In What Ways Might We Find a Little Magic in Affirming Halloween?
Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is a yearly remembrance on 5 November, in the United Kingdom. I was there twenty years ago, in 1999, and the festivities I saw that fifth of November delighted me. I drifted among village people carrying an effigy of the infamous Guy Fawkes in procession and then setting him ablaze, burned.
He had been a traitor. Here, back in Canada, on Halloween, 31 October, of course, I get a little remorseful that I have let some fine moments pass by since, without being in the same kind of high spirit that night in the English village I was visiting.
Years later, I continue to enjoy seeing the leaves change colour, and I like seeing candy on store shelves, and spooky house decorations. I always think I could get myself a few costume elements–maybe this year will be the year I make good on my promise. I experience occasional brief pangs of regret for having spent years with less beauty and sensation as I would have liked, in my youth.
Even with as much opportunity as we have in the West, fiscal and personal and soul-satisfying, too, the calendar pages keep turning. There could be so much in the world that invigorates. I can think of one example in particular.
On the off chance that you’re visiting Iceland in winter, you are most likely wanting to see the Northern Lights, or the aurora borealis. The Northern Lights can be seen from pre-winter to spring, with the most obvious opportunity being during the nighttimes of the winter months.
I think of a kind of magic there could be, viewing a sky like that. If I think of seeing that, but never, I can start to feel sad. If you have the calling, you may need to go somewhere like that, to feel as though you have lived properly.
Where I live, we enjoy Halloween candy and costumes. Halloween is not officially celebrated in Iceland, so it can be thought of a blessing that in this culture, in Canada, we celebrate Halloween, Americanized Halloween. In the United Kingdom, individuals hold Halloween parties where they take on the appearance of phantoms, skeletons or other frightening figure. In that respect, Canada’s the same as there.
I tweet occasional content that I think could be valuable for the right reader, lots of it trending and about my life and yours. If you want to share in these riches, click me up at https://twitter.com/findingenvirons
What the app does is find webpages for the purpose of putting content on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Looking at it, I saw I needed to think of keywords for content that are both honest about what I am interested in doing, and valuable to people looking at me on Facebook and on Twitter. The reality of whether the more fringe areas of my research were or weren’t going to fly in the face of other people squarely confronted me.
Some of my ideas just weren’t going to work, I saw. Our Facebook page is small, but those people aren’t going to be swayed, I now believe, by where I had ben putting my nose if I am being transparent.
There is an idea in business that employees don’t work for the boss, that in fact, the boss works for the employees. I am an SMM, but I work for the people who like the page. I don’t have the freedom to indulge every avenue I want to if I don’t want to turn off the people I speak to, and it is probably true that new people I might interest will have similar sensibilities to those who are already involved.
I am proud of the community of minions I am part of on Twitter, and it is probably where I find the most depth in understanding the world apart from here. I realize now that I can’t expect any newcomers to have any different opinion than those with who I already have some connection. I hadn’t been aware this was a problem, and without my input a solution presented itself.
I had envisioned that I would find a strategy to make this work when the time came. With fresh eyes, I began to see how to better use my content tools going forward. In the process, I became, in a small way, a more honest person, at least more honest about what I am doing on social.
As the Buddhist maxim asserts: “Never lie, cheat, or steal.” I got a little more spiritual, yesterday, you might say. It was unexpected all the same.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day. I’m a Canadian every other day of the year.
When I was a boy, my godmother bought me a coffee table book celebrating Ireland. It followed that in grade school, I thought to turn a work assignment about other countries into homework on the subject of Ireland. I flipped through the book to do the research (that I could do at that age) for the teacher.
The photos in the book illustrating Irish women helped shape my attitudes to the fairer gender, as well. I briefly visited the UK in the fall of 1999, but I didn’t go to Ireland.
There is a friend I know whose parents are Irish. This friend is not fond of the English, despite what I know from grade school about the role the English played shaping Canada.
At the same time, this person has a different understanding of how the Irish fared in history than I have got. That said, when my mother asked me the other day whether I am prouder of Dublin or Belfast, I found myself answering Belfast. Until then I didn’t know I felt that way.
I was born in 1977, two days before St. Patrick’s Day. My mom and dad named me Patrick, after my father’s late brother Patrick. This uncle died when he was a young man, in a motorcycle accident (he was riding). My name remembers this Uncle Patrick of mine, and of my brother and sister.
My mom and my father’s mother had a bond. When my mother was young, the two women would speak to each other privately having a coffee or Coca-Cola together or the like.
Another time In grade school I was instructed to ask questions about the family line. I brought to my paternal grandmother the question of the origin of our name.
I never knew my paternal grandfather. He’d died before I was born. I suppose I assumed we are an Irish family.
My grandmother let me know that the surname she took when she married is Welsh, of all matters. At that age, I was not aware that Wales is a principality of Britain, or otherwise knew anything about it.
Many years later my brother took a strong interest in the Irish. He went backpacking there with one or two of his friends.
He later researched our family line, and he learned of many of our living relatives in Ireland. I am sure it is an Irish family, whether the surname is Welsh.
I work for my father as a cemetery groundskeeper. When we were at the cemetery yesterday, handling a funeral, for which we were responsible, to my surprise, as we wrapped up our clean-up, we saw a hailstorm!
The spring solstice ahead: it doesn’t feel like it. Last week my father reminded me of the old expression, “In like a lamb, out like a lion.” That’s what my father was predicting for the month of March here.
About Ireland, I know it is hard when times are tough, and I am empathetic of others experiencing suffering. If you are Irish or love the Irish, God bless you. It’s your chance this day, as it is every year, to be Irish.
I hope you’re having a great day. Naturally, you are welcome to “like” this post, to follow my blog and/or to comment. Thank you for having an interest.
Ten years ago the gaming company Paizo introduced the first season of the tabletop RPG Pathfinder to the public. In the nine years since each year there’s been an additional season until now we are Season 10. Each season brought with it new ideas for players of the role-playing game.
In 2016 the Humble Bundle website again made Pathfinder available in exchange for its usual “pay-what-you-like” model. Humble Bundle accepts funds for charity in exchange for what are usually digital materials for gaming. It was season six when I saw the opportunity on Humble Bundle to make a charitable donation in exchange for a lovely gaming bundle of digital materials for Pathfinder.
My twitter handle is @findingenvirons and my blog is found at https://findingenvirons1.blog …so that’s why I wanted to learn some of the rules of Pathfinder. Pathfinder is a fantasy environment to explore and combat. Characters representing players of the game are customized to keep many choices open when players put together a class, ancestry, and background.
Looking into what’s happening with Pathfinder, I went to Pathfinder publisher Paizo’s blog. I saw that Wednesday, February 13, 2019 Paizo announced that they are preparing version two of Pathfinder to improve upon the existing game. Playtest is over, so what’s the plan? https://paizo.com/community/blog
At this time Humble Bundle has brought back its offer of accepting funds for charity in exchange for more digital materials of the game, now in Season 10.
For $8 (about CA$10.58) Pathfinder game supplements Shattered Star 1 and 2 of 6 are included, along with several digital gamebooks for Pathfinder. For $15 (about CA$19.84) Shattered Star 3 and 4 of 6 become available along with many others. For $18 (about CA$23.80), all of Shattered Star unlocks, along with many, many others.
Version Two will be streamlined, but consistent, with the original design of Pathfinder. Tactical play will remain similar. Likewise, magical items will be similar to how they were in the first version.
On August 2nd Paizo started playtesting to ensure that Pathfinder version two will be as fun and as effective to play as the original version. Paizo made the reveal at Gen Con 2018.
Although I’ve never, strictly speaking, been part of playing Pathfinder, being familiar with how of the game works is of interest to me. It reminds me of playing Dungeons & Dragons, which is where the game Pathfinder began (creators of Pathfinder at first intended it to be a refinement of D&D’s “3.5”). I may pursue Season 10 for my own reasons, to get additional insight into Pathfinder, so that I better relate to players of the tabletop RPG.
It is exciting to think that this new edition is becoming available after ten years of popularity already.
To get a more accurate picture of what’s happening with Pathfinder, I turned to Quora for information. Although perhaps odd, I put my question to Quora this way: How would you recommend I proceed in anticipating the Pathfinder RPG version two?
Monday I received four answers.
Todd Gardiner, from Hieroglyph Photography, said this:
“If you anticipate an upcoming product, I would recommend you buy it.
“Not really sure what other advice you are seeking here. ‘How do I anticipate something?’ isn’t really a question most people ask.”
Given his constructive criticism, I see the value of his advice.
Ryan Marshall, the author of Gishes & Goblins, answered this way:
“Try not to worry about it, until it’s actually published. The beta test of the rules was a wide departure from the first edition, but it was also poorly received, so there’s no way to anticipate the scope of the changes they might implement.”
This was a problematic answer because Marshall is saying that the beta test possibly won’t stand the test of a comparison to the first version of Pathfinder. This is a very different point of view than the other three answers I received.
Steffen Häuser, playing Pen&Paper Games for 30 years, had this to say:
“Just play them. Me and my friends who before played 5e got ourselves some copies of the printed beta rules (available on amazon) and just started playing. Imho 2nd edition pf is hugely better than both dnd 5e and Pathfinder 1st editiob” (sp).
In contrast to Marshall’s answer, Steffen here is offering the point of view that the new version is superior to the first. A complete opposite of Marshall’s opinion!
Nelson Cunnington, a player since the 70s, said this:
“You need a plan to anticipate something? I can only suggest the usual eager looking-forward, interspersed with impatience that it isn’t coming quicker and depression that it hasn’t happened yet.”
I think Cunnington is looking at the situation with humor.
I did get one more answer a few days later. This is what one “Richard Bachman” had to say:
“I would avoid major purchases of Pathfinder 1 books until you see how things shake out in your area. If I enjoyed Pathfinder 1 (which I do), I would personally feel no need to change editions unless all my friends insisted on doing so and I could no longer find Pathfinder 1 games.”
Another fine response.
I hope the publisher Paizo continues to be successful, and also earns many charitable donations. Humble Bundle facilitates charitable giving in exchange for the enormous value of digital materials for play.
If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” follow me and/or comment. If you play Pathfinder, I am particularly interested!
Paizo Announces Pathfinder Second Edition for Summer 2018
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Just the other day, I saw a WordPress blogger asking for debate if secularisation is good or bad. She defined it, and I take it she means the decline of the influence of religion, like, for example, the power of the Catholic Church, on society around the world.
This year I made time to read Cormac McCarthy’s book The Road, a novel about a man and his son trying to survive some time from now in the future when society no longer exists as it did previous to the events in the novel. I think of church attendance preventing circumstances in our world like that in this Cormac McCarthy book.
If strong leaders utilize the unitary values of religious institutions in a way that helps people lead lives of better prosperity, it would be likely, I think, that people will make better progress in the world, decreasingly supernatural as it is.
Reading The Road, I didn’t think much supernatural dread happened to the characters, probably in part because to create their own resources they were too hard pressed to deal with the spiritual implications of society being at an end.
If I think about secularisation as it could relate to the plot of the novel, I think that the leaders of the world which existed before the events of the book have failed in their ability to keep the structure of its society intact. Maybe this owes to an overall weakness in the story’s idea of religious institutions, but I can’t that except by thinking it is a possibility, judging that religious symbols seem to exist in the book. The man on the road is a little like Jesus, set apart from others by his singularity.
There isn’t an explanation for readers of The Road why society ended–it is a question only that it is gone, and how a much harder reality supplants it, the “road” of the title.
Isolation is the new struggle to overcome adversity, instead of questions like how did the world’s institutions fail and what can be done now, in their absence.
The novel’s interesting because society as a whole is over and done and there is no solution available. It is a story of apocalypse.
The man traveling in isolation with his son seems unconcerned if there were religious institutions before society fell to pieces. I don’t see why there wouldn’t have been institutions–in every other detail I can think of in The Road it matches the world as it’s known today, which leads me to think that parts of the world in the book weren’t secularised, as our world in real life remains only in part secularised today.
I tend to think that order would fragment in the event of too much secularisation because people need to feel that there is something supernatural about their lives, that they owe something to God.
I am optimistic about trusting religious authorities because I see a sphere of religious influence making a more positive outcome for our world.
I am glad to have had an opportunity to write a few thoughts on how thinking back to reading The Road helped me articulate an opinion on secularisation.
I was likewise glad that I took time this year to read the book by Cormac McCarthy, as well as having read Bethany’s post asking about secularisation. The Road is the only title of McCarthy I am familiar with, but the cover of the paperback copy I read advertised that it had sold well.
If you enjoyed this post, you’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or “subscribe.”
Between 2011 and 2018, WordPress organized weekly photo challenges. These essays provided inspiration for bloggers to publish photos in their posts. The final photo challenge was the thirtieth of May this year, but after the surprise came that the challenges were finished, I think I will continue to blog with photos I’ve taken.
If and when other ideas come to mind, I will introduce them into the same blog, but I feel I should continue with similar enthusiasm to what I had when I was reading the photo challenges, over the last two or three years.
To get the answer what to do next, after the photo challenges ended, I turned to Quora, the site where users can pose questions and provide answers for others with a question – https://www.quora.com/
A couple of my old friends use Quora. A wonderful answer was provided by Ms. Jennifer Marshburn. What I could do next, she elegantly wrote, drawing on both her own experiences as a blogger and what she learned from similar circumstances.
The photo I took yesterday morning is of trees, in the city, sheltering a schoolhouse underneath a fabulous blue sky. I want to feature it as it is the first time I have decided for myself to be challenged to take a photo and say a few words. At the moment I took it, I was relieved I finally had an idea.
WordPress has been nothing but great fun. In my case, it’s been an addition to the work I do as part of a not-for-profit cemetery in its junior operations. You can find us on the Internet here – http://www.maplelawncemetery.org/
There are a couple of other sources I would like to mention that provide additional inspiration.