October 29th, 2009Blog
I have always had my flu shot. I religiously find the local vaccination clinics and go out of my way to be one of the first people to get the flu shot. Why? Well, I’m one of those At Risk type people having had asthma since birth. I’ve had my flu shot for years and years prior to the shot being covered for all Ontarians by the province.
This year would be no exception to my rule. I was scouring the internet to find all the information I could on the flu vaccination. I learnt that I should first get the pH1N1 vaccination and it would be available to me starting Tuesday, October 27th. Great! Or so I thought.
I was a bit hesitant to go to day 1 of the vaccination clinic. There was only one location and there was quite a bit of hype about pH1N1, to say the least. However, a few friends did go day 1 and they shared their experiences with me via text message and Twitter. What they shared was disturbing.
There were huge line-ups prior to the 10am start time of the vaccination clinic. By 9am a friend estimated there were over 300 people waiting in line with many more coming in. By 11am there was a reported 1000 people waiting in line according to KFL&A Public Health. By noon people coming in were being told to come back another day. People shared with me that they waited 4 to 5 hrs to get a shot and KFL&A Public Health reported the wait was as high as 6 hours.
At approximately 11am I received a message that pregnant women were being greeted at the door by a nurse and brought to the front of the line. This confused me. The person who gave me this message was a person who, like me, fit in the At Risk list of people who should get the pH1N1 shot. At no point was he given the option to be at the front of the line. I was a bit confused why pregnant women were given what I thought was preferential treatment above everyone including other At Risk people. To settle the matter, I called Justin Chenier, Communications Officer for the KFL&A Public Health. He confirmed that pregnant women were brought to the front to be treated and this was done so by the decision of Dr Ian Gemmill. Dr Gemmill made the decision that there were too many risks and complications for pregnant women to wait in line for hours. Pregnant women were given the option to move to the front of the line. However, other At Risk individuals were not given the option to move to the front of the line. I further inquired if the pregnant women were brought to a special waiting area where they could wait. Justin said no. The pregnant women were treated first before all others.
Why was the KFL&A Public Health treating everyone with no priority for At Risk individuals besides pregnant women? Why all this confusion? Well, it could have had something to do with the advertising of the pH1N1 immunization clinic. In every Kingston newspaper, there was an advertisement indicating the immunization clinics for the area. The advert indicated the pH1N1 vaccine would be given to all ages and seasonal flu vaccine was only for 65 and over. I originally found the same advert for pH1N1 last week on the KFL&A Public Health’s website (they have since replaced it with a proper advertisement indicating that this week only at risk people should come to the clinic but I still have my newspapers in the recycling bin). Furthermore, in every interview of immunization staff of the clinic, they stressed that “No one would be turned away” [ You can read an example here http://www.thewhig.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=2149548 ]. If you want a pH1N1 vaccine shot, you can because they have lots to go around. In other words, first come – first served. [ This frustrated mother best sums it up here http://ckwstv.com/index.cfm?page=news&id=1373 ]
On day 1, people in line were assured that 3000 vaccines were allotted for each day of the immunization clinic. Did they reach 3000 vaccinations? The simple answer is no, they did not. According to their own account, KFL&A Public Health gave out approximately 1500 to 1700 vaccines on day 1. Somehow, I doubt they can truly tell us percentages of At Risk group vaccination compared to the general population.
Has Public Health failed Kingston? I think it’s an astounding YES in that regard. Failing to treat all At Risk groups and to be complacent is serious. At no time were people screened in line to see if they were part of an At Risk group. There were no separate lines for At Risk groups. Everyone were treated the same with the exception of pregnant women. They even failed to treat as many people as they wanted to in a day. How can we trust KFL&A Public Health? How can we?
“To err is human”, is a popular phrase. We all have our faults which make us human. To recognize errors and correct them is a trait we learn in life. I’m not convinced that the KFL&A Public Health has recognized their errors nor corrected them. Perhaps I can think of a few suggestions to help them. Let’s see:
- Toronto Public Health has recognized the urgency of treating At Risk groups and has created special immunization clinics for only At Risk groups. These clinics turn away anyone who doesn’t fit into the category giving priority to those in need.
- A consistent message should be priority. The first seasonal flu immunization clinics indicated only 65 and older could get their seasonal flue vaccine. KFL&A Public Health should do something similar for the pH1N1 immunization clinics and stick to that story. They should discontinue advertising to the media they “won’t turn anyone away”.
- With the left over 1000 or so of pH1N1 vaccines that are allotted every day there should be a separate clinic for At Risk groups. Since only 1500 to 1700 vaccines were given out, the left over 1500 to 1300 could be sent to a separate clinic treating only At Risk groups.
I hope KFL&A Public Health does something. I truly do. I, for one, am not holding my breath.
April 1st, 2009Blog
On a regular basis, I find myself filling out an application form or sending my cover letter and resume off in hopes of attaining that dream job I always dream of. You know the dream, right? Where you sit around, do very little, get a HUGE cheque every day, and have fun doing the work you are asked to do. Well, that job is very hard to come by. That doesn’t stop me from trying.
I keep trying and trying to find that perfect job. So I’m constantly creating new cover letters and applications. My poor resume hasn’t been updated in a year or so. I thought it was time to review the resume.
I took a look. Read a few things. Added some highlights. Then, it hit me. I haven’t truly portrayed me and all my facets. Should I?
I think that many queer people may experience something similar. Do you got out and write on your resume that you are part of the Pride Committee and have been for years as the Treasurer, especially when you are applying for a job that requires bookkeeping? You’re kinda putting yourself out on the line by saying you are part of the Pride Committee. Pride Committee = GAY! Do you want potential employers knowing? Or are you worried that it won’t be welcomed by a new employer? But why shouldn’t you since that bookkeeping job requires experience. This is a conflict many people deal with.
In my case, I’m comfortable with telling any stranger on the street that I’m Miss Tyffanie Morgan, Miss Gay Kingston! It’s a very proud thing for me. But how do I convey that on a cover letter or resume? How do I say to an employer, “Hi, I’m FABULOUS! I’m a very personable person who is loved by millions (ahem) and was honoured by the community with the title of Miss Gay Kingston.” How do I do that?
I want to know if it’s possible for me to cash in on my personality for a new 9 to 5 job. Is it possible? Is it advisable? I’m not sure. What do you think?Tags: Blog, Cover Letters, Miss Gay Kingston, Resumes, SweetPea Press, Tyffanie Morgan
January 6th, 2009Blog
There was a recent storm of blogging and twittering in regards to a well know blogger who accepted money from a large Canadian store to buy items from the store and discuss those items in a blog posting. Basically, the blogger was paid for a blog post. He was completely transparent about the situation and even talked about the deal in later posts. That blogger wasn’t me but Chris. At least I think it was Chris..
There was much discussion as to whether or not Chris was wrong in accepting money from the store in order to write a blog post. I, myself, never saw much concern with accepting money to blog. I don’t really see any issue with accepting money as long as your content/product isn’t affected or manipulated because of that money. I have no problems. Do what you want to do. I’ll do what I want to do. Give me money!
Even more recent I did a random Google search for my name “Tyffanie”. I always like to find out how well my website is ranked on Google’s top searches and to see what new celebrity or porn star started using the spelling of my name. There was this one porn star from the United States in Georgia, not sure what happened to her. Nonetheless, I was checking Google and I discovered a search link:
It was no longer a good link but thanks to Google Cache, I was able to view what the page had looked like. It appears that this Culture.ca website had been aggregating my rss feed. They were sharing the feed. But I didn’t get any emails that they were? I didn’t request if they could share my feed? Mind you, I’m not complaining. I just wanted to know what this Culture.ca website was all about.
In my investigations (ie, typing in http://podcast.culture.ca), I found out that the website had been run by Canadian Heritage. More specifically, the Canadian Culture Online Branch of Canadian Heritage. I read a bit of Canadian Culture Online Branch information and was fascinated.
Apparently, there have been grants and initiatives to help promote Canadian Online Content focused on our vast Canadian Culture. I guess my little podcast was a little example of Canadian Culture. Yeah! But wait, grants = money. Is there Canadian Government money available to podcasters like me?
After further reading, I found out that the Branch was not directly funding podcasters but other non-profit agencies such as the National Film Board who then began a program called Citizen Shift. If this sounds familiar, Bob and Mark had interviewed Tim McScorley of Citizen Shift on the Canadian Podcast Buffet #122. Tim said there are possibilities for money from Citizen Shift for new content created for Citizen Shift (for more details of requirements, check out Citizen Shift especially the terms of service). So everything is making some sense now.
This begs to question then. If Chris’ actions and content were subject because he received money from a Canadian store, would it be different if he received money from the Canadian Government? If I accepted money from a non-profit organization funded by the Canadian Government promoting Canadian Online Content, would my actions, motives, and content be questioned?
I think the main argument with accepting money from a company is whether or not that company will ask you to change your content or manipulate it in some way. For instance, by giving you a free iPhone, you might feel pressured to give Apple a good review. Is this any different with the government? Perhaps, perhaps not. The government won’t be asking you to write or podcast a good review about the Prime Minister anytime soon. Then again, they might.
There is even another interesting argument that I had heard at a ReelOut queer film + video festival panel discussion with independent Montreal film producers/content creators. The independent Montreal filmsters talked in depth about the use of “found media”. “Found media” is a term they used to describe media that is found and used without researching the current owner and giving financial reimbursement for the use of the media. For example, using an old video clip in your own film to help the development of your film. Why do these renegade filmsters use “found media”? Well, because they can’t afford to pay the owners of this “found media” nor do they want to be penalized for their use of “found media”.
Well, I don’t know what to say here. I’d love to hear other’s points of view. Is monetization of online content good or bad, yes or no, Cheech and Chong? If offered a government grant, would you take it? If offered a lump sum of money from a company, would you take it? Is there a difference?
I’m done.Tags: Blog, blogging, Canadian Culture Online Branch, Canadian Heritage, Citizen Shift, government money, grants, monetize, money, National Film Board, podcasting, SweetPea Press
December 31st, 2008Blog
Fine fine fine… after reviewing EVERYONE’s New Year Resolutions, I’m caving in and creating my own. What can I say, I have no back bone
- Finally buy that elliptical that I promised I would buy last New Year. For some reason, I couldn’t find any time to purchase an elliptical. But I did find time to buy an air conditioner, start a radio show, and converse on facebook for hours and hours and hours… and hours…
- Buy a House. I’m actually at that stage in my little existence where I am getting ready to make the big leap to purchase a house. I just have to wait to become permanent at my job. Once I am, watch out Kingston!
- Finally make a firm decision on whether or not I’m staying in Kingston. That’s right SweetPeas! I’m a walking contradiction. I want to buy a house (which would imply setting down roots) but I also think I may want to move to Toronto. Toronto has many more opportunities for me with Drag, New Media, my current career.. and boys So I have to finally make my decision if I want to move to the big smoke.
- Travel more. I don’t travel enough. I have promised many people all across the globe that I would visit them. Do you think I have done anything to make that happen? No. So I need to travel more and follow through on some or all of those promises.
- I want to become more engaged. If you think I am engaged enough, I would disagree. I feel I can do more. I could mentor or outreach and become more engaged. Engaged in what? Everything lol! But more focused on queer news, culture, and politics.
Well that’s it, SweetPeas! Please share your resolutions with me by commenting below, sending me an email tyffanie[at]tyffanie.com or by calling 1-888-741-6171
Happy New Year!!!Tags: Blog, New Year, Queer, Resolutions, SweetPea Press
December 11th, 2008Blog
On this episode of Gender Bender, Jessy and Tyffanie speak with DJ DSy aka Ricky Morgan who is Miss Tyffanie’s Drag Sister. Listen as they gab about Kingston, HIV/AIDS, and shoes.Tags: Blog, SweetPea Press
December 8th, 2008Blog
I want you to first think about how you measure success. With your job or your blog or your day to day life, how do you measure success? Then I want you to think about how others measure your success.
I’m so pissed off, SweetPeas! That’s right! PO’d!!! Of course, this all started from another Xtra article on ”How Facebook and Web 2.0 are changing the nature of gay activism” It’s not necessarily the content of the article that is upsetting me but more the growing gap that Xtra has with the rest of the Web 2.0 queer community. Xtra interviewed a couple who were bashed and fought back by building a Facebook group. To get another angle, Xtra then interviewed an author who wrote about activism and Web2.0.
I’m very happy that the couple fought back by building a Facebook group. The group ballooned to 13,000 people; definitely something to celebrate and be proud of. It’s a success! To reach out to 13,000 people with this issue.. just amazing. But why did Xtra pick this group out of the hundreds (if not thousands) of queer Facebook groups in Canada? Why did Xtra think this group was a success? No big surprise, Xtra chose the group solely because it had 13,000 members.
I would think by now people wouldn’t measure success of a queer Facebook group solely by the number of members. Why are people measuring success with a very basic quantitative approach? Why aren’t we looking at it qualitatively? Here is a definition of qualitative research from http://www.wikipedia.org
Qualitative marketing research is a set of research techniques, used in marketing and the social sciences, in which data is obtained from a relatively small group of respondents and not analyzed with statistical techniques. This differentiates it from quantitative research in which a large group of respondents provide data that are statistically analyzed.
Basically the definition means ”don’t use numbers to analyze people”. Instead we get feedback! For instance, we could look at how engaged people are in the facebook group by asking people what they have done since joining the group. Or perhaps we could ask how the Facebook group was able to connect people together or share their thoughts. But why do people look at it quantitatively and crunch it down to the simple numbers? I truly believe that we are missing out on a major indicator of success when we just look at the number of people who have joined a Facebook group. Go beyond the numbers.
I now have to talk about the author that Xtra interviewed. I’m not even going to mention her name. I’m not upset at what she said. What was quoted in the Xtra article was very accurate and true. However, I’m concerned with Xtra’s choice of interviewees. The interviewee is framed by Xtra as an expert on activism and Web 2.0 when, in fact, it appears this interviewee isn’t even an active member of the Web 2.0 community (besides the fact that she has a Facebook profile). Can we call this person an expert on Web 2.0 if they don’t engage in Web 2.0?
Am I being nit-picky? Perhaps I am. I will freely admit that. But I personally believe that anyone who wants to talk about Web 2.0 should have at least been engaged with Web 2.0 at one point. Do you have a blog? Do you have Twitter? Have you posted a video on YouTube? Have you done it lately? It’s very similar to the argument “Are you a golfer if you haven’t golfed in 20 years?” Sure you are a golfer, but you aren’t up to par
I think Xtra lacks a comprehension of Web 2.0 almost entirely even though their website is Web 2.0 enabled (blogs, comments, forums etc). Perhaps there is a gap between the content creators/writers and the designers and agregators? I’m just not sure. I am happy that they are engaging in Web 2.0 tools. They have their own YouTube profile that posts videos from Western Canada (Vancouver mostly). They even have a Twitter account. But what about the writers? Do they have a clue?
I would love to see Xtra try and reach out to the queer Web 2.0 presence on the web. Look at me! lol! Okay, so maybe I am a bit upset that they chose some unknown thesis author over someone such as myself. Someone who has maintained a podcast, blog, facebook presence, etc etc for years sitting in the trenches fighting the good fight for a queer presence focused on Queer Kingston. Besides myself, there are many other queer Web 2.0 people out there. Look at Adam Gordon Fox of GLBCRadio. He has been podcasting for some time. There is even a group in Vancouver called VanCubz who does a podcast called CubzCast (only posting podcasts to iTunes and not on their website). That’s just the queer podcasters/queercasters! Think of all the Canadian queer bloggers out there and all those YouTubers creating Queer Canadian Content! (QCC)
Nonetheless, I am happy that Xtra is exploring the topic. I just hope they explore it a bit more.Tags: Blog, facebook, measuring success, SweetPea Press, xtra.ca
December 2nd, 2008Blog
As some of you may know listening to my podcast (Breakfast with Tyffanie), I’m slowly becoming obsessed with the need to watch the new movie Milk with Sean Penn. Not because I have some fascination with Sean Penn. But I want to see this movie because it is based on a very important person, before my time, Mr. Harvey Milk.
I have just recently rediscovered the original 1984 documentary of Harvey Milk called The Times of Harvey Milk. It once again moved me. I remember watching it when I was a baby gay sneeking a glimpse of American public television in the wee hours of the morning. Why the wee hours? Well, that’s the only time they had the gay stuff on TV.
I have called the local movie theatres many many times. Originally, I was hoping that Cineplex Odeon would release Milk on the 26th of November where it was scheduled to be released in Toronto. Well, I found out that it was ONLY released in Toronto on the 26th as well as major cities in America.
The next release date (because they don’t release movies everywhere on the same day… I don’t know why) will be December 5th. I’ve been on the phone calling both of our local theatres the Empire Theatre and the Cineplex Odeon. Both have said that they do not have plans to play Milk on the 5th of December. Both theatres added that they do not know when they will air Milk. In fact, Cineplex Odeon mentioned that they may never get a copy of Milk.
Cineplex Odeon may NEVER get a copy of Milk to air in Kingston? I’m not sure how to react to this. My first thought was AHHHH! (due to my obsession and all). Then I began to wonder. Will Milk be released in smaller Canadian cities? There have been some incidences of movies never making it to small towns. Apprently the theatre companies worry the movie would not be profitable.
Fuck profits! GIVE ME MILK! Milk was a hugely influential person and a movie coming out about him at this time in gay history… do I need to spell it out? This is huge! GIVE ME MILK!Tags: Blog, gay history, Harvey Milk, Milk, small town, SweetPea Press, theatres
November 24th, 2008Blog
To monetize or not? That seems to be an ongoing question throughout the podcasting and blogging world. It has even crossed my mind many a times. Just recently, I thought of monetizing Breakfast with Tyffanie. The circumstances surrounding the situation seemed dire at the time but have since been resolved. (ie, I was worried I was going to loose my job. A little podcast making a little money during a time of potentially no income is a godsend.)
I can’t fault anyone who wants to monetize their podcast or blog. They obviously thought through the pros and cons and came to the decision to monetize. Who knows, maybe in the future, I might go down that route. But not right now
But I’d like to think I would monetize for reasons other than supplementing my income. Podcasting is a creative outlet and as Madge Weinstein put it one day on Yeast Radio (I’m not exactly quoting here), “Artists are taken advantage of because people know that Artists need to create.” Artists create and will always create. That is something that can be exploited and is commonly exploited regularly. It’s like telling a junky that they need to jump through hoops before they can get their next fix and laughing at them as they jump through those hoops. (crude analogy, I know!)
Anyway, what do you think SweetPeas? Leave your commentsTags: Blog, Breakfast with Tyffanie, monetize, SweetPea Press
November 18th, 2008Blog
The Agenda with Steve Paikin is coming to Kingston in the New Year! Yeah! I’m such a big fan of TVO / TV Ontario / Channel 2and I’m a bigger fan of Steve Paikin.
The Agenda is going around Ontario doing a guided discussion on different economies that make up Ontario. In previous episodes, they have travelled to Sault Ste Marie to discuss the Resource Economy (mining, forestry, etc) and a few other cities. When Steve comes to Kingston town they will be discussing the Agrarian Economy.
Now, I don’t know much about Agrarian’s let alone their Economy.. but.. Just kidding!!!
I’ve signed up to watch the live broadcast from Grant Hall on Queen’s Campus on Monday, January 19th. I’m debating if I should attend the AgendaCampthe day before on Sunday, January 19th.
I’m debating because I know I’m not an expert on the Agrarian Economy. However, I have posted to their AgendaCamp Wiki some topics and potential speakers that I want to see at Agenda Camp. Without reposting, let me link http://wiki.theagenda.tvo.org/Kingston%3a_Potential_Topics%3f If the link is dead, that means I’ve overstepped my bounds lol!
Are you a fan of The Agenda with Steve Paikin?Tags: AgendaCamp, Blog, SweetPea Press, The Agenda with Steve Paikin
November 15th, 2008Blog
I’m sitting here on a Saturday afternoon nursing a bit of a headache. The headache wasn’t caused by anything I did last night, unfortunately. I’m listening to the Perry Twin’s Myspace Page currently on their track “Activate My Body” wishing my body could get activated today. Well at least out from the chair. I’m also finishing up some editing of video from last night’s Talk I did.
I was asked by the Sexual and Gender Diversity Certificate Program of the Department of Women’s Studies of Queen’s University to do a little talk with students and anyone who wanted to come by. How could I have said no? Any opportunity to engage a room full of people and talk about how FABULOUS I am!
Well the talk was a success. I was told I was engaging and entertaining. Which is what I was hoping for! Now I wonder if the content was good too? I better ask around. Anyway…
So there will be 4 video clips right now. I’ve edited them to be put on YouTube (as they are large files and I don’t want to eat up anymore bandwidth on tyffanie.com). They will be up very shortly. Check them out. Hopefully, I haven’t demystified the Drag QueenTags: Blog, Queen's University, Sexual and Gender Diversity, SweetPea Press, Talk, Talk with Tyffanie