born, given up for adoption in 1955, grew up to be not only a genius, but also one of the wealthiest persons on the planet.

Yesterday, the latest iPhone 4S was launched, and it’s a thing of beauty.  Steve Jobs, in one of his rare interviews with George Stephanopoulos, of ABC, said, “We make what we think people will want and like.”

Yes they do.

People do want and like Apple products.  I certainly do.

Steve Jobs recently (August 2011) stepped down as CEO of Apple.  It was a shocking announcement though now we know why.  His poor body was unable to keep up the fight.

I wish the man who could make the perfect iPhone, iPad, iPod, and computer, could have created a human upgrade that would have lasted just long enough – 30 years, maybe – so the world could benefit from his next big things.

This is a very sad day.

Rest in Peace, Steve.

3
Oct

good night, sweet knight owl

Social Media has taken over, in one way or another, so many aspects of our daily lives.

Today almost everyone engages in some form of Social Media.  Corporations, students, professors, even university Presidents have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or a blog.  We communicate with friends, family, acquaintances, co-workers, and Internet friends, nearly every day – I do, anyway.

I have an iPhone that is connected to my body by an invisible string.  I can blog from my phone, surf the web, Tweet, check out Facebook, text, email, talk, and so many more tasks from the palm of my hand.

And, now the Xoom, which is Motorola’s smart answer to the iPad, makes it even easier to stay connected and on the go, when necessary.   (I am one of those people who would be lost without access to the Internet.)

Blogging has become a way of life for me.  I started this blog a little over two years ago, and it’s been a joy, and a terrific learning experience, especially now that I’ve committed to the WordPress POST A DAY challenge.

Goodnight, sweet Knight Owl. May flights of angels sing you to your rest.

Blogging has introduced me to a wide circle of friends that I “speak” to on a regular basis.  I “see” these friends, though we’ve never met, and we “talk” without sound.

I’ve formed Internet relationships and bonds as a result of blogging.  It’s wonderful on the one hand; on the other hand, it’s rather lonely, and sometimes, sad – especially when people move on, for whatever reason, and you don’t know why.  Generally, Internet friends will keep in touch, but sometimes, they just “poof” and you never hear from them again; and you’re left wondering.

Today, Kim and Sherry told me that a very dear Internet friend of many bloggers here and elsewhere, passed away this past August.   Her WordPress screen name was “Knight Owl”.

We are told she passed away in August of this year.  The last blog post she made here was August 8th, and she sounded so chipper….Was she getting on in age?  Was she young?  There is so much I don’t know.

Knight Owl, like many of us, followed the Casey Anthony case from the beginning to the very bitter end.  She’d post rather frequently, then all of a sudden she stopped posting here.

I have been wondering about her – it was not like her to disappear for months at a time.  Now we know that her sweet soul has taken its next journey to the great beyond.  But, I don’t know why.  Was she sick?  Was it sudden?  Was she in pain?  What happened?  The funny and loving Knight Owl – why did you go?   I want to know…. but I know I will probably never know.  I should be grateful to know this much.

This is why Internet friendships are lonely.

Rest in Peace dearest Knight Owl.

23
May

a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

Though tomorrow is not where the journey begins – it began on June 16, 2008, the day Caylee died – it feels like it’s going to be a new journey, doesn’t it?

Here we are, on the eve of the first day of the Casey Anthony trial, and the Defense team is readying their ammo, polishing their guns in hopes their big moment on the stage is not “a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare, Macbeth)

These words are uttered by the character Macbeth after hearing of his wife’s death.  He is in despair and speaks as if life means nothing – it is a petty show with bad actors, he says.

Macbeth goes on to say how easily life can be snuffed out, like a candle, leaving not even a shadow behind.

Macbeth’s monologue came to me this evening as I was thinking of what the defense team could possibly come up with in their opening statement.  They are going to have to fill the courtroom with a sound and a fury that signifies SOMETHING.

What will they pretend happened to Caylee?

Jose Baez is so sure we’ll be shocked when we hear the reasoning behind what happened. Everything will be understood then, he told us. The mystery will be solved.

BUT… there’s a small problem… Casey will have to testify!

Casey cannot testify.  It would be suicide.  Her performance will be the tale told by an idiot because the State would rip her apart so easily, it would be child’s play.

Some legal pundits say Casey will take the stand;  it’s her only hope, they say.  I say, no way, unless the case is going so badly for the defense that is the final Hail-Mary.

We will know soon enough what tale they will tell….

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
To the last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Doesn’t Shakespeare seem to be talking about the bombast of the Defense in this case?

The quote is meant to portray what happens in a badly staged play with melodramatic, bombastic actors who are so bad they beg to be forgotten.

If some events in life are like a bad play, so too is a liar in a court of law.

So many of us have been glued to the events in this case.  We are desperate for the truth to be known, desperate that a child’s death is avenged, desperate to know if the defense has any legitimacy in what they will say happened to Caylee.

Though the defense will tell us there was no homicide, hence no murder, the very fact that a child was placed in trash bags; double-bagged, duct-taped, and thrown in the woods to rot, has to be seen as murder by the jury.  We heard these jurors – none of them are stupid!

There are millions of words in our collective lexicon.  What words could the defense put together to explain what happened in this case? What possible story-book theory could they possibly write?

Defense Theory One

Will they say it was an accident “that spun out of control” just as George Anthony told River Cruz?   If so, the Defense could suggest:

  • Casey and Caylee were in the pool when Casey becomes distracted by a phone call.  Caylee drowned, Casey panicked.
  • Efforts to revive Caylee are unsuccessful; Casey was too in shock to call 911.
  • Furthermore, Casey is afraid to tell her parents what happened – especially her father who has abused her and has beat her silly.
  • Likewise, Casey is afraid of her mother who tried to choke her the night before the accident happened.
  • Casey used kidnapping as an excuse – she saw on TV how to stage a kidnapping, using duct-tape.
  • She threw Caylee near the road on Suburban believing that she would eventually be found and kidnapping would be the motive.
  • Casey knows how to disassociate trauma and put it aside, not to be thought of again.  She disassociated during the 31 days.
  • As far as the chloroform?  Casey saw the graphic that Ricardo put on his webpage (which suggest a man can get a woman to succumb using chloroform).  Casey didn’t know what it meant and Googled what it meant.
  • The searches for neck-breaking?  Casey suffered a very sore neck and thought a bone in her neck may have been broken.

The Reality?

Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.

To get this accident theory before the jury, Casey would have to testify.

Defense Theory Two

Casey has multiple personalities that have gone undiagnosed all her life.  It was not “Casey” who committed the crime, it was another personality.

Within Casey there is a personality who steals, parties, and is a very bad girl.

Oh yes, one personality is a party girl, and there is another one who is a good little girl – obedient and sweet.

Of course, the only way evidence of multiple personalities could be used?  A psychologist would have to have diagnosed her as having this condition.  However, this information would be discoverable.  If the State was not made aware of this, the Defense will not be allowed to use it.

The Reality?

Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.

Defense Theory Three

  • There was terrible argument between Casey and Cindy the night before Caylee’s death – Cindy came close to murdering Casey.
  • Casey left the home that evening, but returned early, in time to leave “for work.”
  • She went to “work” (She lied about “work” because she lost her job and was afraid to tell her abusive parents.)
  • Casey left Caylee with George.
  • George and Caylee went swimming – (back to the drowning accident scenario in theory number one).
  • George tries to revive Caylee, is unsuccessful.
  • Casey returns to house, having forgotten something, and sees the scene.
  • George threatens to kill or maim or abuse Casey if she reveals what happened to Caylee.
  • Casey sacrifices her life for her father.  She is so afraid of her murderous father, she would rather do jail time than tell anyone what her dad did to her daughter.

The Reality?

Casey cared nothing for Caylee; Casey killed Caylee to torture her mother.

What ever the story, the tale they tell will be told by an idiot and it will signify nothing.

30
Nov

creepy bullies – oh, they byte!

It was in June of 2009 that I experienced, for the first time, what it was like to sort of slip, without realizing it, into a Matrix-like, other worldly third dimension replete with bullies, bullets and bytes that pierced my unsuspecting soul.

When I was under attack, it felt like I was plummeting down that proverbial rabbit hole.  A rabbit hole without a bottom.  Spinning and spinning and reeling from these written attacks via email and in a chatroom about the Casey Anthony case.

My bullies were a group of women who I didn’t know, but who I chatted with on the Internet about the Casey Anthony case.  They grew slowly to be so vile and ugly.  So devious and prank-ish with a clear intent to hurt me – actual death threats against me and others – using childish pranks and curse words the likes of which you just don’t hear in polite society.

And now, over a year later, they are back taunting me again.

They’ve been emailing me threats, posting cruel and viscous taunts here on my blog.  It’s so startling to see; so ugly, so utterly without grace that they do this.  I find it difficult to grasp how they live with themselves.

I wrote a story about my experience with these bullies in a posting in 2009. For a bit of history on this story, please read my post titled “This my friends is no game, this is cyber-terrorism.”

In that story, I referred to them as “Judge and Jury.”   Their first names (I think) are Debbie and Trish.  And, sadly, they have a new devotee bully named Marie.  Marie was once a target of theirs.  They attacked her with such a vengeance once upon a time.  But clearly she’s forgotten that now.  Now, Marie has joined their platoon and is a fierce bullier herself.  She is just as cruel and vile as they are, if not more so.

These particular bullies have threatened that if I so much as DARE to mention them again here on this blog, they will retaliate against me and cause me so much harm that I won’t know what hit me.  Hah! I am not in the least bit scared of these blowhards.

Yes, these woman who have called me names, have written vile hyperbole on my blog, which I won’t repeat here – gutter talk that only people without consciousness would write….  These women call themselves “well adjusted!”   Now, I thought that was actually quite funny!  Between the threats, the sophomoric curse words, and the taunts, one bully told me how well adjusted she was!  Isn’t it rich?

But, seriously, they are cruel.  Demeaning me for having an education (they have none); calling me a stupid a__wipe.  Discussing the fact that because I have never married, I am a sick Lesbian (I am not – but I am single), a spinster who should join a lonely hearts club.  They claim I am psychotic and they have decided my mother did a piss-poor job raising me.  Oh there’s more gross talk; it’s just too ugly to repeat.

A Definition of Cyberbullying

So how do people cyber-bully?  In this digital age, it is easy to get your hands on the tools of the trade.  The venues include: Internet chat, Internet sites like MySpace or Facebook, text messaging or any type of technology to deliberately demean, harass, frighten or threaten harm to another person.  The reason it’s so insidious is due to it being anonymous.

The Cyberbully Personality

Bully’s believe that because they sit behind a computer monitor they are safe and can spew as much hate as they can muster.  Cyberbullies seek out prey that appear weak or vulnerable to them.

The most bizarre thing about most cyberbullies, they will turn off their computers and turn into normal people who go about their business without a care in the world.

Cyberbullies come in all shapes and sizes.  They are young, old, educated, uneducated, smart and bold.  They are out there and they are dangerous, especially to young people.

Recent cases in the news

You may remember the recent cyberbullying incident at Rutgers University in which a student committed suicide after classmates supposedly filmed him engaging in a gay sexual activity.  A bright eyed, intelligent Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington bridge as a result of the taunts and the pressure that these bullies imposed.

And there’s the case of Megan Meier, the pretty young Missouri teen who chatted via the internet with a mother of one of her friends, all the while thinking it was a boy she adored.  When the “boy” turned on her, Megan, so distraught, killed herself.

Sadly, there are hundreds of stories out there about teen suicides resulting from both bullying and cyberbullying.  It is a serious, serious problem.

And, it’s a tough crime to solve.  Slick, Internet savvy bully’s can hide their identity with no problem.  But, here on WordPress, it’s not so easy for the bully.

WordPress captures the I.P. Address of the poster.  The I.P. address is your internet fingerprint, traceable back to you.  Now, it’s not that easy, mind you, and it’s very expensive to trace an I.P. address, but I’m told that lawyers, FBI and local police have a way of connecting an I.P. address to an individual.

I do take some comfort in knowing that I need only to bring these posts and I.P. addresses to the authorities, if needed.

I will do it, too.  That’s not a threat either. It’s just a promise I’ve made to myself.

28
Nov

Comments in Moderation

I apologize for having to place your comments in the moderation Que.  It is due to this site receiving some nasty comments recently.  Until these cyber-stalkers tire, I will monitor all comments.  However, your comment will stay in moderation for only a few short minutes.  (Argh, bullies!  When will they grow up?)

28
Nov

HOPE for a BETTER WORLD

This is a short, but powerful, video featuring one of the most famous speeches by Harvey Milk, given in 1978.

Listen to Harvey Milk.  Listen to his message of  hope, peace, equality and justice for all.

We are all one people in this wide world.  Let us stop bullying each other.

Our classrooms are filled with children who, because of ignorance on the part of their parents, condone Gay hatred and thus we have young people committing suicide.  Young people who were born Homosexual but are too young to understand what it means to be Gay.  They are too young to know that being Gay is RIGHT for them.  Children who are too young to appreciate that no one should care about an individuals sexuality because it belongs to the individual.

There is no right or wrong in being Gay or Straight.  One is not better or worse than the other.  Believe this.  Live this for the sake of our children.  For the sake of children who will grow up to be lovely human beings, not necessarily because of their homosexuality, but because they will have grown up with a sensitivity that will become a lovely sensibility.

Believe this.  Stop the hatred.  Stop the bullying.  Condone kindness, empathy, and appreciate the different colors and the different sexuality that others own.

Live your own life without fear or judgment.

Just.  Live.

Say no to fear.

Somewhere in Des Moines or San Antonio there is a young gay person who all the sudden realizes that he or she is gay; knows that if their parents find out they will be tossed out of the house, their classmates will taunt the child, and the Anita Bryant’s and John Briggs’ are doing their part on TV. And that child has several options: staying in the closet, and suicide. And then one day that child might open the paper that says “Homosexual elected in San Francisco” and there are two new options: the option is to go to California, or stay in San Antonio and fight. Two days after I was elected I got a phone call and the voice was quite young. It was from Altoona, Pennsylvania. And the person said “Thanks”. And you’ve got to elect gay people, so that thousand upon thousands like that child know that there is hope for a better world; there is hope for a better tomorrow. Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s: without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope. -Harvey Milk, 1978

15
May

on writing & blogging; training for real life

As a writer, I am constantly humbled by the depth of thought and experience that  my Casey Anthony case readers/bloggers share here.  Frankly, some of the writing blows me away because I see such talent – talent that I only dream will one day show up in my own writing (I have only been blogging for a few months an have much to learn).  I hope that as I become a more experienced blogger, what is inside my head will make it to the page with increased depth of thought and with passionate clarity.  Thank you for coming along with me on this journey of mine.

I would love nothing more than to make this blog my full-time job….lately I’ve been dreaming about doing just that – but I’m only dreamin’ for now.  Someday. Maybe.

I have a full time job that is pressure-filled.  I write and teach for a living.  The technical term for what I do is called “Instructional Design” which means I analyze what Learners need to learn and I put it down on paper for trainers to use to train others in a classroom setting.  I develope elearning, too – it’s my favorite venue. Most of the work I do involves writing for a classroom setting.  However, in my job, I am also the trainer.  What I write, I also train.  It’s two jobs in one.

I have been an Instructional Designer for over ten years now, prior to that, I worked as an actor (that’s another story for another day).  I loved working as an actor and miss it terribly but I couldn’t keep up with the bills with any consistency (some months the pay was plentiful, other months not so much).  I miss the theatre terribly, but I’m on stage in the classroom, too.  So it’s all good.

I currently work in a university setting.  The people I train are university employees who need to learn new systems, new procedures, etc.   On Monday, I am training new employees “New Hires” we call them.  I’ll be in the classroom with them for three weeks.

So, right now (write now!) I don’t have the time to police this blog and I never dreamed that I’d have to.  But, when people are disrespectful to my readers, insulting their intelligence, demeaning their efforts to express themselves, then I have to take action and I did last evening.  I was forced to ban a person from continuing to write here.  I gave this person fair warning, but they wouldn’t stop blasting away at the people I admire – my friends who post here.

I am told this person also uses other email alias’s to post and disturb others.  Please accept my apologies if this happens, I will do my best to monitor this situation during the day.

So, what’s this post all about, you may be asking!  Well, it’s about writing and blogging, and training myself as as writer, using this blog as my laboratory.   I am passionate about the law and justice and would like to follow every missing person case in the news, write about all the injustices that I see such as the great horror we’re experiencing right now with the oil spill… I wonder if words can really express the enormity of what the environment is ultimately facing via this travesty in our glorious sea?  The wildlife that will be destroyed is too much for me to think about because when I do think about it, I want to scream in anger and rage against BP.  All I can really do is drive right by their Gas Station when I need gas.  That’s my punishment.  But, then I think – well that won’t work, really, BP needs to keep working and earning money to fix this mess they caused.  And THEY caused it.  Haliburtin and others have blame, don’t get me wrong, but BP’s name is blazed on the brand that makes the money, so I hold them accountable.

I’m all over the place here!   Let me close this by telling you how in awe I am of your writing – I am talking to the people who write here.

After reading what you share here, I find my self constantly saying: “Oh, I want to write like that!”

You have taught me so much and I thank you for investing your time here.  And, you know, judging by the consistent rise in readership here (I see the stats and more people are visiting every day), it’s not just me they are coming to read, it’s you.   So, thank you for what you give.

Thanks for putting up with the occasional mean commentator.  I won’t let them come here and destroy the good camaraderie that we have built and that we enjoy here.

I love blogging…. If I could afford to, this would be my full time job…. Maybe that will happen one day!

Dreams do come true every now and again.

Thank you again.

25
Apr

“I wish I hadn’t cried so much” says Alice. (Realities of Adult Bullying)

When considering the phenomenon of adult bullying (in cyber-space, at the workplace, or anyplace) an image and metaphor that aptly describes the experience is the scene from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, in which Alice floats and spins down the long and meandering tunnel of the White Rabbit’s obscure rabbit hole.

Although Alice’s rabbit hole was both whimsical and surreal in that fictional portrayal, today, the reality and the terror of such a plunge is very real.

The world is no fantasy for the target (i.e. victim) of bullying.  There is emotional violence at play.  Yes, it’s violent behavior.

The reality for the victim of bullying is persistent emotional aggression that is aimed directly and persistently at them.  Self respect can go right down the proverbial rabbit hole when it happens.

Down, down, down. Would the fall ever come to an end?” (Carroll, 1865)

Borrowing an Alice in Wonderland metaphor, when a target is under siege and gets swooped  into a rabbit hole of bullying by aggressors, they begin an implausible and impossible decent into a cold reality that is similar to a prisoner held in a land of lawlessness.  Similarly, authors Tracy, Lutgen-Sanvik, & Alberts, in their Nightmares, Demons, and Slaves: Exploring the Painful Metaphors of Workplace Bullying, present an exhaustive study that illustrates how targets of workplace abuse use various metaphorical frameworks to describe the pain and the hurt of their workplace bullying experience:

…battle, water torture, nightmare, or noxious substance. Abused workers frame bullies as narcissistic dictators, two-faced actors, and devil figures. Employees targeted with workplace bullying liken themselves to vulnerable children, slaves, prisoners, animals, and heartbroken lovers” (Tracy, et al, 2006).

Such metaphors serve to describe the extreme psychological pain felt by the victim.

Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well. (Carroll, 1865)

Workplace Bullying has grown pervasive in the 21st century.  The evidence suggests that bullying robs targets (i.e. victims) of dignity, and employers of productivity, and has grown as pervasive as sexual harassment. (Davenport, Schwartz, & Elliot, 2002, Namie & Namie, 2007, Daniel, 2006)

Authors Tracy, Alberts, and Rivera, in association with Arizona State University, for the Arizona Board of Regents, provide a self-help article for victims of bullying to help emotionally devastated victims tell their story so it is cohesive and expressed as an unemotional narrative. (Tracy, et al, 2007)

In How to Bust the Office Bully: Eight Tactics for Explaining Workplace Abuse to Decision-Makers (2007), Tracy, et al., explain that, because of the emotional and painful nature of the trauma, targets of bullying face a bigger challenge when they attempt to explain their plight.

Victims who have descended into a state of emotional despair and have difficulty expressing their story without becoming emotional, are less likely to be credible to a Human Resources (HR) group.  As it is commonly seen in today’s academic literature, the fact is that very frequently targets who tell their stories are often deemed “petty…a problem employee” and often end up holding the blame (Tracy, et al, 2007), and descending further into the rabbit hole of despair.

I wish I hadn’t cried so much!’ said Alice, as she swam about, trying to find her way out. `I shall be punished for it now, I suppose, by being drowned in my own tears! (Carroll, 1865)

In their popular text, The Bully at Work: What You Can Do to Stop the Hurt and Reclaim Your Dignity on the Job, Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, founders of the Workplace Bullying Institute , and pioneers in the grassroots awareness campaign about bullying, provide a widely quoted definition of bullying:

Bullying….. is the repeated, malicious, health-endangering mistreatment of one employee (the Target) by one or more employees (the bully, bullies).  The mistreatment is psychological violence, a mix of verbal and strategic assaults to prevent the Target from performing work well.  It is illegitimate conduct in that it prevents work getting done.  Thus, an employer’s legitimate business interests are not met (Namie & Namie, 2003).

A chief difference between targets and bullies is the result of a dichotomy between cooperation and control. For the bully, there is a need and desire for total control.  Control is the foundation of all bullying. The bully’s deliberate and insidious methods to hamper the Target’s ability to succeed in either word or deed, are typical examples of a need for control resulting in aggression.

…for it might end, you know,” said Alice to herself, “in my going out altogether, like a candle…” And she tried to fancy what the flame of a candle looks like after the candle is blown out… (Carroll, 1865)

An insidious offshoot of the bullying phenomenon is called mobbing, or bullying by a group, which refers to how, either purposely or in ignorance, the target (of the bullying) is driven from the workplace by more than one person.  This is also a phenomenon that has caught on via the internet.

Psychological terror or mobbing in working life involves hostile and unethical communication which is directed in a systematic manner by one or more individuals, mainly toward one individual, who, due to mobbing, is pushed into a helpless and defenseless position and held there by means of continuing mobbing activities.  These actions occur on a very frequent basis (statistical definition: at least once a week) and over a long period of time (statistical definition: at least six months’ duration). Because of the high frequency and long duration of hostile behavior, this maltreatment results in considerable mental, psychosomatic, and social misery (Namie & Namie, 2003).

Currently, there is no federal or state legislation banning workplace incivilities, aggression or bullying (HR Focus, 2008), and HR professionals are aware that the law rarely provides protection for generalized harassment claims. (Namie, 2007)

Alice felt so desperate that she was ready to ask help of any one…. she began, in a low, timid voice, `If you please, sir–‘ The Rabbit started violently, dropped the white kid gloves… (Carroll, 1865)



19
Apr

made into pawns, but princes both

Countless among us are mystified by the news that “Marinade-Dave” got caught up in the wide defense net in the Casey Anthony case.  If you have not heard by now, Dave made casual mention to a defense investigator that Judge Stan Strickland had read his blog at one time.

On its face, it seems like a petty and paltry error by the Judge.  Marinade Dave’s blog is always very fair and Dave earnestly seeks to look at both sides of the issues in the Casey Anthony case.  No doubt this is what impressed the Judge, who, according to the Orlando Sentinel, was researching and reading blogs to get a sense of the public opinion of the case.  Accordingly, thought the Judge, this analysis would help assess the change of venue request that will invariably be made by the defense.

Who among us is not curious to read the public opinion on this case?  Surely anyone with a computer need only type “Casey Anthony” into the Google search engine and millions of hits result:

Results 110 of about 9,290,000 for casey anthony. (0.13 seconds)

Judge Strickland would know it is against the rules to comment about media or blogs or opinions.  (I am sure he is quietly kicking his computer.)

The fact is, when you have a desperate defense and high stakes, continuances are like gold.

When it comes to the courts, and matters of propriety, these errors are apparently contrary to the law.  But I ask you, what harm is done? When you have defense counsel hopping from one media outlet to the next, day after day trying to milk stories by the dozen, what harm did the Judge do?  Who even noticed this “slip” made months ago?

The double standard here is hardly transparent.

I am extremely upset at this, but rules are rules, and Judge Strickland should not be admitting to reading blogs.  Period.

Cheney Mason, being a sharp cracker-jack defense attorney, did what any good defense attorney would do.  He is looking for any loop hole big enough to hang someone’s neck in.  I believe, however, this noose will end up hanging the defense in this case.  Forgive the mixed metaphors, but did Casey and company just shoot themselves in the proverbial foot?

Judge Strickland will be replaced by his boss, Chief Judge in Orange county who is presiding over the civil suit against Casey Anthony, Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who the Orlando Sentinel refers to as “no-nonsense”.  Correction: It was an error on my part when I stated it was Judge Perry presiding over the civil suit.

The Orlando Sentinel cites that Judge Strickland had some colorful parting words for the defense in his final farewell:

In an order granting Anthony’s request for him to step down from the case, Orange County Circuit Judge Stan Strickland wrote: “At its core, defense counsel’s motion accuses the undersigned of being a ‘self-aggrandizing media hound.’ Indeed. The irony is rich.”

Rich, indeed.

LinkJudge Stan Strickland’s final motion to recuse himself from the case.

11
Oct

oh my farmer friends

celebrating together

celebrating together

I have been farming with my friends. 

Friendships thrive where things grow and where happiness is harvested.  

The group:  Deb, Sookie, Lil-Andrea (aka Mafia Princess), Fancy, Sheila, Jen, and Karen have become cherished, dear friends.  We are one another’s support group, and friendships have grown, in some cases, into true friendships, beyond the one dimensional “internet” friendship dynamic.    

We all originally met and became online buddies in a drama-filled chat room about the Casey Anthony saga.  When the Anthony case moved off of the front page of the news, what followed was chat room antics and cyber-bullying that got bizarre and hateful.  That is when the group found Farm Town, on Face Book.  

What started as a silly place for farming, fun and sharing has grown into a community that allowed us to mouse-click our way into each others hearts. (By the way, if you have not yet discovered Face Book, do yourself a favor and check it out. It’s a wonderful medium for staying in touch with loved ones and friends.)

Farm Town is a highly interactive online game in which groups of friends work on each others virtual farms – in real time.  There’s a chat functionality, too, which makes it completely enjoyable. 

The object of the game: to plow, plant, harvest, and sell farm crops that you “farm” on a colorful piece of virtual land.  The seeds literally grow and mature into fruits and vegetables to be sold in the virtual Farm Town marketplace.  There’s even a real estate office where you can “buy” additional land.  (Pictured here is an example of the avatar/farmer-characters that players of Farm Town virtually embody.)

Strong bonds have developed.  We are cheerleader’s for each other’s big and small victories.  We are a lovely bunch of coconuts…. nuts for each other.

We are from all corners of the United States: California, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Alabama, Florida, and Rhode Island, yet the internet has brought us together like close neighbors and dear friends.  And now we have learned to do voice chat (VOIP) and some have learned how to video chat, too, which strengthens our bond even further.

My farmer friends, I love you all unconditionally.  We are farmers and harvesters of everything postive, fun and crazy!   

From the bottom of my heart I thank you all for your friendship.  ((((Hugs))))

22
Aug

Cyber-Bully Poll

Have you ever been the victim of a cyber-bully?  Let us know by answering the anonymous poll to the right of this page.  The poll will be active until Monday, August 24th.  Thank you!

2
Aug

have you been a victim? take a quick cyber-bully poll

Have you been the victim of a cyber-bully?   More and more I am reading about this hateful phenomenon and I’d like to get a sense, via a quick poll, how prevalent it may be.  (The poll is located to the right of this page.)                   

To be clear, below is a cursory definition of what constitutes Cyber-bullying.  There is also a link to the Wired Safety organization for additional information, as I’d encourage you to get a better feel for the nature and the definition of cyber-bullying:

Parry Aftab, an Internet privacy lawyer and executive director of WiredSafety.org, notes …. The law, amended in 2005, prohibits people from using the Internet anonymously with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass another person. (Seattle Times, 11/23/2007)

The question is “In my lifetime, I have been victimized by a cyber-bully.”  You may respond in one of three ways: 

  • Yes, definitely. 
  • Yes, no big deal.  
  • No, never. 

I added the response “Yes, no big deal” as a way to gauge the impact the bullying had on you. 

I’ll leave this poll open for a couple of weeks and will publish the percentage of responses. 

Stay safe – children are being victimized in great numbers, hold them close and monitor their online friends…

Peace.

Andrea

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