Free Stuff

“The best things in life are free.” ~ American Proverb

It’s a foggy, northwest winter morning and I am on vacation from work. I have been meaning to capture some of the cool free stuff (or near free) I’ve discovered this year.  I would be remise if I didn’t mention the joy of nature’s free visual bounty. Owning a dawg means that I have to take long walks with her. I do this two to three times a day. On those walks, she and I, and often Suzy, are discovering some very nice bits of nature like:

  • a new plant
  • the rushing river (sounds and visual, bonus!)
  • a path to nowhere

So here are my finds for 2012 (and older). If you click on the screen shots below, they will take you to the service page where you might need to create a profile to play.

Music

  • music candleI really like a lot of choices out there. Number one is a CD called “Burger’s Big Band” that you can often buy on eBay for chump change. It has hundreds of Big Band charts and vocals. When someone asks for a new song, I always check there first. If we like the chart a lot, I go try to buy it from SheetMusicPlus.com or JWPepper.com. Often the charts are no longer available.
  • Lush Life (at http://lushlifemusic.com/acatalog/Free_Stuff.htm) has some charts that have proven to be interesting too.
  • YouTube is always available to sample a chart before you buy. I have purchased most of my Gordon Goodwin CDs and sheet music by listening to it there first.

Reading

  • JaAGmagI recently swapped my iPad II for a new generation Kindle Fire HD 4G. Recently the prices have been slashed in half for these devices and they started a half the price of an iPad too.
  • I am on my device for hours a day during my bus commute. I have a lot of books that I have paid for but there are also a lot of free listings like the Grimm Brother’s Fairy Tales. I have found that if I wait for a year for new titles’ prices to come down I can save 50% or more. That can be hard when you are reading a historical fiction series like Follet’s “Fall of Giants”.
  • Magazines on the Kindle are dirt cheap for the most part. Now some magazines are *only* available in electronic version, like Newsweek. And you have back copies that you can refer to.
  • People on the bus share books from their libraries. I can’t count the number of people who borrow books from each other. You don’t see this happening in the SOV lanes.

Websites

  • Yelp: I love Yelp. I use it to get recommendations for restaurants, shows, theaters, and more. I love it so much that I started yelping. This year I was awarded a Yelper Elite badge.

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  • Facebook: I admit it, I am hooked… until the next great thing comes along. I limit my friends to 200 or less because I can’t handle more. But I did turn on the subscribe button for other friends and family who want to subscribe to my public posts.

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  • Tumblr: You can use this site for any interest you have, not just for the naughty stuff. <smile> Also free, you just create a profile and then add like minded posters to your reading list. There are artists, musicians, writers, lonely people, and more. If you can name a personality type, you can find them here.

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  • Pinterest: I must admit, this is another guilty habit. I am very much the artist type, having taken art with an emphasis on painting in college. And I almost always have my camera with me. Free, you can create a profile and then start saving the pictures you see online anywhere (except for Facebook). The pictures below in order are, a sampling of the offering everyday based on your selections and my profile page where I keep my favs.

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  • Woodwind Forum: This is where I get my musical instrument thang satisfied. It’s free to join, and on this site you will find performers, repairmen, instrument collectors, hobbyists, and teachers. This site has the extra benefit of an exceptional techie who keeps this site updated and fresh. I am an admin on this site too.

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Flickr: This is where I drop my photos or get my friends, who take pictures of my shows, to drop the photos.

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I can spend hours on my Kindle tablet or desktop. Which reminds me, I need to write a review about that sometime. Hope you enjoy exploring these sites. And consider letting me know what your favs are.

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About Gandalfe

Just an itinerant jazz saxophonist trying to find life between the changes. I have retired from the Corps of Engineers and Microsoft. I am an admin on the Woodwind Forum, run the Microsoft Jumpin' Jive Orchestra, and enjoy time with family and friends.
This entry was posted in Facebook, FAQ, flickr, Guides, Jazz, Kindle, Music, Tumblr, Yelp, YouTube and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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