Category: bitching

All the things!

Catching up! Because if Bill mentions “poor neglected Snerkology” one more time…

A few weeks ago Bill and I were at the grocery store. I left him in the junk food isle while I went to the lady’s room (as is my habit) and was in the stall doing my thing when I heard someone come in. There was only one stall operational and I was in it, so I hustled because I heard a conversation between a lady and a little girl to the effects of, “But I don’t think I can hold it…”

When I opened the stall door I saw a woman and a little girl of about five standing near the door, which was cracked open about a foot. The lady was peeking out and speaking to someone, then closed the door and hurried into the stall with her daughter. I figured maybe it was her husband telling her to hurry it up, but when I left the bathroom I had to step around a cart in the alcove. A cart with a boy of about two strapped into the seat.

Alone. In the shopping cart. In a dark corner of a very busy grocery store at 8:00 on a Friday night.

Did I mention ALONE? And TWO?

There was no way in hell I was leaving him by himself, so I stood there and chatted with (well, at) him while he stared at me with big dark eyes and gnawed on a cookie. I was out there for six minutes – I looked at the store’s clock when I stepped out, and again when the boy’s mother and sister came out of the bathroom. SIX MINUTES she was going to leave him there by himself, in the alcove, parked between the door to the lady’s room and the door to the men’s room. She didn’t even peek out the door the entire time I was standing there.

Did she even realize all of the things that could have happened to her two-year-old son in six minutes??? He could have been kidnapped, or molested, or somehow fallen out of his seat, or choked on his cookie. At the very least he would have been frightened and anxious.

She gave me an odd – wary, distrustful – look when she stepped out and saw me talking to her son. I told her, “There was no way I was going to leave him here by himself. Anything could have happened to him.” Then I turned and walked away before I gave in to the urge to slap her face.

I mean, what the fuck lady?


Okay! Jeepin’ update (click any photo to see a larger version).

The last adventure I mentioned was the East Verde River Trail on February 11th. Since then we’ve driven the Montana Mountain Trail (February 26th), the Table Mesa Trail (March 4th) and the Box Canyon Trail (March 17th).

The Montana Mountain Trail is off of US 60 between Florence and Surprise. It’s got a difficulty rating of 5 out of 10, and we were on-trail for seven hours. It has become our favorite trail – the scenery was incredible (yellow wildflowers were carpeting the hills), there was just the right amount of a challenge, there were some interesting ruins to explore, and the start/end of the trail is only 45 minutes away from our house. On this day we took Bailey with us, and she was incredibly well-behaved. We stopped a bunch of times along the trail, let her off the leash, and she stayed right by us. The strange thing was (and is) that she refuses to pee until we’re back home again. No matter how much she’s eaten or drunk, she’ll only potty once we’re back home. Since on this particular day we left the house at about 8:00 in the morning and we weren’t home again until almost 5:00, I’ve gotta think she was in a desperate way by the time we got home. She never acted like she was distressed, though. And she LOVES to go Jeepin’ with us.

This is a WAY photo heavy entry, so check out two more Jeep adventures, a neighborhood party, and some more general updates after the break.

– Read More –

Soapboxy Ranty Goodness

So. I Googled myself a minute ago (and doesn’t THAT sound naughty), first and last name. First item was my Google profile, second was my Flickr account, then Facebook, someone else’s MySpace (does anyone use that anymore?), my photo site, then my, LinkedIn, and a couple of other things about somebody else. Second page, scrolling down I found a couple of UpTake articles and a bunch of other stuff not about me. My Imagekind site was at the top of the third page, another Uptake and a Beyond Megapixels article, and then FINALLY at the very bottom of the third page, Snerkology.

When I Googled just my first name, my Google profile shows up as the seventh item down on the first page.

My first point to all of this is that I am very easy to find. I used to be worried about that, because of all of the drama with my ex. But I’m THIS visible and he hasn’t seen fit to fuck with me. So I guess that means he ain’t gonna. Yay.

My second point to all of this is, employers now frequently use search engines such as Google to get information on prospective employees. Which made me wonder – from a potential employer’s (or client’s) standpoint, what do the search results say about me? Good things? Bad things? Indifferent things? That I spend way too much friggin’ time on the computer?

That last one, definitely. Also, that I’m comfortable with the word “fuck”.

Anyway. The internet has made it even EASIER to take things out of context. Judging without knowing all of the details. Thinking you “know” someone just because you read their blog. I am not the sum total of all of my on-line presences. That’s not even a fraction of who I am.

I do, though, present a bigger fraction to the Internet for their judgmental enjoyment than many people I know.

Over-sharing our personal life does not mean that we’re going to over-share in our professional life. So, prospective employer who found this entry via search engine, I can keep your corporate secrets, maintain clean language in the workplace, and be a good corporate citizen. Please consider that when you consider me.

And! Just because personal blogs are fraught with grammatical errors, with spelling and punctuation meant to EMPHASIZE AND DRAMATIZE, that doesn’t mean we don’t know how to clean it up, shape it up, and write within the rules. So, prospective freelance writing client, please consider that when you consider me.

Plus! I share photos on Flickr and on this site that I wouldn’t put within a mile of my personal portfolio. Just because I have taken bad pictures doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing. Ask any photographer the ratio of good pics to bad pics that they have in their repertoire and I bet you’ll be surprised by the answer. Maybe one in ten? One in twenty? So, prospective photography client, please consider that when you consider me.

Some folks have written about how their blog (or some such personal website) either got them fired or prevented them from getting hired. Circumstances are always different in each scenario, but I do wonder if I’d even MISS the opportunity that passed me by, if my blog was the reason that it did.

This mini-soapbox popped into my head because of some bloggy drama I’ve been reading about on other sites. I know bloggers with WAY more traffic than I do have to deal with WAY more drama than I do (which is pretty much none at all). Having a blog doesn’t mean we have to tell you EVERYTHING. We’re not withholding information from YOU, personally, when we choose not to divulge something. Just because we’ve shared something personal, emotional, or even controversial doesn’t give you carte blanche to go all One Eyed Troll in the comments. And we can EVEN STOP WRITING ALTOGETHER FOR AS LONG AS WE WANT without having to get your permission first. If a blogger chooses to stop writing, or severely change the way he or she writes, because of employment concerns OR FOR ANY OTHER FRIGGIN’ REASON, that is their prerogative.

Obviously, none of this ranty goodness is aimed at any of my readers, all of whom are so darned pleasant and supportive and cool that I bet all the other blogs are jealous.

Thank God for you guys, is all I’m sayin’.

NaBloPoMo 2011

I Hate Politics

I’ve always hated politics. At first, I hated it because I didn’t understand it. Now I hate it because I don’t have the patience for it.

Creating change in this country, using its current political infrastructure, is like trying to steer the Titanic using a single pair of oars. There’s an overwhelming amount of inertia, and nothing effective in place to successfully change direction. There are times when I wonder if America’s government really understands what it means to lead a democracy. Politicians in general have a bad reputation due to their promise-breaking ways, but when the entire world observes our “leaders” reduced to polarized, bickering, biased fools who allow themselves to be lead by the most sensational story of the day, it has a demoralizing effect on our confidence as a nation. Our own government has been on the verge of shutting down multiple times due to their inability to agree and commit. It’s no wonder that many Americans have a fatalistic view of voting, when regardless of the outcome of the election, the chosen candidate will fail to follow through with what he or she promised. Maybe if there were repercussions for that, we’d have a completely different political environment.

We’re constantly dealing with an overwhelming amount of information in the form of 24 hour news stations, websites and social media, billboards and road signage that dot the virtual and physical landscape. All of the confusion, mixed messages, and sensationalism prevent Americans from really being able to determine the merit of a candidate and see a clear path toward positive change. With each and every issue that becomes overdramatized, many people become numb to the constant inundation. The important issues and clear path to resolution get lost in the white noise. Exacerbating the issue is the fact that most Americans receive their information from news stations and network affiliates with very firm political standings, who present skewed and biased information. So there is no clear way to determine the TRUE merits and flaws of any given candidate.

Back when Obama and McCain were running against one another for the US Presidency, I looked for a single place that would line up the issues and show where each candidate stood with relation to those issues. The only thing I was able to do was to cobble together bits and pieces of information from various websites and news organizations, judge for myself if the source may be biased, and read between the lines in order to glean the truth. The hunt for information was even more difficult when I tried to decide on my vote for several important elections in the State of Arizona, including positions for Governor, Senator, and State Representatives.

I started to wonder WHY no one has created a resource that would allow anyone to quickly and clearly determine the worth of each candidate, no matter which office was being sought. Then I realized that no such resource exists because the candidates change their stance and customize it according to their audience whenever necessary. One of the most frightening truths about American voters is that many of them allow the media to make their decisions for them, and vote according to their emotions in response to whatever skewed viewpoint they’ve been the most exposed to. Finding the most accurate information is too hard, too time consuming, and too frustrating. If a reliable resource were to become available, people could make informed decisions and we might actually see a difference in our country.

As politics go, I have bipolar disorder. There is no political party for me. I agree with an amalgam of points from the Republican Party and from the Democratic Party, and even some from the Tea Party and the Liberal Party. I’m not the only citizen with such variegated beliefs, and I’m not the only one who wishes we could just invent the Common Sense Party. The current political system is based on theories that were appropriate for the 1700’s – with the issues that faced the much simpler times and much smaller population of that day. While this nation’s principles still include those that the country was founded upon, we have very unique, imminent, REAL problems that require the combined values of this nation’s citizens to resolve. A single party and a single path cannot fix all that is wrong with our country.

We all believe in our roots. We just need to make them apply to our current civilization. Sometimes that means going back to those original values, and remembering what they mean in heart and in spirit, and not just in letter.

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