Oct 182009
 

My brother, having decided that he rather likes guitars, decided to take it upon himself to build his own.  And damn, he’s getting good at it.  He just came home with his third one, a purpleheart-encrusted thing of beauty.  I wish I was that cool.

At the very least, I can look that cool, since I happen to have his second one in my possession: a beautiful bass guitar that matches his fist lead guitar.  And it looks awesome.  And I do, by association.  Rock.

  •  October 18, 2009
Sep 122009
 

I FINALLY upgraded to the latest version of WordPress, which as of this writing is 2.8.4, and it looks like I can write a post from this little thing in the admin console. Let’s see what happens.

EDIT: Not like anyone reads this so it’s no worry.  :)

  •  September 12, 2009
Jul 122009
 

Gamestop was having a rather ridiculous deal over the weekend in which the bundle for Guitar Hero: World Tour was more than half off.  It seemed like something I’d enjoy, so I traded in my used and squeaky guitar controller and came home with a big box of new toys to play with.  I’m quite happy with the drumset – it’s sturdy enough, the pads are made of a well-chosen rubber that doesn’t make as much of a “thwock” sound, and the cymbals are passable.  In particular, the pedal appears to be impact-sensitive, as opposed to the proximity-sensitive Rock Band pedal, which I actually find I like, though I did not expect this to be the case.  The drumset also appears to have a MIDI-in port on it, which I do believe I will need to experiment with considering the implications for using my beloved TD-6 in such an entertaining game.

The single hilarious failure – and it seems there will always be one –  were the crappy drumsticks included with the set.  They’re lightweight, to match the admittedly small set, and are otherwise unremarkable except for the “Guitar Hero” logo printed on the side.  Also they appear to have a use-life of approximately eight minutes, as halfway through my third song one of them decided to become two of them over the course of several strikes.  It didn’t shatter or snap, like you might expect, rather it just sort of disintegrated, so that I was holding a stick in my left hand, the front half of a stick in my right, and the back half of a stick against my right palm.  It didn’t really affect my playing, other than distracting me via the WTF reflex.

Fortunately I had a set of Drum Circuit-branded Studio 1 sticks which were about the same weight and were within rummaging distance, but I’m not really sure what market they intended the pack-in sticks for.  As if giving kids (who love this game) little sticks to hit each other with wasn’t bad enough, now they’re giving them sticks that turn into spiky implements of jagged stabbery when their parents aren’t looking.

I wonder which suit at Activision thought that up.

  •  July 12, 2009
Jun 012009
 

Twitter, the microblogging service, is about exactly what I figured it would be.  Blogs, famous for being self-effacing condensations of angst and conspicuous choice, are even further condensed into enforced simplicity, which allows them to become ever more numerous.  And I cannot look away.  Like most “Web 2.0” ideas, I use it to track musicians I like, and getting that kind of miniaturized look at people that I admire is strangely compelling.  I admit my defeat.

Score one for Twitter, and I guess, by extension, one for drinking.

  •  June 1, 2009
May 112009
 

The “Songs for the Cure” album arrived today.  I may have noob’d up the recording, but even still, seeing “produced and arranged by Warrior Bob” in print was kind of exciting.  There are some excellent tracks on there by some artists that I really need to dig deeper on.  Big Giant Circles and Karen Kosowski come to mind immediately, though there are several others that I’ll probably end up talking about on here pretty soon.

Unrelatedly, due to drinking, I have apparently made myself a Twitter account despite claiming I would never do such a thing.  Username is the same as AIM for those of you who know it.  Time to see what all the kids are up to.

  •  May 11, 2009
Apr 272009
 

Well, my music got submitted a couple of weeks ago and Josh’s charity project from my last post should be heading out soon.  I think I did about as well as I could hope to, but the mix (and performance) was still kind of rough.  This is the first time I’ve ever been on a compilation and is only the second time I’ve put something on the internet and called it done, so hopefully it will show well.  I’m very eager to hear the other musicians’ work.  I’m sure it’ll blow me away but at least I get to see my name up there with theirs.  Little victories.

I’ve taken some time off from more dedicated musical pursuit to do other fun things.  I’ve finished Shadow of the Colossus, and gotten myself a fresh install of Ubuntu Studio to play with.  The former is as nice as you’ve probably heard, and the latter would be if my video card didn’t decide to upchuck all over the screen now and again.  Baby steps.  At least the sound works this time around without me sacrificing a goat.

  •  April 27, 2009
Mar 042009
 

I’ve mentioned him before on here, but my friend Josh Whelchel, splendid musician, is running the Relay for Life this year.  Last year I guess he raised some $800 which is pretty great, and this year he’s upped his goal by a bit.  As an incentive to donate, if you donate so much he’ll send you a copy of an album that’s he’s putting together, and likely actively putting together as you read this.  He’s collected quite a cadre of musicians together and I can’t wait to hear it.  I’ve been a fan of Josh’s music for most of a decade now and am very excited about his new projects.  If you’re so inclined I urge to to throw a few dollars his way.

  •  March 4, 2009
Oct 132008
 

Being a fan of interactive media I’ve discovered that it tends to outpace me. There are more games and fun toys that come out than I can possibly play through, let alone afford, and invariably I miss some really good ones while enjoying the ones that I already have. The problem is that the hardware required to run these tends to outdate, so a given production has a window of time where it can be reasonably acquired and played. Old computers, particularly the IBM/PC platform are troublesome since the updates are incremental and programs can exhibit a “sort of works” behavior that is hard to troubleshoot, but even old console videogames can be hard to play just because of their rarity. Some of the old classics are inaccessible since they cost a couple of hundred dollars on ebay. I’ve often wished there was some mechanism to reprint the older titles in some accessible way.

Fortunately for me, that’s sort starting to happen. Good Old Games is a company that’s offering digital downloads of some great older PC games for the price of a fast food combo meal. Furthermore, they’re either tweaked or run in wrapper software so that they’ll run on modern XP and Vista computers. I bought Freespace 2 from them already, and as soon as I clear out some of the RPGs I’m playing through I think I’ll try out the first Fallout game, which has never run on any computer I’ve ever owned. How cool is this?

Of course, “clear out some of the RPGs” might be a taller order than I think since I’m still in the middle of the excellent The World Ends With You on the DS and Final Fantasy 3/6 on the SNES. And I’ve still got this download of The Spirit Engine that I want to play through. And I’m playing WoW with some friends.

Holy crap what have I gotten myself into.

  •  October 13, 2008
Oct 052008
 

I just picked up a pair of pants and a big black spider fell out of them.

I don’t know what to trust anymore.

  •  October 5, 2008
Aug 252008
 

I always figured I was one of those uber-nerds who’d freak out if he ever lost access to the internet for any significant length of time.  I recently moved to a new place, and it took forever to get proper internet access set up.  It’s all good now, but I was basically disconnected for quite some time, between not being home during ISP business hours so I couldn’t get new service setup, and then several comical delays once I did finally get a call in to them.

However, it turns out there’s lots of fun to be had if you keep a folder of weird stuff you’ve downloaded over the years.  Until I got connected, I was able to read through Hugi #33, about half of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, and play the entirety of Dink Smallwood.

Ergo: it turns out I’m still an uber-nerd.  Whodathunkit.

  •  August 25, 2008