Monday, October 23, 2017

Farewell Photobucket

This past Summer, I got a bug in me to start writing on my old, sparsely used, blog, again. I had a couple of posts I wanted to write. But, when I got to my blog, I found that my title image had been replaced, as shown above. Also, the green pipe logo which I used to have to the left of every blog post title, had been replaced by a translucent rectangle which covered the title, as shown below.

Of course, since each day of my life consists of an infinite amount of time, it was no problem to figure out how to fix this, and then proceed to writing the intended blog posts...  oh, wait, that's not how it worked.

So, I decided I would figure out how to fix my blog, and then I would go about writing up those blog posts which I had in mind. My title image, and the green pipe image, had been hosted by Photobucket for over a decade. Apparently, what happened was, Photobucket had decided to only allow image hosting to people who were willing to pay 400 dollars per year for a premium account. I went to access my CSS code, in Blogger, so that I could remove the broken links, which were taking up space on my blog, but couldn't find the code with the embedded images, anywhere. Over the years, since I originally designed my blog, Blogger has made some changes to its design interface. There is now more of a non-coder friendly design tool. But, it seems, I no longer have access to edit the full code, in which I had embedded those Photobucket images.

One person recommended deleting my Photobucket account. I was more than happy to delete an account that had become progressively less user friendly, and was now taking up my time to figure out how to fix my blog. But then, I realized that there was nostalgia in my "Bucket". In fact, my Photobucket account parallels the history of J-Dubb's Theatre. I began my account in late 2005, so that I could post images on a forum in which I had begun to spend a lot of time. There are inside jokes galore, from years past in my "Bucket". It was on this forum, that I revived my old Air Force nickname, "J-Dubb", and began using it as a handle around the Internet. Maybe a month or so, after becoming involved in this forum, I started my blog, which I named "J-Dubb's Blog", and shortly after changed to "J-Dubb's Theatre".

In 2006, I used my Photobucket account to host the original J-Dubb's Theatre banner image at the top of my blog. I then used it to host the little pipe icon, which replaced the arrow icon that originally precluded the title of each blog post. Sometimes images, for whatever reason, wouldn't load into a blog post through Blogger, so I'd host them on Photobucket. Eventually, I changed to my current title banner image, hosting that on Photobucket, as well.

In 2008, I began taking pictures of a certain tree once a month. I uploaded these pictures to Photobucket, and used a slideshow tool to show the month by month progression of this scene.

Also, in 2008, I used Photobucket to post images on another forum, whose sole purpose was to be "anti" the previous forum. In 2010, I began using Photobucket to upload pictures taken by my friends and myself, of a little plastic alien. In the smartphone era, I downloaded the Photobucket app. In the beginning, Photobucket was the easiest way to transfer an image from my computer on to my phone.

By this Summer, however, I no longer really had a use for Photobucket. I haven't used forums for a long time. Photobucket had removed the slideshow feature, which I used to make slideshows of the monthly tree picture, and I had been using Sony Vegas for this for the past several years. Pictures had been gradually disappearing from my albums. It got to a point where the website was so laggy from all the advertising, it was virtually unusable. And I no longer needed it to transfer images to my phone, as I could now download them from email.

So, I decided to transfer my "Bucket" to Google Photos, and delete my Photobucket account. This turned out to be a tedious process. I had to download my pictures one at a time, as Photobucket's bulk downloader doesn't work. Upon uploading my images to Google Photos, I decided to change the date of each one to the date in which I had uploaded it to Photobucket, and saved them in an album titled, "My Bucket". I then went to "my account" to delete my Photobucket account and see if it would fix my blog...   buuuuut, of course it wasn't that simple. Instead of immediately deleting my account, there was a three day wait with an "undo" option, which I would have to wait through to see if my blog had been fixed. All I wanted was to simply write up a blog post while taking a quick break from the things I needed to do, and had found a several days project thrust upon me.

After the fourth day of my three day wait, my account finally made its way into oblivion. But, of course, this didn't fix my blog. My Photobucket account had been deleted, but the broken image links were still in the code, and still showed up as image placeholders on my blog. I was able to replace my title image using Blogger's current layout design function, but could not access the code to remove the broken images. Of course, the next step would have been to contact Blogger, but... who got time for this? I had already wasted too much time, and had other things to do. So I left it aside. I'm just now getting around to writing about this, even though my blog isn't completely fixed yet.

Years worth of blogs, forums, and websites are now littered with broken Photobucket images. Photobucket has been accused of extortion, and even blackmail. Now, there's a point where Photobucket is probably between a rock and a hard place: on the one hand, as they become less relevant, they need to find new ways to increase their revenue. On the other hand, being less relevant, people are more likely to dump them, than pay for their services...  let alone, 400 dollars a year!!

And so, it's time, after all these years, to say "audios" to Photobucket.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2006 to 2016

 2016 is now coming to an end. But, instead of reflecting on the past year, I'm going to reflect on where I was 10 years ago. 2006 was a formative year for J-Dubb'sTheatre. I would often browse through blogs. Many times, I would come across blogs which had been started, had a good run for about a week, or maybe a few months, only to be abandoned by the author, and hang in limbo forever, as the author went about their lives forgetting that they had once started a blog. Then, I would find blogs which had been active for years. 2006 is the year that made the difference between J-Dubbs Theatre dying and hanging in limbo, or living on to grow into a video series which would gain an audience and make new friends and acquaintances for myself.

In October of 2005, I began this blog. All I knew was that I wanted a website, either to talk about self improvement, spirituality, or just humor and entertainment. I ended up starting a blog on blogger. When I began, I wrote snarky humor in the tone of a DJ named Tim Savage.  I also included weekly pictures of arbitrary famous people and animals as the "Superstar of the Week" and "Animal of the Week" just as a random humor bit.

I had fun blogging almost daily in the first month. But then, the blog dwindled. Into the next year, I stopped doing Superstar of the Week, and for the most part, the only reason the blog was used, was for updates on a web comic I was publishing. By April, I had stopped posting all together. That was the point where the blog almost died and became a limbo blog. But, I didn't want it to become a limbo blog.

In July, I did something which would shape the face of J-Dubb's Theatre from then on out. "J-Dubb's Theatre" was sort of an ironic name. It was a parody of sophistication when, in the beginning, it was more about collegian level humor. I took the joke the next step. I made a "sophisticated" image of myself, with a pipe and a leather-bound book. I Photoshopped the picture of myself into a leather chair, which I then Photoshopped into a room with a fireplace. I then edited the "Masterpiece Theatre" logo, to say "J-Dubb's Theatre". I turned this into a banner for the header of the blog. I uploaded a post discussing the new banner. It's because of this banner that I eventually made a pipe logo for the blog. It's because of the pipe logo that my videos begin and end with a pipe. At this moment, J-Dubb's Theatre began to take a recognizable shape.

 After this, J-Dubb's Theatre gained a second wind. I began posting regularly again. At this point, it had a slightly different feel than it did in the beginning. I was no longer trying to emulate Tim Savage. Nor, did I see my content as anti-sophistication humor. I had fun writing posts, some of which were written in a list of images format, which Buzzfeed totally copied from me. I also brought back Superstar of the Week, and created "J-Dubb's Moral of the Week". It was this year in which I developed the tone of this blog.

It was also this year in which I became acquainted with YouTube. I was introduced to The WineKone, Barats and Beretta, and Smosh. Eventually, I began toying with the idea of expanding J-Dubb's Theatre into a video series.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dawson Creek Park

Since last year, I've been reflecting a lot on "what was I doing ten years ago." While looking at old blog posts from 2006, on this old blog which I use about once a year, anymore, something occurred to me. As of this past August, it's been ten years since I first visited Dawson Creek Park. Over the years, it's a place where I have gone frequently to walk, or reflect, and a majority of my photography has come from there. I have a lot of history with that park.

When I first moved into the area, I would drive by this park on the way to work. I had heard it was a wetlands area, and had walking trails. The little bit I could see from the road looked nice. I had always meant to stop there sometime, and look around. The apartment I lived in previously, had a nice lake area behind it, with a walking path. This lake, like Dawson Creek, also served as a habitat to migrating Canada Geese. (I just found out a few months ago that the lake has been totally destroyed. But that's another story.) I thought Dawson Creek could make a nice replacement for that lake. It took a couple years for me to finally do it, though.

 There was a vacant building next to the park. My dad used to muse that he would like to live in it. After a while, however, his dreams were shattered, when it became the Hillsboro Public Library.

In 2006, I was taking Summer classes, and experiencing a lot of anxiety. A couple of times, I had begun to drive to my Statistics class, when the anxiety would build up. So I ended up detouring, and taking a drive, rather than going to class. One day, amidst one of these drives, I decided to finally visit Dawson Creek. Seeing it for the first time, I thought it was the most beautiful thing. There were lakes surrounded by reeds, and teeming with water foul. There were walkways lined with trees, and wooden footbridges, and tunnels. There was a marshy area, covered with lily pads, and a fountain area behind the building that would become the library. Dawson Creek became a regular place for me to go to unwind, or clear my head.

Shortly after, I brought this little "spy cam" to the park, which I had ordered from a Jonson and Smith novelty magazine for five dollars. It was my first digital camera, a tiny thing, with a little viewfinder, which also functioned as my first webcam. I took my first pictures of this park. Anyone who follows me on Facebook today, knows that this is my most common place to take pictures now.

 In 2007, I began uploading videos to my YouTube channel. This park became a common place for me to film outdoor scenes.

In 2008, I took pictures at Dawson Creek with a camera phone for the first time. My friend, Jon, had been given an iPhone, whose phone function was broken, but it still had internet access, and he was still able to text images. He enjoyed taking pictures with it and sending them to his friends. Around that time, I upgraded from a flip phone with a pullout antenna, to a new slider phone. This was my first phone with a camera, and so I joined Jon, and began taking pictures and texting them. One day, as I was taking a walk around the park, I decided to text pictures of my walk. This began a tradition of taking pictures on my phone while at the park.

One of these pictures became a scene, which I have taken a picture of once a month for the past eight years. At the end of each year, I make a slideshow.

After finishing school, I freelanced as a web designer for a couple years while looking for a full time job. Dawson Creek became a place to go, just to have a place to go, and get out of the house during the day. Sometimes I would  go in the mornings, when the park was inhabited by cheerful retired people who would greet passersby, and stay at home moms pushing strollers. Or, I would go later, when people were starting to get off work, and would look at you funny if you tried to greet them like the morning crowd. I typically avoided lunch time, because the place where I liked to park was often full during that time. When it rained, the park was braved by just a few slicker-wearing people.

There have been changes over the span of the decade. Trees have been taken down, or knocked down by storms. Small trees have grown larger. And new trees have been planted. The fauna has changed, for instance, there was a pair of African geese in 2008, that had appeared there, lived there for a while, and then disappeared. And now, there's a muscovy who appears every now and then.

In 2008, one day, I noticed that all the foot bridges were fenced up. After months, towards the end of the year, work crews finally came out to tear down the old bridges and build up new ones. When the new bridges seemed to be finished, there was a snow storm. This seemed to delay whatever the final finishing of the bridges actually was, before opening them up. I couldn't find any information on what was going on with the bridges. I took some pictures to blog about it, but before I could write the post, the fences were suddenly down.

The old bridges had metal railings, but the new one's have wood railings.

Now, the "new" bridges are aged and graying.

In 2012, I posted pictures from Dawson Creek to Instagram for the first time.

In the beginning of 2014, I began taking Spenser there for walks.

One day in 2014, I was walking across a footbridge, which had a tunnel of trees surrounding it. A large branch cracked and fell in front of my face.

Shortly after, the tree which provided the majority of the tunnel effect was taken down. Now, it's more of a tree arch.

It was kind of disappointing to lose the tree-covered bridge effect.

 Now Days, I enjoy going there with Chau-Anh. Over the years, I've rarely ever gone there with someone else; only a few times. It was sort of, my personal time. It was a time to reflect on things. Now, I enjoy bringing her into something which has been a personal part of my life throughout the last ten years.

To visit my Instagram page, go to

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

You've Been Doing Things The Wrong Way, And It May Result In Eye Irritation Or Something

According to the scientists, the way people do things is the wrong way to do things, and could hypothetically be disastrous. So, I have written this article to help you to stop doing things wrong, so that you don't end up accidentally killing an octopus, or other potential disasters.

1. Back Scratchers

When using a back scratcher, make sure you scratch in an up and down, side to side, diagonal, or circular motion. Simply tapping the itch with the back scratcher won't help the itch. 

2. Eating Things

When eating things, make sure you first: take a bite, then chew, then swallow, in that order. Attempting to eat in any other order won't really do anything.

3. Listening to the Radio

If you've been jumping up and down on your radio, as you would a trampoline, you've actually been misusing it. This may actually damage your radio. The proper function of a radio is to emit audio signals. The proper way to listen to a radio, is to turn it on and allow it to play the audio, while your ears receive the audio signals.

4. Fencing

Everybody fences, yet almost nobody does it properly. Make sure, when fencing, that you don't change a lightbulb, mow the lawn, groom your cuticles, or go for a boat ride, or your opponent will win the match.

5. Sleeping

Often times, when sleeping, people will place their shoes on the floor. You will actually take in fewer calories if you hang them on the wall, instead.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Happy Anniversary Part 6: Comedy that Makes You Think

In the beginning of 2014, the big question on my mind was: "What am I doing"? The streak, which I had been on at the end of 2013, had taken aside to training a new puppy. Wanting to be back on that streak, I tried to upload videos as much as I could. I uploaded a video, featuring a character named, Professor Glenn Robbins, whom I felt was inspired by Carrie Brownstein of "Portlandia", which I had been watching on Netflix at the time.

But, after that, things were a bit downhill. I just didn't know what to do. I wanted to go full time with J-Dubb's Theatre. I wanted to eventually create an enterprise of some sort, like Phillip DeFranco had done. But I didn't know how to market J-Dubb's Theatre. I was getting next to no new subscribers, my audience wasn't growing at all, and it was very frustrating. I still had fewer subscribers than I had before the subscriber purge of 2012. I knew how to market things, and I was pretty good at coming up with marketing ideas for other people's product, but I just couldn't figure out how to market J-Dubb's Theatre. I thought about different niches that I could try. I wondered if I should do something other than comedy or if I should start a new channel and retire J-Dubb's Theatre. I wondered if I should continue YouTube at all, or focus on something else. I wanted to progress somehow at something.

Meanwhile, there was just so much I wanted to do. I had all this passion bottled up and about to explode. I wanted to do...  EVERYTHING!! I wanted to try every restaurant, travel everywhere, visit every house I drove by, meet the people who lived there and see what it was like inside, I wanted to landscape, I wanted to study everything and learn everything, and the list goes on.

In the Summer, I made a video in which I requested help for growing my audience, and voicied my frustration. It was the first time I had ever done such a thing, but I decided it was time to put it out there. Many people were surprised to learn that my audience wasn't growing. I decided to really have fun with this video, and I did. It was the first time, since the beginning of the year, that I really felt like I had put out a fun video. At the end, I stated a specific subscriber goal that I wanted to meet.

Later, as I was editing this video, I noticed Spenser chewing on something. He had been chewing for a while, and I hadn't really thought about it. But, at that moment, I looked over, and realized that he had gotten a hold of the J-Dubb's Theatre pipe. The iconic pipe, which had represented J-Dubb's Theatre for so many years, was now ragged with unfinished wood showing through the chew marks. I wasn't sure what to do: just leave it as is, go to a pipe-shop and look for a similar one, or maybe discontinue using it, as J-Dubb's Theatre was a changing thing, anyway. In the end, I decided to make a video about repairing it, in which I travel to Japan to recover the necessary items, and then sand and stain it. Now, the pipe is a little shinier, and the patterns on it are a little different. Some of the chew marks were worked into the preexisting pattern.

VidCon was coming up. I had decided on two things. Number one: the previous year, I had regretted not being social enough, and felt I had missed out on some things, such as meals with other YouTubers. Number two: I was gonna promote the hell out of J-Dubb's Theatre.  I filmed a video about how to bring back the dinosaurs. Much like "The Network Series", years previously, this was another failed promotional attempt. I had planned to set this as the featured video on my channel, and then print up fliers about, "how you may see dinosaurs in your lifetime" which I would leave around VidCon, directing people to my channel.

I didn't get any of these fliers printed out on time. Goal number two was a bust, but number one was not. As soon as I got there, I ran into LaneVids, and met some new people including BusVlogger and TheWackyChels. We met up with a group of people, and had lunch together. I had barely gotten there, hadn't even checked into my hotel yet, and I was already having the social experience that I wanted. I then proceeded to make the best VidCon video ever made, in which I am on a wildlife safari, documenting YouTubers. I also spent time exploring Annaheim and the Downtown Disney area, and taking Instagram pics.

Towards the end of the year, something began to...  click. It began when I posted a video lamenting about the end of Summer, in which I declare war on the Fall. I had done a similar video the previous year, while I was on my streak. Revisiting this seemed to put me back into that same mindset. I was back on that streak, cranking out videos, and having a lot of fun with it. I was once again making videos that I felt good about. I began to hone in on a sort of formula, which allowed me to make simple videos, but still put in the effort and creativity which I enjoyed.

This streak continued into the next year, and that's when things started to come together. One thing I considered was: did it really matter if I did J-Dubb's Theatre full time? I wanted to continue making videos for the same reason  in which I had began in the first place. I enjoyed being a part of the YouTube community. I didn't have to be a full time vlogger to do this. I already was this, and had been for quite some time. It would still be nice, but it doesn't have to be my only option.

At that time, I began to find my niche. One thing I've often seen in the comments of my videos, is: "that made me think." I'm in my head a lot. Sometime's in the past, I had found it difficult to concentrate on a comedy idea, because I was working something in my mind that I just couldn't veer away from.

I didn't have any desire to "be a comedian" or to "do comedy." There were other things I wanted to focus on. I wanted to inspire. I wanted to provoke thought. I liked studying psychology, philosophy, science, and history. I wanted to explore things such as conceptualization, and human consciousness. But I enjoyed using comedy. It's not me, if I don't involve comedy, and a bit of snark. I realized that this is my niche.

Almost as soon as I had this realization, I started gaining subscribers again. Finally, after three years, I made my way back up to my subscriber count from the beginning of 2012, and it's continued rising. As I write this, I'm only 15 away from the goal I stated in 2014. Soon, I will need a loftier goal.

I finally printed out business cards for VidCon. I decided to include the tagline, "comedy that makes you think". As I began to formulate this idea, I began describing J-Dubb's Theatre as "educational", but I decided to veer away from that. There are some channels which focus purely on teaching facts. My videos include educational facts, but they are more about interpretation. My channel is more about exploring ideas.

Looking at my videos from the end of 2014, through 2015, there have been times when I've been on a streak, and times when I had to, well... take some time. But, every video I've posted during this time period makes me think , "that was a fun one." I did not jump the shark. I grew to the next level. I just needed to take the time to figure out what that meant.

In 2005, I was a student studying Psychology, because I wanted to explore the things which create what we experience. I started a blog. I dropped my psych major. My blog became a YouTube channel. In 2015, I make YouTube videos about exploring the things which create what we experience.

See you next time. J-Dubb out.