Got my bike out of the shop 10 days ago and finally took it for a short spin. It’s a 1988 Nishiki Rally 12-speed racer. The ten minute spin was long enough yo see how it rides after the tune up, get the HR up for a bit, but to really test out mirroring the AW, via the iOS Accessibility feature, to my phone so I can use it mounted like a pseudo-bike computer.
I had taken it for two rides up the block when I got home from the shop but the weather was too hot for the following days to ride unless I went really early in the morning or later in the evening, so I waited for an opportune time – which happened to be this evening because the temperature dipped below 80 degrees.
I mounted the phone and set the cycling workout on my watch, which mirrored to the phone perfectly. The whole idea behind the mirroring is to not have to look at my watch for any metrics while I read, as this would mean raising my hand from the bike to try and focus on the screen, instead of glancing down at the phone.
I started the workout and headed out around the neighborhood.
The bike rides well but I was disappointed that, despite riding in pavement, there was enough vibration through the bike to to turn off mirroring. I wonder how I can prevent this next time, because I’d really like to take advantage of the new cycling features when WatchOS 10 drops.
In any event, I’ll do some research in between now and the next ride to see what I can come up with as a solution. If anyone reading this has any suggestions, drop a comment below – thanks.
Greetings. I hope you’re well at the time of reading this post. Over the last few months (I forget what prompted me to do so), I’ve been back to using my Nikon D3100 DSLR and have rekindled my love of photography. As I type this, what may have brought me back to it was seeing some photographs on Instagram and remembering the days of using an SLR camera prior to have a phone that can take decent photos (which currently is an iPhone 12 mini). Again, I think these photos I saw were on IG, but despite using the site for music production posts, I highly despise the ads, shopping features, and most the annoying algorithms. I had some recent discussions over the last few months with a long time friend, tech brother, and photo fan, DarrenKeith, about the merits of Flickr over Instagram for photo sharing. The main advantage is no algorithms. In addition, for me, Flickr’s features allow you to see the camera the photo was taken with along with lens type, shutter speed, aperture. EXIF data (if available). Since the camera name is shown, you can click on the camera graphic, and Flickr will show you all other photos on the site taken with the same camera you’ve used. Aside from that, Flickr allows for different ways of categorizing your photos via album and collection. I haven’t used similar photo sharing sites, but what Flickr does, it does well.
What also took me back to the D3100 was actually a few things. First was a user on Bluesky that goes by the name lilyannadream. She was posting photos taken with her Nikon D5600 and they are all very nice. I said to myself that her camera is probably just a few years older than mine (actually 5 years older and with a pixel resolution of 24.2 pixels vs my D3100 from 2010 with 14.2), so let me see what mine can do. Incidentally I just learned that the D5600 is the last DSLR Nikon made and they have been focusing on mirrorless cameras. Secondly, another new user to Bluesky, who gos by PWH3, is a NYC-based photographer who has some really nice shots and mentioned he has shot with a Nikon D700, which was released in July 2008 and is still highly respected in the DSLR world. That said, I again wanted the flexibility of shooting with different focal lengths, shutter speeds, etc instead of having to shoot everything in auto like the iPhone constrains you to do. Secondly, it takes me back to the days of shooting 35mm SLR print film in the 90s with a manual camera, my Minolta XG-7 to be exact. Then you had to understand how film ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and focal length come together to compose a great (or not-so great) photograph. After the XG-7 bit the dust, I purchased a Nikon N60 SLR with two lenses, which I still have. I would like to shoot print film again, but realize that in the end, I’ll be spending anywhere from $2 – $3 a shot, but the good thing is it will take me back to the days I mentioned above. I’ve been looking at places I can get fresh film and get it developed and printed, just in case.
It’s definitely good to be shooting with a DSLR again and doing so makes me want to get back to shooting scenic photos, especially of the urban type. I’ve done some low light indoor shots of my recording studio and will do more. As the summer continues, I’ll really try to visit various events around down, with camera in hand. I’m already thinking about possibilities of such for tomorrow.
Greetings. It’s 11:31 pm, Friday night. It’s been awhile since I posted a blog, as a matter of fact, the last post was at the end of the 30-Day Blog Challenge in November 2022, so I just decided to do a brain dump of a few things.
The tech world has been in a headsmen since that time, what with ChatGPT, advances in AI (which, I frankly prefer to call it really what it is – machine learning) and all the HYPE, and creation of various Twitter…umm, er…. X replacements that are planning on being decentralized and entering the fediverse.
I’ve been on Bluesky since April 20th of this year and joined at about 29,000 members. As of this post, it’s well over 300k now. I’ve seen a lot of things happen in the three months I’ve been a member, particular in their struggles to improve moderation. While I won’t get into the two major events that happened (you can do a web search on “Bluesky” “moderation” to find the top stories at places like The Verge and Engadget), the site is still in beta and continually growing. I’ve seen very regular posting members leave and the same type still there. For me, it’s been a social media site that I’ve had the most diverse group of people follow me and vice versa. I posted a question earlier about wondering what it would be like when it finally goes public. As for X, I joined almost 17 years ago when it was Twitter. Right now I still don’t plan on leaving until Bluesky offers what the aforementioned site can offer me for the past 16 years. I disagree and dislike a lot of what Elon has and is doing and often still have mixed feelings about staying on the site. What makes it easy (aside its offerings) is I’ve always made an effort to be aware of who I choose to follow and vice versa, keep my settings locked down in a certain way that allows me to keep a lot of what many hate off my timeline. In the end, I use social media as a tool and never take it seriously as some do (or some have to because their livelihood has grown to depend on it).
Work is very rewarding and continually challenging. At this phase, it’s really making me aware of time management and work-life balance.
Music production is my passion, and I’ve been applying the same productive-life balance in that aspect as well. As a matter of fact, time management considerations are heavy across different paths because of things I’m trying to accomplish. Without getting deep, I’ll keep striving.
Summer seems to be flying by and I don’t care for that realization so it seems I need to do things to put myself in a mindset not to think it is. Foundationally, this too aligns with the time management thing, feeling I don’t enough time to do what I’d like to do. The REAL truth of it is…I need more focus not more time. Achieving the former will take care of the latter.
I could go on but [Dump mode: OFF]. Back with another post in the future.
Greetings all, I hope this reading finds you well. This is my first blog post for 2023 and, while I have nothing specific to blog about, it’s one of those occasions where I just felt the need to post a brain dump of sorts.
It’s my second of two scheduled work from home days and I like to get up and relax, with some tea, in the quiet of my home before the workday has to get started. I was perusing Reddit after taking out the trash this morning (as it is Tuesday) and happen to come across a post in the r/fieldrecording subreddit that described a user’s website that caters to the sounds and soundscapes he’s recorded, globally, over the last 6 years (or more). What caught me eye about the site (which should be the approach for a well designed sites) is capturing the viewer’s attention, prompting them to stay as long as possible. By the way, the site is Mindful Audio. I got interested in field recording a few years ago and, after some research, picked up an entry-level Tascam DR-07X. For the type of field recording I do (which is no where near a professional level), it’s served me well so far, allowing me to add a nice sound effects to my library, especially foley that may be useful for original music composition for film (it’s still referred to as film today, right?) In any event, it was actually the presentation (and listening to a few of sound libraries) of the Mindful Audio site that urged me to post this blog.
As for the day job, things are starting to get a little busier as opposed the workload in the last quarter of 2022. I’m pretty much splitting my time between work on two NASA planetary missions and the biggest thing is to manage my time and maintain focus on the work needing to be produced on schedule. I won’t make it any more complicated than that. Working from home is massively convenient (I don’t miss the commute of 45 to 60 min one way), but at the same time, provides more distraction. I make it habit to review a collection of visual productivity quotes I’ve collected via IG posts of the years and it does help. The main thing I know needs to be done is to exercise discipline and consistency like I exercise my body – discipline is a muscle too.
On the tech side of things, how about that ChatGPT? Definitely the massive buzzword in 2023. I’ve read my fair share of articles, but just like DALL-E(?), Lensa AI, and the like, I have no desire to use it. There is no doubt that it is an invaluable tool, even in it’s infancy stages, but I prefer to sit back and quietly watch its development. I’m back to my Python coding journey and the goal is to complete Round 3 of the #100DaysOfCode challenge. That primarily involves finishing the remaining chapters I’ve chosen in the Python Crash Course, Volume 1 text (yes, Volume 3 is now out, but the differences don’t warrant me jumping to it until I get a good grip on the basics taught in Volume 1).
Lastly, Twitter. I mentioned to another long time friend, tech/podcasting brother, DarrenKeith, that Twitter seems far less “Musk-ified” these days, BUT, that could only be because of the paths/actions I take (which provide avoidance of certain things). I kind of new, all along, that Twitter wasn’t going to crash and burn, despite the initial doomsday posts about such and seemingly massive exodus to Mastodon. I did establish an account there just in case, but haven’t been back to visit for quite some time, mostly likely because my tweets are crossposted there via a tool suggested by fellow blogger and Twitter maven, Clay Lowe.
In any event, time to begin transitioning into the workday. Thanks for reading, I hope your day (or whenever you’re reading this) is all you need it to be.
Well, the challenge has been met. Thirty days. thirty blogposts – done. I knew it wasn’t going to be a difficult challenge. If you go back to my first post of this challenge on November 14th, you can read about the origins of this challenge and how it started on a whim via a discussion between Clay Lowe, DarrenKeith, and myself. So, what have I learned by reaching this challenge goal?
Two days ago on December 9, I published a post about accepting challenges and how I look at the ROI to determine whether going through with the challenge is worthwhile. I summed it up by just that, the ROI is a very important gauge to assess as a catalyst in moving forward. As mentioned in the November 14th post, I’ve been blogging officially since 2007, and it’s been pleasurable when I have. After 15 years, the blogging scene has changed a lot.from monetization purposes to more of a huge push in audience growing (the latter always being a desire to any blogger), but it just seems like it’s become more commercialized (like podcasting).
What I have seen, is that I’ve never pushed to grow my blog reading audience as it’s always just been a pastime to engage in self-publishing from my own digital garden (as DarrenKeith says). With that comes a circling back to audience growth. If growth is what you want, especially from your own platform where you make the rules and are not subject to algorithms and the like, you have to put in the work to increase reader. This is where the ROI comes in for me. Theres not one person I know that doesn’t enjoy readers engaging with the content they publish, but when you do publish from your own space, it’s imperative that you put in the work to, at least, increase the reach of your blog to the masses. The easiest (read most convenient) way to do this is to crosspost your post links to the huge social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, IG, TikTok, etc. Once that occurs, you’ve done just that BUT that doesn’t guarantee engagement (comments) on your post. Perhaps another way to achieve that is blog on sites like Medium or Tumblr but, again, the work needs to be put in.
My takeaway based on my ROI for this challenge, is this: reaching the goal of this challenge will NOT cause to blog on a regular basis because the desire is not grow readership based on the work it will take to do so. Conversely, I’ll just go back to enjoying the desire to blog when the whim hits me and engage with anyone who chooses to leave a comment or comments. I like it that way,
For those who have commented on any of my posts during this challenge, I highly appreciate you sharing your thoughts on my topics. Thank you!
‘Chocolate coated, freaky and and habit forming. Doin’ it to you in 3-D, So groovy that I dig me. Once upon a time called Now! “
The above lyric is from the iconic track from Parliament, entitled P-Funk (Wants To Get Funked Up). I won’t even go into the “iconism” of this track, nor its effect on my since the day I’ve heard it, because it transcends that particular lyric. What I will talk about is forming habits (good or bad).
Suffice it to say, we all want to develop good, consistent, game-changing, positive habits, yes? There are many ways to do this and those ways are best only to the individual will to do so. Thousands of articles and books have been written on this topic. One that comes to mind and which I’ve purchased and read is James Clear’s Atomic Habits. While you can read many reviews of the book, explore his website, follow his social media feeds, and the like, there is one key principle that James Clear has stated, I believe rises to the very top like cream, and my long time friend and professional organizer, Deb Lee, recently tweeted it: “Yes 100% to all of this. Keep it simple!”
Discipline/showing up breeds discipline, which births consistency. I really can’t say it any simpler for forming any habit (good or bad). Simple concept, yes? Sure it is. Executing is the key (can you hear that echoing in your head?) I dare you to come up with anything that disputes this. I believe it 100%. That said, why has it become so difficult for me at times? It’s not because of extenuating circumstances beyond my control that interrupts consistency and flow. The real reason, for me, has been not immediately acting on strengthening the development of the habit. In other words, I think to long about why I shouldn’t, can’t, or don’t want to do it. I’m at the point where there’s really nothing else to consider when I believe this is the case. Deb’s tweet above and Nike’s slogan pretty much sums it up: Keep it Simple and Just Do It. If nothing uncontrollable is stopping me – execute immediately and strive for doing it consistently. That’s my strive, not for 2023, but right now.
Happy Holidays to you. Today, I’m actually writing this blog post while mobile. Using the WordPress app for iOS is actually quite convenient, as it mirrors the desktop app quite well.
It’s been a pretty much laid back Sunday, heading into late afternoon as I type this, sitting in Starbucks. I’ve been a fan of Starbucks since the early 2000s, when a friend actually sent me a physical (pre-mobile app) $10 Starbucks gift card for my birthday. Ironically, though I’ve consumed it on occasion, I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I asked her to recommend a good drink to break in the card, and she recommended a Caramel Machiatto (sp). I’ve tried a few since then, but not being a coffee drinker, I’ve always been like “meh”. Incidentally, I just realized the title of this blog post is a misnomer because this Bava drink has 160 mg of caffeine…so much for the title.
As for other drinks, I’ve tried many of their green teas, hot and iced, and teas are essentially all I drink when I frequent this establishment – unless they stock bottled or canned drinks like the Bava Energy dtink above. One exception is, and always be, the canned iced nitro brew, which is super nasty, as well as their hot chocolate drinks which oddly seem to kill my appetite alllll the way….weird!
Anyway, I enjoy Starbucks for many of the same reasons many do. For me, specifically, it’s just a pitstop getaway to chill, gather thoughts, sometimes read, or conduct relaxed business meetings (most of which have been about the business of music production).
They’ll keep me as a customer, especially if people occasionally gift me with Starbucks cards, or I’m able to add them to the mobile app. I still have my original Gold card as well. It’s rare I order to go, I usually sit in the shop and enjoy.
Off to the next stop soon, then home. Have a great rest of your day.
Today, I had to take a drive out to a floorings place to view and purchase flooring for my basement renovation. This place was 41 niles away and I’ve never been there before. As I loaded the address into Google Maps, I wondered…. “What I’ve there was no GPS and I had to use a map?”
I’m old enough to have had to reply on maps, when needed, to get places. Yes, found memories of those HUGE fold out maps you get from the gas station, LOL, talk about an inconvenience that wasn’t even known back then,
I can’t even imagine how long it would take for me to study a map, keep it open, and drive to where I need to get it. I also remember having GPS hardware in the car that you had to periodically download maps to keep in current…crazy today.
Google Maps, Waze, Apple Maps… is tech that has definitely made me lazy, but it’s one of the best technology assets ever been developed…(now if I can only get a decent Car Play unit installed in my ride 🙂
Greetings. Let’s jump right into it. We know what the definition of “challenge” but how often do you impose them upon yourself? The focus of the question is not really a matter of frequency but do you think doing so is beneficial to you or do you find, at some point, during the challenge, the effort is fruitless or won’t bring you the intended return on investment you initially hoped for.
One thing I didn’t think of until tonight is the end result of accepting a challenge should result in some sort of change, even if the challenge is not completed.
As of this post, I set out to complete a number of challenges this month to close out 2022. They are listed below:
A minimum of 35 minutes of exercise for a minimum of 14 days (I’m shooting for 30)
At least on Nike Training Club workout a day (so far at at 100%)
Spending time everyday increasing my knowledge of financial investing (especially in tech stocks and crypto)
Finish up Chapter 9 in my Python Crash Course book while advancing in Round 3 in the #100DaysOfCode challenge
So let’s see…where do I stand so far?
*35 minutes min of exercise a day – Easy challenge, ROI: great.
*NTC workout – pretty much the same as the above. This ROI is great in the sense that it will get me back to using Nike Training Club workouts again. I’ve been using the app since 2017 but became less consistent over the last year.
* Financial Investing Literacy – One day so far…this is a bust BUT I will continue to strive and make time for it
*Python studies – (see Investing Literacy)
I was chatting with Roni Lyons…(THE Dr. Roni Lyons), that I don’t do New Year resolutions for one simple reason: Why wait until day 1 of the new year to start ANYTHING?? She can relate!
In the end, the best thing that can come out of time based challenge – is an ROI that essentially spells “consistency”.
That’s it for now. Got an early morning start tomorrow and I should be zzzzz.
Without going deep (simply because I have not that time in the least bit), many of us have used social media in some shape or form since it’s been created (remember when the term was called “social networking?). All the old messenger platforms, like AOL Instant Messenger (AIM), Window Messenger, MySpace, Facebook, BlackPlanet, Asian Avenue, 2600, Usenet Groups, Compuserve, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Periscope, Vine (which I miss…LOL) Mastodon, and the longggg list goes on.
What is inherent to all social media/networking platforms are trends, and I don’t mean “such-and-such hashtag” is trending. What I do mean are actions people take, trends that started than many participate in.grab on to that catch on like wildfire. There have been sooo many that’s I’ve seen come and go that I’ll try to remember some to discuss. Incidentally, this topic came to mind because the approach I generally end up taking is: If everyone is doing it, I’m definitely not doing it LOL
To avoid being wordy, I resolve to my usual list to give some example and touch on a few.
The use of stable fusion technology to create AI Art (particularly of selfies)
TikTok Invisible Body Challenge
Age prediction photos (this is how I’ll look X amount of years from now)
Milk Crate Climbing Challenge
Why these trends emerge, last for some time, then die off, can be for many reasons. I’ll venture to say that many of them do so for the simple reason of what social media perpetuates: reach and exposure which hopefully results in follows and likes of one’s social media feed. Though I make a point not to follow any of them, I do notice what the algorithms throw onto my feeds. Let’s start with the first one…
#AIArt – I’ve been noticing a bunch of people using whatever this stable fusion technology is to create very realistic and accurate drawings of themselves. With that, I’ve seen a fair number of people criticizing this as technology that takes away from the most talented artists that can do the same by hand (nothing new here with AI taking over in instances like this). I’ve seen a few people I follow posting selfies of themselves in this manner.
TikTok Invisible Body Challenge – This one is particularly interesting to me because of the cybersecurity issues that many are clueless about. What is this challenge, you may ask? It goes like this: challenge requires you to film yourself naked while using TikTok’s “Invisible Body” filter, which removes the body from the video and replaces it with a blurry background and this challenge has led to people posting videos of them allegedly naked but obscured by the filter. First of all, why would ANYONE have no issue with “film yourself naked while using TikTok’s “Invisible Body” filter” (someone, help me on this … please). It gets even “better”…”hackers are capitalizing on this trending challenge named to install malware on thousands of devices and steal their passwords, Discord accounts, and, potentially, cryptocurrency wallets. To capitalize on this, threat actors are creating TikTok videos that claim to offer a special “unfiltering” filter to remove TikTok’s body masking effect and expose the TikTokers’ nude bodies. However, this software is fake and installs the “WASP Stealer (Discord Token Grabber)” malware, capable of stealing Discord accounts, passwords and credit cards stored on browsers, cryptocurrency wallets, and even files from a victim’s computer.” This is pretty much what I’m referring to by jumping on the social media trends bandwagon – doing things just because it’s a trend and you know clue of what the implications could be (especially in a case like this) because you’re essentially acting like sheep. You can read more about this challenge and the hacking approach here.
Wordle – I have no idea what this game is or how it’s played but I number of people I follow on Twitter pepper my feed with their daily Wordle results
Age prediction photos – This one’s seem to die off but, boy, I’ve seen a ton of followers jumping on this one BIG time. Sort of the same use of AI thing as #AIArt. Lately I’ve seen the same approach but applied to dead celebrities who’s been deceased for some time now, but showing how they would look if they were still alive today.
Milk Crate Climbing Challenge – One of the DUMBEST, ignorant, and most dangerous challenges I can remember seeing in some time. I’m glad that one is dead and gone….(isn’t it?).
As said above, if the proliferation of such is even noticeable, you won’t catch me involved (can you say TikTok? – that’s an entire different story that I don’t even understand regarding the continual security concerns with the platform).
Anyway, do you indulge? No judgement here, just asking for a friend 🙂