Tuesday, July 26, 2016


It has a whole new meaning these days. I always thought trolling had something to do with fishing boats and trolls were those cute, yet ugly, little dolls with the hair we spent hours braiding. Not these days.

The new dictionary definition of troll is: "make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them." (GOOGLE Search)

IN an article in Psychology Today by Jennifer Goldbeck (phd) 

"An internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response." (SOURCE)

Yes, they're out there. And I've seen them. I cannot imagine having that much anger or being that desperate for money or appreciating such dark 'humor' as to purposefully try to upset or offend other people. How?
  • they twist words
  • they miss the point (or at least, they pretend to)
  • they cross the line every time and on purpose
  • they use bad language
  • they attack you
  • they play the victim 
  • they are relentless
  • they 'one-up' you no matter what you say

I do enjoy joking around and finding a humorous way to make a point. I have been known to express my opinion about situations/products/events that I find displeasing or pleasing. But to deliberately strike out in the hopes of hurting someone? Nah. That's not cool no matter what your reasoning.

The best piece of advice anyone has ever offered on how to deal with them is:
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. I see it all the time. A troll comments and someone responds. And there it is. Trolls feed off the stupidity of others. Yes, I said it. Because it is STUPID to respond to anyone, online or in person, who makes statements that are purposefully hateful or offensive. They have researched and they know your weakness. And they will pounce on it knowing you will not be able to stop yourself from commenting back.

I have friends- online and in the real world- with whom I disagree on religion, politics, education, race relations, etc. But I respect their opinions and they respect mine. We do not have to agree on everything under the sun to be friends. I will remain silent before causing a raucous. Trolls do not. Trolls will do everything they can to insult you personally and they are relentless about it.

Trolls will always criticize but never offer constructive criticism. They are criticizing to cause harm and stir up chaos not to offer helpful suggestions to make anything better. Their criticisms are insulting and personal. And, when you respond, you can sense the excitement in their responses to your response. And the cycle goes on and on and on.

It's sickening, really. But what's worse is when I see people falling into the trap. So, again, DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

It's this type of internet bullying that makes me worry about the kids I will no longer be teaching at school. When I taught technology I was able to explain all of the internet dangers to every student, 700+ of them, from the ages of 4 to 12. We covered everything from the importance of and how to set good passwords to cyberbullying. I even told them all about people who will try to scam their grandparents. 

Check out this video:

Bottom line: The internet is full of fun and interesting things to do, see, read, and use. But it is also full of hackers, identity thieves, cyberbullies, trolls... You MUST keep up with the bad side so that you can protect yourself and not fall into the traps that are set for you.


Have you had an experience with an internet troll?

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Hertz, Hurts

Image result for HertzDo y'all rent cars when you travel long distances? We did when we drove to Nashville. Because we don't have a car that I trust to get me there safely. And, it was an 8-hour drive. Each way.

My thought was we would rent a car that I am considering buying. I would certainly get a feel for it after 8 hours on the road and 8 hours back home. Smart, right? Well, just try getting what you want from a car rental place. Talk about a racket. Sheesh.

As with most everything, there is the fine print and that's where they get you. They promise you the exact car you request until you arrive at their den of lies and stupid people and they give you what they consider a reasonable facsimile. Pfft. Hmpf. Pssh.

Lying sacks. All I'd like to have the car rental liars do is be honest. Tell me you don't have that car and then tell me what you REALLY do have so I can make a decision. Seriously, next time, I'm flying.

Oh, and AAA wasn't any better as they assured us the car of our choice WOULD be available. Lies. All lies.

Image result for avisOr I'll use Avis because I heard recently via the news that they have a new REAL TIME app that shows you what is REALLY available. Seriously, why hasn't this been a thing before now? Why can't care rental places give you what they say they will have for you when you arrive to pick up the dang thing? WHY is that so difficult? Of course, Avis will probably do the same thing as Hertz, cool app or not. How nice to show up and get the exact car we requested. At least I know I'll never purchase a Toyota Rav4. Or use Hertz again.

What I'd really love to see is car dealerships start renting cars. I would have gone straight to the Chevrolet dealership, rented an Equinox and, had I liked it, purchased it from them upon my return. Anyway...

The bottom line is this: car rental places (Hertz, anyway) are sneaky and their employees speak liar-rea-ha.  Also, I need to go ahead and buy a car.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uber Doober Do

The kids have using Uber for years and have liked it just fine. I'd never tried it until our trip to Nashville. Now, I'm a fan!

When in Nashville, TN- UBER is the way to get around. I'm one of those people who get quite nervous when driving in unfamiliar areas. When you couple that fear with a big city with more people than you thought could ever be in one place at one time, Uber is your friend. Your BESTIE.

Before Nashville, I was an Uber virgin. Now? I want to Uber everywhere. I mean it! It was a great experience. I've used taxi services before but I've found the drivers to be hell on wheels and not the most personable. Not to mention EXPENSIVE. Uber is different-

  • The vehicles are much nicer than cabs. 
  • The drivers are personable but not pushy. 
  • If you want to talk, they will. If you don't, they won't bother you. 
  • The cost is less than getting a taxi.

I do not care for driving around downtown Charleston either. Mount Pleasant (or Mount Plastic as it is beginning to be called because of all the fake, uber (no pun intended, but nice when it works out) rich folks moving in around here) and now that won't matter. When we have people visiting, I shall get an Uber to take us and deliver us home all without the stress of the traffic, the walking tourists who, apparently, have no idea how to cross a street, and finding a parking spot which takes longer than the time it takes to give your touristy friends a walking tour of the Battery, Rainbow Row, the Market, and grab lunch at Fleet Landing. 

Uber is also great for those folks who like to drink and are smart enough to NOT drive after imbibing. (Seriously, those of you who are not smart enough to NOT drive after drinking, get a brain.) Why in the world would anyone endanger the lives of others instead of taking an affordable alternate mode of transportation? It's beyond me. But, that's not really the point of this post. It's more of a soapbox. Ha!

Yes, we have bus service here. But, especially in this heat, I much prefer being dropped off in my driveway instead of half a mile or more from the neighborhood. Plus, the buses run on their schedule, not mine. And, they don't run at night. 

A couple of family members have told me there is a new service (newish here, anyway) called Lyft. I haven't tried them out and I really don't know whether I will or not. I mean, Uber is fine and, until it isn't, I'll just Uber when I don't care to drive in traffic or stress over parking. And, frankly, I love saying, 'Uber.' 

  • I'm going to Uber down there. 
  • I'm going to get an Uber. 
  • Let's Uber-it! 
  • Get an Uber!

What are your experiences with paid rides?

Friday, July 8, 2016

AirBnB vs VRBO

On a recent family trip to Nashville (which you can read about HERE and HERE) the family stayed at our first Airbnb and I learned a few things, not the least of which is, I am not comfortable staying in someone's home when they are away. It borders on creepy even though the house we rented was nice enough and quite clean. It was located in just the right spot and the neighborhood was lovely. But it was someone's home. It was weird.

Airbnb website
The site is quite user-friendly and provides you with plenty various options depending on where you want to stay and how much you prefer to pay. Registration is free and easy. Not a problem.

Airbnb hosts:
I don't know about all of them but our guy was fabulous! He was quick to respond and friendly. We even ended up texting and discovered that the sister-in-law of our daughter's boyfriend and our host attended college together and are still good friends! Small world, y'all! Super nice, super friendly. Daughter 1 stayed at a different Airbnb and assured me her host was fabulous as well. Not a problem.

Airbnb accommodations:
Our Airbnb was located in a quaint, safe, family neighborhood and was quite clean. No bedbugs, complete privacy, comfy beds. Even the neighbors were friendly. The location was perfect as it was less than one mile from our daughter's apartment and a 10-15 minute Uber ride to downtown. Not a problem.

Airbnb costs:
I found the cost to be much less expensive than a hotel and in line with prices on VRBO. Of course, there are some rentals that are quite expensive but these balance out since they are HUGE and everyone can split the cost which still brings it in under the usual cost of a hotel room.

Airbnb benefits:
Privacy. Whole house vs a room although you can rent rooms in someone's house. Regardless of whether you rent a house or a room, it is less expensive than hotels. You're not surrounded by strangers. The hosts are more personable than hotel employees.

Airbnb, the downside:
It's someone's home You are staying in their home while they stay somewhere else and I just find that uncomfortable.

Airbnb suggestions:
Look carefully at the pictures provided by the host. Had I been thinking, this would not have been the
right fit for us as my dad and stepmother went along and there were no hand rails on the front porch and the master bed was on the floor, not raised. The other two bedrooms were kids' rooms with a twin in one room and bunk beds in the other. The living room sofa was low to the floor which made getting up difficult for older people and anyone with bad knees. None of that was suitable for older folks, though we made do just fine Plus, did I mention that it was someone's home? A stranger's home. It was weird.

Final thoughts:
If you don't mind staying in the home of a stranger, then Airbnb might be for you. The cost is fair and it's easy to find places close to the area of the city you are visiting. I found the Airbnb to be clean as well. However, pay close attention to the pictures provided to you by the host.

If you're going to Nashville, here's the link to Jim's house if you'd like to give it a try.

Will I try Airbnb again? No. But this has nothing to do with our host or his home. It's all because I find it too creepy to stay in a stranger's home with their possessions all around. Next trip to Nashville, TN (or any other place) will find us in a rental house via VRBO. Hey, VRBO, if you're handing out deals for reviews, let me know! I'll be glad to work with y'all! :)