Fly By Nighters March 31, 2014Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging, Humor, People.
Tags: Blogs, Humor, People, Roderick MacIver
Comment threads on the blogs I follow are informative, entertaining, silly, happy, funny, and thoughtful.
It’s great when a post sparks thought-provoking comments from diverse and varied visitors. Comments that make me sit up and say WOW! often inspire me to head round and meet the blogger on their home turf.
That said, some “fly by nighters” need to brush up on comment etiquette:
* X scrolls through partial posts on his reader at lightning speed, pressing “LIKE” for each . . . without bothering to read them first.
* Y slows down long enough to leave comments in his wake, but most are banal . . . and often off putting. Colonialist gave a terrific example once upon a time:
Post: My whole family was wiped out today. I am distraught.
* Z hasn’t been around for weeks. She rushes in, out of breath from cruising around 47 other blogs during a 15-minute blog break, blitzes through 12 posts in 3 minutes, leaves cursory comments on each . . . AND expects us to believe she read each post.
All of us have days when our comments don’t flow ~ sometimes it’s a slow go, other times a no go. That’s to be expected.
But if we act like X Y or Z on a daily basis, perhaps we need to rethink our practices and priorities? Are we following the blogs we follow because we enjoy reading them . . . or for some other ulterior motive?
Aah . . . that’s better!
* * *
Artwork available at Roderick MacIver Arts. Rod conveys nature with brilliant brushstrokes. The beauty of Rod’s watercolors lies in his ability NOT to control all aspects of the water ~ he allows it latitude to do its thing while he does his. The result speaks for itself.
OMPM: Television & Blogging March 14, 2014Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Life Balance, Mindfulness.
Tags: Blogs, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Television, TV
It’s been a long time since I wrote an OMPM: One Mistake People Make post.
Two posts I read yesterday spurred me to write this one.
(1) Maggie’s post ~ Land of the Free, Home of the Ignorant?
Maggie’s review of Susan Jacoby’s book, The Age of American Unreason, included Jacoby’s unreasoned opinion on blogging:
Blogs “spew forth, in largely unedited form, the crude observations of people who are unable to express themselves coherently in writing…”
Jacoby might be right . . . about some of the blogs some of the time.
But that doesn’t mean that we should make Jacoby’s mistake and lump all blogs together before dumping them into a single “waste” basket.
When blogs “spew forth, in largely unedited form, the crude observations of people who are unable to express themselves coherently in writing,” the solution is simple:
Stop following those blogs.
(2) Eric’s post ~ Wasting, Existing, or Thriving
Eric’s post has much to commend it, but his admonition about television lumps a panoply of education and entertainment into a very small “waste” basket:
4. And this one might get me in trouble… Turn off the TV. How many hours do you waste (see, we’ve come full circle to waste) in front of that screen? Lessen your attraction (addiction?) to it and find other things to do, things that will stretch or challenge you. Consider actions that will nourish your thriving.
Whether watching TV is a “waste of time” depends on the viewer. Engaging in any activity in a mindless way can be a waste of time ~ whether that’s blogging, listening to a podcast, watching TV, or reading a book.
It’s NOT the activity but the attention we bring to it that matters.
Most of us could never hope to experience all of that on our own even if Oprah agreed to finance our endeavors and we didn’t mind increasing our carbon footprint.
Of course, there’s also a lot of “empty fodder” out there. It’s up to us to pick and choose where to place our attention. See #1 on Eric’s List.
When we are actively engaged and enjoying ourselves (even if we are “only” chopping wood or carrying water or cooking dinner or watching TV or reading a blog), we are not wasting time ~ we are living in the now.
* weigh possibilities and make wiser choices
* reclaim the reins and honor our priorities
* enhance what we get out of every experience
By way of example, watching a short clip like this might help us plan a fun, exciting, and educational summer get-a-way for the whole family:
When we remain awake and aware, we find we have not wasted our time.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Addendum: David at Raptitude shared 15 Powerful Side Benefits of Living in the Moment. On TV viewing, he has this to say:
11. You become less attracted to passive entertainment like TV.
One of the big draws of television is that it’s an effective way of giving you a break from your thoughts at the end of the day. A mindfulness habit gives you frequent breaks from your thoughts throughout the day, and so you no longer need TV as a therapeutic device. You’re already “unwound” by the time you get there. It can still be entertaining, but your standards for what to watch will rise.
Passing the Hat . . . to Write February 8, 2014Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Books & Movies, Writing & Writers.
Tags: Crowdsourcing, Cyber Begging, Fundraising, Writers, Writing
The internet has changed the writing landscape in many ways:
* Writers can start a blog to gain a fan base.
* Writers can create a platform on Facebook to discuss work in progress.
* Writers can tweet about their new or soon-to-be releases to build interest.
And . . . they can pass the hat to sell their promised words BEFORE they’ve even set them down in digital ink.
Imagine if everyone could get paid for doing nothing.
* Would you pay a chef to create a meal that you might never get to taste?
* Would you pay a chauffeur to buy a car that you might never occupy?
* Would you pay an attorney for advice not yet proffered?
If not, why would you pay a writer (you’ve never met) to write a book you might never have a chance to read . . . because it hasn’t been written yet?
Internet Begging is BIG business.
There are hundreds of cyber begging sites designed to allow people to raise money to support the penchant for designer clothes, a desire for bigger boobs, or to create a fund of creative financing for creatives endeavoring to create creative endeavors before those endeavors have been created.
I’m all for supporting The Arts . . . but I’m not inclined to pay a writer for words not yet written.
* * *
What say you?
When people “pass the hat” to finance unfulfilled desires, are you inclined to toss money into the pot? Do you swing by Kickstarter on a regular basis to discover writing projects to support? If so, there are 15,828 potential publishing projects on Kickstarter from which to choose.
Or, like me, would you rather support writers by buying books AFTER they’ve been written?
Aah . . . that’s better!
Psst . . . I’ve Got A Secret January 10, 2014Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging.
Tags: Art, Blogs, Frank Warren, Lies, PostSecret, Truth
He started the PostSecret Project in 2004 by handing out 3,000 postcards on the streets of D.C. and asking people to mail in their secrets.
Who knew there’d be people in D.C. with secrets?
Since then, he’s received a mountain of secrets (more than 1/2 a million) from all corners of the globe.
He shares a few secrets each week on PostSecret.com, and he’s written 5 books and started a traveling art exhibit. In short, he’s making a living selling other people’s secrets.
PostSecret postcards profess to share real life issues, struggles, sadness, challenges, victories, and humor.
But do they do what they profess to do?
When communication is both anonymous and public, don’t we lose the ability to discern whether the communication is honest and heartfelt?
Especially when taken “out of context.”
Some postcards communicate issues, struggles, and challenges that real people have faced. Others, no doubt, are blatant lies and fabricated fictions submitted by people wanting to see if their “secret” would be made “public” by being posted on the web or included in a book.
And those in the audience may never know which is which.
If a “secret” is nothing more than an attempt to address a “taboo” topic in a sensational way to obtain free air time, what have we gained by being on the receiving end?
When a sensational and titillating secret is NOT true, are those in the audience “voyeurs” or something else?
Aah . . . that’s better!
Quotes to Ponder:
“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
~ Roald Dahl
“Man is not what he thinks he is, he is what he hides.”
~ André Malraux
Enough December 17, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Gratitude, Life Lessons, Poetry.
Tags: Blogs, Gratitude, Poetry, PTC, Word Play
A few years back, PTC asked guest bloggers to take the reins while she went off to enjoy a relaxing stay in “a posh spa” . . . a/k/a the hospital. As PTC is fond of wishing us “Enough,” I used that word as a catalyst for my Guest Post on Reflections from A Cloudy Mirror.
* * * * *
Sometimes when challenges seem too too tough
We cry out, “It’s too hard. Life is too rough.”
Tossed around like a lightweight powder puff
We collapse in a heap and scream “ENOUGH!”
Feeling like we can’t take any more guff
We grow angry and slam doors in a huff
Crossing our arms and sitting on our duff
We stare at the sky and shout out “ENOUGH!”
Then we hear a slight whisper from within
Urging us to stand up and try again
“Wipe away your tears and stop your crying
You cannot fail unless you stop trying”
The voice within knows that life can be tough
It nudges us when the going gets rough
Calming our fears, listening to our guff
It’s never far when we cry out “ENOUGH!”
Each day we decide which way to focus
We can choose gratitude as our locus
Instead of crying out, “Life is so tough!”
We stay in the moment, “Aah . . . that’s enough”
* * * * *
Related post: PTC’s “That Reminds Me” Muse
Don’t. Just Don’t. December 12, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Poetry.
Tags: Blogs, Dissection, Frog, Humor, Marilyn Monroe, Poetry
I enjoy posts on writing tips, and silly bits, and places you been, and things you’ve seen.
And FOOD. Food is cool, especially with photos that make me drool.
But no snakes, or snails, or puppy dog tails.
Or frog’s legs. Or pig’s ears. Or tongue.
I don’t enjoy posts that pull apart a perfect pleasant poem or painting and try to imbue it with esoteric symbolism NEVER intended by the original creator.
I saw three pompous twats doing just that on TV a few months back. They analyzed a stunning B&W photo of Marilyn Monroe eating a cheeseburger at a Drive-In . . . to the death!
Their rambling and posturing transformed a FUN photo into a mixed up muddled up mess of pseudo-intellectual sociological BS.
The trio’s ramblings transported me back to High School English.
In case you’re wondering, dissecting frogs in HS Biology is as unnecessary and unhelpful as dissecting poetry ~ to us, to the poems, and to the frogs.
Not that YOU would ever do that . . . but just don’t.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Inspiration for this post/editorial comment: Help Shape My Content With This Scientifically Validated Poll (Eric J. Baker).
* * * * *
Thanks to a mad twist of Hamlet’s Shakespearean soliloquy, Col selected me to host Haiku Monday this week ~ Enter at Haiku Monday ~ (A Twist of) Fate
7 More Unpolished Stones December 2, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging, Humor, Poetry.
Tags: Blogs, Clothing, Health, Humor, Poetry
Last time I created one of these impromptu posts of unpolished thoughts, people didn’t send up a roar of protest ~ at best, it was a whimper.
So, I’m going to do it again.
This time linking to specific posts which spawned my eclectic thinking:
1. Rainee did a post, It’s so easy to Avoid Doing Stuff, and ended by asking if we ever have days that don’t go according to plan. After a quick glance through various and sundry mental filing cabinets, I said:
Nope. Uh-uh. Never. All my days go exactly as planned.
As long as I PLAN to “go with the flow” and/or PROCRASTINATE.
2. Kate Crimmons wrote a fun and funny post, Is Anyone Really A Standard Size? While she focused on jeans, I considered my entire wardrobe:
I have every size clothing in my closet . . . and they all fit! I might be wearing XS, S, M, L, XL ~ it all depends on the manufacturer.
The only thing sure NOT to fit is the article marked “One Size Fits All.”
3. In Mother to Daughter ~ A Questionable Legacy, scientist and author, Joanne Valentine Simson, discussed the insidious messages girls receive from mothers and others. My experience was somewhat different:
I never remember being encouraged to downplay my intelligence in order not to compete with boys, nor do I remember being encouraged to pay undue attention to how I looked.
As a result I never got addicted to shopping for shoes or handbags.
I always knew I could be anything that I wanted to be. I never felt that my worth depended on who I married. When I married, I kept my maiden name and corrected people if they addressed cards to “Mrs. BFF” instead of using my name.
That said, my mother encouraged me to be a nurse because that was such a flexible profession for women. My father overheard her and said,”Why should she be a nurse? Why not a doctor?”
I fooled them both and went to Law School.
4. Kate Shrewsday did a fab post, The Priceless Art Bonfire, about the systematic destruction of religious artifacts during regime changes. My response:
Maybe it’s a good thing that some of these relics are no more.
One could wander museums from dawn to dusk for a lifetime and never see all the treasured antiquities “preserved for posterity.”
Perhaps we aren’t making headway in the HERE and NOW because we’ve spent too long staring over our shoulders at our posteriors?
5. Everyone’s got a story to tell . . . but not everyone is a storyteller:
Have you ever been “trapped” in a conversation that is going nowhere fast? Key facts are omitted, we circle back trying to scoop them up.
The story veers off in an unexpected direction and we wait, in vain, for it to return to the central thread.
In conversations like these, the temptation to interrupt is . . . intense.
6. BB’s publishing her first book of poetry. She solicited blurbs for the cover. Here’s mine:
After a round of golf (amid the kangas and the roos)
BB studies her school notes, then pens a poem or two
Her poetic blog is inspired, unequaled, without compare
And that’s because BB is full of . . . AU CONTRAIRE!
To see more of BB’s Bio Blurbs: Blurb Blurble Bloop ~ One Sentence Biography Competition.
7. In Choosing To Let Go, SuziCate addressed the benefits of “letting go” of the negatives (e.g., Anger, Doubt, Fear, Pain, Resentment, Jealousy). So true:
When we accept ourselves as we are . . . we accept others as they are.
We no longer feel the need to control “them” (e.g., by insisting on an apology). Instead, we choose to control our reactions to them.
Once we let our anger and resentment go (as well as our need for external approval) . . . “they” lose their power over us.
We are FREE at last. And FREE is the best place to BE!
Aah . . . that’s better!
Care to toss an “unpolished stone” into the comment pool?
The Ghosts of Posts Past October 29, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Blogs & Blogging, People.
Tags: Art, Blogs, Dogs, Ghost, Paddleboarding, Photography, Watercolors
Blogging is a cyber-microcosm of life.
Regular visitors come and go. Just like in the real world, there is a constant ebb and flow of people, places, things, and thoughts.
Reading comments threads from past posts reveal these ghosts.
People who stopped by to share their views on the world and then vanished without a trace into the vast reaches of cyber space.
Some ghosts are missed. We wonder where they wander now. Absence oft makes the heart grow fonder.
Others . . . not so much. Out of sight, out of mind.
Here’s to the ghosts of posts past whose haunting refrain lingers in our hearts.
Aah . . . that’s better.
We loved watching this guy paddle-boarding with two dogs just before sunset at the Anna Maria Pier last week. It looked like both dogs had been outfitted with U.S.C.G. approved flotation devices.
I invited Tigger to go paddle-boarding with me next time. He declined.
13 Unpolished Gems . . . One Stone October 25, 2013Posted by nrhatch in Blogs & Blogging, Fun & Games, Humor, Word Play.
Tags: Facebook, Fun & Games, Fundraising, Humor, Sex, Snark, WordPress
I always seem to have more ideas to write about than time to write ~ the more I write, the more ideas I have.
Maybe writing primes the pump and keeps ideas flowing.
In any event, given the ever-growing backlog of draft posts incubating in my cyber desk, I’ve decided to toss out 13 esoteric, eclectic, extraneous, and unpolished “hidden gems” for pondering and perusal.
Here goes nothing:
(1) There is NOTHING like looking at my TO DO list for the day and realizing that most of the items on it have already been DONE!
(2) Magazine titles make me snort. For example: 16 Songs That EVERYONE Over The Age of 50 MUST Have. Seriously? There is NOTHING that everyone over the age of 50 would agree on except, perhaps, how lame lists like this really are.
And I don’t care what Supertramp says ~ do NOT take the long way home if you’re already in a hurry.
(3) People often underestimate the time it takes to get to know someone. Even after all these years, I’m still getting acquainted with the “real me.”
(4) When you don’t know, go with the flow. Have faith that you’ll end up where you need to be when you need to be there.
Besides, let’s say you veer off course, how are you ever gonna know?
(5) While we’re on the subject of faith, do those who believe in a personified deity picture God with eyes, ears, nose, mouth, chin, arms, legs, hands, feet?
How about a dick? Or is picturing God with sexual organs a form of blasphemy?
(6) And what about Jesus? Did he masturbate in his teens, succumbing to “sins of the flesh” before he knew he would be sitting on the right hand of an all-knowing all-seeing all-powerful vengeful God? For all eternity.
(7) Ever notice how some people are addicted to the idea of being addicted? They claim their “addictions” (i.e., eating cookies and being a couch potato) are why they are fat and unhappy. Bad habits are NOT addictions. They are just a convenient way to abrogate responsibility for our personal health & well-being.
Care for a cookie?
(8) OMPM (One Mistake People Make) ~> Plastic Surgery for Pets. When dogs are overweight, they do NOT need liposuction.
They need to go for a WALK!
(9) And speaking of walks, I do NOT support Walk for the Cure. Rather than having masses of people moving from Point A to Point B to raise money, I’d rather see them planting trees, picking up trash, renovating apartments for the homeless, helping in soup kitchens, etc.
You know, raising funds by actually DOING something to improve the world.
(10) On that note, I DO support many causes . . . I just don’t let others goad me into adopting THEIR causes as my own. In the AmeriCorps program at Salisbury University, members mentored and tutored at-risk youth. They enjoyed making a difference in the community. And I enjoyed watching them make a difference.
What? I supported them by being a cheerleader. It’s not always about tossing money at problems.
(11) Which reminds me, I refuse to be manipulated by all the non-monetized awards circulating through cyber space. If people want me to play by the rules, give acceptance speeches, nominate more bloggers, spill my guts, post the award on my sidebar, etc., etc., etc., they should attach a stipend to the award!
Yeah, baby. Show me the money!
(12) Did you hear that Facebook is claiming a trademark for the “Thumbs Up” sign? Right! FB came up with the “Thumbs Up” sign the same way that Al Gore dreamed up the Internet.
In their dreams!
(13) Are you getting tired of the LIKE button? Don’t you wish WordPress would offer more creative options? Pressing “Thought Provoking,” “Hysterically Funny,” “Awesome Photos,” and/or “Wild Applause” for this post would be way better than pressing LIKE, right?
Can you give me a Thumbs Up?
Log out of FB first, to ensure you don’t get sued for Trademark Infringement.
Aah . . . that’s better!
Nothing like killing 13 “gems” with one stone. If any of these thoughts SPARK YOUR SNARK, speak up.
C’mon . . . get your SNARK on!
Need tips? Visit Kate. Oh, wait, Kate says she lost her SNARK. Hmm . . . I don’t buy it. Here’s some SNARK she shared just days ago in a post about Peace and Quiet.
Need more SPARK for your SNARK? Check out Col’s post, Wild Weekend, in which he shares a poem about tons of Hippo Poo being deposited where fish pee, eat, drink, sleep, and have sex.
Oh, he didn’t mention sex? My bad.