CARTE DE VISITE

22 Jul 2014

11 Jul 2014

It was such a beautiful night out.  A nice night to hike up to Balanced Rock and enjoy the cool evening air and the gorgeous vista before me.

It was such a beautiful night out. A nice night to hike up to Balanced Rock and enjoy the cool evening air and the gorgeous vista before me.

11 Jul 2014

Idaho panos…

12 Jun 2014

One of my wife’s birthday gifts - this is one of Mpix’s “metal prints” - photo is float mounted on a 1/16” aluminum sheet. My son and I snuck away to pose this shot, unbeknownst to her. Came off really nice. I shot this only using an iPhone.

One of my wife’s birthday gifts - this is one of Mpix’s “metal prints” - photo is float mounted on a 1/16” aluminum sheet. My son and I snuck away to pose this shot, unbeknownst to her. Came off really nice. I shot this only using an iPhone.

15 May 2014

My best man came to me and asked me for help on how to set up a short podcast he wanted to record.  Recordings were for his daughter’s class, as they travel in New York on a field trip.  He wanted to make his recordings and have them time-released each day of the trip - since he wouldn’t necessarily be in an area with an internet connection.

Start-to-finish, this was a fun project to help produce.  I thoroughly enjoy podcasts and think they are a fantastic medium.  I get such a kick, posting a recording and seeing it automatically pull-down on any android device or iPhone.  Publishing at its finest!

Here’s the link to his podcast; it’s first recording posts on May 17th, 2014.  It takes its inspiration from Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”

My best man came to me and asked me for help on how to set up a short podcast he wanted to record. Recordings were for his daughter’s class, as they travel in New York on a field trip. He wanted to make his recordings and have them time-released each day of the trip - since he wouldn’t necessarily be in an area with an internet connection.

Start-to-finish, this was a fun project to help produce. I thoroughly enjoy podcasts and think they are a fantastic medium. I get such a kick, posting a recording and seeing it automatically pull-down on any android device or iPhone. Publishing at its finest!

Here’s the link to his podcast; it’s first recording posts on May 17th, 2014. It takes its inspiration from Garrison Keillor’s “The Writer’s Almanac.”

29 Apr 2014

Nessun Dorma

I don’t know much about operas. In fact here’s what I have in my head:
Busty broom-hilda type ladies wearing historically inaccurate horned viking helmets and singing ballads in languages that I do not understand.

A fair understanding? No.

But I do know “Nessun Dorma”… Or I thought I did. Or at least I’m familiar with its beautiful, passionate performance thanks to Luciano Pavarotti and the many different ways commercials and movies have utilized this particular aria. I know it and like it enough to have it on my starred playlist on Spotify.

On a fluke, I recently decided to look up what the song was actually communicating. My interest soared and ascended as I read and followed the various connections leading me to the whole story of the opera. It is well worth knowing about.

"Nessun dorma" (English: "None shall sleep") is an aria from the final act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera Turandot, and is one of the best-known tenor arias in all opera. It is sung by Calaf, il principe ignoto (the unknown prince), who falls in love at first sight with the beautiful but cold Princess Turandot. However, any man who wishes to wed Turandot must first answer her three riddles; if he fails, he will be beheaded.

In the act before this aria, Calaf has correctly answered the three riddles put to all of Princess Turandot’s prospective suitors. Nonetheless, she recoils at the thought of marriage to him. Calaf offers her another chance by challenging her to guess his name by dawn. (As he kneels before her, the Nessun dorma theme makes a first appearance, to his words, “Il mio nome non sai!”) If she does so, she can execute him; but if she does not, she must marry him. The cruel and emotionally cold princess then decrees that none of her subjects shall sleep that night until his name is discovered. If they fail, all will be killed.

As the final act opens, it is now night. Calaf is alone in the moonlit palace gardens. In the distance, he hears Turandot’s heralds proclaiming her command. His aria begins with an echo of their cry and a reflection on Princess Turandot:

"Nessun dorma! Nessun dorma! Tu pure, o Principessa, nella tua fredda stanza, guardi le stelle che tremano d’amore, e di speranza!"
(English translation: “None shall sleep! None shall sleep! Even you, O Princess, in your cold bedroom, watch the stars that tremble with love and with hope!”)

"Ma il mio mistero è chiuso in me; il nome mio nessun saprà! No, No! Sulla tua bocca lo dirò quando la luce splenderà!"
(“But my secret is hidden within me; none will know my name! No, no! On your mouth I will say it when the light shines!”)

"Ed il mio bacio scioglierà il silenzio che ti fa mia!"
(“And my kiss will dissolve the silence that makes you mine!”)

Just before the climactic end of the aria, a chorus of women is heard singing in the distance:
“Il nome suo nessun saprà, E noi dovrem, ahimè, morir, morir!”
(“No one will know his name, and we will have to, alas, die, die!”)
Calaf, now certain of victory, sings:

"Dilegua, o notte! Tramontate, stelle! Tramontate, stelle! All’alba vincerò! Vincerò! Vincerò!"
(“Vanish, o night! Fade, you stars! Fade, you stars! At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win! “)

Written in the 1920s, the opera was unfinished at the time of Puccini’s death in 1924, and was completed by Franco Alfano in 1926 - which makes this all the more interesting since the whole story of this opera is a bit of a puzzle. It makes one wonder how Puccini would’ve ended it, had he been able to complete this masterpiece.

The whole story is well worth reading and can be read in synopsis here.

16 Apr 2014

I draw what appears to me…

I draw what appears to me…

16 Apr 2014

A series of quotes that I ran with their respective speakers (exception being the “Walking Liberty,” which has no specific personification.
This was a great exploration into touching on the respective personalities of American history.

5 Apr 2014

Having a blast running Yellow Dog Linux on my old PPC (A mac powerbook G4). Still a learning curve but seems to run MUCH faster than Tiger. Even offers multiple desktops and decent animations.

5 Apr 2014

6 Mar 2014

I didn’t make these in time for our Oscars party, but these were too cool to pass up.

5 Mar 2014

26 Feb 2014

For the last decade I have periodically used Ubuntu, the Linux operating system. While there are a couple of minor criticisms that I have of the OS - largely stemming from my own ignorance - I have to say that it continues to impress me. I love the independent spirit of it. The open-source nature. I am eagerly looking forward to sampling their new mobile OS (but that’s another story).

The purpose of this post, I suppose, is to point out some details that “count” in my book. It’s the little things that make it fun and useful. The screenshots you see here are all of Ubuntu being run on my iMac, using only a 4GB thumb drive. Right there, I’m happy. Something so low-profile that I don’t even need much. Just a thumb drive. And Ubuntu makes it pretty darn easy to do this.

Additionally, I love the “glassy edges” that they apply to the OS. It’s crisp and beautiful. It doesn’t require a lot of memory-hogging animation. And it comes off very stable. This is in contrast, say, to my recent experience with Windows Vista, where I had to tone down all of it’s features in order to get it to perform as well as I needed it to.

And, lastly, there are these fabulous keyboard shortcuts built into the system. With a simply keystroke, I can launch an application right from the dock. Wonderful.

If I had a clunker Windows machine sitting around, trust me - this is going on it.

26 Feb 2014

More and more lately, I have found myself in the position of recommending a backup solution for friends and family.  Typically, I need something automated, economic (free winning out), simple - but offering some great options.  This inevitably brings me to CrashPlan, which I am appreciating more and more.

CrashPlan has a ton of options (remote configuration, email notifications) and is highly configurable.  Even if I’m not willing to pay the relatively inexpensive fees ($4/month), I can set it to backup to a thumb drive or (as the picture shows in a simulated instance) I can backup to another remote computer - even a friend’s computer.  This is truly amazing technology.  Bravo, CrashPlan…  Well played.  You have a fan in me - and fans make the best marketing evangelists.

More and more lately, I have found myself in the position of recommending a backup solution for friends and family. Typically, I need something automated, economic (free winning out), simple - but offering some great options. This inevitably brings me to CrashPlan, which I am appreciating more and more.

CrashPlan has a ton of options (remote configuration, email notifications) and is highly configurable. Even if I’m not willing to pay the relatively inexpensive fees ($4/month), I can set it to backup to a thumb drive or (as the picture shows in a simulated instance) I can backup to another remote computer - even a friend’s computer. This is truly amazing technology. Bravo, CrashPlan… Well played. You have a fan in me - and fans make the best marketing evangelists.

2 Feb 2014

There are some pieces of music that I find so inspirational…

There are some pieces of music that I find so inspirational… The music they play for the Olympics is one. The music they play for the Vince Lombardi trophy is another - and I love when they first bring it in - players touch it, kiss it, gather around it; it is essentially being said: you’re in the presence of something great.

But I want to replace it with something better. What if it was the same music being played for something TRULY great? What if it was the living word of God was being carried into the room instead of a trophy and we all gathered around to touch it, take photos of it on our mobile phones, kiss it and cheer? What if we gathered around with great reverence to hear something amazing and awe-filling - that matched exactly what the music promised?
Just where my imagination takes this. Maybe it will give you an imaginative thought too.

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