Wow, yet another year gone, and I only had 1 blog post in 2011!  I promise I'll post more in the coming year (I don't believe in New Years resolution, so that's probably as close as I'll get to one).  Like last year, I wasn't sure how many things actually happened this year because it was such a blur, but here they are as best as I can remember at the moment:

The Bad
The father of close family friends passed away.  I've known the family for most of my life and losing him was like losing an uncle.  May the soul of Francisco Buenconsejo rest in peace.Needed laser retina surgery AGAIN because I had a torn retina for the 3rd timeThe Good
Photographed 1 wedding (better than none!)Attended my cousin's weddingGot more house projects doneWorked on reviving the Filipino American SocietyThe Awesome
Celebrated 3 years of marriage with SophiaFound out Sophia was pregnant with our 2nd, and the baby will be a boy!Celebrated Cecilia's 2nd birthdayWatching Cecilia develop …

10 Years Later, I Still Miss Dad

This year, 2011, marks the 10 year anniversary of my dad's death. Thinking about everything that has happened in my life since he left this world, it feels like the decade has just flown by. Since his death, I've graduated college, worked for 3 different companies, I've been unemployed twice, met and married my wife, and had my first child. It's sad to think dad wasn't around physically for all these events in my life.

One of the things I've been surprised by over the years is how little things remind me of dad. A commercial on TV, a scene in a movie, music, food, and just about anything else can conjure up memories. And after having my first child, seeing anything associated with fatherhood can also trigger thoughts of dad. It's bittersweet to think that my wife and I had our daughter when I was the same age as my dad was when him and mom had me. I am going through a lot of the same experiences he did, so I feel a closeness to my dad I didn't fee…

Goodbye 2010!

Last year, I did a "The Bad, the Good" type list for the year, so I thought I'd do it again this year. I wasn't quite sure how many things actually happened this year because it was such a blur, but Sophia and I were talking and there were indeed a lot of things that happened. So here they are as best as I can remember at the moment (had a little wine to ring in the New Year):

The Bad
Had to replace the Element's windshield 2 timesNeeded laser retina surgery because I had a detached retina for the 2nd timeThe Good
Got a job!Photographed 3 weddingsGot lots of house projects doneElected president of the Filipino American Society
The Awesome
Celebrated 2 years of marriage with SophiaCelebrated Cecilia's 1st birthdayWatching Cecilia develop: going from being non-mobile to walking, babbling more and more, starting to eat solid foods, etc., etc.

My Headphone Soapbox

I've written before about the headphones I use and I still use them to this day (here's a blog post I wrote years ago about them). Recently I modified the PX100's by replacing the ear pads with bigger replacement pads from Radioshack to make them more comfortable. I also cut a hole in the middle of the pads (called the quarter mod or nickel mod to describe the size of the hole) so I could hear higher frequencies better. The modifications have made a BIG difference and I find the PX100s have a whole new character. They're much more comfortable now and sound much better. Here are some photos I snapped:

After doing the mods, I got to thinking about headphones in general and how overpriced they can be, especially for those well marketed headphones made by Bose and Monster Beats by Dr. Dre. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a headphone snob by any means and I do think the headphones by Bose and Monster Beats sound very good. But I don't think the quality of soun…

Get Angry!

There seems to be a big epidemic out there right now that people are really concerned about. The news did reports on people who suffered from this disease. It was spreading wildly and there were rallies against the disease saying it must be stopped. What's this disease I'm writing about? Anger.

If that first paragraph seemed like hyperbole, it was. I don't think all the anger out there is a big deal, but for some reason people seem to be really concerned about it. I have even been accused of being an angry, paranoid right wing nut. That's fine, but anger happens for various reasons and I feel the news media and people who don't like the angry reactions expect us all to be more Vulcan (logical with no emotions) than human. I happen to believe we should be more human than Vulcan.

The best way I can illustrate how anger isn't all bad is to relate to you my experiences in customer service. I've never worked in a customer service position per se, but work…

New Blog Design!

It's been awhile since I updated this blog and, based on my experiences creating a new ACE Photography website using Squarespace, I was considering just closing this blog down. It was just looking really antiquated next to other blog engines out there (like Squarespace, Tumblr, and Wordpress). But I was pleasantly surprised today to see that Blogger had some new templates to offer. I found a template I liked, changed the background and colors to my liking, and lo and behold, you are now looking at the newly refreshed "The Way of the Johnny" blog.

I'd like to get back to writing posts again, so be on the lookout. But for now, enjoy the new look and, while you're at it, check out the archives. There's some juicy stuff in there!

Music as Art, Theater, or Entertainment

"Music is a language." - Victor Wooten"Music is a listening art." - David Burge
I saw the tv show "Glee" for the first time over Memorial Day weekend at a cousin's place. So many people are fans of the show and I wonder what makes it so popular, even after watching finally watching it. I also wonder why American Idol is so popular, even after so many years. Being a musician, I don't consider either show having the best quality music, but I also realize high quality music isn't the point of the shows.
As a musician, I believe music is an art form worthy of lifelong study. I like the quotes above very much because I think music is a means of expression, just like a language is. And music is more about listening than it is about making sounds. Musicians just have a more highly developed sense of listening.
With American Idol, Glee, and the rise of show choirs lately, it seems to me that music as art is in decline when it comes to the general p…