I recently discovered a very interesting website called blogosphere.us. I discovered them by analyzing my referrer log. Apparently, their program reads some 150,000 blogs to discover what the current "buzz" is, and links to those trends and articles that are causing a stir across the blogging world.
Talk about your grassroots journalism, that's pretty freaking cool.
Today marks the first day I've been simply "overweight" rather than "obese". The Body-Mass Index still says I'm obese (at my height and age, I won't graduate to "overweight" until I go below 224 lbs), but my body fat percentage, according to mybodycomp.com is now 22.54% -- a really nice reduction versus the nearly 30% I was at the start of November. I've also put on, according to them, 7 lbs of lean muscle mass in that time from my exercise program.
I'm consuming around 2,200 calories per day, which with my moderate exercise (3-5 days of light exercise per week) puts my caloric burn somewhere in the neighborhood of 3200 calories per day. If I'm totally sedentary, my burn rate is around 2600 calories/day. It's actually really difficult to reach 2200 calories a day when low-carbing at 25 grams or less of carbs per day. I basically have to eat till I'm full (not stuffed!) six times a day. If I reduce my calories too much below 2040, though (my Basal Metabolic Rate), it could put my body into fat-conservation, a.k.a. "famine" mode where it becomes really, really tough to lose.
Well, my job hunt is still proceeding. I'm getting 20-30 jobs in my inbox every day from dice.com and other job sites I've registered for, and I diligently respond to the ones that match my skills. So far, the returns from my resumes have been very, very rare, and the interviews nonexistent.
The online route has failed to pan out for me. I'm now into the "desparate cold-calling", "lots of networking with people," and "hitting the want ads" phase of the job-search, plus the "look into self-employment options while we still have money in the bank" phase. If you happen to know of an employer looking for a systems administration expert with a specialty in the integration of various operating systems, let me know!
With the demise and/or commercialization of several online music sites (*cough* mp3.com) into near-unusability, what options are available now for the aspiring musician to get feedback on his/her music, and maybe some exposure to producers? I'm serious, where do you go, other than creating your own web site?
Well, the only heavily-populated site I know if is Garageband. Apparently, my little blog on my day-after experiences with GB have ended up tops in Google searches for "Garageband reviews". The high rank of that page (no, I have no idea why Google thinks that should be the top link!) arounsed the ire of an anonymous poster on my board, so the weblog has started seeing some discussion about my derogatory review of what GB is about. I encourage you to check it out and comment, or post comments here about where you think aspiring musicians can go for exposure now that most music sites are making themselves even less accessible to casual listeners.
Note, if you're not logged in, your posts will be as "anonymous" and I'll have to approve them before they can be viewed. Spammer-control is what that is :)
Okay, honestly its not as bad as all that.. or is it?
While vacationing in Florida over the Thanksgiving holiday, I read, on the following Saturday, of a woman who was trampled and seriously injured during a mad rush to get the 30 dollar DVD player at WalMart in the wee hours of Friday morning. This is of course what is rumored to be the busiest shopping day of the year (although I think it is 2nd now), and is known to retail employees as Black Friday.
For the first time ever, I was there, at 5:58 AM in line to enter target, and yes, i too got the 30 dollar DVD player. But to me, the phenomenon was the interesting part. What was so fascinating was the fact that my day started with no Christmas shopping done, and ended with most of it done, and with considerable savings. For my effort, I did see people shoved, items snatched off shelves, arguments, and the like, but it was a madness I kind of got into.
Ran across this article on a newsgroup today, and I thought it would be of interest. It's an AP story, found a link to it on CBS (though, of course, being Associated Press, it's probably carried by several hundred local papers).
Article here: Was Atkins Right After All?
Just when you think you've seen it all, something like this comes knocking on your door...
In celebration of Thanksgiving, I give you... The Whipped Cream Games!
I was seventeen. I was in love with some girl I can't remember now. I was young and cocky. I wore T-shirts with slogans on them, put on button-up shirts overtop of them without buttoning anything and left the whole thing untucked. I wore friendship bracelets on my wrists. I blow-dried my hair with my head hanging upside down so that my hair would be really tall.
I ate Kellogg's Raisin-Bran for breakfast. I had a Snickers bar and a Dr. Pepper for lunch. I usually skipped dinner due to extra-curricular activities. I worked at the drugstore to make money to drive my 1980 blue 4-cylinder Volvo Stationwagon with a rumble seat in the back.
So, over the past 24 hours, an idea has been brewing in my head for a type of new musical product that we can collaborate on in developing. This idea is based on recent ongoings and changes in the music industry, consumer habits, and my experiences at Best Buy.
My concept is for a new type of musical audio product that functions as a cross between prerecorded album, old-time radio, and soap opera.
In my opinion, the reason that album sales have been falling isn't just due to file sharing. It's due to a couple other reasons as well , including 1) Lack of good product and 2) A shift in consumer dollar spend to other cost-like software entertainment products (DVD, games). File sharing does make an impact because the music industry's primary sales target has always been 18-34, and those are the techies who are now burning and sharing, of course. However, if you've got $20 are you going to window shop it on an album or on a movie? Right. So here comes the new idea.
Yep, by popular demand (OK, two people) I've uploaded The Right Of Way. This was Wayward Sun's second album, and number seven on Justin's list of what it's about darn time for. I'll be putting a bit more history up on my weblog regarding the making of this album later, but for now, here are the songs. Special thanks to Justin Timpane for going through the painstaking effort of ripping, fixing, de-noisifying, and encoding these files.