RSS Feed

Cairn Terrier Looks Like Nikki Sixx

The Neighbors have had their cairn terrier for about 8 months. Supposedly when they got him, he was two years old...which is a bunch of BS, since he is very much a puppy.

How can I tell? Well, he acts like a puppy, he gets crazy like a puppy, and since they've had him his hair continues to get longer and change color – which normally doesn't randomly happen to dogs no longer in the throes of puppydom. Anyway.

You might remember what he looked like back in March of this year when I talked about his new nickname (Coyote Bait on a Stick). He was shaggy then, but just a month later, his hair has gotten quite wild and crazy.

Like, Nikki Sixx crazy. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Nikki Sixx's hair! I'm just saying I don't know if a cairn terrier should look like a punked-out rockstar.

His hair gets even more tousled and feral when Zada's been chewing on him – I think her saliva acts like a kind of gel – and it's even BETTER when I then take the opportunity to mold it into a sort of up-do.

See the resemblance? Might be time for a trim, Gus.

*Nikki Sixx screenshot taken from

Snapshots by Sarah Gets Credit on Pagebizz has finally redeemed itself – after many contact attempts about their copyright infringement – and given me credit for my Mötley Crüe photo. While merely using my photo with my logo/watermark is technically still copyright infringement, I DID give PageBizz permission to use it and even gave them the file to upload (since my Flickr account is locked down after I found out about the default Pro privacy setting).

So, crisis averted.

(I'm still throwing a watermark on just about everything I upload to the www, however :)

Flickr Default Privacy Settings

In the fall of 2011 I upgraded from my free Flickr account to the Pro version – for unlimited photo upload space – and that's when all hell broke loose.

Unbeknownst to me, the default privacy setting for a Pro account is:

That's right, if you don't know this is the default setting – as I didn't – then anyone on the web can not only download your images; s/he can download a variety of sizes, including the original image file uploaded. Wow.

You might wonder how I came to find out that was the default setting in Flickr...well, long story short I was contacted by an aerialist from Mötley Crüe.

See, we'd gone to Las Vegas to watch two performances of Mötley during their residency in February and I'd taken a bunch of Crüe photos with my point-and-shoot camera. Anyway, after I posted the images on Flickr, I was contacted by one of the aerialists who'd seen my Flickr set and wanted to know if she could use a couple of the images for her online portfolio. By the time I received said message, she'd already gone ahead and downloaded the photos she wanted and was using them on

("How?" You might ask. Listen up: I'm a search marketer; I know how to find stuff.)

Concerned as to how she'd downloaded my images (they were obviously not screenshots), I frantically checked settings in Flickr and lo and behold, found that anyone could have – and obviously did – download any of my photography. Because, after all, that was the default privacy setting:

Obviously I had NO idea that was the privacy setting default upon upgrade to a Pro Flickr account, and I changed that setting right then and there. But of course by then the damage was already done.

Turns out that not only did the innocent aerialist steal my photos; the website on which she posted them went ahead and used one of my images, too. That's right: stole one of my photos and is using it on their home page. I'm still working on trying to get the offender ( to take MY photo – used without my permission – off their website...or, hell, even to acknowledge they received ANY of my correspondence to that end.

I didn't think I needed to watermark my Flickr photos because, well, I'd had a free account for so long and access to the original images wasn't an option. I never thought to look at the privacy settings when I upgraded – and how would I have ever guessed, in a MILLION years, that the DEFAULT privacy setting would be
"Who should be able to access your original image files and other sizes without deterrents?"
ANYONE (Recommended).

Shame on you, Flickr. And, thanks a LOT. Is it "your" fault that someone stole my photography and is using it without my permission?

Technically – no. But, if I'd have been aware of your privacy "policy" for a Pro account, I'd have known to lock down the ability of the average Joe to download – and illegally use – my photography. I'd also have started watermarking my work a lot earlier than I did.

The fault still lies with I'm still kinda peeved at Flickr.

Choosing Orange Behr Paint Color

Way back in October of 2010 I was looking for advice on which blue Behr color to paint in our downstairs living room. My color palette down here is chocolate browns (couch, chair, ottoman & rug), turquoise-y blue (rug, pillows & artwork) and orange accents (lamp, pillow & artwork).

In fact, the entire painting idea came from the purchase of a HUGE piece of artwork I got for a super deal...and, once it was hung I realized I didn't like the white-on-white look of it.

I thought I wanted to paint the north wall – the long, unbroken canvas of the room that holds the big painting – a nice blue. The problem is that two other adjacent rooms down here are also blue (the guest bedroom and the bathroom). Those blues are not only different from each other; they're different hues than what I'd want to put in the living room to match the color scheme.

Such decisions.

Well, lo and behold, my sister hadn't been to our house in a while so last month she came over for lunch and I brought her down here to show her what I wanted to do...she had a good point when she said the north wall is the wall that reflects the only source of incoming light to the room: the patio doors.

If I painted THAT wall (especially a "darker" color like blue), she opined, I'd be darkening the entire room. She then pointed out that even with the current white wall, the back of the room (where my desk is) was already painted in shadow, even though it was only noon.

Hmf. That totally shot all my plans to I asked where would SHE paint? She motioned to the east wall and the fireplace and said, "there." Hmm – interesting.

She then shocked me by saying something I'd never thought she'd ever say: "And, to be honest, you might want to paint this area orange instead of blue. That way you're not competing with the blues in the other rooms AND it'll be a lighter color, so you won't darken the room too much."

Holy crap. My sister – who's oh-so-fond of beige and neutral tones – had told me to paint my walls ORANGE. I about leapt for joy (I've looked up to my sister since I was old enough to hold up my own head). She was then quick to state, "it's not what I would personally paint in MY house, but orange is so "you" so I think it'd work well here." Squeeee!

So now the whole color-search has kicked into another gear entirely. She agreed with me that it might look cool to even two-tone the fireplace wall, since there's an alcove for the TV.

To that end, The Hubby took me to Home Depot yesterday to gather up some paint chips. Now all I have to do is pick the right hue of orange. No pressure. I was told – again, by my sister – to focus on the "brown-ish" colors of orange, and I think those are the chips I got.

They've been up on the mantel less than 24 hours (and Erika from Behr said to let them "sit" for a couple days so you can see them in all the different types of light :) and I've yet to see one or two that pop out at me (yet). If you want to weigh in, here are the cards I've got to choose from:

  • 260C & 260D
  • 270A, 270C & 270D
  • 280A, 280B, 280C & 280D (this card is more brown; figured it wouldn't hurt to see it)
  • 290C & 290D

Of course, I want to lean towards the darker hues (like Adventure Orange, Copper River, Amber Glow & Apple Crisp), but I know those will be WAY too dark once they're up on the wall. I've been told again and again (and it's SO hard to follow this advice): "whichever color you like on the paint chip, pick two shades lighter and paint that one on the wall."

What I might do is pick 3 or 4 and head back to Home Depot for the "test" cans...but I've done that before and it hasn't worked out, since those 8-oz cans are flat paint and I like satin on the walls. You wouldn't think that would make a big difference, but it did in our bedroom. 

Hopefully I don't hem and haw on this project for much the time I get this room done the way I like it, we'll be putting the house on the market!

*Note: after posting this I was told some of the colors look like baby excrement. While I certainly think that about a few of the chips on the far right, I have to admit, very few of those paint chips look like they do in the picture! Sigh.

April Fools Weekend up North

Last weekend I headed up to the Bernier Ranch & Spa for a few days' worth of relaxation. I had also offered to help Mom clear out some of their built-in bookshelves upstairs in the seems they're re-modeling up there so Mom can have a proper office – albeit a small one – instead of the crammed nook she now uses.

Thing is, a lot of the books in that space are mine (which is why I offered to help her offload them, sort through them, and move them into new "homes" throughout the house), including darn near all of my college text books and notes. Why did I keep that, you might ask...well, 'cause my parents TOLD me to.

Even after I changed my major halfway through my junior year from biology to Spanish, I still had to keep all the biology, chemistry and math books. Just in case :)

See, Dad kept all HIS text books from college and med school...they've graced the book cases in our home from time immemorial. Mom's not crazy about having them on the shelves, but I think they need to keep them – I mean, at this point they're VINTAGE bordering on antique! (Sorry, Dad)

Naturally, when moving a copious amount of books from one location to another, one is forced to make room in the new area so that meant I finally had to go through the closet in my old bedroom and sift through the myriad boxes I had stowed away with all my...memorabilia.

(While all this is going on, we had "help" from the dogs who just HAD to chill on the cozy, sun-streaked carpet RIGHT where we were trying to work...such a ruff life :)

I was quite the collector when I was young (insert derisive snort and eye roll from my husband here) – I collected horse, dog and turtle statues; candles & their holders; knick-knacks & what's-its and of course, lots and lots of what Dad calls "crippy-crap."

It took me longer to go through all those boxes – unwrapping each little memento and re-living whatever memory was attached to it – and sorting them into piles of "keep" and "get rid of" than it did to help Mom empty all the bookshelves in the other room!

I ended up keeping SOME of the stuff...I mean, let's forget I hadn't seen it in YEARS. It was all very organized and labeled and of course so fun to sift through it all. Found some cute Christmas ornaments and gifts from relatives who'd traveled abroad so that was neat.

Anyway, between that chore and eating – Mom feeds me VERY well when I'm home – I got to pretend I was a country girl once again. That meant, of course, hiking with the dogs in the woods and horseback riding.

We have a horse show in Lindstrom next weekend, so I needed to get a horse between my legs and make my muscles "remember" what it's all about...doesn't hurt to practice a bit to get used to the horse, either. Of course, Will is pretty compliant but it's always nice to get on him before the show at least once.

So I headed out to Lonesome Dove Training Center two days in a row and worked myself into extreme muscle soreness. Felt good, though, plus we had beautiful weather on Sunday so it was pure joy to be outside in the sunshine working a horse and lathering up a sweat (PS: I'm just now not sore from riding last weekend...hopefully this show doesn't put me out of commission like it did last year :).

And then, of course, we mustn't forget the hiking. Through the woods, across the fields, down to the river, away we went – Zada, Tesa and me. Although I used to be an avid runner when I was younger and shunned merely "walking" anywhere at any cost, it is now my mode of refreshing my mind and getting rid of stress.

It's not merely the physical exercise I get, or even the beautiful nature I's also the pure joy on those dogs' faces and in their bouncy gait – they absolutely LOVE being out and about and traveling with their humans. They're my constant companions on my walks when I'm back home and they're always ready to head out with me for a couple hours' hike.

When we get back to the house, they'll keep their energy level up, but like any over-tired kid, once they're brought into the house they conk out for a nice, long, well-deserved nap :)

Also while I was home I chatted quite a bit with Madge...and I asked if I could take some pictures of Callie, her rambunctious black lab. At first I had quite the time trying to get her to sit still, but then with the aid of a simple, soggy tennis ball I captivated her enough to get some quick snapshots.

She's so beautiful with her silky black coat and her bright eyes...but of course photographing black dogs is a bit tricky – you want to be able to see definition in their bodies and make sure their eyes stand out, but you also don't want them to end up looking blue, as is the wont of many black dogs in photographs.

For an impromptu half-hour photo shoot, I think Callie did very well and showed us what a pretty girl she is :) Get a sneak peek at more from her photo session here.

 I'll probably need to head up again at some point this spring to help Mom with the rest of the books – we didn't get done but we made a big dent in that nook – and by the time I can get there again the dock will most likely be out, and it'll be warmer yet. Regardless, it's always a great time up at the Bernier Ranch & Spa!

PageBizz Guilty of Photo Copyright Infringement

An Open letter to

After the Mötley Crüe concert in Las Vegas in February, I uploaded a set to my Flickr account of the Crüe photos I took that weekend (taken with my trusty point-and-shoot. Just a little POS camera, Nikki Sixx. No worries).

I've recently begun throwing my Snapshots By Sarah watermark onto my uploaded photos, since, well, I want credit where it's due. However, I hadn't done that (yet) to the photos I uploaded to Flickr. I didn't think I needed to.

Boy, was I wrong.

Turns out that the privacy default setting on a Flickr Pro account is "your original files are available for download." That's another story, but it's directly responsible for the real issue here:

PageBizz Is Using My Photo on Their Website...without Permission

While dealing with a somewhat-related issue of someone using my photos, I visited's home page, and WHAM! I see one of my images within the rotating banner:

Yup, that's MY photo. Don't believe me? See it here within my Mötley Crüe Flickr set (obviously that's the replacement of the original upload...even after changing my settings I was paranoid enough to re-upload all the Crüe photos with watermarks). And it's being used without my permission. Without my knowledge, even, until this morning.

Theft & Copyright Infringement

Can you say "copyright infringement?" One of my friends even asked, "aren't you kinda flattered they're (pagebizz) using your photo?" Well, sort of...but not enough to outweigh the anger I feel at the utter lack of respect and blatant disregard for my artistic rights! Plus, let's be honest...who's ever heard of pagebizz before now?

If they had stolen – for that's what this is, downright theft – and used an image with my watermarked logo on it instead, I'd at least be getting the credit for the shot (although that would STILL be photography copyright infringement), but no, they went right into my Flickr account and illegally used something of mine without even offering up a photo credit.

I was recently in a debate with someone about this very thing – in regards to Pinterest and whether or not Pinning photos (watermarked or not) is copyright infringement – and my stance was, "if you put it online, you have to come to terms with the fact that someone, SOMEWHERE, will illegally use your photography*. But, you're putting it there in the first place."

First of all, define "irony." Because, really, how could I have ever expected that would happen to me (especially so soon after getting into said debate)? Second of all, anyone want a helping of my huge plate of crow?

And, let me also say to this "social network site," as proclaims to be, you MIGHT want to be more active on social media. 'Cause I tweeted about this at 10am CST on April 5 and still have yet to hear anything but crickets from @pagebizzcom. I also emailed them shortly after my Tweet and – again – nothing. Tick tock, tick tock**.

*Let it be known that I do not think pinning photos on Pinterest is illegal. In fact, Pinterest – in my opinion – is just a prettier version of Google Images (and of course boards/collections are determined by users instead of a search engine). But that's another discussion.

**See new developments on this issue here.