Projects are Hard

I said I was going to start an album-in-a-month on September 1st (yesterday) and I did. I came up with bass lines that will eventually be song #1. I wanted to work on it last night. You know, come up with a song form, tweak the percussion so it fits better, and a guitar part. Stuff like that. Recording nerd stuff.

Instead of doing that, I spent an hour and a half trying and failing to eat about five ounces of chicken (I stopped at about 3.5 oz) and then went to bed early.

So there is that, and there is also a new/continuing photo-a-day thing. I started yesterday and all is well. Today though… let’s just say that in the past three years I was just snapping whatever I saw with my iPhone. Over the last couple of months I’ve put the camera phone away in favor of one of my actual cameras. Does that mean I am no longer willing to consider just any old pic good enough for the photo-a-day thing? That might be the case today. I might need to stage a photo that is better than just a random cat or something. I’m also guessing that within a day or two I will be back to all cat all the time. Just a thought.

I am also getting the urge to get my two 1970’s guitars worked on. Frets, wiring, maybe pickups. I can’t afford any of that, and planned on selling my Stratocaster to fund the work. I just haven’t done anything with the whole selling thing. I think this weekend I might give craigslist.com a shot. If for no other reason that it will require me to take a couple of pictures of that guitar. Heh heh heh. Ain’t I a stinker?

I also want to do some camera walk time this weekend. Andover center, downtown Lowell, Boston/Cambridge. I want to do something. Unfortunately for the camera walk stuff, I also want to clean the house and rearrange the living room and hang out with my wife doing nuttin’. So… the projects are likely to take a back seat.

Where’s my camera… and where’s my cat?

It’s Almost September

Tomorrow is the last day of August. That means two of my daily projects are about to come to an end… sort of.

On September 1, 2019 I started a photo a day thing on Flickr. I successfully completed it on August 31, 2020. On September 1, 2020 I started again and finished successfully on August 31, 2021. Can you guess what happened on September 1, 2021? You guessed it. I started another 365 project. It ends tomorrow. The Flickr album has 364 pictures in it. Tomorrow it will have a full year. Exciting, eh? I wonder what is going to happen on September 1st?

I also started two selfie a day things on September 1, 2021. I found two apps that did it and couldn’t decide which one to go with so I started two. On May 4, 2022 I stopped one of them and restarted it with the post-surgery theme. You’ll see the results of that on May 4, 2023. The other one is still going, though I have missed a number of days along the way. There are 351 photos in it right now. 352 will be tomorrow and that will be it. I’ll make a video out of it and post it and never think of it again.

Or will I?

I’m thinking that on September 1st I’ll delete all of the photos from before May 4, 2022 and turn it into another post-surgery thing. The current post-surgery thing is all photos taken in the door mirror in our bathroom. You can see my entire 6’4″. The one that ends tomorrow is just my face. It might be fun to have a full year of face to go along with the full year of gut. I think I’ll do that.

Also on September 1st (which is Thursday, two days from now if you’re curious) I am planning to start working on some new music. There will be an album in a month to make myself feel better about not playing very much and almost completely blowing off 50/90. I’m planning on using RPM Challenge rules that define an album as 10 songs or 35 minutes, and I am thinking of doing a double album as sort of penance for the 50/90 thing.

And that is the plan for September. How exciting!

October Music – Finished

October’s album in a month project is complete. That means nine months in a row I’ve managed at least 10 songs. That is nuts. That is crazy.

This one isn’t really meant to be songs. It’s more like little rhythm exercises, or little harmony exercises. It feels more like a music theory class than actual songs. The first three are okay listens, I think, but the rest are pretty dull, and the last song is a complete turd. You’re welcome.

Here’s the official alonetone playlist link because we all know the hearthis.at thing embedded in the post isn’t actually going to play more than the first song.

Now I have a few days to mix the last five re-recorded songs. Quarantine Tunes Volume 2 will be completed, then next month we do National Solo Album Month again. Something different… an album in a month challenge.

Dig it.

October Music

When I mentioned that the songs for October’s album in a month weren’t so much songs as technical exercises, this is what I meant:

Polyrhythms. One guitar, the bass, and the drums are in one time signature. The other guitar is in a different time signature. Dig?

All of the tracking for October is finished, and now the first mix down is finished too. Happy Halloween.

Car Music

I finished the vocals for October. Done and done. Just short little one line thingies. I added lots of harmony to some of them to make it more interesting.

I was joined in the movie theater parking lot by not one but two student drivers. One with an actual auto school and the other just learning on their own.

I just need to add some additional guitars to a few of the October songs and then all the tracking will be done. I also started mixing a re-recording yesterday but still have some work to do.

The last week of October will be very musical. Everything needs to be done before The Mandolorian season two debuts next weekend.

This is the way.

Brain Droppings

Random stuff coming……….

I am very pleased that I was able to cast my ballot in the presidential election early and safely. My state and my city have seriously come through for me in these unhealthy, uncertain times. I am proud of what we the people have accomplished in this regard and I am proud that as an American I was able to have my opinion heard.

However…

The downside of voting early is that November 3rd, election day, is kinda irrelevant to me now. Maybe not irrelevant, but more like unimportant. At least until the returns start coming in. I go on social media and have a thousand people asking thousands of other people, what are your voting plans, or how are you going to vote, or are you excited to vote, or everyone get out the vote, etc, etc, and my response is… been there, done that. I took election day off, just in case. I should have taken the day after so I could stay up all night watching returns. On second thought, that would probably be a bad idea. I tend to get a little… animated when fascism is taking over my country and I don’t want to put any added stress on my ticker, or wake up the neighbors, or anything like that.

Basically though… I’m done, there isn’t much excitement about the process left.


Counting today, there are nine days left in October. At the start of the month I decided I wasn’t going to do an album in a month. A few days ago I changed my mind. I’ve got 10 songs in the pipeline. They are all short. They are all weird. They are all simple things based around little poly-rhythmic tricks, or guitarmonies. I haven’t written any lyrics or melodies yet. None of the songs will be instrumentals, but they will all be mostly instrumentals. There aren’t going to be any hooks. Vocal tracks will be short and simple and lyrics will probably just be a line or two. The point of it all is to hear a guitar playing in 4/4 in your left ear, and a guitar playing almost the same thing in 7/8 in your right ear, and how they occasionally line up with each other. Or, songs where the “melody” is just three guitars with tons of fuzz playing in harmony.

In other words, October Music is Robbie’s “I’ve been listening to King Crimson” month.


I still can’t believe that Massachusetts had 1,000 new Covid-19 cases yesterday. The last time we’d had 1,000 cases was in May. All of the progress we made has been flushed down the toilet. How are we as a society capable of landing a space ship on an asteroid 300 million kilometers away and bring it home with a sample of asteroid rocks, but not able to stay in our houses so we don’t get sick. Why are we incapable of just wearing friggin masks and washing our friggin hands?


I thought I was going to have more this morning, but I’m letting myself get distracted. In closing, let me paraphrase my favorite line from this week’s episode of Archer.

I’m your rampage sherpa.

Talk to you all later. Happy Friday.

Three Songs

0.5x lens:

1x lens:

2x lens:

I recorded lead guitars and mixed three songs tonight. That puts me at 11 out of the goal of 50. Why the rush? I mean, my laptop battery is down to 9%. Surely I could have pushed one song off to tomorrow.

February, March, April, May, June… all have a complete album in a month project. Also, they all were completed on the 29th day of the month.

Today is the 29th of July, and I now have a complete album in a month project for this month, even though that is not technically the challenge I’m playing with at the moment. I still did it, and I still did it by the 29th. Cool.

This one isn’t very good:

This one is okay, I guess:

This one is also okay, I guess:

And now to celebrate my goofy milestone, here are some tintype photos because it’s 1850 or so.