Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The one where "SOPA" makes me think of drinking Greek liquor, showering, and the richest woman in the world

Okay, so I don't actually know if Oprah is the richest woman in the world. And, I just tried to look it up, but Wikipedia, my primary source for all facts of the world, is blacked out for another couple of hours. But, even if she's not the richest woman in the world, but just the richest woman in America or something like that, "SOPA" makes me think of her. Not for any substantive reason, though, just because the word and the name sound alike.

Anyways. Wikipedia folks are so smart that even though when I type in "Oprah" or "Irish Spring" or "Arab Spring" or "Ouzo" or "the Beatles", all I get is redirected to a dark screen threatening me to:

Imagine a World
Without Free Knowledge
I can still find out all they want me to know about SOPA. Like: that if made law, the bill would "expand the ability of U.S. law enforcement and copyright holders to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property and counterfeit goods." Now, assuming this is true - I haven't actually read the bill, nor do I really want to unless someone is paying me to - I really honestly don't know what to think. I do think that piracy is bad. Stealing is bad. Copyrighted stuff should be protected. Counterfeiters should stick to the streets of NYC. Etc. Etc. BUT... how the heck is this bill, if passed, really going to work without, as the Wikipedia article suggests,"crippling" the internet?  Will I get charged every time I want to read or look at pictures of my friends and "friends" on Facebook?
On the other hand, I think Wikipedia's question about free knowledge is a little on the dramatic side. Most of the world doesn't have access to the internet. [I'd tell you the real stats, but, um, Wikipedia is still down.  The World Internet Usage Statistics Newsletter says that 30.2% of the world's population are "internet users" and even in North America, over 20% of the population are not "internet users". Granted, I don't know if this counts small children, people with significant disabilities, etc... like I said, the real info is currently unavailable.] Many people, even a lot in the U.S., don't really have access to education. Sure, the American dream is realized by some despite unfortunate circumstances, but education, and the knowledge that comes with it is rarely truly free. Ask my checkbook every time the student loan bills come in. And, though end consumers may be able to use certain cites and features of the WWW for "free" its not actually "free" to get the information there. There is costly infrastructure, there are annoying ads that pay for content, and people who take the time to contribute to "free" sources like Wikipedia simply choose to give up their time and the education or information that they paid for elsewhere to build a site that is useful. And, the really good, most reliable stuff (like, the stuff you'd cite in a legal brief) does cost something to access. It costs a lot. And a lot of people who are already bajillionaires make a lot of money off of you and me wanting "free knowledge." My point: knowledge is not really free. 
And that's why we value it. 
So, like other things we value - our privacy, our autonomy, our health, our safety - maybe we should have to pay something for it. Or at least strike a balance. I'm not saying that SOPA is the answer or that more regulation of the internet is necessary, because actually, since Wikipedia is down, I can't do all the research I need to form a fully educated opinion. Plus, I don't have the time. And time is money. See how that works?
Anyways. I'm just saying.

for your VIEWING pleasure, courtesy of our FABULOUS photographer

Okay. So. It's been a little while since I've posted.  Much longer than usual and even longer than I prefer. Timely and regular posts are a blogger's best friends. And I've been mistreating my friends. And my readers. I apologize. And in order to show you just how sorry I am, I offer you a narrated stream of adorable, professional make-up photos taken by Ryan Cook of Check him out. And enjoy. And then, forgive me.

Now that I can sit up, virtually unassisted by anyone or anything (take that, stupid Bumbo chair) I find myself being perched on all sorts of fun things, like this pretty booth at the Flying Cupcake!

And, since I don't need no stinking hands to hold myself up, I can put at least one in my mouth, at all times.

I'm telling you, what I see outside the window of this cupcake store is a heckuvalot more interesting than my mom or the photographer. Both of whom are making complete idiots of themselves trying to get my limited attention.

Well, fine, I'll give you some attention. But only if you give me one of these books to eat. I mean, er, read.

No? I can't eat a book. Fine. Pthhhththth. Take that.

And mommy wonders where I learned to stick out my tongue? She's kind of dense.

But, I love her anyways. She let's me take the spotlight and even though I cried like a baby when she put this hat on my head, it's really not so bad.

I'm kind of done with this photo shoot. I want to eat a stick.

Well, this chair is fun. But the edible books are still out of reach.

I'm smizing. Smiling with my eyes. Get it? Tyra's going to call soon. America's Next Top Baby Model is all mine.

I like this standing up stuff WAY better than all that sitting.

I'm about to do something devilish. This photo shoot has been torture. All those books and cupcakes and sticks and I didn't get to eat a single one. They're all going to pay. They won't know when and they won't know how, but they'll pay, alright.

Thanks again, Ryan! More posts sooner and more often. Promises. Promises.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

Best/Worst 2011

2011 was a fantastic year for our family. I mean, don't get me wrong, there were some big-time downers, tears, stress, death, arguments, pain, loss, and doubt along the way. But, for the most part, the year was a success. I could show you just what a success it was through a well-groomed and photoshpped selection of pics where everyone looks amazing.  But what fun would that be? So, intead, I give you...

The Best {and some of the worst}{moments} in the Worst {photographs} of 2011

Hello, Casper.
Care for an adult beverage at your BFF's bachelorette party?
Just kidding.
You are sober sister for another few months.

The toast, I think, sounded better than I looked at 40 weeks!
And I looked better than my feet felt in the shoes Maggie chose for us to wear.
That's love.

Being a new dad took its toll on Blake... he forgot how to make an appointment for a haircut.
No matter though, he's a hall of famer!

If I never see St. Louis again, I'll be happy.
But, I loved sharing the photos of my growing bump with Blaker via text!

So, apparently, the inability to get a haircut had nothing to do with being a new dad.
It was being a new uncle that did it.

I mean, I know that being born is hard work, Audrey, but you could at least pretend to be happy to see us.

Toby had no clue what he was in for when he joined our family, did he?

First the Bjorn, now swimming in the lake. Get me out of here!

No comment.


I'm deathly ill here, but putitng on a good face.
Good thing I pulled my sweatshirt down... that would have been a good photo...

Childbirth is so hard, that even my hair needed drugs.

This moment was nice, but I'm not sure who we're looking at.

Only one of these ladies is happy.
She just happens to be the one not wearing a tutu.
Sensing a pattern?

Love it. Love you all. Love a New Year and a fresh start.

Cheers to 2012!