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?

August 17, 2018 #NationalNonprofitDay

Louth United, disbanded in 2006
  • Yesterday the website ZDNet reported that researcher Sam Thomas speaking at the Bsides technical security conference in Manchester alerted attendees that WordPress has been rendered vulnerable to a bug for the entire duration of the last year.  While the situation hasn’t been exploited by attackers, Thomas sounded a concern with WordPress that will require a patch.  This is the first, I believe, that it has been reported, which is a fact, I suspect, that lends itself to the possibility that there could be an upset connected to this WordPress bug and the suggestion of vulnerability

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/wordpress-vulnerability-affects-a-third-of-most-popular-websites-online/

 

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Photographer: Negative Space

 

In a different light on what’s happening in the blogosphere, I would like to say here that I think of myself as a reasonably well-informed individual.  I have an interest in being active with a blog, with Facebook, and with Twitter.

What’s come up is that the seventeenth of August, 2018, is a celebratory day for nonprofit businesses.  Despite the caveat at the start of the post, it can be said that if you’re unaware of the significance of August 17, 2018, it is that this is National Nonprofit Day.

I thought I would write something to mark the occasion.  I personally am part of a business that has a not-for-profit status.

About nonprofits, National Nonprofit Day recognizes people who contribute to organizations who generally rely on charitable funding to keep going.  There are a lot of needs that would be underserved if it weren’t for nonprofits.  Funding for not-for-profits helps with needs that otherwise would go unmet, which is great because it helps deal with active problems.

I help care for a not-for-profit cemetery that is small but pretty, named Maple Lawn.

Here is a recent photo.  Me, my dad Peter and his brother, my uncle, Dave, run the cemetery.

Louth United, disbanded in 2006
Formerly Louth United Church, St. Catharines

We don’t specifically receive funding for what we do.  We got involved a few years ago when Peter opted to take responsibility for a cemetery whose trustees no longer wished to care for it.  Since then we have opted to care for the grounds and to handle burials.

My dad worked for many years at the municipal cemetery in the city.  We generally attend to the cemetery grounds once a week, on Wednesdays, and we do additional work as needed.

There’s a church on the cemetery grounds.  The United Church of Canada congregation which filled it disbanded from this church of ours in 2006.  It may sound like we’re carrying out a selfless endeavor, but there are a few advantages, in addition, that I can think of.

Running the cemetery doesn’t require a huge amount of input or direction.  I am on hand to do some of the grounds keeping, and I also put it in time doing research and the like as the cemetery SMM.  My dad does a lot of the work that requires expertise tied to the particulars of operating a cemetery.

While many not-for-profits would operate on a fulltime basis, we write our own hours and we mostly look in our own pockets for what we need to spend.  I recently returned to the popular 4 Hour Work Week book by entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss for the third time now and you can view, if you like, my thoughts on it as the following blog post I wrote

https://findingenvirons1.blog/2018/07/24/pausing-to-read-the-4-hour-work-week/

 

We cover our costs and contribute to the cemetery if someone wants a grave here, or if a funeral needs to be conducted and we do this out of a sense of goodwill.

We have a Facebook page–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited–and a website–http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/

I remain partial to the notion that if I write a blog there will be a little additional interest in what I say.

I look at Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …because of Twitter’s use as an information tool.  I don’t limit my interests on Twitter to what we do at the cemetery.  I explore a variety of interests outside what would otherwise be confined to a very limited niche.

Cemetery operation is too specialized, I think, to confine a Twitter account to that sole purpose.

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Photographer: Rawpixel.com

I don’t feel that time is lost carrying out service at the cemetery.  The time that’s devoted to being part of a small not-for-profit rather than working in a career in sales or the like is meaningful and, even better, enjoyable.  I feel that limiting one’s energy to a volunteer position is time invested in oneself.

With the trade-off of what might be a better living secondary to time invested in the cemetery, I feel like I have something personal to me that I do, although I know a lifestyle like this is certainly not for everyone.  I continue to look at the work from the standpoint that it is a lucky opportunity.  There are drawbacks but I don’t want to emphasize them here in this post.

Furthermore, I appreciate that National Nonprofit Day celebrates nonprofits, people who work hard to make a difference.  When Maple Lawn highlights for people what we’re doing, such as on our Facebook page for the cemetery, we often get positive responses for the care we take to keep the cemetery looking nice.  Visitors to our Facebook page reward us that way.

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
Photographer: Wilfred Iven

People who work in not-for-profits may not always feel that benefactors give them the credit that they deserve, but it doesn’t mean not-for-profit employees don’t find satisfaction in what they do.  I am sure that among not-for-profit personnel, many of them welcome August 17 and celebrate their work accordingly, and that’s what I’m writing about in this post.  I usually represent what we’re doing at the cemetery in positive terms, which is how I try to frame it.

That is to say, I think of myself as an optimist rather than as a pessimist, despite the solemnity of the atmosphere of a cemetery.  If you relate, you’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to “comment.”  In November, I will try to respond specifically to the occurrence of Giving Tuesday, the day that charities work especially hard to raise funds.

I realize there may not be such a sense of urgency that a cemetery like ours needs additional assistance, but you never know unless you ask if there is some unknown avenue to improve the standard of work in our hands.  It is probably the right idea to look into getting additional help at the same time that similar organizations are delving into the same.  Autumn is the time of year for it.

I hope to continue working at the cemetery while playing the additional role of nurturing Facebook and Twitter, writing here on WordPress, and otherwise keeping a hand in at our not-for-profit.  Thank you for visiting my blog.

 

  • Please do not be alarmed by the idea that there is a bug in WordPress that could, in theory, render you in jeopardy if you maintain a blog with WordPress.  Actually, it has been kept under wraps for an entire year.
  • There have been no specific problems made aware of that ZDNet reported and there is no indication that the bug will actually be exploited in the name of enemy action, however so easy a target exists.  I know with this attention to the issue WordPress will respond with a patch.

On My Desktop: Jarte Word Processor and Its Benefit

Single glove left behind

Blogging is a hobby I have my hand in–I like to write a little.  WordPress.com is the home for my blog, as you already know.

Single glove left behind
Fallen glove

One of the blogs that I enjoy reading is that of is the Christian blogger beautybeyondbones. Beautybeyondbones writes of her path in life with the guidance of Jesus, of her personal recovery years later from a troubles with anorexia, and, rounding out these themes, she blogs her recipes that connect her readers to an additional source of goodness in her life.  She writes a message of hope for troubled and confused women, along with insight into her faith.

 

On top of that, she adds recipes that lend themselves to preparing food, right from her kitchen.  She should consider being an entrant on Top Chef!

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Photographer: Aidan Meyer

I believe beautybeyondbones goes “live” Monday evenings, Wednesday evenings, and Thursday evenings.  Her latest recipe from her blog is here:  https://t.co/34JoyrFSye

 

What I have found interesting about beautybeyondbones is her writing style.  She is clearly writing from the heart, and her vigor and elegance are clear.

 

I think of myself as a fledgling writer.  Sometimes I use a free word processing tool I downloaded called Jarte.  It is a comparatively simple program (compared, say, to the Office Suite from Microsoft).  I think if you are writing a straightforward document, as, for example, for blogging, Jarte’s been around a long time and matches many of the most important features that you can find in a word processor.

 

For example, you write onto the Jarte window the way you do most other word processors, and if you want to select a feature there are drop-down windows that facilitate this.  It is very ease to use.

 

If you want to write a list, you can organize a list in Jarte that’s either bulleted or numerical.  If you are listing ingredients for a splendid recipe, like you might find in the beautybeyondbones blog, you could write a bullet list of what’s necessary to make the dish.  Or you could combine bulleted and numerical lists together, as in, perhaps, the method of preparation by number, and then a bullet list of the ingredients going into the recipe.

 

To make your recipe clear, you could introduce more than one font into your Jarte document to emphasize different sections of your recipe in a way that is visually aesthetic.  As you probably know, the font is the visual aspect of the text in your document.  You can change the size of the font and also italicize, make bold, or underline.

 

The font of your title could be underlined, for example, and the bullet list of ingredients could be one font and the numerical steps to do the preparation of the food could be in a third font.

 

The Jarte word processor can handle more than one document tabs, so you can have more than one document open at the same time you are working on them.  If you are organizing your recipes, you can have several of them active, for instance, so that you can go from to another by clicking on the tabs for each at the top of the Jarte program window.

 

The Save and Save As features work similar to how they do in other word processors.  To keep a copy of your recipe or of other documents on your device, you select Save.  If you want a second copy with a different filename you select Save As.

 

I picked Jarte for the word processor I sometimes favor because I am familiar with it and because it is a free download that runs efficiently and appeals to me.  The design of the word processor is intuitive and all of its commands are easy to find.   The drop-down menus in Jarte are not unlike those of other small word processors.

 

You can run more than one instance of the Jarte software and close one Jarte window without negatively impacting the other.  It never ever seems to give me an error and the performance of the program is consistent.  As well, it doesn’t seem to trouble the user with software updates like some computer tools that frequently ask you to download a new update.

 

Jarte is freeware and if you are starting from scratch, you could do worse!  I make use of Jarte on a frequent basis.  You can download the Jarte word processor here:  www.jarte.com/download.html

 

Remember that if you are interested in recipes or have someone in your life or you yourself that is troubled by the impact of anorexia, beautybeyondbones is an excellent resource to turn to.

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Photographer: Aleksandar Spasojevic

Beautybeyondbones has also published a book inspired by her diary when she was afflicted the worst in her life by anorexia.  The title of this book is bloom and you can find it on blurb:  www.blurb.com/b/8086385

 

I appreciate very much the encouragement that beautybeyondbones has given me when she actually kindly left “likes” on posts of mine that spoke true to her.

 

You are likewise welcome to select like.  Or even “follow” and/or comment.  Have some fun in the kitchen, too!

 

Thank you for taking an interest in my blog.  All the best to you in terms of your mental health, in your faith and in your blog or other writing.  Good luck to you all the more if you are a blogger and on WordPress.  Take care!

Pausing to read The 4-Hour Work Week

Church building at cemetery grounds

I wrote this a couple of months ago, but the other day I heard remarks by Gary Veynerchuk, who I watch a little of some Monday mornings when I am starting the week with an hour of “Motivation Monday,” against the dream of a passive income.  There is a Youtube video available that gives an idea of what Gary believes. 

THE ONLY “Passive Income” Video You Need To Watch – Gary Veynerchuk |Motivational Rant 

I already knew not to try to tell people what to say about content marketing on social media, because it’s a pointless maneuver, but I do want to refer to Gary’s position on passive income and note that his passion could be relevant to the decision to invest time in reading Timothy Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week.

I have read the Ferriss book three times over the years, and I think it’s an enjoyable read, but I wanted to curate what I wrote a couple of months back with the caveat that the dream of a 4-hour work week may not be right for you.

Summer 2018

I ran into a disagreement, a stumbling block, but made a decision.

 

One of my uncles called me out for posting to our Facebook business page at a level above what he felt was my comprehension.  I guess I was insulted, but maybe what he was getting at was true–I decided to make good on the advice and to improve my strategy for Facebook–https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Church building at cemetery grounds
Louth United Church, St. Catharines

Being a very small page on Facebook is a hard bargain–to be competitive requires strong content, and there isn’t money to spend to drive it.

 

So, in the several days since my uncle’s observation, I revisited The 4-Hour Work Week for the third time.

 

It’s a 2007 book by Timothy Ferriss that is a how-to on putting together a life of travel and wealth, particularly in light of opportunities afforded by the Internet.  This is about getting past the need for a fulltime job.

dscf8646

I realize 2007 is a long time ago, but it is an inspiring read if you the reader are reflecting on what you’re doing in the course of your career that might be unsatisfying for you.

 

I was holding down a job the second half of 2007, which is when I was feeling comfortable but uninspired.  4-Hour Work Week author Timothy Ferriss recounts how he never could keep a job, although he is well-known for doing all kinds of amazing activities, including writing the bestselling book that I read again for the third time.

 

Admittedly, I am comfortable volunteering at the cemetery which I feel serves a purpose, owing to its continued interest by visitors who have loved ones resting there and who find the tendered grounds a suitable destination for introspection and solace.

 

However, I did again to my delight find 4-Hour Work Week an impassioned read.

 

Ferriss argues for the importance of the spirit of independence.  This is instead of job security, Ferriss arguing that work for the sake of work is a pointless grind and that you would be better traveling across the world, for example.  That, he affirms, is a far better investment of time and resources, than being buried, you could put it, in the demands of what might be eighty hours of work a week.

 

Some of the ideas Ferris had for the book remain relevant, like targeting ads with Google to create product sales to get you out of the gate and in charge.  Ads like those Internet offers remain a profitable activity for people to make money at when they have a product niche and a matching headspace that’s geared to online sales with the Internet.

 

Ferris refers in his book to Pareto’s Law, the concept that 20% of your efforts achieve 80% of the results you get.  It is a quirky theorem that is popular in self-management circles.  For example, Ferriss thought of ways that 20% of his interactions with clients produced 80% of the sales he needed–and invented methods to bring down the time spent chasing the 20% without sacrificing the 80% payoff.

 

While possibly hard to measure, you could tap into Pareto’s Law in areas of your own life that need expansion, while synchronously cutting back on activities that only mean spinning your wheels.  Ferriss in the book explores how.

 

Ferriss’ ideas include avoiding taking phone calls by getting people to email you rather than call, and then to check email only twice a day, at noon and at four.  This gets the most important communications done instead of letting them control too much of your time.

 

Most important, Ferriss finds that a life away from the office should never be about getting back to work.  He believes in automating as much as possible, and you probably already know that automation is a vital time-saving strategy to everybody who’s pressed for time.

 

In the first few chapters, Ferriss recommends a five-day information fast–no more news sites, magazines, or books, and only an hour of television viewing in the evening instead of the several that he says most people watch.  Five days of this with the help of his book and you’re on your way.

 

He also illustrates a Dreamline and points out some ways you can reduce your present list of expenses so that you can readily find the money to tick off some of the items you have on your bucket list.

 

It is a pleasant dream to think of a life like that.

Skitter Photo
Photographer: Skitter Photo

If you need some tips to deal with a job that’s turned out to be soul-crushing, this book is a good source of inspiration.  The writing is both insightful and easy to digest.  What we do with our time is what we are, and a bit of fun and freedom might be the ingredients you need to reconnect with your purpose outside of work.

 

I am illustrating this post with a shot I took of my copy of the Ferriss book and also a photo of Louth United Church, on the cemetery grounds where I work in an operations capacity.

 

And, please, you are more than welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

Remember, your happiness is important.