In Which The Beans Disagree Over The Value Of Texts Announcing Emails

Not seeing eye to eye, but that’s okay.

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To be clear this is NOT a strong opinion tightly held situation.

It’s just that Zen-Den and I disagree over something.  Nothing large, a quiet disagreement.  In fact it might be best described as a puny opinion half-heartedly held situation, but one that does lend itself to consideration and conversation.

Never would I have thought to write about it here except that I’m reading Untamed by Glennon Doyle and in her memoir she talks about that which we disagree on, i.e., the value of texts prompting you to do something now.

In fact if you’ve read what she has written about texting you know that she says: “Texts are not the boss of me, and neither is anybody who texts me.” She is not a fan of them, in general– allowing for a few specific situations in which they are good.

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Getting to our particular disagreement.

Zen-Den, Esq, finds it mildly annoying when someone texts [or worse yet phones] him to say that this someone has sent Z-D an email that they want him to read.  Z-D considers that to be a remnant of old-school business practices left over from when everyone used snail mail and wanted you to know that the document was in the mail.

It is totally unnecessary in today’s electronic world. He thinks of it as weak sauce [my term for his thoughts].

I, on the other hand, like it when someone sends me a short text [no phone calls please] to alert me to the fact that this someone has sent me an email they would like me to read soon.  I consider it a polite heads-up to Ms. Bean, a woman known for forgetting to check her email accounts regularly.

It is not necessary but a good precaution if you want me to read your email on a timely basis.  I call it an act of random kindness.

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So what do you think, my gentle readers?  

Do you like to know when someone has sent you an email? OR do you prefer to find them when you find them?

When receiving a text message about an email that’s been sent to you, does the context, business or personal, influence your answer to the first question?   

Also, do you consider text messages to be bossy? OR do you consider them to be like a polite wave from a neighbor across the street?

Please discuss in the comments below.

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Let’s Write Friendlier Blog Posts, Shall We?

Everything old is new again…

SORTING THROUGH ANOTHER BOX of stuff I inherited from my mother and her sisters, I found a small booklet, Let’s write Friendlier Letters by Earle A. Buckley, Director of the The Buckley Institute, Philadelphia, PA.

This booklet, published in 1945, is described as: “A practical course in MODERN LETTER WRITING.” It is 36 pages long and has 21 points intended to help you become a better letter writer.

If I may be so bold as to summarize, the gist of the advice in the booklet boils down to 3 smart writing tips: be concise, be conscientious, be personable.

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AS I UNDERSTAND THEM, the 21 points are as follows:

  1. Every letter is a sales letter.
  2. Make friends with people by understanding their perspective.
  3. Stereotyped, trite, hackneyed phrases serve no useful purpose in letter writing.
  4. Words cost money so eliminate unnecessary ones.
  5. Your opening sentence is your first impression.
  6. Stop writing when you’ve said what you need to say.
  7. Prepare yourself mentally so that you’re thinking clearly about the subject you are about to discuss in your letter.
  8. Your letter must have personality if it is to be perceived as truthful.
  9. Stay away from long sentences because “they’re dangerous.”
  10. Letters are either categorized as “inquiry” or “answer.”
  11. Write in a way that makes the letter look pretty while molding opinions in your favor.
  12. When answering a complaint you must show you understand why the complainant is upset, then move the discussion to friendly terms quickly.
  13. Use contractions to make the tone of your letters seem conversational and natural.
  14. Don’t write like a telegram because your letter won’t be perceived as written by a friendly human being.
  15. Look at the appearance of your letters as you would the appearance of a salesman.
  16. Tell enough to be interesting, but not everything.
  17. Write so that your ideas flow logically + smoothly from paragraph to paragraph.
  18. Your relationship with your stenographer needs to be one of effective teamwork.
  19. Avoid form letters that look “form-letter-ish.”
  20. Get in the habit of editing your letters, you’ll become a better letter writer.
  21. To be an effective letter writer you must sell yourself first so that your tone will be a friendly one, sure to increase your business.

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WITH THE EXCEPTIONS OF Point 4 [words don’t cost money in the blogosphere] and Point 18 [who has a stenographer?], I’d suggest that these points are amazingly good advice for today’s modern blogger.

Good advice that is spot on IF you want to write friendlier, well-received blog posts. Perhaps you do, perhaps you don’t. Who am I to say what it is that you want to do with your blog?

However, if’n you’ve been wondering how to zhoosh up your blog making it more convivial in these stressful, antagonistic times, then may I suggest you heed this old-time letter-writing advice from 1945.

Just a friendly thought. Agreed?

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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Three Thoughts Thursday | Photographing. Traveling. Watching.

This is when I tell you stuff and don’t make a story of it.  

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ONE

I think that this website, miss freddy, could be a useful resource for anyone interested in family photography.

Miss Freddy is a Professional Photo Organizer who explains how to take photos, how to save photos, then how to do just about anything you might want to do with your photos + slides + old videos.

I have boxes of old, old print photos around here and thousands of digital ones on a few computers, but I’ve never sat down and concentrated on getting ALL our photos organized.  This website may be the key to me getting it done.

TWO

I think that the idea of going on vacation with the intention of traveling to small American towns is a fun one.

According to this article, America’s Coolest Small Towns by State, big cities get all the attention, while unique small towns go unnoticed.  These small towns are worthy of a visit if for no other reason than “the added appeal of home-spun charm and hometown heroes.”  

I read the list and have visited 12 of the 50 featured small towns.  I’ve been to: AZ, FL, HA, IN, ME, NM, NY, NC, OH, SC, TN, AND VT.  This means I have 38 to go, should we get the opportunity to travel again.

THREE

I think that the Netflix produces some good and some not-so-good TV series.

In the good category I’d put Dead to Me, with Christina Applegate, Linda Cardellini, and James Marsden.  I watched Season 2 and enjoyed it as much as Season 1, which was stellar.  This show is one to watch if you like mysteries, dysfunctional families, and contemplating what it means to be a friend.

On the flip side, I watched 3 episodes of Sweet Magnolias, a TV series based on novels by Sherryl Woods.  Set in SC, this show was probably meant to be an engaging look at family dynamics and female friendship, but it was predictable and maudlin.  Much too slow-paced, shallow, and sappy for me.

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QUESTIONS OF THE DAY

Do you have your photographs under control? In other words, can you find them when you want ’em? 

What do you think about traveling to small towns to experience their unique charm instead of going to big cities for a vacation?

Have you watched the TV shows I mention above? If so, did you like what you saw? If not, what are you watching instead?

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What’s Cooking? Old Recipe Pamphlets and Cookbooks [Part 2 Of 2]

Today it’ll be Think & Do + Poll Question. Yesterday it was Show & Tell + Discussion

THERE IS A PLACE BETWEEN TRASH AND TREASURE WHEREIN ONE CAN FIND STUFF

STUFF being defined as interesting things, unique things, obscure things that are worthy of conversation but not much more.

In this case the STUFF is from a box I inherited that contains my grandmother’s handwritten cookbook, a couple of printed cookbooks, and other bits of information about food and drink.

Thus I give you Think & Do.

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THINK & DO

This recipe for Frankfurter Roast with Prune Stuffing suggests: “You’ll like this simple method of utilizing either prune or raisin stuffing with the plebeian but flavorful frankfurter.” 😳

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This recipe for Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing combines sweetened condensed milk with sieved cottage cheese, vinegar, and a few spices. 😖

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This recipe for Chicken [or Ham or Salmon or Tuna] Mousse suggests that it is: “A hearty flavorful entree for hot summer or busy, meeting-filled days.” 🤨

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POLL QUESTION

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Sources:

Frankfurter Roast with Prune Stuffing is from 100 Selected DRIED FRUIT RECIPES chosen by 100,000 HOMEMAKERS at GOLDEN GATE INTERNATIONAL EXPOSITION, published by CALIFORNIA DRIED FRUIT RESEARCH INSTITUTE, 1939

Cottage Cheese Salad Dressing is from THIS IS MY BOOK OF MAGIC RECIPES by The Borden Company, 1942

Chicken [or Ham or Salmon or Tuna] Mousse is from Joys of Jell-O by GENERAL FOODS CORPORATION, 1963

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