Month: February 2016


Remarking on the 2016 Presidential Primaries

(Originally posted to Facebook alone for friends, I republish it here 4 years later — JF 02.28.2020)

I do have an interest in the 2016 Presidential race, but there’s a problem or two. I can tick off problems with candidates easily but there’s one thing that really bugs me: “I want my country back!” said by one person or another.

We’re pretty crappy with that, aren’t we? Wanting things more polarized than they are and taking a hard track to the right or left as “my” country.

I don’t want capitalism and business to trump people, I don’t want the Bible to top the Constitution. I don’t want warfare and torture to be presented as A-OK, while gender, race, and/or age shouldn’t mean crap with whoever holds the office of the presidency. I don’t want hate to be the key to securing support.

[ To cover a base: My Bible vs. Constitution remark is not an intended shot on religion. Faith and believing in God is not a crime, forcing one denomination on the masses and saying the Bible trumps the Constitution does create the issue. It’s loaded to… ]

I’m not posting this to alienate, I am posting it in an attempt to MODERATE. It applies to congress and local governments too. Putting people first (and I don’t mean corporate shareholders) isn’t such a bad thing either…

The joys (sarcasm) of charitable fundraising for a rare disease (NF2)

Wednesday, February 10th marked my 12th anniversary as a hockey blogger.  That’s a pretty huge milestone as bloggers don’t usually last more than 3 years… let alone 12! Oh, Stonegauge is probably older than that – though I did not have many entries the past few years. To mark the occasion I brought up the genetic/neurological disorder I’ve been dealing with since I started, and started a charity drive called Deke the Deuce. The money is going to a Tampa Bay area based Neurofibromatosis Type II charity organization.

Big time blogger raising awareness and pulling in dollars to aid the fight against NF2! Cute name for the drive too!

Yeah, well, what I’ve learned in the past week-plus of the drive is that charity fundraising is tough even if you have a huge reach through social and general media.  You may have a wide number of readers or thsoe exposed to the drive by way of retweets and Facebook shares but if someone doesn’t connect to the cause, why would they hand over a nickel, let alone the amount of cash that would actually show up on the charity page?

I don’t know the best way to “update” the page. Anything I say is too personal and too thin an audience sees it. Yet I have to connect and personal is the only way to do it.  But telling people how you went deaf? What life can be like in deafness or even just hard of hearing?

The fact I’m also mostly pushing this at hockey fans hurts things too just because I’m not sure how to give it a broader appeal.

I plan on running thins through March 16… I don’t know if I’ll even reach $500, but the money raised is better than nothing. And I HAVE enlightened some people and introduced them to the disorder in general.


Looking for suggestions: Relaxing pop/rock numbers from the 1980s

Over the years, a lot of 1980s classics that I’ve been exposed to and enjoyed have been mocked and marred because of stenotypes of music form the 1980s in general as being too cheesy or being too slow/sleepy/boring. There are people I know who continue to dress down 1980s music and certain artists specifically because of the era and…

And they’re still good songs so shut up.

There are rich pop songs that are slower and perfect for night when trying to relax (if not sleep).  I’ve got a playlist for it, but I know I’m lacking a lot of the music from that era that would fit:

  • ”All out of Love” – Air Supply
  • “Another Day in paradise” – Phil Collins
  • “Don’t Dream It’s Over” – Crowded House
  • “Drive” – The Cars
  • “I’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You” — Foreigner
  • “One More Night” – Phil Collins
  • “Steppin’ Out” – Joe Jackson (which I wrote about recently)
  • “Take My Breath Away” – Berlin

The whole reason I blog about this is because I’m looking for other 1980s songs like these – soft rock, pop, mid tempo. I’m aware of other options from some of these artists (Air Supply and Collins specifically) but I’m looking for other artists. Hearing different examples or suggestions wouldn’t be a bad thing.

And yeah, there are songs from other decades that fit the bill quite easily (“Bridge Over Troubled Water” by Simon and Garfunkel; “Tears In Heaven” (unplugged) by Eric Clapton), but right now the quest is to discover from 30 years ago, not rediscover from the 1990s and be introduced to numbers form the 00s/2010s.

OK Stupid and the joys of social interaction via online dating sites

I’ve done dating sites before. I had remarked on an old-old post here about how much I disliked where I was going with Plenty of Fish (the types of profiles I was exposed to and how there was no positive contact). I’ve made friends and romantic interests through old sites now gone, and even Plenty of Fish. It’s not all bad out there but the platform for Plenty of Fish keeps me away from it.

With few contacts of recent who have led to a wider social world or romantic promise, I’ve tried two platforms in recent months and both have been dreadful for very different reasons.


An arcane platform out of the late-90’s/early 00’s (at least that’s the way it was in my experience in 2015), Lavalife didn’t feel secure (password size limitations, for example) and being contacted almost outright by spammers/scammers. Pair the clunky, arcane aspect and security issues with the base of the site users being in Canada (that’s not a security flaw, that’s just a distance from each other that prevents actual want to reach out / make contact). All together it just didn’t work. Neither did the brief free trial and then forced paid-subscriber switch to continue.

I do have friends who end up getting married after meeting through the platform and it did remind me of American Singles where I was reached out to and met a friend off the network waaaay in the past. Lavalife trying to stick with that template so-many years after the fact is flawed though. It’s too limited in profile information for it’s users, giving them little reason to stick around before forcing them to pay to continue. I didn’t last on there. My friends who met and forged a relationship did it long before the switch-to-subscriber standard was put into effect.

OK Cupid

This is the dating site I wanted to vent about the most when I started writing this out, as I spent a good length of time on that powerful platform that led to contact from two women total in more than a year of use. Two total contacts after how-many messages sent on my part? Friendly conversation attempts to get things started, not Mr. Pervert antics that are far too common on dating site messages to women (from what I’ve been told by friends). And after investing time in reading profiles, seeking people with high match ratings (more on that in a jiff), no one had responded to a conversation I attempted to start while only one of those two women who contacted me led to a friendly and sustained conversation. It didn’t lead to anything besides some casual and friendly chats, but that’s better than the immediate-social-meeting-because-me-and-my-girlfriend-are-new-to-town antics from the other woman who contacted me.

OK Cupid is a powerhouse platform, as I said, free of charge with solid technology, but it’s flawed deeply. While some users use laptops or PCs to write their profiles and interact on the site, too many others are doing their work (and searches) mobile and won’t make much of an effort to build a profile, let alone communicate. The site tries to extort you into paying a monthly fee to see those who “like” your profile/picture (and a few other bells and whistles), but that’s just an ultra-easy, lazy and stupid means of interaction with someone you take interest in or are aroused by. That “like” system is playing off social media and catering to impulse by mobile users but leaves out the complication of accountability. You like a profile or a photo? Great, congrats, now send a message and break the ice. That’s why a person is on that platform to begin with – to be social. Might as do your part and actually socialize.

OK Cupid also employs a survey/question and answer system that is also a huge flaw. Many, many questions are asked for the topics of ethics, religion, dating, sex, lifestyle and other general shit. They’re all available for you to help set a “match percentage” with other site members. The whole thing is a time occupying sham that defies the basic concept of getting to know someone, let alone finding out things in common or adjusting your habits to suit someone else. It’s possible to click with someone who has different wants / needs / craves that we see as polarizing negatives. The fact that match percentages might be thrown off by the most useless, unimportant differences in opinion (or bolstered by mundane things you don’t care about in a potential friend/date/romantic interest). With that and how so many  members don’t even review that stuff adds to the throw-off aspect of the system.

There’s also the aspect the questions – which are all elective to answer, by the way – have a very wide gray area in reality but are presented as black-or-white, yes-or-no in OK Cupid.  “It Depends” is a truth with certain questions, let alone with how you’d react to certain people you forged a personal connection with regarding their habits, desires or beliefs and what not.

I’ll note here that owns OK Cupid and now Plenty of Fish. Between how common spam is from people with affiliations to Match, with how bare-bones and weak Plenty of Fish can be, and with how closed off OK Cupid is by way of laziness and anti-social habits from it’s members, I’ve got to search for a better site if I want to try that form of socializing again. At this rate, I have a better chance of meeting someone though Twitter than on an up-front dating site.

Do you do cabinet work in the Tampa Bay area? I’m selling a domain name

I have a domain name for sale that was purchased for marketing sake for a web site I used to work on. The company has been gone for years and they never much took to the regional domain name. Heck, even the field – wood work and cabinetry – makes it feel like a regional domain name isn’t a necessity for marketing.

That being said, is available for purchase through Sedo. The site it was purchased for had cabinetry and woodworking in mind catering to customers in the Tampa Bay metro area. While the price isn’t cheap, the regional branding for a company is a good marketing point (as long as the domain name is clearly listed on company branded material).