Thank you everyone for your words and your concerns. It is always good to hear and be reminded that not everyone out there is a scary, threatening person. Thank you!
Some of you have emailed me asking about what the hubby is doing to the site to help keep undesirables away from the blog. Here's Ryan describing what he did, in case anyone else feels the need to follow suit…
Howdy, all. Here's a quick a crash course in how to (at least partially) keep the sickos away from your site.
Angela found in her site statistics that visitors were coming from Google (and possibly other search engines) having searched for disturbing phrases. One way to keep the weirdos out, we decided, was to keep them from being able to find the site through the search engines. There are a few ways to do this.
(Here comes Ryan's technical description which may scramble your brain, if so, move on to read Option 1, which even I understood how to do.)
A search engine (SE) scours the internet by using computer programs called robots (sometimes spiders) that jump from web links to pages, add the pages to their database, then follow all of the links on those pages to other pages, which they add to the database, then follow its links on to still more pages, ad infinitum. They call this indexing. During an index, robots will add billions of pages to a database that the SE users then search. Because indexing billions of pages uses a huge amount of computing power, SEs are not interested in indexing sites with no desire to be indexed. For this reason, web developers came up with a standard called robots.txt to allow web site owners to keep parts of their sites from being visited by the robot programs.
To keep SEs from indexing your site, you need to let them know that you do not want their robot indexing your pages. There are two ways to do this. One involves adding a line to the HTML of your web pages. The other involves uploading a file to the root directory of your website. Either one tells a visiting robot that you don't want them there, and away they go without adding you to their database.
These methods can be used selectively, i.e., you can keep out ONLY Google's robot, or turn robots away from only certain files. We're more interested in getting the entire site out of every SE index, so that's what these directions are for.
If you don't have the ability to upload files to the main directory, but you do use a blogging program with templates (such as blogger or wordpress), you can add a line to your site template that will then be reproduced on every page of your website and will bounce robots away when they try to visit.
<META NAME="ROBOTS" CONTENT="NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW" />
This line is a "meta tag," something that is read by browsers and robots, but does not appear on the visitor's screen. When a robot sees this, it leaves without indexing. Using whatever method you have to alter your template, add the above line inside of the <head> tag of your template.
The <head> tag is near the top of the web page code. If you look for the line your template that says…
…then paste in the meta tag just below that, it will be in the right place. Be careful not to put it after the line that says..
… This is the head closing tag. You want the opening one without the forward slash.
If you are able to upload files to the main directory of your web site, using a robots.txt file is the best choice. This is a text file that all search engines look for when first coming to a site. If the robots.txt file contains instructions for robots to go away, they do. To turn them all away, all the time, the robots.txt file should contain this text, exactly like this:
You have to upload this to the main directory of your site or it won't block robots from everything. Here's a downloadable copy of the file that you can use.
According to search engine folks, you now have to wait. Eventually, SE robots will visit your site as they crawl the internet, see that you are rejecting them, and will move on. As your site continues to remain inaccessible, the pages already in their index will drop out. Eventually, your site will be gone from the search engine's database. It will still be available to any visitors that know the address, as well as through any links that other sites or bloggers have made to your site. The people searching on Google, however, will not.
Google allows web site owners to take an additional step and request the removal of their site from the index. You have to set up one or both of the above options first, then you can request removal. We did this yesterday and the request is still pending. I have not been able to find an option like this with other search engines, and with Google's you have to register with them as a webmaster. Theoretically, this step is unnecessary. The robots.txt thing is supposed to (eventually) ensure your disappearance from searchable web space, we're just not sure how long it takes.
ADDED: In order to request removal, you need to sign up with Google's webmaster tools. The sign up page is here. Once you've signed up, you can click on Webmaster Tools, then your site name, then URL Removals. The request form is there. note, however, that this is not strictly necessary. Blocking the robot is enough to get you out of the index. In Angela's case, the site was dropped before Google even got around to noticing the request for removal.
NOTE: It took about three days from doing all this for Google to drop Colorfool from the index.
If you feel the need to safeguard your blog and family like this and you need help or have any questions, email Angela and we'll walk you through it.
If you want detailed information, see http://www.robotstxt.org/wc/robots.html.
Did ya get all that? You can't find me through google searches anymore. Which is wonderful for me. However, if you are a site that sells something I'm sure you want people to find you. Since we made this change, traffic to my site has been halved-just keep that in mind if you are trying to make money through your blog. Everyone who reads your blog currently will still be able to read your blog using the same method they always have-unless they always google search you. Just give everyone a heads up on your post and tell them to bookmark you or add your web address to a bloglines type thingie.
Also, if you use FlickR you can safeguard your photos by making them only viewable by friends and family and if you go to "your account" and then the "privacy and permissions" sections you can make you photos unsearchable there and a few other things too, if you feel the need. If you are titling & tagging your photos- be safe. I'd stay away from photo titles/labels like "little girl" "small children" and well, just don't identify that you have photos of your babes if you are not removing yourself from searches.
I hope this is helpful and not too confusing. If you are confused, try reading it again. I had too! I'm dense when it comes to tech. stuff. Good luck all.
July 26, 2007
Carrying on, but definitely NOT calm. I am so disturbed by all the things I keep hearing about in the world and on the internet lately. I feel bombarded by it. People stealing newborn babies, kidnapping pregnant women, sickos molesting children in Target and freaks downloading kid images off of sweet little flickr and then to find out that a few undesirables had found their way here searching for not nice things and that they likely downloaded photos of my kid! No. No. No. I mean I know there is only so much you can do with a downloaded photo, but I don't want my little girl's face being used for anything. Ew. It gives me the chills. I want to build a fortress and move my wee family to it. It'll be guarded by snarling Hades dogs. Lots of them. Jurassic sized ones. We shall stay there forever. Locked away from the evils of the world.
I love my little blog, as lame as it is these days. I love that some of my family can read up on us and Keely and that I have a record (with photos) of our days together, but this creepy stuff makes me ill. If I leave Keely out of my blog, there is really no blog. If I stop posting flickR shots of her, I might as well not post anything. She is my life.
Soooooo. The hubby is going to try and rig the blog so that no google searches come to my site anymore. That also means only those of you who know about "colorfool" will be able to find it through bookmarks or bloglines. I'm also making all of Keely's photos on FlickR only viewable by friends and family. If you are a friend or family and want to be included in this, email me and I'll let you know what to do. K? Be safe people. There are creeps among us. I don't think I'll plan on posting the rest of this week until I get all this sorted out.
July 23, 2007
(we were all about the leg shots)
Boy has it been hot. Bluck. It was so insanely hot and humid yesterday. The air was just too heavy too breathe…and well, it made Keely and I equally cranky. She didn't know what she wanted and I just wanted to be lazy. We tried to go outside several times, but we couldn't take it. Everytime I do anything more than walking out in the heat, I start having too many contractions. No thank you. The garden needs tending. The flowerbed needs weeding, but I just can't do those things now. We made pudding popsicles instead (Keely's favorite this summer) and then I tried to lay down and just read. Ha! Keely flailed on the floor and moaned about the heat.
Before things got too ugly, I got up & loudly turned on Keely's happy songs from my/her iTunes list. Then, I found my missing tripod piece and we had ourselves and indoor photo shoot. We goofed around, tried to stay cool, and took a lot of photos. It turned both our moods around thankfully and we had a pretty good rest of the day.
July 20, 2007
I've been doing some mini-makeovers around the house. I do that a lot. It helps calm my busy head temporarily. I don't usually "buy" new things -just move old stuff around though. I've got a shopping bug right now and it has emptied my paypal account (from my "shop" days). Sad. But! I got a new lamp, some new art prints, and new silverware! Yes, that is worthy of an exclamation point. We had been using a set that my grandparents had given my parents when they got married. My mom passed them on to me. They are the only set we've ever had. I decided it was time we got our own. Very exciting, no? It doesn't take much to excite me people. I'm saving the old set to pass on to Keely someday. Also, I'm finally ready to re-paint the green hallway (read: make Ryan paint it when he is done with school). It's going to be some shade of blue I think.
And here is the 5 1/2 month pregger mug shot.
July 19, 2007
Thank you all so much for the baby congrats. I must say we were all surprised by the news of a boy for some reason. I guess we all had a vision of 2 little girls at our house. Keely cried her eyes out at the ultrasound when the tech said it was a boy. "…but I want a girl baby!" It was a little rough. I had no idea she'd be so upset. We'd been telling her it could be a boy or a girl, that we don't get to pick, blah, blah, blah, but I guess none of that sunk in. I'm sure she'll get over it in the next few months and we are trying to let the boy baby news sink in for ourselves! Honestly, I think I'm still a little shocked that we are having another baby. I sometimes look down at my belly and I'm really stunned to see this pregnant belly. Whoa! When did this happen? Nutty I am. So, I sat down to look at my fabric stash because I've got baby things to make and man, is all my stuff girly! Even the blue things are floral. Great excuse to do some fabric shopping right? Much to do. Thank you again for all the sweet words.
Check out our produce.
All from our garden! And there is much more on the way. Needless to say, we've been making lots of foods with cucumbers and tomatoes-many forms of pasta salads, bruschetta, pizza, refrigerator cucumbers, sour cream & dill cucs. Good eating folks. I heart the garden.
Then this girl…how big does she look? Yeesh. Stop growing baby. I got out Keely's box of "baby" books and she had fun looking through them, but she wasn't just looking. She is starting to read! She' s sounding out words all the time, everywhere we go. It's crazy, especially since I've put no effort into it lately. She's doing it all on her own.
and spelling too. I gave her scrabble tiles to play with and she spelled out all of these on her own.
Keely, Mommy, Daddy, Sadie, Caribou. She is also leaving us love notes all of the time too.
I love you daddy. Awesome.
July 16, 2007
We finally got a cushion for the outside couchie thing and the same day
Keely (a.k.a she who never sleeps) fell asleep on it. Alone. All by herself. This is the very first time in her entire life that she has laid down on her own and fallen asleep. Ryan and I just stood there staring at her, amazed at such a sight. Unfortunately, it was at 6pm. Way too early for her to go to bed and way too late for a nap. She's been a bit on the cranky side (that is so putting it lightly) since she now refuses to take daily naps. I'm struggling over here some days to keep my nice. Let's take another look at the sleeping child.
Ah. That was a nice little 15 minutes of quiet sweet one. Anyway. We had a few days of not so hot they suck the life force out of you days and I sewed a few things.
I made Keely a new giant tote bag for books, drawing equipment, and snacks to take on my dr. visits. I never took a photo of it. Just imagine something great for me. heh. I recovered our couch pillows for summer.
and took a very dark photo of them. Sorry.
Also, my dad had a custom order for me. He wanted a doggie carrier. He is a big, macho guy BUT he has a tiny 4lb toy poodle who adores him and is forever sitting on his belly. Occasionally they are in the car together and he can't hold her very well while driving, so he wanted something hands free to plop her in. I made him a little belly pocket with straps that tie around his neck. It cracks me up. Again, I did not get a photo of this. I am slacking.
Next week, we go for our biggie 5 month ultrasound and hopefully, can find out the sex of baby 2. I'm nervous and excited. I'll let ya know when I get some news.
July 6, 2007
Well, we finally busted out all the plastic poolage around here and it may be tacky, but we are all loving it. We recently had our neighbors help us dig a new well in our backyard. Our old one had no water pressure and the water was more clay than liquid. Anyway, our new well is awesome. It has tons of pressure. The water is so clear and it is absolutely freezing cold. So, our pools are freezing too. If I stay in the "big" pool for about a half hour, the residual chill lasts me for an hour or two after I get out. We got a little baby pool for Keely to splash around in by herself since she can't go in the 3 1/2 ft. deep one alone. She loved the baby pool last year, but this year? No way. She was dying to get in "our" pool and when she did- she loved it. It now takes us a half hour to get her out of it. She wants to be in it everyday all day, which of course means we have to be in it all the time too. She wants nothing to do with "her" pool now.
She's so disappointed that nothing floats in it and you can't kick your feet. Basically, she is saying, "This is soooo lame mom. You can't be serious with this?" Sorry kid.
Not much else going on around here. Hubby is in school Monday through Saturday for the month of July, so Keely and I are just bumming around. Trying to slow down and enjoy our last summer as a family of three. Only 20 weeks left now.
July 2, 2007