Webconsuls Blog

Friday, July 27, 2007

Dennis Helfand Broadway and Film Piano Favorites

From 1986 - 1997, my wife Judy and I, along with our two sons Aaron and Daniel, owned and operated a New Hampshire bed and breakfast inn, Cranmore Mountain Lodge, in the White Mountains. During the evenings, I would often play piano and over time, these "mini-concerts" became a regular inn "feature." If I were not at the piano after dinner, the lobby Innkeeper buzzer would usually be pressed by 8 PM and I knew exactly what that meant.

The guests seemed to prefer the music of Broadway, the big shows, like Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Man of La Mancha, Cats, Fiddler on the Roof and others. Scores from popular films or background music such as Love Story, Unchained Melody, the Godfather (Speak Softly Love) and romantic ballads were always requested. Eventually I recorded a tape cassette and when CDs were introduced, I recorded and offered CD s for sale as well.

Daniel, Dennis, Judy and Aaron, circa 1992
The setting was a beautiful common room with fireplace and this wonderful baby grand piano. Over the years, this room became the favorite of our inn guests, typically folks who enjoyed experiencing New England at a traditional and historic bed and breakfast. It was a wonderful time, with guests singing, humming or simply relaxing in easy chairs and rockers, as the treasures of Broadway and film were being played for them. Occasionally, a guest would ask me to accompany them and they would perform. On rare occasion, the vocal range and star quality were magnificent. Unfortunately, more often than not, some soloist requests, (and the thumbs-down performance that followed ), occasioned fear of "early guest checkouts" in me. Fortunately, inn guests tend to be rather "forgiving" and just seem to giggle a lot. At Cranmore Mt. Lodge, music was part of the inn's character. The common room made the travel experiences memorable for the guests.

The style and interpretation of the music was mine and "the common room" became my stage. I was its star soloist and performer. Why, come to think of it, I even owned the theatre. For the guests, sharing stories and experiences of their day, (with my music providing the background to give those tales "color and drama"), added something intangible to their trip. The inn became theirs. They were comfortable. They knew they were coming back. When the day of checkout arrived and they would say their goodbyes, they usually had a CD packed for themselves and a few others as gifts. The White Mountains National Forest area will always be known for its beauty, its foliage, and spectacular vistas. Tourism will always be its major industry. We were able to add another dimension to their trip. I hope you will enjoy this YouTube video of my recording of "Memory". Here are some of my favorite memories of New Hampshire. Daniel, my youngest son, created this video for me.



I have long since sold the inn and with it, my wonderful baby grand. I miss that piano, the feel of the keys, the shiny black finish. I think back (ten years already) to those times at the keyboard, with my captive audience in attendance. All those people and yet, in a strange way, always feeling alone. I had found my place and life was truly wonderful. I have never had a piano lesson. I am self-taught. My CD, Dennis Inn Concert, the Sounds of Cranmore Mt. Lodge has never gone Silver, Gold or Platinum. It ain't going to get any special recognition either or referenced on the Juilliard School web site. Yet, "somewhere out there" that CD is playing.

I am older now and many miles distant. It is nighttime in Newport Beach CA and as I sit in my home, I close my eyes and see the common room, the fireplace, the couples, the families. The piano is still shiny black and my fingers can feel the wonderful smoothness of the ivory. I am still their Innkeeper and they will be my special guests forever. The "Memory" feels good. Yes, the sounds of that time are alive and well... both for my inn guests ....and for me.

I hope you enjoy my CD Podcast.


Click to listen

Dennis Helfand 'Inn' Concert - The Sounds of the Cranmore Mt. Lodge

Right click pod icon and copy location to add Podcast to iTunes



Google Hot Trends

With Hot Trends, you can see a snapshot of what's on the public's collective mind by viewing the fastest-rising searches for different points of time. You can see a list of today’s top 100 fastest-rising search queries in the U.S. You can also select a recent date in history to see what the top rising searches were and what the search activity looked like over the course of that day. Google update Hot Trends hourly.

Hot Trends reflects what people are searching for on Google today. Rather than showing the most popular searches overall, which would always be generic terms like "weather," Hot Trends highlights searches that have sudden surges in popularity. Our algorithm analyzes millions of web searches performed on Google and displays those searches that deviate the most from their historic traffic pattern. The algorithm also filters out spam and removes inappropriate material.

For each search, Hot Trends shows related searches, a search-volume graph, and the top cities. We also display news, blog, and web results to help give context about why a search may be appearing on the Hot Trends list today.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Get Dot Mobi

 Get Mobi Enabled

Got Dot Mobi?

With the explosion in handheld mobile devices, your users are no longer just browsing your site from a computer, they are now also viewing your site through their mobile phones.

Convergence is happening folks, and we do not see that taking place on your TV set or computer at home, but on that trusty little device that everyone seems to be walking around with, the ubiquitous mobile phone.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Welcome to Google Apps

Want simple, powerful communication and collaboration tools for your organization without the usual hassle and cost?

Communicate...
Give your users Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Talk accounts that use your own domain, helping them to stay connected and work together more effectively.

Collaborate and publish...
Docs & Spreadsheets lets users share files and collaborate in real-time. The Start Page is the first place your users will look to preview their inboxes and calendars, access your essential content, and search the web.

...and get on with business.
It's all hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software to install or download, and minimal setup and maintenance. You can get up and running quickly, even if you don't have technical resources.

And Webconsuls is there to help if you would like to make the move.

Google Apps Premier Edition

The Premier Edition offers the best of Google Apps. If you're looking to complement your existing IT infrastructure (account management system and/or Intranet), you can access extensibility APIs to integrate your entire organization with Google services.

Some features include:

* $50/user account/year
* 10GB mailboxes
* User account provisioning
* Single sign-on
* Email gateway
* Email whitelist
* No ads displayed on Google services
* Access to Google partners

Google offers 24/7 assistance, including telephone support for critical issues. Google Apps Premier Edition also includes a 99.9% uptime guarantee for Gmail.

You can read more about how Google Apps has already helped many organizations around the world.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Gmail POP and SMTP port settings for Outlook Express

Just when you think you have Outlook all figured out, Along comes Outlook Express whose port settings are upside down from Outlook!

Tools > Accounts > Mail Tab > Select Your Gmail for your domain account > Properties



Your Outlook Express settings should match.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Got Collaboration? Google Talk

Google Talk is Google's instant communications service. Like Gmail, Google's free webmail service, Google Talk uses Google's innovative technologies to help people communicate more effectively and efficiently. This means Google Talk is fast, intuitive and fun to use.

It also means you can start thinking about instant communications in a new way. Google Talk offers you different ways to integrate real time communications into your online experience. The Google Talk Gadget lets you see who's online and send instant messages from your Google Personalized Homepage, without installing any software. You can also add the same instant messaging capabilities to your own webpage or blog by cutting and pasting a single line of code. And by downloading the Google Talk Client, you can make voice calls and transfer files to your friends.

And if you use Gmail, Google Talk offers you even more. You'll find all of your Gmail contacts organized in your Talk contacts list. Gmail also archives all of your Google Talk chats and makes them searchable. And since Google Talk is integrated into Gmail, you'll be able to chat with all your Talk contacts there, too.

Got Collaboration? Google Talk.

Login and start talking today.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Outlook set up in Gmail for your domain

You can use the following information to configure POP with many mail clients. If you encounter difficulties, Click here for help.

Incoming Mail (POP3) Server - requires SSL: pop.gmail.com
Use SSL: Yes
Port: 995
Outgoing Mail (SMTP) Server - requires TLS: smtp.gmail.com (use authentication)
Use Authentication: Yes
Use STARTTLS: Yes (some clients call this SSL)
Port: 465 or 587
Account Name: your Webconsuls email address (username@webconsuls.com)
Email Address: your full Webconsuls email address (username@webconsuls.com)
Password: your Webconsuls password

You can even set this up and test Outlook prior to the email move if you have enabled POP thru the Webconsuls Start Page.
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Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gmail for Your Domain


At Webconsuls we know good technology when we use it. That is why we have moved our email to "Gmail for your domain". Gmail for your domain is hosted by Google, so there's no hardware or software for you to install or maintain. Each email address gets 2 gigabytes of storage, spam and virus filtering, with search tools that will help find information fast. Instant messaging from right inside the account so that it's easy for everyone to work as a team.

There is even more cool new functionality!

A customizable start page, http://start.webconsuls.com/

A brandable mail page, http://mail.webconsuls.com/

A place to share documents across the desktop or across the globe, http://docs.webconsuls.com/

And a place to share and keep track of those important appointments, http://calendar.webconsuls.com/

Are you ready for Web 2.0?

We can help you get there. Click Here

Gmail is different. Here's what you need to know.

Messages that are easy to find, an inbox that organizes itself, great spam-fighting tools and built-in chat. Sound cool? Welcome to Gmail.

To get started, you may want to:

  • Learn about some of Gmail?s unique features on the Getting Started page.
  • Follow our Switching Guide to learn how to announce your new Gmail address, import your contacts, and forward your email from Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, Hotmail, and others.
  • Set up your mobile phone to get super-fast access to Gmail.
  • Visit our Help Center to find specific answers to all your questions.

Users have often told us that the more they use Gmail, the more they discover its benefits. So go ahead and give it a try. We'll keep working on making Gmail the best email service around, and we appreciate your joining us for the ride.

Thanks,

The Gmail Team