The here and now (The public part)

I haven’t been blogging much lately. Most of the new stuff that’s been going on has been about or regarding work, and I don’t really want to talk about work on my blog. Or rather, I don’t want to get caught talking about work on my blog.

Bad Neighbors
We had an issue with neighbors not long ago. I can’t remember if I mentioned this on my blog or microblog or not. We have a two story apartment. Our unit has the living room, kitchen, and a half bathroom on the first floor. The full bathroom, and two bedrooms on the second floor. We use the second bedroom as an office. I’m not really sure what that means, but it is where my server and router sit, and Julie has a desk up there two where she goes when I’m distracting her. It is also where we have a supply of books that we read far too infrequently. Anyway, the neighbor behind us and to the right started in November, playing loud, bassy, repetitive music. Weird person/people I’m guessing. Their windows are covered in tin foil. Very classy. Anyway, by loud, bassy, repetitive music, I mean that it makes our entire unit shake and our dishes clink in the cabinets. The same one or two phrases (that’s musician speak for the same 8 beats or so) play for about half an hour with no variation and then it changes to a different “song” that sounds very similar to the prior but with a different phrase. Such an odd combination of behavior. One might wonder if these people are not using and/or making methamphetamine, but to jump to such a conclusion would be unfair. It has always bothered us, but Julie and I have been on both sides of noise issues before. Not through any fault of our own, but because of poor apartment design and not having decent sound barriers. However, I starting having to go to bed and wake up early due to my new job, and having loud music playing non-stop from 10am until 2am (seriously) is simply unacceptable. I tried contacting the apartment manager three or four times through the online request system, but I never got any response. One night past midnight, I decided enough was enough and called the police department (not 911 of course; I’m no fool); this is where things get interesting. I told the whoever-she-was about my issue and asked to remain anonymous, but had to give a callback number. I told this person the apartment number of the unit I was complaining about and she repeated it back to me. After about and hour and a half, the music stopped. I figured the officer got there, but man, that took a long time, I thought. Early that morning, I woke up to the alarm clock and Julie’s cell phone, which I made the complaint with. Julie uses her cell phone as a back-up alarm clock. She tells me the police called back and left a voicemail. They apparently didn’t think they found the apartment and wanted me to call back. I didn’t have much time, but I called back, but the same woman said that officer was not out now. The same music grated me when I got home from work, so I decided to actually go talk to the apartment manager in person. I figured I was about to have to bow up on them at this point, so I was “chuck full of waffles and ready for bear” (don’t feel down if you don’t know what that means) at this point. I tell the apartment manager what’s going on, and someone else listens in and says that the cop actually went to the wrong apartment unit and woke up some old lady around 2am, and she was furious. Although I felt some regret about the old lady being bothered, this seemed to finally get the managers’ attention and they sent the neighbor some nice letters. I haven’t hear music after 10pm anymore. Still irritates me though. The term “quiet time” sort of implies there is some acceptable “loud time”. I don’t think it is ever a good time to make your neighbors’ unit shake with bass! Such is life for the apartment home resident.

Likes and dislikes in the “new Internet”
I’m actually using a term I don’t like when I say the “new Internet”, but what I mean rather is the trends we see today on the Internet and the World Wide Web. The Internet itself has not changed much in some time, less you count the pockets of IPv6 and LambdaRail. I guess one might also consider the move away from dialup to “broadband” and various methods used today by LSPs to greatly restrict usage via acceptable use policies. I’ve talked about my dislike of social networking in the past. I’ve even boycotted such in the past. I have since found a tolerable amount of involvement in social networks, via applications and programming that do the job for me. I wanted to discuss what I like and do not like about the changes I have seen, and why I feel the way I do. You probably will disagree, and that’s okay, just don’t expect me to participate when you tread in areas I don’t like.
The fall of email: Communication between people via email has largely gone away. Less communication between self and employer, self and school, self and service, etc. I mean self and friend, self and family. This has largely gone away. When people want to tell someone something else, they send them a message on Facebook, be it a Wall post, comment to Wall post, or actual Inbox message… I’ll come back to this in a bit…
The fall of instant messaging: IM standards fanatics have won major victories in recent years. XMPP/Jabber has been more widely adopted, as it is the underlying technology behind Google Talk and others. Yahoo! Messenger and WIndows Live Messenger inter-operate. The top IM providers have ceased efforts to block third party applications like Pidgin (Gaim) and Trillian. Unfortunately, these corporations didn’t have a philosophical change of heart. IM has become less popular and profitable. IM providers have to inter-operate now, or they’ll die out. People don’t use IM anymore… I’ll come back to this too, I promise.
I hope I’m not starting to sound like some old curmudgeon now thinking about the “good old days.” I remember in elementary school when we had to have a pen-pal at a not-so-far-away elementary school. We had to write them letters in format, stamp, envelop, mail. I guess it was more for learning how to write mail more than anything else, but anyway, I think I remember it being fun. I don’t remember what the other kid’s name was or anything like that. In middle school, I remember writing 5-10 page handwritten letters to my then-sweetheart and to some friends that were not “sweethearts”. Handwritten letters were like some sort of outlet. I could hand write carefully, saying exactly what I meant to say, never misspeaking or anything. There is something rather intimate about handwriting long letters, as if fully putting myself into what I wrote. At some point, communication sort of shifted to email. Email is much more clumsy than handwritten material. People tend to not use grammar or punctuation. Often they don’t write what they mean and just mean to push out one more message out quickly. I try not to write email in this manner. Be it email, IM, or blog, I always try to write correctly and carefully; although, I’m still much more likely to make mistakes when I type than when I hand write. Instant messaging is also something I caught onto and liked very early on when I finally had dialup Internet when I was 14 or so. Phones were alright, but I lived in a family with 2 siblings and two parents. Plus, the people I wanted to call were in similar situations. Privacy wasn’t guaranteed and everyone else wanted to use the phone. We had two phone lines, one for the Internet, and I was really the only person interested in it. In fact, I was the first one in my family to introduce email and the Internet to the family, via Juno at the time. IM was cool, because it was personal one-on-one communication with friends.
This is my real problem with social networking. It has, for the most part, destroyed what I consider “social interaction” re: the Internet. Consider my Facebook, and take what I say here with a grain of salt, as none of this is intended to insult or make anyone feel bad. I have 175 friends on my list. Some of them are friends from high school that I don’t know anymore. Some of them are friends from high school that I still knew in college. Some of them are friends I had in college that I still know or no longer know. Some are people I used to know from the Pensacola Civic Band (I really miss civic band). Some of them are family by marriage, most I’ve met once or twice. None of them are blood family, as none of my family uses social networking, or the Internet much at all. Some of them are family friends that added me because they wanna know how my family is doing that aren’t on Facebook (I find this very amusing). CHECK THIS. Other than my wife, 0 of these people are people I see on a regular basis. Possibly 10 of them are people I think I will end up seeing in person this year. Maybe another 30 of them are people I think I will ever see again in person in my entire life (and that’s a high estimate, probably actual number is only another 15). My beef with Facebook and social networking is that it is largely anti-social networking. I comment something on my wall (actually via my own website), and my regular visitors and occasionally some random person will comment on something I say. It isn’t face-to-face communication, it isn’t one-on-one communication, it is just random tidbits on comments back and forth. No conversation, no sharing of information or life stories. Facebook really don’t facilitate socialization. It does however let you know when person b from middle school got married, or “oh, that one chick you used to think was a whore is having another freaking baby”. Okay, don’t get me wrong here. Every single person on my list has played some role in my life, be it major or minor or maybe I don’t even remember. If anyone on my contact list posted some life tragedy or something on their Facebook, it would affect me and they would be in thoughts and prayers. But for the most part, people just post crap like “Who dat” or when they saw Avatar or something. Nothing personal or social in any way. I guess another benefit is occasionally random chick you kind of had the hots for in high school but never admitted it will post some mildly slutty picture or something. I’M TOTALLY KIDDING! Married men never liked anyone before they met their wives ;) It is even less personal when rather than commenting, you just “like” something. Don’t even get me started Facebook apps. They’re the lamest crap I’ve ever seen and people should be ashamed of themselves for even being drawn into them. I also can’t stand when people send me messages on Facebook. Email me! I don’t check Facebook messages at all; I will never read them! Another reason why I hate Facebook. My Facebook specifically says not to send me Facebook messages, but people send them anyway because they don’t read my Info tab! Email is my one stop area for stuff I’m gonna actually read. Although, spam has gotten so out of control (even with spam filters) that I understand why people are being so turned off by it.
So yeah, I don’t like Facebook. I do however, like Twitter. Well, not so much Twitter as I like microblogging. I’m up with the whole 140 character comments from time to time. I’m not that guy that tweets when I go to the bathroom or anything like that, but when I have something quick to say, I do it. I do not, however replace blogging with microblogging, even though it has gone out of style and I doubt anyone really reads this junk. It is an outlet for me and will continue to be. I wish people still blogged. I tend to enjoy what other people have to say, especially if what they say has some substance or lets me know what’s going on in their lives. Caddy, for example, used to blog and I enjoyed reading it, but that’s long gone.
Well, that whole rant was basically a total waste of time, now I’m going to talk about work…

The here and now (The private part)

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