The Squeaky Wheel

Update on WordPress Makes Copyright Infringement Easy.

I explained my displeasure (with the Reblog tool) to several WordPress Happiness Engineers. I wanted them to understand how easy WordPress had made it for my copyright photo to be used without my permission.

Eventually one of the Happiness Engineers suggested several other work arounds:
1. Since the photo in the reblogged post was linked to my Media Library (rather than being a photo that was copied and pasted into their post) I could remove the photo from my media library, then upload the photo again with a new name and insert it into my post. That would break the link to the original photo. I did this, and also tried their other suggestion:
2. I could Report the site – use this link to learn how:

I reported the site and flagged it as spam rather than copyright violation. I don’t know whether the first option worked because the second option was acted upon quite quickly. The site was taken down AND the programmers have been informed that there is a glitch or a bug that allows reblogging even though the reblog tool has been disabled.

So, sometimes The Squeaky Wheel gets the Grease!

I hate to be a kicker,
I always long for peace,
But the wheel that squeaks the loudest,
Is the one that gets the grease.
– Josh Billings, The Kicker, 1870 –

I couldn’t find engine oil for my car so I used Omega 3 to stop it squeaking. The improvement was only super fish oil.
– Author Unknown –

On the other hand

Big Thanks
I’d like to thank the WordPress Happiness Engineers who listened to my concern and were able to resolve the issue.

This and That – Fixing Things

It’s like playing whack-a-mole. You fix one thing, and another one breaks.

Recently deceased: a ten year old Hoover Tectronic Multi Cyclonic Vacuum Cleaner

My vacuum cleaner tried to ‘digest’ the fringe on a throw rug. I quickly hit the off switch, but it was too late. When I turned it on again, the power head made a terrible racket, then quit. The Car Guy diagnosed a ‘loss of electrical continuity’. Sadly, repair parts are either no longer available or they cost significantly more than the original  purchase price of the machine. A new vacuum will cost less than repairs and should work better than the old one.  Rest in Peace, built-in obsolescence.

When you clean out a vacuum cleaner, you become the vacuum cleaner.
– From a meme at The Haps with Herb

Silence is golden, duct tape is silver.

Duct tape is a very versatile product. It isn’t a permanent fix, but a good short term solution! I use it to extend the life of work gloves… or should I say glove. It is always the  right hand one.

Another use: apparently if you are attacked by a large number of very small ‘hairy’ cactus spines, you can smooth a piece of duct tape over the area, then peel it off. Maybe that works for slivers, too?

We Can See Clearly Now

Eventually WD-40 and foam weather stripping don’t work  any more – so we  had all the windows and doors in our 40 year old house replaced. This was a fix that made the house more comfortable and corrected the problem of leaky panes and sliders that would ‘stick’ open or closed. The payback period in energy savings is, at our age… lets not go there.

Speaking of Energy, it is not all that easy to ‘Fix’ the Climate because the ‘settled science’ keeps evolving!  Science News now says ‘Methane may not warm the Earth quite as much as previously thought’. Scientific America says a recent study indicates the world’s corals may be more resilient than researchers thought.

If you didn’t read about these findings, maybe mass media is what we need to fix too.

Slate Cleaning 101

On the long list of old things being made to look newish, enter the simple scrub brush. Paired with a cream cleaner and a lot of muscle power, I eventually removed years of waxy build up on my black slate hearth. There were more caustic products to do this job, but I didn’t find them until I was almost finished doing it the hard way. Good exercise, though.

Sometimes, in order to fix a problem, you have to think outside the box.

I don’t know who came up with this idea, but I can attest to the fact that sometimes the people who own Dobermans are not the best neigbours.

Wheezy in the ‘She Shed’

Man Caves – Mark Twain had a Writing Hut; Winston Churchill had an Art Studio; The Wright Brother’s had a Bicycle Shop; Frank Lloyd Wright had a Drafting Studio – but there is little in history about rooms (in the home or nearby yard) that creative women escaped to.

In recent times, however, women are taking ownership of ‘private places’ and they are frequently called ‘She Sheds’. Sometimes these are adult size ‘Wendy Houses’ or garden sheds – but any room inside the house can become a dedicated place for creative activities or relaxation.

At our rural Red House in Alberta, The Car Guy’s Man Cave is a triple car garage equipped with a wide range of tools and equipment for everything from car repair to home renos to woodworking. In a bid for equal square footage, my ‘She Shed’ is multiple rooms inside the house – a craft room in a former bedroom, a writing area in the living room and a paint studio in the basement.


When we are in Arizona, The Car Guy has a Man Cave Garage and I have turned the Arizona Room into my She Shed. That is a space I share with Wheezy–  a 17 year old wall mount HVAC that still heats and cools, but sounds like it has severe asthma.

A Case for Creativity

There is compelling evidence of the value of doing something creative just because we enjoy it. Even if we aren’t judged as being particularly good at it, these activities make us feel happier and more relaxed. They help to improve observation, problem-solving skills, memory retention and hand-eye coordination.

The finished work provides a burst of self-esteem that brightens the mood by increasing the neurotransmitter dopamine. This helps create new neurons, which in turn promote focus, concentration and readies the brain for learning.

What Do I Meme by Creativity?

I just checked – these are still available at Target – $3.89 when purchased on line. Every home should have a box of them!
Did you know that Santa’s Reindeer are all females? Only female reindeer still have antlers at Christmas; the male of the species shed theirs before mid-December.
Apparently some components of paper are abrasive and these dull the scissors.
I’d have loaned my paper scissors to Alan Rickman (Severus Snape in Harry Potter) any day of the week. I’d even have loaned him my sewing scissors – to cut paper…
If you sew, are you a ‘sewer’. A ‘sewer’ is also a pipe to transport sewage. I guess that is why some women would rather be called seamstresses or the gender neutral ‘tailor’.

How do you express your Creativity and do you have a dedicated She Shed or Man Cave?

Mushrooms – A Story with a Morel

What veggie goes best with jacket potatoes?
Button mushrooms.*

Something I have not seen here in Arizona before – mushrooms growing in our yard! This year it has been quite rainy and apparently this, and other conditions, have been just right for mushrooms to appear. While not ‘morel’ mushrooms (an edible kind), these mushrooms certainly look good enough to eat… but not by me.

Speaking of wet conditions, 75% of Arizona is NOT currently experiencing drought, with the remaining area being at the lowest levels of drought categories. The USDA Seasonal Outlook predicts the ‘no drought status’ to remain for some undetermined time.

During a drought, a grape farmer watched his grapes dry out and fall to the ground. All he could say was… everything happens for a raisin.*

During a drought… every day is lawndry day.*

Mushrooms in Arizona – Original Photo
Mushrooms – Graphic Filter – Topaz Studio
Mushrooms – Ricci Gaphic Filter – Topaz Studio

What happens when the mushroom’s car breaks down?
It gets toad.*

So is there a ‘Morel’ to this story? Of course – though it has nothing to do with mushrooms or drought.

Hundreds of birds flew down from the forest trees and were harassing the sheep grazing in the fields.
A black sheep took it upon himself to run into the woods to stop the birds. And it worked!
The moral of the story? Lonely ewe can prevent forest flyers.*

* – All the preceding quotations came from ‘Author Unknown’!

My other Mushroom Post: Aspen Oyster Mushrooms in Alberta