What’s Cookin’?

Viewer Participation

I think most of us agree that what makes JTV stand apart from broadcast television is the ability to interact with the broadcaster and the other viewers while a channel is live. And I have seen this evolve. We have seen viewers create artwork for lifecasters and some have created fan sites. Some create signs for their favorite channel(s) and others have created blogs and Facebook sites. Anthony Quintano of Quintano_media has begun creating great banner and background art for some channels and I have just received my first set of photos from a viewer that recreated a few of the dishes I made last week. She was so inspired by the outcome of the Yorkshire Pudding I put together the other day that she whipped it up the following evening. I give Tm1nor an A+ for her enthusiasm and effort and for the her success in putting together beautiful looking popovers and prime rib and risotto. Great job T!

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Wow T1minor — a double batch! Looks DEElicious!

Now, for all of you that have tried your hand at one of the recipes we’ve put together on the show, it’s time to pull out the camera and start documenting your great work and sharing it with us!

The Trick

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Tortilla Soup

I finally figured out how to get my channel up and running on the first try. I clear my cache, then click on the debug link and launch the broadcast and voila! I am live and with sound! Tonight the broadcast was fairly stable as well. It didn’t crash and from what I see in the archives, it was just a bit choppy. I think I saw it buffer a few times, but all in all, compared to last night, it made for a much smoother cooking session and after looking over the archives to highlight the soup making, I could clearly see a happier, more calm Justopia broadcasting tonight no matter what may have been going on around me. 🙂

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Don’t forget to check the schedule to see what time I will be broadcasting and for what is on the menu. I am also including links (in TinyURL format) for the recipes. These links will usually take you to Epicurious.com or FoodTV.com when the recipes are published, but for my own recipes I will have to sit down and type them up, like the Tortilla soup recipe below:

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This recipe is for 2 servings

  • 6 Cups chicken broth – you can use home made or canned. If using canned, use low sodium and/or organic
  • 2Cups canned diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder( or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 avocado coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red or green hot sauce or 1 diced jalapeno pepper
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons diced onion
  • 6 corn tortillas cut into strips — fry 3 of them for topping the soup, the strips of the other 3 go into the soup raw
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 chicken breasts cooked and cut into bite sized pieces

Put the broth into a sauce pan and heat through. Once heated, add the tomatoes and juice. Add seasonings and pepper and bring to a boil. Add chicken. Once boiling, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, stir the cilantro into the sour cream and set aside.

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To Plate it up:

Place 1/2 of the cheese in both bowls, then add diced onions. Ladle the soup into each bowl and layer with avocado, fried tortilla strips and a dollup of cilantro sour cream.

Hiding Behind 1’s and 0’s and ECV Anticipation

Cowards

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Fresh sliced leeks

I’ve got to ask. What does it say about a person that goes into a chat room, any chat room on any service, and makes rude, cruel, unflattering, vulgar, uncalled for comments about a person that is in that chat room? We’ve seen this happen and not just with the advent of JTV, but all over the online world since chat was first introduced to the masses years ago.

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Tonight we made Skirt Steak with Pomegranate Reduction and Potatoes with Leeks and Gruyere. DEEElicious!

Now, add Lifecasting into the mix and throw in some immature, uneducated, poorly raised, got messed up with the wrong kids in school JTV viewer and you have a recipe for some ugly with an unsuspecting broadcaster on the receiving end of a rock in a slingshot.

And what about the coward that makes comments about a person when they are not even in the same chat room? If the first sling thrower is just a weak wuss of a coward, what does that make one that doesn’t even have the chutzpah to do it where the target can read what is being said?

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The poltroon that that makes the most vile of comments about someone behind their back is the lowest of the low. Clearly they lack the cajones, the chutzpah, the sisu to say what they want to the person, or with the person in the near vicinity of where they spew their venom. I suspect that in person, they are so weak that they have a timorous whisper of a voice that can barely be heard above the crowd in a room. But in a chat room, they have a puffed up chest and an emboldened sense of being and the false perception of strength and bravery that can only be exhibited behind 1’s and 0’s.

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How fitting then that we are just a day away from what is most likely a favorite holiday of the miscreants that troll JTV channels looking for unsuspecting victims. One in which they can hide behind a mask and costume.

ECV

I’m waiting with anticipation for the return of EastCoastVegas. He has been teasing us a bit with updates to his JTV page, a link to a new eastcoastvegas.com site, videos, info about what’s to come on ECV and more I did not get a chance to pop into this channel when he was on this evening. I was wrist deep in potatoes, leeks, cheese, and most of all, pomegranates. If I didn’t pay close attention, I could have chopped off a finger with my incredibly sharp new Henckels knife that I was given at a training session last night and I may have ended up with red coloring from the pomegranate. Luckily I multitasked with great panache and didn’t seem to miss a beat.



A “Mad Men” Marathon and Recess is Over

Vacation?

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Gotta love Nicole44. She made a sign last week which I posted, but it was pretty small so she recreated it in a larger size and I captured it this morning. She’s always so perky and happy. 🙂 Thanks Nicole44!

Was it a vacation or just a short-lived stint in rehab? I didn’t spend more than 20 minutes watching anything on JTV and spent ZERO minutes writing. I worked both days and while it’s good to be out of the house working with people again, it’s backbreaking work (at least at this point) and I have so much to learn so it’s a bit stressful. But it was good not to have to worry about spending time navigating the JTV waters to find interesting material to write about and to be able to get to bed before the sun comes up.

Mad Men

For a change, I did finally hunker down to watch some previously recorded Broadcast Television on my DVR this morning after my company departed and watched a couple of episodes of Mad Men which I have been recording, but have not taken the time to watch. I am happy that I have the season on the DVR because it sucked me in right from the beginning. If you haven’t heard about the show, I recommend you head out to the link behind the title above and do some reading. Seriously, this is a not to be missed series.

Still Cooking

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The women in my family — my Mom, my Sister and I all have the culinary gene. My sister and mom are both wonderful in the kitchen and we love cooking together. My sister and niece came to visit for the weekend and since I was worn out from working Friday and Saturday, they went to the store and picked up food for dinner both days and we shared in the preparation. What put a real smile on my face was seeing my sis pull out her camera to start snapping dinner in progress. The two of us were snapping away. I put my shots into a slideshow which you can view by clicking on the image below:

The menu consisted of my sister’s own recipe for Browned Chicken which we served with egg noodles and steamed green beans. Then I whipped up a classic fall dish of Baked Apples. The recipe for the apples is below and I will get her recipe for the chicken and post as soon as I hear back from her. It’s all simple food, but DEElicious! I just might recreate this menu sometime this week.

Baked Apples

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  • Tart Apple
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped pecans or walnuts (or both)
  • Apple cider or juice to pour over top and leave 1/2 inch in the pan
  • Dash of cinnamon or apple pie spice

Core the apple being sure not to poke a hole in the bottom so that the apple juices do not leak out. put most of the chopped nuts in hollowed out core then add the butter and top with the brown sugar. Sprinkles the cinnamon or apple pie spice on top and pour on the apple cider/juice.

Bake in a 350° oven for 1 hour or until the apple begins to lose it’s shape and the juice and sugar begins to caramelize on the bottom of the pan. For a real treat, serve with a splash of heavy cream on top.

Short and Sweet

Rather than rambling on about nothing, tonight’s post will be a short one, but I wanted to check in and let you know that I will be back to my normal, or perhaps it’s not so normal verbose blogging tomorrow. I did notice the few times I looked in on the network that the viewer count remains startlingly low and wonder if it were not for iJustine, if Justin and the guys would continue to pursue this venture. She is the big draw. Dealer was out on the water again today and I went along for the ride for just a short while before heading out to work, but it was nice to be “out on the open sea” with the sun shining down on a beautiful day in southern California.

ECV left a comment on FaceBook saying he will be back as scheduled on November 1st and I think many are anxiously awaiting his return. I know I am.

JTV Viewer Halloween Parties

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I did not get to poke my head in and check out any of the Halloween parties that were seen on JTV last night, but did manage to sneak away to check in on the one Spookygrl hosted out at Stickam. Spooks and Dizil were dressed up for the ocassion and looked Maaahvelous!  There was some Goth trivia going on, some Halloween-ish jokes and Spookygrl shared some bloodballs and other Halloween-inspired candy or drinks with us. I was not able to stay for long, but it looked like the few people that made it to the soiree were having fun.



Vacation Time!

Company’s Coming

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Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce, Olive Bread with Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil and Salad with Home Made Vinaigrette

Ok, so it’s not really going to be a vacation. I have company coming for the weekend and am working Friday, Saturday and Sunday so I won’t be broadcasting. I will probably pop in and out of the channels late at night, but I won’t be cooking on camera Friday or Saturday. I plan to cook on Sunday after work. Nothing extravagant, but I’ll figure out what I feel like and will post it in the schedule for you to see.

I think most people forget to scroll down to see the schedule, but you should try to remember since the times for my broadcast vary.

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So this will be a like a mini vacation for me. I don’t plan to blog either. Imagine that? It doesn’t happen often, but this will be a broadcast and blog free couple of days for Justopia/Justopia_live.

Channel Hopping

I looked for something to watch this morning and came across Arnaud midstream in a photo shoot. It looked really great. A couch in front of expansive floor to ceiling windows with a model standing effortlessly as he image was captured by Arnaud. It looked almost like a scene from a movie. All that was missing was music.

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But this was all I could find worth watching. I didn’t stay long. I decided that cleaning the house was more important than finding a channel I wanted to focus my attention on and that was how it was most of the day. I went out for little more than an hour and came back to more of the same so I gave up for a while and came back on to find an artist making cartoons. It was interesting to watch for a few moments, but I’d love to see the finished product of what I was watching, but laundry was calling.

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And that’s how the day went. Nothing special, nothing awful. It just was.

Lasagne

I made the lasagne tonight with a bechamel (white) sauce rather than using ricotta cheese. Bechamel is a smooth, thick sauce and many people use it in their lasagne.1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmegIn a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.

  1. 5 tablespoons butter
  2. 4 tablespoons flour
  3. 3 cups milk
  4. 2 teaspoons salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat butter until melted. Add flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until light golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes.Meanwhile, heat milk in separate pan until just about to boil. Add milk to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes and remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg and set aside.

I layer the lasagne as follows:

One thin layer of marinara or meat sauce, a layer of lasagne noodles, bechamel sauce and finally mozzarella. I would go no further than 4 layers or it will take far too long to bake. Everything here is cooked, so you are basically just heating up the lasagne. I grate fresh parmesan cheese on top before putting it on the table.

I’ve got to say it — it was DEEElicious! Try it yourself and impress your friends and family.

Giving Birth to Tomorrow’s “Citizen Journalists” on JTV

Safety First

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Chicken Tikka with Salad of Lettuce, Hearts of Palm, Cilantro, Cucumber and Tomatoes

I was a Girl Scout during a time when the uniforms were, well, there is no other adjective I can find to describe it .. Dorky.  Being a girl scout past elementary school was so far past being cool that it was just plain embarrassing.  Vietnam was raging and I think the uniform, uniforms of any kind were just so unwelcome, so de classe, so “establishment,” that you just didn’t want to be associated with it.  None of my friends were Girl Scouts.  No one I hung out with went to school on Girl Scout meeting day with a poly/cotton blend green shirt with epaulettes and skirt and a sash with all kinds of merit badges sewn onto it.  Oh, and let’s not forget the green beret with the Girl Scout fleur de lis logo on the front.  No, belonging to this club was very un cool in 9th grade when I finally gave it up.  I didn’t want to.  I still had a few more badges to earn.  I still liked the things we did in scouting.  We had just taken a first aid course and at 14 I was certified to perform CPR.  Luckily, it was never needed, but before 9th grade was just a memory, I was no longer a Girl Scout.

At the same time as I was promising  on my honor to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people at all times and to obey the Girl Scout rules, I was also weeks each summer away at camp.  Having had these opportunities, I learned a lot; from how to sew and how to put together Girl Scout Stew on a camping trip, to sailing and water-skiing and when to tourniquet a bad cut and how to SCUBA dive and use a camera, and … well, the list could go on for miles.  But one thing I took away from all of my GS and summer experiences was safety.  I know to stop, drop and roll if I get caught in a fire.  I know to stay out of the way of law enforcement and first responders during an emergency and I know that if there is imminent danger and there is someone of authority able to direct you to safety, that it’s wise to follow their instruction.

New Generation of Information

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Chicken Tikka with Lentil Soup

So when I watched Dealer perched on top of a bluff on a neighborhood street that looked deserted, as if it had been evcuated, looking in the distance at a plume of black smoke, ducking to keep out of sight of the police patrolling the streets, my mind skipped back a few decades and wondered if chasing the fires in southern California was not only unsafe for JTV broadcasters, but if there was any reason to think that having police or fire and rescue personnel out on the streets worrying about local citizens being in areas that were evacuated was worth the satisfaction the 100 or 200 people viewing the “coverage” on JTV were receiving from watching through streaming video?

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I know there were some watching feeds from JTV broadcasters covering the fires via local news and newspaper outlets in areas they were concerned about.   There were viewers that were thrilled with the opportunity to be able to follow things in their home town, or neighborhood which was something they weren’t necessarily getting from broadcast television.

What’s Next?

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How sweet!  Nicole44 made a sign for me — Although small in this thumbnail, it says — Justopia Rocks the Kitchen  🙂

I am wondering if as we watch Lifecasting evolve across various platforms if this is how we can expect to stay connected with the world around us in the future?  I know it’s rather primitive today, but I can see a time in the when breaking news is in progress and we are thousands of miles away from it, but able to get the true flavor of what is going on from more than a brief sound bite offered up by a television channel or network that has to manage their broadcasts according to the wants, interests and needs of the advertisers they are so reliant on as a revenue stream.

What I question is the validity of the coverage by people that are not skilled or experienced in journalism.  There is a code of ethics that professional journalists follow and we know from events in recent history what can happen if the line is crossed.  If we have people out on the streets chasing news that do not abide by these codes of ethics, how will we know when we can trust or rely on what is being told to us?  It is similar to relying on a Wikipedia article for facts.  You have to take all of it with a grain of salt.

Presidential Debate

Politics is Taboo

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Osso Busso and Risotto recipes under these links

Politics and JTV don’t seem to be such a great match. I was looking for a stream with working audio this morning and decided to look into Dealer’s room. I have not been in there since he put up the Adult Content gate, but was curious to see which channels were audio-capable. Alan was asleep, but the chatters were “vocal.” The discussion I walked in on was political in nature. Both major parties were “represented” with supporters for each weighing in. The Dem’s seemed to outweigh the Repub’s, but I didn’t run a poll.

From what I saw, some of the regulars did not want to have to be subjected to reading chat that included political discussion of any sort and at one point, one of the chatters suggested the group take the discussion to one of the channels with a girl on cam asking for donations to see how it would be received. And off the group went. The channel they opted for was missing their lifecaster for a minute when the discussion began. It appears she was getting ready to head out for the day, but when she came over to the computer she did not seem pleased with the conversation going on in chat. It was nothing more than a, “Who would you vote for? Would you vote for Hillary? I miss Bill, darn it,” kind of chatter, but it was clear she was unhappy. I’m not sure — what was she hoping for in the room? Talk about her? How pretty she is? Chat about how much people were going to donate? Maybe a request or two to put a shoe on her head? Or perhaps she just wanted to be asked to remove some clothing rather than adding a shoe to her wardrobe?

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What resulted was unhappiness with the “grown up” discussion and a call for help to which a mod quickly responded and quickly banned most everyone that mentioned anything about politics. There wasn’t a vulgar word in the room. Nothing angry. There wasn’t a spammer or upper case offender in sight. It was merely an ultra ban because the lifecaster didn’t want people talking politics in her room and the mod obliged her every wish.

Ok it’s her room. She’s the channel owner. If she doesn’t want topical discussion who are we to object, but the reason I bring this up is for a bigger, broader reason. A reason that has nothing to do with JTV other than much of the demographic of the viewers seems to be about half my age and from what I see, not all too interested in the future — yet. This is the generation of our future leaders. And yes. I was interested and active in my future at that age. Hell, I was interested and active when I was in college. I didn’t need to enter my 30’s to realize I had a responsibility to at the very least, be informed about what was going on around me.

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Ok, maybe I should not make a rash generalization about this lifecaster. Maybe she spends hours reading newspapers and watching pertinent news programs on broadcast televions and is well read and informed and lifecasting is her way to forget the troubles of the world for a little while everyday. What do you think? Want to weigh in? Leave a comment and we’ll compare notes.

Unintended Consequences, Network Challenges, JTV Blogs and What in the World IS Yorkshire Pudding Anyway?

Community

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The End Cut of Roasted Prime Rib of Beef, White, Purple and Red Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Cauliflower and Tomato Salad

The one clear thing that has risen to the top at JTV is community. Each channel seems to have it’s followers. What serendipity! To have a community of loyal viewers that come back day after day after day to tune in and surf the channels at Justin.tv in search of friends. I recall a Spring afternoon when Justin and the team were having one of their daily team meetings. That was back in the days when they sometimes invited us into the Crystal Towers apartment living room with the couches and chairs lined up along the walls, the post it notes stuck up on the wall and the BAWL’s energy drink in cases on the balcony. The Fratboys (as they were affectionately known back then) 😉 would keep audio and video running until inevitably, at some point they would decide the topic was meant for their eyes and ears only.

One day however, the topic of chat came up. I think I am pretty correct in remembering Emmett having choice words (not positive) for viewers/chatters and the disdain in his voice was clear. Chat was not what made him smile. And then Justin or Michael said something about how the creation of community on Justin.tv was not something they had expected or planned for, that it was a surprise.

An unintended consequence that seems to be keeping steam in the engine at JTV is community. However, the dynamics have changed. In the “early days” a small group of loyal JTV viewers would watch Justin move through his day to day life. We would sit behind our screens interacting in the only chat room that was available (Lobby1) and comment on the apartment or horrible sound as wind hit the mic in the hatcam as Justin and crew headed out onto the streets of San Francisco. Safely tucked behind our screens and keyboards, we would interact with one another, commenting on the state of the business, or the apartment and anytime we went to the bathroom with Justin we would wait in eager anticipation to see if he would wash his hands, and we counted the number of times “awesome” was used in a conversation. I don’t remember how many Web2.0 conferences or conventions we tagged along on and lunches we took part in, but we all seemed to have something to say about it.

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Each one of us was a dot.com CEO or a CDC staffer or an interior designer. We all had our opinions about how things should be done or what was being done incorrectly. Rarely was there a, “Hallelujah! You guys are doing a great/fantastic/fabulous/incredible/awesome job!” And yes, I was probably the “Queen of Critical.” But like so many other aspects of JTV that have evolved overtime, so too have some of us. Not accompanying Justin and the guys on their daily outings or at communal dinners or in one way voice to chat conversations has led to a much different dynamic in chat and in the blogs.

While Chat was not always PG, it was not often hateful or over the top vulgar and Justin or any of the channels as the network opened to more and more beta testers was never anything that was cause for a channel to be shut down. But with the advent of the ability for anyone out there in the world to broadcast, a whole new type of chatter has entered the scene. It’s far from what we were used to prior to the public launch. It’s not a community I’d like to live in.

What’s Wrong with the Network?

I keep checking back to the JTV Company Blog in hopes of seeing some kind of communication to give us an idea about what’s happening with the recent (past 3 days) difficulties broadcasting or viewing channels and chat, but there is no news. Usually no news is good news, but in this case, silence is not golden — it’s frustrating. I was able to get up and running with only minor difficulties tonight and I think the problems I have with sound are most likely on my end, so I just took a deep breath and with 3 restarts was up and running.

I did notice this afternoon however, that there was a very odd Live Video Viewer number. — ZERO.

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Click on the image for an enlargement so that you can read the Viewer Count numbers without squinting

I was surfing around trying to see what was going on and headed into Emma’s room. I wasn’t participating, but did notice that the Live Viewer Count for her room was reporting 8 and up at the top, the total Live Video Viewer count was a goose-egg. I’m still not sure how the numbers are reported, but with the technical difficulties we were seeing today I thought perhaps the 0 number was not that far off — until I looked in on other rooms and saw people chatting and a stream here and there up on the Channel Bar was broadcasting and had active viewers. Not many channels were broadcasting though and it looked like some of the lifecasters were confused and unsure about what was happening. I don’t blame them. If no one from JTV comes around to let people know what’s going on and if there is no official communication on the blog page how is anyone supposed to know what is happening?

JTV Fan Blogs

I have seen much written about JTV blogging recently and noticed one item of clarification that needs to be made. This was actually not the first blog about JTV. I was writing for myself on a site that was not known to the public when a viewer with the username, Hamsterwatch began publishing. I looked forward to reading her JTV summaries eveyrday. I had been writing my own Justin.tv blog posts on a site that I didn’t disclose to anyone until after reading Hamsterwatch’s blog for a number of weeks. Once I got a bit more comfortable about “showing my face” in writing, I thought I would publish mine on WordPress and let some of my JTV 2D friends know about it. Soon, word got out and people began reading on their own. After a couple of months, it appeared on JTV’s blogroll and at that point I became officially obsessed with ensuring I had something published before I slithered off to bed each night/morning. It all dates back to May 2, the day I moved the unpublished posts to WordPress. If you’re interested, you can go back in time to the beginning of my ramblings under the May Archives link to the right. You’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on Previous Entries until you can go no farther. It’s a hefty compendium of all that I have seen and experienced during the past 6 months of JTV viewing.

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One of the newer JTV fan blog authors came into my room tonight and politely asked me if we could “exchange links.” They were interested in putting me in their blogroll and I’d imagine would like me to do the same. I appreciated the ask. I have been trying to keep my writings away from details of some of the content we’ve been seeing since JTV moved from Beta to Production and opened the network to anyone that has the desire to broadcast. I’ve been out on the hunt for work since December and am trying hard not to jeopardize the search. In light of this I let them know that I am open to having them include me in their blogroll, but apologized for not being able to put them in mine. I guess I’ve been keeping my blog to PG or PG13 status. I’ve always believed that as Falstaff said in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, “Discretion is the better part of valor.”

Bloggotition?

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I’m not going to note my thoughts on the other blogs in terms of comparison or critique. A blog is just that — a Weblog, a personal journal. What people choose to write about, the style of writing a blog takes on, the frequency with which posts are published to a blog, the content of a blog is a totally individual choice and as such, opinions of a blog, like a piece of art, are individual as well. What I like may not be at all what my next door neighbor likes and vice versa, but this doesn’t make one wrong and one right. My style of writing — stream of consciousness — has been the way I have written my whole life. I journal this way, I write mail (snail or email) this way, I write fiction and non fiction this way. If you were to speak with me on the phone or in person, you would absolutely hear me in my writing. I don’t sugar coat my IRL (In Real Life) conversations and my writing reflects this.

I read all JTV-related blogs and have great fun doing so. There are numerous different takes on the network and it’s interesting to see what other people have to say.

I consider justopia.wordpress.com to be more Musings on JTV in Essay Format. It was always a great day for me in school when a test was comprised of questions requiring an essay response. No problem there — I could ace that in a heartbeat, no matter how much attention I’d paid to a book or lecture. Now math, well, that’s a totally different story.

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Yorkshire What?

My plan for Sunday night was to make a traditional (in the home I grew up in) dinner. My favorite was always Roast Beef or Roast Leg of Lamb with Yorkshire Pudding and a vegetable or salad. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I nixed the Yorkshire Pudding for last night’s broadcast because the yummy goodness does not really hold well overnight. Since I had the prime rib and roasted potatoes before I headed out for the evening I had planned to make the Yorkshire Pudding when I got home. And that’s just what I did. I’m sorry you did not get to partake in the great enjoyment of eating one of these great goodies with me, but they are so easy to make and not expensive, so I challenge all of you to try it out yourselves.

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The Cheftopia.wordpress.com site is not behaving nicely again this morning, so I have posted the Yorkshire Pudding recipe below:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup pan drippings from roast prime rib of beefPreheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Sift together the flour and salt in a bowl. In another bowl, beat together the eggs and milk until light and foamy. Stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Pour the drippings into a 9-inch pie pan, cast iron skillet, or square baking dish. Put the pan in oven and get the drippings smoking hot. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and pour in the batter. Put the pan back in oven and cook until puffed and dry, 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: I used a muffin pan for the demonstration and made what is commonly referred to as Popovers. Same recipe, different presentation than using a square or rectangular pan. I stored the pan drippings from the Roast Prime Rib I made the previous night and divided it between all 12 muffin “cups” and proceeded as above.

A Different Path Tonight

Troubleshooting and Writing

Buenos Aires Tulip Close up

Buenos Aires, Argentina — August, 2006

It’s 3:00am EDT and I am still awake.  I was out this evening and didn’t get a chance to tune into JTV before I began broadcasting, so I thought I’d take a look around after I finished.  I saw one interesting, but brief stream.  I believe it was called DaveTV.  He was in Southern California and I believe he referenced CBS2 which makes me think he is a reporter or anchor for the local CBS affiliate.  The winds were kicking up, he was in one of the yellow fire jackets that I saw other media people in when I tuned into the news this morning.  He was interviewing a local resident amidst the smoke and ash and heavy wind and then his stream went down.  He was on and off a few times before I gave up.  Someone mentioned the fires approaching a town one of my relatives lives in and it sent my heart up into my throat so I was hoping he would not crash again, but then he was gone.  I got in touch with that relative and everything is ok — just smoke and ash for now.  But this new channel has the makings of something great.  One of the types of channels I have hoped to see.  I am sure there are a number of factors for him to have had difficulties tonight, so I will just keep looking for DaveTV as the days go by.

Anyway, I was drawing a blank about what to write tonight and at about 2:00 a topic came to me, but I was also troubleshooting the problems I am having with my broadcast.  Each night when I attempt to launch I have problems.  It drives me to the edge each and every night.  I end up being grumpy and on edge and this flies in the face of considering lifecasting to be a fun experience, so I had to get some helpe and figure out what is going on.

It seems that my Mac is not up to the task.  It’s got plenty of memory and processing power and a great iSight camera built in, but it seems it just can’t hold up to the power needed to stream live video.  We tested a few things and the long and the short of it is — live with current quality or spend some money and get new equipment.  Now, in earlier times I would be placing an order right now.  But it’s just not in the cards until I land in a new job, so I guess it’s going to have to be less than acceptable quality for now.

And that means since I was busy troubleshooting and not writing that I am going to hold off on posting the real blog article tonight.  I have a great topic and I want to give it 100% of me.  I will post before I head out tomorrow afternoon at 3:30.

I think you’ll enjoy the topic.  In the meantime, I recommend you head to the archives and click back to May, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Previous links until you get to the beginning of this Living the Justopian Life journey.  There are some great details about the “early” JTV days for those of you that weren’t around, and some nostalgic highlights for those of you that were to take a 2nd look at.

Be sure to check back after 3:30pm EDT for the next post.

ECV Comes Back!

Different Saturday

Jerusalem Door

Church of the Sephlecur – Jerusalem

It’s good to have East Coast back. I tried to broadcast tonight when I got home from a day out and it was nearly impossible. Like last night, sound would not work. I decided to attempt to make it all work with my external iSight but not only would sound not work, but the video would not stream either. I rebooted a couple of times and finally found my voice and video, but it was late, there was no one around and I was not cooking tonight so signed off and went out to WordPress to start writing and just when I thought I was going to have an early night and head off to bed at midnight to read, I saw ECV show up on the channel bar. I said to myself, self — STOP! But I am weak, so I have spent hours watching the ECV broadcast this morning.

ECV is in New Orleans and visiting his brother and sister-in-law (SouthernBelle) while intrenched in the dissolution of his marriage. I would imagine it’s not an easy time for him, but he managed to get online tonight and although the quality of the stream was less than desirable, it was a fun time. He put his sister-in-law on. She is a beautiful 20-something and she entertained us all. Some was way over the top, but nothing that was bannable and her personality is so outgoing and charming. I know that there were a ton of kiddies and pervs in the room and they had one thing on their mind, but she kept it fun.

Bannable

Cherub

Meanwhile, on “Channel 1” for a while tonight was yet another couple with a horrible camera having a Saturday night in bed that eventually got them kicked off the network. I went into the issue and one of my suggestions for a resolution to this last night, so I won’t beat a dead horse here, but something’s got to be done soon. It’s becoming routine.

And speaking of bans … I was kicked out of ECV’s room tonight! SouthernBelle was answering questions and noted that she is a horticulturist. I made a comment that she might want to define what horticulturist means since it is so many syllables and wham! The ban hammer struck. This is only the 2nd time I’ve been banned on JTV and I don’t like it one bit. It could be the problems with JTV tonight and the fact that there was so much buffering in chat that it’s possible the person that banned me read my words incorrectly, but there has been some odd banning action recently, so it’s hard to tell. When I finally came back in the room told me someone was using my name. I’m not sure about that, but whatever the reason, my tush is bruised from the kick. Yikes!

What Can Be Done?

Blogs Blogs Everywhere

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A shot of last night’s Shrimp Scampi

Oh, there’s plenty of life on JTV — just not the kind of life I am interested in wasting my time watching. It’s not like I am forced into watching the horrible of the horrible on JTV, but with the new Next Channel feature that was installed, you just never know what you are going to stumble upon.

I have kept up with the darker side of JTV with a few of the newer blogs that are out there. Gossiphound includes me just about everynight — I appreciate that and in return I have included it in the Blogroll to the right here. Another new one included me in last night’s post and while it was a positive post (although I cringed when I saw the screen shot that was posted -ugg!), by morning I was sandwiched between the report on last night’s girl on girl action and some other less seemly JTV channel stream details. It’s gotten to the point where I am convinced I will never be able to tell my family what I’ve been up to and that’s a shame. I am sure my boys would like to see mom in the kitchen again. 🙂

I’ve sent suggestions to JTV Central to bring some ideas to them about how to at least begin taking care of some of this, but frankly, without spending a lot of dough on tools and manpower, I don’t know that there is an answer other than putting those that get their kicks by broadcasting porn, drugs and the like behind a wall, making it abundantly clear what lurks behind the curtain and putting up a “Click here” button.

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Mediterranean Potato and Egg Salad

I made it over to Arunaud’s channel finally. He’s a nice Parisian guy — yes, with the wonderful French accent. He was hanging out with his friends and just having a fun Friday evening. Unfortunately the room was not free of the brainless wonders we see all over the network in chat. Some of the more thickheaded comments came from a viewer wanting to see one of his guest’s armpits. I guess this witless creature read a magazine he found in his daddy’s night stand and read that French women don’t shave or something like that. The reason I bring this up is because Arnaud and his friends were totally clueless to what the chatter was asking. A few of the more doltish comments were not something that Arnaud seemed familiar with, so in this sense, ignorance truly is bliss. After a while one of them seemed to get bored and another was banned.

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Anyway … Arnaud said he would take us to the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and other places of interest this weekend. Like I’ve said uncountable times in this blog in the past, this is what I tune in for. Interesting, intelligent, imaginative, creative, educational broadcasts are what make JTV worthwhile.

I came across a new channel — Midol Girl — and happened to step in just as she was having a dialog about the less than pleasant chat scrolling across her screen. Apparently she has never liked the idea of mods or as she called it, censorship, but she stated that having her room and her intent to have intelligent movie review chat disrupted by people wanting to do nothing more than chat about their genitals she has finally changed her mind and pulled the stream as she went off (not sure where) to “find some mods.” Of course, the most blatant offenders in her room were making pleas to be her mods, but I get the feeling she is a bit more savvy than to just jump in and make total strangers her “enforcers.” We’ll see.

What I found interesting about the room was the topic and yet, the room name did not give any indication of this at all. I happened upon the room by clicking the Next Channel button. She made an interesting comment about JTV being no different than the other streaming video sites with their rampant porn and how she hoped this would be different. From what I’ve seen, read and heard around the site in the past couple of weeks, it feels as though more and more people are getting fed up.

An Idea

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Channel Names

Dinner with Justopia in the background surrounded by Justopia-created cookbooks and power

I am not sure — it’s quite possible that the JTV team has thought of this or possibly has done this already, but I had a very “old fashioned” business idea. This worked for me and my teams and for the company in much larger groups during my working years and for the problem that we are seeing on JTV I think it might be time. Justin told us a couple of weeks ago that he’s spending far too much time handling abuse reports and I sent him some suggestions, but today I was thinking with a different hat.

I think a brainstorming session is in order. Not a willy-nilly let’s sit and chat about everything and anything, but an organized session with leaders from all over he industry, perhaps some lifecasters and viewers and the JTV team. I see two days — really more of a strategy session. There needs to be an agenda with objectives for what they truly hope to achieve by the end of the day. Putting the right people in a room together, breaking them up into organized breakout groups to work on specific problems and bringing everyone back with formulated ideas to work through is very effective, but it has to be done intelligently and with professionalism. I’ve experienced The Six Thinking Hats method for working through new ideas and have always found it very helpful, very effective.

I just wish the JTV crew would consider doing something like this. It’s time to get te ugly off JTV — for all of us.

Who is iJustine and Just What is Justin.com?

Clueless in NYI’m confused. How is it that someone could have been on the “top of the JTV charts” for weeks and not know two fundamental things about the network?

  1. It is not Justin.com
  2. iJustine was the 2nd lifecaster (after Justin), has had more publicity than the fratboys themselves, is the “talk of the town” in countless channels, is usually either loved or hated — the happy middle ground has yet to be found, and her JTV icon seems to be the one most imitated.

Has The Naked Cowboy been living in the same solar system as the rest of us? I don’t understand how he can be so unaware? I suppose it’s possible he’s only seen the channel from outside of JTV. It doesn’t seem likely, but it’s the only answer I can come up with.

I found out about this because of a short Fan Highlight a viewer created. The other thing that struck me, and most of those that posted comments to the hightlight, is that he calls the network Justin.com. He has guys that help him with his entertainment business and I suppose they just point him where to go and when and what do you bet the Cowboy has never ventured into another channel, has never surfed over to any of the many blogs about JTV and has never really dug in to see what the network is all about?

On days like we’ve been seeing recently, with the craziness we’ve seen in some channels, maybe he’s the bright one. 😉

I had a great intentions this afternoon. I wrote out today’s recipes and attempted to post them to the Cheftopia blog site, but each time I hit save, went out to preview what I’d written, ensured it was all a-OK and turned back to Publish, my work was gone. Poof! Disappeared. It looks like WordPress is doing some work at the moment, but I saw no usual maintenance warning prior to this and see nothing in their blog, but I do see that they have a notice when looking at the blog in HTML that indicates changes are coming. I am going to cross my fingers and try to post the recipes here so that I can put the info on the Justopia_live page for people to see and have at hand for tonight’s show.

Shrimp Scampi

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb peeled and deveined large shrimp (raw; 20 to 25 per lb)
  • 4 large garlic cloves, left unpeeled and forced through a garlic press
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 lb capellini (angel-hair pasta)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté shrimp, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 2 minutes, and transfer with a slotted spoon to a large bowl. Add garlic to oil remaining in skillet along with red pepper flakes, wine, salt, and pepper and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add butter to skillet, stirring until melted, and stir in shrimp. Remove skillet from heat.

Cook pasta in boiling water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Reserve 1 cup pasta-cooking water, then drain pasta in a colander. Toss pasta well with shrimp mixture and parsley in large bowl, adding some of reserved cooking water if necessary to keep moist.

Mediterranean Potato-Egg Salad

  • 1 large potato, boiled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, quartered
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 1 tomato quartered
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon – juiced or 2 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation

Place the potato pieces, diced onion and parsley in a bowl and toss to mix. Place the quartered eggs and tomatoes on a serving dish and add the ingredients from the bowl.

Pour lemon juice into a bowl and drizzle olive oil into the juice while briskly whisking until the emulsion has thickened. Add the salt and pepper and pour over the salad to complete.

Oatmeal Lace Cookies

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats

Preparation

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter until well blended. Beat in flour, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in oats. Cover and refrigerate cookie dough 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough by tablespoonfuls between palms into balls. Place dough balls on baking sheets, spacing 3 1/2 inches apart (cookies will spread during baking). Using bottom of drinking glass as aid, flatten cookies to 1 1/2-inch rounds. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 11 minutes. Let cookies remain on sheets 1 minute. Using spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store cookies between sheets of waxed paper in airtight container at room temperature.)

I often dip the cooled cookies into melted semisweet chocolate. I dip either the edges or 1/2 of the cookie, depending on presentation. They also make a fabulous “Taco” dessert. Form the not yet cooled cookie over a canola form or broomstick handle or other similarly shapped item. Use sliced fresh fruit to fill. Top with lightly sweetened crème fraiche, mascarpone cheese or whipping cream and sprinkle chopped nuts on top for a surprise ending to a Mexican meal.

The Good, the Bad and the Just Plain Ugly and a Little bit of Morocco in Justopia

NOTE: You can find the recipe for the beef tagine featured in tonight’s Moroccan Night with Justopia by clicking on the links under the images below.

Ugly

Let’s just get the worst of this morning’s JTV experience out of the way, shall we? I woke up bright and cheery this morning and thinking about our scheduled Moroccan Night dinner and headed right to the Mac to wake it up. What I was met with on the channel bar was mostly silent channels. There was one that definitely was not silent, however and actually, it made me want to run from the room screaming. I am not going to detail what I saw, but suffice it to say that when Michael got to the office this morning, the channel and all of the highlights that were created quickly disappeared. I think Gossiphound referred to some of this morning’s channels as “smutty” and I’d have to go along with that description. As many in the room pointed out, there was no nudity, but surely it was not appropriate for the network, no matter the adult content warning. I can’t recall if it even had a gate set up, but thankfully the broadcast was short-lived. I still can’t bring myself to telling most of my friends or any of my family to tune in because of what they may see on the bar and for those friends that I have disclosed my secret JTV life to, I am now somewhat embarrassed by what they are exposed to. Luckily, we all worked together at AOL for over a dozen years, so none of this is new to any of us. It may even be comical — as though we’ve stepped back in time to those pioneering days when it truly was the Wild Wild West.

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It was Moroccan Night with Justopia Beef Tagine — DEEElicious!

The Bad

It looks like some channels keep their stream up even when away from their machines in a kind of placeholder position. I don’t know, maybe they are worried that if they take the stream down when hey are done broadcasting they will have technical issues? There’s got to be a good answer, I just haven’t come up with it yet.

And now …

The Good!

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Beef Tagine, Steamed Cauliflower, Rice with Sumack and a Chick Pea Salad

I stopped into Alexa‘s room this morning to say hi and she was just getting out of bed. Once settled we ended chatting about books. There weren’t many people in the room so we could focus on one topic. We decided that it would be great for someone to set up a channel for a book club. It would have to be a two way dialog to make it worthwhile, but with such diverse tastes and interests, I bet it could be an awesome group and would make for interesting broadcasts and “conversation.”

Something to think about.

Carollinreporting

A short while later I saw an icon of the former CNN news anchor, Carol Lin appear on the channel bar. I remembered Michael telling us in a chat room a couple of weeks ago that JTV had lined her up and that she would be doing a kind of Cancer Outreach broadcast. What I saw this morning after watching and then heading over to her blog, which can be found under the link in her profile or here, is that it’s going to be about much more than cancer. It appears that we have the makings of a very helpful, very interactive, very important new channel at JTV that will deal with healthcare issues, questions, and concerns from all walks of life and from all over the world.

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After finding her “voice” carollinreporting was up and running like a champ. It took a while to get the audio running and once she did, we experienced the issue of echo, but after explaining how to combat that problem and letting her know that it’s something you have to address each time you launch your broadcast, she was sounding great. It would be impressive if JTV would get that Lifecaster “handbook” published. I don’t recall when Justin mentioned it, but it’s been months. Justin, Michael … I know at least one of you pokes your head in and reads me at some point … why don’t we chat about this? I’m game. Hell, I’ve put my own book (the one I’ve been ever so slowly writing for the past few years) on the back burner and replaced it with all things JTV. It seems like having the mad JTV blog-hog write the Art of Zen JTV Lifecasting or JTV Lifecasting for Dummies or , You Want me to Broadcast what? Of course I’m kidding with these titles, but it’s the best I can do at 1am after a full JTV day.

An interesting thing we were part of in Carol’s stream this morning was the opportunity to weigh in on a story idea she was tossing around. What a great way to use the medium and show it’s true potential. She also has a very easy manner and luckily was not plagued with spammers or haters or anything else we see so often on the network. Hopefully it will stay this way. The last thing we need to see is Carol Lin with a shoe on her head! She will need to get some reliable — translated to mean, not overly conservative, power hungry, out of control — mods in the room soon though. Once she gains visibility I’d imagine it’s only a matter of time before the masses storm the gates.

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As my regular readers know, I have a special interest in healthcare, so I will be paying close attention to this channel and will look forward to meaningful information and discussion going forward.

Fall Doldroms and a Nod to Grey’s Anatomy

What to Watch?

I have found that there is little inspiration around the network lately to get my creative juices flowing, and that disturbs me. Sure. I could go through, channel by channel picking apart the broadcasts limb by limb, but for what reason? It just a new medium with people trying their hand at sharing their lives in some way, no matter how large or trivial. When I come upon something that fires me up, good or bad, I share. There’s no holding back.

Empathy

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Chicken Salad on country bread

In my quest to find something of interest on the network I clicked on a channel I had not seen before — Ashley Is Awesome. I stopped because the chatter was about cake decorating and it caught my interest. Ashley is a 19 year old girl that quickly moved on from talking about her cake decorating background to stories about inappropriate behavior of a few of her former teachers. I believe she was talking about high school. The stories were horrific in terms of the incredibly inappropriate things these teachers did and what made it all sad was that Ashley said she didn’t report the teachers because she didn’t want to get a failing grade in the classes. She is from somewhere in Texas and said that when teachers in her area are reported they are generally not fired, but rather moved to another school. It’s hard to determine what really goes on where she lives and in her life, but it’s just a shame that she has those memories. The people in chat seemed to be goading her on somewhat, but others seemed to take an interest and to express some empathy. Empathy is not the norm in many of the channels on JTV. I don’t know that we are going to be treated to any of her cake decorating, so I moved on. I have a feeling there are people that would be interested in some cake decorating broadcasts — I know I would be.

By the way … just before I left the room, I saw this comment: myamazinglycrazylife: THIS ROOM IS CURRENTLY IN SLOW MODE . I am not sure why someone dropped it into slow mode. There were just 46 viewers and it seemed to be easy to read, but perhaps it was in slow mode the entire time. Who knows.

Lighter Fare for Dinner

I’m sorry!  I could not resist.  I may have to rethink my opinion on RR — she’s pretty entertaining to watch here.

After dinner and the clean up tonight we talked a bit and I decided to call it a night. I need to spend some time planning next week’s menu. I’ve been challenged to do 5 days of quality, low cost meals and am going to have to really think this one through.

Tonight’s meal, although not complicated and extravagant (outside of the ridiculously expensive forest mushrooms from Williams-Sonoma) was a nice change from the heavier meals we’ve been putting together. I made mushroom soup because I had so much broth from the mushrooms left over from yesterday and wanted to use some of it. It was a Tony Bourdain recipe and although I tweaked it a bit to work with the ingredients I had in the house, it was great! I have a great lunch in store for me tomorrow. The soup photos that I shot do not present well, so I will have to give it another go tomorrow.

Anatomy 101

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Pumpkin Muffin

In the meantime, once I stopped the broadcast I took a stroll around the channel bar and was very disappointed. Without the ECV schtick, there really is nothing to watch during the late night/early morning hours. There were channels with absolutely nothing happening and channels with stuff going on that just makes me scratch my head in and wonder what goes on in the minds of lifecasters and their viewers. There was gross talk in the surgeon’s room, but I gather not self-imposed. The room seemed to thrive on the gross. I don’t know, I’m not sure, but I can see a Grey’s Anatomy episode or two coming out of this.

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First of all, there was a channel with a bong smoking female that had some kind of vague similarity to her looks as the character George is married to. Are they still married? I don’t know, I have yet to watch any Fall TV yet with my JTV obsession. Anyway, I could picture the Gray’s docs sitting around Izzie’s apartment logged into JTV broadcasting and having some fun with the viewers.

Cut to a scene in the hospital where the chief is squirreled away in a broom closet watching the staff put keyboards on their heads and prodding viewers to hit the Chip-in button to help pay for medical school. Then, when we look back at chat, the username Denny_Duquette appears in the room and Izzie, who was standing up to go get another round of popcorn suddenly wilts and falls atop the gang and the JTV watching tableau. We go to commercial break and since there are no coming attractions for the following week, we are left to our own devices and imagination. Chat is scrolling uncontrollably until someone puts it into Slow Mode and we see speculation and even wagering on who the guy or gal behind the Deny_Duquette username might be.

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We’ve had so many long-time viewers disappear into the ether that it’s very much a toss up, but I’ve got my choice for the best Denny_Duquette. You never know who may be lurking around in a costume or behind a mask. Who do you think?

Tomorrow, I promise!

Record Broken

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Pasta with Pancetta and Tomatoes and Sautee’d Zucchini

I can’t believe I am about to do this, but … I’e got nothing to write about. I took my channel on the road — to Starbuck’s and Barnes & Noble this afternoon. It was a strange experience being on camera, but not speaking. People said things that made me laugh and I had to work hard not to laugh out loud and look like some kind of nut. I suppose I did anyway.

I took a look at the JTV blog and noticed that there was some great attention from the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Seattle Times. The NYT article was the best piece IMHO, but it’s good to get wide visibility. I noticed one or two people mention that they were here checking out JTV because of the NYT article. I am wondering how long it will take for my family to stumble across my channel. They all read the NYT cover to cover each day. Now that could make for an interesting phone call.

Life Calls

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I am expecting the Comcast guy in the next 4 – 7 hours, so I need to get to bed. It’s interesting to see that without EastCoastVegas around, the network feels dead. The viewer numbers show over 1000 viewers, but almost 100% of all channels on the bar have absolutely nothing going on. #1 is Nekomimi_lisa with night vision video of her sleeping. I wonder what would happen if I cooked at 1am? I could do drinking food — you know, the after the bar Denny’s kind of greasy eggs and bacon type thing. I just might try that this weekend!

I will post the recipes for tonight’s dinner in the morning.

Education on JTV and Internet Connectivity Issues

MikeyFresh Teaches

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A recommended highlight caught my eye this morning so I clicked away and was taken to a great Photoshop tutorial for people looking for help creating a banner for their channel. What great content on the network! There is so much potential for Justin.tv and as I mentioned in yesterday’s post, things are evolving basically in the moment. Like the early days of the major online services, it’s the Wild Wild West. While there are “law abiding” citizens living their lives here, cowboys abound and the sheriffs are a bit overwhelmed right now. It takes time to create civilization and at this point, I’d say the work hasn’t even begun … the new world is still being formed.

I took most of the day off from JTV for a change. I ventured out into the world, much against my better judgement and met them for a long lunch. The good news was that the Washington Redskins were playing so not many people were out and about. I was beginning to feel like “The Girl in the Bubble” after having been housebound for all but 2 hours in the past 12 days and decided I just had to experience the world. To hell with germs! Bleh on you!

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Roast Chicken, Baked-Stuffed Potato, and a Very Disappointing Broccoli Rabe, or what to me tasted like Braised Tobacco

On Again, Off Again

I have been challenged with broadband connectivity issues tonight and am not sure how long my connection will remain stable enough to actually get this post published. So, rather than spending time writing only to have it crash, I am going to stop here. I could not get Comcast to come out and help me until Tuesday morning, but think I will head for some wireless connectivity at Starbucks and sit outside in the fall sun and hang out on JTV, Monster and CareerBuilder in an attempt to be more productive than normal.

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I will make every attempt to get online for some Italian food tomorrow evening, but if I am not there, you’ll know why. 🙂 I’ll Twitter from my phone, so if you follow me, or if you just want to check in, you always keep up with my goings on that way.