Friday, June 29, 2007

And Here I Thought It Was 2007...

Sometimes, I just have to laugh at the absurdity of television advertising, specifically the ads produced by pharmaceutical companies now that they are able to advertise their drugs to people other than the doctors.

In general, I think the ads for drugs are a really bad thing. Even for the most stable of those around us, I imagine the ads are creating more and more people that believe all their troubles will just go away with the right chemical concoction. "Talk to your doctor to see if Wonder Drug Z is right for you."

"Hey, Doc, I saw an ad on TV about the Little Purple Pill, and I was wondering if I needed it 'cause, you know, I don't have a purple one yet, and it would look real good next to the blue one in my daily pill box."

"But you don't have acid reflux disease, you have a bad heart, black lungs, on the list for a liver transplant and ED. But all those we can fix with the right medications."

"Alright, I was just checking because the ad said to. See ya next week. Oh, by the way, how do you get acid reflux disorder, cause I really do want that purple pill."

Yeah, I know, probably not very realistic, but either is the ad that brought up all this in my brain. The ad is for the drug Cymbalta, an anti-depressant. I have no problem with taking medication for depression. Even with the troubles I have had with them in the past, I still believe for the vast majority of people with depression medication is a great tool along with therapy. I even understand the concept that certain anti-depressants work better in combinations than separately.

What gets me about this commercial is the portrayal of the depressed person as some kind of zombie like creature. I know from my own experience I may feel like a zombie, but I'm not going to sit in a room with other people and act like one. There's still enough misunderstandings about the whole depression thing that those suffering from it generally do their best to never let the public at large know about it. All the depressed people I have ever known have one thing in common: we are pretty good actors.

So here comes this commercial. Showing symptoms of depression that look more like catatonic schizophrenia than anything else. And this is how those without depression are going to expect us to act? Let me tell you, it's not like that for the majority of people suffering with depression on a daily basis. Depression usually leaves some level of functionality. When a depressed person gets to a point that they feel they can no longer function, most of us crawl into a hole away from people. Besides, if we all acted like the folks in the commercial, depression would be easy to spot and then maybe everyone would stop telling us to just "cheer up."

I think there are much better ways to recognize depression, but they require observation and admittedly are hard to make come across in a 30 second ad. Oh well, capitalism at it's best. Exaggerate the symptoms to make them show up better on screen so you can sell a few more prescriptions, and to hell with the truth or if it hurts those your drug is supposed to help by giving a false idea of what depression is like to those who don't have it but still have to deal with us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who Stole Green?

Sounds like a punch line for a second grader's bad joke, don't it? But, really, I have occassion to actually ask who the fuck stole the color green? I want it back!

Actually, I guess "stole" isn't quite the right word, more like deleted. Green has somehow disappeared from all known color charts and graphs. I guess I really should try to explain this a little bit...

I have spent the last month and a half helping to get the backyard put together in a plan that I have no idea what the hell the final outcome is supposed to be. Basically, they point, I dig, plant, mulch, whatever. I am the non-paid labor on the project and my opinion is not needed nor wanted, so I just do as I am told. This past weekend, we finally get to a point when I cleared out all the trash and waste from a month and a half of planting and leaving the empty containers where ever they fell that it actually looks like we have a backyard instead of a hazardous material waste dump. There are some flowers blooming, a little bit of grass left, assorted bushes, and lawn furniture for 20 when the most I have ever seen in the backyard at one time is three. I take a step back, and say "Alright, now it's done they can just maintain it and actually enjoy the backyard now." Oh, pity me and my logical mind!

The only statement that came out of the job foreperson's mouth was "I need to go to the nursery to get something that has some COLOR in it now." I swear, if murder was not a capital offense in this state, I would have thought more about it than I did! As it is, I damn near bit my tongue in half to keep from blurting out "What the fuck? Since when is green NOT a color?!?"

Now, I know it has been nearly twenty years since I took an art class, but at least I passed the fucking thing. As far as I can remember, green was still a fucking color then! Who deleted it since then, and more importantly, where is the backspace key to fix it? I want it back!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Time Wasted...

I am normally a pretty nice person, but I absolutely hate when people think that my time is theirs to waste as they see fit. I have plenty of things that I would much rather do to waste a couple hours of my day. I don't need help from others.

Unfortunately, I have seemed to be getting a great deal of this type of help in the past week or so. For example, I have been trying to figure out a problem with a website for a friend of mine for the last two days. Seems she has multiple user accounts, passwords, and even upgrades on various accounts. Being the "computer" guy that she knows, it falls to me to figure out her screw ups. Now, I don't mind figuring things like this out. Actually, I find it rather fun and enjoyable. What I do mind is the fact that once I figure it out, and she's pleading with me to fix it, she refuses to listen to how to fix it, or even how it happened in the first place.

Seems real simple to me. Two accounts with upgrades, only need one, cancel the least priced subscription so at least if she is going to be out money it is the least amount that she is out.

Needless to say, she still has two accounts, two upgrades, and paying for two subscriptions because she refused to take action on anything. I ended up spending two days working on something for someone that I have no interest in other than she's my friend, only to leave it exactly the way it was. Well, that's not exactly true, I did change the emails she had listed with the accounts. So, in retrospect, two days to change two emails... A DAMN WASTE OF MY TIME!!!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My One Track Mind

I admit, I'm compulsive. And I now have a new one: World of Warcraft!

I have been playing Diablo 2 for several years, and I still get into moods that I want to do that, but the style with which I play D2 is solo. I am a magic finder, so I spend the vast majority of my time playing in locked room with just me. I like doing it, but also was looking for something a little different.

Since I obviously like the games that Blizzard develops, I started looking at World of Warcraft, and I have to admit, I am hooked! In only about a week! I have been playing just about any spare moment I get, and even now, I am waiting for when I can get back on and continue my adventures. I think I found another game that is right down my alley being something that is more involved than just a point and shoot or drive in circles.

Alright, so I'm happy (or at least happier), but not everyone around me is. I have a one track mind and I do tend to get lost in things like World of Warcraft for hours at a time. I think I tune out my life so I can recharge a little bit. And I really don't mean to ignore the people around me. Actually I see it as no different than sitting here and playing Freecell for hours (which I have been known to do also). If you want my attention all you have to do for the most part is ask, and it is yours!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Cleaning Up for the Cleaners?

It's Monday, and every other week on Mondays we have a couple of ladies come in and clean the house. Hey, it keeps me from having to do it, and the price is right, so it's a good deal all the way around. But I hate it!

Last night I was up until 3am, and I had to be back up at seven to finish cleaning up the house so the cleaning ladies could come in and clean it. Huh? Cleaning for the cleaning ladies? That's supposedly what we are paying them for! But that is the way it is around here.

The night before, or the morning of, the cleaning crew we (my girlfriend and I) have to go through the house and pick up all the shit that has been left laying around over the past two weeks. Now, I wouldn't bitch if the shit was ours. But it's not! We live with my parents so I can help take care of my mother and all the shit that we are picking up, straightening up, or just plain hiding is inveriably theirs. Come on, aren't we all adults here? Learn to pick up after yourself would ya? Oh, nevermind, that's why you had kids and trained me to be a butler.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Internet Social Safety

I read on Weird Cake a post about life online and some of the things that happen. It was a great post, and you ought to go over and read it. But there are a couple of things I would like to expand on about the online world, and seeing as how I don't author that blog, I figured I would do a somewhat similar post over here too.

The social scene on the Internet is definitely a vibrant place. Any type of person you could ever imagine meeting I am sure you can find them online. That being said, it also creates a few problems along the way. Since I have been online for about ten years, here are a couple of things you might keep in mind, especially if you are rather new, or getting into a new corner of the Internet.

In the chat rooms, a lot of people seem to take advantage of the whole anonymity thing to say and do things that in person there would be no way they would do. They might think about them, but the chances of them acting on those thoughts would be nil. Fortunately, the whole anonymity thing is really not relavent any longer. There are many ways to check on someone's identity, the server managers definitely can check the whole who, when and where of the folks on their servers. (Though the checks are usually only made AFTER a complaint is filed.) What this means is that the online world is getting safer. Just keep in mind that there are those idiots out there that still think they are anonymous and take advantage of it.

It is EASY to say what the other person wants to hear:
This is one of the biggest things about the social scene online. How do you know that the person on the other end of the connection actually is what he or she portends to be? It is surprisingly easy to say things that the other person wants to hear when you are not face to face. Body language, inflection, sarcasm, and dry wit are just some of the things that do not translate well in the online world. So, how do you get around this? First and foremost, be true to yourself. Secondly, talk to the person over several sessions over a period of time. Remember what the person says from one session to the next. If need be, keep a history (all chat platforms offer some function to be able to save a history) and compare things. The players and folks with the fabricated stories then become easy to spot because it is generally very hard for them to keep the story straight. Inconsistencies are a sign of trouble, the degree of which you can determine if you keep talking and probing. Also watch what they say to other people. I have known people to try to run three or four different stories within a single chatroom.

Romantic/Personal Relationship Development:
I am living proof that a personal relationship can be started online. My current girlfriend is someone I met online, as were the past two. But here's the catch. It is important NOT to make a final decision about any relationship online before you actually meet the person. If they are across the country, visit them on a vacation. A couple of times. Make sure that what you developed online translates to a working relationship in the real world. Basically, it's like going to a bar and meeting someone. You wouldn't marry that person if you have never seen them outside the bar, don't think you are going to marry someone you have never met except online.

And finally, some might get mad at this, BUT THE INTERNET IS NO PLACE FOR KIDS!!!
Yes, there are sites that are designed specifically for kids and teens. Great, if you have kids, sit with them and explore those sites with them. Regardless of the security, if someone really wants to get onto the sites, they can, and they do. We have all heard the horror stories about kids getting into trouble that starts online. Basically, it boils down to the fact that they do not yet have the social skills to be able to determine who is real, who's playing them, and who is downright dangerous. That is your job as a parent!


Alright, I have this thing set up, somewhat. Anyway it will have to do for now. I really do not want to put in a bunch of ads or community stuff in just yet since I don't really know yet just how abrasive this is going to get. But I have it ready and waiting if things turn out that the blog would benefit from it.

I have put in a section at the bottom that will tell a little bit about me. If you need more information, guess you will just have to stick around, communicate, and get to know me a bit. I promise, I don't bite. Fuck that, yes I bite!

I will warn everyone now, in the first post, that this thing is liable to go anywhere and everywhere when it comes to topics. As anyone who is bipolar can probably tell you, I have absolutely no control where my mind goes sometimes. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes it's downright serious, other times, just plain stupid. But it is me, all the way through.