I’m Fine Not Being That Patriotic

Here’s what I don’t understand about patriotism and politics: how dedicated people are to it. It’s insane. Maybe it’s because I’m Canadian and Canada is seen as a joke or maybe because I’m just not a passionate, informed person, but I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that there are people so willing to do or say anything in the name of their country and/or political views.

Last week when watching the absolute hellscape that is the United States Of America and all the nonsense regarding the invasion of the Capitol, I just found myself so confused. How is it that so many people were so willing to stop whatever they were doing that day and go participate in that anarchy is beyond me. I don’t understand how their loyalty and absolute dedication to Trump is that strong.

I'm Very Concerned About What's Going On Right Now GIF.

I mean, like, who’s my number one celebrity crush? Darren Criss, probably. And if he asked me personally to go break into Canada’s Parliament building, I don’t think I’d do it. Like, sorry, Darren, but that sounds kind of weird and chaotic and illegal. Also, it’s January, so it’s cold outside. I think I’ll stay home and be a reasonable human being.

Even if Jesus drifted down from heaven and appeared before me and asked me to do such a thing, I’d decline. No offense to that guy in the bible who was about to kill his own son because God told him to, but I’m different. I’m just not someone who’ll blindly follow others like that, and especially not into such chaos. Nor do I know anyone who would do such a thing, so I don’t think it’s just me who’s not into it all.

Yeah, No Thanks! gif.

Critical thinking really is a dying art, and this is proven time and time again when it comes to politics, and not just American. Between the fake news and lying and manipulation, it’s just so sad that a system that is supposed to help the people and the county is doing the opposite.

To some extent, I can understand having biases. Racial biases, sexual biases, political biases, etc, I don’t know if anyone is completely free of them, as unfortunate as it is. But I do understand how some people depending on how or where they were raised can have stronger beliefs. I just don’t get how so many people are so keen to act on them in such harmful ways. At least the jerks in power are making money off their hideous actions, but what’s the average Racist Joe Shmoe getting out of it? Is it worth it to be such an antagonist, such a villain, such a heartless person?

It takes zero dollars and zero cents to be a nice person. It takes zero dollars and zero cents to think critically. It takes zero dollars and zero cents to unlearn toxic behaviour and mindsets.

You can do better gif.

Hopefully 2021 and Biden’s transition to power brings some sense of peace and normalcy and productivity to the American political system, and hopefully any other country dealing with a fight for human rights/reliable leaders can come together too. It’d be really cool if Canada’s leaders could stop travelling for fun and lying about it! Reminder that we’re still dealing with a pandemic, so we need to work together and care for one another that much more.

 

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Sneeze Count 2020

pikachu holding sneeze count 2020 on a sign
Pikachu or Pik-achoo?

Welcome everyone to my eighth year of counting sneezes! Luckily for me, sneezing is not a symptom of Coronavirus, so as long as I covered my mouth when I did it, no one had an issue with my above-average bodily function!

In case you’re new here and bewildered by my hobby, yes, it’s all real and true! You can catch up on my sneezy history in these blog posts: 2015201620172018, 2019.

Anyway, onto the 2020 sneeze count stats.

sneeze count 2020

With a grand total of 1713 sneezes in 2020, I did sneeze less than last year, but this is not my all-time lowest. Due to the way the weeks align (as I start week counts on Mondays) and the Leap Day, 2020’s count covers 371 days.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the pandemic when looking at these stats. There’s no guarantee or proof that it really affected that much in terms of my numbers, but I do know that I am prone to a sneeze or three when in sunlight, and due to the lockdowns, I didn’t go outside nearly as much this past year, so there’s a chance I’d have higher numbers because of that or because of perhaps not seeing friends with pets as much.

In other sneezy news, a thing I did this year was combine all my bar graphs into one mega sneeze count chart. Because I had years of data already made, it took me a while to find software that would let me import it all in the way I had it arranged, but I manage to find Venngage, and now I have this that I can add to every year!

all years of sneezing
Yes, it’s blurry. Sorry. I couldn’t zoom in any more or get it any clearer for free…

As always, thank you for putting up with my weird hobby once a year. In case you haven’t noticed by now, I do this all mostly to amuse myself, as I really do find these stats and graphs deeply fascinating, and I just love looking at all the years in one chart like this. But I know many of you also enjoy it so I’m happy to share, and I hope this brought a smile to your face, even if it may have likely been accompanied by an eye roll.

That’s all for now!

 

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Things I’m Grateful For In 2020

2020 was one hell of a year, but you already knew that. I think most of us felt loss this year, be it people or experiences or time or money, and I know it’s hard to find the good in any of that. That being said, I think because of this, it’s especially important to take time for gratitude, and I wanted to really highlight some things that I’m particularly grateful for this year.

Here's An Expression Of My Gratitude GIF.

  • I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I’m grateful to still live at home with my parents (and brother). Not having to stress about rent while also getting human interaction has been honestly great. Of course I still want to have that independence and feel like I can start my adult life on my own eventually, but 2020 was apparently a good year for me to not have that.
  • I’m grateful for my friends. From the ones who have me crying with laughter at midnight to the ones ready to support me when I’ve had a bad day to the ones just checking in once in a while, I’m grateful that there are good people in my life. 2020 reminded us all that even in the darkest times, you still need friends, and I’m glad I’ve been able to maintain and build those relationships even if we can’t be physically together.
    Internet keep in touch gif.
  • I’m grateful that we have unlimited internet in this house. I remember a few years ago when we’d have to be rationing data at the end of every month to get by. I don’t know how we would have survived this year without it, given that I am online for most of the day.
  • I’m grateful I graduated university when I did. I feel so bad for kids just starting school this year or kids like my brother who just graduated and have little prospects because of this pandemic. I’m not in a supremely better place in terms of life, but it could be worse. My life plans weren’t all that interrupted. 
  • I’m grateful for online games. I love games, and throughout the year I’ve been able to play many fun online games with many different people from the comfort and safety of our homes. The internet has once again proven to be a superb tool for connection, communication, and entertainment. If you have a favourite free online game, please recommend it in the comments!
  • I’m grateful the people around me aren’t complete idiots. I see America’s COVID-19 stats and I hear stories from people with morons for bosses, and I’m just so glad that I’m not anywhere near that. Like sure, do I have to constantly remind my grandmother to not cough into her hand, yeah, but otherwise, the people around me are accepting of science and facts and able to adjust to the safety restrictions for the most part.
    I have very little patience for stupidity gif.
  • Speaking of my grandmother, I’m glad she lives so close to us that she could still see us and come over for dinner almost every night throughout the pandemic. Even though she’s been a handful and is not loving the world’s situation (she told us living through the war as a child in Italy was better), I know my whole family is grateful we can be there for her and she’s not alone.

Take a moment or two to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It’ll be important to cherish these things as we go into 2021 and beyond. 

And as always, I’m grateful for my blog and my readers. That’s one thing I’ve never forgotten to be thankful for. I adore this outlet I have, and I’m always so glad to hear that I’ve amused you for a short time every week. 

thank you for following me gif.

That’s all for now!

 

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How Right Does Your Life Feel?

I think most adults, regardless of if they’re afraid of change or not, have to evaluate how right their life feels. As a young adult currently, I’m on the precipice of the rest of my life, and my decisions, which I now have the autonomy to make, can make worlds of difference, I have to ensure I use that power for good…or good enough.

with great power comes a ton of weird crap. gif.

Sometimes I wonder if my life is where it’s supposed to be or if I’ve made good choices. Was I right to go into the field I did? Was I right to go to the school I did? Am I right to be friends with the people I interact with? Am I unprepared for the real world? I’d imagine that if I were in a serious relationship, I’d be questioning that too.

Is this healthy or normal?

Is there a version of me in a parallel universe who made different choices and is so much better off because of it?

I do believe that I am slightly afraid of change…but who isn’t? The unknown is scary. I don’t want to settle. I want to be happy. I want to thrive.

In grade eleven, I had a chemistry teacher who I hated, but I vividly remember her often saying in her polish accent, “You riiiight!” and all in all, I just think it’d be really cool if, every time I made a decision in my life, she’d appear and validate me with that phrase.

Is That Too Much To Ask. gif.

What I do know is that a) I haven’t made any critically bad choices that would make someone say “ooh, yikes, yeah that was a big mistake,” and b) change is inevitable, so I better just embrace it as it comes. I recently got a job offer(!) after being laid off and unemployed for a lot longer than I would have liked, and unlike for some past jobs, I really do believe that it’s right for me, my career, and all that. I finally feel like my life is getting back on track, and it’s a wonderful, exciting relief. As the pandemic continues on into 2021, having that routine and normalcy and reason to get out of bed will be good.

I know there are people of all ages who read my blog, so I’d love to know if you’re also always unsure of what’s right or if the feeling wore off (as I also suspect it’s just a side effect of being in my 20’s).

what a stupid age i am gif.

That’s all for now!

 

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5 Computer Tips For Boomers

I recently helped my mother find a blog she was looking for by searching a phrase in quotations on Google. She was blown away by this trick, though it was really nothing special for me. I’ve known to do that for years, and it served me well in school when doing research. For those unaware, if you search a phrase in quotations, all the results have that exact phrase in that exact order, so for very specific sentences, you can really narrow down a search to just that.

Anyway, I figured that if my mother didn’t know that trick, others didn’t either. So here’s a quick and easy list of little tricks that some people, boomers or otherwise, may not know! Note that I’m a Windows user, so for tricks that use specific buttons like Ctrl, you’ll have to use Command.

Lets Get To Learning gif.

  1. Have you accidentally zoomed in or out on a website? Instead of going to the browser settings to remedy this, pressing Ctrl and 0 at the same time will revert it back to the standard 100%. Or you can zoom in and out in increments of 10% with Ctrl and + or – as you need.
  2. When Google searching, putting a word behind a minus sign will remove it from results. So let’s say you’re researching apples, but don’t want to read anything about the company Apple, you may have a search like apple companies -computer.
  3. While most word processors have an undo button, finding it and clicking it can sometimes be a hassle (first world problems!) so you can instead press Ctrl and Z at the same time to undo something. Most systems will allow you to do this as many times as you need, the same way you’d be allowed to press the arrow button many times, but you don’t have to take your hands off the keys to do it.
    a stabbed man from Buffy yelling "undo it" gif.
  4. Looking for a specific word and don’t want to skim a whole large page to find it? Ctrl and F will let you search and jump to matches, making research and reading very easy.
  5. Snipping Tool! I recently showed my mom Snipping Tool, which is a wonderful thing that I use a lot! It allows you to screenshot a selected section of your screen and even draw on it. Then you can copy the image, save it, and more. It’s much better than doing a whole print screen. Windows computers have Snipping Tool, and I don’t know what Macs have, but it is a pretty basic function, so I’d imagine there’s something similar. As a note, Snipping Tool has had a message saying it’s being removed soon in place of Snip & Sketch, which can be accessed by pressing Windows, Shift, and S at the same time. It’s basically the same but with a few new options.
    Snipping Tool.

There a whole bunch of other little Ctrl plus something tricks you can look up (it’s hard and unnecessary to memorize them all), as well as other ways to refine your Google search even more, but these I shared are ones that I personally use the most and think to be most useful in the average person’s life. I hope this helped at least one person make their computer using experience better!

What are your favourite easy computer tricks?

That’s all for now!

 

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