Category Archives: web/tech

Archiving Ourselves

 

I include Niki and Amy’s anti-piracy video not because it’s entirely relevant, but because it’s my favorite YouTube video.

As many of you know, despite the blogging and online forums where I also play, I still read and post on usenet (yes, I’m that old) on soc.sexuality.spanking.  A recent discussion there prompted these thoughts.

Question: Why anyone (like me) would object to any free site archiving stories we’ve given away anyway. There are authors like John Benson that give their work to be reproduced and archive freely. Why won’t I do that?

It’s not about money. I’ve only written a couple of stories for profit and even then I was paid peanuts and the copyright reverted to me after 24 months. Those stories are also, with only a few exceptions, archived on The Treehouse and have been for more than ten years now. So why *would* I care if someone else puts them up on another free site? Is it as simple as a selfish “they’re mine”?

Not exactly, but sort of. They are mine. Moreover, they’re me. I post them, but I can’t and don’t let go.

These stories aren’t just closely linked or even the product of my explorations of my spanking fantasies — the act of writing them and they themselves were explorations. Some early ones are accounts of child abuse, remember and relived in fear, anger and pain. Some are accounts of scenes with other people or were written as gifts to them — statements of love and hope. Others are fantasies that were so secret I’d never dared write them down before this moment when I did. They were all written in part as a gesture of thanks to my beloved alt.sex.spanking and soc.sexuality.spanking for freeing me to embrace this part of myself.

It’s been a long time, but when I re-read them, I remember writing each one, sometimes crying, sometimes shaking and sometimes incredibly turned on, almost burning with a desire to tell someone what I was seeing and feeling behind my eyes. I remember my heart thudding as I wrote and then again as I tried to decide whether or not to delete the story, whether or not I could bear to post it. This is all just a long way of saying that my stories may or may not be very good (and some are worse than others) but for me and to me they’re all very important.

When I first started posting to the group, someone put some of my stories on their website along with some pictures and a bunch of other work. They didn’t ask, but when I found the site (or rather someone else did) I was stunned and flattered. It was a simple little site on a free server (Free Yellow? — can’t remember). Within a month the owner got dropped from their free server because of content and bandwidth (remember when we used to have to worry about that? Yeah? Then you’re old too!). They moved the site to another free server, but this one was an adult server. The site had xxx banners with very explicit sexual imagines of, well, sex.

This wasn’t what the stories I wrote were about. This isn’t what I’m about or turned on by. I didn’t want them to be somewhere I felt I had to avert my eyes from every time I surfed over. I was horrified and asked that they be taken down. The owner was annoyed with me, feeling I didn’t understand the effort involved in formatting my stories and the difficulties of finding free hosting. I pointed out I hadn’t asked him to do this, that, in fact, I hadn’t even given permission.

At the same time, a number of authors on ASS were struggling to get their stories off any number of pay-sites that were sprouting like mushrooms and using the stories as both content and to drive traffic. Those stories, hundreds of them, had to a significant extent been ripped off a free archive, created with good intentions but without the permission of the authors involved. This struggle went on for years. In fact, for all I know, it’s still going on.

In response to this, and so we could say to people who wanted our work archived that it already was, Paul built The Treehouse, registered the domain and gave it to me as what is still the absolute bestest Christmas present ever. Although the site could do with a facelift (do you know how long 10 years is in internet terms?), it was and is the way I imagined those stories being presented. Every part of the site was talked about between us both at the time and after. The space was supposed to be an expression of innocence. Not innocence shattered or parodies, but reclaimed. Not dark or sexual, but light and fun. Nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about.

We pay for the domain and the hosting — no ads or sponsors. The control of the space is important enough that even when we were broke the hosting fees for The Treehouse were always a priority. The control is that important. It’s why since then I’ve given permission for archiving only to good friends and only for a few stories here and there. I’m not alone in this — a number of story sites, both current and past, were started for the same reason. Others stopped posting stories altogether or only post them to their own sites — it was just too much work to explain Usenet isn’t public domain. I know at least one person who only sends out stories via email as PDF documents.

And yes, I do complain when my stories are on sites without permission. I won’t stop doing that — whatever the site’s intentions might be. But I am going to try and speak a little more softly when I do so remembering that there can be good intentions all around.

[edited 28/10/09]


iPhone: Kinky Apps

I’ve made a more serious post about how Paul and I use technology in our discipline / punishment scenes over on the Punishment Book including our more recent use of the iPhone in conjunction with Apple’s MobileMe. This blog entry is about the more fun and kinky iPhone apps I’ve discovered since Paul gave me one for my birthday this past July –I mention this in case there’s any doubt that Paul keeps me very indulged and spoiled. The screening process Apple uses hasn’t screened them out, at least not so far as I can tell.

ispankThe most obvious of the kink apps is iSpank. No really and for true, it’s there in the iTunes store, in both a free and $.99 version (you get more implements for the money). It’s fun — some of the sound effects are better than others. While the paddle is only okay, the belt or strap always makes me start a little even when I’m holding it. One danger of the app, however, is what I think of as the Wii problem — it encourages the spanker to swing their iPhone around. So make sure you have a tight hold. You then get rated on the strength of your swing. I rarely get more than 5/10, though Paul thinks I don’t need swing so much, that it’s all in the wrist.

But the kinkiest one I’ve found is called either iGrounded or UrGrounded. Its makers market it as a “parenting tool” claiming, “Kids need boundaries. This app helps parents set and enforce consequences.
-urgrounded games-makes grounding easier for parents and kids.” Nothing too kinky there (well, except the idea that punishment’s a game) — but then it goes on to say

igrounded

WE ARE A GENERATION OF WIMPY PARENTS…and we are creating a generation of kids that are lazy,rude, entitled and who show a lack of respect for RULES.

iGrounded is A QUICK POCKET GUIDE FOR PARENTS
When kids break the rules,they need immediate logical consequences.

wheel-of-consequences
iGROUNDED INCLUDES:

  •  UR GROUNDED WHEEL OF CONSEQUENCES GAME..
  •  THE MYSTERY DOORS CONSEQUENCE GAME!

Parents, YOU enter and edit the consequences in both games.

Guide to:

  1. LYING
  2. CURFEW BREAKING
  3. STEALING
  4. NOT CHECKING IN
  5. DRUGS /ALCOHOL
  6. SEXTING
  7. DRIVING ISSUES
  8. ATTITUDE
  9. POOR GRADES and more…

Parents, YOU enter and edit the consequences.

Keep track of who’s grounded in your home.
E -mail your child (and yourself) with the consequence as a friendly reminder.

Excuse me? Let’s just look at that last sentence. Are we talking about Girl’s Boarding School here?  I mean, I don’t have kids, but do most parents really need to have emailed reminders sent to themselves to remember which child has been grounded and for what?  How many teens are living in this “family” anyway?  The offenses also look like something out of video (or story) plot — parent scolding and punishing teen for breaking curfew, or better yet, catching them “sexting.”  Lovely stuff.  The app has scolding prompts to remind parents why lying is bad (seriously).

Keeping with this theme, I do find it odd that “not checking in” appears between “stealing” and “alcohol/drugs.”

Which brings me to the Wheel of Consequences.  As downloaded, the wheel, which spins with a flick of the finger does not have corporal punishments.  Insteadm, they start out with punishments like forced runs, losing game consoles, cleaning the cat box, losing pet (!!!) or having to stay home or in ones room (bliss!), but can be easily edited to fit a more CP turn.    The thing is, I can imagine this “spin and be punished” game being used at a Shadow Lane Party a lot more easily than I can by a parents as a means of deciding how to punish a teenager for a drug offense.

One last gem. The maker claims this app is “Recommended by Pediatricians”  — I’m  imagining a conversation a bit like this:

DOCTOR: Good Lord Sir / Madam!  Your child is clearly an out of control brat  who is both lazy and rude!  You are a wimpy parent!

PARENT: I know doctor, he/she has no respect for the rules. Maybe it’s because I can’t figure out what the logical consequences of their misbehavior should be. For that matter, I can’t even keep track of whether or not my son/daughter is grounded. Whatever can I do?

DOCTOR: I’ve no idea.  Your situation seems hopeless. Unless… I say, you wouldn’t happen to have an iPhone by any chance?

There’s nothing I can see that’s serious about this app, but it might be a great help for spanking story writers or roleplay enthusiasts.  And what could be more fun than that?

Leaving Las Vegas

[okay, let’s see how typing with my thumbs in the moving car goes.]
I’m going to try and do a more organized party report once we get home. Pablo and I are headed home from what is, I think anyway, my 14th Shadow Lane party. Since there’s been 29 total. I’m catching up to 50%. There’s just no way to claim newbie status anymore. Who’d have guessed?
Before every party I’m nervous enough to wonder why we’re going, even though I have never regretted attending a single party and have always been sorry when we’ve had to skip / miss one. it’s not about the play (though some of the most amazing scenes I’ve ever been part of have been at SL parties) — I’m fortunate to have married someone happy to spank me as much as I can stand. it’s the chance to spend a weekend away from real life stress and surrounded by and celebrating spanking and how damned much fun it is that makes the parties such great events for me.
The economy in the past 18 months has made it difficult for some of our friends to travel for pleasure. This made it all the more wonderful that so many were able to make it this time around. I especially enjoyed the sadly too-rare chance to hang out with some of the folks from FL Moonshine and SSNY.
it’ll likely be a while until we can do it again. Meantime the friendships continue on and offline. The afterglow feeds Pab and my feelings toward each other. My most heartfelt thanks to Butch, Eve and Tony for working so hard so their guests can play so much.
And with that, we’re almost to Baker and lunch. NV is behind us for now.

This entry was sent from my iPhone.

Shadow Lane ’09: Entry 1 – Housekeeping

st-paddles-dayThe workday is over, I’m home and it’s time to start getting ready for the Shadow Lane party.

First things first, as mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, I’m going to try and Twitter from Vegas.  It can’t turn out any worse than my attempts to write party posts have.  The thing is, I can send tweets from my phone, but I won’t be able to see replies until I can go on-line — my phone is too primitive to receive tweets so unless I can figure something else out (unlikely) there won’t be much back and forth.  If you unaccountably want to read these entries (likely to be very banal), they’re in the right sidebar of this blog and also on my twitter page.

On the technical side of this blog, I’ve tried to go through my sidebar links and update them, removing the broken ones (so sad!) and updating people who’ve moved.  If I’ve missed your blog’s new home, please let me know.  The page layout is looking quite cluttered right now.  I wanted to add the date to the entries, but can’t seem to make it show up on the bottom next to the time (which would be sensible) so it’s there cluttering up the top.  There’s also now links at the top for “home,” “archives,” and “subscribe.”  The last of these will hook you up to the blog’s RSS feed.

[An aside: while researching Twitter today, I discovered that Stephen Fry, Alan Davis and Neil Gaiman  seem to “tweet” compulsively throughout their days.  While I’m not surprised, it’s definitely fascinating.  A whole world of time-wasting activity seems to have opened up for me.]

All the waxing I needed (basically everything) including the Brazilian Full Monty was done at my much beloved Queen Bee on Tuesday.  Hair is as good as it’s going to be.  I’ve given up on my nails — had some thought of a pedicure tonight earlier today, but I can’t stand the thought of going out tonight after being out today.  Same deal with shopping — whatever may be in my closet is going to have to do.

And now to pack — one of the hardest parts of any scene party, made easier by the fact that we drive so there’s no need to worry about fitting everything into the suitcase.  Even so, as I’ve said before, 4 days in Vegas for Shadow Lane seems way more complicated than a summer in Britain.  I just have to keep reminding myself that they do have stores in Las Vegas if I find I really need something.

(more will be added to this tonight as events warrant.)