Monday, January 30, 2012

To Like or Not to Like

I met some friends for breakfast over the weekend. Years ago we started out as co-workers so much of the conversation revolved around gossiping about people we used to work with.

One friend was talking about how a co-worker, now in another department, kept sending her "Friend Requests" on Facebook. For those who don't know how this works (including one sitting at the table with us), you start on Facebook with no friends and then you can go through your email address book looking on FB for people that you can request to be your friend. They can either accept this or decline this. If they accept, you wind up in the biggest time suck on the internet (apart from porn and hard-core gamers, that is) playing odd little games like "Farmville" where you plant things or a game like "Words for Friends" which can get you thrown off airplanes (like Alec Baldwin). If you just ignore a request, they can nag you until you either accept them or until you block them.

My friend was in a pickle about this Friend Request because she doesn't want to be friends with this person and doesn't want to read her "Status Updates" but wants to keep the peace at work. She said she's accepted her requests in the past and then deleted them, but this person doesn't get the hint and would always send a new friend request. I told her to do what I did to my niece who friended me - completely unsubscribe from her ALL of her updates. Yes, you can play Facebook just like "Real Life" in that you can pretend you're listening to someone and never really hear a word they say.

I went on to say, "This is my time on Facebook which I now have down to about 90 seconds including log in and log out time:

"Log in but appear OFFLINE so as to avoid any Chatty Kathys, answer previous messages, click as only as many "Likes" as necessary so, "LIKE-LIKE-SKIP-LIKE-SKIP-SKiP-LIKE"

"Then, copy and paste from the following:
  • HAHA!
  • THAT'S CUTE! (and the alternative HOW ADORABLE!)
  • WAY TO GO!
"Then I LOG OUT."

It turns out that my friend does much the same thing and planned on implementing the "Copy and Paste" to further expedite the whole Loving-Community-that-is-Facebook-blah-blah process.

So here's my problem today... I am "LIKE"-ing things I don't really like because people I know and actually do like have asked me to do so. When one of my husband's second cousins (once removed) started writing songs and putting them on YouTube, his mom, whom I adore, started campaigning for her son - "Please LIKE his page and send it to your friends, please follow him on Twitter." Well, I like the kid but even though I LIKED his songs, I don't like his songs. They are good songs, just not my cup of tea and I can't finish listening to them. His tweets were so stupid that I eventually just deleted my Twitter account.

This whole "pretending to be a fan" charade drove me nuts until I discreetly Unliked his FB page and unsubscribed from his mom's music status updates. I still figure out what is going on from other family Status Updates, comments and "Likes."

Today I was supposed to watch Good Morning America so I could see his song featured on the show. I knew I'd be working and everyone said "DVR IT!" so I had to add a new reply to my list - "SOUNDED GREAT!" - because I never bothered to DVR the show to hear a song I didn't want to listen to. I LIKE his songs, I SHARE the links... I haven't been able to listen to one all the way through since his first release. I can say all of this because I know they've never read this blog, even though I've posted links to it on Facebook so I'm guessing they must not LIKE me either.

He's a VERY GOOD singer, but I just don't care about these types of songs, so now, I have to ask - does anyone else out there LIKE what you don't really LIKE? If so, what do you do or plan to do when/if you get cornered over it?

It has reminded me of another (real) friend who once LIKED a post that read, "THERE SHOULD BE A 'WHO GIVES A RAT'S ASS' BUTTON ON FACEBOOK.

Friday, January 27, 2012

New Ride

I wish this post could be about an awesome new bike but alas, it's just about my latest auto.

Given that I found myself needing a new car about 6 months before I was financially ready to take the plunge, I wound up plunking down a chunk of change for a used SUV.

Meet my 2001 Nissan Pathfinder:

:sigh: It seems that every time I try and get a picture, the weather just won't cooperate. Nice crash bar, no?

In any case, my bike should fit in the back without a problem and my wallet will notice my new ride by how much gas the thing guzzles. I'm happy that I'm back on the road, free from depending on the kindness of friends and family to get me back and forth to work, but let's just say that any ideas of more trips to New Hampshire and Vermont to get in some good hill rides have been quietly quashed at the pump.

Hopefully, I'll be spending more of my weekends training instead of reading magazines at the repair shop this year. Last year, I even learned how to work the remote for the DirecTV in NTB's waiting area. So far, so good as I no longer need to stick my arm out to make left-hand turns and it even has heat. I'm also back in the water and starting to knock out laps and practice my technique.

My friend/co-worker/swim coach showed me a great video yesterday. This is Shinji Takeuchi, the new CEO of of Total Immersion Swimming. Of course, we critiqued him rather meticulously all the while admitting that we are nowhere near his level of expertise (okay, compared to him, we really suck). It's just beautiful to watch - note the underwater shots of his legs just "flicking" ever so gently and how he looks like he's skimming the surface like an otter on a lake. The audio isn't so hot though - the electronic background music should just be turned off.

I'm wondering if I watch it oh, say, maybe 1000 times, that I'll subconsciously pick up some good technique. Of course, if I practice 1000 times, that would probably help, too.
Sunday, January 8, 2012

Can I Get a Do-Over?

It's been said that the Road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I have to submit that the Express Lane to Hell is taking action on those good intentions. In effect, you're better off choosing an unpaved road in the first place - or staying at home.

The year started off with me getting the flu, feeling those body aches that seemed to be a blueprint of what I was going to feel like when I'm 85, a broken tooth and still no car.

Way to blast out of the gate.

A week later and things are looking brighter. Another trip to the dentist that was much, MUCH cheaper than I was expecting, the flu is gone so my workouts are starting to get on track again... and still no car. Okay, that's not exactly a success story but it's better than roller-blading along on the Good Intentions expressway.

On the job front, I can't really promote myself as a personal trainer until I get a reliable set of wheels, but as a domain investor/website flipper, things are starting to pick up pace as I streamline my development work-flow. That's really the only way I can continue to finance my adventures in the water and on two wheels. In fact, I felt so good about my business this weekend that I actually bought a pair of bike shorts and a new jersey (on clearance, of course). Um... don't tell my husband - let it be a surprise :cough!:

So, when things are looking down, take a breather and look up because while we can't get "do-overs," we can still clean and re-grease our chain, check our tires, check which way the wind is blowing and change direction.

Welcome to 2012! TAKE TWO.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Things First

Happy New Year!!

Let me say, "Thank you!" to all who've supported me in 2011. Whether it was a supportive comment on this blog or their own, in a spin room, in a classroom, in an email or on FB or even just a kind thought or prayer tossed my way - you guys know who you are and I want to thank EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT.

So - First thing that's new is the site re-design. After years of avoiding WYSIWYG web designers in favor of coding HTML and CSS in notepad, and getting aggravated with the intricacies of dealing with this in Blogger, I finally found a site designer called Artisteer that is super-logical and I've been having some fun with it.

The header image is a throw-back for me as it's a picture I took of a tree that was in front of my apartment building a few years back. It was taken at sunrise after an ice storm had coated the porch door. Somewhere along the way, the new management company cut down the big pines around the entries at which time, my treehouse view of Robins' nests (and brutal pine tree allergies) disappeared. The pic is now a reminder to me of how I need to adapt and move forward, keeping the memories that are gems and noting that some things do change for the better.

Early in December, a trip to get a cavity taken care of turned into a root canal. That was no fun. In the weeks that followed, I noticed one tooth with a huge filling. So much so that I thought that there must be more filling than tooth left. I was right as 8 days after my crown was in place, that tooth broke. I have an appointment scheduled for Wednesday to start taking care of that.

The other thing that finally broke was Piece O'Crap car. Yes, the poor thing sounds like it's choking on its own oil filter and while it will start once in a great moon, it stops if you take your foot off the pedal and try to let it idle. Big Money repair job means stick a fork in it because it's done and I have been scrambling for rides to work and shopping for my next set of non-cycling wheels.

While time-consuming, all in all, it's just the regular hoops Life is so happy to throw at you. I registered for the Hotter 'n Hell 100 at 1:00AM Eastern Time... 3.5 hours before I usually get up for work. Yeah, my stomach was queasy by then and I woke up this morning with flu-like symptoms without the benefit of alcohol. Oh, well. Whatever else may happen, at least I have a goal.

It's time to clean up the messes that dragged in from 2011 and start creating a wonderful new year. May our journey in 2012 be one of progress and delight... oh, and WARMTH... really.

Let's get this party started.