My Most Graceful and Honest Intentions with the findingenvirons Blog

A TikTokker followed me, this weekend, with the offer of a shoutout if I were to follow her account, and to tag three friends and to share her video to get an upswing started https://vm.tiktok.com/JN4odUw/

“Are blogs still popular in 2020?”

“Yes, blogging in 2020 is still popular and is serving even more purpose than ever before.  …68% of marketers now see blogging as a useful marketing tool.”

https://techjury.net/blog/blogging-statistics/

Just so we’re on the same page.  🙂  It’s a decent rivalry.

It is now summer.  Even though the winter doesn’t usually get too severe here in Southern Ontario, we have summer which feels pretty scorching, and that is surreal.  That aspect is well-intensified by strange circumstances.  Writing this, in July 2020, I am beginning year no. 9 of writing my blog.

time and tide wait for no man

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

A blog, as you know, is long-form writing.  It’s the opposite of microblogging, like how blogging is on Twitter.  A Personal Plan on WordPress, an option on the blogging platform, lets you design a blog by choosing from among a variety of special themes, that shape how your blog looks.

On WordPress, as mine is, a regular domain doesn’t look bad, but a more ambitious blogger might start with a Personal Plan if you want a more professional-looking blog.  In fact, in WordPress, the Block Editor is the design page that helps you put together blocks of paragraphs, to make writing a post easy.

I use a lot of white space, to keep my blog readable, and to keep it feeling like typewriter text transported to a computer screen, which is what early word processing programs were like.  If you know about adventure games in the nineteen-seventies and -eighties, like, for example, the game company Infocom’s game Zork, or a different, earlier, hit game called Adventure, you know they consist of a paragraph of descriptive text followed by a blinking parser, at which you would enter a two-word command to play.  I have that period of gaming as a primary concern, one wellspring of motivation.

My intention presently is to reach several dozen people or so with each post, possibly a hundred visitors per post, which is the typical reach I have at present.  I appreciate that the odd post I’ve composed gets a couple of guests, to boot.  With WordPress, the stats dashboard gives you an idea of how many visitors have turned up for your blog posts, and what they are saying their country of origin is.

I have had this blog for eight years.  That’s the level of expertise I have with it, Level Nine, you might put it.

In the first edition of the former game company TSR’s classic game Dungeons & Dragons, Level Nine was known as Name Level.  That is the famous tabletop game.  It features in the plot of the Netflix hit Stranger Things.

Photo by Freestocks.org from StockSnap

Name Level means that your Dungeons & Dragons character has made a name for himself, as in “Merlin” becoming “Merlin the Wizard,” to take from Arthurian mythology an example.  In Arthurian mythology, Merlin is the wizard who helps King Arthur rule at Camelot.  Like Merlin and King Arthur, here on WordPress, I am leet.

Likewise, with different parts of life, you have goals with your blog, and blogging makes unobtrusive notoriety for yourself (as it is the Name Level guidelines in Dungeons & Dragons sway interaction.)

On occasion, I draw extra thoughts from patterns I see via web-based media, stages like Twitter and YouTube, and TikTok.  On WordPress, I get to blog as much as I make time for it, which is a luxury I know many aspiring writers would enjoy themselves if they had it.  With that sort of extravagance, I am happy with the opportunity to continue without too many time limitations.  I am not too hard on myself.

My intentions, also, are to keep posting in a way that other people might relate to.  When WordPress offered a fourteen-day prologue to composing verse, quite a long while back, I composed through that fourteen-day arrangement.  Actually, at the time, I was kind of pleased with a few of the ideas I came up with, as I think my approach is a touch singular.

I in some cases loan support to other little bloggers.  I have seen that quite a few bloggers do that.  Those are probably the kind of people that I am trying to reach.

Another source of inspiration, outside WordPress, is the real world Nashville Tennessee writer Jeff Goins, an inspiring voice in blogging circles.  I think Jeff Goins worked in marketing when he decided he wanted to begin writing.  In fact, for his first book, he presented the title You Are A Writer.  

The Art of Work is a book that explores all kinds of inspired case studies, of people who bring a special touch to the work they do.  It became a bestseller. I think Goins wrote that unless your heart is in your work, it isn’t right.

As well, my father’s sister’s husband, Rick, and his wife Sue, both residing in Nashville, have written some books.  They are my godparents.

To the reader, if you have ever read my blog and are returning, by all means, thank you.  Such a great hobby.  You’re welcome to comment or to follow.

Have a wonderful day and a terrific summer.  I wish you well!

I’m on Twitter, https://twitter.com/findingenvirons …but you won’t find that verified.

For Critical Thinking and an Equivalent, Creativity

Starting, for April, I participated in many of the new Discover challenges that WordPress organized, to help bloggers write posts during the crisis.  Each morning, 6 AM in most cases in my time zone, a new word with additional suggestions became available for WordPress bloggers.

Each word theme was accompanied by suggestions about what to post.  I found the exercises helped me feel better about blogging because some things I enjoy discussing became the subject of new posts at the same time other bloggers addressed the same themes.  With each post, I had several visitors, and if you are among those and returning, please accept my thanks.

Now, today is May the 4th, Star Wars Day.  Star Wars The Clone Wars concludes its season 7 run today, a season devoted to the Seige of Mandalore.  I think the entire animated series lives on Disney+.

Today is also the day that all nine films of the Skywalker Saga are available with a Disney+ subscription.  “This will be a day long-remembered,” to quote Peter Cushing in Star Wars Episode IV.

Star Wars Celebration last spring in Chicago meant a week of hours and hours of daily streaming on YouTube.  I said something about it:  https://findingenvirons1.blog/2019/04/19/star-wars-celebration-on-youtube-whered-you-go-chicago/

I have a new strategy, I am starting by trying a serious-in-tone critical thinking post.  I was already writing the odd observation about techniques that might contribute to someone’s existing take on the science of being a blogger, tempered with humour, I suppose.  I reckoned that I was enjoying myself, that’s mostly what counted.

Photo by Lukáš Rychvalský from StockSnap

A definition of a hobby is this:

hob·by

n. pl. hob·bies

An activity or interest pursued outside one’s regular occupation and engaged in primarily for pleasure.

The pleasure of blogging comes from the interaction on the world wide web with people who also blog.  I believe that social interaction is important at any age.  Why is social interaction important for psychological health, I asked Yahoo!.

“Social engagement is associated with a stronger immune system, especially for older adults,” Yahoo! answered.  “This means that you are better able to fight off colds, the flu, and even some types of cancer.  You will enjoy better mental health.

“Interacting with others boosts feelings of well-being and decreases feelings of depression.”

There are so many avenues that if you have access to the web, there are so many ways to reach people, and fulfill that desire, I know you know this.  It is always about more than the dollar, as it should be.  I’m not out to make a buck at all, I’m just experimenting with being an optimist.  

Recently I found a website page that takes a gander at the satisfaction that goes with the joy of a decent diversion.  Human resources psychologist Jessica Beltran addresses it in The Value of Hobbies  https://blogs.psychcentral.com/thrive/2014/05/the-value-of-hobbies/  “We are at our best when we are relaxed and in tune with ourselves.”

Photo by Snufkin from StockSnap

While we are capitalists, the playing field becomes more narrow if you consider that you can address people with the confidence of having many of the skills that they have.  There is any number of stations in the lives we lead, but lots of motivation speakers give the advice to get started with your creations, however possible.  “Do hobbies help with their careers?” I asked Yahoo!.

“While it may seem counterintuitive to make time for something outside of work to get ahead at work, career coaches have confirmed that having a hobby can help make you better at your job. Having a hobby helps you learn how to handle work-life stress and think creatively,” answered the search engine.

“What skills are needed to be a critical thinker?” I went on to ask.

In response Yahoo! informed me of several qualities, ten in fact, that you need to be a capable critical thinker:

1 Accuracy.

2 Adept.

3 Analytical.

4 Creativity.

5 Critical thinking.

6 Detail-oriented.

7 Efficiency.

8 Industriousness.

9 Innovative.

10 Logical thinking.

I have additional input.

Accuracy, for starters, I learned about in high school science.  Accuracy in that environment is measurably collecting data.  To determine accuracy, you might perform the same process several times, with only minor variants, to learn if your method is accurate.

It’s important.  Troubleshooting a computer station, for example, requires accuracy.

You need to determine what changes have gone on before and after a problem has happened at your terminal.  There is a joke about hapless computer users calling the Windows system crash the Blue Screen of Death, dire-sounding, but which means that you are losing your unsaved work, a bummer.  By the way, I enjoyed computer science in high school a lot more than I enjoyed chemistry and physics.

If what you were doing meant nine out of ten times you got a system crash, and then one out of ten times it worked out, hypothetically speaking, you could, if the measurements were accurate, you’re determining that those nine times of system crashes mean that you can’t proceed in that manner.  If five out of ten times, your computer works, and five times it doesn’t, you don’t have an accurate idea of what of your commands are leading to the system crash.  The results aren’t too useful in that case.

You need to check variables that contribute to your procedure’s success or failure and come up with a more accurate idea of what’s going to work.  Once you establish the variables that work out okay, by trial and error, you can figure out which instruction is awakening the Blue Screen of Death.

The second term in Yahoo!’s list is the word adept.  Adept means are adroit.  Critically, you have to be adept at forming interpretations.

Those I think of as the external–the external is the object or scenario you’re critically thinking about.  You need to know what you’re examining, to form a critical judgement.  I have two ways for you to do this, and you can read about them a little further in.

Like for me, to decide whether, say, a popular film is “good,” in the sense that the motion picture proves that everybody involved did a good job, you have to understand enough about what makes a good film to be adept at reviewing it.  It would help if you’d contributed to the completion of a motion picture, to be properly critical, but it probably suffices to understand the structure of a film, the symbolism in the film visually, and previous attempts to make similar films.

The next term, the word analytical, this is a word like adept, but analytical is more about looking at a critiqued thing that calculates whether you should take it seriously or not.  You know what the thing is and what it’s for, but being analytical towards it means judging it in a way that you can comprehend additional specifics about it, forming your external.  What does it mean? is an analytical question that you might have about your object or scenario.

You would be analytical concluding that your problem works at all levels.

Photo by donterase from StockSnap

Next is creativity, a lovely word, for I feel I am creative, as would many bloggers regard themselves.  Creativity is reworking an established idea and making it yours.  It goes on constantly.

Like, back to film, when a successful film franchise follows up with a sequel, or a reboot, that’s an instance of creativity that is often quite impressive.  As with, say, the 1978 horror film Halloween, directed by John Carpenter, when two years later in 1980 the sequel Halloween II came out, again starring famed actress Jamie Lee Curtis, the film continued the story of the first movie by showing a lot more of what happened later that Halloween night, when the mad masked murderer had returned, (ghastly!).  However, John Carpenter was no longer directing the film.

Do you like horror films?

Halloween II has the same characters and the same locale and a continuation of the plot of the first film, all interesting for fans of the first movie, just with the point that somebody else is now directing.  That’s the creative part, in this example.

Next, Yahoo! repeats the phrase critical thinking.  I mean that Yahoo! includes critical thinking among the terms for critical thinking, which begs the question, Yahoo!.  I interpreted that as meaning that critical thinking refers here to the overall level of ability the interpreter brings to the noun being thought through critically.  It is having the skill to return to thinking critically, in a manner that applies other additional criteria.

In this case, we’re using the handy number ten.  The words, I derive, make an agenda for surveying an item or a situation.  It is redundant to include the phrase “critical thinking” in a list that explains critical thinking, pointing to a rabbit hole, a burrow that goes on and on when it opens.

You have to be firm with yourself what decisions you will make in the process of critical thinking or you will never conclude.  I have a little more to say about that in the conclusion.

Close up white cup of Coffee, latte on the wooden table

Detail-oriented refers to the organizer’s ability to put together a mental assessment of the details that have gone into the subject being thought about critically.  A job interview often includes a question along these lines, as in, “If you were taking this job, would you consider yourself a detail-oriented person?”  It means getting everything right.

Efficiency is the ability to get things done promptly.  You don’t lose time by making redundant decisions; everything works.  If you value efficiency, you want your scenario or your object to function smoothly, a swift external.

It means saving time.  A lot of people who need to complete many tasks highly value efficiency.

Industriousness refers to having the initiative to take bold steps.  Being industrious is good in that a person shows, say, leadership.  If what you are critical of is a tool for industriousness, it lends itself to a nature that assists people who have a success rate at reaching goals.

Innovative means thinking outside of the box.  Someone innovative has solutions that circumvent traditional stop signs that cause headaches.  Being innovative is positive.  You should recognize when innovation is happening and that it can have positive results.

Photo by Matthew Henry from StockSnap

Logical thinking is great for being “right.”  I first read a little about logical thinking in a high school English class.  I was daunted at the time because I’d never known that logical thinking existed like that, and I doubted I could learn enough about it to become competent, bizarrely, I suppose.

I was a diffident youth.  I wish I’d got that information earlier in life.  My teacher, Ms. M., outlined twelve specific styles of logical thinking and in fact, I wonder if I as yet have that same document.

I should have read it again and again.  At times I’ve been proud that I’m not completely obligated to be logical, but I don’t disregard logic.  I value things like the structure of an external, and that, for example, requires logic.

Logical thinking when it comes to being critical of a specific external is very useful, for if you can make a logical argument about the nature of your object or situation, you’re external, you are on your way to answering a riddle about it.  It is a regret I have that I didn’t take the introduction to logical thinking I got in high school more gravely and go to work at understanding it.

The ten criteria words stop at the letter L.  This is all about setting your sights on critically interpreting an external and taking it apart in a way that you can better understand what it means.  The terms are building blocks for evaluating your external.

There are some points where the process isn’t going to be scientific.  Starting with accurate, you need to look at more than one external and compare them to see how accurate your method is.  This word accurate is exciting because you can find parallels that aren’t necessarily immediately self-evident.

You are being analytical because you are trying to make a process occur that is accurate.  Those two a-letter words work together to open a method of diagramming your external to better understand what it is.

The next word, adept, is applicable because you need to run your process with adept skill.  What I’m doing here is being creative with Yahoo!’s list of critical thinking terms.  I’m making the argument that they are useful.

The search engine believes it.  So, too, should you.  Together the terms have an impact that you can draw upon for inspiration.

It does bother my sensibilities that critical thinking could itself be a term for critical thinking, but as there is a connection between all three a-letter words, so too I noticed a connection between the two c-letter words.  Critical thinking and creativity are two different sides of the same coin.

I’ve had to stir my reserve of critical thinking to identify what that means, but it is so.  Creativity is letting reason fly in the wind, whereas critical thinking is unearthing the truth about your external that wouldn’t be evident if you didn’t possess some definitions that assist in critical thinking.

For d, we have detail-oriented, taking your analysis and better developing it.

For e, we have efficiency, reducing creativity in favour of a strategy that is more pure critical thinking and not as open-minded as the word creative would imply.

Next, we have i-letter words, industrious and innovative, words that strengthen the process of analyzing the external by accelerating the process.  Those words apply to the analyst as much as they apply to the object or scenario being looked at.  Being industrious is keeping at it and being innovative is keeping open-minded.

Both these reflect the analyst as much or more than the external being explored.  Logical thinking is a phrase that means much the same as analysis.  If you took these ten terms, you could assemble them this way:   You have the creativity and you have critical thinking (the c-words).

If you want creativity to rule the process of investigating the external, what you have is industriousness and innovation for the matter at hand.

To proceed down the avenue of critical thinking that is more logical and detail-oriented, you can reduce your creative input and begin letting a process unfold without the benefit of a creative assignment.  In either case, you need to be adept at thinking, and further, to return to the a-letter words, you are being more purely analytical and accurate if you pursue critical thinking without the requirement of innovation ruling your process.  So, your basic process either follows one c-path or the other c-path, critical thinking or creativity and then to round out outreaching your external you have the accuracy, the analytics, the detail-oriented questions, the efficiency and the logical thinking; and down the other c-path, you have industriousness and innovation.

These are subcategories from the ten we started with.

Photographer:
Tim Gouw

The terms favour an analysis-heavy approach to critical thinking, meaning there are more components of more purely critical thinking than terms that include creativity.  Where that leaves us is what I started with, the word hobby.  A creative design is better for a hobby; analysis is better suited for more profound comprehension.

All the same, creativity can be as hard to comprehend as analysis.  If you reach an external by analysis, it is beginning to fall outside the field of the hobbyist and more closely approach the realm of the expert.

A more complicated external lends itself to critical thinking; a simpler external is suitable for creativity.  This isn’t always true, but that’s a guideline that you could start with if you are deciding whether you want to approach an external with a lens of more complicated and comprehensive critical thinking or with a simpler but also effective creative paintbrush, so to speak.

That’s the rabbit hole, that if you don’t have a handle on your creativity, flights of fancy can take you far afield of a suitable stopping place.  That’s why creativity isn’t a super useful strategy for analyzing an external that’s become complex.  That’s when your critical thinking approach needs to take over.

I’ve enjoyed writing about this, my first post since the April Discover challenges ended.  Do you like the idea that a simpler object might benefit from creative analysis and a more complicated object require a more detailed critical analysis?  You’re welcome to follow and/or to comment.

Read more about me here:  about.me/patrickcoholan

Happy Star Wars Day

Photographer:
Thomas Kelley

WordPress Discover: Grateful

The WordPress Discover challenges are blogging prompts that help bloggers originate additional ideas to include in a blog. This month, April 2020, the Discover challenges continued one-word prompts that expanded upon detailed suggestions to keep bloggers going in these days of an emergency. I got interested in the second day of April, when I learned unexpectedly, from another blog, that the prompts were back.

Today is the thirtieth of April, and it means it is time to bid the challenges farewell.

Today’s challenge is the word grateful and I am grateful for having lucked into writing prompts as often I felt I could. I am sure others are grateful for the same prompts. Many days of the month this go-round I was able to blog, and this week the prompts wound down to their finale under the guidance of Ben Huberman, who in the past has helped me think of other posts to put together, particularly well-focused I think, this month.

Articulating

Today in the peninsula the weather is gloomy and wet, and it reminds me of a writing prompt I came across in the twelfth grade in public school.

I was learning the foundations of the programming language C, in a classroom setting, and an exercise in word processing came my way. It was a writing prompt. I’d seen many writing prompts in school,l but seldom in a computer skills classroom.

The prompt that day was to write about a spooky house, presumably despairing, or at least that’s what I would flavour such fiction, given a prompt of that kind. It was twenty-five years ago, but I remember vaguely what the prompt was like, given that the exercise was to write a page of flash fiction and input it. Being high school I was writing all the time.

I doubt that I knew the phrase “flash fiction” at that time, or even if it was the going nomenclature for the writing. Somewhat zealously, I suppose, I wrote a piece of flash fiction for the instructor, dutifully inputting it. The teacher had no real interest, knowing that it was a simple exercise and that computers, not creative studies, was the department.

The exercise was at best a distraction, I think, a few minutes to come up with a little tale of being lost all on your own and approaching a spooky house for help. It was likely the fall, when Halloween comes, not the springtime. The lesson was to adopt the role of being a writer and to try filling those shoes by inputting the tale in a word processor.

If I’d had leanings toward finding it interesting for the sake of being computed, perhaps I would have tried a career choice of software if I’d pursued the ambition of computer work. Curiously, the mere interest in writing the flash fiction signalled to me that I would need a creative endeavour to keep myself feeling like I was honouring myself, you might put it.

January 5 2018 collage experiment

I am glad that WordPress Discover prompts returned and I am looking forward to devising a plan, a calendar, to keep a hand in as a blogger. I continue to believe that a blog is an integral part of the world wide web. I am grateful for this practice put in at writing on a schedule that means a consistent effort at blogging, and I think the habits utilized could remain in place if the momentum grown from doing the Discover challenges this month continues to breathe life into my site.

God bless you. You may follow and/or comment on the blog if you like.

Why Starting to Discover TikTok is the Key to Hillary 2016

to illustrate Tik Tok

Tik Tokkers took credit for undermining the Trump rally in Tulsa this month. While Trump’s team denied Tik Tokkers had anything to do with the lackluster turnout for the rally, it does speak to the possibility that Big Tech may hold the key to the future in its encrypted austere cyberhands.

 J. Clement, Sep 4, 2019 One of the defining phenomena of the present times reshaping the world as we know it, is the worldwide accessibility to the internet. The lovechild of the World Wide Web is social media, which comes in many forms, including blogs, forums, business networks, photo-sharing platforms, social gaming, microblogs, chat apps, and last but not least social networks. In 2019, the global social penetration rate reached 45 percent, with East Asia and North America both having the highest penetration rate at 70 percent, followed by Northern Europe at 67 percent.

https://www.statista.com/topics/1164/social-networks/
Photographer:
WDnet Studio

As luck would have it, my mom sent me an email with a connection to Tik Tok, which my sister and her significant other had got on. My sister and her husband live in England.

I do worry about privacy, which everybody should worry about, but it was clear from the first few videos I enjoyed that a new door had opened.  Could you call it the new grassroots of the Internet?  I don’t know that is an exact description, yet that is the sort of impression I got from my first experiences with the app.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Remember when Cambridge Analytica was implicated in shady election returns in the race for the US Presidency?  23RD JUNE Verdict revisited the story. “Over the Cambridge Analytica affair, Silicon Valley was mute, leaving Facebook to answer the awkward questions,” Verdict reported (aren’t Big Tech affairs always awkward?)

Facebook accounts were accused of enacting a naughty political plan.  When this came to light, it was a scandal.

Both a hit to the public impression of Facebook’s reliability and the validity of Donald Trump’s administration, I thought to ask what was going on with Tik Tok four years ago.  It jumped out at me to check it out.

Photographer:
Travel Coffee Book

The initial release of Tik Tok was in September 2016.  Tik Tok is the Chinese application that was the most downloaded in the US in October 2018, Wikipedia says.  —https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TikTok “Tik Tok, a Global Music Video Platform and Social Network, Launches in Indonesia-PR Newswire APAC,” markets outside of China. Archived from the original on 25 September 2017. Retrieved 5 January 2019.

Users downloaded Tik Tok more than 104 million times on Apple’s App store during the full first 50% of 2018, information given to CNBC by Sensor Tower, situated in San Francisco.

Tik Tok outperformed Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram to turn into the world’s most downloaded iOS application. Live-streaming was no longer the biggest thing going.  “The biggest trend in Chinese social media is dying, and another has already taken its place,” CNBC said. –Tue, Sep 18 2018

The Internet in China was altered, and there is an evident issue of whether determined weights are adding to control at Tik Tok.  At the point when the Cambridge Analytica embarrassment started to require that web-based media be inspected and controlled, it made sense that Tik Tok could by and by be under a similar kind or increasingly unavoidable restriction, superficially so that there aren’t additional issues similar to what happened at Facebook in 2016.

Tik Tok is home to countless videos, so it wouldn’t be shocking if government unrooted censorship issues.  I think it would be awful if problems similar to the Cambridge Analytica meddling repeated themselves on Tik Tok or anywhere else, such that those kind of nefarious difficulties led to the regulation of social media everywhere.

I had thought this year we might make it a norm to pursue goals of unity and brotherhood, while enjoying economic success; BLM proved me wrong. Verdict characterizes the result as a “stronger and more committed demonstration of support” by Big Tech. If the decade ahead sees social media get dead and buried, that’s some of the best opportunities on the Internet falling by the wayside.

Tik Tok has altered my impression of video beginning with a couple of them shot by my sister and her better half.

Fandango–Dial

Fandango is a blogger who I consider every once in a while a nobleman, a savvy.  At one time WordPress would give prompts to urge befuddled bloggers to get a post distributed, yet since the official prompts have finished, Fandango has volunteered to give day by day prompts that are incentive to remember prompts that were, and prompts which are truly useful.

Photographer:
Alex Andrews
Fandango’s One-Word Challenge #FOWC

  The word for the nineteenth is dial, of which I think, immediately, the instruction to the telephone to ring out to someone with whom you wish to speak.  The dial could likewise allude to a check that illuminates how much a measure is accessible, or valuable.  However, I think immediately of dialing the telephone, to talk to somebody.

    I recall dial is a brand of soap cleanser, as well. This could perhaps be applied to the phone to keep it clean, or, taking it further, to clean the individual with who you wish to speak!

    In some cases, I can envision that for appearances, one using the phone to arrange business would appreciate a telephone kept up for neatness, as opposed to a unit that is open to all.  I am not sure the caller would always want to join the party for cleanliness, but common sense informs me that consistent measures to keep clean are best put in place, rather than, as my dad might say to me, letting myself go.  I remember a high school science experiment of trying to effect a bar of soap, from scratch.

    I am trusting with this post to add a sort of punchline to my post yesterday, as it didn’t charge well with my latest, fairly baffling to note. That said, perhaps a variation in my method will help me return to the dozens of readers I could reach, rather than the scant few who availed themselves of me, yesterday.   In any case, you are welcome to like this post, to follow me or to leave a comment.

    Thank you to Fandango, for the inventiveness of thinking to continue daily prompts, in the same fashion as WordPress did daily, not all that long ago.  I hope your troubles continue to be manageable, sir, and that you have a splendid winter ahead.  I’ll see you once more, I’m sure.

Ta ta for now! Merry Christmas

Why Blogger’s Envy Will Make You Question Everything

In any case, what number of sites are there altogether in 2019? Until this point in time, there are over 1.6 billion sites on the planet. — Techjury : Is blogging still relevant in 2019? https://techjury.net/blog/how-many-websites-are-there/#gref

Blogging can be an interest for someone who writes, or, perhaps, takes photos, or who wants insight beyond that individual’s regular life and is attainable. In 2019 blogging champions continue to show heart, talent and drive to command gigantic followings, and blog consistently and excellently. While blogging is inventive by nature, innovatory bloggers get all that comprises Internet fame.

fame Merriam-Webster

1a: public estimation REPUTATION

b: popular acclaim RENOWN

2 archaic RUMOR

Engagement rate in influencer marketing is used to measure the level of interaction an influencer typically receives on their content. Simply put, it is the percentage of the influencer’s audience that responds to their content. –Google: What is influencer engagement?

A reader infers that the successful blogger is charming beyond the scope of that blogger’s posts and social media; we are persuaded that the blogger is likable, an excellent chap, full of cheer, and enviable. Likewise, when one compares herself to the other, especially as she is rendered in a blog or on social media, there is a propensity to try to reach that same level as the other, even if many of the details of her life exist chiefly in the imagination, the perspective of the visitor. She becomes human from expectations in the mind.

Photographer:
Negative Space

If you blog, and you are in the early years of your experience as a blogger, and you wish to rise to a level of success you already see in your favorite blogs, you will find yourself learning, if you persist, how and when to post. “Younger” bloggers play a part in the blogosphere. I know that by the time you join, you won’t be thinking about the same conundrum you have now.

You’re welcome to like this post, to follow and to comment, if any of this finds you sympathetic. Remember that bonds on the Internet have a similar significance to bonds in the real world.

I’m Patrick, and I help with the care of Maple Lawn Cemetery in Canada. Our website is this:

http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/24701.html

Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Be the best Version of You

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

Be the best Version of You
Graffiti in local park

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.

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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

 

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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.”

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.

 

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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

 

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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.

 

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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.

Brief tips for keeping up

Church at cemetery

I am updating this a year later–this is the early morning of August 12, 2018, and I published this post after curating it from something I did October 20, 2014.  I am the SMM and junior operations director for a small not-for-profit cemetery.  I have my hand in as a blogger to complement my research and social media skills.

We’re on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

How is your content doing?  Are you keeping records?

There’s nothing intuitive about being outfitted for killer content.  It’s Internet 101.  There’s engagement and then there’s conversion.

  • Be relevant in a sprawling web environment

You won’t be able to see the horizon on the world wide web.  It goes on and on, and your time can disappear into it the way tree leaves lose their pigment and then fall.

I hope that you have a plan because goals are incredibly important.  You have an uphill battle to face already, and without clear goals for you to pursue, you are spinning your wheels and going nowhere.  I definitely wish I’d tackled it more systematically years ago.

Try challenging yourself by investigating new techniques for setting goals, and see what you can put into effect.  I realize this is advice for a beginner, but if you are new and you read this, please understand that I am doing my best to run over some basic tips that you can put into practice for yourself.

You can prioritize what you want to achieve if you put some planning into what you are about. If you have the spontaneity and creative mindset to be headstrong, I’m sure that’s ok. If you are overwhelmed, and you could be, you need to throw down some controls on what you are doing.

Church at cemetery
Louth United Church

  • Read success stories and compare them to yourself

The world wide web is cool, so don’t fret.  You do need a plan of attack.

Organize your efforts so that they resemble the kind of list in which you might write what groceries you want to buy.  It’s a start!  

Don’t dismiss the inspiration you find by learning about what people who are achievers did to get where they are today.  Above all else, there are plenty of people with good intentions to who you can reach out on your journey across the Internet.

  • Find release in a second hobby

The world wide web has a lot to offer, but you probably need a second hobby if you’re feeling troubled.  Something that you can do in the outdoors might be good, to keep your mind active on more than one front (on more than just your life computing).

Maybe you should be writing offline, to keep your engine fresh.  Reading real-world books is a good idea, especially if you can learn something from them.  That’s a concrete example of how and when doors will open for you.

Speaking of the real world, interaction outside the digital corridors of the Internet has its place for you, distinctly.  Don’t go too far afield by forgetting what’s out there physically.

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Photographer: Burak Kebapci

Are you struggling with your brand identity?  Leave a comment for me if you think of something I strongly need to see.  I’m curating this based on a blog post I did the twentieth of October, 2014, which rather needed an update.

I wouldn’t mind hearing of others’ efforts as you keep on descending into the backwaters of the Internet.  I know readers may be reluctant to comment, but you’re very welcome to note here where your online journey has taken you.  And if you do relate, and in fact have found help.

You can “like” and/or “follow” as well.  Thanks!