Friday Five

1. Trampolining? I love to watch the Olympics for the more obscure sports. Sure, I enjoy watching swimming and gymnastics, but I can’t resist trampolining and synchronized diving and handball. I mean, these folks every day to be the best at something most of us haven’t heard of.  I want to cheer them on. Plenty of little kids want to grow up to be the next Misty May-Trainer or Michael Phelps, but not many dream about being the next Karen Cockburn (Canadian bronze medalist in trampoline).

Also, the Olympics is a great opportunity for me to catch up with one of my favorite humor columnists, Dave Barry, who writes for the Miami Herald. He’s been reporting from London where he’s doing his part to spread the Olympic spirit. He is a man after my own heart.

I went over to Olympic Park, a huge sports complex featuring a spectacular array of sights and activities, such as people selling beer from backpacks. It’s wonderful. Instead of having to walk, manually, to a place that sells beer, you can just stand still, or even lie down, and eventually a person will come along wearing a backpack that says, quote, “BEER.”

Have you been watching the Olympics? Which sports have captivated you? Also, can anyone explain why the women’s beach volleyball players wear the skimpiest of outfits?  

2. Underwater dogs! Oh, yes, they’re back! Seth Casteel’s underwater photos of dogs chasing tennis balls went viral a few months ago. Here he hosts a session with some Best Friends dogs at the Los Angeles adoptions center. I dare you not to smile at these adorable pooches having a blast. (P.S. All of them have been adopted!)

3. #happiness.  For a while now, I’ve been keeping a journal. I haven’t been an avid journaler. I’d preferred my writing energy be put into whatever work of fiction I was currently tackling. Then my friend Carla sent me a bound notebook filled with lovely pictures and quotes. It’s not a list of what I did that day or general feelings about what I did. At the end of the day I jot a sentence or two about something that made me happy. Yesterday I wrote about a guy standing next to me on the subway who had grabbed onto the pole in such a way that I could see the tattoo on the palm of his hand (ouch!) that read “blessed”.
That is happiness; to be dissolved into something complete and great.~ Willa Cather
Happiness is the consequence of personal effort.~Elizabeth Gilbert

Do you have a #happiness moment you’d like to share?


4. Dr. Brene Brown on vulnerability. Another great talk from the folks at TED. Researcher Brene brown gets to the bottom of why people feel vulnerable. Unworthiness = shame = fear of disconnection = vulnerability.  “In order for true connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be really seen.”

5. A Cautionary Tale. I’ll leave you today with a word of warning from fellow blogger Roni Loren. She’d recently been sued by a photographer for use of a photo on her blog that was copyrighted. A quick snapshot of what happened in her words:

Well on one random post, I grabbed one random picture off of google and then a few weeks later I got contacted by the photographer who owned that photo. He sent me a takedown notice, which I responded to immediately because I felt awful that I had unknowingly used a copyrighted pic. The pic was down within minutes. But that wasn’t going to cut it. He wanted compensation for the pic.

In Roni’s case, lawyers were involved. I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty situation. I was thinking back to the photos I’d used on this blog and wondered if I’d unwittingly done the same thing. Roni has some great tips (learned the hard way, unfortunately) for photo use on websites/blogs. Thanks to Roni for sharing her experience and educating me on this topic.

What do you think of the new look to the  site? Have a great weekend, everyone!



  1. Love your new site! My son is obsessed with the Olympics, especially any swimming event, the synchronized diving (he’s always been a water baby, loves to swim)
    I can’t wait to check out the TED talk.


    1. The synchronized diving is absolutely fascinating! it looks hard enough to dive by yourself. Imagine trying to mirror someone else while plummeting 30 meters headlong and trying not to make a splash!
      Has your son taken any swim lessons or is he a natural?


    1. Congratulations! I’m so excited for you. I hope you’ll share the link to your article when it’s posted.
      And I hope you’ll also be willing to share the delicious food you make on that new stove. 🙂


  2. Oh, Jackie, I LOVE the new look! Makes me want to launch a do-over. Thanks for the warning about photo credits. I ususally use my own, but it’s an important reminder. Talk about learning the hard way! Bless Roni’s heart!

    Have a wonderful weekend, my friend.



  3. Honestly, the badminton cracks me up. The Chinese play it with all the enthusiasm of contact football. It left me wondering if croquet is an Olympic sport. If not, I’d like to petition for it. I think I could kick some butt.

    Love today’s TED video. I have hope for us when I hear stuff like that, don’t you, Jackie?

    Your new website is very stripped down and clean-looking; nice and minimal!
    Great five today 🙂


    1. Oh, you said it, Cynthia! I would like to start a new Olympic sport called “hammocking.” The winner is the person who can lie in a hammock the longest. I think I’d be a gold medalist!

      I’m glad that you liked the TED video. It was very interesting how she makes the connection between unworthiness and vulnerability.


  4. I’ve been loving the Olympics. Haven’t gotten into handball yet. But I’m finding out that the better half loves boxing. I had no idea. You learn something every day.


    1. You certainly have a front row seat! The cycling event looked so exciting. Will you be able to watch any of the triathlon? I heard that the swim part will take place in the river. (True?)


      1. I think the swimming will be in The Serpentine, which is in Hyde Park. I hope to catch some, but it will depend on the crowds and weather.


  5. Wow, I too thought obeying a takedown notice was enough too. Most Google pics carry the notice “this may be copyrighted,” so I avoid them like the plague. But what about sites like tumblr? There are tons of photos with no credits whatsoever. I don’t understand how they get away with it. Hope your friend doesn’t have to pay a lot of money.

    Didn’t even know trampolining was an Olympic sport!


    1. Wasn’t that an eye opener about the photos? I can understand why photographers have to be very vigilant about protecting their work, just like writers.

      If you get a chance, watch some of the trampolining. It’s a bit addicting. 🙂


  6. I’ve read about some nasty copyrights issues. There is even a German site who posts lovely pictures on purpose and then tracks people who took them and sues them. Poeple seem so scared they pay although it’s debatable how much you can be fined.
    I love Brené Brown I read and reviewed her book, it’s outstanding.


    1. I didn’t realize that Brene Brown had written a book. I’ll have to get a copy. Thank you for mentioning it.
      Copyright issues can be so dense and sometimes a bit subjective, depending on the situation. It’s something I’ll definitely keep in mind after Roni’s experience.


  7. Oooo! I LOVE the new look, Jackie! It’s really snazzy–you must be so pleased! How goes summer for you and sweet Reggie? Here we’re nearing the start of school–I can’t believe it. I haven’t had NEARLY enough ice cream yet! 😉


    1. Thank you, thank you! I’ve been thinking about you and how excited you must be for your next pub date. I can’t wait to read it!

      Reggie sends you a big woof and asks that you send some of that ice cream his way.


  8. Loved the Dave Barry piece!

    Thanks for posting the link to Roni Loren’s blog. It’s something I’ve been wanting to write about for a while . . . but she does it so much better! I had thought of doing a post referring to her piece and adding my thoughts from the other side. Recently came across two blogs where people had copied and pasted either photos or photos and text from my blog without asking. As I’m not a professional writer or photographer, I’m not going to make a huge deal of it, but I can understand how frustrating it must be if that is how you make your livelihood.


    1. From a writer’s perspective I can imagine how I would feel if someone had misappropriated my words as theirs. It’s so difficult in this digital age to be able to monitor if our intellectual property is being pilfered. Would you ever ask a blogger to take down your photos if he/she hadn’t first asked permission to use them?

      PS – Isn’t Dave Barry fantastic?!?


      1. If I saw that somebody was passing my photos/text off as their own, I’d ask them either to take it down or give and link back to my site. I actually had the experience of a “journalist” from a local online news site doing this, and was very miffed about it. He had done a copy/paste of my whole post and put his name to it. When I emailed him, he immediately changed it according to my copyright guidelines.

        I don’t have a problem with somebody ‘re-blogging” the odd post i.e. a photo and excerpt and link to the original post.

        The problem for me, is that I use photos from friends a lot as well. And although I got permission to use them, I can’t give permission to others to use them.


      2. I haven’t had that experience of someone using my work as their own (at least not that I know of). It seems that people don’t take the issue seriously until they get “caught”. I’m glad that you were able to get the so-called journalist to acknowledge your work.


What's on your mind?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s