Welcome to Dean Cheesman's Blog

So it turns out that I'm one of those people who only posts once or twice a month, but I do read a ton of blogs every day and I "share" the posts I like. So be sure to check out my "shared items" on the right side of the blog. Also, be sure to check out what music i'm listening to on my last.fm page and feel free to click the chat link to talk to me. 

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Provo Acoustic Sessions Video

This is something I've been working on for the last two months with a couple buddies. We've got the videos on Facebook, Vimeo, blip.tv, and have a pocast feed which doesn't show up in the podcast directory yet (it will soon), but you can go ahead and subscribe in iTunes by going to the 'Advanced' menu in iTunes and selecting 'Subscribe to Podcast' then use this link: http://provoacoustic.blip.tv/rss/itunes . Otherwise you can just always come back to this article and check out the videos.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Dean's Favorite Tracks of 2008

2008 has been such an interesting and wonderful year for me. Much to my surprise this year turned out to be an amazing year.  As a gift to you all and for future reference I have decided to share with you all my favorite songs of 2008. Even though a couple of these songs were released previous to 2008 they didn't make it to my library until this year. Enjoy.

D.A.N.C.E - Justice - These Frenchies know how to rock a dance track. 

Goliath - The Mars Volta - I'm convinced that these guys are the modern Beathoven. So complex. You should get this whole album and try to digest it. It takes a couple listens for it to really stick, but once you really listen to them you'll see how genius these guys are.

You'll Remember - The Speakers - I don't even know where I got this song. It must have been on some music blog, but this song is so intimate I love it. 

Don't Let Me Die - Band of Annuals - The most country-like stuff that i'll listen to. These guys are from Salt Lake and write terribly catchy folk rock. Plus the lead singer looks like a gun slinger straight out of the wild west. If you're local to Utah, check these guys' show out (and make sure you listen to this song so you know when to sing along).

Tesselate - Tokyo Police Club - Saw these guys up in Salt Lake for free and couldn't stop listening to them for about two months straight. It's sort of cotton candy music (Mars Volta being a steak). Pretty simple but fun to listen to.

Creature Fear - Bon Iver - The Band I listened to the most this year. This guy went out to some cabin for a couple weeks and wrote this album and you can totally imagine it as you listen to the album. GET THIS ALBUM. It's especially great winter music

Touch Me I'm Going to Scream Pt. 2 - My Morning Jacket - I think my musical taste tends towards singers who sing extremely too high. My Morning Jacket is a great example of this. I'm not sure what exactly it was that made me like this song so much, but this video probably helped (seriously... shrugging off a cape and whipping out your guitar mid-song is awesome).

Multiply - Jamie Lidell - I love Stevie Wonder and I think this guy is pretty close to a modern Stevie Wonder. Plus he's a nerdy looking white dude from London.

If This is It - Throw Me the Statue - Although this song wasn't on their album, Moonbeams, that they released this year it's probably my favorite song of theirs.

I Woke Up Near the Sea - Lydia - These guys appeal to my late 90's early 2000's sensibilities. Steve introduced me to them and i've enjoyed their whole album.

Marry Song - Band of Horses - This song reminds me of being on the beach. Good times. Good song.

Muscle'n Flo - Menonema - Not much to say here. Just enjoy it.

I Told Ya So - TaughtMe - My favorite local band. These guys are so original sounding it kills me. I try to imagine how they write these songs and it blows my mind. 

Hair Don't Grow - Annuals - Not to be confused with Band of Annuals. These guys had my favorite album of 2007 with Be He Me and I was worried about their followup, but their new album, Such Fun, has some great tracks like this one.

If you're interested in everything else I've listened to this year you can visit my Last.fm page.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Tokyo Flash

Check out the awesome watch that my Girlfriend got me for Christmas from this store. Isn't she rad?

Friday, December 19, 2008

New Podcast Videos

This was a podcast that Sam and I did back in January of last year. I figure I should post it somewhere so that it's at least viewable before Velour's third anniversary.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Natalie's Birthday Present

For Natalie's birthday I decided instead of spending an hour to go out any buy something I would make her presents. We saw something similar at an art festival and Natalie liked it so much that I decided I'd make it for her. The first three pics are the finished product. Below that are some of the making-of pics.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Creating a great discovery playlist in Itunes 8 using Genius playlists

I was excited to see what the new iTunes 8 had to offer when it was announced today. Once I downloaded it I started to check out the new "Genius" options which create custom playlists based on a song you choose. It's not bad. According to Apple it will continue to improve as more people come in to the program. The problem I saw at first was that although it does create good themed playlists, it doesn't ignore songs that have been played or skipped a lot. These are usually songs that I'm not as interested to listen to because they're either worn out or they were never that good to me in the first place. So here is what I've done....

First I created a folder to hold all of my Genius playlists based on songs I really like.Then its just a matter of creating a smart playlist that looks at that folder and filters out songs that have been played or skipped more than once and also leaves out songs that have been played in the last little while. This should leave you with a fresh playlists of songs that you have not yet discovered in your iTunes library. Enjoy! and let me know if you have any other suggestions of good ways to use Genius playlists.

Better than TWSS Jokes

Ok ok ok.... I know these might offend some of my more sensitive viewers..... but my goodness.... try not to laugh at this stuff. I mean.... they really aren't saying anything bad.... so its not bad right?..... anyways..... enjoy.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Something's Not Right

I was in California a week ago and was surprised to see that gas near the beach in LA was about the same as the gas prices in Provo. Then today I saw this graph.... WTF?

Friday, August 15, 2008

ram jam - black betty

Nothin to say.. just watch, listen, and enjoy. :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Wider Layout and New Wish-list

I've adjusted the blog to be wider and a little easier to read. Also, I've added my Amazon wish-list to the sidebar so that anyone who wants to buy me cool stuff for holidays (or just because) then you'll have an idea of things which I don't have yet but could really enjoy having around. I've had the wish-list for a while, but it just recently became much more desirable to use with the new Universal Wish List bookmarklet. No longer limited to just wishing for Amazon stuff....

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Ultimate Guide to Itunes Smart Playlists

*Update - For the new Genius playlists in iTunes I have created an article about creating a great smart playlist which uses Genius to help discover new music in your library. link

I've seen a couple posts lately about smart playlists in iTunes and I must say... I wasn't too impressed. For the last two years I have worked on perfecting my set of Itunes smart playlists. I continually tweak them to make it as easy as possible to play what I want to hear. I have decided that I am ready to share them with you. I hope that you will find use in this guide.

A couple things to note: 
  • For my star rating system I use 1 stars to tag songs that I want to delete from my library. I find this very useful and suggest you do the same. You will see this referenced throughout different playlists.
  • For a song to receive a "skip count" you must press the "Next" button on a song while its playing between the 2nd and 20th second of the song. If you hit next before or after this it will not count as being skipped. This means that sometimes if you want a song to receive a skip count you will have to start it over and wait for it to pass two seconds to skip it.
  • For a song to receive a "play count" the end of the song must be played. This means even if you "scrub" a song all the way to the end it will get a play count, but if you play a song, but hit the "Next" button before its over it wont get one.

One of the most basic and yet one of the most important playlists is my "Music Only" playlist. This weeds out all of the audiobooks, podcasts, comedy, video, and music that i don't regularly listen to (German and classcal). It also excludes songs that are really short or really long because those are usually filler songs and stuff on albums. This playlist will be referenced in most of the following playlists so make sure you get it perfected.

Music Only
The next couple playlists are explained pretty well by their titles alone

Latest 180
Top 70 Played
Newest Songs
Never Skipped

Ok... now lets get a little more complex. My "Newest Hits" playlists brings up songs that appear to be songs that I have just begun to like. Notice that it excludes a song if it was one of the last 180 songs that I have played so that songs aren't repeated too often. 

Newest Hits
"Popular Songs" brings up more established songs in my library, but avoids over-played and over-skipped songs. It keeps the music selection fresh by not playing one of the last 180 songs played or a song played in the last two weeks (whichever is longer) and also avoids the top 70 most played songs (because they are likely to be over-played). It doesn't exclude songs until they've been skipped 3 times, but wont play a song that has been skipped in the last 6 weeks. I keep this playlist limited to 6 hours just in case I forget to turn off my ipod or something. This limits the damage to my playlist caused by unintentional play counts.

Popular Songs

The next couple playlists I named with a "*" in front of them so that they show up first on my lists of playlists. This was mostly because I bought an "iPod ready" stereo for my car, but it took an eternity to scroll through playlists. This made these playlists more easily accessible. 

"*Popular Mix" is by far the playlist I use the most. It combines the previous two playlists together to create a combination of popular established songs and new songs that I've begun to like. There is a high probability that songs on this playlist are songs I want to hear. Notice that this playlist matches "any" of the rules

*Popular Mix
"*Discover Mix" plays songs that I haven't really listened to in my library. As you can tell by the title I use it to discover new songs. 

*Discover Mix
*Good Mix is one of my newer playlists. Its not a very original name... i know. After using smart playlists for a long time and after using the skip count to help your playlists "learn" what you want to hear some songs get pushed off into places where no playlist includes them. This playlist finds those types of songs that I might still like. These songs tend to be more established songs in my library. Great for when I'm feeling a little nostalgic. 

*Good Mix
I love my podcasts, but iTunes didn't have the greatest options for finding and playing podcasts that haven't been played yet. The little blue dots used in the "Podcast" section only indicate podcasts that haven't been played at all. I wanted something that would show the podcasts that had not been played all the way through. I created the four following playlists to help me with this. I also split them between Audio and Video podcasts and split those between long and short. 

Lastly I use my rating system to help me create smart playlists on the go. The rating system is the only thing you can adjust in your library while using an iPod. I use the following system:
You can obviously change these around to your needs. For a while I used the 4 star rating for songs that were NSFW, but have since gone away from that.

Between all of these playlist I can always find a way to make iTunes or my iPod play what I'm in the mood to hear with as little searching as possible. If you see anything I can do to improve on this or if you have any other feedback I'd love to hear it. Otherwise, enjoy your new playlists!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I've started running and in the tradition of tracking my life statistics I've charted my progress. I don't always run the same route, but I use this one to see how i've improved. The charts will stay up to date so if you want to see my progress you can always come back to this post.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A little white one on the way...

I haven't bought a new cell phone in more than two and a half years so yeah.... im excited. Just have to wait a week or so to get it.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jamie Lidell

Have you met Jamie Lidell yet? He's my new friend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


I love tracking my personal statistics. I feel obliged to share a couple with you. Please let me know if i'm missing any numbers that you may be interested in.

Age: 25
Weight: 200 lbs
Shoe Size: 11 1/2
Waist: 32 
Height: 6' 4"

Google Reader:
Subscriptions: 172
Items read over the past 30 days: 11,445
Starred Items: 2
Shared Items: 149
Emailed Items: 3

Songs in Itunes Library: 4671 (13 days, 23.88 GB)
Total Play Count: 25,631
Total Artists: 826
Albums: 1,163
Average Bit Rate: 176 kbps
See more here and here

Movies and TV Shows:
Movies and TV Shows rated on Netflix: 745
TV Shows subscribed to using TV Shows: 13
Cell Phone:
Model: Treo 650 (until I get my new iPhone)
Minutes used since June 4th: 240
Text messages since June 4th: 780
Data used since June 4th: 7424 kilobytes

Work emails received in June: 576
Work emails sent in June: 277
Notes written on client accounts: 288
Programming projects completed in June: 1 (first one)

Friends on Facebook: 295
Amount spent on gas in June: 135
Dollar Movies watched in June: 4
Maximum degrees of rotation while scurfing: 180 

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Black Cab Session

I posted previously about La Blogotheque and their amazing assortement of one-take music performances from some of the greatest up-and-coming bands and now I'm here to tell you about a similar site named The Black Cab Sessions. It currently has about half the artists as La Blogotheque and only one song each, but their taste in music is right on. If you're looking for some suggestions I'd say to watch Bon Iver, My Morning Jacket, and Spoon. I haven't even come close to watching them all yet, so if you see one you like let me know so I can check it out too.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

My Favorite Movies

I have been using Netflix now for a while and have tried my best to rate as many movies as possible to help Netflix make suggestions for movies I will want to watch. After being asked last night by my friends Steve and McCall I was inspired to post a list here of my favorite movies. Lucky for you it is in RSS form so if you want to be updated any time I rate a movie with 5 stars (out of 5) on Netflix it will show up.

Dean's Favorite Movies (and TV Shows)

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

TechCrunch's Demo of Microsoft TouchWall

This makes my nerd bone tingle.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

In case you were wonding... my feeds

I'm up to 159 feed subscriptions now and I thought I'd share what they were. Enjoy.

.antelope brigade
A GThing Science Project
an inquiry of me
bobthecow's blog
coal umbrella
Dean and You
Dean Cheesman's Friends' Facebook Status Updates
Duck Duck Revolution
Forsyth Fam
GThing All Links
gthing's StumbleUpon Blog
Hampered Humanity
Happy 8 Day
Items shared by Matt
Lace's Space
Larry and Carol Cheesman Family Blog
lavender limes and oranges
Love You Long Time - MySpace Blog
Relative Objection
Rughster Design
SCC Photography
sing your way home at the close of the day
The Christian Crew
The Frank Family
The Sweet Holiday
The Zimmerman Family
THIS DIVIDED STATE - Official Blog of the Filmmakers
Today Was Awesome
Uh Apple
Victim Effect - MySpace Blog
Walk America 2008
you can't dance and stay uptight
analog scene
Music Matters
My Old Kentucky Blog
Robin Hood of Indie Music
Robin Hood of Indie Music 2
Said the Gramophone
woxy.com > Boards - News Comments
You Aint No Picasso
Accelerating Future
Future Salon : Neil Gershenfeld on C-Span: Internet Zero
Official Google Blog
Open the Future
O'Reilly Conferences
Responsible Nanotechnology
Technology Review Feed - Tech Review Top Stories
The Long Tail
Wired News: Top Stories
Material Interest on Men.style.com
The Art of Manliness
Deans's Google News Feed
Futility Closet
News dugg by diggnation
News dugg by formergthing
News dugg by kevinrose
Netflix Recommendations
Netflix Top 25 in Independent
all manner of distractions
Basic Instructions
Best Online Documentaries
Cectic - The Comic
Cool Hunting
[daily dose of imagery]
Design Milk
Generator.x: Generative strategies in art & design
Shorpy - The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog
sub-studio design blog
The Go MediaZine - Exclusive insights for art, design, marketing and more.
The Perry Bible Fellowship
Wooster Collective
[ FreshCreation.nl ]
Cognitive Daily
Cosmic Variance
Digg / Science
Improbable Research
The Speculist
Uncertain Principles
information aesthetics
Interactive Architecture dot Org
Junk Charts
stamen design - big ideas worth pursuing—in blog form
Strange Maps
DailyLit: Many Thoughts of Many Minds (Quotations)
Famous Quotes - Famous Sayings
Life Quotes - Quotes About Life
Motivational Quotes of the Day
Rules of Thumb
The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)
Think Secret
The Work of Michael Shermer
BYU NewsNet : Home
Daily Herald - Our Towns
Official BYU News Releases
Provo Metro News
ProvoPulse.com - The Students Voice for the Provo and Orem, Utah areas
this is the boring blog of the provopodcast.com
Cool Site of the Day
craigslist provo | for sale / wanted search for "camcorder"
craigslist provo | for sale / wanted search for "love sac"
craigslist provo | for sale / wanted search for "queen mattress"
craigslist provo | for sale / wanted search for "sac"
craigslist | free stuff in provo / orem
Popular Bargains - JungleCrazy.com
ThinkGeek :: Stuff for Smart Masses
Atheist Media Blog
Clark Howard's Show Notes
KurzweilAI.net Accelerating Intelligence News
Optimnem Blog: The Blog of Daniel Tammet
RichardDawkins.net : The Latest Updates
Secular Skeptic
TED Blog
The Ornery American
A Miracle A Day
Change your thoughts
Mint | Refreshing Money Management
Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog
Wise Bread

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Important Message from Dean!

For all of you who subscribe/follow my Google Reader Starred Items please pay attention. I will be transitioning from "Starred" items to "Shared" items. This is because of a new feature that Google Reader has added which allows me to write comments on the stories I share. That way I can share why I'm interested in the stories I highlight. You can see these stories listed on the right side or by following this link.

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I know these people. Which makes it that much better to me.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

What Dwight Schrute thinks of people who don't watch BSG

Where Dwight and I see Eye to Eye

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Bon Iver - Skinny Love - Live in S.F.

Favorite new artist...

Friday, April 11, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Latest Art Project

So my roommate Sam and I have been in our new place since December and things have really been coming together. One of the biggest challenges has been to find sufficiently awesome art for the large blank walls in the house. 
This project is what we decided to do for the wall between the living room and the kitchen. It's done with black masking tape. Between the both of us we put in about 12-14 hours of work. The art (sadly) was not our own original work. It's from Andrew Rae. Enjoy.
These are some time-lapse videos of a couple hours I spent on the wall. 

The Finished Product

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunday, February 3, 2008

La Blogotheque's Take-Away Shows

I think I heard about these videos from reading Wired Magazine, but I don't remember. I subscribed to them and have enjoyed nearly all of them so far. When you view the videos you understand the concept very quickly. Take a band out into a city somewhere (usually in France) and have them play their songs as they walk around. Its beautiful on many levels. I believe I will steal this concept for my own uses... More to follow.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

February Challenge

Sometimes I like to consider myself a musician. I have been playing some sort of instrument since I was 8. I've done piano, saxophone, guitar, toy accordion, a little bit of drums, and even done a little bit of electronic music. The problem is... I've never really been good at writing songs. Other than a couple funny songs and Christmas presents for my sister, I've hardly even made a valid attempt at writing music.

I have decided to change this.

There were a couple factors involved in making this decision. First of all I have been inspired by the RPM Challenge which challenges musicians to write and record 10 songs or 35 minutes of music during the 29 days of February. Second of all I have been thinking more about why I suck at writing music and I've decided that its because my first draft almost undoubtedly sucks. After I hear what I've written I get disgusted with myself for making something so crappy. I don't do this with anything else I do creatively, but for some reason writing a song is different. So what I have decided to do is give myself permission to write crappy music. By the end of February I will write at least 10 songs. I make no promises to share what I make, but I will make it... crappy or not.

Final goal in this vein of my life is to play a concert with this kind of energy:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This just blew my mind

I guess this is as good a post as any to start with on the new blog. I saw this on current.com (one of my favorite online media sites), and I really could not believe it. Why would dolphins do this? Were they taught to? How the heck does that ring of air stay like that? My mind is going to explode.

Dolphin Play Bubble Rings - video powered by Metacafe

Sunday, January 13, 2008

The New Blog

Due to recent events I have changed my blog. I will now be posting things here from now on. I know I get lazy at posting, but if you want to know what I'm in to you should subscribe to my starred Google Reader items. You can see them listed on the right side of my blog or just click on the link below.

Dean's Starred Items