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2007 September

what is going on?

September 29, 2007

(Updated below)

I have had a few emails asking me about the watermarks. One “funny” one that asked if I thought I was such a great photographer now with my new fancy camera that I had to put marks on them so no one would steal them. Yes! That is exactly it!

I forget sometimes that not everyone uses flickr.

stolen from flickr

Stolen and on orkut

This past week it became evident that people from a website called Orkut were stealing photos of children, many many photos, and creating fake profiles using the children’s photos. The process to have the photos removed was ridiculously arduous. My daughter had two profiles. I filled out the report abuse form no less than 2 dozen times with NO response. As of last night all but one photo was removed. I filled out yet another abuse form demanding that my daughter’s “profile” be removed.

I harbor no illusions that the internet is filled with rainbows and unicorns. This is not the first time my photos have been taken. In the past two weeks alone I know two people who have had their photos used on websites without their permission. Let me make this clear, this is not about pedophilia. This is about copyright infringement. I do not have a creative commons license on any of my photos. They are mine mine mine and taking them without permission is illegal.

Putting a watermark on the photos means people will be more apt to pass up the photo. Unless they have mad photo shopping skills and really want the photo.

The two examples I have above are screen shots of the webpages. This is how people steal photos. If they aren’t watermarked they now have the photo and can do with it whatever they want. There is no skill involved.

So now, how to watermark the photo. If you scroll through my recent photos you will see in the comment section that I had no idea how to do it either. I could write on my photos using an old Paint Shop Pro program, but I didn’t know how to change the opacity of the text.

In my comments on this photo, Andi left this link to a website that explains how to do this:

http://www.elated.com/articles/introduction-to-layers/

You will need some sort of photo editing software. There might be some programs available online for free download. if anyone knows of any feel free to leave a link in the comments.

Finally, I am in the process of turning most of my photos over to friends and family on flickr. If you want to be marked as a friend you need a flickr account. It is easy enough to set up. I can not add you unless you have an account of your own.

And now I must go spend my afternoon at the baseball field. Though with my new camera I am looking forward to it. Sort of.

Update:
A number of people have asked how to find out if their child is on Orkut. The easiest thing to tell you is to join this flickr group and a) search for your user name, though you would probably already know if someone had specifically identified your child, and then b) click on one of the links for one of the other kids and check out the photos in that profile. Then check out their contacts. Then their contacts. Then their contacts. Until you feel satisfied.

Posted by Chris @ 9:51 am | 89 Comments  

trying to master this watermark thing

trying to master this damn watermark thing

Is this too light?

Man this is a lot of work.

Posted by Chris @ 12:10 am | 34 Comments  

candy, candy, candy, I’m in love with you

September 28, 2007

Mmmm, candy

Posted by Chris @ 9:38 pm | 14 Comments  

Candy necklace

candy necklace

Posted by Chris @ 9:36 pm | 8 Comments  

Another skeleton leaf

skeleton leaf

Posted by Chris @ 9:17 pm | 6 Comments  

You can’t play baseball outside every day

September 26, 2007

because we don't play real baseball enough

Now wii can play inside.

My camera came today and I am in love with it. I almost missed the delivery and had to chase my UPS lady down the driveway frantically screaming after her. Not only that, but my children were the recipients of the much coveted wii.

The battery for my camera needs to charge so I only was able to get a few photos. Indoor photos because who wants to go outside and play when you can play inside. But I have snuggled it to my bosom and whispered sweet nothings into its lens.

I had so much trouble hooking the wii up to our television. It is a lot harder than I remember my Atari being back in 1980. Turns out that for all the connection areas in the back of the tv you can only plug video game consoles into the side plugs.

But it took three phone calls to Nintendo to figure it out, where I apologized profusely for being so electronic retarded. The tech assured me that he was used to it. And I can only assume that based on the questions he was asking me like, “Is it plugged in?” and “Did you turn it on?” that I have nothing to be ashamed of.

wii love it!

I can tell you that there is nothing quite like the thrill of watching the excitement of your 4 yr old while she kicks ass in boxing or your 6 yr old as he wins in baseball. Wii, the great equalizer.

Thank you, Isabel.

Posted by Chris @ 6:07 pm | 46 Comments  

passing the time

Yesterday at 3:30 the repairman made it to my house. I opened the door and he walked through my foyer, still filled with weight equipment that my husband has promised me will be moved soon, so hopefully I will not have to put the Christmas tree up behind it and string garland around the weights. The we walked through my dining room which is 2/3 filled with huge boxes that contain my kitchen cabinets. And into my half torn out kitchen.

I didn’t correct him when said, “Oh, I see you just moved in.”

He checked out the refrigerator, fiddled with it for awhile and then said, “This can not be repaired. You need a new one.” I suspected as much.

I asked about the freezer that they can not seem to find anyone to repair for me. The repairman laughed and said that everyone who does refrigerator repair also does freezer repair. But he could not do it right then because he wasn’t sent on a freezer service call. Of course not. Nothing can be easy.

So I call FRIGIDAIRE for what is seriously the twelfth time. And I am given the run around yet again. Transfered and put on hold until I finally had to get on with my life and hang up. At this point I have told them I expect a new freezer also. I just don’t think that brand new appliances should have problems.

I could probably complain more, but I’ll stop myself.

In other news, my suitcase from BlogHer is finally completely unpacked. Rob wanted to use the bag for an upcoming trip. The contents might be on top of my bureau, but they are no longer in the suitcase.

I will now begin passing the time and checking out my front door window every five minutes looking for the UPS man with my new camera.

Posted by Chris @ 9:17 am | 25 Comments  

watching and waiting

September 25, 2007

watching

Substitute me, my front porch, and the empty street in front of me.

That is what it looks like at my house today while I sit and wait for the repairman.

I would try cheering, “Repairman! Repairman!” in hopes that my loving support would increase the chances of him arriving early. But that would just add to my neighbors suspicions that I am crazy.

And while some days I would welcome the respite from my children that would occur should I be dragged off and confined to peaceful, silent, padded room, today is not the day. I have appliances that need repair, dammit.

Oh, I have a post up at Parenting, pondering whether or not it was easier to be a mother a generation or two ago. Not from a political stand point, but from the point of view of job satisfaction.

“We had it much easier in my day.” my mother-in-law told me. She is 85 years old and had her first child 60 years ago.

“Really, easier?” I asked.

“Yes. We didn’t have to think so much. We weren’t worried about doing things wrong they way you young people worry today. You just did it.”

So if you are so inclined go on over and read. I’ll be here when you get back. Watching and waiting and trying to use my telepathic skills to communicate to him that he must come right now.

Posted by Chris @ 12:22 pm | 10 Comments  

Some things should not be ordered over the internet

Remember my brand new freezer and refrigerator, that I just got in July? Well, I have been waiting for a repair person to come and fix BOTH of them. Yes, BOTH of them.

I have been given the window of sometime between 8 and 5 today. Frankly, I am not sure they are giving themselves enough wiggle room with that time estimate.

The freezer has been making a really loud clanging noise when it turns on. We have tried everything within our realm of expertise, which would be pulling the freezer out and shaking vigorously. Well, as vigorously as one could possibly shake a heavy freezer. The freezer also has a huge dent on the right side like it was dropped in transit. Could that be why the delivery people were so intent on pushing it into its alcove, but not turning it on? Makes you wonder.

I have called numerous times, but guess what. There are no service technicians in our area. Nope. Not a one. But there are refrigerator service technicians. Go figure. So who is coming to fix the freezer? So far, that would be NO ONE. What about you? No?

Now, the problem with the refrigerator is that the door is hanging crooked. There are no adjustments to fix it. We had to disconnect the built in grill like thing on the bottom to be able to close the door properly. So I am not sure what they are going to do other than replace it.

But sometime between 8 9:40 and 5 today I will find out.

Posted by Chris @ 9:39 am | 14 Comments  

His first painting

September 24, 2007

His first painting

Posted by Chris @ 4:30 pm | 35 Comments