Tuesday, December 8

What's on the Internet tonight?

I surf the net almost every day. For a writer it’s great resource for raw material. You can find anything on the internet but knowing how to do a search is the key. Fortunately I know some librarians so they can show me how it’s done.

Cruising the information hiway is not without it’s pitfalls. Even though it has been around for years and many web sites have been designed-supposedly- by pros, navigating some sites is like driving in a foreign country without a map and you can’t read the road signs. Every time I see a page with white or yellow text on a black ground or animated arrows I want to take a blunt object to the designer’s face. But I digress.

My homage is wunderground.com where I get the local weather, which is kind of silly because I can just as easily step out on the back porch to tell me what’s going on. I start by checking the mail. Spam, spam, spam, a library book due notice, letter from friend. I don’t know why I bother, I don’t get a lot of messages but like Charlie Brown waiting by the mailbox for a Valentine I look every day. There was a time when people wrote letters but that’s gone the way of birthday cards and telegrams. Now we have e-cards and iphones.

Up next is the news. I prefer CNN online to the clutter of the TV version. News crawls, popping graphics, constantly changing info boxes. Enough already, slow down. I’m getting old and I don’t have the attention span of a hamster. The New York Times, BBC and Al Jeezera fill out the variety of views. Locally there’s the Oregonian and the Eugene Weekly.

I move on to the blogs. I like seeing how other blogs are done compared to my paltry attempt. Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan are gay but politically opposite, so they make for interesting reading. I also look in on Wil Wheton’s page. I’m not a geek as he proudly admits but he writes well and is very funny.

I check my facebook page. I’ve heard how great FB is for networking and combining the best of many online uses but frankly like the rest of the internet I’m underwhelmed. To me it’s like getting a snapshot postcard from friends, “hi this is what I’m doing here’s a neat picture of me and my pet, spouse and or car.” I might have a picture of me when I was younger, thinner and had better hair. I could play for hours one the endless games they offer or obesess on getting more friends than my friends but that would be um, a waste of time?

In the evening, when there’s nothing on TV, I’ll do some blog writing. For entertainment there is the movie insider Ain’t it Cool, the Darwin Awards and of course YouTube. However, I steadfastly refuse to watch cute videos of people’s pets or children throwing up. Then I look at pictures of naked men. Hey we all need a mental health break from the endless harvesting of information, right?

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