Cutting Down

The thought police are upon us.

I had an idea for a post and was trying to think up a title.  Would I call it “Cutting Down” or “Cutting Back” or perhaps “Making the Cut.”  In my own living room, with no one else at home, not speaking out loud, and not within range of any electronic device, I ruminated.  I do not have a smartphone, and my flip-phone was in the other room.

Once I had more or less decided, I sat down at the computer to draft my post.  As soon as I logged in, my home page immediately flashed a large ad for a nasty looking knife (“The best cutting tool in the world!”)

Say what?

This is happening way too much these days.  I can understand ads that pop up for products I may have perused online, and for those that I have already purchased.  I can even understand such ads appearing if I bought the item in a brick-and-mortar store because I would have used my credit card, which, as everyone knows, is totally trackable.

I’ve heard stories of people who have conversations while carrying a smartphone, or within ear shot of a computer or smartphone, and then are deluged with ads for whatever item/sports team/restaurant/tourist attraction they had discussed.  I’ve known people who received such ads in their home email after discussing something with a passenger in the car.

I’m beginning to seriously consider the theory that current electronic devices may have hidden recording devices managed by not-so-reputable people who then sell the data to marketers.

Not long ago, my husband perused an item online using his smartphone.  He did this at work, miles away from home.  It was my day off and later that afternoon, I logged into my personal email page from our home computer, and sure enough, there was an ad for the very item my husband had viewed.  It was not an item I would ever be interested in, and hubby and I had never, ever discussed purchasing it.  (I only knew about his search later that evening when I mentioned to him that for some reason my email account had an ad for [the item he had looked at].)  He had not previously searched for the item from home.  We have different email addresses.  My husband’s smartphone is not connected to our computer’s internet system.  Our computer and phones are with different providers using different internet systems.  That incident was unnerving, to say the least.

But unspoken thoughts?  That’s just too weird.

Maybe it’s just coincidence.  Maybe it’s because I’m getting older[er] and maybe don’t have full control of my faculties any more.  Maybe all those loose marbles are finding their way into other peoples’ heads and from there into the advertising world.

Maybe I’ll soon be receiving ads suggesting items more in line with my darker thoughts.  Won’t that be fun?

Even the eggs are getting weird – I couldn’t have manufactured that bubble no matter how hard I tried!


So, you ask, why the dilemma over the title of this post?  Were you thinking evil thoughts, CM?

No, I’m not turning bad. I’m merely cutting back (cutting down/making a cut) on my work hours.  I am now working 3 days a week instead of 4.  I was finding 4 days just a bit too much, but I can’t afford to retire completely, so 3 days seems like a good compromise.

Of course, the paycheck will now be based on only 3 days a week, but I’ve done the math and should bring home just enough to meet the monthly bills, and maybe still put a tiny bit into savings.  I’m ok with that.  Working 3 days and then having 4 days off should do wonders for my health and my attitude, wouldn’t you think?

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Meanwhile, may you all stay safe and healthy, and may Mother Nature be kind to you.


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Images by Cordelia’s Mom/TeddyRosalieStudio

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20 Responses to Cutting Down

  1. Dan Antion says:

    3 work and 4 play sounds like a good mix. As for the ads, they know who your husband is. It doesn’t matter where he does the search. They know it’s him and that he’s married to you. Those dots are permanently connected.


  2. Carol says:

    Sometimes it’s spooky when ads turn up for things you’ve thought about. Fewer days of work cannot help but be a good thing. As for improving my health and attitude, that’s not going to happen until we have a complete change in our government and people start using reason, logic, and thoughtfulness again.


  3. lbeth1950 says:

    We found we spend a lot less not working. Fewer lunches, less gas, fewer clothes purchases. No impulse shopping since it would be a special trip to town. Maybe it will work that way for you.


    • It’s pretty much been that way ever since the pandemic started (except for the work clothes, of course). That’s why I’m sure going to 3 days won’t make all that much difference in our household finances. The only real difference might be that I’ll have to start going to the library again instead of buying paperbacks on Amazon, but I understand the library has taken proper COVID precautions, and I’ll wear both mask and gloves there, then wipe the books down once I get home.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Good luck! Once you get into the new routine, it will become second nature and you’ll be fine! Enjoy your new ‘Me Time’.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Archon's Den says:

    I’m getting Frequent Flyer Miles from my library. When I walk in (suitably masked) a clerk will say, “Welcome back, Archon.” Praise be for their reservation system – go online, order a book and it gets delivered to my nearest branch in a couple of days. 🙂


    • I stopped going to the library when the pandemic hit because (i) gems and (ii) they were closed anyway. Since I’m still nervous about it, I’ll keep buying my books on Amazon as long as I can afford to (or until the virus disappears, whichever comes first). I then donate the books to a family member who also doesn’t want to go to the library, and she passes them on, and so forth.


  6. willowdot21 says:

    Yes it’s a fact our smart phones,Alexa, laptops all spy on us ….you are not going mad or bad 💜💜


  7. markbialczak says:

    Here’s one to add to your hmmmmmness, CM. My iPad bluetooth keyboard has been totally on the fritz, forcing me to rely on the onscreen touch. So last night I went online to purchase a replacement. This morning, the old keyboard is working perfectly. Yeah, right.


  8. Exactly why I will never have Alexa, Siri or any of those other eavesdropping devices in my house. 🙂 I can turn the tv on with the remote just fine by myself.

    Liked by 1 person

    • So long as yours isn’t a “smart” TV or a TV that can connect to the internet. Most recent TVs have internet capability, so they’re probably not safe. I seldom have the TV on, so I don’t worry about it.


  9. Barry says:

    It’s one reason why I only use open source software, including the operating system (linux), on my desktop and laptop machines. I avoid the google search engine and no longer have any social media account although I do use Zoom for Quaker Meetings and WhatsApp and Duo to connect with the family. With web browsers, I browse using private/anonymous windows where possible and disable third party cookies. Although I have a gmail account, it’s only purpose is to make it easier to maintain the phone in an up to date condition. It’s not used to communicate with anyone else.

    With such an arrangement I see no evidence of targeted advertising or target search results on either the laptop or desktop machines. I can’t say the same for the phone, even though it’s used primarily for SMS messaging. Big Brother Google is still watching…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, you’ve taken it all to a new level, Barry. I don’t worry a lot about the advertising, I simply find it annoying and sometimes a bit unnerving. But my life is so boring that it probably wouldn’t be all that bad if someone did listen in.


  10. Pingback: Looking Back | Cordelia's Mom, Still

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