Tag Archives: postaday

Put Coffee On, Read Blogs (and comments on introversion)

Coffee pot, mug, miniature rose and bear

A few mixed things running through my mind…

There are books I read recently which strike me as important because of the issues they raise… books such as Quiet by Susan Cain. I’ve often felt things are organized in a way that suits only some types — confident types with good hearing! There are no options, no flexibility. You’re considered flawed if you find a situation more overwhelming than others do, but if they were you, they’d be exactly the same for the same reasons!

Another book, Being Wrong by Kathryn Schultz, had a big impact on me, and I always think back to it when someone is deemed stupid for holding different opinions. We equate ‘wrong’ with ‘stupidity’, which is one reason why people have such a horror of being caught out. Yet there is more to it; mistakes are unavoidable but have their uses. Perhaps our thinking has to change.

A few days ago I was reading the Culture Monk’s post on conflict, and commented that a lot of conflict is unnecessary… too many people base their actions on what they think, not what they know. We accept our own imperfections (to a point) and that of people we love, but expect perfection from everyone else. We look at other people and think we know them, yet have barely scratched the surface. I reckon this is why we need real conversations, not just Facebook status updates and space-limited chats…

I have to say I identified with the bit in Quiet that says introverts love deep and meaningful conversations and find small talk frustrating! I have felt embarrassed on my own behalf, seeing myself as a social clodhopper, but if there are others out there like me, I don’t need to worry so much.

There’s presumably controversy about whether people should be classified as introverts and extroverts, and especially if we should say ‘introverts do this thing and that thing’ whereas maybe extroverts do as well. If we wear the terminology lightly and just pay attention to the message, we can see the book is important because it’s a voice that says “no, there’s nothing wrong with you! You’re one of many.”

I’ve become more of a reader than a writer. Though I’ve not visited many blogs lately, I get hold of a lot of books and search Google for articles. It’s likely I would read blogs on a regular basis if I figured out how to work them into my daily routine (and didn’t overwhelm myself with things like BuzzFeed).

My sister gave me a pink espresso pot for my birthday. I don’t hear it bubble when coffee is coming through, but I feel it rumble on the hob. I’m not much of a blogger now, but… put coffee on, read blogs? Sounds perfect to me.

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Why Do We Write?

The Daily Post asked: “Who do you write for? Who do you think of when drafting a post?”

I’ve been having trouble recently with both journal and blog, so this question comes at the right time. It occurred to me just a few days ago that my life experiences are the same whether I blog about them or journal. It’s too complicated approaching the same life from a multitude of different angles and platforms, so I’ve stopped trying. However…

JOURNALS

In my personal journal I write what’s in my mind. My internal monologue finds expression! Minus all the “who left the milk out of the fridge?” bits, which are mostly too small to be on the radar.

It’s interesting to re-read old journal entries and I’m always surprised by how much I’ve forgotten. Old dreams could have been a stranger’s, as they’re so new to me. Snatches of conversation are funny, so I make a particular effort to include those. They are the first to go from your memory, so if they are not in your journal, they’re nowhere.

A recent example is a small victory I had over Mum. I like the Johnny Depp version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but not the old one from the 1970s. Mum is not keen on Johnny Depp and kept telling me the old film was better. Well, we saw the old one the other day (orange faces, bubbles, thin chocolate rivers and Tiswas foam), and eventually she said “you’re right…. Johnny Depp IS better!”

Of course he is. 🙂

I can be bored by my journals too, skipping over reams of stuff about computer blips / projects (e.g. how I reorganized my back-ups… that was a major process taking weeks). I still write about this stuff, partly because I need to vent (“the cloud is evil!”) and partly to clear my mind and work things out.

I used to think a journal was somewhere to write about your problems, but that doesn’t mean spilling vitriol about things and people. I get more of a buzz from re-reading light journal entries and so I don’t go down the agony aunt route often — not any more. Been there, done that, tore the T-shirt to bits…

I don’t enjoy writing about bad or unsettling experiences anyway, avoiding them altogether — though if I’m already upset, I might hint at how I was feeling. As a result, it’s more of a positive ‘thinking’ journal than a full record of my experiences.

It’s the little things that count, really. I don’t want to read about the big things, even more than ten years later.

BLOGS

Ah ha! My blog is trickier.

It’s supposed to be a place where people can glimpse a particular way of life, but my dreams and conversations won’t interest anyone else… so I don’t write much. I’m no teacher or guru so can’t turn it into a tutorial corner, though I’ve helped people occasionally. It’s more of an ‘experience’ corner where I’ll say what I had trouble with and how I solved it, and maybe someone else will find that useful. A recent example is my little ArtStudio disaster (The Mountain that Walked).

I’ve found my own links and tips useful! If I do something only rarely (such as make a home movie), and have a problem months or years after I first solved it, I won’t remember how to do it again. It’s better to have those tips on my blog than my journal, as they’re easier to find. I still feel shy about blogging such experiences, though, as it usually means writing about my own mistakes.

It’s a good time to face that, as I’m still reading ‘Being Wrong’ by Kathryn Schultz. People do make mistakes — like it or not, they’re a fact of life. She suggests errors can be valuable and creative, and it’s not as though we have a choice anyway.

It occurs to me that blogging and journal-writing offer ways of dealing with the process of being wrong! Otherwise, perhaps, there would be nothing to write about or discuss. If we never got a thing wrong and didn’t experience reality differently from others, what need of information or thought? How would life even go on?

That’s me, anyway… I write for myself while trying to be useful, but feel dubious about putting any of it in a blog post.

Talking of past mistakes, I managed NOT to lose half of my doodle today. If you stand back far enough (or too close perhaps), starting it may have been the real mistake! Or the true mistake was my beginning to take it too seriously in the middle, so that now I can’t draw a single tiny line without redrawing it a hundred times.

What about you… what mistakes have you made, corrected, re-corrected or avoided today — and did you write about it? 🙂

Just Had the ‘Grue’

Was annoyed when I came down with the cold… I knew it was going to interrupt everything, and so it did. Blog, business in town, Christmas shopping, grocery shopping, housework, organizing stuff… everything!

A friend and I agreed there needs to be a word for something that’s halfway between a cold and a flu, as you want to make it clear to the office you’re not well enough to leave the house, even if you were well enough to get out of bed. If you say “I have a cold,” they think maybe you could have come in anyway, but if you say “I have flu,” scorn is poured on you for overestimating what is wrong with you. You can’t win!

I was reading that you can have ‘flu-like symptoms’ caused by whatever flu virus is going around, though it isn’t flu you’ve got… clear as mud! I suppose you could phone up and say “I have flu-like symptoms” but that sounds as though you’re not quite sure that you’ve got anything!

Perhaps we should make up a word of our own, seeing as the doctors don’t appear to have any suggestions. Coldenza? Grue?

Of course, there are probably things we do say, like “I have a bug, a virus, what’s going around.” If I thought of it in time, I’d go with ‘bug’. I usually don’t realize ‘there’s something going round’ till it nobbles me!

Have been mourning my weakest cells. Poor little things.

I Hate Colds

Just to let folks know I’ve got a monster of a cold! It started innocently with a mild throat, and I thought it would be over in 24 hours. But it’s like nibbling at a tiny leaf only to have something huge and scaly erupt through the sand!

Gaaaarrrgh.

Hope to get back on the blog-beat soon, but I’ll be taking it slow for a few days.

Nine iPad Games

iPad Games in FolderThis is a screenshot of the iPad games I most often play (click thumbnail for better view). All these run in iOS 7 on an iPad 4… I can’t guarantee they would play on older systems and iPads. More about those little nuggets of goodness below.

Cave Quest HD

A beautiful adventure involving treasure, mountain spirits and a missing family. It offers a series of tile puzzles and ‘find the object’ scenes. I found it relaxing to play… to me it was everything an iPad game should be. Even the free trial version was exemplary… it gave me enough to get my teeth into, and didn’t annoy me into refusing to buy it, which some other games have done!

It got me through a bout of shingles. Every so often I would look up and dutifully swallow a dose of Rhus tox. It’s a weird experience being handed a bottle of poison ivy by your mother… “take this, dear, it will fix you!”

Plants vs Zombies HD

A strategy game in which you deploy a range of plants to keep zombies away from your house. I have a soft spot for the old grandfather zombie who gets upset when he loses his newspaper. When the crush gets too much in Walnut Bowling and I have to let one zombie through while I go after the others, he’s the one who gets to hirple past the finishing post.

You can play through the adventure or choose from the mini games, puzzles and quick games. In the quick games you are offered a set of options: weak zombies or strong? Night, day, poolside, rooftop, fog? Perfect if you don’t have much time and just want to relax (or experiment with different plants). And because there’s a lot of variety, it’s more addictive than the sequel.

Plants vs Zombies 2

Some of the plants and zombies in this one are new, operating in three different worlds. It is free-to-play and can be played all the way through without any purchases, but is all but impossible without certain ‘power-ups’. Power-ups can be slowly earned as well as bought… I won through without them, except in one game.

It’s fun to start with, but you eventually find it drab and repetitive compared to the original. You would like to explore the worlds a little, but the spot where you fight zombies is always the same. It would be nice if a set of fantasy mini-games was made available, such as It’s Raining Seeds or Zombotany, but there really isn’t much variety.

Worst of all, there’s a zombie I refuse to play against now that I don’t have to…. the parrot! As soon as I see it waiting in the wings, I quit. That means I haven’t got any further than Level 6 in Dead Man’s Booty. If you can get further than that without having to play against the parrot, let me know! I’ll be incredulous.

Roads of Rome

You are directing teams of workers to build roads for Caesar, interrupted occasionally by wild animals. It’s not free to play, but that’s its strength! It doesn’t make you feel you might win more quickly or have more variety if you buy something. It’s peaceful and attractive, and you don’t have to play against the timer unless you want to.

There’s an expert mode, however, and if you can win all the games in that mode, a bonus level is unlocked. (At the moment I can’t remember if ROR has bonus levels, or if it’s just parts 2 and 3). At first I thought I would rattle through those in a matter of hours, so it was a shock when I found it wasn’t that simple! I got annoyed about playing levels over and over, missing the expert time by a fraction of a second in some cases. The workers would get home and the celebratory fireworks would be popping AND I’D STILL LOSE! It’s really just a challenge to do everything within the time, however, and I’m glad it’s there. It offers something more to strive for.

Roads of Rome 2

An extension of the above, though with improvements and different animals. I actually played this one first, as I read somewhere we should get this one and ignore the first one, which is clunkier. I think that was a mistake, though — I’ve enjoyed all three.

Roads of Rome 3

This is my favourite version. This time we don’t build roads… the barbarians have run amok, damaging the roads and setting things on fire. Our task is to douse the fires, rebuild the settlements and mend the roads. I was delighted not to have to sit and watch the workers slowly hammer their way along, plank by plank. When you’re up against the clock, it’s excruciating!

Cut the Rope

Cute little thing, loves his sweeties. I enjoy thinking about how to deliver them to his mouth without losing any stars along the way. He doesn’t care if you haven’t won them all yet… once the sweetie comes within reach, it’s gone.

I don’t spend all my time playing this, though, as it’s not all that relaxing! I play a level or two then potter off to bed.

Two Towers

A fantasy card game, not particularly expensive. I’ve not seen another like it; it’s unusual. I liked it enough to buy it twice (for Mac and iPad). It’s about battling to win strongholds with the cards in your hand, sometimes aided by magic spells. At one point I was a bit addicted to it!

Le Vamp

Ah. Another cutie. I love the way he looks quizzically out of the screen at me, as though hoping I’ll do something to save him, but not really caring all that much. He’s got such sangfroid! You have to keep him from the angry mob for as long as you can (they get him eventually). I do love it, but I wish the scenery would change and something else would happen. I don’t care about his selection of hats and cloaks, and some of the curses and charms seem a bit odd. (I don’t understand how the ‘armored heart’ works, but maybe I’ll figure it out).

I do like the wee vamp, though, and hang out with him from time to time.

I’ve got a cold, so I think I might be playing a few of these over the next few days!

Making Sure I’m on the Same Page

The place is littered with bits of paper, old envelopes folded over, small notepads, even postit notes… these are what we write to each other on.

Today is Halloween. Without even thinking, I was wearing a loose black skirt decorated with beads. Kind of witchy. Mum came home from somewhere, and made me turn round. She plucked a yellow postit note off my skirt — it said, ‘The eve of all hallows.’

Thanks for the memo….

I Should Have Done a Halloween Picture

I got all creative at 05:40 this morning when unable to sleep. My vision was purple, green and white… not sure what happened. Anyway, when I saw the Daily Prompt for today, I rushed to finish it!

“6:00AM: the best hour of the day, or too close to your 3:00AM bedtime?
Photographers, artists, poets: show us DAWN.”

I think they hoped I’d call my post The Golden Hour, but I wouldn’t call this golden — would you?

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Snowy Cottage: ArtRage (iOS 7).

One Stupid Thing Less…

….I changed my ‘display name’ from Diddums to Delilah. So if you start getting comments from ‘Delilah’, don’t let it confuse you! It’s only my girl cat. If I’d realized it was so easy to change, I would have done it ages ago.

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After the demise of Google Reader, I was left without a way of receiving posts from non-WordPress blogs. Not to worry though; I put several RSS feeds on my Flipboard app…. it turns recent posts into something like a magazine.

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I’ve spent most of the night this way, catching up on Mary Beard’s blog A Don’s Life.

We enjoyed her programmes so much we bought three of her books a while back. In one of her blog posts I felt as though I’d found another answer to my dilemma over the past few days. She explains she can’t leave Twitter because there is more good than bad to be had from it… and anyway “we don’t tend to respond to playground bullies, by leaving the bullies in charge of the playground.”

That is true, and I’m sure my mother said something similar once. For now I’m just enjoying my blog ‘magazines’.

Sea of Darkness: a view of the Internet

It was exhilarating making my blog more accessible on my iPad — I’m getting push notifications! That makes it more likely I’ll keep blogging. I know none of you are impressed… ‘promises, promises’… you’ve heard them all before.

Had a look to see who was still here from my blogroll. I had a fear that everyone had given up and gone, but I only had to delete one or two links — it’s lovely and humbling that most are still here and still blogging.

One deleted blog is now a spam blog… I’ve heard that can happen. It’s a reminder that if I’m not going to blog for a while, all my blogroll links should be hidden.

I had problems leaving comments via my WordPress app. I would comment on a Blogger blog, and after I pressed ‘publish’ it would say “sign in to complete the process. There are no links, so use a bookmark or type in your URL.” I was already signed in, and as I wasn’t in a browser, there was no location bar or bookmarks. That really threw me, till I worked out how to complete the process. Going into Safari separately doesn’t work; you have to do it via the app.

Then I ran into other problems… one time Blogger said ‘oops!’ (probably a white lie for ‘I don’t trust you’), and another time it said ‘memcache value is null for FormRestoration’. It claimed if I cleared my cache and history and then refreshed, the gobbledegook might go away, but I didn’t see why that should be necessary! I guessed the problem was most likely with the word verification (maybe it wasn’t happy with my answer), so I did it all over again with a fresh form, filled in the new verification box, and this time it worked. It just requires a little patience, and making sure you copy your comment before pressing any buttons!

I had a bit of a confidence crash last night. I know, I’ve only just got back to my blog, yet was already questioning that decision! I was always happy with WordPress, but now it was part of the problem. I used their app to look at Reader, and all the pictures are blown up full-size. Some weren’t loading, so you’d get a full-sized blank screen for a couple of minutes. You’d scroll down and there would be grey area after grey area. Others weren’t meant to be blown up so big and were just a blurred mess. In between each full sized picture would be about three lines of text. It made it difficult to browse.

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In addition, most of the blogs I saw in the main categories were commercial or professional. I was looking for personal blogs, but they were hard to find.

I looked wistfully at someone else’s blog on Blogger, and considered moving!

While drifting disconsolately around, I read a statement that 80% of all comments and email are spam, and most of the internet is spam too. I suddenly felt as though I was sitting on a floating raft, surrounded by debris and targetted by Facebook ads. Began wondering if it was possible to cut the internet out of my life! Close down all my accounts, delete everything I can delete… just maintain basic email?

There are ex-users… not just people who won’t go online to start with, but people who have tried it and didn’t like it. That includes a lot of people in my age group. I also found this post which brightened me up a bit: Is it possible to quit the internet?

If I ever decide to take this step, I will give warning first! But I was in utter gloom by the time I retired for the night. I suppose it’s because you have hopes for the internet, and then you see all the spam, ads, fakes, bullying, intolerance and other stuff, and you come to realize the dark side will always be there, attempting to take over. Perhaps the internet is a failed experiment that we don’t want to let go of yet.

After looking through my blogroll today I felt better, remembering the light side is here too. Another thing that kept my sanity was discovering the final link in my blogroll… WordPress tags. I find all sorts of personal blogs that way.

When I was typing ‘how much of the internet is’…? in the Google search bar, I was expecting ‘spam’ to pop up, and instead it was ‘cats’. 🙂 Anyway, I was sitting thinking about my reluctance to be connected, when suddenly there was a notification. I followed it to this update from the Dalai Lama:

“Once we have a firm practice of compassion our state of mind becomes stronger which leads to inner peace, giving rise to self-confidence, which reduces fear. This makes for constructive members of the community. Self-centredness on the other hand leads to distance, suspicion, mistrust and loneliness, with unhappiness as the result.”

Spooky.

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Flooding Burn

Sorry, I was away from my blog for a while. We went for a holiday in York, and that was the week it flooded! Miraculously, our main road out of town was cleared hours before our departure, but we passed a couple of drowned fields on the way. The tops of the hedgerows barely cleared the water.

Now there are floods where we are, including the little burn out the back. It overflowed across the path, but has receded now, touch wood. I’m beginning to feel chased around by these muddy rushing rivers…

Hope to get myself sorted out soon, then I’ll get back to responding to blog comments.

The burn seen from our back gate.