The Rudolph Framework “helps you understand the actual problem you and your business solve for your customers– not the one you *think* you solve.” Click HERE to be taken to her fun explanation of this framework.
Most know, or will quickly find out, I am no blog business guru and to be frank, StPA is purely self-expression via my own mindful meanderings covering a multitude of topics from the environment to photography.
Therefore, you might, as I initially did, think this Rudolph exercise holds little relevance in the blogging world and is akin to writing one of those verbose, but glib ‘mission statements.’ [Groan]
Those two words, ‘mission statement,’ is enough for me to tune out and yet, reading further, I quickly realized that I did want to know where I might be headed blog-wise, and that a little blogging self-examinationmay indeed be useful, at least to me. Add to that, Ally mentioned that she was curious to see where the framework would take other bloggers. Thus, I’d dive right in. I may have taken it in a tangent way off the original intention, but it IS an experiment so who knows where we will end up.
Following are the Framework questions. One fills in the blanks for how it pertains to your blog. Like one of those grammar exercises back in school. Easy, right?
Something to Ponder About Blog’s Rudolph Framework
Once upon a time, there was a blog focused on information important enough to share with others that promoted open, independent discussion called Something to Ponder About.
It has the capacity to question, to inform, to frustrate and possibly to validate aspects of environmental change, in addition to various other topics.
Some people doubt it because they’re sure technology will be the saviour in any environmental disaster and the blogosphere is merely filled with rank amateurs who not only ignore contradictory information and opinions, but seem hell-bent on locking up the planet, subverting business progress or fixate on their own capitalistic endeavours. [which is incorrect].
But one day, the earth shouts at ALL its people so loudly that heads turn and deaf ears and closed eyes open.
Which means that more folks become interested in environmental change and start to connect with bloggers and others who recognize we all live on one heavenly body.
To help the awareness of planetary health and survival for all sentient beings.
And that matters because the global population needs access to independent information and different opinions, from many diverse sources which results in an informed global community, who might be more proactive about positive change, mindful of equity and respectful of differences.
In the process, you help coalesce a community of global cohesiveness and egalitarian understanding with blogs being one small catalyst.
The Planet gets a kiss!
Applying the Rudolph Framework to Your Own Blog
If you wish to try this writing experiment with your own blog, check in with Ally. Blogger etiquette would suggest you cite Ann Handley and include a pingback to The Spectacled Bean.
Even though few people are currently travelling, most of us have travel stories about our global adventures, that we can re-visit through writing and photographs.
Welcome back to the Friendly Friday Blogging Challenge, where I challenge you to create a post and share your stories, photographs, or memories, that you experienced ‘On the Way,’ to, or from, somewhere. It may be a shop, airport, workplace, historic site, residence, or whichever place you choose.
It was steaming hot and humid, as only Thailand can be. The vacation was over, but with our well-cured suntans and fond vacation memories lingering softly in our minds, the ‘Moth,’ (ie. Man of the House), and I were ushered into the rear seat of a Mercedes, by two young men who would drive us to Bangkok International Airport.
This older model ‘Merc,’ clearly nearing its use-by date, was the Taxi Airport Transfer our Travel Agent had kindly arranged, which meant we’d avoid navigating Bangkok’s public transport system in the oppressive, pea soup-like heat that had surrounded us back at Pattaya Beach.
Thankfully, the Mercedes was air-conditioned; mind you, the cooling unit was working extra hard to reach anywhere near the back seat and in reality, a vintage metal blade fan spewing tepid air would have been more effective than this car’s cooling system and I smiled a wry smile to the Moth, now seated beside me.
My hand reached across the numerous cracks and wrinkles in the sweat-caressed leather upholstery and touched the Moth’s hand. He’d been a tad nervous about travelling in South-East Asia and was clearly relieved he’d soon be on a plane heading home, to Australia.
Then something happened which began to make that look a little less likely.
We’d already been stuck in not one, but two, traffic jams and to pass the time, our Thai guide and his young driver would repeatedly push the ‘eject’ button, on the 1970’s era cassette player, and laugh uproariously when the ageing cassette plopped out on the floor. Added to this it seemed that absentmindedly switching the windscreen wipers on and off, and on and off again, despite the sun blazing outside, was an additional source of mirth for these two young guys.
Was this their first city job, I wondered? They looked like they were still a bit wet behind the ears.
Glancing over at the car’s instrument panel, I noticed the temperature gauge was spiking ‘hot,’ while the petrol gauge’s needle now flickered on ‘Reserve,’ indicating the fuel tank was close to empty. I raised an eyebrow and felt a slight tightening in my chest.
Cautiously, I asked the Thai Guide how much longer it might be before we’d reach the airport? In broken English, the reply came that it would be around half an hour, more or less, depending on traffic problems around the airport. I raised my eyebrows and looked again at the Moth.
Should I say something more about potentially running out of petrol?
I hesitated for a moment and crossed my fingers, but remained silent.
Minutes ticked by and I began to calculate whether we could still make our flight if we did get stuck in another of Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams and whether the car would run out of petrol before we reached our destination.
I decided I should speak up.
“Won’t you need a little more fuel, soon?” I finally said, in a polite, suggestive way.
Both the driver and his offsider looked at each other, befuddled. After a moment, they shook their heads firmly. It seemed I might need to clarify a little more what I meant.
“The fuel gauge,” I said, gaining confidence and pointing.“It is showing empty.”
“Ah, hah,” the young Driver said, with a gentle laugh.
“Temperature,” he said smiling and tapping the petrol gauge with a knowing nod.
“Umm.I don’t think so.” I offered. I was shaking my head but in those days, I had a soft voice and hadn’t developed any kind of authoritative tone, so the driver easily shrugged me off with a quick, “No problem,” and flashed that broad and innocent Thai smile, that can charm almost anyone.
I sat back in my seat thinking there was no way we’d catch our flight if we ran out of petrol. I looked at the Moth, imploring him with my eyes to say something to the driver. His eyebrows were knitted together, yet he remained silent.
“Would you like something to eat?” the driver then piped up? “A bowl of rice? You have time,” he said pointing to his watch.”
I thought a detour may use up even more petrol and remembering his questionable skills in reading gauges, I wasn’t confident we had any time for food. Declining politely, I advised him we’d eat at the airport, adding under my breath – if we ever get there.
Several minutes later, the frenzied finger-pointing and gesticulating towards the car’s instrument panel, accompanied by feverish Thai mutterings between driver and colleague, suggested something was amiss.
Without warning, the Driver stepped hard on the Merc’s gas pedal. We sped off at high speed through the traffic. I suspected it wasn’t the pressures of time that had prompted his change of heart. He must have realised his mistake in reading the gauges and surmised fuel was now perilously low.
Falsely thinking that accelerating and reaching the airport faster would prevent the car from running out of petrol, meant we were now overtaking every car on the highway, at breakneck speed. I gripped the armrest tightly with one hand and the Moth’s hand with the other.
Just hold on! the Moth mouthed at me silently.
After what seemed like an eternity, I saw the terminal of Bangkok International Airport loom ahead of us through the windscreen. If anyone had been listening in at that moment, they would have heard four very audible and loud signs of relief from both the front and the back seat of the old Merc.
We had arrived.
Join in with the Friendly Friday Challenge
Do you have a story or photograph or two to share?
Compose a post, be that photograph/s, story or recipe, with the theme, ‘On the way,’ somewhere – and include both the tag, ‘Friendly Friday’ and a url linking back to this post.
After publishing your post, return here and leave a comment with your post’s url. That way other visitors can find your post and visit.
We are in the midst of a casual baking challenge in a (time-unlimited) bake-off with Sandy, Moon and Ju-Lyn. Sandy has issued a counter challenge for me to make a Dacquoise ( See Sandy’s pic below). I have to summon up a little more courage before making that. All in good fun though.
Whilst it is somewhat of a cross-cultural event, spanning Canada, USA, and Singapore, my Pavlova recipe was very traditional, originating in the Australian Women’s Weekly Cookbook.
Origins of the Traditional Christmas Colours of Red and Green
In many parts of Europe during the middle ages, Paradise plays were performed, often on Christmas Eve. They told Bible stories to people who couldn’t read. The ‘Paradise Tree’ in the garden of eden in the play was normally a pine tree with red apples tied to it.
These photos are taken in Japan in 2019, during the Crimson leaves season. The final two photographs are taken with #No filter.
The Friendly Friday Challenge team will be enjoying a well earned break, from weekly Friendly Friday posts, over the festive period. The challenge will resume in the New Year on Friday 29th January, 2021.
Friendly Friday Challenge in 2021
Your Friendly Friday Hosts Sandy and myself, (Amanda) will post a new format for Friendly Friday, going forward in 2021. One that we hope will encourage and support those wonderful bloggers who have been posting Friendly Friday posts throughout this, a most difficult year for the world. Of course, we also welcome new participants to the challenge.
The above quote is taken from Jane’s blog, where you will find photographs that are something special. The natural world is displayed in its incredible beauty by Jane’s skill, as a photographer.
It is a delight to walk in forested or rural areas, in cool, shady glades, in big sky country of cattle grazing lands or scenic vistas away from the inner city. Use arrows to see more images below.
Whilst walking with my own camera and observing the world, I try to channel that atmosphere that Jane creates, in her photography.
“Pay attention. It’s all about paying attention. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.”
~ Susan Sontag
Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt – Whilst Walking
This week our challenge prompt is to post a photograph you have taken ‘WhilstWalking.’
[N.B. If you are in lockdown, archival photography is quite acceptable].
Walking Photo Challenge Brief:
Photograph what it is that draws your attention.
In urban areas, we can still pay attention as we walk. The colour of vehicles, the signage, the expressions on people’s faces, the rain hitting the pavements and gutters. It is there waiting for our attention and our camera lens.
Join in the Weekly Friendly Friday Challenge
Are you a blogger or photographer interested in joining the photo challenge? This challenge runs until Thursday next week. Link back to this post, leave a comment here and other bloggers will find your Friendly Friday post.
Full Instructions on engaging with the Friendly Friday Blogger community are found here.
Sandy at the blog: TheSandyChronicles will present a new Friendly Friday prompt to you next week.
May I suggest that you follow both our blogs if you want to catch the weekly prompts for Friendly Friday.
Mirrors can reveal something different or be a reverse reflection of the chosen subject.
Friendly Friday Challenge Prompt
The challenge this week is to post photo/s of, “Smoke and Mirrors.”
It might be a magic illusion, a symmetrical reflection, an accidental or deliberate set-up shot, or an image within an image.
It is really up to you how to interpret the prompt.
How to Join the Friendly Friday Challenge
To join in add a linkback, (aka a ping-back), and a Friendly Friday tag to a new post or link, addressing the prompt, then return to this post and leave a comment with your published link, as pingbacks are notoriously unreliable.
A father in his 40’s who surfed here every day. He was rescued, taken ashore but paramedics could not save him. The shark, believed to be a Great White, left its tooth embedded in the bite mark on his surfboard.
On our anniversary visits, I rarely went in for a swim, preferring to walk in the shallows and then past the old Shark Tower monument, which was erected in the 1960s for lifesavers to use as an observation site.
From that point, I would follow the boardwalk through the pandanus trees around the headland.
Even though we have nets to protect swimmers, the killer shark appears to have swum underneath the six-metre nets that line the shore.
The irony of the local name: ‘Snapper Rocks” Hotel and Surf Club, does not escape me.
So often we walk around in nature failing to notice the details, the grass under our feet.
Subtle changes in colour and appearance indicate the passing of the seasons. Many varieties of grass remain invisible, yet are an integral part of the natural landscape.
The theme for this week’s Friendly Friday challenge is:
‘Splendour in the Grass’
Using Grass to Frame a Landscape in Photography
In photographic terms, grass can be used to frame the shot or make an interesting feature in the foreground.
This ‘Moon viewing,’ photo captured during the Tsukimi festival in mid-Autumn, in Japan.
Japanese Senga Grass Fields at Mount Fuji
The Japanese find Splendour in the Sengakuhara Pampas Grass, by strolling along a walking trail, at the western side of Mount Hakone. For it is here that the changing colour of the tall grass offers stunning vistas. In November, the grass turns a shimmering, silvery gold. Wedding proposal and selfies abound at this time of year.
In Australia, a country fringed by blue oceans, you will find grass the colour of sunburnt earth, which often makes me yearn for the vivid fluorescent green grass of wetter climates.
Australian deserts display different kinds of saltbush grass.
In the arid conditions of the Australian landscape, plants have adapted to grow under extreme conditions, such as the grass tree.
Grass Trees in Australia
A relic of the Age of Dinosaurs, Xanthorrhoeas, also known as the Grass Tree, grow very slowly and are resistant to bushfire. In fact, fire helps the grass tree produce its flowers. They also have a unique symbiotic relationship with the soil. The presence of a mycorrhizal microbe in the soil around their roots allows them to flourish, even if the soils are nutrient-poor.
Grass Trees are highly sought after in Australian horticulture and as such are often illegally removed from their natural locations. They fetch high prices as ornamental plants. Little do the owners realize that if the soil in their garden does not contain the mycorrhizal enzyme, the grass tree that they paid so dearly for, will wither and die.
Imitating Nature in Growing Grass Trees
Here’s a secret that an old-timer once told me. Take a cup of brown sugar, put it in a bucket of water and water your grass trees once a month for two years with that mixture. The sugar feeds the mycorrhiza and gets it going and your grass tree will survive.
It is quite ironic that my Friendly Friday Challenge Co-host, Sandy, should give us the prompt, Market this week as I was just looking through my photos of the wonderful Market Hall, in Helsinki, Finland.
Where the Hungarians are spoilt for choice in varieties of Paprika in their markets, Helsinki is spoilt for choice in terms of Salmon.
Me, being Australian, have only really known three varieties of Smoked Salmon – Tasmanian, Norwegian and Danish Smoked Salmon.
My eyes opened as wide as saucers when I saw the contents of the cabinets in the Helsinki Markets, the day I arrived in the Finnish capital.
I remember it is not just ordinary salmon, because the thing that struck me about Finns, was that they had taken Salmon to a whole new level, like as in Heinz 52 different varieties.
Now I love Salmon, so I was pretty happy with this, until I realized how hard it would be be to choose which one to buy! I needed help to choose between Tsar’s salmon, Cold Smoked Salmon, Flamed Salmon, Lemon Salmon and Rose Pepper Salmon, etc. and in the end, feeling rather befuddled, I settled on Cured Salmon with Basilic. With a large helping of Salmon Soup? How could I resist?
You need to know that the people of Helsinki eat a good deal of fish, freshwater fish, that is. Even sometimes three times in a day. So when I think of Helsinki, I think of Salmon, and lots of it.”
Stabilize your camera as much as possible – (a tripod or solid base helps)
Move the subject, not the camera
Try adding the effect of different backgrounds
Check your depth of field for focusing
I got a bit fancy with the Canva templates, but the close-up, above, of the little mushrooms, were very worthwhile to highlight. So delicate sitting atop their thin stalks, they appeared to defy gravity.
And now for a slideshow of flowers:-
I added a frame around the pumpkin leaves. It may have been edited with Snapseed, but it is from my archives, so I can’t be sure. I do like the way you can see the furry hairs on the pumpkin leaves. Glaucous is the botanic name for hairy leaves, I think.
“Taking pictures is savouring life intensely
every hundredth of a second.”
Friendly Friday Photo Challenge – Close Examination Prompt
Now it is your turn to write a Friendly Friday post with the theme, “Close Examination.”
Don’t forget to tag your post and link with a pingback here, so all readers can find your post.
Sandy, will have another great prompt for you next week.
Is taking photos just a whim, a bit of fun? A hobby you would like to improve? Or a serious pursuit? Whichever category you fit into, (or don’t), we notice photos that are striking, ones that capture attention, (pun not intended).
Scott Bourne has some thoughts on the magic behind photography and it was his post that made me re-consider how we take photographs.
Do we snap a shot just as a record of what you saw?
Do we compose for interest?
We might even find an angle that portrays a little more emotion, particularly for street or portrait photography.
If so, we convey a feeling through the photograph to the viewer.
Scott explains a little more of what he looks for in a photo:
Unfortunately, in today’s instant gratification-hungry world, it’s rare to find someone who will look past the superficial to find something special. Everyone just wants a magic camera, or lens, or camera setting or post-processing, preset. Unfortunately there is no magic anything. What there is well, that is all about SEEING. I want to encourage you to “feel” your way to a photograph.
Scott Bourne – picturemethods.com
Some people have an eye for photography. Others have to work to develop it. Regardless of your camera budget, if you do have an eye or can develop it, your photos will attract attention.
Friendly Friday Theme – ‘Capturing a Feeling’
This week for Friendly Friday, when you take a photograph try to compose to capture a feeling or emotion.
If you are using your archival photographs, you might crop a photo or edit to exhibit a particular mood that you wish to create.
Today for example, we made a new friend.
A young magpie landed on our fence, literally right behind our heads, as we sipped our morning cup of tea. The bird was bold and curious and his reward for that, was a morsel of cake. We watched his confidence and trust, in us, slowly grow as I hand-fed him a small piece of ham.
I cropped the following photograph to create a feeling of intensity, of concentration and to convey the beginnings of trust in the bird’s eyes.
After tasting the morsel of carrot cake, he must have thought his luck had changed.
I like the contrast of nature and the stark white and ultra modern built environment behind, but feel that some editing would help the photo stand out. But today, I left it as is. What do you think?
This afternoon the bird returned with his mate, who was much more cautious about the ham and preferred a lawn grub or two which is far better for them, anyway.
Posting a Friendly Friday Challenge?
Don’t forget to comment here, tag and pingback to this post.