Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

This is why I kept all my cd's and still buy cd's

People have often thought I was nuts because I still like to buy cd's. I always hated how itunes controls your music. If the only way to back it up is to burn it to disk, why not buy the disk in the first place. It's not like you can buy music at half price when it's digital only, which is a rip off to the consumer.
The main reason I have kept ALL my cd's and continue to buy cd's is because I predicted that the day would come when we wouldn't want to settle for the compromise in quality that the mp3 offers. Even though I have ripped all of my music to mp3 (over a terabyte of it), I foresaw a day when we would want to rip it to a better quality. Mp3's remove a lot of the high and low range tones and squash the sound. Looks like my prediction might be true and those of you with tons of mp3, without the original cd quality, will be compromised and look like suckers.

A Microsoft analyst, Matt Rosoff, wrote an recent article predicting how we would consume music in the future. One section backs up my claim. He said:

* Fidelity rather than file size
"Eventually bandwidth will increase to the point where streaming lossless digital files makes sense. Listeners will rediscover detail in the midrange, and tons of information at the low and high ends of the spectrum -- and the MP3 will be looked back as the dark ages of audio quality. "

Rosoff also predicts:

* Songs instead of albums
"Fewer musicians will release suites of songs organized around a common theme or sound," he wrote. "With digital files already taking the place of physical recordings, there's almost no economic reason for the album to persist. By 2020, the concept of the album will be an anachronism with a few vocal adherents -- like vinyl records are today."

* Streams instead of downloads
"If you had access to every song ever recorded, on any device, from any location with an Internet connection, wouldn't you rather pay for that service than buy a new CD or two every month? People say they want to own music, but when it's just a digital file, what do they want to own ... why bother? ... By 2020, most professionally recorded music will be consumed as on-demand streams and people won't pay by the track"

* Clouds instated of hard drives
"As users become accustomed to listening to more professionally recorded music on demand, they'll expect their personal collections to be available in the cloud as well."

*Extras become standard
"What's to prevent artists from packaging their music with artwork, lyric sheets, video outtakes, and even interactive applications? "

* Production rather than consumption
"Digital technology, [which] has already democratized the recording process, and the Internet have also made promotion and distribution far easier than they were a decade ago. By 2020, music fans will spend almost as much time creating and sharing recordings with their friends as they do listening to professionally recorded music."

* Suggestions rather than searches
"In a world of on-demand music in the cloud, search will become vitally important. Users will want to be able to find songs not only by title, album, or artist, but also by a few snippets of lyrics, or even by humming or playing part of a melody. By 2020, personalized recommendation services, like those provided by Pandora, Slacker, and MOG, will become even more important than search, and will have to be integrated into any on-demand music service that hopes to survive."

* Festivals rather than big concerts
"With the exception of old, established acts and the very occasional pop sensation, very few bands can fill large arenas or football stadiums. This trend will accelerate as the last bands from the golden age of radio retire. In 2020, no single act will be able to sell 50,000 tickets at Qwest Field like U2 hopes to do this summer. Instead, the only shows that will pack large arenas will be festivals, where listeners can pick and choose among dozens of acts and classes of entertainment."

* Spectacle rather than personality
"The common wisdom today dictates that musicians need a personal connection with their fans. They must blog, tweet, maintain their MYSPACE and FACEBOOK profiles, and generally act like your next door neighbor who's always pestering you to see his band. There's a word for [this] --it's called "spam." Eventually, this cloud of self-promotional noise will dissipate, and will be replaced by old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

* Retro takes on a new meaning
"In 2020, the original iPod will be almost 20 years old ... overtaken by a nearly infinite selection of high-fidelity music, streamed over super-fast wireless connections to increasingly inexpensive portable devices." First-generation iPODS will become the SONY WALKMAN of the Aughts.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

So I got this new Leica camera, having some fun

My Austin Monthly Home Winter issue column, just in case you missed it

It’s another Sunday morning and I’m again flipping through the “Homes” section of the paper. A part of me is wondering if there is a better place for us to live. The other part of me is looking for reassurance that our home is still o.k. and worth at least what we paid for it. I have a love/hate affair with my house that I’m trying to overcome. It’s an illness really. My wife and I both suffer from acute residencitis, meaning we are never satisfied with our home. I flip flop from thinking “This place is really coming together” to wondering “What the heck was I thinking when I bought this?” We have acted like this with all three homes that we have owned. We were thrilled when we bought them, confused while we lived there and missed them when they were gone.

We often find ourselves saying “you know, if we just redid _________, I would really love this house.” The problem is, we have been redoing _____ since we moved in 7 years ago. First is was “if we just paint the house”, “if we just get a metal roof”, “ if we just add a deck on the side”, “if we just replaced all the windows”, “if we just add an office.” As of right now, we just committed to tearing out the front of the house, redesigning the entryway and adding a carport. Then, surely we will love this house. Right?
Since committing to this major renovation, I’ve already heard rumblings. “if we just redo the bathrooms and possibly add a pool.” Then possibly, it will be the home of our dreams, that is, after I get the garage I’ve always wanted.

It never ends. A part of me cringes and the thought of all the dollars we have thrown at this house. Another part of me takes pride in how we have made something out of nothing. Every change we make becomes a great story. Almost every wall and every project, has a story. I love that. However, at the time the story is being written I hate it, just as I hate writing the checks that go along with it.

Does it sound like this at your home? Does it feel like it’s never going to be finished? It’s as if you never get to cross the goal line and you never get to spike the ball? We all want to do the Ickey Shuffle and wave to our moms on tv, but it never happens. Always a work in progress.

As preoccupied as we have been with improving this home for near the last decade, we still torture ourselves to no end looking at other homes. I can’t tell you how many times an open house or a visit to a friends house sends us home feeling sad and discouraged about our place.
It doesn’t make any sense the mental anguish and we all put ourselves through. Yet, we are constantly looking for better options, because “you never know”.

Here’s a funny thing to ponder. It seems as if want, desire, envy and outright pompousness, are totally acceptable when it comes to our homes. When you visit a home, people brag. They can’t help it. They take you on tour and they flaunt their riches. “Come see the new pool we had put in, negative edge and waterfall”, or “This entire foyer was made from wood retrieved from the Titanic”, or “all of these doorknobs where made from the bones of the King Edward the Procrasinator”. Congratulations on your success, come by our house to see our new “Welcome Mat, made in China by an 11 year old last July.”

What I’m saying is, somehow, everyone has a free pass on bragging rights with their homes, especially in this town. It sends many of us home feeling empty, depressed or just downright annoyed. I propose all gatherings to take place at Starbucks from here forward. It’s a bit more of an even playing field.

With homes, the “grass is greener” effect haunts us all the time, yet I’m the first to sign up for a Home Tour or a cocktail party at Le Vogue Haus. I’m the first to walk through in total fascination, commenting “we should do that to our house” even thought I could never afford it and I’m also usually the first to say “How can a couple of Jackasses like that afford all this?”

So my wife and I go home, again confused, bewildered and loathing our home. By mid-week confidence escalates again, we start loving our home all over again, occasionally throwing compliments to each other on a job well done. That is, until that Sunday Homes section unfolds over a cup of coffee and the questions start all over again. “What if we built mother in law quarters? We’d never need another home, ever again.”

The mixed feelings about our current home continue:

We don’t have a yard, but I don’t want to take care of a yard
We don’t know our neighbors, but I don’t want anyone dropping by.
There are a lot of rules for where I live, but don’t think it should apply to me.
We reworked everything to add a guest bedroom, yet never have guests.
We host a party and then make excuses for all the unfinished things in our house.
We would love to remodel the kitchen, but we never cook.

As of this week, we have just committed to another renovation that we really can’t afford. Seems like we do one about every other year. It’s tempting to just pack up and move into a new home, but I love my house, I really do.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My 8 year old daughter's letter to Santa

Dear Santa Claus,
This is what I want for Christmas.
1. A puppy.
2. I wish that candy was healthy but it has to have the same taste
3. That is snows on Christmas
4. A Wii and can you bring some games with it.
5. What I want best of all for Christmas is a bunny as white as snow.

Love, Raleigh

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Alex eats the bosses candy

My Holiday Letter

I know that 2009 has been a dismal year, at least according to most media outlets. I apologize in advance if it’s been a tough year, but I see so many things that went so well.

We kicked off the year with a historic election. I a believer in the theory that “perception is reality” so I’m optimistic that things will get better because they are “supposed to”.

I love that compared to the rest of the country, Austin chose not to participate in the recession. All that preaching for years to buy and support local has really paid off for us. Austin is learning more and more how to sustain itself. First we decided we didn’t need Houston or Dallas to be a great city, now we realize we don’t even need the rest of the country.

2009 was fun to see my daughter transition from 1st to 2nd grade. Doesn’t sound like much or look like much on paper, but this is the year we went from a little girls room to a big girls room. Gone are the butterflies stuffed bears and rolling in are the surfboards, computer, ds games, clothes and more shoes than I could have ever imagined.
My little toddler that I want to teach and protect is out there on her own, exploring, learning and sometimes getting hurt. I have enjoyed the past year of exploring her strengths, overcoming some of her weaknesses and hanging out with my new little buddy.
I’ve enjoyed her success at surfing, wakeboarding, continuing to grow in Karate for yet another year and for being my sushi buddy when I need one.

As my daughter has matured, my wife and I have enjoyed some “Breathing room” to reconnect with each other and ourselves. We appreciate going to an grown up movie or the time to sit down and just read. It’s been a good year to “take care of ourselves” a bit as I spent another year trying to accomplish personal goals in cycling and my wife knocked out her first marathon. Accomplishing these goals has been good for the soul.

I’ve accomplished my goal for the year of “being more present” with both my wife and daughter. I’m often proud when I get to step back and see what my girls are all about.
It’s been a great year of seeing friends totally prosper in the worst of times personally and economically… and to those friends who have had failures in the past year, it has been inspiring to see you overcome and move on. I learned a lot from you.
It’s been a great year to have Sandy and Alex married and Sandy starting a family. Welcome to my world as I’ve now been married over 11 years and my daughter is now 8. It’s a good world, it’s just nice to not be the only one on the show trying to relate what life was like on this side of the fence. Welcome boys.

It’s also been a great year with the addition of Cassiday and Sarah. I always recognized the talents and potential of Cassiday. Sarah, I thought was nuts for the longest time, but it’s become quite endearing. I’m not saying she’s not crazy, but her heart is in the right place and that fits well with our show. As they say, you get the right people on the bus and things are going to go from Good to Great.

I have to say thank you for a great year to my loving family. I’m grateful to our team at Mix 94.7 and to those who support what Sandy and I are trying to accomplish here. Thanks to my friends who let me be a part of Rare Magazine and Austin Monthly Home Magazine. I appreciate your support and patience. I’m also appreciate to all our new friends we have made at KEYE. Their attitudes and hard work has been inspiring and enlightening.

The only thing that concerns me that might have gone horribly wrong in throughout 2009 was spawned exactly one year ago, when Lance Armstrong convinced us to get on Twitter. I figured I have spend approximately 2 months 23 days, and 18 hours looking at tweets. Don’t think I can ever make up for that.
Best wishes and a happy 2010. Thanks Colt McCoy, thanks Jordan Shipley. Go Horns!!!

How do Americans like to spend their free time?

--Here's a look at the American public's five favorite leisure activities:

#1.) Watching TV . . . 81% of Americans spend their free time watching TV for an average of about ten hours a week.

#2.) LISTENING TO RADIO . . . 78% of Americans spend their free time listening to traditional radio for an average of about five hours a week. (!!!)

#3.) Email and instant messaging . . . 70% of Americans spend their free time sending email and chatting on IM for an average of about four hours a week.

#4.) Social networking websites . . . 47% of Americans spend their free time visiting social networking sites for an average of about five hours a week. And . . .

#5.) Twitter . . . 11% of Americans spend their free time "Tweeting" for an average of about three hours a week.

--The study also found that, despite the emergence of iPods and other MP3 players, THREE in FIVE Americans still listen to their music on CD. (CNet News)

The Octomom's Christmas card.... Is it just me or is she kinda hot?

Friday, December 11, 2009

Hilarious. Mavericks owner, Mark Cuban slammed through a table in wrestling match

Sports Videos, News, Blogs

Here are some of the Tiger Woods Txt with Jamiee Grubbs

(Sept. 27, 8:45 p.m.) Tiger decides he is Jaimee’s “boyfriend” and that they will “always be together”

Tiger: do you have a boy friend
Jaimee: I don’t even have someone I am dating … no … u can be my boyfriend
Tiger: then I am
Jaimee: I wish
Tiger: quiet and secretively we will always be together
Tiger: when was the last time you got laid

(Sept. 27, 6:38 p.m.) Tiger probes his alleged mistress about Jaimee’s “dates”

Jaimee: miss u
Tiger: now that’s hot so who is your new boy toy
Jaimee: no new boy toy … still running dry… been on 2 real dates in the pat 2 months
Tiger: I need you
Jaimee: then get your tight ass over here and visit me! I need u
Tiger: I will wear you out soon
Jaimee: how soon? I got a new piercing
Tiger: really. Where
Jaimee: I just sent u a pic of it … is on my cheek below my eye … implanted a little diamond
Tiger: send it again. I didn’t pick up on that
Tiger: you just need some attention from me

(July 26, 11: 22 p.m.) Tiger prods Jaimee about a male friend.

Jaimee: I drove out for the night to surprise a friend with a present for there birthday
Tiger: what kind of present your naked body
Jaimee: haha no a watch I slept alone
Tiger: alone with him that is
Jaimee: haha I wish

(Oct. 1, 6:06 p.m.) Tiger accuses Jaimee of having a thing for “big black guys”

Jaimee: is it orange county time yet?
Tiger: oh stop
Jaimee: hahaha I know … but you canceled on me last time so the anticipation is killing me … im finding myself watching sports center … haha j/k it isn’t that bad
Tiger: its never been that bad
Jaimee: very true … I only watch football
Tiger: Figured you would say that. Big black guys.
Jaimee: u are my first, last and only black guy! U should feel special
Tiger: why do I not believe that?
Tiger: [later, in response to Jaimee's mention of a date who was "full of himself"] you kinda like that for some reason which is weird why you decided on me.
Tiger: having an asian mother and a military father you cannot and will not ever be full of yourself
Jaimee: I have fun with u, you always make me smile and I am not afraid to be myself or say anything to u … the day I met u I thought u were going to kick me out a few times but for someone reason you didn’t and u have told me numerous times I talk to much but slowly as I get to know u iI think your absolutely amazing
Tiger: you are wrong I’m bone thugs in harmony

(Oct. 18, 3:40 p.m.) Tiger orders Jaimee to take a “very naughty” photo of herself.

Tiger: send me something very naughty
Jaimee: some things are worth waiting for lol … besides im at work
Tiger: go to the bathroom and take it
Jaimee: haha ur too much

Later that day, after they seemed to have hooked up, Grubbs texted him right after he left asking her to come back, and then he refers to himself as “blasian.”

Jaimee: are u leaving me cause your wife is still in newport I am lonely now … i like falling asleep in your arms

(Oct. 18, 11:38 p.m.) Tiger calls himself “blasian” — black and Asian.

Tiger: sorry baby I just can’t sleep. Its just a problem I have.
Tiger: she is not here. They left this morning
Jaimee: well I appreciate you not wanting to wake me up but if y couldn’t sleep I would have rather sat up and talked to u more … find out why I keep falling more and more for u
Tiger: Because I’m blasian
Tiger: I’m sorry bab. Im already home.
Jaimee: I’m putting my underwear back on … thats a no no … come take them off
Tiger: you are too funny

(Nov. 26, 11:16 a.m.) Even on the one day when Tiger should’ve been spending quality time with his family, he was texting Jaimee.

Tiger: happy thanksgiving to you
Jaimee: u too love

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Man, I love youtube

Youtube is an amazing wealth of information. One of my daughters surfboards had a traction pad all the way across the board. She has improved and doesn't need it anymore. We started trying to peel it off tonight and we were getting no where. We just made a big mess. I would have never thought to use a hair dryer to heat it first, then a surfboard comb. Totally makes sense. I love it when I can go to youtube for answers and tutorial videos. I love that people take the time to make these for us. Thanks dude.

It's pretty obvious this Romanian pop singer is lip-synching

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Your list of Top Tiger Jokes so far

1) What's the difference between a car and a golf ball? Tiger can drive a ball 400 yards.

2) Tiger Woods crashed into a fire hydrant and a tree. He couldn't decide between a wood and an iron.

3) What does Tiger have in common with a baby seal? They've both been clubbed by a Swede.

4) Apparently the police asked Tiger's wife how many times she hit him. She said "I don't know exactly... but put me down for a 5."

5) Phil Mickelson contacted Tiger's wife to pick up some tips on how to beat him.

6) Seems he forgot his Daddy's profound advice, "Tiger, you'll never be successful until you learn to play one hole at a time."

7) What did Elin say right after she clubbed him? "Don't even try to tell me I bent my elbow...!"

8) Of course, he blamed it on a problem with his Escalade. Whenever a golfer hits a tree, he blames it on his Caddie.

9) I hear that Tiger is changing his name to Cheetah!

Thank you Palm LeBlanc. Thank you Austin American Statesman!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

My retro Christmas tree

If you had to choose to save your wife or your child, what would you do? Painful thought


If your wife and your kid were both drowning, but you could only save ONE of them . . . which one would you choose?

--The reason I ask is because recently, a guy from New Zealand named Stacy Horton was faced with that exact decision. And he chose to save his wife, 35-year-old Vanessa, instead of their son, 13-year-old Silva. So what happened?

--On Saturday night, Vanessa was driving with Silva and his friend when she lost control of the car, and plunged into a river.

--Stacy, who was following behind them, showed up at the crash scene about two minutes later. That's when he heard Vanessa calling for help, and saw the car sinking with Silva trapped inside. So Stacy ran down to the river and dove in.

--He says, quote, "I tried to get down and get him but I couldn't. It was just too deep. And Vanessa was going under. I made a call to pull my wife to safety. I looked back and I could see the taillights but it was too far and I couldn't get him . . .

--"Instead of going down and risking my life as well as my wife and son's, I chose to take Vanessa back and sat on the shore praying. It was all I could do."

--That's right . . . Stacy let his son die in order to save his wife.

--On Sunday, divers recovered Silva's body from the bottom of the river. (AOL News)


All I really know about is that they want to become the most popular search engine in the world. And also that they have really annoying commercials.

--I don't know how popular they've managed to become. But one way they're emulating their competitors is by putting out a year-end list of the most-searched items. Not surprisingly, MICHAEL JACKSON tops it. Here's the list . . .


#2.) Twitter

#3.) Swine Flu

#4.) Stock Market



#7.) Cash for Clunkers




O.k. I hate cats but this is pretty darn cute

Want to see Lady GaGa take a little spill?