charliecheney's blog

Updated my website a bit...

  • Posted on: 25 March 2012
  • By: charliecheney

On Friday night I decided to upgrade and update my website a bit. You know, one of those insane moments of clarity, like when you suddenly decide you have to clean your bathroom because the cobwebs and soap scum have finally built up beyond your ability to cope with it any longer, hahaha.

Holiday Blues

  • Posted on: 12 December 2011
  • By: charliecheney

I got a low-voltage dose of Holiday Blues today, just feeling out of sorts, restless, wishing I had more money for presents. I've been in pretty good spirits this year and this bout with personal desire sort of took me by surprise. I scurried home to eat a good meal, take a nap, and work on some code. Anything to keep my spirits up and my mind occupied.

Do you feel that way sometimes? It seems to me like everybody must sometimes, but I can never tell. I told a doctor once that my arms fell asleep at night and then I said "but that happens to everyone I suppose." and she replied with eyes slightly wide "It doesn't happen to me."

Song Links

  • Posted on: 5 May 2011
  • By: charliecheney

Kerrville New Folk Contest Submission Suggestions?

  • Posted on: 10 March 2011
  • By: charliecheney

Hi there, so here's a question for you.

There's this thing called The 2011 GRASSY HILL KERRVILLE NEW FOLK COMPETITION that will be held during the 40th Annual Kerrville Folk Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 28 & 29, 2011 and I'm thinking about submitting.

My question is, what two songs would you suggest I submit?

The criteria are that the songs be written after January 1st 2009, and the winners must perform the two songs on stage. With these two criteria in mind I've whittled my eligible songs down to this list:

Fifty Dollars Down The Drain

One Tiny Lie

Take Me To My Daughter

Recycle Giftcards into Guitar Picks for Charity!

  • Posted on: 24 February 2011
  • By: charliecheney


The Gift (Cards) That Keep On Givin' Campaign!

UPDATE: Picks are now on sale on Etsy!
The Gifts That Keep On Givin' Store!

Recycle your used gift cards for a good cause! There are billions of gift cards purchased and exchanged each year. Ryan Simmons and (MC)² Productions have joined forces to pay-it-forward and help reduce, reuse and recycle a major amount of consumer waste. All recycled gift cards are repurposed into guitar picks then resold with 100% of proceeds benefiting music education.

Here is what you need to do:
Step 1: Collect your used cards.
Step 2: Send to the address below or find a drop-off location near you!

Beatles Shakespeare Crossovers

  • Posted on: 21 February 2011
  • By: charliecheney

My friends Chris Adams and Tim Wille were playing a li'l game on Facebook that mingled the great bard with the great band. Here are the ones they came up with. Can YOU do better? (Imagine a pointing finger Uncle Sam here)

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song, and I'll try not to sing out of key.

To be, or not to be good-looking cos he's so hard to see, that is the question.

Messers K. and H. assure the public
their production will be second to none, and of course, Henry the horse, the horse, my kingdom for a horse!

Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow never knows.

A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool on the hill.

Shall I compare thee to a hard summer's day night?

A Story of New Years Eve 2005

  • Posted on: 7 December 2008
  • By: charliecheney

Coming up this month is our third anniversary of moving to Fremont Michigan. I've been thinking about our move. It was an adventure. We rented a U-Haul truck and a tow along 12-ft trailer as well, so we were assured of an adventure in moving.

There was throwing up involved, scrubbing tile on my knees, 1000 miles of driving, a trailer popping off the trailer hitch (several times), an angel, dogs in the front seat, the shearing off of a trailer hitch 10 miles from our destination, and much more.

Back soon to tell you more.

My new weekly radio show... Mondays at 8pm eastern

  • Posted on: 2 December 2008
  • By: charliecheney

I'm starting a cool new weekly radio call-in show at 8pm Eastern time at and I need you and your music on my show!

"Charlie Cheney's Music Exam" will host a spirited discussion on current musical hot-topics such as social networking, digital distribution, touring, self-promotion, and beyond. I'd love you to join in the conversation, so call-in won't you?

Last night we discussed the theory of "Tribes" and how tribes affect our success with music. Joel D Canfield author of "The Commonsense Entrepreneur" ( joined me and I would love it if YOU, yes YOU, would call in to the next episode too. The call-in number is (914) 338-0421 and the show is free.

To kick off the series I featured some songs from a fun Portland artist named Josh Belville ( and the band Arden of Eden (

If you'd like to submit your music for future episodes or want to suggest a specific topic for discussion please send me an email with your ideas and links to mp3s and I'll take it from there. Look forward to hearing from you tonight and every Monday at 8pm!


We Can Have Pie - How To Make Homemade Pie Crust

  • Posted on: 26 November 2008
  • By: charliecheney

Charlie Cheney's "We Can Have Pie!" song in mp3 format

All right kids and kiddens... it's time to make great pie crust. Why? Because we love pie! So, here is the ultimate instructional tutorial to help you make home made pie crust right there in the comfort of your own... home. Hooray! OK, let's begin.

Start with the basic ingredients and tools. Flour, shortening, salt, ice water, mixing bowl, tablespoon, and two knives to cut the dough.

At last... a new blog post... Twitter search options.

  • Posted on: 14 November 2008
  • By: charliecheney

I'm addicted to Twitter and it is ruining my blog. I've lost interest in writing more than 140 characters at a time. But at last I'm back in order to write a longer missive. About Twitter, of course.

Here's what I just discovered... the Twitter search feature has been disabled due to abuse... so as I searched around I found these handy work arounds, enjoy! (p.s. I found these here:

Alternatives for User Search that might help in the meantime:

1. To search by topic, try

2. To find friends through the address book of your webmail account, try

The above are Twitter features. There are also third-party services that may help:

3. To search by name or bio, try or or

4. To search by location, try

5. To search by profession, try

6. To search for companies that use Twitter, try

Google 2001

  • Posted on: 7 October 2008
  • By: charliecheney

Have you seen Google's page today where you can search their 2001 index?

I searched for "Charlie Cheney" and this came up from the Lumina Americas site lol...

Charlie Cheney is Lumina Americas' Chief Technology Officer. Charlie has spent the past 13 years building a wide variety of technology-related companies. Most recently, Charlie was the Vice President of Technology at Inc., where he led and managed technology initiatives to launch this Internet start-up.

From 1996 to 1999, Charlie was the President and CEO of Cheney Inc., a Wisconsin-based computer and media consulting firm. There, he focused on cross-platform database programming, as well as computer system needs analysis, installation, training and troubleshooting for large and small businesses.

Prior to Cheney, Inc., Charlie spent six years at Get Creative Technologies, Inc. in Chicago. As President and CEO, Charlie was responsible for managing this computer consulting and media production company which focused on high-end printing, multimedia projects, as well as Internet and database development work. Clients included Ameritech, Motorola, Leo Burnett, Quaker Oats, Apple Computer and others.

Before joining Get Creative Technologies, Charlie was an assistant project leader at Apple Computer, Inc.

Charlie has a BA in Communications, Arts, Radio, TV & Film from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  • Posted on: 13 August 2008
  • By: charliecheney

I found this article here:

I wanted to save it for later...

How To Concentrate

( Originally Published 1930 )

"Concentration is the Most Important Intellectual Habit of Man."

Not one person in ten thousand can really concentrate. Some realize that they do not know how—others drift along the line of least resistance and let their minds vegetate, apparently never suspecting their weakness or realizing that they are an utter failure at concentration. To Cori-centre—bringing all your mental force and faculties to bear steadily on a given center with-out deviation from that exact point—whipping into line all wandering fancies—stray ideas or thoughts that go off on a tangent—to hold steadily all your power on the central thing under consideration without an instant of wavering—that is Concentration.


A difficult thing to do, and very few minds can do it. St. Paul gives us the shortest definition of concentration on record when he says, " This one thing I do," short, but tremendously significant. Another Bible definition is excellent: " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it withthy might ." Some men work that way, intense fellows--brilliant professional men—big business men—executives—leaders in the world of finance—science—invention—literature—education—it matters not what kind of work, the point is that when these men pitch hay, they pitch hay —when they write a book, they write a book—when they manage a sales campaign, they man-age a sales campaign. That one thing they do at that one time, and nothing else, and every ounce they have goes into the doing. But back of all this has been a lot of mental discipline, a lot of habit-forming, a lot of brain-building. Let us consider some of the steps by which they have climbed. To the ambitious student, I offer five practical aids to concentration, planned to meet the needs of one who wishes to build from the ground up. We must assume as prerequisites, interest and attention, which have already been discussed.


These aids will do more than help you to follow a memory course; they deal with your daily work. Concentration applies to all the activities of life. It should be established as a life habit. To all who think, I bring this message, Think it with thy might. Make a business of doing one thing at a time with all your soul. Chesterfield was right when he said, " There is time enough for everything in the course of a day if we do but one thing at a time, but there is not time enough in a year if we try to do two things at a time."


It may seem paradoxical that the first aid to better concentration refers to relaxation. But I have observed that some of the most intense intellects fail in their concentration because they never relax. Failure to let go between efforts is their chief stumbling block. They keep them-selves tense, nervous, " keyed-up " all the time, even when there is no need for it, thereby wasting nervous energy. They find it very difficult to " let go "—to relieve the high-tension by a little natural, wholesome relaxation. Possibly they feel like the Irishman who was trapped on the fourth floor of a burning building. He fought his way to the window but was afraid to jump. The flames drove him on until he was hanging to the window ledge with his hands. His friends, in the street below, seeing the walls were about to fall, kept shouting at him to " let go." Finally, he growled back at them between set teeth—" How kin I let go when it's all I can do to hang on? " But we must learn to let go—to relax completely—before each period of in-tense concentration. Here is the working principle: Relaxation precedes perfect concentration. A delightful illustration of this point is given by Elizabeth Towne.

Six puppies were playing in the barn. The barn door was closed and with the world shut out, they were giving themselves up completely to the; spirit of play. Two of them were staging a mock battle over a feather, while the others were rolling over and over in the loose straw on the barn floor in utter enjoyment.

Suddenly the barn door softly creaked. 'Instantly every puppy came to attention; heads up —tails up—bodies rigid—bright eyes fixed in intense concentration on that door, as it slowly swung open. A moment before they had been in a state of complete relaxation. Now, they offered a perfect example of concentration as they stood at attention, waiting and watching for the unknown danger that Might be coming from the other. Side of the barn door.

All great mental achievement has been preceded by periods of absolute rest or relaxtion! During.this time fatigue disappears the nervous forces. recuperate and the minds-stores up fresh energy axed establishes a reserve to draw upon during" the hours of intense concentration demanded by the. big task high lies must ahead.

Very often this preparation period of relaxation determines. the success or failure of the uder taking.-Herbert -Spencer, once made, a speech on.," The Gospel "of Relaxation will, which he pointed ,out that continual tress and strain high tension without periods relaxation were responsible for much chronic fatigue and many a nervous breakdown. is far better to indulge. It in an voluntary let down than: to Offer an involuntary breakdown, Different .people take their relaxation best in different ways, but, whether in complete rest, of play or wholesome laughter, it must come before any sustained effort of concentration. Nature itself requires cycles of growth and rest. Take your breathing spell before the battle.


The next step is to free the mind. Nothing is of greater aid to concentration. In fact, unless you are able to do this, concentration is impossible. When. harassed by the three devils, hurry, worry, and f ear, the mind never has a fair chance to center on anything. " Worry generates a poison at the roots of memory." But in your period of relaxation, you have an excellent opportunity to free the mind—now is your chance to eliminate all mental handicaps and get ready for the race. Not only hurry, worry, and fear must be thrown overboard, but anything and everything that troubles you and disturbs your serenity and your peace of mind. Out they go ! You should not indulge in day-dreaming, either, or mental drifting. Clear the mental horizon; give yourself a clean slate to write upon when your hour of concentration comes. And when it comes, if you have availed yourself of these first two aids I have given, you will be, possessed of that rare thing, mental poise.


In order to keep it, utilize the third aid: right conditions. Now, it is true that a trained mind can concentrate under any conditions—in the roar and din of .crowded cities or the busy hum of traffic—in the midst of telephone calls or a thousand and one other interruptions. Some men can concentrate on a mental problem while walking down a Chicago street and never hear the roar of the elevated or see the hurrying throngs. I have seen men write on a crowded street car perfectly oblivious to the people about them, not even hearing their own stations when called. But these men were already masters of concentration, and I am addressing my remarks to those who have not yet learned how to concentrate. Therefore, it is only a matter of common-sense to make conditions as favorable as possible. Give your mind a fair chance. Concentration is difficult enough, even under the best conditions. I would suggest that you seek a quiet place free from all distractions (and noise is a terrible distractor), a place free from all interruptions which may break your train of thought (and a telephone is a terrible interruptor), a place where you can be alone, free from all outside influences (and a friend who " must drops in " is a terrible outside influence), and a place of pleasing environment, beautiful or otherwise, where the atmosphere is right for you. I mean atmosphere in its fuller sense, although an abundance of sweet, fresh air is necessary. A well-poised mind can create its own atmosphere which inspires the individual, puts him at his best, is strongly conducive to good mental work, and has much to do with his success in concentrating. Not alone for the beginner, but I may safely say for the majority, is this true. In fact, some of our greatest creative thinkers absolutely insist on right conditions and the right kind of a place in which to produce their master-pieces. True, good books have been written in mail—great poems written in the trenches—masterly speeches conceived on an express train. But in every case there was a degree of concentration strong enough to rise triumphant above the environment.

Atmosphere--environment—these things differ with the individual—it's all in the mind. One man may do his best work seated in a luxurious chair in his beautiful and artistic study--another may reach his highest plane of creative thinking while sitting under a lone pine-tree on the crest of a hill. Choose your own place for concentration, but remember that solitude has always been, in all the history of mental achievement, a requisite for great work.

Solitude calls forth the mood of receptivity. Only then do we get the best. Great things are worked out in silence. Then come the flashes of inspiration—the new visions. Emerson tells us that " Solitude is to genius the stern friend—the cold, obscure shelter, where mould the wings which will bear it farther than suns or stars," and we have this thought from Carlyle: " Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together—that at length they may emerge full-formed and mamestic into the delight of life—which they are henceforth to rule."

The great poems written in lonely garrets—the masterpiece paintings conceived by the artist amid the fields—the divine harmonies first heard by the musician communing with the stars—the sublime oration which first stirred the soul of the orator as he tramped in the forest—all attest that the best comes to man when he is alone.

Witness Burns—the Scotch peasant among the daisies pouring out the lyric songs which to- day touch sympathetic hearts the " warld o'er."

Witness Emerson—bidding good-bye to the proud world and retiring to that Sylvan Home, " bosomed in yon green hills "—and there creating his incomparable essays.

Witness Demosthenes—on the seashore—building to the big music of the waves his match-less oration on the Crown.

Witness Byron—alone on the Alps—writing by the glare of the lightning flash his magnificent description of the Thunderstorm.

And today right in this practical present—thousands of our most successful business men have learned this secret—that by getting alone—they can gain new efficiency—and think out better plans for managing their daily affairs.

History will bear me out in the statement that to bear Solitude well is a mark of greatness. Look at Lincoln—back there in the country for the first thirty years of his life, nourishing his own soul and disciplining his own mind.

Hillis has well said, " What a college and a crowd could not do for thousands of young men —Solitude did for the rail-splitter's son. Alone he sailed the seas of thought with God for his only companion, till at last he stood forth, a mountain-minded man."


The fourth aid to concentration, is a very practical one: make a daily schedule. In the first place, such a schedule saves an inconceivable amount of time. Harrington Emerson, in his noted book, Twelve Principles of Efficiency, lays great stress upon the necessity and value of a written daily schedule. But what has this to do with concentration as applied to memory, you may ask? Simply this—your daily schedule helps to focus the mind, holds it steadily to one thing at a time and in the right order. Following a logical sequence tends to eliminate con-fusion.

It has been demonstrated in efficiency tests over and over again that time and energy are lost not so much on the operation itself as in passing from one operation to another. So in our mental operations, failure to move smoothly from one thing to another results in confusion. And when confusion comes, concentration goes. A definite daily schedule is a wonderful aid in keeping the mind on the right track. It often proves to be the salvation of those who have been unable to concentrate. Try it.