Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lost in translation...

For some reason, the other day I stopped being able to access Facebook from Apple's Safari browser. I switched to Google Chrome and didn't have any problems... at least not at first.  But then I started noticing strange changes to things I had written.  For instance, the other day I wrote about how I went to Jamestown 4H camp for a week back in the summer of 1982 and had a miserable time because the food was terrible.

Here's my original comment...

Some time later, I came back and saw this.  It's not quite right.

I scratched my head, because I knew that wasn't what I wrote.  I mostly hated my week at 4H camp.  I was hungry, homesick, smelly and uncomfortable, because I put wet clothes in my bag and stunk up all the clean ones when they got sour.  I couldn't wait for the week to end, because I didn't like the constant activities, some of which were really corny.  I cried a lot that week!  So I was puzzled when it looked like I'd written that I'd gone a couple of years and had fun.

Then I started noticing other occurrences of my comments being altered somewhat.  I tend to be very precise when I comment on things.  I spell things correctly and use full words rather than letters or numbers.  I was puzzled when I started seeing my comments and status updates as non-sensical sentence fragments or full sentences that changed what I'd actually written.  It was very bizarre.  And then I noticed a tool bar at the top of the page.

You see, because my German sucks and I often access German Web sites on Chrome, some things are automatically translated.  That works out fine if the page is actually in German.  But apparently, Chrome sometimes thinks Facebook is in German and needs to be translated.  Maybe it's because I have some German friends who write things in German that this happens.  Maybe I need to get off my ass and learn some German.

I have to admit, some of the English to English translations are pretty funny, even if I have to stop myself for a minute and make sure I didn't actually write what it looks like I wrote.  I see the translation bar seems to have a will of its own as to when it pops up.  Like, right now, I wanted it to pop up to see if there were any other funny altered comments on my page.  But, since I actually want to see it, it's not coming up on my machine.  Maybe I'll edit this post if any other funny "translated" comments appear.

I made another discovery this morning.  For some reason, over the past couple of days, I could not access Amazon.com from my computer.  I could get it from all of the other devices in the house, but not my big desktop machine.  So I went Googling to see what I could do about this development and came across a discussion about VPNs.  I do have a VPN on the desktop, though I don't really use it anymore.  Apparently, if you use a VPN, it can screw up your access to certain Web sites.  Amazon.com is one of them.  Once I reset my computer's DNS settings, the site worked.  I felt weirdly accomplished for having figured out how to fix the issue.

I guess you have to take your joy wherever you can get it.

I've been watching 7th Heaven again, because I enjoy torturing myself.  It still makes me groan, especially after the revelation that off camera, Stephen Collins is about as anti RevCam as a man can get.  I guess that's a testament to his acting abilities.  On the other hand, I don't like him as RevCam, either.  He's smarmy, sanctimonious, and annoying.  

Oh, fuck you, RevCam.

I don't know why, but the writers on 7th Heaven were constantly bashing pot.  They make pot smokers out to be crazed druggies who turn violent and end up on skid row.  While I have very little experience with marijuana use, I will say that the times I tried it, it made me mellow and relaxed.  I certainly wasn't going to get on a bike without a helmet and get hit by Simon Camden's car.  I wasn't going to turn into a violent asshole who threatened other people.  

From what I've heard and experienced, pot makes you lazy, giggly, paranoid, and hungry more than anything else.  I guess they didn't want to bust on the harder drugs like cocaine and heroin, since that would make the show less kid friendly.  Still, it's pretty ridiculous and unrealistic.  I guess maybe it could be dangerous if you're buying it on the street, but the actual drug itself is not going to make people go crazy.

And they always refer to "doing drugs"...  How does one "do" drugs?  And why is this phrase popular?  It makes no sense.  It's like calling people "douchebags", which also makes no sense.  

I really need to get dressed and walk the dogs now.  Have a nice Tuesday.


  1. My first thought as I was reading this was that you had been hacked. I'm glad it was something less sinister and that you figured it out.

    Homesickness and being hungry go hand in hand. Kids become homesick when they don't like the food at a camp. Choices are needed in case one entree or side dish isn't liked by a kid. Summer camp is no place to push the agenda of "eat what is in front of you or go hungry." Summer camp (or any camp, including sixth grade science camp) is also not the ideal place to inculcate optimal healthy eating habits. That's a parent's problem. Breakfasts should include choices of cereals, fruits, breads for toasting, and a few hot breakfast items. Light desserts such as cookies should be available at every lunch. Good desserts should be available following every dinner, and an evening snack should be provided as well. Chocolate milk and white milk in both nonfat at two-percent fat should be available. (Those who prefer one percent fat milk can make it by mixing two percent and nonfat.) Something besides water and milk should be available to drink. A kid who is used to drinking only nonfat milk will have a tough time drinking fattier milk, and vicThere should always be a reaonably well-stocked salad bar, and there should always be at least a basic sandwich bar with at least white and wheat bread and some sort of meat and cheese along with peanut butter and jelly. The adults in charge have no way of knowing what kid is preparing to go through growth spurt and haa a physical need for more calories. Beyond that, food is likely prepared differently than it is in the homes of the campers. some offerings, however harmless they may seem, are not going to appeal to some of the kids. If the kids are allowed to remain hungry, their blood sugar levels will drop and they almost certainly will become homesick.

    I know about camp foods because my aunt and uncle run a tennis camp on the east coast that I attended. I spent a few weeks working there as an older teen. My uncle handled the tennis angle of the camp including the instructional staff, and my aunt handled everything else. She told me that you cn usually tell which camos feed their kids well enough because it costs about fifty dollars per week more on average 9the little kids cost lestt, but the teen and almost-teen boys cost more) to feed kids well enough. if you check parent reviews, those who charge the fifty dollars less consistently show more homesickness in the cams that don't charge the extra fifty bucks to feed them well. at an athletic camp such as a tennis camp where kids are spending six hours a day on court, it's all the more important to ensure that campers are adequately fed and hydrated, but it's important at all camps. I'm sorry you had a lousy time at camp. Camp is supposed to be fun. i went to tennis camp when I was young and orchestra camp as a teen, and I always had a blast even though I was extremely picky as an eater.

    In a fit of masochism, I wached an episode of "Seventh Heaven" last weekend. Between my being overly tired and the plot being far-fetched and fairly asinine, I never figured out what was the point of the episode. Probably there was no point.

    1. LOL... Usually 7th Heaven episodes hammer you over the head with a theme mallet!

      I remember the camp had really cheap, nasty food... powdered milk, powdered eggs, and stuff that just tasted disgusting. I was saved by ice cream breaks, watermelon, and chocolate some counselors gave me because of a t-shirt I had. It was institutional food... like what you'd get in a school cafeteria. I could not eat it without gagging.

      My next summer camp experience was when I was 21 years old. But in that case, I was the cook and we had real food. The food was much better!

    2. You can't keep kid happy on institutional food. Maybe it would have worked during the depression, but not now. In school cafeterias where real food is not served, the vast majority of lunches are thrown away. (Breakfasts are eaten a bit more because it's often cerl or pastries, olus the kids are starving by that point.) The only reason no disaster happens with kids not eating most of their lunches is because as soon as they get home or to daycare, they eat.

    3. I have a low tolerance for bad food.


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