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Who are your friends?

March 23, 2009

by Herald Journal & Enteprise Dispatch Editor Lynda Jensen

I must confess that Facebook is more fun than I thought it would be. Part of the blame . . . er, I mean reason . . . is because I goof around with fun people online who have a great sense of humor and are fun to bug. It’s a pick-me-upper that only takes a few seconds to check online once a day when I get home from work.

The odd thing about the Internet is that it allows you to be within arm’s reach of people who would normally be outside your normal circle (and I do mean sans being normal).

That being said, I must confess being a bit mystified over recent news about people with Facebook accounts who “collect” friends – meaning that they actually have friends numbering in the hundreds or thousands (Facebook has a number under your profile of how many friends). My number is 28.

Sigh. Once again I find myself having a completely different definition of reality when it comes to electronic media, because – to me, at least – anything more than about 40 or so is high maintenance.

Why? Because to me, once you hit the confirmation button to confirm a friend, you are making a promise to them to stay in contact and write on their “wall” at least once in a while.

Being a friend takes a little bit of work. Plus, it’s a little unnerving on Facebook, since they can see all of your private whinings and gripings, not just a simple sentence that describes your mood that day.

This isn’t how the world thinks about friendship, and I can’t help but think that people who make friends easily depend on others, like me, who actually take the time to call. I don’t feel too bad about this, because my pastor said he feels the same way, too.

Anyway, here is a sample of Facebook silliness:

• Mark Ollig stuck a song in my head from Amy Winehouse. He did this insidiously by sending me a LINK. I usually view links with suspicion, assuming that the sender is trying to improve me somehow or make me learn something new. He’s doing this all the time.

Despite this, I bit on it. (Advisory: her lyrics are naughty. Don’t let your kids listen to her.)

• Some of my daily updates include such things as “Lynda worked out for seven minutes on the elliptical machine until her body said “NOT RESPONDING.” Or how about “Lynda is making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with Brie.”

• There are games and pictures you can post with results that you can tag to your friends. For example, Denise Rosenau, who is a cool chick from Cokato, tagged several of her friends with a set of corresponding “most likely” answers (for example, most likely to go dancing or most likely to go postal). She said I was most likely to “save the day.”

I was awful proud of this until she moved on to take a mental quiz and posted the results, “teenager.”

Hooray for Ann Harmala of Cokato!

This week, I would like to recognize Ann Harmala of Cokato as setting the standard of dedication and volunteerism; as well as for her compassion and caring. She is associated with the Safe & Share Thrift Shop in Cokato (located behind the Grounds coffee shop).

Through Ann’s efforts, and those of others, the thrift shop has donated $1,500 in scholarships to MN Disaster Relief, $500 to the food shelf, and helped plant two churches in Africa.

She is making the rest of us catch up to her! Keep going, Ann! We’ll catch up to you someday.

Anyone who would like to give suggestions about honoring others, or for me to mention everyday acts of kindness, please send me a note (PO Box 969, Cokato) or go online to my blog.

‘Excusable’ homicide

McLeod Co. Sheriff Scott Rehmann continues to work diligently on his book about the history of the McLeod County Sheriff’s Office.

I looked up another article for him about a cop from Winsted who accidentally shot his wife in 1959 – except that he confessed in 1994 that he actually shot her during an argument. She was murdered.

In 1959, the Lester Prairie Journal reported this death as an “excusable homicide,” with that being defined as an accidental death (see below). They didn’t even name the cop in the paper (it was Leroy Moonen and his wife Jeanette), and other than a front page article about excusable homicide, I could find nothing else.

They didn’t even bother printing her obituary, and spent considerable ink on the bloodmobile and other less important things than a woman being shot. It gave me the chills. Don’t marry the wrong guy in the ‘50s.

Quote of the week

“The most important thought I ever had was that of my individual responsibility toward God.”
– Daniel Webster