Friday, June 10, 2011

Social Media and Me

If you had asked me about social media about eight months ago, my response would have been, "uhh, can I buy a vowel?". I had no clue what a wild and crazy ride I was about to go on. First a big Thank You to all that have viewed this blog. It has had over 700 visits since I started it around the end of April!!  An even bigger thank you to my Webmaster, without whom I would be lost. A few things have been added such as "Websites of Interest" and a little favorite of mine..."Little Rascals FD". This blog will continue to chronicle my dealings with chemo, Drs. and personal insights, but now more features will be included. The Websites of Interest will help to bring important issues to the forefront and also showcase sites that I feel need to be checked out. If you have any suggestions or would like your site featured, email me at . I would also like to thank my friends at . This is a great site that features Emergency Preparedness. Where else can you find posts about Pet Safety, Floods, Haboobs (it's not a dirty word) and oh yeah, a little blurb from me on Grill Safety. Please check out their site and pass it on. Much like this blog if you feel it can help someone don't keep it to yourself. I guess in my opinion, that's how this Social Media thing should work...sharing of information.

Speaking of sharing information, let's chat about Twitter. This seems to be the mega clearing house of information. If you want to know anything about anything you can find it there. I venture to guess that if a spider breaks wind in the deepest jungle of the Amazon, someone will "tweet" it. OK, so you have your celebrity and sports tweets and now the new topic "weiner tweets". I prefer to follow Fire, Police and EMS agencies along with breaking news and weather reports. Honestly I follow over 1200 different agencies, people and groups and I really have no idea what may show up in my stream. You can follow me on twitter ( @tommyhark ),  why you may want to do this I am not sure. You can see what I think is important to share or is just so goofy I have to pass it on. I will admit I do get overwhelmed at times at the speed and amount of information that flys by. I may get one tweet out and twenty more might be waiting in the queue. I don't have a clue how folks including my friends follow a gazzilion interests, but more power to them. I also get tweets from a few friends and agencies sent to my cell phone. Why? I am a news junkie and hate missing out on some "big event". All in all, I give Twitter a big thumbs up, if you want the latest news, weather or gossip, create an account (it's free) and Happy Hunting.

If thats not enough Breaking News for you. let me suggest this site to you . This is raw and uncut video. The feeds may vary from live choppers or other news agencies. What you watch is up to you, fires, weather, chases or one of my favorites, "the old", over turned 18 wheeler and cows running everywhere. Now that's funny right there. So the Police were not amused, but still fun to watch. Want to have some real fun? Call a friend or relative in a different state and let them know what's happening in their neck of the woods. The usual response, "what the hey, how did you know that?". My response..."Connections", that gets them wondering. Although this is a great way to "see" breaking news let me warn you first. I sat for hours watching the feeds from the Joplin Tornado and sat in disbelief at the damage and loss of life. It took a while to digest what I had seen. During my time as a FF and EMT I was exposed to some horrific incidents. Nothing prepared me for what I saw on that day, nothing at all. Much like the Meteorologist from The Weather Channel that was "chasing" this storm, I was at a loss for words. As I stated this live and uncut...the devestation was real, the victims were real and unfortunatley so were the people that lost their lives. My prayers still go out to those folks and also to those that are still suffering due to weather and wildfires that have had a deadly grip on the U.S. and many foriegn countries. Another feature is the ability to "chat" live. This is a great way to get or give information and also see what others have on their mind. At most times there is a moderator that keeps guests and their comments in check. But like most things, a few bad apples sneak in and try to ruin it for all. Props to the Admins, you don't get thanked enough for dealing with the idiots.

That being said, let's talk about Shout Boxes (SB)...Oh boy, where do I start? The shout boxes are definately a double edged sword. I will not post any links to any I may frequent. Just know that there are plenty out there and maybe, just maybe, try to show some respect for others on the sites. These are mostly open to the public and you never know who might join in or who is lurking. Due to my cancer and treatments, I have some time on my hands and the SB have been a blessing and curse. There are people that may live in another part of the world or time zone so chances are there is always someone to talk to. Like I said these are mostly public forums and so like the "public", you get good people and the ahem..scum. Yes, I have been "cloned", made fun of and also been treated rudely. I try not to let it get to me but there are times it gets old. Some people enjoy this type of behavior and evidently have no respect for themselves or others. That is all I will say on that topic but I want you to know that I have made some great friends in the SB and I am a better person for it. Once again, kudos to the Admins that sit with the "banned" button armed and ready. But as in life people and their interests change. That friend you made may be around for a day, a week or longer. Then all of a sudden you find yourself asking "hmm, I wonder what became of so and so?" Enjoy the time you have and don't dwell on what you can't control. A few words of advice, unless you are in a SB that deals with these topics avoid them... religion and politics, nobody ever wins those arguments and never will. One more....BBQ, sauce or no sauce, Texas vs Carolina is another touchy subject. Since this is my blog...Texas and no sauce!! I must apologize to my greatest adversary on this issue but ha ha, sorry.

Sooooo, to wrap this up. I have and will continue to use and support Social Media, but like anything it is easy to get all wrapped up in this wave. Enjoy the ride, have fun and if you need the "floaties" use 'em. I do want to leave you with one more link. This is an article I came across in Country Line Magazine ( ) entitled "Father's Day. Want to Reconnect? Then Disconnect" . Before anyone gets there shorts in a wad, I think that there are some valid points made...enough said. Take it for what it is worth to you and what you do is your choice. Take Care, Be Safe and Never Forget

Ooops, almost forgot. I did see the Cardiothoracic Surgeon yesterday. I wanted to know if I would ever get a pain free night of sleep. I am getting tired of moving from the bed, to the recliner, and to the couch to try and get comfortable. After an x-ray, the Dr. informed me "all looks good and the pain from surgery may linger for a while, try some Aleve". So I left with a little more info than when I walked in (emphasis on little). After buying the Aleve I noticed the warnings. Well due to one of my medications it was not reccomended I take it. Then I called my Oncologist, he advised me to take the Aleve for three days and we would go from there.  Well if last night was any indication, we will be talking Monday. On a happy note, I got to spend some time with my daughter and granddaughter. We went out for lunch and had a great time. Thanks to you Baby and your baby, you made my day.

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