Wednesday, January 8, 2014

With apologies to Myrna Loy

Shortly (relatively speaking) it will have been a complete year that I've been writing this blog.  And over the course of that year I've learned some interesting things.  For example, I've come to learn that making a commitment to writing something entirely fresh every single day- when coupled with a full time day job, at least two part time side jobs and what can be colorfully described as an increasingly interesting complicated personal life- is a lot more stressful than I had anticipated. 

Side note - I'm still going to do it.  I just mention so that you'll all (both of you) appreciate the effort.

When I went into this I had two basic rules-

1:  Write something every day

2:  Don't stress about how long that something is, whether it's any good, or whether it amuses anyone but yourself. 

Side Note -- These are also actually pretty good rules to apply to any aspect of life.  Show up daily, and don't worry too much about it.

Pretty early on I abandoned the idea of writing anything new on Sunday, because on some level of my brain I needed to know that there would be regular breaks.  And that was a good decision, by and large.  It caused me to start re-posting older bits that I had been particularly amused by, and made the whole thing seem manageable.

Slightly later on I learned a valuable lesson about pictures, which I'll get back to in a moment.

A few months into the whole process (July last or thereabouts) I started playing with the widgets available to add onto your blog here and one of the first ones I added was the 'most popular posts' feature.  Pleasingly, the first post to really start getting a fair number of hits was the one about Markie Post, which seemed ontologically right on a profound level.  I suspect the picture (pilfered from the internet) of her in a bikini was in some way responsible for people finding that one.

Side Note --- Seriously.  There are no pictures out there of her wearing anything BUT a bikini.  I find that sinister.

What the most popular post counter has taught me lately is that no matter how amusing you think the current entry is, it is still going to be outviewed by some thing about leprechauns that you wrote 8 months ago, because apparently the google search engine in Denmark has decided that the picture of a leprechaun that you included in that post is the default image by which all leprechauns are judged and has taken to just sending people directly here for all their leprechaun needs.  The leprechaun picture was also snagged from some unsuspecting internet source who may or may not be aware of what the good people of Denmark and I have made of it.

Right.  The thing about the pictures.  Getting there.

Side Note ---- Side Notes are fun!

One of the other old posts from back in the picture grabbing days is one about my utter amazement at discovering that Estelle Getty had been incredibly sexy when she was young.  I used this to make a larger point about how it was nice to remember that people could be more than one thing, but let's be honest - it was really all about 'Holy Shit, Sophia was smokin' hot once!'  As illustrated by undoubtedly copyrighted photos which had been - you guessed it - picked up randomly and without permission from someplace on the internet.

I'm circling around to my point here.

Two days ago I got a comment on the Estelle Getty post from one Brittany Radcliff, who - from our extremely limited correspondence - seems pretty cool.  She pointed out that the picture of young, sexy Estelle Getty was in fact Young, Sexy Myrna Loy (my words, not hers.  She just said Myrna Loy.  But I feel like the young and sexy part deserves a shout out anyway.)

So I did a little research and discovered that Brittany (if I might be informal) was absolutely correct.  That was a picture of Myrna Loy.  In fact, the only web references to that picture being Estelle Getty all linked back directly to this very site. And while I was somewhat pleased at this reinforcement of my deep seated belief that the internet is an entirely unreliable source of information, I was less pleased at discovering that I was part of the problem.

Which brings me to my larger point about pictures.

It was pointed out to me in early August that it's actually not OK to use non-common use images on a personal blog.  Because they kind of belong to someone else.  It turns out that it's wrong to just take other peoples work and use it. (Take note, Urban Outfitters.)  And I think that this is what's always kind of bugged me about Markie Post and Denmark.  Getting views based on somebody else's images - no matter how amusingly used - isn't really a conscionable thing to do. 

And so, while I actually stopped using other peoples images back in early August, I'm going to go ahead and take the next step at this point and clear out all the ones that had been previously used, replacing them where I can with things of my own.

Side Note ----- I do actually draw myself.  I'm just incredibly lazy, and it's easier to just websearch 'leprechaun images' than it is to draw one.'

So, with apologies to the people of Denmark and Markie Post devotees, Over the next few days (OK, let's be realistic and say weeks - see above note re: the number of side jobs I currently have) I'll be updating a lot of the old posts.  Some jokes will, unfortunately, be lost.  Which is sad, but what can you do.

Many thanks to Brittany Radcliff for giving Ms. Loy her due.  Estelle was in fact also quite attractive when she was young, but I'll leave it to any interested parties to do the websearch on that themselves.

Many thanks for those of you that read these frequently apeshit crazy columns.  More to come.

Vizsla out.

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