Category Archives: Rants

What a day

Let’s hear it for the first day back at work following a holiday!

This was just an interesting day all around.  Things are getting kicked into gear at work.  This is good…lots of things to keep me busy and make the day go quicker.  And it’s work for my clients rather than other clients.  Not that I mind helping with the others.  I don’t.  But I’ve really missed my clients. LOL  I like it when things are happening – it’s more interesting that way.

Of course, the middle of the day brought the news that Prop 8 was upheld in California.  Damn!  The fight continues.  I wish I had been able to go to the protest at the Center on Halsted tonight, but I just couldn’t.  Besides already having plans to work out, I had plans with my family.  I’ll have to go another time.  I’m sure that Pride this year will be interesting.

I wonder where all of this hatred comes from…I was not raised to hold hatred in my heart.  And I come from a very Catholic family! I sometimes want to hit my head against a wall when talking to my mother about this stuff.

Seriously, why should anyone care if I choose to spend my life with another woman?  How does that affect their lives?  I don’t tell my straight friends that they shouldn’t or can’t love/marry a person of the opposite sex!  Perhaps that’s what I’ll do – I just won’t recognize other people’s marriages.  Rather than, “How is your husband?” I’ll ask, “How is your life partner?”  or “How is your boyfriend?”  You don’t recognize my commitment to the person I love, then I’m not going to recognize yours.

And don’t bring God into this.  I believe in God.  I believe in my Catholic faith – not the church, mind you, the faith.  I have a relationship with God and it is MY relationship with God.  My God does not hate.  Besides, this isn’t about religion(s).  This is about Civil Rights.  I don’t believe in abortion…I never have.  Yet I am Pro-Choice.  No one has the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body.  However, if it came down to it, I would not have an abortion because I do believe that a fetus is a baby.  Just because I feel this way doesn’t mean that anyone else has to.  I may try to talk you out of it; but it is, ultimately, your choice what you do.

So it goes for Gay Rights.  Just because YOU don’t want to share a life with someone of the same sex doesn’t mean you can tell me that I can’t.  You don’t believe in homosexuality?  Fine.  Don’t have a homosexual relationship.  You don’t believe in Gay marriage?  Fine.  Don’t have a Gay marriage.  But get the fuck out of my bedroom and out of my life!  I’ll reciprocate and stay the fuck out of your bedroom and your life.  I’m fair that way.  Why can’t you be?

Off my little soapbox for now.

The work out went pretty well.  I felt a little tired.  But I still managed to hit 581 burned calories.  So that’s good.  I’m staying close to 600.  I really rocked it last Thursday – 677 calories burned!  Woot!  I’m not sure how often I’ll be able to hit that, but I’m hoping to break the 700 barrier by the end of the summer.  That would rock!!

I had my weigh in and measurements on Saturday, 5/23.  Rock and Roll, Baby!  I’ve lost 21.8 pounds and 6.85 inches!  My pants are pretty much falling off these days.  But, I can’t see buying new clothes yet…I still have weight to lose and it’s coming off fairly quickly.  I’ll just keep hiking up those pants…maybe get some altered…maybe go through my closet and see what I have that hasn’t fit me in a while.  All-in-all, I feel pretty good about things.  I have days here and there where I swerve a bit to the right and indulge, but I don’t go way over-board and I always come back on track.  I’ve just gotten it in my mind that I can’t punish myself.  If I stray, I stray.  That’s just life.  I’m doing good.  I have lots of support.  I’m determined.  That’s what matters.

My web site has a new look!  Do you like it?  I hope you’ll let me know.

The Bookstore is up and running.  I really hope people will stop by and do some shopping.  By the end of this week, I should have the Merchandise page finished and published for public consumption.  I’ll be sure to make an announcement.  And I got my first batch of Reader Recommendations – those should be up by the end of the week as well.

The June Featured Author will be….*drum roll*….the marvelous JD Glass!!!  I’m excited.

We thought you were our friend, Amazon!

I buy books. I buy lots and lots of books. Being the ranking internet geek in my family, I end up buying books, CDs, Movies, etc. for family members, as well. And I bought primarily from Amazon.com. With a few exceptions, I was always sure that Amazon.com would have what I was looking for. Sure, new releases from Bella Books and sometimes Bold Strokes Books would be delayed by as much as 2 months because they “couldn’t locate” my books…but I would get them eventually. It was okay because 1) I’m so far behind on my reading anyway that I wouldn’t be able to read the book right away and 2) the price was right (normally $5 less expensive than directly through the publisher…and no shipping cost).

But NOW! Ugh! Mark Probst has written in his blog about what Amazon.com is doing to the LGBTQ community. They are stripping LGBTQ texts – fiction and non-fiction – of their sales figures and rankings, and removing the titles from any searches. Unless of course, it’s available for Kindle…then it will appear! Of course, need to keep their little corner of the market going!

This is a PRIME opportunity for companies like Sony to expand their bookstore to include LGBTQ titles. Fictionwise.com needs to take notice and take advantage!

The outcry from the community has been fast….people are pissed! And rightfully so! This is so damaging to authors and readers alike. Amazon.com – you’re fucking with people’s livelihoods!

Here’s what some are doing – I did too!

From JD Glass:
Hack the planet! Go tag ALL amazon crap with “gay porn” and crash the ranking system!

I tagged this: http://tinyurl.com/dcdl64 as gay porn – and you should, too!

From Kim Baldwin and numerous (and I mean numerous) authors and readers:
I’m furious about Amazon’s new policy stripping GLBT books of their rankings. BSB and so many others no longer qualify for best seller lists, and won’t turn up in some searches. Please join in the battle to get this new policy overturned and sign this petition. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/in-protest-at-amazons-new-adult-policy

From Smart Bitches, Trashy Books:
I’ve created a page with the definition for “amazon rank.” LINK TO http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.com/amazonrank with “Amazon Rank” as the anchor text. The link should look like this:

Amazon Rank

This is known as Google-bombing.

Again from JD Glass:
for those that are more inclined to…talk…rather than write:

Amazon Board of Directors:

Thomas O. Ryder (914) 244-5782
William Gordon (650) 233-2750
Myrtle Potter (650) 225-1000
Alain Monie (206) 266-1000
L. John Doerr (650) 233-2750
Tom Alberg (206) 674-3000
Patricia Stonesifer (206) 709-3140

People are petitioning, closing accounts, emailing, calling, spreading the word. So I’m doing my part as much as possible. I’m asking that people do one or more of these things. Let our voices be heard that this is NOT acceptable. Nor is it a “glitch” that can be used to avoid the blame and the label of idiocy that is sure to be placed on Amazon.com.

Amazon Rank

The users are quiet – they must be content. Let’s screw up their worlds!

So, Facebook gives us the following as an answer to “Why is Facebook updating the site?”

Facebook is updating the home page with the goals of providing immediate news about your friends and giving you more control over the information you receive. With the new design, we hope that the home page will contain stories that are most relevant to you. We also want to simplify the site and make it easier for you to share content with the people you care about.

The real-time stream on your home page will allow you to see what your friends are doing right now. You will be able to choose what types of stories appear by using the Filters in the left sidebar to sort your stream by Friend Lists or applications. The highlights section in the right sidebar will contain information that Facebook thinks you’ll find most interesting. We’ve also made it easier to share content by adding the publisher to your home page and friends’ profiles, as well as your own profile.

As always, your privacy settings will remain in effect to ensure that stories about you are only visible to the people whom you wish to see them.

They say they are giving us more control. I have to disagree with them. In fact, I find that I have LESS control!

  • I do not get to determine what does and does not show on my News Feed.
  • I am unable to say “I don’t want to see when people are sending things with applications.”
  • With the previous FB version, I could configure the news feed to show more about statuses and when photos were posted, and less about notes and links.

You will be able to choose what types of stories appear by using the Filters in the left sidebar to sort your stream by Friend Lists or applications.” I wonder if they realize how contradictory that is. The filters don’t let us choose what TYPES of stories appear…they decide which FRIENDS appear on the feed. And did anyone notice that THEY chose which applications would serve as filters? Not everyone cares about Twitter. Not everyone cares about Pieces of Flair.

With the new design, we hope that the home page will contain stories that are most relevant to you.” How, I wonder, is the fact that one of my friends superpoked 14 of their friends – none of whom are on my friends list – relevant to me? Oh, and each of the 14 superpokes is listed individually. Isn’t that fun?

The highlights section in the right sidebar will contain information that Facebook thinks you’ll find most interesting.” Ah…the information that FACEBOOK thinks I’ll find most interesting. Yes…now Facebook is doing my thinking for me. Outstanding. What I don’t understand is how the fact that two of my friends “like” a photo that was posted by someone who is NOT my friend is interesting to me? What can I do with that information?

What purpose does it serve to put wall-to-wall conversations on the News Feed? Facebook is forcing me to eavesdrop on conversations! Yes, it’s true that things posted on walls are out there for anyone to see (providing that “anyone” is a friend). But I’m sure that if ‘J’ wanted me to be a part of her conversation with ‘M’ I would have been invited to the party! No, there are no secrets in that conversation. But it is not relevant to me because it is not MY conversation. Where is the privacy in that?

I also wonder what kind of actual testing they did for this new update. It hasn’t been that long since the last one. I would think that it would take longer than that to do thorough testing before releasing it to everyone. There are a lot of bugs right now…I’ve reported a few already:

  1. The News Feed is not consistent. Not everything shows up in “real time” (which they seem so proud of). And, really, isn’t “real time” the same as the “live feed” they had before? Oh, wait, it’s not! We have to REFRESH to see any changes. That’s not real time. Also, items disappear and then reappear on the News Feed – and there is no rhyme nor reason to it.
  2. Photos that are added directly on Facebook do not show up on the “real time” News Feed. However, if you import them from flickr.com or picasa or your iphone, they show up just fine.
  3. Notes that are imported from other sources (as this one will be) do not show up on the “real time” News Feed. However, if you add them directly on Facebook, they will appear.
  4. The Highlights sidebar that they are so proud of doesn’t calculate correctly. I’m attending an event next Saturday. The Highlights sidebar says that 2 of my friends are also attending. In reality, there are 10 friends attending. I’m a member of a group supporting my cousin. The Highlights sidebar says that 25 of my friends also joined. Oh wait, now it’s 30. Oh, no, it’s actually 28. I wonder how many will have joined the next time I refresh.

The actual layout of the new Home page really isn’t all that different than it was before. Things are larger now…more crammed. But, in all, it’s the same 3-column format. The problem is that it loses its functionality. The Powers that Be at Facebook clearly don’t actually USE Facebook. I think they are all on Twitter, to be honest with you. My Home page and wall now look like big chat rooms, to be honest. I can’t tell the difference between a wall post and a status update. And what is with the comments at the TOP of a link or video post? Man is that annoying! Everything is in the same font. All pictures are the same size.

It’s cluttered.

It’s not user-friendly.

It’s just plain bad.