Flickr’s Trojan Gift

Huge changes at Flickr – some excellent, some not so good, and some downright deceitful. Right now I’m still processing how I feel about all this, but here are some of my initial thoughts…


At first glance I really like it. It looks clean and professional, and highlights the photography in a very flattering way. I especially like that it goes to a full screen view of the photo automatically, with comments, etc, down below.

New Flickr Layout

New Flickr Layout

There are a few drawbacks, though. Collections seem to be missing. This is one of the MAJOR ways that I organize my photos. I have multiple sets, usually one for each outing, and the number of sets can be unwieldy. If I can organize those into broader categories, that helps. The Collections link is tucked away on an obscure link to the right. I think it needs to be up there with Photostream, Sets, and Favorites. Continue reading “Flickr’s Trojan Gift”

Published again, without permission

Fellow explorer Mark Elbrecht alerted me to this. The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce has a website promoting their Festival of Flowers this June. On the page promoting tours of Cokesbury College there was a familiar photograph – mine! The problem was that they had not asked permission to use the image.

Cokesbury College Website

Normally I don’t mind if folks use my images on their sites as long as they use the proper embed codes that Flickr provides, which link back to my original photo, or if they credit the photo properly. Technically, they don’t even need to ask my permission since I leave the embed codes available to anyone.

What ticked me off about this image usage was that A) they re-hosted the image on their own site, cropping the image in the process, and B) the statement at the bottom of the page stating, “Copyright © 2011 – South Carolina Festival of Flowers. All rights reserved.” That would imply that they are claiming copyright to my photograph. I sent the Chamber of Commerce an e-mail listing conditions for continued use of the photograph.

For the record, here is the original photograph, with the proper link back to its Flickr page…

Cokesbury College Continue reading “Published again, without permission”

Telecom Scam

Yesterday several of our schools received an invoice similar to the one above. The invoice is for a service agreement that “covers preventative maintenance on all telecom system equipment, including, [sic] telephone instruments, switches, routers, & cabling.” The bill was for $425, and since it included technology equipment, it wound up on my desk. Of … Continue reading Telecom Scam

Hymnal Blasphemy

hymnal 1

I’ve mentioned before that I collect hymnals. I prefer older, antique hymnals, but I’m just as interested in newer versions, particularly if it’s from a congregation with which I’m not as familiar. One of the first things I’ll do when visiting a church is grab a hymnal to see what they are using.

On occasion I’ll Google the term “antique hymnal” to see what comes up on eBay or other sites just to see if there are some interesting hymnals available. Recently these searches have found something that really makes my skin crawl. I think the phrase is “Antique Hymnal and Ephemera Crafts” and I’ve come across this blasphemy most often on that bastion of bad taste, No, I won’t be posting any links because to me that would be just like posting a link to porn.

Crafters are using old hymnal pages to create all manner of evil, from wreathes…




…to roses…



…to gift wrapping…

2012-03-05_0758 Continue reading “Hymnal Blasphemy”

Spam Injection

I knew it was going to be a rough day.  The coffee maker didn’t start on time, I cut myself shaving, and my watch stopped working.   Then, to top it off, I found that this website had been hit by a spam injection hack attack.  I was tempted to crawl back into bed. I first … Continue reading Spam Injection

Rough Week in Lake Wobegon

Warning: Rant ahead

I have a dream. I don’t know if it’s even possible. For once, I would like to place a large order of computers, have them be priced appropriately, be delivered on time, and work like they are supposed to when we get them set up. Is that really too much to ask?

This summer instead of purchasing HP computers we bought Dells. Pricing and support arrangements through our local system integrator were the main reasons for the switch. Also, we have had TONS of problems with HP products over the past few years. Last year deliveries were late and we had the perennial problem with the drivers not wanting to do an inside delivery. To compound matters, they tried to overcharge us for half a million dollars AND tried to tack late fees onto that as we worked to get the price sorted out.

That was last year. This summer Dell has let use experience even more different levels of frustration. Our first delivery had the driver refusing to do what was asked. That got ironed out quickly, and we didn’t have any more problems. Then came the deployment. When we tried to boot up the computers, we found that we had purchased 850 bricks – the computers wouldn’t work. Continue reading “Rough Week in Lake Wobegon”

A Declaration of Independence

Starting today, I’m doing something I should have done 10 years ago.  I refuse to take sales calls of any type unless they fit one of these three criteria…

  • We have an active request for proposals  for that specific product.
  • I have directly contacted your company with an inquiry about a specific product (and that doesn’t mean you happened to get my contact info from some conference or other indirect means.)
  • We have already established a client-vendor relationship for specific goods and/or services.

So unless your sales call happens to fit the above, don’t expect much of a response from me.   I will still accept e-mails so that I have your contact information on hand, but I will not have an extended phone conversation with you, I will need attend a webinar, and I will not schedule a meeting with you. Continue reading “A Declaration of Independence”