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Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

I read this article this morning and was just amazed. I had NO idea that they’d started manipulating the DNA of animals, especially food animals. (The article is behind a paywall, but you have three free articles per month.)

Evidently, in trying to ensure that cows didn’t grow horns they also passed along something interesting – a resistance to antibiotics. At the DNA level. Just think what would happen to all of us if that was passed along in the food we ate.

Thankfully, these cows have not been approved for the food supply, but doesn’t it make you wonder? They discovered this abnormality by accident. Gee, what else is in that hamburger?

Yep, Pigs are Flying & Hell is Freezing Over

Yep, Pigs are Flying & Hell is Freezing Over

Sometimes in life we need to do a course correction. Sometimes, we’re required to do things we’re really not all that fond of, but which are simply necessary.

Therefore, it is with humble heart and a little rolling of the eyes that I announce that I’m back on Twitter. Yep. @karenranney1 is my Twitter name.

As far as Facebook I doubt if I’ll ever return to that 13th circle of hell, but never say never. Whenever I’ve said never say never I’ve always had to eat my words. Crow, with a dash of mustard, please.

It’s a long, drawn out story why, but it’s coupled with some good news I can announce in a month or so. I know, don’t you just hate teasers?

I’m also on Instagram – writer_karen_ranney.

It’s been five years, I think, since I was last on Twitter. I might be wrong on the years, but it’s been awhile. I’ve never been on Instagram. Everything’s a learning curve.

I’m going to be on YouTube within a few months – and no, that’s not my news. That should be a fun experiment, though. I’m looking forward to it. I have my channel up, but it hasn’t been published yet, plus I’m still learning my new camera and microphone. Baby steps.

I fully anticipate making an absolute ass of myself from time to time, but I’m a believer in that old adage: nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

The Weirdness of Being Me – Keyboards

I’ve confessed on numerous occasions that I’m a tech gadget aficionado. That personality trait shows up in my keyboard consumption.

When I first made the change from a PC to an IMac I unboxed my new computer with trembling hands. I was so excited, but scared, too. I’d only used an Apple machine a few times and was worried about the learning curve.

When I unpacked the keyboard I just stared at it.

Apple keyboard (flat, with tiny keys, in my humble opinion)

Are you flippin’ kidding me?

I’m what they call a production typist. I need systems that allow me to input. The Apple keyboard is still, in my humble opinion, a joke.

So, off I went on a hunt for an ergonomic Apple keyboard.

Hint: they don’t make one. They don’t sanction one. They don’t recommend one. I still think that’s a pretty foolish attitude, but I love my IMac, so off I went again, to find an ergonomic keyboard that would work with Apple. In other words, how do I get the function keys to do the same thing on an Apple?

Hint: they won’t. There’s always a trade off. You will get some functions to work correctly, but others won’t.

I have four different brands of keyboards in my closet. For the last two years I’ve settled on a GoldTouch ergonomic keyboard and it’s worked fine. Until…

GoldTouch keyboard

One day I started working and my fingers were making all kinds of mistakes. Granted, the writing has been rubbed off the keys, but I know where they are. It’s like my fingers were either too plump or they’d shrunk. Something was weird. I went for two weeks like that, making mistake after mistake.

Finally, I pulled out the Kinesis wireless Freestyle2 Blue keyboard out of the closet and voila! I could type again. This keyboard has to be charged occasionally, which is a pain, but at this point I really don’t care.

Kinesis keyboard

I’ve been looking at the GoldTouch, wondering what the heck happened. Why can’t I type on a keyboard I’ve been using for two years straight? I don’t have an answer, other than the keys are definitely different between one keyboard and the next. I’ve been losing weight, maybe my fingers have, too. 🙂

What about you? If you use an Apple machine do you use their keyboard? Do you use an ergonomic keyboard? Why do you think my fingers don’t work? Have you ever had that problem?

Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

Propaganda Here and Now

When I was a teenager my father was a high ranking officer in a sensitive area of the Air Force. We were sent to Paris and then to SHAPE, Supreme Headquarters, Allied Powers Europe.

Since my father was such a big muckety muck my brother and I were deemed to be kidnapping targets. In addition, it was thought that it would be a good idea to put us through an intensive course on propaganda: what it was, how to recognize it, how to combat it. My training came in handy, especially after I was waylaid in East Germany, but that’s another story.

I went on to Journalism School, thanks to the US Navy. More training on propaganda. Bottom line, I’m really good at recognizing crap when I see it.

Whenever a company can manipulate WHAT you see that’s propaganda. It doesn’t matter what political party you belong to or what cause you espouse. Whenever the free flow of information is dammed up because a company, a corporation, or an individual deems it unfit for your eyes, you should run, not walk, to the nearest exit.

Shadow banning, de-monetizing, restricting content are just some of the techniques being used by Google, FaceBook, Twitter, and YouTube. It’s brilliant because you never see what they don’t want you to see. You can’t make an informed choice because choice is limited for you – not by you.

One of the things I love about the internet is that it promotes the democratization of information. What’s happening now is the infantilization of the public. Someone else is deciding what’s good for you. As a fully functioning adult I don’t need anyone else choosing what’s acceptable for me. I’ll do my own deciding, thanks.

I use Duck Duck Go for my search engine. I never use Google anymore. First of all, I don’t want to be tracked and secondly I don’t trust them. I don’t use FaceBook, either, and I’ve mentioned why more than once.

What can any of us do? Recognize that it’s happening. Don’t get our news or information from just one source. Cast a jaundiced eye to stuff you see on these sites. Use a different search engine. Realize that if something is free (Google, Twitter, FaceBook, and YouTube) then each one of us is the commodity. We’re for sale through our personal information: likes, dislikes, friends, and companies with whom we do business.

A very old adage is: information is power. That’s never been truer than today.

Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

My Twitter Adventure

Or where I let it all hang out and let you know how stupid I can be sometimes.

I don’t use Twitter anymore, but I thought it might be fun for Stanley to have his own account, so I signed him up for an account titled Stanley Says. I used a fake birthday for me. I always lie about my birthdate on the internet. I just do. It’s one of those security things I do.

So, the account was established and I published two Tweets from Stanley. The next day I looked at the account and saw that it listed my fake birthday publicly. Instead of changing the public options I decided to change the birthdate. So, I put in Stanley’s real birthday, May 1, 2016.

Twitter immediately locked my account.

Why? Because I was only two years old and they said I had to be 13.

Now this wouldn’t be a problem except that the only way to unlock my account was to send them proof of my real birthday. Except that I’d lied about that date.

By locking my account I’m also prevented from “seeing” any Twitter accounts I used to visit. I kept trying to log off, but it wouldn’t let me since I was locked out.

In order to view those Twitter accounts I liked, including a few doctors I follow, I signed up for a new Twitter account under my own name using my cell phone as an ID.

Bottom line, Stanley is still locked out of Twitter. 🙂 because he’s two.

Is that funny or what?

Lord Love a Duck or a Cow

New (Continuing?) Amazon Ears

Have you read this article, or one like it? Basically, it mentions the team at Amazon that listens to recordings made by Alexa. We all knew it was going on. After all, “Alexa” is the wake word. How is Alexa going to respond, unless it’s listening for the wake word? It can’t. Consequently, it listens all the time.

A few months ago I got rid of Alexa and then resurrected the units in my bedroom and kitchen. Yesterday I de-selected them, tossed them in the trash, and took the trash to the curb where the big yellow truck trundled them off to the landfill.

Sorry, Amazon, you’re not listening to me anymore.

I am invested in the Amazon “system,” just like I’m invested in the Apple ecosytem. I have Apple everything, but Apple doesn’t spy on me. (I don’t have their in-home speaker similar to Alexa, though.) I thought about getting rid of Amazon Prime, but I decided to keep it since it’s convenient for me. I am reducing my participation in other Amazon products, however. My website is no longer backed up to Amazon’s web system. I’ve duplicated all my music from Amazon Music. In other words, I’m chopping off Amazon’s tentacles little by little.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.