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Dear Google

Dearest Google, love of my life and solver of many of my internet problems.  I have something to ask from you.  It’s not a big thing, well big two things, and I know that with the combined might and power that you have, that you should be able to solve these two simple problems I have.  The first is with your fantastic Gtalk software (Google Talk).  Personally I think this piece of software, as a chat client, is brilliant and I don’t share my gtalk contacts with any other chat client, because I love the way gtalk operates, with one small exception.  If I remove someone from my contact list, and they don’t remove me from theirs, then you still notify me when they sign into chat.

I don’t actually get why you do this Google.  Surely I removed them from my contact list for a reason.  Maybe I broke up with them, maybe I had a massive falling out, maybe they assaulted or abused me, and yet you still want to make sure that I know that they’ve just signed online because they’re far too lazy (or vindictive, or controlling, or something else) to remove me from their contact list.  Yes I know I can block them, and in the cases where I really never want to speak to the individual again, I have, but where I’ve just lost contact with them, or we were never that good friends anyway, or they’ve moved a long way away and keeping in touch is something I’m not interested in, I shouldn’t have to be notified that they’re online.  Afterall, they’re not on my contact list for a reason, and surely that should be enough.

The second issue I have is with your marvellous Google Buzz/Google Reader.  I’m combining both of these together, because the issue applies across both systems as they are, for this problem, interlinked.  Since you created Google Reader, I’ve loved how I can pool all the blogs and pages that I’m interested in keeping abreast of, in one place.  I love how I can look at what my friends, partners and other people of interest also think is fascinating and worth sharing.  I love being able to keep everything organised and how I can search for things later when I want to blog about them or find it to win an argument.  However, again there is a slight problem.  If someone I have blocked from reading or sharing my articles comments on an article that someone I follow has shared, then I’m reintroduced to that individual, regardless of the fact that I have blocked them.  Again, I have blocked this person for a reason, and you’re allowing me to read comments that they place on articles that my friends share.  Its not fair of me to ask my friends to block this person also for my own peace of mind.  I’d love it if you’d put in place something like, “Comment made by blocked user” so I’d understand what my friend was responding to, but did not have the blocked individual in my face.

I have all sorts of good reasons, as does everyone else who blocks people, for blocking people.  Having them constantly in my face because members of my social circle are still on speaking terms with them is deeply upsetting.  I’d much rather receive less content (in this case comments), or be able to select an option that states, “As well as blocking this user, I wish to block all comments from this user”, for my own safety.

I know you care about me Google.  We go back a long way, and I have been enjoying our time together.  If you sort out these few things that have been distressing me recently, I’ll be much happier.

Much love,

Me.

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A hiatus

I’ve had to take a bit of a break from the blog because I’ve at the end of my last semester of my degree (if everything else goes to plan), so I’ve had assignments and exams to do.

I will be back blogging more in July when I will have time, and a life again (YAY!).  To keep you interested, here are some topics I intend to blog on:

  • Arrogance of religions claiming to be the “one true way”
  • Trigger warnings and why they’re important – learning the hard way
  • Forgiveness and why you don’t have to forgive

And anything else that takes my fancy.

So yes, I’ll be back blogging in July.

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Random shit

This morning, while I was sitting at my PC enjoying the last bits of my toast, I heard a car stop and then a guy start yelling.  Being a neighbourly nosey parker, I pulled back the curtains to see a harried young woman being yelled at by a young man.  I wasn’t particularly impressed.  I kept an eye on the couple and she scurried into the drivers seat, where he started yelling louder and then aimed a kick at the door of the car, which I heard impact.  It was at that point that I ran outside to find out if I needed to call the cops or not.  When I got there, the guy was rolling around on the ground whimpering because he’d injured his foot, quite badly.  I asked if I should call the police or ambulance, and was told by the young woman that she was ok, and she thanked me.

It was actually really satisfying to see him whimpering… though annoying that she didn’t a) drive away and leave him to whimper to himself (and hopefully learn a lesson) and b) she comforted him and cheered him up.  By the time I left for work they were both laughing, though I suspect he won’t be kicking anything for a while and his weekend is somewhat ruined.

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Touching the divine

There are times when listening to music or seeing a piece of art that the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end, I get goose bumps and a shiver passes through me.

There are times when experiencing a particular experience, listening to a piece of music, seeing a piece of art that I can’t help myself grin and laugh at the beauty and happiness of it all.

Both these things are touching the divine.  Not the divinity of a deity, but where someone has created (perhaps even myself) something that reaches inside me and speaks to me in ways that I cannot verbalise more than I have above.  What works for me is not necessarily going to be the same as what works for you.  For example, the music that makes me shiver is often
hundreds of years old, acapella choral music – usually in Latin.  I know what the words mean, but its never the words that hit me first, its the massed voices and the music.  The experiences that make me grin and laugh are things like diving into a body of water and just being surrounded by so much of it.

Why have I chosen to use the word divine?  Because I like it, and because it isn’t always associated with a god or theology.  The Macquarie Dictionary (go and subscribe – its cheap and Australia’s official dictionary), says that some of the meanings of “divine” are:

As adjectives
* heavenly; celestial.
* of superhuman or surpassing excellence
* (Colloquial) excellent

And as a verb:
* to have perception by intuition or insight

These experiences of mine, the music, the art, the other, they all make my life a better and more excellent place to be.  What works for you?

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Understatement of the Month

After a gang rape at a school dance in the US:

“‘‘Obviously we’ve had some breakdowns. Obviously, it was not safe because this happened,’’ said Charles Ramsey, a West Contra Costa school district board member. ‘‘Should we have had higher awareness, should we have been more vigilant? Probably.’’”

No… that last world should be YES.

If people felt that gang raping a 15 year old girl was ok, there are a lot of things wrong with that school. I don’t really know where to begin with the list of things that are wrong either… apart from EVERYTHING. At least the police are actively investigating the rape and assaults and hopefully the judicial system will not use the “oh but she asked for it” line.

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