Every #spring a St. Patrick’s Day

2018-032-15

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

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

2018-032-15
St. Patrick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Louth United Church and Maple Lawn Cemetery

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

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

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

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

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Resolutions for 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maple Lawn Cemetery, St. Catharines

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

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

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

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

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

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


Photographer:
Jiyeon Park

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

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Truck passing church

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

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

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

SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

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

Kim’s questions:

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

The answers:

What is your favourite place in the world?

My friend’s apartment with her cats.

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

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

Cat person or dog person?

Cat!

Who is your best author?

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

What is your favourite comfort food?

I enjoy a quick hot dog.

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

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

Most dangerous thing you’ve ever done?

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

Would you trust a self-driving car?

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

A truck passing Louth United Church in St. Catharines

What’s the best thing about your own country?

It is freedom.

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

  • Daisy Ridley
  • Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Megan Fox

What is your favourite quote?

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

The rules for the award challenge are as follows.

The rules/guidelines:

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

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

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

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

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

Nominations:

justabitfurther https://justabitfurther.wordpress.com

Everyday Strange https://everydaystrangeblog.wordpress.com

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

Lovable Literature https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com

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

Life Amazing https://lifeamazing.net

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

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

Wandering NerdGirl https://wanderingnerdgirl.com

Artist by Beauty https://artistbybeauty.blog

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

My questions for you:

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

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