Otherwise Occupied

Life

Well, I’m not doing well with the picture a day thing. At least for the last two days. yesterday I spent an hour and a half on a self portrait that didn’t turn out really well. I decided to scrap it rather than post it here. And today I forgot my camera! ugh. I may or may not take a daily photo tonight when I get home from work. I think I’m more likely to chill with my knitting. I love my daily photo but sometimes a break is in order. I won’t give up on it yet, though.

I had nightmares last night about my knitting of all things! Well, they were more like anxiety dreams. I woke up all anxious about getting my projects done. What the? What does that mean? Maybe I should take a step back from that too! What a stupid thing to be anxious about!

Today I feel pretty good. Not great, but good. I don’t feel stressed out, which is a good thing.

Oh, I need to tell you what I’ve been occupied with over the weekend. I found a really cool service that will create and print a book for you and sell it on thier site if you want them to. It’s called Blurb. You download thier software and then create your book on your own computer using your own pictures to make it special. You can make wedding books, photography books, cookbooks, and (and this is what I was playing with) you can turn your blog into a book. And it’s really affordable! I made a book out of Blatherskite’s 2003 entries and it was less than $20.00. I made it over the weekend and ordered it and will let you know how it looks when I get it. I’m excited about this! I’ve been doing this blogging thing now for 4 (!) years. I think it would be really cool to have evidence of this part of my life that I can actuallly hold in my hands.

Bloggers’ Internet obsession

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Visualization of the various routes through a ...

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MercuryNews.com | 02/22/2005 | Bloggers’ Internet obsession

For some, keeping a blog subtly colors every aspect of life. Renee Blodgett carries a digital camera wherever she goes to capture images for Down the Avenue (www.downtheavenue.com), which mixes notes on San Francisco, technology and poetry. She walked into a cafe recently and caught herself paying attention to the colors, sounds and people. “I was thinking how I could turn it into a post,” said Blodgett, who is in her mid-30s. “Before, I’d just sit down, have my bowl of soup and zone out.”

Yet Blodgett worries whether the blog will make her less social. “Will I become more engaged with my laptop, more engaged with my blog than I am with people?” she said.

Here is an interesting article in the merc. about blogging. The issues raised are some of the things I have thought about. I have mixed feelings about blogging lately. On the one hand, it does make you see the world around you a little bit more critically. Like when I was trying to take a picture a day…I was looking at things around me in terms of “what would make a good photograph.” It puts you in “right brain” mode, which I always like.

On the other hand blogging has also been a thorn in my side. You put yourself out there when you blog, and when a drive-by troll comes in and makes a comment that is inciteful it is upsetting. Not that that’s happened in awhile, but nonetheless.

I guess there is good and bad with everything.

LitBlogs: Update: My War, Over and Out

I decided to go visit some blogs that I haven’t been to in awhile and noticed that the blog, My War, had only one post, a quote from Johnny Rotten. And the name has been changed from My War, to Over and Out. I clicked on a few links and got to the one above, explaining what he feels the situation is. It’s very interesting reading. I’m bummed that My War got shut down. I hope C’s okay.

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My Blog Rules

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I’m laying down some ground rules. First of all, if you read my blog please don’t read another word until you go to this site and read this disclaimer.

Okay, now that you have read that, I have a few rules of my own to lay down.
1.This is my online journal. It is not a doctoral dissertation. I will not back up my opinion with researched material, unless, of course, I feel like it. This blog is my outlet. It is a place where I write freely on things that I see around me.

2. If you post a comment on my site, be polite. Don’t come here and pass judgement on things that I write, on me, or my opinions. At least, don’t do it in the comments. It’s rude. It’s like me going to your home and telling you how to raise your kid. This website is my domain. Please respect that.

3. If you don’t like what I write, you can choose to not visit my site. What I write might offend you. If it offends you, and you feel the need to post a rude and inflammatory comment, then you might want to refrain from visiting this site.

4.Don’t offer me unsolicited advice. If I want advice I will ask for it.

5. I reserve the right to delete a comment if it is inappropriate.

6. I will deal trolls  with appropriately.

I mentioned in the comment of another post, I am not here to constantly defend myself against nitpicking conservatives. This blog is my writing outlet. It is my online journal. I write to make sense of things going on around me. If you have a differing opinion, that’s fine. But please be polite and respectful when posting comments on my site.

Thanks.

Like a tank of barracudas

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I had an interesting experience yesterday. It’s almost as if I entered an alternate universe.
I was surfing around the net, I can’t even remember what I was originally looking for, and in my searching I stumbled upon a blog called Daffodil lane. It is published by a married couple and, like me, they post personal kinds of items. They have a baby so they post baby pictures; Dianne, the wife is logging her weight watchers progress, things like that. They are also liberals, and, like me, they post articles that they find interesting as they come across them and then post thier commentary.

I read the latest post on this site (latest as of Sunday night). It was posted by Dianne and about John Kerry‘s speech at the DNC. She mentioned something to the effect of “I can’t wait until Kerry is in office and we get back to a country that is innovative and is not a theocracy.” (not an exact quote. I’m paraphrasing here). I read this thinking, “Amen, sister!” I noticed that there were some comments on this entry so I clicked the link to view the comments. One of them was from someone who asked why she thinks Bush hates science and why she thinks we are living in a Theocracy? Her husband (ManDrake) posted an answer that referred to an article and then there was another comment written by a conservative that was too vague to really comprehend clearly (It had something to do with the actions of past democrats).

I read these posts and thought it was strange that these two conservatives were, in a way, jumping down her throat. I mean, this site is, in a nutshell, someone’s homepage. They are liberals and are very passionate about what they believe in so they post liberal articles. I can relate to that. I found it extremely odd that these conservatives were, in my view, kind of harrassing her. I shut my computer off and went and watched the movie that my hubby had put on. However, I couldn’t pay attention to the movie because I was brewing on this. I started to get more and more angry. I began to come to the conclusion that these conservatives were bullies and were ganging up on this poor woman. I mean It started to make me mad so I got up, turned my computer back on, and Googled the site. I don’t know howI remembered the name of it, but it came right to me, and I was there in a flash.

I logged back on the site and posted a reply to the original argument about “why we are living in a theocracy.” I think I gave a solid answer. I defined the word from my dictionary and presented some examples in which I think backed up my argument (note: my print dictionary defines a theocracy as a head of government who claims to lead by direction of God) : 1. Bush admits he was called by God to invade Iraq, 2. Bush makes decisions based on his Christian idealogy, rather than what is good for all people of America. I.e.: cutting funding for embryonic stem cell research, pushing a constitutional amendment that bans gay marraige, passing a law that makes late term abortion illegal.

I came back later on in the day and, boy did I ever jump into a fishtank of killers. That site was swarming with neo-cons. I was kind of apalled! Why were all of these neo-conservatives trolling around on this couple’s site? The original conservative offered up a red herring. He focused on stem cell research and tried to bring in the whole “right to life” issue. I answered him back, telling him to stick to the point. However, the damage had already been done. That red herring attracted the barracudas. When I went back later on in the day they were swarming around that tasty stem cell research morsel. One person had the audacity to say “so by your logic, the killing of innocent lives is best for all Americans?” Huh?!? Where did that come from? Now we are talking about the killing of innocent lives? Again, I tried to get back to the point, (but not before pointing out the utter fallacy of bringing in the “killing of innocent lives” issue). Unfortunately, though, I nipped at the bait. I quoted a National Institute of Health faq that mentioned embryonic stem cells are preferable to Adult stem cells. That would make them see the light, right? I mean the government themselves even admit they would rather use embryonic stem cells for research. They should at least see that all kinds of stem cells should be studied. Surely they must understand that scientists should be free to conduct research without being hindered by the government?!?

Boy was that a huge mistake. When I went back things began to get worse. There were more of ’em swarming around that damn stem cell morsel. We had completely entered the world of ideology, where nothing can be argued. One of those pesky barracudas tried to get me by dismissing my NIH quote and giving me, instead, an article from a website in which I could find “lots of good articles about how there are limitations to using embroynic stem cells”. I checked out this site and, being a good librarian, tried to figure out who the publishers of the site were. “Was this good information?” I asked myself. I couldn’t find out. I couldn’t even find an “about us” link anywhere on the page. I concluded (by the url) that this was a “right to life” website putting out material that supports thier agenda. Nope, not good information. It was clear that these people were in desperate need of basic crtical thinking skills (i.e. how to formulate an argument), AND information literacy skills (How to determine what is good and bad information on the web).

This brings me to my observations: I think it is almost next to impossible to have a civil, real argument with one of these neo conservatives. They are so completely blinded by thier idealogy. They hold thier beliefs to be fact, like that “killing innocent lives” guy. He actually believes that innocent lives are being killed when one studies embryonic stem cells. Any person who is not steeped in this mentality knows this to be false. I mean, I’m so used to being around people who think this is false that I was kind of taken aback by the statement. The fact is that innocent lives are not killed by studying embryonic stem cells. It has never been proven scientifically that embryonic stem cells are “innocent life”. Like believing Jesus rose from the dead; it can never be proven because it is a belief.

Secondly, it is fruitless to argue with these people because thier intentions are not pure. In other words, it appeared to me that sole purpose of these people, like barracudas, was to kill. They don’t care what you have to say. The don’t even bother listening to what you have to say. They take a statement you make, twist it so far out of context and change the subject. They are devious. One guy even lied to make a point, which I find abhorrent. They have been directed (unconciously?) to go out into the world and get on liberals’ nerves. Wear a t-shirt that bugs a liberal. Go call in liberal talk-radio shows and raise some hell. Seek out liberal blogs and start a fight. And don’t stop until you have beaten them down with fallacious arguments, lies, and false analagies. I hate to say this but Maybe Ann Coulter is right: “Political discourse in this country has become insufferable.” Pretty ironic that the queen purveyor of insufferable political discourse is the one who made this statement isn’t it? (but that’s a whole other blog post)

I’m not sure what to make of this experience. And I am still bothered by all of these barracudas hovering around this liberal couple’s site. It was weird. I wonder if other liberal bloggers are experiencing the same thing?