Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Guitars

For the record: I have a Dean Exotica, left handed. Blue stain on maple laminated all around, near as I can tell. Decent sound, decent pickup, fast neck. Replaces the Taylor, believe-it-or-not. Champaigne taste on a beer budget, right? I have an Ibanez necked Strat-type from parts, with two Fender coils and a Mighty-mite p-90 in the bridge. Nice mongrel. I have an Ibanez ATK bass, the one with a three-coil pickup in a Tele-inspired bridge; active, also nice. I got a Fender resonator, and switched the strings around on it, and put a Telecaster neck pickup in it, in the wood just below the end of the neck, naturally. I'm making a maple-on-mahogany and walnut PRS-ey sort of thing right now. All of these play through a Marshall 30-watt Korean-made amp, or a silverface Fender champ my librarian here just trash picked for me (!), or whichever of the little practice amps are nearby, or the old sleep research tube set. Please, somebody, ask me to elaborate about that last one. I'll take pictures of all of these just to add to the great info-glut that is the world wide web. Good night.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Staff Meeting and Nerd Blather


Here's a picture of the new building getting its roof trusses put up. I loaded so much video into iMovie over the weekend that it crashed and dragged the memory down to like, a gig-and-a-half. I threw out some old projects and songs to make space, and converted the huge file into a Quicktime file to continue editing it, and threw out the original -- it was some 18 gig of clips and audio.
I am paying attention; really, I am! If you were to look at me from across the room you might see me typing away on the laptop, glancing up now and then at the speaker. The subject is familiar, and I could jump in anywhere and comtinue the thread or constribute something insightful...I could be doodling on paper and the appearance of taking careful notes would be conveyed just as well. I am paying attention -- she's just moved on from stewardship to recycling, and now parking spaces. Now Quaker values, and the staff handbook. Is it SO wrong that I'm getting personal stuff done during a team-building conversation...?
BTW, I wish this thing had a counter so I can see if anyone isstumbling across it. I feel like I'm "tagging" the internet just in case anyone is looking.

Monday, August 14, 2006

About the van...

I know. I know. "A fifteen passenger van!?" That's beyond bad mileage -- that's the pot calling the kettle wastefull! And what's worse, I live across the street from where I work. I use it because it's also my maintenance vehicle, and that's one of the hats I wear. It was available and cheap when we needed to replace the Volvo. I'm fixing up my buddy's old Honda Custom 900, and will switch to that, I promise, for short solo hauls, if it makes you feel better, but you should know, just before we got married we passed a motorcycle fatality that had occurred half a mile up the road here on 611, and I had to promise on ths spot never to even imagine myself on a bike again, but I have. And now I don't have to even wear a helmet in PA if I don' wanna. You should know that the whole east-coast is one giant time-crunched network of suburban sprawl connected by identical 4-lane highways -- like the one right out front of the old Quaker farm house we rent -- lined with strip malls, real malls, and the intervening corridors of mini-marts and fast-food joints and big-box cheap marts. I know that petroleum will run out, and the whol d*** country runs on petroleum, and I know that it will be traumatic for this country, and that we will all suddenly see the wisdom in small towns with nearby farms, and in the mean time, I'll fix up the honda if it makes you happy, and push the van into the ocean to rebuild the reef, although then I don't see how I'm gonna get the bass to church on a motorcycle, but if it assuages your concience to put me in danger, I'll do it! Unless anyone wants to donate a Prius...?

One Man's Trash


I'm an unrepentant curbside collector. I'm reformed, however, in that I don't grab anything and everything that might be useful, but I keep a mental list of items that I will grab. Any musical instrument will go in the back of the van (Oh yeah -- going from a Volvo 240 to a 15-passenger van with half the seats taken out results in lots of trunk space!!!). I've outfitted the kids with bikes, got my daughter's clarinet that way, and I've only purchased one boom box in my whole life. I got a Leslie speaker cabinet (the loudspeaker voice of the old Hammond electric organs) and sold it on E-bay for $500. You get those old console stereos, take a minute to go into the back, and grab a nice old tube amplifier for free. I got the one in the picture just the other day. The librarian at the school here where I work took me to the trunk of her car -- "I've got some items I thought you might like -- the boys upstairs had to move quickly, and they put out all their junk..." She gave me two small Fender amplifiers, one a "bullet" practice amp, a new-ish solid state thing I'll keep around for whatever -- and the other was a working silver-face Champ, a classic little 8-watt thing from the late seventies. Arguably not the best sounding version of a classic amp, but a classic amp for free, and my only real tube guitar amp at the moment. And oh yeah; free, from someone's curb.Now, people, we are GOING to have to learn to use less, recycle more, combine alternative energy sources, get solar panels on the roofs and windmills out there and bicycle more and produce less waste ----- but, thanks for the amp!

A little rusty...

One of the next things I'll do is learn how to put links in as links: I kinda thought they'd just appear as such. In grad school a few years ago I played with this stuff, and I own a copy of Studio MX, and created some pretty impressive homework projects. Then I forgot it all, for lack of practice. I need to see a code version, or something like that, and have a file full of HTML goodies, that make this behave like I like to see my writing come out. I'll poke around, and hope to be able to tease that out soon.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Areas of Shared Interest

Oh -- I should mention the website for the writers conference: http://www.writehisanswer.com. Marlene Bagnull is a peach, and ran around the whole time setting things up, patching holes, arranging rides to the airport given increased security measures...
we'll talk about GarageBand a little. I met a fella there whose name escapes me, but from whom I hope to get a e-mail soon, or find his in my stuff. We had lunch together on Saturday, and I played him something I put together on the laptop. I took a song down off the Library of Congress -- for educational purposes, natch! from a gentleman called Henry Truvillion, done in 1939, called Steel Driving Man. I set it over a simple pretty hard beat, sliced it a bit only to get the tempo to match, and recorded some resonator chords and a bass line under it. I'll look for a way to put songs up, since I'm even less likely to make any money that way, but am perhaps a bit mroe prolific in that area of creativity.

Kicking it off: Writers Conference

A bunch of us gathered recently at PBU for the Greater Philadelphia Christian Writers Conference. One of the ways to increase a writer's exposure is to have a blog. Great! Here goes. Hey, everyone I met! If you stood still and listened -- especially in line for a meal -- you heard stories being pitched all around, and I guess there were some 300 or more writers, publishers, editors, and the like, at every level of success in the industry (and in this particular niche of the publishing indistry). Thanks for the information, the advice, the critique, and the encouragement. And for the sobering statistic someone threw out that only about 8% of the folks there will go on to make their income by their writing...
Did you know that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot?