Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pt 2 of Unanswered Questions

This is in continuation to yesterday's blog post: linky-do.  I decided to do it in parts as otherwise it would be miles long.

So next up on the inspection block:  A4CWSN-Canada GiveForward Campaign

Yes, I highlighted where it stated 20 Children (Which would equal 20 iPads).

Soon, they had reach enough funds for 1 iPad, that A4CWSN said that they would double, and they suddenly had enough for 2 iPads! Yah!

So awesome, right?!

Then.. wait.. say what?

Shouldn't he say... they're now at *3* iPads, because uh, am I not mistaken or did he not say that he was matching the funds?

And, now, suddenly, the 20 iPad campaign for Canada is abruptly being ended, before it's even really begun?

So, not only do us Canadians get the shaft from A4CWSN by means of NOT having a campaign here (and hey, ya, I'm offended, I'm a Canadian EH!) , but A4CWSN doesn't feel he needs to keep his promises to us, either. 

As A4CWSN would say: 

Oh, ps, he never did announce the Canadian iPad winners before taking off from Facebook and Twitter, either.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Pt 1 of Unanswered Questions

Let me preface this by saying it will be long, and pretty picture heavy.  Get comfy.

Last night, the owner/founder of A4CWSN, posted a farewell speech.

He did leave a lot of unanswered questions though.

So, before we get to all of the unanswered questions, let me share with you his farewell speech, just in case you missed it.

Okay, so now that that's over with, onto the questions..

A4CWSN-Aus took part in a competition recently, called the SunSuper.  They won! (Yay for 10 iPads into the hands of kiddies!- being serious!)

To help promote this competition and encourage the members of A4 to vote, A4CWSN, offered a Cruise for a family of four. 

So, no cruise was given away on dec 31st, or Jan 1st... or 2..3... you get the idea..

Jan 4th, this was posted

No cruise give away on, 5...6...7...8...9..10...

On Jan 11th this was posted

Please note that it says the Cruise will be given away during the last week of Jan..And it will  be decided by a panel of judges, through an application process that you can fill out on his website..

Jan 12th, this was posted

Nothing on the 13, 14,15,16,17,18
On Jan 19th this was posted

On the 20th, this was posted

And wouldn't you know it! We're now Jan 28th, and no mention of the cruise since the 19th, where Gary says the application form isn't up on the website yet... If you go to his website... still no application form. 

Now, I'd like to give A4CWSN the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that the cruise will be given away, at some point... With this farewell, so long, goodbye post though and three days left of the month, no application form on the website, I'm just wondering how this cruise is going to be given away, aren't you?  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

How to file a complaint with the Attorney's General Office (RE: A4CWSN)

If you have personally made a donation to A4CWSN and would like to file a complaint with the Attorney General's office in the state of Connecticut, please follow these simple directions. 

You will first need to visit this website : Linky-Do

On this page, you'll want to click on the option that reads "Public Charities/Solicitors"

It will open a PDF form.  Please fill that form out, and then submit it either one of the following three ways. 

You can mail it to the following address:

To the Attention Of : Terence Zehnder
 Department of Consumer Protection
165 Capitol Ave
Room 110
Hartford, CT  06106

You can fax your form to the following number:

(To the Attention of : Terence Zehnder)

Alternatively, you can contact me for the Attorney General's email address and you can email your complaint.  (Email address is linked at the bottom of this post)

Please include in your statement any and all donations you made to A4CWSN, and proof of those donations. 

If you require any assistance filling out these forms, please do not hesitate to email me, and I will be happy to assist you.

Please note that if you email me for his email address or assistance it will be done in complete confidence. Your name and information will not be shared with anyone, at any point.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

In case you didn't notice..

Fourmonkeys4me is now a DOT COM!! No more

No worries, if you've got me saved in your favourites, you will be automatically be redirected to us here at our new home :)


At the current moment there does seem to be a small glitch in that all of our comments are missing! (Use an add on widget for comments).  I have contacted CS and hopefully it's just a minor glitch, and all of those 1000+ comments will be returned!

I am also planning on having some more App reviews - apps are a big part of our life, and I'd love to share feedback on some of them.  If you're interested in having me review your app, please contact me here , and I will get back to you asap.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We Cannot be Silenced.

Last night on twitter, threats were made. 

I love this woman, this is her public announcement tonight regarding the above tweet. 

“IMPORTANT NOTE: I became involved with a Facebook group back in September that supposedly raised money to buy iPads for children with special needs. Since my involvement with this group, there have been MANY questions surrounding more money being raised than iPads being distributed. I am one of 25 parents who have asked for full disclosure, but have been responded with intimidation and bullying by the page owner. A complaint was filed with the Connecticut Attorney general and they are taking it very seriously and it has been forwarded to the CT Consumer Protection division. I have not relented, as this mann continues to raise money and take advantage of parents with special needs children. I was threatened on Twitter last night and based on the severity I was forced to get the Calgary Police and Oxford, CT police involved. So, if you have gone to A4cwsn or A4cwsn-Canada based upon my recommendation, I wanted to alert you that it is a page that you should steer clear of ANY solicitations or promotions offered. I really thought that this was a legitimate organization, but have since found out that they are not a registered non-profit and have collected more than 50k in just a few short months. I plan to continue my fight to take this guy down. He has started a new group where developers pay him to promote their apps in return for positive ratings on iTunes. Again, I apologise for exposing my friends to a scam.”

Anne is the mother of two boys, one who has special needs.  She was an admin for the A4-Canada page, and participated in the App party that took place in October.  She held impromptu photo contests that got people interacting and promoting developers and their apps.
She is an avid advocate for children with special needs and their families. I am very fortunate to be able to call her my friend. 

Last night, I had veiled threats directed at myself as well.

(There are more, but it would take me ages to post them all. You get the idea, I'm sure)

Although, they were not so blatantly obvious as the one that Anne received, threats none the less they were and are.

After Anne shared with me that the Calgary PD told her to inform ANYONE who had been intimidated and bullied and harassed such as herself to report it to authorities, I got on the phone.  

I too, put in a complaint with the CT Police, and then with my local police station.  A very kind officer came to my house this morning and took my statement from me.  He was able to give me some great advice, and I was very appreciative of his reassuring words. 

No one EVER deserves to be threatened. Not ever.  I don't care what accusations that they make towards you, or what bitchy ass names they call you.  You do NOT threaten people.  Period. 

Threats will NOT silence me.  And as stated by Anne, they will not silence her either. 

Below is the contact information for the Oxford, Connecticut Police Department. If you have been a victim of A4CWSN/Gary James and his bullying, intimidating or threats, I urge you to contact them along with your local police department.

429 Oxford Road

If you are interested in contacting the Attorney General who is working the case, please contact me and I will privately send you this information. 

Please feel free to email me here for the contact information.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ten Giggly Gorillas - A Wasabi Productions App Review!

I want to preface this post with the fact that this is my first App review ever! So.. please bare with me as I fumble my way through this!  (Much appreciated)

I had a friend message me late last week, and let me know about a new app that was about to be released (and has since been released). It's called Ten Giggly Gorillas - by Wasabi Productions (facebook page linky-do)

I downloaded this app, and immediately opened it up because the name is catchy.  

The book has the option of you reading it, or having it read to you. I'm kinda lazy, so I clicked have it read to me. (Oh c'mon on, it's just like an audio book!) 

It begins and this amazing Australian accent comes on, and starts to read the book. 

Cute, catchy rhymes sing out to me. Basically, it's a countdown from 10 gorillas in the tree right down to one. 
On top of this, it's an interactive book. It gives you directions on how to find the proper gorilla to tickle to make it jump out of the tree, in the rhymes! The gorilla that jumps off the page is also highlighted. 
You can also touch the other gorillas and they have these cute sayings that they'll say to you, or they'll move about on the page. Super cute!

On top of just touching the appropriate gorilla, you can search for a toucan on each page. Now I've got to say, even I found it difficult to find that trickster toucan on some of the pages, but on others it's way more obvious. I strongly suggest that the developer considers adding the ability to change the difficulty for this part.

I was in this fit of giggles over the rhymes and these silly gorillas dancing and diving off the pages. 

Our youngest, Martyn (18mos) doesn't normally sit through book apps. Out of all the book apps we have (around 100) there are maybe two? that he'll actually sit and listen too. We can now add this book to the list!

Here's a little video clip of him and dad with this app. 

He absolutely loves listening to the gorillas say Not me! Nuh huh!  He's such a silly guy.

Our other boys had fits of giggles over reading this app, and I asked my eldest (7yrs old) what his thoughts were, here's what he had to say and I quote:
"The toucan can be a little hard to find, but when you can see part of it's beak, it's not too bad. The gorillas sure are funny!"
When I asked him to rate it 1-5, I explained, 1 being the worst book app we've ever had, or 5 being one of the best, what do you think, his response was:
 "5!!! It is a great book! The gorillas are so much fun!"
I think he nailed it on the head.  Super cute, fun and interactive book app. 

As an added bonus, this app also comes with a memory matching game at the end- we haven't actually used this yet, because my kids just keep replaying the book!

You can check it out on iTunes here - Linky-do. (In Canada this book is for sale @$3.99)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Heartfelt thank you

I wanted to send a heartfelt thank you to some very special people.
  • Teriann M
  • Lisa McC
  • Rivkah H
  • Lisa R
  • Good Karma Apps
  • Tracy S
  • Kaisa S
  • Jennifer E-K
  • Julie McC
  • Ashley W
  • Jody L-P
  • Carol R-A
  • Jennifer A-K

Last night/early this morning I created a ChipIn page for our youngest son, Martyn.

(He is four days old in this picture)

He has severe GERD that causes life threatening episodes (apnea spells).  I created the page for friends and family to help to purchase a Pulse Oximeter Machine for him.

Originally, I had set a goal of $400.  To purchase a new machine.  Fortunately, I was able to find a mama only a couple of hours away from us, who so kindly offered to sell us her machine.  A $1000 machine.  For $250.
Tonight, we met this goal.  Less than twenty four hours after I originally posted the link. A family friend will be picking this machine up for us this weekend.  THIS.FREAKING.WEEKEND!!!!

We are so grateful and appreciative.

Since he was a little infant, he has struggled with respiratory and GERD issues.   He has had multiple hospital stays, tons of tests.  He's such a trooper.  Always has a smile on his face (well, unless you tell him no, lol).
(He really wanted the cannula's off!)

His team has refused to prescribe us one of these machines for home use.  They do not believe it would make an impact on his outcome.

I'm sure most of you mothers with children can understand our worry.  Sitting at home in the middle of the night, unsure on if you should pack up and rush to the hospital, or wait it out.

We have had a difficult time with Martyn because of his history.  He has always since he was born, appeared to be in respiratory distress.  He has trach tugs, and he indraws.   It makes it rather difficult to know just how bad off he is.

I remember when he was about 3mos old, and he had his first apnea spell.  It was just after midnight.  I'd nursed him and put him in his bassinet beside the bed. He had had some minor cold symptoms all day.
About ten minutes later he made this gawd awful noise, and I jumped out of bed to get him.  His lips were blue, and he was just making these awful noises. He couldn't catch his breath, and he was obviously terrified. I called 911.  By the time the ambulance arrived to the house, he appeared fine.  In fact, they didn't even feel like they needed to transport him to hospital.  I disagreed and told them I felt like we needed to go.
We arrived at the hospital, and no one seemed overly concerned.  The on call physician did decide for Martyn to get a chest x-ray.  He had pneumonia. Two days later, he was admitted for a week.  That would be his first of many hospital admissions.

Martyn is now 18 months old.  While he's doing better than he was when he was younger, he still faces a lot of struggles, and still suffers apnea spells on a nightly basis.

We will now have the peace of mind that we will know if he is truly in distress.

Thank you.  All of you.  
For giving us peace of mind.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fair well, River of Denial

I'm stomping my feet tonight.  I didn't want to leave that comfy river of denial.  I didn't.  I know I needed too. I did it.  It still sucks.

This morning, I took Matthew (7yr old) to a follow up appointment with his psychologist.  At the end, I asked some questions about the referral process here (we're in a fairly new city to us). For Noah (3yr old).  For an ASD evaluation.  *sigh*

It's hard to know if he's mimicking behaviours he's grown up watching his brother do, or if he really does fall on the spectrum.

Some days, he appears so neurotypical.  Other days... well, not so much.

The covering his ears at normal sounds, the demands to cut all tags out of his clothes, screaming that they hurt. The speech regression he had around 18mos.  The demands to have things the same way... It feels like an all to familiar path.  One even though we've walked, and are still walking with Matthew, still seems so foreign.  So uncomfortable. Down right scary even.

On the plus side (I guess if I need to find the silver lining this is it), Matthews doctor asked that we bring Noah with us to Matthews next follow up appointment in six weeks.  We're truly by passing a huge wait list, and for that I'm grateful.  I have no clue what he'll do with Noah at the next appointment.  I'm sure afterwards I'll be cussing and screaming some more.

I'm still confused why the only question he asked was "Is he clumsy?"

It sucks going down this path in an unfamiliar city too. At least in our old city, I knew the process, the contacts. I knew the doctors, I knew what to expect.  Here I don't. I feel like a fish flapping on dry land.  Not sure where to go, or who to call.

This fucking sucks donkey balls.

(Yes, I just really said that.)

A4CWSN, Non profit or Not?

So, even though *I* know A4CWSN is not a nonprofit, I've heard from people who thought it WAS.  I'd like to help clear the air here.  "Very Special People Inc" is supposed to be the non profit sister to A4, also known as VSP, Inc

A4CWSN's Gary James has led a lot of people to believe his site is a non profit.  I mean, I have come across many links where A4CWSN claim non profit/charity status.
I have also found more articles than I can count where it states that A4 is a non profit.  Why weren't there any corrections done to any of these articles?

Gary James has lead a lot of people to believe a lot of things... seems to be a  repetitive pattern here.

Then following pictures show where clearly it states that A4CWSN is a Non Profit, or becoming a non profit.
Again, some of us knew that it was more likely he was referring to VSP, Inc, but with constant new comers to the facebook page, how were they to know? Or non active members.  It's easy to be confused.

The above photo came from a video Gary James posted

The following screen shots will highlight articles where it shows that a4cwsn is a "non profit". I will NOT be sharing linky-dos to any of these articles which are found in a google search, I want to try and protect developers and businesses who were mislead.  I will be sharing lots pretty pictures though :) 

In this picture A4CWSN is described as a Charity.

Just because Gary James has created another company (VSP, Inc) does NOT mean it replaces A4CWSN.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

What hurts the most

As the days pass by, and more ex-members of a4 share their stories with me, I'm left with my heart heavy and hurting.

Late last night, another mama and blogger posted her thoughts and feelings.  (linky-do)
I am not near as eloquent as she, but she puts to words what a lot of us are feeling.  Questions we'd like answered.

Previous to that, two other mama posted their thoughts and feelings on their blogs as well (linky-do 1, linky-do 2 - she has several posts, so make sure to check them all out.)

These are woman who worked so hard to help build a4 as a community. Helped those who have now deleted and blocked us from their friends list become recognized, so that they too could get an iPad (Part of the rules are to actively participate).

I wish I had the words to explain to all of you how much this has hurt. Deep down to our cores.  To learn that some of who we considered to be our friends, that you're calling us names behind our backs, some at least have the decency to do it to our faces.

There is this huge divide and I wish I could find the words to express to you still on the other side why it is we are fighting so hard.  We use humour as protection, but still, then our humour is turned on us.  (PS, we spell humour in Canada this way, it's not a friggin typo! - See comic relief!).

I understand peoples desire to protect a4, and Gary James. I understand your innocent until proven guilty.

What I don't understand is how you can turn your backs on your friends, on people you called family? People you had daily conversations with? Even if you do not agree with their belief.. whatever happened to agree to disagree?

How you allow someone to dictate to you who you can and cannot be friends with? (He has said, anyone who is friends with any of us will not be getting any help from him!)

How you can stand by and watch this same person vilify these same people? These people who helped him build his community to what it is?

How you sit by quietly while those he promised apps to (50/50/50 tour) are now being denied those apps because he's angry at them. For asking questions for pete sakes!

How you can sit back and condone his behaviour on this blog, on twitter and on facebook.

It truly baffles my mind.  Even if I didn't know all that I know, if I saw a friend being hurt this way, you're darn right I would be there standing up for my friend! Going hey! WTF!  You don't treat people that way!

Some of you claim that we're drama seekers, or attention seekers, or something equally as foolish.  Have you stopped to think that man, this can't be easy for them either? Maybe they're telling us this stuff over and over and over again because they really do care?

I have been asked why do I keep blogging about this, why don't I just leave well enough alone? The answer is because I care.  Even though I am hurt, and I could easily walk away, I care.  Even about those who have deleted and blocked me.
Even if you don't agree, I feel as though you are being taken advantage of.  I do not wish anybody to be taken advantage of. Even those who I don't know.

So I'll keep googling.  I'll keep blogging.  Until we all get answers to these questions. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who IS Gary James?

If you've been member of a4cwsn for any length of time, you'll have seen and noticed that Mr James likes to share that he worked for the Rolling Stone.  After some googling, you guessed it, this fact about Mr James appears as well to have been a stretch of the truth.  I also recently did another blog post about some of the deception that has come to light regarding a4cwsn and Mr James (linky-do)

(Don't worry, I have tons of pretty pictures and linky-dos for you!)

So, Let me show you what has been discovered about this claim.

In this picture, he shares with #storyappchat that he was in Marketing for Rolling Stone AND Google 

In this screenshot, he says that he worked for Rolling Stone again, on Facebook

Next will be a bunch of screen shots from different articles related to a4cwsn and Gary James, I will include linky-dos after pictures.

So, we see all of these wonderful articles and how he time and time again mentions that he worked for Rolling Stone, correct?
Well, let me show what he actually did now.  Linky-do

For the non link clickers and just because I love me some pretty pictures. 

I underlined the keyword in that paragraph there.  Butler.  Yes, folks.  That's right. He was a Butler.  Also known as an Estate Manager.  

As we know, Mr James is also always mentioning his Olympic career.   
" Gary James wasn’t always a butler. A track-and field star in his native England, he loved nothing
more  than  running,  jumping  and  competing.
Back  then, his  life  wasn’t  about  serving;  it  was  about
striving, sweating and sprinting." - Direct quote from above posted Linky-do

He may have certainly worked for Wenner Media, managing that building, other quotes from him imply that he was working AT Rolling Stone Magazine.  His work for LA Reid/Roger Waters was as an estate manager/butler, still a really sweet gig in my opinion. No shame in that. However he has misrepresented himself as having worked in PR/Marketing for Rolling Stone Magazine. 

I also have this email.

  • The Gary James who submits interviews to (removed for privacy).com is NOT the same Gary James that appears in the video that you sent us a link to. Our Gary lives in Syracuse and is a retailer when he is not interviewing people.

    I will forward your e-mail on to our Gary and let him provide you with any further information that you may need.


    (Name removed for privacy)

    Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2012

    To Whom it May Concern,

    Please read this, I would really appreciate it!

    I found your website while trying to get to the bottom of a controversy in the Special Needs Community.

    There is a gentleman fundraising in the SN community who's name is "Gary James" and claims to have worked for Rolling Stone Magazine. 

    I have posted a link to show you where he states that and a picture of the gentleman in question. All I need to prove that this gentleman is NOT the Gary James that worked for Rolling Stone is some sort of Photo to prove they are NOT the same person. Can you please help? Also, if this is NOT the same person, can you PLEASE give my contact info to the "real" Gary James?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I am only trying to get to the bottom of this and expose the truth so I can help clear up this situation. If you can shed any light on this, it would be very much appreciated.

    Link with info about the "Gary James" in question. You will see he clearly states he worked for Rolling Stone Magazine.

It seems that he figured some people would google Gary James and Rolling Stone Magazine and come across this gentleman, linky-do - He did indeed write for Rolling Stone Magazine. 

If you simply google Gary James and Rolling Stone Magazine, you can clearly see how people would assume he worked for Rolling Stone Magazine.  Linky-do

We are given half truths and he doesn't bother to correct them. 

I do not doubt that he's rubbed elbows with some influential folks.  I do believe it's a stretch to say you worked for Rolling Stone Magazine as a butler though. 

It's kind of like saying you worked for Oprah, when in fact you only cleaned the Harpo Building. 

This man has obviously represented himself as someone who he aspires to be, someone he has never been.