Monday, June 25, 2007

Phoenix, summer sings, tech for non-profits, PHP

Last week, we returned from our visit to Phoenix. We celebrated Sugar Daddy's grandfather's 90th birthday, and boy, was it an uplifting experience! Despite his age, he is feisty, funny, and in pretty good health. He even danced the "Waikiki Walk" with every lady present at the party!

I've been working through the PHP tutorial at W3Schools. It's not the best tutorial I've ever used, but at least I learned something when I had to debug why the tutorial instructions didn't result in the expected output...

I stopped at the library and hunted for books that would provide some guidance on the legal/financial/procedural aspects of setting myself up as an independent contractor. Two useful finds: Working for Yourself: Law & Taxes for Independent Contractors, Freelancers & Consultants (which is exactly the information I'm looking for) and Starting a Business in San Mateo & Santa Clara Counties (info that is locally pertinent).

I spent some time reading articles about tech for non-profits, specifically the ones at TechSoup. There are more blogs/feeds on tech for non-profits that I'd like to check out, like the ones listed at Beth Kanter's nptech blog. Plus, there's an interesting article on How to Pinpoint the Right Social Networking Tools for Your Nonprofit, and Get the Support and Budget to Put Them to Work that I'd like to get to. But despite all this interesting reading material, I don't want to develop a case of blog reading fatigue like my buddy Oluf. So I looked around for some different free feature-rich RSS readers, and am currently experimenting with JetBrains Omea Reader to see if it will successfully tame the information monster.

In addition, I've just started brainstorming about what new online tools for activism and enhancements of existing tools might best benefit New American Dream. Comments, ideas on this topic are welcome.

On the music front - my recent listening has been following the Schola Cantorum Summer Sing schedule. Last week, the Verdi Requiem (and I found a pretty decent recording by Claudio Abbado at the library). This week, Poulenc Gloria and Brahms Liebeslieder Waltzer. As a bonus, I borrowed a recording of Carole Farley singing songs by Ned Rorem, one of my favorite art song composers, with Rorem at the piano. I've got my next two voice lessons scheduled, and am getting back to the piano after a couple of weeks of practice hiatus.

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