All posts filed under: Commentary

Where is Your Codex Vitae?

Is Codex Vitae a technical term for a part of your body or does it sound like a disease?  To answer that, I’m going to start you with Twitter, drag you through YouTube, and deposit you in a Book. Twitter – What do you Seek? Twitter receives a lot of criticism, but like everything else on the internet, the value is there if you take the time to look around. Think of Twitter as an almost endless series of doors. You open one door and if you don’t find anything of value, you can close it – but you might find another door there that is of more value to you.   It is through this exploration of doors that I have found a growing movement of people who don’t identify with ‘tribes’. They are open to listening to others they may not agree with. They have discussions and share ideas. Many of these people can be found at the Intellectual Dark Web Site. It’s the great agony and the ecstasy of the Internet today. …

First Big Snow – It’s a Home Day!

There is a reason why we talk about the weather so much here in rural Alberta… Early October, and it is the first big snow of the 2017-2018 Winter. The good news is: the UV and Pollen Counts are really low. The not so good news is that the tractor is still set up for mowing grass, not plowing snow.  More snow is in the forecast – possibly 20-30 cm (7-12in) in total. The Car Guy is doing an effort/time/temp/risk/reward ‘put blade on tractor’ analysis as I write this. I think he is going to take the optimistic approach – Mother Nature will remove the white burden for him by the end of this week. The photo above shows most of our ‘fleet’ docked on the driveway. None of them will be going anywhere until the snow melts and they can be moved into the garage for the winter. Hey car buffs – can you identify them with their snow coats on? A few days ago, it was still fall, though the temperatures were more …

This is my Crone Voice

On one of my recent ‘wanderings’ I came across the word ‘Crone’ or more specifically, the Crone Archetype. Initially, I had a not so pleasant vision of a ‘Crone’, but further reading made me realize that some might say I AM a Crone! Perhaps you are too. (If you are a man, then your corresponding Archetype would be Sage.) If you are a woman of a certain mature age, have abandoned the need for ‘properness’, are up front, and don’t mince your words – you might be a Crone. If you are seen as a being a straight talking mentor, occasionally a trifle crabby  and perhaps even  a bit flirtatious and sassy – you might be a Crone. If you have found an inner peace and accept who you are; if you are realistic and have practical expectations – you might be a crone. I ticked off a lot of the ‘You might be a Crone’ boxes. When I reviewed the content of my blog, my ‘Crone Voice’ was evident in so many of the …

The Upside to Absent-mindedness

For some reason there is a malfunction, some disconnect, between my imaginary hello and, well, my actual hello… Just know this: if you have ever passed me in the hall and I appeared to ignore you, it actually wasn’t like that at all… – Stuart McLean, The Vinyl Cafe Notebooks – An imaginary hello. Yes, that describes the greeting I sometimes don’t give. It’s caused (they say) by a condition called absent-mindedness (also spelled  absentmindedness or absent mindedness.) Often, I don’t even know that I’m being absent-minded. On other occasions, it is quite apparent: I search for my glasses and find them on the top of my head or I walk into a room but forget what I came there to do. I don’t think it is something to be stressed about. On the whole, my memory usually runs fairly smoothly and  I’m fairly adept at focusing when I need to. I see the shift into absent-mindedness as something that sets me free to think in abstract or creative ways – (that’s my story, and …

The Quippery

Increase Your Chances of Being Right

In “post-fact culture”, where rationality seems to vanish in the storms of lies and conspiracy theories, beliefs about the future are crucial. – Gapminder Data System – Are you smarter than a chimp? Watch this funny, entertaining and encouraging video to see how your knowledge compares to the chimps at the zoo. How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant. – TED Talk by the Gapminder Founders – What facts surprised you or made you think more positively about the future of the world?

The Quippery

When Do You ‘Put Your Affairs in Order’?

Unless your Doctor has given you notice that your ‘Best Before Date’ is rapidly closing in on your ‘Expiry Date’, you might not have thought about the most important thing you can do for yourself now AND leave for your loved ones when you depart this world. This important thing costs no more than a sheet or two of paper, but it is priceless. It is a List of All the Things you know now – but might not remember later. It is a list of things the Executor of your Estate won’t know until they have rifled through your desk, file cabinet and all sorts of places obvious and obscure – so that they can wrap up your estate and deliver it to your rightful heirs. Think about this: Do you keep your documents in obvious locations like your desk, file cabinet or a shoe box under the bed? Does your family know you also stash important papers in a fake cabbage (or lettuce) in the fridge, a former box for fish cakes in …

Do You Love the Skin You’re In?

Did you see the unretouched photo of actress Jamie Lee Curtis in 2002?  It was taken when she was 43 years old. Jamie insisted the photographer, Andrew Eccles,  shoot her with no makeup, no manicure, no hair styling – wearing only an exercise bra and underwear. She did not want the photo altered in any way. She said this was her contribution to stopping the Hollywood Myth of what women are supposed to look like. Of course, it isn’t just Hollywood that contributes to the myth. There is a Beauty Industry  with products and advertising to tell us how to make our hair, skin, teeth and clothes conform to some standard of beauty;  a Weight Loss Industry that tells us we are too fat; a Cosmetic Surgery Industry to turn back the hands of time, and an Exercise Industry that is often advertised as a way to improve our looks. How big is the  ‘Myth of Perfection’ Industry? The Global Beauty Market (hair care, skin care, cosmetics, fragrances) is expected to reach $265 billion in …

He said, “I Don’t Want the Chicken”

I’m helping my Dad downsize. He will probably be moving to smaller living quarters in the not too distant future. The ‘weeding’ process isn’t easy for him. He has a strong attachment to just about everything old in his apartment. His bonds to the distant past grow stronger, as the memories of the near past fade. If he is willing to let me remove anything, it is only because he is very certain that a family member will take ownership of the item and treasure it as much as he does. Everything I have carted off so far is now safely stored in The Car Guys Garage, pending resettlement somewhere. The pile is fluid. Some of the things I put there last week must now go back to Dad’s place – a change of heart and mind. As I was getting ready to haul another load down to my car yesterday, he suddenly said, “Take the chicken. I really don’t want that chicken.” That surprised me. The chicken, (more accurately a Portuguese Good Luck Rooster, …

ocean rocks trees

Over the Top Writing Makes me do Just the Opposite

You’ve probably seen some of these ‘over the top’ words in Post Titles on the internet. They are supposed to be so enticing that you will click through to read the story. Here are some of the most common superlatives: Utterly Strangest Outrageous Amazing Groundbreaking Truth Astonishing Incredible Bombshell Awesomely Stunning Unbelievable (or You Won’t Believe Your Eyes) Insanely Gorgeous Impossible Absolutely Unbeatable You’ll Never Guess Ridiculous or Jaw Dropping for stories, that will Blow you away Be to Die For Take Your Breath Away Change Your World Freak You Out because well, OMG – This is Genius!!! This style of writing has just the opposite effect on me – I simply refuse to click through to read it. Just this once, though, I’m going to use words from the list above to describe my photos for this week’s WordPress Photo Challenge (which is Opposites.) These photos were taken on a trip to the Hawaiian Islands. OMG! The scenery was to die for! My jaw dropped as I watched the waves crash onto the rocks. …

The Quippery

Security – A New Year – Time for New Passwords!

Happy New Year to you all! Do you have a List of Resolutions? Thought about adding ‘New Passwords’ to that list? In 2011, The Car Guy’s Yahoo Mail account sent out invitations to most of his contacts to use Viagra. After hours of looking for a breach, I realized that the account had been hacked through Yahoo itself. We secured the account with a new password, but the whole episode was a good reminder of why it is a good idea to change passwords frequently, and have different passwords for different accounts. Strong passwords are also highly recommended. Some sites require specific combinations, though not quite as rigorous as this password protocol that I made up: The Car Guy and I developed and memorized a few mnemonic phrases. They form the first part of our passwords. The second part of each password varies from site to site. We’ve memorized most of them, but keep them all in a database (without the mnemonic part) for those days when we can’t find our car keys, let alone …

Internet – Google Autocomplete – Unfiltered Eavesdropping

Google Search wants to help you find what you are looking for. To speed up the process, it uses autocomplete to list suggestions that are based on the search activity of other Google users. Here are some of the searches I did and what I learned from my digital eavesdropping: pdf and atheism – two new religions. Once the issue of the unlocked cell phone is resolved, we can move on to other pressing matters. Potatoes were right up there with making babies. Why wouldn’t you know why your license was suspended? Maybe if you do the first three, the last will be easy… The fridge was a bit of a surprise considering the rest of the list. I will have the children read Hamlet as soon as it is practical. There are some useful cautions against eavesdropping to be gleaned from that. – Maryrose Wood, The Mysterious Howling – One of the unique things about the human brain is that it can do only what it thinks it can do. The minute you say, …

Unplugging from the Web – Flowers Help to Heal

It’s called ‘The Web’ because once you’re in it, you are stuck. – Terry Hall – I’m going to take some time off – see if I can find a new Happy Place.  I know it exists somewhere here in my mind, but I’m not having much luck finding it right now. So, I’m going to unplug for a while. I hope you will come back to visit my blog when I return! Before I go, here are the photos I took the last time I was at the cabin. It is quite remarkable what is blooming out there. All 305 homes were destroyed, yet the flowers are cheerfully acting like nothing happened! A yellow Columbine or Aquilegia. A pink Rose. It is a hardy bush rose, but I don’t know it is called. I wish I had one in my yard! A white Shasta Daisy. These grow like weeds at my place. An orange Daylily. I have these in my yard, but they never look this good! A white Mallow or Sidalcea. I’m really …

grinning

From Rags to Riches – the Spam Way

I opened a few Gmail accounts a while back – I am migrating from Hotmail to Gmail, though for the life of me I can’t remember what prompted me to do that. Regardless of the reason, I have never checked the Spam box of my Gmail account until today. Imagine my surprise when I discovered all the ways I could be a wealthy woman if I simply follow the instructions in these emails: 1. If I can just help out Mrs.Fatoumata Zongo, the wife to the deceased former Head of Delegation to the World Bank in West Africa, I will get 30% of  US $7 million. Her husband was the linkman between the Organization for Petroleum Exporting Countries – OPEC and the petroleum sector in a West African country. He died from cardiac arrest, though she doesn’t say whether that might have been just after a bullet or an arrow pierced his heart. I suggest this because it appears like Mr. Zongo was a bit of a shady character. He seems to have skimmed the …

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Message from the Queen – Revoking American Independence

My email inbox contains much garbage and a few gems from that prolific author – Unknown. I thought the following was egg-sellently written, but maybe you have to be a member of the Commonwealth to think so. “To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy). Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.  Congress and the Senate will be disbanded. A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed. To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with …

Speed Liking – Click Your Way to Fame

Blogging Question of the month from Virginia in New York: Dear Margy: I am a WordPress.com blogger. When I publish a new post – within seconds, someone presses the WordPress ‘Like’ button. How can this be? They didn’t have time to read the post, so how do they know they like it? Is it possible they read as fast as Santa Claus travels on Christmas Eve? Answer: Dear Virginia – Yes, there is a Santa Claus – but there is no way that someone can read entire blog posts in just a few seconds. I’m afraid you are being scammed by the WordPress Reader. You see, besides showing the first few words of your post (and any pretty picture you inserted), the Reader also lets you ‘Like” and ‘Reblog” that post – without even going to your site! I know you are going to ask what anyone gains from liking a post they haven’t even read. Virginia, Virginia – your questions just get easier and easier! The ‘Like’ button puts a reader’s Gravatar picture on …