Tough conversations

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Anyone else tired of having tough conversations?

If you fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat instead?

Yeah, me too.

If you don’t fall into the above category, would you just rather punch people in the throat than have a conversation?

Yeah, me too.

The truth of the matter is that if you punch someone in the throat, having any conversation is just difficult for them and they just have to listen.

“Conversation had.”

Let’s move on.

What changed?

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Dear family, friends, and co-workers,

I haven’t changed.

I am the same person you liked. The same person you enjoyed hanging out with. Dare I say that you may have even “loved” me?

I still strive to do my very best every day. I still make the same lame jokes you’ve laughed at in the past. I still have hopes, dreams, fears, and challenges, just like I did when we last talked or saw each other. I still make mistakes. I still have successes. I am the same today, as I was yesterday, and will be tomorrow.

I haven’t become the evil you seem to think I have, or that the world is telling you that I am.

So what has changed for you?

I feel your stare when I walk into the room. I hear your whispered conversations when you think I can’t hear you. I feel you treating me, seeing me, thinking of me differently than before. I feel the weight of your opinion about me.

You’ve always told me not to discriminate, to not treat people differently, to “walk in their shoes” for a while. You’ve always told me not to judge people based on their skin color, their economic status, whether they had a home or not, their sexual preference, their religion, their sex, their national origin, their political party, their language, or any number of other things.

Why has that changed for you now? Is it ok to discriminate against me because my choices are different than yours?

Whether I am not vaccinated or I am, does that make me a different person than I was the last time we interacted?

Why is it now necessary for me to feel the need to announce my status when I walk into a building? Attend a function? Arrive at work? Go out to eat? Receive medical treatment? Hang out with you?

Why is it ok for some to give me unlimited access and for others to deny me access completely? Why do some get special treatment and others no treatment at all? Why is this type of discrimination acceptable but others aren’t?

I haven’t changed.

But, for whatever reason, your fear seems to have changed you.

I am the same as I was before. You are not.

I still want the same things you want. That hasn’t changed.

So why are you letting something so little stand in the way of how it used to be?

I am not vaccinated.

I am vaccinated.

Does it really matter in the end?

I am human. You are human. Let’s treat each other like it.

That is all that really matters.

Watch what?

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I am currently watching Yellowstone on the Peacock.

I LOVE that show.

But, what shall I watch once I am caught up with the episodes? I need a new show to watch.

Tell me what you’re watching, why you’re watching it (as in, what is appealing about it), and why you think I should watch it?

Predictable intrusion

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You didn’t have to be a fortune teller to see this stuff coming.

Those people who predicted that Animal Farm or 1984 would come true (you know, the ones labeled as conspiracy theorists) apparently weren’t so far off, as the government has, and continues, to be in close contact with social media giants in order to “control narratives,” direct information, kill truth, and thus subjugate the population as it continues it’s bent on thought control. Obviously, the media itself has been in on the whole thing too, but then we already knew that.

The Biden administration confirmed that they are indeed coming after your free thought, the ability to ask questions and be skeptical, and truth in general as they seek to bury anything that doesn’t fit with their narrative. It even doubled down on Friday by saying, essentially, that your freedom of speech and free thought didn’t matter if it didn’t fit with the information they want you to have.

I have seen that the government is exploring the possibility of injecting themselves (see what I did there?) into your private text conversations to also combat misinformation. Though they deny that is really the intention, it can’t be too far off if they are battling people making choices of their own free will to not get the vaccine.

Soon, there will be people showing up at your door (if you aren’t vaccinated) to lecture you on the need to get vaccinated. As the Biden admin and Dr. Fauci state, it’s not the government doing this but “trusted” community activists who will be at your door to harass you. No, they aren’t government goons yet, but that could be down the road when you choose not to follow the silly government restrictions for operating your business or whatever.

I supposed life will continue to get uncomfortable for those who like to think skeptically and for themselves. The effort being put forth to control where you go, what you do, how you do it, and when you do it OR what you say, when you say it, how you say it, and where you say it is totally unprecedented in our history.

If you believe that the government (no matter who is in control) has your best interest in mind, your are sadly mistaken.

Only YOU have your best interest in mind and if you are letting others control what you believe and how to believe it, then you will lose your ability to have your best interest in mind.

You are giving up control and you won’t get it back.

Authentication frustration

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Frustration level has reached CRITICAL. I am having a hard time balancing the internal coolants and I just might blow a top, a gasket, a lid, a …

So, yesterday I upgraded my phone from an iPhone 8 Plus to an iPhone 12 Pro. That part isn’t the frustrating part.

The frustrating part is all the apps that have to be logged back into and set back up and all that jazz that goes with having a new device. BUT, there is one big issue that has been caused by doing this and it is creating a huge roadblock!

The issue – two factor authentication.

Good lord, what a nightmare!

I have two work apps that are used for two factor authentication. Both have to be set back up on the new device. The guy who does the usual setup is on vacation until next week, meaning I am going to have to wait to get help with the setup and I’ll have some limited access to things that are part of my job until it is done. Obviously, that’s an issue.

Also, I am now locked out of my Instagram account…because of two factor authentication. I have two factor authentication set up on my account to keep from being hacked, but what Instagram doesn’t tell you when you set it up is that it MAY or MAY NOT work as it should. What it is supposed to do is send a text message to the phone number used to set up the account. So, when you go to log in, it shows you the number it is sending to but the text message is never sent. I have tried over and over and I get all kinds of other two factor authentications via text, so why it isn’t working is beyond me. Included in that two factor authentication set up is the ability to get recovery codes for when the text message doesn’t work. Great, except the codes don’t work either. I have 5 unused codes from when set it up and none of them have managed to get me back into my account.

Even more frustrating, try finding a place to get “tech support” for these issues. That’s a freaking circus in and of itself! The website is of little help. There is no help in the “reset password” email (especially if it takes you right back to the two factor authentication screen).

I am telling you, two factor authentication is a pain in the ass.

I have finally managed to file a support ticket/report with Instagram/Facebook, but it was tough finding the place to do it. So far, it has produced no results as I go through the process.

Let me tell you, if I get back into my account, I am turning that two factor thing off ASAP. What a freaking nightmare…

Totally makes you rethink upgrading your devices now…

Add title

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Anyone else find that empty title line prompt intimidating these days?

I go to write a post and then it just sits there waiting for a title…and body…really the page just sits there and then I get busy doing other stuff and I decide I’ll do it another day. Then the next day rolls around, I open the page to do another post and the “Add title” prompt stops me in my tracks again.

Honestly, it isn’t the title that is holding me back though. It really just comes down to whether or not I really want to put the effort out to say what I want to say. Do I really want to put a post out there that will step on toes? Rile people up? Piss people off?

Is anyone even really reading these things? Is it worth my time to create if no one is actually consuming?

Questions I can’t really answer and certainly the stats area doesn’t tell you all you need (or want) to know about who is visiting your page, how long, where they go and what they look at, etc.

Something is lacking and I can’t quite put my finger on it.

So, add title…stares back at me.

Still staring…

Thoughts?

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Haven’t a one. Zip. Nada. Nil. Zero.

You?

I share mine, when I have them.

Seems only fair that you share yours, if you have them.

How about a trade?

I’ll tell you what I think about them once I have a thought.

Finger pointing

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There is a whole lot of finger pointing going on these days. “You did this,” or “You did that,” or “You failed to do…” is a common refrain heard across the land. It seems no one wants to be responsible for their own actions any longer. It is always someone else’s fault. It is always because of someone else’s failure. It is because of someone else’s attitude. It is because of someone else’s wealth or lack thereof.

Someone else is always to blame.

Or at least that seems to be what a majority of people believe and are trying to convince others of.

Newton’s Third Law says, “To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

In general, Newton was actually talking about physical items. Some, however, would argue that it doesn’t really apply to “life” and shouldn’t be misused that way.

I say those people are idiots.

I would posit they are saying that because they are one of those people who don’t believe in ownership of their own actions.

How about coming at it from a different angle – Every action, inaction, attitude, reaction, has a consequence. Perhaps this would be more influential coming from someone else:

A mountain is composed of tiny grains of earth. The ocean is made up of tiny drops of water. Even so, life is but an endless series of little details, actions, speeches, and thoughts. And the consequences whether good or bad of even the least of them are far-reaching. — Sivananda

So, how does this apply to the topic at hand?

EVERYTHING we do or say has consequences. Those consequences are in direct correlation (almost always) to how we navigate through life. Our actions in our environment, our interactions with others in our environment will always have consequences – sometimes positive and sometimes negative. There is never not a time when this isn’t true. Sure, the result might not have immediate consequence but make no mistake, there will eventually be a consequence.

I can’t help but take a look at the news and wonder how life would be different for lots of people had they made different choices in any given situation, whether a long time ago or in the immediate time and space.

Situations?

  • Law enforcement interactions: How you react in the situation will determine how they are going to react to you. Resistance, evasion, force, weapons, or suspicious activity will generate various levels of reaction. Do you always deserve the type of reaction you are going to get? Nope. But, you have to remember that your actions likely triggered the interaction in the first place. As such, your actions will also determine how the interaction progresses and ends. I can’t help but think there are a lot of situations as of late that ended terribly for lots of people (on both side of the law) because they weren’t following the law.
  • Cheating (whether in minor things or big things): You make the choice to be dishonest or to hide something from someone. You are creating a situation that will have a consequence. Will you experience that consequence right away? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Financial decisions: Spend wisely, reap positive consequences (most typically). Spend poorly, reap negative consequences (almost always). Either choice will likely result in habits that become a cycle. The cycle, as cycles go, repeats itself over and over. If you stop pointing fingers at others on why the cycle keeps perpetuating itself and change your behavior, because really no one else is to blame, then you will get different results. Thus, an action still has a reaction – just you get to decide if it is positive or negative.
  • Weight or health management: Admittedly, there are some genetics involved here, but for the most part you are still responsible for what you do or don’t put in your body. Make good choices, reap good benefits and a healthier body. Make poor choices, reap poor health and continually cascading issues. It all starts with a choice.
  • Work ethic: Your outcomes at work are directly related to how you approach work. If you are diligent, dedicated, conscientious, motivated, and energetic then you will likely have a good work experience. If you are lazy, apathetic, unmotivated, and have attitude issues then you will likely have a hard time keeping a job.

Are there exceptions to these things? Of course! Even Newton had exceptions to his 3rd law.

BUT, you can’t make a life out of pointing fingers and always blaming someone else.

You can’t be finding or relying on the exceptions for everything. If you are always looking for the exception, you probably really are looking for excuses. And those excuses? Those are the things holding you back and keeping you from making the right decisions at the right time, because you’ve trained yourself to point fingers and not take responsibility.

I’ll end with this, and I know it is cheesy, but the whole “Don’t forget if you point a finger at someone, you still have three pointed back at you.”

It’s true. Before you blame someone else for something, you better look at the choices and decisions you made along the way that got you to where you are at that moment in time.

Exasperation

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I wonder…do you feel like me? Do you look at the world around you and just feel exhausted, exasperated even, at all the stuff doing on and the the people you see or encounter on a daily basis?

Do you throw your hands in the air because you simply don’t know what to do?

Do you shake your head in frustration, disgust, or irritation?

Do you find yourself muttering under your breath about this, that or the other thing?

Do you often mouth “W.T.F?” quietly to yourself as you ponder WTF just happened?

Do you type in your email/text/social media accounts things you want to say but then delete because it just isn’t worth the trouble?

Do you find scenarios running through your head about what you would do if you were allowed to do so (kind of like those tv/movie vignettes)?

Do you hang up the phone and then tell the person what you really want to tell them?

All of the above?

I know, this sounds like there is going to be one of those infomercial solutions…”Then you need *fill in the blank*…”

It’s not.

I just wanna know if you’re out there. If you’re out there doing the same thing I am doing.

It must sound like I am an uptight jerk. I’m not.

I just don’t tolerate stupidity well. Maybe I am allergic to it. I don’t have many allergies, but I know for sure I am allergic to this.

It’s tiring.

So, are you out there? Tell the the last thing that exasperated you. Let’s compare notes!