August 17, 2018 #NationalNonprofitDay

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

 

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

 

Dimensions: 5472 x 3648
Photographer: Negative Space

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Dimensions: 3000 x 2335
Photographer: Rawpixel.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Twitter Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making It Easier

I am curating a post I wrote June 15, 2017, which I am distinctly unsatisfied with.

The WordPress Daily Prompt was the word, “Total,” and what for me was the “total” mind-blowing news that Twitter was undertaking a major step on route to what a lot of Twitter users hoped would renew success for the platform. That sounded dramatic, but Twitter did become visibly different. As expert Susanna Gebauer blogged again on February 28, 2018, it could have meant the end of Twitter, or success as a social media platform. In short, I wonder will it turn out like Myspace or Yahoo!, or will it get back its status as an enjoyable user service.

I am obviously on Twitter and I enjoy it. In case you need to find me on Twitter, you can here: https://twitter.com/findingenvirons

What’s more, I am sharing links both to an article which explains the change which was happening when I originally wrote this post in June, and also to Susanna’s post which explains where Twitter was coming from with the change on the twenty-third of March to restrict Twitter users with several accounts from automating the same tweet more than once.  I myself slowed down on how I was tweeting by dramatically slowing down how often I would tweet links to what I think might be relevant to people following and otherwise changing the pace at which I tweet.  It would be a gigantic bummer if Twitter failed and I do hope Twitter stays alive and well.

Dimensions: 1920 x 1281
Photographer: WDnet Studio

If you’re not on Twitter, maybe you should consider joining in the near future. It can be a lot of fun. I am curating this post to improve its accuracy, to provide the additional source of Susanna Gebauer’s February 28 blog post, and because if you do find it relevant, which I hope a few do, you’re welcome to, “like,” “follow,” and/or “comment” this blog post.

Thank you for noticing, and all the best to you, whatever you do, in your personal life, and in business.

Source: Twitter Is Refreshing How the Platform Looks and Making It Easier for People to Use

Source: Twitter’s Fight Against Spam, Bots and Bulk Tweeting – And Why You Need To Know About It

The Fighting Irish

2018-032-15

· Today’s my birthday, and I wanted to do something on the blog to have a touch of festivity, so when I got home after a bit I looked at this week’s Photo Challenge.  Krista Stevens is the author of this week’s challenge–hi, krista!–and she put on the cover page of the challenge a question there and then about what hobby the visitor would rather be doing.

My computer to me is like a Battletech, out of the game of Battletech that I played some as a teenager pitting one Battletech against another.  However, I’m not interested in turning my particle projection cannon on you, only giving you words afield.

· I eventually settled on a photo of my statuette of st. Patrick, standing in front of a shelf of tumbled books.  Would that I could drive snakes!  Rather than be prepared to meet the weekly photo challenge on WordPress, I could be curing sorrows.

2018-032-15
St. Patrick

· I am looking forward to facebook today, to see if any of my friends on facebook write me birthday wishes.  There could be a few posts of that kind.

· I am also excited about a rumored change starting the twenty-third of March, where Twitter is beginning the order that only one out of every three days can be utilized by automated tweets.  It means that being the unofficial social media manager of our nonprofit is getting easier–I won’t have to say so much!

Despite that sentiment, I do enjoy writing a brief exposition and publishing it along with a photo for the blog.  Why else would I have such a tool?  Some bloggers are very good and even though I am dedicated to helping operate a non-profit there is sometimes a component of mentorship (on the Internet, it is always a good practice to help make comfortable a newbie).

Attack of the Video Content

Do you have an inkling what influencer marketing is?

 

Influencer marketing, I guess, is when a brand with an expansive and powerful Internet presence helps a newcomer gain exposure by sharing the smaller brand under the umbrella of the major brand who is widespread across the world wide web on several channels.

 

When the Hulu video streaming service was becoming a monster, I know they experimented with following various Twitter peeps in order to help make themselves a household name.

 

November 28, 2016
Hulu among other Twitter followers

Now I see commercials on TV for Hulu that make it seem all the more like a juggernaut, but for some time they were most alive in my mind as the entity on Twitter that seemed to be joking around all the time waiting for all those people to start transplanting their attention to Hulu instead of all the other options for video entertainment that likewise wanted consumer dollars in exchange for a wild consumption experience of the most dynamite video to be found.

 

Hulu kept adding all kinds of classic TV shows to their roster line-up, and beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale began to fill its slot of originals with more and more series, like Marvel’s Runaways.

 

It felt to me like the underdog Hulu challenging the king of paid content, Netflix, for a portion of its subscriber base.  Who had the best originals, Netflix with its incredible budget and seeming out-of-control finger on the market with a business model set to break all records?

 

But what happened… this is surely a simplistic interpretation of what was actually experienced… the Harvey Weinstein effect rocked the entertainment industry and pretty soon many respected actors were back to the drawing board.

 

I am not an analyst, but are these two events connected in any tangible way?

 

Netflix established an extraordinary budget for its current and future programming, all growing from a point of origin that was one particular Netflix original that was historical for being the first there was.  It was House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey.

 

Spacey came under stern criticism and was let go, costing Netflix a ton and generating at least a little bad publicity.

 

With their very first entry as a Netflix original series becoming a distraction, I felt I was seeing Hulu rise up in response and setting their sights on becoming a major competitor in the wake of the scandal around Spacey.

 

It can’t have been that direct a transition, I don’t think, but I would infer that with the breakdown of Netflix’ House of Cards at a critical time, when Hulu was beginning to launch its new originals, I think it certainly meant the time was right for Hulu to begin to market itself more traditionally, rather than with its jovial influence marketing that resembled stunt tactics.  Maybe Hulu still does play with influence marketing, I’m not sure, but all of a sudden it seems like all the more professional a brand than it had been previously when it was a minor competitor to the juggernaut Netflix.

 

Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also demonstrated its penchant for winning many major awards and on top of that, it carried with it a feminist zeitgeist that was all the more effective in the face of the Weinstein effect that was leaving men everywhere clutching their walking papers.

 

November 16, 2017
A year later Hulu unfollows

These days when I see the TV ads for Hulu I smile.

 

I think the video streaming market is mad, but it is interesting to see that there have been many measurable changes in it in the last several months as Hulu grew into its mode of expansion and gained tons of credibility.

 

It will be interesting to see if there are more upstarts as entertainment continues to change.

 

Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inkling.

Doggedly Capturing Developing Your Eye Themes To Ring in the New Year

2018-01-01

Happy New Year!  It is the beginning of 2018, of course.

 

To better myself a tad, I am doing a free ten-day photography course from WordPress, and while I am a week late, the timing isn’t too bad because I am literally ringing in the New Year with exercises in photography that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought to do.

 

Today’s exercise is to take a photo of something big.

 

To illustrate the theme, I thought of some symbolism.  You see, I went to the park, where there is a library, aquatic center, and playground.  You can see a Canadian flag flying as well.  The nation of Canada is, of course, massive, and that is one component of the symbolism of the photo.

 

2018-01-01
A “big” park on New Year’s Day
  • The aquatic center is comprised of what is probably an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is a big space for water.

 

  • To a child, the playground in the park is “big,” for the reason that a child is small.  It cannot be reasoned the same with adult eyes, but I feel it helps symbolize bigness all the same.

 

  • Last but not least, the volumes of knowledge inside the library represent a massive amount of information, which I feel represents the idea of big.  In fact, as today is New Year’s Day, and folks are beginning the start of a resolution (or more), one suggestion you may wish to try is to resolve to read more in 2018.  If you aren’t a regular reader all ready, I would ask if you feel you waste time on social media.

 

This is not to say that social media isn’t a lot of fun; it is.

 

It is just that if you find you are wasting time with social media, you may wish to resolve for 2018 to trade the time spent on social media for time spent reading.  Whether to try something like that is up to you.

 

Once again, happy new year.  I am glad I am able to share it.  Have a bountiful 2018!

Solitude I Can Justify

2017-12-31

Not to be idle, and also to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018, I am doing the free WordPress course, ten days long, called Developing Your Eye, to help me get a little better as a photographer. Honestly, I am a week late, but there has been holiday fun, the intense winter weather, and other reasons to procrastinate.

To complete the exercise for Day Six of the course, I took to the idea of solitude. How I thought to illustrate solitude is to show the vantage point of a walking trail up the street from where I live, between an elementary school where some of my education took place when I was little, and a gospel chapel on the other side of the trail.

2017-12-31
A gospel chapel the last day of the year

While I don’t attend the chapel, this point of origin symbolizes for me the distance between my home now, to the road to where my parents live, and where I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties. Down the street I live alone. The solitude is having left where I resided in my younger years.

2017-12-31
On the path beside the gospel chapel

In 1978 DC Comics gave us the big screen adaptation of the Superman comic starring the late Christopher Reeves–I realize the film belongs to a generation older than mine. Superman, reflecting on his power, travels north to his Fortress of Solitude to find answers about his fate and his obligation as a hero.

The silver screen images of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude became so iconic that even in the present Henry Cavill version of the Superman saga the recreated Fortress of Solitude in his films strongly resembles the design of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve. The nineteen seventies Fortress of Solitude has been translated to the current Superman films with a similar design that remembers Superman on film in the seventies and eighties.

Why does the caped superhero require solitude? Solitude can permit a person to approach life with his own direction, unimpeded by the feedback of others.

The town here is small but it is a city–it is never that lonesome. There is contact with people each and every day.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t cultivate an attitude of preserving solitude, and I imagine it shows in the style of the blog I write and in the appearance of the photos I take. I imagine many humans likewise treasure their solitude, particularly in that as adults there are so many demands and requirements for living in a Western culture that we have little choice but to conform.

When there is an opportunity for solitude, in contrast to what we are tasked with doing in the course of day-to-day work, solitude becomes extremely valuable, at least in small measures. In other words, silence is golden.

I realize it is ironic I am writing that when blogging can be seen as a search for a community (and WordPress is an inclusive community). Blogging is a given in this day and age–if you have even a basic amount of computer literacy, it is not surprising if you are blogging.

If you are doing business, and you personally have some computer literacy or otherwise a member of your team is computer-literate, you should have a blog. Even as I assert my blog is not making me money, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue it. I suppose I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too, but I have the solitude that I think makes me truer and I am likewise active at participating in the Internet, which is millions and millions of others.

I don’t think foregoing solitude is the answer, but I respect those people for whom blogging is not just satisfying as an opportunity to make discoveries, but who profit financially by being business-savvy with the blogging that they do.

You can find my church at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Narrowing Down How People Interrelate

2017-12-30

To improve my photography, I am participating in a free ten-day course from WordPress, Developing Your Eye.  Although I am an entire week late, I am proceeding much more closely to schedule now and today’s theme for a photography exercise is the idea of “connection,” however it’s interpreted.

 

Millions and millions of people have connected to the Internet.  It is incredible to think how much goes on that so many styles of content are unique to specific demographics and outside the range of what you are yourself encountering when you use the Internet.  You may even find yourself extolled to forego these channels of communication and return to the physical realm of real interpersonal networking and socializing.

 

One example of connection is what happens in a coffee shop, clearly.  So many creative types find themselves drawn to coffee shops for the conversation, but they appeal to many, many others regardless of the propensity to show up as creatives or not.  In some coffee shops you can take advantage of free Wi-Fi, as well, so if you are not there to read materials like books or newspapers, or to take advantage of the opportunity to eavesdrop, you could be there for the purpose of availing yourself of the Internet in a public atmosphere as well.

 

I took a photo of a coffee shop from the vantage point of just outside the drive-through lane, where you can see people getting their wares to go while inside the restaurant is very busy and active.  I hope you like it.

 

2017-12-30
Coffee shop on a wintery Saturday

I took a second photo, as well, because while a public spot like a coffee shop is a tangible meeting place to “connect,” I don’t want to overlook the fact that in the same plaza where I took the first photo there is a camera shop, which I couldn’t resist photographing given that I am participating in a photography course.  I am sure they sell high-end cameras in there, although I have never traversed the premises except to walk by.  You can see, though, the highlights of their gear on the sign hanging above it, and that idea reinforces what is often the end result of connections forged:  the image captured.

 

2017-12-30
Camera store sign

Particularly when smartphone images go straight to social media, when a noteworthy moment has occurred, it goes almost without saying that these are the tools of the Internet, and I wanted myself to quickly capture the photo and return to blogging.

 

The first five days of the exercise were delayed mid-course by the arrival of Christmas and by the extreme winter conditions, as well as my general procrastination trying to think how best to tackle the course.  The course is written for beginner-level photographers, and I am a beginner, but a little more seasoned than that, I think, as I have been taking photos consistently since the beginning of 2013.  It is five years of taking photos, so perhaps I should own up and admit that I have put a little work into the hobby of photography, however much I admit I’ve never been schooled.

 

Connections are formed on the Internet on a nonstop basis and while the minutia of examining the human trait of connecting can be evaluated in a myriad of scopes and designs, the connections that consistently strike me as the most interesting among humans are the way people intently gravitate to assigning their lives to the Internet and presenting themselves on social media and elsewhere in a way that has never been done, where individualism and self-representation have never been done in such an unchecked manner.