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A December Swim

Newport Beach, California:  Click on photo to purchase, or view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

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Google + Adds Communities

I apologize for writing back-to-back posts on the topic of social media.

Big things are going on in the social media world this week.

Yesterday, I wrote about New Myspace.

(By the way, New Myspace is rapidly making improvements, which is exactly what the developers should be doing while in beta.  I still haven’t had time to fully explore it, but I’ve already seen improvements.)

Today, I wanted to let you know Google + has announced communities.

Communities are like groups on Facebook or Flickr … but better.

You can form a community around a common interest.

For example, a local photographer has already formed an “Orange County Photographer’s” community.

It’s nice because it’s very simple to click on the community, and/or share, and/or lurk and learn, etc.

Google + just announced communities and people are creating them FAST.

Communities can be made public or private.

Foodies?

Techies?

Graphic Designers?

Surfers?

Model airplane flyers?

You name it, there are communities forming around particular interests.

And guess what?

If there’s an area you’re interested in, you can form a community for it!

I’ve had an over-the-top, busy, week.  That means I haven’t had time to fully explore G+ communities.

I did receive several invitations to photography related communities already though.

For example, there’s one called The Photo Community and it’s open to everyone interested in photography.  Over 5,000 people joined it within hours of it being created.

Very late last night, I formed a community called Beach Photographers.  It’s a place for people to share beach, seascape, beach life photos.  They can also have discussions, share tips, etc.  (It is open to the public and you are WELCOME.)

Facebook, for most people, is about sharing with people you know.

G+ excels in interest based social networking.

G+ also has the advantage of “hangouts.”  Hangouts (which are similar to skype, but better) are great.

Communities on G+ have another advantage.  If I’m online and I find an awesome article about surfing, I can just + it to share it with the beach-related communities I belong to.

Here’s a one minute YouTube video that provides a quick look:

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The New Myspace!

Maybe you’ve heard there’s now a new version of an old social networking service?

The “old” Myspace has been (or should I say it’s BEING?) replaced by the New Myspace.

The New Myspace is called … New Myspace!

Isn’t that a clever name for it?

Justin Timberlake is behind the New Myspace redesign/relaunch.  Initial “exclusive” invitations were aimed, in large part, at the music community.

In fact, a first look at New MySpace indicates music is deeply integrated in the New MySpace format.

Now, a few days into the beta launch, “invitations” are beginning to spread to other creatives and across industries.

(I felt like The Uncool Kid because I accidentally gave them my email address with a typo in it.  I have since built a beginning profile, but I haven’t had time to play around much there yet.)

New MySpace presents content in a horizontal format, unlike Facebook’s vertical layout.

Initial feedback from my less-typo-prone friends (who have had a few days to play with it) indicates the launch is getting people really excited and enthused.

People can’t stop talking about how much they love New Myspace.

Yes, apparently there are a few glitches –

But that’s to be expected when a new platform is still in beta.

(I was the cause of my own glitch …!)

New Myspace (supposedly) isn’t out to compete with Facebook.

However, everyone I know testing out New Myspace, keeps mentioning they like it much MORE than Facebook.

You can get a sneak peek, and request an invitation, by clicking here.

You can connect with me on New Myspace by clicking here:  new.myspace.com/suzanne.haggerty

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Things I Like Lately, Part I

Prepare yourself – I’m sharing gift ideas today!

I hate shopping.

I’m missing all sorts of girlie genes, and a love for shopping is definitely one of them.

Don’t get me wrong –

I LOVE giving.

It’s just the actual act of shopping (people, noise, crowds, lines!) I dislike.  I try to do as much shopping as possible online, but sometimes I have to suck it up and join the crowd.

When I finally do force myself out into the real world, I find all sorts of things I LIKE.

I’m going to share a few of those things today.

Maybe you know someone who would like these items too?

(Or better yet, maybe you would?)

•  King Arthur Baking Products – I’ve yet to try a King Arthur product I haven’t had good results with.  (Many are gluten free.)  I don’t bake a LOT, but I do bake around the holidays.

•  Vitamix Professional Blenders –  Yes, I got my Christmas present prior to Thanksgiving this year.  This machine is SAVING me so much pain in the kitchen – literally.  I use it as a food processor, soup maker, smoothie maker, etc., etc. It replaced my 20 year old, pain in the ass, food processor and my not-quite-as-old blender.  I should have gotten one the day after my car accident.  I would have, if I only knew how much easier it would make my life.  It has been used a minimum of twice a day since Briefcase brought it home a few weeks ago.  Chopping (post car accident) is one of the most painful things I “have to” do – this machine is making a huge difference for me.  (Not only that, this particular model CLEANS ITSELF!)  It’s a miracle machine!  Yes, it’s expensive.  And YES, it’s worth every penny – especially for me with my bum arm.

•  Hobo Lauren Wallet (for women) – I’ve loved Hobo wallets forever.  This one is bigger than I usually like, but fantastic.  (That’s what she said?)  It can sub as a clutch purse when you don’t want to carry anything else.  It even has a compartment for your phone.  I’ve never met a Hobo wallet I didn’t like, but this is my current favorite.  (Other Hobo wallets can be found here.)  P.S. Hobo wallets feel good in your hands!

•  Kindle Fire HD  –  I had a first edition Kindle and loved it.  It died on me last summer, at the very beginning of a five hour flight.  I wanted to weep right there on the plane.  Fortunately for me, when I eventually went to replace it, Amazon had just come out with the Fire HD version.  I love my gadgets, and I won’t board a flight without my Kindle.

Lancome Oscillation Vibration Infinite Power Mascara – I don’t wear much make up, but I’m rarely without mascara.  (I have blond eyelashes and I appear to have NO eyes at all if I don’t wear mascara!)  I’ve tried many brands of mascara, and this one is worth every penny.  Ladies, it’s a mascara tube that vibrates, what could be better?  

•  GoPro Hero3 Black Edition – The GoPro belongs (also) on my photography page, but just about everyone I know wants one whether they’re a “real” photographer or not.  GoPro’s are just FUN!  The new Black Edition is currently hard to find, but rumor has it a few have already shipped via my friends at B&H!

•  Tervis Tumblers – I (almost) always have one with me.  These “glasses” are the greatest invention ever.  There’s no need for coasters – they don’t “sweat” even when filled with ice.  They’re insulated so drinks stay cold in them for hours upon hours.    I frequently leave one in my car while I go shooting on the beach.  When I get back to my (hot!) car a few hours later, the tumbler still has unmelted ice in it and my very cold drink.  I’ve dropped them on my kitchen brick floor, and they haven’t even cracked.  I put them in the dishwasher with no problems.  Seriously, I have one with me 90% of my waking hours.  (I get lids and straws for them too … I always have one with me while driving.)

I’ll post a few more things I like soon.

In the meantime, do you have anything you like lately?

(It always help with shopping when people share gift ideas!)

P.S.  I had some issues with my comment section yesterday.  Everything appears to be working great again today!

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What the Public is Googling Lately

When I first began blogging, I was floored by the number of people Google (and other search engines) sent to my site.

I don’t see private information about the people who come to visit me, but if the Internet sends them to me based on a search they’ve done,

I see exactly what they typed into Google (or whatever search engine they used) in the first place.

For example, when I scan my “stat sheet” I see a LOT of people have recently been googling “moscow mules” and/or “copper mugs for moscow mules.”

In turn, Google sends them to the post I wrote last May about Moscow Mules – which are a delicious cocktail, by the way.

Although, the vast majority of posts I write are mainstream,

The occasional inappropriate post with sexual content always gets a lot of traffic.

(Sex sells!)

I’ve mentioned before, my most widely read post is an example of my extremely inappropriate sense of humor gone viral.

(I must have been looped on pain meds when I wrote it??)

Please don’t click on this link if you’re offended by bad language and sexual content.  (Well Endowed Men)

In fact, I get zillions (!!!) of hits STILL – every single day – on the Well Endowed Men post.

The world is obsessed with well endowed men.

Here are just a few samples of the “searches” people have typed into Google over the last two days:

•  the benefits of being well endowed

•  stories about well hung men

•  woman seeking well hung man

•  well endowed men at beach

•  enormous long hanging endowed men

•  very well hung dude

•  how to tell if you are well endowed

•  well hung stories

•  how to find a well endowed man

•  club for men with 12 inch penis called hung jury

•  my wife has a very well hung lover

•  are giants well endowed

I’m not sure, do GIANTS exist??

Really, people?

Keeping with the sex-related theme, I also get nonstop search referals in regard to women losing their clits.  (The Day I Lost My Clitoris)

Clit searches include:

•  my clitoris doesn’t work anymore

•  lost my clitoris

•  she lost her clitoris

•  how do you lose your clitoris

•  my clitoris is missing

•  my clitoris disappeared

•  how do I know if my clitoris is missing

•  my clitoris doesn’t work anymore

•  can you lose your clit

•  I can’t find her clit

Surprisingly, on a non-sexual note, my post about the loss of a good friend seems to be something many people can relate to.

(An Open Letter to an Old Friend)

I’m both saddened and startled at how many thousands (!!!) of people have read that post.

(Many of the actual “searches” are heartbreaking.)

It’s sad, isn’t it?

So many people are mourning important friendships.

Other insanely popular posts include:

Going Brazilian

The Nipple Story  (Part I and Part II)

What Camera Should I Buy?

Do Celebrities Have A Right To Privacy?

Caught Naked

While I was writing today’s post, I saw a search query (from just yesterday) that made me laugh out loud:

•  I want to do paul newman

Ha ha!

Didn’t you hear?

He’s dead!

(Google sent them here.)

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Is It Monday Already?

•  I’ve listed 10 (not too expensive) photography related gift ideas on my photography page.  I thought it might help you shop for the photographer in your life.  Click here to see them.

•  Writing an article about photography gift ideas involves spending time looking at photography stuff.  I might have ended up spending money in the name of research.  On the positive side, Briefcase doesn’t need to shop for my Christmas present(s) now, right?

•  It rained here (a little) over the weekend which means I “had to” hibernate.  (I’m a 5th generation Southern Californian, after all.)

•  Fortunately, we were “between storms” Saturday evening which gave me enough time to get my beach fix.

Click on photo to purchase, or view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

•  It was a beautiful sunset.  I was dancing up and down the Balboa Pier (Newport Beach) in excitement.  The colors were so pretty and they kept changing into so many variations of awesome!

•  The boys freezing their asses off (in the above photo) were visiting California from Utah.  The minute I saw them, I said, “Tourists!”  (No wet suits – !)

•  I’ve decided I need to rent an elf for the next few weeks.  I bet a lot of people could use elves this time of year.  What a great business model!  “Rent an Elf – Coming soon to a town near you!”

•  I’m not an elf, but ….

•  I’m offering a 20% discount on my prints for the holidays.  The discount code is listed in this article.

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Simple Holiday Pleasures

What do you like most about the holiday season?

Click on photo to purchase, or view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

It seems like so many of us get stressed out.

We have so many things going on this time of year … so much to DO.

If you could strip all the material stuff away –

If you could take everything money-related out of the season –

If you had no work to do for the holidays –

What part of the season would give you a sense of comfort or a smile?

Maybe it would be something like sitting by a warm fire ….

Or, listening to Christmas music,

Or lighting menorah candles.

Some of you might love baking, while for others baking is a chore.

Everyone is different, which is why this is so interesting to me.

What simple things make you happiest this time of year?

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Odds and Ends

•  It turns out, if you’re friends with a (really NICE) famous photographer …

And he happens to publicly link to your blog,

Causing zillions of people to come pay you a visit ….

It will probably be on the same day you publish a post using inappropriate humor and sexual innuendos.

(Because that is how my life works!)

Hello, my name is Suzanne.  

My outspoken, immature, sense of humor offends mature grown-ups on a regular basis.  

I’m also pretty handy with a camera.

•  My friends tend to be immature people too.

•  Newport Beach now has the second priciest housing market in the United States according to this article.

No, I do not live in Newport Beach.  Yes, I’m IN Newport Beach several times each week.

For some reason, I felt validated by reading a news article stating life is not “normal” here.

I really am surrounded by a warped reality and the article is my PROOF.

•  I have ripe limes on my lime tree.

Did you know the limes you see in the grocery store probably aren’t ripe?

A ripe lime begins turning yellow.

Limes freshly picked from my lime tree.

When limes are allowed to ripen on the tree, they’re much juicier than the limes we see in grocery stores.

(And no, they don’t continue to ripen after being picked.)

Last night, I made a spicy black bean soup.  The recipe called for lime juice.  It made me so happy to use a lime from my own tree.

•  I’m easy to make happy, aren’t I?

•  The oranges on my orange tree are beginning to ripen, but they aren’t ready to be picked yet.

•  It isn’t even December 1st, so please stop telling me you’re “done” with your holiday decorating, gift buying, baking, gift wrapping, blah, blah, blah.

Your efficiency and admirable organization skills are stressing me out.