6.25.2008

The Overdubs at Club Fred

This is gonna be a little late for anyone to come see us, but my band, the overdubs, is playing tonight at Club Fred in Fresno. Hopefully, I'll be able to record some of the show and post it online later this week.

6.21.2008

Now, Here's a Great Music Delivery System

I just got an invite to a site called amiestreet.com by my friend, Ryan. I signed up, and I like what I see. Basically, the premise is that all music on the site is free to start. Then, depending on the popularity of a track, its price increases up to $0.98. This way, music that is popular costs more and the artist makes more, and music that's not the best is proced accordingly. The excetion is new music that hasn't been priced yet. The beauty is that one can try out new music at little financial risk. If it's good, it'll catch on.

I am very excited about discovering some new music through this site. I just sent out invites to my friends who I think might be into something like this. I need some more trusted ears listening and recommending stuff or me to listen to.

When you go to the site, check out the band, The Overdubs, and look or the songs I recommended - "Orange County" and "Trying Bravery."

Here are the links from the email I sent out, in case you didn't get it.

You can visit this link to learn more about everything Amie Street: http://amiestreet.com/page/about?invite_id=99571

Or, if justinlandis has already spoken with you and sold you on the idea, visit this link to sign up: http://amiestreet.com/user/signup?invite_id=99571

Signup now and we'll put $5.00 and 3 RECs in your account to get you started.

6.19.2008

Gay Marriage is Legal in California

If Christians are really so serious about protecting the "sanctity" of marriage, maybe they (*whince* we) should try to ban divorce instead of gay marriage.

What's more important, who you love, or how you love? Is it more important who your friends are or how you treat them?

Fellow Christians, please keep your mouths shut and stop protesting gay marriage. it's not a battle that will gain any ground for God's kingdom. It will, however, make us all look like a bunch of &$%^& hypocrites, since the "sacred bond" we're protecting is routinely broken by over half of us.

This is a quote I found from Barna on religioustolerance.org:

A recent study by the Barna Research Group throws extreme doubt on these estimates. Barna released the results of their poll about divorce on 1999-DEC-21. 1 They had interviewed 3,854 adults from the 48 contiguous states. The margin of error is ±2 percentage points. The survey found:
bullet 11% of the adult population is currently divorced.
bullet 25% of adults have had at least one divorce during their lifetime.
bullet Divorce rates among conservative Christians were significantly higher than for other faith groups, and much higher than Atheists and Agnostics experience.

George Barna, president and founder of Barna Research Group, commented:

"While it may be alarming to discover that born again Christians are more likely than others to experience a divorce, that pattern has been in place for quite some time. Even more disturbing, perhaps, is that when those individuals experience a divorce many of them feel their community of faith provides rejection rather than support and healing. But the research also raises questions regarding the effectiveness of how churches minister to families. The ultimate responsibility for a marriage belongs to the husband and wife, but the high incidence of divorce within the Christian community challenges the idea that churches provide truly practical and life-changing support for marriages."

It looks like we've already got our hands full with heterosexual marriage. Let's finish chewing this bite before we take another one.

6.15.2008

Democracy in Action: Why Bloggers Will Rule the World


There is plenty of injustice in our world, more than we could know. We do know about a portion of it. We care about even less of it. We do something about even less of it. When I say "we" here, I'm mainly talking about Americans. We are comfortable and complacent, and whether fuel costs nearly $5.00 per gallon, or our civil rights are trampled by our government (by, of, and for the people?) we will likely take the path of least resistance, which means, we'll roll with it.

Recently, there has been a scandal involving ePerks and a blogger named Vlad. (Here's a great summary of the story.) Vlad is a real estate blogger who wrote some things about ePerks that ePerks didn't like. He talks about the events here. The company retaliated by attempting to damage Vlad's reputation and basically trying to bully him down. Vlad suspected as much and blogged about that. Now ePerks is suing Vlad.

If this were happening in regular America, we would see it in the news and think, "That isn't right, the way they're treating that poor man." Then we'd pick up the phone and order a pizza, and forget all about it.

However, in the blogosphere, people are willing to stand up for what's right. Maybe it's because they're already writing and might as well use their powers for good. Maybe they're looking for easy traffic. Regardless of the reasons, which are likely as unique as the participants, Vlad's fellow bloggers are standing up for justice.

I don't know Vlad. I'd never heard of him before this. But I respect open dialogue, and it seems that ePerks may not. Honesty is a hallmark of good journalism. Even if it's opinion, it's more important to be honest than to just be nice.

So good job bloggers. Keep up the good work. Hopefully the rest of us will take a cue from you, and band together when we're stepped on, rather than simply changing the channel to find a better life.

6.10.2008

Better Late Than Never


Miles David Landis was born at home on June, 9, 2008. He was 8lbs, 4oz, and 20" long.

Jen started labor at Ani's gymnastics class at 11am. On the way home they stopped at the park because Jen had already said they would. Justin came home from work at about noon. Ani watched the Wizard of Oz while Jen and Justin got the house tidied up and lunch prepared. Occasionally Jen would pause for a contraction, then keep on about her business. Justin started putting Ani down for a nap around 1:20, but she didn't actually go to sleep until 3:00.

While Justin was in with Ani trying to help her sleep, Jen was in the living room
From miles's birthlaboring by herself. Bekah Townsend came by with some food, and a few minutes later, the maintenance guy for the apartment complex came by to check the air conditioner's output temperature. He seemed a bit perplexed by the shower curtains duct taped together and covering the carpet. Being unsure of how the landlords might feel about a home birth in one of their units, Justin kept the purpose for the curtains on the "d-l." Luckily, he didn't ask too many questions, and left without incident. Jen had retreated to the bathroom to shower while he was there, so she resumed her posture, kneeling next to the couch and resting her head on it's pillows.

Detrah, the midwife, came, with her daughter, around 2:oo. They began getting everything set up. Contrary to what some may think, Detrah was very well-prepared for a variety of issues. She had needles filled with various emergency medications, an oxygen tank, and other supplies that, thankfully, never saw the light of day during this delivery.

When Ani fell asleep, Justin came out to help Jen in any way he could, mostly by shutting the hell up and getting her a drink. Less than 15 minutes later, Jen felt like she was going to start pushing. Two contractions later, Miles's head was completely visible. It took one more push to get him all the way out. This description makes the whole process sound quick and relatively easy. It was quick, but far from easy. Jen labored courageously, gracefully and pretty quietly.

Ani slept through the whole ordeal. When she awoke from her nap about 4:30, the majority of the mess was cleaned up. Jen was in the bathroom washing herself and Justin was holding Miles on the couch. At first, Ani didn't realize what had happened. She saw the inflated birthing pool and the shower curtains on the ground. She was excited but she wasn't sure why. She wanted to go for a swim in the pool, but Justin finally got her attention for long enough to explain that he was holding her new brother in his arms. She climbed up on the couch next to him, covered her eyes with her hands, and then removed them quickly saying, "peek-a-boo!" The moment was not captured on video, but those present swear that he cracked a smile.





ps. the official birth album (and source of the song in the video) is Meme by Milosh

6.07.2008

I'm in the Presence of Greatness

I had a chance to talk with Debbie Landa of Dealmaker Media yesterday. I got an introduction with Debbie from Melissa Burns of MoPR. The conversation with Debbie was very informative and fun. It was obvious that she is very well connected in the tech industry. She also spoke very highly of Melissa, which confirmed my perception that Melissa is very good at what she does.

The conversation was awesome. Debbie gave me about 10 blogs to help get me in the door. She also introduced me to netvibes which is an rss reader. She swears by it, but I haven't used it enough yet to know if I prefer it to the simplicity of my Google homepage. However, her recommendation reminded me that if I'm gonna be a player in the tech industry, I'd better renew my love for the underground. I mean, there was a time when I wouldn't be caught dead using the most popular software or listening to the most popular musical artist, simply because everyone already knew about them. In the meantime, underground became mainstream, and I've gotten lazy about staying hip to what's new. Plus, in the eyes of most of my friends, I am hip to what's new, which only fools me into thinking I'm more savvy than I actually am.


So, I'm on a tear to get myself into the tech community. It's gonna take time, but it's also gonna be a blast. I'm gonna share what I learn along the way.

In that spirit, here's a post from Penelope Trunk, whom I recently received a personal email from,(yes, I'm starstruck) that is challenging my previous conception of what social networking should be.

6.06.2008

Coldplay Has a New Record

Las night at the church group that Jen and I babysit for, I had the unexpected pleasure of hearing part of the new Coldplay album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends. It was all in the background, so I can't really give any good feedback in terms of the record. However, This morning in my daily music news, I read that the record isn't slated for release until June 17. So now I need to go try to track it down too so I can hear it before I buy it.

Thank you internet.

6.05.2008

Job Hunt

As both of my regular readers are aware, Jen, Ani, Miles? and I are moving back to Sandpoint on July 1. My current order of business is to find temporary work. I've got some more permanent options in the pipeline, but this particular pipeline is proving challenging to navigate from 1000 miles away.

Most likely I'm gonna get a serving job. It'll leave my days mostly free to pursue my other endeavors, and yet still provide a decent, if still modest, financial return for time invested.

Also, I just landed, hopefully, a web design job that will offer some nice extra cash in the meantime. I'd love to do that, so if either of you know of someone, particularly small businesses, needing web work done, I would be excited to bid the job. I just need something to get us through the first month or so. By that time, there should be some light coming out of my pipeline.

6.04.2008

Brazen Careerist Spoke to Me

I regularly follow a blog by Penelope Trunk called Brazen Careerist. She writes about business and its intersection with life. I've learned a lot from her blog including how to be successful in an interview, and how to survive office politics.

I read a post the other day about a trip she took to a farm in the country. She talked about her experience with the farmer. She talked about the cultural differences, the similarities they share, and the tranquility that came from being removed, if only by an hour's drive, from the hustle of city life.

I found this post very enjoyable and refreshing. It was fun to experience the trip from her perspective. I left a comment on her blog and thanked her for the her blog.

This morning, I opened my gmail, and I had an email from Penelope Trunk.

hey, justin. thanks so much for your nice comment today. it's like an extra little post-farm gift.

penelope


I'm very impressed. I don't know what her readership is, but her Technorati authority is 1,331. Mine is 2.