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?

I Don’t Like Mondays

Raise your hand if you like Mondays. I’ll wait.

I suppose there are folks who work weekends and have Mondays off who might like Mondays. For the rest of the working world? Mondays suck.

I am about to have a tough couple of days. I am not going to say I left a project until the last minute, but I may have left a project to the second to last minute and now the clock is close to running out. Shit. I had been doing so much better with planning and scheduling and not letting myself get tied up in things that keep me from what I need to do. Things have been weird this month. Let’s blame it on that, m’kay?

There’s not much else going on today. Here’s hoping for a burst of professional productivity. Happy Monday, everyone.

Hit it, Max.

Sleepy Red Head

Another less than great night of sleep last night. The data my Apple Watch collected actually looked okay, but coming on the heels of the previous night’s bad sleep it has left me feeling pretty sleepy and crummy today. I’m hoping to get to bed early tonight but I am pretty sure it ain’t happening. We’ll see.

I’m in a weird state right now where I have a few projects to work on and I keep letting them get in the way of each other. I start working on project A but my mind wanders to project B so I switch to that but my mind wanders to project C so I switch to that but my mind wanders to project A and so on. The end result is I don’t make progress on any of them. Blah.

Referencing back to the previous post, if you’re wondering about our neighborhood trash pick up, they still haven’t arrived… though I do hear the sound of trucks in the distance. Maybe soon?

Finally, as my lunch break comes to an end, I return to the topic of guitar gear, what with guitar and cats being the two most common topics of this particular page (are they? I should do some research into that… but I won’t), I am starting to think it might be time to start searching the youtubes for a new wah pedal. I’m starting to want to upgrade up from my Crybaby. Hello, rabbit hole. Allow me to fall down you for a while.

Okay, back to work, red head!

Feeling Lost

I feel so weird right now. I feel lost, somehow. At home, I had a huge music project that I was completely wrapped up in and now it’s done. At work I got flattened by a runaway train that is now back on the tracks.

Now what?

Those two things have kept the CPU in my head running at close to 100% capacity for most of the last month. Now that I’ve moved on from both things my CPU is down to a much more normal operating level and that is all kinds of good, but the rest of my brain is less occupied than it was and doesn’t know what to do with itself.

I had an idea to take the 10 least awful songs from the last three months and redo them in the hopes of improving them. I listened through everything and picked the songs I want to try, but I’m already losing interest.

What should I do? Part of me wants to just spend a few weeks watching TV, but I should do better than that, shouldn’t I?

I just don’t know what to do with myself.

I found a bag of Hershey’s Kisses in the junk food closet. I just ate a bunch of them and now I feel sick. I guess I ate too much. Somehow that is symbolic of my mental state. Blah, barf.

Quarantine Project Free

It’s weird. Now that RPM is over I don’t have any projects planned. I don’t think I’ll do another album in a month. I think I’m burned out on that for now. Well… for today at least. As Traffic once said, Who Knows What Tomorrow May Bring?

I still have a couple of songs to finish on the latest round of re-recordings. I think I have three that still need a guitar part and some mixing. I also thought about remixing the second round of re-recordings. I decided recently that I did something to mess up the guitar sounds and I should fix it. The downside of this is that I will always be able to find something wrong and I will always want to go back and fix it. Nothing is ever finished.

Outside of that? Nothing, really. Maybe I’ll find a guitar teacher on the youtubes and actually try and learn something instead of just yankin’ my own musical chain. Hell, I should have started that last March. After a year I might be almost tolerably not terrible.

Really though, the only thing on my agenda going forward is getting the damn vaccine. Everyone in my house needs it and we all need it right now. I’m tired of this crap.

Blogging University

Is Blogging University still a thing?  I clicked a sign up button and the button label disappeared.  I then reloaded the page and the sign up label was back.  Hmmm.

Next I logged into the Lizardfish page and tried again.  Again… nothing.  I’m thinking maybe the first email will come out at midnight?  Maybe?  Assuming the site is still active.

On a side note, I installed Vivaldi at home.  It seems to be pretty good on the Mac.  I hope we don’t find it doing anything silly like spiking my CPU the way Brave did.

I also added about 20 new posts to the myspace reclamation project.  There are 55 more to go.

Projects, babie.  Getting stuff done.  Who needs RPM?  (I do)

Projects

March kinda sucks.

I go through this every year.  I finish my February music projects and then feel this gaping hole in the universe during March.  From reading blogs and forum posts on rpmchallenge.com I’m clearly not alone in feeling this way.

So what to do?

A few months ago I was working on a way to add the rest of my old myspace blog to this site.  I started up on that again last night.  WordPress.com is able to back date posts but it’s a royal pain in the ass to go back to 2007 and 2008.  Instead, I created a Blogger account and I’ve been posting back dated entries there.  Once I have them all I’ll export them to an .xml file and import them here.  That should work fine.  The myspace blog covered pretty much all of 2006 through November 2008.  I had pulled all of 2006 into my previous wordpress.com site so those are all here already.  As of last night the Blogger page has almost all of 2007.  I think I have about 75 more posts to go.

I’m still going with my Flickr photo-a-day project.  It suddenly feels difficult though.  It was easy last month.  There was always music happening so I could take pics of that, and Disney made things even easier.  Now?  What the hell do I take pictures of now?  Where’s the cat when I need her?

Back in January Jen and I did a tutorial for a javascript extension (I think that’s the right way to describe it… a scripting language built on top of javascript).  It was fun and interesting but my javascript knowledge is ancient and more or less nil at this point.  I thought I might have gotten more out of it if I did a javascript tutorial first.  I would like to try something like that in the coming weeks.  I would like to be a better all around programmer than I am right now.  My company’s development tools and programming languages are proprietary, so even if I’m firing on all cylinders at work it doesn’t really extend to the rest of the world.

Years ago I found a set of wordpress.com tutorials called Blogging University.  There are various beginner and intermediate level courses to help you get the most out of your wordpress.com experience.  There were classes for customization, writing, photography, and interacting with other blogs.  I might give some of those a try again, just for schnitzengiggles.  If I remember correctly they were mostly prompts.  Things like, today you should write a better About page, or today you should take a picture of water.  Stuff like that.  The photo stuff would be fine to redo, as I just said I’m always looking for ideas for photo-a-day.  The basic blogging stuff is probably too simple for this page, but there is always the lizardfishmusic.com page.  I could make some changes there.  I don’t think I’ve made any changes to the layout there since I first created it.  Maybe a face lift would be fun?

Exercising should be an obvious target for new projects.  I had a really bad night Weight Watchers wise last night and I’m feeling a little crummy about myself today.  I got home from work and just started shoveling food into my face and I really didn’t stop until I fell asleep.  I need to be better than that.  The gym might help in that regard, or at least minimize the damage of any future bad days.  Right now I am having a problem with one of my feet (again).  My right foot feels a little swollen and it hurts to walk.  It’s not the same thing I had a month or so ago, and it’s not nearly as bad, but it is slowing me down right now.  Once that eases up I need to get back to the gym, and I need to get into a regular routine.

There is always more music to record, and more songs to learn for Lizardfish, and more practicing in general to do.  Just because February is over doesn’t mean I can stop playing.  I was doing pretty well with finding time to practice back in January.  I need to keep up with it.  I’m tired of feeling like the weak link in the band.  I’m also thinking of trying something new gear wise.  I want to try to run a two amp rig in the band, but most of the amps I have now are way too powerful and if I paired them up I’d be unable to not drown out the rest of the band during rehearsals.  I keep looking at my 15 watt Fender Bassbreaker as the solution.  If I could pair that with another lowish watt amp that could work.  I am thinking about going to Guitar Center to inquire about trading my Fender Stratocaster in for a Vox AC15.  I think that might be the key to making it all work.  A Fender Princeton reissue could do it, but it’s only a 10 inch speaker and I’d prefer to stick to 12 inch speakers if I can.  I just like them better.  We’ll see.

Should I start looking into using in-ear monitors?  One of the guys in the band uses them.  One of the hosts of the Gig Gab podcast swears by them.  So much so that he’s always inspiring the other host to try them, even though he has a hard time with them.  I don’t really want to spend money on it, but we’re getting to the point where we’re going to be mic’ing the room during rehearsals and I always wear ear plugs anyway.  Is it time?  I’m trying to decide.  I’m definitely on the fence.  We’ll see.

I was hoping that by this point in 2020 I would be able to do something to help out with the Warren for President campaign.  I guess that isn’t going to happen.  At least it seems highly unlikely now.  I can get behind Bernie Sanders, but the idea of a candidate in his late 70’s who has already suffered a heart attack during this campaign is a little depressing.  Platform wise I can 100% get on board.  Human wise… ugh.  As for Joe Biden.  He’s a great guy and I love him to pieces, but he’s literally my last choice of all of the candidates we’ve had.  Dead last.  Yet another guy in his late 70’s but this time one who just feels like a frat boy who got lucky.  He just seems a little too dumb ass for the oval office, and we already have a total dumb ass in the office now.  If he ends up with the nomination he’ll get 100% of my support… I was just hoping the rest of the country would jump on the Warren bandwagon, that’s all.  Yet another reason to feel let down by my fellow Americans.

There are a crap ton of TV shows that I want to watch.  February has resulted in me falling way behind on all of the CW super hero shows that I like to watch.  I’m like two months behind on The Flash, Supergirl, and Batwoman.  I’ve been trying to get caught up on Star Trek Discovery.  Season two is really good, I just haven’t had time to power through.  The last season of Star Wars The Clone Wars is either about to come out or has just recently come out.  I wanted to binge the whole series before I watched the new season but… Jar Jar… he kinda killed my interest in that.  I want to finish season two of You even though it’s definitely meh.  I want to watch Lock and Key and The Expanse and I still want to get back into Breaking Bad and Preacher.  I’ve started both of them, but just haven’t been able to keep going.  I’m not sure why, the are both good.  I’m caught up on The Walking Dead, and the second spin off is just a month or so away.  One show that I did not fall behind on in February is Star Trek Picard.  It is so good.  Just, so very good.  I wish it was going to be a 25 episode season instead of 10 (I think it’s just going to be 10).  I don’t want it to end… ever.

I’m sure there are other projects I can come up with that are just there for fun and a sense of creative accomplishment.  If we get lucky and Spring actually gets here there are always day trips up to the mountains that I can drag my beloved Mrs to.  There are so many waterfalls, and so many scenic views up there.  They are all just sitting there, waiting for me and Jen and my camera to come and visit.

There’s also always Disney World.  Or Disneyland.  Or Euro-Disney, if that’s even still a thing.  I’d say Tokyo Disney too but I have a co-worker who was supposed to go there next week and he told me it’s closed due to some global pandemic* thing.  Maybe you’ve heard of it?

On an unrelated note, I am trying a new browser again.  The same podcast that inspired me to try Brave has inspired me to try Vivaldi.  This post is the first thing I’ve done with it.  Isn’t that exciting?  I’m just glad that the Last Pass plug in for Chrome works in Vivaldi too.  That makes life a tiny bit easier.

 

*Go wash your hands.  Seriously.