Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘perception

Don’t Click

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It’s a game I play with myself almost every day I’m online. Don’t click on that bait. Sure, I’m curious about the 12 most outrageous ways some common thing we are eating/reading/handling/doing leads to these 16 unbelievable/startling/amazing/scary results that some doctor/study/company/environmentalist/yogi has recently revealed/published/announced/proclaimed/guaranteed.

One facet of clickbait-ology I am anxious to find out about is how the “number” is selected for these attention-getting carnival barkings. A quantity of 10 seems like a very dependable collection. It’s an even number. It’s double-digits. If I was making a list, my first inclination would be to shoot for 10. Maybe I just watched too many years of David Letterman and his Top-Ten List.

From that bias, I find myself puzzling over why a title would feature a list with 12 or 13 items, or even bother when there are only 5 or 6. I saw one once that boasted 17, which starts to press the boundaries of believability. I’m skeptical the source was really able to come up with 17 of anything on a topic that worked for a click-baitable headline.

I wonder what I could come up with to entice people to click through to a page of mine that has no redeeming value to offer in return.

“Never ever give in to the urge to read 10 answers to the most essential question ever pondered.”

You know, the number 10 doesn’t seem to work so well, after all.

I get it now. It’s too status quo. It’s ‘ok boomer.’

Instead, the more ridiculous, the better.

“Eleventeen reasons why things you are already doing won’t make enough difference to matter.”

“These 16 ideas never worked before, but they will now after you’ve read this!”

“Take a penny, leave a penny by clicking this article 7 times a day for 13 weeks and feed a hungry kitty that looks exactly like a unicorn.”

For the record, I don’t always win at my own game. One time, I clicked to see the umpteen most amazing images since the beginning of time. Then, I clicked and clicked and clicked about umpteen more times. Each image was on a unique ad-filled page that took a painfully long time to load. Luckily, the first thing to pop into view for each page was the table of new clickbait ads across the bottom with strange quantities of subjects for me to try “ignoring.”

No one said this game was going to be easy.

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Written by johnwhays

November 20, 2019 at 7:00 am

Mental Mixups

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I’m not sure how a person can know when they are actually at the top of their game, but I have a pretty good idea when I’m not achieving peak performance out of my mind. The shortcomings have come in series for me lately in a repeating pattern that is becoming difficult to miss.

Although, missing things is one of the shortcomings I am noticing. The thing with that is, it makes me suddenly wonder if there are other things I missed when individual errors pop up. It gets my mind all mixed up.

Is any of this related to the song stuck in my head since Sunday morning? While making breakfast that morning, I heard Kris Kristofferson’s version of “Me and Bobby McGee.” Later in the afternoon, while I was mowing the lawn, it was Janis Joplin’s voice “ear-worming” over and over in my mind.

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Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose…

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I found it interesting that my mind jumped to Janis’ version, but not that surprising. It’s the one I’ve heard the most. What seems odd to me is how long it has hung around.

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I’d trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday…

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Then my poor brain got stretched into next year. Did you know 2020 is a leap year and Christmas will be on a Friday?

(Just to emphasize my point, while writing that, I asked Cyndie if she knew 2020 is a leap year. She said, “You already asked me that an hour ago.”)

One of my challenges with the day-job is the need to function far from the immediate moments and plan the future. Yesterday I was forced to print out a calendar for 2020 to assign dates into January. No wonder my mind gets mixed up.

It’s a wonder I ever know what day it is.

On the way home from work yesterday, I forgot to get gas in the car.

I sure hope I haven’t forgotten anything else important this week.

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Tree Cleared

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We took full advantage of being home on Labor Day and put in some hard labor on one of our trails in the woods yesterday. Standard procedure on a day I intend to mow involves finding something to do for a few hours in the morning while the dew dries off the grass. In this instance, it was time to remove the big tree that still hung across one of our trails.

The project required a lot of preliminary trimming of several other trees that had tipped over on our neighbor’s property. There was quite a tangled mess of branches.

At one point, when I allowed the saw blade to get pinched, Cyndie took advantage of her super-human strength to free it. While I stood grumbling and contemplating what ingenious method I was going to employ to get enough leverage to force open the cut I had started, Cyndie volunteered to push up on the horizontal tree trunk.

I told her she was welcome to try, but that it was probably a couple of hundred pounds more than we could lift. Luckily, she had no clue how heavy it would be, so she had no sense that it wouldn’t be worth a try. I was sure it weighed more than I could lift, so I didn’t even make an attempt.

Cyndie pushed on the trunk and it shifted just enough that I was able to pull the saw free.

It seems to me that I could probably benefit from being a little less certain about what I think I already know.

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By noon we had the trail cleared and I was able to move on to mowing grass. I wish I could say that would be the last time I mowed the lawn this season, but I fully expect growth to continue throughout the month. Maybe, at the very least, the amount of time between mowings will expand so I don’t have to deal with it every seven days.

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Written by johnwhays

September 3, 2019 at 6:00 am

Unglamorous Reality

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I think it’s only natural that our minds tend toward the fantastical when attempting to interpret an unexpected scene in our otherwise staid environment. Why would the first impression be the simplest option, when a more unlikely one is possible?

When I got home from work yesterday, I discovered a mysterious disruption around the front of my closet. There had obviously been some sort of disturbance. Several odd shoes had been pulled out, shoes I haven’t worn for some time.

I suspected someone had been looking through my shoes, but it was possible my footwear had been incidentally dislodged by a person looking for something else. What could someone have been after?

Well, I can narrow it down a little bit. The only “someone” around here all day would have been Cyndie. The most likely scenario would be that she was pulling out items to be laundered.

Not all that exciting, after all.

The truth was even less glamorous than that.

When Cyndie came in from trimming fence lines, she offered up a set of facts I had failed to consider. Pequenita had barfed in the vicinity and Delilah stormed in to take care of cleaning it up before Cyndie could react.

Lovely. Sometimes things aren’t quite what they initially seem.

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Written by johnwhays

July 30, 2019 at 6:00 am

Another Guess

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It’s back! As predicted, in celebration of ten years of “Relative Something,” everyone’s favorite image guessing game is once again resurrected. It’s simple to play. All you need to do is guess what is depicted in the image below.

Do you trust your first impression, or ponder the possibilities? Can you hold off long enough to wait for the answer to come to you, or will you look for the solution right away?

You are in charge, but it is strongly recommended you come up with some kind of guess before clicking on the image to find out what this could possibly be. Guess your best, and enjoy the mental exercise! What do you see?

Mystery Image

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Written by johnwhays

March 19, 2019 at 6:00 am

Solar

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

March 4, 2019 at 7:00 am

Forward

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Words on Images

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Written by johnwhays

February 19, 2019 at 7:00 am