Friday, December 29, 2006


It's 10:30 pm and tomorrow we leave for Dublin - it is unlikely that I will get to a computer to post before the new year - so - I wanted to leave a couple of thoughts in 2006 and write our intent for 2007:

For 2007 - we strive to be happy - to smile a lot, to laugh often and to deal with hardship courageously.

It’s been a crazy year – it has been the year that Music2Work2 actually came into being – the website – the music – everything. At this point we have over 100 people on our mailing list that we don’t know – and we are seriously excited about this.

I cannot wait for 2007 – I, Andrew, cannot imagine anything better that I would want to be doing with my time – I am full of hope and optimism for the future. I love the music that is coming out, I love the idea of “music2”, I love working with Charlotte, …it is just a dream project for me and I hope that my enthusiasm, energy, delight and passion is reflected in the music.

2006 has been a year of building, it has been a year of struggle, of focus and of course, many, many questions. If you haven’t yet registered at, please do so, I love the music there and it will be a huge part of my life next year.

None of this would exist without Charlotte – the music would, but this whole entity: the new sessions, the blog – the business – would not exist. I cannot thank her enough for her belief in this music, this whole idea and of course – in me! ;-) Thank you Charlotte – and btw – you’re not allowed to reply to this one ;-)

We both wish you a happy, healthy and harmonious 2007.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006


Paul55, one of the newer sessions on Music 2 Work, I find to be unique from most of the other musical pieces – there is a dramatic change in tempo and style in the latter parts of the piece, and the composer has said that there is space left in the session where he plans to add another voice.

The slow, melodic beginning of this session seems to me to be questioning; it evokes an image of searching for an answer, a meaning. I think times of intense emotions often lead to questioning, and perhaps I hear this in the piece because of the very emotional time I have been going through lately.

The second half of the session has a different rhythm and feel to it. This part seems to be suggestive of the answer or understanding that was being searched for in the preceding parts. It is upbeat, indicating the joy of understanding or the revelation that has come...... or maybe that the answer is a positive one. It leaves me with the feeling that whatever is being questioned turns out ok.

I am anxious to hear the additions to this session that will be made. I wonder if the addition will change the way I am hearing this piece. Perhaps by that time, I will be in a different place emotionally, and will find out exactly how much of a part my own feelings have played in the way I hear it and the images it evokes.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

According to Word of Mouth Marketing Association, viral marketing and incentives were the major factors in online retail sales this holiday season. Previous surveys have shown that a staggering number of customers turn to friends, colleagues, etc. for advice about possible purchases. This year incentives offered by retailers, most in the form of free shipping, has played a major role in increased sales, as well.

Has the importance of incentives reflected savvy shopping by the customers- getting the best deal for their money, or has it been due to the idea of "getting something for nothing?" The word "free" tends to have great power in today's society.

Whatever the reason, it appears that the optimism of companies about holiday sales, early in the season, has most likely proven true. In fact, to draw customers to their web sites, over 97% of online retailers invested in search engine marketing, 73% in comparison shopping engines, and many in other unconventional online marketing strategies.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

It is not quite two weeks since I lost my dear pet, Cassie. The grief and sense of loss is still so great at times, that it is almost impossible to do anything that requires thought and concentration - - such as writing this blog.

When it seems that everyone around you is caught up in the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping and preparations, and that is the least of your concerns at the moment, it is almost too painful to be out among people. And yet, it is just as painful to be at home with the silence and emptiness left from the loss of my furry companion and friend.

So, I will continue to post on this blog as often as I can, but whether there is a new post or not, we’re still here. After the first of the year, there will be some changes coming to the look of the Music 2 Work 2 web site. There is already some new music there you can check out. I think it is among some of the best!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wendi's Theme

Wendi’s Theme on Music 2 Work was written for the composer’s wife. Maybe the fact that I know that influences the way I hear this piece, but to me, it definitely sounds like a love song.

Hints of the original version can be identified in the newer one, but the tempo of the newer session adds a more romantic quality to it, I think.

Listening carefully to the newer version, the session evokes thoughts of the many facets of a relationship. The changing tones, the changing rhythms seem to signify the many aspects of the human personality, the relating of the personalities of two people. The range of tones of the piano - highs and lows - also seems to indicate the highs and lows that are a part of any relationship. However, as in a loving, committed relationship where differences compliment and help each individual to grow and be their best selves, all the variations of tempo and tones work beautifully together to form what I find to be a lovely, romantic piece of music.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What a bargain!

It is pretty typical to find sales on many items this time of year, but what has got to be one of the biggest holiday discounts around this season is Peer Impact’s offering its entire catalogue of tracks for as little as a penny and albums for a dime. Digital Music News reports that “Peer Impact is using the steep discounts to motivate buying, attract new consumers, and draw attention to its DigiGift program.”

DigiGifts are digital gifts purchased for someone and delivered to them through an email. The secure P2P network also offers movie files.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Boys Bedtime Music

Boys Bedtime Music on Music 2 Work is a slow, soothing music session, for which the title is perfect. Listening to it, I feel myself becoming very relaxed and calm.

The clear notes of the piano near the end of the piece bring to mind the image of the tinkling sounds of a music box as it winds down. By the time it reaches its end, a sense of peacefulness has certainly fallen over the listener, and sleep quite easily might not be far behind.

This is a wonderful piece to help get rid of the tension of a frustrating work day, a hard day of play and study at school, or just to "wind down" from the stress of everyday life.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Cheers to Starbucks

For the holiday season, Starbucks is spreading good cheer and carrying out a viral marketing campaign at the same time. According to Womnibus Weekly #2.13, they are giving out small gifts to customers, such as a bus pass, movie pass and only asking that in return, the recipient do a good deed for someone. When the good deed is done, the person on the receiving end gets a “cheer pass” which is numbered. They are encouraged to go to Starbucks’ “It’s Red Again” website and write about the good deed they received or a holiday tradition.

Starbucks says that this is a campaign to show appreciation to their customers, and "to inspire customers to pass along the holiday tradition of kindness." Around a half million “cheer passes” are being given out. This definitely seems like a good way to create buzz and positive attitudes toward Starbucks. It will be interesting to see if “cheer pass” recipients actually post on the site enabling the “good cheer” and success of the marketing campaign to be tracked.

In any event, doing a good deed for someone and spreading holiday cheer, can never be encouraged too much or carried out too often - - any time of the year!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


It’s been about a week since I last wrote anything here. It was a week of pain, grief, doubt, and loss.

My dear, sweet dog Cassie, who had been a constant companion and friend for 13 years, lost her life last Friday. Cassie had been a stray who had lost a hind leg due to its being caught in a trap. Having gotten her leg free herself, she wandered the streets with this mangled and I’m sure extremely painful leg for a week or so, until she was hit by a car. The first time I saw her, someone who worked at the vet’s office where I took the dog I had at that time, had found her after she was hit by the car and took her to the veterinarian’s office where they were about to remove her mangled leg and do surgery to repair the damage from the automobile. She looked me straight in the eyes and stole a piece of my heart.

The fact that she only had three legs didn’t slow her down for much of her life; she loved to run and play and chase squirrels. She was primarily a Norwegian Elkhound, and not a lap dog but she didn’t know that. She was a big baby, loving attention and, admittedly, had me trained well. She was my protector and faithful friend.

In spite of all the trauma and pain she had been through in her life, she was sweet and loving. Hip dysplasia from having only the one hind leg had been a problem for several years, but recently her mobility had become decreased and the pain increased. It became too severe for her to continue to endure last week.

The music session, Cassie, was written especially for her by my dear friend and partner in Music 2 Work 2; it is a perfect representation of the life she lived. The slow, somber section is appropriate to the pain she endured, and the grief of losing her long before I was ready to let her go.

However, further into the piece, the image evoked is of her running, playing, sort of bouncing along on those three legs. People often didn’t realize she was even missing the fourth leg, and when she was younger, it was as if she didn’t either.

My heart is still breaking from the loss of my dear Cassie. But, this lovely musical tribute to her helps ease the pain and grief I feel by helping me to remember her as the funny, fun-loving, playful, sweet, and loving companion and friend she was. I was blessed by having had her in my life.

Thank you, Andrew, for this beautiful, healing music.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Word of Mouth Marketing Association (Womma) is preparing for its Word of Mouth Summit to be held in Washington, DC next week. One of the papers that will be presented at the Word of Mouth Marketing Research Symposium on December 11, 2006, is Podcasts: Driving Word of Mouth.

According to this paper, to be presented by Dave Evans, VP of Social Media for Digital Voodoo and founder of, prior to a previous conference, WOMMAs Word of Mouth Basic Training (WOMBAT) Conference, traffic to the site increased from the time of the first podcast release up to the beginning of the conference.

My partner in Music 2 Work 2 and I were discussing new plans for the website and marketing today. One of the many items in the plans are podcasts. It is reassuring to hear that others have found podcasts to be such an important part of marketing for their businesses. I am really anxious for us to be able to start making some of the changes, adding new music and new features. It's going to be terrific!

Friday, December 01, 2006

I suppose it shouldn’t be surprising to me to read in Digital Music News that Crayola is broadening out into electronics; most others companies are doing the same thing. But, it is a little harder for me to think about Crayola, the company whose crayons every child has grown up with over the past 100 years, now offering a line of electronics including a portable boom box, digital music player, portable AM/FM radio and a clock radio.

GPX has designed the products for Crayola, which are supposed to be “kid-friendly,” able to withstand the rough treatment of children, and range in price from $9.99 to $39.99. Known for products that encourage creativity and self-expression in children and adults, Crayola has carried this feature over to the boom box which features a dry-erase board and dual headphone jacks so you can share your music with a friend.

I guess it really makes a lot of sense that music would now be a part of the resources for artistic expression on which the company’s reputation has been built. It is probably just my age telling on me that, to me, “Crayola” means brightly colored crayons and markers and not consumer electronics.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Jax's Theme

Listening to Jax’s Theme, by Music 2 Work 2, the first word that comes to mind is majestic. The organ swells elicit an almost sacred feel to the music. The imagery produced for me is one of the majesty of nature – a sunrise, a sunset, majestic mountains, a beautiful rainbow.

This session gives me a feeling of peace and calmness, but also reminds me that I am only one small element in a much larger and more powerful universe.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Music & Migraines

I have been listening to the music of Music 2 Work 2 for a long time. Being a friend of the composer/performer, I was listening to it long before the Music 2 Work venture began.

I have used it as background music while doing all sorts of things - working at the computer, cooking, playing Scrabble, writing documents, and even recently used it to calm down after hours of a very frustrating and anger producing session with a companies' technical support in trying to get a new phone system set up.

Yesterday, I had another of my many migraines. Any change in weather causes me to have one for the past couple of years. Preventive medication only partially works and medication that I have been prescribed to take for the migraine often doesn't work as well as it should and has to be taken a second time. So, I decided to test the benefit of music on a migraine. Ordinarily sound, light and movement increases the pain for me.

We have referenced many articles on the Music 2 Work 2 web site in which studies have shown that music is beneficial for relieving pain following surgery, or has other medical benefits. I can now attest to the fact that Music 2 Work2 music does have a beneficial effect on my migraines. The music playing softly helped me relax; I only had to take the medication one time to get relief from the pain; and the time waiting for the medication to take effect was more pleasant.

I will definitely try this again with my next migraine, but I do feel that Music 2 Work 2 sessions playing softly in the background made a difference in this one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Digital Music News reports that “the art of stalking has now gone digital.” A 27 year old fan of Linkin Park lead singer Chester Bennington was able to acquire phone numbers and photographs by hacking into his mobile phone. The woman had apparently also been able to get into Bennington’s personal email account and made threats against his wife.

This woman is said to have used a computer at her former employer Sandia National Laboratories, a nuclear weapons research and testing laboratory, to carry out her acts.

Being the subject of stalking by a fan, I am sure is unnerving enough for celebrities. The addition of yet another means of stalking and the breaching of ones security is even more cause for concern. However, it is disturbing to me to think that this woman worked where research and testing of nuclear weapons was taking place.

Lab spokesman Michael Padilla said that the woman’s computer “wasn’t connected to classified data.” That is little comfort to me - it also wasn't connected to Chester Bennington's mobile phone and email! I feel for Chester Bennington and his wife and anyone subjected to stalking, but it concerns me that a person such as this woman would be hired by a company dealing with such sensitive matters and that this part of the story seems to be of so little concern to anyone.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Anam Cara

The little piece Anam Cara is another one from Music 2 Work 2 that I can't listen to without smiling. It just speaks of joy to me. It brings to mind happiness, fun, goodness - maybe an appropriate piece for the holiday season.

Wishing all a great Thanksgiving filled with joy and happiness!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

It's the music that is important.......

Digital Music News Daily Snapshot reports that Nielson Media Research revealed “iPod owners spend a relatively small amount of time viewing downloaded videos.” These results are understandable considering the “multitasking” of individuals today. It is the music, Nielsen concludes, that is the most important component for most iPod buyers, even the iPods with video capabilities.

These results are reassuring for Music 2 Work They are consistent with the thinking of Music 2 Work 2 and reaffirm the premise on which it is based. Individuals at work and play spend so much time during which focused attention to action on a screen is impractical. But, background music, which does not require focused attention, makes the task more pleasant, enables concentration on what is necessary, or prevents boredom while performing repetitive tasks. Looks like Music 2 Work 2 is right on the mark!

Monday, November 20, 2006

New Music Session

There is a brand new session now available on the Music 2 Work 2 web site. Late791 is a piece consisting of only the piano and has a somewhat different feel to me than some of the other sessions. It is a slow, melodic piece that has a rather somber tone.

The imagery for me from this session is of a rainstorm. In the beginning I see the sky grow darker. At 4-5 minutes into the piece, the raindrops begin - the clear notes of the piano representing the rain as it falls. As it waters the earth, the clouds begin to break but the rain continues to softly fall. It brings needed sustenance and it leaves all of nature refreshed and clean. It gives me the sense of a renewal or revitalizing – leaving existence better than when it began.

Check out this new piece. As background music, it is good while doing work at the computer, cleaning the house, any kind of work. But, also try listening closely to the session, focusing on the melody, the clearness of the piano, and see what image it evokes for you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Zune vs iPod

In spite of the big budget marketing campaign and months of pre-release hype, Microsoft’s Zune was released on Tuesday with disappointing results. Digital Music News reported that it was available in 30,000 retail outlets, “more than any other Microsoft product." Even Bill Gates himself gave it a push by extolling its virtues.

Apparently, however, it was not well received by everyone – there were complaints about it’s size – larger and heavier than the iPod and its sharing capabilities possibly hurt by the refusal of some big names, such as the Rolling Stones, to license their music for Zune-to-Zune sharing.

So, what is the message here? Perhaps that success can’t always be bought. Regardless of how much money Microsoft has spent on the Zune, it’s popularity and success ultimately lies with the consumer.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


The Beautiful clip on Music 2 Work is certainly appropriately named. It is one of those pieces of music that makes me feel good just to listen to it.

Listening to Beautiful, the imagery it evokes for me is of a sunrise. The sun's rays slowly break through as it rises above the horizon. It announces the beginning of a new day - - hopefully a good, "beautiful" day, but regardless, another opportunity to live, to love, to learn and to grow.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Easy Viral Marketing

According to Womnibus Weekly #2.09, Levi's jeans has begun a viral marketing campaign in which customers are encouraged to make their own customized advertisements by adding their own photos and text to a commercial on Levi's web site. This campaign, created by Personiva, has been done before with other companies, but the unique part of this one is that the customer is encouraged to email their customized ad to their friends. As an incentive for doing this, the customer is given free shipping on any purchase of $75 or more at Levi's e-commerce site, when their ad is viewed by three or more people.

This sounds like a great idea to me. Letting individuals add their own creativity to an ad is a way of getting the public involved, but adding the incentive to share their creation and the product sounds like marketing at its easiest. More companies should jump on this idea, I think.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

1218 Clip 2

The changes heard in 1218 Clip 1 – tempo, instruments and melodies, are present in this clip as well. But listening to 1218 Clip 2, the image I get is of being willing to risk and explore change even further. The piano seems to take on an energy that allows it to push ahead, to take the lead and try new and more complicated things.

This clip makes me think about a person who is willing to experience life with all its changes and forge ahead, following new paths and trying new things. The changes and experiences may not all be easy, but they do not discourage the individual from continuing to experience life and grow.

The 1218 session on Music 2 Work, from which both these clips come, is a pleasing, up-lifting and encouraging piece. It is one of my favorites.

Monday, November 13, 2006

1218 Clip 1

The theme of the Music2Work2 1218 clip1 that stands out to me is change - the change from piano to piano and strings, the change in tempo, the change in melody. There seem to be different moods, and different actions taking place within the piece.

The tempo varies - slow, fast, slow, and even the voices or instruments carry different tempos simultaneously. The mood changes from soft and mellow to one of excitement or heightened feelings/activity, then back to mellow again.

Having spent the past week dealing with technical support people in trying to get new phone and Internet service set up, this piece is particularly representative of the changes, the varied feelings and emotions I have gone through. There is a lot going on in this piece, and there has been a lot going on with my thoughts and feelings through my ordeal – from extreme anger to resigned acceptance of spending hours trying to finally reach someone who could solve the problem.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Music 2 prevent an explosion!

I have spent four days on the phone or online chat support trying to get Earthlink’s TrueVoice service set up. Every single part of this process that could have been screwed up, was. I found that most of the people who work at technical support, either do not have enough training or they just plain don’t know what they are doing.

After spending 21 hours and counting either on the phone, mostly on hold, or waiting for a response from someone on the chat support, I have discovered a new use of Music 2 Work 2 pieces. They are also “music to help maintain your sanity.”

I was so angry I could have chewed gravel today - - instead of making things better, one of these “technical people” not only could not get my phone working, but made it impossible for me to have Internet access. I knew that I was either going to do something drastic or my blood pressure was going to shoot right through my head. So I put on the sessions from and was able to calm down and maintain what sanity I had left. As the calming, soothing music played, I felt myself start to relax. The music is so beautiful, it is hard to stay so upset while listening to it.

Earthlink needs to play Music2Work2 while they leave their customers on hold. If they are going to be so incompetent, maybe at least the customers won’t have coronaries or nervous breakdowns while they wait!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Buzz about the fuzzy red doll........

Womnibus Weekly: Everything about Word of Mouth #2.08 has an article about the marketing genius used by Mattel for the promotion of the recently introduced Tickle Me Elmo doll, T.M. X. Apparently it was shrouded in secrecy, "leaks" to retailers and press created excitement and mystery, an "unveiling date" created a buzz and orders where placed for the toy "sight unseen." It is expected to be the hottest toy seller of the holiday season. All of this because of what was not said!

Ted Mininni in MarketingProfs:DailyFix questions why this kind of grassroots marketing and creating product excitement is not used more, " just by creating a little mystery, a date for an unveiling, a little press and buzz at retail..."

It's an interesting thought. I don't know if it would work for any product, after all, the fuzzy red doll is already well-known and created shopper pandemonium 10 years ago when the first Tickle Me Elmo was introduced. But, a sense of mystery about anything usually creates interest
Could this work in marketing online music?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ex Er Cise

Been listening to the Ex Er Cise clip, aka Sexercise, on This is a slow, soothing piece - one that is especially good for background music.

Listening to it closely, I can almost see an awakening or a blossoming taking place. The beginning is soft and slow and it builds in melody and complexity with the addition of the piano. The image to me is one of the beginning of growth - almost an evolving or emerging, with gradual stretching and reaching until full potential is achieved.

I suppose this could be a sexual awakening or just an awakening and blossoming of a human being - the human spirit. Beginning, slowly, tentatively at first, but risking and exploring and reaching until one has discovered his or her true being, their true self.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


One of the weirder pieces of news I’ve read about recently, was in Tuesday, Oct. 24 Digital Music News Daily Snapshot. Apparently Axe Deodorant, owned by Unilever, has joined with Vervelife, a “digital media experiences that not only reinforce your brand’s personality, but are accessed through custom-branded, web based environments,” to produce a hangover Recovery Mixer. According to DMN “The Axe Recovery Mixer offers a range of music styles, each tailored to the severity of the hangover in question.”

Designed to appeal to the 18-34 male demographic online, the process involves showering with a “Recovery Shower Gel” then when you are ready to begin your day, “Axe Recovery Room Mixer will pick the tunes for your aching head.” You can even schedule a wake-up call from Axe!

I don't know whether it actually works, but is there no limit to what a company will do to increase sales?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Vincent clip on Music2Work2 is such a pleasant, soothing little piece. The piano is alone in this one but the notes – the major ones you hear as well as those in the background – produce a melody that makes you feel good. It’s hard for me to listen to this piece and not smile.

The simplicity of the one instrument, or "voice" as the composer calls it, and the clear, sweet tones bring to my mind the joy of a child at play – joy at experiencing the world and his own imagination, maybe pretending to fly like an airplane.

This piece was written in celebration of the birth of a child, but to me it could celebrate the joy and simplicity of all children.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

As I watch the brightly colored fall leaves from my window, dancing, swirling, rising and falling in the cold NC wind, The Duel clip from is playing. The leaves almost seem to move in time to the music.

A leaf starts to make it’s way to the ground but is lifted by the wind and its drifting toward the earth starts over again. The rhythm of the music of The Duel seems to follow this same pattern – up and down, fast and slow.

I suppose the title of this music piece could also represent the struggle between the leaves and the wind – it is not an ugly struggle, but a gentle struggle of aspects of nature. The soothing melody of The Duel, especially at the end of the clip, says to me that in spite of the struggle, it all ends as it should, peacefully.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I was just listening to the Arrival clip on One of the amazing things about the music sessions of Music2Work2 is that they can be heard is several different ways.

Listening closely to Arrival, the piano, at the beginning, seems to me to be announcing that something is about to take place. It captures your attention - an event is about to take place and it beckons to you to be a part of it!

The light and happy tone indicates that whatever it is, it is going to be something good, something fun. For me, it evokes the imagery of being welcomed to join in a wonderful event.

The event for which the composer wrote this session was indeed a wonderful event - a wedding.

Like most of the music sessions on, this piece can also play softly in the background while you are concentrating on a task and rather than calling you to focus on something else, it just makes you feel good, light and happy. It's bound to make your task more pleasant.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Whose problem is it?

Digital Music News reported that Apple has discovered that less than one percent of their video IPods shipped after September 12 were infected with a Windows virus. Who was responsible for the problem - - Apple blamed Microsoft "for not being more hardy against such viruses," and Microsoft said it is a quality control problem with Apple that they "didn't know what they were shipping."

Regardless of where the blame lies, it is the consumer who is inconvenienced by the whole thing. The consumer is the one who will have to go to the trouble to remove the virus, even though it is said to be a low-level security virus. Microsoft has survived such problems before and has high hopes for the release of its Zune player in November. And Apple, having only about 25 reports of the problem so far, will undoubtedly not really be hurt by this with the holidays approaching. So, it will probably end up only being a problem for the people who purchased that one percent of IPods.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Positive Word of Mouth

From life experience in general, and specifically from doing volunteer work with a non-profit organization, I would be inclined to say that most often people who are dissatisfied are the ones who speak loudest. My experience has been that complaints far outnumber compliments.

So, it was very encouraging to me to read in WOM Research, Word of Mouth Marketing Association's online newletter that positive reviews of online products and services outweigh negative ones 8 to 1. Shoppers are more anxious to spread information about great products than they are to badmouth the worst ones.

"According to research by Keller Fay Group, 63 percent of all word of mouth is positive. A recent JupiterKagan study concludes that 60 percent of online shoppers provide feedback about a shopping experience, and are more likely to give feedback about a positive experience than a negative one."

This is very encouraging news for online ventures such as M2W2 and indicates just how important "word of mouth marketing" is. I am pleased to know that my experience with non-profit customers or members does not hold true in the for-profit world.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

IPods and hearing loss

A study by several leading hearing experts offers guidelines to safe listening of IPods. They reported, according to Digital Music News, that the average person could listen to the IPod for 4.6 hours a day at 70 percent of its maximum volume without increasing the risk of hearing loss.

A separate study took into account types of earphones used and the environment in which the subjects listen to music. In a noisy environment, 80% of students listened to music at risky levels, compared to only 6% who turned the volume to levels increasing the risk of hearing loss in quiet surroundings.

I'm sure it is an indication of my age, but I have thought for quite a while now that we are likely to one day have a whole generation of hearing impaired individuals. I wasn't basing this on the levels at which individuals listen to IPods but rather the volume at which music is played in some teenagers cars. I wonder if a study has been done about that?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Are lawsuits the anwer?

Digital Music News reports that IFPI has pursued thousands of lawsuits against illegal file- swappers. '“They all thought they were unlikely to be caught, but teachers, postal workers, IT managers, scientists and people in a host of other occupations, as well as parents, have ended up having to dig deeply into their pockets,” said IFPI chairman John Kennedy.'

I am certainly not in favor of illegal file-swapping, but I wonder if this is the solution to the problem. For one thing, how can Kennedy be so sure that these people all even knew they were doing something illegal? Maybe they did and if so, it is right for them to pay. But, I'm not sure you can assume that all were doing something they knew was wrong and just thought they wouldn't be caught.

Being involved in a digital music distribution venture, I want the public to purchase our music and to only download and swap the music they are allowed to. Although apparently most of the lawsuits have occurred outside the US, I question whether this is the best use of the legal system regardless of the country in which it takes place. If it is in other countries like it is the US, the courts are overflowing with cases, some very serious - especially in comparison to swapping music files.

I guess I don't really know what the solution to the problem is. But, I wonder if there is not a better way to discourage this activity than through lawsuits?

Monday, October 16, 2006


As a "late-comer" to the digital music world and its technology, it is difficult for me to get used to the capabilities of an IPod or cell phones. I have yet to learn how to do anything but answer and place calls on my cell phone. It will take pictures, videos, download music but it's not likely that I will be using those feature much, if at all.

Today, in Digital Music News Daily Snapshot, I read about Palm's Treo 680, a smart phone that
will have the capability of offering music, video, camcorder, camera, MP3 player, support for Microsoft applications like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Google Maps and email and messaging.
And, it will come in a choice of four colors!

What more could anyone want or need to work, play, communicate and find their way around?

Friday, October 13, 2006

Digital Music News contained reports today on the release of the Apple IPod nano in Red as part of the humanitarian effort by Bono to assist women and children in Africa affected by AIDS and other diseases, as well as Sony's announcement of an upcoming "video-enabled Walkman," with no specific release date, but 5 new flash music players in a variety of colors and storage sizes available by the end of the year.

With Microsoft's Zune player's scheduled launch on the market on November 14, it would seem that in the near future, even more so than now, chosing which player to purchase could not only be a mind-boggling task but could consume hours and hours of research and comparison. Are consumers actually going to be able to make a knowledgeable choice, based on performance, dependability, capabilities, and the best buy for the money.......or will it just be based on whether it comes in their favorite color or is related to relief efforts by their favorite artist, or just because one company has spent more money on its marketing campaign of the product?

Competition is good, but when does it all become too much? How many versions of the same or similar product can succeed on the market? Or will consumers just keep buying until they have tried them all?

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another one bites the dust......

First Apple's Chief Executive, Steve Jobs, resigned due to stock option irregularities and now C|Net's CEO, Shelby Bonnie, has resigned for the same, yet more serious, reason. According to Digital Music News, unlike Jobs, Bonnie appears to have been a recipient of the backdated options. Jobs, although not directly involved in the mess at Apple, was aware that it was going on.

Now, where have we heard that before? What has happened to integrity in today's world? At times it is almost too depressing and discouraging to even read or hear the news. If politicians and heads of companies aren't the culprits themselves, they know the practice is taking place and yet do nothing.

I suppose it stems from greed and the desire for more and more money, which leads to more and more power, but people like this have to be intelligent individuals. Doesn't it occur to them that they are unlikely to get by with their dishonesty and deception?

What a sad state the world appears to be in. If it wasn't for efforts like "Rock for Darfur" to remind us that greed is not the only force driving human beings, it would almost be too much to take!

"Rock for Darfur"

MySpace has not only had a change in user population, but apparently is also working on changing its reputation. Most often cited as the online community through which adult predators seek their teenage victims, in discussions I have heard, MySpace is rarely talked about in any positive sense; they are usually condemned as the vehicle for adult predators to find their prey.

According to Oct. 11 Digital Music News Daily Snapshot, MySpace is initiating a humanitarian outreach program for Sudan, in conjunction with relief organization Oxfam. The program, "Rock for Darfur," will feature concerts by well-known artists with part of the proceeds going to the relief efforts, and endorsements and pleas for assistance from stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and George Clooney.

This should help the reputation of MySpace in the eyes of some people and can certainly bring massive awareness to the horrors occuring in Sudan. This may also be a reflection of the change in the age of the user population now seen in MySpace.

This is said to be the largest philanthropic effort by MySpace to date. Whatever the motivating factor for this effort, I believe it is a good move on the part of MySpace and certainly a much needed project for the people of Sudan. Way to go, MySpace!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Only a week after it began airing on Sirius Satellite Radio, the ad for Sinus Buster - the "first ever radio commercial with profanity," according to SiCap Industries, developer of the product - has been pulled; actually the offensive word has just been removed from the ad. Digital Music News reports that SiCap Industries president, Wayne Perry, commented that they did not want to "put Sirius in a sticky situation," and "give their enemies a venue for complaints."

I don't understand this decision. Not that I am an advocate of profanity in the media, but it seems to me that they are "wimping out." Since Sirius is subscription-based radio and free from FCC restrictions covering terrestrial radio stations, wouldn't listeners of relatively unregulated radio expect that they might hear language they would not on most other radio stations? If Howard Stern gets by with some of his crudeness on Sirius, why is an ad with the s-word any different?

Individuals chose to pay for it and chose to listen to it. I may be wrong, but if Satellite radio audiences decrease, I think it will be due to reasons other than profanity - in a commercial or used by Howard Stern.

Monday, October 09, 2006

MySpace population aging

As a member of an "older generation," it was interesting to me to read in today's Digital Music News that "over half of MySpacers are now over the age of 35." I'm glad to hear that, for a couple of reasons.

Social networking sites seem to be geared to the young, at least it appeared that way to me in looking into some of them over the past few months. Most of the time, I didn't even know what they were talking about.

As for MySpace, the 12-17 year olds were the ones most talked about who used it. According to the analysis done by comScore, teens 12-17, who accounted for about one-quarter of MySpace users in August 2005, have now decreased by about one-half that many. And, the number of users 35 years and older has increased as have the users who are 55+ (see chart).

If that trend continues, maybe I will be able to participate in online music communities without feeling like I'm from another planet. Also, since our M2W2 music typically appeals to adults, maybe more so than teens, having more adults on social networking communties can help with the marketing of M2W2.

I have really felt out of place when I have visited online music communities. It will be good to have others around who are as out of the " hip music loop" as I am.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Paul Resnikoff's article, "Are Paid Downloads Dead," in the Oct. 6, Digital Music News Daily Snapshot is indeed worrisome to me, a new participant in a digital music venture. Since the business model for M2W2 is based on digital distribution and sales, paid downloads are a major part of the life-blood of the business.

With the price of downloads so low now, I don't know how they can be much lower and prohibiting all P2P sharing would seem to me to be futile, as well as detrimental to viral marketing or advertising.

I realize there are other ways for M2W2 to survive, and hopefully building a fan base will mean that people who really appreciate the music and concept of M2W2 would always be willing to pay for the product. But, if you are in the beginning stage of a business venture of which customers paying to download your music is the basic premise, Resnikoff's title is a pretty scary thought.
The controversy surrounding Microsofts' Zune player continues. It still seems to be a major topic of discussion at every digital music summit and forum across the country. According to October 5 Digital Music News, Daily Snapshot, the discord has spread to Microsoft's longtime partners, such as Napster.

Being new to the digital music and media scene, I wonder if all this controversy is actually based on interoperability concerns or just competition. Does this happen every time a new product comes on the scene or is the dislike of Microsoft by many and the opinion of their being out of touch with the market a big part of the problem.

Knowing as little as I do about all this, I do understand that if major technical problems will be associated with Zune, the inability of the software design to operate with existing PlayForSure stores and players, that is indeed a concern.

I think it will be interesting to see if the public will purchase the player when it hits the market, just because of the novelty of it or if they will forsee the limitations and prefer to spend their money on more conventional players.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I really don't have anything to say tonight. No excitement today - - just an ordinary dull day, part of which was spent in a doctor's office, waiting.

I am very excited for my partner in M2W2. He is part of a band that is recording new music they have written and getting ready to go on tour. The music is totally different from what he composes for our venture, but it is really great music.

This is something he has wanted to do his entire life. And, I am so pleased that he has gotten the opportunity to do it. Just hearing about their rehearsals and listening to the music, it is very plain that everyone involved is having a blast. I can't wait to attend one of their live shows - don't know how long it will be before they get to the east coast, though.

It really makes me feel good knowing that he is having so much fun and also fulfilling a dream. He really deserves this opportunity and this joy. I don't suppose I have known many people who have been able to achieve that. So, it gives me hope that maybe sometimes dreams do come true.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Time flies ... sometimes

If I could chose which days would seem to pass so quickly, of course it would be the ones that are the most painful, the loneliest, the most frustrating, the ones that are just in general "bad." Unfortunately it doesn't work that way.

I suppose as you get older time seems to pass more quickly, when you have things you wanted to do in your lifetime and you see more of your life behind you than ahead of you. Time is a strange thing - you can't control it, it moves at the same rate always, but its speed seems to fluctuate often depending on what you are doing or the frame of mind you're in.

In just a couple of weeks, it will be ten years since I started a group for people in my community who have the same disorder I have. I remember that first meeting like it was only yesterday. I had never met or seen anyone else who has the disorder I have, so I had no idea what to expect. I wondered - would they look like me? would they have the same physical and medical problems I had? would I be much worse because of the disorder than any of them? I had only learned that there was a foundation for the disorder, and that there were even other people around who also had it, just a few months prior to setting up this first meeting. I still didn't know many facts about the disorder, but I knew that if other people had it and had gone through what I had, it would be helpful to have a group of people who understood what it was like.

I had never organized a group before, for any reason, and I was very nervous. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to do or what I was supposed to say. As the individuals arrived I saw that they all looked as different as any 10 people randomly chosen from the population would. But, when we started to talk about ourselves and our lives with the disorder, so many experiences were the same - - not necessarily the medical problems we had experienced, but the frustration with physicians, the lack of knowledge about the disorder by medical professionals in general, the frustration at not being able to do some of the things your friends and classmates growing up could do and not knowing how to make them or the teachers understand why.

Can it really be 10 years since that first meeting? We have had members come and go. We have lost two members from death due to the disorder. But, there is a core group of people who have stuck it out from the beginning; we have become like family. We have gone through really difficult times and through times of fun. We have laughed a lot and cried a lot. But we have had a common goal - trying to make the lives of other people with the disorder a little better, a little easier than ours have been.

Monday, October 02, 2006

A lesson

I have always had a problem with expecting too much from myself. I'm much harder on myself than I am on anyone else. And, while I recognize that in myself, it's funny how seeing other people do the same thing to themselves seems so much harsher.

When a friend is aggravated with himself because he has been unable to do something he intended to do, or unable to do it on the time scale he had planned, it bothers me that he is so hard on himself, that he is expecting to be perfect and not allowing himself to make a mistake or misjudgement of time. He sees it as failure, starts feeling badly about himself and questioning his abilities.

Because I care about my friend and know how very hard he works to fulfill commitments and act in an honest, noble manner, it hurts me to see him doing this to himself. It is kind of ironic that when I am beating myself up for not meeting my own expectations, it seems legitimate and appropriate, but when I see someone I care about doing the same thing, it is too harsh and uncalled for. There is a lesson in all this I guess, but very difficult to recognize or remember it when I need to. I suppose I should care more about myself and have a bit of the compassion and understanding for myself that I do for others I care about.

The next time I am down on myself and feeling badly about something I have done wrong or not been able to do, I suppose I should try reminding myself that I wouldn't be so rough on a friend. I would have enough concern and love for a friend to allow them to make mistakes or to not be perfect.

Friday, September 29, 2006

It's getting cold

The weather has taken a drastic change here over the past few days. It seems like we went from 98 degree weather to 45 degrees all of a sudden. No longer are just the nights cool; it's "sweater weather" in the middle of the day and even colder at night..

I really dread the thoughts of cold, icy weather. Not only am I unable to get out in weather like that, but the dreary, grey days are depressing. I have plenty of things I can do working on M2W2, cleaning out drawers and closets that are long overdue for it, but when my mood is as grey as the days, I don't have motivation to do much of anything.

The doctor thinks I may have seasonal affective disorder, although it is hard to tell since I am bothered by depression year round. My symptoms do seem to get worse in the winter, when the weather is bad and gloomy.

Maybe this year with M2W2 to keep me busy, I won't experience as much of that as usual. The cold and dampness makes my pain much worse - - that's why I've got to get to a different environment. Not this winter, but fingers crossed that I won't have to spend too many more in this part of the country where the winters take such a toll on my body and my mind.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Pets are such wonderful things to have - they love you no matter what your mood; they want only to please you and receive your attention and love. My dog is my companion through the bad times and the good. We moan and groan together when the weather makes our arthritis pain worse. We relax together listening to beautiful, soothing music - she is a great music fan.

The very sad thing to me is that as she gets older and more frail, many of the routines that had developed as much from her intuition as from me, she has forgotten. The routine to make it possible for me to let her outside without struggles and a great deal of manuevering on both our parts, seems to no longer be a part of her memory. Trying to remind and urge her to do those things now just confuse and frustrate her.

I got my wonderful dog after a worker in the vet's office that cared for my other dog, whom I had for 18 years, found her after she had been hit by a car. She had been someone's pet because she was housebroken and trained, but she had gotten her leg caught in a trap of some kind. Apparently she got her leg out of the trap herself and wandered around for more than a week with it mangled and broken. Then, she was hit by the car.

The assistant in the vets office found her and took her back to their office where they removed her mangled leg and repaired her injuries from the automobile with surgery. When she was well enough to leave the veterinarians office, unable to find her previous owner, they called me. Knowing my dog was old and ill, they urged me to adopt this one to help me through the inevitable loss of my older dog.

Cassie has been a wonderful pet and companion. We have gone through a tremendous amount together - loss of the other dog, loss of a dear friend, loss of my mother, loss of my mobility. She has remained a loving, sweet animal in spite of the horror and pain she has endured in her lifetime. When I had to go from using the crutches to the wheelchair, it never even phased her. She was never afraid of it and somehow just seemed to know what she needed to do to make it easier for me to care for her in this situation.

At the time I got her, I was using crutches to walk. My mother made the comment to the vet that she couldn't believe her "four-legged daughter was getting a three-legged dog." My mother was not much of a dog-lover, but Cassie was determined my mother was going to give her attention and that my mother was going to accept Cassie's love. She would sneak a quick "kiss" in now and then, much to my mother's dislike.

It hurts me to see her "failing." She still wants to do what she is supposed to and it upsets her so if she has an "accident in the house." I do love her and want her here as long as possible. People say how lucky she was to have been adopted by me, but I am the lucky one to have had her "adopt" me. We are a good match - - both move slower these days and must deal with increased pain. But she is still my protector - even if she does bark at a stranger and then hide behind me. She is a joy; she makes me laugh..........and the thought of not having her makes me cry.

If it was easy....

My partner in M2W2 is obviously enjoying herself to no end in writing these daily posts...NOT! But it is already beginning to work for the site. By building up a body of work, by creating this constant stream of information, it validates and sustains the project as well as demonstrating to future visitors that we are real life human beings, not some faceless corporation looking to get their cash any way they can.

The whole LonelyGirl fiasco over at Youtube is an indication of how far the commercial world can go to get to an audience, as well as demonstrating how blurred the lines are between reality and fiction. Lonely girl's time ran out because it was fiction - but it still ran for many months.

I believe that online "Digital Reputation" will be measured in many ways - but one of the key ones will be in how long an entity has been blogging - and then what is the content. The blog doesn't exists to sell a product - it exists to reassure the customer that there are real people behind a website - and although you can't see them - you can see that they are living and experiencing the world the same way they are - and that makes for a far more empathetic environment - one in which I believe that the consumer will feel more comfortable in buying from us.

So - my friend - having been in the loop for a few weeks now - you have already created a body of work!! - Which is great - I do believe that it will get easier - but it will take months of doing this - like anything - if it was easy - everyone would be doing it!!!

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

When is it going to kick in?

I started writing these blogs several weeks ago with the promise that in a few months I would become better at it and it would be more enjoyable. I trust that I was told the truth about this question is, when is the change going to start?

So far, I don't enjoy it any more than I ever did. And, I haven't seen the creativity appear yet! I'm sure the problem lies with me - - to become "more" creative, you have to have some creativity to begin with. Words don't come easily to me - written words that is and I haven't found it any easier to think of something to say in these things.

In order for blogging to be a help in marketing this business venture, I know that what I write has to be interesting and something that will catch people's attention. Will I suddenly one day start to write and magical thoughts and words flow from my fingers? Or will I have a major revelation that I have become capable of writing about our website and our music in a manner to draw listeners and buyers, so much so that I will want to rush to the computer hardly able to wait to start putting words to paper......or screen, as it is? What will it feel like to become creative or unleash any creativity that might be lurking deep inside me?

I don't imagine any of those things will happen - if it happens at all the way it is supposed to. But since I trust the person who urged me to do this, I'll just keep on and ..........will wait!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What a ...............

I just spent about 45 minutes writing for today. Nothing fantastic or earth-shattering, but I wrote it. As it has been doing more frequently these days, my computer froze up, shut down, and it was lost. It is difficult enough to write it once, no way I'm going to try to re-write it!!................Tomorrow!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Beautiful music............

I am listening to a new musical piece composed and recorded by my partner in Music2Work2. This beautiful music is so calming and soothing. I have had a difficult time over the past week or so trying to make a decision about my future and determine what direction my life will take.

One thing this music helps me know for sure is that I am devoted to doing as much as I can to make this business venture a success. This music, this talent, needs to be shared with and experienced by everyone. It will make a difference in their lives in a number of ways.

Music is one of the great pleasures in life for me, like viewing a beautiful sunset, or majestic mountains with their brilliant colors in the fall. These things feed my soul and enrich my life.

One of the unique qualities of this music is that it can be listened to and focused on, filling your being with joy and hope and peace. It can also be playing in the background while you are focusing on a task rather than specifically on the music itself and yet it still brings the positive feelings and pleasure to the time at your task.

This artist is an amazing talent. I am so very glad that he and his music are a part of my life. His friendship and his musical talent enrich my life and bring me joy. I am honored to be able to play a part in sharing his great talent with the world.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I am so confused, I just cannot write tonight. I was conflicted last night as to what to do with another situation. And, tonight, I am even more so. My head and common sense are telling me one thing; my heart and soul are telling me another. I don't know what to do. I can't think straight. I can't write tonight.

Monday, September 18, 2006

How do you know when the right time is to break the news to someone that you are leaving? If you tell them too soon, then you have to suffer their anger and resentment until the event takes place. If you wait until the last minute, then you appear irresponsible and have left them in a bad situation.

I don't know when to tell the other organization I do volunteer work for that I am leaving. I just cannot put up with the pettiness, disrespect and abuse I have had to endure over the past year. It doesn't get any better - only worse. Every day I find myself feeling angry, used and unappreciated.

Unfortunately, I feel too great a sense of responsibility to just leave them in the lurch, but I don't know how to exit responsibly. I have to have someone to replace me in the job I am doing. That really shouldn't be my problem, but it is. If someone isn't doing the job, the whole thing falls apart. But, I can't find a replacement.

It feels like I keep getting in deeper and deeper. I don't like deceit; I want to be honest and up-front about my decision to leave, but I don't know that I have the strength to endure the consequences. I am really in a quandry as to how to handle this whole situation.

I have put most of my life into doing this job for several years now. I have given and given until I don't have anything left to give. There are a few people involved who I have become very fond of; I don't want to hurt them and it makes me sad to leave them. But, for my sanity and my self-esteem I have to go! I wish there was a simple solution.

Friday, September 15, 2006

My big frustration today has been incompetency or negligence. I'm not exactly sure which is it, but people who do a job and could care less whether they do it correctly.

After spending (charging, rather) $600 + to get a new compressor installed in my van, I find out today that a belt was put on incorrectly, so not only was the belt chewed to pieces but had become wrapped around the fan. Hopefully the fan was not damaged. But, all this happened because the person working on the compressor had not checked his work or test driven the van to make sure everything was ok. Because of his incompetency, my plans for the evening were ruined; I had to buy a new belt and my nephew spent his time putting it on, so that I can use my van over the weekend.

I intend to present the bill for the new belt to the person who did the original work, along with my displeasure at having to go through this and with his poor service, on Monday. Just the need to take the time to do that, infuriates me.

It seems more and more these days that so many people do a job, just to get it done. They take no pride in what they do or care whether they are giving the customer their money's worth. It's no skin off their nose if the job is done incorrectly, the customer is inconvenienced, incurs more cost - - nothing matters except that they go through the motions of doing their job, put in the eight hours or whatever is required and get their money. No concern if they do a half-assed job!

I think part of this comes from the selfishness and self-centeredness of human beings. Some people seem to never give thought to the fact that their actions or inactions may affect someone else, much less affect them adversely. We pollute the air and water, construct substandard buildings, roads and bridges, because we never stop to think that our actions have an effect on other human beings, effects that could be fatal. The important factor today is money - - as long as you are getting money for what you do, cut corners, do shoddy work, use poor quality materials, get through the job as quickly as you can so you can get on to the next job and the next - the money adding up!

Money is important - essential to life. I would like to have more of it myself. But when it replaces value and concern for the well-being of other human beings, there is something extremely wrong!

Although I'm sure I shouldn't let this kind of thing bother me to the extent that it does, this experience with my van has not only made me angry and frustrated, it has ruined my whole day!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

New project

I am here earlier tonight, even though the rain did stop today. Unfortunately the pain doesn't diminish as soon as the rain stops. It is still damp and everything is soggy so we need a few days of sun in order to dry things out.

I am excited about the new project we are about to undertake with Music2Work2 - creating a podcast. I don't have an ipod and am not up on the whole thing; my partner in Music2Work2 has been wonderful about explaining things to me like this that I am so ignorant about.

Each step we take in this venture is exciting and the prospects are endless. With a new look in the works for our website and the podcast, things are looking good. I am a rather impatient person, so it is a little difficult for me to wait for things to happen. But, things are happening, slowly and surely, which I suppose is the best way.

One would think that I would be more patient, having spent so much of my life "waiting" for bones to heal and to recuperate from surgeries. But, I think it actually has made me more impatient because all those times feel like wasted time.

With this music venture, I know we have to take things one step at a time. We are both in this venture for the long haul, committed to stick with it until it is no longer fun. I am glad to be a part of it and to be working with my friend. I can't imagine the fun in that ever coming to an end!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Rain, rain, go away.........

The rain has been pouring down since early evening yesterday. Pools of water are standing everywhere and there is flooding in areas prone to that. Thank goodness, I don't live in an area where there are floods.

The rain or dampness increases the amount of pain I have everywhere by about 100%. Tonight I had to do a chat session for the organization in which I do volunteer work. It ended up being an extremely long session and my fingers, wrists, arms and shoulders are killing me.

I should have done this writing earlier in the day, because now, the pain is too severe for me to do it. But, rather than writing nothing at all and just skipping today, I wanted to at least make an attempt to write "something." If only my body would cooperate and allow me to fulfill the commitments I make and do the things I want to do!

So, as short as it is, this is my writing effort for today. I don't know the forecast for tomorrow but one thing I know for sure - if the rain continues, I'll do this writing earlier in the day before my pain level increases to the point that I am physically unable to do it. My body just cannot stand anymore additional pain tonight.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

I am still working on sending emails to college radio stations to try to get them to play our music. During this process, I came across the radio station from the college I attended. Boy, did that bring back the memories. Many of them were difficult to think about but some were thoughts of exciting, enjoyable times.

I never had even given thought to attending college; I missed 2 years of high school due to a broken leg that would not heal. So, I figured if I couldn't even go to high school, I certainly couldn't go to college. However, the homebound teacher I had knew of a college, one of only three in the country at that time, that was barrier free - every building and every part of the campus was accessible by wheelchair. Actually this teacher's brother attended this college, even though he had no physical problems.

That was back in the days when I was so shy and felt so badly about myself that I hardly even talked. I had friends, probably more from their initiative then mine, but I did have other people that I did things with and had fun with.

The worst part during those years, I think, was the internal pain I suffered. I had such low self-esteem and was so embarrassed by the way I looked, that I allowed myself to miss out on so much. There were quite a few handicapped students there during my four years; but they all seemed to deal with their handicaps better than I did. For the most part, I was less visibly handicapped - I walked with a limp but most of the others were in wheelchairs, many with no use of their arms or legs. And yet, I seemed to be the most "emotionally handicapped" by my appearance and limitations. My main wish or desire, at that time was to be "normal." Now, who knows what "normal" is, especially among college students in the late '60s. But I just wanted to be like everyone else - which in itself is abnormal thinking for a college student.

I let a lot of opportunities pass me by, opportunities which could have changed the entire rest of my life. But, I suppose things happen for a reason and there is no point in regretting the past. The valuable or profitable use of such memories is to learn from them so that these current years won't be full of the regrets of the past.

Monday, September 11, 2006

This being the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in NY, DC and PA, the news programs have been filled with retelling and reliving the horrible experiences of so many and the needless loss of so many lives. I suppose it is important to, I know it is important to remember an event like this, to remember the ones who died and the ones who worked so heroically to save others. But, I believe the media does go overboard with events of this and even lesser magnitude.

I think about the family and loved ones of people who lost their lives that day. I can't stand to watch all the video from the actual disaster or listen to the last words of the victims through radio or phone. I can't imagine how painful it must be for someone to watch or hear it who felt the impact of that horrible day on a personal level.

With all the disaster movies, horror films and the audiences they attract, I wonder what that says about people in today's society. Isn't there enough horror just in everyday living without wanting to watch it over and over again as entertainment?

It saddens and angers me when there is a terrible automobile accident on a highway and the traffic moving in the opposite direction backs up and gets tied up from onlookers in the other lanes. Are they hoping to see blood and gore? Are they merely curious?

I have experienced many losses and much grief in my lifetime. Anniversary dates of the losses are often still painful times for me. It may make me feel good that my family or friend meant enough to others that they also remember the anniversary of their death and tell me that they do. But, while it is important to recognize that this day changed life for this country and everyone in it, I think the media could do a better job of respecting the people who were affected by this day the most and allow them to grieve or get through this anniversary in the manner that is best for them.

Friday, September 08, 2006

An old dog and new tricks

My partner in Music2Work2 was showing me another project he is working on and telling me how it will also bring about changes to our web site. It is amazing; I can't wait for it to be applied to Music2Work2.

I hope by the time the website has it's new look, I have my new abilities to post blogs that will encourage other people to visit the site. There is so much of the technical stuff I don't know. It has only been a few years since I learned how to actually do things other than use the computer as a word processor. Thanks to my dear friend and now partner in this venture, I learned to add pages to web sites, learned some html language - - things 5 or 6 years ago I never imagined I would be able to do.

I am very fortunate that he is a patient teacher. At 58 years old, to now be learning to upload clips on music sites, to burn CDs, to make the cover and label for the CDs, is not the typical learning activities of the average person my age. Most younger people have been using computers for years and know the "language" and are up on the latest technology. So much of all this is still so foreign to me! The people my age who know all this, more than likely learned it long ago; they didn't wait until this stage of their lives to have to try to learn and catch up on it.

I do consider it quite an accomplishment to have learned as much about the computer, Internet usage, digital music technology and online business as I have. The adage "you can't teach an old dog new tricks" could be pretty applicable in my case in a lot of ways. My memory is not very good anymore, so it takes me longer to learn things. And that dear old companion, "fear," makes it so much harder. But, I know that when I really want to do something, there is a stubbornness about me that makes me keep trying - determined that this old dog will learn something new.

I developed a stubbornness as I was growing up when people told me I couldn't do something - that because of my physical condition and limitations, I wasn't able to do things. When told that, I was more determined than ever to prove them wrong.

Although stubbornness has been an advantage for me in a lot of ways, it has been a hindrance in so many others. For example, I walked on crutches far too many years and destroyed my shoulder joints because I was too stubborn to give in or give up and use a wheelchair. Now I am paying the price with more severe pain.

But without being tenacious and stubborn, I would never have gone to college or graduate school; I would never have traveled to places around the country by myself; I would never have gotten involved in the organization in which I met my partner in Music2Work2; and I would not be learning more and more about computers, online business and digital music technology. In those ways, it has served me well. After all, wouldn't you expect stubbornness from a Taurus!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

So much despair......

Well, again I'm about to let the day end without having written anything. Today has been a very frustrating day!

I have spent most of the day on the telephone. Some days, mostly on weekends, the phone doesn't ring once. Today, I hardly had a chance to hang up before it rang again. In the other volunteer work I do, people wanting information is just part of the job. I don't mind answering their questions when I can and many of them are very interesting to talk to.

Unfortunately, most everyone else who has this disorder I do, has problems on top of problems. Some of the situations are so horrible it nearly breaks my heart to hear the experiences and situations they have been through. My life has been bad in a lot of ways, but talking to some of these people, I realize how very lucky I am.

Yesterday and today so many of the phone calls have just been people needing someone to talk to - to vent to. I can certainly understand the need for that; goodness knows I have vented to my friend and partner often enough. But, it is the ones who keep asking "why?" that are the most taxing for me. I've gone through some of that myself, wondering why my life has been one of pain and frustrations, limitations and loneliness. But to have others, in great despair, ask me over and over for hours on the phone, why people don't understand their conditions, why the health care system is so messed up in this country, why doctors won't listen to them, why, why, why..............exhaustes me both physically and emotionally. I wish I had answers for the "whys" and I wish I could do something to make things better for them. But all I can do is listen and sympathize.

It probably sounds mean and uncaring to admit that a day of that kind of phone calls takes such a toll on me. I'm not uncaring........maybe I care too much. I can identify with a lot of their anguish, so it angers me and frustrates me that situations for people with this disorder is like it is. It is probably also good for me in that it does make me appreciate the life I had growing up and the one I have today. My childhood was far from perfect, but I at least had loving parents who did the best they could to take care of their child with the strange medical problems. I have a roof over my head and certainly more food than I need. I have friends that care about me, family members to help me when I need it.

I am sad and exhausted from the phone calls and despair of people I have talked to, but at the same time, I feel very fortunate to have the life I have.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I have been listening to some new music composed by my partner in Music2Work2. I have practically worn out the cds of his music that I have had for a while. Such beautiful music!

It is totally amazing to me how someone is able to have the creative ability to go through the same process over and over and have the results come out differently. The notes or keys to be played are the same every time, and I know they are not played in the same order or at the same tempo, but how is the sound, the feeling, the mood, different each time.

I've never tried to compose music but I think if I came up with an original melody that would be all I could think of every time I attempted to compose something else. Kind of like when a song gets stuck in your head and for the rest of the day, that's all you think of or hear!

This exercise in writing is an attempt to enable me to be more creative. I don't have new and different ideas. I have never been able to easily come up with solutions to problems or situations. I spent months thinking of all the problems I would encounter when I had to start using a wheelchair - how would I go out a door and be able to close it behind me? How would I be able to walk the dog? How would I be able to cook my meals? I could think of a million problems but not the solutions. I only knew how to do things the way I had always done them and the way I saw others do them - the normal, acceptable way.

Thank goodness I had people around me to help with the solutions. In most cases, left on my own to figure those kinds of things out, I would probably had spent the rest of my life inside my house being miserable and hating the world!

I have been reading about developing creativity. Most of the time I feel like I have never had an original thought in my life. I saw a quote again tonight that I'm sure explains the major part of my problem, "An essential aspect of creativity is not being afraid to fail."

Throughout my life, my actions and my thinking have been determined by my fear of failure. I have been afraid of looking foolish, or sounding stupid, so I haven't allowed myself to be original or even have original thoughts. The fear that whatever came out of me would not be acceptable to everyone else has prevented my willingness to try. So risking failure, even though a terrifying thing, is something I realize that I am going to have to do in situations other than just writing this blog. But, this is a beginning.