Raja Afrika of the Afrika 8
Wednesday, June 3, 2020
 
Raja's Blog
Not All Who Wander Are Lost

How the Right Choice of Coffee Saved My Honeymoon or The Kindness of Baristas

Posted: Monday, August 17, 2015

Kathleen and my wedding day was perfect.

It didn't go perfectly but it was perfect. It was made so by the kindness and generosity of our friends and family and it was really humbling. We had a blemish on the evening when The Hospitality Inn discriminated against us and would not honor our reservation. Both Kathleen and I were in shock that something like that can happen in 2015. Anyways, let it be known that The Hospitality Inn in Portland, OR discriminates against interracial newlyweds.

But after that we had a brilliant dinner at O’Conner’s in Hillsdale and the next day we went to Breitenbush Hot springs were they staff giggled a bit at our honeymooner status and then let us soak our cares away in the natural hot springs and geo-thermally powered Sauna. We came back home to our life, 4 kids and my Mom all glowy and then... we couldn't find Kathleen's bag; the bag with all the wedding gift money in it, Kathleen's phone and wallet! We spent about 2 days tearing up the house looking for it. We rifled repeatedly through the car. It was a hard time.

A couple of days later I had a meeting with my Capoeira teacher to talk about how we can promote this Brazilian art form in Portland. After the meeting I thought I would stop and get some Coffee and Danishes to cheer up my new wife. Starbucks was right next door to Baker and Spice. I spent a moment contemplating this choice when I chose quality over speed. I went into Baker and Spice and picked out a Lemon Cake, a Katie's Bun and 2 Americanos. As I was ringing up my order the Barista Meghan says "Hey what's your name?!" "Afrika. Raja Afrika." "OMG! I found a bag in the bathroom the other day and the only thing I saw with a name on it was a check made out to Kathleen and Raja Afrika!" Me: "Oh.My.God! You FOUND OUR BAG?!?!?! The next 10 minutes were of me exclaiming like this and kissing Meghan on the cheek and then gushing some more.

I came home with Coffee, Danish and a bag full of wedding money.
There was much rejoicing.
and things got brighter
Give Thanks!


I shudder to think I almost went into Starbucks.



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From The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Posted: Saturday, August 15, 2015

My love, you are a river fed by many streams

I bless all who have shaped you,

The lovers whose delights still dance paterns on your back,

Those who carved your channels deeper, broader, wider,
Whitewater and backwater lovers,

Swamp lovers , sun-warmed estuary lovers,

Lovers with surface tension,

Lovers like boulders,

Like ice forming and breaking,

Lovers that fill and spill with the tides.

I bless those who have taught you and those who have pleased you and those who have hurt you.

All those who have made you who you are.


-Starhawk



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African Americans Less Likely to Receive a Job Call Back Than Whites

Posted: Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What this article says to me is that African Americans need to open our own businesses and employee our own people to overcome these racial barriers rather than waiting for other cultures to get over their predjudices.


Here is the crux of the article:


"The results indicate large racial differences in callback rates to a phone line with a voice mailbox attached and a message recorded by someone of the appropriate race and gender. Job applicants with white names needed to send about 10 resumes to get one callback; those with African-American names needed to send around 15 resumes to get one callback. This would suggest either employer prejudice or employer perception that race signals lower productivity.


The 50 percent gap in callback rates is statistically very significant, Bertrand and Mullainathan note in Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination (NBER Working Paper No. 9873). It indicates that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller.


"While one may have expected that improved credentials may alleviate employers' fear that African-American applicants are deficient in some unobservable skills, this is not the case in our data," the authors write. "Discrimination therefore appears to bite twice, making it harder not only for African-Americans to find a job but also to improve their employability."


From a policy standpoint, this aspect of the findings suggests that training programs alone may not be enough to alleviate the barriers raised by discrimination, the authors write. "If African-Americans recognize how employers reward their skills, they may be rationally more reluctant than whites to even participate in these programs."


The experiment, conducted between July 2001 and January 2002, reveals several other aspects of discrimination. If the fictitious resume indicates that the applicant lives in a wealthier, or more educated, or more-white neighborhood, the callback rate rises. Interestingly, this effect does not differ by race. Indeed, if ghettos and bad neighborhoods are particularly stigmatizing for African-Americans, one might have expected them to be helped more than whites by having a "good" address.


Further, discrimination levels are statistically uniform across all the occupation and industry categories covered in the experiment. Federal contractors, sometimes regarded as more severely constrained by affirmative action laws, do not discriminate less. Neither do larger employers, or employers who explicitly state that they are "Equal Opportunity Employer" in their ads."


Read the full article here:


Employers' Replies to Racial Names
by The National Bureau of Economic Research


http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html



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Microsoft Lightswitch 2015 Reading Web.Config and App Settings

Posted: Friday, April 24, 2015

I recently spent 4 very frustrating hours trying to do something that I thought would be very simple. I just wanted to read the ApplicationID out of Web.Config.

I am using ASP.NET Identity and I want to be able to filter my data based on the currently logged in client. So I search for:



  • LightSwitch 2015 read web.config



  • LightSwitch 2015 read ApplicationID



  • Lightswitch Global Variables




 Nothing.

Then I stumbled across the following article


  


How to: Store and Retrieve Application Settings Using Isolated Storage


 Silverlight


https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc221360(v=vs.95).aspx 


Bottom Line: You can use Isloated storage like a global variable that you set at application initilization and then call from your event code.

Private appSettings As IsolatedStorageSettings =IsolatedStorageSettings.SiteSettings

Private Sub MyScreen_Activated() Sub SearchClients_Execute()
 ' Write your code here.
appSettings.Remove("ApplicationID")
appSettings.Add("ApplicationID", "MyGlobalValue")
End Sub

Private Sub SearchPatients_Execute()
Dim ApplicationID As String = appSettings("ApplicationID")
End Sub

According to the article:

You can use isolated storage in Silverlight to store application settings, which are per-application, per-computer, and per-user settings. Their scope is determined by the full path of the application .xap file. For example, you can store application settings, such as number of images to display per page, page layout customization settings, and so on.

You store application settings using isolated storage by using members of the IsolatedStorageSettings class. This class implements a dictionary that is designed to store name/value pairs. Like all data stored in isolated storage using Silverlight, application settings are stored locally on the user's computer. In Windows 7, the information is stored in the AppData\LocalLow directory. For other operating system versions, including those on the Apple Macintosh, information is stored in the AppData\Local directory. Values stored in isolated storage are stored locally and are not available for roaming.



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How Do I Hate IKEA. Let me count the ways.

Posted: Saturday, August 16, 2014

Stupid Meatballs making Americans fat.

Must follow the arrow there's no going back

Particle board hell for unwary consumers

Coat check your kids to go buy some overpriced bullshit named ubengrueebuer

Why did I buy two lamps then have to go to two different grocery stores afterwards to buy the right bulb. When did buying light bulbs become hard?

I hate you IKEA

I hate the stupid outfits you make your employees wear

And I hate that you made me pay 49 cents for a fucking plastic bag. WTF? I buy all that shit and I can't get a fucking bag?! I hope you trip and fall.

I hate IKEA y'all

It took me a work week to put together a dresser and two beds with some stupid Swedish hieroglyphs. These aren’t gifts. These are Sadist who hate us who have devised a special hell just for US consumerist. I’d take Pinhead from Hellraiser over this bullshit anyday. Atleast he had class. Bumbarass AssClot Dupee Furniture Store I don’t want no more.  

Forced to navigate a maze of consumer hell with false promises of value for some bullshit that’s going to fall apart in 6 month. Bought all this bullshit feel like a dunce. Only doing that shit once. Swear to GOD IKEA I am fucking done with you.

Just gonna order one more matching couch and a couple more Shoji screen lamps; online. You trendy sadistic tramps! I hope in another life, you are forced to eat your own food and walk around your own store. Fuckers.

Sincerely,


Raja Afrika



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Voltron Theory or We are Stronger Together

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014

Voltron Theory by Raja AfrikaIn the 1980's TV show Voltron the citizens of the Galaxy were being terrorized. The Galaxy was being terrorized by people with powerful magic that had the ability to create mighty beast many times bigger than the people. And then these men and women would use their magical monsters to plunder and abuse the people.

Then, one day, through valiant effort five brave pilots flying 5 giant robot Lions that have the ability to form the giant robot Voltron, defender of the Galaxy, rose up to fight the monster and the people behind them.

This is one of my favorite analogies for corporate abuse and the solution. As corporate monsters pollutes our water, air and food we are not strong enough to fight these destructive forces alone. But when we combine our strength in an organized manner, we create our own creature/creation/giant avenging robot that can begin the right the wrongs we all suffer and stand and defend the people.

Voltron theory states that the best way to fight monsters is with Unity.


 




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Post-Yoga Thoughts

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014

There is no Post-Yoga. Everything is Yoga. Life is a form of Yoga. Wake up, stretch, bathe, eat, work, relax, sleep, repeat. Sun rise up. Sun rise down. Breath in. Breath out. Repeat.


Once I took a Tai-Chi Class. I think we practiced Yang Long Form (Short Form?). Anyways I learned enough of the steps that I could practice on my own in a field. As I practiced I reached a point where I felt as if the Sun, Moon and stars were being moved by my motions. I freaked out a bit and stopped for fear that a misstep would cause everything to come crumbling down. I think this was a big of the Tail wagging the Dog. But my point is, there is an order of things that we can tap into, live in harmony with. My Buddhist Mom calls this increasing our life condition. I call in being "in the zone." 


In any event, this is a much better place to operate from.


Raja 



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What is the Purpose of Life or Are you thinking what I'm thinking

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2014

Enlightenment. Reconnection with our original state, which is bliss.
There are statements that I believe to be true. Statements that I see repeated evidence of in the material world. One of those statements is "As Above So Below," or that which is occurring in the macrocosm has reflections on microcosm.

When I do Yoga, I find that I have the capacity to ask better questions. I find that the questions that I asked myself "before yoga" were sometimes "barking up the wrong tree" entirely and finding answers to those questions would not have gotten me closer to my desire. Post Yoga I find that my mind works differently, I am calmer, more centered and as a result I ask different questions. I believe that Enlightenment must be the macrocosm of this experience; a perspective from which all things come into focus, enabling us to ask better questions.

So what is the purpose of life? Enlightenment, the journey to enlightenment, the work that comes after. When your own cup floweth over the blessing rain down on others.

I have always enjoyed teaching so I think I am supposed to be a teacher.

I have always enjoyed music so I think I am supposed to be a rocker.

I have always enjoyed talking to people, helping them, so I think I am supposed to be a therapist.

I have always enjoyed making money so I think I am supposed to be a capitalist.

I have always enjoyed travel so I think I am supposed to be an adventurer.

I have always enjoyed liberty and equality so I think I am supposed to be a social crusader.

I have always had insights into the nature of things past, present and future so I think I am supposed to be a seer.

I have always loved sex and love so I think I am supposed to be a lover.

I have always enjoyed expressing my warrior spirit so I think I am supposed to be a fighter.

I have always wanted to create a society based on principals that make sense to me and the community so I think I am supposed to be a leader.

So, Leader, Lover, Rocker, Fighter, Adventurer, Therapist, Capitalist, Seer, Crusader = ...What?
Voltron

Equals a new way of life, carved out of this existing dross of repetition and scrabbling for survival. A new, glowing better way of being. Equals my life as proof that change is possible. I think my life's purpose is to be as awesome as I can figure out how to be and be an example to others in the process.



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A Plan for Life or Who the * Has a 5 Year Plan

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2014

I have been building websites for almost 20 years. If you asked me 20 years ago where I would be 20 years later my response would have been "Living on my island."

So the other day my girlfriend and I gave ourselves the challenge of writing a business plan for our various businesses. I decided that I was going to write a business plan for my business that I've been doing for 18 years. Then something remarkable happened...

I got to the part about Mission Statement. Goals and objectives. So then I asked myself "why have I been doing this for 20 years? What have my goals been?" Then I sat there...
INHALE #SafetyMeetings EXHALE
Nope, still nothing. That was when I realized that I couldn't write the plan I was trying to write because my plan wasn't "META" enough. Describing why I am doing what I do for a living requires defining what I think is important about LIFE.

So... what do I think is the point of life? LOL!

That's when I realized, I need a business plan for my life. What am I doing here? What do I think is my purpose on Earth? Because at this point in my life, I do not see the point in doing anything that is not clearly a part of my life path. It is clear to me that, like the projects that I have been consulting on for 20 years, I need to identify the objectives... of my life, review my existing approach (to life) critically, see in what ways my existing approach is working and in what ways it is failing, created an action plan to enhance the things that I am doing right and correct the things that I am doing wrong, then come up with some financial projects, a timeline, some milestones... Holyshit I sound like a grownup.

But here is what has become a near certainty for me: We have the ability to do anything we desire, if we will just focus on it and work for it. So there it is. I am creating a plan for Life and here is what I realize about. I have access to GREAT project management tools. LOL, I've been using SharePoint online for the past year to plan projects. I've just found a project to add to the list :-)

Rock on!
With Love,
Raja Afrika



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This Sucka Just Told me I am in a Chrome Book Only Area or Dont Rosa Parks Me

Posted: Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Don't Segregate the LibrarySo I am at the Salem Public Library in Salem Oregon. The Library has a technology area where you can plug in your laptop and use the public wifi. Great. Today when I came into the library I noticed two things. One was the nice new table by the window, sunlight spilling in, birds chirping. Why didn't they do that before. The other thing I noticed was this sign "Chrome-Books Only.





Don't Segregate the LibraryNow I know what a Chrome-book is but something in my heart told me to ignore this sign. So I sat down and pulled out my Big Black Laptop and no sooner had I started to boot up my machine and start my work day then a library employee came right up to me and told me that I couldn't sit where I was sitting. He was very emphatic about it. I was offended. I told him that these were the only tables by the window and it was a beautiful day. He told me that I could sit at the far end of the room, that I would have an excellent view from there. That's when I told him that I was staging a sit-in. I wasn't entirely serious, but I hate being bullied and I was really offended by the way this mini-mite Library employee decided to get right in my face and tell me that I was in some kind of segregated area.


When it looked like he was thinking seriously about calling the police on me I asked him "So if I had a Chrome book, you are telling me I can sit here?"
"Yes."
"And the Library offers Chrome-books free?"
"Yes"
"Well then why didn't you offer me that option istead of getting im my face and telling me that I can not sit here because my Laptop is not the right color?"

He walked away from me then and I thought he was gone but he came back some minutes later with a form; a form for the Chrome-book.


Don't Segregate the LibraryI had to fill out a form to apply for a free library card but not before registering a complaint at the administration office. Then another form for the Chrome-book. Then I sat my Black ass right back in the same seat and busted my Big Black Laptop back out to write this. Nothing in the agreement said that I had to USE the Chrome-book; 


The Irony is through the window, in the background, is a mural that seems to espouse the unity of humankind. Maybe that Library employee should spend more time looking through the window.


With Love,
Raja

Don't Segregate the Library


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



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Becoming G*d or Becoming a clear channel

Posted: Saturday, February 8, 2014

Since I was a kid I have heard that God is an all pervading energy imbuing and animating everyone and everything. The meaning of YOGA is reunion. The re-joining the body and mind with the spirit.


The goal of YOGA is to bring our awareness to the present moment. To become conscience in the moment; to focus our awareness and concentrate it. We call this mindfulness.


What if when we concentrate our awareness we are really concentrating God? What if we are concentrating that all-encompassing, all animating energy that we call God? What if the notion of submitting to God or subsuming our will to God is really about becoming a clear channel for this energy of love, enlightenment and creation? What if this is the real meaning of God making us in her image? What if this is the real meaning behind becoming one with ATMAN?


What if the goal of life is to become God; to become a clear channel for God energy? For God light.


Then I guess we say NAMASTE and keep Ommmming.


"Before Enlightenment, chop wood and carry water. After Enlightenment chop wood and carry water." – Zen Proverb


With Love


~ Raja


 



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Morning Yoga or Making a Choice to Evolve out of Delusion

Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014

I woke up at 5:30 this morning. I was out of bed by 6 and on the Yoga mat by 6:15 am. It was a late start. My girlfriend was out of bed at 5:30 and headed for the treadmill. I felt like a slacker.

I had not done Yoga in over a week. Maybe 2. I'd just got off my rhythm. Allowed myself to get caught up in life. Made the decision again and again to try to do work instead of Yoga. This is always a mistake yet time and again I manage to convince myself that this time, skipping Yoga to get work done is justified. I have a tight deadline, a pressing project, some reason why I can't take the hour out of my morning to stretch.

The truth is, that when I do my morning Yoga practice, I start the day off more centered, more relaxed. I find that things come easier to me, intractable problems get tractable like a Mofo. So why do I continue to practice a behavior that has been proven in my own eyes to be less successful than another strategy? In other words, why do I continue to skip morning yoga when I know that my day would go better with it? Illusion. The Illusion that, whatever pressing problem I might have won't wait an hour; the illusion that I can spend an hour on work and then stop and do Yoga after. This has never happened. Having identified this delusion, I now face a crisis (read: choice) every morning: Will I engage in evolution or delusion? Sounds simple when you put it that way but it’s not.

I believe that it is only morning yoga enabling me to even have these thoughts.



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Mind Your Networks

Posted: Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Beware the Disinfopocalypse



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Beware the disinfopocalypse

Posted: Thursday, January 16, 2014

In an age where information is power and the internet provides ready access to information how do you keep the masses from becoming too powerful? Disinformation apocalypse. In the past year I have watch the quality of news media go from bad (it was already bad) to the realm of science fiction.

Clearly there is a need for some manner of information vetting system so that info graphics like these can be evaluated for their veracity.


 



 


 


 


 



 


 



 


 


 



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Multiverse

Posted: Sunday, December 29, 2013

First time I saw it was in the shower when I was 12
Youth are high on life
Now I move across screens, across spaces
I listen to music on my phone
Do work on my computer
Watch movies on my tablet
Smile at my girlfriend's ass as she walks by
Recall all of the places on the Earth I have walked and I am there
In that time and that place, again
I am here, now
I am smiling back at myself from the future, waving
I am you, smiling, waving
I am the memory, the rage, the hope, the dreams of my Ancestors

The Clouds, the Sun,
You, me and everything are One



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10 Years in the Book Store or Self Help is Just Help

Posted: Saturday, December 28, 2013

I have read over 10 years worth of self help books and books in the metaphysical section of book stores. I didn't buy the books mind you, just read them in the book store. Here's what I've learned:

1. Be nice to others.
2. Be nicer to yourself.
3. Let shit ride, don't hold grudges.
4. Ask for more than you need.
5. Dream big, make big moves.
6 Don't take yourself too seriously.
7. Eating and sleeping keep you healthy.
8. No one. Knows what is better for you than you do.
9. Travel.
10. Your inner-child is your truest advisor, listen carefully.



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Yoga of Life or The Asanas of Life

Posted: Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Wake up in the morning
Rise and stretch
Bathe and eat
Travel
Work
Eat
Travel
Chill
Eat
Sleep

Life is a series of postures like Yoga. Breath in. Breath out. 



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WorldLightASP is Awarded a Microsoft BizSpark Partership

Posted: Saturday, May 19, 2012

I was recently admitted into the Microsoft® BizSpark® Business incubator program. Microsoft® BizSpark® is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, and providing marketing visibility. The program also includes access to Windows Azure, a flexible, comprehensive, and powerful cloud platform for the creation of web applications and services. In addition, BizSpark offers technical support, business training and a network of over 2,000 partners to connect members with incubators, investors, advisors, government agencies and hosters. Since it was established in 2008, more than 45,000 companies in over 100 countries have joined BizSpark.


This is a pretty excisting time. In addition to now having access to all of the cutting edge developer tools at Microsoft, WorldLightASP now has access to the cloud which promises to revolutionize how fast, easy, scaleable and affordable your future website will be.  I'm pretty geeked. You have to imagine Bruce Wayne's face in 'The Dark Knight' when Morgan Freeman shows him the new Bat Lab for the first time. Pretty Sweet.


Anyways Thanks Microsoft for recognizing my dessire to develop cool stuff for the internet and help people prosper all at the same time. Stay tuned! Good things are coming.


Your friendly neighboorhood web geek,


Raja Afrika
CEO
WorldLightASP.com



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Went Daddy

Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2012

A year ago today news came out that GoDaddy.com founder Bob Parsons went adventuring in Zimbabwe and created a commercial like recording stalking and killing an Elephant to the setting of Rock music and GoDaddy Logos. I personally found the act contemptible.


It was at that point that I began looking for an alternative to GoDaddy services. I am pleased to announce that WorldLightASP.com, WorldLightCompany.com and related services have been moved off of GoDaddy. In my opinion GoDaddy provides a good service at a good value so it is a pity that the poor judgment of its founder cast it in such a horrible light.


It turns out I was able to change my domain name registrar from GoDaddy to Network Solutions for about $10 a .COM name. Also my new hosting provider WinHost is providing a more scalable, lower cost infrastructure that means our websites are faster and I will be able to pass these cost savings on to you. If GoDaddy is hosting your domain name and you would like to make a change contact me for more info.


In addition to these efforts I have also switched WorldLightASP to a green energy source over the past year and selected the paperless billing options for all of my company's service providers.


I believe that we vote with our dollars and I would like to say that WorldLightASP both supports and respects our environment.


Wishing you the best,



Raja Afrika
Founder
WorldLightASP Websites for Yoga Teachers and Holistic Practitioners



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Loud Thoughts or Everyday ESP

Posted: Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Loud Thoughts or Everyday ESP - Raja Afrika Evolution InstitituteWhen I was 12 I began to have a lot of what I thought of then as 'Insights.' Ideas that would occur to me randomly, seemingly out of nowhere that would 'feel' true.' I am going to guess that this coincided with the onset of puberty. One such thought that occurred to me when I was 12 was that it was important to be mindful of my thoughts; that it was important to not think 'too loud' or someone else might pick it up. 

I have always had an expressive face. This used to be the Bain of my existence because as my friends would frequently say my face was 'an open book.' However I was always sensitized to the thoughts and emotions of other people and was dubbed a 'sensitive soul' early in life. Later these beliefs about myself resolved into the feeling that thoughts and emotions can (and frequently are) transmitted.

I still label my beliefs on this subject 'Theory;' subject to change at any time. My theory is that when we go through our daily life 'in our heads' focused intently on some thought or idea, that we are like broadcasting towers, putting our emotional energy out onto the ether for others with receptive antennas to pick up. Conversely there are those of us who through practice, experience or sometimes trauma have learned to become sensitized to the emotional state of others; to keep from triggering a reactive parent for example. It is my theory that thoughts and emotions are transmitted and received by each of us, every day, all day, on a mostly subconscious level. I do not believe that distance is an impediment to this transfer; that those with whom we have a 'connection' have the ability to communicate with us across distances (time & space). Mothers who suddenly become worried about their children. Friends and family who call us 'out of the blue' when we are in distress or when we are extremely happy. Loved ones who know what their partner is doing without any physical way to know (via the 5 acknowledged senses).

Lately I've begun to wonder what role cell phones and our constant immersion in radio signals might play in this transmission. Have you noticed that you knew you were going to receive a call or text before it came? I personally noticed that my cellphone has a subtle vibration while it is sending and receiving data and I suspect that my body has clued into that signal. But how often do you know 'Who' is calling or texting you, even before you have received the call or text. Many of us have been immersed in radio frequencies most of our lives. The last two decades however have witnessed the advent of the 2-way signal broadcast through the air. Pagers, text messages, cellphones, emails and more. Is it possible that we have become physically sensitized to these signals? To even use them without directly using our cellular devices? On a 'psychic' level as it were.

I have never believed that there was this special thing called psychic powers that only a chosen few have. Rather I believe that there are senses, senses acknowledged and senses not yet understood. Senses with varying degrees of sensitivity from gross to fine. Sensing the dense (construction noise across the street) and sensing the less dense (sub-vocalizations of someone standing next to us). Each of us having developed our different senses to various degrees. Like the Blind person with excellent hearing. I believe that introverts are likely good receivers of psychic information and that extroverts are likely good broadcasters. I believe that good listeners probably have an easier time developing clairaudience (psychic hearing) and clairsentience (psychic knowing) and that good speakers and dynamic personalities have an easier time developing the power of projection (projecting thoughts and feelings onto others). Well, IMO this is a matter for each of is to decide and up to each of us to try to reach our own understanding of 'what is going on.' But know that I believe that each and every one of us is psychic and I only ask that you meditate (sit with) this one question: Where do your insights come from?

Trust your instincts,
Raja Afrika



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Home Made Oracles or Hacking Your Reality

Posted: Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The power is always in your hands - With Love, Raja Afrika Evolution InstituteI have to tell you right up from that the idea for this post is not my own. I first began paying attention to the signals that nature sends me after reading 'Animal Speak' by Ted Andrews. An amazing book that I mostly flip open to random pages and read where my finger lands but if you've never heard of this book I strongly suggest that you pick it up!

In this book Ted Andrews Native American scientist and philosopher suggests to us that we make agreements with nature. That we decide that when a Hawk flies over our left shoulder that it means this and that when a pigeon lands in front of us that it means that. The symbols are arbitrary and the meaning is only the meaning that we give those symbols but Ted Andrews said and I have experienced, that once we make agreements with Nature, so that she might communicate with us more effectively, she does.

Over the years, largely by happenstance I've come up with the symbol of a Dandelion puff floating by me on the air as my symbol for the Universe saying YES and small insects flying past my face as the Universes symbol for NO. I do not believe that there is ANYTHING inherently good or bad about Dandelion Spoors or insects of any sort this are simply the sybols that I've come up with.

So here we are, I am deep in thought about something, perhaps I will work out of Starbucks instead of the public Library today. Right in that instance, no matter where I am, outdoors or indoors I may see a Dandelion spoor (they really get around) and I may take that as a sign that I might be more effective in my work that day with my first choice. On a different occasion I might think maybe I will stay home and work rather than hanging out with my friends and I might see a small insect, again, right in the instance when I was having the thought. Now, I do not take these signs as commandments. I might still work out of the public library or stay home rather than hanging out with friends. Rather I take these things, these signs as hints, about possible paths in a limitless Universe full of choices; One possible future with the final decision and all of the responsibility for that decision being my own.

I feel it necessary to say here that this is perhaps best looked at like a game. It is a small step from an interesting belief to a dangerous obsession and I personally believe that Life itself would never compel us to do anything to hurt ourselves or others. If you find that this is the case, you should seriously consider that what you are experiencing is delusion. ALWAYS check in with friends and family before making any permanent choices and remember, this is a game. This is a game that we can play with our own subconscious to open ourselves to wider possibilities than we might normally. Did you read DISCLAIMER there?

Having said that, I have always been an empiricist. ‘Show me the money,’ as it were. I recommend that you experiment, pick something at random and try it out. You may be surprised.

With Love,

Raja Afrika



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1996

Posted: Monday, July 25, 2011

I remember that shit like it was yesterday. In 1996 a ton of shit changed for me. In 1996 my life changed but I didn't know it yet.

In 1996 I was 21 years old. I was living a bachelor's existence with my roommate Darwin (who ever heard of a dreadlocks named Darwin? My roommate), in that year I was reading Dyanetics which I think had something to do with it but I only got halfway through the book. My Friends crashed my car and wrecked my apartment beyond repair. We were burglarized, all of my stuff stolen, I was fired from my job. It was a distinguishing year. When all of this bad stuff whet down, I reached a point of 'fuck it, what else can happen?'

That was to be a turning point. A time that would redefine my life but again, I didn't know it. What I did learn is that all of the losses I experienced brought me to something of a zen place. Everything had been taken from me. I was living in Atlanta, Georgia. I went home to Boston.

I remember in Boston, hanging out with my sister who works in the same field as me, helping me go through the want ads, trying to find some sort of suitable job. Going through the want ads and hating everything I saw. Going on interviews to jobs that paid what at that time looked like a lot of money and turning them down because they simply felt wrong in my soul. Finally asking for and receiving an unpaid apprenticeship with a friend and colleague of mine. My life was taking a turn but I didn't know it.

I remember everyone thinking that I was crazy to be working for free when I could be making "so much money." My life was changing and all I had to tell me that I was making the right moves was this thing inside of me that said "This feels right." So many more things happened in 1996. Things that are now cornerstones of my life. All I had to go on was my sense of right. But having listened to it, it catapulted my life in directions I could have never foreseen, fulling dreams once thought unfulfillable and making me know that so much more was possible.

For me the lesson of 1996 was "Believe in yourself, listen to yourself and fuck what 'they' say."

Give thanks to everyone that helped me to reach the point where I am today. Without you, I don't know where I would be.

With Love,

Raja Afrika



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Principals

Posted: Wednesday, July 20, 2011

- Life should be fun


- Do what you dream


- Love yourself the way you are


- Listen to your inner-child as your most trusted adviser


- Have faith; in yourself and your destiny/purpose


- Love


- Value Life


- Help others


- Care about one another


- Live and live well



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Breaking the Mold

Posted: Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I have always been a computer programmer. I had the first Atari as a kid, I was born in the era of the first video games, my mom bought me a computer when I was 12 and I started writing my first code. I have been coding for as long as I can remember. So, does that mean that I was meant to be born and die a computer programmer?

Having a gift is an incredible thing. I have a gift for technology and in the past that gift sometimes felt like a curse. Using it often meant boring jobs in the basements or back rooms of large corporations. But what if I didn't want to do that? I once got a tattoo on my forehead in my efforts to not become a programmer in an IBM dungeon. I apprenticed myself to a small business owner for 10 years in my attempt to use my gifts in a manner that seemed satisfactory. When I first moved to Portland I got myself "certified" as a bartender and then later certified as a yoga instructor.

Here's what I've learned about new beginnings. New beginnings are hard; and scary. I am a pro web developer. I've been building websites for 16 years and I've been writing code for 24 years. I'm really good at it but I am a really new yoga teacher and really I've never "actually" bartended despite dropping all that money at the Portland Bar tending Academy (total rip by the way).

New beginnings mean that you have to begin again like a baby, necked and stupid and very reliant on the charity of others to give you a "break." It's a tough proposition. Safer to stay right where I've always been. Less scary to do what I already know. but I can see right now that facing fear, tolerating discomfort and taking chances is the only way I am ever going to break the mold of my life to date.

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Emotional Yoga

Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2011

At first it was a bit like moving through muck. No, correction it was like looking at a house that desperately needed cleaning when you don't feel like cleaning.

I'd been back from La Palma six months and I hadn't done any Yoga. I watched my body go from Jubilant, to just ok, to sore and achy, to my body being mad at me, to some sort of rigid fixed form and then finally settle down into full on depressed. That took about 2 months.

As soon as Portland's weather "FINALLY" started looking like summer, I guess my body warmed up enough, loosened up enough, to feel like doing Yoga.

I finally did some simple stretches on my living room floor. It was amazing feeling long unstretched muscles slowly come back to life with new oxygen, new attention but the entire time I was awash in my feelings. I could feel the troubles of the day and more, all of the things that I had been putting off dealing with, putting off thinking about come flooding over me. It was enough to put me off of doing more Yoga for another 2 weeks. Then I moved. My new apartment is connected to a park. Its warm outside and I am literally 10 steps to a huge park. I had to acknowledge that I was depressed and to paraphrase an old hippie 'Just Yoga through it.'

I've been back to the park two or three times now. Each time I would go and stretch it would be a lesser version of the same. All of my pent up feelings would come flooding over me as I worked my way through Sun Salutations or held Warrior 1 but by my second time in the park, I began to notice that things were getting easier. Where the time in my old apartment and my first time in the park were marked by "moving through" my old, stale emotions, this time I was through them by the end of sun salutations and the rest of my practise was (relatively) clear.

I've come from the park again just now. As I practice I am aware of the upset state of my mind and body. The surface of my personal lake is definitely ruffled, making it difficult to see clearly. Still through my practice I am able to gain some distance and some perspective on my emotional state. I am able to see that I am not my emotions but that they do color my perception of the world. I am able to see, that if I simply keep doing yoga things will continue to get better, clearer.

I think that's pretty awesome.

With Love,

Raja Afrika



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Brain Dick Heart or Braindiart

Posted: Monday, July 11, 2011

Brain: We have no time for women. We have so many projects on the back burner and let's face it, the front burner's not exactly on 'fire' either. Now is a time for focus and discipline. Introspection is the key!



Heart: Introversion you mean.



Dick: Booty!



Heart: We have to be open and accept life. Be willing to make a real connection. That's the only way we have any hope of finding something meaningful.



Dick: Big, thick booty. Bouncy...



Brain: Maybe but check the stats; that meaningful shit tends to go the same way every time. We're going to keep on making the same mistakes until we step back and review where we've been.



Dick: And big titties too.


Heart: Connection is the key to enlightenment. Enlightenment is the point! We have to love and accept ourselves the way we are and we can not be afraid. What you are basically saying is that you are afraid.


Dick: You've both got your head in the clouds. We need to be grounded and rooted within ourselves. Once we are secure the correct thought and correct action will come to us naturally. Our emotions will be fine and our thoughts clear. Yoga is the key. Re-Union with the source. Breath and reconnect.


Brain and Heart: Thats deep Dick



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The Evolution of Raja Afrika

Posted: Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Evolution of Raja Afrika - Raja Afrika Evolution InstituteI recently overheard my daughter explaining to my twin boys that Independence day is not the day America became free, Independence day is the day America decided to become free.

10 years ago while living in Montreal, Quebec I decided to become free. After years of thinking about it I said 'F it!' and I got a tattoo on my forehead.

This was my leap of faith. My way of saying, I embrace with my whole being my belief that the Universe is actively attempting to aid me in evolving.

Interestingly I was living in much the same conditions that I am living in today 10 years later. On the cusp of a large beautiful park, in an apartment that makes me smile when I wake up; Practicing my yoga and meditation.

10 years ago I began a process that I believe is culminating in who I am today. I feel that I entered a chrysalis and after intense internal and external pressures I am emerging a changed being. Raja Afrika; the man of my dreams :-).

and having realized myself I now turn my eyes to the future. What do I want for this life? The answer remains the same: A homeland; A place where I feel safe enough to put down roots. A place to grow a community of kindred souls who want the same thing that I do; a place to evolve, to grow, to discover our fullest potential with the tools at hand, to create a sustainable, self-supporting, democratic community.

Today I am happy because I can see that, that dream is fully within reach. With some planning, vision and determination we can live the life of our dreams. We can create the space for ourselves to be the whole people we were meant to be. We have a chance to live our lives.

I wake up in the morning and I give thanks to the powers that be for each new day because in each new day is another chance to get it right; To take even another step in the direction of our dreams.

Ase!

With love,
Raja Afrika



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Moving Spell or Craiglistomancy

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011

Moving Day or Craigslistomancy by Raja Afrika Evolution Institute


“I’ve never seen anything like it. They normally take 4 or 5 days to get back to me and they always want proof of income. With your application I submitted it on Saturday and they approved it by Monday; without any proof of income. It’s very strange” – My leasing agent as she signed my lease

Once upon a time I was stuck in a bad roommate situation. I was in Montreal, Quebec and I’d found a cheap place to live on Craigslist. No sooner had I paid for the place then the whole deal took a turn for the unbearably awkward. I couldn’t have any pinpointed what it was but both me and my roommate were clear, we wanted shut of each other.  I was happy to go and she was happy to refund me my money but now I had an emergency: Where was I going to live, with no notice, on little cash, in Montreal?

So I took to the Internet. I scanned Craigslist reading each post in detail, jotting down a few notes and running off to check places out. It was grueling and a lot of the places were holes in the wall. One place had no windows and a hole in the wall opened into a neighbors unit ‘pay this no mind.’ The man told me in a thick Quebec accent. I was in trouble. Something had to be done.

I went back to my places and breathed. And then I exhaled and I breathed some more. Then I got back on Craigslist. I took a piece of paper and started making notes on the places that I liked. Then I started underlining what those places had in common. Then I just stared at the list. $800 a month was way out of my price range. It had to be utilities included because getting utilities in Canada was simply out of the question. It had to have low or no deposit. It had to be a sublease or “a for rent by owner” because I wasn’t going through international background checks. It had to be close to public trans or at least close to downtown. This narrowed my search and narrowed my search until There were only a few candidates left. I went back to Craigslist armed with my new criteria and tried again. A place popped right up.

It was a 2 month sublet (all I needed was 2 months), it was in the Plateau (the nicest part of Montreal), the renter was going on an amazing vacation and desperately needed someone to help close out his lease. After we shook hands I paid him $250 Canadian (at that time about $174USD) for the entire summer. Me and my next door neighbor Julian made fast friends and the summer was epic; Legendary. I still have that piece of paper with my notes on it.

This may not seem like a spell to you. It required a goal, an effort and lots of focused intent. I did everything that I could think to do on a mundane level to accomplish my goal. Once I was able to refine my desire to something finite and specific then, suddenly and unexpectedly the magic happened. I was at the right place at the right time. Maybe the moral of the moving spell is this: Fortune favors the prepared.

Give Thanks!,
Raja Afrika



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Becoming Raja Afrika or ‘The Best Story Wins’

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I believe that we live in a magical universe. I’ve held this belief almost as long as I can remember and I don’t really remember when it became a political stance but certainly things did not start out with me being so certain.

Most of my earlier years were typified by being disabused of this belief; by being informed by a very solid, practical, material world with little beyond it except hazy notions of eternity that I mostly didn’t agree with and that apparently, weren’t open for debate. As a young person it had been the role of friends, family, teachers, guardians and loved ones to try and bring my childish views into agreement with the majority from my most fantastic fantasies (becoming a millionaire on lifestyles of the rich and famous) to the most mundane (one day owning a car, a house).  Adults frequently tell children that they don’t see things or can’t do things and this forces the little person’s sense of the possible to atrophy until they are as jaded and linear as the rest of us.

A few years ago I was listening to an internet radio station (I don’t remember which) one sunny Sunday morning in my loft apartment in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts when an unknown guru giving a passionate lecture on I’m not exactly sure what (I was not paying close attention) said something that really caught and held my attention. The thing this unknown guru said would stay in my thoughts for years to come. He said (and I paraphrase here) that ultimately, the best story, the story the majority of us agree on and embrace will win; be that a story of world destroyed by Armageddon or a story about the world united through conscience action. Ultimately, the story that we tell ourselves will come to pass. Since that time I’ve thought a lot about my own story, what I guess I’ve come to think of as my own personal mythology. Who am I? Where do I come from and where am I going? I have answers to those questions now that may or may not align with visible facts but well, first-off, we are calling it ‘mythology’ and secondly who says we live in a linear solid universe anyway (not most scientists interestingly enough).

Raja means King in Sanskrit. I really admired the efforts of the first Yogis, the Dravidians, indigenous of Africa, having migrated to the southern tip of what is today India to become the first Indians. These first Yogis in the jungles of India engaged on a journey of involution to discover the purpose of the human condition and to uncover human potentiality. Their efforts were so powerful and so pervasive that even though they had no written text, only oral tradition to pass their practices down through the generations, we still practice and study many of the disciplines that we received from them today; yoga, meditation, disciplined living, seeking after ‘Enlightenment.’

Afrika is the home from where both the Dravidians and my ancestors, and really the ancestors of all human-kind originated. The journey of changing my self from the identity handed to me from my parents at birth to the identity that I gave myself is the story of discovery, doubt, forgetting, recovering and embracing the things I’ve known to be true since I was an infant. The world is what we make it. Anything is possible. The only limitation to reality is our belief. I wager that if a child were to repeat those last 3 sentences to an adult, that adult might pat them on their head or attempt to ‘set them straight.’ Nobody wants to be crazy. Once you are crazy you cannot be helped. You can be medicated, housed, cared for but ultimately in the minds of most you are lost. Isolationism, I believe, goes against our genetic desire for survival and therefore we do what we must to function and exist safely within the collective. This often means letting go of our more radicle beliefs and ignoring experiences that we fear to share with others. Like a muscle unused I think those experiences will eventually stop and go away if continually ignored or rejected, our more fantastic abilities will atrophy or build sometimes with catastrophic consequences; which is a shame since I have come to believe that the best living is done outside of the realm of what is commonly accepted as possible.

I have come to view rationality as a small protective circle inscribed around ourselves, delineating real from unreal; possible from impossible. This small circle drawn through the very substance of creation by our minds belies our innate power; makes us feel smaller and less significant, less potent than we are; makes us feel secure in our insignificance and our community of like-minded souls. The irony is that it is an amazing feat of mental power that can literally pull us into our own bubble of “real” and mark out everything else as simply not existing or at best “unlikely.” The stories that come to us of super-human feats become tales of our gurus Ghandi, King, tales of special individuals Rockerfella, Carnigie or just plain ghost stories that we learn to discount as ‘exceptional,’ not likely to be repeated or just flat out hocus-pocus.

The story that we tell ourselves is that we are not powerful. That we could never be a Jesus or a Krishna. Therefore it must all be hogwash.

So what’s my story you might now be asking? I’ve always believed that I was special, ‘sent’ here to do something great. I believe that my powers lay largely dormant as a child, waiting, emerging in interesting ways occasionally as a child but bit by bit growing stronger onto the day that I am ready to face my destiny. I believe that each of us choose to come to Earth and reincarnate here. That each of us has a life mission. I believe that each of us has something that we must do or accomplish in order to graduate to a higher level. In short I believe life is school and each of us summer-school students. I believe that each of us has different goals and lessons to learn, perhaps something that we didn’t get right in a past life and perhaps most importantly I believe that each of us has help. Like any student we have teachers and guides that come at the right time to help us along our journey. Sometimes these teachers are clearly teachers and sometimes it is not so clear (think of someone you *used to* hate but that made you stronger). I believe that the universe in which we live is an intentional not an accidental place, for there are no accidents only lessons and lesson plans.

I believe that each of us has a Mecca; a promised land (a point of development and perhaps not a physical place but, maybe) that as we progress through life, we work our way step-by-step toward. We call the arrival at this point ‘Enlightenment.’ The point in which all of our experiences through our many lifetimes but especially this one, all of our failures and our triumphs coalesce and things ‘come clear.’ For me that Promised Land is a place and a time. The place, I believe right now, to be the island of La Palma. I think that my destiny and the destiny of my family lay there and following the compass of my inner-child I make my way there one-step at a time, to one day (hopefully soon) form an intentional community of humans on a path of personal evolution or human revolution as my mom’s Buddhist practice would call it. And so in order to reach my ‘impossible dream’ I told myself a story; the same story that the colonist told themselves to free themselves from British oppression. I am sovereign. I have a manifest destiny and it is the will of the Goddess that I follow that destiny to its natural conclusion.

In July 2001 I got my first (and at the time of this writing only) tattoo of a 3rd eye upon my brow. It was an act of acceptance because I’d reached a cross-road: To believe or not to believe; that was the question. I took the red pill and I suspect thereby saved myself from some hyper-boring destiny as a very talented computer programmer in an IBM basement somewhere.  By marking myself out as a believer I expanded my circle of rationality to include that which, to others, might appear to be irrational but that appears to have invested me with powers much like an islander on an island of water-phobics who learns to swim. How bizarre I must seem.

Sometime in 2004 after being thoroughly freaked out by the miraculous birth of my daughter I promptly left the country and moved to Canada. I wound up 4 months later in Vancouver, BC where I lived off of Commercial drive (the Hippie part of Vancouver) in what was almost a commune and thought hard about my life. I’d just finished reading Starhawk’s The 5th Sacred Thing and immediately there after decided to change my name… but to what.

In the story there is a character who is an agent of the destructive system who later reforms and represents this reform by changing his name, to River. So briefly I considered this. To my 6 roommates who knew me for all of one hour I announced ‘Hey all, thanks for letting me move in! I’ve decided to change my name; to River.” The look on their collective faces said it all “Ohhh shit he’s crazy!” but I was in there and they didn’t kick me out. The name didn’t really stick. Once a week I would walk to a movie house on Commercial Drive called the Raja Theater where they played all Bollywood movies all the time. For a while this became my Saturday pilgrimage. It was here that my love of Bollywood grew but also these tales, these three hour long tales were always tales of redemption. Tales of love or dreams denied for about 90 minutes and then another 90 minutes of get back complete with singing and dancing. I think Hollywood has something that it could learn from Bollywood. Anyway one time I was in there, in the front row, the only patron, so I smoked a joint. If you have never smoked a joint in the front row of a movie theater I recommend it as a peak experience. When I emerged that day I was clear that my name was to be Raja. But Raja what?

For a while I played around with Raja Amidon mostly because I liked the sound but my friend from Quebec laughed at me every time I said it because Amidon is French for Baby-Powder. Later I would arrive at Afrika becase the R and A sounds were important for reasons that I still have yet fully figure out but I knew instinctively that the Raa Ahh sound was key. In 2004 I became Raja Afrika at least in my mind.

And all that time then to now I went about sometimes as Raja Afrika, sometimes as my birth name; sometimes forgetting which name I told a person and causing a lot of confusion. It was a schizophrenic existence. But little by little I became more Raja. I grew into the name much like I grew into the tattoo; like a kid with a new bike two sizes too big.

In the beginning of March 2011 I applied to have my name legally changed to Raja Afrika. I had to pay a fee and posted a notice in the courthouse in Portland, Oregon and then waited a month. During that month I thought hard about my decision; trying to decide if I was making a mistake because really, isn’t a facial tattoo enough? But then I think that very thought decided me for sure because I mean, shit I’ve come this far why quit now? And so I prepared for my day before the judge that would grant or deny my name change. Having grown up watching Perry Mason I prepared my arguments for the judge. Self-determination and breaking the mold of past failure but mostly (having grown up in a Jewish neighborhood) I realized that little Jewish kids had an amazing ceremony called a Bathmitzva a coming of age ceremony where the parent says to the child that in the eyes of Yaweh and the community you are now a woman. What an incredible idea, that there is a certain age after which you are definitively an adult and responsible for yourself. I was setting out, with my name change, to make an adult of myself. To say (mostly to myself) OK, this is it. I am grown. I am the captain of my fate, I am the master of my soul.

When the day came, the judge didn’t ask me a thing; just called me up, asked me to raise my right hand, stamped my document and sent me, feeling very giddy, on my way. And so bit by bit I’ve been updating my public identification and I have to tell you, in some ways I feel like the survivor of a cataclysm; the cataclysm that has been my life to date :-), sifting through the wreckage, salvaging what’s useful, discarding the rest and now, in my new life, I have a new opportunity (mostly in my own mind but really isn’t this where everything begins) to create things the way that I’ve always felt that they should be, without the anchor of my past or my family or my community to hold me back.

I offer my life, the life of one Raja Afrika, formerly of Boston, Massachusetts presently of La Palma in Las Islas Canarias up as an example of the possible, that someone else might here my story, and know that more is not only possible, more is your birthright.

Sincerely,

One Raja Afrika
King of my Origins, Champion of my own salvation



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Reggie Mosley was a DBA

Posted: Sunday, May 1, 2011

Reggie Mosely was a friend of mine and he taught me most everything I know about databases. Reggie was the only person I knew that could somehow relate everything in life to a Transact-SQL Statement. And he would go on; to ask Reggie a question was to be a petitioner at the Oracle of Delphi. You don't ask the Oracle to hurry it up. You sit there while it divulges at length, all the intricate possibilities, angles and consequences of any possible answer. I learned not to ask Reggie questions lightly :-).

It was through Reggie's tultilage in creating databases for differnt types of organizations, understanding businesses and departments and people all as entities, interelating relationally, hierachichally that I received, from a safe place, an education about the world in which we live; about its data and its people and its relationships. Reggie taught me to never delete data. "Archive, flag it, back it up somewhere but never delete it because believe me, one day, no matter what they said, the client is gonna call you up and ask for that data." Reggie taught me to never forget.

JOIN and UNION are conepts that I've learned to apply to life. For that and so much more, Thank you Reggie.

With Love,

Raja Afrika



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To Go or not to GoDaddy?

Posted: Monday, April 25, 2011

In my last letter I described some of my efforts to make WorldLightASP a Green service. I built this service with the belief that if I could create win-win-win opportunities that WorldLightASP would thrive.

On April 1st of this year I read an article in the Huffington Post about GoDaddy Founder and CEO Bob Parson killing an African Elephant and publicizing the event. I was really hoping the whole thing was a sick April fool's prank but unfortunately this really happened. Bob Parson's describes the event as a humanitarian mission to aid African farmers.

GoDaddy is the backbone of many of the services that I currently offer; so that leaves me with a dilemma; to go or not to GoDaddy?

I am personally outraged enough to move. I think that advertising the killing of Elephants as a company sponsored humanitarian act is a sham and shameful and I personally do not want anything to do with a company run by a man who thinks such a publicity stunt is a good idea.

As the founder of WorldLightASP I am only one member. Any change to the backbone of the system has cost. Can WorldLightASP and all supported websites be moved away from GoDaddy to another provider? Yes. What will it cost? Time and money. I estimate that it will require approximately a 20% price hike to support moving all of our websites to a similar backbone provider.

In the next few days I will be emailing WorldLightASP members and asking them to weigh in on the issue and to make a final vote of 'Go' or 'Maintain the Status Quo.' If you are not a member but would like to voice your opinion feel free to send me mail at raja@worldlightasp.com and let me know what you think.

In this together,

Raja Afrika
Founder
WorldLightASP.com

Related:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/31/bob-parsons-godaddy-ceo-elephant-hunt_n_843121.html
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42356709/ns/business-us_business/



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What Does it Mean to be Green

Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011

When I was a kid I was one of two Black boys in my elementary school; the other was Tito Jackson who was recently elected to Boston City Council (You Go Tito!) so maybe the Brookline, MA public education system wasn't the worst. Still, In the 6th grade the African American guidance counselor Mr Parson's said something to me that I would never forget. He said 'These guys are never gonna know how smart you are if you don't show them.' That one bit of advice received while sitting on the bench in the Principal's office probably changed the course of things to come.

Today as I was riding the Tri-met (Portland's local commuter system) to my favorite coffee shop to work I had opportunity to consider just how Green my business is. I've read on some competitor websites that their company uses 'Green Power' and therefor that company is 'Green.'... So what is "Green" really? IMO I think that your choice of utility company is a great start but certainly more can be done to be environmentally conscience which I like better as a term.

Benefit Concert I attended tonight to help 8th Graders from Portland's Sunny-Side Elementary School to travel to France and study Marine Biology








As I rode the train in today I thought about the ways in which I choose to live my life that are (IMO) environmentally conscience that I don't necessarily advertise. Here are a few:

Me Personally
* When I brush my teeth, I turn off the water
* My showers are always between 5 and 10 minutes and usually closer to 5
* I do not own a car
* I pay for the monthly TriMet (public transportation) pass
* I have lived a vegetarian lifestyle for 15 years
* I work primarily from home
* When I built WorldLightASP it was with sustainability in mind

My Business
* WorldLightASP is paperless

I hate receiving paper in the mail unless it is a check or a personal letter and so should you.

* My websites makes broad use of virtual services

This is the computer equivalent of riding the public transportation instead of driving your own Hummer to work. Many companies have one or more, really big server machines in a dark room somewhere, humming really loud, making a lot of noise and burning a lot of electricity (Fossil Fuels).

* My company is run by a person (me) not a corporation

This means my bottom line is your satisfaction. I believe that happy customers are good for the environment.

* WorldLightASP is built on the Win-Win-Win model

This means fair division of proceeds. My affiliate program is still in its natal stages but it is my firm belief that is when we empower others to win that we win also.

* We believe in charity

I'm working on a "member vote" where members can vote to donate a percentage of website fees to a charity that we all agree on.

* Green Power :)

Now that I think of it, I think I'll call PGE tonight and see what my options for Green Energy are; it makes a difference.

In a nutshell, WorldLightASP is not burining excess fossil fuels, not killing trees, not eating animals and not hording funds. Instead we focus on building you awesome websites. Can the competitors say that? I live this way for myself not as a gimick and today, thinking about Mr Parson's thought I should share these thoughts with you.

Is it important to you to support environmentally conscience business? If so then please ask "How Green are you?" and then talk to me about setting up a website!

Sincerely,
Raja (Green like Kermit) Afrika
Owner, programmer, enthusiast

Do you have any recommendations for Greener living? Let me know! Email me at raja@worldlightasp.com



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Problem with SYSFT_MyCatalog When Restoring SQL Server Database

Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2011

So this problem really got me down until I applied myself to it and then it turned out to just need a bit o the old common sense.

I received a SQL Server .BAK database file from a client recently and like I've done a million times before I went to create the backup as a new database using the following method:

* Copy the .BAK file to disk somewhere
* Create an new (empty) database with the same name as the original DB
* Right mouse click the database and select RESTORE
* Restore Database, Restore from Device and then on the Options tab select OVERRIDE
* Click OK to restore the database and voila, you have a copy of the database on your dev machine

Works great almost every time, except this time. I began receiving errors about the sysft_mycatelog file which has to be a full text catalog. This database did not have a full text catalog when I restored it in the past and I'm not sure where this one came from but philosophical musings about the possible origin the the file aside, I had to deal with this error and I did not have any 'sysft_mycatelog' file to refer to. The error that I first received was:

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
------------------------------
Restore failed for Server 'BLAHBLAH'.  (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: The path 'L:\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\FTData\mycatalog' has invalid attributes. It needs to be a directory. It must not be hidden, read-only, or on a removable drive. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)
------------------------------

Well, I don't have an L drive so then I got the brain-wave to simply create the directory it was looking for in the MSSQL dir which on my machine is in the directory "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\FTData\mycatalog"

I know, so smart, but then I got this error:

TITLE: Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio
------------------------------
Restore failed for Server 'BLAHBLAH'.  (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)

System.Data.SqlClient.SqlError: The operating system returned the error '3(The system cannot find the path specified.)' while attempting 'CreateFile' on 'C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SQL Server\MSSQL.1\MSSQL\FTData\mycatalog\SQL.HDR'. (Microsoft.SqlServer.Smo)
------------------------------

sigh, so then I drank a beer and wallowed in my own annoyance when suddenly I remembered something my mentor Ken Granderson (my personal Yoda) said: 'Luke (he didn't call me Luke) when all else fails, it is probably a permissions issue.' So I looked at the permissions in this FTData directory that I had created and I compared that to the permissions in the existing DATA directory and lo and behold. The user MSSQL2005MSSQLUSER$machinename$MSSQL2005MSSQLUSER had full control over the data directory but only partial control over my newly created FTData directory. So I gave it full control and Voila! I was able to restore my database.

Hoping this saves someone else hours of annoyance.

Code Forth,
Martin Welch



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Problems with Uploads to Virtual Directories on Windows Server 2008/IIS7

Posted: Sunday, February 13, 2011

Ran into trouble allowing uploads to my virtual directory. In the past I've granted write but not execute access to the ISUR account. In Windows 2008 Server I found a blog post that seems to have done the trick. Thanks Brad!
>
Just posting this to help the next guy that has this problem.  In IIS7 you need to make sure that the Application Pool that your website is running under is using the NETWORK SERVICE account.  Per the posts above which make perfect sense for someone coming from IIS6, setting elevated permissions for NETWORK SERVICE won't do anything at all if you're not running under that account. 

So expand the parent node in IIS, click on Application Pools, select your pool, right-click and select Advanced Settings, and then change the Identity setting to NetworkService.

Hope that saves you a few hours of Internet searching.  It's a really simple thing, but so easily to overlooked.

Brad
<

Code Forth,
Martin Welch



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The Manifestation of Collective Effort

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2011

Creating something together. Websites for yoga teachers and holistic practitioners.As the creator of the WorldLightASP system I am in a unique position to watch each and every WorldLightASP website grow.

The process of watching a website grow from a skecth idea with a few web pages into a beautiful online resource is really something to behold.

Watching your website go from 'not listed' to 'Top of Google' or Bing makes me incredibly glad; and it's always a surprise. Time and again we'll sit together and spend a few hours flushing out the first draft of the website and after that first meeting 90% of people take a month off. When we sit down next, usually you are already on the first page of Google. I always say the same thing: 'Oh word? Nice! Now let's talk about how the site can make money.'

I take your suggestions and the lessons learned from each success story and build them into each new improvement. WorldLightASP is the manifestation of the collective effort of every user of the system. Poco a poco, we get better.

As this WorldLightASP idea grows, each of our websites grow; together.

Sincerely,
Raja Afrika
Owner, programmer, enthusiast



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Blog post?

Posted: Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This is a new post in my supposedly working blog. Word.



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Can not connect to SQL Server 2008 from Visual Studio 2008

Posted: Thursday, January 27, 2011

I recently changed operating systems from Windows 7 Home Premium to Windows 2008 Server. I then installed Visual Studio 2008 and SQL Server 2008 Express R2. When I tried to connect to SQL from VS2008 I received the following error.

'This server version is not supported. Only servers up to Microsoft SQL Server 2005 are supported.'

I found the solution to the problem on Pinal Dave's SQL Blog.

You have to download and install Visual Studio 2008 Service Pack 1

Code Forth,
Martin Welch



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Chemical Vision

Posted: Friday, January 14, 2011

Chemical Vision - Raja Afrika Evolution InstituteWhen I was a kid the Buddhist used to say, that heaven and hell were states of mind. I think I accepted things like that as a big sealed box. Accepting it but never bothering to peer inside.

Lately I've been wondering how many of the obstacles and the challenges in my life have been my own creations. When I dream, I am sometimes aware of myself as the generator of the things that I am dreaming. Like the awesomest Holo-deck from Star Trek. My thoughts, hopes and fears are communicated to my shadowy subconscious which then obligingly produces the images of my dream. I've noticed that it is easier to attract fears than hopes in my dreams. This is a polarity that I am hoping to shift.

I am beginning to wonder how much of what we feel, what we hear, what we taste, smell, see, sense is a product of the current chemical makeup of our bodies. Does the world seem different when we are hungry? frightened? loved and embraced? respected? How much of what happens to us in our lives is our own creation? Like the dreamer talking to the subconscious of the universe. Is there truly nothing to fear but fear itself?

When I was a kid the Buddhist used to say that heaven and hell were states of mind. That we could exists in many million different heavens and hells simultaneously. That the goal of being is to improve our life condition and to bring our being into harmonious alignment. I say, become one pointed in your dream. If you must fear, use that fear to become the master of your dream. Face it!
... and dream big.

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Installing IIS 7.5 on Windows 7 Home Premium, Home Basic, or Home Starter

Posted: Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Ran into this today when installing IIS on my Windows 7 Home Premium machines. Thought I would share.


http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731911.aspx


Code forth,


Martin



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How to add a New Blog Post (and add a video to your page)

Posted: Saturday, January 8, 2011






Adding a Blog Post
1. Login to your WorldLightASP Website
2. Click on your blog under Blogs to edit
3. Click the "New Post" button
4. Update your blog
5. Click POST



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When Worlds Collide

Posted: Saturday, January 1, 2011

When Worlds Collide on Evolution InstituteSo I'm walking home tonight after a 2 hour work stint in a coffee shop on Alberta ave in Portland. Its a more than 20 block walk from 14th ave to 42nd, so I was definitely in the walkers trance by the time I hooked a right on 33rd. As I'm walking, fast because the January wind was biting, I can see my shadow pacing me. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I see the a shadow on 4 legs charging me.

Man, I understand fight or flight. I turn and see a brown dog charging me and lunging at me teeth barred. With no hope of flight I went, without thought, directly into fight. I got primal, instantly. In a low squat I was growling at the dog, dogging back as it lugged and then kicking or swinging at it. In that instant two things happened

Two more dogs came spilling over the first dog spitting and growling

and I remember this time at my kids Head Start graduation...

This past summer my twins graduated from Head Start and the school hosted a potluck picnic at the park. Everybody was having a great time in the sun when suddenly this dog that must have escaped its yard somehow comes charging into the park and menacing the families. A few of the dads tried to chase it off and finally this one Mexican dad takes off his belt and chases the dog away...

...so now facing the three dogs I'm reaching for my belt. Right then the dogs owner shows up and gradually gets her dogs under control. She apologizes with an explanation that her dog was freaking out because I was freaking out... I'm like "PUT YOUR DOG ON A LEASH!" she like "Uuuhhhhhh" shes totally not going to put her dogs on a leash. I'm like "Do you understand that you dog just attacked me, that I was getting ready to attack it?"

"Yeah he's just a stupid dog." Totally different reality. In my world this irresponsible woman just endangered me, her dogs, possibly the nearby traffic if things had ranged into the street. In her world she just has some playful dogs.

What is the protocol when worlds collide?



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How to Upload a File and Link to it using your WorldLightASP Website

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010










To upload a file to your website and create a link to it



  1. First upload the file

  2. Login to your WorldLightASP website

  3. Click 'Edit' next to your website name

  4. Click Site Settings > Files and Photo Albums

  5. Select the album that you want to add your file to (or create a new album)

  6. Click 'Upload New'

  7. Click Browse and select your file

  8. Click Upload to upload your file to the album


Create a link to your file



  1. Click Site Settings > Link Creator



  2. Follow the prompts to create a link to your file



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How to Add a Webpage to your WorldLightASP Website

Posted: Monday, December 6, 2010







Adding a web page (or other type of page) to your WorldLightASP website



  1. Login to your WorldLightASP website

  2. Click the 'Edit' button next to your website name

  3. Click Site Settings > Site Pages > Add New Page

  4. Select the type of page that you want to add

  5. Follow the prompts to complete adding your page



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There and Back Again

Posted: Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I got to spend 7 glorious weeks in La Palma. I feel like a man renewed. With renewed health, heart and sense of purpose. Its curious to me that I wrote so little when I was in La Palma. The process I underwent while there was intense. A true evolution.

There are concepts that I realize I have from my childhood. The idea of going to Europe to "Find yourself." The idea of the unsullied wilderness. In La Palma, I've found both. A wilderness of humanistic living, unsullied by the American work ethic. I feel a little crazy when I return to the states from La Palma and try to talk to people about it. I sense there must be some sort of gleam in my eye but really descriptions no matter how emphatic do not do justice to the intensely sensual experience of living on this small Spanish island off the coast of Africa. The African sun, the loud, boisterous, welcoming Spanish culture focused on living, eating, working and most importantly playing. Friends, fighting, fucking, fiestas, black sand beaches, ancient forests, hills that rise above oceans of clouds,closeness... none of this really does it any justice. I think the only way to really know, is go to. So then you can return with the same wild light in your eyes as me :-) and then try to explain it to others.

After 7 weeks in La Palma I feel like some one broke me down and then rebuilt me with new bricks and mortar. I feel stronger, faster, surer than ever before.

I have a secret of lasting youth and that secret's name is La Palma.

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Live Performance in the Plaza de Espana in Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma

Posted: Saturday, November 20, 2010






Saw these guys performing outside of the Plaza de Espana. They put on a lof of performances here in Los Llanos. It starts to feel like there is always a party for some reason. Its pretty nice!



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Wintasting and Lava Flow at Bodegas Carballo in Fuencaliente

Posted: Thursday, November 18, 2010






Next to the Volcano in Fuencaliente is Bodegas Carballo where me and my friends stop for some free samples, explored the room where they stomp grapes and got to see a Lava flow! They were nice enough to talk to us about wine!



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Live or Die

Posted: Friday, October 29, 2010

What do you do when your soul is beating the war drum for you to evolve. What do you do when that call goes against what so many would like of you?

This trip to La Palma I am viewing my life as if from a summit. I can see the long road that has brought me to this point. All of the choices, the disappointments, setbacks, upsets, victories, triumphs and miracles that have brought me to this summit on which I now stand.

Now my choice is simple and difficult at the same time. Live or Die? Which will it be, which will I choose. Don´t make the mistake of thinking that the choice is obvious or simple. I want to live. I want to live my dream. Living my dream calls for changing. Changing my patterns so long ingrained. Changing my perspectives that have been holding me back. Changing my mind. Changing my mind is so hard to do but it is essential if I am going to survive the changes we are all experience. I´m a fighter as well as a lover. I love life. Real life. Not life trapped inside of a cubicle until we die and someone else has to figure out how to pay our cable bill. Not a life of dreams denied, deferred or never realized. I fight, for love. For the love of a life purpose realized; for MY life.





Join me! Stand up and fight with me!

Lets live together free

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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The Cock Compliment Sandwich

Posted: Monday, October 25, 2010

From the 'Best Advice I've Got' series. I personally think this ranks up there with my suggestion to ladies to give your man head in the morning. Just do it.

I frequently hear women express frustration in their attempts to communicate with their partner. If you feel that your partner does not sympathize with you or really comprehend your point of view I have a suggestion that is almost guaranteed to help; The Cock Compliment Sandwich. Men are biologically predispositioned to listening when you are talking about our cocks. If you can somehow create a connection between what you want to express to your mate, and the enormity of their cock, your sentiment is almost sure to be heard, processed and whats more appreciated. For example, 'Raja, you have the biggest cock in the world, you should have servants to worship it and also help with the dishes but since we don't would you and your enormous cock please do the dishes tonight? Did I mention the might and enormity of your cock?' is almost guaranteed to get the desired result. Laugh if you will but when you have a time when you really want to get your point across to your partner, remember the Cock Compliment Sandwich and also, give your man head in the morning. Just do it.

With love,
Raja Afrika



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Grand Opening for the Great Canarias Telescope

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010

THE GREAT CANARIAS TELESCOPE WILL BE OPENED THE EVENING OF JULY 13. A very ambitious Spanish project with an optical system of the most advanced in the world. Source: Journal Alerts

Gran Telescopio Canarias (GTC) is the most ambitious Spanish project to build one of the largest and most advanced telescopes in the world, see their first light on July 13, when will be opened, reported sources of the Astrophysics Institute de Canarias (IAC).


After seven years of building in the Centre of the Roque de Los Muchachos, La Palma, work place that brings together the best conditions for observation due to the quality of the sky and a law that protects it concludes one of the "big science" driven by Spanish Governments and Canary. With this telescope you can learn more about black holes, stars and galaxies more moved away of the universe and the initial conditions after the Big Bang, and hoped that the telescope would serve to make progress in all fields of Astrophysics.


The optical system is completed with two mirrors that form image in seven focal and be equipped with computers to collect data, such as high efficiency in the optical range, camera and spectrograph in the thermal infrared spectrograph multi-object to work in the infrared, or a spectrograph low-resolution camera and spectrograph stations.


It is expected to install an adaptive optics system in the near future that allows high quality images in the infrared. The project has promoted on anonymous society Grantecan SA, established in 1994, which have involved Governments Spanish and Canary. However the GTC has international, since agreements have been signed to engage in project Mexico, by the Institute of astronomy Mexico, autonomous National University and the National Institute of Astrophysics, optics and electronics of Puebla. It is also United States, partner of the University of Florida.



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Food For Thought: Every Keystroke Counts

Posted: Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crowds are hungry; hungry for content; they go to the web to feed.

People go to websites that most satisfy their thirst for information. They pay those websites with their attention.

In order for your website to be satisfying to the appetites of visitors, you must fill your website with the most appetizing information your corner of the Internet has to offer. Therefor, every keystroke counts.

Who's website will you fill with tasty content? Your own or your favorite social network? Every blurb, every quip, every pithy insight that you share with the world is funding some website with interesting content that others will venture virtually around the world to consume. The question I want you to ask yourself, every time you enter a keystroke on a website is this: Who's website am I feeding?

Forward,
Raja Afrika



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Up

Posted: Thursday, September 23, 2010

Its like the point at which you realize you can fly. By your amazing process you leave the earth and reach skyward. You rise higher and higher and when you look back, that penultimate point where you left the earth is far distant. That's how I feel about myself now in relationship to my resume, my CV.

At some point my life took a dramatic left turn. Its fun to look back and try and figure out exactly when this was. When I look at my resume, I see the history of myself as an aspiring worker. Myself, then, perceived vast systems standing in between me and success and the only way to the top was to enter the machine through the front door and try to claw my way up its insides and then somehow, have a kungfu fight with the big boss man at the top and then as my reward, I get to run the machine; Pacing, waiting for the next adventurer.

So I went to the park. My journey now is not up but in. Inward. The outside world is a reflection of my inner state. My consciousness projects 'reality'. This thought, this theory is like a sine wave. Alignment with this thought sets up sympathetic vibrations within the projection. As you think you are. Makes the shit on your mind really important. Project calm. Like a silent lake.

Stillness brings clarity

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Endurance

Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010

When I was a child I used to look inside of myself and see a Buddha there. He looked much like me only more serene and of course, more bald. In times of hardship I could always look inward to that serene inner-self and find steadiness. That inner-self always served as a compass, a guide to action and when I was a child that clarion call of duty was clear and loud: Find your home, fulfill your destiny.

As I get older it feels as if more of the responsibility for staying on the path falls on my shoulders. As if, when we are young there are some sort of spiritual training wheels to help us stay on track but at some point, those training wheels, those guides come off and it becomes necessary for us to stay on the path by will.

My inner-Buddha has changed in recent years. With the discovery of La Palma, my inner-Buddha as literally become myself, in La Palma. I remember standing on the rooftop of my favorite hotel in Los Llanos after the last time I returned to La Palma from America. It felt like I had woken up. I remembered the struggle to return to the island from the states. See, you have to understand that once you are on the island it makes perfect since to be on the island. 'What was I thinking!?' I thought to myself on that rooftop upon my last return. 'How could it have been so hard to get back here?!' Well, the truth is that great sacrifice was required. Greater sacrifice still is required if I wish to return. Still, something that happened to me recently, really gave me pause to consider. What is the point of all of this? I don't mean the island, I mean our lives. What are we really trying to accomplish? To work a job, raise a family, buy a house? To what end? The perpetual cycle of existence is not enough. There must be a goal, a dream and that dream must be bigger than ourselves.

Now, as I face what I hope will be a major turning point I again pause to consider. What am I doing? What is this worth? Or more importantly, is this worth the lost time with my children, is this worth failure to form lasting relationships where I am? Am I missing out and/or missing the point? At times like these, I turn to the pictures of myself in La Palma and I remember that this has been my dream for almost as long as I can remember. I think of that serene self perfectly situated and I think: My purpose in life begins here, with understand that comes from heeding my inner-most self, even if no one understands, even if it costs, even if.

My inner-most self, always has a small smile that says 'Everythings gonna be alright. I've seen this movie before. It all works out.' I take much from that. 

Forward!

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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The Energy of Web Traffic

Posted: Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Every visitor, every curious onlooker to visit a website gives some on their energy to that website. Brick and mortar operations absolutely depend on foot traffic and so does your website. A brick and mortar operation might give you a reference to another store if they do not have what you need but mostly they do all they can to bring your energy into their store. We must have the same resolve with our websites.


People spend a great deal of energy on the Internet. Between news, shopping and social networking a remarkable amount of energy is expended on the Internet. Your goal as a webmaster is to make your website a compelling way point on the daily Internet road. We can best do this by making sure that our website has the best information available and also by forming alliances with related and friendly websites. When those allies link to our website, our website grows in stature and hits; our site gets better search engine ranking and becomes easier to find. A snowball effect begins with the end result of more people spending more time, energy and money on our message product or service. That's a good thing.


Quality content, compelling message or service and strategic alliances to give your brand greater scope.


All the Best,


Raja Afrika
Founder - WorldLightASP.com



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Independence Day the 9th Anniversary of my Tattoo

Posted: Wednesday, July 7, 2010


9 years ago today, in Montreal my friend Michelle Simon and I went to get my one (and so far only) tattoo, to celebrate my independence. I fasted July 5th and 6th 2001 and on the 7th Michelle went with me to get my tat. After, walking down the street a BIG biker dude covered with Tats looked at me and said 'Is that a real tattoo man!?' Me in a small voice 'Yeah.' 'Fuck'n A Man!' and gave me a hug. That was my introduction to the tattoo family.


Some of my early thoughts about my tattoo were that I would become a Yogi. This wouldn't happen for 8 more years. I'd felt guided to get this tattoo for years but rational thought simply wouldn't allow it. Who puts a tattoo on their forehead. It's social death right? I asked myself many of the same questions that I would be asked repeatedly over the next 9 years:


Are you crazy?
How will you work? Who will hire you?
If you can't work, you can't eat. How will you live?
What about when you get old?
Who puts a tattoo on their forehead?
Is that the mark of the beast? (Ok I didn't ask myself this one but I've been asked it a lot).
Are you Muslim? (Americans)
What religion do you belong to?
Are you some sort of artist?
What the fuck is that on your forehead?
What does it mean?
What is that cross in the middle?
Have you been saved?
Do you accept Jesus as your lord and savior?
Can you read my mind?
Ok, what number am I thinking of right now? Lucky guess, guess again!
Is that Henna?
Is that a club stamp?
Is that a postage mark?
Are you supposed to be Teal'c from Startgate SG-1 (My favorite)?
Well I don't know about growing old, I'm told that I'm holding up quite well. 26 to 35 I still feel awesome. This event in my life, for me marked true independence. Being 'technically' able to do a thing does not make you free. Not if you are bound my the mores and opinions of others.


Having this tattoo has taught me about the limitations of rationality. Reality is bigger than our rationality; bigger than our accepted perception of reality. Rationality is a circle of comfort that we draw around ourselves and say 'Only what is within this circle is real.' But there is so much more. Exploring those depths and expanding that circle of accepted reality is scary and uncomfortable but rewarding. Still, you will have to deal with those who fear change; who say that your expanded circle is merely delusion and only their circle is real. And you also encounter those who's circle is WAY bigger than yours. Madmen or mystics, who can say for sure?


I've had to grow into this tattoo. Like a little kid with a big bike. I've gone further than I could have imagined. The beginning was really hard though. The people who really love you, they stay in your life but the tat definitely accomplished one of its intended purposes: It derailed me nicely from the path of corporate mediocrity that I was truck'n along full-speed ahead. There's a psychological term for this phenomenon, for a crisis of consciences but I can never remember it. I can just remember thinking, realizing one morning, that all of the values with which I had been raised, all of the things that I was taught to value and cherish were not my own. They were not the things that I valued but those things that the society in which I was raised valued. The house with the white picket fence, 2 cars 2.5 kids and a steady career with a retirement track. I knew what zoo animals must feel like. My bondage was psychological, so I 'freed myself from mental slavery.' or at least started down the path. But here is the thing about slavery: it is a known quantity. Horrible or not you know what to expect, you have some idea of when dinner is. The unknown is a very, very scary thing. There is a parable from which I took much:


Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all -- young and old, rich and poor, good and evil -- the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.


But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go, and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."


The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"


But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks.


Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.


And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the messiah, come to save us all!"


And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."


But they cried the more, "Savior!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a savior.


 -- from Illusions by Richard Bach


After I let go. I began to have many, many adventures but each adventure was only a chapter in my story of becoming. It is a never ending story. I give thanks to all of my teachers that have helped me to this point and all of my teachers to come.


With love,


Raja Afrika


 



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Building the Groundwork for an Empathic Civilization

Posted: Monday, June 14, 2010

I like the premise. This article touches on evolutionary biology, the evolution of humans as an increasingly empathic species with that empathy increased by technology, the Internet, et al. What I find particularly interesting about this article are the Buddhist ideas of Karma, right action, respect and protection of all sentient life, couched in science-friendly terms.


The only part of this article that I disagree with strongly is that there is no empathy in utopia, because utopia is perfect and without problem and hence empathy is not required. Who says utopia has to be perfect? I think our path as humans is to grow and develop through challenge. Utopia in my opinion is conscience evolution of woman-kind through our life challenges. Still it is thinking along the lines of evolving conscience civilization rather than the doom and gloom story posited by some. Homo-Empathicus from Homo-Sapien, love it!


Prepare the ground work for an Empathic Civilization; yes, lets.








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Raja's Theory of Human Evolution - The Rise of Woman-Kind

Posted: Friday, June 11, 2010

Human evolution is more than a biological phenomenon. We as a species are more than the product of our genes. There was a time in our history where science, the pursuit of truth, was persecuted by religion. Why explore outside the bounds of accepted reality where a male god kept all in order and balance? These brave souls however, following instinct and perception explored beyond what was at the time accepted reality. Some of these adventurers were labeled heretics and faced ridicule and worse.

Today it would seem that the roles have reversed. Despite the fact that science's attempts to find a unifying force, an underlying cause of all observable phenomenon brings it closer and closer the auspice of the mystical, many pro-science/anti-religion followers appear to turn a blind eye to the startlingly similar behaviour of believers in Newton to the hierarchical, authority based nature of other belief systems. There are none so blind as those who will not see.

Still, I feel that this is yet one more polar division that distracts from what is happening to us as woman-kind; as human beings. We are changing, evolving; mentally, physically and spiritually. We as a people are becoming more connected. The Internet has made the world a smaller place and at the same time, more people are experiencing more "unusual" phenomenon that make the world smaller still and the the same time more profound. Prophetic dreams, increased sensitivity to the energy of people and places, increased awareness our ability to influence our environment with our mentation. Most of us, raised in the West and over the age of 25 were raised to believe that this type of phenomenon was hocus-pocus, delusion or worse. Our upbringing refuted the reality of our experience and this upbringing now gets in the way of the acceptance of our rapidly changing reality. Fortunately most of our children do not bear this handicap. Thanks to the advent of Quantum Physics the statement that 'Reality is Fluid' is no longer the crazy statement it used to be. It is my belief that our ability to change reality to suit our beliefs is one of the most profound by-products of our evolution.

We are evolving. Not at the generation-spanning pace suggested in our grade-school studies but rapidly, profoundly, now, at all levels. We are as great or as small, as capable or as limited as our beliefs. Believe that you can fly and you are right. Believe that you can not and you are right.

Man-kind has had a long, left-brained reign. Gods slew Goddesses of old and Matriarchy became Patriarchy. Now this trend reverses itself as we can see in the rise of female lead single parent homes and the rise of female political power. The power of spirit, the power of the psychic has always resided most dominantly in the female. So much so that we still call it "Woman's intuition" and priest and medicine men alike wear dresses. Women, our mothers, grandmothers tended to be unifiers. It is this very trait we need now. The acceptance of the divine feminine, the embrace of the primordial waters shifting within us in this Age of the Water Bearer, The healing and unification of polar schisms is required now for our growth, our evolution, as a people to continue.

We are evolving, in more ways than one. Our role, I believe, is to embrace it.

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Obscure Bug: CSSFriendly Menu Adapter

Posted: Sunday, June 6, 2010

Recently moved a web project to a new server and got the following error:

Parser Error
Description: An error occurred during the parsing of a resource required to service this request. Please review the following specific parse error details and modify your source file appropriately.

Parser Error Message: Data at the root level is invalid. Line 1, position 1.

Source Error:









Line 1:  <browsers>
Line 2: <browser refID="Default">
Line 3: <controlAdapters>



Source File: /App_Browsers/CSSFriendlyAdapters.browser    Line: 1

I panick a little bit everytime I see this error because it only comes up once in a blue moon and i never remember what I did the last time to fix it and searching online turns up only that it has something to do with FrontPage Server Extensions. Fear not. Server Extensions are not the devil as some would have you believe; even though they are at the heart of what is causing this problem.

In your App_Browsers directory FPSE has created a directory: _vti_cnf. Simply delete _vti_cnf in this directory and Voila! Problem solved and you're welcome.

Code on!,
Martin Welch



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Obscure bug: Cannot register assembly ... Access to the registry key 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Record' is denied

Posted: Wednesday, May 26, 2010

So I just got the following error:

Error 1 Cannot register assembly "C:\...Classes.dll" - access denied. Please make sure you're running the application as administrator. Access to the registry key 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Record' is denied.

This one seemed obscure enough to write down. I just set up a new workstation running Windows 7 and Visual Studio 2010. I've got a class library that I built in Visual Studio 2005 and it compiled fine in VS 2005. I opened the project in VS 2010; the funny thing is, that it compiled fine the first time. I then attempted to include it in a web project, added my library as a resource and built the entire thing. It failed with 

Cannot register assembly "C:\...Classes.dll" - access denied. Please make sure you're running the application as administrator. Access to the registry key 'HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Record' is denied. I poked around for a few minutes on Google and MSDN. Saw a lot of suggestions that didn't apply to me but saw one, gave it a try and got lucky.

In my class library under Project > Project Properties > Compile I UNCKECKED COM Interop. After this, the thing compiled fine. I don't plan on needing Com Interop for this library so this is not a problem for me. Hope this helps.

Happy Coding,
Martin Welch 



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How to write a Stored Procedure to validate website logins

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2010

I wrote this fairly self-contained STORED PROCEDURE forone of my websites to validate a user login. This STORED PROCEDURE has the following features:

* It returns TRUE if the login was successful
* It returns FALSE if the login failed
* It logs failed Logins
* It prohibits more than 7 failed login attempts ina 7 minute period.

What do you think? Email me with comments martin@martinwelch.net

CREATE PROCEDURE Member_ValidateLogin
(
@Username NVARCHAR(255),

@Password NVARCHAR(12),
@LoginIP NVARCHAR(255)

)

SET NOCOUNT ON

DECLARE @RETVAL INT
DECLARE @FailedLoginCount INT

--Check to see if this member has failed validation more the 7 times in 7 minutes

SET @FailedLoginCount = (SELECT COUNT(FailedLoginID) AS Expr1 FROM Members_FailedLogins WHERE (AttemptDate BETWEEN DATEADD(n, - 7, GETDATE()) AND GETDATE()))

IF @FailedLoginCount < 7
BEGIN

AS
--Check to see if a member record exists with the specified username/password combo

IF EXISTS(SELECT MemberID FROM Members WHERE Username = @Username AND Password = @Password)

BEGIN 
 
--if it exists return MemberID 
 
SET @RETVAL = (SELECT MemberID FROM Members WHERE Username = @Username AND Password = @Password)

END 

 
ELSE

BEGIN

--if it does not exists return 0 and log it! 
 
INSERT INTO Members_FailedLogins(Username, IPAddress)VALUES(@Username, @LoginIP)SET @RETVAL = 0
END 
 
END
ELSE
   SET @RETVAL = 99 --Flag for too many failed logins
RETURN @RETVAL



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How to get a row count in a SQL Server Stored Procedure

Posted: Sunday, April 25, 2010

I don't know if I've ever used this function before. Thanks to BrettB of BrettB.com for this very helpful article.


The @@Rowcount function will be set after any statement that changes or returns rows. In the following statement, the RowsReturned column will display the number of rows selected by the previous select statement:


SELECT * FROM AUTHORS
WHERE state = 'CA'
SELECT @@rowcount AS 'RowsReturned'


 



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Martin Welch on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) 101 - Part 3

Posted: Thursday, April 22, 2010

So I picked up my WCF project again and I was successful in creating my own very simple AJAX service. I did this by making a copy of the BASIC AJAX SERVICE example and overwriting the DoMath function with my own function that I call HelloWorld.

I very carefully changed all references to the method name in the .VB class. DoMathJson became HelloWorldJSON; DoMath became HelloWorld. I updated the DataContract changing the name of the datacontract class MathResult to SpeakResult. Lastly I modified the javascript in XmlAjaxClientPage.htm so that the body of my JSON input matches the parameters of my service call. Lastly I changed the function called when I click the "Perform Calculation (return JSON)" button to HelloWorld the name of my service method.

Problem that I ran into were the need to enclose string input in "Double Quotes." The input from the original example uses integers as inputs and thus does not need to wrap them in quotes. Not doing this caused a Request Error. The other problem encountered was that my WinHTTP Web Proxy Auto-Discovery Service appears to be required and the service can timeout and stop running throwing an error. During test I found it necessary to restart this service several times. I did not make any changes to the web.config or the Service.svc files.

Still, finally I got my new service returning a JSON object inclusive of the input that I specified in the input form. Rock'n!
Next Step:
Figure out how to return coplex types (i.e. datasets).

Code forth,

Martin Welch



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Fear of Life... Insurance

Posted: Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I got a notice in the mail.

$2,000 free life insurance coverage just because I am a member of my credit union. All I had to do was fill out a form and mail it in. That's it. I promptly forgot to fill out the form and left the country.

4 months later I remembered the form but I had left it in a differnt city. The form had been on my mind the entire time. $2,000. What if I died? My family would be out two grand. Fear of loss is a hell of a thing.

I love to travel and I guess I feel like if I ever check out, somebody should win something, you know. The truth is, that I feel like life insurance is license to shinnanegans. Its great. Live life knowing that you're covered. So why hadn't I called?

I tried to call a couple of weeks ago but my cellphone ran out of minutes. I called last week but their computers were down. Well, I've got minutes on my cellphone again. I guess I should call them and set it up. After all, why should I be afriad of life... insurance.

With Love,
Raja Afrika



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Martin Welch on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) 101 - Part 2

Posted: Monday, April 19, 2010

So from what I can tell Windows Communication Foundation, despite the big name is simple a collections of libraries for transmitting XML and JSON encoded data.


So the bottom line is that I can create an data enabled object on my server and then through the WCF communicate that information to any webpage what uses my EMBED script. Pretty cool.


I got the sample working WCF application working. The instructions for setting the sample up looked pretty daunting but (firewall settings not withstanding) ended up being fairly straight forward.


I downloaded the samples (here) and installed the samples. After I ran the WCF ONE TIME SETUP PROCEDURE (click here). Then I installed the Basic AJAX Service Sample, again being careful to follow all setup instructions. The whole thing took me maybe 15 minutes and the beautiful thing... the sample worked right out of the box.


The next step? Creating my own test object and service and then to figure out how to deliver more complex objects to my clients via JSON.


Code Forth,


Martin Welch



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Martin Welch on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) 101

Posted: Sunday, April 18, 2010

So I've decided that online applications with the ability to communicate with one another at will and perform data blasts is the future. As a result I've decided to enable all of my applications with WCF. In the past I'd done some work with an early version of my blogging software with "enbedability," for which I used synchronous JSON. It appears that WCF communicates natively in JSON and XML asynchronously, a lot simpler than creating your own Object --> JSON translation too (which I did).


So, I've settled on Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) as my tool of choice. That's great! now what. Where to begin? Well, I navigated over to the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and I've downloaded the WCF sample (see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb472488.aspx) . I'm going to install the sample and see where that gets me.


Wish me luck!


Martin Welch



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Change

Posted: Monday, April 5, 2010

The World - Rider Waite Tarrot Deck


 


The guidance that I was given on the island is that I should expect constant change; that I would have to be the calm center of the world in order to proceed. That was two months and half a planet ago.

I've found a path, a way out of hell. I believe that hell is right here on Earth you see. Hell is the life condition of regret and dissatisfaction. Hell is dreaming about tomorrow with no plan or thought for getting there. In short, hell is suffering. I believe that we suffer when we are not living our dream; when we are not fulfilling our destiny.

For me, this imploded economy was a God send. When you are making 120k a year, nobody wants to hear about your unhappiness; nobody wants to hear about how you feel unfulfilled. The poor scoff at the stories of the unhappy rich without heading their warning: "Money does not buy happiness." However (not currently being amongst the monetarily rich) I strongly feel that the counter belief is also not true, that money must bring misery.

With all of that bouncing around inside, the question begs: What is really important? What do I want out of life? What am I trying to accomplish? For the answer to these questions I reach back to my childhood. The thing that I find amazing is how clear I was when I was a child on what I wanted to do with life. I wanted to be an adventurer, an explorer, and inventor and a teacher. I see these desires manifest in various ways in my "adult" life. I've been lucky enough to travel, I create new and interesting stuff (at least, I think it’s interesting) all the time, I teach Yoga. Still, I can feel that gentle tug in my heart that tells me "Still further to go. Still more to do." So I quest. I continue because happiness is just around the corner; not in some new destination or thing that I can acquire. Happiness is made manifest within me when I am on the path. The path that leads to the fuller, truer, more complete me. My heart is my guide and compass on that path. It tells me when I am on track and when I go astray. It helps me to know right action and helps me to act accordingly. Listen to your heart. It will lead you, out of darkness and into the light.

Much Love,

Raja Afrika



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Countries that have visited MartinWelch.net

Posted: Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Country / Visits
United States 962
United Kingdom 89
India 72
Canada 32
Spain 27
Netherlands 17
Germany 17
Mexico 17
Brazil 14
Vietnam 14
Philippines 14
Italy 14
Australia 11
Malaysia 10
Singapore 9
Turkey 8
Romania 7
Ireland 7
Paraguay 6
Japan 5
Saudi Arabia 5
Indonesia 5
China 5
Iran 4
Israel 4
Pakistan 4
South Africa 4
Denmark 4
Argentina 4
Switzerland 3
Taiwan 3
Chile 3
Poland 3
Slovenia 3
Thailand 3
Costa Rica 3
Hong Kong 3
Bulgaria 3
New Zealand 2
Kuwait 2
Jordan 2
Sri Lanka 2
Lithuania 2
South Korea 2
Portugal 2
United Arab Emirates 2
Sweden 2
Norway 2
Greece 2
Egypt 2
France 2
Dominican Republic 1
Peru 1
Nepal 1
Nigeria 1
Slovakia 1
Belgium 1
Serbia 1
Puerto Rico 1
Bolivia 1
Palau 1
Cyprus 1
Austria 1
Ethiopia 1
Croatia 1
Bahrain 1
Oman 1
Ukraine 1
Kenya 1



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Just made a plug-n-play End User License Agreement module

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010

C.Y.A. is important. Recently it occurred to me that now that WorldLightASP.com has some customers, among whom are a naturopathic doctor, company of wild land forest fighters and a hydrogen fuel cell inventor, maybe it was time to limit some liability. With this in mind I create the License object.

The end result is that when new or existing members login to my content management system they are presented with a End User License Agreement (EULA) and encouraged to click the "AGREE" button before continuing.

Before building the EULA component I thought about what I really needed to tool to do:



  • Support multiple EULAs

  • Track who has and who hasn't agreed to the most current EULA

  • Track which version of the EULA a given user has agreed to

    Fortunately, I've spent a lot of time making my CMS engine really modular so it was surprisingly easy to plug in this new component which is comprised simply of:



  • An EULA table

  • An EULA INT field in my members table

  • A Stored Procedure HasMemberSignedMostUpToDateAgreement

  • and another Stored Procedure UpdateMemberSignitureStatus

  • and of course the code and T-SQL to add new EULAs and display the EULA to members at the appropriate point.


When the member logs in, the code runs HasMemberSignedMostUpToDateAgreement. If true the member is taken to the member homepage. If false the member is taken to the EULA page where they can agree to the updated terms and conditions.

Simple and effective peace of mind in under 5 hours.

Code Forth,
Martin Welch



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Working with the PayPal Name Value Pair API

Posted: Sunday, March 21, 2010

First of all let me just say that working with the PayPal NVP API is challenging to say the least. PayPal has not 1, not 2 but 3 different developer sites for their APIS, each with slightly differnt documentation. It is possible to review documentation and developer feedback on PayPal.com, beta-developer.paypal.com, cms.paypal.com and of course PayPals new (and obviously still under construction) X.COM.


I thought the X.COM was cool because it is easy to remember but as of this writing (3/21/2010), this site is still riddled with mis-information and documentation so poorly written it is hard to believe that this site is available to the public. I wasted A LOT of time, trying the various sites and the numerous techniques listed there. Here is what I finally got to work:

I am using VB.NET and PayPal NVP to communicate with PayPal's sandbox website.


The sandbox environment that I got to work for recurring payments is:
cms.paypal.com


Still, with this info it is still possible to waste A LOT of time. Navigating all of this mis-information might be an industry niche in and of itself. What finally did the trick for getting me going was using the Integration Wizard under cms.paypal.com. This wizard generated code sufficient to get me communicating successfully with PayPal's sandbox server which was really half the battle. The problem appeared to be URL encodding the data in a manner that PayPal will accept and decdding the returned information consistently. The Integration Wizard amugst other things will generate ENCODER and DECODER code that is really the key to successfully submitting a request and getting a useful response from PayPal NVP.

Make sure to CAREFULLY review the NVP API .PDF and also the ExpressCheckout Overview .PDF. With this information I could have possibly shaved 4 months off of my development time. Live and learn. Hopefully you, oh brave developer will benefit from my adventures. Best of luck and feel free to email me a question if you are stuck :-).

All the Best,

Martin Welch



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The Begining is a Very Delicate time

Posted: Monday, December 21, 2009

My first month on the islands has flown by. I´m pretty sure I went through culture shock. I was here before but my last time here I think I was in a kind of bubble. Perhaps the bubble that all tourist to new places have for their first while here.


I expected my return to be more like my last time here but things have proceeded much fast than that. I´ve spent most of my time here so far stressed out. On the surface I thought I was stressed about the need to work out my visa status, or have enough adequate supplies for my flat but really those were just the symptoms. What I was running into was a total different rhythm of life. The life in my hometown of Boston, Massachusetts is fast paced, take no prisoners and non-stop. my experience on this island has been one where there are challenges, yes, but a deeper sense of peace seems to permeate this island than I am accustomed to. The people here have difficulties and challenges in their lives, yes, but quality of life seems more important here. By quality I don´t mean that the people here have nicer things, truthfully, as cosmopolitan as the island appears, most of the¨things¨ that we value either are not here or are ancient by comparison. Take my washing machine for example. It takes 4 hours to do laundry and there is no dryer :-), but the people here seem more human and more connected than I´ve experienced to date.


To put it simply, I am in love with this place but it is an unfolding romance as I find my way into new challenges, new adventures and new shenanigans.


I am experiencing deep longings to have my family and friends here with me. This was always part of my thinking but it really brings home just how important friends and family are. I am making new friends and family here. I look forward to the day when those worlds combine.


Until then, this is Martin Welch, on a small island of the North West coast of Africa saying,


Namaste!
With love,
Martin



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New Beginings

Posted: Sunday, December 6, 2009

This week I´ve returned to La Palma. I feel the way the it appears in movies when some significant moment in life happens to the main character as a youth, then the movie skips ahead 10 or 20 years to the next pivital point. I feel like 34 years later, finally life has brought me to this point.

The way that I feel is indescribable but my mission is clear. If we build it, they will come.

I am very excited about this time in life!

Your friend and yogi,
Martin 



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My Budding View on Cosmology

Posted: Saturday, November 14, 2009

I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. I got myself kicked out of Catholic school in the 3rd grade (ask me how). Same time my mom converted to Buddhism. I was forced to confront the God/No God question at the age of 7 with a lot of support from people who were also letting go of God.

I railed at God from maybe age 10 to age 15 or so. You know, cursing at churches. Beefing with Bible thumpers. 'Corrupting' good Christian girls. I was angry at having my paradigm shifted, even though I thought the whole deal was BS in the first grade. 'What do you mean God doesn't have a mom?'

I suspect that this grief and anger at/with/about God happens to a lot of people when they initially let go of the "Big white guy in the sky" ideology. I was fortunate enough to tackle it at a young age in a supportive community of 1980ies new agers. (Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome Era)

My cosmological view these days consist of the idea of a biological being of which we, the planet, the stars, etc is a part of much like cells in a body. For communications sake, I called giant entity: My self.

As an empiricist I form theories based on my premise that we (all 'creation') are 'God'. I act accordingly and watch for results. I keep what makes me happy and discard the rest.

One of my chief theories (subject to change) is that reality changes to suit my purposes.



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Walking with the Goddess

Posted: Thursday, October 8, 2009

Walking to the park yesterday, being here and now like an astronaut walking on a new world; I became aware that the undulating phenomenon of our world is our communion with the Goddess if we but open our senses.



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Centered

Posted: Thursday, October 1, 2009

I don't have to be uneasy for you to be easier


I can't change you


I don't need to control others to feel comfortable


I don't need to be off-balance to make you more at ease


I am whole in and of myself


I have the right to my feeling of centeredness and well-being


Anything or anyone that attempts to uncenter me for their own gratification is wrong


I have the right to joy


I have the right to my personal evolution


I am the star of my own show


You don't have to love it


You don't have to like it


But its playing in a theater near you so,


Accept it


From Raja Wtih Love



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Raja Afrika Wonders Around the Open Air Market in Los Llanos

Posted: Thursday, September 24, 2009

So here I am, wondering around the island of La Palma in the Canary Islands and I come across this open air market in the city of Los Llanos. Turns out to be the same market where my friends Alex and Lilly who run MamiTunas Restaurant (one of WorldLightASP's newest websites) shop for their produce. I start to become aware of how impactful, frech, locally grown produce is to our diets. I've been living on this island for 2 weeks at this point and I feel great! Avacados are growing for free in the moutains here but I can't wrap my brain around that yet so I buy them from the store. Anyway, without further ado, here I am wondering around the market making myself very hungry. If you are going to watch this, have a snack on hand.








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Pilgrimage

Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I only have 2 hours before I have to head to the airport and I promised myself I would.


Whenever I'm in Boston, I make a personal pilgrimage. A journey to the place where my daughter was almost born.


Kwanjai, came into the world in a birthing center in Cambridge. She passed through the gate into this world while her mother was performing an incredible yogic back-arch. True story.


Kwanjai was almost born at the entrance to the condo where I used to live in Jamaica Plain.
Something happened in that entryway, that night when Kwanjai came into the world. Something that's hard to put into words but very real.


Miracles are personal things. Sometimes they happen to the masses but I think more often they happen quietly; sometimes to a few, sometimes to an individual.


When it was time for Kwanjai to be born, her mother and I needed help. Mary called on the Goddess and help came in the form of Lisa, Lisa and Anne Valiant.


It was dark and cold the night Kwanjai was born; there'd been a blizzard and there was snow burying all the cars. There was no way I could carry Mary and the bags and dig the car out. We made it trough the entrance-way of the apartment building and a contraction hit and Mary went down in the snow. Something happened at that moment. Like light coming down to the Earth. I don't know what it was. But a couple of girls happened to be out in front having a smoke. Lisa, a nurse, helped me support Mary and get her up. The other Lisa and her friend went and dug the car out. We were on our way in 15 minutes.


Nurse Lisa rode with us to the hospital. I think its the only reason Mary didn't deliver in the car.


What happened after we got to the birthing center was fast, really crazy and amazing. Our Doula, Anne Valiant really lived up to her name as she delivered my daughter.


But something happened at that spot. That spot infront to of my old apartment.


Whenever I'm in Boston, I make a pilgrimage, to a place where something miraculous happened.



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Round Trip

Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm back in Portland. I've partied too hard. That's easy to do in this town.


In my mind I walk down all the streets of the places I've been lately: Portland, Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Madrid and the Canary Islands. Now I'm back, I feel as if I've been dreaming.


I've seen paradise. A better way of life.
I feel as if I have made some quantum leap of the soul from dream desired to dream realized.


I feel as if the whole world before me is mine to shape as I will


Breath


I give abundance thanks to the forces that have brought me to this point.


Axe!


Love,


Raja Afrika



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Greener Grass

Posted: Monday, September 14, 2009

The last couple of days I´ve been really stressed out. In fact most of my transition to paradise has been pretty stressful.

None of my friends here understand. ¨You sleep late, don´t have a job. Why are you so stressed?¨
¨Not having a job is stressful.¨ I say.


 










My lover is a 40 year old mother of 2 with a vorasioucs appetatie and a body a 20 year old would kill for. So far the woman has out danced, drunk, fucked and partied me. Makes me want to work harder at yoga. She appears to be on a close personal basis with many men on the island but our juciest fight so far (me in English and her in Spanish) was after I snubbed her for my 19 year old German friend. Apart from getting my yoga up I think I need to watch more Spanish soaps to get my mind right.

ve been on the ground, on the Island La Palma in the Canary Islands for the past 3 weeks. I´m still doing my research but I´ve seen enough to know that I´m not moving back to the States. My focus here has been very tunneled. Apartment, Telephone, Immigration information and then maybe some fun. Now that I´m here though, I´ve been faced with a really interesting question: ¨What do you do AFTER you move to the promise land?¨

There´s a line in my favorite movie on the subject: Leonardo Decaprio in The Beach, where once on the beach he is lusting after the hot French chic that happens to be his friends girlfriend. It´s a totally Aquarian sentiment. But I find myself faced with similar questions. Now that I´m here what?

My whole life I´ve been waiting for something. Now here it is. What an awesome predicament. Meanwhile, fuck reading about adventure.



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WorldLightASP Creates its First International Website

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009


 


I am really truly pleased and proud to announce some of WorldLightASP´s first international websites.


 


Turns out that people in the Canary Islands and Canada need affordable, effective, easy to use websites as well.


 


My friends who run MamiTuna´s a vegetarian friendly restaurant in the city of Los Llanos, on the Island of La Palma in Spain needed a website to publicize their business. Turns out they are some of the first ones on the island to do so.


 


Check them out


 


http://www.mamituna.es/


 


Also, Yannick Malo runs a language translation service in Montreal, Quebec. Yannick has stared his WorldLightASP website to promote his service.


 


Check out Yannick´s website here:


 


http://sites.worldlightasp.com/?sitename=adlibtraduction


 


Having watched the creation of these two amazing new websites I felt inspired to give the same treatment to my personal Yoga website


 


http://yoga.RajaAfrika.com


 


Do you have international clients who are looking at your website? Why not internationalize. Now with WorldLightASP.com it is possible!


 


Progress, Love and Light,


 


Raja Afrika



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Raja Afrika Learns Spanish

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009

So, I´m in the Canary Islands on the Island of La Palma and thinking very seriously about living here. It is in very many respects, a paradise. Being a typical American, I´m been uni-lingual most of my life, even though I studied 2 years of French in the 7th and 8th grades and 4 years of Spanish in High School. turns out, no matter how much you study, if you don´t have anyone to speak to in those languages, it doesn´t do you any good to study them.


 


I had the experience a few times on annual visits to Montreal, quebec (I REALLY like it there in the Summer-time) that my grade-school French would come back to me. I´d hoped the same thing would happen here in Spain. Turns out it has (well, sorta). One week in and I am able to communicate at a VERY rudimentary level. For example, I could not say that last sentence in Spanish :-) Atleast not yet.


 


What really facinates me about the entire experience is the subtle disconnect between our ability to speak and our ability to comprehend. Sometimes I find myself respnding reflexivly (and correctly I might add) to something asked of me and then realizing that I have no idea what I just said. Almost as if the neural pathways for Speech are not directly connected to those for understanding.


 


Mostly what I find facinating is my attachment to the idea of being Uni-lingual. I think that as Americans we´ve been conditioned to believe that if we haven´t learned a second language by the time we are adults that it is too late for us. I can tell you first hand that this beliefe is false. I believe anyone with a sincere desire to learn a language and the courage to immerse themselves in a differnt culture and the paitence to plod through frequent mis-understandings can and will learn a differnt language. :-) We can be bi-lingual... Stepping down off of my pedestal, here is my really horrible Spanish with some of my new friends on the island.







 



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Raja Afrika Tours The Canary Islands

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009

So I land in La Palma Spain and I think to myself: Self, I could live here!


I got some random footage of walking around one of the open air markets here.







 


And of my fledgling attempts to learn Spanish... Please remember, it´s only Week 1!








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Raja Tours Vancouver, BC

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009

About a month ago I found myself visiting old friends and making new friends in Vancouver, BC. It was awesome! I rode my motorcycle from Portland, OR, across the Canadian border into Vancouver, BC, Canada.


 


Vancouver now has Car free Saturdays every saturday on commercial drive. The following is what happens when you introduce me to continuous car free Saturdays :-)


 








 


 


 


While I was in Vancouver I also was lucky enough to be there in time for the Alice in Wonderland festival. Dope!


 








 


 


 


Alas eventually I had to go home :-( but on my way (I love technology) I was able to catch a bit of footage of my riding my bike to the US/Canadian Border. Something not everyone gets to see. I had to sell my bike after this trip but what an awesome time!


 









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Raja Tours Boston

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009

I´m on a trip around the world and I´m bringing with me..... :-)


On this segment of my trip, I visit my home town of Boston, Ma


My first order of business on landing in Boston was to score an Eggplant sub, shich for some reason is really tough to get in Portland, OR.


The following is footage of me getting off the subway in downtown Boston and wandering.








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Its a Small World After All - Using WorldLightASP to Internationalize Websites

Posted: Monday, September 7, 2009

So, I am on vaction in the Spainish Canary Islands and I scored a new WorldLightASP client. A new friend of mine who runs a restaurant with his wife. http://www.MamiTuna.es


Turns out that most of the tourist here are German speaking, so the challenge was to find a way to have the website still look like a regular website but support several languages within the framework of the WorldLightASP system. We found a solution.


when it rains it pours however, because that same week also saw the inception of a Canadian translation service website and as a consequence an update to my Yoga website http://yoga.RajaAfrika.com


 



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Baby Daddy Syndrome

Posted: Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I have three very beautiful, special and amazing little children. I don't get to spend very much time with my children because their mother and I are embroiled in random, long-term disagreements.

I respect the mother of my children as the children's primary care-taker and acknowledge my responsibility in choose this woman to manifest my children through and all the karmic lessons that, that entails (which so far, are many).

I choose to step out of the picture as it became plain that their mother and I would never reconcile our differences and that possibly permanent scars were being created, not just for the kids but for us parents as well. Still as a parent and decent human being I believe that I have a right to a normal, healthy relationship with my children. Their mother would appear to disagree.

There is no happy conclusion to this story; it is an ongoing adventure through really painful and powerful emotions. As I come around at last to the need to go to court though to try to secure, through the law, a relationship with my children, I feel very, very sad. I feel that the need to go to court means that we failed as parents. Perhaps this is something that all parents go through when the romantic relationship doesn't work out but let me tell you first hand, it sucks.

I know in my heart that this is a growth process. I pray that it will get easier, or at least that I will become more competent in negotiating this new reality as time processes.



For now, I have decided to embrace the pain and the struggle and to allow it to make me bigger not smaller. Easier said than done but there it is.

In Growth and Love,

Raja Afrika

http://yoga.RajaAfrika.com



 



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The Lions of Batucada

Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2009

So, after a few weekend  hours spent working on WorldLightASP I took off downtown to catch what I could of the Rose Festival.

I feel like I was guided right to this thing. I took the train to Old Town, China Town in Portland and thought "hmmm maybe I should get off here."

I almost walked to the Portland Saturday Market but I saw these tents off to my right toward the Perl district. The funny thing is I almost didn't go. Gay Pride is here in Portland and even thought it looked like a party... well, it gave me pause to consider. It was the beat that pulled me in.

As I turned a corner an old gay man smiled at me and said "they're real!" I didn't know what he meant... until I got to the end of the next block and then I laughed out loud. The very beautiful Samba dancers on stage were indeed real :-).

I only got about 5 minutes of this on tape using my cell phone (awesome that you can do that btw) but these guys and gals were rock'n when I showed up and continued to rock, hard and non-stop for the next 45 minutes. If the cameria is jumping up and down a lot, well it's impressive that you can see anything at all because I was dancing until I almost passed out! I have not seen anyone rock this hard, this long my entire time in Portland, Oregon. My hat is most definetly off (litterally, I was so sweaty from all the dancing) to The Lions of Batucada.









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The Lions of Batucada

Posted: Sunday, June 7, 2009

So, after a few weekend  hours spent working on WorldLightASP I took off downtown to catch what I could of the Rose Festival.

I feel like I was guided right to this thing. I took the train to Old Town, China Town in Portland and thought "hmmm maybe I should get off here."

I almost walked to the Portland Saturday Market but I saw these tents off to my right toward the Perl district. The funny thing is I almost didn't go. Gay Pride is here in Portland and even thought it looked like a party... well, it gave me pause to consider. It was the beat that pulled me in.


 


As I turned a corner an old gay man smiled at me and said "they're real!" I didn't know what he meant... until I got to the end of the next block and then I laughed out loud. The very beautiful Samba dancers on stage were indeed real :-).


I only got about 5 minutes of this on tape using my cell phone (awesome that you can do that btw) but these guys and gals were rock'n when I showed up and continued to rock, hard and non-stop for the next 45 minutes. If the cameria is jumping up and down a lot, well it's impressive that you can see anything at all because I was dancing until I almost passed out! I have not seen anyone rock this hard, this long my entire time in Portland, Oregon. My hat is most definetly off (litterally, I was so sweaty from all the dancing) to The Lions of Batucada








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The Benefits of the New Economy

Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Benefits of The New Economy


A lot of us are struggling financially. As the old way of doing things implodes many of us have been forced to find new ways to make a buck.


When I first started to transition from my "day job" to working on WorldLightASP full time and helping yoga teachers and studios get their website up and running... well, lets just say it was a shaky transition.


But here is the thing. So many of us were really unhappy with the old way of long hours in thankless environment enriching others.


Since I've had to "tighten the belt" as it were and recover and re-learn from the end of my cubicle days I've had some really amazing, eye opening, humbling and inspiring experiences.


The first thing was that I was forced to reach out to friends and family for help (which I'm really bad at) to get WorldLightASP going. I figured, helping people who are making positive causes to promote their business with $99 websites was a good idea and a good cause in and of itself. Slowly, that is proving to be both true and worth while.


Since the end of cubicle days I've

begun eating better. Turns out that fresh produce is cheaper and better for you than the veggie burger junk food that I've been living on for years now.


I spent more time with friends.


and (perhaps most importantly) I do A LOT more yoga.


This morning, as I was walking the two miles from my house to the Lotus Seed School of Yoga where I teach, I remarked on these thoughts. How much more I was walking, how much more I was outside rather than inside now, how much more quality time I was spending with friends and family and most profound, how much happier I was.


In a surprisingly inspiring video blog from Bob Parsons owner of GoDaddy he really illustrates the benefits not of the recession but of the new economy. I found that I really resonated with his message: "Now is the time!"


Now is the time to take a chance

Now is the time to try your dream job

Now is the time to try that idea you been sitting on for years

Because of the new economy you have greater access to resources because EVERYONE is charging less




I am really excited about WorldLightASP because it makes creating a website for your dream accessible to the masses. $99 for a website that you can update yourself, without having to wait on a programmer or a designer is really powerful. Many of my clients don't understand how powerful it is until new clients begin showing up.




I get really excited watching new business grow in this new economy.


Let's succeed together!


Call Me

Raja Afrika

http://yoga.worldlightasp.com

(503) 453 - 6689

WorldLightASP

 




 



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Raja Afrika Goes to the Portland, Oregon Art Hop on Alberta

Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009

I like to take my camera everywhere. My camera became my constant companion in 2007 when, stumbling home late one evening around xmass time I ran into a mob of drunken Santas stumbling in the other direction.



After that I immedietly concluded 2 things.



1. I LOVE Portland, OR



2. Always keep my camera on me because you a weird whacky town like Portland, Oregon you never ever know what you'll stunble across.



With this in mind my trusty side-kick and I went to the Portland, Art Hop. We weren't dissapointed.



The following are photos of friends, random personalities and members of the Lotus Seed School of Yoga where I teach.







 



 



  








   



 



 



 



I thought this band was awesome even though I didn't quite catch their name. They did the best Price cover that I've heard to date!












After watching this step show I think everybody wanted to be a little Black girl.















I've said it many times and I'll say it again. Only in Portland, Oregon.



Oh yeah, there was also this random parade. Don't even know what it was.

















It was a busy weekend. We went to Pioneer place after can caught some incredible performances















Until the next randon thing,



Raja Afrika



Yoga.WorldLightASP.com



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Raja Afrika Goes to the Portland Art Hop

Posted: Thursday, June 4, 2009

I like to take my camera everywhere. My camera became my constant companion in 2007 when, stumbling home late one evening around xmass time I ran into a mob of drunken Santas stumbling in the other direction.



After that I immedietly concluded 2 things.



1. I LOVE Portland, OR



2. Always keep my camera on me because you a weird whacky town like Portland, Oregon you never ever know what you'll stunble across.



With this in mind my trusty side-kick and I went to the Portland, Art Hop. We weren't dissapointed.



The following are photos of friends, random personalities and members of the Lotus Seed School of Yoga where I teach.







 



 



  








   



 



 



 



I thought this band was awesome even though I didn't quite catch their name. They did the best Price cover that I've heard to date!












After watching this step show I think everybody wanted to be a little Black girl.















I've said it many times and I'll say it again. Only in Portland, Oregon.



Oh yeah, there was also this random parade. Don't even know what it was.

















It was a busy weekend. We went to Pioneer place after can caught some incredible performances















Until the next randon thing,



Raja Afrika



Yoga.WorldLightASP.com



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Yoga Website 101 - A recent Post on YogaJournal.com

Posted: Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Everyone needs a website

Whether you are a yoga teacher or practice in your living room. When we participate in sites like YogaJournal we are sharing our yoga experience because we know that no matter how poor or great our experience, that someone, out there, might benefit from all that we've been through.

When you create a website, you create a channel for yourself on the internet; you create a highly personalized space where you can share your thoughts, feelings and teachings with a global audience.

It used to be difficult and expensive to have your own website but times have changed. Now you can have a website for your yoga practice that's cheap to own and easy to maintain.

yoga.worldlightasp.com helps yoga teachers, studios and holistic practitioners create a web presence instantly without a lot of hassle or expense.

The world deserves what you have to offer. Share your light with the rest of us!


 



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Welcome

Posted: Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Thanks for checking out my blog. I just set this blog up today through the WorldLightASP Websites for Yoga Teachers program.


Stay tuned for more entries.


Namaste!,


Raja



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How Do I Get Ranked on Google and Yahoo or SEO 101

Posted: Thursday, April 23, 2009

In a word: Keywords



Keywords are words or phrases that people will search for when looking for YOU on the internet. For example, if you are running a Pilates studio in NE Portland, OR you want to make sure that your page title includes the phrase "Pilates Studio On NE Broadway in Portland, Oregon."


When search engines crawl your site they are searching for:

- The title of your website

- The title of your page

- Keywords in the contents of your page

So it is really important to make sure that you have good keyword density in your web pages. About 10% of the text in an average webpage should contain the keywords that you think the public will search for.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization

All World Light ASP websites are created to facilitate SEO. As long as you have good key word density in your site title, page title and in your page content Google and Yahoo will find you. This type of SEO is known in the industry as "Organic SEO." Organic because you are using your content to rank on Google and Yahoo rather than paying for a service like Google AdWords.

Are Services like Google AdWords Worth it?

That is the subject of much debate. What services like AdWords do is ask you to specify your key search terms and then when the public searches for those terms, you appear at the top of the list on Google and Yahoo.

Awesome! What's the catch?

You will pay Google for each person who clicks on that link that appears at the top. Fees can be $1 or more per click depending on how poplar your key search words are.

So Which Should I Use?

The first thing you should do before deciding is to go to Google and perform a search that a real person might use to find your product or service. You might find yourself on Google if you search for your name or the name of your business but regular people searching for a Pilates studio are unlikely to search for your name before they know you exist.

When you enter a search on Google notice how many results are returned. If there are 3 million hits, then that is the number of websites that you are competing against. For the biggest Organic Search bang for your buck (so to speak) specialize. "Green Pilates Studio in Portland" is A LOT better than just "Pilates Studio."

If after narrowing down your search terms to something realistic and usable you still get 3 million REAL hits (meaning all those hits are really for that service) then consider paying for an AdWords campaign.

As always, we are more than happy to advise you on ways to increase your web traffic. Just call us or fire off an email message.

Happy Searching!,

Raja Afrika

Owner

www.WorldLightASP.com


(503) 453-6689

raja@worldlightasp.com


 



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Portland Body, Mind, Spirit Expo

Posted: Monday, April 20, 2009

This morning I woke up feeling great. I'd had a deep, restful sleep and woke up feeling refreshed.



This past weekend I attended the Body, Mind Spirit Expo at the Oregon convention Center http://www.bmse.net. I'd never been to the Convention Center before; it was a huge cavernous space with incredible presence. I went to the expo planning to hand out business cards and talk to holistic professionals about using World Light ASP websites to get the word out about the work they are doing. What happened instead is that over a two day period I was swept up in a whirl wind of positive energy, really informative, heartfelt, conversations and more than one peak experience.



I had a really fun time talking to Michael Brein The Travel Psychologist who patiently sat and listened to me rattle off my tales of adventure in Kathmandhu and was fortunate enough to meet Tahwakeena Kaye who is offering a Native Drum making and Native flute making class that I will probably take. Jacob Carter gave me a sample of Jus that had me flying high all day Sunday.



I think that perhaps one of the coolest guys in the whole place Jerry Norris who had very cool key clips and custom wallet chains on offer. We chatted for a while about tattoos and as a matter of fact his son Corry Norris (no relation to Chuck) was recently written up for his tattoo artistry in Flash Magazine!



I had one experience that I thought was really quite remarkable. During a really cool lecture by Roberta MacKrill a Hawaiian elder rose to speak, and spoke to the audience about the changing times in which we live and how now was the time to act and the importance of forgiveness. During this elder's speech, she very literally began to glow her aura was so bright and compassionate. That was remarkable but what I thought was really most remarkable was the generous, open and compassionate way in which Roberta Mackill shared her space with this elder. It exemplified a type of grace that I don't see every day. The coupe de grace was receiving Jyorei from the Shumei Society at the end of which I felt really light and peaceful.



I woke up this morning and began walking to my office. I stopped at Starbucks for a Soy Chai and ended up taking a detour to Grant Park. I tried to make my steps slow and mindful enjoying the sunshine and laughed out loud when I realized something: It was Monday morning and I was smiling and feeling fine. Now that's really something.



- Raja



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WorldLightASP is now a WorldLightASP Website

Posted: Friday, April 17, 2009

They say the proof is in the pudding. I started working on WorldLightASP 3 years ago in an attempt to create an easy, affordable way to create websites for business first here in Portland, OR and later everywhere.


A year ago, I made my personal website MartinWelch.net a World Light ASP website. I'm a vetern web developer but I found it so much easier to update my website with World Light ASP that I have not once looked back since making the change.


SEO is the big web topic today and effect SEO and website "stickyness" requires keeping fresh, relevant content on your website and constantly tweaking keywords on your website to draw the hits that you want. Well if you Google "Martin Welch" I'm #4 and if you search on Live.com, Yahoo.com or MSN.COM I am the #1 hit for Martin Welch.


After seeing the results I decided that it was time to make the move to make World Light ASP a World Light ASP website.


I'm liking it better already :-)


Raja



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Fixing Orphaned Users in SQL Server

Posted: Thursday, April 9, 2009

The problem is that the user in the database is an "orphan". This means that there is no login id or password associated with the user. This is true even if there is a login id that matches the user, since there is a GUID (called a SID in Microsoft-speak) that has to match as well.


All of these instructions should be done as a database admin, with the restored database selected.


First, make sure that this is the problem. This will lists the orphaned users:



EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Report'



If you already have a login id and password for this user, fix it by doing:



EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Auto_Fix', 'user'



If you want to create a new login id and password for this user, fix it by doing:



EXEC sp_change_users_login 'Auto_Fix', 'user', 'login', 'password'




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Sharing Session Information Between Classic ASP and .NET

Posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2009

This is a problem that has been plauging developers since the advent of .NET.


How do you share the session information between Classic ASP and ASP.NET? You would think that there was a simple solution but there is not. Solutions that I found on Google ranged all over the map from writting text files to using SQL Server as a session state provider. That seemed like overkill to me. Anyways without further ado, this is the solution I came up with:


Pass it all in the querystring

PROS:

Simple to implement

Effective


CONS:

Not secure

Only supports 1024 characters worth of data


Here's what I did:

- I created two files ClassicASPListener.asp and DOTNETListener.aspx

- Both pages take the same querystring variables

Verb: Send, Receive

Redir: The final destination of the page request

Session: contents of your session object


ClassicASPListner loops through all of the session information and builds the string: SESSIONVARIABLE=VALUE and appends the result to the Session querystring variable and redirects to the DOTNETListener page.


DOTNETListener picks apart the querystring passes the querystring values into session values and redirects to the destination page.


A sample of a URL request that would go from a Classic ASP page to a .NET page would look like the following


<%



Dim strURL

strURL = "verb=send,redir=MyDotNetPage.aspx"

Response.Redirect "ClassicASPListener.asp?" & strURL


%>


That's it! Now you are passing session information back and forth between your .NET and Classic ASP pages.


Feel free to forward any questions to my email address martin@martinwelch.net



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Legacy AJAX

Posted: Wednesday, September 17, 2008

On a recent project, I found i necesary to install The AJAX Control Toolkit on a new machine running visual Studio 2005. But where is the AJAX control Toolkit?


I went to AJAX.ASP.NET and there they have many references to the latest version of the toolkit, intended ONLY for Visual Studio 2008. If you try and install the 3.5 Version of the Toolkit in Visual Studio 2005 you'll begin to get error like I did:


Indirect reference is being made to assembly System.Web.Extensions version 3.5.0.0, which contains 'AjaxControlToolkit.ToolkitScriptManager'. This Project references a prior version of System.Web.Extensions version 1.0.61025.0. To use 'AjaxControlToolkit.ToolkitScriptManager', you must replace the reference to System.Web.Extensions with version 3.5.0.0 or higher.


Right! What now? CodePlex is apparently Awesome for opensource colaboration but it sucks at helping you find legacy versions. After some extensive searching on Google, I finally found the answer. The AJAX Control Toolkit 2.0 for Visual Studio 2005 (AjaxControlToolKit.zip) can be found here:


http://www.codeplex.com/AjaxControlToolkit/release/projectreleases.aspx?releaseid=11121


Download it, unzip it. Run the .SLN project file and ignore all the scary security warnings and run the project.


When you run the project a sample website will be created. I like to copy the web.config from this sample website for use in my projects. In the BIN directory of this sample website is Gold, Gold I say. AjaxControlToolKit.dll


To get the cool AJAX tools to show up in visual Studio:



  1. open a project

  2. Right-Mouse click on the toolbar and select "Choose Items"

  3. In the Choose Ietms dialog, click BROWSE

  4. Browse to the AjaxControlToolkit.dll found in SampleWebs\Bin, whereever you downloaded and unpacked the AjaxControlToolkit Zip file.

  5. Select the DLL


That's IT!


Why they make it so hard to find that file online, I'll never know. But now you know and knowings half the battle.



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FckEditor inside UpdatePanel broken

Posted: Friday, August 1, 2008

FCKEditor is a ccery cool WYSIWYG editor which allows you to type and format HTML. One downside is that this control does not currently have proper support for AJAX UpdatePanels in .NET.


After searching the net for very convoluted solutions to this very basic .NET need, I came across Dave Parslow's Website where he presents the following simple hack to get your FCKEditor working in update panels:


this.Page.ClientScript.RegisterOnSubmitStatement(

    this.GetType(),

    "AjaxHack",

    "for ( var i = 0; i < parent.frames.length; ++i ) if ( parent.frames[i].FCK ) parent.frames[i].FCK.UpdateLinkedField();"

    );



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AJAX Basics

Posted: Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The AJAX.NET Toolkit. Cool and easy to use as long as your created your .NET project using the AJAX template. But what about when you have an existing Visual Studio project and need to add AJAX.


I tried to do this recently and was getting the following error:

sys is undefined


Turns out there was quite abit that I needed to add to my web.config before I could start throwing cool AJAX controls in my pages.


The following article was instrumental in getting my new project up and running using AJAX


http://geekswithblogs.net/ranganh/archive/2007/07/15/113963.aspx



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T.I. - Big Things Poppin

Posted: Thursday, June 19, 2008



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Erykah Badu UNPLUGGED - Otherside of the Game

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Erykah Badu - Soldier (Live)

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Erykah Badu - The Healer (Live)

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Farrakhan on Arsenio Hall - Pt.1

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Queen Afua - Food, Fasting and Detox Part 2

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Queen Afua - Food, Fasting and Detox Part 1

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Rakim - Mahogany (LIVE)

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Lil Wayne - Lollipop

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Birdman Ft. Lil Wayne - Pop Bottles

Posted: Thursday, June 12, 2008



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Dead Mike - CB4 i am black yo

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008



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Dead Mike - CB4 976-GAYS

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008




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Chris Rock - CB4 straight outta locash

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008



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After Civil Right Black People Can Ride the Train in Boston

Posted: Wednesday, June 11, 2008



Read More

50 Cent Vitamin Water Commercial

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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50 cent - PIMP

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Ja Rule Ft. Charli Baltimore - Down

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Choclair - Rubbin

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Nelly Furtado Ft. Timberland - Promiscuous

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Popeye meets cannibals - or Remember this

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Jerry in Blackface

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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She-Ra - or Lame P.C. Appeasement

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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He Man - or Phallic Symbols 101

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Swollen Members feat. Nelly Furtado - Breath

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Cut Chemist Ft. Hymnal - What's the Altitude

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Kardinal Official - On Wit Da Show (Canadian HipHop)

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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K-OS - Sunday Morning (Canadian HipHop)

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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LOGIKAL ETHIX - Things Change (CANADIAN HIP-HOP)

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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WuShu Light Saber Duel

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial

Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2008



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Michael Jackson - Human Nature (Live Bucharest)

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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Mr Drastick

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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RZA as Bobby Digital - You Can't Stop Me Now

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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Ray J Ft. Yung Berg - Sexy Can I

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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Ol Dirty Bastard - Brooklyn Zoo proper

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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Wu Tang Clan - M.E.T.H.O.D. Man

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



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Wu Tang Clan Aint Nuthin to Fuck With

Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2008



Read More

Nepal votes to Banish Monarchy

Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2008



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Craig Mack Ft. Notorious BIG - Flava In Ya Ear

Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2008



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The Notorious BIG - Why They Stick Me For My Paper

Posted: Saturday, May 24, 2008




Read More

Profiling

Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

So I decided to add profile support to my hobby music website www.RajaAfrika.com. I'd already added membership sometime back and when I discovered the ASP.NET Profile object I became very excited by the posibilities. Allowing anonymous and authenticated users to rate videos, select their favorite videos. Very cool!

It looks like you can access the profile object simply by type Profile. from your code behind. Here is where the problems began.

My code began to crap out immedietly. "Unable to connect to SQL Server." I figurered it was my enabling AnonymousAccess which you have to specify explicity. So I removed all references to the profile object for un-authenticated users. Still no dice.

So then I hit the internet. First DotNet247.com, then Google generally. I found a LOT of people encoutering the same problem. Looks like if you use SQL Express profiling works with no problem but if you are using a real SQL Server you run into problems. After about 6 or 7 hours of banging my head aginst the Internet I finally did my research where I should have in the first place MSDN.com. And in minutes I'd found the answer:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.web.profile.sqlprofileprovider.aspx

Looks like I had to run the RegSQL utility. Now I had already done this to instantiate membership on my target database but you have to RE-RUN it with the added option -A p to enable profile support on your membership database. YATAI! but not so fast. My code still bombed. What up with that.

Turns out there was a final step.
In my web.config I had to specify a SQL provider for th PROFILE node (see above link). Apparently it was not enough to have specified a SQL provider for the membership node. With that out of the way, profile support worked beautifuly with my SQL Server database.

Note: I'm not but if you use integrated authentication you have to create a SQL Login for the IIS_WPG account on your IIS machine and grant that Login relevant permissions on your membership database. I personally choose to to simply specify the username and password in my web.config connection string. much easier.

Cheers,
Martin
ps Happy video watching on www.RajaAfrika.com


Read More

Bobby DIGITAL - La Rhumba

Posted: Friday, May 2, 2008



Read More

Common & Cedric The Entertainer - Street Kings Interview

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Read More

Hieroglyphics - Make Your Move

Posted: Wednesday, April 30, 2008



Read More

Common Sense - Soul By The Pound

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008



Read More

Common Sense - Take it Easy

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008



Read More

Special Ed - The Mission

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008



Read More

Special Ed - I Got It Made

Posted: Monday, April 28, 2008



Read More

The Roots NEW ALBUM - Get Busy

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2008



Read More

The Roots - 75 Bars (Black's Reconstruction)

Posted: Friday, April 25, 2008



Read More

Amanda Diva - Supa Woman

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008



Read More

Rip Slyme - NETTAIYA (Japanese HipHop)

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008



Read More

Hieroglyphics - You Never Know

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008



Read More

The Roots - Don't Say Nothin

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2008



Read More

Mary J Blige - Enough Cryin

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Mary J Blige - Be Without You

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Wyclef Jean Mary J Blige - 911

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Chris Rock - Stripers and Rappers

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Pharrell Ft. Kanye West - Number One

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Busta Rhymes - Touch It Remix

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Slum Village ft. J Dilla - Raise It Up

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

A Tribe Called Quest - Find a Way

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

Mariah Carey - I'm That Chick (Live)

Posted: Sunday, April 20, 2008



Read More

K' Maro - Femme Like U (French)

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2008



Read More

Falco - Rock me Amadeus

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Read More

Bill Bellamy - Def Comedy Jam

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Read More

Eddie Griffin - Def Comedy Jam

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008



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Chris tucker - Def comedy jam

Posted: Wednesday, April 16, 2008



Read More

Nas - Can't Forget About You

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



Read More

Mos Def Ft. Q-Tip & Tash - Body Rock

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



Read More

Nas - The World Is Yours *Q-Tip Remix*

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



Read More

Big Pun - Still Not a Player

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



Read More

The Roots - The Seed 2.0

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



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Martin Luther - Daily Bread

Posted: Monday, April 14, 2008



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Bobby Digital A.K.A. Rza - Holocaust

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008



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Masta Killa Ft. Ol Dirty Bastard & RZA - Old Man

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008



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Sunz Of Man ft. O.D.B. - Shining Star

Posted: Friday, April 11, 2008



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Thoughts Behind the Creation of WorldLightASP.com

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

The WorldLightASP project was initially conceived as a serious of AJAX enabled controls an "Application Service Provider" site that regular people could use to add functionality to their websites.

As a developer many of these things were easy for me to do but difficult for the general public. I always thought there should be a way for the average small business owner to create a website or a blog. There have been so many times where I'd hear a story about a company that hired a web developer who abandoned them mid project, or after project launch leaving them stranded. I suspect that this behavior of the industry will be the motive force behind the movement of small business from hiring individuals to buying aggregated services.



The WorldLightASP project is in its infancy and still it provides many of the tools that small businesses require of a simple website. Content management, blogs, calendars, photo albums and newsletters.



Websites like Blogger and word press currently prevail however, with the premium on web traffic it won't be long before consumers tire of redirecting the majority of their revenue generating traffic to other websites just to read a blog.



WorldLightASP lets you create a blog and then display it on your own website; a simple yet revolutionary idea.



The WorldLightASP project was made with the average consumer in mind. Check it out today.



www.WorldLightASP.com



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11 Lessons in Innovation From World of Warcraft

Posted: Thursday, April 10, 2008

Blizzard Entertainment, the envy of the computer game industry, has learned 11 lessons on innovation that can help almost any business.

Irvine-based Blizzard used these innovation methods not only to create the world’s most popular massively multi-player online game, World of Warcraft, but also to keep the game fresh and challenging for more than 10 million players.

Because many of those customers pay $15 a month to continue playing, Blizzard’s ongoing creative achievement is worth more than $1 billion a year in revenues, not counting the multi-millions it tallies from its other games, such as StarCraft, Diablo II and Warcraft III, plus trading cards, comic books, etc.

This combination of creativity and profitability is much of the reason for the upcoming merger of game company Activision with Blizzard’s parent company, Vivendi Games. The new company, to be called Activision Blizzard, will be valued at about $18.9 billion.

The following lineup of innovation lessons emerged from a video game conference, an interview, and several experts’ comments.

See the full article


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Fat Joe Big Punisher Jadakiss Nas Raekwon - John Blaze

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2008



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Beatnuts - Watch Out Now

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2008



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Tony Touch Ft. Doo Wop - Return of the Diaz Brothers

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2008



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Jeru The Damaja - You Can't Stop The Prophet

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008



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LL Cool J ft. Amerie - Paradise

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008



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Missy Elliott ft. Ginuwine - Take Away

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008



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50 Cent Ft. Justin Timberlake & Timberland - Ayo Technology

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008



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Candomble In Brazil

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2008



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Saturday Morning - Crying Smurfs

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2008



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Blackalicious - Alphabet Aerobics

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2008



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Snoop Dogg Ft. E-40 & Kurupt - Candy

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2008



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Roni Size ft. B-Real Child of the West

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2008



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Tony Touch ft. Nina Sky & B.Real - Hey

Posted: Saturday, April 5, 2008



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Me'Shell Ndgéocello - The Sloganeer: Paradise

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2008



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Method Man ft. Mary J. Blige - You're All I Need

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2008



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Craig David - Unbelievable

Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2008



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Japanese Game Show

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008



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Fat Joe ft. J-holiday - I Wont Tell-Fat

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008



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Kano ft. The Streets - Nite Nite

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008



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Talib Kweli - Get By

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008



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Casting Kung-Fu

Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2008



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Beenie Man ft. Ms Thing and Shawnna - Dude (REMIX!)

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008




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Beenie Man ft. Mya - Girls Dem Suga

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008



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Richard Pryor on PRISON

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008



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D'Angelo - Me And Those Dreamin Eyes Of Mine

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008



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Maxwell - This woman`s work

Posted: Tuesday, April 1, 2008



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Master of Tai Chi - Tai Chi Boxer End Fight

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008



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Macy Gray - Sweet Baby

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008



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Lionel Richie - Hello

Posted: Sunday, March 30, 2008



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Common Ft. Macy Gray - Ghetto Heaven

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Black Star - Umi Says

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Mos Def ft. Pharoahe Monch & Nate Dogg - Oh No

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Mos Def - Close Edge

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Blackstar Live on Chapelle Show - What is Beef?

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Damian Marley - War (Live)

Posted: Friday, March 28, 2008



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Jay Z - Dead Presidents

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008



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Rihanna - Don't Stop The Music

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008



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NEIMAN - LOVELY

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008



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(SATIRE!) Are We Giving Robots Too Much Power?

Posted: Thursday, March 27, 2008



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EPMD ft. Method Man, Redman - The Symphony

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2008



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Dr.Octagon - Blue Flowers

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2008



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Madlib - Slim's Return

Posted: Wednesday, March 26, 2008



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Papi te Quiero- Ivy Queen

Posted: Saturday, March 22, 2008



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Ooh Girl! - An Honest R&B Song

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008



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Nerdgasm over proposed JavaScript 2.0 Specification

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008

JavaScript was already object-oriented but still I have to admit this is pretty cool. Classes, constants, namespaces and what looks like the JavaScript equivalent of web-services! It's time to break out the Jolt and the Old-Trek espisodes...

Web 2.0, Meet JavaScript 2.0
http://blog.jeremymartin.name/2008/03/web-20-meet-javascript-20.html



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Stephen Marley ft. Damian Marley - The Traffic Jam

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008



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Erykah Badu - On & On

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008



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Jill Scott - The Fact Is (Live in Paris)

Posted: Friday, March 21, 2008



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Kanye West - Stronger

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008



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Teriyaki Boyz ft. Pharrell & Busta Rhymes - ZOCK ON

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008



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Lil Kim - The Jump Off

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008



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Omarion - Touch

Posted: Thursday, March 20, 2008



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Arab-American Comedians

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Def Comedy Jam - Chris Tucker

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Def Comedy Jam - Capone

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Bernie Mac - Def Comedy Jam

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Visionaries ft. Lmno - If you can't say love

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Hieroglyphics - Soweto

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Les Nubians ft. Black Thought of The Roots - Tabou

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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Jeru The Damaja ft. Chubb Rock & O.C. - Crooklyn Dodgers

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2008



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STONE LOVE and the JAMAICAN Sound System

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008



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Madlib - Beat Konducta in India

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008



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Jaydee - Plastic Dreams

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008



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Young RJ ft. Black Milk - All I Need

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008



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I finally release my first completed product..... and it's free

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2008

Something Ironic about that I think but done is done. The Classic ASP Object creator has been released to the Classic ASP programming community. May it be used only for good.

Truthfully, a lot of work went into the functions included in that download. I have to give credit to Dr. Ken Granderson of BlackPeople.com for many of the ideas in the download. Ken was way ahead of his time when it came to patterns and practices and should probably have abadonded all of us to our own devices and went to go work for Microsoft.

It's my hope that some other Classic ASP programer is able to save hours of effort and aggravation because of the OBJCreator. Learn More!


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When Bjork Attacks

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2008



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Grace Jones as Strangé - IT STINKS SO GOOD

Posted: Saturday, March 15, 2008



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Christopher Columbus & The Afrikan Holocaust

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008



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Mario - Let me love U

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008



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Ray J - One Wish

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008



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Janet Jackson - Any time, any place

Posted: Friday, March 14, 2008



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Boogie Down Productions - Why Is That

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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REDMAN ft. Saukrates & Icadon - "Get Em"

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Samurai Champloo AMV: Gang Starr - Battle

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Kami K ft. Drilla Kid - Dil De / Dekha [Medly] (Indian HipHop)

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Cutty Ranks Ft. Kobra Khan, Dj Kamran & Alikat - 20 Inch

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Top 10 Chuck Norris Myths - Happy B-Day Chuck

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Bruce Lee x Chuck Norris

Posted: Thursday, March 13, 2008



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Räpuzen ft. Grand Agent - Slow Flow Show

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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Grand Agent & Donjoe - In the building

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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Ky-Mani Marley ft. Morgan Heritage - Country Journey

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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Master of Tai Chi - Wu Jing vs Chin Siu Ho

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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GZA - Cold World

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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Eddie Murphy - Best of Raw

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008



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Jet-Li, Jacki Chan - The Forbidden Kingdom

Posted: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I thought Jet-Li Retired?




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Company Flow - 8 Steps to Perfection

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008



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Del The Funky Homosapien-Workin It

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008



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Slick Rick - Teenage Love

Posted: Tuesday, March 11, 2008



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Sumarian Origins of Humans Part 1/3

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008



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Sumarian Origins of Humans Part 2/3

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008



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Sumarian Origins of Humans Part 3/3

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008



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The Roots feat. Roy Ayers: Proceed 2

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008



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manu chao - clandestino

Posted: Monday, March 10, 2008



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