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Category: Thoughts

You’ll Never Stop Googling Yourself

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

Is it narcissitic to Google yourself every day? Not that I would be doing such things, but sometimes you have to indulge that attention-craving monster that the wonderful world of blogs, social networking sites, and photo sharing sites have created. One thing in particular that has increased my search rankings is the Creative Commons License. For artists, writers and photographers this could possibly be a good route to pursue when trying to create a presence on the internet.

The Creative Commons license was developed as a way to easily share your work on the internet while providing an alternative to the old copyright model. Think of it as copyright 2.0. With a license you can define who will be able to use your work and how it will be used.

I own a Flickr account and it has been one of best things I have done. It provides a community in to which I can easily share my photography. It also provides a way in which I can easily register my images under the Creative Commons License. Individuals and organizations actually use Flickr quite a bit to gather images and many are searching for photos that fall under this licensing. My images are free for any user to download (even in large size), but when using the images the user must give some credit to me for providing the image. You may think that giving away my photography for free may not be such a great thing. I think of it in terms of a portfolio builder. The good thing about the Creative Commons License is that you can choose how you want to license your images; you can limit your file sizes in Flickr as well. With this you can do it the way you want and reap the rewards.

Here are few sites that are using my imagery:

The Phillyist
Michigan in Pictures
National Parks Conservation Association

There are several sites out there that allow you to easily license your images or you can always just embed their tags into your sites, but Flickr is the only one I have used on a regular basis. If anyone else has covered this topic ins other areas, I would be happy to link to your site. Anyway, I found this very useful in making my content more readily available on the web and I hope you might be Googling yourself more to see in what new ways your creations are being used.

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The Stuff of Dreams

Vanishing Act I
We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life, is rounded with a sleep.
William Shakespeare (The Tempest)

Last night I had a dream that has followed with me throughout the day. I don’t even really know the significance of the particular parts, but for some reason it still resonates. Sometimes when I’m dreaming certain aspects of the dream will appear luminous or unclouded and others will fade into periphery. It’s almost like looking through a magnifying glass.

What I can recall is being in a classroom. In the front of the classroom the teacher, who is unfamiliar to me, was discussing something like history or literature. I stood up and am ready to leave the classroom out of boredom, but the talk suddenly shifts. She mentions that she has cancer and is dying. As not to appear rude, I stopped in my tracks and listened. It’s not that I really cared if she is dying or not, it was more the appearance that I was worried about.

The scene shifts and while the transition is a bit foggy in my memory, I can remember following a well-dressed student out of the classroom. He had reddish hair and was older; nobody that I would recognize in my waking life. He sat down on a bench next to another older man. My impression of him altered. The vitality I had seen before in him was no longer there. A spore-like plant was creeping up his sleeve as he was staring into space. It was as if he was slowly and unwittingly being devoured by some form of moss.

Although the events that took place in my dream held some significance to me today, I’ve been thinking about the individuals that have been inhabiting them. Who are these strangers and why did my unconcious mind conjure them into existence? Why have they been assigned these roles I have given them? What do they symbolize to me?

Some days I feel like I’m dwelling in someone’s dream or a character in someone’s story. There are times when I feel that the world around me is as phony as a Hollywood set. At certain instances it seems I’m tested and tempered by the events occuring in my life.  Events that occur and people I interact with hold some underlying meaning.  It might just be the way I’ve been interpreting the external world most of my life, but I do feel a certain underlying current guiding the events of my life.  I know it’s not science, but it just might be spiritual.

Maybe we are figments of someone else’s unconscious thoughts and desires or maybe this thing we call life is all an accident.  The former seems more appealing to me and a more romantic notion.  If this world were such an accident and nothing means anything, what is there to live for?  Maybe we create these religious and spiritual constructs to make life barable, but when I wander through the visceral, murky landscapes of the mind, I can’t help but wonder if my own life is but a dream.

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A Little TLC

Today, I decided to give my blog a little TLC.  It’s been sitting and collecting dust in the netherworld of cyberspace for some time now and certain people would agree that it’s time for me to start writing again (thanks Cara).  To signal this change I finally upgraded my slightly outdated version to the new 2.6.5 that I am really starting to enjoy using.  It has several nice features to it and cleaner look and feel.

One of the benefits of updating to the new version is the ability to post to my blog from my iPhone.  WordPress offers some simple setup tips here for those people like me who may have created their own template to use within the WordPress system.  A snag that I ran into when getting the iPhone app to communicate via XML-RPC involved some of the plugins that I had installed for WordPress.  Either Bad-Behavior or Akismet were preventing my phone from making remote procedure calls to WordPress.  Both of these plugins are used to prevent comment spam and have done a great job of it so far, but in this case they were interfering.  Once I updated these plugins I was able to go on with business as usual.  My iPhone app now interfaces nicely with my blog.


Intro for Rio

I have some very good news. I’ve been hired on as webmaster for University of Rio Grande. The group that I’m working seems like a good group of individuals who have been very supportive with the transition. My thanks to Mike Thompson and Mike Snider for helping me find a place to live. I also thank those that were part of the hiring process for bringing me on board. I’m really excited about what the future holds.

I have my Rio Grande personal page, pulling from my blog feed, so that I can just write on my blog and the content is visible on that personal page. This being done by using a handy RSS parsing class called lastRSS.

The image part of the personal page is pulling from my Flickr feed, using a class that I had written for a personal photo site.

I’m hoping to use my personal page to present research, projects and imagery related to web design and development and the University of Rio Grande.



Via this posting, Cara requested my immediate aid in talking about myself. Since I’m an expert in such subject matter, I’ve decided to share with you a few personal nuggets.

1) Post the rules, then list 8 things about yourself.
2) At the end of the post, tag and link to 8 other people
3) Leave a comment at those sites, letting them know they’ve been tagged, and asking them to come read the post so they know what to do.

  1. I despise Harry Potter. Although I’m a Christian, and there is the practice of magic and witchcraft, that’s not why I dislike the books. I grew up on fantasy novels like Piers Anthony, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, David Eddings, Raymond Feist, Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman, Robert Jordan, Ursula K. Le Guin, etc. None of the books of the above mentioned authors have received as much hype as Harry Potter. I believe that any of the authors of these books would have reached the same amount of readers if they had been marketed like Harry Potter. Yes, it’s good that it gets children reading, but there are a lot books out there that have that ability.
  2. I’m addicted to Gatorade, Powerade, or other such drinks. Every night I go to the local gas station to buy any sort of sports drink. It frees me from the restraints of my apartment or gives me a break from coding for my business.
  3. I’m of the sinister persuasion (I’m left-handed). I’d say that I probably favor my left hand for most activities. I write, eat, throw, scratch myself, brush my teeth (not directly after scratching myself), bowl, punch, yo-yo, and do other activities left-handed. Even though I use my left hand for most activities, my right hand is not entirely useless. I use a mouse, bat, play the mandolin, and golf right-handed.
  4. I grew up in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is the setting that American Pie is based on. Adam Herz, the script writer, was an alumnus of my high school. Instead of East Grand Rapids, he used the name East Great Falls. There are other references to rival schools and in American Pie II their beach house was located in Grand Harbor, which in probably modeled after Grand Haven, Michigan. Although I’m not entirely thrilled that such a quality piece of American cinema has its roots in my hometown, there’s a part of me that thinks its kind of cool to understand the references. And no, band camp wasn’t entirely like that, but maybe I was a bit naive too.
  5. If there was a nuclear holocaust, the world ended and I was left with just one band to listen to, it would be Cake. They’re the only band in existence that I can stand hearing over and over again without getting bored. Also, they’re the only group out there that I own their entire musical repertoire of.
  6. I love music. I’m proficient in the euphonium, didgeridoo, juice harp, mandolin, ukulele, and guitar. At church I sing, participate in the bell choir and jam out in the praise band. Music invigorates me, refreshing my spirit. Without it, I don’t know what I would do with myself.
  7. My Dad still cuts my hair. The stylists that I’ve been to suck at cutting hair. If I want it really short, they cut it short enough to make it look short, but keep it long enough so that I’ll be coming back to their salon in another week. He’s cheap (free) and does a good job. Unfortunately, I haven’t been home in a while, so I look a bit shaggy. I may have to break and go to a stupid stylist again. Maybe a barber will do what I want them to do…
  8. I shake. I can remember in Kindergarten when one of my classmates asked me why I shake. I didn’t even notice that until it was pointed out to me. The doctor told me that I have a “benign tremor”, which I don’t totally believe. Just recently a psychiatrist said that it stemmed from social anxiety disorder, which I don’t totally believe either. When I’m nervous the tremors do get more intense, but my body is always in constant movement even when I’m not nervous.

There’s me in a nutshell. Anyway, I call on the powers of Andrew, Will, Ellen, Folio, Amanda, Danielle, Gill and Becky to talk about themselves in great detail, so that I might glean gross amounts of knowledge about them. 😉