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Today in My History

2000:  Psychic Woman
2001:  My Life in 850 Words
2002:  Dream a Little Dream of Me
2003:  I Quit
2004:  Black Out
2005:  Crazy Dog Lady
Mexican Won Ton
2007:  My Civic Duty
2008: We Have Some Rings!


Books Read in 2009
Updated: 8/23
"Breaking Dawn"
(Thanks goodness I've finally finished this series!)

Recipes for Cousins Day Drinks
(updated 7/24/09)


MFL Puppies from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.

and on YouTube

Look at these Videos

How to Decorate a cake
5 Year Old sings "Folsom Prison"
Shatner reads Palin's farewell speech
Pool playing toddler
Jon Stewart/Mike Huckabee on Abortion
(full interview)

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Mirror Site for RSS Feed
Airy Persiflage

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27 August 2009

According to a CNN article, here are the 12 most annoying types of Facebookers.  I figure I'm about half of them.:

The Let-Me-Tell-You-Every-Detail-of-My-Day Bore. "I'm waking up." "I had Wheaties for breakfast." "I'm bored at work." "I'm stuck in traffic." You're kidding! How fascinating! No moment is too mundane for some people to broadcast unsolicited to the world. Just because you have 432 Facebook friends doesn't mean we all want to know when you're waiting for the bus.

The Self-Promoter. OK, so we've probably all posted at least once about some achievement. And sure, maybe your friends really do want to read the fascinating article you wrote about beet farming. But when almost EVERY update is a link to your blog, your poetry reading, your 10k results or your art show, you sound like a bragger or a self-centered careerist.

The Friend-Padder. The average Facebook user has 120 friends on the site. Schmoozers and social butterflies -- you know, the ones who make lifelong pals on the subway -- might reasonably have 300 or 400. But 1,000 "friends?" Unless you're George Clooney or just won the lottery, no one has that many. That's just showing off.

The Town Crier. "Michael Jackson is dead!!!" You heard it from me first! Me, and the 213,000 other people who all saw it on TMZ. These Matt Drudge wannabes are the reason many of us learn of breaking news not from TV or news sites but from online social networks. In their rush to trumpet the news, these people also spread rumors, half-truths and innuendo. No, Jeff Goldblum did not plunge to his death from a New Zealand cliff.

The TMIer. "Brad is heading to Walgreens to buy something for these pesky hemorrhoids." Boundaries of privacy and decorum don't seem to exist for these too-much-information updaters, who unabashedly offer up details about their sex lives, marital troubles and bodily functions. Thanks for sharing.

The Bad Grammarian. "So sad about Fara Fauset but Im so gladd its friday yippe". Yes, I know the punctuation rules are different in the digital world. And, no, no one likes a spelling-Nazi schoolmarm. But you sound like a moron.

The Sympathy-Baiter. "Barbara is feeling sad today." "Man, am I glad that's over." "Jim could really use some good news about now." Like anglers hunting for fish, these sad sacks cast out their hooks -- baited with vague tales of woe -- in the hopes of landing concerned responses. Genuine bad news is one thing, but these manipulative posts are just pleas for attention.

The Lurker. The Peeping Toms of Facebook, these voyeurs are too cautious, or maybe too lazy, to update their status or write on your wall. But once in a while, you'll be talking to them and they'll mention something you posted, so you know they're on your page, hiding in the shadows. It's just a little creepy.

The Crank. These curmudgeons, like the trolls who spew hate in blog comments, never met something they couldn't complain about. "Carl isn't really that impressed with idiots who don't realize how idiotic they are." [Actual status update.] Keep spreading the love.

The Paparazzo. Ever visit your Facebook page and discover that someone's posted a photo of you from last weekend's party -- a photo you didn't authorize and haven't even seen? You'd really rather not have to explain to your mom why you were leering like a drunken hyena and French-kissing a bottle of Jagermeister.

The Maddening Obscurist. "If not now then when?" "You'll see..." "Grist for the mill." "John is, small world." "Dave thought he was immune, but no. No, he is not." [Actual status updates, all.] Sorry, but you're not being mysterious -- just nonsensical.

The Chronic Inviter. "Support my cause. Sign my petition. Play Mafia Wars with me. Which 'Star Trek' character are you? Here are the 'Top 5 cars I have personally owned.' Here are '25 Things About Me.' Here's a drink. What drink are you? We're related! I took the 'What President Are You?' quiz and found out I'm Millard Fillmore! What president are you?"

The way I figure it, Facebook is all things to all people and we've all done these sorts of things from time to time (except I refuse to be the "bad grammarian"!)  Some people obviously like each one of these things, others hate them, most of us have learned how to use Facebook so that we get what we want out of it and don't run off screaming when we get another invitation to join the "Save the Beanie Babies" Society or sign a petition that declares that Facebook people think Rush Limbaugh is a jerk.

What is Facebook to me? 

* It's a way to try to be clever in a terse little status update.   Twitter does the same thing (with fewer characters), but I don't find a way to create a sense of "community" on Twitter.  I love trying to find a funny way of saying something mundane.  Ned is the master of this, as are others.  How can you resist a status that read "dry underwear is underrated."

* It's a place to connect with people I care about.  In the beginning, I friended everybody who asked because I didn't know a soul on FB, but I now have nearly 700 "friends" and it is unwieldy, so I have set them into groups and I only check the groups that I'm interested in and ignore the rest.  In the past 2 years, more of my real life friends have sauntered into Facebook, so why should I bother about Jane Doe from a place I've never visited and whom I am not likely to meet (and with whom I have nothing in common), but who has been on my friend list for 2 years, when I can check out an old school buddy I haven't seen in years and get acquainted with her family?   But I don't want to be rude and "un-friend" poor Jane Doe.  It might hurt her feelings.

* It's a place to play the games I like to play.  It's not my fault that FB chooses to announce every single game that I play.  I don't need to have it all posted to my newsfeed, but I can't control Facebook.

Some of the annoying traits above are, I suspect, because people haven't learned how to use the system.  I see "Obscurists" all the time, who mean to write personal notes to someone and don't realize that anything put on a wall gets posted into a newsfeed, or someone who doesn't respond to a comment but merely posts a new comment in response to the one above it, not realizing that when it appears on a newsfeed total strangers who read it aren't going to be able to see it in context.  I forgive them that because we all at one time were newbies.  (I did, however, once write to a friend to let her know that her very personal interaction with another friend about a third friend was visible to the entire Facebook community and to tell her the difference between "wall" and "email"!)

I also get tired of the "Chronic Inviters," and 99% of the time ignore all invitations, but occasionally I find something really fun to try, so I put up with the flood of invites.  It's a question of sorting the wheat from the chaff.   I try to hit "skip" whenever some application wants me to invite all of my friends to join me in doing...whatever.

The secret of Facebook, if you are going to get any enjoyment about of it, is to find out how you can manipulate it for you and just ignore the rest.   It doesn't take more than a fraction of a second to hit the "ignore" button or the scroll bar.  I'd rather do that than bitch about how other people we have chosen to friend choose to get enjoyment out of it.


BarkleyDishes.jpg (27190 bytes)

Barkley has learned to help with the dishes



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