Resolutions for 2019

Seeking ideas for this small blog of mine, I began last month to refer to the weekly newsletter Publishous.  Publishous is a little more than a year old, with about 5800 supporters.  The newsletter is a collection of semi-connected ideas about content and the like and includes a writing prompt.

Formerly I would refer to WordPress’ own daily prompts before that came to an end, owing, I presume, to WordPress no longer wishing to organize their once-a-day prompts.

The prompt for the current newsletter is Resolutions.  I am late because I did less work between Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

As you know, the custom among many New Year’s revelers is to identify resolutions for the coming year that mark a life change.  Resolutions can be in the spirit of fun, or they can be difficult to declare if a resolution requires the kind of change that is hard to make.

I kind of hate resolutions because I cannot think of useful ones.  I do have a few tactics ready, for better productivity in 2019.

I was inspired in 2018 to read Robert Greene’s book The 48 Laws of Power.  This book was a difficult read, but rich enough with great ideas to benefit from having read the book.  Even though 2019 was far off, I thought to resolve to make some attempt to apply the book to my strategy in the year ahead.

I was not confident that I could apply much of The 48 Laws of Power until I came across a Twitter account that helps by mentioning ideas from Greene’s book–
https://twitter.com/48tweetsofpower

I want to apply more commitment to the areas of work for which I am already present.

My digital social interactions are largely confined to Facebook and Twitter.

At the cemetery, we have been working together since 2011, and we soon thought that a page for the work we do would be useful.

Maple Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

On Twitter, I don’t specifically refer to details of the work I do with my dad.  Instead, I tweet a few articles, generally about tech, and some about charity and a few other concepts.  I have the idea that, if I do this, it could prove useful.

On Facebook, real “real estate” is hard to market, because of the competition among business users, to make ads which are interesting.  I wish my dad and I had a marketing budget, but we don’t.

Most of the work I do for my dad’s little business is done on a volunteer basis, and I rarely include a call-to-action that deliberately invites business (you could say I leave money on the table).  It’s just not my responsibility.

That’s all part of why I struggle with effective New Year’s resolutions.  It is frustrating to think that life improvement could be worked out without a yin and yang down-side, that depletes the benefit of strategy in business, and in life.  I want to check the work in case there is a down-side, that I am blind to, that could defeat me.

I want to blog at approximately the same pace at which the newsletter prompts are e-mailed, in Publishous.  You may wish to check it out for yourself.

The spirit of the blog is to put out an “ask” identifying that I’m interested in taking “real world” work online and also that I’m capable as a creator, to use the buzzword, to keep active in a role which for now is valuable to my dad’s business in terms of the results I effect.  I’m an optimist.


Photographer:
Jiyeon Park

Thank you for reading my post here, and good luck with your own blogging in 2019. Take care, and all the best.

Passionate Ice; A Boy Desiring What Others Did Not So Much

Batman and Secret Origins and 1989 film tie-in

This is the tale of a Christmas gift.

Some of the cool moments from my life were opportunities to see films, in movie theaters.  In 1989, cinema fans filled movie houses to see the DC superhero Batman come to life.

Dimensions: 5213 x 3580
Photographer: Bruce Mars

I had a good time.  Michael Keaton’s role as Bruce Wayne, with its distance from crime, detachment from wealth, indifference to romance, makes the character of Batman seem re-imagined.  I suppose Keaton was a surprise heroic star turn, and the subplot of Gotham City TV news anchors unable to appear beautiful, owing to poison in beauty products delivered by the antagonist character The Joker, is clever.

The action sequence in a chemicals factory, when Jack Nicholson faces his character Jack Napier’s transition to The Joker, is memorable.  In other scenes from Batman, Billy Dee Williams of Hollywood fame owing to earlier roles in The Empire Strikes Back and subsequently in Return of the Jedi, appears as Harvey Dent.

The climactic confrontation of the film, at the Gotham City parade beneath a cathedral with the height of a skyscraper, is wonderful.  In 1989, my mother clipped for me a newspaper column detailing synopses of films which starred Nicholson, the other actor of Batman making a star turn.

In 1989, I thought certain films making it to the video market were important, despite evidence to the contrary.  Films, I surmised, enjoyed but one opportunity to become available for home theater fans.

Batman and Secret Origins and 1989 film tie-in
DC’s Batman characters in comic books and magazines

When the creepy little video store in the shopping plaza near my home began renting to customers Batman, the staff of the store displayed tapes of the film like a phenomenon.  Shelf after shelf in their New Releases space was full of the Batman video presentation.  The format was VHS, the cassette for running a film with a VHS player.

I’d been to see it, but I wanted that VHS.  Christmas came, and family placed three hand-wrapped videotape-shaped objects under the holiday tree, one tape for me, one for my brother, and one for my sister.

They were VHS tapes, but what titles were they?  Us kids wouldn’t know until Christmas morning.  At the appointed time, I opened mine, and to my delight, the tape inside was Batman.

As the family opened our presents, the second tape of Batman under the Christmas tree emerged.  My mother’s brother and his wife had arranged for the gift of the movie Batman as well.  Two VHS tapes of the same film!

A double.

What did my mother pronounce, you might ask?  This was a bummer.  She would quietly return my copy of the film to the store.

As a twelve-year-old, the price of a brand-new VHS edition of a blockbuster film must be extravagant, I reasoned.  The VHS copy of Batman we had would belong to us all.

I suppose that taught me a lesson, like not to count your chickens before they hatch.  It was as if my uncle and aunt had felt I deserved my own copy of Batman, and Santa Claus did not.  The VHS tape of Batman was a gift, what I wanted and what I was losing.

Thanks to film director Tim Burton, in 1989, fate unfolded for Batman mobster character Jack Napier.  The criminal mastermind fell into a vat of burning acid.  He lost the pigment of his skin pigment and became molded with a permanent smile on his face.

 I hadn’t earned my own copy of Batman, and I suppose the real lesson was that I should share.  It is a state of being tantalized by the promise of something gold and being humbled by the requirement to give it up.  Maybe we didn’t know that doubles of the Batman film were under the tree, but no contingency plan was in place.

I was cheesed.

My job on Facebook is https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited –and I’m available on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

#gifts

15 Ways the Most Youthful Adherent to Video Research is Totally Overrated. Part III

Cats at play
Kittens
Dimensions: 6000 x 3376
Photographer:
Redd Angelo
Dimensions: 5616 x 3744
Photographer:
Greg Rakozy

This post is intended as the conclusion to two earlier posts, written and published recently.

Not to say that video doesn’t have many, many uses, sometimes even critical, I have thought of some observations debunking video.  Information learned from video research can be useful, particularly if it is assembled in a blog shared on Facebook.

I feel, historically, video research does not hold up given its artifice as evidence.  With good editing, that difficulty is somewhat rectified.  Here are five more ways that video research is overrated.  These are ways that video does not provide any more substantive information than where is otherwise available.

 

  1. Twitter’s Vine, now Periscope launched people with a genius for shooting six-second long videos, usually intended to be funny, meaning that if you were a creator with a knack for coming up with hilarious six-second videos.  On Vine, you could build a reputation and attract an audience.  The problem is that Vine came to an abrupt end because behind the scenes Twitter was continually working on becoming profitable and Vine didn’t enter the equation.
    Therefore the six-second video format of Vine left the Internet.  This is an example how video did not work in a specialized format that was “cool,” new and stimulating.
  2. Another way that video has failed the mainstream is the interesting but absurd idea that you can video-record phenomena, like Bigfoot, or UFOs.  An idea of going on an expedition to get a video recording of Bigfoot in his natural habitat, or UFOs in the night sky, often gets debunked by skeptics as “hoax.”  True experiences with phenomena of this kind go with a lot of excitement and potentially lasts only briefly.
    Videos of this kind are often derided, despite, of course, the additional risk that goes with trying to capture evidence of what’s alien and supernatural.  Also, there is the problem of informing on mysteries which government authorities commonly downplay.  If you want specifics about extraterrestrial astronauts, I think you will have a hard time procuring verifiable video recordings.
    It is not video research you can easily manage, despite popularity on television and on the internet.  “NASA Astronauts Discuss Extraterrestrial Life” https://binged.it/2Ga1mXi Extraterrestrial Laboratory
  3. Celebrity video recordings are not a reliable example of a video that can be examined for research purposes.  A celebrity sells a brand.  Observations made by the celebrity have an end goal in mind, not a general desire to be casually revealed.
    Researching the brand might be an approach, however, to video research that you could apply, but I think finding both a starting point and an endpoint could be difficult.  It might even take researching techniques for analyzing a brand if you’ve never studied that.  I doubt that you will find in a video the best information about analyzing a brand.
    That being said, I have no doubt you can earn the skill-set to analyze a brand as it’s represented in a video.  I think the evidence for the success of the brand would be better extrapolated by looking at the brand in the market apart from its appearance in a video context.  To be fresh, I think you would have to apply some expert touches.
  4. Coaching lessons in packages of a student-ready video may turn out to be somewhat dull in comparison to more novel approaches to learning.  A year ago I enjoyed completing a great WordPress course.  I took photos over the course of a couple of weeks, learning a little about photography with each and making something out of each lesson.
    I liked learning like that.  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/01/01/doggedly-capturing-developing-your-eye-themes-to-ring-in-the-new-year/
    If you have an opportunity to do some organized learning, I tend to think it is more fun if you can find applications you can apply in real life.  Try referencing research sources, perhaps some interactive, other than just video lessons, and I am thinking in addition about getting around the price of the video information, if it is part of a curriculum, belying how useful the information is.
    For example, a life coach offering videos to elevate your self-esteem could prove fruitless if you can’t make the lessons work, or if your intention falters and you no longer are acting in the manner required by the video curriculum.  This is important to note.  You can apply change only as much as you are mentally prepared to.
  5. I want to wrap this up with the suggestion that video research could have you preoccupied and unfocused what with possibilities opening for you that are more and more seductive and complicated.  You should remember your focus; you are not going to benefit by wasting time.
    Too much video and you are not getting done anything that’s worthwhile.  I feel if you are a consumer of video from a small number of creators who have focused themselves on something relatable, the focus that puts you amid them is what will keep you thinking consistently.  By that, I mean thinking in a way that organic learning, by a process of discovery, rather than by merely looking aimlessly, will be of some benefit to you.
    Your critical thinking may engage if you proceed this way.  I would put it to you to learn in this fashion.

 

This has been a three-part post about video research and how video research is over-rated.  If you enjoyed it, you’re welcome to like this post.  You can follow and subscribe as well.  Thank you again for reading me.

Sunshine Blogger Award – Number 3!!

A terrific post in response to the nomination

justabitfurther

sunshine-blogger-awardOdell at Finding Environs(Patrick Coholan) blog nominated me for my third Sunshine Blogger Award. Thank again Patrick for the nomination. An incredible feeling today as much as it was when I read the nomination a few days ago.

For those wondering what all this means, the Sunshine Blogger Award is given by bloggers, to other bloggers, who inspire creativity and positivity within the blogging community!

The Sunshine Blogger Award is a great way to recognize old and new bloggers and connect to others within your niche or the blogging world as a whole. It also means you spread the word about writers you love, with your readers! So, it’s a win-win for all involved, so lets spread the love and a little bit of sunshine!!

Before going any further, take the time right now to check Odell at Findingenvirons1 blog out. Well worth the time to head on over and check…

View original post 594 more words

15 Ways the Most Youthful Adherent to Video Research is Totally Overrated. Part II

I’d been focusing when I could on five more ways you can dispense with some of the time you’re putting into video research.  If you do anything like that and if you think of consuming video content as being video research, then increasingly I don’t think there’s a consensus that anything like video research is useful.
I’m looking back in time when there were different attitudes to video.  I mean that it wasn’t as accessible as it today.  It occurs to me I should argue that if you are committed to any research activity utilizing video, and there’s a ready workaround, you should concentrate on the workaround.

Published on Nov 21, 2018
Free speech in Canada died today https://bit.ly/2BEP6cW

Photographer:
Rawpixel.com
Aerial view of black board with the letter forming hello greeting concept
  1. The first part for this post, about chasing an adherent to research, left off with points how you can turn some of your conclusions into blog posts.  Or if you don’t have a blog, there’s somewhere you could start.  I would like to make the point that the best conclusions you can form from watching a lot of videos can indeed be put somewhere, like in a blog, or a podcast, etc.  For example, on Patrick Bet-David’s Valutainment on the internet, I watched Bet-David and Robert Greene discuss Greene’s latest bestseller.
    Bet-David pointed out that Greene sat down with three hundred books to write his latest book, for the pay-off.  That’s the traditional sense of research that I don’t think you should disregard in any way.  There is no way that you can eliminate the process of reading the page, or perhaps your Kindle, from the actual work of doing research.  Sad but true.
  2. The traditional sense of video is taking a video camera to a wedding and then selling it to the wedding party.  The best research you can cultivate from a video of that kind is whether a particular family member was in attendance, or perhaps how the bridesmaids looked when they were standing side by side.
    Do you see many wedding videos, apart from celebrity weddings, that make it onto the Internet?  I am not sure there are, particularly as the advent of the handheld video camera has given way to the smartphone camera.
    If you are a young person reading this, and you don’t relate to the idea of a videographer at a wedding, it isn’t that different from a professional photographer taking pictures.  It is just that the videographer mingles with the wedding party and gets a little movie of the wedding.
  3. I’m writing there about commercial consumer video, not expensive TV productions.  The thing about the video you watch is that when it is a pricey production, I don’t think you can count on it for insight.  Particularly when focusing on video production for TV, in the nineteen sixties, seventies, and eighties, when the technology was useful enough to shoot material for television, and before computers were beginning to infiltrate it, there just wasn’t a lot of purely informative video.  The novelty on being on video overshadowed a requirement, to be honest.  As soon as the camera was recording, everybody was immediately acting at all times.
    That sounds like a polarized argument, but ninety-nine percent of the time if you were being paid to appear on camera, you were acting to do it.  Speaking jovially, you had to nail it.
  4. What happened in the mid-nineteen-eighties?  Computer effects were beginning to be integrated into more and more of the ready video, which starts to become interesting for the possibility that more and better information could be communicated by video.  With more information is born the reality that better information begins to come across.  Purists might disagree, but fast-forward fifteen years and amateur video is not only more accessible but could also be edited on par with the best of people in the trade in previous decades.
    There had been an explosion of video on cable TV which meant more ways to deliver information by video.  Did that mean you could derive better conclusions in the sense that by better I mean better located in reality?  I think so.
    You always want the past back, once you’re past a certain age, but there is some logic, or I am doing my best to apply logic here.
  5. The apparent irony is that the development of the computer industry accelerated at a much faster pace than did the growth of video.  I’m tempted once more to stop, but it’s true that by the time video was in its golden years, the computer industry was spritely, pardon the pun, spritely and skyrocketing for many, many people.  I don’t want to mislead you unfairly, but surely some blame for some of the big, really bad troubles that have hit people where there is free access to information lies with what’s just bad information.
    That caution gets sounded frequently, and where before I was tempted to stop then and there, now I really am going to stop.

I have promised one more post on the subject, with five remaining ways you might want to dodge video.  You’re welcome to like, comment, and/or follow.


Photographer:
Sticker Mule

I am humbled by the attention I receive and I shall make some effort to reciprocate interest if I am lucky enough to make a tiny ripple in this pond.
We need to go back to the future

supermarket
November 26, 2018

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Truck passing church

Kim, a New Zealand writer who blogs Writer Side Of Life, kindly nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award.  The personal connection stirred me up a touch, I must say!  What Kim published when she was highlighting her award can be found here:  

 http://www.writersideoflife.com/the-sunshine-blogger-award/

The award nomination means answering eleven questions Kim asks, then nominating eleven bloggers for the same award, and putting to them eleven questions.

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

Here are Kim’s questions.  The number eleven figures up front in the award challenge.

Kim’s questions:

  1. What is your favourite place in the world?
  2. What do you want people to get out of your blog?
  3. Cat person or dog person?
  4. Who is your best author?
  5. What is your favourite comfort food?
  6. As a child, what did you dream of doing for a living?
  7. Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?
  8. Would you trust a self-driving car?
  9. What’s the best thing about your own country?
  10. Which 3 famous people would you invite for dinner? (Dead or alive)
  11. What is your favourite quote?

The answers:

What is your favourite place in the world?

My friend’s apartment with her cats.

What do you want people to get out of your blog?

I want visitors to the blog to be amused by what I publish and to feel better about their pursuits, even if only momentarily.

Cat person or dog person?

Cat!

Who is your best author?

I recall the late Donald E. Westlake, many of whose novels published under his true name I have read in my life beginning when I was in junior high.  Many of his titles are comic crime fiction.  There have been filmed adaptations as well.

What is your favourite comfort food?

I enjoy a quick hot dog.

As a child, what did you dream of doing for a living?

Being a child, and having games of Monopoly and Pay Day at home, I would have liked big business, I think, at one time attempting to keep a Christmas savings ledger on paper.

Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

Trying to ride the Trans-Canada highway in the province of Manitoba, the VW Rabbit gave out and went off the medium, rolling three times and stopping once it was at a complete stop entirely upside down.  I was dearly lucky I was belted in the back seat.

Would you trust a self-driving car?

Yes.  I think much transportation will be self-driving come a few decades into the twenty-first century.

A truck passing Louth United Church in St. Catharines

What’s the best thing about your own country?

It is freedom.

Which 3 famous people would you invite for dinner? (Dead or alive)

  • Daisy Ridley
  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Megan Fox

What is your favourite quote?

In the future everybody will be world famous for fifteen minutes.”  –Andy Warhol

The rules for the award challenge are as follows.

The rules/guidelines:

1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.

2. Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.

3. Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.

4. Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

5. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Nominations:

justabitfurther https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com

Everyday Strange https://everydaystrangeblog.wordpress.com

The Inner Circle https://moonknight64.wordpress.com

Lovable Literature https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com

The Little Mermaid https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com

Life Amazing https://lifeamazing.net

t e m e n o s https://thetemenosjournal.com

Ruined for Life:  Phoenix Edition https://smkelly8.com/

Wandering NerdGirl https://wanderingnerdgirl.com

Artist by Beauty https://artistbybeauty.blog

Consciousness creates reality https://consciousnesscreatesreality.wordpress.com

My questions for you:

  1. What are your favourite social media platforms?
  2. Would you rather hear rock music or hip-hop?
  3. What is the subject you most enjoyed learning about in school?
  4. What is your favourite treat that is a “pick-me-up” for you?
  5. Do you feel desktop Windows has usefulness going into 2019?
  6. If you could customize any physical object you own to make it part of the Internet of Things, which object of yours would be better with Internet responsiveness?
  7. Who is your favourite Hollywood actor (actress)?
  8. What is your favourite candy bar?
  9. Have you travelled outside of your country?
  10. What sport most interests you?

11. What is a source of inspiration for you that you can turn to when drafting a blog post?

15 Ways the Most Youthful Adherent to Video Research is Totally Overrated. Part I

November 22, 2018

By video research, I mean watching video content to gain information about a topic.  To render the inscrutable meaningful, I am trying to re-envision specific ideas I have about video research.  To try to make this fun, I am re-envisioning 15 ways that the progress I try to make utilizing video research actually makes an impact (for me).

This will include examples of why it is I am conjecturing the phrase video research isn’t dropped onto the page constantly.

  1. The first thing that I am focusing on is when I actively became aware of the possibility of video research.  You might say the stars aligned (nearly) and I think it was when I was compelled by my younger friend B. pointing out that I could listen to youths crying out with the Internet.  This is so sensitive.
    In my defense, I both saw I could get into hard-to-tackle specifics with a computer, and also I discarded the idea to pursue B.’s style of research, which is a misnomer, as it wasn’t video being researched, it was more like gamer hack-and-slash.  In B.’s defense, he became a teacher for a living.
    [I hope he is still doing that.  He dropped off Facebook a long time ago (without an explanation).]
  2. With an awareness like that, it has to be tempered with the recognition that humans require respect.  Interesting uses of Internet video express things which are unfathomable and also perhaps too sensitive to extrapolate.  The very most interesting experiences with the Internet, I think, and when outside elements of the world beyond the Internet enter and, I suppose, reflect the viewer experiencing the video, which is hard to concisely explain.
    If there is a simple explanation for this, perhaps from lecture halls or elsewhere, and you know of such a thing, forgive me.  Leave me a comment if you like.  On the simplest level, people can leave user comments for a creator who responds.
    I am pretty sure I have a few variations of that straightforward element of the Internet.
  3. I think in 2018 WordPress turned 15 years old, didn’t it?  A technique for growing your blog readership, if you’re on WordPress, is to leave user comments on other bloggers’ work.  The point is that if you do this respectfully and consistently, eventually sympathetic or otherwise interested bloggers who you have contacted will reciprocate by interacting with you.
    Now you may ask me, and I am prepared for this in the eventuality it happens, “How do you know that?  You don’t seem to have much readership of note.”
    “Yes,” I will reply, not impudently, “but I simply have not devoted the focus to constantly read blogs and interact with them.  My blog, as yet, is an amateur effort.”  At that point, I hope you do not disappear abruptly, although if this is the case, that is fine, as I hope to better strategize in 2019 than I have in the past.
  4. I hope to pursue this as long as it is a possibility.  What I’ve observed is that WordPress techniques are not the same as those on a more characteristically “social” platform.  I would argue that during what I’ve learned, I’ve enjoyed the process.
    I am tempted to leave this point there and then, but even with confirmation bias indicating that if I am predisposed to a set of beliefs that highly values an “art for art’s sake” attitude, the argument I want to make is that this specific confirmation bias is perfectly fine and I want to run with it in 2019.
    How then, what can you, you might ask, do to make your blog more readable?  Well, you can take it on Facebook and ask people you’ve met to read it.  That’s a tactic that can help you start a blog and potentially get results that are interesting for you.
  5. We’re beginning to talk about video research, but the first thing I think of trying to approach something that’s sensitive is some obvious problems coming up right away.  These fifteen points are geared to getting your attention away from what you should do with the video you watch, and what you are already doing with your blog, or how it is you could start a blog.  The conclusion that can be drawn, and it’s not science, but a method, is that you can draw on video research to formulate something that you’d like people to read and you can put it on WordPress.

    I had quite a bit to say just to introduce this, so I am ending this post shortly below and picking up in the next blog post.

This first part of the 15 ways has been about a few generalities that have worked for me and a few tips that could apply to what you are doing.

These first five points are trying to get to the point, saying you can take video, turn it into blog content, get a running start with your blog, and go from there.  I am going to return with what shall be two more posts, aiming to illustrate ten more ways that you can do something more with video than just watch it.

Thanks for reading.

When I last asked my niece to let me have a photo, she was in high gear to play a frivolous game of Candy Land.  She suggested I show her in the midst of unpacking the enduring board game.  My niece is in the third grade.