Jumping to Conclusions- a true story of a coward

I am normally a rational person who debates all sides of something and who takes FOREVER to make a decision.

So what makes me jump to conclusions? FEAR.

I was in this basement last week checking on the equipment. Now basements are generally freaky places when they aren't finished, and this is one of them where the walls are kinda crumbly and shadows loom everywhere. So I did my thing and as I left, I noticed in the corner this greyish-brown round object that looked like an egg.

I ran.

I made this foolish crazy dash up the steps and slammed the door. Okay, now it sounds cowardish, but it is what it is. I ran because of an egg. But my first thoughts were, what the heck kinda monster lays eggs that round, that big and lives down here!? I was envisioning something alligator-snake-chicken-ish. I just didn't want to see it.

So after calmed, I Googled it. Eggs, round, brown, grey... got a nice list of potential suspects but none of them were really ROUND. So I sneaked back down the steps. Oh it was round all right. ROUND. I compared them again and settled on a very impossible hybrid bird-snake. Yup. I had a bird-snake in the basement. Possibly demonic because let's face it, nothing good would live in a dirty old basement.

I debated it for a moment and then realized the longer I debated it, the more chances that thing had of hatching. Oh. My. Gosh. I did not need two bird-snakes down there. So I found a box and a hammer. The plan was to roll it gently in the box and toss it outside. The hammer set my mind at ease in case at any time that simple plan went south. No idea what I was going to do with it, but I wasn't going down there again without it.

So I bravely rolled it into the box using the tip of the hammer (not my hands, that would be stupid). It was surprisingly light (or maybe I was foolishly strong?). From my experience, eggs are heavier than what this was. Regardless, I had it in the box. I shut it quickly and looked around for any other eggs. None.

So I ran up the stairs and straight outside. It was -36C out, but I didn't even stop for my jacket. I tossed it in the snowbank. It bounced off the hard snow like a ping pong ball. What the heck? So I leaned over it, much braver now that we were in sunlight and it was probably frozen.

It was a ball.

One of those hard ping-pong type balls infants roll around. Somehow it must have rolled down the steps and faded. No idea why I never noticed it until this week.

Still, I just freaked out over a ball a baby plays with. Sad thing was that not once did my brain rationally say, "Tanya, it's probably just a ball." Not once.

Ever jump to conclusions and live to tell about it? Your imagination ever get the best of you?

Are You Safe Online? Part2- COMMENTS

I really enjoy the workshops I host about online safety. We learn so much. So one of the big questions was:
 How can you be safe out there when you leave comments on forums, blogs, social media or when others are leaving comments on the things you post?  

During the workshops, we came up with a list of ways to get control of those comments. All these rules were summed up in two phrases:


If others are leaving comments you don't find acceptable:
  • STOP following or sharing with people who make you uncomfortable.
  • NEVER associate yourself with people who might make you uncomfortable with their language, comments, discrimination, rudeness... Hey, they might be your aunt, your best friend, but online, they are out of control.
  • BLOCK, delete, and report if needed. 
  • DO NOT respond. It links you to them in searches and anything in writing is theirs. They can print it out, copy it, repost it, add it to your comments. (And yes, I have followers who use my "private" conversations with them in "public". It makes me very cautious of what I say.)
  • FORGIVE. Yup, we all make goofs. We found evidence that people can change their entire image. Let those past mistakes go. 
    • Yourself, your children, your friends, your parents. Everyone needs to be safe. If you can believe it, some made comments like, "Sure I saw her being stupid, but I figured after she got in trouble, she'd learn."
    • Know what the site is about and check it out so you understand how the comments should look. A forum that tears every single query to shreds, isn't going to do any less to yours. One that only leaves happy comments, will do the same to yours.
  • Watch for scams! Know what is real and what is a potential virus festival. 
When posting your own comments:
  • THINK before you share. Do people REALLY need to know this? Do they care? Is it important for them to know? Will they be upset if they don't know? Will it annoy them?
  • CHECK the settings before you post. Is this private, public, for certain friends only? 
  • ReCHECK 
    • Every time your application, device or the server makes upgrades in case things are reset to a default. 
    • Is a post suddenly getting a strange number of likes or shares? What's going on? Know your comfort zones and what to expect. Things can spiral out of control quickly. Deleting the source won't always fix things and once it's out of your control, the comments can turn into Meme's you didn't want.

    • Don't take it to heart when your friends don't share your excitement at your good news or don't comment on the loss of you pet. They might not have seen it, they might be waiting to see you in private, or maybe they have other reasons for blocking you or deleting you. Their platform is not yours, you can't tell others how to control it, you can only control your image, your safety.
    • Know why you are on this application, device, social media, forum and ensure it responds to that reason. For example, if you want to fangirl and leave messages for your fav Rock Band, which forum is best suited for this? Should you comment under your real name? Know what you are on, evaluate why you are on it; educate yourself.
    • Remember that what you put out there--even if privacy settings are installed--is out there. Others will view it, share it, like it and the application might own it. Don't say things you don't want shared with the general public or future generations.
    • Understand how the site or the app you are on is making profits off you.
  • BE SUPPORTIVE of your friends when good things happen to them. It's nice when your friends are happy, isn't it? 
    • Remember comments are seen by everyone.
    • Be calm and professional when you respond.                
    • Check grammar, spelling and put out your best.            
    • Have proof to back up what you say if it is a fact.         
    • If you have doubts, have others you TRUST reread it before you post it.
  • AVOID fights. 
    • Settle these things in person not online. 
    • Explain or defend yourself only if needed. 
    • Keep it simple. 
    • Get someone else to explain it for you. 
    • NEVER EVER post in anger or sadness.
  • APOLOGIZE: If you goof, apologize and fix it. Remember to apologize on the platform where the goof was made. If you made an embarrassing typo on Twitter, apologize on Twitter not on LinkedIn. If your account was hacked on Facebook, let everyone on Facebook know, not on Pinterest.
  • STAND UP TO BULLIES. When you see bullying, stick up for your friends and end it by being positive, or simply report it.
What other things do you do to stay safe online?
Comment if you dare. lol.