Tag Archives: technology

Valentines as Excitement [Anti-Valentine’s #13]

10 Feb

How can I write a 15th (can you believe I have been talking shit about Valentine’s Day for 15 years??!)  original and unique perspective on Valentine’s Day, I asked myself.  I’ve pretty much covered all the points about why I hate Valentine’s Day and why I want the holiday to be UN-acknowledged.  Here’s what I came up with for this year:  Motivations.  Meaning, what’s the real reason we are so set on celebrating this holiday even though most of us don’t really know that saint and it’s a contrived day?

It is human nature to crave excitement.  Celebrations, holidays, trips, and other things out of the ordinary routine stimulate us and make us more excited to live life.  Routines get boring.  We mostly do the same set of things day after day, week after week, year after year.  We want to break up the monotony. And this is nothing new.  Way back in BC times, the people cavorted around worshiping idols, because they wanted some way to expend this fervent energy they felt. Abraham put the kabosh on that.  A little later in history the Romans also craved excitement.  People would watch people or animals (or even people and animals) in grotesque fights to the death.  And today, there are so many entertaining distractions that it would be overwhelming to mention the all:  Sports, screens, and yes, even Valentine’s Day.


But I’m jumping ahead.  Let’s go back, back, way back in time to when Jesus was preaching his message of love and devotion across the land.  People even craved excitement in those Biblical times–and it didn’t go well way back then either.  Let me tell an example story [see disclaimer at the bottom (if you want/need) at {1}].  The story:  A group of people heard the gospel from Jesus and became believers in Christianity.  They were all-in and excited about this new religion.  Some even made implements (like statues) to help them worship God. And they celebrated by drinking, dancing, and praying to these statues and other handmade items.  It was a real worship-party!

Abraham came upon the scene and was aghast.  God considered this “worship” idolatry and was angered by it.  God called Abraham to the top of this mountain, where he told him face to face that the people could not worship any statues, or items of any kind.  It was an affront.  God demanded that Abraham go back to the group of people and convey this message and also to tell them they would be punished if they didn’t stop all the ruckus.

Abraham came off the mountain and told the group what God had personally told him.  The people understood the rules, but felt disappointed.  How could they show their fervor?  So Abraham went back and told God the people would cease all their rambunctious idolatry, but the needed something more…  And that was when God decided people should attend religious ceremony called church every week–so the people could get their fill of excitement.  Even back then people wanted a little pizzazz in their lives–but it came at the expense of angering God and getting punished for that.  But it wasn’t just people in the Bible acting out in order to break up monotony–in one of the most progressive eras with people ahead of their time academically, this diversion-seeking behavior was still a thing.


The second example of people craving excitement (and getting a little too hedonistic about it) was during Ancient Roman times.  I will not scar you with the gory (and I do mean exceptionally gory) details of all that went on at the Coliseum.  Unless of course you want more gory details, then check out 2} in the sources at the bottom.  People met at this gathering place to watch and jeer what was going on in the middle of the floor.  I will convey to you a general list of the goings on so you can get an idea of how people wanted entertainment to spice up their lives:

Animals were killed-just for sport:

Animals were decapitated by people.

Rare and exotic animals were hunted for pleasure (in unchecked numbers).

Wild animal were also pitted against each other–to see what species would dominate.

Prisoners and peasants were thrown into the middle of the Coliseum with various wild animals.

Some of these people would commit suicide (in unique ways) rather than getting mauled by an animal.

Execution by crushing.


Animals were trained to rape people.

It’s pretty egregious stuff, I think you can agree.  So back then were people just heathens–and now we’re more evolved?  Well, sort of.  We (usually) no longer torture animals for the sake of entertainment.  Though I would argue bull fighting, running with the bulls, swimming with dolphins, circuses, etc, etc… still does plenty of harm to animals for our selfish pleasure.  People are slightly less egregious in the present.  Now instead of increasingly vicious forms of celebration, we desire constancy.  We never want to be bored.  And luckily, the technology boom enables us to be entertained 24/7.  In current times we have sports, social media, really, what don’t we have?  Technology allows people to be continually entertained.  We look at our phones to entertain ourselves constantly.

Think how television has impacted the attention span.  In a study of toddlers, the higher number of hours they spent watching television, the shorter their attention spans were at age seven [3].  Now, extrapolate those results to cell phone use.  Or video games.  Any kind of technology you can think of really–where feedback is almost immediate.  I would guess attention spans are getting worse and worse.  And I can see it in the learning styles of coworkers at my jobs.  Millennials are far more likely to act bored and check their phone while I’m trying to train them than Boomers (in my personal experience as a trainer). Our hunger for constant entertainment has come at the cost of our attention and maybe even learning ability.

We’re hungry for entertainment.  People craved it during Biblical times, they wanted distraction from routine in Roman times, and even today (especially today) we want constant stimulation.  But as we saw, throughout the ages, this merriment comes with a cost.  Getting more hedonistic brings over-stimulation, excess, violence, lost self-control, and worse quality of life through overindulgence.

That’s why Valentine’s Day is even a thing at all.  It’s not necessarily the day or it’s meaning at all–we just want a celebration in that long span of time between New Years and Easter.  But like the above examples, the hunger for distraction gets perverted and out of hand.  Valentine’s Day might not look like animals fighting to the death (which is disgusting and horrific) and it might not be harshly punished by our creator, but it’s a comment of gender roles, sexism, patriarchy, and capitalism–all pretty gross and damaging in their own right when over-done.  Before you blindly seek that stimulation of a holiday, ask yourself if you want to support that or if you’re just looking for that mid-February pick me up.  If it’s the latter, get that boost in a more constructive way.



Sources (and disclaimer):


1} I’m going to attempt to tell you a Bible story illustrating my point, but bear with me.  I tried to find the exact story online and in the Bible, but couldn’t.  So I’m going to retell it from memory.  Nevada forces all of their students to take “Western Traditions” courses.  It’s code for mostly Bible study with a day of the Koran in there so they can say it represents diverse religions.  At the time, I just took the course, no real thought.  But today I think-‘who the fuck sanctioned this? What a crock that Nevada college kids have to waste their money and time on something like that.’  It’s called indoctrination.  Anyway, so we had to read various passages of the Bible in class, for homework, and in order to write papers.  I actually enjoyed the stories, as they are action-packed and very dramatic.  A real old-school Days of Our Lives.  I took the class 13 years ago, so the details escape me. I am trying to stay as true to the story as possible, and any Biblical scholars out there–please chime in and tell me:  What Book this is in.  Who the main character is, because I’m not 100% sure, and what group of people we are dealing with…   The gist of the story is the same though, and speaks to my point.


2} The Coliseum




3}  https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/113/4/708.short

Results. Data were available for 1278 children at age 1 and 1345 children at age 3. Ten percent of children had attentional problems at age 7. In a logistic regression model, hours of television viewed per day at both ages 1 and 3 was associated with attentional problems at age 7 (1.09 [1.03–1.15] and 1.09 [1.02–1.16]), respectively.

Conclusions. Early television exposure is associated with attentional problems at age 7. Efforts to limit television viewing in early childhood may be warranted


17 Aug
My coworkers are my least favorite part of my job–the administration a very close 2nd.  They bring the new social acceptability of being an anti-social nerd  to life.  It’s like “The Big Bang” but in person antisocial behavior is not funny/amusing at all.  If someone sneezes, it’s met by silence.  If you say something to your neighbor, they won’t even give a grunt of acknowledgement-they’ll just straight up ignore you if they don’t care what you said or don’t feel like talking.  I’ll ask questions regarding Utah places or events and nobody will answer.  They all grew up in Utah, but they don’t know because they are up all night playing video games and talking trash online.  Then, they sleep in their Mommy’s basement all day til work.  None of them have many social skills, or if they have them, choose not to use them.  Our boss is one of the worst-you’ll come into the lab and he’ll ignore you.  No hello or anything–just like you don’t exist.  Our supervisor has mostly good intentions, but is socially oblivious, and is always making (faulty) assumptions.
I’m not a fan, and whenever I’m out in public, at a restaurant or appointment, I find it delightful that it’s not me.  When you’re just locked in a room day after day, it starts to feel like you.  But it’s not me, because people in the outside world are hospitable and sometimes even friendly.  They have manners and manage to hold a conversation.  It’s only in the lab their is this blanket weirdness.  There’s a reason people work in a lab, away from people.
So my coworkers were my first introduction to the “Pokemon Go” phenomenon/trend.  Suddenly, these people who laid on the couch during breaks were outside.  They would venture out to chase Pokemon.  And I think it’s good that video game designers try to make their games useful and productive.  We don’t need a bunch of fat-ass kids sitting and looking at screens 24/7.  Anything that gets them moving is good.  Getting them outside in the world is even better.  And benefiting businesses is good.  Well, done Pokemon Go designers.
Except, I feel that people should do these things anyway.  And on their own accord.  I think you’re super-lame if you never get off your ass.  I think it sucks if you don’t go outside just because there are things to do out there.  And I am incredibly annoyed that people aren’t going to zoos and avairys simply because they are there.  They are awesome!  They should be appreciated because they are fun and serve a purpose and they’re still available in the world!  Not because your video game told you to go there.
And how stupid that these people aren’t paying attention to the world when they are on the chase?  Seriously–people have fallen off cliffs and are getting run over??!  Like we’re lemmings?  I’ve seen my co-workers come in all fat, McDonald’s in hand, and talk of never sleeping in until work at 5PM.  Then discussing their screens they stare at all nightlong.  Like, get a life!
Here’s my Facebook trash-talk:
Can I just say I hate this already?! I can’t go 2 seconds without hearing about it. And seriously–it takes a game to get your fat/pale ass outside? And you’re going to the zoo to stare at your phone??? Super-annoying–Ugh.
Which I got a lot of $hit for saying “pale.”  Like it’s a race thing.  I’m not bringing race into it–all kinds of people can be guilty of screening 24/7.  I’m stigmatizing pale, like you’ve never ventured out of Mommy’s basement, never seen the sun.
And here’s my zoo rant, because animal organizations had to resort to pandering to the hype to get money:
I disliked the event, because it upsets me that people don’t want to [without virtual enticement] support a non-profit, see beautiful, exotic animals, learn, and give to conservation just because it’s available. I am glad the zoos are capitalizing on this trend, but really–should they have to? I think people should want to go to a zoo simply because it is there–and I think they should pay attention solely to what’s important (the real animals that are endangered) when they do go. You are so lucky to have such a nice zoo close to you, and you’re wasting it, or trivializing it by going because of a game. I’d like people to do things for the right reasons, that’s all. Now let the thousands addicted to the app blast me for my opinion, as I’m sure they will.

Like · Reply · 6 · July 21 at 4:15pm
And I think my point is 100% correct.  But I’m at a disadvantage saying it behind my screen where all the people I’m talking about are living their lives.  I’m totally out-numbered.  And people can’t admit they’re bing $hit-heads and guilty of my accusations, they are addicted to the game, and addicted to screens in general so they trash-talk me.
Aquariumplantsuk totally correct 🙂
Like · Reply · July 21 at 7:00pm
Cecilia Alexander
Cecilia Alexander I understand where you’re coming from sweetie but also recognize the good that this app has done for those will mental illness and terminal illnesses. Some people don’t want to leave their house because of these illnesses and now that they are they’re being bashed. I’m sure the zoo is making a ton of money off of this so there is no losing.
Like · Reply · 2 · July 21 at 8:59pm
P.S.  I think it’s totally condescending to call a stranger “sweetie” and I hate that.  Also, her point is ridiculous, because people with mental and terminal illnesses should be motivated to get out of the house without an app telling them to.  Why should some app be the key factor getting them outside?  They should be motivated by the imminent extinction of these beautiful animals.  And by the fact these things are available even without the app!  So I’m calling B.S. on the illness card, though she is totally right about these non-profits benefiting from the game.  But it’s unfortunate they have to depend on some app to lure people in–shouldn’t people just want to go anyway?!
Ryan Alexander Milstead
Ryan Alexander Milstead It’s just an idea to get people to come to the zoo that usually wouldn’t. Maybe those people have a great time and become regular visitors or even members. People might be encouraged to come by this event, but if you don’t enjoy zoos, you’re not gonna go just to play Pokemon Go (cause you can do that literally anywhere).
Like · Reply · 1 · July 22 at 5:56pm

Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker Quit your bitchin’ lady. The world doesn’t revolve around what you like and dislike.
Like · Reply · 1 · July 23 at 3:05pm
Then I retort:
Tyler Baker way to keep it classy
Like · Reply · July 23 at 11:24pm
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker I could care less about keeping it classy. You just need to learn that the world doesn’t revolve around your opinion, or what you like and/or dislike. Posting about why you dislike this event won’t change anything. Just being a realist. I really don’t care if I’m classy or not.
Like · Reply · 1 · 16 hrs · Edited
Tyler Baker
Tyler Baker You’re welcome for that life lesson.
Like · Reply · 16 hrs

I want to tell this Tyler asshole where to shove it so he doesn’t think he “won” but I know arguing with a fool–makes two. And it would just spur him on to shit-talk more. But ahhhh–totally annoying!  I saw a stand-up comedian talking about how Millennials are all ritious and enable their own opinions or call it bullying when other’s say an opposing view.  If anyone dares make a point or disagrees with them, instead of having a conversation they spew some hate and navigate away from the page or block the person.  And I see here how that’s true.  I wrote an earnest blurb, because someone on Facebook was like, “I don’t get why people are disliking this Pokemon Go event at the zoo???”  So I gave a sincere, well-thought reason why.   And this Tyler-20-something year old is an ASS!  WTF with all that “schooling me” and everything.  I wanted to scratch eyes.  And re-reading this makes me too riled up to even write a decent conclusion to this post.

I guess I will just hope he Pokemon’s himself right into the lion’s den at some zoo and gets eaten. . .  Maybe my coworkers will be lemmings and follow him.

Embarrassed of my Classmates

3 Jun

-don’t start packing your stuff up while a guest speaker is talking.
-it’s rude and impolite and reflects on our whole program.
-it makes the speaker feel worthless and rushed.
-I wish I had a forum to send a friendly reminder to my class.


This was a draft I started (during the semester, obviously) but never had the time/motivation to finish.  The sentiment is clear, and my opinion the same.  I didn’t like that day because the speaker seemed a little nervous to talk to college students.  Which, you can tell a person has never attended university if they are nervous, because it’s not all hard-core and students in non-ivy-league classes are generally just happy not to be taking notes off the power point for a second.  We aren’t judging guest speakers harshly, or even giving them much thought at all.  I speak collectively–I’d like to think I care about the people.  But based on the actions of my class, who packed up their items noisily right at the strike of class-over–they don’t.  It was just another day, another lecture to them.

in the starting blocks

But I guess that’s all you can really do with that topic.  Here’s some more about my day today:  I woke up with the intention to be highly motivated and productive in my AuD application tasks.  I wanted to really hit it hard and FINISH things.  My computer had other plans.  The internet didn’t work.  After much troubleshooting the internet itself worked, just not my browser–the one with all my dozens of bookmarks I require to DO the applications things.  And it was S-L-O-W.  Also, I couldn’t get anything application to work properly.  It was just a long, arduous process of trying things.  Uninstalls, download helper apps, run scans, push buttons randomly, delete things, dig deep into programs.  I don’t know what I’m doing.  That did not stop me from entering into a frenzy of desperate maneuvers to right my computer scene.

I think the problem eventually corrected itself.  I don’t think any of my actions helped matters.  But a full 5(?) hours later, I had a functional computer and internet once more.  Mostly–now my laptop wants to overheat.  How do I take advantage of this Acer Aspire recall?  Is it too late?  They put the fan on the bottom, so it sits against the table.  Or I have to prop it up, then it wiggles as I type.  It hasn’t been my technology day.

And I was really mad, because despite having real motivation to accomplish things, I couldn’t.  I HATE that.  So it’s operation call this day a loss, go to bed early, and hope tomorrow pans out like it’s supposed to.  Well, now there’s thunder and lightening as a real message to quit looking at screen today.


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Get Rid of Books! GRE Argument Analysis

15 May

I’m editing this post as a result of a pretty scary notice saying this was a violation of somebody somewhere’s copyright.  Which I guess since they care, must mean I did a pretty good job of writing on the topic–thanks for the complement.  I worked really hard, without any class, tutor, or expensive program of any kind to master the GRE.  Besides, I think it’s funny to copyright anything you post on the huge internet where everyone has access to it.  Which is available to everybody.  But, so as not to get my whole WordPress taken away, I’ll make it more generic:

(1 Question — 30 Minutes)

The following appeared in a recent record by an unnamed planning body:

    “Blah, blah we think getting rid of a public book-holding unit is a good idea in such and such county.  This is due to short funds–as everything is in this economy.  We think instead of a bunch of locations, we can scale down to the one, and people can use internet for the rest.  This should be cool since there are enough books per person here AND people in nearby locations (who are losing their locations) have not spoken up.”  Or something to that effect.  You get the gist.

12:33 PM-12:37 PM read & noted points

12:58-finished points

12:54 intro & conclusion

1:02 edited

better to write the author concludes _____ because ________ format.  Let reader know what I’m talking about without reading argument passage!  

This paragraph proposes closing a one book-holding center in some location to make a technology center.  The writer assumes many things in order to try to convince the reader that this is a good idea.  Thus, there are many reasons this article is not very logical.

Go back at very end and explicitly state the reasons I sited in each subsequent paragraph.

First of all, this statement assumes such and such location is like the rest of the country in turning to the internet for research.  It is possible the population of such and such location is not representative of the rest of the area/country.  The residents might not have an interest in technology, nor have the proper equipment or wiring to accomodate completely switching from books to the computer, they may be more advanced in age and therefore more hesitant to go to the internet over a book.  They might even rail against getting rid of books.  To show a need for the internet, the person that wrote this argument needs to present a survey of such and such location Residents who would rather use technology than the book-holding center to conduct research.  An actual increase in internet use does not translate to an automatic decrease in the need for books.

Secondly, the article jumps to the conclusion that such and such location will have a growing need for computer training.  Even if there is a true desire on the part of such and such location residents to use the internet over the library, they may not have any interest to take part in computer training.  The residents might already be computer savvy and have no need for formal training.  They could be too busy to make computer training a priority as well.  To display a true need for computer training, the writer of the passage should include a survey of such and such location residents who want to increase their computer knowledge.

The third weak point in this passage is the thought that the county book holding center contains more volumes of books per resident than any other book-holding center in the state, so it must fill the entire needs of all residents.  The article does not specify if the volumes of books cover catholic topics–they could cover a very narrow segment of subjects.  Also, the other book holding centers in the area could be almost as large, and share books between branches to meet the needs of every resident.  In that case, the one book-holding center would not fill the needs of such and such location.  To prove that the volumes contained in one location would truly fill the needs of such and such location residents, the passage could include a sample list of subjects covered in the book-holding center, or an exact number of books contained in that one branch of the book holding center.  Argument overlooks population growth in such and such location.

The final criticism of the passage is that the author assumes the residents are certain to support closing the book-holding center because residents in a nearby county did not object to closing all but one location of the book-holding center.  This result cannot be extrapolated from one location to another.  Also, the other location may have only supported such a proposition, because they knew the book-holding center in nearby such and such location would fulfill all their research needs.  Lastly, we are not told how the residents of the nearby location decided to close all but one book-holding center.  We have no idea if it was accepted at a clandestine town council meeting with hardly any atendees, or if the proposal was attached to another more desirable law change.  This is not a very relevant fact to include in the argument.

In order to be more convincing, the author of this paragraph needs to include more facts in the argument to close a branch of the such and such location book-holding center.  If the author has any hope of successfully convincing such and such location to adopt a computer training center over using the book-holding center, then facts about the true desire of the residents should be presented.

Provide summary of all paragraphs.


Random Peeve of the Day: Use of Personal Technological Device on Work Time

30 Dec

I don’t understand where people get off, and feel dogmatic in this upcoming rant.  People at my current job, former jobs, and I’m sure your job do personal things at work, while clocked in!  I find it appalling, and am about to assail them with my (true) observations.  Let’s not even talk about Noah’s Ark–the employees were always up to some legerdemain, and took advantage of our kind bosses in so many ways, texting seemed banal.  I suppose at that job, we were lucky if anyone showed up to work half sober–our employers were hardly authoritarian is their management style.  It is an enigma to me that people feel they have the right to clock in and then do personal things at work.  So what if work is dull-that’s why they call it WORK.

Now I work at a more hard-core veterinary hospital.  Somehow it’s a diluted version of the same stuff.  I’m always walking around a corner and seeing not only our 20 year veteran technician, not only our self proclaimed “Head tech and Office Manager” texting AND checking his Facebook account (not even trying to masterfully hide it), I see the veterinarians doing it!  Shhesh, what the hell?!  Honestly, I don’t understand the mentality of needing to be yoked to your i-phone like it’s some sort of physically attached limb.  Life is not constantly bland–learn to entertain your mind without technology–better yet WORK.

I think it’s pretty difficult and hippocritical to come down all dictatorial and reprimand our new receptionist for checking Facebook on work time when not only her immediate supervisor does the exact same thing, but her boss is sending personal texts too!  Superiors at work shouldn’t act like any plebeian dope hired off the street–they should set an example!  Don’t ask your employees to do anything you wouldn’t do yourself.  God, when I own my own business I am going to be amartinet about what my employees are doing on MY time–who cares if they think it’s overbearing!

Another popular form of bilking your (veterinary) employer?  Tending to personal pets during the work day, when you are already late to work, or making other employees do things for your animal while they are clocked in.  Our normally imperiousvet is one of the worst offenders too!

For the frugal, who do not want to pay a pet sitter, it’s really nice (especially for people with dogs) to work at a vet hospital because it usually means you can bring your pet to work, board it (for cheap to free) when you need, and you can get an appointment anytime you want.  I hate when people take advantage of this!

One of the vets (the usually bossy and OCD one) strolls into work 5 min. late on most days, then instead of rushing to her first appointment or surgery, takes 20 additional min. to unload her dogs from the van.  It’s maddening!  The other vet doesn’t bother to take her dog potty in the morning, because when it inevitably craps in its run at work, she knows she can con an employee into cleaning it up for her.  I WILL not clean up an employee’s pet’s poo during work.  A degree of veterinary medicine is not a sinecure–it is understood that you will work hard, long hours from the start of your education.  Vets are not dentists, you know!  Anyway, most people clock in THEN perfunctorily give their pet food (belonging to the clinic), water, and walks.  Then if they disappear, I always know to wander to the back kennels where they are giving their pet plenty of attention instead of working.  I guess they tire of the stale work day?

I can honestly say that once I clock in, I NEVER check my voice-mail, text buddies, or check Facebook.  I’m not even in proximity to my phone while at work.  I am purposefully peremptory in this behavior.  I wait to check that and my laptop for my lunch break or AFTER work–when I’m not on the clock and getting paid.  I of course have had pets stay during work days, but get to work early to set them up–off the clock.  I wait until breaks to tend to their needs, and I specifically put notes on their kennel for my co-workers not to mess with them. I don’t even clean/tend to my pet that lives at my work.  I think of it as a form of stealing from an employer.  It is analogous to committing larceny and walking off the job with items.  Once you’re on the clock, you’re getting paid to WORK.

Not to mention that I’m busy WORKING so I wouldn’t have time for any personal endeavors anyway.  I am always kinetic at work–there isn’t time to slow down and mess with a phone or computer.  I don’t really understand the mentality lethargicallyscrewing around at work.  My thinking is:  Get the job done, and fast, so I can screw around at home–in my jammies.  Other people don’t seem to get this connection to working hard/fast = going home sooner.  They find me domineering and controlling–BUT like the consequence of leaving on time.  And certainly there can be monotony at work–some days are slow and lacking flavor.  But that’s when deep cleaning, meticulous detailed endeavors, and large projects should be done.  Jeeze, burnish the exam tables, scrub the walls–DO something.  Or else just go home!  There is never a time for standing idol at a job.  Even on a vapid day.  There is always SOMETHING to occupy your time!

Maybe the most annoying part of it all is that employees don’t get it–the REAL reason for this tirade.  I am not imperturbableabout it, because it affects ME as an employee when a co-worker is on their i-phone at work.   I am so doctrinaire about it because it means not only do I have to complete my own work, but cover theirs too.  Don’t think I’m not going to give them aglower for it, magisterial or not.  And they think being connected 24/7 is a RIGHT, and are surprised when employers take measures to cut down on phone/computer usage at work.  The employees are so entitled about texting and doing stuff with their pet they become intractable about these issues–I’ll just never understand. . .

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