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The Great American Stand-Off

July 1, 2012 Leave a comment

If there’s one constant that I can count on is my need for change. That, and my need for a good workspace. I’ve tried almost every configuration imaginable, but nothing has made me happy for any real length of time.

My last config was nice – until the headaches started. Most likely the result of sitting far too close to a 42″ LDC display. Talk about your space cadet glow (I felt warm a lot). Yep, it looked great, but was bad in practice.

This brings me to today’s entry. I was listening to NPR yesterday while on my way to a freelance gig, and the conversation headline was, “Is sitting too much killing us?”. Ok, I’m “King of the Sitters”, so they had my attention. The guest was a doctor that wrote at length about how we’ve become a sedentary society, and how that is killing us slowly. [Follow the link for a list of risk factors]. The story also featured anecdotal interviews with office folk that have transitioned to standing on the job.

I began to ponder this and realized that I sit 90% of the day. Most of my jobs involve monitors, computers and a chair. Given the fact that my freelance gig yesterday was field sound – the rare gig where one stands for a few hours with a field mixer and boom mic, it really brought the radio conversation home.

Combine all of that with my constant need to change my home setup, I found myself at it again. This time with the standing workstation concept in mind. I had my Mother’s high-top table in my garage, and it’s the perfect size to put my gear on and work while standing.

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I clam-shelled the MBP and put all of my drives on the bottom shelf. I’m now limited to one monitor, but I’ve found the high resolution screen of the Macbook was getting harder to read (even with glasses) – yes, it sucks getting older. I actually prefer the (lower resolution) single 22″ monitor. The Oxygen49 keyboard, FaderPort and trackball/mouse all fit perfectly.

Two hours later, I had everything cabled up and operational, and I’m currently typing this while standing. In fact, I’ve challenged myself to stand while working for the month of July.

Can I really go 30 days of standing?

Realizing that’s a tall order, the table is part of a set with two stools, so I can sit if I have to, but they’re not made for comfort, so I won’t sit on them for long periods.

We’ll see how I do this month, and more importantly, we’ll see how I feel and if standing makes a difference.

Categories: Music, Random, Video

WELY 94.5 FM

October 26, 2011 2 comments

There are days that I find myself repeating David Byrne’s lyric, “Well… How did I get here?”

Today, I find myself in Ely Minnesota, which is literally a stones throw away from Canada, on a radio station consult. I never thought I’d ever be this far north, but here I am, and it was a blast. The gig was to recommend a new and better workflow for the on-air folks – which is cool.

Personally, it’s a chance to feed my lust for all things gear and dig through a radio station. I will say that WELY is a cool small town station, and the staff is super awesome – extremely friendly and inviting.

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Categories: Music, Random

2010 in review…

January 2, 2011 Leave a comment

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 5,000 times in 2010. That’s about 12 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 53 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 70 posts. There were 345 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 2gb. That’s about 7 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 24th with 159 views. The most popular post that day was Video.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, cheesycam.com, vimeo.com, mail.live.com, and youtube.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for canon 50mm 1.4, indimatte, canon t2i 50mm 1.4, 50mm 1.4, and indisystem ultracompact.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Video May 2009

2

T2i/Canon 50mm 1.4 USM Test June 2010
1 comment

3

Gravity Video Pics… February 2010

4

The LCDVF 3/2… July 2010
1 comment

5

About May 2009

Categories: Random

Synchronicity…

August 8, 2010 2 comments

I really hate when I’m late to a tech party. Apple’s Mobile Me, Twitter, and Skype have all been around for quite a while, and I’ve had accounts with all of them. Why I wait to use these things is beyond me.

The sad thing is, the Mobile Me account cost money – too much not be using it. I became a subscriber while at my last job. I used it a handful of times to transfer approval copies of the radio show I edited, or in one instance, to pitch correct vocals for a CD project from home, while the mix session was occurring at the job. I admit, that kind of stuff is cool. However, I found Mobile Me too slow and clunky and stopped using it.

I’ve since rediscovered it, and now that I have more than one Mac, the “cloud thing” has proven useful. I recently wiped one of my Macs and reinstalled everything. It was incredibly cool to sync it to the “cloud” and get everything back (dock items, calendar, email, address book, passwords, etc) with the push of a button. It’s nice to have my machines synchronized in this fashion – add an event to the calendar, and the change is reflected on the other. I’m finally getting my money’s worth…

I feel the same about Skype, Twitter and LinkedIn. All cool technologies that I’ve had accounts for, but neglected to use, until recently.

I jammed with Snips over Skype this morning. She played keyboards and sang, while I played guitar. We were just goofing around, but the possibilities are wide open. Remote recording sessions are nothing new (check out Metallica’s Some Kind of Monster for a BTS of a really cool NY to LA remote session), but recording over ISDN is/was expensive.

Skype can change all of that. The audio quality is fantastic and delay negligible. With the right sound card routing, it could be a viable way to do a serious remote session. If not, audio files can be sent traditionally via ftp, and Skype Video Call could be used for face-to-face two way communication between artist and producer from across town, across the country, or from another continent.

How could I have slept on these?

Anyway… I have editing to do, and these spots aren’t going to edit themselves…

Categories: Random

Lazy Sunday’s & Chicago Dogs…

June 27, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s a lazy Sunday… Not having a care in the world, and left to my own devices, I thought creativity would come easily, but alas it has not. So often I go chasing the muse, but am reminded that it seeks you out – not the other way around.

I loaded up several songs into Logic – a new, yet unnamed track written last month, “Step Right Up”, and “Want U 2 Know”. “Step Right Up” & the new song are about the death of my Mother, and “Want U 2 Know” is about a past relationship. All of these tracks are deeply personal, making them difficult to finish. It’s hard to lay it out there like that, and being vulnerable is not one of my strong suits. I thought I said too much with “Can We?“, but after revisiting it yesterday, it’s just good old fashioned storytelling – no embellishments or exaggerations. I now find it rewarding to listen to after months of cringing.

Armed with a renewed sense of hutzpah (or inflated ego – you choose), I’m gonna tackle one of these difficult tracks today…. just after I visit a craft shop…

What?

Yeah, I also have the need to change the look of one of my guitars. “Blondie” (my Tele) will never be touched – as that would be sacrilege, but “K” (my Strat) is in need of some personalization. So, I’m off to find some sort of something for her. I’ve neglected K since Blondie showed up, but I’ve come back to her in recent months.

Like a woman, K can be temperamental, difficult and hard to play at times, but I love the way she feels in my hands. Ok… I’m on some kind of a roll, so here’s another one – playing Blondie is like a decadent dessert prepared by a world class chef on the French Riviera, but K is like eating a Chicago dog on a hot sunny day. Both are equally good, and satisfying.

Hmmm…. I must be hungry…

Categories: Music, Random, The Word

MBP Refresh…?

April 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m looking at picking up a new 17″ MBP, but after talking to Jacob (fellow musician and Apple Consultant for Best Buy), I’ve decided to wait. There’s talk at all the Mac rumor websites of a possible refresh of the MacBook Pro line on Tuesday. The possible rumored improvements are all over the map – USB 3.0 (which I don’t think is going to happen) to a simple processor speed bump.

I’m going to exercise some restraint and wait. The 27″ iMac was released a month after I bought the 24″ model, and I don’t want a repeat of that situation.

I’m excited about the prospect of being mobile again, and can’t wait to get back into remote recordings and video editing…

Categories: Random

Weighing in…

February 18, 2010 Leave a comment

I fly out east tomorrow, and every time I have to get on a plane, without fail, there’s an increase in “air-travel” related news coverage – good and bad. I don’t fly well to begin with, so maybe I’m hypersensitive to the news in the days leading up to boarding.

So, it’s no surprise that I’m going to weigh in on the Kevin Smith thing. I’ll start by saying that I love Kevin and his work. He’s a masterful storyteller, and I could listen to him speak for hours – he’s that captivating…

I know that you’re all sensing the but, and I won’t disappoint – there’s one coming…

First, Southwest Airlines was wrong. Period. They handled the situation poorly at the gate, on the plane, and post ejection. Making matters worse, their initial online (blog) apology was snarky, half-assed, and contrite.

With me so far…?

I watched the media fallout for a few days before listening to Kevin’s side of the story via his smodcast. This is where Mr. Smith begins to lose me. The first 40 minutes (of his painfully overlong 1 hour and 23 min recounting) was awesome. I laughed and cheered him on as he and his wife wove a rich tapestry of the day. However, after 40 minutes, Kevin fell victim to what a number of creative-like types suffer from – overindulgence.

My goodness – he became extremely whinny about it. I cannot begin to understand what he went through. I can only imagine his humiliation, and I stand behind him for speaking up for the countless others that have been in the same embarrassing situation –  but at some point, you’ve made your point.

Shut up, walk away, and let the chips fall. You’ve used your powers for good. No need for horse beating…

This is totally out of love and respect for the man that made Clerks (one of my all time favorite films)…