Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Stranger in Aisle 7 of The Acme

"They" say if you make your commitment publicly known you're more likely to follow through.
So here it is.
I commit to blogging on every Tuesday.
"They" say all you need is the first sentence to get you started.
Well, looky here, including this one, I've already got five.

Since I've finished the A-Z challenge, I'm back to my old pattern of writing whenever.  And to tell you the truth I miss writing.

Too bad "they" haven't invented a way to record thoughts.  You know the ones that pop into your head and you think, what a great idea. Then suddenly, without a bit of grace, but with a worrying amount of brute force, another thought bullies that shy brilliant one out of the way, silencing it perhaps forever.

As I go about my day, my constantly noisy brain chatters away.  I pay close attention to the chatter. I know that to be true because the stranger I may have noticed in aisle 7 of the Acme becomes the main character and that brief obscure random encounter becomes the convoluted plot of some of my most bizarre dreams.
I suppose if I were a real writer I would carry a notebook around with me to capture those rare precious gems.

No, I'm not going to publicly commit to that.

Thank you for your support.
See you next Tuesday.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Has Facebook Become Curator of The World’s Memories?

As I wrote in my last post, Ross and I have been experimenting with podcasting on YouTube.  I explained there were three reasons I wanted to explore this form of creativity and expression.

In case you missed that post or have by now forgotten, I mentioned two of the reasons and promised to reveal the number one reason in another post.
To review:
Number Three: it's a challenge for us, as seniors,  to learn a new technology.  I have learned so much in the last five weeks.
Reason Number Two: for our podcast venture is it's something we are doing together.   Although we are retired and spend pretty much 24/7 in each other's company, most times we are not actually interacting.  Doing the podcast, we are definitely interacting.

Reason number one is the most important one for me.   Let me tell you why. 

I have two precious videos.  One is of my mother, the other is of my son and his son.  

When I watch each of those videos, as I often do, not only am I able to see two of the people I painfully miss so much, but I can see them alive, moving, talking, smiling, hearing them speak.  Being able to hear their voices and their laughter fills up a hole in my heart, at least for that little while.

So, I thought it might be something that my children, grandchildren or even great-grandchildren might also cherish. 
But actually, it's not only our future generations.  No not only for them.  I thought about Ross and me.   Perhaps one day there might be a time when we might not be as cognizant of our surroundings or we might get a little forgetful.  Maybe watching ourselves as we once were might jog a bit of memory and bring about a glimmer of recognition and then even a little smile.

The more I thought about it, though, I started to think about where these videos are stored.  
It's not like it was years ago.  There is no 8mm film in tin canisters or even VHS tapes.
Some of the videos, like the one of my mother and son are stored on my computer.  Most of the others have been uploaded onto YouTube or FaceBook. 

So, then, this gesture I was making of preserving our memories for our loved ones or each other, might not be accessible to them after all.  

If you are on Facebook, which I'm pretty sure most of us are, each day you log into Facebook for the first time you most likely get this message:

I don't know about you, but I usually go "ahh, or wow".  
Yes, I have come to depend on Facebook to preserve my memories and then recall them for me.

But, what about after Ross or I pass away?   
Facebook does have something called "Memorializing An Account".

Here's what I found under FB's Help:

Memorializing the account:
Memorialized accounts are a place for friends and family to gather and share memories after a person has passed away. Memorializing an account also helps keep it secure by preventing anyone from logging into it.
If Facebook is made aware that a person has passed away, it's our policy to memorialize the account. Learn more about what happens to a memorialized account.
Please keep in mind that we can't provide login information for someone else's account even under these circumstances. It's always against Facebook's policies to log into another person's account.
To report a profile to be memorialized, please contact us.
Removing the account:
Verified immediate family members may request the removal of a loved one’s account from Facebook.

What is a legacy contact?
A legacy contact is someone you choose to look after your account if it's memorialized. Once your account is memorialized, your legacy contact will have the option to do things like:
                Write a pinned post for your profile (ex: to share a final message on your behalf or provide information about a memorial service)
                Respond to new friend requests (ex: old friends or family members who weren't yet on Facebook)
                Update your profile picture and cover photo
You also have the option to allow your legacy contact to download a copy of what you've shared on Facebook, and we may add additional capabilities for legacy contacts in the future.
Your legacy contact can't:
                Log into your account
                Remove or change past posts, photos and other things shared on your Timeline
                Read messages you've sent to other friends
                Remove any of your friends
Learn more about memorialization and how to add a legacy contact to your account.
If you're a legacy contact, learn how to manage a memorialized profile.
Note: You must be 18 or older to select a legacy contact.

To find out more about this go to the top of your FB page, along the blue bar, pull down on the arrow next to the Lock icon and select "Help".  Search for "Memorializing". 

 Google also has a feature called "Inactive Account Manager"

After my first year of blogging, I used a website called "Blog2Print" to download all of my postings from the first year and had them bound into a book. 

The point is there are options, but I wonder how many of us think about leaving passwords to our devices or social media accounts in a secure place for our loved ones to have access to.

But at the end of the day or more appropriately for this post, at the end of my life, after I have made sure that my memories will be accessible,  I will continue to post on social media, write my blog, and record our podcast.

Oh, and in case you missed episode 5 of Sundays with Lynda and Ross, here is a little taste:

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Hat for a Pretty Lady, and Sunday’s With Lynda & Ross

I've been fighting a cold for over a week. Hopefully, it's finally on its way.   I've been keeping myself busy with a few things during my housebound hours.

My son's friend's wife is going through chemo treatments.   I am knitting a hat for her.   The pattern I am using is my mishmash of  "The Giving Tree",  found on Ravelry here and "Felicity", also found on Ravelry here.

I ordered the yarn, Cascade Yarns 220 Superwash Sport in turquoise, Ping's favorite color,  from WEBS, which is a fabulous yarn shop.  They are having their anniversary sale.  This particular yarn usually sells for  $6.25 a hank.  It's now on sale through the end of May for $4.39 a hank.  Of course, I ordered other colors too.  I couldn't resist.

Although I ordered two skeins of each of the other colors, I only ordered one skein of the turquoise.
I got 3/4 of the way through knitting the hat and I ran out of yarn.  It seemed silly to just order one skein of yarn.  So, yes, you guessed it I ordered a few more skeins in other lucious colors.
For those of you who were following my A-Z posts, remember this photo of my closet from my Y for yarn post?
Out of control!

So, the hat project is on hold until my WEBS order arrives.
In the mean time, Ross and I have been experimenting with podcasting on YouTube.  Yesterday we recorded our fifth episode.  We finally decided on a title, Sunday’s With Lynda & Ross".  We love comments and adore new subcribers :)

There are three main reasons we are doing this.
Number Three, it's a challenge for us, as seniors,  to learn a new technology.  I have learned so much in the last five weeks.
I'm quite comfortable now with editing using iMovie.   I can now even add sound effects and titles.
One of the things I was struggling with was figuring out how to add a personalized banner to my YouTube channel, or what YouTube refers to as Channel Art.
I admit I can be obsessive when I am trying to master a new skill.  It took me four or five days of trial and error, but I finally got it to work.   I did find a helpful YouTube video on how to create a YouTube Channel Art banner.
Reason Number Two for our podcast venture is it's something we are doing together.   Although we are retired and spend pretty much 24/7 in each other's company, most times we are not actually interacting.  Doing the podcast, we are definitely interacting.
When we watch the video, as if we were a viewer, we realized that some of the ways we interact with each other is quite interesting.
You all should try it sometime.  I think you'd be amazed at your facial expressions, the tone you use with each other, who is the leader or follower in conversation.  For me, it has been a real eye-opener.

I'll talk about Reason Number One that we have been doing our podcasts in tomorrow's post.

For now, here's a little something for your entertainment.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Reflection - A to Z Challenge

During the month of April, I participated in a blog challenge called  “Blogging from A-Z Challenge” 
What was it?
Blogging every day.  It began on April First with a topic themed on something with the letter A, then on April second another topic with the letter B as the theme, and so on until I finish on April thirtieth with the theme based on the letter Z.   The theme of the day is the letter scheduled for that day.

I am pleased with myself because I completed the challenge for the fifth time.

After the challenge, the bloggers who participated are asked to write a "reflections" post.   What we liked about the challenge.  What improvements could be made.  

A to Z Challenge

First of all, I have immense respect for Arlee Bird, the creator of the challenge, and his co-hosts.   I can't even imagine the amount of time and effort that goes into the organization and running this event.

Thank you!

Arlee Bird @ Tossing it Out
Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh
eremy Hawkins @ Hollywood Nuts
Damyanti Biswas @ Daily Write
Heather M. Gardner @ The Waiting is the Hardest Part
Author AJ Lauer
am Brown Margolis @ An Unconventional Librarian
Zalka Csenge VirĂ¡g @ The Multicolored Diary
Joy Campbell @ The Character Depot
John Holton @The Sound of One Hand Typing

I found the encouraging posts on the AtoZ blog each day to be helpful.  I looked forward to those.  They gave me the oomph I needed to keep on going.

I think the "staff" did a good job in keeping the sign-up list current.   I think I started out as number  1000 something and ended up in the 600's.  

I'm not sure if this was ever addressed, but when I was doing my visiting and would come across a blog that never started, or was way behind, I thought about "reporting" it.  But I didn't know how or if I should do that.  If it isn't already mentioned, perhaps there could be a list of people who are the ones who keep the list up to date.  And if we, the participants do know of blogs that are no longer in the challenge, then we could let the "keepers of the list" know. 

Visiting other blogs is a part of the challenge I enjoy because I do want to find new blogs to enjoy.  
 It is time-consuming to go through the list, which is okay with me, but there are many blogs that, frankly, do not appeal to my interests.  However, that is my personal issue and has nothing to do with the organization of the challenge. 

Someone mentioned in a post, sorry I don't remember who, that one of the ways to find new blogs is to visit the bloggers who comment on blogs that you do like and visit often. 

I found that tip to be helpful.  Although, that does seem to keep us all in one circle of blogs.

I wonder about the people who don't respond to comments and or don't return visits.  I would apply the "three strikes and you're out" rule.   

I would do the challenge again.  It helps me get back into writing and makes me remember how much I enjoy it. 

I love the artwork on the 2016 survivor gear.  I think I'm going to go with a tank top.

A to Z Survivor Gear