pink floyd

i was looking for something to listen to on the commute home tonight and i picked up a pink floyd compilation cd. (by the way, if you have lost a cd anytime, anywhere in the last ten years, odds are it’s in the office at minna). besides making for a real stony train ride home, it reminded me of why i got excited about music production and engineering originally. the true brilliance is in the drums. the miking, mixing, and tuning of the kit, as well as the powerful and carefully controlled playing of nick mason, combined with an editors discipline in the layering of synthesizers, guitars, bass, and other atmospheric noises, are things that i aspire to when i record. it is so easy to lose control of a recording, become attached to parts that don’t need to be there, drag things down in the mix rather than muting them outright. and of course the egos of those who played the parts are always an issue. “i can’t hear me” etc. etc.
yep. i’m feeling a little itch to record more frequently. big dave and maz and i have been talking about recording bands on monday nights at minna. the 48 channel console is there. i don’t think i want to record to tape though, even digital tape. the process of importing the tape to harddrive gets to be such a fucking chore that it could take the fun out of it. maybe a motu card and a couple of fast drives. have to build some new cables though.
i’ve been surfing around and listening to bands that are performing locally, and listening to bands that are playing at minna, and getting more excited by what i hear. which is good, because i am a pretty harsh critic. ok, well, i am thinking about it and talking about it, and now i am posting about it, which makes it even more a declaration of intent.

UPDATE: i have been working on some stuff in garage band for a while now. and i realized there is one part of the physics/art challenge of sound engineering that i don’t miss: miking a guitar amp. the pod is so much tastier in terms of flexibility. i mean, i have my dream amp, the hiwatt 100. eight fucking tubes. sounds like a fender twin, but twice as loud, and built like a tank, soldered to british military standards. the amplifier of pete townshend. but getting a perfect recording tone out of any amp is an exercise for someone with a large amount of patience and a large bag of weed. the pod is easy, tastier, and NO GROUND LIFT REQUIRED. (also, to get a perfect tone out of the hiwatt usually requires a sound pressure level slightly louder than the space shuttle lifting off).

screwing and drilling

warning: for those uncomfortable with crude double entendre, i am about to discuss my new drill: it will likely get ugly, and it would be best for you to skip this paragraph. (in other words, i better not hear a peep out of you on this one, mom). somehow, i was expecting to be doing a lot more screwing and drilling around my apartment with the new cordless makita i bought. i was reminded of this just now, as the leather chair i am sitting in has a loose arm. i thought, excellent! here is my chance to do some tasteful screwing with my new driver/drill. nope. the bits i have are all TOO BIG. so i had to resort to the old standard: finger tightening. so a job that i thought could be over quite quickly turned out to take quite a while. and it really isn’t in there that tightly. and it wouldn’t bother me so much, save the expectations i had of screwing and drilling every little thing that got loose in here. maybe boring some holes in virgin drywall. ok this is stupid, i’m going to stop. the point is, i was all excited….for nothing.

lazy day in the berkeley marina

we cut the marine ply to fit the shape of the ceiling. after we (actually, mostly steen) cleaned up the scraps and sawdust, i went above and stretched out in the cockpit to catch some of the late afternoon sun and 80º warm, calm weather. steen tested out the double berth in the cabin….next thing i knew it was quarter of six.
i just passed one of the more uniquely fragrant jasmine bushes i have ever smelled on the way to and from lilly’s to pick up dinner. the moon is waxing, i am walking around in a t-shirt with the balcony door open…things are good.

sunset.jpg

im on top of…..

my fortune cookie this evening stated that i “will soon be on top of the world”. steen IMed me that i better pack oxygen. i played some everquest tonight, got sort of bored, recorded some guitar and bass parts, then started reading lawrence lessig’s new book. (as a pdf).

dr. sandersteen

i don’t remember what game it was, but i played one recently where some dudes who looked an awful lot like this were chasing me around trying to kill me. luckily this was not the case with steen, who was more intent on killing the burrs and rough spots on the ceiling of the cabin. then we headed off to ashby lumber, where we discovered what i already suspected was the difference between “marine” plywood and “normal” plywood. price. $40+ for a .25″ sheet of marine plywood. maybe we’ll be on america’s funniest home videos later this month as the suckers who believed there is any practical difference between these two grades of lumber. (is plywood actually lumber, or is it more like a glue and sawdust product?)
sandersteen.jpg

awwww crap

now i get to listen to steen gloat all day over the fact there is even a website named MARINEPLY.COM. even the flash intro on the website is mocking my previous disbelief. (if this is confusing, please read the last post).

everquest

played some everquest II again tonight. i am still waiting for another report on the FF 11 from alberto before i make any c-note costing moves over to the metreon. if in fact he has to hook up a usb keyboard to the playsatan in order to make the game work (and i am guessing this will be the case), then i think i might blow it off.
everquest was somewhat fun. i am getting more used to the interface, binding keys to different actions, learning what you have to do to progress in level, gain skills, etc. i also have the blue and white tower running as my online search machine. i spent a bit of time researching quest items and techniques. i can’t remember what game i played that is similar, but everquest does encourage repetitive skill-building. i think it was morrowwind that was like that. as in you ALWAYS jump up and down, no matter where you are headed, because doing so increases your skill at jumping. in everquest, i am obsessively pushing the keys for my compass, so that eventually i will get more skilled at knowing where the fuck i am. that part of the gameplay is fairly retarded. i got serious carpal from playing morrowwind, owing to the aforementioned jumping behavior, that was linked to the left trigger.

in toyota hilux news, there is a new slave cylinder in there, (replacement part version 2). my man ryan says it’s maintaining pressure, which is good, because we are going to need a sheet of marine plywood for the boate tomorrow, and i’m not about to carry it on my mountain bike. (i am somewhat skeptical as to whether there is such a thing as marine ply, or whether steen is recalling some bogus memory from the new zealand hardware store).
my new makita arrived at the gallery today. it came with these cyberpunk gloves that i would absolutely *never* wear on a construction site, for fear of having someone piss in my lunchpail or something. however, on the boate, i SHALL be wearing them. maybe often.
makitaglove.jpg

sexual identity on friendster/orkut

i wanted to copy a message i got from friendster on here, but somehow it has disappeared. my first, and so far only unsolicited message from someone i do not know, said that the guy saw my “limp-wristed” photo, and was about to wail me for it, when he read my profile and thought it was hilarious. he concluded by saying that the message was in no way intended to express “bi-curiousity” (i think he was married in sacramento). thanks to the vagaries of friendster, my opportunity to reply to him is now stolen. so ed, if you’re reading this, thanks for considering my profile hilarious. no curiousity taken. cheers.
tina took that photo, and assured me that i looked like a male model in it. uh oh. aren’t most male models gay? is my friendster profile sending mixed messages?
on a related note, someone in the orkut mac group sent a message saying that a friend had told him that macs were for “sissies”. an excerpt of his message, and my reply, follows:

subject: Re: advice
message: I’m praying someone makes like a purple/pink case because I’m proud of who I am, but for the straight men, do you feel queer using Macs?

reply: i, personally, do not feel at all queer using a mac.(or for that matter at any other time) but i believe your friend who told you all this might have some issues. if you really want something that looks femme, get one of the candy flavored ibooks, and hook a hello kitty usb vibrator up to it.

cheers

eric

boy it’s a mixed up metrosexual world out there in social networking software land………

april showers and waiting

today as i was walking to the bart in the rain, i was feeling a little bit lower in mood than when the weather was all summery last week. but then i thought to myself, wait…these are just april showers, only a little early. and we all know what april showers bring…..my mood instantly elevated to the lofty peaks of last week. it caused me to reevaluate my mood’s dependence on weather. maybe it’s just the way one looks at things……

i am waiting for another night of reports from alberto concerning final fantasy 11 before heading to the metreon to pick it up. basically, from my initial investigations and alberto’s reports, it sounds fun, but mainly a pc game ported inappropriately to the playstation. type-chatting is an integral part of any rpg going right now (any mmo one that is), and sitting on the couch with a keyboard and mouse hooked up to the playstation doesn’t sound that fun to me.