Monday, September 10, 2012

Big Apple Pizza and the #Politics of Yelping

Yesterday, Scott Van Duzer, powerlifter and owner of Big Apple Pizza in Fort Pierce, Florida gave a big hug to Obama and said that, although he was a traditional Republican, he supported Obama for reasons that seemed good to him. Hey, it's America, right?
Then today a wave of people were jumping on this business's Yelp reviews and giving him low (one-star) reviews based, not on his pizza or anything, but on the politics! This is wrong. Love him, hate him, buy his pizza, boycott his pizza ... do what you want! But don't go mess around with reviews - that hurts everybody.
The internet reacted. Now at this moment the reviews condemning the political reviews are driving the political reviews down. I don't know how it all works out mathematically; just off the top of my head, it seems likely that a spate of 1-star and 5-star reviews will drive the overall score toward the median, masking the actual, quality-based score. But I found it interesting enough to try to be funny in  writing my own review:
"You may or may not like Obama,
You may be all focused on drama,
 But when pizza you're rating -
 Think "food" and not "hating"!
You should have learned that from your Momma!"
I'm happy to see that other reviewers rated this little limerick as "funny" as well as "useful" and "cool".  I'll probably never go to Florida and see this guy's pizza shop, but we are now connected in a little way, thanks to the internet, a desire for fairness, and a shared love of humor.

Updated 9/11/2012:
It looks like Yelp has purged a lot of reviews, including mine. Ah well! My only regret is the loss of so many positive responses to my review ... it was 2nd in the "funny" category and in the top 10 of "cool". I suppose this is a lesson to writers: preserve your work on more than 1 site!

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Sunday, September 09, 2012

From the Paint Locker to #ZeroWaste - A #CTWW Challenge!

In honor of Zero Waste Week, this week's Change the World Wednesday Challenge is:
"This week, consider your recycling habits and decide on one more thing which you can do to reduce landfill waste. Let us know what you're doing, and how, so that we can all learn and be inspired."
We've already cut back on our garbage can to the smallest size available, and thanks to Seattle's fine residential recycling program, we don't fill up the trash can even over the course of two weeks. But there's always room for improvement!
When your creativity is stuck, one place to look is at a project that you've been delaying for no good reason that you're willing to admit.
A task that I have been avoiding has been cleaning out the paint locker. When we bought this house a couple of years ago, there were several cans of paint in the basement left over from who-knows-what.  While latex-based paint may be safely disposed of in the trash, oil-based paint has to be treated as a hazardous waste, and either way, they contribute to the mountain of garbage. I've been putting off dealing with this.
Meanwhile, there are a number of plain concrete surfaces around the house: the walls of our laundry room, and the outside of our foundation. I have been gradually painting the foundation, a little at a time, because I like the way it perks up the look of the place, and it (may) give it a little more protection from the elements.
It just struck me: why not go through may old paint and apply anything that's still usable to my surfaces?
I'm pretty sure the latex paint would go fine in the laundry room, and perhaps reduce the dust that seems to collect on bare cement surfaces. The oil-based paint should be o.k. for the parts of the foundation that don't get seen very often, regardless of the color. There just doesn't seem to be any reason to have a collection of half-full paint cans or to send them to the landfill/hazardous waste facility, when there are perfectly good walls ready to put them to use!
This project will take a bit of time, to sort through things and apply them, but as a bonus, I will then have an empty paint locker than can be used for something else. I'll write when the paint locker is empty and hope I have good news to report!

4freeCLE: Your Free CLE Newsletter! September 9, 2012

4freeCLE: Your Free CLE Newsletter!
September 9, 2012
In This Issue
Multi-State Mega-CLE September 19
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September 19
Multi-State Mega-CLE
One of the biggest free CLE events is the Salvation Army's annual Estate & Charitable Gift Planning Institute.
At over a hundred locations across the USA, you can earn 4-6 credits, including an ethics credit, while learning some very useful information!
Locations including cities in California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Vermont and Wisconsin.
Pre-registration is essential; some locations are already filled up. 

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