Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fun Fact

The manufacture of "Candy Corn" was outlawed beginning Jan. 1, 1931, though companies would be permitted to continue selling the wax product until supplies were depleted. Due to massive production between the time the law was passed and the time it went into effect, and the low storage costs (any moderate temperature warehouse) that supply is not expected to run out before 2018.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Fight Night

Something happened today that's making me re-think how I use Social Media, if at all.  Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy hearing from my friends, but this event made me take stock of who my friends really are.  I heard a researcher recently quoted saying that people can have, I think, between 80-110 friends and really know them.

Anyhow, as I looked at it, there were 436 on Facebook and 76 on Twitter, without a lot of overlap.  Were they all friends that I genuinely knew?  No.  I began slashing.  And then I slashed some more.  In the end, I had 233 friends on Facebook and 38 on Twitter.  (And that was after adding two on Twitter.)

Does my new list represent people I know intimately?  Not entirely, but they are people I know.  Some are people I want to follow the online lives of, some are people with sage professional and/or technological wisdom I find interesting.  And to be honest, some are people who regularly tell me that they enjoy my posts, and so it may be vanity, but who am I deprive people?

And, to be honest, I also dropped some friends, professional contacts and present-day colleagues, a number of whom I've even describe as friends-in-real-life.  In some cases, they were cybersquatters who created accounts but didn't use them, others were people whose lives have diverged so far from me that I'm not getting any benefit from their social media lives -- and as such, every post they make prevents me from seeing one of someone else I care more about hearing from. 

But now, with my newfound trimmer friends list, how do I keep on the diet.  And that's where I came up with a weird idea that would never work, and it's this... every time I get a friend request, I send my new friend-to-be a list of all of my current social media friends and they tell me who they think I should replace.  This also assures that they know my friends.  And then I let the two of them decide who gets to go on my list.

Of course, this will never work.  While nice for my ego, there are very few people who would go to those links.  The rest would tell me off in some probably insulting and discouraging language that would leave me off-kilter for the rest of the day, like I am now.  (But I've been off-kilter all day, thinking about the deaths of two friends, plus the aforementioned undescribed incident.)

Now, I have a hunger for more purging.  I wish I had the time and courage to just throw out so much stuff in this house.  But it's too much work and I don't have a great mechanism for it and so many things have a future use, like the giant stack of Entertainment Weekly's of Lori's that I need to go through the book section of and add to my "to read" list, or all the Architectural Digests that I want to cut out things I like from for later use.

So the clutter builds up.  Also, while I was off licking my wounds I neglected a friend who's guesting with us yesterday and today.  Doesn't help my funk any more.

I'll get to watch last Thursday's The Office tonight and it had better be funny.  I think I'd rather be watching FlashForward, but I'm not sure because at least The Office is a known and FlashForward is still a little bit of an unknown.

Again to Hear of Passing in Passing

So, again I find out of another death belated.   I knew Marcus from the Buffy days, a very congenial guy from San Diego.  I'd only connected with him in person a handful of times, but online many, many times over the years.  He always remembered birthdays, was always sending encouraging words, posting notes on Facebook.  One of those people who are always a better friend to you than you are to them.  He was single, lived on a boat and drove a Mustang, some cool vibes all wrapped up in that.

Well, as we were leaving town, Lori gets a nasty note from someone on Facebook that she didn't know.  A little while back, Lori took what turned out to be a bogus quiz on Facebook and the quiz took the liberty then of spamming lots of people's walls with inappropriate content trying to sell stuff.  Lori thought she had gotten it all cleaned up, but this person was incensed that Lori would post such a thing on Marcus' wall, calling her a troll.  Lori quickly wrote back apologizing and explaining and then removed the post and thanked the person for letting her know of Marcus' passing. 

Kind of made for a bit of a bummer for the start of our trip and I don't mean that lightly.  Marcus had been sick for some time and we knew it was an incredible struggle for him.  Marcus had also seemed to have no interest in religion, no place for God. 

Life was what it was, a period of time and then you die, and the cards he'd been dealt hadn't been a good hand.

I was reading Marcus' wall today and looked like he'd been playing online on Facebook, updating all of his photos, and I read that he'd been found in his car and that attempts to notify any next of kin had been fruitless.

I had also remembered that on Friday morning we'd discovered that he had his own website that neither Lori or I knew about.  So I went to visit it - a single page describing the fact that he was going to fold his hand.  His attempts at disability denied, his insurance running out, about to lose his boat, out of money, and tired of being sick and tired.

And at the bottom, a suicide cocktail and timeline of his intended death.

Damn you, Marcus.

And sorry for not being a more engaged friend.