Mermaid’s October 2018 WordPress Tea Party

Louth United Church, St. Catharines

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

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

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

To Reach Personal Happiness

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Dimensions: 2304 x 3456
Photographer: Javier Molina

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

 

A guilty pleasure.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

Dimensions: 5760 x 3840
Photographer: Raymond Sam

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

D&D
D&D game in a window display

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

 

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

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.

Asking if Secularisation of a Society is Bad

Leonardo da Vinci

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Leonardo da Vinci
Imitation of The Last Supper

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Dimensions: 3941 x 2931
Photographer: Iryna Tysiak

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

A New Challenge: Blogging Photos and Miscellanea

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018

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.

You can find her answers on Quora here – https://www.quora.com/profile/Jennifer-Marshburn

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.

Friday‎, ‎June‎ ‎08‎, ‎2018
Above the Schoolhouse

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.

Sources

How To Use Internet Images Responsibly For Blogs
Blog design mistakes you are probably making – and how to fix them

May 9 Weekly Photo Challenge: Place in the World

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm

It’s a small town here, but not so bad.

Not everything is working out at the moment–however, a hobby like blogging photographs in the spirit of the weekly photo challenges from WordPress is a welcome diversion. After a couple of false starts, the iced coffee I was drinking started to work its magic and I began thinking what I could photograph to represent myself online, on either Facebook or WordPress.

Something funny occurred: I was seated at a favorite bus stop of mine when traffic was stopped, mostly in the direction I needed to walk, to get home.

An older lady, the age possibly of a younger grandma, called out to the traffic ahead of her: “Hey! I’m taking a picture!” She raised her camera and I suppose she took the shot.

I was immediately inspired. Whether she was remotely aware of me seated at the bus stop as if I were headed in the opposite direction, I don’t know, but I thought that if she wants a picture here, then so should I. I was already thinking of taking a photo there as I enjoy that spot in town and in addition it gives an inkling of where I live.

1/250 sec. f/5.6 16.2 mm
Queen Elizabeth Way

Next time I am working up the courage to take a photo among strangers, perhaps I should try the same tactic. I don’t know if I have it in me, but it certainly would be nice to have that kind of gumption.

The car bumper I caught in the photo as the line of traffic moved on isn’t her vehicle, but one moving in the same direction behind her. Kind of an oversight, but it adds a wee bit of flavor to the other details I captured with the lucky shot.

Erica’s essay on doing a location reveal Wednesday is an article in the ongoing weekly photo challenges that are a dear hobby to many WordPress bloggers.

Be That You Would Rather Risk Temporary Shelf Life

Laneway

November 8, 2017, I published a post the day after Twitter began to permit tweets of a length of two hundred and forty characters, rather than the traditional hundred and forty.  It was one of those days that felt to me a touch helpless, or certainly awkward, and I’m not sure I responded adequately at the time considering many people on Twitter were clearly unhappy with the decision.

That was six months ago.  The social media conundrum has certainly multiplied since then.

Today I saw a blog post, Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Objects or People Older than 50 years, that inspired me to return to the post I wrote in November and curate it.  https://ceenphotography.com/2018/04/12/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-objects-or-people-older-than-50-years/  Cee suggested in one of the posts in her composition blog that photographers try the possible technique of desaturation in a photo.

I am just beginning to have the opportunity to enjoy browsing her blog, and I haven’t applied a technique like that very much, but I did give something like that a go when I curated my post https://findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2018/04/24/a-photo-of-harmony-do-you-agree/  I am going a stage further by reflecting on what Cee in her blog says about composition and techniques such as desaturation.

 In November I was thinking about WordPress’ Ben Huberman, who contributes essays to the WordPress photo challenges, and who wrote that bloggers should focus that week on the idea of Temporary, how it is things can be seen in the image that will no longer be there, as with autumn leaves in October.

Letting it out of the bag was a busy time.  I looked back at a photo I took Wednesday, October 15, 2014, when I was purer as a blogger, meaning not seen by as many (compared to me there are a lot of good ones).

It’s the trees shielding the cemetery and you can see the lane running behind Louth United Church.  Ben seems to be an understated champion of photography and also of blogging, with WordPress.

Where before I would have argued, if necessary, that the video capture look of the sky overhead reflected the idea of temporary all the more because everything that was in the sky had passed on, not content to be passively captured.

Now I think that desaturation in the photograph better suggests that the sight of the church is indeed temporary, where it had a congregation at one time but no longer does.  The sky overhead no longer looks so artificial and there is a hint that with time, as the church has grown very old, so too has the color of the photo faded and dispersed.

Laneway
Wednesday‎, ‎October‎ ‎15‎, ‎2014

I am a junior member of a not-for-profit that permits me some freedoms to explore possibilities with a blog, which you can see here for yourself.  We care for Maple Lawn Cemetery and we’re active on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

Serenity at a cemetery
Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Eventually, following Twitter’s decision in November to begin its fateful change, I decided to do the free ten-day WordPress Developing Your Eye I email course, which for me meant ringing in the New Year with it, the end of December and the beginning of January.

When Twitter began to include tweets with a character length of two hundred and eighty rather than plain a hundred and forty, I was dismayed the same as the others who disagreed strongly with the corner it turned.  At the moment, I didn’t know what that would say about the future… or the past, either.

Twitter continues to prosper and while I have adjusted my strategy, I remain interested in the modicum of relevance it possesses.  You’re welcome to “like,” “follow,” and/or comment.

May 2 Weekly Photo Challenge: Unlikely

Small town plaza

Today is Friday, May 4, 2018–May the Fourth is the day of the year celebrating the Star Wars canon of sci-fi. I’m not a filmmaker, although people involved in that kind of thing are certainly important 🙂 It is very nice to enjoy Star Wars on one of its most special days each year and to remember how much thought and calculation is why the original Star Wars film is so great.

On May 2, WordPress outlined a photo challenge for photography demonstrating a sense of the unexpected. To be honest, I don’t enjoy a wealth of the unexpected, but it happens from time to time that something is out of place and therefore notable.

The Monday of this week I was walking home from a jaunt when I sauntered by a little plaza here that caught me off-guard. I was on the other side of the street.

It is in the middle of expansion and redesign.

I thought at first it was being dismantled, oddly enough, but when I returned yesterday, having read the challenge the day before, I saw what was going on–money is going in.

I had reflected on this event because it was unexpected to me, that sign of development and growth when I tend to take a narrow view of progress these days. What do I know?

For me, it represented something unexpected. I was amused.

I took a couple of photos despite the overcast conditions of the afternoon. You can see the half-empty laundromat sign, the in-progress storefront, the cars signifying the value of the cozy little plaza to the town.

Small town plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That laundromat interviewed me for a job position ten or so years ago, before I was part of the not-for-profit I help operate with my dad. My job would have been to provide assistance with the washers and dryers, to take out the trash, and to make myself available a little for visitors to enjoy the Internet. This was easily an honest decade ago.

I nearly had the job. Like it or not, a neighbor I had at the time, an older friend named Doug discouraged me from starting over with the work I was lining up at the laundromat. He said I didn’t need it.

Local plaza
Thursday, May 3, 2018

That neighbor filled the role of brother to me, at a time when I was cordial but distant to my own brother, and I decided to abandon my plan to seek the entry work.

You know, you make a choice like that, and it is clearly significant, but it reflects how little work I actually accomplished doing until my dad retired and brought me on at the cemetery.

I had other concerns.

I remember, of the couple who ran the place, when I showed an interest in how the laundromat helped the street get online, the fellow told me to my face I seemed like Internet Terminus.

I wouldn’t trade the appropriated cool of time online for much else, however.

Ten years ago, common Internet platforms of today were a lot newer, such as Twitter and YouTube. I think Netflix was a service for DVD delivery.

I hate checking my facts. Try writing that bluntly and see how it feels. As a blogger, I am interested in being honest, and there is always that propensity to lie, to seem bigger or better than I am.

That’s quite a common phenomenon, I think.

Terminus is also the title of a sci-fi film available on Netflix. It’s the one about rejuvenation.

May the Fourth Be With You.

Wednesday, May 2’s WordPress photo challenge is an essay by Michelle Weber.