The irony is not lost on me

So, as a music director, I often plan out upcoming music as far ahead as three months at a time. This may seem excessive to non-music folks, but in order to prepare who has to rehearse what, for how long a time period (believe it or not, some people don’t sight read for Jesus on Sundays well), and making sure the needed head count will be available on dates when their part is integral to a particular piece are all parts of the puzzle in music ministry to be paid attention to. Sometimes we have to adjust on the fly.

I am currently serving with a small congregation just building up a music ministry and the youth have truly stepped up front and center to participate. The song we (or rather, I) planned to go with the week’s readings is Kari Jobe’s, “I Am Not Alone.”

That is until my guitarist has to be out of town this weekend and my lead teens have a family event conflict…so effectively, I would be actually alone singing a song entitled “I Am Not Alone.”

The Kari Jobe song is officially getting pushed back a week until the group returns. Obviously.

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

So, I got back from vacay two days ago

While the 10-day off-grid hiking trip in the Adirondacks was absolutely lovely and much-needed, I did not anticipate certain possible website problems when I returned.

I’ve spent the past two days putting out a forest fire of epic proportions.

My other website, BigBlackDogStudio.com, was scheduled to transfer over to a new host in order to add some simple e-comm capabilities. Estimated time for the transfer was given at 5 to 7 business days, so I hit “do it” the night before I left figuring it would be magically transferred by internet elves and ready for me to work my creative genius on post-hike.

I was under the firm impression that just as it looks on the WordPress.com blogging platform, so it would now appear just on the WordPress.org hosting version. It wasn’t.

When I typed in my BBDS address upon my return late Thursday evening, I was greeted with the gut-twisting: “Coming soon!”  screen. It’s better than the dreaded blue screen of death or “not found” at all, but still. Did I mention I was erroneously believing elves were going to fairy dust it over magically?

I took a deep breath and told myself I probably just had to hit “launch” or something to let the elves know I’m here and approving the transfer, so I logged into my account at the new host. It was a good thing I inspected. It was empty. Nada. Just the registration records were there.

Okay. I’m smart. I can figure this out and do this manually. Logged into WP.com, exported my site, and imported it into the new platform. Opened up the new “pages” and “posts” to make sure all had zippity-zapped to the new home. Hmmm.

Of the 342 posts going all the way back to 2012, only 45 of them transferred with the export function. Of the 23 separate pages in that site, 2 transferred, one of them being the 45 blog posts page from 2012 through 2014. That’s it. I exported/imported a second and third time just to make sure. Still way short of goal. [insert expletive].

So, apparently, twas not as easy-peasy as certain entities made it out to be. Good thing I used my free time hiking to write down a ton of creative ideas I’m going to be working on because that book might collect a bit of dust while I manually transfer over the other 297 posts with their images, re-entering all the meta data, etc. I’ve already managed to put the Pawz To Reflect Merch page back up, as it was today’s epic and successful job.

Can I simply not bother transferring most of those old posts? Sure, I can pick and choose just the more meaningful ones to me to preserve. I can probably just transfer most of the stack over here via some migrate feature as long as I downgrade the site back to its free status and before the next drum circle after the harvest occurs. When you’ve got years and years of SEO entrenchment, you seriously have to weigh the pros and cons of whether or not to move crap around on the internet. Shoot me for not merely creating a new domain for the e-comm stuff.

Am I the only one who ever expected technology and those who brag about its wonders that this kind of cold water splash happened to?

Update 8/17/19: Okay, life did not come to an end as I know it after all. Stressful week AF, yes, but I figured out how to export in pieces and want to share that for them that may someday go through this same heart pounding thing. See my August 17 post for a step-by-step.

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

Pawz to Reflect Merch is here!

They’re here! We are super excited to share our first promo video featuring the first “litter” of Pawz to Reflect Journals for Animal Lovers:

“Pawprints On My Heart.”

Each journal is 6×9, 164 pages with light grey lined interiors. Each of the 30 glossy covers features beautiful photography that wraps around the front and back covers of the book. Since every pet has unique markings, the focus is mainly on texture and colouring of fur to remind you of your favourite fur baby.

Collect the entire litter of journals or just the pick of the litter that reminds you of your special fur baby!

Click the Pawz to Reflect Merch tab above to see the covers and where to purchase!

Don’t see a cover yet that reminds you of your pet in this first litter? Not to worry, because more litters are on their way!

Comment below or reach out to us on our studio’s Facebook fan page and let us know what breed of pet you’ve got that you’d like us to feature in our next litter of fundraising journals.

And please be sure to share our posts with your friends to get the word out!

The more journals in our fundraising line we can sell, the more animals we can help.

By choosing to purchase a Pawz to Reflect Journal, you are helping the ongoing rescue efforts of groups Nemo loved.

THANK YOU for “adopting” a Pawz to Reflect Journal!

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

Learning to alleviate webcam anxieties

As someone who has spent 35 years being very comfortable at the front of rooms of 1 to 500+ people, I am appalled at myself for being not so comfortable in front of a webcam. 

Three things I have done nearly all of my life that I know I am very good at:

1. I write.

2. I teach and demonstrate live in the room.

3. I pray through my fingers on the piano and can grow a music ministry team into worship leaders.

Whereas public speaking can freak many people out, I have sung in front of a packed congregation since I was a teenager. Live doesn’t phase me. 

Put a video recorder in front of me, however, and I get all nervous and jerky like it’s my first day.

I’m post-chemo now 3.5 years and my brain is feeling operational again, at least according to the 98 I got in Statistics last fall and the 97 in my Finance course this past spring. This summer, I decided it’s high time to up my game as far as my business goes. I’m taking my teaching and my design and writing forward like I’m driving a tank.

I started a new YouTube channel where I can host my business stuff: “Let Me Show You How To Do That”. I have to have a minimum of 100 subscribers before YouTube will allow me to personalize my channel name in the URL, but I’ve even got the domain registered and the email integration set up. I just finished an intensive 30-day immersion marketing program through ClickFunnels that I highly recommend and will be promoting (next one starts August 5 and was the best $100 I’ve ever spent on my business education, btw and I’ll do a whole separate posting on that!), got my software, got my designs and products ready for the print-on-demand sector, and I’m ready to get started.

Except for the fact that most buyers today (according to all the spun and re-spun news articles circulating from self-proclaimed gurus over the past year) don’t want to read so much about their interests as they supposedly want to watch a video for someone to show them whatever the thing is they are looking for: Google bought YouTube, so everybody should be doing video!

Hmmm. Video? Greaaaaat.

Literally, I suck at video. I’ve made cute dog videos of my pets and accompaniment tracks for my choirs and music team to practice to and they were mostly okay.

Part of my goal in 2019 is to force myself to get more comfy in front of a webcam. Sure, millennials can do it. They were born with a smartphone in their hands. I’ve still got a perfectly serviceable iPhone 4S that Apple finally stopped bothering me about updating. So, instead of buying a $1,000 new phone just for the camera, I got a $340 Osmo Action. Why not the GoPro? This one has front and back screens so if you’re in front of the camera, you can make sure you’re in the shot – much like my little phone. It’s a first-gen, but it’s not like I’m going to go jumping off a cliff or swim with sharks with the thing.

Note: it took a full day to figure out how to activate the thing via someone else’s iPad….. because my iPhone 4S’s operating system couldn’t run the app! LOL Ahhh, so.

I went Mac this past spring when ye olde Windows 7 laptop fritzed during my finance course. I was P.O.’d when Microsoft took down support for my XP and the fabulous MovieMaker software native to it, so I jumped out of that boat with a Mac mini, a 34″ wide LG monitor and a Logitech webcam. There’s a learning curve for someone who’s been desktop publishing since Windows 3.1 (Minesweeper ❤ anyone?), and I still feel like a monkey in a tutu trying to make some of these new softwares work.

So, let me show you how it’s going for me with this initial random video I made quickly just to put up and finish getting my new YouTube channel started. Warning: it’s kind of painful in a spazzy, babbling way.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

Back to Fit Chick Challenge

Oh, it’s on. Right now. Read more about it on the new page above and join me as well on my new Facebook Group for mutual support and guidance.

If you are new to CaffeinatedMusic, you might not know that during the past few years after going through chemo, I kinda fell off the blogosphere due to brain fog and lack of most coherent thought. I did a lot more over at my BigBlackDogStudio site than I did over here, but not with much focus.

I’m back and determined to make up for the lack of progress on my goals over the last five years of my life. Time to kick it up.

Time to rewind the clock back five years and get my body back, albeit now on the other side of the Big 5-0 and sans hormones. I’m up for the challenge.

Starting. Right. Now.

03-14-14 Fit Chick

03-14-14 Fit Chick before Hodgkins lymphoma. Time to kick it up and get my body back! (That would be MyNemo’s tookus photobombing the shot) ❤

 

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

Diva flashback to the Mozart Alleluia

So, I am working on some projects from home and one of them has to do with using video for things like web conferences, one-on-one’s and such that thanks to the magic of the internet, we no longer have to drive anywhere to “meet” with clients. Part of what I needed to do was to look back at my old YouTube channel that was started way back in 2008 or 2009 when this blog started and carefully examine it for modern things like metadata, descriptions and keywords.

At the time I did the videos, they were for the purpose of teaching my choirs and musicians songs through demonstration, and putting them up on a quick video meant the person could practice as much as they wanted at home during the week. If this is your first day with me, I’ll cut you slack on not knowing this unshakeable pillar of my music as ministry philosophy:

Thou shalt not sight-read for Jesus on Sunday, but shall prepare thyself first privately and then with thy fellow music team members before leading worship in community.

Ten years ago, I was also using Windows XP and the original MovieMaker (best software ever) that Microsoft discontinued. The jerks. Still not happy about that which is why when my Windows 7 laptop fritzed this spring, I finally bailed on PC and made the switch to a Mac mini. Now, I am learning to use iMovie to edit video. In the meantime, I use my little iPhone 4S with no editing. Hey, it still works, okay? Don’t judge.

In other words, I wasn’t on the YT channel to listen to my songs and stuff; I was supposed to be examining it for the upcoming overhaul to make it search engine friendly, something it desperately needs. It’s bad. So before I can take the next step in what I am working on, I need to get my SEO ducks in a row on an existing channel. The good part of that is that I can then see if the metrics change substantially or not to know if I’m doing it right. Back to the digression.

Of course, one cannot help but hear oneself singing in one’s own videos running on the screen while trying to figure out how I need to completely change out every single one of the 80 plus video descriptions. Both the bad descriptions and my caterwauling were painful.

A few of the videos made me laugh more than cringe at my squeaks and bad hair due to the purpose I recorded them. This one is the Alleluia from Mozart’s Exultate Jubilate, a coloratura favourite for its zippy scales and high notes. A young friend was trying to learn the song so she asked me to make her a video. No make up. No fancy clothes. Accompanying myself (shouldn’t do that, especially for a classical song).

Hope ya’ll get a kick out of this 10-year-old, no frills Diva flashback 😉

Leave a comment

Filed under posts

Caffeinated Hot Mess

Had to share this one, because, yep. There’s that.

caffeinated hot mess

Leave a comment

Filed under posts