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....

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.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

A Brief But Lighter Note...

After Typing My Way Through That Most Recent, Long, Tedious, Post I Thought I Might End On A Very Brief But Lighter Note....

Hey!    Got through all that typing with barely a twinge in the "carpal tunnel thing".  I've made it a point not to allow myself to become to careless with the wrist-support "situation".  This is the most progress this thing has made since I first started the whole cycle of doing/re-doing it (and seemed to make it increasingly worse each time)    I tend to have the patience of a two-year-old when it comes to being in a hurry to dump something like a wrist support.  I think this most recent bout with the wrist and arm was enough to remind myself that I need to be a little more careful about not re-doing the thing yet again....

Knock on wood for now.

Earning Income/Spare Income Online - Why Keeping Track Can Be Tricky

Although I have plans to move this post to one of my "notebook blogs", I thought I'd get it started here mainly because the angle from which I may eventually make some points may be different. 

As I often do (particularly on Friday nights), I went looking on HubPages to see if there's any "community stuff" (forums) worth reading/participating in.  There didn't happen to be anything much that applies to/interested me at the moment.  I did, however, run into a forum post on which someone asked about payment from HubPages.

I'm going to add a link to it, although clicking on the link to that forum thread really isn't necessary because I'll sum up what it is.    Anyway, however, here's the link:

HubPages Forum Post That Asks About Payment This Month (August, 2016)

In a nutshell, someone says it's well into August, and he hasn't received payment.  Someone else goes on and tells him if he hasn't reached the $100 minimum for Ad Sense by x-date he wouldn't see a payment.  Then yet another someone-else says essentially the same thing about the $50 minimum for people who participate in the HubPages ad program (known as the "HP Ad program" to users in that forum/on that site).

A third person goes on and points out why it is some earnings may not appear accurate on the person's HP account and how his Amazon earnings may not show up there at the moment.

I know that the person who posted the forum thread has been on that site for quite awhile.  Also, I know that at least one who   (No, I just went back and looked....   I know that all three who replied have been on that site for a few years at least.)  Also, I'd like to point out here that around October of this year I'll have been using that site for nine years (even if under two different names).  Never, in the whole time that I've been on that site, has there been a time when I have not received pay I had coming.

Things have gotten more complicated on that site, however.  I won't go into the whole thing about my overhauling (essentially emptying out) my accounts.  The point is there have been many changes.  For example, they did a thing where people who had been picking up earnings through Amazon "referral fees"  were given the choice of having their Amazon accounts "kind of lumped into an overall-HP thing" versus retaining their individual/independent Amazon accounts.  Because, by the time this "lumping together thing" happened (I won't go into the difference between "lumped together" and "individual"), I had deleted Hubs that had occasionally picked up referral fees; so I just left my account "as is".

It's worth mentioning, too, that people on there have the option of either opting in to Ad Sense Only" or "HP Ad Program plus, maybe, a little from Ad Sense".  What earns on a per-view basis, what earns on a per-click basis, and what earns on a per-purchase basis (in the case of something like Amazon capsules) is different.

HubPages happens to do a good job of presenting everyone's earning information in their account.  And, of course, people can then check their individual Ad Sense accounts and/or Amazon Associates accounts which may/may not then include any other Internet-related earnings the person has that are separate from whatever he earns from, say, HubPages.

Of course, HubPages is not the only site/company where people who write earn/may earn with writing.  While  many "writing sites" (like HubPages) have closed down or drastically changed (which means changes in how/whether some people earn from writing).  This post is not about earning, or earning from HubPages, however.  It's about how tricky it can be to keep track of "a zillion" little clumps of earnings from one Internet place or another.

As the HubPages example shows, one site can have earnings coming from different sources.  For example, the person who earns from Ad Sense is paid directly by Google when that person reaches Google's minimum amount to receive a payment (these days it's $100).  The person who earns from Amazon on a site like HubPages is paid directly by Amazon (minimum in the US is $10).  The person who earns from the HP Ad program is paid directly by HubPages.  While HubPages only pays people through PayPal, the others offer different options for setting up direct deposits (or, I guess in some cases, paper checks).

There can be (but may not always be) a difference between the person who, say, has something like a YouTube account and whatever other accounts he may have, and may be primarily aiming to earn from ads, rather than writing.  Things are probably simple for the person who is only picking up extra earnings from one source, like Ad Sense.

For the person whose focus on earning through writing things can be more complicated.  "Revenue-sharing" sites (like HubPages) aren't the only place writers may earn.  This post isn't about how writers can/may earn on the Internet either, though.  There are companies (like, for example, Textbroker) that pay writers to write assigned articles for other people.  They aren't "anyone-can-write" situations.  They expect writers to be able to write.  The pay level starts low, but writers can work up to a better rate over time.  Again, this isn't about how to earn through writing.  The point is that the person who writes may earn his/her income (regardless of how small or substantial) from a range of different sources with a wide variety of schedules with regard to who pays when.

In the old days of "Associated Content" (bought by Yahoo before it closed down completely), a writer could earn "upfront money" (which would be different, depending on  terms like "exclusive/non-exclusive") if something was accepted on those terms.  Something that was could also earn through the "revenue-sharing thing".  Something not accepted, or offered, for upfront payment could only earn through revenue-sharing.

Why explain all this about a long-gone writing site?  My ultimate aim (not necessarily in this post) is to point out (as the title of this post suggests) how tricky is can be to keep track of earnings for the person who is earning a little here, a little there, and maybe not quite so little somewhere else.

I think of yet another defunct site, Helium.  It started out as revenue-sharing only.  Then they got more into offering writers the opportunity to find assignments and/or to sell material (or just a license to use it) they'd already written on that site.  Defunct "writing sites" aside, there are still, and in fact more, places/ways that writers may earn whatever they may earn.  Some may involve small earnings per month that add up (or don't).  Some may involve waiting to see what, if anything, something earns.  (I'm thinking of things like writing for Kindle, self-publishing, etc. as an example.)

The, too, I'm thinking of those times when I had something on some site somewhere but hadn't stayed very active on that site.  I had stuff out there (still do, although at this point much of it is gone) that I'd forgotten about.  Everyone once in awhile some little pay would show up from somewhere.  Sometimes it was a kind of laughable amount (like six dollars), but if enough of them showed up they'd add up, at least, to a slightly less laughable amount.

Depending on what k ind of stuff people write, who earns what is obviously different; but for people who earn through writing online (and/or through online companies that match people with assignments), the evolution of the online-writing picture has moved so quickly it might be hard for someone who has never earned through writing to even imagine.  Just (again) using HubPages as an example, in only three  years since, say, Spring of 2013, there have been about three major shifts (or kind of "sort-of-shifts-back") in what is being emphasized/aimed for on that site. 

This post isn't about writing platforms finding a way to stay in business either, though.  I think of a less stable example of the site, "Bubblews".  It survived  only a couple or so years, with one major "overhaul-type" change and yet another even more major "overhaul-type change" before closing down.  I, personally, didn't take my own participation on that site all that seriously, but I didn't mind the occasional, spare, $25 here or there for "fooling around" when I didn't want to take what I wrote all that seriously.

Keep in mind that, depending on who takes what writing more seriously, there can be all kinds of things to keep track of.  Companies like Google and Amazon offer "whoever" (writers, often called "publishers" or "webmasters", although not all of any of those things is necessarily any of those things) all kinds of "advanced" ways to keep track of things like earnings, traffic, source of traffic.  And they offer all kinds of options for how things like ads are presented/designed, as well as which ads tend to do better.  Depending on who is earning how much, some people get more involved with some of those things than others do.

Added to all the "keeping-track" stuff is whether or not someone/something sends out and/or makes available earnings reports for tax records.  Since taxes are only a once-a-year thing, however, they're not the real concern or point here.

More to the point may be something like waiting to see if someone/something has accepted a piece of writing/article (with or without requests for edits/changes) in order that it be approved for payment.  Of course, "approved for payment" can be one thing from one company/person.  Having the actual payment go through (even when the company is reliable) can be a different thing or on a different schedule between one person/company and another.

Depending on what kind of writing it is, who it's for, and how someone pays; keeping "immediate track" can be tricky for the person who is involved in a lot of different types of writing activities.  Some people pay when something is completed and approved.  Some pay on the "x-th day" of the month.  Some pay every couple of weeks.  Some pay if/when x-amount is reached (at least with the "revenue-sharing type" sites).

I don't know....   I think when one is earning more through writing (at least with the online stuff; I'm not talking about work done on a professional basis) it's almost easier to keep track because one gets into a system and doesn't have so much left up in the air.  If one barely does anything in terms of writing that, too, is easier to keep track of (obviously).  Where it can be a little more likely to have trouble keeping track can be when one earns enough that it's worth it, not enough to make it a full-time income (or close to it), but earns either with different types of material or else from different places.

Maybe "Keeping Track" Was The Wrong Phrase To Use Here

Although the point(s) I'm aiming to eventually lead up to (not on this post, but in other posts on other pages) have been kind of served by what I've already said here; it occurs to me that "keeping track" probably ought to be clarified.

What's kind of tricky for me, as I try to address the "keeping track" thing, is that I'm looking at (now) about eleven years' worth of a big mix of side-efforts combined with not-so-side efforts; and I've either moved on from or am in the process of either moving on from, or at least changing my approach to, some of them.

It's never been difficult to keep track of what I've already earned with either something on the Internet or through the Internet.  Things are most often simple with what someone has earned.  With the example of HubPages (I still have no problem seeing what, if anything, I've earned on there),  if someone on there has any trouble keeping track of his earnings it's as likely the result of a writer's changing how he does things on that site as it is the result of a new way something the site, itself, is doing some things.

When I refer to keeping track above, it's more about keeping track of different amounts of earnings coming in on or from different sources.    When someone works, say, outside the home in a regular full- or part- time job it's pretty standard that the people set things up so that they're pay goes directly into the bank account. 

With anything Internet-related I don't think too many people want to get their "regular" bank account involved, which is why there things like PayPal and other "Internet cards" that people can use.  There's also, of course, setting up a separate little bank account offline (or that type of thing).  Needless to say, there's also some accounts one has as "business" and others as "personal".  Just keeping track of, and on top of, some expiration dates on some of these cards/accounts can kind of be a "Thing", but that's not what I'm talking about when I see "keeping track" either.

Neither am I talking about keeping track of stuff I've already written, am in the process of writing, am in the process of moving, and/or am in the process of re-writing.  I'm not even going to get into the whole thing about keeping track of my own stuff in my own fairly complicated filing system that's related just to the online stuff.   Organized and efficient as I generally am as a person, I have to say that I've gotten a little too willy-nilly with some of an increasing number of files I've accumulated in the most recent, say, years.  Even with that, however, all of those are within my control - so how difficult, really, is it ever going to be to keep track of those....

The unpredictability of things like traffic patterns and earnings on something like a revenue-sharing site (particularly in view of changes beyond the control of the writer) are more something a writer needs to bring under control (at least to some extent) by allowing a certain amount of time for patterns to be established once something new is written.  In any case, predicting or having a "reading on" such things are not really "keeping track of" what already is.

My aim here has been to try to put together a little bit of a foundation on the "keeping-track thing"  in general because future posts I plan to make won't make "full sense" (they may make some, but not "full") to anyone without this "foundation" (unfascinating as it may be).

Monday, August 1, 2016

Continuing To Try To Both Phase Away From Old Material While Also Freshening Up Some Of It While Also Working On New Stuff (While Also Being VERY Careful Not To Re-Do This "Carpal-Tunnel Thing")

Not too long ago I ran into someone's remarks online, and they kind of made me laugh.  The person who made the remarks wasn't aiming them at me, but it struck me as funny.  The person said something like, "You people must live on here."  These days I pretty much do "live on" my computer, but not the Internet (or at least not anywhere on the Internet that doesn't involve a mostly inactive window or two that I leave up whenever I feel like getting away from the isolation of working on my own stuff and seeing if anything new/different has shown up on one or two old, familiar, sites.

I actually always have a window up for this blog as well, but since I've carefully set things up in a way that means there's nobody on here but me, that pretty much means that if I don't add something new here then nothing (needless to say) happens here.

In any case, I noticed the July 17 date on the most recent post and figured I'd write this newer post as my way of at least indicating that all has not been abandoned here.  I don't want to just post for the sake of posting because my aim is to make some order out of the mess of what is now eleven years' worth of writing (as far as the old stuff goes), get some new stuff more fit for being online at all, but also (and ultimately) to get this blog to what I want it to be.

To be honest, the only real reason I'm posting now (besides the fact that the last post is so old) is freshen the page by using one of my "post banners" that I've designed for posts that are not worthy of a title, lables, etc.).

The trouble with "living on" one's computer is that until one's "carpal tunnel thing" improves and stays improved substantially, not a lot of productivity goes on.  Having "re-done" and made worse this wrist-sprain thing I have a few too many times, I'm being very selective about how much time I spend on the computer and how, exactly, I spend that time.  My "just-a-thought" "banner" isn't entirely right for a post like this one.  I'll think up a more appropriate one for this particular kind of post some other time.