I’ve become quite the proponent for cyber security this year (driving some of my friends and family a bit nuts in the process), and firmly believe that every single one of us MUST make it a priority before January 20th, 2017. It’s time to take charge of our safety, and not trust the big companies to do it for us, especially since they’ve shown themselves to be lacking in that department.
Below are 4 services that I use and highly recommend, and really, really hope more people use (I need to add to my lists!!).
First off, DuckDuckGo. The search engine that doesn’t track you. Someone mentioned Bing today, and quite honestly, I’d forgotten about it, I’ve used DDG for so long!
For emails, I use Virtru. End-to-end encryption for those who use it, and it allows for the fact that some (too many) will opt-out, allowing you to use the service for everyone.
My new favorite is Seald. You are able to encrypt part or all of a message…on a public site!!! So far I only have one friend using it, but believe me – especially all you FB lovers – you want to use this for all your sites. It doesn’t work for Twitter (the encryption is too long), but I keep meaning to try it with TwitLonger and see if it works then.
Only the intended recipient (who, of course, must be using Seald, also) can click on that blue box and have the message show up; anyone else is just left hanging. It’s brilliant! If I know you and you sign up for it (DO!!!), let me know so I can add you to my contact list. Also, if you have any questions on how to use it, feel free to ask, or you can go directly to the chat box on the website. They have exceptional customer service!
Seald can also be used in emails, too, so you can opt to use this instead of Virtru, but again, the recipient must use the service to read the messages.
Last, and almost most important of all, is Signal, an app for your cell phone (that you can also use on your desktop). You can make private phones calls to other users, and your text messages are private, also. I tried to take a screenshot of what it looks like on my phone, but Open Whispers has brilliantly made it SO private that it won’t allow screenshots. You can use the service and still text to non-users, and it always asks if you want to invite them and let’s you know it’s an unlocked text. Seriously, gang, if you don’t use any others, GET THIS. You know you live on your phone, and this prevents others from reading/listening in. I really wish more of my phone contacts would sign up.
Be safe, everyone. Don’t regret later that you weren’t, ok? This is really, really important. Even the most mundane text can be mined for information, and we all know everything online is receiving the same treatment.
Did you catch the subheading change on my title page? I’ve been introspective this week, and reading day-to-day life blogs have been my interest. Real life, no selling, more communication. And as this is my favorite blog of the 3 I have, I’m going to write that way here. More like LiveJournal, but more public.
The reason I’ve had this time is that on Friday I had foot surgery, and I have to keep my foot elevated, so there’s been a lot of downtime. And there will be more to come. I probably can’t wear a shoe for another 5 weeks or so.
I had the bandages changed today, but still don’t have a real boot because my Dr. had an emergency out of state and isn’t back yet. Next week. I must say, I suck at crutches BIG TIME thanks to the tremors, and so Himself bought me a walker off Craigslist and that’s been so much easier. Not on my hands, but still, more balance. Plus, still can’t put any weight on it, so skipping along on my right foot. My right knee is very, very unhappy about this. If I ever have to do this again, I’m getting one of those scooter/trike things.
I’m sleeping a lot, which is nice, but the meds make me twitch when I am, which is weird. The first night Himself thought I was boxing in my dreams. Lol!
Oh, I’m rereading Dave Turner’s “How to Be Dead” books on my Kindle…funny stuff. And speaking of Amazon, we were, weren’t we? …I just put a bunch of Funko Pops on my wishlist. No, I don’t need them, but, again, life is short, and they’re fun, and I want them. They really need to make more girl ones, and also to finish sets; Firefly is missing Inara, Book, and Simon. Why??
A while ago I was wandering through WordPress, and came across mention of a really, really cool app called Forest (I can’t remember who mentioned it, sorry!). The premise is that you set the timer on the app and don’t use your phone during that time, and when you meet that goal, a tree grows!
These are screenshots from my phone. Below is the main screen you will see. You move the green dot around the circle, and it changes the time/goal.
You can select your settings:
For each goal you reach, a tree grows:
If you log in before the time is up, the app will tell you to “Stop phubbing”, and if you click on “give up”, this is what happens:
Not only does it keep track on the Forest page, but also here, and you can add notes about why you needed the time away, such as working on a project/while you’re in class, etc…
When you accumulate enough leaves, you can choose different types of trees to add to your forest. This looks like an octopus tree to me. 😉
I really like this tree.
As you can see, yes, there are ads, but I don’t find them obnoxious. One thing: each day the forest is empty. I thought it accumulated trees until it was full, but it clears out and you start fresh. So you need to be diligent in meeting your time goals! 🙂
The app is available for Chrome and Firefox, too! The Forest App. Rocks socks!
As you may know, my day job is as a clerk at a metaphysical shoppe, and we sell more crystals than you can imagine. On occasion, someone will ask if we cleanse them, and I use a method that I came up with a while ago.
If the crystal is in a pendant or ring setting, I’ll suspend it by a rubber band over an abalone shell filled with sage and use it as a pendulum. I ask it to show me a “yes” when it is cleared of any and all negativity, and it will!
If they are loose stones, I’ll either place them in a small organza bag and suspend it over the sage, and if we’ve put them in a coil to wear as a pendant, I’ll put out a rubber band again. This method works very well, and is simple and quick!
It’s snowing here! Lightly, but still. It’s April! All the flowers and trees are in full bloom, the grass is growing…and it’s snowing. Mother Nature’s giant April Fool’s joke. 😉
The other day I was pondering life and all that goes with it, and I came across this blog post by Alexandra Franzen, called He’s Waiting. She’s Listening. In it she discusses when she began blogging and feeling like what she was writing wasn’t making any difference. And then something amazing happened, and she remembered the truth of writing:
“The truth, which is:
If you write something and share it — and your words help one human being to experience a better day, or a better life — then your work is a tremendous success.
You never, ever know how your words might influence someone else’s life.”
I have felt insignificant many times over the years, both as a blogger and a healer, and that post really hit home and sent me thinking. What I write here will, as the subtitle says, be “a little of this, a little of that”, because, well, that’s how I roll. Things catch my interest and I want to tell someone!
I’ve missed blogging, and plan to do much more of it. I promise not to inundate you, though!
I hope you continue to follow along, and please, if you’re in need of a healing boost, check out website, see how I can help you (even from across the world!), and let’s get you feeling better, ok? OK! 🙂
PS: after today, these posts will no longer be forwarded to G+ or Twitter during the month of April. So if you’re interested in the blog, please follow via email, on WP, or through Bloglovin’. And you can find me on my favorite obsession, Instagram!
There’s a new etsy shop, Quirk and Flotsam, run by my friend Ronda Snow. I’m the proud owner of a cool wooden mala, and my intention is to have an affirmation as my ‘chant’, “I am happy, healthy, and at peace.” I haven’t had much luck with meditation over the years, but a mala may be just the ticket!
It’s a little too long to wear around my wrist, but I may be able to figure something out. 🙂
Arwen Lynch wrote this great article about “Zentangle for the Soul“, and it reminded me that I had taken a class a few years ago with my cousin. We were the only two who showed up, and so we had the teacher’s undivided attention. It was fun!
I’d pretty much forgotten about “tangling”, but every now and then I’d run across the kit my cousin surprised me with after the class. After reading Arwen’s article, I dug everything out. The items in the ziplock were from class, and the book I picked up used at a local store.
I kept the tangles I created in class and then right after:
This is my favorite of the 4. I did it after the class, and I really like the checkerboard pattern (would love a floor like that!) and the hearts. It just all came together so nicely.
In this (my 2nd tangle ever), you can see the evidence of my tremors in the spirals. Drawing a spiral is one of the tests they use to decide if you have Essential Tremor or not.
Not thrilled with this one. It was the very first attempt at tangling. I bought some colored Sharpie Pens to jazz it up, but there wasn’t any help for it. 😉
Another ‘meh’. Not sure what I was doing here. 😉 I seem to like hearts and checkerboards, though.
I have a hardbound blank notebook in which I’ve begun another tangle. It’s easier to keep with me than tiles. The other day I was on hold for almost 45 minutes with customer service, and I finished a tangle that I’d started the day before.
Yes, you can start a tangle and finish it another time! As a matter of fact, there’s a lovely blog post by Eliza Fayle about easing in to creativity, and as she’s a tangler, of course she uses that as her example. She tells about creating over the course of a day (not multiple days), and that has made a big difference in how I am doing the tangles. I don’t always have time to sit for 1/2 an hour or more to create one, so this gave me the permission to connect back to it over the course of the day. It’s great!!!
Do you tangle? Link to some of your creations! Or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #tanglingfun . I’d love to see them!
So….still feeling off but managed to go into work yesterday. As the day got busier, I became more tired, and as today is the busiest day of our month, I opted out. Eating only popsicles and crackers doesn’t lend one much energy, suffice it to say.
It’s the 26th; there is still time to donate to my friend’s Avon 39 Walk, and I’m still happily #dryjuly -ing my way through life. Yay! I had every intention of saving what I would have spent on booze this month and donating it, but I’ve ended up taking so much time out of work that it all went to bills instead. I still have time, so next month I will donate.
As I look at the bullet points, I’m reminded of this blog post, Dear Blogger, that totally cracked me up.
What are your thoughts on newsletters? I have mixed feelings: many want you to sign up and receive a free something for doing so, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want to read more of their blog/newsletters in the future, right? There may just be something in that one particular post that caught your interest, right? I have a newsletter (though I haven’t written anything in it in a while) and I’m deciding whether to continue with it or not.
Recently, two well-known women’s Facebook accounts have been removed or frozen (I think there was a third, but I can’t remember who it is); Beth Owl’s Daughter, and Pixie Lighthorse. It all has to do with FB’s random “that’s not your real name” policy, and as we all know how I feel about FB, I chose to delete my account this morning, after posting that I would last night. I woke to this, and have been laughing ever since. I wasn’t that bad, but I’m sure I was close.;) It’s not the people; it’s the platform and their practices (such as were mentioned in Pixie’s blog). I’m not sure why this video isn’t showing up on its own, but check it out anway!
I’m sitting here, trying to catch up on everything, and it dawned on me why Wednesdays (and social media in general) overwhelm me: I have this compulsive urge to literally catch up on everything. Every post, every tweet, every instagram picture, every blog post, every every thing.
Good grief, why???
It’s especially bad on Wednesdays because I’m not online much during my work ‘week’, except maybe a glimpse or two before or after work. So I basically miss 4 days of all of you. That’s a lot to catch up on!
I think it goes back to my beginnings online: first there was a virtual Irish pub that I ‘hung out’ in for a few years, meeting some absolutely wonderful people in the process. Then there was the beloved OB, which was finally shut down by the provider 10 years after it started. On both message boards, it was fairly easy to go to where you left off, catch up and comment, and then join in on the day’s discussions. It seems that has stuck with me, and I scroll back through Twitter, trying to find the last tweet I read, or clicking on each blog I follow and going back to the last one there, too.
Multiply that by 7 platforms I use (I don’t even attempt it with Tumblr), and it’s no wonder that not only am I overwhelmed, but the day is quickly lost to hours online. On one platform I’ve taken to mainly just responding to comments, but I’m pretty much not going to try to scroll through thousands of shares to find the meat of what those I follow have posted about their lives. And that negates the point of being there, because many of them are ONLY on that platform. Yes, it’s FB. Ugh.
It’s not that I think that everyone is breathlessly waiting for me to respond to what they write (or to read what I write), it’s more that I…you know, I honestly don’t know what it is. Maybe I’m a bit OCD when it comes to the internet…?
I need an intervention. 😉
Actually, I just need to remind myself that my attention is not needed on everything I’ve missed, and that’s it’s ok to focus on what I see the day I log on. If I miss something important, someone will tell me, I’m sure, and it’s ok to let the rest go. Fewer platforms would help, too, but there isn’t one platform that everyone loves, so until that happens, multiples must be.
How do you handle your multiple platforms? And which are your favorites? I think that following someone on their most favorite platform and not every one they are on is another way of dealing with the overwhelm, too. Do you do that?
If I follow you on multiple ones, let me know which you prefer, and I’ll drop the rest and see you there. Even if it’s FB. Really. Just for you. 😉