Friday, 23 July 2010

Can't A Woman Just Be Nauseous?

People. Really. I am SO tired of this. Can we please shift our thinking on this one? Please?

I get nauseous from time to time. I've had a sensitive system my whole life. I think I have a weak gall bladder, so if I eat too much of the wrong foods, I'm going to be nauseous. I recently had a reaction to fire ant venom, and I was nauseous for about 4 days. When I had toxic black mold in my apartment in 2009, it made me nauseous.

It's amazing how many people, upon hearing that I'm nauseous, flat out ask if I'm pregnant or find some wacky way to try to ask in a subtle way if I am pregnant.

Firstly, I promise that if I am ever pregnant, I will JUST say that I'm pregnant. I would not act like hmmm, I've had unprotected sex, I'm throwing up every morning, what could this beeeeeee?

Secondly, as I was born without a uterus, I am really unlikely to get pregnant or be pregnant. It's REALLY unlikely that my nausea is caused by pregnancy. For those of you having an uncomfy moment, please know that I'm proud and happy to not have a uterus. It's really freeing. :) So as you can imagine, being feels-like-constantly asked if I'm pregnant is ridiculous.

And you have to remember that there are many women out there who can't have children who are unhappy about it. I happen to be happy. But let's say I'm miserable about it. I post to Facebook that I'm nauseous, and you ask if I'm pregnant. You're going to freaking break my heart because I might wish I could get pregnant. That's a lot of upset and pain that didn't have to "go there."

This would be like any time someone says something in their body hurts, you ask if it's cancer. You have a headache? That could be a brain tumour. You are coughing? That must be lung cancer. Better get checked out! Same for weight. If a woman put on 10 pounds over a few months, would you ask her if she's pregnant? I hope not!

This may be a surprise to people out there, but sometimes people are just nauseous. Sometimes, we've eaten things that disagree with us. Food is more toxic than it ever has been thanks to processing, chemicals, and other fun stuff.

I would like the whole freaking planet to stop assuming that every nauseous woman could have a baby on the way. Sometimes, I just have one too many french fries on its way out.

Thank you for your kind attention to this matter!

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Thursday, 22 July 2010

I'm Suspicious About Local Mail

Tucson mail is weird. It just is. My local post office is closed on the weekends, but you can knock on a Wizard of Oz door from 10am - 2pm on Saturday ONLY if you need to pick up something they're holding.

We barely get weekend mail. I had a client Postal Express me something recently on a Friday for Saturday delivery. The tracking said that at 11am on Saturday, they left me a notice. I was home all day waiting for the package. No notice on my door. No notice in my apartment mailbox. And the leasing office was closed, so they couldn't have signed for it. The next business day, they shoved the Express envelope in my apartment mailbox. Didn't knock on my door.

Not very express. So what's going on?

I heard a rumour years ago that Tucson officially has ONE post office, and everything else are satellites or mini post offices or I don't know what. Fake, imaginary post offices. And that every piece of mail has to go through this ONE post office in town, and then get sorted out to the other post offices. I was being told that this is why mail takes DAYS extra (in both directions). Chances are, my Express Package his this mystery post office on Saturday, and wasn't sorted and ready to come to me until the next business day's postal delivery. But they're comfy promising overnight service, and putting in fake info in the tracking that they left me a notice.

I was even told that if I mail something from my 85737 post office, the stamp won't be cancelled there. It goes down to this central post office, this ONE place in the whole city, to be cancelled.

So, for example, if something you mail me hits town on a Friday, it's going to this wacky post office. Because of weekend hours at varying post offices, I'll get that mail Monday. I get Saturday mail Tuesday. I typically don't bother checking my box on Monday, and wait for Tuesday to get ALL that weekend mail.

Well, that seems weird. I would think that if they are trying to send to 85737, and we have an 85737 post office, some postal system would KNOW to send the mail straight to me. And this one post office has the unforgettable address of being located on South Cherrybell Stravenue. Yes, Stravenue.

Yesterday, I was tracking a package I ordered from ThinkGeek.com. They sent it Priority Mail with some sort of tracking. This is what I saw: Processed through Sort Facility, July 20, 2010, 11:59 pm, TUCSON, AZ 85726

I dropped 85726 into Google Maps, and it's the post office on Cherrybell Stravenue. So when this came from the east coast, nobody was able to route it straight to 

Does anybody know if this is a common practice in the postal system? That my mail takes days extra because everything has to go through this one post office?

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Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Liking My Business Page vs. Being My Facebook Friend

I have noticed that a lot of eBay and online sellers who I don't know have been wanting to add me as a friend on Facebook. I used to say no... Facebook was only for people I knew who were my friends. I talk about personal things there and very little about work or eBay. So Facebook is a place to stay connected to people I know and like personally.

Then I figured well why not grow the fan base. I started saying yes to people. Now I probably have 250 "friends" I don't even know... who if Facebook didn't have "hide" would fill my wall with Farmville requests, pictures of grandkids, and items they're pushing everybody to buy. I've hidden them. They've probably hidden me. Most of them never write on my wall or comment on anything I post.

One of them recently opened a private message with me saying who she was and that she wanted to add me as a friend. I didn't know her, and suggested that she "like" my business page if she's interested in what I have to say about eBay and online selling. When I suggest this to people, they tend to not do it.

My guess is that we want to rack up "friends" because then we think someone is listening. Many of us posting a lot to Facebook have somewhat solitary lives. Lots of time in front of a computer, usually alone. Facebook helps us feel connected to people, even if they are random people. And Facebook pushes us to make new friends, which to me goes against their whole original idea.

So I am going back to only accepting friends I know. I will prune my friends list to remove people I don't know who I've probably hidden and who don't seem interested in what I have to say. And I suggest the same for everybody. Remove people you don't really know. You are exposing a lot of information about yourself and your friends to what are essentially strangers. And why? Ask yourself why you added that stranger as a friend.

If you are interested in what I have to say about eBay and online selling, please "like" the page at http://www.facebook.com/AsWasInc. I'd love to see you there, and interact with you. I'm happy to take questions. But considering my personal Facebook is really about my personal life, and I'm not in a contest to have a certain number of friends, I'm going to prune for people I know and have some sort of connection to... business, personal, or other.

Thanks for understanding. Now go do it too! :)

PS: If you like music biz and concert industry news, I have another Facebook page you can like at http://www.facebook.com/WeAreYourPeople

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Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Remove People You Don't Know From Your Facebook Friends

A bizarre experience this past weekend has really put a spotlight on this whole Facebook friends thing.

Long story short, I was briefly cyberstalked by a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend. The guy sent me a bunch of pretty psycho Facebook messages, first congratulating me on dating that friend in common (I'm not dating that guy), and then asking me to date him. Yes, he was asking a total stranger about whom he knew nothing to date him. His reasoning? I was cute and why not.

I was on a phone call and didn't reply right away. By the time I responded 40 minutes later, I couldn't. He had posted a bunch more inbox messages saying "I guess not" and blocking me on Facebook. I thought it was over, but it wasn't. 3 hours later, he unblocked me to see if I were interested in dating him, then minutes later saying never mind because I'm ugly, and random abusive crap.

I blocked him, reported him, and screen shot everything to email to my friend. I wanted him to know what his friend was doing, and I suggested that he not set this guy up on any dates since this guy is sick! I do NOT hold my friend responsible at all. He is not responsible for what someone else chooses to do. My friend is probably completely uninvolved in this, and this is not his fault in any way! He's just the weird connection here.

My friend emailed me back that he has NO idea who this guy is. Well, he seems to be your Facebook friend. And then it hit me.

Your Facebook friends have some access to ME. When you comment on my stuff, they can follow a link to see what you commented on, even if I have it set to "friends only." Even if your friend is not my friend, they can read all the stuff you comment on... and see those pictures.

I have probably 250 Facebook friends I don't know. Most eBay sellers interested in what I have to say about things... no realising that most of what I say in Facebook is about pets and dating... not eBay or my work. For that, you should hang out at the As Was Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/AsWasInc

So I'm doing it too. I think it's time to prune Facebook friends. You don't win anything by having 300 friends rather than 200 friends. There is no prize. The only thing you win is less privacy, and you expose ME to people I didn't want to be exposed to. And by the way, when your account is compromised and you send me messages that lead me to a virus or to try to disclose personal info, that wasn't cool either!

Facebook is getting too much like MySpace, and Facebook themselves is making it that way. When it tells me I should be friends with my college friend's Dad, something's not right. When Facebook tells me to be friends with people I don't know because they're friends with my friends, something isn't right. Facebook was SUPPOSED to be about connecting with people you REALLY knew... not being MySpace and just piling up anybody who has or hasn't met you.

So I am asking you to be brave! Be less fake popular. :) Go into your Facebook friends, and remove people you don't actually know. You are trusting them with a LOT of personal information about you. My policy was to only add people I knew, and to tell people I didn't to join my fan pages. I think I have to go back to that. It's not fair to YOU, my Facebook friend, for your private postings and info to be exposed to people neither of us know!

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Monday, 19 July 2010

New Blackberry Commercials Are Embarrassing

I saw an article recently that said in the war of Apple vs Android, the loser is Blackberry. Well said. I'm thinking that my 2004 Palm Treo is not that far from a 2010 Blackberry. I was thinking about this more as I noticed each company's latest advertising campaigns.

The iPhone 4 ads show various scenarios in which people are having video calls. A dad sees his daughter's new braces, and tells her she's beautiful. A husband finds out his wife is pregnant (and they're happy about it). Obviously, it's about connecting to people, face to face, even when you can't be there. I love Skype for this, but OK, the ads make you want to video chat from your phone.

Android phones are running great commercials. Droid and Evo commercials make you feel like you can do anything with these phones, and now that I have one, let me say you freaking can. Between "Droid Does" and Evo's "First" ads about how it's the first phone with a number of exciting features, these are just kick ass devices and campaigns.

Blackberry has new commercials out. One shows a barber taking pictures of intricate razor styling he's done on a customer's head. He's saying he can email this pictures to people and show off his work. The other Blackberry commercial features an interior designer talking about how he can sell pieces pretty much before he buys them because his Blackberry is taking pictures of them as he goes around stores. When they show the picture he takes on that microscopic Blackberry screen, I'm cringing. 

The Blackberry commercials also push Blackberry Messenger because you can message people (!) and you know when they got it (so when they ignore you, you KNOW you are being ignored!). OK, but my phone doesn't have BBM. I'm not part of the club. You can't reach me. You will have to reach me on AIM, Yahoo IM, MSN Messenger, Gtalk, Facebook chat, or Skype. Pick one!

Blackberry, you lose. You're not cool. You will NOT be able to make having a camera phone cool. I had my first camera phone in like 2004, so you're a little late. And what else will you say about what a Blackberry can do?

The people I know who have Blackberries use zero or nearly zero apps. They don't really understand them or see why they need them. They wanted a way to really stay on top of email and text messaging, and Blackberry, with its tactile keyboard, was that perfect device. Always on email! Here's another email coming in now! This is great.

It's like the opposite people from iPad users, who live in touch-screen application worlds. :)

Mobile devices are going in the direction of touch screens and applications. My 2004 phone did that. It was a Palm Treo. Touch screen, colour, always on email, and I think it took pictures. According to Wikipedia, it had a 0.3 megapixel camera. Woo hoo!

But in a sense, my 2004 Treo is nearly a 2010 Blackberry. Both can run apps, but most of the target user doesn't really get the app thing. Both colour touch screens... oh wait, sorry Blackberry... most of your phones are still controlled by a rolling nipple thing. Both handle email really well and reliably. Well, at this point, so does everything else. The K9 email app on my Android phone is one of the best apps I've ever had on any phone.

So I went to the Blackberry site to see what their main marketing messages are. Evidently, their main marketing messages are that on a Blackberry, you can use Blackberry Messenger with a group of friends, and you can use Twitter too! You can get the weather with pictures!

I think Blackberry is going to go where Windows Mobile is going. They're just not keeping it up or keeping it fresh. It's no longer that amazing or unique. While the iPhone has no tactile keyboard, many Android phones still do, for people who want to press buttons to type. However, as someone who thought she couldn't live without the tactile keyboard, let me tell you I'm typing faster without it.

Using ShapeWriter for Android (similar to Swype), I'm typing words at a time rather than letters at a time. I can type with one finger. Faster and easier. I'm definitely typing much faster without the tactile keyboard. I don't miss it at all.

Blackberry people, look at Android phones like the HTC Incredible and HTC Evo. There's just kinda to reason to have Blackberry anymore. Even all the eBay staff I knew who were glued to Blackberries now have iPhones. :)

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Friday, 16 July 2010

Consumer Reports and the iPhone 4

Consumer Reports decided to not recommend the iPhone 4 based on the documented problems with call reception based on how you hold the phone when it's not in a case.

Some people have thought this is a wrong move by Consumer Reports because they feel that otherwise, the iPhone 4 is great.

I think this is absolutely appropriate. If a blender might not work right based on how you pushed the buttons, I'd expect Consumer Reports to warn me of that. If an MP3 player might stop playing based on how you hold it, I'd think it's right for Consumer Reports to recommend another model. And don't get me started on how this relates to how your car functions! :)

I have the Evo 4G for Spring, and am very happy. I've never wanted an iPhone. I'm just not into them. I'm also not into anchovies on pizza. The iPhone 4 will still be considered a success based on sales and improved features. But I still think it's fair for Consumer Reports to say there is a documented problem that you may use to affect your buying decision.

That's the job of Consumer Reports. If they recommended a phone with potentially weird reception based on you touched it, I'd think they got paid off.

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Monday, 12 July 2010

Design Deadline For Holiday Selling

Every year, people come to us in October, and want us to do our fantastic eBay listing templates in time for holiday selling. By then, it's really too late for our work to help your holiday selling. Why? Because many or our projects take about a month. All of our design work is custom and from scratch. We don't do the same thing for everybody. You don't get the same layout with a few pictures of what you sell thrown in as some sort of header collage.

Every project at As Was starts with a long phone call about your company's image, mood, and personality. We design from that. Hey, it just takes time to go back and forth with you, perfect it, prepare it, and get it into your software for listing. It can easily take a few weeks.

That's why contacting us in October is really too late. We can't guarantee that your project will be ready. If you are busy with your holiday selling already, you may not get back to us quickly when we need to hear from you... and then project could drag on as we wait for your feedback.

Start now!

In reality, the best time to start is now. Holiday selling for many of our clients seems to start in September. If you want a fresh design to be ready for September, we really should get started now!

Hit http://www.aswas.com for more info, or contact us (through the website) if you need more info or newer examples of our work. Most of our projects start within 1 business day of when you sign our contract, so we're ready when you are!

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