Huge Win for Marriage Equality in the USA

I know I’m a few days late on this, but in a way I’m glad that I am a few days late and I’ll explain that later. In the meantime:

Rainbow-MapCongratulations, USA! This is huge and it’s what I have been waiting for. I’m excited though I don’t have anybody to call my own at the moment. I’m not even really so sure that I will ever get married. It’s not that I don’t want to, but I don’t know whether I will be able to get along with someone for that amount of time. It’s nice to have the option though. It restores a little bit of the hope I had in living in the USA again.

Facebook has exploded with a ton of rainbows but over the course of a few days, I’ve noticed a lot of people complaining about all the religious crazies saying the nastiest stuff. I have read some really terrible discussions and have read the dreaded phrase that all gay people have a disease and have AIDS but I jumped on that real fast. The whole thing is pretty sickening and I think that it’s the cause of my headaches I’ve had since yesterday.

I’d love to live in a world where people would shut the hell up if what’s happening doesn’t affect them in a personal way. People are going to get married. Get over it. Life will go on.

I wish this didn’t sound so terrible (this post). I am just not able to concentrate very well for some reason. I’ll have to let this go for now but I’ll be back soon! Still counting down to the day that I head back home.

Gun Control (USA) and Feeling Safe

There are a lot of posts popping up on my Facebook feed about gun control and how people don’t want to have their right to own guns taken away and all this other stuff. Well, that’s totally understandable since I am from an area where parents or grandparents give kids their own BB gun once they think they’re “responsible”. I got one when I was a kid but a few months later I got it taken away for shooting the glass out of welding equipment. Oh, and I shot the foot off of a green anole lizard (and I really felt awful about it). Poor lizard.

This is similar to the one I had. Pretty scary-looking for a BB gun, right? (Click the pic to go to the page that I stole the pic from.)

This is similar to the one I had. Pretty scary-looking for a BB gun, right? (Pic taken from a WikiHow page.)

I think I was a bit of disappointment for my grandfather and father because I just didn’t really have any interest in guns. They’d take me out with them and for these things called turkey shoots but I knew back then I’d pretty much rather be doing anything else like playing video games or better yet, making video games. I just didn’t see the fun in it. I think finally, they gave up because I just didn’t care. (There were a lot of manly things that I didn’t like doing. Another was woodworking which my grandfather loved but I hated it back then. I guess as we get older, we tend not to hate those kinds of things as much anymore. I’d love to build something now but don’t have a grandfather or father to do it with anymore.)

So, back on topic with guns. I don’t like them, even now. I don’t care for them and couldn’t care less if I didn’t own any at all. (I do. They’re family heirlooms, I guess you could say.) It’s a bit funny because I am a dual citizen of Australia and the USA and both countries have completely different laws concerning owning guns. Where I am now, in Australia, people aren’t allowed to own guns unless they have a valid reason for it such as if they live on a big farm and need to shoot animals that are causing problems. I’ll probably never live on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so that doesn’t and will never apply to me. In the USA, I have multiple guns with no permits or anything like that. I don’t use them nor do I really want to.

What’s even more sad is that when I go back to the USA, I don’t feel safe like I do in Australia. A lot of that deals with the fact that gun ownership is so rampant in the USA and I feel like I never know when someone is going to get angry over some trivial matter and shoot the place up because they can. It’s always in the news and I don’t think I can go a week without hearing about a mass shooting somewhere in the USA. To me, that’s pretty frightening. What’s even more frightening is that I am going back to an area where I swear that if people could carry guns in the open to the shopping mall, they’d think nothing of it and do it. Of course, these are the same people who have the rebel flag on their car and a gun rack in the back seat. (I believe that the rebel flag needs to removed everywhere too.)

1339595236141_8244844

I think the people who do the mass shootings are probably mentally unstable too but that also means that there are a lot of mentally unstable people around. That actually tells the rest of the world that we, as Americans, don’t care about the mental health of the people living there. It shows that there is a lack of resources available for these people to go to and not enough education is happening at the government level to help curb the seriousness of mental health issues. This results in people who think that violence is an answer to anything they don’t like having easy access to guns. (This very thing comes up in conversations with people here in Australia.)

I understand that there are responsible gun owners out there. Sure, I get that. The ones I have in the USA are locked up tight as well. But there is no doubt a problem and one that I think the government (both Republicans and Democrats) need to come to an agreement on. It is a problem and ignoring it isn’t going to make the problem go away. If it means smelting every available gun into submarines, then so be it. I know that it will never happen though. I know it will never be possible to take the gun ownership rights away from the citizens of the USA but something needs done and the regulations need to be severely tightened. It’s not ever going to be a 100% guaranteed solution, but it is a step in the right direction. Ever so often, you hear about someone being shot here in Australia but it’s very rare now.

I also don’t think if someone broke into my house or stole something from my car that I’d necessarily want them to die. I wouldn’t even wish anybody to be in that much pain either.

Back home, it’s scary that I can be simply shot if someone doesn’t like the way I look, how I sound, who I’m in a relationship with, or anything. What I have found from the people who I chat with around here is that they think the same exact way. They tell me they are scared to go to the USA because they’re afraid that they will be shot. It’s a lot more common than you could ever imagine.

I had planned to show you a link where I read about the top 30 safest countries in the world and lost it. I can’t find it anymore but I’ve found this about the safest states in the USA instead:

Source: WalletHub

Notice the trend here between the north and south? I have. It’s one of the reasons that I don’t particularly like living in Texas. Some of the other reasons I would hate to live there are morons like Ted Cruz, Greg Abbott, and Rick Perry.

Note: Written days in advance so I can spread out my posts over a week or two. Busy, busy, busy this week.

SweetCaptcha Wasn’t Being Sweet, so…

You may have come across the cute-looking drag-and-drop, prove-that-you’re-human verification puzzles on my comment forms. If you don’t, they look(ed) like this:

Proud to bring you spammy links and popups!

SweetCaptcha: Proud to bring you spammy links and popups!

It worked quite well for a while and people sent me messages telling me how cute it was and what a nice idea it is because they were getting tired of trying to decode letters and numbers that looked like they were written by an over-caffeinated 2 year old with a blindfold. I thought so too so that’s why I went looking for alternatives.

SweetCaptcha decided they were going to inject pop ups and pop unders into their code so they’ve been fired. (Basically the company who I trusted to help stop comment spam decided they wanted to spam you with questionable advertising practices.)

I’m hoping the company didn’t intentionally do this because the places they were sending MY site visitors to were quite spammy. You know what I mean, right? You’ve won an iPad for just existing? Do the “survey” and get a $1,200 computer? Something’s wrong with your Mac, though the link says Windows needs optimized? Yeah…

At the same time, if they didn’t do it intentionally, then how did the code get injected into their servers? Exactly. It’s a potential security issue and it’s not one that I am willing to deal with myself and I certainly don’t want to put you guys and girls through something like that.

Apparently, it’s a problem and people are starting to walk away:

What’s really amusing is that the company have known about this for weeks and they haven’t made any attempt to fix it up. So yes, they’re gone now.

My deepest apologies if you were hit by their unethical business practices when you visited my site. If you’re still having trouble with ads on my site, please let me know as soon as you can.

Don’t use them for your blog. Oh and if anybody from that company comes by: fuck you. You’ve really screwed up and lost a potential paying customer. (I was actually going to get more themes, not anymore.)

I’ve changed back to Google’s Re-Captcha instead so you’ll still get pictures sometimes like this:

Just a sample.

Just a sample.

Edited because I originally posted it with my phone and couldn’t add any examples easily.

Will I Ever Be Good Enough For Me?

It’s a late night post from my phone. I’m yawning like crazy because I’ve spent most if not the whole day studying. I really needed it. I was having fun coding but have things to do in the morning and want to try to go swimming as well. 

As I lay here I think about why I feel the need to be continually told that I’m doing an okay job. I don’t need praise but feel like I need acknowledged at least but I’m not sure by who. I’m definitely not getting any good vibes from my head. I’m  always second guessing myself or feeling like I’ve done or in this case doing a terrible job at just about everything. I spilled my heart out to someone the other day about this but for some reason I don’t think he understood exactly what I put myself through daily. My inner self should be arrested for all the emotional abuse it puts me through. I don’t know how to get through that because I still feel inadequate and unhappy and I’ve tried to make it all better. I have. 

I’m just not really trying too hard to attach myself to anyone and if I do, I detach and keep my distance. It isn’t the best thing to do and you know, I’m exhausted. Mentally I’m exhausted. But you know something? I’m going to chug on because it’s what I have to do. I just hope at some point I can get to my happy place.

Random thoughts I know. Not worth a post really but this is supposed to be my whining place. That’s what I pay for my own blog for. 

Off to bed. Tired of winter. I’m over it. 

Five Months To Go

USA

I felt the need to push down that last post a little bit because it seems a little weird for me to post something like that, but yes, it was really me.

Anyway, a few things are happening at the moment. First, my week next week is going to be absolutely crazy. I have an exam at the end of the week which will determine whether I am going to continue my current course next semester. I’m going to spend the next several days to study.

Next, there are now less than five months left until I go back to Texas. It will be fun, I’m sure. I’m also going to add New York to my trip as well. In case you didn’t know, I lived in New York City for a while as well as upstate New York. I loved it and it would be good to go back. I haven’t been there since 2003!

Well, that’s all for now. I know it’s not very exciting. I hope to be able to get my Australian passport done soon. I kept putting it off because I thought I needed a renewed Australian driver license. I might not need it. I’m not sure but it has to get done.

Surveys for Cash Sites in Australia that Work

Since the post that I did about getting free food on or around your birthday in Australia is getting a bit of attention, I thought that I would share a way or two for you to get some extra spending cash to buy whatever you want.

When I first arrived in Australia (a long time ago, may I add), my partner at the time and I signed up with a few websites to get money for clicking on ads, doing market research  (aka surveys), and getting rewarded when we bought things with some online stores. He was working part-time and going to school full-time while I worked to support us both. (In his defense, this wasn’t always the case later.) So we would do these little things on the websites and then later, use the money to go out to eat or just get a few groceries.

 

I’ll share with you some of the good and bad points of the ones that I signed up with back then (and still use, actually):


 

Rewards Central

The first site I signed up for was Rewards Central. They’ve actually gotten a bit harder to get money from so I average about $60 a year now but have gotten over $500 from them since I started. I’ve just recently started getting gift cards instead.

The Good

  • You can earn points for shopping online. I used to buy birthday presents and stuff and get points that way. I bought my partner at the time flowers and got some points for it.
  • You can get surveys here that sometimes don’t take forever to complete.
  • Participate in auctions with your points.
  • Instant redemption for gift cards to grocery stores, cinemas, etc.
  • Direct deposit your rewards into your bank account.

The Bad

  • Takes forever almost to get any kind of reward these days unless you win the guessing game.
  • You probably have a better chance being struck by lightning than winning that guessing game. They used to have you guess the right number from 1-1,000, now it’s 1-10,000. I used to win quite often and would get 200 points for it. They’ve made it a LOT harder now.
  • If you do not qualify for a survey, you get 2 entries to win cash, which is pretty much useless. (You have a better chance being picked up and carried away by a dinosaur.)
  • Direct deposit redemption costs 3,500 points (so the equivalent of $5 just to deposit it into your account.)
  • It takes anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks to get your direct deposit.

rc_banner6


 

My Opinions

My Opinions used to be part of Rewards Central at some point, then, for some reason or another they wanted to break off the survey part and put it on another site with the ability to transfer points from one service to another. I can’t tell you the exact amount of money that I’ve gotten over the years, but I’d probably say that I average about $80-100 a year for this one.

A lot of the good and bad points will be the same as Rewards Central.

The Good

  • Paypal cash deposit available at 2,300 points. (You may not get it for about a month though.)
  • Instant use of points when you have enough for a reward starting at 1,100 points (Apple Store, JB HiFi, Woolworths, etc). This is what I do now.
  • Instant Win for Points: I’ve won 50, 100, or 200 points a few times.

The Bad

  • Again, takes quite a while to build up points.
  • No transferring of points anymore which made it a lot easier to get rewards.
  • Sometimes there aren’t any surveys for days (or weeks).
  • Instant Win for Points: Sometimes I’ve gotten 0 points. There is a very small chance of this happening and it’s really not any fair.
  • Prize Entries for Cash: I feel like I have a better chance being kidnapped by aliens.
  • A lot of the surveys are about financial products (banking) and ask the same questions over and over and over and over and over. Then you get the equivalent of $2 for it.

Sign up with My Opinions


So, there you have it. There are two of them that I use. You may be reading the bad points and saying that I’m crazy for even doing something that takes so much time to do but I only do it when I want to pass time. I would never, ever count on this as “income” because you’d end up starving to death or being homeless before you got anything. As I said, it’s just a little something sometimes to go buy junk food (or regular food).

Having said that, it’s up to you what you want to do but I thought I would just let you know what works. :)

 

Phlegmy Not-So-Fun Time

I am hitting the books and I am in studying-for-exam mode now. It’s not a pleasant place to be, believe me. However, it is a place where I must be for now. (Though I bought The Sims 4 the other day for 50% off. I don’t even know if it will run on this computer. With my internet connection, it will take me about 13+ hours to download so it’s a big waiting game now.)

Unfortunately, I have developed a bit of a cough and intermittent sore throat so I’m having to deal with that. You know that kind of nagging cough that tends to only happen at night when you’re trying to sleep? Yes! That’s the one that I am having to deal with at the moment. I have tried a few things to make it stop but it hasn’t stopped. It’s a bit weird because my breathing is horrible now and I can’t breathe in too much without coughing. I have to catch my breath a lot too. I’m assuming a lot of that is mucus because I have been coughing some of it up. I’m going to try to fix this by going to the gym and spending some quality time in the steam room to see if I can’t get rid of this junk in my lungs or wherever it may be.

My dad’s birthday would have been yesterday (or today if I was in the USA) and he would have been 59. I do a little better with birthdays than death anniversaries. I like to ignore the death dates because I want to focus on the good things instead. I’ll admit that I do miss the guy quite a lot. I still wish that he and my mom would have been able to come here together but I guess that’s life, right? Getting my mom to come here has been impossible so far and I’m hopeful that it will happen at some point in the near future. I miss my family a lot and I’m going to be so excited and happy to see them at the end of the year.

So, back to my dad’s birthday, I’m going to make some cupcakes for his birthday either today or tomorrow. I doubt it will be anything he’d eat though. I have an imported box of red velvet cake mix in the kitchen cabinet that I need to make anyway.

Psst: Happy birthday, dad!

So that’s it for me. I guess I should get ready so I can get myself to the gym, then do all the other fun and exciting things I have planned for the day.

Poor, Underused Gym Membership

I probably had a post each day written but for one reason or another, I chose not to post them. They will probably stay in the draft folder forever since some of them are no longer relevant anyway. So, yeah…

Early this week has been quite busy for me since I had two projects to get done and I thought I’d spend the weekend getting them done. It didn’t happen. It was totally my fault because I have been lacking some serious motivation lately. I seem to get in a panic after a while then I go into what I call migraine mode. Not a good place to be. My mind is still going crazy about what may possibly  happen 6 months from now. Sad, but true!

My sleep schedule has been absolutely horrible for the past few weeks. For the past two weeks or so, I have been going to bed around 4 or 5 am, sometimes later. Then, I’d wake up around 8 am. It’s not fun at all. To fix that, I’ve decided to utilise that gym membership I pay for but never use. I went to sleep around 10:30 last night and then woke up around 12:30 am and didn’t fall asleep again until past 3:30 am, then woke up at 8 am. I got up, went to the pool and wore myself out. I am incredibly tired at the moment but don’t want to go to sleep just yet. I’m forcing myself to stay up so that I can sleep and start waking up early in the mornings to go swim. I think it will be good.

webwxgetmsgimg

I hadn’t been in a while and for some reason, it looks a lot darker in there than before.

(Everything before this was written yesterday and everything after this was posted the next day.)

I haven’t gone to the pool just yet. My heater has been broken for over a year so it finally got “fixed” this morning. I had to get up before 8 am so the rude-ass guy could come over to connect the new one. It just reiterates that fact that the tradesmen here mostly suck. I will probably get myself together and go to the gym later today. If not, if I will do it tomorrow morning.

Also, I managed to sleep by 10:30 last night but woke up at 1:30 this morning and it was hard to go to sleep. I turned on White Noise and slept until my alarm went off at 6:15, then woke up again at 7:45. I had also taken some Benadryl (from the USA, makes me drowsy and clears up my snottiness). I guess some exercise will do me some good.

Starting Monday or Tuesday, I will go back to the gym. I’ve only been swimming so far because I am terribly out of shape at the moment.

Please excuse the rambling. I am still a bit sleepy but need to ignore it.

Surf the Web Safely, Privately and Anonymously for Free

Whether you’re at home using WiFi, hanging out at Starbucks using their WiFi hotspot, or even while using your university’s network, you’re being watched. Your location and activities can be tracked while you’re alone and not to scare anybody, hackers could get your financial details, your personal information. And something annoying is restricting you to view something just because you’re in another country…

Well, a solution to all of this is to use SurfEasy who are owned by Opera Software company. You can surf the web safely, privately, and anonymously without limits or restrictions no matter where you might be.

I’m noticing more and more, when I view some websites, I get that “Sorry, we can’t display this to your region” message. Talk about irritating!

The extra security is just a bonus to me.

I signed up with the free VPN starter plan that they have that gives you 500 MB per month which is okay. I’ve done a few extras so now that’s over 1,000 MB now. Still, not bad. I may upgrade it depending on how bad I want to watch TV shows in the USA.

A good thing is that you can use it with your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Windows, or Android devices. I have my Windows PC and iPhone using it now.

I know it sounds like a sales pitch and I guess it kinda is. Not only do you get 500 MB free for signing up, I get 500 MB too! Pretty cool, right?

Get SurfEasy today, because no one should be watching you online.