Me, Sher, and Ad

Me, Sher, and Ad
Bro Adam and sis Sher, my rocks!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Cleaning Out Social Media



Sleepy morning and definitely a questionable pic! LOL 

It is with great irony that the morning I write this blog post, I opened up my Facebook page to see Facebook congratulating me on being a member for 10 years. WOW. I remember I joined mainly to try and facilitate my 20th class reunion back in Fall 2008. Now 10 years later, my 30th reunion is around the corner and I am beginning to promote that reunion as well. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Social media is definitely a double edged sword. I use Facebook at this point as a tool to promote my blog. I would not have as many readers if I didn't have it. My blog is personal, but I choose and select what I write about. But I find myself being more selective on what I post on my social media sites. I have begun limiting my personal info out there.


And now, we have the latest scandal of Facebook where Facebook allowed the company Cambridge Analytica to illegally obtain the data of 50 million users without their knowledge, I think it's especially and essentially prudent to begin limiting our personal data out in the public domain. With all of the passwords on Earth, we may not be able to avoid data breaches but remember, we ARE able to limit the information which we publicly post and share. We have gotten to a point of saturation where we share just a bit too much and I for one have started pulling back.

A friend stated to me that Facebook is "yourself on how you want the world to see you." Partially true I guess. I don't put up the bad days posts that much anymore. I post my best pics. People only want their best look out there. I get it, I do it too.  I don't complain about politics. I don't like putting up negativity in general. If I am having a bad day, I am more likely to deal with it off social media than broadcast it to the world.

If you go through my history, you will see that I generally post on a couple of subjects: the gym, my blog, my family, my cats or Lodge stuff where I bartend. I now go through my Facebook posts weekly and delete what I don't want "out there."

I post about vacations but usually not until after I get home. One should not post vacation pics until they get home unless you have a good safe network of friends online. It's just not safe to let the public know you are away for an extended period of time.

I was reading an online article on how one goes about downloading all your data/history from Facebook to see what you have accumulated or commented on over the years. I have been on Facebook since 2009 so I can only imagine my history. I am still going through editing and deleting stuff. I finally downloaded mine. 10 years of Facebook history took 25  minutes to download. And remember, I actively go back and delete crap!

Here is the link to do so if you are curious:
https://www.thrillist.com/tech/nation/how-to-download-facebook-profile-history

We now, for the first time in our collective histories, have a computerized record of everything we've ever done. Employers use it to see if we are "hire-able."  Credit agencies use it to see if we are "credit-worthy." The media uses it to see if the politicians running for office have made any unethical lapses of judgment in their lives. You and I use it just for memories' sake yet going through my history, there is stuff that I have posted that I now question my past judgment on.

People should start scheduling time in their lives to go through all of this online history, sort of a weekend to clean it all up. Take stock on what your past activities and what you have posted. Are the photos ethical? Is it something you would want a potential employer to see? Is it of questionable content?

Funny, a little embarrassing
Are there photos you are now embarrassed about which you weren't before? Should you be constantly posting pics of your nights out drinking? I mean it's one thing for a 20something to do it, and almost expected as a right of passage. BUT, if you are in your 40s and still posting beer pongs pics, maybe you need to reevaluate what you consider a good pic?

I have started going through my activity on all my social media sites as well. What did I post? Do I still feel the same way? Would those comments from 10 years ago get me in trouble today? We've all seen examples in the media how someone's comments or likes comes back to haunt them years later.

Who are you following? Maybe you thought it was funny to follow that controversial celebrity years ago but now, say that celebrity has become persona non grata in this world. Do you still want to be associated as following him or her?

One must also be cognizant of how your accounts are linked up. I was doing an audit of my Twitter feed and I did not realize that every song which I liked on my Soundcloud music account was being tracked by Twitter! I don't use Twitter that often but out of 1000 posts, about half are songs I liked on Soundcloud which I liked during my gym workouts.

The REAL annoying part is that you have to delete each post individually! That is standard for any social media website. The only way to get around this is to delete the entire account. Keep that in mind with each mindless post.

I've begun removing people I don't speak with anymore. I know who supports my blog and who does not. And if someone causes me stress every time I see them, then why am I "friends" with them on my social media? I see a lot of you do yearly purges of people on your social media accounts and I think this is a good thing. It can also be very cathartic.

However, one must remember that if you are friends with a person on Facebook and you delete them, you still may be friends with them on other forms of social media. I ended up removing someone on Facebook but then remembered I had to remove them from four other social media accounts. SMH. It definitely gets to be a bit ridiculous. Maybe my law enforcement friends have it right after all when they say they don't do social media?

I think it's a good rule of thumb that if you have doubts on posting something, don't do it or wait until the next day to see if you still want to post it. Don't do social media drunk. You will always regret it. Don't do social media while you are emotional. Once it's out there and someone takes a screen-shot of it, consider it permanently saved into the annals of history. Questionable photos are a no-no. Or post a photo and adjust the privacy setting to friends only! Don't feel you have to share everything with the world. The world is not your therapist ... just me, your bartender. 😉

Monday, March 26, 2018

Catch and Release

"Jerry Mouse and Tom Cat (not my pic)"

Every other winter, I get the occasional house mouse moving in. Believe me it isn't Jerry or Mickey Mouse (were they cousins?). My excellent mousers, Max and his twin sister Moxie, usually take care of the problem. I STILL haven't located where the mice get in. Usually it's a brown small field mouse with big brown eyes. Cute, if it weren't a mouse. Nah, still cute. But still a mouse! LOL

I'm not as tough as some of you guys though. I catch and release. I think I remember my dear ole' Philly friend KitKat electrocuted at 43 of them since January 2015. That's Philly apartment living for ya!  And then she so eloquently posted pics of various Mouse Memes of mice stuffed and dressed in various poses. (Other people stuffed them.)  LOL It was actually quite cute if not a bit morbid. Man, she's a tough gal though folks!

I had heard my current house mouse making his way through the walls end of February. The cats would follow him as he made his way across the family room ceiling. OK, more like just stare at the ceiling and let Marc and John freak out about the mouse.

I set the 'catch and release' mouse trap a month ago in the laundry room with a dollop of peanut butter as bait. The mouse goes in for the peanut butter, can't get out. The thing is, I forgot about the trap because we didn't hear the mouse for several weeks. I figured he'd moved out.

Little did I know that the mouse was happily gorging himself on the peanut butter. I was doing some spring cleaning in the laundry room when I remembered the trap. I checked it and found the "roof" of the mouse trap had been ripped off. There was a pile of plastic shreddings all about the trap. The mouse got trapped and LITERALLY clawed his way out of the trap. AND he ate all of the peanut butter!

OMG! What a little fucker!

Luckily the trap was still usable. He just clawed and pried the top off. Well that was not gonna stop me! I got the trap, put in a fresh dollop of peanut butter at about 3PM and put the trap back in it's place. I went about my business doing my Sunday-Funday chores.

About 10PM in the evening I went into the laundry room and there was Mouser 1 and Mouser 2 (Max and Moxie respectively) sitting in the dark watching the mouse trap. I exclaimed to myself NO WAY! That mouse had must be a peanut butter lover because I caught him within 7 hours!

I got my cell phone on flash light and shone it through the plastic mouse trap and sure enough, there was a very fat peanut butter laden mouse chillin' like a villain in the trap, drunk on peanut butter! I usually release my mice in the yard of the neighbor I dislike the most. Just kidding! But I remembered someone telling me I had to release them at least a mile from my home or else they'd be like Jerry Mouse and take a hike back home.

So I drove up to the Lake Wynonah Lodge where I bartend, about a mile away, and decided to release him in the surrounding woods. I passed one of our security guys in the LW security SUV and I thought to myself, Just great, I'm gonna have to explain why I'm releasing a mouse up here at 10:30PM!

I tried to get a pic of my mouse but was unable to. As soon as I opened the trap, he sprung like a Jack-In-The-Box! He shot like a dart off into the woods just 6 feet away. Well I hope he lives a ful-filled mouse's life! He was pretty fat on peanut butter too. After that, I looked back and saw that the LW security SUV had moved up wondering what the hell I was doing.

UGH. I figure I had better drive by and talk to them. I pulled up next to security and found my buddy Thaddeus, in the driver's seat. Thank God! This twenty year old kiddo knows I'm a little crazy but knows I'm not up there for any problems. LOL. After explaining, Thad thought it was pretty funny and I was soon off on my way. Knowing I had saved a mouse *** YES a mouse, but still one of God's creatures in my opinion *** it was worth it. Worth the 3 minute drive to release him into the woods. Is that so much? I think not.

BUT ... I'm in trouble if he saunters up to the Lake Wynonah Lodge Bar while I'm on duty asking for a double Jameson's Irish Whiskey on the rocks. I may give him a free one, but with a straw and a dollop of peanut butter.




Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lake Wynonah Spring Ramble ... OR BRAMBLE?

"Daffodils Coming Up"


I went out today to do a little bit of yard work. My buddy Eric had told me a couple weeks ago that he was already collecting branches and sticks cleaning up his yard and I felt a little guilty. So far the Nor'Easters have been preventing me from doing that. Although I really could have but I'm just really using that as an excuse. Ha-ha. I'm kinda NOT gonna do major yard work until it hits the 50s. Today was an anomaly. Guilt ridden too. The yard is a mess. LOL

I was collecting sticks in the yard while make sure that the fake owl hanging from the corner of the house is still there to ward off the woodpeckers. He still is. Went down into the lower backyard and collected all of the planters and pots that had blown into our yard from Charlotte's over the winter. I collected them and put them neatly stacked next to her shed and realized I was putting them next to the entrance to her groundhog hole under the shed. Made me chuckle. That groundhog is the bane of our existence. Our neighbor down the hill, Ronnie, usually takes care of them for us. I call it "relocating." But there is one furry guy who seems to be evading him. :)

I thought then about the big old hornet's nest in the back in the woods behind our house in Lake Wynonah, about 30 yards back. I see it from my back bedroom window. Hornets abandon their nest in the winter and the queen burrows in the ground or a log. All the workers die. Pretty tough cycle if ya ask me.

So I went back looking for it and I couldn't find it. I was disappointed because I swear I could see it for my back window just the other day. John said maybe one of the past Nor'Easters had blown it off back further into the woods. Possibly.  Oh well. Is what it is.

The land owners in the back cut down the trees over 30 acres behind the house for money, just the expensive hardwood older ones. Pretty sad, just for money. It was one of the last virgin stands in our area, beside those of course on the big old Blue Mountain. There's black bears in dem hills. LOL

"Spring Onions" 
Back to the woods behind the house. It was pretty sad because it's all scrub now except for trees here and there. They took down 4 trees for every 6 I think. But it's interesting to see because the scrub has grown now at least 6 ft tall. Most of it is taller than me. I was a little shocked at that. Ronnie down the hill said that the deer are more attracted to that because it provides really good cover for them rather than woods. I can see why now.

We've had more deer than ever. The deer appear regularly and move from Ronnie and his wife Leah's yard up the hill through Charlotte's yard to ours. Ronnie is a smart older Skook County native. Great guy, you end up wishing forever for neighbors like him and his wife Leah. Really decent good peeps. And Charlotte too. We are really lucky. Ronnie gives great bear hugs too but sometimes my back hurts the next day. LMAO.

I spent about 15 minutes moving through the back woods and scrub looking for that damn hornets nest. I was a little preoccupied as I gathered some great field stones for the flower beds. Picked up 5 good sized ones. I didn't realize but a lot of the scrub are brambles. Prickly bitches. It was fine tugging on my shirt and jeans but they tended to rip my hands and wrists apart as I made my way toward from the back of the house looking for that stupid abandoned hornets nest.

I suddenly heard something over head and looked up above me expecting to see a turkey vulture or one of our local hawks or bald eagles but instead was blessed to see a beautiful graceful grey heron flapping through the air about a 50 feet above me. Still low enough though where I could hear her flap her wings.  I think she must've been coming off of Fawn Lake. What a sight. I gazed at her until I lost her in the distance, head steady, wings flapping at a constant.

"Damn Snow" 
The daffodils are finally starting to come up. No blooms yet like in South Jersey, Philly or Delaware. We're still too cold up here. I do see all of the Spring onions sprouting up though. Along with the daffodils they seem to be always the first to come up. Don't forget the hardy crocuses too. LOL. Love their purple and yellow colors early in the Spring.

There's also the pussy willow tree I see budding from my kitchen window. Like cat's toes, they grow forth excitedly, without worry from the last remnants of Winter's cold touch. Reassuring me that Spring will be here in just a few more drawn out muddy weeks.

It seems that Spring is coming around finally after several punishing Nor'Easters. Luckily we won't be getting the 4th in a row up here this week. We thought we would but it just looks like a rain event mid week for us. Great, muddy muddy yard though. What are those muddy boots people buy? Duck boots? I'll just wear my hiking shoes, thank you very much. LOL

Although, I STILL have snow in the yard. That's the funny thing living just 50 miles north of Philly. We still have this damn snow. Sometimes it feels we are in a different weather zone. My Lake Wynonah neighbors and friends can definitely concur. No big deal though. It is what it is.

Of course our favorite state ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil deemed it so. He was correct this year. I am surprised my good friend Ronnie hasn't taken care of him yet. LOL

Thanks for always reading. It means a lot to this small fish in a big sea.



Saturday, March 17, 2018

CONFIDENCE

What does it take to feel secure and confident? I am utmost but still have my moments. It's being human. I accept it. Don't fret for we all go thru those moments too. (((HUGS))) Tomorrow, you will awake confident again. ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Childhood Influences


"Mom's Carpenters"

I was driving into work yesterday morning and was kinda just over the news. I get like that every now and then. Just tired of hearing about the ongoing politics, terrorism, and other ugly stuff taking over our world. I just sometimes need to turn it off. More sad and disappointing than anything else.

Now a couple weeks ago, I picked up three CDs at a thrift store so I figured I'd give them a listen. YES, I still listen to CDs so you Millennials can just hold your collective tongues. I can feel your eyes rolling at me. 😏

Two CDs were popular hits from 1960 and 1961 because I wanted to hear the music my Mom listened during her later high school years. Some pretty cool stuff. I like exposing myself to different genres of music. I feel it brings me closer to her in a way.

The other CD I picked up was "Carpenters Gold", a two CD set of the greatest hits of that 70s soft pop duo The Carpenters. This was something which was played quite often at home by my Mom.

I popped that CD into the player and started humming along while miles of Route 78 sped by. Before I knew it, I began singing (quite badly) some of the words. Another couple miles and I was belting out each verse.  Where did the memories of these songs come from? I am continuously amazed at the ability of the human mind to remember obscure thoughts or memories from so long ago that I have not thought about in literally decades.

I can remember the words to over a dozen Carpenter songs from the 70s that I haven't heard in decades but I cannot remember where I hid my grandfather's watch in my home nor can I remember dozens of similar passwords.

Why is this?

Is it because these songs were played over and over again by my mother during the 70s? Is this why I can sing along with my Dad's favorite group the Moody Blues or belt out Fleetwood Mac at the drop of a hat?

Is this why I always preferred Dad's hamburgers to Beef Wellington or Mom's baked mac n' cheese to truffle mac n' cheese? Sure the fancy alternatives are incredible but I wasn't raised on them. I KNOW my Mom's mac n' cheese. Memories of happy family meals flood my mind with each savory bite.

Is this why I was bit by the antique bug early on? Is this why I count a small bronze elephant from my Nana and an Art Deco letter opener from my Grandfather Leslie as two of my most prized possessions? (The elephant has a missing tusk, too. Never got the story on that one.)

I pay particular reverence to those antiques which came from my family. My Mom and Dad instilled upon me the importance of family heirlooms. I cherish them.

My past influences help shape my decisions and continue to define who I am as an adult. I don't question it  much anymore. It just is. I am moved by it and respect those influences as I would respect any wise sage advice.

I am frugal. I am influenced by my mother stretching every penny during the 70s. I love the holidays, further influenced by my parents desire to have me grow up with an appreciation of other religions and their celebrations. I am artistic, fostered by my father's influences as an artist and art professor as well as frequent trips to galleries and museums as a child. I grew up close with my siblings and I still am. They are my influences. But this is me. You have your own experiences which have shaped you.

YOU are made up of these influences. Your mother cooked with you at her side. You are influenced by that. Your father took you hunting as a child. You are influenced by that. You grew up watching football with your family. You are influenced by that. WE are made up of these experiences and influences from our childhood. Live through them, breathe through them.

RECOGNIZE them and begin as adults to appreciate these influences if you already haven't. They have shaped you into the wonderfully storied and many layered human being that you are today.

And I still cannot remember where that gold watch is hidden ... BUT I have remembered where I hid the combination to the safe to find my computer passwords!

Until the next time...


Saturday, March 10, 2018

Password Craziness



Is anyone else is just so tired of this password craziness?

I consider myself to be an fairly intelligent fellow with a pretty decent memory. I can remember way back in 1973 the first time I drank apple juice from an actual glass and not a sippy cup. I can also remember when I climbed out over the bars of my crib-bed that year and wandering into the living room, much to my mother's shock. I also remember my telephone numbers I grew up with back in the 70s and 80s: 609-468-5250 and 609-468-3423.

However I find myself struggling to remember are all of those passwords I now have, including security questions and pictures, just to access any number of a dozens websites I may use on a weekly basis! I recently audited my list of passwords to see how crazy all of this had become. I saw about 30 combinations of various numbers, symbols and words which left my head spinning.

Experts in computer security /IT state that you should not use the same password for each website. I get that. If your information is compromised for one, then you are compromised for all. It starts to get a bit ridiculous though.

It is suggested that you combine them with numbers, capital letters and symbols. I think to myself, did I use an asterisk or ampersand for this one? Capital or no capital letters?

There are people that use Password1, Password2, Password3, etc. Then there are the people who use 123456. Smart move, expect to get hacked Einstein.

Experts also suggest just having one randomly made. Whaaat? At 47, I DON'T DO RANDOM. I need everything well laid out for me, planned, and organized just to get through  my weeks. Oh don't forget the websites that now text a 4 digit pin to your phone just to get access! OMG!

I use ten operating systems at work which require ten different passwords. Several of them are state-wide systems with an extra level of security: With my job though, all are warranted of course. It just adds to my level of annoyance.

At home, I have a list of important websites with the different passwords in my safe. I get anxiety because I'm afraid I will forget the combo to the safe. So I wrote the combo down and put it somewhere safe. The combo to the safe is in a safe place. But the problem is that the other day I forgot where the safe place was. 😕

Every couple months, if I can find it, I go through the password list and change them all up. I update the list and hide it again. And the process starts all over again.

One of the websites I use requires a first password and user name, then click through a couple screens, then answer two security questions, approve an image of a puppy, and then put in another different password! Just crazy. I have another website which I cannot use the same password as the previous past 30 passwords! I am running out of combinations of pets and family members for that one. I think I will start using my neighbor's names. Hello Charlotte and Leah! Ha-ha-ha.

At least now on your smart phone you can use a finger print detector or facial scanner. But if you are in bad lighting or your hands are sweaty, you better remember that damn 4 digit pin code!

Some phones also allow you to create a pattern you can swipe. I gave up the pattern password one evening after a couple shots of Fireball. For the life of me I couldn't swipe the correct pattern. It was the letter 'M'. Now I am back to the finger print detector coupled with the pin code.

We hear constantly about the security breaches through major financial institutions, credit companies or email servers and think "Why bother?" Maybe I should just use "Marc's_password" for everything. LOL I don't know.

I feel that if I try and make it somewhat difficult, it will make it that much tougher for your average hacker to get my info. OR I am just making myself go crazy. Hmmm, maybe I should send the hackers my therapist bill.