Archive for February, 2010

Auntie Em! Auntie Em!

Feb 25 2010 Published by under Ramble On

So here I sit in my friends’ living room.  Our power is out.  It’s been out for almost 24 hours.  When we called the electric company they said “There are no plans for power restoration in your area.”  

No Plans.

When you live in the “country” like we do, you really rely pretty heavily on electric.  We need it to start the oil furnace – so no heat.  We need it to cook – so no food.  We need it to pump water from the well – so if it’s yellow, let it mellow….  you know the rest.  It’s cold.  The kids are either annoyed and pissy (15 year old), confused and scared (8 year old) or frustrated and cranky (44 year old).

When I was last in my house a few hours ago, it said the inside temperature was 50 degrees.  I heard my neighbor’s generator running.  It was supposed to be our generator.  When we bought the house, there was a generator plugged into the circuit breaker.  I told our real estate agent we wanted it.  That message never got relayed to the seller, and we moved in to find out that he gave it for a song to the guy across the street.  Oh well.  ”I’ll just get a new one”.  That was ten years ago.

The storm itself isn’t really all that bad.  It’s pretty actually – the kind of snow that stays on the branches and makes everything look like Narnia.  But it’s heavy snow – the kind of snow that brings those branches and trees down – and branches and trees like to fall on power lines.  They don’t like power lines very much.  They do what they can to destroy them.  They usually win.

So this storm and story really started on Tuesday night.  At around 1:00 am or so, I woke to my son yelling “Dad!  Dad!  did you see that?”  The street lights, our smoke detectors, and my clock radio were coming on and off – rapidly – as if someone was flipping a switch really fast – for like 5 minutes non-stop.  The sky was green and red.  I’m not kidding.  The whole sky.  This has been confirmed by people who live near us – and people who live several miles away.  My son thought it was some kind of invasion where the enemy (terrestrial or extra-) had hit us with some sort of electro-magnetic-thingamabobby (that’s a technical term) which wipes out all electricity and cripples all forms of communication.  I checked to see if my cell phone worked before assuring him that he plays too many video games and that I was sure (not) that it was actually just a blown transformer – and not a holocaust or the armageddon.  To be honest, I’m still not completely convinced and neither is he.

That night we lost power for about 7 hours – and then had it back for a while before losing it again – this time – seemingly – for good.

And I have learned something in all of this.  It has become painfully evident that I am completely dependent on the innernetz.  I can not believe how much I rely on it – for EVERYTHING.  I work on the internet of course – so i need it for that.  My phone company is Vonage – so when we had electric but no Cable – no phone.  I check facebook more often than I realized.  And I’m really really BORED when there’s no internet.  What do people do when they’re not on the internet?  Thank GOD and Steve Jobs for my iPhone.

But don’t worry about us.  We’re safe and sound at our good friends’ house, I brought a bottle of my favorite wine – and they have wifi.

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my shoe shine boy tweets about his blog

Feb 04 2010 Published by under Pete Perry's Pet Peeves,Ramble On

I’m a little worried about social media.  I generally only worry about things I care about – and I am worried.

We’ll start with why I care about social media.  I care because it has introduced me to some really incredible people.  I care because it has helped me to reconnect with people that had faded from my life.  And I care because it is helping me make money right now.  I want all of these things to continue.  It’s an incredible thing, this technology.  The technology that brings us all together and helps build friendships (or even romance).  The technology that helps us choose the right restaurant or buy the right car.  The technology that – you get the idea.  You’ve probably met me because of social networking – or at least learned more about me that way.  See?  THAT’S how important it is.  Take a moment to be thankful for social media because it brought more of ME into YOUR life!

Take your time…

But I really am worried.  Here’s why…

In 1928 in New York City, or so the story goes, John D. Rockefeller was having his shoes shined.  The shoe shine boy, presumably not knowing who Rockefeller was, started giving him stock tips.  J.D. took his shoe shine boy’s advice – but not in the way you’d expect.  He decided that if a shoe shine boy – making a penny a shine – was giving stock tips – it was time to get out of the market.  He did – and it’s the reason his family was able to stave off the Depression, and continued to be one of the richest in our history.

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Everyone has a blog.  Everyone has a Facebook Fan Page.  Everyone Tweets.  Hell, “Tweet” is a verb!  And now – that’s not enough.  Now there are companies out there that will sell you (for only like $300 or so) software to plug into your website to help you create YOUR OWN SOCIAL NETWORK.

Here’s the elevator pitch of one such company (who’s name I have removed because I dont’ want you to build your own social network – really – I won’t join it.):

“With MyDumbassCompany* you can start tomorrow’s next big thing today by creating social networking sites just like Facebook or MySpace!”

*not their real name

Stop!

Please – just stop!

For the love of Google, just stop.

You do not need your own social networking company.  The world does NOT need another Facebook and it could use one less MySpace.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting that social networking is evil.  On the contrary – I’m grateful for it.  At the risk of being overly melodramatic – I can honestly say that it has enriched my life  - and – believe it or not – helped me to grow.

Please don’t ask for proof of aforementioned growth.

I’m just worried, is all.

I encourage you to use the comments section below to discuss this topic.  No.  Not my growth or lack thereof – social media.  The pros – the cons – the future.  What do you think – I want to know.  It may help me to help my clients – so really – please participate if you have any opinion at all.  Wise-ass commenters may be made fun of or un-friended.

4 responses so far