Box Center Episode 2010-05 – Third Time Is The Charm!

Third time is officially the charm.  I am currently listening to the re-re-uploaded podcast episode in my web browser and the interview is all there.
This time, I re-exported the original interview audio from my Skype call recorder (Powergramo), then ran the unedited .WAV file through The Levelator, a free program from The Conversations Network designed to level out the audio from phone interviews.  I then edited the .WAV file and inserted it in place of the old interview audio in the podcast using Audacity.  After exporting the episode to .MP3 format and uploading the file to the server, it’s ready for you to download yet again.
Here’s the link:

Episode 2010-05 Audio Issues Update #2

All right, I’ve had more listeners inform me that the interview section of the podcast is silent.  I’ll have to re-edit and re-post.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to do so until I get home from Medina Community Band rehearsal tonight.  I might even have to hold off until tomorrow after work.

Rest assured, though, there WILL be a working podcast available for your listening pleasure as soon as I can get it out there.

Audio Issues With 2010-05

I’ve received a couple reports of audio issues with the latest Box Center podcast (2010-05). One listener reported that the audio cut in and out, while another said that the audio disappeared once the interview started.

If YOU have experienced audio issues with this episode, please let me know.  You can use any of the contact methods listed in the show notes from the episode, which I’ll list below:

Contact Information

Thanks for any of the feedback I receive.

Box Center Episode 2010-05 – Randy Blackburn Interview

Download the show here

Discuss the show here

We Seem To Have Gotten A Little Snow…

Can you guess what I’ve taken a picture of?

Here’s a hint – that green thing sticking out of the snow in front of the road is our mailbox.

Good thing we own a snow blower. I’d hate to have to shovel all of that snow.

I can only imagine how much D.C. and the Mid-Atlantic got. I’m definitely not complaining.

Gina Trapani – Control Your Email Inbox with Three Folders

Gina Trapani, one of the hosts of This Week in Google, founding editor of the website Lifehacker and publisher of, presents a very simple and effective method of keeping your email inbox organized and empty, no matter how many emails you get.

The Fair Elections Now Act

For the second time since I started this site, I’ve felt compelled to write my congressmen about what I feel is a very important issue.

About two weeks ago, the Supreme Court handed down a decision in the case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. The case focused on the constitutionality of limiting corporations’ independent spending during campaigns for the Presidency and Congress.  In a 5-4 decision, the court essentially removed any restrictions on corporations and campaign spending.  What this means is that our voices as voting American citizens will be drowned out by large corporations with deep pocketbooks who want to see THEIR candidate in office. Our votes now count for much less than ever before.

I, like many others, feel this is unacceptable.

Harvard Professor of Law Lawrence Lessig has started an online petition called Change Congress in support of the Fair Elections Now Act.  The basics of the bill would allow federal candidates to choose to run for office without relying on large contributions, big money bundlers, or donations from lobbyists, and would be freed from the constant fundraising in order to focus on what people in their communities want.

Today, I had the opportunity to send an email to John Boccieri (D), George Voinovich (R), and Sherrod Brown (D), my representatives in Congress, to ask them to support the Fair Elections Now Act.  Here is what I wrote:

My voice should count as much as any other voter during the elections. With the recent decision by the Supreme Court, however, I feel that the power of my voice is now directly proportional to the size of my checkbook. To me, this flies in the face of everything the Founding Fathers stood for so long ago.

There is a way to fix this problem: the Fair Elections Now Act.

You have the ability to remind this country what a democratic republic is and how it is supposed to work. You have the ability to renew the faith of the American people in you and Congress. You have the ability to make things right.

Please do so. Thank you.

Please research the court decision and the House and Senate bills which have been introduced in response to the decision.  If you feel like I do, let your voice be heard. Don’t let our democratic republic be taken away from us.

My iPhone Experiment Wrap-Up

It’s the end of January, so it’s time for me to bring my iPhone experiment to a close.  Let’s see how I did.

For the most part, I found almost everything I needed to work exclusively from my phone. Here’s a list of what I wanted to do and what apps I found to do them with:

Posting to the website – WordPress app
Tracking my finances – PocketMoney
Twitter – TwitBird Pro
Facebook – Facebook app
MySpace – MySpace app
LinkedIn – LinkedIn app
Downloading and listening to podcasts – RSS Player
Weather – AccuWeather
Accessing my Dropbox account – Dropbox app
Controlling my computer’s iTunes – Remote
Managing my web logins – LastPass
Voice over IP – Skype
Grocery shopping – Grocery Gadget
Task management – Toodledo
Notes – Evernote
Streaming audio, music – Slacker Radio
Streaming audio, talk – TWiT
Managing my bank accounts – Chase
Managing my cell phone account – AT&T myWireless
Audio recording – iTalk Lite
Streaming video – UStream Viewer
Ordering dinner – Chipotle
Follow the Australian Open – 2010 Australian Open app
Drum corps related apps – iLike Phantom Regiment,  Drum Corps Europe News

As you can see, there’s a few apps I haven’t reviewed yet.  I’ll be posting those as soon as I can, hopefully today.  Also, there’s a few areas which I haven’t downloaded apps for, but hope to in the future.  Those are:

Instant messaging
Document editing
Digital wallet

I have a pretty good idea of which apps I’ll get to fill those needs, but I won’t post those until I’ve downloaded and used the apps in question.

Overall, I was able to use my iPhone to do whatever I needed to do most of the time.  There were a few times, such as updating the Drum Corps Planet front page, where I had to use my computer, as Joomla 1.0’s editor isn’t compatible with the iPhone Mobile Safari web browser.  There is an iPhone app and corresponding site plug-in for Joomla 1.5, which I have conveniently sent to DCP’s publisher, so that’s a possible fix for that particular issue.  Overall, while it isn’t the most convenient way to do things, both for personal and work purposes, I feel it is possible use your iPhone as your primary device.  That being the case, imagine how easy it would be to do all of this with an iPad, which uses almost all of the same applications as the iPhone, but with a larger screen.

If you’d like to see all of the article I’ve written this experiment, you can do so by going to the menu bar at the top of this page, holding your mouse over the Technology item, then choosing the iPhone option in the drop down menu that appears.  You can also click this link here. I will be creating a separate sub-category for all of the My iPhone Experiment articles so they are self-contained from other iPhone-related articles I write.

If you have any feedback for any of the articles I’ve written, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the article in question.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have and would love to read your thoughts on my writing and the site.