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Category Archives: Cultural Exchange

AreYouKiddingMe

I’m sure I’m not the only one who gets frustrated with technology.  Yes, it’s wonderful, what it can do for us, but it’s also endlessly complicating.  The old joke about not being able to program the VCR, is now multiplied a hundredfold, with each new piece of digital equipment; even with each new version of an old program. The old, non-programmable electronics were more than enough to have to learn all the bits and pieces of.  Each one unique.  Each one functional.

This digital age, with so many programmable, and re-programmable artifacts, is astounding in it’s endless variety.  It is also endlessly frustrating in the many ways to do the programming, the editing, the setting up, and the searching for, Wrong.

Maybe some of you never have this problem.  You instinctively know how to stroke the keys/touch screen for each new application.  After all, it’s intuitive!   Or not.   Hmmmm…perhaps, this instinct mostly applies to programmers….  or millennials  😉

Like learning English, if you grow up with it, it seems to come naturally, but if you are learning it after the fact, say, as a second language….  it’s complicated.  I frequently end up doing things the same ‘old’ way, simply because I don’t understand the function of the new bits and pieces; how they are applied, or where they need to be used. There aren’t enough instructions, and if there were, they wouldn’t be clearly enough written, since the writers of the instructions frequently assume you already know all the ‘basics’.

I’ve been a technical writer.  I understand all too clearly, where the failures in an instruction manual are, and why they happen.  Often times, a company has the engineers write up the instructions, and then just slaps it into a book , or booklet, that way.  This leaves anyone who isn’t an engineer on the short end of understanding.

The first reason for a lack of understanding, is because engineers have their own language to speak in, and they write the instructions in that language. The second reason, and this is the worst error, is because engineers already understand all the ‘basics’, therefor, they assume everyone else will too.  So many steps get left out of the instructions because of that misunderstanding. And finally, the third reason instructions aren’t understood, even if they get written clearly, is because no one wants to read them anyway.  There’s just too much time consumed in all that extra reading, for every new little thing that comes along. Hence, the only ones who understand all this new technology, are the millennials, who grew up with it, like growing up with English, or Cantonese, or Russian.

In sum, I enjoy oil painting because I understand it. It’s  simple, basic, and in its own way, endlessly editable.  Painting with a digital piece of equipment?  Hmmmm….. I have seen some very beautiful works of art produced digitally, but I think I’ll pass on learning the techniques, simply because I don’t enjoy the frustration that goes along with having to ask, “How does this work?” for every little part of every little (or huge) new program.  Even the (bless the person who invented word processing) writing programs are frustrating enough.  Each new change, designed to make life easier, produces new anxiety in me.  Something else to learn. Something else to understand.  My curiosity just doesn’t want to go there anymore.

 

 

Other links you might like:

Defining Values

Speak Kind to Yourself

The Music of Poetry

© Ellen M Lattz and emariaenterprises, llc 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Ellen M. Lattz, and/or blog owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Lattz, and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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The title of this post is a bit tongue in cheek.  This  post is really about the weather, or the effects the weather is having on my brain, or both.  You remember that commercial about drugs, and what your brain looks like on drugs?  Well, it turns out that the weather can have the same effect on your brain as a harsh chemical.  There are definitely days when my brain feels like it is frying. Of course, that may be owing to my part-time job.

I currently work as a seasonal employee at Lowe’s, in their outdoor lawn and garden section.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about the work; I love this job.  In fact, I love working with the plants so much, that I went back three times to apply for the position, until I finally got hired on.  The fact that I love the job, does not negate the fact that, on hot, sunny days, my brain sometimes feels like it’s frying. It helps some, that there are hats to wear, and I usually have a watering hose in my hands, that frequently leaks, and keeps me cooled off some on the outside.

Even so, I get so involved in watering and cleaning up the plants and flowers, that I sometimes forget to take a break.  Even with all the water in the air, and on my cloths, I still get dehydrated when I forget to take a break.  It’s this sneaky dehydration, from sweating out the liquids and minerals, even though there is a cooling flow of leaky water, that puts my brain in jeopardy, and makes me feel like my head is on fire. But I have experience in the military, and am good at monitoring my own vital signs.  I do remember to take a break, when dehydration symptoms start showing up.  Perhaps it is this which keeps me from a visit to the emergency room, as so many others this summer have found themselves doing.

For instance, my youngest daughter came down with a summer cold, and somehow, it turned into bronchial spasms, just prior to becoming bronchitis.  My youngest daughter is 21 years old, and has never had bronchial spasms before, in her life.  None of my daughters, to my knowledge, have ever had bronchial spasms before. This health malady was a new experience for both of us.  Because the health card was not currently working (that’s another story), we ended up being sent to the hospital emergency room.

On the way to the emergency room, we ended up on a crowded bridge where the traffic wasn’t moving very fast.  My car, this summer, is without air-conditioning.  The lack of speedy forward motion prevented us from getting a good flow of air through the car windows, and it got pretty warm. The warmth and humidity in the air was exacerbating my daughters condition.  She told me she felt like she had a tight collar around her throat, and she couldn’t get it off.  We finally made it to the hospital and got checked in at the desk, and were directed to the waiting area. While waiting, several gurneys came in from the ambulance services, with additional patients. Once checked in at the desk, some of these were also directed to take a seat in the waiting room.  There were several people with heat related maladies. They, as we, waited for hours before being admitted to the emergency services personnel.

Some of us chatted with each other, sympathizing with the situation, and encouraging each other to hang in there. I don’t know if their brains felt fried, but one, who worked at a car wash, had stomach cramps and vomiting so severe that he couldn’t keep anything down, including the water he was trying to drink, and another one, who had been working outside for the previous two days, had muscle cramps in his arms and hands, which caused his fingers and wrists to turn inward and lock up. So many suffering with fried muscles, fried stomachs, and fried lungs,  from excessive exposure to heat, and profuse sweating, (with and without external applications of water)  without enough internal hydration, or replacement of vital minerals and salts.

Whatever is causing this years weather, ozone holes (which they say is healing, now) pre-volcanic earth crust heating, extra moons, or wobbly, eccentric planetary orbits,  it’s hot and humid this summer.  Watch out for yourselves, and each other. Stay hydrated. Add more salt to your diet, to help your body hang on to your water, and eat or drink more foods with high mineral contents, (milk, bananas, potatoes, melons, etc.)  to replace what sneakily gets sweated out, even when you don’t notice it.    Try not to let your brain fry, like eggs on a hot summer sidewalk.

 

Other links you may like:

https://lukeatkins.wordpress.com/about/comment-page-3/#comment-602

https://themusicofpoetry.wordpress.com/category/poetry-2/stanzas/

© Ellen M Lattz and emariaenterprises, llc 2016.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author, Ellen M. Lattz, and/or blog owner, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M. Lattz, and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

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If you’ve been reading the last few posts, you know that I was nominated for a Sunshine Award (why, is still a mystery) by Lila, of Lila’s Twist.  I posted this and the rules for it and then nominated a few of my favorite bloggers as I was supposed to do.

One of my favorite bloggers re-nominated me for the same award.

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Thank you Anne. Anne is a Professional Astrologer, that is, I am updating my previous post with correct material supplied by the ever truthful and delightful Anne, who stated  “I have a Diploma in Psychological Astrology (1998) from my studies with Dr Liz Greene and the late Charles Harvey at the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London.”    So you should Still definitely go check out her blog, Writings from the Twelfth House, http://anne-whitaker.com/weblog/, especially if you want to know anything about how astrology Really works.

This time I will answer ten more questions about myself. That is, last time I simply said if you wanted to know ten things about me, you should read my posts, because there are more than ten answers in them.  Yes, that was sort of cheating.   Anne has kindly allowed me the opportunity of repenting of my sin of cheating.

My ten answers are found below:

1.)   My hair doesn’t like to curl, and won’t stay that way without Lots of hairspray (It feels like plastic then).

2.)   My shoe size has changed from a 5 to a 6 1/2 in the last ten years, and no, I didn’t grow taller.

3).   I used to have difficulty finding a belt that would fit me, as most belts were too long. Now I don’t have that problem.

4.)   I learned to ride horses as a child using bailing twine as a halter and reins, and no saddle.

5.)    My favorite color has always been deep purple.

6.)    As there are nine different nationalities in my genetic make-up, my favorite answer on all those forms that require me to choose something is “American”.   Yes, I do feel that is a legitimate answer.

7.)    I believe if we all rebelled and put “American” on the forms under Other, we would all be better off.

8.)    My priorities aren’t always the same as everyone else’s.  I have a tendency to look at the long view, and not just the immediate bottom line.

9.)    I’m a terrific service person. When I’m in a position of service, I love helping people find what they need and want.

10.)  I tend to be truthful. Sometimes that isn’t what people want.  Sometimes the truth hurts, but that wasn’t what I was trying to do.  I don’t enjoy hurting people, I just prefer clarifying what the reality that I am living in is really like.

Well there.  My penance is done.  Have a lovely day everyone.

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Thank you to Yuri in Southern Australia for both the beautiful “Sunset after the Storm” and “Sunset at the Twelve Apostles” photographs.  They are Gorgeous views.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I’m a little speechless (but not so much that I can’t write Anything) (see, I wrote “Anything”)  (OK, enough with the lame jokes)

Now that I’ve got that little bit of inner dialogue out of the way I’ll get to the reason I’m writing today.  Someone, and they shall Not remain nameless,  Lila, from the blog Lila’s Twist , nominated me for a Sunshine Award.

Needless to say, I was floored.  My jaw dropped and my mind went nearly blank.  My emotions went from excited to humbled in half a second.  What did I write that inspired someone to Nominate me?  Worse yet, could I ever write anything to inspire someone again?  Would I Want to have that specter hanging over my head every time I wrote anything?

Well, obviously it hasn’t prevented me from typing away in here.

So what is a Sunshine award?  Below is the Logo.

It appears that there are a few rules to accepting this award:

1) Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
2) Answer 10 questions about yourself.
3) Nominate other fabulous bloggers.
4) Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
5) Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

So obviously I have accomplished rule one;

Rule two has been accomplished if you read my posts, you’ll find that I have answered more than a few questions about myself;

I will henceforth go out and locate other fabulous bloggers and nominate them for the award (you’ll find links to them below, thus fulfilling rule four as well);

and five, has already been done (see the second paragraph).

Nominee number one is:

1)      http://year-struck.com/

Whose way with words never fails to inspire me.

2)     http://becomingmadame.wordpress.com/

Your Recipe for Stewed Chestnuts to pour over an entree made my day, not to mention a whole week of meal menus 🙂

3)      http://anne-whitaker.com/2012/09/17/holy-dharma-with-heron-2/

This post made me want to go for a hike along the nature trail and maybe over the trestle bridges too.  Sunshine indeed!

4)     http://aninepoundhammer.com/

Your photographs are breathtaking sunshine in and of themselves.  Thank you.

5)     http://prettyfeetpoptoe.com/

She has a way with a rant that makes you laugh, making your day a little lighter, so yes, she deserves a sunshine award too.

I hope you all enjoy your awards as much as I have mine, and for those of you reading this that didn’t get nominated….  There is something wrong with the way the internet or my computer is behaving today because there wree several of you that I wanted to link to but the link never opened up…. I hope that doesn’t mean that you aren’t there anymore.

Take care and have a great Sunshiny day 🙂

 

My Apologies for the edit, but I forgot to Thank M. Srikanth for that Beautiful Photograph of Sunshine

It’s a Sunrise over Coff’s Harbour in New South Wales.   Fabulous.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

 

 

I was reading a post by “Musings”  which spoke of temporary architecture, and it’s recent usage.  There were individual mobile platforms for ice skaters, reminding me of miniature North American Plains Indian Teepees, and really large, recyclable venues for Olympic stadiums too.

I got to pondering a bit about the direction this new mobile architecture might be taking us on.  New materials can be light weight, easily assembled, transportable, and strong.  There has also been a new emphasis on smaller scaled living, probably due to the economic downturn that has lasted for so long.  With that in mind, take a leap of imagination with me toward a slightly different looking future:

Picture a wooded slope, previously not to thickly inhabited, but now you see glimpses through the trees of small, sometimes bright colored constructions.  Here in the flatter foreground is a ring of small personal spaces sharing a central area with a water spigot and hot water source, and each having easy access to a nearby row of privies and showers, somewhat like vacationer campgrounds.

61st St. Community Garden, Chicago

61st St. Community Garden, Chicago (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Areas of urban blight have been transformed into guarded miniature homestead parks, occupied by individuals with a collective agreement to share responsibilities for the space while in residence there. Structures from Yurts to geodesic domes to re-purposed shipping crates occupy empty lots formerly used as dumping grounds.  Former welfare recipients and newly-released-from-state-care orphans find a place within these communities to begin their upward climb out of poverty.  These communities serve as half-way stops for both those growing into new responsibilities, and as stopping places on the way out of the working life while one still wishes to be useful.  Social security check recipients now reside here and live well, while contributing their aid and skills to the community effort.

The structures aren’t quite tents, nor are they as permanent looking as sheds, but something of a cross between the two.  Light weight composite materialbolted together and anchored into the ground with flexible steel cables attached to long pegs in the ground to keep them from blowing away in storms.  Electricity powered from a central source run into each personal space,  powering lights and small unit cooler/heater systems.  No individual structure taking up more space than what can be easily assembled and taken back down.

Portable home

 

Among the trees  of the turnpikes and within the canyons formed by empty lots between buildings, there are individual sites with similar footage, some on the ground and some built into abandoned buildings.  All of them  parts of guarded community agreements in cooperation with city and municipal governments. There are gardens, both vertical and horizontal in the available spaces, and chickens are raised in long, portable  coops which both fertilize the ground and help control pests in the community garden tended by rotating shifts of volunteers.

This is an urban oasis for the new overworked, and underpaid entry level  technicians in Any Company, America.  This is the new retirement villa’s of the recently retired.  This is the refuge for the homeless and the hopeless.  This is where the shared community garden is carefully raked into the earth and just as carefully tended to by various residents who enjoy growing their own food.  Several Converted shipping crates serve as canning kitchens and storage space for the food stuffs created and preserved here.

There are rental bike racks not far from these new urban residences; and mobile food vendors ply their trade nearby as a service to these hardy human beings.  Clothing and sundry other mobile vendors work the streets nearby to meet the constant needs of these just in time consumers.

Stacked shipping crates have been modified to easily and properly house refugees and migrant workers.  Showers and public facilities are engineered into some of the shipping crates as shared utilities and others are converted into community kitchens. Bunk beds and hammocks are strung through others as sleeping spaces, and still others are rooms for entertainment or study.

A daycare has been created from a grouping of shipping crates and a lightweight cover extending over a guarded play area.  Meals are served on tables that fold down from the inner court’s walls as complete seating and eating units.  Colorful murals by local artists depict a happy environment for growing children on the outsides of these structures, adding to the delightful ambiance of the neighborhood.

An out of service semi-trailer, painted in murals by local artists,  serves as a covered bus stop with benches lining the walls between the doors.

These communities can be located anywhere there is available space; the various occupants working in either the community itself (Guard, daycare, gardening, laundry, clean-up crew, cooking) or outside in whatever labor or industry the occupants can locate, and contributing by helping to pay for the water access and available electricity while being fed by the community for their contributions.

 

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I am beginning a new venture.  I am working with a young lady in the Phillipine Islands to translate a book of poetry.  In some ways, I feel like I’m working blind, as I do not speak or read her language.  I have known her for a little while though and trust her intelligence and instincts.  I wonder how she is feeling about this…. the poetry originated on this side of the world.  How will it translate there?  In what ways will sympathies be the same, and in what ways, be confusing?

This should be interesting as a cultural exchange of another sort.

Thank you to sekart99 at Flikr for the beautiful photograph.

© Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises, llc 2012.

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Ellen M Story and emariaenterprises with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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