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07 February 2010 @ 07:20 am
Last week's storm had left some piles of 2-3" on the ground.

Yesterday, we added another 30" on top of that.

Now for Tuesday, they're calling for another 10"+ on top of that.

If it rains like this, we ask about the ark. What do you do when it snows like this?
06 October 2009 @ 07:53 am
Since the person who asked if I had other suggestions to avoid the slave-labor sweatshop rates that one has the potential to make writing for "The Examiner" system has opted to hide the comments with sound advice I gave after s/he realized how foolish it is to write for "The Examiner", I figured I'd put this up here in the hopes it can help other people.

First things first, why not write for The Examiner or other pay-per-click sites? To expand on what I said to this individual, pay-per-click sites pop up every now and again, recruit large numbers of "associates", set conditions by which only a fraction of the people ever get paid, and when people start actually nearing the threshold for payment, the company goes out of business, owning the rights to your copy for life and not paying you a dime. In most cases, you are usually working for around 30 cents/hour (although some people might make a whopping $1/hour!). You aren't paid for the quality of your work, but by how many people you can spam to look at your site. If you don't spam enough, you won't be paid, as there is a minimum amount you have to achieve before they send you a payment.

Can you think of any other job where it is acceptable to legally pay a fraction of minimum wage and also have the option not to pay your "associates" anything at all?

So why do people opt to do this? I have four theories about that:
1. They lack self confidence. Because there's no fear of rejection from a company that doesn't review articles (except to make sure they don't violate the site's TOS), one can pretend to be a "real writer" and not actually do what is necessary to be a real writer (and yes, to be a real writer means that you have a file cabinet of rejection letters).
2. They do it because, even though no one else is paying the bills with this, they'll be different. It's the same principle that gets people to buy lottery tickets with grocery money.
3. They get conned in because they are told that you can "get paid to write what you like". As a professional writer and editor for more than a decade, I've made a living writing (and editing) what I like, with some extra gigs added in for more fun money to allow for the lifestyle I like. The whole reason why many of us become writers professionally *is* to write about what we like and to get paid for it. Writing about what you like and making a living wage do not have to be mutually exclusive.
4. They honestly don't know that there are other options out there to get published. And for that reason, I provided the following information to the individual in question.

Behind the cut... resources for those who are looking to make money writing for "the pagan scene"....

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And one final word for those people who think that writing for The Examiner is a good idea. Although you technically retain the copyright to your work, take a look at this clause from the contract:

However, by uploading, posting, transmitting or otherwise making any User Content available on or through this Site, you are granting Examiner.com, and its parent, subsidiaries, and affiliates, an irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free license to copy, modify, publish, distribute publicly, and prepare derivative works of such User Content in any medium or form, without any obligation of notice, attribution or compensation to you. (emphasis added)

If you value yourself and your craft so little that you're okay with that, well, there's one born every minute. Sadly, you are harming all of us legitimate writers out there who make a living off of our art. This is why I will not click on links to articles put up by The Examiner and encourage others to boycott them as well. A hard-working individual should earn a fair wage, not payments that even sweatshop workers would balk at.

For more information, you can also check out the article from Writer's Weekly about this topic:
11 April 2009 @ 08:38 am
Thanks to beltanelady for this one. It's too good to lose.

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01 January 2009 @ 04:51 pm
Comedy comes from truth revealed suddenly.

--Margaret Kerry, original model for Tinkerbell
30 December 2008 @ 04:08 pm
Some of this may be TMI, but if you're a woman who takes birth control pills or if you're on medication that you get through an insurance company, it's stuff you might want to know...

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18 December 2008 @ 09:45 am
Yesterday, I read over Time magazine's list of the people who crossed in 2008 that they will miss. Some of them are people I will miss. There's also a lot of people who, although I never met them, are people who have influenced my life in one way or another. Some of the names won't be familiar, and yet you might actually know their work. Some of them won't be familiar at all to some people here, but they have each made a mark on my life. So yes, they'll be missed. Here's my list, in alphabetical order:

1. Cora Anderson
2. Robert (Bob) Asprin
3. Harriet Burns
4. George Carlin
5. Ollie Johnston
6. Harvey Korman
7. Don LaFontaine
8. Kermit Love
9. Mildred Loving
10. Randy Pausch
11. Tim Russert
12. Tasha Tudor

And, my "person of the year" this year would have to be Shadow. Miss ya, babe. But thanks for stepping back so that we could bring a new little Figment into our home and family.

ETA: And I should have known that by putting this list up here someone else would cross between now and the end of the year who needs to be added. And she crossed today....

Farewell Majel Barrett Roddenberry, First Lady of Star Trek.
09 December 2008 @ 06:03 pm
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed. Well, let's see:

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08 December 2008 @ 07:23 am
Just so I don't misplace this post-it note again. These were "inspired" by the drinks I had at Disney, but were my own little twist.

Poolside Lemonade
1 pt. Triple Sec. (original recipe calls for Bacardi O, but you do what you have to with what you got)
1 pt. Bacardi Razz
2 pt. Sweet and Sour
Sprite to taste

Sunken Treasure
2 pt. Coconut Rum (we used Bacardi Coco, but my coconut rum of choice is Parrot Bay)
2 pt. Melon liqueur (okay, technically supposed to be Midori, but that was a bit pricey, so we ended up with Dekuyper melon and noticed no ill effects)
2 pt. Orange Juice
1 pt. Pineapple Juice
Sprite to taste
07 December 2008 @ 09:22 pm
A very wise elder once somewhat jokingly called me the diva of decadence.

Tonight, it is 25 degrees outside and we have snow on the ground. Meanwhile, I'm sitting on the back enclosed porch, sipping a caramel hot chocolate loaded with enough whipped cream to make a stripper blush, more caramel on top, and red sugar sprinkles while sitting in the hot tub. If that doesn't define decadence, I'm not sure what does.

But just to keep reality in place, it was shortly after I got out of the hot tub that I realized from the sound of a can rolling across the laminate floor that I left the whipped cream out. Which is more decadent? The gal who just got out of that hot tub of relaxation or the kitten who has finished off the RediWhip?
03 December 2008 @ 07:00 pm
This morning, I had planned to fuel up my car. As I drove up to the gas station, I saw two fire trucks in front with lights on and firemen all geared up out in front. Needless to say, I did not fuel up this morning.

One of my coworker's daughters was murdered this week in a case of domestic violence. It reminds me to give thanks that I got out of my first marriage before I became a statistic like that.

Watching the "Big Three" potential buyout deal and hearing the line once again that these folks are "too big to let fail", I wonder when we adopted a "No Business Left Behind" policy of fiscal planning in this country.

Just some random thoughts for today.