birthdays and magazine update

So a lot of stuff has been happening.

We’ve been working on Little Man’s birthday invitations. This year he’s having a Thomas the Tank Engine party; so there’s a hint on what the invites will look like. Overall, I’m very happy with how they turned out.

Monday would have been my Grandma’s birthday. And yes, I still smile everytime I think about her, which has been a lot lately. The other day I was listening to Johnny Cash and in my mind, I got to dance with Grandma. 🙂

Also, had an update on the temple magazine; it’s a definite go! Quite exciting news to me. Venerable is happy with the direction I’ve taken the design, the colors are correct, and she likes how the layout is so far. I plan to improve a few things on the face of it, but need to determine the name we’ll be using still. Though this is a Buddha’s Light project, I believe we can grow it to a certain degree. The focus will be on the Western Dharma section of Hsi Lai, and the name should reflect that. We’ll see what is decided.

Wired News: Everybody Is a Star, er, Planet

Wired News: Everybody Is a Star, er, Planet:
This is exciting. Ever since he was born, Little Man has been very interested in the stars and planets. When Dawn and I think back, this must be from his Baby Einstein — Baby Galileo “Discovering the Sky” DVD he was obsessed with for many months. One by one, that DVD taught him the names of each planet, their overall looks, everything. Then of course being the obsessive Dad that I am, we have planets hung in his room, poster from our trip to JPL, he already has his first telescope, you name it. (hey, what can I say, proud Daddy)

He can name each planet with at least an 85% success rate. This is either by pointing to the picture of a planet, or by asking “Where’s Mars?”, and this has been through the majority of his second year. (like I said, VERY proud Daddy)

Now reading this article, it looks as though we may have new challenges to learn. 3 more planets to teach my Little Man about.

Saul Williams at MOCA

Finally… Found a while back that Saul Williams was scheduled to do a spoken word session at ‘Night Vision — MOCA After Dark’. I’d been looking forward to this weekend for a long time. I was hoping Moody would be able to go with me as well, but he was unable to. Bummer. Even though it’s not Dawn thing, she went along (she’s the best). I think overall she had an interesting time, but it was definitely more of a night for me. Little Man was over at his cousin’s house spending the night.

We got there around 6:30–7:00 PM and walked over to MOCA. Once I saw the MOCA Store I had to take a peak. I was good though, found tons of stuff I wanted to buy but didn’t. In hindsight I wish I did buy the nice Muji pen they had, but oh well. I’m sure I’ll be back. We walked around the Museum a bit, I enjoy a lot of it, Dawn not so much. I think her quote on the way home summed up her thoughts on the art — “Just because it’s rusty, doesn’t mean you should shellac it.” At the point she said it, we were both so exhausted that we cracked up all the way home. I did enjoy a lot of the art, but hearing her say that was hilarious. I must say, seeing Franz Kline’s ‘Tower’ in person was such a sight for me. I can’t tell you why, but it was.

After, we went in and watched a bunch of music videos that won the LA Film Festival. Some were really good, some were not our thing, and a couple had us laughing to each other sitting in the back row. Overall that was damn fun.

Finally time for Saul. At around 9PM we were out there waiting and decided to grab a quick beverage at the cafe. Walked in and saw Saul. Wanted to go say hey, but he was chatting with a few ladies and I didn’t want to interrupt. Went back out and luckily found a spot to stand. It was packed! Great turn out for Saul. While waiting, got to talk to a very nice guy named Fred. We talked about Saul, NIN, etc — great guy. I do hope our paths cross again. Saul went on stage around 9:30PM. It was something. Bigtime. I’m not going to write my words to describe his words, but lets say — if you haven’t been to see the man — GO. Then go again.

Here’s a good link to get you acquainted with one of the subjects of the night. Electronic Lebanon.

Afterwards, Dawn and I walked over to take a quick look around the Walt Disney Concert Hall. They were doing tours but we were so tired that we just walked around on our own for a little while and took off. Got a few pictures there though — this one is my favorite

It was funny, I asked Dawn if she wanted to go back with me, she said “Not really, but I know you and Tricia will be back.” hahahaha… Tricia will find that pretty funny.

Great weekend. Can’t wait to go back to MOCA. (Trish, looks like we have standing plans for your next trip out here. haha)

New Magazine

My temple used to run a daily newspaper. This was a lot of work and a huge undertaking for them. Plus, since it was daily, you can imagine that it was good locally, but a huge portion of copies got exported to Taiwan. Not sure that part of it worked out so well. Then about a year ago, they decided to stop the daily newspaper. It just became too much.

Later, the intention was to create a bi-weekly magazine. This seemed to peek interest greatly. We met to plot out who would become editors, writers, publishers, etc. Tricia was even planning to assist with the web design. 🙂 Then things became very busy at the temple again and the idea had to be set aside.

As of late, I thought we should consider this again, maybe as a monthly, or even bi-monthly undertaking. I thought out some ideas and ran them by Venerable Miao Hsi. She agreed, and was quite interested.

So, here we are and it does appear this will come to be. I’ve recently moved to a good hosting company that gives quite a good amount of space for a great price; 3 domains included. So 1) moving the family site over here — 2) started this blog — 3) I will use the third domain (name yet to be decided) as the magazine site. Very excited about this.

I’ve been trying to learn Joomla! lately when I actually have time to look into it. Seems like it will be the correct software to do this. I do have a few concerns thought. One, learning the software; luckily Jerid has gone through it and became quite the whizz at it. (Show your support, buy a knife from him, just please [personal request] don’t kill anything. hehehe) He’s helped me quite a bit, which is cool. Two, database size; I get 100 megs per DB with the hosting company, but I assume a magazine could outgrow that quickly. I’ve considered just using iWeb to design it as well, but don’t think I will. I love the look of iWeb, just doesn’t seem to be the program for something of this size. We’ll have to see how Joomla! goes and I’ll keep you posted.