Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Monday, April 20, 2009

A Weekend in San Simeon

It's probably bad blogging form to blog about something a week and change after it happened, but I think we've pretty much determined I'm not exactly an exemplary blogger.

The DBF and I were in San Simeon for a weekend earlier this month. It was incredibly windy, but beautiful.

Naturally, we went to see Hearst Castle. We took the garden tour and the evening tour. Unfortunately, I don't think I can share any of the photos here, given Hearst Castle's photography policy.

One of the first things we saw in the area was a beach full of elephant seals. They're apparently molting right now.

Pretty amazing. We really need to go on more weekend trips...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'll take "Copyright" for $200, Alex...

Once upon a time, I was a writer. Of sorts. I know--hard to believe, given the state of this blog, but it’s true. Not so long ago, I was paid to write. Still am, from time to time.

As a writer, both amateur and professional, and being someone who has done both "work for hire" and work where I retain my copyright, I suppose I have a particular sensitivity to copyright issues.

But even as a child, I learned that it was wrong to take credit--either explicitly or implicitly--for someone else’s work, or to copy without permission. As I got older, it also became clear that using someone else’s work for one’s own financial gain without permission was also Not Cool. Until recently, I thought this was a pretty universal experience. It never really crossed my mind that I’d run into adults who didn’t share this understanding.

But now I have. And apparently, they’re everywhere.

A couple of months ago, I was asked to help out on a project. We just needed to create a few brochures--and the contents had already been created. Turns out, the way the content was created for these brochures was largely by copying and pasting contents from a competitor’s brochure--word for word. I kid you not. There were other issues , too, but that was the biggie. And they lied to me about it when I asked where the content came from, but that’s another rant entirely… The scary thing is that when I put them on the phone with our lawyers to get an understanding of what copyright infringement is, they said, “but it was on the Internet, so it’s public domain--free to use”.


Let’s be clear--that is NOT the way it works. Just because something is on the Internet does NOT mean it’s in the public domain or free to use. A clue might be the copyright statement. I don’t know--I’m not a lawyer--I’m just sayin’… It probably wouldn’t hurt to check.

Mind boggling.

And now the same types of issues seem to be rearing their ugly heads in the knitting community. Wendy blogged about it back in February . Kate has recently blogged about it, and so has Pam.

I’m not going to re-hash their posts. I’ve linked to them, and I encourage you to read the posts for yourself. And then I would ask that if you see folks violating a designer’s copyright (or a writer's copyright, or an artist's copyright--or anyone's copyright, for that matter), that you call them on it. Gently. If it’s an honest mistake, they’ll fix it. If not, you might want to re-think where you do business.

Just my two cents.

Thursday, April 09, 2009






Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Yes, well, I'm certainly taking my time about posting all that great stuff, eh?

Perhaps this cuteness will distract you from my lack of posting.

Back (relatively) soon; hopefully with more to say. For now, wish me luck on finishing up my taxes!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fish or Cut Bait?

Photo Credit: OAR/National Undersea Research Program (NURP), courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

Wow. I am a terrible blogger. Not a single post in January. And yet I persist in keeping the blog. Why is that?

Actually, I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately. Knitting, and wanting to be a part of the online knitting community, is really what got me started blogging. Of course, I wanted the freedom to talk about anything that struck my fancy, but knitting was the instigator, and my main topic. But now there’s ravelry, so for someone like me (a rather slow, uninspiring knitter), it’s my answer to participating in the online knitting community.

Remeber Alice? Still not done...

And yet, I keep the blog. There are other things to talk about, right? But, I believe I’ve mentioned before that I’m not so good at the sharing of personal stuff.

I finally thought I had come to the conclusion (again) that it was time to let go of the blog. Except that, all of the sudden, I now have a bunch of stuff that I want to blog. Evil elevators. Caffeine. Pets. Bread. LOTS of bread… Travel. Procrastination. Cool technology. Wonderful people. (And let’s be honest--perhaps a few not-so-wonderful people.) Fear. Hope. My firm belief that the Wizard of Oz can explain about 90% of life. And maybe I’ll even mention knitting on occasion.

Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, © 2001, Smithsonian Institution Press

So, for now, I will fish. Which is to say, I will blog. In a leisurely fashion, because I do it solely for recreation--my own personal enjoyment. And perhaps, from time to time, I’ll catch something good. But it’s more about the sport than the prize. I think I’ll be content to just relax and enjoy myself out here. And you’re welcome to come hang out, too.

Photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Department of Commerce

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Holiday Headlock

Well, last year's picture was better--definitely more professional--but that pup's just so darned cute, it doesn't matter. He looks perfectly happy in spite of Santa's headlock. And $5 of the photo price went to help homeless animals, so it was worth it.

Happy holidays, whatever you might celebrate, to you and yours, from me and mine. Including the furry little cutie in the picture!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Move over, Johnny Depp...

Make room for Kitty ScissorTeeth...

That USED TO be an adapter that would let me plug two sets of headphones into my iPod. Handy for traveling with two people and one Pod. At least, it WAS...

[Note to self: remember to put cords--and yarn--somewhere the cat can't get them...]