Denise Goldberg's blog

Friday, February 27, 2009

A hint...

...a tease, a taste of things to come

Warmth, temperatures in the high 50s, a late winter gift. It felt wonderful to be able to walk in warmth, to laugh at the sound of the howling wind, to feel the cold rising from the remaining snow.

Tomorrow the temperature is forecast to be at least 20 degrees cooler, so today was just a fleeting taste of spring. But hey - the vernal equinox is only 3 weeks away!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Sharing the beauty

Somehow I've become addicted to wandering in the southwest. It's so different from my home, and the starkness of the environment can be breathtaking. I knew my early February trip would be a good escape from winter's cold and snow. It was too quick, but that seems to be my normal reaction to my travels. Too quick, but so enjoyable...

You can follow the tale of my southwest ramble in words in my journal or in pictures in my Jumping from white snow to red rocks photo galleries.

Circling Red Rock Canyon:

Circling Red Rock Canyon

Magic... Valley of Fire:

Magic... Valley of Fire

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Remnants of ice

I had a strong desire to walk in the middle of beauty, so I headed to Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Sunday afternoon. It's hard to believe that I've been living in this area for so many years and I didn't find this gem of a park until last April. I'm so glad I found it!

Today? I was surprised by the ice. I knew there would be remnants of our winter storms. The beach was clear of snow and ice, but the retaining ponds? They were still frozen. I found it interesting that they had frozen in a way that made it look as if waves were rolling across the surface.

waves in ice

More photos? Click to my Remnants of ice gallery.

Coyote walking

Morning, time to head to work...

I was driving through a neighborhood not too far from home, when I saw him. A coyote walked out of the woods and headed down the center of the road. Walking, looking, and then, loping off into the woods again.

What a beautiful way to greet the day!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What do you see?

I was walking through the woods, seeking patterns, looking at running water, at ice... This piece of ice reached out and grabbed me. What do you see?

patterns in ice

I see a face. Do you?


There are places where I expect to see toys, outside of houses, on a playground, places where young children play. As I walked across the campus of a private high school, this misplaced child's truck made me look twice.

child's toy

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Flipping a blog on its head

If you've been following the saga of my travel journals, you know that I moved my journals from their previous home to blogger. Blogs usually show the newest post on top, but my travel journals? I really prefer to have the journals set up more like a book, with a table of contents, and posts moving from oldest to newest.

I've just documented the steps to flip a blog on its head, to change it so the posts are ordered from oldest to newest instead of a blog's typical newest-first.

Do you have a blog that needs to be flipped? If you do, you can find my notes at

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Captured by ice

It was a good day for a long walk. There was blue sky, howling wind, snow crunching beneath my feet as I wandered through the woods.

snow over grass, melting

a leaf encompassed & captured by ice

Only one home

My travel journals now only have a single home. I posted here on Groundhog's Day that I had created a new home for them (easily accessible by clicking the Travel stories link in this blog sidebar, or by clicking Travel stories from the Gallery entry on the navbar of my site). I have now removed them from their old web location.

I just posted an entry over on the crazyguyonabike forum thread about watermarking pictures to explain to people there who may have been reading my journals why I pulled them from the site. I've decided to also post that response here:

I'd like to offer my thanks to those of you who have written to tell me that you'll miss my journals and my photos (even with a watermark). Both are still easily available, although they will no longer jump out and grab you from the home page or journal list here. You can always find my words and photos by following the Travel stories link in the sidebar of my blog. Here's a direct link if anyone is looking for it now -

I apologize if I pulled a journal out from under your eyes, if you were reading something when I unpublished my journals. If that's the case, and if you can't find it in its new home, please contact me and let me know what it is you are looking for. I'd be happy to send you a direct link.

In answer to anyone asking if there is something going on in my life under the assumption that I must have pulled out because of something else - it couldn't be because of this issue, could it? My life is just fine; I'm perfectly happy. And in fact I did pull my journals because of this issue.

Please note that I am not posting this to restart the discussion; I would just like some of you to understand my decision. If you are not interested in that decision then I'd recommend that you stop reading this post.

Neil's statement that he did not ban the use of watermarks is correct, but he might as well have. While the first post was civilized it did show an extreme lack of understanding (stating the assumption that the only reason someone would use a watermark would be so that they could sell the photos), and it quickly degraded into an out-and-out rant. It should have been a civilied discussion; it was not anything close to that. And I'm not talking about just the comments directed at me; there were comments directed at other individuals who also did not agree with the initial statement. It was very clear to me from this thread that Neil really doesn't want to see photos with watermarks here, and that he wouldn't "allow" journals to link off-site for the photos. And I would agree that it is good to have some photos embedded in the journal (although I will continue my habit of having a sample of photos in my journal, with more available in my photo galleries).

At this point I am not willing to publish my photographs on the web without a watermark on them (as an artist's signature). Yes, I do know it can be easily cropped off. But realize, that is my decision, not Neil's, and not yours. If my watermark distracts you, then I'm sure that you will not visit my photo galleries or the new home of my journals. That's fine - it's your choice, just as watermarking my photos is my choice.

I know that some of you think that I overreacted by pulling my journals from this site. That's your opinion, but no, I didn't overreact. I thought long and hard about it, and I weighed my choices. You already know my decision - I chose to create a new home for my journals. Don't be so quick to judge; you have no idea what you will do yourself until you are faced with a similar situation.

Did I do a bad thing? Apparently the webmaster of the previous home of my journals thought so - he sent me a behind-the-scenes email calling me an asshole. I wouldn't call that a civilized reaction, would you? That email made me realize that my decision to pull my journals from that site was even more right than I initially thought.
Update a few hours later... just to take it a little further, he just posted a reply to my post calling me a liar. Nice.

And days later... I can no longer access crazyguyonabike or its sister sites from my home computer to read the content published by other authors, although I can access it from my "baby" travel computer using a neighbor's internet connection (at the same moment that I can't access the sites from my usual computer). This implies to me that my IP address is blocked from the sites. I can ping the sites, but I can't get to them from a browser. Given that I have not posted anything other than this explanation, I think that was a more than childish reaction on Neil's part. I understand blocking someone from posting on a site if that person has been posting questionable content (which I really haven't been), but I do not understand blocking read access from reading the site. Again, a very childish and churlish reaction.
I have absolutely no regrets about the decision that I made.

In case you haven't been following along and would like to see my previous posts about this topic, here are links to my previous blog posts:
>>> Look over my shoulder, the announcement of the new home for my travel stories
>>> It's my decision, my reaction, my dismay, the start of my thoughts about where my travel stories should live.

Oh, and you're right. Most of my journals are still upside down, reading like a blog from newest to oldest. Yes, I'm still going to flip them over - but I needed a break from my computer. That change is still coming.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Home again...

I'm home, I'm wandering through my photos, I'm enjoying the sights from my too-short trip.

A tease for your eyes, as I'm still deciding on the photos to use in my galleries...

looking down the road, heading out of Valley of Fire

Yes, you can click on the photo, but won't take you to the photo galleries from my just-completed trip since they don't exist yet! Instead, a click will take you to my "(Uncategorized) camera play" gallery, the home of an assortment of photos. Galleries for my just completed trip? Soon...

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Waiting for children waiting for planes...

airport waiting area, children's table & chairs

I'm off!

Ah, time for a quick escape from the snow! I'm off for a few days, days of absorbing the wonder around me, days of walking, days of camera play...

Are you interested in watching over my shoulder? Please join me, Jumping from white snow to red rocks.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Light snow...

The forecast for today called for afternoon snow, so in spite of dry pavement greeting me this morning, I decided to work at home. As it turned out, it really wasn't necessary. Yes, it snowed - in fact it is snowing now - but the accumulation (so far) is minimal. The big plus? It was so nice to be able to take a mid-day break to walk in the daylight.

footsteps in snow

Monday, February 02, 2009

Look over my shoulder

Remember my post back on January 11th about my placing watermarks on the photos that I included in my bicycling touring and hiking journals? At that point I decided that I would publish all new journals in a new spot, but I was still thinking about leaving the existing journals alone. The more I thought about the forum discussion on watermarks and another discussion the following week that also quickly degraded, I decided to move all of my journals to a new home. (I haven't removed the journals from their old home, but that's probably coming too. Soon.)

I feel like I've been glued to my computer for the past three weeks.

In order to complete the move (relatively) quickly, I decided to tackle it in two steps. The first was to move all of the content to blogger, using the same look as this blog. The second step will be to flip the journals on their heads so that they read like a book. Most of the journals look like a blog right now, with the newest posts on top. A couple have been completely changed, with a table of contents in the sidebar, page to page links at the bottom of each entry, with pages that read from old to new.

Oh, you want to see some examples? For comparison purposes... A return to Death, a journal about my November 2008 wander in Death Valley National Park, has been completely converted to the new format. And A tale of two, from my August trip to New Brunswick is still upside down, reading from new to old.

As I travel, my journals will be in blog format, with the newest posts on top. That probably makes sense for those of you who are following me on the road, since my latest post will always be easily accessible. I will wait until I return home to flip the journal on its head, adding a Table of Contents and photos.

For now, I have chosen to share a single guestbook among all of my journals. I did initially enable comments at a post level, but after someone posted a comment and I had to search through all of the posts in my Boston to Oregon, a cross-country celebration journal to find the comment, I realized that really wouldn't work for me. If I head out on a long trip, I may create a guestbook that is specific to the trip, but for now I think that a single shared guestbook will serve my needs. (Oh, you want to know how to find the guestbook? When you are reading any of my journals, click the entry "Talk to me, I'm listening" in the sidebar of the journal.)

Please join me in my travels, look over my shoulder... If you want to see where I've wandered, use the Travel stories link in the sidebar of my blog (or from the Gallery page in my photo galleries), and then jump into Wandering... assisted by 2 feet or 2 (bicycle) wheels, & a camera!. I've collapsed the biking and hiking galleries into a single chronological list of my travels, with links to both my journal and the photo galleries from my trip. If you prefer my old "Two wheels, pedaling circles, touring" and "Two feet wandering" pages as a jumping off point, links to both are included in the description of this new "map" to my travels.

Please - let me know what you think! If you have suggestions for improvements, or if you find a problem with my new pages (other than the fact that they are still upside down, of course), I'm listening...

Curious about why? The watermark discussion really really bothered me. The webmaster and owner of the previous home of my journals made it very clear that he didn't like watermarks. A watermark is a statement of ownership, but to me it also can be a signature on a piece of art. I was very careful to place my watermark in the corner of my photos, in a manner that I don't believe detracts from a viewer's enjoyment of the images. Most people who were participating in the discussion seemed to think that watermarks were bad things.

A statement was made that promoted open source software and went on to compare open source software (stating that this is good) and watermarked photos (accompanied by the implication that this is very bad). I'm sorry - that comparison makes no sense at all. After all, a software developer makes a decision to participate or not to participate in the use of open source. And somehow, comparing software and an art form just doesn't make sense to me.

During this tizzy, the ridiculous watermark discussion, I said that I wouldn't include photos in my journals since photos with watermarks were clearly not acceptable on that site anymore. The webmaster of the site didn't ban watermarks, but he made it very clear that he didn't want them to be used. He also clearly stated that he didn't want to see links to other sites (as in a journal without photos but with a link to a photo gallery).

I do think there is a value to including photos with my story. It became very clear to me that it was time to move on.

I'm well aware that I will lose some readers - not for my hiking journals, but for the biking side of things. The hiking site was not well publicized, and does not attract a large number of readers. I added Google Analytics to my "A return to Death" journal out of curiousity, and I saw about the same number of hits per day as it received in its previous home. The cycling journals? That's another story, since crazyguyonabike is a very well known site among touring cyclists. I suspect, I hope, that the people who are interested in my travels will be able to find me and will continue to follow my travels. Yes, I know, they will need to look as opposed to stumbling over my updates in the former home of my journals. Given that a search on my name on Google pops my photo galleries and my blog to the top of the list, I believe that people who are looking for me will be able to find me.

It was a hard decision for me to make, but I believe it was the right decision. I'm quite happy with the new look of my journals, and I hope that you join me as I travel.

I will continue to leave tracks in my blog and on my Kaleidoscope page to let you know of new wanderings.