Tag Archives: posting

The Many Uses of Facebook

Speak Up?

Thinking Back

A while back I wrote about the dilemma I faced when I first realized my Facebook “friends” consisted of numerous constituencies, and my concern that speaking frankly to one may unwittingly offend or alienate some from another. I also mentioned that, despite this initial fear, I quickly resolved it in favor of just being myself and not worrying too much about it.

Lately I’ve noticed another phenomena that’s been slowly creeping into my activity on Facebook. While it’s related to my interest in economics and politics, it does seem to be driven considerably by the Occupy movement (I use only Occupy advisedly, as there exist not merely an Occupy Wall Street group – which started this whole thing – but also other groups, most evident on Facebook as Occupy Together, Occupy Marines, etc.)

As part of my decision to just “let it all hang loose” and be myself, I have increasingly shared articles, pictures, etc. from some of the political sites I either frequent or that like-minded friends have shared with me. As it happens, I generally characterize my political leaning as so far to the left I’m almost a Libertarian (mind you, emphatically not one). I have also responded to some posts from people with whom I don’t exactly agree, telling them politely of my problems with their positions. Most of these conversations have been quite pleasant; spirited debates over policy and principle. Several times someone has actually commented on how they were pleased with the civility of the thread and its participants.

Is Useful Political Discourse Possible?

So, what I’m beginning to wonder is if this is, indeed, a new phenomena that may turn out to be useful and healthy for political discourse. If you have a fair amount of friends there’s a substantial chance they will represent numerous viewpoints and positions on the important issues facing us. Might not we be able to understand each other better and, consequently, move away from the precipice of irreconcilable differences we seem to be teetering on lately?

I have to admit there is a bit of a dark side to this as well. Two things have happened to me that I find a bit chilling. The first was a friendly “suggestion” I received that I might want to tone it down a bit when discussing the Occupy movement and the politics and economics behind it. The impact this might have on my standing in the business community was the implication, and its seriousness did not go unnoticed by me. The second is related, but needs a bit of background.

UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident

Not Exactly a Meeting of Minds

Maybe We Can’t All “Just Get Along”

I live in a relatively insular city – Simi Valley, CA – home of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. The City leaders are, for the most part, far more conservative than I am (who isn’t?) and I have become Facebook friends with a lot of them, including the Mayor, members of the local Chamber of Commerce, and at least one City Council member. Being a strong proponent of the right of free speech, I have spoken my mind rather openly; at least on Facebook. I don’t get into too many political discussions when doing business and I am a big supporter of local small business and wish to actively contribute to making our local economy strong and vibrant.

Last night I realized the City Council member had “unfriended” me, presumably due to a conversation I had with a couple of his friends. As I recall, it was one that received a post of praise for its tenor and the level of intellect involved. I do recall, though, I was very adamant in pointing out what I saw as fallacious arguments based on incomplete or incorrect knowledge. Frankly, I’d like to hear of anyone having a really fruitful discussion about the merits of Dialectical Materialism with a rabid anti-Communist. In my experience, the philosophy behind Marxism is little known here in these enlightened United States, and it’s very hard to receive any respect from someone who is certain of the correctness of their knowledge and the evilness of yours.

A Profound Dilemma

So I’m also wondering . . . despite my essentially being out of the job market and, therefore, not having to worry about alienating a potential employer, do I now have to censor myself politically lest I “upset” a city leader and risk throwing a roadblock in my meager, but important, efforts at making Simi Valley a better place to live? I don’t ask that people agree with me; merely that they respect my position and – especially – my desire to do what’s right for the community as I see it . . . just as I respect their beliefs and integrity. I really don’t care for revisiting this whole dilemma around what’s appropriate when it involves the core issues of our lives and livelihoods.

As well, I’m very disappointed this person decided to unfriend me. I believe we have more in common than we differ on. I also wanted to keep up with what he was doing as a Councilperson, as he uses Facebook to post from various events he is involved with. It seems I’ve been cut off from a useful, viable channel to the goings on of one of my city’s leaders and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. How do you feel about this?

Mouth/Flag Image from reading. writing. revolution


The Kingdom of Spamalot

A Can of Spam

All Hail The King!

Checking my dashboard for this WordPress blog, I discovered I have received 15 comments that have been isolated as spam. Sometimes there are legitimate comments that get quarantined and I want to be careful to review each one of them for legitimacy. What’s particularly interesting to me is how many of them tell me I’ve posted the greatest thing since sliced bread. There are two other things that seem to distinguish virtually every one of these. First, there is almost always a misspelling that generally consists of a spelling transposition, i.e. the letters are all there but not in the right places. Second, most of them use an acronym generally reserved for texting. Here are some examples:

  • YMMD with that asenwr! TX
  • That’s way the bseetst answer so far!
  • You’re the graetest! JMHO
  • Never seen a bteter post! ICOCBW
  • With the bases loaded you strcuk us out with that answer!
  • That’s raelly shrewd! Good to see the logic set out so well.
  • AKAIK you’ve got the asnwer in one!
  • Wow! Great tihnknig! JK
  • Great common sense here. Wish I’d thugoht of that
Another interesting thing is some of these comments are in response to other comments that aren’t directly responsive to what I wrote, but are clearly related to a couple of keywords in the post. For instance, I wrote a post about bacon and one of the comments was a discount offer for smoked meats, which I decided not to remove as it might actually be of interest to someone. Others are comments to a test I did.
I’m unclear on what these comments are doing for anybody, assuming they aren’t caught, marked as spam, and deleted – which is what I’m going to do with all of them. Anybody know why this happens? Are they just link fishing or something? There no doubt is a term for this I’m just unfamiliar with.

Heavenly Bacon . . . or Sky Bacon?

Sizzle, baby, sizzle

Death strips or Yummy Lozenges?

This blog is hosted by WordPress.com. I love it. It’s easy to maintain an organized, continuous presence on the web (assuming I post fairly frequently) and I have found it to be a continuously improving Content Management System as well, i.e. more than just a blog for me. This year the folks at WordPress launched a sort of challenge to those who use their services. It was to blog every day, if possible, or at least every week. I chose to accept the latter challenge, though I have declined to use the subjects they suggest every day.

However, today they suggested writing something about bacon and I just couldn’t resist. Having been raised in the world of smoked and luncheon meats (bologna, ham, hot dogs, head cheese!, liverwurst, and bacon – to name a few) I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with them. I am intimately familiar with almost all of them (head cheese was never a favorite of mine, but I’ve sold and delivered a fair amount), and I am pretty familiar with the health consequences of eating them, though there are lots of conflicting viewpoints; some with merit.

That said, I spent the summer between my first and second years of Law School (1974) working at a butcher shop in Gardena, California. We had a large, automated bacon-slicing machine and kept several hundred slabs of bacon around, which we sliced fresh each day. On Saturday, I would keep my eye on the case the sliced stuff was in and, when I noticed we had revealed a particularly lean part of the tray we laid out, I would snag a pound to take home for next day’s breakfast. My girlfriend at the time was from Vermont and we always had blueberry pancakes made on a Vermont Soapstone, drizzled with the best Vermont Fancy Maple Syrup. The bacon was thick-cut and the rind (skin) was left on, making each piece crunchy. These were incredible breakfasts, the memory of which has stuck with me all these years.

Now what does the title I’ve used have to do with anything remotely involved with bacon? There is a dessert found in many Mexican as well as Central and South American cuisines. It’s called Flan and, if you have not experienced it, think custard and Crème caramel for somewhat of an analogy. There are similarities. Like many dishes, there are numerous variants and the skill of the person baking it can change a delightful experience into a ho hum downing of a reasonably tasty sponge. Texture is quite important with this dish, IMO.

The type of Flan that stands out in my mind, however, is the Cuban version. It’s called Tocino del Cielo and it is – I guess – at least twice as rich as the kind I favor the most. For my tastes, it’s a little bit too rich. Nevertheless, it is clearly savored by quite a few people. Now to the title. I have always translated the name of this Cuban Flan in two different but related ways. The first is Sky Bacon or, literally, Bacon of the sky. My favorite translation, though, is Heavenly Bacon. Given that bacon is probably the richest meat you can purchase and cook without any preparation, I think attaching the word to an incredibly rich dessert makes some sense and, even though I find it a bit overbearing, adding heavenly kind of makes sense as well.

Do you know me (or someone who knows me)?

Six Degrees Probably Won't Cook This Dude

Do you like bacon, or do you think it will kill you to eat it? If the latter, do you eat it anyway?


On Joining The Daily Post (wee/akly for me)

I received an email from WordPress informing me of a new service they’re going to provide, called The Daily Post and subtitled “Post something every day”. I like the idea that they’re offering advice, ideas, and support to those of us who would like to post more than we do. I have other feelings about it as well, some of which I share in a comment to their initial post. Here’s the text of that comment:

While I think this is a really good idea, I would have to add that my main interest is in communicating every day . . . regardless of the tool I use to do so. On some days that may take the form of a blog, on others a lot of tweeting, and still others might be engaging via Facebook (just because I have lots of friends in the social media world – all over the world). Heck, checking in with Foursquare, adding a comment, and sharing it is a useful form of communication (I think).

In addition, sometimes I use Amplify to post material and others I use Posterous. Maybe I’m too scattered, but I never know when the desire will hit me and whether I’ll be at my computer, out with my iPad or phone, or just at a tab in Firefox I don’t feel like leaving. I know I could just “Press This”, but I feel I need to know what others are offering as well.

Regardless, I love having WordPress for the heavy lifting. It is, after all, the place where it all comes together for me. I think I’m going to sign up for a weekly blather.

You folks provide an incredible service. Thank you.

So, that’s what I’m going to do. This is the first step. Stay tuned . . . all five of you! Please, if you have something to say by all means share it with me. Thanks.

Rick


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