Still Alive

No News Tonight

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The whatchamacalit plant — Leggedy, I am looking to you for the name. The name I have for it is not so nice 😉 This thing keeps blooming and blooming and blooming. I think it’s been at it for about 3 months or more. I must have the perfect exposure for the plants I have on the windowsill.

I couldn’t resist opening WordPress and at least putting a few words up here tonight, although I did say I wouldn’t post tonight. I spent just a little time tuned in today and I came in mostly to see who the big winner of the Melinus contest was.Congrats to go to Danielbk and Angincal for tying for 1st place. Both had sane thoughts that they responded with. We’ll have to see what their prizes are.I put a somewhat lighthearted spin (although I truly wish it were true) with my entry which I will use as my post tonight.

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It’s likely that some JTV fans will find my entry, well, offensive, but I think most are coming around to believing that Americans don’t know it all, don’t always have the right answer and could use a bit of help in bridging the culture gap arena. My entry fits into the “Solving World Peace” category. So, here goes:

 

I’d like to have someone invent the technology to make dogs talk. They are man’s best friend, you know. And it doesn’t matter the dog’s nationality — there is already dog peace (mostly).

 

German Shepards get along with French Poodles, Affenpinschers get along with Australian Cattle Dogs, Belgian Tervurens get along with Bernese Mountain Dogs, Westhighland’s get along with Tibetan Mastiffs …and on the list goes. There are working dogs — they don’t form unions! They just work and don’t complain.

There are Utility Dogs — the ones that people that are sight or hearing impaired use to live full lives, dogs that help with the ill or children that have emotional problems. What about rescue dogs? No one asked them if they want this job, they just do it!

 

How about the heroic War Dogs? The ones that sniff out land mines? Have you heard of them signing releases before doing their work? And then there are show dogs — there are some French Poodles that care more about fashion than their human owners, real socialites that don’t get drink and drive around the streets of Paris endangering anyone’s life.

 

When dogs argue, it’s a few minutes of barking back and forth and then it’s over, no fences to build, no DMZ to create. Just a bit of arguing and it’s over.

 

Which dogs don’t seem to get along with anyone?

 

Uhhhh….well, the American Pit Bull Terrier seems to be an aggressor, seems to have issues with everyone else, goes in for the kill. Seems to me, that if we could just get dogs to speak, we might be able to end some of craziness, the violence and hatred around the world.

 

Hell! Billions of dogs can’t be wrong! As John Steinbeck once said, “I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts.”

 

Technology Woes for JTV Lifecasters

NOTE: If you’d like to listen to an audio version of this post, please click on the arrow below:

We’re Sorry, We’re Experiencing Technical Difficulties, Please Try Later

Although we are never greeted with a message like this when a stream goes down, that would be — C O M M U N I C A T I O N — it appears that part of that statement was true once again this morning and so at least one of the lifecasters traveled the USTREAM path. It’s almost getting to be routine at this point. Linus resorted to USTREAM, although he doesn’t like to because viewer count doesn’t register, however he knew if he wanted to make his viewers happy, he needed to be streaming.

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Emelie looks on while Linus cooks

Linus then took us into his kitchen so we could watch him make dinner and he did a kind of long distance, lower resolution FoodTV episode. He looked at the Chicken with Lemon and Garlic recipe I wrote about a few weeks ago and decided he would do a “Linus Remix” of that recipe. Ok, so remix is one way to put it — he used lemons, chicken and garlic, but that’s where the similarities ended. He made a nice dinner however and seemed to have fun doing so and all the while was Linus — keeping the kitchen meticulously clean and organized.

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Linus, like me, cleans as he goes, so that all that’s left when it’s time to eat are the very last pots/pans and utensils
He announced the much anticipated contest that was viewer inspired and had no option but to resort to USTREAM or to leave the viewers hanging. I’d much prefer to watch the channels on USTREAM, the resolution is superior, lag is not an issue and audio is also better. What is not good is USTREAM chat, but at this point, we can chat via IRC and watch on USTREAM. At what point will Justin, his team and the investors see this as a problem. As someone commented a couple of weeks ago — JTV lifecasters pulling their USTREAM feeds into Justin.tv, is paramount to ABC running CBS programming when their network experiences a failure.

Some things just make you scratch your head.

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And, like any good chef, he tells presentation is as important as taste

Where Did iTed Go?

iTed’s wasn’t up this morning, or most of the afternoon. His stream, that is. Ted was having internet connectivity issues today, and as a result, until the repair could be made, we had no iTed stream. For Ted, that was probably good thing. When he finally did get up and running, he reported that he actually got a lot of work done today. Funny how you suddenly find time when you’re not sucked into the world of JTV, whether you be a viewer or a lifecaster, isn’t it?

Where is iJustine

I guess Justine is on vacation and has no way to connect, other than her iPhone. I am getting twitters from her, so she’s apparently not totally cut off, but I will be very curious to hear how her time away, totally cut off from this world has been. Does she feel more relaxed? Was she happy not to always have been “on” all the time, even when sleeping? Is she going to change anything about her lifecast once she returns?

What’s This All About?

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Enlarge the image

A JTV fan with the moniker — pure_hatred_for_justopia entered Linus and Foxy’s room this afternoon. Wow, what did I do to garner this kind of attention. He/she first came in with pure_hatred_for_justin, and I asked what spurred on that nic and after some other ugly comments he/she disappeared and returned with the hatred for me name. We pretty much let it be and this apparently bitter viewer was gone. Bye Bye

Short Post

For those of you loyal, and much appreciated readers, I am going to keep things very short this evening. I need a little refresh. I took a look and this will be my 93rd post since I began writing in late April. At first I was writing just for myself. I put the blog up on a personal site and just used it as a place to rant, until May 2 when I thought I’d create a WordPress account and put it out there for public viewing. Since then, I’ve made it a point to write and publish everyday unless I had what I deemed was a good enough excuse not to — flying 10,000 miles across the planet and back seemed to be the only thing that stopped me.

I’ve set some pretty big expectations for myself — blog everyday, include interesting images, cook, shoot some video clips, etc., and if I’m going to keep going, I need just a little break. That said, tonight’s post will be short and sweet and I will take tomorrow off. A couple of hours ago I had planned to not tune into JTV at all until tomorrow evening, but I remembered that Linus is going to announce the contest winner tomorrow, so I will be hard pressed to not log in and check it out.

Wouldn’t want to MISS ANYTHING, don’t ya know. 🙂

Germany Puts Justin.tv on the Map, Sarah Meyers in Grayscale and the 2nd JTV Dance-Off — Or Was It?

I’d like to preface today’s post with a little housekeeping —

  1. Some readers may not realize that I have been putting links into the blog — the theme of the blog is not letting me change the color of the links, so it’s possible some people have not realized they are links. They appear in a kind of light brown color and can be difficult to catch since most of us are used to the a typical royal blue link on most websites. If you roll your cursor over a link, you will see that it becomes underlined and “clickable.”
  2. I notice that at times, on various browsers (Camino, Safari, Firefox) the recorded version of the blog is not appearing, or it appears without a photo and just shows a blank space on the page. If you click on the blank space it will usually take you out to the video. I think if you just wait for your browser to pull in all the “stuff” that is out on the blog, you will see the links for the videos. With all the audio and video I’ve got on this blog, it just seems to take a little time.
  3. Clicking on any of the images I post in the blog will cause it to open in a new window, larger, so in the case of the screen shots I post, you can read details much more easily.

Note: If you’d like to listen to an audio version of this post, please click on the link below:

The German Invasion

A couple of weeks ago we saw a woman from German Television in the fratcave. I wasn’t around to see much of what went on, other than to catch people saying that the fratboys didn’t realize how intrusive their set up would be, but nothing about when the show would air. Well, we didn’t need any kind of announcement about the showtime today. Linus was on chatting with us and mentioned that the overall room count was very high — about 800 people. I saw that and immediately pulled up the full room list in IRC and noted that although Wild949 was in the top (most popular) spot, there were just 4 viewers. Once again making me question the validity of stream placements and popularity.

I scrolled through the entire room list and something jumped out at me — The Germans were setting viewer count records! We haven’t seen this since the bump in stats with Justin’s appearance on The Today Show. After watching the interview again from this feed (the interview begins 2:06 into the video on YouTube) I still have NO IDEA why Justin and some of his fans feel he was attacked?! I am not an Ann Curry fan, but I feel she did a decent interview here. Justin was not very talkative, and some of that could have been the time of day (very early on the West Cost and even earlier by Justin Kan’s internal clock), but she seemed to ask pretty low-key question. I don’t want to go off on a rant about this today so I’ll stop here, but you get my point, right?

As you can see by the room count below, the German TV show drew in hundreds of viewers. When I looked in on Justin.tv-de however, it was a flood of generic Justinfan#### names coming in and out at a dizzying pace.

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The cause of the jump in room count? German Television

No surprise there. As quickly as chat was scrolling through, the few words I was familiar with, or thought I was familiar with looked like questions about Justin and other streams. Many wanted to see Sarah or chat with Sarah. Many wanted to see Sarah without clothes. They are probably a bit disappointed that Justin has chosen to keep JTV PG13 for now. I saw someone ask if RideShare is a mensch. In German, the literal translation of this word is: Human — a person of integrity, a man with scruples, etc. I know the word Mentsh in Yiddish to mean, a guy you’d take home to meet mom. Literally it translates to: humane; human (ideally). The same basic translation, but just used differently. So, I happened to comment in the room that I don’t see RideShare as a mensch and was asked — “Is he human or animal? Well, I had to laugh. RideShare’s icon is a goat. The person was apparently asking literally, is RideShare a human? Not is he somone you’d like to take home to momma.

There is ALWAYS, always something to learn on JTV. Whether it be about photography from people like iTed and his viewers, or about hunting down ghosts in the Livescifi channel or having a view into the cultures of different countries like Sweden or the UK. Today, I learned a little a tiny fragment about the difference in the German and Yiddish languages. I am satisfied. I can go to bed comfortable in the fact that although I spent a lot of time on JTV, I did at least learn a little something.

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I’d like to see how Justin.tv-de holds up. Not long after we witnessed the sudden spike, the count began to fade, and almost as quicky, within about 30 minutes, we were seeing the numbers slide from the 500’s to the 400’s, 300’s, 200’s… It did get back up into the 300’s briefly, but it’s in the 90’s now. It’s the early morning hours in Germany now and I am curious to see if people come back in when they wake up on Monday morning.

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In Justin’s room, the viewers were predominantly German speakers.

I took a look in both Justin and the Officecam and nothing was going on. Justin was asleep and Emmett was just getting seated behind his computer. I suggested to Emmett that he might want to get Justin out of bed to see the spike, but whether he didn’t notice the remark or he figured Justin would be able to see for himself later, when he looks at the logs, I don’t know. Yeah right, Justopia! Like Justin sits around reading the logs and I wrote out Emmett’s name in full and have rarely seen him ignore an alert. I know I find it impossible not to toggle over to IRC when I hear the familiar beep I have set up to alert me whenever someone says, Justopia. 🙂 But, c’est la vie.

I’d have thought the boys would be jumping up and down with a viewer spike like this, but I should know by now that I have no idea what really gets these guys excited about their business venture. We’ve seen Justin smiling and more animated in the past couple of weeks and it seems that it is likely to be caused by the 2nd round funding they have apparently obtained, but I’d have thought seeing more viewers would be something that would be worth getting out of bed for. I guess not

Sarah Puts on a Show

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I tuned into see what was happening in Sarah’s room after Mangulo asked me if I had seen what was going on and whether I thought it was pre-recorded or live. At first I was convinced it was a video, but after persevering through her ramblings about Stever Wozinak and reading some excerpts from his book, iWoz. She was droning, and I do mean droning, about how she has met Steve and how he has been a kind of mentor to her. At the point where she was sitting up, she had a kind of Ana Nicole/Marilyn Monroe speech delivery to her. She talked about how her Mother is Jewish and her Father came from Mexico. I am not sure what prompted this bit of family history, but I suspect it was in response to a viewer’s question.

The room count put Sarah in the top spot at this point and she was getting some German viewer-ship as well. Her dad called for her and she left wanting to go to Costco because it had “better EDVO coverage.” The feed dropped however, and so did I.

2nd Weekly JTV Dance-Off

This afternoon Linus and Mooncricket were on the docket for another JTV dance-off. Linus seemed a bit on edge and at one point told us that he was very nervous, but that he also was “not really into it.” He told us when the show was becoming more and more delayed that he wanted to get on with it because if Emelie came back and he was still at it, she would not be happy. I felt badly for Linus, he was ready. He had done the necessary work — chose music, had his wardrobe change ready, was sitting patiently in front of the computer, adjusting the lighting and doing a last minute sound check to make sure all was in order.

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Linus is Ready

On the other side of the US from me, Mooncricket was traipsing through a park in San Francisco heading toward what we all believed would be a really great site for him to dance in and a great backdrop. Would the feed work? Would we be able to see him dance without interruption? I checked into Moon’s room as well as Jiibah’s to see what the tenor was in each and all seemed to be waiting in anticipation.

Mooncricket got to the spot which looked great, but the feed was not working well at all. He was frozen solid most of the time. Linus was ready to start and so were all of us. I was not in the mood to stick around waiting and waiting while one 1/2 of the competitors, the viewers and the vote counters in Jiibah’s room were standing by.

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Mooncricket’s Dance Site

Last week we had to wait while JSpin got organized and that frustrated me, but this week the lack of preparation was about to put me over the edge. They had a week to prepare, Linus was ready last week and this, but his competition was not, once again. He finally got off his seat and started dancing, even though Mooncricket was still hung up and unable to really know what was going on. Linus said he was just going to dance for us even if there was no competition. Jibbah was trying to call a forfeit and the winner as Linus, but the message seemed to be lost on most in all of the rooms.

There were clearly Mooncricket supporters and Linus backers as could be seen from commentary in the rooms. Linus was Linus again however, and said that he was nervous and that Moon is a great dancer and that he respects anyone that can dance and he figured Moon would win.

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Mooncricket Frozen as a Block of Ice

Mooncricket did manage to get a couple of extremely short, choppy dances in and it was obvious that he had some good moves, but it was painful to watch and could not be considered complete, in my book. I was frustrated that he did not prepare in advance. It was a great idea to find a beautiful place to dance, but he should have gone out prior to the contest to ensure that he had a working stream.

Both danced twice, although Linus was still dancing his 2nd dance when Mooncricket began dancing, and he was reporting that there was a delay, but nevertheless, it was a disjointed “contest”.

Jiibah opened the room for voting and once again it was a very small number of votes in comparison to the number of viewers. Also, there is no way to determine if people are voting multiple times by creating different names in JTV chat — since there is NO mechanism to stop people from creating as many names as they wish.

But … the votes came in and Linus won once again. I failed to note the numbers, but I seem to recall it a score of 24 – 16, Linus to Mooncricket. Emelie was watching the stream as the vote came in and once it was announced, the nice couple from Falkenberg had had enough. I don’t blame them. I did as well. I left JTV and haven’t been back since — about five and a half hours. I’ll pop back in once I get this recorded and published, but I have lost some enthusiasm for the day.

Another Great Dinner

I was getting to the end of what I had in the freezer and fridge this week and thought I’d make a good Italian dinner of spaghetti with Italian “Gravy” and olive bread with roasted garlic. I roasted a couple of large beef back ribs, put up a Soffrito and started the sauce. It’s not difficult, really! I don’t have a recipe, I just wing it each time. I like to roast beef ribs to give it more depth. I roasted them for an hour in a pan with nothing — nothing needed. Then deglaze the pan with red wine. Put the ribs in the pan with the soffrito and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the wine and pan drippings and let it boil for about 45 minutes. The only thing left is tomatoes — I used fresh tomatoes that I boiled to remove the skins, but you can crush them. I just don’t like having any of those curled up cooked tomato skins in my sauce. Add the tomatoes, the fresh herbs from the garden and let it cook. I cooked it for about 1.5 hours and it was done. The only thing I did not have fresh was oregano — I totally forgot to grow it this year, but a tablespoon of dried oregano does the trick.

And that’s it. Done.

Reason for JTV Obsession Uncovered

NOTE: If you’d like to listen to his episode, please click the link below:

Self-Analysis

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iTed up close

It dawned on me as I carried my laptop toward the washing machine to get the clothes into the dryer and nearly fell on my face with my lifeline in my arms, that I have a problem.

No, not a problem, not just any problem, but a mega, mongo, monster, king-sized, monumental, gigantic, substantial, grandiose, majestic problem that has left me in a quandary. First I need to figure out how I got myself into this predicament, and next, the harder part, how the hell do I get myself out?

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Do ya think I need to put my glasses on to read chat?

As I’d mentioned the other day, I haven’t gone so far into the swirling JTV abyss to have blown off a very important doctor’s appointment, nor have I let myself go without eating or showering, but I do feel like a somewhat worthless sack of potatoes today, and it was confirmed that I have some kid of strange addiction to this medium and as I stood there, looking down at a washing machine full of darks I realized what compels me to spend so much time “here.”

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It’s not that what goes on in anyone’s stream on a given day is that interesting, really. It’s not that anyone is solving the problems that would result in world peace. It’s not that Justin, iJustine, Sarah, iTed, Melinus, ParrisHarris, NakedCowboy, Ahhyeahforchrist, or any of the others are teaching me or showing me anything that is so pressing or significant that I have a responsibility or a dire need to watch and to stay and chat. No, it’s nothing like that.

My problem is that I have, and ALWAYS have had a fear of missing something! I don’t want to be in the dark about anything. I know I can read the logs, I know there are archives — in THEORY, but I like to experience things as they happen, not in retrospect. I do like having a DVR, but much prefer to catch a show when it airs, not after. I love going to the movies, but when there is something I am really looking forward to seeing, I like to see it on opening night, so that I can be part of the fun when it opens for the masses. I don’t want to hear what people are saying about it before I’ve had the chance to make up my own mind how I feel about the movie.

It’s the same thing with JTV — what are people seeing? What are people saying? Who is doing what? And with whom?! WHAT AM I MISSING?! If I leave the computer, I might miss something!

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iTed is a very talented photographer — these screen shots probably make him cringe, although Zeeter’s (is this one Zeeter?)eyes do look good here.

Ok, so I’ve now identified WHY I have this obsession, now — WHAT do I do to stop?! I think an intervention is called for, but I really don’t disclose this little secret to people I know in real life and I downplay it to those 4 people that do know, so an intervention is not likely to happen. Do I check myself into Betty Ford? And if so, what do I say when I call for the reservation? “What do you mean you’ve never heard of lifecasting!? Surely you know, it’s that guy that’s streaming his life 24/7, blah blah blah, and I’d say it just like that.”

I have always said that it’s a good thing I don’t like alcohol or I would be one step away from cirrhosis of the liver and that I should never accept a job in the Las Vegas area or I would end up in the poor house because I’d be playing the slots all day long. Unfortunately, there was no way to know I would become so wrapped up in the world of JTV. If I could have forseen this, I would never have tuned in. You know, it’s interesting, had I not been watching the local news that night in April, I never would have heard of Justin.tv. I wonder what I would be doing tonight instead of listening to warbly Pink Floyd through iTed’s stream, writing another extensive blog post, and following a few chat rooms. Maybe I’d actually be typing away at the book I am supposed to be writing? Hell!

Maybe by now I’d be negotiating a book deal and planning the tour. LOL 🙂 Not likely, but I do think about it.

iTed, this one’s for you — I told you I made a departure from the more involved dinners I’ve shown on this blog the past couple of months and still managed to get all the food groups into a healthy, possibly less interesting, but delicious meal. You can stop with the pre-packaged, processed stuff like Lean Cuisine and go this route. No recipes necessary.

Apple Scores Points and Searching for the Perfect Office Space

Note: It took hours to get this recorded copy of the post to upload, but I finally found the source of the problem — better late than never! 🙂 To listen, please click on the link below:


Local Mac Store Shows the Love

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Repair complete!

I have been having a problem with my MacBook lately. I have the 13.5″ black resin model and purchased it just after it released during a quick trip back to the US last year. During the past few months I’ve noticed a crack forming on the edge where my right arm rests. I’d read that the black resin models had a problem with chipping and I though once I could see the inside of the machine twinkling up at me that it was time to take it in.

So, I took a trip to the Apple store and sidled up to the Genius Bar for help. I plunked down my $99 each year for a ProCare subscription and it pays — you get to make appointments for the GeinusBar or for your annual TuneUp or for training sessions from the comfort of the website, so I was able to book the night before and avoid the wait.

The Genius looked at my machine and I was told the part would have to be ordered and that it would cost me $224.00. Wow, I thought that since Apple acknowledged the problem that they would take care of it for free, but no, it would be on my dime. He also told me they would need my Mac for 1 – 2 days. Hmmm…. to replace this simple part? He did say that it could possibly be done the same day once the part came in, so I took a deep breath and and told the Genius to go ahead with the order and I avoided strolling through the mall and needlessly spending money and headed home.

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I got a call last night that the part was in and that they would hold onto it for 7 days and once again, that it would take 1 – 2 days. I went to the Genius Bar reservation site, make a reservation for first thing in the morning and wrote a note asking if there was any way they would get it done in the same day — Pretty Please?! Ok, no exclamation points, but the please was there.

I arrived just a few minutes early and the mall was not even open. The store was full of Apple Store employees in bright green tee shirts waiting for the onslaught. This store is always busy — has been this way for the past couple of years. I approached the Genius Bar with trepidation, not wanting to give up my beloved MacBook for 24 – 48 hours. Yes, part of my resistance was the absence from JTV, but more importantly, I can’t be without email now that I am in hot pursuit of a great job and vice versa. I don’t want to let anything fall through the cracks. If someone needs an updated copy of my resume or if I need to look over details of a company before an interview, I need access.

So … Johnny in his green shirt takes the machine and looks up my account and says, “So Eric did mention when he called that it would be 1 – 2 days.” I said, “Yes, can you confirm it won’t take more than 2 days?” Well, he didn’t seem to like that much, and responded with, “Well, that is a fast turn around on a repair here.” I am not sure why he bristled, but my only response was to put on the sad face and to say how I was in the middle of an intensive job search, and how it’s critical that I be without my machine for as little time as possible, that it’s been a very long time and I need a job.

That garnered a, “I hope your last month hasn’t been a bad as mine — I totaled my car.” Ok, so he got me there. I may have become unemployed, had my dishwasher go out on me, have had some other problems, but thankfully, I have not been in an accident!

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Great news! No gap in blogging!

He went on to detail the car story after I asked if he had been hurt? It was nothing like that — he bottomed out the car in the mall parking lot and it was a lot of info about the process of getting things taken care of with the insurance company, finding a new car, etc., etc. I stayed with it. I did not want to go all crazy in the middle of the store, but did want to be sure I would get my machine back as quickly as possible.

Johnny disappeared through the mysterious black door and came back a while later with a smile – well, maybe not a smile, but definitely a twinkle in his eyes. He said, “Don’t go anywhere, we will have it out to you in a few minutes — go grab a coffee and come back and it will be done.” Yippee!! I thanked him profusely and went on my way.

I returned, he had the laptop, and low and behold, he had gone one step more — he researched my account and found that my AppleCare warranty was still in effect so the bill was a whopping — ZERO dollars! Yes! You read that right. Nothing! I totally forgot that I purchased the warranty after I got back to the US, so it does not expire until October! Had Johnny, the Genius not taken the time and looked up the info, I would have been out $224 today. Instead, I walked away with the outside of my MacBook in good order, the inside cleaned up and renewed faith in my fellow and in Apple.

I look back on the event and figure that Johnny was just probably having a rough morning. It was his first day back at work after going out of town for a wedding, coming back, having to go up to Pittsburgh car (I wonder if he saw iJustine) and driving back down here to that he could make it to work. So I understand. We all have our moments.

Thanks Johnny the caring Genius and the Tyson’s Corner, Virginia Apple Store.

It May Almost Be Time for a New Red Stapler

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The expansive first office space

When I tuned into Justin this afternoon, he was in a car with his brother and there was a third, unfamiliar voice. It was a friend of Justin’s or maybe it was Daniel’s, I’m not really sure, but he seemed to tag along on the office hunt while Daniel appeared to stay put with the car.

On the way to the building, Justin was talking about how late they were and he said he felt guilty. The friend said, “It’s a real estate agent, it doesn’t matter. Is the customer ever wrong?” Wow Justin, nice acquaintance you have there.

They met up with the realtors and headed into the building, a beautiful older property with incredibly large paneled windows, ceilings that appeared to soar two stories high and a blank canvas of white walls and dark wood floors. It was loft-like in feel, well from 3000 miles and a computer monitor away, that is. It had different rooms, different levels and a rooftop space that Justin seemed to be salivating over for the party factor. There was no mistaking it from his voice, this place made him happy, I think if he’d has everyone’s approval and if the check had made it to the bank today, he would have quickly signed on the dotted line.

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Second property

But, they had to head out to the next space, however…not before calling the fratcave to urge the guys to get in the car and come right over. He tried to stall until they got there, but after calling and making a comment about their horrible sense of direction, well, put in much more colorful words — you can find it in the archives — the realtors implored him to move on to the next facility since they were already running so late.

He called the guys and let them know they needed to now meet them at he 2nd building. This one was a more contemporary, meaning current building with a large floor plate, normal office type infrastructure and much less character. Both were located in areas of town that he seemed to like, but the first was clearly his favorite. He did not have nearly the sense of excitement about this place, it was obvious.

The rest of the fratteam arrived, Norah and her hat in tow and they took a look. No one was jumping up and down, but while on the roof with the building’s property manager, Justin was talking about how he really wanted the guys to see the other space.

At one point, Justin received a call from Shooby. Justin apologized to him and said they would be back soon and told him to get a cup of coffee while they were all out office shopping. Hopefully Shooby’s pockets are lined with more change than Justin ever seems to have.

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This is great, “our CEO likes to cook”

Justin, his brother and friend went to lunch and Kyle, Emmett, Jacob and Norah went elsewhere. To let Shooby in perhaps?

They all met up at the appointed time and toured the first space. Everyone seemed to like it much better, however there were some well placed questions about lighting, noise, paint, etc. Clearly some of the fratboys think with their heads rather than their hearts and as they made their way to Safeway, Justin made a call to Michael. He left voicemail telling him they found a great space and that he wants to get him to see it as soon as he returns to San Francisco.

One of them asked how they can find out if the building is in good shape and Norah responded that they should just hire a general contractor — that a GC would be able to tell them what they need to know. I don’t know, I’m not sure how it works in California, but I am not sure how the landlord will feel about doing a kind of home inspection on a rental. It seems to be a good idea, but I’ve never seen it done. And, while Justin is feeling flush this week, is he starting to add any of the costs in his head?

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This 2600 sq. ft. space is renting for $4500. Then there are utilities, costs for furniture, fitting out the space — there are no offices, no closed in spaces. The floors were recently refinished, but it is quite noisey in there, is he thinking about what might need to be put on the floors to help temper the sound? Either the realtor or the landlord suggested curtians, but if you look at the size of those windows, they may spend a lot of dough on curtains and hardware.

And let’s not forget the big point — NO AIR CONDITIONING! I know San Francisco has a temperate climate, but … if he is looking to hire many people and fill the space with bodies, hardware and lighting, has he thought about just how warm some of the summer days might become? Can he get window units in? He may end up needing bigger one or 2 ton splits spaces throughout to keep things comfortable on the warmest days and the ceilings don’t seem to offer any opportunity to put the splits there.

I remember seeing a bathroom with a working tub/shower, but I only remember seeing one toilet. I may well have missed other bathrooms, but if he’s going to hire a group of people, has he thought about the need for a real bathroom group? More than one toilet at a time? Is he going to hire women as well as men? If so, there’s probably nothing that says he has to provide separate bathrooms, but has he thought about how he will keep them clean? Not only woman appreciate a clean bathroom, of course, but apparently the fratboys are not so hung up on it, so in line what I’ve written about before — creating a good work environment, he’s going to want to figure out how to keep things clean enough so that a female employee doesn’t feel the need to have to run to the nearest restaurant to use their facilities during her work hours.

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Back of the building

Someone asked if there was any problem with bugs in the building and the landlord seemed to be taken aback for a moment and responded with, “No insects now, but if you don’t keep it clean …” And a chuckle. I don’t think she knows just what she may have in store for her property. He mentioned some former or current (in other parts of the building) tenants — Ironweed Films, Actnow, A modeling Agency, Robert De Niro’s company and things that some of them have done with the space in the past. She seemed quite open to changes.

During the first pass in this building the realtor managed to mention that Justin had received funding this week and that the check was coming, so money would not be an issue. Hmmm…that might make negotiating the lease a little tougher than they’d hoped.

In any event, I’ve got to say the space was, if not the most appropriate for a JTV office setup, a really great piece of property with character and a life of it’s own and all involved with JTV seemed to feel that it was a fit in terms of their “style.”

I just hope they get furnishings and accessories that go with yellow shorts.

The group left, the feed went dark, many of the streams faded to black and at some point Emmett popped into the room and noted that Kyle was “on it.” Wow. I was too busy to go channel surfing to see if he was letting all rooms know that they were back in the office and aware of the problem and working on a resolution, or if it was just in Justin’s room? I don’t care at this point — it was the first step at communicating something to viewers. It may take baby steps, but you can’t run until you learn how to walk.

The art of communication is the language of leadership.” — James Humes, Ryals Professor of Language and Leadership, speech writer for five US presidents and author of 28 books.

JTV Brown Out and a USTREAM Solution — Again and the Office Space Hunt Continues

Summer at JTV

Streams Down — Again
Just like in a big city when the temperatures soar and the infrastructure that supplies power to the people is compromised, so too it appears, does the integrity of the infrastructure that supplies the ability for the lifecasters to stream.

Now, I don’t want Emmett to get bent out of shape by the above comment. It’s all very possible that this morning’s outage of many streams, which caused some to seek out ways to bring their lifecasts to JTV viewers via other means, was planned or known, but there was no messaging to the viewers or lifecasters. Emmett — he’s a sensitive guy. He’ll raise the decibel level and rate of speech to be heard, to get his point across, but when someone says something he doesn’t like — Wham! So I am always ready for the arrows to be headed my way when I make comment such as this.


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Linus shows us his creativity streaming his video in JTV and ustream at the same time

When I tuned in this morning I couldn’t find a working stream. There was a message in Nekomimi_Lisa’s room pointing everyone to her ustream feed. I went over there and quickly found out she was streaming there because it wasn’t working in JTV. I tuned in to see what Linus and Emelie were up to and low and behold he had not only ustream working, but when JTV came back up he was streaming there as well! Clever guy. You had to turn off the sound in one of the streams so that you didn’t get bombarded by sound from both streams, but otherwise it was great. The ustream feed was, once again, superior to the JTV stream. I noticed the chat on Lisa’s ustream page was not great. It took some cajoling to get the things I wanted to say to populate properly, and she wasn’t chatting in IRC, or the JTV chat, so I made do for a while.

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Lisa had some challenges getting her stream into JTV, but with perseverance, she was able to get it done shortly after this shot was captured

I suggested she talk with Linus about embedding her ustream feed into her JTV channel and once she did that, we could all communicate in IRC or site chat on JTV.Last night Justin told us they are making a really great new website, something we are going to all love. That’s great! Great news! I like new, I like slick, sleek new UI’s. I like to see new things — progress. But just letting us know this during a drive-by in the #Melinus room last night is not how I’d recommend doing this.

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Japanese Gardens — Portland, Oregon — June, 2007

I don’t want to belabor the point, to continue to beat a dead horse, but if they are looking to staff the organization they need people that can manage communications, someone that can manage the operation, people that can manage program, project managers, product managers, people that can manage people. How about someone with a financial background to manage the books? Do they even have a budget? When they find a new office, will they have someone that can help manage the facility — keeping it secure, keeping it clean? It’s one thing for the fratboys to come to work everyday an not mind working around the mess, but if they are going to hire people, experienced people that have expectations, they need to think about creating an appropriate work environment, a place that is set up to be a productive space in terms of not only ergonomics, but lighting, flow, etc. If they grow to 50 people, they are going to want to have someone with Human Resources knowledge.

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Ganesha, a Gift From the Team — Bangalore, India 2003

Months ago I wrote about how they were making mistakes in their hiring process — broadcasting the results of interviews or of applications in the stream. That could spell potential disaster. It’s common sense, but not necessarily something someone just a couple of years out of school, without experience in the working (or corporate) world would have any background on. Recruiting is not an easy task, and managing resources is even more difficult. Human Resources talent will be a necessity if he is planning to bring up to 50 people and more on board. For those of you reading that have ever had a job in a corporate or even a small business environment with more than a handful of coworkers, think about how it would be/would have been, had there not been someone there to worry about the care and feeding of the employees? Perhaps you’ve experienced the negative side of that world? If so, you know all the more how bad this thing could be as they grow if they do not plan for HR support.

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Justin was on the phone this afternoon speaking with someone about helping to them identify office space. He seemed pretty vague on his needs —

We’d ultimately like to have something in 2 weeks

Maybe 6 months – 2 years, hard to say

The money should be in the bank by Monday at the latest

Maybe 50 people

Kitchen

One parking spot (One? He needs to think about his future employees — I know that people I’ve worked with consider that a big deal)

I’m willing to pay whatever it takes to get a place that’s comfortable for people to want to come and stay and work — a lot! (Yes sir, Mr. Kahn, and I’d like to take as much of your money as possible! Now remind me, when did you say you’d be receiving your funding?)

I would like to have seen the look on the face of the person on the other end of the conversation. Justin was really looking for a ballpark figure on what he can expect in terms of cost, but I would imagine without knowing some real details of what he is looking for, it’s tough to just puke up a number. Knowing what the range of prices are is a good thing, but rather than only asking the realtor, how about doing some research? Go to a commercial property management site or a regular real estate site and see what offices are going for. Giving an open ended — “sky’s the limit” response to the “what is your price range” question is one way to respond, but having a budget in mind is the better, more responsible way.

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Fresh raspberries for dinner

It looks like they are looking for things that are similar to where they are currently living, but 50 people is a lot of heads, it would be a good idea to be open to a variety of possibilities in terms of the type of space.

Kyle came in and they had a brief chat about the space he had looked at while Justin was away and he made an interesting comment about the empty facility he previewed. It went something like this:

Funny story about that place we looked at. A VC gave them 2mn and they blew through it in 6 months and the guy kicked them out. Said they probably should have checked their credentials first — they had no accounts payable. Good story for us.

So … conjecture would tell me that they have been funded with $2mn Of course it could be more, it could be less. It’s a total guess, but in any event, the way Justin was speaking with the person on the phone, he had no budget in mind. Big mistake Even if the realtor was not going to take them for a ride, you don’t run a successful business without sitting down and creating a budget and LIVING by it.

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Some may continue to bash these guys for what they have been doing, what they are planning, or rather, would like to be doing for the future, but I’m interested in all of this. It’s what kept me tuning into Justin and the Officecam streams for so long before I spread my wings and latched onto a couple of new streams as they launched. It’s stuff like this and the trip to New York that really keep me interested though.

I’ve been saying this since day 3 — if they could just step it up, get some help and do things with some experience, organization and professionalism behind them, this could really end in the Happy Ending, or Good News category of the Nightly News.

Tonight’s Dinner

Chicken Tikka

Parsley Fried Onion Rings
— Thank you Callie! You mentioned onion rings and gave me a good idea for dinner 🙂

Steamed Green Beans

An Ode to Yalie and Justin Goes “Naked” on Times Square

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An Orchid I have not killed

An Ode to Yalie

Oh Yalie, our vacationing friend,

When will your vacation end?

Things are not the same without you,

The Mods and iJustine think so too.

Justin and Michael traveled to Manhattan,

But while there Justin did not put on satin.

A trooper was Justin as he stripped to his skivvies

Threw on a guitar, a hat and met the Naked Cowboy Hippie.

In New York with VC’s and suits and others around,

Rumors and gossip and speculation abound.

We’re hoping Justin doesn’t “jump the shark,”

As he “works” harder and harder to make his mark.

In the meantime we wait for Yalie’s return

To see whose heads he can turn.

Come back Yalie! Come back quick!

We need some laughs, lickity split!

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Justin Takes a Trip to Times Square

After waiting patiently, Justin made his way to Times Square to meet up with the Naked Cowboy and join him in the fun. And what fun it was. I think Justin was a good sport. Some viewers wanted him to meet Naked and go naked with him and he did. It had to be uncomfortable, but he sucked it up and walked out to TIMES SQUARE in his underwear! He stripped down to his skivvies and put on a hat and guitar and went out to the spot where Naked Cowboy spends his day.

Naked gave Justin a brief guitar lesson and they headed to greet the masses. They were approached and they approached the female tourists and Justin had his photo taken with Naked and women and without naked and women.

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Jeffy and Naked Bare Almost All

A wave, like a tsunami took over the #Justin room, but almost as quickly as it came in, the tide went out as the viewer count dropped from 140 to 62 viewers. Seeing Justin in Naked Cowboy emblazoned underoos (as Leggeddy so perceptively called them) could only draw people away from the other hot channels for a few minutes. Sarah was on her way uptown to join the fun, but alas, I had to take care of something in real life. I am thrilled to know that JTV has not consumed me 100% and I could actually leave to make my appointment on time. I hear it was a wild time, but I can not find it in the archives, so that is a JTV moment in time I will have missed.

Justin’s Fashion Sense

When I got back to JTV, I saw Justin in a restaurant with Michael and some others (at least one other Yale friend I think) and I made a comment about how Justin doesn’t care about others around him because he was dining in a wife-beater — I don’t know what those armless, shirts are called — I call them UNDERWEAR — but I have been told the popular term is wife-beater. No matter the term, I do not like being in a restaurant with a guy wearing those ugly things.

I don’t much care for a woman in a similar type of top eating near me either. I didn’t allow them on the women at work, and I don’t like it much of anywhere but at the beach. I can’t stand it when someone with no sleeves hugs me. ICK! And on a hot summer day, that compounds the ICK of it all. Call me crazy, but other people’s sweat makes me cringe. Emmett didn’t much care for my comment and we had a short discussion about it, but I stand my ground. Even if Michael and Justin’s friends didn’t mind, they were not the only ones in the establishment. In many restaurants you will see signs restricting sleeveless shirts, so I can’t be the only one offended. There were others in the room that spoke up as well, but I must not be feeling very well, because I was just not up to a debate this afternoon.

iJustine Tops Justin’s Mess

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The iJustine hovel

I decided to see what iJustine was up to and when I got there, the camera’s vantage point was different. It appeared to be positioned on her desk or the wire rack above the desk and pointing to the rest of the room. My jaw dropped. It looked as bad as Justin’s room in the old apartment! A total mess! She quickly acknowledged that she is a slob and talked about how she recently found part of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on her desk. ICK! Between the hairy armpits at dinner and dried up food in a bedroom I am running to the nearest decontamination facility.

Quick! I feel like I need a delousing!