make your own ringtone

Make a ringtone from any mp3 file in iTunes in under a minute.

Personal Note: I say keep it on vibrate most of the time out of politeness for the general public, but use the ringtones for your morning alarm!

1. In iTunes, find the song from which you want to make a ringtone. Write down the interval of time you wish to capture (e.g. the chorus from 1:13 to 1:27).

2. Right-click on the mp3 file and select ‘Get Info’.

3. Go to the tab for ‘Options’, check the boxes for ‘Start Time’ and ‘End Time’, and input the interval you wish to capture in your ringtone. Hit ‘OK’.

4. With that mp3 file still highlighted, go up top to the ‘Advanced’ menu and select ‘Create AAC Version’. This will automatically create a new file in your library (and it should have a length equal to the interval you set previously).

5. Drag and drop this new AAC file to your desktop. It should have a .m4a extension.

6. Change the extension of this file from “.m4a” to “.m4r”.

7. Drag this file from your desktop back into iTunes. It should now be available in your ‘Ringtones’ library on the left. If you don’t see this library, got to Preferences and make sure you have checked the box to show this library in your iTunes.

8. Lastly, you can delete the file on your desktop, and can delete the AAC version of the song in your iTunes music library. Also, remember to change the original mp3 file back to the normal start and end times (just unclick the boxes).

9. Sync your iPhone/ringtones and you’re good to go.

Reference: eHow

homemade pesto tortellini with jerk chicken breast and fried red peppers

Homemade Pesto Tortellini with Jerk Chicken Breast and Fried Red Peppers
Prep/Cook Time: 1 Hour
Difficulty: Medium-Easy
Homemade Pesto Sauce
Juice from 1 lemon
Fresh basil
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese
Ground black pepper
Red pepper flakes
Directions: Combine all in food processor, drizzling in olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
Frozen Tortellini
Cherry Tomatoes
Directions: I buy the pasta frozen… follow directions on the packaging. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside until plating.
Jerk Chicken Breast
Thin-cut chicken breast(s)
Cajun/jerk seasoning (Emeril’s Essence works great – make it or buy it)
Directions: Rub the spice on the chicken and press it in good. Use the excess spice. Grill on med-high heat. Alternatively, fry them on high heat in a pan on the stove in a little bit of olive oil. I used the same oil I used for frying the peppers…
Fried Red Peppers
Red Bell Pepper(s)
Directions: Slice peppers about 1/4″ thick and 2″ long. Fry in olive oil and a touch of salt until skin is black and peppers are relatively soft.
Mix the pesto with the drained tortellini in a big bowl/pan. Slice the chicken almost all the way through so it still stays together a bit. Plate as shown in picture with cherry tomatoes, leaf of fresh basil, fresh ground black pepper, and grated parmesan cheese as garnishes. Serve with lots more parmesan cheese.
Drink: Glass of red wine, ice cold Amstel Light, or glass of cold 2% milk. Holla.

start using twitter

Overview What is it?
It’s an easy-to-use application that provides a unique method of networking, news gathering, and friend updates – all in an environment void of censorship or maybe professional restrictions (although there are some general guidelines to follow). Start by setting up your free account, editing settings, personalizing your page, and then researching the use a bit. TubbyBundle has a blog post that is a good resource for beginners, and hopefully the below info can help as well. As of the end of March 2009 there were over 9 million site visitors, a number more than twice that of Feb 09. It will grow more as an acquisition is close to integrating it with everyday Google products…

Definitions & Meanings What do I need to know?

Tweet – A single post of 140 characters or less using Twitter
Followers – People who follow your updates (depending on your settings, you can be open to the public, or require approval before someone becomes a follower)
Following – People whose updates you follow (depending on their setting, you may need to be approved before you can follow)

Mentions – Formerly known as “@Replies”, you can use the “@” symbol before a username to mention another twitter user in your tweet. Instead of mentioning that person by name, mention them by username using the “@” symbol before their username.
Re-Tweets – You can re-tweet something someone else posted. This is useful to spread a post to your network in cases where it may bring good value (and it properly cites the original user who posted it)
Direct Messages – You can write directly to another user that you follow (so nobody else can see that tweet but that user).
Hashtags – Unique way to follow certain topics. Follow the user “hashtags” and they will immediately request to follow you. Then the system can automatically index tags you apply to your tweets and you can follow other topics of your choosing. 
StrategyWhy am I using it and how will I use it?
Is this for business use or for personal use? Will I post news articles I find interesting? What topics would I consider interesting? Is there a niche to fill in my area of interest? Who do I want to be my audience i.e. who will I seek to follow? (news, NGOs, celebs, friends, strangers, experts, academics, etc). Consistencies are nice, but not absolutely necessary (punctuation, humor, cursing, tone, frequency, etc). In my opinion, the best strategy involves being multi-dimensional with some structure to your posts. Maintaining some level of frequency is important while using similar language/structure also helps portray your personality through each tweet, which is important to your followers. I like to post on math, science, me, hot topics, numbers, technology, blog posts, humor, sports, food, education, history. Wide range of stuff, but all within the realm of who I am. I like to post a few in the morning, few in the afternoon, and maybe in the evening on some sports or food or something of that sorts to bring the day to a close – an interesting way to decompress the day is to summarize in 140 characters – weird, right?
Additionally, link your Twitter account up with other social networking or personal applications such as Facebook, LinkedIn, personal blog, etc. Keep in mind the different audiences and who may have access to what you’re posting. If you’re Tommy Lee on Facebook but Martha Stewart on Twitter, either don’t link them or go see a psychiatrist.

Applications – What’s out there for me to use?
There are plenty of web applications, desktop applications, and phone applications to choose from. Check out the Twitter PBwiki page for a comprehensive listing. Some I’d recommend:

  • Web – Use the Twitter homepage or use Twitpic to post images.
  • Desktop – Spaz is a simple app to start if you don’t follow many people. TweetDeck is nice because you can categorize who you follow. I’d go with TweetDeck.
  • Phone – I use Twitterific on the iPhone. I’d change a lot of things on it but it works for now.

Other Resources

Spend some time on the Twitter PBwiki page listing additional resources. Click around on some as they are quite fun. Some good ways to find similar users in your location, follow topic trends, and find out how valuable your page really is. I won’t go through them all but I’ll list a few:
  • TweetValue – get a monetary value of your twitter page
  • Twitterank – see how your user rank gets better over time
  • TinyURL – shorten URLs to put in your tweets
  • Twitter Search – search the public timeline of tweets
  • TweetWheel – see connections b/n you and your friends
  • Twitter-Stats – see stats about you with a visual or two
  • WeFollow – user-generated Twitter directory
Visualization of those I follow and our shared connectivity (from TweetWheel)…
Lastly, have some fun finding value in Twitter. Go to the pages of your close friends and see who they follow, and follow them. Search on some topics and find people who post regularly on topics of interest. Find the news organizations you watch on TV. Find similar users in your area. Don’t follow everyone, but you’ll have the ability to build a network of direct contacts and a feed of real-time info that should be engaging and interesting to you as a daily web user.

start your own blog

This is for those looking to start a blog but might be reluctant to do so because of the required setup, the feeling of obligation to publish, or the belief that what may be published may not be interesting. Believe me, the process is simple and everyone has something worthwhile to share.

1. Use blogger/blogspot, wordpress, tumblr, or another blog hosting site. In choosing a host, you’ll want to think about level of customization and design allowed, credentialing (OpenID, Google Accounts, etc.), and availability of RSS/Atom feeds for use in Twitterfeed, email subscriptions, and more. I use blogspot and it works very nicely with regards to all three of these.

2. Name your blog and get your blog address, understanding that all desired names may not be available. Think of something unique to you and intriguing to the reader.

3. After registering and getting your blog address, begin with design and customization. Choose colors, posting templates, applications for side columns (e.g. reading list, tags, archive, followers, etc.). With blogspot/blogger, it is very easy to begin with a template and design from there.

4. Think about registering a custom domain address to use as an alias. This means you can buy and point it to your blog, as I have done with It costs only 10 bucks a year with GoDaddy and the aliasing is easy.

5. Setup Google Analytics. Set up a new website profile for your blog address (use your new custom domain name if you have one) and follow the directions to copy the tracking code into your blog. There are good instructions here.

Note that once the tracking code is added to your blog, it may take up to 24 hours for it to start working. When done, this will allow you to track visitor locations, visit length, and other useful admin stats.

6. Get a first blog post in. Talk about why you wanted to start a blog and a little about yourself. This is a lead-in post most new visitors may see first. This is practice for you to be familiar with the posting process.

7. You’ll need to get your link out there. Link it to other social networking sites (Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). Put it in email signatures, as your IM away message, gChat status, well, you get the idea. If you are on Twitter, don’t just put the link in your profile, but setup a Twitterfeed to automatically post a tweet every time you post. 

I believe everyone has something interesting to say. Some just need the right approach to get it out and on paper. I suggest not going with a theme for your blog, but rather trying to keep it open to all possibilities. Also, try and keep up the same frequency of posting. If it’s weekly, blog around that. If it’s daily, shoot and maintain a post every 1-4 days. My only other point of advice is that bloggers need a starting place. Whether it be a thought, a song, a picture, news article, an event, a dish of food, an emotion, a color, a time, a concept, or imagination, take it and run with it. Take notes wherever you are and bundle up our thoughts into a post to share. Not everything will be interesting to everyone, but getting thoughts on paper itself will expand your right-brain capacity and hopefully trigger that same reaction in your readers.