12

The Adventure Bear Show (Part 2 of 2)

Image result for bear cub

So far – Joey and Mikey Bear were both trying to win a contest on The Adventure Bear Show. To win they had to write an essay about something nice they had done for someone. Somehow, both cubs had ended up at the same place to do the same job.

Joey was stunned and disappointed. Now what was he supposed to do? He didn’t have another idea. Mikey’s mom must have known about the Ursalines too. Mikey grinned from the sofa.

Joey turned to Mrs. Ursaline and said that he didn’t realize that she already had help. He didn’t want to bother her. She said not to worry; there were plenty of things to do. She was sure she could keep them both busy. So Joey sat on the sofa next to Mikey. Mikey’s grin faded. He knew Joey was a good writer and would be able to do a better job explaining their work.

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Mrs. Ursaline was right. There was a lot of work to do. They needed to clean out the garden and cover the plants with mulch. There was a lot of raking to be done. All of the tools had to be cleaned and put away. The back part of the den needed to be raked out and covered with leaves and moss for the winter sleeping.

This was going to be a lot of work. Joey hadn’t counted on anything this hard and wondered if he could back out. Then he remembered that if he did, Mikey would get to go with Adventure Bear. This had to be the best job anyone would have. Grrr.

They each grabbed a rake and started to furiously clear the leaves, trying to outdo each other in the amount they raked. After a while, Mrs. Ursaline came out to see how they were doing. She was not impressed. She called the boys over and told them that it wasn’t a race. They needed to be more careful and make sure they got all of the leaves up. They should work as a team.

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Joey and Mikey looked at each other guiltily. She was right. They had done a terrible job. They told her they would go over it again. They divided the yard, and each cub concentrated on getting all of the leaves. When it was done, it looked great.

They decided that they should rake out the den next. That way they could use the best leaves for the bedding. While they were in the den, they started talking to each other again. They decided that it was stupid to fight over Adventure Bear. He probably already had a favorite cub in the area. They decided to be friends again.

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They found some nice, soft moss for the ground and covered it with the best leaves they could find. None of the icky, smelly ones that had already started to rot. Those ones would be good for the garden. They went outside to get started on the garden.

When they got outside, they discovered that it was already starting to get dark. They told Mrs. Ursaline that they would be back the next day to finish. Mrs. Ursaline told them that they were doing a wonderful job, and she looked forward to seeing them again.

At dinner, Joey excitedly told them about his afternoon with Mikey at Mrs. Ursaline’s. He was happiest that he and Mikey were friends again. His mother smiled. She and Mikey’s mom had hoped that would be the result. Joey went to bed early, tired from all the work.

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The next day, they decided that the best way to clean out the garden was to cut back the plants, rake around them, and cover everything with leaves. It was a lot of work, and their paws were sweaty by the time they were done.

That just left the tools. The job was worse than what they expected. They had to wipe everything down, but then they had to cover the tools with grease to protect them from the cold and damp. It was almost impossible to get the sticky stuff off their paws.

Finally it was time for the Adventure Bear dinner. Mikey and Joey sat next to each other. They talked about how great it was to shake Adventure Bear’s paw and how big and strong he was. They promised to still be friends if one of them won the trip.

Image result for bear and salmon

Dinner was great, salmon and berries, but the cubs were all impatient to find out who had won. It seemed like forever until a bear stood up and said it was time for Adventure Bear to announce the winner.

Adventure Bear said it was always hard to choose a cub for his adventure; this time it was so hard that he had chosen two winners for the first time ever. He had chosen these two cubs because they had performed their tasks together and had helped each other as well as the bear needing the help. Both essays really demonstrated the Adventure Bear spirit.

Joey and Mikey looked at each other. He had to be talking about them! When Adventure Bear announced their names, they ran to the stage together. They stood on either side of Adventure Bear while he told everyone that they would be hiking up a local hill and looking for grubs and berries.

All of them joined together in a giant “bear” hug.

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6

Do I Know You?

I decided to get back on Facebook. This is my third attempt. The first time a few years ago resulted in a serious addiction to Farmville and its various relatives. I was away for eight months and came back “clean”. I lasted a couple of months and got bored. So I went away again. I started feeling  bad about asking people to read the blog without showing any interest in what they were doing. I thought it might help if I went back and started reading their posts.

It wasn’t difficult getting back it. I’d been getting emails every day (it seemed) that I had “notifications” waiting. The notifications usually seemed to be someone inviting me to a game I had never heard of.  After going cold turkey a couple of years ago, I’m afraid to even look at another game. What if I fall prey to a dancing cookie or something?

The other type of notification was someone asking me to “like” some obscure page. While I have no issue with the “Don’t Bludgeon Baby Animals” type, I have no appetite for the “Like Dr. Smith. He Has the Answer to All of Life’s Questions.” From what I can tell, if I like something it goes up on my wall for everyone to see. It also goes on that crawl on the right side of the screen, although things pass through there fairly quickly. What if the world knows that Dr. Smith has just been arrested for fraud? Will my “friends” still “like” me? Will they respect me in the morning?

About those “friends”. I forget how I originally started, but a lot of my first friends were people I had known in high school. The last time I was back, my daughter taught me how to “un-follow” people without “un-friending” them. It worked really well. When I came back there were only a couple of people in the feed who I really didn’t know. One of them, I have no idea whatsoever who she is or where she came from.

The last time I was on, I got a feed question from someone thinking it would be interesting to find out where she met her “friends”. Oddly enough, I had been trying to figure out who she was for a couple of weeks. I responded with that answer. I don’t think we’re friends anymore. (Am I missing the point of Facebook in only connecting with people I actually recognize?)

Now that I have winnowed my feed to the people I actually know, I have discovered that the vast majority of my feed is from the same few people. Some of them have lives that are interesting enough to fill the space. A few search the web for pictures and quotations they like. A few seem to use it as a way to share every thought they have.

I don’t have a problem with any of that. I just don’t know how to join. My life is not that interesting, and I really don’t have any fun pictures to share. Does anyone really care that I almost ran over a bunny yesterday morning (not really)? Or that the cats have caught three mice in the last week (really)? Things that would be a throwaway in person seem to have an increased sense of importance when you write it down.

Worse yet, I really don’t get the “liking” idea (I have the same problem on WordPress). I haven’t fully accepted the concept that people have no idea whether or not I have read what they have written. “Liking” is not required to avoid hurting their feelings. Conversely, I guess I could write whatever I want since very few of my “friends” would see it anyway.

When you “like” someone’s post, do you actually have to like it? Is it like nodding your head to indicate that you are paying attention to what the person is saying? Or is it full buy-in for whatever they are talking about?

If someone “likes” my comment does it mean that they agree with me? Or do they just like the way I said it?

How many cute pictures of their families do people really think everyone wants to look at? On a daily basis? Do people ever think about their audience?

If someone sends me a link that doesn’t work, do I tell them? One guy sent me a link to like his company. When I followed the link it took me to a page for something else with a pop-up to go to the page to like his company. I didn’t like the company that much and left.

I didn’t give them much personal history to use for advertising. My location matches the information I gave them for high school and college. So I’m not really getting personalized ads companies want. I’m just getting a lot of them scattered all over the place. My friends and likes are pretty esoteric too. I am not a marketers dream. I’m guessing that the longer I’m on, the more the ads will standardize. I can hardly wait.

The one thing I do like about Facebook is the chatting. It’s great to be able to actually “talk” to people I never get to see. However, being on at 3a seems to have cut down on the number of people I can find to chat with. I need to get some friends overseas.

So I’m friends with people I don’t know and like things that are merely statements of fact. No wonder they call it virtual reality.