“I’ve made myself a goal of trying to do something productive every day,” Year wood said in a recent chat with her fans. I know that sounds crazy, but, you know, we have a big yard,” she said of the Nashville-area home she shares with her husband Garth Brooks.
And we’re usually touring, so we can’t mow all the time, and the grass doesn’t wait for you. I used to beg my dad to let me mow the grass, so I’ve gotten back on that.
But when I got up, I walked into the kitchen,” she shared, “the dishes were done and coffee was made. Alison makes her living loving country music.
Blessing it with a retail price of only $179 CAD, IFI is looking to put the Zen Blue into existing systems, be they traditional hi-fi’s, or powered speakers that lack a wireless option. The idea here is a DAC that takes (wireless) music, as data from your device, and sends it (with wires) to your stereo.
I didn’t try the Zen Blue with an Apple device; if you’re an iOS user or watch a lot of YouTube, you’ll be hearing AAC, which is decent but lossy and manipulated by some psycho acoustic algorithms. *It’s possible that IFI will issue firmware to update its chipset for newer codecs like LHC, as that’s what they apparently did with DAC.
I played the Avert Brothers’ beautiful ballad I And Love And You quite a bit, for on-the-fly switching (back and forth comparisons) between the codecs. Tonally, this track has a pretty well-recorded piano and vocal intro, and when the rhythm section eventually comes in, you can get a good idea of how well your source is rendering the timing and drive.
It was good enough to hear differences in recording quality, and when I replaced the supplied interconnect with a 0.5 m OCC, I noticed the improvement. People with high-end digital systems will be looking for something with more bandwidth than Bluetooth can provide, but for many applications, this will be more than good enough.
If used with powered speakers, or say a bedroom or cottage system, Zen Blue can easily turn your phone into your main (or only) music source. We live in a small town in a rural area, and our internet isn’t the greatest.
I think jamming CD levels of bits and samples through a Bluetooth sized pipe might start showing some of its limitations. You have two devices talking to each other over limited bandwidth, and the data rates and codecs they converse in are complex and not always perfectly in sync.
I always stayed within 10-20 feet, and between those two distances (on the couch vs going to the kitchen) there wasn’t much difference in the performance. Conclusions I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the IFI Zen Blue to anyone in the market for a unit like this.
We’ve seen software that helps with this come out in recent years, including Android’s Digital Wellbeing and iOS’s Screen Time. Zen Mode is slightly different, as it doesn’t measure the time you’ve spent staring at your screen.
All notifications other than calls will be muted, ensuring you’re completely undisturbed until Zen Mode ends. Also, it’s important to note that you won’t be able to cancel Zen Mode once it’s begun, so make sure you’re absolutely ready before you tap Start.
Starting Zen Mode is easy, but if you’re planning on using it regularly, you might want to add it to the Quick Settings in your phone’s notification shade. Once you’ve added Zen Mode to your Quick Settings, starting it is as simple as tapping the icon.
The ZEN -Core engine also supports Instrument-specific Expansions, including V-Piano and Supernatural Piano for FANDOM, or Analog Behavior Modeling for the JUPITER-X Series. Today, Shakuhachi flutes are used by many in the practice of Zen Buddhism and meditation as well as for playing Jazz, Classical, Japanese folk music and improvisation.
Other reasons to buy the Zen before the NATO include an FM tuner, the ability to charge and transfer files with a standard USB to mini-USB cable rather than a proprietary one, and the fact that you’re not tied to iTunes for file transfer and device management. The four way d-pad isn’t as nice to use as the NATO’s click wheel, and the rest of the buttons’ aren’t instantly intuitive either thanks to the fact they have rather ambiguous symbols on them.
It’s an excellent idea and a good feature for in-pocket operation, allowing a quick change of theme without the need to look at the screen. It doesn’t make a good start, with disappointingly restricted file format support.
In back-to-back tests against the Treks tor Vibe, which I’m using as my reference player at the moment, I found the Zen to be just as good, but in different ways. Listening to a spot of dinner jazz from Swedish songstress Lisa Dahl, the Zen doesn’t quite have the same open airiness of the Vibe.
But the rest of the sound spectrum is cleaner and just a little smoother, with plucked double bass notes in the background more satisfying to the ear. Buffy Clark’s ” Puzzle” is a current favorite of mine and the Ayrshire outfit’s brand of unorthodox guitar rock comes off with an energy, vigor and punch on the Zen that many other players lack.
Rowena plays an intriguing blend of acoustic guitars and reggae beats and its well-produced and recorded music is the perfect test of the Zen’s capabilities. Finally, I fed the Zen my usual selection of demanding classical works, from Mozart’s ” Requiem” to the dramatic opening to Mahler’s ” 5th Symphony”.
And it coped here just as well, dispatching complex choral refrains and the huge dynamics of orchestral strikes with realism, impact and subtlety. If you’re looking for an alternative to the iPod NATO this alone should put the Zen at the top of your shortlist, and makes it well worth its recommended award.
Pitched as a direct competitor to the iPod NATO it beats it on most fronts with the one exception being that its physical controls aren’t quite as nice to use. It comes in a greater range of capacities, has a larger screen and, importantly, isn’t tied to iTunes or a proprietary cable for syncing and charging.
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As places of quiet contemplation and reflection, Japanese Zen gardens seem the perfect counterbalance to the stresses of an always-on, hyper-connected existence. Tiny lakes and islands covered with moss and precisely manicured grasses and shrubs combined with larger rocks and gravel beds intended to represent nature’s spirit on a more intimate scale.
Closely linked to traditional Japanese ink paintings, Zeno viewed these gardens as unrolled scrolls. Kyoto, Japan Tenryu-ji, known as the Temple of the Heavenly Dragon has a garden with a large pond built by Must Hokusai during the 14th century.
Reflections of maple trees hover across the surface of the pond, and a variety of boulders and stones create a dry waterfall within the garden. Tenryu-ji displays the gradual transition from representational Zen gardens to a more abstracted and artificial presentation.
Meticulously landscaped, the grounds include a meditative Zen garden in a rectangular form with a number of large boulders surrounded by carefully groomed white gravel. Light-colored gravel and large weathered stones are contained within a wall and are carefully groomed with a rake to resemble faint waves of water.
Historically, these raked sand gardens were intended for spiritual reflection and were often affiliated with a monastery or temple site. White raked gravel sits quietly beneath eight carefully placed boulders that represent various saints and gods.
Katakana, Japan Founded by priest and garden designer Most SOSes in the 14th century, Zuisen-ji is situated in a valley surrounded by mountains. Angular rocks representing cliffs align with smaller stones and pine and evergreen trees to evoke the sense of a larger river landscape.
Daisen-ji, a smaller temple in the complex is recognized for its rock garden, which closely resembles those found in China. Thought by scholars to represent the metaphorical journey of life, Daisen-ji’s rock garden includes two cone-shaped hills of white gravel and a number of smaller landscaped arrangements.
Finally, leading to a bed of raked pebbles, the metaphorical rivers flow into an open ocean, signifying the end of life. Kyoto, Japan Nanzen-ji, the headquarters of the Nanzen-ji branch of Sinai Zen, is known for its traditional rectangular-framed rock garden.
Tiny white pebbles, groomed with a rake, suggest quiet ocean waves or the gentle wind across a pond. The garden also has a number of boulders, carefully placed across the field of gravel and intended to represent mountains or islands.
Similar to a traditional Zen garden, the rectangular court has a wall surrounding it with plantings around the edge. The temple is home to Banryutei, Japan’s largest rock garden covering nearly 2400 square meters.
Carefully raked white gravel and neatly manicured grasses flow throughout the landscape, and visitors are encouraged to sit and contemplate the space while enjoying a cup of tea from the museum’s café. Tarawa, Japan Japanese-American artist ISAM Touch was best known for his minimalist sculptures featuring cut and manipulated stone.
While living in New York, Touch maintained a studio in Japan, near to the home of a stone cutter, whose expertise would help guide the artist through numerous projects. Included on the site of Touch’s studio is a small rock garden composed of white gravel and a number of large granite boulders in a variety of shapes.
The square garden was inspired by Sendai Gibson’s calligraphy and incorporates three large stones, a mossy ground cover, and a number of surrounding maple trees. Perhaps intended to represent the bottom of a riverbed or great mountain range, the landscape is meant to promote contemplation and meditation.
Absent of any greenery, the garden is located within a walled structure where visitors may sit and consider the serenity of their surroundings. Large boulders represent the Rocky Mountains and smaller pebbles line the valleys in between.
Flowing like a waterfall, and perhaps modeled after Dieseling’s famous Zen garden, the arrangement of elements produces a smaller version of the Colorado River’s run into the Grand Canyon. Kyoto, Japan Also called the Temple of the Dragon at Peace, Ryoan-ji has what is known as the most famous Zen garden.
The refined dry landscape has fifteen enormous stones placed inside 248 square meters of highly polished white gravel. The monks residing at the temple groom the gravel each day and the stones are arranged within the space in five separate groups.
The rocks of the garden were arranged so that only fourteen of the fifteen stones may be viewed at any given time from any angle.