Day 2 of iJustine.tv

 Note:  I have not added any photos to this post — I did not find anything that related.  Tomorrow I will have to push myself to take the time to transfer some of my older photos so that I can have something to break up the text with.

Welcome to Day 2

Today was day 2 of iJustine.tv. I woke up at the crack of 6 wide awake and thinking it was dinner time. Jetlag performing very well, thank you. I decided that rather than rolling around in bed trying to make myself believe I had the ability to doze off to slumberland and sleep until a more reasonable hour like the Justin and iJustines of the world, I would get out of bed and start my day. I don’t know what I was expecting to see today. If the first day of iJustine and the Office Cam were dismal days technically speaking, I’m not sure why I thought today would be any better. All three feeds were down — down — down until about 11am EDT. So that made 5 hours of Chatting with no broadcast. As we’ve seen before, when the broadcast is down, chat falls into the toilet, and today was no different. There were pervs and people with anger management issues and a few that wanted to have adult conversation. No! Not the XX kind, the, I’m a grown up and want to talk about things that are relevant to life in the real world type of conversation.

Justine seemed to fall into the Justin schedule easily – she was up and at’em at about 11am EDT. I didn’t stay up with her all night, but some claim to have been up with her until at least 5am, so the late rising makes sense. The last I saw of her, it was around 1am and she was in a dark bar. It was loud and boring and not very visible, so I posted a couple of entries and went off to bed.

When I came back later in the day talk went ancient history on us once again — it turned to the Ann Curry interview of the early JTV days. There was division in the room — those that believed Ann Curry was “mean” and should have treated Justin with more respect and have been kinder and gentler, and more enthusiastic about the JTV project and those of us that agreed that a journalist or an interviewer does not owe any special treatment to the person being interviewed — no matter their age or the innovation or the goal they are working hard to achieve. Yes, everyone deserves to be respected, but to have prepared Justin with the questions, to have coddled him and to have given him special treatment would open the floodgates for future interviews.

The Ann Curry Debate Again?

Who would decide which interviewees should be treated with kid gloves? Should it only apply to young people that are working to make a place for themselves in the world and to get a god start in their adult life? Should the person that the network or the interviewer is not interested in be treated with indifference and with less preparation and research into the topic? Does the special treatment meter cross into hard news reporting?

It was mentioned that Justin is “the first person” to successfully strap a camera to his head and stream 24/7. The reaction to this was not unexpected — how is Justin the first? I recalled the days in 1991 when Wolf Blitzer was streaming live as the Desert Storm began with missiles zinging in the background via video phone. Since that day we began to see live video phone broadcasts from breaking news venues world wide. It was crummy quality. Apologies by all of the networks that were using this technology for the poor quality were a part of the broadcasts and came to be expected, but we were happy to have access to the things that were happening in the world live, as they were happening. Earthquakes, bombings, wars, royal marriages, presidential outsters, and more were becoming part of our daily television viewing. This was the beginning of live streaming video and while it wasn’t a 23 year old Yale graduate and his buddies with a bottle of super glue and crossed fingers engineering something never before seen, it was exciting and news worthy and a sign of what was yet to come.

Justine Working Through Chat

Justin and team are getting themselves together. They’ve got new streams going, but they are down more than they are up and the question lingers as to whether people will put up with failing technology with no end in sight, but for now, the viewership appears to be increasing, although it’s likely from the iJustine fan base. Her fan base will likely spawn regular viewers that will stick with JTV even if/when Justine decides she’s had enough of this. Her feathers seemed to be ruffled this evening, but if we think back to the early days of Justin, he was often cranky and lashed out at the viewers too until his skin toughened up. There is hope for Justine, but she’s got to get out from behind the computer and watching herself in chat all day long. It’s a narcissistic, it’s a bore and it’s just plain not interesting.

Tonight ended up with a fun trip down memory road and a movie review — All time favorite movie? All time saddest movie? All time funniest movie? All time scariest movie? It appears that the people in the Peanut Gallery tonight were members of the over 45 club, but it was fun. It was a much easier time to be in the Peanut Gallery than it had been earlier in the day.

I close here, hoping that the technology improves tomorrow, but don’t hold out hope. It’s important to learn not to be overly optimistic here.

Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore!

‘I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!’ I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell – ‘I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Things have got to change. But first, you’ve gotta get mad!… You’ve got to say, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Then we’ll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it: “I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!”

This memorable quote made famous by Peter Finch in the 1976 Academy Award winning film, Network seems to fit today’s JTV to a tee.  While Justin’s “promise” to broadcast 24/7 has not been posted on the site for a very long time and he hasn’t done an intview in so long that claims of not keeping up with this end of the deal are not backed up by anything.

But all of this doesn’t mean that viewers, fans, people stopping by to check JTV out aren’t disappointed or frustrated by the monkey and his closed eyes with the Not Publishing! message.

I have concluded, very unscientifically mind you, that when the stream goes down, behavior in chat follows.   We’ve “talked” about this before — chat topics are commensurate with the quality of the feed.  But all of this does not mean much.  With or without a broadcast I and many others like me will return, and return and return.  I am not sure if it’s blind hope or total boredom or what, but we return day after day.

I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore is an empty threat.

Troubles with Video

I’m disappointed. I finally finished tonight’s blog post and thought I’d hang around seeing what’s going on in JTV world, but I’ve got no video in either of the three channels. This is what I have:

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Justin Cam

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Justine Cam

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Office Cam

A Birthday and a Would-be Birthday

Note: I’ll be brief — fighting a headache — dehydration from spending 18 of the last 36 hours at 35,000 feet. For an audio version of this post, please click on the link below.

Hmmm… interestingly enough, the link to the podcast is not showing up, but if you click somewhere in the blank area it will pull you over to YouTube where the video resides.  Technology …

Today was the birth of the all new iJustine and JTV Office cam streams and while these are interesting milestones, the more important milestone is the would-be 90th birthday of a man that had a monumental impact in the pre-internet era on people in this country and beyond.

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Justine follows Justin’s approach to sleeping the morning away

As I sit here comfortably on my couch, contemplating the summer TV lineup, flipping lifecasting channels between Justin, the office and iJustine, I am posessed by the question — What if? What if John Fitzgerald Kennedy has not become president? What if he had not promoted the race to space, campaigned for equal rights, created the Peace Corps? Among the good, there were also numerous not so positive events during our 35th president’s life/term, but if he had not been president, a man with a vision of technology and the early days of globalization, would we be be here, laptops perched in place, watching ordinary Americans going about their daily lives with cameras strapped to their heads streaming live to the internet?

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Unfortunately there were problems with the feed most of the day

Contemplating the Past — Future

A purposeless question, one without answer, to most JTV viewers a question about a man that is nothing more than a chapter in a history book, but one that plays a part in our heads usually on November 22 each year as we commemorate the anniversary of the tragic day he was gunned down while sitting in the back of the car winding it’s way trough the Dallas streets with his wife, the exotic-looking Jacqueline Bovier Kennedy, the Governor of Texas, John Connaly and his wife, gunned down by a lone (or possibly more) gunman/gunmen who cast a pall on the psyche of the American public.

Today, while waiting for something interesting to happen in JTV-land, I am encouraged that although Justine’s stream is flat-out boring me to sleep on and off as I struggle through jet lag, there are people out there with the inclination, the drive, the creativity and enthusiasm to try something new, to be the first, or among the first as technology drives to new heights. As JTV gives brith to the enhancement of the platform, with others like blogtv and Ustream out there battling for a place in lifecasting history along with Justin and the team, part of the what if is answered.

Kawks on Planes

Them’s Fightin’ Birds

Approaching the check-in counter at PAL – You never say Philippine Airlines, that would break the rule of pronouncing the words that are behind all acronyms, and there are multitudes of them, in this country – I heard an unfamiliar sound. Well, not so unfamiliar really, the sound of a gamecock expressing his displeasure at being stuffed into a cardboard box with a few holes in it was more unexpected than unfamiliar. When I turned around, there were three men with carts that held their small carry-on luggage, which was almost discarded on the metal trolleys. What was perched in more organized and careful fashion on the carts were the prize (or hopefully prize) fighting birds.

Centennial terminal, what used to be the modern, departure and arrival point for all PAL flights into and out of Manila was now an unorganized, crowded terminal, part of the NAIA –Ninoy Aquino International Airport. After waiting in line to have my eticket and passport checked so that I could be allowed into the airport, I passed through the first screening – my bags were sent through the xray machine and after setting off the alarm, the front of my arms and my tummy was patted down so lightly I would seem the security-checker was frightened of what I might transmit through my clothing. My appreciation level for TSA agents suddenly improved exponentially.

Instead of choosing any counter in the domestic departure area, each departure was assigned to a different counter. After schlepping my bags to the noted counter, I was directed to the other side of the airport to counters 27 – 29, not 7 – 9. A little mistake, one of assumed carelessness on the part of the person responsible for sign making yesterday morning.

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Philippinos Do Crowds Well — A Sunday Afternoon at Glorieta Mall

Navigating Airport Check-in

I was there in plenty of time, so there was no issue with waking back and forth a few times. You’ve got to learn to leave time to navigate Asian airports. Security lines are interminable, boarding behavior is unruly and an extreme sport and waiting for checked baggage to make it’s way off the baggage claim carousel requires the patience of a saint and perhaps a tranquilizer as balikbayan box after balikbayan box clogs up the process.

I was surprised to see a 747 parked at our gate. The flight to Cebu is just 1 hour and although Cebu is a gateway to other Asian ports, I just wasn’t expecting this. I figured that at about the time we reached cruising altitude in the big lug we would need to begin our descent. And that’s about what happened. We were served some small local bags of snacks – salted dried peas, crackers with spicy tuna and a pastry called custard which was basically a cake like sweet with some sugary filling on the inside.

They came by to pick up the garbage and we made our way back to terra firma. It took about forever to get my bag, which I did not want to have to bring and check, but because I would be staying at a hotel upon my return to Manila, I really didn’t have a choice. So I waited while the boxes made their way around the carousel.

Baggage Claim

Where were the Kawks I wondered? Were none of them flying to Cebu? Were they on their way to some special Kawk fighting tournament that was being held on some other island? Perhaps an island where kawk-fighting is legal? Not likely, but with corruption in the Philippines as notorious as it is, it’s entirely possible that there was some kind of tournament or show somewhere. These animals are treated like pets. They are potentially worth a lot of money so they get the royal treatment from their owners. I used to see them on leashes outside the neighborhood I lived in up at Clark. Frankly, I don’t know how people live with that noise, but to each his own.

No kawks in sight, but after my bag came around I made it to the exit where a car and driver were waiting for me. The day was a disappointment. The housing I was taken to was dismal, depressing, almost tear producing. The first place was just plain scary! It was furnished, however there was no way I’d sit my ass down on the couch and the thought of putting my head down on one of the beds caused me to start itching all over. To say it was dirty and grungy is an understatement. It was worse than Justin Kan’s bed with unwashed sheets and comforter by a long shot and you all know how filthy that has to be since the guy told us a few weeks ago that he had no intention of every washing his sheets since they were part of the rented furnishings. YUCK!

Housing Option Disappointments

I did see one potentially good housing complex, but the sales woman didn’t know of any owners that were renting right now, so that one was scratched off the list. I am not sure how comfortable I would feel living in one of those sky rise buildings anyway. They are perched on the side of a mountain overlooking the city and the sea and it would take little more than an earthquake, of which there are daily or a mudslide after a horrible typhoon to send one of the buildings down the side without regard to human life. A seriously bad movie in the offing for sure.

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Upscale Forbes Park Neighborhood — Makati, Manila

I had an early dinner and headed to the room to get some sleep since I had to be up at 4:45am. I woke up numerous times – a jet lag side effect – and at one point realized that the rumbling I felt and heard was the guy in the room next to me! It’s a good thing I had to be up early or I would have taken to banging on the wall to get him to turn over. AHHH!

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Departing Cebu

The airport experience leaving Cebu this morning was an eye opener. I’ve gained a whole new respect for TSA. While we all have our annoying TSA stories, too much attention to what’s passing through security in airports across the US is a more comforting feeling than what I encountered as I was making my way back to Manila at the crack of dawn.

First of all, the car that came to pick me up was a Shangri-La car. Interesting. I was all the way in town at the little more than 2 star Marriott. I suppose when I asked for a car instead of a taxi they panicked and didn’t want to tell me they don’t have hotel cars and called the Shang for help. It was a funny thing to see, but not unwelcome.

The airport was fairly active for 5:15 in the morning. There was a 747 on the ground when I got to the waiting area, so I suppose a few hundred of the people passing through were making their way to the jumbo jet.

Security Pat-down or Feel-up

I was wearing the usual jewelry which has been setting off the machines at security lately, so I expected to hear the alarm as I passed through, but the pat down I received, or the touch of a butterfly that passed for a security pat down was not at all comforting. First I was asked to remove the bracelet, and as always explained that I’d need a screw driver to remove it so just go ahead and run me through the extra security measure. I tripped the alarm yesterday when I departed Manila, but no one stopped me. After I was checked out, I heard many more beeps from the machine, but not a single pat down for any of them. That doesn’t do much for the sense of security. The way the boarding passes are collected is frightening as well. I was on a 747 yesterday and with possibly 400 people, they simply pulled the stub and handed it back to people without even glancing to see what was printed on the card. Although they made a feeble attempt at calling by row numbers, that was, as usual in Asian airports, a total joke. It was a mob scene and apparently it was all the meek and diminutive boarding staff could muster to get a boarding pass from each passenger, or person that walked through, but the idea that one of us might not belong on the plane did not seem to be a cause for concern to any of the PAL staff members.

This morning’s boarding ritual was not much different, although with far less passengers. I was seated in an exit row and when the flight attendant came by to check that we had all read the exit row instruction card, he was holding it upside down. Let’s hope it’s never ever necessary to really know what’s on that instruction sheet.

Baggage Claim

We made it to Manila and my bag made it out a bit more quickly this time. I think what helped the situation was that there were no balikbayan boxes this time. No boxes full of Costco or Walmart or Target purchases making their way to the Philippines. This time there were baskets with contents wrapped in newspaper. I hate to thing of what might be in those baskets, but suspect each was filled with something from the sea. Better not to think about it. None of the baskets were cock-a-doodle-doo’ing like the cardboard Kawk boxes.

I made my way to the exit where a rep in a crisp white shirt and black pants from the Shangri-La Makati was waiting for me ,helped me into the car, and off I was to a hotel that I used to call home. As a matter of fact, today was my banner day. The girl that checked me in handed me a Shangri-La shopping bag with a big smile and a note welcoming me back for my 55th visit to this particular Shang. My task for the night is to repack my bags to figure out how to squeeze in the thick terrycloth robe with my initials monogrammed on the front. Nice gesture, not very practical for someone like me that likes to pack in the smallest possible bag for a short trip.

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Shot taken from 28th Floor of Makati Shangri-La — August, 2001

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Same Vantage Point 6 Years into the Future — May, 2007

The packing exercise will be far better than watching Justin sleep since it’s just approaching 3:15 am his time and 6:15pm my time.

Tropical Trials and Tribulations and Justin.tv Gets Kicked Out of Another Event

JTV and Jetlag — a Combo to Avoid

I made the mortal mistake of submitting to extreme exhaustion after my 27.5 hours of circuimnavigating the globe to the Philippines. I fought off sleep for a while, but gave in at 9pm. The result, I was up and wide awake by just after 1am. So it’s now about 5am and I am still awake and wondering what time my body will give up tonight. In the meantime, it looks like I am going to have to take a side trip tomorrow — to the beautiful tropical island of Cebu. I won’t be staying on the beach, but thought I’d post a few photos of my last trip there. Depending on how the day goes tomorrow, I will shoot some more Cebu scenes. The frat boy laziness rubbed off on me and I only carried my very small point and shoot, so I don’t have many options to play around with zoom and exposure and stuff, but I will capture what I can.

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The water in Cebu is as clear as glass

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The beach is like none I’ve seen before. It’s a bit of a pedicure experience to walk on as it’s made from ground up bleached coral, but the beauty is unparalleled

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Ok, we’ve had our little tropical interlude, now it’s time to get back to Justin.tv!

Justin.tv — Not Wanted Here

This week Justin attended, or attempted to attend The Producer’s guild event and was told that he could not broadcast. The Producer’s Guild of America is a type of Trade Association whose members are involved with all aspects of producing in TV, Film and New Media. Justin was there on a “meet and greet” expedition and was told that he could not broadcast. He had no option but to walk away. I think he was pretty disappointed — his free food radar was activated and he couldn’t consume. He left and went to a bar and it became the usual boring JTV bar event, so I left and went back to getting ready for my trip.

Today the only thing on the calendar was “Deal Maker Party,” and although there was no logo or explanation I don’t think this is the event he just got kicked out of. He took a cab to a warehouse looking venue, met a few people, one of whom told him he is boring the other who told him he is not a good looking guy and then was told he could not broadcast. He walked out, called JTV frathouse headquarters and decided he was going to have to “sell out” because he really wanted to attend the event. Now, we still don’t know what the event is, and why he wanted to attend badly enough to flip the broadcast to the frat house and are watching Jacob doing whatever he’s doing on his computer. Possibly making the site “better,” possibly just hanging out in chat defending Norah from the evils of Peanut Gallery 1.

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He just told the room that he’s working on fixing the archives, and while that makes some very happy, the question I have is — why is there the need to spend so much time fixing things at JTV?!?!

Emmett’s Back, but is Everyone Happy?

Since I’ve been gone Emmett has come back from vacation or his trip or whatever it was and I find he’s still as annoying as he was before his trip, however, having the static cam on the frat boys enables us to hear him much more clearly and that is just plain annoying. His know it all, I’m smarter than you speak makes me want to jump out this window!

This is the vew from 33 floors up and it’s not so attractive, especially on a very hot, humid and hazy Manila day so it’s an even less enticing thought. I think I’ll go get ready to head out now that it’s almost a resonable hour of the morning — 6:43am.

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Jet Lag and JTV Putting Me to Sleep

Well, I am fighting the horrible effects of jet lag this evening after having landed after 27 hours of travel yesterday.  If I were to go to bed now, 7:30pm, I would surely be awake again by midnight and that would be for the day/night.  We are 12 hours ahead of you here in the Philippines.  I learned upon landing that the call for a doctor when we landed in Guam was due o multiple heart attacks.  Philippinos arek own for something called Chismis and I would imagine that the multipe heart attack account is a gross exaggeration, but seeing how many people were boarded in wheel chairs, even one heart attack doesn’t surprise me.

As expected, it’s very hot and humid — never a good hair day in he Philippnes, we figure out how to deal with the mop of curls.

Well, rather than rambling on here and having to backspace and correct the multitude of typos I’m making out of sheer exhaustion, I will end here.

I’ll write more and add phones soo,

Fran