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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…








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:






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.






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…







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







Oh, how I worry!







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.



You just gotta say.



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)


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.

The Downside(s)

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In general, working from home is so very awesome (tell us something new, LG). There are however a few downsides (are you whining about work again LG?).

No, just the facts…

Working at home involves a lot of email. Like, a lot.

Without any exaggeration (you gotta love that preface…) I have only met with my one client once in 2 years and spoken to them on the phone 3 times, (and one was a crank call, okay, just kidding) Oh, and FYI, he’s my favourite client. And because (I know, don’t start a sentence with a conjunction, duh) I’m fairly autonomous in what I do (because, like who cares about social media, right?) I don’t often have a lot of ‘in real life’ (IRL) communication with my clients.

And that’s cool, (more poor grammar; please excuse! I’m not on the clock, it’s my blog gall darnit!)

However, at times, there’s things I need to know, ask or request.

Like for instance (wow, I’m on a poor grammar roll!)…

Subject: 1 question

LG: Hi Greg,

I hope everything is going well with you, I have 1 question…

I understand Lionel is starting July 1st. Could you possibly send me his biography within the first few days of July? I will use this as a blog article, on the ‘about us page’ and in the next eNewsletter.

Thanks so much,


Greg’s response

(no greeting or hello… that’s cool…)

Lionel does not start until July 1st. So it only makes sense to send you his bio within the first week of July. I think this would be great to include this in the July eNewsletter.

LG (in my head)

You’re frickin brilliant. Yes! Perfect. Wow. I gotta write that shit down, as it’s such a unique and original concept to grasp. Where oh where did you come up with that idea? 

LG’s Response

Hi Greg,

That sounds great! I look forward to receiving his bio in the first week of July.

Have a great day!



Or this:

Subject: 3 things

Hi Mackie,

1) I’m available for a meeting online on Tuesday at 3pm as previously discussed. Are you still available to meet at that time?

2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’. If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.

3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know – thanks!

Have a great day, I look forward to hearing back from you.


Mackie’s Response

(No greeting or salutation, please note the grammatical errors.)

I tart work a 10 on Mondays,

LG (in my head)

Wow, that is so informative and helpful. Let me mark that on my calendar under the the heading ‘WTF Are You Talking About? Have You Had Your ADD Tested Lately?’ (Just a joke, I fully understand that ADD is a real medical problem for millions of people.)

LG’s Real Response

Hi Mackie,

Thanks for your reply. In regards to my last email, I have 3 questions… please send me your response as soon as convenient. Thanks so much for your time.

1) I’m available for a meeting on Tuesday at 3pm. Are you available to meet at that time online as previously discussed?

2) I have prepared the report for the next steps of the marketing plan. Please review the attached document ‘Next Steps: Marketing Plan’ If you have any questions or comments, please let me know before our meeting.

3) Did you happen to attain the Giant Panda from China? If so, I’ll like to name in James in honour of my grandfather. Please let me know if this works for you. Thanks so much!

I look forward to your response. Talk to you soon,


Mackie’s response:

Hi LG,

Its been a crasy week hear wow really so busy thanks for you’re email ive only just red it and so important yes the proposal Tues at 6pm is perfect and the jaguar isn’t ready for pick up although I mind some sliver and thas was awsom.

LG (in my head)

Dear Moron,

Are you frickin drunk? It’s 9am on a Monday, so wow, good for you. I sent you 3 questions nearly a week ago. My uber sneaky, ninja email software tells me you opened it 4 days ago in Delaware. Delaware? If you went to Delaware, this is something I should know. Howabout my 3 very direct, hard to misunderstand questions? Can you focus for 8 seconds and answer me so I can do my job… y’know… the thing you pay me for? 

LG’s Real Response

Hi Mackie, 

Wow, that sounds exciting! I didn’t realize you were out of town. With regard to the 3 questions I asked you last Tuesday, if you could get back to me as soon as possible? I’d really appreciate it. Thanks so much.


Like, really? Could you imagine walking into someone’s office, and asking them, “What time is the meeting today?” and them replying, “Monkey jackass sausage brains light switch leg twitch!”

Why is email communication so lost in translation? Seriously? I’m gonna estimate I waste 10 hours a week trying to:

  • Decipher poor grammar and spelling.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.
  • Receive an answer to an email that I sent.

Of course I receive daily the ‘random thought’ emails… one of my life’s true joys. These people will send 8 emails within 4 minutes in reply to one email… each email featuring a poorly written random thought. With my super sneaky ninja email program, I can seriously see that they have not even finished reading the email completely before replying! Seriously?

Here’s my advice.

  • Receive the email
  • Read the email
  • Take a breath if necessary
  • Re-read the email if necessary
  • Reply thoroughly to said email
  • Get on with life
  • Then drink alcohol
  • Enjoy! Now knowing you have the love and etiquette email approval of LG! (Wow, 2012? Time flies.)

Oh, and of course there’s the people that just don’t bother to check their email anymore… because there’s too many of them…

It’s all just entertainment now. Like seriously…  so… If someone who pays me can’t be bothered to properly reply… why should I care?


(Thing is though… I do)


(…end scene… fade to black)

Random picture:
432William and my nephew Myles… whose college graduation is tomorrow. I’m so proud of him! Oh, and he’s valedictorian of his class! Amazing.

Work from home

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Hard at it!I recently read an article (I’m too embarrassed to say from which publication – suffice to say it’s a respected Canadian magazine) which stated that people who work from home should still ‘dress for success’.

Really? Like, really?

The article said something to the effect that to be in a proper frame of mind, to be professional, we must look the part even if we work alone from home. The article further stated that us at home workers should be well prepared and looking sharp in case we have to ‘run out at a moment’s notice’ or ‘meet a delivery person for a package’ (of course not real quotes, because I can’t find the darned article online to read again, but you get my gist, right?).


So I’d like to respond, albeit briefly, as my eyes are bulging out of their holes from staring at this screen all day.

  • When I’m working at home, I’m wearing joggies and possibly a toque, depending on the weather. Odds are I’m wearing the shirt I slept in or went to the gym in (my socks however, always match and look awesome). I’m not drunk or stoned, although I am on occasion, hungover (#keepinitreal #whosnot #dontjudgeme). I truly feel I can articulate myself well regardless if my pants are made of 100% comfy cotton and have a silky draw-string. Hey, at least I’m wearing pants. If you work from home and choose not to wear pants – hey, whatever floats your boat.
  • One benefit of working from home (I am self employed, so this might not be applicable to all) is that I’m rarely called out on a moment’s notice. If I can’t make an urgent meeting (I’ve yet to encounter any drop-everything-and-get-into-the-city-urgent-meetings in the world of social media) it might well be because I’m choosing to walk my dogs at that time. Another benefit of being self employed and working from home is that in general I find I have plenty of time to pull on a pair of fancy pants when the occasion calls. (It rarely calls.)
  • In my most humbled of opinions (and yes, of course this is all just my opinion – it’s a blog!), webcam Skype calls for business purposes are full of cheese and not at all necessary for my line of work (hey, it’s all about me, see above). The request of ‘hey, let’s Skype this meeting’ would be politely declined as I eye roll myself into migraine. So not necessary.
  • Perhaps a package will be delivered. I do occasionally get packages (let’s review: sports tickets, AERO Garden supplies, Grace-Adele jewelry, and I’ve recently ordered my husband a birthday present, but as if I’d tell you what it is!). Nary a business related package. I like to buy my business stuff in person (‘cept fonts) – it’s a special outing. So, do I care if I’m wearing joggies with a runny dog nose print located precisely on my privates? Do I care if I spilled oatmeal on my shirt? Um, so no. Why though? THE GUY IS WEARING SHORTS AND IT’S 2*F OUTSIDE. Is he my target customer? Does he even know what I do in my basement all day? (not that, the other thing). I don’t have a sign outside, so likely not.

Let’s recap:

  • I like to be comfortable.
  • I own fancy pants
  • Whatever floats your boat of goats.
  • Yay! Packages!
  • I don’t care what the UPS guy thinks of me (plus I used to play volleyball with him, during the days of short shorts and I might’ve caught a glimpse or ten of his giggleberries).

One day I’m going to write an article about what it’s really like to be self employed and work from home. One day when my eyes aren’t begging to be closed.

Adventure! Travel! Intrigue and a rant

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I wasn’t going to post anything today, but I’m logged in, so I thought what the hay…

We’ve booked a trip – yay! In mid April we’re flying into Vegas and heading to northern Nevada, ‘Mesquite’ to be exact for a week long golfing adventure! We have tee times already booked at 4 courses in the Mesquite area and 2 in the St. George, Utah area. St. George was originally our destination, but it appears the courses are a little nice in the Mesquite area, the hotel newer (and less expensive), plus there are a few (cough, low rent) casinos and a country music bar with live performances. Right up my alley (oh, there’s a bowling alley too, but that’s not on the list of things to do). Woo hoo!

One day we’re going to check out Zion National Park – yay! Utah is one of my mom’s favourite places in the world, so she’s excited for us (and has been dropping hints for years that we should go there…)

The golf looks amazing and I really think William will like it better than Arizona..

(I found these images on Google, please don’t sue me for using them, thanks!)





Um yeah…. pretty nice! It’s going to be great!

So the rant part…. it’s still freaking cold. Yesterday I went to the gym and it was -2F with a wind chill of -23*F. It’s been like this for weeks now, however, it’s supposed to reach the freezing mark this week-end and it’ll be a welcomed relief! Today’s gym adventure was a balmy 11*F and my car was actually warm by the time I reached the gym.

The thing is… average high for this time of year should be right around the freezing mark. It hasn’t even been close in weeks! That’s like us having weeks of 50* weather in July – when it should be 80*ish. Boo!

Also annoying is everyone complaining about the weather and the snow – oh and the snow! More to come tonight! We have 4 foot drifts in the space I walk to my mom’s every morning with the dogs. I’m annoying myself just by writing about it. I hate myself! Haha!

SuperBowl party this week-end and it’s going to be super! I think we’ll have around 15 peeps over – crazy!

Life is good – cheers!

More annoyances

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It’s been a frustrating last few days.

– Hot, hot and humid. Too hot to walk the dogs, so they’re rangy and bored.

– A million small things to do. I think I’ve done them all.

– Didn’t golf last night – Kiki had some issues at home to deal with, and although I could have met up with some other ladies, I didn’t feel like going to the effort for only 9 holes. So I spent a few extra hours working. Boo. Hopefully will golf Thursday, then of course in Club C (as we’re not going to TN) on Saturday and Sunday.

– Power was out for 3 hours yesterday – that actually worked out pretty well, as I had just finished working online and was reading a book. It was just starting to get really hot and humid in here when it came back on around 8:30pm.

– I haven’t been sleeping great. I haven’t been eating well, and I haven’t been exercising enough. Ugh.

Doom and gloom – wow, I’m coming off as miserable lately, eh? I’m hoping for a change soon – but really I don’t see it happening. We have to deal with some of the issues in the house in TN, I’m starting a new project this week (ACK! But should be manageable), something else kicks off maybe tomorrow, which should increase my workload a little (and permanently) then try to get things done online so the social media wheels don’t fall off the proverbial bus while we’re away in September.

But really, life is good. Financially we’re good. We’re all healthy. Everything is fine. I would really just like to get rid of some stress.


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What a week.

That little project I was working on for the organization I volunteer for turned out to be fairly huge – I’ve probably spent 15 hours on various details.

We’re having a problem accessing our work YouTube account, as we’ve recently dumped our server in favour of Google Apps. I have videos to edit and post, and not enough space on my computer to store the edited and original/working copy video – not even sure if my flash drive has enough space.

I’ve been more than ‘poking at’ another project, it’s about 20% done – which translates into having about 40 more hours of stuff to do on it. I’m so glad it’s not golf season!

I have not a) done my HST b) watered the plants in more than a week c) prepared for our SuperBowl party in any way d) compiled our house and TN house bills e) walked the dogs this week (rain!).

I have kept up on my normal work, but it’s coming to the end of the month (or beginning of a new month really), which means 2 email blasts to be created and sent, and 2 analytics reports to do on Friday or Saturday.

In my normal world, life is pretty good. I’ve been sleeping great, hitting the gym, eating a bit better, and enjoying my time with William and the dogs.

I’m looking forward to getting things crossed off my ever growing list of things to do… I have to have some things cleared up before I take off for a few days at the end of February, as then I have a bunch of things to do for our golf tourney in April. Yikes!

Life’s good, just busy.