Just The Facts: The Results Of My ‘How Am I Doing?’ Survey

Thanks to everyone who took my How Am I Doing? survey [now closed].

You’re the best and overwhelmed me with your kind answers.  I wasn’t fishing for compliments with this survey;  I was challenging myself to see if I could write one.  Then on a whim I decided to share it here for the fun of it.

At one point in my life I worked in marketing research so I’m familiar with the process of collecting data from respondents.  Below I’ve categorized it into three parts.

 I also know that once you collect the data, interpretation is a whole ‘nother thing.  Spin it the way you want. So with that in mind, and me being me, I’m spinning this funny, because honestly some of your answers were a hoot.

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PART 1

What I learned about you:

  • 90% of you write a blog
  • 50% of you like to goof off on social media in the blogosphere;  followed by YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
  • 60% of you were very likely to recommend this blog to friends and family
  • 90% of you thought the survey was cool beans

• • •

PART 2

How you answered two specific questions regarding this blog:

These responses were straightforward and clear to interpret.  No further explanation required.

This is where things got complicated because over half of you used “Other” when responding to the question.  Some of you said that there was nothing you disliked so you were using “Other” to tell me this.  Some of you who clicked on “Other” made suggestions about my writing style and graphic design.  And one respondent said that using “Other” was the only way to show that all the choices were applicable to this blog.

• • •

PART 3

Here are some of your responses when asked what comes to mind when you think about this blog:

  • Ohio
  • A red kidney bean dressed like Elton John
  • Ooh, what will Ally Bean say today?
  • Engaging, enjoyable blog. Funny without trying too hard.
  • oh, shit, I haven’t read that spectacled blog in awhile. I better go catch up!
  • Beans 🙂
  • Lovely variety of slice of life topics.
  • A string bean wearing glasses. But also humorous posts and genuine connection with others.
  • My bloggy friend for years now
  • Flapdoodle

• • •

The Sound Of NOT Silence Thanks To A Water Drip In The Chimney, Again

Photo of light reflected through paperweight then filtered to look snazzy so that I have an image to include on this post. Think of it as water dripping or my mind frazzling. The choice is yours.

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I LOVE OWNING a house in this suburb.  I’m not being facetious here.  Really, I do.

We are extremely lucky to live in a home built for us by a builder who was a pain in the ass to work with, but in the end he built a good solid house.

Comfortable and inviting. Most of the time.

However, last week after a huge spring thunderstorm our chimney started leaking water… again.

It’s been twenty years since we had this house built and this is not the first time this has happened. Nor is the first time I’ve been DISPLEASED about the drip… drip… drip… sound coming from rainwater as it runs down the inside of the chimney and drops onto the top of the metal chimney insert in the fireplace in the family room.

Drip… drip… drip…

MOST IRRITATING.

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WE HAD THE chimney cap replaced about ten years ago and that took care of the drippy sounds back then.  But there was large hail during this recent thunderstorm and I’m guessing that it damaged the chimney cap in such a way as to allow the water to drip… drip… drip… as water is wont to do.

In two weeks we’ll be meeting with a representative from the company that made the chimney cap and he’ll take a look at it.  And also he’s going to give us an estimate about how much it’ll cost to have the roof replaced on the house because it’s getting close to the time to do that, too.

Oh joy.

THAT BEING SAID FACETIOUSLY.

~ ~ 🏡 ~ ~

NOW YOU ARE in the loop about what’s going on here in Chez Bean.  As a loyal and true personal blogger I had to tell you, my gentle readers, because like they say, write about what you know.

And I know that you’re EITHER thinking to yourself thank goodness we don’t own a house OR you’re thinking to yourself about that sad time in your life when you had to shell out the big bucks for roofing repair &/or replacement.

Thus I shall end this post in which I’ve talked about the realities of life by telling you that when it is raining outside and I’m at home, I’m hiding in the rooms farthest away from the family room wherein the drip… drip… drip… is the loudest.

Because woman on the edge here.

NOT ALTOGETHER HAPPY.

Bad Marketing Is Worse Than No Marketing, But Maybe Not Everyone Believes This?

“I’m going to let this go because I really don’t want to get into an argument with these people.”

I said that out loud to myself the other day after finding a webpage that had the most forked-up mismatched inconsistent product marketing I’ve seen in a long time.

It stunned me with its ugly.

To wit, there were words written arbitrarily starting with either upper or lower case letters, for no discernible reason.  There were at least 5 different uncoordinated fonts used in garish multi-colored logos that looked like a D+ 7th grade student had made them.  And the information I needed was buried in wordy, pointless copy.

As a woman with a background in communication + marketing who worked at one time as a paralegal who did oodles of proofreading, the mess this organization was trying to get away with appalled me.  As if clarity in written and graphic design communication meant nothing.

There was a time when I’d have taken this as a personal insult, feeling a need to correct the situation by calling/writing about this failed attempt to create a professional image in the world. And while I could have helped this organization up their game to the next level, you know what– I did nothing.

Because this is not my problem per se.

I only share this here today because it irritated me.  Something like this is disheartening for anyone like me who believes in the illuminating power of words and the clarifying potential of images.

And makes me wonder how it is that any organization in today’s connected world can exist with bad marketing.  ‘Cause I’m not the only one who is going to see this and think poorly of them.

Or am I?

Mercury Is In Retrograde & My Subconscious Is On The Blinketh, Me Thinketh

I’VE BEEN KNOWN TO SAY: trust the process.  I don’t know that I do that all the time because my ego gets in the way, but when I chill out and reflect upon situations it seems like a worthy goal– if you’re trying to live your life in a heart-centered way.

Thus I give you the following series of events, hoping that there is something good + insightful to be gleaned from this.  I mean, there’s nothing bad or tragic with the following, it’s just weird– even by my standards of self-awareness.

Which are low during this time when Mercury is in retrograde.

• ⭐️ •

• ⭐️ •

PERHAPS YOU KNOW ABOUT THE idea of posing a question to yourself as you fall asleep at night, allowing your subconscious to give you the answer, revealed in your first thoughts in the morning?

I learned about doing this from a yoga teacher, a woman who was one of those totally centered, but not unrealistically cheerful, instructors who was all about helping other people find their way IF the other person was sincere.

I liked her classes. Useful.

• ⭐️ •

• ⭐️ •

HERE’S THE QUESTION I ASKED myself last night was: what could I write about on my blog this week?  And my subconscious tossed a question back at me that is about as random and unexpected as they get.

It’s a question for which I have no answer, nor need to know an answer.  And I realize that no one is alive that would be able to answer it.

Here’s what I woke up thinking about: did my mother, who was three years younger than her older sister, know that when her older sister stepped on the train headed for a holiday in Texas, that her older sister was going off to elope? 

• ⭐️ •

• ⭐️ •

THIS IS AN ODD QUESTION that has left me baffled about what is going on inside my brain.  I mean, what do you suppose my subconscious is trying to tell me?

Is it saying that I need to go on a vacation? That it’s time for me to tell stories about my ancestors? That it’s broken and needs a professional tune-up?

I dunno, but I will say I’m a little bit freaked out about what the heck is going on inside my mind.  I’ll admit to being older and more addled than I once was, but I’m usually not so far out there with the answers to my questions.

However, be that as it may, let’s blame it on Mercury in retrograde, just like I did many years ago.

Ms. Bean Is Cold Today And Would Like To Tell You Why

Snoopy, my spirit animal, sitting with a room thermometer on top of a bookcase in the only sort of warm room in the house.

IT SNOWED LAST NIGHT, not much, but a definite covering of the white stuff.  That however is not exactly why I’m cold today.  Nope, the reason, to put it succinctly, is that it’s 54ºF… INSIDE the house.

Thus I am huddled in our home office with the French doors tightly shut, sporting a ruana over my flannel + fleece jammies, sitting in front of my desktop computer with the little electric heater swaying to and fro behind me.

What has happened? WELL I’M GLAD YOU ASKED.

You see, yesterday was the last day of February, a short month of days that are soul-crushingly long.  A month that should never be trusted.

However, in the morning while waiting for the furnace service tech to get here for our annual check-up, I indulged in a moment of unbridled positivity.  Yes, I forgot myself and sighed a happy sigh of joy about making it to the beginning of March unscathed by February’s negativity.

I mean all that was left on my calendar for February was for the furnace to be serviced and then I had March, the action verb month, calling to me.

I like March.

• • •

WELP, I WAS WRONG to let down my guard regarding February, and by 3:00 p.m. our furnace had gone clunk.  Come to find out there is a breach in the heat exchanger at the 3rd and 4th cell of the primary, meaning that the whole system as been red-tagged and shut down… by law.

Also, the tech guy accidentally broke a switch which turns the gas on and off.

So, you know, WE GOT TROUBLE.

The cutest little electric room heater that ever was.

Hence I am sitting here this morning, the first day of March, waiting for a phone call from the furnace repair company to tell me IF they have the parts we need & WHEN they might be able to get here again to fix the furnace.

If there is a moral to this story it would be something like never count your chickens before they hatch, but my moral would involve swearing, muttering, and not just a little bit of self-pity because honestly, February is the SUCKIEST of all months.

The One About Beautiful Wedding Photos & Sneaky Weasel Words

Here’s a story I heard from an acquaintance wherein weasel* words created a situation that is not dire, but truly annoying. See if you don’t agree.
Photo by Pexels via pixabay

Acquaintance’s mother recently married.

Acquaintance’s mother had a lovely, perfect wedding that included hiring a well-known local professional photographer to take photos.

Beautiful photos.  Many of them.

But here’s the thing, what acquaintance’s mother did not read [or understand?] in her contract was that this photographer would not use his expertise to discern which photos were the best ones, instead giving acquaintance’s mother the opportunity to see all the photos he took of the wedding.

In practical terms this means that acquaintance’s mother has a problem.

She is now forced to sort through 3,000 photos and decide which ones she wants to keep and have put in an album.  In many cases there are 20 or 30 photos of the same thing like a bouquet… or of acquaintance zipping up her mother’s dress… or of the cake from a gazillion angles.

As you can imagine this sorting process has become a tedious burden for acquaintance’s mother.  It’s overwhelming and is an unwanted game for acquaintance’s mother as she tries to figure out which photos are the best ones.

Acquaintance’s mother is flummoxed by this situation.

It’s not as if she has the time, or the eye, to fuss around with three thousand wedding photos that she’s has contracted for, assuming the photographer would narrow down her choices.

Acquaintance has offered to help her mother, but she can’t intuit which photos her mother and new stepfather will want, nor can she wrap her head around how this happened.

Can you imagine…?  What would you do with 3,000 photos of your wedding day?  

* Oddly enough this has turned into animal week here at The Spectacled Bean.  First ducks, then squirrel, now weasel.  I didn’t plan it this way but go where the road stories take you, I guess.

Blogger’s Block: Muse Is Missing And I Am Without Flapdoodle & Twaddle

Two Adirondack chairs in the park, a perfect resting spot for anyone who needs to take a short breather while looking for Muse.

Where is my Muse?

I’m ashamed to say that I am without a story to share here today.

Nor do I have any research projects in process so I don’t have any little tidbits of information to toss into the blog.

I’m not feeling sad or snarky or silly, so there’s no blog post to be plumbed from those emotions.

Instead, I have blogger’s block, a specific kind of writer’s block wherein a personal blogger, such a meself, has the photo and the time to write about it, but can’t find the inspiration, the catalyst, the spark one needs to create the blog post.

There is no flapdoodle. There is no twaddle.

And I am bereft.

I place the blame for this unusual blogging situation squarely on the shoulders of Muse who has scampered off, probably to play on the swings in the park.

I’m sure you, my gentle readers, understand this situation.  Muse is, after all, a flighty thing. 😉