More eBay Auctions

Unfortunately, the mandolin didn’t meet the reserve on eBay, and didn’t sell. Much to my surprise, there were no bids in the last 12 hours of the auction. Maybe I’ve got a disordered view of the way eBay works.

Despite this setback, I’ve got two more auctions going on right now to see if eBay can redeem itself.

The first is a Yamaha SW1000XG sound card. It originally retailed for about $800 and as of this writing there is one $0.99 bid in, with no reserve. This sound card is supposed to be the bees pajamas, but I’ve never actually used it.

The other is a Belkin parallel data switch (yeah, really) that happens to still be in the original box. Again, the opening bid is $0.99 and there’s no reserve.

Belief

belief

…Seems to be the theme of the day. I did a good job catching up on my Google Reader subscription list last evening. Then when I opened my Google home page this morning, the only two new entries were both entitled “Belief”.

At first, I was really scared. I thought someone was trying to tell me something – someone was challenging my faith.

Then, I realized that Gene reads the same blogs (Seth’s for instance) that I do.

In case you’re too lazy to click:

People don’t believe what you tell them.

They rarely believe what you show them.

They often believe what their friends tell them.

They always believe what they tell themselves.

Where does faith fit into this? At what point does the ‘faith of our fathers’ become what our hearts start telling us? How does evangelizing differ from marketing?

eBay of the Week (100th post to SAW)

Washburn M3SW MandolinCheck out this Washburn M3SW Mandolin on eBay.

And stay tuned for another personal status update from me!

And a big round of applause for making it to the big 100th post.

Almost 18 months after I started… I’m (mostly) still here.

Also, please check out Zack Scott Reports. Zack paid large sums of money for me to compose his theme song, and he deserves the marketing. These reports are actually quite amusing.

Uncle Widget + iTunes Music Store = Crazy Delicious

bedtime on marsHold on to your iPods, Uncle Widget Fans! Bedtime on Mars has finally graced the iTunes Music Store. Bedtime on Mars is available as an entire album for $9.99 or as individual song downloads for $0.99 each. I need your help to spread the word! As a reminder, if you’d like a physical CD, you can purchase from CDBaby. It makes a great baby shower gift or first birthday present.

Related Links:

Recent Review of Uncle Widget’s Bedtime on Mars

Official Uncle Widget Website


Uncle Widget - Bedtime On Mars

The King of Side-Jobs: Bad Dad

…I don’t want to become the bad dad.

It seems like I read a lot of “don’t be defined by your job” or “unfortunately, the first question asked upon meeting someone new is ‘so what do you do for a living?'”

“But Bryan, the work I do doesn’t really define me.”

Well, maybe you’re doing the wrong thing.

My current work situation probably hits closer to the definition of me than any other snapshot in time. I’m teaching, writing music and sharing my spirituality. A few weeks ago I configured a network, this week I’m doing web design, and next week I might do some software testing. This is a perfect definition of how bad my ADHD really is.

In my adolescence (some would argue that I’m still there), one of the biggest aids to productivity, progress and success was structure. “Bryan needs rules and framework to work effectively.” Sometimes I feel like working effectively meant producing black and white cows.

A simple example: In High School, just after diagnosis, I was regularly dosed with time-released Ritalin. The point was to get me to focus on one task at a time and finish it. As a member of the Jazz Ensemble (and coming from a family who reared talented jazz musicians), one of my favorite things was jazz and blues improvisation. While my medicine was doing its thing to get me to focus, I couldn’t find my zone while playing piano. Off the medicine, improvisation was creative, fun and entertaining. It was different enough that others could tell.

Ritalin was structure. Specific rules about when homework or chores needed to be done were structure. Getting a job with a large corporation: structure. Structure is necessary for me to overcome my obstacle. Disciplining myself to create my own framework, rules, and protocol to provide this structure is even better.

So now I have systems. They don’t kill my creativity. They don’t keep me in a 4’x4′ box all day. But I’ve learned how to effectively manage multiple side-jobs quite effectively. Then my systems break down.

It’s hard to put your family in a system.

The wires in my brain need to be shorted out because I haven’t been able to systemize the #1 priority in my life on earth. It isn’t a chore, it isn’t work. It’s one of my favorite things in the world to play with my daughters. It’s really difficult, however, to remember in the midst of getting things done, that soon my little girls aren’t going to be so little anymore. It’s time I can’t get back. Most of the work things I do aren’t time critical. I really think it’s the act of checking an accomplished task off a list that pushes me towards urgency.

Time to reprogram the noodle. I’ve been doing hypnotherapy for weight-loss (I’ve lost 10 pounds in less than a month). I’m thinking about getting the hypnotist to work on relaxing my sense of urgency.

I believe it’ll help me out a lot.

And now it’s time to go play kitchen with a wonderful toddler.

Who does Yahoo! think they are? (or How To Turn Away Your Biggest Fans)

Flickr: Really cool.

Yahoo!: Really big.

I decided to use a Flickr account for the youth group that I work with at church. In order to do so, I needed to create a Yahoo! account (yes, I got in after the acquisition). I created one, uploaded some pictures and then went a few weeks without signing in.

Of course, I forgot my sign-in information. I’m not a one-password-fits-all guy because that’s just too easy.

Here’s where the ridiculousness of big Yahoo! comes into play. A password retrieval from Yahoo! now requires your month, day and year of birth and your zip code.

Normally, I’m pretty honest on web forms and stuff in case someone decides to do something like this. But I don’t go back and check the form two or three times to make sure I didn’t fat-finger my birthday. It’s never mattered before.

OK, fine. They’re looking out for my security. I guess I’ll send a request to customer service and maybe they can help. No such luck. This was included in the automated response: “Please remember that Customer Care may not reset your password…”

This means I’ll have to start over again, I suppose.

  1. Go create yet another Yahoo! account (which I can’t use my existing email address for – so I’ll need another email address).
  2. Create another Flickr account.
  3. Upload all of my pictures again.

Or, I could go find another service that hasn’t been swallowed by Yahoo! and post my pictures there.

And encourage all of my friends to do the same.

Capture the Song

I’ve got a lot on my mind, so you may notice that I’m frequently publishing short little entries.

I’m still capturing at least 4-lines of lyrics to tape everyday, mostly with some accompaniment. Since I’ve gotten back into writing regularly, inspiration seems to come at odd times. Lyrically, I’m always prepared because I’ve got the tools. I am a little lost however when a melody pops in. I lost what I thought was a pretty good hook this morning because it came to me between the garage and the office. There was a time when I used voicemail to capture melodies and I’ve tried a little digital micro-recorder, but being a songwriter with a day-job requires the ability for me to very quickly capture an idea without breaking my context. Any ideas?

Day 10 of 48

Sometimes the news that hits you like a ton of bricks is actually what you expected all along. I can’t really explain any more than that, but today, Dan Miller’s 48 Days to the Work You Love has me recreate my resumé. This is probably the oddest resumé I’ve ever created, but maybe that’s been my problem. I’ve shaded out details I think are better left private, but what’s your feedback? Would you hire me to be your composition master? I’ve got some work yet to do, but here’s a glance:

My Resumé

Bryan and Murphy

Just as if I needed further convincing that I’m in the wrong place, the yesterday’s work day was beyond terror. The sick feeling I get when walking in the building was met by a few brilliantly-placed and crafted processes (read: “who came up with this idea?”), personality conflict and overall frustration.

Then Murphy bears his wicked countenance. The (50-week-old) iBook’s hard drive has crashed. Like has happened so many times to me, it seems that the platters are bound or there has been a head crash.

“Ok, don’t panic. Bryan when’s the last time you backed up? Crap. Ok, what did we lose? Crap. The pictures, Quicken, music, my music, the custom scripts.”

Damage control proved more fruitful on yesterday’s iBook crash than it has in the past. After spending an hour in the refrigerator, the hard drive decided to spin up again long enough for me to pull a few really crucial files off.

After sitting cool again overnight, I was able to pull about 15 GB of additional data onto my external drive. I hope and pray that after sitting again all day, I’ll be able to pull the last 10 or so days of pictures from it (those are the ones I missed with my last iPhoto-to-DVD backup). After that, I’m going to drop it off to our local Apple Certified Repair place (of course we have no Apple Store). After that, I presume I’ll be without the iBook for about 3 weeks. Sigh.

…Like Everything I’ve Ever Heard Before

It’s funny. I know I read this back in May, but sometimes repetition of a theme really is worth it. Formalization counts for something to. I suppose we should all get together and write a book about this process, or has Fred already done that (it is on my reading list, by the way, I’m just a little slow)?

Reading and writing about this process, this vocational shift, is profoundly easier than doing it. Everything I hear is telling me that something needs to be changed. One third of each of my weekdays is fraud. I can only look at myself with shame. What could it possibly take for me to make the change that I know in my heart is required for my personal success? How can I make the change without injuring my family?

The force pulling me in this direction only grows stronger. I suppose that it’ll get much harder before it gets easier.