12.18.2008

Corporate Social Media Policies and Guidelines

Our company is looking into developing social media guidelines for our employees. I'm on the committee that will be looking at developing this policy. I'm glad I was selected to help out with this effort because I think I bring a much different perspective to the table then the rest of the group.

As a millennial and someone who eats, sleeps, and breathes my life on the Internet, I believe in providing employees with guidelines and tips, but also trusting employees to make the right decisions -- and if they don't, then they are coached or 'dealt with'. My belief is that if you educate employees and provide them with guidelines, they won't be stupid. If you think your employees are stupid and careless, then something is wrong with your communications or your employee selection process.

I often question my online behavior and the way it reflects on me at work. For example, I always second guess myself when I blog or post pictures because I wonder if someone I work with will see it and form an unnecessary opinion about me. At the same time, I think that I'm allowed to have a personal blog with personal opinions. I never speak on behalf of my company or say my views are my company's views. But I know there are people out there who see a picture of me holding a beer (and there's probably quite a few of those mind you) and automatically think I'm this young kid who 'parties'.

If I see a picture of a co-worker online, holding a beer, maybe from a Christmas party or tailgating at a football game, I don't think anything. I just don't judge people on what they do outside of work. If a co-worker connects with me on a social network, it's a social agreement that we will not judge or 'tell on' each other. I think it's a shame when you have to 'unfriend' a co-worker because you can't trust them to not judge you. When I see a co-worker post a political view that I don't agree with, I might have a healthy debate with them, but at the end of the day it doesn't sway my opinion about them as a professional or co-worker. I actually think that getting to know my co-workers on a more personal level has enhanced our work relationships. We're all human after all -- and what's wrong with working hard and then playing hard? At the end of the day if I'm a high performer who consistently has my work done and then some, why is it wrong that I go to a Clemson game and drink some beers with my old friends and blow off all the stress of the work week? I think it's an old mindset that will slowly fade once the newer generations start populating the work force.

Don't get me wrong though. I agree there's things you shouldn't post online - some people are stupid. The whole saying of don't post something you wouldn't want your mother to see is a good guideline to go by. My mom reads my blog and looks at all my pictures I post online - she's only once sent me one picture she didn't like, and I promptly took it down. The subject line of the email was, "Future CEO?".

I also think that employers need to go ahead and accept that you cannot control employees use of social media, especially the younger generations coming in, so you might as well embrace it and educate employees on what's proper and what isn't (aka what is stupid to do online). And if an employee spends all day blogging or on Facebook, my guess is that this would show in their performance (aka the work isn't done) and it's a management issue, not an IT issue. You tell employees they can't go on Facebook at work, then they will just sit in each other's cubes and talk all day or find some other distraction. I just think forcing employees into a box with technology is such an 'old school' way of thinking.

Anyways, I did some research online looking for examples of guidelines and policies. Everything I found was scattered across the Web, so I've compiled a list here to help others who are researching for benchmarking purposes as well.

Social Media & Blogging Guidelines Examples on the Web

IBM: http://www.ibm.com/blogs/zz/en/guidelines.html

Intel: http://www.intel.com/sites/sitewide/en_US/social-media.htm

Sun: http://www.sun.com/communities/guidelines.jsp

Cisco: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/comments/ciscos_internet_postings_policy/

Harvard Law School: http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/terms-of-use/

DePaul: http://brandresources.depaul.edu/vendor_guidelines/g_socialmedia.aspx

Easter Seals (scroll down a bit): http://beth.typepad.com/beths_blog/2008/04/nonprofit-blogg.html

Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR): http://www.cipr.co.uk/socialmedia/

Update: My manager created a handy comparison table that we used when planning our guidelines. You can find my recent blog post about it here.

Interesting blog articles on developing corporate guidelines for social media:

Does Your Company Have a Blogging Policy? - Shares thoughts on the question, "Do employers have authority in dictating what an employee blogs about on a personal blog, given the company’s name is never mentioned?”

Social Media Policy: Does your Company need one?

About.com: Human Resources: Social Media Policy Example

The Variance of Corporate Social Media Policies – interesting look at the differing views of social media by generation

Comcast's Actual Social Media Policy No One Knew About – discussion about Comcast’s open policies on social media, includes video interview

The U.S. Air Force: Armed with Social Media
- webinknow.com blog post talking about the U.S. Air Force's social media policies and strategies, includes a great blog assessment chart; thanks to Dana who left me a comment with a link to this blog

Social Networking Policies - Balancing Collective Wisdom With Individual Stupidity - Blog post on intranetexperience.com by Sean R. Nicholson which mirrors my mindset about how some companies tend to overreact to social media use. Great explanation of finding a balance that will make companies and employees happy. (P.S. I get a shout out!)

Update (04/22/09): Nathan Gilliatt created a Delicious page for social media policy related links. I found this because this blog post is in his list. Great resource of additional helpful links.

Update (04/28/09): Mashable's article "Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy?" - The five W's to adopting a social media policy.

Update (06/08/09): Mashable's article "10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy" - What every social media policy should contain. Great article for those just getting started.


So, do you have social media guidelines at your company? What is your opinion of how a company should set policies on social media use? Does it frustrate you that you have to second guess your actions on Facebook, etc. because your employer is 'watching'?

12.17.2008

Fixed my domains..

FYI, I figured out how to have christyweb.com redirect to www.christyweb.com. So now you should be able to use my Web address minus the 'www' to get to my site.

Also, FYI, christyseason.com also redirects here.

12.16.2008

NxD album postponed! :( Boo!

So, I hate I had to read this on perezhilton.com, but No Doubt is postponing their new album -- which makes sense I guess considering that Gwen just had her second baby, but I can't help but still be disappointed and sad. :( For those of you who know me, I've been a huge fan of No Doubt since I was 15. Tragic Kingdom helped me get through high school, and you can still find my interpretation of Return of Saturn from 2000 if you Google my name. I've been to three of their concerts -- once driving five hours (from Clemson to Myrtle Beach) after taking an 8am final exam, to come back the next day and take another final exam. Another concert I dyed my hair hot pink for (yikes), and waited two hours after that concert to finally meet them. And most recently I was fifth row for Gwen's concert in Charlotte in which I held up a homemade sign, "I can't wait for No Doubt's new album". Gwen saw the sign, pointed and waved! (swoon) So, I'm sad that I will have to wait yet another year for No Doubt to come out with another album.

Perezhilton.com article.

No Doubt.



12.09.2008

What should Michelle wear?

I'm not a big fan of Michelle Obama, but I am a big fan of fashion, and more specifically, dresses! So, my sister emailed me this link to a slide show of designs by famous designers of what Michelle and her daughters should wear on inauguration. Some of the designs make her look downright scary, while others make her look like an African American Jackie O. Some designs are ridiculous and flashy, and others I'm left wondering 'huh?'. But my favorite of the bunch is actually the very first design by Isaac Mizraahi which features a pretty color palette and conservative dresses for an event that should be conservative -- well in dress anyways. Click on the photo of my favorite design below to view the entire slide show of designs. Leave a comment and let me know which one is your favorite.



12.04.2008

Lilly Allen's new album comes out soon!

After a While

After a While
Veronica Shoffstall

After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't always mean security.
And you begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
and presents aren't promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
you really are strong
you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...

© 1971 Veronica A. Shoffstall

11.25.2008

2008 City Crime Rankings

I stumbled across this list that ranked 385 cities in order of most violent to least violent.

My good 'ol hometown, Birmingham is 8th. North Charleston is 10th (more violent then Atlanta which is 16th??). Charlotte is 62nd. Columbia is 68th. Charleston is 168th.

So I guess Greenville isn't violent. Maybe I really should move there...

See the full list of cities.

11.18.2008

Christy's 12 Rules of Courteous Driving

So lately I've had some major road rage due to the lack of manners among fellow Columbia, SC drivers. It's no surprise to me that Men's Health magazine ranked Columbia the city with the nation's worst drivers. "Spend a day in Columbia, South Carolina. (And wear a helmet.) Simply put, the city is lousy with bad drivers."

I get very frustrated lately with the fact that drivers just don't seem to care about any other cars on the road. No one ever seems to be aware of their surroundings, or seem to even worry about what's going on around them. Evidently, most drivers today seem to think that they are the only car on the road -- and it drives me insane.

And not only are people oblivious to the fact that other drivers in other cars exist, but all manners of driving have gone out the window -- and we live in the south, manners are instinct, right?

So I've compiled my own list of courteous driving rules for the local folk here in Columbia to take note of. This list is the top pet peeves of other drivers' behaviors that almost cost me my life on a daily basis -- whether due to a car accident, or the mere fact that I lose my mind to road rage.

Rule #1: Please use your blinkers - always!
This is probably my greatest pet peeve about other drivers. How many times have you been driving behind someone and then all of a sudden, brakes, and they turn? Hey, thanks for the warning. Or how about the time you're coming towards an intersection and you need to turn left, across the intersection. Coming your way, the opposite direction, is another car. You stop (with your left blinker on) waiting to turn... the car coming the opposite direction gets to the intersection and then - surprise - turns to their left. Thanks buddy.. I could have turned about five minutes ago if I had known YOU were turning also. Turning, changing lanes, anything that requires a blinker -- use it! Other drivers cannot read your mind. We don't know what your next move is, and blinkers are meant to signal to other drivers what you are about to do so they can adjust to it. And turning it on a second before or while you are turning doesn't count.

Rule #2: Get off my bumper please.
Nothing makes me more upset then to look in my rear view mirror while I'm on the interstate and see some idiot right up against my bumper. I'm in the left lane, passing slower cars in the right lane. I'm already going 85, way over the speed limit. But evidently this idiot doesn't think that's fast enough. And for some reason this driver whose car is within inches of mine thinks that riding my bumper will get me to move over into the left lane -- even though there's an 18-wheeler (that I'm passing) right next to me. And it gets better... then the car starts to swerve a little...back and forth, because obviously to him this will make me notice he's on my ass.. I'm sorry, bumper. And the best part comes when he flashes his lights at me. This irritates me to no end. If this driver would wait, oh I don't know, three minutes, I'd be safely in the right lane, in front of the 18-wheeler, and out of his way -- so he could go along his 95 mph way. Every time this happens, I always make a small wish that I'll pass this car a few miles down the road -- with him pulled over by a cop, getting a nice expensive speeding ticket, and being delayed a lot longer than if he had just waited those three minutes for me. There's a reason they teach you in Driver's Ed to keep a car's distance from the car in front of you -- riding my bumper will only make me purposely slow down, irritating you more.

Rule #3: Get out of the left lane please if you're going slower than the cars in the right lane.
Ok, so you might be thinking I'm contradicting Rule #2. Not at all. This rule is referring to those 'Sunday drive' drivers who obviously have no where to go, no time table, and are oblivious to the fact that all the cars in the right lane are passing them. It is not ok to drive in the left lane on the interstate going SLOWER than the cars in the right lane. This is especially wrong if you are an 18-wheeler, and even more wrong if you are an 18-wheeler cruising in the left lane with no cars in the right lane (who are you passing??). Be aware of your surroundings. If cars are constantly passing you in the right lane, that's a signal that it's time to get yourself back to the right lane. They don't put up signs that say, "Slower traffic keep right" for nothing people... if you're not going to at least go the speed limit or slightly faster... and if you're not passing cars in the right lane who are slower... then please, please get out of the left lane!!

Rule #4: Stop at a stop sign, and if it's your turn, go!
If you are at an intersection, a four-way stop, it is important of course to come to a complete stop, look both directions, and then make your move across the intersection based on your turn. However, what is up with people who get to the intersection a lot sooner than you, stop at their stop sign, and literally wait until you reach your stop sign -- and then decide to go. For some reason this really bothers me. It causes unnecessary delays at the intersection, as well as unnecessary confusion. Get to the intersection, make your two second stop, and if it's your turn, go... don't wait on me!

Rule #5: Please do not talk on your cell phone if it keeps you from driving.
How many times have you been stuck behind a sloooooow driver, or someone who slowly creeps over into your lane? You cuss and speed up to get the hell away from them -- and as you're driving by you glance over only to see that the idiot is on their cell phone. I'm not going to sit here and say that I don't drive and talk on the cell phone, because I do. The difference is that I can drive and talk on the phone at the same time. But I do it rarely. I actually get distracted from talking more so than from driving..the driving keeps me from talking, so my conversations while I drive are short and to the point. I just have had so many 'near death' experiences on the interstate caused by drivers who have a cell phone stuck to their ear. And just because you bought the wireless bluetooth doesn't mean being 'hands free' will help your driving. Talking on the phone is distracting. Keep your conversations quick and get off the phone so you can focus on the road.

Rule #6: Do not block intersections if traffic is backed up ahead of you.
Ok, this is a very good rule. When I leave work, I go down Sumpter, hit Gervais and take a left. Gervais often gets backed up with everyone leaving downtown trying to get to Assembly or Huger St. Not only is the light incredibly long for Sumpter street to turn onto Gervais, but the traffic gets backed up going down Gervais so that sometimes cars can't go across the intersection even when the light is green. So I'll sit there at my red light on Sumpter, waiting for the light to turn green so I can turn left. Well I'll be damned if the Gervais traffic doesn't back up to the intersection and drivers going down Gervais creep out into the intersection..it's slow at first, and then they speed up thinking that just maybe the back of their car won't be in the intersection. And then there's others who just don't care and pull out into the intersection and sit in the middle. And of course you know what comes next... The light changes. My light is green. But guess what? I can't go anywhere! The intersection is blocked. Once again the signs that our taxes go towards "Do not block intersection" are ignored. So there I am, ready to get home after a long day at work, sitting through cycles of this light because people do not care about other drivers and they block my path. If the light is green, but you have no where to go, be patient and wait at the light until the cars in front of you have moved forward, giving your room to then make it across the intersection. We all want to get home after work.. not just you.

Rule #7: Say thank you and wave.
Like I mentioned before, I think that a lot of people have left their manners at home once they get in the car to drive. Nothing upsets me more than the drivers who take your favors and do not give you the 'thank you wave'. When I politely stop and let a car out into traffic, someone who's been ignored by other drivers, I expect a polite wave as they pull out in front of me. If you've got your blinker on, trying to switch lanes, and car after car will not let you over -- if I slow down and signal for you to get over. Throw me a wave of thanks. That's all I ask. Wave. I get annoyed when I give a friendly favor to another driver and they pull out and you don't get the wave. Say thank you to other drivers...wave! I always wave, and the greater the favor (i.e. two cars stopping in both lanes to let me turn left in front of them onto a side street) the bigger and more vigorous my wave. Is it so much to ask for a polite wave if I do the same for you?

Rule #8: Do not flirt with me or stare at me while we are driving.
This is an important rule because I think too many women have to deal with this when driving. About a month or so ago I was driving down to Charleston. This red sports car was in front of me, going slow -- so I began to pass it on the left. I sped up, passed the car and then moved back into the right lane. Well no sooner had I gotten into the right lane, the red car suddenly moves into the left lane and speeds up until we are going exactly the same speed. I didn't think anything of it at first..thought I was being passed, but after about a mile, I could still sense the red car out of the corner of my eye. "Oh great." Usually in this situation I just stare straight forward and ignore the car. But for some reason this time I wasn't really in the mood for this uncomfortable situation. So I look over at the car. Sure enough this nasty man is driving with one hand, and leaning over towards his passenger seat, smiling and waving at me. So, I took my middle finger and stuck it against the window and mouthed a not so friendly phrase. He made a look like he was shocked and hurt.. um, hello? And then he slowed down and got behind me. A minute later, he's back in the left lane again, same speed as me. I look over. He does this shrug "why are you being mean" gesture, continues to wave at me. I flick him off again, speed up, get in the left lane and eventually lose him. Why do creepy men do this? Do they expect me to wave back and then gesture we should pull over and get to know each other? It's so disgusting and rude, and distracting. And truck drivers, please quit honking at us! It makes me nervous because my first reaction is that something is wrong on the road -- not that you are honking to be an obnoxious, dirty man. So keep your cat calls and dirty old man tricks on the construction sites and keep it off the roads. Women aren't the best of drivers (I'll admit that) and the last thing we need is you messing with us on the roads while we're trying to drive.

Rule #9:Turn your lights on when it's raining, please!
If it is raining outside, turn your headlights on. It doesn't matter if it's daytime or not. If your windshield wipers are on, your lights should be as well. I hate driving in the rain, and one of the reasons why is because a LOT of drivers do not turn on their lights while driving in the rain. On the interstate, water gets kicked up all around the cars, and you sometimes can't see cars around you. If it's raining especially hard, I definitely can't see most cars -- and I have perfect vision! Most people don't realize that turning on your lights in the rain isn't for your benefit, it's for everyone else's benefit. If anything, you should want other drivers to see your car in the rain -- especially the other idiots on the road. I always have my lights on when it rains, I've made it instinct now. And even though I've been made fun of for this, if it's hellacious raining on the interstate and some people are going 70 and some people are going 40, I turn on my hazards. I don't care if you don't think it's raining hard enough, I'd rather you and that up for 24 hours truck driver see my car then to risk being caught by surprise. So do the other cars on the road a favor and make sure you always turn on your lights when it starts to rain.

Rule #10: If you are lost, pull over.
I know a lot of you have experienced this too while on the road. You're trying to get to work and suddenly you get behind this erratic car. They stop, they go, they put on their blinker, they turn off their blinker -- and you realize, hey these people have no idea where they are going. If this is you, the people who are lost, look in your rear view mirror -- are there cars behind you? If yes, pull over briefly and let them pass. Don't subject them to your lack of knowledge as to where you are going. Better yet, pull over at a gas station -- get directions. Ask a neighbor who's outside if you're in a neighborhood. Buy a GPS system for your car. And if not any of these things, just pull over and let us other drivers (who do know the way) pass you.

Rule #11: Do not brake on the interstate if there is no traffic.
I took Driver's Ed in 10th grade when I was 15. I had no idea how to drive, so you can imagine my horror when the instructor put me behind the wheel and instructed me to get on the interstate. I was terrified and continuously hovered and used the brake. My instructor firmly told me, "Never brake on the interstate!" That always stuck with me, and now I know why. I get nervous about a lot of things when driving (I'm sure you've noticed if you've gotten this far through this post), but nothing makes me more jittery on the interstate then when people brake. Now I understand that braking is necessary in stop and go, backed up traffic on the interstate. It's a no brainer that you have to use your brakes if the traffic slows down to 10 mph or is stopped altogether. But there is no reason why anyone should be braking when we are all traveling at speeds of 70 mph with space in between us. If you need to slow down on the interstate, take your foot off the gas and coast a little until your speed decreases. If you're having to use your brake, then you are obviously too close to the car in front of you (see rule #2). Bright red brake lights causes a chain reaction of brake lights, and then everyone is braking for no reason. So keep your distance from other cars, and ease off the gas -- you won't need your brakes on the interstate after all.

And as an aside to this rule (because I don't want to make 13 rules), don't brake and slow down to look at a car accident or even a stalled car on the side of the road. Nothing infuriates me more then to be behind someone who has their neck craned completely sideways with foot on the brake while driving past a car accident. You can never see anything anyways, so keep your eyes straight and your foot on the gas. None of us wants to sit in stop and go traffic for 3o minutes only to discover that the back up was caused simply by a stalled car in the median that everyone just had to get a good gander at.

Rule #12: Proper ways to park and drive in parking lots.
At work I park in a parking garage attached to our building. The spots are pretty tight in the garage, but doable for all size and makes of cars. However, there are those select few (morons) who either don't know how to park or purposely park erroneously. What I'm talking about are those special people that take up two spots. Some of them simply parked crooked to where their back left end is in the spot next to them -- preventing that spot next to them from being used. Others are more blatant and park completely on a center line taking up two entire parking spots. And then there are others who park, probably get out and say, "Oh dear, I'm so close to the line -- but, I'm in a hurry, so I'm sure it's fine." And then of course there's no way you could even get out of your car if you parked next to them. I don't understand what kind of people can do this with a clear conscious. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten out of my car and out of sheer guilt at the way I've parked, gotten back in and tried five more times until I knew I was parked correctly. But seriously.. who are these people who can clearly tell they are parked incorrectly and just walk away form it? "Not my problem." But the real ass holes are the idiots who take up two spots. Look, I wouldn't mind it if you did that on the very top floor where no one parks -- but on the third level in prime real estate parking? I'm sorry you don't want your corvette scratched or dinged, but hey, maybe I don't want my Altima scratched and dinged, but life isn't fair now is it? The worst case I saw was this crappy, POS car on the fourth floor parked blatantly in the center of two spots. I actually noticed it on my way up where I had to park on the sixth floor.. and even though I was already running late for work, I was so infuriated that I took the elevator to the fourth floor (I normally get off on 2 to go to my building) and wrote a note and put it on the car's windshield. It was pretty benign, saying something along the lines of "how rude" and "I hope you get a ticket". I really think that the city should go in our garage one day and ticket all of the people who take up two parking spots.. it's a LOT of people and I think it's selfish and rude. One day I'm going to print out letters and walk around the entire garage and put them on all the windshields of all of the perpetrators -- but the sad thing is, if they didn't care enough to park that way anyways, what's my note going to do?

The second part of this rule is related to driving around in large parking lots. Ok, so I know a lot of people break this rule, and I probably have to in the past, but no longer. I understand that some parking lots are just big, and the thought of going all the way down the lane to go into the next lane is just too much for you. But... it is important that you follow the painted lines (and arrows!!) and drive up and down the lanes correctly. I can't tell you how many times I've almost been t-boned while driving down a parking lot lane, minding my own business, and some idiot comes flying across the parking spots from the next lane. The reason they have lines and arrows in parking lots is because you can't always see cars that are coming and going. You never know when a car might back out of a spot and hit you as you come veering into their blind spot because you just crossed six parking spots to get to the other lane. I actually had some idiot woman steal a parking spot from me the other day by flying across empty parking spots from across the lot. I was patiently waiting for a lady to back out and I was properly in the lane. The lady left the spot and I began my turn into it. Out of no where this huge SUV comes hauling across two lanes, headed towards the spot. Right at the last minute she saw me and slammed on her breaks, barely avoiding a crash. We both sat there staring at each other. She looked at me like "Well?". And in my frustration I did a little peeved, vigorous motion waving her into the spot. She veers into the spot and I move on to the next closest spot. And you know what puts the icing on the cake? I didn't even get the friendly thank you wave (see rule #7)!!!

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So those are my rules, the issues I deal with on a day to day basis on the road. I know a lot of you can empathize with me because you've experienced these too. However, if you read this and realize you're not a victim, but one of these idiots, then do the right thing and correct yourself.

So, if you live in Columbia, read this list and practice safer, courteous driving. Be more aware of what's going on around you, not just what you are doing -- we're all on these roads together, so do the right thing.

11.12.2008

Snickers Cake

Every year our department gets together in November and has a huge Thanksgiving lunch where everyone brings in a dish and we all wear elastic waistbands and eat until we're about to pop. I volunteered to bring one of the desserts. I searched on Cooks.com and found a couple of delicious (and easy) sounding recipes and put up a poll to see what everyone thought was the best sounding one to make. So the results from my poll are in, and the winning cake was the Devil's food cake topped with Snickers with 7 votes out of a total whopping 15.

I made the cake tonight...and I really hope it turns out good! It's either going to be so tasty or way too much sweetness and taste horrible.

Interested in trying it out also? Here are the ingredients you need:

1 devils food cake mix (will need 3 eggs and vegetable oil with this)
1 jar Caramel Butterscotch Topping
1 can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1 (12 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 (8 oz.) containers Cool Whip
4 regular size Snicker candy bars (freeze)




Step 1: Bake the cake according to the box in a 13 x 9" pan. Best part is licking the mixer utensils!



Step 2: After baking the cake, poke holes in the cake using a straw.



Step 3: Pour caramel butterscotch syrup all over the cake. Put the cake back in the oven (with oven OFF) while it's still warm for ten minutes.



Step 4: While cake is in oven, take your frozen Snickers bars and put them in ziplock bag and hammer the hell out of them until they are crumbled bits of candy bar.



Step 5: After cake has been in oven for 10 minutes, pull it out. Pour condensed milk all over the cake. Then top the cake with the semi-sweet chocolate chips. I didn't put too many because I just kept thinking there's so much chocolate already and I didn't want it to overkill.

Step 6: The recipe then calls for you to cover the cake in two 8 oz. bins of Cool Whip. I only got about one and a half containers -- I think 2 might be too much. I also had trouble getting the cool whip to stick to the cake and spread... you might need to let the cake cool a little before adding on the cool whip -- I think this was my mistake, but hopefully that won't affect the taste, was just annoying while putting it on.

Step 7: Final Step! Take the crushed Snickers and sprinkle all over the cake. The four Snickers literally covers the entire cake -- but it looks good! After you're done, put the cake in the fridge and serve the next day!



Fingers crossed it tastes delicious and everyone loves it tomorrow!!

11.10.2008

Internet Identity

I read a blog post the other day by someone I follow on Twitter (@cheeky_geeky) about one's identity via social media and whether it's the new resume. It got me thinking about social media and how the perception of sharing online and one's identity online has drastically changed, and how it will continue to change the way we define ourselves.


I have been using the Internet to communicate with others since I was about 13. My dad was an early adopter of the Internet and we had the standard dial up and Prodigy back in the day. The internet that took up an entire phone line and if anyone picked up the phone or called, you were kicked offline. Throughout high school my friends and I were on AOL, instant messenging (again on dial up) and that was pretty much the extent of what we did online from a communications perspective. I don't remember predators or some of the fears that came along with the Internet existing while I was in High School. We would go in chat rooms and goof off, but we never gave out our real names or phone numbers. There wasn't ever that fear. The Internet was still so new.


I think the fear of sharing online hit while I was just entering college. Everything you heard from parents, to professors, to peers was that you had to be very careful not to give up too much information online. Never, they stressed, put your last name on the Internet. And it's definitely a big no to put your address, phone number, or even your screen name online. I think those types of worries were everywhere, and it was instilled in me too. I had just built out my very first Web site (in all HTML mind you) and I remember I called it 'Venus's Lair' (yeah, I know...but my AOL screenname had Venus in it). I never posted my name anywhere on the site. At that time, I don't even think I had a bio. It was pretty beneign. I actually even blogged during college, before blogging was even a household name. It was a site called Free Diary or something along those lines, and I would journal about my day to day -- but completely anonymously and keeping out any details that would give me away...just in case someone stumbled upon it and knew who I was. Why were we so scared to hide ourselves online?


While in grad school, the online sharing pendulum slowly began to shift. In the early 2000's, social media began to emerge. I remember joining Facebook and MySpace the first year of grad school. And right after graduation I purchased 'christyweb.com' and built out a new site that offered a bio and more facts about who I was. Now it was ok to offer a little more information -- where you went to college, your location -- but you still were wary about what to offer up online. Not only did you protect yourself from strangers, but you also now had to worry about employers. "Google yourself and make sure nothing shows up!" was the lament at the time. We were told we wouldn't be hired if we even HAD a MySpace profile. Just having one spelled trouble for employers and would make you seem too risky. I still kept my last name and my Web site address off of MySpace and Facebook. And even though you knew your profiles were private online, you still audited your information to make sure the word 'shit' or some other potentially offensive information wasn't viewable by anyone. That open communication with people you didn't know was still pretty much off limits. So now you weren't just afraid of strangers online, but of potential employers as well.


Now, four years later, social media has finally become a common household name. Social media has grown to the extent that it's now part of most of our every day lives. Businesses are researching social media strategies and it's increasingly becoming a part (even a must have) of doing business. Businesses have Twitter accounts, MySpace profiles, Facebook fan pages. Instead of rejecting potential employees who use social media, employers are now using it to reach out to potential employees. It's hard to find anyone nowadays who isn't involved in some sort of online sharing of information. People are connecting and communicating with complete strangers. Knowledge sharing among strangers with like interests is rampant. No longer are you holding back your last name. I was a little wary at first about offering so much information about myself, including my Web site, on Twitter. But I think being open about who I am and not hiding behind a vague online identity has only enriched my conversations and helped give me the ability to network with accomplished, intelligent professionals who I never would have (in a million years) crossed paths with. My Web site is now my blog, where I share my opinions and thoughts and offer a connection to all of my 'identities' on the Web (FB, MySpace, LinkedIn).


I believe that nowadays, if you are on the job market looking for a job, you have to have an online identity, a presence. I think the days are over where employers are looking you up online and filtering you out of the candidate selection because you're on social media tools. I honestly feel like within the next five years, potential hires could be filtered out from a job pool because they AREN'T online. I think understanding the Web and how people interact online (C2C, B2C, B2B) will be a prerequisite for most jobs. I think social media fosters open communication and knowledge sharing online, and companies will eventually not only embrace it, but encourage it.


....which leads me to my next train of thought. Despite the growing trends in social media and the increasing amount of knowledge sharing and information on social media tools, why is there still some hesitation and 'scolding' of sorts for having an online identity? There's still a lot of reluctance with businesses to get involved in social media, and even more so to have employees involved in social media. There's still an underlying fear of sharing too much information or making the wrong impression online. There are still people who don't see the value in social media, and don't understand it in general. And recently I've had to be a little more careful of what I put on Facebook and my blog because there are those who watch what you do online, and disapprove. This hasn't happened to me specifically, but I've heard some stories that have made me swing the pendulum back a little and be a little more cautious with what I post or say online.... but this is another blog post all together, which I want to write eventually this week about what it means to be an ambassador for your company and the backlash that comes with it...so stay tuned for that.


But I digress.....


So why the hesitation still with social media? I think it's partly generational (I know older generations use social media, but overall I think it's related to this due to how we grew up with technology). I think the generation after me, coming into the workplace in five or so years, will have no qualms about open communication on the Internet. I don't think they are being told in college today to not offer up any information online, but are most likely being encouraged to use it to compliment their studies, for idea sharing, and for networking. I think as my generation moves into management positions and the next generation comes in expecting social interaction online, the way we do business will completely shift. I understand that face to face is the most important way to communicate, but I don't necessarily think that my generation and the generation after me needs it as much. A conversation online to me is just as good and valuable as a conversation in person or on the phone. I actually feel more comfortable and open with online communicating as opposed to face to face. I can see in ten to twenty years all of us working remotely, having meetings virtually online, and using social media tools to make connections and have conversations. I think transparency will be realized, and open communication will be the norm.


I know this post was a lot of rambling, but it was a thought I had to get out. It's just interesting to look back at the role social media has played for me, and how more and more I'm building out my own identity online, becoming more and more open about who I am, and making it a part of my day to day interactions. You can see tools like Twitter pushing the envelope when it comes to transparency and communications -- and with a growth rate of over 300%, it will only continue to shift things.

This brings up another point... how open is too open? Will we get to a point in communicating with each other and at work, where things we wouldn't dare share with others today will just be part of every day conversation? Maybe the TMI of today will be nothing out of the ordinary in ten years. In ten or twenty years, maybe everything will be transparent...what would that be like? It's interesting to think about... And what do you think? Will we one day be graded by what we contribute from a knowledge perspective? Similar to TwitterGrade, but on a much larger scale? Instead of a GPA, you have an IPA (Intranet Point Average). The more value and knowledge you add to the online community as a whole, the higher your IPA....

I could go on and on...but now I'm rambling again.... I'll stop while I'm somewhat ahead here...

11.05.2008

Understand your election map...

This map is from TheOnion.com. It's a little hard to tell the colors apart, but click on the image to go to the site and it might be clearer. Pretty funny. Glad to see SC seceded... and I'm sure it was our idea and we got Tennessee and the others to join along. Lol...


11.04.2008

Voting and there's going to be a Change

So, today has been an interesting day of sorts...but why would you expect less from an election day. I voted today in a urine smelling community center about four blocks from my house...they didn't ask for my ID and there wasn't a polling watcher around anywhere, and I looked...

I have always been interested and involved in politics, always. I think a lot of that has to do with the way I grew up. My family lives all over the country... mainly up north and out west. Growing up my grandparents lived in upstate New York and Delaware. My Aunt and Uncles lived in Columbus, OH and Boulder, CO. My Grandfather even had a vacation home out in Arizona when I was very young. So I've been traveling long distances yearly ever since I can remember.

How did this influence your politics Christy? Well, my Dad listened to Rush Limbaugh. I know that name sparks animosity in a lot of people, even some conservatives, but Rush has been on the air for twenty years (I'm 27). I guess my Dad has listened to him from the beginning. My mom always drove a minivan when I was growing up. With three kids, and a lack of safe, stylish SUV's in the 1980's, a minivan was what mom's drove. There weren't the hide-a-way seats, the automatic doors, the DVD players... no, these were the box style, basic model minivans. And as a barely middle class family from Birmingham, Alabama -- a minivan was the transportation of choice when visiting relatives across country. Flying was too hard logistically and financially.

So every year when we would go to visit the relatives, multiple occasions, we would all pile up in the minivan. My dad would take the middle seats out and lay a blanket down in the middle, so we could 'cheat' and not have to sit in seats and actually lay down (hopefully sleep for my parents' sake) for the long, often four day treks across country. While on these trips, my dad would listen to Rush Limbaugh... of course us kids had our toys and Walkmans and what not, but I listened to Rush while my dad did... when I was in first grade our elementary school had a mock election and I was interviewed by the local news...they asked me who I voted for and why... I said (proudly) "I voted for George Bush (Sr.) because my parents are voting for him". Mind you another student in my class was interviewed saying, "I voted for Dukockus (spelling?) because he's black just like me!"..... Regardless, I have a hard time believing today that those experiences didn't play a role in my beliefs today as a conservative Republican.

Now don't get me wrong... most of you see me as a strict, straight party-line conservative... but I'm not really. Two things you might not know about me is that I am very pro-choice (depending on circumstance) and for gay rights. While I believe strongly in these views, they do not influence me to abandon my party views -- and this is because I believe with what sense I have of politics, that abortion will not be made illegal tomorrow... and gay rights will not be squashed tomorrow or outlawed altogether. These two issues are SO extreme and so all over the board across both parties that there is no way any definite change will be made related to them if either candidate is elected. Also, Republicans believe deeply in state rights and putting these types of issues in the hands of the state -- which I firmly agree with -- so I would rather have state votes (like CA is seeing now) on these types of issues rather than the Federal Gov't making a proclamation of some kind.

So... yes, I grew up a conservative Republican...but I did have my rebellious times. However, fundamentally, my experiences growing up in society helped shape my political views. I can go back to High School. Nothing came easy to me in High School and College. I always had to work harder at things to get what I wanted...there wasn't the 'no child left behind' program when I was in school, so we weren't coddled. I've always been underestimated, and I think that made me work that much harder. High School was tough... I was in a graduating class of almost 800 kids... which basically made you invisible. You can be very smart, but in 800, not smart enough...where does 80 out of 800 belong when there are 79 people smarter than you? I was made fun of, pushed in the halls... I had my car keyed twice, my license plate stolen twice, my locker broken into with all my books stolen about five times... basically I wasn't a popular cheerleader type...girls were mean.... I came out of High School with low self esteem and I didn't trust anyone, not even people I considered friends.

College was better, but I still had to work both socially and academically. I won a scholarship...and I was in one of the hardest majors at Clemson, Computer Engineering. I was either the only girl, or one of few girls in every class and lab. I never took less than 18 hours a semester in that major, because I knew I had to work hard to stay in the major and graduate. And I never asked for special help or concessions because I was a minority in that major -- I never protested that none of the professors in that major were female.. none of us (females) ever complained, it just motivated us more to work harder. I worked hard and graduated in four years...went on to my MBA while working three jobs, and graduated with a Masters in two years. Never once did I ask for anything.

Yes, I'm luckier than most... but if I hadn't worked hard and proved myself in High School, I wouldn't have gotten a college scholarship or gotten into college at all for that matter... If I hadn't worked hard in college, I wouldn't have been able to get into my Masters program and maintain three jobs. I worked for what I earned... I worked.

With my current job, I've been successful because I've come to realize the value of personal accountability. It was easy about a year or so ago to complain about work and complain about my position... but I had a good co-worker friend of mine tell me, "You know what Christy? You can sit here and complain all you want, but the only person who's going to make things better for you is...well...YOU. So quit b*tching and do something about it..." And I did. I asked the right questions and worked my you know what off and basically put myself where I am now...where I couldn't be happier. And it was all because of me... I made my own success.

I can also attribute my beliefs to my Grandfather, my mom's dad. My Grandfather grew up in a lower middle class family. Back then it was rare for people to go to college, but my grandfather went to Penn State (the first in his family), graduated in Chemical Engineering, and eventually became the VP of DuPont. Same could be said for my Dad. He started off as a construction worker, and now is a successful business man who owns his own sales business. He worked his you know what off to get to where he is today. Neither of them ever put their hand out for help or complained about how hard it was.

So it's a chain you see... My Grandfather's success and my Dad's success, along with my success in High School, enabled me to go to college and start to build my career and (hopefully) eventual success...so one day when I have kids, I can teach my kids to be hard workers and help my kids go to college and be successful..

So to make a long rambling blog post short, my strong conservative beliefs are rooted in a family tradition of making yourself successful. So when it comes to our next president (so I just heard) awarding citizens who don't push themselves to reach a certain level of success seems fundamentally wrong to me. I get emotional and upset about it... "Wait a minute..." I say..."I just spent the past 15 years of my life working past every obstacle trying my hardest to get to where I am today -- and now we're going to just hand out money to those who don't try?" It might not seem as simple as that to some of you, but in the long run, that's essentially what it is... a combined household of 200K is two married individuals making 100K each (hypothetically). So... if I get married to someone who is on the same education level as me, and we eventually make 100K (which why would I not work towards that???), then we will be taxed heavily for our income total.

And to me, it's not that I'm greedy and I want the money... people fail to realize that that's not the main issue with conservatives at all. My main issue is I am a Christian and a giver. I want to give money to the ballet company (because I love ballet and have benefited from it since I was four). I want to give to my church at home because it helped raised me from birth. I want to give to OCD charities, and causes that are important to me and my family. When I get to the point financially where I have extra income to give, there are certain causes I feel passionate about that I want to contribute to. But if I'm taxed more, all of a sudden that extra money I would've donated to charity is gone -- and instead it goes to programs like ACORN, welfare, and other democratic affiliated organizations that I don't necessarily want my money going towards. If I have worked my you know what off since I was 14 to get to where I am today, then why the hell can I not have the discretion to make decisions about my own money? I had a friend tell me today that she's voting for Obama so she can help the children and education.. how is giving your money to the government going to help those causes? How?

I think that the next four years will be an interesting, telling four years. I think that either Obama will do absolutely nothing (most Dems do nothing in office except stain dresses) or actually follow through on his promises which are very, very frightening for this country. I've said it before, and I'll say it again.... I find it so hard to believe how people in this country are so enamored with this man when all the facts are laid out on the table for us... I mean, you have to hand it to Obama...he was upfront about all of his policies, but Americans fell for this blatant marketing campaign. If you voted for Obama, besides him not being Bush and being a great speaker, do you know why you voted for him, really?

I've said my peace and I hope people won't gloat tomorrow.... I hope for all of our sakes I won't be saying "I told you so..." for the next four years. Good night. Is it too early to buy my "Don't blame me I voted for McCain" t-shirt??? :)

10.31.2008

My 15 seconds of Internet fame...

So I was on Twitter earlier today, and noticed my followers had grown exponentially. "That's bizarre," I thought. I was hardly on Twitter yesterday because of meetings and happy hour -- and I don't like to Tweet when under the influence. Tried it once... bad idea.

Anyways, so I posted a Tweet musing about my recent influx of followers. After a while, I had gotten a few replies from my new followers with a link to this article from a PR blog:
"10 Twitter Users Who Deserve Attention"

Lo and behold... in between two PR experts and successful professionals... is little 'ol me.

Click image to view larger view.


I was blown away by this. I think I turned three shades of red when I first saw it. How can I possibly be in a top 10 list of people who deserve attention? And check out the others on the list... PR experts, started their own companies, run an independent radio station... They have upwards of 900 followers (compared to my 185) .

I can just imagine people reading this blog and clicking on my profile and saying to themselves, "Umm... " and quickly closing the browser. Lol...

Don't get me wrong though..I'm completely and overly honored and slightly amused that I was chosen. The author, Scott Hepburn (@ScottHepburn), is a follower of mine on Twitter and I follow him as well. I asked one day the value of using Twitter at a Power Company and offered some suggestions as well. It did generate some interesting conversations and some ideas that I have presented to my public affairs co-workers. I actually helped a customer (@cophotog) out on Twitter just this week and thought it was a great example of how Twitter can benefit customers and the companies who serve them.

So what now? I feel a little bit of pressure to try and live up to my selection...but I guess I was selected for being me -- so I should continue to just be me, right?

10.30.2008

Meet Helga...

Click the photo to see a larger version...



Cartoons By Michael Ramirez; taken from IBDeditorials.

10.28.2008

First they came... my version.

In the U.S., they came first for those making $250,000, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t making $250,000;

And then they came for those making $150,000, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t making $150,000;

And then they came for those making $100,000, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t making $100,000;

And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.

- A poem by me based on "First they came.." attributed to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

It's a slippery slope people.

My sign came in...

Looks good, and after five days it still hasn't been stolen. :) Although I had a nail in my tire today -- related?? Just kidding - most likely not since the ballet studio I take class at is surrounded by construction right now.

See my Halloween decorations too? :) And I'm taking donations to get my front yard sodded... :)



10.27.2008

Happy Halloween!!

10.24.2008

These are scary times...

I'm so often confused, and have said so before in blogs, that all this information is readily available with facts and things that are true and yet people still 'drink the kool-aid' as O'reilly puts it. It's frightening to hear things on talk radio that the media blatantly ignores and is unwilling to investigate. I've watched people who are typically mild mannered and not the least bit interested in politics become these brain washed, hate spewing, radicals... it's not even about the issues anymore.. it's about accents, and someone's children, their clothes, and age...and it's scary. No one will take the time to investigate history, to learn the truth of why we are in an economic crisis in the first place. "It's all Bush's fault...it's all his doing." No one seems to acknowledge that we've had a Democratic Congress for two years? No one seems to acknowledge that people started getting loans they never should have had because of things that happened during Clinton's presidency. It's all spelled out for us in facts from the history books and yet no one wants to learn the truth -- they just want to blame the president. I don't get it??

And I'm upset with McCain's campaign... I'm upset. It should have been easy to run against Obama.. it should never be this close. Yet they tiptoed around issues because they were afraid to be labeled as running an unfair campaign and attacking Obama... well guess what? They are attacking you AND saying that you're attacking him anyways, so you might as well hit him where it hurts!

It's like America is falling for one giant marketing campaign. Obama is a brand. He coined the word 'change' and 'hope'. He has a freakin' logo for goodness sake. It was a genius marketing campaign, with billions of dollars. Nothing more. Just do a Google search for Obama ad campaign spending and get an idea of the millions he pays for one 30 second ad. And people want to attack someone for spending $150K on clothes for a campaign, that will be donated afterwards anyways? Millions for 30 second ad. And people just googly eyed bought into it. And yet, no one knows anything about this man...what he's done or his issues -- again with my Obama experiment. Turns out I'm not the only one who experienced this.

And I'm still in awe...How can people stand around and say nothing or react when people are putting a candidate's head on Jesus's body? How can no one be the least bit appaled that they are putting halos around this man? It's almost like watching something horrible unfold before your eyes....

Please, please, please... if you have time on your hands, check out this link. Yes, it's long...yes it's lengthy, but it is factual and has the video evidence to back up every claim. If you have even the slightest doubts about the candidate you are voting for, PLEASE spend an hour and read through this site. Get the facts... not campaign talking points. Quit drinking the Kool-aid people.

10.23.2008

Sucker for Commercials

So, I hate to admit this, but I've been waiting for this commercial to finally make its way to YouTube. Generally, I'm not a big fan of the Stride gum commercials...but for some reason the commercial with the Germans in lederhosen just makes me smile. Maybe it's because I'm German...or maybe because it's just one of those 'it's so stupid it's funny' type humor. Regardless.. it speaks to me... but not enough to make me buy Stride gum. Oh well.

10.21.2008

With only 2 weeks left, I ordered my sign.

So, I just bought a "South Carolina for McCain" yard sign. I've been wary of having a sign before because honestly I was worried I'd be targeted somehow. I didn't want to worry about it getting stolen, and there's a lot of neighborhood roamers who are probably Obama supporters and who also have a habit of breaking into my neighbors houses -- I just didn't want to give them any reason to pick on me. However, lately I've noticed a few McCain signs popping up on my street and a few other houses close by -- so I want to conform and show my support. I even paid the extra $5 shipping to get it by Thursday, so I'll be showing my support for at least a week and a half. Here's the sign that will proudly be displayed in my yard:



Lately, when I go walking, I usually go across Rosewood to Shandon because it has sidewalks and it's a little more populated with other runners and walkers. Well most of the houses on that side have Obama signs. There's even a house with a sign hanging on a tree (I really need to go snap a picture) that says, "Jesus was also a community organizer". And the worst part is that they have a spotlight, like the kind you use to spotlight Christmas decorations, positioned in front of the tree shining on the sign. Are you kidding me? Just points out the fact that Obama's 'messiah' image is rampant. Can you imagine the media backlash if someone compared McCain to Christ? I think it's so sac religious. You can love Obama all you want, but don't compare him to Jesus please. So I almost bought this sign below..but I figured I already overspent on my McCain sign..wasn't worth it to get the other one for only two weeks. I'm actually thinking of printing it out on paper and sticking it in the person's mailbox.



Also, I almost bought even another sign. Changed my mind because again I got scared my house would get vandalized or broken into...but the message is so true..



And I actually wonder if I'll have to worry about my sign getting stolen... I actually saw a blog post by a local political blogger, Wesley Donehue that was pretty funny about signs getting stolen. Picture below is from his blog.



That's pretty funny! I don't know if I have the you know whats to do that...I need to go get a gun so I can cling to my religion and my gun. Right now I'm clinging to my religion and my mace and knives.

10.19.2008

Palin on SNL earns show highest ratings in 14 years.





And NBC is hilarious...of course they would have a preview for the W movie right afterwards - you know the movie they made to make fun of George Bush, with the actor that doesn't even look remotely like him.

10.15.2008

"Spread the wealth around." Socialism at its best.



Wake up people please!! "Spread the wealth around." That's socialism! What happened to the American Dream of working hard and gaining success and EARNING your wealth? Basically Obama wants to take money from those who worked hard (like this plumber) and give it to people so they can skip the hard work part. That's the kind of change you want?

This is not Robin Hood. Robin hood stole from the government, the Sherrif who was unjustly taxing. Sounds like Obama is the Sherrif more so than Robin Hood. If anyone's Robin hood it's McCain and Palin -- cutting government spending and earmarks so American's pay less taxes!

Why are people not seeing this? I feel like it's so obvious. I don't think I've reached my limit when it comes to success... I plan to continue to work hard and hopefully see success in my carreer and hopfully that comes with a bigger salary.. why should I be punished with more taxes for working hard to get to that position? Why would anyone work harder at what they do if they are getting rewarded for low income?

Look, the government is not here to babysit us and to hold our hands as we make our way through life. Life isn't fair. Life isn't easy. Life takes hard work. Sure, some people aren't born into the best situations, but how many stories have you heard of people rising above their situation -- working hard and making themselves successful? Shoot, Obama himself constantly reminds us of how he came from a poor single parent home. Look at him now! Running for president, two books under his belt. He didn't get hand outs, did he? Government is not a charity. There are hundreds of charities that people donate to. There are churches and volunteers that help those that are needy. What will happen to large charities when their taxes go up? What will happen to their wealthy donors if all of a sudden they are taxed heavily?

And lastly, how can you ensure that this redistribution of wealth (communism..cough.) will really go to those who are really in need? This scares me. And I'm sorry, most of you who are voting (not all of you, I said most) for Obama don't even know why! Ask yourself... do you really know Obama's tax plans? Do you really know where he stands on all the issues? OR do you just like the way he speaks? the trendiness of voting for him? When you ask Obama supporters why they are voting for him, they can't articulate why -- they just say bad things about McCain and Palin, talk about 'change' (marketing victims), and say he's a great speaker and has a great air about him. I said this in another post..and I know it's bad...but historically true no less... Germans also felt the same way about Hitler. They had no idea what his real beliefs were, but they were awed by him..by his stature and his oratory skills. So if you are voting for Obama in three weeks, please please, ask yourself -- why? Are you voting on the issues? Do you really even have any idea what kind of 'change' you are actually voting for?

For starters, take my Obama test I mentioned in this blog post. It's about mid way down, a little closer to the end. And try it on a few of your fellow Obama supporters. If you can answer both questions without looking it up on Google or hesitating, then by all means, vote with your beliefs and vote for him. And if you can't answer both those questions without turning on MSNBC or using Google, or asking your hip 'political savvy' friends...then you should be just as scared as I am.

10.14.2008

Dear fashion designers,

I don't know when this trend started, or why it started, but I'm writing you to let you know that the thick bands at the bottom of dresses should no longer be included in your dress designs. The thick band at the bottom that hugs at our thighs is neither attractive nor flattering. It baloons the dress out right at our hips -- most women don't need any help with volume around the hips. Also, the style accentuates the buttocks area, another area that most of us don't want the extra volume of fabric. Please do away with this unnecessary trend and leave dresses to the more traditional, free flowing style. I'm not a fan of babydoll dresses, but I tolerate them. I've never been a fan of the bubble skirt, but I own a few bubble dresses. However, I have never come across a bottom banded dress that flattered me (or anyone else for that matter) in a positive way. Most men surveyed will agree that this style tends to make skinny girls look ten to twenty pounds heavier. So Mr. or Ms. fashion designer -- quit ruining potentially cute dresses by adding the thick, spandex band around the bottom of it.

Sincerely, A fan of the classic summer dress.










Example dress pictures from Web sites Forever21.com, WetSeal.com and Mandee.com.

10.08.2008

Old Commercials

So I just saw an old Pizza Hut commercial from at least three years ago. I wonder if because of budget cuts and companies starting to not renew contracts with expensive ad agencies if they are starting to reuse successful ads from the past. I actually think it would be a smart concept to bring back some nostalgic ads.

Not sure why in retrospect, but this Little Caesars commercial cracked me up when I was younger. I would laugh and laugh, and it stuck with me enough that I could find it on YouTube:


Another commercial I would love to see make a comeback is Max Headroom... wow, after watching this again, he sounds and acts just like Jim Carey!

10.07.2008

Obama in a Nutshell - literally.

I watched the debate tonight and I wasn't really impressed with either candidate. I think McCain did slightly better, but nothing new was revealed by either candidate that we didn't already know. I just don't think these political type interviews and debates are really a way of determining who is qualified to be President of the United States. I really think it's about the issues and the track record the candidates have -- the experience. The debates and interviews just remind me of pageants -- how beauty contestants will tout that pageants are for scholarship and then prance around on stage in bathing suits and be judged on things like 'poise' while walking around in a gown that costs more than the 'scholarship' you win. And I'm allowed to say this because I've been in two pageants -- one was judged by Carpet store owners, and the other I was asked by the judges 'If you were deserted on an island, what three things would you take?". Because that's the most important question to ask a female in a male dominated, hardest major at Clemson contestant. Because evidently what three items I would take on this so called island could change the world! Maybe they should ask the presidential candidates beauty pageant questions? Do you get that same feel when watching interviews and debates -- it's like why does this even matter.

Shouldn't we all, as responsible Americans, read and research and know the issues and where each candidate stands on the issue -- and vote on how our beliefs line up with that candidate? Instead of focusing on their funny accents or funny names? I still think that the voting machines should be set up like a survey, where you answer questions on the issues and then the machine will vote for the candidate that most closely aligns with your viewpoint. That way, you're not voting on someone because it's the 'trendy' thing to do or because they wear an American pin. Which leads me to a funny comment a fellow Twitterer posted earlier in debate "@caseyboyle5 John McCain is so tough, he wears his flag pin on the inside of his shirt, through his skin!"

So back to the original purpose of this post -- wanted to share a link someone sent to me that shows Obama's ties to what's going on with ACORN, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae .. and his cronies. Pretty interesting stuff that I don't think most people know and that the media won't touch - http://justsaynodeal.com/acorn.html.

I have to get back to watching FNC now -- Fred Thompson is on... my original choice for President, until he dropped out of the race shortly after our primaries and my vote. Sigh... Sometimes I wish I wasn't so opinionated and passionate about politics... I get really worked up and exhausted, emotional and depressed. Is being an informed voter worth it?

10.01.2008

I wonder why I get nothing done after work...hmm...

So, back in June, I created a 'To Do' list (because I'm a list person) of things I needed to do around the house, in my yard, etc. this summer. I think I might have done maybe two out of twelve things on the list.

Granted I've always got some sort of plans going on during the weekends, but I still have a decent amount of time when I get home from work. I usually go to work, then go to ballet, run on my elliptical, or go walking around the neighborhood -- then I come home and have a good number of hours until bed time. So why am I not productive and completing the items off of my 'To Do' list?

Well, after a co-worker and I got into a conversation about our TV habits, I realized that perhaps my TV watching has gotten a little excessive. And thanks to my DVR, I can watch them all. Do you watch this much TV a week also?

Shows I watch weekly:
Desperate Housewives, Brothers & Sisters, True Blood, Entourage, Bridezillas, Californication, John & Kate plus 8, I Love Money, The Hills, Gossip Girl, Intervention, Making the Band 4, 90210, Priveleged, Fringe, Heroes, Pushing Daisies, Dirty Sexy Money, Project Runway, Private Practice, Grey's Anatomy, The Office, Weeds

So I'm sure I'm even leaving some out... No wonder I can't get anything done when I'm at home. If each of those shows is about 45 min. (minus commercials -- which I always forget to fast forward, btw), then that's 1035 minutes, which is about 17 hours per week. Divide that by the four days (Friday doesn't count) and that's almost 4.5 hours a night. Yikes. This makes me think..why am I spending $10 a month for a Blockbuster online membership??

9.30.2008

Why we should be thankful that the bailout plan wasn't voted in.

Please read a fellow blogger's post on the voted out bailout plan and what we should be voting for. Also, a great letter from BB&T's CEO explaining why certain banks failed and others, like BB&T, are still healthy and functioning.

9.29.2008

Vote for Tiger Band!!

Click here to vote!!

What do you think? Should Clemson replace Tommy?

I'm not quite sure what I think about our current coaching situation. It's hard to say, but I definitely agree with, well, everyone that we shouldn't have lost this weekend's game. It's safe to say that we will probably lose every game the rest of the season if we continue down this path -- even Duke stands a chance against us (sorry Duke).

It's all over the Web today. What do you think?

Bleacher Report: Dear Clemson Fans, You Deserve Better Than Tommy Bowden

Palmetto Scoop: Bowden out at Clemson?

TigerNet: Give Dabo a Chance

TigersXtra: Tigers' stunning loss just part of a much larger trend

The P&C: What can Clemson do to turn jeers into cheers?

9.28.2008

I like this song!

Ur So Gay

9.26.2008

Biden's Gaffes Keep Piling Up

This is long, but if you have time, please read it. It's a transcript from a part of Rush Limbaugh's radio show from Tuesday, Sept. 23rd.

They play all of Biden's hilarious comments and why the rumor that Obama wants his own bail out from Biden has started.

Please read!

It's really interesting to me with all of this happening with Biden that you RARELY see on the news -- and yet the media continues to attack Sarah Palin and focus on her. Can you imagine how badly the media would attack Sarah Palin if she said half of the things Biden did?

And if the rumor does end up being true, and Biden drops out Oct. 5th as predicted -- I think that's super shady and should cause concern among voters. The only other time this happened was when McGovern in 1972 dropped his running mate because they found out he had Electroshock Therapy.

Bill Clinton praises Sarah Palin

Transcript from Rush Limbaugh, Sept. 19th, 2008

RUSH: Last night, CNBC's Closing Bell, Maria Bartiromo interviewing former President Bill Clinton. And Maria Bartiromo says, "Were you surprised by the Palin bounce for the McCain campaign?"

CLINTON: No, she's an instinctively effective candidate, and with a compelling story. And I think it was exciting to some that she was a woman, it was exciting that she was from Alaska, exciting that she's sort of like the person she is. I get why she's done so well. She's -- she's -- a mistake to underestimate her. She's got good -- her intuitive skills are significant.

RUSH: Now, isn't this interesting? You have got Bill Clinton out there saying, "I don't think we ought to underestimate her. I don't think so. I think it's exciting, she's a woman, exciting she's from Alaska. It's a mistake to underestimate her, she's got good, good intuitive skills." Now who does this undermine, ladies and gentlemen? Who would you say it undermines? That's right, The Messiah, Barack Hussein Obama.

9.23.2008

Biden needs to probably just not say anything until after the election is over.

Biden rewrites history. Funny stuff.

Read via a social network friend's blog: http://www.palmettoscoop.com/2008/09/23/biden-needs-a-history-lesson/

9.22.2008

Took a fresh look at how I do my Web site...

I started thinking the other day... why do I pay GoDaddy.com money to host my Web site, christyweb.com, when all I have on there is my old pictures from 2006 and before..and links to all of my social networks and current photo galleries. Basically I was paying for the hosting services of just four or five html files.

So I figured out how to point my domain to my blog, which has all the same links as my Web site did. So now my Web site is essentially my blog, which I think is a lot more interesting then my silly green page I had before that just had a bunch of links. So I'm going to try this out (save some money) and see how it goes.

Let me know what you think....

9.17.2008

Thank you Dem controlled congress!

Government bails out AIG.

Sigh... so evidently bankruptcy doesn't exist anymore.. sooo, you can start a business, spend as much money and make as many dumb business decisions as you want -- and the government will bail you out as the expense of tax payers and the risk of billions of dollars.

Side note tangent: You think this is bad? What's different about 'bailing' people out of having no health care? Ready to open your wallets to pay for them also.

Glenn Beck and his cohort 'Stu' were hilarious this morning on their radio show talking about the AIG debacle. It was so funny -- I went to their site to get a clip to post, but of course you have to pay. So I emailed them and asked they post content for sharing via social media ...since everything online is so liberal right now. Anyways... Glenn and Stu went on and on about how excited they were (sarcasm of course) about the AIG purchase, how it was like buying a new house and they wanted to go celebrate, and not since they basically 'own' an insurance company they are just going to go and insure everything because they can. Stu wants to insure his dog for 1 million dollars, and not pay anything because he owns AIG now.. it's like owning the convenience store and just taking a Twinkie off the shelf -- because hey, you own the store, so you don't have to pay. Lol.. I can't even explain it obviously, but it was good stuff. I wish I could share it.

And this really annoys me: PerezHilton who I complained about earlier blogging about politics from a liberal spin non-stop posted a blog about AIG. And he's confused and upset with the deal -- wondering why tax payers have to saddle this. HELLO? Who do you think came up with the idea? And Nancy Pelosi wants to start another government 'agency' whose sole purpose is to go around and basically bail out other companies in the same situation. Can anyone say stock market crash?

Oh, and while we're on the topic of taxes -- one of Obama's biggest talking points with McCain is how McCain plans to lower corporate taxes and Obama plans to cut taxes for the average Joe and increase big corporate taxes. People, taxing big companies will effect you, the taxpayer -- because you work for these companies or you buy from these companies. If the power company I work for -- a large company -- gets heavy taxes, we have no choice but to increase rates which customers have to pay or cut jobs. Same thing goes for any company that offers a service -- If Best Buy has to pay huge taxes, prices on products go up because now they are paying more for the products from their suppliers (who were also taxed) and they need to maintain their profit margin to... duh... keep from laying off tons of workers and going in the hole -- another outcome of taxing huge companies. "Woo hoo I'm paying lower taxes, but now I was layed off from Company X because of their taxes and everything costs more." So how is that better?? Making it easier for companies to buy and sell stimulates the economy! It's basic economics... You might get lower taxes (if you're in a low income tax brackett mind you), but you will feel more pain if huge companies are suddenly faced with outrageous taxes... not to mention stronger regulations and fees. Arrgg. I feel like it just makes so much sense yet people don't get it... "Let's tax big bad companies! Hooray!" The effects would be felt across the entire economy - big business, small business, consumers. Hmm, but wait, if a company goes in the hole because of the increased taxes -- then Pelosi's agency will just bail them out, and you'll end up paying higher taxes anyways.

Ok... rant done.

9.16.2008

Hookt on Fonix Workt for The Hillz



From last night's episode... Funny... 'secretely'.


9.11.2008

Actress Zooey Deschnel looks just like singer Katy Perry!

They are identical... Seriously.

Judge for yourself...

Without looking at the answers or ok, the link name (gives it away):

1) Click this link and look at the picture.

2) Now click this link and look at this picture.

Who is who? They look like the same person don't they?

First link is Katy Perry. Second link is Zooey Deschnel. Do a google image search for both and judge for yourself.

9.09.2008

Great description of VMA host from fellow blogger.

This exerpt is taken from the Palmetto Scoop blog:

"In the video above, you can see that musician Jordin Sparks is a great American for standing up to the low-life dirt ball that MTV dragged out of some humourless hole in England to bash America. Not only did this guy — whatever his name is — slander a 17-year-old for being pregnant, call the President of the United States “retarded,” and tell us to vote Democrat despite the fact that he’s not even an American, but apparently he also attacked “promise rings.” Because, God forbid people make a responsible pledge to abstain from sex until marriage. What a horrible thing. Maybe our British homeboy is just a little angry that, unlike those who pledge not to have sex, his abstinence is the result of looking like the unfortunate breeding of an alpaca and a chihuahua dressed in leftover 80s paraphernalia."

My thoughts exactly!

9.05.2008

Great Quote

"I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else's. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency; for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people. I loved it because it was not just a place but an idea, a cause worth fighting for. I was never the same again. I wasn't my own man anymore. I was my country's." - Quote from John McCain's acceptance speech of the Republican nomination for President at the RNC.

9.04.2008

Liberal Media and Blogs

Is anyone else sick of the liberal slant on all media these days? Of course I watch Fox News because I'm obviously a conservative... but I still check out other stations and mostly read blogs now and then. But lately, politics has started to creep into my social media and my celebrity gossip blogs -- and I'm almost about to abandon these things.

Facebook -- I'm just as bad as anyone on this, but my liberal friends are becoming 'fans' of Obama and posting status messages that are mainly attacking Republicans -- I'm still waiting to hear good things about their candidates. And I don't mind people posting status updates related to politics..because I do it. But when I do post a politically motivated status, within minutes I get attacked with comments to my status by one of my liberal old high school friends. And it's always an attack -- McCain's 'values' and how Republicans this and that. And I'm just like -- you know, this is a free country and the greatest thing about America is that we can express our political beliefs.. so why are you attacking my status updates? You haven't talked to me in almost 10 years and now you find the urgent need to leave me three comments on my status update attacking the party I affiliate with? Why?

Twitter -- I'm new to Twitter, but it's growing on me. I love it. It's like Facebook statuses without anything else. I enjoy it mostly for the randomness of people's tweets and more importantly the networking aspect. I am following about four or five Intranet professionals and get links to great industry articles. Once I posted about RSS feeds and SharePoint and it caught the eye of one of my followers - who then used the idea for his company to implement RSS feeds from SharePoint. So there are lots of benefits to Twitter professionaly and for fun. However, last night I had to avoid it. Evidently the majority of the people I follow are Democrats -- I'm not the norm I guess. So, everyone was tweeting about the Republican National Convention and Sarah Palin. Ugg. It wasn't necessarily insightful, fact based tweets. It was attacks, sexist remarks, just pure unintelligent banter about Sarah Palin and McCain. And no one was left untouched...Cindy, Bristol, even the poor downsydrome baby. There's even a Twitter account for a girl posing as Sarah Palin trying to be funny, and she posts updates as 'Sarah Palin' basically making fun of the whole thing. Can you imagine if someone created a Twitter account pretending to be Obama and jokingly updated as him? Can you imagine how fast that person would get attacked through Twitter, and attacked by bloggers, etc.? So yeah, last night I turned Twitter off for the first time since I signed up. I just couldn't take it. I like the people I follow, so I didn't want the babble about politics to ruin my opinion of these professionals and fun people. I left an update before I signed off saying as much -- and one follower agreed with me. He said social media should carry the same rules as a bar - no politics and religion in conversations. Agreed!

Perezhilton.com -- Ok, so grudgingly I admit I read his blog every day. It really saves me money because otherwise I'd be suckered into buying the trashy gossip mags in the grocery store. I visit daily and catch up on all the nonsense that is going on in Hollywood or hear great new music. So lately I've decided I'm going to have to wait until after the election to read it again. Perez has taken it upon himself to follow in the footsteps of US Weekly (did you see their cover on Sarah Palin? So unnecessary of them!) and blog about politics -- but with a spin -- a very, very liberal spin. Not only is Perez obviously pushing Obama in his posts (which is funny because he used to trash him when he supported Hilary in the primaries), he's also attacking McCain and most recently Sarah Palin. It's just wrong. He even posted about her 19 yr. old son being hot and made a really disgusting remark about a hole being a hole if it's dark. Gross! Keep that to yourself please! He keeps calling McCain and Palin liars, and then using articles from MSNBC and other obvious liberal media outlets to back him up. I just can't take it.. Now, most of his posts are related to bashing the Republicans and maybe I'll see one or two posts a day on new music or celebrity gossip. So I'm signing off of Perez also. I know I post politically slanted blog posts, but I don't have millions of readers, and I'm not known for being a celebrity gossip blogger. And I don't have millions of dollars from huge sponsors paying for my blog. Perez posting about politics is like Home Depot blogging about I-pods. The funny thing is, after browsing the comments of one of these such posts I noticed that the majority of people commenting were expressing my same sentiment, and most were anti-Obama. Interesting.


Ok, so I understand that the beauty of this country is that we can post our opinions and views about politics. I get that. But isn't anyone the least bit nervous about how bad the media is right now? It's scary how slanted everything you watch on TV is. I even got upset with one of my favorite TV shows this past year - The L Word. Obviously placed in the dialogue were jabs at President Bush and the Iraq war. Ugg.. It would be a conversation like,
"Oh, I haven't seen you since last week. Great to see you. How are things?"
"Things are great. Started a new job. President Bush is a hatemonger and all Republicans should die!! Arrg!! Evill!!! Down with USA!!"
"Yeah, I started a new job too. You want to go grab a movie?"
"Sure, let's go!"
Just as casual and nonchalant as that with blatant political messages thrown in. So let me ask you this? If you have strong political beliefs and values, when has a movie star or a tv show or even a blog changed your opinion? Do you really think commenting and slamming my facebook statuses is going to make me 'see the light' and vote for Obama? Do you think your biased blog posts 'exposing the truth' about McCain and Palin is really going to sway my vote or my beliefs? Let's leave the politics to the politicians. Obama doesn't need your help (or does he?). Let Obama convince people they need to vote for him. Let Palin convince you she's qualified. It's like you trying to convince a smoker to stop smoking -- they can't quit until they are ready and willing to quit themselves. "Hey, smoking is bad for you - you should quit right now this minute!" "Vote for Obama because I think you should!"

By the way, small experiment I've been conducting lately....next time you meet someone who is voting for Obama, ask them two things:
1) What makes Obama qualified to lead the greatest country in the world?
2) What is Obama's stance on [insert important issue (immigration, Iraq, guns, etc.) here].
$10 says that most people can only answer one question. $10 says that most people can't answer both.
I had a friend go on and on about how great of a speaker Obama is and how he brought her to tears once -- then I asked her, "What is his stance on illegal immigration?" And I genuinely wanted to know because I didn't know. She stopped. Paused. Looked up in deep thought. "Hmm, I don't know. I guess I'll have to look into that." Did you see on the news when the reporters would step into the groups of protesters and ask them what they were supporting or protesting against -- and most either had blank stares, walked away, or flicked off the camera. Nice. Do people even know what they are supporting anymore? Don't attack me for this... just a notation... but Hitler made it into office because he was an excellent speaker and dazzled German citizens. Just saying.

So that's my rant for the week. You can agree or disagree, or agree to disagree with me. Just because I support a different candidate than you, we can still be Internet friends. And please people...please... don't believe everything you hear or read on the Internet. And please, please educate yourself on the candidates and their views before you vote.

Update: Just went to an article on Ragan (Communications organization that holds conferences I go to, posts articles, etc.) about Palin's speech. It wasn't political, it simply addressed that it was a well written and well executed speech -- no pro Republican or pro Liberal slant -- just a basic communications article about speechwriting and lessons learned. Well, this article has the most comments I've ever seen a Ragan article have. And they were all bashing Palin! Personally and professionally! Arrrgg!!! Now it's creeping into my work! Liberals!! Enough with the attacks!!! I'm not going to every blog and Web site on the Internet that even mentions the word Obama or Biden and leaving tons of hateful comments. And the people on Ragan are working, educated professionals -- and all you have to do is mention something related to politics and they are ranting lunatics! Please make it stop!