Mermaid’s November 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015

“Tea parties” have been at the forefront of The Little Mermaid blog the last five months.  These are blogging challenges that span the entirety of each month.  These are free and encourage participants to blog on a specific theme along with the rest of those joining in.

This month The Little Mermaid has asked her participants for their thoughts on travel.  Where have you traveled? the Little Mermaid asks.  What’s the best part?

What’s the worst part?  What tips might you offer up to someone grappling with wanderlust?

The furthest-reaching of my travel experience was done in my life in the nineteen nineties.  I have traveled to the United States, to the United Kingdom, to France, and to Belgium.  These are the countries where I have gone, done in my adolescence and later in my early twenties.

The best part was the excitement of going to locations completely new.  For example, when I was going to the United States, passing through Detroit, seeing Walt Disney World in Orlando (and cheating a touch by going through Universal Studios, too).   Spending a little time in Chicago, staying with family in Nashville, visiting a friend in Portland, Maine, lodging in a traveler’s stop in Memphis, visiting New Orleans, visiting New York, all this was great.  I was seeing a little more of the world.

One of the happiest times in my life was my twenty-first birthday, an important birthday if you are an American, in Memphis, Tennessee.

I would say I was taking a “walkabout” on that birthday, and it made for several nice weeks.  My father’s brother-in-law thought of the label for what I’d done.  He mentioned it to me at the wedding of one of my cousins, at the reception.  The gentleman, my godfather, mentioned to me what he said was spoke about by aboriginals in Australia, a country I’ve never seen.

Years earlier, spending days at Walt Disney World in 1991 was a fine time. The members of my particularly as my immediate family went aboard “Star Tours,” an interactive cinematic ride like being in a Star Wars spaceship.

It was very exciting as come 1987 I’d got to VCR-record a tenth-anniversary television presentation of Star Wars on Fox. At that age, ten, Star Wars was my favorite film.

The worst part of travel, I’d offer to say, is the end of the “moment” when the time for travel ends, as it generally does, and it becomes time to return to more ordinary things wherever you are spending your life.  For me, I live life in the gritty small town of St. Catharines, in the Canadian province of Ontario.

What I know at my age, which is something like an unfulfilled forty, is that if you are in the midst of wanderlust, you should listen to the word itself and observe what is the best part of life in most circumstances–the people you meet and how they take to you.  I know I have not had the luckiest of experiences in my travels.  I felt unprepared for Nashville, my handsome friend in Portland eventually killed himself, I believe, despite his promise and ambition as a musician, the lodge in Memphis finally burned to the ground, where I’d left friends behind, my idea to hustle in New York led to me being escorted out of a nightclub where I had thought to pose as an NYC resident.

These weren’t great times, especially when I returned to St. Catharines from New York and my girlfriend was angry with me when I told her how it had gone.

When I saw London, England, though, in 1999, when Y2K was only months away, it was exciting, but even with my experiences in America under my belt, I felt quite the novice with only a little money in my pocket and quite clearly to locals a foreigner.  My embarrassment deepened in Paris, the City of Lights, when I realized I was in my youth and seeing the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile.  I knew it would never come again, and I’d been learning French since the third grade and could barely communicate in it–it was as if my aspirations were quickly coming to naught, and I was overwhelmed by the absurdity.

Dimensions: 4525 x 3699
Photographer: Bruce Mars

I didn’t spend much time in Belgium, but I liked it a little better than France, enjoying chocolate and also seeing grim war trenches from World War I when Belgium soldiers defended their nation from Germany.

Eventually, my younger sister married a Belgium gentleman.  That was a nice occasion.  Here is a photo I took at the wedding ceremony.

Saturday‎, ‎September‎ ‎05‎, ‎2015
My sister’s wedding

The photo of myself I am showing is of a time in 2003 in a hotel in St. Catharines. I was meeting up with the friend who had introduced me to MySpace (before it blew up to become entropy) and speaking, as intended, of American writer Charles Bukowski, the beauty of whose work she wanted to impress upon me.

She and her boyfriend were gracious visitors.  It was, again, a “moment.”

2003
Image: Julie Rippl

I am grateful to The Little Mermaid for thinking of these tea party posts that are interesting for me and for other bloggers on WordPress to organize new blog posts.  If you are a touch keen on this, feel free to “like,” to follow, and/or to comment.  I wish you well if you travel yourself, and, what’s more, I wish you luck if you have a blog.

All the best.

Asking if Secularisation of a Society is Bad

Leonardo da Vinci

Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad.  She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.

 

https://lovableliterature.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/debate-is-the-secularisation-of-modern-society-a-bad-thing/

 

This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel.  I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.

 

If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.

 

Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.

 

If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact.  Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book.  The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.

Leonardo da Vinci
Imitation of The Last Supper

There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.

 

Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.

 

The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available.  It is a story of apocalypse.

 

The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces.  I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.

Dimensions: 3941 x 2931
Photographer: Iryna Tysiak

I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.

 

I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.

 

I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.

 

I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation.  The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “subscribe.”

A Reflection of Where I am with this Blog

August 7, 2013

Often, once a week, I do digital Botox on my blog–I update an old post.

This achieves a couple of things–it helps with the SEO ranking, I understand, for the post, as a search engine will probably believe it’s new information.  What I’m really doing is curating blog posts which I wrote in the past.

I started with this first entry, originally published July 10, 2014.

 

Blogs are commonplace.  If you do any writing, a blog is a helpful way to establish one’s name as a writer.

 

Sometimes it goes with a change of direction.  For instance, a fact came to light of which you were unaware.

 

If you have fears about becoming known to the public, a blog may not be the best way to talk on the Internet.  Or, perhaps, if you have run out of time, and have new responsibilities in your life, or simply new interests, making a blog has become less a priority than you thought it would be.

 

However, the decision to blog is significant, and making the choice to blog from a unique angle may work in your favor as you develop your blog for the Internet.  You can get the result you desire.

 

My head these days is busy, all the more so with social media.  There is a wealth of information on social media, long in the running.  Although blogging is popular, try to inject yourself into the mix while remaining professional (and therefore detached).

 

For some time, I took advantage of the prompts WordPress offered, both their daily prompts and their weekly challenges.  The Internet is a wonder of our time, and it would be amiss not to present a helping hand to others.  It is often a convenient part of day-to-day life.

 

Taking a look into digital communications pays off in various ways, which I will leave to you.

 

If you enjoyed this post, feel free to, “like,” comment, and/or follow my blog.  All the best to you.

August 7, 2013
Disbanded in 2006, Louth United Church stands in front of Maple Lawn Cemetery, the not-for-profit we maintain

Cheating To Pilot Victoriously a Game

My mother’s parents bought me the game Wings for the family Amiga 500 when it was fashionable.  It grew on me, becoming a sense of being more deeply involved in playing games.

Much of Wings was strategic dogfights between you and the enemy.  The box for the game contained factual information about WWI, and a narrative within the game took you through to victory in 1918.

I liked playing the game.  I just didn’t like being nailed by enemy fire.

Playing the game required extreme player ability.  The dogfights were mad.

You flew with a view from over the shoulder of the pilot, in the cockpit of your craft.  Soon you would see the pilot turn his head.  Enemy aircraft was nearing, and the time was at hand to go in that direction.  If bullets hit your plane, you knew you were in trouble.

Then it was time for diving away and getting as far from the fire as you could.  If you could get an enemy in front of you, firing a volley ahead of him often meant he would fly right into it, and your trouble would be solved.

The game’s realist play meant that you were likely to get cut to pieces no matter what happened.  The game fascinated me, but as soon as your pilot met his end, the game required you to begin the war over.  No one would wish for that, particularly with my computer’s loading time.

There was a workaround that would mean evading death, and hence becoming one of the best pilots of the war–but it was cheating.

I found out by intuition that if enemy aircraft had me defeated, I could hit the hard reset command for the computer, and the rebooting computer would sweep away the game.  What was the upshot?  The diskette wouldn’t save the destruction of the pilot’s mission, and I could try again.

With successive missions, your pilot became better at combat.  The hardest missions could be won with an extraordinary pilot in your control.

Dimensions: 5455 x 3386
Photographer: Snapwire

War shouldn’t be treated lightly, and if the game reflected the time in the life of a teenage pilot at the outset of World War I, I would have gone to the grave.  I am sorry, of course, not that I would have been shot down, but that I insisted foolishly to play a game so insensitively.  How NPC is that?

Have you ever had to cheat at something innocent?

Verbal Confirmation: Assigning a Speech Label

For a long time WordPress hosted The Daily Post, a prompt to help WordPress users get something published. The Oct 1, 2014 Daily Post, Verbal confirmation, can be explained by delineating what you’re saying, showing the precise position of (a fringe or limit).
I do a little work for my father at a small cemetery, in our care.  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited
We have a ledger outlining in orderly fashion who rests where, in the cemetery. Maple Lawn Cemetery delineates other aspects of my life. I like to delineate. Social media delineates people, in the sense of them characterizing qualities they have.
https://help.twitter.com/en/using-twitter/twitter-lists
When I feel like going on Twitter, I typically take a half hour of time, and I glance over what people have been tweeting. The different declarations of this and that is lively, and remarkable. When someone tweets a great recommendation of an article, it is good fun.
There is more in life that you can delineate. Compartmentalizing tasks on an ongoing basis is delineation. You can change from one objective to another, by delineating each objective.
I don’t play cards, but another instance where you can delineate is a hand of Solitaire. If you play Solitaire, you know you delineate a deck of cards into piles. The challenge of the game, I imagine, is how chance itself rules the game.

Linus
Peanuts

“To be observed, a response must affect the environment — it must have an effect upon an observer or upon an instrument which in turn can affect an observer.”– Skinner, B. F. (1969). Contingencies of Reinforcement: A Theoretical Analysis
Points of interest in a travel situation can be delineated. When somewhere new or far from home, you can explore a little, and many do, by delineating spots you can go. In January of 1991, my parents took me and my brother and sister to Florida, driving from here to Orlando. 1,952 km · Moderate traffic · 22 hr 34 min
With only a little time and energy, you can enjoy the sights and sounds having delineated what is near to you. To many people, that is rewarding, and you will have stories to tell back home. I would like to feel that the verb to delineate characterizes me.

Both productivity and efficiency interest me. Every Monday morning I try to spend an hour on YouTube, watching videos, to motivate myself. Ironically, I don’t place a lot of importance on spending time in full force, or with efficacy, and that kind of thing. I just like to think about it! I like to delineate.
Thought and action may well be the name of the game for delineation. That is why I choose, as my favorite verb, to delineate.

April 7, 2019 #WorldHealthDay