This is part of a series of blog posts I will be adding that were originally in my myspace blog that I saved before they deleted that portion of the site several years ago.
Original date: July 17, 2008
Current mood:pissed off
So, after just 6 (or was it 7?) months. I am no longer a customer of Virgin Mobile in Canada.
Quite simple really. They do not want customers.
Or at least that is how it comes across to me, a former one.
See, almost every month I have had to contact them about problems. Usually text based. Some months, it is about how the texts I send out are often not received by others. Ironically, this last week, it appears (although I will never know long term) they may have finally fixed that issue.
But the one that finally ended the relationship is one that had also been ongoing & I had been told two months ago "its been fixed". Text messages from the company at absurd hours to remind me of stupid things like "dont forget we will be taking $5 out of your account for text messages in 2 days". Like WTF? Do you really need to send me a text for every goddamn thing? More importantly, did you guys actually think 6 AM was a reasonable time to be sending these texts out?
Thats right, 6 AM!! in case you are not comprehending that, I will put it in more understandable times for some of you. 6:00 AM. 0600 hours. Take your pick.
I complained 3 or 4 times about this in the past, the last time (before this month) the customer service rep (I feel dirty even referring to them as such a thing) suggested "why don't you just turn your phone off at night?" WHAT?? Are you telling me I should be forced to turn my phone off at night, possibly miss important calls, JUST so your company wont fuck up & annoy me again????
Needless to say, I wasn't too interested in their wonderful proposal.
Last month, they managed to get it right somehow (considering every month prior they had not). I received the messages in the early afternoon. Much much more acceptable. Problem solved, right? Right? Well, of course not.
This month, I was very frustrated again & was ready to make a stance since I had not put more money on the phone & my plan would be running out soon. The texts I usually got around the 8th or 9th to remind me of the $5 on the 10th for text messages was never sent. Ironic, since I was planning to cancel my texting anyways, since it rarely worked. HOWEVER, they didn't completely fail me. 12:50 AM on the 13th (sorry army guys, I mean 0050 hours) they texted me to tell me they would be taking $5 out on the 10th?? WTF?? You are telling me this on the 13th?? Uhhh, umm. ok?? Fine, I was irate. I phoned them up only to find out they aren't working at 1 AM, they wouldn't be open till 10 AM. I went back to sleep, stirring & simmering in bed. Probably not long after I finally got to sleep. 3:43 AM ANOTHER FUCKING TEXT!!!!! Seriously. At quarter to 4 AM they felt compelled to remind me they would also be taking the money out for my actual phone service. Well, jokes on them, I don't have any $$ in there, because I was planning to argue with them anyways. But as you can guess, being woken up at 3:43 AM after just barely getting back to sleep put me in a sour mood that morning. I phoned them around 12 PM (1200 hours). When it was all said & done, the guy on the other end goes (paraphrasing) "I understand your anger, this isn't an ordinary problem, I am putting this thru right to the top". I was told it may take 24-48 hrs for a response. That was Sunday @ 1 PM (1300 hours).
FOUR OR FIVE calls to them later, I have not heard back from anyone. Not even so much as a cookie cutter "we are working on it, sorry for the delay". Yesterday, I they phoned while I was in a Rogers store. I was literally minutes from buying a new phone. The woman who answers convinced me to give them 1 more day to get back to me. She deserves a raise for actually trying. But, working for Virgin Mobile, I suspect she probably will get demoted because she actually gave customer service. In the end, I told her that I expect a response, even if its a nothing special response by 1 PM today. She said that was more than acceptable considering the issue. 1 PM came, 1 PM went. NOTHING!
So, I phoned them one more time. More or less to say goodbye. The guy I got assured me it was being dealt with. I assured him it was not, because if it was, I would have received some sort of interaction with them by now, and I had not. He tried to tell me that I am a valued customer. He claimed they cared. Yet, they showed no signs of such things. I felt unwanted. I ended my conversation with him by going "well, you can tell the people up top, that as far as I am concerned this case is closed. I am done with you guys. Bye". As I was hanging up, he was yammering on "sorry to hear that, thank you for calling.....". End.
For a company that holds approximately 600,000 of the approximately 17,000,000 cell customers in Canada. You would have assumed they MIGHT actually want to keep one of them. Surely they wouldn't abandon them. If anything they would have been bending over backwards to try & keep me.
Now, I know I wont deal with Telus ever. I am sure they are co-owned by satan. I cant deal with Bell, since I screwed up with them many eons ago. So, its Fido or Rogers, who ironically are the same company. I actually liked some of the things Fido seemed to offer from the pamphlets I read of theirs, and to top it off, no less than 3 of my friends have them already & all fido-to-fido calls are free. An added bonus. They were also the customer service award winners for 2007 in the cell phone industry in Canada. Perhaps THEY would care to have one more customer? I know one thing, they cant possibly do any worse than Virgin Mobile did.
UPDATE (added in 2019) - I ended up going with Rogers. Been with them now almost 11 years.... and while some mild frustrations have risen over the years, I have never been as angry with them as I was with Virgin. It is a mild shock to me to see Virgin is still even in business..... granted I think I have met like 1 person in the past 5 years who uses them.
I had planned a bigger event than what this is, but between Endgame & Game Of Thrones this past week, I got a bit sidetracked and ran out of time.
Still, there will be 12 items available to win.
TEN WILL BE GIVEN OUT (five most requested, and five random)!
The options are
- Brandon T. Jackson signed Tropic Thunder photo
- Rose McIver signed iZombie photo
- Justin Hartley signed Smallville photo
- Stephen Amell signed Arrow photo
- Joshua Jackson signed Fringe photo
- Noah Wyle signed Falling Skies photo
- Floriana Lima and Chyler Leigh duo signed Supergirl photo
- Jackson Rathbone signed Twilight photo
- Grant Gustin signed The Flash photo
- Lana Parrilla signed Once Upon A Time photo
- Misha Collins signed Supernatural photo
- Caity Lotz & Jes Macallan signed Legends Of Tomorrow photo
To win ANY of these items (and you can enter for each item, but you must make a separate post below, with a separate answer for each.), all you have to do is post below with a valid email address, Which prize you want, what you come to this site for most often, and tell me the title of 1 blog post from the site that you like (or at least read)
An example would be like this
Your name (email addresses are hidden from the public, but viewable to me)
- Prize actors name
- Reason you come here (ex. - autograph selection/blog posts/tv awards/photos)
- Blog Post Name
- One entry per post (as stated above, you can enter for more than 1 item).
- Additional entries can be earned by
Retweeting this tweet on Twitter,
Like or comment on this post on Facebook,
Comment on this post on Youtube.
Entries close at May 1, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
Winners will be announced MAY 2, 2019
Here is a gallery of items available.
Ever since Twitter started allowing multiple pictures to be posted in a tweet, I have noticed traffic to my site has dropped.
I just went thru my analytics, and the numbers really back it up. Since they implemented this 4 years ago, ONLY ONE of my top 20 blog posts of all time on my site for total traffic, comes from the last 4 years. Despite my social media reach growing.
ONLY THREE single day individual post totals in that same time frame.
This year will be the 2nd consecutive year I have had the lowest traffic totals on my site since analytics were kept. This is despite the fact that several times this year, I had major spoilers to post from popular shows that were covered by major sites that discuss these shows.
While some of that loss of viewership does fall on the shows having dwindling audiences, and 1 show ending, there is certainly more than enough evidence of the fact that I saw several major tweets with several of my pics posted this year of MY spoilers, WITHOUT LINKING TO THE BLOG POST, had retweet/like numbers in the 1000s to support that traffic is lost on my site, by photo spammers on twitter.
Because of this overuse of materials with no linking to the source material, I am implementing new usage guidelines for my posts for 2019.
If you are a site that uses my photos frequently, and do not credit to the originating source (THE BLOG POST - not just my social media handle of that specific platform).... be advised NOW, I will be petty over handing out takedown notices. Why should I do ALL the work, and you reap all the benefits?
In the past, I had a simple policy. Credit me, and you could use them long as you dont remove watermarks. Last year, I added in the stipulation that you could not use more than 4 photos. MANY twitter spammers saw that to mean "4 photos per post" and would frequently post the entirety of my blog post to their account through 4 photo per post posts. After several conversations with some of the worst offenders, many understood the ACTUAL guidelines, and respected that. However, I still have some, despite multiple requests to stop posting everything, resisting. Their logic was "I credited you, that is enough.". Which is not in fact the case.
When you post all of the photos, even if you post my social media handle as "credit" it does almost NOTHING for me. The click through rates for a "credit" to a social media account is pretty small. So imagine how small it is for them to click through, AND follow me for future updates, then translate those new followers to viewers of the site. The impact to my business for that type of "incentive" to allow you to use all of my work, is so laughably small it SHOULD be (and is, in some cases) considered theft.
Those who post a link to my actual blog post, but still use every photo I have. Guess what, there is not very much value in that either. It is most definitely better than a social media credit, but it is not driving a whole lot of traffic to the site. The click through rates for that are still sort of weak. Better than a social media account credit, but the traffic it SHOULD generate, to the reality is smaller than it was 5 years ago.
Twitter has created this platform where people think they just can get everything there. Twitter has certainly helped grow my site. I probably owe 40% of my sites success to twitter in the early days. NOW, it might actually be a hindrance. Twitter seems eager to try and to squeeze out the very sites who provide them the content people post. Instagram, facebook, youtube, and I am sure if anyone still uses it now, tumblr as well, have all had an impact on this too. Twitter however, has crippled smaller websites who provide any type of media.
My average 1st day blog views for posts in
2011 - I averaged 2,004 views in 1st 24 hrs per post
2013 - It was up to 3,772 in the 1st 24 hrs.
2015 - A year after twitters 4 photo per tweet policy - 1,076 in 1st 24 hrs
2017 - (A few youtubers who credit things properly helped push this up) 1,424 in the 1st 24 hrs
2018 - It limps in at a mediocre 1,000 (1,000.1 if we are being precise) in the 1st 24 hrs.
Those numbers make very little sense when you consider some of the major posts I had up this year, and the amount of my material that was referenced, or used by larger sites in the genre of material most shows here cover.
I know a few sites, and youtubers have understood this, and been quite good at respecting my wishes on properly crediting my site. Those of you who have, you are possibly the only reason I still do this, as the financial value of doing it has diminished greatly. I dont charge for my content. Some ads pay a bit of the bills (you would cry if you knew how low it really is... spoiler alert, they did not even cover 1/2 of my website fees for the year.). But mostly, it is content I give you FOR FREE, that makes me nothing back. I post it to drive traffic to the parts of my site that DO make money for me. But with less eyeballs coming in, the time & effort of each post, is not paying off. So those of you who love my posts, you really SHOULD be thanking the few who promote my site when they use my material for keeping me motivated to keep going on with this stuff. If you love a post, re-post the link on your social media platforms.
This all brings me to ... what now? One thing is simple, the status quo can not continue. To generate more traffic, more limits must be put in place. That said, I know by doing that it will push some people away. It is a calculated risk I have considered. It is also NOT an across the board cut down. It will be tiered, with some increases for material to be used. I want people to still have the option to post some free content with minimal credit given. I am not opposed to that. What I am opposed to is the blatant over indulgence of some of posting everything.
Those of you who have followed my accounts for awhile know when I say this, I WILL try to enforce takedown notices as often as possible. There will be no more "well, they apparently didnt know because they saw the photos elsewhere first" tolerance. It is 2019, not 1994. People know how the internet works, people know that if something has a large tag saying "Canadagraphs" across it, maybe it comes from that place, and maybe I dont have the right to use it.... I should check". So often I see people say "they are just excited fans". So what? Does being a fan, or being excited mean you are void of responsibility? NO. It does not. Often it is not even an "excited fan" doing it, it is some person with an account with more followers than me, focused on gaining more followers to feed their ego as some type of "super source" for a celeb. I am done being their free crutch to becoming internet famous with some people in their fandom.
So, for materials posted on this site as of January 1, 2019 (until any point it is revised) here are the new rules for usage.
SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS (Twitter, instagram, facebook, tumblr etc.)
0 Total - Photos with watermarks removed on a public site (exceptions may be made if you ask me, AND get my permission. Mostly that will be for people wanting to do an avatar with it, but I will decide on a case by case basis. Any use BEFORE asking however, will be dealt with as theft. This will absolutely result in a take down notice through that platform, and perhaps legal ramifications.)
1 Total - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed. No credit added. (This of course does NOT mean "per social media post", this means total from that blog post. I'll allow one. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for ALL of them.)
2 Total - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed. Social media account credit given. (This of course, does NOT mean "per social media post". This means total from that specific blog post. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for ALL of them.)
4 Total - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed with proper link to the original post the material is from (aka - this sites specific blog post, NOT a social media post from me). (This of course, does NOT mean "per social media post". This means total images from that specific blog post. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for SOME or ALL of them.)
4 Total - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed with proper link to the original post the material is from. (This means total images from that specific blog post may be used on your site ANYWHERE. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for SOME or ALL of them, and perhaps legal ramifications.)
YOUTUBE VIDEO BLOGGERS
2 Total - Videos under 5 minutes in length - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed with proper link to the original post the material is from in the description & acknowledgement on screen, or verbally in the video to the site. (This means total images from that specific blog post may be used on your channel ANYWHERE. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for SOME or ALL of them.)
4 Total - Videos under 10 minutes in length - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed with proper link to the original post the material is from in the description & acknowledgement on screen, or verbally in the video to the site. (This means total images from that specific blog post may be used on your channel ANYWHERE. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for SOME or ALL of them.)
6 Total - Videos over 10 minutes in length - Photos in whole or part with watermark still displayed with proper link to the original post the material is from in the description & acknowledgement on screen, or verbally in the video to the site. (This means total images from that specific blog post may be used on your channel ANYWHERE. Any attempt to circumvent that total will result in a take down notice for SOME or ALL of them.)
Of course, you may at any time ASK if you can use more for any reason.
As well, all photos are for sale, if you want them unwatermarked. I sell them for substantially less than any news agency does. When you buy photos from me, I do not put any limits on how many of the ones you buy you post, or where.
Hopegully these changes will not have to be enforced often. But my 25 odd years of experience with the internet has taught me, usually its users are resistant to change. Just know, if you are one of those unable, or more likely UNWILLING to change, I will simply enforce the change on you thru legal options.
I had originally started writing a specific article about this shooting on February 14th, but because of how the days following it transpired, my original post, which was to discuss how SOMEONE needs to stand up and demand changes, has since evolved into this post. To talk about the fact SOMEONE has. Many SOMEONES. I had an 11 paragraph post all ready, just working on the last few details, when the words of 1 particular student caught my eye, and I realized all I was about to say..... was starting to happen already. Because of that, only about 1/2 of my original post has made it into this blog. The rest, I have re-written, three times now.
On February 14, 2018 I awoke (I had been sleeping through the days because of watching the Olympics, where the best the world has to show is on display. Ironic) to news there had been another massive school shooting in the United States Of America.
At Marjory Stomeman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. A city with a population of only around 30, 000, students, teachers & staff had their lives taken from the, and for those who didn't get killed in the cowardly temper tantrum, their lives were still taken from, and replaced with a new life. One where fear & anxiety about anything might affect them for years to come.
Next to the actual shooting itself, what appalled me the most as I read up on this, was the cookie cutter “thoughts & prayers” the NRA bought politicians tossed around as freely as a drunk person at a party tosses around “woooo” at everything. None of them mean it. We all know they dont mean it, because they continue to accept bribes for death creators to profit. If one of them were to stop accepting the bribes, I'd be inclined to believe they have had a change of heart. But they don't. They continually accept blood money.
The NRA has so much political influence they have paid INDIVIDUAL members of government literally multiple millions of dollars to be their advocates in congress, and even the White House. They cant be beat by the well meaning public in the bribery department. They just cant. But, they CAN be beat.
At this point in the blog, I had planned to plead with the hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of survivors of gun violence, and their close family and friends, to demand action. To finally step up & take a stand. I really felt this was a breaking point. If it didn't happen now, it may never actually happen. I had written, what I felt, was a strong several paragraph long statement on rallying around this moment. But a crazy thing happened, I wasn't actually needed (well, not to get it started).
As I scrolled through the media stories on the most recent tragedy, I came across a link to a young mans Facebook post. He has since removed his whole account because of growing threats against him from Russian paid bots & emotionally unstable manchildren, as well as a second one from that same day, which recounted what he had to endure there, as well as, demands for change. Luckily, I found his posts saved on a page called DailyKos. In there you can see the start of a movement that the country, and much of the world now knows as the Never Again MSD movement [twitter, (125K followers) facebook, (150K followers) instagram 16K followers]. Led by that young man who I first read about that night, Cameron Kasky, this movement has grown to include a Nationwide March that is scheduled to happen March 24th, 2018 & has managed to generate a live debate on Television with the survivors, parents of victims, a representative of the NRA and politicians which aired live on CNN.
With the addition of other incredibly vocal young voices from MSD, such as Emma Gonzalez, who generated so much support after her call out of "B.S." resonated across the country on most major news networks, that she generated a twitter account that got verified within 24 hours, and passed 1 million followers within a little more than a week. As well as David Hogg, who despite having a plethora of tweets about his time at MSD prior to the horrific events, has been called a "crisis actor" that supposedly was sent there to lobby for gun reform & never even went there (again, despite a plethora of tweets showing he IS from there). Sarah Chadwick, who garnered her most attention when she roasted a woefully unprepared radio & TV host who foolishly tweeted she was a sophomore in a tweet trying to take a jab at how her, and her new compatriots were talking about an elected official who cowardly insisted he would keep accepting bribes from the NRA at that town hall debate on CNN. Chadwick shut her down with 3 simple words "I'm a Junior". A searing jab at someone who felt she had the moral high road because of her age, but came across as foolish, and incompetent when she couldn't simply get 1 easy to find fact right.
The kids of Stoneman Douglas might be that rare, unique bunch that this fight needed. Well educated, angry, and frustrated. On top of that, they are so young, they don't actually KNOW that you just "can't" do things. They have been told their whole life they "can" do things if they just put their minds to it. The idea they can't do something just because no one else has yet seems illogical to them. They see a problem, see a simple solution, and go "well... do this, and this problem is fixed." and when someone tells them "well we can't", they simply reply "well, yes, you can, actually".
When Columbine happened, people were so in shock that it DID happen, to really get on top of the fight against it happening again. By the time people started discussing it, the NRA had put a stranglehold on their bought & paid for talking heads to push the discussion away from there. When it happened again at Virginia Tech, there was SOME pushback from it, but again, the tight grip of the NRA on the voices in charge saw those scattered pleas silenced. The world, as well as the country of the U.S.A. was sure when Sandy Hook happened, things would change. I mean HOW could anyone casually take bribes in the face of slaughtered 6 & 7 year olds? But they did, and that again, might have been because those that could have mounted the biggest offensive in that time, the survivors, were just too young to articulate what they were feeling. With the high school students of an affluent community like Parkland, in an era where social media sometimes has as much, or more value, than actually calling or writing to a member of Government, in the middle of this most recent avoidable tragedy, the narrative has shifted greatly.
This is a group of kids extremely capable of expressing their viewpoints. Many of the youngsters at the forefront of this charge were taking classes, or involved in extra curricular activities which make them uniquely qualified to take this on. They are capable of standing up to the plethora of misinformed critics. They were forged in a generation that uses social media to trash talk each other as a hobby. Telling them they are actors, or are a grade lower than they are is not going to phase them. If anything, it will only make them strike you back twice as hard on a platform they have mastered.
This is a group that in the early days was a bit individualistic in its approach, as the Sarahs, Davids & Camerons of the campaign all seemed to be attacking on their own fronts. They were doing something that the Gun Debate had never had before in all the prior attacks. They had survivors stepping up, and telling the talking heads, YES, NOW IS THE TIME. They had survivors going on the offensive. They had survivors directing their anger in ways no other group had before, directly at the politicians who allowed such loose gun laws to exist. While they have placed blame on many facets, the largest target on their attack has been clear & simple to follow, stop allowing assault style weapons to be purchased by the public. They have also been very clear about who they hold accountable for these failings. Government officials mostly, authorities as well.
While these youngsters were busy coping with the death of friends, classmates & faculty, they also were busy coping with who to press for changes. They organized a trip to the Florida Capital to watch a bill get shot down. They took dozens, maybe even hundreds, of TV and print interviews on what they needed, and from who. When I tweeted in the early hours of February 15th "Will someone give @cameron_kasky a National Podium to talk on right now? Survivor of yesterdays School shooting is well thought out, angry, and wants change. Someone let him speak up." I was really hoping someone was going to take notice. I tweeted it at 9 different news & talk programs/stations, and while some of them were a little slow on the draw, I believe all of them, sooner or later, had him on. As well as an almost daily growing roster of strong, well thought out, and still angry teens who can smell the fear in the air from the gun obsessed NRA cowards.
I had started writing this blog post, hoping I would inspire anyone, whether they were from that school, or elsewhere, to take a stand. To be the guiding voice in this fight. While I felt, it was possible a movement COULD start this time. I had my doubts much would come of it without someone stepping up & taking charge. But for the first time in my lifetime, I see REAL hope for REAL change. This group of youth has made changes already. A national gun debate happened on live television, notable gun favorable politicians have admitted that changes need to happen, and on March 24th, they will hold a massive march in Washington DC, the March For Our Lives will take place, as well as smaller marches all across the country. Changes haven't exactly happened YET, but the ingredients for it are already being mixed together. There is real hope this time that real changes will happen. Even the deeply bribed President has publicly acknowledged that some things need to change.
In my original blog post that I mostly scrapped, I had stated, that someone needed to create a march. Some type of protest. To get angry, and inconvenience the world till their voices were recognized, heard, and acted upon. It never occurred to me that all my suggestions, which I had spent so much time writing up a post about to try and inspire some people would all happen because of this incredible group from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida before I even finished it.
I have honestly tried to write posts in the past demanding the same action I am seeing this time. After Las Vegas. After Orlando I wrote blogs, similar to this one.... but I never finished them. I got distracted, I got lost in what exactly I was looking for from it, and eventually, time passed & I felt the impact of posting it was just going to fall on deaf ears as I saw the world already "moving on". It is different this time. Everyone sees it. Everyone feels it. Everyone knows it. Everyone on both sides of the debate, whether they are part of the 97+% of Americans who feel background checks need to be stricter, or, they are part of the 5 million NRA members who try and push that number around to try and make it sound important (for a stark reality check, thats only 1.5% of the American population, and less than 0.07% of the Worlds population). As John Oliver once pointed out on Last Week Tonight, they have less members than Planet Fitness. Yet still, politicians & some parts of the public get deluded into thinking they are unbeatable. They roll over & accept that things "can't" change, because this vocal minority tells them they can't change things. But right now, this very moment, a group of people who are not yet even legally old enough to vote, are making it abundantly clear to everyone, they CAN be silenced. They CAN be stopped. They CAN be defeated.
On March 24th, 2018 a crowd will come to hear speeches from individuals who hold no public office, have no albums, movies, tv shows or modeling contracts. A group that is not even legally allowed to vote yet, speak on making changes to gun laws. That crowd, will ABSOLUTELY be larger than the crowd that came to see the inauguration of the current "acting" President. The combined marches around the country will ABSOLUTELY be larger than the combined base of the NRA.
To any current politicians who are actively taking bribes from the NRA that might read this. This is a simple, clear cut situation that you can not fence sit on.
You either are in support of murdering people, including children in their schools.
You are in support of your constituents, you are in support of their right to live, you are in support of making it illegal for people who probably are unfit enough to manage a social media account, access to machinery that can mass kill.
Whichever side you choose. The paltry bribes from a group who supports terror on its public, or, remaining gainfully employed, that is up to you. You can unfortunately, no longer have both. It is time to make a choice.
To the amazing youngsters at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. To the amazing staff at their school who have helped them become who they are. To their parents, and friends, and the community who have rallied behind their decision to take action. You have every reasonable persons support, applause, thanks and gratitude.
To the Amazing companies who have cut ties with the NRA in light of the recent changes in the publics perception of the organization. THANK YOU!. To the companies who sell guns & gun accessories who have decided to take it upon themselves to stop selling the weapons that have caused the most terror on Americans, and have put in age limits, without any pressure from law makers. THANK YOU! Just a few I can recall right now.(thanks to HelloGiggles for compiling many of them into 1 list)
- Dick's Sporting Goods (they wrote a letter stating they had sold a gun to the Parkland shooter, not the weapon he used, but a gun that COULD have been used. They are going to stop selling specific types of guns, and gun accessories, and would have a mandatory 21 years or older policy.) twitter facebook
- Walmart twitter facebook
- Hertz Car Rental twitter facebook
- Enterprise Car Rentals twitter facebook
- Best Western twitter facebook
- Wyndham Hotels twitter facebook
- Delta Airlines twitter facebook
- United Airlines twitter facebook
- Allied Van Lines twitter facebook
- Chubb twitter
- MetLife twitter facebook
- Avis twitter facebook
- North American Van Lines twitter facebook
- Teladoc twitter facebook
- TrueCar twitter facebook
- Simplisafe twitter facebook
- Starkey Hearing Foundation twitter facebook
- Symantec twitter facebook
- First National Bank Of Omaha (the ones who got the ball rolling when they stated they will no longer offer an NRA credit card). twitter facebook
There ARE companies standing behind the terror supporting group still. Most notably Amazon, FedEx. Personally, I am proud to say I have never used Amazon. But I sadly have used FedEx on multiple occasions over the years for specific customers. A practice I will NEVER do again..... even if today they cave to the pressure, because trying to justify keeping them JUST ONCE, is enough for me to be done with them.
If you want to read more of the comments, thoughts and see more articles from the powerful group of youth that have come out of this Florida shooting (and I really recommend doing so if you have some time). I have made a twitter list of those I have found so far HERE
While we may not know for some time what the full impact of this horrific event will be on the culture of guns in the United States. I think everyone who has been paying attention for the last two weeks can say with certainty, this time, this group, there will be changes, and probably many changes.
*edits added - March 2, 2018
My acknowledgement of the fact I am pretty hypocritical... and why sometimes, its unavoidable, and sometimes its just convenience
Throughout my adult life, I have noticed many times, I can be pretty hypocritical. For anyone reading this who isnt a regular to my site, or my twitter, you might think "okay, why is this news?" It kind of is, because I do, very often, point out others hypocrisy. So I am even hypocritical about being a hypocrite. For those who DO follow me, and come to this site often, you surely have seen it in my 80 thousand plus tweets, or posts on this very site, where I might applaud someone, or something, only to weeks/months or later, oppose someone or something.
I am hypocritical on a lot of things. Some, like I said, it would be pretty easy for me to not be, others, I'd like to not be, but its a bit tougher, and other times I am, and not even apologetic for it, because I see valid reasons to be so.
Someone recently called me out in person for being so within minutes of me having a very different stance on the same subject. They werent wrong. I conveniently cherry picked details for 1 argument that opposed something I arguing that directly opposed a differing viewpoint I had said at a different point in the discussion. What the matter is actually irrelevant. It wasnt a life or death issue. It was a TV show.
For a while now, I have been more self aware of my sometimes convenient changes on an issue. While I do TRY to stop, or at least minimize the frequency of doing so, I still do sometimes, occasionally knowingly, and more often unknowingly.
I still eat a substantial amount of beef, even though I know not just what health issues it can cause, but environmental issues it causes. While I do make more of an effort to eat chicken as an alternative to it, I still eat probably 3-6 beef related dishes a week. This is 1 I COULD change, but my lack of self control deems it moderately improbable to happen immediately.
I constantly tell fans of entertainers/shows that what they want from an entertainer is wrong, idiotic, unhealthy & many more things. Yet, I too criticize entertainers when they dont meet minimum efforts that I feel are expectant of someone who decided to get into that field of employment. While I do feel justified in what I state on both sides of that issue, I do also acknowledge its hypocritical of me to tell others their expectations are illogical while I have expectations too.
I get angry at drivers all the time for breaking laws, or at the very least not being as safe as possible, when they are in an area pedestrians could be in. Yet I cant recall a single time I have ever yelled at a pedestrian for casually jaywalking despite traffic having the right of way, or even if they dont have the right of way, just not making an effort to get out of a turning lane cross walk in enough time to let a car make its turn before traffic from other directions come. While I consider myself very efficient in crossing, I see many who do not give a FUCK how long they talk, and I am talking fully able bodied people, and yet, if a car were to do something that is inconveniencing pedestrians, I am on top of it.
I have, and surely still do on some level, objectified women. While I never (knowingly) do it to their faces, the fact is, I still see one that I deem attractive & break her down to her physical aspects more often than society as an average would probably deem appropriate. On the other hand, I am always outraged when I hear of men, especially those of positions of power, blatantly, or not so blatantly at times, doing the same. While the Me Too Movement has crushed that a lot, it hasnt eradicated it. I am aware I do it now, more than I was even a year ago. I also know its wrong. Yet I still do it, I just also do it KNOWING I shouldnt. This is 1 of those instances of,
I constantly look for & use loopholes or flaws in a rule/law to help me get an advantage in a situation, even when I fully know, its intended meaning is to stop what I am trying to do. Yet, you guessed it, if someone does that to me, I am right there claiming thats not what that rule/law is about. While I think everyone does this often, I do think I do it MORE.
I consume entertainment materials that are not officially licensed by the distributing platform I get it from. Of course, you guessed it, when someone uses photos or videos of mine without proper consent, I am right there making them take it down, or having the platform allowing it to be posted, remove it.
I have made people feel bad for no practical reason other than I disagreed with what they said. I would even go as far as to say, it could be labeled as bullied. Of course, you guessed it, when I see it happening to someone else (not so much me) that I dont feel deserves it, I am right there, calling the person(s) doing it out for doing similar things to what I do.
I know by the title of this post, it sounds like I am trying to deny that I actually posted incorrect info on my blog post for The Flash season finale shoot where Nora Allen arrives to take barry away in to the speed force.
So here is the thing. Yes, I posted that it was Tracy Brand, not Nora Allen that was in the scene. In fact, the majority of the internet tried telling me it was Nora & I steadfastly stated it was not. As it turns out, the internet was right.
Now was I wrong about what I posted? Yes. I posted incorrect info. But heres the thing, I had the actual facts about that shoot in front of my face, and the facts stated in no uncertain way, that Anne Dudek was in the scene as Tracy Brand, and that Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen was not even working that day. Theres really nothing I can do at that point. I have to trust the official info coming straight from the production. While they occasionally will make a spelling mistake, or a mistake in the order scenes will be shot in. I can never remember them ever
1- Forgetting a cast member all together on the cast sheet.
2- Having someone else stated in a scene that was not supposed to be there.
So what happened?
A few people feel that this was the studio trying to finally burn us set reporters by posting false info. While that could in theory be true.... it seems pretty illogical given what was presented. First off, why would they lie about a scene they tried so hard to block from the public seeing? Secondly, why lie about a scene that you could clearly see how the persons hair looked, and was dressed?? It really didnt make any sense. If this was their intention, it was a pretty wild try. The odds of it catching someone up was pretty slim. Like I said, only reason I did was, the facts suggested it. I even asked a 2nd source to verify what my info told me, and got the same info. So I feel the likelyhood the studio tried to purposely lie to mislead people like me on THIS fact, seems improbable. Not impossible, but improbable.
While I dont actually know how this error happened on their behalf. I know how it happened on MINE. Simply put, I trusted info from an official source, that in all the shows I have ever covered has never been incorrect. Whether it was an error, or intentional. I did learn a lesson that, if this is the one they tried to trip someone like me up on, it was pretty anti-climactic. That lesson is simple. Take NOTHING as undeniable fact. Always make sure you know before you post, even when you have the official info in your hands.
Below, I have taken the rare step of posting screen grabs of the call sheet from that day, so you can see the info I was given. Heres the funny part of it all, I was skeptical of what I was told. I questioned it, and was re-assured by my 1st source that the call sheet was right. I still was unsure after being told so, but eventually caved to the assumption that it must be true & that my admittedly poor eye sight was just having tricks played on it by the far distance, and poor lighting.
I made a mistake. It is 1 I certainly wont be making again. It will definitely make me ask questions much more when I have doubts about a piece of info I have found.
The funny part of this is, all the people out there who so often try and trash talk the flawless info I have had prior, none of them really took a shot at this. I COULD have easily let this slide by without commenting on it since few people asked about it.... but I am not like that. I screwed up by posting incorrect info, so I will own it and point out I learned the lesson from this.
Kudos to The Flash. Whether it was intentional or not, you technically made me post incorrect info. Too bad you wasted it on such an underwhelming spoiler. Next time, if it was intentional that you try that.... you might be disappointed to find myself, and others who learn from this, wont bite.
Back on March 8th I announced in a quick little paragraph on the front page of the site that I might be taking some time off from here because of some issues. I never delved too far into it. Outside of my good friends, those impacted by this all, and 1 or 2 people who i really feel are capable of keeping a secret, no one else knows even a fraction of the details.... and this post isnt going to really inform you fully. But, it will give a sliver of insight into the plethora of issues I have on my plate at this time.
Lets start off with, I made a LOT of mistakes in my personal life.
These issues have nothing to do really with my professional life. In that regard, whether you like what I say/do or not, I stand by my decisions in that section of my life. I feel I do what I do quite well.
For awhile now I have been aware that I have been involved in some unhealthy & unwise habits. I have been aware that I probably have been in need of some type of counselling/guidance/something for a long time. I know I act like a pompous know it all jerk sometimes on twitter, and unfortunately, that "know it all" part is a bit of a double edged sword in this case. I am smart enough to know I wasnt doing well. But "stupid" enough to think I could handle it myself. I knew I needed help, just too lazy to ask. Like most of society, I had the naive notion that I had my problems "under control". Ironically, I am the first to tell people that I think all adults should be in counselling. The world is just too complex & hard of a place for us to not have emotional baggage to work through by the time we are adults. Yet, it wasnt till I was essentially forced into a situation that I finally got my own. I am fully aware of the hypocrisy of that. I am also the first person to state, everyone is a hypocrite, myself included, on something or other in their life.
What was the final straw? An intervention/confrontation by some of the people I offended/emotionally hurt with my actions. The sad part of all of this is, what turned into some pretty nasty & ugly things I said/did were to people I admire & to their credit, they didnt just cut ties with me over it (yet?). I was nothing short of a monster to these people in the way I acted, and they still seemed in their actions to be as concerned with my well being as they were with getting some type of understanding of what I said/did to them. To give you some idea how much thought they put in to how to approach me on all of this. This was an issue they were aware of for 10 months, and for the past 6 weeks leading up to the intervention/confrontation, they got together daily, for several hours, discussing what & how to say everything they did say.. They could have easily 10 months earlier just stormed up to me and angrily pointed out the things I did and they would have been in their right to do so.... and frankly, had they done it, I wouldnt have blamed them too much. They really had every right to be angry with me, and while I am sure some level of anger is there, they also have shown compassion & concern.
That alone would have been a serious eye opening revelation that would have sent me reeling for the counselling that I now have sought. Hearing their anger/disappointment/disgust/concern over all of it would have been all that I needed. After all, I knew I needed it.... I just I guess had to hit "rock bottom" before I looked for it. But it of course, in typical Canadagraphs fashion, doesnt end with 1 problem. If I am going to have a serious life changing problem, there has to be multiple layers.
Due to what I said, I was asked to move out of my place. After all, the people I am talking about are part of the small community I was living in. Although they never actually said the words, it was kind of implied by the actions & tone of the talk, there was concerns with safety for some there. I didnt for a second dispute that their feelings were illogical. While I assured them I wouldnt be any type of physical threat to them and that obviously the things I did to make this issue even come up were done, I completely understood why that couldnt be enough of an assurance for them,.... so, I left, that night. There was a "plan" in place by someone they had come in to help them with this talk, but that seemingly fell thru, and for that... and a few more mistakes on behalf of the 1 party, I do hold some misgivings about how all of this played out. The short term plan was to have me go get a Psych exam, and I did. They took me to the hospital, I checked myself in...and after a couple of hours, mostly spent waiting in the waiting room... I was released because the Dr. didnt think I was a threat to myself or others. So, with that situation abruptly ended, I found myself officially homeless for the 2nd time in my life.
The first time I ended up homeless, it was about 2 weeks, and it was shortly after my mother passed away & happened because I lost a fight with my landlord at the time in a tenancy dispute only 3 days after her death when the moron in charge of the case opted to disregard EVERY single thing I submitted because it wasnt in on time..... that date that I missed btw for getting everything in by.... the day of my mothers death. That time I filled a few of those days with couch surfing at a next door neighbours place, then later spending nights sleeping in an internet cafe (ironically the very one I am typing this out in currently.... still in business 11 years later). Eventually, I was lucky enough to meet an advocate at First United Church in Vancouver who eventually put me in touch with the people who were my landlords for the past 11 years, till I messed that up.
This time, things were different. The last time, I had warning this was coming. This time, it was just dropped on me. I had so many things on my plate that I was trying to balance at that time. Work stuff, personal things, and the pointless little things that seem so important when your life is functioning on a semi-normal basis. One day, I had a house, my belongings at my disposal 24/7, internet, and the next.... none of those things. I spent 6 weeks homeless. Living in a homeless shelter. By the ways, I know that society has a horrible outlook on what a homeless shelter is, and I know that some of those absolutely exist, but I can tell you, from my experience, there IS some that are "as good as you can hope for". It wasnt obviously as good as having my own place, but it was a lot better than I envisioned it could be. I really do owe a huge thanks to the Lookout Society for keeping the one I was in reasonably clean, serving good food, and having a staff of experienced problem solvers. They were singlehandedly responsible for helping me find counselling, giving me advice on things to do with the problem I had, and most importantly, they found me my new place. The 1 ray of luck this disaster has shone down on me, is I found a place thats clean, and RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the downtown core, and it is even $25 cheaper than the last place I was at.... but, it is also 2x2 feet smaller.
So before you start thinking....well, sounds like crisis averted, all is well. Theres more to this story. Remember, I dont do single layered life changing problems. Mainly. legally, I might be in trouble. At first, the idea of any criminal investigation or even talking with the police about what I was doing wasnt even a serious notion in the initial talks. However, after more & more talks with some of the people, it seemed to everyone, I should go turn myself in & hope that it isnt. The biggest concern that came up was with the fact that someone I talked with online COULD potentially be a REAL threat to people, and I was really the only one that could offer information on that...... the problem is, by doing so, I would be turning myself in for things that I did that it turns out were illegal as well.
While I am aware that from a moral standpoint I was doing things that werent terribly nice, I never at any time would have considered them legally wrong. As it turns out, I may be wrong on that. As with the way I treat what I post on my site, I am pretty thorough on most everything I do. Including in my private life. Am I a saint? NO. I've gambled online. Viewed porn. Probably even been mean to someone enough that you could say that I bullied them. But do I think I did things that were terrible enough that criminal charges could ever come from them? No. In fact the very matter I am dealing with, I was "reasonably certain" that I hadnt. Since all this happened, I have read up on the Criminal Code of Canada, and it turns out I have. Now, that said, theres entirely the possiblity they dont actually charge me with anything. I'll be brutally honest, and this isnt me saying it because its me, its me saying it because I know the context of everything, I dont think there should be charges. If for no other reason than the parties impacted by it have already dealt with me, and I am dealing with them in trying to correct the issue, the crimes involved compared to what I have seem others charged under the same part of the law with, this is incredibly minor. Not to say what I did was nothing, just in the context of this part of the criminal code, its as minimal as it probably gets. I've used this analogy quite a few times in trying to explain it to others.
Theres two cars.
One is driving along, going about 4-8 MPH over the speed limit, when 1 of his passengers tells him hes done so, he goes and finds the first officer he can find & tells him what he did. Now legally, he committed a crime. Would an officer charge him? No, of course not. Would an officer even give him a speeding ticket? More than likely, probably not. Perhaps, at most he'll give him a warning, or tell him to go to a driving class. This is essentially, after doing lots of homework on this stuff, is where I see what I did comparison wise.
The second driver. He is doing 120 MPH over the speed limit. He has run a red light, he drove on a sidewalk, destroyed some property, and has been chased by the Police till captured. Now he committed the same crime (as well as others) as the first guy, he sped. Would an officer charge him? YES. Not even a question. That guy will absolutely end up with jail time. As he should. He knowing put the safety of society at risk and seemed unwilling to own up to it til caught. This is what I would call the type of cases the part of the code applicable to what I did was made for and seems to ACTUALLY go after.
One of the positives thats come out of this so far (hopefully permanently) is the thing that got me into this trouble, I have managed to completely ignore doing since. I had done varying degrees of this stuff for several years.... and had tried quitting a couple times, and eventually, boredom kicks in and I would resume my ways. But I dont ever recall those other times, having the complete lack of interest in trying to do it again, where as the times prior, there was always the interest to... just was mentally trying not to.
There is however a plethora of negatives from it.
First, I dont have my computer, and 1 of my external hard drives which were VOLUNTEERED (not "seized" as 1 detective claimed in an email he sent me.... cant seize something thats given to you), this means I have had to work from internet cafes (like the one 11 years ago that I am currently in) and at the library. This is why I havent been able to post blogs nearly as often. It is why my photos have big watermarks on them and seem to not be as well lit as before, because I dont have my program for doing that at my disposal now. Thankfully my external with 99.9% of my bts/candid celeb photos I got back... but I am still missing 3-5 sets that I shot in February that I clearly will not get back in time to ever use.
Secondly, having the discussions with my friends about it. There was a lot of confusion from some, as well as even more questions. Thankfully my friends know me well enough to know when I explain to them WHY & HOW I ended up where I did, that it wasnt intentional & not who I am. More than one of my friends even stated they arent shocked at what I did, just that I did something in it that was illegal.
Third. Its been bad for my business. The 6 weeks without my belongings at my disposal 24/7 cost me a lot of work opportunities, and even more sales, as I had NO access to my belongings for about 10 days, and then after that, was working out of my storage locker, then out of a friends spare bedroom an hour away. It made doing things efficiently, impossible, and in turn it cost me a few "I need this soon" type of sales. Luckily, one of the other local dealers here gave me some work on some days early on when he knew I needed the help. So I wasnt completely incapable of working, just vastly limited in how much.
Fourth. Its cost me financially. Theres been a plethora of costs I usually wouldnt have in a month, including the fact I now pay for internet by the hour, instead of using the monthly internet I STILL am paying for (oh contracts how I hate you). Theres the fact the area I live in now will cost me more for food, as there isnt the same places to buy groceries here, not unless I want to take an extra long bus ride now. Theres even more financial issue to come, as I owe the people I hurt $$ for costs they incurred in working on how to deal with this. They put out their own $ & time on the matter, and it is wrong for them to have to have taken that on... so eventually I need to pay that back as well. So this is going to cost me a lot of ways financially.
Fifth. Definitely some shame/humiliation/pride thats been swallowed over all of it. Even IF there was no legal issues over it all, having the people I offended confront me was a pretty humbling experience in itself... and all the pieces that followed has added onto that even more. Telling some of my friends what happened was difficult. Even writing this, despite not delving into major details, is pretty humbling. If all of that isnt enough, dont forget 1 of the parties offended/hurt by all of this is/was someone I had a lot of interest in. Theres been a LOT of things from this entire situation thats sucked, but thats definitely high on that list.
Sixth. Mental health. I have definitely struggled with that I think for a long time. I am obviously not "mentally ill" as society likes to label it with an easily recognizable "disease". But I clearly am not a person who is also completely fine. I am functional, but that doesnt make me well. While I definitely brought on the issues I am dealing with now, it still goes on this list, that the stress, and anxiety and probably even some physical issues I deal with all the time, has been compounded by all of this. Not a day has gone by since all of this unfolded that I havent thought about some aspect of it at least a few dozens times. Its mentally exhausting. Its a larger reason than not having my computer on why I havent done a lot of blogging lately, I just am not mentally focused enough to do them efficiently.
Mostly though, knowing I hurt the feelings, and possibly done long term emotional damage to some people, including a couple that I think are pretty amazing people, from what I said/did is the largest negative of all of this. Thats also not me saying it to give them a pseudo apology... I am actually working on that separate from this which WONT be public since its for THEM and not everyone, and I dont expect them to ever see this, I have no intention of telling them about it. This is to "inform" my followers/viewers a bit on what is going on with me.
So now you know..... a bit more. With any luck, I will never have to come here to explain any more. Comments will be closed for this post....because it isnt a place where people should speculate, because you will almost certainly be wrong. Its also not really a post where you should say "its ok, hope everything works out" because really, your basing that off my interpretation of things & knowing of me thru autographs, awards & blog posts I bring you. Like the celebs you come here to admire, just remember.... no ones perfect. Myself included.
About this blog
Canadagraphs personal blog page - rants, praise, observations and opinions.