Monthly Archives: January 2016

Barbie got a long-awaited upgrade

This story, Barbie Gets Groundbreaking Makeover (Now She’s Curvy! Or Petite! Or Tall!), was a long time in coming. Back in my Barbie days, not much was said about her unrealistic measurements. There was a failed attempt to get her sized 0-2 measurements in the late 1990’s, even after the lady who tried to look like a live Barbie had to quit getting surgeries. To me, this was dangerous, like the stick figure form that the 60’s model Twiggy represented.

Now the more than 10 year debate has ended because Mattel released dolls with three additional body types, skin colors and hair designs. There’s one for diversity in toys! Dolls of color were limited mainly because the cost of the color itself and the look they gave them. On one of the television shopping channels, one of the callers made a remark as to why African-American dolls were made in not so attractive images (ugly). Most of the children on the mini-series “Separate, But Equal” said the black dolls they saw looked ugly. That made them feel inferior, which was what society wanted them.

Let’s face it, even images like Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and the face on the Cream of Wheat Box went through a major transformation from a slave or servant to chief cook. But they were still the stereotypical type kept in the kitchen. the man behind Chef Boyardee was already a cook, the only thing that changed was the phonetic spelling of his Italian name.

Mattel wanted this diversity to mirror their young purchasers. The toy company’s sales were sliding too, another reason the toy giant made this change. This blogger was glad there was a long time period between the issue of diversity and the psychological study. It showed they didn’t cave to political pressure. There were still the Dawn Dolls made in the African-American image of the 1970’s, similar to Diahann Carrol. She looked more pixie-like though with the sheer dress and short curly hair.

Mothers of young daughters didn’t have to worry about how much curvier the new doll was. Younger consumers were more apt to buy dolls that resembled themselves. This was a good thing for their psyche at least. It was this blogger’s hope she was bigger than size 10.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Because of bickering, ‘The View’ might get axed

Some people don’t work well together. Because of the constant bickering between Whoopi Goldberg and Rosie O’Donnell, The View might get cancelled due to low ratings.

Apparently the show lacked the professionalism it had when Barbara Walters retired as co-host last year. Every time someone left, efforts to maintain at least a four-member panel on the show had failed. It was so bad with Raven-Symone’s self-hatred on the show, that there was an online petition to have her removed in spite of social media’s love of her.  Both of these women needed serious help. Didn’t Rosie O’Donnell leave  The View once before for not getting along with Whoopi Goldberg? Why was she allowed to return knowing she had problems with the main host?

Why couldn’t they reduce the panel to three members instead of having four before axing the show? What was to become of the two bickering co-hosts? Were they to be labeled hard to work with and blacklisted? Judging by their ignoring directors or producers on the bickering, they should be. This blogger was a fan of Whoopi Goldberg, that’s the shame of it all.

According to the trending article today, both of the entertainers refused to take warning and heed the reprimands of their higher ups about bickering on the show. Interrupting the guests on the show while they’re being interviewed with this petty in-fighting was just plain rude. Everyone on that show was supposed to conduct themselves like adults, not children squabbling over who was right or whose turn it was to play with a toy. It also distracts from the show’s mission statement of a professional all female talk show.

This blogger never watched the show because there was no interest in it beyond what Ms. Goldberg said about #BillCosby in the beginning and Jada Pinkett Smith’s #OscarBoycott  due to lack of diversity in films. Like the audience, interest in the show has waned because of the constant battle between two headstrong people. To replace the failing show, the ABC Network was thinking of expanding “Good Morning America.”

 

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

The Apple store employee: Kindness went a long way

There was a reason why stories like Apple Store: Customer Shares Online Post About Nashville, Tenn., Employee Who Assisted Her Son, touched my heart. My heart went out to both mother and son. She had no control over what distracted her son to make him run out of the store full speed or the violent collision with a glass door.

Granted, the noise from the incident could have bought the management out to make them leave, but that didn’t happen. The Apple Store employee met them both on the floor where they were and proceeded to help them with the sale of a new iPad. The old one they had sputtered to a stop and no longer worked. The wear and tear on electronics were normal, but this iPad was covered in mucus and had a damaged screen to boot. This was sort of like my cell phone, excessive dropping will make it broken one day, enough to make a replacement necessary.

Obviously, this employee had some type of experience with people who had special needs. He didn’t flinch, his voice was unwavering and his emotions were in check. It amazed me that the customer and employee got back to the task at hand, buying an iPad for her son.

Most of my life was spent listening to the “People don’t have time for that” speech that came from my mother’s lips but she was the first one hurt when, my seeking people who made time for the simple things. My response was, people who didn’t have the time to do those things to help others weren’t helping those in need or anyone else, for long. That attitude faded.  It was refreshing to see this change in her after so long.

This reminded me of the last family reunion attended by me at Club Med. Because of my lying down, lunch was missed. After closing down the cafeteria, no one in my party would help me get something to eat. It took someone from another party to help me. As a member of the resort my lunch was free, but like the above story, my aunt actually thanked that lady for helping me when no one would from my own party. At that time not feeling well made it hard to move around being confined to a wheelchair. The heat was unbearable too.

This same incident occurred with my late Aunt, who among other things suffered from Type 2 diabetes bad enough to need a vein transplant in both legs. During the 2007 family reunion, in which they took a cruise, my mother stepped in to see to her needs when no one else would. My aunt wrote her a heart-felt thank you also. My time was spent in Palm Coast, Florida visiting my uncle and aunt in May. Mom told me that the cabins on the ship were too small for my chair.

This story of the Apple Store employee’s kindness made my day.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Twitter still in a good position in spite of growing economic struggles

Four major people were to leave Twitter. The company had wanted to dispel inaccurate media rumors as to the cause of this upheaval. He had only praise for the four executives who were leaving the company.

In spite of his efforts to revive a major social media outlet, things weren’t going in the right direction. According to the trending article today, IPO stocks have been sliding below what they were supposed to be in order to make sales. A lot of the products rolled out last year weren’t showing any interest either, not enough to attract new users anyway.

There were other changes coming to Twitter. The theme seemed to me that the company was investing most of its time bringing in ‘new’ talent. Maybe the new recruits were able to add new users by thinking outside the normal, since that hadn’t worked too well in the last year. In order to survive, these changes had to be made. The competition for a large user base was fierce among social media giants.

As an avid user of this media service to get my articles seen, it still had its limits that went beyond 140 characters. It was nice to see that they, like Facebook had a list of trending tweets every day. It made me happy to use its competitors like LinkedIn, Pinterest and Referral Key when posting on Twitter also.

All wasn’t lost on Twitter yet, though. According to another article released January 12, Twitter’s recent economic troubles, it still kept second place behind Facebook and above LinkedIn, two of its many growing competitors. That was certainly nothing to worry about unless seeking the number one spot. The unfair advantage was that the top competitor on that list recently acquired Instagram. One of the best things they did was post content on their site from previously laid off workers, which resulted in a great many getting rehired by other companies.

One won’t shed tears for the departing brass either. Jason Toff, head of Twitter’s video streaming, was leaving to join Google in their virtual reality, according to a tweet by Vine made Sunday night. Dorsey’s tweet left this out.

It might look like Twitter had an uphill battle, but they were doing great otherwise.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Boycott of the Oscars: Change came slowly

Here was the problem this blogger has with Jada Pinkettt Smith’s call for a boycott of the Oscars. It wasn’t her job to rally the rest of the nation’s African American population to step together on an issue that had nothing to do with the awards show itself. In her interview she mentions the rise of KKK recruitment in Alabama. That’s a separate issue from the lack of diversity on the voting panel that chose who to handle their accolades at the Oscar’s. Stick to the issue at hand.

The issues in the nation’s African American communities were being addressed, although rather poorly of late. In spite of the required dash cams and body cameras worn by policemen, people of color were still being brutalized during their arrest. The media was part of the problem first reporting their own version of the truth and instigating the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri and other places by amplifying the racial tensions already present.

Frankly, this writer would like to see her open the movie studio to more people of color like Janet Hubert and Whoopi Goldberg said in their videos. They both make good points. It wasn’t her job to rally Hollywood or the nation’s people of color to speak against the award programs that lack diversity among the winners. The power was in the purse strings. The way to speak was to prevent movies that lack diversity from being seen. It was more effective than complaining around award time and initiating the boycott of three or four people.

Here was another bone of contention. If the awards programs have known this problem existed long before now, why hasn’t something done about it back then? The 80/20 rule ceased to be effective after the first complaint against an all white list of nominees. This current head of the academy certainly had an uphill battle ahead of her. It wouldn’t happen overnight.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

The battle against bugs continued: Cleaning house kept people ahead of them

The worst thing that happened to me was having a spider crawl in my ear while in bed asleep. The battle against bugs always occurred. That was a good reason to clean my bedroom from top to bottom and in all the creases, like in the closet and under the bed. This last summer and fall, it was gnats. Somehow, in spite of the netting around my sliding glass door, they still got in. Sometime, my opening the closet where the trash can was kept, revealed a swarm of them waiting to be set free. Mom said they were attracted to the scent or bad odors contained in the trash like unwrapped spoiled food.

My only problem with bugs was finding them alive by the front and back doors, before maintenance sealed them to keep out the draft in winter. The running joke was being able to survive on the bugs still alive in my home if food ran short. My having to toss out a small Dixie cup of live bugs three times a week made me wonder if the mandatory spraying that took place every three months was effective. During a drought, it wasn’t. My stomach turned when seeing a roach crawl across the same counter where dinner was eaten. It made me lose my appetite.

Recently, my acquisition of a new mattress and box spring had me wondering about my old bedding. This blogger didn’t blame the delivery men for not removing any unsanitary bedding, which included the ones that had vermin in them. The workmen put gloves on when handling my mattress. The worst thing that happened to my sister was her mattress had bugs in it. She had bites on both legs. Mine made me itch. Not cleaning the bed linens lead to head and body lice, which led to Adult Protective Services getting involved.

Having animals in the house made cleaning a top priority with fleas, ticks and other microscopic things like ear mites. One of the dogs my mother has now had ear mites, just like two from the past. One of the male dogs had ear mites so bad that his ear stank. Mom had to clean them at least once or twice a week. As a puppy, his odor was so bad that he had to be bathed once a week because he stepped in a lot of the rancid stuff outside.

Most of the germs people found were in the bathroom. Using an ultraviolet light showed people where the hidden dirt remained. The toilet was the worst because everyone used it. In some cases, the floor was the second worst. Some people missed the target. Other communal things were computer keyboards, television and stereo remotes and telephones. People sneeze or cough and pick up these things without washing their hands. Door knobs and counters were another germy place everyone used.

There were things one could do to stay one step above the bugs.

  1. Take out the trash more often, especially after throwing out expired food from the fridge or freezer.
  2. Make a daily cleaning schedule and stick to it. Cleaning the kitchen and the bathroom once a week kept it free of bugs.
  3. Change the bed linens at least every two weeks. Blankets and bedspreads could be washed twice a year with daylight savings time.
  4. Spray the mattress and vacuum to kill any irritant. This included the futon, too.
  5. Wipe down table surfaces and counters after every use.

By doing this, no one had to worry about bugs or any type of infestation. The scent made the house smell nice too.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

No more free music: Sound Cloud is moving to paid subscriptions

Attention musicians and fans! Sound Cloud music is no longer offering free music, as it used to. Right now, new users were able to upload and listen to their music, but not allow free music streaming or downloads. The biggest problem with this company was, with the adoption of a paid subscription, it was unclear what levels were offered or whether current users were going to stay. In order to stream my friend’s new sound, one had to unlock those services by paying for them. Spotify, one of their competitors, did this pay thing already.

There were some other things discovered by this blogger too. ReverbNation is better used as a fan than an artist. Having free access to the site was a great way to find out who was trending. It was easier to get the word out. Unfortunately, for the artist with empty pockets, the choices, like free music uploads are limited unless they became a paying member like the above two. Unfortunately, my friend lost the password to their account on Reverbnation sometime last year, so getting a link was a little more challenging.

Trying to follow the how-to on getting a personal link is difficult. There are so many articles on the subject. This blogger barely got past uploading and renaming the song so the link could be created. After that, the terminology got complicated too. Last night, this blogger found a freebie on the internet that actually worked. This was one that was rather kept to myself for fear that it became a paying situation too. How did one suppose to survive using something other than an Office product to write with? This blogger found something that was just as effective and free. Updates weren’t paid for by me either. Thanks to the free search, this blogger found a way around the monthly WinZip file charge. Since this blogger had a hard time, look them up without my help.

Trying to share the song via my Google Drive only worked only on my laptop. There is a link anyone is able to use, it just showed up blank on phones, other laptops and iPads. This was not believed until tried by me. My efforts at trying to write the link myself actually worked, except the file were hard to incorporate into it. In order to have had a strong Google presence, one had to sell their previously free music via the Google Play Store. The artist got 70% of the sales and their membership there is free.

The good news was, that by signing with Universal Music, Sound Cloud avoided bankruptcy. It remained to be seen whether the paying option became just as popular or not.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

David Bowie: His Life in Pictures and Video

David Bowie (1947-2016)  Sadly, the entertainment world lost another music icon this week. In all fairness, the late David Bowie wasn’t on my radar until the introduction of Labyrinth. Most of this had a lot to do with Jim Henson’s Muppets that also appeared in the film. During this time, they also showed The Man Who Fell to Earth, but the complete movie was not seen by me.

It was refreshing to notice that his career was more than music. Thanks to that one DVD, this blogger learned that he appeared on Broadway as the title character in The Elephant Man. It thrilled me to find out, while waiting for the latest episode of Poltergeist: The Legacy, that he hosted a few episodes of The Hunger, another popular show that followed The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits, based in Canada, also watched by me.

This past week, nearly everyone in the Entertainment that had a connection to this musical icon paid tribute on just about any form of social media. The one thing that struck a chord in me was the way he confronted MTV when they ignored videos of black artists. This meant he was no slouch when he saw something he didn’t like. He spoke up just enough to avoid being blacklisted, something that was missing in some of the other entertainment artists today.

Lazarus was the last of his music videos to be released the week of his birthday, January 8.. Inside Edition made note of the cryptic message behind the piece According to them, this was a final farewell to his fans. They also made note of his haggard appearance in the video due to the adancing cancer.

Of course, one television show got into hot water for filming  AngelaBowiesreaction to the news of her ex husband’s death. In spite of their divorce in 1980, it looked to this blogger that that they were still very good friends afterward. To me it looked like the show was out to boost ratings, no matter how tasteless it looked. Inside edition mentioned that she was told without the cameras rolling.This was a far cry from the custody battle being fought in the media with Chris Brown.

Below was a media list of tributes to David Bowie.

David Bowie Remembered

David Bowie In Memoriam

Iman’s Touching Tribute

Confronting MTV

Fans pay tribute

Remembered by Conan

The Camelion

Lazarus

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

Golden Globes were full of ‘mute button’ moments

Thankfully, the Golden Globes went off without a hitch. No one was ushered off stage for hogging  the mike or kicked by Sharon Osbourne either. Every winner was given 30 seconds for their speeches of thanks, prompted to wrap it up as the orchestra started playing. One of the articles said that there’s a big thaw when Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio met at The Golden Globes. It was said that the Internet lost its motherboard.  The internet went down like the Titanic.

Thanks to the nap taken earlier by me, the whole program was viewed. Media tagged it as one of the worst filthy-mouthed programs ever. They didn’t use the ‘bleep’ button, they used the mute function instead. When something inappropriate was said, there was silence, sometimes a little more than a minute, according to Inside Edition. Judging by the reaction of the audience, ‘mute button’ moments were warranted by the censors. Being a star didn’t mean that excused one for the use of bad language. Children could’ve been watching. This went further than a low-cut form-fitting dress.

Among the stars and the fashions, no one was removed by security because they didn’t belong. It was said that the stars were well covered by the boys in blue both on and off stage. As a matter of fact, Jennifer Lawrence scolded someone for using their cell phone backstage. Unless someone were writing down notes for an article and didn’t have a pen and paper, then it’s ok. As a writer, my down time did not include the use of any electronics. It was a lot easier to post updates from my phone than from my computer though. The circuits have all but burned out.

It was great to see ‘The Peanuts Movie‘ be nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.

Congratulations to all the winners, mute button moments aside.

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.

People’s Choice Awards Highlights

The People’s Choice Awards is the first award show of 2016. Congrats to the nominees and winners There were a lot of things to be seen and of course it had its controversial moments like, well see below.

Of course, my favorite part was hearing the speeches of the award winners and looking at the fashions everyone wore on stage and on the Red Carpet. Some of it was missed by me because of a full stomach and heavy eyelids.

2016 1ist of winners

It was great to see Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift among the list of winners. This blogger bet that John Stamos was floored when he received his award. This poor man has had it rough lately.

2016 Photos

PCA Backstage Faves These were funny!

Awards Mishaps

Dakota Johnson’s wardrobe malfunction at People’s Choice Awards 2015 This made the trending topics on Facebook early this morning. The Today Show showed it also.

My biggest concern  during the awards show was security. This would have been stopped if they had been around doing their job. If this were the president, they would have wrestled him to the ground, like they did the man who threw an object a President Ronald Reagan so long ago.

An unwanted guest grabs the mic This guy pulled a Kanye West, according to The Meredith Vieira Show. Sharon Osbourne kicked him, which may cause a lawsuit. The reference to Steve Harvey was uncalled for, in my opinion. The card he read from at the Miss Universe Pageant was incorrect. The award winners were shocked.

2016 Video highlights Some were awesome!

Watch the part missed here It looked like a good place to play catch up. I missed Ellen Degeneres’ speech and the other with the stage crasher.

Next week, the Golden Globes were up. It was a wonder what would happen there?

I love to write about trending topics and real life experiences. I love to read and write Science Fiction and Fantasy stories dealing with parallel worlds.