Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Answer to A Minor But Worrisome Issue

Answers are so hard to come by.  Questions are easy, because I believe what they taught my children:
The only stupid question is the one you do not ask. 
Answers, on the other hand, seem to be in short supply recently.  Is the Santa Barbara shooter mentally ill or a bad seed?  Would stronger legislation or better training for first responders or stiffer penalties or a fully armed populace make us safer?  Does a rallying cry take the place of real action? Is that the purpose of a shout-able, repeat-able, quotable slogan?  Is raising consciousness a worthy goal in and of itself? 
I've been torturing my brain with these and other thoughts all weekend long.  It started at the quilting bee; it got worse when I returned home to find TBG glued to the news reports from SoCal.  Rain's comments to my post on the subject, and our subsequent conversation, just fanned the flames. 
I want to know why.
I want to know what to do.
I am tired of facing a problem without a solution.

I tried to lose myself in crocheting a sweater set for FlapJilly
When that didn't work, I tackled a less weighty but still bothersome issue - the efficient sharing of photographs.
I could post them on Facebook, but I don't trust the privacy.  They are a public company, beholden to the bottom line, and after facing down angry shareholders as value plummeted in the wake of the IPO, Mark Zuckerberg seems unwilling to stand in the way of financial gain ever again.  If he can make money by alerting advertisers to the fact that I am crocheting or quilting I'm certain he will do so.
Normally, this would not be a problem for me.  I adhere to the other piece of good advice my children heard, this one passed down to them from Daddooooo:
Don't do anything you wouldn't want published on the front page of The New York Times.
If I post it on the internet, I expect it to be circulated to the ends of the earth.  I am careful about including others' personal details in The Burrow (I always ask first) and I think three or four times before adding my own photos.  Flowers and sunsets are no brainers; anything else requires deliberation.

Which brings me to the Worrisome Issue - pictures of my impending grandchild.

I want to show her off.  I want to revel in her smile and your smiles as you look at her image in pixels on your screen.  I want to share the joy.


I have come to recognize that, by posting her image on-line, I am making a decision for her.  She will have a web presence before she has a chance to decide for herself if that's a path down which she wants to travel.  Her image could be hijacked for indecent purposes or bizarre obsessions or other creepiness. 

I might place a birth announcement in The New York Times, but I wouldn't post albums of baby pictures.

Today, after failing three or four or seventeen times to send 41 images to the local Moms Demand Action manager via Picasa and Gmail, I tried Google+.

In three simple clicks - one to select the album, one to Share, one to add her email - she had the pictures and I had a prompt for a post. 

I can set up a circle of recipients and promote my grandchild's progress with impunity.  I can set it up to prohibit re-sharing, so the images will go only where I send them.  I can share and not worry and now I can move on to another nagging problem......

...... there are so many of them, aren't there?  Isn't it nice to have a solution to one of them?

You are welcome.



  1. I felt safe in posting infant, new born pics of my grandchildren, but not after that. I do post them on Facebook, but I limit my list there to those I know something about, friends, family, and don't allow sharing them with friends of friends.

    On the problem of recognizing mental illness, I keep coming back to him being a psychotic. Everything I've read that he wrote says it's what he was. Psychotics aren't all going to murder someone and how we evaluate someone who is definitely a scary, obnoxious ____ to someone who should be permanently removed. Right now we aren't even trying. I have always said that I support responsible gun regulations but since we know a lot of weapons can kill besides guns, it doesn't solve the problem of someone like these mass murderers who are usually filled with grandiose visions of themselves, feel unfairly treated and are sociopaths. We don't mind imprisoning those who used drugs but heaven forbid we would imprison someone who had the potential to do the kinds of things like Sandy Hook before they did it. We have to find answers but I don't have them yet either and I agree it is very distressing.

    The one thing I always come back to is-- we have the first obligation to make our own lives good. If we can't help ourselves do that, we sure can't help anybody else. So simple and big pleasures are good things. Being happy as we can is a good thing. Enjoying life as it is and not letting the worries swamp it. That's enough of a struggle some days :)

    1. And you have come back to where I start every morning -- The sun came up and I was here to see it. By definition, it's a good day!

      I'm meeting with a writer's group at the Community Mental Health center today... I'm going to ask their opinions.


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