hello, yes, this is raincoaster

hello yes this is raincoaster

hello yes this is raincoaster

So, it’s been awhile, no?

For those of you who’ve missed updates at the ol’ raincoaster blog, since the last time this blog was active I’ve:

  • Started and run Canada’s premier hacktivism and cyberwar news website, The Cryptosphere, currently on hiatus. During its active period it was linked to by sites all over the world including the Daily Mail, Telegraph, Newsweek, and more (although not any Canadian ones, which is weird). And I was quoted by Time magazine. So, that was nice.
  • Moved about twenty or thirty times, as I paired my burgeoning cyber-career with a sideline as a pet-sitter. After one too many cancellations, I started charging good money with 50% up front and non-refundable, and otherwise, this really couldn’t be a viable option. But the fact is, that’s a horrible way to live, always trying to line up gigs so you’re never homeless.
  • Been homeless for periods of time, because of the whole making-no-money-from-website thing, combined with pet-sitting gigs that didn’t line up. Thank god for good friends, that’s all I can say.
  • Moved back to Ottawa, god help me, to stay with a cousin who has a medical condition that means he should not live alone. The idea was, I rest up and recover from the gruelling life I’d been leading while doing him a favour. Didn’t quite work out that way.
  • Shortly after arrival, fell down an entire flight of stairs, landing on the back of my head and my elbow. The elbow shattered into gravel, so that gives you a rough idea of what my brain went through. My sister heard the fall, and investigated immediately; when she found me no more than three minutes after the fall, there was a pool of blood around me three feet in diameter. The medical team were quite surprised I didn’t die. Me too, considering…
  • Was examined in Emergency and told my elbow was not broken. Five weeks later, when I went back because it wasn’t healing as well as the rest of me, I found out that was false. It had been turned into what the bone doctor called “gravel”, and so they had to schedule me for surgery. I now have six inches of steel in that elbow, and even five months of physio will not allow me to straighten and lock that elbow, ever again. There goes my career in yoga.
  • Slowly recovered. The fall happened at the end of September 2016, and I literally don’t remember anything other than some of the hospital, until Halloween. I only have patchy memories of the next few months. It was June of the next year before I felt like myself again. I kept trying, and failing, to get back to work, and because even my capacity for self-awareness was damaged, I couldn’t understand why I was having difficulty.
  • Got laid off from Passcode, so was fully unemployed in a province where I didn’t officially exist and thus couldn’t get benefits.
  • Over months proved to the government not only that I existed, but that I was a Canadian citizen who had entered the country legally. Got, piece by piece, all of the identification I needed, so now if I want I can go get a driver’s license, only nobody here will let me borrow their car, so I’ll have to pay a driving school. So I need to make some money.
  • Started back to work, first at a content farm, which is unchallenging, but at least it’s steady, pays promptly, and covers my bills. Then got a gig with a new news site covering blockchain, and they’re very interested in my specialties of crime and social justice. And they pay TOP RATES. I’ve already got an assignment there, so I just need to get the email questions out and do the research and then bang an article into shape. Very excited about this.
  • Just tonight, had a tryout for a 9-5, M-F crime writing job. We’ll see how I do at this, but they already know my work and are keenly interested. It’s in the same time zone as Ottawa, so that works out well, and it’s a four month contract, which would give me enough of a cushion that when I go back to BC I wouldn’t need to scramble or feel desperate.
  • Speaking of which…

I just gave Ontario my notice.

It’s been…sticky, humid, swarming with insects, sleeting, coated with ice, 90 minutes from downtown via bus on a good day, expensive, fattening, boring, Tory, racist, uncultured, and dull. And I’m leaving.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s not really Ontario I hate, it’s just the extremely bland, suburban part of it that I’m marooned in that I hate. And I know BC isn’t perfect. Half of it is on fire right now.

But I know where I belong, and I know the places that call to my heart. I know that, when I sit on the bus in Vancouver, nobody moves away from me just because my hair is blue. I know that BC takes public transportation much more seriously than Ontario does. And god, the food is SO MUCH BETTER.

Also, my friends are there.

During my two years in Ontario I’ve made precisely 4 new friends, none of whom live in Ottawa. I’ve been deliberately avoiding social occasions, because I don’t want to form emotional ties to this place, and the plan has worked.

Two of those four new friends have offered me a pet-sitting gig over the Christmas holidays, right through to mid-January, and they’ve included: an offer to stay with them in December for free, three weeks of paid pet-sitting, and an airline ticket home to BC at the end of it. So, although I had hoped to be out of here sooner, I said yes. I’ll shift my stuff to The Sister’s basement at the end of November, bid my cousin adieu, and prepare to become a BCer again.

I’m gonna need more Gore-tex.

 

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come see me at social media camp in Victoria, May 5-7

Who likes free lunches? EVERYONE! Who likes saving money? Pretty much those very same people! Now you can attend Canada’s biggest and best purely social media conference in one of the world’s prettiest cities, save $100 on registration, and have lunch on and with me. Given the number of lunches other people have bought for me, it’s kinda the least I can do.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Kittens explain social media, they explain everything.

Yes kittens, I’m headed back to the #YYJ for another Social Media Camp, Canada’s largest social media conference, in gorgeous downtown Victoria. I know that’s a cliche, but it’s literally true and I don’t know anyone who isn’t thrilled at an excuse to go to this spectacular city.

This year I’ll be speaking on Marketing the Mystery; in other words, how to use social media to drum up interest in something when you’re not actually allowed to say what it is. I’m using the @WhatsPineApple campaign that we’re running for Steve Wozniak as my specific material here. What’s PineApple? All will be revealed by Woz at the Business Rocks conference in Manchester, April 21-22, which means I’ll finally be free to talk about it by the time Social Media Camp rolls around.

social media camp

I may or may not also be doing an informal chat-style talk on how writers can use social media to boost readership and sales. That depends on finding a room for it, or alternately on attendees buying me pints at the pub. I’m easy, and Victoria is the spiritual home of the Canadian brew pub tradition.

AND thanks to organizer Paul Holmes, I’ve got a juicy discount code for you, kittens! Regular camp tix are $699 and go up to $999 for the Rock Star pass, but a limited number of camp tickets have been made available at $599. But with this sweet, sweet discount code you get $100 off whichever package you buy, and you get a free lunch, on me. And with me. This is good news for you, as I am a restaurant snob and will take you somewhere nice, I promise. Your super-secret discount code is: Raincoaster.

Clicky, clicky, you know you want to. $200 off Canada’s best social media conference AND a free lunch with your humble editor in one of the world’s best undiscovered foodie destinations. DO EET. Guy Fawkes mask optional, we’re not formal here.

Spreaker of the House: introducing The Cryptosphere on AnonUKRadio

The Cryptosphere

The Cryptosphere

I’m a bit behind on my publicity stunting for my new news site TheCryptosphere, but here’s some! I know!!! Aren’t you excited?

Last week, which is to say July 6, 2014, I appeared as a guest on Topman‘s AnonUK radio show, which (particularly since Lorax got v&) is one of the most popular Anonymous podcasts in the world. Here’s their YouTube introduction to the concept of Anonymous itself:

And here is the podcast, featuring moi, Sue Crabtree of FreeAnonsd00minator, and more:

[audio http://api.spreaker.com/download/episode/4700019.mp3]

Good News/Bad News

Keven Spacey is as confused as I am

Keven Spacey is as confused as I am

Well, I may get whiplash from this rollercoaster life (if I don’t get it from doing yet another faceplant trying to walk on the slippery boardwalk). As some of you know, the Daily Dot and I have parted company. That was planned and a very long time coming, but it had to be done and it was done last week when I sent in the final invoice and, well, it was sad but it was better if you know what I mean. Then I moved to a place where my rent is paid with two hours a day of wood chopping, compost researching, boardwalk repairing, etc, started losing weight automatically, and all was well.

Yesterday, raincoaster.com celebrated its eighth birthday! I still remember all 64 of my first day’s hits, which I got by begging in the comments section on Boris Johnson’s blog.

That left me with Ayyyy.com as my sole paid gig.

Guess what happened to Ayyyy.com today.

Continue reading

Operation Global Media Domination: 2013 in review for raincoaster.com

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 180,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 8 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.