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Posted by on Feb 9, 2015 in Angry Political Crap, Career, Family, Interesting, Life, Profound, Social Commentary | 0 comments

Feminism: That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Feminism: That Word Does Not Mean What You Think It Means

Feminism.

The word is charged with meaning. It can bring on all kinds of emotions in most individuals.

That said, for most: “that word does not mean what you think it means”.

It does NOT mean that a woman can’t be a stay-at-home mom and still be respected.

It does NOT mean that a stay-at-home mom isn’t a feminist.

It does NOT mean we castigate stay-at-home moms.

It does NOT mean we get MORE rights than men.

It does NOT mean we bitch at men for holding doors or seats for us.

We get EQUAL rights. That’s all it is about. Equal rights, including the choice of how to live our lives, without being bitched at about it. We get to vote. We get equal pay (well, SOMEDAY, in this DAMN COUNTRY).

But it’s about equality. Not more. Not less. And NOT judging the choices women make.

And yes, men can be feminists too. Because they too can believe in our right to choose how to live our lives. My husband is just such a man.

Feminism: learn what it really is, before you get your panties or boxers in a wad.

 

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Posted by on Jan 12, 2015 in Cool Stuff, Ideas, Interesting | 0 comments

I Wrote an e-Book!

I Wrote an e-Book!

For those who don’t follow my business blog, yes, I finally finished an e-book (with another on the way!).

Currently, the book is available as a downloadable pdf or you can buy the book for Kindle. I’m working on formatting for Nook right now.

The books is geared toward:

  • New Site Owners
  • Current Site Owners
  • Small Business Owners
  • Big Businesses
  • Non-Profits
  • Individuals
  • Web Designers
  • Web Developers

Yes, even web designers and developers can benefit from several of the chapters in this book. Many focus so much on their speciality, they don’t know as much about law or site promotion as they should or would like to know.

Here are a few choice excerpts I posted to my business blog.

Website Wonder Made Easy: Websites Unwoven

A Guide to creating a PROFESSIONAL website, in Plain English

First, a freebie. The first chapter in the book addresses what the book is and is not. It also has a whole section on terminology. Which, is in the book, and in the book there is a link to this page, where you can access all the web design dictionary for free. Ta da! Bookmark the page for future reference.

Chapter 2 discusses Your site and the Law. Here is just a little bit from the site:

Fair Use Myth

Once presented with this information, a lot of people come back with “but this qualifies under fair use!” Nope, it doesn’t. The vast majority of people have an inaccurate understanding of what “fair use” is and is not. So let’s clear that up for you.

Myth 1: It’s for a personal site.

Reality: It doesn’t matter if you are making money off of the intellectual property or not; you must gain permission to use it first.

Myth 2: It’s for an educational site.

Reality: See answer to Myth #1. It doesn’t matter if you are making money off of the intellectual property or not; you must gain permission to use it first.

Myth 3: I found it on the Internet.

Reality: The Internet is not a playground of freebies.

Myth 4: It’s old and the copyright expired.

Reality: Maybe. Copyright laws, depending on the country (and remember, not every website is made for and by the country you live in), can last up to 70 years. Additionally, copyrights can be renewed. This is often done by the estate of an artist long after their death.

Myth 5: I changed it 10% or more.

Reality: Even if you changed the original, it is still not “fair use;” and no matter how much you change the original work, that doesn’t suddenly turn that product into “fair use” for you to use.


Chapter 3:  Setting Realistic Expectations

Most people step into their first website with very unrealistic ideas. The average person tends to mis-estimate:

  • the amount of time and money involved in having a professional make a site for them;
  • the amount of time needed to learn to do it themselves;
  • the amount of time they have available to assist their website creator in making a website for them;
  • how quickly they’ll see a return on their investment;
  • how quickly they’ll see their site listed in a search engine; and
  • what a realistic search engine ranking is for their site based on the time and money they have put into the site.
  • So let’s get you moving with some realistic expectations on what you can expect while creating a site and after it is built.

This chapter goes on to address the realities of getting a website made, and what you can expect in the process. This chapter also busts a lot of myths about making websites, how fast you can make money, promoting your site, and more.


Chapter 4: Make a Plan

Before you have a website, you need a plan. Just diving in is a good way to end up with something that is not worth the time and money you invested. Whether you go the DIY route or hire someone to make the site, have a plan.

In case you missed it in Chapter 1, remember this:

Things You MUST HAVE to Have a Website

  • Domain
  • Web Host
  • Web Pages

These are not optional.

We’ll get to how to choose those later.

This chapter provides a list of questions to ask yourself. Questions that never occur to most people, when starting out on a new web design project. Then there are TWO website checklists:

  • one for a brochure website (no online sales)
  • and one for an e-commerce website.

Chapter 5: Buying Services to Get Your Site Started

How to Choose a Domain Name

Choose your domain name carefully. It will follow you forever.

Look for one that has your business name or product/services you sell. Keep it as short as possible. A short domain name is memorable, and easier to read and say. But don’t make it so short that the domain name appears unrelated to your business either.

A good domain name may help with SEO. But don’t choose your domain name just for SEO purposes either. Domain names aren’t the biggest factor in search engine rankings.

Get variations on your domain name. This includes anything that is similarly spelled or people may mistype. For example, my husband bought the following domains, in addition to his domain weaselpants.com:

  • weaselpantsproductions.com
  • weaselpants.com
  • wesellpants.com
  • weselpants.com
  • weaslepants.com

Most people buy TLDs (Top Level Domains), which are those ending in .com, .net, and .org.

If you can buy the .com version of your name, I also recommend getting the .net too. You may also want the .co version as well. Some people get the .org just to cover their bases (although technically, this is generally reserved for non-profits, but some like to cover their bases to prevent confusion). Getting all domains with the most commonly used extensions means that in the future, if you have a competitor with a similar name, you are less likely to be confused with them. That said, sometimes your only option is to get a domain name similar to another one that exists because you can’t get the one you really want. In that case, take it. It’s better than nothing, and you may be able to either buy the other domain from the owner, or they may let the domain expire one day and you can buy it then. Personally, I’ve done both.

PRO TIP: If your domain involves a word that is often misspelled, get the misspelled version too. You can set that up with your web host to redirect to your primary website. This way, if someone misspells the address, they’ll still find you. This is why my husband also got weselpants.com when he purchased weaselpants.com.

And this is just the first page or two of the book. There’s a lot more in this chapter to set you on the right path to creating a quality website, and how to get all the services you need.


Chapter 6: Styling Your Content

This chapter tells you simple tips to make your site and newsletters look professional, instead of amateurish. Topics include:

  • How to use bullets
  • Color contrast for easier reading
  • Font choice
  • Font size
  • Font style
  • Font combinations

The chapter gives visual examples of good and bad text. And has visual demonstrations of how to properly combine fonts so they look professional.


Chapter 7 is about Getting the Site Made

This chapter covers a variety of topics, such as:

  • Doing it Yourself
  • How to Find a Web Designer/Developer
  • How to Choose a Web Designer/Developer
  • How to Work with a Web Designer/Developer

You get a lot of detail on all of those subjects, so you have a better experience in finding the right professional, and in understanding how to work with them. And there are tips for those with the time and tech savvy (and no budget) to try the DIY approach. The book also addresses what mid-size to larger businesses need to look for when hiring for in-house professionals.

 Chapter 8: What To Do When Things Go Wrong

It’s uncomfortable and  something no one wants to think about. But these things happen. I see them all the time (which is sometimes how I end up with new customers; they need help).

The chapter covers:

  • Web Designer Vanishes
  • Can’t Access Domain Registrar and/or Web Host
  • I Don’t Have the Email Address I Used to Sign Up for a Domain and/or Web Host
  • Project Taking Too Long
  • Web Designer/Dev Uses Stolen Material to Create Your Website
  • My Site Is Not Working!
  • My Site Visitors are Complaining About My Site
  • Someone Stole My Stuff!

The last chapter covers website promotion. Everything from search engine marketing to social media. That’s a lot of ground to cover; I address best practices for SEO and the most popular social networks, and if you, your business, or non-profit should or should not use certain types of social media.

Like what you see? The book is available as a a downloadable PDF on this site. It is also available for Kindle on Amazon. Later: it will be available for Nook through Barnes and Noble.

Can’t wait for Nook,  Smashwords or Goodreads?

order now

 

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Posted by on Nov 22, 2014 in Angry Political Crap, Interesting, Social Commentary | 2 comments

So President Obama is Getting Sued by the GOP – Time for a History Lesson

So President Obama is Getting Sued by the GOP – Time for a History Lesson

House Republicans filed a lawsuit accusing President Barack Obama of overstepping his executive authority when implementing his signature health care law.

“Time after time, the president has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and re-write federal law on his own without a vote of Congress. That’s not the way our system of government was designed to work,” House Speaker John Boehner said in a statement. “If this president can get away with making his own laws, future presidents will have the ability to as well. The House has an obligation to stand up for the Constitution, and that is exactly why we are pursuing this course of action.”
Source: http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/house-gop-file-lawsuit-against-obama-n253456

I say: time after time, the House has chosen to ignore the will of the American people and get any REAL work done on the issues we care about. They tried and failed 44 times to repeal the ACA. What’s the definition of insanity? And why were so many of these slackers re-hired this election, instead of FIRED?

Obama told them to work out a law. The House chose to play The Game of Politics instead. So the President took action.

Here’s a chart, showing the recent history of presidents signing executive orders.

Chart of Presidential Executive Orders

LEARN MORE:
U.S. National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html
and
UC Santa Barbara, University of California: http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/data/orders.php to see how far back in history these records go. George Washington signed 8 Executive Orders during his own time in office.

This is lawsuit is political posturing, and the GOP continuing to waste our tax dollars as they continue in their role of the Do Nothing Congress. They KNOW this lawsuit will fail. This is merely political pandering to the base that elected them.

In a nutshell:

  1. Presidential Executive Orders are lawful
  2. Presidential Executive Orders have precedent from the very first President, George Washington.
  3. The GOP knows this is legal
  4. The GOP is pandering to their base
  5. The GOP is WILLFULLY wasting time and our tax dollars
  6. Why is it different when Obama is doing it?

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Posted by on Jan 26, 2014 in Family, Funny, Interesting, Life, Social Commentary | 0 comments

From Quora: What is it that nobody tells you about having children?

If you haven’t heard of Quora, it’s an interesting site where people pose questions on all manner of subjects. And the community can chime in with their two cents worth (preferably backed by some facts  and/or some personal experience).

I follow a wide variety of topics there and a few friends and family. And then someone asked: What is it that nobody tells you about having children?  And I read the answers and upvoted a few posts and wandered off. Then, while sick I started writing an answer.  (Because when I’m sick, I write or do art stuff…ya know, like you do.) And being my thorough self, it got rather in-depth.

Parents may read this and laugh. Non-parents may also laugh, followed by shrieks and shuddering. Parenting is not for the faint of heart.

So I thought I’d share my post here too.

——————

Most people shared a lot of good points, so I’ll cover a few I don’t see here. This is generally speaking, so there are always some exceptions.

Your definition of hygiene will change. Bathing will become a luxury. I know far too many parents with little time to bathe. You’ll get used to going days without bathing, and stop caring if you go out in public without a bath or your hair done. This is especially true for stay-at-home parents.

You’ll develop a new sense of what you consider “gross”, because you’ll eventually notice baby barf on your pants and think, “eh, not bad enough to change to go to the store”. You’ll go out in public and realize you have a little poop on your sleeve, shrug your shoulders, and continue your shopping. You’ll show up in 3 day old clothing to drop kids off at daycare and not even flinch.

Oh sure, everyone tells you “don’t expect to keep a clean house once the kids arrive”. And you may think you’re cool with that because you don’t mind the house getting a little messy now and then. But you have no concept of how truly gross and chaotic a house can get until you have children. You’ll find ancient fish sticks in the couch cushions. You’ll have a living room carpeted with a minefield of toys. You’re going to find poop in strange places. Due to lack of time, cleaning will become low on the priority list (because at the end of the day, you’re just happy if you can get your kids fed, bathed, hugged, and asleep). This especially goes when both parents work or you’re a single parent.

If you don’t like shopping, you will now because it will be your “free time”. Parents love their kids, but the need to be alone or even have kid-free time still runs strongly in us. This means that sometimes a parent will look at the other parent and say, “My turn to go to the grocery store!”.

Males, you will get used to having your genitals being a punching bag. Babies and toddlers just naturally aim for that area. Also, when they start walking, they’ll reach there for a hand-hold for climbing.

Women, you will be able to smell a dirty diaper from across the room. Having a super-power of “strong sense of smell” is not fun, but handy. If you nurse, you’ll learn that milk can have the potential to exist in your body for years after weaning; it doesn’t always dry up in months or a year. If you have a C-section, you may learn it doesn’t heal and stop hurting in months, and may take a year or longer before you are pain-free. (I’ve met way too many women that dealt with that to buy into the concept that we fully heal after a few months.)

Your concept of sleep deprivation will change. If you ever thought you were sleepless before due to work, school, or partying…you are still not prepared. If you ever believed that sleep deprivation is not part of the definition of torture you will sing a new tune after having children.

Criteria for toys will include things like “is it quiet?”, “does it have volume control?”, and “does it have an off switch?”. You will end up with toys without any of those and you’ll learn that you can just tune it out.

Speaking of tuning things out: you will develop an immunity to children’s songs and television. You’ll be astounded at how many times in a row, for weeks, you can hear the same songs and dialogue and just stop noticing it. (Granted, most parents have at least 1 or 2 shows that become the “no way” or “only on very rare occasions” show.)

Your children will do and say things that will make you have to leave the room to laugh. Because we don’t want to teach them that their behavior is OK, or that embarrassing word or phrase they mispronounced is funny (because they’ll just keep doing it, and they’ll do it in the worst situations). If your loving spouse is closest to the exit you will be abandoned so they can go laugh, leaving you struggling to explain something to a child while trying not to crack a smile. You’ll do the same if you are the one standing closest to an exit.

Peepee Teepees are designed under the assumption that your boy will never wiggle and squirm during the diaper changing process, thereby rendering them useless. In fact, you’re going to learn the hard way that some cool things for babies are awesome and some are a waste of money. Also: just because it worked for someone else’s kid doesn’t mean it will work on yours.

Your instincts to protect your children will be so strong that even if your spouse who you love and would never ever dream of wanting to hit, looks like they’re about to drop your kid, you will be hit with the desire, for the first time in your life, to hit them. In fact, you’ll be struck with the urge to punch bad drivers that endanger your kids while you are driving your car. The momma/poppa bear jokes people make are based on some truth.

You’ll discover you have the astounding ability to hold a baby, fall and injure yourself, without the child hitting the floor or being harmed in any way.

Even if you and other people think you are the most patient person on the planet, one day, you will be hit with the urge to smack your child. You won’t act on it but you’ll still have the most surprising, overwhelming urge, which will be followed by some feelings of guilt. Kids, even starting as young as toddlers, learn real fast how to press your buttons. At the very least, they can be exasperating without trying to get to you; and all parents eventually find themselves overwhelmed at some point. Although when kids aren’t trying to test you, having a kid (starting at toddler age on) is like having a horrifically rude roommate with no social skills…and what we’ve been taught about how people should behave and is socially acceptable is really going to be at odds with your patience. You may be the type of person who doesn’t care about the rules of society; you’ll be shocked to learn what’s been ingrained in you….and just how deeply.

The first few years of the kids’ life, you’re just trying to keep them alive. Whether you’re trying to get them to eat enough to gain weight, or dealing with a mobile toddler, the focus is on getting them through the day in one piece. Kids are klutzy when they first learn to walk and fall a lot. And then they’ll learn climbing. They’ll grab things off the floor and put them in their mouth…it may be a small toy, a nut, a coin, or a bug. Your world will be a wonderland of choking hazards and things kids can fall off of or be impaled by. And this is why women start becoming neurotic insomniacs.

You are going to get pooped, peed and barfed on. You’ve been told this, but you have no concept of the volume and frequency with which this will occur. It’s probably going to land right in your hand, on your face, in your hair, or maybe even in your mouth. It’s going to happen to you a lot. If you’re squeamish you won’t be for much longer. Especially after you walk into your child’s room to a crib that is completely covered in poop, and crib toys that have it in every nook and cranny. Or you have a high chair so filthy it has to be hosed off in the back yard.

All the awesome ideas you have on parenting are wrong. You think you know how to do it, but you’ll discover your ideas aren’t practical. You may discover that it just doesn’t work for you and/or your spouse and/or your kids. Or, you’ll discover that just because something works for your friends or family, or worked when you were a kid, doesn’t mean it will work for your situation.  Every kid is different too: what works on one kid may not work on another of your children.

You’ll plop your kids in front of the TV just to keep your sanity and out of sheer exhaustion on your part. You will find yourself letting them watch TV at dinner just so they’ll stay in their chairs and not run with food in their mouths. You tell yourself you won’t do it…but you will.  You may think co-sleeping is a terrible idea, until you discover it’s the only way the baby (and thus you) will sleep. Later, when people tell you about how they plan to raise their kids, you’ll laugh at them the way everyone laughed at you. You’ll also realize that when you told people your grand plans for raising kids, someone was snickering and saying, “yeah, just wait”. (Assuming your family and friends aren’t the kind that will just laugh in your face.)

Having kids forces you to roll with the punches of life. Remember how your parents mellowed as you got older? Yeah, that will happen to you too. All those ideas you have about how “things should be” or how “life should be” or how “people should be” will change.

Those parents with the kids screaming in the store? You’ll empathize with them one day rather than judge them. You’ll know that it may not be that the kid is a brat and those are bad parents. Odds are good that the kid is just being a typical toddler, or maybe their kid is having an autistic meltdown. You’ll know just how mortified those parents feel. Those parents with the screaming kid on the plane? You’ll feel for them too because you’ll know that sometimes there’s no choice but to take a kid on a plane.

When you hear another child cry and you can’t see them, you’ll seek them out. Your urge will be to make sure that other kid is OK. In fact, if your neighbor’s kid yells, “Mommy, I’m scared!” from their backyard, you will skin your palms sending your 5 foot, plus-sized frame, over a 6 foot fence. (The kid was fine; the mom was inside and the kid couldn’t get the back door open and panicked.)  Both men and women pop their heads up like lemurs when they hear a kid crying.

You’ll realize the magnitude of what your parents gave up to raise you. When you look back on your childhood, you’ll know how hard raising you was for your parents too, no matter how easy you were to handle as a kid. At some point, you’ll find yourself on the phone calling to apologize to, and thank, your parents.

Having children will teach you what you, and your relationship, are made of. You will spend years sleep deprived, filthy, exhausted, embarrassed, horrified and otherwise emotionally damaged, with little to no time to yourself. If you think you’ve been in tough situations before, this is going to be one of the hardest, if not the hardest, things you’ve ever done. And it’s going to work like Stockholm Syndrome: you will be held hostage and abused by a tiny person and you will love them anyway.

Everything that you think of as normal, you will look at with fresh eyes. Things we take for granted are amazing to the kids. They’ll teach you a new sense of wonder, if you let them. You’ll even watch cartoons with your kids and realize they have no context for what’s happening, and why people are saying and behaving the way they are. Then you may learn that TV can become quite the useful learning tool when you sit with your kids and give a running explanation of what’s happening on the screen.

The old cliche about “having kids is the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve ever done” is true. And you will realize that the phrase you always found cliche and annoying exists because there just isn’t a better way to say it.

Having kids is like sex: you think you know what you’re getting into before you do it, but you really have no clue what kind of ride you’re in for.

What have you learned? What do you wish you knew?

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Posted by on Apr 19, 2013 in Angry Political Crap, Interesting, Social Commentary | 0 comments

Fun with Polls: All About that 90%

I’ll preface this with: I’m a gun owner and I support background checks. Personally, I don’t comprehend why other gun owners freak out at the idea of a background check. But then again, lots of people feel things I don’t comprehend.

H.R.21 did not pass, and I was disappointed. My inclination was to freak out that it wasn’t passed. I figured it was obvious no one had any intention of passing it, especially those that supported it and changed their minds later. My thought was “paid off by the NRA”. (Note: I own a gun and I deeply despise the NRA. They do NOT speak for me.)

That said, before freaking out, I took a look at a few things, especially talking points floating around Facebook.

“More than 90 percent of U.S. voters supported background checks for all gun buyers.”

That came from this Reuter’s article that all news sources parroted.

So I looked up the study they cited. Know what I found?

The original study only surveyed voters in Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. That is NOT 90% of the population of America. So yes, 90% of voters….in Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. AND that’s only 90% on background checks in a few specific scenarios and not all the questions they asked address all of what is in the bill!

I looked up the bill itself. You can read the summary here on the Senate’s website.

Well spun. Well. Spun.

I have more thoughts on the gun control debate that I may or may not get to that later. At the very least: the will of the people isn’t that background checks are good. Three states, folks. Three.

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