Monday, March 31, 2008

Day 31: Musings on Tea Tree, Thank You Cards, and Meyer Lemons

Tea tree flowers purchased last month from the farmers' market in Alhambra. I believe they were $2/$3 for this large bouquet. I liked their slight honey scent and because they were similar enough to plum blossoms for Tet (Vietnamese New Year). Not that there was any significance but because this is the month of random photos and I had a random photo just right here. :)
Day 31 Tea Tree
So why was I taking a half-hearted break this month? Several reasons really. I was sick and didn't want to think up any posts. Despite a very large backlog, at first I just loaded up whatever I had that day. Then I started posting all the lovely revisits as I repeated recipes but took better pictures this time around, or wanted to highlight some of my favorite restaurants. The revisits are only to complete recipe or restaurant postings. If something seems a little incomplete, I prefer to update that post so there's a central place for all that info. I know, one of my quirks. Anyway, I did a little more writing in the past month than I intended, but a lot less than I normally do. Which gave me a nice break to ponder upon some things. So here I am pondering away. I had dinner with a college friend a while back. She conducted three alumni interviews for our alma mater. Afterward, only one of the students bothered to send her a thank you email. None sent actual thank you cards. Maybe I'm an old fuddy duddy (I know the use of fuddy duddy probably guarantees that.), but I believe simple courtesies still have merit. Back when I used to go on lots of job interviews, I always sent a thank you card afterward. Now, in this day and age of instant email, you should probably send a thank you email first, but I think an actual thank you card makes you stand out. I send thank you cards if I travel somewhere and stay with a friend. That's for afterward. I come bearing small gifts if they're gonna put me up.
Day 31 Note Cards
Why does all this matter? Because apparently a lot of people lack common courtesies. That's right. Normally I don't make too much of a deal out of things. Well, not online anyway. But after almost two years of blogging, answering a lot of emails, I'm tired of people who never learned manners. No. No. This doesn't apply to my blogging friends and regular readers. I'm talking about the random people who delurk to ask long, detailed questions. After I reply, they don't even have the courtesy to write a quick thank you. Now, I'm not saying you have to be Dave and thank me on your wedding day (Although, I surely did appreciate it Dave!). You should always say thanks when you ask someone to do something for you. And emailing me to ask a question, which I take time out of my day to respond to, sometimes in very lengthy replies, constitutes as asking someone to do something for you. After I reply, all I ask is for a quick thank you. This has happened often enough that I'm seriously bothered by it. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least half a dozen other bloggers who have mentioned this same problem. I blog because I enjoy it, because I've made lovely online and real-life friends. I like sharing my recipes or food finds with others. But I am one person. One person who has to photograph each step when I cook. One person who photographs each item when I dine out. One person who must now watermark each photo because too many people have been stealing photos and republishing it without my permission or attribution. (Yes, I'm talking about you Peter Polt and your use of my Norwegian chocolates picture on Facebook.) One person who must then organize those countless photos before I even get around to blogging. One person who really does not appreciate it when I see my photos or recipes posted on other people's blogs, without attribution. I will say it again. I really, really do not like other people using my photos. If you must, then you need to attribute it to Wandering Chopsticks and link back to me. (But seriously, if you're already making my recipe, why aren't you photographing it and posting that photo? Too much work you say? Then think of the amount of work I put in to cook, photograph, organize photos, watermark, upload, and then blog about it.) If you're using my recipe in its entirety, then I prefer that you link back to my recipe post instead of posting it on your blog. If you're adapting my recipe, then have the courtesy to say it was adapted from Wandering Chopsticks and link back to me. If you have any ads on your blog at all, then republishing my photos or recipes violates the non-commercial terms of my copyright notice. I used to have a pretty liberal policy about comments. But as my blog has gotten more popular, I've had to deal with too many spam commenters, or trolls, or simply rude people. So apologies to my non-blogging commenters, but I've taken off the anonymous option. You'll have to register with Blogger, or use your gmail account to leave a message. I was tired of having to delete solicitations, or rude messages (sometimes with swear words!), or simply erroneous information. What is with people? Just because it's the internet doesn't mean you discard all manners. Sheesh. Sorry for the long rant. Just stuff that's been on my mind for a while. I'm sure there's a line between hunting down every single instance or just letting things go, but it's a list of annoyances that's been building up for a while. These issues aren't unique to me, I've seen it crop up again and again on other blogs as well. Anyway, the break from lots of writing was nice. I think I'll continue interspersing my blog entries with short posts or just pictures to give myself a breather. And to end on a cheerier note, look at the Meyer lemons on my youngest uncle's tree! Aren't they gorgeous? You know what that means? Recipes featuring Meyer lemons coming up.
Day 31 Meyer Lemons
***** 1 year ago today, Lady Fairbanks rose archways and my old herb garden.


  1. Hey WC,
    Just wanted to let you know we tried your Ga Nuong Xa recipe and it was absolutely delicious! We served it with Canh bau and steamed rice. The flavor was pretty well infused on the inside though, pretty awesome for an hour's marinade! Only hitch was that it was my first time grilling over a flame and I got a little too much char on it. Oh well, I'll do it better next time.

    I used pre-ground lemongrass and I knew I'd have a ton left over so we also bought some tilapia and we are marinating it overnight with lemongrass, salt, sugar, chili, and turmeric, and I can't wait to pan fry it tomorrow! (Mom's recipe).

    Thanks a ton! I'll be trying your Vietnamese style curry soon too.

    -Dave and Dawn Au.

  2. Coincidentally, I posted this reply before I read the post above. Sorry to hear about the photo-thieves and the non-thank-you-ers. As for posting a thank you on my wedding day, I only wish I've been as prompt in sending out my thank you's for all my wedding gifts. I'm quite the heck behind.

  3. Me too! I removed the anonymous option as well. It's just too much hassle having to delete spams!

  4. Hey there WC - I know what you mean about the lack of thank yous. In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "how rude." Now that you're rested and refreshed, I'm looking forward to more dangerously good OC eats.

  5. I share in your frustration. I recently discovered someone who cut pasted my recipe, including the step by step instructions. Fortunately, they mentioned me in the post but it still annoyed me that they couldn't even describe how they cooked the dish but instead copied my words.

    Ok, I feel myself about to launch into my own rant so I'll stop :-)

    I enjoyed reading this 'breather' post so hope there are more in the future.

  6. It's far too easy to be rude, to neglect the simple thank you, to steal someone else's content (I still don't get that one - what's the point of blogging if it's not you?!). Hang in there, WC. And do what you gotta do - watermark, simpler posts... and know that you are appreciated.

  7. I'm glad you've had some time to yourself and that you had the opportunity to get that off your chest, I just hope I never piss you off;P Anyways, I'm looking forward to the return of WC!

    btw, I'm always paranoid that my pics or other things are floating around out there without my knowing, but I've never seen any instances of this. How do you track your pictures and where they end up?

  8. Hi WC,

    Just want to let you know I've emailed you the feedback on the Ca Ri Ga recipe...very yummy btw :) Thanks so much again in graciously sharing all your wonderful recipes!! You are my first resource for recipes & good eats lately...

  9. hey there, I totally understand ur frustration, although my blog is still soo new and I dont have that many regular readers - just wanted to let u know ur doing a great job!! and I love your pics!

  10. *sorry for my long comment*

    My husband and I were just talking about the state of manners/courtesy yesterday, in particular, it's major demise since the spread of the internet and email. Apparently, we don't need to show courtesy with a thank you card or phone call because we can send a quick email that is usually void sincerity/correct grammar/spelling.

    The photo/recipe swiping thing does suck. I think people can suck. As for stealing photos ----while I believe it's completely wrong, I'm sort of blasé about because if someone is so desperate and lame to use a low-res image, my guess is that their lives are most likely desperate and lame too. They could care less that they've done something wrong and dishonorable. I feel more pity than anything else for these fools.

    um, anyway - the meyer lemon tree looks awesome. I wish I could just sit under the tree and smell its fragrance.

  11. I definitely agree with you, WC, on the manners and problems that you and other people face online. Some of these people are really mean and hurt other people's feelings. I asked questions online on a website once, and one person just said- you what I say and thank me later (as if demanding me to follow him like if I was a slave :(). And for people copying away with photos- I agree with you too on that. It is really time consuming to even post a photo online. And you have to watermark and do things to the photos too! It's a lot of work...and I know how it feels when someone steals away hard work from one person.

    Thanks for all the things you post! I learned about many restaurants I never saw before- even though they were in the area where I go to frequently. I really like the photos you take :), especially the tea flower photo and the meyer lemon tree.

  12. Dave,
    Yay! I'm glad you liked the ga nuong xa recipe. Was the canh bau recipe you used mine too? It better be! ;)

    Your mom's tilapia recipe sounds great too.

    You know etiquette says you've got a year after your wedding to send out thank you cards so technically you're still OK. Of course, I don't know if Asian people are aware of those etiquette rules.

    You know why? Apparently they're paying people to leave spam comments now!

    Ha! Your eats are way better than mine!

    Grrr, don't you hate that? Why? If they're going to the trouble of making the recipe are they cribbing ours? Why not just direct people to our blogs to get the recipe?

    Aww, thanks Nikki,
    I know you love me. :)

    Yeah! Beware my wrath! A lot of times people will have me in their sidebar and I just follow links. But sometimes like with that Facebook photo, it was completely random. The food blogging community is quite small though and they get found out eventually.

    I got it. Thanks for the nice write-up. I'll be posting it soon!

    Thanks for the encouragement. I hope you don't have to deal with these things.

    I hate how the cloak of anonymity makes people think they can say or do anything they want. I don't get why people would pretend something they're not either.

    Thanks for the encouragement. Sometimes it just becomes a pain to deal with rude people. But I like interacting with the nice ones! :)

  13. Actually, the canh bau was made from my mom's recipe. The main difference from what I can tell is that mom's recipe has chicken bullion in it to give a chicken flavor to the broth. Also, we went the easy way and just used pork paste for a meat. The fish didn't turn out half bad, although I'll have to add garlic, and 2x as much lemongrass and turmeric next time.

  14. Dave,
    *Gasp* How dare you use your momma's recipe instead of mine? ;)

  15. Amen, Chopsticks! Well Said.

    You know that I am one who agrees wholeheartedly with this post.

    I recently ignored a comment from a post I did last summer. I had never heard from the woman before and she wanted me to list everything I had planted in one of my barrels.

    I felt exactly as you stated.

    If she really wanted to know, she could spend her valuable time going through the archives because it was all listed there already.

    I am also done wasting my time answering comments and never getting so much as a thank you in return.

    Have a great day!

  16. Zoey,
    I was thinking of you when I said I knew of other bloggers who get annoyed by thankless people. Seriously! I guess people just don't think they need to say thank you. And I hate it when it's obvious they don't want to spend the time looking through our blogs to find the answers.

  17. Photo thieves suck! I'm glad that I'm not famous enough to have ppl pilfer my photos, haha. I would hate to put a big fat watermark on all my pics, it would kill them, boo!

  18. Jeannie,
    A lot of people think just b/c it's available online it's free for the taking. I didn't think my blog was that popular either but apparently it is. Yours might be more popular than you think.

  19. Great post!! gives me food for thought since I allegedly have a "blog" but nothing has been in it. It's just sucking up (a little bit of) cyberspace.

    But thanks for posting it, and you are so right - there are a lot of people who need a 12 step program for good manners!!

  20. Ms. Dr Pepper,
    The funny thing is that the people who agree with me about this aren't the people who need to learn this. :P


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