Went for a flu shot the other day. Yes, I am one of those who diligently toddle off to get it every year. Normally my arm has a powerful reaction, the spot heats up and the entire arm aches for days but not this time. I do, however, feel like I’ve been run over by a truck. Hell of a trade-off. This too will pass.
But it’s left me feeling whiny and a bit childish, so I think I’ll bunker in the apartment today and avoid humanity. Not sure I’m up to dealing with people. I feel like I have low grade malaise, just no energy to do a thing. I shouldn’t be complaining. It’s better than a case of flu. So, yea, I’ll take a flu shot over the alternative any day.
Mask up & get your flu shot
Instead of working on articles, I’ve spent the last 24 hrs thinking about this site. It’s time to rationalize the categories. I’m going to amalgamate Photography with the Typography and Design section. It makes more sense to have them together. They are related in themes and will be easier to keep the content fresh. It’ll be re-labeled Photos & Design.
Whither now philately?
A lot of time has spent on sorting out newsletters as well. I’ve begun to sign up for stamp related news releases from post offices around the world. It’s time to shake off the Canadian centric view and look at the glorious offerings around the world. Let me tell you, it’s a trip and a half. Some sites don’t translate well. I had to tap a couple of friends for help with a Hungarian translation. Between the two of them, they sorted me out.
I’m playing with an idea of doing a retrospective of stamps around the world from 2020, but that might turn out to be too big a project. But I did manage to line up topics for approx. 100 stamp articles for 2021. As well, I have a number of Christmas themed stamps ready to post. Keep watch in the Philately section them.
What about the rest of the world?
In my travels, I came across a superb website:
Rest of the world – reporting global tech stories
Rest of the world breaks out of the annoying western obsession with Silicon Valley and North America. It offers coverage of important tech and social media issues affecting the world. Well written and insightful. I spent about 3 hours yesterday cruising their website. Subscribe to their newsletter and get the latest news delivered to your mailbox. You won’t regret it, especially if you are like me. I have had a growing dissatisfaction with the smug navel gazing of most tech news sites based in North America. They all report the same news, over and over. That’s partially why I haven’t posted a lot on the tech section of the website. I’ve become bored with technology. Too many sites offer what feels like breathless anticipation of the most insignificant changes but missing the bigger picture.
I’ll have to give thought to the Tech section. It needs a serious boot in the typeface. I will continue to write little reviews and offer advice because I enjoy doing it, but I need to look at tech issues beyond my borders. So many exciting things are happening around the world, it’s a crime to ignore them. I’d be grateful for any ideas pushed my way.
A wee bit of art news
I also discovered a new bit of software – Adobe Fresco and played around with it off an on. So far, I like what I see and will explore it further with my mighty tablet. If I continue to enjoy the software, I’ll drop a few articles about it.
Also, in art news, I am arranging an interview with an artist friend. She’s the real deal and I’ve always loved her artwork. When things settle down a bit, we’ll get together for an interview about her work and the thought process behind it. I’m hoping she will discuss with me how she’s evolved as an artist over the years. Will be FUN.
So that’s the roundup of my week so far. I originally started out writing about food. The article sat at 50 words for the last 3 days and didn’t get anywhere. I was despairing a bit that I’d never be able to finish it. But here I am. Sometimes you have to let you brain meander where it wants.
I made a decision in Dec that it was time to step back from social media for a bit. It can suck you down into a soul-destroying pit if you aren’t careful. I was already stressed and depressed by the years of helping mom through her cancer treatments and operations. When I discovered I had spare time, because of improvements mom’s health, I noticed how Twitter/FB etc were so depressingly stupid. I can troll with the best of them, but sheer level of insanity being actively promoted on social media began to crush me. It was like watching the worse bits of zombie apocalypse shows on an endless loop – hopeless, dark and paranoid. So, sometime in Dec I went to the doctor and am back on antidepressant after many years. They also calmed my OCD. Lately the obsessive compulsions had started to interfere with my life in major ways. Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed how bad things had gotten.
As my general outlook improved, I decided no social media for a while. It seemed to aggravate everything. I also took a long break from web work, photographing, writing, everything. I’ve gone for long walks, listened to old radio dramas, watched trashy monster movies (Reptilica rules; Godzilla drools) and read. Oh, my I’ve read. Prior to Dec, I was having difficulties concentrating long enough to finish simple novels. Now, I plow through books at a furious pace.
Breaking up with the zombie apocalypse
Before I logged off though, I unfriended a whack of people who I began to view as unhealthy to talk to. Let me tell you, the calm and quiet on this end of the computer has been enlightening. Getting away from social media was one of the smartest thing I could have done. My head feels clear, for the first time in eons. With mom improving to the point of being self-sufficient, I had difficulties refocusing myself. That and the worry cancer will return. In short, I was slowly driving myself insane, with the help of social media. Breaking up with social media was much easier than I thought it would be. I simply … stopped.
I’ve enjoyed the break and don’t think I’ll look at things the same way. I’ve almost attained a zen feel to my outlook. Things are going to happen; some of which I can’t change. That’s ok now. Having a sense of balance back in my head means I can cope with what gets thrown my way. Good days; bad days. I’ll talk about them both here. But right now? The good are far outstripping the bad. I suspect without the disconnect, the antidepressants would not have been as successful. I’ll tell you, I’d forgotten how loud the noise in my head was. When it suddenly stopped, I had problems coping for a day or two. It was so silent. A million different voices competing through the daily noise. Not voices like strangers talking to me. They were me, my internal voice on steroids. My brain was like a runaway train. And the outside noise, oh god the loudness of the world. I was living with my headphones in and a white noise generator running constantly. I was often frantic with anxiety when I got home. OH THE BLISS OF SILENCE.
The sounds of OCD
Want to know what the ‘voices’ were like? Think of 10 people yelling at you to do things a certain way or warning you things aren’t “right” and if you don’t correct them, you’ll be in danger. Complicate that with a sensitivity to noise on a level that makes me sound insane.
You didn’t check the door but you need to take the steps a certain OMG did you touch that. CLEAN YOUR HANDS YOUR hands you didn’t say that correctly please please stop the sink has dishes in it I feel paralyzed what do I do I can’t make dinner in this mess the water isn’t hot enough wash your hands again no again I’m tired but we need to get the phrasing right that’s not balanced try to set things up properly no no you lost count now we have to start over wow it’s noisy wonder if did you remember the sanitizer Oh god this bathroom no nonnononononon check that door again did you have to go this way there’s always dog shit here and you know it does things to you you need to align those pages correctly if I start straightening this out I won’t be able to stop
You get the idea. The meds halted all that. I often wonder if the OCD causes the depression, or the depression causes OCD. I still can’t deal with the external noise well so I bought a pair of earplugs that dim the sound but still allow me to hear conversations. Its difficult to explain the quiet and it’s searing effect on me. When I realised how silent everything in my head was, I stood in the middle of my room with my eyes closed and thought “not going to go off the meds again”. The peace and order in my thoughts are magnificent.
I’ve tentatively dipped my toes back into social media again. A few posts on Instagram, a tweet here and there. But I can’t bring myself back to Facebook. The sheer amount of insanity on the platform is keeping me away. I’ll go back, eventually, because I have friends I like to chatter with. Maybe…
I’ve been working on new content over the last week and very happy with what I’ve created. A few new Instagram posts have already gone up. Now with the weather improving, I’ll head out and start taking photos, well, as long as the COVID-19 stays at bay in my area. Look for a few stamp posts, a new vlog post, and some great tech news. Will be fun.
I changed the name of the column to “I’m getting too old for this shit“. I switched the name on the Facebook page back in August to test if it worked. It’s a keeper. It fits perfectly with my mind set lately.
It’s all bafflegab
So, why the name change? Well, the memoir’s section has undergone a number of transformations over 20 years of blogging. I started out with my first site way back in the 1990s and I can’t remember what it was called. Somewhere in the late ’90s it changed to Catpaw’s diary, then Diary of a Mad Cat. That stuck for quite awhile. In the last 2 years, I felt the name didn’t work anymore and needed a new face so I switched to Memoirs of an Analogue Person. It was a good temporary name because it reflected the passage of time. I’m certainly not the same person I was when I was in my 30s. When I stumbled on I’m getting too old for this shit, I had a Eureka! moment. That’s it! I’m a year off of 60 and boy am I getting too old for a lot of shit.
I’ve begun recording new vlog entries. Some of the new topics will be Reddit content, for no better reason than some of it cracks me up. I have one video discussing the poor shaming I see on Reddit though. There’s a huge number of people who have zero empathy for working poor struggling to find adequate childcare. I’ll save this for the video. I’m playing a big game of catch-up in editing and re-recording content so that’ll come in time.
Don’t forget to check out new content posted on the site. I enjoyed writing the last article on airmails, Canada’s Last Airmail Stamp, so much I’ve begun writing a small series on airmails. It really is my favourite area to collect. I’ve also found a treasure trove of great content for Typography & Design, as well as the Tech section. So many ideas, so little organisational skills.
I’m still struggling with scheduling everything and taking care of mom (who is doing much better), so occasionally there will be bumps in the postings. But things are slowly falling into a manageable schedule. Keep coming back, don’t forget you can follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. But Facebook is the best place because it’s easier for me to log on and chat there. Not much content up at the Youtube channel, but don’t forget to subscribe so you know when I finally post new content.
Experimenting with video recording software so the podcasts are more than voice overs. Testing out Open Broadcaster Studio and it’s not bad. After viewing it, it’s obvious I need to upgrade my webcam. In the meantime, bear with me, it will be awhile before that happens. One thing at a time.
If you own a website, chances are high you’ve received the Dear CEO scam email:
This scam has been hanging around for over years.
(It’s very urgent, please transfer this email to your CEO. If this email affects you, we are very sorry, please ignore this email. Thanks)
We are a Network Service Company which is the domain name registration center in China.
We received an application from Hua Hai Ltd on May 14, 2019. They want to register ” _______________ ” as their Internet Keyword and ” _______________ .cn “、” _______________.com.cn ” 、” _______________ .net.cn “、” _______________ .org.cn ” 、” _______________ .asia “domain names, they are in China and Asia domain names. But after checking it, we find ” _______________ ” conflicts with your company. In order to deal with this matter better, so we send you email and confirm whether this company is your distributor or business partner in China or not?
Mike Zhang | Service Manager
Cn YG Domain (Head Office)
This one came via a customer last week. It’s a bog standard scam designed to trick the reader into responding out of fear. The Dear CEO scam appears to be warning the web owner, they may have issues with their domain name. The sender buries the reader in a bunch of useless information making it difficult to parse what the message is actually saying. In fact, it’s just one more piece of junk hitting your inbox. I posted a podcast covering a few details about it here so, give it a listen.
But, the short answer to your question “should I be worried” is “NO. Delete it and move on with your day. Email scams are a dime-a-dozen, but they are getting far more sophisticated, so use a lot of caution when dealing with any unsolicited email. If in doubt, don’t respond and ask for a second opinion. You can always copy and paste the message into Google to see if it pops up as a reported scam.