Mochagirl9's Blog


The List Keeps On Listing …
October 21, 2010, 12:21 pm
Filed under: candles, crafting, Friends, life

So, we’ll skip all the deep stuff I should be writing about right now for now. We know it’s there, we know it’s coming … but for now, October is for happy scary things.

Also, apparently, it’s for embarking on new projects. I’ve started doing a few new things, plus I’ve gone back to “working” in the other sense … you know, at the jobs that make money. You’ve probably seen me pimping myself (and a few others) out on Facebook for candle sales, greeting card sales, and other fun stuff. I never know who actually might be interested and who finds these updates obnoxious, so I thought I’d put all the current ventures of myself and those around me in one Blog Post so you could feel free to Like at your leisure. Pretty soon, I’ll confine my updates to just me stuff, and my various Pages can update my projects.

First, there’s the candle thing. I never thought I’d sell candles, but here I am, selling candles as an Independent Demonstrator for Gold Canyon Candles. I like candles and sniffing them, but I always thought the parties were a little weird and goofy. I’m finding, though, that people have an intense love of candles, and that if you give them the opportunity, they wanna buy them! If you want to be kept up-to-date on any current promotions, giveaways, or parties, or if you want to be a Host (it’s super easy and you get free stuff pretty much for inviting people to come to my house), become the friend of my candle page, Amber’s Candle Connection:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ambers-Candle-Connection/135031646548551?v=wall

Or, if you want to order something, or just see what we’re selling, go check out my site at:

http://www.mygc.com/agoddard

Next on my roster is Amber’s Ink. I’ve always made cards and invitations for friends and family, and for people I’ve been referred to, but I decided to try and do it on a wider basis. I absolutely love it! It’s like scrapbooking without getting my hands stuck to my face with glue! It gives me a thrill I don’t get from writing, or editing, or anything else I’ve done professionally, and I can only hope to really start getting my work out there. If you want to Like me on Facebook, visit:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bakersfield-CA/AMG-Ink/117111148310560

To see my Etsy store, check out:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/amberg914

Also, I’m selling on CafePress:

http://www.cafepress.com/ambersInk

So, it’s not just me going all entrepreneurial, though. My cousin Haley is raking in the orders as the newest decorator of people’s heads with her Haley’s Hats & Hairbows. How cute are these things?

Check out more on her Facebook page at:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Haleys-Hats-Hairbows/114559438605643?ref=mf

Finally, one of two amazing women who have inspired me with their creativity and craftiness (the other, Cristal, is a scrapbooking wizard and master seamstress who has single-handedly kept me clothed!) … my friend Shaunna. If you have someone in your life who will send you Sympathy Fudge, you are lucky, and I have Shaunna. She makes a whole plethora of baby and kid goods, so go check out her Etsy site because pretty soon, she’s going to be too busy to make anything her stuff is so good!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/momsblankies

OK, that’s it for now. More to come, and thanks for reading and supporting.



I think I repeat myself a lot.
August 31, 2010, 7:13 pm
Filed under: Friends, life, Uncategorized

It seems I’m always going on about how I don’t understand why people feel the need to splay their guts in public coliseums like Facebook or blogs, yet I’m somehow drawn to the lion’s den.

We started planning my dad’s memorial service on Saturday. He’s still alive, but it seemed best to begin getting things in order. As such, I’m busily finding music and going through old photos for the service, putting together that little flyer thing that people always hand out, and doing what I tend to do best, which is plan stuff. If I think about it, between the lack of sleep and the slow, slow sadness of deterioration, I once again go back to me and how ridiculous it all seems. It’s not denial, this stage of grief I’m in, more of a feeling that I am utterly useless—I can’t even fit in his bedroom door in my new chair, so my contributions are basically small conversations from the doorway that he can barely hear anyway. I thank my lucky things for Alex, because he’s decidedly more able to actually help, and he does so without hesitation (I know he hates praise and thank yous, but I’m reasonably sure he doesn’t read my crap, so ha, he doesn’t know!). But I feel so very pointless, and so very small, and so very tired.

But appropriateness be damned, there WILL be Johnny Cash at that service.



Sometimes I just want to punch myself in the neck
August 19, 2010, 2:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Yes, I lied—I had to go look one last time, and there he was, riding his high horse of righteousness and declaring his take on all that is moral (because, again, if we don’t agree, we REALLY REALLY REALLY don’t get it). You can go read it if you want—there’s a link to it a few posts of mine back. I keep saying I’m finished with the whole thing, yet I go back anyway, I guess in the hope for some sort of logical discussion. No such luck.

Why can’t I let stuff go? Why must I continue to defend myself to some random blog guy about something that on the list of things I should care about is way down at the bottom? But I do it! Lame.

In the interest of getting myself past it all, I’m going to relay the exact specifics of my big reviewing “job,” just so all my disclosure is full. See, I was hired around the beginning of the year by a company, via the job site Guru, to write reviews for iPhone apps. I was given Promo Codes for these apps and asked to use each one for a day or two and write up a three or four sentence review. At the end of the month, I was paid $5 per review for each one I turned in during that month, regardless of whether or not my review was positive or negative. Now, I’ll admit I took some liberties with the reviews—for example, in one review for a Sailing app, I added in that my boyfriend had recently inherited a boat so this app came in handy. I then went on to explain which features of the app I thought worked well, looked good, etc. The fact that I don’t really have a boyfriend who inherited a boat in no way impacted my review of the actual product—it simply added a detail to make it more interesting; believe me, if I had a boat-trotting boyfriend I wouldn’t be writing about my iPhone apps for $5! The point of a review is to discuss the pros and cons of a product the reviewer has used, discuss its various components, and present an unbiased critique. I always did that. That project lasted for several months, eventually ending a few months ago. A few days ago, I accidentally pasted my email address into Google instead of where I meant to put it, and lo and behold, there was Mr. Podcast’s blog. You know the rest.

Thanks for those of you who have been reading and following this stuff. I really AM done this time. This experience has reminded me that people are just never going to act how you think they are, and that the best you can do is try and see their point of view. It also allowed me to give myself a good once-over and figure out that sometimes, I just have to let things go.

Tomorrow, we’ll go back to other things—just wanted to let those of you who have been writing and commenting where things ended up.



My Two Fake Cats Had a Fake Kitten … and He’s Hungry
August 18, 2010, 11:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Got one more response from Mr. Podcast in which he “apologized” for insinuating Suzanne and I were the same person, only to follow it up by saying it meant nothing because we weren’t sticking to his point. So after this post, this one right here, I’m done, which I also just told him. With all that’s going on with my dad, with work/not work, with everything else, I think maybe I needed a distraction to get me going, so I just kept responding. Don’t get me wrong—I absolutely feel that I did nothing wrong—but what’s the point in arguing with someone I don’t know over something we’ll never agree on? I actually have a bit of admiration for the guy, because he obviously feels very strongly about the issue. I just wish that instead of trying to drill into my head that I was unethical and wrong, he would’ve taken the time to actually talk to me.

But enough of that. My question of the day is why are all those Facebook games so freaking addictive? I’ve got a farm, an aquarium, a bunch of pets—and I’m not the only one. I’ll be back tomorrow with my take.



Titles are Hard and Offer No Real Explanation
August 17, 2010, 1:19 pm
Filed under: Friends, life, Uncategorized

So, for the tiny lot of you following the “App Review” debacle, there are a few new developments, the funniest of which is that because Suzanne also posted a comment in support of me—totally unbeknownst to me ahead of time, might I add—Mr. Podcast decided that she and I are somehow the same person. That’s just silly. Just so you’re up to speed, our back and forths as of now are copied below in order from most recent to the first email (feel free to skip all the email stuff if you want, all in italics. Just thought I’d add it for context).

Rob,

No, I DO get that point, and like I said, I don’t agree with you. Not agreeing with you is not the same as not “getting” it.

Honestly, if it had occurred to me to add in to my reviews that I was being paid, I would have — heck, I’d go back and do it now if I could — because I don’t think that being paid to write something that can be either positive or negative is unethical or clouds the review as long as I’m not being paid to only write glowing reviews. And you’re right — I did get paid to write the review and that does indeed open me up to public critique — but when that public critique is false in some of its assumptions, I have every right to defend the parts that were false — and yes, you did single me out. You singled me out not in a part of the post about my lack of full disclosure, but in a part in which you implied I didn’t actually use certain apps in question because of what you deemed to be conflicting content. I appreciate your passionate beliefs — I’m passionate about not sitting by while people make snide comments about my need for birth control.

I’m not asking you to back down or apologize — though I would appreciate an apology for the implication that I tried to fluff up my comment with another comment just so it looked like I had someone to agree with me. I’m not some Internet troll skulking around, trying to make myself sound better because I have someone on my side, and my friend isn’t someone who blindly posts support for things unless she means it.

So again, maybe you’re right, maybe I just don’t get it. And really, I don’t mean that in a bitchy way — maybe my moral compass is just way off kilter. I honestly don’t see a conflict in getting paid to write something — whether I disclosed my pay or not — if the pay didn’t affect the review. You obviously do. I’m sure most of your listeners feel the same as you do, just as I’m sure there are people who see my point and are not in any way ethically-challenged (nor are they other versions of me). That’s fine, and again, l don’t recall asking for an apology or asking you to back down for anything you said in your post. If you’re going to single me out, though, and some of what you’re saying is untrue, I’m just as free to respond as you are to say it.

And yeah, I will listen to your podcast — maybe you can read my blog and see I’m not what you seem to think I am either.

Amber

Hi Amber,

This is the part of the article I don’t think you are getting.

“It is possible some of the reviews are real and heart felt – but you know what – not a single one of them said they were paid to do the review by the App developer they did said review for – and that is what the real issue here comes down to.  These are app reviews as an end user you really can not trust.”

That is 100% the thrust of the post – and why I will not back down or change my tune.

I don’t see that you are getting that point.  I did not unfairly go after you or single you out.  I went and will go after anyone I find that is doing reviews and not revealing in those reviews they were paid for said reviews.

I will never back down and I will never apologize.  You did a review you were paid for and did not reveal that in the review and that makes the review in my mind questionable and I feel it is in the best interest of my listeners to point that out. That you were paid for and made the review public opens you up to a public critic of you and your reviews.

If you can not see my point then you are correct we will never agree.

Listen to my show I am not a bad or mean person – I am just someone that passionately believes in the doctrine of full and fair disclosure.

Regards,

Rob W

On Aug 17, 2010, at 10:04 AM, Amber Goddard wrote:

First off, I am not two people. I am a girl with a blog that has about 12 readers on a good day, and one of them, my friend, read said blog, on which I posted about this situation. Again, there you go making assumptions.

Second, I do get the point of your post, I simply don’t agree with it. I’m the first to admit I know nothing about FCC regulations, and for that, I completely apologize. I should have fully researched the FCC before accepting a job — and as sarcastic as that may look in type, I mean it.

My point, however, has nothing to do with the FCC, and neither did your original post. Yes, I get what you’re saying, but I stand by the fact that while I was paid to write my opinion on a product, my opinion was not swayed by that payment, as it was not based on whether the review was positive or negative. Also, again, I never reviewed an app that I did not try and/or use. I can’t speak for anyone else, but that was my experience, and my ethics are just fine. So yeah, I “admit” I was a reviewer, because there’s nothing to “admit.”

Finally, I actually had a hard time trying to decide if I wanted to respond or not, because FCC aside, we’re not going to agree on this, and I’ve always felt that round and round is kinda pointless when it comes to disagreement, because you’re never going to think I’m not some app-reviewing shrifter bent on the destruction of the integrity of the App Store, and I’m never going to believe I am. I did want to clear up again, though, that I, Amberg914, am not Enna, nor do I have a split personality, nor do I feel the need to write a comment on someone’s blog and follow it up all by myself with another comment just to give myself a kudo boost.

And no, I didn’t pay her to write it, so she still has all her morals, ethics, and integrity.

Amber Goddard

amberg914@mac.com

Read My Blog!

https://mochagirl9.wordpress.com/

On Aug 17, 2010, at 1:49 AM, Today in iPhone wrote:

I approved your comments.  And I also posted a follow up.

Which is the following:

AmberG914 and Enna – who I assume is also AmberG914 – thanks so much for commenting on this post and for confirming that you did indeed get paid for putting up those reviews on iTunes. You seem to miss the point of the post and that is that your were getting paid and were not disclosing that your were getting paid to do the reviews anywhere in the review. Which beyond being completely unethical is according to the FCC in violation of full disclosure rules. Also since you did not disclose your were paid it just brings into question the validity of your reviews. I really do appreciate you responding as It took me a lot of work to figure out who was getting paid and not disclosing they were paid and there is always the chance I was wrong about one of those I called out – but since you admitted it it does make me feel better in knowing your true level of integrity – which was also clearly seen in your comments. I do plan on follow up posts in the near future. And I will make sure you get your do credit. Regards, Rob W Host – Today in iOS podcast

On Aug 16, 2010, at 7:32 PM, Amber Goddard wrote:

Sorry, I didn’t see your contact information prior to posting on your blog. I should have sent this to you personally in the same way it would have been nice had you shown me the same courtesy. Below is the comment I posted to your blog — feel free to not put it up, as what I had to say was directed at you.

Amber Goodard

—-

Hello,

As one of the so-called “unethical” reviewers, let me start by saying that if you had such a vast ability to do your “research,” maybe you should’ve done a little research and contacted us directly instead of posting our names on a list and making assumptions.

I will say this for myself, as I have no knowledge of anything that went on with any other reviewer. I was paid the same amount for writing good or bad reviews, as well as given the app to review (a standard practice for most reviews of any kind, be they for films, books, or apps). At no time was I ever encouraged to skew my review towards being positive or negative — I was paid to write, not to fluff an app’s ratings. Most of my reviews were positive — I can only think of a few of the apps I was asked to review that I didn’t like, and for those, I turned in low reviews.

Also, on a personal note, your little mention of my reviews for apps on “New Moms, a Wedding Planner, and how to find a man” — yes, that is possible. If you read the actual reviews, I say that sometimes I work as a Wedding Planner, I used the New Mom app, and the how to find a man app is a fun confidence booster. I used all three apps, evaluated them, and wrote reviews.

Again, I can only speak to my experience, but at no time were my reviews “unethical” or shady or even questionable, and I don’t appreciate your implications about me or my character. I’m sure you and all your champions of integrity will find some way to continue your one-sided crusade, but unless you want to speak to me personally and not stick me on a list and make vague assumptions and rude innuendos, please keep my screenname out of your little expose.

Amber Goddard

amberg914@mac.com

Read My Blog!

https://mochagirl9.wordpress.com/

He got me thinking, though, because he’s very adamant in his assertion that I am full of unethical cooties because I didn’t disclose in my reviews that I was being paid. Maybe I AM full of unethical cooties! He insists that I “don’t get” the point of his post, but I do. I just honestly don’t agree, based on the circumstances. Does that prove his point, though, that I am somehow ethically bereft?

Which is when it occurs to me that I don’t actually care what it proves, though I do appreciate that it made me take stock of myself a bit. All that FCC part aside, I have no qualms about the work I did. My issue wasn’t even so much with his 100% thrusting about full disclosure—it was with the fact that he called me out specifically for NOT using the apps he mentions because of their content and then made that birth control crack. What does any of that have to do with “full disclosure”?

But there I go again on the digression train. I’m here to reveal a bit of the old self-discovery. For one, I realize that in the grand scheme of life, some dude talking about my screen name in his podcast or blog post really isn’t up there on the list of stuff to worry about. Sure, I was pretty angry when I read it, but he has his points, I have mine, and never shall we meet. It’s never bad, though, to take a look and figure out if while you’re busy arguing your point, whether you’re arguing the point because you actually believe it or because it’s your point, and by golly you’re going to defend it no matter what!

I’ve noticed that it seems most people have a pretty well-defined idea of their blacks and whites, and even their grey areas, but mine aren’t always so easy. Not in this specific situation—I know exactly how I feel about the work I did—but in any situation, no matter how sure you are of your position, there’s something about your opposition being SO passionate about theirs that can’t help but make you question, especially when it calls into question your ethics and integrity. And where do you draw the line? Always stand up for yourself, stand up when you absolutely feel you’re in the right, or avoid conflict altogether? No answers yet—still working on the questions.



Ugh.
August 16, 2010, 5:46 pm
Filed under: life, writing

Oh I’m mad! Angry! Burnt!

See, a while back, I had a client who hired me to review apps for my iPhone. This was a sweet project—it let me try out new apps, review them, and get paid. Now, the deal was that I would get the app for free, write an honest review of the product, and send it to my client. I got paid the SAME amount whether or not I gave the app 1 star or 5 stars. I’m a reviewer, and I was paid to write. My opinions were never swayed in one direction or another because I was paid equally regardless of my rating.

So, today, I came across an article at:

http://tii.libsyn.com/bogus_app_review_site_has_hundreds_of_paid_reviews_in_i_tunes/comments

Not only does he list all of us who did reviews on a list of unethical reviewers, he calls me out specifically. He writes:

“Like Amberg914 that reviewed apps for New Moms, a Wedding Planner, and how to find a man.  I guess that is possible.  After all – RSS Comm, Violin Lady and Bartsrock all reviewed the New Mom and Wedding planner apps – Maybe they should have reviewed a birth control methods app.”

I used all three apps and reviewed them based on my experience!

What gets me is that one, this guy apparently had the time to go through and find who had done multiple reviews for my client, he had time to research the apps, but he couldn’t be bothered to find me or any other reviewer and say, “Hey, what was the deal?” Instead, we get the righteously indignant list of horrible fluff reviewers like me and some snarky comments about birth control. I get his point, I just don’t find it valid in my situation. Had I been being paid to ONLY write positive reviews, or reviews of apps I didn’t use, then fine, but that wasn’t the case, and no one bothered to ask if it was.

Grrr …



Prop 8 and Chocolate
August 4, 2010, 11:31 pm
Filed under: life, Uncategorized

I’m saving my fat girl rant until tomorrow in order to talk about Prop 8 and gay marriage and chocolate. Bear with me.

Today’s ruling on the constitutionality of Prop 8 is an odd little mixed bag of yay and boo. Yay it’s unconstitutional, but boo, there’s a stay in place. I’ll admit, I’m pretty ill-informed on the legal logistics of it all, but here’s what I was thinking on the issue in general.

First, if we’re sticking with the whole “separation of church and state” thing, there can’t be a religious argument on either side. Simple as that. Not that individuals aren’t allowed to have their own ideals and views—just no putting those into legalities if they’re based on religion.

OK, now, with no religious connotations of sin clouding the waters, let’s make this a food analogy.

Imagine living in a state where, arbitrarily at birth, people are assigned a color, either red or blue. Reds are allowed to eat chocolate and Blues are not. Though both groups are alike in all other ways, one is given the right to eat chocolate and the other is not, based only on something they had no control over at birth. Now, in this fictitious state, not only is chocolate yummy, but it provides legal, financial, and emotional benefits to the Reds. The Blues are able to come somewhat close to achieving the many benefits given the Reds by their chocolate consumption by eating chocolate substitutes, but as anyone who’s eaten food substitutes knows, it’s never the same, and it’s all a bit half-hearted in the legality department. It should be said, here, that not all Blues wanted chocolate—even some Reds didn’t want chocolate—but in the end, it wasn’t about the food or the taste. It was about the rights granted to the eaters over the non-eaters. So, the situation was this—one group of people was given a totally different set of rights that encompassed EVERY aspect of their lives based solely on a random birth event.

Now, eventually, the Blues got tired of their chocolate-free world and a vote was taken—should they be able to eat chocolate like the Reds, thus being on par legally, financially, and socially with them? A series of challenges to the traditional chocolate-eating status followed. In a country—and state—known for its fierce defense of individual freedoms, somehow, when it came to this ONE thing, this ONE very important right being granted to one set of people and not to another, a small majority of voters voted to deny the Blues their chocolate. Did the fact that more people said, “Yes” than “No” to a question override the fact that the question posed was flawed to begin with? I say that’s crazy troll logic.

I wanted to put this transparent allegory into a totally neutral set of circumstances to illustrate a point. We cannot be a place where we say there is a separation of church and state while imposing a religion-based argument to justify the denial of rights to one set of citizens. It’s OK to feel that gay marriage is wrong, icky, blasphemous, grody to the max, a blight on the world, or just plain wrong. Anyone can refuse to acknowledge gay marriage in their homes, in their personal lives, and even in their churches. LEGALLY, however, the vote of a majority cannot be blindly taken as law when the core of the proposition flies in the face of the basic foundation of our freedom. Chocolate has no ties to good or bad, sin or no sin—it simply is. Just like gay marriage, when stripped of church opposition, simply is. In our hearts, souls, and spirits, everyone has the right to believe anything they want, but in the eyes of the law and of a country that claims the entire basis of its existence is freedom, a proposition based on religious principles mocks that existence and should be overturned.