These blogs evolve – quickly – from one simple idea, in this case local online resources that are useful and/or amusing, into a crazed rant, this time on social media. Then I rein in, edit like a fiend, and the piece is still too long and way too "elastic"’ Or, per Hermes,“rambling and boring."
Harsh realization: writing "nice’" about something — new restaurant, old historic house — really isn’t as much fun as picking an annoying topic and ranting. Granted, one of the topics I could rant about are the ranters that have nothing nice to say, ever.
Do as I say, not as I do...
First – it’s for Old People now. The young and cool are leaving in droves and da Boomers have taken over. I miss the kids but I guess they were just too busy. (As I write this I see an article that Facebook is "unbundling to become nimbler." So great minds think alike — they need Change with a capital C.)
Five is too many. Trust me — I know from personal experience.
I committed “Facebookacide" a few years ago. I’d dithered for months — love hate love hate — then I returned to town one Sunday night and there was a Friend Request from my brother’s fifth ex-wife. (“OMG... Noooo!") That was the push I needed. In 30 seconds I was officially, and happily, off Facebook.
Six months later, Hermes published his (damn) book, Great Houses of Havana,
and to get a "commercial" page I had to reopen my personal page. There it was, glowing on the screen, that infamous last request, the last action taken. I was back...
And I like it. I like the news pages (VICE, the New York Times
). I like reconnecting (actually had lunch with my college roommate after a 25-year hiatus). I like the political orgs (Freedom to Marry, Media Matters, Being Liberal). I enjoy tempered users — infrequent, interesting posts — even my second cousin’s birthday. Short and sweet.
Now – the inevitable "but’"...
The Facebook ADD’ers (see one of my favorite resources, Urban Dictionary, for a full list of Facebook terms
) seem to have one focus in life: keeping us informed of their every move. You would have thought they’d have burned out. But no...
It’s a long way from FAT (Fresno Yosemite) to FUK (Fukuako, Japan) . I lost ten minutes of what’s left of my life looking up "dirty" airport codes on the International Air Transport System site.
I see what airport you are flying out of or into — not that I can tell where the hell you are going from three letters. I see when you change your profile picture — over and over — and I remember when you looked like that — hotter and younger — and it was decades ago. I see your recipes and know why your weight is an issue. I see your children and grandchildren and I pity all concerned.
And what is the birthday thing? Seems very forced and detached. A bunch — or not — of joyful greetings with lots of exclamation points followed by a gracious “Thank you to all my friends. I feel so loved." OK.... if you say so....
Early on I cleverly/frantically updated my personal information at 11:45 p.m. on my birthday eve and dodged that bullet. I might see it’s your birthday on Facebook. But if I care, I send you an email.
And that line between professional and personal is crossed and re-crossed. One guy I’m acquainted with has over 2,000 friends — mostly, I assume, business. I’ll bet over 50 percent of his posts include references to alcohol. “Is it too early for a Bloody Mary at LaGuardia?" he posts. If you have to ask.... I don’t block him; I’m waiting for the rehab post.
OK. OK. I’m not done but I’ll stop.
Back to the original theme: useful Internet resources. These are a few websites I use frequently, local and beyond.
First and most obvious, this one – Rural Intelligence.com.
After you read the new weekly offerings, scroll down to Instant Intelligence (great name!) for lots of current info on upcoming events, and links. Like any site, you have to take a few minutes and dig a bit to see what they offer. In RI
’s case, there’s gold in them thar archives, including lots of party pictures.
Click on this box from the home page.
For the non readers, there’s the Rural Intelligence
Report on Robinhood Radio
(tagline: “slightly off … but very good.")
(Editor's note: That's all, Carey? I mean, really...)
puts their auction catalogs online a couple of weeks before the sale. Pre-shop from home, but make every effort to actually see (and touch) the things you want in person. (I have too many stories on that subject. It was Hermes who firmly established the “Do Not Buy It Unless You Have Touched It" rule.)
Shop Warren Street in Hudson from the comfort of your bedroom. Sign up for 1stdibs.com.
Lots of the best local dealers are on this site.
All the local real estate guys have websites but I usually go to Zillow
for my late-night property shopping. I love the way the site lets me see exactly where I am looking. Location location location.
Ok, this little blog concept could morph into a book. So here’s an idea — homework! (Homework??? I sense a universal mouse movement up to the back button). Share the sites you use. Feel free to add ideas at the Rural Intelligence Facebook page
(this one I like) and maybe we can do a followup blog.