Friday, January 14, 2011

Hey, Facebook!!! What In Blue Blazes Are You Smoking!?!

Originally, I was going to continue what I'd started in this blog-entry, but I'm going to have to take a raincheck on that in order to rant about Facebook instead.

Now, a lot of strange things have been happening lately.

For instance, earthquakes are commonplace in California, but they're more rare in Indiana.  However, one recently occurred here--and it didn't even occur in one of the places one might happen in The Hoosier State on one of those rare occasions when they do take place.

On the night when 2010 left and 2011 made its grand entrance, it was not only pouring down rain in my neck of the woods (Anderson, Indiana) but there was, also, lightning and thunder.  While this might not be outside the box in some place like Biloxi, Mississippi or New Orleans, Louisiana at this time of year, it's pretty unusual for around here!

Then, a few days into 2011, there were several instances of fish, birds, and other critters dying by the scores, hundreds, and thousands.  According to scientists, this is actually a common occurrence, and the only thing making it seem so uncommon was that people were around to witness this and were reporting it over the Internet, so this information was starting to go more viral than Susan Boyle's debut on Great Britain's Got Talent!

A Google mapping of this would, later, show that what had happened wasn't so widespread as one might imagine.  In fact, it had happened in a barely-a-handful of other countries; had happened the most here in the USA, and hadn't even happened all that many places here.

Even so, I still think that this happening might have been God trying to get our attention--something about which I'll be including thoughts in my upcoming book.

Back to strange happenings. . .I think I finally might have gotten it fixed (as I actually was able to enjoy watching several hours of TV without this nonsense starting up again), but something really fishy has been going on with my TV as well.

It would begin making this static sound accompanied by pulsating, wide belts of horizontal snow on the screen.  It would have this kind of disco beat to it at first (thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump-thump. . .).  I guess the way to describe it would be sort of like a cross between somebody dribbling a basketball and the steady drumbeat that accompanied Donna Summer singing Love To Love You, Baby!

Then, as time went on, the static sound was like what might result if somebody were keeping time on a drum to the speech pattern of Porky Pig serving as an auctioneer.

When it got to this point, the screen was really going wild--alive with flashing snow lines with blue screens thrown in here and there for good measure.

Then, it would begin to gradually settle down again and be normal--at least, for a few minutes.

I think that the interference had been caused by being hooked up to a non-working VCR.  When I unplugged the VCR, there was no TV reception.  When I had it turned on, we had this mess.

It was in a place where I couldn't find how to turn it off.

Well!  I think I've managed to locate the on/off button (by moving a small piece of furniture), though the light isn't that great in that area to where I can see for sure.

All I know is that I haven't heard that pulsating sound again lately and, as I said before, was able to watch several hours of TV.  Actually, I wasn't watching the entire time.  I started out watching Martha Stewart around the noon hour.  

During this time, I located what I believe was the on/off button for the useless-as-an-appendix VCR that I believe got hooked up during the time when my TV got returned from Brauchla Television & Appliance after getting repaired.  

Of course, I didn't begin to notice the problem until I had Bud to move my TV a couple of days before New Year's Eve.  In fact, at that time, it only did a few strobes after it had been moved and, then, behaved itself.

This problem only began to take place in a major way about a week ago.  I called Comcast (our cable service), and they tried to fix it remotely.  The fixing "stuck" for a short time before it started up again. 

The next step would be to, eventually, make an appointment to have a person from Comcast to come out to the house and try to figure things out, but this hasn't been the ideal time for doing something like this, so I tried different things with it to try to get it to behave itself--and I think that I finally hit on one.

The last report is that I was watching Martha Stewart during the noon hour and dozed off when I closed my eyes during a commercial.  I woke up to find that I was probably fifteen minutes into Little House On The Prairie (meaning that it was around four-fifteen at the time) and found myself able to watch it without that nonsense.

I'm not sure if any of that went on while I was asleep, but I doubt it, as it would have, likely, eventually woke me up.

Therefore, I think it's fixed.  Certainly hope so!

Now, I wish I could say the same thing for FACEBOOK!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning once wrote a poem to her husband and fellow poet, Robert, that begins:

"How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways..."

I could begin a poem about Facebook that might be a parody of the above in how it would be something like this:

"How has Facebook taken on a certain characteristic of a hemorrhoid, cattle prod, and/or rectal thermometer?  Let me list some of many, many ways..."

First off, I can see problems when I play Bubble Popp in how this game will grind to a halt and stick there for several seconds before starting up again.  The bubble cannon goes into a kind of herky-jerky mode to where it becomes very difficult to aim it where I want it to go to fire it.

Next:  Is it just me or are other people getting this message about a stopped script or something like that?  When that sign pops up, it's hard to even close the page.

Furthermore:  I no longer have live messaging turned on, as it's not working part of the time either.  I was trying to chat with somebody one time, and all that was showing up was a white screen when conversation came from my direction and hit-and-miss conversation coming from the friend's side.

On a related subject:  If a group of chatters numbering more than two was into a conversation--and, especially, when they were putting up the new emoticons--that blasted stopped script sign would come up again and block everything that I was trying to do.

Here's another real treat:  

I decide to Like some post, so I click on the corresponding Like link.  Sometimes, it does things normally.  Many times, however, it will result in a sign popping up asking me if I were sure that I wanted to leave the page and instructing me to click the Cancel button if I wanted to remain on the page.  

When I opt to Cancel, I will find myself in the same position of not being able to Like the post, so I'll try to Like it again--and get the same blasted sign.  So, I will click on the button that will take me to another page.  One might think that this would result in a refreshed page where my Like would have taken.


Not even close!

Instead, I'm taken to a white page--either that, or else it's a picture of a polar bear in a blizzard eating vanilla ice cream from a white bowl.

Somehow, I suspect that it's no ice-cream-eating polar bear in a blizzard but, instead, just a stupid, garden variety white page.

The same goes when it comes to leaving comments.

I would love to get back to where I Like something with a single click and comment on something with not much more effort than that.

Instead, I end up going through somewhere between three and six steps (sometimes, more) to accomplish this.

Half the time, it's a bear to even comment and/or share a link on my very own wall.

My daily fortune cookie landed on my wall, and I went to read my fortune.  

It took me a couple of tries to get my cookie to open up due to being asked if I were sure that I wanted to leave the page.  Who said anything about leaving!?!

When it opened, it had a message on it that told me that I read my daily fortune cookie.  Thought at first that the fortune cookie company was being clever or something.  Then, I noticed that this same message is included daily.

What I was actually looking at was a fortune cookie without a fortune.

One time, it opened up with one word:  "Array!!!"

Now THAT makes a lot of sense. . .NOT!  What kind of a fortune is THAT, anyway!?!

Doesn't it just bug the dickens out of you to write a clever and/or important comment only to have it not only not post but, also, get "eaten" so that you can't try again?

I think that all of these problems can be traced back to the last time when Facebook decided to "improve" itself.

Some of the problems go back even farther than that to one or two times before that when Facebook decided to "improve" itself.

This is all I have to say for now except to say that I have a very important message for those in charge of Facebook:

"Please don't decide to improve Facebook anymore until you're absolutely certain that improving Facebook will actually improve Facebook!"