08 October 2014

Now This is Interesting...

Interesting and Creepy.....

We interrupt our regularly scheduled posting for a commentary.

The Texas house received an American Community Survey from the U.S. Census Bureau which was forwarded to Colorado because no one in Texas wants to deal with stuff like that.

I was a bit surprised that it was an online survey. Really? Does everyone in the U.S. have a computer now? Everywhere? I did a little Googling (is that officially a verb now?) and found that yes, it was legit and it was mandatory that I complete it. So I did.

It was pretty nosy survey but didn't really ask any questions that our lovely government probably doesn't already know the answers to anyway. Financial answers could have come from our income tax returns. Our mortgage info (and insurance related to that mortgage) is also probably pretty discoverable.

But I was curious. The website says:

The American Community Survey (ACS) is a mandatory, ongoing statistical survey that samples a small percentage of the population every year -- giving communities the information they need to plan investments and services.

A small percentage, huh?  
So I posted on Facebook to see if anyone else I knew got the same survey. Apparently one friend did and her husband kindly took care of it.

And there were some comments about whether any of this was our government's business or not.

It also said  "The Census Bureau chose your address, not you personally..." which I question.  Every Census I have filled out has been the long form. (Granted that has only been like three of them, but still. You remember stuff like that when everyone else answers 3 questions and you have to slog through 5 pages.) I guess I have lived at magical addresses.

Anyway, the take away from this Facebook convo and the survey is that there are no secrets.
If our government doesn't know everything about you, then China's does. Or Russia's.
Or at least they can find out about you if they feel like it.

And if you post anything anywhere on social media of any kind, you have relinquished your privacy. Or even if you haven't posted, if your friends post about you, then you are now fair game.

I have a blog. I'm pretty discoverable.

Which leads us to the creepy part.

When I posted pics prior to my high school reunion, I included one of me in my prom dress with a plaster cast on my leg.

Does this excite you?
I hope not.

While checking stats on my blog this past week I saw a huge surge in hits from what I suspected was a web bot or phantom crawler. Then I (once again) Googled the referring URL and guess what?!!

My pic was discovered by a community of people who USE CASTS AND BRACES FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES!!

Have you ever heard of such a thing? Seriously. There are people who love to "dress up" in casts and wear them around.  
I had no idea.
Of course, many of these people are just pervs who get off to others in plaster or fiberglass or bandages or  medical braces....loving the idea that my 18 year old plaster cast leg is some guy's fantasy (NOT!)...but really. There is just something out there for everyone.

Now I have seen people at DisneyWorld who rent wheelchairs just so they can cut the lines. We were once behind a large family and as they all walked to the gates one of the kids said "Who gets to be in the wheelchair today?". Because if you are in a wheelchair or on crutches at Disney, then you and your family get to go to the front of the lines.
But that isn't creepy, just despicable.

But recreational casting and bracing.
You just never know.

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