Catalogue Your Books

This doesn’t really help me because I know I am not going to spend all that time digitally scanning my books or listing them on a web site (especially a secondary site which could disappear without notice).

I do agree with most of the reasons for cataloguing your books. I get annoyed with myself each time I realize I have two (three even in a couple of cases) copies of the same book.

Also, I did have a water tank burst and ruin a lot of books I had kept in the basement. Luckily the water left enough behind for me to estimate a value for the insurance. (But it doesn’t really replace the books and I spent the money on something else rather than looking to replace the damaged/ ruined books I had to throw out).

For me the smartest thing  would really be eliminating a lot of the books I am keeping (hoarding) on my shelves.

I don’t keep non-fiction books once I have read them. That small decision, several years ago, helped me lose a lot of clutter.

Having your library accessible in an app or doc means never forgetting what you already own and never purchasing unwanted duplicates.

If you ever lose the library due to fire, flood, or other disaster you can use the list to rebuild your collection and (depending on your insurance) possibly recuperate some of the money lost.

Share the list with your family/friends and they’ll never buy you a book you already own.

Track where/when you bought the book, and help preserve memories associated with the purchase.

STATS. Do you own more books by men or women; more sci-fi or historical; short story collections or novels; Americans or Brits? Inventory your entire library and find out.

Source: 8 Reasons to Catalog Your Books (and How to Do It)

How do you Name a Woman?

Does it bother you to hear an adult man call his wife “Mother”, “MaMa” or other words similar? How about people who call themselves their pet’s “Mother”, “Daddy”, etc.?

Names are our identity/ identification. Names are how other people view us. I do think it is a bit odd when people refer to another person by their role – especially when it isn’t the role they have for the person who spoke. (Or that whole being your dog’s Mother thing, that just annoys me, personally).

My Dad used to refer to our Mom as “your Mother”. I haven’t thought of it for years. But, someone else I happened to mention it to found it very odd, they didn’t like it.

Other people don’t like hearing a husband refer to his wife as “Mother”. Does it help to think it is the short form for the Mother of his children? I’m sure that’s how it is intended but it does always sound as if he is calling his wife his Mother. What does he call his real Mother? Maybe “Grandma”?

Today in the Arab world, there is a custom still in place to not speak a woman’s name in public after she becomes a mother. In her 2011 book Gender, Sexuality, and Meaning: Linguistic Practice and Politics, linguistics professor Sally McConnell-Ginet wrote about how in some historical periods in China, women were only referred to by “relational forms,” names like “oldest sister” or “Lee’s wife,” while men were more often referred to by their individual names. These might sound odd to our modern ear, but chances are most of us have witnessed something similar in our lifetime.

Source: The Rise of ‘Mama’ : Longreads Blog

I found this, part of a long post about the use of the word “Mama”. However, the idea that a Mother loses her name was more interesting to me. When a woman marries she (still usually) changes her last name. She loses her family identity – or exchanges it for a new family identity. Then she has children and loses even her own personal identity as an individual. From then on she becomes a role, not an individual. Isn’t that like a nun too? They are referred to as “Mother Someone”, “Sister Someone”.

Without getting feminist about it, I wonder why or how our culture evolved to take away a woman’s name? It’s really interesting to think about. Not so much about laws, rights, fairness, equality, etc. But, just the fact of it.

Hey Guys We All Know… These are Offensive Phrases

We all know that…

That phrase really bothers me. I don’t like the cajoling, persuasive feeling of those words. I don’t like the assumption that there is a “we” and that I have anything in common with whoever is speaking or writing those words.

Yet this phrase comes up so often. Why? It’s so phony. So irritating and so slimy! I change my mind about whatever “we” are all supposed to know or think or feel as soon as I see or hear that.  I have a mind of my own, thank you! I don’t have a love of all popular culture, the entertainment industry and I don’t own a mobile phone. I’m an independent, free thinker as often as I choose to be.

So, whatever you think “we all know”… I’m just offended and contrary enough to unknow it on purpose!

The other phrase I just can’t stand is anything referring to people as “guys”.

Hey you guys…

Obviously you are only talking to the men because I’m not a guy. I never have been and don’t intend to change that.

Why, when the media is so heavily pushing transgender issues are we also all being called “guys”? Why ask people which pronoun they prefer when you call them all guys and think it’s ok?

Both of these phrases offend me. I hear (or see) them almost daily in advertising, online media and casual conversation.

In short, keep your little marketing hands and small marketing mind to yourself. People are don’t come out of a box each morning – we are unique individuals and we are not all men.

Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

What a great list. How many of these did you already know? I can pick out a few. Then there are several I can remember hearing or reading but might not have remembered without seeing the explanation from the list.

Something like this gets me wondering how many of these skills could we learn again should technology fail or we some how end up in a backwards/ old fashioned dystopia?

1. ackerman: a plowman or oxherder
2. alewife: a proprietor of a tavern
3. alnager: a wool inspector
4. arkwright: a carpenter specializing in wooden chests
5. bowyer: a bowmaker
6. brazier: a brass worker
7. catchpole: an official who pursues those with delinquent debts
8. caulker: someone who packs seams in ships or around windows
9. chandler: a candlemaker, or a retail supplier of specific equipment
10. chiffonier: a wigmaker
11. cobbler: a shoemaker
12. collier: a coal miner or a maker of charcoal (also, a ship that transports coal)
13. cooper: a maker or repairer of barrels, casks, and tubs
14. cordwainer: a shoemaker
15. costermonger: a fruit seller
16. crocker: a potter
17. currier: a leather tanner, or a horse groom
18. draper: a cloth dealer
19. drayman: a driver of a heavy freight cart
20. drummer: a traveling salesman
21. duffer: a peddler
22. eggler: an egg seller
23. factor: an agent or steward
24. farrier: someone who trims horse hooves and puts on horseshoes
25. fishmonger: a fish seller
26. fletcher: a maker of arrows
27. fuller: someone who shrinks and thickens wool cloth
28. glazier: a glassmaker or window maker
29. haberdasher: an owner of or worker in a store for men’s clothing or small items used for making clothes
30. hawker: a peddler
31. hayward: an official responsible for fences and hedges
32. higgler: a peddler of dairy products and small game (also, a haggler, or someone who negotiates for lower prices)
33. hobbler: a person who tows boats on a canal or river
34. hooper: a maker of hoops for barrels, casks, and tubs
35. hostler or ostler: one who cares for horses or mules, or moves or services locomotives (originally, an innkeeper, who also maintained stables)
36. huckster: a peddler (now refers to a con artist)
37. ice cutter: someone who saws blocks of ice for refrigeration
38. ironmonger: a seller of items made of iron
39. joiner: a carpenter who specializes in furniture and fittings
40. keeler: a crew member on a barge or a keelboat
41. knacker: one who buys animals or animal carcasses to use as animal food or as fertilizer (originally, a harness maker or saddle maker)
42. knocker-up: a professional waker, who literally knocks on doors or windows to rouse people from sleep
43. lamplighter: someone who lights, extinguishes, and refuels gas street lamps
44. lapidary: a jeweler
45. lector: someone who reads to factory workers for entertainment
46. log driver: someone who floats and guides logs downriver for transportation
47. milliner: a designer, maker, or seller of women’s hats
48. muleskinner: a wagon driver
49. peruker: a wigmaker
50. pinsetter: someone who sets bowling pins back up after each bowl
51. plowright: a maker of plows and other farm implements
52. plumber: originally, one who installed lead roofing or set lead frames for windows
53. porter: a doorkeeper or gatekeeper
54. puddler: a worker in wrought iron
55. quarryman: a stonecutter
56. raker: a street cleaner
57. resurrectionist: someone who digs up recently buried corpses for use as cadavers
58. ripper: a fish seller
59. roper: a maker of nets and ropes
60. sawyer: a carpenter
61. slater: a roofer
62. slopseller: a seller of ready-made clothing, as opposed to a tailor
63. stevedore: a dockworker
64. tanner: someone who cures animal hides to make leather
65. teamster: a wagon driver
66. thatcher: someone who makes thatched roofs
67. tinker: a repairer or seller of small metal goods such as pots and pans
68. turner: someone who uses a lathe to turn wood for balustrades and spindles
69. victualer: an innkeeper, or a merchant who provides food for ships or for the military
70. wainwright: a wagon maker
71. webster: a weaver
72. weirkeeper: a fish trapper
73. wharfinger: an owner or operator of a wharf
74. wheelwright: a maker of wheels for carriages and wagons
75. whitesmith: a worker of tin

Source: 75 Names of Unusual or Obsolete Occupations

Writers as Games Developers

Is this a dream job for you? I like playing computer games (video games on the PC). I know someone is writing the characters,  dialogue, plot and so on.

Writers would also be involved in promoting the game (including social media). The best people for the job would be the writers familiar with the game.

Interactive writers are the men and women who come up with the stories and write the dialog and even the text messages seen in a range of interactive media from games to apps. Often working in a team, they may find brainstorming and mind-mapping skills just as important as old-fashioned writing skills. Rather than a novel, what they produce is closer to a film or TV script.

via How Writers Can Work with Games Developers | Publishing Perspectives.

The Everyday Sexism Project

The Everyday Sexism Project exists to catalogue instances of sexism experienced by women on a day to day basis. They might be serious or minor, outrageously offensive or so niggling and normalised that you don’t even feel able to protest. Say as much or as little as you like, use your real name or a pseudonym – it’s up to you. By sharing your story you’re showing the world that sexism does exist, it is faced by women everyday and it is a valid problem to discuss.

everyday sexism project
via the everyday sexism project.

What story would you add? Think over your day (today or yesterday) don’t go beyond that into the past and dig up big issues and events. Sexism creeps in to so many little things every day.

I don’t mean things like a man holding a door open for a woman. That is still a courtesy, unless he lets it swing shut on the next woman who isn’t as young or pretty. Don’t take common courtesy and good manners as sexism. Manners are a form of respect in our culture.

Today I read a Twitter post about a woman who gets asked “Where’s your boyfriend?” when she carries boxes herself. That is sexism for both men and women. However, I don’t think it’s sexism to offer to help her. I’m a woman and I might help someone carry something. On the other hand, I’m glad when my brother helps me carry groceries up the steps and into the house. I don’t ask for the help. I know I’m hoping he will.

I don’t see that as sexist, especially when I see how much easier he carries everything than I would have done. Plus, he feels manly helping me. I’m happy to make him feel good. If he stays I offer to make coffee and he likes to sit back and be fussed over a bit. I like doing it, for him. I wouldn’t feel the same if it were someone else.

On the other hand… he thinks I’m over reacting when I feel threatened by a man who touches me too much, gets too close, etc. His attitude is everyday sexism but it comes from not knowing how I feel as a woman: vulnerable to a bigger, stronger person who can react in ways I can’t predict or control.

The issue of everyday sexism is interesting because there is so much more to it than it seems on the surface.

I’d Pick Viking

Through a strange set of circumstances, you are being forced to spend the rest of your life as a… Spartan, Viking, Knight or Roman. Which do you choose? Why? What will your life be life? What’s daily life like? Would you enjoy it?

writing prompts — my 28 most tried and true writing prompts.

I’d pick Viking, mainly because they had a better attitude towards women. When people think of Spartans, knights, Vikings or Romans they tend to think of men, fighting men. But, most of the people living in those days were not men, or fighting men. What do you know about the ordinary lives of people in history? Most fiction is written from the perspective of people who had power and resources, not those who lived and died without making it into history books. The great unknown.

Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From?

Where did “piss poor” come from?

If you’re young and hip, this is still interesting.

NOW THIS IS A REAL EDUCATION

Us older people need to learn something new every day…

Just to keep the grey matter tuned up.

Where did “Piss Poor” come from? Interesting history.

They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot.

And then once it was full it was taken and sold to the tannery…

If you had to do this to survive you were “Piss Poor”. But worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn’t even afford to buy a pot…

They “didn’t have a pot to piss in” and were the lowest of the low.

The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn’t just how you like it, think about how things used to be.

Here are some facts about the 1500′s

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June.. However, since they were starting to smell, brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water.

The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,

Then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children.

Last of all the babies.

By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it.

Hence the saying, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water!”

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath.

It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, “It’s raining cats and dogs.”

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house.

This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed.

Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection.

That’s how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt.

Hence the saying, “Dirt poor.” The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery In the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to help keep their footing..

As the winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold.

(Getting quite an education, aren’t you?)

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire.

Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers In the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day.

Sometimes stew had food in it that had been there for quite a while.

Hence the rhyme:

“Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.”

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special.

When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off.

It was a sign of wealth that a man could, “bring home the bacon.”

They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and chew the fat.

Those with money had plates made of pewter.

Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food, causing lead poisoning death.

This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Bread was divided according to status..

Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle,

And guests got the top, or the upper crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky.

The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days..

Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial.

They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up.

Hence the custom; “holding a wake.”

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people.

So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus, someone could be, “saved by the bell” or was “considered a dead ringer.”

And that’s the truth.

Now, whoever said history was boring!!!

So get out there and educate someone!

Share these facts with a friend.

Inside every older person is a younger person wondering,

“What the heck happened?”

We’ll be friends until we are old and senile.

Then we’ll be new friends.

via Where Did “Piss Poor” Come From? | Green Living History.

Home Keeping and Homemaking as a Profession

I don’t like the leftover attitude about stay at home Mothers or housewives and the idea that women should be homemakers who look pretty for their man and do what they are told to do. It’s a small minded and ignorant way to treat something which is so much bigger and more important.

The world needs homemakers. Whether the person who looks after the children and the home is a man, woman or a couple, it’s a vital role. It’s a profession really. I wish it was given more credit and taken far more seriously than it is.

Being a Professional Homemaker

Homemaking is Important for the World and our Future

Years ago my Mother told me about a new TV show she had begun watching while she was in Florida. (My Mom is a Canadian snowbird). She said the show was really good, all about how to do the regular kind of things a lot of people have stopped doing, forgotten how to do or just never knew the right way to do them. That TV show was, The Martha Stewart Show. I still think about that when I see the Martha Stewart magazines in the book store and the grocery store aisle. (We don’t get the TV show here in Canada any longer.)

There are a lot of little homemaking skills which people don’t seem to know any more. How to clean things and how to place things and how to keep things run well.

All these skills used to be the work of women mainly. As my Mother said about my Grandparents, he works outside and she works inside. That was how they did it too. Rarely were there ever any cross-overs. But, later in life there were times my Grandmother wanted to garden and my Grandfather was happy to give her garden space in his garden. But, she wanted to plant potatoes and he didn’t. Of course, it was complicated by the fact that she insisted on planting her surprise potatoes in his rose garden. But, that was just an extra wrinkle to the tale.

Small things, the working together of people. So complicated and yet so very important.

Stay at Home Dads

Stay at Home Moms Too

My Mother was (mostly) a stay at home Mom. At times she would go out to work part time. She worked at a Tim Horton’s donut shop, hospital admissions and drove for Honda as a test driver too. Later, when my little sister was in high school my Mom got into real estate – and did well, she liked it too.

Things are changing from the old days and that’s a good thing.

Modern Families Take Care of the Family, Together

Why are home making and housekeeping still so strongly associated with women? Yes, it’s a traditional thing for the women to stay at home with the children and look after the home. But, that was a role outdated at least twenty years ago. Men can be at home looking after children and the home now. But, more often couples work together. Men and women take on the care of children and the usual skills, crafts and work of making a home and housework.

Are people still so deeply caught up in the past or do we just not give men any due credit? I know men who do a wonderful job with their children. I know couples who work together to get everything done, after their standard 9 to 5 work day.

Women are Afraid Men Will Kill Them

“Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.” – Margaret Atwood.

Do you agree, or disagree? Does your opinion reflect your gender? Do men ever feel threatened with bodily harm, assault, torture, sexual violence or death on an average day?

My Dad and my brother both make light of anything like this. Women are over reacting, being silly… but the fact is that a woman does not feel safe out in the world and it’s not because of other women.

When you write about fear, what do you draw on? I draw on my feelings at the times I have been assaulted, molested and/ or attacked. It does make me wonder what men have to draw on when they write about fear. Do they have any real experience or is it all based on stuff they have seen on TV? Isn’t it handy then, that there are so many movies and TV shows where women are attacked so men will have something both entertaining and educational to have some understanding of what it feels like to be afraid for your life.