Friday, November 11, 2005

Doing It Right, Doing It Wrong

Let's start off tonight's entry with a few sunset photos, basically 'cause I've lucked into some decent sunset photo opportunities this week as I left work.

Sunset from the second floor, 11/10/05
Sunset from the parking lot, 11/10/05
The first two shots here are of the view that greeted me when I left the accounting department last night.  Sunset from the second floor.  Awesome. 
Sunset in the parking lot, 11/10/05.

The third one was taken in the parking lot itself. 

Sunset from Fifth and Wilmot, 11/10/05

The fourth was taken at Fifth and Wilmot.  Sometimes I play with color correction and midtones, but the only thing I did to these was resize them (and crop the first one a bit).

Ooh.  Ahh. 

Moving on.

Since the VIVI Awards, I've followed a lot of links to many other journals.  Some of these links were from congratulatory comments, some from VIVI winners, and some, of course, were from Round Robin participants.  Of all of those posted links, two stand out in my memory as a study in contrasts.  I'm not going to point to them, because I'm about to be less than enthusiastic about one of the journals involved, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings.  But I'm certain you can figure it out with a little research, if you feel like bothering to do that. 

The comments were both posted to the same entry of mine.  One of them was very much a "value added" comment.  It responded favorably to the content of the entry, added an original and relevant bit of humor, and concluded with a link to the commenter's journal.  This person has commented here before, and I've been to the journal before, and liked what I've seen.  It's not on my alerts yet, but probably will be soon.

That, my friends, is doing comments right.

The next comment to that entry made no mention whatsoever of the content of my post.  Instead, the person mentioned having found a link to my journal, and invited me, in a run-on sentence, to visit hers if I was bored.  I was not bored, but out of politeness I went anyway.  What I found was exactly the kind of illiterate journal I wrote about the other day, the sort that makes me leave and never come back.  This person has no clear understanding what a sentence is, uses punctuation in all the wrong ways and none of the right ones, and has little or no interest in using upper case letters.  Feh.

That, my friends, is wrongful and ineffective use of comments.  When someone shows no evidence of having read anything in my journal, blatantly pushes her own, and shows me only banal thoughts poorly expressed when I go to see it, she accomplishes nothing - nothing good, anyway.  She did manage to annoy me and waste my time.  That's something, I suppose, but surely not the desired result!

I did not leave a comment.  I did not even read the whole entry.  I just left.

Lately I've been seriously tempted to post weekly quizzes about correct English, with humorous examples.

And then I came across another positive example, a nearly miraculous instance of journaling done right.

For some time now, Paul Little has been putting together CarnivAOL, a promotional linkfest that people can get into basically just by asking.  The idea is to choose your very best recent entry, so that other people will have the opportunity to follow Paul's link and come see it.  Generally speaking, I've shied away from this, partly because most of my best stuff gets linked to by John Scalzi or the Round Robins, and partly because I'm a little uncomfortable with self-promotion.  But I recently submitted a link to CarnivAOL for the first time ever, and tonight Paul published that list.  My link is to the first of the recent Black Rose Kate entries, because I'm really proud of what Kate wrote (well, dictated) in that.

All of this is beside the point, however.

Y'see, the thing is, so far tonight I've followed two of the other CarnivAOL entries, and will probably get to the rest tomorrow.  One of them was interesting, well-written, and horribly, horribly marred by typos.  I could not leave a comment, so I left.  Ah, but the other!  The other was nothing short of wonderful.  Here's the link:

Remember When...

This is from a journal by a young high school senior (age 16, I think).  The entry is about her last-ever practice session as a goalie for a high school soccer team.  Never having been good at sports myself, I normally would have little interest in something like that, but her writing was so superb, so evocative, that she made me care about every word of it.  Later entries were full of lively writing, humor, a playful and idiosyncratic use of language, real emotion, interesting incidents, wry observations, and concrete detail.  Man, oh man, this girl can write!  Go see for yourself.

This, my friends, is blogging done right!

Half-hearted photo of a little corporate garden.

Let's close this entry with another photo or two, for no adequately explored reason. 2 butterflies.  Don't ask me what kind. I took them with Steven in mind, he of the many extraordinary butterfly-and-flower photos.  Yesterday and today--well, all week, really--a flowerbed near my office has been alive with butterflies.  There have been Monarchs, and something like Monarchs only smaller, and those little yellow butterflies, and, well, actually, I haven't paid that much attention.  I'm really not much of a fan of flowers or insects, to tell you the truth.  Flowers especially are something I usually avoid, because I tend to be strongly ambivalent about anything to which I'm allergic. 

Nevertheless, there were the flowers and the butterflies, and I was right there with the camera.  So I pointed the camera in the general direction of the flowers, failed utterly to find any butterflies in the viewfinder, and snapped a few photos anyway.  That was yesterday. 

Today I made a bit more of an effort, but not much.  This time, I actually saw movement before I snapped the picture.  Sure enough, there were at least two butterflies in the photo.  Here's a cropped image from the larger picture  It can't hold a candle to the least of Steven's shots, but I lack his talent, his patience and his camera.  But I did get the photo anyway, lame as it is, so I'm satisfied for now.

That, my friends, is not photography done right.  Still, I think I've earned your forgiveness with the sunset photos.



salemslot9 said...

your photos reminded me of my Dad
I said that we should move to
Arizona one day
not Florida
not California
he's gone now
haven't been there yet
maybe one day...

stupidsheetguy said...

I must say, the first few photos in your series  actually made me sit back, and really enjoy a few moments of nature's splendor. Not only were you treated to a magnificent display, you had the means with which to share a truly rare moment. One does not see that kind of beauty every day. Thank you.

I agree that there are a few journals out there that leave one scratching one's head. If someone doesn't care enough to present a journal with at least some hint of grammatical skill, I wonder how much he or she cares about what it is that is being written. Makes me think...

Thanks for a great presentation.


tehfifthfeather said...

The varying shades of color in those sunset pictures are quite beautiful. I love a good shot of a sunrise or sunset, but unfortunately most of ours are marred by neighboring houses and such. Maybe I'll upload a couple of our winter sunrise shots from over our old farmland.

I would just like to thank you for pointing your readers in the direction of my blog, and point out that your comments almost brought me to tears. Good tears, of course, but ... ah, I suppose I should stop being all nostalgic and overly-emotional. I seem to act like that a lot lately. Ah well, what was it a wise fellow once told me? "Que sera, sera, what ever will be, will be"? Nevermind the fact that his wisdom was self-implied, and subsequently did not resemble wisdom at all...

deabvt said...

Great sunsets!

ryanagi said...

I, too, find the link-whore commenter rather irksome. LOL

sepintx said...

I like the sunset photos! The window reflections do add to the image in a good way. I don't think I have that type of butterfly here. The wing shape looks familar but the coloring does not ring any bells.

Photography. It's kinda all about seeing. We learn to express ourselves through words. We can learn to express ouselves through sight in much the same manner. The tools are differ, but the intent is the same. To express.

Thanks :-)