Showing posts from 2010

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…

How the Toyota Acceleration Problems Prove NFP is Not the Same as Contraception

If you go onto YouTube and search for Fr. Euteneuer/Sean Hannity, you'll see a very heated "discussion" where a cultural Catholic (Hannity) criticizes the believes of an orthodox Catholic (Fr. Euteneuer). The main issue of disagreement was contraception. The Catholic Church teaches contraception in all its forms is wrong and approves natural family planning (NFP) for birth regulation. Hannity doesn't agree with the Church as says that contraception is necessary for people how aren't Catholic because it's better than having abortions. Hannity also claims NFP and contraception are the same thing.
They aren't. But, unfortunately, most people still think they are, even Catholics. So I was thinking about a good analogy to explain the difference and I realized a good one relates to the recent acceleration problems with Toyota brand cars. Here's how the analogy works:
Let's imagine the forward acceleration of a car as intercourse. The inadvertent a…

Free Photo and Video Software Suggestions for Windowz

I love photo and video editing on my Mac. For photography, iPhoto is a wonderful application I use for casual photos and Aperture 3 is what I use for my serious, professional quality photography. For video, iMovie is easy to use and can give great results.
But we also have a netbook in the house (AsusEeePC) which runs Windows XP and it gets a lot more use than the Mac does. Between my wife's iPod Touch and the EeePC, she doesn't even use the Mac anymore. She also takes a bunch of photos and videos with her Canon Powershot SD1000. So, to me, it makes a lot of sense to dedicate the EeePC to my wife's photos and videos. It has a fairly big 160GB hard drive and has a decent screen. The question that comes up is: What software can I use on this low powered netbook for editing Sophia's photos and video? More specifically, is there free software out there that can come close to doing the same job as iPhoto and iMovie do on the Mac?
I'm happy to say that I've fou…

Opinion: The Real Issue is Gov't Control

I don't know if you've noticed, but the issues of healthcare, the economy, etc. lately are being argued on two totally different planes on both sides. The liberal Democrats (president Obama is one, of course) are saying that anyone who opposes healthcare reform, economic stimulus, etc., etc. doesn't want what's best for the country. But they're completely missing the point of the conservative's argument. No one is arguing against improving healthcare, economic growth, etc. This may be obvious to most of you, but it doesn't seem to be obvious to the liberal Dems (and ergo their supporters): most people aren't in favor of more government control.

I, for one, am all for healthcare reform. I just don't want the government taking control of healthcare. I'm also for economic growth. I just don't think government handouts will improve the economy. And you know what? I personally believe most people are of the same mind set. Scott Brown won…

Thoughts on Using the Video Mode on Digital Cameras

Being a new parent, I've found that I'm starting to take a lot more video. I consider myself a still photographer first, but I'm really starting to get into videography. Especially since I can take video on my Canon EOS Rebel T1i, I'm enjoying the ability to get shallow depth-of-field in both my stills and my videos. Smaller point-and-shoot cameras can even take HD video now. I was using my Canon Powershot SX110IS for video, but it was only capable of taking a maximum video resolution of 640x480. So I've upgraded to a SX200IS, which is capable of 720p, 30 fps video. This way video from both the SX200IS and T1i will be in HD.
Getting a camcorder would be nice, but at this point I can't afford one and I don't feel a need to get one. However, camcorders are specially built for video, so they have features that are absent from most still cameras. This makes taking video using a still camera somewhat of a challenge in some situations. On the other hand,…

A Commentary on Moral Relativism

I've been wanting to write about moral relativism ever since I attended a local symposium entitled "The Constitution . . . in the Age of Obama". While the symposium was supposed to be about the Constitution, the symposium speakers spoke more about moral relativism and the natural law. The reason for this is that the Constitution, as written by the founders of the USA, was written from the basis of natural rights, which has a direct relationship with natural law.
While there are many theories on what constitutes natural law, all the theories have commonalities, namely that there exists law(s) which are set by nature (and by extension, God. if you're a monotheist) that are valid everywhere. Thomas Jefferson believed in natural law, as did Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas. The idea of natural law has been around for thousands of years.
So what is moral relativism? And where did it come from? Dr. Charles E. Rice, who spoke at the symposium I mentioned above, explained …

The Catholic Position and George W. Bush Jr. REDUX

**Note: In my original unedited version of this post, I received some comments stating I was being too judgmental and arrogant in my language. After much thought and second opinions, I believe this resulted from the fact that I mixed my own opinions with the facts I was trying to state. I saw no problem with this before because I write my blogs unedited and uncensored as I think of them, in much the same way a person keeps a diary or journal. However, in the spirit of Catholic apologetics, I must be charitable to those who disagree with my views while at the same time not being afraid to voice my opinions. Therefore, in the future, I will make a concerted effort to post my opinions in separate blog entries from entries with more apologetic, factual material. This way, I hope to achieve both my goals of debunking factual errors stated about the Catholic Church (and other subjects I'm passionate about) and of voicing my uncensored opinion on all kinds of subject matter.
I recent…