Autumn Leaves, Favourite Memories, and Water Balloons

I have a nephew who this fall is beginning his university education at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.  I took classes at Queen’s University in 1996 and 1997.  We were reflecting this afternoon on Mack’s decision to move to Kingston for the university, me along with my parents, and with my brother’s wife, my nephew’s mother.

 

These days I have an occasional interest in photography and I take photos at the cemetery where I help tend the grounds.  You can find the website for our cemetery here.  It can be a quiet spectacle.  If I stand in the right spot, I can see the lay of the land, the stones jutting out of the ground beneath the colorful treetops.  When the Fall is here, though, we won’t have much time, because as the temperature drops we spend less and less time taking care of the outdoors, and we move inside the church on the property.

 

Louth United Church (disbanded 2006)
October 9, 2013

When I was a Queen’s University Freshman in the Fall of 1996, the students were told to represent their divisions, whether it was Arts & Science, where I was allotted, or Commerce, or Fine Arts, and so on.  One September day during Frosh Week the students were given balloons.  The balloons got to be filled with water, and soon we were in a game of water balloons, instructed to take on our rivals with a sneak attack, and threw water balloon after water balloon onto the other team.

 

While it wasn’t businesslike, it didn’t strike me as strange after the days of parading and getting to know the campus of the school.  What was a bit nonsensical, and I know I’m honestly a bit nonsensical myself, is that after the water balloon launch, my team were sat down in a lecture hall and admonished for doing such a lowly thing!  A girl, more experienced, took the podium and told us how far we’d sunk for interfering with the flow of the Frosh Week.  Novice though I was, I was astonished at the lesson we were being given.

 

My pride was injured.  I felt the sting of rebuke as I sat and heard the bad of what we had done.  As we took off after the lecture, most of us probably indifferent to the foolishness that had come down on us, I personally was a little more stiff with anger, and also on a path to greater rebelliousness.  It didn’t seem like irony to me that we had played this prank, and been caught.  It had been part of the fun, and it was wrongful.

 

I don’t reflect on this much, although I think now it was a lesson in doing the right thing and in showing respect.  Perhaps it wasn’t; I should have asked if the girl who handed down to us the words of shame was taking advantage of an opportunity, and what was behind her stern talk.  Nowadays, I snap photos and write and blog and participate in social media.  I’ve mostly forgotten about what happened with me and the other Arts & Science Frosh and the water balloons.

 

Maple Lawn Cemetery
October 9, 2013

The leaves at the cemetery change color, of course, and it is a passing joy to capture the image.  Even without a photographic record, it is a calming presence at the cemetery as the green disappears.  The days cool off slowly, and we take our time keeping the grounds in order.  Fall is a lovely season and a favorite time of year for me.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Like Sunshine the Future is Welcome

WordPress provides a series of supportive prompts, including Daily Prompts which these days are typically one word, designed to get participating bloggers writing about similar themes at the same time (often unbeknownst to one another).  I check the Daily Prompt when I think of writing a blog post, and today’s prompt is the word, “glaring,” which interests me because I immediately think of what is glaring that is obvious.  I relate the word glaring to the phrase glaringly obvious.  The prompt is here:  glaring

 

I think some about video, which is an extraordinary innovation in 2017, and which is provided for consumers at many levels, both amateur and professional (and in between).  The word video, as I understand it, typically refers to video content, which is videos that are assembled in relative entirety, or in sequential formats, possibly to inform, and often to entertain.  For example, the king of social media, Facebook, is debuting today original video inside the “Watch” tab on your Facebook account.  I presume this debut is coming across the U.S., but I think I have to wait to teach myself the “Watch” tab rather than seek out too much additional instruction (and thus feel the element of surprise), as I am at home in Canada.  You can learn a little more about the “Watch” tab on Facebook in the U.S. here:  https://techcrunch.com/2017/08/09/facebook-watch/

 

00001. While the news doesn’t make the same waves in Canada, it is just one more aspect of video in 2017 that indicates that if you are marketing content for business purposes, you need to be afield in video content.  Personally, I help operate a not-for-profit with a small following on Facebook, and while we’re short of the mark where the potential to show video content exists, at least we are somewhat informed as to what is happening with small business and the Internet and we are persisting with some hopes for video in the future.  Visit us here:  

https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited

A summer funeral
Peter checks that the cemetery plot is complete the day of the funeral.

You are welcome to network with us by clicking what WordPress, like Facebook, calls, “like,” if you have an interest in what I am posting.  You can also click, “follow,” on my blog, if you want more content along the lines what I am writing, and you can also leave a comment.

Brief tips for keeping up

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, as you should know, setting goals is 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.

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  • Read success stories and comparing 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 to 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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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 can do relate, and in fact have found help.  You can “like” and/or “follow” as well.  Thanks!

A Partnership in Operations, in the Real World and also on WordPress

My father Peter and I look after operations at Maple Lawn Cemetery, a little graveyard where families continue to lay their loved ones to rest.  I’m not entirely sure between the two of us who thought we should involve our efforts with social media, with https://www.facebook.com/LouthUnited … but we do, and I know from the Internet that blogging is an important component of branding businesses of all sizes.  I had the idea to tailor a blog to activities both inside and outside of the cemetery, and I am only these days beginning to narrow its focus so that it is both a heart on the sleeve and also offering some acumen of what we get up to as a two-partner not-for-profit http://maplelawncemetery.org/

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Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word partner… https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/partner/ …and my dad and I have been restructuring the work we do lately in order to accommodate changing experiences we’re encountering as we continue to maintain the cemetery (we began in 2013).  Dad worked for the municipality for many years and much of that time was spent in the office of the municipal cemetery where he played the role of a boss.  Similarly, at Maple Lawn, Peter functions in the role of a boss as we both look after operations which from my point of view chiefly include summertime caretaking and some duties in the disbanded church, Louth United, which is on the street running in front of the cemetery we look after.  What we’re really doing at the present is weighing how effectively we are carrying out duties caretaking the cemetery, and we do that without the benefit of the guidance of a Board of Directors or anyone else evaluating what we’re about, but not without the input of my mother and Peter’s wife Linda, who listens a little to what we have to say about what we’re getting done at the graveyard.

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For about the last three years, I’ve been blogging with relative frequency, and although the theme of the blog probably seems a little unclear, it is like that primarily because I don’t have much partnership to draw upon when I am thinking about what to say for the blog.  I found myself settling upon drawing on the WordPress Daily Prompts and Weekly Photo Challenges for ideas what to say because that other bloggers use the WordPress prompts will be similarly finding themselves challenged to write posts with the spark of inspiration engendered by those prompts.  Ultimately I have found myself beginning to face the need to rewrite earlier posts I have put together so that they remain relevant and with the most direct aspects of the prompts written out as the specific prompts in question have fallen by the wayside.  I think what I have is a blog that resembles an eBook written at random and gradually entering the phase of its life in a state of the “second draft,” which is what I am doing now.

 

If you can relate to what I have on the go here, feel free to “like,” “comment,” and/or “follow.”  I am open to the possibility of looking on at your own blog, and if you do respond I can look at an example of one of your blog posts so I can relate to you.  Above all else, my blogging efforts are fun and are really only useful from the point of view of experimenting with a blog while keeping it grounded in my real world activities of working and learning.  Thank you for reading, and all the best to you.

 

A Reflection of Where I am with this Blog

I have decided to begin curating blog posts which I wrote in the past, starting with this first entry originally published July 10, 2014.

 

Blogs are commonplace for many.  Mine has provided a good deal of insight for me as people have seen and reacted to it.  If you do any writing, a blog is a very helpful way to establish one’s name as a writer.  Sometimes it goes with a change of direction.  For example, a fact may have come to light of which you were unaware.  If you have fears about becoming known to the public, a blog may not be the best way to talk on the Internet.  Or, perhaps, if you have run out of time, and have new responsibilities emerging in your life, or simply new interests being cultivated, making a blog has become less of a priority than you thought it would be.  However, the decision to blog is a significant one, and making the choice to blog from a unique angle may work in your favor as you develop your blog for the Internet, and get you the result you desire.

 

My head these days is busy, all the more so what with social media.  There is a wealth of information on the social media phenomenon, long in the running and with little sign of stopping.  Although blogging is a popular hobby, trying to inject for yourself your entry to the mix while remaining professional (and therefore detached).

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/category/daily-prompts/

For quite some time now, I have been taking advantage of the prompts WordPress offers, both their daily prompts and their weekly photo challenges.  The Internet is a wonder of our time, and it would be amiss not to present a helping hand to others.  It is often a normal part of day-to-day living, and taking a look into the realm of digital communications pays off in various ways, which I will leave to your imagination.  At the very least, the activity of writing in this blog is a soothing balm for me, when I write for this blog.  I hope that you will give me the benefit of the doubt.  If you enjoyed this post, feel free to, “like,” comment, and/or follow my blog.  All the best to you.

August 7, 2013
Disbanded in 2006, Louth United Church stands in front of Maple Lawn Cemetery, the not-for-profit we maintain

For Art’s Sake a Collage

I’ve been under a lot of stress lately but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to continue blogging.

 

To circumvent certain difficulties I refer to the WordPress Daily Prompts and the Weekly Photo Challenges when I am thinking of blogging.  I feel this way I am on the same level as other participants in these WordPress suggestions for blog entries.  The Daily Prompts typically refer to a specific word of the day as a launching point to write a blog post, and the Weekly Photo Challenges are essays which inspire blog posts with photography in mind.

 

This week’s Photo Challenge is to a prepare a photo collage for your blog.  This is fun.  It is artistic and it requires a little bit of work to put together something with quality.  I took four photos I took recently and reassembled them into a collage which I am including for you here.  I will take a moment now to explain what the photos mean and if they amount to anything as a whole.  A collage is what has been assembled.

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The photo on the top left shows a tree at the cemetery where I work.  I co-direct operations at this little out of the way cemetery in my town (and you can visit it on the Internet at http://maplelawncemeteryorg.ipage.com/oldchurchcemetery/ which is the website).  The tree stands on the side of the driveway around the church which divides the cemetery from the church proper (the congregation disbanded in 2006).  The tree represents for me a point of interest because it is elevated above the shed where we keep the riding mower I utilize the cut the cemetery grass.  It is a dividing point on the property and it means to me a focus or orientation, which serves as a subtle boundary.  The focus is important to me as without the power to focus, and this is something which for me is a personal struggle, I would be far less productive as an individual and therefore mired.

 

The photo to the right of that is the image of a claw which is dismantling a closed-up building unit which for some time in the past comprised a bar.  It isn’t far from where I live and the construction activity depicted occurred most recently.  For me, the opposite of boundaries is destruction, which is what I think I fear and what it is possible many individuals fear.  The contrast between the stability of the tree overlooking the cemetery shed and the breakdown of urban sprawl lends itself to art, as in opposites side by side illustrating change.

 

The third photo, to the left and beneath the image of the tree, is a local high school in the evening with a magnificent sky overlooking it.  Where the illustration of the difference between peace and destruction is on display at the top, the photo of the high school is an institution of human development which is quite far intellectually from the depicted notions of security and of destruction.  It helps to reflect on the student body which occupies the school three-quarters of the year and to think about how it is they relate to the images of change which are above the photo.  Whereas specifics of change are illustrated in the top two photos, the high school helps reflect a flow of ongoing change.

 

Lastly, the fourth photo shows a bonfire, which is literally being employed to burn branches at our cemetery, and which helps illustrate the notion of spiritual, I think, because what isn’t necessary to the cemetery is destroyed.  The photo collage tries to capture both positive changes, in the images of the tree and of the school, and likewise negative withdrawal, where the claw and the fire show what is symbolic of being taken down.  A straightforward contrast such as this helps fulfill its necessity as art.

 

If you enjoyed what I shared, feel free to, “like,” “follow,” and/or “subscribe” to my blog.  I hope to continue, and if you are moved by this entry, I welcome your input and perhaps I will even go so far as to visit your own blog myself.  All the best to you!

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Thinking I Have Been Misguided

An Internet newsletter I read included an interesting 2007 interview I read last night with filmmaker Werner Herzog

brickmag.com/was-the-twentieth-century-a-mistake/

The films the writer of the article points to include Nosferatu the Vampyre, Aguirre the Wrath of God, and Fitzcarraldo, three which I viewed quietly when I was in college, specifically in the year 1999 when such things were far less frequently available. One of my college essays included a few of my observations about Herzog, and, perplexingly enough, my teacher mentioned the last day we spoke to each other that he was planning himself to write a book about Herzog, to establish the young man who taught me himself, as a writer. The interview included a peculiar observation Herzog made in the 2007 interview, in which the filmmaker is quoted as saying: “Adventure! I cannot stand the term adventure nowadays—I lower my head and charge—it has degenerated into such an obscenity that you can go to the travel agency and book an adventure trip to New Guinea, to the headhunters, to the cannibals.”

I was reminded of my blog post two days ago:  findingenvirons1.wordpress.com/2017/06/24/what-might-have-been-adventure-can-show-the-rust/ which included in its title the unfortunate word Adventure. I think I must correct the impression it left, but, to the blog post’s credit, it did receive the attention and interest of a blogger with a much, much larger profile than I have, beautybeyondbones, who compared to me you should read, and you can find her most recent post at the time of this writing at

beautybeyondbones.com/2017/06/22/the-exploitation-by-to-the-bone/

Compared to me, she’s very good.

That being said, today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word, “Local,” and I think how hard it is to be by and large confined to the area which is local for me and still to feel like there is a contribution I can make. I am not easily discouraged, but I think compared to someone like beautybeyondbones, who has gone through tremendous suffering and come back strong, I wonder what kind of insight I can conjure. I think again, however, and I remember it is true that if you have any interest in doing business in 2017, you should definitely have a blog and update it regularly. I sometimes tweet links to articles that argue for the importance of blogging, and, I feel the odd person who clicks through what I share on Twitter about blogging sometimes must resonate. You can find me on Twitter here

findingenvirons

It is nearly ready for a summer update, but that must by necessity and for scheduling reasons be left for several days from now, which is what I’ve decided.

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There is a plentitude of blogging advice available on the Internet, but the best advice I know of is this tidbit. You should generally not tell people what to post. Any passion, any recipe for inventiveness or what is usually referred to as authenticity, should not be filtered out of an individual’s content for the sake of conveying expertise. It is not a good idea.

The WordPress photo challenge this week has been an essay on the subject of Transience, and while I expressed an interest in the essay in my previous blog post I did neglect to include a link to the actual essay, in case you wish to read it. It is here

photo-challenges/drifter/

I shall include another photo, which I think implies transience, simply for the oversight of not actually linking to the essay which inspired the blog post which beautybeyondbones briefly evaluated, impressing me greatly. If you are of a mind that a post like this is favourable to you, feel free to, “like,” “comment,” and/or, “follow.” I seldom know what this will turn up, but I was moved by the response to the previous blog post again and also what the Werner Herzog interview turned up (and that too you should consider reading in its entirety).

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