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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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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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!

10 Guidelines for Charitable Giving Facilitated by the Government

2018-06-17

October 17, 2018 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

“let us remember that ending poverty is not a matter of charity but a question of justice.”
UN Secretary-General, António Guterres

A few weeks ago Facebook faced a big data breach, which isn’t helping, I understand, in efforts to keep people’s trust invested in the social media platform.

 

I probably shouldn’t have overlooked the existing structure for receiving donations when I published this post this summer.  I meant to say that the volunteers who run Maple Lawn Cemetery, where I work, don’t presently ask for donations on Facebook, because we are only a small page and we don’t have the budget with which to work.

Facebook’s Big Data Breach Could Benefit These 3 Companies

Perhaps in the future, but admittedly unlikely, we could bring onboard someone younger to help with carrying out our operations with the help of Facebook, but at the present I am aware of the mess Facebook has run into owing to its exposed dealings with Cambridge Analytica and what that has done to Facebook’s credibility as a social media platform and to its use for small business (and in recent news the data breach).  I want to give Facebook the benefit of the doubt that they will continue to improve their situation and remain effective as a tool for small business.  I am optimistic that it will remain a good idea to publicize our work on Facebook.

 

Now is almost certainly not the best time to try to begin raising funds on Facebook, as the bad publicity is undeniable, I feel, but with Giving Tuesday still ahead in November I do want to keep my hand in the game in case the situation changes for the better.  A little more money could certainly serve our needs.  I am more concerned that Facebook will continue to grow to mean that the business page for our not-for-profit remains useful… https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Source

Facebook Fundraising Tools Now Allow Monthly Giving

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Photographer: Rawpixel.com

I am involved with a small business.  We operate a cemetery which otherwise has no one to care for it.

 

This blog is nominally tied to it.  I believe blogging is an opportunity to be involved with others who are similarly inclined to write blog posts.

 

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

2018-06-17
Peter and Linda

The senior employee is Peter.

 

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

 

We began in 2012, six years after the church closed its doors for the last time.  The cemetery is small.

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Source

Charitable Donations: Top Ten Canadian Tax Tips

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Source

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

 

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

 

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

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Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

If you have a question which I might possibly be able to answer for you, I would be glad to help.  I appreciate that you took the time to visit.

 

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

How Is It We Came Across This?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 9 Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm

It’s a small town here, but not so bad.

Not everything is working out at the moment–however, a hobby like blogging photographs in the spirit of the weekly photo challenges from WordPress is a welcome diversion. After a couple of false starts, the iced coffee I was drinking started to work its magic and I began thinking what I could photograph to represent myself online, on either Facebook or WordPress.

Something funny occurred: I was seated at a favorite bus stop of mine when traffic was stopped, mostly in the direction I needed to walk, to get home.

An older lady, the age possibly of a younger grandma, called out to the traffic ahead of her: “Hey! I’m taking a picture!” She raised her camera and I suppose she took the shot.

I was immediately inspired. Whether she was remotely aware of me seated at the bus stop as if I were headed in the opposite direction, I don’t know, but I thought that if she wants a picture here, then so should I. I was already thinking of taking a photo there as I enjoy that spot in town and in addition it gives an inkling of where I live.

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm
Queen Elizabeth Way

Next time I am working up the courage to take a photo among strangers, perhaps I should try the same tactic. I don’t know if I have it in me, but it certainly would be nice to have that kind of gumption.

The car bumper I caught in the photo as the line of traffic moved on isn’t her vehicle, but one moving in the same direction behind her. Kind of an oversight, but it adds a wee bit of flavor to the other details I captured with the lucky shot.

Erica’s essay on doing a location reveal Wednesday is an article in the ongoing weekly photo challenges that are a dear hobby to many WordPress bloggers.

Best to Sell Your Elevator Pitch

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

 

It hasn’t been that bad.

 

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

 

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

 

It is potentially back to the drawing board for many.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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Photographer: Mahkeo

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

 

Could be time to shop around.

 

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

 

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Photographer: Flo Karr

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

 

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

 

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

But Not to Automate Ad Nauseum

Well, the twenty-third of March came and went, and Twitter’s new policy on automated tweets across multiple accounts is on.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inefficient and it reminded me to post something to say a little what that did.

 

I take it Twitter’s idea is to reduce the amount of “noise” on it, which I understand to mean useless tweets, tweets that aren’t good information, or that redundantly reproduce what’s already being stated in tons of other places.

 

The change in policy Friday challenges Twitter users with multiple accounts to stop automating identical tweets across accounts, which can have the effect of trying to get a hashtag trending and thus visible, or otherwise convince people that a user of multiple accounts is relevant enough they should be followed, “liked,” retweeted, etc.

 

You can read specifics of the change in policy Friday here:  http://skepticreview.com/2018/02/22/twitter-rules-automation-multiple-accounts-must-compliance-march-23rd/

 

I only have one Twitter account and have no nefarious intentions to underhandedly capitalize on the troubled social media platform or otherwise take advantage of a good thing:  Twitter › @findingenvirons

 

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Photographer: Field Engineer

The shift on Twitter was subtle–I only spent a half hour on Twitter Friday, not long enough to see much more than a tiny glimpse of what should be a reduction in “social media noise” as accounts by multiple users become more subtle.

 

The world was changing rapidly anyway, with the gun control march in Washington, D.C. coming Saturday and that monopolizing a good deal of the conversation on Twitter this weekend.  Naturally, I feel that the march is vitally important given what happens from time to time when a loner takes it in his head to do something terrible.

 

It’s well known that the biggest reason to be on Twitter is more than likely to be in touch with important events happening around the world.  The idea that “noise” on Twitter needs to calm down is a bit counterproductive, as a lot is possible with Twitter, as people wanting lead generation have proven is possible, getting customers from the masses spread across the Twitter platform.

 

I just wanted to leave this note as I thought it might be useful information that the automation policy went into effect Friday.

 

Any comment is welcome.