15 Amazing Looking Back Pictures

The last 3 posts I published had more energy to them, I suppose, than what I had previously been trying.  I did that by taking a post I’d been editing and breaking it into three parts.  The anticipation for readers that there was more to come helped with the posts, I think.

Also, I used original photos for the posts, which are more interesting than stock photos, although I also enjoy selecting those, or photos saved from Google Images, if I want, in specific cases, to illustrate a film, for example.  Here I am going to show fifteen original photos with copy. I am also including a story I’ve written. If you find the post agreeable, you’re welcome to like it, to comment, or to follow.

My mother taking my arm at a family wedding.  It was the wedding of a sibling

I think my mother underestimates the satisfaction that I gain from my lifestyle.  I think in this photo she is feeling self-conscious because she knows she is being photographed and we are trying to look nice.  If she looks like regrets have occurred to her, and she didn’t say anything about it, I don’t know if that is what she was experiencing, if it is me that is causing remorse.

I remember looking through the shelves of the children’s section of the branch of the library where I most frequently got my books, as a kid.  That library isn’t there anymore.  As a child, I sometimes thought it would be great to grow up and be the kind of person that might write books and get them sent into libraries everywhere.

As it turned out, there is a lot of competition to be that kind of thing.  What I positively didn’t anticipate was the popularity of Internet in the nineteen nineties going forward into the future.

With the invention of social media in the early 2000s, and in particular the gold rush on ebooks in the 2010s on Twitter, there is no reason I couldn’t have turned my hand to trying that kind of thing.  Hindsight, as it’s said, is 20/20.

Today I renewed a five dollar donation to Wikipedia.  While five dollars doesn’t sound like a lot, if enoug readers do that kind of thing it can make a world of difference.  I felt good making the donation.

My father peering at the floor space that we intend to complete.  Concerns about the strength of the floor of the church, my dad Peter mostly single-handedly rolled back the interior, you might put it, and found himself challenged by the handiwork might best suit the building’s needs.  I’m meaning the church that for years maintained a congregation of the devout.

When we took on the operation at Maple Lawn Cemetery, my fathers seemed convinced that the building would fall in upon itself if we didn’t attempt repairs.  The church had disbanded in the year 2006.  While appearing nice from the outside, the building houses junk now, although it provides us with shelter when we are there in cold weather.

When I was in college, I learned the definition of the word amortization, costs incurred when necessities of a business go to seed.  This is certainly an instance of amortization.

Completing a calculation in the field of Louth United Church

The riding mower in the photo is the first we one we had, which lasted several years.  Although my dad is in the background, what I think he is doing, looking at the photo, is looking at his phone.  The sign behind him, next to the tree is the sign that once indicated that you are at Louth United Church.

That’s the name of our Facebook page, too, Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery.  You can see the vineyard across the way.  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

My dad does things like measuring the lengths of cemetery plots so that families that own adjacent plots of land in the cemetery get their fair measure among the graves that have already been laid.  I don’t know what occurred to him that I took this photo, but from the distance I am away from him, I think he must be checking his phone.  We aren’t heavy into the phone arena at Maple Lawn.  I do a lot of my social media and things of that nature on a desktop, decreasing functionality but also working with a fair handicap.

Many of the people I interact with on the Internet are elderly and sometimes lack some of the same insight I have into social media in 2021.  It is funny, as, in the 2000s, I wasn’t adequately trained to get the work I wanted, when even people who landed office seats thanks to their good looks had, perhaps, less understanding of getting the job done than I have in my own right.  Life isn’t fair in that regard.

I think of that when I consider my mother’s consternation for my lifestyle.  While I believe she would prefer that I work a straight job, I don’t know how to convince her that what I do is right for me.

From the inside, a look at a window as night comes to take the light

Once Dad and I handled an afternoon funeral that ran so long, that afterward, it was turning to night by the time we wrapped things up.  It was spooky.  Both Dad and I felt it.

Inside the church, where I’d never yet been after nightfall, and have not been since, I though to take a photo of one of the windows in the twilight.

This is a photo I edited, two photos actually, one a photo of the church and cemetery in the snow, in wintertime, and one a picture of the sign, inserted into the picture as a whole.  I thought it produced a neat visual effect.

A rowboat abandoned in the creek back behind the cemetery

My father pointed this out to me one day years ago.  Someone dragged a rowboat, I presume, into the creek at the bottom of the hill behind the cemetery.  I take it it was probably intended as landscape art, ingenius, I suppose, if laborious.

A book of photographs illustrating cemeteries

This was a Christmas gift from my mother several years ago.  I also have a calendar beneath it, in the photo, and an old photo of a girlfriend’s bedroom, which I held onto from when that girlfriend gave it to me.  You can see she was a creative soul.

Righting a headstone

More ingenuity, my father here has devised a contraption to get an old headstone upright.  He has a mind for invention.

The street where I live

I took this photo to illustrate where I live, along with a caption I inserted that is meant to be a little cheeky and a little funny.  I like how this photo turned out.

The interior of Louth United Church

Unfortunately, the interior of Louth United Church looks a little like this.  Our repairs have never been completed.  Occasionally I press my father for an idea of what will happen in the future, but he has never told me.

The strange globes of light in the air I can’t identify for certain, but I am not above the speculation that they could be informing the supernatural.

At home in my apartment, I took this selfie, which is blurry but not too bad, I don’t think.  I have a look of intensity on my face which I have seen on myself in other photos of me.

A selfie with a Batman cap

I am channelling my inner cartoonist, you might say.  This is a selfie which I coloured blue.  I have a dopey smile on my face, and I am holding my face with my hand.

I think my idea is that it is a “night” selfie.  That I am wearing the Batman insignia on my cap gave me the idea that I was in the act of being a creature of the night, like a vampire.

The Louth United Church sign after a car drove it.

We never found out who was responsible.  When I made it known on Facebook, a few voices of outrage sounded at once.  It was a lesson for me to watch the tone of what I project in a Facebook post.

We’ve never done the repair to the sign, so in a sense the damage became permanent.

My dad checking the lay-out of the cemetery

Dad here is looking for a specific grave, I think.  You can see the back of the church in the background of the photo.  That’s frost on the grass, if you didn’t know it is cold.

The colour tones of this photo have a pretty aesthetic to them, I think.

Digging a grave for a casket

If ever we need to dig a grave for a casket, my father rents a backho and handles the dig himself.  I was on hand this time, too, and decided to take a photo of the action, although with the glow of the sunlight on him, and the distance from the camera, the image of my dad is out of focus.

Photo by Monoar Rahman on StockSnap

Having put together here a sample of my photography, I thought I would go the extra mile and give you a draft of what my fiction can be like.  It is only part of the story but I do have a complete draft that I am a little unwilling to post for free in the event that I could actually make something of the story.  It is one of a few stories that I have written.

Having heard warnings but shaken them off, the main character refuses to heed the warnings and signs when they learn of the dark lord that steadily grows in power that seeks to consume all in their path.

Photo by Joshua Ness on StockSnap

“One for the books,” Jake Sullivan thought, “made the first bus for a change.”  The bus rolled toward him where he was waiting at the stop half a block up from where he lived, Jake feeling glad that he had made the effort to get downstairs and to align him in the path of showing up at the office.  He worked for Cryptodel, it was even kind of a choice job, in the sense that he did a lot of what he wanted and that there was a video game arcade around the corner among the magazine retailer and the laundromat.  Jake was in his twenties and had held the job as a designer for two years, since finishing college and beginning his career in computers.  Jake worked a lot, but that arcade grabbed his attention time and time again.  It got purely mesmerizing for Jake when he started to win at whatever particular game he was playing at the moment when he was in there.  Jake seldom put much distance between himself and computers, but he did like to forget about the hustle and frequently put himself in recreational visits to the arcade.  The escape kept him happy.

The game Jake liked to play at the moment was Vanish into thin air, and it scrolled horizontally and Jake could see he was among rocks and vines beneath an expansive sky.  He was jumping and running.  Blinking occasionally, as he coolly manipulated the game environment with the joystick, Jake suddenly saw in front of him an unusual-looking tree, gnarled and knotted, and as weird as anything else he was interacting with inside the game.

How do I make that vanish? Jake wondered as he came nearer.  The tree was odd because of its incongruency with the other plant growth in the game, Jake could tell from his experience in the simulated game environment.  There hadn’t been other trees looking like this one, and it indicated to him that this tree was likely special, being one of a kind and therefore significant.  Jake expected to find a treasure chest beneath it.  Suddenly the image of a hand appeared between him and the tree.  Jake was amused.

The hand clenched, forming a fist, and then pointed, and Jake was startled.  Instead of pointing at Jake’s avatar inside the game, the hand from the tree was pointing outward from the game to exactly where Jake was standing on the arcade floor, where he was comfortable and relaxed.  The techie who had drawn the hand had done it in the sweeping curves of vector graphics, to be a shape in the game that was clearly representing an organic hand.  How do I get inside the treasure chest? Jake wondered.

“Jump now,” Jake’s instincts told him, and his avatar rose into the air.  The hand of the enemy opened then, palm up, and snatched Jake from out of the air.  Jake thumped the game trying to get his alter-ego free, and it retreated, the vector-rendered 3D environment scrolling as Jake cheered mentally, his character free from its opponent’s grasp.

Jake blinked as his game icon steadied itself on the ground, only partially under his control, he felt.  Bonus round? thought Jake.  Light flashed about the video screen before Jake and it became visible what was opposing the character on the screen.  It was tall walls of stone and a single source of light in the air, a flame in the air, guiding forward to where the bony humanoid had retreated to and the focus of Jake’s concentration.  Jake began to proceed to the cave floor.  Was there a “boss” near indicating progress had been made in the level?  Friend or foe? Jake wondered.

Let’s make it foe, Jake reflected briefly, readying his high-power fireballs, levelled-up and sorcerous weaponry Jake had at his disposal.  He looked at how he would explore the cave, when suddenly an instinct occurred to him that he hadn’t previously known was coming.  What was that?  Briefly adjusting his consciousness as his gaze scanned momentarily the arcade, he saw the sunlight behind her in the door peaked like a shaded window, the game in front of him asking him to fight briefly lost to him.  He reevaluated what he was doing.  “I was ahead that round,” Jake lamented out loud.

A cell phone ringing.  A girl’s voice speaking cutting through the hubbub in the arcade.

Jake’s attention returned to the illumination of the game he favoured once more, asking him to play a reset round.  He didn’t quite feel like jumping back into it.  The girl he’d seen was on the phone.

“Spaceship,” Jake’s unconscious said to him.  Was that sight real?  Wait, he thought.

She was at the controls of a game twelve feet away, her attention completely intent, by all standards, on the game she wanted to play.  She knew videogame action.  There was something urgent about her intentions, something that clued to Jake that there was something different about this individual, something saying to him internally to pay attention.

The energy in the arcade was usually palpable, like a group of mostly aimless young men mulling about looking at games, sometimes with girlfriends among them, sometimes not.  Jake seldom took much of an interest in what the others were doing, anyway, and he always had to leave before too long to get back to Cryptodel.  This one was a little different.  It was obvious, anyway, that despite whoever she was on the phone with, she was by herself, in a game arcade.  The other factor Jake was aware of was how naturally controlling the game came to her.  He was impressed, taking an almost childish interest in her.

Jake’s attention was diverted and he thought of leaving the arcade.  An unusually pretty girl or not, he had work to do.  With only a shade of reluctance, he stepped away from the game and strode outside, where the sunlight illuminated his vision the way only afternoon sunlight does, when the day has begun to go and, work notwithstanding, ultimately evening will come and the day will resolve as it always days.

It was fifteen yards to the office building of Cryptodel, a two-storey building completely occupied by the computer vendor.  Inside Jake got on the lift and rose to the second floor, got out and walked down the hallway to the door to his office.  Inside it was quiet as always and still, unlike the bustle that he’d mostly ignored in the street outside.  He sat down at his desk, his computer blinking to life as he commanded it to boot.  Information signals silently bouncing back and forth in the computer, it became as alive as a tool like that does and he opened a browser, waiting to resume his work.  A notification window opened in the bottom right corner of the monitor for the computer and his attention briefly turned to that, as it was an odd message that reminded him, a touch, of the game he’d been enjoying playing.

“If you can get to your loved ones, it is highly advisable to take measures as though under a state of emergency.”  A photograph of the heavens above was invisible with the odd message, where among the blue and white a NASA-looking vessel appeared to be kind of hanging in orbit, an irregularly oblong design with pyramid-shaped wings extended at either side of it.

“There’s… a spaceship?  In the sky?” Jake looked more astutely at the computer notification, talking out loud to himself.

He opened his computer telephone software and selected Leo as the recipient, his friend.  Six rings and the call was diverted to message-recording.  “Stay safe, bro,” Jake said.  “I’m in the office but I’ll call you back.”

Another quick call out and he got his wonderful girlfriend, Rosalie.  “Hello?” she said breathlessly.

Rosalie was beautiful.  Whenever he was near her, he felt inspired in a way different than working for Cryptodel inspired him.  Rosalie was brunette, buxom and tasteful.  She had more than her share of tech insight, which Jake loved about her, and her brown eyes when she looked at him spoke to him on the level of being soulful.  He really was in love with her.  They got along great with each other and when Rosalie spoke to him, he felt a rush that was better than just about anything else he had going on for him.  He enjoyed his work, it was true, and he put in a lot of hours at it, but the time he had to be with her when the two of them were free and together, was some of the best times of his life.  He felt like she was a very good part of his life.

“You know what’s happening?”  Like Leo’s, it was voicemail.  Jake wondered where’d she got to.

“This can’t be for real,” Jake said.

Outside in the street running past the Cryptodel office, the day was oddly quiet.  Even the arcade, where often a pack of kids would be hanging out given the chance to play some choice videogames, was mostly quiet.  Jake wasn’t aware of the locale any longer, but the girl coming out this minute might have continued to interest him, dedication to Rosalie or not.  She was staring at her phone.  Somebody had linked her into the news broadcast.

Another invasion… she was idly aware.  If she’d cared more, she probably wouldn’t be alone.  Ezezzud, the newcomer to Earth said his planet’s name was.  Sounded grim.  She needed something and she didn’t know what.  Bicycling away, she felt oddly mixed up, as though something had intersected with her and she hadn’t bothered to notice.  It wasn’t this business with the interplanetary visitor.  Something in her instincts was talking to her.  What was it saying?

Components, she decided.  That’s what she had coming to her, fingers crossed.  Might as well give it a go, she was thinking.  You never knew what to expect.

Suddenly a male voice filled the air.  “Sullivan,” said the voice.  Was it from the computer?

“I am riding a Variable Atmospheric Light Bomber, with effectiveness so complex that experimentation is required to fulfill its capabilities.  Your planet, Earth, will be at the mercy of a rapid assault of high-intensity if you refuse to assemble the hardware I need.  I assure you this will be of relatively minimal trouble to you if you agree to cooperate with my wishes.  The alternative is death for you and for every species of organism on this planet.”

Jake was emotionally and intellectually stunned by the threat he was hearing, and in Jake’s life he rarely gave up without a fight.  “What is this all about?” he managed to ask.

“It is in your hands, Sullivan,” intoned the voice.  It continued.  “To bring to me what I need.  You are in a rather unique position, among your kind, to have access to a very specific facility, that will give me back comprehensive control over my ship–and return to me the power to return home.  If you want your planet to continue to exist, you must bring me the computer function you know as Hound Rippersnapper,” the voice finished, not without an impact.

In this case, the impact was the sound of rapid car-honking from down in the street, not an unusual sound.  Hound Rippersnapper, Jake reflected.  That’s April’s AR design.  Cryptodel had at least a few advances in progress when it came to consumer computing.  April was another programmer working at Cryptodel.  As with any female in a male-dominated profession, April had to work hard to compete with the boys, and she did.  She always went the extra mile at all times to make sure her work was as good as anything that her co-workers were doing.  Hound Rippersnapper was her concept for an augmented-reality framework whose main facility was to be on top of an organization scheme for office environments which permitted layers of data to be explored and accessed through an AR infrastructure making working with data much more pliable than the functional apps that were more typical of what the Cryptodel bunch were working with.  What would an alien creature want with something as relatively mundane as that?  It must believe Hound Rippersnapper would give it restored power to the bomber spacecraft.

“What will you do with that?” Jake asked.

“I will use it to forward-drive, Jake,” the voice said.  “To leave your skies and return to my own galaxy.  Otherwise, there will be…” A pause permitted Jake’s attention to shift.  “…Consequences.”

“No more than a half-hour, Neal, I mean it.”  Something was occurring to Jake that made him think of more down-to-earth business than the conversation he was having with this… –alien monster?  Was this for real?

“Just band me for a half-hour of access to her lab and I’ll be out of here before you know it.”

“There is no need for threats,” Jake said out loud, suddenly subdued.  “I can get you Hound Rippersnapper.  It’s still in the test stages, you understand.  A brilliant design.  Let me just get April on the phone and maybe I can explain to her what I need, putting Hound Rippersnapper into your hands.  If that’s what you want…” Jake finished up by saying.

“With that strategy, I anticipate resistance,” said Degub.

“What?  Resistance?  No, April will understand.  I know her.”

“You must do things a different way.”

“A different way?  I can’t just stroll into April’s workstation, and put Hound Rippersnapper in my pocket and walk out.  I need her sign-off.”

“There will be no sign-off,” said Degub.  “You must act as catpurse in this matter.  You must steal Hound Rippersnapper for me and bring it here for me to recoordinate.”

“Recoordinate?  Okay, I’ll just get a key pass from our security office and go in quietly and get it.  I can do that.”  The offices at Cryptodel were protected by remote security officers who could look in to see when and where doors were unlocked and by who.

“Good,” Degub intoned.  “Don’t let me down, Sullivan.  The fate of your planet is on your shoulders.”

“I thought that’s what that was,” Jake quipped.  “Let me get somebody from our security team.  Don’t worry about a thing.  And please, try not to detonate any bombs in our solar system.  You’ll have an army of government if I know a thing or two about bureaucracy.  It just won’t be pretty.”

“Get me Hound Rippersnapper,” Degub said.

Under the circumstances–Degub claiming he would spare Planet Earth in exchange for Hound Rippersnapper–Jake was starting to feel worked up.  It wasn’t that different from playing Bomber in the arcade, he told himself.  Degub had been persuasive, though.  It wasn’t just the threat of complete planetary destruction that had Jake worried, it was the fact that Jake personally was chosen to take care of this.

In another neighbourhood in the city, in Phat City Café, a certain arcadehead sat and ate her soup.  There was something different than what she normally felt playing at the arcade.  She couldn’t quite put her finger on it…

On the phone with Cryptodel’s security agency, Jake got a person in no time.  That’s what they paid them for.  It was Neal, who Jake didn’t know personally but understood the protocols established to keep Cryptodel’s offices secure.

“Neal, how are you?” Jake asked.  “Keeping tabs?”

“Well, yes, Jake.  Everything all right?”

“Yes and no, Neal, yes and no.  It’s April, Neal.  She asked me to grab something from her station.”

“Let me just call there and see if anyone answers.”

“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure she’s there.  She just asked me if I would come by and get what she needs.”

“Let’s see, Jake, I’ll just give her a ring.”  Jake could tell Neal wasn’t aware of the situation.

“To tell you the truth, Neal, I was kind of hoping to surprise her.  I didn’t want to come back here but something occurred to me that I can put with her pet project that might just sell it to upper management and make it a go.”

“Really?” Neal crowed.  “Upper management.  Now, what do you know?”

Neal must like her, Jake thought.  “It sure would help her out, Neal, and you know she could use a home team advantage.  Budgeting, you know.”

“Well, I know, Jake, but I”m not really sure…  I mean, I haven’t had any advance warning that April was even making a pitch.  It’s not like she’s said anything.”

“Well, she is and she has, Neal, to me.  It isn’t nice being turned down when your heart’s in it, eh, Neal?  And you know, if I could work some magic, it could make a real impact on her future here at Cryptodel.”

“I always did like that April,” Neal said.  “Sure would be nice if she was planning on sticking around.”

“She is real nice, I know, Neal.  Just think about it.  I mean, I just need the key pass to her lab and if I could get in there…  Well, then, who knows what the future might hold?  I could drop a friendly remark.”

“Well, tell you what, Jake, why don’t I just put a time-sensitive access code on your key pass that will band into her security lock.   You can get in and out of there as long as the access code is active.  How much you think you’ll be up there?”

“No more than a half-hour, Neal, I mean it.  Just band me for a half-hour of access to her station and I’ll be out of here again before you know it.”

“I always did like that April,” said Neal.  “Sure, I can do this for you, Jake, just give me your membership ID for your keycard and I’ll put on an access code override.”

“I appreciate it,” Jake said, “I appreciate it more than you know.”

Diagnostics for Jake’s keycard complete, it was now authorized for an hour of access to April’s lab, having the understanding, between Jake and Neal, that Jake was doing April a favour for the company.

Keycard ready, Jake made his way to the lift which would take him up to where the engineering staff at Cryptodel had their workstations.  Jake was counting on access to Hound Rippersnapper.

The software was at the other end of the floor, in April’s station, he reflected.  Making his way to her door, Jake swiped his card for access and the door to her station opened.

In Cryptodel, the laboratories, which number two, were secured with excellent keycard technology.  Both “operators” of the keycard system had specific accesses to different parts of the building, and as April was the other senior technician at Cryptodel she had private access to her station, which meant that Jake was not supposed to be there at all.  He tried not to think that Planet Earth could be on the verge of major trouble, but that seemed to be the case and if he wanted to avert the threat of destruction, he needed to get in April’s lab and get Hound Rippersnapper.

He tried a knock in case April was there.  The resulting silence told him she was not.  “Spacecraft troubles,” Jake said to himself, not wondering if Degub was listening.  “I’m going in there.”

Inside April’s work quarters, the room was neat and clean, around the perimeter of which were a number of computer components and, apart from those, sink, door to the bathroom, and desk.  Hound Rippersnapper was the name of the design April had come up with the end result in mind of providing a comprehensive VR organizational structure for office managers to better structure their employees.  Jake knew April was ambitious, and that she was working so hard on this project to climb the corporate ladder at Cryptodel.  Jake didn’t envy the hard work she did for the company, but frequently had lunch with her at Phat City and found her charming.  She was also well-liked at Cryptodel.

Her Hound Rippersnapper was the VR facsimile of a spreadsheet or a database, depending on what application you required.  Jake knew from past conversations with April that the beta version was finished.  And he knew from what Degub had instructed him that he needed to take Hound Rippersnapper, as it were, to the stars.

The heroine mistakenly burns the evidence, believing it to be the forgery.

Looking around the lab, Jake could see which was the master of the systems working there and he sat down on the chair at her desk, where April sat to do her most focused of work.  “I got to make this quick,” Jake said.  He logged in.  An outpouring of letters and numbers ran across the monitor that was central to April’s station.  Jake himself was really quite a good programmer, and he knew a little about circumventing digital security, in addition to busting ass at the arcade where’d been playing earlier.

If his presence in April’s computer was detected, Jake could get into trouble.  It was a possibility Jake would get caught, but there was a chance he wouldn’t.  He was hoping for the latter eventuality.

Jake was thinking solely about what he had to do.  He manipulated April’s computer files with relative ease, understanding intuitively what to do, as he knew April was as good a programmer as he was, although he didn’t like to admit it.  He needed to transfer Hound Rippersnapper to a flashdrive, so that he could provide it to the alien for its spacecraft, and optimistically, spare the Earth from Degub’s threat of destruction.  Hound Rippersnapper began to write to the flash drive in the node, and Jake tried to relax as he grappled mentally with the severity of the objective he was undertaking.

Photo by Matt Bango on StockSnap

Why Mom Was Right About Facebook’s Allures

If the subject of Facebook enters the conversation, my mom likes to say she isn’t on it.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a Facebook account in my dad’s name, and I think my mother also thinks that the two of them, my mom and my dad, have the same outlook, and disposition.  By that logic, I take it that an account apiece isn’t necessary for them.  Comments they leave are usually attributed to one or the other.

Photo by Wilfred Iven on StockSnap

I have a small Facebook account.  But despite having a humble reverence for the David Fincher-directed 2010 film The Social Network, my pleasure in being on Facebook is helping to run a not-for-profit business.  For example, this very morning, a woman let me know, with an email to the Facebook page for the business, that she finds the business very beautiful, and you’ll understand why in a moment.

In 2007, at the sales company where I worked, Facebook on the desktop computers was blocked, so that entrance-level employee couldn’t enjoy it.  At that time, even for a young man like me, Facebook was a lifeline.  In 2012, Facebook App Center, an internet-based portable store, was carried out onto the market.

The store at first had 500 Facebook applications. which were. for the most part, games.  I remember wondering why was this happening.  Why were so many users playing games?

Around this time, my dad did kind of a noble thing, when, after years of helping manage the municipal cemetery for his job, he came across a little cemetery on the other side of town.  Their trustees were hoping to share the burial ground with the district he had worked for.

My father acquired the cemetery and welcomed me on as a partner in 2012.  For a nonprofit, as a retiree might characteristically enjoy working at, presently we require one day a week, ordinarily.

Louth United Church

I am not sure I suggested it myself, but it was probably me who did–making a business page on Facebook for the cemetery, so interested people could easily get ahold of us, like the woman did this morning.  My dad had wanted a website for the cemetery, and this extra measure was one more step, a Facebook page

https://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

I compose posts that flow data about characteristic concerns we have.  You see, I research and blog.  I am an amateur writer.

I’ve composed a few brief tales, however, I don’t have the standard novel or screenplay that an essayist frequently has.  I’m really an amateur blogger with family business ties.  The business page on Facebook has nearly a hundred accounts of people who “like” it, and most of the control of the page falls to me.

One friend of the business, an elderly lady, I got to know a little during her brief visits to the cemetery, and also when the two of us interacted together on Facebook, had advice for me that I continue to apply on the Facebook business page.

My mother may never have signed up for Facebook, but I think she is pleased to think I show the initiative to manage the page.  My mom worked for a small business for many years, as a clerk.  We actually argue about many matters, but as long as I show a commitment to my dad’s retirement business, I continue to hold some cards in the game, between the three of us.

Nowadays Facebook has a significant draw, yet what we would never have expected are the losses Facebook has had to confront.  Remember the lead-up to the appointment of 2016, when it was discovered that Facebook was utilizing Cambridge Analytica?  That information firm gave Hillary Clinton a benefit, as her position was greater for Facebook than Donald Trump’s pass into the White House would have been.

Photo by Sticker Mule on StockSnap

It was trouble.  Trump’s since been banned from Facebook, as well as from other social media.  Granted, Maple Lawn Cemetery’s a small page, and we don’t handle cash transactions there, so the Cambridge Analytica scandal didn’t impact us much, although the distrust in the air that grew for Zuckerberg did have a toxic impact on how people used Facebook, compared to how they used it before the 2016 scandal.

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/12/facebook-whistleblower-behind-major-leak-is-going-to-testify-in-europe.html

Two days ago, in the early hours, CNET Tech, when reporting on Facebook going against the British Parliament, discussed online one Damian Collins, a member of parliament.  Even now, Frances Haugen, CNET reports, is preparing to speak to British Parliament.  It was Collins who took Cambridge Analytica to task in 2016, across the pond, and he is quoted as saying, “There needs to be greater transparency on the decisions companies like Facebook take when they trade off user safety for user engagement.”

The issue is that Facebook utilizes information about its customers to maneuver them to invest more energy, again became a national topic Sunday when Frances Haugen, a former Facebook worker, showed up on TV to clarify that Facebook is investigating strategies for better compelling and ultimately how to benefit from kids helpless against Facebook fixation.

Facebook has been successful this week demonstrating to the European Union that Facebook has adequate privacy protections in place, but they remain dodgy.  Frances Haugen did them no favours, however.

You know, I don’t think my mother thinks about those kinds of things.

My mom has the perception that people are talking to each other when they are posting on Facebook.  You can say that’s true, however, I think she sees those individuals “talking” rather than the more accurate description that anyone, when Facebook posts are public, can cooperate with those posts.  The explanation for this is those messages from Facebook, about those individuals that you have been cooperating with, is not that those individuals posting have chosen companions to send messages to (ie my mom, I suppose).

What I mean is that when my mother is happy to leave a comment on a post, say, composed by a cousin of hers or by an aunt, with my dad’s account, the reason emails from Facebook come back to him with reminders is that my mother has initiated contact, with his account, with those family members, it is not because those family members want emails sent to him and to her (my mom and dad).

The drawback I personally have run into on Facebook is that I have that one friend who reacts to lots of the posts I do put up.  He’s bizarre.  I know there’s a cliched perception that if your mother is reading what you are posting on Facebook, you are dealing with trouble, but to that end I don’t remember too many times that the account that my mom and dad use came back with reactions to my posts.

My mom is good that way.  Lots of times, I am dropping posts with little to no engagement, although I have an idea what works to at least merit a little bit of a reaction.

Photo by Lenharth Systems on StockSnap

Many people prescribing what’s called a dopamine detox suggest staying off social media.  Sometimes they say they never felt better after getting away from Facebook for a while (better, or clearer-headed).

I don’t think my mom ever felt Facebook was a problem among me and my brother and my sister.  We aren’t children.

My mom doesn’t like me eating too much junk food, but she doesn’t raise objections to too much Facebook use.  It just isn’t that Facebook is the problem its detractors say it is.

I doubt that Zuckerberg is the disrupter that Jesse Eisenberg plays him as in the David Fincher film.  That really is great cinema.  The brilliance of the ambiguity of the conclusion of the film leaves you with the knowledge of how the film’s events next played out in the real world and leaves the audience to ask an existential question, about the value of what Zuckerberg has done.

Jessie Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg is the Nietzschean overman who makes a brave journey, a very satisfying ideology.  I find Facebook pleasant and harmless.  Occasionally if I come on too strong, for a stranger’s liking, I get rebuked, but usually, I pick safe moves that don’t rock the boat too much.  

The Social Network

Compared to both Facebook and Instagram, where the drawbacks are becoming ugly to discuss, I retain an optimistic view of Twitter, and I respect the measures Jack Dorsey has implemented to deal with hate speech, which while known to be a problem on Twitter, doesn’t engender the same conversation that I know of that it does about Facebook.  Twitter is actually getting so it can conceivably warn you if you are writing an incendiary tweet.  It is a changing attitude for the service, for sure.

About Facebook, people say things like hate content will earn more views and that is probably true, although I don’t know why.  Facebook is being blamed for allowing this.  I think that a person can be more attractive if they aren’t focused on material that is hateful.

A spiritual outlook is better, I think, say, like to believe that there is good in everyone, if it is only nurtured.  Hate is a terrible quality to define a person by.  There is vast beauty in the world, and to spend your time on Earth consumed by hatred is not a fine way to live life.

When I was a little kid, my mother would say the cliché, “If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do the same?”  It’s not quite the same thing, as my mom doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Facebook.  I don’t, really, either, despite the Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2016, and now the Frances Haugen 60 Minutes debacle.

Perhaps those people with whom my mom chats on Facebook, though they may understand Facebook better than my mother does, do like having comments from her, and like having their posts viewed.  That my mother can mentally translate Facebook use into a “chat” that is organic in the sense that people are having a catch-up lets me know that there are probably many people who view Facebook, and Facebook Messenger, the same as that.

The mental concept of Facebook automatically translates into a natural style of conversation instead of being too robotic, which is old hat for anybody who can remember the days that Internet chat was a chief part of the Internet’s function, whether that was AOL or MSN Messenger, or, these days, Facebook Messenger.

Perhaps my participation in services like MSN Messenger back in the day helped elucidate for my mother how it is that Internet chat goes, but it is more likely that talk with my sister Kaite is what educated my mother into an understanding of Internet chat, as Kaite thinks of herself as an early adopter of Facebook.

Like a feedback loop, my sister’s instruction to my mother brought round for me insight into how people view Facebook and Facebook Messenger.  Other people must have similar reactions when they are becoming familiar with it.  While I would have understood it regularly given my experience on MSN Messenger as everybody had in the 2000s, I too feel that I am right as rain about how it is to be on Facebook, but not at the expense of how I feel it is to be part of a community inside Facebook.

The problem is the question of whether Facebook will keep a good enough reputation for itself among most Internet users around the world.  Though my mom’s understanding of Facebook is probably largely due to my sister’s help, I think my mom is right that she sees the use of Facebook in a simple but useful light.  None of that would be going on without my sister’s words of explanation for my mother and father.

I should remember that when I am writing emails to Kaite.  Respect due, Kaite is married and has a little one at home, and has been working in the city of London, England, where their family resides.

My mom may discourage junk food, but Facebook is right by her.  I remember my high school librarian who referred to many works of fiction as being “ice cream reading,” meaning they weren’t high-value books.  Funny how that is.

Photo by Matt Moloney on StockSnap

You’re welcome to like this post, follow my blog, and leave comments.  All the best, especially if you are on Facebook.  If you want to contact me by email, you can, at the personal email patrickcoholan@hotmail.com

My personal Facebook account is https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons  Don’t think you can be affected?  Give it a go. I hope you have a great Halloween this season.

16 Reasons the Attention Economy is the Bee’s Knees

“Most of us really aren’t horribly unique. There are 6 billion of us.

“Put ’em all in one room and very few would stand out as individuals. So maybe we ought to think of worth in terms of our ability to get along as a part of nature, rather than being the lords over nature.”

–Herbert Simon, 1916–2001, market analyst

Simon was an American financial expert who won the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his commitments to financial matters. Simon set the “bottleneck,” which limits both what we can see, and what we can do. Current financial matters are generally founded on Simon’s thoughts.

Simon was granted the prize in financial matters for his examination into the interaction inside monetary associations. Fast forward to 2021, and the Internet is sometimes summed up as a whole with the phrase attention economy, and the expression arguably was begotten by therapist, market analyst, and Nobel Laureate, Herbert Simon. In a compelling book, Administrative Behavior (1947), Simon tried to supplant tradition, demonstrating—in an idea—a methodology that perceived different components.

Photo by Olu Eletu on StockSnap

As I understand the industry of Big Tech, in 2021, web designers often work on websites that advertise banners for revenue.

A phone call this week, the two of us in a small Canadian town, surprised me with the news that a downtown building, closed since 2018, had burned to street-level. An active Internet user, who has a blog that shows ads to readers, recounted what happened in his blog.

https://niagaraatlarge.com/2021/07/13/niagara-regional-police-investigating-fire-that-destroyed-historic-building-in-st-catharines/

I am sorry that the building burned down, but that I was quickly clued up by social media, I am happy to indulge in feeling is the bee’s knees.

If you don’t know a lot about data privacy, and you wonder how your web searches seem to translate into similar ads on websites you use, it is because you have been observed searching, and advertisers wish to help you spend your money. There are steps you can take to reclaim data privacy, but you should be aware of where and what you do on the Internet, so that you can own your progress, if you liken browsing the Internet to, say, an adventure game.

I’ve thought about data privacy before. Facebook has had a scandalous history of data privacy betrayals, as when they employed Cambridge Analytica to help them unfairly sway the result of the 2016 run for the White House. The effort to cheat didn’t succeed, but the vote was a very narrow divide.

The deceit delivered by Cambridge Analytica led a giant blow to Facebook’s reputation, and was very hard on Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica had been trying to manipulate voters into thinking as the manipulative computer firm was paid to lead people to think.

Photo by Vadim Sherbakov on StockSnap

Many computer users, you probably know, use VPN technology to disguise their location, by relaying their decisions on the Internet through a route that presents a fake location that an uninformed spy might take as your actual physical location (and not the location that you have).

Another retrofitting solution is to use a software scan, like Superantispyware, to detect tracking cookies, which show you ads that have targetted your behaviour on the Internet. Superantispyware deletes those cookies and shakes that control the advertisers have on you.

Getting personal

Something as simple as resolving to speak honestly can have profound and upbeat results. Herbert Simon was a therapist–I spoke with more than one caseworker when I was living out my twenties, and what guidance they provided, I still remember things they said to me, to this day, years later.

Inspired by those, like Rick and Tony and Pam, I am for this post listing what might help “counsel” individuals who are perhaps new to the attention economy, so they are not shorted by their own expectations.

Observations about the world (propelled by Herbert Simon)

  1. Nature is flourishing
  2. We have enhancements in medication
  3. Significant development is happening all the time
  4. Expanded digitalization is happening just as fast
  5. Distant, working, is a clear reality
  6. Enhancements in instruction abound
  7. Another gander, at the powerless and oppressed individuals from our general public, needn’t give us pause
  8. Promising circumstances favour us
  9. Co-operation and social support enable us
  10. Co-activity and social help assist us
  11. Picking who is imperative to us is a potential reality
  12. Working on psychological wellness through helping other people is good for your wellbeing
  13. Collaborations between regular citizens (not government nor police) is becoming a mainstay
  14. Feeling of appreciation might be a new unique norm
  15. Discovering delight has never been more possible
  16. Having an effect is, straight up, a reality

The world is a strange and wonderful place. When you consider, for example, co-activity, you might reflect that every person is truly an individual, and many people have talents that really help highlight other people’s strengths. While there are of course powerless and oppressed individuals, if you can get a smartphone and learn how to effectively use it, you are as powerful an individual as ever walked the Earth, in some regards.

Even with only a few social accounts, your potential is rather excellent. A philosophy of industry isn’t always discussed with words you could charactertize as “holistic,” but someone with an adequate command of many many realities about life, and how to do right, for both themselves and others, can be completely excellent.

Photo by Amar Saleem on StockSnap

Check out Canadian musician and recording artist Rick White’s new album Where it’s fine

Contrarily bound by confusion (to contrast)

My pinned tweet describes how AI has become an excellent tool, in many applications, for providing useful content recommendations. AI can look at what you’ve done before, on a specific service, and can guide you to more good content, to be enjoyed, and that you want to share.

My aim in circling data is to be helpful, to arrive at information relevant to what you might be searching for now, and I am additionally marginally important for my dad’s business, the Maple Lawn burial ground he focuses on all year, with some assistance from family and friends.

https://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

Good hobbies should be cultivated. I feel the attention economy is awesome. In particular, video, both big-budget presentations and little user videos, is widely available. A little music can help, too.

When AI is employed for reasons that include helping to provide good content recommendations, as, for example, when you are on YouTube, quality YouTube videos, though controlled with measures that can feel extreme, are recommended to viewers, by an AI algorithm.

YouTube launched in February 2005.

…”In an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

–‘Designing Organizations for an Information-Rich World’ in Martin Greenberger (ed.) Computers, Communications, and the Public Interest (1971), 315 pages, index, sources

In addition

Photo by Lenharth Systems on StockSnap

TiVo expands IP licence with Google https://advanced-television.com/2021/07/08/tivo-expands-ip-licence-with-google/

I’m not a guy asking you to spend on cryptocurrency 🙂 That can lose you enormous cash.

You’re welcome to like my post, and to follow, and comment.

I hope you don’t think I’m playing games. (It’s against policy.)

https://www.facebook.com/findingenvirons
https://twitter.com/findingenvirons
https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited/

How Not Knowing Where to See the 2021 Ball Drop Makes You a Rookie

Sometimes, to write a blog post, I turn to a random generator to help develop an idea. I am steadfast of the belief that “everything is a remix” and go from there.

    Several years ago, when my godmother was visiting, she observed that “it’s all been done.”

    Her mom, my grandma, a long time back, each year, on New Year’s Eve, would keep an eye on us while my folks were celebrating the New Year.  As I am the oldest, I enjoyed the privilege of staying up with my grandmother and watching the ball drop at Times Square.

    We would have a cup of tea together.  It’s been over twenty years since she passed on.

    I was reading a blog Monday night, by an NYC blogger, Beauty Beyond Bones, who reflects on everything Jesus does for her.

    The Beauty Beyond Bones blog goes live three times a week, I believe, both Monday and Thursday evenings, which are her regular event, and Wednesdays, her recipe-sharing.  Good eating is one serving of Beauty Beyond Bones’ expertise.  I doubt she would have it any other way.

    Monday, the Beauty Beyond Bones blog pointed out that while, characteristically, astrology and the Law of Attraction tend to pull in people who are searching for answers, that may not be The Way, to put a Taoist label on that kind of struggle.

    Beauty Beyond Bones put up a link Monday to an awesome webcast where she typifies her biography.  You may see her blog for yourself:

https://beautybeyondbones.com/

Photographer:
Burst

    It did occur to me that, if anybody noticed how I was handling myself, there was a good chance that I would not know that person much longer.  I presume, regardless of how much development I appreciate, I will consistently have that sense to want to be a crypt keeper.

    When I was a boy and had a different sense of the theatrical, I liked to be the Dungeon Master.  There is no shortage of folk interested in games like D & D.  The game’s monsters, the undead, and Medusa.

    Whether I can accommodate various aspects of my mental self-portrait with what is most critical, presently, is something I think about. I am trying to put this in more simple terms than is easy, in pursuit of something intangible.  It’s not an idea that comes easy.

    If you blog and you’re on WordPress, that’s wonderful!

    Get your spot for the ball drop.

Photographer:
Tommy Jepsen

You’re free to like, follow, or potentially remark.  See you soon!

Why When We Are Young We Heed What We’re About

Like most, I remember the years of maturity coming into adulthood, reaching your late teens, and then beginning your twenties, I remember experiences of those years more favorably than other times. I sometimes remember those years more favorably than, indeed, they may have been.

I remember one night, the summer of the year 2000 it could have been, that I decided a change of scenery would do me good. I sneaked off to Toronto for a night of bands and the like, being then a smidgen wilder then than I am today.

The night was unique, for different reasons, but wouldn’t you know that when the witching hour was upon me, I had begun to make friends with a couple of other young guys, cool to me for their moxie–would you say there’s a three-letter-word for that? The two young gents told me where we could get something to drink, to keep the night lively. For nothing too expensive, we could keep having a good time.

We were enjoying another band, where I’d never been, with a glass of moonshine and the two of them the same, until one of the boys told me, awfully, that some other patrons had brought a gun, and we should go. That unnerved me, unfortunately, so caution prevailed.

Dimensions:	5472 x 3648
Photographer: One Idea LLC

I bid the two a polite goodbye, leaving them with my number back home in the suburbs, this being only the year 2000 I recollect. It was my parents’ number, for a later time to summon me to meet again.

The last few remaining hours of the night I spent, sadly, like a derelict, waiting for the morning transit. What is memorable, though, I twenty years later is that of the times I made a commute like that, this night, the one I am recounting, and some other nights like that, are typical of what shape my favorite memories of that time in my life.

It’s a brief story–you might not believe it. However, I think I could recall, maybe, a thousand specific experiences from those years. It is interesting what people interpret as memorable. I wanted this morning to touch base with those folk I connect with on WordPress.

I hope your autumn is going great.

Why Blogger’s Envy Will Make You Question Everything

In any case, what number of sites are there altogether in 2019? Until this point in time, there are over 1.6 billion sites on the planet. — Techjury : Is blogging still relevant in 2019? https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-websites-are-there/#gref

Blogging can be an interest for someone who writes, or, perhaps, takes photos, or who wants insight beyond that individual’s regular life and is attainable. In 2019 blogging champions continue to show heart, talent and drive to command gigantic followings, and blog consistently and excellently. While blogging is inventive by nature, innovatory bloggers get all that comprises Internet fame.

fame Merriam-Webster

1a: public estimation REPUTATION

b: popular acclaim RENOWN

2 archaic RUMOR

Engagement rate in influencer marketing is used to measure the level of interaction an influencer typically receives on their content. Simply put, it is the percentage of the influencer’s audience that responds to their content. –Google: What is influencer engagement?

A reader infers that the successful blogger is charming beyond the scope of that blogger’s posts and social media; we are persuaded that the blogger is likable, an excellent chap, full of cheer, and enviable. Likewise, when one compares herself to the other, especially as she is rendered in a blog or on social media, there is a propensity to try to reach that same level as the other, even if many of the details of her life exist chiefly in the imagination, the perspective of the visitor. She becomes human from expectations in the mind.

Photographer:
Negative Space

If you blog, and you are in the early years of your experience as a blogger, and you wish to rise to a level of success you already see in your favorite blogs, you will find yourself learning, if you persist, how and when to post. “Younger” bloggers play a part in the blogosphere. I know that by the time you join, you won’t be thinking about the same conundrum you have now.

You’re welcome to like this post, to follow and to comment, if any of this finds you sympathetic. Remember that bonds on the Internet have a similar significance to bonds in the real world.

I’m Patrick, and I help with the care of Maple Lawn Cemetery in Canada. Our website is this:

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

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.

Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Be the best Version of You

Charmingly, The Little Mermaid is an enduring animated Disney feature, but also a WordPress blogger who the last few months hosted “tea parties.”  Each month for the entire duration of the month a theme goes into play on her site which gets bloggers interacting with each other having had written along the same lines.  This month’s theme, October’s, is happiness.

I’ve joined the last couple of months, and this is my third go-round as a participant in the tea parties.  I decided today would be the day I would finish up my post for the challenge.

Join In The Fun! Join In The October 2018 Tea Party!

To Reach Personal Happiness

Be the best Version of You
Graffiti in local park

This may seem counterintuitive, but many lifestyles that were stigmatized in previous decades have experienced the joy of stigma lifting.

However, I experience depression, I guess–but I have lots of happy hours, too, so I don’t completely know what to think about that.

Although attitudes change, I know my father loathes the thought that I would speak of such a thing as depression.  In fact, that I publish something like this might bother him.  That being said, I am trying to be honest with some enthusiasm about a delicate subject of conversation.

It bothers many people.  Troubles of that kind can strike virtually anyone.  I would suspect it conceals innate unhappiness and is often a response to external troubles.

I don’t perceive there is a terrible stigma around depression.  However, it is not the best idea to make small talk about the problem.  Complaining rarely works much of a beneficial result.

Channeling your energy into a positive outlet can be the experience that reverses the more difficult symptoms of a common malaise, depression.  Everyone knows that happiness is much preferable.

As I explained, The Little Mermaid is an established blogger who this month thought the theme of happiness would fit her tea party series.  Her posts invite networking for the love of blogging.  Happiness, I think, for me, is satisfaction.

I believe people ought to be happy.  That’s what I reflect upon when I’m thinking of such a matter.

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Photographer: Javier Molina

Happiness is a mellow joy, I would extrapolate.  The decisions opted in the course of one’s day help the individual experience what’s happy for that individual.  Youtuber Jenna Marbles has thought about it.  My Dogs Try On Halloween Costumes

A guilty pleasure.

I might think of happiness being connected to straight-up artistic endeavors.  There are numerous hobbies that spark happiness, like loyalty to a pastime, such as to baseball, to hockey, or to the NFL.

Friends and family are other enriching aspects of happiness.  Sometimes, though, you have to sit on the sidelines, waiting for another opportunity to step up to bat.

In this hemisphere, we’ve seen the summer come and go again and now, where I live that is, the temperatures will get colder and colder.  We have Halloween to look forward to, which for a lot of people is literally a “scream”.  I suppose that’s a pun.

Wednesday this week I asked how winter time is for a volunteer where I work.  He told me in turn how little pleasure he gets from the severity of the winter season.  I said a little to try to cheer him up, but his feelings about the season were steadfastly downbeat.

It helps, I would venture to say, that if you can narrow down your interests to just a few to focus on, I believe, you may get a better outcome.  That way, you are more invested emotionally in what you pursue.  Therefore the rewards spent in delving into your passions are rewards that you have generated in your life and reflect sincerity.

I was inspired in this by successful capitalist Warren Buffett.  Warren Buffett – The World’s Greatest Money Maker

 

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Photographer: Raymond Sam

You don’t necessarily want to just trade your time for money, which is a basic approach to your work that might not be completely serving you best.  I realize you probably have the responsibilities of being part of a family that necessitates and requires you to work at making some kind of living.  It is just that if you can do something radical and retain everything you need, and I know that’s not easy, but if you can, I believe it is more fulfilling than if you don’t.

You shouldn’t look back at what you have accomplished and feel there is nothing more you should do.  You need to keep growing every year of your life, I believe.

I write this blog because written content continues to have value in 2018.  So does video content and audio, as you probably know, probably more so.  I wish I had more opportunities to expand what I can do where content is concerned that is assembled myself and published.

Blogging’s one of my favorite hobbies.  My efforts are almost entirely done for free and yet I don’t wish to cease them.

I wish I had clearer intentions about what I am doing.  Maybe I can explore how to get to a more promising level of achievement without sacrificing the parts of the tasks that I enjoy the most.

One last thing:  I was speaking to a young man and admired his research ability for searching the Internet.  He told me he was sure it seemed special to me but he clarified in that conversation this month that everyone similar to him, his age, is equal to him in terms of the ability he has to research.  I suppose that is true, but I hadn’t been aware of that.

I think one of my draws is that I can do research, but perhaps I need to stop and think that my niece in Grade 3 may now be similarly competent at doing research to my own ability.  It’s incredible.

While the preceding example is an exaggeration, I remember that when I wanted a sales job years and years ago, I was asked to take a pen-and-paper test to demonstrate my competence as a computer user.  Given my weak results writing the test paper, the office showed me the door.  I didn’t get the job because I couldn’t prove that day, all that time ago, that I was adept with a computer.

I may not have been much good then, but I hope that by now, much later in life, I am better outfitted to better qualify for any kind of work that needs me to prove I am tech-savvy.

By the way, this month, October, is Inktober.  I don’t have tattoos, but an interesting interpretation is to apply the month’s emphasis on “ink” to how it applies to old-school tabletop roleplaying.  An ink-drawn map is often part of a tabletop RPG.

 

D&D
D&D game in a window display

The game I am most interested in is Pathfinder, so occasionally this month I am returning to Pathfinder game materials to read rules of the game with the idea in mind that the game is usually played with ink-drawn maps.  I’ve never played the game properly, but even reading some of the rules sometimes helps put me in a state of mind I enjoy.

 

Thank you for visiting my post.  Of course, you’re welcome to “like,” comment, and/or “follow.”

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part II

Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Updated January 13, 2022

September 24, 2018, the Stereogum music history website posted to Facebook about the fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album.  The Beatles Announce 50th Anniversary “White Album” Reissue With Previously Unreleased Tracks

I think of The Beatles being a radical success in music history, given the enormity of their popularity, even decades later.  However, how does that view of The Beatles relate to contemporary ideas about success, and how it is won?

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for the individual to pursue preconceived notions of success and how it is misleading.  The first four were presented in a previous blog post.  The remaining six are presented here.

Streaming services

  1. Netflix is the leader of the pack, I believe, for video streaming.  They devote an enormous budget to original content and their selection of existing content is good.  That said, Disney is in the streaming video service market.  Netflix in my region is compatible with my Tivo, as are other video streaming services.
    The selection of videos on Netflix is good.  I want to step out of the chain of logic to ask if that implies that Tubi, a free video streaming service also compatible with my Tivo is a weak link.  Netflix is a completely enjoyable experience and Tubi is likewise an extra addition to the Tivo I use.
    It isn’t too hard to say which could be better assessed to be a radical success, in the future.  That said, while Netflix has been successful remaining ahead of the curve, Tubi is probably under far less pressure.  Does Tubi’s relative weak link status mean that it isn’t a success?  It is free to use.

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    Photographer: Rawpixel.com
  2. Going forward with the theory that radical success means enormous difficulty, consider the contender that could grab much of Netflix’ market share, Disney.  Disney is unlikely to be going anywhere, given its weight as an entertainment brand, being known for its films, television, toys and theme parks.

Which of the two, Netflix or Disney, will be more of the radical success–that a good streaming service can be?  Or will they both amount to great success?  Disney has built in family appeal, given its products are for both adults and kids alike.  Netflix has been building that kind of appeal from scratch, but persistently.  Will either Netflix or Disney be a weak link?  It seems important to me that entertainment be good, when it is accessed, or experienced.

Netflix has a reputation for spending extravagant amounts of money on shows and films.  Disney already has an enormous built-in capacity for success in the future, in addition to plans for its video streaming service.

 Will Netflix Ever Actually Make Any Money?

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Photographer: Jakob Owens

3. I started this post by saying there is a fiftieth-anniversary release of The White Album coming 11/9.  From what I understand about music streaming services, Spotify has a great conversion rate bringing customers from free use of Spotify onto the premium version.  I would ask, if taken to task, whether Spotify will be a “weak link.”

From everything I can say, music with Spotify is magnificent.  It seems to be an awesome service.

It is understood that The Beatles essentially recorded The White Album live to 8-track tape, and for everything they’d done in the name of their music, they were in fact recording music that would be a bit of a farewell to their fans.  If less scrutiny was being given to the music emerging on The White Album, would The Beatles have lasted longer?  And recorded songs for longer than they did?  I think it is possible, for when something is intended to be “perfect,” it is often a departure the way a pinnacle climbed must then be descended.

US Politics 

4. If you are following my argument, you might guess that the weak link I’m referring to is the former President of the United States, Donald Trump.  An example of someone about who there is much to decry that could be a weak link is the President.

As he is someone who was a TV star, I think it is worth mentioning here the radical success that he is known for enjoying and how at the same time the President has mounting problems that he is both a radical success, being wealthy and commanding power, but also a “weak link” in that he could bring down the whole show if he is not effective.  President Trump has a knack for appearing with ferocious emphasis again and again in the news, and yet he faces so much criticism and real-life repercussions and consequences that I think he makes a great example of a “weak link” who is at the same time a radical success.

The President brings to mind so many components and elements of radical success gone wrong that it is becoming clearer all the time that the President of the United States is an extremely divisive man. Donald Trump Says China Remix

 

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Photographer: Diego Jimenez

Motivated to Entrepreneurship

5. The ninth reason I want to assert that a weak link can be very much undermining is the idea that if you begin to succeed as an entrepreneur you can find yourself under more pressure than you ever anticipated facing.  Making money is many people’s idea of success, but you usually have to put in years of work to make your dreams come true.  And in this scenario, ironically, you yourself could be the weakest link if you don’t meet obstacles well.


Unless you keep improving, day in and day out, you could end up being the weak link in your organization simply owing to the fact that your luck could change.  If you have found a strategy that makes you King Midas, turning everything you touch to gold, if all of a sudden your luck changes, you may now be suddenly be faced by weakness.  The Secret to Self-Motivation | Gary Vaynerchuk’s GREATEST Motivational Speech Ever! 

Photographer: Rawpixel.com
Aerial view of computer laptop on wooden table

You need to keep improving and being good.  Everything that took you somewhere is behind you; you have to continue to make great decisions.  I suspect you’ll see for yourself if you falter.

6. The final reason I want to take back to Geeks + Gamers.  If you have someone, like Jeremy, who is comfortable discussing games, films, and sports, an articulate individual, who sees success coming from YouTube, from a Facebook group, from Twitch I suppose, who challenges who is at the top, as with The Last Jedi, I think it is a philosophical note to say that if you are at that pinnacle, there is any number of reasons your descent will be hastened by those who come after you.  You have to reach that pinnacle in excellent form; and you have to leave it in such a way that it endures, that there could be a fiftieth-anniversary, that there could be another billion-dollar blockbuster, that there could be a second term.  This is all vital, from a philosophical standpoint, what must be done if radical success, like the kind that spreads all around the globe, is to be achieved and then preserved. CLICKBAIT : A YOUTUBE STORY

If you have read this, please feel free to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part I

Puzzle game

Updated November 22, 2018

In December my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift, a puzzle celebrating The Beatles’ music on The White Album.

Puzzle game
The Beatles

The puzzle is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

Beatles’ White Album: Five myths the 50th anniversary deluxe edition puts to the test

 

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Photographer:
Little Visuals

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for individual success and how it is misleading.  Four are presented here.

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Suzy Hazelwood MONOPOLY FOR MILLENNIALS MAKES NPCs CRY The YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers fascinates me.  When Jeremy announced that he had fallen prey to a phishing spoof six weeks ago, I wanted to describe the problem in this post.  Jeremy was distracted at the moment and made a rookie error, surrendering control of Geeks + Gamers for seventeen minutes until he could get it back in order.  A second oversight occurred, when Jeremy neglected to secure his Google AdSense funding for the channel after the spoof.  When he realized that an entire month’s worth of  monies designated for Geeks + Gamers was stolen, he finally revealed what happened:  My YouTube Channel Was Hacked, Money Lost – Learn From My Mistakes  I’d been paying attention to Geeks + Gamers because I feel it protests and dissects conventional scholar on media.  The Geeks + Gamers team typically tackle major film projects like the DC universe on film, or more often the Disney Star Wars trilogy, as though the success, usually financial, of studio film output speaks to the conclusion that if a film is not fun, that if it doesn’t “work” in terms of being appealing to an audience, the film is not so much a radical success as it is a weak link.

  • It didn’t matter to Jeremy that The Last Jedi is another splendid blockbuster in terms of the money it made for Disney; it was to him a complete letdown and something that was a disservice to the favorite films that remind him of his childhood, the Star Wars films.  Disney Has Concerns About Star Wars After The Last Jedi  It is interesting that while ostensibly the financial success of a film doesn’t mean the film is magical for Jeremy, when it comes to his YouTube channels, Geeks + Gamers and others, it is certainly a problem when a month’s loot is stolen, by cyber-crime means.  I wish Jeremy and the other members of Geeks + Gamers hadn’t had to go through that.Halloween with Geeks + Gamers was interesting for the fact that Jeremy argued that very bold criticism of what he does with Geeks + Gamers had been declared, criticism that included the idea that “code words” were being communicated to Geeks + Gamers subscribers that subscribers should launch literal hate and violence at targets which Geeks + Gamers usually defame, a video you can watch here:  NPC Star Wars Writer Continues To Lie and Spread False Information  Jeremy responded firmly that Geeks + Gamers is in no way is supportive of violent attitudes in any situation, and further that Geeks + Gamers made no attempt to “boycott” the recent Star Wars film Solo, a position I’d heard Jeremy take before in a discussion how Solo ws lacklustre in terms of box office returns.

All this keeps me quite rapt about what this YouTube channel is saying about the Star Wars films–Geeks+ Gamers plays a role in backlash concerning the Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi.

  • For Geeks + Gamers to become a successful YouTube channel, it meant starting from basics and building a subscriber basis and becoming a success, with people watching the videos and comment and so on.  If Geeks + Gamers were reviewing music, instead of films, and it was fifty years ago, perhaps they would have spoken about The White Album.  Instead, they are speaking out, frequently, about The Last Jedi, in a way which makes it completely clear that they regard Episode VIII of Star Wars as rubbish.When I watched The Last Jedi when it arrived on Netflix, I enjoyed it and even felt moved.  The mods of Geeks + Gamers had no such experience.  Instead, they despise the film and regale in making that clear rather than taking a positive spin on something that’s an extension to something they loved in childhood.I would guess that Geeks + Gamers take such a broad interest in film criticism that they feel they can succeed with a successful YouTube channel.  The idea of success they have is different from the idea of success that’s reflected in something like the fiftieth-anniversary of The White Album, or in the success of the blockbuster The Last Jedi.
  • The mods of Geeks + Gamers don’t seem to see The Last Jedi as a success at all because they despise it so much.  Their YouTube channel extrapolates messages like that Star Wars has been mostly reduced to rubbish, or that the DC comics universe could similarly face a death grip in the cinema.  I believe I had misunderstood Geeks + Gamers with my belief that Geeks + Gamers doesn’t desire or see any value in success at the level of the “blockbuster”; instead they expound on problems in entertainment which is compromised by identity politics in the entertainment that they criticize.  Now that I understand some more about Jeremy’s point of view,  it has me feeling a touch more informed about how identity politics show up in entertainment.
    To them, The Last Jedi is a weak link.  They wouldn’t aim for that kind of success in their own lives, for example.  It is notable, having learned of their misfortune with a phishing spoof, that their success has been compromised by their own position as a good-sized YouTube channel.

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Rawpixel.com  In addition, an example of underhandedly reacting to what’s been said on Geeks + Gamers is the shout-out they gave Mike Zeroh after film director Rian Johnson mean-spiritedly called out Zeroh who is devoted specifically to exploring what’s going on in Star Wars.  The Mike Zeroh channel is Zeroh’s speculation about “behind the scenes” in Star Wars.  In the initial days of shooting Episode IX of Star Wars, Johnson, reflecting on Twitter about what he was accomplishing with his Star Wars film, referred to YouTube’s Mike Zeroh as being a zero, although Johnson later apologized.

  • It is the same kind of weak link that exists when Geeks + Gamers tackles Star Wars because for all the enthusiasm Mike Zeroh puts into anticipating Star Wars, Mike Zeroh has personally explained that he feels The Last Jedi is a poor effort.
    Mike Zeroh Vs Rian Johnson… Thank you Rian Again!!!

I was amused by The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to share these opportunities.  I am glad if you have read this.  You’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to comment.