SMH

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So with secret blogging skills out, I thought I’d share with you something that makes me shake my head.

Stock photos.

A little background…

For my various clients I used to pay for stock photos from one of the big companies. I spent hundreds a year on photos. It was annoying.

Even more annoying (and beyond) was a few years back when I accidentally used a random pic from Google images on a blog post (I often would do some recon on photos I wanted to use and would save them for reference) and was sued by the stock company who owned the image (the company I probably gave more than a thousand bucks to over the years…)

I was able to negotiate down the fee without having to go to court, but still, it was ridiculous. Since then, I use only ‘free’ photos that are copyright free, no attribution required images. Yay.

However, (and this is my point) often the photos are crap. Like craptacular. Like super crap.

Searching for an appropriate photo for a blog (an essential element!) can sometimes take longer than researching a topic, writing a blog, editing and the actual posting.

Why though?

  • Mislabeled
  • Too ethnic (as example: searching for ‘kids playing’ and only finding barely clothed perhaps homeless children playing on a dirt road is certainly a third world country.)
  • Not ethnically diverse enough
  • They are just crap

Case in point… searching for ‘saving money’

This little gem appeared…

wtf

 

 

 

 

 

WTF?

A potato?

A spoon balancing on a calculator?

For whom could this image possibly be relevant? (Of course suggestions welcomed… please leave a comment)

Then there’s the overuse of keywords… meaning the contributing photographers (bless them all for saving me hundreds a year…) load the keyword description with every imaginable word that could possibly (loosely) be related to the image.

A search for ‘saving money’ also resulted in this bit of stock photo wizardry:

WTF 4

 

 

 

 

Again! Who would use this photo and when? Bandaids on a clock face? Ohhh, how deep in symbolism! Thank goodness someone added the text ‘time heals all wounds’. How profound!

Then there’s this guy…

wtf 2

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve seen this guy so much in free stock photos that I call him Uncle Frank.

WTF 3

 

 

 

 

Regardless of my search criteria (and my clients vary greatly in their stock photo needs!), Uncle Frank appears in my searches approximately 4 out of 5 times. It’s comforting really always to have Uncle Frank there for me, although he has some pain management and apparent depression issues…

WTF 5

 

 

 

 

 

Other times I just don’t know what’s wrong with poor Uncle Frank.

WTF 6

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, how I worry!

WTF 7

 

 

 

 

 

So now the caveat… I’m grateful to these photographers for generously donating their time and sharing their talent. (I’ve actually used several of Uncle Frank’s benefactor’s images) I appreciate the free use of their images greatly as it saves me money.

But.

Sometimes.

You just gotta say.

WTF.

Secret

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Okay, here’s my secret, and if you know me as a blogger, you should find this particularly humorous…

I’m actually somewhat of an ‘expert’ blogger.

I can hear your laughter from here!

Perhaps a bit of a self proclaimed expert, I’ll give you that… but in reality I train people and companies to blog and teach them why it’s important (improves organic search results, Google indexing, the best place to share company culture, excellent content for social media sharing… etc. etc. etc.).

Again, I can hear you laughing.

I teach them all about best practices for search engine optimization, (customized URLs, keyword placement, categories, tags, exYay mecerpts, meta data, focus keyword, images, alt text, descriptions…. etc. etc. etc.) good readability and style (bullet points, H2 headings, length, reading level… etc. etc. etc.) and content (what to write about, when, call to actions, modes and methods… etc. etc. etc.).

Surprised? Yeah, me too, lol.

Just today, after more than a month, I’ve finally finished the ‘system’ that I created which can be used for new clients as it’s general and not industry specific. I’m pretty freaking happy about this. It’s a awesome to have done.

I feel accomplished and like there’s a load off. Yay. However, now I’m starting on a new system for social media…

Life is good.

Oh Monday, you beast.

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So after being completely sloth like yesterday, surprisingly I wasn’t ‘raring’ to go this morning. (Normally after a day filled with sloth-like activities, I feel the need to be hyper productive.)

I got a late start to my work day (like 8:15am. Egads!), had a meeting a 9, then I took care of some daily business basics.

When I checked my schedule for the day, I wanted to cry…

Hootsuite

Advance Blog SEO

ABS 5MJ

Hootsuite

Post – Tourney & March Break

Website clean-up

HearSay Social

X Google Plus Images

Hootsuite

Post

Hootsuite

X Twitter

Hootsuite

eNewsletter  & Update Contacts

Bah! Before I got started I needed to run a few errands in town and I decided to also walk Shank before picking up Halia… well I didn’t get home until 11:30 and I forgot to do one thing which I’ll have to go into town later today or maybe tomorrow. Arg! Rats!

I started working my way through the list of to-do’s – but I’m really tired… I didn’t sleep well last night after being so slothful yesterday. Boo! Now it’s 3:30 and I still have one big item on my list to accomplish before I can feel my work day is done.

That’s all… back at it. Thanks for listening. Life is good.

This week in review

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Kind of a weird week.

Last week-end I felt super productive and accomplished… taking care of a lot of little things like preparing my HST, compiling all our 2015 house bills, getting the dining room table set up and more.

This week I felt like I was drowning in work… one thing would come in, then another, then another… (Especially from one client) I’d think ‘okay, I’m almost done for the day’ then an odd request or six would appear in my inbox. I think I had a total of 5 meetings (one not working out due to a poor internet connect), and one I skipped because it can wait.

Frustrating to say the least. Annoying.

So now I’m having to work a bit today, but hopefully not tomorrow. Next week is already looking busy with the end of the month quickly approaching.

I’ve got to find a better balance!

Good things

  • Played in the indoor golf league – couldn’t hit my driver further than 160 (UGH!), but I played okay otherwise.
  • Got together with some girls for Rachie-Roo’s birthday – pretty fun
  • Had a relaxing couch night last night.
  • Tonight we’re having a couple of friends over for a nice steak dinner and likely some pinball and hot tub.
  • Tomorrow is all about football. We invited a couple of couples over, but neither are able to make it… all good.

Here’s the dining room table and chairs from the TN house…

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Life is good.

Here’s the thing about expectations…

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So, as posted, I really had low expectations for Thursday morning. As it turned out – I was in and out of the oil change place (oil change, tire rotation and break check = $40 THANK YOU!) in 30 minutes.

I popped in the upholstery place to pay for the dining room chairs and our ‘occasional’ chair and asked about delivery… free delivery – even though we’re way out in the county… THANK YOU! Sometime next week? Sounds good to me – way easier than trying to work their hours (open until only 5pm during the week and closed on Saturdays) with William’s, on a day that’s not raining or snowing (no cap on his truck), and he’s in that part of the city.

Next off to the dreaded passport office. I was concerned, as the parking meter only allowed for a maximum of 2 hours… However… No one in line 1. Only 3 other groups waiting in front of me in line 2… I was in and out of there in 20 minutes. No lie. Plus the security guard was serious eye candy. THANK YOU!

Essentially I left home at 8, dropped the pooches off and had a chat with MomG, and was home by 10:30… I even got the upstairs of our house cleaned, did some work and relaxed for an hour before heading to a ‘shop’ party in the city. (Which was a fun time.) Yay!

I guess when you keep your expectations at a worse case scenario, it has to go better!

Along with this idea… I don’t consider myself a demanding person with high expectations in general. For the most part (but not work wise or being late!), I like to go with the flow.

As example…

We learned that the dining room table and leaves could be picked up (and paid for) yesterday – but William was on call. Although getting the table and chairs to Canada, to the restoration place and to the upholstery place has been literally a 5 month process, I really didn’t care if William could get it yesterday. We’re going to have this furniture forever, so what’s one more day/week/month.

As it turns out – it wasn’t raining or snowing, and he didn’t have any calls – so he took Mr. Shank to get the table yesterday. (Then they popped in to see our friends and Mr. Shank’s BF for a little play date – YAY – exhausted dog!)

While they were gone, the owner of the upholstery place called – he was meeting a friend in Essex for lunch (they did the upholstery at Billy’s Taphouse – our best local restaurant IMHO) so he offered to deliver the dining room chairs (the occasional chair is not finished yet). THANK YOU!

The chairs were here before William arrived home with the table.

He was going to set up the table (attaching the pedestal bases which we’ve had back from the restoration place for about a month now), but realized a little shim needs to be replaced and he would prefer to use all the same screws… He could have ran up to the hardware store last night, but who cares? He can do it today, or tomorrow, or whenever – like I said, we’re going to have this furniture forever – and with him on call I don’t like to bug him about things (being on call bugs him enough!).

Don’t get me wrong – I can’t wait to see the table and chairs set up! They look amazing – better than I hoped – but I think (and finally, here’s my point) if I have a lot of expectations, it would result in me being fairly demanding – and that doesn’t make for a very happy life. I think it’s more important to consider the big picture and not sweat the small stuff – in the end, everything seems to work about even better than I would have expected!

Not my most profound words of wisdom… but still, I think it’s an important part of a happy life.

Life is good.

Pics to come!

Not a Normal Friday

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Certainly not a normal Friday.

I usually work my schedule to be able to clean the house on Friday mornings after I take the pooches to Mom G’s… but as it worked out I have an oil change in the city, need to pop into an upholstery place, then I need to hit the passport office.

I think the passport office is the Canadian equivalent to the US’s Department of Motor Vehicles, (as seen on TV!) except everyone needs to be able to fluently speak English and French.

You stand in one line and wait, then once they’ve determined you’re not an idiot (or perhaps you are), they direct you to take a number, sit down, get comfortable and wait. You wait among the most ethnically diverse group of people you can image. That might be a consistent problem with the whole process is that so many needing help parce que ils ne sont pas parler anglais. Oh, and screaming babies, arguing adults… weird smells…

Then when your lucky number is called, you get to deal with an impatient, harried civil servant who must absolutely hate their life. (Of course there must be lovely people who work there, who love their jobs and lives, but I’ve never met one.)

The entire ordeal could take 30 minutes or it could take 4 hours… don’t make any immediate plans. Pay the maximum for parking an hope that all works out.

So why do I have to go to the passport office? Good question! It’s because I need a certified copy of my passport to be able to apply for an American Tax Payer Identification Number in order to be able to submit a US 2015 tax return for the 10% Uncle Sam withheld from the sale of our TN house. (Really super annoying as I asked repeatedly if me being a Canadian would have any tax implication with the sale… I easily could have given PF – the other owner and an American – a ‘quit claim’ deed to avoid this whole mess!) Quite the enjoyable process, I say! (Luckily PF was an accountant… and he’s helping me out!)

So… then…

I’m invited to a ‘shop party’ of one of my friends/clients, so I might head back into the city around 4pm to take advantage of this work perk! Yay!

So the house is not going to be cleaned today, which means I’ll either do it tomorrow (William is on call) or it won’t get done at all – in which case I’ll be annoyed until next Friday.

That’s all – life is good.

Jump Out of My Skin

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I’m just not having a good day…

I slept well, got an early start and the dogs aren’t bothering me too much (it’s really cold out and about 1.5 foot of snow) today.

My clients are really not on me today (well, except one, but that’s okay).

I just feel… annoyed. Like I’m gonna snap. Like I wanna face kick a bitch. I also have a lot on my plate this week and I’m irked because:

  • Some people aren’t getting back to me
  • There are some things that I really don’t want to do (mostly because no notices, comments or seems to care that I do them)
  • I don’t feel that great and I don’t really want to do anything! (maybe read and watch TV)

Arg.

What’s a person to do? Head down? Tomorrow will be better? Take care of what I can and let the rest go?

Geez, real sage advice there LG.

I have golf indoor golf league tonight… maybe getting out of the house for a few hours will do the trick (now that I think about it, I haven’t left the house since Saturday…).

We’ll see.

Have a lovely day.