There has been a trend among my social network entourage during the last several years to start off each new year with a 3-word mantra. The idea is to think hard about three facets of one’s life, career, personal growth or what have you, and come up with three guiding words. I’m not exactly sure what my three words would be at the moment. I’m hoping in the next 100+ words to perhaps narrow it down.
What are my main goals for the year, no resolution intended, just my overall objective that I’d like to see accomplished from now until Dec 31st, 2014.
- Get up off my complacent comfort couch and “make” my fulfilling career.
- Bring some of my many projects to fruition (or at least to a point that some progress can be seen.)
- Read more books.
- Write more (much more)
- Explore my creativity, take chances, make mistakes (Do I hear miss Frizzle?)
- Simplify parts of my life, declutter my todo list, get rid of unused and potentially creative and energy-sapping thoughts, dreams, fears and the accompanying objects to which some of these are attached.
- Take life day by day.
- Ask more questions.
- Listen more, talk a bit less.
So now that I have listed some, not all of what I would like to see accomplished, even if only a bit, by the end of 2014, can I draw a 3-word conclusion? Hmm…
There might be better words, but let’s go with those for now as I like them.
Patience – Patience may bring peace of mind, which can often result in a zen-like state from whence more productivity may result.
Exploration – To explore myself, others, my environment, knowledge and to question these very things.
Creativity – I believe I had that word last year in my list. I’m forever trying to strive to be more creative, because for me creativity is one of the greatest manifestations we have of being uniquely human.
It is rather difficult to sum up one’s goals, desires and hopes, and lock them up in three words. However, with this, my first blog post of 2014, I really do hope to start a regular trend and explore my thoughts and express them in various new and hopefully exciting ways.
It’s the last day of 2013, in fact as I sit here at my desk in my palatial subterranean office/studio and look at my clock, I notice there are less than 9 hours left in this year. I’m not really one for making or keeping New Year resolutions, but I have promised myself that 2014 will be a year of some possible changes. It will start with more regular postings in my blog(s) a more structured approach to some of my projects and a large initiative to simplify my life, something that I had started earlier this year, but never picked up steam. I’m not sure exactly what 2014 will bring, it has become a rather foggy horizon at the end of a meandering road. Some questions that remain unanswered will hopefully be dealt with in the early part of January. Other uncertainties will hopefully become clearer as time goes by. If I’m rather vague about all this, is that part of the uncertainties, is just that, completely and utterly unknown to me. There are certain parts of my life that will remain intact, unaltered and a pillar against which I will lean on a regular basis. These include my social circles, my love of music, my curiosity and my ambition. I hope only to harness more resolve, more organisation towards steering my ambition toward a goal and reach it. I have been known for starting and never finishing projects, I’m going to try and work on that in 2014. Now if only I could borrow a time machine from someone as I need more time.
Below is an embedded item from my newest list. I’ll let you in on a secret, it’s from my upcoming list of Open Source software titles that I use on a regular basis. Look for a complete tutorial on how to find and embed the code for individual items from your List.ly lists.
For several years now I’ve been part of a social network called Audioboo. Like most social networks, this one’s premise is to bring together people and have them share something on a common platform. However, Audioboo’s difference is instead of using words or pictures, it uses sounds. Members of the social network converse with each other by way of audio recordings, hence the name. These recordings can be of their own voice speaking or audio soundbites of music or even soundscapes, which can lend a quality to interactions not found on other social networks. One of the things I found from being a part of Audioboo is a wealth of information about entrepreneurship and company branding, mostly from one Paul O’Mahony who is known as @omaniblog on Audioboo and in many fine social networks, as would say another of my favourites, Bernie Goldbach aka @topgold.
All this to say that over the last year or so I’ve been feeling like my on-line social branding has stagnated and I’m looking to re-brand myself so to speak. I hope to have more on this soon as I put together my plan.
This short article explains how to go about embedding a List.ly list into a Square Space website. This first test is to demonstrate how to go about embedding a list within a blog post, as one of my friends was having problems with this.
1. If you haven’t already done so create a Blog page on your Square Space. If you already have a blog article, then open it up in Sqspc.
2. Open another tab of your browser or a new browser window and go over to your List.ly list that you would like to embed and click on the embed button, shown in a blue circle below.
3. When the Embed window opens you will see four tabs at the top of the window. I have shown three different views below corresponding to Full List, Gallery and Short. You can use whichever you feel will show your list in its best light depending on the subject.
Note that in each case, once you click on the tab, the preview below the code textbox will display an example of what the list will look like once embedded in your Squarespace site.
4. Once the code is copied head on over back to your Squarespace website and click the + button in the bottom right hand side as shown to the right.
5. An Add a Block window appears. Click on the Embed icon in the MEDIA section.
6. The Embed main window appears asking for a URL as shown below. Click on the small gear icon on the right.
7. Another main embed code window opens in which the code copied earlier from the list.ly site is then pasted as shown below.
8. Click Set and then Save on the Previous window. Once back at the main Blog post window of Squarespace click Save and the List.ly list will no appear in the format you chose from the List.ly embed code.
9. If you wish to change the format of the code, go back to the List.ly site, copy the appropriate code as shown previously and then re-embed it in the Square space.
Below are two examples of embedded List.ly lists. The first is in the default “Full List” while the second shows the “Gallery” format, great for showing off pictures, images, graphics, drawings and the like.
Back in the middle of Summer I had posted that Quebec may get an election and that the slandi.net website would be in for a revamp. Well, the elections have come and gone now and although this site is still in need of a good revamp, it may be months before my readers see any actual change. Basically, I hope to regroup my writing, podcasting and blog websites together and add another section devoted to open source software and some other surprises. My motives for this are to give the site a fresh new look and bring everything into one all encompassing website which will make it easier to maintain. I’ll be updating this blog from time to time until the site is ready to go.
Hey everyone, I just updated my blog and inserted a widget to the Archive.org live music archive. I’ve been checking out this page for the last 3 years now and there are literally thousands of artists and all different types of music and all for free. Some of the recordings are in FLAC file format, which produce a much nicer sound quality. The widget gives a random sampling and is a nice way to discover different types of music. Click on the links provided and you can stream some really great concerts. If you like the energy and spontaneity of live concerts, you’ll love Archive.org.
This coming autumn may bring an election to the Quebec population and will also bring an update to the slandi.net blog. In fact, I`m thinking of giving the site a complete revamp and having a series of independent, segregated blogs all running within one all-encompassing page. More news on this coming.
Hey all, well looks like Spring has finally sprung here in Montreal. The last week and half has seen daytime temperatures hovering in the low to mid 20s C, the snow is all gone and even some tulips and crocuses have started to show their heads. One sure sign of Spring is that yours truly has taken out his scooter. I went to work with it last week and rode around several more days. Now that it is fully broken in and I can open up the throttle, it’s a blast to ride. As the warm weather approaches my thoughts also turn to several of the outdoor projects that await me around the house. Things like the annual yard cleaning, and some unexpected things like removing a branch that had fallen on the roof during a mid-Winter wind storm. My daughter has outgrown part of her swing set and so I plan on dismantling half of it and donating the metal to a scrap collector. Unfortunately, several Montreal Winters have wrecked havoc on what was already an old swing set that we inherited from my wife’s friends. There is still some landscaping to do on the East side of the house, which I’ve put off for far too long. As I mentioned a few entries back, I’ve started a financial awareness site called frugal.slandi.net and although it’s had a very slow start my goal is to ramp up a bit more articles and updating during the next several months. Of late my music has taken more and more of my time. I don’t really consider myself a musician, I just like to play around on my guitar, e-drums and synth. From time to time I do plan on recording some small pieces and posting them on Indie Music Works, an independent musicians’ website found at http://www.indiemusicworks.com If you go there check out my artist page at http://indiemusicworks.com/stefano_jazzman/ however I warn you, you may not like the music you hear.
OK, that’s it for now, I’ll be back with other blog entries in the near future.
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything, ME BAD! Truth is I’ve been so darn busy with one thing or another and I recently started another website/blog on financial awareness and I’ve also been busy renovating my office. As things hopefully wind down in certain projects it will give me more time to blog. What am I thinking of writing about? Well, there have been so many incidents in the news that I would like to touch upon. This whole Occupy movement had me really intrigued for a while, but even that seems to have lost a bit of steam. I read something posted by an ex-wrestler of all people that I copied to a post-it note on my desktop. I’d like to reflect on this and perhaps also introduce my new financial awareness site. I’ve been also busy setting up my small home studio to do some future podcasting and hopefully even records some small instrumental music pieces. More on this and other stuff in upcoming articles.
For the last little while I’ve been enjoying music on the Indie Music Works website. To share my findings I’ve decided from time to time to feature artists that have particularly resonated with me, either because of their music, creative endevours or originality. I’m very particular to good beats and drumming, so it won’t come as any surprised that the first artist I’ve chosen to profile is a drummer.
Visit Buddrumming’s Site At
For More Music
Ever since I bought my new Mac Mini back about a year ago or so with the then new Mac OS X Leopard and its new incarnation of iLife and iMovie 8.0 I’ve mourned the passing of my beloved iMovie HD (ver 6). You see iMovie 8.0 no longer takes plug-ins and the effects they do have, although great still leave something to be desired creativity-wise. So I set off to find a replacement, preferably Open Source to iMovie that would offer me a simple interface, generous special effects, transitions and some audio editing features as well. I looked high and low for something, but couldn’t find something that fit either my budget, at the time being $0 or my user philosophy. I had resolved to go out and finally buy Final Cut Express as I couldn’t afford Final Cut Pro. Then came Final Cut Pro X, which has all the power of the old Final Cut Pro, but at the Express price. It looked rather attractive and I almost bit, but today I was taking one last look around at getting plug-ins for iMove HD and lo and behold I came across this site. http://www.imovieplugins.com/index.html. They have a great selection of plug-ins for special effects, transitions and a few for inserting titles. The prices are EXTREMELY reasonable with some plug-ins being offered for FREE and others start as little as a few dollars US to a maximum of about $6-7 US.For those of you who no longer have iMovie HD (ver 6.0) you can download it at this site and as of this posting it was still available. The website also has instructions on how to install the software without having to install iMovie 8.0
I though this was a great find as now I’ll be able to get back to some video editing using iMovie HD, a software that is perhaps not as full-featured as others and may have its quirks, but I’ve used it quite extensively and have come to like the interface and the workflow. I’ll have some links to some YouTube videos once I get them up and running.
I was just reading some articles about some rumours claiming that there might be a new Star Trek Television Series in the future. I’m going to read up some more and then post an update in the next few days.
As tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I thought I would recount where and what I was doing on that now historic day.
I was working in my office in Mississauga and chatting on MSN with a friend of mine back in Montreal who was just getting ready to leave for work and happened to have the morning news on his TV. Well, he at first he told me that a small plane had hit the World Trade Center and then he proceeded to tell me that it wasn’t a small plane after all, it was a commercial jetliner. A few of us curiously turned on the TV in the conference room and started watching the live coverage and as we were there, coffee cups in hand relating to each other how strange of an accident this was, we saw, right before our own eyes, the second plane plow in the other building. At this point we all knew this was an attack and no accident. Then of course the news started to pour in about the Pentagon and flight 93 in Pennsylvania. By now, I as many others were starting to be in a bit of a panic mode and as my wife had recently moved back to Montreal and the rest of my family was there, I really wasn’t sure what to do. I desperately wanted to go back to Montreal, but fearing that they would close highways, I got on Mapquest (Google Maps wasn’t as popular then) and started plotting a rather cumbersome trek back to Mtl using only secondary roads and passing well away from major urban areas. Of course as the intervening hours passed and the world started to realize that although these events were horrific, they were still the only ones as far as was known and that it wasn’t all out war. Those images will be forever etched into my memory; the two buildings, the dust, the smoke, the people leaping to their deaths, choosing a volunteered end, to that of putting their fate and doubtful futures in the hands of the burning buildings and the valiant rescuers who were unfortunately unable to reach them. As vivid as these images still are, the one things I’ll remember the most is my reaction of unadulterated fear and panic as to how I was going to get home to my family. There was also someone who I knew that was trying desperately to reach a loved one who was in one of the affected areas and the desperation in their voice is also something that I will always remember. My thoughts are with the 3,000+ people who perished that day in the buildings, in the plane and I mourn the death of not only those people, but also that of a small piece of each of our collective innocence, that also died that day.
Hey all, well it’s with a bit of a torn heart that I will be watching the Stanley cup play-offs. I will be very much torn between rooting for a Canadian team, but nonetheless wanting to root for my favourite team, the Boston Bruins. In the end, may the best team win, but I’m still kind of secretly rooting for the Bruins.
Click here to listen to Lord Vader’s choice.
I was particularly excited earlier today to find out that NASA will be making a special announcement on Tuesday May 24th at 3:30 PM EDT concerning a new transportation system that will carry humans into deep space. This is intriguing as NASA cancelled the Constellation program shortly after President Obama took office and appointed the new NASA administrator Charlie Bolden. Up to this morning I didn’t give the US space program much hope for the future with the current presidential administration. Not because President Obama is not a good president, it’s only because he’s got other priorities and seeing the effects of the economic crisis over the last few years on the United States and other countries, it’s only understandable that the president not put much money towards space exploration. However, my curiosity has been peaked and now I can’t wait until tomorrow afternoon 3:30 PM EDT to find out the big news. You can catch it live on NASA TV at the following links:
The weather finally starting breaking today. We have been experiencing lower than average temperatures for the last few weeks and I think it’s been getting on everyone’s nerves, well certainly mine! Back in November of 2010 I purchase a new Kymco People S 50 scooter and although I did ride it a bit during the late Autumn, for the most part it became too cold and then on December 15 I had to put the scooter in storage as there is a law here in Quebec that vehicles have to have snow tires between Dec 15 and March 15 and they don’t make snow tires for scooters, well they actually do, but not for my size of tires, but I digress. A few weeks ago the weather teased us all a bit and we were treated to double digit temperatures for approximately two days or was that two minutes, hard to tell. Joking aside I was able to actually take the scooter out for a quick run and it was a blast. Now with the Canadian Geese flying in their famous “V” formation signaling the return of warmer weather, I’m getting quite antsy to get back on the scoot. I hope to be able to shoot a video of one of my first rides and share it with my readers on the blog. Springtime also heralds the beginning of Spring cleaning and gardening. This year I have plans on doing some much needed landscaping on one side of the house while still having to finish some renovations inside. I also put aside many of my Winter-time projects during the Spring like my model trains and computer work. In any case I seem to have too many projects now, so it might be a good thing to put some aside for another day. Haven’t done much writing this past WInter. Thought I might, but I had more work than anticipated and unfortunately not much in the way of inspiration. I have, however taken to reading novels again, something I had not done in many many years. The last one I read is called “Wake Up Sir” by Jonathan Ames and it was simply a hoot. It’s very difficult to describe and review without giving too much away, but I will try and write a short review on it over at my writing blog some time in the near future so stay tuned over there. If you’ve forgotten it, here’s the URL:
catch you later.