Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Rod's Rants has a new home!! Check it out at then click on "The Blog." See you there for more rants!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Lesson from a "Rodcaster"

  So as many of you know, I recently took part in the Run and Walk against hunger Thanksgiving morning in downtown Stockton. It was put on by the Emergency Food Bank of Stockton/San Joaquin and was the fifth year of the event.
  Also most of you know that I was broadcasting live during my walk, a task that has yielded many a lesson about live mobile broadcasting, of which I will share with you right after you watch my short intro video from the gathering area.

Time for the lessons:

  1. That this idea works - Now I know I am not the first person to broadcast live on the move, or even the first to do something like this, but with that said, this is the first time that I have attempted anything of this nature and the fact that I could put together a broadcast of this kind was all the motivation I need to try it again soon.
  2. Have a longer battery life - I severely underestimated the amount of time it would take me to walk 5k while wearing the broadcasting rig and talking and typing...lets just say that next time, I have to make sure the battery in the computer last longer than my lung capacity by the end of the broadcast.
  3. Alway and I repeat ALWAYS have a solid crew supporting you - I could have done this alone, but let me tell you how thankful I was that I did not have to. I have to give major props to my friends and colleagues at the Delta College Broadcast department for stepping up and making my dream come to life. Also thanks to Matt Beckwith and his daughter for moving at the speed of snails along with me the entire route, their company was greatly appreciated. Also thanks to those of you who participated at any point during the show, which leads to my next lesson.
  4. These shows are about you - I may be the one who is strapped to a computer (literally) but I am not doing this for my own satisfaction, (ok, maybe a little but don't hold that against me) I am really trying to get people involved in their community and help get Stockton back on the same page. These crazy wacky things I do are baby steps to prepare for what I want to see happen in 2010, Stockton finally having it's own media voice. And I can't do that alone, I will continue to need your support and encouragement.
  5. Next time, more business exposure - So as with anything that I do, I alway encourage local business to get involved. There is no more perfect platform from which to deliver your message than a local broadcaster at a local event. In the future, I will actively seek out the business that I know from Twitter, especially those who are active on the #Stknbiz scene, and partner with them to promote business in Stockton and support for these establishments. I feel it is important now more than ever to support each other and help these businesses grow and become more of an asset to our city. 
  Overall though, I will have to go on record as saying that the entire experience was a plus. I was able to take many of the skills and techniques I have deployed through my many years of Internet broadcasting and turn it into something I am proud of and will be working to improve upon.
  So what's next for this seemingly fearless Rodcaster? That is for us to decide. There are many events coming up because of the holiday season, so if you have an event, or know of an event that lends itself to my brand of delivery, feel free to suggest it in the many ways available. I truly believe that together we can rewrite what the rest of the country thinks about us, and more importantly, what we think about ourselves.
  Our city is full of good people and together, we can help shine a spotlight on them and let them represent us as opposed to those who outside media sources choose to be the face of Stockton.
  Let's build momentum for the year to come and take the city of Stockton by storm in 2010.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A veteran's reflection; the prelude

  As some of you know, I served for 10 years in the United States Army. Today is one of the most important days of the year to me because it is the one set aside by America for me to reflect on my time in service and to remember the many men and women who wore the uniform with me and before me.
  So for the rest of this week I rant not out of anger, but out of a pensive reverence to my fellow brothers and sisters in arms, and the many great times we shared. I realize that my bio is already contained in this blog, but if you will allow me, I will use the next three days to expound upon my time in the Army.
  It all began on a summer day, when a recruiter called my house and woke me from a nap. I was a junior in high school and was on summer vacation going into my senior year. SSG Reeves introduced himself and asked if he could come out to my house and talk with me.
  My response was more dare than acceptance, see we lived at the end of the levi that used to be called Brookside Rd (those who are from Stockton know what I am talking about) which was so far away from anyone that for him to find us, he was going to have to work for it. But work he did and he found his way, with little help, to our little trailer.
  What happened next was a blur. He started dropping names of people I knew from school that he had already talked to and made contact with. It was idle chit chat as he laid down the company line like a pro, but then came the question, "so what do you do at Lincoln?" to which I relied "oh, I run track and play in the band," he cut me off...What followed were the words that would forever change my life.
  "You know the Army has a could get paid to play. And earn money for college!"
  At that very second I was already reaching for a pen and ready to sign the papers. There was nothing more that man needed to say, he had his recruit, I just wanted to know when I could start.
  Now I feel it necessary to fill you in a little on my plans before I ate that golden carrot. Until I heard the good Staff Sergeant's magical song, it was my intention to attend the University of Nevada with the end goal of getting my degree in music and coming back to Stockton to hopefully become the band director at my high school Alma mater.
  We were not rich, and I had no clue how I was going to get to Nevada to go to school, so it kind of goes without saying that when Reeves told me that Uncle Sam could help me do it...I was sold.    
  So as it went, my senior year in high school was spent preparing to leave Stockton and join the traveling circus otherwise known as the Army, which incidentally has more carnies... but I digress.
  It came to pass that on the 12th of July 1994, Private First Class Rodrigo Villagomez boarded a plane heading for Fort Leonard Wood Missouri.
  Follow me on my journey through basic and onto my AIT (advanced individual training) in tomorrow's post. But to tide you over and for research purposes, here is a brief look at the transition from civilian to soldier. While the uniforms have changed since I went through reception battalion, the same basic concept remains.    

  Tomorrow... from Leonard Wood to Little Creek to Bliss; the early years.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Earth to Vick: Beggars can't be choosers

  So it seems that the sporting world has given me plenty to keep my rant plate full lately. And who better to rev my engines and start the week off than Michael Vick.
  I just read a very disturbing story in which Vick seems to be voicing his displeasure regarding his role with the Eagles. Now this wouldn't be much of an issue with any other player in the NFL, or any sport for that matter, but the fact that it is a player who has just been reinstated from a 23 month prison sentence for running an illegal dog fighting operation, (back story here for non-NFLers) makes me especially ranty.
  You know it's not so much that I care about the whole legal issues, there are hundreds of players out there who have done far worse than he and are still playing. No, it is the fact that he is choosing to complain about his role on a team that had the decency to give him a second chance despite his transgressions.
  But really, what did he expect in the first place signing with the Eagles when he knew full well that the team already had a pro bowl quarterback in the form of Donovan McNabb, who clearly was not going to lose his starting job to a ex-con who hadn't played football in over two years.
  And might I add Mr. Vick, there were not too many other teams knocking at your door holding corsages. The Eagles were pretty much the only team in the league willing to take you, and this is how you repay them? Do the words, ungrateful bastard mean anything to you? If not, they should.
  One last shovel of dirt that I will pile on Vick before I let him off the hook. He said in the article that he "won't be a wildcat guy." Huh? What Atlanta ran while Vick was at the helm may have not been called the wildcat, but when you rush for 1,039 yards as a QB versus only 2,474 passing... I was always told growing up that if it looks like a duck... just saying. Gimmicky much?
   So as you ponder these words, here is a tribute to all the many K-9's who sacrificed their lives so that Michael Vick could complain about his second chance in the NFL...

  Thank you Michael Vick for showing us that criminals have the right to be ungrateful for the opportunity to make millions of dollars playing a game while the rest of your fellow inmates at best get to look forward to making thousands at a dead end job because of their record.
  It's refreshing to know that you learned something from your incarceration and bankruptcy.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Dr. Dre vs. Lil Wayne (Not a mashup)

     Every generation has produced it's fair share of crap when it comes to music. Even the greatest musicians of their times were not above criticism. But none have earned it more than today's hip-hop artists. Yes I am talking to you Lil Wayne and T-Pain.
     It dawned on me last night when I started listening to Blackstreet's No Diggity which gave me a hankering for some Dr. Dre which naturally led to Snoop, then to Eminem and pretty much right on down the ladder of 90's era rap and hip-hop artists. It was as I was lost in the nostalgic wonder of my high school days that I came to this simple realization...
     "The days of talented rap artists are long gone, and may never return in my lifetime."
     As that thought rolled through my mind, I shed a silent tear and tipped my Pepsi to the true G's that kept my trunk slappin throughout my tender youth.
     Now a moment of clarification for all the "haters" out there who think I have no clue what I am talking about. I completely understand that rap has always, since its invention, represented the culture on the streets and it was a way for those who had it rough to express themselves in a form of art as American as apple pie. I understand that.
     I also know that as long as it has been in existence, there have been rappers who have written songs about drugs, sex, violence, and the overall disdain for the establishment, hell some of the best rap groups wrote nothing but hate music.
    When groups like NWA were telling everyone to "f*@k the police," it wasn't so some big record label would fly them to Europe on a world tour, or even so MTV could play 15 seconds of their song while Carson Daily made little girls scream on Times Square. No, the sang it because they were passionate about the art they created.
     Now it seems that there is no message besides how awesome an artist thinks they are, or how many b*@#$!s they can pull, or how many shorties are in apple bottom jeans, in the rap songs of today. Evey song is about the bling, the fluff, there is no meat to it.
     Besides that everyone is lazy many songs can I stomach that have to do with lollipops before you see my lunch...just saying. And what makes it worse is now with auot-pitch as all the rage, artists don't even have to be talented, just well backed.
     I leave you though with what started this whole thing... Blackstreet's hit, No Diggity.

Blackstreet- No Diggity
Uploaded by ineptique. - Watch more music videos, in HD!\

     Far cry from this right? I know I miss the good old days too!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Have you seen this Offense?

     Missing: Explosive San Francisco 49er offense capable of shredding apart secondaries with pinpoint accurate passes and carve up defensive lines with precision blocking that opened up huge holes in which a running back could run for days.
     Last seen in the mid to late 1990's. They were spotted wearing the number's 16, 8, 33, 32, 82, and 80 among others.
     Reward if found: A trip to the Super Bowl.
     All kidding aside folks, as a Niner fan, I am sick, physically sick, of moral victories like the one this past Sunday as the Red and Gold fell to the Colts 18-14 in a game that could only have been described as gut wrenching at best.
     I grew up in an era of San Francisco football where the West Coast offense was first off the West Coast offense and second was played to perfection by the best team in the league year in and year out.
    Since the departure of Steve Young and even Jeff Garcia, it seems as if the hapless decedents of football royalty have forgotten how to run the kingdom that has been handed to them. The once proud, unstoppable and feared 49er offense had turned into the sputtering little engine that can't on a weekly basis.
     Oh there are sparks...there are great plays like Frank Gore busting loose for a long TD run, or even the occasional long beautiful spiraled throw from Shaun Hill, Alex Smith, J.T. O'sullivan or whatever QB popped up on the carousal, but those sparks have yet to catch fire.
     I am not going to bore you, or depress you as the case may be, with stats.. I could, but for the sake of my sanity and yours, lets just say they are bad when it come to anything to with moving the ball and worse when it comes to putting it in the end zone. Forgive me Dr. Seuss for biting your style but instead of raw numbers that may make your eyes bleed, permit me a short limerick.
     They can no do it on the ground
     A consistent running game they have not found
     They can no do it through the air
     It seems the greatest Niner arms are sitting in an armchair
     They're just plain awful and it seems no answer can be found.

     Really though, I may joke, but the point is that unless they find a way to score more consistently, the 49ers are going to have settle for another "rebuilding" year in which they chalk up all of the 2009 failures to a "growing" franchise.
     But the truth of the matter is something massive needs to be done and done soon if San Francisco can even hope to win the NFC West this season, and it is not out of reach either. What that is, I can not guess. I could say change the quarterback, but that's been done, more than once. I could say go out and get an explosive receiver, but that too has been done.
      It seems, if I want to see a powerful 49er offense this year, I have to watch my old NFL films videos from the glory day with Joe and Steve at the helm. Until then, I am forced to suck down the disappointment that is the 2009 squad.
     Here is one cool thing that happened this Sunday, it was a Colts play, but it was still cool and on the bright side, gave me a few much needed fantasy points with the Reggie Wayne TD catch.

      It might be a long time until we see another dominant offense comparable to the dynasty days, but I for one am willing to weather the storm and hope that one day I will get to see points on the scoreboard that don't belong to the opposition.
     At the end of the day, the fact that you "hung in there" with an undefeated team who on paper should have annihilated you does not put a W on your record, and "moral victories" as much as that term is meant to soften the blow, don't win championships.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The raging Baby Einstein debate

This just in... babies don't turn into geniuses by watching TV and DVD's! If you don't believe me just ask, the millions of parents who thought sitting a baby in front of a Baby Einstein DVD unattended, thinking it would single handedly give their kid a Harvard education.

If you are unfamiliar with the situation, it seems that for years the Baby Einstein line of products, most notably the "educational" DVD's have been under attack by groups led by the likes of Susan Linn, director of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, complaining that the products did not achieve adequate results versus the claims made by Disney.

The company was started by Julie Aigner-Clark and her husband in 1997 when they produced a VHS that was later released as "Language Nursery." If you want more history, check the website here.

Here for your judgement and education (or lack of it depending on your point of view) if you have never seen a Baby Einstein DVD for yourself, is a clip from Baby Einstein's "Baby's First Signs."

I hoped you watched very careful for at least a few minutes. Now you tell me if you think that this and this alone could turn your child into the world's smartest toddler. It's obviously not the "get smart quick" scheme the bitter parents raising the ruckus hoped it was, and now they are pissed.

Enter the latest shot fired into the controversy. After already retracing the word "educational" from it's marketing strategy back in 2006 after Linn and her organization filed a class action lawsuit against Disney for even making that claim, now they are being strong-armed into offering a "no questions asked" refund for anyone who wishes to return up to four Baby Einstein DVD's.

This whole thing hits home for me as I am a parent who owns all but a couple of the Baby Einstein DVD collection and I find myself scratching my head at the asinine parents who thought that by just watching TV alone, their child would be brilliant.

Lost in all of these fingers pointing to Disney and their "deceptive marketing" are the fingers pointing back to the parents for taking a little responsibility in raising their kids instead of relying on someone else to do it for them.

These DVD's, like any other product that has been created for children, was meant to be a tool to supplement parent/child interactions, not replace them. It was never advertised as the "golden key" that would somehow unlock your kids inner Einstein and allow them to cure cancer by age three.
A good friend of mine and a worthy adversary in the arena of debate posed this point in one of our discussions she said, "Disney's claim of these DVD's being education was misleading and false advertising." I will concede that for most parents, yes, the appeal of a magical DVD that is supposed to educate your child with little to no effort is a very appealing idea....but.

By that same argument can I not sue 6 Minute Abs for my abs not looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger in his early days? Or can I go after every "earn money overnight" company that floods my cable at night.

Sadly, I can't because despite their lofty claims, I am cognizant of the simple fact

that there is no easy one step way to get things in this world. A realization that is sorely lacking in the parenting world.

My daughter is not smart because she watches Baby Einstein, but because, she and I and her mother took the time to sit and watch it with her, explain to her what she saw, and continued to apply what she was learning in her everyday activity. Some might call that, oh I don't know, parenting...

Thankfully mine is not the only voice speaking on behalf of these videos. This mother pretty much says all the things I was thinking and only proves that not all parents hate the franchise. To me, this is just another in an ever-growing list of people who are lacking accountability for their shortcomings.

They are just another body a long line that is growing longer by the day. Maybe if they spent half the time with their kids then that the spent complaining about the videos, they would have the problems they have today...just saying.

I for one stand by the product and like everything else in this world be it book, video, crayons, flash cards... when used correctly, can be a very powerful and yes educational tool.

By the way...did you get a good look at ol Susan Linn's website? Why does it seem like everyone who goes up against a giant, always seems to have an agenda?

Nevermind the fact that the front page of a site that is supposed to be about an organization about kids is just one big commercial for her books.

Makes me wonder how much she is doing this for the good of the kids, or to ensure her spot on the best-sellers list...hmmm.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Obama's Fox News embargo

So, I don't normally get political. I figure there are enough Harvard educated people out there who get paid to complain about the government and its policies and procedures, that I don't have to add my ignorant voice to the mix.
But this is different, this concerns the media, which I happen to know a few things about. So here are my two Abraham Lincoln's on the whole issue.
Now do me a favor, (if you can stomach it) click on to the Fox News Channel even if it is 5 minutes. If you can't, I understand, I will give you a piece they (Fox News) aired regarding the war on Fox.

My personal politics aside, I do find watching any of the programming on Fox News almost as painful as watching "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and if you are an avid rantaholic, you know how much I hate those stupid shows.
The truth of the matter is that Fox News has ceased actually covering the news a long time ago. Instead the pack of obvious republican reports began attempting to influence the news since it's fearless founder Rupert Murdoch discovered how he could use his news channel to push his personal agenda.
Watch the movie Outfoxed; listen to the arguments made by the makers of the documentary, then compare them to what you see by watching the channel for a whole day. Makes you kind of sick to call these guys "fair and balanced" journalists right? Me too...
Any one who has been lucky enough to clip on a press pass and charge into a controversy looking for a story will tell you that their responsibility first and foremost is to get the facts of the story and to report those facts to their audience. No where in that story is room for the reporters opinion or political agenda.
If there is a vehicle accident where 4 passengers were killed by a drunk driver, the story should reflect the incidents surrounding the accident itself and how those death occurred, not a glaring editorial on the horrors of drunk driving. That is what an editorial is for, not a news story.
In much the same fashion, Fox News has been blurring the line between news and opinion for decades and when they aren't attacking every liberal in sight on their "opinion" shows, they are running headlines that support those opinions. A great mashup of that point can be found here.
So it comes as no surprise to this ranter, that Obama wishes to have nothing to do with Fox News or any one of the television personalties who grace its set.
Look, if you told me that on may way home there would be an alley of kids who were waiting to kick my ass, take my lunch money and break my legs... do you think I would be dumb enough to walk down that alley? There are a million other analogies I can come up with, but they are far to inappropriate even for me, but you get the point right?
If you know someone is going to go out of their way to harm you, distort what you say, or just overall be foolish in their attempts to take you down, why would anyone want a piece of that action? I for one do not blame the president for his stance on not allowing known enemies in his gates.
And lets add this to the mix, Fox News has made Obama their enemy since day one, not the other way around. I remember on election day as the results were starting to become final around the country, making it a point to flip over to good old FNC to see how the handled announcing Barack Obama the new President of the United States of America. Needless to say, the actual statement came with no real excitement.
Now before the pro Foxers come out with their stones, I am not saying they should not exist. There is a need for healthy debate in this nation and the fine folks at Fox News sure do a good job of striking up that debate and love 'em or hate 'em, they serve their purpose in a free society. I have nothing against them or what they do, but why not call a spade a spade. Fox News is not news, it is a series of opinions mascaraing as legit news gathering.
Again, this is not an argument I have to make, they make it themselves on a nightly basis. And it seems to me that the day Murdoch and his drones come clean and admit that fact, is the day they get to play in the big kids playground again.
Obama and the White House has put the ball in're move O'Reilly, Hannity, Murdoch... what now?

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The art of a good rant

For those of you who have been tuning in to Rod's Rants lately hoping to see a good old fashion rantathon, I apologize. As the planning continued, this thing took on a life of its own and got a wee bit bigger than I had originally anticipated. So to make up for that fact, I had to continue to reschedule.

I then decided to launch a new site for this special event, (that is why you are on my blogspot address rather than which has put me in a whirlwind of nameserver problems and this website pointing to that DNS which is pointing to someone else’s CNAME and to top it all off, the webhost I am using saw the need to review my website for malicious content FOR THE WHOLE DAY, thus limiting my ability to work on the site.

SO needless to say, the rantahon will have to wait until after the weekend and all problems aside, should roll on Monday.

Thank you to those participants who have weathered through the storm I give you my word that my ranting will soon be heard for a full day.

With that being said....To the topic

Anyone can spout off at the mouth. It doesn’t take a person with an education to say what is on their mind; they just have to know how to speak a language with some, some mind you, level of proficiency.

To that end I present to you this young man. He has something to say and dammit all if he doesn't beat around the bush. Two things before you watch this.

  1. This is NOT, I repeat NOT for those who might be easily offended by ignorance and the language that goes with that ignorance.
  2. This video is long, you get the gist within the first few minutes, but if you make it that far, you might as well suffer through the rest, if only for your own education.
Disclaimers you go...

So believe it or not, this is NOT a good rant. A good rant can not just be spewed out like the chaw that guy is wanting to impeach the president over.
A good rant must be crafted like a fine piece of china. It must be researched and developed so that if someone attacks your point of view, you can defend it without having to resort to your American/Rebel flag.
And last, but certainly not least, must not contain the same argument, for 7 minutes. It's fine if you want to argue the importance of chewing tobacco, but make sure you have a better presentation than a string of insults.
Talk policy and revenue, may even the impact of the ban on the economy as a whole, that would have made for a better rant. No my redneck friend, yours is not a rant, merely an example of what not to do, and a rather good one at that.
So in review, when constructing a good rant, neigh, a great rant. Follow these three simple steps:
  1. Do your research - An educated argument is far more powerful than one where you as a ranter clearly have no clue what the hell you are talking about.
  2. Use language appropriate to your argument - You ever heard the expression, "don't bring a knife to a gun fight?" Well the same holds true in a rant. A bag full of four-letter words won't do you any good in front of an educated audience. Likewise, you may find yourself banging your head against a wall when trying to appeal to someone with the maturity of a third grader.
  3. Be prepared to lose friends - A powerful ranter ruffles feathers, that is his/her nature. Know that your opinion, whatever it may be, will not always be that of your friends. That being the case, unless you and your friends engage in spirited debates on a regular basis, they may not like what you have to say. And, if they are weak and petty and do not know how to get along with those with a difference of opinion, you might not see them by the water cooler tomorrow at work. Don't fear, either they will come to their senses and realize how unfair they are being, or they really weren't that good a friend in the first place.
So there you have it, the art of a good rant. You have the tools, what you do with them is up to you! Go forth rantaholics and wreak havoc upon the blogoshpere!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Why toddler do not belong in tiaras

The very thought of this disturbs me in ways that I can't even describe... but I will try after you watch this short clip.

How is this even possible? I know this stupid show on TLC has been covering this age old phenomenon since January of this year, but I got to ask the big execs on high..WHY??
There is something seriously wrong with these parents, and there was in more cases than not, something wrong with their parents. It is one thing to live out your childhood dreams vicariously through your own kids, but this is freaking ridiculous!
At no point should a 6 year old KID, be forced to prance around looking like she is 26. And did you catch the newborn caught up in this? The poor thing is barely old enough to hold up his own head, let alone know he is being paraded on stage like a trophy.
These kinds of parents are the same ones who start crying to Dateline, that their daughters are being approached by older men and they can't understand why they are half naked on their Myspace pages.
Earth to morons... you made your kid grow up to fast!! Instead of kicking around a soccer ball or swinging a t-ball bat, or even god forbid, letting them make a mess of themselves in a mudhole... you taught them how to properly apply eyeliner, how to strut around like a stripper and how to keep their swimsuits from riding up their butts.
SHAME ON YOU! I wish it were possible to ship you all off to a secluded island with your kids so you can no longer breed and mess up our world. You have lost your gene pool privilege, turn your key back to the gate guard on the way out.
It's one thing to play dress-up every once in a while for fun... but this is just plain pathetic. I can't wait for 10 years for now when TLC airs.."Toddler & Tiaras; Where are they now", no wait, they all ready have a show like that on MTV, it's called "16 and Pregnant."
Until then....go ahead and let your toddlers do their little turns on the catwalk, just don't complain to me when they are damaged goods by the time they hit their teens.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Presenting the WTF?!?!? moment of this weekend

Watch this hit...

Sports Videos, News, Blogs
Insane right? Now I know that football is a physical sport and that these types of collisions happen...but with that being said WTF were you thinking Dante Wesley?
Granted, that hit was pretty awesome, he led with his shoulder, not the helmet, and left his feet, both of which are perfectly fine, but his first mistake came with the "forearm contact with the head and neck area." Also he made another big mistake... what was it again?
Oh yeah, Tampa Bay's Clifton Smith didn't have the ball, and to make matters worse, called for a fair catch, or so the refs said. Personally, I am still not sold on the fair catch call, but that's besides the point.
It is one thing Mr. Wesley to lay the guy out the way you did, (by the way, did I say how awesome that hit was) but next time, you might want to make sure he HAS THE FREAKING BALL!!
Wesley is no rookie either, this is his 8th year in the league, so you can't really chalk it up to an ignorant mistake.
For his transgressions Dante will receive a one game suspension without pay. Which is probably a far less number than the $25,000 fine fellow defensive player and Baltimore Ravens Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis incurred for his hit on the Bengals receiver formerly known as Chad Johnson.
Got to hand it to the guy though, he did man up to what he did. In a quote from a story in the Charlotte Observer the hard hitting DB apologized to the fans and to Smith and expressed that he would accept and agreed with his punishment.
All that withstanding, congratulations Dante Wesley of the Carolina Panters, you still receive the WTF!?!? moment of the weekend...please enjoy your day off.

Friday, October 16, 2009

I am Ironwebman!

Or at least I will be soon...

So I have been preaching for weeks to some of you, months for others, and years to the rest, that Internet television is the wave of the future. Well, come this Tuesday, I will be ushering in a new era for me and my push to secure my spot in this future.
Beginning at 8am (not 6 like I posted on Twitter, sorry for the bad info), I will begin a 24 hour, live webcast. I will host a show that will continue for one entire day ending at 8am Wednesday.
Throughout the broadcast I will be taking contributions of which a portion will be donated to one or two worthy programs, possibly the Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and Paws for Paws pending verification.
Now to put your mind at ease, this will not be just me sitting in front of a camera talking for 24 hours, that my friend, would be insane. I will be joined by many guests throughout the show, maybe even some of you, to talk and do some self promotion for whatever event is going on or whatever issues there are to discuss.
I know, you are asking yourself..."why Rod? What would drive you to this madness?"
Well, for one, I feel it is time for me to step up to the plate and step down from the pulpit, meaning I am going to start shutting up and start putting up. Also it is just another way for me to contribute to the Stockton media scene.
This initial broadcast will also be ushering in a new show that will continue in some manner after the marathon. There are methods to my madness... I promise.
More information will be available tomorrow including where to find the broadcast, how to be on the show and more importantly, how to contribute. Keep checking my Twitter and my Facebook for the updates... Until then, I am going to get some sleep... I am going to need it...

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Non-flight of the Falcon

Today's post was going to be about the fine art of Googling oneself, but thanks to the media's, both social and traditional, relentless coverage and updates of Falcon, the wonder 6 year old and his epic non-flight in his families "experimental" aircraft, that post has been preempted.
For those four of you who may have had your head in the sand today (believe me, I wish I could have joined you) or were not close to your web browsing device of choice, the story de jour was a family who's son supposedly was traveling through the sky after he climbed in and let loose a homemade, mylar aircraft.
According to early reports there were fears that the contraption would not be able to support young Falcon or that he might have possibly fallen out through the unlocked carriage door.
This horrific story blitzed Twitter tweets and Facebook status updates the world over. National media picked up the story as CNN made it a point to follow the balloon's trip all the way to its completion. The news even jumped the pond and crossed our northern border as well. Hell, even the middle east was watching.
But here's the twist... Falcon was never in that balloon, he was hiding in the attic in a box. Apparently the young gentleman "played with his toys and took a nap."
WTF?? Can I be the one millionth person to call shenanigans?? How in the name of everything holy, can this be considered CNN worthy news? This reeks of a story invented to grab some attention, more like a boy crying "wolf" than a boy stuck in a well.
More over, as the back story began to unfold on Falcon's family, it turns out they were participants on the ABC show "Wife Swap," and frequent ireporters for CNN. Hmmm.... that fish smell sure is getting stronger.
Now of course this story becomes fair game since the boy was found at home instead of splattered on a Kansas field somewhere, and any joke anyone makes now won't sound as heartless as it would if Falcon was in that craft and did suffer a terrible fate, but you have to ask yourself, why was this such a barn burning media sensation? And, if this was all an attempt to extend the Henne's 15 minutes, why did we all buy into it so whole-heartedly?
For that, allow me to refer to my last post about reality television... these are ramifications of handing the keys of celebrity to the undeserving. But thank god for 6 year olds and their inability to lie under pressure.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Wolf Blitzer shortly after Falcon was found:

Did you hear the part where Falcon admitted they did it all for a show... and did you catch the quick tap dancing act the dad did to cover it up? Let's face facts, we have been had. Move on, good night.
Part of the conspiracy theory side of my brain even thinks we have the ABC execs to thank for this. Maybe a clause in the contract stating that at any time they can be "tapped" to help ratings for the new season about to start soon?
One things for sure though, I do have to say if we take one thing out of this crazy situation is, it has proven me right about the power of the web.
This story was like a buffet for the users of social media. A CNN story reported the numerous tweets as well as at least three fan pages on Facebook popped up almost immediately. On top of that, t-shirts and a spoof video have surfaced, even as the story continues to unfold. CNN may have started us on the path, but the web took our heads and held it underwater until we drowned in the insanity. It's how I found out...
But in the end, thank you Henne's for proving to the world that it is alright to exploit our 6 year old children in the name of do us all a favor and disappear back to obscurity, your hourglass has run out of sand.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Un-reality TV: Bad for TV, good for us

I have stated before in this blog that everyone has a voice.. well some people should have the right to that voice revoked... Case and point, every "star" of today's crop of reality shows.
Allow me to start with the show I feel is the biggest waste of air time on the boob tube, The Hills.
I do not watch this show, nor have I even made it through an episode from beginning to end, and normally I would tell someone who told me that, "but you never gave it a chance," to which I now reply, "if I look down and see a piece of s@#t on the ground, do I have to give it a chance to prove it's really s#$t?
Here, just take a look at what I mean:

Three things I despise about these people even after one and a half minutes of "show"
  1. The fact that these worthless vapid people who are famous for no other reason than being famous can afford a house like that with money they didn't really do anything to earn.
  2. That people actually care about the mundane everyday life of people like this.
  3. That they are considering procreating
One quick bonus for you, did you catch the part where Hedi says, "I didn't really like it at first, but it is starting to grow on me." I know some guys under the freeway overpass who would love one night in that place, let alone to actually live there.. ungrateful b*&^h!
The sad fact of the matter is that this show is not the only one polluting our senses night after night. The Kardashians, the girls next door, has beens from decades past who dance, the list seems almost endless, but they all have one major flaw in common, they started being staged and stopped being real.
LC, formerly of the Hills, admitted to the fact in an interview on The View and told the ladies that she was not even on the receiving end of a phone call that was supposedly an apology to her. And I am willing to bet dollars to pesos, that is not the only thing that has been doctored in The Hills, or any other so-called "reality show" nowadays.
But why is that good for us? Well as television's free fall continues from all the garbage it is cheaply producing, it leaves viewers looking for people who are less fake than the reality "stars" they are forced to consume.
Enter: the Internet. A place where the people are as real as the video phone they are using to shoot their lives. As long as real people have real things to say and do and as long as there is an Internet to house such people, crowds will force.
So I say, bring on more Hedi and Spencer (for now)! Keep making the kind of crap that sends those who are smart enough to know a turd when they see one to my website. And when the dust settles and it's all said and done, I think the unrealization of reality TV has given rise to the new crop of real stars and written it's own obituary.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Why the fuss about Phil?

No not the Dr., the self-described "new media entertainer."
Philip DeFranco is a YouTube phenomenon, one of the many voices on a site filled (pardon the pun) with random, crazy, wacked out people clambering for their 15 minutes.
So how is it out of all those voices, his has been heard over 23 million times in 3 years? And what is it about this one man that has prompted many like him, to band together to take over the Internet and change the way we watch videos on the web? I'll let you watch this first and form your own opinion before I give you mine. (Warning some mature language...)

Again I say that Phil is one of many people who voices their opinion on YouTube, but what sets him apart is his delivery and personality. That combination caught the eyes of people with money and now Phil is getting paid to produce his YouTube content as well content for his own Vlog and his website/blog.
Imagine, being able to quit your day job and get paid to rant about whatever social issue is popular at the time. Well, Phil doesn't have to imagine anymore, he is one of the growing number of YouTubers who are beginning to change the landscape of modern media on the web.
Several other prominent figures from the web have joined forces to form what they call "The Station," which as of right now just a collection of videos individually produced by the founders of the channel. But, it will soon feature web series and other network-type programming ushering in what I am considering one of the Internet's first "official" web networks.
As of now content on the web is spread across several sites and even those sites who produce "webesodes," or episodes for the web, dedicate their programming to the subject or genre of their site.
This new experiment is important in that if it is successful, it will open the door for the web's acceptance of true Internet networks, making local Internet television much more feasible.
If you need proof that the web is a major player and will be become an increasing threat to television as we know it, ask the almost 8 million people a year who tune in to sxephil, and the millions more who watch less TV thanks to their favorite web videos.
And more than that, look at all the shows on TV itself that focus on the webs latest viral videos. The web is here, it is now and it can be made into whatever we want. It will soon become the most popular vehicle for our education and entertainment.
Don't agree? Take a look at where you are at right now....

Friday, October 9, 2009

A very interesting juxtaposition

Found this today thanks to a link posting from a friend on first, then we talk.
Ledger Live: newspapers and porn share economic bind

I know my readers are mature enough to handle the content of this video, so I will ignore the snickers... But the simple truth is that this video is the epitome of Internet media and its future. One camera, one mic, one message (and a few porn stars to boot).
It also did a very good job of hooking an audience, who can resist a good story about porn? But seriously, while whimsical, this story had great points about the status of the status quo and how the web has shaken the very foundations of modern media.
What we can take away from this introspective is in the simple idea introduces towards the end of this video in that, "everyone has a voice" the real question is, what will you do with that voice?
As out #stir movement continues to roll with this free flow of ideas and information, lets remember that people will tune in to our podcasts, read our blogs, follow us on Twitter, only, if we give them a good reason to stray from the familiar.
We have to continue to give them content they can not get anywhere else, or at the very least, package it in a more attractive way than our competitors.
It very much is the only way to survive in the current age of content overflow...even porn stars know it....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Crabtree syndrome

And really sports fans, lets call it like it is... a syndrome.

Sure Michael Crabtree isn't the first NFL player to suffer from this, but hell pigs and birds weren't the first to have the flu either right?
So for those of you not in the know, the San Francisco 49ers 1st round draft pick finally signed a six year deal with the team this week. I will not get into the details of the deal or the events leading up to it, a simple Google search will get you caught up if need be...don't worry, I'll wait.
If you are reading on I assume you are familiar with the way Crabtree was a holdout since the beginning of this season. I can also safely assume that you know he wanted 7th pick money, without being the 7th pick in the draft. But he wasn't alone in this, he had help.
I am not talking about the posse of bad advise givers, no I am talking about the hundreds of kids coming straight out of college with their hands out, demanding what they haven't earned.
Since when did it become all right for a person who has not performed a day in his job to be in a position to demand anything from his future employer? And moreover, how is it acceptable in a league where there are talented veterans who play for just above the league minimum, that a rookie can expect to get paid at least 10 times that without ever so much as stepping on the field?
Taking this one further, these rookies are basically getting paid for what they did in college. Can doctor's hold out for a better contract because they were good med students?
No, they get to start an internship (if they are lucky) and if they can hack that, then they get moved up to a residency, make it past those tough years, they get to call themselves attending. See the ladder?
They don't start out making Chief of Medicine pay, they start out eating ramen and sharing apartments until their hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of student loans are paid off. It takes these professionals YEARS to make a fraction of what these NFL rookies make in a season, and they save lives.
I am a firm believer in a rookie salary cap and more than that, I think a rookie should not even be allowed to start until he has been in the league a full season; not play, just start.
Why you ask...
Well for starters, since we are on the 49ers here, Alex Smith. Smith signed a six year $49 million dollar contract. Of that money, $24 million of that was guaranteed. Now, that money is wasted on a player who did not deserve to start and subsequently became a high priced bench rider.
But it's not all Smith's fault, there have been a slough of washed out, overpaid college kids who just couldn't make the transition to the big, bad, NFL. Ryan Leaf, Akili Smith, Cade McNown... the list (I found a good one here) goes on and on.
Here is an idea, pay me the league minimum of $310,o00 and let me sit my happy ass on the bench all season long. That way you save millions of dollars for players who have proven they can play at the professional level, and I fill a roster slot that would otherwise be occupied by a punk kid who thinks he has earned those millions by being the big man on campus.
Again, whether is was bad advice, or just a naive college football player thinking he knew what he was doing, I don't blame Crabtree so much as I blame the system.
Until we make it clear to these kids that playing in the NFL is a privilege and not their god given right, their prices and egos will continue to go unchecked.
On a side note, how cool do you have to be to have Deon Sanders and MC Hammer at your contract negotiation... I know right??

P.S. I guess the team who drafted you starting out 3-1 without you kind of backfired huh? Next time don't listen to your cousin, unless he has been an agent his whole life.