Standby: Real Life Has Usurped My Digital World

standbyJan. 26, 2009: I’m feeling very “First lady-ish” right now, since Michelle Obama recently described herself as “first and foremost . . . Malia and Sasha’s mom.”

Likewise, Shaping Youth begins at home, and I’d be full of hooey if I didn’t believe my digital persona should take a backseat to my real life responsibilities both personally and professionally.

Once upon a time, public schools ran on a predictable schedule without ‘short/minimum/conference/staff/teacher in-service days’ or “make up for the open house night by scaling back to a half day” yadayada…

Schools, buses and even field trip transport were (quel surprise!) funded so parents didn’t serve as taxicabs to and from every freakin’ school event and extracurricular destination.

Now? Kids are subjected to a plethora of ads in school curricula and branded environs, corporate sponsored textbooks and educational programs, or captive audience ‘opportunities’ of commercial ventures like ‘Bus Radio’ piping in paid media and marketing under the guise of ‘safety’ and ‘choice’ to subsidize costs/convenience of the ‘value-added service’ as we say in the industry. This brings up a huge workforce and education issue that should raise many eyebrows (and hopes) as policy reformation begins at the national and state levels.

It also explains why I’m home with a sick child in ‘quarantine’ (yah, on her day off, bummer) amidst a house of three other visiting kids, 2 visiting dogs and a visiting guinea pig from parents who didn’t have back-up or work/travel flexibility! Now…here comes the hilarious ‘day in the life of Amy’ snapshot…(ok, not as funny if you’re me…)


Today’s setback? One ‘loaner pooch’ is food aggressive and found a rigor-mortis unidentified thing with a tail (rat? lizard? mouse?) under the bush when I lobbed the ‘chuck it’ too hard…In a flash, the beastie took a chunk out of my sweet ol’ golden retriever’s face who was merely snuffling in search of her stray tennis ball and is now a bloody mess.

Meanwhile, yours truly body-blocked the snarling dog to protect my own, and have wrenched my right rotator cuff rather nicely. (which is actually an improvement over my last episode breaking up a dog park fight to save a stranger’s pitbull pup pinned by a shepherd that no one wanted to attempt to rescue…That last one left me blogging in a cast with two broken fingers during my Common Sense Media guest blogger days)

senior-dogsMy 10.5 year old golden is frisky but the other visitor dog is old AND blind and about the same size as the guinea pig, so I’ve created blockades of ottoman-wheely furniture to prevent the poor thing from tumbling down four flights of stairs. The guinea pig gets along with all the dogs, but has escaped once already, hiding under the bed from over-cuddling teens.

Animal ‘wow’ indeed. (cool site/blog, btw that shares tips on how kids can learn to care for pets properly!)

jumpstart_your_startup_logoIn other ‘dog ate my homework’ news…

Did I mention I’ve been distracted by the Women 2.0 Jump Start Your Startup 7-week intensive incubator that began last week and has tipped me into overdrive? What about the fact that I haven’t been able to post since the inauguration due to a system crash and overheated hard drive that left me without access to my file folders? Oh, that’s right. No. I couldn’t have.

Because I couldn’t access the blog as we’re expanding/switching over to a customized, more secure strategic partner and server that can handle expansion surges without crashing, ultimately give us more stability and firepower as we grow and evolve in leaps and bounds.

And…wait! There’s more! As the infomercials say…

phishingJust as I deployed the new PayPal donor button for our new fancy schmansy 501c3 nonprofit account so readers could help us keep on keepin’ on…(and so we could deploy a new Facebook classifieds charity app in the works soon) we were “Phished” and rerouted to some hinterland DNS which locked me out of my own accounts by switching my passwords pronto! Beware!

Thankfully, Sky at Red7 Communications knows what he’s doing, (he’s also the CTO for the Dalai Lama Foundation/Project Happiness blog) and so we had a Jason Bourne/24-style ‘race against the clock’ to secure all bank financial accounts before my money ended up in some off-shore  Bahamian island or Swiss bank when the clock struck twelve.

Wheeeee! Are we having fun yet?

doryMind you, I now have reset (and hopefully curtailed access to) my personal and professional monetary vulnerabilities, but gawd help me to remember all the new passwords I’ve had to come up with!

Eep. I feel like the Ellen Degeneres/Dory fish character in Finding Nemo! —

Note to self: Invest in a secure ‘digital wallet’ company that is infallible/encrypted and autofills/saves every password in one place inaccessible in some arcane, remote locale.

Anyway, I’ll be back in a jiff.

Just need to clear my head, shake off the dark cloud following me around (don’t get me started on the beloved seniors/various health issues on all sides of my family life) and thank my lucky stars for every ounce of persistence, nurtured resilience, and dogged-determination (pardon the pun!) that my parents helped instill in me when they were ‘shaping my youth.’

So how has YOUR week been?

Everyone still in a state of Obama-Rama Rah-Rah?

I’m firmly convinced change IS good. (except when it’s your PayPal password)

cocaine2So let’s look at the massive media mindshift for change that needs to transpire…

Meaning? Messaging that puts public health over profit…personal privacy over exploitation…and common sense over ‘shock schlock.’

As I just replied to Founder Jamey Kirby (senior partner of “Cocaine in a Can” and Redux Beverages) who took issue with my post lambasting his product for opportunistic behavioral cues via his “” site…

“Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.”

Get a conscience. Get a macro-view.

Grow up beyond the latest kitschy-clever word play of seeding ‘risky business for a buck.’

Grow out out of the ‘titillate and obfuscate’ mentality to ‘test’ the FDA limits and see what GOOD business can do instead of undermining with vapid values in trash-n-dash short sighted profiteering and promotion.

Read my lips: parents (even those of us IN the industry) and many kids themselves are sick and tired of crass cues and manipulation.

It’s way past time for a change.

Can we do it? Yes, we can.

Visual credits: Lead “standby” photo:, Animal Wow, Disney/Dory from their respective sites, Phishing visual from How Stuff Works, Cocaine in a Can from Energy Fiend. (informative database for assessing caffeine quotient/contents in context!)


Speak Your Mind