RotD: Anything Apply Pay vs CurrentC

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CurrentC retailers not allowed to accept competing payment services, may face fines if they do

I’m not planning to get an iPhone 6 because I’m perfectly happy with my 5S, but if I do, it will be because of Apple Pay. Living on Guam, sometimes you don’t know if you’ll get the latest technologies with the rest of the USA, but I’ve been seeing the NFC pay icon at many areas, so if I find out Apple Pay works here, I just might save up for a new iPhone.

But this Apply Pay vs CurrentC thing is ridiculous. You just need to browser http://www.reddit.com/r/apple to view all the posts about it. It has even united /r/Android and /r/Apple , because CurrentC supporting vendors have been disabling ALL NFC payments because of Apple Pay, thus affecting Google Wallet customers too.

Anyway, that’s what I’ve been mostly focused on Reddit today. It’s fun to watch this corporation drama unfold.

Mr. and Mrs. Frankenstein

10501696_942116995803160_1615627081212320299_nYes, yes, I know that Frankenstein is the name of the doctor who created the monster.

So Sabrina and I were walking around The Dungeon (store in Guam for all things costumes) for a good hour or more, looking for a quick costume we could put together for Livehouse’s Sunday Night Showcase.

After picking up $50 worth of items, we were still hesitant to check out because of how expensive our items were just for one night. So fast forward, we found these nuts and bolts that go through your head, and they were only $0.50 each! So we just picked up some green face paint, and voila! A couple’s costume for less than $10 :)

We rocked out hard that night to Trey Cunningham, FiF, and Freedom Fries before we had to call it an early night. We did, however, get runner-up in the couple’s costume contest, so that was pretty fun.

More updates to come on actual Halloween with our for-real costumes!

Engaged :D

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On the Seventh Night of July, 2014, I asked my girlfriend, Sabrina Borja, to marry me. And she said uhhhh…ummm….uhh.snifffffffff..whaa…snifff..wha..uhh..?!! *nods*

The short version of the story of how it built up: We were in Sydney, Australia for a Guam Territorial Band trip. Her favorite band piece for the longest time is entitled “The Seventh Night of July”. So since I knew we’d be in Australia on July 7, I bought a ring before we left and planned to propose to her. Little did I know that we were scheduled to play in the Sydney Opera House, playing The Seventh Night of July ON July 7, 2014. Everything lined up perfectly, and at the risk of sounding overly romantic, it was really magical.

So her response? It was the cutest thing ever hahaha. There wasn’t a doubt in my mind she would say yes! So, when everyone was asking me afterwards if I was nervous about asking, I would just say, “Pshhhh naw.” It was the most natural thing for me to do, and I’m glad she reacted the same way :)

Happy engagement to us! I love you, Sabrina Borja <3

Here’s a video of the song that inspired this night!

New Coffee Shop: Brewed Awakenings

10620504_1612854815608728_3667242851312421460_oA new coffee shop has opened up near my house! My fiancee, Sabrina, saw it and suggested we go there, so here we are this morning. The inside actually has a really nice ambiance, despite the building looking a little bit old.

Short side story:

  • Sabrina: Let’s try out Brewed Awakenings!
  • Doug: (didn’t hear the ‘B’) … that’s not a very nice name for a coffee shop
  • Sabrina: Nonono BBBBBrewed Awakenings!
  • Doug: Ohhh….damn that’s clever!
  • Sabrina: Duhhhh dumbass!
  • Doug: -_-

Anywayyy… The best part about it though is that Sabrina ordered her usual (double shot white mocha with soy), and she thought it was made very well. This is coming from one of the best former baristas from Infusion. I ordered a hot chai and was really impressed with the quality of their drinks too.

All it needs is a kitchen, and I don’t see any reason why this won’t become one of the places I frequent :) Like them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Brewed-Awakenings/1612854462275430?ref=br_tf

P. S. There was an acoustic guitar in the corner too, so it looks like they’ll be hosting some small kine music events here sometime.

Yosemite and MidiSport 4×4

os-x-yosemitemidisportI guess I should have waited to update my recording rig to Yosemite, but it seemed like it wasn’t a major departure from Mavericks, so I thought that the drivers wouldn’t be affected. Boy was I wrong.

I use the MidiSport 4×4 to drive my three Mackie Control Universal + two Extenders, so you can imagine my dismay when I found out the center of my control wasn’t working anymore.

I came across this link and tried to do what it said to make it work: https://gist.github.com/anonymous/56df524e2a58ffe65a1b – It involved some command line which I am alright with, but it still didn’t work. Oh well, back to Mavericks it is.

New YouTube Videos!

CaptureI recorded some new YouTube videos in the past few months. I’ve been trying some new video styles too and getting a little creative. Nothing as crazy as something like The Piano Guys (who are absolutely amazing), but I do what I can :)

I recorded “Saving All My Love” because one of my very good friends requested it. I recorded “Rolling In The Deep” because I bought a new guitar and wanted to try out a song that didn’t require mad guitar skills. I recorded “Realize” because Matala is one of my favorite local bands, and that is my favorite song off of their new album (buy it, btw). And I recorded “All or Nothing”, because I won a karaoke contest singing that with my friend, Tim Fox Dominguez. Bahahaa!

Enjoy!

 

Infatuation with MacBook Air 13

techspecs_13_headlineMy first Mac was a top of the line MacBook Pro 13 (i7) I bought in 2011. I thought that maybe I’d just try it out, and wasn’t a big fan of it for quite a while. I guess I never really knew how to use Finder and all the keyboard shortcuts. I didn’t have many applications for it either.

As time went by, I souped up my MBP from 512GB to 1TB. 4GB ram to 8GB and then eventually 16GB. And then I found out you could take out the Superdrive for another hard drive, so I added a 256GB SSD to it. The thing became a BEAST! As time went by, I got more accustomed to using things like Reminders, Mail (which I love), Calendar, and other things, especially since they sync nicely with my iPhone.

But the biggest thing for me is that, even though I love my souped up MBP and thought it would last me for years and years to come, the battery life is starting to stink! Although it’s not horrible, like 2-3 hours, it’s still a hindrance for me to use it on the go, thinking I’ll need to take the power adapter with me and always needing to find a place to plug in.

I was never, ever planning on getting a MacBook Air. I thought it would be nice, but nothing would ever surpass the specs I have made on my souped up beast. But, come this past WWDC a few days ago, the new MacBook Air 13 is boasting 12 hours battery life! WTF! I was working on some music stuff yesterday on Studio One, and found that after a two hour session of messing around, deep in concentration, I had to plug in. Now, with 12 hours battery life, I will never have to plug in until the end of the day. That is amazing, and is probably the main reason I am so infatuated with this thing in the first place.

The problem is, it’s summer and I have less work than I do any other month. But I can probably justify getting it, seeing as I can sell my MBP for a decent price still. Ehhhh. I thought I was done with tech lust. But I guess Apple has made me a fanboy, whether I like it or not :( It’s not even about brand loyalty anymore though. 12 hours of battery life is crrrrrz!

Pacific Summer Music Festival

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Check out the Pacific Summer Music Festival (hosted by Cantate) this Saturday at 7:30pm. Quartet San Francisco (an amazing string quartet) as well as the Guam Territorial Band and of course Cantate and others will be performing that night.

Teaching Winds: Play Along With Piano!

Quick tip! I teach all woodwinds and brasswinds. I used to play along with my students exclusively. It is rather important to, as a matter of fact, because they should know what the instrument is supposed to sound like in real life (YouTube videos are great, but it’s always better to see things before your eyes). But as of late, I’ve been teaching almost exclusively by accompanying them with a piano.

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Why? Well, when I play along with my students, as hard as I try not to, I tend to adjust to the intonation of my student. This doesn’t help the student at all. So I play piano along with them so that they always have a perfect reference point to be in tune with, whether it’s just plucking out the same notes as they’re playing, or making up chords that go along with the exercises. This also includes a lot of yelling like “loosen up!” or “tighter!!” for most winds, and “roll in!” or “roll out!” for flutes.

Since I’ve adopted this method, even my oboe students are playing more in tune than ever! Try it out :)

One Door Closes……A Million More Open

I’ve never been good at blogging. Look at my post history. All my posts are like, half a year (if not more) apart. Geez. So I’m just going to outline really quick what has happened since then. I won’t get too much into detail, but it has been a GREAT year in every aspect. I went through a huge life-altering experience in February, and although I never thought at the time I would be as happy as I am today, here I am.

Hudson River viewing NYC Skyline

Hudson River viewing NYC Skyline

So…with my sucky storytelling skills comes an outline of this years’ events thus far:

  • Rejoined the Guam Territorial Band after being 5 years on break for their New York trip and played in Carnegie Hall and Central Park. Spent time there with my best friend every (Victor Palomo) and made many, many new friends in the process. Super special thanks to Max Ronquillo.
  • Had the pleasure of sitting in with the Guam Jazz Quartet (Carlos Laguana , Larry Franquez, Patrick Palomo, Michael DiAmore) while DiAmore had an acute injury. This experience probably provided the most musical growth I have ever experienced in such a short amount of time.
  • Joined a new reggae band: High Rise. I met their drummer, David Bautista, on the New York trip and sat with him on the plane coming back home. We clicked immediately, he asked me to join the band, I attended a few rehearsals, and the rest is history. Their reggae band originally had no 100% dedicated horn players (myself included). But sticking to it, we’ve managed to compile a full horn section (with John Bermudes and Ben Hardy). We earned a great reputation of being the only reggae band on island with a full horn section. Since then, we have performed over a dozen different places in many different venues. We have also recorded a single, “Yes I” (buy it on iTunes!), won a battle of the bands (the prize was to open for Steel Pulse, but for logistical reasons, we were cancelled), and we perform twice weekly. We are set to release a full album sometime next year.
  • Sitting in with Renaissance. DiAmore is going off-island during a very important Renaissance concert, so that is giving me the awesome opportunity to play two sets with them. It is a LOT of music to learn, but it is probably the most talented group of musicians in this genre that I have ever had the pleasure of working with…and again, further pushing my musical limits.
  • Almost 200,000 hits on my YouTube channel! Originally, I was shooting for 1,000,000 hits this year, but I haven’t had time to record more videos. Still satisfied :)
High Rise (plus some other people)

High Rise (plus some other people)

These are all the highlights of my year so far. There have been countless experiences, but the year is only a bit more than half over, and I am looking forward to so many new things that are coming my way.

YouTube Uploads

I’m going to start recording and uploading more videos to YouTube. There aren’t nearly as much stuff as there should be on there and I hope my contributions will be a valuable asset to those who are looking for more classical recordings on YouTube.

Oh, that, and most of my students are off island so I have quite a bit of free time – Yay! So look forward to it and enjoy! http://www.youtube.com/coufu

Student Recital

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I’m holding a recital for all my students on Saturday, May 28, 2011 at 7:00pm at the UOG Fine Arts Building Room FA127. It’s my first time holding a recital for my students so it’ll be pretty exciting to see how things work out.

Check it out if you have time. See you there!

iPad 2!

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I’ve been having a blast with my iPad 2. I hate to feel like I’m becoming and Apple fan, mainly because I was never crazy about Macs. I have to say though that this is a beautiful piece of hardware that will get a lot of use from me.

This is also coming from a Music Educator’s viewpoint. I found an app that teaches music theory and another app that shows rhythms and you have to tap them out on the screen. I think it’s amazing the kind of tools I have at my disposal now.

I probably will never get a Mac, but I have to say, I haven’t been in love with a piece of hardware in a very long time.

2011

So far, the new year has been great to me.

I got back to the Philippines on the new year. Great way to start the year fresh after a nice vacation. Now that I’m back, I’m finally settled into the new year after a month of stressful juggling of new things.

First off, I now have 25 students. I usually max out at 15 students, but now this is just insane! All the cracks of my schedule are filled, and I barely have any time to do any of the other things I love to do (for work and enjoyment), like recording and programming websites. I still have time actually when the weddings are slow, but surprisingly enough, even tough we added a pianist at World Bridal, my hands are still pretty full. I may finally have my first student recital too, since I have a good number of students.

In addition to having lots of students, I have also opened my other room for my friend Jean Ann Hu to teach flute. She’s fresh out of college, so I’m excited that she’s able to jump on this opportunity and help me out.

Another thing that I’m really proud of is that I’ve started running! No more of this Wii-fit business (not that I didn’t enjoy it). Wii fit was great, but it’s time I graduated to some real exercise. Actually, I’ve always wanted to run, but the only convenient place really is UOG, and that’s a 15 minute drive from my place. Now there’s a pool near my house (just about 5 minutes away) and it has a nice .5 mile sidewalk surrounding its perimeter that a lot of people run on.

Anyway, I’ve been doing the C25k (Couch-to-5k) program, which is a 9 week program to get you to run a 5k nonstop. I started it since the new year, and now I’m on week 6. I’ve been able to work up to running 20 minutes straight from only being able to run for about 60-90 seconds at a time. Talk about a milestone! I can’t wait to finish the program and try to tackle another 5k to see if I can run it in about 30 minutes.

I also have a few recording projects still open. I am still working on Freedom Fries’ recording as well as recording a new band called “Flyspeck” (sp?). They have a pretty cool song coming out that you might hear on the radio soon! :)

That’s the year so far. Oh, and I’m looking to start recording YouTube videos once again if someone is interested in helping me out. I have a nice video camera and editing software. I just wonder if someone out there is wanting to get into video editing and is interested in helping me out. I want to upload a video every week onto YouTube. Let me know if you’re interested.

Oh, and I may try to blog a bit more. Or maybe not. Who knows! Ciao.

Freedom Fries

So I recorded Freedom Fries today. They have a new song coming out soon, and I’m VERY excited! This song is even better than their first two, so look forward to hearing some awesome stuff on the radio, people of Guam.

Speaking of which, I forgot how much fun recording is. I’ve been recording Fiyahdub (actually mixing them down now, they have 4 songs), and now with Freedom Fries, man I am having a blast. It helps that I think that my mixing skill has gone way up since the days of Matala. It makes me want to go back and remix all of the old stuff to see how good I can make it sound. Listening to all the old Matala tracks, I really am unsatisfied with the way I mixed some of them, so I would like to go back and maybe just play around.

Lunch Disaster

So today, I had two weddings: 11:00am Crystal and 1:00pm Crystal, both with Gigi. So since we had about an hour in between, we went downstairs to Magellan restaurant for buffet. It’s like only the best buffet evar!!! Plus we got tip from the wedding ($20 each!), so like yay.

We got a table, sat down, then proceeded to the buffet table. When we I got there, I’m like… oh look, the first dish is seafood. Let’s take a look at the next dish… more seafood. I walked around the whole buffet table… ALL SEAFOOD!! WTF?! Oh, for those of you that don’t know me, I don’t eat seafood. :/

Anyway, since I’m already there, I figure I might as well just try… So I get one of everything. They still have the bread I like, which is awesome. They had some seafood veggie soup, which my parents make all the time anyway so I had some of that too. Got a piece of shrimp, seafood pasta, a fillet of sea bass…

It turns out I really like sea bass. At least, the way they prepared it. It was very un-fishy and nice any crispy with a spicy sauce. The soup was even better than my parents make it too (probably all the MSG), so I found a few things that I could really like.

Anyway, turning lemons into lemonade, I managed to get full, so it turned out to be alright after all ^^ Oh, and of course, it was so much fun hanging out with Gigi as usual.

Seaside Concert

The symphony seaside concert was pretty alright. It’s the same old same old. It started with a Bell Choir, then UOG Singers, then GTB Brass Group, then UOG Jazz Band, then the Symphony. All groups did just fine, although I have to admit that the acoustics are pretty terrible. The sound amplification does an okay job, but without any monitoring, it’s almost impossible to hear what exactly is going on on stage.

I actually really hate the Ypao beach shell. It’s facing the worst way possible, because the sun is shining right into it for all of the afternoon, so it’s pretty damn hot for the whole entire concert.

Either way, each group performed just fine and I’m glad this musical weekend is over! Except I have another gig coming up on Friday for the Guam Woman’s Club and another concert for a church on Sunday, so meh. I was hoping to get some relaxation in before my PI trip, but I guess I might as well make as much money and stay as busy as I can, and my trip will be that much better.

Music Week

It’s been a very musical week. Of course, on top of my weddings and lessons, I took part with UOG Jazz Band concerts and I’ll also be playing tomorrow with the Seaside Concert at Ypao beach from 3pm-6pm. I’m still having some body aches, but overall, it’s really fun and I’m glad to be a part of it all. I can’t wait til it’s all over and I get a break! That’s what PI is for I guess :)

Also, one of my students is going to be playing for his church, and he hasn’t been the bright student of mine, but his mom has insisted on him taking lessons almost every day and he’s gotten way way way way better than any of my other students have been. This makes me want to start a daily class for people of certain levels, because it turns out, I guess meeting with my students once a week isn’t enough.

Anyway, he will be playing 4 short pieces, and he had such a hard time with it before (not to mention a bad attitude about hating all the songs I gave him), but now he loves them all and is doing really well. Hopefully this will inspire me to try to alter my teaching methods for the better and trying to recommend my other students to meet more often throughout the week.

2v2 Awesomeness with TimFox

Starcraft 2 – Played a bunch of 2v2s tonight with Tim. We played 6 games and won all of them. Yeah!

Also, there’s a new test server which is so fun to play on. I did my placement matches then placed silver. Then I played two more games and lost both hahah. I guess all the high level players want to see what it’s all about so I played some pro people. Pretty crazy. All in all, had a very fun time.

Recording and Mixing

So I’ve been recording this band: Fiyahdub. They came here because of Junior, and I was kind of hesitant at first because I have my hands tied with way too many things right now. After mixing them for the past month or so though, I’ve found a whole new love for the craft. I even brought out all my old mixing equipment (3 mackie control surfaces, hr824 speakers, mmmm).

I’m recording Freedom Fries next week too. I want to go back and remix a lot of old songs that I recorded in the past because my mixing skills have gotten way better over the past year or two recording on and off. :) Fiyahdub’s songs are really great too. When they’re released, you should definitely check it out. I’m pretty sure you might here a song or two on the radio.

GSL Season 3

I’ve been watching live Starcraft 2 tournaments in Korea. A lot. I guess the problem is right now that I can’t play too much right now, so I just end up watching. Even more of a problem though: whereas I would only play a game or two a day, now I have to watch like, 10 matches a day. It’s crazy. It’s way more exciting watch other players duke it out though to see who gets to be the best.

For example, yesterday, one of the biggest Starcraft 1 legends, JulyZerg, was beaten in the round of 16, which was very sad because he had been performing so well. On a more positive note, though, a foreigner, LiquidJinro, made it into the round of 8. This is huge because a foreigner has never made it this far into a Korean tournament. Very exciting indeed…

I’ve only watched the finals of GSL1 and GSL2, but I’ve been keeping pu with this season’s GSL ever since the RO64, so it’s really exciting to see players go down and occasional exciting matches that I would have missed otherwise. Very very exciting stuff. This makes me want to get a HTPC for my TV so I can watch these matches on the big screen… hehe :D

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