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Posts published in January 2019

How the Rules of Etiquette Changed

What was considered ladylike? Modern women, we need to know this! Life for women was very different during the Victorian Era. In order to appreciate the times we live in, we should be familiar with what was expected of women a couple of centuries ago. Maybe something will make you appreciate the Victorian times even more than ours.

Check out the Etiquette of Victorian Women:

  • An unmarried woman under 30 years of age was never to be in a room with a man alone. If she wanted to be in the company of a man she had to be accompanied by a matchmaker or a relative.
  • It was not proper for a young lady to take a walk alone or with another man who wasn’t related to her. If she couldn’t find someone to accompany her she was to take a stroll in the garden or simply stay home.
  • A lady was never to dance more than three dances with the same man.
  • Under no circumstance was a lady allowed to come calling on a man unless she was in need of professional help or advice only he could give her.
  • A lady should never interrupt someone mid-conversation.
  • A lady should not wear pearls or diamonds in the morning.
  • A lady was not to show her emotions. In conversation, she should never raise her voice, not in anger or excitement.
  • Ladies were taught to keep their back always straight. The only place where you could relax your back was in your room.
  • How much work a lady did depended on her wealth and status. If you were from a working class family you were expected to learn the trade of your family. If you were wealthy then you didn’t work but you told others what to do and how to do it.
  • Girls were expected to get married and if they didn’t then they were supposed to dedicate their lives to charity.

Obviously, these are just some of the rules of etiquette from the Victorian Era. Some of these are still good rules to live by but I hope that they also made you appreciate that you live in the 21st century.

What was considered ladylike? Modern women, we need to know this! Life for women was very different during the Victorian Era. In order to appreciate the times we live in, we should be familiar with what was expected of women a couple of centuries ago. Maybe something will make you appreciate the Victorian times even more than ours.

Check out the Etiquette of Victorian Women:

  • An unmarried woman under 30 years of age was never to be in a room with a man alone. If she wanted to be in the company of a man she had to be accompanied by a matchmaker or a relative.
  • It was not proper for a young lady to take a walk alone or with another man who wasn’t related to her. If she couldn’t find someone to accompany her she was to take a stroll in the garden or simply stay home.
  • A lady was never to dance more than three dances with the same man.
  • Under no circumstance was a lady allowed to come calling on a man unless she was in need of professional help or advice only he could give her.
  • A lady should never interrupt someone mid-conversation.
  • A lady should not wear pearls or diamonds in the morning.
  • A lady was not to show her emotions. In conversation, she should never raise her voice, not in anger or excitement.
  • Ladies were taught to keep their back always straight. The only place where you could relax your back was in your room.
  • How much work a lady did depended on her wealth and status. If you were from a working class family you were expected to learn the trade of your family. If you were wealthy then you didn’t work but you told others what to do and how to do it.
  • Girls were expected to get married and if they didn’t then they were supposed to dedicate their lives to charity.

Obviously, these are just some of the rules of etiquette from the Victorian Era. Some of these are still good rules to live by but I hope that they also made you appreciate that you live in the 21st century.

I enjoy my hobbies. Other than my family, I think hobbies really are what make life fun. Isn’t that why we work? We work to have fun and are often. Hopefully our work is fun as well, don’t get me wrong, but it is the time where we get to pursue what we find enjoyable that we work for. For those of us that are particularly fortunate, are hobbies and our work cross paths. Fortunately I’m one of those people.

Designing on a computer has been something I’ve enjoyed all my life, but didn’t really take seriously until college. I tried out a variety of majors and ended up graduating with a degree that I don’t use. All along the way through college, though, I continued to improve my skills in designing a computer. So, in the end, that is what I ended up doing his job. These days I still design websites, online offers, etc. but my real focus is online marketing. All these things I find to be an enjoyable challenge, so I do enjoy my work.

What I really enjoy are some of my hobbies I do whenever I have the chance. Photography is a real passion, which is something I mentioned before. Yet, there are so many other things I like to try. Backspace and that is my problem. I like trying many things. I may not be all that good at any particular thing, but I enjoy the challenge of trying to get better. I like to golf, and I’m not that good but I enjoy the game regardless. I enjoy shooting firearms because there is a challenge to getting better and it requires practice to maintain your skills. The list goes on. I feel very fortunate in having the opportunity to do a variety of hobbies, I just wish I had much more time in which to do them!

So that is my dilemma, too many fun things that I’d like to do, and not enough time in which to do them. I know, poor me, such a difficult problem to have. I don’t write this to try and find somebody out there, but I do hope I’m not the only one in this situation.

Have you ever been in the kind of discussion where everyone brings up the things they would do if they had unlimited funds? You know, where everyone talks about if they had enough money to retire now what they would do. Inevitably these discussions lead to someone saying, “Well, that would be fun for a time, but eventually you would get tired of it and go back to work.” I find this completely crazy. Maybe I’m just naïve, but I sure would like the opportunity to test this theory out. I have so many interests, and I’m sure I could find so many more, but I would never tire of things to do. I could spend weeks if not months just working on certain aspects of photography and trying to get better. I could travel. I could put photography and travel together, and I don’t think I could ever tire of just even that. Throw in some golf, and spent a lot of time with my family, and I would be a happy man.

I am sure I would find one of my hobbies would end up including a type of work, but it would be something I would do at my pace and on things that I want to do. You wouldn’t find me being one of those people that has money and feels the need to invest in new businesses solely for the purpose of creating new money… hopefully. I’ve seen way too many people that have made a few million dollars, think they have the Midas touch, and then turn around and lose that money in their next business endeavor. Perhaps this is why I will never be a rich man; I don’t have that kind of drive to want to make more. Sure, I have some numbers in my mind that I’d like to read someday, and I hope the effort I am making with get me there. Once I get there, I see myself being happy to be there and willing to live off the interest of money made, rather than trying to make twice or three times what I have already achieved. Of course reality is that I will just continue much of the level I am at, and I’m pretty happy with that. But we all have to have dreams!

So being the realist about I am, I look at my current schedule and try to figure out where I can sit in some time to “play” while still addressing all my family and work responsibilities. Isn’t that the name of the game? Isn’t that what we’ll have to do? But it all comes down to priorities, and some things come first. Fortunately, I have a lovely wife (she reads this blog, so you know I have to say that) who makes it possible for me to have some time to pursue some of these hobbies.

The second problem with these hobbies, it’s not just time, but it is money. The old phrase “the difference between men and boys is the price of their toys” is as true as any statement could be. All of the hobbies I have listed in this post take money, and if you’re serious about the hobby, they take plenty of it. When you get into photography, it’s not just the cost of the camera which is plenty, to begin with, it’s all the possible lenses you can try out. Getting a good lens can set you back $1000, $2000 or even much more. The much more category is way out of my league, but I do have a couple of lenses in the lower range. Fortunately, I’ve had the opportunity to do some work that justifies the cost of these lenses, but that’s not always the case. Once you get going on a hobby, it’s hard to stop. Same goes with the other hobbies I listed. Only so much money to go around, and that goes back to the priorities discussion.

So clear is a rant somewhere in this long diatribe against it would be that I wish I had a bit more time and money to do the fun things in life. I guess I’ll just have to work a little harder to make that happen.

Are you a geek? Do you know what the difference is between an AT-AT and an AT-ST? Do you even know what I’m talking about? If not, then you may not be as geeky as you thought. Sure, you may enjoy a good Star Trek once in a while, but did you know those two things I mentioned earlier are actually from Star Wars? They’re those wild mechanical transport/attack beasts used against the rebels. They shoot laser beams that go ‘pew pew’ and everyone runs scared.

But I digress.

Geeks love to learn. They are smart and dedicated to becoming even smarter. So here’s a useful visual that walks you through 50 (that’s all!?) things that a geek should know. Think of it like an IQ test mixed with a dating test (like on one of those dating sites) combined with bar trivia. If you get to know every single one of the things listed below, then kudos! You’re a geek!

If you know even half of them, then you’re probably a geek! Let’s be clear though. It’s OK to be a geek. This isn’t Revenge of the Nerds you know. Geeks rule the world and will continue to do so for quite some time. There are worse things you can be. So, how geeky are you?

I confess I am clueless when it comes to buying and selling stock. Oh, I understand the general idea is to buy low and sell high, but beyond that, I am pretty much in the dark. If I could ever get enough money together that I felt like I could invest in some significant way, I would trust someone to do it for me that knows much better how to watch and use trends.

An article today about yet another big drop in the Dow for a variety of reasons reminded me of just how volatile the market can be, and why I don’t like to take risks with it.

Generally speaking, I don’t think of myself as stupid; in fact, I think I am smarter than the average guy right along with Yogi Bear. Typically if I don’t know something, I can research and educate myself. Perhaps I have never done enough research on markets, but there are some subjects I have decided I am just not wired for. Along with chemistry, trading and taxes rank right up there. Thankfully my wife handles the taxes and I no longer have to deal in the nuts and bolts of chemistry (I stunk at it in college, trust me).

Way back when I did a little buying and selling of stock with companies I was involved in some fashion. I pretty much ended up even after some good gains and then some losses that humbled me. That was enough to scare me away.

I feel comfortable with subjects that have a level of predictability and logic I can understand. Oh, you stock types like to think you can predict the markets, but most of you are just making good guesses more often than not, which gets you ahead. Any given day the market can, and often does, take unexpected turns that defy logic. I have seen it numerous times when a company makes a huge announcement that should drive their price up, only to see it tumble as people are selling off all at once thinking they were going to reap a windfall along with everyone else.

Even in my meager attempts socking away for the future I haven’t had much success. I started up a 401k and Roth IRA this year right before the market took some tumbles. The result? I ended with a loss in my first quarter of retirement savings. Gee, now I feel great about putting that money in at just the right time. I know, I know; I am still doing the right thing; but, nothing like a punch in the gut to make me feel better about it.

Any of you have been lucky with it? You have any secret I should know about? Please, do share.

Christmas 2I first used the word “fragile” in the title of this rant, but I thought weak was more appropriate. I make that note because I am sure I would have plenty of people reminding me that light bulbs are by nature fragile, so take care. I am not talking about the fact that if you drop them, step on them or otherwise destroy them, you get what you deserve. I am talking about how these light bulbs have the life span seemingly equal to that of a short-lived to fly, or something another educational sounding reference. Is this just Murphy having a good laugh at my expense that after I have so proudly mentioned earlier that I hung my lights early this year, beating the snow, that the bulbs at the absolute highest point on my house have already burned out?

These are brand new bulbs! And to add to my argument, these are bulbs for Christmas lights – you’d think they would be built to be a little hearty considering how they are supposed to be used. Mounted on a house, with no shortage of getting bounced around in the process, left out in the cold and burned at for hours on end. Isn’t this what they are designed to do? I refuse to get up on my slick roof now just to change out a few bulbs, but they bug me every time I drive up to the house at night – those gaps in my nicely hung uniform lines just glare brightly with the absence of what should belong. I never realized the absence of light could stand out in such a pronounced fashion. No longer do people notice what you have displayed, rather what is missing.

Christmas 2

Let’s move indoors now to those little cheap strings of lights we encircle our tree with. These quaint little bulbs seem near indestructible when you look at them. You throw that strand round and round and end up with a nice little display to compliment that traditional tree. If you make it through the actual hanging process intact, chances are within the coming weeks, prior to Christmas of course, a bulb or two will go out. If you get the more expensive variety, one bulb out is no problem, the rest of the strand looks great. But, if you were cheap and got the lowest priced variety, the whole strand is a goner, leaving you to guess at which bulb is the culprit. Ever spent 15 minutes tearing up your fingertips pulling out and replacing each bulb one at a time in a seemingly futile effort to rejuvenate your lighting display? Ever felt your blood pressure rise through the roof because you made it all the way to the end of the strand, and it still didn’t start working. Argh! This means there are two or more bulbs now out. Trust me, pony up for the better variety with redundancy built into the wiring. Your sanity will thank you. Either that or just toss the strand that goes out and gets a new one, which is, of course, a great example of our throwaway attitude this day.

Christmas 2

Christmas is the season of good cheer and happy thoughts. I remind myself of that every time those nagging burnt out bulbs show up. Just think happy thoughts.