Monday, December 31, 2012

Native Instruments MASCHINE 2 Review
Native Instruments Maschine has been said to change the game for many computer musicians. This hardware controller along with the integrated software is providing just want DJs have been asking for: improving, easing, and simplifying production; providing hardware and software of a nearly customized status.

Autodesk 3D Studio Max Freeware

Autodesk 3D Studio Max or 3DS Max is a 3 year license priced at $3675. Is the software worth it? YES! It is!
But suppose you are not a graphic design student at FIDM. Maybe you do not work for EA or Blizzard making games and models. Maybe you do not go to a campus or work site that allows you to have free access to such goodies.

Graphic Design Freeware Like Adobe Suite
Adobe Suite is an extremely expensive package.

For a professional, this is worth the investment. For those who have money to spend, the use of Adobe Suite is possible after publishing.

Propellerhead Record 1.5 Audio Monitoring Fixed

Propellerhead Reason 4 was the first professional software I used to create music. I recorded keyboard and programmed beats.

As a guitarist I wanted something to record riffs and playbacks with as well as make rhythm tracks to practice improv to and jam with.

Propellerhead Record 1.5 was the correct software for me. When using Propellerhead Reason, I did not need to monitor much. Monitoring was automatic. The input was midi USB. Record 1.5 allowed me to adapt my electric guitar cable to a mic 1/4 adapter which plugged into my laptop's mic jack.

While this was easy enough, I was not able to hear the output as I could with Reason 4 and the keyboard. When playing a plugged in instrument, the laptop speakers ought to put out the sound that is played. This was the same with vocals, the internal mic was not transferring and outputting sound to the laptop speakers. I tried increasing the mic volume and the speaker volume. NOTHING!


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Motherboard Replacement HP zd7260us

Your requests for more tech related videos will be answered. I can most easily begin with some older videos. Here is a motherboard replacement video. My HP zd7260us 17 inch laptop had an adapter jack which fried! It was sparking and smoking -___- I first replaced the Jack. This did not work well. The MoBo was still burned so the new jack did not work. Because I could not get power to the board, after the battery died the laptop no longer powered on. Mind you, the battery life was about 2 hours at best on this massive, heavily running machine. I purchased a cheap refurbished "like new" MoBo on ebay. This was cheaper and faster than waiting to raise the money, ship, and wait for HP to fix it themselves at their expensive prices. I figured, HEY, THIS LAPTOP IS OLD! It was about at a breaking point anyways. So attempting to fix it was not an issue since it no longer worked properly at that time. Manuals can be downloaded for free from the HP website based on laptop models. The directions showed how to disassemble the laptop. This was hard work. Getting to the MoBo was no joke! But it was very fun. And all worth the effort. A GREAT DIY PROJECT!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Challenging Western Culture: Knowing
What we know translates into many different aspects.
All related yet not the same:


Beliefs are related to experiences and biases. But beliefs are not always TRUTH.
And TRUTH is not always ABSOLUTE! What is true for some people is not true for all.

Summer is the hottest season of the year...TRUE! But not for everybody!

What we know is knowledge and this is portrayed externally, while WISDOM is internal. KNOWLEDGE results in pride and barriers in relating to others. If I know something that someone else does not know, they may be interested in what I know. If I can garden and plant, there may be friends who want to learn from me. But if they are not interested in what I know, then they will be divided from me if I keep trying to talk with them or teach gardening skills. Knowledge can result in barriers or cohesion, depending. Presentation of knowledge can lead to pride. It is often paired with worth, success, and money.

Mr. Chaz, the sanitation man, comes to pick up my trash cans. I wave to him and yell "hi!" over the loud truck. He yells back what I perceive as "hi!" with a smile. Mr. Kim and Mrs. Kim are physicians from Korea. They immigrated and had a son named Jon Kim. Jon and I are friends. His parents receive different reactions at the local party at the Cultural Arts Center from the reactions to Mr. Chaz. The Kim doctors are praised and honored, while Mr. Chaz is respected, yet not revered as highly.

Mr. Chaz has knowledge different from that of the Kim doctors. He had to do schooling and courses to learn his profession. Without him, my waste would overflow, OR I would need to result to creating a burning pit to dispose of my weekly trash.

Is Mr. Chaz not as important as the Kim doctors?

The knowledge separates them. Doctors are viewed as more important than trash disposers.

But knowledge is different from wisdom.

Wisdom is internal. You do not need to flaunt wisdom. Wisdom does not involve pride. Wisdom comes from experience. Wisdom comes from your own personal truth. What you have learned to be truth in your own life.

Mr. Chaz may have more wisdom that then Kim doctors, or vice versa. This depends. And it also does not usually matter as much in Western culture. Western culture seems more focused on knowledge than on wisdom.

Knowledge is relative to a situation. If you are in a crash, you may need the help of the Kims. If the sanitation industry in your city strikes, you will call up Mr. Chaz! "Please, tell me what to do with my trash! It is over flowing. How can I easily and legally get rid of this stuff?"

Wisdom allows you to discern across different situations. To apply experience and knowledge and truth to result in the best possible outcome for yourself and others.

This is my personal take on the writings of Osho. See

Friday, December 21, 2012

Challenging Western Culture: East and West
Previously I wrote of how immigrants basically got to the spots where they are.

Now we need to talk about what the Western identity is.

Let us immediately contrast and compare to Eastern identity.

EASTERN IDENTITY works at taking the whole. The spiritual, physical, mental, thoughts, actions, foods, behaviors, words... these are all lumped into yourself as your being.
WESTERN IDENTITY looks at me as a group of parts. My church life is at church, but during the week I may not act the same. My work life is what I do at work. My home life is what I do after work. What I eat and how I study are different things.

In Eastern culture there are spas where girls or guys can go with their friends and bathe. In the nude. In Western culture, why would you want to get naked with your friends? Nudity is paired with sex. While it is often related, nudity is not inherently linked to sex. This explains why Westerners may partake in voyeuristic acts. But in some cultures, voyeurism is not as popular as it is here.

Western culture comes from a place that says: if it is natural it has the potential to be evil. THEN- if it is natural then it will lead to evil SO IGNORE EVERYTHING NATURAL. What is natural? Anything that helps us survive.
AND HAVE YOU NOTICED THAT EACH OF THESE CAN BE PAIRED WITH WESTERN ADDICTIONS or disorders? porn addictions, anorexia, alcoholism, greed or gambling addictions.

Challenging Western Culture: An Introduction
QUOTE: "Many people who come here from where you are from do not like it here. You may not like it here. I visited where you live and I was surprised. Where you are from is almost UN-AMERICAN!"

This was said to me during an interview for a PhD program out of state. I did not get accepted. But this was a comment from a professor near the East Coast.

At the time I was almost offended. What is American? Was this meant as an insult? Or was this person trying to say something else? If where I live is "UN-AMERICAN" then what makes a place "AMERICAN?" And how can you tell if a place is AMERICAN? Where does the stereotype of AN AMERICAN come from?

Western culture can be compared and contrasted to Eastern culture. Mostly, every culture and subculture pretty much believes that WE ARE RIGHT, AND THEY ARE WRONG. Or at least more right. But what can we challenge about Western culture?

Western culture is not just the United States, but it is also Western Europe. Immigrants to the "New World" brought with them many ideas and ways. Primarily religion and it's social contexts, along with mores and social norms (which stemmed from religion).

Where I live, there is a lot of Eastern influence. There is a large Japanese, Indian, Chinese, and Korean population along with the population of Middle Easterners. Please, continue reading.

I am not here to group everybody into a box, but rather
to explain those boxes.
And to show that those boxes have clearer and more liquid walls than we may see.

In my neighborhood you can walk the shopping centers. There you will find people speaking in non-English languages. You will find store names that are not in English. You will find people dressed in clothing from their native lands. You will see people participating in customs that are not native to the U.S. You will see children explaining, translating English, to their non-English speaking folks what a flier says, in the parent's native tongue. Most of the foreign languages you will hear near my home are Japanese, Korean, and Hindi. Down the street about 30 minutes there are many Tagalog and other Filipino languages spoken. Spanish is nearly everywhere. My neighbors are from a different country. My dad is from a different country. Half my family are immigrants. THIS IS NORMAL HERE.

Your Culture and You

What is your culture?
Your race? Your religion? Your social affiliations? Your neighborhood?

I often ask myself this question.

When I am filling out the questionnaires I come across boxes which should define how I describe myself...

Hispanic or Latino/a
Black, not of Hispanic or Latin descent...
White, not of Hispanic or Latin descent...
Native American

The boxes change based on the importance of the era. Now, people want to know- who is of Hispanic or Latin descent?

I wonder, does Japan have this same categorization? In Japan it may matter if you are from the mainland or Okinawa.

Some countries may care about tribal affiliations.

It is not only your race- color.
This can also be related to your nationality.
What about my Chinese friend that was born in Nigeria and has Chinese parents and American citizenship?

The county I live in is quite segregated. The freeways clearly separate the wealthy from the unwealthy. The housing is more affordable and condensed on one side of the freeway. There are more mom and pop shops on one side versus the name brand companies and large industrial centers on the one side. The signs are in English on one side and usually in Spanish on the other side. On one side you may only see skinny blonde singles and young couples while on the other side you will see tired mothers and men selling from vending carts and trucks.

The schools are better on one side.

The traffic still sucks though!!!

Some places you will feel safe walking at night if your car breaks down.

This is just the physical layout of the city.

How it looks.

Many of us call ourselves Americans.

Where I attended public school there were not a lot of people who looked like me. The same thing happened during the upper division years in university. I was surrounded by Japanese, Koreans, and Caucasian kids in high school. And in university I experienced the same thing.

During graduate school I was told that 65% of the population was Latino. I stayed near campus and I was better off shopping at the markets speaking in Spanish. I got a job tutoring kids in that same area. Same routine! Espanol por favor ^_^

While tutoring I learned that the Catholic Latino culture celebrates Christmas with the baby Jesus. There was a Nativity scene in each home. A doll or baby with a trough and animals. The surrogate mother Mary and the adopted father Joseph watching over the newborn.

Additionally, I learned this year, through a tutoring session, that there is a long mass service on the birthday of the mother Mary! This was last week! I hadn't a clue.

I would classify myself as Christian, but I have never done these things. And I actually do not subscribe to the typical ideal Christmas.

I am Black.
I have an immigrant African father.
I have an American mother who is mixed with West African missionaries, slaves from somewhere, Blackfoot, and Crow.
I was born in the Mid-West.
I live on the West Coast.

I just described my city to you.

I know which box I check. But is it really so obvious?
What really determines who I am?
Most of my friends growing up were either Mexican or Japanese?
If I knew fluent Spanish and Japanese I would not need to learn English where I live. I could get by. I know people who get by.

I am Black, and when I walk around my neighborhood and see Black people I often wonder "Do they live here?" The neighborhoods are changing. This is awesome. Things are getting more diverse. But I see each label getting harder to define.

Example: Watch an 80s or 90s movie. You rarely see Asians or Latinos. You see token Blacks. Now, you see shows like Modern Family! The families are mixed racially, based on sexuality, many roles are flipped. Yet, I see this as more normal. Compare the Modern Family pilot to the movie Boyz 'N The Hood.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Port cities have been major immigration hotspots since the first settlers arrived.
Basically, you have to enter the country SOMEWHERE!

New York.
Los Angeles. Hollywood.
These words have a lot of meaning and a lot of history.

To begin, people started pouring in from the East. The INNER CITIES were transitional places for people like the Irish and Italians. The people came in. They got affordable housing. They worked. They saved. The flourished. They moved. Where did they move? They went to the suburbs. Out of the crowded and congested and polluted cities. They moved where the air was cleaner and the crime rates were lower. They moved away from the factories and they had children who were educated in the U.S. Their kids spoke English. Sometimes names were changed, etc., etc...

Ghettos came about near WWII. The Jewish immigrants also came in through the port cities. Same as the Irish. BUT, the Jews were forced to stay. They were allowed entry, but they were forced to stay put.

Many other groups came through the East. Haitians came. Cubans came. PEOPLE CAME.
Look at the trends. They came in waves. When the government needed certain types of work, the people came in waves. The Chinese, the Filipinos, the Haitians, and the Cubans ALL CAME DUE TO THE GOVERNMENT PROJECTS. They were hired to work for the U.S.

Let us jump back to the 1600s-1800s.
All this new land needed to be worked for cheap labor. THEN, people needed to work for free, based on exploitation. NOTE, THIS IS A COMMON THEME. WE NOW OUTSOURCE OUR CHEAP OR NEARLY FREE LABOR. I would still call this all slavery. This is how we get our Nike shoes and cool jackets and stuff.

People came west.
Some pioneered.
Some raped, and pillaged, and ruined, and massacred. Executed.
Some trail blazed.
Some map quested.

People settled in the wild west. There was gold and fairy tale. This brought people. There was good weather. There was "unlimited" and "free" land.
All the while, people were being driven out and slaughtered for convenience. Native people. Were being tortured and killed and imprisoned by the "conquerors."

The Chinese came to build railroads.
The Latinos came to work the fields.

Where are we now?
The Bacero Program stole from MANY MEXICANS. Many families lived or moved to Los Angeles and the surrounding cities. And nearby border states.

We still need our food and clothing. And engineering. And construction...

Where are we now?
We are now in a capitalistic society. THEY work for US. People in other countries and from other countries either work in their native lands or come to this land. Either way, we get out products.

Are there any good parts to this? Yes!!! I am here as a product of both slavery and immigration and missionaries and Native Americans. THAT IS I!

Are there any bad parts to this? YES!!! although the majority of us have our origins from other lands, we still call this place ours. There are those who were here first. They are not necessarily reaping from the benefits of this system. 

They seem to be struggling. They got left behind and forgotten. I am not saying that Natives are weak. These people are likely some of the most resilient on the planet.

It happened where my dad comes from.

Is Westernization a good thing?
It is good for the people who are creating the moves.
But the people getting trampled suffer.
Their generations suffer from their suffering.
And those generation pass on all that suffering to further generations.

Learning from mistakes is half of life.

Natives were already slaughtered. Let us not make this into a worldwide action. Let us not spread diseased ways all across the globe. Those kids sewing our shoes need parents and education. Think about this- all those people working for 1/4 of a penny a day, what will their kids be like? What will the world look like in those areas where American sweat shops are the main source of income, yet the residents cannot afford clean water or nourishing foods? If we give it 50 years we may be sorry. Treat people the way you want to be treated, else they may rise up in an "intifada" against you. Just ask the Israelis.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Action > Reaction

Getting along can be hard to do. It is more than just saying nice things. When someone wrongs us, no matter how small or big a deal it is we tend to unconsciously react to this. We may smile and say nice words, but other mannerisms and non-verbal cues give us away. Body language expresses more than what words can say. As it is said: ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS!

Morange the orphan child at the rural French orphanage was taught that for every behavior he showed there would be a consequence: "Action, reaction"! Is what his choir director constantly exclaimed. The trouble maker of a boy was always acting mischieviously. BUT HIS VOICE WAS BEAUTIFUL! He was overheard singing one day by the headmaster, whom also doubled as a musical choir director due to past work experience.

The music was used to form the bad kids into good children. They were kept busy. They were praised. And they felt accomplished. And Morange was the star singer.

Every act resulted in either punishment or praise from the teachers. And the punishment or praise fueled the next prospective act of the students.

People generally need to trust one another. Trust can be compromised by breaking confidences, acting rudely, or proving that harm can be performed towards someone. A friend who never keeps your secrets will cause you to be very unlikely to tell them anything. An uncle who is always scolding, chastising, or condemning you will likely cause you to close yourself off to him. A boss who constantly makes jokes at your dispense will make you steer clear of group interactions with that boss.

We know about ACTIONS.
But the REACTIONS are the hard part. Let's talk about what  REACTION may look like.

COMPROMISED TRUST: The reaction to this may look like: hiding details, acting suspicious, becoming defensive when someone is asking too many questions.
CONDEMNATION: The reaction to this may look like: only talking about positive outlooks on life and when things are going wrong the person who is feeling/ being condemned may not show up to social functions, dinners, or they may stop answering calls of contacting the condemner.
TEASING: The reaction to this may look like: leaving early, making excuses to leave early, getting fed up and lashing out when" jokes" are made.
READING OTHERS is never an easy task. Most of us are not psychics.
But I believe that in general
Bad weeks or stress in life can also cause similar reactions.
But in general
when someone seems to be acting "crazy" or "negatively" towards us, we should ask ourselves
(Yes, people are sometimes paranoid).
But considering another person's feelings can minimize arguments. The fighting starts when there is one action --> one reaction --> and then another action based on the reaction (and maybe this cycle continues).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Free Gift Cards

Thursday, December 13, 2012

It's Been A While

Wow! I had not posted anything for quite some time.

I have been writing a LOT!

But not every thought I write down needs to be shared in ink, online, with the entire literate world.

Sometimes I know I would do best to just keep it to myself.

But I will be censoring some previously written material. I don't think I want to wait until the new year as I said. So I will get back to posting.


How to Heal Trauma
WHY DO I HAVE SO MANY ISSUES? Where do my problems stem from? (no pun intended).

Have you ever wondered how therapists go about treating psychological trauma and giving psychological advice? What is therapy and healing? What is Reference Point Therapy?

In a nutshell, SUM 41 explains it best in their Hell Song opening lyrics

Everybody's got their problems
Everybody says the same things to you
It's just a matter how you solve them
And knowing how to change the things you've been through

Reference Point Therapy seems to take into account initial cause and effect relationships which result in trauma. Ben Ralston clearly explained this teaching. The following is my take and comments in trying to understand this idea as it is relatively new to me.

Suppose my neighbor Bobby got scolded during his childhood for accidentally leaving the dog outside on a rainy day. This happened only once when he was 8 years old, but now Bobby is 18 years old and officially an adult man. Bobby has been that he has problems with authority: he tends to lose jobs and argue with bosses, superiors, teachers, elders of his church, and even the librarian who asks him kindly to "keep it down" in the quiet library setting.

Bobby, like the rest of us humans, has a brain. Attached to the base of his brain is his brain stem. Evolutionary theory sets reptiles with the lowest levels of evolution as having full brains equivalent to the human brain stem. As we move further towards the front of the brain, the brain gets more evolved.

And so do our problems.

The brain stem is purely instinctual- FIGHT, FLIGHT, OR FREEZE. Something pounces in front of me: I either punch it, run away, or freeze up.

The frontal cortex is the newest and most evolved area of the human brain. This gives us the ability to internalize things.

YES! Our brain stems still give up the instinctual adrenaline rush to REACT! But, unlike animals, we take these early reactions internally and then what began as a REFLEX is now a COMPLEX!

Our problems come from threats to our life, safety, and reproduction.

With this frontal cortex development came the inability to process trauma. Reptiles, having only a brain stem, are thought to be able to experience threats and then still move on. They do not internalize threats as us humans do.

My neighbor Bobby felt threatened when his folks were screaming at him about leaving the dog in the rain. He saw the dog's wet fur and how the parents and family panicked as if the dog was in some serious trouble due to what Bobby had done. Bobby internalized this event. Now he relates all forms of chastisement and even positive feedback as threatening.

"We've held on the the instincts that kept us safe during trauma." -Ben Ralston.

Bobby felt threatened from the yelling and reactions towards what he had done. He did not hit his parents and he did not run to his room. He just stood there and took the yelling like most 8 year olds would do. He subconsciously associated his NEED TO FIGHT with his safety.


In situations that remind him of the trauma, he reacts closely to how he reacted during the threatening event. FIGHTING. Nobody is yelling about his about a dog in the rain now, BUT he is now getting yelled at by people who are in charge.
Similar to the 8 year old experience.
When this happens his subconscious causes him to react similarly to how he reacted then. As a kid he wanted to fight. But now as an adult, he actually does fight back. He throws fits, he yells back at his bosses- this gets him fired. The makes scenes whenever an authority figure asks him to change what he is doing.

Being scolded was triggering his ability to get along with authority.

Subconsciously Bobby thinks that he must FIGHT in order to SURVIVE.

People react to trauma or threats that are subconsciously or consciously similar to earlier situations. Not necessarily child-parent situations, but anything that happened before the current moment.

Healing the trauma is what Ben Ralston recommends with RPT.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

New Visitors
New visitors,

Hi! Welcome.

Please subscribe, comment, like and share posts with your social networks.

The more feedback I receive the more I can tailor the writings for your reading pleasure.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Creating Success
Creating success, being successful, and having successes are all different topics.

I have been in an office for the past 3 weeks.

This office has many framed posters hanging around.

In a room today I sat directly in front of a poster which read:

"When there is no wind, row."

Meaning- if nothing is coming your way, and you want it, make moves and go get it.

Sometimes we may want things? Other times we may need things. I often hear people say things like:
"I want to learn martial arts."
"I want to learn to play piano."
"I want to learn to speak Tagalog."

If you really want something, you will be able to look back and see progress. Maybe I am not as smart as some geniuses out there. Perhaps I cannot run as fast as an Olympian. Possibly, I just don't have a certain natural gift or personality type.

Think of anything you have learned or put effort into learning. If you were not naturally gifted in this area it likely took time, and study, and practice.

Have you ever become good or improved at a hobby or job without doing anything? Have you ever awakened and been able to fly?

During college I used to partake in "sleep studying." This was when I was up late preparing for an exam and I ended up falling asleep over my books. Do you think I learned all the material by drooling over the pages? How many times did I stare at a book cover to absorb the contents? Maybe if I were on the cast of Star Trek this could be my reality.

None of us are victims when it comes to wanting to learn something.
Most of the time the potential of the struggle and effort are not worth it to an individual.
This is why people may not want to make their dream come true.

My attitude is one of ambition. I do not think there is any task too difficult for me to accomplish. I am not very smart. But my brain is limitless. With time, effort, dedication, persistence, and MUCH PATIENCE I can learn anything. I will learn anything I want to know.

Making excuses is easy.

Being persistent can be hard. Especially when your effort may not seem to yield desired results.

But aren't any results better than zero results?

The best success comes through a struggle.

Common Difficulties of Building a Website

What are some common difficulties of building a website?

Balance between business and pleasure is my main answer.

Creating content and a visual appeal that could lead to a successful brand and a future small business development comes with some sacrifices. I would love to rant and rave as I jump from topic to topic (as I do on this blog)! But suppose a visitor stops by my "online business card," better known as my website; my visitors are searching for answers to their questions. Will they be quickly disappointed and driven away by the ambiguity?

SURE, I know what I am talking about, but visitors like structure. (visit my new site HERE at

When you walk into a grocery store or department you like to see signs over the isles and an organizational layout that makes common sense. Who wants to shop at a store with a big sign outside listing the items they sell, and a floor plan inside consisting of large bins? Not me. And not you.

When facing the difficulty of structure, you will first want to find out what is right for you. Are you selling something? Will you be sharing ideas daily or weekly or yearly? Will you have promotional days? Will your audience be shoppers, listeners, readers, a community, or will they be participating in an activity together?

Building a website may be a good option for advertising a store or product, but what if you want to post tons of related and continual content for the rest of your life? You may be better off with a blog. Blogs allow you to update your page as well as keep old information visible and accessible. Many blogs also let you categorize your topics. Unlike blogs, websites are intended to provide a static representation of your brand with an option for updates.

Those who wish to sell products may build an e-commerce site. These online stores help shoppers to see what you have and what they want. Many sites do not have a steep learning curve and they also come with many options for editing the layout and look of your pages. I would equate an e-commerce site like to have a learning curve similar to

With a combination of social media you will be able to find and engage your audience. Link your sites to YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, PinTerest, Blogger, and most of all Google Plus.

Learn to affective content for your audience. Think like your audience. Learn about analytics, keywords, SEO, SEM, and learn to market yourself.

Pay close attention to what works. Are the videos you post too long? Are people only staying on your site for 1 minute? Either push your audience to be more engaged OR adjust your content to the trends.

Creating a Free Website
Creating a free website can prove to be a struggle. Questions you may want to ask yourself:

Are the services offered through free web hosting worth the free price?

Suppose you need some help with scripts. Or maybe your website decides to crash the day before you plan to launch a new feature. Will the free services accommodate your needs? Will the free hosting provide prompt and adequate help? Will you be able to edit your website as you please?

Sometimes you pay for what you get. But if you don't know what you want, it would not hurt to give it a whirl.

Since the recent summer of 2012 I have been playing around with content writing, website design, and website editing. As a self starter in most hobbies, I tend to enjoy the challenge of tooling around with software and hardware. I enjoy taking things apart and attempting a fix up. The aches in my brain bring me great pleasure. Well, most of the time.

00webhost is the free host I have been using. I have gone from no skills to decent skills, and all for free. Between YouTube, volunteer work, and borrowed library books I have developed some skills in Wordpress, HTML and CSS.

I do plan to take a few courses in the near future, but I prefer to learn things for free before I decide to pay.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Website Update for

I have decided, as of yesterday, to update and reorganize my site.

The site was a test site with a few pages of content featuring acoustic and electronic music and instruments.

I will be updating content.

I decided that instead of switching from WordPress 3.4.1 to WordPress 3.4.2
I should try to use my free web host's NEW Website Builder software service.
Hopefully no one gets upset by this, but I feel like playing with some new software for at least a few days or weeks.

If I don't like it I will switch back to WordPress.

I should be back up and running before the weekend.


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LIVESTRONG: A Close Friend's Story
See my good friend Iram's LIVESTRONG story.

A very close friend of mine has unfortunately been going through an extremely rough rapid of a time.

We spent a portion of our lives together, and within that short area of time he brought myself and a group together as a small community of trustworthy friends.

People moved on and went to school and majored in different professional subjects and started dating and got married and had children and traveled and started careers.
Click Here for Iram's story.

Time was lost.

But the friendships still remained.

Until about 1998-2002 or so we all lived in the same "bubble."

We later came in contact about once a year or less.

But there is something about good close friendships. While everything else around may crumble, there are still those people that you find yourself thinking about. Wondering about.

He has been one of the most influential friends I have ever had, people: keep him in your thoughts, prayers, and meditations. This runner, athlete, genius, pastor, therapist, counselor, father, friend... brain cancer survivor... as if he was not already going through a lot, he is still going through additional amounts of toil.

What do you tell someone with a story like his? How can you try and help a friend? What amount of money or kind words will help? Anything? Maybe it just helps to let the person know that you care? Or does it? I don't really know.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Perfect Job (Predictably Irrational) PART 1
I recently received an eBook from Chris Ariza of Golden State Saga.

In "Predictably Irrational" by Dan Ariely

the narrator speaks to me of the perfect job.

During this tight and unpredictable economy members of society are forced to sacrifice COMFORT, HAPPINESS, AND SANITY

We have bills to pay!
These bills come in the form of

As I listen to this eBook on my iPhone during my walks to the beach, I hear the words of Dan Ariely explain a concept that he does not directly state, but that I interpret as

Ariely uses a behavioral market research study to explain that when participants were paid to
do a boring job
for which they were
yet those participants felt as if the job was not useful or helpful in anyway to anyone


The opposite was true for those participants who were
underpaid or not paid at all
felt they were doing a good and needed service.

The point may be: Find employment where you feel needed OR you will need a greater payment to compensate for your lack of fulfillment.

The Perfect Job PART 2
For nearly one year I have been employed by what I would term

The Perfect Job.

How would I rate this job in comparison to some others?

For my perfect job:

1. I would gladly do this job for free.
2. Getting paid to do this job nearly decreases my satisfaction with working.
3. I am glad when I am called to contract for the company.
4. The work is the challenge I need.
5. I can see myself doing this job for years to come.

Online Communities
 Due to the invitation of some friends, I recently subscribed to Out-Cast Snipers today.

I tend to subscribe to online sites and online communities that allow me to virtually participate with others around the globe in discussing and partaking in my interests and dreams.

Do you like online communities?

Do you see them as positive or negative socialization tools?

Do you use them to learn? Or would you rather use them to scold trolls?

What are some of your favorite sites out there?

I tend to like gaming, social science, anime, 3D art/ design/ animation, and music (just to name a few).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

To the Non-Christians


As you read the following essay, keep these questions in mind:

My main purpose in writing this informal essay is for NON BELIEVERS. That's right! I am writing to people who do not call themselves Christians. I am specifically writing to people who have been oppressed by Christians and people who have been slandered and mistreated by Christians who have used the Bible as a tool of hate instead of love. That's right! I am writing this to you all. So, if you read this, please do pass this essay along.

WHY WOULD I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT THE BIBLE TO NON BELIEVERS? Here is why: The Bible is often used to oppress and condemn and judge. This essay will show how religious people in the past had evil intentions to use the Bible even to the point of killing others because of their hardened hearts. YOU MAY WANT TO KNOW: WHY DO PEOPLE USE THE BIBLE TO TRY AND HURT US NON BELIEVERS? WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT THIS? I would say: if you want to do something about this, read the Bible for yourself. I would strongly urge that non believers would not be afraid to read the Bible because of people who give it a bad flavor. I believe that everyone should try to learn as much as they can about different cultures. Without this learning people will never come to an understanding of one another.  Here I want to use the concept of SHELTERS to write about USING THE BIBLE TO BASH OTHERS and WHY OTHERS USE THE BIBLE IN THIS WAY. I will talk about 1) A HOLIDAY CALLED SUKKOT, I will talk about 2) SUKKOT SHELTERS AND THE REASON WHY SHELTERS ARE NEEDED, and I will then come back to the topic of 3) BASHING PEOPLE WITH THE BIBLE.


At sundown on Sunday September 30th was the beginning of the 7 day festival called Sukkot. The Festival of Booths, or Shelters as I would prefer to call it for the purpose of this essay.

Q: What is the gist of these 7 holy days which revolve around shelters? (Exodus. 23.16, 34.22; Deuteronomy. 16.13.Nehemiah 8.14-15).

A: The main purpose of these 7 holy days is to commemorate and remember that when the Israelites were wandering in the dessert for 40 years. God commanded the Israelites to live in shelters in the wilderness. While wandering in the desert, the Israelites were accompanied by a pillar of cloud by day. This cloud gave them protection from the scorching sun and naturally brutal elements. By night a pillar of fire was with the Israelites because desert temperatures are extreme and I am guessing that during the night it was cold. The cloud and fire provided shelter. Many times, the Bible uses a 40 day or 40 year period of time to tell us that the people were in a destructive state, and after the period of 40 measurements the people had "fasted" during the 40 and were purified after the 40. During some Sukkot times the law of Torah is read throughout the 7 days.


If you flip open a Bible to John chapter 7, you will come across an account written by John about Jesus during the holiday of Sukkot. I call this part of the essay "SUKKOT SHELTERS AND THE REASON WHY SHELTERS ARE NEEDED " because during this account we can see that Jesus used the shelters to his advantage as the Pharisees sought to kill him. Here it goes!


The religious leaders in Judea were plotting the death of Jesus. He was traveling around Galilee but he would need to go to Judea to celebrate the Jewish Festival of Shelters, Sukkot.

His brothers urged Jesus to go to Judea where the streets would be crowded and he could amaze and attract more followers and become famous by showing off his miracles. His brothers did not believe in him, they were actually mocking him by saying this.

Jesus told his brothers that because he was hated he would not be able to go, but he told the brothers that they could go because they were not hated.

The brothers left for the festival. Jesus actually ended up leaving for the festival as well, but after his brothers had already gone. Jesus got to the festival ducking around to avoid being noticed.

The Jewish leaders looked for Jesus during the festival but they could not find him.

I can speculate that Jesus would be hard to find. Imagine the city, Judea, where everyone had created booths for their families, guests, and friends. You are allowed to be a guest during this holiday. You can come as an "ushpizin" which is a guest that comes to a family's shelter. Jesus may have been with his own family. He also may have been an ushpizin at one or many of the shelters around Judea. It would be easy to find Jesus if he had stayed in Galilee. But Jesus decided to go to Judea during Sukkot. And everyone else was also in Judea. So, Jesus was ducking around for the beginning few days. Those seeking to kill him could not find him. Partly because no one would give him up, and I am sure it was also hard to find one person in a city packed with both local and traveling Jews.

Near the middle of the festival, possibly on about day 3 or 4 out of the 7 days, Jesus revealed himself by teaching at the Temple.

People were amazed at his teaching. It does not say what he was teaching. But he got the people's attention. Apparently, Jesus had not been trained, and people knew this.  

The traditions of the Jews for teaching and speaking about Torah require devotion to study. It was mostly the privileged and smartest people who were allowed to devote their early years to train to become a learned scholar. If you needed to help the family by working, you would not have the time to study. You needed to be favored and come from a prestigious background to even be given the privilege. (Have you seen "Fiddler on the Roof?" Tav says that if he was a rich man, he would study the holy books all day long). But, you still see Jesus teaching in the Temple.

THE TEACHING DID NOT GO WELL: Jesus called out that the leaders were trying to kill him. The people believed he was demon possessed and paranoid. They did not seem to know that the leaders wanted Jesus dead. Why would they want Jesus dead?

The back-story goes like this: Jesus had previously healed a man on the Sabbath, which was considered work. He said during his teaching that the leaders also worked when they circumcised their 8 day old boys on the Sabbath. This is why they wanted to kill him, because he did a miracle of healing on the Sabbath which was considered to be the work of healing according to the leaders.

Torah says not to work on the Sabbath. And work, in many cases, is determined by any activity that was done during the building of the Temple (e.g. lighting fire to bake bricks, building, creating, etc). Many forms of healing were considered work: grinding, manipulating an abscess, sipping vinegar, etc. Although some exceptions were made for the use of vinegar on the Sabbath. But some forms of healing were not considered work, mainly PIKUAH NEFESH= "to save a life." In addition, it was not considered work to use eye salve if the salve was applied before Sabbath began and was left on through the holy day; applying leaves was not considered work because leaves were not considered to have healing properties. Just to note, many of these laws come from the Talmud (Mishnah and Gemara., etc), but not from Torah.

Don't get me wrong, I am not refuting the Talmud texts. I am just stating that these thoughts come from an Oral Torah which was also used during the time of Jesus. This information would later be written down in the second century. The Oral Torah was not yet written down during Jesus' time. This information is said to have been given to Moses when he received Torah from God. It is said that Moses passed this information down in oral form, and it had been oral until the second century. Either way, as a rabbi, Jesus would have had knowledge of this information.

Because of the healing Jesus performed on the Sabbath in John 5, the religious leaders wanted to kill him. (In Matthew 12.9, Mark 3.1, Luke 6.6, Jesus also healed a man's hand on the Sabbath while teaching in synagogue).

According to Torah, one could be killed for breaking the Sabbath. It is debatable that the type of healing Jesus did would be considered breaking the Sabbath. Many types of healing are actually permitted on the Sabbath. So for the leaders to broadly say that healing was forbidden was actually incorrect, because there were ways in which healing was permitted.

After Jesus taught, the leaders tried to arrest him. THIS IS WHY I SAID THE TEACHING DID NOT GO WELL. I cannot imagine this happening in church. Correction, it has happened many times in a church but just in a different way.

Again Jesus spoke to the people. This was possibly on the 7th and final day of Sukkot Jesus shouted a quote: "Rivers of living water will flow from his heart" (Proverbs 18.4, Isaiah 44.3; 58.11- these passages generally state what Jesus said here, but this quote is not in the Bible exactly as Jesus said it).

While Jesus was teaching, there was a full debate going on in the Temple; Based on Micah 5.2, some debated that he could not be the Messiah because he was from Galilee and not born of the royal line of David in Bethlehem... But in fact, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Joseph was of the line of David.

Some wanted Jesus arrested.

Some believed Jesus was a prophet (Deuteronomy. 18.15, 18; Malachi. 4.5-6).

The guards were going to arrest Jesus, but they were conflicted because they believed him.

Nicodemus, a Pharisee who had come to Jesus at night earlier on in the book of John, spoke up for Jesus saying that you cannot convict a man without a trial.


Jesus went to the Mount of Olives after Sukkot. But the next day he returned to the Temple early in the morning. Following the 7th and last day of Sukkot there was still another holy day (Leviticus 23.36, 39). He gained some students and he was teaching them. Then a woman who was framed during adultery with a man was sentenced to a stoning.

WHAT WAS JESUS TEACHING ON THIS DAY? Jesus could have been teaching V'ZOHT HABERACHA= "and this is the blessing" (Deuteronomy. 33.1-34.12). Or maybe he was teaching BERESHIT "in the beginning" (Genesis 1). My speculation comes from the parshah sections based on the current Jewish readings during and after the High Holidays.

While he was teaching in the Temple on this 8th holy day, a woman caught in adultery was brought before him. The leaders sought to stone her based on the law (Leviticus 20.10; Deuteronomy 22.23-24), but the law would have required the stoning of both the man and the woman. But here the leaders only wanted to stone the woman. Something strange and wrong seemed to be happening with these religious folk. Why were they condemning people? Why were they tweaking the words of Torah, the instruction of God, to try and kill and harm others? Do holy people really try to kill and harm others? This does not seem right to me.

The previous sections talked about why shelters are needed. The reason why shelters are needed is to protect ourselves from being exposed to the elements. Again, the Israelites were exposed as they wandered in the desert. But there are still some people who are wandering. They are also exposed. They are exposed because they do not have a pillar of cloud, nor do they have a pillar of fire. They also do not have a sukkah or shelter to dwell in as others are running around trying to bash them with the Bible.

Based on the red text, you can see that sometimes people use the Bible in a twisted manner. They try to condemn, judge, and even kill others. BUT THEY DO THIS BY USING HALF OF THE TRUTH.

I can say that non believers could find truth in the Bible. But, they would have to be open to the Bible. And it is hard to be open to the Bible if people are trying to hurt you with this book.

The Bible teaches love. You can read this for yourself. Jesus says to love God (Deuteronomy) and love your neighbor (Leviticus). Basically, that is what the Bible teaches. Jews would also say this same thing. Religious Jews repeat, multiple times a day, The Shema. This is what Jesus referred to from Deuteronomy 6.4+. They definitely believe this.

So, why would someone want to bash another person? Change the wording of the Bible? Use strange interpretations to try and trip others up? Try and scare people by telling them that hell is their destiny? Work so hard to keep a non believer from entering a church/ Temple?


To me, it seems like the Pharisees did all of those things mentioned above. But you never see Jesus doing any of that kind of stuff, do you?

Jesus said that he does not judge. But he would be right in judgment, but he does not.

So, why would some humans spend so much time doing this? Why would some Christians spend so much time doing this? Who are we?

The judgment we see Jesus using was usually used against those leaders who were always attacking him. His attackers were not interested in his well being. They were not trying to serve him. They were trying to catch him so that they could have a reason to kill him. Because they hated him.


By looking at this picture we can see that treating a person that way is not good and correct. If you love a person you will not attack them. Jesus was uplifting towards those he healed. When he spoke to the oppressed and non believing people he was kind and gave them instruction. He was not attacking them. He did not try and get them arrested. He did not try and put them in jail. He did not try and trap them and make them feel like idiots.

Did he?

Why would some Christians spend so much time doing this? Who are we?

Basically, this is a time of reflecting on how God has protected us from the elements we are surrounded by. We may not be in the desert for 40 years, but we likely don't live in a utopia. We likely have things that we need shelter from:

and spiritually.

It would be nice if people were not trying to shelter themselves from Christians as Jesus tried to shelter himself from the Pharisees during Sukkot.

It would be good if Christians and churches could be the shelter in their social lives and communities.

It would be nice if Christians could all focus on how Jesus lived and not focus on their egos of being correct or incorrect and judgmental.

Because these things are nowhere near as important as love.

Christians ought to be SHELTERS and not HARSH ELEMENTS.