Treehouse, Firedoglake and Mick Taylor

Just a quick update to let you know that my six-month immersion in web des/dev and WordPress theming education is nearing its end and I should get back to posting a bit more regularly come July. I’ve really enjoyed my time at Treehouse and will continue to study there part-time as the summer and fall progress. I would highly recommend it to folks of all ages looking for a fresh start in a web design, app design or coding-related career track. (If you click on their ad in the sidebar you can get 50% off your first month.)

collage of earned badges at Treehouse web education program

Some of the Treehouse modules I’ve been studying…

That also means I’ll be able to re-visit a few of my sites and start re-designing them for some better UX, and start building WordPress themes from scratch. Woo hoo!

In other developments, I’ve landed a summer position assisting Firedoglake reporter Kevin Gosztola and the staff at FDL, where I hope to put to good use some of my newfound WordPress and design skills, helping them as an archivist, reporter’s assistant and generally pitching in with any help needed on their website.

And on 6/24 I get to fulfill a decades-old wish to see the guitarist Mick Taylor play a few numbers with his old band (a British blues-rock outfit you may have heard of). That’ll be really exciting because listening to Taylor’s records/cd’s was how I learned to play slide guitar.

So there’s a lot of neat stuff to look forward to over the summer, and I thank any returning readers for their patience during the last few months when our content output kinda slowed to a drip.


Life Is Melody’s September 2012 update

Howdy. So here we are beginning our third month of activity/’beta ops’ at Life Is This month sees the launch of The Billionaire’s Cap series: a contest, hat and economic policy idea all rolled into one. The Outlooks section will continue adding material from Chuang Tzu to the Reading Room, and some of the upcoming Zen offerings will be from Hui-Neng. In the natural health/home related topics, aka the Lifestyle section, there will be an intro to wheatgrass article for October to continue in the green superfoods vein from last month. Also coming up in late September or early October, I’ll put up some live Swervedriver I recorded from their second ‘reunion’ 10-date U.S. tour this year and introduce a really cool slide guitar tuning to try in the Arts/Expression section.

There’s some design changes coming down the pike too, most likely around the six month mark.

Continue reading

New Additions to Life Is Melody’s Reading Room section


Since new additions to certain parts of the site don’t show up on the front page or in the ‘recent posts’ categories, I’ll occasionally list them in an ‘aside’ or site update post.

There’s some new entries in the Outlooks’ Reading Room section: Chuang Tzu’s exposition on the ideal ‘True Person’ of ancient times, Goddard’s preface to A Buddhist Bible which delves into a little of the roots and history of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, and Hui-neng’s autobiographical tale from illiterate ‘country bumpkin’ (h/t A. Watts) to becoming the Sixth Patriarch in a direct line from Bodhidarma.

Life Is Melody: July update


So here’s a July update for Life Is Melody .com. For the Outlooks section, there’s an abridged version of the Perfection of Ultimate Wisdom Sutra, several Chuang Tzu excerpts in the Reading Room (soon to be joined by more of his excellent forays into depth, imagination and humor), and some upcoming material on Hui-neng and Mahayana from Goddard’s Buddhist Bible. I’m still putzing with the image slideshow plugin and presentation, but hope to have a fullscreen slideshow gallery and an improved Reading Room format by the end of the month. The Lifestyle section will finally get its first post or two this month, starting with the intro to a series on gluten-free eating, and the Society/Politics section began the month with Voodoo Economics: The Trickle-down Fairy Tale. There are now some reading suggestions corresponding to the four sections of the site in the Store tab for people who occasionally want a real book on hand to read, and some improved functionality should appear when the sidebar and footer items get settled upon. One of these days I’m even going to fill out the “About” page!

Up coming stuff in the next few weeks: a neat video on creativity, the aforementioned gluten-free series’ start, an excerpt from a Swervedriver show I shot, the next Zen Exchange post and ongoing improvements to the site as I continue to learn how and what I’d like to implement. Thanks for dropping by.


Welcome to the beta version of the Life Is site; a hybrid e-zine/blog touching on: Eastern philosophy and humor; natural health and lifestyle topics; progressive social change; and last but certainly not least for a site with ‘melody’ in its moniker, Arts and the creative spirit.

We’ll be starting off mostly with the ‘Outlooks’ section (zen, humor, etc) and its Reading Room, but during the summer there will start to be posts in the other sections as well. Test uploads will stay on board as placeholder content, and there’ll be some more design changes over the next few months too.

Hopefully among the various topics, articles, sayings and op-eds, you’ll find something that resonates or entertains. The site will have a light posting schedule, but should slowly build up a nice collection of material, provide some unique perspectives and have some outside contributions as well along the way. We hope you’ll drop on in from time to time.