The Arrow

There are no answers; only choices.

Archive for the ‘rants’ Category

Good-Bye Facebook

Posted by thearrow on October 28, 2010

And good riddance!

As of today, I’m no longer on Facebook and I wonder what took me so long to do this after I made the mistake to join it (which took me a year after a friend invited me). I’m grateful a few people with whom I had lost touch have found me and now we’re friends. But besides them there are a ton of others that I really don’t want to be in touch with and I had to say yes to connecting with them. I can’t tell you how much I hate that.

After I got married, a (not-too-close) friend pointed out that I had not changed my status on Facebook. I don’t need that kind of sh**. I don’t want to update anything and I don’t need people from my past, with whom I don’t have anything in common, if I ever had, to comment on my life. Not necessarily this particular friend, but people I haven’t talked to in 10 years or more. There’s always email and phone calls if I want to keep in touch.

But I only have myself to blame for disregarding the fact that I’m someone who likes very close friendships and not weak links (see Gladwell’s The Tipping Point).

In one word, WHEW!

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How Very Christian of Them

Posted by thearrow on September 7, 2010

From the Associated Press: US church to go ahead with Sept. 11 Quran burning.

Dude, what happened to Christian values that you are purportedly preaching, like not taking revenge? If you despise the Islam so much, why do you imitate the exact same behaviors you despise in it and instigate others against it? If you think you’re better than Muslims, how does burning the Quran fit in that? I don’t remember Jesus preaching that it’s okay to despise someone else in the first place! Quite the contrary, he preached forgiveness even for enemies (a tall order, no question about it). If someone burns a Bible, how would that make you feel? How do you think enraging Muslims over this can do any good?

Thankfully, a lot of organizations and level-headed people are taking a stand against this. Not to mention that the White House and General David Petraeus are concerned about the consequences. But no, the nut job pastor is determined to do this. In the name of Jesus, I suppose.

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BP Spills Coffee

Posted by thearrow on June 24, 2010

Here’s a clip that made news on the Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100624/ap_en_tv/us_oil_spill_online_hit

It’s funny, no question about it, but I can’t even laugh when every day on TV I see the ever increasing, long-lasting damage BP has inflicted on an entire ecosystem and a large number of people, with no end in sight.

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Hoax Detection with Google Maps

Posted by thearrow on March 3, 2010

A friend from Romania was looking to buy a camera from the U.S. via moi, who had a fleeting thought of going home for a couple of weeks but quickly gathered her wits about her and decided it was not a good time.

Said friend, on a tight budget, tries to find the best deal and stumbles upon a website, Camera Kings (try it with a dot com; I won’t link to it from here), which, at least at a first glance, looks professional. They were selling stuff at really deep discount. Even deeper than B&H Photo Video (to which I will link because I love them). But he wasn’t sure if Camera Kings was for real.

Enter moi. Better said, I enter Camera Kings’ address on Google Maps to see what the deal is. Surprise: on the left-hand side of the map, there was no link to the business. Highly suspicious, since Google Maps always provides links to nearby businesses. Two other photo outfits were listed there:  A & M Photo World and Photo Broadway. Hm…

Further investigation in the Search Nearby box reveals a customer review for the latter, which for some reason mentions Camera Kings. It was quite the review:

“We placed an order for a camera, a wide angle lens and a 4-year warranty with Camera Kings (online site). A couple days later they called under the guise that they needed to confirm my shipping address. This is absurd since the online order form has you fill in your shipping address, which usually matches your credit card billing address. They pressured me into ‘upgrading’ to a package deal that would include everything I ordered plus extra batteries and a carrying case which they sent. But all the ‘upgrades’ were sub-standard, cheap or bulky. The case was cheap and enormous and the batteries actually required a separate wire from the back to the camera’s DC input. This ‘upgrade’ cost over $100! All for junky accessories we don’t even want. When I called about just returning the unwanted items, they said they couldn’t break up a package so I said I’d return the whole thing and then they said I’d have to pay a restocking fee of 15% which oddly, add’s up to just about $100.”

A bit more digging and I get this great overview of reviews for Photo Broadway:

“This company is unethical and commited fraud” – resellerratings.com … “An absolutely terrible expericience” – citysearch.com …  “Stay away from this company” – citysearch.com”

So, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is :).

Posted in photography, rants | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

We’re Number 37

Posted by thearrow on September 22, 2009

And we want to keep it that way.

Or, if you want to know what all the brouhaha around health care reform in America really is about, here is an explanation:

http://pol.moveon.org/insurance_execs/?id=17290-5326222-RfIwqDx&t=2

Posted in American Politics, rants | Tagged: , | 32 Comments »

Olympic Frustration

Posted by thearrow on August 15, 2008

Watching the Olympics in a country other than your own is an underwhelming experience. I’m happy I’m not in Romania, which for the most part drives me nuts, but I’m still attached to it to a certain extent. So when I turn the TV on these days and I inevitably see only coverage of the American team, I lose my interest at some point. I like the side stories by reporters on the ground, I like the excitement, but not being able to watch the Romanian team is disappointing.

Posted in immigration, rants | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Ruined Weekend

Posted by thearrow on August 8, 2008

Well, a distant friend will be spending the weekend at my place; this came completely out of the blue. Her accommodation plans in DC fell through at the last minute, which I found out about this morning, so I had to offer that she stay at my place. What else could I have done??

Under normal circumstances I am a lot more social than this, but normal circumstances is something that has eluded me for the past years. I don’t want to go into details as to why they’re not normal and I’m not going to be apologetic for my antisocial mood. I just want to spend quiet time by myself. And it’s different when I plan for and with friends to stay with me, so, to all my friends who visited with me this year: please, don’t even think that this rant concerns you in the slightest bit. For me, with planning comes the excitement of anticipation and peace of mind. I’ve always been the planning kind :). It’s very unlike me not to have a five-year plan for pretty much anything. Anything like what’s happening now completely throws me off.

So my hopes of watching Little Britain, playing with the camera (which I’m getting today), and, generally, having a quiet weekend by myself, are positively f*ed up. Great!

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