Sunday, June 29, 2014

How to reduce the size of your inbox

Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation is coming into effect July 1, 2014.

That means organizations will have to comply with rules for sending commercial electronic messages (CEM). It doesn't mean spammers will. 

This has been in the news for a while on how it will affect legitimate small businesses.
If you have an existing email list, you will want to read the CASL FAQs

Listen to Steve Dotto's advice on how to get double opt-in from your current email subscribers.

According to one source, there may be a three-year grace period.

Even the smarter than average bear could become confused by the information out there

Although it has good intentions, the introduction of this legislation provides an opportunity for spammers and other morally corrupt individuals to spread uncertainty, to get people to click on links, give away their email addresses or even worse - passwords.

You likely receive newsletters from various organizations and interest groups. You may have noticed messages requesting permission to keep you on their mailing lists. You may also receive vague messages that look like requests for consent but may actually be phishing attempts.

If I am not certain that the consent request is valid and will lead me to a trusted site, I would not respond to a message or follow any links.  I would go directly to the company's web site in my browser to locate the subscribe option and create a new subscription then let the other one expire, valid or not. 

My blonde logic is that if I can't remember subscribing in the first place, why put my computer at risk by following links and unknowingly giving personal information to criminals?  If our past relationship is not well-explained, I will likely delete the message or file it away.

We may attempt to clear the material clutter from our lives but what about all the electronic clutter? 

  • Not sure how to identify legitimate messages?  Take the Spam Quiz
  • Want to know when I post new entries here or on the blog for my novel, The Year of the Rabbit?  Look for the "Follow by Email" box on the right of each blog's web page. Google forces you to sign up with your Gmail address. Kinda dumb and limited...
  • You can do the same for my other blog where the Tabby Cat RulesWordPress isn't picky about what email address you use; you will receive a message to complete the subscription process. 

By providing an email address and clicking the subsequent message links, you will be opting in according to the blog platform's subscription conditions. 

Thanks for dropping by.  I wish you safe computing and a Happy Canada Day!


Saturday, June 7, 2014

What is the attraction to speed?

Why do some humans like to race?

Is the attraction to speed part of our competitive nature?  Is it hormone related? 

I can understand the need to ensure emergency vehicles arrive on time to save lives and property. I would like to understand the benefits of racing for racing's sake with burning fuel, producing harmful emissions and taking risks.  
Hop over to The Year of the Rabbit blog where Flo asks more questions about auto racing and explains why she killed off one of the characters in the novel.

That's right.  Sweet old Flo killed off another character.  

Thanks for dropping by.  


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Farewell to costly illusions

It was one month ago that I decided to end an unhealthy relationship.

Sure, it provided me with company throughout the long winter months, adding a flicker and glow of comedic relief after dinner and many a long day in the working world.  

Problem was that this relationship became stale, intrusive - and costly. I needed a change in lifestyle.  I wanted to discard some unhealthy habits - and cut expenses.  I was starting to feel like one of my furry, floppy roommates.

On April 23rd, I gave the 30-day notice to cancel our cable TV service.  Apparently, I am not alone:

In my new phase of life, I want to explore new interests and embrace new passions. I still want relationships that provide joy and laughter but more so through social gatherings, live theatre and the lost art of story telling.  How about you?

We still use our huge-ass television set to watch movies via Netflix, DVDs and yes, even our cherished old VHS tapes. 

Last night, one of the young folk and I watched our copy of The Truman Show. It had been a while since we last viewed this family favourite during one of our regular movie nights.  

It's a very interesting story with Jim Carrey portraying a character who starts to question his life, what is real and what is fabricated.  Some of us need to do that on a regular basis.   

Philosophy links regarding The Truman Show:

I've often advised my children to ask questions, to resist virtual distractions and encouraged them to read Sophie's World, A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder [a review].  One of them even helped me with an illustration for a wee web project many years ago.

Some of us need frequent reminders to jog our curiosity, to challenge our perception of what is real, what really matters in our life and in our varied relationships.  

In most areas of our lives, we have the freedom to choose.  We are each the star of our own TV show, each the author of our own life story. How will it end? 
I think it's healthy to ask questions, to challenge the status quo and leave one's comfort zone once in awhile.  We may just realize that we have been conveniently led back into the cave of illusions and shadows.  

Thanks for dropping by.  Feel free to rate this post using one of the check boxes below or offer a comment.  You have a choice :o)

If you like my writing style, you may enjoy reading The Year of the Rabbit - A Novel About Fate, Family and Forgiveness.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Planning for one's death

It sounds a bit morbid


With all the baby boomers reaching their 70s, one cannot avoid talking about, planning for one's earthly departure. 

As someone who nearly met with an untimely death a decade ago, I wanted to ensure I had made proper arrangements come the time in the future - the far future, thank you very much!  I also wanted a sense of control over the entire affair. 

It was an interesting process last spring, meeting with the professionals who help arrange remembrance services, who document what you want to be done with your "earthly remains" and help you decide on a final resting place.  

Two out of three ain't bad. 

I'm still struggling with the final resting place concept.  I want to decide on an option other than expecting my adult children to take turns keeping Mother's urn on the mantle - or tucked away in the linen closet.

Some folks are taking the care of deceased loved ones into their own hands, due to the corporatization of the funeral industry and their need to reconnect with the ritual of death.  According to one professional, "’s important for our humanity to rediscover this sacred rite of passage in ways that each person is comfortable with and is comforted by.". 

Death is a part of Life. 
Some of us want to lessen our ecological footprint even after leaving our earthly bodies.  A recent article cites the increasing number of cremations in Canada, the growing demand for "green" funerals, and the advertisement of eco-friendly burials to attract customers.

One of my darlings once joked that come the time, about putting my ashes in a pot and planting a tree in memorial. 
I kind of like that. 

During the planning process, one can also purchase travel insurance.  Yep, that's right.  You can pre-arrange for your remains to be returned home if you meet your demise while exploring the world. 

I like that too because once the kids are out on their own, Momma wants to travel more - and not just jaunts about town and city parks or bus trips through wine country.  

Let's see how well these guys live up to their promise if they have to bring me back from some deep jungle trek or a tour of the great pyramids of Egypt.  

On a slightly related note, I invite you to read an excerpt from my novel where young Sera Fletcher discovers a beautifully carved casket in her father's workshop.  It's called Life After Death.  

Thanks for dropping by.  Next time I'll have something a little more lively to offer.