Monday, January 30, 2012

Facebook Follies

Because of my career in the comic book industry, a great number of fans have friended me on Facebook. Add in the number of relatives, friends, and acquaintances I actually know and the result is a "News Feed" that is being updated almost constantly. After all, in a sampling of 1300+ people, somebody almost always has something to say.

Some of the postings are amusing, some are informative, some are innocuous. And then there are the ones that make me wonder, "What are you thinking?!" People who are having problems with their spouses (or significant others, family members, or colleagues) really need to think twice before posting comments on Facebook about them.

Would they hang a sign on the bulletin board at work that proclaims, "My ex-husband doesn't make child support payments"? Or get up in a restaurant and announce, "My sister-in-law is a drunk"? Why, then, post such things on Facebook where I and all the rest of their "friends" can see it?


Speaking of Facebook and such, I must confess to having become addicted to playing Words With Friends. I have about twenty different games going at the moment, playing against relatives, friends, comic book pros and fans, and CTY colleagues.

While most of the games are just fun, a couple of opponents and I have raised the bar. Before each move, we consider what "triples" we could be opening up to be used against us, where to place high-score letters like the Z and the Q so they can't be used in another word, etc. Most of these games go down to the very last move before the winner is decided and no lead is ever safe. Indeed, even after I scored 147 points on a single word, I wasn't sure I'd win till we were finished.

[A note to all my Facebook friends: My playing Words With Friends should not be used as a reason to invite me to play Farmville, Cityville, Castleville, Mafiaviille, Zoomingcarsville, or other games of that sort.]


Finally, speaking of Facebook invitations and all the comic book fans I have as friends, it is a virtual certainty that I will not be attending sales, signings and other events at your local comic shop in California, Iowa, Toronto, England, Australia, and so many other places around the globe. Chances are that most of the 1400 other people you've invited will also not be showing up. How about spending just a little time creating a sub-list of your friends who might actually be in the neighborhood?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In the News...

A Georgia judge has ordered President Obama to appear at a "birther" hearing on Thursday to provide testimony about his qualifications to be on the ballot in the presidential primary. This latest nonsensical case is apparently being spearheaded by Orly Taitz, who has been involved in a number of similar cases. Ms. Taitz, a lawyer and dentist from California, is quoted as saying that this hearing would be "100 times bigger than Watergate."
According to Wikipedia, Ms. Taitz has been involved in a number of similar "birther" lawsuits regarding the President's eligibility for office. All previous ones have been dismissed, including one in which she was fined $20,000 for misconduct. Among her other claims is that the President is having FEMA build internment camps for anti-Obama dissidents.

Ms. Taitz was born in Moldava in the Soviet Union. emigrated to Israel and then to the U.S. Rather than allowing her to continue to question the President's citizenship, perhaps she should be ordered to investigate why she was let into this country and allowed to become a naturalized citizen.

And what's the story with the judge? Does he really think that the case has merit or is he just looking for his fifteen minutes of fame by ordering the President to appear in his court?


In other news today, a 72-year-old USPS employee in Texas has been suspended after it was discovered she has been hoarding truckloads of stolen junk mail. She has stolen so much of it that she apparently rented storage units to keep it in.
"This is a hoarding problem," the woman explained. "People can have mental issues... it doesn't make them insane. It makes them stupid." Um, sure.
There was no word about whether the USPS would be delivering all the mail. Or if anyone had complained about not getting their entry form for the Publisher's Reading House sweepstakes.


It has been reported that Carnival Corporation, owner of the Costa Concordia (as well as Cunard, Holland-America, Princess, and half a dozen smaller cruise lines), has announced that they issue refunds to all the passengers. In addition, they will offer them a 30% discount on future cruises.

30%? Really?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fudge Man Day

Long-time readers of this blog may recall my entry about John Roach, a.k.a. "the Fudge Man," one of the regular platelet donors who had passed away. Last January, as a tribute to him, a number of us donated on a Saturday morning, joined by John's sister Marie, who brought with her some of the famous fudge. As a result, NY Blood Services even created a donation group in memory of John.

Today we made the tribute into a tradition by having the second annual Fudge Man Day at the Blood Center. The regulars were in attendance, once again joined by Marie, with some excellent mint chocolate fudge. She also brought calendar magnets for all of us to commemorate the occasion.

Despite the snowy sleety weather this morning, we had a full contingent of the regulars. (I, unfortunately, was deferred from donating today because of a recent vaccination, but I'll be back in mid-February.) 

We sat for a couple of hours swapping stories. Marie told us about some of the odd varieties of fudge John had brought home; the only one she refused to try was garlic-flavored. Jalapeno fudge apparently is popular, but garlic fudge, not so much.

John would have turned fifty last week and his family and friends got together last week and celebrated in his honor. We, his Saturday Morning at the Blood Center pals, were happy to be able to salute him as well and look forward to Fudge Man Day again next year.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Johnny Needs to be in School More

We were on a cruise over the New Year's weekend and into the first week in January. While there were mostly older couples and families with pre-school-aged children, there were also a number of families with children who were obviously missing a few days of school.

One evening I was sitting in the ship library reading when three teenagers -- two girls and a boy -- came in and started talking. One of the girls said, "I don't get this. How come took two days to get to Florida but only one day to get to the Bahamas? That's out of the country!"

To which the boy responded, "I don't know. I'm not very good at history."

Class? Cruise? Which one do you think would better benefit these future burger-dining facilitators?