How a #spring ruling on Content Curations made me a better person

My sister and I write friendly letters to each other by email, every other month or so.  She wrote to me this spring that she lately read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”  She said the book impacted her interpersonal interactions at work.

Yesterday morning I opened my content curation tools on the internet, and to my surprise, the app appeared completely redone.  I had little idea of where to start.  If I’d never taken the notes that I did, I would have been at a disadvantage given that I needed to start over.


Photographer:
Jeffrey Betts

I work in a mostly volunteer capacity at a cemetery off the beaten track.  We operate a graveyard.  I put in duties as an SMM in order to reach the outside world.  http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

What the app revamp did was to require me to get honest about what I am interested in doing.  The reality of whether the more fringe areas of my research were or weren’t going to fly in the face of other people squarely confronted me.  Some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, I saw.

Our Facebook page is small, only sixty-five or seventy people, but those people aren’t going to be swayed, I now believe, by where I was putting my nose if I am being transparent.

There is an idea in business that employees don’t work for the boss, that in fact, the boss works for the employees, and it is true with our page.  I am an SMM, but I work for the people who like the page.  I don’t have the freedom to indulge every avenue I want to if I don’t want the people I speak to laughing at me, and it is probably true that new people I might interest will have similar sensibilities to those who are already involved.

If I’m not confident in my ability to bring my interests to the attention of those I work for, the people who like our Facebook page, I realize now that I can’t expect any newcomers to have any different opinion than those with who I already have a connection.

This is how the spring ruling for the content curation tools instantly makes me a better person.  

I am lucky.  While the reworking of the content curation tools is for relevancy’s sake, and while my hands are tied as to how to go forward from here, facing a truth that I wasn’t formerly comfortable with facing is now a solution.  I hadn’t been aware this was a problem, and without my input a solution presented itself.

I had envisioned that I would find a strategy to make this work when the time came, and the time came yesterday.  With fresh eyes, I began to see how to use the tools going forward.  In the process, I became, in a small way, a more honest person, at least more honest about what I am doing on Facebook and on Twitter.

As the Buddhist maxim states, “Never lie, cheat, or steal.”  I got a little more spiritual, yesterday, you might say.  It was unexpected all the same.

Maple Lawn Cemetery is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited 

Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m on Twitter at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons  

My content curation tools are provided by DrumUp, an app found on the world wide web at https://drumup.io (a shoutout).  The DrumUp starter plan is inexpensive and it offers a lot of use for someone with a business model utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and/or LinkedIn.

You’re welcome to “like” this post, to follow the blog, or to comment.  Have a great spring.

Every #spring a St. Patrick’s Day

2018-032-15

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  I’m a Canadian every other day of the year.

When I was a boy, my godmother bought me a coffee table book celebrating Ireland.  It followed that in grade school, I thought to turn a work assignment about other countries into homework on the subject of Ireland.   I flipped through the book to do the research (that I could do at that age) for the teacher.

2018-032-15
St. Patrick

The photos in the book illustrating Irish women helped shape my attitudes to the fairer gender, as well.  I briefly visited the UK in the fall of 1999, but I didn’t go to Ireland.

There is a friend I know whose parents are Irish.  This friend is not fond of the English, despite what I know from grade school about the role the English played shaping Canada.

At the same time, this person has a different understanding of how the Irish fared in history than I have got.  That said, when my mother asked me the other day whether I am prouder of Dublin or Belfast, I found myself answering Belfast.  Until then I didn’t know I felt that way.

I was born in 1977, two days before St. Patrick’s Day.  My mom and dad named me Patrick, after my father’s late brother Patrick.  This uncle died when he was a young man, in a motorcycle accident (he was riding).  My name remembers this Uncle Patrick of mine, and of my brother and sister.

My mom and my father’s mother had a bond.  When my mother was young, the two women would speak to each other privately having a coffee or Coca-Cola together or the like.

Another time In grade school I was instructed to ask questions about the family line. I brought to my paternal grandmother the question of the origin of our name.

I never knew my paternal grandfather.  He’d died before I was born.  I suppose I assumed we are an Irish family.

My grandmother let me know that the surname she took when she married is Welsh, of all matters.  At that age, I was not aware that Wales is a principality of Britain, or otherwise knew anything about it.

Many years later my brother took a strong interest in the Irish.  He went backpacking there with one or two of his friends.

He later researched our family line, and he learned of many of our living relatives in Ireland.  I am sure it is an Irish family, whether the surname is Welsh.

I work for my father as a cemetery groundskeeper.  When we were at the cemetery yesterday, handling a funeral, for which we were responsible, to my surprise, as we wrapped up our clean-up, we saw a hailstorm!

Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery

The spring solstice ahead:  it doesn’t feel like it.  Last week my father reminded me of the old expression, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.”  That’s what my father was predicting for the month of March here.

About Ireland, I know it is hard when times are tough, and I am empathetic of others experiencing suffering.  If you are Irish or love the Irish, God bless you.  It’s your chance this day, as it is every year, to be Irish.

I hope you’re having a great day.  Naturally, you are welcome to “like” this post, to follow my blog and/or to comment.  Thank you for having an interest.

The cemetery where I work with my father is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited  My duties for the work I do are nominally tied to the posts I publish in this blog.

#spring dst and its usual sleep deprivation

The Monday after the change to DST

The Saturday 3/9 edition of the National Post, one of the papers that my parents get, carried a big story by a Sharon Kirkey on A3.  The paper included the rather off-putting headline “Heart attacks and other risks of daylight savings” https://t.co/hU0Wp67UVx

I don’t worry about sleep-deprivation, but my father said last night after I read the Sharon Kirkey story that I could point out what she wrote about DST safely.  Kirkey’s conclusion to her story in the National Post is the wonderful words LOST SLEEP ALSO MAKES US SLACKERS

Before the ninth of March, my mother was already pointing out to me that Daylight Savings Time was here Sunday at 2 a.m.  I got a normal night’s sleep the Saturday, the ninth, and in the morning I changed my alarm clock, my answering machine and my microwave oven to DST.

The computer adjusted automatically.  I was fine.

My mother and father

I was pleased my mother thought to remind me of such business, as this pragmatic reality might have gone right by me and caused inadvertent confusion.  I see the effects of sleep deprivation everywhere, but many perspectives we take are a matter of our consensus about what’s true.  In any case, there is presently no option except to join in Daylight Savings.

I subscribe to the email newsletter Publishous, which just moved into the top four hundred publications of writers on Medium.

In the month of March, Publishous readers are writing about #spring.  The intention is that writers reading Publishous should pass on their work to the Publishous editors for consideration, but I am doing no such thing.

I am only glancing at Publishous to see if there is anything I find splendid and want to read.  I do draw inspiration from it independent of the need to participate in writing for their eyes, although any are welcome to read me as I am putting the ideas together in this blog.  I just don’t want to bat out of my league.

Sharon Kirkey’s story is grim, but I am pleased that my parents thought to provide me with advice, when I explained to them what I had in mind to blog.  My dad is also my boss–we operate a tiny cemetery http://www.maplelawncemetery.org

You’re welcome to click like, to follow my blog, and to leave a comment.

Good luck recovering from any impact you yourself felt from the change to DST.

Welcoming #spring at the cemetery

Maple Lawn Cemetery

I’m a groundskeeper by trade.  At the end of last year, I ambitiously subscribed to the email newsletter Publishous.  Each issue is a collection of articles on Medium, with subjects such as productivity, and also Christianity, and including those untold here, a nice mix.

Publishous also spotlights writers and offers insight into how writers can create on par with the writers on Medium.  Medium is great because you respond to articles that move you with claps, as many of which as you want to applaud the article.  With your Medium membership, you can also follow specific contributors whose work you want to know about right away.

I enjoy the odd book bringing up self-management.  I look at ideas of that kind on Publishous.  I was pleased to see Publishous’ newsletter today, published yesterday, highlighting the spring season now that March is here.  


Photographer:
Burst

I don’t think Publishous is aware of me, other than that I subscribe, as there are several thousand subscribers.

Publishous readers are evaluating what they are doing in the month of March.  For my cemetery job, we will tend to the grounds soon, by collecting fallen tree limbs and wrapping up the majority of our activities inside the church, which is where we make our efforts in winter.

Eventually, the grass will grow, and we’ll start to take care of getting that cut.  We usually work once a week on the cemetery grounds.

I’m not aiming to write for Medium, but I like the specific design of the Publishous newsletter.  I am turning forty-two this month, and I am thinking about Lent and Catholic worship.  Years ago, in the 2000s, I read the first book by the American writer and pop psychologist, the Women are from Mars, Men are from Venus author John Gray.

Gray’s first book is What You Feel, You Can Heal.  It says turning forty-two graduates an individual from being a caretaker to being part of a community.  I’d direct you to that specific book if you are interested in the idea.

It is, in Gray’s estimation, a sequence of the seven years of one’s life, between the ages of forty-two and forty-nine, that one sees in his life the influence of community upon him.

I don’t think there are many guarantees in life, but we have, as the next seven years begin, the outlook of keeping organized a little cemetery.

Louth United Church

The work I do, the most distinctive work I do, is to help a small cemetery and to do odd jobs around the church that is on the property.  I am also an SMM–I do a blog which I connect now and then to the work I carry out on the cemetery grounds.  This is the site you’re on.

Our website with specifics about the cemetery is www.maplelawncemetery.org and the menu of pages you can choose from when visiting this is to the right.

I am also curious about the group of bloggers which who explore “tea parties” that assemble participants into thinking about what the hostess of the tea parties has suggested for the month of March.  You can find the tea party hostess’ site at https://www.thelittlemermaid.site/

You’re welcome to like, comment, and/or follow, if you are interested in what’s going on.

We’re on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited and posts include photos and links to articles which could be of interest.  It is a small page, but the people are good.  The tone of the feedback I receive from people following the page helps me decide what will be well-received and what won’t (what to avoid).  All of this I practice as a skill set.

Mermaid’s February 2019 WordPress Tea Party

The very courteous Little Mermaid returns, for another tea party. Her theme, this month, is making confessions. The tell I want to bring, to the party, is how roadblocked, I’ve been, by Zork.

I know I am in a sense very old. Have you played Zork? It’s a game where you explore a dungeon and combat monsters.

Your commands for playing Zork typically consist of two words apiece, often a verb and a noun, short and sweet.  It commands hours of your time if you are among the dedicated.

Did you run Java? It once boasted a solid three billion devices did. I’d sit, sometimes, on the main page of a Java site, to read chat remarks.


Photographer:
Elliott Chau

In college, a savvy young woman from Scarborough got to know me a little. Her name was Julie, and she was a singer. I’m sure she knew nothing about Zork.

All the same, Julie was outright a rock star on Livejournal. Her email was routed by beer.com, appropriately fashionable for that subculture.

When she wrote, ”it’s called myspace, and there are millions of brilliant people,” I was taken aback. I’d played Zork, in a retro edition. Facing the myspace site, I had a silent question.

“How do I move to the next room?” It was weird. Years later, Christmas, 2016, my very smart nephew referred to that, nonsense in the distant past.

I remember, because of Rogue One, a Star Wars Story. About IRC, “Justacrap,” my brother’s boy pronounced with scorn. Discounting me?

For wasting time with websites? Can you believe that? Sure, I made friends one way or another, but those people are now gone.

It wasn’t the sum of my activities, I guess. Truth be told, I was rotten at Zork, too.

The tea parties are great. You can find that blog here: https://thelittlemermaid09.wordpress.com

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.

Mermaid’s November 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015

“Tea parties” have been at the forefront of The Little Mermaid blog the last five months.  These are blogging challenges that span the entirety of each month.  These are free and encourage participants to blog on a specific theme along with the rest of those joining in.

This month The Little Mermaid has asked her participants for their thoughts on travel.  Where have you traveled? the Little Mermaid asks.  What’s the best part?

What’s the worst part?  What tips might you offer up to someone grappling with wanderlust?

The furthest-reaching of my travel experience was done in my life in the nineteen nineties.  I have traveled to the United States, to the United Kingdom, to France, and to Belgium.  These are the countries where I have gone, done in my adolescence and later in my early twenties.

The best part was the excitement of going to locations completely new.  For example, when I was going to the United States, passing through Detroit, seeing Walt Disney World in Orlando (and cheating a touch by going through Universal Studios, too).   Spending a little time in Chicago, staying with family in Nashville, visiting a friend in Portland, Maine, lodging in a traveler’s stop in Memphis, visiting New Orleans, visiting New York, all this was great.  I was seeing a little more of the world.

One of the happiest times in my life was my twenty-first birthday, an important birthday if you are an American, in Memphis, Tennessee.

I would say I was taking a “walkabout” on that birthday, and it made for several nice weeks.  My father’s brother-in-law thought of the label for what I’d done.  He mentioned it to me at the wedding of one of my cousins, at the reception.  The gentleman, my godfather, mentioned to me what he said was spoke about by aboriginals in Australia, a country I’ve never seen.

Years earlier, spending days at Walt Disney World in 1991 was a fine time. The members of my particularly as my immediate family went aboard “Star Tours,” an interactive cinematic ride like being in a Star Wars spaceship.

It was very exciting as come 1987 I’d got to VCR-record a tenth-anniversary television presentation of Star Wars on Fox. At that age, ten, Star Wars was my favorite film.

The worst part of travel, I’d offer to say, is the end of the “moment” when the time for travel ends, as it generally does, and it becomes time to return to more ordinary things wherever you are spending your life.  For me, I live life in the gritty small town of St. Catharines, in the Canadian province of Ontario.

What I know at my age, which is something like an unfulfilled forty, is that if you are in the midst of wanderlust, you should listen to the word itself and observe what is the best part of life in most circumstances–the people you meet and how they take to you.  I know I have not had the luckiest of experiences in my travels.  I felt unprepared for Nashville, my handsome friend in Portland eventually killed himself, I believe, despite his promise and ambition as a musician, the lodge in Memphis finally burned to the ground, where I’d left friends behind, my idea to hustle in New York led to me being escorted out of a nightclub where I had thought to pose as an NYC resident.

These weren’t great times, especially when I returned to St. Catharines from New York and my girlfriend was angry with me when I told her how it had gone.

When I saw London, England, though, in 1999, when Y2K was only months away, it was exciting, but even with my experiences in America under my belt, I felt quite the novice with only a little money in my pocket and quite clearly to locals a foreigner.  My embarrassment deepened in Paris, the City of Lights, when I realized I was in my youth and seeing the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.  I knew it would never come again, and I’d been learning French since the third grade and could barely communicate in it–it was as if my aspirations were quickly coming to naught, and I was overwhelmed by the absurdity.

Dimensions: 4525 x 3699
Photographer: Bruce Mars

I didn’t spend much time in Belgium, but I liked it a little better than France, enjoying chocolate and also seeing grim war trenches from World War I when Belgium soldiers defended their nation from Germany.

Eventually, my younger sister married a Belgium gentleman.  That was a nice occasion.  Here is a photo I took at the wedding ceremony.

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015
My sister’s wedding

The photo of myself I am showing is of a time in 2003 in a hotel in St. Catharines. I was meeting up with the friend who had introduced me to MySpace (before it blew up to become entropy) and speaking, as intended, of American writer Charles Bukowski, the beauty of whose work she wanted to impress upon me.

She and her boyfriend were gracious visitors.  It was, again, a “moment.”

2003
Image: Julie Rippl

I am grateful to The Little Mermaid for thinking of these tea party posts that are interesting for me and for other bloggers on WordPress to organize new blog posts.  If you are a touch keen on this, feel free to “like,” to follow, and/or to comment.  I wish you well if you travel yourself, and, what’s more, I wish you luck if you have a blog.

All the best.