Wednesday, November 28, 2007

remember those magnets?

Of course you do. Those ones that were everywhere for awhile ... no one I knew ever even knew where they came from. Anyway, from what I can tell (I think it was a Newsnet article), the Lymabean of the magnet days used to be mostly a buying-and-selling site, but now they've morphed into something a bit more exciting.

Just so we're all in the clear, I have a friend who works for these guys, and he showed me around a bit so I could tell you about it. The nice thing for you is that I'm not getting anything out of this, so I can say whatever I want, good or bad! It's a risky job PR people have ...

That said, this is a pretty neat thing. Lymabean is something like Facebook, but instead of having a focus on networking (Facebook is still accomplishing its purpose of keeping you connected to people even if you're only logging in weekly or less), Lymabean is more of a "use me" site. From what I understand, it's also exclusively for college students, while Facebook is open to anyone now. I mean, Lymabean won't kick you out when you graduate, but the site is so inherently college-campus-based, you wouldn't really have a lot of use for it once you graduated anyway. Really, Lymabean users would probably use Facebook, too.

In short, it's an electric shades-of-green site that interconnects people, businesses, clubs and community activity, in a given geographical area (specifically, a college campus, at least right now. I could see expansion to other community groups, but this is what it is now). It uses a Flash-based interface, so everything is drag-and-drop - it's actually amazingly user-friendly. I'm not sure if that will create problems for older machines (I don't think my Linux could handle it), but Flash is getting a lot friendlier the more people use it, so I'm sure there's a pretty high compatibility there. It has places for alerts, Craigslist-like listings (or to see deals from local businesses), chats, subscriptions, etc., but also has a lot of personal interconnectivity like Facebook. For instance, it still has the news feed function. But green! The one thing I haven't liked as well is that you can't resize the windows. I like resizing windows ... but at some point they'll probably add that. Oh, and I sort of wish all these boxes would just be in one box so you don't have to click in and out of everything all the time(that's why I would want to resize the windows instead of having them overlap), but for all its functionality, I suppose that's a small price to pay.

My personal favorite thing about this site (besides that it's green) is the media manager. It has a section for your music and video, slideshows, etc. You upload your own stuff and other people can stream it, and you can stream theirs. It's all legal because Lymabean pays the ASCAP fee (the same fee they pay in a basketball arena or somewhere they play the music publicly ... it's a broadcasting license). That gives you license to play whatever you want, like an online radio station. Raaaad. I don't know if it would replace my Imeem! but cool.

What it looks like:

In other words, be on the lookout for this. It'll come to BYU sometime in January-February, it sounds like, so this is a bit early, but it's cool enough to tell you about so you can start paying attention. If you care, you can check out more about them at or - you can become an Insider at behindthebean and get a free t-shirt as a student pre-user, and see the pre-launch stuff. Perhaps most importantly, you can give your own input on the site. Anyway, it's very cool. Check it out.

Friday, November 23, 2007

reality (but not on TV)

At the end of our canasta game today:

"It was my strategic decision to close out that pile just now that won the game for us!"-Mom
"You outwitted, outplayed and outlasted, Mom."-*Ann (my sister)
(Ann pats Mom on the back.) "You're The Biggest Loser!"
(laughter was had by all.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

They Might Be Sins

-Anna Egg Ng (the alcoholic kind)
-Alehouse in Your Soul
-Everything Right is Wrong Again
-Chess Piece Laced
-She's a Devil
-Keep Coming, Little Bottle
-Someone Keeps Pulling My Hair
-Nuclear Bullets of Pure Hate
-The Infamous Poke-Ugh
-In Jail
-I Should Be Allowed to Drink
-How Can I Sing Like Alec Ounsworth?

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Two pianos, two organs, a computer and an air hockey table greet visitors as they pass our front living room on their way through the main hall. That living room has been the home of more than 7,500 hours of piano practice alone (not to mention the organs).

Because I couldn't find one piece of music, I just organized all the music in that room out of boxes and benches and piles into two filing cabinet drawers, two Tupperware boxes and a bookcase. Tonight I opened that dang file cabinet drawer and sat down to play that piece - the last really good piece I learned before leaving for BYU - Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu.

I used to have it memorized, but apparently the last several years have left only a few lines intact. I was really surprised when it started differently from what I had remembered, but as I progressed through the pages, my fingers still remembered what to do most of the time.

In the last several years, I haven't had much opportunity to actually play the piano. Lots of accompanying and that sort of thing, but nothing classical. In fact, before pulling this Chopin out, I'd struggled a bit through some other, much easier music. Heck, I can't always play all the right notes in a hymn these days. I prefer to play around with the chords and do whatever I want, which works as long as I include the melody somewhere and am not trying to accompany a congregation. I'm not used to having to pay attention to detail anymore.

Fantasie Impromptu came out all right, though. Fantasie Impromptu is a much more difficult piece than any hymn. Just when my skill level appeared to be disappearing, I discovered I could still play this one?

I guess it has something to do with muscle memory and the fact that I spent so much time learning it (it took me about three months). Made me think about what a big deal it is to teach your kids good habits when they're young. My life is different from what it could be had I not learned good values as a kid - oh man - it's not too hard for me to see where I'd be without that, and I know I fall back on my family values a lot. Thanks to my parents, I have a way better life than I could otherwise. Same as how, thanks to my parents, piano teacher, and hours of practice, I can still play a really gorgeous song.