Fun Times, Exotic Ingredients, The Winners Are … and a Williams-Sonoma Surprise!

Exotic Food and Contests

It’s a Lotus Root

Wow, what a fun night at Justopia.com! I decided when I was in the Fresh World International Market to do my grocery shopping for the week today, that I would begin a new contest series. It would be all about exotic foods.

Continue reading

A Leap to Leopard That Didn’t Happen, and An Eye-Opener

Crazy Cats

I guess the pasta was hot enough — can you see the steam coming off of it to the left?

I was excited at the prospect of upgrading from Tiger to Leopard on my not-so-pretty-anymore MacBook. I headed for the Apple store ready to make the leap. I had considered giving up the Mac way of life and purchasing a Windows machine, but if I’ve learned one thing during the past year-plus hanging around JTV and meeting people that are far more experienced and knowledgeable about computers and purchasing them than I am, it’s not to make an impulse buy on something like a computer. I hope that I don’t just drop into a store and purchase a new machine on a whim again. I also know that I should not be making that kind of a purchase right now . It would be an emotional purchase and I’ve done enough of that over the past dozen or so years to know it was time to stop. Oh yeah, and circumstances have played a big role in stopping that behavior too. 😉

Continue reading

Oh No, I’ve Been Rick Rolled — By CNN!

Hot Gossip

This is going to be ultra hot pepper jelly

I was in a room last night and someone came running in to say that Justin.tv was on CNN Headline News. When we asked what the piece was about, we were told that it was about Rick Astley and about Getting Rick Rolled on JTV and that “they said it was rude.”

Continue reading

Lifecasting a Hannukah Celebration, iTed Educates and Snow is in the Forecast

Before I forget.  Sumdance was the winner in last night’s Food Trivia Challenge and will be receiving home baked cookies from Justopia!  Congratulations Sumdance!

Happy Holiday!

img_4582.jpg

Chicken with Mushrooms and White Wine, Potato Latkes (pancakes) and Broccoli Salad

On the 25th day of the Hebrew month of Kislev, Jews around the world celebrate Hanukkah. Tonight, I had the opportunity to celebrate the first night of the holiday live, via streaming video right here on Justin.tv! Hannuka is a festive holiday and kids love it. There are gifts to unwrap, songs to sing and the dreidel game to be played with coins or Hannuka Gelt (gold foil wrapped chocolate coins). It ‘s a game of chance really. Nothing very complicated and there’s no real strategy. A dreidel is a top that’s spun and depending on which side it lands on, the letter of the Hebrew alphabet denotes the money paid out, held or put back into the pot.

img_4579.jpg

Tonight we didn’t play the dreidel game but we did make a great meal! We had chicken with mushrooms and white wine, broccoli salad and the delicious Hannukah favorite, Potato Latkes (potato pancakes). And after dinner I explained what the holiday is all about lit the menorah and said the Hannukah prayers — in Hebrew. It’s funny how some things just don’t fade from your memory, while something said to me just 3 minutes prior is in and out of the gray matter within seconds.

img_4584.jpg

img_4583.jpg

Photography Lesson

smiling-ted.jpg

iTed kicking back listening to Steve and Edie Gourmet

– After the show I tuned into iTed’s channel and he was in his “darkroom” showing us how to develop film. I hadn’t seen film being developed in probably 20 years. It was a fun time. After he was done he took us on a tour of this place. I had seen most of it before, but never the bathroom (darkroom) or the bedroom. He has photos hanging everywhere and some original art by friends and family. The kitchen was … well, let’s not discuss the kitchen tonight. I’ve seen iTed’s kitchen in better shape.

And then it was a sit and chat session. You remember the stop and chat episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm, right? Well, this was more fun. iTed sat and we chatted and he responded. The iTed community is coming back now that iTed is broadcasting again and it’s nice to have a place to park after I am done with my broadcast.

Thanks iTed.

Weather

They tell us we are supposed to get some snow tomorrow! I am very excited! I love winter and am waiting for a real storm to hit this year. Hopefully it will happen.


My Mojo is Back!

iWas, iCan, iAm!

card.jpg

I’ve had a feeling of loss lately. I have not had the inspiration I’ve needed to get me clacking away at the keyboard writing a good read. But after checking into an old JTV favorite’s room I once again found my mojo and I’m very happy about it. iTed, the witty photog from Dallas disappeared from the JTV lifecasting scene quite some time ago. It happened before I began my broadcasting life and we were so disappointed to spend our JTV channel hopping days without iTed and his humor.

ited-again.jpg

Well, tonight all was right with the world. He popped into my broadcast and let us know he was live, but I was in the middle of roast lamb and potatoes with steamed asparagus, struggling to get the bowl released from the mixer stand and whipping up a batch of gingerbread cookie dough. After the broadcast I headed right for iTed’s room. And it was like old times. He was kicking back on the couch chatting with the viewers, cigarette in hand, cats hanging around. In the background were cameras, the desk and that TV which clearly still has not been watched since the last time we saw him on the couch.

As I walked in, he was talking about birthday card remorse. See, iTed broke up with a long time (3 years) girlfriend at just about the time he stopped lifecasting. But he had been having second thoughts about ending the relationship and decided to make a birthday card for her. He shot a flower, had it printed and that was the card. Through much trial and tribulation, he managed to get the card in the mail and it is due to reach her mailbox tomorrow, the day before her birthday. Apparently iTed’s birthday was last week and iEx sent him a brief birthday email which must have been the inspiration for his return birthday greeting to her, but he seemed to be feeling a bit of remorse. He said he had been having a tough time with the break up even though it was his choice and that maybe it was a mistake. Poor iTed, he’s full of doubt. iTed! Don’t second guess yourself. The card was beautiful and I mean really, how can the thought, effort and beauty be bad?

ited-sign-off.jpg

While all this was being discussed, ParrisHarris was in the room and the humor he added to the birthday card discussion was priceless! He said that iTed needed to just tell iEx, “I am iTed,” and that would be enough to win her back. Well ok, Parris did not use those exact words, but it was implied and it was a great idea. Once started, we came up with other insightful messages he should have put on the card. “iMessed up iMiss you and babe, let’s kick back and have a colortin, iTed.” He got out his sharpie and inscribed the photo with the new, more heartfelt message, but there was one big problem — the postman is due to deliver the original card today!  Premature Birthday Delivery.

img_4574.jpg

Roasted lamb, potatoes and steamed asparagus with raspberry vinaigrette

We could not let an opportunity to help iTed with his relationship issues pass us up and at the same time have some fun, so the suggestions for how to handle the potential reconciliation ensued. I thought he should go with guitar in hand to her place and seranade her, state his love for her and proclaim, “iTed!” Yes, just like that — implied verb and all. There is no need for a verb. No need to differentiate between tenses — I was Ted, I am Ted, I will be Ted. iTed just is. No explanationor verbs needed. It’s as simple as this — iTed IS!

.img_4575.jpg

Look how the usernames in the background on the monitor have a Christmas look 🙂

I’ve always thought iTed had about the best lifecast you could watch. He didn’t cast 24/7 when he was on daily, but he did let us spend a great deal of time with him and it was never dull. While he may not take us places often, he was always interactive and I never found him to be dull or grabbing for attention and he was never into drama or to cause drama. There really was never any negativity in the land of iTed.

More

I was out all day today so I did not log into JTV until about 7pm. I didn’t have much time to channel hop, but from what I could see, there was nothing to watch, so I decided to take care of some mail, put the lamb in the oven and plan the rest of the meal. It was so incredibly simple and DEE licious!

I simply put pancetta (Italian bacon), garlic and rosemary into a food processor and processed it until the mixture resembled a paste. I seared the lamb in a pan with salt and pepper until both sides had a nice color and then put the lamb into a baking pan and rubbed the mixture all over the lamb, put it in the oven at 400º for 15 minutes. I then turned the oven down to 350º for a couple of hours before pouring about 1/3 coup of red wine over the lamb and continuing to cook for another 30 minutes before serving. The potatoes were browned on top of the stove in the same pan that the lamb was seared in for about 8 minutes, or until the potatoes turn golden brown. I put the potatoes into the pan with the lamb once the wine had mostly cooked off.

The asparagus is just steamed or lightly boiled and a vinaigrette was poured over them after they had a chance to cool. I think the one thing the asparagus was mising was a thin slice or two or parmesan cheese. Oh well, next time!

Talent on JTV

What is Normal Anyway?

img_4459.jpg

Thai Steak, Fried Rice, Fried Wontons and Steamed Broccoli– DEElicious!

I was out looking for something to jump-start my right brain, something that would be the trigger I needed to put words on paper. I have only had a few creative bursts in the last few weeks and the blog has shown it, so I was searching for something to fire the synapses and in almost no time I found it. There was simply nothing on the Channel Bar or Top Bar as I’ve heard it referred to recently. Same thing, Different Day. The SOS.

And then I remembered a channel I spent a little bit of time in yesterday — Antinormalcomics. There IS some talent on JTV and it often is not very high profile, but it’s well worth looking for. In this channel, you will see cartoons in progress, as they are being created. Many are of JTV viewers or broadcasters. I had one done for me and it arrived in my mail this afternoon. How exciting!! The tomato theme of my page is the focus of the drawing as you can see. There is great detail here. It looks like it must have taken some time to complete.

I think I will ask him to do a caricature next — kitchen utensil in hand (probably my favorite Cuisipro green silicon spoon with the metal handle and my funky rectangular glasses. I can just see it — food flying in the background or pots on the stove boiling away, my arms crossed with the spoon in one hand and a big smile on my face.
justopiacolor-copy.jpg

The drawing in color

The epitome of the Justopian chef in the land of Justopia. Oh boy, I think I may be taking the whole life of living in Justopia just a bit too far. What do you think? I think having a good imagination is a good thing. It looks like our friend at Antinormalcomics has fun with his imagination and the results of his creativity makes others smile as well.

img_4461.jpg

Look at the steam coming off the broccoli!

So much of what we see on JTV is not very interesting. I mentioned in the chat room that it was relaxing watching him and when he finished, I felt like I had accomplished something. Why I felt that is anybody’s guess. I can create in the kitchen and can create with words on a keyboard — when I’m inspired — but drawing, well that eluded me my whole life.

Great work and thank you!

Technical Woes in the Late Evening

I tuned into ECV and he was having major technical issues. I tuned into iJustine and she seemed to be a bit choppy as well, but nothing like ECV. I looked at a number of channels on the bar and all others seemed to be streaming just fine — smooth and without a problem . I don’t know what the issue is, but I’ve tuned out altogether at this point. I’d rather go to bed then wait out the buffering and dropped broadcasts. I wonder how long it will take for this technology to be “ready for prime time?”

A Spooklicious Halloween and a Couple of Lifecasting Tips to Make Life Easier

No Tricks Here, Just Treats!

img_4255.jpg

As my good friend Spookygrl would say, it was a Spookylicious night in the land of Justopia this Halloween, 2007. It was probably the longest period of time I’ve spent broadcasting since I launched the channel, but we made two separate candy concoctions, so it took time to prep, cook, clean and package up some of the finished product. Shew! I am exhausted.

img_4236.jpg

It was a good night overall. Well … if you forget about the countless instances of buffering and broadcasting outages we experienced on the channel. We cooked up some Halloween treats — Sweet and Spicy Pepitas Popcorn Balls and Pecan-Caramel Spiders. I had a lot of caramel left over after making the spiders, so I went to the fridge, pulled out a Granny Smith apple and proceeded to make a giant caramel-chocolate apple with nuts. I wrapped up the popcorn balls for the ladies that work at the front desk tomorrow and will trim the spiders and wrap them up as well and give them to a friend for his birthday.

After

justopia-mask-3.jpg

Yes, it’s hideous, but Narjar seemed to have fun

When I was done with the dishes and signed out of the broadcast, I took a walk over to Narjar’s room to see what he was up to. He pestered me all night to send him a photo of myself so that he could make a Halloween costume to wear in his channel. I refused, so he resorted to using a screen shot. What I saw was not a pretty site. Narjar was sitting at the desk in his dorm room with a black and white paper mask of me, doing his best to imitate me with a high pitched voice and speaking more like Martha Stewart than Justopia. I was initially taken aback, but then I stepped back and thought about it. A long time ago someone told me that imitation is the finest form of flattery. It looks like this is my banner week. People seem to have had fun imitating me in various venues around JTV.

I’m — so — flattered
JTV Basics for Lifecasters

I was in a new room this afternoon called momscashblog and was instantly driven to try to help this woman, but it was not happening for the most part because the room was being “raided” most of the time I was watching her broadcast. I have written in the past that there is a need for a JTV Guide to Lifecasting and had thought Justin was working on it months ago, but I have yet to see it. So rather than sit around and watch new Broadcasters come online and struggle like this, I thought I’d put pen to paper this evening and try to knock out at least a couple of basic tips to try to make things easier for both Broadcaster and Viewer.

  • Echoing Audio
    • When you launch your broadcast each day it will be necessary to mute the volume coming from JTV on the broadcaster side. It’s easy to take care of, but until it’s discovered, many lifecasters are unaware. Below the video of the broadcast from left to right are a gray Pause button, a gray Speaker icon the broadcaster’s local time, and a gray Fullscreen box (used to maximize the video window.
    • Click on the gray Speaker icon and a volume slider appears. It is a gray line with a blue dot located at where the volume is currently located. Click once on the blue dot and without releasing, pull the dot down to the bottom to mute the sound.
      • Remember, this will have to be done each time you launch your broadcast, but a clear indicator that you are echoing is hearing your own voice coming from your speakers. Adjusting the volume on your computer will do nothing to mitigate the echo problem.

Examples of the stages of the volume button seen on That Gamer Girl’s channel during some Halloween Fun:

gamer-girl-1.jpg that-gamer-girl-2.jpg gemer-girl-3.jpg

  • Chat Moderation
    • In order to provide a somewhat sane chat environment — if that is what you would like — it is necessary to invoke a degree of Chat Moderation. Many viewers want to be moderators and many lifecasters assign mod status to viewers without having spent much time broadcasting or doing any homework to get a sense for whether the person raising their hand may have an agenda or ulterior motive. Some appear to simply enjoy the ability to click the Kick or Ban links and watching a person disappear from the room without notice.
    • Before assigning moderators, it is important to determine what your tolerance level will be. These are not JTV sponsored moderators. These are volunteers you will choose based on how conservative or liberal you wish things to be in your room. Determine how many chances a viewer will get before they are kicked or banned from your room. For example, you can use a “three strike” policy in which once a person has done something unacceptable two times, on the 3rd, they are kicked. If they come back after the time out and proceed to continue with the same behavior, another kick and when they come back the 3rd time they are banned. All of your room mods will need to know what you are looking for in terms of moderation so that there is consistent policy being followed. Otherwise you risk unhappiness from some that may become repeat visitors.
    • We have seen waves of various types of “room raids.” These are usually the most disruptive events in a chat room. For instance, this week we are seeing people flock to rooms chatting in French, always unprovoked and often throwing around disrespectful, or worse comments. As with other types of raids, they will often ask the broadcaster to do something such as put a shoe on their head or show a body part or put a keyboard on their head. Once a lifecaster does so, the requests don’t just stop, it draws more of these viewers to the room making more of the same type requests. It’s a game and giving into it can make things worse. The best way to combat a raid is to put the room into Slow Mode. As Justin and team note in their blog, Broadcasters should turn on Slow Mode whenever their chatroom is being flooded by many users to the point that it is unusable. This will help rate limit the flow of chat, and hopefully make everything a bit more understandable. More details are included in the JTV link above.
  • Sharing Information
    • As a final note as I check out the channel bar before heading off to bed … a new caster is on and although Justin and his team have noted in their Safety information for Broadcasters to be wary of giving out personal info, she is giving out details that could lead viewers right to her door, or to the club she is thinking about going to this weekend.  Think twice before disclosing location informaiton.

Below is an example of a new channel being raided:

687. 4:34 mrgreen: noel est habillé en vert à la base
688. 4:34 le_pancake: where are u from?
689. 4:34 dieu_noel: elle fait des streap elle ?
690. 4:35 noel_en_force: par derriere par devant
691. 4:35 spigumus: I make more money making pretty pictures like “logos” and sell them for several thousand.
692. 4:35 johncow: moo
693. 4:35 noel2: vaut mieut pas
694. 4:35 nuctos: Show your boobs
695. 4:35 mrgreen: Mais coca cola l’a rendu rouge
696. 4:35 fpoon: pourquoi tout les personnes parlent francais? : (
697. 4:35 pamela_g: french are invading
698. 4:35 noel_en_force: tu doi bien sucer
699. 4:35 bangoustine: VIVE LA FRANCE !!!
700. 4:35 dieu_noel: parce que
701. 4:35 wh_y_m_e: on a investi justin.tv ^^
702. 4:35 outflow: So are you the fan of the Apprentice?
703. 4:35 nuctos: What do you thing about French people?
704. 4:35 noel2: French powaa
705. 4:35 dieu_noel: france forever
706. 4:35 cayke_aux_jambons: elle aime bien parler lol
707. 4:35 mrgreen: Mettez lui quelque chose dans la bouche !
708. 4:35 paul86: cette meuf on diré une animation de synthèse