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So, What About Equality?

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2011 by AF

I know I’ve said something along these lines before, but this is one of my core beliefs, so I won’t apologise if I’m repeating myself somewhat here.

As long as I can remember (and that’s a real long time), I’ve wished most of the time that I had been born a woman. I don’t mean in a sexual sense because I’m very hetero, although I can tell you for sure I’d have been a millionaire by the time I was nineteen if I’d had a female body – but in this instance, I mean in terms of gender and all that goes with it.

There are of course, many types of women: nice ones, nasty ones, tall ones, short ones, fat ones, thin ones, in between and gorgeous ones who are very sexy that I’d like to get to know very, very… sorry (I told you – I’m entirely hetero), but I’m getting off the track again, aren’t I? However, the point is that, just as with men, the types you come across are as varied as the whole human race and probably most other species too, but the thing that makes women different (apart from the obvious physical bits), is their apparently natural ability and desire to socialise and above all to help one another.

Men just don’t do that – not like women do, at least. Take a straightforward example – BlogHer. It’s huge and growing all the time. I’m sure there’s some bitchiness and selfishness (of course there is – anything else would be unnatural), but the fact is that it works – and works simply because women are… well, women! Don’t believe me? Ok-aay… did you hear about BlogHim? No, nor me! A lot of women together is an awesome thing – damn scary, but still awesome! If you have a moment to spare, just take a peek at this blogger’s profile, here (and do watch the video – if it loads, because it’s a Blogspot site and Vista doesn’t seem to like it, but it’s worth the wait if you can manage it). Of course, men do conferences and so on, but I just can’t imagine this as an all male event anywhere.

So, I guess my question is: Why in heaven’s name would you girls want to be equal to men – you already have it all? Ours is a miserable existence by comparison. Sure, I understand there are issues over pay and stuff in some (many?) cases, but for God’s sake! You’re bloody wonderful! Why would you ever want to change that and just become dull and boring like the rest of us, or suffer the pressures that men invariably seem to place on themselves?


You Might Have Noticed

Posted in Writing and Things Literary with tags , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by AF

…or you might not, of course. However, the thing to which I am referring is the fact that, unlike some bloggers, I’m more than happy to get into a discussion with commenters. That, if I’m to be honest, is probably why I tend at times – all right then, often – to be somewhat “controversial”, if not downright outrageous! I like a debate. Heck! I love a debate!

That, I presume, is the main reason why I always try to reply to individual comments. There is too the angle that it’s my view of politeness that if someone takes the trouble to read something I write and comment on it, then I think it deserves my time to reply if I can (though I don’t hold it against others if they take a different view), but the truth is I love to debate – so much so that I’ll take any stance you want me to in most arguments and I’m quite happy to be wrong in the end too – if you can prove it!

There are, naturally, some subjects that I regard as really important (such as women’s rights and the whole equality issue, for instance) and, though you may not always (ever?) agree with my take on the subject, I do honestly believe at least the bones of what I say about such things.

Other times, though, I’ll say something just for effect – just to start an argument. Hopefully that’ll be a reasonably polite argument, but an argument nevertheless. There are very few situations where I bear a grudge. I can have a blazing row with someone and then shake hands and go round the pub for a drink with them. However, that doesn’t mean I’ll back down easily, so you’ve gotta push your point home!

Whatever the outcome, it’s good to talk, don’t you think? As someone famous said: “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war” – well, a lot of times it is, although “verbal war” between lovers can sometimes be so wounding that it is just as fatal for the participants as the real thing, or to their relationship at least.

Still that’s probably best left for another post…


And Now For Something Completely Different

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2011 by AF

If you’re anywhere near as ancient as I am, you might recall the beginnings of mini computers, closely followed by PCs (Personal Computers to those of you not at all familiar with geek terminology). How things have changed…

I’m told that, these days, the average smart phone has more “on board” computing power than each of the rapidly retiring Space Shuttles (in fact probably all the Shuttles put together) and so it is with data storage too…

I can remember my first “super fast” PC – it had 640K (Kilobytes) of memory (RAM) and for the first time had a built in hard disk which provided, if my personal memory serves, a few Megabytes of storage space. Prior to that it was all down to the use of floppy disks at 240K each. Then, eventually and amazingly, came the hard disk with a Gigabyte or two – and then more and recently a whole goddamned TERABYTE!

Yet that’s old hat already, since the latest term to enter the data storage arena is Petabyte. There aren’t any individual hard disks of that capacity available thus far (to my knowledge), but I’m sure it won’t be long…

In case I’ve lost you already (I’m confusing myself, so there’s no reason for you to be coy about the fact, if I have) – 1 PB (Petabyte) = 1000 Terabytes = 1000,000 Gigabytes = 1000,000,000 Megabytes = 1000,000,000,000 Kilobytes = 1000,000,000,000,000 Bytes. You see? You really wanted to know that, didn’t you? Yup! Thought so!

However, there is a point to all this gobbledegook, as I’m sure you had every faith there would be. You didn’t? Shame on you! Oh, well – never mind. Sigh.

Anyway, as I was saying, my point is that what was once a huge restriction and had to be considered at every turn, has simply become irrelevant. Storage space is just not something the average PC user has to consider any more – probably even the average smart phone user. These days we can download films, software, pictures, whatever we like and we don’t have to worry that we are using up valuable storage space – it is simply no longer an issue for most of us…

Except, that is, perhaps in one respect: have we reached the point where most information retrieval and storage devices are just so darned big that the human brain can no longer cope with all that stuff? In fact, has our whole planet got just about all the humankind and its data that it can handle? Perhaps we need to think of a new way of storing ourselves – maybe we should all be turned into avatars like the people were in the Matrix series of films – then we could all be saved on a few Ziggabyte hard disks somewhere.

Hey! That’s not such a daft idea! I could be thirty something forever, or any other age that appealed to whatever woman I was chasing (electronically of course) at the time!

I Spy With My Little Eye

Posted in Scandalous!, The Blog Spy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by AF

I spy something beginning with “S” – Yup! It’s the Blog Spy again…

However, this time it’s something a little different. If you’re easily embarrassed or don’t like the subject of sex then I guess this won’t suit you – but then again, if you don’t like the spicy stuff, why do you read this stuff I scribble anyway? What? Did you not figure out that the “S” stood for sex – one of my favourite topics? Aw, shucks, honey.

Nevertheless, this young woman has recently started a blog and is exploring her sexuality and that of others in some detail and fairly openly – apparently both in writing and reality. It isn’t quite as titillating as it sounds, since she’s quite serious about it and writes with humour. In any event, I prefer the more experienced members of the opposite sex, but I imagine she’ll get there, as practice  (so the saying goes) makes perfect. On which basis, it shouldn’t take her very long.

Anyway, this work of hers is part of her studies as a journalism student at university and her writing is quite good, so why not call in at her blog and give her some encouragement, eh? She may of course cease to blog once her studies are done, but I actually hope she keeps it up after university (no pun intended).

The blog in question is named “Sauce and the City” and the post I think I liked most so far from this saucy young lady is this one entitled “My Mother, On Sex” – isn’t it interesting how the younger generation has this belief that parents can’t guess exactly what their offspring like to do in private?

I Did An Interview

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by AF

Okay, it was nothing particularly startling – a short email interview apparently for a journalism student, but her questions were good and thoughtful, so I replied (which I’m usually pretty wary about doing) and I tried to curb some of my usual flippancy, being… well, a bit serious – sort of (you know me).

However, it did force me to think about a few things – most specifically, why I do this at all. Not an easy thing to figure out in my case. I did say in my replies that I really write anything mainly just because I like doing it – heck, I love writing. I don’t know why, I just do. I’m fully aware that I’m not the next Will Shakespeare, but I think I’d still want to do it somehow even if I was completely illiterate. Huh? I know, not an easy concept to get one’s head around that. Still I expect you understand the point and the emotions I’m trying to convey.

But why write a blog, of all things? Apart from my love of writing per se, the truth is that I began by looking for a better way to present my short stories – which I also create largely for fun, but which I don’t quite see the point of doing unless someone reads them since I’m really a novelist at heart – and a blogging platform turned out to suit my needs for that particular purpose. There are all sorts of tales and anecdotes – many are romantic and often somewhat spicy too, some rather more on the erotic side of things, quite a few are in the sci-fi category and… well, all sorts really. So, if you’re interested, please take a few minutes to browse around my “Short Story Blog

Nevertheless, it was creating that facility somehow that got me started on this more conventional weblog and I do thank those who bother to read the drivel I write, because, without you – well it’d be a rather sad and lonely practice, wouldn’t it? It’d be like… er… no, that’s not exactly an appropriate metaphor… but you get the point, I’m sure.

However, I can see the reasoning behind commercial blogs, political ones, religious ones and even angry ones, but most are “personal” blogs of one sort another – so the question applies to all of us writing that sort of material: Why? Why do we do it?

Well…?  🙂

I’m Not Sure Why

Posted in The Blog Spy with tags , , , on February 10, 2011 by AF

I’m not at all sure why, but I really liked this post here, in fact I enjoyed most of the blog, which is well written by an obviously level headed lady.

I know I haven’t posted much recently and feel free to give me a smack for that (ooooooh, nice… again?). However, I have been rather busy doing other things and, for some reason that I’m not quite sure of, I have found the blogosphere somewhat boring of late… The fault is mine, I know, but that’s little help.

The consequence of all that is that I’ve been trying to search out for a few new sites that provide inspiration. I wouldn’t say I’ve been all that successful – when one ignores the fanatics, the spiteful and the just plain loony, it can often make finding interesting blogs quite difficult. I do find a little insanity interesting, often delightful and frequently quite refreshing, but I’ve never found it easy to suffer absolute idiots gladly (particularly the aggressive ones) and there does appear to me to be a lot of those out there.

That said, you might notice from my blogroll that I tend to favour those blogs written by women and, whilst I’ve never been a fan of things domestic, including the raising of one’s offspring, I do prefer to read the opinions and thoughts of the female of our species. That’s probably part of the natural heterosexual thing for a guy like me who actually likes women,  but for whatever reason, I found much of the above site just plain interesting.

In fact, I think I’ll try to make a regular feature of searching for new blogs and bringing the ones I like to you guys here – well, fairly regular at least (you know me too well to expect me to be uncharacteristically dependable, don’t you?)

So, when you have a moment, please go check out Barbara A’s blog and tell me what you think…


So, I’m A Blog Stalker

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , on May 10, 2010 by AF

I was wandering around the blogosphere (as I have a habit of doing from time to time) and I came across an interesting site here – the specific post I’ve linked is by the blogger’s daughter and it seemed like a pretty good one to me, but I liked much of the rest of the blog too. I noticed also, though, that it said quite prominently that if I didn’t comment, I was just a blog stalker.

I get the sentiments and I imagine it’s just a fun comment – a light-hearted joke designed to encourage comments. However, in spite of the reproach, I didn’t comment – I might do so yet, but I didn’t on that occasion – so I guess that makes me a blog stalker…

To take it just a touch more seriously for a moment, though, there are many reasons for not commenting – not least of which is the simple fact that I wasn’t (as I’m often not) logged into a blogging ID. Secondly is the fact that the blog is on Blogspot (Blogger), which if security is enabled (especially with word verification engaged too – why do people bother with all that junk?) is simply too much of a pain in the arse to bother with, unless you really, really have something you want to say.

In view of all this, I’d like to make a plea to all bloggers out there to take off all the controls and security features you reasonably can and see if it helps (in time) to encourage a better and freer “community spirit”. If your trust is abused, you can quickly block the abuser, or reinstate the controls one at a time until it stops  – it’s hardly rocket science.

Like most bloggers, I also like it when people take the trouble to comment, but I understand when they don’t – it’s their right and I’m pleased if they have (hopefully) visited and read what I write. I have the Akismet spam filter in place and very occasionally a genuine reply gets caught by that, but it’s rare – other than that, if you want to say something here, please feel free and, if I really detest or am offended by what you say, I can just delete it, can’t I? So, what’s the big deal?

Everyone seems to be more and more nervous about almost everything these days and we appear to be becoming almost afraid of our own shadows. I’m not sure, though, that the fear of the threats most people seem to be afraid of isn’t often far worse than the “threats” themselves – if they exist at all.

So, if you want to comment here, then I’ll (probably) be delighted to read what you have to say, but if you don’t, then I’m almost as pleased that you at least stopped by and read my drivel. On the other hand, if you didn’t, then I won’t of course know about the fact and you won’t know I wrote this, so neither of us should be upset about that either, should we?


The Times They Are a-Changin’

Posted in Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by AF

One of the blogs I love is Sarah’s Etcetera Etc. as I think I have mentioned quite recently. Of course, as I think I probably said before, being a guy, I’m quite happy to read her words of wisdom about sex and her gender bits all day long – well, what else would you expect – but she has a lot of important things to say on all sorts of subjects and her latest post is a good one about one of the newer and somewhat different blogging platforms – Tumblr.

I have to say that I agree with almost everything she says and she’s usually right about most things. Naturally, of course, my strong sense of self preservation means that I don’t in any event have the necessary suicidal tendencies required to disagree publically with most women anyway, but I generally only say more than, “Yes dear,” when I actually mean it – like in this instance.

However, being somewhat mature, I do sometimes struggle to see the point of some of these things and, whilst I’m quite a fan of technology, I don’t automatically equate “new” with “good”.  To me, the latest fads are frequently interesting to find out about, but I still reserve judgement on the quality and value of them, particularly until I’ve tried them out for myself – which is why I had to open an account (a free one of course) and give it a go. There’s not much there at the moment, although it should automatically put a brief summary and link to this post via RSS into the body for me. You can take a look here at this early (and I think fairly crude) version of “A Bit Scandalous” on the Tumblr platform, if you really want to, that is.

I could see the attraction of Twitter for kids, teens and even twenty-somethings (and I dare say for many of the rest of you – just not for me, but I did at least register and try it. Much the same applies to Facebook and Myspace at the moment, although they at least don’t have the 140 character brevity (not my strong point as you will realise) of Twitter.

The truth is, though, with Tumblr, I just don’t get it at present. What’s the point? Yes it does a few things that WordPress won’t do (particularly the “follow” buttons of Twitter), but then so does Blogger (which I’ve also tried), but I’m still with WordPress because, in spite of its restrictions, I’ve been able to create something that is much more along the lines of what I want. Tumblr has a host of themes, but you have to buy many of them and it claims to give its users access to the whole theme if they want to alter the html, but how many of us ordinary bloggers really want to get into that?

Still, I guess we’ll see in time and, meanwhile, if anyone has some advice about the benefits or otherwise of Tumblr, please don’t be shy about letting me know what you know – this male at least is always pleased to receive any help offered – especially from women, since they have an annoying habit of seeing at once what us guys can’t figure out to save our lives…


Love Thy (Blogging) Neighbour

Posted in Miscellaneous, Writing and Things Literary with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by AF

I was intrigued by something said by Sarah, whose excellent blog, Etcetera, Etc., always seems to me to have something interesting to say about life. She doesn’t pull any punches when talking so very honestly about sex, women and relationships (How dare you! Of course that’s not the only reason I like her blog!). However, in truth I frequently find it to be an all round interesting blog about life in general and all sorts of things and, above all, I probably like the honesty best – you can check it out for yourself here

Anywaaaay – I hope she won’t mind me quoting this little bit of her email to me – she had this to say when I pointed out that her name against comments on my blog doesn’t link back to her blog, just in case she hadn’t realised that fact (which she apparently didn’t)…

“[…]While it would probably be in my best interest to promote my blog a little bit better, I like leaving comments for people when their prose makes me laugh or strikes a chord; not for the purpose of self promotion[…]”

I must say that I applaud that attitude and it’s exactly what I do myself – I do read a whole lot more (much of which I thoroughly enjoy) than I comment on and that’s probably not in my best interests either.

I’m not judging anyone here (even spammers, though robot generated comments are a real pain in the ass) – just agreeing on a very personal level with Sarah, but I do wonder about this process. All the perceived wisdom on this subject suggests that, in order to expand your readership, you need to visit other blogs and comment and I do try to do that, but I only seem to be able to work up any enthusiasm for that when I find a blog I like and, even then, in Sarah’s words, something has to “strike a chord” of some sort before I will comment.

However, there is another side to this when looked at the other way round. I love it when people comment on my stuff and that, I imagine, is mainly because I assume they’ve taken the trouble to read what I wrote and it amused them, or made them think about the subject, whether they agree or not. The fact that people comment gives me a little fillip and encourages me to continue writing the drivel I do – I know, you’ll all stop commenting now in the hope that I’ll go away, but I probably won’t – I’m stubborn that way.

That is, though, part of the reason I usually also take the trouble to reply to comments left on my blog because it seems to me that most of them are thoughtful and, if people take the time to give me an opinion, then common courtesy (for me) dictates that I should think about that and respond.  In any event, it’s simply a fact that engaging in any kind of discussion (however briefly) on any subject whatsoever with others from around the world has got to be a good thing, hasn’t it?

So, please keep on commenting and I do promise that I’ll at least try to do a bit better in return in the future. The world is shrinking and our communities are growing and, sooner or later, that has to be good for humanity, doesn’t it? As Winston Churchill once famously said, “Jaw, jaw is better than war, war!” and as long as honest opinions are being expressed, talking together has to increase understanding somewhere along the line.

Where Did You Get That?

Posted in Just a Thought, Miscellaneous with tags , , , , , on November 17, 2009 by AF

This brilliant post here from JennyMac is pretty much a gift from the gods to me, because I’ve had one of those days (well, weeks really, if I’m being honest) when nothing of any interest has occurred to me – certainly nothing I’d want to post about. So, her excellent (as usual), stylish and very funny article about “Teenage Girl Repellent” both made me laugh and made me think…

My thought was to list all the other “repellent” sprays I might want to purchase, but I’ve not been in all that good a mood this last little while. It might have been my imagination, but I could have sworn that MS Word flashed up one of those informative signs on screen that you never have enough time to read before it disappears by before you’ve finished thinking “WTF? What now?” However, I am convinced it said something along the lines of “error at ******* – lists over 4 million items are not allowed.”

Anyway, here are just a very few other repellent sprays that I can think of that I would really like to find if only JennyMac would reveal where to get them:

  1. ADULT Schoolchildren Repellent – there are days when most of the people I meet seem to insist on behaving like they should be in a schoolyard. Even (particularly?) politicians seem to me to behave that way these days.
  2. Officious Jerk of a Bureaucrat Repellent – the name says it all!
  3. Me Repellent – there are times when I really don’t like me very much.

I think I should probably stop there, but I do definitely want some of her Teenage Girl (and boy) Repellent!