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Heftel Family http://heftelfamily.com Ramblings about technology, music, family, and life Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:40:54 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.1.1 AS3 ApplicationDomain misbehaves in subloaded SWF http://heftelfamily.com/903-as3-applicationdomain-misbehaves-in-subloaded-swf/ http://heftelfamily.com/903-as3-applicationdomain-misbehaves-in-subloaded-swf/#comments Tue, 20 Dec 2011 18:40:54 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=903 This post is not meant to be a comprehensive tutorial on Flash’s ApplicationDomain class and how it is used, for that I recommend Senocular’s excellent guide on the subject.  Rather, I just wanted to make a quick note of what I have observed when using ApplicationDomain.currentDomain in a subloaded SWF – that it doesn’t seem to work properly.

When I have a SWF that is loaded into another SWF, and it uses ApplicationDomain.currentDomain.getDefinition to grab a class from its own library, it fails with the following error: ReferenceError: Error #1065: Variable [VARIABLE_NAME] is not defined.  I assume that ApplicationDomain.currentDomain is mistakenly returning the parent SWF’s ApplicationDomain, instead of the child SWF, though I don’t really know why.

So here’s the quick fix, for those of you looking to cut to the chase: instead of using ApplicationDomain.currentDomain in your child SWF, use loaderInfo.applicationDomain instead.  This will explicitly grab the child SWF’s ApplicationDomain, not the parent’s, and your code will work as expected.  Note: I have not tested whether loaderInfo works as expected if your SWF is not subloaded, i.e. if it is the root SWF on the stage.

So to recap – when instantiating dynamic classes in a subloaded SWF, don’t use this:


Rather, use this:


And save yourself the hassle I went through the last day or two!

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AS3 for each … in vs for … in http://heftelfamily.com/896-as3-for-each-in-vs-for-in/ http://heftelfamily.com/896-as3-for-each-in-vs-for-in/#comments Fri, 16 Dec 2011 03:25:58 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=896 If you’re like me, remembering which version of the AS3 for … in loop does what is practically impossible.

So here is a reminder:

for each … in

Very simply, the for each … in loop iterates through the values of all properties associated with an object.


var obj:Object = {
  name:"Will Smith"

for each (var prop in myObject){

The above snippet will print the following:

Will Smith

for … in

Conversely, the for … in loop iterates through the name of each property associated with an object.


var obj:Object = {
  name:"Will Smith"

for (var prop in myObject){

The above snippet will print the following:


Hope this helps clear up some confusion!

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“Kings that Died” by Brannon Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/892-kings-that-died-by-brannon-heftel/ http://heftelfamily.com/892-kings-that-died-by-brannon-heftel/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 08:13:37 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=892 We recently recorded this awesome, original song by Brannon Heftel at the studio! Check it out:

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Ira Glass on Creativity http://heftelfamily.com/885-ira-glass-on-creativity/ http://heftelfamily.com/885-ira-glass-on-creativity/#comments Wed, 28 Sep 2011 20:22:35 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=885 Best quote on creativity I have heard in awhile, possibly ever.

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Flash AS3 Component CellRenderer Styles http://heftelfamily.com/880-flash-as3-component-cellrenderer-styles/ http://heftelfamily.com/880-flash-as3-component-cellrenderer-styles/#comments Fri, 01 Jul 2011 17:47:12 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=880 Adobe’s documentation for their components sucks. I spent hours the other day figuring out how to style the cells in a ComboBox. I figured I’d post the solution I found here, to save myself and others future grief.

To style the ComboBox itself, you can set “styles” by using the setStyle function, and this is documented on the ComboBox page. It allows you to pass in a class to be used as the skin for various parts of the component in various states, or in some cases a TextFormat object to be used to style text.

But what if you want to ALSO style the cells in the dropdown portion of the ComboBox? Well, then you need to use the setRendererStyle function, whose documentation very hard to find. And it’s the List object that is responsible for styling the cells, not the ComboBox itself. So assuming your combobox is named cb, you’d call cb.dropdown.setRendererStyle. Here is a list of the possible styles that can be set using the setRendererStyle function. This essential information is nowhere on the ComboBox documentation page. Rather, it comes from this esoteric tech article, which took me forever to find.

Anyway, here’s the list of cell styles that can be set. You pass in the class to be used as the skin, i.e. create a symbol in the FLA library, export for ActionScript, and assign it a Class name.
disabledSkin and selectedDisabledSkin
downSkin and selectedDownSkin
overSkin and selectedOverSkin
upSkin and selectedUpSkin

The following styles apply to the text in the cell:

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iPad lockdown http://heftelfamily.com/875-ipad-lockdown/ http://heftelfamily.com/875-ipad-lockdown/#comments Sat, 11 Jun 2011 14:51:34 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=875 This is my first post from an iPad. No, not mine, but my uncle’s. I’m visiting family in Texas and my grandparents and several aunts and uncles and cousins flew up from Hawaii so it’s kind of a bit of a family reunion. I am actually faster on my iPhone’s smaller touch keyboard. Typing with multiple fingers on a keyboard with no tactile response will take some getting used to.

What a crazy world we live in, always-connected and always-on. I have been going through internet withdrawal this week cuz my mom doesn’t have a home internet connection. I’m writing this post from a mobile touchscreen computer, on a mobile wifi hotspot, from the car, while en route to the beach.

And yet some things about this device are so locked down it feels like a step backward. The iPad doesn’t have a file system I can use, doesn’t let me upload or download files, and I can’t save pictures to it to upload unless I connect it to a different computer. As a result, I can’t add any pictures to this post. I’m connected, but still feeling the withdrawal.

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Nelson Mandela is a stud http://heftelfamily.com/871-nelson-mandela-is-a-stud/ http://heftelfamily.com/871-nelson-mandela-is-a-stud/#comments Tue, 24 May 2011 16:27:53 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=871

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

-Nelson Mandela

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On change http://heftelfamily.com/870-on-change/ http://heftelfamily.com/870-on-change/#comments Sat, 21 May 2011 17:49:15 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/870-on-change/ They say “nothing in life is more constant than change.” Life is basically one long string of adjusting to changes that happen, through our own choices or through others’. In the last almost-a-year, there have been a ton of changes in my life. I have basically re-built my life from the ground up, after the nuclear bomb of divorce shattered it. All my old patterns and habits disappeared in the aftermath, and I was left a shell of my former self. I found myself actively clearing away the rubble of lost inside jokes, habits that were never me, traits that I’d picked up to keep the peace. I found myself asking the question, over and over, “but who the hell AM I?”

I’m still working on that question, but I feel I have come a long way in ten or eleven months. I still have a long way to go, but I feel in some measure like I’m healing, and somewhat adjusting to my new life. All the old has been stripped away, and some of it has been replaced by new. Some of it is still in-progress. There is one difference – I live for ME now. One thing I never quite got down while married was how to live for another without losing yourself. How to live for the new team you’ve created. I think it’s because I never knew myself to begin with. This made me impossible to live with, because I tended to chameleonize to match my surroundings. I still have a ways to go, but I know now somewhat who I am, and I am done apologizing for it. I need to find someone who will accept me the way I am, a music and computer geek, because nothing’s gonna change that. And trying to be someone you’re not never brings peace. As Shakespeare said, “to thine own self be true.”

I’m not saying I don’t need to try and improve myself – on the contrary, I am just as focused on self-improvement as I was when I was perfectionistic and saw everything in black and white. The difference now is that I accept where I am, no matter how low that might be, and I work from there. You have to start from where you are. Shaming yourself won’t change anything; it will just keep you stuck where you don’t want to be.

I’m done apologizing for who I am. I am done hiding under a bushel, so to speak, in hopes that I will fit in with the crowd, in hopes of looking “normal”. Normal is overrated! Being myself is much more fun.

It’s not like there aren’t still tough moments in my life. One change I have not quite gotten used to yet is waking up alone, post-divorce. Once you’ve experienced waking up next to your best friend, not having to say goodnight, and knowing that person will always be there in your life, it’s surprisingly hard to go back. It has been almost a year since my marriage ended, and I still don’t enjoy waking up most mornings. Looking around and realizing “oh yeah. This is my life now.”

But there are still plenty of good things in my life. They’re just, well, different things now. I’m trying to enjoy the chapter of my life I’m in, rather than wishing for something that’s not there. Yeah, sometimes I wish I had those years back that we “wasted” on marital incompatibilities and fights, but if I hadn’t gone through that pain I wouldn’t be where I am today.

I like my life, ultimately. I like myself. I’m trying new and different things, expanding my horizons, making friends and trying to make a difference in the world, in their lives. A positive difference. I am loving learning how to use power tools, working on studio improvements, networking in the music industry, learning how to take care of myself and my surroundings, becoming my own best friend, learning to be self-reliant, learning to make better choices. Learning to surround myself with positive, uplifting people. Learning from both the similarities and differences between me and my friends, learning what I agree and disagree with. Making fun, uplifting games for kids. Getting paid to do what I love. Figuring out, finally, that I am addicted to music and don’t ever want to recover. Working on my keyboarding and vocal skills. Working on my business skills. Working on being the best me I can be, instead of worrying about being alone.

Ultimately, I am trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theory has always been there, as long as I can remember, but now I’m putting it into practice.

It’ll be exciting what the future brings.

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On the importance of physical exertion http://heftelfamily.com/869-on-the-importance-of-physical-exertion/ http://heftelfamily.com/869-on-the-importance-of-physical-exertion/#comments Wed, 18 May 2011 02:21:56 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/869-on-the-importance-of-physical-exertion/ I have a sedentary job. TWO sedentary jobs, actually – I am either sitting on my butt writing computer code, or sitting on my butt recording and mixing audio. When I go home, I play video games or surf the Internet. I’m always staring at a screen of some kind.

I’ve gained a bit of weight as a result, since my metabolism is not as young as it used to be. Lately I’ve been trying to be more active – working with my hands is never something I’ve felt any good at, seeing as my family growing up was decidedly white-collar. Fix something? I’m the LAST guy you should call, or so I thought.

All of this has led to a somewhat startling realization – any day where I get to use power tools is a good day.

Lately I’ve been doing a bunch of remodeling at my recording studio, and it has been SO empowering to do as much of the work myself as possible. I now own a drill, a level, a few saws, and I make as much use of them as possible.

It’s SUCH a good feeling to look at something physical – a new wall, some shelves, a paint job, or whatever – and say “I did that!” It takes away from my frustration, my depression, my cabin fever – and it gives me vigor, energy, self-esteem, and life!

And that is never a bad thing.

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Audiophiles http://heftelfamily.com/788-audiophiles/ http://heftelfamily.com/788-audiophiles/#comments Sun, 17 Apr 2011 22:28:44 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=788 Audiophiles

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April Fools Fun http://heftelfamily.com/850-april-fools-fun/ http://heftelfamily.com/850-april-fools-fun/#comments Thu, 07 Apr 2011 07:09:34 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=850 Well, I had some fun this April Fool’s.  I pulled off a successful prank for the first time in I-don’t-know-how-long, and possibly forever.  I’ve never been much good at pranks, as I have troubles being convincing, and troubles not giving it away.

Not this time (he he he).

I found a really awesome screensaver that mimics an OSX Kernel Panic.  For those of you who don’t know what this is, a Kernel Panic is the Mac equivalent of a Windows Blue Screen of Death.  This is where the computer crashes completely and needs to be manually powered off and rebooted.

Yeah.  So I installed it on the recording computer at the studio, late on the night of March 31st.  And waited for the fun to begin.

We had a recording session the next morning with a band.  Jessica was running it.

She rebooted the computer once and almost did a second time before she figured out what was going on :) .

It was pretty classic.  I must say, I felt quite proud of myself.  My only regret was not being there to see her reaction.

If you’re interested downloading the screensaver, it can be found here.

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Permission to sleep http://heftelfamily.com/841-permission-to-sleep/ http://heftelfamily.com/841-permission-to-sleep/#comments Wed, 30 Mar 2011 07:47:06 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/841-permission-to-sleep/ Ok, this is weird – two blog posts in two days. I promise you won’t hear from me so much in the future ;) .

The title of this post comes from a thought I had, lying here in bed. I’ve always been a night owl, always periodically found myself awake far too late, when all the sensible people are asleep. Part of me likes this time when there isn’t anyone to distract me. Part of me thinks it’s awfully lonely. But here’s my point – I need to learn to give myself permission to sleep. After a long day’s work, my brain is tired, but still literally buzzing with activity. The frenzy of mental exertion that is my workday, working as a flash programmer, doesn’t easily stop just because I turn off the computer and get in bed. Instead, I often find myself unable to sleep as my mind relentlessly turns. Sometimes, I must admit, I’m reluctant to listen to my body and come down off the mental high once the end of the day hits. My body is complaining, begging me to sleep, while my mind chants “more, more, more!” The older I get, the less benefit I get from burning the candle at both ends. In other words, this is not a sustainable behavior. And since I am busier than ever, I need to get my sleeping habits in order so I can keep a schedule, and maintain an adult work week.

So here I go: I give myself permission to fall asleep. The craze of the day is gone, the letdown is okay, learn to coexist with your body instead of fighting against it and you’ll both be much happier.

It is okay to sleep.

It is necessary. You are not superman. You are, however, a diligent worker, and slow and steady wins the race, not manic bouts of insane productivity. I’ve always been good under pressure, a good pinch hitter. But can I consistently deliver, and stick to a maintainable schedule?

That, my friends, is the question. Welcome to adulthood.

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Milestone: snowboarding http://heftelfamily.com/839-milestone-snowboarding/ http://heftelfamily.com/839-milestone-snowboarding/#comments Tue, 29 Mar 2011 07:37:03 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/839-milestone-snowboarding/ I went snowboarding on Saturday, for the first time in probably three years. It took a lot of initiative and determination to set the goal, and then follow through and not let setbacks get in the way. It took planning, sticking to my guns, and dealing with rescheduling. I had many other things that competed for my time that day and in the days leading up to it.
landscape 1 me on lift ski lift

When I went, I found that I am not as young as I used to be and my muscles complained that I have spent the last three years sitting at a desk job instead of using them. I remembered how to carve, how to maneuver, but my aerobic stamina was sadly lacking. My legs complained and felt like they were on fire.

But I did it. I stayed true to myself and did something that I truly felt I needed. I did something for me. Something I enjoy. I didn’t go with anyone, it was just me, the mountain, and all the other people out enjoying nature.

I took some good pictures but am having difficulty uploading them at the moment. Those will come later.

I feel good in my accomplishment. Boy am I sore afterwards. But there is also a smile on my face that outweighs the muscle aches. And even as I complain about the aches and pains, I feel good because I did something. I got out and used my muscles. I accomplished something.

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What do people live for? http://heftelfamily.com/822-what-do-people-live-for/ http://heftelfamily.com/822-what-do-people-live-for/#comments Tue, 22 Mar 2011 01:47:04 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=822 Watch this video, and then answer the question in the comments: what do you live for?  Yes, it’s a commercial, but it’s a darn good one.

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Danny Boy http://heftelfamily.com/815-danny-boy/ http://heftelfamily.com/815-danny-boy/#comments Tue, 01 Mar 2011 07:08:47 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=815 This is the best rendition of “Danny Boy” that I have seen in a long, long while.  Enjoy!

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How would you like your graphic design? http://heftelfamily.com/805-how-would-you-like-your-graphic-design/ http://heftelfamily.com/805-how-would-you-like-your-graphic-design/#comments Thu, 24 Feb 2011 21:54:55 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=805

Found this amazingly funny, but all-too-true graphic on my buddy Tracey Lee’s Facebook profile.  It applies to pretty much any creative industry.

Click for an enlarged graphic.

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Snapshot of my best self http://heftelfamily.com/801-snapshot-of-my-best-self/ http://heftelfamily.com/801-snapshot-of-my-best-self/#comments Tue, 01 Feb 2011 18:35:38 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/801-snapshot-of-my-best-self/ On this fine day, I find myself rather introspective. I thought I would do an exercise in thought. What follows is a snapshot of my best self, the person I am in embryo but hope to become full-time. The rules are that you must start each statement with “I am” or something equivalent, and the statements must be positive – they are goals, after all. It can be an evolving snapshot – you can come back and change it later, adding, modifying or subtracting as your life needs and goals change.

I encourage you to try it out yourself, and link to your own snapshot in the comments – I’d love to hear what you come up with. Ok, without further ado, here it is:

I am…….
A good person with faults.
An independent adult. I can take care of my own physical and emotional needs whether by myself or by reaching out to trusted friends and advisors.
A good boss to my subcontractors.
A spiritually tuned person – in touch with deity and dedicated to following, nurturing and acting on my faith.
A caring leader. People can rely on me to be trustworthy.
A good friend. Others can rely on me to listen without unwanted judgment or advice.
A hard worker. I plan well, budget my time well and work well with others. I’m good at what I do and I go the extra mile to assure the client is pleased with my work.
A musician. I draw strength and rejuvenation through my music and the music of others. I build and maintain my musical skills regularly. I share my music with others in hopes that they too will find something of value in it.
A student of life – constantly nurturing body, mind and spirit, learning new things about life and the world around me.
A balanced human being. I know when to work and when to play, and I accept both in their season. I get sufficient exercise and rest for my body and mind to operate at peak capacity.

There you go. I hope my sharing benefits you in some way. And again, I encourage you to try the exercise yourself. I would love to hear how it works out for you.

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2011 http://heftelfamily.com/798-2011/ http://heftelfamily.com/798-2011/#comments Sat, 29 Jan 2011 09:03:30 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/798-2011/ Am I being the best I can be? Am I growing like I want to or need to? These are a couple of the questions on my mind tonight. I want to be the best person I can be, really work on growing, and this year is the perfect time to do it. I am excited for the new possibilities in my life, for the opportunity for real, if painful, growth. I want to live up to my true potential, as a son of God, as a flawed but trying human being.

I want this to be the year I dig into the thoughts and patterns that hold me back, and change things that may be dysfunctional in my life. I want to grow musically, spiritually, mentally, physically. I want to grow my business and see it succeed, and learn what I need to to run it. I want to overcome bad habits, unhealthy or dysfunctional thought patterns, and learn to overcome toxic shame and guilt. I want to be a good friend, a strength in other people’s lives. A good listener. “To have a friend, be one,” as the ceramic plaque that hung on my mom’s wall said. I want to be someone that others can turn to because I don’t give them unwanted advice. Because I give them strength. I want to be someone people can count on.

You only get one life. You might as well live it to the fullest. A great quote I saw today said that life is not only to be endured, but enjoyed. Too often we (read: I) forget that. Too often I get caught up in the problems and challenges of life, losing sight of the big picture in the process. Not being able to see the forest for the trees. As nickelback so eloquently said, “This is your life. Are you who you wanna be?”

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What we’ve learned in 2064 years http://heftelfamily.com/792-what-weve-learned-in-2064-years/ http://heftelfamily.com/792-what-weve-learned-in-2064-years/#comments Thu, 13 Jan 2011 18:06:47 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=792 An interesting quote…….

“The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled,public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should betempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands shouldbe curtailed lest Rome become bankrupt. People must again learn towork,  instead of living on public assistance.”

-Cicero, 55 B.C.

What have we really learned in the last 2064 years?

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The descent of the RIAA into madness http://heftelfamily.com/775-the-descent-of-the-riaa-into-madness/ http://heftelfamily.com/775-the-descent-of-the-riaa-into-madness/#comments Fri, 07 Jan 2011 07:52:34 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=775 Oh man.  The Tunecore blog just posted an article that blew my socks off.  I’ve had distrust of the RIAA growing in my heart for the last few years now, as I’ve watched them do the unthinkable, like spend $64 million suing their own customers.  This article so eloquently described how the RIAA has sunk from an agency that started off protecting and promoting artists to one who now blames  them for the demise of the traditional music industry.  If you have anything to do with the music industry, you have got to read it.

According to the article, the RIAA started off decently well, recognizing that the artist and the music were the lifeblood of the music business:

The more obscure, self-released or “indie” the artist or label the better.  And the RIAA agreed.  Music was special and the artists that created it were valued. Thou shalt covet the musician and fan.

Unfortunately, as time and technology progressed, the RIAA lost that vision.  Rather than adapting to changing market forces, like we all have to do, they remain stubbornly entrenched in a business model that is increasingly unmaintainable.  They sue their own customers, spending unimaginable sums of money driving consumers away, instead of investing in market research, and figuring out how to connect with consumers in the new digital era.

And so, the unthinkable happened:

They searched for new people or companies to attack, but they had already blamed them all.  With no targets left, in a last moment of desperation, these few weary disillusioned out-of-touch with reality souls attacked the only thing that was left, the artist.  The very creators of the music, who were needed to fuel the machine they built, became the problem.

The artist was now the enemy.

In their minds, it was these other artists’ fault that the music they wanted to sell was not selling. These other artists just made too much music, and all this music confuses people, makes music fans not like music, makes them throw their hands up in the air and say, “There is just too much choice, I need someone else to tell me what I like. I can’t deal with other people suggesting bands and songs to me that are not working for record labels or radio stations.”

Instead of embracing this new world – a world where more music is being created, distributed, bought, sold, shared and listened to by more people and more musicians than at any point in history – the RIAA, A2IM, SoundExchange complacently sit silent as their board members, and in one last desperate attempt, attack the creators of music.

But it did not work.  2010 was the year of the artist with more artists selling more music now than at any point in history. And now as these few old school guard sit and ramble insanely about how music is killing music, after they have attacked and blamed everything and everyone for the shift in power and loss of control, there is only one more thing left for them to blame…themselves.

As an artist and a musician, I am extremelygrateful for all the new outlets available for creating and promoting music.

Change happens to all of us – including the RIAA.  Seems everyone recognizes it but them.

Again – link to the full article here.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

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Patterns http://heftelfamily.com/774-patterns/ http://heftelfamily.com/774-patterns/#comments Sun, 02 Jan 2011 19:47:16 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/774-patterns/ It is a new year. The time when people set resolutions for what they will accomplish or change in their lives. For me, it is a strange time. Lots of changes and transitions in my life. Lots of old things, old patterns that have gone away, replaced with new ones that I’m not so sure that I like. Life, as always, is bittersweet, filled with both happiness and tears. I suppose that is the way it’s supposed to be.

Sometimes I fear that the new patterns are too much, that I cant survive without the old ones, that I can’t fill the void that their destruction has left behind.

But I can adapt. I can change. I believe things happen for a reason and we can use the hard times in our life to our advantage. As always, I have my faith. I have friends and family that support and love me. I can approach the hard times in life in a way that in the end can strengthen, not destroy me. I can create new patterns that will replace and hopefully improve upon the old ones. And I have my faith. Of all the things in my life, I am most grateful for that, perhaps second only to the ability to choose.

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Inspirational Quotes for the new year http://heftelfamily.com/770-inspirational-quotes-for-the-new-year/ http://heftelfamily.com/770-inspirational-quotes-for-the-new-year/#comments Sat, 01 Jan 2011 00:52:44 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/770-inspirational-quotes-for-the-new-year/ Here are some of my favorite quotes from the latest LDS general conference:

The world pursues enlightened self-interest. Yet the power is not in us to save ourselves. But it is in Him. Infinite and eternal, only our Savior’s Atonement transcends time and space to swallow up death, anger, bitterness, unfairness, loneliness, and heartbreak.
-Elder Gong

When the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast a devil out as they had just witnessed the Savior do, Jesus answered, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove” (Matthew 17:20). I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed.
-Bishop Edgley

I have struggled to find an adequate way to tell you how loved of God you are and how grateful we on this stand are for you. I am trying to be voice for the very angels of heaven in thanking you for every good thing you have ever done, for every kind word you have ever said, for every sacrifice you have ever made in extending to someone—to anyone—the beauty and blessings of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

-Elder Holland

The world will teach our children if we do not, and children are capable of learning all the world will teach them at a very young age. What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today. Teach them in every circumstance; let every dilemma, every consequence, every trial that they may face provide an opportunity to teach them how to hold on to gospel truths.

-Sister Rosemary Wixom

The two groups who have the greatest difficulty in following the prophet are the proud who are learned and the proud who are rich.

-Elder Claudio Costa

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Thoughts on “The Secret” http://heftelfamily.com/760-thoughts-on-the-secret/ http://heftelfamily.com/760-thoughts-on-the-secret/#comments Fri, 03 Dec 2010 23:41:43 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=760 XKCD Positive Attitude

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything from XKCD here, that amazing geeky web-comic that I love so much.  This strip talks about the power of positive thinking and how some people take it to an extreme.  I am all for positive thinking, and for taking responsibility for our choices, attitudes, and feelings, but some people take it to such an extreme that they use it as a club to beat others over the head with.  To me, that kind of defeats the point of “positive thinking.”  I like to believe that I, like the stick figure in the comic, also suck at being pessimistic.  There is all kinds of good in life.  I like to look for the positive, sure.

But I can’t pretend that life is happy 100% of the time, and I have an emotional need to acknowledge the things that make life bitter-sweet, rather than constantly framing them in positive-spun euphemisms.  As “The Princess Bride” so eloquently put it – “Life IS pain, highness.  Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.”

I also like to think that I’m getting better at not beating people over the head with idealogical clubs.  But I’ll leave that up to you to judge.

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Thoughts on being human http://heftelfamily.com/756-thoughts-on-being-human/ http://heftelfamily.com/756-thoughts-on-being-human/#comments Thu, 18 Nov 2010 07:21:13 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=756 Sometimes, we come face-to-face with our own mortality. We think we can do anything, we reach for the sky, we aim for the stars, only to be reminded that when it all comes down to it, we’re still human. Mortal. Fallible.

I have a lot of patience with a lot of things. I am often patient with my computer, and I usually have a fair bit of patience for my fellowman. Where I really struggle is having patience with myself. With my own weakness. My own faults. My own….. mortality. There are so many good things I want to do, and in my mind’s eye I am like the mechanized human from the DROID commercials – efficient, productive, tireless. But when it comes down to it, my body can only be pushed so far before it tires, before it weakens. Why is this so hard for me to accept? Why do I want to be a machine, and be efficient and productive all the time? Why do I resent having to pull out of “the zone” for mundane things like food or sleep?

I think it’s because my mind likes soaring. Feed my mind the proper stimulus, and it will get excited and soar in the clouds for hours on end, marveling at limitless possibilities. Get me excited about a project, and I will work 12 hours without a break, because I believe in it, because I find it interesting, because it stimulates me. I like to soar with my mind, up to the clouds and beyond, basking in the limitless possibilities that life provides. I hate having to come down and take care of the physical needs of my body, because I feel it holds me back.

But part of being human is embracing our weaknesses. Embracing who we are – the whole person, good and bad, strong and weak. Part of being human is accepting our limitations, understanding that we are not able to run faster than we have strength. I pushed too hard last week and my body rebelled. I’ve been recovering from a cold this week, and sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. I’m tired of sleeping!! I want to be productive! I have deadlines, clients, projects, and exciting tasks to perform, intriguing problems to solve! No more of this taking-vitamins-and-crashing-out-on-nyquil crap!!

Ah, but it is not to be. As much as I may desire to be something more, I am a man, and I ought to be content with the strength allotted me. I ought to be content with the strength that I do have, instead of lusting after the strength that is unavailable to me. “Patience, grasshopper”, I can almost hear the Lord saying. “There is a time and a season for all things under heaven.”

But I don’t want to be patient! I want to be a better person, right now! I don’t want to sleep, I want to keep working and finish what I was doing instead of picking it up in the morning!

It’s these kinds of thoughts that lead to me getting sick. It’s these kinds of thoughts that lead me to overwork and exhaust myself. It’s these kinds of thoughts that I need to learn to control, to become a more well-balanced, happy person. For if I don’t preserve my health, I won’t be able to do anything – and that is never fun. Better to have some productivity than none at all. Better something than nothing.

That’s all for today. Hope you enjoyed reading.

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apple, eat your heart out http://heftelfamily.com/737-apple-eat-your-heart-out/ http://heftelfamily.com/737-apple-eat-your-heart-out/#comments Fri, 15 Oct 2010 22:46:05 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=737 Ok, this is freaking amazing.  In the video below, the band Atomic tom is playing one of their hit songs…. on the train… with nothing but 4 iPhones!  And it sounds seriously aMAZing!  You gotta check it out! I love it when musicians get creative – I want to buy their album based on this video alone!

If you want to see the original live recording of the song, you can see it here.

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Flash Player 10 maximum bitmap size http://heftelfamily.com/727-flash-player-10-maximum-bitmap-size/ http://heftelfamily.com/727-flash-player-10-maximum-bitmap-size/#comments Mon, 27 Sep 2010 19:48:53 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=727 ActionScript 3Did you know that Flash Player 10 cannot handle bitmaps larger than roughly 8,000 pixels on a side?

Technically, the hard limit is 16,777,215 total image pixels, with a limit on each dimension of 8,192 pixels.  This information I obtained only after much Googling and is only available in an obscure Adobe tech note.

I ran into this limit today while creating levels for a Flex platform game.  I had a level that was represented by a bitmap that was almost 13,000 pixels wide.  Since it was only 569 pixels tall it was less than 8,000,000 total pixels, well under the Flash Player limit, but because the width was so large Flash Player still choked on it.

The solution?  I broke the giant bitmap into pieces that were smaller than the limit and combined them in code.

Here is one case where code-based paradigm beats out a design-based paradigm – the Flash IDE wouldn’t let me create a MovieClip of that size (12,900 pixels), but AS3 would.

Ah, Flash.  You have so many amazing features and abilities that I love you for.  And so many quirks that I hate you for.

I hope that this helps someone out there!

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grannies with attitude http://heftelfamily.com/712-grannies-with-attitude/ http://heftelfamily.com/712-grannies-with-attitude/#comments Sat, 25 Sep 2010 17:25:54 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=712 The ladies in this video have some serious attitude.  Check it out:

On a side note, I recorded, mixed and mastered the soundtrack.  Let me know in the comments what you think!

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I’m in trouble…. http://heftelfamily.com/703-im-in-trouble/ http://heftelfamily.com/703-im-in-trouble/#comments Mon, 20 Sep 2010 22:52:09 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=703 This is so like me….

Conditional risk from XKCD

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does this happen to you too? http://heftelfamily.com/692-does-this-happen-to-you-too/ http://heftelfamily.com/692-does-this-happen-to-you-too/#comments Fri, 10 Sep 2010 19:19:25 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=692 Today’s XKCD strip struck a little too close to home for me.  Is anyone else out there like me in this?  And what does it say about me?

XKCD "Leaving"

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30 grownup truths (humorous) http://heftelfamily.com/683-30-grownup-truths-humorous/ http://heftelfamily.com/683-30-grownup-truths-humorous/#comments Fri, 10 Sep 2010 02:11:32 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=683 So I just turned 28 years old, and I’ve now been around the block a few times.  I’ve learned the world is quite a different place than I thought it was when I was a kid.  I thought I’d share some of the “grownup truths” I’ve come across (note: for entertainment purposes only):

  1. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
  2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
  3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
  4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
  5. How are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
  6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
  7. Google Maps really needs to start their directions on # 5. I’m pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
  8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
  9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.
  10. Bad decisions make good stories.
  11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.
  12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after BluRay? I don’t want to have to restart my collection…again.
  13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.
  14. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this – ever.
  15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dang it!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice mail. What did you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
  16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
  17. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
  18. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
  19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
  20. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first saw it.
  21. I would rather try to carry 10 over-loaded plastic bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
  22. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I’m trying to finish a text.
  23. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
  24. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said?
  25. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.
  26. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?
  27. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
  28. driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate bicyclists.
  29. Someimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
  30. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet money everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time !

Note: these are for entertainment purposes only, and I mean offense to no one by them.  Just wanted to make ya smile. ;)

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    3D MovieClips with Flex and ActionScript 3 http://heftelfamily.com/666-3d-movieclips-with-flex-and-actionscript-3/ http://heftelfamily.com/666-3d-movieclips-with-flex-and-actionscript-3/#comments Tue, 07 Sep 2010 10:24:19 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=666 ActionScript 3For whatever reason, tonight my brain will not shut up, even after hours of watching Hulu.  So it’s time to share some of what I learned today.  Attention, non-geeks – this will be quite a technology-heavy post.  But there will be pretty pictures.

    Flash has had the ability to do 3D for quite some time now, natively, without using any of the fancy libraries out there like PaperVision3D.  All you have to do is set the z property on a MovieClip.  Seriously, that’s all it takes.  And you know how you can rotate a MovieClip by setting the rotation parameter?  Now there are rotationX, rotationY, and rotationZ parameters.  Changing any of these through code will result in the MovieClip being displayed in three dimensions.  Groovy!

    Here is a small example.  There are two ellipses that move back and forth in the Z axis.  They also rotate in three dimensions, one around the X axis and one around the Y axis.

    Click here to download the source FLA for this demo.  It is a Flash CS5 file, so you must have Flash CS5 to open it.

    Here is the source code, in case you don’t have Flash CS5.  All you need to do is add two MovieClips to the stage, one called ellipse1 and the other called ellipse2.

    const BACK:int = 1000;
    const FRONT:int = -100;
    function frameHandler(e:Event):void
    	var mc:MovieClip = e.currentTarget as MovieClip;
    	if(mc.z > BACK)
            mc.z = BACK;
            mc.dir = -1;
        else if (mc.z < FRONT)
            mc.z = FRONT;
            mc.dir = 1;
        mc.z += mc.dir * mc.moveSpeed;
    	mc.rotationX += mc.rotXSpeed;
    	mc.rotationY += mc.rotYSpeed;
    ellipse1.shapeIndex = 0;
    ellipse1.dir = 1;
    ellipse1.rotXSpeed = 3;
    ellipse1.rotYSpeed = 0;
    ellipse1.moveSpeed = 10;
    ellipse2.shapeIndex = 1;
    ellipse2.dir = 1;
    ellipse2.rotXSpeed = 0;
    ellipse2.rotYSpeed = -5;
    ellipse2.moveSpeed = 15;
    ellipse1.addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, frameHandler);
    ellipse2.addEventListener(Event.ENTER_FRAME, frameHandler);

    More to come in the future! 3D Flash is an exciting world to explore!

    EDIT: I realize the title of this blog post is slightly misleading.  I mentioned Flex, and the Flex part doesn’t come until the next post.  My apologies.  This example of 3D in ActionScript 3 is entirely Flash-based.

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    don’t be a camel http://heftelfamily.com/658-dont-be-a-camel/ http://heftelfamily.com/658-dont-be-a-camel/#comments Sat, 04 Sep 2010 22:07:28 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=658 Stubborn CamelI was just on Dr. Paul’s M-Power blog, and came across the following interesting thought (original post here).  It struck me so much I wanted to discuss it here.

    Apparently camels have attitudes.  They grumble and complain no matter what  command you give them.  Dr. Paul saw a “wrangler” (I guess that’s what a camel trainer is called) trying to deal with a camel, and said:

    [The wrangler] would command them to kneel so the rider could mount up – and the camel would grumble and complain.  He then commanded them to stand, and again grumbling and complaining.  Basically anything that represented a change brought on the attitude.  How are you handling the changes in your life?  Remember, better is always different.  Look at the changes in your life as amazing opportunities to experience something better, rather than just grumbling and complaining about having to move.

    “Better is always different”.  That’s my thought for the day.  When looking at change in your life, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject change just because it’s different – evaluate it objectively, and if it’s better, go for it!

    As with everything I post here, easier said than done, and the hardest part for me is applying these things in my life.  Have you had experiences with the “camel principle” in your life, either for good (change was threatening but you embraced it), or ill (maybe you missed out on an opportunity because you were afraid of the change it would involve)?  I know I have.  Feel free to share in the comments!

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    when GTA meets literature http://heftelfamily.com/643-when-gta-meets-literature/ http://heftelfamily.com/643-when-gta-meets-literature/#comments Fri, 03 Sep 2010 21:43:18 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=643 For your daily laugh, I present the following from XKCD:

    The Carriage on XKCD

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    inception’s plot, illustrated http://heftelfamily.com/630-inceptions-plot-illustrated/ http://heftelfamily.com/630-inceptions-plot-illustrated/#comments Fri, 27 Aug 2010 07:16:09 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=630 Over on fastcodesign, I found an amazing infographic by Rick Slusher that succeeds in visually explaining the incredibly-intricate plot of this summer’s blockbuster hit, “Inception”.  Warning – spoilers ahead!  Below is a small version of the graphic.  Click it to see the full-resolution version.  The full-res version is quite big, drag to scroll around it or right click to download it.

    Inception infographic by Slusher

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    your song played on the space shuttle http://heftelfamily.com/615-your-song-played-on-the-space-shuttle/ http://heftelfamily.com/615-your-song-played-on-the-space-shuttle/#comments Sat, 21 Aug 2010 20:07:52 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=615 NASA wants your songs!Hey all you musicians out there!  If you have a space-themed song, or want to write one, NASA wants you to submit it to be played on the last two space shuttle missions as the crew’s wake-up music!

    Go here to submit your song: https://songcontest.nasa.gov

    You have til January 2011.

    You can also vote on other songs to be played.

    Here is the official notice, from the email that NASA sent me this morning:

    If you like music, the space program and are a little nostalgic, NASA has the perfect opportunity for you. For the first time, the public can help choose songs to wake up the astronauts during the last two scheduled space shuttle missions.

    Traditionally, the songs played to wake up the astronauts are selected by friends and family of the crews. For the last two scheduled missions, NASA is inviting the public to visit the ” Wakeup Song Contest”  website to select songs from a list of the top 40 previous wakeup calls or to submit original tunes for consideration.

    Original songs must have a space theme and be submitted to NASA by 4 p.m. CST on Jan. 10, 2011. The songs will be reviewed by agency officials and the top finalists put to a public vote. The top two songs will be used to wake space shuttle Endeavour’s STS-134 crew. Endeavour’s mission is the last scheduled space shuttle flight. It is targeted to launch on Feb. 26, 2011.

    Good luck, songwriters!

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    the new, awesome van http://heftelfamily.com/603-the-new-awesome-van/ http://heftelfamily.com/603-the-new-awesome-van/#comments Thu, 19 Aug 2010 11:50:05 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=603 A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?  Check it out:

    The Van, Side View The Van, Rear View The Van, Side View The Van, Front View

    This lovely behemoth is my new ride!  It’s got a half-ton truck engine in it and when you put the pedal to the metal, the old girl’s got guts!  She’s got plenty of cargo space as well, you can fit a 12-foot roll of carpet inside!  I’m enjoying learning how to drive such a big vehicle, and the feeling of power it gives me to hear her low rumble.

    I could use some help, though.  I am trying to figure out what to do with it, decoration-wise.  I got it for a good price from a company going out of business, and as you can see, it still carries the branding of the now-defunct company.  I want to redecorate it.  The branding is not paint, but an incredibly intricate (and expensive) wrap job.  Underneath she’s a pristine, off-white creamish color (assuming the paint job’s still good).  So, use the comments to weigh in – what should I do to redecorate it?  Give it a hippie paint job?  Rewrap it?  Repaint it?  The sky’s the limit (well, and my very modest budget)!

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    how to get GPS directions via text message http://heftelfamily.com/570-how-to-get-gps-directions-via-text-message/ http://heftelfamily.com/570-how-to-get-gps-directions-via-text-message/#comments Tue, 10 Aug 2010 05:39:24 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=570 Google mapsHere is the coolest tech thing I’ve learned recently: you don’t need a GPS unit, an iPhone, or even data plan on your cell phone to get GPS directions without a computer! Google has an amazing text-message interface that can return everything from web results to business phone numbers to directions to your phone via SMS.

    Here is what you do:

    1. Send a text message to the number GOOGL (46645).

    2. Format the text message like this: “directions from address1 to address2″ (don’t put the quotes), replacing address1 and address2 with the real addresses. You don’t have to put in a complete address for either field. For example. I often use my hometown as the source address if I’m going to be using the interstate because I know how to get to the freeway. For example, if you wanted to get from Provo to historic Temple Square in Salt Lake City, you could send the following text message to 46645:

    “directions from provo ut to 50 west south temple salt lake city ut” (no quotes).

    And voila! Google will send driving directions to your cellphone withOUT you having to own a fancy smartphone or GPS device.

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    thoughts on multitasking and relaxation http://heftelfamily.com/581-thoughts-on-multitasking-and-relaxation/ http://heftelfamily.com/581-thoughts-on-multitasking-and-relaxation/#comments Sat, 07 Aug 2010 08:39:00 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=581 multitaskingI am a chronic multitasker.  I am always doing it, no matter where I am.  I can’t resist opening the laptop while watching TV, or checking my email constantly throughout the day, or putting someone on speakerphone to check the text that just came in.  Sometimes I’m on the phone, texting and chatting online all at the same time.  I am a multitasking addict.

    Speaking of which, I just returned to add more to this post from checking up on some massive file-copying I’m doing, commenting on friends’ blogs, and other such things.  Haha.

    What I’m trying to say, in my A.D.D. way, is this – many times in our modern-day lives, multitasking is required.  We can’t really get away from it completely as we juggle multiple demands on our time.  But sometimes, it was imperative that we DON’T multitask.  A friend pointed out to me that I’ve been burning out – I’ve been spinning my wheels trying to get so many things done at once, I’d totally forgotten what it means to stop and enjoy a meal, or watch a show without trying to do work at the same time.  I stopped and realized that even if I HAD spare time, I wouldn’t know what to DO with it.  I had no idea what I do for fun, anymore, because I never take time anymore to HAVE fun.  Or recuperate.  Or whatever you want to call it.  Good thing I have friends – sometimes it takes an outside perspective to point out what you can’t see because you’re too close to the situation.

    So, today I did something about it.  I notified clients and friends that I’d be unavailable, I turned off my phone, and I took some time for myself.  It was aMAZing!  I actually felt rejuvenated, instead of feeling like I was trudging through life with metal boots on.

    I tried it again tonite.  I was teaching myself some new programming skills while watching Hulu tonight, and eventually, I became too worn-out again to focus properly.  So I stopped multitasking, used the “Full Screen” button on the video player and vegged out to the last couple episodes of the show I was watching – and I felt better again.  And hence comes the moral of the story, which is probably painfully obvious to everyone but yours truly:

    If you’re going to get any benefit out of relaxing, you have to STOP MULTITASKING.  Do ONE thing, one RELAXING thing, at a time.  Then feel free to jump back into our crazy, modern world.  But watch out for too much multitasking, or you might lose out on a million-dollar opportunity, as this guy did.

    EDIT: Also check out this article on multitasking and its adverse affects on efficiency.

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    why does OSX Finder Copy suck? http://heftelfamily.com/575-why-does-osx-finder-copy-suck/ http://heftelfamily.com/575-why-does-osx-finder-copy-suck/#comments Thu, 05 Aug 2010 01:27:08 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=575 Okay, this post is a total rant.  I am fed up and frustrated trying to back up data on my PowerMac G5.  The fundamental question has been raised in the post’s title, namely:

    Why does the copy functionality of the Finder suck so badly?!?!

    I find that instead of letting the Finder do its job, and flawlessly copy gigabytes of data to my brand-spanking-new, gigantic 2TB backup hard drive, I have to sit and babysit progress-bars, coaxing the Finder into copying ALL my data (and not flaking out on one particular file).  And when it chokes, saying “file such-and-such cannot be read or written”, invariably, when I go in and find the file manually, and drag that ONE offending file to the proper place on the external hard drive, it works!  Other times, Finder doesn’t error out, but rather the progress bar stops in its tracks, and spins uselessly until I “Force Quit” finder (or in some cases, hard-reboot my machine).

    Granted, I am still on Mac OSX 10.4.11, and I have heard that in Snow Leopard (10.6) they have a new, revamped Finder that supposedly is much better at copying files.  But still – copying files reliably is a basic operating system function!  Shouldn’t Apple have gotten it right much SOONER than version 10.6 of their operating system?  Shouldn’t this have been a higher priority than glitzy UI polish?

    Ok, rant over.  Resume your regularly-scheduled programming.

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    new studio pictures http://heftelfamily.com/499-new-studio-pictures/ http://heftelfamily.com/499-new-studio-pictures/#comments Sun, 01 Aug 2010 02:25:21 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=499 Attention, world!  Heftel Studios has moved to a new location, and it’s looking FABulous!!  Here are some great photos of the new location, which is in Provo right by Deseret Industries (more info available at http://www.heftelstudios.com).  If you’re in the area, call 801-417-0514 to come check it out!

    Studio A Tracking Room Control room/Lounge area Control room/Lounge area Mic, pop filter and headphones Control room/Lounge area Studio Microphone Detail Piano keys closeup Studio B Control Room Piano keys closeup Kawai baby grand piano Interior of Vocal Booth The Vocal Booth Control Room Window Studio A Control Room Lounge Area ]]>
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    worthwhile advice http://heftelfamily.com/495-worthwhile-advice/ http://heftelfamily.com/495-worthwhile-advice/#comments Fri, 30 Jul 2010 06:20:45 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=495 The thoughts in this post were adapted from a wonderful conversation with a good friend, and seem to be universally applicable.  Thus, they shall be immortalized here.  Also, if I write these ideas down here I can come back here if I forget them.

    Three things that will lead to empowerment in your life:

    1. Stop asking WHY.  Instead, change it to WHAT NOW.  Instead of unanswerable questions that pound your brain you have hope, and at least some inkling of what to do to improve your situation.
    2. Don’t expect anything from yourself.  Just ACCEPT and EMBRACE yourself for who you are.  You don’t need to become a Superman to be lovable, and besides, you will be capable of accomplishing so much more if you love yourself UNCONDITIONALLY first.
    3. Don’t you EVER put yourself down!  You live with yourself 24/7.  You wouldn’t want to live with an enemy, would you?  It’s okay to make mistakes and course-corrections.  You are a child of God, and thus have limitless potential.

    To combat sadness, do the following:

    Count your many blessings!!  But you must abide by the following rules:

    1. You must start with “I have been blessed with …”
    2. You must not use any negative phrases.

    If you follow the rules, you get a sense that a.) you really have a lot going for you, and b.) it comes from a higher source than yourself – make sure to give credit where credit’s due!  This brings your life into balance, stops you from getting a big head and brings things into perspective.  Nothing fosters love for Deity by seeing first-hand and noticing the things that God has given you, no strings attached, “just because.”

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    spring recital pictures http://heftelfamily.com/489-spring-recital-pictures/ http://heftelfamily.com/489-spring-recital-pictures/#comments Thu, 29 Jul 2010 07:16:03 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=489 I was in a recital with my illustrious voice teacher, Anjanette Mickelsen!  Here are some pictures from that momentous occasion.  P.S. Anjie is an AWEsome voice teacher – if you are in the Salt Lake or Provo area and thinking about improving your voice, I HIGHLY recommend her.  Her website is http://www.afmvocalstudio.com.

    Thanks for looking!

    RHD_5338 RHD_5337 RHD_5258 ]]>
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    lessons learned from divorce http://heftelfamily.com/472-lessons-learned-from-divorce/ http://heftelfamily.com/472-lessons-learned-from-divorce/#comments Mon, 26 Jul 2010 07:22:01 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=472 EDIT: I’ve read over this post since writing it and changed some things to be more fair to Shanae.  It was pretty one-sided before and I’ve tried to make it more fair.

    Broken HeartThere is only one person who is responsible for your happiness.  It is not God, it is not your parents, it is not your friends, it is not your significant other – it is you.  I am a firm believer that others can help, and that good friends are vital to our well-being as we go through life, but ultimately, when it comes down to brass tacks, every single one of us are responsible for our own actions and our own happiness.

    The application of this knowledge does not come easy for me.  I often look to other sources for my happiness in life.  I look to entertainment – movies, books, television and video games.  I look to work – professional projects that take much skill, time, and exertion to complete.  I look to people – parents, friends, relatives, spouse.  But ultimately no one and no thing can make me happy.  I must choose that for myself.  At the end of the day, every day, I find myself alone with my thoughts and feelings.  If I do not like myself, that alone time is feared and dreaded.  On the other hand, if I do like myself, then that time becomes a set of happy bookends around my day.  I look forward to being alone with myself.

    Before my divorce, I often relied on my wife to make me happy.  I did this far too often, pretty much constantly.  I defaulted to her on the smallest and dumbest of decisions.  In doing so, I was not a man, and I often hurt her as she waited around for me to become a man.  If a person is not looking after his/her own happiness, then nothing anyone else can do will be enough.  There will always be a lack, an insatiable hunger, because the person is not self-sufficient, and does not have enough warmth inside to sustain himself.  On the contrary, if a person knows deep down inside that he is responsible for his own actions and his own happiness, then anything else that comes into his life is a blessing and serves to enrich a life that is already pretty damn good, a life that already has meaning on its own, even in the absence of care or love from others.  In that case, there is enough and to spare.

    Each person in this life must learn to be his/her own best friend.  No matter where you go, you will always have to live with yourself.  Or to put it another way, you always GET to live with yourself.  I do not know exactly why my dear wife decided to end our marriage after three and half years, but I have a good idea.  I know I did a lot of dumb things that hurt her immensely.  I wish so many times that I could turn back the clock, take back things I said or did.  The last thing I would want from anyone reading this post is to have any negative feelings for her.  I sometimes find myself asking the rhetorical question “WHY?”.  Well, I know why.  My actions did a lot to drive her off.  I often find myself regretting mistakes I’ve made and thinking about what I could’ve done to keep my marriage alive.  I made some really stupid decisions during our time together, and my mistakes have ultimately cost me my marriage.  My biggest regret in life is the dissolution of my marriage, my part in that, and the pain and suffering that she is still recovering from.  But, unfortunately, these thoughts lead nowhere, it’s too little too late, and she’s already gone.  Nothing I can do at this point can win her back.

    I have slowly learned through introspection and conversation with trusted friends that I have been punishing myself, blaming myself, shaming myself for letting her go.  And there is my opportunity for peace.  I did not leave; I let her go.  I did not give up on our marriage – rather, I was ready to fight to the death for it.  I will go to my grave with the sure and comforting knowledge that I did the absolute best that I could in my marriage, that I gave it my all – time, talents, financial resources, even my whole soul and all I possessed – to make my marriage work.  Sometimes, because of my weaknesses and flaws, my “best” was far less than it should have been.  I look back and my puny efforts seem pitiful.  But I can still say I held back nothing.  Now, she didn’t hold back anything either.  She gave her all and more for the marriage, and fought like a lion for it.  She tried harder to make it work than most others would have.  In the end, I let her go because I loved her enough to let her go.  I let her go so she could be happy.  I have been laboring under the assumption that because I did that, I am somehow a bad person.  I have been beating myself up for not stopping her, when she made it clear she could no longer be happy living under my roof and being my wife.  But in doing so I have made a serious error in judgment.

    God is the judge of every soul.  We are commanded to not make final judgments about anyone, in scriptures laced with words such as “Judge not, that ye be not judged (3 Ne 14:1).”  In assuming that I was a bad person for allowing a failing marriage to finally end, I was usurping God’s authority to judge, and condemning myself.  All of a sudden I had the feeling, “what if I am being harder on myself than God is?”  This question changed my whole outlook.  I started praying fervently.  I poured out my whole soul to God.  And, I learned today that God does not condemn me for the fact that my marriage ended.  In fact, He has an enormous amount of love for me, as He does for every one of His children.  And then I had the thought – “if He does not condemn me, then why the hell should I condemn me?”  In that moment, I decided to stop beating myself up.  This will be hard, because I am used to being hard on myself and not used to loving myself unconditionally.  It is much easier for me to love others unconditionally than to love myself.  But I will try.  Because I must try.  I will be alone with my thoughts every morning and night for the rest of my life, as I have been every morning and night for the past 27 years.  It’s about time that I start enjoying my own company!

    All of the foregoing does not mean I am not sad about my marriage ending.  I feel an immense amount of sorrow over the loss of a person so precious in my life that I promised before God’s holy altar to cherish her for eternity.  I feel extremely sad that our forever died before four years ran their course.  I have had at least as much to do with our marriage dissolving as she did, and probably more.  But I learned today that there is a big difference between sorrow and shame.  Sorrow expresses loss and is a natural part of the grieving process.  It eventually gives way to comfort, wisdom, and joy.  On the other hand, shame does not heal.  It labels the person as bad and ultimately creates a vicious cycle by making you believe that you can never do any better than what you just went through.  And so right here, right now, I commit to stop shaming myself.  Because I don’t deserve it.  Because I am a good person who makes mistakes.  Because I deserve to find happiness again.  Because I do not wish to be forever stuck in old, incorrect patterns.


    Shanae, I truly wish you the best.  You will be missed immensely.  I do not condemn you for what you did.  I know that you had your reasons, and I am trying to accept the fact that you are really gone.  I sincerely hope that no one reading this blog post will condemn you either.  One day this mess will heal for both of us and we will be able to be happy again.  I am sorry for the way things turned out between us, and I would still like to be your friend.  I am sorry for the things I did that hurt you and contributed to the end of our marriage, but I no longer blame myself for everything that happened.  I am off on a journey – a journey to get to know myself and become my own best friend.  A journey to learn to love the person that I will spend the rest of my life with – myself.

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    antigravity http://heftelfamily.com/458-antigravity/ http://heftelfamily.com/458-antigravity/#comments Mon, 19 Jul 2010 22:48:11 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=458 Did you know that is possible to achieve anti-gravity with just some common household objects?

    Cat-based antigravity

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    The Evolution of PC Audio http://heftelfamily.com/448-the-evolution-of-pc-audio/ http://heftelfamily.com/448-the-evolution-of-pc-audio/#comments Thu, 20 May 2010 19:13:01 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=448 Check out the following video for a tour through the history of game audio on the PC. Music courtesy of “Secret of Monkey Island.”

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    why i’m different http://heftelfamily.com/438-why-im-different/ http://heftelfamily.com/438-why-im-different/#comments Fri, 12 Feb 2010 21:10:12 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=438 I always knew I was different than other people somehow… This XKCD comic finally explains it!

    The Difference

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    cheap gps http://heftelfamily.com/427-cheap-gps/ http://heftelfamily.com/427-cheap-gps/#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2010 21:07:18 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=427 Today’s blog post brought to you by XKCD, the hilarious webcomic:

    Cheap GPS

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    sunday thoughts http://heftelfamily.com/421-sunday-thought/ http://heftelfamily.com/421-sunday-thought/#comments Mon, 08 Feb 2010 03:25:45 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=421 For your Sunday edification, I wanted to post a quote that is often mis-attributed to Mother Teresa. This was mentioned in our church meetings last Sunday and it really struck a chord with me:

    People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered;

    Forgive them anyway.

    If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;

    Be kind anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;

    Succeed anyway.

    If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;

    Be honest and frank anyway.

    What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;

    Build anyway.

    If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;

    Be happy anyway.

    The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;

    Do good anyway.

    Give the world the best you have,

    and it may never be enough;

    Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

    You see, in the final analysis,

    it is between you and God;

    It was never between you and them anyway.


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    weak password woes http://heftelfamily.com/415-weak-password-woes/ http://heftelfamily.com/415-weak-password-woes/#comments Sun, 31 Jan 2010 01:30:27 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=415 Passwords are still too weak for the most part.Well, here we are in the 21st century – the second decade of the 21st century, even, and Internet security, specifically the problem of weak passwords, still plagues our society.  A new study, based on analysis of 32 million passwords, shows that the most popular password is – can you guess? – “123456″.  One in five users leaves a key under the virtual doormat with obvious passwords like “qwerty”, “password”, “iloveyou”, or “princess”!  (original story here).

    Why is it that we can’t pick secure passwords?  It seems it’s just human nature.  A password that is secure is, by definition, hard to remember for a human.  Here are five tips that will help your passwords remain secure.

    1. Here’s a simple hint – if your password can be found in the dictionary (any language!), it’s not secure enough!  It’s easy to crack a password that’s listed in the dictionary – it’s routinely done in college computer science classes.
    2. Put letters and numbers in your password.  Try replacing some letters with numbers (i.e. 3 for “e”, 1 for “L”, etc) or symbols (@ for “a”).
    3. Mix up uppercase and lowercase letters in your password.
    4. Use more than one word in your password.  You could use a whole phrase, for example, or make it an acronym by using the first letter of each word in a phrase.
    5. Use symbols such as punctuation in your password.  Note: some websites won’t allow you to use anything but letters and numbers.  It’s dumb, but they do it.

    Hopefully these tips will help you keep your password secure!

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    movie science http://heftelfamily.com/406-movie-science/ http://heftelfamily.com/406-movie-science/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 16:56:37 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=406 Oh, man, I laughed when I saw this:

    How true that is!

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    endoora artist opportunity http://heftelfamily.com/401-endoora-artist-opportunity/ http://heftelfamily.com/401-endoora-artist-opportunity/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 04:17:48 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=401 Just got this in my email the other day:


    Casting for a reality docu-series for the formation and journey of an international teen band. Record deal with major label already secured. Looking for 5 band members ages 18-22 (18 – 22 that can play younger). Must be extremely camera friendly, an idol in the making. Must be very comfortable in front of the camera and have real ability to play instruments and/ or sing. We’re looking for musicians with their own unique style and sound who absolutely live for music. International travel required. This is a rare and very special opportunity to turn your dreams into legitimate international stardom.

    Singer: 18-22 male.

    Bassist: 18-22 male or female.

    Guitarist: 18-22 male or female

    Keyboardist: 18-22 male or female

    Drummer: 18-22 male or female

    Please contact Matt or Dana at 323.460.5658 or via email:

    matt@liquid-theory.com or dana@liquid-theory.com to schedule an audition time (Los Angeles)

    Auditions are being held from 1.20.10 – 2.5.10

    It’s a great opportunity for musicians, share it with your friends! You have to have an Endoora account to apply. If you don’t know what Endoora is, click here to find out!

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    cool mermaid makeup http://heftelfamily.com/379-cool-mermaid-makeup/ http://heftelfamily.com/379-cool-mermaid-makeup/#comments Thu, 21 Jan 2010 12:07:59 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=379 Mermaid Makeup

    My wife is so creative!  She made her sister into a mermaid for a school activity using just makeup.  She created the pattern on the face by using a mesh bag that originally held mandarin oranges to create the pattern as she applied makeup to her sister’s face through it.

    Mermaid Makeup

    Yup, she’s pretty cool!

    Mermaid Makeup

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    that’s my dog http://heftelfamily.com/374-thats-my-dog/ http://heftelfamily.com/374-thats-my-dog/#comments Wed, 20 Jan 2010 06:44:04 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=374 So the other day I was shocked to find my normally-well-behaved dog Miko up on a chair in the living room…

    Silly dog!  She had just been groomed and when she saw the clippers coming out again, she panicked!

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    what does bing stand for? http://heftelfamily.com/365-what-does-bing-stand-for/ http://heftelfamily.com/365-what-does-bing-stand-for/#comments Fri, 15 Jan 2010 20:48:52 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=365 what_does_bing_stand_for

    ‘Nuff said. (link to original image)

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    why chrome is my new favorite browser http://heftelfamily.com/348-why-chrome-is-my-new-favorite-browser/ http://heftelfamily.com/348-why-chrome-is-my-new-favorite-browser/#comments Sun, 10 Jan 2010 17:14:04 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=348 Recently I started using Google Chrome. I downloaded it, tested a few things, and before you know it I was using it every time I wanted to go online, leaving my old standby FireFox unused and un-clicked.  I will attempt to organize the reasons for my switch into a bulleted list below:

    • It’s fast. You open the program, it displays.  The quicker I can get to my webpages, the quicker I can get to work.
    • It maximizes screen real estate.  I hate having my usable browser area cluttered by a bunch of toolbars I don’t want that came bundled with other stuff I did want. (Internet Explorer, I’m talking to you).  Chrome even goes so far as to use the top window bar (which is normally not used for anything except the program’s name and window controls) to put my tabs in when maximized.  I love that!  Every little bit of usable screen real estate helps when developing websites on my small laptop screen and I appreciate having those 20 or so vertical pixels back.
    • It comes with great developer tools.  FireFox has an add-on called Web Developer that I truly love for debugging websites, especially CSS.  But the built-in developer tools that come with Chrome blow it out of the water!  You can change CSS properties on any element and watch how the rendering changes, without re-uploading the CSS file.  And you don’t have to download an add-on to do it.  While I was writing this post, I used the real-time CSS modification abilities of Chrome’s developer tools to fix a problem with my WordPress theme that was chopping off the title of my posts if they got too long.
    • Did I mention it’s fast?
    • It’s simple.  It shows me what I need, and hides what I don’t.  It doesn’t bury clearing the cache in some tab in some dialog box, under the heading Temporary Internet Files (again, IE, I’m talking to you).
    • It has all the keyboard shortcuts I loved in FireFox and had gotten used to as a Web Developer.  Things like CTRL+SHIFT+DELETE to clear cache and cookies (essential for web development), CTRL+T for a new tab, CTRL+SHIFT+T to re-open the most recently closed tab (handy when you just closed something and realized you weren’t done with it yet).
    • Did I mention it’s fast?

    Anyway, that’s all I can think of for now.  The list is in no particular order, and is not terribly thorough, but there you have it – my unofficial list of why Google Chrome beats the pants off of any other browser out there.  I still keep the other browsers installed on my machine to make sure the CSS I’m crafting works across browsers and doesn’t break my nice site layouts, but as far as day-to-day heavy lifting goes, Chrome is my new best friend.

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    kodak easy share nightmare http://heftelfamily.com/343-kodak-easy-share-nightmare/ http://heftelfamily.com/343-kodak-easy-share-nightmare/#comments Tue, 05 Jan 2010 23:47:21 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=343 Attention, Kodak EasyShare Wireless Digital Picture Frame users! Kodak has made it extremely easy to share what’s on your picture frame with everyone on the internet! Each picture frame has a unique RSS feed that includes its MAC address, and the frames have wi-fi capability built-in, so anyone on the Internet that has your feed URL can see ALL the pictures on your picture frame. There is even a chance that someone could modify the RSS URL of your picture frame and load pictures of their choosing on it – even before it gets out of the box. Read the original post here. Kodak, you need to think the security implications of a wifi-enabled digital picture frame before releasing it to the public!

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    spell with flickr http://heftelfamily.com/319-spell-with-flickr/ http://heftelfamily.com/319-spell-with-flickr/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2009 05:48:27 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=319 chocolate letter H letter E letter F letter T E white paint on blue with rust coming through L F letter A M. i letter L Y

    Cool, huh? Click on this link to spell your message with random pictures from flickr!

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    ransom note generator http://heftelfamily.com/312-ransom-note-generator/ http://heftelfamily.com/312-ransom-note-generator/#comments Mon, 16 Nov 2009 02:16:59 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=312 I was noodling around on the ‘Net and found a ransom note generator. Enter your text, and it creates a ransom note! How cool! You can go to the link to the original site, or enter the text to create a ransom note from here:

    on yellow paper?   on plain paper?

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    halloween 2009 http://heftelfamily.com/306-halloween-2009/ http://heftelfamily.com/306-halloween-2009/#comments Tue, 03 Nov 2009 07:05:41 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=306 Hey, we’ve been pretty sick around here (Shanae has the swine flu, more about that later), but we managed to get in a little bit of Halloween celebration.  Here are a few pictures.  The first two are Shanae’s sister Shayla, dressed up as a tiger.  Shanae did all the makeup and hair and did an absolutely wonderful job.  The last one is me, Kawika, as a punk-rocker with a mohawk!  It was really fun.  Shayla got to go trick-or-treating and had a blast!  She went through a haunted house, and even found two houses that gave out giant candy bars!  I always tried to find the house that gave out the king-size candy bars when I was little, but never was able to do it.  Shayla has now fulfilled my childhood dream.  Here are the pictures:

    Shayla with pumpkins

    Shayla as a fierce tigerKawika as a punk

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    sometimes you just have to… http://heftelfamily.com/301-sometimes-you-just-have-to/ http://heftelfamily.com/301-sometimes-you-just-have-to/#comments Wed, 21 Oct 2009 04:46:30 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=301 Sometimes you just have to laugh.

    Like when you’ve been in an 18-foot trailer with four people and three dogs for three days, and you find out that it will take a week longer for your hardwood floor in your house to be usable.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

    Like when you come home to said trailer to find an entire bottle of Ibuprofen broken into, chewed up, and scattered all across the bed by said three dogs.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

    Like when you get stung by a bee at Wendy’s and three days later the swelling has not gone down, but rather is spreading over your elbow and down your arm.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

    Like when you’re afraid that the three dogs will die from an Ibuprofen overdose cause you don’t have money to take them to the vet, and you’re relieved that by the end of the day, none of them has died, but then when you go to bed, you find out that the dogs have thrown up all over all the clean blankets on your bed.

    Sometimes you just have to laugh.

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    we are insane http://heftelfamily.com/255-we-are-insane/ http://heftelfamily.com/255-we-are-insane/#comments Thu, 15 Oct 2009 21:15:05 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=255 So, we are officially insane.  We just added three dogs to our tiny little house!  They are all black, female, standard poodles, and they are a-DOR-able!!!  It really makes Shanae happy to have a dog again – a big dog – she was missing her dog back home.  The one with a cast, Cosmo,  broke her leg when she caught it on the fence while playing in the backyard.  Zoey is the big one, she’s about a year old, and very sweet.  Her poor tail is crooked, but it gives her personality.  The other two are Cosmo and Miko.  Cosmo actually belongs to Shanae’s dad and will be leaving with him when he finishes helping us remodel our house (more about that later).  Miko is ours!  She is an adorable fuzz-ball.  We love our pets and even though they cause mischief sometimes, they make us happy and make our lives a little less boring.  Cosmo and Miko are about 3 months old and will be the same size as Zoey when full grown.  Here are some pictures:


    Zoey! She's a sweetie

    Miko is my little fuzzball

    Miko is my little fuzzball

    The gimp with her cast

    The gimp with her cast

    You can see her better in this picture.  She has a special boot on her cast.

    You can see her better in this picture. She has a special boot on her cast.

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    the government can http://heftelfamily.com/242-the-government-can/ http://heftelfamily.com/242-the-government-can/#comments Thu, 24 Sep 2009 17:32:44 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=242 So, I just received this from my good friend David Eggertsen.  It made me feel better!!

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    buy my piano http://heftelfamily.com/230-buy-my-piano/ http://heftelfamily.com/230-buy-my-piano/#comments Sun, 06 Sep 2009 22:27:38 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=230 Front View
    This is a beautiful dark-brown Schumann baby grand piano. Shanae bought it for me when we got married as a wedding present. I’m so sad to let it go, but we are moving and can’t take it with us. I’ve been playing for 18 years so I had to have a good piano to play on, and so when we got married we looked through many pianos together and this is the one I finally chose. We bought it used but it is in good condition. There is some cosmetic damage from previous owners that is visible in the pictures, but the action is great and it still plays and sounds like new. It is in need of some tuning. Please, if you are in the Provo, Utah area and are in need of a piano, come check it out!  We are asking $2500 or best offer.

    Front View extrapic1 extrapic2 extrapic3 extrapic4 ]]>
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    welcome to my life http://heftelfamily.com/222-welcome-to-my-life/ http://heftelfamily.com/222-welcome-to-my-life/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2009 22:02:04 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=222 This XKCD comic made me laugh out loud, in the middle of the workday, in the middle of the office. I relate to this so much it’s scary:

    XKCD Tech Support

    Here’s a link to the comic on the original page.

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    Pandora http://heftelfamily.com/221-pandora/ http://heftelfamily.com/221-pandora/#comments Sun, 23 Aug 2009 00:08:41 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/221-pandora/

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    megawoosh http://heftelfamily.com/218-megawoosh/ http://heftelfamily.com/218-megawoosh/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2009 05:54:41 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=218 What a great video!! I really enjoyed watching it.

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    biggest drum kit ever http://heftelfamily.com/206-biggest-drum-kit-ever/ http://heftelfamily.com/206-biggest-drum-kit-ever/#comments Tue, 28 Jul 2009 18:45:35 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=206 How many drums do you REALLY need in a drumkit? I stumbled on the following picture today:

    Terry Bozzio's Huge drumkit

    This picture comes from Terry Bozzio’s website (click here for drum specs, click the image to go to Terry’s site).  This is officially the biggest drumkit I have ever seen!  How does one even play such a beast?  I also stumbled upon the following video today.  This is a timelapse video of what it takes to set up the kit.  I definitely admire the guy for being able to play so many drums, but there is no way I would be able to have the patience to setup that kind of a kit (to say nothing of the skill required to actually play it).

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    my twitter comes of age http://heftelfamily.com/202-my-twitter-account-comes-of-age/ http://heftelfamily.com/202-my-twitter-account-comes-of-age/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2009 18:44:41 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=202 followers > following!

    followers > following!

    I now have more people following me than I am following! I somehow feel like I’ve come of age in the Twitter world. I’m pretty new to the Twitter world, my account is less than a year old.  I didn’t quite understand it at first, when a friend explained it to me – it took a lot of experimenting on my own to figure it out.  But now that I’m on it I love it.  I especially love using the TwitterFox extension for FireFox – it turns Twitter into a truly real-time stream of updates from people I care about, and allows me to almost use Twitter as an instant messaging protocol.  I also love that Twitter has so many apps that interface with it, it’s available through WordPress here at my blog, and from my iPod touch, etc.  Twitter is truly a modern-day phenomenon.  It allows me to quickly communicate my thoughts on pressing issues to an audience of people that is different from Facebook and other accounts I may have.  I use it to comment on science and technology articles, shamelessly promote my content, and occasionally tell people what I’m doing at work or at my recording studio (shameless plug).  Here’s to Twitter and more growth to come! Follow me on Twitter @kheftel

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    sunday thoughts http://heftelfamily.com/196-sunday-thoughts/ http://heftelfamily.com/196-sunday-thoughts/#comments Sun, 19 Jul 2009 23:02:44 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=196 Just some thoughts on a Sunday afternoon as I sit here on the couch while Ne’ is resting next to me.  As many or all of you know, I have been working at the LDS Motion Picture Studio and I’ve been working on editing audio from the Seminar for New Mission Presidents.  This is where all the new mission presidents come to the MTC for four days of intense training from General Authorities before they go out to preside over their missions for three years.  It really is an amazing thing – they have only a few marathon twelve-hour days to learn how to do their calling, learning from General Authorities and drinking in their instruction firehose-style, before they are sent out across the world.  The second they arrive in their missions, they are in charge and the current mission president becomes the former mission president.  Usually within a day the former mission president is on a plane headed home.  How’s that for feeling inadequate and having to rely on the spirit?

    I just read a blog post by a friend of mine and a former coworker, where he explained that he used to pray as a kid, but God never answered, and now as an adult, he feels it is silly to worry about God and where we come from or where we are going.  I posted the following as a comment on his post, and thought I’d share it with all of you.  Consider it my testimony that God lives and loves us despite all that is wrong with the world:

    I believe that there IS a point to life, and that there is a God up there who loves us. Yes, I know that seems contradictory with all of the suffering that happens on this planet on a day-to-day basis. But that doesn’t change my belief that God knows each and every one of us by name, and that he will one day make right all that has been wrong here on earth. We are here to learn to be kind to others even when no one is being kind to us. We are here to learn to do good when there is no immediate reward, or even when we take flak for it. I don’t claim to know why infants die from malnutrition in poorer parts of the world, but I know for sure it’s not because they “deserved” it, and I believe God will make up for their innocent suffering on the other side. God ultimately wants us to be happy, and if we soften our hearts and turn to him in times of distress he will hear us, and if we know how to listen we will hear his response. When it seems like he doesn’t answer our prayers and save us from hard things, it is because there is something for us to learn from it. There is no shortcut or easy way to learn and grow, we must put in the work necessary for such growth to happen. And through it all, the triumphs and the sadness, the thrills and the heartaches, God is there, watching us and rooting for us to succeed, but also allowing us to go through hard times so we may grow.

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    ipod touch musings http://heftelfamily.com/190-ipod-touch-musings/ http://heftelfamily.com/190-ipod-touch-musings/#comments Mon, 15 Jun 2009 03:11:21 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/190-ipod-touch-musings/ This is my first blog post from my iPod touch. I find that typing on the small keyboard takes longer than a normal keyboard, and the lack of tactile response makes it easier to have all sorts of weird typos. The auto-complete function works fairly well for common words and common typos, but you still have to verify that the iPod software didn’t screw you over while trying to be helpful and user-friendly. Still, the thought of posting to my blog from a handheld device is decidedly cool, and makes my inner techno-geek drool. I got bored in church today and wrote a letter to my Latvian buddy Artjom – in Cyrillic characters, from the iPod. That, I have got to admit, is cool. It even had limited auto-correct in russian! In the iPod/iPhone 3.0 software I would like to see a much better Russian dictionary for auto-complete.

    While on the topic of the iPod, I wonder why the included safari browser doesn’t allow you to download files from the web. I mean, I have an iPod that can surf the web, and I can’t download music to it from a server I own, nor can I download pictures to it unless I email them to myself. That is quite annoying!! I haven’t checked to see if I can email myself mp3s and download them to the iPod – I’ll have to try that and get back to you.

    All in all, though, the iPod touch is an incredible piece of hardware and software. I mean, it beats the computer I first learned to program on at the tender age of 11 in every aspect, from memory to processor to storage. Plus it connects to wi-fi, plays mp3s and video, has a touchscreen, and a better display than what I used to use in my games back then (I started programming games I’m mode X – 320 by 240 graphics, 256 colors). And did I mention it fits in the palm of my hand? We do indeed live in a marvelous world.

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    new things in north carolina http://heftelfamily.com/165-new-things-in-north-carolina/ http://heftelfamily.com/165-new-things-in-north-carolina/#comments Thu, 11 Jun 2009 18:41:35 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=165 Okay, I promised a new blog post about visiting Shanae’s family in North Carolina, and now it’s time to do it.  It’s been fun hanging out here, I’ve gotten to do a bunch of new things I’ve never done before.  For one, I got to eat rabbit for the first time!  And not just any rabbit:

    bunny in the front yard

    This rabbit was hopping around in the front yard until my father-in-law shot it with a bow and arrow, skinned and cleaned it, and roasted it on the grill:

    rabbit on the barbie!

    Yes, that is the same rabbit!!  I wish I could compare to my father-in-law in manliness and sheer testosterone, but I’m afraid that will never happen.  I’ll have to stick to hunting PHP/MySQL bugs in the thickets of server code.  Here is how the rabbit looked on the table:

    Roast rabbit with a garnish of parsley

    Rabbit kinda tastes like a cross between chicken and pork, with the texture of tough steak (most of the pieces were tough, and some of the pieces that came from the back cut of the rabbit were actually pretty tender).  So there you have it – I have officially eaten rabbit.

    Another new thing is I got to ride a riding lawnmower for the first time!  It felt like I was driving a zamboni!!  I’ve always wanted to drive a zamboni!!  I felt like this guy:

    Zamboni drivers are cool

    Shanae thought it was pretty funny how excited I was to drive a riding lawnmower – her family has always owned them.  I guess in Florida, push lawnmowers don’t count as “real” lawnmowers.

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    technorati profile http://heftelfamily.com/163-technorati-profile/ http://heftelfamily.com/163-technorati-profile/#comments Sun, 07 Jun 2009 22:17:38 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=163 I have a profile now at technorati, here’s the link to visit it: Technorati Profile

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    music from sand http://heftelfamily.com/124-music-from-sand/ http://heftelfamily.com/124-music-from-sand/#comments Tue, 02 Jun 2009 20:23:36 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=124 Okay, this is really cool. I stumbled on a video today of a guy who made a song entirely out of sampled recordings of sand. That’s right, he recorded sand in all sorts of ways and then used those samples to make music! Check it out on vimeo:

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    install svn on mac osx http://heftelfamily.com/117-install-svn-on-mac-osx/ http://heftelfamily.com/117-install-svn-on-mac-osx/#comments Mon, 01 Jun 2009 21:48:14 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=117 Just found a great tutorial on how to install SVN on Mac OSX – it came in handy today.

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    lds criticism http://heftelfamily.com/110-lds-criticism/ http://heftelfamily.com/110-lds-criticism/#comments Wed, 29 Apr 2009 19:42:36 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=110 I just read a very informative article about what members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are to do in response to HBO’s portrayal of our sacred temple ordinances, or really in response to any criticism of the Church: nothing.
    From the article:

    As Catholics, Jews and Muslims have known for centuries, such attention is inevitable once an institution or faith group reaches a size or prominence sufficient to attract notice. Yet Latter-day Saints – sometimes known as Mormons – still wonder whether and how they should respond when news or entertainment media insensitively trivialize or misrepresent sacred beliefs or practices.

    This is the problem – what do you do when your beliefs are criticized, put down, or otherwise blown out of proportion, without your consent and without context?

    You do what you do when a small child throws a temper tantrum to get negative attention – you ignore it.

    From the article:

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as an institution does not call for boycotts. Such a step would simply generate the kind of controversy that the media loves and in the end would increase audiences for the series. As Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder Robert D. Hales of the Council of the Twelve Apostles have both said recently, when expressing themselves in the public arena, Latter-day Saints should conduct themselves with dignity and thoughtfulness . . . There is no need to feel defensive when the Church is moving forward so rapidly. The Church’s strength is in its faithful members in 170-plus countries, and there is no evidence that extreme misrepresentations in the media that appeal only to a narrow audience have any long-term negative effect on the Church.

    There have been many criticisms of the Church in the past, and there will continue to be criticisms in the future, but the best course of action for those who truly believe is to let the truth speak for itself. We can defend ourselves and our beliefs without stooping to the level of our attackers.

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    song about hope http://heftelfamily.com/105-song-about-hope/ http://heftelfamily.com/105-song-about-hope/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2009 11:29:15 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=105
    This song expresses my faith in and my hope for humanity. It is my hope that my music can bring hope and a little more brightness to a world too often darkened by cynicism, doubt, and fear. If you like it, please comment below!

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    conference quotes 09 http://heftelfamily.com/99-conference-quotes-09/ http://heftelfamily.com/99-conference-quotes-09/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2009 07:12:34 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=99 My favorite quotes from this April’s LDS General Conference:

    Elder Uchtdorf:
    It’s not merely enough to surround ourselves with symbols of our faith.  Ours is not a second-hand religion.  We cannot receive the benefit of the Gospel by merely observing what others do.  We must get off the couch and practice what we preach.

    Be of one heart and one mind in your marriage and family.

    Elder Anderson:
    God shapes the back to fit the burdens placed upon it.

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    Garden 09! http://heftelfamily.com/77-garden-09/ http://heftelfamily.com/77-garden-09/#comments Mon, 20 Apr 2009 06:28:17 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=77 Garden Schematic 09!

    Any questions?  Planting begins in May!  Woohoo!

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    flatback and leather books http://heftelfamily.com/40-bookbinding/ http://heftelfamily.com/40-bookbinding/#comments Wed, 15 Apr 2009 20:33:35 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=40

    Kawika's flatback bookKawika flatback bookKawika's Flatback Book DetailKawika's Flatbackbook Interior Detail

    This is a book I made myself in a bookbinding class with my lovely wife.  It’s a flatback book – a book with a hard spine similar to many books you may buy commercially.  I can’t believe I made something so cool!  Bookbinding is neat, but takes many hours of hard work.  The finished product is amazing, though!  Below are pictures of Shanae’s flatback book:

    Shanae's Flatback BookShanae's Flatback BookShanae's Flatbook Book Interior

    Shanae is so artistic.  She can take ordinary things and imbue them with artistry and beauty.  I am truly blessed to be at her side.  She took the already-cool book above and made a matching box for it, to keep it safe and protect it.  Here are the pictures:

    Shanae's Clamshell Box FinishedShanae's Clamshell box detailDetail of how the book fits into the boxShanae's Clamshell Box Back

    But coolest of all is her final project for this class.  She made a leather-covered book to use for quotes.  The edges of the pages are burned so they have a cool, blackened, irregular look.  She used her awesome calligraphy skills to put famous quotes on many of the interior pages.  Basically this book rocks:

    Shanae's Leather Book CoverShanae's Leather Book CoverInside PagesLeather Book Quote

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    kai’s second birthday http://heftelfamily.com/28-kais-second-birthday/ http://heftelfamily.com/28-kais-second-birthday/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2009 08:43:28 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=28 kai-w-cake

    My little brother Kai just turned 2! This picture is from his birthday party, he was simply adorable. So cute!

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    creation http://heftelfamily.com/24-creation/ http://heftelfamily.com/24-creation/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2009 07:53:54 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=24 God is sitting in Heaven when a scientist says to Him, “Lord, we don’t need you anymore. Science has finally figured out a way to create life out of nothing. In other words, we can now do what you did in the ‘beginning’.”

    “Oh, is that so? Tell me…” replies God.

    “Well”, says the scientist, “we can take dirt and form it into the likeness of you and breathe life into it, thus creating man.”

    “Well, that’s interesting. Show me.”

    So the scientist bends down to the earth and starts to mold the soil.

    “Oh no, no, no.” interrupts God.

    (I love this…)

    “Get your own dirt.”

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    dogs are better http://heftelfamily.com/11-dogs-are-better/ http://heftelfamily.com/11-dogs-are-better/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2009 06:10:51 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=11 Excerpts from a Dog’s Diary…

    8:00  am – Dog food! My favorite thing!
    9:30 am – A car ride! My favorite thing!
    9:40 am – A walk in the park! My favorite  thing!
    10:30 am – Got rubbed and petted! My favorite  thing!
    12:00 pm – Lunch! My favorite thing!
    1:00  pm – Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
    3:00 pm – Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
    5:00 pm – Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
    7:00 pm – Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
    8:00 pm – Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
    11:00 pm – Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

    Excerpts from a Cat’s Diary…

    Day  983 of my captivity …

    My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.  They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates  and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

    Although I make my contempt for the rations  perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

    The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of  escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the  carpet.  Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless  body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since  it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a ‘good little hunter’ I am.  S—!

    There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices  tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of ‘allergies’. I must learn what this means  and how to use it to my advantage.

    Today I was almost  successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around  his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow — but at the top of  the stairs.

    I am convinced that the other prisoners here are  flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released – and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously short of  his mental capacities.

    The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe.

    For now…

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    atheist holy day http://heftelfamily.com/3-florida-court-sets-atheist-holy-day/ http://heftelfamily.com/3-florida-court-sets-atheist-holy-day/#comments Mon, 13 Apr 2009 05:44:21 +0000 Kawika Heftel http://heftelfamily.com/?p=3 In Florida, an atheist created a case against the upcoming Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians, Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days.

    The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring,”Case dismissed!”

    The lawyer immediately stood objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, how can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my Client and all other atheists have no such holidays.”

    The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.”

    The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.”

    The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fools Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned.

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