November 23, 2014

The Pioneers of online multiplayer RPG, still live.

I am in a happy and nostalgic state of shock. The very first online world I ever experienced, Fiery MUD still exists!!
I do not even remember exactly how I got to the site, but there it is in all its glory. One of the first hardcore , multiplayer online RPG worlds. Created by the users of all original content. It filled me with such fond remembrance to see the names of those who I played with and worked beside creating new content.
It has been 19 years since I logged off that telnet server. I never thought once in my life since that it would still be there, or that it would be 3 times as big as it was in 1994.
While only a small handful of players are still using it, it is still being used. Somewhere, in a computer science lab in this country, one man is still watching over that server and making sure that its doors are still open for wandering adventurers.

October 19, 2014

The night I was transformed into a female and the lessons I learned.

I was at a college in one of the large common rooms with couches and tv's and such. Chatting with other geeks and students, like you do. Suddenly I was in a room by my mother's bed, and she looked at me and started singing, or chanting.

I reached down towards the carpet and knew there was a small ice cold pond of crystal clear water. I kneeled down and cupped the water and poured it over my own head  3 times and the crisp water coated me; then I began to change.

With the sound of my mother chanting, another voice joined as a different woman added her chants and I began physically transforming into a woman.

It was an amazing and very uncomfortable feeling. I actually was feeling the transformation, not just witnessing it. The entire process was physically experienced in a way that no dream I can recall has ever before.

I felt my neck getting a little longer and my shoulders shrinking, my chest losing its thickness, my arms becoming slender like my legs. My hands and feet became more petite, my face became feminine, slender of jaw and soft of cheek. As it finished I looked at myself in the mirror, it was still me. I had the same roguish smile, my lips were fuller and mouth a bit more narrow, but naturally in proportion with my face. I still had my dark full eyebrows, hazel eyes and long dark lashes, an untidy short mob of dark brown with deep copper toned hair now on my head. All that was just the outside changes which were not nearly as unsettling as what was happening inside. I felt my internal organs shift to fit the new skeletal structure. I was growing entirely new reproductive organs and felt my penis meld backwards, my testicles having pulled inside me to become part of my ovaries, I knew my vulva and labia were shaping themselves but was not in any mood to watch the process.  It was uncomfortable and strange at best and downright painful as my ovaries finished forming. I immediately felt cramps, and chuckled through the pain at the irony, first day as a woman and it was already that time of the month.


When it was done, I looked in the mirror and saw my new form. I was not drop dead gorgeous by societies standards, for which I am deeply grateful . Even though I am about 23 in the dream, I have the breasts of 14 year old; a hard pair of 38 b's that are obviously still developing from the change. I quickly learn to keep my arms out of the way of them and avoid touching the sore mounds forming there. I do not spend more than a moment examining my reflection. I put on some sweatpants, tshirt and a hoodie; then suddenly I am back in the common room again. My group of classmates are all either to interested in watching nothing on TV, playing with their phones, FB or studying. They don't notice any difference yet, they are in their own worlds and not paying attention to me, for which I am grateful.

One of my female friends bounces into the room and embraces me in energetic greeting; my yelp of pain as she crushes my still forming breasts makes her let out a small shriek, now everyone is curious.

So I gather them around and I explain it as academically and matter of fact as I can. I finish my presentation by pulling the top of my pants down just enough, presenting proof that I have suddenly become a female. I feel shy about showing my body. I haven't even looked at myself closely or really examined the changes, so I am certainly not eager start flashing my mound and lumpy painful chest growths. Then everything kind of goes back to normal, they return their attentions to whatever they were doing before.


 I plop down on the couch where some gamer geek I had been discussing nerdy stuff with before all this is lounging. I try to zone out on the TV and allow my mind to get to grips and accept this thing as a background process. I just want to be there and not freak out suddenly. I am a confused and upset and feeling very much like what I am, a girl.

The geek on the couch with me gives me a look that makes no sense at all to me and pulls quilt that's on the couch over himself, stretches out on his side and goes to sleep, I am at the far end of the couch wedging myself into the dark space between the cushions, attempting invisibility.He keeps fidgeting and making little grumpy noises under his breath and soon enough he has scooted a third of the way down the couch and has his legs propped over my lap up on the arm of the couch.

I am so confused about everything I am feeling that I do not care, nor do I want to get up and leave. I feel like I need people around or I will either freak out in private or mastyrbate until my lips get chapped from me trying to figure it out. He reaches under the blanket and very slowly starts drawing my arm towards him.

I cannot begin to fathom what is going on and figure this must be some weird sleepwalking type thing. That is until my hand is suddenly wrapped around his swollen erect cock. I am so lost I just sit there with it in my hand, it is not huge, in fact it is about 5 inches long and feels huge in my hand.. My hands are tiny now, my own cock is already a fading memory and the one in my hand I can feel pulsing and throbbing, it is too big to fit in my hand easily.

He makes eye contact with me and gives me a sleazy knowing gaze, flashing a smile at me that I have seen on mens faces that marked them as sexual predators.  He tries to be charming for a moment and reaches down to pull me towards him under the blanket.  I snap out of it the second I feel that this has gone from gross and weird to a possibly dangerous sexual situation.

He snickers at me as I back away from the couch, and I can see him beating off under the blanket.   Then I realize that the weird shyness I felt wasnt about my virginal mound getting filled by this jerk, it was because all the men and some of the women had all gone from friendly or uninterested,  to whispering and eye raping me.

While I was examining all of their body language, the dream ended.

I understand much more clearly what being female in our world is like..
And it was a rare full sensory experience that allowed me to feel something that is physically unique to females( cramping, sore breasts. and so on)

Because of that physical experience I was also thrown right into the everyday life of a young woman surrounded by socially insensitive, emotionally irresponsible men; preying on my confusion and confident of the physical strength they have over me. Someone to conquer and convince to give in to them so they can please themselves. If you're lucky they may take the time to enjoy you.  Chances are better they will use you like fuck doll, any hope of reciprocation lost the moment they cum.

September 27, 2014

Andrew Breitbart is DEAD!!


 I have never been so happy to find out that someone died before. He died of a Heart attack in May of 2012  at the age of 43, from a diseased heart.  I would like to thank his heart for removing his ethically diseased person from the Earth.
     
  I really don't bother hating people, in fact I was disgusted by this man and it took two years for me to even chance upon the news of his much deserved demise. His career as a Journalist and News Watchdog was a driving force that twisted, raped and mutilated News Media and Journalism. He publicly spit on the graves of far better men than himself so he could feed on the attention of the Americans who had become addicted to his vitriolic manipulations and passive aggressive hate.


The world is a better place without him and I am much happier knowing he cannot sully or poison even one more moment of anyone's lives. 

September 16, 2014

Foamy the Squirrel, 10 Ounces of Epic Indignation.

This is now my all time, absolute, most cherished, Foamy The Squirrel : iLL WiLL PrEss episode. I strikes so many cords inside me.



Many people hear him and wish they had said it, or feel he speaks for them like a  patron saint of bumptious lambasting who can say what they never would. For me, his angry rants often echo my own statements on human behavior, except I am actively trying to make mine a positive discussion.   So it is nice to hear someone who isn't discussing anything but straight up telling them they suck! A message that strikes far deeper and further when delivered by a squirrel.

September 13, 2014

Divergent?! More like "Detergent"!

A good friend of mine recently mentioned the film "Divergent"  during a discussion we were having about real life, present day dystopian society; after watching about 35 minutes of the film I began to seriously doubt his opinion as it pertains to good film.   I didn't even make it to the 60 minute mark before I was forced to turn it off; anything to stop the bombardment of insipid saccharine that was anything but, Divergent.

That film made "Twilight" look like a Sundance Audience Choice Award Winning masterpiece it was so bad. In fact after an hour of Divergent, I find myself looking back with fond memories of being held hostage by my 12 yr old niece, who upon finding out I was studying film made special plans to show me what she was sure was the best film ever made; sparkly vampires, le sigh.

As I sat, still reeling from the effects created by Divergent's  brain pummeling mediocrity, I found solace and reprieve by climbing into the book of the same name.

Literary Lithium brought to you by "DIVERGENT"

I will not tell you that Divergent is an amazing book, because it isn't. It is written in the simplest English available after the 5th grade and is exactly the kind of easily approachable, homogenized fiction that makes the NYT Best Seller List every week.  The book is built on a strong foundation of  cultural co-dependent social structures that reek of potential. And like the sudden hunger inspiring aroma of an unknown meal being cooked, enticing you to discover the source, it then  reveals itself as a TV Dinner in the microwave..

The words roll off the page in a constant stream of bland interior monologue and unimaginative descriptions. Don't worry though, even though it feels like a child recounting an uneventful camping trip in a monotone voice, there is so little time spent on describing or discovering the details that you will hardly notice how bland they are.

  Don't get me wrong on this, I obviously found something in the content worth sitting down and reading it for 4 and a half hours straight; but it isn't the story that held me. The story is as engrossing as a 1987 Daytime TV Movie of the Week drama.  I assume the target audience is young adults (13-17yr old),  As a teenager, I would have been offended if someone this book to me based on the assumption of my age groups intellectual development thresholds. Then I would have bopped them with my ragged copy of

Luckily at the seasoned age of 42 I rarely feel umbrage towards the painfully misguided society I live in,, well not as much as I would have at 17 at least. I was an angry young philosopher, activist and counter culture subversive, from 16-21. At 21 I got married. I traded my personal freedoms and lifestyle to the gods of consumerism and capitalism. They gave me some shiny trinkets and a nice corporate job with my own little cubicle to whore myself from in exchange for a salary and a 401k.

Enough about me, lets get back to this fantastic display of dystopian Sci-Fi Literature before it is put to proper use as a recycled toilet paper product.

 I found myself plowing through one obvious mystery, and its (WTF How did you not know that shit?!) reveal, hoping to find more details of the social structures and their history. Do not be fooled, there is no deeper history or details to be found, the author has erected a shield of laziness to protect her from the fine and incredible details that make all worlds, real or fiction, breathe with life. It wasn't  the characters that inspired me to continue along with them through their experiences either. The protagonist and her supporting crew of cardboard friends, as well as the villians show about as much depth as the psychoanalysis of childhood abuse victims from the 1960's>  all just plod through the story acting surprised, angry or confused when facing the painfully predictable situations they encounter; much like watching a fitness trainer desperately struggling for his life against a ordinary sized piece of Plastic Wrap.

The book did throw me for one loop, one shocking twist. It wasn't because it was an unique idea or mind blowing at all; it was because I just couldn't believe it was happening. I was in total disbelief that this author, or any world best selling author for that matter, would use a sledgehammer on everything she had created, and right at the end too! I kept reading for two chapters before I finally had to admit to myself that the main character was not either, in a dream, or within a simulation; 2 surreal chapters that felt entirely alien and unrelated to what I had been reading all night. Like the book was suddenly being finished by an 8th grader who won creative writing contest as an unpaid intern!

 WHAM, POW!

 I was like, "MIND CONTROL BROADCASTING?!,,,Get the fuck out of town, you're messing with me, really!?" You are actually trying to make me believe that 1/5 of an entire population, a culture of people who have been tempered in the fires of physical combat, strategy, emotional and mental conditioning as well as overcoming fear, pain and doubt so they can be allowed an opportunity of citizenship; are secretly ambushed and enslaved en mas. An entire paramilitary organization of born and breed peacekeepers and soldiers who control the bulk of all surveillance equipment for their entire society, subverted practically overnight from within and MIND CONTROLLED. How can anyone swallow the a pill this big?

We are supposed to wash it down with the antagonistic plot lubricant named, Eric I suppose. He is 18 and comprises 1/5th of  the leadership in the faction; with little more than a year and a half  in that job. Well of course, that makes perfect sense. That this man/boy could facilitate this massive hostile takeover of the bodies and will of his faction with the help of  evil scientists; godless worshippers of progress for progress's sake.

These scientists who value knowledge over all,yet seem to have absolutely no grasp of historical consequence and who have all forgotten the fate of dictatorships. Supposedly the brightest and most brilliant researchers and intellectual thinkers within their society. Yet their justification for total mental domination of 1/5th of people is to facilitate the necessary execution of a another 1/5th faction in the society. Systematic genocide of entire christian culture of public leaders and civil servants, dedicated to selflessness and charity; all they might be an obstacle to the pursuit of luxury and personal gain. It seems quiet obvious by the commonplace extravagances of the Erudites lifestyle that such a threat has never surfaced before, but what the hell, Genocide, just in case.

 This group of scientists must have their own shark tank. They go from lobbying for an equal voice in  government and little mudslinging, to the total submission of all other factions and peoples driven only by greed and distorted self worth. That's like the Fonz, jumping his motorcycle over a tank filled with negative reality and teaming with mutated cyber-ballistic monkey sharks, with laser eyes!

This was a shock for me, much like searching for your car keys for an hour just to realize they are in your hand. It also has the added effect of lowering the creative bar and standards for good fiction in the United States.

I picture her looking at her ragged copy of 'The Heroes Journey". The story progression stage, "The Worst Possible Moment" presents her with a possible way out of this crisis of direction. Now she just needs to come up with some cataclysmic event, which will cause her hero to lose faith, gain hope, immediately overcome the obstacles that have been deemed impossible tasks by supporting secondary characters.

I seriously wonder if the author just found herself looking at the story progression, realized she was reaching a crucial point of character development moment and then froze. Then, overwhelmed with the many possible roads and directions available, she loses her fucking mind..

Possible interior monologue, "Oh, what am I going to do, what, what? Should Tris make into Dauntless leadership and begin a long campaign of social reconstruction of her faction from within; thereby creating a tool to bring balance and justice to all the factions by example? Yeah, lots of adventures there with all the evil elements and covert betrayals, interpersonal difficulties with her friends and love life as well as the problems involved with faction related agendas?! OOh, or Divergence blossoms into the next stage of human evolution and psionic abilities and how the people are brought together by the gift of shared human experience through telepathy?
Damn it no, my Church would be bored by the first , and if I promoted the idea of evolution without divine intervention they would all hate me on FaceBook and twitter.

OOH, I got it!! The evil  scientists use their science to mind control the soldiers and hunt down and slaughter all the selfless, humble, Christians who provide sound and reasonable government for their society!, Brilliant?! Uh, just need on thing to make it all realistic, hmmmm, OH! Erik was an Erudite transfer, That makes perfect sense, because obviously the majority of them are all evil scientists at heart!!!"

Of course this fantasy interior brainstorming session was made to point out a serious flaw in this point of the conflict. The entire book espouses the belief that people can choose who they want to be and that society and even birth cannot dictate who you are or what you will become.

So when the author then contradicts everything she  has spent 2/3 of her book establishing, it makes the titanically horrendous ending to this book  kind of like the experience of being date raped by your imaginary friend.



THIS HAS BEEN MY WAY OF SAYING: The book was way better than the movie. But neither is really worth the time they consume. It consumes your time left to be alive and then deficates in your brain.

September 11, 2014

On the topic of Tea Party Conservative, McDaniel's


On the topic of Tea Party Conservative, McDaniel's and his wild claims of voter fraud being caused by African American's  and GOP Conservatives.



It took me 1 hour to find official FEC documentation of funds used against McDaniel for advertising by Conservative PAC's. It is also very clear from listening to Pastor Siggers endorsement that McDaniel's claim, that he was calling out to democrats to destroy the election with fraudulent voting, is nothing more than a delusional interpretation which has no foundation in the reality of what was said.

To say that he was calling out to african american communities to create fraud and fix the election against the Tea Party Candidate is delusional or yet another example of bending the facts into new shapes that fit the holes they wish to stick them in.

In this respect at least McDaniel's is a perfect representative of the Tea Party Conservatives. He proudly stands before the world and screams "Not Fair!" when he loses by a sizable amount and then blames it on criminal activity from black american voters.  He then tries to file a federal action of voter fraud based on his assumption that by talking to black voters, he was obviously talking to an all democrat audience.

I think it is inspiring that hardline GOP conservatives are coming out in force to remove all the Tea Party representatives; they made this mess, and are finally starting to take responsibility and clean it up.  I am a Progressive, therefore I only support the best possible route towards a better world for everyone, be it conservative Rep or Dem, Green Party, Independent, Liberal Rep or Dem and so forth.  There is a right way for us all to cohabitate and progress as a culture. No one party has the solutions that are the best, but all together, much like being American, we can make things work.

August 29, 2014

A brief history of the effects of scary media on a child who loved being scared.

Poltergeist is 32 yrs old now and the remake by Sam Raimi has just entered Post Production for release next year. I have faith in Sam and know he will do it justice, but nothing can match the terror the original film inflicted on me; thank god for that.
I was 9 when my sister dragged me screaming and crying in terror into the theatre, she was laughing at my mortal fear that the clown would drag me into the closet. She told my mom she was taking me to see Disney's Fantasia; evil truly exists in my sister. I never have and I never will forgive her for that; I was scared of TV's with snow on them until I was 11 and would not own any clowns or stuffed, human shaped toys of any kind until my 30's.  

 I am middle aged now and Poltergeist is still scary to me..

I made this to illustrate the terror this scene still invokes in me.



The media we see when very, very young leaves its marks for sure. Not everyone is the same in this of course; my niece, when she was 3yrs old is a perfect example. Late one night she snuck into the living room, secreting herself behind the couch I was sitting on to watch forbidden TV. I was watching "Creep Show"  another film that had scared the hell out of me as a boy but in the best kind of way.    On the screen, a monster underneath the darkened staircase, sealed in a box concealing its ferocity springs forth and sucks one of the former protagonists inside, where he meets a grizzly screaming death as he is eaten alive. I knew it was coming, I had seen this film about 20 times at this moment, it was the sudden proximity of a tiny child voice squealing with laughter at the carnage she was witnessing that almost gave me a heart attack before turning 20.  I pulled my terrifyingly adorable niece into my arms and asked her "You don't think that was scary, aren't you scared it will come and get you?" to which she replied, "Nope, Tiffy can't be stroided! (destroyed)" . In her world monsters stay on the screen or in the box, but were not worth worrying about, good for you kiddo.                      

 
I, on the other hand, have always had a very vivid, powerful imagination, thankfully surprisingly rational; an imagination which accounts for 90% of my terror by filling in the blanks so well. While most things didn't scar me as much as scare me, other specific things have creeped in the darkness, hunting me ever since I first saw them.



On the topic of childhood fear by associative trauma.
When I was 3 1/2 or 4, I watched in horror as my parents had a massive screaming, crying, angry fight. I tried to stop them, but they were to involved in their battle. I was so scared, maybe for the first time in my life , but I was not going to let this continue. So I went upstairs, grabbed a toy slot machine I liked and went to our second story balcony. My plan was to hurt myself so badly they would have to stop fighting, but I still didn't know how bad I would be hurt, thats why I brought the toy, as a test. 

The toy slot machine survived the fall with minimal damage, so I jumped of the roof, right in front of the main window to the living room. I landed on my side, bashed my head a little and probably bruised some ribs; the desired effect was created as I howled in true mortal pain, choking on the air as I tried to breathe through my sobs. They stopped fighting and rushed to my aid, I had won the argument.

What made this an associative event was the music that was playing really loud on the record player; the score to "2001 a Space Odyssey".
I would burst into tears and either attack the record player or run away every time I heard the main theme song.

I couldn't bring myself to watch the movie until I was 17.



A Short List of serious nightmare dwelling fears I have picked up along the way;


Herman

1. Creepy Toys (see above) and the heads/faces of old Mannequins. (My family owned a mannequin head they called Herman. Herman, I am absolutely sure, wanted to hurt me. He used to stare at me and make faces and turn his head as I watched him until passing out from terror.
 I informed my mother after awhile of Herman's bad behavior
 and she gave him to my older sister to care for. 
37 years later and he still sits in my sisters house, although her own family requested he move to the storage closet; serves him right for being a evil creepy head!







2. Small Pitch Black closets with the door cracked open. I don't mind if it is open or closed, but something about halfway between either just creeps me out.





3. The Undead, especially if they are unseen but can be heard. Many a pleasant nights sleep has been invaded by the groaning, scratching, shuffling sounds of risen corpses. Mummies were the first but were replaced by zombies as I grew up. As to the others within the pantheon of undead antagonists only Vampires stand out, not because they scare me as individuals, actually they are pretty damn interesting. No, they started to scare me when I was living on the streets at 17, squatting in abandoned buildings often with many other young people living underneath society. I was fully aware that our value was beneath the concerns of the world outside. Street kids disappear from the world all the time; far to many of the ones I have known have just vanished. Vampires hunt people for food and street kids make easy targets with little chance of the world taking notice that they are gone. 


18 yr old Mouse (Titus) & 15 yr old Pinky (name unknown)
We squatted in San Francisco together from 90-91
 So yeah, around that time, I decided it was a good idea to be scared of Vampires.



4. The Alien from Alien. It's a ruthless, intelligent hunter lurking in the darkness, filled with a single minded tenacity that scares the shit out of me.
I am behind you, again.


5. The Terminator. Even after they tried to make him all nice and heroic, the very idea of hyper intelligent, humanoid battle chassis relentlessly hunting down all organic life without any emotion spooks me the fuck out.

Seriously dude, I love machines!
You are smiling, right?




6. Large Ghost Ships, or being trapped inside of a ship as it sinks and is being crushed by the water pressure.




Abandoned Cruise Ships are terrifying.
Obviously that ship was full of scary or people wouldn't have ran away and left it on a deserted shoreline. It had a long and illustrious history and was the stage of many a dastardly plan.
I did check that BTW; this ship ran aground outside of an island in Greece, then was towed in 94 to be retrofitted but broke loose in a storm and grounded herself on the nearly uninhabited western coast of  Fuerteventura, in the Canary Islands.

Built  in 1939, she was christened the SS America. She finally dissolved beneath the waves in 1996 as the American Star.

.

HELLO KITTY, your tea is filled with LIES!

HELLO KITTY, your tea is filled with LIES!

The  headlines about HK  and her evisceration by anthropologists on a witch hunt; well it drew me in like a kitten chasing a laser beam; after awhile I realised all of us were being HAD.

This sad media mega story attempts to explain a cartoons species by use of  Observational Analysis to find the truth, with science!
Which led to this, their statement of discovery "She is a feline cartoon character, not a cat."

The conclusion to their research is the largest pile of pedantic, faux academic, fluffy excrement ever to claw its way past my optic nerve,,, at least recently.


(In an alternate universe, somewhere, Titus figures out HK's little secret first, he stands up and hollers!)

"HOLY SHIT! She isn't a cat at all, she is a cartoon character in disguise! Jumping Keroppi on a Penis Stick, somebody needs to out that fake ass, tea sipping, party planning, cosplay psychopath right now!!  I am contacting the anthropology department right away to call for an investigation!"


Thankfully we, or at least I, have been spared that moment by the cosmic walls between dimensions which is protecting us from such things, I hope. Things like globally embarrassing ourselves with anthropological, self masturbatory revelations. Revelations, warping the gravity of thought; thoughts so dense they are collapsing in on themselves, thereby forming black holes of stupid.

These so called Journalists have created such a hole. It is sucking peoples attention from away from the now and spitting their intellect out, warped, askew, with its edge dulled by the experience.
Right now the infected are already having deluded conversations discussing the ideological value of said piece of Fluffy Excrement.

We can all take the time to let our media outlets know how we expect better. We can tell them that level to which they are performing is so low that they not use the word "Journalism"  without feeling shame.

I promise I will be drafting letters to government and businesses letting them know how I feel,       and how to start turning it all around.
Maybe this is an odd bit of media madness, especially to invoke the spirit of activism; maybe it is the perfect juxtaposition. Maybe we will be heard instead of ignored; you know, like real news.

                                         
                                           HK COSPLAY WHORE GOES MISSING



Image By Titus Prime

July 29, 2014

The realities of ineffective Customer Support call centers, from entry level to management. Part 1

This is a call to Comcast Customer support to cancel service. It is not the absolute norm, but it is also far from discouraged by the employer.

I couldn't make it through more than 4 minutes of this and this customer ended up spending over 10 minutes requesting that his account be canceled before it was done.




That was so painful, and I know the realities of it so personally. I worked in  Customer Support for a major telecom for 7 years, from entry level to executive escalations, CS training and assistant supervisor. The very reason I did not stay or continue to get promoted was because of my open disagreement with management over the treatment of our members who were trying to cancel. ( I was at Earthlink) What started off as special retention teams of experienced reps using excellent service and problem solving to save customers turned into teams of pushy, never take no for an answer abuse. It was a daily event to have a customer crying, or screaming or both to cancel before the reps would begrudgingly click the one button necessary.  I got a sit down talk with the West Coast senior manager about my unfortunate attitude after I had had words with a rep who had made an old lady cry because he kept pressuring her. I had been in on the call, it was obvious it had been sold to her by a door to door rep, she did not own a computer and had been paying for it for 3 months while living on social security; but the little prick wouldn't let up on her.  

Yeah so that got me a official verbal counselling. My senior management denied my request to cross train sales with support to reduce call volume at a bi monthly all senior staff meeting. They said "We do not want our sales to team to learn anything that might stop them from making a sale." When I replied "So you are aware that over 1/3 of those sales were secured with the promise of false information? How is lying to people and selling an unusable or unneeded product profitable? Every single dissatisfied customer that calls in costs the company 5-8 $ and on cancellations we go negative 18.00 to 25.00 per call. Worse than the money lost is the bad image and word of mouth negative responses being generated by these interactions. We are actually paying to create bad consumer feedback and damage the company image."

I know now that from a corporate viewpoint, I had just assassinated my career with Earthlink. The room went still; all the senior supervisors looked away and my manager said "We do not think that's the way it should be looked at."

Yeah, within a couple months I got shuffled from assistant supervisor at the main branch to one of the email support departments at a recently acquired  ISP on the other side of town. Over half of the legacy support staff and supervisors had opted to accept a 2 months severance package and leave the company rather than get a small raise and watch the company they had all helped build get swallowed by a hungry competitor. All that was left was handfuls of temps and a skeleton crew of mediocre reps with less than 5 months of experience, the ones who hadn't been with Mindspring long enough to qualify for the severance package basically, i am sure half of those would have left as well if they had been offered it. Worse than that was remnants of middle and upper management that had been offered large bonuses to stay. It was almost immediately apparent that these managers and supervisors were the hangers on, the worst the company had hired, then promoted simply because they met the minimum requirement and had seniority. Nasty, selfish,  uncaring, and stressed out supervisors  who were openly aggressive and abusive about any solutions or activities that required anything other than the absolute minimum of their attention.

When Earthlink started we had the lowest % of employee turnover and the single highest customer retention in the entire business. Within 4 and a half years our new employee turnover was 55% of each class trained within 6 months, average new employee retention after a year was around 22%. That meant for every 50 people we hired, we would have less than 23 trained and useful representatives that had passed the probation period and were given their first performance appraisal and pay increase. Maybe 11 of those or less would be around before the end of a year. The old (Mindspring) location became the place they put people who they were never going to promote or move to any special projects. 2 years after I left Earthlink, i had contacted a close friend and co-worker who I had trained when I was a assistant supervisor. He informed me that everyone we had worked with except for himself and a couple others were gone. That, in fact, almost the entire customer service and technical support sections of the company had been laid off and replaced with remote location, oversea outsourced support from India. The only department still left for inbound customer support was my ex-coworkers, and they only handled support for major corporate clients and special retention for business account cancellations.

During my time at Earthlink I had learned a lot. I had always been very energetic and respected problem solver in my jobs; with a ever deepening desire to provide excellent customer support. My wife and I both had moved up the ranks in various service industries through our customer support skills and had almost made a theology of it. At Earthlink I had been trained by the very finest in customer support for corporations, and a man who I respect deeply and maintain contact with to this day, almost 20 years later.  I helped build the internet, and had many hundreds of unforgettable interactions with incredible people and customers; one was even my childhood hero (Ranger Rick) the environmentally conscious cartoon activist that had a activity sheet delivered to our schools every few months.

   It was also one of the most soul crushing times, watching everything that had brought me joy and personal success rot in front me. The company values I had lived and breathed for 3 years, gone.

 They vision statement of our little ISP, "To Provide the very best in customer service and support." That goal was the driving force of Earthlink and it was the one and only reason we rose up from a small warehouse in LA to the nations number one ISP; surpassing AOL who had almost total market dominance, within 3 years and it was all done with customer service.  Our unspoken motto, "The customer is not always right, that is why they are calling you. You will let them know what can be done and assist them with being right. We will always give the customer exactly what they need, and we will do so in a friendly and respectful manner. "


How very depressing to see all that hard work and positive energy being put out into the world,  our customers happy and our employees proud of the good work; all torn down in a few short years; right after we became a publicly traded company.. Then it was greed and the old business model where numbers mean everything and people mean shit.


So why have I gone on and on about this? Maybe so their is a record of how it happened from the inside, and maybe someone will read it and not make the same mistakes over and over again. The message behind all of this, the moral of the story?  Be respectful and give the very best you can when dealing with customers and your staff. We proved that a company that treats people like welcome guests will thrive in this world. Those people you help who would have been treated badly by others will feel how well they were treated and will be happier. What is is also important is that they will not go on with their day filled with negative vibes, resentment, frustration and anger in them. Every single thing that happens to them that day has the opportunity to make other peoples days better; such as  stopping your car to let someone into your lane when no one else will, instead of angrily forcing your way to block them. These little tiny interactions we have every day matter, just as a positive and helpful attitude towards your day will naturally create more positivity in the world around so can negativity about an unrelated event cause a cascade effect of negativity

 When business is only interested in the bottom line, people become numbers, there is no empathy, there is no community and it makes the world a meaner, more frustrated place.

"Super Childhood Nostalgia Beam, ACTIVATE!!"

OK my fellow militant nerds, this is the EPIC battle against evil you never knew you absolutely needed to experience!

WATCH THIS FILM!!---------------------->

  

This film is so goddamn awesome and includes just about every single Super Sentai Character from every series since 1975 to 2011 ( 25 different teams with multiple versions from each team, which must be almost 100). Even the Power Rangers can be found teaming up with all the rest of the protectors of earth! If that isn't enough awesomeness, it also has a renegade group of Sentai Pirates trying to plunder earths treasures. Its like Captain Harlock's illegitimate children teamed up to rape and pillage in Sentai power suits!!!!

I have been clapping and jumping around my room for the last hour.

If you still have no clue what i am talking about, then you should still watch this because it will have you giggling to yourself in WTF'ery for days.

July 26, 2014

Working on Working

For the last 3 years almost I have been in a rut. I became so obsessed with needing to create something great and challenging that I backed myself into a corner inside a round room; then just kept circling. Well, no more of that crap, as of today I have started making Mashup videos again. They may not be high art, but they are something that engages me to think creatively again. I must say my training has paid off though; even though I haven't made much of anything in years, the video I made today took me only 5 1/2 hours to make from idea to final render.

So here it is the concept image:

and here is the video
Turn Fancy for What-Tom Boates Everybody from Titus Prime on Vimeo.


A big thank you to Tom Boates Everybody, for making the mashup and another big thanks to my dear friends at Bootie San Francisco for putting this in track in their July 2014 Top 10 list.

July 19, 2014

What's on your mind? Facebook asked Titus, as if it cared about what he was truly thinking.

 I have made the decision to seriously reduce the amount of time and energy I spend on Facebook.
I am instead devoting my reclaimed energy and time to creating new projects, learning new technologies and  the tools to do it with; also to this, my long ignored blog.

I care deeply about the lives, loves, sorrows and joys of my friends. As they should all know, I live by my word and my actions are proof of my word.

    With that said, I can no longer allow myself to waste so much energy, time and genuine concern over the meta society of Facebook. We all have wonderful and amazing lives, whether they are acknowledged by us as such or not. We go through trials and adventures and moments of intensity so extreme that they change us; sometimes they even change those around us. Those moments should be shared, the moments that inspire us or devour our hope; the moments that are shared whether we tell anyone or not; like the loss of a loved one, or falling in love; sharing these things with those close to us is an important part of the journey we are all on together.

 Facebook in my opinion is a double edged sword that has one side worn down to a dull round edge of banality and self possessed obsession with sharing ones every passing thought; trivial encounters, slightly amusing memes and an endless list of places we went out to eat at.  Our every single movement and action has been given a link, app or button to interact with so that we do not really have to waste time interacting with each other about the things that may have been special or horrible. It is a never ending running commentary of activities so mundane that, in most cases, people to not even bother to comment briefly on the who, where, why or what as it pertains to their postings.

I recently found myself pondering all of our lives before Facebook, before the Internet for that matter. I talked to my friends, long involved discussions, sharing stories and listening to each others adventures as it related to the moment we were in together. What we never, ever, ever spent time doing was talking about everything we had seen or place we had been to get a bite to eat. We didn't talk about every single book we ever read, nor did we rehash our opinions on every film, TV show, or short film we had seen.  We did spend a lot of time sharing what we thought was important, what we believed that our friends and people around us would gain something from because we had gained something special from it. Whether it was laughter, insight, inspiration, empathy or just plain awesomeness, what we shared was important.


Nothing seems very important on Facebook; everyone has become entirely jaded, or obsessed with the act sharing. The very idea of sharing has been flattened into a 2 Dimensional plane and can only measure it's worth in the amount of likes it gets; its life expectancy is short, its impact barely measurable as a ripple of minutiae in a sea of memes.

For these reasons and to enhance my own lifestyle I have returned to this format of sharing. I am sharing this with myself, in the future; one day I will read this again and I will reflect on my reflections.

BTW, I am very manly Muppet.

In parting I leave you, and me, with an important message; the very message that helped me see a healthier path to walk as I move forward.  I felt the words of Matthew Silver as if he were speaking directly to me, and knew that he was, in his own way. We are all one and when we truly speak what is in our hearts, we are speaking to everyone.



Thank you Matthew.

I am going to end this with a song, a song about living.

Passenger 'Scare Away The Dark' Dir: James Lees from James Lees on Vimeo.

Wonderful Creations. July 2014

This is the first of my new series of posts devoted to displaying and archiving the finest creative audio visual creations I find each month.

So here we go,




First we have two fantastic shorts by producer and director Chris Capel

  Naptime! from Chris Capel on Vimeo.


Living With Jigsaw from Chris Capel on Vimeo.



This incredible skateboarding short has some of the most unique urban skateboarding cinematography I have ever seen.

Urban Isolation from Russell Houghten on Vimeo.



This one may not be the best, but it carries an important message, from Charles Bukowski, on living.

All The Way - a Charles Bukowski poem from Willem Martinot on Vimeo.



I immediately fell in love with the band that this video was made for: Timber Timbre.

Timber Timbre - Beat the Drum Slowly from Full Time Hobby on Vimeo.



This is a look into the inner structure of nature and technology. A must for photographers and enthusiasts.

Verschleif from Laurin Döpfner on Vimeo.



Next I want introduce Jeremiah McDonald. This man is a genius in my opinion and does not get the amount of appreciation that his work deserves. I am including all my favorites from his youtube channel.

A fantastic satirical look at the youtube phenomenon from the point of view of the content creator.


"Scald Beg Germs"  It is just too awesome to describe.


I am including the dialogue in text format, because it is awesome!!


(Note 1: A new line is an apparent skip in the film.)

It was a perfectly ordinary morning!
That these were just normal chicken eggs.
"Do not scramble."
As you see, here. ["TIME"]

(Note 2: The allcaps word "TIME" is shorthand, meaning: "The man holds up an egg - the word "TIME" is on its shell, in magic marker.")

Now, I'm the same as everyone else!
Well, I say "normal"...
I've never met a chicken that wondered what would happen
Except for the eggs.
That twelve o'clock was followed by two minutes past twelve before
Six of them left outside my door
There's a fey artistic type, lives down the hall
With a note attached to their container
Chickens are good bureaucrats
Before one minute past twelve came along. [Man is... frustrated?]
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
Why a chicken?
I'd like to pretend there was some epic adventure involved
"Time," crudely written on their sides in magic marker
I'd heard the old myth
Of the Time Chicken.
"Do not scramble"?!! [Man is annoyed, in disbelief.]
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
That there's a chicken, at the exact center of the known universe
And yes, I'd thought of this "myth"
Now I claim no expertise on poultry... but-
Closer inspection revealed that each of the six shells had the word "time" 
In getting ahold of these eggs.
With a note attached to their container
I'd like to say they were dragon's eggs!
Because chickens almost wholly lack imagination.
They don't have the dexterity
That regulates time with its mind. [Said condescendingly.]
Stolen from a nest
Why can a chicken be hypnotized by a straight line of chalk
And yes, I thought of this "myth"
Chickens can be relied upon not to think laterally.
They don't have the dexterity
As I stared at my surprise eggs and pondered breakfast.
A hoax perpetrated by a neighbor
Chickens are sequential thinkers, which makes things easier
Drawn in front of it?
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
So, naturally, I assumed this was all a human invention.
"Hi, did you enjoy the eggs?" [Pantomiming left.]
She was my prime suspect.
"Yes, I did, thank you." [Pantomiming right.]
Chickens are sequential thinkers, which makes things easier, for everyone concerned.
Because it's dazed by the beauty of order.
I chuckled to myself.
"Do not scramble"
"You didn't scramble them, did you?" [Pantomiming left.]
A well-meaning, honest omelette can become a smashed omelette
I didn't want to put myself in a position where I'd have to lie to the woman
It was a character test.
Just as I've never known a chicken to have an imaginative thought
I'd be tempted to scramble the eggs and lie about it.
I've never known a chicken to write the word "time" in magic marker o-
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
I thought this was her eccentric way of making a connection with me
Who'd given me the eggs
Smashed doesn't really cover it anymore
Quite by accident
On the side of an egg
With too much time and too many eggs on their hands
I chuckled to myself
But things can go wrong with omelettes sometimes.
Maybe she'd set this up to see if I'd be tempted
So I resolved to make an omelette, instead.
You didn't intend it
So that's my story
I think you know me well enough by now
I'm sorry to my neighbor
I thought about the conversation that might follow
Scramble the eggs and lie about it.
A well-meaning, honest omelette
I'm not the kind of man who will refuse to scramble an egg
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
For scrambling the eggs
On the basis of a warning and some old legend.
Become a smashed omelette
But I am polite.
By accident, become more and more smashed
But as far as I can tell, no harm came of it...?
I didn't mean to
You didn't intend it, but you have scrambled your eggs.
I hard-boiled this one! ["TIME"]
As you see, here. ["TIME"]
[The man smashes an egg ruefully off-camera and is frozen in place in all remaining frames.]


This next one is a very accurate representation of inner creative struggle. Yes, sometimes it is this noisy inside my head too.



This last one of Jeremiah's projects is one of those films that, in retrospect, almost every filmmaker wishes he could make.



I suggest checking out his channel, he has so much more to offer.


I do love me a good western!

The Gunfighter from Eric Kissack on Vimeo.