Category Archives: One Month At A Time

For Wednesday

We just finished with our summer workshop kickoff. When we got together the consensus was that we wanted to cover the topic of photography off-camera flash. If you are remotely interested in joining us to learn, we are getting together again on Wednesday and we can fill you in on anything that you missed... don't feel like you need to come knowing anything, we covered a lot tonight, but will be reviewing what we covered tonight and applying it in a real photo shoot. You learn better by doing anyway, so here's the basics of what we looked at tonight and what we'll be applying Wednesday. Continue reading For Wednesday

Tying Up Loose Ends

Loose Ends
Loose Ends (iPhone Photo)
If you know me at all, you know that I'm not the best conversationalist in the world... and I'm not the best at conveying my ideas by talking about them. I like to surprise people with the things that I do. Rather than talking about something for a couple of years and slowly making progress toward it and have people get bored with my ideas, I'm more of one to quietly work toward something and then one day say "look what I did," or "look what I can do." This is good in some ways, and not so good in others. I think it's less overwhelming do do things this way... I am working on multiple things at once, and rather than having everyone know everything that I'm working on, I'd rather keep things compartmentalized, some people know some things, others know other things, but very few people get the whole picture of what all I'm doing. Continue reading Tying Up Loose Ends

ProAcademy Series – Event Lighting

ProAcademy Series - Event Lighting Wow, where does the time go. Over the summer it was a lot easier to take the time to keep this up to date. In my free time over the last few months I've been working on things like, financial responsibility, guitar (again,) and this month, my free time is going to producing a DVD series called ProAcademy Series. A local business owner of a sound and lighting company approached me with the idea of producing a DVD on event lighting. We have since filmed it and I've edited it, and just have a few finishing touches to put on it before we can start shipping it as a finished product. It's funny how a few "finishing touches" can take longer to do than the rest of the editing process of the entire video. In total I've got over 20 hours of film for this project, and the final video will be about two and a half hours. My goal is to be done with this before the end of the month.

July 2 – Let’s Eat! – Jalapeno Cheese Brats

Jalapeno Cheese Brats from Stittsworth's Nymore Food Mart
Jalapeno Cheese Brats from Stittsworth's Nymore Food Mart (iPhone Photo)
On July 2, I decided to stop in to Stittsworth's Nymore Food Mart, a local meat mart that is just a few blocks from my house. I have friends that have had high reviews of Stittsworth's brats, so I decided to try them for myself. I do enjoy some flavor to my food, so I decided to go for the Jalapeno Cheese Brats. I grilled them on a medium heat on the grill until they had nice grill marks and were starting to burst (I'd rather have them burst on the grill than in my mouth when I take my first bite.) I sprinkled a little extra shredded cheese on the top and added a small amount of ketchup. I enjoyed the fact that there where full slices of jalapeno (the full diameter of the pepper, but in quarter inch thick slices.) The cost was a little more than I would plan on paying for lots of brats, but for feeding just myself, they were priced fairly. It was about $10 for six brats.

July 1 – Let’s Eat! – Zuppa Toscana

Zuppa Toscana - Based on the Olive Garden's famous soup!
Zuppa Toscana - Based on the Olive Garden's famous soup!
For the month of July, I am focusing on improving my cooking and baking skills! This is a really fun one, because I love good food, and this gives me an excuse to eat really well. On July 1 I was able to go over to some friend's apartment and make them a wonderful soup, based on the Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. It was a great time of hanging out and eating together. I think that the social aspect of cooking is one of my favorite parts... I love hanging out with people, and everyone (that I know) loves eating! So what a better way to spend an evening than cooking for friends and getting to know them better! Continue reading July 1 – Let’s Eat! – Zuppa Toscana

My Gear: Boss RC-2 Loop Station

Boss RC2 Looper
Boss RC2 Looper
Earlier this month, I decided to get a new pedal, the Boss RC2 Loop Station. This is a fun little pedal. It can be used for live performance, however, practice is the main reason that I decided to get it (so far, it's been a great way to make practice fun.) For those of you who don't know what a looper is, the concept is fairly simple (and the name should give you a pretty good idea.) A looper allows you to record a portion of sound, and play over and over again, creating a loop. There are many different loopers out there. When I was looking at which one was right for me, I had to stop and ask myself what my needs were. Continue reading My Gear: Boss RC-2 Loop Station

Stretching Times

Is my practice getting too routine?
Is my practice getting too routine?
I need some motivation. I've been trying to practice my guitar every day, but it's really easy for me do the same things over and over, not challenging myself to try and learn new things. The last week or so, for my practice time, I've been grabbing my guitar, turning on a television show and working on the same picking techniques, hammer-ons and fret board positions over and over again. In some ways this can be a good thing to do, I want to get a good grasp on the concepts and fret board positions that I have learned before trying to cram more concepts into my mind. Besides, building muscle memory is one of the biggest things that helps learning to play the guitar... Normally, I may let these excuses be justification to keep doing what I'm doing. However, the purpose of focusing on guitar this month is to stretch myself. I say no more!  ;) Continue reading Stretching Times

My Gear: Multi-Effects Processor – DigiTech RP500

DigiTech RP500
DigiTech RP500
If I were to have chosen my effects, I probably would have gotten individual pedals and built the effects that I wanted, however, I signed up for Musician's Friend's Weekly Gear Giveaway and won the DigiTech RP500. (Unfortunately, Musician's Friend no longer does the Weekly Gear Giveaway, which is sad, because it's always fun to get an email saying "You won!" no matter what the prize is.) I am very impressed with this pedal. It is made out of a cast metal chassis and has very sturdy "vacuum-style switches." Continue reading My Gear: Multi-Effects Processor – DigiTech RP500

June Strings

My electric guitar.
My electric guitar.
Welcome to the month of June! I couldn't wait for this month to get here... As you may know, every month I pick a topic to focus on. Meaning I spend my free time and money trying to learn or improve myself in one specific thing. This past Sunday night, May 31, I was so excited to move on to this month's topic that I jumped onto the computer and started ordering things to help me out in June. After all, the money wouldn't come out of my checking account until this month. So, what am I focusing on for the month of June? If the photo here hasn’t given it away, for June I am working on electric guitar. I’ll be doing individual posts going into more detail of my gear soon, but for now I’ll just say that I like my set-up but need to learn how to use it much better. I’ve taken the money to invest in the equipment, now I need to take the time to invest in learning to play it well. The things that I plan on focusing on this month are fret positions, triads, power chords, scales, arpeggios, and picking techniques... I know it’s a lot, but I don’t want to cheat myself. Continue reading June Strings

Progress?

I had been doing really well, riding my bicycle to work every day this month... at least until the weather started getting cold, rainy and windy... then I was out of town for a week doing video production work at Pursuit '09 for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Granted, I did bring my bicycle along to Pursuit, however there were only two out of the five days that I was there that I took the time to go for rides. I where I have been doing well is keeping a record of my calorie intake each day... I have a goal and try to stick to the calorie count that I set... but again, I'm realizing that I'm coming to the end of another month and haven't gotten as much done as I would have liked to, part of me feels like I need to spend more than a month focusing on each topic, but at the same time, I feel totally ready to move on to something else but at the same time continue to ride my bicycle to work whenever possible... so maybe moving on is the best thing. I am excited for next month becasue I will be working on improving a skill again. I think that that was one of the things that I missed this month... I was bettering myself, but I wasn't excited about it as I should have been. That's pretty much all I've got for now, but, I thought I'd throw it out there.