Monthly Archives: December 2013

Yearbook Pet Peeves, the Internet and PC

12-30-2013 11-00-31 AMOne of my favorite things to do as a child was to browse through my mother’s high school yearbooks. I remember looking at the photos of the teenagers, reading the blurbs under each photo and anticipating my own high school years.

In at least one of the yearbooks the students were asked their pet peeves and they were listed under their photos along with their academic and extracurricular highlights and ambitions. I focused on these pet peeves of the Elgin High School students in the early 1950s.

Because I was on a sort of quest to become perfect I made a list of them in a notebook to make sure I did not ever do whatever these students found annoying. The only two I remember were: “Wearing pink with red” and “The song, ‘June is Busting out All Over’”.  I vowed to never be caught wearing pink and red at the same time or ever singing the song “June is Busting out All Over”.

The others were similar – simple things that teenagers of the time just didn’t like. Nothing mean about them – just something fun for the yearbook. I however, took it to heart. I never did become perfect, and probably threw out the list because I realized it was silly, however you’ll still never hear me sing “June is Busting Out All Over” or wearing pink and red at the same time.

12-30-2013 11-04-16 AMFast forward several decades. Now, instead of my mother’s yearbooks, I like to browse the Internet. I usually start with Facebook – the yearbook of the world – and read what people are doing and what they are thinking – some of which are pet peeves. Sometimes people post links to lists of what might be considered pet peeves.

I no longer keep a list of what I should be doing or should not be doing to make my fellow man happy, but I do take a lot of things to heart, just as I did with the pet peeves from the 1950s. If a Huffington Post contributor suggests I not comment that the weather is wonderful where I am when someone posts a photo of a thermometer reading below 0 degrees F, I’ll try to not do that. If I know that one of my Facebook friends hates it when I cross post from Twitter to Facebook, I’ll stop. If my brother doesn’t like my political views, I’ll either stop posting them or not include him in the group of people by whom the post is seen.

In addition to simple pet peeves, there are also the PC kind. These are more dangerous to ignore. For instance is it Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays? No matter what you say you are bound to insult someone. I used the term “Christmas Tree” in a post a week or so prior to Christmas and someone responded, “What’s Up?” which made absolutely no sense to me in the context of my post. I worried that he might be Jewish and be insulted that I said Christmas Tree instead of Holiday Tree when talking about a decorated evergreen in a public place. Once, on a private forum, someone said that using the prefix “uber” to mean “very much” was disrespectful because it was used in Nazi Germany. I don’t ever use “uber” because of that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written an innocent response to a Facebook post and ended up deleting it because I was afraid it would somehow be taken the wrong way. One of my greatest concerns is hurting feelings or annoying someone.

I could go on and on but I am sure someone, somewhere has a pet peeve about long blog posts with too many examples. I think you get the picture and I need to realize that you can’t please everyone all of the time and be it pet peeves from the 1950s or opinions of Internet entities or Facebook friends – I should just relax and not worry so much. Or should I worry more? It certainly gives my time on Facebook a different flavor. What do you do in these situations?

Opinion: Google+ Gifs (or My gifs to You)

Warning — if you are at all sensitive to quickly moving animations, turn your images off now….

Back sometime in late June or early July I noticed something strange on my Google+ photos: many of them moved. And they were not videos. I did some investigating and discovered that Google was making gifs out of my photos. Without my knowledge or permission. Not that it was that important, but I really hate animated gifs. I thought they were ugly in the 1990s and I think they are ugly in 2013. They are distracting and take away all semblance of professionalism.

What Google was / is doing is taking photos that were shot within seconds of each other and stitching them together to make mini-animations. For instance I took a bunch of photographs of various family members holding my grand-nephew at a family picnic and when I saw them on my Google+ page the photos were all part of a new photo/animation/gif. (although the photos were there as well)

Jill and Preston with grumpy Dean int he background
Jill and Preston with grumpy Dean in the background
Jill, Preston, Brandon, Ashley, Steven
Jill, Preston, Brandon, and Ashley

When I took a lot of photos of the flower girls and other children dancing at a wedding Google+ made a rather cute animation. (okay, not all the gifs are bad)

Dancing flowergirls
Dancing flower girls
Dancing flowergirls
Dancing flower girls

Then, a week or so ago I took a photo of Rupert in front of a snowy scene. What did Google+ do? Made it snow in front of Rupert. In the house.

Rupert in the snow.
Rupert in the snow.

A few days later I took a photo of a Christmas tree in Bethesda. Google made the lights twinkle. (okay, that was kinda cool).

Estrogen Alley tree
Estrogen Alley tree

I took a photograph of our Christmas tree, and again, Google made the lights twinkle.

Christmas tree
Our Twinkly Christmas Tree

So, while I don’t like most of the stitched together gifs, I don’t mind the twinkles.

Merry Christmas!

Aunt Ginny’s 3-D Viewer

Drawing of a house in Elgin
Drawing of Grandma and Grandpa Green’s house in Elgin

I have lots of vague memories of my grandparent’s house in Elgin. They lived in a tall, narrow house on a bit of a rise on the corner of Raymond and Bent Streets. Downstairs was a living room, kitchen, dining room and a room off the dining room that, I think served as my uncles’ bedroom when they lived at home, but was a sort of playroom/library/extra bedroom by the time I came along.

Milprem. Helps you take the misery out of menopause. Photo of miserable middle aged woman and her doctor
Box containing 3-d viewer

One of the items I remember playing with most often was a sort of early View-Master — a stereoscopic viewer for kids. The box it was kept in didn’t exactly depict the treasure within.

The viewer itself was brain-colored marbled plastic with double eyepieces at one end and a slot for holding cards at the other end. You’d place a card — or group of cards in the slot at the end and look through the eyepieces and see a single 3-dimensional drawing.

In addition to the viewer, the kit came with several sets of story cards — looking through them today brings back happy memories of being a kid at my grandparent’s home. Here is one of the sets.

The Little Pig That Flew Just Once

 

1. "How does one fly Mr. Crow?" "Oh I dunno you just ups and flies is all that I can say."
“How does one fly Mr. Crow?” “Oh I dunno you just ups and flies is all that I can say.”
"Ya just take off and fly and that's all there is to it I guess." "Do you suppose I could fly Mr. Crow?" "Maybe -- try and see."
“Ya just take off and fly and that’s all there is to it I guess.” “Do you suppose I could fly Mr. Crow?” “Maybe — try and see.”
With that the pig 'reved' up his little old screw-like tail -- and into the air he rose.
With that the pig ‘reved’ up his little old screw-like tail — and into the air he rose.
What fun they had! They turned and dived, and spun and just capered all over the sky.
What fun they had! They turned and dived, and spun and just capered all over the sky.
He led a flock of geese for  a while.
He led a flock of geese for a while.
He played leapfrog in the clouds. The pig had worlds of fun until he happened to look down.
He played leapfrog in the clouds. The pig had worlds of fun until he happened to look down.
He squeals as he realizes  where he is.
He squeals as he realizes where he is.
The little pig was so frightened he forgot to fly -- he just turned loose and fell. Luckily he landed in a nice soft tree.
The little pig was so frightened he forgot to fly — he just turned loose and fell. Luckily he landed in a nice soft tree.
He grabbed a limb and held on for dear life. Mr. Crow had to help him get down.
He grabbed a limb and held on for dear life. Mr. Crow had to help him get down.
The little pig was glad to be back in his mud hole and they tell me that to this day no other little pig has tried to fly.
The little pig was glad to be back in his mud hole and they tell me that to this day no other little pig has tried to fly.

I’m fairly certain I liked this more when I was a kid than I do now. The others are a little better — and some are not at all PC. If I feel like it I might upload the rest, but don’t hold your breath.