Truthful Tuesday: Sharing Bad News

Melanie is back doing Truthful Tuesday, where she asks one question (usually multipart) and we answer it truthfully, at least as far as we know. Here’s today’s:

Question:  Is it ever even vaguely acceptable to share really bad news (not mine for a change, but someone I know well) via group text?    No name attached to the text of course, and one is left wondering who the hell is texting.   

Ought there be some etiquette around group texts?   Like leave a vague clue as to who is sending the darn thing.  I’m as likely as not to block the number if I don’t recognize it.   And I’m burned that someone would even consider sharing such potentially earth shattering news via such an impersonal venue.   Maybe I’m just a tech-no-phobe in the making…

I think we tend to overuse text messaging. Texts are great for person-to-person messages and pretty good for small groups, say of five or less. They aren’t good much beyond that, so if the group is large or if there’s a lot of news, you need to find a better way to communicate it, e. g. email or social media. And yes, it’s never a bad idea to identify yourself, though it might be unnecessary if the person or people (all of them) receiving the message all know you.

One of Mary’s friends sent her and a bunch of other people (some of whom Mary knew and others she didn’t) a text message, and everyone felt obligated to weigh in on the subject, so she got all these texts from people she didn’t know. It drove her nuts. Eventually, activity on that message died out, and Mary forgot about it, until someone had some news and replied to that text, creating another flurry of texts from that group.

And that’s really the problem with text messages: if you send a group message, everyone in the group gets not only the message but the replies as well. There are apps that allow you to send individual messages to a group, but they ain’t cheap. The only way you can do it for free is to send the same message to each intended recipient individually. Or, consider using email or social media (DM’s or something like Facebook Messenger) to send the message.

If you’re going to use email, it’s good to use the BCC trick. That’s where you list all the recipients on the BCC line, so they can’t see who’s on the distribution list, and when they go to reply, you’re the only one that gets the replies. It saves a lot of yelling at…

Truthful Tuesday: Tradition!

Di is our hostess for Truthful Tuesday while Melanie continues to recuperate. Her question today:

The world watched our Queen’s funeral yesterday and throughout the country’s state of mourning, there have been some protests and comments against the monarchy. I am not asking my overseas readers how you feel about the British Monarchy, but how you feel about your own country’s traditions and customs. Do you think they still hold a place in modern times?

From what I’ve seen of the Queen’s funeral, it was a fitting tribute to a woman whom a lot of the people in the world admired and held a great affection for. Even those of us who live in the US, who told the monarchy to “bugger off” back in 1776, liked her and recognize that she was a great friend of this nation.

Being the US, we ditched most of the pomp and circumstance that the British are so good at, but we still have our customs and traditions. For example, Thanksgiving is a whole set of traditions in one: college and pro football games all day on TV; the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade (complete with the arrival of Santa Claus); a meal consisting of dry turkey, cranberry sauce, sweet potato casserole with marshmallows, and that godawful green bean casserole; and, a relatively new tradition, standing in front of Walmart at midnight, ready to kick, scratch, bite, push, and fight anyone who stands between you and one of the fifteen 65″ HDTV’s that each store has to sell at a ridiculously low price.

Keep in mind, not everyone participates in the same way. Mary and I might have ribs or lasagna instead of turkey, and other households will have their own variations. Some will have tofurkey, tofu shaped to look like a turkey, while others will have turducken, a chicken stuffed into a duck, which in turn is stuffed into a turkey.

Every holiday has its traditions, of which you can use all, some, or none of them. For example, we don’t decorate the house for Christmas, primarily because we had an unruly pack of cats for many years, but also because we’d have to store all that stuff the other eleven months out of the year.

As for traditions that this nation can do without: The State Of The Union Address.

Article 2, section 3 of the US Constitution says:

He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient…

Does it say how this should be accomplished, or when? Of course not. Until radio and TV came along, the President wrote a letter to Congress (“Dear Congress, How are you? I am fine…. Love, The President of the United States of America”). Now, we pre-empt all the TV shows on all the national networks and hold a pageant. As the President speaks, the TV cameras are scanning the audience, looking for the Congresscritter, Senator, Supreme Court Justice, or Cabinet member who’s falling asleep, picking their nose, reading the paper, doing the crossword puzzle, or playing Candy Crush on their phone. Who needs it?

I never watch the State of the Union address because it’ll all be on the Internet tomorrow. That’s the perfect place for it. Write the letter to Congress, support it with a PowerPoint, maybe have the President make a YouTube video, and tell the world that it’ll all be on The White House website at 7 PM Eastern. Send a copy to the Speaker of the House and the Vice President, as required. Everybody else can download it and watch it at their leisure.

See? Problem solved.

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

Truthful Tuesday: Musical Tastes

Di asks an interesting question today: Do you enjoy the same kind of music as your spouse/partner/significant other?

We’re compatible on some of it: Mary likes music from the ’60’s and ’70’s, especially Motown. She has also said that she likes some smooth jazz and fingerstyle guitar. The difference is not so much that she doesn’t like the music: it’s that she has sensitive ears and the music irritates them. I do my best to keep things quiet for her, meaning I listen through headphones when on the computer, and while I’m getting my leg compressed I keep the volume down on my phone and/or my Bluetooth speaker. The white noise I play at night doesn’t seem to bother her, though. The only white noise that bothers her is the authentic white noise, which sounds like the static that used to happen after a TV station went off the air. I admit, it’s a little harsh…

She also doesn’t care for the ringtones I pick sometimes. This was my ringtone for about 30 minutes a couple of weeks ago…

Okay, so it’s a little much…

Three! Three! Three! Assignments In One!

Why do you suppose our little Capuchin monkey is so happy? Maybe because he’s going on vacation! At least, that’s my first impression, which is probably wrong, but it’ll do for our purposes.

First, I doubt that the monkey’s going on vacation. What I think is that he was caught in the act of being himself, as Allen Funt used to say on Candid Camera, by someone watching him with a video camera. When the people shooting the video were watching it, they saw him do this and said “hey! That would be a cool picture!” found the frame on the video that caught him at his silliest, and made this picture of it. I don’t think the monkey would sue if he were to see the picture and learn of the mirth and merriment being enjoyed by all, because, as we all know, monkeys make terrible lawyers.

Which brings us to this week’s FPQ, in which Fandango asks the following composite question:

Have you been on a vacation/holiday in the past three months? If so, did you take any precautions against contracting COVID? If you haven’t been on a vacation/holiday in the most recent three months, when was your last vacation/holiday? If you’re planning to go on vacation/holiday within the next six or so months, will you be taking any steps to reduce the risk of getting COVID?

We haven’t been on a vacation per se in years. Mary and I are homebodies, and my mobility issues make travel a major headache. We’re content to sit at home, where it’s quiet and we don’t have people telling us to put on masks and get booster shots.

Which brings us to Di’s question…

Whether it’s on a blind date, an interview, or meeting the new significant other’s parents, how do you react if the person isn’t how you imagined? Do you try to find some common ground, simply be polite, or shrug your shoulders?

I assume nothing about the person or persons that I meet, so I really don’t imagine anything about them. In other words, I don’t form an opinion about anyone until I actually meet them.

I’m no fun, am I?

Tally-ho and away we go!
See you next week with a brand new show!

Truthful Tuesday: Birth Order

Di is guest-hosting for Melanie while she’s recuperating. Melanie, if you’re reading this, get well soon and we’ll see you when we see you. Di, thanks for standing in and keeping these blog hops alive. Today’s question:

Are you an only child or do you have siblings? Would you prefer to be the opposite to what you are?

I’m the oldest of four boys. Jim, next in the birth order, is 21 months younger; Kip is 11 months younger than Jim; and Pat is almost 202 months younger than Kip. Pat was from Mom’s second marriage: she and Jack (who we called Tex) were married in June 1974, and Pat was born in September 1975.

Mom was the oldest in her family, and there were times I think it was difficult being her oldest, because she was just so good at it. Still, I liked being the oldest: I got my own room and there were other benefits that I can’t think of now.

Mom’s first pregnancy ended with a miscarriage, and I wonder sometimes what it would have been like to have an older sibling, whether that sibling would have been a boy or a girl, what effect if any it would have had on my life. Of course, had that child been born, I probably wouldn’t have been, and the world would have been a darker and drearier place…