Joseph The Unknown Baby Living In My Camera

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

Several months ago, I found this baby on my camera…

Apparently, his name is Joseph and he lives in my camera…

Why is there a baby living in my camera?!!

TheAndySan

P.S: This is my 666th post. Hail Satan! Actually, I was just kidding about that Satan part.

Jason Becker's Been Overlooked By USA Today!!!1

Good evening everyone, it’s TheAndySan hurr with some rather interesting news.

I was reading USA Today while I was on break and ran across an article about a guitarist with ALS using a special system that converts his eye movement into words or to do tasks like surf the web. Hmm, this sounds an awful lot like Jason Becker, the insane guitarist who paired up with Marty Friedman to form Cacophony and later joined David Lee Roth’s solo band before being diagnosed with ALS aka Lou Gehrig’s Disease when he was 20. But the guitarist-in-question is not; it’s Freddie Everett. Jason isn’t even mentioned. I think that, although there is nothing wrong with the article, it should have included Jason in it someway. Hell, even a name drop would have been fine! Here’s a link to the article, but I’m gonna put up the main story just in case it gets moved or something:

Device restores musical talent that Gehrig’s disease took

By Robert Davis, USA TODAY

HOUSTON — Caught in the grip of a neurologic disease, guitarist Freddie Everett no longer can stand on a stage and play the kind of rock ‘n’ roll that brought fans to their feet. But an eye-tracking computer that allows him to mix music is giving him and his fans new hope.

The condition commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease — amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS — has left Everett unable to walk, talk or breathe normally. But a device known as ERICA, for Eye Response Interface Computer Aid, uses an infrared camera to track the glint in Everett’s eye so that he can manipulate software functions by moving his gaze across a computer screen. ERICA lets him do everything from type messages to mix his previously recorded music.

“All of us have a different definition of what quality of life is. For Freddie, it’s music,” says his doctor, Stanley Appel, founder of the ALS clinic at Methodist Hospital here. “Here is a guy who lived and breathed music 24/7.”

There are several eye tracking systems on the market. There are about 1,000 ERICA systems in use today, according to estimates by the manufacturer, Eye Response Technologies of Charlottesville, Va.

Hope — and maybe a longer life

Appel says the device “is giving Freddie a sense of hope.”

Everett played guitar and sang for 25 years, including opening performances for Ted Nugent, Sammy Hagar and Alice Cooper, before he was diagnosed with ALS in 2006 at the age of 47. Everett was known for his ability to bend the strings on his guitar to create unique sounds.

“He threw down good rock,” says Brian Austin, a guitarist from the local band Outlaw. “There aren’t too many people around this town that can do what he did. He was an artist. This is a bad disease.”

Everett performed for a time after his arms got weak. If others put his guitar strap around his neck, he could still use his fingers and his guitar’s whammy bar to bend the strings to hit memorable notes. But when he was no longer able to control his fingers, he stopped playing.

“After his last performance, he was very, very, very depressed,” says Everett’s wife, Annette. “He would just sit and look at his guitars. It is devastating when you have that music in your head and you can’t get it out.”

The disease attacks motor neurons, leaving otherwise healthy muscles without needed signals to and from the brain to control movements. On average, people with ALS live two to five years after diagnosis, says Linda Richardson of the ALS Association’s Greater Houston Chapter.

But some live much longer, and Appel says one key to survival appears to be hope.

“The more hope you have and the more willing you are to fight this and hang in there, the better you are going to do,” Appel says.

ERICA provides hope, Appel says, because it opens the door to communication for both the person with ALS and others, ranging from friends to the medical team.

“Once he can communicate, you feel like you can communicate with him,” Appel says. “He can hear you. He can think. He can feel. His sensations are intact. His intellect is intact. His musical skills are intact. But he is locked into an inability to express himself to the world.”

ERICA allows people to turn their eyes into commanding tools. The $7,900 device uses an infrared camera to track eye movement across a computer screen. When the user pauses on part of the screen, the computer registers that, similar to the click of a mouse.

Shortcuts allow the user to order the computer to do many tasks with few clicks. It offers common phrases, for instance, when it sees where the user appears to be going in a certain message.

The device is also helping people who are paralyzed from traumatic injuries and other medical disorders, says Teresa Westerbur, an occupational therapist and assistive tech specialist who sells the ERICA devices across Texas.

While the first words some people transmit through the machine have been “There is a God,” she says, others get right to business, saying things like, “When you move me this way it hurts.”

“When you can give a voice to somebody who hasn’t spoken in seven years, it is very rewarding,” Westerbur says.

The will to live and make music

Everett’s family saw his mood lift immediately after he began using the device to do things as simple as send e-mail, surf the Internet and change the TV channel.

“This gave him a reason to want to live,” says his ex-wife, Cathy Everett. Before he got the device, Everett did not want to have a breathing tube permanently inserted into his throat because he saw no reason to extend his life.

Now he does. And he’s shopping for music amplifiers and gathering music from other artists to mix with ERICA.

Says Annette Everett: “That one machine changed his whole life.”

Freddie says in an e-mail, typed into the machine with his eyes, that ERICA “has changed my life and has given me the will to continue with the greatest gift that I have (been) given in this life which is music. … I will continue to make music and spread the love around.”

I’m gonna try to contact Jason about the article to see if he knew about it and what his reaction to it is. I hope I get a reply from him; fingers crossed! Wish me luck!

While I was at the music store today, Shane gave me a CD that was dropped off at the music store some time ago. It’s by a group called Double EZ Melt and the CD is called Extra Medium. I put up the album on MegaUpload so if you wanna have a listen, here it is. Double EZ Melt, if you would like me to take down the link, just leave me an email and I’ll take it down immediately (there’s a link at the top of the page).

Well, I’m gonna watch me some Bamboo Blade so I’ll catch you guys later. Bye now!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 30 days since www.theandysan.com has been up (Yay, one-month anniversary!) and 2 days since www.spicymelon.com has been up. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon,
Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff via the Share This! expanding button to your site of choice.

It's Spicy Inside!!1

Hey guys, it’s TheAndySan hurr with most excellent news!

Yesterday, I purchased a new domain name. What, you’re moving again?!! Nope, I now have another site. It’s called SpicyMelon.com and it’s an online recipe blog. I got the idea, innocently enough, when I was eating watermelon. I wondered if watermelon tasted good with cayenne pepper. Unfortunatly, the water in the watermelon made the pepper slide off so I couldn’t taste much spice. It did give me an idea though: what if I put up a site with all my oddball recipes and allowed others to submit their own recipes? And SpicyMelon.com was born! I’ve expanded it from my initial idea of oddball recipes to budget-friendly and very simple recipes as well. So if any of you guys out there have a killer recipe that’s off the beaten path, easy on the wallet, and/or fairly simple, send me an email at xadawg@gmail.com. You can find a link to SpicyMelon.com in my sidebar in addition to the numerous links in this post.

Well, I’m gonna eat some Spicy Melon in celebration of my new domain. Have fun!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 29 days since www.theandysan.com has been up and 1 day since www.spicymelon.com has been up. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon,
Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff via the Share This! expanding button to your site of choice.

The Niche Itch

Hey guys, long time no blog. It’s TheAndySan, the one and only, hurr again…with pants!

Okay first up, I’ve been stupid-busy as of late so if my blogs were a bit inconsistent both topically and chronologically, I apologize. This is the jist of my days lately: Wake up, eat something, call or get called by Eriopolis or Ben, hang out with them and then work or visa versa, come home at a ridiculously late hour, and sleep/pass out on the couch.

Despite all of this going on, I have managed to make some rather big changes to this blog. You might have noticed that I removed the group of share buttons in favor of the Share This! expanding button. This also made the Technorati button in the sidebar obsolete, so I scrapped that as well. Since my AdSense has been super-nuked, I’ve put up Chikita ads in the meantime until I get my Yahoo Publisher Network account approved. More to come on that so stay tuned!

So, why is this post called The Niche Itch? Because it’s a bitchin’ rhyme? Well, yes and no. I’ve been doing a lot of reading from the bloggers that pull in a shit-ton of money. We’re talking hundreds of dollars daily, if not thousands. They all pretty much say the same thing: “Find a niche and don’t jump off-topic too often.” In other words, “Be specific! B-E specific!” There is a large amount of evidence to prove that if you settle on a main topic and talk about nothing but it, then you’re gonna get tons of viewers followed by tons of money. Who am I to buck the trend? I am officially announcing the main topic of this blog: my life. With my life as my main topic, I am now free to talk about whatever I want since EVERYTHING has some sort of relation to my life. Whether it’s an interesting article that I read in the newspaper or what I did with my friends the other day, everything has some sort of relation to my life. The only things I can’t talk about in this blog are things that I am not aware of. As I become more aware of things, I can incorporate more topics as well as shuffle out the topics that I’m bored with. This is how I can talk about Magic: The Gathering, playing guitar, working at Wal-Mart, and my life goals ALL IN THE SAME POST! All of these topics relate to my life because they play a part in my life, however big or small in importance.

In other news, my lesson with Rich today was really awesome! I learned that I only really need to learn any scale in one key since they can all be transposed by however many half-steps the initial key is to the new key. For example, if I wanted to change from G to A, I would move wherever I am up two frets since A is only a whole-step up from G. I never realized that until today. In essence, I have learned to play lead in any key possible. I also learned that the minor pentatonic and the major pentatonic are very closely related. For example, the 1st position minor pattern is exactly the same as the 5th position major pattern, just starting somewhere different. It was such a revelation for me!

Also in other news, I’ve added new st00f to the Eights and Aces MySpace page. It’s not a lot, but it’s something. You can take a gander at www.myspace.com/eightsandaces. I jammed with Ben today and he said that I’ve improved so much as a player. I taught him how to play Still Got The Blues by Gary Moore last night and he played it for me, but it was a bit off. Not by much, but he’s got the first part pretty down so it’s all good.

Fairly recently, Cody, my friend and the bassist for Eights and Aces, moved out of his parents’ house and into an apartment with his girlfriend Danielle. It’s a pretty sw33t pad, especially for his first apartment. We played a lot of Magic: The Gathering there. It’s also a million times cooler, in relation to temperature, than Eriopolis’ room since Cody’s apartment has excellent circulation and Eriopolis’ room has ziltch.

Well, I’m gonna go to bed so I’ll see you guys on the flip-side! Laterz!!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 28 days since www.theandysan.com has been up. As I’ve said before, I took away the social bookmarking site buttons and replaced them with Share This! because it’s easier and much moAr aesthetically pleasing. If any of you guys use Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, etc., you can submit my stuff to them that way.