Living Longer on the Sidelines

Most predictions of life in the future expect increased life spans where people live to be over 100 years old. However, we have a culture oriented to being young. What will all these old people do and how will they fit into our culture? How will it feel to live an extra 20, 30 or so years, on the sidelines of life?

Watch commercials, TV shows and other media. Young people involved in the plot, central to the action. Notice people over 45. Mostly they are extras or being sold insurance policies in commercials. Seldom are older people seen as important or vital.

How will the future be when we live a lot longer?

Free Keyword Help from Ubersuggest

Get keyword ideas with Übersuggest the free keyword suggestion tool that makes good use of different suggest services.

How it works?

Write a term in the box.

Choose a language and a source. Übersuggest can get suggestions either from regular Web search or from search verticals like Shopping, News or Video (more to come).

Übersuggest takes your base term, add a letter or a digit in front of it, and extracts suggestions for it.

Click on each word to get further suggestions based on that term.

Add each keyword to your basket clicking on the plus sign on its left.

Add all visible keywords to your basket clicking on the large grey button.

With this free keyword tool you can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries! Use the keywords to get inspiration for your next blog post, or to optimize your PPC campaigns.

via Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest.

I tried it for a few topics. It brings up a lot of suggestions and sorts them alphabetically. Many suggestions are similar, of course, that’s not a bad thing when it comes to deciding on keywords to use in tags, titles and so on. It also gave me some new ideas to write about in future posts.

True Love Stories Never Have Endings

truelovestories

I just watched the Veronica Mars episode where Duncan leaves with his daughter. Veronica pushing the old fortune cookie quote into her mirror was such a great ending for this episode. Sad and yet keeping the hope for more in the future.

I’m not an expert on Veronica Mars but I don’t think Veronica and Duncan do get together again. Not so far anyway.

As a writer… what would you say is the most romantic quote for missed love? Has a romantic quote meant something to you personally? Post it in the comments.

Personal Life and Blogging by Choice

I’ve had sites up for more than ten years, more than a dozen years. In all that time my family showed little interest and never read anything. Maybe there was the odd skim if they remembered the link somehow. I never thought about what I was posting very much because it was all like writing a note to just myself anyway.

Now that has changed. People (my Mother and sister-in-law) have been reading what I write. My Mom even leaves the odd comment. That is ok. It is here, in public after all. But, it changes everything. Not in the way that I edit what I write about anyone else because I don’t write about family or friends much at all. In my mind this is another world from all of that. It does mean I’m getting feedback which I never asked for or really thought about.

It all changes when someone else sits in judgement on you. Let’s not pretend there isn’t judgement. Because there is. In my family it is all about competition, winning and who is on top. I don’t live that way, well, I have tried not to. Mainly because I am always on the bottom. I feel like I’m in a bottomless pit at times and that isn’t all bad. Without a bottom are you ever really on the bottom? Pretty good, eh?

Anyway, it is too bad that this has all changed from freewriting to unfreewriting at just the time I am working on fixing myself and actually making some progress. Slow progress. Bittersweet progress and sometimes I feel like I’m just stepping into hotter water, but it’ all in the name of progress.

I’m not asking or expecting anyone to stop reading. There is only one way to prevent that and I don’t want to make this a private site. That was never what I wanted. This has been an outlet into the great, wide world for me. I’m not much of a talker in person. So this was such a nice random, free and risky way to be out in the world without having to change out of my nightgown even. Online, no one can see you haven’t even brushed your hair yet.

I’m going to keep writing but I am going to expect people to keep their judgement in line. I don’t expect anyone to read here or ask for comments about what I think, what I have done in the past or what I may do in the future. I have not caused intentional harm to anyone. I work at being a good person and I am the only one who decides what that means for me. I write some adult content, I like some adult things… I’m almost 50 and I can make those choices for myself.

Anyway, this is only here. I won’t be talking to anyone about this post. Family can read it, make their judgements and their own choices. There will, however, be no discussion about this post, posts in the past or those in the future. If you read here understand that this is personal, yet available for public consumption because that is my choice. I write about stuff but I do not choose to talk about it.

Manage Your WordPress Tags with Strictly Auto Tags

First, download the Strictly Auto Tags plugin.

You can do a lot to get started with the free plugin on WordPress. But, if you really want to manage your tags better, and maintain them, the paid plugin gives extra features and options. Please donate, even if you use the free plugin. Plugin developers need love (and coffee) too.

Second, read this guide to using the plugin from Rob, the creator of the plugin (and a list of others which you can find on his site, Strictly Software).strictly auto tags

There are 2 main uses for it.

1. With Auto Discovery ON. This is where it is ideal for news sites as it will find new people, names, companies, institutions etc without using lookup lists. So if I got famous over night and an article was imported about me  I would be found without some other sites list being updated e.g 3rd party API’s (as the other tagging plugins use APIS to send data over and get tag suggestions back and would have to wait for my name to be added to the list). 

So for discovering new names e.g two or more capitalised words like Robert Reid or acronyms like CIA. Then the auto discovery is good for finding NEW possibilities for words to be used as tags.

2. You can always use it with Auto Discovery OFF. If you have a massive tag list you have built up already and just want to re-tag posts then that’s great. It will just use your existing tags as options. 

Obviously you can use it with both options on and see if it finds any new tags worth using. That is your choice.

Always use the example in the readme.txt as a test to ensure it works.

Always read the debugging steps in the readme.txt file to see if it is a bug or you not setting something up or expecting it to do something it isn’t set up to do.

Also if you write your own material I would always save as a draft first, see which tags it has put in, then remove those I don’t want, add those I do before publishing etc. The quality of the tags will always depend on what material you are writing about, stored existing tags that are in that article, and any new words the plugin can find.

I used Strictly Auto Tags, the free version, to re-tag my blog after removing every tag about 2 years ago. I had gotten frustrated with the clutter of tags which repeated each other in slightly different ways and it was a big mess when I wanted to tag a post and had too many options or nothing at all. Anyway, Strictly Auto Tags is great.

How I used the plugin on my own blog

Start by using Discovery to re-tag (especially if you are starting from scratch as I did). Then, go through and edit, revise, add, etc, the tag words which the plugin discovered and added for you. There will be a lot of them but I found none were too extreme or completely off the mark. Most I did delete or revise (making phrases one word or changing a word down to the singular rather than the plural). I kind of enjoyed working on all those tag words. I had forgotten so much about my own site and things I wrote about in the past. I made notes for future blog posts based on the tags discovered by Strictly Auto Tags.

Keep your tags working and sorted out by using the auto tags without Discovery on. Once your tags are set the plugin will tag your new posts with the existing tags. As Rob wrote, save your post to draft first and check which tags will be added. This is when you can edit them if you don’t want a tag or want to add a new tag.

Purchasing the full version for more features and to see what else I can do with my tags now that they are working so well again

Tagging was such a chore for me before that I am going to get the paid version of Rob’s Strictly Auto Tags plugin so I can run it with all the extra features and avoid the tagging problems which caused me to get rid of them all before. I did find tags to be a good thing and I do see that they add to traffic and the chance for my blog posts to be found. So, doing away with tags was a good experiment, but I’m bringing them back now. Very glad to have found a plugin to do a lot of the work for me. Sure, I could have ignored all the past posts and just started tagging from here, but that would bug me. I am a bit all or nothing in that way.

Google, What if I Don’t Have a Mobile Phone?

Dear Google,

You obviously don’t want to hear from me. Just trying to find a way to contact Google is time consuming and mostly a waste of that time. Even when you get email from Google they make it plain that Google is all “no reply” all day, all the time. See below, the return address is:

Google wants you to shut up and leave them alone

 

I only got this far after an hour of looking for some way to contact Google for help. In the past I have left notes for Google on their Twitter account, on their Google Plus accounts (more than one of them) and I have tried over and over and over to find a way to get help from Google about the problem of not having a mobile phone and not wanting to get one just to McHappy Google.

no mobile phone no googleFor at least two months Google Plus has offered me (to the point of nagging each time I open my G+ account) the option to have a custom URL. It is misleading. In fact, if you don’t have a mobile phone you can not have a custom URL. Of course, it does not mention the mobile phone requirement in the eligibility for having a custom URL. It should. In over two months I have tried various suggestions and ideas of my own and from other people and nothing has worked.

As frustrating as this is, the bigger issue is how long before you can’t access your Gmail (Google mail account) without verifying yourself with your mobile phone? I’ve been using Gmail since it began. I will be pretty aggravated the day I have to change all my email to something else just because I don’t want to spend upwards of $50 a month for a mobile phone I never wanted and won’t be using.

A lot of people do have a cell/ mobile phone. Not everyone. Personally, I’m not fond of the phone at all. I keep the landline out of obligation. Now and then family or friends phone. Mostly it’s sales calls so I just let them all go and listen to messages when I see the light blinking. Did you know computers are now leaving phone messages, long ones even! Incredible how marketing and sales are being allowed so much leeway.

Anyway, I am really frustrated with Google over this custom URL which they offer but don’t deliver. I’m concerned about the future even more. The latest thing with two way verification for accounts is all about the mobile phone. What happens if I don’t want a mobile phone? Google won’t answer. I know because I’ve been asking them for months and all I ever get are form emails with no-reply addresses.

Scream for help all you want – no one at Google wants to hear you.

On top of that. I just realized the irony of having set up the two way verification with my landline for my Google account (not the custom URL, just the access to my Google account itself). The irony of now having two way verification on my Google account is that I can only use it from my home computer. If I am out somewhere my account will be inaccessible. How is that for ultimate irony? My Google account is now immobile!!! 

 

Love Letter Writers

love letter writers
I was a letter writer until my last older relative died, the Grandmothers and their sisters. I did write to my Grandfather sometimes but it was mainly the women who wrote back and gave me more reason to write back. It is much easier to reply to something in a letter than to break out fresh inspiration each time all by yourself.

However, not everyone answered my letters and I would not have known they actually liked them if it weren’t for my Mother and others who knew the older women I wrote to. Maybe they didn’t know what to say to reply back to a grandchild they would only see a few times a year. Weddings, births and funerals as they say, but I would see my Grandparents at family holidays too.

Writing a letter seems simple enough when you decide to start one. Then the blank page… it just sits there so untouched and unhelpful.

So how do you start a letter?

Salutations! Greetings are a simple place to start. A simple Hello gets you into the letter writing process. Address them by name or title (I went with Aunt Emma, the title and the name, when I wrote to the older ladies). You would likely write something else if you were writing to someone you knew on a casual basis.

Next, remind them who you are in some way. Just like leaving a phone message, you tell people who you are and why you are calling. This is pretty much the same when you put your message into print too. Simply give your own name and title (in the family letters I was usually Diane’s daughter or Violet’s granddaughter). Then say you are writing to see how they are, let them know how Christmas/ Thanksgiving/ Easter/ etc went with your family… there are endless reasons you can think up as the purpose of your letter. (You don’t have to say you’re writing because you thought they might be feeling old, lonely or left out).

At this point you start the real letter, the actual content, like a leap out into space. Don’t get tangled up – just talk about your day. The ordinary occurrences can be far more interesting than you think.

Next paragraph, talk about whatever you said you were actually writing about, your reason for the letter. I don’t start with that. If you get right to the point in a letter you seem to be pressed for time, unsocial and not really wanting to connect with your letter reader. With the older ladies this was especially important. I didn’t want them to think someone had told me I had to write to them. No one had, it was all my own idea.

The body of your letter can go on for as long as you can think of some bit of this and that to write about. Often as I get started I think of several things I can mention in the letter. Trivial stuff is fine. Life is made up of the little things.

Don’t ever forget to ask about your letter reader, how are they doing, what are they doing? Ask questions in the body of your letter too. Make it interactive. It’s not likely you will get your questions answered, not all of them, but it does give your letter the feeling of being directed to the reader rather than your own personal monologue to no one in particular.

When you are reading to end your letter, or when you realize you’re close to running out of paper to write on, give some kind of conclusion to the whole thing. Wrap it up with a bow. Something simple like: I hope this letter gets to you before Christmas. After all, it is traditional for letter writers to talk about the post office and the cost and reliability of mailing a letter.

Sign off with your name. Dating your letter is optional – but you never know where it might turn up far in the future when some relative picks up an interest in family history.

Don’t forget to actually mail the letter.

I usually pick an interesting stamp too. Sometimes I get into mail art as well and doodle/ draw on the envelope before I mail it out into the big, wide world.

Find Your Passion By Answering These 50 Questions

50 questions to help you find your passion:

1. What is working well for you in your current life — what do you find fulfilling, meaningful, enjoyable, and important?

I still have my independence, a place to work which I have been re-creating to get rid of clutter. I find those to be enjoyable and important.

2. What isn’t working well for you in your current life — what drains you, makes you stressed and anxious, or wastes your time?

Conflict and stress over conflicts drains me.

3. If you were financially secure and didn’t need a paycheck, how would you spend your time?

I would still do much of what I do now. More travel and photographing old places. I’d have a space that was more my own, no other tenants for sure.

Read moreFind Your Passion By Answering These 50 Questions

Goals Like Jigsaw Puzzles

It’s not easy coming up with a goal when someone asks you what your goal is. Unless you recently decided on a goal and feel good about it, goals change and need to be updated. Some goals seem too far into the future, too hard to attain or just not reasonable for whatever reasons. Even a goal you don’t think you can try for, is still a goal of sorts. You may feel more like a dreamer than someone thinking of a practical goal.

How about thinking of attaining the goal as a jigsaw puzzle. You know how a jigsaw puzzle looks once it is completed, all those jagged, curved and twisted pieces fitted together. Each piece connected, each piece fitting into place.

Instead of looking directly at the piece of the puzzle which is the goal, look at the piece beside it. Then the piece above it or a couple of pieces over to the left and below it. Chances are your goal has connections to other things, other elements and parts which you could aim for first.

What could you work on today to help you connect to your goal? There is less pressure to reach your goal if you aim for something connected to it but you also get closer, a better connection, to your goal. You may even change your goal or find a new path to getting there. Give yourself a chance.