Month: January 2013

Holiday in Berlin

San Francisco, 1970. Uploaded by YourArf, who says it's a soundboard recording made by none other than Carlos Santana.


It has been two hours and that fucking lawnmower is still going.

Are they mowing the damn park? Or is there just somebody who goes around and mows all my neighbors' lawns who I wasn't previously aware of?

Loud Noises

Working on a project right now that involves some audio recording -- I'll talk more about it when I have something to show.

In the meantime, I'm going to talk about the actual logistics of recording.

I haven't rented out a studio; I'm doing this in my home office. And while I think I've got the acoustics set up nicely -- boxes of comics around the walls deadening much of the sound, blankets covering surfaces, the heat and all the fans turned off, and doing the whole thing on a very quiet 2005-vintage Mac Mini -- I'm still at the mercy of noises from the great outdoors.

Yesterday I got up, ate a breakfast bar, did 45 minutes on the elliptical machine while watching an X-Files, showered, and then sat down to start recording...and that's when a neighbor started using a weed eater. Damn it. Well, I was hungry anyway, so I went and fixed lunch (with an extra helping of Gas-X, because leaf blowers aren't the only background noises I don't want on the track) and watched Tron: Uprising.

Then I sat down and recorded for a couple of hours, mostly without incident. But as I was wrapping up the day's recording with some dead air (room tone), I heard a jet overhead. And then I had to wait for that.

And that's when my fiancée got home from work.

Clearly this is going to take some fine-tuning. I could try recording first thing in the morning and then working out -- but I don't have much of a voice when I get out of bed. I could shower and then record and then work out, but then I'd probably wind up having to shower again.

Anyway. Off to take another crack at it -- bit of a late start today but we'll see how I do.

...oh hell. Is that a fucking lawnmower?

Ike Talks Frank

Recorded and uploaded by Vinny Roth, who apologizes for his cell phone dying three minutes in.

Update 2013-03-27: I've embedded Part 2 in today's post.

Some Good-Natured Ball-Busting

Last August, Mark Waid and Jeremy Rock at The Gutters treated us to Mark Waid's 4 Panels that Never Work. It included some funny bits like the following:

A speech from the Times Square Jumbotron!  The jumbotron doesn't have speakers.  You know this, right?  You don't?  GO FIND ANOTHER CAREER.

It's a good point. I laughed. But here's the thing. It opens up Waid to his own share of good-natured ball-busting when he does shit like this, from Insufferable #29 (art by Peter Krause):

Funds Transfer 85% Complete

What the fuck is that, Mark Waid? Why is the funds transfer at 85%? Is it transferring the money one dollar at a time?

Mark Waid, you are a tech-savvy man. I am confident that you have, at some point in your life, done some online banking or purchased a product from Amazon. You know financial transactions over the Internet do not work like that. They either succeed or they fail. There is no such thing as a partial transfer, and it does not actually take longer to transfer a million dollars than it takes to transfer one dollar.

Now, there are things that might make your connection to another site slower -- say, if the character was using some kind of Tor-like program to cover his tracks -- but even still, while he was waiting he'd just be seeing a spinning ball or a "Please wait..." dialog or something like that. It wouldn't have a percent with it, because there is no such thing as partial completion for such a request; it's either finished, waiting to finish, or timed out waiting.

(Now, I suppose that if the money were being sent to multiple different locations, that could be done through some kind of custom script that would update a percentage-amount every time it completed a transfer. But #34 seems to imply that is not what is going on here and the money did indeed all go to one place.)

Dr. Demento Part 2

I've been wanting to include a good piece of Bickford's fantastic animation from Baby Snakes for as long as I've been posting Zappa videos. But the truth is the movie's as long as The Hobbit and I've never managed to find the time to watch the whole thing. (Saw the first hour or so, maybe...)

One of these days...

Dr. Demento Part 1

Dr. Demento knows what Frank is: he's a Serious Musician who's dismissed as a novelty act. I think he asks mostly good questions and Frank's answers are, as usual, edifying.

Directly From My Heart To You

Featuring Sugarcane Harris on violin and vocals -- too bad you can't hear the vocals so well. Still, not too shabby for an audience recording. LA, 1970, uploaded by YourArf.

A Funeral and a Birthday

Went to my first military funeral today. It's a relief that it was for someone who died of natural causes. Godspeed, Uncle Garth.

It was also my grandpa's birthday, so we went out to the Yardhouse. He can't drink anymore because of the meds he's on, so he ordered me an extra beer and insisted I enjoy it. I had two Breckenridge Vanilla Porters and a Stone Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale.

Nothing else to add, I guess. Enjoy life, youth, health while you got 'em.