There was no solution found today and this evening with Apple for the inability to bounce a project to my internal or external hard drives with Logic Express 8.
At the Apple Store, a creative and technical person both suggested creating a new account to see if it would work and the problem continued.
Reinstalling the program twice this evening and removing certain files from the Library did not work with an Apple Software Support Specialist on the phone.
Since another erase and install would make my third one in less than a year, I have decided to forego doing another one at this time.
I will transfer the files or create a MP3 through other means and wait until a Macbook Pro or iMac purchase takes place in early 2008 before erasing and installing Tiger again during the holiday season.
I still thank everyone for their help, concern, and suggestions.
One interesting tidbit that was discovered on the phone with Apple this evening is that the earlier version of LE did not have to be reinstalled in order to get LE 8 on the system. All that was needed was the LE 8 upgrade DVD itself. With a PC, earlier versions typically have to be installed first before the latest version of a program can be used.
This will be a time-saver going forward within itself!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Friday, November 23, 2007
On this past Monday night, I discovered a video podcast entitled "The Weakest Beat" on Podshow.com. What made this discovery so cool is that I got it to work via Tivo first. I did not run across the show on the web.
On the show that lasts probably no more than 10 minutes, a music producer is shown a photograph and given two (2) hours to produce a song that matches the photo.
The host then talks to the producer about what they saw within the photo and how they were inspired to produce the song.
Two hours is clearly not a lot of time for most music perfectionists but one major benefit that the reduced time frame does provide is a single-minded focus and clarity that most music producers (including myself) pray for.
Being that the show appeared to be produced in or around Oakland, California and not with national correspondents, it dawned on me to try my hand at using visual photographs for musical inspiration since we were traveling out of state to Latta, SC for Thanksgiving and I knew that my musical productivity was being restricted home in Atlanta for some reason (probably due to our routines with school drop-offs and pick ups which provides a narrow window of opportunity as well).
So I took my Black Macbook, M-Audio Trigger Finger, and M-Audio Oxygen v2 25-key USB midi controller along for the ride. My Macbook was going regardless:)
I thought that I had all that would be needed but Murphy's Law kicked in within the perfect storm to limit my experiment.
My initial goal was to produce 15 songs over the 3 day period but had to settle for less when the dial up access kept the photos on Flickr from being fully viewable in a timely fashion. 5 songs per day would have been doable but after getting stumped at the entire process of getting online (this was not my first time using my Macbook with dial up at the same house either), I gave up and worked instead from a thumbnail photo of Chicago taken by a Twitter friend during her recent visit there while she was driving. Having traveled to Chicago in 1996, I knew how the vibe should feel and worked from there.
The song created is a medium to slow tempo hip hop jazzy ditty named "Windy City". At 95 BPM (beats per minute), I used only the instruments within Logic Express 8 without any loops or preset tracks.
During the 4.5 hours of travel time from Mableton, GA to Latta, SC, I listened to XM Radio. Using what I heard as a class in structure and music theory and as a result of my musical growth, I wanted to simplify my music composition style versus having too many parts within my songs. But I wanted to use point and counterpoint equally well for balance and creativity.
Chicago has a sophisticated vibe within everything except for my Chicago Bears this year. Other than kick off returns, it is a rebuilding year:) So the groove had to have a sense of style, class, and a clever nuance of elitism.
Near the end of producing the various tracks, I ran across an instrument entitled Atmospheric and lo and behold, it sounds just like the wind while soaring in a plane. This sound was the icing needed.
Upon playing the song for my family, they did not know what the sound was supposed to be and heard it as noise instead. So I lowered the volume on this track of the wind and the song fell into the pocket nicely.
The pizzicato on the violins and a spacey delay on a piano team up to square off against an electric guitar for anyone needing a rock star experience:)
Then while moving a section to a different place within the song, I moved it to the wrong instrument which played it as an instrument I am getting a huge mental block on the name now but it is like an octave curtain of small wind chimes.
The pattern can be heard near the end of the song and I learned that musical mistakes can sound better than intentional thoughts at times, so I flowed with my mistake and accepted it as divine intervention:)
I believe that "Windy City" was initially created on either Tuesday evening and fully completed by Wednesday afternoon.
I tried again on Wednesday to get my connectivity issues behind me and they remained. But I saved the thumbnails to my hard drive and proceeded to create more music.
One thought that is coming to my mind now is that the second photographer actually lives in Chicago and I totally love her photos of food and believe that she can seriously cook. I have never seen food photograph so well:)
While scanning through her photos, I ran across a photo of a cat on a bed with its belly exposed. We have similar photos of our pets, but this photo clearly had a cat that was not startled or surprised in any way.
A favorite song of mine entitled "Don't Disturb This Groove" by The System popped in my head as what the cat was saying to the photographer. I had the necessary vibe as a result and started with a simple piano part to say the words of the title.
More pizzicato violins were thrown in and I think that the same instrumentation set up was used from the previous song.
I found a nice snare-hand clap combo to match with a kick drum and stumbled on a sensual, minimalistic vibe that producers Tim & Bob created for singers Brian McKnight, Deitrick Haddon, and Joe separately.
A simple, descending chord progression quickly fell into my hands and the song took a cohesive life of its own. The bass line was kept to a bare minimum as well.
Somehow the song was missing a lower end anchor and I played the same progression on an electric piano as was played on strings. Then a nice and airy choir vocal instrument was added to play off the chord progression.
After adding an acoustic guitar to pull on the heartstrings and reducing the number of time a motif was played on alto sax, a gentle breeze of a vibe was created.
The final result is a track entitled "This Groove Is Mine" which has a vibe that I felt when I traveled earlier this year to Jersey City and stayed at the Hyatt Riverside which was my first experience with the Hyatt chain. The best keyword that describes my experience is PLUSH.
The groove is so plush that you can consume it either alone or with a loved one:)
The track alone has a chilled groove that says upscale in every way and the track would make a nice musical presentation within a commercial expressing an upscale and sophisticated lifestyle.
The hotel was playing similar music within the atrium and dining area. With the view of Manhattan and Hudson River, I remember being in the city of my birth (Jersey City) near Wall Street and feeling that I made it career wise. "This Groove Is Mine" is going to be an affirmation to myself musically as I write these words. No matter what happens or what others may say, you need to feel a vibe that lets you know that everything is going to be alright and you can make it with or without those who feel they hold the keys to your destiny.
You are not defined by what you do as much as you are defined by what you believe. The amazing thing is that a photo of a cat on a bed drove this point home to me on another level:)
The third song is one that I view as largely experimental, funky, and avant garde at the same time just as much as it is hip hop with a retro feel to something that Afrika Bambaataa might do as a collaboration with Mannie Fresh:)
I found a photo of a young lady walking out of a darkened tunnel and the sunlight was hitting her face for the first time. The photographer is one of my Flickr contacts, so his photos already had caught my eyes before.
Other than a Jam Master jay scratching loop and a loop with a wicked double-time hi-hat, the song is all me. The first discovery was the spacey, delayed bass which is the foundation for the song.
The name of the song is entitled "Step Into The Light" and is the fastest song at 106 BPM that was created during this period.
As a minister who performs gospel hip hop, this fishnet (what I call my songs) is going to be a life changer. The meaning is for the listener to give their life to Christ if they have not done so already. With the funky beat that is irresistible to dancing, everyone is going to celebrate.
I actually hear this song being performed by Kirk Franklin's choir with yours truly getting a short 8 or 16 bars to spit a verse. The song may not be considered a full blown hip hop track due to the verses not being 16 bars in length on the original song as it stands now. But it could be lengthened for that type of rapper.
But it is a party song no doubt that even a marching band may play in the stands.
I could not tell the ethnicity of the lady within the photo, but I found an Indian and Middle Eastern tabla percussion kit that I feverishly twerked as a mad genius:) Yeah, I said it. Your Brother got down thanks to God indeed!!!
Even though I had the Trigger Finger available, I played the tabla part on the 25-key Oxygen2 midi controller with only 2 keys on the keyboard. I think of each instrumental part as one who would actually play the instrument in order to not do anything too crazy or unrealistic.
The bass line leads one out of darkness while there is a clavinet part that sounds like a lead guitar to provide the title motif throughout the verses.
"Step Into The Light" has a couple of breakdowns thrown in for added surprise and to build intensity. I just heard a tom tom roll I added to not leave the percussion too dry.
The thought has just hit me to add the photos used to this blog even though I may just link the photos to the song titles. As soon as I get the MP3s created, I will upload them to my Seed Of Life Records' page on MySpace.
Finally, I created a new group on Flickr entitled FlickrBeats to see and hear others use the same process to create music. It may even inspire someone to shoot photographs for the purpose of inspiring music. The double helix effect should work wonders and create bridges musically, culturally, and internationally.
If the process of creating FlickrBeats inspires you, then join the group and get in where you fit in!
I truly enjoyed the experience although I did not handcuff myself to 2 hours for each song!
Thanks goes out to "The Weakest Beat" for your fine example! A special thanks goes out to the 3 photographers that shared their vision that expanded my musical vision!
Monday, November 19, 2007
E*Trade Financial's (ETFC) stock took a "my name is Kunta" beating last week after Citigroup ( C) research investment analyst Prashant Bhatia had downgraded the stock.
I am not an investment analyst or an employee of ETFC any longer (exactly on the afternoon of the 50 basis Federal Reserve cut of all days-September 18th) and have nothing on the line either way but within my own opinion, I smell a "knock down the price and let's buy them cheap" move on the table.
Big fish devouring the little fish is what I am beginning to detect for some reason.
Now today Goldman Sachs (GS) kicks the chair out from under Citigroup while they were demonstrating how ETFC's demise might look to financial CSI types. Poetry in motion I say:)
If this is not a "Kill Bill" stand off in progress, then show me the door:)
Charles Gasparino is one financial reporter whose insights I trust almost blindly and his book "Blood on the Street" gave me a red pill on Wall Street wholesale, but the conspiracy theorist in me is seeing the string theory connect the dots like a room sweep flashback at the end of Mission Impossible. Why is everyone so quick to assume that it could not be a possibility in the wake of the financial service industry having to supposedly separate research analysts from investment banking activities?
Of course it would be premature to fully accuse C or Bhatia of intentionally doing this, but game recognizes game and real recognizes real and C is not looking too admirable right now especially with former C CEO Prince falling on his own sword honorably (wink, wink).
I am not going on a hunting or fishing trip with anybody in this climate:) Any such requests are being turned down just as the numerous job offers from Nigeria, staff of disposed dictators, and to process orders for art dealers in the UK. Strings are being pulled somewhere for somebody.
The downturn appears to be a scenario where "I hope you die before I do to distract the attention from my own misfortune". Cramer may have this one right after all.
The best thing that everyone can do is to take a grain of salt with any analyst's upgrades or downgrades until February at a minimum.
No one has to the fortitude to downgrade GS or challenge them honorably at the present time. Does GS have a bone to pick or are they looking for a discount? It does not matter since they have been doing so many things so right for so long, it would be welcomed if they were:)
I studied the financial supermarket concept in graduate school for my MBA in finance and it was a lofty idea back then in the mid 90s. But the execution of the idea has fallen short consistently.
Every company that I have worked for within the financial services industry has not gotten it right either. American Express (AXP) divested of its financial advisory division which is now named Ameriprise ( AMP). The only place where the consolidation of functions appear to be working is actually after an industry divestiture has taken place--the telecommunications industry.
After the US Department of Justice broke up Ma Bell (T) in 1984, time has revealed that the dry bones have been reconnected and a child (formerly known as SBC Communications) has grown up to consume the parent (bigger fish) through acquisitions.
Corporate philosophy and leadership are at an all time low right now. Too many companies are demonstrating that they do not know how to make money in hard times and the economy is paying the price through the wallets of the middle class. A hedge fund full of quants cannot save every company at the same time and although forex is a gravy train right now (even investing guru Warren Buffett has the Kool-Aid on his lips and tongue), corporate America is already busy forming a new bubble within foreign currency exchange from their long-term investments there.
Only after a system has been declared a failure has there traditionally been a restructuring and opportunity for new minds to be recognized and come to the table for implementation.
The AT&T that I worked in the early 90s undeniably failed just as those with a financial supermarket offering are doing so now.
I am not saying that the idea will never work, but clearly it will not work with the current personnel at the helm of these companies. The solution will only come from external sources or those not at the table when the current strategies were considered the right thing to do.
One significant problem that I saw at pre-AMP is that the card carrying customers being called on repeatedly for a formal introduction to the financial advisory side of AXP at the request of managers and supervisors simply had a psycho-graphic composition totally different from what the marketing department thought they did. They were interested within the exclusivity and benefits of membership of the AMEX cards but not within investing.
Linking mentally (somehow as a great idea to an unnamed corporate John or Jane Doe) these customers' credit scores with their investing inclinations had the same effectiveness and was at the same level of doing a hardcore substance-abuse intervention for toddlers:) I kid you not!!! No one even looked at the advisor attrition levels to identify this as an input to my knowledge.
No one at pre-AMP had a clue of a suitable customer profile on any level (I asked repeatedly before taking things into my own hands) and as far as I can tell, the same is still happening there and is more prevalent than these all-in-one-stop companies would dare to imagine.
Anyone within any company that is being told to cross-sell and up-sell existing clientèle should begin to recognize the fallacy of this marketing myth.
You may ask what I am going to do as a result and I am glad that you have done so:) First, I am going to continue the implementation of a long-term proprietary strategy launched in the aftermath of my latest employment transition (nice way of saying that you will have to see my fruit since my seeds are more secure than VP Cheney's assets--LOL:) Secondly: since history has a fondness for repeating itself, I am going to keep my eyes open for the next SBC-type company that springs up within the financial services industry. I missed it last time due to working for the Death Star (as T was called back then in some corners).
Being outside the system is the only hope since the Kool-Aid has to be loyally consumed with every direct deposit.
Even since being terminated from my last employer, I still cannot get my jaw out of the divot from the mindset running rampant at the wholesale and retail levels within the supermarket segment of any industry pre-paradigm shift.
But I do know one thing that will absolutely never fail in my analysis of it all: the management severance packages and golden parachutes are being kept safely and securely by personnel dressed as the old Intel shiny suit commercials appeared. Maybe Diddy and Ma$e will auction their form of the shiny clean-suits:)
By choice and by force, no executive is fighting to stay in control in lieu of taking the big payday and running with it:) Their mamas did not raise any fools on that level!
May God help us all that are not as fortunate in our placement on the pyramid organizational charts.
Maybe the three-card Monty of network marketing may not look so bad after all when compared to this. LOL:) Surely I jest for the record.
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:00 PM
Sunday, November 18, 2007
This evening I saw on Tivo an old school episode of "Soul Train" that had BT Express on it.
Playing keyboard was a young Kashif.
I never knew his given name Mike Jones until today and believe that I remember reading that he had a conversion of religion that gave him the name Kashif.
He is one of my favorite music teachers although from a distance:)
I do not know what Kashif as a name stands for, but Kashif had written a book and given seminars on the music industry for years.
I think that I also remember being on a mailing list or newsgroup for him years ago as well.
The songs that BT Express performed clearly had a train theme within the music and nice structure.
Keep doing your thing "Brooklyn Boy" and thanks for the inspiration!
Friday, November 16, 2007
I got a hair cut today which is not unusual but while my barber was cutting my hair, another barber who is moving to the area from out of town came into the shop. What made their interaction strike a chord within me I cannot determine yet but clearly as a result, two networks were created tonight to see what can possibly develop from the network of customers who get their hair cut at a regular barber shop of choice or upon visiting a new one.
I guess the idea was already within me for some time since I had mentioned to several barbers over the years that they should look to network their customers. This thought may have had too much risk for them due to their reputations going on the line for someone looking to get over on someone, but it happens anyway with or without the barbers involvement.
So why not take the bull by the horns and keep the ball in your court or at least have some online method to cast your support or disapproval consistently.
As a result the Barber Shop Network and Beauty Salon Network were created tonight on Ning which is a great web 2.0 platform.
I will readily admit that the names are not high tech or high definition, but at least you do not have to wonder what they are about:)
Barbers, hair stylists, and shop owners will have the opportunity to create their own networks within the network as well. It may become a Bronner Brothers Hair Show online or something since videos, audio, photos, and pretty much any type of digital content can be shared there.
So check these networks out and let's see where the technology and networks take us!
Thursday, November 08, 2007
After reading this article reported by the Associated Press, the most unusual request by Sen. Grassley (R-Iowa) begins to make sense.
He is essentially investigating anyone directly associated with Oral Roberts University (ORU) it appears as well as their ministerial relationships to other pastors and church leaders. Three ORU board members out of the 6 ministries that received the senator's request for more information were named in his investigation.
There is an unworthy guilt by association and I suspect that this investigation will continue and go through several degrees of separation nationwide.
The development also goes to show the prudence and discretion needed to serve on a board of directors as well.
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Immediately upon hearing the news about a request for operational and financial information from Iowa US Senator Chuck Grassley to 6 different international ministries, my reaction is that something is rotten not only in Denmark, but within Congress particularly from Iowa as well.
This is clearly the misdirected and asleep-at-the-wheel patriarchal hand of the USA at work directing people not only where they should give their money, but what constitutes their faith. The single request will have long-term ramifications and repercussions as well regardless of the short-term outcome.
Forget about the falling US dollar, war and deaths in Iraq, bin Laden still running free, Katrina victims, wildfire victims, and pending recession, Sen. Grassley is looking to earn brownie points somehow somewhere. He immediately raises the quote "You're doing a heck of a job Brownie" to another level.
Even without taking the time to put his political career on the witness stand, his request opens a door that will not bode well for Republicans nationwide.
Is this a final kick of some sort on his part regarding his tenure in Congress? Does Sen. Grassley have too much time on his hands?
Who would he have vetted such an idea within his own party at the least? Does he really need an opponent who will be clearly well-funded now during the next election?
Or is this some time of swan song before his soon political departure that sounds worse than the Aflac duck?
There is no need for some individuals, groups, and ministries to pile on because actions such as this indicate that there is clearly going to be room for everyone to sit in Sen. Grassley's barber's chair. Every church will have to justify its own existence without reason.
The nonbelievers nationwide will drink this Kool-Aid and rush to his side as fools often do. Be careful of what you ask for because you just might get it!
The White House had better pull on his coattail on this situation and give him room to start his own post-Senate nonprofit organization that serves as a watchdog group if that is his pleasure.
His request is not about federal grants or primarily actions taking place domestically since a part of his request to Joyce Meyer Ministries had to do with their international crusades.
His own fellow Iowa residents will not be suitably served through Sen. Grassley's actions either regardless of what their state reputation may have been before. Grassley's actions stains the entire state not with grass either:)
Even within the worst case scenario of financial impropriety by any of the ministries, Sen. Grassley's actions would have been better served if someone other than a member of the US legislative branch carried it out or started it. He needs to re-enroll into political science 101 or give up his seat in Congress more gracefully than the bathroom patrolling congressman.
This is the second most worst-than-amateur demonstration of politics after the chain of events which led to the war in Iraq.
Cheney, get your boy before he pulls down the heirloom china off the coffee table!
This fiasco is not about Sen. Grassley as much it is a pimp slap at the entire experiment known as the United States of America.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
I just finished viewing the Leopard Guided Tour and am pleasantly surprised with the upgrades within the operating system.
Apple retail stores will open at 6 a.m. until 10 p.m. tomorrow and t-shirts will be given away to the first 500 people. Since I am dropping off my youngest daughter in the morning to pre-k not too far away from the store whose grand opening I attended, I may swing by to pick one up if they do not run out by that time.
My initial plan was not to upgrade right away just in case there are any bugs discovered but after seeing the video, there is a new itch that I am going to fight for at least a week:)
Some of the upgrades are so dynamic in nature while not being too complex for anyone to understand. It makes getting a Mac much easier and desirable.
One of the biggest strategies employed by Apple appears to make the Leopard upgrade its own network just like faxes were when they were first made available for public purchase.
Every Leopard user is going to become an instant evangelist for the new operating system since there are many features that are based upon at least two users both using Leopard.
Sharing desktops is something that you would only trust to a well versed technically literate friend before, and nothing appears to place your Mac in danger since you keep full view of everything taking place.
Collaboration is going to take prime advantage of Leopard as a result and iChat is going to be one application often used far more than it currently may be.
I also become more impressed with the upgrade made to the Mail program since I only used it with my .Mac account. After seeing the templates that I never looked for before if they were available, I can easily see myself using Mail more than before.
I would like to keep the emails remotely versus my Macbook though. Gmail absorbed this function and relieved my hard drives and I never wish to store e-mail locally again.
There were features called Cover Flow and Quick Look that worked very similar in the way you can browse album artwork within iTunes. They were very smooth. But you can virtually view any file created without having to open the application that created the file itself. This feature allows a ton of time to be saved and speed to be introduced for users.
I will probably buy Leopard from Amazon at a lower price and look to find which Mac buddy has it afterwards just to check out the advanced collaboration features out of curiosity.
So if you have a .Mac account just look for me at my first and last name Roney Smith.
Congratulations Apple and you have done it again!
Posted by Roney Smith at 7:46 PM
Mableton, GA is within southern Cobb County and many gale force winds come from the direction the camera is pointing within.
The area where we live is almost like a ridge before the elevation falls as you head southeastward towards Atlanta 15 to 20 minutes away.
Posted by Roney Smith at 5:16 PM
I snapped this with my phone and the sun looks almost like an eye.
The glare was so bright that it was more of a point and shoot versus a look and shoot:)
One more photo to upload and share!
Posted by Roney Smith at 5:13 PM
Saturday, October 20, 2007
After this episode, hopefully the Babes in Christ most of all will sit up and pay closer attention going forward.
I have never read or watched anything related to the Harry Potter series of stories and characters and the author's recent revelation that one of the central characters being a homosexual is no surprise to me.
Clearly I was and still am more upset with those within the Church that lapped up the movie tickets, memorabilia, and anything associated with the author's work.
The unsaved world will never have its eyes opened spiritually with the wisdom of God and those who are saved and called according to God's purpose had to actively overlook or disregard the overt associations with the kingdom of darkness in order to accept the consumption of such material as acceptible.
Step back to altar and ask God's forgiveness in this matter if you consumed the ungodly as it relates to Harry Potter.
It is already stated that there will be deception in the world strong enough to deceive the very elect if we are not careful. There were more than enough red flags on this topic.
There will be no further appeals necessary within this case either. The case is indeed already closed and buried.
Friday, October 19, 2007
My vote currently is neutral and I would not recommend any viewing or dissuade someone from watching the channel.
The undeniable NY theme is almost too restrictive and suffocating and I watched multiple programs on the network over a couple of hours.
I rather see regional correspondents, web cam tie-ins, or some other people in the field and throughout the nation to avoid the incestuous, homogeneous, and non-diversified reporting, pundit commentary, and analysis.
Were the words incestuous, homogeneous, and non-diversified redundant enough for you? Now you know how I felt watching the cookie cutter panelists and opinion dealers:(
Having worked in the financial services industry and traveled to Wall Street, Times Square, and other tourist and financial district sites in the Manhattan-Jersey City area (JC is my birthplace BTW), there has to be more business on-air talent than appears on all of the business networks and programming.
Clearly there also has to be more diversity than what I am seeing.
But after viewing enough of the commercials on FBN and CNBC, one can come away with the perspective that diversity in business reporting is not highly desirable after all.
Hmmmmm. Opportunity knocking? I may have to revisit this later and see if more energy and resources are available to tackle the issue.
FBN or Fox 5 Atlanta reading? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment.
I will give the new network several more glances to check if movement beyond the current point in the learning curve takes place.
Posted by Roney Smith at 11:31 PM
The official Unklejam website is located at:
The first CD is scheduled for release this coming Tuesday, October 22nd.
The band is all over the internet on MySpace, Flickr, Bebo, and YouTube, so check them out as soon as you get a chance.
I sent a message to the Tonex group that I started years ago that I thought one band member's moves reminded me of gospel artist Tonex's dance steps:)
You will not regret it if you love the funk, the whole funk, and nothing but the funk!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Earlier this morning, I was "drafted" by my wife to volunteer at our oldest daughter Rachel's school.
Volunteering did not scare me since I was a former high school teacher of grades 9-12, a youth pastor and minister since 1996, a stockbroker with some the richest customers or deadbeat-foul-mood-because-my-buddy-told-me-a-bum-stock-tip-that-took-all-my-money-after-I-bought-it people that anyone will ever meet:)
Everything went as my wife indicated that it would but when I arrived in the classroom, I knew that rubber was going to meet the road in a 21st century way that I had never experienced before as a student or teacher.
The classroom was divided into smaller groups of 4 students on average. My daughter attends a new charter school within our county by the way.
The smaller groups instantly had an advantage over other educational philosophies in that each student could receive special attention at a faster rate than having a single classroom mass of students.
But the smaller groups also have a dual-edge in that if the student wants to drift off mentally or has problems with learning, the tasks at which the group does not receive hands on instruction will find the student driving off a cliff without any chance of hitting a guard rail or safety net.
As a former teacher, I had a learning curve in that the groups were rotating faster than I thought they should but I later realized that it was for the better.
In today's culture, I now believe that the gaming world, entertainment companies, and education institutions had better get married shotgun-style if American youth will have a chance globally. The attention span of American society today requires that the small groups change tasks faster than they would when my deceased mother taught school or when I was a teacher or student.
Only a three-way marriage is going to give the masses an opportunity to not appear in printed documents posted within post offices or facing three strikes nationwide.
It is now clear to me that even a charter school will not be able to save some who have not been adequately prepared at home intentionally or unconsciously.
I was assisting first graders with the task of locating vocabulary words within a dictionary and categorizing the words as nouns of either people, places, things or animals, or verb (not a noun).
Some words may have been both a noun and verb and a few words did not actually appear within the dictionary being used.
The first group assisted were already working when I got there. Almost immediately, I found one young girl to be as equally a drama queen as my own girls whenever things were not flowing her way.
I almost thought it was a ploy to get more attention. But wait, it was:)
The bell or beep to change tables and move to a new task came faster than I realized. I kept wondering if they were going to have to leave the classroom for some reason.
Then it hit me like lightning during the second group I was assisting.
One young man came to the table without any tools as the other kids had, appeared to not have been present the previous day, and sat down in a position to watch the computer monitors of kids who were working in another group even though he could not hear the sounds they heard through headphones they were wearing.
The gentle way but slightly mocking tone another young boy spoke about him let me know that the first kid was not going to get the star for the day.
3 of the 4 students rapidly jumped in to locating words while the unfocused kid found other worlds to dwell within.
So I moved beside him and squatted down to get on everyone's level of eyesight and more doors started opening up.
Although I had heard it during the first group, I was surprised to see the children more focused on what page a word could be found versus knowing how to locate the words within the dictionary. Working together in groups is one thing, but not knowing the process involved is weakness that subverts the teamwork.
The fight to get them to not call out the page numbers was gentle and nonviolent but highly irritating at the same time.
Since the young kid was more focused on the computer monitors I asked everyone the question, "How many of you have played video games before?" Everyone said yes or raised their hands.
I then explained to them that looking up words within a dictionary was just like playing a video game and counting at the same time.
I confirmed that everyone knew how to count from one to ten. I then asked them "How many letters are in the alphabet?" The fork in the road was then reached at warp-nine light speed.
The kids who were bright and appeared in tune with everything kept calling out numbers either too high or too low. Upon each recount, they reached a higher number surprisingly.
It was the unfocused kid who changed positions away from looking at the computer monitors and made the 180 degree turn that stunned me.
He simply and calmly counted the letters of the alphabet and gave me the correct answer on his first reply.
"26!" was his answer and the rest of the kids even within the other sections did not get it right on their first attempt.
I then explained that they had a code of 26 letters that they had to use just like numbers in order to locate the words by using the beginning letters of each word.
From this point on, those who used the system would find the words quickly and easily while those who focused on the page numbers spent more time starting over and wasting time.
But the correct answer did not sustain the kid and he went right back to looking at the monitors as he had done before.
I stayed beside him and kept asking him about the letters within the words. He understood the logic involved but would not get to second base of actually looking for the words.
The sessions continued without any further difficulties and by the time the last group reached me, I was back in rare teaching form.
One of the best things about today was that the comfort zone of only dealing with my own daughters was broken and meeting and working with kids other than your own will keep you more in tune with your own children and you will see some of the nuances that your own kids pick up while attending school.
The time went into fun zone and I really enjoyed it.
But the unfocused kid made me realize some things that I rather not have witnessed but now realize that I can help others like him who have grown up and attending college may not be a workable goal for them.
The kid made me realize that only through a video game or logical flowchart of a video game will American citizens regain the leadership in the quality of life.
Other countries have the lower health standards, higher crime levels and threats of violent wars, but America will slide into the same pits if the inequalities between the haves and have nots continue to multiply.
The creativity involved in creating a video game will capture and motivate youth and young adults above and beyond the criminal lifestyles that pop media is decaying into.
The criminal lifestyle appeared to be within this kid's future but we can flip his script early enough to keep him off that path. I later thought to myself that the kid clearly has a future of being either Forrest Gump, Nino Brown, or the beautiful mind of a hedge fund quant if he can be reached. Otherwise, somebody better get a football in his hands and show him a three-point position:)
But back to the breakthrough and turnaround.
People who have taken the paths of dirty money can and will finally see that they can lower their risks of being separated from their families and friends or the threat of being incarcerated if they begin to learn some simple, life-sustainable skills in how to earn clean money that can be taught to their circles of influence and descendants.
It still amazes me that rapper and music mogul Jay-Z and even deceased Biggie have been credited with the ability of not having to write down their lyrics before recording them. This feat is nothing short of Shakespeare or Einstein in my opinion.
Clearly the skill has the seeds of mathematical finesse only commonly found within financial centers around the world.
Today's youth can turn the country around by learning these skills.
The primary downside or threat that I see is that without the proper guidance and selection of worthy values and moral compasses, earning generational wealth of such magnitude will more rapidly destroy them or be simply in vain.
My calling that was confirmed today is that I know how to share both requirements with them as a minister, teacher, and entrepreneur.
My 20th entrepreneurial anniversary is approaching on November 1st and with each day I am becoming more energized for this new task and the next level that it will usher in.
I realize that I have only a tip of the iceberg in skills to create such a video game. I know that through the power of God as revealed within the internet and web 2.0 world that the remaining tools can and will be discovered. I can start to compile the rest of the components that I have within my reach however.
It is indeed the dawning of brighter new world:)
So I am keeping hope alive when it comes to today's youth in spite of all the traps and negative opportunities that await them. They can and will survive!
Posted by Roney Smith at 12:14 PM
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Every now and then one will have an encounter with a company that is so far above the norm that you must take the time to tell others about how exceptional the company is and how pleasantly surprised you are at the company's response to your concerns.
Some time ago, we had purchased a pop screen for various audio recordings which keeps any hard sounds during speech and singing from distorting the audio recordings. When the pop screen was purchased was unknown to me since such a purchase never fully registers in your mind as a significant purchase.
But recently the knob that secured the pop screen had broken and could no longer be attached to a microphone stand and during my daughter's recent recording of her song , we each had to take turns in physically holding the screen while focusing on delivering quality vocals at the same time.
I went on the web and found the manufacturer Middle Atlantic Products Inc. and sent an e-mail requesting information on how to obtain a replacement knob.
After several messages were exchanged, I arrived home tonight to find a package at my front door.
Inside was not a replacement knob as anticipated, but the latest version of their pop screen that the company manufactures.
All I can say is "WOW!!!"
As a result, I am posting this message even before replying to the sales rep to thank them since their service has been just that exceptional and far above our expectations.
This company has firmly secured a customer for life for their audio hardware and furniture equipment. My daughter will even become a customer as she grows up as well. The company is clearly a legend within our household and music business:)
I am still floored at their response and they never will have to spend any advertising dollars to get our attention. We will clearly become proactive customers and seek them out for future purchases.
Thanks Pavia and many companies and individuals can learn from your company's fine example!
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:23 PM
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The ElectricSlide.com domain is being placed on the market for sale.
The global dance with the name Electric Slide makes the domain a no brainer for its popularity.
The time given to the project was not sufficient enough to capitalize on the multi-sensory domain name since it works for music, motion, and information.
The domain has a built in market and has produced royalties consistently since the domain was obtained in 2000.
The domain should easily work for any music related project or company.
If you have a sensible offer, please send it to:
Part of the proceeds will benefit a nonprofit agency fighting domestic violence in honor of my late mother.
Posted by Roney Smith at 6:39 PM
Today my 7 year old daughter Rachel and I recorded her song entitled "Trick or Treat". I thought that it was her first song, but it is actually her second after we composed an avant garde tune entitled "Spaceship".
It is the scariest seasonal song since "Thriller".
Check it out on MySpace at:
We took the photo above after we finished the song which is represented by Seed Of Life Music via BMI. The track should appear available for purchase below within 24 hours.
Monday, September 24, 2007
The nation is receiving the news of violent crime growth throughout the nation.
The news does not surprise me in that the trickle down theory of Reaganomics has consistently failed the have-nots time and time again and the absence of wealth and increase in violent propanganda have driven the numbers higher.
Whenever wealth is promoted through the mass media and yet somehow remains out the hands of the masses, you will have people killing one another in the streets to get their piece of the pie. Others will do the same through white-collar crimes.
Whenever the financial prosperity flows throughout the nation as it did during the Clinton administration, you will see the demonstration of the inverse relationship between the increase of hope and the downward trend of violent crimes. But allow the wealth to be dammed up and flow to a exclusive segment of society, you will create the conditions ripe for violence.
The chart of the violent crimes reported should be superimposed over the charts for the DOW and NASDAQ and the correlation will become more evident. I am sure that there is a statistic for the amount of violent acts shown on television as well. All of these dots are connected truly.
Posted by Roney Smith at 7:07 PM
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Today I officiated a wedding at our church while our senior pastor is out of state to give the eulogy at one of his relatives' funeral.
After regaining my career independence earlier within the week, I am going to do some serious relaxing either Sunday evening or Monday. But the weekend is not over and I am midway between completely vegging out or wandering online which is not productive.
My youngest daughter Hailey is now tailgating me on every computer I get on every chance she gets.
She is micromanaging me now at this moment and although she does not know what I am writing about her, she recognizes her name on my screen.
Two desktops and three notebooks and still no peace for a Daddy:)
But peace to you!
Posted by Roney Smith at 6:34 PM
Friday, September 21, 2007
I installed the LE8 software upgrade after reinstalling my original RAM on my Macbook and have been experimenting with the different instruments this afternoon.
Needless to say that I have a nice, juicy smile on my face!
For only $99 plus tax, the new instruments cannot be beat IMO.
It feels as if the upgrade provides the previous $699 boost to the Logic Pro 7.
There is at least one instrument that I am trying to get the instruments to provide their sounds. The one with the Legend Organ and other in its chain did not provide any sound.
Any assistance is appreciated in advance.
If you have either Logic Express 6 or 7 (I had LE 7), you will thoroughly enjoy this upgrade.
Posted by Roney Smith at 5:11 PM
Saturday, September 15, 2007
The summer of 2007 is one that will go down in history as an unforgettable one and clearly one full of swift transition.
I just read Tonex's apology for the Naked Truth and his new MySpace page is located at:
The entire Naked Truth and an interview that I heard online with Wade-O sounded so uncharacteristic that forgiveness is all that is left.
Personally I had recovered from aseptic meningitis in July and it was the hands down the worst pain that I have ever felt in my life. My doctor kept warning me about "altered reality" and now I know what was meant since the entire experience gave me a totally new outlook on life and caused me to put down and drop some issues that were falsely taking too high a priority in my life.
What does any of this have to do with Tonex you may ask?
We never know in full the details that take place behind closed doors and within others and our own minds entirely. During my sickness, I was turning off lights throughout our home in thinking that I was conserving energy and money at the same time.
Only when the doctor mentioned the symptoms of the disease did I begin to understand both the avoidance of light, the super foul mood, and intolerance that was building up inside me for my own family.
I had not changed but for no other reason that I was physically sick and my sickness produced emotional and mental impairment at the same time.
I am not saying that Tonex was sick in any manner, but we know that his actions this past spring and summer reflected nothing of the person that we came to know from his first musical release in the late 90s.
Therefore his apology is enough for me.
This past Sunday I preached a sermon entitled "Since God Worked It Out, How Come We Ain't Walking It Out?" and within the message (that will be uploaded online soon) I made the statement that all of us are one banana peel away from trouble and being on the six o'clock evening news worldwide.
Just like Pastor Shirley Caesar's song, some of us are still "Next In Line".
So get ready for your banana peel, but more importantly get ready for your uprising and bouncing back.
As much as the enemy loves it when we fall, there is nothing like the look in their eyes when we get back up!
From my own song entitled "Roller Skate", we "roller skate, roller skate, fall down seven times, get up eight"!
To God be the Glory!
Posted by Roney Smith at 2:11 PM
Friday, September 14, 2007
Long-time collaborator with James Brown and original Soul Generals member himself Mr. Bobby Byrd has passed in Loganville, Georgia.
Mr. Byrd will probably be most remembered by singing the "Get on up" phrase within James Brown's hit entitled "Sex Machine". It is probably hands down my favorite James Brown song because of the passion and flare of the tag team. But Mr. Byrd had another hit which he led the vocals on a song entitled "I Know You Got Soul".
There is a clip of the song on YouTube probably, but the song alone made me buy from iTunes a CD that featured artists that worked with James Brown. The CD is a keeper and one funky CD that will start a party across time and eternity. It is one that will keep away any negative vibes.
Their raw energy and sublime passion made their music stand out on its own without the constant need for a video and promotion. Any performance on national television was a historic event that would be burned into your soul and mind immediately. Their music was so incredible that you would play the same song over and over again just to feel its repetitions of power.
It was Mr. Byrd's idea for the original group to follow Brown's talent versus keeping the Godfather of Soul in a secondary role. To his credit, Mr. Byrd clearly should not be forgotten for giving up his seat on the bus to make sure that all of us got to the destination of supreme soul power.
Rest in peace Mr. Byrd and God bless your soul.
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:59 PM
Saturday, August 11, 2007
I admit that I am an early adopter when it comes to technology and most pop culture. I had heard of Tay Zonday and his song "Chocolate Rain", but I never actually heard the song or watched the video until a few minutes ago.
The dude is no joke and has a voice and momentum that it took over 20 years to catch up within American society.
His voice is extremely deep and I actually thought that he was a 15 year old until I saw the video in motion.
The song "Chocolate Rain" was made for the 80s and the early days of MTV without a doubt.
He is actually better than some or many artists that have previously made videos.
In this era of online communications and pop culture, Tay could outsell many artists that major labels have lost money behind.
The funniest thing that I picked up on after seeing his full blown YouTube page is that he looks like Michael Jackson to some degree.
I have heard that Michael's real voice is rather deep and hearing Tay sing made me think of Darth Vader telling Luke Skywalker, "Luke, I am your father".
This would be a hoot and then some!
Regardless, I admired his singing, songwriting, and courage than many studio-only and manufactured plus well-financed celebrities thrown on the public like toxic waste!
Go ahead Tay and do your thing!
Thursday, August 09, 2007
This afternoon I bought and installed iLife '08 by Apple and it is a great improvement over the previous version.
I really love the way iPhoto was improved since it now features events which better organize photos.
I tried out GarageBand's latest version and now wonder if samples from a Jam Pack were deleted or renamed since it failed to find at least 2 loops for an existing song made before. But it has a new feature called Magic GarageBand which is almost like a video game of creating music with different instruments. It does not fully create a new song as it creates a new arrangment, but it is a time-killer for sure.
I am excited to try out iMovie since I saw how easy it will be to create movies from photos and videos already captured.
I am going to update my .Mac web page soon iWeb and after seeing Apple's CEO Steve Jobs' presentation earlier this week, I know that the new results will be awesome.
So Apple is really going to get computer users' heads to capture special family and friends moments as the school semester starts.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I just saw a music video by rapper Shaggy entitled "Church Heathen" on Yahoo! Music that you must absolutely see!
The video is clearly an indictment against false-only-on-Sunday Christians and other church pretenders.
I probably need subtitles to understand everything he was saying, but the visuals are undeniable.
The song has a beat that has clearly come from Africa and is deeply embedded within various religions that our ancestors embraced after being stolen from their homeland. I have heard the rhythm within songs by singers in South Carolina singing in a a Geechee style with only hand claps, foot stomping, and a pole to keep the beat.
Check out the video and reach your own decision!
I am still in awe of the video and give it an 8 of 10.
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:08 PM
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I am in the process of watching several videos produced by Apple for the new iPhone that will be sold this coming Friday evening at 6 p.m. nationwide within each respective time zone.
The only downside that I currently see is that AT&T is the exclusive network provider. Other than that, you really have to consume a ton of haterade in order to dislike the device.
The visual display rotates depending on how you hold it and it offers the same website display as any computer would without distorting what you would think you would see. There are no awkward finger combinations needed to do anything. It works more like the computer displays within the Tom Cruise movie "Minority Report" than anything I have seen released for public usage.
Even without a keyboard, the device has a way to prevent automatic turn ons while it is kept within your pocket or purse. I just wonder how strong the screen will be to avoid scratches.
E-mail, videos from YouTube, movies, and iTunes content all work seamlessly on a single device as if it was an iPod, laptop, and let us know forget--a cell phone.
I had a first generation Treo by HandSpring (now Palm) back in the day and can tell from a distance that if my network provider offered the iPhone, I would be on it:)
Clearly the iPhone is going to make users wonder how using a Mac will feel like once they realize how pleasant it is to use an iPhone. As a Macbook owner, the operating system is either a cousin or child of OS X and possibly includes aspects of the upcoming operating system Leopard to provide Mac users a few surprises when it is released later this year.
The hype is indeed real and there are people already gathering around various Apple and AT&T stores nationwide just to be the first-day owners of the device.
I am sure that there will be some type of first-generation quirks and upgrades revealed later, but Apple is going to make a ton of money and create opportunities for unique partnerships and other distribution opportunities for technology geeks like myself.
If and when you get your own iPhone, how about sending me a photo of it?
I have not heard much about a camera phone aspect of the device, but seeing Google Maps, widgets, and movies on it sure earned my vote.
Posted by Roney Smith at 7:20 PM
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Flickr once had a nice feature that would make any search result appear as a RSS feed.
But now the feature has disappeared from their website while it still works for past searches created and saved.
I wonder if Google's acquisition of Feedburner had anything to do with the decision?
The development is clearly strange although Flickr would not be harmed by Feedburner since having RSS feeds further expands Flickr's reach.
So Flickr, what gives?
Posted by Roney Smith at 6:16 PM
Here is a link to photos from this past Sunday's ordination on Father's Day!
Posted by Roney Smith at 4:35 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007
I am scheduled to be formally ordained as a Baptist minister next Sunday at Bethesda Baptist Church in Austell, GA at 11:30 a.m. It will be a memorable occasion indeed. My uncle, the Rev. Dr. Truman C. Tart, is going to bring the morning message as well.
Video will be recorded and the weekend is going to be one for the record books all around.
Having just celebrated my 11th ministerial anniversary, it is always something special whenever a pastor and church feel that one is worthy of greater expectations and responsibilities.
With the season of breakthrough that is currently upon us, it is very important to remain humble and allow God to present new direction and empowerment to go according to what only God can bring to pass.
So we will hope to move forward and higher!
Posted by Roney Smith at 7:02 PM
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Last week I discovered a new service that has pleasantly surprised me to say the least.
It is amazing when you can try a new service and instantly "drink the kool-aid" without wondering if there is going to be a downside further down the road.
Lo and behold, today's mail brought a new debit card provided for free by this dynamic service that is going to throw a monkey wrench within a company that most will consider a competitor to the new service.
Just send me an e-mail or reply with your contact info and I will hook it up for you.
No spam, no regrets, and no worries--it is just that smooth!
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:11 PM
Monday, May 28, 2007
|Lord Help Us|
I knew the movie was being released in a direct-to-DVD fashion several months ago, and it is great to have my own copy after seeing it this past weekend at Target.
Be sure to support director-writer-editor-executive producer Shavar Ross who is getting his Spike Lee on for the first of many to come!
Once you get your copy, let me see your photo of your copy (no Blackbuster copies either) online.
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:40 PM
Friday, May 25, 2007
If US Spy Agencies Actually Can Document This, Then The Consequences Have Been Intentional All Along
Reuters is reporting that the Bush administration was made aware of the consequences before the war in Iraq was begun.
If this is indeed proven true and I believe that it will from multiple directions, then every result of such activity undertaken within the country of Iraq has been the effect of intentional causes.
Every bullet, every death, every terrorist recruit, every disfigurement, every drop of oil lost or unaccounted for, every bitter taste in the mouths of once die-hard, starry-eyed, voting Americans, and every dollar wasted will be purely classified as earned income for all involved and the direct and indirect objects of their very desire.
I clearly remember the military analysts and other news commentators giving their opinions and analysis prior to the war and their very words have been proven true. The number of "I told you so" pundits have been kept surprisingly silent somehow. Is there a silent agreement in place somewhere?
I now believe that this administration within largely Cheney, Bush, Rove, and Rumsfeld have made history as the greatest market makers and middlemen in history to profit from the death and destruction all around.
The only upside to this war has been the enlargement of the private trust funds that will serve their descendants in perpetuity until the end of time.
I shudder to think of the possible revolt and anarchy that the working-class Republicans and Democrats could mount if it suddenly became widely accepted that this foreign and domestic policy was not based upon retribution or revenge for 9-11, but to use the American flag, our country's founding principles, and every internal struggle before, during, and since 1776 as toilet paper for the current leadership's country gouging efforts both foreign and domestically.
Even in the midst of having their own prophecies self-fulfilled through the rhetoric of "If we do not fight them on foreign soil, then we will have to fight them at home", the same bandits have already established the necessary means to further profit from future actions of terrorists and the financial repercussions of future conflicts worldwide.
It was all a global set up bottom line.
They actually want the U.S. and other countries to go down the drain and suffer to the extent of causing massive economic losses to further profit.
The American flag should be flown at half-staff for every day the current administration has been in office. The young men and women who have died clearly were victims of the pimpish quality of the current administration.
The dishonor among thieves will surface monthly for years to come as each participant and supporting cast member attempts to wash their hands of stench of bureaucratic lackeys. More tell all books and interviews will come to the light as the levels of remorse will only grow. Mysterious deaths and accidents cannot be too far behind either.
I feel truly sad for those with blind political faith and claims of the great American way for them to see that they were truly used as pawns and not really part of the process after all.
Just as Senator Trent Lott has discovered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the problems are not yours until it happens to you and then you finally realize that you are outside of the inner circle.
I guess that we will see that their memberships do not have ultimate privileges after all.
Even if misquoted or solely later recanted, President Carter was truly right in his summation of the worst president in United States history. We clearly have a present winner and champion that only the Anti-Christ can further leverage and challenge for the title.
Heaven help us all.
Posted by Roney Smith at 7:20 PM
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Using Google Analytics to measure the success of various blogs has been exciting and a challenge.
A repeat episode of Kirk Franklin appearance on Oprah to discuss an addiction to pornography must have recently aired since a rush of traffic was related to the episode. I had commented on the episode online about the particular show.
The biggest challenge right now is staying focused on the many opportunities and matching the right resources to each opportunity while maintaining a sense of balance and family if that is not a mouthful:)
But as always--when it rains, it pours, so each opportunity has to be maximized as much as possible.
I do anticipate having a full projects completed and ready for public consumption within the upcoming month or two.
More to come!
Posted by Roney Smith at 5:58 PM
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Through an interesting series of conversations during this weekend, I keep seeing a glass within my spirit that appears to be empty to the human mind but is continually being poured out with the substance only hoped for to produce the evidence of the faith contained within and around the glass.
My question to myself and to you is whether God is in glass since God is indeed everywhere and if it is the definition of faith to attempt to pour the glass when it appears to be empty?
Also, are we the empty glass, is the emptiness of the glass our seed, and resulting blessing poured from the glass our fruit of our seed or faith? I know that faith is both a seed and fruit.
Inquiring minds want to know:)
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:51 PM
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
There was no disturbing of this groove!
It's my birthday, it's my birthday!
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:47 PM
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Right now I am so pleased with American Musical Supply (http://www.americanmusical.com or AMS) that I cannot express my gratitude.
Their zero percent interest, multiple payment plans have made acquiring music equipment over the years a no-brainer in terms of being a repeat customer.
They do not have an affiliate program that I am aware of, but anytime you need to buy or just feel froggy to buy something that costs over $249.99 (one or multiple items I was recently told), it qualifies for the multiple payment plan.
I even bought my Black Macbook from them without any hesitations when it was released last year. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that they offer the same terms for computer equipment as well.
I typically will visit local music stores to get a hands on feel any prospective purchases and then buy it from AMS also to benefit from the no tax that has to be paid as well. This feature saves more than the gas cost required to visit a local store.
Check them out whenever you can!
Posted by Roney Smith at 12:32 PM
With so many new outlets being available to distribute and sell digital content, the U.S. Copyright laws and process needs to be revamped in order to allow creative individuals and groups to quickly register their digital content as soon as possible without any unnecessary delays.
The current process has one downloading PDFs to register their works, mailing the items via the U.S. Postal Service and then waiting for an undetermined amount of time to receive either the certified mail receipt or official documentation that the works have been registered.
It would be great that a process would exist for digital works to be directly uploaded to the Library of Congress and have the registration process completed within seconds versus months.
One should be able to register a digital work as fast as it takes to register a domain name for use on the internet.
I have several items of digital content that registering appears to be a long line to stand in but it has to be done within this day and age regardless of the existing delays.
Posted by Roney Smith at 11:11 AM
Friday, April 20, 2007
I just heard an amazing song by Brian McKnight from his "Ten" CD entitled "Don't Take Your Love Away"!!!
It has the rhythm of Janet Jackson's "I Get Lonely" and he is having a conversation / prayer with God.
It is one of those songs that will not appear on your radar unless you are listening for the lyrics.
Check it out on iTunes!
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:07 PM
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
With the firing of Don Imus from his radio show, anyone that is not on an independent label clearly has to think twice about using negative words or sending a negative vibe if their company has stockholders.
I immediately see any artist that has traditionally had to place a parental advisory sticker on their CDs have their stock value take a nose dive within eyes of the major label.
People will have to turn to MySpace for a limited time in order to get their fill of profanity and adult oriented lyrics other than someone selling music on the streets or out of the trunk of their cars.
Such artists quickly become a liability versus a cash cow.
Has America found religion? Not as much as I think so, but the pendulum has clearly swung too far in one direction and gravity is correcting any momentum once perceived.
I now wonder which recording artist is going to follow Imus off the plank intentionally or be deceived into doing so?
I wonder which sports or entertainment celebrity will be suspended or banned by their league indefinitely?
The decision on the part of CBS now makes it easier for any other corporate board to begin to clean up their act voluntarily or face their shareholders' wrath.
Is it over? Clearly not and the fun may have just begun.
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:15 PM
Monday, April 09, 2007
Years ago, I would surf my favorite websites away from home on Blink.com until they changed their business model and dropped the primary feature that I was using of storing favorite pages and websites (although many times one will never revisit them--but you can be a digital pack rat on the internet and no one will ever know until they need something from you).
Now I use Protopage.com and Del.Icio.us for the same reason but in a different way.
Protopage.com is my preferred method of visiting my most often websites at any given time.
I have it saved within Firefox as one of two home pages that load everytime I use either my Macbook or desktop computer at home.
I also visit the page daily at work and keep it open throughout the day.
I use Del.Icio.us primarily for saving and categorizing pages by keywords called tags. I also use it to recommend links to friends who either have created an account as well as to save myself some research time by locating hard to find websites that other people have saved with similar tagged keywords that I would use.
Both websites work together like a pair of hands. Del.Icio.us would be my right hand and knock out punch on the internet while Protopage.com is used to keep things steady and jab my way into new territory:)
Try them yourself and open up a new world of productivity as a gift to yourself!
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:17 PM
Sunday, April 01, 2007
I have had a wonderful weekend in spite of some silly people this weekend especially yesterday.
One overzealous security guard flexed her authority in getting me to move our car while other vehicles were virtually abandoned at the time.
Then a speeding driver on I-285 minutes later passes up multiple free lanes to get boxed in behind me and then proceeds to blow his horn as if a nuclear attack occurred.
Later that evening, a driver in the far left (a turning lane only) acts as if I cut him off when only my center lane had the choice of turning either left or going straight ahead.
I was about to feel that it was "Blow your horn at Roney" at that point.
I was already checking myself to make sure I did not wreck myself, but the Bible says to answer a fool according to his folly and that fool despise wisdom.
So versus getting caught up in someone else's drama, I had to shake it off like Mariah recommended:)
Haters need someone and something to hate, so when they put themselves in such a position to get whacked like a mole, those of us empowered by God must do so to keep the universe in balance:)
Posted by Roney Smith at 6:26 PM
Friday, March 02, 2007
I made my first trek to Wall Street and NASDAQ this week and I wish the same for any financial services professional or MBA.
The vibe was electric and the visit made everything experienced to get to this point worth it all.
I do have a "how do you like me now?" for my former employer that provided the entry point into the financial services industry. Even your policies, procedures, and management style was worth going through in order to get here.
I thank my current employer for their confidence and trust that I would continue to do a great job after previous such trips to Tampa, FL, Charlotte, NC, and Sandy (Salt Lake City), Utah in addition to my regular duties in Alpharetta, GA.
I thank God for making this happen and for blessing me beyond what I could ask or think!
Now I must return to the valley with incredible power from on High!
Posted by Roney Smith at 8:46 PM
Saturday, February 24, 2007
On tomorrow, I am scheduled to go back to the city where I was born--Jersey City, NJ and work for a week with my employer's offices there.
The last time that I was in Jersey City was in 1996 for a Smith family reunion. Prior to that, I believe that it was in 1991 for a funeral and probably 1977 before then.
To say the least, returning there is raising multiple emotions, thoughts, and what ifs about where and who would I be.
What if my family at the ultimatum of my mother did not move to Nichols, SC in 1971?
What career path would I have been placed on?
What hobbies and lifestyle would I have if I still lived in Jersey City?
Would I still live if I lived in Jersey City and had not moved?
Thanks to Google Maps, I am able to see multiple places that I have vivid memories of but do not know how to get to and from.
So I am plotting my travels from a satellite eye's view. I like to have a feel for a city now before I ever set foot on the ground.
At the family reunion in 1996, my mother and wife double teamed me on not exactly knowing where I was going to the point that I bought a map, studied it while they were taking a nap, and flawlessly drove from that point on. I was waiting for them to compliment me on the improvement, but you know how women are:)
They just rubbed it in more while laughing about it. But I knew that they knew:)
I had a conversation with a first cousin Thursday night and he had not been back longer than I have. Within the conversation, he mentioned that I would be safely "sheltered" while there and I realized that there were some areas such as the old neighborhood that I had better remember from the brief daytime visit in 1996 there.
I have no intentions of trying to revisit my past in depth on this trip, but I am planning on soaking up The Big Apple next door.
I have not been to New York as an adult and now working within the financial services industry, thoughts of being in the financial district is magnetic to me right now.
The New York Stock Exchange is not open to tours since 9-11-2001 and I do not have any contacts that could get me in as a working professional.
But to take a photo of the Wall Street Bull is going to be an objective on next Thursday for sure.
I may be able to see NASDAQ open that morning in the Times Square location as well and that would be totally cool.
To say that I am pumped up is indeed an understatement.
Another what if is after my bike accident last summer--what if I did not survive the experience? I thank You God for keeping me alive and nothing in my life has been less than gravy since the experience.
I could just as easily be dead as these words are created.
Overall, this trip is going to be a memorable one and one filled with thanksgiving, gratitude, and wonder.
I thank God for my employer in having full confidence to send me to every call center outside of the one where I work. Going to Tampa, Charlotte, Salt Lake City, and now Jersey City before celebrating my first anniversary of working for the company has made every experience in getting to this point worth it all.
I hold no grudges even against my entry point into the industry (first financial services employer) but I am more competitive to smash them in any way possible just to show them what their policies and practices pushed out the door.
This trip is to date the capstone of my experience within any industry of employment thus far.
As a minister, anywhere that people have been saved is a blessing, so the secular employment cannot ever compare.
Seeing someone get saved while in Jersey City would be a wonderful bonus though.
I will share more how God moves throughout this coming week as well as have photos on my dotMac page.
God is indeed good and worthy to be praised!
Posted by Roney Smith at 11:42 AM
Friday, February 23, 2007
I am glad that I have my roles clearly defined at least in my mind and do not have to make a tough decision in who to finance in their run for president tonight.
But history has taught me enough things about people and appearances to better understand human nature enough to make a solid prediction on who will win the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
I was just looking at some photos of the leading contenders' cross country appearances and fundraising efforts and saw some interesting things.
New York Senator and former First Lady Hillary Clinton suffers from the same problem that crippled former vice-president Al Gore's presidential bid before our nation was raped in broad daylight with the more than a conspiracy of events that happened in Florida 2000: she is too busy trying to look presidential while it appears stiff, false, and untrustworthy.
I say this whether it is the right, wrong, good, or bad impression of her in spite of her credentials.
I remember seeing a photo of defeated presidential candidate Gore partying like it was 1999 with his hands in the air like he didn't care either on the election night or when the final decisions were made and if enough people saw their genuine warmth and zest for life, they would have gotten and will get more votes and donations.
But the attempt to appear presidential only builds the ranks of those who wish to throw stones without regard to the person's ability.
While I do not want or expect Senator Clinton to appear within the upcoming spring break season dropping it like it's hot, but I would prefer to see her shake the handcuffs and shackles that what would have been the right thing to do in decades past for a more lively persona. Where is Chelsea in all of this? Did she not learn anything from her husband and what attracted people to him right or wrong?
In looking at Illinois Senator Barack Obama's photos, he is having a blast and the charisma race is over in his favor hands down at this point.
Notice that I have not gone to the point of addressing the unspoken but visible elephant of race and racism and if American citizens are indeed at the point of electing a black man as president.
Somehow I had felt as if a black man would finally be elected president after a nationwide toxic and dysfunctional American experience, but I may be right about this point after all.
Yet after looking at the photos and video appearances, the race is for Senator Obama to lose at this point because, Senator Clinton is looking like a before photo for either a spa treatment or cosmetic surgery.
All presidents' hair turn gray while they are in office and especially if they win a second term. At this rate, I abhor to think of the impact of the stress of the Oval Office on Senator Clinton.
I firmly believe at this point that she would make a grand Vice-President with Senator Barack Obama as the presidential nominee simply for her health alone. Standing at attention for a self-righteous appearance would drive anyone crazy trying to keep up appearances.
Cheney somehow would look at her and say "I wish I had thought of that!"
With so much on the line, it clearly appears as if the ball to win the White House could be dropped if candidates feel as if this is their only shot. Right now, it would take skills that I am still having developed to see who has the spirit to "stand down" in order for the Democratic Party to win the White House versus going for the individual win.
Posted by Roney Smith at 9:59 PM
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Last night, I watched an episode of Oprah on the DVD movie and book entitled "The Secret" and to say the least, I am deeply troubled by the discussions at the trap set for both the unsaved world and babes in Christ.
I went to YouTube and saw the actual multiple clip footage of "The Secret" and basically it is the offering of the following Scripture:
Galatians 6:7-8 (King James Version) with italics, underlining, and bold text added by myself:
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
But the danger of "The Secret" is that it attempts to offer God's word without God and raises multiple identities and beliefs equal to the Son of God Jesus Christ.
There is nothing within the DVD, book, or Oprah's show that directly attempts to minimize the significance of Jesus Christ, but these venues attempt to elevate every other deity, route, or person of influence known and unknown to man to be equal with Him.There was a Christian woman within the audience of Oprah's audience that had a look of confusion and clearly felt uneasy at the way the teachings of various experts and authors were lifting up "The Secret" and to comfort her, a minister named Dr. Michael Beckwith spoke to her from a Christian perspective.
But the conversation quickly moved to include other ways, doors, and routes to God which is totally contrary to:
John 14:6 (King James Version)
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.I know that there is a lot of touchy feely, "you are empowered", within the teachings of mankind and televised programs such as Oprah, but clarity has to exist within the kingdom of God.
I admire everything that God has done within and through Oprah, but leaving the opportunity for others to occupy a position anywhere on the level of Christ Jesus is fallacy and eternally self-destructive.
One clip that I remember seeing live and on YouTube has Oprah attempting to please too many people while revealing that there is something clearly missing within her version and beliefs of Christianity.
After God's chastisement and correction for having opened the door to simply view "The Secret" that I received this morning, I know that I must share what I have received this morning as a result of simply viewing the movie and teachings.
The "law of attraction" is Galatians 6:7-8 expressed in an easy packaged way and it is indeed clever. But what is need by more Christians including myself is to firmly explain God's word in such a way that will not leave any room for misunderstanding and misapplication for all Christians alike.We must continue to use the bait and reward that God has already given to us without allowing it to be watered down and bring every other doctrine and wind to bring anyone or anything to equality with Christ Jesus.
Luke 9:48 states "And said unto them, Whosoever shall receive this child in my name receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me receiveth him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same shall be great."
2 Corinthians 10:5 (King James Version)
5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;To anyone that professes any other way to coexist and share the throne with Christ and claims to be a Christian I ask, where is the captivity and where is the sovereignty of Christ?
Another reference link on the movie itself has been located at Wikipedia. Please note the heavy push to market the movie that caused one speaker within the movie to request to be excluded from further activities.
I encourage each of us today to raise up the single banner of the Holy Trinity, march onward Christian soldier, and fight the good fight of faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In Him and only in Him, we move, live, and have our being!
Posted by Roney Smith at 12:59 PM