Web Rings are not All Dead

I have found:

Webring Software

Ringlink software available at SourceForge.

Ringmaker software at Orca PHP Scripts.

Draupnir Ring Manager for WordPress sites.

Webrings for Writers

I’m not sure how active these are but it gives me hope. All the others I checked which were on web applications were abandoned, dead or not functioning. At least this proves it can still work. Webring.com and Ringsurf haven’t managed to entirely kill every last webring.

Not-A-Webring

Drinker with a Writing Problem 

Post-Apocalyptic Fiction Group

This is a group for anyone who has ever dreamt of waking up one day and finding the world we know now has been stripped away. All of society gone, wiped out. Only the ghostly remnants of society remain as deserted cities and abandoned eerie highways.

A world where only the strong and determined survive.

To all of those of us who fantasize about living in a city like the overgrown, abandoned ruins of Chernobyl.

Whatever form your chosen apocalypse takes, be it viral outbreak, terrorism, nuclear holacaust, zombies, alien invasion or biological contagion then this is the group for you! Meet like minded people and discuss plans, strategies, share artwork etc.

Welcome to the world after…

Source: Post-Apocalyptic fiction group

The Flash Fiction I Wrote for Inner Writer

partone

The Shoes at the Edge of Tomorrow

Today I woke up and the world is broken. I’ve read about people having their shoes knocked off when hit by a train or a bus. But there are no trains, no skid marks, no blood or bodies. Just shoes. Far in the distance the sky is lighter, too light, without explanation.

The lack of sound, as if it were vacuumed out of the air, surrounds me. It fills my ears, creating a buzz of nothingness inside my head. I smash-kick a shoe out of my way to make it stop.

I love old houses, especially those which are weathered, neglected and left in ruins. I planned my weekend, charged up my camera battery, packed my map and left my hiking boots by the door. I’m photographing the derelict, forgotten houses but they seem less abandoned today.

The road is full of empty shoes and no one to wear them.

Alltop in Decay

Alltop – Top Writing News.

Addendum: Before you read this post know that Alltop fixed the broken and doubled links. I don’t know who in particular did it but I’m very glad they did!

alltop in decay

Looking at Alltop, the Writing section which my site is a part of, is sad. I was so pleased and proud to be one of the sites asked to join originally. But, now that is tarnished as Alltop seems to be yet another website which has been sold and left to fall into linkrot.

On this Writing category page there are three sites which obviously are no longer active. Two are the same site, a double listing, even. No one seems to be looking, fixing or caring what happens to Alltop.

I’m sad to see another site crumble in the dust of making a buck.

I don’t blame site owners. If you put all of that into getting a site off the ground and were successful you might play with your laurels a bit and then be happy to take a great offer. Money enough to let you sit on your laurels and not have to work so hard again, if ever.

I know, in part, why people buy a site which has gotten big and I can understand that they don’t have the stamina or passion or whatever to keep it from falling apart. But, why do some of them deliberately buy a site and then abandon it?

It happens far too often.

I like photographing abandoned houses because they are sad, lonely and maybe I wonder about the story behind them too – the mystery. It doesn’t seem the same with abandoned sites. They fall apart in the wrong way. There is no romance to it, just decay.

Retiring my Old HubPages Profile

Laura is secretly handling the Canadian World Domination plot. It’s all very polite and litter free but for the odd moose rampage.

Laura is an eccentric and reclusive ASCII artist. In her spare time she is a freelance writer, running several blogs and social media type sites. She calls herself an Earth Witch (or a Pagan atheist) when no one in particular is listening.

Laura disappears for hours, even days on urban and rural explorations. She travels with the wrong shoes and the right Ontario road map, looking for ruined buildings and abandoned farm houses.

Laura collects postcards, stones, old Canadian coins, bone china bouquets, hand drawn maps, dust bunnies, books about writing, dragons (real ones) and assorted oddities to which she won’t confess. She likes to crochet, embroider, crazy quilt and sew. Her Grandmother used to say, “Once Laura sews on a button it never comes off again.”

“Adorable, in a wicked, modest way that only the ego-maniacal can pull off.” – Says Gracie (friend and fellow web writer).

“This girl writes like other people breathe.” Comment from a regular reader.

Canadian freewriting niche blogger. Online since 1996.

This profile was written by Laura who thinks no one should have to type their own name this many times in a row.

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http://thatgrrl.hubpages.com/hubs/latest?rss

Just seemed like time for a change. Not even sure what I will do with two accounts on the same site. I would have stuck to just one but with the merge from Squidoo we all had to start fresh, new accounts on HubPages.

I Remember BlogChalking

blogchalking

This is what I found from the Wayback Machine. The original link which most people refer to does not end with the .com. There wasn’t much left of that BlogChalking at that domain. But, I was pretty sure it had been a .com too so I looked, and found it.

Looks like it had it’s final days in 2006. From there it was abandoned, no updates. I took a screen shot from earlier (2003 which is the year it began according to the site), better times. Then another two images show the last final stages of decay from the Wayback in 2011 (but no changes to the actual site since 2006).

Daniel Pádua, the man from Brazil who began BlogChalking, died of cancer in 2009.

blogchalking blogchalking blogchalking blogchalking

Digital Camera: Zoom, Focus, Pixels and Batteries

Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ3I take photos of buildings, abandoned sites and the odd wild flowers in the landscape. Sometimes I get talked into family photos too. I don’t mind family photos but they always require more uploading via email, Facebook and other places so family can share them. It’s odd how the personal stuff takes up more time than the photos I really love to take.

One thing you should do right away is get a decent camera bag. Take the time to find one which has a hard outer shell so your camera bag can take some abuse without harming the camera inside of it.

Zoom and Focus for Macro and Long Distance Photographs

One thing I look for in a camera is a lot of optical zoom. Most people don’t need a lot of zoom. Step closer rather than zoom in. However, I photograph abandoned places – often on the other side of a barrier, like a ‘No Trespassing” sign. So, I don’t have the option of getting closer myself. Instead I use the zoom to bring the picture to me. I love zoom!

Someone else might want a camera with a faster speed, for action photography. In my case, things are pretty much staying right where they are.

Other photos I like to take are called macro. This means I get as close up as I can and fill my viewable screen with the entire image I am looking at. Macro photography gives you a new look at very small things. I use it for taking photos of wild flowers and insects usually. I push the camera lens as close to the subject as I can. I have to be careful not to get so close I touch it with the camera.

The camera I have right now isn’t the best one for giving a sharp focus when I use the full 10X optical zoom. I’ve also noticed it loses focus, or is hard to focus, when I am up close for macro photos. In the case of taking a macro photo I need to pull back in order to get a sharp, clear focus. When using the zoom I’ve learned to pull back then too in order not to lose the sharpness which I need to bring all the finer details into the long range photograph.

I have learned that the focus range needs to start with a small number, the smaller the better, in order for the camera to be able to get a clear focus when the subject is near your camera. I also know that the only zoom that keeps a sharp focus is the optical zoom. If you break into the range of digital zoom you lose your sharp focus and the photo framing can get out of whack too.

So camera focus depends on a few extra things but the focus range is an important feature to watch for when you look at getting a new camera.

FujiFilm FinePix SL300

Resolution: It’s in the Pixels

The resolution is the amount, or density, of pixels in the image. Pixels are tiny dots of colour which build up the photo as a whole. A high amount of megapixels lets you use the photos you take for larger sizes in processed images. But, for most people 3 MP (MegaPixels) will be all you need.

Images which are used online, for websites require less pixels than an image which you want to print as a photograph. Keep that in mind when looking for a new camera. Unless you are selling your photos professionally or printing them up for poster sized images, you don’t need high resolution images.

Battery Life for your Digital Camera

Digital camera batteries are either lithium or AA batteries. Use rechargeable batteries to save money and having more stuff to throw away. Lithium batteries last longer and are lighter but, they are hard to replace once they finally stop working. I’ve had a camera more than 3 years and have not needed to replace the lithium battery it came with. So replacing the battery is not something to worry about very much. Just take care of whatever batteries you use.

Things that ask more from your battery:

  • LCD screen
  • flash
  • zoom

Tips for saving and conserving battery power.

  • Don’t leave your camera on when you aren’t using it. Why rely on power saving when you could just turn it off.
  • Don’t leave your camera on long after your photos are uploaded. When it’s done, it’s done.
  • Don’t leave your camera battery out in sunlight. It likes cool, dark places.
  • Don’t use the flash when you can do without it. Low light can be good for photos.
  • Don’t use the zoom when you can move your camera (or yourself) closer instead.
  • Don’t spend time viewing the photos you have already taken. Upload them and then take your time reviewing them.

Wrist Straps and Camera Bags

A camera may come with a strap and a camera bag. The best thing about the camera bag that comes with your camera is that it fits your camera size. It may not be the best choice for keeping and carrying around your camera. Also, I very much prefer using a wrist strap versus a longer strap that goes over your shoulders (around your neck). A long strap leaves your camera dangling in front of you.

I like the wrist strap so I can keep the camera in my hand while knowing I have the strap around my wrist so I can’t drop the camera on the ground. My wrist strap has saved my camera from dropping twice so far. I’m careful but I still tend to be walking over uneven ground, watching for animals flying above me and hiding below my feet. I’ve had something startle me or I’ve just plain lost my footing and stumbled, countless times. I’m glad my camera strap was looped over my wrist then and not banging into my chest.

In the case of the camera bag, I took time to find one which was firm on the outside. I knew my camera was going to be bumped around in my backpack, my purse and so on. So a firm case was essential to protect it. I didn’t keep the case the camera came with for very long. It was soft and easily squished.

Why Do I Like Exploring Old Houses?

“Don’t blink. Don’t turn your back and don’t look away.” Quoted from Doctor Who.

I love Doctor Who. The stone angels episode is still my favourite for downright creepy. In spite of seeing it half a dozen times I still half crawl out of my skin at the scenes in the old house. Ironic, considering I photograph old, abandoned houses and never feel anything creepy in any of them. The worst that has happened was the time I think I stepped on a toad. (I’m still hoping I didn’t).

Animals are a challenge with exploring old houses and abandoned buildings and sites in general. I’ve been attacked by a swarm of wild honeybees, chased by all kinds of birds (from hummingbirds to turkey vultures) and cautiously walked around deep holes in the ground belonging to animals I didn’t want to see in person. People don’t give me a problem about walking around. Most are just curious. Some have given me background and history about the location, which I always appreciate hearing. The odd time someone questioned my motives, at those times I discovered the place I was photographing was derelict but not actually abandoned. It happens. People can live in a run down house and still call it home.

 What makes an old house seem creepy to you?

Forever Caught in the Machine

caught in the machineI haven’t had obvious spam from another Twitter account in awhile. But, no big deal. I did not click the link. Instead, I always go look at the profile. There she was, her name unknown but her photo forever caught in the machine. Things like this are far spookier to me than ghosts in abandoned houses.

Do you ever think about these photographs of people taken and put up instead of another face. The face covering the anonymous face. Yet, there it is. Bright and fresh looking and unable to ever escape or speak up for her/ itself. Caught in the machine, forever.

If your hand gets caught in a machine you pull it out, get it fixed up. You can’t do that when it’s your face in a photograph, an image. It’s like a part of you.

Native peoples in various cultures were deathly afraid of having their photograph taken. They were sure the camera was stealing their soul. Who are we to say they were wrong, fully and completely? You may scoff but we are far from having all the answers when it comes to things beyond the machines of our own making.

Look at her face, caught like a pretty little bug in a web. Stuck in the tangled threads, being wound up in the machine where there is no escape.

What do you think? The eyes are the window to your soul. What happens when your soul is taken in a photograph and left without you on the big, world-wide web?