Tag Archives: internet

Hotlinking is Bad…

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A hard lesson I learned by doing the wrong thing – most of the first several posts on my blog contained images linked directly to sites, mostly in Europe.¬† Very graphics heavy, they were. Now the graphics have almost completely disappeared due to moving servers, removal of images, whatever. After the first couple years, they started posting notices NOT to hotlink… I did eventually get the message, but not before I’d already filled bunches of posts with the hotlinked gifs. My bad.

I get to cry, and, if I care enough, go back and reconstitute the graphics in my blog entries.

So here is my dilemma – Is it worth my time? Would more people actually look at those entries? Is it worth it for the 6 of you who regularly check for my occasional spasms of blogging? Or do I do this solely for MY artistic satisfaction – which turns out to be the main reason I write this blog, anyway, given my broad readership base (OK, so maybe only one or 2 of you are broad. Get over it…)

Think think think.

(Momentary distraction by the 1980s Peter, Paul and Mary concert playing now in place of Antiques Road Show – how many weeks can they let this “festival” go on? I’m one who would gladly pay them to shorten the frickin’ things!!!)

I have reached a conclusion drawn on enlightened self-interest. It will be an appropriate discipline for my sins of the past to go back and do the things RIGHT. Not to mention a good example for the teenager I’m supposed to be teaching ūüėÄ

It was Time for a Change…

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Wait! It’s not PURPLE! So how can it be my blog?

I got very tired of the ribbons in my last WP theme covering my gravatar and anything else they pleased. The default font was wonky and made my sidebar look like pulled taffy.

I saw custom design and name your own domain packages, thought about site hosting, and looked at most of the fonts on type kit. Am I going to start a stand-alone eCommerce extravaganza to sell Nik’s photos and my junk? Do I want to spend hours messing with CSS and shopping carts and lay-out strategies? Am I going to waste money buying into the custom design “make all your own fancy fonts” thing?

No. Yawn. Next…

I’m more interested in saving money for a new travel adventure. Wanna go on another trip.¬† Or 2. Or more! Rome was just the beginning…

Have new doggeh to love on, too. Disa, the beautiful Finnish Lapphund who has blessed our lives!

I know the day is looming nearer when I’ll have to get all serious about my online sales again. Nik needs business experience and exposure for his art. I need to sell the vintage junk, uh, lovelies overflowing my house. Creativity must occur. Creativity must occur.

Creativity.

Creativity…

AHHKKK! ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† PZZZTTTT….

That was the sound of my brain shorting out.

We sprang forward today. There’s one less hour in the day and it’s almost gone…

So in the interest of time and abating a bit of my frustration, there’s a new theme. Pretty paisley, unadorned by any tweaks, headers or customizations.

And I still missed the end of the day. It’s tomorrow already…

Here are some more pics of Disa… Enjoy!

Hackers: 21st Century MacGyvers?

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There were SO many interesting and/or disturbing news stories¬† yesterday,¬† my brain nearly exploded when I contemplated blogging. No DREAM, Bev Perdue choppin’ away at the remnants of NC state government, good riddance “don’t ask, be a douche”, Republicans, Bev Perdue, Republicans…

I just couldn’t do it. I knew if I started, I’d be sucked so far into the blogosphere, they’d have to send a search party to get me to go to bed.

Instead, I read What Would MacGyver Do? by Brendan Vaughan, starting myself in another direction, which – as usual – came back to the very issues I was attempting to ignore… MacGyver is now part of our cultural heritage & English lexicon. Anyone capable of reading this bog ought to know what “to MacGyver” means. If you don’t, go look it up, or you’ll be a bit confused.

MacGyver burst on the scene only a couple of months before my daughter burst into the world. Since I was finishing my master’s thesis at the same time, naturally I spent plenty of time watching TV. A little 14″ cutie from a pawn shop, our TV kept me entertained on long Sunday afternoons, soothing me to sleep with football commentary. We’d actually bought it to play Atari, but … (slap face. get back on topic!) The series spanned a my new career, 2 children, a divorce & start of¬† medical school, so it swam in & out of my consciousness. Through the wonders of syndication, I could catch an old episode every now & then.

When I was a kid, I thought I wanted to be James Bond. Now I realize I would much rather have been more like MacGyver. ¬† Not only could he jury-rig himself out of almost any situation, he was also a truly good human being. What Would MacGyver Do? contained stories of real human beings improvising brilliant solution & saving themselves from the perils of arrest, embarrassment, angry spouses & heat stroke. (That whole drinking your pee thing makes me gag, but I’m sure I’d do it too if the circumstances were bad enough…) I was impressed by how imaginative deceptions people invent, but many of those are not in the good-hearted MacGyver spirit.. On the other hand, use of common sense, the tools at hand & basic scientific principles, in the face of other people wringing their hands or stomping around having temper tantrum, is what I consider truly MacGyverish.

When faced with an impending crisis, most people tend to react in one of 3 ways.¬† Most frequent & most familiar is the “OMG! Whatever will we do? We’re going to die! Or something horrible! Or at least have to put up with the running toilet for 4 days until the plumber comes!!!”. You can’t tell them anything; all they see is the sky falling & they must run & tell Farmer Brown. Now. Something has to be done now. Extremely short-term results oriented – they’d escape the chicken house, then get eaten by the fox.

There is also the “Whatever” denial group. Hearing some horrible crashing, grinding sound, these guys (yeah, usually guys) will poke their head up from whatever they’re doing. They’ll then look at their immediate surroundings, determine nothing can be touched, tasted, smelled or seen (yet), and promptly resume watching the 24th re-run of¬† “Whatever”.¬† Until they start roasting, they never know a B-52 crashed in their front yard, engulfing their entire neighborhood is in flames. Unobservant & immobile, these rock-like mules will never see or hear anything that they don’t already think they know or believe. Uh huh – read that one again!

Both OMG! & Whateverare maladaptive responses to fear: Fear of the unknown, the known, the might be, the what if & I might have to do something different.

In contrast to incompetent frenzied flapping chickens & self-centered¬† snoring ostriches, there is a third group. We’re the people who say “I’m sure we can figure something out…I don’t know quite how, but we’ll get through this…Whatever happens, I can handle it…Here, let me fix that toilet for you…”.¬† We’re the people who will spend 18 hours learning HTML by trying to figure out how to keep the funky script from appearing on our (pre-made) template on website x, when it worked fine on y. Having taught themselves before they were 14 to repair toilets & re-wire the Christmas lights (sometimes out of self-defense), they think – high school dropouts can do this, so can I. We know never, ever leave home without duct tape, rope, a knife and – of course – a wire clothes hanger. (Yes, that’s all based on personal experience…)

I’ve noticed there are several characteristics that set the “MacGyvers” apart. One is a sense of competence, of one’s self as a competent human being. It’s important to believe you will be able to handle whatever comes your way, including failure. Another is the ability to pause & evaluate the situation, before doing anything else. I mean really evaluate the situation & environment, making as few assumptions as possible, only as reasonable extrapolations of what you know. Willness to admit you don’t know, to be wrong, to ask for help when appropriate – these are all MacGyverish characteristics. A big helping of (un)common sense, a basic understanding of the physical world & knowing what you don’t know is needed, too.

Here’s where it comes full circle. I see state, national & international governments being shredded by the tug-of-war between the OMG! & Whatever factions.¬† Various groups take turns playing those roles in different situations. Currently, as US is over-run by squawking Democrats & Republican rocks, Obama has been trying to MacGyver the government. Unfortunately, there’s too much chaos & volume to accurately assess the situation, much less to expect to implement any brilliant solutions. Mr. Obama’s willingness to “be wrong” has made him a target of ridicule, instead of admiration.¬† Most Western politicians have been squawking about wikileaks, but the US is screeching most loudly. I believe it was the Israelis who made a comment about the US being so busy reacting to wikileaks that they didn’t have time to have talks. Not, I think, an admirable face to show the international community, eh?

Meanwhile, there are some MacGyvers in the international community, but they don’t belong to a government or any particular political ideology. They are the hackers, the new “freedom fighters”, the ones who say – it’s out there, I’ll find it… this shouldn’t be hiding under a rock, let me shine some light in there…¬†¬† They have networks of resources, contingency plans, others who’ll get their back, and, above all, confidence. Often mistaken for arrogance, confidence is more self-understanding than self-glorification.

I see this in Julian Assange. He is confident that he has taken the best course. He understands he’s not the only or even most important part of the wikileaks movement anymore & has been quite willing to let it be so. He used his resources, took time to consider his actions and turned himself in to the British in a quite calculated move.

In many ways, I identify with JA. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd unquestioningly. Somehow, I know, like me, he’d never settle for “because that’s the way we’ve always done it”. Like JA’s mother, I’m working hard to make certain my home-schooled son doesn’t develop an unhealthy respect for ‘authority’!!

Why can’t I actually get anything done?

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Photos. I’ve got photos. Stuff. Lots of stuff. Want to list stuff on Bonanzle. So what am I doing? Blogging. Chatting. Answering & beginning topics in groups, forums & discussions. Taking stupid quizzes on facebook. Making Bonanzle hand-picked lists. Fooling with widgets. Looking at my piles of stuff.

Like a potted plant. Clearly I need a kick in the pants!!! Or watering.  Or maybe a vacation??


Well, Hurray!! We’re finally getting a vacation. Up in the mountains. Where the boys can mine gems. And play in a video game room. We’ll bring home lots more useless rocks. Sigh.

It’s my idea of a vacation too. Time Share. Comfy beds. AC and Microwave. Cool mountains. Way up where cell phones don’t work.¬† I think there is wireless Internet. (hehehe) I have to have something to do while the boys are wasting time in the game room!


Meanwhile, I want to get as much listed in my on-line stores as possible.

I want to sleep too …. ¬† No. Not really. I just wanted a chance to use that cartoon. My cat’s named Chuck anyway….


But wait! Don’t you have a day job? Oh, yeah. That’s still hanging around. Seeing a few patients. Having to write summaries for other docs. Answering phone calls from patients panicked because they’re afraid they can’t function without me. And one of my favorite ladies is dying.

Not getting things done there either.

So – nose to the grindstone- LIST! No, I didn’t say “Do the Funky Chicken”. That’s Nik’s dance!


Here are the 3 Vintage 9″ Thomas Dam troll dolls I managed to get up on my Bonanzle store,¬† Dragonmum’s Fabrics Fibers and Fun:

The 2 boys are from the 1960s, Nightgown Lady is 1977.

Maybe I’ll get more done tonight.

After the Antiques Road Show.

Texting & Facebook & Twitter OH MY!

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OK, I’ve done it. Have a facebook page. Opened a twitter account. Sigh. Dragged into the 21st century by friends, The Vintage Village and the need for any one who wants their on-line business to flourish to be socially networked.¬† So sad. I now have FB & Twitter links on the side-bar… ARRGGHHH!!!¬† Now I’m connected to the whole world and they all know my name. Hubby wouldn’t like it if he knew. Since he doesn’t care or want to know anything I’m doing on-line, guess I’m safe.


Meanwhile, I’ve been listing even more fun summer jewelry on Dragonmum’s Vintage Valuables.¬† Here are some of the colorful pieces:


These little enamel monkeys are some of the funniest earrings I’ve ever seen. The seashells have screw-backs; they were my mother’s.

I love these sparkly orange molded clips. This colorful shell necklace actually coordinates with them.

Here is another necklace & earrings that coordinate well…

These fish would also go with that necklace swimmingly well!

And here are some pretties for the 4th of July spirit.

Also, don’t forget the ugly ties on Dragonmum’s Wears. All the guys on KNOTs ( Kollectors of Nasty Old Ties) need to know – these are real “ugly beauties”! Go figure. People will collect almost anything….

I hope they collect mine!!

The Internet…it’s not just for entertainment anymore!

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Sunday Morning, I was reading an article in my daily NY Times on-line technology Bits section about “how many many web services can one person use?”.¬† They were really talking about web apps and social networking sites.¬† There were bunches of comments about how people use these sites, and how many they feel is enough, or too much – Great!¬† To the Point! – OH, Wait! What’s this? A comment who’s 1st line says “the vast majority of the uses of the internet are entertainment…”

To be fair, here is the entire comment (as written, completely un-edited by me despite the tremendous temptation):

The vast majority of the uses of the internet are entertainment…

With the financial crises the easy money is gone and a significant percentage of these entertainment services will not find enough dollars to pay for their bandwidth within just a few months…

In fact much of what passes for popular culture is under financial stress and will not survive the coming financial storms… When people start missing on paying the rent, they will not be keeping high speed internet and an I-phone under contract…

Another issue is the ‚Äėgrownup‚Äô who uses the net‚Ķ I am one of those old folks who is actually competent with a PC‚Ķ I was writing machine language code before most of the facebookers were born‚Ķ While I use computers heavily every day for a number of things, some of them quite technical and arcane to the average web dweller, none of what I do is on a social network‚Ķ I have enough friends, thank you‚Ķ I am not looking for groupies to go get stoned with‚Ķ I am not cruising for casual sex‚Ķ I don‚Äôt have an avator‚Ķ And I am not gaming with 12 year olds from Australia and Japan‚Ķ I have disposable income‚Ķ Best be that the internet businesses pay more attention to folks like us than they have as we continue to spend, even during financial hard times‚Ķ

Dr. O

Now, you know this set me off! What rock did he crawl out from under???¬† What planet does he think the internet comes from?¬† The Planet of the Porn King? or the Valley Girls??? Has he ANY clue what the ‘net is about?¬† Sounds like he’s never tried to shop on-line (like with OnlineAuction.com – the true face of Cyber Independence!!)¬† or even find a support group for “elderly neanderthal brained techy snobs”.

So, as ususal in these cases (yeah, this happens now and again, seemingly with ever increasing frequency…) I spend way (and I do mean WAY) too much time Sunday crafting a relatively cogent rebuttal of his little tirade – the Bits editors must have thought it was appropriate and coherent, because they published all of it.

Here is my rebuttal to Dr O Butthead (With apologies to you other Buttheads who don’t share these opinions and don’t wish to be identified with Dr Butthead’s comments):

I believe Dr. O has totally missed the boat. Daily, plenty of us “grown ups” are here on the ‘net for eCommerce, business, communication, & information. I’m not sure where he got the idea that “the vast majority of the uses of the internet are entertainment”, but I beg to differ. Looking “for casual sex” or “gaming with 12 year olds” – WHAT???. In our house, my 78 yo retired pastor father does genealogical reseach, home-schooled 12 yo son has a vast world-wide library of knowledge (no gaming), and husband monitors bank balances & bills, researches new cars, medical info & computer-based CME. At college, 21 yo son is a pragmatic ‘net user; IM allows group conversations while doing technical computer work.

In my practice, I look up drug & diagnostic data, patient education info & referrals, plus business email, CME & participating in Sermo, problem solving networking site. Most docs use electronic billing; soon MC/MC will require on-line medical records for provider sharing. My cell phone is critical; I don’t use an office land-line & am almost always on-call.

I’m partly disabled & use “couch” time for my on-line business: HTML app programming, listing, cross promoting, networking,¬† …it’s known as “viral marketing”, the new face of eCommerce. With 3 Stores, a blog, personal web site, RSS feeds, the social site kaboodle is just another marketing tool. I have real friends with similar talents, background & interests on-line; we support each other, cover each other when we’re sick, & have great conversations about anything & everything. It is a small group, but they are as “real” as my local friends; plus I can keep contact with face-to-face friends if I’m too sick to socialize.

Computer maintanance requires a knowledge of underlying processes & structure plus lots of visits to tech sites for fixes & patches. Dr O grossly underestimates the tech knowledge of “the average web dweller”. Access to high-speed internet can be as low as $8/mo in places. People aren’t going to give it up when money gets tight; they’ll use it to buy essentials cheaply.Even homeless people can go to the library and use the ‘net.

My background is “computer rich”: fortran with punch cards in college, graduate thesis on Apple II while pregnant with my 1st child, & work as an information professional & database programmer. But “the next generation” has us baby boomers beat.That 1st child had computers in kindegarten & got her 1st pc when she was six. Today 3 pcs and 2 LTs in the house for 5 computer users, (& in their apts, daughter has PC & mac, older son has PC) and all our peripherals: iPod syncs with¬† iTunes, cell phones access the web, web cam and digital camera provide almost instantaneous sources of video, 160 gB external drive holds millions of megapixals for photo storage.

At 24, my daughter is tech-savvier than any of us. She has a complex web site, etsy store, pod cast, & a presence in a virtual world. Drawing on her art tablet & IM are like breathing. She’s fluent in HTML, Java and who knows what else. She’s made great friends, male & female, all over the world; she gets to meet some at anime/sci-fi cons. (I’ve met several). At her science & math HS, she learned vidio editing/production; has produced several anime/music videos. She’s not a “computer potato” she’s a forester! She handles “high tech” aspects – training techs in the field to take GPS data from timeberlands, collating data, mapping, presenting data to corporate clients. Next year she’s going to school in environmental law, forestry & public policy. She uses NO social networking sites; she used the word “despise”.

Dr O, I hope I’ve shed some light on how a huge number of people are using the ‘net.¬† Social networking sites are only one phenomenon in a complex on-line world.¬† Like other web apps, survival of the fittest will prevail.¬† The ones that are the most useful will survive.¬† The silly ones will fade as their users out-grow them.

Probably make¬† no difference at all to Dr O.¬† For all I know, he printed it out and used it to line a bird cage – if he even bothered to go back and read any more comments – he sounds like a guy who doesn’t want to be confused by the facts….¬† But I sure felt better knowing that, some where some place, someone might actually read my comment and say “Boy, is she right or what???”

(and then share it with their FaceBook, Digg, Twittr, Stumble, MySpace, etc etc friends

and I’ll be famous!¬† BAWAAHAAHAHAHA!)

Oh, Um, Sorry.  Tried to keep that in. Nevermind.

LOLz need “mediafication”!

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“Scary Mother”…that’s what Wonderboy calls me when he thinks I’m…

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“Gosh! Stop calling me Wonderboy!”

…So what DO you want me to call you?

“Nik…or the intergalactic awesomafier.”

How is that better than “Wonderboy”?

“I made it up and it doesn’t make me sound like some washed-up DC Comics hero wearing underpants.”

OK. Fair enough. Nik it is.

“You can still call me Wonderboy if you want to….if you do it behind my back and if I don’t know about it.”

Anyway, he was calling me “Scary Mommy” because I used his neologism “mediafication“. Isn’t that a derivation of “to mediafy”?

New word. Definition: To bring [x] into the minds of the public through the conversion to another medium and/or placement in/on another medium. Related words: “multiple mediafication” – to convert to multiple media.

The purpose of mediafication is usually to make something famous or infamous by exposing it to larger portions of the population.

Thus, Nik believes his (our) LOLz need mediafication.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with LOLz (Funny captioned photos), Check out the LOLcats on: icanhascheezeburger.com

We need to mediafy our LOLz so all you wonderful blog readers in interwebs land can click on them and vote for our “cheeseburgers”. You can also comment on them and paste/link them to your blogs etc. If you think these guys are funny, pass it on and vote for us!!!

Here we go!! Enjoy and vote….

The mediafication begins!!!

(Nik says “Vote for mine vote for mine vote for mine” Has taken medsin. Rhly.)

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Dragonmum LOL, Nik Pic


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Ever ting tase lik chiken. Has flavors.


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