Tuesday, August 26, 2008

How Quit A Day Job

A professional blogger's story of how she quit her day job to pursue her passions.

I'm not even thinking of quitting my day job now or within the next 2 years, actually. But I'm fascinated by this type of story.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tips for reducing tension in seconds

Learn the Art of Self-Massage

A couple of good roundup articles on green countertops

One decision I've been putting off on the upcoming kitchen remodeling project is which countertop to use. Anyone who has been following this blog (yes, all 2-4 of you) knows I've been looking for something environmentally friendly.

The Kitchen Designer - Green Kitchen Countertops

New York House Magazine - The best in green kitchen countertops

I was initially leaning towards recycled glass such as IceStone... until I found out recycled glass countertops cost just as much as granite (which, though popular, is not considered environmentally friendly due to quarrying practices). I'm probably going to get PaperStone Certified, which is made from 100% post-consumer standard office paper.

One Block Off The Grid program

One Block Off The Grid is a group "on a mission to make solar accessible at a fraction of the cost, one city at a time".

Solar power is notoriously expensive, typically costing about $20,000 US per home. Should I wait for Ikea to start selling affordable solar panels, or sign up with One Block Off The Grid?

I'd love to get my house off the grid, or at least generate so much electricity via solar power that the electric company would have to pay me.

13 Magnificent Renewable Energy Successes and Failures

13 Magnificent Renewable Energy Successes and Failures

Making a To-Do List in Gmail

I'm very new to Gmail. Ok, I actually had my account for nearly 2 years but only started using it more regularly a couple of weeks ago. This article and previous ones in what appears to be a series on Gmail Labs look useful to me.

Lifehacker's Gmail To-Do List

Monday, August 11, 2008

Korg DS-10

I originally bought my Nintendo DS Lite to play Electroplankton. Sadly, my Electroplankton era came to an ignoble end, thanks to losing my DS Lite case which had the Electroplankton cartridge and 5 or so other cartridges (the other two "games" I'm unhappy about losing are My French Coach and Brain Age 2). Electroplankton was more of a multimedia art piece than music software, though one could improvise a musical performance with it.

Korg DS-10
is a new cartridge for the DS that will probably bring an end to my cryinga moping over my losses. It is a true synthesizer-on-a-card which I understand was inspired by Korg's MS-10 analog synth. I anticipate having lots of fun composing beats and other song parts on my commuting rides. An interview with the DS-10 developer sheds more light on this much-anticipated product.

25 Tips to Make Your Apartment an Eco Friendly, Sustainable, Green Paradise

I still like my Green Remodeling For Dummies book, but this article contains several tips not in the book...

25 Tips to Make Your Apartment an Eco Friendly, Sustainable, Green Paradise!

Pen Zen: Bring Clarity to Writing

I could obviously use the advice in this article...

Pen Zen: Bring Clarity to Writing

Travel Photography Tips

I love to snap photos as much as the next traveler. I realize I haven't shown this much in this blog, partially because I've been so behind in uploading pics to various sites. I used Shutterfly for several years, and lately have started using Flickr, which has more up-to-date features, but restricts uploads to 100MB a month.

Anyhoo... this article appears to have some useful tips for travel photography. Hopefully I'll have the photos from my trips to the Philippines, Hong Kong, and Chicago online by the end of the year.

The A-B-C-D-E of Travel Photography

Friday, August 08, 2008

15 (More) Future Wonders of Green Technology: From Spinning Towers to Seawater Greenhouses

As a casual fan of both architecture and science fiction, I enjoy looking at pics of futuristic buildings, even more so if they're "green". Maybe you will too...

15 (More) Future Wonders of Green Technology: From Spinning Towers to Seawater Greenhouses

Russian cartoon based on Bradbury

Check out this 9-minute animation based on "There will come soft rains" by the great science fiction author Ray Bradbury:

Monday, July 28, 2008

Alan Watts on Life & Music (with Animation)

Cute, funny, and thought-provoking animated short, with audio from an Alan Watts lecture how we tend to treat music in our lives (or perhaps more accurately, how we tend to put it off). Produced by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame.

Life & Music

31 Simple Ways to Prevent Cancer

31 Simple Ways to Prevent Cancer

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Eco-Friendly Mega-City of the Future

This is a very nicely done presentation of the environmentally-friendly city of the future. With fast-rising oil prices, there seems to be more interest than ever in alternative energy sources. You'll need a tiny bit of extra patience as you have to click "Continue" three times or so, but it's worth it:

Popular Science's Plan for Tomorrow's Mega-City

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Frugal Beginners Guide To Green

I recently bought a house and I've been researching environmentally-friendly ideas for renovating my home. My primary source of information has been this book:

Here's a nice introductory article for "green" living and the financial benefits:

Go Green And Save Green: Beginner's Guide

In this guide, you’ll find out how to spend less than $1,200 to save over $8,000 over the course of 5 years. Here are suggestions of free or low cost things you can do to help you go green and save green.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

An 11-year-old guitarist

...who plays better than most adults:

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Dick Moore's Interval Practice Routine

This is the practice routine we learned from F. Richard Moore, a professor at University of California, San Diego:

1. Pick a starting note.  For the purpose of this article, the starting note is C.  You may use an instrument to provide the starting note only.  Do not use an instrument for the rest of the exercise

2. Sing a minor 2nd up, then back down, using the note names then the number of half steps in the interval, for example:

C Db C
Minor second one

3. Repeat #2 above for the following intervals: major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th, augmented 4th/diminished 5th (depending on the enharmonic spelling you're using), perfect 5th, minor 6th, major 6th, minor 7th, major 7th, octave.  For example, when you get to the minor 7th:

C Bb C
Minor 7th ten

4. After you have done #2 and #3 above for the octave, reset your starting note to the octave above your original starting note.  For example, your new starting note is the octave C above the original C.

5. Sing a minor 2nd interval down, using the note names and the number of half steps in the interval.  For example:

Minor second 1

6. Repeat #5 above for  major 2nd, minor 3rd, perfect 4th, augmented 4th/diminished 5th (depending on the enharmonic spelling you're using), perfect 5th, minor 6th, major 6th, minor 7th, major 7th, octave.

Vary your starting notes from session to session.  Start from Bb, A, F#, etc.  Avoid using "pet" starting notes.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Give an Old Laptop New Life with Cheap (or Free) Projects

Give an Old Laptop New Life with Cheap (or Free) Projects

I have a Mac iBook which is getting a bit long in the tooth, by computer standards. I'm sort of bookmarking this article for ideas on extending the life of my (mostly) trusty Mac laptop...

And a related article of interest:

14 Best Ways to Use Your Computer’s Spare Time

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Business Of Jazz,

...posted by a member of The Bad Plus

Pat Metheny and Joe Diorio - Blues In The Closet

Nice pairing of one of my favorite jazz guitarists with one of the great jazz guitar educators (who isn't a bad player himself!)

Monday, February 11, 2008

McNiel Lesson on Hybrid Picking (with video)

I work a lot with the Hybrid Picking For Guitar book and highly recommend it. That said, it's nice to see another take on the technique, particularly with video demos.

McNiel Lesson on Hybrid Picking (with video)