SynthLab's The Mixedtape Challenge 1968

1968+MixtapeSynthLab's The Mixedtape Challenge 1968

Album Cover Title Songs
1968 Mixtape 1 Chris Mathis

1968 Mixtape 1 Chris Mathis


eng|| 1968 Mix 1 1. I Got Life Original Broadway Cast of Hair 2. Variations On A Theme (1st Movement) Blood, Sweat and Tears 3. The Gift Velvet Underground 4. Woody Allen (excerpt) from The Third Woody Allen Album 5. Fire Brigade The Move 6. Days The Kinks 7. Jennifer Juniper Donovan 8. Season Of The Witch Al Cooper w/Stephen Stills 9. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) Jimi Hendrix 10. I Love You More Than You'll Ever Know Blood, Sweat and Tears 11. Variations On A Theme (2nd Movement) Blood, Sweat and Tears 12. I Put A Spell On You Creedence Clearwater Revival 13. Summertime Blues Blue Cheer 14. Armenia City In The Sky The Who 15. Timothy Leary (excerpt) from a 1968 interview 16. Legend Of A Mind The Moody Blues 17. Oscillations Silver Apples 18. Bright Suburban Mr. & Mrs. Clean Machine Country Joe & The Fish 19. Concentration Moon The Mothers 20. Fifth Horseman Of The Apocalypse Ultimate Spinach 21. Run Shaker Life Ritchie Havens 22. The Way Young Lovers Do Van Morrison 23. Spanish Caravan The Doors 24. Variations On A Theme (1st Movement) Blood, Sweat and Tears
1968 Mixtape 1 Chris Mathis
1968 Mixtape 2 Chris Mathis eng|| 1968 Mix 2 1. Flower Punk The Mothers 2. Monterey The Animals 3. Piece Of My Heart Big Brother and the Holding Company 4. Combination Of The Two Yuya Utchida and the Flowers 5. Quicksilver Girl The Steve Miller Band 6. Pride Of Man Quicksilver Messenger Service 7. Crown Of Creation Jefferson Airplane 8. Termination Iron Butterfly 9. Set The Controls For The Center Of The Sun Pink Floyd 10. Porpoise Song The Monkees 11. Sattva The Rascals 12. My White Bicycle Tomorrow 13. The Last Thing I Remember The Turtles 14. I Can Hear The Grass Grow Blues Magoos 15. Erudite Eyes Giles, Giles & Fripp 16. Why Am I So Short Soft Machine 17. Song For Jeffery Jethro Tull 18. Classical Gas Mason Williams 19. MacArthur Park Richard Harris 20. The Time It Is Today The Association 21. Massachusetts The Bee Gees 22. It's You The Millennium 23. Living In The USA The Steve Miller Band 24. Season Of The Witch Julie Driscoll, Brian Augur & The Trinity 25. Monkees Poem
1968 Mixtape 1 Chris Mathis
1968 Mixtape 3 Chris Mathis eng|| 1968 Mix 3 1. A Giant Crab Comes Forth Giant Crab 2. Taurus Spirit 3. The Word The Moody Blues 4. Om The Moody Blues 5. Transcendental Meditation The Beach Boys 6. Cheap Thrills The Mothers 7. Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out The Fugs 8. Uno Mundo Buffalo Springfield 9. I Got A Line On You Spirit 10. I Ain't Superstitious Jeff Beck 11. The First Cut Is The Deepest The Koobas 12. I'd Rather Go Blind Etta James 13. Reason To Believe The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band 14. You Ain't Going Nowhere The Byrds 15. Mr. Tambourine Man William Shatner 16. Chest Fever The Band 17. One Three Dog Night 18. Everybody's Talkin' Harry Nilsson 19. 55 Minutes Peter Cook & Dudley Moore 20. Here Comes The Nice Small Faces 21. Happy Freuds The Nice 22. Magic Man Caravan 23. Spontaneous Apple Creation Arthur Brown 24. Itchycoo Park Small Faces 25. She Says Good Morning The Pretty Things 26. Path Through The Forrest The Factory 27. Walking Through My Dreams The Pretty Things 28. Rainbow Chaser Nirvana 29. I Wish I Was Five Scrugg 30. Pictures Of Matchstick Men Status Quo 23. Bow Tie Daddy The Mothers
1968 Mixtape 1 Chris Mathis 1968 Mixtape 4 Chris Mathis eng|| 1968 Mix 4 1. Intro & Motorcycle Ride Bruce Haack & Miss Nelson 2. Motorcycle Song Arlo Guthrie 3. Cactus Tree Joni Mitchell 4. Hey That's No Way To Say Goodbye Leonard Cohen 5. Something In The Way She Moves James Taylor 6. Twelve Thirty Mamas and Papas 7. Tuesday, Tuesday Elephant Candy 8. (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction Blue Cheer 9. Stray Cat Blues The Rolling Stones 10. Beatle Bones 'N' Smokin' Stones Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band 11. Strawberry Fields Forever Tomorrow 12. You Can't Do That Vanilla Fudge 13. We Can work It Out Deep Purple 14. Help Deep Purple 15. Party Secombe George Harrison 16. Long, Long, Long The Beatles 17. Hurdy Gurdy Man Donovan 18. Season Of The Witch Vanilla Fudge 19. I Got You, Babe (excerpt) Tiny Tim 20. The Beat Goes On Vanilla Fudge 21. Season Of The Witch Mercia Love 22. The Curse Of The Witches The Strawberry Alarm Clock
1968 Mixtape Loren Nerell

1968 Mixtape Loren Nerell eng||1. The Pretty Things - S.F. Sorrow Is Born - S.F. Sorrow 2. Pink Floyd - Let There Be More Light - A Saucerful Of Secrets 3. Jimi Hendrix - Voodoo Child (Slight Return) - Electric Ladyland 4. Cream - White Room - Wheels Of Fire 5. The Moody Blues - The Best Way To Travel - In Search Of The Lost Chord 6. Soft Machine - Hope For Happiness - The Soft Machine Volumes One 7. Traffic - Dear Mr. Fantasy - Mr. Fantasy 8. The Zombies - - Odessey & Oracle 9. The Doors - Not to Touch the Earth - Waiting For The Sun 10. The Beatles - Yer Blues - The Beatles 11. Jethro Tull - Dharma For One - This Was 12. The Rolling Stones - Street Fighting Man - Beggars Banquet 13. Wendy Carlos - Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major - iii Allegro - Switched-On Bach 14. Terry Riley - Poppy Nogood - Ohm: The Early Gurus Of Electronic Music 1948-1980 15. Morton Subotnick - The Wild Bull - Part A- The Wild Bull
1968 Mixtape Matt Pogue

1968 Mixtape Matt Pogue eng||1968 Mixtape Matt Pogue "Sorry, Ringo" 0:00:00 — Porpoise Song — The Monkees | Head 0:04:02 — 1983... (A Merman I Should Turn to Be) — The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Electric Ladyland 0:09:49 — Moon, Turn The Tides...Gently, Gently — The Jimi Hendrix Experience | Electric Ladyland 0:18:43 — Spanish Caravan — The Doors | Waiting For The Sun 0:21:39 — White Room — Cream | Wheels Of Fire 0:26:36 — Corporal Clegg — Pink Floyd | A Saucerful of Secrets 0:30:42 — Savoy Truffle — The Beatles | The Beatles 0:33:36 — Anyone For Tennis — Cream | The Savage Seven (soundtrack) 0:36:07 — Magic Bus — The Who | Magic Bus b/w Bucket "T" 0:39:26 — Not To Touch The Earth — The Doors | Waiting For The Sun 0:43:20 — My Sunday Feeling — Jethro Tull | This Was 0:46:55 — Cocaine Blues — Johnny Cash | At Folsom Prison 0:49:52 — That's It For The Other One — Grateful Dead | Anthem Of The Sun 0:57:32 — Glass Onion — The Beatles | The Beatles 0:59:49 — I Am A Child — Buffalo Springfield | Last Time Around 1:02:02 — Coloured Rain * — Eric Burdon And The Animals | Love Is 1:11:35 — Street Fighting Man — The Rolling Stones | Beggars Banquet 1:14:46 — Mother Nature's Son — The Beatles | The Beatles 1:17:30 — L'Arena — Ennio Morricone | Il Mercenario (soundtrack) 1:22:15 — Careful With That Axe, Eugene — Pink Floyd | Point Me At The Sky (b-side) 1:27:58 — Hellhound On My Trail — Fleetwood Mac | (Peter Green's) Fleetwood Mac 1:29:47 — Triangular Waveform: Composition — Beaver & Krause | The Nonesuch Guide To Electronic Music * feat. 25-year-old Andy Summers of The Police!
1968 Mixtape Rychard Cooper

1968 Mixtape Rychard Cooper eng||Don't Step On The Grass, Sam - Steppenwolf - Second Legend Of A Mind - The Moody Blues - In Search Of The Lost Chord Point Me At The Sky - Pink Floyd - Single I Am A Child - Buffalo Springfield - Last Time Around Hurdy Gurdy Man - Donovan - The Hurdy Gurdy Man No Expectations - The Rolling Stones - Beggars Banquet Dazed and Confused - Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin I In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida - Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Politician - Cream - Wheels Of Fire Still Raining, Still Dreaming - Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland Hush - Deep Purple - Shades Of Deep Purple Stop - Bloomfield, Kooper & Stills - Super Session Beck's Bolero - Jeff Beck - Truth Walking on the Water - Creedence Clearwater Revival - Creedence Clearwater Revival Long Black Veil - The Band - Music From Big Pink One For John Gee - Jethro Tull - This Was Classical Gas - Mason Williams - Single Brandenburger - The Nice - Ars Longa Vita Brevis Fugue No. 7 - Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Bach
1968 Mixtape Side 1 Qrux

1968 Mixtape Side 1 Qrux eng||Cry Baby Cry • Ramsey Lewis • Mother Nature's Son Soul Vibrations • Dorothy Ashby • Afro-Harping
Acid • Ray Barretto • Acid
Five to One • The Doors • Waiting for the Sun
Eso Se Baila Así • Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe • The Hustler
Jackie • Scott Walker • Scott 2
Sonrieme • Los Golden Boys • Cuando Toca... Toca! 
Summer Wine • Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood • Nancy & Lee
Almost Seedless • Hugh Masekela • The Promise Of A Future
All Along the Watchtower • Jimi Hendrix • Electric Ladyland Chain of Fools • Lady Soul • Aretha Franklin The Garden Of Earthly Delights • The United States Of America • The United States Of America
Goin' Back • The Byrds • The Notorious Byrd Brothers
Hippies • Piero Umiliani • Psichedelica
Le Premier Bonheur Du Jour • Os Mutantes • "Os Mutantes" 
Lord Help Me To Be • Alice Coltrane • Cosmic Music
Happiness Is A Warm Gun • The Beatles • The Beatles
Lonely Little Girl • The Mothers Of Invention • We're Only In It For The Money
Madness • Prince Buster • Tutti Frutti
Train to Skaville • The Ethiopians • Engine 54
1968 Mixtape Side 2 Qrux

1968 Mixtape Side 2 Qrux eng||Aquarius • Cal Tjader • The Prophet
Some Velvet Morning • Nancy Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood • Nancy & Lee
Mr. Bojangles • Jerry Jeff Walker • Mr. Bojangles
Ferris Wheel • Gábor Szabó • Dreams
La-La Means • I Love You The Delfonics • La La Means I Love You
(Sittin' On) the Dock of the Bay • Otis Redding • The Dock of the Bay
Like It Is • Yusef Lateef • The Blue Yusef Lateef
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun • Pink Floyd • A Saucerful of Secrets
Kriminal Theme • Les Maledictus Sound • Les maledictus sound Oscillations • Silver Apples • Silver Apples Pictures of Matchstick Men • Status Quo • Picturesque Matchstickable Messages from the Status Quo
Baby, Now That I Found You • The Foundations • The Foundations
Think • Aretha Franklin • Aretha Now
First Steps • Basil Kirchin, Jack Nathan • Kpm 1000 Series: It's About Time Ball and Chain • Big Brother & The Holding Company, Janis Joplin • Cheap Thrills
Daydream Believer • The Monkees • The Birds, The Bees, & The Monkees
1968 Mixtape univac

1968 Mixtape univac eng||Mixtape 1968, lovingly crafted for your earholes by univac All I can say is that this crazy shit was happening in the same year as I was born. Groovy! ° The Firesign Theater — Returned For Regrooving — Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him ° Mrs. Miller — Granny Bopper — Mrs. Miller Does Her Thing ° The Mothers Of Invention — Flower Punk — We're Only In It For The Money ° Strawberry Alarm Clock — Sitting On A Star — Wake Up...It's Tomorrow ° West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band — A Child's Guide to Good and Evil — Vol. 3: A Child's Guide to Good and Evil ° H.P. Lovecraft — Mobius Trip — H.P. Lovecraft II ° 50 Foot Hose — If Not This Time — Cauldron ° The Soft Machine — Lullabye Letter — The Soft Machine ° The Banana Splits — We're The Banana Splits — We're The Banana Splits ° The Doors — Five to One — Waiting For The Sun ° William Shatner — Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds — The Transformed Man ° The Beatles — While My Guitar Gently Weeps — The Beatles (White Album) ° Tiny Tim — The Coming Home Party — God Bless Tiny Tim ° Leonard Nimoy — Where It's At — The Way I Feel ° Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band — We Are Normal — The Bestiality Of Bonzo Dog Band ° BBC Radiophonic Workshop — Delia Derbyshire - Door To Door — BBC Radiophonic Music ° Silver Apples — Oscillations — Whirly-Bird / Oscillations 7" ° Wozard of Iz (Mort Garson) — Leave the Driving to Us — An Electronic Odyssey ° BBC Radiophonic Workshop — Delia Derbyshire - Ziwzih Ziwzih OO-OO-OO — BBC Radiophonic Music ° Bruce Haack — Robot Music — The Way-Out Record For Children ° Steve Reich / Ulrich Krieger — Pendulum Music ° Morton Subotnik — The Wild Bull, Side A (excerpt) — The Wild Bull ° BBC Radiophonic Workshop — Delia Derbyshire - Towards Tomorrow — BBC Radiophonic Music ° The Firesign Theater — Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him (Excerpt) — Waiting For The Electrician Or Someone Like Him Psych Out!


  • built on 5/15/2021 with Mp3tag v3.06a - the universal Tag Editor
  • Had to export cover art
  • Had to manually make links to the audio file
  • Could edit the songs in HTML to make them number lists

Thoughts & Tips for August 2020

Wood-Aug-2020Photo by Steve Holden. MORE LIKE THIS!


We are still health on the COVD-19 front.  We continue to be vigilant and focused: #wear_a_mask; #wash_your_hands, #social_distance, and #stay_home_if_sick.


Square Graphic 300 x 300 px - Edited
Two friends Chris & Charlie have started a new podcast about craft beer with my help. You may think I know a lot about beer, but they know a ton more than I do. I learn something new everytime we record a show. The PodCraft Beer Show is currently at episode two, and the third episode should be out on August 3, 2020. I am primarily focused on audio recording, production, editing, and digital distribution.  In addition, I am also helping in setting up some of the services for website development, social media, and other backend stuff. Lots of fun!


With over a month of almost daily hands-on testing, I am now a big fan of the AfterShokz Black Diamond Xtrainerz. The bone conducting technology does take a little bit of time to get use to, but once I did, I like not having the headphone part in my ear even with the great headphones I had before. The Xtrainerz is a pretty straight forward MP3 player, basically you load files into folders and you can play the folder in order or shuffle them.  At the top level you can also shuffle or play the folders in order.  All in all I recommend them if you are swimming a lot, and want to listen to music while you swim.

Xtrainerz Black Diamond

When I am not swimming, I have been listening to more Audible lately than podcasts.  My main focus is plowing through books that I bought in the past, but have never listened to. You can try Audible for free for 30-days and get two free books if you want. Over the last month:


My Halfling Fighter In 3D!

Dungeons & Dragons continues to be a great new hobby (my personal blessing from CV-19), and it is awesome to be playing with friends from high school on a regular basis. The main physical books that I bought were the: DM Guide, Player Guide, Monster Manual, and DM Screen.  The tools we are using to play online include: Zoom/Discord (for video collaboration), Beyond D&D, (for character sheets & DM resources), and Roll20 (for sharing maps, combat, etc).  Two of my favorite mapping tools are: Inkarnate (for world, geographic, city, and town mapping) and Dungeon Scrawl (for dungeons, buildings, combat level maps, etc).  If you want a demo, then let me know.


  • My in-person David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) classes at work for August and September are still technically on the calendar, but I'm not confident I'll be able teach them with us still being on maximum telework. I am starting to scope out a Virtual GTD Training Class using Adobe Connect. (Editorial Opinion: I hope Adobe got the memo that Flash (.swf) is dead.  Just get with the program please.)
  • Related to GTD and the above mention of re-reading of "The Power of Habit" by Charles Duhigg, I recently took for work the Power Of Habit class from Vital Smarts.  I am still unpacking the training and will report more in the future.
  • My music listening has been all over the board recently.  One band that continues to impress me is Lo Moon. I was introduced to them as the opening band for Chvrches in San Diego last fall.  I call them the Talk Talk of today. They are on heavy rotation. Music for the soul.


"The more control you have over your attention, the more control you have over your future." - James Clear

Thoughts & Tips for June 2020

Wood-steps-beachPhoto by Steve Holden. MORE LIKE THIS!


Basically all is well with regards to COVID-19 since the last update. Everyone is healthy. Maximum telework. Virtual school. Social distancing. Major home bodies with home projects in full swing. And a good amount of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) as an escape vice binge watching shows.

The ongoing justice crisis with #blacklivesmatter has left me sad, angry, frustrated, and motivated.  The horrible murder of George Floyd, and the peaceful protests turning violent with illegal rioting and looting have then been exasperated by some in law enforcement using unconscionable illegal force and tactics. And then we have some elected politicians and civil servants make things worse not better. Change must happen: 

  • Love your neighbor as yourself -- treat and value others with the dignity, respect, and grace you would like others to show to you.
  • Work towards a society based on justice, equality, liberty, and opportunities.
  • Condemn and reject at-all-times covert and overt hatred, racism, bigotry, and discrimination.
  • Realize and acknowledge that your place in life probably has more positives and privilege, than others who have suffered greatly, and do not have the hope that you have, or feel that their voices have been heard in the past or currently being valued or heard.

Freedom is hard work and not to be taken for granted -- FREEDOM IS NOT FREE!


I continue to enjoying my two mornings a week (Tue & Thu) riding this bike trainer while watching YouTube cycling videos using this iPad stand, and listening to audio books or podcasts.  On Sunday mornings I am completing a route around Fletcher Hills that is about 10 miles.  I have noticed that my time to complete the route keeps getting shorter so overall my biking has improved during COVID-19.

So the pool at our house has been open since last month's post.  I am doing mini-laps and training with a DIY bungie-harness setup.  Very nice to be back in the water.  More info here.

I also did pick up a recovery tool that I've been meaning to get -- Theragun recently came out with the mini.  I've only had it for a short time but it has really given me some relief on parts of my left leg that is still giving me some issues since my bulged disc two years ago.



I have been listening to a lot more music recently.  Here are some suggestions from YouTube:


  • I am prepping for a 9 person David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) class at work in June but it isn't confirmed yet.  The wheels of purchasing stuff at work have been going slow, and I still don't have digital licenses, but I am told that could change any day now.
  • I am still playing at least one day of the week Dungeons & Dragons with some friends online.  The main books that I bought were the: DM Guide, Player Guide, Monster Manual, and DM Screen.  The tools we are using to play online include: Zoom, BeyondD&D, and Roll20.  I am trying out some mapping tools.  More about that next month.


"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one." - Bruce Lee


My Favorite Swimming Tech

I have two favorite swimming tech items that I personally use while I swim (in my own personal pool as above or at the YCMA before COVID):

I use to use Apple iPod devices that were water proofed, but those are not available any more.  I have tried a several different headphones, and by far the HydroActive are my favorite. 

Thoughts & Tips For March 2020


I did do a Sprint Triathlon hosted by the UCSD Triton Triathlon Team on Feb. 16, 2020.   It was tough but good fun:

Sprint Tri PhotosFeb. 16 was also my son Conrad's 21st birthday.  We had a good time celebrating:

Conrad B-Day

I've also enjoyed a few great IPA-ish beers this month. Here are some recommendations:

Some Awesome Bitter Beers

Thanks to one more day in February (aka the 29th), I was able to get our 2019 taxes done, and see one of our favorite 80s cover band -- Resurrection Radio at the awesome Helix Brewing Co. in La Mesa, CA. This is a setlist from a previous show.


One of my favorite authors -- Mark Greaney -- was in town on Feb. 18th promoting his new book "One Minute Out" (this is book #9 of the Gray Man series) at Warwick's in La Jolla.  It is highly recommended this new book and the overall series in general. Here is a picture from that evening:

Mark G Speaking About His New Book

Last month I mentioned that my new HP PC only has USB 3.0 ports on the front of the computer.  I ended up getting this 4-port HUB so I could move more of the high-speed connections back behind the computer.  So far it is working out pretty well.

Some great tips here on how to correctly wash your hands! [REDDIT]



“Each moment is a place you’ve never been.” — Mark Strand

Thoughts & Tips for February 2020


Christy and I had a great weekend trip to Yuma to see one of our favorite 80's cover bands - Checker'd Past.


I made some updates to the Europe 2019 Trip Blog over the Christmas Holidays.

Christmas was awesome. The time off from work was refreshing. I had some pretty good beers!

Beer-christmasIn early January, we had a great Australian foreign exchange student for a week or so.  We got to do a lot of fun stuff around San Diego while she was here, and eat at all our favorite places.

Our Vietnamese student for the last year has moved on to a place closer to SDSU. It is going to be weird not having a foreign exchange student in our house.

Our church is doing the RED LETTER CHALLENGE (#rlc).  Just finished day 19 of 40. Pretty good study.

I really enjoyed the last Star Wars movie "The Rise of Skywalker." Spencer and I saw it on opening weekend, and then we went back later so I could see it again.


If you read David Allen's Getting Things Done a while back and are looking for some podcast references to maybe jump start your system, then you might want to check out this blog post I did on the subject.

My home older Dell Windows 10 system has been having some BIOS boot issues so I decided to upgrade to a new system.  Some key tech specs that I was looking as key: boot drive on SSD; more than 8-GB of RAM; and latest generation Intel processor.   I ended up with an Intel i5 processor vs. Intel i7 processor because of a deal at Costco.  The first thing I did was remove the bundled 3rd party software and many of the Microsoft add-ons that I know I didn't want.  It took about 4 hours to get the system stabilized and ready to migrate data and services.

I recently picked up a "Ninety7 JOT Portable Battery Base for Google Home Mini" that enables the Mini to be portable so I can take it outside or into another room.  Very helpful for listening to music or podcasts while at home.



"People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures." - F.M. Alexander

Thoughts & Tips for May 2019

Screenshot 2019-05-19 at 18.17.43Health Update

Things have been slowly improving with my back since my bike fall in February (and it is almost to 1 year since my full-on bulged disc incident).  I switched my morning runs to morning walks in March by switching my regular "run" days (Mon., Tue., Thu., Sat.) to walk days. Then in April, I moved to running 1 minute and then walking 30 seconds (repeat 20 times) on "run" days.  My current plan is to transition to running slowly for ~30 minutes (no stopping) on "run" days in May.  I also decided to not do the next couple of San Diego area sprint triathlons, and instead focus on getting to as close as possible to 100% with the plan of doing the next sprint triathlon in July. 

Wedding Anniversary

My wonder wife Christy and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary.  It was pretty low-key, but we are looking to go on an adventure later in the year.

Wedding-03-COLLAGEChvrches Concert

My daughter and I were able to see Chvrches in-between their Coachella shows at Pappy & Harriet's in Pioneertown, CA.  The concert was awesome, the road trip fun, and Pappy & Harriert's is a very unique venue to see a band (highly recommended), and the food & drinks were pretty darn good.  It was also a treat to meet-up with other Southern California Chvrches fans (second set of photos by Chris Rubalcava).


CHVRCHES April 2019 Collage

Screenshot 2019-04-24 at 20.44.50Mom's Memorial

The weekend after Easter, my family and I held my Mom's Memorial (Saturday, April 27, 2019) up in the Sacramento area.  It was a blessing that we waited until the Spring, and all-in-all it went well  It was simple and uncomplicated, with a lot of time to remember, share, and support each other.  Another major blessing was being able to connect with her many friends that she touched and did life with.  

Technology & Tips

One thing I have been experimenting with over the last month is using a Panda paper planning system to scope out my monthly, weekly, and daily plans right after my morning devotionals.  So far it has been pretty positive.  This is the one I purchased.

I used these ear protection plugs for the Chvrches concert.  They worked out better than expected.  I could clearly hear all the music, but being in the front row, my hearing wasn't impacted like it has been in the past.

If you are looking for some water proof headphones for swimming, then you should know that these are the best I have used -- HydroActive Headphones.


There is a lot going on in May:

Quote I'm Thinking About

"When annoyed count 10, before you speak, if very angry, count 100." - Thomas Jefferson

Thoughts & Tips For December 2018

IMG_20181120_123729-01Photo by Steve Holden**

World Upside Down

Like I mentioned at the start of last month's monthly Thoughts & Tips blog post (November 2018), my Mom passed away unexpectedly on October 31, 2018, and since then that has been my main focus (grieving, family, planning, paperwork, coordination, decisions, etc).  The love and support of God, my family, my Life Group, my church, friends, co-workers, CHVRCHES Podcast Fans, etc. have been a complete answer to prayer, and have given me a great deal of comfort. I am still hurting. I am still very sad. I miss her very much.


The picture in top left is me with my Mom and her Mom (my Omi) in my backyard at our first house on Palm Avenue in Sacramento.  The top right picture is us visiting Hawaii to see my Uncle Lucky.  The bottom left (B&W) has a great Mom smile, and bottom right is me on the first day of being adopted by my Mom and Dad.

Thankful For

There are so many little micro stories of blessing and thanksgiving around my Mom's passing.  I need to process these more, so I can't share them yet, but every time I think of them, tears come to my eyes.

My son Conrad and I went up to Roseville, CA to work on donating as much as possible from my Mom's house a couple of weekends back.  We made a lot of progress, and took one afternoon off to go out to Folsom, CA for some distractions.  We had a good time learning more about the first power plant in the area that sent most of its power to Sacramento:

20181110_190009-COLLAGEAnother great distraction this month was at a concert hosted at the conference my wife goes to with her school co-workers ever year just before Thanksgiving.  This year it was in the Palm Springs area.  The evening band was Checker'd Past (Facebook), and they were an amazing 80's Cover Band:


If you get a chance to see them, then take it!  Here is a link to their setlist!

Health Update

Things continue in a positive direction with regards to being physically active and working out regularly.  I do enjoy morning Pilates classes at my local YMCA, and then a swim workout in the pool before work twice a week.  I am diagnosed with a bulged disk (L5-S1) [see July Update], but at this point it is not negatively impacting my day to day life.


The new Kindle Paperwhite is great.  I highly recommend it -- lighter, water proof, and faster.

I'm a big fan of Chromebooks.  My main computer has been based on Chrome OS for several years.  I just upgraded to the Acer Chromebook Flip 13 as it supports Linux, which my current Chromebook does not.  I am also enjoying the touch screen and need to try out the Wacom pen some more.  It does have a fan which is weird to hear go on and off as it tries to cool the processor.


We are now into the full Christmas season and we typically have a jammed packed Holiday season: church services, parties, and family events.  December is always full of things to do and memories to make.  If you are reading this, then I hope you have a marvelously amazing 2018 Christmas and Holiday Season.  If you are not, and need someone to talk to, then please call me at 619-631-4433. 


Given all the stress this month, I've really been using this Hof Breathing Method that Kevin Rose posted on Instagram.

I have been trying to document my adventures in bourbon!

Quote I'm Thinking About

"Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come." - Anonymous

**The wood is from Christy's Dad's backyard. He cut down a tree at his house that needed to be removed, and got some great options for a future project.  I think the logs could be worked into a foundation for a glass table.

Thoughts & Tips For November 2018

Very Sad News

The majority of this post was written before I learned that my wonderful mother - Marlies Holden - passed away unexpectedly yesterday (10-31-2018).  I am currently at the airport leaving for Sacramento.  Please pray for me, my family, and all those hurting right now.

Image-from-rawpixel-id-430588-jpegImage by

Health Update

Again ... the Pilates physical therapy courses I have been taking have been making a big difference in my overall physical health.  My core is stronger and it has been almost 5 months since my major back pain incident -- basically everything is going better than expected (no pain, no real negative effects).  I am slowly getting back to running, but trying to keep that limited by doing intervals of running for 1 minute and then walking for 30 seconds (repeat 28x times).


I just ordered the new Kindle Paperwhite and I'm looking forward to the upgrade.  I really like reading on my Kindle vice phone or iPad.  


Thankful For

My work related trips in September were good and productive. I really enjoyed the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio; and highly recommend going if you have 4-6 hours:


And the trip to Omaha, NE was great because the weather was very enjoyable (these are pictures from an afternoon run):


My last David Allen Getting Things Done (GTD) class for FY2018 went well.  And the concert with Maggie Rogers and Mallrat was awesome:



We have some tentative plans to go to the mountains the weekend of Veterans Day, and then a trip to Palm Springs area just before Thanksgiving.  The week of Thanksgiving should be fun as we always host Thanksgiving dinner, and the family and some close friends play a friendly game of touch football before eating.  And then we can also start decorating for Christmas.


I watched on the plane back from Omaha, NE a very interesting documentary called "Neat." Basically it is well done history of bourbon in the United States.  It really captured my attention, and I think I going to be deep diving on the topic of bourbon for a while.

If you are using Google Chrome, then I highly recommend checking out the extension Clipboard History 2.  It keeps a running log (as long as you want) of items you have cut-n-pasted.  I find it really useful to cut down re-typing links or other material when writing.  It also is a handy history of what you have been working on.  If you cut-n-paste passwords though, you might want to look at the settings around clearing the history after a certain number of items, and maybe not do a cloud sync of your clips.  I haven't looked into the security of the data protection in the tool.  Better safe than sorry.

Quote I'm Thinking About

“Do your own thinking independently. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.” – Ralph Charell

Thoughts & Tips For October 2018

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Health Update

Things are slowly getting better.  The Pilates classes I have been taking are really making a difference.  My core is really getting stronger.  I did pretty well on my 2nd Sprint Triathlon beating my expected time by a couple of minutes:


I finally broke down and got some Bluetooth workout/running/gym headphones.  I think I picked these because of the price, they were from Anker which I think has good Q&A, and the overall reviews.

Thankful For

This past September had a lot to be thankful for.

My friend Mark Horstman from Manager Tools was in San Diego teaching a group of leaders at my work how to do Better Interviewing.  I highly recommend this training:


I got to see my favorite band Chvrches with my family.  My daughter and I were in the front row with my friend Bruce from Texas.  It was a very memorable show:


Also the opening band was Lo Moon and they are awesome:

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My niece's wedding was also wonderful:


And my last training class for Getting Things Done (GTD) at work in FY2018 was great.  It is awesome to be able to help others better manage their lives in a productive and effective way:



I have a couple of work related trips that should be very interesting and I am planning to learn a lot at them.

Another great musician - Maggie Rogers -- and her opening band Mallrat are coming to San Diego in September and I'm so looking forward to seeing them live.


Do you have a Roomba that is running slow because of old batteries?  This was out situation over the summer.  I'd charge the Roomba and then it would only be able to do half the room before needing to be recharged.  I got this battery replacement and it is like we have a new Roomba.

I have probably said this before, but 3x5 cards seem to be the best possible note taking solution for me.  I recently bought some cards that were "not the cheapest" and had some  thickness to them.  The newer cards are very nice to write on and because they are firm and solid, more enjoyable to use.

Quote I'm Thinking About

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.” — Jack Kornfield