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Diary
By clock (Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 08:40:10 AM EST) (all tags)
and things that pass for it.


It should be duly noted that yesterday was my grandmother's 87th birthday.  She still lives alone in the house her husband built and is incredibly active and ornery.  She keeps a small garden of green beans and tomatoes.  Cooks her own meals (and all holidays).  She's also, perhaps, one of the toughest people I have ever known.  She gave birth to 7 children and has buried 5 of them and her husband.  When my grandfather died the month after I was born, my grandmother took a job in a factory at age 49, got her driver's license (never needed one before), and put her youngest son through college.  I've learned a lot from her.  Mostly that life can only fuck with you as much as you let it.  That and getting up every morning is something you can do for a very, very long time.  When the time comes, in another 15 years or so, she has earned a quiet passing in her sleep at her home.  Anything less would be criminal.  The only person I know who comes close to my grandmother's level of determination and grit is my wife.  Stacky and I haven't told anyone who didn't need to know about the currently developing human.  I cheated and told my grandmother yesterday.  She's itching for new great-grandbabies anyway and it's easier for her to know one's on the way than to listen to her tell me how by my age she'd had 7 kids and yadda-yadda-yadda.  OK, that and it was her friggin' birthday.

Speaking of my wife and developing things, we saw the doc yesterday.  I really like all of the docs we've seen at that facility.  They know their shit cold, are confident without arrogance, and when the room goes quiet on questions they offer the FAQ and give helpful suggestions.  Strong stuff.  It's funny to watch Stacky out-nerd the docs.  She knows her shit and shares.  When she decided that meds were the way to go yesterday, I was a little relieved.  Mostly because The Dude has picked up on the fact that mommy is sick.  She's tired a lot and has an upset tummy almost constantly.  I don't want him to think something is wrong or worry but we're not quite ready to tell him about anything.  Two more weeks, maybe.  In any case, if these pills bring her some comfort and allow her to function at even 50% of normal, we're gonna be in great shape.  Here's hoping, right?

Speaking of being sick and stuff, I did the grocery shopping for the first time in about three years.  I have been so terribly spoiled.  My chores are just about nothing compared to walking the grocery store.  We hates it, precious.  Also of note, when my wife isn't there, Tuesdays are not replete with MILF action.  Hot mom night at the grocery store is still probably Friday.  I may have to adjust my schedule accordingly.  If I have to fight to figure out where in the holy fuck the non-organic leeks are or where they stashed the fucking butter (which is nowhere near the proper spot) I may as well at least have some scenery, right?  RIGHT?!?!  Fucking grocery store.  I'd rather haul bricks.

My boy continues to amaze me.  He's a big guy.  In two weeks he will be THREE YEARS OLD!  He's 39" tall and weighs in at 39 lbs.   I don't think of him as a big guy until he's around other kids.  He's so sweet and doesn't have a mean bone in his body.  Part of me fears for him because I was the big kid who didn't like to fight or get into shit and it wasn't easy.  But he's smart.  He'll be fine.  Just have to teach him the lessons I got from my mom and he'll make it.  He's already got the nerd-y thing going.  He has hypotheses about radishes.  We're all in trouble.

In nerd news, I've tried to see how tough it is to decouple from Google.  It ain't easy.  Ditching Chrome, after finding out it didn't suck ass anymore, was a minor inconvenience that I forgot after about 2 minutes.  Google docs are tougher to pull away from.  Suggestions?  Bloglines seems OK as a reader.  But Gmail will have to stay.  No other way to check personal mail from work (aside from my iPhone).  It can be done.  But it's work!  As for search, well, Google could be Satan for all I know but I will still use their search.  I tried Yahoo and Bing to unacceptable results.  Wow.  This is almost news for nerds.  And it almost matters.

In music news, I'm recording again.  Laying down something for technician and littlestar to put vocals over.  Something we did as a group during the Great Canadian Invasion of 2010.  I love the tune and what I'm trying to do with it will either be a hit with my co-conspirators or fall completely flat.  Either way I'm having fun.  Though I think I might pick up a cheap Rogue acoustic bass guitar.  I have a cheap electric bass and since I really only lay down simple shit, it's cool.  But there's a tone I want and I'm thinking of pulling the trigger.  For under $200 what's the worst that can happen?  And those Rogue guitars don't suck.  I'm surprised at how far up the low end has come from back in my day.  Can you put Cort in the same room with Rogue or Seagull?  Hell no you can't.  The top end has gone up as well, but I find that's mostly in bells and whistles and less in terms of consistent quality of tone.  Martin and Taylor both source some good wood, but it really comes down to an individual instrument basis.  That's a long way of saying: I think I'ma gonna pick up a cheapy acoustic bass guitar to get what I'm looking for in my "sound" now that I'm old, don't give a shit, and have an interest in creating a "sound."

More music.  In thinking about the comments on the track littlestar and I released, it was interesting to hear "over produced" come up again and again.  Interesting because that's just how she sounds.  She's brilliant without help.  And so many are not even close to brilliant with all of the help in the world.  We're working on building a sound here.  It's our first real release.  There will be more.  It's so much easier to craft something with technician for two reasons: 1. he can actually come to my house on a given weekend and we can rock out in person.  So much more communication that way.  2.  I know what he wants.  The venn diagram of our stylistic knowledge is pretty close.  It's easy to know what he's thinking because he'll say insightful things like "Ya know, it's like that one track that that one guy did.  The one with the wah-boom-zing.  Yeah.  That" and I know what he means.  Crafting stuff with littlestar takes more time.  It's asynchronous and I'm just now starting to "get" her.  She reminds me so much of an old friend of mine I never had that it's not funny.  I'm really glad she's so patient.  I'm pretty hard to work with, really, and it's good to work with great people.  So expect more shit soon-ish.  There's stuff brewin' here people!

No work content.

I'm cycling a lot.  It's hotter than fuck out there, lemme tell ya.  I no longer care.  When I'm not pulling The Dude in his trailer, I feel like I can fly!  I ride hard and for too long.  Got in a little trouble over that this week.  It's nice to just pedal as fast as I can for as long as I can and think about whatever I want.  I hear tell that's called "me time."  Anyway, I'm getting some good exercise in X-TREME CONDITIONS so that has to be good, right?

That's all I've got.  Marking time for the next few weeks and not thinking about things.

< yawn | sore all over >
on time | 31 comments (31 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Yeah. That. by ana (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 09:26:07 AM EST
Marking time for the next few weeks and not thinking about things.

Yeah. That.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

What's Said, What's Meant by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #2 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 10:36:15 AM EST
That was nice to share the potential human news with your grammy.  Grammies are deeply into that whole circle of life thing.  It was probably enough to make her almost forget the tension on Coronation Street.

I also worry sometimes that my boy may turn into a gentle giant that others would like to engage with to prove things to themselves.  Littlestar's brother, Slozo, is a substantially more Viking-proportioned human being than I am, and my boy seems to be heading more in that direction: wide shouldered, tall, blonde and strong.  Assuming everything goes smoothly, when he's twenty I'll probably be able to get him to come around with me and punch people who've pissed me off.  That'll be awesome.

In my experience, when who aren't audio engineers complain of "over-production" the term can be a bit of a catch-all that really means nothing more specific than "there's something about the mix that bothers me."  I believe it is very comparable to way people who aren't in professional creative production tend to say about images they don't like that they are "unbalanced."  UNBALANCED is the visual equivalent of OVER-PRODUCED.  It just means ME NO LIKEY.

I think that also saying something is "over-produced" is a way to express (potentially valid) criticism without being too confrontational.  That is, it's safer to say "over-produced" than it is to say "your voice/instrument/timing sounds somehow wrong to me."  In a way, it's a very Canadian sort of response.

One of the things my job as a commercial artist teaches me is how to separate the inarticulate/insensitive/overly-sensitive/vague/mistaken things people say in critique and then distill from that balderdash what they actually meant.  It's funny how people might criticize the colour when what really bothers them is the motion -- non-experts can have a seriously hard time distinguishing between provinces of sensory experience.  It blends in their heads.

People who fail in my industry often do so because of their inability to make that leap.  They burn themselves out being defensive against well-intentioned but unhelpful nonsense criticism.




Science-fiction wallah, storytelling gorilla, man wearing a hat: Cheeseburger Brown.
exactly. by clock (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:18:03 AM EST
when i actually built web sites for a living my favorite all time criticism was that something did or didn't "pop."  this meant that the person speaking once read a copy of Yahoo! Internet Life magazine and couldn't quite figure out how to say "I really prefer blue buttons to grey."  how hard is that?  not very.  nowadays, i spend more time telling people that the data they are asking for isn't what they need to see.  it's the same argument, but with fewer feelings and more facts or idiocy.

it's nice to be in a place in my life where my liking something is good enough.  it's great if others enjoy it and i do really, really appreciate the feedback.  i just don't take it personally, if that makes sense.  i can talk about what i do as if it's not a part of me.  a handy ability to have!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
describing what i don't like about music by aphrael (4.00 / 2) #6 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:16:54 PM EST
is hard (unless the problem is that the singer's voice drives me up the wall or i don't like the genre) because what i'm really noticing is my emotional reaction - music for me is very mood-evocative and if it's failing to evoke mood or if the mood evoked is negative or if the music sounds inauthentic and hollow to me, it's all an emotional reaction ... and pinpointing technically what is causing that is just beyond me.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.
[ Parent ]
which is what I find interesting! by clock (2.00 / 0) #7 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 01:42:32 PM EST
when something just doesn't work for someone, I'm totally cool with that.  There is more music that doesn't move me than there is that does.  As it should be (IMHO)!  And hearing something like "I dunno.  I just don't dig it" makes more sense to me than something more vague.  I think it's just how humans work.  We want to tell someone "why" when that's not really a useful line of inquiry MOST of the time.

Yeah.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
"Genre" is one of those B.S. terms too. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:27:22 PM EST
It's intellectual shorthand for lazy folks. Same problem. Moods cross all "genres."

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
genre isn't about mood by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #19 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 12:10:16 AM EST
and it's useful to be able to put things into categories.

just as there are things about 'the last light of the sun' which make it categorically different from, say, 'brightness reef' or 'city of god', there are things about 'ring of fire' which make it categorically different from 'omen' or 'nothing else matters' or 'dirty old town'.

i find great joy in music which deliberately crosses and messes with genre boundaries, but that doesn't make genres un-useful as category markers.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
There's my point. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 12:55:06 AM EST
Genre boundaries are quite arbitrary and are therefore useless unless you need to be told what to like. What defines a "country music" song? Who's entitled to define it? Suit-wearing assholes in Nashville?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
i disagree on the uselessness by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #22 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 02:46:18 AM EST
(a) there's a lot of music out there. there needs to be some sorting mechanism. that sorting mechanism, like all sorting mechanisms, is rough and arbitrary ... it's an approximation, an abstraction and an oversimplification.

(b) genre labels give us an easy way to describe things when we're talking about them to people who are unfamiliar with them. they provide a lattice, a framework for understanding, which simplifies the conversation.

i find the fact that someone calls a song a metal song to be informative: it provides a range of expected values for it. it's even more informative if they say "it's sort of a hybrid between metal and hip-hop", to be sure, but that doesn't undermine the usefulness of hte original name.

there are two places where this breaks down:

(a) when my exposure to the genre is so small that i don't have a good impression of the range of expected values, the borders of the genre, and the distribution across the values; it's very easy for a limited sample set to inaccurately represent the genre in my mind

(b) when my exposure to the genre is so large that i'm oversensitive to small variations within the genre. describing something as "electronica" to me is utterly useless, for example. in that case i need you to give me either subgenres which i understand, or artist-comparison referents.
If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Metal. A perfect example. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #23 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 04:41:09 AM EST
What you, I and nightflameblue consider to be "metal" will so disparate as to be useless, except for asking the morons at Best Buy where to find a certain CD. Rote categorization for this is unsatisfactory.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
You can buy CDs at Best Buy? by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #26 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 01:59:08 PM EST
Amazing. I thought it was an electronics store.

[ Parent ]
It's like a fifth of their floor space here. by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #27 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 03:07:33 PM EST

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
Possible overproduction example: by Captain Tenille (4.00 / 2) #20 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 12:50:55 AM EST
"... And Justice for All". 

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/* You are not expected to understand this. */


[ Parent ]
Actually, underproduced by houser2112 (2.00 / 0) #24 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 09:50:28 AM EST
in the sense that they didn't produce the fucking BASS.

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #28 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 04:29:24 PM EST
PEOPLE- If you have a bass player in your band, I need to be able to hear it, or I won't buy your shit.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
I've heard that old folks by nstenz (2.00 / 0) #30 Sat Aug 21, 2010 at 12:59:17 PM EST
sometimes have rather degraded hearing in the mid-bass range. 

[ Parent ]
walking the grocery store by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:07:11 AM EST
I've learned the layouts of the stores I hit up most frequently. I wish they wouldn't move everything around every few years. "Where are they hiding the bread now?" I usually have a list, go in and get just what's on that list. It helps that I live walking distance from the local store, which limits my shopping to what I can carry.

Every two or three months I have a big list full of staples like olive oil, flours, big bag o' frozen veggies, etc., in addition to milk, oj, and other weeklies. That's when I drive, get a cart, and methodically go up and down aisles getting everything on the list and looking for new products. Takes about 20 minutes...

Why the Google-hate?

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

see google-verizon missive to FCC by clock (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 11:21:40 AM EST
they're getting evil and reactionary in their mobile old age.  violating net neutrality is one of the few geek issues left that makes me really itch.

and the groceries wouldn't be a problem if i had been to the store in the last 3 years.  and it's a new store.  everything was working against me!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
It's not evil, it's realistic. by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 02:35:59 PM EST
It differentiates between mobile broadband (limited net neutrality) and wired broadband(fairly full net neutrality). Any iPhone user can tell you all about the bandwidth limitations of mobile broadband.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Realistic evil by notafurry (2.00 / 0) #10 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 04:25:53 PM EST
Is still evil. Primarily because the current issues are temporary - as technology improves the limitations will go away. If Google/Verizon implement their agreement, technology won't matter because the problem becomes political rather than technical.

[ Parent ]
this++ n/t by clock (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:07:19 PM EST



I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Happy birthday, Grandmother Clock! by ammoniacal (4.00 / 1) #9 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 03:28:34 PM EST
Buddum-tish!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

I wish I could come to your house everyday by littlestar (4.00 / 1) #12 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:18:16 PM EST
I mean, people would talk, but Stacky would know it was all cool cause you guys actually love each other for real. Then we could accomplish SO much.... wouldn't it be nice...
*twinkle*twinkle*


let 'em talk! by clock (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:20:35 PM EST
and then they can choke on their tongues when we're on the cover of all the cool magazines with our new super-hip indie single!  or, ya know, selling enough t-shirts to cover the cost of some awesome BBQ!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Mmmmmm BBQ by littlestar (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 05:37:55 PM EST
that would be goooood. I was thinking of making or making someone who's cool make a video for the song. That would be neato mosquito. 
*twinkle*twinkle*


[ Parent ]
but who do we know by clock (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 08:22:45 PM EST
with the skills required and a delicate aesthetic?  who could possibly be so brilliant and yet susceptible to (y)our charms?

...hmmmm...


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Dude. I'm up for joining this party too. by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 08:55:08 PM EST
Whenever you need a bass/baritone. Or (at a pinch) a counter-tenor.

[ Parent ]
i was about to say that by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Aug 11, 2010 at 10:29:27 PM EST
but subbing soprano/also for bass/baritone.
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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
alto, even by LilFlightTest (2.00 / 0) #29 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 06:31:03 PM EST

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if de-virgination results in me being able to birth hammerhead sharks, SIGN ME UP!!! --misslake
[ Parent ]
How about by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #25 Thu Aug 12, 2010 at 11:10:10 AM EST
Jamming across Skype?  Or is the lag too much?


[ Parent ]
Google by jimgon (4.00 / 1) #31 Sun Aug 22, 2010 at 10:48:15 AM EST
Personally I've resisted joining the Google-borg.  I have a gmail account that I don't much use.  Really I just wanted to reserve the jimgon tag, and I did try to push my personal email there but haven't pushed that hard.  I mostly use Yahoo mail and have since around 1995.  I have email dating back that far in that account too.  I never got into Google docs.  Sending someone an email with an attachment and then throwing the sent mail into a folder is just as easy for me.  Never used Chrome either.  The growth of Google has always concerned me.  Microsoft may be a sociopathic corporate entity, but they are honest about it.  Google is a sociopathic corporate entity, but they try to hide it.  Both are corporations and at the end of the day their most important shareholders are institutional investors who at the end of the day only care about growth on their principle investment. 




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Technician - "We can't even get decent physical health care. Mental health is like witchcraft here."
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