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.