Category Archives: Rants

Focus Folks, Focus.

texting Pictures, Images and Photos

I know, I know. Two posts ago I said we should all leave our electronics off now and then. Well, the article was more about properly using them. Know when to say when. I fully support texting. I do it often. I am just curious about the language people use when they text. So, I thought that I’d write a post in all text lingo. I had to use a translator (seriously) to accomplish this. I found out that it’s not as difficult as I originally thought; there are just a couple of rules you must follow.

1) Use all caps.

2) Overuse the exclamation mark, in fact, only use the exclamation mark for punctuating!

3) In general, mistype.

4) Overuse the abbreviations WTF, OMG, LOL.

5) LOL. Type phonetically–well, sort of.

Here is what the translator produced:

SO I D3CIEDD 2 WRIET A POST IN TEXT LNGO!!!!!! AFTER AL Y NOT!!!!! MAH 13 YAAR-OLD NEICA TYP3S THES WAY!1!!1!11 OMG Y SHUDNT I!!!! WTF LOL I CANT TAKE AL DA CR3D THOUGH!!11111 WTF I ACTUALY HAD 2 UES THE ANGLISH-2-12-OLD-AOLER TRANSLA2R 2 ACOMPLISH IT!1!111!! OMG WTF LOL I GU3S TEH KAY IS 2 NOT UES ANY PUNCTUATION 3XCEPT FOR LOTS OF AXCLMATION MARKS!1!11!!1! OMG WTF LOL ALSO ITS ESENTIAL 2 UES AS MANY WTFS AND LOLS AS POSIBLE!11!11!!! WTF LOL

My original idea was to actually write the entire post in text lingo. It became clear immediately that this was going to induce either rage or seizures, one of the two, so I had to stop. I think my point is rather clear in the one paragraph I was able to compose in text lingo. I mean, seriously, WTF!?!

The origins of text lingo can be found in phones that pre-date itapen or t9. I’ve read several articles written by linguists that suggest it dates even further back to the days of Morse Code. It took several key punches of varying lengths to get a single letter. You probably can remember having to hit the #7 button 4 times to get an “s.” So, you needed to find ways to abbreviate and choose your words wisely. Interestingly, now that most phones have this feature, or better yet, now that there are phones with full keyboards, people still use these same words. My 13 year-old niece types her emails in a similar, yet different, way–she uses no caps and no punctuation.

I realize that I am a self-diagnosed “over-punctuater.” I love the comma. And, the semi-colon. Oooo, and the tilde (~) that’s my favorite! It really doesn’t have much use in regular language, but I just think it’s pretty, so I use it. It’s a personal style choice. I mostly use it in place of a comma in the greeting of an email. Nonetheless, you can imagine that the lack of punctuation in texting sends me into a tizzy. That and the use of all-caps. IT’S LIKE I’M BEING YELLED AT!!!1!!11!

Argh.

I think my original point wasn’t even supposed to be about the actual texts. I got distracted. It’s about the act of texting. It’s dangerous. This past July in California it became illegal to talk on your cell phone and drive. You have to wear a headset. Initially, they didn’t add texting to the law, although as of this month, that has now been corrected. People were actually texting instead of talking on the phone while they drove, as if it was safer.

It’s insane, really–texting and driving, texting and walking, texting and (insert your activity of choice). It seems obvious to say, but, I’ll say it anyway. You can’t see what you’re doing when you are texting. I don’t care how proficient your thumbs are. I don’t know anyone that can type a complete text message without looking at their screen. Not to mention that you sort of need your hands for driving…both of them. It’s called 10 and 2, folks, remember?

I have certain friends, you know who you are, who refuse to use their voice. I will call them and leave a voice message only to receive a reply in the form of a text seconds later. Really? Use your voices, folks. I know that this all makes me sound like a curmudgeon. I am by no means against technology or texting. I just got the iPhone and one of my favorite features is the texting. But, I use sentences and punctuation. It’s just important to know when to use it.

Well, this is the conclusion of another rather unfocused post. I guess that sums up how I’m feeling this week–unfocused and a little scatter-brained, frankly. Which really does happen to be the point of this semi-rant. Focus. For all the advancements in electronics have brought us, it has made it more difficult to focus on the task at hand. And that’s because we usually have several tasks at hand at all times. Even our leisure has gotten complex. I almost always have my laptop running while I’m watching TV. But, that’s another subject and my brain hurts.

Tree Hugger

I love plants. Don’t forget, I have nine of them. Quick side note here–the baby of the family, Wendla, is blooming! God, they just grow up so fast. OK, so I love plants. Growing things is one of the few talents I developed while growing up on a farm. I also developed my talent for cursing, which I’ve previously blogged about. Even as a kid I loved to plant flowers and watch them grow and bloom. I also love to be in and around nature. Camping, to me, is the best form of relaxation.

So, I have to admit that I am part tree hugger. Not fully a tree hugger, just partially. And, actually just the part that likes trees. I am a firm believer in the use of deodorant, as well as taking regular showers. Basically, I just like to look at trees, not look like I live in the trees.

As you can imagine, I’ve been following the Berkeley tree climber saga. If you are not aware of the situation, here it is. Almost 2 years ago a group of “tree sitters” climbed up into a grove of Oak trees on the UC Berkeley campus when they announced they were going to be cut down to build a sports complex. Since that time they have literally lived in those trees. They’ve built a whole little community up in those trees, complete with pulleys and ropes to lower their feces down to the volunteers on the ground. Yes, I know, those ground volunteers are the real heroes.

All of this to save a few beautiful, old Oak trees. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for saving beautiful, old Oak trees. But there are certain ironies in this situation that I can’t ignore. For instance, these climbers obviously don’t have too big a problem with cutting down at least some trees. They are using wood platforms in their little Swiss Family Robinson style of community. Those boards look like they were purchased from Home Depot, so I doubt they went out into the forest and found a few fallen trees to cut up. Second, they are decimating those trees by living in them. I’m not opposed to a well-designed tree house–loved The Swiss Family Robinson! But, come on…really?

They have wasted so many of the resources of that community by trying to save a just a few trees. And, when it came time for them to be forced out of the last tree, they tried to make demands. They wanted to just walk away peacefully. OK, now that part is totally laughable. After costing the city of Berkeley and UC Berkeley millions of dollars, they wanted to just walk away. There must have been some serious weezing going on up in those trees.

So, I guess in conclusion I just wish these tree huggers would have better spent the money that was spent on keeping them up in those trees. I know that the millions spent on them by the city of Berkeley could have planted thousands of new little Oak trees.

30 days

One of my favorite shows on TV is Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days. It’s just one of a few “serious” shows that I’m watching this summer. My TV diet right now is heavy on ridiculous reality shows, which I do enjoy. It’s nice to balance the fluff, however, with some substance. 30 Days does that for me.

The basic premise of the show is to take someone and place them in a particular environment that is unfamiliar to them for 30 days. Some of the episodes just involve Morgan working in a coal mine for 30 days or Morgan living in a prison for 30 days, that type of thing. The really good ones place people outside their comfort zones. For instance, they had a Mormon mother move in with two gay dads who had adopted several children. Another one of my favorites involved Morgan and his wife moving to a different city and having to live on minimum wage for 30 days.

One of the most powerful episodes I watched was about animal rights. They had a guy from North Carolina who was a hunter move in with a family of vegans who worked with PETA. He had to work in an animal rehabilitation center, spend time with the PETA family, and actually participate in several PETA events. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that PETA supports or the way that they tend to protest. But, I do have to admit that the useless mistreatment and killing of animals needs to stop. It was amazing to see the hunter open himself up to another way of thinking.

I guess the thing I most like about the show is that it follows people while they explore different ways of life beyond their own. Not all of the people on the show make changes or expand their worldviews. For instance, the gay dads and the Mormon mama’s parting of ways was barely cordial. They spent most of their month in disagreement. It was extremely uncomfortable. I may be biased, but Mormon Mama just looked like an idiot. The gay dads always could defend why they believed what they believed. Mrs. Mormon’s best defense for her beliefs about gays was “this is the core of what I believe. And, I’ve always believed it. I just know that it’s true. I can feel it.” Not exactly a foolproof argument.

If you’re going to go on a show that places you right in the middle of something that you disagree with, you probably should be able to at least defend your beliefs. She just kept on complaining that everyone was ganging up on her. Someone seriously needed to remind her that she chose to go into a home with two gay dads. And if you’re gonna tell them to their face (in their own home) that they are going to hell and leading their children down that same path, you’d better have a stronger argument than “this is just what I feel to be true.” I can respect someone who has different beliefs if they can at least give a good reason why they believe it. Or, at least have the guts to say “I don’t know, but I’m trying to figure it out.”

Oh crap. Damn. There I go a-preachin’ again. The show makes me think and gets me riled up at the same time. Well, this has become a longer post than I’d originally intended. I just wanted to share my thoughts about 30 days. Check it out, the first season is already on DVD.

Pedestrian Rage

This week is my 3 year anniversary of going car-less. And I have to tell you, I don’t miss it–not even a little bit. Especially when you consider the price of gas/repairs/tolls/parking/insurance/etc. etc… Well, it’s amazing how splendidly I’ve adapted to walking and to public transit. There is one minor problem, however. I’ve developed a serious case of pedestrian rage. I’m not proud of it. But, seeing that I don’t have a car to use to get rid of all the rage, I take it out on my fellow walkers.

I guess I view the sidewalk as a mini-road. And, I’ve got places to go, you know? The sidewalk would be a much better, nay, safer place to be if people just followed my simple rules. I love a good list–who doesn’t, really–so here it is: Tyler’s six simple sidewalk statutes:

1) You should always walk to the right side of the sidewalk. Avoid weaving back and forth (i.e.–a drunken stupor), as this makes it difficult for people to pass you.

2) If you’re in a group, don’t hog the whole sidewalk. But rather, walk in 2’s, or better yet, single file. This will allow for easy passing. You may look like a troupe of boy scouts, but, safety first. I’d hate to have to walk out in the street to get around you, because, hey, those drivers are crazy.

3) Be sure to keep a steady normal pace. You’re never gonna burn those calories with a gingerly stroll. (side note: My friend Jaclyn would love to tell you that I walk too slowly. When I walk with her, she’s possessed. I mean seriously, the girl can speed walk. And sometimes I want to stop and smell the roses.)

4) When you stop and smell the roses, be certain no one is directly behind you when you stop. This could cause that person to have to swerve out into the street, and hey, those drivers are crazy.

5) Don’t follow too closely. If I wanted to give you a piggy-back ride, I would have asked you.

6) If you are going to talk on your cell phone and walk, be aware of who is around you. They may not want to hear your fight with your boyfriend. (This applies to riding the bus as well. Maybe I should write Tyler’s rules for riding the rails…)

Crap. OK. So, I just proof read my rules. I think that it may be time to finally go on Prozac. But, hey, at least I’m not behind behind the wheel anymore. I’ve seen some of my friends behind the wheel, and let me tell you, they are crazy.

Sharing is Caring, Right?

The other day I was having brunch with my friend Jaclyn. We had started to peruse the menu when she suggests, “Perhaps you’d like to share something, we could both get different entrĂ©es and then split them.”

“Hmmmm…I’m not a good ‘sharer,’ ” I say. I was just being honest.

“Oh.”

“Sorry. It’s just that I order what I like to eat.”

I then have to continue into the full length version of why I don’t like to share plates at restaurants. This always makes me feel bad. But, over the last few years I’ve had to learn to just be honest about what I want. Jaclyn, as expected, was completely understanding, while others have not been. I guess that some people just find it weird that you wouldn’t want to split your food with them. But, I don’t.

There is a history to this. I’ve been burned…many times…and not by delicious sizzling fajita meat. Rather, burned by people who order twice as much as I do and then want to just split the bill. Or, burned by people who want to split dessert and then proceed to eat basically the whole thing. OK, so I know that I’m really stepping on people’s toes here. But, I’ll admit it. I have food issues. Especially when it comes to money and food. It’s expensive.

All of this has me thinking…am I just being selfish? Am I just a selfish person in general? Are the people who want to share just mooching? Why does this bother me so much? If I just keep on asking questions will I have to answer all of them eventually? Why am I asking so many questions in the first place? Don’t you just hate it when people ask too many questions? Are you getting tired of reading all my questions?

Wow. What just happened there? Damn. I did it again. Sorry. I really am trying to stop asking questions but I just can’t stop. Why is that? Argh.

Sometimes I have to seriously question my sanity. I mean really. I just never know where this blog is going. Food. Moochers. There, I’m back on track. Alrighty then. I don’t think it’s selfish of me to want to pay for only my portion of food, nor do I think that I should be guilted into eating “family style.” I have no problems with sharing my food when I’m done eating. That’s not it all. But, don’t make me eat part of your fish dish that I didn’t want to begin with just so that you can have part of my chicken dish that I was really hungry for.

Wow. I finally got that out. It’s amazing the journey I have to take you on sometimes just to get to my point. Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I’m sure it was tempting to click off my page and curse my name. I feel better now and slightly hungry. Anyone want to go out for lunch? My treat.