Merry Christmas, Action Jackson
(26 Dec 2008 at 23:28)
Two independent sightings of my fontAction Jackson in the same week! It's having a good Christmas. First Moira sent the following totally sweet Pterodactyl t-shirt on her nephew:
That's my font at the bottom. The shirt looks pretty pro but the hollow insides of the letters are strangely filled in with yellow. I don't really understand how that mistake is possible. Still if they make it in Kid's X-Large I gotta get me one of these. Next Nels spotted and then kindly returned to take photos of the font being used in New Orleans Arena at a Hornets pro-basketball game. Here it is up on the big screen and also scrolling annoyingly in every addressable part of the periphery:
(It occurs to me that with a name like Action Jackson, the popularity of this font might just be from its abecedarian advantage.) Anyway I love sightings to the max, so please send them if you snag 'em!
Hey you guys remember when on Saturday I woke up bursting with energy and I was postin' like oh hey I'm not going to start any new projects until I've tidied up these already existing almost done projects? Well right after I said that I started mixing the The 7evenths MP3s (coming still) and on the second song I thought hmmm this would sound good with a little extra guitar so I got out the mics and plugged all that stuff in, and then at that point all the hard parts of making an album were dispensed with, so then many hours later there was my 23rd album-a-day, sk7 or die!!!.
It took me a few days to get around to posting this so I'm past the phase where I'm totally burned out and hate everything about it. There's some good songs. Notes and hints:
Sun beam melts ice girlfriend. I'm proud of this one. It just jumped into the brain, in that way that makes me feel a little uncomfortably like I'm just remembering some song I've heard before. Based on the tuning, partial capo, and lyrics I'm pretty sure that's not the case. The first half of the second verse is probably my favorite lyrics on the album.
A for amateur. This one is about paper.
Contessa with the shoes on. A throwaway 8-bit affair. When the bass comes in I like it better than the other one, but then it's over.
Butter car. I think this one's really close to being a top notch song, but it has a handful of cop-out lyrics, some sloppy playing, and a couple of lines that aren't delivered right. Deserves polish and a rerecording. (Butter Car is a strange in-joke from Murphy family Pictionary games.)
Contains lemon-lime taste idea with no natural-seeming flavors. If you are empowered to put this disclaimer on a product, please do.
The gift of beer: the gift that keeps on giving for 45 minutes. One of those songs where I am running low on ideas so I sing about some things that are on my desk or in the news, like beer and Christmas.
Investment banking is a myth. This one also came extremely easily. It's fine. My favorite part is the "revise, resubmit" line (jargon from the academic journal biz).
Cricket chirps or mp3 artifacts? You make the call. This is a field recording, where by field I mean the room where the lizard lives. I thought I was going to need it to round out the 20 minutes but it turned out it wasn't necessary. Field recordings containing environmental sounds are like the peanut butter glue holding cohesive albums together.
Nurturing Parent v. State of Mississippi. Almost called Negligence Torte, but I couldn't resist emphasizing this ridiculous refrain. I wrote this one while I was waiting for my Chinese food, by humming.
Dynamite lettuces. My plan here was to make a nice wandering chiptune with lots of parts that blended into one another, since I can do that late at night without disturbing the neighbors. But I went to a party and was pretty tired when I got back, so it is a medium-sized short-walk chiptune that probably seems pretty undirected. Oh, well.
Some old coffee in the new coffee. This is probably the most Tom 7-formula guitar track, but it does have a certain cleanness to it and I think the twist that the lyrics take is pretty funny.
Theme from Costco. I recorded the guitars for this very early on, but it was the last one I finished. I frequently used a technique on this album (which I think works pretty well) where I would record nonsense lyrics in order to come up with a melody and maybe lyric sound ideas, but this one the nonsense lyrics made enough sense and I was tired enough that I just kept them.
I'm still not keen on my newest recording setup and I miss Cubase and VSTDynamics. But it could have been worse, I could have spent the weekend tidying up already existing almost done projects instead!
Like usual you can snag the MP3s at Tom 7 AAD #23: sk7 or die!!!.
Mission: Get done and post all the 70–99% complete projects I've got piled up. There are preposterously many. There are of course many more still in the -20–69% range, but that is normal for me. I'm talkin' about the ones that I've poured dozens of hours into and are circled or boxed in multiple different colors and dash styles on my To-Do list and I'm just not pulling the trigger for some weird reason.
Secret Project H
Secret Project GV
Secret Project SV
Secret Project CT
His Doctoral Effort (Annotated Edition)
CS Notes, final episode
The 7evenths MP3s
Secret Project SRT
I finished Pac Tom level 1. Nothing happened, of course, but I have all of this incredibly detailed data now that I am trying to arrange in visually and cartographically appealing ways, and I'm obsessing about computational problems like correctly parsing XML documents and accurately computing great circle distances between lat/lon/elev points to millimeter accuracy or how to machinely learn a function of various run episode parameters (distance, "tags" (e.g. rain, hungry, Vhilly, hangover)) that determines my running performance. And then I'm thinkin', oh I've got a new camera coming soon so the photograph of this-or-that I can take with even more pointlessly high resolution, etc. I need to quit some of that shit and post my findings, because I'm already well into Level 2 activity now.
Realistically I can't hope to finish these all by the end of the year, but I can at least intend to start no new projects until I've knocked most of these off the list. And this is what I intend.
The thing about T7ES music is that it's just the right length of project, like an hour with no stress about scheduling or anything. Obvious that I have to finish it right now, and then it's nice icing to make a album cover for it and think of something clever to put in the lyrics field. Especially when I can finally click again after a week of keyboard-only computing! So here is this week's song, a tune chiamatoGnocci Dokie. There are two things to say about this song. One is the middle quiet wandering 7/4 part right before the melody comes back is not awesome. I know this. I tried my darndest to add something to the stereo sinewaves line that made sense, but I did not darn it enough. Second is that the whole point of this song was to exercise my exceedingly minor theory that guitar players find the chord played with all guitar strings open in standard tuning (EADGBE) to be more pleasing than average, just by virtue of having heard it a lot and reminding them of a nice guitar. (I wonder if they are also attracted to guitar-shaped people more, too?) It is not naturally a nice chord. You can tell from its name, Em7add11. Depends who you ask. I thought there was some common mnemonic (like Every Good Boy Deserves Fudge) for remembering EADGBE but I could not find one, otherwise a reference to that would be the name of the song. Point is I think I get a little titillated when I hear this in the same way that symphonygoers probably feel when the symphoniers are tuning up. This song doesn't use that chord directly because it sounds truly ass, but its main line can be played on the guitar without using any fingers on the left hand. Like this: (high)E, B, G, D, B, D, A, (low)E. If that line makes sense I think you are a guitar player or crazy. If that line does not make sense I think you are not a guitar player or you do not like ear experiments.
Attempt to increase frequency
(24 Nov 2008 at 18:56)
Most of the comments I get about my blog are actually in-person comments about how infrequently I post on it. Isn't that embarrassing? I should do better. Part of the idea of this recent categories thing was that I shouldn't have to worry so much that the posts I make have some level of quality and composition to them. Because if you don't like my posts about XYZ subject you just don't have to add that particular RSS feed to your feed. Ready! Minutia!
Category: Computer Woes made worse by stubbornness On Friday I came back to my computer and I wake the screen and start using the internet or whatever, and then I go to click on something and I'm like where's the damn mouse cursor? Oh, it's stuck in the middle of the screen. Paralysis. So I do all the obvious stuff like reboot and plug and unplug and pray and even sophisticatedly things like BIOS updates and driver updates, all without the mouse mind you, then also the other USB devices are not functioning, like they charge their little batteries but there is no function. Which sucks because (a) I can't install the new iPhone update which fixes some iPhone headaches and (b) I can't draw or make music on the computer and (c) I can't work on one of my secret projects that I was hoping to finish up since it is coming up on its 1 year anniversary approximately and (d) grrr and (e) I'm pretty sure this is a hardware problem so it's not even something I can fix through the powers of troubleshooting or reformatting, i.e. we gotta get a repair dude out here and (f) lots of software is not made for people with no mouses, so I am finding out about all sorts of intriguing tab-orders and figuring out how to write emacs lisp so that I can move and resize the emacs window with brand new key bindings because emacs text editing is one of the only attractive activities when you've got no mouse or joystick or drawing tablet or iPhone 2.2 update, and even in apps that do fully support keyboard navigation e.g. web browsers, there are so many selectable elements that ixnay on individually tab-pressing and so you gotta point your visual gaze at one of the elements and play "focus roulette", whereby you hold down the tab key and watch the selection zip around a few times until you've got the timing down and you release just in time for jackpot! But I actually like this level of creativity in familiar activities, like playing Pacifist Counter-Strike as Edward AK47-hands and (g) I think I actually finished my Pac Tom level 1 project but I can't upload the results from my GPS so that I can make a nice map and share this momentous occasion, so that's a bit of anticlimax for you there. But I tabbed my way to Dell on-line chat support and I was really impressed when I didn't have to walk through any bullshit obvious troubleshooting flowcharts, and in two minutes he was just like, OK I will send you a new motherboard, it will be there tomorrow, and we can send a person out to replace it for you if you want (don't want). Nice! Sometimes it's good to pay for the deluxe service.
Category: Band Level-Up Also: Nels and I played a fairly bang-up open mic night a few weeks ago meaning we felt good about it, and then I was very amused that one of the guys running the open mic thing came up to us right after and was like, "You guys wanna play a local artists showcase?" Which is almost literally what happens when your virtual band is a pretty shitty but not shittiest virtual band in the game Rock Band. So, more positive evidence that video games do in fact prepare you for real life. Anyway we chose the "Yeah, Sure!" option (as my Rock Band buddies will attest I do without even glancing at the terms of the deal) and so we are going to play one of these things in early January and you are all invited of course. Details forthcoming.