Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, January 01, 2005
On my Geocities web page, I posted my books read and movies watched from 2004.

I'll be selecting favorites from these lists over the next day or so.

Friday, December 31, 2004
Good-bye 2004. The year the Red Sox won the series. The year I changed jobs. The year I wrote a novel (and no, I haven't read it yet). What's up for next year? What about my books and movies from this past year? Did I really write fifty letters? Tune in again.

Good-bye 2004. Hello 2005.

Sunday, December 26, 2004
My daughter Mia received a guitar this weekend. It's a kid's guitar, but it's a fully functioning instrument.

I used to play the guitar when I was little (around fifth, sixth grade). I took guitar lessons, and learned how to play some basic chords. First song I ever learned: Bad Moon Rising (G-D-C). I can also hit the notes for Happy Birthday and the main theme to Star Wars. I still remember how to play these songs even though I haven't owned a guitar in several years.

I got my hands on Mia's guitar in the afternoon and tried some of my songs, but the guitar was sorely out of tune. Mia also enjoys playing with the tuning knobs at the end of the guitar, which wasn't a help.

I visited a web site to relearn the basics of tuning. I eventually found Tuner Tool, a free program that let me hear the correct notes for the guitar. But this wasn't enough. I had a hard time matching the notes played by the tuner to the notes played on Mia's guitar.

After more minutes with Google, I found a better program, by Encore. This tool not only played the correct notes, but using a PC microphone (which I had), it "listened" to the notes the guitar was playing, and pointed out whether it was too sharp or too flat. It's quite amazing seeing the display change as the note played. I was able to tune the guitar in minutes! I recommend this tool (and yes, I'll be buying a license).