Monday, November 24, 2008
I could not wait to share this photo of Piers and Arlo hamming it up in their princess finery. Not pictured here: Arlo is also wearing pink slingbacks. Check out my flickr page for more photos.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
If you are hosting a Thanksgiving dinner at your home this year, I hope you will think about shopping a little early and shopping at the Co-op.
New Pi is donating 10% OF ALL SALES this Saturday and Sunday to benefit our local United Way chapter.
Even if someone else is doing the cooking in your family this year, consider bringing along a nice bottle of wine or two. Or five. Now would be a great time to buy a case of wine at the Co-op—and remember, there is always a 10% case discount. Stock up this weekend for the whole holiday season!
Monday, November 17, 2008
The yarn is Andean Silk, from knitpicks.com, and it's one of my favorite yarns to work with--and I adore this orange color, though I don't think they carry it anymore. It's 55% superfine alpaca, 23% silk, 22% merino wool. Yum!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
"Don’t forget the children.Take the opportunity to filter your content responsibly. If you would hesitate to show your photos or videos to a child, your mum, or Uncle Bob, that means it needs to be filtered. So, ask yourself that question as you upload your content and moderate accordingly. If you don’t, it’s likely that one of two things will happen. Your account will be reviewed then either moderated or terminated by Flickr staff."
(For the record, I still don't think that photos of my child in his underpants are obscene. Booty is in the eye of the disgusting beholder, I guess.)
They also include this toothless warning:
"Don’t be creepy. You know the guy. Don't be that guy. "
So anyway, here's the rest of my update. I filed a "Report Abuse" complaint and have so far received only system-generated e-mail responses with advice on how to make my photos private or block specific users. I have updated the privacy settings on all "questionable" photos, and have effectively blocked ONE specific user from my account.
One idiot was dumb enough to mark one of my underpants-clad three-year-old as a "favorite" --and I found him because I had received an e-mail alert from flickr (in my yahoo e-mail inbox, which gathers dust from complete lack of use) on the day he did that, months ago. I have blocked and reported that one user (by whom I can prove no actual wrongdoing). It was somewhat satisfying to take this small action--but of course it does nothing to address the other thousands of hits my photos received before I stumbled upon the uptick in traffic.
I have sent another e-mail to flickr urging them to investigate the situation--in case they can discover that some of the users who had frequented my site have also, say, set up a private page for sharing child porn or something like that. I've also suggested making their "Don't forget the children" message more prominent, or even e-mailing a reminder to users.
I am considering, as one of my readers suggested, a call to the Attorney General's office, just to get it on their radar in light of the recent Craig's List news, and see if they would recommend any course of action.
I remain resigned to the fact that I probably cannot take much action in my personal situation, but now I am focused on doing what I can to help people protect themselves and their children from predators--even if it is just lonely sick people looking at pictures on the computer.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
This is what happens when you try to "get all the kids together" for a photo.
Last night, Erika's inner circle gathered at the Wedge for a casual celebration in honor of her birthday. I'm pretty sure she turned 30.
We're looking forward to the official "family" birthday bash this coming Saturday night!
Friday, November 07, 2008
Thursday, November 06, 2008
If you read this blog, you know that I use the flickr web site to share my photos. And I know many of you do, too. Just recently I added the "flickr stats" tool that they offer--you have to sign up for it but it doesn't cost extra--and yesterday I checked out my photo stats, out of curiosity.
The stats feature tells you which of your photos are most popular, and how many views each has recieved. When I opened this feature, I was suprised to see that my number-one photo had gotten more than 2,000 hits. It was a picture of my three-year-old son, lying on our new wood floor last summer in his underpants. Showing off our home improvement project.
Upon further examination, I found that all of my top photos--dozens of them--are photos of Arlo in his undies or otherwise partially clothed, and the amount of traffic is sickening. I hope I don't have to actually spell out why, because I just can't bear to actually type it. Even writing this post feels dangerous to me now, because I'm afraid that some cyber-sicko is going to stumble upon this post and it will clue him in to the fact that I apparently have a very sexy four-year-old son. (I'm sorry, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little when I typed that.)
Before yesterday, I had already gone to the trouble of restricting access to certain shots of the kiddos--naked babies in the bath tub--but, being the wide-eyed optimist that I am, it didn't occur to me that I should lock down the pictures of my little boy in his Elmo undies, playing with the hose on our driveway. I am now working to sort through all of my flickr photos to lock down any photos that might be alluring to the pervs out there--and let me tell you, it is a grim and sickening task. I would just lock down my whole flickr account--and still might--but I have reasons for wanting to keep some photos public, so I'm trying to be selective.
All I'm saying is, please be careful when you share photos of your kids. Children like to be naked, and they like to play in their "natural" state. It's okay for you to think it's cute (as I do), and for you to take pictures (yep), and even for you to share those pictures with your friends and family (guilty!). But learn from my naivete, and please take care to restrict access to those photos if/when you do upload them.
I don't think there is probably anything I can do about the pedophiles who have probably already downloaded photos of Arlo. I can only take comfort in the fact that he has not actually been harmed by this incident, and that he will never have to know about it. His innocence hasn't been ruined, but in a way, mine has. I can't look at my own child the same way now, knowing that someone (thousands of someones) have looked at him with impure intentions.
To me, that's a crime.
P.S. If you have any ideas for how I might handle this, or somehow take action, please feel free to comment. I plan to contact flickr, but I doubt if they can do anything.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Dawning of a New Day
Originally uploaded by knights_writes
As if there weren't enough reasons for me to feel good about the election of Barack Obama as our nation's next president, last night's footage of the huge crowd in Chicago's Grant Park took me back to January, when Arlo pretty much called the election.
Do you remember the Obama ads, run by the campaign in the weeks leading up to the caucuses, that showed Obama greeting and speaking in front of large groups of happy people? I know, from my description, they sound just like all the other campaign ads that were running at that time--from all of the hopeful candidates. But every time one of those Obama ads would come on, Arlo would stop whatever he was doing, focus his attention on the TV, and say, quite matter-of-factly, "I want to go there."
Even though many of the other candidates had similarly-styled ads at the time, it was only the Obama ads that elicited this avid response. In fact, the only other ads that Arlo has EVER paid attention to are the commercials FOR ADVENTURELAND that began airing a couple of months later. (He said the same thing.)
Something about Obama really struck a chord with my four-year-old. Without coaching or prompting from us (Honest!), he rarely failed to correctly point out Obama in the newspaper or on TV in the months since Obama earned the nomination... although, between you and me, I'm pretty sure Arlo thinks his name is "Rocco Bomba."
Last night, watching footage of the Obama crowd in Chicago, long after Arlo had gone to bed (well, sort of--more on that later), I couldn't help but think that he would have wanted to go there, too.
This morning an Actual Rainbow lit up the sky on my drive to work, and it felt to me like a promise, just like in the Old Testament. Today feels like the dawning of a new day for this country, and I truly hope that things will improve for ALL of us in the coming years. Arlo saw it coming--did you?