Showing Photos Past the End of the Challenges

St. Paul

Between 2011 and 2018 WordPress.com provided daily prompts, to help bloggers think of new posts while joining in together to write on the same theme.  As well, there were weekly photo challenges, challenges getting bloggers showing photos.  It was helpful to have this focus, for bloggers on WordPress.com joining in the same pursuit.

 

When the photo challenges ended on May 30, it left a void!  I was undecided what to do, as I was running this blog both as a little hobby while tying it to the work I do for Maple Lawn Cemetery (often in stages of development).

 

I live in a small town, which means there is some concern about being creative without seeming odd.  Quora has been helpful in ascertaining how to make a decision to continue.  An established author on Quora – Jennifer Marshburn  https://www.quora.com/profile/Jennifer-Marshburn – suggested that I keep dabbling in photos if it has been established there is a potential to do this.

 

It is like starting from scratch, but that’s not a problem.  I am sure it will be similarly examined to how it has been when I was working inside the structure of the prompt challenges.

 

I have thought that I could include photos I’ve shot myself, and also present stock photos, to draw parallels between what I think is right for this, and what a professional photographer might have thought of and made available.  I know stock photos seem artificial, but I enjoy selecting photos as much as taking them.

 

The blog I have may or may not be effective, but it’s been a curiosity so far.  Occasionally I worked on the challenges from WordPress.com the last few years, and I was surprised, like everybody else, when they finished this very spring.

 

If something happens where I am no longer useful, I change, but it hasn’t happened yet.  I usually explain that my blog is nominally tied to the business because a small business rightfully should have a blog.  That being said, I am “on the fence” in case an unforeseen problem arises that means that I have to abandon what I have been doing.  I shouldn’t think so.

 

In any case, I appreciate the feedback I get from visitors.

 

The photo I am featuring today is of one downtown bus route, where the bus heads to the campus and to the biggest shopping mall in town.  When I was younger, the odd time I would be there at these places, but no longer.

St. Paul
The way back from the busiest places

It’s all changed so much!  The offices of the local newspaper are across the street from where I stood.

 

I am optimistic I will have more ideas.

 

It was Father’s Day I took a picture of my parents, and maybe my ability is better suited to photos of locations rather than of people.  I will remember I have to watch what I photograph, and where I go.

 

If I think to take photos at the cemetery where I work, I will include some of those as well.  We are on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

 

Occasionally I add my photos to the Facebook page for the business and I occasionally post links to sites I feel could be of interest.

 

© 2018 Stocksnap.io
Photographer: José Martín

I suspect the result I get will be determined by the quality of the content I post on Facebook and to the blog.  Both will remain a dedicated hobby, I think.

 

It is a work-in-progress.

 

I am grateful, it bears saying again, for responses I receive, so to speak, the gift of a visit.  This is what sparks interest in writing a blog.  Have fun and thanks!

 

Today is World Rainforest Day.

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

2018-06-17

I am involved with a small not-for-profit.  We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.

 

This blog is nominally tied to it, and also a hobby of mine.  I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.

 

I am the junior member of the nonprofit, and I help with grounds keeping.  I also assist work inside the disbanded church which is on the grounds of the cemetery, and provide some of the cemetery’s presence on the Internet (on Facebook, and also here:  www.maplelawncemetery.org).

2018-06-17
Peter and Linda

The senior operator is Peter.

 

Occasionally other volunteers lend a hand with the maintenance work.  We have had work done by my nephew Mack, by family friends Bill and Gerard, and by my father’s brothers Paul and Dave.

 

We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time.  The not-for-profit is a small cemetery, which means that there aren’t very many funerals, just a few.  We aren’t unlike volunteers, for a few reasons.

 

To write this post, I researched federal Canadian controversies over nonprofits.  LIVE WELL, DO GOOD‘s David McConkey has provided specifics about giving or receiving charitable donations.

What he is saying on his website inspired what I thought to post today about making donations.

 

  1. One of the reasons that we see ourselves a little like volunteers is that, although typically we would accept donations, we are not a registered charity.  In Canada, only donations to registered charities qualify for an income tax credit.  This means that there is less incentive for parties interested in what we do to bestow us with any kind of gift.

 

  1. This isn’t a big problem, as there isn’t a lot of overhead to go with maintaining a cemetery of this size, but it does make campaigns such as November’s annual Giving Tuesday affair somewhat troubled waters.  We can’t return the favor of a donation with a deduction.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that almost everyone (ninety-four percent of those fifteen years old and older) makes charitable donations.  Sometimes these can be valuable art items.
2018-06-13
Abstract expressionism
  1. Despite not being able to provide a tax break, I imagine we would consider accepting donations.  If all goes well, I will probably make some noise again about Giving Tuesday come November this year (like last year).

 

  1. I don’t like to spin my wheels, but nothing good comes easy.  Perhaps by repeating an interest in Giving Tuesday, I will start to unlock chains that keep us out of what works about Giving Tuesday.  We’re operating a cemetery, which demands solemn thinking and which is literally a retreat for visitors who miss their loved ones.

 

  1. Statistics Canada has found that donors who plan ahead give more than others.  As we are involved year-round with people choosing their final resting place or the resting place of their loved ones, perhaps this is something we could investigate if we were looking at how to raise funds for the cemetery.  That being said, to date we have not had a problem caring for the church and cemetery, so we are not under any pressure to need to strenuously keep up the maintenance of the place running smoothly.

 

  1. CanadaHelps.org is a registered charity that facilitates online donations.  They work with thousands of charities.  They issue receipts and forward your donation to a charity you specify, less a three percent transaction fee.

 

Source

Charitable Donations: Top Ten Canadian Tax Tips

 

David McConkey found inspiration in the pages of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton.  Three points specifically raised that David McConkey emphasizes are explained below.

 

  1. Most people on Earth live in a democracy.  Bill Clinton emphasizes that involvement in civil society is quite accessible to more people now than ever.

 

  1. Globalization and technology have made the fortunes of powerful millionaires and billionaires, Clinton writes.  These same individuals are frequently prominent philanthropists.

 

  1. The Internet is certainly steadfast in the opportunity to make civil action. Together, small donors can have a huge impact.

 

Source

Review of Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World

 

Although my dad is a senior citizen, I can foresee us working at this until any set point in the future.  I really don’t know at this time how far into the future we should project, but as helping with the cemetery is the best bet I have for autonomy and independence, I will do the best I can to keep working at caring for the cemetery and for the disbanded church.  I also intend to keep an active presence on Facebook, and here on WordPress.

 

Bill Clinton’s book helped inspire David McConkey’s thoughts on income tax credits and how to take advantage of them.  I invite you to visit us on Facebook.  You may also ask any question you might have of me here on WordPress, over on Quora, or on Twitter.

Dimensions: 5304 x 3531
Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit and I hope that you had a terrific Father’s Day this June.

 

To visually illustrate this post, I have included a couple of shots taken myself, and in addition a stock photo intended to better illustrate some of the information, without being verbose.  Thank you for bearing with me.

How Is It We Came Across This?

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word awkward. Here are a few words to the effect that being caught awkward is a compelling reason to rush a catch-up.

What catches me most off guard, most frequently, is the “brain fog” I get from being overwhelmed with too many new facts and figures. It is always a hard measure to make that new information could require a say so, or if it is better to sit back and let the storm take it course.

Dimensions: 4813 x 3213
Photographer: Nao Triponez

That’s the essence of demonstrating research skills–judgments about the usefulness of info that is easy to slip up on when nothing but smooth sailing was expected. It can resemble trial by fire.

The most significant decision is whether the new info is only a time waster, or if it does benefit you to react. Coming up with an appropriate reaction is the hardest decision to make in the whole process. It’s awkward because sometimes there is a sense of damage having been done.

When new facts are discomfiting, while I surely believe that a lot of people get angry in the face of trouble, I don’t find matters to be very easily resolved by simply getting mad and responding with contempt. It is necessary to see a positive in every negative scenario.

I belong to a not-for-profit operated by family and in the course the work I do occasionally experience unexpected problems which demand physical, real-world responses. The trouble of the “data science” variety feels a bit slimy in that you don’t know if the impact of what’s become apparent is going to have a measurable impact on your efforts. I am trying to candidly address the problem of being found awkward in the professional sense and to give a few thoughts on handling it.

Those are the most stressful times I encounter. Prompt is the word awkward.

May 2 Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Small town plaza

Today is Friday, May 4, 2018–May the Fourth is the day of the year celebrating the Star Wars canon of sci-fi. I’m not a filmmaker, although people involved in that kind of thing are certainly important 🙂 It is very nice to enjoy Star Wars on one of its most special days each year and to remember how much thought and calculation is why the original Star Wars film is so great.

On May 2, WordPress outlined a photo challenge for photography demonstrating a sense of the unexpected. To be honest, I don’t enjoy a wealth of the unexpected, but it happens from time to time that something is out of place and therefore notable.

The Monday of this week I was walking home from a jaunt when I sauntered by a little plaza here that caught me off-guard. I was on the other side of the street.

It is in the middle of expansion and redesign.

I thought at first it was being dismantled, oddly enough, but when I returned yesterday, having read the challenge the day before, I saw what was going on–money is going in.

I had reflected on this event because it was unexpected to me, that sign of development and growth when I tend to take a narrow view of progress these days. What do I know?

For me, it represented something unexpected. I was amused.

I took a couple of photos despite the overcast conditions of the afternoon. You can see the half-empty laundromat sign, the in-progress storefront, the cars signifying the value of the cozy little plaza to the town.

Small town plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That laundromat interviewed me for a job position ten or so years ago, before I was part of the not-for-profit I help operate with my dad. My job would have been to provide assistance with the washers and dryers, to take out the trash, and to make myself available a little for visitors to enjoy the Internet. This was easily an honest decade ago.

I nearly had the job. Like it or not, a neighbor I had at the time, an older friend named Doug discouraged me from starting over with the work I was lining up at the laundromat. He said I didn’t need it.

Local plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That neighbor filled the role of brother to me, at a time when I was cordial but distant to my own brother, and I decided to abandon my plan to seek the entry work.

You know, you make a choice like that, and it is clearly significant, but it reflects how little work I actually accomplished doing until my dad retired and brought me on at the cemetery.

I had other concerns.

I remember, of the couple who ran the place, when I showed an interest in how the laundromat helped the street get online, the fellow told me to my face I seemed like Internet Terminus.

I wouldn’t trade the appropriated cool of time online for much else, however.

Ten years ago, common Internet platforms of today were a lot newer, such as Twitter and YouTube. I think Netflix was a service for DVD delivery.

I hate checking my facts. Try writing that bluntly and see how it feels. As a blogger, I am interested in being honest, and there is always that propensity to lie, to seem bigger or better than I am.

That’s quite a common phenomenon, I think.

Terminus is also the title of a sci-fi film available on Netflix. It’s the one about rejuvenation.

May the Fourth Be With You.

Wednesday, May 2’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay by Michelle Weber.

A Photo of Harmony: Do you Agree?

March 9, 2016, I published a blog post which reflecting today I handled poorly.  It was in response to a weekly photo challenge on the subject of harmony.  Revising the post I think it is a touch better.  I like the photo I am substituting for the older one, a bit risqué but I feel a better photo.

 

This week’s photo challenge is to illustrate harmony, or what gives the feeling of harmony.  Today I took another photo, adjustments in mind, that I thought would better indicate how I feel about what the idea harmony means to people.

 

I took a similar photo Wednesday, October 18, 2017, to the one I took March 9, 2016, when I had less experience.  The people drinking were long gone when I noticed what they’d left behind, but we’re not hard on visitors, as we understand they’re mostly out to have a good time.

The problem is that people often grieve at the cemetery at the top of the hill.  If they were there at the same moment we were, I suppose we might rush them away, but it has never happened that way.

 

After a long winter in my part of the land, it is beginning to be warm, quite encouraging. I thought this day, as many people are feeling relief, harmonious. This is the idea behind my photo.

 

1/160 sec. f/4.2 18.3 mm
Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Though the colors of the photo are sedated and muted, we have a wonderful little creek there, a hint of solace and it spoke to me the idea harmony.


Many times we seek harmony and want it as something other than sweet music, or the power, however fleeting it can be, of a prayer.


Do you take photos?  Do you see this photo and agree and disagree that it hints at harmony? Feel free to let me know with a “like” or a “comment.”

April 18 Weekly Photo Challenge: Prolific

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm

To be honest, I took this photo about nine in the morning Wednesday, before I’d read Krista Stevens essay on the idea of “prolific.” I’d known, however, that a photo challenge would be published again that day, and I took photos with the idea they might fit into the challenge, or otherwise find use.

Prolific is a word that suggests kind of an outpouring of artistic work, like writing, painting, or music. A talented person who is prolific and is known for the creative mind they have often led the way with what they contribute to their field of endeavor. The best-known people who are successful and enduring are often found to be that way because they are both hardworking and adept.

It’s been a long, long winter, and even this morning here it’s quite cold. I guess it is daunting that the conditions are so adverse, but taking photos for fun is hard for me to resist and I think this one is possibly along the lines what Krista invited this week with the challenge, a photo of water and snow in front of the church where I help with its operations.

1/200 sec. f/5 8.8 mm
Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It has been disbanded since 2006, but it is pretty to the eye. It is unusual that snow is still on the ground in mid-April.

The reason I spend weekly time at the church, other than having an interest in religion, is that there’s a not-for-profit of which I am the junior member caring for the cemetery which lies behind the church. That’s where I apply my skillset, including photography. It happens to be a benign setting for shooting photographs.

The wind stirring the water on the ground struck me that I might get a good photo if I tried to capture it–I am a little sorry it isn’t a touch better, but the sky was a little dark even though it was morning. When spring finally breaks properly, photos will be better.

I also have a nicer camera available to me now–I will need a little practice. I just don’t want to take it into the outdoors much what with the cold temperatures. It will lend me a new mode, so to speak, of versatility when I do get to apply it.

I am also including a photo I took after reading Krista’s challenge–I took it Thursday. I photographed a spot on a local trail for similar reasons to why I took the photo of the water puddle in front of the church. Again, with skies like we have, it is hard to get a photo that isn’t too gloomy, but I don’t think it is too bad.

1/160 sec. f/4.2 16.2 mm
Thursday, April 19, 2018

I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the WordPress photo challenges–they are open to all and they are easy to join. It is an advantage both to be able to think what other bloggers who enjoy photography are doing, and from the standpoint of wanting to speak in blog posts on WordPress, the daily prompts are likewise helpful to getting something tagged and published.

I feel it is a good idea, given that my chief aim on WordPress is to have fun, to look at the daily prompts now and then and to read the photo challenges. We’re a real-life not-for-profit, but there are no rules or restrictions how to participate in blogging despite the requirement to do work in the offline world.

I am not exactly prolific, I don’t think, although I am dedicated. Like many, many others, I enjoy blogging and I feel it is valuable to be “aligned” with what other bloggers might be doing or thinking. I appreciate any feedback I receive from people who see my blog.

Best to Sell Your Elevator Pitch

When my maternal grandmother was in her golden years, she tried to assure me, “Don’t worry!”

 

It hasn’t been that bad.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “fret,” and it’s a timely choice by the folk at WordPress.

 

What’s being outlined by writers on tech around the world in the news and elsewhere is big trouble… the Cambridge Analytics scandal dealt with Mark Zuckerberg decimated trust in Facebook and cost Zuckerberg a fortune.  For someone like me, maintaining a tiny little Facebook business page to assist with the operations and goals of our likewise tiny little nonprofit, I am sure I am characteristically flabbergasted the same as so many other people struggling to market their brand on Facebook in the same boat.

 

It is potentially back to the drawing board for many.

 

Meanwhile Twitter, beginning the twenty-third of March, put into effect a change in policy that restricts marketers from tweeting the identical thing across multiple Twitter accounts, which is less a problem for me personally as I only have one Twitter account, but which is intended to scale back the impact that spammers and the like can have if they’re active on several Twitter accounts.  For example, there is far less risk that trending topics on Twitter will be launched by the dubious and artificial method of conflated Twitter accounts bringing to prominence a devious trend.

 

It is nonsense, though, because honest Twitter users who make Twitter part of their business model have far less freedom to market their brand.  It also comes on top of several months of other changes to Twitter that consistently kept people who love Twitter up in arms, like notably extending the famed hundred and forty character limit for a tweet to twice that, two hundred and eighty characters.

 

The little tweet was suddenly full on birdsong, and now, counterintuitively, restrictions are in place so that the social noise on Twitter is slowed down considerably.

 

Dimensions: 3000 x 2143
Photographer: Mahkeo

My little blog defaults to options to share a post on both Facebook and Twitter, and now both social media giants are mired in an unpredictable morass that quiets down an outcry that until this year seemed like just a normal part of using the social media leaders.

 

Could be time to shop around.

 

Twitter finally made a quarterly profit, it is worth noting, so the changes effected under the leadership of Jack Dorsey may continue to prove effective.  For Facebook, on the other hand, the steep increase in distrust of the formerly reputable social media giant will play out a drama that will see many Facebookers transmuting their internet profiles elsewhere, or at least becoming far more aware of what can happen to data once it is committed to the Internet.

 

Dimensions: 5472 x 3648
Photographer: Flo Karr

What’s happened with Facebook is only one page in the news-intensive deconstruction of all the trouble the United States is seeing given their leadership is so unsteady at a time when a strong technology industry is necessary for friendly waters in the face of the potential for major change in the near future when many players want as much control as possible over the cyber landscape.

 

There is every reason to fret.  Above and beyond prayer, it would be advisable to equip yourself with as much information as possible to ride the tide back to shore.  It is exciting to observe, and if you have a tidy niche from which to beam the perspective you want people to take, I’d recommend you do it with dedication and surety.

 

If you’ve read today’s post, I thank you.  Any like, follow or comment is welcome.