Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? (Or should that be old bitch?)

    Meet my old dog, Dick.
Up until the last few days, I'd never in my life tried to make a video. Surely it must be a complicated affair, I thought, difficult and full of mysterious technology. As I am somewhat technologically challenged, to put it mildly, I never gave the idea a thought.                          

Until my publicist said, "You simply must get a promotional video done for This Bird Flew Away."

Oh-oh. Being an old lady is no excuse for not keeping up with the times. So I contacted a few people who do these things for a price, and the prices I was quoted only reinforced the idea this must be difficult. Whew! I wasn't making a movie after all.

"I can't afford it," I told the publicist.

"Pish," said she with a note of derision and possibly pity. "I do my own all the time. Nothing to it."

Maybe for you. I thought about suggesting if she wanted the video so badly, then perhaps she should make one for me, but decided against it, my pride and dignity kicking in at precisely the wrong time.

I didn't know where to begin. Pathetic loser, said The Voice -- don't you have one, a voice that lives in your head and talks to you in such a way that if she were a real person you'd murder her? (My voice is female.) Shut up, I told her, and decided seeing as I was clueless, best look for a clue. Where? Where else? The internet, of course, the internet knows all.

I found an excellent article on my favorite place, Hubpages, called "How to make a promotional video for free with Windows Movie Maker."

Well, I told The Voice, the price sounds right. And I can probably download the software -- how expensive can it be? The Voice said, "Cheaper than paying to have one made, that much is sure."

In fact, when I Googled the software, Windows checked my computer and said, Idiot! You already have the software bundled in your software package. Okay, it was The Voice that said Idiot!  Sure enough, I looked and there it was. So, following the excellent step by step directions given by Edweirdo, the author of the aforementioned article, I began.

First, collect the images you want to use. That was the hardest part. Now, I have an account with BigStock Photos, an excellent and economic source for images, which you'll noticed I linked for you, just in case you might find it helpful. I use images in my article writing a lot, and if you buy credits in bulk they cost only a dollar per. (Not that I own stock in the company or anything, you understand. This isn't really a plug, just sharing.)

I got started right after supper, and by trial and error, mostly error, I slowly put together my very first video. Yes, I did it! Never mind I worked right through the night. I do that a lot, anyway. I work better at night. By the time the sun peeked over the trees and the birds began singing I had it pretty much together.

Then another scary new adventure, opening an account at Youtube, and uploading my video. You'll screw it up, said The Voice. Turned out it was a piece of cake.

Yep. This old dog -- err, bitch, learned a new trick.  Wanna see it? Of course you do. Now you can watch it on this dinky little screen (not recommended) or go to Youtube and watch it there (recommended.) Or click the dinky little screen and it will take you to the big screen, too.

Sincerely yours,


The Rape Trade -- child prostitution

The Rape Trade -- child prostitution   

Introduction to The Rape Trade  (full article available by link in the title.

This is an update on an earlier hub, "52 children recovered, 60 alleged child pimps arrested but have you heard about it,' which I wrote in response to a 'non-news' item of October 2009. My outrage at that time was triggered by a disturbing story on the CNN streamer.

In the first nation-wide operation of the FBI's Innocence Lost Initiative, in cooperation with local law enforcement reported 52 children had been recovered and 690 people arrested, including 60 alleged pimps.

Surprisingly -- no that's too mild a word. Shockingly, the media treated this as a non-event with no actual news story for three days. Three days! And then it was given a hurried two minute reportage. More on this below.

Now, a year later, another FBI/ local law agency initiative, Operation Cross Country, has successfully recovered 69 children from the sex trade, and arrested "nearly 889" people including 99 pimps.

Bravo, say I.

This time, the media is on the ball -- well almost. This story made the screen and in prime time, too. But the coverage spawned a number of background informational broadcasts that left me feeling rather uneasy. 

The education given the American listeners didn't jive with what I knew of the child-sex trade or those caught up in its destructive net.

I made a few calls, sent a few emails and conferred with some other child protection workers around the country. They concurred.

Hence, this hub was born.

For those of you too busy, or upset by the reality of this world, I've prepared a short video giving you the facts as many of us with experience in the field know them. It runs for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. If you do nothing else on this page, please watch it.

And if you still have some time, read the section directly below the video.

You may watch the video here, on Hubpages, or for best quality, at Youtube. (click on the Youtube button on the screen below.)

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,