All posts by ak0003ui

Boundary Issues

My Husband and I bought a house just over a year ago. We love the house and the location is in a perfect location as far as drive times to work. We have been doing some renovations project to make the house more ours and things have been coming together perfectly. We just have one problem… neighbors. We like to socialize with people and its good to have open lines of communication with ones neighbors incase of emergency but we would prefer more of a relationship where we can just wave from a distance and not have long in-depth conversations that never end.


I probably sound like an anti-social crab but I assure you that I’m not. The very first day of ownership, a neighbor from across the street walked over to introduce herself and stayed in our driveway for over an hour. At the time I thought that maybe it went on and on because it was the first meeting and she wanted to establish some type of relationship. I have learned that every encounter with this woman will be this way and that she has a way of trapping you so that you cant get away. Its horrible to feel as though you cant use the front door for the fear that she will see you and come running out of her house to talk. Just as horrible is feeling like I have to look out of the window to make sure she is not outside before I attempt to leave the house. I have even gone as far as faking phone calls to prevent a conversation.


I don’t know what the answer is or how I can politely but firmly set a boundary. I fear that it might come down to us having to be mean to her so that she dislikes us and no longer desires talking with us.



Has anyone heard of the group that calls themselves Anonymous? I follow their page on social media and they often post articles about current events or others things that the public might be interested in. Like I have stated in the past, I am all for free speech and I like to learn about the different thoughts and opinions that people have. I enjoy other perspectives on all kinds of subjects. Even if I disagree with what someone else thinks or says, I feel that this sharing of different thoughts on a subject can help us all learn and grow.


When reading the articles that Anonymous posts, I often feel that they might be using unnecessary scare tactics to frighten the public. Maybe what they are posting is 100% accurate, I guess I have no way of being sure, but what I do know is that I always feel slightly uneasy after reading the posts and articles.


Another thing that makes me question the validity of the items that the group posts is that they post it from behind a mask. No, really! They have a scary looking mask that they have actually worn in different videos that they have posted online. If what a person is stating is true, correct and factual- why would they have to hide who they are behind a mask?


The other issue I have with this group is that because the public has no way of knowing who they are, one is not able to know if this group has a connection to a well known company or organization that could be benefiting from what is posted from behind the mask.


Various news stations have reported recently about fake news being posted all across different social media platforms. I find that I question more and more what I am reading to try and weed through the fake from the reality. I guess we should never stop questioning.

Freedom of speech.

A few weeks ago we watched a video in class about The Yes Men. In my opinion, this group is practicing a form of the first amendment and exercising the right to speak freely. While this is debatable, as long as people are not harmed in the process I am fine with it.

Shortly after the class when we were introduced to this video, I came across a different group of guys who are doing a similar type of activity. Joe Pickett and Nick Prueher are the founders and creators of the Found Footage Festival. They have made appearances on news channels pretending to be fake characters and acting ridiculous in order to get a laugh. They are different from The Yes Men in the way that they don’t have an objective of any kind other than to be comedians.

They recently appeared on a Wisconsin morning news show where they called themselves “Chop and Steel” and they were showcasing different workout moves and core building exercises that people could do at home. The exercises were comical and the men were dressed in Zubaz and tight gym clothes to add to the humor.


A Google search found that the comedy duo has made appearances in the past on different news channels posing as yo-yo experts or chefs and I’m surprised that this is the first time I am hearing about them. It could be that they are gaining fame due to a recent lawsuit. It turns out that the news channel in Wisconsin has filed a lawsuit against the men for posing as something they aren’t and making a mockery of the news segment as well as providing fake information to the stations viewers.

Who does not do proper research prior to inviting a guest to be on your television broadcast? How can the television channel bring about a lawsuit when they did not do the proper homework ahead of time. These men are in a way using free speech to get some laughs in a world where maybe we could all use more laughter. What’s the harm in that? All because a news channel feels embarrassed, they jump on the lawsuit bandwagon. I really hope that the judge in this case has this thrown out and Joe and Nick can continue to make people laugh.

A good dog with a bad stick.

This past Saturday was a beautiful day. We spent most of the day in the yard doing some spring cleaning. The dog was excited to be outside and bring us various items to be thrown for his enjoyment. Picture perfect day.

We have a border collie names Max. He is high energy and ready for action at anytime. We have always thrown whatever item he finds and brings to us. Sometimes a ball, occasionally a leaf or a blade of grass but most often a stick. Sticks have always been his favorite and maybe it’s because they are so abundant in our yard. Today’s game of fetch was like any other and max was having a great time. A few throws in and a freak accident occurred. I’ve never seen anything like it. The stick somehow lodged it self in the ground just enough so that it was sticking up at an angle and ready to make direct contact with Max’s face. The end of the stick managed to jam into his left nostril and he let out a horrible squeal.

Our poor boy was bleeding from inside of his nose and I was horrified. After cleaning up his injury we offered him his favorite treat and water to which he declined. He wanted to be a sad pup in the corner for the rest of he day.

We decided that because the bleeding had stopped that we would monitor him and decide in a few hours if he needed to be seen by the vet. Later in the evening he was drinking water and seemed to be back to normal.

After we had cleaned his nose right after the injury took place, I found myself googling dog first aid for this type of injury. I came across many articles that talk about the dangers of playing fetch with sticks. If I had not witnessed this stick injury first hand, I would not have put much stock into the information. Going forward, we have decided that we won’t be throwing sticks for Max. I would hate for something worse to happen to our boy. This week I’ll have to get to the pet store to purchase some alternative fetch toys. Anyone ever experience anything like this with a dog?

Are vaccines really that important?

I have always been up on my vaccines so I had never really given much though to the subject. I am protected, so what do I have to worry about? I have a small child and while we are working on his vaccines over the course of his first year of life, I fear what could happen if he came into contact with a disease that he does not have full protection from yet. Recently in Minnesota we have seen an outbreak of measles among small children. It is understood that in some cultures vaccines can be against religions or beliefs. It is also understood that in some cases, due to medical conditions, people are not able to get vaccines. No matter the reason it can still be scary to think about. Are we on the verge of a massive outbreak that could spiral out of control at any time?

MPR recently posted an article that outlines the current measles outbreak in Minnesota. While what is discussed in this article only is for a small handful of children, the amount of children who don’t receive vaccines is much higher. If these children were to come into contact with the infected parties, we could be looking at many sick children.

My Grandmother contracted polio when she was 16 years old. As a result of the illness, she is now a paraplegic. I can’t imagine the devastation if we had an outbreak of any of these diseases today that could be prevented with a simple shot. speaks about the eradication of diseases. While we can’t force all people to be on board with vaccines and while I respect different viewpoints on the necessity of vaccines, what a great accomplishment to have all of these diseases eradicated from todays world.

Sad Social Media

I have always been the type of person to respect all people’s thoughts and beliefs. I have never bashed anyone for things they think or say simply because I disagree or think differently. I believe that all people can learn from each other while engaging in conversations if they have different views or thoughts. With that being said, I have found that I have been having a hard time with social media lately. Leading up to our recent presidential election and after, I have found Facebook to be a war zone. Many people use Facebook to have discussions about current events and I am perfectly fine with that, but I have never seen so many fights on Facebook as I have recently. I get it, I totally do – people are heated about the outcome and need an outlet to write about it.

It seems like anytime someone posts a status update or an article relating to the election, someone posts a comment that is full of hate or extreme negativity. I have witnessed friends who have said horrible things to their family members. It’s not something that I care to see. I like to log onto Facebook and see positive things or things that I can learn from, not super aggressive fights with mean and hurtful words. Seeing these things make me sad and leave me feeling down. Maybe I should just keep scrolling and not pay attention, but I have actually contemplated taking a break from Facebook and just deactivating my account until things calm down a little.

I recently ran across an article that outlines how to filter out political posts so that they won’t show up on my news feed. I decided to follow the steps so that I won’t see the fights that leave me feeling sad. I feel like I will start to have a more positive experience on social media after using the filter tool. Is it wrong to just want to see cute pictures of puppies and kids on Facebook?

Sarah Whitehead