Thank You

I want to talk about more positive things now. Sam’s friends are really toxic and they tend to bring me down. Let’s lift me back up, shall we?

I was with my friend last night. I was talking about my upcoming trip to Georgia and how I should probably curb my language just for the weekend. I was laughing and cutting up, but my friend snagged me by the arm and stared straight into my face. He was nose to nose with me.

“Don’t you dare,” he says to me. I’m a little taken aback. He’s dead serious.

“Don’t what?” I’m unsure of where the conversation was at this point. Not really sure why he’s all the sudden so intense.

“Don’t you dare change how you are, JJ. Don’t you dare change your language.” He let go over my arm and became very animated. “If I don’t hear you say ‘shit’, ‘motherfucker’, ‘fucktard’ or any of that shit at least once in a sentence then me and you are going to have problems.” I understood. He got in my face again.k

“Don’t you dare change, Jen.”

I could’ve cried the way he said it. I know what he meant, but it’s hard for me to believe. I’m trying to convince me that all of these people who are reaching out to me are not lying. I’m trying hard to believe what they’re saying to me.

Later we were in the car and we were talking about pain. My back was hurting so bad last night, it was miserable. We were talking about that and why I had to stop taking pain pills1. He leaned over and stared at me.

“I’m sorry.” I was confused again.

“Sorry for what?”

“I wish I could do something to help you. I’m sorry.” It was touching really. And a little awkward. I don’t know where any of it was coming from. I can guess, but I’d rather not right now.

“I have two choices with this pain, because it’s never going away as long as I live. I can either let the pain take over my life and dictate how I live. Or I can adjust my expectations and live regardless of the pain. I choose to live.” He laughed and rubbed the back of my head.

“You’ll get through this, JJ. If there’s anyone who can do this it’s you. You’re one of the strongest women I know. You’re amazing. Don’t ever change. Not for anyone.” I didn’t cry. But I wanted to. I feel like he really didn’t say that, but he did. We’ve been friends for a long time and he’s never said anything like that. I was really touched.

He’s not the first friend to say stuff like that to me. I asked someone else why he liked me. He said because I’m made from titanium. I don’t feel like that. I feel like I’m falling apart at the seams. Like the gods are playing a cruel joke on me with this life. And just when I feel like I’m losing it, the friends I took for granted reach out and pull me back together.

Whether they offer to bring me away for a weekend or pray for me or make me laugh or remind me that I’ve survived worse, these people are all amazing. I am so grateful for them. I am so grateful that I’m not alone and I’m not surrounded by people who would push me under as I drown. They’ve formed a chain and are saving me. It’s so hard for me to accept that maybe I am worth it and maybe I am loved. I’ve spent my whole life fighting against people who would see me fail2. So, when I don’t have to fight?

That is so wonderful. They are so wonderful. I am thankful. I don’t give two shits if this makes me look weak or crazy. My people know who they are. I want them to know I love them. I’m proud of that. I’m happy to have people in my life that see something in me that is invisible to my eyes. This strength I didn’t recognize. Titanium? Shit, man. When I feel so weak? Yes, because I”m still going forward.

I lost someone I love because of fucktardery. That loss did not end my life. None of the many losses I have endured – the deaths of my grandmother, my mother and my son; the end of my marriage; the loss of my family home – none of them ended me. This is not even in the same ballpark as those. I’m still here and I’m still trucking forward. And I have the most amazing people in the world around me while I do it. I don’t have those people who tear me down anymore. I’m blessed even though my heart is broken. Broken hearts heal, darlings, and mine is healing much faster thanks to the love these people are showing me.

This is my ‘thank you’ note to everyone who saw me in pain and reached out to help me. Thank you for thinking I’m worth it. Thank you for accepting me for me. Thank you for reading my indecipherable dribble, seeing inside my head and not running off.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. I refuse to be treated like I don’t need a medication and piss in a cup every fucking 7 days. []
  2. I’ve had people in my life exactly like Sam’s insidious little demon friend. I’ve got plenty of experience there. []

Stuff the People

I shared my good news on Facebook last night. All of these people who whine because I don’t pretend to be the happy, happy goddamned monkey they need me to be didn’t even acknowledge that something fabulous is about to happen. Pfft. Because people around here are conditioned to not be happy for someone else when it doesn’t benefit them to do so. All of those people faking their happy lives are stuck in that fakery. I’m supposed to fake happiness1.

Jinx sticking tongue outW
Here’s what I think about that.
So, fuck it. Goodbye again Facebook. Peace out. No point in connecting with fools. I can do better with strangers in the twittersphere.

I’m keeping my Twitter, obviously, and am still connected to Instagram. I’ve locked down the Instagram, but I’m keeping everything else open and public.

And, no, I won’t stop talking about the inner workings of my brain. I have stuff to say, for fuck’s sake, and I’m going to say it.

I’ve got some stuff coming up this weekend and the following. I’ll be blogging about that, so keep your eyes peeled. I’ll have stories. I will also forget everyone’s real names because I don’t put that shit on here. This weekend isn’t something that’s going to be very exciting, but that it’s happening is a bit of a story in the making. It’s odd, awkward and completely unexpected. Also, why now? Anyway, no spoilers. It’s insane.

Then there’s my trip the following week. Oh, yes. That’s going to be a blast and there will be pictures and video – though not necessarily on this blog. The link to my Twitter is at the bottom of this page. My Instagram is @oh.snap.itz.jen2. I probably won’t accept you there unless I know you elsewhere. Sorry. I’m really and truly looking forward to this trip. I’ve already picked out some outfits3 and know that I’ll be going to see the Walking Dead Alexandria set on Friday4. Tweetups, meetups and hookups… oh, my!..

That’s all from me for now. Peace out, buttercup.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

  1. Some folks – LILITH – post about their kids as if they care about them. Um, how’s about sexing up the town square while your babies sleep beside you? []
  2. Lil’lady set that up for me. []
  3. And I’d like to thank Sam for giving me this awesome travel bag. I have suitcase, but this will do better. []
  4. Well, I forget what the tour is called, but it’s got something to do with TWD which is all that really matters. []

For my subscribers

Update below:

So, I just noticed how many email subscribers I have. I don’t know who you are, but thanks. Also, say hi. Don’t be shy. I’m only a little bit mean.

I’ll be putting more posts up from my old database soon. You’ll be getting alerts for that soon enough. Some of those posts are interesting. They’re all from a time when I was a much better writer. You may get a chuckle or two.

That’s it for this post. Hello, folks. Thank you for subscribing.

Update:

I fixed the problem with the comments, I think.

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

A Couple of things that Irritate a Blogging Dinosaur

Issue #1: Giving Credit

Yesterday I followed a link on Twitter to an article that highlighted something I’d already read on another site. So, I looked for attribution, a hat tip or something that showed the author of the entry acknowledged the original article. Nope. Nada. Zilch. Considering the link I followed was from a well-known news personality, it was obvious that this person was gaining popularity by aggregating someone else’s work (or a bunch of someone elses1) without acknowledging them.

I’m a blogging dinosaur pretty much2 and remember the good old days when bloggers linked out to each other and gave credit where credit was due. I remember reading the now big political sites before they were big or even taken seriously by the big, bad mainstream media (in all forms including, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines and television) and they would see a story on another blog and link back to that blog thusly:

Today I was blog surfing3 and learned that as a 36 year-old woman I am a Cougar as my husband is younger than me AND that I am an “older” woman. (h/t The Redhead)

See what I did there? I read an article in the newspaper but linked back to the site where I originally found the article. Why would I do that? I could have framed it without the “h/t” (Hat tip) and you would never know that I followed a link from someone else’s blog thereby failing to admit I read other people’s blogs and making you think I scour the intertoobs looking for older-than-dirt news on which to comment. There’s no need to send a you somewhere else, where you might find content more interesting than mine and potentially causing you to abandon me. By linking to the site that lead me to the content on which I commented I could potentially lose my credibility as a newshound or something. Who would source me when they could source her? I should be working to make everyone think that I find this stuff myself and that others are aping me. I should be working to make people think that I’m the authority on this shit. I want people that don’t better to think these other people are stealing from me.

Now, back in the day people weren’t so selfish with their linkage. They promoted other bloggers along with themselves and happily admitted that they didn’t stumble upon interesting news/stories all by themselves. They believed wholeheartedly in giving credit whether the credit went to some obscure person no one had ever read before or a major blog such as Crooks & Liars. We happily admitted that we weren’t always original and laughed at those blog whores4 who expected linkbacks, but refused to give proper credit and acknowledge that they’re not that original.

Those people aren’t called blog whores anymore, which is sad because they really are exactly that. They find a good piece of news/blog post/whatthefuckever and rush to put it on their own blog. Then they Stumble themselves, send a tweet (and gag beg for retweets), Digg themselves and basically whore the shit they didn’t think of themselves. And they don’t see any reason to send a link to the person who gave them the seed for the fucking post to begin with. The particular blog that sent me over the edge yesterday was top-to-bottom filled with stories the author(s) found somewhere else, but which didn’t offer any kind of credit.

Oooh, you’re so original! Look at you, offering a one line commentary on something you saw on another site and assuming that no one reads those other sites so doesn’t know that you spend your days whoring your stolen shit5. Woo-hoo! Aren’t you spayshul?

Of course, I’m completely in denial about the fact that all the blogging and SEO “experts” advise against linking out because teh Google won’t look favorably upon your blogging endeavors and, apparently, it’s all about getting to the top of teh Google and making the money. Unless it’s all about trying to get popular like the big guys6 so that the MEDIA will notice you and, ohmygod!, ask you to sit on a panel during David Schuster’s show which will cause your followers to fawn on you and declare you the GOD OF THE INTERNETS. With this particular case, I’m going with the desperate need to be popular and getting a talking-head gig.

Hey, maybe if I quit with the foul language and original thinking (ha!) I can manage to whore scratch my way to the top of the heap of Ye Ole Blogosphere and get myself some money and/or interviews? Just copy and past some shit, throw in a comment and voila! What do you think about that idea? I mean, it’s all the rage right now and I am a follower.

Issue #2: Link Shorteners

Another thing that has become popular lately, and which completely irritate me, is the use of URL shorteners in blog posts. Instead of something like “Fab Jinxed” (hover over the link and see the URL) we get “Fab Jinxed“.

What the fuck is the point? Really? You want to see the stats to who clicking your links in your fucking blog posts? Here’s a thought: Use one of those 35 stats programs you’ve got your blog connected to and look at who’s clicking out. Unless, of course, you’re trying to hide something, in which case you’re an ass and I hope you get burning gonorrhea7. But there is no valid reason you’re using a link shortener in your own blog post. It’s annoying. I want to be able to hover over a link to see where it goes before I decide to click it. For instance, if you’re linking to World Net Daily as a source for some “facts” I won’t bother checking because I know WND sucks monkey turds and I’ve also discerned that you’re a cretin.

URL shorteners are for Twitter or Twitter-like services, where the number of characters is, ahem, rationed. That’s it. On a blog post there is absolutely no need for them. I don’t care what your reasoning is, if you can’t figure out how to set up a stats program to check outgoing click then you need teh Google or some other kind of help. If you don’t know how to shorten a link via HTML and use the URL shorteners to do that for you (though you know how to code the link so it’s clickable which is unbelievably strange), I’ll give you a lesson8:

Step 1: Add your tags and opening code

EX:   <a href=”

Step 2: Add your URL after the opening quote. Just copy and then paste:

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com

Step 3: Add the closing quote and then use the closing bracket

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>

Step 4: Add a short phrase or some other character to SHORTEN THE LINK

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>???

Step 5: Close the tag

EX: <a href=”http://www.fabulouslyjinxed.com”>???</a> (The forward slash closes your link…dur)

Then you have this: ???

See? Hover over the three question marks, look in the bottom left hand corner of your browser and you’ll see where the link goes. Stop abusing the URL shorteners.

And so ends my rant against blogging abuses for today. And, no, I won’t join my comrades who have given up their blogs for the greener pastures of Facebook. The blogosphere is still stuck with me and my appreciation of the days of yore even as I consider whoring myself out for a talking head gig. And if I start stealing your stuff and not crediting you, don’t worry as I’m just following the advice of the “gurus”. Just sayin’.

Popularity: 2% [?]


Sphere: Related Content

  1. Misspelled because usually “someone else” isn’t plural, but since when did I care about that shit? []
  2. I’ve recently discovered that because I’ve been blogging since before 2008 I am a blogging Maven. Can you believe that shit? Heh. []
  3. We did that back in the day, dontcha know. []
  4. Bloggers who shameless promoted their own shit, didn’t promote anyone else’s shit, refused to participate in the discussion and BEGGED for page views and/or comments on their own shit. []
  5. Ok, maybe not stolen. But lazily obtained without acknowledgement, which irritates the shit out of me []
  6. Too late in the political blogosphere, by the way. They win and you lose. []
  7. Long-standing, inside joke. If you don’t get it I don’t care. []
  8. This also works if you use software that allows you insert the link, also known as a Hyperlink, such as rich text editing or visual editing stuff and/or MOST BLOGGING PLATFORMS. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Yes, I am Selfish

I have a health insurance story too. Don’t we all? Mine isn’t as dramatic as some who have been denied needed supplies, such as testing strips for diabetes, or important tests, such as those for a suspected heart problem, but it’s my story and that makes it important—at least to me.

My regular readers know that I suffer from Fibromyalgia Syndrome and they also know that TheMan was recently laid off from his job. My condition is chronic and regardless of what some people have said, it has been progressing (though not necessarily causing permanent harm) and I need to be able to access my doctor. When TheMan got laid off we lost his insurance and my access to my doctor. People will say “What about COBRA?”1, which we were offered. However, COBRA coverage would have cost us $900 a month. For the people who are screaming that we don’t need anymore government mandates or that we don’t need government involved in medical care, this probably doesn’t seem like a lot of money. But when one person in your household is on unemployment2 and the other is working two part-time jobs that don’t pay a lot or offer employer-provided health insurance, there isn’t $900 lying around to pay for the COBRA. We have to pay a mortgage3 and the electricity and the other bills—including, but not limited to food and household supplies. I wanted COBRA, of course, but it really wasn’t a realistic option.

Of course, the first thing I worried about was my “pre-existing condition”. Not how am I going to continue care or let me find a cheap doctor, but how I would manage to get insurance to cover my chronic condition were TheMan able to get back to work. Once you’ve lost the insurance and it’s been lapsed for so long, well, the new insurance won’t pay for what the old insurance paid for. The Certificate of Coverage would mean squat after about 60 days from the point the insurance lapsed. Luckily for me I was eligible for a personal “gap coverage” type of insurance that will, I hope, allow me to get treatment when we’re able to get our insurance back. The premium is only $120 a month. I can’t actually seek treatment for my condition(s) though, because my insurance specifically states that “This policy will not cover treatment for chronic conditions. We recommend another policy for those needs.”4 This gap insurance only pays $1500 a year, 2 days in the hospital and no more than $50 a month for prescriptions—after the $700 deductible for medical treatment and $20 copay for all prescription whether they be generic or not. I can find a new doctor to treat my symptoms, though, but only the ones on their list and only if they’re taking new patients. On this type of policy, there really aren’t that many doctors. I’d like to find one where the office visits cost less than $100, but that’s not likely to happen so I’ve got to figure out a way to get the money for my initial visit (remember the deductible?).

I’m scared, though, because I’ve developed two new symptoms, which actually might not be directly related to my FMS, but which scare the fuck out of me. I mean, sent me into a panic attack and nearly had me to the emergency room. The issue of money has prevented me from going to the doctor for any reason but I especially fear the cost of tests. Did you know that a lot of doctor’s will refuse to see you for a second time if you refuse to follow their treatment guidelines5? Interesting, huh? “Sorry, Doc, I can’t afford that procedure. Can we do something else?” leads to “You obviously don’t want to follow my advice, so you’ll have to find a new doctor. Thanks for coming.” This almost happened to me when I had insurance, actually. I had more confidence to tell my doctor where to stick it at that time—but that’s a whole other story. Anyway, I digress. My symptoms are pretty damned scary and are a big reason I stayed mostly offline for two months. Who needs the stress of seeing other people’s problems when yours are taking over your life? Not me. I didn’t care about what other people were going through because I was so goddamned scared.

I’m going to have to bite the bullet and go see someone and to hell with the costs. Really I am. I know that. I’m a mother and have a responsibility to my children to be alive when they need me. I also know that finding out what’s wrong with me and then getting treatment will send us over the edge. I will have to have an MRI and blood work up. There is no doubt about that. Do you know how much that costs? I know what it costs with insurance and they paid 80% of my last one. This one will be out-of-pocket. And doctors tend to charge more when there is no insurance contract to hold them back. That’s not fair, but it’s a fact. Another fact is that I will no doubt be denied some kind of test or treatment based on my ability to pay. If I was a rich woman I would get gold standard treatment, as it is they will do only what is necessary to cover their own asses.

I keep reading about the UK and Canadian health care systems and how they get pissed at them, but they don’t have to worry about the cost. They don’t have to worry about losing their homes and possibly their lives because of the cost of health care. I see these fucking nutters screaming “we don’t need government health care! Buy your own!” and blah blah blah. They’ve got it, no doubt, and many of them are on government programs. They say we don’t need anything like what the British, Canadians and French enjoy, but we do. When people work their asses off and still can’t afford to go the fucking doctor, something is fucking wrong. I don’t give a damned if someone thinks government is too big—and then enjoys such things as driving on safe roads, knowing 9-1-1 will bring the firemen when the house is burning and knowing they can go to the store and someone has made sure the food there is safe (relatively speaking). I don’t care about the hypocrites. I have no use for them with their spouting off about the evils of government coming between them and their doctor and rations and other such bullshit.

Have you tried to get “experimental treatment” for a condition through your insurance? Have you read the exclusions of your medical insurance? Have you read how much they’ll pay during your lifetime? THE LIMITS OF PAYMENT? Did you know that some schmuck who’s never even met you looks over your files and then determines what treatment they will pay for based on the file? Unlike the “death panels” bullshit or the “government intrusion” bullshit, these are not talking points. These are truths. When you have insurance, there is ALREADY someone coming between you and your doctor. There is already someone looking at the numbers and deciding whether a certain treatment is beneficial to their bottom line. This is how things are now. Except millions of people can’t even get those few benefits offered by the insurance companies because they can’t afford them. Insurance companies run this fucking country and it needs to stop. There should be no reason why someone has to go to the emergency room for basic treatment—except that’s the only doctor they have because no one else will see them without medical insurance. Why cut off health care for millions of people instead of getting these damned companies in line? You know, it was nice being able to go to my doctor and get those tests run and find stuff out—though it took 2 goddamned years. Through no fault of our own, though, that was taken away from us and our health care is rationed.

Gods, but I’ve pissed myself off now. I feel so helpless because of this fucked up condition I have and the fact that these motherfuckers are going to torpedo health care reform so that the insurance companies can continue to suck the life out of Americans. And I don’t really expect anyone to give a rat’s ass about what’s happening to other people. My situation doesn’t hurt anyone but my family and me. The situation of millions of other people doesn’t hurt anyone but their families and them. People with insurance and good jobs and pseudo-options6 can easily look the other way while other people suffer. They don’t realize that they’re one layoff or job loss or heart attack away from losing that security and that ability to say “FUCK YOU, people with no insurance”. And in my evil mind, with the way I feel right now, I wish that the loudest motherfuckers telling me to suck it up would fall flat on their faces. I wish this suffering on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and those spineless motherfucking Blue Dogs (I’m looking at you, Zack Space)— on every single person that works so hard to deny me the security of affordable health care. I wish they’d lose their insurance and then come down with a chronic, life-threatening condition. And I don’t feel the least bit guilty about it. I’m sure that whenever someone in their community has a fundraiser to pay for an organ transplant or cancer treatment they are right there offering up their hard earned dollars. Right? Don’t hold your breath. Why should any American have to hold a fundraiser for a fucking organ transplant?

By the way, Medicaid pays for those. Did you know that? So, there ya go. As long as you qualify for Medicaid you don’t have to worry about actually paying for that liver or having your insurance company deny payment for it (please take a moment to look at your insurance’s policy on organ transplants).

The rest of the family, though, is covered. Lil’lady is getting Healthy Start, which offers the Medicaid card, and TheMan is covered through the Veteran’s Administration—both government programs. Lil’lady’s regular pediatrician agreed to take the Medicaid for her7 and TheMan has no problem getting an appointment at the VA clinic. At least those two are well cared for (except for Lil’lady’s dentist, but that’s a whole other story). TheMan went back to work, but because he was laid off for so long he’s not eligible for the insurance until November’s open enrollment. Who knows if it’ll still be available to him then?

The fact is there is no reason something can’t be done about this right now. There is no reason our country can’t take care of our people—just like France, Britain, Canada, Germany, et al. These countries aren’t flushing themselves down the toilet of despair by taking the burden of health care off the shoulders of their citizens. These countries aren’t stifling new business/ small business by offering health care to their citizens. These countries aren’t falling back into the dark ages because government pays for the health care of their citizens. I don’t give two fucks what some rightwing noise machine claims. Look for yourself, talk to the people living with real options. Then talk to people here who don’t have the same sort of options—or even any options. Compare notes. You know, one guy might have to wait 2 weeks to get that corn removed from his foot, but he doesn’t have to pay for it. Yes, there are wait times in those countries. Guess what? There are those here too. Sometimes longer. But we have to pay a hefty price for it. They spend less on their health care—even through taxes– than we do on ours. Make sense? Not to me. Not to this person who is dreading getting treatment because she doesn’t want to lose her house. To the townhall mobs and Glenn Beck wannabes, I give a not-so-healthy fuck off. I want what those other countries have and I too am willing to fight for it. I’ve got a better reason to fight against the anti-reformers than they have to fight the reform, though. My life may depend on it.

P.S.

I’m looking for neither sympathy nor money and that’s why I haven’t included in this particular diatribe my new symptoms. I’m fully aware that other people have bigger problems than mine and I’m fully aware that some fuckhead will think I’m trying to get money. I’m not. The point of this post is to point out that I do, in fact, have an excellent reason to support healthcare reform and that there is a good reason why I can’t even engage in a “civilized” debate with the other side.  

Popularity: 2% [?]


Sphere: Related Content

  1. Which, by the way, was mandated by the government. []
  2. Another government program, by the way. []
  3. On a house we bought with A-1 credit and a $10K down payment, I might add. No foreclosure for us. []
  4. At an outrageous cost, of course. No way could I afford that. []
  5. Things they “suggest” you do for your particular visit. []
  6. You’re really not in charge of your health care, but you’re allowed to think that while you’re paying the premiums and deductibles. []
  7. Contrary to popular belief, doctors in Ohio aren’t required to accept it and, in fact, most don’t. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Cause I’m alive and like dem Trolls

Hey! Guess what? I’m alive! I know, I know, you knew that and you knew I’m a big ol’ slacker who sometimes doesn’t update her blog for months at a time. But who cares what you know? Ha!

So, I’m done with my other, other job. Thank the gods. I was doing answering service crap and it was ok money but it was, indeed, crap. And temporary. So now I’m back and can once again pretend I’m important in my online world. Sadly, I’m not overly angry about anything political because I’ve actually not been keeping up with politics. I’m pretty sure Obama is still a disappointment, we’re still in Iraq and I still don’t have medical insurance. So, nothing new happening. I’m terribly shocked (though I did see that Palin has resigned her governorship and think that’s highly amusing).

I did just read a couple of posts regarding trolls on the BlogHer site1 and thought it was an interesting topic. Of course, my idea of a troll differs greatly from the authors of the posts I read. They seem to follow the Markified definition of troll which is:

Troll: noun; markified
1.) anyone that has the audacity to disagree with me in my own blog comments
2.) anyone that engages in (1) and then returns to keep engaging in said disagreement
3.) anyone that hurts my feelings on the intertoobs in any way, shape or form

My idea of a troll is just someone who jumps in a conversation and screams “U’re a DIK!” or some such nonsense with the sole intent of getting shit stirred up. But I guess I’m very strange that way because I don’t find disagreement all that bad (if I did some of my favorite people would be my very own trolls…bleh) and it’s incredibly hard to hurt my feelings2.

So, anyway… These fine ladies were discussing ways that they deal with their “trolls”. They do the IP banning, closing of the comments, comment registration, and other things of that nature to try to keep the troll out completely. I guess if you really prefer to not see what they have to say, that’s fine. And most people are more sensible and less of a smart ass than I, so these solutions make sense to a certain degree. A good troll, though, will find ways to get under your skin once they know they’re slowing driving you insane. After myself and some of my cohorts were declared Markified trolls, we did childishly3 engage in some of these tactics. Eventually our boredom and immaturity lead someone not-so-near-and-dear to change urls and close us off completely. Mwahaha!!! I am deeply ashamed. ahem

But I digress.

I haven’t had many of my type of trolls here, but I’ve got my own way of dealing with them that reverses their efforts and can drive them insane– instead of them driving me insane. And this is what I mean in my comment policy when I say I will edit your comment if you’re trolling. Let’s say Troll A leaves the following comment:

YOU SUCK AND OBAMA ISN’T A LEGAL CITIZEN AND SARAH PALIN IS QUEEN AND YOU SUCK SOME MORE, OBAMASUCKER!

(I did have a comment similar to that from a PUMA. Oh, good times.)

So, I see this comment and giggle like a raving lunatic because, dur, I have editorial independence here on my own blog. So, the comment becomes:

You are so awesome and I love your blog! I’m going to come back every day to see what new and interesting things you write. I love you!!!!!!!!

Or something equally disgusting. And then the games begin. This is where you put on comment moderation and turn off user comment editing (if you have it). Now Troll A will come back to say that she didn’t leave that damned comment and how dare you edit her free speech that way. But the comment goes to moderation, where you once again allow her to express her undying love and adoration. Which makes her even more mad and causes her to break her exclamation point and her caps lock as she emphasizes how EVIL YOU ARE!!!!!!!! for editing her own words.

And this happens again and again until you get bored and leave her comments in moderation because yawn she’s off the deep end and you’ve lost interest. Or she goes away frustrated and starts a hate blog. Whichever comes first. When one of those two things happen, you’ve won.

No need to respond to the troll, of course, after you’ve changed their hate to love. Unless you want to twist the knife and thank them for all the flowery love and admiration. They will scream at their monitor and pound on their keyboard but your regular readers and commenters don’t have to know that. They will just think you have some weird, overly sweet stalker friend. And who doesn’t love admirers?

Of course, this only works if you’re a smart ass and you don’t mind causing someone you’ve never known some personal angst4. Shoot, if you’re like me you’ll have a great time dealing with that troll for the little they come ’round to your spot. Share the hilarity with your friends. Nothing wrong with some evil laughter directed at psychos, right? Oh, and this never works for someone who is a Markified troll because, um, that person is not a troll. Just sayin’

Popularity: 4% [?]


Sphere: Related Content

  1. I have no idea how I ended up there, but whatever. []
  2. Hint: To succeed in hurting my feelings you should be someone I care about otherwise you’re wasting your time. []
  3. Hilariousally!! []
  4. Revenge is sweet sometimes, ya know. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Update

I thought I better take a quick minute to update on my status. Just in case anyone still cares.

I’m currently working another part-time job, along with my other one (two if you count the other shit I do to make money). That doesn’t leave me much energy or inspiration to blog or be social in any sense of the word. I’m also in negotiations with my father-in-law’s company to do a website for them. That’s pretty exciting for me because, well, I’d actually get paid. So, what little free time I do have that’s not spent with Lil’lady is spent brushing up on my education. Not even time for a real book. Ha!

Lil’ Miss has moved out of town completely. She’s out on her own and we don’t talk much right now. It’s kind of sad for me because I’m so used to being updated on her every move. Now I’m lucky if I can find her to chat on the phone. She’s graduated high school and has flown the nest.

TheMan has decided that he’s going to take welding certification courses. I think that’s pretty damned awesome because his previous goal of becoming a high school history teacher was just so, um, lofty1. Plus there is a higher demand for welders and they make better money than school teachers. And my husband’s communication skills are better suited for the factory than the classroom. So, I’m much happier that he’s doing this.

At this point I’m not the slightest bit up-to-date on what’s happening in the political arena. And I have no desire to catch up. Honestly I’m just trying to focus on my own life, as selfish as that may be. I know that the bank that bought our mortgage increased it substantially and that our two credit cards have increased their fees and that groceries aren’t going down, but AEP was permitted to raise the electric rates. I know that people in my town are still struggling and we’re not seeing any relief– if there is any. And that pisses me off. It pisses me off because the fucking banks and utilities still get to do whatever the hell they want. It pisses me off that the few times I wrote to Bob Taft (when he was our governor) were answered but Ted Strickland can’t be fucking bothered. It pisses me off that Zack Space is more interested in fund raising than helping our community though his predecessor always found a way to bring money to his district. And it pisses me off more because both of Strickland and Space are Democrats who replaced corrupt Republicans. Taft drove this state to hell, I know, but Strickland seems to be twiddling his thumbs and doing very little either way. And because I don’t need to be pissed off any more than I am right now, I’m tuning politics out for now.

Anyway, I’m off to work now. Peace, love and lollipops.

Popularity: 1% [?]


Sphere: Related Content

  1. My poor husband can’t even check his email properly and is so technologically ignorant believed at one point that I could tap his cell phone through my computer. Yes, he really does think I’ve got more skills than I actually do. []

I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

Wherein I Hate on Wal-Mart Again

I was going to write about a post I saw recently that started an uproar in the “mommyblogger” community. I was going to write how I can’t stand the term “mommyblogger” and why—including the evolution of the term as I’ve seen it happen online. And I was going to explain that I’m against telling anyone what to write on their own blog and will just not read it if it doesn’t interest me. Then I was going to mention that I’m a mother and I blog which should make me a “mommyblogger” but this inclusive term refers to an exclusive club.

Then I caught site of a Twitter conversation that involved the hashtag #letsfixdinner. I have nothing against that specific hashtag, mind you. I was just paying attention to one blogger who happened to be using it.1

In response to things Deb on the Rocks was saying I retweeted:

RT @debontherocks Throw in a little child slave labor 4 ur chocolate, &Stouffers/Nestle adds up 2 #letsfixdinner on the backs of Africa kids

I think I picked up a follower with that because of the use of that hashtag. Well, I don’t ever blindly follow someone on Twitter2. If I did that I’d be following a bunch of SEO folks and some serious teabagging wingers. So, I checked this new follower and went to her website. She’s proudly blogging for Wal-Mart.

Now, anyone that has followed my blog knows that I hate Wal-Mart. With a passion. I worked there a number of years ago and learned enough about them to initially dislike them. Then I researched them more and that’s when the hate started. I have nothing good to say about the company or it’s practices. And I can in no way support what they’re doing, not even by following one of their “eleven moms” on Twitter. No way am getting suckered into clicking a link that might lead to a post in support of Satan’s favorite mega mart.

By the way, I don’t give a shit if any of those bloggers are paid by Wal-Mart or not. I don’t care if they’re doing it for free stuff or out of the goodness of their hearts. I am morally and ethically opposed to Wal-Mart’s business practices and the way they treat their own people.

Wal Mart doesn’t care about women and specifically doesn’t care about mothers. So why do women bloggers—especially “mommybloggers” support them this way? The reason they’re reaching out to bloggers is so that they can try to change their image, without actually changing their practices. You say “Well, they’ve got good bargains/prices/blah” I say “What’s the real cost of those bargains?”

What do you mean you don’t know? Or do you mean that you don’t care?

(This one’s a little long, folks.)

My Experience

I worked at Wal-Mart from September 2003 to June 2004. When I was in “orientation” I was told several things that alarmed me and made me want to run for the door3. First up was that unions were unwelcome and that unions would take my job, my money and the very store in which I was to be working. Unions, apparently, were not out to protect us, but to strip us of our employment. We were shown videos on how to behave if a union rep approached us. The videos always represented the union reps as evil and conniving and we were to be wary of them. Wal-Mart, we were told, was taking care of us and providing for us. We couldn’t do any better than we were doing with them. Wal-Mart was always portrayed as the “grandfatherly” company, looking out for their vendors and Associates.

The next thing that bothered me was their education policy. They would provide help for the Associates to send their children to college, but Associates themselves weren’t eligible for the benefit4. They went on and on about how we didn’t need to be college educated to advance within the company. That college was seemingly unimportant in a great company like them. Afterall, we were told, Sam Walton never went to college! Later I learned that they would refuse to work around a college schedule and if someone requested a specific schedule because of school their schedule would be changed to intentionally conflict with their schooling. At the time of my orientation, though, my only thought was “Wow, they want us to stay stupid”.

During the time I was there I noticed many things about the way management interacted with Associates—and that management was changed regularly so that they couldn’t get too comfortable and familiar with their employees. Home Office5 was always watching us in one way or the other. We were given limited breaks and told to help customers off the clock. I was pregnant at the time I worked there, but management had no problems trying to over work me and give me a hard time about my doctor’s appointments. But I did ok. It was those that were hurt on the job that were given a hard time. If an Associate was going to receive worker’s comp they had to continue to work either in the dressing room area or as a greeter—for lesser pay. And still Wal-Mart would fight them.

And insurance? Ha! Try paying the huge premiums on a Wal-Mart salary and then paying the outrageous deductible. That’s if you qualified. On average I worked about 34 hours a week. That was one hour short of what was needed to qualify for insurance. Most associates fell just below that threshold. Those that didn’t most likely didn’t have insurance because they couldn’t afford the premiums.

Then they changed the way they were giving raises. Used to be they would give a percentage-base merit raise, which was up to 5%. If an Associate made $10 an hour6 then they could potentially make $1 an hour more. Usually it was more like 5%, but that was still not too bad. They changed it from that to a scale from 5-25¢. The way they made it sound you’d have thought they were giving $1k bonuses and some people fell for it. They actually thought they were getting a good deal. Except they weren’t. When I explained the difference to some of the poor saps that were already spending their extra 50¢ an hour it was like I was stealing Christmas. The management actually counted on the fact that the majority of their Associates couldn’t do simple math. That’s when I decided I wouldn’t come back after I had Lil’lady.

It wasn’t that I couldn’t handle the work7 and it wasn’t that I don’t like working with the public. Wal-Mart sucked my soul. They tried to dumb me down and, in fact, wanted their employees dumbed down. Anyone who could figure out they were being conned wasn’t welcome at Wal-Mart—unless they had no other choice but to work there.

When I went to pick up my last check from there I was given a second check along with it. “What’s this?” I asked. My manager didn’t say anything (literally just walked away from me) so I asked a co-worker. She whispered that she’d heard women in our department were getting paid 60¢ an hour less than men so they got sued. We were getting paid our back wages, though it was only for the month prior to the settlement date. My check was all of $70.

We did get discounts, though. All of 10% and that didn’t include groceries or sale items. We were getting killer deals anyway, right? Most of us were making less than $6 an hour and had families to support. Some of us came to work there after our good paying factory jobs went overseas (See Rubbermaid, for instance). Not many people that worked for that store could actually shop at that store. That’s no lie. Not propaganda. It’s true even today. Wal-Mart keeps their employees poor and hopeless.

Since I left

Then Wal-Mart started changing more policies. They decided that they wanted to get rid of more than 70% of their full-time workforce8. This was to eliminate the number of Associates who were eligible for health benefits, even if they didn’t get it because they couldn’t afford it.9

Then they decided they were going to cap wages. Depending on where an Associate works in the store, they can only make as much as $14 an hour no matter how long they’ve been with the company. Associates get their merit raises every year until they’ve reached that cap and then no more raises after that. Been working as a Wal-Mart Associate for 20 years? Tough titties. Your loyalty is not adding to the company’s bottom line so is useless to them.

Then they began terminating the employment of long-time Associates. They would find reasons to fire them and then would offer them the opportunity to come back at base wage. They would lose all of their seniority10 and raises. They would come back as a new hires. New hires cost Wal-Mart less, because their wages are less—even including the costs normally associated with employee turnover. Wal-Mart wants that turnover. Turnover gets rid of the raises and the eligibility for insurance.

And then they changed their scheduling and call-off policies. No more would scheduling take place in individual stores. Now Home Office would take care of that.11 Home Office in Bentonville, Arkansas—a far cry away from Bumfuck, Ohio. Need a little flexibility because of family obligations, doctor’s appointments or other personal reasons? Too bad, so sad. You go to work when someone in Arkansas decides you go to work. Need to call off to take your child to the doctor? You’re required to call Home Office and good luck with that.12 More than likely your request will be denied and you will face disciplinary action or termination. You won’t be able to plead your case with anyone that actually knows you and your situation because all of those decisions are left to someone who has never even met you.

Are you seeing how Wal-Mart is able to pass on such huge savings? Are you seeing the real-life costs of their low prices? Can you honestly, with good conscience, support a company that values their own employees and the employees of their vendors so little? A company that will fire a worried mother because she had the audacity to take her sick child to the doctor? They don’t need her, afterall. They’ve got thousands of people to replace her.

I try to support women who blog whether they are mothers or not. I usually don’t care if what they’re writing about13 as long as they’re being heard. I don’t think there are enough influential women in the blogosphere and am a sentimental about the way the mommybloggers have come together to conquer this outlet in the way they have. Where men dominate politics and tech related blogging, women soar in mommyblogging. That is something of which women should collectively be proud.

But I cannot in good conscience support a marketing campaign by this company that targets mothers as a specific demographic. Wal-Mart is trying to look pretty with this new face, trying to charm you. But the meat under their skin is still rancid. They are still dealing with the devil and stepping on the backs of families all over the world. Lee Scott would piss on his employees as soon as look at them. He would throw them and their children out in the cold and take the food off their table if he could make a couple of extra bucks doing it. Wal-Mart is anti-family regardless of what their slick adverts say. Sure, if you don’t actually work for Wal-Mart or it’s vendors14 or know anyone personally effected by Wal-Mart’s policies, you can save money by shopping there. But if you work there and are supporting your family with that salary you can’t afford to shop there. And by shilling for that company and proudly hyping their disgusting brand, you validate what they’ve done to become such a “profitable” company.

It’s one thing to shop there—especially since there may be no alternatives where you live. They’ve destroyed so much of their locally available competition that for some things it’s damned near impossible to go somewhere else. That’s where I would normally shrug and say “Meh. You know they’re evil right?” and then move on. But this whole thing with “mommybloggers” picking up their baton and running with it just makes my blood run cold. I abhor Wal-Mart because they are ultimately bad for the causes I believe in – women and their families and job creation and stability. Wal-Mart is antithetical to all of those, as it is to many other issues and causes15. The thought that there are women with talent and voices and platforms willfully and happily distributing Wal-Mart propaganda just really makes me sad. And somewhat angry. Here is a demographic that has the ear of Wal-Mart execs and can help convince that company to care about it’s employees. Instead of taking the company to task they join with them to help improve their image without improving their employee relations policies. I want no part of it. I don’t want to read it on a blog and I certainly don’t want to catch a whiff of it in my Twitter stream. I will gladly support another woman unless she is working against my interests.

There is no doubt in my mind that I will eventually write another post about this dreaded box-store chain. Probably more. None of them will be glowing endorsements. This company sets trends that other companies follow in hopes of mimicking their success. Wal-Mart is showing other corporations that it’s ok to shit on the heads of the lower-level employees because people will still flock to the store for those “low prices” regardless of the negative impact they have on the communities in which their stores spring up. That’s not good for anyone. Especially women who are demographically more likely to be lower-income, single parents struggling to pay the rent on wages from places that are emulating Wally World. They drive down competitive wages, encourage companies to cut or eliminate benefits and force other companies (their vendors) to cut costs by moving their operations out of the country. As large and profitable as that company is there is no good reason such a large number of their employees are forced to take food stamps to feed their kids while also getting the medical card to be able to take those children to the doctor. They set standards—and those standards are hurting American families.

Unfortunately, considering this new “social media”/blogging campaign that this damned company has engaged in, it looks like another post like this will pop up sooner rather than later. I certainly hope I’m not the only one to see this trend and be disgusted by it enough to speak out.

Full Disclosure:

I really hate Wal-Mart.

And now I’m off to see why it is I should hate Nestle too.

Popularity: 12% [?]


Sphere: Related Content

  1. I do have an issue with following a link to a website, looking for a list of sponsors, partners and contributors and finding blank pages. []
  2. Meaning follow back just because they follow me []
  3. I couldn’t, of course. Like many people I needed the job and the money. []
  4. I’ve yet to meet an Associate who was able to take advantage of the “benefit” even for their children. []
  5. Or Big Brother, as I came to think of them []
  6. Some that had been there for more than a decade actually did make that much. []
  7. Though while pregnant I was regularly asked to lift boxes more than 50 lbs. []
  8. In reaction to Maryland requiring them to have insurance on all of their employees. []
  9. InternalMemos Leaked []
  10. Which was really a myth. []
  11. Corporate does the shift scheduling []
  12. Read this comment from a disgruntled employee. []
  13. Though I am a little snobby as far as politics and range of language is concerned []
  14. They force companies out of business []
  15. Environmentally disruptive much, Wal-Mart? []
jennyjinx

                <p>Technorati Tags: <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20090503090209/http://www.technorati.com/tag/shills" rel="tag">shills</a>, <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20090503090209/http://www.technorati.com/tag/wal+mart+sucks" rel="tag">wal-mart sucks</a><br>

Related Posts

  • The Price of Low Prices (washingtonpost.com)
  • More stuff on Wal-Mart
  • I hate Wal-Mart
  • I’m Boycotting Wal-Mart
  • Clinton: Cover employees — Newsday.com
  • I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Meta Twitter

    You know, I love Twitter. I’m officially addicted. Not so much in the following of people, but in reading the streams (and tweeting, of course). So when the big name Progressive blogosphere finally discovered it, I was thrilled. I mean, the #tcot1 were getting pretty numerous and I was thinking “Damn it, the Wingers are getting ahead of us on this one.” But then finally progressive voices started filtering in2.

    So, I started following a couple. I probably shouldn’t have as I should know better by now3 but I did. Then I started looking at their stats. Once again the “leaders” of the Progressive blogosphere are forming a circle jerk. They’re happily penning posts about the wonder that is Twitter (though they’ve just signed on, still they’re “experts”) and giving all kinds of useful information about the service4 and telling people how to go about using it.

    Except for their circle jerk and their unbelievable refusal to recognize anyone outside of that circle. They’re not following anyone not already on the a-list and they’re certainly not acknowledging replies from the “lessers”. Same old shit, different service.

    The a-list #tcot, of course, are different. They don’t mind giving the occasional shout out to the lessers. They recognize their audience and seem to appreciate it (screeching monkeys though they may be). And that’s how Twitter should be. A community wherein the leaders in the niche recognize those that have made them the leaders. Progressive a-listers still suck ass in that respect.

    So, I’ve decided to not follow them. Fuck ‘em. Yeah, I’ve only got 200 followers, so I’m not too important in the scheme of things. But I’d rather follow people who tweet interesting things, funny things and interact with their twitter stream. Honestly, people who have real influence5 like Shaquille O’Neal, Demi Moore and Jimmy Fallon take time out of their busy day to interact, but Progressives can’t? Fine with me. I like the “lessers” better anyway. Way more interesting. And helpful. I don’t need to follow another link to the same story someone else already posted (and the second one from the a-lister is probably given without attribution unless it’s from a member of their circle). Pfft.

    Ok, off my soapbox now. I’ve once again learned my lesson. Politics is fun– but only with people who don’t look on the “lessers” as inconvenient necessities. Pfft.

    Popularity: 5% [?]


    Sphere: Related Content

    1. Top Conservatives on Twitter []
    2. A lot during the primary/election season, but… []
    3. Blogroll Amnesty Day, anyone? []
    4. Except one, who was so enthralled that she said Kevin Rose was the founder…pfft. []
    5. And money []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.

    Very Quickly

    Recent there was a brush up at EC1, a site of which I’ve previously been very supportive2. They changed some things as they are wont to do– throw it up and hope for the best (or worst at the case may be). People throw fits, Graham throws fits, people leave, Graham tells them to kiss his ass. Blah blah blah. Not very interesting.

    Anyway, during this last thing, I was a little perturbed about how a certain member was treated in the forums, but at the time I was mostly disgusted by the idiocy coming from the admins. So, I said so and then promptly removed my widget (I think my userid was 1170 at the time). Pfft.

    Someone decided that they would let me in on a secret. They asked not be outed and I’ll respect that, but they showed me that this particular EC member, who was yelling about being falsely accused, wasn’t really being falsely accused. I can’t say that this particular blogger did what they were accused of– because I don’t have access to their mindset and what’s happening in their behind-the-scenes — but someone showed me that it was offered up. Interesting, yes, a little. But damning? Not really.

    I thought momentarily about busting it out in the forums. I even offered a weak apology on Twitter. But you know what? If that person didn’t want to disclose that they did (or didn’t) do a certain thing, then that’s their business. And the way they were outed was fucked up, irresponsible and unprofessional. So, I’m not offering up anything for anyone to use against anyone else– unless it’s for a worthy cause. This cause most certainly isn’t.

    So, I just want to ask that if people are going to send me bits of info that might outrage me and cause me to act irrationally please don’t send me info about EC. I’m done with all that and don’t want involved. Well, the pointing and laughing is always fun, but since I found out he’s actively looking for bad publicity… more pfft. I’m not really sure why this information was passed along to me in the manner it was. I’m sure it has something to do with my being outspoken, but I’d like to not be the go-to gal for EC related drama and/or outings/pwnage. Not anymore at least.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this crap. Thankfully it’s the last you’ll see for a while.

    (P.S. No further questions will be answered regarding this issue. Don’t waste your breath asking. MEH.)

    Popularity: 3% [?]


    Sphere: Related Content

    1. EntreCard []
    2. I’ve got more here, but I’m too lazy to look properly []

    I like geeky stuff, politics, squirrels and monkeys.