Gems General

Stringed Instrument Gems

I just didn’t like the idea of a ear wax post being my most recent post, so I thought that I would add a couple more musical gems that I have been listening to lately. I like these songs because they are modern acoustic guitar music, but have both been peppered with violins and cellos. When that is done properly, it adds alot of class.

“Morning Watch” by Dolorean. This album has been out for a while, but I just found this song recently. You can listen to it here. Or buy the whole album from itunes here.

The second one is “Somebody More LIke You” by Nickel Creek. This is from their album that comes out in a couple weeks. You can listen to the song here. Or you can pre-order the album from Amazon here. This song gets bonus points because the beginning sounds like the soundtrack from the original Zelda game.

If you don’t like this music, you can go beat up an annoying frog here or see what it would be like to jump into a big bottle of Sprite here.


How to clean your ears out using candles!?!

In the past, I have been accused of living the life of an old man. it could be my 9 o’clock bedtime. Or maybe my like for artists like Willie Nelson, Frank Sinatra, and especially James Taylor. Or possibly it is because the mini fridge in my office has yogurt, string cheese and Tums as its contents right now.

Fine. I’ll admit I do old man stuff. But one thing I won’t accept is losing my hearing like an old man.

This last weekend, Candace and I decided to try the ancient art of ear candling. This is new to me as of last week, but it dates back to as far as 2500 BC.

Understandably, I was a little skeptical on a) if it really existed and b) if it really worked. But we searched and were able to find some ear candles.

The basic process requires the 12 inch hollow candle, a plate/pie tin that won’t catch on fire, and a little bowl of water.

– The person receiving the candling sits upright on the floor and puts the funnel tip of the candle softly into the ear.
– Holding the candle at a 25 degree angle, the helper person lights the tip of the candle.
– As the candle burns down, the helper person holds the plate under the tip of the candle to catch the ash.
– When the tip of the candle has 1 inch of ash, the helper cuts it off to let the candle continue burning.
– When the candle reaches about 4 inches left, remove it from the ear and place the tip in the bowl of water.


That’s it. It sounds ridiculous, but it really works. Cut the candle open and take a look for yourself. Ugh!

So now, even if other facets of my life are old, my hearing is still top notch!! You ought to try them. You can buy them at

Note: You will DEFINITELY want a helper person with this. The flame get pretty big and it’s good to have someone help you.

Note 2: Some companies say that the ear contents come out immediately, other companies say the candle loosens the stuff up to come out better in the natural process. I don’t know how it happens, but I am hearing good and my head feels very cleared up all together.

Note 3: This is the grossest post I have ever written.


Ogling Googling

I’ve written before at how much I prefer Google Maps over other services like Mapquest. And now it seems that Google maps are the talk of the town. (Because of my mention,no doubt.) But there are some other really neat things that Google can do.

SMS Google is a really neat way to find things when you are not around a computer. The steps are simple.
-compose a text message with what you want. For example “Costco Las Vegas”
-Send the text message to “46645” (which spells GOOGL)
-Then a few moments later you will get the info texted back to you. You can get all kinds of info:
• For addresses: hospital San Jose CA
• For reverse phone lookup : 2122269817
• For driving directions : pasadena CA to santa monica CA
• For Movie Times : batman begins 94043
• For Weather : weather dallas tx
• For Stock quotes : tgt
• For Answers to questions : population of Japan
• For Definitions : define prosimian
• For prices of products : price mp3 player
• FOr Zip codes locations: 94043
• For Area code locations : 650

If you want to test it out visit this site and type in the text, and it will show you what you would get in return.

Another neat feature is the ability to search a movie database. You can find a movie by character, quote, genre, theme, etc. To do this, visit google and type “movie: ” and the info you know already. For example:
movie: humperdinck
movie: Johnny Depp

This is a great way to look for new movies, or to remember old ones.

Google Alerts is a good way to keep up with a certain subject or person. You enter the subject and your email, then whenever Google finds a newspaper article that contains that, they will email the link to you. For instance, you can enter James Taylor and be kept up on his tour reviews. Or if you own stock in Apple computer and want to know what the papers are writing about them you can enter “Apple Computer”. If nothing else, get on there and type your name in the google alerts so if you ever make the paper, you’ll know about it. You can find the Alerts page here

There are alot of other neat service you can find here.


Battery Spencer

I’ve made another change to this blog, this one a bit more obvious than the last. I changed the layout and look of the site. I did this for a couple reasons.

I just wanted a more advanced look than it was before. I’m still fine tuning this to work in all browsers, but it’s coming along nicely.

The image in the header is a depiction of the view from from Battery Spencer, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a cliff that has an incredible picture of the ocean, bridge, city, and bay. They used this post to guard the bridge and bay during war times. It is my favorite spot in the world. In times of hardship and happiness, I have visited this place and felt inspired and calmed. Here is a picture I took from the same spot a couple years ago.

I visited this place again this last weekend. Once again, this special cliff served as the location for a special part of my life.

I brought Candace there this weekend. After arriving in the Bay area, we picked up our car then checked into our hotel. She didn’t know, but her mom and my mom took a flight just an hour after us to this same place. They immediately went up to the cliff and took their positions in the worn down barracks.

Once the moms were in place, I was notified, and we made our way up to the cliff to “take in the view”. With the moms snapping photos, taking video, and trying to control their emotions, I surprised Candace with a ring and asked her to marry me. She accepted, and it was a very neat time for all of us.