Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Louth United Church, St. Catharines

Charmingly, The Little Mermaid is an enduring animated Disney feature, but also a WordPress blogger who the last few months hosted “tea parties.”  Each month for the entire duration of the month a theme goes into play on her site which gets bloggers interacting with each other having had written along the same lines.  This month’s theme, October’s, is happiness.

I’ve joined the last couple of months, and this is my third go-round as a participant in the tea parties.  I decided today would be the day I would finish up my post for the challenge.

Join In The Fun! Join In The October 2018 Tea Party!

To Reach Personal Happiness

Louth United Church, St. Catharines
School bus parked in front of disbanded church

This may seem counterintuitive, but many lifestyles that were stigmatized in previous decades have experienced the joy of stigma lifting.

 

However, I experience depression, I guess–but I have lots of happy hours, too, so I don’t completely know what to think about that.

 

Although attitudes change, I know my father loathes the thought that I would speak of such a thing as depression.  In fact, that I publish something like this might bother him.  That being said, I am trying to be honest with some enthusiasm about a delicate subject of conversation.

 

It bothers many people.  Troubles of that kind can strike virtually anyone.  I would suspect it conceals innate unhappiness and is often a response to external troubles.

 

I don’t perceive there is a terrible stigma around depression.  However, it is not the best idea to make small talk about the problem.  Complaining rarely works much of a beneficial result.

 

Channeling your energy into a positive outlet can be the experience that reverses the more difficult symptoms of a common malaise, depression.  Everyone knows that happiness is much preferable.

 

As I explained, The Little Mermaid is an established blogger who this month thought the theme of happiness would fit her tea party series.  Her posts invite networking for the love of blogging.  Happiness, I think, for me, is satisfaction.

 

I believe people ought to be happy.  That’s what I reflect upon when I’m thinking of such a matter.

Dimensions: 2304 x 3456
Photographer: Javier Molina

Happiness is a mellow joy, I would extrapolate.  The decisions opted in the course of one’s day help the individual experience what’s happy for that individual.  Youtuber Jenna Marbles has thought about it.  My Dogs Try On Halloween Costumes

 

A guilty pleasure.

 

I might think of happiness being connected to straight-up artistic endeavors.  There are numerous hobbies that spark happiness, like loyalty to a pastime, such as to baseball, to hockey, or to the NFL.

 

Friends and family are other enriching aspects of happiness.  Sometimes, though, you have to sit on the sidelines, waiting for another opportunity to step up to bat.

 

In this hemisphere, we’ve seen the summer come and go again and now, where I live that is, the temperatures will get colder and colder.  We have Halloween to look forward to, which for a lot of people is literally a “scream”.  I suppose that’s a pun.

 

Wednesday this week I asked how winter time is for a volunteer where I work.  He told me in turn how little pleasure he gets from the severity of the winter season.  I said a little to try to cheer him up, but his feelings about the season were steadfastly downbeat.

 

It helps, I would venture to say, that if you can narrow down your interests to just a few to focus on, I believe, you may get a better outcome.  That way, you are more invested emotionally in what you pursue.  Therefore the rewards spent in delving into your passions are rewards that you have generated in your life and reflect sincerity.

 

I was inspired in this by successful capitalist Warren Buffett.  Warren Buffett – The World’s Greatest Money Maker

 

Dimensions: 5760 x 3840
Photographer: Raymond Sam

You don’t necessarily want to just trade your time for money, which is a basic approach to your work that might not be completely serving you best.  I realize you probably have the responsibilities of being part of a family that necessitates and requires you to work at making some kind of living.  It is just that if you can do something radical and retain everything you need, and I know that’s not easy, but if you can, I believe it is more fulfilling than if you don’t.

 

You shouldn’t look back at what you have accomplished and feel there is nothing more you should do.  You need to keep growing every year of your life, I believe.

 

I write this blog because written content continues to have value in 2018.  So does video content and audio, as you probably know, probably more so.  I wish I had more opportunities to expand what I can do where content is concerned that is assembled myself and published.

 

Blogging’s one of my favorite hobbies.  My efforts are almost entirely done for free and yet I don’t wish to cease them.

 

I wish I had clearer intentions about what I am doing.  Maybe I can explore how to get to a more promising level of achievement without sacrificing the parts of the tasks that I enjoy the most.

 

One last thing:  I was speaking to a young man and admired his research ability for searching the Internet.  He told me he was sure it seemed special to me but he clarified in that conversation this month that everyone similar to him, his age, is equal to him in terms of the ability he has to research.  I suppose that is true, but I hadn’t been aware of that.

 

I think one of my draws is that I can do research, but perhaps I need to stop and think that my niece in Grade 3 may now be similarly competent at doing research to my own ability.  It’s incredible.

 

While the preceding example is an exaggeration, I remember that when I wanted a sales job years and years ago, I was asked to take a pen-and-paper test to demonstrate my competence as a computer user.  Given my weak results writing the test paper, the office showed me the door.  I didn’t get the job because I couldn’t prove that day, all that time ago, that I was adept with a computer.

 

I may not have been much good then, but I hope that by now, much later in life, I am better outfitted to better qualify for any kind of work that needs me to prove I am tech-savvy.

 

By the way, this month, October, is Inktober.  I don’t have tattoos, but an interesting interpretation is to apply the month’s emphasis on “ink” to how it applies to old-school tabletop roleplaying.  An ink-drawn map is often part of a tabletop RPG.

 

D&D
D&D game in a window display

The game I am most interested in is Pathfinder, so occasionally this month I am returning to Pathfinder game materials to read rules of the game with the idea in mind that the game is usually played with ink-drawn maps.  I’ve never played the game properly, but even reading some of the rules sometimes helps put me in a state of mind I enjoy.

 

Thank you for visiting my post.  Of course, you’re welcome to “like,” comment, and/or “follow.”

10 Reasons Radical Success is the Weakest Link Part I

Puzzle game

Updated November 22, 2018

In December my brother and his wife and kids gave me an unusual gift, a puzzle celebrating The Beatles’ music on The White Album.

Puzzle game
The Beatles

The puzzle is unusual mainly for the fact that the cover of The White Album is entirely the color white, which makes the puzzle an exercise in assembling puzzle pieces all the color white.  It is as if the wrong end of a game of chess game came down on you.

Beatles’ White Album: Five myths the 50th anniversary deluxe edition puts to the test

 

Dimensions: 5616 x 3744
Photographer:
Little Visuals

I have ten reasons I’m suggesting that success like what The Beatles enjoyed is actually a weak link in terms of what it means for individual success and how it is misleading.  Four are presented here.

Dimensions: 5810 x 3316Photographer:
Suzy Hazelwood MONOPOLY FOR MILLENNIALS MAKES NPCs CRY The YouTube channel Geeks + Gamers fascinates me.  When Jeremy announced that he had fallen prey to a phishing spoof six weeks ago, I wanted to describe the problem in this post.  Jeremy was distracted at the moment and made a rookie error, surrendering control of Geeks + Gamers for seventeen minutes until he could get it back in order.  A second oversight occurred, when Jeremy neglected to secure his Google AdSense funding for the channel after the spoof.  When he realized that an entire month’s worth of  monies designated for Geeks + Gamers was stolen, he finally revealed what happened:  My YouTube Channel Was Hacked, Money Lost – Learn From My Mistakes  I’d been paying attention to Geeks + Gamers because I feel it protests and dissects conventional scholar on media.  The Geeks + Gamers team typically tackle major film projects like the DC universe on film, or more often the Disney Star Wars trilogy, as though the success, usually financial, of studio film output speaks to the conclusion that if a film is not fun, that if it doesn’t “work” in terms of being appealing to an audience, the film is not so much a radical success as it is a weak link.

  • It didn’t matter to Jeremy that The Last Jedi is another splendid blockbuster in terms of the money it made for Disney; it was to him a complete letdown and something that was a disservice to the favorite films that remind him of his childhood, the Star Wars films.  Disney Has Concerns About Star Wars After The Last Jedi  It is interesting that while ostensibly the financial success of a film doesn’t mean the film is magical for Jeremy, when it comes to his YouTube channels, Geeks + Gamers and others, it is certainly a problem when a month’s loot is stolen, by cyber-crime means.  I wish Jeremy and the other members of Geeks + Gamers hadn’t had to go through that.Halloween with Geeks + Gamers was interesting for the fact that Jeremy argued that very bold criticism of what he does with Geeks + Gamers had been declared, criticism that included the idea that “code words” were being communicated to Geeks + Gamers subscribers that subscribers should launch literal hate and violence at targets which Geeks + Gamers usually defame, a video you can watch here:  NPC Star Wars Writer Continues To Lie and Spread False Information  Jeremy responded firmly that Geeks + Gamers is in no way is supportive of violent attitudes in any situation, and further that Geeks + Gamers made no attempt to “boycott” the recent Star Wars film Solo, a position I’d heard Jeremy take before in a discussion how Solo ws lacklustre in terms of box office returns.

All this keeps me quite rapt about what this YouTube channel is saying about the Star Wars films–Geeks+ Gamers plays a role in backlash concerning the Rian Johnson Star Wars film The Last Jedi.

  • For Geeks + Gamers to become a successful YouTube channel, it meant starting from basics and building a subscriber basis and becoming a success, with people watching the videos and comment and so on.  If Geeks + Gamers were reviewing music, instead of films, and it was fifty years ago, perhaps they would have spoken about The White Album.  Instead, they are speaking out, frequently, about The Last Jedi, in a way which makes it completely clear that they regard Episode VIII of Star Wars as rubbish.When I watched The Last Jedi when it arrived on Netflix, I enjoyed it and even felt moved.  The mods of Geeks + Gamers had no such experience.  Instead, they despise the film and regale in making that clear rather than taking a positive spin on something that’s an extension to something they loved in childhood.I would guess that Geeks + Gamers take such a broad interest in film criticism that they feel they can succeed with a successful YouTube channel.  The idea of success they have is different from the idea of success that’s reflected in something like the fiftieth-anniversary of The White Album, or in the success of the blockbuster The Last Jedi.
  • The mods of Geeks + Gamers don’t seem to see The Last Jedi as a success at all because they despise it so much.  Their YouTube channel extrapolates messages like that Star Wars has been mostly reduced to rubbish, or that the DC comics universe could similarly face a death grip in the cinema.  I believe I had misunderstood Geeks + Gamers with my belief that Geeks + Gamers doesn’t desire or see any value in success at the level of the “blockbuster”; instead they expound on problems in entertainment which is compromised by identity politics in the entertainment that they criticize.  Now that I understand some more about Jeremy’s point of view,  it has me feeling a touch more informed about how identity politics show up in entertainment.
    To them, The Last Jedi is a weak link.  They wouldn’t aim for that kind of success in their own lives, for example.  It is notable, having learned of their misfortune with a phishing spoof, that their success has been compromised by their own position as a good-sized YouTube channel.
Dimensions: 2500 x 1668
Photographer:
Rawpixel.com  In addition, an example of underhandedly reacting to what’s been said on Geeks + Gamers is the shout-out they gave Mike Zeroh after film director Rian Johnson mean-spiritedly called out Zeroh who is devoted specifically to exploring what’s going on in Star Wars.  The Mike Zeroh channel is Zeroh’s speculation about “behind the scenes” in Star Wars.  In the initial days of shooting Episode IX of Star Wars, Johnson, reflecting on Twitter about what he was accomplishing with his Star Wars film, referred to YouTube’s Mike Zeroh as being a zero, although Johnson later apologized.
  • It is the same kind of weak link that exists when Geeks + Gamers tackles Star Wars because for all the enthusiasm Mike Zeroh puts into anticipating Star Wars, Mike Zeroh has personally explained that he feels The Last Jedi is a poor effort.
    Mike Zeroh Vs Rian Johnson… Thank you Rian Again!!!

I was amused by The White Album puzzle game I got from my brother and his family.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to share these opportunities.  I am glad if you have read this.  You’re welcome to “like,” to “follow,” and/or to comment.

How Struggles Can Make You Sick

Abandoned supermarket cart

Too much stress, “bad” stress, can weaken you, deplete your resources and waste scarce time if you are not dealing with your lifestyle well.  Everybody endures stress.

 

Getting older, I believe that lifestyles of Generation Z are significantly common, but I am from a small town.  It is important to obey the Biblical commandment, to honor thy mother and father.  As the father did before you, if you are of a certain age, you too need to heed that you are following appropriately in his steps.

 

That being said, there is lightness.  I think with a touch of envy of the comparative ease of the generation of young people often collectively referred to as Generation Z.  That doesn’t mean that I can compete with the energy of the young and of the attitudes which characterize them, different than for someone my age.

 

Someone like me, I feel, is part of a culture that values stress, that putting a great deal of work into a lifetime is a necessity.  There’s nothing wrong with that.

 

Abandoned supermarket cart
Shopping cart

However, it means fulltime people endure an enormous amount of stress.  The more hours of work we take on, to make ends meet, the more stress we cope with.

 

I believe stress can easily bend one to its will rather than the other way round.  It is all very hard to manage.

 

In the film sequence preceding the climax of the 1978 feature film Superman, Lex Luthor conquers Superman with a chain of Kryptonite, until Superman makes a personal promise to Luthor’s beautiful assistant in order that she remove the powerful amulet–but a promise that puts at risk the woman who has his heart, Lois Lane.  All in all, it is an excellent film.

 

What I did, in my life, is an irregular passage through the years.  In 2008 when my employer closed its doors, I went on to work a part-time job while reflecting on what to do with my future  Then I went full time on government disability, as it was felt that I’d been “compromised” enough to give up on making a living through the avenue of work.

 

I had been reading some books on self-management and I didn’t think the stress of a new workplace was going to benefit me enough to do it.

 

A few years later, my father, perhaps frustrated by my reluctance, had an idea.  He was retiring from many years with a municipal cemetery, where he’d helped manage it from its offices.

 

A small cemetery in our town was searching for new operators.  It attracted him, and the trustees of that property were pleased to turn it over to him, so that he could direct it, pleased to have a focus in his retirement.

 

To my surprise, my dad invited me to help handle the operation of the cemetery.  We commenced in 2011.  The church at the cemetery, formerly of the United Church of Canada, had disbanded in 2006.

 

Headstones under repair
Important headstones of family generations in Maple Lawn Cemetery

We maintain the property ourselves, and work in the interior of the church in dire weather, setting our sights on attending to the cemetery once a week.  We made a not-for-profit out of it.  While I am junior, and there is no certainty how matters will proceed, in the seven years or so, lucky seven, that we’ve handled the cemetery, it has been a luxury of time and experience for me and an opportunity to enjoy the company of my father in his golden years.

 

We have had outside help from brothers of my father, my uncles.   On a few brief occasions we have talked about growth, but I don’t know if I can turn this venture into something in which I can continue in the long-term.  This post is intended to be expository writing, but working for a not-for-profit, when financial gains are generally hard-won, can lead to burnout, and to a minor degree that is what I am experiencing.

 

You see, I contribute several hours a week of work to the cemetery, and as my dad has spoken reassuringly of the flexibility to set our own hours, I have lately started to reduce my workload to a four-day week rather than a five-day.

 

I can’t help, for example, but want to relax on Saturday.  I think the decision to work less on Fridays is somewhat deleterious in that if you want to get ahead, you should probably be hustling with the same energy on a Friday that you do on a Monday.

 

I couldn’t help, in the past several weeks, to admit that the stress of putting nonprofit work at the center of my life, was making me feel a touch sick, by which I mean I was experiencing burnout.  I am sure this is common.

 

Dimensions: 5456 x 3632
Photographer: Ylanite Koppens

Whether this transition, to four days of focus on the cemetery rather than on each and every business day, will contribute to a soul-searching decision by my dad to relieve me of my work, I don’t know.  I think what will determine my chances of staying on are the quality of work I can produce in the time I devote to the not-for-profit.

 

How this has me feeling, perhaps, “sick,” is that I do care about working and I do feel some prestige enjoying the privilege of doing work that is shaped by our own efforts.  This is in contrast to working for a firm that is structured in predictable ways, with employee equity and positions and demands which could easily contribute to a high-stress load.

 

I am taking this risk because I believe I can do better work if I make strategies to cope with the burnout before there are related consequences.  I am counting on my own experience and abilities to do the same quality of work in a four-day structure than I would be getting done by committing the entirety of the work week to headway and progress.

 

I am sick to think of losing what I have worked for, and I am sick to think of bringing shame onto my father if the quality of my work does suffer because I am having trouble being afield of all that we do.  I feel like I should write something about feeling troubled by what I have to do to manage my role as operator, and maybe even think on how I could express an appropriate apology for how I am feeling.

 

Writing is the act of discovery. – Natalie Goldberg

 

Dimensions: 4635 x 3090
Photographer: Freestocks.org

If my father does finally decide, which I know he won’t do lightly, that I should be dismissed, it will be a sad day and for that, I will pay a price, of having the failure on my shoulders.  If that scenario comes to pass I will take time to mend.  It may be a self-centered attitude, but the best that can be done in the face of failure is to learn from what happened.

 

Everyone has experienced failure, and usually many, many times, sometimes with adverse consequences.

 

If you have never failed, you have stayed well inside your comfort zone.  Life needs to change and grow.

 

If my role in the not-for-profit does end in failure, I will at least have work experience.  I think I can draw on the time spent at this to draw conclusions that will inform my life in the future.  The situation that I think could result, however, is not going to be completely ideal.

 

It will be back to being “sick,” resorting to making ends meet with the help of a pension for disability, and with the support of my mom and dad.  Ain’t no one got time for that.  I will have then have the opportunity to look for a job if I feel I can weather the stress, or return to freelancing and try to find my niche doing that.

 

Dimensions: 2500 x 1995
Photographer: Rawpixel.com

Many members of Generation Z work as freelancers in the digital economy, and I would be competing with all of those people, which is daunting.  That being said, there are a few paths ahead for me to take and I will have to ask for guidance from fate and the intentions of The Lord.  I know I shouldn’t emphasize feeling sick about all this and I know I shouldn’t take on a job post that gives me more additional stress than I can handle.

 

For now, I will bide my time–for as much clarity as I can muster.

 

You are welcome to like, follow, and/or comment if you have feedback.  Lately, the blog has been fairly quiet, in terms of visits it receives, but you never know when some I’ve published here will pique the interest of a reader.

 

I appreciate the time of those who are visitors.  I have been tying my blog to the not-for-profit, and also trying to be jovial as I know it is as yet an amateur effort.  I feel blogging will continue to play a role in the time I have to write, as it is a splendid little spot of fun that has a pragmatic purpose.

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

Dimensions: 5000 x 3334
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.

Dimensions: 5304 x 3531
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.