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Archive for November, 2013

Gift Guide 2013: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

November 30th, 2013 Comments off

Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive

While some might read a book like this for tips on manipulating others to do what they want, I found some great insight into what drives people to make the choices they do. As an organizer of events like CareerCampLA and others, finding ways to persuade people to sponsor and attend these events is critical. Yes! has many great ideas on how to use people’s own desire to be persuaded to work in your favor, and hopefully their favor as well.


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Categories: Books, Business Tags:

Gift Guide 2013: Rode Podcaster Microphone

November 28th, 2013 Comments off

Rode Podcaster USB Dynamic Microphone

The Rode Podcaster is a very popular microphone among both podcasters and YouTube video producers. It has a deep rich sound that makes nearly anyone sound better and more professional. This USB mic plugs directly into a USB port on Windows or Macintosh computers so no mixing  board is necessary.

The Rode Podcaster also has an innovative work around for one of the downsides of a USB mic. Due to the design of a USB mic, you cannot monitor yourself i.e. listen to yourself using headphones, as you can with traditional mic and mixing board combinations. This is due to the fact that there is a delay caused by the computer processing the signal directly. The Rode Podcaster, though, includes an earphone jack directly on the microphone itself. From this you can monitor yourself as you speak without any delay being inserted. A nice touch.

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Categories: Podcasting, Technology Tags:

Gift Guide 2013: WD My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage

November 27th, 2013 Comments off

 WD My Cloud 3TB Personal Cloud Storage

While there are public services doe sharing your files with friends and family, some people prefer the security and privacy of a locally managed cloud that still allows you to access the files from anywhere you are and whatever device you wish.

Features: (from

  • Back up files from all your computers
  • Upload, access and save photos and videos from your mobile devices
  • Stream to your DLNA/UPnP-certified connected TVs, media players and gaming consoles
  • Free up space on your mobile device
  • Reliable and secure with industry leading warranty and password protection
  • Blazing-fast file transfers
  • Expandable storage
  • High-performance media streaming

Your own personal cloud – Keep all your photos, videos, music and files in one safe place at home or your office. No monthly fees. No limits.

Centralize your family’s media collection – Store and organize all your family’s photos, videos, music and important documents in one secure place on your home network.

Access from anywhere – Enjoy your digital life from anywhere on your PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone. With WD’s free apps, your personal cloud is always with you.

Automatic file backup for all your computers – Easily back up the files from all the PC and Mac computers in your home. Get peace of mind knowing that all your files are securely and automatically backed up on your network.

Flexible backup options – Back up, your way. PC users, WD SmartWare Pro offers options for how, when and where you back up your files. Mac users, utilize all the features of Apple Time Machine backup software to protect your data.

Expand your tablet and smartphone storage – Upload photos and videos directly to your personal cloud from anywhere and free up space on your mobile devices.

..and more


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Categories: Friends and Family, Technology Tags:

In the desert via Instagram

November 27th, 2013 Comments off
Categories: California, Photos, Photos-Photography Tags:

Gift Guide 2013: MXL Studio 1 USB Desktop Microphone

November 26th, 2013 Comments off

MXL Studio 1 USB Desktop Microphone

Another nice, entry-level microphone for the podcaster or other media-maker in your life. 

From Small Business Trends, Podcasting Microphone: Review of MXL Studio 1 Red Dot

“I am not a sound expert, but I have used several external microphones over the years to record both audio and video (well, the audio portion of my videos).

But I have to say that this little microphone kit is now one of my favorites. It comes bundled in a durable carrying case, which is a small point. But one that makes a lot of sense given that most podcasting types are probably also mobile types. The company sent me a media review unit for this post.”

Read the complete review 

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Categories: New Media, Podcasting, Technology Tags:

Video: 250 YouTube Subscribers! Thank You All!

November 25th, 2013 Comments off

Gift Guide 2013: Sunset Western Garden Book 2012

November 24th, 2013 Comments off

Sunset Western Garden Book 2012

This is a perennial regular in the gift guide and this is a new edition for 2012. I still find it an excellent reference guide specifically designed for western gardeners, like myself. A big book and a useful one. Great for identifying and investigating the plants in your garden. Contains info on care, feeding and planting. I have written about the Sunset Western Garden Book in the past and always consider it my go-to guide for gardening info. The great news is that there is now a new edition of the book available. My own copy is a bit old now, probably from around 1996, so it might just be time to upgrade. Of course, the danger is I will go “down the rabbit hole” and spend more time reading about gardening than doing it. (LAUGH)

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Categories: Books, Garden Tags:

Food: Bûche de Noel at Creme Caramel

November 21st, 2013 Comments off
Categories: Food Tags:

Gift Guide 2013: Why Read Moby-Dick? by Nathaniel Philbrick

November 21st, 2013 Comments off


Why Read Moby-Dick?

I was able to get the eBook on loan from the LA Public Library. The eBook availability isn’t always the greatest, but I got lucky in this case. Here is the description from I read it in about 2 hours on this Thanksgiving Eve, taking a break from other tasks and simply luxuriating in the process of reading a book.

I would describe this as a “pre-book” if there is such a beast in literature. By reading this short treatise, you are being prepared for the larger task of facing “The White Whale” which could describe the book itself as well as its namesake. Moby-Dick has defeated many readers, but perhaps with this introduction others might attempt it again, or for the first time, and discover some of the magic it has to offer.


The New York Times bestselling author of seagoing epics now celebrates an American classic. Moby-Dick is perhaps the greatest of the Great American Novels, yet its length and esoteric subject matter create an aura of difficulty that too often keeps readers at bay. Fortunately, one unabashed fan wants passionately to give Melville’s masterpiece the broad contemporary audience it deserves. In his National Book Award- winning bestseller, In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick captivatingly unpacked the story of the wreck of the whaleship Essex, the real-life incident that inspired Melville to write Moby- Dick. Now, he sets his sights on the fiction itself, offering a cabin master’s tour of a spellbinding novel rich with adventure and history. Philbrick skillfully navigates Melville’s world and illuminates the book’s humor and unforgettable characters-finding the thread that binds Ishmael and Ahab to our own time and, indeed, to all times. A perfect match between author and subject, Why Read Moby-Dick? gives us a renewed appreciation of both Melville and the proud seaman’s town of Nantucket that Philbrick himself calls home. Like Alain de Botton’s How Proust Can Change Your Life, this remarkable little book will start conversations, inspire arguments, and, best of all, bring a new wave of readers to a classic tale waiting to be discovered anew.

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Categories: Books, Recommendation, Special Tags:

Photo: Merry-go-round via Instagram

November 21st, 2013 Comments off