I’ve ignored this blog and website for a really long time. Nearly all of my energy has been pointed toward the success of Panda Mony Toy Brands and our first line Alter Nation, but now is not the time to ignore whatever platform a person might have.
I’m really unhappy with standard social media platforms. I use them for advertising 99% of the time, that’s it. I don’t feel closer to people, I don’t feel like I’m staying in touch, it feels very cynical, and I can get a shocking amount of information about tens of millions of people just by buying a $5 ad. People in technology know how scary it is and how the algorithm can be used to less than honest ends, but I don’t know that everyone really gets it. The echo chamber makes it really easy to not care. But there are things happening in the world that we have to care about, and we need to care a lot. Facebook/Instagram/Twitter aren’t giving me the tools I need to make the kind signal I want to make. Audience, yes, but I need to get that audience away from their platform so the message isn’t diluted by all the noise.
So, rather than scream into the void I’m coming back here. I can use social media the way I’m comfortable using it – as an advertising platform – and get the message out in a different way.
I don’t know how well this will work, but this is a time of change and experimentation, so I’m going to experiment.
Our little man isn’t doing too well. All of his health issues are starting to catch up to him and are really taking a toll on his little body. Rene and I have been doing all we can to make sure that he is comfortable and happy, but as much as we try nature is starting to beat his medicines.
Last night Rene took Frankie to the vet and we got some distressing news – his body is holding fluid and there is a mass in his chest that right now cannot be identified through the fluid.
It was a devastating visit both emotionally and financially.
We have always half joked that as long as we have credit, Frankie will be cared for. Unfortunately we have now reached a point where Frankie’s medical bills have tapped us out.
Frankie is such a good boy. He’s a breed ambassador and makes friends everywhere he goes, not just for himself but us as well. Normally Rene and I like to only show images that show a happy and healthy Frankie, like these:
But lately he’s really looked more like this:
We have really great vets who are doing their best to care for him, but he has so many ailments that it’s tough nailing down what’s doing the most harm to him at any given time.
It’s really tough to be a Frankie dog right now.
We started a donations page for Frankie back in March when his first major cardiac event and that was a major help. He is alive today because of the kindness of those donors and we have had to reactivate it because of the extraordinary expenses related to his care over the last couple of weeks. Please visit his page at the link below. Any help you can provide goes directly to paying for Frankie’s medication and vet visits. We know after this last visit that there are more trips to the vet coming and likely more medications as well.
Rene and I do not like asking for help. We took on the responsibility of a dog knowing that it meant that we were supposed to care for him and we do our best to make sure that he is paid for, but there have just been too many bills coming too fast and we don’t want our dog to die of something preventable just because we couldn’t pay for it this week.
Thank you so much for checking it out and donating if you can. Words cannot express how much Rene, myself and especially Frankie appreciate it.
Filed under advocate, animals, causes, charity, dogs, family, Frankie, fund raising, health, in real life, love, medical, money, personal, pets, pictures, pit bulls, rene
So we saw the FCC vote against Net Neutrality on December 14, 2017. If you follow me on social media (those links are here on this page) you know that this is an important topic to me for a variety of reasons, but mostly because the free exchange of information on the internet is so important. I wanted to put in one place several media items that I feel are fair and explain why Net Neutrality is important:
First and foremost this Twitter thread:
Click on it, read the whole thing. It gives context and background on why Net Neutrality is important.
Here is a video from Vox that also helps explain what may come next:
Here is popular YouTuber CP Grey explaining why the internet needs defending:
If you have 153 minutes you can get a full breakdown of the actual law via this podcast:
CD163: “Net Neutrality”
And, because it’s super popular and easy to watch, John Oliver:
Net Neutrality is NOT regulation AGAINST innovation. It IS a level playing field in an ever expanding market.
Have a different thought on this? Let’s hash it out in the comments.
My buddy Jeff Garvin tagged me in the #1stVote16 tag to help encourage first time voters to get registered and vote this election and I couldn’t be happier to participate! There is a lot of cynicism wrapped up in this election season but that is no reason not to participate. In fact, if anything, it’s even more of a reason to participate. I started voting back when Rock the Vote first came into being. I still remember watching the commercials on MTV back in the day. It was exciting and it felt like a big deal. It felt empowering. For the first time in my life it felt like the “grown-ups” actually cared about what I thought, and they all desperately wanted my vote for whatever they cared about. Although I may have complaints about how the presidential election process happens, there is SO MUCH MORE to vote on this November! Important, important things! 88% of congress is up for re-election – THAT’S HUGE! California as a state has 17 statewide ballot proposals to vote on, and it’s big stuff like marijuana legalization and the death penalty, not including all the local initiatives – and local initiatives are important, just ask John Oliver.
All of this is to say that you should register, get informed, and vote. It’s important, it counts, and it’s your duty as a citizen. Here’s my video:
Need help getting registered? Here are some links to help you:
Visit http://RockTheVote.com to REGISTER & learn more!
First timer? Rock the Vote has a special site just for you!
And here is a handy YouTube Channel about How to Vote in Every State.
Tomorrow is a big day for the Internet, the FCC will vote on the proposed rules to govern broadband. Even if these open Internet friendly rules pass it looks like the Internet Service Providers are going to take the whole thing to court. What does that mean? The fight is far from over. It’s up to each of us to let our representatives know that an open Internet is what we want.
Still confused about why you should care? Mashable put together a short video about the history of the internet and why Net Neutrality is important. And if you’d like more than you can check out some of my PREVIOUS POSTS.
Keep up the fight!
Ready to reach out to your representatives? Go here: SAVE THE INTERNET
See you next time.
On February 5, 2015 the new rules proposal for broadband will be circulated for review. Later this month, February 26th, the FCC will vote on these regulations. They are reported to go the direction that Net Neutrality activists have hoped, and that’s a good thing, but the new Republican congress who benefits from an average of $350 million dollars a year in campaign contributions from the communications industry is attempting to derail all the progress that has been made. As described in the article linked to above, opponents to the idea of true Net Neutrality (personified by Sen. John Thune R-SD and Rep. Fred Upton R- Michigan) oppose the idea of reclassification and are proposing a separate bill that neuters the authority of the FCC thereby opening a backdoor to the kinds of actions that Net Neutrality activists were hoping to see squashed, like internet fast lanes.
In case you need a reminder of why reclassification is essential and why communication companies cannot be trusted to “self regulate” just check out this article which shows what happened when Netflix was forced to negotiate with Comcast.
On top of the big internet providers attempting to charge content providers, other businesses have been getting crafty as well. A large penalty was just levied on Marriott Hotels because they were blocking private wi-fi hotspots, the kind offered by carriers like Verizon and Sprint, and forcing people to purchase the wi-fi through the hotel. Although they were caught and fined, this is likely just the first of many such attempts as large companies try to find a way to grab market share on internet service as it becomes part of people’s daily lives more and more.
Even though true Net Neutrality is so close, the fight is still on and it is important not to stop making our desire for an open and free internet known. If you enjoy things like Netflix, Facebook, YouTube and even online dating then this effects you and your life.
You can follow THIS LINK to learn how to have your voice heard. Contact your representatives and let them know that you like your internet just fine and want it to stay free and open.
Keep up the fight!
Filed under activism, Andelon, business, career, commentary, computers, goverment, internet, net neutrality, new media, politics, the future, Uncategorized
Rene and I are doing a lot of re-branding and building of our web presence since our commitment to take control of our careers this year. This happens to coincide with the end of any contracts that existed with my old production company, Wiggy VonSchtick Productions. The only thing that came out of that dissolution in any way intact was the YouTube channel Wiggy Webs where we auditioned some web content.
The most popular videos were a series called Make-up with the Wolf where award winning make-up and F/X artist Myke “The Wolf” Michaels demonstrated how to do Hollywood level make-up effects on a budget. I’m proud to say that the most popular video is of Rene getting transformed into a Buffy style vampire.
But as I was looking back at the video manager I found a video that I had almost forgotten about and thought was worth featuring today. It was for a group that was trying to rehome over 80 dogs because the rescue that had been their home was being shut down. A group of photographers, including Lori Fusaro, and dog clothing manufacturers got together to take good, happy adoption photos that helped get all of these animals new homes, most at a rescue in a different state.
Watching this again, I remember being at the rescue site and how all the dogs could tell that something was going on, even before all the photoshoot started. Some were nervous, but many were so happy to have as much human interaction as they got that day. With the number of unwanted animals in the United States, rescues and shelters serve as savior to many animals that would otherwise die. If you would like more information about how to help or adopt animals check HERE.
Even though Wiggy VonSchtick is shut down, Wiggy Webs is going to stay up as long as people keep watching it. And if we make the odd nickel every few months from Google AdSense that’s ok too.
Now back to the new stuff!
See you next time.
Things are looking good for Net Neutrality.
In a one-on-one conversation with Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President Gary Shapiro on January 7th, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (sometimes referred to as a dingo) has implied that rules governing broadband communications will be based on Title II of the Communications Act – which is what most Net Neutrality activists and I have been hoping for.
HERE’S A LINK TO THE ARTICLE AT ARS TECHNICA
But for the TL;DR crowd here are some sound bytes:
“…it became obvious that commercially reasonable could be interpreted as what is reasonable for the ISPs, not what is reasonable for consumers or innovators,” Wheeler said. “And that’s the wrong question and the wrong answer because the issue here is how do we make sure that consumers and innovators have open access to networks. That led us to a more robust investigation of the well established concept of just and reasonable, which is a Title II concept. And as I said, Title II has always been something that was on the table. So last summer we began investigating various approaches using title II as a way to get to just and reasonable because it has the best protections.”
”What’s interesting also is that other ISPs, smaller ISPs, like the rural carriers, competitive ISPs, have all come in and said, ‘we like Title II, we hope you’ll do Title II,'” Wheeler added.
“It just so happens that 20 years ago I was the guy that negotiated on behalf of the wireless industry to establish Section 332,” Wheeler said. “Section 332 says that wireless should be regulated under Title II as a common carrier, except that the FCC is instructed to forbear from onerous provisions and inappropriate provisions of Title II, except for section 201 and 202, which is just and reasonable, and Section 208, which is consumer protection,” he added.
Shapiro summed up, saying, “what I heard you say is, without totally confirming it, is you’re going down the Title II path, [and] that the wireless model is a good model, and the wireless model said forbear by law except for a couple of sections.” Wheeler did not dispute that assessment.
Filed under activism, Andelon, business, commentary, geek, internet, net neutrality, news, politics, re-post, technology, the future
As you are probably aware, Rene and I are big fans of pit bulls. Rene’s family have had pits for decades and our beloved Frankie is a pit mix (although probably mostly red nose). The dogs have a bad rap, as you are probably aware. The fact of the matter is that they are great dogs who are villainized and have some of their best traits turned to the dark side. The folks at Buzz Feed have produced a great short video about some common misconceptions about pit bulls and I wanted to post it here! Also, because it isn’t directly addressed in the video, pit bull jaws do not lock. They are no different than any other dog jaw. The more you know.
See you next time.