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Another side of diversity

Not everyone is like me. I know that. I have some quirks. And one, it seems, is my use of webcams. This does not seem odd to me but it appears I am the only one on that list.

My webcams have recently come to light again. I've had at least one public webcam on in my living room for about the past dozen years. Their popularity with the masses ebbs and flows. I can go months or years without even remembering they are there. And then, some webcam compilation site or a few of them will add my cams and all of a sudden I'll start getting Tweets and emails and, today, phone calls from people frantically warning me that my web cams are exposed to the public. When asked, my response is, ok or yes, I know, I set the cams up myself.

Mostly people are horrified at the very idea. WTF??? I am a fat 68 year old woman who mainly works on her laptop and/or knits and watches TV. Always, by the way, with all my clothes on. When I have actually engaged with these people and asked them directly what danger/issues/problems they perceive my cams are causing me, no one has ever been able to come up with any.

What is the attraction to viewers? I have no idea. What is the danger to me? Again, no idea.

If the chatter/warnings keep up, I'll just lock the cams down again which is annoying but effective.

I've killed a fair amount of time this morning with finances. Getting everything annotated and reconciled. I make this a little more difficult than it needs to be due to old systems I set up a while back. I need to revamp I think.

But, first I'm going to sew. And then go out and walk over and get the poke bowl du jour.


( 39 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 16th, 2017 04:56 pm (UTC)
How're webcam viewers finding enough about your identity to locate your # or email?
Feb. 16th, 2017 05:03 pm (UTC)
Oh there are plenty of ways... I've never used any kind of pseudonym and my phone number used to be my land line which is still listed in the phone book (if anyone even has one of those any more). Two of my webcams are hosted on susandennis.com.
Feb. 16th, 2017 06:36 pm (UTC)
I don't think I'd seen the photos of the condo remodel before... love the design elements you went with! And I really love the shelving, especially what you've got for displaying those mugs and teacups! So now I'm kind of curious... what are the links to your webcams? I didn't see anything on your website.
Feb. 16th, 2017 06:58 pm (UTC)
Thanks. The design has stood up. If I had to do it all over today, I would not do very much differently. I love it.

Feb. 16th, 2017 05:44 pm (UTC)
There is really no danger, aside from some weirdo becoming obsessed with you, but that could happen with or without a webcam. I like webcams, but mostly the ones with naked people. Haha.
Feb. 16th, 2017 06:30 pm (UTC)
Don't worry, I will never comment on anything seen on your webcam because I don't watch it. I tend to watch more nature-inspired cams such as beach cams. I used to love watching something called Orca watch which was based around British Columbia but they lost funding years ago. I miss that cam. I loved watching and listening to the orcas teach their young.
Feb. 16th, 2017 07:38 pm (UTC)

I think some people are just voyeurs. Even of people who don't play to the camera or do them nude. 😉 I've looked at your webcams out of sheer curiosity, because I like seeing other people's homes. But I can't see why anybody would watch you all of the time.

You've had both webcams and your address publicly available for years, yes? I've been reading your LJ off and on for at least decade.  If something bad were going to happen it probably would've already.

I wouldn't be so public or have a webcam because I've been stalked by a mentally unstable family member and because I'm way too self conscious. But more power to you!

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:50 pm (UTC)
Yep, I put up my first webcam in about 2000 or so maybe earlier. My Mom used to love watching me. When she died in 2005, I just left it up, and added another and then added the sewing room. I do not understand what 'bad' could happen.

And, yeah, if I weren't me, I'd peek in now and again and enjoy being able to but no way would I watch me for hours on end OR think to admonish me OR try and contact me to tell me to stop.
Feb. 16th, 2017 08:59 pm (UTC)

I guess they're thinking...stalk you, steal from you?  Kill you? I don't know other than that.

Feb. 16th, 2017 09:01 pm (UTC)
Since I live on the 4th floor of a secure building, it would be tough to do any of those so I struggle to see any real danger.
Feb. 16th, 2017 09:49 pm (UTC)

Me either then!

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:43 pm (UTC)
I admit I would not be comfortable with having people watch me on camera and I shudder to think what I might be caught doing or not doing. :-P

Feb. 16th, 2017 08:47 pm (UTC)
I totally get that most people feel like you do. I do not. But, that's difficult, apparently, for others to understand.
Feb. 16th, 2017 09:28 pm (UTC)
Hey, random--

Seems LJ moved that ticket of yours [about the invisible but visible spam comments] to a private category I can't view. Would love to know what they say if/when they reply :O Just curious of their technical explanation of how it broke like that, lol.
Feb. 16th, 2017 09:50 pm (UTC)
I remember the earliest webcams on the internet, stuff like the coffee cam and Jennicam, and I always saw them as precisely about celebrating the mundane. When people watch a slice of boring everyday life, it can help them realize that whatever quirk of theirs that they were obsessing over isn't so peculiar or worrisome after all.

This is what has inspired me to keep almost all of my LJ entries public all these years. Yes, there is a lot of hyperbolic nonsense and utter drivel in there. But who cares? I think it's good for people to see that there is nothing shameful about being, well, normal.

I guess people might be worried for you that you will become a target of cyberbullying and harassment. God knows there is a tiny but shrill minority of internet users who take great glee in attempting to destroy people's lives. But then, those sorts of pathetic little trolls exist in real life too.

Edited at 2017-02-16 09:58 pm (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2017 10:06 pm (UTC)
Yes on all of this.

I do bristle a little if what you are explaining in that last paragraph. It goes to the root of what pisses me off. People assume I am not smart enough to know how to make my web cam private. That I am not smart enough to have through through the ramifications of locking it down or not. That I am not smart enough to look out after myself.

But, you are so right. The journals and blogs that appeal to me most are probably the most boring ones. It's comforting to know that for our differences, there are nice similarities that we might not see otherwise.
Feb. 16th, 2017 10:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, I understand now. That kind of "mansplaining" is the worst.

This reminds me of some experiences I had when traveling through rural America last year. I met a lot of very kind people who expressed deep concern for my wellbeing because of violence "in the inner cities" and terrorists "in Europe". I found it rather quaint. I often feel that way when non-techies stress over the hordes of evildoers on the internet too. The self-righteous types, though... Ugh.
Feb. 16th, 2017 10:44 pm (UTC)
Now veering way off the beaten path, once, when my Mom was in the hospital in Charleston, SC one of her nurses asked me where i was from and I told her Seattle and she looked at me in horror and said "OHHHHH aren't you afraid living so close to a volcano?!"

Now, had she said earthquakes, I might not have laughed so hard... but here a woman who lives in the very belly of hurricane-ville asking me about a volcano that has erupted severely about 3 times, the latest in 1980 and is about 4 hours from Seattle...

I guess I should be grateful she didn't ask me about the terrorists in Europe and inner city violence!
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:15 pm (UTC)
Though not for me as I tend to forget clothing at times and 70 is way too old to be seen in the buff, you are the most tech savvy over 60 woman I know. Pretty sure it's up to you to decide if you want a webcam or not.
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah like what's it to you? People are so annoying.
Feb. 16th, 2017 11:27 pm (UTC)
yes, yes they are
Feb. 17th, 2017 03:57 am (UTC)

I find your webcams comforting. Like, all the naysayers aside, the fact is that your cams demonstrate that one can put a camera on your house and just let people peer into a normal life, with no ill effects, and you've been proving that for years and years. I like it, that this is the world I live in. It seems hopeful and grand--you live a life with nothing to hide in all the literal senses (including your financial posts, here) and I think that makes you a role model.

Feb. 17th, 2017 04:00 am (UTC)
That's very cool to hear. All of it. Thank you very much.
Feb. 17th, 2017 05:35 am (UTC)
I remember looking at your webcam a few times a while back, and it pretty much validated you as you present yourself here. I am glad that you are you with all your quirks--it makes you you.
Feb. 17th, 2017 03:00 pm (UTC)
I have to say I have peaked at you a few times, mostly just to see that you were alright. Hey you never know you could have fallen and not get up!
Feb. 17th, 2017 03:17 pm (UTC)
You should feel free to peak at me any time you want as long as you don't tell me that having my webcam on 24/7 is dangerous :)
Feb. 17th, 2017 04:09 pm (UTC)
I would think that if anything, the webcams would slightly improve your safety and security. There are untold numbers of people who randomly look into your living space. I would hope that some of them would call 911 in Seattle if they saw you lying on the floor, saw smoke, or an intruder. I know I would, and I have wondered about how the Seattle police would respond to an emergency call coming from across the country to report a problem there.

I think that the concern over stalkers or others trying to do you harm is mostly just unfounded paranoia.

I admit that I occasionally look at your webcam, hoping to see something exciting going on, like Zoey playing with a toy. Most of the time there is very little action.

One time last year you and I actually had dinner together. It was nice having the company, even though no words were spoken and you weren't even aware that I was watching, 3000 miles away.
Feb. 17th, 2017 04:12 pm (UTC)
ha! I love that we had dinner together! I hope we can do it again. That totally makes me smile.

And excellent point about my being looked after by people everywhere. I like that.
Feb. 17th, 2017 07:11 pm (UTC)
I will admit to having fun commenting on your LJ while watching you knit, then seeing you check your laptop to read and reply to the comment. It provides me with more of a sense of connection...that I'm not just casting words into the aether, I'm communicating with a real live person. :)

And you already know that I second all of the comments about how fabulously your place is decorated!
Feb. 17th, 2017 08:22 pm (UTC)
Feb. 19th, 2017 02:51 am (UTC)
Busy-bodies! You could always put up a sign that says "Yes, I know they're public!" but it probably wouldn't stop them.

By the way, if I just want a basic cheap web cam to stare at a cat stand, is there one you'd recommend? It would need to use wifi (alas, but there is no way I'm running a wire that far), and either handle having a bright window in view or I'd have to get real creative mounting it. :)
Feb. 19th, 2017 03:04 am (UTC)
Thanks and YES!

Two ways to go... The easiest option is a Drop Cam or Nest Cam. Set up is a breeze. Watch Amazon for a used one for cheap. They are bullet proof. If you get a lemon (which I did once) you'll know immediately and can send it right back.


This is exactly the camera I have here:



This one is about half the cost. A little more fiddly to set up - you need to open a port on the router and give it its own web address. It's perfectly good for shortish range. It's the one in my sewing room here:



username = sew - no password needed

Edited at 2017-02-19 03:21 am (UTC)
Feb. 23rd, 2017 03:51 am (UTC)
Thank you!!
Feb. 19th, 2017 02:55 am (UTC)

You living room looks so peaceful and cozy. You look like you have a pleasant retired life.
You webcast is restful to see.
Maybe you don't worry because obviously, people only look for a short while then move on. That's the nature of webcasts.
Feb. 19th, 2017 02:58 am (UTC)
I am glad you know you're on cam though. That is good its your choice.
Feb. 19th, 2017 12:49 pm (UTC)

You living room looks so peaceful and cozy. You look like you have a pleasant retired life.
You webcast is restful to see.
Maybe you don't worry because obviously, people only look for a short while then move on. That's the nature of webcasts.
Feb. 20th, 2017 02:24 am (UTC)
It's like checking in with an old friend
I found you here via your overhead cam via an app of worldwide webcams, so I'm very glad you have them. I added your cam to my favorites on the app because, at first, your colorful furniture caught my eye, and then the bears on your chair intrigued me. Every day a new one would appear until the chair was full, and then they'd all disappear and the next day a new bear appeared. You seemed so dedicated to knitting them every night that I HAD to know what you did with all those bears, so I Google searched a few keywords and found your website and this blog. I don't remember the keywords, but the cam did NOT have your name, just Seattle. It was a long-shot that worked. It's nice to see someone with a regular nightly routine...something I sorely lack. It was a small-worldish moment when you told me we had Aiken in common, and now you own two of my rings. Yours is the only blog I read with any regularity, and I find out about so much cool tech stuff from you. Sometimes weeks or months will go by, and then I'll pop in on your cams like I'm checking in with an old friend, and it's comforting to see you there, with Zoey, and the bears, and now the dolls!
Feb. 20th, 2017 02:26 am (UTC)
Re: It's like checking in with an old friend
What a fascinating back story! Thanks for sharing. I'm glad you found me.
( 39 comments — Leave a comment )