Thursday, March 27, 2008

What drives you

I am always amazed when I see someone who is a high archiver. Someone who has their masters degree before 25, or they are are successful with their own company at a young age. Even with someone who excels in sports, I'm interested what drives a person to work that much harder than the average person.

What interests me, is how they push them past the average and continue on. Most people in general will work as hard as needed, then stay at this level, it's what's natural and most comfortable. But for some, they are not happy living this life and want more. Do they want more money? Do they want more fame and glory? Do they want to make their parents happy?

What I'm guessing is it makes the person happy from the results of working hard. If you get a large increase in salary, the extra money will make you happy and allow you to buy larger items (house, car, boat). Also you get more exposure from your co-workers and more respect from your friends. It's easy to understand why people work hard.

It's harder to understand why people don't.

I noticed that some people instead of working harder, like to be a constant pace of work. They do not want to work any harder than they already are, even if everyone else around them works harder. I also notice that some people like to complain but not do anything about it, as if they might not want to change their daily routine.

When I hear this I keep thinking, why complain when you can do something about it? I think most of the people in this want the same work each day, little change between the days. What they started years ago, they want to keep the same today, sometimes this limits to what you can do in the future, especially if things change.

While this doesn't seem bad, when the company changes path to a new direction, it's these people who have the hardest time.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Music hosting

I have my own web site, but was looking for a easier method of sharing out my music mixes. I considered Youtube but the problem is you are limited to 10 mins of length. So looking around I found Musicv2 which is a hosting and social site for musicians, djs and fans. It's actually pretty nice, for $20 you get 10gb of space and handy sharing tools.

So far I only uploaded a practice mix, full of mistakes, but it's not too hard to link and share out. Below is the sample mix I made, it's mostly breakbeat and drifts off to some house stuff.

Beatport, part 2

I spoke of Beatport before but after using it more often I find it's a pretty good amount of music. The only problem I find is if you don't know the name of the song it's hard to just browse around for new music. On iTunes this is pretty easy as you can spend hours listening to random songs and play lists but Beatport is harder.

Honestly it's a slight problem nothing serious. I think their pricing is fair and selection is good enough for my picky tastes. :)

I'll start to check out other sites to see how they compare.
My past motorcycles

I started riding street motorcycles around 2002, just a few I owned over the years with the last bike sold last year. So thinking about it I made a list of the bikes and a short pros/cons list of each.

2002 Kawasaki Ninja 250

This was my first street bike, really my first motorcycle I owned. This bike was allot of fun, rode it for about 7,500 miles in 4 months before I sold it. I knew three other people with 250's as well and we rode around the Bay Area. I ended up buying a new bike and shortly selling this bike to make room.

Pros -
Very cheap, not a bad thing as parts were easy to find and replace
Easy to work on, I did the oil changes, much easier than on a motard
Easy to ride, the 250 was like riding a scooter, just twist and go, also it's really light
Can carry stuff on the rear, believe it or not many motorcycles can't carry much, the 250 can carry a decent amount of gear with the built in hooks.

Cons -
Low power, this is really a pro and con. If you're a new rider it's a pro but after a few thousand miles or riding you want more power. Also it's tiring to constantly ride around 10,000rpm all of the time.
Lightweight, normally this isn't a problem but going across a high bridge or windy road will push the bike around.

2003 Suzuki SV650S

This was the first year of the second generation SV650. I really liked the power of this bike but it always felt top heavy, I'm not sure if it was due to the v-twin engine or tall gas tank. I think I put about 4,500 miles on this bike after owning it for almost two years. Also I never really liked the body position, as it was more than most sport bikes. After selling this bike I took a break away from motorcycles.

Pros -
Great low end power from the v-twin
Felt solid and well made
Easy to work on, no plastics on the bike made it easy to change oil

Cons -
Top heavy, I'm not sure but this bike never felt easy to ride slow
Race ergos, the bike had really low bars and high footpegs, great for dragging knee but it hurt my back after a few hours of riding
Harsh suspension, due to having lower quality suspension the bike was very hard on bumps. Combined with the race style position you're wrists and back took a beating

2002 KTM 640SM

I wanted to try something different from my last bike and was interested in supermotards. I almost bought a Suzuki DRZ-400SM but wanted something that would have enough power for the freeway. Found the KTM for sale on a local motorcycle forum and it was pretty nice. After riding it for about 1,000 miles I sold it. The bike while fun to ride was really really slow on the freeway, even slower than the 250. Also it vibrated like crazy, making your hands and fee numb.

Pros -
Lots of power, the big 640 single was fast if not faster than my SV650
Easy riding position, you sit up instead of leaning down, very easy to see all around you
Crashable, in a case of dropping or crashing the bike, there were few if any parts to damage. Great thing about motards

Cons -
Expensive parts, of course I didn't know this until I needed parts but Euro bikes are hard to get and are expensive
Vibration, this really bothered me. I couldn't believe how bad the bike vibrated, felt like I was holding a paint mixer. After a few miles of riding, I had to stop and let me hands and feet get back to normal
Shorter oil change period, riding a dirt motorcycle on the street makes for a harder life and the motard needed more oil changes

So after looking at this list of previous motorcycles I found that I wanted the following.

Able to go freeway speeds
Space to carry some bags or gear
Lightweight and easy to ride
Easy to work on and change oil
Japanese made for cheaper parts

After reading my want list, I think the new Kawasaki Ninja 250 would make a great next bike. The only problem is the high price but it would level out later this year. Right now the price dealers are asking is above MSRP but hopefully it will come down.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


This is new to me but Beatport has some great music, especially geared towards the dj. It's slightly expensive but I feel worth the added cost. Here's a play list to get an idea of what they offer.

Go to Beatport.comGet These TracksAdd This Player

Selling on eBay

I've been buying and selling items on eBay since 2001, but even today I still make mistakes on my auctions and bids. For selling I tried to make it simpler, here's some of my favorite tips.

1. Shipping scale - I can't tell you how many times I estimated the weight of a item to only get surprised when I brought it to the postal shop. What is really nice is have your package already weighted, then in the auction the person can choose their shipping and all you have to do is print the label. Which brings me to my second item.

2. Printer - With a scale and a printer, you can prep you package, then just drop it off at your local shipping station. This saves so much time waiting in line.

3. Boxes and envelopes - If you ship with one carrier you can order various boxes from the carrier for free. If you ship with various carries it might be easier to buy common boxes and envelopes from shipping suppliers on eBay or on-line. Buying from local stores I find it's very expensive and better to just save boxes you have at home.

Just a reminder, don't ship the wrong box for the wrong shipment method. For example, if I'm shipping USPS Priority, don't use a USPS Express box. The package will get sent back to the shipper. This also goes for using a USPS box with UPS or Fed Ex.

4. Bubble wrap and popcorn - One of the worst things about getting a package is when the shipper does not use enough bubble wrap or popcorn to keep the item safe. The stuff is pretty cheap and I recommend that you use more to keep everything safe during shipping.

5. High quality tape - I personally use the more expensive tape by 3M because it's easy to peel off and stick on the boxes. If you use cheap tape, it's more frustrating to even get the tape off without it falling apart. Spend a few dollars for a tape roller as well.

6. Digital camera - Selling a item sight unseen is difficult on the Internet but without any pictures it's even harder. You don't need any expensive digital camera, just a basic camera will work. This makes a huge difference for selling as people will usually choose a auction with a picture than without.

Hopefully, these will help sell more auctions.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sampling in music

I'm a big fan of electronic and hip hop music. Both types of music use heavy amounts of sampling from previous generations of songs. While some samples are easy to pick up, some are much harder to find.

Here's a good example of one. Daft Punk's One More Time uses a very very short sample for the main loop.

A person on YouTube posted what he found when slightly changing the pitch and speed of a sample.

Another from Daft Punk and their samples. This one is a big more songs included.

Then a short one from hip hop. The Juice Crew with the Symphony.

Then the sample they used.

It's pretty interesting to find the samples they used, and how sometimes it's almost left along and in other cases chopped up.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dusting off the turntables

After a long time in storage and out of use, I brought out my turntables for some fun again. I dug in my record crate and found a few drum and bass songs, then a misplaced hip hop song. Found they worked well together so I mashed them up but the vocals didn't sound right on.

I imported both tracks into my computer and then edited the vocals a bit. It's still off but I spent about 30 minutes on the total project. Still sounds pretty cool to me.

It's Jungle Brothers mixed with Spy.