Decorated front yard in Ojai, CA

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I took this photo of a happy front yard in Ojai, CA, a couple of weeks ago. Click photo to enlarge.


  1. It looks like this post is another of the Microsoft-sponsored variety? I had commented previously on the Microsoft sponsorship, and I think the comment is worth repeating here:

    What are the values that Microsoft demonstrates in the course of conducting its business, and are they consistent with those held by BoingBoing contributors?

    If those values are not shared by BoingBoing contributors, could somebody please explain why BoingBoing nevertheless might feel comfortable running advertising for Microsoft?

    It would be nice to know that the links to are sponsored.

  2. I am confused as to what pukebazooka’s issue is. It states pretty clearly its a sponsored link. The image itself has nothing to do with Microsoft. What would you do differently?

  3. All I know is, I don’t feel so bad about my yard now. Seriously. Ever see the area around a bird feeder after the snow melts? I’m thinking of moving just to get away from it.

  4. @#3-Some people just won’t take “Sorry, we don’t think they’re evil enough to refuse their ad dollars,” as a sufficient response, for some reason . . .

    Personally, I kind of love how Mark seems to have been subtly subverting this whole arrangement by almost exclusively posting photos he took days or weeks before.

  5. Talia — thanks for the comment. Apparently AdBlock prevents the “sponsored by Windows Mobile” image from appearing, but does not block the sponsored link. The net effect appears to show a sponsored link without revealing the sponsorship.

    Disabling AdBlock “fixes” the problem. Sorry for any confusion caused by my previous comment.

  6. David Allen of Get Things Done fame lives in that town. I like to think that this is his yard.

  7. Crunchbird — was there ever a statement like that? As far as I know, the response was basically, “We’ve always accepted advertising, and advertising doesn’t influence content.”

    What Microsoft does seems incongruous with a lot of the editorial content I see on BoingBoing. It’s actually a response of something along the lines of “We don’t think they’re that evil” that I’d like to see — something that clears up where they stand. Even a statement like “We have to eat, too,” gets the point across much better than “We’ve always had advertising.”

    I apologize if I missed such a statement in the past. It would seem that I’ve been overlooking recent Windows Mobile-sponsored posts as well, so it wouldn’t surprise me.

    I realize that I’m likely beating a dead horse here, and I’m sincerely sorry if any of this sounds rude.

  8. I actually have driven by that place alot.. I used to live in Ventura which is 2 minutes below ojai.. anyhoo.. ALOT of yards look like that in Ojai..

    someone should get a picture of the guys house that is covered in wood carvings that is down the road in ojai..

  9. No, they’ve never said it in those exact words that I’ve seen, PB. I’d say it was just fairly clearly implied in the fact that they have accepted these ads, when they’ve acknowledged that they have the power to turn down sponsors they fundamentally have issues with. My distillation of their position may be a little simplistic, but maybe that’s because my mind really boggles at the idea that this is some sort of serious blot on BB’s integrity and just can’t grasp the Really Serious Issues involved.

  10. PukeBazooka, you’re letting Microsoft take up too much room in your head.

  11. This yard always made me smile. The funny thing that the photo doesn’t catch really is that there is a plethora of ducks. I don’t know why but there are rubber duckies, rows of them, and wooden ducks and weathervane ducks. but they are all mixed in- it’s not like they chose a theme of just ducks.

    But the other part that always got me was that there used to be (i was by there a few weeks back and i think they changed it) a house next door, directly next door that is this elegant yellow victorian house with meticulouly manicured roses and a wrought iron fence, which is quite different than all the other houses as well.

    so the juxtaposition of the two houses was priceless. a perfect piece of unplanned installation art.

  12. thanks for clarifying PB. I wasn’t aware of the adblock issue, obviously. I’m betting you have a much more streamlined Internet experience than I do :)

    As an aside.. there are companies far more evil than Microsoft out there. There really are.

  13. Talia, agreed, there are far worse companies. The reason I’m commenting on MS is that a lot of what they do cuts to the heart of the issues that I see discussed on BoingBoing frequently. I do realize that there are a plurality of views among the posters, and the views espoused by one poster aren’t necessarily shared by all of them, but it makes me wonder what kind of actions a company has to take before their advertising dollars aren’t welcome at BoingBoing.

    Crunchbird, you’re right, these are not “Really Serious Issues.” I’m just wondering what kind of sentiments Boingers have when it comes to accepting advertising dollars from corporations with questionable track records. Obviously there’s a tacit acknowledgment that MS is not evil enough to refuse their money, but I’d like read what they have to say rather than infer their feelings on the issue.

    Teresa, I’m honestly sorry that I raised the issue in this thread. In part because I’m running AdBlock, I didn’t realize that there had been additional MS-sponsored posts since the first one, and I’m guessing that you’ve read a lot of tired anti-MS comments in previous threads. Had I realized that there had been other sponsored posts, I wouldn’t have said anything. But please don’t suggest that Microsoft — or anything — takes up too much room in my head on the basis of just three posts across two stories.

  14. Lots of fun- interesting enough in the south- this yard decor is common here. I think one lady put her entire life collection of stuffed animals in her yard- too bad I don’t have a picture.

  15. PukeBazooka, I’ve seen so many anti-Microsoft comments — including many less restrained than your own — that I’ve threatened to formally declare a competition to identify the top five silliest posts in that vein. Contestants would nominate one each in the following categories: 1. Biggest drama queen. 2. Least plausible claim of betrayal. 3. Most dubious slippery-slope argument. 4. Best revival of Manichaean philosophy. 5. Gravest offense against statistical probability.

    The winner would be the contestant whose nominations most closely matched the final list. Having a comment on the final list would be its own reward.

    Here’s a question for you: how closely do you track the advertisers on other sites and publications you read, and what can you tell me about their track records?

  16. That’s a good question, Teresa. I don’t track the advertisers on other sites/publications very closely, but I doubt that those advertisers have a track record that’s much better than Microsoft.

    Much of what I read is online content, and AdBlock prevents me from seeing most ads. In dead-tree advertising, I’ve seen everything from companies with decent track records (e.g., Patagonia) to companies with terrible track records (e.g., any oil company). The deluge of advertising in print media gets to be a bit of a blur. The first appearance of the Windows sponsorship logo, prior to its getting blacklisted by AdBlock, took me by surprise and seemed to me unique, even though paid links are nothing new or rare — but it seemed novel to me, which is one of the reasons that I originally commented.

    Except for BoingBoing, I haven’t made any unsolicited comments on advertising. One of the reasons I did comment here was in hopes that I might eventually read a more candid statement about advertising, which isn’t something that I’d expect to see from a stodgier publication or website.

    Thanks for your tolerance with my posts. I know that sometimes the meaning can get lost in poorly worded comments, so I really apologize if it seems like I’m somehow suggesting that BoingBoing’s credibility or integrity is damaged by the MS ads. I certainly don’t think that’s the case.

  17. Maybe I’m just more focused, but why would anybody bother blocking ads? I understand the problem with ads in, for instance, a television program because they take up your time and usually yell at you. But online, how about just not looking at them?

  18. I live in Ojai and this yard is actually very famous to us all and everyone in town drops little ducks over the fence. It is the duck ladies home. She is an elderly lady and decorates each and every duck in her yard for each holiday. No one complains about this creative expression in our town, we love it!!

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