Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye Facebook

I'm taking a stand for my last post of the year by closing my account with Facebook in protest over their position on breastfeeding moms.  Every state legislature (well, maybe not Arkansas) codifies and considers the breastfeeding of children in public to be healthy for infants and not obscene.  However, Facebook disagrees and is banning images of normal breastfeeding moms on the excuse that it is obscene and might damage the minds and eyes of children who might see a nipple or breast.

So, if you're wondering what happened to my Facebook profile and all the Friends I had there . . . well, they're gone.  Goodbye Facebook ...

The following article recaps the current brouhaha.  It was taken from,8599,1869128,00.html

Facebook's War on Nipples

The breast-feeding wars have long followed a familiar pattern. A woman gets thrown off a plane for nursing her toddler; she sues Delta. Barbara Walters says sitting next to a breast-feeding woman made her "uncomfortable"; ABC's headquarters get surrounded by 200 women staging a "nurse-in." Maggie Gyllenhaal is photographed nursing her daughter in public; tabloids rush to either praise her as a role model or tell her to throw a blanket over her shoulder.

The sides have been distinct: breast-feeding advocates insist that women should be able to nurse anytime, anyplace, while opponents use words like discretion and discomfort. But the latest battle apparently has nothing to do with the best way to nourish a baby or the boundaries between private and public. It's about the nipples, stupid.

Facebook has drawn a line in the sand by removing any photos it deems obscene, including those containing a fully exposed breast, which the site defines as "showing the nipple or areola." In other words, plunging necklines or string bikinis are fine — just no nips. The purging of bare-boob pics began last summer and has swept up, alongside any girls gone wild, a growing number of proud — and very ticked-off — breast feeders. 

On Dec. 27, some 11,000 protesters held a virtual nurse-in by uploading breast-feeding photos onto their Facebook profiles, and 20 or so women showed up at the company's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., to breast-feed there. By Dec. 30, more than 85,000 members had joined a Facebook group called "Hey, Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!"

The group, founded by San Diego mom Kelli Roman, urges Facebook to change its obscenity policy. "We expect you to realize that nursing moms everywhere have a right to show pictures of their babies eating, just like bottle-fed babies have a right to be seen," their petition reads. "In an effort to appease the closed-minded, you are only serving to be detrimental to babies, women, and society."

Assisting their cause is the Topfree Equal Rights Association (TERA), a Canadian group that has started posting on its website photos that breast feeders claim were removed from Facebook. One or two are vaguely pornographic shots of naked women holding babies, but most are straightforward and innocent.

"There are two problems," says Paul Rapoport, coordinator for TERA, which has been advocating that women should not be penalized for going topless since 1997. "First, Facebook removes photos arbitrarily. Second, its policy clearly implies that visible nipples or areolas always make photos of women obscene. Facebook stigmatizes breast-feeding and demeans women."

Facebook counters that it is far from the only organization steering clear of Areola City. "Could I place an ad related to breast-feeding that showed a woman breast-feeding a child but exposed her full breast in TIME or on your website?" asks spokesman Barry Schnitt. "During the course of this protest, I've called many media organizations and asked them this question. Not a single one has said yes."

The Facebook furor has brought up a bizarre cultural issue. We're all for breasts — the more cleavage the better. But the second a nipple is visible or we are reminded of nipples by the sight of a baby attached to one, all hell breaks loose.

When a tabloid website catches a star like Britney Spears, Keira Knightley or Tara Reid in a red-carpet "nip slip," traffic goes through the roof, as Web surfers click to catch a glimpse of the forbidden bit of skin.

It is perhaps understandable that we'd be so enflamed by the sight of women's nipples because we see them so rarely. Barbie dolls don't have nipples. Magazines routinely airbrush out nipples on fully clothed (but presumably chilly) models.

In the past decade, some 40 states have passed pro-breast-feeding legislation. Rapoport, however, says he considers such laws a "two-edged deal because it exempts nursing women from prosecution but reaffirms the sense that a topless woman is obscene without a baby."

Meanwhile, men's nipples aren't a problem. Recent photos of President-elect Barack Obama walking shirtless on a beach were greeted with puns about how he is "fit to be President," "buff-bodied" and "chiseled." 

And perhaps the surest sign that "pregnant man" Thomas Beatie has been accepted as a man — even though he still has female sex organs and the ability to deliver a baby — is the fact that his nipples, the same ones he had when he was a woman, are suddenly O.K. to look at. They are acceptable features for the cover of a book, the pages of a magazine —and the profile photos for the Facebook groups supporting him.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Scenic Hot Springs Conditions

Currently the Stevens Pass area is under winter storm conditions with blizzards and dangerous avalanche conditions.  The access road to Scenic has been blocked by plowed snow berms.  Currently, there is not easy access to Scenic except a backcountry snowshoe hike.  As the one responsible for access to Scenic I request that everyone stay away for the next few days until conditions improve.

Goldmyer Hot Springs Conditions Dec 26th, 2008

by Beth

There is currently about 2-1/2 feet of snow at Goldmyer. The entire stretch of road is snow covered and is not plowed.  We haven't seen any visitors since 12-19. We don't know for sure what the road is like.... we will be making a scouting trip up there this week-end, but meanwhile we don't know what to say except: Don't take lightly the concept of 'being prepared'.  Don't even try to head towards Goldmyer unless you have a high clearance vehicle with good tires and 4-wheel drive, tire chains, snow shovels, work gloves, an axe or something to cut a tree out should there be one down across the road, snowshoes or xxskis, a desire for adventure, and a bunch of common sense!

Frolicking in the Snow

Streetlamp-lit, Ice-coated Tree the first night of the snowstorm

Well, we Seattlelites seem to always complain about never getting a white Christmas.  Now they're complainng the exact opposite.  This week-long series of snow dumps has practically paralyzed the city.  On the other hand there is a lot of beauty and enjoyment to be had playing in the snow close to home since the mountains are under fierce assualt with blizzard conditions.

Can't Resist Making a Nude Snow Angel

Christmas morning the temperatures finally got above the freezing point . . . a sweet present to this nudist who was just itching to get out and play naked in the white stuff.  Amid lazy falling of heavy, fat snowflakes I just had to violate that virgin patch of snow and make a nude snow angel while my dog looked on and wondered just how crazy I was.

Dang Invigorating . . .

No one was out in the neighboring yards . . . good thing too as the foliage I depend on for privacy screening is barren this time of year.  I spent a good ten to fifteen minutes at a time tossing snowballs at my dog (and missing) . . . a few minutes inside warming up with coffee . . . and then back out.  Was good for the soul and a respite from cabin fever.

Da Puppy has a Fur Coat . . . She loves this stuff!!!!!

Of course, the puppy still thinks I'm crazy . . . but hey, I'm a human, so there!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Check out Skinbook as a Nudist Social Network

My friend Guy, has been introducing me to the world of Ning and eventually I found a Ning-mashup called Skinbook that has intriguing possibilities of becoming a great Nudist Social Networking site.

A lot of things to do there . . . lots of members and I've just begun to explore the potential. One thing I do like is the ability to upload images and then share those images as slideshows without the censorship-like filters of Flickr that prevent anything but 'safe' images from being shared in outside sites like this blog. Check out the quick slideshow I put together below.

Find more photos like this on Skinbook

View my page on Skinbook

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Manage Your Nude Photos . . . and Share Them

Important Notice:  Although I have recommended Flickr in good conscience, I now have to retract that recommendation because of my recent experiences with Yahoo and their ability to cancel all your services for no stated reason if they feel you have violated their Terms of Service.  I recently had my Yahoo account terminated because (as best I can tell) I didn't update a GeoCities web page I had experimented with and abandoned years ago.  Yahoo just unilaterally cancelled me with the consequence that the only way to log into Flickr (a separate service) is no longer available.  In other words, the paid for Flickr Pro account is still there but I have no way to log in and manage it.  Use Flickr with extreme caution . . . YaHell has a bad habit of cancelling people on the most frivolous of reasons and then refusing to communicate with you to find out why.

When I head out to the mountains I take a lot of images of the surroundings and what I'm experiencing. I also a lot of pictures of myself framed within those settings so that I can relive the experience at other times when I don't have the time or luxury to just shuck it all and enjoy nature. At nude resorts, beaches and the like, picture taking is limited out of respect for others. I don't mind being seen naked on the web but others certainly have valid reasons to expect (or desire) privacy. But in the wilderness, amongst all that beauty, I click away like mad. How do you manage all those images? How do you share the ones you want others to see and get some idea of the enjoyment you experienced that day?

This blog is one way . . . my primary means of sharing a naturist journal. Yet a blog is mainly a writing tool depicting a lineal passage through time . . . the reader travels with you as you go from one experience to the next. Seeing where you've been . . . what experiences excited you in the past is best done with a photo album. A little bit of planning makes this process easier:
  1. Organize and manage your photos with a program like Picasa Photo
  2. Sign up for an Online Photo Storage account like Flickr. Give some thought to how you would lay collections and sets out
  3. Batch edit the image metadata of your photos using a program like Exifer or PhotoMe
  4. Cleanup and enhance your images with your favorite editor
  5. Consider copyright and the use of your images
  6. Geo-locate your images using GeoSetter
  7. Upload your images to Flickr

Organize Images on your Computer

Picasa Desktop Photo Organizer
(showing the photo editing pane - "warmify" adjustment)

Get an Online Photo Account

My experiences with online photo albums have been mixed in the past, and for me the judgment of 'best' is still out. Blogger (this service from Google) uses Picasa with a sizable amount of storage. I've been happy with Picasa (both the online and desktop interfaces that do a good job of sorting and categorizing my photos) but recently I've come back to Yahoo's Flickr service as that service matures and provides better control of who sees content . . . the so-called Permissions and Safety Filters. It used to be difficult to share photos containing nudity on Flickr but now you can set a Safety rating of Safe, Moderate, or Restricted and Flickr will allow access to your images depending on the visitor's stated level of content they are willing to view and the Permissions you have assigned. Safe, of course, means no one is going to have a problem with the image. Restricted is for stuff that is likely to 'offend' and probably belongs on a porn site and not a widely-popular sevice like Flickr. Moderate is in-between and is fine for images of simple nudity. With images assigned Permissions and a Safety rating when I upload them, I'm pretty much assured that those who view my images are not caught off-guard by the nudity that I consider an essential part of the journey. I don't like the fact that my images have to be 'filtered' but that's far better than the old system of requiring all nudity to be locked up in private sets viewable upon invitation only.  The new system puts the onus on the uploader to correctly categorize their photos as Safe, Moderate, or Restricted; and the viewer setting a Safety Filter.  Lacking a viable alternative I can live with Flickr's TOS.

With that in mind, a Flickr Pro account in hand and the slick Flickr Uploadr program running on my computer I can pretty much open my photos to the world and share. Yeah, sure you can organize all that content into collections and sets, add descriptive titles and short descriptions but how does someone out there find an image that they might be interested in? That's where the real power of sites like Flickr come in in their power to access a little known feature of digital images . . . the metadata that is saved by your camera when you take a picture. Flickr accesses (with permission) this data to tag your images and make it easier for people to search based on those tags . . . info such as date the image was taken and location if geotagged. Tags can also be added interactively to images after-the-fact on Flickr. A neat aspect of Flickr is the ability to geotag your images on a map for a different view of you collections and sets. Another neat (and essential aspect of tags) is that you can have keywords of what kind of subject matter attached to the image . . . if an image contains nudity a keyword can so state and allow filtering. An example bears out the possibilities (and yes, this example contains nudity . . . this is a nude blog, after all):

A title and description are always nice but on the right hand side is where you can add tags for your photos along with camera information, copyright restrictions and geo-referencing. You can do this to your images after they are uploaded to Flickr . . . or you can go a preferable route and edit your image metadata ahead of time and at your leisure using a few other programs available; notably Exifer and GeoSetter, open-source and freeware programs, respectively, that allow you to edit the metadata saved as part of your digital images. When you subsequently upload the image, Flickr will automatically generate tags based on that edited metadata . . . saving you a lot of time . . . plus the original images on your computer also have this information to allow some really serious drill-down searches locally. So the steps, using the same image as above: Both programs can edit in batches . . . i.e., all the photos taken on a particular trip . . . but I'll limit this short tutorial to one.

Use MetaTags to your Advantage

Exifer is slated mainly to edit EXIF and IPTC data in image files . . . metadata about the camera settings and descriptive keywords contained within the image file. Few people realize the amount of information that is saved with a digital image file. When I worked a computer forensics stint many years ago, if we had an incriminating image file the first place we looked for clues was within the EXIF metadata . . . the make and model of camera, serial number, date taken, etc. Many photo editing programs corrupt or even change some of this data but if the editor is launched from within Exifer that program will automatically make backups and restore the metadata after editing. Certain EXIF metadata is difficult to edit or change (with a few exceptions) but the IPTC data is fully intended to be used and edited. This is where Exifer shines.

Exifer . . . editing the IPTC Metadata of the image

The extent of data you enter is up to you. I add contact information, including my blog URL, a copyright notation (which I also have added to EXIF) and Category and Sub Category (NAT for Naturism, and Nude Hiking as a sub category for this batch of images) and sufficient keywords (which Flickr will turn into Tags) to adequately characterize this image. You can create templates and use them to pre-load keywords . . . for example, I have a template that loads keywords for images that contain nudity (i.e., Nude, Naked, Nudism, Naturism). These keywords are important to later exclude an image from safe searches.  A general good rule of thumb (especially for images uploaded to Flickr where the tag-cloud is a primary way of finding images) is to:
  • Keyword where (Index-Galena, Sunset Mine, Wild Sky Wilderness, Trout Creek, Washington, Cascades)
  • Keyword the activity (cold weather nude hike)
  • Keyword a time frame (Dec 2008)
  • Keyword features (old log bridge, old mine site)
  • Keyword the nudity factor (nude, naked, nudism, naturism) though a Safety Flag of Moderate will keep those images from unexpected eyes (Flickr's "Take Me To The Kittens")

If you want to add a detailed description of the image you may do so in the Jpeg Comment tab . . . Flickr will use this for you image description if it exists. One final step is to ask Exifer to create embedded thumbnails of your images. These thumbnails are saved as part of the image file and do not add appreciably to the file size. Your operating system can use the embedded thumbnails instead of creating them on-the-fly later on.  EXIF/IPTC metadata and embedded thumbnails are preserved as part of the image file.  If you copy and save the file that metadata is still there waiting to be set free (screen copies of an image, however, do not carry metadata across . . . and, of course, they lose a lot of the original image's resolution).

Another option to consider is PhotoME (ME for metatag editor). PhotoME will allow you to fine-tune your metadata much like Exifer. Like Exifer, PhotoME is free.

PhotoME Metatag Editor gives fine granular control over tags

Cleanup and Enhance your Images

Once I have my metadata in shape I will launch my favored photo editor from within Exifer. The reason for this is because Exifer will save an image's metadata and restore it after editing is done. As noted above, many editors do change the metadata or add their own information. My favorite editor is G.I.M.P. but use whatever one you like.

The Gnu Image Manipulation Program (G.I.M.P)

Today's digital cameras are pretty faithful in recording the image as you see it. However, some manipulation will clean up slight color imbalances, blur and out-of-focus images. The G.I.M.P. Heal Tool is a one-step process to auto-correct images. Many other effects are available . . . this program is fully functional, open-source, and FREE! However, it does have a steep learning curve.

Picasa from Google, which can also organise and manage your photos on your computer, also has a photo re-touch function . . . easy, one-click fixes to many common problems; and enhancements like to color balance filter to warm up the colors in an image like the effect on the first screenshot at the beginning of this article. Picasa is also free from Google.

Update your thumbnails to avoid surprises

We may not want to show everything portrayed in an image, yet share that image with others. We will crop images, perhap blur out faces to protect the privacy of others.  Yet not all photo editing programs update the embedded thumbnail to reflect these changes.  You may be left with a thumbnail of the original image accessible by anyone.  Such was the case of television personality Cat Schwartz (e.g. TechTV). Schwartz had published a photograph of herself on her personal blog. Because the program she used to edit the picture (Adobe Photoshop) did not update the thumbnail, the thumbnail revealed more nude facts than originally intended.  If you edit your images significantly, use Exifer's capability to create (replace) the image thumbnail.

An additional note on editing JPeg images. The JPeg format is what is known as a lossy compression format. The image size is reduced to a manageable size by the reduction of image information that, presumedly, is not visible. Every time you save to the JPeg format you lose a little bit more of the image quality. So make all your changes first and then save. Or save to a lossless format such as a bitmap (BMP) if you must take a break.

Retain Rights to your Images

Exiting G.I.M.P. you are returned to Exifer and your metadata restored (assuming your have kept the default settings. Metadata is not readily available to a viewer of your photos and you may want to note some information (like copyright) up front. The process of doing this is called watermarking, as I've done on the example below, using Exifer. Of course, if someone wants to steal your image and use it as their own it is a simple matter to crop the image and leave the visible watermark out . . . though they'd have to go a step further and  edit or strip the EXIF/IPTC metadata encoded within the image file if they wanted to be complete.

The image with a watermark applied in the lower-right corner

There are more elaborate solutions to protect your images if you are willing to pay a price. One of them is called Digimarc which inserts an invisible digital watermark as part of the image. You can't see it but a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop can read and write those watermarks. Digimarc primarily sells a tracking service that crawls the web noting where images with embedded digital watermarks are located, telling you if any of yours are posted out there, presumedly without your permission. Unless you have high-value images which you need to protect I don't see the value of digital watermarking that can only be done with the expensive Adobe Photoshop suite; and the added cost of tracking your images for a steep $80 per year does not seem like a good value to me. Likewise the value of a visual watermark may or may not be appropriate for you . . . for me, I prefer to keep my images unadorned with extraneous text.

On the issue of copyright and image ownership, you could just simply state copyright and be done with it. The image is yours and a conscientious user would ask permission before using or posting it somewhere else. No copyright within the metadata and you'd have a difficult time demanding someone take down your image if it were being used inappropriately. However, standard copyright also hinders the sharing of your photos.

One option that is becoming very popular is to use a new copyright convention called the Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons License
This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at

With the Creative Commons license, you state and retain ownership of your image but you also grant certain usage rights up front. For example, all my images have been tagged (using Exifer) as CC Atrib NC ND What I am doing is stating that:
  1. This image is covered by a Creative Commons License
  2. The image belongs to me
  3. The image can be used with Attribution
  4. No commercial uses may be made of this image, and
  5. No derivative works may be made of this image
Stick within those licensing requirements and a user does not have to ask for any further permission before using my image. I retain all other copyright rights beyond those licensing give-aways. Creative Commons licensing allows my images to be shared without the borrower having to constantly ask permission. Flickr fully supports the Creative Commons licensing standard and allows for easy sharing and copying from interested users.

Add Location Information to your Images

Perhaps the funnest part of Web 2 Photo Sharing is geo-tagging your images so that others can see where they were taken. For geolocation I like to use a nifty freeware program called GeoSetter. GeoSetter can also edit your EXIF/IPTC metadata but it's main purpose is to add geographical lat and logs to your image so that they can be displayed in applications like Google Maps and Flickr Maps. GeoSetter can add geolocation by importing tracks from GPS receivers, or you may manually note a location by clicking on an interactive Google map.

The GeoSetter interface importing the
images' location from my GPS receiver

Using the interactive mode by clicking on the map is intuitive and easy . . . assuming you remember where you took the photograph. Attaching your GPS receiver and importing a GPS track takes a little bit of planning . . . and adjustment, but is more accurate, faster on a large group of images, and also adds a bearing that applications that support this datum can use to indicate what direction the camera was pointed.

The planning part means you have to insure your GPS receiver and the digital camera have synchronized times. They rarely do so I take a reference picture with a GPS waypoint and later use the GeoSetter dialog boxes to set an offset to be applied. This keeps all the images synchronized with the times on the GPS track.

The location coords are added as metadata to the image

Upload your Images to your Online Photo Account

The Flickr Uploadr

When you start Flickr Uploadr to upload your images to Flickr, the program will scan the EXIF and IPTC metadata of your images and automatically insert appropriate tags for your images. Any additional tags you insert here will appear on Flickr but will not become part of the metadata of the original images. Also on this page you can select a set (or create a new one), permissions (who can see them), safety level (at least moderate if there is any nudity), and a title and description for the images. You can work in batch, selecting more than one image, or enter the information for each image one by one.

Once uploaded you can rearrange and perform minor adjustments to make you images more accessible. Tags, titles and descriptions will be automatically generated for you based on the EXIT/ITPC metadata saved with each file. Any photos that have been geo-coded will get added to your Flickr Map (if you've enabled this feature) and viewable depending on the Safety and Permissions for this image.

The same image now plotted accurately on my Flickr Map

My Nude Hiking Flickr Photostream may be accessed at:
Unless you have a Flickr account and are logged on, you can only view images marked as 'Safe'.

A Flickr mashup called FlickrRiver is an alternative viewing method that will likewise display images marked 'safe'. You still have to log into a Flickr account to view images containing nudity and marked as 'moderate'.

Anyone who has a Yahoo account can signup for a Flickr account in moments here.

Don't want to sign up for Yahoo or Flickr?  View the images (nude or not) with this Guest Pass.

Enjoy the photos . . . please feel free to comment on them (constructively and with good intentions). Comments let me know that people enjoy riding along with the adventure and perhaps come to know that nude is not lewd.

Now get to work and start sharing your own memories of nudism with others.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Lee R. Baxandall (January 26, 1935 - November 28, 2008)

Lee R. BaxandallLee R. Baxandall 
(January 26, 1935 - November 28, 2008)

Lee R. Baxandall died in Oshkosh, on November 28th.  Like his uncle, Clyde Lee, an aviator who attempted one of the earliest non-stop transatlantic flights, Lee Baxandall pushed the boundaries and tackled the impossible.   Lee’s uncle found his nemesis in the Irish Sea.  Lee Baxandall found his, alas, in Parkinson’s disease.

Born January 26, 1935, in Oshkosh, Lee was the first child of Raymond W. Baxandall, a prominent local businessman, and his wife Neita Evelyn (neeLee) Baxandall.  Lee’s adventurous spirit first manifested itself in an interest in scouting.  Having achieved the rank of Eagle Scout, a highlight of his young life was his selection, in 1951, to join a 12-member delegation of scouts from across the United States invited to the White House to meet President Harry S. Truman. This formative experience piqued a lifelong interest in travel, which took Lee (and family) to almost every corner of the globe over the next five decades.

After graduating from Oshkosh High School, Lee matriculated at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1953, earning his baccalaureate in 1957 and a master’s degree just one year later.  Further graduate study followed.  Lee’s interests in literature and political activism were kindled during these years inMadison, where he began contributing articles, reviews and social commentary to academic periodicals and local publications.  After moving to New York City, where he lived throughout the 1960s, he soon established himself within the progressive community as a playwright, essayist, reviewer and frequent contributor to periodicals such as The Drama Review, Partisan Review, The Village Voice, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, and Science and Society. 

Upon the death of his father in 1970, Lee returned to Oshkosh to take over The Baxandall Company, an educational publishing business – and also pursue his burgeoning interest in Naturism.   In the early 1970s, Lee founded the Naturist Society in downtown Oshkosh, and there began publishing the seminal periodical of the growing Naturist movement, Clothed with the Sun (later Nude and Natural and N Magazine), and the World Guide to Nude Beaches.

Lee was also an ardent and knowledgeable collector of art.  Perhaps his most important contribution in this realm was his recovery and promotion of the long-ignored works of Robert Koehler, a 19th Century German-American artist who’s most significant painting, “The Strike,” depicts a unique moment in the history of the labor movement in Wisconsin.  This masterpiece now hangs in theZeughaus Museum in BerlinGermany.

In addition to his prolific writings on naturism, and his plays, essays, poems, commentaries and works of aesthetic criticism, Lee was a noted translator of the German playwright Bertolt Brecht.  Lee’s many books include Radical Perspectives in the ArtsMarxism and Aesthetics, and (with Stefan Morawski)Marx & Engels on Literature and Art.

Lee is survived by his wife, Johanna Moore Baxandall of Oshkosh; his son, Phineas Baxandall (from a previous marriage to Rosalyn Fraad Baxandall) and grandchildren, Julian and Nell Baxandall, of CambridgeMassachusetts; his sister, Ann Krooth (Richard), and nephew, Karl Krooth, of California; and his stepdaughter, Melanie Moore Steen (John Steen) of Omro.  Many friends and colleagues also mourn his passing.  Thanks to the staff at Evergreen, to Dr. K.N. Ringwala, and especially to longtime caregiver Connie, for their kindness and devotion to Lee these last several years.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 2:00 p.m. at the Seefeld Funeral and Cremation Services, 1025 Oregon Street,OshkoshWI54902.  Visitation will be held from 1:00 p.m. until the time of the service and a reception will follow. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.  Please visit to send online condolences to the family.

Sign Guest Book  Send Private Condolences

Seefeld Funeral and

Cremation Services

(920) 236-7750

Friday, November 28, 2008

Lee Baxandall (1935-2008)


Copyright 2008 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration. 

DATE : November 28, 2008 
SUBJECT: Lee Baxandall (1935-2008) 
TO : All naturists 

Dear Naturist, The Naturist Society has announced with profound sadness that its founder, Lee Baxandall, has died in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Baxandall, who had suffered from Parkinson's Disease, was 73 years old at the time of his death on November 27, 2008. 

Baxandall began his work as a naturist activist more than 30 years ago. With a background in writing and publishing, Lee's naturist passion led him in 1976 to form the Free Beaches Documentation Center, which he located in his hometown of Oshkosh. By 1980, Lee had founded The Naturist Society (TNS), and TNS had presented its first Gathering for naturists. 'Clothed with the Sun,' the flagship publication of TNS in its early years, was renamed 'Nude & Natural,' or more simply, 'N' magazine in 1989. Today, the magazine has a staff of professional and volunteer writers, but in the early days, much of the content of the magazine was pure Baxandall. 

Lee was also the initiating force behind other familiar naturist organizations. In 1983, it was a Baxandall idea (and $70 in seed money that Lee pulled from his own pocket and gave to Murray Kaufman) that led to the TNS special interest group that would become Gay Naturists International. In 1990, Baxandall jump-started the Naturist Action Committee as an adjunct to TNS. The Naturist Education Foundation followed in 1993. 

For the decades of the 1980s and 1990s, 'Lee Baxandall's World Guide to Nude Beaches and Resorts' was the standard companion for those seeking information on naturist destinations throughout the world. Each edition of the World Guide reflected Lee's naturist philosophy, not only for growing numbers of naturists, but also for the benefit of an expanding mainstream audience. Baxandall's World Guide is the inspiration for 'The World's Best Nude Beaches and Resorts,' a recent TNS publication that carries on the tradition. 

In 2002, recognizing the inevitable effect of his declining health, Baxandall transferred ownership of The Naturist Society to a carefully selected handful of longtime associates. TNS is necessarily a dynamic organization that responds to the changing needs of its members. Nevertheless, owners Nicky Hoffman Lee and Margaret Thornton have remained remarkably faithful to the vision of Lee Baxandall. 


Arrangements are pending. Lee's family has not yet announced details. More complete obituaries will, of course, appear in N magazine and in The Newsletter. The Naturist Action Committee will distribute further information in the form of NAC Updates, as details become available. 

The directors of the Naturist Action Committee and the Naturist Education Foundation join with the ownership and staff of The Naturist Society in marking, with respect and appreciation, the passing of an exceptional individual. 

"Body acceptance is the idea. Nude recreation is the way." - Lee R. Baxandall (1935-2008) 

Bob Morton
Executive Director 
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903 
Executive Director Bob Morton - 
Naturist Society: Nicky Hoffman Lee - 
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick -

Monday, November 24, 2008

7th Annual Rooster Rock Polar Bare Dip

Rooster-Sauvie Volunteers host The 7th Annual Rooster Rock Polar Bare Dip - Saturday Jan. 10th! 

We're the new AANR beach club in Portland, and our first event of the new year is coming up!  

Hey folks, this event is getting bigger every year. We've got brave (crazy?) people who jump into the cold water, and we've got people with more sense who cheer us on from shore and get a good laugh.

We'll meet on Saturday, Jan 10th, at 12 noon, at the East end of the parking lot at Rooster Rock State Park. This is in the Columbia Gorge, 25 min. east of Portland on I-84, just past Corbett.  Look for the AANR flag, surrounded by people with nervous smiles, asking themselves, "WHY are we doing this, again?" 

After the polar dip we'll pick up any trash on the way out, and go for some hot food & drink. 
See you there!

What does Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels think of a potential nude beach in Seattle?

Posted in the naturist forums ...

There has been a huge amount of media coverage on the issue of nudity in Seattle Parks. Too much to post each individual story.

Are you curious about...
  • What Mayor Nickels thinks of all of this? (thanks John for the heads up). How about Bill O'Reilley of Fox News?

  • Was this really on CNN?

  • Why does KOMO 4 Commentator Ken Schram say that "Kids are not going to be hurt by seeing a naked person."

  • Which two NAC representatives did local talk show host Dori Monson talk to?

  • Which lifeguarded beaches does the Stranger's blog claim that the Seattle Parks is now looking at for feasibility as a clothing-optional beaches?

Find out at the Seattle coverage page on Naked Wiki



If you haven't visited the Naked Wikia then you're missing a great research and archival resource on everything nudism around Seattle - Rick

Friday, November 14, 2008

Article: Judge Clears Portland Nude Cyclist

"A Multnomah County judge has cleared a Northeast Portland nude bicyclist of criminal indecent exposure charges, saying cycling naked has become a "well-established tradition" in Portland and understood as a form of "symbolic protest."

Judge Jerome LaBarre said the city's annual World Naked Bike Ride -- in which as many as 1,200 people cycled through Northwest and downtown Portland on June 14 -- has helped cement riding in the buff as a form of protest against cars and possibly even the nation's dependence on fossil fuels.

LaBarre then cleared Michael "Bobby" Hammond, 21, of any wrongdoing after two days of hearings that concluded Wednesday. "

National Nude Beach Poll

From Mark Storey

Greetings Naturists:

The Naturist Society is conducting an Internet poll to collect information on skinny-dippers' opinions about nude beach use. Granted, such polls have little scientific value, but TNS plans to use the info in a series of press releases to promote nude use of beaches in North America. You don't have to be a member of TNS to participate. If you are interested, go to and click on Please Take our on-line poll near the bottom of the page.

Naturally yours,

Mark Storey

NAC Update - Seattle Parks Board Rejects Nudity Ban

Note: Many people were involved in setting a climate to forestall this proposed nudity ban within Seattle's parks and a more general trend toward restricting or eliminating events like the World Naked Bike Ride. I personally learned of the proposed ban from a widespread posting by Daniel Johnson who is deeply involved with many nudity-related issues n Seattle . . . notably the World Naked Bike Ride, the Seattle-area nude swims at Parks swimming pools and as probably the foremost proponent of a clothing-optional beach in the Seattle area . . . through NAC involvement, formation of the Magnuson Beach Bares advocacy group, and intimate association of the Body Freedom Collaborative. While Mark Storey's report and involvement of NAC is commendable, Daniel alerted us, set the stage, did interviews that brought the public's desire for clothing-optional opportunities to the attention of a number of influential people.

Many others were also involved, including the SLUGS own Howard, who did a great job in an on-radio interview.

NAC relies not only on it's representatives but in a large part on the numerous volunteers who work in the background, write letters, attend these meetings . . . and in general, work toward making it known that we are a voice to be heard, that we are reasonable, and that we want to work together.

My personal opinion is that this attempt . . . seemingly out of the blue . . . was an attempt by a more conservation element of Seattle to set the stage for an outright prohibition of nudity in Seattle . . . much like Everett's. Rule-making by the new superintendent is the easy way in . . . and once in effect the 'conservatives' could go for a law by the City Council to broaden that ban city-wide and criminalize simple nudity. Yesterday's outcome was a sound slap-down of that edging in.

Of note, on the forums I have read the reactions from many naturists and note that several of them have stated that they immediately went to the NAC website and made a donation. Way to go NAC!

I've included several links to interviews and news reports of the fast and furious activities of the past two days. The upshot? Yes, we can make a difference as individual and connected nudists. We made our point of view known and that view was taken seriously and well-received.



Copyright 2008 by the Naturist Action Committee, which is responsible for its content. Permission is granted for the posting, forwarding or redistribution of this message, provided that it is reproduced in its entirety and without alteration.

DATE : November 14, 2008
SUBJECT: Seattle, WA
TO : All naturists

Dear Naturist,

Very good news! The Naturist Action Committee offers this Update concerning a proposed ban on nudity in the public parks of Seattle, Washington. The Board of Parks Commissioners received the proposal at its regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday, November 13.

The Board has rejected the anti-nudity proposal. The matter has been removed from the Board's agenda for future meetings.

NAC board member Mark Storey attended the meeting, and he addressed the Commissioners on behalf of naturists and others who oppose the proposed prohibiting of nudity.


Mark has filed this narrative report:

The Seattle Parks Board of Commissioners met Thursday evening in Seattle's Park Headquarters, in part, to receive a staff-generated proposal for a ban on nudity in Seattle parks. Approximately 20 nudity-friendly men and women attended the meeting, hoping to express their disfavor with the ban proposed by Seattle Parks. After preliminary discussion by Parks Superintendent Tim Gallagher, board Vice Chair Jackie Ramels informed the audience that no public input would be accepted that evening on the topic of the proposed ban, and that everyone would have an opportunity to speak his or her mind on January 8 when the board had scheduled a public hearing for the ban.

Naturists in the audience were disappointed, but I had heard about this policy shortly before the meeting, and signed up to speak anyway. When Ramels asked if I was hoping to speak about nudity, I said, "No, I had no wish to address the proposed ban. I instead wished to praise the board for the Seattle Parks Strategic Action Plan Summary of Public Feedback that I had received that day. Gallagher laughed, and waved me up to the podium, saying, "Bring him up here!"

The only person to speak from the audience, I thanked the Parks Department for organizing such an efficient means of receiving public input a couple of months ago, when they wanted to hear what users of Seattle parks wanted done in the upcoming five years. I said that my wife and I had attended two of the meetings, and were impressed with how well they were run. I was also impressed with the detail of the report, and how among those expressing interest in off-leash dog
areas, swimming pools, green spaces, and other public uses, the one item of interest that outranked all of them was the amazing outpouring of interest in developing a clothing-optional beach at a Seattle Park. Where other requests came in batches of two or a half dozen, the number of comments favoring clothing-optional beaches stretched across 22 pages! I did not remind them that NAC had sent out an Action Alert six months ago, and that many of the comments may have been inspired by NAC. I wanted the board to have clear in their minds in the minutes to come that there were many, many people in Seattle who liked the idea of at least some toleration for nudity in public parks.

I concluded my two-minute address by saying that NAC and local groups looked forward to conferring with Seattle Parks in determining how best to accommodate this broad-ranging user group. I could not tell if the board was amused or not, but Ramels asked the next couple of potential speakers if they too planned on talking about "the Strategic Plan." All seemed ready to let the board hear from Seattle Parks, and changing the agenda to account for the audience's clear interest in nudity issues, move directly to the proposal.

Seattle Parks Strategic Advisor Karen Tsao presented the proposal for the ban, sounding a little nervous, but graciously sympathetic to those naturists sitting around her. The board immediately, though calmly, questioned the need for such a ban. Were there really so many complaints about nudity? And what about all those people who seem to enjoy it? Couldn't Seattle Parks accommodate skinny-dippers by providing a designated portion of beach with signs alerting passersby to the clothing-optional policy there?

Some on the board wished to hear from the public in coming weeks, to hear why so many people clearly wanted a clothing-optional beach. They also wanted to hear why some felt offended. Ramels moved, however, that the board reject the ban for now, to urge Seattle Parks to continue to give use permits as they have in the past (e.g., to naturist groups or for naked bike rides), and to limit future permits to groups who allowed problems to arise or who generated too many complaints. She-and most of the board-felt that a case by case approach to specific groups was better than an overarching ban on nudity in city parks.

Board member Terry Holme made the point that there is a clear distinction between the evening's proposed ban and the loud call for a clothing-optional beach. While he agreed that the ban was ill-advised at the moment, Seattle Parks should also be open to discussion about accommodating those who wish to sunbathe or skinny-dip in Seattle.

This was outstanding! NAC and its body-accepting friends entered this meeting fearing Seattle Parks would ban nudity, and we walked out with the Parks Board saying "no" to the ban and charging Seattle Parks to enter into discussion about creating the state's first officially sanctioned nude beach!

Be assured that NAC and its local allies will be presenting naturist-friendly alternatives to Seattle Parks in the days and weeks to come. In a follow-up NAC Advisory we'll let people know how they can send emails or letters to Seattle Parks to support this effort, even with the cancellation of the now no longer needed January 8 public hearing. For tonight, know that your amazing response to NAC Alerts calling for comments on Seattle Parks' Strategic Plan and for attendance at tonight's meeting has paid off better than in any single project I've been involved with.


Additional information and links are available, along with this NAC informational update on the web site of the Naturist Action Committee. Go to: and then select
"Updates" to find this NAC Update under Current Updates. NAC will distribute new information on this important situation as it develops.


The Naturist Action Committee is a volunteer nonprofit organization that exists to advance and protect the rights of naturists throughout North America. To do its job, NAC relies entirely on the voluntary generosity of supporters like you. Please donate generously to NAC.

PO Box 132
Oshkosh, WI 54903

Or call toll free (800) 886-7230 to donate by phone using your MasterCard, Visa or Discover Card. Or use your credit card to make a convenient online donation:

Thank you for choosing to make a difference.


Bob Morton
Executive Director
Naturist Action Committee

Naturist Action Committee (NAC) - PO Box 132, Oshkosh, WI 54903
Executive Director Bob Morton -
Board Member Mark Storey -
Online Rep. Dennis Kirkpatrick -

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

SHORT NOTICE: Stop a Nudity Ban in Seattle Parks!

Update: The Naturist Action Committee (NAC) has issued an Action Alert which will be shortly on their website: NAC suggests that " If you speak . . . that you focus on Parks & Rec's own Strategic Action Plan. Comments solicited from citizens during the recent development of that Plan overwhelmingly asked for the inclusion of clothing-optional areas in public parks. The proposed rule simply ignores the voices of those citizens.

From Daniel

We need your help tomorrow - THURSDAY!

The Seattle Board of Park Commissioners is meeting tomorrow to discuss a new rule

*** BANNING ALL NUDITY*** in Seattle's Parks.

Again, the meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, November 13th at 7 p.m. in the Park Board Room

in the Parks administration building in Denny Park at

100 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109 (Google Map)

If you can attend this meeting it would be great! You don't have to speak, but signing in on the signup sheet with in favor of clothing-optional recreation in Seattle Parks would be a big help.

More info

Please help if you can!


The impact of this rule-making would affect essentially a non-existent problem at the moment and seems to be an attempt to put precedent (and authority) in place by a new Parks Department administration to head off any future attempts to establish clothing-optional activities in Seattle. The hard work towards setting aside a clothing-optional beach within the Seattle area would be forestalled completely by this rule . . . there would be no more dialog with a nudity-prohibited rule in effect.

Likewise, events such as the World Naked Bike Ride would be severely hampered as the ride makes stops at Seattle Parks. Carried further, the ever popular Fremont Solstice Parade with the nude bicyclists always ends up in Gasworks Park with an easy (and well-tolerated) popular take on public nudity. That would all be ended if a conservative Parks administration has the authority to ban nudity within the parks system. Time to stop this precedent-setting agenda before it becomes established. Don't allow Seattle to become a conservative backwater. There is room for clothing-optional opportunities in Seattle's Parks system. Attend the meeting and make the case for use by all of Seattle's diverse culture, including clothing-optional.


Sunday, November 9, 2008

Semi Off Topic: Keep Your Surfing Safe

There is a dearth of information dealing with nude hiking so when I come across an article or blog posting, myself, and I suspect most of you, would click the link and check the posting to see what they have to say. The Google Alert I got in my email reads (in part) "Hiking nude may be the ultimate experience of freedom ... nothing between you and the air ..." Good so far. Certainly an article that I'm going to read further. Problem here is that there is more than meets the eye when you click through to this link ...

The link does indeed follow through to a seemingly authentic blog posting . . . if you have time to read it because within seconds of loading the page you are redirected to a malicious web site designed to infect your computer. The only reason I got the above screen image is because I was prepared to stop the page loading before the redirect happened.

The actual post is a meaningless garble of words . . . just enough to fill a blog posting and make it seem authentic. I've noticed that searches and postings about nude recreation are increasingly being used by phishers and malicious hackers as a social-pretext to target people who may already feel nervous about even surfing to a site that has anything to do with nudism. You expect this sort of thing if you go checking out porn sites and, if we got our computer hopelessly infected after visiting a porn site would any of us admit it? I suspect the malware purveyors are expecting the same response from those who search for and click through on links leading to the subject of nude recreation such as nude hiking. Unfortunately, those who may have a genuine interest in learning about nudism are now being targeted by drive-by downloads.

This particular website of potential interest never gets loaded before the visitor is redirected and gets an alarming popup warning.

The popup warning as you are redirected to a malicious website

The warning takes you by surprise. However, it is not a genuine message. No matter where you click on this message (OK, Cancel, the X) you are taken to a good facsimile of a scan in progress.

The scan in progress with animated progress bar and 'found' infections

Of course, this is all a scam. There is no actual scanning of your computer taking place. they are simply trying to scare you and make your mouse-finger trigger happy for the next step . . . they are going to solve your problem.

"Remove All" or "Ignore"? Well, actually, you don't have the choice. Click either one and the download starts.

Fortunately, Firefox and the latest versions of Internet Explorer do not allow the download to progress without your permission. Just be warned that if you do save this file and then run it, you will be installing a particularly nasty piece of malware on your system. Surf safely. Don't fall for this kind of junk!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Skinny-dipping a legal right in Denmark

A couple from Northern Zealand cannot ban naked bathing from a beach in front of their house.

Skinny-dipping is a legal right in Denmark. - Foto: VIEMOSE KÅRE
Bathing on Danish beaches, with or without clothes, is a legal right, according to the Eastern High Court, which has confirmed a decision by the lower courts in a case regarding naked bathing.

The decision means that a couple from Skodsborg just north of Copenhagen, cannot put up a ‘Nudism forbidden’ sign on a beach in front of their sitting room window.

The couple say that they are bothered by naked bathers, who they claim engage in sexual activities on the beach. But the local court in Lyngby decided on June 13 this year that naked bathing, which has been allowed in Denmark for the past 32 years, is still allowed. The High Court upheld the verdict of the lower court and ordered the couple to pay costs.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Halloween

Had a lot of fun playing around with this image and trying to come up with something relating to both nude hiking and the spirit of Halloween. The picture is from a hike some time ago to Blanca Lake near Mount Cristo. Here's the original:

I had originally thought to create an "Invisible Nude Hiker" but as I experimented with the settings I kind of liked the effects . . . semi-invisible as if you could see the larger muscle masses inside my body, hot for the exertion of the hike . . . perhaps a thermographic image, of sorts. After all, a digital camera images not only in the visible spectrum but also in the near infrared. In essence, the heat of the subject is also captured and with photo manipulation software a heat-map of my skin can be coaxed out. The image is showing what areas of my body are radiating the most heat . . . an interesting and, I think, an appropriate Halloween pic.

For those of you interested in playing around with digital images, I use G.I.M.P (the GNU Image Manipulation Program), an open-source program. It's free and does everything Photoshop does for many hundreds of dollars.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

"I just havent built up the nerve"

I get emails from curious people all the time . . . most asking how to get up the courage to get started in nudism. I thought I'd share one recent email and the response I sent:

XXXXX XXX wrote:
> > Rick
> > I really love your website, my name is xxxxx and I have wanted to do
> > Nude Hiking but I guess I just havent built up the nerve to. I bet its
> > got to be very relaxing. I would love to go sometime. Do you usually
> > go in a group? All men? Inform me a little so I can get an idea. If
> > you want I can send you some pics, so that you know that I am not
> > disgusting, haha and that I would be serious.
> >
> > xxxxx
> >
> > p.s. how do people react when they see you walking around nude?
> >
> >

Hey xxxxx,

Thanks for the compliment.

As you surmise, hiking (and many other activities) are just plain more comfortable and freeing when done nude. The hardest part is, as you note, getting up the nerve to do so. So here is my heartfelt suggestion: contact the Sun Lovers Under Grey Skies (SLUGS) an fill out the application form. The SLUGS are
what is known as a Travel Club in the nudist/naturist community . . . that is, they do not own land but get together and arrange events where members can be nude. Membership in the SLUGS is reasonable . . . $20 per year with the option of also joining the American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) and The Naturist Society (TNS), both of which I highly recommend. The SLUGS are a Puget Sound-based club but there are also other clubs all around the states.

The real benefit of joining a local travel club is that you find like-minded people . . . many of them approaching nudism for the first time like you. The membership suggests trips like visits to clothing-optional beaches or resorts . . . informally gets together members for nude hikes, and the like. You participate as much as you like because there is no pressure. For example, over this winter season we have arranged with a posh private pool to have nude swim once a month for our members.

The other real benefit is that members are vetted and you can feel safe at SLUGS events.

For myself, I participate in most SLUGS events . . . but I generally do my hiking alone. The main reason for that is that I rarely plan a nude hike . . . a nice day off comes around and I just head out at the last moment. I do participate in group nude hikes and camping but more often you will find me just plainly exploring some corner of the Cascades. I rarely hike nude with someone who is not already a friend or a member of a nudist club . . . because that vetting process is important.

All men? Nope. We have men and women participate in our events. I occasionally will get together with a male or female member of the SLUGS for an impromptu weekday hike. No big deal because we trust each other and the motives behind the hiking.

As far as pics . . . not important at all. The biggest draw of nudism and naturism is that what you look like doesn't really matter at all. That's a hard concept to digest but after awhile being a nudist you realize that no one is perfect. What you look like is not important . . . what you are looking for is. We look to enjoy the freedom that nudism

I used the terms 'nudism' and 'naturism'. To most they are synonymous but there are subtle differences.

Nudists tend to embrace social nudism . . . or getting together to enjoy nude events with like-minded people. AANR and the landed nudist resorts are most often associated with social nudism.

Naturists are those individuals to whom participation by others is not the driving motivation. They tend to want to experience nature in the most natural form (nude). Experiencing nature with others is mostly incidental. TNS, most clothing-optional beach groups, and many travel clubs tend to embrace this approach.

There is a third approach which I call Nude Activism . . . most closely associated with the Body Freedom Collaborative (BFC), the World Naked Bike Ride, and the Nude Bicyclists of the Fremont Solstice Parade. I shy away from most activism because I do not believe in the shock-value of what many participants do. However, I do participate in some of those events when they fit within my comfort zone . . . i.e. being nude in the Fremont Parade is becoming accepted, and fun for all.

The Body-Painted Nude Cyclists at the Fremont Solstice Parade is a highlight

To many . . . there is a blending of the terms. I enjoy nude social events (such as Octoberfest at Fraternity Snoqualmie), I enjoy being body painted for the Fremont Parade, but I especially enjoy that solo nude hike where I may never see another individual.

You finally ask, "How do people react when they see you walking around nude?" Well, for the most part (99%) the reactions are positive from either indifference to smiles to high fives to 'tell me more about it'. I have never had a negative reaction on the trail and I've encountered hundreds of fellow hikers in the past fifteen years. Not one negative reaction! But then again, I do not hike nude in situations where an encounter might lead to a bad reaction. I do not hike nude on popular trails, on weekends and at times when families or children might be sharing the trail. That is just common courtesy.

I hope that answers some of your questions. Feel free to ask any more if they pop up. Better yet, check out the SLUGS. They are a great group of like-minded people . . . very supportive and a great introduction to nudism. And when you are ready we will get you participating. It's such a freeing sensation ...

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