Ally Try Again: Re-evaluating My Rules Of Life, As One Does

As you may recall The Spectacled Bean is on Summer Hours.  

This means I continue to show up here every few weeks. I write about anything that isn’t current events, instead leaning into my penchant for flapdoodle and twaddle.  

Thus I give you the following.  

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Deconstructing What Was

SORTING through old paper files I found the above.  I published it 13 years + 6 months + 21 days ago on January 01, 2007.  I wrote it, complete with disclaimers, in the context of a New Year’s Resolution + my guidelines for how I wanted to live my life.

For many years this is how I approached my life.

However thinking on my rules of life in light of today’s world I find the above useful, but not in step with how I conduct myself now. And that’s where I want to be, not stuck in the past, like some lost soul who longs for what was.

So I sat down with myself and analyzed what I’d written before.  I decided that when it comes to rules of life I liked short action statements that get to the point.

I also decided that I didn’t want my new rules of life to include pithy sayings [like the watermelon seeds one in the example above].  I say pithy things, but those are personal mantras or succinct commentaries on a particular situation rather than actual rules of life.

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Creating What Will Be

PONDERING what my new rules of life might be, I deleted the ones from before that no longer served me.  Then I made the following list of potential rules adding ones that I believe might be helpful now.  In the bracket behind each rule I wrote what core value I was thinking about when I chose this rule.

Do your best [trustworthiness]

Less is more [simplify]

Maximize your options [creativity]

Pay attention, life is in the details [knowledge]

Ditch the mean people [self-respect]

Keep moving forward [growth]

Say thank you often [gratitude]

Follow your muse [authenticity]

Do no harm [kindness]

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Questions Of The Day

Comments, anyone?

Do you have rules of life you follow? If so do you rethink them, then update them from time to time?

This list is not definitive, it’s in process. What am I missing here?

Vinegar: One Person’s Magic Is Another Person’s Salad Dressing Ingredient

IN THESE TIMES OF MONOTONY courtesy of the coronavirus & political blowhards & summer heat I continue my quest to provide thrilling blog content here.  Thus I’m going to show you, my gentle readers, something so exciting I can barely contain myself.

YESTERDAY I RECEIVED THE ABOVE piece of snail mail that tells me I may enjoy life in the fast lane if I order Vinegar: The King of All Cures! by Jerry Baker, America’s No. 1 do-it-yourself expert.  This book of vinegar magic costs $31.96, payable in 4 installments of only $7.99 each. According to Jerry if I buy this book I will: “Never be stuck, stumped, or stymied again!”

BELOW IS AN EXAMPLE OF the kind of magical advice featured in Jerry’s book.  This glimpse into his book is quite the teaser, isn’t it?  As Jerry, author and exclamation point freak, says: “No job’s too big, no job’s too small… Vinegar solves ’em all!”

JERRY ALSO INCLUDED A TESTIMONIAL in the form of a short story about how Peter and Katie, a lovely married couple, made their home smell fresh prior to Peter’s parents coming over for dinner.  [Spoiler alert: It was a close call, but vinegar saved the day.]

AND WITH THAT I SHALL end this informative blog post in which I have confirmed we are still here, virus-free and healthy, while taking the opportunity to ask you the following important questions.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

What magic is keeping you going these days? 🤔

Are you a liberal, moderate, or conservative user of exclamation points? And why? 🤓

Have any good salad dressing recipes? 😋

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A Funny Bumper Sticker That Lends Itself To Discussion, Research, And A Poll Question

I.  Stuck in traffic I laughed out loud when I saw the bumper sticker on the car in front of me.  The bumper sticker said:

ANNOY THE BORING

The car had no other bumper stickers, suggesting this bumper sticker had nothing to do with 2020 politics.  In fact the bumper sticker looked like it’d been on the car for years.

While we’ll never know why this person put this particular bumper sticker on his car it does lend itself to contemplation. I figure we all know how to ANNOY each other without any further investigation, but we can contemplate who THE BORING might be.

‘Tis a fact that you have to define your terms if you want to communicate a useful + meaningful message.  No doubt this bumper sticker was meant to be a prompt for existential thought, a declaration of raison d’être, and a catalyst for conversation.

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II.  So I sat down at ye olde computer to find the dictionary definition for *boring* while also checking what the thesaurus had to say.  Then I did a fast internet search about *boring people* so I might learn about the traits generally associated with people who are considered boring.

Synthesizing this information I created the following cursory list of the types of people who I shall refer to jointly and separately as THE BORING.

INSIPID: talk too much/have unbalanced conversations

STALE: stuck in a rut or routine never doing anything new

LACKLUSTER: have no opinions about or passions for anything in life

QUOTIDIAN: hang on phone or stare at other screen instead of engaging directly with people

TIRESOME: only complain or talk about their disappointments in life, what is wrong with the world

SOUL-DESTROYING: lack, or do not use, empathy/are bad listeners

DULLSVILLE: talk in droning voice, often referred to as flat affect

STODGY: have no sense of humor &/or cannot tell a story/joke

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 III.  Below is a poll question for you to answer.  I listed THE BORING, as defined above, in such a way as to allow you to pick one.  That is, which one of these types of behaviors drives you bonkers the fastest?

Or to put it differently: WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO ANNOY THE MOST?

TGIF: I Answer Jill’s Questions Over There While Announcing Summer Hours Here

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THE JILL’S QUESTIONS OVER THERE PART

Jill Weatherholt asks questions, oh yes she does.

In fact she asked me to answer her questions, so I did.

Should you care to read my answers to her questions then click on I WANT TO READ ALLY BEAN’S ANSWERS TO JILL’S QUESTIONS and you’ll be magically taken over there to her blog.

Forsooth.

THE SUMMER HOURS HERE PART

Wanna know a secret, my gentle readers? Yes? Well then lean in closer and I’ll tell you one.

When I chose SIMPLIFY as my word of the year I planned on taking this summer off from blogging.  Just bug out completely.  Detach entirely.

However plans change.  Perhaps you, too, live in a state where you are still being asked to stay at home?  Well, we do and we are.

This is the end of Week 13, by the way.

Now clearly I have the time to post to this blog, but summer [in the northern hemisphere] is when I’ve found that personal blogging slows down to a dribble.  Plus I’m in a blogging rut, in the mood for a change, a simplification as it were.

Thus I’ve decided to adopt what I’m calling SUMMER HOURS.  To wit:

  • I’ll be posting my usual flapdoodle and twaddle here every other week instead of weekly.
  • I’ll be posting mid-morning, probably on Tuesdays, thereby allowing me to have a relaxed morning in keeping with summer’s mellow vibe.
  • I’ll be commenting less frequently on your blogs, keeping up weekly with the cool kids who keep up with me.

And with that I wish y’all a groovy weekend and a happy summer.  I’ll be here when I’m here.

LOVE ‘YA. Mean it.

A Small Adventure In An Old Cemetery, Because My Curiosity Must Be Satisfied

Many people have Bucket Lists of things they want to see/do before they die. I’m not one of those people.

Instead I have what I call a Measuring Cup List of things I’d like to see/do if I get around to it and can do so without too much inconvenience.

The following is an example of a Measuring Cup List item. 

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ON A WHIM AS WE were driving by Union Cemetery in Symmes Township, Hamilton County, Ohio, we went into it to see what we might see.

I knew of this cemetery because many years ago there was an article about it in our local newspaper.  In the article the reporter interviewed a township trustee about this historic cemetery, asking specifically about the size of the chapel that you can see from the road.

The trustee said something to the effect of: the chapel is big enough to hold a dozen Brownies or seven Girl Scouts. 

Naturally with a memorable description like that I knew I needed to see this building in person.  Sometime.  And now that I have, he did not lie.

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WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT this cemetery is that there are Revolutionary War Veterans buried there.  It was only after we walked around the exterior of the chapel that I/we began to wander through the cemetery.

Close to the chapel I saw the following tombstone and was immediately drawn to it.  It’s in good shape, which suggests family or some organization is tending to it.  Also as you can see, John Ross died 200 years ago in 1820.

That’s trippy if’n you ask me.  He died centuries ago, yet there I stood looking at the grave of someone who helped shape the world in such as way as to allow me to live in a democracy, instead of a monarchy.

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AS WE CONTINUED TO MOSEY around the cemetery we realized we had parked in the oldest section so we walked over to a newer section, that is to say an area with burials dating around 100 years ago.

Here we found a mausoleum with a healthy peony bush growing beside it.  On the mausoleum, a rather basic one, were the following two plaques with thoughts that are relevant today.

Mother’s plaque says: “And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”  [This a quote from Luke 6:31 in the Bible.]

Father’s plaque says: “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor;  therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” [This is a quote, complete with a semicolon, from Romans 13:10 in the Bible.]

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And with that we left the cemetery to get on with our day.  I felt inspired and pleased with myself for taking the time to notice what’s been in front of me for years.

You may consider this item crossed off my Measuring Cup List.