Winter Break Projects

I am working on five projects over winter break. In no particular order, they are: knitting a scarf, learning Java and writing a weight loss tracking program with it, learning C# and writing a goal setting program with it, learning German with Rosetta Stone, and of course, completing and releasing my CD.

The first four I have been making good progress on; however, my CD is a bit delayed as my dad came down with a nasty bug and now I seem to be getting it. I’ll wait until we are all done coughing to try to do any recording. So, those of you excited about my first CD will have to wait a bit longer than I anticipated. I still plan to finish it and release it before the end of winter break. Only 6-8 more songs to record!

Learning German has been a goal of mine for some time now. I wanted to take a class in it last year, but got too busy in my other classes to continue. I started taking it again this year, and the same thing happened. So, I finally just went ahead and got a Rosetta Stone course in it so I could learn at my own pace. I am very impressed with the interface and have learned to say many things in German. I am in the middle of unit 3 of level 1. There are five level of German, with 4 units per level. I can talk about people (Frau, Mann, Kinder, Famalie, Schwester, Bruder, Madchen, Younge, etc.), occupations (Lerner, Artz, etc), food (Apfel) and more. I try to study at least 3 times a week for a couple hours to keep increasing my vocabulary and grammar skills.

I am on chapter 7 of my Java book, and have found it to be very similar to C++, which is nice. It is actually easier to use than C++. I am glad my school taught us the harder of the two and left the easier one for us to learn on our own. Yeah for garbage collection! The weight loss program will have a GUI and take in weights and display a table and graphs, and have weight loss goals and rewards you can set. I’ve yet to plan it out fully, but I plan to make a UML in Visual Paradigm soon.

I am on chapter 4 of my C# book, and have also found it to be similar to C++, kind of a cross between Visual Basic and C++. Making a GUI program in Visual C# is like a gazillion times easier than making one in C++ with wxWidgets on Unix. I just need to familiarize myself with some of the library calls, get some experience, and I should be good. I also plan to make a UML for the goal setting program once I get closer to making it.

My scarf is coming along nicely! I try to do a few rows a day. It is a nice pretty green. I’m going to need some more yarn soon… Another trip to Michaels! I love knitting now that I know how. It is just so fun to be making something with my hands.

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, and thanks so much for reading! I really appreciate all the nice comments.

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On Blogging

I have received several comments about my blog, and some questions asking what I use and how to get started as a blogger. I will start out by saying that I use WordPress for everything on this site. It is a great blogging application that makes everything very visual, user friendly, and easy to customize.

The WordPress theme for this site is called Graphene. I then customized it with my own graphics to make it look visually appealing. I used ColourLovers.com to make the background. I made some of the graphics with the Gimp and others came with the theme.

You may wonder why I chose WordPress over some of the other blogging tools out there, like Joomla. Mostly, I chose WordPress because I was familiar with it from a project I did as part of an internship.

It is very easy to insert media such as pictures, videos, and music clips on WordPress, which I like. It is also easy to write a PHP plugin or widget to do something special if I want to. There are also tons of already made plugins and widgets you can download and put on your blog, too, to do specialized things.

WordPress is cool in that you don’t even need your own domain name, you can get a blog/site right through them. I have my own domain name, as you know, www.lisaannekelly.com, so I run a version of the WordPress application on my website. Speaking of which, I need to do an update. Or more accurately, my Webmaster Laz needs to. (Laz is my alter ego. She manages the site so that I don’t mess things up with my account.)

Happy blogging, fellow bloggers!

Oh, and by the way, I didn’t make my Kickstarter goal by $200. I’m considering starting another fundraiser on Indiegogo — they are not all or nothing like Kickstarter is. But thank you to everyone who did pledge for Kickstarter. I’ll be sure to let you all know here when my CD is out so you can order it.

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Fun things to do with a Kindle Fire

I got a nice HD 8.9 inch Kindle Fire a few weeks ago, and I love it! Here is a list of fun things you can do with a Kindle Fire.

1. Get a stylus. When you buy the Kindle, there is an option to purchase a stylus to go with it. I highly recommend this, as the stylus makes it much easier to navigate, and also keeps you from getting fingerprints all over your Kindle Fire.

2. Buy books on a country that interests you. Is there a country you have always wanted to visit? Or are planning on visiting soon? For me, that would be Austria. As a student, I’m planning to do a study abroad next year in Austria. So, I have downloaded a book on Austria, and also a book on Europe, as I hope to travel in Europe while I am staying in Austria. What country are you interested in?

3. Draw pictures. Drawing and coloring can be a very relaxing and enjoyable way to spend time on your Kindle. With a stylus, drawing  becomes quite fun. There are several drawing programs available for the Kindle Fire. I use Drawing Pad, which has brushes, pencils, stencils, crayons, and a great range of color. My connection is not good right now, but later I will upload a couple of my drawings.

3. Play games. There are many games available for the Kindle Fire through the Amazon app store. However, there are fewer games available than if you had a Nexus and access to the Google play store. I currently have 3 games on my Kindle Fire: Pocket Tangrams, Draw a Stickman, and My Little Pony. All three are fun and make use of the Kindle’s lovely HD screen.

4. Surf the interwebs. The Kindle Fire has a great web browser. 3G connectivity is only $50 a year for the Kindle Fire, too, because Amazon is awesome.

5. Watch a movie. As an Amazon Prime subscriber, I have access to tons of free movies and TV shows. Also, I have a YouTube viewer app that works great, so long as the video is not too long.

6. Read! After all, it IS a Kindle! I have a lot of books on my Kindle already, and have found I am reading much more than I used to. It’s good for you, and fun too! I am reading books on Java, C#, and personal finance for people in their 20’s. I also have magazine subscriptions to 2600 and Wired. I’ve been reading a lot of books by Richard Wiseman, a psychologist from Great Britain who writes very accessible and interesting books that refer to actual research studies to give advice and share information.

7. Listen to music! The Kindle has very nice speakers, and you can buy music in the Amazon store.

This concludes my list of fun things to do with a Kindle Fire. So yeah, if you have one, or are getting one, definitely try some of these out.



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Day 2 of 15 — Kickstarter

This is day two of my Kickstarter project. I’ve already gotten two contributions! I’m happy. I hope they keep coming in. If you are new to the site, I am a cellist and composer, and have a Kickstarter fundraising project to raise funds for my first CD release. Here is the link to the project:


I have added a track to the page, the first movement of Wanderlest, the piece the album is named after. Go on over and have a listen right now!

I am also psyched today, because I won a optimization contest in my software design class. That means I don’t have to take the final exam! Automatic 100%!! Yipee! So, I only have one final, and that is in artificial intelligence.

All my projects and homework are done for the semester. Now I can work close to full time at my job, and have tons of free time to do music and work on my own projects.

Also in the news, I got a new cell phone! It is through CREDO mobile — a Samsung Galaxy Epic II. I love it so far, it feels great and sturdy in my hand, and the Android OS is so much better on this phone then it was on my old Samsung I had through T-Mobile. I love CREDO mobile, because of the UNLIMITED data plan, and good coverage on the Sprint network. Also, they support progressive causes and support groups like planned parenthood.

I will try to post an update every day until the Kickstarter is over, so check back tomorrow for another update!

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My Kickstarter fund raising project has launched!

Hello my devoted fans and visitors! I have started a Kickstarter project to raise funds for my new album of all original solo cello music, Wanderlest. If you’d like to be totally awesome, make a donation at the URL below, and if the fundraising goal of $250 is met, you will get one of the thank you gifts! You get to pick your gift, and gifts may include copies of the CD, web downloads of the tracks, autographed albums, and more.

Please check out the link below Any contribution is much appreciated and I would be grateful to you for eternity.


My Kickstarter fund raising project has launched! Read More »