David Ancell's Virtual Home

My First Impressions of Fiverr

  /   Tuesday, September 27, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I’ve now been a seller doing voice over on Fiverr for a couple of months now. Business has been rather slow, but I have gotten a little business and great ratings for the jobs I’ve done. There are people saying good things about the platform and others who positively hate it. For the most part, I like it, but there are some things I wish it had. Oh, and if you want to hire me, click here. I even have a gig on there with reduced prices for Catholic projects.

The site is set up well for the most part, with a place to put the relevant information as to just what it is you are selling. It took me some time to find where to enter the FAQ, though. Otherwise, I think I got everything filled out right away. However, getting back to my gigs to do an edit is a pain.

I got my first two orders within a couple of weeks of starting my profile. At first, I was a bit nervous. One was an accomplished voice over artist needing me to play the part of a caller to a radio station. The second was someone who had been buying on Fiverr for years and ordered the voice over for the 988 public service announcement. Both turned out to be great people to work with. My third order was from a student needing a voice over for a video for her portfolio. That was fun, too, and the young lady was nice enough to send me a video clip of what she made using my voice. I loved it!

There have been some, well, rather interesting characters that I’ve dealt with also. One of them was offering $10 for a 1700 word script with the possibility of ongoing work. Another wanted to pay $1 per script for scripts ranging from 3 – 10 minutes long. I realize that I’m going to be working for lower rates until I establish myself, but me working for those rates is just not going to happen.

From what I understood getting into Fiverr, they seem to have an expectation that both buyer and seller will conform to the terms that were communicated in the gig description (A “gig” is basically their term for each service you list for sale.). When I started, I wondered how well they would really uphold that and whether they would be fair. I will say that their support has been good and responsive when I’ve needed them.

Someone who obviously didn’t read my offering placed an order on my phone menu gig for a narration of his YouTube video. Although my gig description says that I don’t do profanity, but the very first sentence of the script contained the s*** word. I reached out to cancel right away, and later I reached out to support asking that they not count the cancellation against my stats. The support person agreed and took it off my stats because the person “did not read my description and ordered a service that I do not offer.” Oh, and if people give you problems, you can block them.

Now, there are a couple of features I really wish the site had. The biggest feature I want is the ability to accept or reject an order placed directly from my order page. I am simply not going to voice anything in violation of my Catholic faith. I’m not voicing scripts for questionable “make $1 million working 15 minutes a day” schemes. Being a health care professional, I don’t want my voice used to promote questionable health care products. I also need to avoid anything that would constitute a conflict of interest with my full time employer. Having to list this in my gig description means that I have to use a sizable block of space talking about what I won’t do, and I’d prefer not to have to do this.

The other feature I’d like to have is a kind of variable delivery commitment time. I’ve made the decision not to do voice over on Sunday. Because of this, I’ve had to put my delivery commitment as three days even though every project that I’ve done had been delivered sooner than that. The site counts an exact 72 hours once the clock starts. I’d like to be able to configure it to show a two day time not counting Sunday or something like that. Maybe it could also include some kind of “office hours” feature that shows I’m not available on Sunday. Some of us our just not going to be into the hustle culture, especially since I have a family.

Fiverr is giving me a great opportunity to do something I’ve thought about for years but never was able to start before. Time will tell if the platform will have respect for the fact that I won’t do anything in violation of my Catholic faith. As of now, I’m enjoying being on the platform and hope to gain some great experience in voice over and earn a bit of extra money as well. And, really, I want to get a good Catholic project that will allow me to do more to evangelize through media.

Category: News on My Life


Working with a Christian Worldview

  /   Saturday, September 17, 2022   /   Comments(0)

In my last post, I made some brief comments about “quiet quitting” (which I think is an odd term). I’ve read a number of posts about how some people are quietly quitting and what it means (and it varies a bit). I’ve also read and listened to others who are arguing against the practice. It seems that most of those who were attacking the practice were actually attacking a straw man and not what many of the proponents of “quiet quitting” were actually doing.

For a Catholic like me, this presents an opportunity to really reflect on the meaning and purpose of work and how I should approach my work. The truth is that work is essential, and everyone needs to do his fair share. If no one worked, there would be no farmers to produce food. There wouldn’t be builders to build houses. There wouldn’t be doctors to provide needed health care. We just don’t survive without work.

As a matter of justice, we need to do a full day’s work when we receive a full day’s pay. Christian charity demands that we work with a view towards meeting the needs of our employers and our customers. Working as a Christian means that our work is more than just transactional. We aim to serve and to do good for others as best as we can.

With this being said, much of the trend towards “quiet quitting” needs to be understood as a reaction, often righteous, to what was called the “hustle culture.” The term “hustle culture” simply means having to pretty much always be working. It’s true that there may be cases where someone has to work ridiculous hours for a period of time. For example, a rescue worker during a disaster may not be able to just stop working without leaving people in danger.

However, in most cases, work is becoming an idol, either to the employer or the employee (or both). I remember reading some articles on some career site that suggested the need to hide from the employer the fact that you stop working to attend your son’s baseball game. This is truly unhealthy, and any employer who has that kind of attitude doesn’t deserve its employees. It is absolutely immoral for an employer to consume a disproportionate share of the employee’s time and energy that needs to be devoted to his family.

Work has a proper place in life that should neither be diminished nor exaggerated. Many of the “quiet quitters” are reporting not that they’ve stopped trying to do a good job but that they’ve realized that there is more to life than work. People just want to be able, and should be able, to live their lives. Leisure is an important part of life. I was absolutely not surprised to find out that many people who decided to realize that now believe themselves to be more productive in their work. I’m betting that more of them are.

Most importantly, rest is actually commanded by God. God gave the Sabbath to the Jewish people, and now Christians celebrate it on Sunday. God commands us to cease from our labor most of all to worship. This is because, ultimately, we all belong to God himself.

Category: Response, Uncategorized


Quiet Quitting?

  /   Wednesday, August 31, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I’m seeing a lot in the news about “quiet quitting” one’s job. The strangest part is that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of agreement on what it means. Some people are doing reasonable things; others are really not.

As Christians, we realize our work is a sharing in God’s creation. Often, people depend on our work, and it’s important to do it well. We must work for love of God.

However, there are real limits to how much we should work. I’ve never understood why career and work were supposed to be the primary means of fulfillment for everyone. When that happens, work ends up becoming more than it should be. There are definite boundaries that need to be set both on how much we work and what we should take responsibility for. The balance is highly variable, and I wouldn’t claim to be able to give specific guidance.

Category: Uncategorized


Voice Over Work

  /   Monday, August 22, 2022   /   Comments(0)

Lately, I’ve decided to do a some voice over work on Fiverr in my spare time (no plans to quit my day job, though), and I may expand to other platforms in the future.  I was honored to be able to voice this public service announcement for the 988 National Mental Health Hotline.  I really hope this new hotline makes it easier for anyone in need to get help, and I am praying for all who need it, especially those who will see or hear this.

Click this link to see the video.

If anyone is interested in having me do some voice over for them, click here to go to my profile.  I have set up a gig for general voice over and for outgoing phone messaging, and I also have a “gig” (Fiverr’s term for each offering) with special pricing for specifically Catholic projects (but if you are an organization of which I am a part, please just contact me).  Note that I will only work on projects that are in conformity with my Catholic faith.  I want to support good, honest businesses or causes that need a voice.  More details are on the gig pages.

Category: News on My Life


Dictatorship of Relativism

  /   Sunday, July 31, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I remember then-Cardinal Ratzinger in 2005 cautioning against a “dictatorship of relativism.” I thought I knew what he meant then. However, it’s far worse now. This comes to me after having just been at the Defending the Faith Conference at Franciscan University of Steubenville. If you haven’t been, I highly recommend it.

Those who are knowledgeable about the Catholic faith understand that we know that faith and human reason are not by nature opposed to each other. God is not arbitrary. He is truth and love itself. If someone asks you whether something is good because God says it is or if God says something is good because it is good, the answer is neither. God is neither arbitrary, nor is there a standard above him to which he conforms. The goodness is his very nature.

Relativism has been around for a long time now. However, it has more recently become more of a dictatorship that one could ever imagine. Our secular society is moving in a direction in which someone can declare their own truth, and it is true for them even if it is completely out of touch with reality. Even in the past, people were looked down upon if they insisted on an objective truth. The thing that makes this more of a dictatorship is that now one can be ostracized for so much as questioning someone else’s view of reality, especially regarding matters of sexuality.

People involved in the dictatorship won’t even engage others who disagree. If they come to speak somewhere, they shout him down with nothing but emotionally laden statements. They won’t engage in reasoned debate. They won’t make their case. This has been going on before to an extent, but now it has reached dictatorship status.

This presents a very unique situation in trying to explain and defend the Catholic faith. It’s going to take a lot of praying to change hearts. I think we have to start with restoring the very idea of having a reasoned debate. We have to be able to show it’s reasonable to belief the Catholic Faith, and there is a basis for it. We can substantiate what we believe simply on the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Category: Response


The Missing Link on Abortion

  /   Wednesday, July 27, 2022   /   Comments(0)

On the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, we were given a great gift from God. Roe vs Wade and subsequent bad decisions were overturned by the Supreme Court. We know this is just one step, albeit a very large one, in the fight to end abortion. There is a lot of work to do.

A lot has been written in the days leading up to the decision (thanks to the leaked draft) and after the decision. I can’t tell you how many left leaning articles I read talking about how lives will be totally ruined by this decision. I’ve also read a number of articles about how we are going to need to be ready to care for a lot of these babies if abortion is illegal. Well, we do need to be ready to care for both mothers and babies and to show that life doesn’t end with pregnancy, but there’s something missing from both sides here.

It’s very important that we as Catholics are willing to preach the authentic truth about human sexuality and to preach it as a positive good. We want to help bring God’s mercy on those who have fallen into sin, but even then, we need to help them to know the truth that will se them free. There are two false views of human sexuality that have caused serious problems in society which I will call the puritanical view and the libertine view. As with anything in the spiritual life, the truth lies between these two extremes.

Although it’s much less popular in our day and age, I think it’s important to reflect a bit on the puritanical view of human sexuality. I don’t know the exact view of the Puritans here, but I use this term because of the popular notion that the Puritans viewed all pleasure as at least suspect, if not downright sinful. Many in society may think this is the true Christian view of sex, and many trying to live a holy life are influenced in some way by it. Sex is often viewed as dirty or shameful in this view. You can do it when you are married, but it’s more of a concession to us dirty, rotten people.

This view is sometimes part of a larger view of life, mentioned above, that enjoyment of any kind is sinful. We need to simply never enjoy anything in this life. That has to be saved for Heaven. However, I have never understood how anyone would be happy forever in constant presence of a God who is a complete killjoy. Really, how is that supposed to work?

More common in today’s society is a libertine view, or at least a view that leans in that direction. In many cases, it may just be a reaction to the Puritanical view. This view suggests that sex is just a recreational activity. Everyone has a right to use and enjoy their sexuality and even determine it’s meaning in their own lives. People holding a libertine view believe they should be able to do what they want and be able to determine what the consequences and even what other people’s reactions will be. If it feels good, do it, except for one thing . . .

The one thing the libertines do get right is that to engage in sexual acts without consent is a crime of violence. However, unlike a true Christian view of sex, their views on sexuality tend to weaken their case. They are holding a view that sex is a recreational activity but simultaneously saying that engaging in it without consent is a huge violation of another’s body. It isn’t completely incongruent, but it probably does bear some responsibility for the rise in sexual assault that we see in our society. Really, the bottom line that the libertines completely miss is that consent is an extremely low standard.

Instead of either of the above, we need to foster the development of an authentic view of the human person which leads to the authentic view of human sexuality. Unlike the puritanical view, sex is not dirty or shameful but holy. Unlike the libertine view, sex is not just a pure fun activity but a sacred bond between husband and wife to be treated with reverence. Our bodies are not toys to be played with, and the meaning and consequences of our actions are not ours to determine.

On a purely natural level, we can see that sex is holy by the natural effect it has. By it, a man and a woman cooperate with God in the creation of new human life. This does not happen every time, but deliberately trying to prevent it while still engaging in the act is not giving our sexuality the reverence it is due. We know by the fact that a child needs years of care to be able to grow and develop that a stable commitment is needed. Therefore, the act that brought forth this child needs to be engaged in only when there is the commitment between the man and woman suitable for this, which is marriage.

However, we are not animals that simply “reproduce,” which is why talking about “reproductive freedom” is ridiculous. On a supernatural view, human sexuality is an imperfect image of the love and unity within the Holy Trinity. The husband and wife give themselves unreservedly to each other, and sexuality is the expression of this self giving. This is an even greater reason why husband and wife need to treat their bond with great reverence. God is love, and God is one God in three persons, just as a marriage consists of a man and a woman, who by their love will often bring forth a third (a child).

Is this unrealistic? No, it’s not, but we have work to do. The very intemperance towards sexuality (and also other pleasures) in our society has served to weaken our character. This, in turn, leads to more using of other people for our own pleasure. By recognizing what God has given us in the gift of our sexuality, we can approach it with the reverence, and therefor self control, needed to give us that strength of character that is needed to truly love as God loves. This will eliminate even the very idea of needing “reproductive freedom” as we will view the child not as a curse but as a gift of God given from a married couple’s total self gift to each other.

Category: Morality, Spirituality


Just a Few Thoughts

  /   Thursday, June 30, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I have just a few moments tonight, but I can’t help but really be happy about much of the new directions that the Supreme Court has taken. It’s interesting to read some of the media stories that are coming out of the “mainstream” media.  We knew something hadn’t been quite right for a long time, but now they are really showing their stripes.

I just love reading stories that refer to the court as “out of touch.”  The only thing the court really is supposed to be in touch with is the text of the law and the Constitution.  We have had too much trouble with court imposing their own opinions instead of upholding rule of law.

In fact, people with an agenda really need to try to convince others and go through the legislative process instead of trying to ram stuff through the courts.  If you can’t get the support to do that, then your agenda won’t pass.  This is truly what a democracy is.

Category: Social Commentary


Hopefully the Start of the Turning of a Tide

  /   Tuesday, June 21, 2022   /   Comments(0)

I was pretty hopeful hearing of this Supreme Court ruling. The state of Maine had a program that gave parents money for private school tuition in places where there were not public schools available. However, they prohibited the use of these funds for schools that were religious in nature. Someday, I hope to see the end of the idea that the First Amendment was intended to mean that any religious idea or organization is to be excluded from public life.

This decision really doesn’t directly give an edge to faith-based schools. This may be what happens in practice, but it is based solely on the decision of the parents receiving the funding. If Maine wants to give money for school tuition where needed, the Supreme Court decision means that faith-based schools are to be treated on an equal basis with other schools. If they favored only the Baptists or the Methodists, then they’d be favoring a particular religion, and we’d have a constitutional argument. Religion is not and should not be some special category that is verboten, nor should it be discriminated against. It’s interesting that Sonia Sotomayor cites in her dissent a constitutional commitment to separation of church and state when the words aren’t in the Constitution.

What is this all about? Well, in the above article, the state of Maine argued that they wanted education to be something that was education in a “religiously neutral manner” and also “exposes children to different viewpoints and promotes tolerance and acceptance.” Are these anti-religious statements in disguise? They might be, but I do not know. However, I do believe they are a usurpation of parental authority in the education of their children. Education is ultimately the purview of the parents, not the state.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the state will not have some say in the development of educational standards and of what should legally constitute a school. There are things kids need to learn to be able to function in society. Also, we wouldn’t want a “school” that was established solely to encourage children to be violent revolutionaries or something that like. How much authority should the state have? Well, I think that’s up for debate, and I don’t have a clear answer. However, parents do have the right to pass their faith along to their children and to expect their choice of school to respect that. Hopefully, this recent Supreme Court decision is a step in this direction.

Category: Response


Are These Fake Construction Zones?

  /   Tuesday, May 31, 2022   /   Comments(0)

With all the heavier stuff in the news, I wanted to write about something lighter. My family and I took a trip last weekend, and in a certain state I will not name, I noticed a trend. There were miles of road that had a reduced speed limit because of “road construction.”

However, all I saw were a bunch of orange barrels on each side of the interstate with absolutely no other evidence that any work was being done on the road. Could these be some kind of fundraiser where they just reduce the speed limit so they can charge higher fines when they bust someone? I wonder if there has been or will be a court case where someone will challenge a construction zone in court claiming that there was no sign of actual construction for miles.

It kind of reminds me of a case of what I call a “fundraiser fire hydrant.” An entity will have a fire hydrant that has not worked in years. However, they will still issue citations if anyone parks next to it, and that seems to be the only purpose it serves.

These are all just thoughts that came to me while I was traveling.

Category: Uncategorized


Ongoing Formation

  /   Sunday, May 15, 2022   /   Comment(1)

Summer is almost upon us, and with that, I thought I’d share a great resource for Catholics looking for additional formation in the Faith.  I learned about this because one of the featured lectures was part of our formation program to become a lay Dominican, where my wife and I made temporary promises on May 7th.

Anyway, check out the Institute of Catholic Culture.  There are a lot of lectures, events, and even full semester-length courses to choose from.  Best of all, it’s all free (but do donate if you can).  I’m currently enrolled in a Catholic Bioethics live course.  As someone working in health care, it’s vitally important to understand issues regarding human life from the teachings of the Church.

The bioethics course registration is closed, but there are other classes to choose from.  Some will open up for a live online course at a certain time.  Others are self-paced.  The main thing I don’t like is that I can’t find a way to bookmark stuff that I want to listen to.  I like to keep a list of what I plan to listen to.  I’m hoping to dive into some more material on this site as I’m able.

Category: Cathechesis, Catholic


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