Mermaid’s August 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (pixelated)

A blogger on WordPress had a great idea for a splendid blog post and I want to indulge it–WordPress blogger The Little Mermaid is having her second-ever “tea party.”

 

The Little Mermaid, on one hand, is a Disney film character, who you have probably seen in the animated feature if you have an interest in Disney.  My own family has the videotape of the film because I have a younger sister.  In Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Ariel, seeks her escape from the sea, but, furthermore, The Little Mermaid is the name of a blogger who has had a delightful idea, that being to host WordPress “tea parties.”

 

The Little Mermaid writes that her first tea party, last month, was open-ended in terms of what content she wanted to read, but for August, The Little Mermaid has invited participants to post about books they enjoy, about which I thought I could circuitously add something to the conversation.

 

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/08/22/join-in-the-fun-join-in-the-august-2018-tea-party/

 

I am late in any case, but I’ve joined in by enjoying some of the tea party guests’ blog responses and by weblogging the August invite to the tea party and tweeting it.

 

As to what books I might read, most often I enjoy nonfiction, on such a subject as the business behind Google, for example, or of the blockchain.  Another kind of book I enjoy is the type that references techniques and strategies for personal change and success.  I like both physical volumes and books on my Kindle.

 

As I’m sure you’re aware, the accessibility of books in 2018 is completely staggering.  If you are a full-ahead author on the Internet I think you know that Twitter has seen a gold rush of self-published titles.

 

  • DIGITAL GOLD

 

The last book I got to read is not of this kind, however, not an eBook.  It is, in fact, a book that is near-academic, but interesting all the same.  The title is DIGITAL GOLD, written by Nathaniel Popper.  It is the story of the development of Blockchain and Bitcoin.

 

The blockchain is, I understand, a mega-trend.  I wanted to come to an understanding of what blockchain is about.  The blockchain is the process of cryptocurrency mining that could dramatically affect the long-term value of data currencies like bitcoin.

Dimensions: 1884 x 1152
Photographer: Icons8 team

All about bitcoin’s origins and its eventual emergence and success, Popper’s book interested me quite a bit.  I found it very satisfactory.

 

  • The Stranger

 

Reflecting in a different light, my favorite book isn’t nonfiction; it’s instead a famous novel.  Its appeal is legendary.  I have read it a couple of times, the perennial favorite The Stranger by the late Albert Camus.

 

This novel of Camus’ is an existential novel, in terms of its thematic elements, with the plot about a man who grieves his late mother in a markedly strange way, which you might characterize as embittered and perhaps confused, too.

 

Existentialist fiction usually tackles questions of the meaning of life, such as in The Stranger, looking at why the main character’s grief is necessary and how it is that it’s enacted in the character’s specific manner after his mother’s death.

 

  • Casino Royale

 

Reflecting again more on what makes a good novel, I think I’d argue that the most overrated book I ever read is Casino Royale, by the late Brit Ian Fleming.  Casino Royale, Fleming’s first novel about MI6 agent James Bond, 007, is the spy appearing in the film adaptation of the Fleming novel starring Daniel Craig as 007.  While Casino Royale is certainly an agreeable read, to think that with its publication one of the most successful film franchises ever would result, including film roles by several actors playing the character James Bond, leads me to characterize Casino Royale as perhaps indeed overrated.

 

Dimensions: 6144 x 4069
Photographer: Lukas

Casino Royale is about the spy 007 targeting an enemy’s gambling habits in order to complicate the enemy’s financial resources at the casino tables, thus rendering him less effective an enemy.  That Ian Fleming wrote the enemy as a Russian, I believe, is prescient of today’s turbulent world scene.

 

Fleming was drawing inspiration from the historical Cold War, and that is why the sign is there, that Le Chiffre, the name of the villain who 007 challenges at the card tables in Casino Royale, is Russian.  Even the other day, August 21, the Trump administration’s Paul Manafort was demolished for his thieving and his conspiring with Russian political agents.

 

What You Feel, You Can Heal

 

To go on, The Little Mermaid tactfully asks in her August tea party blog post the question of which book most distinctly impacted your life.  It is of a personal nature, to name a book that positively impacted you, but I think of What You Feel, You Can Heal, John Gray’s first book, published in the nineteen-nineties.  When I was a twenty-something I sat in at a conference to hear a speaker give his thoughts on wellbeing.  The gentleman gave advice on dealing with personal difficulties–he recommended John Gray.

 

What You Feel You Can Heal blog post
Opening paragraph for my What You Feel You Can Heal eBook

Gray’s best-known book (and there are a series of them) is Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, a book about relationships.  You know the speaker at the conference referred to social relationships suggesting something like that.  It isn’t Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus that interested me, although I subsequently read that one a couple of times.  Gray’s first book, What You Feel, You Can Heal, is about goalsetting through one’s lifetime and other matters of positive productivity, impacting me much more substantially than Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.

 

John Gray, though young when he wrote What You Feel, You Can Heal, is recounting what he learned before emerging as an author.  He fleshes out his view of several stages of life that Gray observes in many other people, all at once in What You Feel, You Can Heal, bringing these ideas together to form this book.

 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

 

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (pixelated)
Science fictions novels (the photo has been pixelated)

One last note:  although it may seem juvenile, while not expressly for young adults, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by the late Douglas Adams, and the four novels Adams wrote to follow his success, are the books I would most earnestly recommend to someone new.  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is funny and strange, a blend of science fiction and humor.

 

Both in the novel and in the film adaptation, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the story of hapless Brit Arthur Dent, who hitchhikes to the stars the day that the Vogons, who are dimwitted, horrible monsters, demolish the Earth.  From there it is up to Arthur to get by in travels through the skies.

 

“The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a resource Arthur has to comprehend his troubles:  the Guide is an encyclopedia describing everything in the universe.  It is as if Douglas Adams, though writing for comic purposes, foresaw the development of the world wide web.

 

I have enjoyed The Little Mermaid’s tea party and I wish her well, as I do everybody else who thought to join in.  I appreciate every opportunity I have to contribute, and when there is some response to something I have written, I am always flattered.  You are welcome to “like,” follow, and/or comment as you see fit.  See you in September!

Utilising an Art Technique for a Header Photo on Social

January 05, 2018

WordPress commemorated fifteen years Sunday.  It is a hideout for bloggers of all levels of ability and interests.  It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve improved as a blogger.

 

Juxtapose is putting together things for a result greater than the sum of its parts.  Today’s Prompt is the word juxtapose.

 

I thought of the photos that for the three months between January and March 2018 I “employed” as a header.  https://twitter.com/findingenvirons ….

 

January 05, 2018
Winter 2018 @findingenvirons header photo

I did the juxtaposition with a paint program.  I used other sources and mixed them into a juxtaposition.

 

You can see a photo of the late Roger Moore and Grace Jones.  Jones is thriving these days at age seventy.  The photo dates to 1985 when they were starring in A View To A Kill.

 

Some of the pictures were downloaded from StockSnap.  That’s a site for getting stock photos for free.  They’re not typically thought of as art.

 

They’re cheesy but fun.

 

https://www.stocksnap.io

The comic I found on Pinterest.  Although Pinterest confused me, I would have liked to get to know it.  The photo of the wallet was pilfered from some random website with the help of a friend.

 

Internet images should be used responsibly, but once in a while, something turns up that I want.

 

https://bit.ly/2JapCsC …..

 

The headline is announcing that done were the days of the established hundred and forty character limit for tweets.

 

http://bgr.com/2018/05/25/twitter-timeline-ten-years-ago/

 

I tweet the link to a new post for when someone will want to see it.  I also tweet trending content, Tuesdays, and Saturdays.  It is quiet but rewarding.

 

Tonight is a full moon.  If you are interested, you’re welcome to “like” it, “follow” the blog, or leave a comment, as you see fit.  Thank you for having a look at my blog.

The Good, The Great and the Ugly

Assigning guilt:  I think of an enforcer.

 

Today’s WordPress prompt is the word guilty and it is enticing because so many concepts of “guilty” can be elaborated upon and it is a theme that affects everybody who is human.  I mean guilty in the sense of bearing an emotional hardship.  That is, the state of mind that can afflict one after a wrongdoing.

 

When my maternal grandmother was alive, in her golden years, her daily ritual was to rise at seven in the morning and to read the local paper.  If she hadn’t been able to sleep enough, she rose at that hour regardless, not one to shirk from duty.

 

She said my late grandfather often told her she had a “guilty conscience,” that was keeping her from a good night’s sleep, but, she said to me candidly, there was nothing she’d done to be feeling guilty.  It was a joke between them.

 

You might think of guilty thoughts for not showing enough kindness to your mother, for example, or for acting in a manner disconnected from your values or moral code, if you have such a thing.

 

Dimensions: 5184 x 3456
Photographer: Daniel Petersen

My favorite ideology of the “guilty” is the enforcer’s code of pursuing the guilty, as in the police procedural shows on television and which find people who cross the line of good conduct into being “guilty” of wrongdoing meeting unforeseen fates, typically in handcuffs.

 

It is curious to look at “guilty” in that sense of having done wrong defiantly, for gain, as it was for my grandmother to watch evening television of that kind, the actors playing enforcers and criminals together, unfolding typically in the course of one evening of entertainment.  It will always be a choice pastime, I believe.

 

Today’s WordPress daily prompt is a gift, I think; there are simply so many ways to explore the weight of being guilty that I should think there will likewise be a wealth of posts highlighting the idea.

A Crosshatching How We Explore the Cyberspace

Findingenvirons is a name I devised to capture an interest in a kind of abstract engineering, to be an engineer without the baggage of the hard work and expertise that goes with being a true engineer.  It’s a name I use for Twitter and for WordPress.

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Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word explore and by labeling my blog and Twitter account findingenvirons to indicate engineer is to indicate explorer.  In the days before Windows 10’s Microsoft Edge browser, you could take to the Internet as it’s most commonly understood with Microsoft Internet Explorer, and my compound word findingenvirons is kind of a hangover from those days, pointing to a territory of the imaginary kind.

 

You know what Pathfinder is, the tabletop RPG that brings players together to collectively invent fantasy adventures designed by rolling dice?  That’s kind of how I intend findingenvirons to be, too, an interest in how it is to show an interest in gaming, however, as things were when tabletop Dungeons & Dragons ruled the RPG market.

 

My game plan is to draw inspiration from the WordPress Daily Prompts, so that I am in check with other WordPress bloggers who want to be thinking of the same concept, and to put a finger on a fledgling interest in the weekly WordPress Photo Challenges, when they inspire me personally, so that my blog becomes like a WordPress pamphlet, not unlike the blogs of others but also with a unique fingerprint that it is made by my hand.

 

I’m in operations at a little not-for-profit and anyone doing that kind of thing or in business for themselves ought best to have a blog.  Mine’s an amateur operation, but I feel it’s working and I’m not sure I need to grow it in the present.

 

Maybe in the future, but for now, I want to let it spread its little roots at its own pace.  I see the urgency in others, but I don’t feel it for myself.

 

Twitter › @findingenvirons

http://www.scribeslice.com/write/index/6690/The-Names-The-Thing-findingenvirons/10/0

Attack of the Video Content

Do you have an inkling what influencer marketing is?

 

Influencer marketing, I guess, is when a brand with an expansive and powerful Internet presence helps a newcomer gain exposure by sharing the smaller brand under the umbrella of the major brand who is widespread across the world wide web on several channels.

 

When the Hulu video streaming service was becoming a monster, I know they experimented with following various Twitter peeps in order to help make themselves a household name.

 

November 28, 2016
Hulu among other Twitter followers

Now I see commercials on TV for Hulu that make it seem all the more like a juggernaut, but for some time they were most alive in my mind as the entity on Twitter that seemed to be joking around all the time waiting for all those people to start transplanting their attention to Hulu instead of all the other options for video entertainment that likewise wanted consumer dollars in exchange for a wild consumption experience of the most dynamite video to be found.

 

Hulu kept adding all kinds of classic TV shows to their roster line-up, and beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale began to fill its slot of originals with more and more series, like Marvel’s Runaways.

 

It felt to me like the underdog Hulu challenging the king of paid content, Netflix, for a portion of its subscriber base.  Who had the best originals, Netflix with its incredible budget and seeming out-of-control finger on the market with a business model set to break all records?

 

But what happened… this is surely a simplistic interpretation of what was actually experienced… the Harvey Weinstein effect rocked the entertainment industry and pretty soon many respected actors were back to the drawing board.

 

I am not an analyst, but are these two events connected in any tangible way?

 

Netflix established an extraordinary budget for its current and future programming, all growing from a point of origin that was one particular Netflix original that was historical for being the first there was.  It was House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey.

 

Spacey came under stern criticism and was let go, costing Netflix a ton and generating at least a little bad publicity.

 

With their very first entry as a Netflix original series becoming a distraction, I felt I was seeing Hulu rise up in response and setting their sights on becoming a major competitor in the wake of the scandal around Spacey.

 

It can’t have been that direct a transition, I don’t think, but I would infer that with the breakdown of Netflix’ House of Cards at a critical time, when Hulu was beginning to launch its new originals, I think it certainly meant the time was right for Hulu to begin to market itself more traditionally, rather than with its jovial influence marketing that resembled stunt tactics.  Maybe Hulu still does play with influence marketing, I’m not sure, but all of a sudden it seems like all the more professional a brand than it had been previously when it was a minor competitor to the juggernaut Netflix.

 

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also demonstrated its penchant for winning many major awards and on top of that, it carried with it a feminist zeitgeist that was all the more effective in the face of the Weinstein effect that was leaving men everywhere clutching their walking papers.

 

November 16, 2017
A year later Hulu unfollows

These days when I see the TV ads for Hulu I smile.

 

I think the video streaming market is mad, but it is interesting to see that there have been many measurable changes in it in the last several months as Hulu grew into its mode of expansion and gained tons of credibility.

 

It will be interesting to see if there are more upstarts as entertainment continues to change.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inkling.

Solitude I Can Justify

2017-12-31

Not to be idle, and also to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018, I am doing the free WordPress course, ten days long, called Developing Your Eye, to help me get a little better as a photographer. Honestly, I am a week late, but there has been holiday fun, the intense winter weather, and other reasons to procrastinate.

To complete the exercise for Day Six of the course, I took to the idea of solitude. How I thought to illustrate solitude is to show the vantage point of a walking trail up the street from where I live, between an elementary school where some of my education took place when I was little, and a gospel chapel on the other side of the trail.

2017-12-31
A gospel chapel the last day of the year

While I don’t attend the chapel, this point of origin symbolizes for me the distance between my home now, to the road to where my parents live, and where I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties. Down the street I live alone. The solitude is having left where I resided in my younger years.

2017-12-31
On the path beside the gospel chapel

In 1978 DC Comics gave us the big screen adaptation of the Superman comic starring the late Christopher Reeves–I realize the film belongs to a generation older than mine. Superman, reflecting on his power, travels north to his Fortress of Solitude to find answers about his fate and his obligation as a hero.

The silver screen images of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude became so iconic that even in the present Henry Cavill version of the Superman saga the recreated Fortress of Solitude in his films strongly resembles the design of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve. The nineteen seventies Fortress of Solitude has been translated to the current Superman films with a similar design that remembers Superman on film in the seventies and eighties.

Why does the caped superhero require solitude? Solitude can permit a person to approach life with his own direction, unimpeded by the feedback of others.

The town here is small but it is a city–it is never that lonesome. There is contact with people each and every day.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t cultivate an attitude of preserving solitude, and I imagine it shows in the style of the blog I write and in the appearance of the photos I take. I imagine many humans likewise treasure their solitude, particularly in that as adults there are so many demands and requirements for living in a Western culture that we have little choice but to conform.

When there is an opportunity for solitude, in contrast to what we are tasked with doing in the course of day-to-day work, solitude becomes extremely valuable, at least in small measures. In other words, silence is golden.

I realize it is ironic I am writing that when blogging can be seen as a search for a community (and WordPress is an inclusive community). Blogging is a given in this day and age–if you have even a basic amount of computer literacy, it is not surprising if you are blogging.

If you are doing business, and you personally have some computer literacy or otherwise a member of your team is computer-literate, you should have a blog. Even as I assert my blog is not making me money, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue it. I suppose I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too, but I have the solitude that I think makes me truer and I am likewise active at participating in the Internet, which is millions and millions of others.

I don’t think foregoing solitude is the answer, but I respect those people for whom blogging is not just satisfying as an opportunity to make discoveries, but who profit financially by being business-savvy with the blogging that they do.

You can find my church at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

The Silver Screen in the Storm

2017-12-29

I am extremely late working on this free course from WordPress to help me get better as a photographer.  With the extreme winter, the busy holidays, and the relative difficulty of thinking how to proceed, at last, I am ready to make a post with the next exercise in photography at the ready and on the Internet.  Day Four of the beginner-level WordPress course “Developing Your Eye” asks participants to reflect with a photo about bliss–this is what I have for you.

 

2017-12-29
Landmark Cinemas at the Pen

One of the cool things I got to experience when I was a boy was watching a film, and for a long time, we didn’t have cable television in our house (I suppose it’s lucky we had electricity–joking, of course, we certainly did)… but I did get to visit the movie house and it opened what I expect will be a lifelong cycle of happiness creating memories that contain a component of elusive bliss.

 

I can remember without being aware of much else famous movie titles that I got to see, and I suppose the end result of a childhood like that is an adulthood rich with “geekdom”–that movies continue to light a casual passion in my life and I remember to enjoy them.  They light a bit of freedom that should be cherished amid the changing times that sweep by all.  The movies remain an institution of great cultural impact and richness.

 

My photo today is of the exterior of the commercial cinema in the mall in the other end of town, and, as previously mentioned, the winter weather so far this year is fierce–you can see the swirling snow.  I nearly came home with less clothing than I’d worn.

 

Blogging with WordPress is an amazing hobby–I am consistently impressed by the visitors who leave “likes” on the posts which are of a passing grade.  I hope that by the end of this course in photography I have improved as a photographer and I hope blogging takes me into 2018 with aplomb and continues to serve as a communication tool by which excellent connections are forged.  Thank you!