As I continue to work on things away from this blog (which is a collection of Free-Time/Casual Online Writing, Remarks, And Notes By ME Whelan) and continue to figure out what goes and what stays of my existing online-writing, the de-emphasizing of one or another continues as well....

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Found Another Blog That I'll Be Closing Out


It may not make any sense to post this isolated post here (particularly from a blog that I'm either closing or, at least, putting on "hide" ("private").  For now, I'm moving this post (and the blog's "banner") here.  I'll move it somewhere else later   Since I'm closing that particular blog it's not as if this is "advertising" for it (or anything like that). 

The Role of Narcissistic Thinking in Bullying

For the last few years I’ve been researching the subjects of bullying, intentional verbal/emotional abuse, unintentional verbal/emotional abuse, and Narcissism; with the aim of trying to fit together the various “puzzle pieces” in a way that helps one view these subjects as part of one, larger, picture.   While I’ve had related writing projects in mind, I’ve also wanted to be able to put together that one, big, “puzzle picture” as a way of helping myself feel as if I “had my head around” the overall problem(s) of some people mistreating other people.

I’ll write more about all of these subjects (individually and combined) as time goes on.  One thing that is clear to me after being able to see that one, larger, picture is that our society encourages some ideas that obviously contribute to breeding people who are guilty of some of the behaviors in question; and that for all the talk in the world about “zero tolerance” (etc.), what it will take to drastically reduce the incidence of these problems would be to better understand how society so often contributes to the breeding of guilty parties, but then to shift some of thinking that exists in our culture these days.

As I’ve just started this blog not too long ago, I thought I’d post the following link to a piece I wrote fairly recently, The Role of Narcissistic Thinking in Bullying

As I said somewhere else on this blog (if I recall correctly), these and other interpersonal matters are the subjects to which I plan to primarily devote my online writing for awhile.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"The OK--Ness Of People" - An On-Hold Blog

As I've been going through blogs and deciding what to do about them, I've decided not to delete "The OK-Ness Of People" and instead set it on "private" until it has enough material on it to make it worthy of taking it off "private".    What I decided to do was to use the "banner" for that blog here, post any applicable posts here, and eventually collect enough here to make changing the blog settings to "public" make more sense.

"Introduction" From Home Page Of Blog

People - they come in different shapes and sizes, ages, and colors; and each one of them has his or her own story. When it comes to a lot of things about people, though, a good part of the time a whole lot of them are very much the same. One thing all people have in common is that they are, in fact, individuals.

Over the last couple of decades, it seems as if our society has increasingly forgotten that people are usually, for the most part, "OK". Sure, there are people who are damaged and/or evil. Sure, there are people with physical and or mental conditions (sometimes serious and farm from "OK", at least when it comes to whether or not someone is physically or mentally healthy). Sure, there are people who are unhappy, even downright miserable. There are also people who are insecure or else more sure of themselves than they really ought to be. In spite of all that, though, are generally OK when it comes to "being a person".

What I mean by "OK" is whether or not someone is a good person who cares about others, cares about being a responsible person, wants a good life for himself and his children or future children; and is, for the most part, a capable individual who does, or strives to, manage himself and his own life with an average, or better than average, degree of competence.

In the early 1970's Thomas A Harris, MD, wrote the popular self-help book, "I'm OK. You're OK." Although that book has nothing to do with this site, when I was getting ready to make the statement I'm about to make about society, I looked up the book (not only was it popular, but I read it when it was "big", because I wanted to make a reference just to the title of the book and need to look up the author's name and the date the book was out.

The statement I was about to make about today's society, and that prompted me to look up the author and date for that book was this: "In the early 70's, a popular self-help book was 'I'm OK. You're OK.' Aimed at helping people solve their problems by using a Transactional Analysis approach, the book seemed to be one with which anyone who was reader of the latest books, and/or a reader of the latest self-help books at the time, was familiar. The words, "I'm OK. You're OK," became kind of a cliche. In any case, my plan, before looking up the book, was to say that while "I'm OK. You're OK," sometimes seemed to be a "big theme" in 1970's American culture. The point I'd planned to make after making the statement that prompted looking up the book, was that it seems as if the "big theme" in today's culture is, "I'm OK. You're Not OK," or else "I'm not OK. You're Not OK. Nobody is OK."

What I discovered when I looked up the book is that the author actually made a reference to "I'm OK. You're Not Ok." I thought it would reasonable and appropriate here to mention that, even though; I've long forgotten what was in the back and certainly didn't even have the book in mind when I decided to name this site.

In any case, the point is that it, to me, has become increasingly disturbing that our society/culture has gotten to the point where it seems rare to run into someone who sees the "OK-ness" of most people. Whether that's a matter of believing that most people have a mental health condition, that most physical conditions can't/won't improve, that people with plenty of money lack character or integrity, that people with little money lack intelligence or willingness to work hard; or whether it means that people who, without intending to, "mess up" or fail in one way or another either brought it on through their own inferiority or even malicious intent - it all amounts to the same thing, which is assuming the worst about who/what people are.

Being "OK", most of us want to see an end of all the problems in our society. Being "OK", most of us want to solve our own, individual, problems. To me, one of the biggest obstacles to solving any number of problems insufficient understanding of the people who have and/or create those problems. What's particularly disturbing to me, as I think about whether or not some problems can ever be solved, is that it looks to me as if our culture has moved farther and farther away from truly understanding people, and continues to move in the same direction. It just seems to me that someone has to start putting on the brakes to the run-away train that has picked up steam over the last few decades. I know I'm not alone in my observations (although I often feel very much alone with those observations.) Alone or not (and again, I really don't think I'm alone), I just think it's time for anyone who noticed that the run-away train continues to pick up steam to start saying/writing something new, maybe something old, something different, something "common sense" - just something that's right and that makes some solid sense to anyone who goes through this life as person; and that is, of course, everyone.

Making sense to everyone" is, of course, a very tall order that's unlikely to be fulfilled. Making sense to more people, rather than not making sense to most people, is, however, not that unrealistic an aim. Realistic or not, that's the aim of this site.

Monday, November 28, 2016

"Lifestyles Of The Poor And Invisible" is not really just about "poor" (low-income) individuals and families,but I couldn't resist the title because of that old show, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" (is that even on anywhere or any more?  Doesn't matter.  I couldn't ever understand the entertainment value in that type of thing, but to each his own)..  The blog description gives a more complete/accurate idea about what the aims/subjects of this blog will be.

Unlike other pages I have that are old and/or neglected and/or have had so many "transfers" to/from them that they're essentially a tired mess, this particular blog is one I started but never did anything at all with, mainly because this was going to be a "pet project" type of thing.  I had concrete, clear, plans for what I'd include, but I set it aside because I was too wrapped up with trying to clean up, fix up, adjust to, and anticipate all kinds of changes that were going on for existing writing, writing sites, etc. etc.

So, this blog has been one that I've set aside and kind of kept a secret (along with some of the things I've collected in my computer but not put online).

As is probably pretty obvious (by what's on this "online-writing etc." blog you're reading), I'm still pretty much mucking my way through so much of the old pages/material that I can't pretend I'll be getting this "Lifestyles.." thing into real gear in the near future.  Still, when I ran into it I decided to write this post about, mainly because I'm so, so, sick of all the old stuff.

While I don't plan to let this one sit "forever" (the way I've let some other blogs do), I'm not going to rush into posting any-old-thing on it.    For now, I'll just note here that I decided to aim to give this particular blog what I hope is a kind of quiet, tasteful, and serious look because the people I'll be aiming it at, and the subjects I hope to cover, are more likely to be people who would appreciate that "atmosphere" on the pages.

Another Blog In Upheaval By Virtue Of Inactivity - "Life On Key"

"Life On Key" isn't just a blog (of mine) that suffers from inactivity.  It also suffere from lack of definition.

When I went looking at blogs that need attention I found my post about "a new life for 'Life on Key'".  Well, that was a hopeful post, I guess, but I see no particular signs of life after the last couple of posts.  I'm probably going to do something similar with that one as I'm planning to do with some of the others (like "Relationship Glitches".  For now, I'm including here the "banner" for "Life on Key" (because, one way or another, it will facilitate some shifting around of posts).

"Relationship Glitches" - A Blog Under Renovation

 "Relationship Glitches" is a blog I have that is in need of updating/renovating.   One of its many issues are font inconsistencies and similar "technical"/"presentation" issues.  What I think I'm going to do with that blog (for now) is hide all remaining posts and copy them here (while marking them with the blog's "banner".

At some point I'll either perfect or delete the blog.  For now there's no reason to add a link to it.  Relationship-related posts will be marked with banner from that blog.


"Introduction From Home Page"

"Relationship glitches" is a term that has often come to mind when I've been thinking about the little things that can be "off" in relationships between people (whether between spouses, parents and kids, friends, or any other combination of people in one kind of relationship or another. In fact, even co-workers or neighbors can have enough of a relationship that "glitches" can occur and cause problems to one degree or another.

It's not surprising that the degree of closeness in any given relationship can bring with it increased chances of one of these glitches, but sometimes it's more the nature of the glitch and/or the differences in natures of the people involved that determine how potentially seriously a glitch can affect the relationship.

Even in some otherwise good relationships, glitches can exist in a way that means one or both parties just learns to accept that all "will never be perfect" in all ways in that particular relationship. These glitches, however, also have the potential of creating tiny fractures in the foundation of a relationship; and too many glitches and/or fractures can, unfortunately, sometimes lead the crumbling of the relationship.

If you ask most people what it takes to have a healthy relationship, many would tell you that open and honest communication is important. Having the ability/willingness to step outside ourselves and be able to see the other person's point-of-view is something else most people believe is important. Both of these things is true (as are a lot more of the things that a good number of people believe is important in having healthy relationships). One problem can be (and I think this exists far more often than a lot of people even see) that the kind of relationship glitches to which I'm referring are something that exist for one individual, or between two different individuals, exist within the process of "running one's communication program" or "running one's trying-to-see-the-other-viewpoint program. If there's a glitch that exists in the "programs" we use in our interpersonal relationships becoming more skilled at, or more knowledgeable about, using those "programs" isn't going to help them run more smoothly.

Most of us have heard someone say how his relationship is having trouble because he and the other person "go around and around in circles and never get anywhere with it". More importantly, most of us have heard stories about how so-and-so's ex-husband was a scoundrel or a "lazy and selfish good-for-nothing", or how so-and-so's ex-wife was a "complete witch". Stories about "rotten sons/daughters" abound. So do stories about "selfish" mothers and fathers who "never really loved their children". In fact, there seems to be no end to stories that would have us believe that, perhaps, the majority of people in the world are "terrible people" who are terrible at relationships.

The fact is, there are a lot of people in the world who aren't very good at relationships. There are also plenty of people who just aren't decent, caring, people. Still, over the course of my lifetime I've become convinced that a good percentage of those stories about "terrible" people got their start with relationship glitches that caused those tiny fractures in the foundation of the relationship, and eventually resulted in a foundation so weak and/or broken it had turned into something on which no relationship could stand for too long.

Like the glitches that take place when we're using our computers, relationship glitches aren't something we can see just in the process of using the computer. All we can see is the evidence that a glitch exists. All we can see, know and/or feel is that something is wrong; and we don't really know what to do to fix it. The good thing about glitches in relationships, however, is that, unlike technical glitches that occur when we're using our computers, we don't need a lot of technical know-how in order to be able know where to look to find a glitch. Neither do we need a lot of technical know-how to be able to fix at least some relationship glitches.

Unfortunately, some relationship glitches are of the nature that may make fixing them impossible (especially when the glitch is rooted in the thinking and nature of the other person in the relationship). Glitches that exist between the two individuals may be easier to recognize and fix, but we can't usually do much about something that comes from within the other person. Then again, however, sometimes something only appears to come from within the other person's nature because nobody involved has even recognized that any problems in, or with, the relationship are rooted in a simple glitch that, if recognized, might actually be fixable. Fixable or not, recognizing these glitches can be a first step in understanding them, and possibly finding a way to improve the relationship by either fixing them or finding ways to help the relationship run more smoothly in spite of them.

Over the course of an adult lifetime, I've been increasingly and acutely aware of some of the surprising (even shocking) ways in which these relationship glitches can develop and insidiously continue to worsen in varying degrees and varying types of relationships.

Future posts here will focus on these relationship glitches that can so often make the difference between the healthiest of relationships and relationships that will never be as solid and healthy as they otherwise could have/should have been. I can't (and wouldn't even try) to fix anyone's troubled relationship. All I can do is suggest some areas where, over the course of my own lifetime, I've been shocked to discover or observe some of these glitches and/or some of the things that lead to their developing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

More About The "Notebook Blogs" - Specifically, About Use Of The Word, "Challenges" In Them

While the purpose of the "notebook blogs" is, as the name for them suggests, that they be "notebooks"; and while (at least for now) my choice of wording for some things in them doesn't really matter, I've realized that I don't like (and will probably change) the word, "challenges", in at least some of them.

Originally, I chose the word, "challenges", because I had in mind future material and/or better polishing/developing some pages/subjects.  So, use of "challenges" was what I had in mind as far as future material (aimed at trying to be useful/helpful to someone who may eventually read them) goes.

Because I thought/think that some personal experience with some things may give me a perspective/starting point from which to write something more useful later I did (still do) want to get some things down in writing that I could either polish or refer to later (if necessary).

I've realized that one of the things that stops me from adding any number of issues to "notebook blogs" is that I kind of cringe at my own use of "challenges" in them.  There are so many people in the world who have so many challenges that are far, far, more serious than any of the more minor things about which I either plan to write or else have gotten down in "notes".  Anything I plan to write isn't even going to be about such people or aimed at them.

Uninteresting as the more minor stuff (like the stuff I've been collecting my own "notes" about) may be, what I've had in mind is not to aim material at those people with big challenges or people who have overcome them.  What I've had in mind is to aim material (eventually) at people who have the smaller, sometimes seemingly minor (maybe even temporary) "challenges" that can add up and make day-to-day life more difficult; and/or that may even add up and create far bigger problems for someone than otherwise would develop.

The problem (as far as my feeling as if I want to cringe at the word, "challenges", goes) is that because I'm aiming to make use of personal experience I feel like I'm coming across (even to myself, which may be the main problem) as if I'm calling minor/temporary difficulties something completely inappropriate.

On the one hand, if someone (myself included) kept in mind that I've chosen that word with that future writing in mind then the word doesn't seem so inappropriate.  On the other hand, every time I run into it on "notebook blogs"  even I tend to forget my reason for using the word.  I don't particularly see any of excruciatingly uninteresting and minor things I write "notes" about as "challenges".  They're more "aggravations"  (or, I suppose, "super-minor challenges", but I can't write such a long phrase all the time; it's bad enough that I feel compelled to put "notes" and "notebook blogs" in quotation marks so often).

Why even write about some of this uninteresting and tedious stuff at all? .....

....Like, why write about how if the "air cushion" starts to go out of one's sandals there can be a tendency for that person to tip over?  Why not be really useful/helpful to potential readers and just say, "Word to the wise (and by the way, 'duh'):  don't expect airy sandals to do the job or more solid shoes" (or something like that?

The world is full of people who say or write that kind of stuff.  Nobody needs me to say it as well.  My point for writing something like just that one, tedious, post about sandals isn't even about how they may eventually cause someone like an elderly person or person with an orthopedic issue to tip; but how they can surprise even the person with solid footing/stability by contributing to a tendency to tip.  And, more importantly, how something like that could make those with very elderly family members mistake a shoe problem for a stability problem.).

The point is that I have my aims (and pretty much don't forget that I do) with regard to future writing for/about, say, very elderly people).  What bothers me until I get to that writing is that the word, "challenges", doesn't seem right when it's in association with all those tedious and uninteresting posts/remarks about such minor, minor, stuff.  So, I'll probably start replacing that word as I run into it, at least when it seems particularly objectionable/inappropriate........

.....There's another reason I do want some of those things in "notebooks", however, and that is that they're things I wish some people realized (not so much for myself because I can speak for myself, at least if/when someone asks me about it, or at least if I think to mention it in conversation (particularly when I get the sense the other person doesn't realize something).  And, of course, I can write for myself

One of the biggest challenges (there's that word again, but I'm not changing it in this instance)  I've had with some online writing I've done or wanted to do has been that in order to have people find one's stuff one, of course, needs to use titles/words that people search for (which is easy enough if people realize that they should be searching for something in the first place).  The problem often can be that far too few people even realize that they should be searching for SOME things.  It doesn't help that while far too few people realize that they should be searching, maybe, for some things; far too many, it so often seems to me, don't even realize that there can be any number o9f things they don't.

It's so easy, I think, for the minor, tedious, things to be "not-realized".  Sometimes it doesn't matter much if someone else doesn't realize.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes things add up.  Sometimes they don't.

So, while I have not yet quite figured out how to put together some of those more tedious things in a way that makes them something more people might eventually relate to (not to mention in a way that makes them less tedious and seemingly completely self-centered and even, perhaps, without an appropriate perspective), I do still want to get them down in writing.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Just Some Wildflowers (Or Whatever They Are) - A Page-Freshener Until I Get Back To This Blog

Since I'd rather not leave the most recent (and super-long and boring) "notebook" post on this page, I thought I'd do my usual thing of posting a picture until I return.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

("Notebook Post") - A Discovery About Walking And Crocs Sandals

Keep in mind that when I refer to walking long distances it's about walking on a number of different, less-than-ideal, surfaces (not to mention a number of other factors that mean that if I have an "issue" with Crocs sandals it is NOT because I don't like them).  Ever-changing Massachusetts weather isn't always a factor because as soon as I know the temperature will be below 50-degrees I stop wearing sandals for walking.

There are a number of different reasons that I prefer walking in sandals.  I won't go into them here.    There are also a few different reasons that I don't walk in, say, sneakers - not the least of which is that there is, in most areas where I walk, lots of dirt/sand,  gravel, etc. etc.   Sometimes puddles or wet grassy/weedy patches are a factor too; and whatever I wear for shoes gets dirty.  Sneakers don't tend to stay as clean as I'd want them to if I'm going to be out walking in public.  It's bad enough that my "wardrobe" (such as it is) is dictated by the walking factor.  I don't need to add dirty sneakers to the mix, and I need to clean what I walk in far more, and far more often, than someone in a different situation may need to.

As it is, I live with a certain amount of accumulation of road salt on whatever Winter footwear I wear.  As it is, I also save my worst Winter footwear for walking. 

Then again, where I walk and why I walk aren't exactly hiking-wear appropriate.   Wearing hiking gear would just be look weird, particularly on me. 

Actually, I have some nice, clean, sneakers at home and use them for some types of working out.  That's fine.  They stay clean (particularly in view of the fact that between the time I bought them and now they've only worked (shall I say) "on a part-time basis".  Between the fact that whatever exercise efforts I've done over recent times are modified enough that I can do them without the sneakers; and the fact that I only use the sneakers if I think I may be at risk of dropping a hand-weight or kettle bell on my feet; I don't need the sneakers all that often.

The point is that I prefer to walk in sandals.   In the pre-leg injury days I'd found Okibashi  sandals.  At the time I was using them there were some available that were off-white and (I thought) as "harmless looking", poor-fashion-taste-wise, as plastic sandals were ever going to be.  I was picky about the style and color (because - really - there's no way I would have worn some of the styles they offered at the time).  Still, they served my purpose because they lasted a long time (at least one warm-weather season, and each new season I'd turn the old ones into at-home use only and buy a new pair for outside).

The tricky thing about those seemingly indestructible sandals was that as they got too much mileage on them they'd lose some of the "air-cushion" element to them.  Then they're flatten and eventually start to crack.  The bad thing about them was always that walking miles in one pair and wearing another pair around the house when I was home meant that I was kind of prone to corns.  Most of the time it wasn't a big problem, but - really - what would one expect from plastic "shoes" (especially in cooler temperatures). 

It kind of made me laugh one time when someone on television or radio was referring to the little plastic shoes that Barbie dolls wear and said how real women don't wear plastic shoes.

At some point I couldn't find the Okibashi's in the style I liked and/or I discovered a different sandal that was more shoe-like, with a solid and thick sole.  They were inexpensive, although they had "suede-ish" straps.  They were something that were shoe-ish enough to wear wear plastic sandals REALLY wouldn't do.

The thing about the plastic ones was that I could easily and without worry wash them under hot running water when I'd get back from a walk.  The other ones were trickier to clean.  They never got the same kind of bath that the plastic ones did.  I'd just have to kind of rinse them for a very short time under cold water.  It had to do.  They were, however, good for walking when the leg injuries were an issue.  They had the thick sole that meant I couldn't feel things like acorns or gravel through them, and it was just the right height.  Of course, as the injuries were healing I wasn't walking all that much anyway, so the dirt-versus-water thing wasn't all that big a problem anyway.

For awhile I did the same thing with them as the plastic ones - new pair for out, old pair for home, maybe even another pair for "out, but for better places than out walking in dirt and puddles".  Somewhere along the way I couldn't find a new pair when the time came, which is when I discovered Crocs sandals.

Finding a new kind of sandal was tricky because I still needed a certain level of wedge (but not much), and I needed a sole that would allow me to do things like climb up a blacktop embankment kind of Spiderman style.  In other words, I needed a rubbery-ish sole but not the kind of rubber sole that's thick enough to tend to cause "toe tripping".

So anyway, I ordered some Crocs sandals.  There was still some getting past the leg injuries that had to be done, and when I got the Crocs (which had that "air cushion type of thing") I laughed a little when I discovered my tendency to tip as I stood on them.  I figured they'd be good for offering some flexibility that might strengthen some muscles, but I had to watch out for feeling like I was tipping backward.

So they were really great - comfortable, simple, not bad looking (not the clog kind of Crocs, BTW).

Over a lot of use, however, it seemed like the air went gradually out of the sole.  When it did that meant there was more distance between the "in-sole" and the inner top of the sandal sandal (straps).  So, with uneven wear, a feeling like I was at risk of a mishap because the shoe was then too big for me, and with concern that the narrow straps might break after so much use/abuse; I bought another pair.

Once again I had sandals that were perfect for my walking purposes.  I'm convinced that after wearing different hard-soled (and unevenly worn) shoes/sandals, the air-cushion element to the new Crocs offered the kind of flexibility (and subtle exercise) that wearing no shoes at all would (and without causing "funny muscle stuff" for a leg injury at that stage in healing).

What threw me off (just a little) with Crocs sandals was that the first pair I got at first didn't get a lot of outside walking.  I used them mostly indoors when they were at their newest.  So they were new but not awfully used outside, and by the time I started walking last Spring they had grown old and worn enough that I could feel the lopsidedness of wear in the "air cushion".  By the time I bought the second pair it was still fairly cool outside, and once again I had what seemed like the perfect sandal for walking.

I bought the second pair in May.  They got a lot more outside use, and I've worn them as my around-the-house sandals too.  As they are as of this writing, they're not really worn out (at all), but they've definitely had a reduction in that "air cushion" they once had.  I am starting to notice some uneven wear under my feet, which wouldn't be a big deal at this stage in leg-injury thing.  These days I'm as stable on flat ground (or flat shoes or at least firm soles) as I've ever been, even before the leg injuries.  The only thing left of the injuries is some left-over need to build up climbing strength with something like particularly steep stairs.  There is a difference, however, between needing to put some finishing touches on the particular muscles used for climbing something steep and stability with regard to standing, walking, or any of the usual activities.

Here's what I've discovered, though:   While my former plastic Okibashi's used to have a subtle change in how hard the plastic was once temperatures got cooler, the rubbery Crocs sandals have their own subtle change with higher temperatures, and that, of course, is that that they tend to get softer.

So, with so many super-hot days over the last month, my newest sandals, while certainly only recently having begun to show signs of wear, have enough wear at this point that the "air cushion" is less, there is some uneven wear, and the space between the "in-sole" and the inside of the straps across the insteps/toes continues to get (as it did with the other sandals) bigger.

The heat seems to have added that slight additional softness to them, so I've noticed a few times now that that front part of the sole occasionally flaps under the foot.  I've learned to keep this in mind and be careful about how I step, but I'm thinking it's just as well that as the colder weather is coming I may want to find a more solid shoe (or at least sandal) for walking outside.    The flapping-under thing only happens  under some circumstances, so it's not really a big deal for now.

What is a bigger deal, though, is that with the increasing wear AND the hot weather, I've noticed more and more a tendency to tip off the sandals for no reason other than the sandals.  That combination of some-air-cushion-still-there, some uneven wear with that air cushion, and increasingly bigger and/or softer sandals has meant that, in all my standing-/walking- stability, I tend to tip when doing anything other than basic walking (and so far, only occasionally then).    Doing anything "different" (like getting up out of a chair, carrying some things downstairs, stepping on uneven ground, etc.)  is generally where this new tipping tends to happen (at least for now)

Any air-cushion elements to the old, plastic, Okibashi's that I used to wear was only under the heel, so not matter how worn they got the rest of the foot had stability.  (It used to be kind of funny when a pair of Okibashi's would get old, the slightly elevated heel would develop little cracks, and the shoes started to sound like newborn kittens every once in awhile.)

The irony to the Crocs sandals is that it is the fact there's that air-cushion type of thing under the whole foot that makes them really good for someone at some stages in some injuries like mine.  The answer is pretty much not to let one pair get so beaten up (and instead buy more than one pair or else replace them more often). 

The only thing that makes me think there's even any reason to bring all this up is the interesting and un-interesting thing about how tipping can become so much more of a problem (even for someone with good stability) when the combination of a beginning wear and hot temperatures exists.

As I was writing this earlier I was watching an infomercial about a program that aims to help people (older people) keep/build up stability in order to reduce the risk that they'll fall (and end up with some of the consequences that so many older people do when they fall).  People kind of expect to fall on, say,  ice.  Who would think, though, that something as seemingly perfect as a pair of sandals with "air cuashions" could be so "perfect" if/when they're brand new, but how (only being at the beginning stages of wear) temperatures could mix in with even just a little uneven wear (and increasing looseness) and cause a perfectly stable person to tend to tip.

It doesn't take a whole lot for someone to go the sensible-shoes route.  I know that.  I can imagine how someone who saw this might think, "Well, that's why people say to walk in solid shoes."  Again, I know.  The thing is, it's easy to feel like you have so much stability that solid shoes aren't always the issue.  And, for the person aiming to exercise their post-injury leg(s) back to being stronger again, it can just seem like the sensible thing to do to wear a sandal that encourages that (at least under the conditions under which I walk).

This whole post is, I know, a big pile of nothing.  The moral to this whole "story" is, I suppose, that all who seem to have tendency to start to tip over are not necessarily suffering from instability other than that of ever loosening, ever softening, ever wearing, shoes combined with an ever-changing "air cushion" .
I still love the Crocs sandals for walking.  I will, however, pay more attention to how worn any air-cushion is in any pair of them.  It doesn't take much change in temperature to cause an ever so subtle change in the size of sandals, or even the feet in them.  Maybe, sandals being what they are, the answer is to buy a half-size smaller than one would ordinarily wear.

Monday, September 5, 2016

About Some Upcoming "Notebook Posts" That I'm Going To Post On Here

Since I have no particular "system" with regard to which posts I'll posts first on here, or else first on a "Notebook Blog", I thought I'd make things easier on myself (at least with SOME posts) and post a few on here first and then send them to their respective/applicable "notebooks".  I don't particularly want this blog to be about nothing but the "notebook-blog-related" stuff, but for now that's what I'm working on.  Things can always be changed later if it makes more sense.  Since this is an "anything-writing" page I don't care if it turns out to have a big mix of all kinds of stuff.

Trying to figure out how to come up with something potentially useful for other people (at some point) out of a mix of circumstances and individual little issues remains a challenge because some of the little issues are very common or fairly common.  Then again, the particular combination of them all isn't all that common.

So, the challenge for me is to even be able to muster up the interest in posting about excruciatingly uninteresting little issues that would only apply to some people in some situations or combinations of them.  Then again, it always goes back to the same thing, which is that if I don't get some things down to, perhaps, reference back to, I can't make points I ultimately aim to make.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just When I Think I'm Making Progress With The Old, Online-Writing, Mess....

I've stayed away from my HubPages accounts mostly because I don't even know what to do with them (particularly the one that's heading on nine years old at this point).    I just had reason to go looking around a little them, only to discover things like videos that were once working well (even though not exactly my idea of the "greatest" videos in some cases), only to discover that not all are working.

It matters more on some types of things than it does on others.  It's all fine.  I had no problem whatsoever with any number of the recent changes that have gone with HubPages.  I really don't.  It's just that my stuff is old or on the old side (before Hubpages new niche sites, or at least before there were more than a very limited number of them.

Most of the time when I find things (in my accounts) like broken links I just "temporarily" (that's what I tell myself, anyway) delete the broken links and leave whatever non-broken ones are there.  If it's a case where the link (or video) is kind of the main point of the Hub I see no reason to leave the Hub published (at least at the present time).  I can't see leaving a big, black, non-working, "video screen" on the page.

It's too late right now to worry about it (although I will say that with all our 90-degree days (varying humidity) it is nice to have the cool night air coming in and getting some things done while it is.

Monday, August 29, 2016

An Update On Writing Organizing

For some time, and after years of different types of writing "for myself" online. I've continued to try to sort and "phase out" any number of different types of writing or "phase in" one thing as it gets phased out of somewhere/something else.  I won't go into any number of locations for some of the material.  In fact, some of it isn't even really "phasing" anywhere but into trash.  Then again, some stuff can either be used better somewhere else.  Also, however, with a big mix of so much stuff it's just kind of sensible not to trash or delete stuff too hastily.

Also, there are some things that I may not want to trash and may actually end up further developing.  What I mostly want to get rid of is the stuff that's just all under my name, without consistency, rhyme or reason.

With an old pen name and a gradual transition from that, and with some stuff that (for whatever it is or isn't worth) was somehow tied together with one or another thing in common, I've tried to kind of tie some things together (sometimes with something like an image that indicates where something was originally posted).

Ultimately none of the "thread-tying" may matter, but it has, at least until now, served a few different purposes as I've been doing the "phasing-in/phasing-out/transitioning thing".

None of the "thread thing" is an issue with some blogs that stand on their own and aren't just "general writing" of one kind or another, but I've had my reasons for just kind of dumping one thing or another one place or another, not bothering with any of the formalities or "niceties" of blog management; and just making sure there was some version of cohesiveness to it all (if only for my own purposes, but also just in case anyone, for one reason or another, wanted to find something that was moved.

Layer by layer, I've gradually transitioned stuff with the aim of getting it all unified, or at least  unified enough that someone (myself included) would start on one page and, if necessary, easily get to, maybe, one other page/type of writing.

As things have developed this blog is now very much focused on a mix of online writing efforts, with some old stuff that I've added with the idea of removing much of it from wherever it presently exists.  Even that stuff is a mess, and I need to clean it up, remove it, or maybe post it under "fresh terms"; but for now it isn't bothering anyone.

For now I do have a few of those "threads" on this page/blog, although I've gradually phased away from too much use of those too.   While I may eventually change the appearance of this blog I do need it to be that "central place" for some old, not so old, and/or future online writing efforts/activities.

Having the primary focus of being a "central place" is different from being one, single, blog for posts that are for the purpose of writing posts (rather than writing posts about online writing efforts in general).

As it is now (or at least until some newer efforts take better shape) I have no plans to phase out or delete this blog.    As I said, I may change its look as time moves on and the orange-flower "thread" no longer makes much sense.  When I have time, or when the time is right, I'll start de-emphasizing/deleting some things that lead back to truly phased out stuff.  (Maybe this last statement is a more a "note-to-self" type of thing...).

In the meantime, I've dug out one of my other "author-name" blogs and plan to use it just to write/post on (and paying more attention to some of those formalities/"niceties" that I've not bothered with by using my temporary-dumping-ground approach.

For now, I'm sending a copy of this particular post to that blog .  I'll probably alter the blog description and/or slightly alter the name at some point.

That blog (for now) is "Posts By ME Whelan".  Needless to say, there's not much on it, but that's the whole point.  I just want a simple, clean, place to post when the mood strikes me and separate posts/material about online writing efforts from posts about/related to other subjects.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Just A Note About Some Posts That Will Be Clustered Together Here

Originally, I wasn't really planning to post some things that are aimed for the "notebooks" here.   What I was going to do was to post the original on one or more of those  and either post a link here, or not post any link at all, depending on what the post was.

For the next few posts I think I'll just post them here as quickly as I can, without worrying about where they "apply".   For now I'll posts the links.   I need to do what's easiest and quickest for me.  It doesn't matter with material "at this level".  I can always shift things around/delete things (etc.) later.

Some Real Elaboration On The Previous Post About Keeping Track Of Things When One Does Not Driive

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about some of ways that keeping track of things can be tricky when one earns income/spare income online. 

That post is:  Earning Income/Spare Income Online - Why Keeping Track Can Be Tricky

That post was actually more of a background type of post because what I was really aiming for was to ultimately make some points about keeping track of things "on the road", and specifically on the road without a car.

This post that I'm writing as the companion post will be used/associated with some of the "notebook blogs" and is more about the keeping-track challenges away from the "administrative end" of things.

In my most recent post(s) on the walking-related "notebook" I pointed out that over any given period of time (and for the most part, in my "pre-leg-injury era"), I had any number of different things going  on
in my life. Over the years and at one time or another (sometimes one time AND another), I've received payments/checks/deposits weekly, bi-weekly, monthly on one date, monthly on another date, upon completion of work, bi-monthly, and willy-nilly.

Without going into unnecessary details, I'll say that some of those payments have come in the form of checks in the US mail.  Some have involved one- or two- party electronic deposits/transfers.  Ordinarily, I've kept offline money separate from online money.   There have been times when converting to US dollars has been an issue.

Depending on when it has been, I've had my collection of different cards/bank cards, along with the usual non-online-earning-related credit cards.  Then, of course, there have been those times when I've had to first get a paper check deposited in my bank/ATM before I could even use any card associated with the deposit.

Normally, I'm not one to write a grocery note.  I have a good memory and tend to buy the same groceries, particularly when I am in a car (even if it's not my own car).  I'm big for writing notes and keeping notebooks when holidays are coming.  It's not just grocery notes, but notes about which dishes I'll be  using for which foods, extra stuff I'll need to buy, etc. etc.    So, I'm not anti-shopping list (or anti-paper-list) at all.  Neither am I anti-computer-list/phone list. 

I do find, though, that when I'm not sure I can get on WiFi somewhere out, or when I'm not sure I'll be able to use a device where I'll also be able to see the screen; there's also something to be said for a good, old, paper, list in my bag.  With a lot on my mind, and particularly with the crowded store on Saturday (when I'm usually in a car), or with the crowded store at any time; and then with whatever "frazzlement" walking has contributed (wind, weather, the late-afternoon/dinner-time traffic, etc.) the paper list(s) in my bag just simplifies things.  (I like to keep my head as clear as possible, and a list in the bag helps do that.)

During times when I've been at the height of the mixed-income/mixed contacts/mixed everything activity, I would sometimes, although not always (if I didn't think it was necessary) write a list of errands to do, things to buy, etc. etc.    Sometimes, however, it didn't seem necessary ahead of time, and it only became apparent that it might have helped to have a back-up plan on paper if something didn't work out.

For example, getting to an ATM, only to discover it was out of cash or out of order.   There would be times I'd plan my stops (on foot and in the suburbs stops can involve quite a bit of walking), only to discover that x store didn't have y product, which meant I'd have to shift around even some simple plans.  OR, there have been times I've discovered that one or another store isn't accepting x-type of electronic transaction at the moment, but they'll accept some other kind.

Although some of the "Internet cards" offer people at least something of a break on fees (if enough money passes through them each month), some don't offer much in terms of a break.  Then again, some are great.  "Regular" banks, of course, let people do all kinds of electronic transactions without charge.

One reason it's particularly important for me to plan my stops is that I may want to do only one, "main", transaction with a card that charges a couple of dollars every time you use an ATM (and if the ATM  charges you two-plus more dollars when you use it).  Not too many people want to wipe out 5.00 on too many, if any, unnecessary electronic transactions.

Ordinarily, I've always been able to manage things and plan things in a way that doesn't mean too many changes in my original plan-of-stops/actions.  Sometimes, too, if some little, different, thing happens it's no big deal for me to change plans.

There have been times, however, when I wouldn't otherwise go out if I wasn't one pay day or another, particularly if I knew someone was coming to the house, a holiday meant there wasn't much time to waste, or even if I just needed groceries I'd rather not do without.

Although I've always considered my being a super-efficient, super-organized, person to be an asset, and a help; there have been times when being thrown off my carefully planned "system" and organization  may have added to my frazzlement.

Since I've never wanted to carry a lot of cash with me,  what I've always done is try to get just enough (maybe a little extra) for whatever errands I've had in mind.  Sometimes some of the smallest things have thrown me off.  For example, I can think of a time when I'd, maybe, get a twenty-dollar bill with the idea of buying stamps at the grocery store's courtesy window.   I'd get there.  Maybe they wouldn't have the stamps I wanted, and, for some reason, I'd shift my plan-of-action (to get the stamps somewhere else) from using the twenty-dollar bill for stamps to using it for something else at the shopping center, and then planning to get an extra twenty-dollars back from a purchase (to buy stamps elsewhere).

It wouldn't take too many of this kind of "throw-off" to add to any frazzlement I may have had going; and while there have been times when all has gone mostly smoothly, there have been other times when whatever I had planned when I left the house had been completely changed at any point along the way.

Screen-visibility aside, finding a corner outside where I might be able to check on one thing or another online (only to to discover slow loading), and/or phones that don't keep their connection in one or another store have all been issues.

All of this (although I certainly haven't covered everything) is the stuff on the "keeping-track" end of things that kind of tells the rest of the story.

Even when I'm in a car, however, it isn't that much different.  The "frazzlement causes" are different.    Weather isn't generally a cause.  Neither is a walk between, say, one place and the other two or three errands.

But, if I'm with someone there is their time to consider.  Since I'm a flexible (and try to be) thoughtful person, I'll adjust if I think I'll make things easier for the other person.  Besides, being in a car makes no difference when the "surprise" is related to electronic transfers, cards, etc. etc.

Since a good part of the time I don't write down plans/steps for a trip out, I obviously keep it all in my head (and I'm thankful that I can).  What has so often happened, however, is that if a "throw-off" is a big enough one, I imagine I probably shift from my calm, organized, efficient, mode of operating into some kind of almost immediate "kick" into a "stress-type of mode" (one or another kind, or type, of "frazzlement"; which I have frequently described as "short-circuiting" (often, once I get into one or another establishment (especially a crowded one), and feel knocked enough off my usually solid footing/grounding to start a "cycle of kind-of-upset".

Something that does not help is that this kind of thing has been a part of my life for so long, I pretty much feel closer and closer to a saturation point about it, rather than, say, getting used to it.

I think of other people who walk (and maybe who aren't nearly as organized and (ordinarily) on top of things as I am, and I think of, say, some elderly people in some situations.  I'll eventually fined a way to tie all this in with some of those people.

In the meantime, I also think of myself and how often I've looked like a frazzled mess when I'm somewhere that otherwise wouldn't involve such frazzlement (like the local and familiar grocery store that I've been shopping at for years). 

Without the convenience and shelter of my own car, I pretty much most often (and for one reason or another) have "an outside me" (that's, to one degree or another, some version of a frazzled, or "frazzled-ish" mess) and an "inside me" (the "regular me", or at least as "regular me" as I can be under a sometimes challenging, unique and/or "non-regular" situation).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Finally Have A Clearer Idea About How I'll Move Forward With The "Notebook Blogs"

As someone who needs structure, neatness, and a general appearance/feel (of a page I'm working on) of a certain "level of polished"; I've realized that among a few different things that have kind of made me feel less than motivated has been my having only a "rough-draft" kind of plan for the "notebook blogs".  I've known where I want them to be and how I'll use them, and I know what I want each to focus on (and why and how, and all that).

What has been kind of slowing me down (and in ways making me kind of freeze up) has been that a certain amount of background-/foundation- material has to at least be on some of the "notebooks", but that has meant that as I start to add some of that stuff it makes me feel as if I'm losing site of what those "notebooks" were designed to be. 

On the one hand, there's something to be said for just kind of forgetting about structure and format and appearance and getting some stuff down.  On the other hand adding "big mess" to "big mess"  (or the alternative until now, adding "big mess" to what was reasonably clean and neat) just kind of creates the impression (in myself) that I've lost site of neat and orderly and generally more conventional approach to each "notebook".  Enough neat, well organized, such "notebooks" (either alone or tied in with other, related, pages, will all kind of fall in place.

I finally realized that I have to be careful about being de-motivated about what looks like yet another big mess of poorly structured material; and remember that there really is a finite number of such posts before I can move on with my original aims for each "notebook".

There is (at least for me and with my aims) something to be said for just loading up some of the long posts without worrying about structure and appearance and organization.  What I need to remind myself (maybe not now, but I've had to as I've been wallowing in de-motivation and dissatisfaction regarding these pages) is that the information (big mess of it as it may be) does need to be there.  It doesn't need to be highlighted, however.  It's just that as I'm adding this stuff in the beginning (and without the "Phase II" stuff on a page yet), a) it does look highlighted for now, and b) seems to highlight not just the mix of information, but also the poor structure of it all.

One thing I don't need or want are more half-baked pages that are waiting for one another thing to happen, even if one or another of those things may be deletion when the time is right.  I may ultimately consolidate and/or delete a couple or few of the "notebooks". 

In any case, the path to better structure for the "notebooks" is not (I now see) to eliminate the messier posts/information, but to include them (without concern for their structure) - but then given them a "low-level" place on each "notebook".

When all is said and done, trying to write stuff, think up structure, think up direction (etc. etc) all at the same time can just appear kind of de-motivating, at least until a few more things start to fall into place.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Looking Around For Something To Post In Order To Push Down That "Cheese Sticks" Post

So I wrote that whole, big, long, "cheese sticks" post as a way of taking a break from the tedious stuff that I'm aiming to, little by little, add here and to the "notebook" blogs.   Since it's the big, rambling, indulgent post I wrote for the sake of coming up with something to break things up; needless to say, I'm not too thrilled with it.  I could delete it, but that would mean having to come up with some new thing to "break up" the tedious stuff.

As always (particularly while I have stuff like this blog in a mode of "de-emphasis" as far as my settings go), part of me thinks, "Just delete it.  It's junk."  The other part of me says, "Why delete it?  It isn't bothering anybody, particularly in view of the de-emphasizing mode.

Actually, I have a couple of "super-comprehensive" (but tedious) background posts that will eventually go with material on the "notebook" blogs.  While there are a few things I'd like to add to them; considering the fact that the point of the "notebook" blogs is not to worry about formt, there's really no reason for my not just posting them.

After just looking at them, however, I just can't make myself post them because I'm apparently not over being sick of them any more today than I was yesterday or the days before.   I think I need to re-think  either original time-frame aims or my settings - or something.

Of course even thinking about moving a few things from one back-burner to another (or something lilke that) is, in itself, not the most motivating or satisfying thing to do.  With offline material/projects to work on, stuff that was once online and now isn't (and needs to be reassessed), and some stuff that I'll eventually put online in spite of a general "phasing away" from most of it; and with my still using the online stuff as "get-away stuff", it can be tricky to keep balance between what's "take-a-break" stuff and what's not all that much of a break.

There's only so many "limbo blogs/pages"  I can feel comfortable leaving online (regardless of settings), and right now that number is way, way, too high.  This is nothing new to anyone who does a mix of writing, but it's also tricky to find balance between actual writing, writing-related background stuff, and plain, old, forgetting about writing and do one thing or another with some of the "limbo" stuff.

The problem is (at least with the volumes of online stuff) I'm bothered by the half-baked element of pretty much all of it.  A little bit of "half-baked" can be ignored, I suppose.  I had that going on at one time.  There were just a handful of things that were half-baked, and I'd either do a little something to add to them, or spiff them up, or else just not go to them at all.

With eleven years' worth of a whole lot of different water under a whole lot of different bridges (not to mention all kinds of high-speed evolution going on with technology, the Internet, writing sites, etc. etc.), I have to remind myself that a whole lot of the mess I have on my hands right now with this online-writing stuff is something I couldn't have prevented because I couldn't see where things would go any more than anyone else (or at least most people, I think).

One pretty much does not do any kind of online-writing in a vacuum.  Of course, if one could put stuff on settings (like "super-private") and/or if one kept things to a couple of pages or sites (which I suppose all kinds of people not only could but have) then a few half-baked and/or "super-private" pages/blogs (or
whatever) wouldn't eat away at them and make them feel as if it there was some big emergency to clean up or clear out anything that didn't meet one's own standards.

As part of my wheel-spinning over this stuff I remind myself to remind myself that I'm from the pre-Internet generation.  Everyone's re-thinking all kinds of things about how things are done, quality, etc. etc.  Sometimes I think of some of the stuff that has been, or still is, or is getting to be out there more and more on the Internet; I think (essentially), "Hey, my cr*p is no worse than some of the other cr*p that's out there".

Of course, everyone has his own idea of "cr*p", and I don't even care about the stuff (in that category) that's attached to other people's names.  It's the stuff attached to my name that continues to eat away at me.  I continue to go back and forth over the good that the Internet can do and be or offer and the stuff in that category I've mentioned.  (I'd rather not keep throwing in the title of the category more than it
really needs or ought to be.)

I also go back and forth over my sometimes seemingly overwhelming urge to just delete all accounts, close everything down (which I most likely will do when I know the time is right, at least with most things I have online).  It's just that the time is not yet right for a number of different reasons, not the least of which is eleven years' worth of effort is eleven years' worth of effort.  Also, although it's a small percentage of stuff I've written, there's stuff I wrote with my children and any future grandchildren in mind; and, Internet accounts or no-Internet-accounts, I'd really rather not resort to any hat-boxes (even if I have a couple of "hat-box" blogs).

Oh well...     This wheel-spinning pile of nothing ought to be enough to push down  the "cheese sticks" (essentially) filler-post.

Note:  In the interest of full disclosure, I actually did this post after midnight (Eastern time) on August 9, but at least wanted a sort-of-clean-ish start once the daylight hours of the 9th make what is "tonight" for me what will become "tomorrow" when I start the day anew.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Of Cheese Sticks, Marinara Saurce, How The Truth Can Get Lost, And The Roots Of Misunderstandings (Or Maybe A Better Title Might Be "A Big, Long, Post About Nothing")

We often hear people say that there is often three sides to every story; and that those are the side that one person tells, the side a second person tells, and the truth.  That's often, of course, the way things work.  Sometimes, though, there's just one truth and if anyone involved is careful enough to recognize what he can know for certain and what he cannot know for certain while the whole truth may not be evident in any given situation, at least what is presented by anyone involved in that situation is accurate and would better be described as "part of the truth", rather than "a different truth".

Not too long ago I had a situation that was nothing, truly nothing.  It would certainly seem not worth mentioning at all; and as far as writing about it goes, it REALLY wouldn't seem worth doing that.

If you see in the title the words, "cheeses sticks and marina sauce" it's pretty clear that the following story is about something pretty insignificant (even "dumb").  If you look at the word, "misunderstandings", you might think the story is about misunderstandings.  That, however, is kind of misleading because the story I'm about to write really isn't so much even a story as it is an example.  On top of that, the term, "misunderstandings", suggests at least a little bit of "a thing" between the people involved.  This wasn't even that because I don't think one third of the people involved even knew that one or two of the others would go away feeling as if the truth (even an insignificant one not worth worrying about or making an issue of) had been lost (although that one-third of the people may had his own feeling that some truth/fact had been overlooked, misunderstood and/or lost).

So, point Number 1 here does go to that thing about how two or three people can come at a situation and view it from two or three different perspectives.

In "general life" I'm kind of proud to be, and work hard at being, a person who doesn't make mountains (or issues) out of molehills.  Life is short.  Brains and mental energy shouldn't be wasted on insignificant little stuff, even stuff that actually does turn into something of misunderstanding (regardless of whether the people involved allow it to or not).

In my "writing life", however, I'm not above turning the tiniest of molehills into a non-story that's really more example than story, mainly by virtue of never having allowed it to turn into even a small story.   (Also, as some of my posts on here may suggest - or out-and-out "scream") - I'm in need of getting away from some of the more serious efforts and just writing something because it's "nothing" (but with a few points thrown into the mix).

So here's the story about the cheese sticks and marinara sauce:

First, I'd say that I never eat fried food like french-fries or mozzarella sticks, but the story I'm about to tell makes it obvious that I do break my no-fried-food policy/preferences at least once in a while.  That's because I generally go out with my sister to do my weekly grocery shipping on one of the weekend days (most often Saturday).  It's not a "fun shopping" kind of trip.  It's a weekly grocery trip with, occasionally, a trip run into CVS and always coffee and/or some version of food to go with the coffee.

I'd say I'm "mostly vegetarian" and have been for most of my adult life, but I can't say that because, depending on the time in my life or the situation, I do break some "complete-vegetarian" rules in some ways at some times.  So technically, I don't think there's really such a thing as someone who IS "mostly vegetarian".   I rely heavily on eggs (but a person can get all egged-out by doing that) and do eat cheese, but not much of it (because I don't want to both for health reasons and reasons of not being all that interested in too many different types of cheese).

So anyway, on the weekend when we go to do our basic grocery shopping we go to a no-frills shopping center that has a Burger King right across the street from it.    By the time we start our shopping/coffee trip on Saturdays I've even been up since the crack of dawn and had breakfast OR skipped it; or else I got up a little later, maybe eaten some small snack instead of breakfast (or else skipped eating) and aimed to hold off long enough to make the trip-out food "lunch".

Paraphrasing the words of the Magic Eight-Ball, all signs generally point to my never wanting cookies or muffins with my coffee and often being all egged out in general.  In the scheme of life but also the scheme of my own rest-of-the-time eating habits, I don't think four cheese sticks and a packet of fries even on most weekends is really a big issue.

I'm not really even a french-fry person at all and most often don't get them with any meal I eat out, but as it happens I do think the BK fries (at least at the store near me) are good enough to bother even considering eating.

It's always my sister who is driving when we go through the drive-though, and it's often she who offers to cover whatever version of lunch we get there.  So, the cheese sticks (while non-exceptional) are edible and do the job of being filling, the french-fries are something I could do without but choose not to just because they taste so good.  (Most often, I'm an "if-it-does-the-job" kind of person when it comes to food.)

So, in all the time (years now, and even before the fries were what they are today and were therefore not worth ordering) that I've been getting those cheese sticks, cheese sticks have "just come with" marinara sauce unless I tell them I don't want it.  While that may be the policy with the sticks, sometimes it gets in the bag.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Sometimes the person at the window throws in two.

It's all understandable.  Sometimes more than one person is involved with packing the to-go bag, for example.  It's fine, and I don't even really care a whole lot if I don't get the sauce.  It's just that, given the choice, I do prefer it (mainly because it disguises the taste of the cheese).  (Are you now getting a real feel for how, exactly, dumb an issue this story/non-story is about to unfold?)

Keep in mind that over a period of time it's unlikely that the same employee will be at the window when we go through on any Saturday.   Keep in mind, too, that sometimes my sister also gets whatever she gets and also that when I talk about x number of trips through that drive-through I'm talking about most, but not every, Saturday each month over a period of years.  All kinds of changes-of-hands can go on in a place like BK, not to mention changes-of-hands dealing with the drive-through window on any shift.

In any case, most of these drive-through/cheese-sticks trips that involve my sister and me are a matter of the worker asking something like whether we want any condiments/sauce, at which time there's the opportunity to either say, "just the marinara sauce" or "besides the marinara sauce, could we have 'blah-blah' (whatever it is if we get anything else)".  The marinara sauce generally gets in the bag.  As I said, sometimes a couple of them get thrown in.

A couple of weeks ago when we went through there was no sauce in the bag.  I didn't check before we left and didn't say anything to my sister about it once I discovered that it wasn't.  I didn't care all that much (never do) but did wonder if, maybe, it would be good these days to mention.  Maybe they had new employees or a new policy.  The reason I didn't say anything to my sister (besides my not really caring all that much about it) was that she had covered the order.  I didn't want to turn her doing something nice into something that was less than satisfactory.  I could have something and let her know I didn't care, but the other thing was, I guess, not wanting her to think that my not caring was a) just something I was saying to make her feel better, or b) something other than my not caring (like, for example, not caring because I "don't have the backbone" to speak up, as opposed to my not caring because I don't waste my brain time/energy caring about stupid stuff like marinara sauce on cheese sticks.

While I still don't know if there was a new employee or new policy at BK, I didn't think to wonder if, maybe, the no-sauce thing was a matter of her not putting it in the bag because she asked something like, "Do you want anything else with that?" and my sister's assuming the "anything else" didn't mean "sauce" (or that type of thing).  I wasn't paying attention because I didn't assume there would be no sauce.

So, a couple of points here:

1) What the issue was within BK was something I couldn't know, and didn't really need to.  It was one drive-through visit and - one more time, and I can't emphasize this enough - a matter so minor it really wasn't worth giving too many seconds of thought to.

2) We (people like customers, in this case) don't always know to pay attention to who says what unless/until there's a problem.  Since there hadn't been one I hadn't paid attention to what might have better made clear to me (just me among this "cast of characters") exactly why no sauce was in the bag.

3) While, when it comes down to it, one might realize that these things can happen, and it's really the customer's responsibility (if he wants to make sure his order is what he wants) to check the bag before driving away.  I wasn't driving.  I could have looked.  I didn't care.  That's not the point.  The point is that some little issue went on either with the young woman who packed the order or between her and whatever she asked/said to my sister.  Oversight, new rule, mis-communication.  Something went on that I had nothing to do with.  Then again, really, since it was my order and I wasn't even driving, how much could I blame anyone/anything else for my own not, at least, just looking into a bag with so few items in it?

Live and learn.  Live and don't learn.  Live and try to learn.  Moving onto the fact that I discovered the no-sauce situation too late for it be to convenient to fix.  Further, upon discovery I then actually spent a couple of seconds considering whether or not to mention it to my sister.

My thinking with stuff like little nothing-meals we get out is "there's always tomorrow" (or in this case, next week most likely).  (And if there isn't then no-sauce with my cheese sticks would turn out to have been the least of my problems anyway.)  It's almost impossible to stress, in spite of all my words about this here, how little time I actually spent thinking or caring about the foolish sauce thing.  Still, apparently, in the back of my head somewhere I did learn.  That wouldn't really become apparent, however, until the following visit a couple of weeks (I think) later.

This time my sister was getting whatever she was getting.  Sometimes she doesn't get something there at all and gets her lunch somewhere else.   I suppose, either out of politeness, needless to think a little while while ordering, and/or out of fact that the cheese sticks and fries thing is most often a constant (at least under the drive-through/Saturday-groceries situation), my sister first mentioned my stuff as she replied to the person at the speaker.

First, the employee asked for the order really quickly as we got to the speaker.  Second, saying "cheese sticks and value fries" didn't take long, and saying what she wanted didn't take much long.  There wasn't a lot of time for me to sit there, recall the fact that the last time we did the BK thing I hadn't gotten sauce and to realize that I should probably say something (in case people are now supposed to request the sauce).

At this point she didn't even know there had been an issue the previous week, so I'm guessing she wasn't imagining that I'd suddenly pop up with, "Could you ask for sauce too?".  In the whole speedy process of the order, it was as, or after, my sister was saying what she wanted that I kind of whispered my mention of asking for sauce.  So, as she asked for the sauce immediately asking for her own sandwich, it sounded to me like, maybe, her request for marinara sauce could have been interpreted for asking for sauce on her sandwich.  Since I don't even know what they have for sandwiches these days, but know they sometimes have "Italian-sauce" sandwiches; I kind of panicked (within the context of such a minor matter) a little as I imagined her getting her sandwich with sauce dumped all over it.  ("Surprise!!!!")

It was too late to do anything about that possible misunderstanding, but as we headed toward the pick-up window I commented (and maybe even planted a little bit of worry in her mind) that I hoped they didn't think she meant "sauce on the sandwich".

We both kind of agreed that we weren't going to worry about it at the moment).  (If she had gotten a sauce sandwich I  would have asked her to drive through again, and I'd cover her new sandwich.)  (Again, all this thinking about such a minor thing in such a short time period.)  It was only between the speaker and the window that I remarked to her that the sauce hadn't been in the bag the week before.  While I don't what she was thinking when I had blurted out, "can you ask for sauce" at the speaker, I think I can assume that my remark about the week before had cleared up any question I'd caused to arise in her just before.

At this point (and not that she cared about any of this any more than I did), it wasn't just I who done a little more thinking/wheel-spinning associated with this either of the two weeks' orders of cheese sticks.  At this point, I had turned my "kept-to-myself" history with the marinara sauce into more thought/concern for her than she would have most likely imagined upon first driving up to the speaker.

At this point, something that wasn't new or complicated to either of us or to anyone who works at BK or is familiar with their menu had taken on the feel of something far more complicated.  As we got up to the window, I don't know how much she was actually worried about getting a sauce-sandwich; and even though I knew I could correct things if she did, I, personally, had a certain amount of nervousness about discovering whether or not this particular and potential mis-communication had resulted in the "dire" consequences of a sandwich that wasn't supposed to come with, or have, marinara sauce dumped all over it having turned into a special order (that would take longer, create "a thing" for an employee who didn't know how to deal with such as "special request".

(BK used to have commercials that said, "....special orders don't upset us".  That, though, was about "hold the pickles/hold the lettuce" and not about completely weird requests  )

So, with any damage having already been done as far as my sister's sandwich went, and with my having by then told her that my marinara sauce was missing the week before, when we got to the window (where a young man was that day doing the window duty) as he handed out the little bag my sister doubled-checked about the marinara sauce being in the bag and the man told her/explained to her that marinara sauce always come with cheese sticks.

He meant well.  Maybe he didn't know how often we've done this "cheese-stick thing" over the years.  He had no way to know that it hadn't "just come" with the cheese sticks the week before.  As this friendly, third, character in this second, most recent, in a series of BK/cheese sticks "dramas" not only smiled, acted friendly, and appeared to want to reassure customers that they don't need to ask for marinara sauce with cheese sticks; my sister and I looked at each other and silently agreed that it wasn't worth clarifying to him that there hadn't always been marinara sauce in all bags.

So, who knows where the young woman from the no-sauce day was on this most recent visit.  (Maybe she had quit.  Maybe she had been fired?  I doubt either and don't think either should have necessarily happened.  I just thought it might be kind of funny to throw that in.)   As far as I can assume, the young man from the most recent visit either didn't think anything at all about what had gone on.  What I don't know is if, by any chance, he commented to any fellow employees (particularly if he, or they, know we're "regulars" and have been for so long) about "our" not knowing that sauce comes with the cheese sticks; or even about what he could have seen as my sister's out-of-line double-checking that he had put in the bag what was supposed to "just go with" the food.

I'm going to assume that he didn't give it a second thought and that all seemed well enough to him (which it was as far my sister and I were concerned, because there was sauce in the bag and we didn't really mind being politely told that sauce "always" comes with cheese sticks),   As with so many such situations we both (and most likely the young man if he'd known about it) saw the mild humor in the whole episode (if it can even be called an "episode").

If we had decided to make sure this young man had the complete and accurate truth about the situation we could have been out-and-out, but polite, jerks who just had to make sure he didn't think we were stupid.  OR, we could have been bigger jerks who allowed a nothing thing to turn into a something thing, and maybe even potentially escalate into bad feelings or rudeness.

None of it was anyone near to being worth it.  What we don't know, however, is whether, for example, this employee knew we were "regulars" and assumed he'd forget, maybe either because young or new or a BK employee or whatever other reason we might assume he'd forget.

My point here isn't to try to imagine all kinds of things this young man could have thought up (and most likely didn't), but to just consider the potential for "disconnects" in even the simplest of interactions and then to further consider some of bad information that could be passed from one person to others he knows only as a result of that disconnect, rather than because his perspective is accurate.

I can't stress enough that I've intentionally selected this "truly-nothing" "non-story"  not because I thought it was worth writing this whole, big, post about; but because, in all its nothing-ness, harmless-ness, and mundane-ness it highlights any number of possibilities as far as misunderstandings, misconceptions, and losing the facts/truth go.

So, my sister and I went happily on our way once we'd silently acknowledged the little bit of humor there'd been in the young man's telling us that marinara sauce always just comes with cheese sticks.  It's probably safe to assume the young man at BK went on with his day and shift without thinking much, if anything, about us or the request for sauce.

On the one hand, this young man was perfectly helpful and correct in stating that it is standard for cheese sticks to automatically come with marinara sauce.  One of us could have made an issue out of my not having been given sauce the week before by someone else who works there.  What had gone on the week before with someone else shouldn't have been his worry, and proving his statement "wrong" by dredging up the facts about the previous visit would have been nothing more than having to have the last word, and a word that would have taken some of the air out of balloon.  Why do such a thing to someone who had nothing to do with anything but the order, and marina sauce, of the day?

The real point here is not what he thought about us or whether he would ever have an accurate idea about the whole picture/truth of the situation.  The point is really only that if he didn't have the whole picture and, for some reason, drew some conclusion (and particularly if he shared that incorrect conclusion with someone else).

Since we chose not to be jerks about having to have the last word in such a minor and day-to-day interchange, as far as I can tell (and that's only as far as I can tell, of course) the minute or so of exchange was a friendly one.

As far as I know, my sister's sandwich was not covered in marinara sauce (although, for all I know, it could have been and she may just not have said anything about it).  As I write this it occurs to me that if her sandwich had no sauce on it she may have made it a point to reassure me that it didn't - which now makes wonder if it did and she just said nothing.  Then again, maybe she didn't understand the degree to which I was concerned about being responsible for a peculiar and unwanted load of sauce on here sandwich.  OR, maybe she just hadn't really shared my concern.  OR, maybe she hadn't realized how very confusing it sounded to someone who heard her throw in the request for marinara sauce so immediately following the request for the sandwich.

And all of these things are the kinds of things from which disconnects are made, the roots of misunderstandings and potential misunderstandings can get their start, and the picture and take of the facts-of-the-matter/truth can become lost.

Oh, by the way, as I write this I realize that the little container of marinara sauce that I got with my cheese sticks on that last trip through BK's drive-through is still in the plastic bag I put it in so that it wouldn't get squooshed in the canvas bag I use as a "purse" and make a big sauce-mess in my bag. Not being too thrilled that little sauce containers (etc.) get thrown into the bag on top of things like fries or cheese sticks (that have no covers/wraps on them), I'm always in a hurry to first remove the "extras" and toss them in my purse/bag for a few minutes until I get to them.  

It turned out I was too hot, too hungry, too tired, too busy, or too something-else to be bothered dealing with trying to open a little container of marinara sauce and being careful not to get any of it on me.  So, for one reason and/or another I just ate the four cheese sticks without the sauce (just as I had the week before).

I could take the low road and point out how I cared more about the sauce the week before when I wasn't so hungry, hot, tired, busy, or whatever-else; and how not having sauce for the cheese sticks was a bigger deal the week before than it would have been this most recent.  Or, I could take the high road and say something like, "Isn't it funny how some things sometimes happen."

Instead, I'll just say, "oopsie" and be happy that I've typed this whole, useless, post without my "carpal-tunnel-thing" wrist seeming to notice. 

Why I Have Trouble Doing Much Of Anything On This Blog Or Related To It

Even though I got my online-writing efforts (the writing I did/do for myself, rather than for someone else) and/or rather than any projects done on a professional basis) to the point where they were/are "a thing of their own"; while some things kind of turned a little more serious than others "x percent" stayed under the category of "writing I do when I want to get away from more serious efforts and just write for me".

Without (yet again, among whatever I've posted on whatever blogs somewhere) getting into a whole bunch of details, these days the whole picture has changed; I have the online "my-time/free-time" stuff trimmed down to just whatever I have lumped together under my name as "free-time stuff", which includes this blog as a home-base type of thing and HubPages.

I haven't necessarily eliminated the idea of writing any articles on there, and at this point I think I have two types of articles in mind for any future efforts on there.  One type would not, however, be "writing just for me".  The other would be (even if I made sure it was potentially useful and/or unique to readers, rather than just a "blog type of post").  I have nothing in particular against writing either type of thing
on there, but a) I'm still looking at two accounts on there that need "clean-up"  (and that's only a tiny, tiny, fraction of clean-up and organization to be done with older online stuff); and b) there's only so much time for this online-writing stuff, or at least for the stuff that's "for me", rather than stuff done on a more professional basis.

Every time I switch on my computer I automatically open windows for this page and for HubPages.  There are all kinds of posts that I want to do on the "notebook blogs".    With HubPages, I go there to see what may be going on on/with the site.   I look through the "community stuff" to see if I get any ideas for new Hubs, which I often do.  My problem there is that I'm often not sufficiently motivated to complete Hubs that I start.  As a result, I tend to prefer to just take "the lazy woman's way out" and use their Questions/Answers section as a socializing/discussion type of thing.

I've often seen people say how writing is, in fact, an isolating thing (needless to say), which is one reason why, supposedly, those community pages are there - for writers to take a break

Other than some really limited activity on the two "main" social sites, I stay away from social sites online.    I'm not looking to genuinely socialize with strangers online.  There's only so much Internet time  I'm going to waste on "non-genuine".  As it is, like most people my age who have families, projects of one kind or another, worries, finding time to spend with different family members, etc. etc.; I don't even really have time or energy for socializing with offline friends very much (and if I do they don't)).

So, regardless of whatever else I'm working on or doing offline, I leave my computer on the two windows I mentioned and pop on and off all through the day, here or there.  In the case of this blog,
it's with the idea that maybe I'll add more of what I plan to add in order to eventually be able to tie things together and get them to where my real aims are very clear.

I've already described (any number of times in one place or another) how I use HubPages and why.  The main thing is that it's the only place where's there's input from someone other than just me.  Why it works well for me is that while, say, a phone call to a friend may not be good timing popping onto a discussion page is always good timing.

My thing is, though, that I don't want to write articles that someone else can write as well as or better than I can.  I have no interest in writing fiction at all, and most of the poems/verse I've written have been a matter of seeing a title (on Helium when that site was around) and "just seeing what I could come up with", rather than out any interest in writing poetry as a way of "expressing myself".  The exception are things I've written with my (now grown) children in mind and I guess, maybe, one or two about writing.

What I'm working up to with this blog and any associated material is to make use of experience with some fairly minor, or at least temporary in some instances, circumstances/situations and then come up with solid information/insight (that someone without a particular combination of circumstances/experiences can offer) to paint a more solid and accurate "bigger picture" of one group of people or another.

For example, what I've been primarily focusing on recently has been some of things that some very elderly people must have to deal with as a result of not driving and/or having a mobility problem or chronic pain problem (as in the case of people who live with arthritis).

There's some cross-over, however.   And, the no-driving thing and/or (in my case, and thankfully AND knock on wood for now) the mobility/chronic pain thing (with injuries) don't always apply to the very eldery only, if at all.   Things like anorexia (complete lack of appetite and trouble being able to starrt eating again, things like depression and/or stress/exhaustion and/or the appearance of either aren't just for the very elderly either.

Then there are issues more associated the "not-quite-all-that-elderly-but-not-thirty-either" set.  One example is that not all sixty-year-olds have children (most often grown or mostly grown) of the same age or have grandchildren or kids who have all moved far away or all live nearby.

As, I think, most people over fifty will tell you, there's often at least the occasional time when someone younger says or does something related to "being old after fifty" that's infuriating.  I can think of a few times even before the first injury I got (in my late fifties) when someone  younger did, said, or appeared to think one (often seemingly minor) thing or another; and while I'd realize they meant no harm and that it was a small thing (and therefore just let it go and say nothing), over time I started imagining living with that kind of thing for, say, another twenty or thirty years.  I'd think, "No wonder so many elderly people get grouchy and irritable".

Of course, it's not always that simple, or even that accurate.  Also, I don't imagine fifties (no matter how youthful or non-youthful someone seems in some ways) is anywhere near what someone in his eighties may have to deal with.   When I did the leg injuries that took time to work back from, and with a couple of Winters in the mix, the whole picture and my own insight took on new dimensions.

That's when I started to see unfold, sometimes to my horror, what at least some (probably many, I'm guessing) elderly people must have to live with.  It's also when I started to think about how many people may be viewed as having some degree of dementia when they don't have it at all, or else when it's nowhere near as bad someone else may think.  More importantly, I started to wonder how living under some circumstances without the right kind of understanding and/or support may actually contribute to, or hasten, dementia.

I wouldn't even attempt to address my own questions.  I know there are professionals specializing in these areas, and they're far more qualified than I am to research/write about this kind of stuff.  My thing is that I'd like to aim some things at people who are not professionals who work with, or on behalf of, elderly people and their issues.  (Again, issues associated with elderly people aren't my only focus/aim, but they are among the main ones.)

While I don't even particularly think about getting readers to this blog in the state that it, and related material, is in (and in fact I have settings that essentially discourage attracting readers for now), I need to get all those seemingly insignificant things/challenges down in writing and in one place for my own purposes.  I don't happen to mind who sees what I've written in the meantime, but a) I can't help but care a little that what's here could generally create a negative impression of me, my writing and/or my motivations; and b) I pretty much get sick of, and find incredibly un-interesting, all the all the tedious and excruciating details involved (and even required) in trying to put something together that is both solid and (eventually) easy to read and make sense of.

In sort, I look at this blog (and related stuff) full of all those seemingly insignificant "challenges" lumped together to form one, big, picture of "nothing-but-problems".  It isn't bad enough that the "big picture" to be seen here is nothing but problems (little, tiny, problems that add up to bigger ones), but they're things I'm sick of thinking about (and have been for quite some time now).

So, I look at, say, this page and am not happy with thinking I'm creating an image of myself that is "nothing-but-problems", or worse "nothing-but-stupid-little-tiny-problems-that-add-up-to-depressing-and-uninteresting".  So, I either write nothing or write some little thing or else write some big post but don't post it until I can add to it and try to make it look less pathetic.

It doesn't help that I worry about coming across as seeing tiny things as big things worth writing about, or as appearing so self-absorbed as to be completely obnoxious (because of anything I am, self-absorbed really doesn't fall very high on the list).

So, I remind myself to write small, short, posts.  They'll be less tedious and excruciating.   That's when I inevitably and again realize that I can't start writing short posts until I write some super-long ones.  It goes back to not being able to make some simple and quick points without providing enough context.

While, of course, I know it isn't hopeless and know that I'll eventually get enough context down that I can move past this stage of this particular writing aim, it also not very motivating.

In any case, there's only so much time to write one thing or another and for one project or another, which is generally why so little writing under the category of "my online writing efforts" gets done.