Want To Join My Facebook Group? No? Too Bad!

The other night Carin was annoyed that somebody had, not for the first time, added her to a group on Facebook without any sort of warning or permission. I agreed that this would be irritating and then, quite reasonably I thought, asked if there was some setting that she hadn’t gotten around to changing.

“No,” she said. “There isn’t a setting for that.”

Carin is a very honest, intelligent person. I knew she was most likely right and certainly wasn’t lying to me for fun. But my brain, which I also like to consider intelligent at times, refused to accept something so profoundly unintelligent.

You can’t control what you join on Facebook? That can’t be right! It just can’t! Surely the collective brain power under that umbrella has heard of a checkbox before. One that says “do not allow others to add me to groups automatically.”

It hasn’t.

That link is from this year, but I see complaints about this going as far back as 2011 looking no further than the front page of Google.

That’s some bullshit. Some deliberate bullshit, at that. And I’m not even sure who it’s supposed to benefit. If it’s me, I’m mad at my friend for spamming me, I have a negative impression of the group even if it might be one I would otherwise enjoy, and I hate Facebook for being garbage enough to allow the first two things to happen.

Say what you will about Twitter, but at least they’ve never forced me to follow a thousand people and then made me do all of the work to get rid of them.

When you are added to a new group, Facebook sends you a notification. Click on the Groups listing at the left of your newsfeed and locate the new group. Click on its name to go to the group page. If you aren’t interested in being in the group, you can immediately opt out by clicking the Joined button and selecting Leave Group. After you leave a group, you can’t be added by anyone else unless you ask to be re-added to the group.
If you decide to remain in the group, you’ll see group posts in your news feed unless you select the Unfollow Group option, also under the Joined button on the group’s page, and you can post to the group.

I Bet This Doesn’t Work

I’ve had the WordPress app sitting on my phone literally for years and have never used it for anything, at least not anything I remember. So consider this me using it for something. Preferably for something that works. I’m not holding my breath. The damn thing already has me wanting to throw things. Admittedly my technology fuse can sometimes be a little short, but if I told you that this fucking app can’t make up its mind about whether I’m writing in the title field or the rich content area where it tells me to share my story I’m sure you’d understand. Here goes… Something… Hopefully.

We Do It, So Why Can’t They?

Do you ever watch those vet shows on TV and think to yourself this must be what it’s like to be abducted by aliens? I do that all the time, especially during the ones like Dr. Oakley where they go to remote areas to treat sometimes wild animals.

Imagine you’re a bear. There you are, minding your own business, doing bear things. Suddenly you notice that strange creatures are following you around, eyeing you suspiciously from a distance. Then, out of the blue, you get poked in the side by some sharp thing you didn’t see coming. You start feeling lightheaded and the next thing you know, you’re coming to, feeling all hung over, unable to remember a thing. As you start to regain your senses, you notice that you’re wearing a mysterious tag, your ass feels tender and that you might even have a surgical scar. Hopefully animals are less cruel and judgmental than humans, because if they aren’t, you’re going to take one hell of a riding about how crazy you are from the rest of your forest friends once you try to explain this to them.

But you’re not crazy, Mr. Bear. It’s all on film and they’re showing it to the rest of us for entertainment purposes.

So now, back in human form, ask yourself this. What if the aliens are doing the same thing? What if, somewhere out in space, there’s a show called the Incredible Dr. Zaaaarg that’s nothing but guys named Fred getting anal probes because whatever the alien race is called thinks they’re helping?

Fred’s maybe not quite as out to lunch as you thought he was, is he?

Thinking About Changing Our Email Notifications

It might be news to a lot of you, but yes, we do have email notifications. We set them up through Feedburner years ago when we were still on Blogger and they’re still working to this day. A few people even still get them. We haven’t gone out of our way to promote them since we moved everything over to our own domain because they’ve been on the list of things we wanted to look at changing at some point, but for one reason or another we haven’t gotten around to them. But I started thinking about them again recently and I have a couple of questions that I wouldn’t mind getting some feedback on. You don’t have to be a current subscriber to chime in, of course.

  1. If you were to sign up for emails about new posts, would you want those emails to come once a day or as new posts were published? Our current system delivers the full text of the previous day’s posts in a digest the next morning, because that’s the only option that 2007 us had. Switching to real-time would let you see things more immediately and better pick and choose what you want to take the time to read, but I also understand that some of you may not appreciate being buried in messages if one or both of us happens to go on a posting spree. That doesn’t happen nearly as often as it used to, but it’s not out of the question.
  2. If you happen to know anything about both WordPress and email notifications, do you have any plugin and/or service recommendations? Even if the thing is basic and dead simple, that’s fine. We’re not looking to reinvent the wheel here. We just want to get emails to the people who want to get them.

You guys are generally a quieter bunch than you used to be, so if you have no opinion and are good with us doing whatever we want, that’s cool. But if you do have thoughts, either comment here or head on over to this page and get in touch with either Carin or I.

And if you want to sign up for those Feedburner emails, you can do that here. We’ll keep them up and running until Feedburner kills them, which I’m legitimately surprised they haven’t done already.

I Respect Don Cherry

No, not because of what he said. It, like a lot of other things he’s come out with through the years, is ignorant at best. What I appreciate and yes, even respect is that he’s refusing to apologize for it in order to save his own skin.

If you don’t like Don Cherry’s stupid opinion, that’s fine. But if Don Cherry doesn’t think his stupid opinion is stupid, that, while not necessarily ideal, is also fine. It’s certainly better than some lame, inauthentic, insincere public relations apology.

Pushing for people to apologize for things is hardly new, but in the internet and social media age it’s gotten long passed absurd. Any perceived indiscretion, no matter how small, is enough to summon a mob that’s bound and determined to take your head. And far too often it leads to apologies that are entirely fake, meant only to shut everyone up so whomever is doing the apologizing won’t lose too much money or influence. In a word, it’s crappy. It ruins the entire point of apologizing. A true apology is supposed to be meaningful and impactful, but when every one has to apologize for every thing, all of that is lost.

Would it be nice if Don Cherry apologized? Sure. It would be great if he realized that insulting half the world on television was probably bad. But he should only do so if, after some time to sit and think about things, he decides he genuinely wants to. If he doesn’t, he shouldn’t. As much as some people may not want to hear that, it really is that simple. For better or worse, Don Cherry is standing by what he believes. And whether or not I like what he believes, I still say that’s better than the alternative.

Um? Is That A Good Noise Or A Bad Noise?

I saw this video on Facebook a bit ago, and I’m sure my mom wishes she could have shown me this before we first flew, because when we did, I was constantly going “What’s that sound? That one? That one? Does that one mean the same as that one? Or that? What about that?” My poor mom was good about it, but I’m sure she wanted to tell me to quiet down. She never did. To the best of her ability, she told me about everything I asked her about, and that probably helped me. I wouldn’t say I’m a nervous flyer, but I do pay attention to every noise and sensation in case there are clues in there. After all, I did have my one rather unusual flight experience, so I do have some reason to be listening. Plus, some sounds indicate that signs have come on, so since I can’t see the signs, I like to pay attention to the noises.

Anyway, somebody put together a video of the sounds you’ll hear on an airplane aimed at the anxious flyer. It’s a bit ridiculously simplistic, but it’s neat to have the sounds explained one by one. So enjoy.

I find a lot of the dings sound so similar that I can’t tell the snack cart ding from the intercom ding from the seatbelt sign ding from the hey dude, we’re starting to descend ding, but maybe there’s a way to tell if you’re really good.

But hopefully this video will help the nervous flyers, and the blind ones who haven’t flown before too.

Here’s Something Interesti…Hey, Want An Email? Do ya? Do Ya Huh? I’ll Bet You Want An Email!

Sometimes it doesn’t happen for a while and I forget how much I hate it, but then it happens twice in ten minutes and all of a sudden I want to slap someone…repeatedly…with a shovel.

Dear website people:
I like newsletters. I subscribe to several of them. But you know what I don’t like? At all? When I’m struggling to figure out the cluttered layout of your stupid website so I can read a story somebody wants me to see and then boom, my entire screen gets taken over by a pop-up letting me know that you can send me emails if I’d like. No, I would not like. Not yet, anyway. I hardly even know who you are. I’m just here to read a story, a story that I can’t find because your shitty ass navigation doesn’t make any sense and it’s taken me about 12 times longer than it should to figure out where the text is.

And that’s another thing. If you’re going to use headings and landmarks and such for navigation, use them the hell properly, would ya please? They’re not just meant to be cute little decorations or some shit. They’re actually designed to help folks like your blind friend here find what they’re looking for. Your main landmark is not a place to put 37 advertisements or a random bunch of links and/or share buttons. It’s supposed to signal to me that hey man, this is where the most important things start happening. It’s where you want to be.

But back to the point, if you must use these pop-overs, could you at least have the decency to deploy them immediately rather than somehow timing them to a moment when I’m finally a few paragraphs deep and right in the middle of a sentence? Interrupting people is rude. You learn that shit in preschool. And if you could allow me to hit the close button on the damn thing and wind up back in my spot instead of at the top of the page, that would be fabufuckinglous. Yes I have a find feature, but I have to pick a word you haven’t used 77 other times or it’s gonna take me just as long to find it again and this time I’m mad so it’s even harder.

Maybe some of you think I’m getting a little worked up and that this is no big deal, but I’ve literally stopped going to websites I kind of like because they constantly do this, so please knock it off. If I want your newsletter I’ll find it, especially if you have a user experience that isn’t bitched up to such a degree that it requires I have a detective’s license.

Thank you.

What Kind Of Clown Comes Up With A Story Like That?

There is exactly one believable thing about the story Philip Moreton told when caught trying to smuggle a cell phone into a maximum security prison via drone. I bet he really did drink that litre of vodka.

The 33-year-old was heard rustling in the undergrowth after prison officers chased the 70mph drone away from the outer wall of Perth Prison.
Moreton was spotted putting the drone into the boot of his Audi but he drove up a dead end and the officers blocked his escape.
He clambered over a six-foot fence to try to escape and used his remote locking key to deadlock the car with the active drone in the boot.

Moreton claimed he was near the prison in the dead of night because he believed Romanian circus performers had stolen one of his pet chihuahuas.
He said: “We were told the circus left the dogs outside at night. As daft as it might sound, I brought the dog’s father, Archie, to see if he could find it.”
Moreton then claimed he was found in the bushes because he had downed a litre of vodka and had collapsed in the middle of the dog-hunt.
He said he had been using the drone to search the riverbank for the dog.

He now has the next nine months to sit around and come up with a better story for next time.

The Gun, Unlike His Brain, Did Not Contain Blanks

Judge says he ‘never heard of something that breathtakingly stupid in my life’ in father’s shooting of son
If this is the stupidest thing his honor has ever heard he must be either sheltered or new, but this is pretty dumb, I’m not gonna lie.

As his son approached him, Voight yelled, “Rafael, tell me if this hurts,’’ and fired the gun in his direction, according to court records. He realized then that the gun was loaded when he saw his son stumble from the shot.
Camacho was taken to a Portland hospital, where he was treated for birdshot pellet wounds to his hands, abdomen and testicles, according to court records.
The shooting was not reported until the hospital alerted law enforcement the next day.
When Columbia County sheriff’s deputies first interviewed Camacho, he covered for his dad and gave a false story about what had happened. Camacho told authorities that he was shot when he caught a stranger breaking into his car. When sheriff’s deputies went out to the crime scene, the evidence didn’t match Camacho’s story.

Daniel Dean Voight, 42, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm. The walking argument for sensible fucking gun laws told police that he thought the .22 revolver he fired at his son was loaded with blanks and that his plan was to scare him.

TV Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo

If you had just gotten that out of your head, I’m sorry.

If you clicked play and then said to yourself “what in the hell is this?”, congratulations on not having been around a child in the last four years.

And if you’re at your wits’ end, praying to your deity of choice that the kids in your life will move on to something else soon, I’m sorry isn’t going to come close to cutting it once you hear what you’re about to hear.

They’re making a TV show out of it.

No, I don’t know why. Ok so the reason is money, but other than that, I don’t know why. Nobody else knows much about it either, perhaps because the writers are taking their time diving into the complex motivations and intricacies of the character.

So far, all we have is this ridiculous corporate statement.

“Baby Shark” has captured the imagination of millions of fans around the world, so it’s no surprise it’s one of the top 10 most-viewed videos on YouTube ever. At the heart of any popular piece of content is a terrific character, and we have a great opportunity to further explore the world of Baby Shark and follow this family through some great animated adventures on Nickelodeon.

Thank you. that is helpful.

But if this news has you down, perhaps this somewhat “popular piece of content” will help lift your spirits.

It worked on me, anyway.