31 December 2009

The Final Day

We have fewer than 24 hours left in the day. It's noon for me so fewer than 12 hours here in Central Time. No on in the world will ever have another full day of 2009. The New Year is on its way whether we like it or not. Good or bad... its here... within site.

Oh how time flies.

It's funny how as you get older you begin to sound more and more like your parents. The things that bothered you so much about them is something that you, yourself begin to do. You begin to tell the younger folk that they should enjoy life while they can, it zips by. In all these years I've learned that as soon as you get to the point of saying "I remember when..." then you are no longer young. The years used to take so much time to go by. Heck, a day used to take... hehe... "ALL DAY" to go by. Now, there's not enough time in a day. Things zip by.

No complaints. You just have to remind yourself that time flies when you're having fun. Right?

Life is good. There are constantly lessons to be learned. Things to be accomplished. New goals to be set. A new year is upon us and its high time to make changes where they need to be.

Granted, I never really do believe in this whole "New Years Resolution" bit. I think that if a person is going to make a change then they should make that change the day they decide. Waiting for the new year is only another excuse of why not to start right away. Get on it. No matter when in the year a change is decided on.

This is probably my last post for the year. Looking back has been quite an amazing time. So many changes we've seen. So many things we're curious what will become of them. So many things will come to be that we can not even imagine.

I want to wish EVERYONE a happy EVE and Happy New Year. Stop dragging your feet. Take control of the coming year and make it all that you want. Go for those dreams and accomplish your ambitions.

24 December 2009

Burning the Christmas Tree

NOTE: The title is just meant to grab your attention and not to be anti-Christmas.

I was reading on Yaya's Home and her blog On The Eleventh Day of Christmas - A Shortcut In Winter just a few moments ago. She was talking about making fire starters and trying to keep warm in their home. This all being because the electricity keeps cutting out and they have to use their two fire places.

I have got to say that taking the time to make fire starters really is dedicated, especially when I know they have a very nice fire starter sitting in their home... that would take no time AT ALL to prepare. Yet, I know Yaya is very protective of her tree and would never let that happen.

Might she after the holiday? Maybe she'll let us know.

Evergreen flammability is something that I learned in Boyscouts. That information should now be applied in life.

Yaya doesn't even have to let the removal of branches show... they only need a tiny bit each time. Just take branches from the non-visible portions of the Christmas Tree.

I'm only trying to help save Yaya time and keep her and her husband warm.

I hope she keeps us posted if the tree ever does get nabbed.

Christmas Eve and I'm in a Hotel

It's Christmas Eve and here I sit in my hotel room watching National Geographic, reading blogs, thinking about working out in the fitness center and then crawling into bed later tonight. Anyone else spending Christmas Eve like this? Let me tell you... IT IS THE LIFE. You should see the view out my window. It's this beautiful parking lot. You really don't know what you're missing.

Although, I do have to say that I was amongst palm trees yesterday... and today I get to see my snow in New England.

One of the blogs that I ran across is Ryle-isms post talking about the cost of music. I have to say that I greatly agree that music costs too much.

Something that makes me wonder is that the middle man has been pulled out of the sale of much of the music industry; especially that of direct sales like iTunes. Why does the cost remain as high as it does?

I love music... I think that most (if not all) people love some sort of music. Yet, I also love having money in my wallet. Money in my wallet comes first. The music industry is a luxury while having money is a security.

To increase sales then lower the cost.

23 December 2009

Where's the Snow?

The tradition of having Father Christmas and Jack Frost visit each year before and during the holiday's is something a person takes for granted. Each year you complain of the cold, how you can't wait for summer to show its pretty head. It's not until you're scooped up and sent to an area with warm weather when you things just don't look right.

It's the 23rd of December. I'm looking out the window and the temperature is something like 67F degrees (19C). There's palm trees, green lawns, water fountains, blue skies, etc. Let me tell you... it's ODD!!!

Yes, This is weather that we all love and wish for in the northern portion of the country where the weather is cold and miserable this time of year. Actually, with all the cancellations of flights and the extremely cold temperatures occurring I must admit that its a nice escape... just a weird time of year with all the talk of Santa and Christmas on TV.

I know what you're thinking... a person is never happy... always complaining about whatever the situation they happen to be in. Well, no complaints here. Just thinking its odd... pretty surreal actually.

22 December 2009

Creating a Ringtone on the iPhone - FREE

You do not need to buy any apps to create a ringtone. Everything that you need is already included on an up-to-date iPhone.

If you have an iPhone and it is up to date then you've got the Voice Memos app that should have been downloaded.

1) You can record anything through that app.

2) After you have made your desired recording then email it to yourself. Once you have emailed it then save it to your computer. It will automatically be in an .m4a format.

3) From here you can do one of two things to add the file to your iTunes library:
a) From the folder where the file was saved you can drag file from its saved folder and drop the that file into iTunes... or
b) You can go to iTunes and press on FILE then ADD FILE TO LIBRARY. Go to the folder where the file was saved and select that file then press OPEN.

4) Now go to the MUSIC section of iTunes and find the file you have just added to that library.

(From here you can follow the steps to create snippets from your music library. The snippets and recordings must be 40 seconds or less..)

5) Write down the starting and stopping point of the section of the recording that you want to create.

6) If you're using a PC then right click on the recording in your iTunes library and select GET INFO. If you're using a Mac then click on FILE then GET INFO.

7) Choose the OPTIONS tab from the top. If you want to increase the volume of your recording then increase or decrease the volume through the VOLUME ADJUSTMENT section (with a ringer you probably want it louder). Enter the START TIME and STOP TIME in their corresponding boxes. Ensure that you check the boxes to the left of those times. Then click OK.

8) Select the recording again
a) on a PC right click the recording and select create AAC version.
b) Mac users click on the recording then at the top click on ADVANCED then create AAC version.

9) A second version of the recording should appear with the iTunes library. Play that second version to ensure that it sounds the way you want it to sound as a ringtone.

10) The format of the second version now needs to be changed so that it will appear as a ringtone. Navigate to the folder where the file is stored.
a) PC users right click the file in iTunes and select SHOW IN WINDOWS EXPLORER.
b) Mac users click on the file in iTunes and at the top select FILE then SHOW IN FINDER.

11) Copy the new .m4a file (PC users Control+C or Mac users Command+C) and paste it (Control+V or Command+V) into the same folder so that a third version appears. (If you're using Windows XP and the file extension does not appear then go to TOOLS then FOLDER OPTIONS then VIEW and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types. On Vista: ORGANIZE then FOLDER and SEARCH OPTIONS and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types.)

12) Now, with the third version change the file extension from .m4a to .m4r. If you would like you can rename the file as well. NOTE: ALL hyphens and/or other symbols must be removed from the name.

13) At this time go back to iTunes and delete the previously created AAC file (from step 8). NOTE: If this action is not performed then iTunes might not accept the new ringtone.

14) Go back to the folder with the new ringtone file (.m4r) and drag and drop it into iTunes.

15) Sync your iPhone as usual. Make sure that the SYNC RINGTONES box is checked in the RINGTONES tab.

16) Go ahead and change settings to your new ringtone.

21 December 2009

People with power

I was in China for a period of time starting on the 17th of November. The area I was, and maybe all of China, this website is blocked. I couldn't blog while I was there. I'd written some thoughts into Word and saved it... but then couldn't find it when back in the states. I'd accidentally saved it in the wrong folder. Here it is...

Currently I’m in Beijing… when you look past the initial scene of dirt and grime you begin to notice something wonderful. It really is quite a beautiful place. The buildings are constructed in a very interesting and unique way. Structures that have stood for thousands of years are still standing… and maintained (for instance the Forbidden City... 1700 years old and constructed of wood). Granted I’d love to see them cared for better… but everyone (culture) has to go through its learning curve of preservation tactics and importance.

I’m not going to get lost in the realm of discussing the city and politics and other such things. What I’m wanting to write about are the people. The people here are gorgeous. I’m not speaking about their exterior (although that’s beautiful as well). I’m speaking of their ability to put up with so much and still maintain a smile on their faces.

Those that deal with the public here are amazing. I watch them and observe how much they put up with; especially from the foreigners… like me. I can’t believe that with all they put up with they still continue to bend over backwards to help out and complete their task.

I was watching one woman that was buying a number of different items (we’ll call her Louise), and the retailer (we’ll call Nancy).
Again, Louise was purchasing a number of different items from Nancy. Louise was collecting items in groups and paying for each group separately. I observed her creating something along the lines of eight item groups. I also observed her doing something that you used to see a lot more of but is very rare anymore. That is paying for items in US dollars. (The dollar has been dropping against the Yuen which means that the dollar is less stable and less desired). Each time Nancy would tell Louise the dollar equivalent due then Louise would round the number down and hand it to Nancy. Just sitting there watching I figured that Louise cheated Nancy out of roughly US $6. Louise would say that she didn't have enough for the payment of each group, but after she was done with payment she would create another group and more money would appear. Then if Nancy would try to stick to her guns and sell at the RMB equivalent then Louise would complain.

(Six dollars may not sound like a lot, but Nancy was already selling at rock bottom pricing… so her profit margin was dropped drastically. To give you an idea the worth of $6. One of the hotels that I stayed in the front desk clerks earned roughly $6 in an 8 hour shift. The hotel clerks at that hotel tend to work 24 hour shifts with a 16 hour period of time off afterward. This way they could increase their earnings.)

(Now back to Louise...)
What’s sad is that the foreigners (especially frequent business travelers) know that they have the upper hand. The sellers and service people know that if they don’t bend over backward then word of mouth can kill them. There are times they have to allow themselves to give things away just to keep the customer happy. They don’t want that person going back and telling the rest of their colleagues about their bad experience with this person.

Foreigners, especially westerners, tend to walk around with this aura of arrogance about them. They act as though they are the greatest thing that has entered into China and that everyone and everything should get on its knees and serve them.

They want their private shoppers / sellers. They want to be served hand and foot. They can’t understand why you, as the service person, would not speak their language… and the list of demands goes on and on.

It’s embarrassing and frustrating.

It would be nice if people could pull back and see the way they're acting. Would they do this same thing in their home town, around people they know?

28 November 2009

Party Crashers

Ok, I understand that there is worry for what the "party crashers" could have been capable of. I understand it was a bad thing that they did. I understand the dangers potential toward President Obama. But... I have issue with how much of the news is consumed with the talking about the Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

Come on now. We have got to get serious about things and the world around us. There is so much more going on in the world. So many more REAL news events that are happening. So many more things that could be covered. Yet, we love to be entertained and this (party crasher issue) is more entertaining than dealing with REAL news.

I wish that people could put Entertainment Weekly down and be more concerned with REAL issues that are happening around them.

10 November 2009

Creating a Hyperlink

Hey Yaya, just wanted to let you know that you can do a few things with your link. Rather than making people copy the link and reenter it into the address bar you can allow them to just click on the link... making it much more user friendly.

When you create a link you want to make sure you have all the commands to ensure that it works. Otherwise it will look like a bunch of garble on the page.

Military Couture?

I was walking down the street and saw this sweater in a store window. The shop was closed so I took a picture so that I would be able to remind myself to get back in and buy it. When I went back in the next day they told me the item was sold out. I asked what brand it was. They told me Twice and that it's a designer out of LA.

I've searched high and low over the past couple of days for this sweater... and I can't find it. If anyone has any input to the item them please let me know. The photo isn't the best... but it's all I have.

Men's Fashion by Francesco

Men's Fashion by Francesco