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mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Back in the early days of 2012 we decided to skip Baycon this year and go to Clockwork Alchemy. Best-laid plans? That was before we decided to move to Washington. So we day-tripped the 30th anniversary Baycon instead, to have a better opportunity to say goodbye to people.

Baycon doesn't seem to be in the best of shape. It's gotten noticably smaller over the last few years (we can perhaps blame the other cons in the area for some of that, but I don't think for all of it). I dropped Colleen off in the morning, did some shopping on the way home, worked at home for a while, then left for the con myself in late afternoon. Little to no daytime programming I was interested in; the few concerts didn't start until night-time. I stayed for the open filking on Saturday, but was thoroughly wiped out by the time I got back home.

So I only sang three songs over the weekend, and don't remember most of them. Bigger On the Inside was the last one. Tiny circle.

Some good conversations, though.

I mentioned shopping. REI is having a sale; I picked up an Agility Sling Bag and a Hood River hoodie. The Agility bag, whose name appears to be Angelique, is apparently a redesign of the Mini that I've been using since last year; it's a little shorter and more rectangular rather than tapered. This makes it much easier to get my netbook in and out -- it has a padded sleeve that it fits perfectly into. There's also a nice organizer panel. And it's almost exactly the same size as the Belkin computer bag, and fits perfectly inside Chami. And there are several different ways of attaching it on the outside, as well.

I toyed with the idea of getting a rolling duffle (Ross has 'em for cheap) for gigs, but realized that it would be too narrow to hold the music stand desks. I'll probably get a smaller duffle for use as a carry-on or secondary bag, because the Hartmann and Colleen's SwissGear are already allocated. I used the Hartmann on my last trip North, but could only get away with that because Colleen wasn't going.

Did I mention that I'm a luggage addict?

In other news, I set up phone interviews with Zillow and Tableau, and paid the security deposit on the new apartment.

raw notes )
mdlbear: (audacity)
raw notes )

Yesterday was a good day. Colleen had bought a slab of lox at Costco ($20 for 1.5lb), so I went out in the morning and bought bagels for her and the YD. The Glutino gluten-free bagels, which we keep in the freezer, are the best I've tried so far; I've had some grocery-store bagels that were worse.

Colleen and I had the little bit of left-over fish for dinner, rolled up around cream cheese, onion, and capers. (There was also a salad consisting of heirloom tomatoes, half an onion, an avocado, and fresh mozzerella, with basil and oregano from our front yard.)

We went for a st/roll in the early afternoon; our usual route down around and through the Rose Garden, and back via Goodwill and Cash & Carry.

I then spent over an hour in REI looking at shoulder bags and rolling carry-ons. Found several that I liked; I may go back for the 19" rolling backpack. The sling bag... I don't know.

And I did some puttering -- mostly a matter of: see something out of place, put it where it belongs, repeat.

And finally, I'm pleased to announce that I finished splitting and uploading my concert at Baycon 2011, only two weeks after the event.

Oh, and I called Mom and, finally, my brother. Who is moving to Logan, Utah with his fiancée, which puts him close enough for the occasional visit and gives me a good excuse to go to Conduit next year.

So, yeah. Good day.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty typical end-of-con day; lots of goodbyes including some to people I never even got to say hello to. And there was never enough time for conversation.

Then I managed to pull a muscle in my left arm near the shoulder, hefting suitcases. OWWW. It took a long time for the pain to localize; it started out in the whole upper body, leading me to worry about possible heart trouble. I spent the evening being totally wiped out. Naomi suggested putting ice on it, which helped but was very awkward.

It would have been a pretty good day if it hadn't been for the injury. Pain appears to be exhausting mentally as well as physically; the effects seem to be similar to the sensory overload caused by the noise. Which makes, um, sense, since pain and hearing are both senses. Bears can be a little slow on the uptake sometimes, though I am learning.

A couple of links.

mdlbear: (fandom)
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A busy, basically very good day. I foolishly signed up for both the kids' concert and the preceeding musical instrument demo -- they were an hour and a half apart, so I burned through several of my songs and much of my voice before the concert part even started. Fortunately I wasn't the only one singing. The demo had a larger and more attentive audience, almost certainly because of Moira and her harp. Moira had to leave early.

My main concert, at 7:30, went very well. (In spite of being pretty much a subset of my concert last year, something I should have thought to check on earlier.) I hit the time right on the nose, thanks to Allison Lonsdale, who came after me, having done her sound check right before me. So I could segue from the sound check right into the concert, and knew that Allison wouldn't require any set-up time to speak of. Nice.

I think my performance was good; only a couple of flubs which most people probably didn't catch, and which didn't affect the flow in any case. Did a quick swap-out of the Athena verse of QV in favor of Prince Charming, when I saw C. (who had commissioned it) walk in the door somewhere around the Amazon. (If you're baffled by all this, go read the lyrics and the notes.

I got some nice compliments after the set; Allison said my guitar playing was "awesome", which felt very nice indeed, and one person told me she had tears in her eyes during the whole set. I mean... wow.

It's pretty easy for me to accept praise for something I know I'm good at, like songwriting, fingerpicking, or programming. Something I don't realize I'm good at is a lot harder; it took me a long time to accept my role as the Middle-Sized Bear, for example.

The open filking was good, too. Colleen and I finally flaked out around 1am. Gettin' old.

But, yeah. Good day.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I seem to have more notes than I usually do at a con. Possibly due to the fact that I'm spending more down time. The lobby (where the bar is) and mezzanine (where the programming is) are connected, and incredibly noisy. That's probably a large part of why I ran out of spoons around 10pm and went upstairs to bed. That, the fact that something in dinner wasn't sitting well, and that I'd just spent two hours in the room waiting for the hotel to clean up the mess made by the overflowed toilet.

The apparent problem with the phone was just pilot error -- it's cordless, and I didn't press the talk button. Not so much as "idiot bear" as totally overloaded and flustered, and perfectly willing to believe that One More Thing was going wrong.

... so I didn't get to any of the concerts.

I did get a couple of nice strokes, though -- one person told me that one of his coworkers has a copy of my book on his desk, and another told me that she'd used my River posts about the care and feeding of geeks to understand and deal with a coworker. Those felt good.

Lots of people seem to know me by name who I don't recognize at all. "He's losing his memory and some of his hair"? That's somewhat disturbing.

It was a good day for most of it, I ended the day feeling seriously down and drained. This was almost certainly a simple matter of being out of spoons rather than depression -- I'm ok now. I think it's hard for me to distinguish physical exhaustion from sensory overload from emotional depression, though. That's something I'm going to have to work on.

A couple of links.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I moved my stuff from the large suitcase to the smaller Travelpro; it fit, except for a couple of things I really didn't need and a couple more I forgot. I am now at home after having collected the latter.

Baycon seems rather disorganized (no pocket programs!?), and the hotel sinks are dreadful as usual. But the room is huge, has a large desk/counter, and actual counter space in the bathroom, so that's a major plus. I'm not sure we got one of the accessible rooms, but it works.

Colleen got her hair re-tinted, and looks fantastic (and a decade or so younger). Almost didn't recognize her when I walked in to the hotel after work.

Blew off my 2:30 Filk 101 panel (what were they thinking?), but the 4pm "Computers: What's Next?" was a lot of fun. Chris Garcia, who works at the Computer History Museum, did a good job moderating.

The filk circle was very thinly attended, and Colleen found herself a place where she was completely hidden from the door so I didn't realize she was there the first time I poked my nose in. She found me on the party floor. I had the only guitar.

Went splat somewhere close to midnight.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Not a great day, but not bad - I got up late, having foolishly forgotten to turn my alarm back on after getting up early on Wednesday, but had a productive afternoon at work. It balances.

A little bit of practice, mainly running through a couple of songs I might do at the kids' concert on Sunday.

I cut my walk short, having worked through most of my lunch hour.

And no links. Guess I was busy. See you at Baycon, maybe?

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Was something supposed to have happened yesterday? Oh, right. The end of the world, or something like that. Must have missed it. I got a surpising number of comments on my "Apocalypse? No" post, though.

I did read Revelation for Skeptics, thanks to a link from [livejournal.com profile] gridlore, who added,

You need evidence of how it was written, just realize that psychotropic mushrooms thrive on the island of Patmos, where the book was written between epic fits of giggling, runs to the local take-away lamb place, and really intense discussions about how weird your hands look when you really look at them, y'know?

I went to the Container Store and Costco with Colleen, where we spotted a lovely package of three ahi tuna steaks, which turned into sashimi for dinner. Talk about easy. There was also a caprese-type salad. Almost as easy. Yum.

I did a little practicing for Baycon; about half of my tentative setlist.

I also printed fax coversheets for a bunch of healthcare receipts, which I then totally failed to find. (Most of them turned up this afternoon, fortunately.)

On the down side, no walk. And my memory was even worse than usual -- I seemed to have the attention span of a mayfly on speed. Something about the methocarbamol? Anyway.

And I don't really like Costco much. It's crowded and noisy and tiring, and things are bulky and heavy -- I hurt my wrist manhandling the cart. The deals are worthwhile, but I'd rather let Colleen go with someone else who really enjoys it.

A pretty decent day. Could have been much worse. :)

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)
(From today's email from Programming)
0527 Fr 
  o 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM in: Alameda 	 Filk 101
      What is Filk? And why you should be interested.
        Panelists: Kitty Crowe, Bob Kanefsky, Steve Savitzky.
  o 4:00 PM - 5:30 PM in: Winchester 	 Computers: What's Next?
      Fifty years ago, computers occupied large rooms, and they required air
      conditioning and water cooling.  One million instructions per second was
      a super computer.  Today's smartphones have more memory and computing
      power, by orders of magnitude, than those early machines.  What does the
      next 50 years look like? 
  o 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM in: Grand Ballroom Meet-the-Guests Reception

0528 Sa
  o 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM in: Lawrence 	 Making A CD 
      How to produce music to make your own CD.
        Panelists: Jeff Bohnhoff, Margaret Davis, Steve Savitzky, Kristoph Klover

0529 Su
  o 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM in: Cypress 	 Music Instrument Demonstration for Kids
      Moira Greyland will show the ins and outs of how a harp works.  Also
      Steve Savitzky will give the kids a demonstration of guitars.  
  o 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM in: Cypress 	 Music for Kids
      Music performances by a harpist and two guitarists for the children's
      enjoyment.  (Adults welcome, too, of course)
  o 7:00 PM - 7:30 PM in: Winchester 	 Concert
      Come listen to Steve sing songs about computers, space, fantasy,
      friendship, and love. 
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

The setlist and audio for my concert at Baycon a week ago are on the web at steve.savitzky.net/Concerts/2010/05/29-Baycon/.

... and also here, for those who prefer not to leave LJ )

That only leaves about a year's worth of catching up to do...

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Somehow I seem to be forgetting to post Thankful Thursdays on time -- hopefully I can start reversing that trend now. Here goes!

  • First of all, a big huge Thank You to the Baycon 2010 committee for inviting me and Colleen to be fan guests of honor. We had a wonderful time.
  • Special thanks to the faulty fire sensor in the hotel for setting off its false alarms before we went to bed.
  • Thanks to the hotel restaurant, who let us order from the appetizer menu and went out and got rice pasta so I could have yummy cioppino.
  • Thanks to David F. for bringing our Chaoswolf down for the weekend.
  • Big thanks to [livejournal.com profile] hvideo for recording video of my concert and thus saving my ass when I forgot to press the record button on my Zoom.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A good day; good end to a good con. Woke up around 9am, and made it to my 10am panel on DRM with a little time to spare (but no breakfast or coffee). Went home with the laundry, the YD, and the YD's BF. While looking for the handicapped placard in the van, I found the jewelcase for Dandelion Wine's Circles In the Grain, which has been missing for over a year. The placard itself turned up snagged on Snuggles' shoulder strap, giving me a good laugh.

I made it back in time for final packing and the closing ceremonies; Chaos and DF did most of the load-out. A little late for the 5pm late check-out, because helping Colleen in the bathroom simply takes time.

A couple of good links under the cut.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A good day. Got involved in a couple of conversations on the way back from the art show and dealer's room, and ended up half an hour late to my panel on "how fandom is changing" (or maybe it was "how tech is changing fandom"). Fortunately there were 5 other panelists, so they were doing fine.

In the evening I fit in a little time in the filk room between conversations. Went out on QV, for [livejournal.com profile] septemberlilac -- I pulled her and Colleen in from the hallway so I could do it in the room. I have been remiss about noting the songs I actually performed in circles.

I spent about 3 hours/day at home doing laundry; day-tripping would have been better, especially given the hotel's iffy connectivity and the restaurant's mediocre buffet breakfast. Next year. It also worked really well for Colleen to have Kaylee as a personal gofer; it's the only thing that made it possible for me to get to my scheduled programming. I didn't get to anything else.

I'm very worried about Westercon/ConChord.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
1 The World Inside the Crystal
2 Inherit the Earth
3 Keep the Dream Alive
4 The Rambling Silver Rose
5 Ship of Stone
6 A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear
7 A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear
8 Riverheart
9 Wheelin'
10 The River
11 Quiet Victories

The only thing that went seriously wrong was forgetting to turn on my recorder; fortunately Harold Groot was recording video. That and the week-long series of screw-ups over the time. (Side note to non filk-con filk-track planners: if the FGOH is a filker, make their concert a separately-scheduled event so that it can go on the program as a single item rather than being lumped into a two-hour block with the other filkers.) (Side note to convention planners in general: if there are two people sharing a guest slot, don't schedule them for separate program items at the same time unless they specifically request it. Which they shouldn't and almost certainly won't)

The timing worked out perfectly; I'd had "Millennium's Dawn" in reserve, but didn't need it; the rest fit the "adventure" theme pretty well, at least using Bilbo's definition of stuff that's uncomfortable, dangerous, and makes you late for dinner. It was all stuff I know well, so I was even able to look at the audience a little. There were a couple of people there who obviously hadn't heard my stuff before, or at least my new material; I think I did well.

I was told later in the circle that the intro I gave for Rambling Silver Rose would have fit "Bound for Hacker's Heaven" even better. Kinda wish I'd thought of it.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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Despite ongoing confusion about scheduling, my concert went really well (at the origninally-scheduled 5pm). I came down at about 4:30 after a practice session with Kat that went badly enough -- we kept getting out of sync -- that I decided to go solo. The Wolfling was disappointed, but I think it was the right call. A couple of very minor glitches, but on the whole it was one of my better concerts. I think I surprised a few people. I set the Wolfie up as my cashier; she sold a couple of CDs and the one pre-order set I had left. It's been a pretty good weekend for sales.

Of course, after carefully replacing the batteries in my recorder and setting it up, I forgot to turn it on. Fortunately [livejournal.com profile] hvideo got video, so there will be audio posted.

The computer theme circle went less well -- I arrived half an hour late, minus my filk book, due to having misplaced my shoulder bag. After dashing back down to the restaurant, soothing a distraught YD (who'd been lied to about something bad happening to Colleen -- WTF?), and coming back to the room to find the bag still on my suitcase where I'd put it. Not to mention the two fire alarms during the circle?

And there was no ethernet connectivity in the room when we went up to crash. I blamed it on the fire alarms and things being improperly shut down, but it was still flaky this morning.

mdlbear: (fandom)
raw notes )

Apart from the hotel -- don't get me started on that -- Colleen and I are having a blast as fan guests of honor at Baycon. So far we've been to the Opening Ceremonies and the MING the Guests (with the con chair dressed up as Ming the Merciless). Of course Colleen, on her scooter, couldn't get up on stage with the others, so we stayed down with the other fans.

And, probably because I bought two rolls of quarters at the bank, it naturally turns out that the hotel doesn't have laundry facilities for guests. Well, it's cheaper at home. So's the breakfast. (When I asked, they handed me a card for some laundromat that was actually further away than the house.) I am now officially worried about Westercon.

On the downside, I've had rather little guitar practice, and still need an order for the setlist. The fact that the hotel doesn't have free wi-fi (wired access is free for Baycon attendees by special arrangement) doesn't help. Except for providing one more reason to spend two hours at home with my ergonomic chair, my Model M keyboard, and my 22" monitor.

I'm still not entirely sure when my concert will be -- probably 6pm -- but our GOH interview will be at noon, and at 2pm Colleen is hosting tea in the bar while I'm on a panel on "from home recording to MP3".

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty good day. Heck, a very good day, considering that I got a reasonable amount of work done (mostly exploring zend server, but also some design and bug-fixing), good practice including getting the Wolfling (did I mention that the Older Daughter is home for the weekend?) up to speed with drumming.

I also posted the tentative Baycon setlist. (Comments still welcome, obviously.) The convention tagline is "It's an adventure", which makes it easier to drop Cicero and Stuff from the set as being off-theme (not to mention Stuff being low-energy, and Kat's drumming on Cicero being pretty rough). Millennium's Dawn, which is long and somewhat off-theme, probably becomes the optional one.

On the down side, I didn't do any walking to speak of, and I found out that my concert had been moved to 6pm, which puts it opposite one of Colleen's panels. That'll get fixed one way or the other.

A couple of links under the cut, as usual. (composed this morning; forgot to post)

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

I have a tentative setlist for my Baycon FGOH concert (Saturday at 5pm). It times out to considerably too long, especially allowing for sound checks and so on, so I'm going to have to cut at least one, more likely two songs. Also, the order is almost completely up in the air. Suggestions?

here's the list, and some notes )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I guess the high point was discovering that I have a fan out there who I hadn't known about. The low point, well... I ended the day feeling totally depleted. I ran through the day in an IM: Probably a combination of multiple drives (two shopping trips and taking Emmy to her meeting), cooking dinner, two or three loads of laundry, a load of dishes, a couple of LJ posts, cleaning up Colleen twice, ... I've probably forgotten something... bed made, laundry started, commode cleaned, bedroom garbage bag taken out, nose watered... And ran through the intros to Millennium's Dawn and QV, in part because I've been getting sloppy, and in part to keep my callouses from deteriorating.

Not to mention posting our Baycon schedules, and buying new phones for both Colleen and the YD (the two shopping trips alluded to above). Oh, and Martin Gardner dying.

Something is deteriorating, anyway. Balance? No idea.

The usual collection of links under the cut.

mdlbear: (fandom)

Steve Savitzky

    Friday
       1:30 PM - Stevens Creek - Opening Ceremonies
    Saturday
      12:00 PM - Grand Ballroom - Guest of Honor Interview: Colleen and
      	       	 Steve Savitzky (Michael Siladi will be doing your interview)
       2:00 PM - Bayshore - Panel: From Home Recording to MP3
       6:00 PM - Bayshore - Concert: Steve Savitzky
    Sunday
       4:00 PM - San Tomas - Panel: The Changing Nature of Fandom
    Monday
      10:00 AM - Lafayette - Panel: The Pros & Cons of DRM
       3:30 PM - Lafayette - Closing Ceremonies

Colleen Savitzky

    Friday
       1:30 PM - Stevens Creek - Opening Ceremonies
       6:00 PM - Stevens Creek - Panel: Con Etiquette
       8:00 PM - Grand Ballroom - MING the Guests
    Saturday
      12:00 PM - Grand Ballroom - Guest of Honor Interview: Colleen and
      	       	 Steve Savitzky (Michael Siladi will be doing your interview)
       2:00 PM - Lobby Bar - Tea With Mama Colleen (This is just what it
      	      	 sounds like: a chance for you to sit in the lobby and drink
    		 tea while having pleasant conversation with attendees.)
       6:00 PM - Lafayette - Panel: SMOFing Without Licenses
    Sunday
      12:00 PM - Cypress - Panel: Fannish Daycare
       2:00 PM - Bayshore - Panel: Filk History
    Monday
       3:30 PM - Lafayette - Closing Ceremonies
mdlbear: (depleted)
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A pretty good day. Took Mom to the airport after a very nice visit -- it's good to see that she's doing well. She seemed more worried about me than I am about her. She was also impressed at how cheerful Colleen is. So am I, but sometimes I don't notice things.

And an evening spent practicing for my Baycon concert (5pm Saturday) with Marty. Yay!

A very good insight about why not being conscious of my emotions bothers me. It seems a lot like diabetic neuropathy: diabetics lose sensation in their feet, and a blister can turn into an abscess into gangrene -- I have diabetic friends who've had their feet amputated. It seems as though things can be terribly wrong, and if there isn't a physical symptom (or if there is but it's not one I've learned to recognize) I don't notice until I'm in serious trouble. On the flip side, I don't know what makes me feel good, because I can't tell when I feel good.

Some good links under the cut, including a couple of distributed social network projects that might be getting close to what I'm looking for.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A quiet day spent mostly at home, though I guess a trip to El Torito for brunch, plus taking the YD to and from her Baycon meeting did amount to an hour and a half or so of driving. On the way to brunch we stopped at LensCrafters to pick up Colleen's purple sunglasses, which are stunning.

In the evening I sang through the entire Baycon set: most of the new stuff before dinner, mainly for Mom, then the rest of it after dinner, at Naomi's urging. I went "eeep!" over the fact that it's only two weeks away; N thinks I'm quietly "freaking out" over it. I disagree, but then I already know that I don't feel emotions consciously, so she may be right.

That disconnect is still a problem.

Mom commissioned a song (topic unspecified) for her 90th birthday, which is coming up at the end of December. Eeep?

The day's links are both downloads: Sita Sings the Blues, and Christo's Log - 4 year archive project completed. Not all of the latter is free, but some is.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A reasonably productive day: a lot of puttering, some singing (just before going to bed), tasty dinner, and a lot of writing (for once!). The writing, in particular, was Colleen's and my biographies for our FGOH gig at Baycon; I decided that my standard one was too short. The results, along with my previous effort, can be found here.

Dinner was shrimp and scallops in a garlic, butter, and wine sauce, with brown basmati rice and asparagus. I figured, rather than go to an expensive restaurant... Colleen liked it, so I Win.

Still seems as though I didn't get much done, but I suppose I'm just going to have to get used to that feeling.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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A pretty good day. OK, a good day -- any day that starts out with Atheist Barbie and ends with an hour or so of heavy snuggling is going to be a good one, even if it does involve paying $2700 to ransom my car in the middle.

Went to the Baycon barbecue at Michael and Ali's; tasty food (expected) and some good conversations (not really expected, but delightful). I seem to do a better job of meeting people if I go someplace without somebody I'm close to. Otherwise I'll just stick close to the people I know.

I also confirmed that I don't do well in a conversation with two or more people (unless they make a serious effort to include me, which didn't happen this time and is pretty rare in general).

Links include Wikipedia articles on Canola, rapeseed, and Olive oil, which made interesting reading. There appears to be no good evidence that canola is unhealthy, despite The Great Con-ola which I linked to a couple of days ago. Also see snopes.com: Canola Oil and Rape Seed.

It's easy for me to get lost in Wikipedia.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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I started the day with a little light hacking, preparing the YD's new desktop computer for its trip upstairs. Mostly setting up printing, and giving it a static IP address. She installed and played some of her games downstairs in the evening, a rare instance of the whole family working on our various computers within sight of one another.

Colleen and I went to the Baycon 2010 meeting, to be introduced as fan guests (not that there were many people there who don't already know Colleen, at least). We came home the long way, via Tasman, 85, and Stevens Creek.

My walk, in the general direction of the Rose Garden, was rather short because it was colder than I was dressed for. Just as well; it started drizzling just after I got home. A call from my sister-of-choice, who I'd carelessly left dangling on IM without making it clear that I was just giving her some time not to answer questions if she didn't want to. We share some problems; it still feels odd and awkward to be the one trying to give advice.

Getting home, I answered voice mail from another friend, also asking advice. I'm still rather bemused, but apparently the Middle-Sized Bear is alive and well, and living in California with the Cheshire Cat.

I seem to spend way too much time staring at my to.do file, and way too little tearing myself away from it long enough to actually do something.

I don't regret not taking the time for a hot bath, though, since it meant more time in bed for warm snuggles. I have some of my priorities straight, at least.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
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It seems that during the last week I've been too busy or too wiped out or both to have posted any of my "done yesterday" posts. In some cases, like during Baycon, too busy even to make entries in the to.do file. Too busy to think, which can be a good thing at times.

If I ever schedule three concerts in one week again, somebody please beat me unconscious with a clue-bat and tell them I'm indisposed. They went pretty well, but between rehearsals and taking care of Colleen there was essentially no time for socializing. Let alone work.

Colleen continues to need a lot of care; this was complicated by the fact that the hotel's "wheelchair-accessible" room wasn't particularly. I am very glad that we had gotten another room for the kids, though.

Remind me to stay out of Hyatt hotels whenever possible. Remind me that out-of-the-area travel is simply out of the question until Colleen's condition improves.

Only two walks, neither fast enough or long enough to provide any exercise to speak of.

It doesn't feel like I've had a vacation at all. The time I've spent working from home doesn't feel as though it's been particularly productive, either. Procrastination hasn't helped; now I have the May 31st deadline for my (2008) "flexible" health-care spending account looming, with a huge pile of receipts still to be processed. Motivation? What's that?

There have been a few bright spots: time with a 5-year-old girl, one fantastic concert and two pretty damned good ones, a little quiet time with my friends. Seeing Colleen back in her element: presiding over Wednesday Open House at the Starport, in her usual place in the lobby at Baycon.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

No, I haven't dropped off the face of the Earth, though I sometimes feel as though it might be a welcome vacation. This is just a quick note from Baycon -- I haven't even had time to update my to.do list with completed items. No, I will not tweet them.

High order bits:

The Tres Gique concert kicked serious ass -- probably our best yet. In spite of (or perhaps because of) our having to vamp for half an hour or so while the next act got unstuck from traffic. And we were afraid we were running a little long...

The Tempered Glass concert kicked ass, in spite of Callie losing her voice mid-song toward the beginning of the set. And Naomi having a blood-sugar crash, and my voice flagging a little. We adjusted, moved on, would have had to drop a song anyway, and made it through.

Filk tonight was great fun, though I wish we could have stayed longer.

Caring for Colleen took up a good chunk of time and energy. So did caring for a five-year-old, even a fun, articulate, well-behaved five-year-old.

And finally, an Announcement: Colleen and I are fan guests of honor at next year's Baycon!!!

More if I ever have time.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

... is in less than three weeks. It looks as though both Tres Gique and Tempered Glass have concert slots, not to mention the TGl gig at Colleen's former nursing home on Thursday.

I guess I can officially start to panic now. Actually, I think I should have started to panic at least a month ago...

mdlbear: (audacity)

The Tres Gique concert from last Friday at Baycon can be found, in a rather unsatisfactory and preliminary form, here. It has ogg and mp3 files, but essentially nothing else. More this evening after I've had a few more hours to jump up and down on it.

mdlbear: (audacity)

The Tres Gique concert has been split, but not yet annotated or uploaded. Unfortunately, I've done a lot of directory re-arranging, so the old makefile-based workflow neither works nor flows as it used to. We have a termite inspection scheduled for Friday noonish, so I'll have it up for sure by then.

I have listened to it. It's good. Not pure hammered awesome, but it's been hammered pretty well, and there's a good bit of awesome sauce poured on. One thing I like is that we're starting to sound like a group that's been working together, rather than a singer-songwriter and a couple of backup musicians. Another is that we're not doing just my stuff, and I'm not always singing lead. Callie singing "Cryptographer's Anthem" solo was inspired -- the audience was suitably mind-boggled. There were a couple of songs where I don't think we were sure who was singing lead, but we're probably the only ones who'll notice.

The recording quality is pretty dubious -- I set it up too far back in the audience and too close to the door. Need to remember in the future to bring a lightweight stand to set up in the front.

A couple of big thank-you's: [livejournal.com profile] donsimpson came by Colleen's corner of the lobby on Monday and dropped off a small guitar amp to go with Plink (runs on a 9V battery, and small enough to pack). And [livejournal.com profile] hvideo came by the Starport tonight to deliver two different videos: widescreen (squished down to 4x3) and traditional. Hopefully I'll be able to get sound off them; I also need to investigate uploading to youtube. I have permission.

I also need to mention the latest version of Audacity, and give profuse thanks for its "export multiple" feature. Basically you just label each song with its filename, and it splits exports them all to whatever directory you point it at. Cool. If only it would save the export directory with the project...

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Not much to say about load-out day, except that we would have been able to check out a lot sooner if we hadn't had to wait so long for a table in the coffeeshop, or an elevator down that wasn't completely full. Would have taken forever if a maid hadn't shown us where the service elevator was. They would have done better if they'd allowed people to get late checkout, which would have spread out the peak a little, but they didn't. They would also have done better if they'd been faster at turning around tables in the restaurant.

Took [livejournal.com profile] cflute to the airport in the early afternoon. A nice chat in the car, but too short.

Colleen's main mode of social interaction at conventions has always been to plop herself down either in the lobby, filk lounge, or (at filk cons) con suite, and collect a group of people around her. These days I, on the other hand, prefer to have a series of one-on-one or small-group conversations, and gravitate in the evening toward the smallest available circle. Often I'll latch onto one person, as I did with Callie this con and [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi at Conflikt, especially if we seem to have a lot to talk about.

I seem to be rather bad about finding new people to talk to; usually I'll talk to the ones I know. Sometimes friends of the ones I know. I'm still shy, and have trouble starting conversations with people I don't know. Feel free to come up and talk to me, though. Remind me of your name, if it isn't on your badge, and maybe where we met; I'll have forgotten.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Sunday morning started with [livejournal.com profile] cflute, the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat and me having a huge brunch at the El Torito about a mile from the con hotel. (Well, actually it started with LJ on the Mac, coffee in the room now that I'd brought the coffeemaker and filters from home. But you get the idea.)

El Torito's Mexican Sunday brunch is made of yum. Chile verde, chile colorado, chile rellenos, enchiladas... fresh tortillas... flan and rice pudding... Have to go back there with the kids. Often.

One reason we went out for lunch was that the hotel's coffeeshop was made of fail, especially the buffet. The bacon, as far as I could tell, was deep-fried in the same oil used for french fries and fish. Bletch. But the other reason was to give Callie and Colleen some time for conversation. If we'd gotten started a little earlier they could have gone out shopping together, but Callie needed the sleep. Still, they talk on the phone a fair amount. I need to do that more.

I ended up not having any dinner which, with a 90-minute wait for the restaurant, was a Good Thing. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The main event for the afternoon was the Recording Music panel. I was moderator, and some of the panelists were rather out-of-hand. Professional sound people, very experienced, but all of that experience was doing live sound with professional performers, big venues, and analog equipment. One or two good tips, but not as useful to a home recordist as it would have been if Jeff Bohnhoff (for example) had gotten more air time.

Callie spent much of the late afternoon and early evening in our room; a little conversation but mostly trying to get enough spoons back to play flute on a couple of songs in the evening's concerts.

Got to the first two concerts: Paul, Taunya, and Seanna; and Seanan McGuire and friends. Skipped the last one (The Roving Tars) in order to get more time in the open filk, meaning more time with Colleen and Callie. This time, the circle achieved what [livejournal.com profile] cflute called critical mass, and a lot of good songs got performed. Sang "Another Country", which Callie had wanted to hear, "World Inside the Crystal" (which [livejournal.com profile] mysticfig suggested as a follower to "Where the Magic is Real"), "Bound for Hacker's Heaven". Might have been one or two others. Got a bit sleepy between songs; somewhere in there Colleen decided to turn in, so I ran her upstairs in Igor at about 1:30.

Callie and I went out on "Demon Lover"; I finally got to bed around 2:30.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Yesterday was surprisingly hassle-free. Breakfast with the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat and Y.D., joined by [livejournal.com profile] cflute a little later. She and the newlyweds had knocked on our door hoping for coffee, but not only had we gone down for breakfast, but we'd forgotten to bring a coffeemaker.

The hotel's buffet breakfast was only $10. You get what you pay for -- it was still overpriced. The bacon was particularly awful. Going out today.

After breakfast and a little running around, I went home to fetch coffeemaker, filters, kleenex, and a few other last-minute items. Didn't even glance at the computer, which is a little unusual for me.

I was on two panels: "Every OS %$#@!", and "Filking for kids" The first was particularly wide-ranging, in spite of my efforts as moderator to keep it somewhat on topic. The latter included the Bohnhoffs, Paul Kwinn, and Taunya Gren. [livejournal.com profile] cflute had been planning to join us, but dropped by only to beg off from lack of spoons. I handed her a room key and sent her off to bed.

Between the two panels I was actually on was the "Growing Up Geek" one that the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf and Jordan were on. Ended up being mostly about how geek kids cope with middle school and high school. Interesting, but could have been better.

There was a 90-minute wait for tables in the hotel's little coffeeshop; we cobbled some chairs together and ate in the bar. It is occasionally useful to have a wheelchair in the family.

After dinner, [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf, [livejournal.com profile] selkit, and I went up to the room for coffee, and were eventually joined by [livejournal.com profile] cflute. Got a call from the Cat just before the concerts started, but was just settling in to another talk with Callie. Both of us would much rather talk or make music with a small number of friends than sit quietly in a room listening to someone else sing.

[river] )

Got down to open filk a little after it started. Small circle, but good people. I set up directly across the circle from the niche where Colleen was ensconced with Igor, and started off with "Eyes Like the Morning". Like "The River", that was a Valentine's Day present for Colleen; the two will bookend the next CD. Other songs included "World Inside the Crystal" (following "Where the Magic is Real") and... I forget.

We went up and crashed about 12:40.

mdlbear: (fandom)

Friday of Baycon began with eggs and large quantities of excellent bacon for breakfast -- [livejournal.com profile] cflute seemed impressed that I remembered her preference for skillet over microwave. I explained that, while I don't have the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat's memory for tastes, allergies, and ingredients, I do pretty well on processes.

We loaded up the Cat's van, and she and the Younger Daughter (home early from school) shipped out to the hotel. The [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf and [livejournal.com profile] selkit headed off the bus stop at about the same time.

There followed a late morning and early afternoon of delightful catch-up conversation with [livejournal.com profile] cflute, punctuated by a trip out to Michael's and CommuKnity in an unsuccessful search for what turned out to be a Japanese braiding device. Many thanks to the woman at CommuKnity who positively ID'ed the device from the description, though I'd been pretty sure that's what it had to be based on descriptions I'd seen.

It seems Callie and I had a lot of catching up to do. Probably still do -- we really haven't had an extended conversation since, what? OSCon nearly two years ago? About right. My recent changes may have had something to do with it.

We'd planned on meeting the Ugglas for a rehearsal at 4pm, but they hadn't arrived by then, and [livejournal.com profile] cflute was tired, so she had a nap instead. We finally got it together around 7pm IIRC, and ran through most of the set -- at least enough on the older ones to make sure we were still solid and make last-minute adjustments.

We followed the Bohnhoffs (with [livejournal.com profile] vixyish), who set the bar pretty high, but I don't recall a mass exodus, so it must have gone OK. That's a bit of an understatement, actually -- we got some positive feedback from a few people in the audience, and I don't think the audience noticed the flubs. Probably wouldn't have noticed the biggest one at all if Callie hadn't called their attention to the fact that I'd left the capo off on "The Stuff That Dreams are Made Of". But if that was the worst flub, we did pretty well.

Set list here

A little open filking, and turned in around 1:30.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Rather than give this stupid Mac laptop a chance to eat my post again, I'm just going to post the songs with quick notes, and and post the "oficial" notes later when I have it uploaded and have some time on a machine I can actually type on.

1 Rocket Rider's Prayer
2 High Barratry I've taken to putting the explanation of Barratry after the first verse as a voiceover.
3 The World Inside the Crystal
4 The River
5 The Merry Man and his Maid
6 The Toolmakers We've added an instrumental verse. Bass flute love.
7 Ferret Went A-Courtin' Two-voice arrangement worked up by me and Joyce.
8 The Owl and the Pussycat This really sounds good with three voices.
9 Cryptographer's Anthem (Callie solo - whee!)
10 The Little Computing Machine
11 The Programmer's Alphabet
12 The Rambling Silver Rose
13 The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of
14 Keep the Dream Alive
15 Ship of Stone

Blink...

May. 24th, 2008 06:48 am
mdlbear: (facehugger)

... so instead of taking the [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat's sensible advice around 4am, rolling over, putting on my facehugger, and going back to sleep, I decided to go for the snuggle. Seemed like a good idea at the time. So here I am reading LJ at some ridiculous hour in the morning after altogether too little sleep the first night of Baycon. Clever bear!

The Tres Gique concert last night went very well -- a couple of glitches, but I don't think the audience heard many of them. More on that later.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
Friday     	5/23/2008 	22:00  	Concert: Tres Gique 
Saturday 	5/24/2008 	13:00 	Every OS @%*^& 	
Saturday 	5/24/2008 	16:00 	Filk for Kids 	
Sunday  	5/25/2008 	14:30 	Recording Music 
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Went to Dave and Joyce's for a Tres Gique rehearsal tonight, with the [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf and [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat in tow. Yes, Tres Gique has two drummers: Kat and Jordan. Kat does occasional vocals. Not every gig, of course.

The set list so far )

Getting there, but I'm sleepy. Possibly an effect of the Zyrtec I took ~3:30pm to ensure that my throat didn't dry out. It didn't; but whether because of the zyrtec or the extra nose-watering is hard to tell. I'm not sure it was worth it; I was noticeably drowsy on parts of the drive home.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Just got back from a Tres Gique rehearsal at Joyce's. I think I may be allergic to something in that house; my throat got very dry and constricted, so we didn't get through even the songs I had on the list. There's still room for a few more, and suggestions (waves at [livejournal.com profile] cflute and [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi) are welcome.

The set list so far, with a few notes )
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Tres Gique's concert at Baycon will be Friday, May 23rd at 10pm. We are now taking suggestions for a set list. What will you kill us if we don't perform? What will you kill us if we do perform?

("Desolation Row" is already off the list. "The River" is on. All of the songs from my concert at FKO are on except for "Bigger on the Inside".)

Baycon

May. 27th, 2006 11:35 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
Well, here we are at Baycon. The con's going pretty well; my concert was mostly OK except for forgetting to capo up on "Demon Lover" -- luckily [livejournal.com profile] cflute was paying attention. But we sounded good together; we'll have to work up a few more. And [livejournal.com profile] hvideo was recording... Darned good thing; I brought the rig, but didn't have time to set it up. Practicing with Callie was more important, and paid off.

The recording rig in its current incarnation is just too damned bulky to work well for that kind of thing. It's conceivable that I could repackage it, but there just wasn't enough room in a small suitcase for it to be useable without unpacking, which was the original idea.

Left the filking about 2am; totally missed the parties as a result (grump).

Setlist will get posted when I get back home to a computer that my tools work properly on.
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

No, not the album -- that's still very much under construction. But the album's web page is, at long last, finally up. My concert 7pm tomorrow night at Baycon will feature many songs from the album. And stick around for the Steve and Callie Show, bridging between our concerts.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

I just got the final schedule for Baycon (in [gulp!] less than two weeks).

  1. Fri, 19:00, San Carlos/San Juan: Concert
    (right before [livejournal.com profile] cflute's concert)
  2. Sat, 13:00, Cedar: Cynthia McQuillin Memorial
  3. Sun, 13:00, Chardonnay: Found Filk
  4. Sun, 15:00, San Juan: Filk Sing-A-Long
    Anyone with songs suitable for a kids' singalong is welcome to join in the fun. It would be useful, though not necessary, if you could bring multiple copies.
  5. Sun, 20:00, San Jose: Music Publishing and Recording (M)
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

So, due to someone else dropping out, I now have a concert at Baycon. I was offered the slot on Friday at 7:00pm, which is immediately before [livejournal.com profile] cflute's. Naturally, I took it. (Waves to [livejournal.com profile] cflute) Since there are five songs we do together, it will make a great transition. Hmm.

mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

Just got my Baycon schedule in the email; no concert slot this year; I'll put in for a one-shot if they have them.

  • Fri, 20:00, San Jose: Music Publishing and Recording [update: I'm moderating this one.]
  • Sat, 13:00, Cedar: Cynthia McQuillin Memorial
    I hope they scheduled two hours for this one! [update: it's an hour and a half.]
  • Sun, 13:00, Chardonnay: Found Filk
    This should be interesting. I think it might even have been my suggestion; I know I mentioned it. I need to haul out my John Denver songbook and re-learn "Toledo, Ohio" now.
  • Sun, 15:00, San Juan: Filk Sing-A-Long
    You never know what's going to turn out to be a singalong, but I know "Mushrooms" and "Rocket Rider's Prayer" are on the list. [update: turns out this was intended as a kids' filk; I'm keeping it that way, but it won't all be singalongs, and other people who want to sing kids' songs are more than welcome.]
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Woke at 5:30 in the middle of a strange dream about living in zero gravity (more like Larry Niven's Integral Trees than space colonies, though it was never explained what was holding the air in -- it seemed to bother me somehow), which somehow morphed into zero-gravity blogging and thinking about how to add blogging to my sprawling websites using make, WebDAV, and code stolen from blosxom and nanoblogger. Maybe it's just as well I don't normally remember my dreams.

The [livejournal.com profile] flower_cat and I went to two holiday parties yesterday: the Baycon staff party at Chef Chu's at 1:00 (with me going as the tag-along spouse), and the Ricoh party at the Flea Street Cafe in the evening (with roles reversed). The Ricoh dinner was followed by a fantastic chocolate tasting -- eight milk chocolates (I only sampled one), eight darks, four 80% or more (YUM!!) and three astoundingly different kinds of unprocessed nibs.

Both of us tried hard not to eat too much; the Cat skipped the chocolate entirely (poor thing!). She blew a number of people away with how good she's looking these days; a gorgeous green dress with a sparkly jacket helped, but most of the effect was the weight loss. Last year she weighed a lot more, and was in pretty bad health besides.

In between we went to Fry's for a little Christmas shopping. At least I did; the Cat stayed in the car to let her back recover from the restaurant seating. We took surface streets home (Foothill Expressway, Homestead, Newhall, and Park) to look at the lights.

[edits for clarity 12/11]

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