A List of Things To Be Thankful For – Humor

Here in town, Father John Joseph Reid who runs New Divine Mercy Church is known to be quite helpful and has a good sense of humor.   In the case of this posting he sent me, he’s helping me with this post and I am thankful for that sense of humor.

If you’re a bit confused, feel free to read on!

As we progress into 2013, I want to thank you all for your educational e-mails over the past year.
I am totally screwed up now and have little chance of recovery.

I can no longer open a bathroom door without using a paper towel, nor let the waitress put lemon slices in my ice water without worrying about the bacteria on the lemon peel.

I can’t sit down on a hotel bedspread because I can only imagine what has happened on it since it was last washed.

I have trouble shaking hands with someone who has been driving because the number one pastime while driving alone is picking one’s nose.

Eating a little snack sends me on a guilt trip because I can only imagine how many gallons of trans fats I have consumed over the years.

I can’t touch any woman’s handbag for fear she has placed it on the floor of a public toilet.

I must send my special thanks for the email about rat poo in the glue on envelopes because I now have to use a wet sponge with every envelope that needs sealing.

ALSO, now I have to scrub the top of every can I open for the same reason.

I can’t have a drink in a bar because I fear I’ll wake up in a bathtub full of ice with my kidneys gone.

I can’t eat at KFC because their chickens are actually horrible mutant freaks with no eyes, feet or feathers.

I can’t use cancer-causing deodorants even though I smell like a water buffalo on a hot day.

Thanks to you I have learned that my prayers only get answered if I forward an e-mail to seven of my friends and make a wish within five minutes.

Because of your concern , I no longer drink Coca Cola because it can remove toilet stains.

I no longer buy fuel without taking someone along to watch the car, so a serial killer doesn’t crawl in my back seat when I’m filling up.

I no longer use Cling Wrap in the microwave because it causes seven different types of cancer.

And thanks for letting me know I can’t boil a cup of water in the microwave anymore because it will blow up in my face, disfiguring me for life.

I no longer go to the cinema because I could be pricked with a needle infected with AIDS when I sit down.

I no longer go to shopping centers because someone will drug me with a perfume sample and rob me..

And I no longer answer the phone because someone will ask me to dial a number for which I will get a huge phone bill with calls to Jamaica, Uganda, Singapore, and Uzbekistan ..

Thanks to you I can’t use anyone’s toilet but mine because a big black snake could be lurking under the seat and cause me instant death when it bites my butt.

And thanks to your great advice I can’t ever pick up a dime coin dropped in the car park because it was probably placed there by a sex molester waiting to grab me as I bend over.

I can’t do any gardening because I’m afraid I’ll get bitten by the Violin Spider and my hand will fall off.

If you don’t send this to at least 144,000 people in the next 70 minutes, a large dove with diarrhea will land on your head at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, and the fleas from 120 camels will infest your back, causing you to grow a hairy hump. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of my next door neighbors ex mother-in-law’s second husband’s cousin’s best friend’s beautician!

Oh, and by the way…

A German scientist from Argentina , after a lengthy study, has discovered that people with insufficient brain activity read their e-mails with their hand on the mouse

Don’t bother taking it off now, it’s too late.

P. S. I now keep my toothbrush in the living room, because I was told by e-mail that water splashes over 6 ft. out of the toilet..


LinkedIn, Facebook and the Creepy Factor

Today I was amused by a bit of LinkedIn email. 

Going through the morning online work, I spotted a piece of email from LinkedIn.  Most of us are familiar with Facebook by now.  Consider LinkedIn a Facebook for the Professional Set.  If you have a career instead of a job, you need to be on there.  The account that I use on there could be more effectively used, I am somewhat low on contacts.   Since I’m so busy maintaining the presence of Wilton Manors Main Street on Facebook and their Blog and watching over that of New Divine Mercy Church on Facebook, their Blog, as well as my own blog here, I tend to take a passive outlook.   If someone spots me, friends me, I accept, smile at the “good thoughts” and move on with a new relationship.

I don’t usually search for people unless there is a reason.  Once I found a whole wing of the family in Nebraska and another in Washington State, as well as being told of a branch that moved to Saskatchewan and set down roots.

This particular email was asking me if I knew some people.  Specifically it was the Mayor of Wilton Manors and one of the Commissioners.  Yep!  I know them both, but since I don’t tend to “bother” people without a good reason I chuckled and deleted the email. 

We’re all busy, right?  Why bother people…

That got me thinking about the ability to use social media for online stalking.  If the software knew that I should know the Mayor and the Commissioner and was right, what else does this online database know about us.

Privacy is done for.  Actually that isn’t completely true, you could always cut your credit cards and pay cash for everything.  With the laws in place for health and other records in the United States, if that information got out about you, you could make a tidy sum suing the company that had an “accidental” breach of your personal information, many people have.

Online privacy is non-existent.  As soon as someone posts their personal information on a website, and it is found by a search engine, you’re public.  May as well put it on a post-it or on one of those stickers that say “Hello, My Name Is” because it is that open.   Email is a Post Card medium.  It is sent out mostly unencrypted out to the world and anyone who wants to learn about you can find it with the right technology. 

Sure there are secured Email sites for such people who work in the Health Care and Insurance Industries for example, but they are not used by “normal folk” like you and me.

So what can you do about it?   Practically nothing these days.  If you use an email that is free and advertisement based, then your information is already out there including your private thoughts.  They aren’t private, no matter what.  This blog is public, it is scanned by all the search engines, and I do employ some Search Engine Optimization techniques to make sure that the articles I post aren’t just read today.   It also is hosted on Blogger which is a Google site.  Google finds my posts and scans them and indexes them.  That benefits me because it brings people in a wider audience than just my friends and family.

Now what happens to those databases?  You tell me…

The indexes and databases of websites and emails and all the other detritus of our lives that are online are a very good representation of our personal thoughts.  Go onto Facebook and like something and you establish a relationship.  That relationship can be inconsequential when you “Like” Food.  It could be something we consider positive when we Like our own nation or an allied nation.  It could be negative when we like a hate group – find them on your own, I won’t help you there. 

The bottom line is that it builds a very good psychological description of an individual.  This sort of thing has not gone unnoticed, and there are many people out there working in Social Networking and the analysis of the psychology of Social Networking.  After all, you can sell this information or protect your country against people who are out to commit crimes simply by looking over their shoulders at what they say about themselves.

The best thing you can do is step back next time you see that email or the friendly “Like” button and consider what it says about you.  After all, it is easier than trying to do it the Old School way.  Who among us has actually written a physical paper letter to a company telling them how well they did lately?  I know I haven’t!

Random Yellow Flower Background Picture

The other day Father John needed a camera to take some video for his church.   We went out and bought a camera, not really all that high end, but suited to the task.  Along with it was bought a 16GB memory chip that it turned out that the camera truly hated. 

I put it in the camera and pressed record and between 22 and 33 seconds later it would simply lock up with a message that the chip was too slow.  Strange. 

My own chip worked. So we realized camera good, chip bad, and returned it.

Before it went back I took the memory chip with me for a walk around town and took random pictures.  Anyone with any experience taking pictures will come up with a good one from time to time.  In this case, the picture was nothing more than some small, low growing, native plants in the local M.E. De Palma Park near the house.  I was pretending to be Mr Tourist and taking pictures of all sorts of pictures with no real rhyme or reason so I could “exercise” the chip. 

It went back, Father John has a new chip that the camera likes, and we will be taking some movies for the web site. 

I still have the test shots, and this is one of them.  After cropping out weeds, it’s remarkably even in its randomness.

www.canawm.org – Another Successful Web Implementation Project Complete

Between doing Video Shoots and Website Upgrades for New Divine Mercy Church as well as functioning as their Webmaster and Project Manager, I was busy working on a new website for the Central Area Neighborhood Association for Wilton Manors.

Today, all the technical details were completed and the website for CANA went live.

This is the fifth website that I have created for organizations using the Google Sites technology.  Google Sites is a great way to get a basic website up and running, especially for Not For Profits as those organizations have been granted free space on Google’s Servers.  I have heard that they may or may not begin charging for that service in the future, and I have heard that it may or may not go Fee Based. 

The benefit of using the technology is that it is completely “Cloud Based”.   Got a small organization and you don’t want to have to worry about whether you have a dedicated server architecture built in an office server closet?  This works for you since Sites is hosted by Google.  You get access to a limited number of free services such as Google Docs, Gmail accounts, and other things so in theory you can completely run an organization virtually without ever buying a corporate computer.  Feel like making a change on a website from your laptop on vacation in a far flung corner of the world – you can do it if you have internet.

I wouldn’t personally put any financial information on a “web app” but that’s my security preference, you may not agree.

At any rate, CANA has their web site, it’s up and running.

The other sites I have created were for the Joe Angelo for Mayor Campaign, the Celeste Ellich for Commissioner Campaign, New Divine Mercy Church, as well as working on my blog

I am also the Social Media Director for Wilton Manors Main Street helping to voice their public presence on Facebook and on their blog.  I also have worked on their current webpage that is expected to go through some changes and a refresh soon.

Having done web development as a Programmer and as a Project Manager as well as doing Implementation of Websites, Large Scale implementation of Legacy systems, and Accounting Systems help in rounding out that list. 

I’m also That Guy that people call up for help with their PCs since I’ve implemented more desktop systems than I would care to count.  I’ve also implemented Servers running Windows Server 2003 and 2007,  implemented SQL Server (various versions) as well as created servers running Linux and the LAMP Stack.

The Lamp Stack is a set of technologies that will allow you to serve out web pages to the world as well as function as a regular file server as needed and it’s all free.

Most of that stuff can run “virtually” and on a computer using VMWare or Microsoft Virtual PC.

Not a bad cover letter, I may have to use this since I’ve done this and more.

Stonewall Parade Luminaries – Picture

In the Stonewall Street Festival and Parade, there was something new.  There was a sense of history for a change.  Sure, it’s a party.  But the idea was to show where we all were and where we were going.  For once it was not strictly an excuse to act crazy and insane but a chance to reflect.   There were the receptions complete with the history timeline, the AIDS Quilt, and other items.

Of the items there were these posters of “Luminary Couples”.  The call went out to get some gay or lesbian couples who have been together more than 20 years.  Consider that time frame.  It goes back into the time period where people were hunted down because of who they dared to call their most important person.  Back to a time of persecution.  Some couples went back before that, there was a couple who had 48 years together.  48 years ago was a world away, and thankfully for the many minority communities, that life is long gone in most of the country.  

It still hangs on in the minds of some repressive individuals and some backwards areas in the nation.  Everyone knows of some backwoods areas that “you wouldn’t want to live in” because of the unaccepting mindsets. 

In the big cities there are corporations that you don’t want to work in because they have not learned that to embrace diversity means that you will attract the best and brightest.   To embrace diversity means to accept everyone’s strengths and work to help everyone past their weaknesses.   It is a competitive advantage both in business and when you go home.   Look at the top 100 best business lists and you will see a strong statement accepting the diversity in their hiring and in their Mission Statement.  Look at the lists of cities that are the best to live in and you find a vibrant community filled with people bringing their best and brightest to the game and feeling that they are welcomed there, not shunned because of their differences.

The one Luminary Couple I am honored to know the best is that of Fathers Larry Turner and Father John Joseph Reid.  38 years together.  They have lived through intolerance in South Boston to settle here and take up God’s Work in the Recovery Community and to help with the homeless while also tending to the spiritual needs of those who are fortunate to find them in their small chapel in Wilton Manors. 

You can find out more about their church on their website, that of New Divine Mercy.  I have been fortunate enough to work with Father John and Father Larry on their website and to help them out with their technology needs as their Project Manager as needs arise.  They also have a video channel on YouTube so they can reach further than just here in South Florida.  They are a fascinating couple, and if you are looking for an amazing experience, surf their web page, find the information and go pay a visit to their church for Mass.  They are truly doing God’s Work as well as being good friends to me and the rest of us here in South Florida.

John and Larry were chosen to ride along in the Parade, so I made certain to have my trusty and very creaky camera at the ready. 

As John later told the story, they were given the chance to ride in the parade but God had other plans.  Just as Larry and John got close to where I was standing in front of the announcer’s podium, the 1969 Eldorado blew a water hose and all of the antifreeze came out of the car in a gush.   I had literally taken this picture at the moment the water hose blew.  Thank God for slow digital cameras…

It was at this point where the crowd got together and pushed the 45 year old car down to the next entryway and to safety.

Now what to do?

Anyone reading this who knows Father John and Larry, knows they’re pretty unflappable.  You see, John and Larry got out of the car and walked the entire parade route.  They were the Luminaries on Foot. 

Father John later made a comment on his Facebook page that said it much better than I can:

I didnt understand it at first but God wanted us to be out amongst the people where they could see us and as we walked along, people along the route were very responsive with applause and thanks.

We were the only priests walking the length of the parade route and we did it to show that there are Catholic priests who profess that God loves everyone and that we are there for both Gay and Straight. It was an awesome moment for Father Larry and myself. It had to take God to get that caddilac to start smoking to get us out where we belong, out on the street with his people. And the bottom line is its not about us, its about Him. 

Love ya all Father John Joseph and Father Larry