Sunday, February 19, 2017

The Game of Followers

My first instagram shot from our 2017 trip to Nicaragua.

I finally joined the instagram party last July. #latetotheparty.  I was delayed at the Phoenix airport, bored and harboring a new digital crop of imagery from Sedona, Arizona. I'd resisted becoming a social media loser on instagram for quite awhile. But photography is my favorite hobby. It just makes sense to share the love with like minded phone carriers. It turns out, however, that like minds don't always think alike.

Don't get me wrong. Insta-users love my photos. But only for one day. Then they say adios, au revoir and good bye. Of course, anyone that uses instagram knows who the real losers are. Them. The idiots that only care about numbers. They mindlessly follow every instagram account they run across, then they turn the hour glass upside down. When the last grain of sand funnels through, they cackle like the green faced witch from the Wizard of Oz. 

Their stats give them away at first swipe. They only follow 400 people, but are followed by 23,000. They must be famous! They must travel the world sharing paparazzi worthy flashes from their fabulous life. Hashtag the Eiffel Tower. Hashtag the Pyramids of Egypt. Hashtag moi and Bobby Flay. Oh wow! They absolutely must be the coolest people on the planet to have so many instagram followers. Right?

Wrong. They're just jerks. There are no pyramids. I lied.

Here's a screen shot from a blog post educating people on how to be assholes. 

So who employs the nasty follow/unfollow method? Almost everyone on instagram. I've been unfollowed by accounts that only have 6 boring photos. Most of the time, their photos are marginal at best. You might see the Tower of Pisa nestled in-between 1,000 selfies. There's lots of food porn. No doubt about that. There's a few tasty beverages. A few hot mamas in bikinis. And maybe their cat. Like I said, they only care about numbers. Not photography. So they follow every page they swipe across like a frazzled tax accountant on February first, hoping to be followed back. They might even like one of your photos. And leave a thumbs up in your comment area. Then, like they heard a blaring smoke alarm accompanied by a river of flames, they run away from your page screaming. They dump your sorry ass.

A few months after I joined instagram, I was about to cancel my account in disgust. I still feel that way every time I have to unfollow another scum bag. Sure, I've accumulated a few real photo fans. Thank goodness for them. Or I'd lose faith in humanity completely. 

So what do you do if you want to stay sane and also stay on instagram? There's an app for that. Now, as soon one of those losers un-follows me, it's adios amigo. It's easy. There are tons of un-follow apps to choose from. The apps compile a list, as often as you choose to refresh, of every last loser that leaves you in the dust. Please people. Don't become a stat. Don't become someone that was only followed to grow another fool's account. Ditch them as soon as they ditch you. 

Don't play into The Game of Followers!

Monday, February 13, 2017

The Phenomenon

Image result for images of busy sidewalks
A busy sidewalk from google. It is located somewhere in the world, somewhere I definitely don't want to walk...

There's a bitter brewed, percolating phenomena underfoot. An insidious, pervasive rudeness is sweeping the land... and the sidewalks. I've grumbled to my husband about it for years. I even walk to his right, hoping to avoid a walking path ker-scuffle. What is it? I'll call it walking while f-ing rude syndrome. Good grief people. Move the F over! 

A few months ago, I was walking on a tepidly busy sidewalk in Naples, Florida. It's a given that the drivers are bad. It is Florida after all. But the walkers? Well, they might be worse. A blond dressed to kill, resembling a well seasoned Prada model, (apparently strutting the sidewalks in front of the pedestrians of fashion) just about made me sit my ass down into a potted palm tree. This so called lady and her oblivious friend would not budge. Then later, two dudes did it twice. One of the times we passed each other, I had to turn sideways, and even so, I was being groped and scratched by the lecherous shrubbery. I'm not kidding. They would not move the F over. 

So finally I googled it. It's a thing. The walking rudeness. The phenomenon. It bugs other people too. 

A few times I've tested the waters. I've tempted fate, by not walking completely off the sidewalk into the safety of the grass, like so many rude groups of so called ladies expect you to do. I put hundreds of miles on my sneakers a year, walking the Minneapolis chain of lakes. There will be groups of women walkers, side by side, hogging the whole trail like leaf cutter ants, deeply entrenched in self important conversation. Well, a couple times, I just moved to the edge of the sidewalk, like I always do anyway. Heck, I'm not rude, right? We collided! The ants would not move the F over! And don't even get me started on the runners who almost plow into me on a regular basis. Maybe I'm invisible...

When I googled this phenomenon, there was a group of women that were mentioned several times as the worst offenders. I've had this happen to me as well. Moms with prams. They will walk together, prams lined up like an offensive line, and God willing, they will not move the over. 

So what gives? I know we're all busy gabbing with our gals, eyes and fingers stroking our beloved phones, brains oblivious to the locations of others. But, please, I have a blog and I'm using it today. For good. For change.

People... please move the F over!

Thank You

Monday, February 6, 2017

The 37th Parallel

"If aliens visit us, the outcome would be much as when Columbus landed in America, which didn't turn out well for the Native Americans."

Stephen Hawking

I've been interested in Aliens for as long as I can remember. It just doesn't seem practical to imagine that we are all alone in the Universe. Over the years, T.V. shows like The X Files and Fringe just fueled my curiosity. The truth is out there, somewhere, right? According to Chuck Zukowski, the main character in The 37th Parallel, "There's more physical evidence that UFOs exist than there's physical evidence that Jesus Christ existed."

I wasn't blown over by the evidence in the book. But there's no doubt it is intriguing, sometimes gruesome and curious. Ben Mezrich did a handy writing job, shuffling the deck of information gleaned from Chuck's real life little black book and in turn, dealing out a winning book. I don't want to give away any spoilers, but there were a couple incidents at the end of the book that were pretty darn compelling. Chuck is a self proclaimed UFO nut. He has devoted his life to investigating cow mutilations and other unidentified objects. Flying and otherwise. The unfortunate cows in the story are firmly planted on good ole terra firma. But even so, they are caught up in the whole alien phenomena just as certain as if they had sprouted wings. I was equally shocked at the sheer number of mutilations as I was at the gruesome details of the crimes. It's worse than a Stephen King novel. And the book certainly left me wondering, What in the heck do aliens see in the 37th parallel? They seem to use it like a runway, lighting up the skies above and reeking havoc below. If you're an Ancient Aliens junky like me, you'll love the book. 

"A generation from now, people will look back at us the same way we look back at those who believed the earth was flat; the evidence that we've been visited by extraterrestrials is so overwhelming, it's actually a leap of faith to believe anything else."

Anonymous aerospace executive

"If we ever travel thousands of light years to a planet inhabited with intelligent life, let's just make patterns in their crops and leave."

-words of humor and wisdom from the internet!