Wednesday, February 26, 2014
When I lived in Africa, I saw that drums and other percussion instruments were a HUGE part of their life. Just about every native-born African was skilled on a djembe - a drum made from local wood, animal skin, and rope. There were also many, many percussion instruments made with nuts or other local products. None of the instruments were fancy, "western", or factory-made, like tamborines from musicians friend, yet they were all very high quality. It's a beautiful part of their culture.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
It's impossible to avoid discussions of health care in the news nowadays, what with the Affordable Care Act and the fiasco that it has become. Everyone has to deal with it, regardless of whether you already have insurance or are uninsured, whether you live in a state with a state-run exchange or whether your state is using the federal exchange, like nc health agency. What a mess. Makes me wonder if there is any end in sight.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
I am not a user of fine sound equipment like manley microphones, but I did recently read this article from Mental Floss about audio feedback, and I think that's pretty interesting. You have to think of sound as a wave. If your microphone gets in the wrong location (in front of the speaker instead of behind the speaker), the sound will become an infinite wave - sound comes out of the speaker, gets picked up by the mic, and gets amplified by the speaker. I don't know music but that appeals to my inner physicist!
I have a friend who has a three-year-old son. He is an awesome little boy, but he can sure make noise! He loves banging things - pots and pans, especially, but also his toys, his shoes, anything at all. Pretty soon his parents are going to have to buy him a set of puresound drums & percussion at guitar center just so that he will have something he can hit without accidentally damaging the furniture, and *maybe* not making such a cacophony!
I had a friend growing up who desperately wanted to play the bari sax in our junior high and high school bands. This was around the time that President Clinton played his sax on late-night television, and the saxophone was considered a "cool" instrument. Personally, I wanted to play the flute, but I had some orthodontic work done around the same time that prevented me from playing the flute. I'm pretty sure my friend never learned to play the sax, either. But it was a fun time when anything was possible!
Friday, December 27, 2013
My father is a "retired" trumpet player. He played the trumpet in high school and college, and for a few different church bands when he was younger, but he hasn't picked up his trumpet in years now. In fact, I'm pretty sure he actually gave his trumpet away a few years back - since he wasn't using it, there was no reason to keep it. Not to mention, *if* he wanted to start playing the trumpet again, he'd have to buy things like trumpet slide grease at Musicians Friend, AND he would have to find someplace where he would be allowed to practice, since we wouldn't let him practice in the house!
Thursday, December 12, 2013
When I was in college, I had a friend who was teaching himself to play the harmonica. He had a mini harmonica at m123 that he took with him everywhere. I never really understood it. It's as good an instrument as any other, but he was really hung up on how "portable" it was and, in my opinion, would practice at really inappropriate times... like while he was driving! There are some times when you just shouldn't split your attention.
Last week, I found this really fascinating story about famous speeches given before modern amplification. It's an interesting - and kind of strange. I guess this clearly shows my "first-world", post-industrial-revolution tendencies, but it's hard for me to imagine giving those massive speeches to thousands of people with no amplification beyond the speaker's voice. I suppose it was nice that they didn't have to worry about finding a way to save on crown microphones or speakers or whatever, but... man, what a different world...
Tuesday, December 03, 2013
I have a crazy collection of headphones in my office. I primarily use headphones for running, and that can be very hard on headphones, so I try to buy a pair anytime I find them for under $5. I know some people put a lot of emphasis on getting "the best sound" or whatever from their headphones, but I'm not too worried about that. I just want them to get the job done, play music, and entertain me while I work or exercise! I have destroyed so many pairs in the process that for me, the best headphones tend to be the cheapest!
Writing fiction can be so frustrating at times. I may know what I want to happen, but I don't know how to make it happen. For example, right now I'm trying to figure out a scene in which my main character has to find wholesale cabinets and then install a secret compartment in one of them. My imagination is only carrying me halfway - I need to figure out where and how they will find and and install these cabinets! It can be strange inside my head sometimes!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
There are many things to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving. Of course I'm thankful for my family, my home, my job... that list could honestly go on and on for quite awhile. But I'm also thankful to live in and be a citizen of a nation as great as the United States. Yes, we are an imperfect nation, and there are plenty of frustrations in Washington D.C. But in spite of all that, we are blessed, and I'm thankful that I don't need an immigration attorney los angeles to beg for a chance to get into this nation. It's something I should remember every day.