Hey, Who Turned ON The Lights?


As is the case in the era where computers run the world, various programs make frequent changes to safeguard themselves against newly found problems.

I woke up this morning to Google Chrome needing an update. I thought, fine, update away.

Here’s the thing, my eyesight is dwindling a bit now that I’m 46, as is the case with us older whippersnappers. For example, the white Facebook layout on Chrome is WAY too bright for me. So, I use an extension called Deluminate to aid in seeing websites better. Usually, I use a dark mode, but dimming the pages works just as well.

With the latest Chrome update, darkening the various web pages is now an impossibility, so I’m playing computer detective, trying to sleuth out where the problem might be. The dim mode still works, so I have that going for me.

Using similar programs to Deluminate don’t work nearly as good. For instance, if I use one of those other programs, I get the darkened web page, but using WordPress to create these blog entries gives me this bright white box to type my text in. As I’ve noted – for the current state of my eyes, white isn’t all right.

Hopefully, there’s a fix out there. If my hunch is correct, I can’t be the only Google/Deluminate user having this problem.

EDIT, 3/15/2018 at 11:05am EDT: I submitted my problem to the designer at his/their Github page, and quickly found a resolution. In the words of the immortal Gilda Radner: never mind!


Tapping Out

Well, it was bound to happen. I’m back on Facebook. I lasted about a half hour shy of eleven days and went probably a lot farther in my holdout then many could.

I hoped it would go a month, or get up to April 1st before I came back. But c’est le vie.

I know you all say Facebook will last forever, that it will never go away. I think they said that about MySpace about a decade ago. Guess what wound up happening?

And so, I’ll just chalk this up as training for the day Facebook does go away. It is kind of like that Hotel California song The Eagles sang back in the 70’s – you can check out anytime you like, but you never wind up leaving.

Updates And Upgrades


Yesterday, I decided it was time I updated my backup computer that had been sitting dormant for over a year.

Did I mention it takes a while to update a computer you haven’t touched for that long, adding all the Windows updates that can occur in such a time span? It can really get monotonous, taking 12 hours to perform one of these upgrades.

If there is a moral of the story, I guess it is to update your computers in a smaller time frame, maybe every three months or so. After that, perhaps the time it takes to keep a computer in top shape begins to mount, I don’t know.

On my ninth day of Facebook withdrawal, all is well still.


The Tip Jar



You don’t mind if I have some coffee?  From March 5, 2018.

One of the things I find myself wrestling with the past few months in the operation of my blogs is whether or not I should put “tip jars” on them. I’ve recently changed my mind and have put links to my Paypal on the three I sustain the most. There seemed to be in my mind a trend towards having them from what I see, so I figured I’d try it.

I don’t do these blogs for the wealth, but I felt that if anyone fancied offering, I should at least “build the bridge” to make that happen. It’s not like I’m going to accuse you of “freeloading” either – or will I be performing my best Jerry Lewis impression whenever he was on the lower end of the tote board back in his MDA telethon days.

Just thought I would mention a brief explanation here without looking like a panhandler.


Life After The FB


The cool thing for those of you following along on this blog about not being on Facebook is that I’ll be blogging more as opposed to wasting time there.

I’m now a few hours removed from being gone from Facebook for five days, and I’m noticing pleasant changes in my mental attitude and general makeup. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything really – except other people’s drama.

For my Facebook friends finding these blog entries and wondering what happened and why I left – would it have made any real difference if I told you? You would all clamor for me to stay around, which is the last thing I wanted to do at the point I left. I may come back at some point in time, but that will be my decision as well, just as leaving was. For now, the plan is to go at least 30 days without being on there. If I go that far, maybe I can go another month – and another, and so on.

It’s nothing personal – it’s just business.

There is life outside the box, and I’m starting to enjoy it again.


The Day After The Day



The computer I use at home – I’ve had this since 2012, still works well for me.

It’s been a little over 40 hours since I’ve deactivated Facebook. Yes, I know – I talk about this like I’ve quit smoking (I smoked briefly when I was 18 in the fall of 1989 – hated it) or drinking (I’ve probably been drunk a handful of times in my life – enjoy a good beer here and there), but I think that’s how you have to treat Facebook – like it is an addiction.

I removed the bookmarks from Chrome and the various Facebook apps from my phone. By the way, why do you need THREE apps for Facebook? That seems wasteful, right? Why not have an app that can update your pages, post, and message your friends all in the SAME app? Am I missing something here, or what?

About a year and a half ago, I mentioned a Star Trek TNG episode called “The Game” where everyone on the Enterprise gets addicted by a game because when you do well on it, it releases some sort of positive impulses to the user’s brain. That’s what I think Facebook has become – an unhealthy addiction.  If so-and-so from your childhood posts, it encourages you to post. If your best friend is a supporter of candidate X as opposed to candidate Y, you get feelings of repulsion, superiority, and inferiority.

Stop the madness – we’re better than this.

I’m feeling much better psychologically – though I sometimes find myself looking up at Chrome and looking for that bookmark for Facebook out of instinct. It’s just a matter of time before my conditioning of all these years breaks.


Life After (Or Without) Facebook


Full disclosure: I wasn’t going to do this until March 1st, but I found myself sitting in my office on Monday afternoon (February 26th), wondering: why not do this now?

With that thought, I have deactivated my Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts that particular afternoon. It just hit me – why do I need to be on all of these things? To be on a device with all of my relatives, former friends and classmates – so they can, to some extent, watch over me and judge me. It began to feel more and more like some sort of grandiose psychological experiment. Therefore, why is this important to ME?

I enjoy Twitter. I enjoy blogging. These things will remain around in my social media life. I don’t intend to stop blogging unless God has other plans for me he’s yet to tell me about, and that will ultimately happen one day – because that day hits all of us.

The idea really began to percolate in my brain this past weekend. There was a story in the news out of South Florida about a “town hall” CNN had staged in light of the school shooting that killed 17 in Broward County. One of the students claimed elements of the show were essentially rigged, and I publicly posted on Facebook (based on some of my own media dealings) that this was probably true.

Most people liked what I had said – but what I thought was weird was who had objected to my observations directly. One was a classmate who only chats with me to disagree. The other was someone who was a friend of one of my high school friends who I don’t believe I’ve ever met, reminding me when I pointed out that when the Pinellas Park High School shooting occurred in 1988 we didn’t blame President Reagan – he reminded me that Reagan himself survived an assassination attempt in 1981.

It was a valid point, and I conceded as such. But when people go way out of what you perceive as “their way” (again – my perception, not theirs) to argue with you, what does that say about the arguments, and thus, about us?

Hence this experiment. Facebook makes me feel most times like I’m in a padded room, wearing a straight jacket I can’t get out of. Those who want to reconnect with me will find the way to do it. I’ll lose some of the connections I’ve made and enjoyed, sure – there’s a sort of social media Darwinism that will take place, I suppose. But why not give it a try? I might actually feel a little better about life, and how is that bad if that’s what winds up happening?

I’ll probably get back to this in the days ahead. Bear with me.