Notes on a Scandal and a Few Hanging Chads

The Blogosphere

It’s mum season again — gotta love Fall!

I clicked on a link on the front page of WordPress this morning. It was listed in the Food category and was nominated for the Blogger’s Choice Awards which makes me wonder … how many people, including bloggers know about these or any other blogger awards events? How do people make it to any kind of recognition? Is it by happenstance or do they recruit people to “vote them up?”

Dad hard at work — grillage

It seems to be similar to what is happening on GGJeffy’s poling site — the Which JTV Lifecaster Would You Most Like to Date poll. Now ok, I will admit that I probably fare pretty well in the, can someone here please say something of substance category in comparison to a lot of what we see and hear on the channels, but clearly someone or some people are exploiting the ability to go in and vote as many times as they see fit. I have a list of suspects and I’d imagine they are giggling about it as you read. It’s pretty humorous if you ask me. I can’t say it feels bad to be so far ahead in the polls really. It’s actually quite fun.

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Undeniably, good food presentation runs in the family

Clearly iJustine beats out all other lifecasters on JTV, yet I received the most votes? Does anyone smell a duplicate voting scandal?  Does it sound remotely reminiscent of any recent Presidential elections?  😉

Heading Home

I am due to get on a train on Sunday morning and be back in DC by the afternoon.  I will need to get back out to the ‘burbs, but figure I will be unpacked, perched on the couch or at the desk with my laptop in my lap and ready to “see” my 2D friends again!  It won’t be long now.

Preparing to Travel and Cooking for the Channel

Overextended

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I tend to do that. I said I would make chocolate chip cookies today. Then I said I would make dinner. I took out short ribs for dinner and when I was at the store saw two beautiful lamb shanks and all of the sudden felt like having that for dinner instead. So … I was in a predicament. I had to cook off the ribs. They would not last out the week until I return from my trip which meant I ended up making two rather involved dishes — on camera.

I set up the laptop in the kitchen, but did not put the time into pre-prep like I did last night, so it was not as smooth, but there sure was a lot of cooking going on!  And it went on for hours. We cooked, we chatted, I answered food-related questions, the gang was in the room in force and the MOD SQUAD kept the trouble makers at bay. I am lucky to have such kind and decent 2D friends.

The interesting to see is the amount of repeat visitors to the channel. It makes things fun and interesting.

Evolution

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What I see happening that distresses me somewhat however, is the change in what I am doing in terms of my interaction with JTV. I worried about this and it’s happening. I am spending so little time watching other channels that I am running out of JTV information to write about. I have no idea what’s going on with Justin or in the office and while I do hear about things happening, I am not really clued into any one thing and it makes me feel badly, but also leaves me a bit light on things to write about other than what goes on in my life, and I don’t think that’s what people are coming here to read about. So…I will have to spend time watching things around the network again.

Network Stability and a WWE Broadcast

I was on for 6 – 7 hours today and noticed no problems with the broadcast. A few people said it was choppy from time to time, but most reported no issues. Without the WWE channel or the Jonas Brothers, things were relatively smooth all the way around. Speaking of the WWE channel. Did you tune into it last night? I am still trying to figure out how a kid (I think he was a minor) could sit in his room and broadcast a show that people were paying good money for. There were thousands of people tuned in to watch it. Now, the quality was worthless, but thousands and thousands were in that channel. It was even moderated at times by one of the fratboys or another. Did JTV work out a deal with WWE or was this done on the sly? I didn’t hear it for myself, but I suppose it’s in the archives, but someone told me that his mom came in and yelled at him. I wonder if she knew exactly what he was doing, or if he was in trouble for something else? 🙂

Vacation

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It’s time for me to head up to see family for a few days, so I won’t be doing much tuning in, broadcasting, chatting or blogging until Sunday evening. I do plan to get this article about GI Joe/joeiniraq completed and to have my friend begin editing for me so I can get it submitted to a few news outlets and/or magazines. The time away from JTV will give me the “freedom” to get that done. I will check in when I can, most likely late at night and see what’s going on. I won’t be blogging, although I would imagine I will post a bit here and there, but I won’t have any JTV interactions to rant about.

Ahhh… the stress of not being able to tune into JTV — I thought vacations were supposed to be relaxing?!

Lifecasting on JTV, Day 1 Summary — Justopia_Live Launches

The Leap, the Jump, the Plunge

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Iguazu Falls — Argentina, 2006

It was a good day! As you read yesterday, I received my JTV code late last night, before falling into bed. I was hesitant. I wanted to get the channel launched with just the right title, get the profile written, and just generally get prepared to cast.

I launched and had some issues, but made it online and didn’t stop streaming for about 11 hours. I did take a 1 hour break to chill and craft a quick profile and take care of a few things around the house, but was back online before I knew it.

I noticed all but one of the JTV crew checking into the room. Jacob was the first to stop by and eventually, I noticed everyone but Justin in to take a peek. Those that stopped long enough to chat had nice words to say or helpful information and I think the group was glad to see them all.

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Busy morning

Things were smooth. I can’t say I have any complaints. At one point I lost all internet connectivity, but with some restarting of the modem and router, I was back in action and the people that were in the room seemed to wait — to not give up. I heard from people that were watching that the video quality was really great which is good to hear. I still want to get a better camera so that I don’t have to be adjusting the laptop cover constantly to give the viewers the best possible view of what is going on, especially since I spend so much time in the kitchen and try to keep the laptop from getting destroyed with water and food.

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Anthony’s big research project 🙂

I took people on a tour of the kitchen and it was quite funny because iTed was in there and he kept throwing out questions about the contents of my kitchen cabinets since I gave him such a hard time about his cabinets and things like motor oil next to the canned hot dogs and cat food. However, iTed is no match to my obsessive behavior and the neatly stacked dishes and spices and other things one keeps in a kitchen.

It was enlightening to see how many of my 2D friends came running when the channel went live and what great help and support they were offering. I think I have the most mod-heavy room on the network, with the exception of Lisa. The good news is that there were not many instances in which kicks or bans were needed, at least not in comparison to some rooms. Thanks to everyone for their support and assistance!! It is greatly appreciated.

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Guards at Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina — 2006

Food.tv

I cooked. I cleaned. I cooked some more. I cleaned some more and then one last time, I cooked and cleaned again! I was prodded into making dessert and since that’s the last thing I need to be eating, especially at midnight, I decided to bake up some cookies to send in the care package to GI Joe. I plan to head to the post office tomorrow to send out the goodies.

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Made it to the top

It was exhausting, but I look forward to doing it again. I am not going to be able to cook everyday, that would wear me out, but I will try to do it a few times a week And … I am going to need to limit my broadcasting time so that I can write. I tonight’s post is going to be another weak one, but I’ve been at it for 16 hours now and need to log off and get to bed. Spending the entire day in my own channel has left me without a ton to say and we can’t have that now, can we?!!

New Channels

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Colonia, Uruguay, 2006

I took a quick browse around the icon bar and in the directory and noticed a ton of new channels and what struck me is what others are talking about lately as well — a lot of young females with great headshots (or more) and profiles that talk about the need for money. Anthony of Quintano_media did a little experiment today. He put up a, “Taking a Shower” message in front of the camera and his viewership stayed the same or went up a few heads. What is that telling us — that people tune in hoping to see someone make a mistake and flash the camera?

Speaking of flashing … one of the channels, Jason (something — I didn’t bother to pay attention and am too damn tired to check the huge directory for it)

That’s Entertainment — Is it? and Twitter Nomenclature

Choices

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Tulip, Washington, DC, 2007

I just figured it out! JTV has been my summer replacement for broadcast television. I have barely turned on my TV this summer. Instead, I have determined that sacrificing 42 inches of HD plasma clarity for my 13.5″ Macbook with crummy lifecasting quality on JTV and recent Stickam appearances offered far more entertainment than the seriously 2D choices on television. Tonight I got my first hint of the new television season with a return to Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David, creator of The Seinfeld Show is responsible for this often side-splitting half hour comedy series. Many don’t appreciate the humor, but even on the weakest episodes there is something to make me laugh out loud, or even applaud the humor — and I live alone, so that’s kind of freaky.

The funniest thing about tonight’s season opener was one of the sub plots — Larry and friends showing up to a couple of parties on the wrong night — a day late and with purpose. I showed up for a party a day late yesterday. Well, I didn’t actually show up, because as I drove down the street to my friends’ house and noticed that there were not a lot of cars parked along the curb, I realized I was there 24 hours late! I was just glad I didn’t bother to sign the card for the guy whose birthday was being celebrated as an aside and whom I really don’t know anyway. My summer of JTV mind-numbing has included a complete lack of knowing what day of the week today is and sometimes the need to question the month, so showing up a day late to a party while a bit disappointing, was not a total surprise. A once, ultra prompt, always a few minutes early to ever teleconference or in office meeting professional, I have come to embrace the anti-responsibility I have come to know since my self-imposed, albeit VERY EARLY retirement and love the fact that I have not synched my phone/PDA with Outlook in months!

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Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2006

JTV, thank you for helping to expand my mind and show me that there is world beyond television and that being wound up like a top in an effort to always be seen as a consummate business professional does not necessarily equal success.

Now — If I could just find a way to support myself by writing!

Twitter

I have become a Twitter fan — in a big way. It makes me feel connected at all times. Yes, I have the ability to connect to AOL on an AOL Mobile communicator or my phone for many years, but with Twitter, you can just “blurt out” what you are thinking at any time of the day or night on your computer or phone. It’s easy. It’s engaging. It’s liberating. It’s addictive! Try it!!!!

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Iguazu Falls, Argentina, 2006

But… there are some things to be learned before diving in head first. I think we all learn this as we navigate our way through Twitter’s proprietary nomenclature. First of all, there is the ability to reply to tweets one on one. Then there is the ability to reply to a specific post in a public fashion. It can get confusing, but when you’ve taken a few minutes to sort it out, it becomes clear. The commands are simple but there are subtle differences. This page will tell you all you need to know so that if you want to have a personal conversation with a follower, you don’t have to bare your soul to the world. This page gives you the skinny. I put it this way in my most recent tweet:

Justopia 1 of twitter’s big mysteries; To @ or not to @, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and arrows… about 2 hours ago from web

You can follow me at Twitter here.

Soul Bearing, the Secret Life of Justopia and Trying to Travel to Japan

Twitter Message

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I sent a twitter a few minutes ago. It went like this: “Is it wrong that my friends and family don’t know about my JTV life?” I feel as though I’m living two separate lives. One in hiding — behind the 13 inch screen, the other in real life, the one where I have real life interactions. I find myself measuring my words carefully whether on the phone or in person with people I normally have no reason to calculate my words with. If I was in a relationship, I would feel like I was cheating on my husband/boyfriend. I have told just four people about JTV and all four thought it was a different kind of thing and kind of brushed it off. One, a close friend that I have shared all kinds of personal joy and anguish with was interested in hearing all about it, even read my early blog entries, but then she settled into a new job and began traveling internationally again and we both kind of went our separate ways. It was a bit of a relief. The only others that know about my obsession are busy working and if I see them once a month that is frequent, so I can pretty much continue living in this secret world. For now.

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A Contemplative Justopia

One day I am going to slip up. I know it, and I don’t know how I will explain my way out of it. “You do what?” “You sit around and watch who?” “You write every single day until the wee hours, some days until daylight about what?” “But WHY?!” And I won’t have a good response. The only thing I can think of is, “Because I am over the top obsessed with this group of 20-something guys that I nicknamed ‘The Fratboys’ due to their lifestyle and career habits, and their efforts to make this concept of theirs a successful reality. To say that is just not going to fly. I have visions of a car pulling up and a couple of strong guys with white jackets that tie in the back hauling me off to some not so luxurious facility. Or perhaps it will be an intervention — I will return home after a supermarket expedition one afternoon and there, in my living room will be my mother, my father, my sister, and a couple of friends all looking very dour, as though the world was about to come to an end.

So for now, I will continue to live in my own little corner of JTV and hope that my secret is not exposed.

Japanese Travels

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I heard that Nekomimi Lisa was heading off on her trip to Japan and have been trying to catch her streaming from there, but never seem to be looking at the right time. This is the type of thing I look forward to on JTV, what I find is the most compelling content. It’s worthwhile — much better than running from room to room where the young 20 something girls are sitting on their couch with skimpy shirts playing to the audience soliciting … donations for their laptop, or camera or mobile card. Nothing worthwhile to spend time watching or listening to.

Justine’s Night Out

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And this is a part of the Asian section of my cookbook collection – I am seeing streaming an Asian dinner in my future this week 🙂

I received a twitter while I was at the movies from iJustine saying she was going to the movies and that she “needed a break.” Well, good for her! She needed a break. I suppose she’s had time to herself when she’s been at cruising altitude on her travels, but going to a movie is so much better. You can lose yourself in the story and become someone else for a couple of hours. It has to be a relief for her to get some private time.

New Casts

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I was tooling around the icon bar today and it was just more of the same. Nothing very interesting really, but when I got home from dinner and a movie I saw that Nekomimi_Lisa was streaming from Japan. For whatever reason, the feed was very choppy, but I did get bits and pieces of it. It’s great that a lifecaster has taken her show on the road. I hope to tune in and see her with a better feed before her trip ends. It’s a wonderful place to visit and having the opportuniy to travel to Japan from my couch is a great thing.

If this works, there’s such great promise for JTV.

JTV Directory Change

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I did get out into the real world today and at the moment, have to say I am not feeling 100%. I am not sure if it was the meal I had at my friend’s house or if it’s simply exhaustion. Let me tell you about this meal:

Grilled Chicken

Grilled Rib Eye Steak

Sweet Potatoes — roasted?

Roasted Asparagus

Red Bliss and Fingerling potatoes with onions

Salad

Brown Rice

Steamed Green Beans

Baileys Ice Cream Cake

What kind of menu was that? I wasn’t sure if I was at my friend’s house or on the Queen Mary at the midnight buffet. Some of it was really good. We have this competition thing between us. I cook, I take photos — he wants to cook and take photos better than me. Everything becomes a competition, I win and that makes future meals and trips get more and more competitive. I do like winning though! I think the objective judge liked dinner, but didn’t go nuts over it, so I will be coming up with a killer menu that will easily smoke his. I do not know what it will be yet. I am not really one to plan a meal far in advance unless it’s a huge party. It will depend on what’s in season and what inspires me that day.

New Directory Page

There have been some changes to the user interface and I do like what I see on the Directory page. The icons appear as though they are in a photo album. They are larger and easy to see. It also looks much cleaner. The JTV site has always been rather dark and this page lightens things up. And there is an Easter Egg on now as well. For those of you that are Mac users, I’ll bet you are Easter Egg hungry — I haven’t noticed one in a very long time and would not have known about this if it had not been pointed out to me by a JTV regular. I often get info from my 2D friends. Thank you everyone! I try, but can’t be everywhere at the same time.

I came back after dinner and spent some time here, but didn’t see much going on. Jeffy was back, still a little quiet, although more engaged. Linus and Emelie got up to go to work so I said a quick hello as they went off to work.  Then I felt sorry for myself because I had seen them going to bed and then getting up.  Far too many hours on JTV!!!!

Ok, before I collapse from exhaustion I will close here.  See you tomorrow.  Or is it really today?  🙂

Content vs. Availability, the Mad Ban-ers, and Confessions From an Obsessed Blogger-Chef

This was NOT what I wanted to see at 2:51am as I attempted to pusblish this post! WordPress.com Maintenance

What’s going on? WordPress.com is undergoing some unexpected maintenance. We’re working to get everything running again. Thanks for being patient.

Who said I was being patient?!
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What Do People Want?

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Finally, another spectacular summer sunset

There has been much discussion and debate about the future — or not — in the world of JTV for months now. Tonight there was continuing debate between Unbelievers and Protectors (see the post published earlier this week about the JTV Caste System and it’s Update).

The Unbelievers were discussing the need for Justin and team to produce more interesting, worthwhile content. The Protectors were striking back with how “successful” Justin has been, that he is surely making money hand over fist, to which the unbelievers said that iJustine was the only reason people come to the site and that without her, JTV will fall painfully on it’s head.

Some said that porn was the only reason people come here, to which I had to scratch my head and wonder if I have luckily missed some illicit content I’d rather not be watching anyway, or if there are viewers with a much different opinion on what makes something fall into the porn category than I do, because the worst I’ve seen here would maybe rate an R rating — based on language.

However, it’s an interesting debate. I thought the fratboys were looking to make this a successful lifecasting portal, that they were soon going to be opening it up to anyone, not just the few, the chosen, the beta testers and once that happens, I can’t see it being about content any longer. I can visualize a site that people come to hang out their lifecasting shingle and that JTV is just the vehicle.

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If they want to control content, it will be like television, only different. Determining who should stream would have to become a science. Look at broadcast and cable networks. They don’t pick shows on a whim. It takes teams of people and focus groups and a very well established ratings system to determine what shows will air and when and for how long.

No, I see JTV being something totally different. I look forward to the day when Joe Nobody takes a trip to The Three Gorges Damn in China and takes a ride on the Yangzee river so I can see what it looks like before the gates are opened and flooding begins in the final steps of man’s largest construction project on the planet commences. I’d like to go to the polar ice cap and watch as the effects of global warming (whether caused by man or otherwise) take their toll. I’d like to go along for a picnic on the beaches of the Dead Sea and watch as people splash and play and float on top of the salty water, and I’d like to be a virtual attendee at a Brahmin wedding with all the beautiful regalia in northern India. I would be happy to be a spectator at a rally as my favorite (as yet to be determined) presidential candidate takes to the stump and an observer with those that I am not fond of — so that I can make more informed decisions — decisions based on what I see and hear rather than what the pundits tell me and what I read in the editorial and op-ed sections of the paper.
I would pay to attend a lifecast at Le Cordon Bleu or of a Culinary tour of Vietnam. I don’t need Justin and his band of brothers to determine what should be streamed live. What I do need them for is to ensure that the platform for lifecasters is a solid one. A platform not riddled with outages and fits and starts. That it’s there when I want to tune in and that I can depend on it to be smooth and uninterrupted. I am not one of the many that abhors ads — I am rather the anthesis of this. I am a clicker. If I see an ad that appeals to me, I click and see what is behind the banner, and yes, if I am interested, I go so far as to plunk down my heard-earned money to make a purchase.

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They have made great progress since I began watching on Day 3, but there is plenty more to do and they are still at the mercy of cell phone networks for those that take their lifecasts on the road. I just hope that the Unbelievers don’t win this debate, although there will be more JTV’s to choose from in the future.

Banning in iJustine’s Room has become de riguer for the Room Mods

If you missed it, this past week I posted a bit about the JTV Caste structure and an Update the following evening. I think I left out a group that is part of the Devoted, Addicted, Protector classes — the MODERATORS. The vigilante mob that feels it necessary to use their own subjective view to determine who stays and who goes. I was in Justine’s room for a while this evening and bananation was rampant. One name was familiar — someone with the name Jenjen567 (or something close) was on the ban button like a game of Jeopardy — bam! bam! bam! It was tough to determine who was saying what as the lines of chat flew by, but from what I saw, any “offenses” were minor at best. With the number of people in the room and the desire to be recognized by Justine by her followers, it was almost impossible to determine who said what, when. If Jenjen is the same person I think she is, she might want to stick to “interviewing” the fratboys. While those were miserable attempts to do something worthwhile, being a banning queen is pretty worthless.

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Steamed Dumplings and Salad

The other wild “ban-er” tonight was Bubbygus. I am going to assume bubby is a guy — like the yiddish term of endearment for grandfather, although it’s not likely this guy/gal is anywhere near that maturity. The comment this guy uses in his ban script is something to the effect of, “Because I don’t like your attitude.” Wow, how very 9th grade of him.

As I understand it, the lifecasters chose their mods, so if this is what Justine wants, so be it, but there’s got to be a better way. Well, I know there’s a better way, but it involves time and commitment, so I doubt any of the lifecasters really want to be bothered.

It’s not like they are being paid to stream.

Confessions

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I made no plans for dinner tonight and after contemplating calling for delivery, I decided I would head to my freezer for something I knew would be hot and probably less greasy and soggy than what I could get by picking up the phone and calling a local restaurant.

I usually keep a large package of dumplings in the freezer, which I will often have for breakfast. Those trips to China and the VERY brief move there has yet to wear off and I still love starting my day that way.

I also make my own dumplings, but used up the last of those a couple of weeks ago, so tonight, it was the, although pretty unusual, prepared food route for me. I did make a salad and the dressing, which I will give you the recipe for below. I don’t use measurements, so I am making this up as I go.

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1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbls vinegar
1 tsp mirin (Japanese rice wine – it’s thick and sweet)
1 Tbls mayonnaise
1 Tbls grated ginger
1/2 tsp wasabi (you can find this in a tube now or in powder form which you add water to and make a paste)
1 Tbls sesame seeds (I prefer to use the black ones, but either will do. If you use regular, they are better if you “toast” them in a pan for a minute or two

Wisk all ingredients until well combined and smooth. Add sesame seeds at the end.