Reading – let’s collectively not make it a lost art

Do you have time to read this post and as a society, do we have time to reflect on our communication habits?

Society has become a ‘hurry-up’ ‘instant gratification’ culture.  We collectively have so much on our minds and  things to do we don’t in general take the time to do one thing really well.

                              Stop, breathe, look around.

DidIMAG0519 you see the sunset?
Did you smell the flowers in bloom?
The scents of a fresh rain on the ground or the smile of your partner so many things taken for granted in our lives that really could be appreciated more.

Do you remember the art of writing letters and the joy of receiving a letter?  Not an email! A letter -a handwritten letter!

About 10 yrs ago or longer we as a society started getting computers and thus came the ability to send and receive emails.  Emails used to be great.  You could take your time and write an email that would be sent instantaneously and received whenever that recipient opened their email.  We still wrote and we still read and we still enjoyed communicating.

In the recent years, I have noticed that the mobile phone and tablets have replaced our computers or seem to be much more utilised than our computers.  As such, if people receive your email they rarely write more than a 2-3 sentence reply if even that much!  Worse than that, there seems the tendency to not actually read the email but rather to skip & skim around to whatever seems the important part to them and questions you’ve asked or thoughts you’ve written of remain unanswered.

I have friends who virtually never write emails but rather forward me emails of things they’ve found.  Then those emails can border on spam since those people virtually never write an email but rather, send out 3-5-10 emails a day all forwarded links etc.  On the rare occasion those people send an actual written email it can become lost in the mixture of all the forwards.  (kind of like the boy who cried wolf) I personally have discovered that I am more inclined to pay attention to a forwarded email from those who rarely forward them.

I would much rather have a written email of the person’s thoughts any day over a forwarded one.images

I am guilty of not replying to emails in a timely manner.  I would prefer to send a real reply rather than a sentence or two unless it is just in answer to a basic question.  I basically don’t do a full reply to an email unless I am at my computer and can give it my full attention.  In this society of instant gratification this can seem an insult to some.  I certainly don’t mean to be rude by not replying instantly but my thought is that a reply sent when I can give it my full attention is a quality reply and not a matter of a few sentences jotted off in a hurry.

What do you think?  Please use the comment section below to tell of your experiences/expectations in the art of our electronic communications.  I would love to hear from you!

integrity and holding good expectations

I’ve written in the past about the glass half-empty or half-full and I am again reminded of the need to see the half-full glass!

I recently made a purchase off of the local craigslist the other day. It was a  Sprint hotspot (internet service tied to a cellular network plan).  I made a call to Sprint before the purchase while the seller was waiting to make sure the device could be activated on my account. Sprint was taking too long to verify validity so it seemed pointless to keep myself and the seller zingwaiting for the over 20 minutes.  The gentleman showing it to me had all the info from the previous account though he himself had never activated it.  When I finally had a chance to endure the 45+ minute phone call with Sprint,…well the outcome was not favourable.  Long and short of it, the previous account holder would need to do an account turnover to me.

One of the risks in dealing with Craigslist is the potential disappointment of a device such as this not being able to be activated.  I was concerned that I was going to have to lose the $50 and the person who sold it to me may not want to deal with me again.  There is a reputation regarding Craigslist buyers and sellers.  The reputation of buyers is that they tend to be ‘flakes’ and don’t show up when they say they will and the reputation of sellers is that they can easily scam you or sell you a dud and you have no repercussion or safety.

My thoughts back on the sales event was that everything seemed legitimate.  At no time did I think I was buying a stolen item and though this was not stolen it certainly had an associated headache which both myself and the seller would need to endure for a positive outcome.  My overall thought in life is to try and find the good and know that good is always around us and an available outcome.

The seller attempted to resolve the situation by approaching her neighbour from whom she had purchased the unit but Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 7.58.05 AMafter a few days of no response she offered to just take the device back and refund me with my money.  Of course this meant I needed to make the 40 minute drive back out to meet her but she was more than happy to meet and insisted on refunding my money .  I just wanted to write about this as a reminder to all that there really are good honest people in the world and holding good thoughts about people really does go a long way.  I am reminded of the thought from my previous post about the need to see the glass half-full and not half-empty!!

Dogs, Racoons and Rural living

remote_harbourLiving in a rural area as I do means living in the vicinity/proximity of wildlife.  We have deer, turkeys, rats, raccoons, snakes  and even a mountain lion has been sighted on occasion.   My dogs for the most part stay reasonably close by but once they get the scent for something to chase -well the chase is on!  At night time I have lights for them to wear.  Super bright led lights.  Sky my Australian Shepherd wears the red lights and Zulu the green lights so I can easily tell them apart when they are running in the dark.

Last Tuesday when I got home from work at about 11pm after a double shift I had plans to take the pups for a brief walk around our marina.  Mostly just over to the beach but not too far from my dock.

We had barely started our walk when Zulu, my 48lb Catahoula took off and ran all the way up to the habour master’s house.  I could see his green lights from his collar going crazy as if he was in a fight with something (wild animal) but without the noise from his adversary.

I ran to his aid.  (This is the first time I have attempted running since my ankle tendon replacement surgery last July – and I mentally took note of this and mentally said a short prayer for both myself and the pup).  I was terrified that he was being injured by his prey which I could only assume to be the most common of our night critters, the raccoon.

Anyone who has encountered the cute little raccoon up close knows that there cuteness is generally racoon (1)accompanied by a ferocious claw and a temperament that is not prone to surrender.  They are vicious animals in the up close and personal!  This does not mean that I wish harm on the raccoon -only that that their cuteness must be accompanied by a wariness for their viciousness.

Zulu by nature is a hunting/prey driven animal.  He is almost 5 years old now and has become far more of a ‘home-body’ than even me.  He used to be gone for hours in his hunting explorations but now he comes almost instantly when called, and stays closer to home than my Australian Shepherd (known for her desire to be invisibly underfoot – like in your blind-spot-step-on-the-poor-dog zone!!) Zulu was right in the middle of this audible altercation and not backing down and I was scared and running ! 

I came upon Zulu and his foe.  They were in open space right under me.  I was yelling at Zulu to drop the raccoon and simultaneously trying to kick the racoon – they were really right in the middle of the drive and literally under foot.  Reason set in with me and I realised that the only sounds of distress were coming from zuluthe raccoon.  Ideally I would have loved for both animals to walk away unharmed but in this circumstance I had to root for Zulu and pray he would be ok.  He apprantly had the raccoon in a death grip and the two of them circled and circled through the brush and up and down a small crest of hill.  The harbour masters’ son, Mark, heard our calls of distress -(mostly mine) but the dog’s & raccoon’s as well and came out with a shotgun in hand.  He warned me that it would be loud but there was really nothing to be done until Zulu released the raccoon and that didn’t happen until Zulu felt he had won.

Mark yelled at Zulu to get out of the way and then put the raccoon out of his misery.  I don’t think either Mark or myself had any pleasure or desire to see any living being having to be shot but as the circumstances warranted this deemed the only humane solution and I do thank Mark for being there and helping to end the altercation.

I was so grateful that my other dog Sky, my Australian Shepherd did not attempt to go to Zulu’s aid or get involved.  After it was all said and done the three of us, Zulu, Sky & myself headed back home.  Zulu, as if another day in the life and nothing had happened stopped to relieve himself in a matter of fact way.  I personally was rather shaken up and in disbelief.

Ever since that day I have found a way to have the pups on leash after about 6 pm.  It gets dark around 430 or 5 pm.  I really don’t want to be in this situation with either of my dogs again and was an idiot for not having had them on leash at the time.  Lights or not raccoons are probably our most dangerous foe in the immediate neighbourhood.  Yes there is the mountain lion we have seen and the occasional coyote over the years but in all honesty the most viable threat in the immediate vicinity and regular appearance would be the raccoon.  As sorry as I am to see a life lost in the situation (the raccoon’s) I remain grateful that it was small enough (about 10-15lbs) for Zulu to be the victor in this instance.

2015-01-12 17.10.17-2We live in a remote area where wildlife, humans and pets must find ways to coexist.  The raccoons and the rats eat the trash in the outside trash cans and the dogs keep the boundaries defined.  The humans remind the dogs that there are boundaries and the dogs remind the humans that there are wildlife.  We all have a purpose and a meaning – for today I am just grateful Zulu was the winner and is an especially good rat hunter and keeping those rodents off the docks and at bay!