About This Blog – Updated February 2011

Hello, this is Tanja.  I’m in the midst of redesigning my website which will be a work in progress for the next month or so.  In so doing, I thought I’d take a moment to update the blog as well.

I launched my first blog back in 2004 with the intention to replace my on-line quarterly newsletters that were posted to my website since 1999. If you want to read past articles from this now defunct newsletter they are now archived at my old website here. It was designed by the great folks at Kapow. At the time I posted content about massage therapy, alternative healing methods and some healthy recipes. Occasionally I wrote about things as if my blog were a public diary — thankfully nothing I’d be embarrassed to say openly.

Back then, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I think most people new to the blogosphere don’t know what they’re doing either so I don’t feel too bad.

I think this whole Web 2.0 thing is just one big experiment really and so we all fumble about as we find our voice and create our digital identity here on the Web.

Unfortunately, my ISP ate my blog when I switched providers and then *poof*! It was gone!

Then in 2005 I heard on NPR that the Oxford University Press had selected ‘podcast’ as the Word of the Year.

When I heard the that, I vowed I would give up my love of all things tech because I felt like I simply couldn’t keep up! I mean… you know… it’s an expensive habit buying all those new shiny gadgets that quickly become obsolete. And like a great athlete you have to constantly be training to keep up.

Not too long after I quit a friend dared me to make a podcast and you know what? I couldn’t resist!

At first it was really, really, REALLY hard. I’m a massage therapist by profession so I’m completely autodidactic in learning all there is about interviewing subjects, capturing audio/video, editing, mixing, coding and publishing to the Web. There was so much to learn not mention that things were constantly changing as the medium continues to develop and evolve.

But I kept it up and fell in love with it along the way. So much for giving up technology as an expensive habit, eh?  Now I can proudly assert I am one of earliest pioneers of podcasting! To this day I produce a community-based arts and culture podcast that’s tremendously fulfilling. But still… there’s so much more to learn.

So through this current iteration of my blog I aspire to share with you things that I feel are pretty nifty using podcasting tools including audio and video recordings. Occasionally I may even post a wordy, text heavy posts much like this one as well.

I’m happy to share with you my knowledge and have posted several video tutorials on how to do things on a Mac or in social media. If you’re stuck with a problem and it’s something I can assist with you with, feel free to contact me and I’ll try to help.

* The views expressed on this blog do not reflect those of any employer, past, present or future.

Queen Califia’s Magical Circle

This is my latest 360° panoramic image from Queen Califia’s Magical Circle, a mosaic sculpture garden by Niki de Saint Phalle located in Escondido, CA. The garden consists of nine large-scale installations including a circular “snake” wall with a labyrinthine entrance into the confines of the circle.

Eight large totems of mythical monsters and deities surround the main piece of Queen Califia standing upon the Eagle Throne. There used to be a gold-egg shaped fountain underneath the eagle that referred to Queen Califia’s magical reign over oceans and also symbolized the cycle of birth, death, and transformation.  It is faced with handmade gold leaf sandwich glass that was controlled by a solar pump.

Upon my latest visit the Egg Fountain had been removed, due probably to abuse since this beloved park is overrun with children and adults climbing and scaling these fragile mosaic pieces. On the one hand, you can’t blame folks for stomping all over the installations as they appear to invite interaction with their colorful textures and shapes. However, I’m afraid that should this rough interaction continue with the pieces not maintained they too will suffer removal like the Egg Fountain.

The Niki Endowment Fund was established to enable the city of Escondido’s school children an opportunity to visit the garden. It pays for transportation costs of docent lead classes to visit the site. For more information about the fund and how to contribute call 760-839-4331.

Namaste, Rik Sharaj

I’m utterly shocked and deeply saddened to hear yet another friend has passed on into the light this year. While Rik Sharaj may have gone on to become one with Shiva his music will forever live in my heart.

Namaste, dear Rik. At every full moon I will remember you with joy and I will listen for your song amongst the stars. You have been such a sweet blessing to me and everyone in the community. Safe journey.