Resources For Writing Grant Proposals

Artists, musicians, writers and other members of the creative community rarely “make it big” in a commercial/financial sense. That doesn’t necessarily discourage us from making art, but it would be nice to have some financial support.

While there are many local, national, and international sources of grant money for creatives, one look at some of the applications scares off many artists who are great at making art but not comfortable with figuring out budgets or writing snappy descriptions of their proposals.

A friend who was recently appointed to her city’s cultural council posted on Facebook that all of her artistic friends should really consider applying for grants even though the thought is intimidating. I posted a bunch of helpful links in the comments, which I am reposting here for future reference, and will add more as I come across them:

Continue reading

Hassle-Free Comcast Cancellation

I’ve been over my head with packing/purging/moving to our new house, but here’s a quick tip:

You may recall last summer a recording of a Comcast customer’s frustrating attempt to get their service cancelled went viral. With that in mind I volunteered to try cancelling our old house’s service since I’m better at dealing with BS than my partner. I just did so, and not only had no hassles but found we didn’t need to stand in line at a service center to return the set top box and remote either! Here’s the trick:

Continue reading

Home Recording Basic Info For Windows Users

A teacher friend forwarded to me a request from one of her students who wanted information on how to do home recording with her Windows PC (the teacher is a Mac user). Here’s what I replied FYI:

It sounds like you already have [free software for Windows/Mac/Linux]¬†Audacity, which was what I would recommend for basic Windows recording. There actually isn’t a GarageBand for PC, despite what searching would have you think – the link that came up is not a product by Apple, but something downloadable from¬† “Rare Software” – I can find no references for that from reliable sites, so personally I would hesitate to install it.

The other important part of making a decent-sounding home recording into a PC (or Mac) is how you get the analog sound (the waves of sound your harp makes through the air) converted to digital 1s and 0s inside your computer. Your PC may have a line in/mic in 1/8″ jack, or a built-in mic, but those are only sufficient for talking on Skype calls, etc. You want some type of external analog/digital (A/D) converter.

Continue reading

Flashback Friday: Creating Easy Secure Unique Passwords

Posted on August 22, 2012

Recent incidents of hackers stealing millions of password files from sites like Linkedin are a reminder to choose both secure AND unique passwords for every site you visit – because even a secure password is no good if one site’s security is lax and it’s the same password you use for EVERY site.

I know – even an average user has a dozen or more web accounts requiring passwords (email, Facebook, Amazon, Google, a blog, bank and credit card sites, etc), so the thought of having to remember a different password for each one is daunting! But a simple memory+pattern trick makes it easy:

Continue reading