Headphones for Guitar Players

Have you ever seen someone wearing guitar headphones? You know, I hadn’t either until I saw a picture of Paul Gilbert playing guitar with headphones on. I thought it was an interesting idea. I figure most guitarists don’t want to wear them because they don’t look super cool. However, the reality is that if you’re playing gig after gig, it is simply brutal on your ears. Wearing some really good sound isolation headphones can go a long way in protecting a guitarists most precious investment… no, not his Les Paul, his ears.

Now, some of you are wondering, why the heck am I even writing about guitar headphones at all. Well, I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about my headphone business. I recently launched a new site to pitch my headphones directly to guitarists. They are great for studio musicians and recording sessions, but as Paul Gilbert shows off at every concert, they are great for protecting a musicians ears on stage.

I want to conclude by saying, yes, this is a very strange post for The Daily Burns. But, I actually have kept this site in existence for just such cases where I need to talk about interesting things like headphones that musicians may need. So, I’m sorry if you were hoping to read some good burns news… nothing here but headphones for the moment. Sorry.


So I Went for a Jog

I sit on my butt almost all day, every day.

Yesterday I decided to go for a jog. Oddly enough, I really enjoyed it. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I went for another jog this morning. This time I took along my iPhone and used the free RunKeeper app. The jog was wonderful as the sun was… well, sort-of out and I got to see Mt. Baker and the Canadian Rockies. The air was fresh and crisp.

While I enjoyed the jog, I couldn’t help but ponder as I plodded, how in the world am I going to fit this into my schedule. Yesterday I was able to grab my jog at 4:00 in the afternoon and today’s was at 8:00 this morning. Neither of those times will work with work. So, I could get up early and go for a run… but knowing my deep love of sleep, I don’t foresee me getting up at 6:00 so I can get a run in. The other option might be in the evening, but it is pretty much dinner and family time when I get home from work and I don’t foresee going for a jog at 8:00 p.m. That leaves lunch time jog, which I guess could work. But, it just seems odd to go for a run in the middle of the work day.

What is the solution? I don’t know, but I’m open to suggestions.


Disciple’s Renewal

I was struck by a pray read in the church service this morning. By struck, I mean that it rang true with my heart and soul. I thought I’d share it with you.

It is taken from Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers and Devotions:

O My Saviour, help me.
I am so slow to learn, so prone to forget, so weak to climb;

I am in the foothills when I should be in the heights;
I am pained by my graceless heart,
my prayerless days,
my poverty of love,
my sloth in the heavenly race,
my sullied conscience,
my wasted hours,
my unspent opportunities.

I am blind while light shines around me:
take the scales from my eyes,
grind to dust the evil heart of unbelief.

Make it my cheifest joy to study thee,
meditate on thee,
gaze on thee,
sit like Mary at thy feet,
lean like John on thy breast,
appeal like Peter to thy love,
count like Paul all things dung.

Give me increase and progress in grace so that there may be;
more decision in my character,
more vigor in my purposes,
more ELEVATION in my life,
more fervor in my devotion,
more constancy in my zeal.

As I have a position in the world,
keep me from making the world my position;

May I never seek in the creature what can be found only in the creator;

Let not faith cease from seeking thee until it vanishes into sight.

Ride forth in me, thou king of kings and lord of lords,
that I may live victoriously,and in victory attain my end.

Bank of America Fail – A Vent

Just got off the phone with Bank of America and I need to vent…

A couple months ago I opened a business account. The rep told me that the account has an $11 a month service fee. However, if I had a Gold personal account, the fee would be waived. The problem with the Gold account is that it requires me to carry a 10K balance or else there is a $15 fee. So, obviously I wasn’t going to take that route. Until the representative told me that if I had two gold accounts then I wouldn’t have to maintain the minimum balance and I wouldn’t have the service fee. Along with that, I’d get my business account for free as well. So, despite the annoyance of having to open a second checking account AND changing my personal account to a Gold account, I went ahead and did it so I could save the $11 a month.

Enter in the November bank statement…

Of course, there is a $15 service fee on my personal account. I call BoA and ask them why it is there. The rep tells me that it is because I haven’t met the minimum balance. I go on to explain that I was told that having the two accounts, plus my business account meant that I didn’t have to keep the minimum balance and would have no service fees. The rep said that this was not the case and that there were no codes she could enter to make that happen. I asked her if I was misled or just stupid because, here’s my logic, I either:

  1. Was led by a BoA representative to believe that changing my account to Gold, opening a second Gold account, and opening a business account would remove all fees or
  2. I’m stupid because I randomly decided to take the time and energy to open a second account that I’m not going use, upgrade my current account, and open a business account all so that I can pay $15 a month instead of $11.

Now, I’m not trying to be pretentious, but I don’t think I’m that stupid. I went to great pains to make sure that the information I was given was true. I confirmed time and time again that I wouldn’t have to carry a $10K balance under this system. I know how my balance usually runs and, as much as I’d like a $10k a month balance, that just isn’t a reality. So, why would I open these accounts in order to pay more? I wouldn’t! That’s the point.

So, after a frustrating call to CS they have refunded my $15, closed my second account, and downgraded my personal checking to a normal account… and my business account now costs $11 a month.  So, Bank of America, thanks for being lame.  And while I’m venting… the fact that you don’t let me make a transfer from my business account to my personal account online is lame and your online billpay system is atrocious.

That’s all. Vent over.

Calvin on the Bus

On the way into work this morning I was reading John Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion on my iPhone (using the Logos iPhone Bible Software). Calvin being always quotable, I thought I’d share some with you:

For (such is our innate pride) we always seem to ourselves just, and upright, and wise, and holy, until we are convinced, by clear evidence, of our injustice, vileness, folly, and impurity. Convinced, however, we are not, if we look to ourselves only, and not to the Lord also—He being the only standard by the application of which this conviction can be produced.  (1, i, 2)

Some things never change, huh? When all we ever do is look at ourselves, we begin to think we’re ok. But what if there is something else we should be comparing ourselves to? Calvin helps clarify:

And since nothing appears within us or around us that is not tainted with very great impurity, so long as we keep our mind within the confines of human pollution, anything which is in some small degree less defiled delights us as if it were most pure just as an eye, to which nothing but black had been previously presented, deems an object of a whitish, or even of a brownish hue, to be perfectly white. (1, i, 2)

When we only seek to look around us for comparison, we can indeed think we are quite fine. Oh, look, I’m a better husband that that guy. I’m a better employee than that slacker. I’m nicer than that cashier. But these are nothing less than the “whitish” and “brownish” of which Calvin speaks. So, what are we to do?

So long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own righteousness, wisdom, and virtue; we address ourselves in the most flattering terms, and seem only less than demigods. But should we once begin to raise our thoughts to God, and reflect what kind of Being he is, and how absolute the perfection of that righteousness, and wisdom, and virtue, to which, as a standard, we are bound to be conformed, what formerly delighted us by its false show of righteousness will become polluted with the greatest iniquity; what strangely imposed upon us under the name of wisdom will disgust by its extreme folly; and what presented the appearance of virtuous energy will be condemned as the most miserable impotence. So far are those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, from corresponding to the divine purity. (1, i, 2)

We are to stop and turn our attention to our creator. The problem I find is that we are far to lazy in this effort. I speak primarily to myself here, though I’m sure it applies to you as well. We are far too comfortable looking around ourselves for the standards of good, righteous, holy, acceptable, right. However, we must stop and look to God and realize that “those qualities in us, which seem most perfect, (are so far) from corresponding to the divine purity.”

However, gazing upon the creator and divine purity, we see our great shortcomings. I am far from a good husband. I am far from a good employee. I am far from nice. But what is our hope? Are we left to dwell in misery after turning our eyes and attention unto God?

But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:  for fall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.  It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.  (Romans 3:21-26)

The God to who we turn our eyes and see our inadequacies has provided the answer. It is through faith in Jesus Christ. God has put forth Jesus and His perfection as the gracious gift to all who believe. As Pastor Pete read in the benediction on Sunday:

…though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
(Isaiah 1:18)

May you and I, this Christmas season, turn our eyes to God and not only see our great need for a savior and redeemer but that Jesus is that savior and redeemer.

How I take and make picutres

Screen shot 2009-12-05 at 8.20.34 AMOur good friend Monica asked me to post a before editing and after editing picture of the apples.

So, to begin with, I’m shoot with a Nikon D40x with with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S. I’ll be honest and say that 9 out of 10 shots I shoot in the auto mode. Technically, the no-flash auto mode. At the rate I take pics (100-200 per outing) this is simply easier. Occasionally I’ll tweak aperture or shutter speed… mess with the iso, etc… but not too often.

After I get home (usually several weeks later) I dump all my pics into Aperture 2. Once in, I typically look over each one. If a picture has potential to be a keeper, I mark it with a rating of 3 stars. After going through a couple hundred pics, there are usually about 10-15 that have potential to keep. I then review those pics and begin processing them.

My typical steps in processing are adjusting white balance, adjusting exposure, adjusting highlights and shadows, general enhancements, and applying vignette.

The final result takes a picture like this:


and turns it into this:

DSC_0689 - Version 2