Air Pods Max Weirdness

I worked on some lyrics for three of the November songs tonight. I won’t do car music tomorrow, but whenever I do it I’ll have November stuff to work on.

I had my step son’s Air Pods Max that he loaned to me on when I started and there was weirdness. I had two guitar tracks. One was panned hard left so it only plays out of the left speaker. The other is panned hard right so it only comes out of the right speaker. When I had the Air Pods Max on I was getting stereo output, meaning I had music in both ears, but the right guitar wasn’t there. I switched to wired headphones without changing any of the tracks and the right guitar was there.

Most peculiar.

Steam Fail?

I’m a Mac user, babie. None of that Windows crap for me. Well… except for work… and except for when I want to use something that doesn’t run on a Mac.

Jen has inspired me to try my hand at gaming so I installed World of Warcraft on my Mac. It works fine. Cool. Then there was the game I tried to play the last time I tried to get into gaming… which was something like 2012 or so? Star Wars: The Old Republic. That puppy doesn’t run on Mac.

So what’s a red headed Mac douche to do? Emulate, bitches! I installed Parallels and Windows 11. That works fantastically. Groovy like you’ve read about. Next, I installed Steam. That seems okay except that I always always always lose my password and had to jump through 2000000 hoops to actually get in. Once that mess was clean I downloaded and installed Star Wars. Success! Then I had to go through another 100000 password hoops before finally getting into the game and finding out that it doesn’t work with a track pad. I’m sure it works fine if I had an actual mouse with two buttons, but for the moment?

Fail, apparently. Bummer… for now.

Welcome to August

Happy August 1st, everyone! August doesn’t have a national holiday so this year I am going to try and make it feel better by acting like every day is an extra big deal. No I’m not. I’m just so happy that July and its constant rain is over. Granted, August might get constant rain too, likely will thanks to climate change, but for this one, sweet, shining morning, August is dry and I am happy about it.

I wore a mask at my mother’s house yesterday. Not all the time, just when I knew she was near me. We are both vaccinated, but she ain’t catching jack shit from me. The MA department of public health is recommending vaccinated people wear masks when they are indoors with other people around because we can’t tell who the morons who aren’t vaccinated are and if they aren’t going to do anything to protect their own health, then we the vaccinated have to do it for them. Because they are stupid. Because they are morons.

Thanks to the never ending pandemic of the unvaccinated we are still using instacart for groceries and they screwed up big time today. We had to go back for a second round. All in all I am happy for the service, they are right a crazy high percentage of the time, but every once in a while… We asked for hamburger patties and got pumpernickel bread. Riiiiight.

What else is going on on this fine Sunday morning in August that hasn’t seen any rain yet? I broke the music mold a smidgen today. We slept kinda late. Not super late, I was up at about 8:15, but for me that’s pretty late. I wanted to do some car music but the aforementioned instacart delivery was on its way, and I had some things I wanted to do before I left so I didn’t get into the car until almost 10:00. I do my car music in a movie theater parking lot, and due to the idiotic decision to re-open the state despite the never ending pandemic mentioned in the previous paragraph, the movie theater was going to be open at 10:00. I rolled the dice. I park in the back parking lot so hopefully anyone going in early to catch the delta variant and a movie would probably park in the front. My risk paid off.

August 1st

I did park in a different area of the lot though. I recorded four songs. There were two technical problems but neither stopped me. First, I use Trello to track my progress. The songs I needed to work on are on a list called Complete Lyrics/Melody on a board called 2021 50/90. My normal workflow is to bring up the Trello app on my iPhone and use that to let me know which songs to work on. The last couple of times I’ve done this though, the iOS app wouldn’t refresh. It’s showing me the board from about two weeks ago. Nothing is up to date. I had to turn my iPhone hot spot on and bring it up on the Mac. That is annoying as all hell.

The second technical problem wasn’t a problem but I would have had I kept going. The temperature outside was in the mid-70’s but the sun was out and shining bright and damn if it didn’t get roasting hot in that car. I’d open the windows but then people would be able to hear me “singing” and ain’t no way that’s happening. About halfway through my little “session” the Mac’s fan kicked on and it never shut off. I don’t know how much longer I would have been able to go before it started to overheat but “fortunately” my voice ran out of gas after about an hour and I had to stop.

I did manage to finish four songs. That’s one more than I had planned. I had three songs with the guitars finished and I wanted to pick those off. I also had six songs with lyrics and melodies already written that don’t have guitars yet. A couple of those have MIDI guitar tracks acting as place holders. I did one of those.

So the plans for the rest of today include, but are not limited to, cutting some grass, recording some guitar parts, having a cookout for dinner (weather permitting, of course, though July is over so the weather will be glorious), and hanging out with my step son who only has a few weeks left before he moves to college.

Of course, as I type out that to do list I am sitting at my computer reading twitter, making fun of creationists, and thinking that it would be really nice to just sit and watch movies with Harry and Jen all day. That might be the better to do list.

Welcome to August, may it stay sunny and dry. Good luck, folks!

GarageBand to the Rescue

Harry needed to record a piano piece for school. He was going to put his headphones up against his iPhone’s mic.

Oh no, my good sir. No.

I hooked him up to a two channel USB interface and got him up and running in GarageBand on his Mac.

He’s recording tracks like a pro* now.


*Okay, maybe not a pro. More like an avid amateur, like his step father.

Groovy.

Photo Booth?

Patches was laying down on my desk.  I thought it was a good candidate for today’s photo-a-day.  Unfortunately she was sitting on my phone, and my Nikon was not quickly accessible.  What can I do?

Well, I have a webcam on my laptop.  Could I use that?  I did a Spotlight Search for camera and webcam but they didn’t turn up anything useful.  I checked Launchpad to see if there was a camera app of some kind.  That’s when I saw it.

Photo Booth?

Is that still a thing?  I popped it open and sure enough, it’s still a thing.  I angled my lappy to face the cat and BANG, photo acquired.  I opened it up in Photos to clean it up a little and, as always, was a tiny bit saddened by the lack of groovy filters.  I messed around with it a tiny bit and then clicked the export button to see what my options were.  It used to be able to connect to Flickr, but not any more.  I clicked the “more” option at the bottom of the drop down and saw something I never noticed before.

Extensions?  In Photos?  Huh.

There were no options available but I wasn’t ready to let it go so I did something I never do… I went to the Mac App Store.  I searched for Photos Extensions and sure enough a few things came up.  I searched for Photos Filters and much to my surprise a Free app displayed.  I figured I would install it just to use it as a guinea pig for the Photos extensions.  Much to my surprise, it worked!

Now my Flickr Photo-a-Day pic is a Photo Booth snap, edited in Photos, using a third party filter app.  It’s just a day of firsts for me!

253/365 - I took this with Photo Booth because... it was there.

Cursor

I installed the new Mac OS today, El Capitan. Not the best name, in my opinion.

The first thing I did was shake my mouse back and forth to see it blow up huge. I’ve been waiting for that feature since like Windows 3.1! Finally!

Battery Killer

This is just a quick observation about how you should pay attention to warning messages.

I was in between meetings at work today. I had my MacBook Pro with me so I opened it up to check my mail. One email needed a quick response but I had to use one of our applications to look up a relevant piece of data. The app doesn’t run on Mac so I opened up Parallels to run it in Windows. As it loaded I got a warning saying that I was running on battery, blah blah blah. I ignored it.

20 minutes later I was shutting down and I noticed the battery percentage had dropped 20%. TWENTY PERCENT! Holy cow, Parallels was right to warn me! Sheesh! I should pay more attention to stuff like that.

Operating Systems Galore

I do this every time we go through one of our Macintosh switcheroo’s. I set up a new Mac, and then set up parallels, and then set up a bunch of different operating systems to run on the virtual machine. It’s always Ubuntu because Linux rules even though I really don’t use it. Then I set up Windows so I can use the new Mac for work.

Today though, we did something new. Today I noticed that you can install a pre-release version of Windows 10 without paying for a license. Cool! I am typing this on internet explorer because I don’t want to install another copy of Chrome onto another virtual machine, and internet explorer is running on Windows 10. Windows 9? No way jose, this is Windows 10!

So far it looks a lot like Windows 8 only with a start button. Which is what those few unfortunates who are running Windows 8 wanted in the first place. Yippee and all that!

I think I’ll go start up Ubuntu and run that on my Mac’s virtual machine for a while.

Playing Operating System roulette kinda rules all.

No Added Distortion

This is a little better than the last one. No unwanted distortion.

I didn’t use the GarageBand drummer on this one. I kept the iPad drum part but changed the sound. Same with the vocals. The guitars are all the same between the two mixes except for the signal processing. I added a slap back delay onto the lead and toned down the reverb and delay on the two rhythm parts.

The real question though is when did everything this month turn into either 3/4 or 6/8 time? Is this what it’s like to play in a swing band?


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Here’s the iPad mix for comparison. Again, not too different.


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As far as the iOS mixes are concerned, I can call the June Music project successfully complete (under RPM Challenge rules). I have written and recorded 10 songs this month. There are two additional songs that don’t have vocals/lyrics/melodies yet. I don’t believe I will have time this weekend to finish them. I think I’ll do them next week in the first three days in July before 50/90 starts on the 4th. Then I’ll have 12 “June” songs and one left over from May, with two different mixes of each song. That will make a nice bandcamp.com playlist.

As of right now I am in for 50/90. I have not been writing at a fast enough pace to feel confident, but at least I’ve been building up to it. We’ll see how it goes.