Posts Tagged ‘music’

office art

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Posted by Michael, January 25th, 2011

Wow, Rebecca is getting two posts out of me in two days!  This calls for another trip to Disney in our future!  But really, Rebecca is a bit stressed over some graduate courses, so I figured I’d chip in around here if I had some time.

Before I get into this next post, let me tell you a small bit about myself.  When I was 12 or 13 years old, I locked myself in my room for a solid 3-4 years learning how to code and interact with databases.

Seriously, ask my parents, they used to think I was depressed all the time.  Meanwhile I was just trying to retire before 40, I swear.

Flash forward to when I was 16 or 17 and I was running a successful music community as a hobby — one because I loved music and two I loved developing code.  We slapped a few advertisements on said community and before I even knew it, the thing turned into a business.  Oh and I’m still determined to retire by 40.  Maybe.  We’ll see.  At least a vacation home would be nice.

And to sum it all up, I once had my palms read while vacationing in Lake George, New York.  The nice lady said I’d have a career in music.  I walked out of there thinking, “music?  I can’t sing for the life of me.”  But only now does that all make sense.

Due to all the development I do, I required a decent office when we bought our house.  I needed something that could hold my computers and various monitors.  But I never wanted it to be that office — random computer parts here and there, wires everywhere and generally one big mess.  It had to really portray what we do and what we’re passionate about, while also being completely functional.  Since our mantra is always think outside the box and do your own thing, here are a collection of WANTS to hang around the office.

Apple’s ‘Think Different‘ campaign really means a great deal to me.  And what better way to portray that than Lucy and Desi?

I would LOVE to frame this and have it displayed in the office.  It’s an autographed Jason Mraz LP.  It’s currently selling for $299 on eBay; I so want to pull the trigger on it but it’s a tad much.  (hey wife!  Valentine’s Day is coming up!  Hint hint, wink wink!).  I’ve been a huge Mraz fan for a few years now, and most recently, I’ve been really trying to live by a snippet of his lyrics:  “Hold your own, know your name, and go your own way.  And everything will be fine.”

This thing gives me chills just looking at it.  eBay is at it again.  These are the handwritten lyrics to Lovin Spoonful’s Daydream and signed by the entire group.  But for 400 beans?  Not sure if I’ll pull that trigger on this one either.

And finally, maybe some pop canvas print art from artforurbanspaces.com.  At roughly $60/each, these aren’t all that bad.  From top to bottom it goes:  Run DMC, John Lennon and Kanye West.  All pioneer artists who continually think outside of the box and are generally non-conformists.

that whole house audio thing

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Posted by Michael, December 16th, 2010

Multi-zone and multi-source audio for the house.  Sounds pretty sweet, eh?  I’ve been wanting to do this since we first purchased our home.  It was just too expensive to go through the builder.  And even if we had the cash to do it, they didn’t exactly offer what I had in mind.  I wanted functionality with components Rebecca and I were already comfortable with (read: iTunes and Apple products).  Builder wasn’t offering such capabilities.

I also thought about doing a ton of pre-wiring throughout the house while it was being built.  I figured this might be a good idea.  But much like everything else, even this was insanely expensive.  They wanted $125 to run one network cable from the basement to the master bedroom.  If you don’t know about network cable, it’s relatively cheap so this was pure profit for them – something I just couldn’t stomach. 

So where does this leave us?  Right now, I have an Apple TV powering our “entertainment center” in the family room.  The Apple TV allows us to manage our music on a remote computer and stream it to the family room.  The thought here is to expand this streaming capability throughout our house.    Music in the formal living and dining rooms, music in the master bedroom and bathroom and music in the basement.  But here is the catch:  I want to be able to control each “zone” independently of one another.  That is, if Rebecca is in the bedroom and wants to listen to Jack Johnson at a very low volume, she can.  And at the same time if I’m downstairs in the family room, I can be rocking out to, and pretending to be, Justin Timberlake at a very high volume.

But how do you pull this off?  And how do you pull this off using Apple products?  Oh and how do you do this without going broke?  The answer is the a combination of some stereo equipment collecting dust, some speakers, the Apple Airport Express and the Apple TV.  Plus the iPad’s and or iPhone’s Remote app to control everything.

First mission?  Get speakers mounted in the living and dining rooms.   The speaker wires will be routed through the walls and into the basement.  The basement will hold all the wonderful stereo equipment.  I’ve used my elite Photoshop skills to show you what this might look like.  Displayed below is the living room looking into the dining room.  Between these rooms, we have columns (with just enough room inside for me to fish some wire without wanting to kill anyone).

On each side of these columns, we’ll have a speaker.   Once complete, we’ll have two zones — each zone will have two speakers.  For those out there who are interested, I went with Polk for the speakers.  I wanted something a bit more towards higher end, but these were ridiculously cheap on sale and solid white, so I could not pass on these (plus they’re refurbished so I saved even more money).

So there you go, the first mission.  Stay tuned.

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