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THERE HAS TO BE A STORY

One of us had once taken a long walking trip through the Southern United States. At first he had tried to explain that he did it because he liked to walk and because he saw and felt the country better that way. When he gave this explanation there was unbelief and dislike for him. It sounded like a lie. Finally a man said to him, “You can’t fool me. You’re doing it on a bet.” And after that, he used this explanation, and everyone liked and understood him from then on.

John Stienbeck, The Log from The Sea of Cortez

GOD AND THE CACTUS PLANT

God and I have no quarrels.  The almighty conceived the cactus plant.  If God would choose a plant to represent him, I think he would choose of all plants the cactus.  The cactus has all the blessings he tried, but mostly failed, to give to man.  It has humility, but is not submissive.  It grows where no other plant will grow.  It does not complain when the sun bakes it back or the wind tears it from the cliff or drowns it in the dry sand of the desert or when it is thirsty.  When the rains come it stores water for the hard times to come.  In good times and bad, it will still flower.  It protects itself against danger, but it does no harm to other plants.  It adapts perfectly to almost any environment.  It has patience and enjoys solitude.  The cactus has properties that heal the wounds of men and from it come potions that can make man touch the face of God.  It is the plant of patience and solitude, love and madness, ugliness and beauty, toughness and gentleness.  Of all plants, surely God made the cactus in his own image.
From The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

UE SOUND TAP SHOWCASED AT BLACKBIRD STUDIO

Here’s a wonderful video of the UE Sound Tap being used at Blackbird Studio. This is a project that I’m immensely proud of.

The goal of Sound Tap is make personal monitoring so simple that anyone can do it. Just walk up to any speaker – anywhere – and tap into the audio feed. Turn a line level or speaker level signal into a headphone mix. And that’s it. No more trying to get rid of the wedge. No more trying to change behavior. Nope, the entire premise of Sound Tap is to work with what already exists, to plug into the existing signal chain. To be like water.

Take a look:

 

A special thank to Kevin Becka for making this recording session possible.

A special thanks to Greg McVeigh for dialing this in.

And an extra special thanks to John McBride for the vision, the creativity, and for the space.

AT ZINGERMANS

TURNING PREGNANCY INTO COLOR

My wife was pregnant with our daughter during our first autumn in New England. We were surrounded by the incredible light and color of the trees and plants all around us and all of that made its way into our daughter. As my wife’s belly grew, I started tracing her silhouette to track the growth. At first we used paper and pencils but that quickly evolved and took on a life of its own. Pretty soon we were playing with colors and began to mix natural ochres and handmade mulberry papers with Japanese Sumi-e ink.

Hospitals and birthing centers found us and wanted to hang our paintings. Friends heard about what we were doing and wanted to do it as well. Strangers started calling so we began to sell our pregnancy art prints kits and we made a lot of expecting new families very happy. I’m sure there are plenty of Art Bellies prints still hanging in rooms all around the country.

We even won a Mom’s Choice Award and were featured in the magazine Pregnancy & Newborn.

MAD LIPS – MIND CONTROL MADE EASY

Turn any picture into a funny video with Mad Lips. Here’s how it works. Choose any photo, record a video of yourself saying something silly, and place your talking lips or face on the image. It’s that simple! Featured in the App store around the world!

  • Top 10 Photography: Italy
  • Top 10 Entertainment: Israel
  • Top 10 Photography: France
  • What’s Hot: United States
  • What’s Hot: United Kingdom
  • What’s Hot: Canada
  • Più richieste: Italia

Use Mad Lips to:

  • Have Justin Beiber or Barack Obama send personalized love notes to your friends
  • Make your pets talk
  • Make your own Annoying Orange videos
  • Post the best birthday videos on your friends’ Facebook wall
  • Become a superstar on YouTube with your own creations

Here’s a wonderful review by The Wonders of Tech

Surprisingly, Mad Lips became a hit with educators and students around the globe used Mad Lips for school projects. We didn’t see that one coming. We just thought dudes would use talking monkeys to ask ladies out on dates. Just goes to show you that you never know how your products will be used.

Take a look at this great school write up by Class with Apps

GOLD HUNTING IN THE AMAZON

It all started the very first time I met my soon-to-be father-in-law. It seemed innocent enough at the time – just a harmless dinner – trading a few simple stories back and forth. But then he started talking about the time he went gold hunting in the Peruvian Amazon. And that was all it took. I had caught the fever.

How can I explain gold fever to someone who has never been afflicted by it? It eats away reason. It expands imagination. It blurs fiction with fantasy and it makes the rationally impossible seem perfectly attainable.

I don’t know. Maybe I was prone to catching it – a high-risk like the elderly and the flu. But sitting there in his living room listening to him talk about gold dust mixed with sand all along the river banks just there for the taking… it was just too much to resist. My immune system couldn’t fight off the assault.

Of course I was skeptical. But he explained it away simply. He asked if I had heard of the Inca and the Spanish conquistadors. He then told me the story of the capture of King Atahualpa and how Pizarro brought 11 tons of gold back to Spain from Peru. He went on to explain that the gold had originated in the Andes but that every year during the rainy season, gold from the mountains washes down into the river basin and that during the three month dry season, the rivers recede to reveal gold in certain secret places.

He told me that his father had found one of those deposits and that he and his brothers had spent a month camped along the riverbanks harvesting all the gold they could carry when he was young. He told me that there exists a utopian village where people harvest gold for a living. Had he found the real El Dorado – a paradise in the jungle where gold is there for the taking.

I became possessed. All I could think about was going into the Amazon to find that village where people lived off the gold they pulled from the shores. I tried to cure myself by doing research but every book just fueled my illusions by showing pictures of Incan treasures. Gold. More gold. Gold for the taking when the rivers go down.

It made sense. The Inca had to get all that gold from somewhere. And it seemed perfectly logical that gold could percolate out of the Andes and mix into the water systems. And when that water receded during the dry season, the gold had to settle somewhere. It seemed like a perfectly natural cycle, a yearly replenishing of gold reserves, a balance between taking and giving.

And I suppose that by now some of you reading this find me gullible and naïve. Maybe you find the logic flawed or think that if there were places in this world where gold just exists, then everyone would know about it and it would all be gone. Or maybe you just have a natural resistance to the fever.

But remember, the Amazon is a mysterious place that holds its secrets tightly and where things are not always what they seem to be. The jungle is a place where hours become days and where distances melt into incomprehensible scales. The jungle is a place of chimeras and half-truths.

There are some things that can be explained through words. Others must just be experienced through imagination and dreams. Maybe these pictures and videos will help you find your own fever. Or maybe they will at least help you believe in alchemy…

I MADE THE COVER OF MMR MAGAZINE

I’ve been a reader of MMR for years. I never dreamed of being showcased in the magazine let alone making the cover — on the NAMM recap issue no less!!!

I’m privileged to represent Ultimate Ears and to help tell our story about how we’ve been enabling MI retail sales because of our methodical roll-out of our 3D laser scanners.

Read the full interview here: Crafting the Ultimate Monitoring Experience with Ultimate Ears’ Mike Dias

GIANT PUPPET PARADE FOR THE PETERBOROUGH CHILDREN AND THE ARTS FESTIVAL

This is hands down the greatest giant puppet parade on the planet. It’s an annual tradition in our home. They give giant puppet making workshops but if you don’t make a full on puppet, there are still plenty of ways to participate. Our little girl has been part of it every year.

COVERED WAGON RV PARK WON A SOUTHERN NEVADA LANDSCAPE AWARD

I have special memories about the Covered Wagon RV Park project. I designed the park to have the look and feel of a botanical garden. Each lot was named after a single plant species and guests could tour the park and learn about the drought tolerant plants showcased throughout.

This was also the project that helped me launch Southwest Growers, my first company. It was my dream and passion to found a wholesale nursery dedicated to revealing the natural beauty of the desert. Most of the plants growing in the Covered Wagon RV Park were from my initial batch of plugs and 1 gallons. A few cactus on site were “borrowed” from other projects. To all of those who helped, a much belated THANK YOU.

I WAS INTERVIEWED BY THE LEGENDARY TETSUYA KARASUMARU WITH BARKS

I was fortunate enough to travel to Hong Kong and Japan for the launch of the new flagship product from Ultimate Ears. While on the press tour, I sat with BARKS editor-in-chief for an in-depth interview about all things related to audio and headphones.

Here’s the full interview.

 

PRESS TOUR IN HONG KONG

WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED? I’M ON THE YAMAHA WEBSITE AND MARKETING MATERIALS FOR THE TF SERIES

There I am right along with Keisuke Kobayashi, CTO for audio-technica, Michael Polten from Sennheiser, and Matt Engstrom from Shure. Good company indeed!

A special hat tip to all the friends behind-the-scenes who helped make this possible.

Mike Dias & Yamaha

I MADE THE INNER CIRCLE: MY INTERVIEW WITH BOBBY OWSINSKI

Bobby had just gotten fitted for a set of custom in-ear monitors and thought it would be a great idea to find out as much as he could about them, so he asked me, Mike Dias – sales director for Ultimate Ears, to come on the podcast to fill everyone in.

Take a listen:

 

OWNING RISK LEGACY

PANELIST AT AES

TREKKING THROUGH MAASAILAND

As we were about to cross the dry stream-bed —thick with overgrown vegetation—I became slightly nervous. It was late afternoon and this would be an ideal resting spot for lions. I tried to sound unconcerned about gross bodily harm and casually voiced this worry. I too wanted to appear as confident as the three Maasai guides I was walking with. “Yes, of course that could be true,” replied Solomon Sankale, the man responsible for my safe passage through Maasailand. “But it is not a problem. Lions are afraid of Maasai. Every Maasai has killed a lion before—with our hands.” He then crouched low, pantomimed throwing a spear, and laughed until my fears disappeared—until I absorbed his confidence—until I even secretly dared a lion to mess with us.

Read the rest of the travel adventure here:

WINNER TAKES ALL

4 Booths at NAMM.

10,000 Digital Ear Scans

$25,000 Winner Takes All Sweeps

Couldn’t have been done without a great network of friends.

SINATRA’S CHAIR. STUDIO B.

SEEING LUTHER BURBANK’S NOTES