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  • Let Mommy Buy Weed

    2017 - 07.09

    When our family was in Colorado for vacation a few years back, Vicki and I were going to go to some dispensaries to try the local (and legal) herb. Bree was not happy about this at all, since she has grown up being told that marijuana is illegal, and bad for you. She really didn’t want Vicki to go, even though it has been proven to help with chronic pain, something Vicki has been dealing with for years. The next day, Jacob came out of his room with an amazing poem, called Let Mommy Buy Weed. He found every term for marijuana that he could find, and rhymed it into an incredible poem where a young boy explains to his sister the benefits of weed, and how it can help people with chronic pain. The poem was so amazing that I knew it needed to be turned into a book. Fast forward about 2 years, and the book is complete! I had a buddy of mine who is an incredible artist illustrate the poem for us, in the style of a children’s book, and now it’s available for purchase on Amazon!

    Here’s a few pages from the book. And remember, you can purchase your own copy HERE.

    Conviction In The Studio

    2017 - 07.07

    My band Conviction recently spent some time in the studio putting the finishing touches on 4 original songs and we think they sound great! Listen to samples below, and watch this space for links when the songs go live on iTunes. We’re also looking into streaming services like Pandora and Spotify. Special thanks to Lynn at LA Audio for recording, editing and mixing our stuff and making us sound so amazing.

    Click the image below to watch our video for Finding My Way, created by Jacob Katz of Nerdboy Productions.

    Check out the band website at convictiontheband.com for more info and links to full performances, samples and pictures.

    Listen to samples below, and look for these songs on iTunes and streaming services soon!

    Finding My Way (studio version by Steve Rosenberg)

    Baruch Hashem (studio version by Steve Greenberg)

    Nothing In This World Is Free (studio version by Steve Greenberg)

    Better Than You Know (studio version by Steve Rosenberg)


    Spinners From Old Hard Drives

    2017 - 05.14

    If you know me, or read this blog, you know that I have a lot of old computer parts. Some would say I have too many. Those people are idiots. I saw on the internet that you can buy these spinners that you hold in your hand and spin to keep from being bored, to improve focus, whatever. I figured it would be easy to build some of these out of old Macintosh computer hard drives in my garage. I googled it, and of course, I wasn’t the first person to think of doing this. But I had a ton of old hard drives that needed their data wiped, so I decided to build some spinners, killing any data (and some time) in the process.

    Here’s a few examples of a 2, 3 and 4 piece spinner. These are made completely out of old Macintosh computer hard drives, some super glue, and some leather for the base. No instructions are really needed for this project. Just take apart an old hard drive and start glueing stuff together.

    Do they have a purpose other than to keep fidgety hands busy? No, but they are fun to spin, completely silent, and keep me from tapping on my desk and annoying everyone around me.

    Watch below to see the spinners in action…click the image if the animation doesn’t automatically loop.

    Conviction Plays Menorah Medical Center

    2017 - 04.25

    Here’s my band, Conviction, at the Menorah Medical Center staff party on April 20, 2017. Click image below.

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    Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science In America

    2017 - 04.25

    Please watch this. He is 100% correct. Click below.

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    Lamp Made From Discarded Compact Discs

    2017 - 03.14

    Is anyone out there old enough to remember getting America Online sign-up discs in the mail almost every day? Well…I held on to as many of them as I could, thinking someday I would make something interesting out of them. So here is a lamp that I created a few years ago before I started this blog, so I didn’t think of keeping images of the build itself. It was a pretty simple project. I found a strong circular piece of metal a little smaller than a CD, and drilled 4 holes through it. This was used as a template for the holes and then secured to the top of the lamp once finished. Then I built a wooden frame that would hold a single compact disc in place securely so I could place the metal piece on it and get the holes drilled in exactly the same place on each disc. This was important or the finished lamp wouldn’t look like a nice clean stack of discs. After drilling 4 holes through roughly 250 compact disks…I secured them to a base using 4 long metal screws to keep them from moving, and tightened them down as much as possible. Then it was just a matter of choosing the LED lights. I used the same type of strip lights that you can find at IKEA or online for around $20, the same model that I used for the keyboard lamp posted here.

    Below are pictures of the lamp off, on, and animating.

    Blues and Cousins

    2016 - 11.24

    Tuesday night I did another open mic at Llewelyn’s. This time I was joined by my cousin Deanna (Deannie) and her husband Steve from LA. We’ve both been involved with music for a long time, but never got the opportunity to play together. The great Jerry Fehr is on guitar. Check out 4 songs below.

    Deanna Hurst-Levine, husband Steve, and Gary at Llewellyn’s open mic night

    Ain’t No Sunshine (click below)
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    I Heard It Through The Grapevine (click below)
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    Chain Of Fools (click below)
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    Crazy Love (click below)
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    Halloween 2016: Pointe Shoes and MSU Bear

    2016 - 10.28

    I love carving pumpkins on Halloween! This year I made a pair of ballet pointe shoes for Bree, and the Missouri State University bear for Jacob. I also made a pumpkin eating a pumpkin, because…why not? Images below…click a picture for a larger version.






    And just like humans…time is not our friend…


    Apple Wireless Keyboard Lamp

    2016 - 10.20


    I noticed the other day that I had accumulated quite a few broken Apple wireless keyboards. I removed all the electronics from them and turned them into a pretty cool looking lamp. Look below for the detailed instructions.

    First, get ahold of 4 broken (or working and willing to be sacrificed) Apple wireless keyboards, and remove the batteries. I used the smaller model, only because I had so many of them. I’d love to make a lamp out of the extended keyboard, but I only have one broken one so far.


    Start by turning the keyboard over and stick a small regular screwdriver in the corner of the keyboard like in the picture below.


    Slowly start peeling back the white plastic piece, while being very careful to keep the silver aluminum piece straight. You don’t want the silver part to bend, only the plastic piece with the Apple logo on it.


    If you are having a hard time, use a hair dryer on hot as you peel the plastic piece back. The hair dryer heats up the adhesive and makes it much easier to remove. Once the white plastic piece is removed, start removing the silver part that holds the keys.




    The keys come off easily with a little tug, be sure and save them. You can add magnets to them and spell stuff on a refrigerator, or spell out your name, or many other crafts.


    Now you should have just the silver aluminum keyboard frame.


    I used some pieces of plastic film that I had from taking apart lcd monitors and glued them to each of the keyboard pieces. This gives the lamp a cloudy, fuzzy look, so the LED lights cause a glow from within. You can use any type of plastic sheeting you can find, or even just use cellophane or cloudy paper.


    I took 4 of these frames, and glued them together and then to a small piece of wood to hold them steady. I drilled a small hole in this base so the wire from the led lights can fit through. Next I cut a big piece of PVC tubing to fit inside the square structure. The lights I used are a long LED strip of colored lights controlled by a remote. You can find these extremely cheaply online; look at amazon.com, IKEA.com or banggood.com.


    Take the light strip and attach it to the base of the PVC tube, and circle around the tube until you reach the top, covering the PVC evenly all the way up.


    For the top cover, I used a cool piece that I found in an old half-sphere iMac. I put a few tiny magnets on the top of the lamp to hold this piece still. It gives a really neat shadow on the ceiling.


    And that’s basically all there is to it! Click below for a quick video showing the lamp in action.

    I’ve turned some other old macs into lamps as well, such as an original Mac Mini below. It needs no instructions however, just hollow the thing out, and add some lighting.


    Watch Conviction’s Gig at The Art Factory

    2016 - 08.08

    Click the picture below to watch my band, Conviction, play to a packed house at The Art Factory. The videos were compiled by Jacob using multiple cameras and audio sources into one excellent musical experience!

    conviction intro gif