Tag Archives: Music

New House

This Spring, Lauren and I put down good faith money to start construction on our new home. The builder broke ground in May 7th, finished construction in a little less than 90 days, and we closed in the first week of August. And we totally live there now.

We closed on the new house on a Monday and set moving day for Friday. I took the week off work. Lauren and her parents showed up every night after work and we painted. Trusty Tan in the master bedroom, Nuthatch in the master bath, Nomadic Desert everywhere else, with Loch Blue and Parakeet accents in the living room and morning room. During the day I would paint the bedroom and bathroom listening to the Star Wars Radio Dramas and in the evening, when the paint party would get started, we would crank the “Classic Rock’s Greatest Hits” or “Feelin’ Good in the 90’s” playlists on Songza.

When we listed our condo for sale back in the Spring, we filled a PODS storage unit with boxes of “non-essential” stuff like books, bedspreads, winter clothes, and some furniture. The week before closing, we packed up everything else we could and Two Men And A Truck showed up on moving day to move those boxes and the remaining furniture to the new house. They did in 5 hours what would have taken me a day and a half. And we still ended up making several trips back to the condo to get items from our closets, bathrooms, fridge, and freezer. We dusted, vacuumed, set the thermostat to 78 degrees and OFF, turned off the lights, locked up, and picked as many jalapenos as we could and brought them to the new house. Now, we just need it to sell.

We made several good decisions along the way, some of them were learning experiences, so I thought I’d share:

  • Frogtape. Instead of just buying the regular blue masking tape for edging we bought the extra special painting tape. With mixed results. In several spots it still bled through, so either there was dust on the molding we didn’t catch or it’s just not that great. Thankfully we didn’t spend a lot on it. I think I’d rather just use 2″ blue masking tape, which should protect better against drops and splatters.
  • Sherwin Williams. I’ve been previously disappointed with Lowes and Home Depot paint, so we didn’t mess around. We bought the Duration Latex Matte and it was worth the higher price. The paint was so thick (like the consistency of chocolate pudding) it would sit on top of the brush and go on thick with a roller. We hardly had any spills and it looked great even with a first coat.
  • PODS. It’s just a little pricier month to month than a self storage unit, but it has advantages if you dislike loading and unloading moving trucks. I could see getting a self-storage unit for a longer term solution, especially if we wanted convenient access to our stuff, but for a 4 month engagement it worked out great.
  • Food Processor. We also over packed the PODS unit. We packed both our food processor and our blender so my over-acheiving basil plant has yielded no pesto. I am ashamed.
  • Movers. We will definitely hire movers again. Next time, I’m hiring them for a two day gig so they will come and pack the boxes for us. Worth every penny.
  • Food. I gained 5 pounds in the two weeks surrounding moving day. I made myself so busy and packed up our lives so much, I didn’t have a good plan for not breaking down and eating burgers, fries, pizza, and chicken tenders every meal. Again, I am ashamed.

We still have many, many walls that still need paint. We have boxes of stuff in our living room that we don’t know where it will go. My suitcase is currently in the hallway closet. Pretty much all of our framed art is stacked against the wall in the dining room. And I want to cram way too much into our office than can reasonably fit.

I still hesitate to call it a Dream House, because what’s a Dream House anyway, but every morning for the past week I’ve woken up giddy over the massive shower, killer deck, and ridiculous kitchen I get to use everyday. And we are only about 7 minutes away from the best frozen yogurt in Nashville. So there’s that.


This week I discovered the website musicforprogramming();

It describes itself as:

“A series of mixes intended for listening while programming to aid concentration and increase productivity (also compatible with other activities).”

I’m only as far into the first (of seven) in the series, but it’s an excellent companion to working heads down on a project. If you are tired of listening to The Social Network original soundtrack while coding / debugging / troubleshooting / documenting, give it a try. Each mix is about an hour long. Here is their RSS feed and their subscription link in iTunes.


Has some features that the native iPod app just doesn’t compare to.

Groove. Starts playing songs that go well together. If you’re in a different kind of mood, just groove it again.

Favorites. Seems to play songs I’ve recently played a couple of times or have a a high play count for. Big secret feature, huh? Pretty great.

Artist Duos. Pairs two similar artists and alternates songs between them. One day it suggested Kings of Leon and The Black Keys and I think I listened to that the whole day.

Gestures. While in playing mode, swipe the screen to bring up a menu with big buttons that do stuff. Create a new groove mix, pick a new artist, so on. Awesome while I’m driving.

It’s my favorite price. Free. So go get it.

Zikera Groove [link] | iTunes [link]


Interesting way to play your iPod library.

Tripmix has very few settings, but the most interesting one is “Number of songs by an artist”. Default is 3. So it will play 3 songs by the same artist, then shuffle to a different artist. When you skip, you don’t skip a song, but skip to the next artist. The first artist the app attempted to play was from a podcast, but I forgive. It’s interface is simple and clean, fun functionality, and only plays artists you like well enough to have multiple songs of on the iPod. It’s a pretty great set it and forget it road trip iPod app.

Cost is $1.99

Tripmix Website [link] | iTunes [link]


I love this app.

I remember reading an article that the iTunes App Store was rejecting apps that tried to read music off of the iTunes library. Rumor was Apple didn’t like apps tinkering with the music library. The only apps I heard were rejected were ones that made ringtones or alarm clocks. Apparently this app is so good they made an exception.

Attic searches through the music and selects albums that you haven’t listened to recently. It displays them like album covers on a shelf and the play controls remind me of the Panasonic cassette tape recorder I had as a kid. Since buying the app, it’s a 50/50 chance I’ll open either it or the iPod app.

Only 99 cents. Worth all 99 pennies.

Attic website [link] | iTunes [link]

Simplify Media

What a great idea. What a great iphone app. Here’s the official site, but basically it’s an app that makes any iTunes music share available where ever else you’ve installed the Simplify Media client. I’ve been streaming my home iTunes library (over 350 albums) to my laptop in the office so I don’t need to copy mp3s locally or carry a portable hard drive. And the aforementioned iphone app – I can stream it all to my iphone over 3G, which essentially means while I’m driving.

There is a friend’s list option that let’s you keep tabs with up to 30 friends also using Simplify Media. It also let’s you stream from their library. Travis has mostly audio books, but whenever I want to listen to some Beastie Boys, I just pull up Tim’s library. Good stuff.

Also worth mentioning is the Last.fm iphone app, which keeps track of your entire music library, but the essential feature of choosing whatever you want to listen to gets lost.

The only downside with the app is that it doesn’t start streaming the next song until the current song ends, so there’s a small 1 second gap while it starts streaming. If you’re using iTunes, it also means that annoying “Streaming…” dialog that pops up and pulls focus, so you have to Alt+Tab back to what you’re working on. I’m sure that gets fixed in the future.