Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sing + Guitar Covers

Every once in a while I get an urge to bust out the guitar and learn to play and sing something new. Below you will find recordings for my version of Hawthorne Heights' Screenwriting an Apology and Jack Johnson's Flake. Not the best recording or performance here but that's just because I'm busy and move from one thing to the next... I like it that way.

Screenwriting an Apology Cover

Flake Cover

If you sample these songs (that I'm covering and don't own) or use my music to make money that's fine, but if you make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it please share the cash! Donate to the aM Network

posted by Court @ 6:32 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jamba Juice + BART Co-Branding Strategy

The other day when I rode the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to work I was pleasantly surprised to be greeted by a Jamba Juice employee as I exited the station. The JJ rep handed me a gift card and a brochure for Jamba Juice and told me that the cards that were being handed out all had random dollar ammounts added to them from $1 - $300...

Now I love Jamba Juice just as much as the next guy so this was quite a treat. What's even cooler is that the brochure thing actually employed a co-branding strategy. They had printed the BART logo on their fliers as well as their JJ propaganda! So now people like me have an even greater identification between car pooling, riding the BART, basically saving the environment in general, and drinking that fresh, clean, all natural Jamba Juice. Isn't marketing great? Now the real question... Why the heck do they still use styrofoam cups if they want an environmental image?

Jamba Juice, this needs to be fixed! I'm sure there is a sugar cane or corn based styrofoam alternative that is biodegradable that could be used here that would only increase your costs ~$.05 per drink. You can start by visiting World Centric and checking out their Styrofoam Alternatives

See the BART logo?

Yum... I still don't know how much is on that card.

posted by Court @ 3:52 PM | 3 Comments Links to this post

Guitar Expressions - Acoustic Journey & Fleet

For many years I've been recording song ideas on this old tape recorder... It started out as mostly humming and singing (I used to be in chior) but eventually as I picked up the guitar and figured out more about computers, it has evolved into high quality sound bites. Check out two of my latest pieces below; Acoustic Journey and Fleet.

I used Garage Band on Fleet to add some bongos and a violin but Acoustic Journey is all original! I also cleaned up these tracks and enhanced the sound using a PC only application called Adobe Audition.

Acoustic Journey


If you sample these songs or use my music to make money that's fine, but if you make hundreds of thousands of dollars doing it please share the cash! Donate to the aM Network

posted by Court @ 3:50 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Monday, October 16, 2006

Sony's Aibo Going Extinct

Well, these days it seems like everything is going extinct... even computorized robot dogs, Sony will no longer be selling it effective early 2006 but I'm sure eBay will! Meet Aibo (if you haven't already), I really wanted to buy this guy earlier in the year but with a $2000 price tag that's a bit steep for a college student.

Aibo can stream your email (reading it out loud to you), keep you up to date with calendar activities (once again... barking out commands like "pick the kids up from school damn it!!!"), and it can even be set for motion sensing + camera mode to protect the house and alert you at work via email if your house is being burglerized! If you're lucky, the thief might even take your $2000 robot companion (which will aleart you of it's exact position via GPS!) well, I made this last part up... but wouldn't it be neat? The robot dog is actually self sufficient and can find its way back to the charger and "take a nap" when the batteries run low. Yum Yum, so artificial... yet so intellingent :P

Yeah, I know all you "real life" doggy lovers out there are probably thinking "how stupid" and "I can't pet that thing" and "it can't lick my..." well, we'll just stop there, but studies show that robot pets actually have similar healing effects on their owners as real pets do! But... with Aibo going extinct I'm not sure how long those healing effects will last! I guess until the batteries run out?


here he/she "it" is, the Sony Aibo extinct robot dog! I've never seen a dog play dead quite like it?


You don't have to microwave this pooch to see what's inside! A friendly science lab made this nice x-ray for all of us to see...

The horrible screams that you hear at the end of this film were made by the experimenters, who were startled to see the dog attack the AIBO.

This was the first time that the AIBO was attacked, but it was not the last. During the course of the experiment, the AIBO was sometimes knocked over, bitten and chewed. It is still in perfect working order, and shows no visible signs of damage.

Nevertheless, we strongly advise you not to try anything similar with your AIBO. AIBO is strongly built, but it contains many delicate components that could be easily damaged. Your warranty will not cover you if AIBO is damaged in this way.

No animals were hurt or mistreated in any way during the course of this experiment.

posted by Court @ 3:49 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Junk Apparel - eat your heart out!

So I've been working downtown in San Francisco near the Civic Center BART station (not the cleanest friendliest area of town). On my way to my 28 story office building I have to walk through three gritty blocks dressed in my nicest business wear toting a laptop in a fancy briefcase and all the bums love to give me a hard time.

Just the other day some guy asked me for money and then spit on me WHEN I GAVE HIM SOME... I don't make a habbit of handing out change but the guy looked sort of upbeat and asked in a friendly way so I gave him some loose change. Wow, then the other day coming home from work some guys across the street chucked a lime at me. It's just a weird place to be and I stand out like a sore, young, rich thumb.

Okay, the real purpose of this post... I went exploring over lunch the other day and toured the City Hall. It was really cool, I learned all about San Francisco and even some about California (did you know the state is named after a female Indian warrior named "Kalifa" who used to live here?) If you ever get the chance, take the tour! So on my way of exploring I found these cool buildings, one of which was some sort of school many years back. Now it's all boarded up but I think there's probably something going on inside. The outside is what really matters in this case however, it's all covered with Jack's logo! Check the pictures below > >

there's the Junk Apparel logo!

this awesome mural covers the entire West side of the building... it's pretty intense.

side view: street, meeters, lights, beautiful architecture in a crappy part of town... It reminds me of most of Rome

posted by Court @ 3:48 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Quotes and Personality Stuff

I've been saving up these quotes for a while and wanted to share them before they get lost or something...

“There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.”
- Pablo Picasso

“Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.”
- Pablo Picasso

“You can't run a business without taking risks.”
- Picasso*

"Life does not consist mainly, or even largely, consist of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing, through one's head. "
- Mark Twain

"Those who abandone their own dreams, will discourage yours"
- Unknown

"One man says: I see the light of god shining in you, the other says: all you see is my reflection, you're facing the wrong way"
- my grandpa

"I just want to live until I die"
- my grandpa

"Everything important I do, I do twice; once in my dreams and once in real life."
- me

"Success is a gateway drug, achievement is addictive."
- me

I've come up with a few quotes of my own, let me know what you think... Maybe one day "pocket" will be known as an ancient and wise philosopher.

“You only have the power to change what you are willing to lose”
- me

“The walls we erect to keep others out also keep us in”
- me

"Eventually we all lose our lives, we try not to lose the meaning in life"
- me

"Veterans Day: I am thankful for the gifts I have been given, by those I never knew, and some who live around me still, that helped me as I grew"
- me

"I'm in a struggle with life, and life is winning"
- me

"I'm realizing that a part of my paycheck actually goes towards a long term lease on my soul!"
- me

"Faith is not a way of dealing with death, it is a way of dealing with life."
- me

...I want to learn from history and I'm trying not to settle for "good enough" in life. I like people in general, it brings me great joy to encourage success and compliment attempts at life... That's why I started aM with Blake and Dillon. My favorite part of life is when I am working on something I enjoy, which probably includes helping a friend. On an athletic note, I love running and jumping and being active like a cheetah (which is my fav animal) I'm an ENFP Myers Briggs -

Portrait of an ENFP - Extraverted iNtuitive Feeling Perceiving
(Extraverted Intuition with Introverted Feeling)
The Inspirer

As an ENFP, your primary mode of living is focused externally, where you take things in primarily via your intuition. Your secondary mode is internal, where you deal with things according to how you feel about them, or how they fit in with your personal value system.

ENFPs are warm, enthusiastic people, typically very bright and full of potential. They live in the world of possibilities, and can become very passionate and excited about things. Their enthusiasm lends them the ability to inspire and motivate others, more so than we see in other types. They can talk their way in or out of anything. They love life, seeing it as a special gift, and strive to make the most out of it.

ENFPs have an unusually broad range of skills and talents. They are good at most things which interest them. Project-oriented, they may go through several different careers during their lifetime. To onlookers, the ENFP may seem directionless and without purpose, but ENFPs are actually quite consistent, in that they have a strong sense of values which they live with throughout their lives. Everything that they do must be in line with their values. An ENFP needs to feel that they are living their lives as their true Self, walking in step with what they believe is right. They see meaning in everything, and are on a continuous quest to adapt their lives and values to achieve inner peace. They're constantly aware and somewhat fearful of losing touch with themselves. Since emotional excitement is usually an important part of the ENFP's life, and because they are focused on keeping "centered", the ENFP is usually an intense individual, with highly evolved values.

An ENFP needs to focus on following through with their projects. This can be a problem area for some of these individuals. Unlike other Extraverted types, ENFPs need time alone to center themselves, and make sure they are moving in a direction which is in sync with their values. ENFPs who remain centered will usually be quite successful at their endeavors. Others may fall into the habit of dropping a project when they become excited about a new possibility, and thus they never achieve the great accomplishments which they are capable of achieving.

Most ENFPs have great people skills. They are genuinely warm and interested in people, and place great importance on their inter-personal relationships. ENFPs almost always have a strong need to be liked. Sometimes, especially at a younger age, an ENFP will tend to be "gushy" and insincere, and generally "overdo" in an effort to win acceptance. However, once an ENFP has learned to balance their need to be true to themselves with their need for acceptance, they excel at bringing out the best in others, and are typically well-liked. They have an exceptional ability to intuitively understand a person after a very short period of time, and use their intuition and flexibility to relate to others on their own level.

Because ENFPs live in the world of exciting possibilities, the details of everyday life are seen as trivial drudgery. They place no importance on detailed, maintenance-type tasks, and will frequently remain oblivous to these types of concerns. When they do have to perform these tasks, they do not enjoy themselves. This is a challenging area of life for most ENFPs, and can be frustrating for ENFP's family members.

An ENFP who has "gone wrong" may be quite manipulative - and very good it. The gift of gab which they are blessed with makes it naturally easy for them to get what they want. Most ENFPs will not abuse their abilities, because that would not jive with their value systems.

ENFPs sometimes make serious errors in judgment. They have an amazing ability to intuitively perceive the truth about a person or situation, but when they apply judgment to their perception, they may jump to the wrong conclusions.

ENFPs who have not learned to follow through may have a difficult time remaining happy in marital relationships. Always seeing the possibilities of what could be, they may become bored with what actually is. The strong sense of values will keep many ENFPs dedicated to their relationships. However, ENFPs like a little excitement in their lives, and are best matched with individuals who are comfortable with change and new experiences.

Having an ENFP parent can be a fun-filled experience, but may be stressful at times for children with strong Sensing or Judging tendancies. Such children may see the ENFP parent as inconsistent and difficult to understand, as the children are pulled along in the whirlwind life of the ENFP. Sometimes the ENFP will want to be their child's best friend, and at other times they will play the parental authoritarian. But ENFPs are always consistent in their value systems, which they will impress on their children above all else, along with a basic joy of living.

ENFPs are basically happy people. They may become unhappy when they are confined to strict schedules or mundane tasks. Consequently, ENFPs work best in situations where they have a lot of flexibility, and where they can work with people and ideas. Many go into business for themselves. They have the ability to be quite productive with little supervision, as long as they are excited about what they're doing.

Because they are so alert and sensitive, constantly scanning their environments, ENFPs often suffer from muscle tension. They have a strong need to be independent, and resist being controlled or labelled. They need to maintain control over themselves, but they do not believe in controlling others. Their dislike of dependence and suppression extends to others as well as to themselves.

ENFPs are charming, ingenuous, risk-taking, sensitive, people-oriented individuals with capabilities ranging across a broad spectrum. They have many gifts which they will use to fulfill themselves and those near them, if they are able to remain centered and master the ability of following through.

Jungian functional preference ordering for ENFP:

Dominant: Extraverted Intuition
Auxiliary: Introverted Feeling
Tertiary: Extraverted Thinking
Inferior: Introverted Sensing

posted by Court @ 3:47 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Stanford Art Museum

I've been adventuring around Palo Alto a bit lately and came across the Stanford Art School/Museum. It's pretty cool, having just visited the art museums in Paris and Italy... I can honestly say that Stanford has done pretty well for a U.S. based institution, they even had egyptian stuff and a mummy!

I really enjoyed the architecture of the school and the art gardens surrounding the museum. Students whizzing to and from class, many of them setting up canvases to do practice sketches or paintings of the bronze sculptures outside.

entrance to the Stanford Art Museum

outside - murals with a frieze and pediment on the left

more murals

palm tree outside of the museum

This is a crazy black squirrel I found in a bush just outside the museum... I didn't realize that squirrels could be black like this so I had to take a picture. You will also notice the blurring and refracting going on with my wide angle lense. The camera I am using here is the Canon PowerShot SD600 Digital Elph with a clip on wide angle lense from Digital Concepts that I got off Amazon.


inside the Stanford Art Museum, Greek pottery, the yellow room


wooden horse sculpture...


Hoover Tower - Herbert Hoover attended Stanford and built this tower (which is now sort of a library). It's got a great view... but I'm not sure how earthquake resistant it is? You may notice the squirrel on the grass just in front of the tower... There are lots of squirrels at Stanford, just like there are lots of raccoons at the University of Colorado.

posted by Court @ 3:47 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

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