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. :)
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.
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.
1 year ago today, Lady Fairbanks rose archways and my old herb garden.