Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Dinosaurs ALIVE! Exhibit   Leave a comment

A friend’s post on Facebook about a Jurassic dinosaurs exhibit reminded me of the time my mom took my sister and I to a similar exhibit, if I remember correctly, called “Dinosaurs ALIVE!” This was before the movie “Jurassic Park” came out in theaters.

Little me took it literally, thinking there were real dinosaurs in the exhibit. The only dinosaurs I’ve seen before then were on children’s books, “The Land Before Time” cartoon, and crude, old, stop-motion movies with dinosaurs in it.

Walking down the long corridor towards the exhibit, we could hear the dinosaurs roaring and screaming. I tightened my grip on my mom’s hand. I was “game” to go in, but my legs were shaky and felt like turning back. Then we went inside and saw the huge dinosaurs greeting us. They were just huge sculptures and animatronics with sounds.

I was both relieved and disappointed that the dinosaurs were not alive. I had fun exploring and reading the names of the dinosaurs and what they looked like. Ever since then, I’ve had a love or love relationship with dinosaurs and paleontology.

I’m done


Posted January 9, 2019 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Personal

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Death of Your Online Presence   Leave a comment

I find it off-putting making my first non-video related piece in a long time be about this topic. I’ve been contemplating this subject for a while now. This is similar to a person leaving all of their social media.

After Xanga’s demise, I thought about leaving blogging altogether. I created my WordPress account as an alternative placed by Xanga admins to importing archived posts to WordPress. It worked in a way, but posts with images are still linked to Xanga servers, which they were taking down to begin with.

Five years later, I’ve been more active on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. I have Twitter, snapchat, and trusty old Blogger. I mainly use WordPress and Blogger for cross-posting and sharing my creations on YouTube. Lots of platforms to be creative out there… until you don’t feel it anymore.

I don’t have a big following. Feedback is appreciated, but that’s not what’s driving me to create. For every video I make on YouTube or piece I write here, I’m improving and honing my skills.¬†Lately, I just don’t have it in me to do these things anymore. It starts to feel like a chore. To put something out there for the principle (this post is an exception cause I really wanted to write this down).

So what would the death of my online presence be like? I know of two ways.

1. The Purge

The hoarder in me is the only thing preventing me from going about this route. It’s the most extreme example I can think of: Permanently deleting all social media accounts. All videos uploaded to YouTube? Gone. Instagram photos? Gone. Tweets? Gone. Everything is gone with or without saving backups. Online connections you don’t have a contact with offline? Gone and severed.

People have done this for privacy reasons, identity theft. Sometimes bullying. Or maybe you’re just fed up and realized how you respond and talk to people has completely changed, taking everything as a personal attack, enforcing your authority, etc.

2. Soft Reset

A soft reset is another term for a restart on a device (typically a smartphone), that closes all applications, clears RAM, and any unsaved data. Data stored on the harddrive is not affected.

A social media soft reset would be deactivating your Facebook accounts or privatizing all posts and shared media from friends, subscribers, with no updates. You can always go back to a deactivated Facebook account as if you never left. All your private posts are only viewable to you. You simply stop posting and end up being a lurker. With an active account, you still have access to your social media, but you don’t comment, leave a like, subscribe, retweet, etc. There are third-party versions of social media apps that completely masks your presence: read receipts, “Seen by” for Instagram stories, etc.

It’s not as drastic as a purge, but it’s the same idea of minimizing your online presence. Not entirely a death.


It’s really hard to do a complete purge, especially if your online presence is tied to you in real life. There are services online that lets you delete your accounts online. It will find all sites you have access to with all the emails you provide and ask if you want to delete them.

For Twitter or Instagram, if your account is not set to private (or was set to public at some point), chances are your tweets and photos have been crawled through by countless bots, aggregated by third-party sites, hashtags, metadata, and everything else replicated.

As an experiment, try googling your full name or social media username. Scroll past familiar search result and check all search results in subsequent pages. With my username, I found that several of my photos on Flickr have been used in online articles in different states or countries.

Some people have devious-feeling reasons for purging or minimizing their online presence. Which leads us to number three.

3. Rebirth

They want a fresh start. Free from their previous account(s) online presence or online presence in general. I wish I knew then, as a fellow pioneer of this new frontier called the World Wide Web, how precious and golden being completely anonymous is online.

This veers more towards conspiracy theory levels, but there are many legitimate reasons for remaining off-the-grid online. Top of all reasons being your privacy. With social engineering, it only takes a few keywords to find out where you live, your phone number, an email address, and your name. The more personal information you have out there linked to various sites (social media, banking, email, websites, etc.) the bigger your online footprint is.

On a grander scale, you could hire a lawyer and use a service to help remove your online presence as much as possible. There will always be remnants of aggregated data obtained by companies (mostly spam) that shared your info, but search results on your name/username moving forward will be minimal and whatever you or a company has on you that you put out online.

For social media, it’s using a completely different username with no ties to your older account. You can be fancy and roleplay a different set of likes/dislikes, hobbies, interests, etc. But that’s reserved for catfishers. Or simply start a new random account that doesn’t stand out. You can blend in with the crowd.

10-15 years ago, I can probably do a complete purge in heartbeat. Didn’t sign up to as many sites as I have now. Now, I have more real connections online. Some tend to be more annoying than most, but it’s like everybody else’s situation. They’re good people. This is our reality now. Our aging infrastructures just needs to keep up.

I’m done.

Posted August 28, 2018 by StupidSystemus in Musings

Your Grandparents‚Äô Language   Leave a comment

I grew up with English, Cebuano (Visayan), and Tagalog spoken interchangeably around me. At an early age, I was accustomed to Visaya and English. In the 1st grade, Tagalog (Filipino) was taught as one of the subjects along with English. Having moved to the US, I’m more fluent now in English than Visaya (which we continue to speak in the house). I can still read Tagalog, but it requires more concentration on my part and digging deep to form a simple phrase coherent phrase.

My cousin and her family are now in the Philippines and visited my uncle. It’s the first time her toddler and baby have met their grandpa. I was looking through their pictures posted on Facebook and one of my uncle’s friends commented in deeply-rooted Visayan, which is like almost comparable to modern English and Old English. I could barely understand some of the words. It reminded me of my grandpa’s toast during my other uncle’s wedding, in which he spoke in old Visayan as well.

Spoken Visaya varies from region to region. The common thing between them is that it now has more borrowed words and phrases from Tagalog and English to make it easier to talk to everyone. It’s pretty much how modern and spoken English has evolved, with borrowed words and terms from other languages around the world. This is what makes English so hard to learn from speakers of other languages: it’s not consistent.

I read somewhere during the 2018 Winter Olympics that the joint North and South Korea women’s ice hockey teams needed English translators and a list of different vocabularies to understand each other. Almost 70 years since the split that their common language usage have diverged significantly.

I wonder how language will evolve in the next 50 years. Will we still talk to each other in English or emojis? Will we be communicating in image macros and memes?

I’m done.

Posted April 24, 2018 by StupidSystemus in Musings

Outlook on Job/Health Security   Leave a comment

Besides summer jobs in high school and college, I officially joined the workforce when Obama was sworn in as President in 2009.

Pay was alright for an entry level job. Not as much as the average salary people in my major were making, but it was something to get my foot in the door, start accumulating experience. Health insurance was alright. High deductible unlike my mom’s insurance at her job, which covered and paid for everything.

Lots of changes have been made since then: overtime pay, work permits for foreign nationals, Affordable Care Act, etc.

Within a year of the new administration, all of these have been demolished. Reduced budget. Removed. Repealed. At least about to be.

Tom Brokaw on NBC used to run a segment called “The Fleecing of America.” It was a series of segments “exposing cases of waste and fraud that victimize individuals or the general public.” Most of them were done behind doors. I didn’t think we’d see a national example currently in progress out in the open.

This affects everyone in the middle class. This includes everyone who thinks they are part of the 1% but are really in the middle class.

How do we change this besides a full blown coup or revolution? Informed voting seems to be out the window. The GOP appeals to the disenfranchised, presenting themselves as their savior, propagating class, religion, and racial warfare, and screws them over anyway. The Democrats, too, are mobilizing their efforts, appealing to social change, presenting themselves as the voice of reason, and an implied air of superiority as the intellectual.

How do you reach everyone, turning them into informed voters, without alienating and/or belittling their way of life? When education, now a luxury controlled by greedy corporations and institutions, is an informed people still possible?

I’m done.

Posted December 4, 2017 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Rant

Romanticizing ‘Moving Out of Town’   Leave a comment

Just a small town girl, living in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city boy, born and raised in South Detroit
He took the midnight train going anywhere
~ Journey – Don’t Stop Believin’

Just about anyone I know has either moved out of their town or state for a better life or planning/dreaming of moving out of town. Heck, my family and I left the Philippines for the US in the 90s. My mom was offered a job and it was our ticket way out of our previous predicament. She lucked out with her choices, worked hard to provide for us siblings. We benefited a lot and will forever be thankful for it. Since I came here at a young age, this is now my hometown.

I have friends who left and friends who plan or dream of leaving. They don’t like their hometown. Not sure if it’s the town/state they are distancing from. Maybe it’s a family thing. Maybe it’s both. They want to leave town because it’s bad, no opportunities, and to be away from bad blood (family, friends, etc.). It has never dawned on me wanting to leave my hometown. I don’t hate it. I have every opportunity available to me. It’s not Minnesota or upstate New York cold. It’s no Southern hot, either. The Goldilocks zone. I sometimes think of living in another state up north or the West Coast. They’re more musings than some prime desire to leave. It tends to be some sort of rite of passage in American culture, to spread your wings and fly. It’s an adventurous and exciting premise completely devoid of responsibilities we face on a daily basis.

For others, they have every reason to leave their hometown.

For me, for now, for the foreseeable future, I’m good.

I’m done.


Posted November 11, 2017 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Uncategorized