September 14, 2014

  • An Update about Xanga – and – a Temporary Landing Page for Autisable

    finally

    The month of August was incredibly busy for me, personally.   After all, Short Stack was on vacation from school – and so my attention was required more than the usual.

    Which, to be completely honest, I didn’t mind – at all. :)

    The reality is that I used the opportunity to spend more time with my family, as I should.  Gotta keep priorities in check, right?

    Along with keeping other aspects of recent events, like job hunting and so forth, my focus was to keep things moving forward… so there was a limited amount of time to devote to Xanga and/or Autisable’s main website.

    That is… until last week… when I finally had the chance to talk with John at Xanga.

    Yes, John, the one for whom we are all waiting to hear from.

    But please, don’t judge the man to harshly – or for that matter, this blog post… as I’m shaking the summer rust off of my blogging and getting back into the swing of things.

    But I digress….

    Continue reading

August 31, 2014

  • The ‘Other’ Things

    For the sake of not having a post that is TL/TR (too long to read) – this is one of those quick blog posts…

     

    This past January I lost my regular full time job.

    In May of this year I lost my Mom due to Cancer.

    As the Summer of 2014 comes to a close, however, I consider myself blessed.

    We have a roof over our head, food on the table, and clothes to wear.

    The job hunt continues, and there are some opportunities that are being discussed.

    Autisable is moving forward, and although not at the pace I’d like to see it at… there’s still progress.

    With my Mom’s passing I received several binders full of family Geneology – so I’ve been on Ancestry.com mapping out the family tree for my family.

    I’ll share more soon… so much is going on that I wish I could get into detail…  but it’s exciting nonetheless.

    Have a great weekend.

    Until later…

     

     

August 16, 2014

  • Still Here…Update on Autisable

    This past year has had it’s share of challenges.  After all, last August we found ourselves nearing the end of Xanga 1.0 and starting Xanga 2.0.

    Autisable was effectively put on hiatus while Xanga was switching servers and migrating data – which from last report they are still in the process of doing – along with making sure people’s accounts are back online.

    So, while we all are ‘waiting’ – I can’t stay still….

    It’s one of the by products of my personality… I have to do something to keep busy or I’ll just go a bit on the crazy side…
    (I think many of us are that way… don’t you?)

    So the plan of action was set in motion for Autisable – whether or not the site is ‘online’ at the current time.

    The goal?  To get the infrastructure built for a promotional campaign that would not only give back to the Autism community, but also be a way for companies to support the effort through advertising… keeping Autisable self-sustaining and ‘free’ to it’s users.

    Now, I’d like to first share that when Autisable relaunches – it will NOT be what it once was.

    It will be powered by wordpress technology, and essentially be the main page along with the articles that we’ve been highlighting for the past 5+ years.

    About the only usernames that will remain on the site are those we were able to highlight from syndicated bloggers.

    Sad to say, data has been lost during this transition – but we are salvaging what we can during this time.

    At this phase we are almost half way through matching articles with authors.  Once this phase is completed we will be working on getting the website look and feel as close as possible to what it once was.

    The functionality will be very limited – but as we address some business between Xanga and Autisable – I will be talking with some local website developers to help bring Autisable up to speed.

    After Autisable’s relaunch, the site will be legally transferred to a company that will be created – and the Xanga.com’s role will be more along the lines of server maintenance and not website development or management.

    For those that don’t know, LaNeshe and Eugenia and Myself have been the primary folks in working on Autisable in getting it through this first phase.  However, Eugenia (of The Xanga Team) has primarily been working on Xanga – and not able to fully focus on Autisable.  LaNeshe is expecting (YEAH!) and with that has her own things to plan for… like a little one on the way.

    Although we are attempting to sort through things as quickly as possible – life has thrown a few curve balls here and there.

    For me, I am unemployed and have to set time aside to search for jobs each week – along with taking care of my son.  On top of that addressing the issue of my Mom passing on Mother’s Day this year – and all that entails.

    But… we still press on.

    Now that we’re in the last half of getting Autisable back online – at least we can see what is going on… and what will be needed.

    With the sites relaunch, we’re also developing a web series (for The Autism Channel), and working with Michael Copon Studios in Chesapeake, VA.   This includes collaborating with several non-profits and artists, to bring about information from artists that support autism awareness, to non-profits that help the autism community.

    Very exciting stuff.

    Ok, back to the grind I go.

    Have a great weekend.

August 14, 2014

  • Mr. Robin Williams: Powered By Laughter

    These past few days we have all reminisced about how one man has brought us the gift of joy into our world.

    For me, seeing the news online was heart wrenching.   I grew up in the Bay Area, and saw Robin Williams pull off some crazy things that periodically made its way into the news.
    He was loved around the world, as well as in his home town.   The fact that he was a 49ers Fan was just an added bonus in my book.

    Whenever I saw him perform, I looked in awe at how his talent and skill at improv would take a situation and make it funny.  I watched Mork and Mindy with my Mom, and we’d laugh while seeing many other performances of his as well.

    Driving across country with my Parents I’d have several of his lines from “Good Morning Vietnam” running through my head.  It was a tough time, moving across country, and his humor helped me… and also provided several memorable moments with my Mom.

    There was no shortage of his energy, and he gave us his all – until he couldn’t give it anymore.

    His passion for laughter came with it other issues of addiction, being bipolar, heart problems… and the list goes on…

    A few weeks ago he attempted to address a major issue.  It was as if after so many years he could detect the onset of major bouts of depression, and tried to head it off before it really became a problem.

    He tried.

    I’ve enjoyed his comedy, but I was also amazed at how diverse of an actor he really was… and to some extent, extremely underrated.

    Behind the humor, there resided a man who was passionate about his craft.

    We all saw it.  Anyone who was a fan of his could see that it took a lot of hard work for him to make it seem so easy…

    … so easy to make us laugh….

    … to make us cry…

    To make us think.

    His passion to entertain, to make us laugh, to see our response… was his joy.

    We could see it.

    It was like having a friend or relative stop by when we turned on the TV or see him in a movie.

    And for those who had the pleasure of attending his live shows, the energy was unforgettable.

    I grew up with this legend on screen…. providing a form of escapism that only the greats ever could.

    We lost a great man, who was powered by our laughter – who enjoyed our response.

    Let us remember him for who he was to us – giving us the opportunity to laugh at him, at ourselves… at life.

    The world may be a bit dimmer, a bit more somber… because we lost a best friend that we never really knew.

    We are reminded that even the greatest of people in the world have their own challenges, their own struggles.

    We are reminded to encourage one another, to help each other.

    One day we will find that joy that will fill this void with his passing…

    I’m sure Mr. Williams and his family would prefer it that way.

June 23, 2014

  • Having a Tough Skin

    One of the most challenging aspects of working on Autisable is how incredibly diverse the Autism Community is…

    The diversity ranges from parents and grandparents who have children and grandchildren on the Autism Spectrum, to children and Adults who are diagnosed on the Spectrum.

    On top of this, each person diagnosed with Autism has an incredibly unique way of communicating their thoughts and ideas about specific topics.

    For many people, sharing an idea is rather easy – you have a discussion… a dialogue.  For others, it is an incredible challenge.

    Enter, the tough skin….

     

    On a recent chat on an autism community website, I wanted to be sure that Autisable is representing the Autism community well.

    The response I received was as diverse as the community itself:

    “make sure it’s non profit” – as enough people are profiting off of the Autism community

    “generate your own audience! and stop stealing ours” – mind you, this was only the second time I was in the chat room and I made it clear I just had a few questions.

    There was everything from LEAVE NOW! to the difference between blogging and having a forum being discussed.

     

    I realized quickly what Autisable needed to do…

    1 – it will remain a for profit – but philanthropic in it’s efforts.   Donating earnings to non-profits that actually help and benefit the autism community and individuals.   Funding research is not it’s goal.  It’s goal is to help people as directly as possible, and should help organizaitons fiscally that do the same.

    2 – keep an unbiased perspective.   This is what I’ve found that Autisable is known for – not taking a stance but to promote discussion.

    3 – help educate the media on how to appropriately share the challenges associated with Autism.   This is a major hurdle for many journalists/reporters – as far too often the first question I’m ever asked is my opinion regarding vaccines…. which is just a reflection on the lack of understanding as to what families deal with everyday.

    There’s many more notes I’ve taken away from that visit to that chat room.

    The biggest, however, is making sure that everyone has a fair say – especially those who are diagnosed on the spectrum.

    It’s because of those diagnosed on the spectrum that we do…what we do…. so we must listen – and act appropriately.

    Sometimes what people may say could be harsh, rough, brash….

    But having a tough skin will allow you to see the meat of the issues that are brought to the table….that they need to be heard and understood.