Keeping Facebook friends that you don’t like….

First, I should talk about MY Facebook behavior. Yeah, I’ve had a dear “IRL” (In Real Life) friend complain to me about it; this is someone who I’ve had several “friendship outings” with.

Yes, I post a lot: political, social issues, spectator sports (football, basketball, baseball), outing photos (via Instagram), running/walking/weightlifting/swimming posts, “playing with my troll friends” posts (inside jokes that I want selected people to see) and, every once in a while, a spandex/butt joke/photo (not as often as people think).

So, if someone wants to unfriend me, I completely understand and am not offended at all. Unfriending me means “you are tired of my BS” and I don’t blame you! No offense but I’d rather run off Facebook friends than my wife or my IRL friends. 🙂

And yes, I’ve unfriended people. One large group of people I unfriended were a large subset of my Naval Academy classmates; while I don’t mind competing points of view, so much of their social commentary was “bumper sticker like” and full of hidden assumptions. Honest, fact based critiques of my ideas are fine; chanting slogans and cliches gets tiresome. And yes, I’ve unfriended some idiotic liberals too..for similar reasons.

I’ve unfriended a few scolds who didn’t like that rare spandex shot or an anti-religion post. No one tells me what is permissible to post on my wall.

And yes, I did get very angry with a “formerly closer IRL” friend who didn’t treat me well; they got unfriended and blocked for several months. But this individual can be fun and thought provoking; some people I can enjoy online but perhaps not in person.

But the purpose of this post is: why do I keep some people that I have interactions with (on my wall) that I really do not like, and quite frankly, disrespect? Note: I am not talking about the smart successful person who has went through (or is going through) a rough time that affects their personality. I am talking about something else.

And I wonder: do I keep at least a few people because they, well, feed my ego? If so, how ethical is that?

On the flip side: Facebook has been very positive for me. I’ve reconnected with people I haven’t seen in 40-45 years and found out that they are interesting, “fun to talk to” people. I’ve also met a few people who I look forward to talking to on almost a daily basis; one turned out to be a special gem.

Interestingly enough, people have thought about FB relationships and the emotions of breaking them: here, here, and here.

November 26, 2016 Posted by | social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

Compartmentalization of my life: Facebook vs IRL

I have about 977 “Facebook friends”. I’ve actually met 110-115 of these people in real life; some are class mates from college or high school.
I’ve actually done something one-on-one or in a planned small group setting with about 35 of these people.

Of the people I’ve done things with (say, within the past decade, excluding family members), 4 have no facebook presence at all (not on it or have an inactive account), and one is an ex Facebook friend (I am not counting a basketball companion from 23 years ago who is on facebook but not on my friends list; we sometimes see each other at work and I am FB friends with her husband).

It appears that some relationships are better left online and some real life friendships ought not to go online.

I know that I unfriended someone that I frequently interacted with on FB due to something that happened in real life. Had we never had an IRL interaction, we probably would still be interacting online.

It is funny how that works.

April 16, 2016 Posted by | Friends, social/political | , , , | Leave a comment

A Facebook application I like

Yes, many of those “Facebook, who has the hots for you” things are pretty lame. But here is one I like: everyone in these “friends list” has done something with me at sometime in the past, though in a couple of cases, I last did something with this person (play against them in football) in 1974. Yes, that is 41.5 years ago! Another photo is from 1983 (33 years ago?)

Of course, this video is limited to those on Facebook and therefore excludes several people that I’ve done things with in 2015.

As far as my blog being fluffy again: I am writing some mathematics; I’ll post a link to that (I know that you can hardly wait). 🙂

February 4, 2016 Posted by | Friends | , | Leave a comment

Winter is here…

It got to 7 F today..and about 1-2 inches of snow. It is mostly the cold and the time to clean the car, etc.

I am watching the Vikings vs. Seahawks as I write this; it is 10-9 Seattle with just under 3 minutes. But after yesterday’s Bengals vs. Steelers (where it appeared that the Bengals had it won..only to lose it via a fumble and two key back-to-back 15 yard penalties (late hit and unsportsmanlike conduct) gave the Steelers new life.

So who knows?

Bradley basketball: they held Evansville to 67 points..but unfortunately could only score 35. Long season.

Workout notes
Swim: 8 x 250 on the 5:05, 3 x (100 back, 100 side), 4 x 100 IM (bad), 100 free.

Weights: rotator cuff, pull ups (5 sets of 10), bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 185, 7 x 170
incline press: 10 x 135, military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 standing (dumbbell), rows: 3 sets of 10 x 55 (Riverplex)

Run: 5K on treadmill: 32:30 (31:33 at 3); started slowly.

Weight: 189 prior to swimming, 187.5 after.

Application note: I have an app that shows a Facebook profile pop-up when someone tags me or posts on one of my status updates. So one time, here comes the pop-up and I get…flipped off!


LOL…she isn’t flipping me off in her profile photo…I think.

January 10, 2016 Posted by | running, swimming, weight training | , , | Leave a comment

So you are thinking about adding me on social media

I got the idea for this post from this article.

Ok, you send me a friend request on Facebook or want to subscribe to my (paltry) twitter feed.

Here is what you should know:

1. I am noisy. Yes, I work, but much of my work is solitary and my “smoke breaks” are social media checks.

2. Yes, I frequently post:

a. Political and social articles. Flavor: a Democrat who is to the left of Barack Obama but to the right of Bernie Sanders. But I am not a mere cheerleader; I will reject claims made by “my team” if I think that they are false or if I think that there is no evidence to back them up. I frequently draw the ire of feminists (e. g. the “77 cents on the dollar” claim is highly misleading, women sometimes instigate violence, etc) civil rights activists (Michael Brown was no hero), woo woos (e. g. homeopathy is bunk, vaccinations are good, and GMOs can be a good thing)

But mostly, well, if you are someone who thinks that Barack Obama is a Muslim Kenyan who hates our country and wants to take your guns…well, we shouldn’t talk politics or social issues. If you don’t like a policy of his and you want to explain WHY it is a bad idea and your explanation consists of more than a list of adjectives, let’s hear it. I probably won’t end up agreeing with you, but a new perspective can be helpful to me.

b. Articles about running, walking or working out, and yes, I post my workouts and races from time to time. I like to swap stories.

c. Religion: I am a Richard Dawkins style atheist. No, I won’t picket a church or post stuff attacking your religion on your wall, but I will critique popular ideas. To me, religious ideas are ideas like any other, and are open to critique. And yes, some religious ideas (e. g. meditation, yoga. self reflection, moral inventories ) are good ones.

d. Spectator sports (mostly basketball, football and boxing; sometimes track and field)

e. Science articles.

f. Frog photos and goat photos.

g. Women in spandex running or workout gear.

h. Jokes, memes and the like.

3. I won’t say “that’s awesome” if I think that it is mundane or ordinary.

4. As far as “other points of view”: I do entertain opposing viewpoints if they carry data, facts and reason (or at least some of these). But I don’t tolerate scolds at all. “That offends me” or “this insults group x” or “check your privilege” carries no weight with me, at all. I will read an opposing viewpoint IF the source is an expert in the field (and yes, I’ve changed my mind before) but I really don’t care about your “activist” website or that “viral video” from that “awesome teenager” who just “destroyed XXXX “.

5. And to be blunt, both you and I are pretty average, with a ton of gaps in our knowledge. In this day and age, it is impossible to NOT be ignorant about most things.

6. And..finally, there is nothing wrong with being selective on what we talk about. If you don’t like my politics, no biggie; we’ll talk about the game or about our latest run or lifting session. If running bores you to tears, let’s talk about current events.

And no worries: if you are a conservative, I have no interest in trying to turn you into a liberal; that would be useless and presumptuous on my part. If you don’t like running/walking/lifting: no I am not trying to convert you. If you are religious, that is your business and none of mine.

And I am absolutely ok with being unfriended; I am not for everyone. 🙂 No worries! It doesn’t bother me at all.

July 10, 2015 Posted by | Personal Issues, social/political | , , | Leave a comment

This is not how I use Facebook

I’ve seen things like this said several times:

But, while I found the above to be funny, it just doesn’t appear to apply to me.

What do I use Facebook for?

1. Endurance sports: I can’t possibly do every race and every marathon but I like reading the race reports of others. For me: it is like getting a sports oriented postcard. Also, I like swapping training tips and finding out about trail conditions and races. I sure don’t mind bespandexed women posting “from the rear” selfies either.

2. Adventure: I can’t go everywhere either, so I like seeing photos of where others have travelled to, especially if they provide a bit of context.

3. Articles: I can’t read every newspaper and magazine, but I love reading the articles that many post. I also like book reviews.

4. Politics: sure, I like trolling conservative pages. But I also like seeing how they “think”…ok..what they react emotionally to. I’ve learned some useful things….and what is astonishing is that the types of comments made on conservative pages…are often very similar to the ones you see on liberal ones. Humans seem to have a need to say things to gain the approval of others on the page. Tribalism is very strong.

I also follow the Facebook pages of many political figures.

5. Spectator sports: my wife tires of football and basketball and doesn’t like boxing at all. On Facebook, I can “watch” with friends and make comments about the event.

6. Humor: I love funny memes and I love jokes.

I do post personal stuff from time to time but I rarely boast; frankly my accomplishments are rather mundane. Maybe I shouldn’t be on the internet this much?

June 26, 2014 Posted by | social/political | , | Leave a comment

I spend too much time on Facebook…


I belly laughed at lots of these.

I’d add:

“Liked” just to be polite. (e. g., a selfie that is less than flattering, or a running race time that is, uh….connotes dubious physical fitness…much less athletic competence)

“Uh we vote the same way, but your argument is bunk” button.

“Uh, (Paul Krugman, Stephen Hawking, Richard Dawkins) is smarter than you” button.

“OMG, you believe THAT (nonsense/superstion/woo woo)” button.

“OMG, you are boasting about THAT?” Or “OMG, you think that YOU are awesome (or your kids) because of THAT?” button.

I want one of these buttons too (usually for photos where the woman is wearing running/workout/yoga spandex).

April 30, 2014 Posted by | social/political | , , | Leave a comment

Facebook 11 facts about me: the “TL; DR” version

Note: “TL;DR” means “too long; didn’t read”.

11. I was born in Fukuoka, Japan (Island of Kyushu) on Itazuke Air Force Base.

My father was in the Air Force and I lived all over the place. As far as my birthplace: Itazuke AFB stuff can be found here.


10. In grades 1-12 I went to 10 different schools (3 different states, 2 different countries) and have taken classes at 5 different universities.

Narimasu Elementary, Mather (AFB) Elementary (outside of Sacramento, CA), Becker elementary (Austin, TX), Zilker Elementary (Austin, TX), Douglas Elementary (Ellsworth AFB, South Dakota), Green Park Elementary, Kanto Mura Middle, Tachikawa Middle, Yokota High (Japan), Travis HS (Austin, TX). Colleges: US Naval Academy (BS Math), Texas-San Antonio (one class), University of New Haven (3 classes), University of Texas, Austin (Ph. D. Math), Bradley University (33 hours, Industrial Engineering).

9. First NFL game seen: 1962 49’ers vs. Browns (Jim Brown played). First college game: Texas vs. Rice in 1969 (UT won the national championship that year.

I remember very little about the 1962 NFL game. I remember some of the Rice vs. Texas game. I’ve seen several bowl games (8 Cotton Bowls), several seasons of Navy, Texas (9 home seasons), Illinois (3 so far), as well as Cowboys, Rams, Buccaneers, Patriots, Colts and Bears home games. NBA: I saw a few Spurs home games and a Rockets home game; I saw one NBA playoff game (NBA champion Lakers in 1988). Yes, I got to see Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Akeem Olajuwon, Kareem Abadul-Jabbar and Charles Barkley play.

8. I’ve played 10 different sports (or events) at some organized level. I sucked at ALL of them.

Football (little league through high school), baseball (little league, pony league), basketball (junior high), track and field (shot put), judo (college club sport), crew (rowing): Freshman scrub team in college, distance running (public meets and races), swimming (swim meet, open water swim), triathlon (one short one), race walking, distance walking. I had dreams of being a professional athlete, but I have zero athletic ability.

7. I backed Anita Bryant’s anti-gay rights crusade in the 1970’s and was anti-gay rights until 1982. Then in the late 1990’s, I was the President of the Peoria Chapter of the ACLU for a couple of years.

I lost most of my anti-gay prejudice when I met some gay men at a party. They kissed each other; I expected to be disgusted and grossed out. Instead it was “oh…that’s it?” I just didn’t care afterward; I saw my beliefs were irrational. It was the easiest “major” change of view I’ve ever had.

6. I was raised Roman Catholic and seriously considered becoming a priest in 1985. My issues with religions are mostly intellectual ones (I reject the supernatural stuff).

My beef: I accept naturalism (things happen for natural causes) and I see nothing “special” about the earth or our tiny place in the universe. I think that it is highly unlikely that a bunch of sheep herders got it right several thousand years ago and much more likely that they were just making stuff up. I am open to evidence of a non-human centered “creative force/whatever” but not so open to ancient human religions.

5. My favorite non-technical college class was Chinese Politics taught by Professor Rao.
(Naval Academy)

I enjoyed Professor Farley’s Spanish classes too, though I was a poor language student (no ear for the language; reading was ok)

4. I’ve actually had a poem accepted for publication (in some fly-by-night outfit called “Graffiti on the Asylum Walls”; it was about the consequences of seeing VPLs on a woman working out in the gym.

This poem was inspired by my seeing a woman in shiny pink spandex shorts with striped panties in the weight room.

3. Most of my published work appears in The College Mathematics Journal or in The Journal of Knot Theory and its Ramifications. Areas: knot theory (geometric toplogy) and real analysis.

My first was in the Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society. I’ve also had things in the American Mathematical Monthly , Journal of the Mexican Mathematical Society and the Houston Journal of Mathematics, Missouri Journal of the Mathematical Sciences and in refereed conference proceedings.

2. My love of frogs came from my dad; we used to play with a pair of stuffed frogs that my mom made from scratch. Dad’s frog was called “yellow eyes” (eyes were made from yellow buttons); my frog was called “silver eyes”.

Also, I’d capture large American toads and keep them in a box overnight and let them go the next morning.

1. My first car was a Datsun 210; my first house (owned) was in Ledyard, CT. (near Groton/New London).

November 15, 2013 Posted by | Friends, frogs, Personal Issues | | Leave a comment

Memes, photos and some Colbert

Football season: kickoff for Illinois football is only 5 short months away.
Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 9.35.00 AM

I don’t recall football players looking this attractive. 🙂

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Click to see the actual Colbert clip, which is about gay marriage. It is pretty good. But you KNOW that I liked the photo.

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Yes, success, at least what modest success I’ve had, has NEVER been of the “straight line” variety. There are ALWAYS detours, false starts, and setbacks along the way. ALWAYS.

Screen shot 2013-03-27 at 8.20.51 PM

Hey, you had better register that MATLAB program (I know: “matrix laboratory” not “mathematics laboratory”). Or…Spell-check strikes again!

Remember those B-rated “horror” movies from 20-30 years ago (or make that 40-50 years ago)? I think that the creator of this poster for a Facebook page did a good job of capturing that feel:

Screen shot 2013-03-26 at 3.09.47 PM

Yes, “lesbain” is intentional.

March 28, 2013 Posted by | big butts, humor, political humor, politics, social/political, spandex | , , | Leave a comment