What do you create?

The other evening I watched a video interview where this over-stuffed, over-privileged bloke tried to justify his gazillion dollar salary. He was part of the ‘executive branch’ of a gazillion dollar company that was stuffed to the gills with others of his ilk.

The interviewer was trying to pin down what he actually did to ‘earn’ his salary. He weasled around sprouting phrases like, ‘he was worth what he was being paid’, and ‘market value’ and other double-speak, but he never actually answered the question. (probably had politician genes)

Not that I expected him to, it was far too confronting for him to have to justify his existence to a mere reporter, and a woman at that.

Now, the arrogant execu-bloke and his ‘tude wasn’t a surprise, nor is he the point of this post, but as I watched I realised the interviewer was actually trying to get him to speak to what he created.

And that got me to thinking and remembering…

When I was a young thing and trying to figure out how the world worked and how it didn’t work and how it was supposed to work, I spent some time contemplating the nature of worth: self-worth, societal worth, what was wealth worth, how worth was tied into work, and what ‘work’ actually meant. Things of that nature.

So I did a little social experimenting with friends as accomplices. Every time the question of ‘what do you do’, was about to come up in a conversation, (usually in the getting-to-know-you phase)  we’d ask, “What do you create?” instead.

Answers like, ‘provide a safe haven for my self/kids/spouse/animal companions’, were common, as were vacant stares and ‘what?’s’, but most people got it after a bit of an explanation and interesting conversations ensued…

One in particular was a square blunt woman who had spent her life doing blue-collar jobs for minimum wages, living from paycheck to paycheck. Never waitressing though. (or any other ‘traditional’ women’s job) “Couldn’t stand being indoors.” Which had limited her choices even further.

Her answer was heartbreaking. “Look at me,” she said.

She meant her hands, rough, short nails with grit embedded under them, and her clothes, heavy fabric, loose because she was a ‘big’ woman, and her short gray hair that she ran her fingers through so that it stood out at all angles. (I looked, and I saw a powerful woman, but I didn’t say anything. I knew she wouldn’t hear me)

“I don’t create nothing.” she finished.

We chatted a bit more and just as she got up to leave, (we were, after all, just two women exchanging pleasantries in an outdoor cafe) I noticed that her clothes had patches and mends that were superb bits of sewing craftwomanship. (being a sewer myself I knew greatness when I saw it)

I commented on it and she sat back down. We spent the next couple of hours discussing all things sewing-ly. Over the course of the next few months we became friends and occasional lovers, but eventually drifted apart.

A few years later I received an invitation in the mail (a letter-with-a-stamp-on-it type of mail) to a bit of a fancy-dress ‘do’ with a ‘wear something you’ve created’ tagline. (I went as Bette Middler’s shoemaker – long story)

My sewing-and-occasional-lover-friend, had created her own line of clothing was about to head off for parts European.

She told me my zany ‘socially experimental question’ had saved her life. Not that she’d contemplated killing herself, but that she’d never really thought about the quality of being alive until then. Needless-to-say we both got a bit teary, had altogether too much champers, and … um … yeah.

Last I heard she was still going strong and happily married to the woman of her dreams … and earning squillions of dollars – from something she created.

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New Privacy Stuff

Has the GDPR – confusticated you yet?

Has the GDPR – confusticated you yet?

The GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – comes into effect in the EU on the 25th May.

You might think the EU doesn’t affect you (if you’re not in the EU that is) but our readers are scattered all over the globe, and that’s just the ones we know about. Blogging really is a global activity. So yeah, is affects us all, or it will at some point in the future.

WordPress is updating their privacy policies ‘soon’ so we should see some notification about that ‘soon’-ish, if we’re using WordPress. I can only presume other blogging platforms are doing something similar.

This is the latest from WP … ‘New privacy features and updated policies.’ 

I highly recommend a good read of Nicholas Rossis’ post on the subject. He explains the nuts-n-bolts of the current state of affairs. Go, Nicholas!

With his permission I’ve included these two paragraphs that he’s using on his own blog, which I’m going to add to my ‘About Me’ page. They’ll stay there until WordPress comes through with the goods. (or not) Or I find any updated information around the interwebz. (which I’ll then post here)

‘Any cookies on my website are used to ensure normal website functions (for instance, Youtube videos won’t work without their own identifiers). These cookies cannot be switched off because the website wouldn’t work properly anymore. However, these identifiers do not store any personal data.’

… and …

‘When you leave a comment, WordPress stores your Gravatar name, IP address, comment, and email address. Therefore, leaving a comment is considered a clear affirmative, specific, and unambiguous action as defined by the GDPR, giving me consent to store this information, and permission to contact you in the future by email.

Your personal information will not be sold or shared with any third parties under any circumstances. Your information shall be retained until you unsubscribe or ask me to remove your data. If you do not consent to the above, please don’t leave a comment.

The truth of the matter is that for most of us it’ll be business as usual once the smoke clears.

It will be interesting however, to see what effect this will have on how non-EU countries and entities adapt their own policies and procedures.

My Little Corner Of The Interwebz

With the return of the sun to the northern hemisphere an uptick in people following my blog has occurred.

Hello, and welcome to you all. **waves**

My sense of humour is occasionally much better than this, and occasionally much worse

My sense of humour is occasionally much better than this, and occasionally much worse

(not counting the obvious spam-a-lots, and dubious ‘follows’ that are just a weird collection of letters with outlook.com at the end. (anyone else getting a bunch of those lately?) C’mon spammers, you can do better than that … probably best not to give them any ideas though)

What I thought I’d do is provide a mini ‘glossary’ of things for newcomers who might be wondering what I’m talking about.

-oOo-

First of all – the ‘Widds’ Collection

Widdershins, Widder, Widds – That’s me. I answer to all three. When I started venturing out into the baby interwebz last century, ‘Widdershins’ was the username I picked for myself, and it stuck.

Mrs Widds – The delightful woman I’m married to. (yep, marriage has been legal for lesbians and gays here in Canada since 2004) We met online and I moved from Australia to Canada so we’d be together. (it wasn’t the snow, really, well it was partly the snow, but I’ll never admit that in polite society!)

Widder Island – I live in a small community on a little island in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia, Canada … which is in the middle of …

Widder Lake – I live on an island in the middle of a lake! How cool is this!

A couple of years before Mrs Widds and I moved here a young woman drowned in the lake and her friends put up this seat in her honour. Mrs Widds and I have sat there many an evening watching the sun set and sipping our beverages of choice

A couple of years before Mrs Widds and I moved here a young woman drowned in the lake and her friends put up this seat in her honour. Mrs Widds and I have sat there many an evening watching the sun set and sipping our beverages of choice

We used to have a cranky old cat, (Widder Cat) but she died a few years back and so we were adopted by …

Coco the Community Cat – Coco, who recently featured in my ‘David Attenborough stealth mode’ post actually lives across the way with her primary staff-person, but has acquired a collection of subsidiary residences along our end of our little road, whom she regularly visits for BBQ’s and cuddles and naps.

We don’t feed her, because, hey she’s got three other households who do, but we do provide the bestest cuddles and comfy safe places to nap, and the snipping of dreadies (bits of matted fur) that form in her gorgeous long, very long, fur. (which she kindly leaves over everything so we don’t forget about her when she’s not here)

Her little companion is Mirabeau – an occasional visitor to the camera frame

Her little companion is Mirabeau – an occasional visitor to the camera frame

And last, but by no means last …

The Winter Tree (also the Summer, Autumn, and Spring, Tree – depending on the time of year) – is a wonderful maple tree in our front yard who has featured in assorted seasonal posts wherein I grumble about the heat or squee about the snow.

Because of the late start to spring this year, (just about everywhere in the northern hemisphere) she’s only just pulled on her scarlet regalia, and there is a gap where the ice storm of last winter deprived her of two major branches, which gives her a rather ‘interesting’ look.

Room to grow into

Room to grow into

If there’s anything I’ve left out please let me know and I’ll endeavour to explain as we go along.

Bon Voyage, Margot Kidder

Hey Margot, say hello to Christopher for us …

From the Toronto Sun files

She was the best movie Lois Lane, ever. No-one since has come close to how well she embodied the essence of that full-on, flat-out Lois Lane energy. 

You will be missed.

Down The Volcanic Rabbit Hole

Some interesting thoughts I’ve been having on a lovely sunny Widder Island day …

I’ve had a lifelong attraction with all things geologic since I first figured out how my favourite swimming hole formed in the middle of a sandstone rock formation when I was about … hmm … well, certainly before my teens.

A week ago-ish Hawaii came up on my ‘radar’ when Pele told Kilauea to get out of bed and clean her room. She threw her clothes out the door and they landed in a neighbour’s backyard in and around Leilani Estates. (which is a highly stylised version of events that are still taking place today with the opening up of yet another fissure, the 16th, this one with its very own lava flow – Saturday 12th May)

Something about the eruption caught my attention and so I started digging, via the video behemoth that is YouTube and after following many trails that led to cute kittens, calving icebergs, and how to make fairy log homes out of ‘paper clay’ I ended up at the ‘Great Crack’ on the south-eastern coastline of the island of Hawai’i. If you do a google maps search for ‘Great Crack Hawaii’ you’ll see that it’s a whole lot longer that the eight miles as noted in the Wikipedia entry. It basically runs from just west of the Kilauea crater to the sea.

We think the ground is solid under our feet, but it isn’t.

I also found this channel, Dutchsinse. Dutch has a live feed of a map of the world that registers all the earthquakes, large small and otherwise, that occur all over the world. Once or twice a day he analyses what’s happening and what he thinks might happen, (so far I haven’t found any cracks in his reasoning) (didn’t see that pun until I was about to post, so I thought I’d leave it there) which he posts separate to the live feed. He doesn’t go all doom-and-gloom-y, but he does say, ‘pay attention, folks this IS happening’.

This is the live feed …

(whenever you hear a rumbling sound, that’s an earthquake and the number of clangs immediately afterward indicates the magnitude)

 … and if you go to his channel you’ll see his latest analysis. I’ll just put up the one is from last night…

 

 

 

 

 

The Peanut Has Landed

Last time I saw a picture of her she was just an ultrasound.

Now she’s a fully formed human being.

P.S. – just to clarify, she’s our great granddaughter, but her great-great grandma is still alive

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

Welcome to the world, great-great-granddaughter!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

A whole lot of people are grinning, just like this!

Photographing In David Attenborough Stealth-Mode

A week ago I posted a bit about Mrs Widds new toy, promising further revelations when the rain stopped.

Stop paying attention to that silly piece of black plastic. I have rescued a sunbeam with my fur

Stop paying attention to that silly piece of black plastic. I have rescued a sunbeam with my fur

Coco The community Cat has informed me that the sun is indeed shining and Mrs Widds has been spotted heading toward her new toy. I grabbed my super-duper whizz-bang hi-fi camera (aka cellphone) and tailed her, making sure I was downwind so as not to give myself away.

I got a single shot of her before she moved out of camera range.

Helmet on, keys in hand, ready for action

Helmet on, keys in hand, ready for action

My next shot needed to capture the rare and elusive ‘toy’ in its natural habitat. Well camouflaged, it took some time but I did indeed get a once-in-a-million shot.

Cover on

Cover on

The thing about ‘toy’ camouflage is that the outer layers seldom match the inner ones. I’d have to keep an eye on this one to capture the moment when it shed the outer layer and reveal the beast within … oh look, it’s happening already!!!

Cover off – Taa-dah!!!

Cover off – Taa-dah!!!

David Attenborough Stealth Mode fully engaged to get a long-distance shot from behind the Winter tree

David Attenborough Stealth Mode fully engaged to get a long-distance shot from behind the Winter tree

Oh oh, looks like I’ve been spotted. This might cause the shy beastie to bolt

Oh oh, looks like I’ve been spotted. This might cause the shy beastie to bolt

Yep, there she goes

Yep, there she goes

The bloke next door was so intent on mowing his grass verge, Mrs Widds got right past him without him noticing a thing. Once the grass gets growing here on out little street the competitive mowing season shifts into high gear. It’s serious business here, let me tell you!

Back to stealth mode picture taking. Looks like Mrs widds is bringing her in.

First run up to the landing strip ... nope, going around for a second try

First run up to the landing strip … nope, going around for a second try

Corner...er...ing in for a landing

Corner…er…ing in for a landing

Made it ... and back into hiding she goes

Made it … and back into hiding she goes

A well-earned rest

A well-earned rest

-oOo-

… and so, another day on Widder Island draws to a close. All that’s left is to wish that may you all live long and prosper … and May the 4th be with you.

Jedi Betty (no idea where this meme originated or who created the image, but whoever you are, thank you)

Jedi Betty (no idea where this meme originated or who created the image, but whoever you are, thank you)