Articulating a Viewpoint in a Blog is no Easy Task and Justopia Makes the WordPress Landing Page

Words

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This photo always makes me smile. Clarkfield, Pampanga, Philippines 2000

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My comments on the past few days at JTV have been received with both positive and negative comments in the chat rooms, in the blog comments, in private messages, in email and on the air at JTV headquarters. I knew when I started posting the daily commentary that I was opening myself up to all kinds of responses. I had not made the blog public until a while after I started writing it because I was not sure how willing I was to “hearing” what people had to say about my writing, my opinions, my message, but as with the times I showed up on Stickam this week, I just held my breath and took the plunge.

I have always tried to be gracious, especially early on after having had an expletive hurled at me in response to a piece of mail I sent to the guys at the @justin.tv email address before the blog ever came to life. I have approved all comments, with one exception — a vulgar comment months ago that appeared to be directed at nothing or no one specific — just nothing anyone needed to be subjected to. Even those that are challenging what I write and I attempt to do it without unacceptable language. I have pulled back on personal strikes, which I realized were unnecessary an probably about as immature as some of the things I was ranting about.

But … when I returned from my day out, I was pinged by a few viewers that had been looking for me. They wanted to let me know that I should go into the archives and watch the period that begins at approximately 12:31pm this afternoon and lasts for all of about a minute. I expected that my posts about the channels with minors would not be well received and that once again, I might see the link to the blog pulled from the JTV site, but I did not expect Justin to take it so personally. I was actually not voicing negativity about the network. I was pointing to what I feel is a lack of common sense of a parent to put his 13 year old on a page with details that list the child’s full name, city and country he lives in and his schedule for the day as well as watching the channel of a 15 year old kid that is looking for porn and discussing it with chatters. Justin and team, this was not directed at you. You can not control what people say and do once you allow them to be on your network, you only ask that they follow the terms of service and privacy policy you have posted and you have put up safety tips which I have previously I think is a good idea. So it’s not you or the team that I was directing my rant at — it was something abstract I suppose –a lack of common sense by those that allow the people they are responsible for protecting to put themselves at risk.

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#1 Fan?

I would never be so presumptions as to state that I am JTV’s number 1 fan. The most obsessed, yes. I spend far too many hours here, too many days and nights. I do it for a few reasons, but I have never claimed to be the #1 fan. This is why I am here:

  • I like to see what’s going on outside my own little world
  • I like to see what is happening in the world of technology
  • I like chatting with the 2D friends I’ve made here
  • I like learning and I do believe I have learned something everyday while on JTV — whether positive or negative
  • I am anxious to see JTV blossom and achieve the success they are working toward

And as I’ve stated over and over, I find inspiration in what goes on to the point that it gives me something to write about and I can’t stop writing.

Supporter

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Lincoln Memorial — Spring, 2007

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What Justin and team don’t seem to realize is that I have been a supporter, at times a defender when they or the site have been the object of ridicule. When the Jonas Brothers were on and the site went wild, I could have joined in on the bashing, but I thought it was great that they’d found something to draw people to the site and I said so in the blog that night. Yes, I certainly have my share of negative comments, I’d be the biggest fool on the planet not to acknowledge that, but I have tried to find a more balanced place. I make a point of throwing out praise when I see something that I believe is positive, even when others tell me they think otherwise.

I reada what “Freddy Farce,” (who has a rather familiar “voice” 😉 posted on the blog today:

Ok. Enough of attacking JTV without seeing / discussing how the competition or other community portals handles these issues as well. Terms of Service states an age of 13 years is allowed. And it is their parents choice not yours, jtv, or anyone else.

I agree, I have not discussed how the competition handles these issues other than a brief mention or two, but I am not writing as a paid blogger or journalist. If I were, I would be spending part of these days calling people, fact checking, researching, looking for background, and more. It is a blog — an electronic journal. If I do decide to wrap up my JTV experience and put it between two covers and call it a book then yes, I will need to do some extensive work researching, reading, interviewing and doing the things necessary to make it something credible and worthwhile reading, but for now, it is a blog that has been commissioned by no one other than whatever it is inside me that compels me to sit down at this black laptop every day to ensure I accomplish this crazy goal of posting daily.

Friends

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Automated tulip in Buenos Aires, 2006

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Justin Speaks to a Missing Justopia

Rather than having the viewers tell me what Justin said about me, I wanted to listen for myself and I was taken aback when he turned his head away from the guys and looked straight into the camera and with a look and sound of disgust addressed me as though I was there and told me that a friend would be a friend and have nice things to say, not curses and that when he came over to see me doing the cooking show on Stickam and he hung out for 5 or 10 minutes, he thought it was good and he told me so (at which point one of the guys challenged him on that and he backed it up saying that he did think it was good) and that he told me so. Again, it’s tough to really get what people are saying when they are in a one way voice conversation or chatting online, but I only remember Justin saying that he was there to check it out and see how Stickam performed and that for him it was choppy. I did not realize he had been in the room until well after the fact, but I did tell him I didn’t know that it was choppy and that it was very hard to pull off a short cooking demo.

I also wrote in a post this week after a Stickam appearance that detailed a few of the negatives I experienced on Stickam which I have cut the comments from that post and pasted here:

No, I don’t see myself walking away from JTV so quickly — Jeffy and Linus and even Justin and iJustine are there to entertain me and keep me engaged, but the quality of Stickam will be a draw for those that want to try it out. A few things that I don’t like:

I think the chat is flash like Ustream and it doesn’t play nicely. Correcting typos is excruciating most of the time — just backspacing takes time, if it even works.
Sound is an issue. When it’s just one caster, it’s awesome, but with multiple people streaming it’s tough. There can be an echo or just too many people talking at one time. It can be overwhelming with 7 people at the same time.
The video is a little small, although the resolution is quite good and when Ted did picture in picture (PIP) I could still see him and yours truly clearly, not that I wanted to see me!

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Yes, I went on Stickam. It was the 2nd night iTed could not get his channel to work on JTV and we all moved over with him for the evening. I did like what I saw. It was smooth and clear and the audio was amazing, but the next night when I wanted to try a cooking show, I hosted. I do not have a JTV code and I have not asked for one. Stickam is a flash in the pan, 4 clicks and you are streaming online alternative and what better way to test it out to see if I liked doing it before putting myself or JTV through the paces of getting a code? One of my JTV friends has suggested I get a code to test it out, but I just don’t want to be sitting in the graveyard of dead icons if I decide that I really am not into it after a day or two.

Before I close this topic, let me reiterate what I’ve said in a recent post — I think the the JTV team has made great progress. While I see problems technically and otherwise, I am still around viewing and participating and continuing to wait to see the big breakthrough. I thought the Yahoo appearance by Justin and iJustine was great while others bashed it, it and am one that has always enjoyed seeing them or any of the lifecasters make appearances and I hope it continues.

WordPress.com Visibility

On a brighter note, as people were PM’ing me and making comments in the room to get me to go check out the archives in Jutin’s room, I was in for a surprise when I opened WordPress.com. There in front of me in the top position of the left hand column was my icon and a link to Living the Justopian Life under the Technology heading. I am not sure how, but I made it to the landing page. It brought in a few hundred hits in the afternoon, and that was about it. I wonder if I can embed JTV into the blog? I’ll have to try it out when I am not in need of sleep.

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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?  🙂

What Has the Network Come to?

Offensive Content

When I took a trip around the channels tonight I was shocked and offended by what I saw on the recommended tips list of one of the new lifecasters. I will not post the screen shot I took or repeat the word, but suffice it to say that the term used in the title of the tip, a horrible, all in uppercase letters racial slur is something I know at least a handful of others beside me found very offensive. If this were “real” TV — broadcast television — this would be enough to garner the network a lofty fine and at the very least, a Michael Richards type apology.

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Thai Chicken with Basil

The new lifecaster may not know how to remove tips attributed to her site. That is understandable. What I don’t understand is this — why isn’t someone from JTV monitoring this stuff? Or — has she picked up the phone and tried to call for help getting the tips removed?

Wow, what timing. I see that Jacob was in her room just now. He popped in to say “welcome” and to suggest she crop her photo since it was cutting off her head. What he didn’t mention were the offensive tips. She asked for help, but he was gone before she could get an answer.

She mentioned that she tried to use the delete feature as a primary user, but that it was not working.

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The first “crop” from my poor tomato plants which seem to have been killed by the rogue wind we had yesterday

She noticed that Justin had been in the room and I scrolled up and saw that he entered the room at 12:19, was promoted to Operator and left, all within the span of that minute.

Lady mentioned that the tips had been up there since LAST NIGHT! What?! In 24 hours, no one at JTV could find time in their day to help or resolve the problem?

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Mmmm, dinner

I’d like to see their investors dropping in to see how things are going and watch a lifecaster or two smoking a doobie, take a look down and see the offensive tips.

How things are prioritized, what takes precedence, is a conundrum and one that I suppose will be left unanswered. I just hope she gets the help she needs and gets those tips removed before more people are offended.

Jeffy’s Viewers

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As you can see above, the viewer count says that there were 8 people in Jeffy’s room at the time. We all looked when he asked us to tell him what counts we were seeing. I reported 7, some reported 2 and others reported in the 130’s. I don’t know — I am just stating what I observed. But the cool thing is the program I used to capture the screen shot and to put the note in. Springnet, a guy from Austin that does his own lifecast on USTREAM and mashes up all the JTV streams out there with dizzying effect, sent this link to Jing via Twitter yesterday and I just started to play with it a little bit. It’s basically a desktop sharing application.

I”m partial to this feature — you can record your desktop in motion and share it or save it and send or post to a site. It’s fun and while it may not have many benefits in this application, in the training environment it could be very helpful. You can see it in motion HERE. 🙂

Dinner

Tonight was a replay of Thai Chicken with Basil and Fried Rice. I filmed the making of the fried rice since you’ve seen the video of the chicken in the past. I was really just trying my hand at iMovie08. I could never figure out 06, but this makes it much easier. The video surely won’t win any awards, but it was fun to give it a go.

To make the rice:

I don’t have real specifics here. I don’t really use recipes — I may look at a cook book for inspiration, but then “do my own thing. This rice is virtually fool proof. You do need to make sure you don’t try to fry the rice when it’s still hot. Cooling it is key and if you use the right size bowl, you can accomplish this quickly in the fridge. Sometimes, the key is patience. 🙂

Steam the rice — I prefer to use basmati or jasmine for this — and let it cool to at least room temperatureFinely slice green onions

Dice or make paste of fresh garlic

Put the rice in a pan or a wok with peanut or vegetable oil and cook the rice until it has all had a chance to sizzle and pop in the oil

Add the onions, garlic, and any other vegetables or protein to your liking

Stir fry until everything is incorporated. In this case, I added bacon, mushrooms and 3 large shrimp I happened to have in the freezer. I cut them up and added them to the mix.

Stir it all together and then add soy sauce and one egg. Be sure to have the spoon in your hand so that you are ready to quickly stir the mixture before the egg turns into an omelet. Also, be careful not to over handle the rice or it will turn into porridge.

The Jonas Brothers – Day 2 a Trip to the Cool New Office, and More Factual Insight/Correction

Waiting for the Pandemonium

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Fans waiting for the concert with their posters

I tuned in just after 4:00pm and there was a line outside the concert hall with Jonas Brothers fans — scores of teenage girls waiting for the big event. Some had posters, others were making posters — large posters. Jonas Brothers’ handlers were outside working the crowd. They had an over the hill appearance and way about them. It made me feel even older than I felt when I woke up this morning after just 4 hours of sleep. And I realized, once again, that I am in a demographic that just can’t relate to something like a teenage boy band. I thought quickly back to my teen years and who I adored and lived for and it was confirmation that I am more than someone who just can’t relate to the Jones Brother’s genre — I grew up on the Beatles and Monkey’s phenomenon. The screaming my girlfriends and I did in our rooms with the cheesy portable plastic record player in monaural (mono) sound as the cheap needle scratched the coveted vinyl with each heavy dance step we created as we bounced around the floor was simply — crazy. And what I am hearing as Nicholas, Joseph and Kevin make their way to the stage is on par with how we acted decades ago. The music may change, but human nature doesn’t.

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Arriving at the concert hall

The boys did a sound check and the mic was so hot it was too loud to listen so I backed quietly out of the stream and headed over to Jeffy’s where things were heating up. His room was inundated by Jonas Brothers fans and the chat was out of control. Jeffy and the regulars engaged the girls in all kinds of negative comments about the teen idols and it created near pandemonium as Jeffy saw record viewer numbers. He leveraged the teen craze and drew in viewers in double the numbers of a normal afternoon. It didn’t put him at the top of the lifecasts, but kept him in the top half, at least until I had to leave to make dinner.

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The chat was uncontrollable with spam in all designs

I was wondering how the girl’s parents would feel if they knew what kind of subjects and language was being spoken in the room this evening. But then again, I would imagine a lot of these girl’s parents are using the internet as a cheap babysitter and there could be much worse things they could get into than chat in Jeffy’s room.

Why Complain?

I am not so sure why people are so upset about the hoopla surrounding the Jonas Brothers? Some think they are just trying to make money. Isn’t that what it’s all about, working to make a buck? Isn’t that something we’d all like to do? So, a lot of teeny boppers have been hanging around JTV the past 24 hours. Once the concert is over and the memories are a thing of the past, viewership will probably go back to normal, but I am ready for the next thing to cause such a stir.

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The boys on stage

In the room tonight I mentioned how I remember being just like these girls, that I would have gone to the end of the planet to see Todd Rundgren — that I did go to the end of the earth (the little area I was living in and had the ability to get to) to see him. I went out to the palace grounds in Bangalore with tens and tens of thousands of people on a rainy night to sit in folding chairs on muddy grounds for a whole lot of money to see Elton John just a few years ago — 2003. I didn’t stand up and scream, but I enthusiastically got into the event, while the people around my friend and I sat almost silent during the 3 hour performance and did little more than offer up golf claps. I am sure if I enjoyed the kind of music the Jonas Brothers performed and if they were not minors, I’d be into the craze that’s going on at JTV tonight as well.

It just makes perfect sense to me and the only thing that bothers me is that lifecasting wasn’t around sooner!

The JTV Gang Hits Success Tonight

The fratboys have created a buzz and have shown us that they know how to draw an audience and tonight they showed that they could stream the before, during and after performance action without much problem.

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Waiting for their teen idols to appear

The cameras don’t do a great job of clearly capturing motion, but until the industry starts creating hardware specifically for this type of medium, I doubt there is much that Justin and team can do to improve things. It surely didn’t seem to cause much angst among the fans.

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The Brothers hand out hugs to the fans — all I can think is — eeek, germs! 🙂

Is a JTV Team Term of Endearment Soon to Be Warranted?

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Is Justin going to miss the casual dress of the fratcave office environment?

When I saw Justin conducting business this morning in his underwear from his bed, I had to laugh. My friends and I would often talk about how fun it would be to do the multitude of conference calls we all spent our days conducting or attending in our jammies on days we would work from home, but I could never bring myself to do it. I have always had a fear of the camera getting turned on by accident. As a child I dreamed of the days of video phones, and now that they are here, totally ubiquitous, I resist the technology at all costs!

I can’t imagine how business would get done with all the distractions, no matter how beautiful or not the people on the screen were. Even more than being judged on my looks, I’d be consumed by worry about what the other person would think of my capabilities as a business person.

JTV Headquarters

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Tonight’s vegetable

I tuned into Justin’s stream and caught the tail end of the fratboy’s visit to the new office. I am very excited — they chose a really great piece of property. I still think it could end up being a money pit and that it is not necessarily the type of set up I would have gone with if I did not want to spend $$ making some structural changes, but I would love to live and/or work in a space like this. To me, it’s the perfect spot to foster creativity.

Well, enough of that. My point here is this — I started calling Justin, Emmett, Michael and Kyle The Fratboys many months ago. I fully realized they were not all frat boys in the true sense of the term, but their living, eating, working, partying behavior quickly brought to mind my summer living in the ATO house on the American University campus as a way to not have to move back home waiting for the fall semester. There were about 5 guys and 2 other girls living there that summer. It truly was a fratcave. Downstairs, in the walkout basement level was a kitchen, or what realtors would have called a kitchen, but which I never once used. It was something the CDC would have liked to come take samples in. The living room, in what I imagine was at one time a really beautiful space with large plate glass windows around 2 walls was a dangerous place.

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Slice tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, top with fresh basil, EVOO, balsamico, salt and fresh cracked pepper — Voila!

In the middle of the floor, in front of the fireplace was a giant hole — right to the bottom of the house — directly above the kitchen. When my folks came down for a visit, I had to warn them to be careful. The fratboys had cleverly put a thick rug over the hole to cover it up, but as I saw my dad walking precariously close to the space where I knew the hole was, I screamed! STOP! My room was not large enough for anything more than a twin bed and a small night stand. It was horrible living conditions. Some nights or mornings, I’d look at the door which didn’t quite close all the way, and see someone’s face up against the crack looking in at me. It was more than creepy.

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Frats were not big at that time and especially not a big deal at AU and this was one that seemed to attract guys with sloth-like behaviors, so that’s what came to mind when I saw the JTV guy’s and their living conditions. Especially at Crystal Towers. It’s been a bit better in the current place, but the name stuck.

I am beginning to think that with the move to the office a new term of endearment might be in all of our futures. It will come to me once I see how things are going.

Ideas?

Viewer Counts and Popularity

I knew that there was a chance that some of the questions I raise in this blog would be answered by someone on the JTV team from time to time and I now have answers to the questions I have raised about viewer counts that we see in IRC and site chat and the popularity rankings for stream positioning.

It appears that Justin is usually appearing as #1 in the streams on purpose. Many people still come to the site looking for him or his stream and as a result, he still most often garners the top spot, and Wild94 embeds their stream on their own website, so although we may not see the numbers in chat, there are still a lot of viewers which is included in the stats. And this often places them in the #2 positio

So, that answers a couple of outstanding questions.

Interesting, right?

Now, I have one last question. Where the heck has Yalie been the past 24 hours? This Jonas Brothers thing seems to be something that would be right up his alley, that he could get a lot of mileage out of. He’s missed all the fun. I can’t even imagine what may have flown off his fingertips had he been here.

Ron Paul Draws Weekend JTV Viewers Again, Matzoh Ball Soup and a Previous Post Correction

Ron Paul’s Fans

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Falafel Sandwich — Craving satisfied!

Once again Ron Paul drew a large crowd. I saw his room peak out at 228, far surpassing anyone else on JTV, especially on a weekend. I noticed his icon this morning in a top spot, dropped in and the stream was a mess. The usual chatter about how great the guy is, how he has great dreams and ideas for the future of America, all favorable chatter, with the exception of one viewer with the moniker, godless” who was causing angst among the RP faithful. He or she was making statements and asking questions that didn’t sit well with most in the room, although some of what he said did strike a chord with me, but I decided to stay out of the crossfire and backed out of the room. The people in there are always so cheerful — in an other-worldly kinda of way. You know, as though they’ve just had a cup of koolaid. 😉

He’s on again tonight and has 126 viewers and although Justin has less than 1/2 that number, he is still only showing up as #2 on the JTV Hit Parade. I’m wondering at what point Justin will stop lifecasting? I wonder if he is worried that if he stops, viewer-ship will decline even further? It would seem to me that as long as he’s sticking with the brand, Justin.tv, he’s probably stuck with the lifecast.

The Cure-All

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Heaven in a Bowl

Matzoh Ball soup is the cure-all for anything that ails you except, perhaps for a ban.

I made a large pot of chicken soup, better known as Jewish Penicillin and thought that those of you that are not familiar with the wonders of this magical stuff would like to have the recipe. It can also be used as the base for many recipes. I also made potato latkes (pancakes) and will include that as well. Make some asap! Freeze the leftovers (keeping out the carrots — they don’t hold up well when frozen) as a way to ward off the evils of a nasty cold, and if you do get one, pull out a bag, heat it up and rid yourself of the stuffy nose.

After I put the chicken in the pot, I kept up with the theme and made a falafel sandwich. Yummy! I know there’s at least one JTV viewer — Dizilbdog that will be drooling with he views these shots. He was having a craving for falafel today. Sorry dude, but I’ll bet you can find some already prepared falafel patties in your local market.

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Falafel patties, cucumbers, parsley, red onions, bell peppers, yogurt sauce
Correction
I dropped in on Sarah tonight. There was nothing happening and I thought I’d see what she was up to. She was sitting in a cafe, looking very pretty and she looked alert and happy. I was getting ready to buzz out when she mentioned my name. She wanted to let me know that I got the info wrong about her parents. This is what I posted: She talked about how her Mother is Jewish and her Father came from Mexico. I am not sure what prompted this bit of family history, but I suspect it was in response to a viewer’s question. I heard it incorrectly though. In chat she told me, “My mother is Mexican, my father is Jewish.” One is a nationality, one is a religion, but I got the point. So, now you have the correct info.

The Things I Didn’t Buy at Costco, a Trip to Cape Town, and a Post Script for Michael

NOTE: If you’d like to listen to an audio recording of this episode, please click the arrow below:

The Once Every So Often Costco Pilgrimage

I haven’t been to Costco in about 4 years and decided that I’d make the trip yesterday. It was time I got out of the house and away from JTV! I figured a weekday would be a good time to do it, so I got showered and dressed and into the car for the first time in four days. There wasn’t a big crowd. I spent the money on a new membership — ugh — and headed to the perimeter of the store to see what was available. I really only needed paper towels, toilet paper, vegetable oil, diet soda and … well, nothing else really. It’s tough shopping and cooking for one. I love my place, it’s plenty big enough for me, has three walk in closets and a few more, but the criminally large sizes of merchandise that is on offer at the big box stores is most often too much for someone like me. If I’d planned this right, I’d “share” a membership with someone, go to the store, buy what we both need, divvy it up and go home with only what I need, but that would take forethought, so I filled a cart to the brim and headed home with a wallet $500 lighter (including the membership fee) than it had been 2 hours before heading out.

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Sadly, this is only a small portion of what I spent my money on

I’ve just got one question — for $50, can’t they do something to make the end result of the ID photo look at least somewhat less than scary? A little facial peel, a brow lift, a little liposuction under the chin? Something!? Anything? Please!

Left in the Aisles for Others

  • A 52 inch plasma TV for $1350 — 1o inches larger than mine, 4 years newer and $3000 CHEAPER!!!!
  • New specs — I don’t need new ones, but I am tired of the ones I have — both pairs
  • A big 12 pack of mongo muffins — someone else can have the calories, thank you very much!
  • Toilet paper — this is one of the things that was on my list!
  • Vegetable oil — I picked up olive oil — it wasn’t on my list, they don’t carry good quality EVOO, what was I thinking?!
  • Jasmine Rice — who can pick up those 10 kilo bags in the first place and once you get it home, where the hell do you keep it?
  • A 4 pack of portable phones. Who buys those things?
  • Diamonds
  • A trip to the mountains
  • Tires
  • A watch
  • A video camera
  • A new mattress
  • ANYTHING in the automotive aisle
  • Gasoline — this would probably have been the smartest purchase of the day, had I made it, but I drove up at an entrance that is not close to the pumps so I totally forgot it was available

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Perhaps those Band-Aids are meant for a summer camp with, ohhh…500 kids?!

And we can’t leave out the most important part of the trip …
Why, Oh Why Did I Buy:

  • Enough chicken to feed a village?
  • The Singapore snack mix that is all soggy and mostly tasteless?
  • A new coffee maker that really doesn’t fit anywhere
  • A 3 pack of bandaids that would have been a good idea — IF I RAN A PLAYSCHOOL!
  • A 3 pack of English cucumbers — now I’ll have to invite the neighbors in for tea and crumpets
  • A 5 pound bag of lemons — I know I’m hooked on that chicken with garlic and lemons recipe, but come on!
  • A 24 pack of paper towels — I know I am over the top with paper towels, but where will I store them all?!
  • And more, much more …

And whatever happened to the Costco day pass?! I don’t want to go back there for another 4 years, but after shelling out FIFTY dollars I would imagine I’ll be back, sooner than I’d planned.

CampsBay_TV is A Virtual Trip to Paradise

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Camps Bay, Capetown, South Africa, or … Paradise!

I bumped into the Campsbay_tv lifecaster last week in the Melinus room. Nice guy, great accent! Ok, so I only heard his voice for a few seconds when he picked up the phone while I was watching this morning, but I do have a great imagination. I headed over to his stream and it was as though I’d stepped into paradise. He had the camera pointed out the window as we’ve seen before. He didn’t seem to be around, but it really didn’t matter to me. It was as though I was there. The sound of the cars passing by on the street below was clearly audible along with the breeze sailing through the palm trees and the chirping of birds. I did miss the smell of the sea air, but since I couldn’t be there, this was the next best thing.

I am anxious for our friend — Camp — to go mobile. Also, it would be helpful if he’d tell us his name and post other info on the page. It’s funny how few of the people realize he’s streaming from South Africa, most seem to think they are looking at Australia. Ahhh, the two continents I need to get to in order to round out my passport before it expires in 11 months.

Synchronicity

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The pool looks awfully inviting from 14 stories up on a very hot summer night.

Funny — I’ve got a call set up tomorrow morning with a guy in the global call center industry who wants to talk about a new call center venture he’s starting in Ghana. Ghana’s become one of the newer outsourcing spots and of course it’s not not South Africa, it’s West Africa, but going there could get me that elusive stamp I’ve been looking to obtain. 🙂

I picked up Thomas Friedman’s best seller, The World is Flat, during my visit to the temple of mass consumerism yesterday, so all afternoon, in between plunking into the pool to cool off, I was immersed in Friedman’s in depth, insightful, often familiar thoughts on the shrinking world and what it may hold for our future.

One thing really does seem to lead to the next and the linkage started with JTV. A lifecaster in South Africa, email from ag global outsourcing entrepreneur wanting to talk about business in West Africa, and a read by the pool about the decomposition of the theory that the world is round.

I can’t wait to see what JTV shows me tomorrow!

Post Script

NOTE TO MICHAEL — if you’re going to don the hat-cam, think about NOT EATING! It’s nothing short of digusting listening to this. And to make it worse, it’s really loud, I have one bar on the volume and it’s still enough to make me jump every time he chops, opens a cabinet, or bangs around in the sink. The belching is enough to make me wretch. As tough as it is sometimes to watch Justin, but Michael takes things to a new level.

I made the mistake of tuning into Justin’s feed as I was getting ready to record this and heard Michael in what seemed like the end of a little consoling conversation about office space. He was telling Justin that, “sometimes it takes people six months to find office space,” and something close to, “she’s an old lady, cut her some slack.” I wonder if they were talking about the landlord of the great office space that they all loved? If so, I am feeing really really bummed right now. If that lady is considered old, I bet I’m not far behind being considered old by that generation.

I don’t recall viewing people in their 50’s and 60’s as being old when I was that age, but perhaps now that I am verging on OLD myself, I just can’t remember back that far! :/

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Still Alive

No News Tonight

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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