Podcamp Toronto 2007!

February 28, 2007 | Filed Under Computers, Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy, Popculture | 1 Comment

PodCamp Toronto!

Well, it was a delightful weekend of uber-geekiness and I learned TONS. My mind is spinning with the possibilities.  I am completely psyched now to do a weekly podcast.  (As if I don’t already have enough on my plate!)  I have buy-in from a couple of editors, and can see having guests periodically as well.  Imagine The Morrigan, Instgatrix (the anal-retentive editrix-from-hell), Auntie Dote, JadeSyren or Fabulana on a podcast discussing current events, social idiocy and topics of the day! If we use TalkShoe we could even have a live phone-in show, like “Ask the Heartless Bitch”, or “Ask Auntie Dote”.

I have to send special thanks out to my friend Micha who told me about Podcamp over drinks just a couple of weeks ago and encouraged me to come. And special kudos to the bf who dutifully dropped me off, picked me up, and even rushed over my business cards on Saturday when I forgot them.  He really IS a sweetheart!

I have to say that this was my first “unconference” and I loved the format and style. I’ve organized a few “Cons” in my day, and the unconference style was refreshing and really stimulated participation.  My hats off to the organizers,  Leesa Barnes, Jay Moonah, Brent Morris, Julien, and Mitch JoelChris Brogan, one of the original Podcamp Boston organizers, was a total hoot, and made everyone feel welcome and included. He is also now the proud owner of a BeanBitch.  He was wearing a T-shirt that said “Free Hugs”, and it made me realize, I need to get another HBI T-Shirt out there that says “Free Virtual Kicks to the Frontal Lobe”.

Brian Hogg of dotBoom also has a BeanBitch and has promised to use it in an upcoming podcast. (I think our BeanBitch is doomed to get eaten).

All the sessions that I attended were good. Standout sessions were Mitch Joel’s on building your personal brand, Chris Brogan’s on building community and Heather Vale’s on monetization techniques. 

On the saturday night we went out to watch a couple of local bands play at “C’est What?”  I thoroughly enjoyed Uncle Seth (band member Jay Moonah was on the organizing committee) and Chris Brogan was kind enough to provide me with a CD!

The entire event was FREE, because of sponsors like Scotiabank (bet they’ll just LOVE this trackback!), babyTEL, Cundari, Marketing Martini, PodChannels Inc., Ronin Marketeer, and many more….

Some memorable quotes from Podcamp (attributed where possible):

“I’ve heard of Heartless Bitches International” – Mitch Joel

“You can see that I always have the Google Holy Triumverate running…” – Chris Brogan

“I HATE Digg”

“Anything worth doing, is worth doing badly” –  Jim Milles on What to Podcast

“Be you because others are already taken” – Mitch Joel 

“Just Press Record

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We dominate!

February 28, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

Want to see something that absolutely ROCKS? Go to google and type in the word “bitches”.

Guess what site comes up first out of 16,700,000 results?  Yep. That’s right. Ours Truly: Heartless Bitches International.

I think that we have achieved our initial goals of repatriating the term “Heartless Bitch” as well as “Bitch”, don’t you?

*sniff* I feel like a proud parent…

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Not the greatest recipe for weight loss

February 24, 2007 | Filed Under Uncategorized | 3 Comments

I’m having a little trouble typing tonight. Last night I unintentionally experimented with the do-it-yourself at-home amputation kit. I removed part of my fingertip and nail while chopping cilantro for salsa. (I threw that batch of cilantro out, btw).

As soon as it happened, I KNEW it was bad, so I grabbed my hand, rushed to the sink, rinsed without REALLY looking at it, grabbed some paper towels, wrapped it tightly, and then ran upstairs to the bathroom. I was at home by myself – the BF out partaking in that OTHER great Canadian sport – curling.

There was nothing left to stitch back on… so I was spurting blood like a bad Monty Python sketch. I kept thinking “It’s only a flesh wound”. Trying to find some way to bandage it was bordering on the comical. Nearly everything came off when I tried to apply it. I went through a box of tissues and several different types of bandages. The bathroom looked like a murder scene by the time I was done. I eventually figured out that lots tissue and a latex glove finger provided sufficient pressure to staunch the flow. Those movies that show people cleaning the place spotless after a brutal slaying are pure fiction. Blood is damned hard to clean up! No wonder the CSI types find it so easy to locate.

Once bandaged I felt compelled to replace all that lost fluid with a couple glasses of Australian Merlot. Red for red, after all… At -20C, the last thing I felt like doing was going to the hospital and waiting in the emergency ward, so I parked myself on the couch and began the serious process of fluid replacement. When the BF came home, he wanted to see how bad it was. Removing the bandages started a whole new round of profuse bleeding, which we eventually stopped in the same manner as before. He then tried to make me elevate my hand and insisted I see a doctor in the morning. I told him it was hard to drink and operate the remote with my hand in the air.

It’s my left-hand index finger, so it could have been worse – I’m right-handed. However, it would have been so much more fun had it been my middle finger, but the gods (other than Loki) weren’t complying. Then it would have matched my “Double F Ranch” shirt from Glarkware.

I touch type, at a phenomenally fast rate, so this incapacitated finger is seriously impacting my productivity. It’s also going to look just CHARMING when I go to PodCamp in the morning. That’s right boys and girls, I’m going to spend my weekend learning all about podcasting, with an eye to perhaps putting together some bitchcasts for HBI. Let’s hope no weird stalkers show up. The last nutbar was living in his mother’s basement in Australia, so I’m probably ok.

I’ll undoubtably blog about the event, so stay tuned…

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Too late for my kids…

February 20, 2007 | Filed Under Parenting, The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

Fabulana, a long time HBI member, author, and  instigator and part of my “intelligent agent wetware” network, sent me this link on the power and peril of praise…  it’s a fascinating read on studies completed on how praise (or certain kinds of praise) actually undermines self-confidence.   It’s a long read, but worth it if you have young kids.

The message in the article is that generic “you’re smart” praise doesn’t really work. And that in the end it fosters an attitude of “I should only work at what I’m good at”, and “if it’s hard work, I’m not good at it, so I should do something else.”

In fact, from a teacher (after the age of 12) praise is interpreted as “you need extra encouragement because you’re not really that smart”. I can see that translates forward as we become adults –  empty praise really doesn’t work – in fact, it often has the opposite effect doesn’t it?   How many times have we felt that, “He/she is just saying that to make me feel better”?

The article and research is suggesting that there is greater benefit to praising the effort the child expended and the process they went through, rather than the child themselves.  The difference between saying, “Wow, you are really smart/talented/etc.” and, “I’m really impressed with how much effort and energy you put into that project!”

It makes me wonder what happens when we do the same thing with our daughters, telling them that they are “pretty”…  I cringe every time I hear that come from parents, grandparents, etc…   Watch someone with a toddler boy vs a toddler girl. How many times does she get told she is “pretty”, while he is praised for being “clever” or strong, etc…?   Sure little boys occaisionally get told they are “handsome” but not nearly as often as little girls are told they are “pretty”. 

Let’s face it – society tends to praise boys on their skills and girls on their appearance.   What message are we giving the girls when we do this?  Are we telling them that their appearance is what is most important to us? That their appearance is the most important asset they have?  No wonder MaClean’s magazine felt compelled to have an issue entitled, “Why do we dress our daughters like skanks?” – Um… because all their lives we have told them that being “pretty”,being “attractive” – is most important, and as teens, that “skank” look is what is deemed to be attractive? 

Everyone wants to blame the media (who is NOT innocent – don’t get me wrong), or the retailers, or the music industry, but nobody wants to look in the mirror and accept responsibilty for their own behaviors. The truth of the matter is that we have to look at ourselves and our own attitudes and the messages we deliver/support before we can attack the external influences with a clear concience. 

What messages do YOU give your daughters, nieces, granddaughters? What messages do you give them that say that it is more important to be feminine, attractive and compliant, than it is to be smart, outspoken, and a leader?

 (And I have to give a small Kudos here to TDCanada Trust for a commercial that shows parents investing in their daughter’s hockey career! – I only wish it was available online.)

What I also found fascinating in the article was the supposition that there is a genetic link to motivation/perseverance.  I’ve often wondered about that…  Why does one kid just cave and quit at the slightest hurdle, while the other slogs on and refuses to give up?

While my sample set is small, I have often wondered how two people can experience similar travails and one survives and perseveres, while the other curmbles. For example, I know someone (Person A), who had a gruff, demanding father who told him he’d be nothing without that piece of paper from university.  His father wasn’t warm or supportive, and his mother, while loving, always deferred to the father.   I know another person (Person B), whose father was very similar. Both are brilliant, articulate and sensitive individuals. In truth, Person B’s father didn’t even give Person B as much as Person A got.  Person A never really wanted for anything when it came right down to it.  Person B was left at home on his own while the family focussed on his younger brother who was a hockey prodigy. Person B’s father told him he had to get that degree and that ring on his pinky finger to get anywhere in life.  Person B turned out OK by all accounts – full scholarships through university, that degree and ring on his finger – healthy, productive, happy, and person A turned into an emotional wreck who, despite his obvious  brilliance never completed a degree, suffered depression and anxiety issues that severely impacted his life, and is perhaps finally starting to get his life together in his 30’s…

Then I just look at my own two kids. Same parents – same “nurture” (at least, initially), but what motivated one, did NOTHING for the other. What was a learning experience for one, was meaningless to the other. One could be “warned” about the dangers – the other had to experience them to get it. You can’t parent two kids like that the SAME way in the end. You can’t pay lip service to the fact that they are different people. They really think, react and LEARN in fundamentally different ways. When I was young and naive, I thought you had to treat your kids “the same” to be “fair” with them. I now know that in reality, to be fair – you have to treat your kids as individuals, and that doesn’t always mean using the same techniques, tools or responses in exactly the same way with each child.

Yep. I really think the personality and genetics plays a huge part in it all. Nurture is only one component.

You know, It takes me back to the comments of a friend who had two kids who turned out pretty great… When I asked her what her secret was, she said to me, “It’s 5% parenting and 95% the personality of the child.” At this point in my life, I’m inclined to believe it.  Besides, it’s an easier out than accepting the fact that when they are 30, and in therapy, they’ll be blaming ME – because let’s face it, they ALWAYS blame the mother.  Freud hated us. And god knows, my ex is always blaming me for any issues with the kids. Heaven forefend the father could have had anything to do with them having issues or problems, right?!

In fact, it’s such a cliché, that I have a friend with a young daughter who jokes that instead of an RESP (Registered Education Savings Plan), they are investing in an RTSP – a Registered Therapy Savings Plan.

In retrospect, it makes perfect sense to me. I wish I’d thought of it.

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More Anti-Valentine’s links…

February 14, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

In celebration of anti-valentine’s day (Feb 13), I thought I’d share some links to some things entertaining, and some just plain disturbing…

First, my favorite anti-Valentine’s photo – courtesy of Ron A., who holds an anti-Valentines party (almost) every year…

Death to cupid and small fluffy bears!

Next, check out this article where CBC talks about “Loathing Love’s day“.

For the clueless who still want to do Valentine’s day right – these are some really BAD gift ideas, (courtesy of Heather at dooce.com). 

And as much as I can’t stand the commercialism around Valentine’s day, I can’t abide by fundamentalists of any kind, especially not THIS kind

And in truly bitter fashion, today, on CBC’s “The Current”, they were talking about alibi networks, spy stores, surveillance services, and illicit liaison services.  Just in case your “romance” isn’t with the one you love, or you suspect your partner of cheating.  (And you thought WE were heartless!)

 

This brings me to the quintessential question.  If you don’t TRUST your partner, why are you there?  How can you really love someone if you don’t trust them?  Rather than spend money spying on your spouse, why not just GET THE FUCK OUT?   

Now you can choose to believe that I am this loveless embittered woman, but the truth of the matter is that I do believe people can love, care for and be good for each other… I just think that the good ones are few and far between, and that most adults aren’t nearly as grown up as they need to be in order to maintain a healthy, equal relationship with another adult.   

And in order to fight back against the whole “dote on the female” valentine’s day thing, that I find almost more offensive than the hearts and saccharine cards, I’m taking the bf out to BestBuy and FutureShop tonight, to go shopping for fun geek toys.  Now THAT’s Romance!

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Just in Time… for Anti-Valentine’s Day (Feb 13)

February 12, 2007 | Filed Under The Heartless Bitch Way | 1 Comment

The bits and bytes are still hot - fresh of the virtual press, I give you, the Heartless Bitches International eCard System!  With a whole section of "Anti-Valentines" as well as some fun other Heartlessly themed eCards. Go nuts. Show how much you DON'T care - send them to your friends. Send them to someone who needs a virtual kick to the frontal lobe!

 

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And Bitchilocks said it was TOOOO BIG…

February 7, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | 9 Comments

A friend sent me an IM today, celebrating the fact that her long-suffering somewhat-self-imposed stint of celibacy had finally ended! She'd broken up with her last boyfriend a while ago, and felt the need for space. Lots of it. She'd tried dating on LavaLife but only seemed to attract losers. So she put herself on the sexual bench, so-to-speak.

This week, she finally acquiesced to the charms of a strapping young man. Very strapping. And very *ahem*, BIG.

Now I know she likes her boys well-endowed but this one took the cake. She told me he's SEVEN INCHES in diameter. Yes, that's right DIAMETER. (I asked her, just to be sure it wasn't circumference. No, she said, DIAMETER.) SEVEN INCHES!

If it's true, I can't imagine how he stays conscious during sex. I mean, if you think about it, all that blood rushing to his organ would leave none for other vital areas, like his brain. We joke about it with guys in general, but for this guy, it would be a reality. I'll bet he can't stand up with an erection.

SEVEN INCHES. It just boggles the mind.

The biggest I had heard of before was a guy that was affectionately referred to by his lovers as "Coke Can Don" - because, as you guessed, he was about the size of a Coke (tm) can around. One of his lovers told me that when she first saw him erect, she stopped him cold in his tracks and said, "And you think you are going to put that WHERE?" This is a woman who had given birth to three kids and even SHE couldn't accomodate him. She said he was the only man she couldn't even give a blowjob to. And no wonder - she'd have to be part python to do it. She'd have to be able to unhinge her jaw to accomplish a feat like that.

But it got me to thinking... how big in diameter IS a Coke can? How big is SEVEN INCHES? And so began my quest...

Let's start small. Really small.

Read More... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

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And your point is?

February 4, 2007 | Filed Under Lifestyles of the Heartlessly Bitchy | No Comments

Today we went to LeBaron’s – it’s a huge outfitters/outdoors store for everything you need to fish/hunt/camp. Now that we have a cottage, we have even more reason to go to these kinds of stores for cool stuff that we want (notice I didn’t say NEED?). I picked up a bunch of lures and fishing stuff on sale, looked at a depth/fish finder (but G says that it has to interface with a computer so he can map the lake-bottom), and checked out the compound crossbows… I REALLY want a compound crossbow.

I mentioned this to G at a party tonight – the bit about wanting a compound crossbow. And he said with disdain and incredulity, “A compound crossbow? But then you’d have to like, HUNT, and KILL something.”

“Yeah? And your point is?”

But seriously. I fish – I can actually catch, gut and cook one. I grew up on a farm – I can milk a goat or cow by hand, raise chickens, and grow an outrageous garden. I know what wild vegetation is edible. I know how to make yogurt and cheese. I can survive no matter what. The only skill I don’t have is game hunting and skinning of game. I figure it’s something I at least OUGHT to know how to do. Just in case, well, you know… anything catastrophic were to happen.

Besides, bow hunting season is longer than our gun-hunting season and it’s more of a fighting chance for the deer than against a gun… well, not much but a BIT more. Before you PETA types get all up in arms, let me note that SHOULD I take up hunting, I would hunt for food, and not for trophies. I happen to like the taste of venison.

Problem is, I don’t have a garage. So where would I hang/age Bambi’s carcass after I skin and gut it? Not to mention the whole issue of learning how to operate and shoot a crossbow. The compound bows just look so damned NEAT, and they have wicked power.

Maybe I should stick to hunting wild turkeys… or virtual hunting of Myspace morons…?

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*Groan*

February 3, 2007 | Filed Under Uncategorized | No Comments

Winterlude is here, and despite the weird weather caused by global warming, this year at least, it didn’t turn into the much-feared “Waterlude”.  It’s finally cold enough to skate on the canal so we went out today and took in the sunshine and bumpy ice.  At one point, four “skate police” went by on ATVs…

“Hey, we could have our own winterlude cops TV show, like ‘C.H.I.P.S.'”

“Yeah. We could call them ICE C.H.I.P.S.”

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Underappreciated

February 3, 2007 | Filed Under Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Last night was a combined 40th birthday party for two friends.  One of those friends spent her highschool years in a catholic girl’s school, so I just HAD to get her this shirt from Glarkware….  The problem is that NOBODY “got it”. I complained about it to a friend today over lunch.

“My genius is lost on the masses…”

“Your genius is lost.”

*sigh*

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