Monday, November 23, 2015

Stick Figure Smarts

I've been the stick figure on the right sooo many times. That's why I rant on my blog instead of other places (like Facebook). The stick figure on the left just doesn't get it. Of course,  I also have to deal with stick figures on the left that think Christian is one religion,  and EVERY other religion in the world that is, was,  or will be is "that other religion,  with the bingo marks on the face,  not eating pork,  wearing towels,  dressing in black, worshipping cows and some fat dude,  and handing out bracelets at the airport." And I just can't EVEN - you know? There is a point where you realize you're attempting a conversation with someone of a significantly lower IQ or a bizarre lack of education or something that I can't even fathom because how did they arrive at that conclusion and come to grasp it so strongly that no amount of Google,  encyclopedias, or rationally can chip at the core of DUH.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The 777 Writing Challenge

The 777 Writing Challenge has landed in my lap. J tagged me.

The 777 challenge requires you go to Page 7 of your work-in-progress, scroll down to Line 7 and share the next 7 sentences in a blog post. Once you have done this, you can tag 7 others to do the same with their work-in-progress.

Here goes:

“I was accepted. I’m not going to go though. It’s too far. There are no buses.”

“How are the other students going? Do they all have parents with cars?”

“No. I mean, I don’t know, but the school has dorms. I meant that there aren’t buses I could ride to come back and forth to visit.” I rub my eyes. “It doesn’t matter. The place is probably expensive.”

She sits up straighter and crosses her arms. “Probably? You mean to tell me, Lenore Allan Franco, that you didn’t ask? You’re willing to dismiss a path to your dreams, the chance at the a better future, without doing the slightest touch of research. What would it hurt to ask? You’re smarter than this.”


I'm tagging some Lehigh Valley WriMo friends (a few who probably won't do this, but I'm putting it out there)!

1- NickiIV
2- Ooklah
7- Tayron

Rock on!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

How To Stall Military Growth

My college history professor, Dr. Mayr, was a Jew from Germany. He told us about growing up there during the war. So what I am about about to write here is based on that. (So if I contradict a wiki, deal with it.)

For the past few days I've seen posts for and against refugees in America. The in favor posts are making the comparison to Jewish refugees during the World Wars. I don't think the "con" side of the debate is making the connection. Here's a different way to go.

The Nazi army was not entirely voluntary. It was,  "you're a German male who is able to fight,  so you will join or we will kill you and your whole family." That's how hate groups plump their numbers. There simply aren't enough people willing to kill for blind hate. They will kill for love. They will kill to keep their family alive.

They will also surrender if someone stronger can keep their family alive.

The "con" side of the argument is that America IS NOT strong enough to do that. I disagree. And I think it's stupid to tell the world we think we're weak.

But if someone wants to have a religious angle here:
Jesus didn't back down and say He couldn't take care of people. He pulled fish out of no where, whipped out a crazy amount of bread,  and took unfiltered water and turned it into drinkable wine. If you believe this or not isn't the point here- it's that you heard about it. Over two thousand years later and you STILL hear people talking about it.

So cry about not being able to deal,  being scared of people who showed up because they DON'T support the enemy,  and about everyone doing nothing beyond social media conversations. History won't remember.

I'm just saying that there's an opportunity to reduce the number of the enemy without killing anyone. If Nazi army had been reduced by 80% at the start of the war,  AND many of that percent gave intelligence to The Allies and maybe even fought with them-- how long would the War have lasted? Ridiculously outnumber the enemy,  or make more of them. That's the real choice on the table. Keep treating scared friends like they are enemies and yes,  they will have to fight back. Make them allies and they'll fight beside you instead.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

To Paris with Love

The writing group that I'm a part of - NaNoWriMo- has a region in Paris, France. Those writers were at a cafe when the attack happened. They are all okay. But they were posting, live, to our group. We've responded by sending well wishes and showing our concern.

Some people say that makes no difference. Doesn't it?  Because I think it helps to know that people,  a large chunk of the population,  cares. That whole "united we stand" saying is supposed to mean something.

I'd also like to think that people would care if this were a different attack. If, for instance,  the attack was by the KKK against a portion of the population in Alabama. I'd love to tell you that all of Christianity wouldn't be blamed for that.  I'd like to tell you people wouldn't respond by suggesting bombs get dropped on the Vatican. But there's a bit of hate floating in my Facebook news feed with those sorts of responses. Yes,  I'm all in favor of tracking the ISIS down and eliminating them. But wanting to fight that group is like wanting to fight the Klan, not like wanting to fight The Pope and all other leaders of the Christian faith. I'm also not convinced that countries with mandatory prayer five times a day are "Godless" or less religious than America. I'm not suggesting that we should have mandated religion here- just that there's a hole in the argument.

At any rate,  I hope the people of Paris find peace and safety again. Love be with you all.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I just want to send a big INTERNET HUG to the super ☆awesome☆ Nicki and Andrew. They are the wonderful municipal liasons for my local NaNoWriMo group. Thanks for keeping our group together,  keeping us motivated,  and spreading that positive energy. ♥

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Starbucks Mobile Order - Three Experiences

I have the Starbucks Mobile App. The "order with app" is in the Beta stage. There were bonus stars for using the ordering feature,  which is why I tried it. Here is a summary of those attempts:

1- October 31, 2015- $14.47- Went inside,  stood in line. The woman ahead of me in line had never been to a Starbucks. And the person waiting on her was a trainee. So customer asked a question,  trainee had to flag down an employee to get an answer. Five minutes later I get to the register and say I'm here for my order pick up. After a consultation... "Oh,  you're supposed to go to the pick-up area for that." Okay,  I go over there. After first-time-customer gets her drink,  someone finally acknowledges me. I repeat that I'm here for my order. The person finds it.
I've been here for 15 minutes now. I just take it and go.
I miss the drive-thru.

2-November 5, 2015- $9.22- Ordered. It didn't have the latest drinks listed. Could have had something better!  Whatever. Go to pick up my order. This time I skip the register line and go straight to the pick-up area,  since I know the protocol. This location doesn't have a drive-thru. It does have the friendliest barista I've ever encountered. He's awesome. But he's waiting on folks who are in line. "All by myself" by Eric Carmen plays in my head. Super Barista finally sees me. He asks if he can help. I tell him why I'm there. He reheats my sandwich and makes my drink fresh because- SURPRISE- THEY WERE BOTH COLD. But he fixes that without my having to ask. Still,  let me point out that I have saved no time,  and actually spent extra time standing here waiting to be noticed. This is not an improvement,  or better,  or faster. It's a way to get ignored and get hot food served cold (unless a great employee won't serve crap and thus intervenes.)

I learned that, to get the latest "seasonal" items, I had to uninstall the app, reboot my phone,  reinstall the app,  and log back in. 

3- November 7, 2015- $10.28- Ordered at the same location as in the first one. Went in,  went straight to pick-up. Watched FIVE drive-thru people get served.  When the girl brought a drink over for someone who had ordered at the register,  I finally get acknowledged. "Oh,  here," she says as she pulls it out. "The whipped cream is deflated. I can add more if you want." I had ordered an iced Chestnut Praline Latte.  The whipped cream isn't the biggest issue. Nearly all the ice melted. This tastes like slightly flavored water with cream. Gross.  And my sandwich?  If you just hold it for a minute instead of using a stove,  microwave,  or fire- that's how "warm" it is.
I long for the drive-thru.
The bonus stars, which lead to free drinks, do not feel worth it. It isn't like at Panera where you can mobile order and the stuff is on a reachable shelf so you can just get it. This isn't McDonald's with a heat lamp to keep your breakfast sandwich warm.
I loved Starbucks. But I really hate the pick up portion of mobile ordering.

Those are my experiences. What about you?