Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Thought, A Word and A Prototype

I have been bugged about access to health care, and of the poor access to legit healthcare information. When have any of us been taught to access the American healthcare system? Not saying that there hasn't been an informal lessons; depending on culture.

For example in certain communities you don't go near a doctor or healthcare provider unless you are halfway dead. You have to prove to the family unit that there is a reason to engage with medical care because it could mean food, the rent or long term debt.

Other folks revere doctors and accept everything that comes of the mouths of healthcare providers. Even when it is flat out wrong or hazardous to health; white coats; licensed or not are to be obeyed.

We also have a problem with health literacy. How much is a dram of medicine? Once every two hours or Four times a day? Side effects and non-cure medicine are rampant. How do you know what you are supposed to know?

Where do you go for non-branded healthcare information? WebMD? A commercial web site? Your legit pharmacy web with content written by a third party who might be creating advertorials?

I don't want to talk about problems. I want to talk about problems that have solutions big and small. I can do the small. Small cumulative can become big. So this is a prototype for an idea that I have about introducing healthcare literacy topics.

It takes time, research and design skills. Two of those things I have in short supply. But if they do gut the ACA/Obamacare in the next few months we need to set up our own lines of information and defense.

I could be negative about this or I can be proactive. I choose to test the waters to see if this can be done and done in the right way. Not saying that this even a good start but can't wait any more.

This is just an idea I created with simple tools.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Being Productive But Is It Enough?

On my list of things to do is to get back to implementing some of my ideas; writing more; blogging more; more laundry, more recreation, more study of the Dublin Core, more, more and more.

I just got a few more ideas I should work on. But first, a musical interlude from a video I recorded in 2012 and just now figured out how fixed the really bad errors and make it suck less. I uploaded the video only to find out that I have the wrong title to the song.

Being productive but my humanity is showing. It is all I can do to snatch it back. Which is what I had to do with this video. I heard the lyric as "be of service" when in fact the lyric is "mean old circus." It takes me 30 minutes to upload on this slow Mi-Fi connection. I rant and complain but I have yet to call the cable company to begin my bondage to hire priced Internet.

This is Gabby Moreno singing at Make Music Pasadena 2012 called Mean Old Circus

Where was I?

Oh, yeah oppressing myself with the woulda, coulda, shoulds.  Every Saturday I make a list of things I want to do. Every Sunday I take a look at the 15 item list and realize I only had time for 4 of them.

I am doing something. But not everything. Mentally I think should do everything. In reality I do what I can.

It is never enough. Which is a lie.

Be of service...

I have ideas that I think would be of service. That could help people. I think and then I think some more. Who are I to say? What are my credentials? Do I pass the sniff test?

It takes a while to fight that off mental shackles and point out to the not so little internal hater that if I saw somebody else doing this I would not continue. However, I don't see anyone doing this (my idea in this way) therefore I am free to experiment and take the plunge. 

In effect, I have to tell my not so little internal hater to STFU. This take more time than I would like it to but this is how you can lose a weekend.

The sucker is now playing the "yeah you thunk it but you haven't created it yet."

Pardon me while I make a demo video and proceed to bust a hater wide open.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Mission and Pain Merchants

It is the season for walking in the sunlight. Staring at the honey color moon. A day of wanting to pull back from the worst of social media but I can't help but notice more than a few of us ain't got our heads wrapped too tight in the skull.

Yes. I now have to be specific as to which head I am referring to. On account some folks are stuck in Peen-land.

But first, a little music. This is the second band that I recorded at Make Music Pasadena. The band is Dig The Kid and I do because I like enthusiast musicians.

Ah, the mission.  Music has been a tool to help engage a connection with the other.

I'm going to find you. I'm going to love you come rain or come shine. Be mine, be my baby.

Yep. And the there is:

Shoot da load, shoot da load, drill, drill, drill come hard with the thrill.

(I made those lyrics up cuz I don't listen to rap except when a car stereo is turned way up. It always sounds like this to me.)

You hope to find the one or two people that resonates with your vibe. The music war of the sexes is usually presented as a playful non-violent skirmish with no real losers. In reality, it is a battlefield and people are getting killed, maimed and scarred.

There are dangerous people and there are predictors. Also, there are carpetbaggers.

Brief Background

Thousands of women participated in the #YesAllWomen on Twitter to bring to light the minefield that a woman can experience dealing with certain types of men. Very few women don't have a story about an interaction with a man that got scary.

The originator of the hashtag has been harassed by trolls, received death threats and god knows what else. The hashtag has been co-opted by quite a few men using women avatars to spew hate. There are also some men that are very proud to tell you that women ain't shit and deserve all the trouble we get.

It has also been co-opted by a company using the hashtag to sell t-shirts.

There are questions but bottom line for me is that this company rolls in after other women, particularly black women, white women, Asian woman and every other type of woman on the planet put their stories in public view about how common it is to feel anger and threats from (some) men. The same anger that drove that man to kill in Santa Barbara.

Yet this business rolls out a storefront, t-shirt photos and your newly claimed Twitter handle. Ready for business. And yet, there is this mess right here...

This business has decided to make money off of the pain and hire a counselor? This company  wraps t-shirts in a non-profit cloth of respectability. Got a Facebook page as well. Yes, indeed they are gonna work that SEO.

It is the business of being a pain merchant. There are customers who want to buy the clothing. There are people that are actively trying to get the company to change its name. There are trolls that just won't stop.

I turn away and look for laundry to wash. Still, I ask the universe how in the hell did we find our way out of the cave?

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Too Old For Music - Nah

Today is Make Music in Pasadena day. A bunch of music performers will descend on the joint and play in real time. It is about non-top 40 music. Most of these folks will have their clothes on and will be able to sing without computer enhancement.

This is a good thing. Finding moments and performers you had no clue they were on the planet.

I'm going even though being a cubical bunny is not preparation enough to be walking 10 or more blocks and back. Not to mention trying to find the re-routed buses that will take me home.

Yet I need to walk. To see the trees. The bums and hobos interacting with a in-flux of hipsters. The real folks taking a day for themselves and chilling to some tunes. The pissed off drivers who will have to take side road and get lost and still try to bust through a baracade with cops looking them dead in the eye.

I've seen it happen. Twice.

I'm going. I don't know any of the performers. I do know there will be food trucks. Some day I will see the legendary Kogi truck and bow to the greatness of the Roy. This year I'm hitting the back streets for the alley bands and non-pop performers. 

And though I have rested and prepared I know I'm gonna take one step too far.

Today I walk.

Tomorrow there will be pain. Feet will be angry. Certain joints will commiserate with the feet. That fire shrimp burrito will do a number on my stomach that I will pray to the gods to intercede for mercy.

Tomorrow I'll have to do laundry, finish my homework, work on a portfolio piece and other things that won't get done because I freaking will hurt until the ibuprofen and ice packs kicks in.

It will be worth it to hear that voice or band that rocked the hell out of a tune that can't be replicated no matter how many times they perform live. And to hold that in my heart for a moment is worth any pain the flesh can conjure.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Like the Song Says...

When I first saw the original music Divinyls video I thought at first it might be a step too far. Might have even thought it was vulgar. I had to think about why...which lead me to read books about re-claiming sexuality and being entitled to expression.

Which you might think that would be solidified if you cross 18 years of life.  Oh no. No, no. No.
Probably I should show you what I am talking about:

It was one of the first commercial Roscoe Palmer songs that couldn't be shoved into a hidden corner. If you are of a certain age in MTV years you leaned that the song was an anthem for releasing pressure.

The more I heard it, the more I liked it -- except for the part about waiting for said person to come back. What if you don't have anybody? That was more me than the song.

It took a while to work that out. There is a lot of cultural mal-information that says you don't, you do, you don't, get married, you stand in the corner and be a sin vessel. The original videos has 7 million plus views on the official YouTube channel.

Tis the end of National Masturbation Month 2014. I can understand how it got past you. Horrors to the left, foolishness on the right (not talking politically but spatially) and cabin fever has taken root.

Time marches on.

Chrissy Amphlett, the singer of the song, passed away from breast cancer a while back.

Her friends and family wanted to honor her memory by using the song as a motivator to get women and men to do self-examinations. It seems to be an Australian campaign but learn what you can.

If you find cancer early you can stop it early. It is still difficult to get people to touch themselves; even for health. Even to save their lives.

Fear of actually finding something. Fear of lack of access to healthcare and treatment. Religious bug a boos about touching your own dang body.

Ay. What fools these mortals be.

This is no joke to me. I had an aunt die of breast cancer. It doesn't take that long to inspect your ta-tas, the arm pits and related surface matter. I also think you should inspect the lower quarters for things that shouldn't be there as well.

Again, a hard sell. Being a willing participant of maintaining your life by touching your organs and appendages.

So I have posted both videos. Pick one or both videos and act like you got some sense.

Touch yourself.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Not Making Art or Sense of It All

I keep hearing the lyrics to letting the days go by. I'm getting better at it but then some tomfoolery just begs to be notated for future archives.

If you would jump over to the Washington Post article about the artist who hit a trifecta on identity, gender, and cultural appropration you'll have a better understanding of my collage down below.
There is a Tumblr page that is interesting in trying to demonstrate others doing the same thing. I wanted to post it there but it wouldn't let me upload my image. Not from censorship, I was doing something wrong in the uploading. So I took a chance and posted it on Facebook and here.

So, this is a work created by an African American woman pretending to be a European American who is pretending to be a black man.

A chance? What chance?

Long after the discussion about artist Joe Scalon has died down this collage will remain. As people come to check me out for jobs, gigs or social activities they will see my name and the word cock.

If they do not know me or take the time to ask questions I will be dismissed from consideration.
Because of a word. Not an image. Just the word.  I'm okay with that at the moment.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Hard to Accept the Beginning of the End

You will find people that use the term The Internet as a pejorative. Not me. It has been many things to me and only a handful of them being bad. I have met people I am honored to know and call friends. I have had access to culture, information and resources I would need to be hooked up to a university to access.

We, millions of people made it grow, flow and made businesses, connections, friends and dreams no longer deferred. 

Money was redistributed to new paths and people and not all of them were major corporations. New technologies disrupted the old; organically. Unrestricted competition, I was told, was good.

We now have AT&T, Comcast, Verizon and Sprint. They are not waiting for any FCC decision. 

It is all going to end. It won't be like it was.

I received a change of access terms letter from an ISPs. Not unexpected. Some of my friends have been getting them. The communication goes something like this:
  • Wireless resources are not infinite (They are in Lithuania, Japan and Singapore)
  • ISP wants to be fair to all of their users
  • Network management is required to protect users from the evil doings of spammers and maleware agents
  • Therefore, we will monitor, measure and throttle your use of the service that you pay cash money for if we think that you (I) are using too much of it.
  • They figure I should only need to do 5GB per month. 
I can do 12GB easy. I watch online classes from Lynda.com and take online classes from my local college. I watch YouTube tutorial videos. I upload videos that I record and share with other people. I'm not a gamer (there is nothing wrong with it; I just don't like virtually shooting people.)

I'm just me and I will soon be penalized for just being me.

I blog. I Twitter. I even Facebook and Google+   I also create and that act of creation is going to get my paid for bandwidth azz slowed down.

I'll have to make decisions about paying more for ISP access or not accessing certain web and content heavy producers. I'll have to give up watching Lee Marvin beat the crap out of some bad guy on M Squad.

(What? It was therapeutic.)

Other people will decide to watch the Hollywood produced crap and not take a chance on independent produced content.

People who just started to get the hang of their public voices will now be shut out. I'm going to miss the hell out of Black Twitter. I might have to let go of the growing Asian discussions on Twitter as well.

So what was really an imperfect but lively public discourse will now be returned to the moneyed.  The distorter"if I don't see or hear you you don't really exist" people. They will drain the color from the Internet and return it to a more bleached existence. For more money.

Google isn't going to be a savior in this because they haven't rolled out their Internet in more than two or three communities. There is no bum rush to get new infrastructures built with alternative delivery devices.

Fiber? Anybody got optical fiber?

There are U.S. cities that have signed contracts with the above providers not to allow another service in the area. Those contract were with the cable part of their corporations but they have bought up many of the former ISPs.

You see where I'm heading with this, right?

We look like prime time chumps to the rest of the world when U.S. Internet access is compared to South Korea. Those folks get 300Mpbs on mobile devices for chump change while ISPs here are charging $100 a month for desktop 10 to 30Mpbs and think they are doing you a favor.

For a limited time only.

I'm still in morning mode. I'm not going to get over it soon.