Category Archives: Loki Photos

Unfulfilled promises

It feels like a house with one of its children gone.  Perhaps even emptier than that.

Loki sitting on the floor staring at me (162_6284)

It feels like a song with no music or lyrics.  Perhaps even quieter than that.

A close-up of Loki as he looks outside (163_6319)

It feels like a bed with no one to warm it.  Perhaps even colder than that.

Loki half asleep on the bed (2009_03_01_011809)

It feels like a list of unfulfilled promises that can never be redeemed.  Perhaps even more disappointing than that.

A close-up profile of Loki as he sleeps (20081005_13451_new)

At least now he can sleep peacefully without suffering.  That’s the only substantive good I can find in this hollow.

Loki, February 1997 – May 2014

Shooting the messenger

I have spent the last week hunting down illegal uses of my images and filing DMCA claims as appropriate.  In just seven days I filed more than 250 such copyright violation claims.  And I had barely scratched the surface of the thousands of entries I pulled from my server logs.  I grew more frustrated as I went along.

People had them on their blogs, on their MySpace and Facebook profiles, in forums, and even on fake search engines that provided code that could be used to embed the images on other pages.  In the first 100 entries I looked through, I even came across someone hosting a variety of my images on his site whilst claiming they were his work.  In all these cases, they were linking directly to my server and thus using the bandwidth and hosting space I pay for each month.

I threw up my hands in defeat.  There was no way to catch up with, let alone get ahead of, this wholesale theft of my property.

But then it occurred to me: I’m smarter than that!  We’re talking about technology here, right?  And if there’s one thing I know, it’s technology.

Hence, as of today I’ve written and implemented a new image hosting program for my site.  This new program kills all existing hotlinks to my images except those I’ve explicitly approved.  I’m still working on that list, yet I can say this with absolute certainty: it is and will continue to be a short list.

This new system allows me to randomly change the image host and associated links en masse without harming any of the approved uses no matter where they are on the internet.

So starting now all existing links are dead unless I’ve discovered and approved them.  That includes search engines, some fellow bloggers, feed readers, and those very few forums where I myself have posted my images.  Otherwise, all direct links and hotlinks to my images are now broken.  This enforces my copyright and use rights even for those who feel everything on the internet is public domain (speaking to you and your ilk, Judith Griggs!).

Since I can’t be certain I haven’t killed a few small and hard to find feed readers, I’ve included an image in this post.  Here it is:

That’s Loki in case you were wondering.  I’ve always loved that photo.  Anyway…

If you can’t see the picture, comment on this post or send me an e-mail and let me know so I can follow up with you to identify and authorize your reader.  Also, if you’ve embedded one of my images somewhere and it no longer works, you’re free to contact me about it (Ted, Amber, TGIQ and a few others: I already addressed your uses, so you should be OK.).  Assuming I think your use is legal, I’ll fix it, but otherwise you’re SOL.

Moving forward, all image URLs will change on a regular basis, perhaps even as frequently as every week.  This will not impact authorized users since it takes me less than ten seconds to force an update to all authorized links across the internet.  Otherwise, it’s for my peace of mind knowing that anyone who slips by will get caught in short order.

How does this impact you?  Not at all if you follow my rules when it comes to using my images.  But if you embed an image in a page somewhere or directly link to an image—and that includes in an e-mail message, and you do so without my express consent, you’re out of luck because it ain’t gonna work.  If you want to link to an image, you must link to the post that the image appears in; this requires no approval from me.  If you want to embed an image in a page somewhere, you must get approval first and you must provide me information on where the image will be used so I can authorize that site.

I used a rather blunt instrument for this, which happens to be the best security method in all cases: deny all and allow few.  That means all sites are denied before a few sites are allowed.  Thus I will watch all failure messages from this point forward in order to (hopefully) catch anything I missed.  And you’re welcome to let me know if I missed something should you catch it before I do.

In the final analysis, know this: From now on, my images show up only where I say they can show up, so no more hotlinking in forums or in e-mails or in Facebook profiles or on blogs.  You can find them in search engines and you can find them here; aside from that, though, your options are now quite limited.

Oh, it should be abundantly clear I’m livid about this.  I’ve never been one to pay attention to stats.  I don’t track visitors, I don’t watch how people get here, and I don’t pay attention to traffic.  Imagine, then, how utterly shocked I was to find an amount of abuse orders of magnitude beyond anything I’d ever imagined.  I’m no professional photographer, but these images are my work, my time, my effort.  They are also legally protected.  Is it too much to ask that they only be used in ways I approve and that I be credited for them when they are used elsewhere?  No, I didn’t think so.

(Obviously I can’t stop someone from downloading an image, uploading it elsewhere and using it from there.  But at least in those cases I’m not paying for the storage and bandwidth used by thieves.)

Lazy days

There are many days when I envy The Kids their worry free lives, their long naps, their want for nothing.  Mostly, I envy their lazy days that have no obligations save those they set for themselves.

Vazra and Loki lying on the bed (2009_03_01_011814)

As Vazra and Loki demonstrate, that usually entails ample time in the lounging position.

Size doesn’t matter

A close-up of Larenti (20080927_12938)

Larenti is the largest member of The Kids.  He also happens to be the most docile cat in the house, one who shrinks from most encounters and shuns confrontation.

I’ve always suspected his early years brought with them some kind of abuse given his fear of hands, and likewise I think the formative nature of growing up left him with a dread running through his every interaction and encounter with other creatures.  His size alone makes him a formidable presence; his personality strips away that advantage and replaces it with palpable cowardice.

A close-up of Vazra (200_0056)

Vazra, on the other hand, is a petite feline if one ignores the plush fur that doubles his size, yet he fears nothing.  With a devil-may-care attitude he does as he wishes sans any consideration for others, and he defends himself with vigilance and might.  Not that he’s violent, mind you, but he certainly puts up with no flack from anyone.

If he wants to lie somewhere, by golly he’s going to lie there no matter who he has to step on or smother in the process.  If he wants to get in my lap and it’s already occupied, he’ll gladly climb atop the current occupant in order to claim some bit of Daddy’s time and personal space.  Yet he has such a small frame that it’s easy to misjudge his weight when picking him up given that his hair makes him appear twice as large as he really is.  But he doesn’t let that get in the way of his confidence or demeanor.

A close-up of al-Zill (20080927_12963)

al-Zill remains a kitten at heart.  Young of body and mind, his rambunctious spirit crashes through most every second of the day.  He gleefully romps about without any concern for others, tackling the first cat to walk by, chasing anything that moves (and quite a bit that doesn’t move), confronting others in the cat boxes, taking random swings at others hoping to induce play, and otherwise being what a child should be: a meddlesome, troublesome bundle of energy.

While physically he is a relatively small cat with a wee bit of extra padding around the middle, like any juvenile he fears nothing.  When surprised, he flees to a safe distance until he understands the situation, but mostly he sees everything and everyone as a toy, and he lives every moment as though enjoyment lost then can never be regained.  And damn the consequences!

A close-up of Kako (20080825_11486)

The smallest fur person in the house, Kako most likely is the most powerful inhabitant of the xenogere homestead.  Being the lone female in a house full of boys means she has to make up with attitude what she lacks in size and strength.  And attitude she has in abundance.

Kako takes no crap from anyone, least of all me.  All I need do is point at her for doing something wrong and her ears go back as she takes a swing at my parental display (if not several swings).  If any of The Kids invade her space, she growls and howls and puts on a show that would make any reasonable person think she was being tortured.  When it comes to defending her own honor and safety, all of the cats know better than to mess with her.  Petite body notwithstanding, she’s a powerful force and a dangerous woman.  Besides, she also happens to be Daddy’s Girl, so she knows I’ll come to the rescue at the drop of a hat (not that I often need to, but she plays that card when necessary).

A close-up of Kazon (20080927_12946)

Kazon equals Larenti in size, except he doesn’t carry the extra weight.  He’s a lean jock, a large tom with a wide, powerful head that matches his considerable dimensions.  Although without a doubt the biggest baby in the house, my puppy who will never grown out of his childish mind, Kazon puts on the cloak of a big boy when the need arises.

I’m convinced he hasn’t a clue how big and powerful he is.  He still sometimes forgets about his own ass when he jumps up on furniture, leaving him hanging by his front claws while his back feet sway in the wind.  Nevertheless, he tries to assist with discipline from time to time and he dives into kitten-like mayhem without notice, and more often than not it’s his overwhelming size that wins the day.  (In most cases, he simply crashes on top of his playmate in order to win.)

A close-up of Loki (20081005_13451)

Despite age and asthma, Loki remains a menacing feline.  While it goes without saying that he is physically powerful and agile, his dominance stems more from his mind than his body.  He is a plotter and planner, one who carefully and quickly thinks through every action to ensure he manipulates events to his liking.  Though not always the winner at play—or even getting the resting spot he wants most—Loki represents one of the most dangerous things in the universe: a predator with a sharp mind and the physical power to back it up.

Loki is a hazardous foe because he has the potent body of a true killer, but he is even more dangerous because he has the one tool that can win over brawn every single time: a developed intellect that is as keen as it is cunning.  Even as the years have begun slowing him down and even as acute asthma has made him want for breath in the midst of trouble, he wields forethought like a sword.  This has made him the true god of mischief.

A close-up of Grendel (204_0487)

My sickly baby.  Grendel has spent his entire life dealing with one ailment after another: arthritic bone spurs in his hips, acute asthma, stones in his kidneys and bladder, and an immune system that now attacks his own intestines.  From his first year he battled ailment after ailment, yet he remained the alpha of the clan.  Large enough to throw his weight around, thoughtful enough to know that one cannot rule by violence alone, strong enough to put his foot down when needed, and smart enough to let others have their way from time to time, Grendel epitomizes the best kind strength: the gentle kind.

Illness and years have robbed him of much of his potency.  He lost enough weight such that he can no longer whip up on others to keep them in line.  But he tries, and many times he succeeds; but more often than not he prefers to stay out of the fray.  How I miss his casual enforcement of his rights, barely lifting from a resting position to knock away those who would steal his bed.  How I miss the confidence that once dripped from his every move.  Yet what disease and time have stolen from him I give back by proxy.  Grendel will be the alpha until he dies; the others know this and respect it, even if I have to make sure they don’t push him too far.