What Makes People Change?

I have a story to tell. Back in 1993, I heard that a big blizzard was coming to the area. Instead of staying in my apartment I decided to go out of town to my parents house to ride out the storm. I got there just as the snow started to pick up, and by the time it was done where they lived there were 34 inches of extra snow on the ground.

The problem is that where my parents live, as well as where I live, we already had at least 3 to 5 feet of snow on the ground. Since I was at my parents house, we had to deal with the fact that the driveway had totally filled up with snow about four feet high, which meant my car was totally covered. As a matter of fact the entire driveway was so high that there was no way we could have gotten out to the street if an emergency had happened. This was definitely problematic.

Still, Dad and I had to try. So we went out there with our shovels and we started digging. After three hours we actually made a path that allowed us to make it to the street, but it was so thin that it really couldn’t do us much good. We knew there was no way we were ever going to be able to dig out all that snow on our own. We also knew we didn’t have many options.

But something great happened. The guy across the street from my dad looked over, saw the problem we were having, and came over with one of those super heavy duty snowplows. It took him about an hour, but he was able to clear the entire driveway of snow except for around my car, which Dad and I took care of. We were very thankful that he did that for us, and that was the day we met Doug.

Doug and his family were very nice to us, and we tried to be nice to them. His daughter Mackenzie became a fan of my dad, and he would always talk to her when he saw her outside. Whenever I would visit Doug would pop over and say a few words to me, but I never really got to know him all that well. However, the day my dad passed away, as he was being driven to the hospital in the ambulance, Doug came over and put his arms around me as I cried for the first time since I was nine years old. The next day he said that he would always look out for my mother and make sure that she would be fine.

A couple years later Doug’s life changed. His mother passed away, he got divorced from his wife, and she and his daughter moved away and we’ve never seen them again. I noticed some changes in him as well even though I didn’t see them all that often. I don’t think one ever forgets what it looks like when someone may be doing certain types of drugs, and even though it’d been years since I’d seen it in someone, I knew it was there.

Then at some point some people moved into his house, and I would see these children sitting out on the front step or playing in the driveway. I didn’t get to meet any of them until the day we buried my grandmother, when I had to go over to their house to pick up some flowers that have been delivered to our house, but nobody had been home and they had been left at his house. On that day I met his new wife and one of her three children, and he seemed very happy.

Last Wednesday I went to visit my mother, and after I parked in the driveway something said to me that I should go over and talk to Doug. I still had a bad feeling about things and I wasn’t sure why. But I decided it wasn’t my place to intrude so I didn’t go. Sometimes you just can’t act on the Spidey senses if you know what I mean.

Friday night I got a call from my mother saying that there were a lot of police cars and a couple of ambulances across the street at Doug’s house. She didn’t have any idea what was going on, and she hadn’t seen anybody including the children, but it reminded her of when they took my grandmother to the emergency room.

My mother is not necessarily the nosy type, so she wasn’t about to go outside to find out what was going on. But the next day we found out. Based on the information we have, Doug’s new wife had been stabbed to death and he was charged with second-degree murder. I don’t know if the children saw anything, but at least the children were safe. When I saw his picture in the newspaper I was sad; how had things gone so wrong in this man’s life?

I wonder about the types of things that make people change so drastically. When I met him he seemed to have a very good life. His house was brand new just like my parents house. His daughter at the time was maybe two years old, and his wife was very attractive. He had a very good job as well; it was one of those jobs where if he hit his yearly quota early he could take the rest of the year off, and he had done that for a few years in a row. He seemed to be the nicest guy, always in control if a little crazy.

But strange as it seems, most of us change in some fashion as time goes on. We have certain life events that we end up taking new clues from and altering our perceptions in some way. I know that I’m more sensitive to things both personal and in the world since my dad passed away. I’ll also cry from time to time if something hits me a certain way, and for someone who went 34 years between crying that’s somewhat irksome.

But I’ve retained my integrity, and in some ways I’m less forgiving than I used to be when people violate my three principal mores of loyalty, honesty, and trustworthiness. I like to think that the changes I’ve allowed to be made in my life have not impeded the way I try to treat people. Unfortunately, even though there’s still a trial to come, I know I can’t say the same thing for Doug.

Sometimes relatively good people do bad things that are just unforgivable. In this instance there are three children who don’t have a mother and will have to find their way on their own in life. How do these things happen?
 

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Firefox Vs. Chrome – The Debate Continues

You know, back in July when I wrote the post talking about testing Chrome & coming back to Firefox I thought that all discussions about chrome would probably be over. Little did I know that discussion would open up again via a conversation I had with someone on Twitter.

I don’t remember what exactly started the conversation, that at one point in the conversation the young man and I started talking about browsers and he said regarding Firefox “Maybe it’s for old people? 😛 My visitors use IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari. In that order.” When I commented on that, saying I had trouble believing it, he said “I manage 5 of my own, plus about two dozen for clients. Never seen anything but IE in first. You, sir, are an anomaly.”

First I have to address the “old” issue. I would doubt that age would have anything to do with what browser anybody decided to use except for possibly IE, and then only because it’s the default browser that comes with Windows. Whereas younger people might learn from their friends later on that there are better browsers, older participants might not hear that information, and thus will stick with what they know.

Old? Let’s look at old for a minute. I first got on the Internet December 1995. Back then, there weren’t a lot of choices when it came to browsers. The first one I remember using came with America Online, and everybody was using that because AOL was everywhere. Later I discovered IE, but learned that there were security issues with it. All the “cool kids” were using Netscape, and when I gave that a try I said “wow”. That was my browser of choice until it was bought by whomever (can’t remember right now but I’m sure it will come to me later) and Mozilla decided to go out on their own.

The first Firefox was wonderful. The only thing I lost in switching to it was the ability to code within the browser. But since I had another program for that I didn’t mind so much. The best thing about Firefox is always been customization. You can pretty much customize it to do whatever you want to do. For instance, I have a bunch of extensions that allow me to do things such as change what websites look like, change the functionality of my browser, give me information and immediately so that I don’t have to go elsewhere, and a host of other things I’d rather not get into right now. True, adding all those extensions will slow things down a bit, but since I added the extra RAM to my computer things have been running beautifully.

My friend believed that speed and clean browsing is more important than customization. I will agree with that to an extent. If my browser slow down the files I wanted to download I’d probably have a gripe. The browsers have nothing to do with that, IP’s do. If speed was the only thing my friend really cared about he wouldn’t be using Chrome at all, he would be using Opera, which even now is the fastest browser I’ve ever seen. Not only that but Chrome, which is a Google product, tracks pretty much everything you do online. Everybody knows it, but there is something about younger people who really don’t care that their tracks and really don’t care about their privacy as much as us “older” people, who had to deal with things such as the red scare, communism and all that other garbage that we’ve proven really was a flawed model.

That’s enough of the “old” talk. Let’s talk about the demographics of browser use when it comes to webpages. As you saw in his quote above, he stated that Chrome was the top browser being used by people who visited all of his websites. With the caveat being that there is no way I can determine the age of the people who visit all the websites that I have in the websites I manage, let me show you the numbers that I see for all of my websites based on Google Analytics; by the way, if you care, you can view this information under Visitors, then look at the bottom under “technical profile”:

I’m Just Sharing:

Firefox 37.55%
Chrome 25.97%
Internet Explorer 17.94%
Safari 11.36%

Mitch’s Blog:

Internet Explorer 32.48%
Firefox 28.57%
Chrome 18.86%
Safari 11.83%

Top Finance Blog:

Firefox 38.61%
Chrome 26.19%
Internet Explorer 22.92%
Safari 7.91%

Syracuse Wiki:

Firefox 30.57%
Internet Explorer 26.57%
Safari 17.43%
Chrome 13.71%

SEO Xcellence Blog:

Firefox 57.39%
Chrome 20.87%
Internet Explorer 7.83%
Safari 5.22%

SEO Xcellence:

Firefox 31.78%
Internet Explorer 31.01%
Chrome 26.36%
Safari 4.65%

T T Mitchell Consulting, Inc:

Internet Explorer 57.81%
Firefox 19.20%
Chrome 10.93%
Safari 6.44%

CNYHBA:

Firefox 45.59%
Internet Explorer 27.94%
Safari 13.24%
Chrome 8.82%

CNYHBA Blog:

Internet Explorer 51.25%
Firefox 23.75%
Safari 10.00%
Chrome 10.00%

Li’l Specs:

Internet Explorer 40.00%
Firefox 32.31%
Safari 10.77%
Chrome 9.23%

Medical Billing Answers:

Internet Explorer 79.13%
Firefox 9.88%
Chrome 5.62%
Safari 3.34%

Smoke Not So Much:

Internet Explorer 36.86%
Chrome 19.49%
Safari 17.37%
Firefox 16.95%

Services and Stuff:

Internet Explorer 53.95%
Firefox 21.31%
Safari 8.59%
Chrome 7.90%

Professional Consultant’s Association:

Internet Explorer 32.04%
Firefox 30.10%
Safari 15.53%
Chrome 13.59%

PCA Blog:

Internet Explorer 40.32%
Firefox 29.03%
Chrome 14.52%
Safari 8.06%

G Chapman Consulting:

Internet Explorer 54.21%
Firefox 17.37%
Safari 13.68%
Chrome 6.84%

Krueger Resource Recovery:

Internet Explorer 64.66%
Firefox 18.10%
Chrome 7.76%
Safari 4.74%

There’s a couple other websites I manage, but I didn’t want to bring those clients into the mix. However, their numbers are pretty much the same as all the others I’ve shown you above. Since the only one where Chrome actually beats Firefox for my sites is my anti-smoking site, I can probably conclude that only sites that addicts visit tend to use Chrome more often than Firefox, but that would be pretty silly.

Anyway, those are my numbers. I don’t necessarily expect that everybody who has a website will end up with numbers like mine, but I wanted to paint kind of a broad brush because I guess the “old” thing was something I felt I needed to address. But it would be interesting to hear from some of the rest of you what your analytics look like when it comes to browsers that visit your sites, especially those of you who are younger than 35, since I believe my young friend is actually younger than that. Seeing as how in 1995 I was 36 years old, that means that I was older than he is now, which could mean that in his eyes I’ve always been old. But that’s okay because I’m feeling pretty old myself these days; good thing I’ve got that Vegas trip coming up. 🙂
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Mitch Mitchell