Friday, November 21, 2014

All the News We Think You Want to See

Earlier I posted something about Huffington Post and how they were driving me crazy with all their numbered lists.  I was seeing a constant flow of these articles in my Facebook feed so I posited that maybe Facebook thinks I want to see articles with numbers in them so it keeps suggesting them to me.  Well, Yahoo News does just that and really had me going for a brief moment.

I used to check Yahoo News every day, couple of times each day usually.  At some point in the past, I clicked on an article about a UFO sighting.  I'm not a hard core UFO guy but I do find the stories interesting on occasion.  The next day I noticed another UFO article in the Yahoo feed and I thought, "Hmmm, interesting, two UFO articles in a short span of time."  Then the next day, two more UFO articles, "Holy Smokes!  We're being INVADED!"

That's when it hit me.  Yahoo thinks I want to read UFO articles because I clicked on one, so it keeps showing me more.  I suppose this could be a useful tool to have, but it can also be a little dangerous.  If it keeps suggesting articles that it thinks I might want to see, over time it could easily distort my perception like it did briefly with the UFO article.

Yahoo ended up changing their news site and I hate the new format so, I stopped using it.  Now I use Google News.  Google is a little better about suggesting articles though because they have a section of news that says, "Hey, these are articles we think you might want to read because you searched for/viewed/whatevered this one term."  Then it gives you the option to say, "yes, I am interested in that" or "no, that's not my bag."

Yet another stunning example of how people's perceptions can be distorted by the news media.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Vibram Five Fingers KSO Initial Impression

OK, as promised, here are my first impressions of my new Vibram Five Fingers.

These are the Vibram Five Fingers KSO, M148 in size 42.  I used to wear a size 10, but I've been wearing barefoot shoes for at least a year and some change and I think my shoe size has gone down to 9.5.  So far, these fit pretty good.  I feel like they are just a hair too long, but not enough to make me want a new size.  My big toe feels like it is close to the end of its toe pocket, but my pinky toe is far from touching the end.  I guess this is good, because not everyone has the same size toes so imagine it could fit a range of feet.  My pinky toe doesn't lay flat anyway, so maybe that's why it's not filling its pocket.

Real quick background on my barefoot experience.  I started about a year or so ago switching to the Merrell Tough Glove as my full time at work and walking around shoe.  I liked them so much I added the Merrell Flux Glove as my running shoe.  I have been wearing one or the other almost exclusively for the past year plus.

My first thought when putting on the KSOs was that they are much lighter, much more non-shoe than the Merrells.  It took some getting used to when I bought the Merrells, getting used to the zero heel drop and the light weight, but these KSOs are even more zero than the Merrells.  They seem much thinner all over.  The sole is thinner and it also seems more flexible.  The upper is thinner too.

The first thing that slightly annoyed me with the KSOs was the strap that wraps around the back.  It hit me right on the Achilles.  I have a slight tendinitis issue there, so felt a slight pain.  I loosed the strap a little and it went away and the show felt better on that foot.  I have a pair of Merrell Barefoot Jungle Mocs, and the top of the spandex upper hit me in the same spot on the Achilles and it hurt for the first day or two that I wore them.  Now they have stretched a little and I can't feel it anymore.

Overall, they have a good feel when walking around.  It's totally different than the Merrell Barefoots and has much more of a barefoot feeling.  When I'm not wearing shoes around the house, I am usually wearing a leather moccasin.  The KSOs feel more like the moccasin, but much more secure on my foot.

The one odd feeling I get is a slight instability around the heel.  I can really feel the thickness of the shoe's heel on my heel.  If I start to lean to one side or the other on my heel, it feels like the shoe's heel gets thinner suddenly and I start to feel a slight pull or roll to whichever side I lean toward, like I'm rolling off the heel.  It's so slight that it's not an issue and I don't notice it all the time, but it's there.

Because these shoes are much thinner than my Merrells, I think my feet are going to be cold.  It's already getting colder around here and I noticed my feet were cold yesterday when I ran to the store.  I have a pair of Injinji toe socks I can wear with them, but right now they are in the wash, so I haven't tried them yet.  I got the toe socks last year when I was thinking about getting Vibrams just so I could get used to the sensation of foot gloves.  I really like wearing them, so the feeling of the KSOs was equally pleasant.

That's about all for now.  I'll post more later after I wear them around a bit more.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I Can See Your Toes!

My latest barefoot shoe acquisition,  Vibrams!  I'll be posting a first impression soon.


Monday, July 21, 2014

New Book Idea

A few years back, one of my first posts actually, I posted an email conversation that I had with an email scammer.  The conversation went back and forth for a few months or so, me making up a complicated story along the way.  I've since removed the posts because I have gone back and edited them and compiled them into an eBook.  The book is currently available in Amazon for the Kindle.  It is my first eBook.

Later this week, I'll be running a promotion, giving the book away for FREE!  On 7/26-7/28 you'll be able to download the book free on Amazon.  The hope is that someone will download the thing, leave positive reviews, and thus spring the masterpiece into fame and glory.

Here's the link to the book:


Be sure to download a copy and write a favorable review this weekend!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Reasons to Hate Huffington Post

I used to like The Huffington Post.  Lately, however, they are getting really annoying.  I don't think it's the actual Huffington Post, but instead their Facebook feed that shows up in my stream.  I suspect what I'm seeing is based on what I've clicked on before, so I guess this is more a problem with Facebook than Huffington Post, but either way, I hate it.  So, here are the reasons I hate Huffington Post and their feed on my Facebook stream;

1. Lists (See what I did there, clever eh?) -  15 of this, 9 of that, top 7 of the other.  I'm constantly bombarded by numbered lists of something.  Can't you just write an article without turning it into a list?  I understand the Top 10 format, it's tried and true and OK with me, but looking at the main HuffPo page right now they have lists of 10, 5, 15, 9, 30, 10, 12, 5, 10, and 8.  Really?  30?  It's getting annoying, HuffPo.

2.  Sriracha - I guess the Sriracha crisis is mostly over, but HuffPo coverage drove me mad.  The company that makes the popular Sriracha hot sauce was being sued or something by neighbors near that plant where it's made.  Noxious fumes and the like as you can imagine.  So HuffPo had at least two articles every day about it as if the sky were falling.  Oh no, what are all the hipsters going to do if they can't have their hot sauce!  Every article was like that.  Whoever writes the comments for the Facebook page also had to insert some stupid comment too, like "No Sriracha!  The end is nigh!"

3.  Marijuana is Legal! - When Colorado and the other state (wherever that was) legalized marijuana, HuffPo could not refrain themselves from pro-weed commentary.  Yeah, I get it, it's mildly amusing, weed is legal in Colorado, "let's all move there."  How many times can you tell that joke before it gets old?  HuffPo sure surpassed that number, whatever it is.  I'm fairly liberal and I don't really care about the legalization issue, but I have no interest in smoking pot and never have, so really, that joke gets old very quickly.

4.  Stupid JPG Complilations - There are way too many "articles" on HuffPo that are just dumb commentary or opinion reinforced by even dumber and mostly irrelevant clipart and animated JPGs.  Most of the time it's stock clips that everyone with an Internet connection has seen a dozen times already that only marginally relates to whatever it is they are writing about.

OK, so I could only get to four.  HuffPo wouldn't care, they'd run the story anyway.  4 Reasons to Hate HuffPo.