Sunday, February 11, 2018

Erasing History

The girls have long thought it odd their photos could be found on the internet. At one time, they asked me to stop sharing them. Seems fair enough, given that it's their beautiful mugs that are shared. That's no small part of why you've heard a lot less from us here. Posts without pictures are, well, informative, but not nearly as fun to read. Photos break up the black-and-white page, add color, add depth to the stories. But their request makes even more sense now that we see images ripped from the internet, turned into memes with long lives sending messages those pictured most likely don't support.

So, I've been going through the task, removing the girls' images from the internet. It's been a lot more painful that you might think. It's like burning a scrapbook, erasing history. I think I die a little inside with each click of the "remove" button. Sure, I'll continue scrapbooking offline. The girls have always enjoyed looking back at those books in their down time. Sure, the words are still out there, but the images make the page.

I love my girls, believe them to be smart and beautiful and fun, want to share them with the world. But it's not my place to put it all out there for some company to capitalize upon, some jokester to manipulate.  Thank you for sharing in their early years, our adventures, their images. Thank you for the kind comments, the recommendations, the love.

I'd like to use this space to continue sharing the knowledge I've gained over this nearly half century on the planet: traveling, gardening, horse stuff, kid stuff, homeschooling info, publishing, parenting, building and rebuilding. I'm sure I'll post now and again. But with Big Internet controlling content, controlling who can and who cannot make a buck for their efforts (it seems Jackasses and Ridiculousness is in; actual information is out), I've continued to focus on outlets that help support our family's need to cover the cost of hay, veterinarians, car insurance, groceries, and soon, college tuition and related expenses.

Thanks for coming along for the ride. I hope to see you all in person somewhere along the road of life. Meanwhile, hug your own, keep your memories alive through whatever journaling method works best for you and yours, and stay safe out there.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Dear Google - Am I Such a Horrible Person?

Dear Google - It has been about two years since you banned my AdSense account, me, my website, my blog, anything ever associated with me in past, present or future, from using you to monetize my blogs. With 55,673 page views, those tedious little ads could have helped us cover some costs around here - classes for the kids, animal feed, groceries, gas. But, no. Any attempt to use AdSense is impossible.

I'd sure like you to reconsider. I've stopped blogging quite so much. Instead, I'm writing for newspapers and others who pay me for my service, but I do miss writing in my own style on subjects that interest me most. I miss sharing the information in which I'm gained some expertise, but I also have to balance my time between sharing information freely in this time of free information with covering costs here at home. Free information sharing doesn't pay the bills, or even buy a tutu.

I'll never know what caused this ban. You won't tell people. You won't even give us hints, per your website: "Because we have a need to protect our proprietary detection system, we're unable to provide our publishers with any information about their account activity, including any web pages, users, or third-party services that might have been involved." Was it the offensive nature of this blog, which typically features posts about family travel (where we go, how we get there and how other families can hit the road), tips for getting out and about locally (I have a bit of expertise on the Central Coast), pointers for homeschoolers, and the occasional rant about parenting or politics? Funny...When I was banned, I turned off my safe search mode when the kids were sleeping, entered some R-rated terminology and came up with some pretty messed up sites on which AdWords were floating.

At the time, one of the potential reasons I found was "placing ads in iFrames." So I went to my blogger page to read the HTML. And you know what I found? iFrames! Were my ads placed in iFrames? Probably. Because that was what Blogger used at the time, it seems. (I still don't even know what the heck an iFrame is.) So, perhaps we had a coding glitch. But who codes Blogger? Ummm...isn't this a Google property?

I've delayed posting this public letter because I fear repercussion. You do, after all, own the service which has provided me a channel for sharing my voice. Perhaps you'll take the blog down altogether. That would be a shame.

Instead, I hope someday you'll forgive me for whatever my foible was; perhaps even SHARE with me so I don't make the same mistake again.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Lessons in Light

It all started out with a simple lesson in light, variable shutter speeds, painting with light, and camera movement. With their 4-H friends, they started with a lesson in panning - moving the camera to catch the action with just the right shutter speed, but with a blurred background. Then they moved on to painting with light - illuminating a car, then a tree, with the only flashlights we could find that evening.

Then the 4-H kids headed home, but the Best girls were still into it. Night owls that they are (not hard to do when it gets dark at 4:30), they took off with the project, playing with shutter speed, blur and light inside before dressing up to head outside where they developed a story in ghostly images. Can you make it out?

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