Removing All Doubt

Posted Warning

“Even though some people give you no respect be intelligent when you put them in check”  Too Short-The Ghetto

There is an expression I once heard that says it is better to be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt.  Sadly, this has come to the fore of my mind by the recent attempt at public belittlement and SLANDER from the keyboard of my sister’s children. It is more than a bit heartbreaking to see the girls slipping into the same pattern of emotionally stunted and intellectually dishonest banter that has infected the mind of my maniacal, chain-smoking sister, but I have no control over that. There’s a reason I’m currently in a bit of a financial bind, but that said, I never asked Carla or ANYBODY else for a dime.

The only reason for my minor cash flow difficulties right now is that I refused to stash away money my DYING wife was pushing at me, chosing instead to spend it all with and on her happiness since at the end of the day, SHE WAS DYING.  I make no apologies for that and I never will, no matter how many times I hear how poorly I “planned” for my future in the face of her imminent death.  After 25 years of being married to my best friend, Rita finally succumbed to the myriad of cancers that were raging her body on the last day of September this year.  That sad event is chronicled here in this blog as well.

I now know that my family back home regards this lack of greed as a character flaw of immense proportions but I will let my readers sort out the facts. I paid my way while living with my sister in Iowa.  If I ate a bag of chips I bought two to replace them.  I have the receipts to prove the groceries I brought into the house.  I figured I might need them given the lying nature of my sister and her need to feel superior to everyone and everybody.

The documentation of how the money my wife attempted to have me stash away for the circumstances that have transpired since her demise are easy to find here in this blog, my Flickr photos and Youtube feeds.  I am still not asking for any money and never will.  I am fine.  The only thing I was looking for in the SHORT TERM was a roof over my head in the US as I attempted to rebuild my life as an aging and heart-wounded widow.

I would like to remind Jessica and Dawn that it would be in their best interest to refrain from additional slanders on my character lest I am forced to take a more drastic legal course against her or other members of the family.  When my wife died I lost everything that was of importance to me.  They still have a fair amount of assets they are risking by engaging in such reckless behavior.  They actually have LAWS to protect me from this kind of abuse but I’d prefer restraint on their part at this point, even though they are showing themselves to be collectively dumb as rocks.  I am already “our there” in the public eye.  My warts and wrinkles are the stuff of legend as well as my considerable accomplishments. The two might seem at odds to her and/or her mom, but if she were to step away from her mom’s Marlboro haze for a bit of internal self reflection and consider the following missive it would do her a great deal of good.

Just ‘making shit up’ in an attempt to try and diminish my estimable gravitas is a fool’s errand.  It’s something that I figured only my sister would qualify for, but then again, Jessica and Dawn may have grown into the role during my five year hiatus from America.

Here’s the post I made on Facebook that apparently caused my family back in Iowa to totally lose their shit.

Bad move on Jessica's part.

Bad move on Jessica’s part.

Be advised that I can and WILL be happy to GREATLY expound on these, or any other issues my ‘family’ back home wishes to make public.  Not only to set the record straight but also to act as an official online Wikipedia of family disdain. I have a plethora of things Jessica (et.al) are probably unaware of or misinformed about that we could openly discuss and as it’s widely known that I love to spew (and write) “BS” ! Here is the post where I am called to task my the aforementioned niece Jessica.

“That may be because you walked out of all of our lives many many years ago and now expect everyone to bend over backwards for you and believe all the BS that comes out of your mouth. Just because now you needed family and somewhere to go doesn’t mean they needed you. You should be grateful my mom and dad housed you and fed you and expected nothing from you except respect.”

Notwithstanding the fact that the “BS” that comes out of my mouth is nothing but verifiable truth, I will respond to this weak attempt at PUBLIC belittlement with as much grace and restraint as is humanly possible in what I expect will be yet another failed attempt to lift the “fog of futility” and the dark haze of irrationality which has befallen my family back “home”.

Dear Jessie and Dawn, I’m particularly curious as to how I could have walked out of your life (by volunteering to serve my country in the United States Air Force?!?!?!!) since you weren’t even born at the time.  Of all the crap you spewed in that tiny paragraph the only thing that is actually true is that I needed somewhere to stay for a short time while gaining a foothold UPON THE DEATH of my dear wife and a return to my ‘homeland” away from the German version of my Nazi Sister.  If it was true that I ‘needed’ family do you honestly think I’d be sitting here in the lap of luxury among people who really do love me?  And if it were true that I needed you guys, what a tragic state I’d actually be in right now as “family” is just a platitude on a ceramic plate on the door of an upscale double wide trailer in a really nice subdivision where I’m sure it’s dragging down the property values of the nicer homes!  I ought to have sensed the deceit in the tone of my sister as she encouraged me to move in but when I saw yet another family oriented platitude framed with the STOCK photo still in it next to my bedside at her house……argh.

I went out of my way to meet most of the neigbors while walking Bandit up and down the road at sunrise on the first days of my arrival there. I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t be pissed if I let him be a dog again as well as chat up some people who speak my language!  I probably have a better relationship with the neighbors in a few weeks and know more of them than your parents do in all the years they’ve been there.  My gregarious and upbeat nature is just another of those things that seems to put a twist on the face of a woman whose ‘hobbies’ consist of chain smoking, playing Bejeweled and bedeviling me for achieving a level of success she can only dream of.

It is tragic that my sister is using her minor child(ren*) in an attempt to make herself feel superior, but I am not at all shocked. If I ever get as successful as she is I will at least have a proper set of steps off the back end of my double-wide traile…errr…manufactured home.

Was  SO Looking Forward to Sharing a Bong Hit with This One!!

You Did Me WAY Dawn Wrong And It'll Cost You.

You Did Me WAY Wrong on my FB Dawn.  It’ll Cost You.  Don’t let your mom ruin YOUR kids too!!  I’ll speak to your concerns in my next post.

*My sister’s oldest child Dawn, has decided to pile on and defame me on my Facebook as well as her younger sister Jessica.  It’s not like either one of these girls has any choice unless they wish to incur the wrath of my crazy ass sister, but since they are both now adults I will treat them as such.  Neither of them has a clue as to what did or did not transpire in my childhood, let alone my adult life thereafter.  I’ll decide on whether to handle Dawn’s Facebook ‘concerns’ in a post to follow this one.  There’s so much bullshit being slung that I don’t want to overwhelm myself or my reader’s ability to stomach it all.

To Quote the Bard of Avon

After all, who,would put up with all life’s humiliations,? The abuse from superiors, the insults of arrogant men, the pangs of unrequited love, the inefficiency of the legal system, the rudeness of people in office, and the mistreatment good people have to take from bad, when one could simply take out your knife and call it quits?

A letter to my nieces:

I didn’t walk out on anybody. I expedited my entry into the military to serve my country after successful matriculation from FDSH in 1976 upon the sad event of the death of my beloved mother.  I know it doesn’t fit into the mold your mom has carefully crafted into your head, but I am now an honorably discharged Vietnam-era Veteran. I was also a premier academic standout in high school and college.  I was and am a successful businessman, both here and abroad. I wanted to serve my country as well as getting the military benefits because my name isn’t Linda and there was little chance I would get any support from Chuck that wasn’t institutionally necessary as a result of his need to “look” supportive in the eyes of the community. Just like the “help” your mom offered me even as your otherwise tight-lipped and browbeaten father confided to me that Carla never really wanted to provide an iota of support for me at all!!  She lied when I talked with her before coming.  I specifically told her NOT to come pick me up in Des Moines if her goal was to do as we all now know she did!  That’s the really sad and desperate nature of her quest to undermine me and I’m sure she was hopeful I’d be as lost and desperate as you are all trying to make it out to be.

I had NO idea it was her second nature or that she’s now got all of you into the same pattern.  Wow. Gobsmacked.   If only Carla had been HONEST with me about her feelings I could have, and would have gone elsewhere.  Your support was NOT the only available and as it turns out, probably the WORST I could have chosen.  We would not be having this “discussion” but for Carla’s lack of candor!  I came home bearing gifts and love.  You all shat on me.  In unison.  I know who the conductor of that orchestra is/was.  That part isn’t a mystery to me at all now, hindsight being 20-20.

You want me to post the photos and accompanying info on the value of all the gifts I passed out to everyone and compare that to the ‘gifts’ I got for my birthday? You know I have the photos!!   I’m not mad or angry.  Sorry about not fitting into that tired stereotype.  That was more or less beaten out of me in reform school at the Omaha Home for Boys back before I had hair on my balls.  Another red herring shot to shit, but thank your sister for reminding me to mention that when you see her.  She has decided to go total retard on my Facebook just like you!  Birds of a feather or just the natural course of events from the Stockholm Syndrome of having to spend so much time around Carla?  There are some mysteries of life I might never figure out.

Why I left Happyland, Iowa in the First Place?

At the time of my high school graduation Chuck couldn’t point to my pot usage, my heretical leanings, any anger management issues or my supposed financial irregularities as an excuse to hold me to a different standard than his ONE TRUE daughter. My grade point average and my letter from the governor proclaiming me as a “State of Iowa Scholar” are a matter of public record and he would have looked even more crass than he acted towards me upon our first meeting in the last five years the other night!  It’s just another sign of how ridiculously self unaware most of you are that Chuck decided to launch into me about my financial foibles while following up with the same sad tale of woe on how he is over $200,000 in debt for bills he supposedly paid on behalf of his parents.  His dad had millions of dollars in land and worked hard to get it.  There was no need for Chuck to borrow anything. He is blowing smoke up your ass while defaming the memory of a man I truly loved.  Grandpa Moeckly and Dad didn’t get along.  I can see why not.  Chuck either pissed away all the money he made through his own hard work (and he is a hard worker) through seriously bad business investments (if you want me to list them I can) or more likely he pissed the money away on Linda.  We will never know the truth about that will we?  No way he should be in debt hundreds of thousands of dollars FOR HIS PARENT’S CARE.  They had millions in property.  He didn’t have two nickels to rub together.  Still doesn’t if he’s to be believed.  Maybe he’s a bald faced liar like the rest of you and he’s sitting on millions?  I could give a rat’s ass.  He’s either in debt up to his asshole at age eighty something or he’s lying about the circumstances involved in incurring that debt.  Whichever is the case it’s a poor statement on his FINANCIAL management.  I can see why he would be eager to shift the focus towards me.

You mom treated me like shit from the time I crossed the threshold in her house.  She lied about wanting me there in the first place, a FACT your dad confirmed to me in a moment of candor I shall always be thankful for.  I offered a great deal of support to Carla when she called me to tell me of her marital problems NOT THAT LONG AGO.  Seems she has issues with your father’s focus on health and fitness.  It came up in her conversation with me when I was still in Germany and their marriage was hitting the rocks.  She was thinking he might be keeping in shape for a slinky young thing.  I hope so.  He deserves better than he’s got.  It’s not like your mom gives two tugs on a dead dog’s cock about anything other than setting a world’s record for Marlboro consumption.  She treated me like shit, and directly in the shadow of the death of my beloved wife of 25 years as well as the stress of  my recent departure from Nazi-occupied Germany.  Rita was a recovered heroin addict from youth. Tell your sister that trying to slam my wife for her history of drug abuse is really weak and if she ever took the time to speak with me about my life she would know how big a shit she really is for that one!  You can be sure that all the people who actually knew her, as well as a lot of my subscribers will!

At the end of the day, you can’t deny that I came bearing love and gifts for everyone and not “Hat in hand”.  I am sure this upset the carefully crafted image my sister has in her mind and has been spewing about me wildly for years.  She has anger management and reality issues.  I feel sorry for your dad.  Truly sorry.  I am glad he drove me the hell outta there, but believe me it was NOT the only escape route available.  I have many REAL friends who would have come and gotten me.  Kim jumped to the fore like a champ before I even got a chance to call them!!  I figure he was tired of having to listen to Carla whine about stupid shit.  Poor guy.  Rita always thought and spoke very kindly of him.  So do I.  Your dad is a rock.

Sorry sweetie. The real problem is not me, it’s that there simply wasn’t any Schadenfreude for Carla to bolster the superiority complex she has farted into existence around her. So yes, it is true that I never returned to live in Iowa. Do you blame me for making a better choice?  You could have called or visited me anytime you wanted. I offered room and board for any of you to visit me in Europe. What have you (or her) really offered in return? My sister said she couldn’t afford a six hundred dollar ticket in the last five years. Perhaps a car payment under six hundred bucks a month might have helped? A few less cigarettes a day?  I dunno.

It is true that me and my wife enjoyed smoking pot.  Whooptie freakin’ doo!   I lived in a place overseas where that isn’t an issue.  Look to Colorado just the other side of the cornfields and meth houses to see the contemporary application of my perverse drug of choice vis-a-vis marijuana. Compare that to the drug of choice of my father (also you mom’s father btw).

It is just as true I don’t have any use for religious hooey. It is all just recycled mythology to me and I am public with that as well as the REASONING behind it. I don’t know if any of that is why my family has a bug up their ass towards me. It is hard to know the truth around a group of people who seem to have trouble expressing themselves honestly in my presence. I am grateful for the time I spent with my sister, but probably not for the reasons you think. I would have been happy to discuss those issues with you (or anyone else in the family) if you weren’t blinded by midwestern myopia. We could still have that private conversation at your convenience or we can discuss these issues in public. I have nothing to hide and am quite proud of my lifestyle choices, the careers and lifestyles of my several successful stepsons, as well as any and all of my many accomplishments AND actual foibles.

As a matter of fact, I am most proud of my ability to express those things in words and prose. It could have helped my FAMILY in their struggles if we had an open and honest discussion of the various experiences of my life as an example to the rest of you. Of that, I am sure. Feel free to model your lives under whatever system you choose. Just be aware that your myopic midwestern outlook is not the only one or even the “right” one. Best wishes to you. I will always remember the trip I made many years ago when you chased down the weed for me and let me borrow your very expensive digital camera. Here are the pictures of that free growing Iowa weed as well as that I snatched up drying in your mom’s filthy microwave.

Nature's finest Iowa Green

Nature’s finest Iowa Green

My sister's microwave was so gross I ALMOST lost my appetite for weed.  LOL.

My sister’s microwave was so gross I ALMOST lost my appetite for weed. LOL.

I am glad she let me borrow her microwave for the purpose of quick curing that weed and equally relieved I didn’t catch Ebola from the filth in there. Thank goodness your dad is now responsible for the bulk of the housework and cleaning. I did my best to lighten his burden. It was also important for me not to let my sister play a “that lazy doper” game on you guys!

I don’t know what happened to the sweet girl I remember you to be. Either nature, or “nurture” seems to have set in. You have a wonderful husband and an ebullient and cheerful daughter. Her smile and enthusiasm for life were once mirrored in your rosy glow! Peace and love from your (always) HAPPY, well adjusted, and successful uncle. As a final aside, please see if you can get my sister off the vast quantity of truly dangerous drugs she consumes. I tried.

Enjoy.

Advertisements

Marginalizing Misfits

Blast from the Past. She’s best friends with Anita Sarkeesian, who she must have mentored. Anita Sarkeesian (aka Feminist Frequency @femfreq) is no longer just focused on the missing vanity make-up mirrors in MarioCart because she’s got a whole new enemy to battle. From what I can gather, it looks like she’ll be taking on the Second Amendment from her heavily fortified basement bunker. Mormon Massacre in Utah avoided. http://www.bigshinyrobot.com/58114/anita-sarkeesian-cancels-appearance-utah-state-over-security/ Enjoy.

The Tim Channel

 The Bukkake Factory is suing her for trademark violations.
The Bukkake Factory is suing her for trademark violations.

Rebecca Watson, always eager to root out every acorn in the woods concerning anything even tangentially offensive to her delicate sensibilities is (still?) clueless to the mission and goals of The Richard Dawkins Foundation! Becky must avoid looking for information on Richard Dawkins like Kirk Cameron avoids Googling “banana”. She recently stated:

“Regardless of what RDF does for science (and I’m not sure what that is, exactly, though I do know that they donate substantial amounts of money to other organizations that actually do things)”

That is gobsmackingly incurious on her part, considering the magnitude of historical events and given her obvious lust to retain “privileged focus” with the serious rationalist media. Playing(?) dumb works well with her #atheismplus cohorts because they are 99% feminist and only 1% rationalist.

Like any respectable cult leader she is in the position…

View original post 418 more words

Sony QX10 First Day Impressions

Happy Days Are Here Again

Sony DSC - QX10 Cybershot

I received my Sony Cybershot DSC-QX10 camera in the mail yesterday afternoon.  I was immediately intrigued by this innovative Sony camera when I first heard about it early in 2013.  Don’t get me wrong, nothing (i.e. nothing, AND my current iPhone) will ever replace the delicious sweetness of the release of the Sony TPS-L2 Walkman back in 1979, at the dawn of the “rare Earth” era in tech development.

I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that, even as I slowly approach middle-age, I get an echo of the tingle in my nether regions for this new camera the same as the original Sony Walkman used to inspire in my succulent youth.

Another Something New

QX10 riding shotgun

Sony has engineered this camera to ride “piggy back” (literally and figuratively) on your existing smartphone. By utilizing the existing screen of your phone as a viewfinder, and the phone itself as the camera ‘body’, Sony has pioneered an entirely new concept in portable consumer photography. It should be noted that when connected with iPhone via the App, there’s no requirement that the lens be attached (mounting bracket included) to your phone.

Creative Possibilites

I know there will be crowded situations where I’ll want to raise the lens over my head with one hand to get a clear shot and it’ll be nice having the camera control and framing views on my iPhone in my other hand.  You can easily set the camera on any flat surface since the otherwise cylindrical QX10 has a flat spot on the bottom, where a tripod mount is also provided as an optional method of off-phone mounting.

Sony Does the all the Driving

The manual control options on a QX10 are sparse. Consider you’re locked down to fully auto mode unless the software is upgraded to allow more flexibility to the QX10 in the future.  Sony does allow a bit more manual control via the PlayMemories app on the upscale model QX100 (and could probably offer same on QX10 through a simple app upgrade if they desired).  On the other hand, all the extra bells, lights, buzzes and whistles translate to more hassle and less simplicity of use.  If you enjoy fiddling about with a lot of manual controls, but are in love with this new camera’s form factor, even the fancier QX100 is going to be harsh your mellow in that regard.

Welcome to Tomorrow via Yesterday

When Sony pioneered the Walkman, the earliest version(s) lacked a lot of the features available on the later models, but at the end of the day, if you wanted to be the first to own one, you were forced to make some compromises (no Dolby noise reduction, auto-reverse or solenoid controls, e.g.).  And just like the original Sony Walkman, which many of you probably remember as a runaway instant success, Sony had to finesse and grow that market before it eventually exploded so widely you could buy an off-brand Walkman clone at Kmart for twenty bucks.  They were so plentiful and cheap by the end of the Walkman era, you’d see them hanging in the checkout lines of grocery stores as impulse purchases, right along with the disposable single-use film cameras of the pre digicam era.  I would not be the least bit surprised to see the same kind of product life cycle run it’s course again.  There’s still room for improvement, and the built-in camera on smartphones has come a long way.  You can decide for yourself from the comparative shots between my iPhone4S and the Sony QX10.

Commando Mode

The camera can be used without the phone involved at all, if it’s holding an optional memory card to store pix and video. The lens has physical zoom, power and shutter buttons but you’d be shooting completely blind with no framing reference without involving your iPhone in the process.  You would then transfer the photos from the lens directly to your PC via USB cable, just as is required for video retrieval if you lack a separate card reader.

Jumping Right In

Note: All the unboxing photos in this gallery were taken with my iPhone 4S camera.

Non Spontaneous Foreplay

Sony PlayMemories App

First thing I did after breaking the seal on the QX10 box (kudos to Sony Marketing on the studly packaging) was download the Sony PlayMemories App (free) off iTunes onto my iPhone4S. I knew it was necessary andI would have already installed it earlier, but it isn’t good for anything other than controlling and communicating with the Sony QX10 (and QX100) cameras, so it wouldn’t have been doing anything but taking up space on my phone and mocking me every time I glanced at the icon on my phone while impatiently awaiting the arrival of its material mate to arrive via post.  Plus, there’s no waiting in line at the app store and it’s always open.  The app downloaded in the background while I took the unboxing photos shown above with the iPhone4S built-in camera.

The App’s Not Crap

If you read any of the reviews about the PlayMemories App you know what a horrible buggy piece of garbage it must have been before the recent (and desperately needed) Sony upgrade.  I am happy to report that my initial experience with the app on my iPhone4S has been quite pleasant.  In switching back and forth between the iPhone internal camera and the Sony QX10 to take the comparative shots below, the app was quick to re-establish connection with the external lens. The camera and iPhone set up their own ad-hoc wifi network so you don’t have to be on a local wifi network or shared router.  It seems like a no brainer, but I’ve seen a lot of people ask about that in other reviews.  It’s not a spontaneous connection, nor as smooth an experience in operation as a wholly separate pocket-sized point and shoot of similar cost, but it seems wise to take all those rather dated (in internet time), negative app reviews with a grain of salt, as the software performed up to my expectations.  I would imagine the faster processor ratings of the newer iPhones would be even better, but that is not something I have the hardware to test.  I’m hoping to ride my iPhone4S until the release of the iPhone12 if providence sees fit.

Time Is On Your Side

I used to say, if it isn’t broke don’t fix it but then Apple dropped iOS7 on us and for me at least, once I got over the demise of my beloved skeuomorphs, iOS7 has been terrific.  Expect to see further refinements in the Sony PlayMemories App if you purchase a QX10, or it’s hellishly expensive snobby upscale sibling, the QX100 ($500ish).  Sony has already announced more app improvements are on the way.  I love how you buy electronic devices nowadays and they keep adding features via software, making them better than they were when you first got them.

A Softspot for the Hardware

The one thing that reviewers were nearly unanimous in lauding, even as many muttered obscenities under their breathe as they struggled with the early beta versions of that buggy app?  The camera itself.  There’s a lot of praise for the of optics and picture quality of this camera/lens and I concur.  The QX10 is basically the rejiggered guts out of one of Sony’s more successful point and shoot pocket cams, which adds some historical provenance to the QX10.  The ten power true optical zoom and low light capabilities of this camera put my iPhone to shame, which is good, since there is no way to use the iPhone camera flash with the Sony lens and it doesn’t have one built into itself.  If I want a crappy flashed-tout look to my photos, the iPhone has it, but I dislike flash enough to abstain from it altogether.  Bottom line is that you can’t approach the picture quality the QX10 offers with your iPhone because, physics. I suspect the early negative app reviews led to the discounted price I paid for this camera, 144 euro ($196 USD), down from the original price of $250 USD, though I’ve still seen it being listed on many US websites at $250, give or take a buck.  Waiting for the app to be overhauled resulted in me getting a much better discount on this innovative camera than I did when I jumped in on day one and dropped full retail ($200) on the aforementioned Sony Walkman (I’d have paid more!).  It’s good to remember that way back in 1979, a dollar was still worth something.  Around sixty seven cents if memory serves me correctly.

Ready Aim Fire

With the app installed and the camera and phone WiFi synced, it was finally time to test out the fancy smazz optical zoom.  Here’s a set of three pictures taken from the skylight window in my living room. The sky is overcast limiting illumination somewhat, but I was impressed at the results.

It’s important to note that the three sample zoom pix posted, as well as all other QX10 sample shots through to the end of this review are taken in the LOWER of the two options provided in the PlayMemories app.  I have not even explored the larger file output option.  Most of the pictures I take are for web posting or social media posting and I don’t want or need a huge file size for a minor improvement in quality.  Since the files are being transferred one at a time via wifi from the camera to the iPhone after each shot, it’ll also slow down your shooting since you have to pause between each photo to allow it to transfer back to the iPhone. Once it’s on your phone (QX10 saves to your regular camera roll!) you are then able to move pictures freely onto the social media site or cloud storage service of your choice quickly and easily via your usual photo sharing apps.  I believe the PlayMemories app has some sharing functions built in, just like every other camera app seems to be including these days, but I have not tested those yet.

Test Shots and Iphone Comparison Shots

DisgraceBook Update

disgracebook

Another day, another holler.  Just found the feedback box to protest my ban from DisgraceBook over allegations of posting pornography.  I just sent them a web link from the story I posted here yesterday.  I will be sure to report on the action taken, but since there’s only fourteen hours left on my “ban” at this point, the clock will probably run out before Facebook pulls their head out of their ass.  And it’s sad (for them..lol) really, because in the meantime I’m already working out an exit strategy.  Given the trampling of the weeds at the edge of the compound from the massive amount of traffic they’ve lost in the rush of exiting teens, the route is already cleared.
I’ve another interesting and slightly distressing observation to share with you.  I went to post on USA Today and there was no way to get into their system because of my Facebook interconnection.  That in and of itself is enough for me to sever ties with Facebook and I’m thinking of avoiding USA Today (and any other site I find that is so reliant on Facebook for “approval” on my character before posting that I can’t participate in OUR SHARED public arena).

Note To Self: Stop Shaving

SupportsGayRights .philrobertson

Did you see how livid the GodSquad was when their momentary hero got temporarily banned from the Duck Sucker Show?  OMG, the pearl-clutching and hand wringing!!  In relation to the stuff he got slapped on the wrist for saying, in comparison to my “offense”?  No comparison at all, but then like most of you, I obviously don’t command the necessary divine blessings (or ZZ Top stylist) necessary for the adequate protection of my free speech rights!  They say it’s a free country, and I’ll bite.  I’m free to leave Facebook and tell my story on the way out as they continue to free-fall like so many other “broken” social networks of bygone eras.  That trail is so littered with the rotting hubris of bulk, it’s a wonder that Facebook hasn’t gotten any smarter than their predecessors.

Facebook Censored

That said, I think it’s important to make a point of exposing this abuse of membership for both their survival and the survival of free speech rights for the average Joe.  Now that Facebook has become such a gatekeeper and monolithic entity it resides (along with my beloved Twitter) in the bowels of my iOS devices, I’m forced to hold them to a higher “public” standard on issues affecting my ability to comment and post on issues important to me.  Ferchrissakes, people are posting calls to assassinate the President through flimsy “tongue-in-cheek” cartoons and dog-whistle rightwing code on their social network and they don’t get blocked or banned!  Great, let the Secret Service sort them out.  I’m not going out of my way to squelch their rights (and neither is Facebook for that matter), but here I sit, unable to even submit a public reply on my own Facebook account at this point!!

I am in the process of offloading/downloading my entire Facebook profile now.  I can’t wait to see the file size on that!  I will likely delete everything and leave a skeletal profile for ease in logging onto other services.  I’m also still able to “direct message” followers on MySpaceBook, so there’s that to consider.

At the end of the day, Facebook has shown itself to be entirely more reckless and out of control than even I am and that my friends, it the path to complete and total destruction.  You can be ABSOLUTELY SURE that just as soon as my 24 hour ban gets lifted I’m going to be reposting the ‘pornography’ that got me banned in the first instance, just out of principle alone.  I’m going to force their hand one way or the other and let the world have a ringside seat to the circus.

Obligatory.  I’m an outlaw on a steel horse I ride…
The Steel Horse I Ride

Enjoy.

Top Ten App Rappin’

thumb.php

The internet is currently abundant with “top ten” app lists. This is likely due to the rush of after Xmas holiday app downloading from the huge spike in tablet sales this year (not to mention the perennial need for content creators to stuff the intertubes with as much fluff as humanly possible).  I try to make a point of perusing all the lists I can, in hopes I will see something new or exciting, and on occasion, I am rewarded for my efforts.  Any list produced will vary by selected task, and there are often multiple great apps within the same category.   My list focuses on what I consider a standard example of apps an average social user would find useful.  I may do some specialized app lists (e.g. photography, videography, blogging) in the future that will drill down to more specialized functions.

The Breakdown

Precious few app lists will overlook Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Beyond that, it is a crap shoot of tremendous proportions. The  “Big Three” are considered de rigueur in any respectable app list, though to be honest, the only one of the three I’d miss (or have trouble finding multiple suitable replacements for) is Twitter.

Aside from the big three, opinions seem to vary.  I’m all too often left simply scratching my head and wondering if the author of a list I’m reading isn’t secretly just pimping an app for a friend or favored company.  When an already truncated top ten list includes all the usual suspects, but manages to squeeze in one or more obscure paid gaming apps (while failing to note the myriad available (and hugely popular) freebies), it is the obvious mark of an internet shill.  Everything on my list is FREE with optional premium upgrades noted where appropriate.

And Away We Go

facebook-502

I originally joined Facebook for the ease of being able to comment on other sites without having to manually resubmit all my id info for every site where I wanted to comment. It can also be useful for connecting with old coworkers and friends as well, but in my mind it is mostly an overhyped and confusing jumble of everything.  If Facebook has a “focus”, I haven’t been able to figure it out.  Recent reports suggest that my move to the platform, along with a lot of other old geezers, has ruined Facebook for the kids.  I don’t know about that, but will note that the other old geezers who have recently moved in seem to have a proclivity towards duck hunting, gay hating and rightwing Tea Party politics.  Bad enough when these righting Jeebus slobberers were just posting random Bible verses all over creation, but now I have to wade through the constant noise and confusion of “Bullshit Mountain” in between all the pictures of cute puppies and kittens.  Note to the old geezers gumming up my Facebook:  Go back to Fox websites or stay in your pews.  Either way is fine with me, just STFU already.

twitter-50-2

I was late to the Twitter bandwagon (by ubergeek standards anyway!) but I have done a helluva job of catching up!  Twitter is still a mystery to a lot of folks, even though it gets a lot of press coverage, so I couldn’t help but take a whack at figuring out what the hoopla was all about. So what the hell is Twitter? Probably a lot of different things to different people, but I think of Twitter like Google News on steroids.  It is the finest source of breaking news on the planet IMHO. The fireball incident over Iowa last week is prescient to me because it reminded me of the fireball I spotted (and documented) here in Germany a couple years ago on Christmas Eve.  As soon as I witnessed it, I started searching Google for info on what I had just witnessed to no avail.  Then I did a Twitter search and confirmed others had seen AND posted videos as I had.  Google noted it the following day.  If there’s a news event going on live anywhere in the world, people are Twittering it as it happens.  We are the new journalists.

instagInstagram.  They say it is the thing to have for pictures, but is that really true if you have Twitter and Facebook, since they handle pictures too?  Outside of the fixation on filters to make your pictures look more like ass…err..artisan creations, the popularity of Instagram seems to be the simplicity.  Now available with added Vine-like video capabilities.

More Meat and Potatoes

youtube-deluxe

YouTube is nice for posting videos. With the option for paid content creation, you can become the next James Cameron.  Great resource for watching old movies and TV shows.  Lots of niche categories of interest.

camera-50

Camera+ is a companion app for your smartphone.  Plenty of sharing options and more control over framing and exposure than provided on standard camera app.  The built-in lightbox feature allows for simple editing.

spotify-50

Spotify is my favorite music app.  The ad-supported free version was recently sweetened to cover mobile devices.  Off-line usage is still limited to premium subscribers ($10/month).  Cannot recommend highly enough!!!  WiFi response to service is outstanding.  Cellular access more dependent on service environment and plan.  I use wifi at home for browsing new stuff and my mobile pro account for offline/travel.  I dump a couple gig of songs onto my phone.  You get to create playlists just like every other media player and with the premium level access you get syncing of selected playlists/songs for offline use.  The iPad app is a truly brilliant piece of work.

shazam-logo

Shazam is an app that uses your smartphone mic to listen to music and identify the title and singer of songs you don’t know or can’t remember.  It will then offer you links to purchase the music off iTunes or Amazon.  Since I’m a die-hard Spotify user, I paid a one-time upgrade fee for Shazam Pro ($9) to get access to the direct Spotify links for identified songs (so I wouldn’t have to search for them separately on Spotify).  I keep Shazam fired up and handy when I’m watching television to identify background music I like but am unable to identify.  I use it when I troll the hipster hangouts in Holland so I can zero in on what tunes the locals are groovin’ on.  I’ve even stuck my phone out the living room window to catch music playing off a neighbor’s jam box and gotten positive results!  It’s scary smart.  NSA scary.

yelp-50-2

Yelp is one of the two shopping/check-in apps I use, the other being FourSquare.  I tend to think of them as restaurant location and public opinion rating services.  Their in-app photo feature allows for inclusion of suitable food porn shots.  I’ve written a fair number of restaurant reviews on the Yelp website which may be of use to English speaking locals and tourists to Munsterland.  Click on the Yelp icon to access them.

googleplus2

Something, something Google.  The Plus app is more socially targeted, but at a minimum, you want a search engine you can talk to that understands you better than that crazy girl Siri*.  It’s high time you get used to chatting with your devices, and using Google’s state of the art voice recognition system is a welcome introduction to our new machine overlords.  *Full disclosure.  I’ve not really attempted to chat up Siri that much.  I’m still getting used to the idea of talking to my phone and it’s a bit easier with Google since Google doesn’t add a creepy anthropomorphizing name to their voice response system.  Besides, Siri is the kind of name you give the cute girl who does nothing but stand around looking cute.  The kind of girl you really don’t want to interrupt in the first place.  Maybe if Apple had named Siri something like Jenny, a good hardworking farm girl kinda name, I would feel differently.

That’s a list of ten apps already (if you count Foursquare), and I haven’t even touched on the other oft-noted must have apps you should be aware of.  Weather and mapping apps, cloud based storage apps, as well as all the free Angry Birds you fancy are all awaiting immediate download at your app store, and if they’re not, you bought the wrong smartphone.

Enjoy.