Friday, November 25, 2005

Disclaimer ...

     One ad that I have chosen to post at Dancing in the Rain International can be found HERE.

If anyone is looking for me

 I can be found at ...

   <-- click image

there are still no banner ads found there.

To create your own ad free, International Journal --> Go Here.

  My choice for J-Link du Jour is called The Great Exodus, Known Relocations and was written by Patrick. It's a list of where to find our friends that have left J-Land because of the banner ads.  If you've moved and your name is not on this list ... what are you waiting for?


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

.A couple dozen complaints?

 I think I've made a couple dozen complaints all by myself, here are two of them.


Guessing they sent out a generic form letter response.

  In a message dated 11/16/2005 2:01:08 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, Coy1234787 writes:
  New updates not the best business idea for AOL. Upset about not being able to post an entry in my own journal ... very upset about the non approved advertisements in my journal ... very, very upset that so many of my friends are leaving J-land.
                                           *** Coy ***

Dear Coy1234787



Let me thank you for communicating to this screen name regarding the recent addition of banner ads on Journal pages.  By doing so, you are helping us capture your concerns so that we can elevate them as appropriate to the necessary people.

Again, thanks very much for taking the time to let us know how you feel.  Rest assured that your feedback is important to us. Please let us know if you have any other comments or questions.

Written by coy1234787 (Link to this entry) This entry has 5 comments: Hide Recent | Add your own

    Mine said thank you for your suggestion.
    Comment from
    csandhollow - 22/11/05 12:34

    Delete Comment  Block This Screen Name

    It said your feedback is important, not that they would consider a change. Jerks.

    Comment from
    suzypwr - 19/11/05 20:34

    Delete Comment  Block This Screen Name

    I got something like that but not code.
    Comment from
    psychfun - 19/11/05 06:26

    Delete Comment  Block This Screen Name

    Feh. They didn't even respond to me.
    Comment from
    ryanagi - 19/11/05 04:54

    Delete Comment  Block This Screen Name

    I think my response from them was
    exactly the same!  What a crock!
    Comment from
    indigosunmoon - 19/11/05 04:51

    Delete Comment  Block This Screen Name

Enough already!!!  

I want to go back to Dancing in the Rain, and not to the ad free Dancing in the Rain International Journals where I am temporarily residing.

   More than that, I want my friends to come back before they get to comfy in there new homes, they are all spread out across cyberspace and I hate that.

   A few questions if you don't mind ... now that you have chosen to assume your right to deface the sacred creative space you have offered us as part of our membership for so long and you've also chosen to offer non paying AIM members blog space and E-mail ... what exactly is it that we are paying for every month anyway? A detailed answer to that question would be appreciated.

   Another question please ... can you give an honest answer to how many complaints AOL has received through E-mail, Comments and through journal entries, regarding the horribly distracting and intrusive banner ads.

     Oh, one more ... (sorry), those of us that have chosen to ride this storm out at AOL International Journals instead of jumping ship all together to boycott this company and it's advertisers, would like to know how much time we have left here at AOL. So my question to you is ... when (if at all) is the international software due to be updated to include the intolerable banner ads, and should those of us finding refuge there start considering a different provider and a different blog spot?                 

                  Three questions, three answers please. I'm still grasping at every straw to find a reason to continue my up until now happy membership with AOL.                

                                         *** Coy ***

Washington Post/AOL Ads

I found this morning in Theresa Williams' Journal. thought I would post it here. I would like not to write anything more about AOL, the ads or the Boycott in my Dancing in the Rain International Journal. Hopefully I will be able to find a shred of creativity to begin posting there, at least until the International Software is updated to include the distracting, intrusive banner ads :( 

AOL Journals: You've Got Ads Move Draws Protest From Some Longtime Subscribers

By Yuki NoguchiWashington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 23, 2005; Page D04

As America Online Inc. turns more toward advertising dollars to offset the shrinking number of subscribers who pay a monthly fee, the company may be upsetting the longtime customers who have remained faithful over the years.

Virginia Heatwole of Rockville, for example, has been a paying customer since 1993 and turned to AOL when she decided to start her own Web log. One of things she liked about AOL Journals was the absence of advertisements on her blog page.

America Online and Time Warner

America Online Inc. is trying to find ways to keep customers coming back to its Internet community while parent company Time Warner Inc. seeks ways to expand its Internet empire.

 Now, her personalized Web page that includes her thoughts about nature and spirituality has become a platform for Netflix DVD rental ads.

"They're flashing and screaming at the top of my blog," she said.

The change came last week, when Dulles-based AOL started posting ads on the pages created by AOL Journals, which had been ad-free for two years. Back in May, the company opened the free service to nonsubscribers, saying that those blogs would contain ads but that blogs by paying customers would be ad-free.

The company, which is quickly losing subscribers to broadband service providers, switched to an "audience strategy" earlier this year, offering free music, video, blogs, and other services and features with hopes of increasing the audience and grabbing more online ad dollars.

"The decision to implement banner advertising on AOL Journals is consistent with our business and advertising practices," AOL spokeswoman Kathie Brockman said in an e-mail. The company, which hosts about 600,000 blogs, received several dozen complaints about the advertisements and is taking suggestions into consideration, she said.

"We have advertising on the portal, in email, instant messaging, and across our network," Brockman wrote. "It is also consistent with the practices of other major blog providers on the Internet."

Some users of AOL's instant-message service are also dealing with the automatic arrival of new "buddies" on their buddy lists: AOL services called Moviefone and ShoppingBuddy. The links allow users to search for movies and products by typing instant messages, which automatically generate a reply message.

Users were notified of the change through a posting on and were given an option to remove the new listings by going to the set-up menu to delete them, the company said.

However the new ads cannot be deleted from the blogs, and that has other bloggers such as Armand Thompson, a Tacoma, Wash.-based U.S. Army sergeant, steamed. In response, he created a new blog at Google's rival blog site, Blogspot, and is trying to move his older entries to it.

His form of protest: keeping his AOL Journal open to speak out against the ads on it.

"It's using their platform against them," he said.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

They're still there ...

     but at least I don't have to look at them.

     My pal Mortimer (who happens to be coming to see me in a few weeks ...YAY!) sent me the following E-mail.



     BLOCK THE BANNER ADS! IT WORKS! IT WORKS! CELESTE IS A GODDESS!   "It may be that your sole purpose in life is
simply to serve as a warning to others."

Mortimer's Cafe


     I clicked the "My Discovery" link above and found out that by choosing the blocking pop ups button at the bottom of this page, then clicking set pop up control preference and then block all web pop ups ... I don't have to look at those God awful ads in my journal or in anyone else's. Thanks Mort, thanks Celeste.

     I still don't want the banners to be posted in Rain and plan to continue posting at Dancing in the Rain International for now, at least until they update the software here to include them too.

     But ... I will be making my normal J-land rounds again without being bombarded with those ads now.

     I feel extremely sad that so many seem to be leaving J-land, I hope we can get this worked out or find a way for all of us to stay together,  I hate this.


     I wrote this entry to post in Dancing in the Rain International but ... tonight there is no longer an add new entry button. Bet that means they are working on the software :(


Wednesday, November 16, 2005

No Ads ...

     temporary refuge from the storm.  I'll be hanging out at AOL International Journals, at least for now!


               Dancing in the Rain International ...   

                    Please stop by and say hi.  Did anyone else notice that they have added spell check to our journals?             

 BTW ... my choice for J-link du jour  was written by Vivian, it's called  Well, you can have an ad free AOL (int'l) journal too. Read for yourself and join us at AOL International Journals while there are still no banner ads found there.  


Black Tuesday ...


 Don't have much to say right now but want to share my choice for J-link du jour, it's called Black Tuesday and was posted in Steven's Sometimes Photo Blog, obviously it's about the new ads we found in our journals today.  



Monday, November 14, 2005

She strapped explosives to her waist ...


  and chose to accompany her husband to his Martydom . Do you think anyone ever told her about the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions?

     All people are brothers and sisters on the face of the earth.

     A Global Congress called World's Religions after September 11 will be held in Montreal September 11-15 2006 to discuss this declaration further. It's supported by the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Bishop Belo Timor Leste and Shirin Ebad among others.

     Anyone else thinking about this kind of stuff after watching the News today?


Sunday, November 13, 2005

History in the making ...

     My Dad called last night and it was so great to hear the excitement in his voice about all that's going on in New Orleans.

     He and his partner are doing their part to help rebuild their city. Their flower shop "Tommy's Flowers"  was completely destroyed by Katrina and a friend offered to buy them out, place them in a very exclusive area right in the heart of the French Quarter (on Royal Street) and to give them a contract and a paycheck to stay on as the operators of the business indefinitely.

     I understand that the shop is beautiful, other vendor/operators have been added to the mix (antiques, gifts, etc...) to create a very upscale shop still using the name Tommy's Flowers. 

     One might think that buying flowers might be the last thing on peoples minds in the midst of such disaster but not so, the shop is open and doing amazingly well. This is just the beginning of their story, the new one. Along with many of their equally determined neighbors I believe that even against such odds, they will put New Orleans back on the map. 

     I can't help but feel a little envious of these people that with no real certainty of what tomorrow will bring, are uniting as a community (black/white, rich/poor, young/old, left/right) to begin the long hard process of rebuilding the city that they love, almost from scratch. This truly is history in the making.

    You might be interested to hear that Mardi Gras plans are already in the making. Obviously it won't be on the same scale as usual (they've already decided that there will be fewer days this year) but, New Orleans would not be New Orleans without Mardi Gras.  So ... Laissez les bons temps rouler (Let the good times roll.) 

     BTW ... I am hoping to visit my Dad in December, eager to see the new shop and to see for myself exactly what's going on. Of course I'll plan to take lot's of photos while I'mthere.

    My choice for J-link du Jour was written by Craig Guillot from the Rebuilding a City Journal , it's called  The Beat goes on. I just found this journal, it looks like Craig co authors the journal with Paul Greenberg and they are keeping a running report on the progress of the rebuilding of New Orleans. Stop by and find out for your self what they have to say, I know I'm going to.




Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Old, imperfect and incomplete ...

This Asian Altas Moth, all tattered and torn ... whispered for me to slow down and take a closer look as it nears the end of this part of it's lifecycle.

                                                    Wabi - Sabi

        Ask 100 different people to describe Wabi-Sabi and you'll get 100 different answers ... that's why I was so excited about choosing this topic for the Round Robin Challenge.  I can't wait to see what everyone else comes up with. So ...

              My choice for J-link du jour is all of the other Wabi-Sabi entries around J-Land. Stop by and take a look for yourself.

















decisions, decisions ...

     I've just started shopping around for a new camera. For the last two years I have been using a Kodak Easy Share, it was sooooo not the camera that I wanted when I bought it but the price was right. I was able to convince myself at the time that it was just a starter camera (first step into the digital world), and that I should just keep the digital SLR that I really wanted on my wish list.

   Kodak Easy Share DX 4530

 I've actually been very happy with the photos thatI've taken with that camera and the compact size was perfect for carrying with me everywhere I go, I keep it in a small black zipper bag in my purse because ... you just never know when that unexpected Kodak moment might come along, right?

    I've decided, with a little help from my sister that it might be time to pass the easy share down to my son. He's traveling a lot with his job and will be going places and seeing things that he might never see again. So, he gets my camera and I'm in the market for a new one.


                                    Canon Canon Rebel X T

  Although price range is certainly an issue right here before the holidays, I did want to at least consider getting THE camera that I really want. Thanks to a strong reminder from a close friend to "explore the options of "not paying retail" the possibilities became a little less pricey. Funny how we choose to buy things in this country with all the other options available. 

      With a little help from my friends (thanks JJ) I was able to narrow down my choice of SLR's to the Cannon Rebel XT. But ... when I actually went to look at them today I decided that even though this camera has every option a girl could ask for ... it just will not do as my only camera. Even though it's the smallest, lightest model of it's kind ... it's just to big. I'm not willing to give up the convenience of having a small camera in my bag, it would never be there when I needed it. So ... the Rebel will have to wait and I've still got some shopping around to do.The other two models I'm considering are both small and convenient and both about the same price.

  Konica Minolta DiMAGE X 1

     The Konica Minolta DiMAGE x1 has the 8 mp I'm looking for and it's so sleek small and thin ... love it, love it, love it, but ... it only has 3x optical zoom (same as my old camera) and there are no external buttons, all functions are made through the menu, I guess I could get used to that ... (maybe). 

    Nikon CoolPix S4

  The Nikon CoolPix s4 ... even though it ONLY has 6 mp and I want 8, it does have Nikon's D lighting which lights twice the distance of most other built in flashes, it has a really cool swiveling lens, it has a bright 2.5" LCD screen (they both do). This camera is a wee bit larger than the Konica one but still smaller than the one I've been using  AND it has 10x optical zoom. I'm leaning towards giving up a few pixels for all that extra zoom and lighting. But ... isn't the Konica cute ... sexy sort of, they certinly did there homework on design.

     :.:.:.:.sigh:.:.:.:. any opinions on sacrificing zoom or pixels in the digital world?


     My choice for J-Link du jour was written by JJ from An Eclectic Mind before she bought her new camera, It's called new baby. When you visit her journal you'll notice really cute photos of the animals at the zoo, no wonder she wanted such great camera.


Sunday, November 6, 2005

I love this time of year ...

     We don't get a whole lot of color change around here in autumn but we do look forward to the end of hurricane season. It's great to see so many beautiful photos of fall color around J-land.          

     Thought I would repost my autumn in South Florida entry from last year, nothing much has changed. We are a little battered and bruised from Wilma but clean up is underway and must be under control within a month because South Florida is expecting a very special guest soon. Ummm Mort ... December or January?         

     Ahhh ... Autumn in South Florida.


                                                        It's almost like ...  


         Summer in South Florida


                                 which is very much like ...


          Spring in South Florida 


                             which is not all that different from ...


          Winter in South Florida


                                                                     LOL ...

     I guess that is why many people call this the land with no seasons. Of course I am exaggerating a little, we do get slight temperatures changes in the winter but nothing to write home (or J-Land about). The winter photo above was taken on January 1st 2004, Mandy and I spent the day sunbathing at the beach and feeding seagulls.

     I live in Boca Raton, in Spanish that translates to "mouth of a rat." To those of us that live here it translates to "paradise." Clean air, blue skies, gorgeous sand and surf Mmmmm ...  It doesn't get any better than this, but ... 

     I do adore Autumn Leaves and the crispness in the air that many of you are already beginning to experience. I will not be seeing that for myself this year so I will be living vicariously through you this fall. Through the words in your journals and the photos that you post.

     Here in South Florida, fall also means the return of the snowbirds Grrrr ... that means horrible traffic, long lines at the grocery store and 2 hour waits at my favorite restaurants. Oh the price we arewilling to pay to live in Paradise. Wouldn't have it any otherway!

     My  choice for J-link du jour is called Living Art    and is posted to the Judith Heartsong journal. Thanks for sharing your beautiful color with us today and everyday Judi.


For Betty ...

     I received the following E mail from Betty asking for help identifying some butterflies, happy to oblige if I can. 


A mutual friend Steven SEPINTX suggested I contact you for help identifying butterflies photos I took last week in Aruba.  I know nothing about butterflies other than how pretty they are to photograph!!! Thank you for any help you might provide.                                             



    Looks to me like the first butterfly might be a Scarlet Mormon, it's a little difficult to tell because it's wings are not all of the way open. The second one is a Golden Helicon (don't cha think)?


     The forth one is a clipper and the last one looks like an emerald swallowtail.


 my choice for J-link du jour is Betty's entry called Butterfly Farm in Aruba , please stop by to take a look at her beautiful butterfly photos, there are still a few that I was not able to help her with. Anyone know anything about butterflies?

     Betty was also the host of last night's Vivi award announcements at the Journal Cafe, thanks for that Betty and everyone else that put so much time and energy into making the awards such a success. You can find the list of this years winners posted HERE. Congrats to the journal award winners and congrats to everyone that writes a journal here. J-Land rocks.