Posts Tagged Opinion

Just Take a Pound of Flesh

This is a combination rant about both our political leaders as well as banks, big banks specifically.

Bank fees, honestly, $6 fee on a $20 check is ridiculous, while I understand that there need to be limits on what the government pokes it’s nose into and the need for freedoms for a business to operate how it sees most fit for itself, charging fees like that shouldn’t be a major profit center for a bank. The same goes for bounced check fees and ATM fees; Sorry, if these were the actual costs they were incurring I could understand it, but these aren’t realistically their actual costs in labor etc to handle these things. It’s just an opportunity to price gouge consumers to make an extra buck, I mean, how else is Santander going to increase profits from $1billion to $2billion in a 3 year period unless they do this sort of thing?

I understand it’s a banks job to make money, but why not make money the way a bank is actually designed to make money? You’re supposed to hold our money for us, protect it, and in some cases give us a small bit of interest on holding that money for us, and in return for holding that money, we have granted you the right to loan that money to other people, who then pay it back with interest, which is where you are supposed to make your money and profits. There is zero additional cost to a bank if they cash a check drawn on an account in their bank, whether it’s for a customer or a non-customer. Your teller is there regardless, whether they are processing a check or sitting staring out the window, you are paying them the same amount of money, and even if their are costs associated with the processing in the background, it’s pennies at the most on a per check basis with the modern computer technology we have.

Ever notice that there are lots of banks that don’t actually require a fee if you cash a check drawn on their bank? They don’t have a problem with it, why do you other banks feel the need to charge a fee?

I am not totally against a convenience fee, but really, make it something that’s realistic and doesn’t intentionally punish the poor for not having an account with your bank. Change the fee structure based on the size of the check. If someone walks into a Santander right now with a $10 check they got for something,  they either need to pay a $6 fee to cash it, or open up an account with fees attached to them. Doing a quick scan over their options, you could open up a savings account that has no fee if you keep a $100 minimum balance, otherwise $3.50 a month; You could also open up a Checking account, but that has a $5 monthly fee, or there is another account where you can have it free, but that requires $500 direct deposits a month, or a $750 average daily balance.

They are taking money from the people who have the least amount of it in the first place.

This is a good fee structure in my opinion.

$1-100 or payroll check under $1500 – $0 fee

$101-500 – 1% rounded to the nearest $0.25

$501-1000 – 2% rounded to the nearest $1

$1001+ – not cash it at all, or $20 cash it but not let them pick up the money until the check can be verified, 2-3 days. If you are getting a check that’s not payroll for more than this, then there’s probably more to the story and as fraud protection, it should go through some extra scrutiny, but in general, I think anyone cashing anything this size that isn’t payroll is probably in a situation where they have a bank account they can use, or that $20 and the couple days isn’t a big deal. Same with the upping of the % at $501 in my opinion, the larger the check, the less impact the fee will have on the person cashing it.

In the end though, fees like this aren’t truly a necessity for any bank, they aren’t being taken advantage when someone wants to cash their check, or, if the process of cashing a check is really that big a deal, how about just charging everyone who writes a check $1 for every check instead, put the onus on the person who wants to use it, not the person willing to accept it. That would probably make them more money as well.

and our political leaders? That’s a whole other story.

I really wish that whoever our political reps have reading their email and correspondence actually read them and understand what is being communicated with them instead of scanning for a couple quick key words and making up a reply that actually has nothing to do with why they were written to in the first place.

If I write to you about how towns should be securing my personal information and tracking whoever gets access to it, and also including concerns about there only being penalties for people if they Dox someone in law enforcement or the government, but not a regular citizen, don’t send me back a reply about how you have helped sponsor a bill that limits how the government is allowed to access your emails without warrants etc.

Then of course, even if they actually read and took time to understand what you wrote to them about, all they are going to do is send you back some sort of acknowledgement that you sent them something, not like they are ever actually going to do anything about your concerns unless you have a ton of money to donate to their campaign.

Corruption at it’s finest.

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Answers, I Like Answers

So I am a person who likes answers, and I had written out a really long post about something that has really annoyed me, but I can do nothing about, and then upon re-reading the post I came to the realization that it made me sound completely crazy because all this lingers from over a year ago. I am pretty sure that is not the case, but maybe it is?

To sum it up…

I dated a girl

Things went well, met friends, was social etc

Girl broke up with me

Things were civil with no ill feelings from my side

but then then this is where the annoyance was generated.

I simply asked her why she wanted to end seeing one another, whether it was something I said, did, or if she met someone else, or whatever her reasoning.

Instead of just sending me a note that said why, I was either ignored and my messages never responded to, or she just outright blocked me on social media after reading my message.

Yes, that is one nice thing about Facebook, the “read receipt” is always turned on, so you always know if someone read the message or not. So yes, I know she read the email.

I could totally understand blocking me or anyone if they get belligerent, mean, say bad things or anything else like that. It is totally warranted. However, I am just puzzled as to absolutely no response in this situation, not only that, I find it to be pretty fucking rude as well. Don’t want to talk to me? Fine, just say it.

I can’t quite come to a reasonable understanding about why this would happen.

Am I that horrible of a person? Is it her that is clearly the problem? Is it normal for adults to act like children? Is this a new standard in dating to just cut someone off with no explanation? Is she just a bitch?

If anything, it just makes me think that the old rule of never being able to figure a woman out is totally a reality.

I guess I just like answers too much, and like to know what went wrong, or what broke so I can fix it for the future.


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Oooo… Exciting…

So, I decided to jump on the new TLD domain name craze that’s happening right now and buy a new domain for my blog here… I have put in the order and I am in the process of setting up the new domain now, it is fun and I think it is very “me” in a way, but I am not going to share it quite yet… I want to spend some time setting it up and getting it running just right before I share the new URL…

but the question remains, should I move all my posts from here to there and then set this up as a redirect? or should I just start out fresh and new over there and keep this one sitting here? I will keep owning this domain name regardless since I use a few of the emails for things but these are some tough choices to make as things move forward… what to do… what to do…

Any suggestions?!?

Although, as a side bonus, the site name is short enough that I will be installing my own URL shortner, cuz yeah, I am gonna be all kinds of cool like that!

oh, wait, what’s that?!? Look up in your URL bar… you should see the new URL up there now… neat right?!?!?

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Not So Misdirected…

So, apparently my love of Wegman’s isn’t all that misdirected, they definitely are a great store, and I am definitely not the only person who thinks so. There was a recent Consumer Reports Survery that puts Wegman’s up at the top of all supermarkets in the country.

I am not surprised by this, nor am I surprised about a couple of other supermarkets up at the top which include Trader Joes and Market Basket, but I was surprised at some near the top(Costco), as well as some near the bottom(Shaw’s and Stop & Shop) but then a couple that I thought would be higher because of the cult following they have but they were just in the middle, Whole Foods.

Also really looking forward to the new Wegman’s that is coming to Burlington, it opens up in 73 days I think. I like the Northborough store, but it is kinda far to get to, and the Chestnut Hill store is actually terrible in my opinion. They made a lot of bad choices that stray from the normal things I expect from a Wegman’s store, and the whole feel and enjoyment of the store is affected by it, I won’t be going back there other than to show someone an example of a bad store to shop at for groceries.

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No, this post has nothing to do with a relationship, well, actually it does, but not in the way you may think.

I have ended a relationship less than 24 hours ago, but I did the dumping, I wasn’t the one dumped, and it wasn’t even a relationship with a person, or a pet, or a job.

I dumped Facebook last night.

I am probably going to ramble a bit, but I promise there is a salient point to all of this.

It was a bit of a hard breakup, any breakup or separation with someone or something that has become an ingrained, everyday part of your life is a difficult decision to make, and an even more difficult decision to execute. Just like with other difficult choices I have made in my life before this, people, jobs, and other such things, I have been thinking about it for awhile and weighing in the positives and the negatives and what it would mean for other aspects of my life.

I think the positives outweigh the negatives though, part of the positives are eliminating the negative aspects of Facebook in the first place. This applies to Facebook as well as MySpace if anyone actually still uses that, or any other social network that is out there that isn’t focused on a specific topic. I say that as an exclusion to other semi-social networks like Flickr, or LinkedIn, or even FourSquare; All of those have some fairly specific in their nature and are not as insipidly invasive as Facebook.

All of this goes back to what I think is the real contradiction of social networks and social networking, it’s not actually social. Partially because so many people have a misunderstanding about the internet and they don’t realize that the internet is not real, therefore we have developed a culture of the illusion of being social.

We have developed a culture of the illusion of being social.

From the Merriam Webster dictionary:

Socialrelating to or involving activities in which people spend time talking to each other or doing enjoyable things with each other

That’s the first definition listed, there are 2 more listed as well.

– liking to be with and talk to people : happy to be with people

– of or relating to people or society in general

I think if you read any of those quickly, then they can certainly apply to the use of a social network, however I think upon some deeper reflection, only the last one actually applies to a social network, but everyone thinks of the first two as the ones which describe them.

Prepositions are some powerful parts of speech that people often overlook and don’t think about their real meanings and the affect they have on the definition of a word. In these definitions, the key prepositions are those of “with” and “to”, they’re so small, yet they carry so much meaning and yet people ignore them so easily.

Withused to say that people or things are together in one place

 – used to say that two or more people or things are doing something together or are involved in something

Toused to indicate the place, person, or thing that someone or something moves toward

– used to indicate the place where someone participates in a particular activity

“Together in one place”

“Doing something together”

“Someone or something moves toward”

Now, this is where people’s lack of understanding of the internet comes into the picture, the internet is not real, it is not a physical place, and you are not actually moving toward anyone, and you are not together with those who you interact with online. Yes, you are interacting, but it’s not together, it’s not in unison, it is not a social interaction. Posting to a person’s wall and then them responding 10 minutes later, or 10 seconds later, it’s still not together.

You aren’t talking to a person, you aren’t focused on that person, you aren’t interacting with them, even when you add another person or 10, it’s not a social interaction because you lose all context for emotion, physical cues, tone of voice and timing. When you have a conversation with someone, hearing their statement and then thinking about how to respond for 10 minutes or a day isn’t going to work. It’s cold, it’s calculating, it’s unnatural for what is a real social interaction.

For a real world example, let’s take it literally for the way a social network actually works. Imagine that you have something you want to share with your friends, so you post a note on a bulletin board on the front door of your house, then your friends wander by on their morning walk with the dog, or they stop by on their way to work quickly and read what you have to say. Then, a few of those people have a reaction so they respond to you by writing a note for you and then tacks it under the message you left and then you see it when you get home.

What was social about that?


This is the illusion that I talk about, we post on each other walls, lists, we share things with other people that we wouldn’t share with people in the course of regular conversation, things that are so insignificant that we don’t even care about them.

It’s not social to sit, alone, in your house watching tv by yourself and bouncing around on Facebook commenting on this or that, liking this, posting a photo of your eggs or the new sneakers you go, or bragging about how cute your child, dog, or boyfriend is or what funny thing that any of them did today.

Don’t get me wrong, I think that there are some great aspects to the site, like being able to keep in touch with people or organize events, or share pictures of your kids with people who want to see them without needing to email dozens of photos to dozens of people. There are other methods to do this sort of thing though, and this is where Facebook has capitalized in order to get what they want… they have taken advantage of our greatest weakness, the fact that we have become an inherently lazy society. This is similar to Amazon’s capitalizing on the same thing, we are lazy, we want everything in one place and we want it to be as easy as possible, which is exactly what Facebook has accomplished, the problem is that we are so enamored with how easy it is and how easy it has made certain things for us, that we don’t realize the negative effects that this has had on us, both individually and as a society.

So, this is the main issue I have and have developed through the use of Facebook, and it’s what I want to change at least about myself, and maybe hopefully a few other people out there in the world. I want to actually be social with people, I want real experiences and I want real people actually in my life that actually are willing to put in some effort to be part of my life, not just tag along because it’s easy.

There is more I have to say on this, but I don’t want to overwhelm in just one entry… this will continue with more in the future… maybe tomorrow, maybe next week…

Comment is you want, or don’t, I don’t really care if you do, but one thing I would like to have you do is think, just think for a little bit about your time, your life, your experiences and the people with whom you are actually TOGETHER with during those times, during that life, and are part of those experiences.

So Ned Cleary is no longer on Facebook.

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Facebook & Social Media Falsehoods…


This happens every time Facebook sends out any kind of privacy update, and it kind of annoys me every time I see it. It’s not just facebook, but Twitter, Flickr, or almost any other site where users are the ones generating the content on the site. No, it’s not the update to the privacy policy of Facebook that annoys me, it’s the reaction of the users and the buying into myths that someone decides to create in terms of letting people know how they can “protect” their own intellectual property, usually through referencing some sort of law, legal decision or some other kind of legalese.

This is the current text of the one I have seen posted by more than one person, and it always really bothers me when I see someone I have always believed to be intelligent, sensible human beings, and yet they buy into the fallacious postings as if they are absolute and true. The superscript numbers apply to my comments afterwards.

In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, professional photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention1,2).
For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times!3

Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws by the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook’s direction or control.4 The content of this profile is private and confidential information.5 The violation of my privacy is punished by law (UCC 1 1-308-308 1-1036 and the Rome Statute7).

Facebook is now an open capital entity.8 All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.9

Now to deconstruct and explain why this is meaningless for you…

1- There is no such thing as the Berner Convention. There is something known as the Berne Convention, which is what this is likely referencing, but failing to do so because of a bad typist, and then no one actually understanding what they are copying and pasting, but just blindly doing so because they are sheep and think they are protecting something that either needs no protection or can’t be protected.

2- According to the Berne Convention, which the US didn’t actually agree to become a member country until 1989, you own any original creative work and automatically own the copyright unless you sign away that copyright to someone else, or you created that creative work under contract for someone else. Even if it contains a trademarked item, image, or phrase, you still automatically own the copyright to what you created, you just can’t use it for anything since someone else owns the trademark.

3- Facebook already has your written consent to use your updates and their content, you agreed to the Terms of Use/Service when you signed up for an account.

4- Facebook isn’t going to take any action against you unless you violate the the TOU/S that you agreed to when you signed up. What kind of action do you think they will actually do? Delete a post? Delete your account? While this may surprise some people, this is completely within their rights to do those things.

5- Nothing you post anywhere online is private and confidential, the very act of posting it online makes it public. Yes, you can control who can view your profile on Facebook with security settings, but that only applies to other users, not to Facebook or any of it’s partners. They can and will use anything you post in whatever way they want, you posting is what generates content, which generates information for them to use in order to market ads and products to you based on your interests and your friends interests.

6- This section I find incredibly funny. I am not 100% sure what they are referencing with the UCC, it could be either Universal Copyright Code or because the numbers don’t align with anything in the Universal Copyright Code it more likely is a reference to the Uniform Commercial Code, but even then, it doesn’t make any sense.

Sections it would be referencing in the Uniform Commercial Code.

§ 1-103. Construction of [Uniform Commercial Code] to Promote its Purposes and Policies: Applicability of Supplemental Principles of Law.

(a) [The Uniform Commercial Code] must be liberally construed and applied to promote its underlying purposes and policies, which are: (1) to simplify, clarify, and modernize the law governing commercial transactions; (2) to permit the continued expansion of commercial practices through custom, usage, and agreement of the parties; and (3) to make uniform the law among the various jurisdictions.

(b) Unless displaced by the particular provisions of [the Uniform Commercial Code], the principles of law and equity, including the law merchant and the law relative to capacity to contract, principal and agent, estoppel, fraud, misrepresentation, duress, coercion, mistake, bankruptcy, and other validating or invalidating cause supplement its provisions.

§ 1-308. Performance or Acceptance Under Reservation of Rights.

(a) A party that with explicit reservation of rights performs or promises performance or assents to performance in a manner demanded or offered by the other party does not thereby prejudice the rights reserved. Such words as “without prejudice,” “under protest,” or the like are sufficient.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an accord and satisfaction.

Neither of these means anything within the context of a posting on Facebook.

7- The Rome Statute – Sounds serious and intimidating and official right? Well, unless you think Facebook is committing a core international crime such as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression, then you don’t have any claims under the Rome Statute. If you think that Facebook is committing any of these crimes by using your content, then you should go talk to a therapist first, you have some major issues to work through.

8- So Facebook is an open capital entity now, so they are a public company. This has no bearing on anything to do with any type of privacy or copyright.

9- The crème de la crème of this entire posting. This is an outright and blatant lie. You are in no way tacitly giving Facebook any kind of permission by not reposting this or any similar statement; You have already explicitly given Facebook the right to ” use elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates”. When you may ask? When you signed up and joined the site you gave them that permission.

This section from the terms that can’t be over-ridden by anything you post on your timeline – “you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook”.

To translate this for you in everyday language, “by posting anything on Facebook you give us the right to use it, give it to someone else to use, or sell it to someone else to use, anywhere in the world and we don’t have to pay you anything to do that.”

So let’s wrap up this with a simple explanation.

Anything you post on Facebook can be used by Facebook however they want. You have granted them the full right to use or license to someone else for them to use simply by using the site and giving them the pictures or status update content.

Everyone always thinks that Facebook is great because it’s free, but while it may not cost you any money, it is not even anywhere close to being “free” in any sense of the word. Facebook has you pay for it’s service and it’s features because you are paying for it with your information instead of cash money, Facebook then uses that information to make money, either through generating ad income because it can intelligently parse your posts and determine your interests, or by selling your information to other people to parse for their own purposes. The more information you give them through posts, responses, games played, applications used, people, products, companies, and posts “liked” then the more you are paying them for the use of their service.

Yes, you own the content, every social media site is always going to tell you that you own your content because you do, and they can’t usurp your right to own your content and intellectual property. The part they hide in all the long user agreements is the legal aspect that while you own the content/IP that you are posting, the fact you are posting it means you are licensing it to them for their own use and their own purposes.

If you or anyone you know really is concerned about your own privacy and don’t want your things used, then you should really just stop using Facebook, or any other social media site. Anything you post online should always be assumed to be in the public domain and visible to anyone and everyone, if you don’t want someone or anyone to know about it then don’t post it online, ANYWHERE. If you want to privately share something with someone else, then you should either call them on the phone, email them, or do the completely unthinkable thing in this day and age – TALK TO THEM FACE TO FACE.

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For the First Time… In a Long Time…

Here I am, sitting at the airport waiting for my flight. I have not been on a plane in almost a year and a half at this point, which seems weird considering I used to be on a flight 2-3 times a week at a minimum. The last time I was on a plane it was on my trip to Fantasy Camp for a vacation, so if we skip that trip it would be almost a full 2 years since I have been on a plane for work.

Logan airport hasn’t changed much, although the construction that was going on in Central Parking for over 2 years appears to be finally completed so the whole garage is now accessible for parking, and surprisingly, the cost to park a car has only increased by $2 a day in the past 2 years.

The ads are new and there is a Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill in Terminal C, but the kiosks and everything are still the same, and the same escalator is still not working to get down from the skyway to the concourse to check in. I still think it’s a conspiracy by the repair companies to keep them busy, same as with the T, fix them just enough to work for a bit and then break again.

Same carpets, same white rocking chairs, same vinyl rows of seats. It feels good to be back. Only trouble is that I have lost my frequent flyer status, so no free upgrade and I needed to wait in the standard security line, unlike in the past where I was able to take the super special speedy line.

I did notice one change though, what used to be the candy and nut stand halfway down the ramp to the gates is now some kind of health food stand with dried fruits and fruit juices. Yay?

I think the shoeshine guy was the same guy, although he was falling asleep and kept doing the head bob. You know the one, head resting on a hand and then you fall asleep so it slips off and then you wake up because of the jerking motion of your head falling, then you look around suspiciously to see if anyone noticed and then go back to snoozing, then repeat over and over again.

I have missed this, and while there is not much currently scheduled, I certainly hope that there is a lot more of this to come. The job looks very promising and I think this is going to end up leading to a whole lot of good things in terms of travel, professional life and personal life.

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Old Stuff…

So I am in the process of cleaning out my MySpace account to shut it down, and realized I had almost 200 blog entries over there… YIKES… so I am sorting through those in order to see what I want to migrate over to hear…

One thing that is really annoying though, no way to export a MySpace blog…


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I Rarely Get Really Annoyed With Things…

but I really have to say that the double standards that some people have and their attitudes about the internet really piss me off.

“oh, it is just the internet, it doesn’t matter what I say”

“oh get over it, it is just the internet”

“Of course I would be pissed off if someone said that about my sister, but she is not my sister and she is not your sister, so why do you care what I say about her?”

Are people really this stupid? Do they really believe that just because it is “only the internet” that they have some sort of free pass to say whatever they want about whoever they want and not have to respect anyone because of that?

and what the hell is with people who can make dirty, disgusting, creepy, and disturbing comments about someone that they would absolutely in no way ever have the guts to actually say in person to someone in the real world but yet get totally pissed off if someone else says the exact same things about their sister or mother? I call that a double standard, but these people seem to deny that it is a double standards.

What the hell? and people really wonder why our society is the way it is?

wake the hell up and look in the mirror you F***** Morons!!!

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Are You Ferserious?

Now, I understand that some people have allergies etc, and I can see some special accommodations  being made by companies for people who are allergic to certain things.

but today, i think things went a bit far with this while on a United flight serviced by Ted.

Someone had a peanut allergy and there were no peanuts or anything with any type of peanut ingredients allowed on the entire plane.

What the hell? The guy sitting next to me got yelled at by the stewardess for eating a snickers bar, and another person was told they had to put their reese’s pieces away immediately and not open them again until they were off the plane.

They would not tell us where the person was seated, I could totally understand asking anyone near this person to not eat any, but if this person is in the last row of the plane, then why not let the people in the front eat a snickers or some reese’s pieces on the flight?

Honestly, if you have that severe an allergy, contemplate some other solution to travel or get yourself a bubble or something like that.


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