Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Stupid is as Stupid Does


Remember Chick-a-Dee?



She wasn't stupid. I'll get to stupid later.


In the meantime, I'm letting Chick-a-Dee do some decorating around here. She's in chicken heaven now enjoying her Christmas Margaretta—along with another of her favorite things-French-fries. Three years ago, I decorated her for Christmas. 


Chick-a-Dee has the job of spreading cheer. I did a double take the day after Thanksgiving when I saw people on our street putting up Christmas decorations—stupid me—I thought last Christmas happened only three weeks ago. One house has a blow-up Privy outhouse where Santa opens the door, peers out, then closes it again—only to repeat in-out. Poor Santa, how disrespectful. (Notice I didn't say stupid.)


Now, here's stupid:


Using AI to write blogs. I got another comment on my blog today suggesting that to save time, I let a robot do it.


Are people so desperate, lazy, or figure a blog is expected for business sites, or what? I bet they don't sound like Mark Twain.


Why do you think writers write? 


It's their expression. 


"Sound Like You!"


These words screamed at me last night.


If I sound stupid, at least it's my stupid.


Jason Fried's book, Rework showed up in an email dated Oct.12, 2017. It was a PDF version sent to me by my daughter. I am curious to know if it was a pirated version or what, but a CEO sent it. I missed her email. She forgot about it. Viola', it came to me. "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." 


Fried's book is brilliant.


I'll try not to copy Fried's book too much. That's not nice, but I'll throw out a few of his concepts for you to chew on.



"Sound like you." That's from Fried.


Th's one of the things I objected to with Robot talk. another was taking our job away from us. But also:


What is it with businesspeople trying to sound big?" writes Fried.  


 This mask of professionalism is a joke. We all know this. Yet small companies still try to emulate it. They think sounding big makes them appear bigger and more "professional." But it really just makes them sound ridiculous. Plus, you sacrifice one of the mall company's greatest assets: the ability to communicate simply and directly without running every word through a legal and PR department sieve.


There's nothing wrong with sounding your own size. Being honest about who you are is smart business, too. Language is often your first impression--why start it off with a lie? Don't be afraid to be you."


My sentiments exactly. 


Daughter Dear once worked for a company that wouldn't let them use contractions in their email responses. And they had a monitor to catch them if they did. So many demerits, and you get written up. Sounds like school, doesn't it?


Now, that's stupid. Contractions are how people speak. 


"Don't talk about "monetization" or being "transparent;" talk about making money and being honest." 


About Mistakes:


"Learning from mistakes is overrated."--a Fried speak.


In the business world, failure has become an expected rite of passage. You hear all the time how nine out of ten new businesses fail. You hear that your business's chances are slim to none. You hear that failure builds character. People advise, "Fail early and fail often."


 With so much failure in the air, you can't help but breathe it in. Don't inhale. Don't get fooled by the stats. Other people's failures are just that: other people's failures.


Another misconception


You need to learn from your mistakes. What do you really learn from mistakes? You might learn what not to do again, but how valuable is that? You still don't know what you should do next."


Yeah, I've learned 1,000 ways not to make a lightbulb but not how to get the best web template without spending a ton of money.


You know I've made websites—I have inundated you with them, but I've never made a powerful one for a Real Estate Brokerage that needs a plug-in for MLS house listings.


Four days, whoops, I think today is day five. I've made sites, lost them, had them crash and burn, tried to delete and refund only to have the one I wanted deleted as well. One thing works: "Pick a Plan. Pay here." I've made so many changes that PayPal is getting bulging muscles from all the exercises I'm giving it.


Fried's book was a breath of fresh air. 


I had to stop, for Fried makes so many excellent points, like Business meetings, GPAs, and Resumes, I was getting into a rant. Delete, delete, delete.


Go back to Chick-a Dee and let her give you a moment of calm.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Did This Happen at Your House?

"Christmas, that holiday, that comes every ten years when you are a child and every ten days when you are an adult," (Tom Robbin's) tiptoed on down our street on Christmas night. The following day using the new-fallen snow as a skateboard, it skidded right into 2022.


Daughter dear suggested that we perform a ceremony at midnight on New Year's Eve. So, at her suggestion, we wrote out irritations from the past year (some I'd say, not all), put them in a bowl, and struck a match to them. 

We smoked up the house and set off the fire alarm.

Good thing we only wrote out some of those irritations.


A thought: Little Boy Darling's birthday is next month on 2/2/22. (A time of balance.) Ground Hog's Day too. He can keep doing it over until he gets it right.


In thinking about my Newsletter, The Muse, (I'll keep doing it until I get it right.) I'm pondering: What's a Newsletter supposed to say?

  • Why am I writing it instead of just blogging?
  • Does it sound like a blog?
  • Who wants to read it?
  • Why charge?


I guess I'm writing it to offer suggestions where a person can read more if they want. I can throw everything in one basket, so to speak. And I love the idea of The Muse and sweeping the house in preparation for her visit. 

Some people have a stroke of genius, which is to say, the muse has visited them. Don't get too puffed up when the muse comes, though, and neither take too much blame when she doesn't. (Haha, some balance here.)


In the Muse Newsletter, I can offer things I'm pondering, not assuming, of course, that you don't have your own ponderings. I wonder, though, are two ponderings together better than one?


If I were a scientist, I would hope the muse whispers an answer to some dilemma [‘m having. However, I'm a writer, so that's my reference point. Writing, unlike scientific discovery, is something everyone can do. It doesn't have to be creative writing or even good writing. Journaling is a way to take another look at an event, sad, happy, whatever. A happy event? Relish it. A sad event? Lay it to rest. 


"And what, you ask, does writing teach us? First and foremost, it reminds us that we are alive and that it is a gift and a privilege, not a right."

— Ray Bradbury


I just finished Tibetan Peach Pie, Tom Robbin's book about his life, thus the Christmas quote. Man, that man can use similes and metaphors. He spent an entire page extolling the virtues of jelly donuts after hearing that President John F. Kennedy, addressing an audience at the Berlin wall, said, "Ick bin ein Berliner."

A novelist in a spy novel said, "Ick bin ein Berliner" meant "I am a jelly donut." A magazine picked it up, and people believed it without checking. 

 …it would be suggested that Kennedy had got the translation wrong—that by using the article ein before the word Berliner, he had mistakenly called himself a jelly doughnut. In fact, Kennedy was correct. To state Ich bin Berliner would have suggested being born in Berlin, whereas adding the word ein implied being a Berliner in spirit. His audience understood that he meant to show his solidarity.

At the climax of his speech, the American leader identified himself with the inhabitants of the besieged city:


 "Freedom is indivisible," said Kennedy in his illustrious speech (Second only to "Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.”) "and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. When all are free, then we can look forward to that day when this city will be joined as one and this country and this great continent of Europe in a peaceful and hopeful globe."

His conclusion linked him eternally to his listeners and to their cause: "All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words Ich bin ein Berliner."


Even if Kennedy had called himself a jelly donut it would have endeared him to the people, the same as he did that day.


Okay dokey, let's give this the old college try:

 This will only go to my email, no fancy do-das to fill in.