Docile Whale

Here’s one of those little things that amuses me far more than it should: my wife gave me this notebook to use at work. She said, “It’s friendly. The children will like it.” And it is and they do.

But I like it because of its friendly and charming little poem. Across the top it says: “I’m feeling much better. I live as I please. I like the natural flow of time. How are you?”

Well, I’m just great, thanks for asking! You docile whale you.


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Filed under Learning From the Master, The Language We Speak, The Languages We Don't Speak So Well, True Thoughts on True Life

Resting Places

Trying another post from the iPhone, this time with photos.

Yesterday, my wife and I went to put flowers on her dad’s grave. He’s interred at a beautiful temple / cemetary near our house. We took a quiet walk around the grounds and I took a few photos, keeping others privacy foremost in mind and being respectful.

Anyway, here’s a photo of one of the small Buddah statues that surround the grounds and some of the flowering trees that are omnipresent.

I took the photo with my iPhone, using CameraBag and the Helga filter.

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Filed under Attack of the Robot Monsters, Captured Bits of Light, Left From Seattle


While it isn’t quite ready for prime time, Songbird is an excellent music player with the potential to be a one stop music application.

The biggest thing that differentiates Songbird from other library managers like iTunes is the built in browser. Based on the Mozilla engine, the browser works just like any other, only that when you surf to a music site, Songbird automatically searches the site for .mp3 files that can be downloaded and arranges them in a window at the bottom of the screen. This makes reading music blogs a whole lot cooler as you can immediately download the file you are reading about (if it has been posted to the site). Legal issues aside, it is a great way to find new music.

The initial download comes with a few bookmarks preloaded; there are a ton of music sites and blogs that are greatly enhanced by viewing them through Songbird. Some of my favorites are Muxtape, eMusic, and Gumdrop.

Songbird also recently added their own version of Coverflow, letting users scroll through their library by album cover, much like in iTunes. While this is very cool, there are still some issues – like getting all the album art – that need to be worked out.

Hopefully, too, future versions will add video support and better integration with the major music shopping sites as well as podcast management. For now though, Songbird is a decent player and library manager but it is not quite a replacement for iTunes. Yet.

*I’ve written about Songbird before, here.

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Filed under Attack of the Robot Monsters, Plugs and Shoutouts, Toad Web

Testin Y’all Testin

Nevermind this post. Seriously. This is just a quick test of the WordPress application for the iPhone. We’ll have to see what this looks like and take it from there.

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Filed under Left From Seattle, Toad Web

A Little Bit More

Here’s another couple of shots done with Camera Bag:

This is the cinema filter:


This is the Holga filter:


I’m really digging the Holga filter.

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Filed under Captured Bits of Light

Toy Camera Phenom

A couple of weeks ago I went down to the park for the annual Hanami festivities. This year, for the first time in a long, long time, I didn’t take a camera with me. Instead I decided to put my iPhone’s camera through the paces. More specifically, I wanted to see what the applications CameraBag and ToyCamera would do with Hanami shots. Here are two results:

This first pic. was altered with ToyCamera’s XXXX filter. I really like the effect this app applies to images; it gives things a nice retro feel as well as warming up the colors.


The second pic. was altered with CameraBay’s 1974 filter which has an even better “back in the day” feel to it.


Generally speaking, I like CB just a bit better than TC. CB’s filters are based around older camera styles, while TC is based more around classic film stocks. On the other hand, TC has better menus and community features. They’re really both worth having for photogeeks and for iPhone users who want something a little different for their photos.

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Filed under Captured Bits of Light

Nirvana featuring…

Shortly after Freddie Mercury died musicians from all over the rock ‘n’ roll world gathered in the U.K. for a tribute concert. It was shown on t.v. around the world and the CD sales numbered in the millions. It was an awesome, awesome show.

Slash, Elton John, George Michael and the surviving members of Queen. They all performed Queen’s songs, Freddie’s songs, and showed what a genius Freddie was.

But my question is, where is the Nirvana tribute?

Ok, I know there have been a couple, but I want the really big, televised, spectacular, grandiose, laden with rock stars covering Nirvana songs, badass tribute.

But I don’t think we’re ever going to get it.

And it’s not just that Dave and Krist don’t get along with Courtney. I think it has a lot more to do with how Freddie died versus how Kurt died. Freddie died of AIDS at a time when people were just beginning to accept the idea of homosexuality as a mainstream culture. Freddie died a tragic, but heroic, death. He maintained a brave front, continuing to work and to spend time with family and friends, right up until the day he died.

Kurt, on the other hand, shot himself.

There is still such a phobia and lack of understanding about suicide that I feel like there would be protests should there ever be a massive tribute to Kurt Cobain. People have already claimed that his suicide encouraged kids to follow suite, and that his is an image that parents do not want their children to idolize.

Still, Nirvana is / was, arguably, the most influential band of the nineties. They broke a new style of music into the mainstream. They were the icons for the grunge lifestyle and their music is not only still being played, it is being covered by new bands all the time.

I would love to see a Nirvana reunion, the larger lineup, featuring Pat Smear, and a guest roster of lead vocalists, similar to the Queen tribute to Freddie Mercury. Get Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell and Thom Yorke to take the vocals and do the best live versions of Nirvana’s music since 1994.

This year was the 15th anniversary of Cobain’s death and I, for one, still miss him and his music.

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Filed under All the Baby's Linkage, True Thoughts on True Life