WordPress Bloggers React to the Rainbow Banner

WordPress.com celebrated the US Supreme Court decision (that same-sex couples can marry nationwide) by posting a Rainbow Banner (the LGBT Flag) across the top of every WordPress bloggers ‘My Sites’ and ‘Reader Page’. These are the first pages WordPress bloggers see when they log onto their site. While only they can see it (not their readers), every WordPress.com blogger in the world was presumably seeing the same Rainbow flag.

503-wp-blue-bgThe response from the WordPress blogging community was immediate, with questions being posted to the WordPress forum: How can I remove this!?

An early response from a WordPress Member was “The rainbow master bar was added in support of the Supreme Court of the United States ruling on same-sex marriage today… However, as this is a polarized issue and the community support forums are not the place to hold such discussions we are closing threads related to the mastbar.”

With that, they closed the topic. As further requests came in, WordPress repeatedly closed each topic after responding with “The banner is temporary. It will eventually be removed. Threads are being closed as the public WordPress.com forum is not the place for these discussions.” In some of the requests, the user simply said the banner was offensive, just as a Swastika banner would be offensive. Others said they would prefer to have an option as to what appeared on the top of those pages. Others weren’t aware of what the banner meant, and though they liked rainbows, they didn’t want one there. Others asked, how long is ‘eventually’?

At this point, I thought the Rainbow banner was one design decision that WordPress hadn’t thought out very carefully. They chose to impose their support, and an implied solidarity, onto every WordPress.com blogger. Many of these bloggers were quick to object to that kind of forced compliance and rightfully so.

One forum moderator responded to the bloggers objections by saying, they thought everyone who posted a protest on the forum was a hater. Hater? Everyone? I object to the banner, but I’m not a hater. I simply object to not having a choice as to whether I want to fly a particular flag. There are lots of flags and graphics I would object to – not out of hate – just a desire to have  control of the design in the ‘living room’ of my blog. I think WordPress made two errors – one in their disrespect for their user base by posting the banner, and the other in the way they responded to the users when they objected.

What do you think?

Ghosting Orb – A Rainbow Lens Flare

In this sunrise photo, a small rainbow like orb popped up below and left of the sun. It was caused by lens flare. The light source, the sun, was much brighter than the rest of the scene and this caused reflections inside the camera. This particular lens flare is called a ‘Ghosting Orb’.

Though a rainbow is actually a continuous spectrum of colours, we see seven of them: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. The  mnemonic, Richard Of York Gave Battle In VainROYGBIV – might help some people remember the order of these colours…

At this point, I usually insert a funny quote or pun about a rainbow. There doesn’t seem to be one – and I’ve already forgotten the mnemonic…

The border for this photo was done in GIMP.

To see how other photos from this WordPress Photo Challenge, click this link: Photo Challenge ROYGBIV

Stacked Wood Christmas Tree

We saw Stacked Wood Christmas Trees at The Cross Roads Collective in Invermere, British Columbia. The Car Guy said, “We could make one of those, you know”, and I thought, “Sure we could, but will we?”

Many months later, we made our first trees. This is a project, though, that actually took many years to come together. This is why, and here are the instructions:

1. I married a man who keeps everything.

2. We bought a cabin with copper pipe plumbing that ran under the open underbelly of the cabin. The pipes sometimes froze and split if we had hard frosts after we turned the water on for the season. The Car Guy changed out the pipes for flexible plastic tubing that didn’t burst as easily. He brought the copper pipes home, because he might need them some day.

4. The Red House needed a new deck. The Car Guy built one, and salvaged any good wood, because he might need it some day.

5. A heavy snowfall broke many branches off the trees around The Red House. The Car Guy and I piled all the wood up in various locations on our property – because we might need it some day.

Salvaged deck lumber

6. Some day eventually arrived.  The Car Guy used the salvaged deck lumber to build the X shaped bases for the Stacked Wood Christmas Trees.

Salvaged copper pipe

7. He cut 4 feet (1.2 meters) off one of the 3/4 inch (1.9 centimeter) pieces of copper tubing.  Then he drilled a hole in the center of his X-shaped base, and stuck one end of the copper tubing into the hole.

Drilled hole

8. Then The Car Guy taught me how to use the electric chop saw. I went to work cutting the long broken branches from the trees into shorter pieces. (The longest was 3.5 feet (1.1 meters).) When I had them cut up into the right lengths, The Car Guy drilled a hole in the middle of each branch with his drill press. (The Car Guy has an excellent selection of tools that he buys because he might need them some day.)

Stacking branches onto the pipe

9. I laid out the branches in the order I wanted to stack them, then ‘threaded’ them onto the copper pipe.

Stacked wood Christmas Tree

Ta Da! The completed Stacked Wood Christmas Tree.

I also made a star for the top. I cut 5 pieces of branch, equal lengths and laid them out in a 5 pointed star shape.  The Car Guy used his air gun nailer to tack them together, then we nailed it to the top  branch.

Measure twice and cut once – there’s no board stretcher in the tool kit.
– Author Unknown –

The words ‘Hoarded Ordinaries’ came to mind when I watched The Car Guy drag this and that out from here and there until he finally had all the components to make these trees.

What sort of things do you or your spouse ‘hoard’ and what unanticipated use did you finally make from the stash?

5.5 Years Blogging and 5 Petal Flowers

I try not to assign too much importance to numbers, especially the ones I have no control over- like age and height. But the number ‘5’ – this year it just begs to be noticed and celebrated! It popped up on my radar in January with the calendar of 2015. Then in April (a month with 5 letters) I observed my 65th birthday.

The day has long passed when my mom would have made a big deal out of my birthday, especially one with the number ‘5’ in it. The photo below is my 5th birthday party. My mom let me invite 5X2  friends and she wisely baked 2 cakes to feed them all.

My 5th Birthday Party (scanned photo with pencil filter.)

More ‘5’sthe Car Guy and I have been married for 45 years! I started this blog 5.5 years ago. This is my 500th post.

The number ‘5’ – while it is maddeningly unequal when you try to divide it evenly, it is pleasantly symmetrical in many ways. Perhaps that is why we draw stars with 5 points, and the design of The Pentagon was retained, even when a new site was chosen and the need for that shape was no longer a factor.

Five sided shapes are not nearly as easy to make as 4 sided ones – except in the world of flowers, where 5 petals are numerous. (See Five Petals: The Mysterious Number “5” Hidden In Nature by Yutaka Nishiyama).

Photos of my gardens confirm how numerous 5 petals are:

Jacob’s Ladder (Polemonium caeruleum) – Alberta
Wild Blue Flax (Linum lewisii) – Alberta
Blue Potato Bush (Lycianthes rantonnei) – Arizona
Shooting Star (Dodecatheon) – Alberta
Unidentified – Alberta

I’d like to end this post with a pun or quotation, but I can’t find one. I’ve become stuck on the last photo, because I can’t figure out what the plant is.

Normally, I would just put this post on the back burner for a while and post something else, but I can’t. This, for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, till death us do part, is my Anniversary Post for 5.5 years.