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

Oh. Right. I started working on this an hour or so ago and got distracted when my Mom called. So.

Last Monday was our return from Consonance -- I'd booked the latest flight, which allowed us to do some visiting and talk with the realtor. It seems many people are sad about losing the Starport -- it has, after all, been a fannish landmark for over three decades. *sigh* Keeping two houses just isn't feasible. I just hope the proceeds are enough to cover the new construction.

Naomi's friend Rika flew up with her and spent the week; we had quite a lot of music at the house, and visitors most nights. No complaints from me! The week ended with Colleen's birthday party yesterday. We still haven't built up a good list for these things; we'll have to work on that. Also a household calendar and mailing list -- probably means I have an excuse to learn Wordpress, or something like it.

Yesterday, along with the party, I installed a pair of powerline ethernet dongles. Took me forever to do it, partly because the house has two breaker boxes (meaning there are outlets that can't talk to one another), and partly because I misunderstood how the "sync" button works. It really means "rotate keys", not "synchronize" :P. The extension router is now installed in the coffee niche.

The gadgets are advertised as "500MHz", but only have 100MHz ethernet; 500 must be the aggregate across all nodes in the network. We definitely need to install some cable. *sigh*

raw notes, with links )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

This weekend's main event was Conflikt. The music was amazing. I may have time to put together a con report.

Colleen bought a catnip tribble in the dealer's room. Unfortunately, my poor little brain noticed that "catnip tribble" has the same scansion as "Plastic Jesus". The cats haven't destroyed it yet.

As has become usual, I didn't do much singing. "When I Go" and "The Rambling Silver Rose" Saturday night was about the extent of it. That's ok; I mostly go to cons to meet up with friends (which I also didn't do all that much of) and listen to music (which I did lots of).

Links in the notes.

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

Kind of surprised nobody on my Dreamwidth reading list has posted this yet. It's been posted on LJ.

    Best Song:  Joan - Heather Dale/Ben Deschamps
    Best Classic Song:  Second Hand Songs - Jonathan Turner
    Best Performer:  Alexander James Adams
    Best Writer/Composer:  Talis Kimberley
    Best Fairytale Song: Dryad's Promise - Betsy Tinney
    Best Alien Song:  Little Fuzzy Animals - Frank Hayes
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Welcome to Rainbow's End's first annual "somewhere around Halloween" party. This year it will be Saturday, November 2nd. We are celebrating not only our first Halloween in the house, but the official opening of Rainbow's End Massage.

Continuing in the grand tradition of the parties at Grand Central Starport this will be a potluck, running from noonish until the last guest leaves. Residents of the house include filkers, foodies, a software geek, a massage therapist, and two cats.

Rainbow's End is located on 37th Ave SW in West Seattle, between Genesee and Dakota.

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

Rainbow's End, in West Seattle, is hosting its first housefilk today, with special guest Alexa Klettner, from Germany. Starts nominally around 2pm, but show up any time.

From the West Seattle Bridge turn right on Genesee (one block past the first traffic light, which is 35th Ave), take the second right onto 37th, and park. Look for the sign on the fence; you can't miss it. If you get lost, call me: 408-896-6133.

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

A lot to be thankful for. It's been a while.

  • HOUSE! We're buying a house!! We found the right house!!! Burble.
  • Having an income and credit score that made it possible to put in an offer and get it accepted. My credit score just squeaked by; things have gotten a lot more difficult since the days of sub-prime mortgages and easy money. Not complaining.
  • The multifunction peripheral at work, and especially its fax function. I am not grateful for the paperwork, only for its ultimate goal and the ability to handle the stuff expeditiously.
  • Colleen.
  • My sister and soon-to-be-housemate, the amazing [personal profile] pocketnaomi. Who found THAT house, made arrangements, greased skids, made molehills out of mountains, and generally made things happen.
  • My health, and the ability to continue coping when it breaks down somewhat.
  • The git distributed version control system, which made it possible to work even in the absence of a VPN connection.
  • Gainful employment.
  • The filk community, and most recently Conflikt.
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

Not such a long week. But both productive and exhausting in its own way.

Sunday of Conflikt was pretty good, especially Jeff Bohnhoff's "Alternate Guitar Chords" workshop, and some great music. But around, what, 4pm? Colleen's scooter abruptly stopped working. Dead in its tracks, with the battery indicator happily stuck at the halfway point, where it's always been for the last several months. The YD, who was accompanying Colleen between buildings, proceeded to panic. I talked her through pushing the scooter back indoors and plugging in the charger.

As soon as I could, I got down there, to find that there was enough charge in the battery to move slowly, but not fast -- push too far and it would simply cut off. So charging helps. I had some difficulty persuading the YD to help me get Colleen all the way into the conference center and up to the Conflikt lobby, where she would be warm and have music and company while the battery charged.

At which point it developed that the YD needed to get home and finish her homework. Due Monday. Oooooookay then. I drove her home, which gave me the opportunity to drop off most of the luggage, swap vehicles, and snag a walker at Naomi's in case charging the battery didn't help.

But of course it did help -- the battery finished charging, and the scooter was just fine. I still don't trust it.

Monday was reasonably productive, plus the inevitable odds and ends of paperwork. Despite coming down with the con crud. The chills came on the way home; I went to bed early, under a pile of blankets.

I woke up feeling as though I was swimming in sweat, of course, and wisely decided to work from home. I got through two new API methods that had been scheduled for two days each.

Which was a good thing, since I wasn't quite as productive Wednesday, when I had a urology appointment in the morning and got to sit around while Colleen had an MRI in the afternoon. All afternoon, as it turned out. So much for going in and pushing my changes to the local github in mid-afternoon. I started writing functional tests.

... but all in all not that bad a week, considering.

raw notes )
mdlbear: (ccs-cover)

Because I'm surprised that I haven't taken the time to do it earlier, I've logged on to CD-Baby and dropped the digital download price of Coffee, Computers, & Song from $15 (which is where they set it by default, I guess) to $9.99. I probably ought to set it up on Bandcamp, too.

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

So, to make up for having missed a couple of weeks worth of Saturdays, you're getting a bonus this week.

After talking it over, Naomi and I decided that it'll be better -- or at least simpler -- to ask for forgiveness than permission, so the entire recording of Lookingglass Folk at Conflikt 2012 is now up on the web.

I don't like the way the guitar came out -- sorry about that; if I have time I'll try to process the other recording I got from [livejournal.com profile] hms42. But the performance? Yeah. That worked.

Please enjoy.

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

A reasonably productive couple of days. I mostly spent Sunday puttering about, but I also got the Conflikt concert split up, and ready to post when I get permissions.

Next time I have to tell the sound crew that the guitar has a built-in preamp and wants a line in rather than an instrument input; it came out sounding rather fuzzy and overdriven. That also suggests that Lookingglass Folk can get away with only two mic preamps at gigs.

The phone picture has gotten more complicated; I hadn't realized that there are actually two different versions of the Samsung Galaxy II S. The newer one is more expensive, larger, and heavier, but talks LTE. There's also the upcoming Galaxy Note, which is more of a tiny tablet. You'll find a handy table below near the end of the notes. At the moment I'm leaning toward the HTC again.

I may have to consider smaller, older phones as well, because I like the fact that I can easily pull a slider phone out of my pocket and answer it one-handed. Or wait several months to see if any new ones turn up with ITC. Growf!

I skipped my walk on Sunday, but took a shorter one -- about a mile and a half -- yesterday. Very little hip pain, but I'm rather glad I decided not to push it. My weight has been edging up again, too. Growf!

Quite a few interesting links in the notes; mostly entertaining for once.

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

Second notice: there's a party this Saturday at Grand Central Starport (maps and contact info at the link).

The usual potluck winter thingie. The household contains one person with a gluten sensitivity, three allergic to blueberries, and one allergic to mushrooms. Bring something you like to eat; we'll have chili and ham on the stove.

There will probably be filk singing. And folk singing. See you Saturday?

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

Yes, once again it's a winter party season at Grand Central Starport. We're having our annual "Somewhere Around New Year's" party on Saturday, December 31st -- it's the usual noon-to-midnight potluck bash.

We're also having an "open house" from roughly noon to midnight on Christmas, mainly for friends who don't have family to be with, though of course everyone's welcome. Gifts, needless to say, are not expected. We'll be making Ukrainian borscht; bring something you can eat, especially if beef-and-cabbage soup isn't your thing.

Both days are likely to include filking.

Maps, directions, and contact information can be found on the household web page.

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

I've been wanting to post this Songs for Saturday for a while, only the last couple got derailed somewhere along the way. Anyway, I'd like to point you at Cat Faber's "Alice Day" posts. The name is explained in a footnote to this post, where Cat says,

I promised my friend Alice a new song every two weeks so she would have new stuff to practice. This is where I'm putting them. I have been doing this for a while, actually but this is the first time I have mentioned the inspiration. So, Happy Alice Day.

Anyway, she's been posting a new song every couple of weeks since some time in March, mostly with mp3's attached. Enjoy! They're all worth a listen, but I think "Pepper-Spray Pike" is one of the better ones. Never anger a bard..."The Atheist's Anthem" is another good one, and captures a lot of what I, too, believe.

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

My former band, Tempered Glass, has fallen apart in a shower of jagged shards. Naomi and I intend to keep making music together, and we're pleased to announce that we are now a duo called Lookingglass Folk. We are hoping to pull off our first concert at Conflikt next year, taking advantage of the year's worth of planning and hard work we put into it as Tempered Glass.

The next two months are going to be a wild ride for the two of us, but the concert we're putting together is going to be worth it. I'm going up the weekend after next for a rehearsal; we'll know then whether we can pull it off. If we do, it will be something special.

We'll see you at Conflikt. Give us a listen.

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

Really short one today, because I'm posting from Orycon away from my familiar desktop, on a marginally-configured netbook. But I was impressed by The Doubleclicks' concert last night. Impressed enough to buy two copies of their CD -- one for the wolfling daughter who decided to spend the weekend LARPing rather than come down and enjoy the con.

Enjoy!

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

There's a party today at Grand Central Starport, so the most obvious song to post for today is Bigger On The Inside, which I wrote 20 years ago (has it really been that long?) following a usenet post about a visit (waves at [personal profile] liralen) to our house.

No video (I suppose I ought to learn how to make those synchronized-image things), but you'll find the audio here.

Bigger On The Inside

© 1991 Stephen Savitzky. Creative Commons by-nc-sa License Some Rights Reserved.

Our house is bigger on the inside than it looks from on the street
There must be something odd about the way the corners meet.
We warn our friends about it, but they always seem surprised,
And I sometimes can't imagine how our stuff all fits inside.

    We have computers, toys, and magazines, and quiet cozy nooks;
    The bathroom's lined with cedar planks, and the living room with books.
    There's boxes full of God-knows-what in the attic up above,
    And we always keep good company and love.

There's a gallery of science-fiction pictures in the hall,
And something's taped or bolted on to each square foot of wall.
Our daughters' closets look just like a baby dragon's hoard;
It's true that we're disorganized, but at least we're seldom bored.

Colleen is halfway buried as she crochets up a quilt 
I'm getting in some songs before my voice begins to wilt.
Kids are shouting back in Emmy's room, the pizza's getting hot;
Folks come over every Wednesday whether we're at home or not.

There's a guest crashed on the futon couch who's too wiped out to leave,
And something in the fridge that's been there since last Christmas eve.
We're packed in five dimensions, and through the twilight zone,
It's all the friendly clutter here that makes it feel like home.

At the Younger Daughter's insistence, I have pluralized "daughters" in verse 2, and at the older's insistance changed the name in verse 3, both to reflect current reality.

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

I was pondering what to post this morning. It's not that I was in an unusually weird mood, but this video of Tom Smith singing "I Had A Shoggoth" popped into my head. Ok, now my mood is unusually weird. The best thing about this one is the amazing Judi Miller signing it. Never having heard it before!

Warning: not keyboard-safe. Put your drink down in a safe place.

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

The concert was divided into two sections: a journey through time and space; and myths, legends, and current events. I think it came off reasonably well modulo a couple of major flubs where I lost my concentration. Have to work on that.

1 [ogg] [mp3] Keep the Dream Alive (Savitzky)
2 [ogg] [mp3] Millennium's Dawn (Savitzky)
3 [ogg] [mp3] Where the Heart Is (Rivkis/Hills)
4 [ogg] [mp3] Ship of Stone (Simpson)
5 [ogg] [mp3] Cicero in the 21st Century (Savitzky)
6 [ogg] [mp3] Daddy's World (Savitzky)
7 [ogg] [mp3] Quiet Victories (Savitzky)

on the web: Steve Savitzky at Westercon 2011

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

So here's my schedule for Westercon, coming up this weekend at the San Jose Fairmont:

  o Sunday, Jul 03  1:00 PM to Sunday, Jul 03  2:30 PM in room: Club Regent
      The Internet Goes Interplanetary
      The "internet protocol" has been extended to support connectivity and
      communications off-planet. You may not be able to Instant Message but
      you will be able to send email. How will this affect long-duration space
      exploration? 

  o Sunday, Jul 03  3:15 PM to Sunday, Jul 03  4:00 PM in room: California
      Concert: Steve Savitzky
      Join Steve in songs about computers, space, fantasy, friendship, and love. 

  o Monday, Jul 04 10:00 AM to Monday, Jul 04 11:30 AM in room: Regency Ballroom 2
      The Future of Privacy
      Technology has made it easier for people to find and share
      information. At the same time it's become much more difficult to
      preserve personal privacy. How will the challenge to privacy affect us
      over the next 50 years? Is this a right to be protected, or is the
      concept of privacy an illusion -- for example, how much privacy did
      people have living in small towns before mass communications? 

See you there, perhaps!

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

High-order bit -- I note with considerable pleasure that Vampire Mega-Byte is on the Pegasus brainstorming list under Best Classic Filksong. Along with "Ship of Stone", which would make it a difficult choice if they both came up on the ballot. I'd also like to congratulate [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi for her well-deserved mention under Best Songwriter. And mention that Quiet Victories is my Composer's Choice.

I never did get a walk in. But lots of puttering. And I finally found the missing wedding invitation -- on the floor near the door of the (home) office. The fact that the color is close to that of the flooring is no real excuse -- I must have stepped over it a hundred times. Bah!

After several days of floundering around at work, a Jira ticket was dropped into my lap (by my boss, who was just promoted into that position last week and needs to get rid of some of his), so I spent the afternoon happily hacking. (There's a song* parody in there somewhere, I fancy.)

The new Antler rolling backpack has a name: Chamois (pronounced "Shammy" in case it wasn't obvious). My sister the mountain goat was very insistent. (It's true that a goat has horns rather than antlers, but don't tell Chamois that -- she's still a little uncomfortable about being out as "A Doe in Velvet".)

Lots of links; the most noteworthy one being Motion to Vacate Prop 8 Ruling Over Judge Walker's Sexuality is Denied. The rest are mainly of interest to various kinds of geeks, with the puredyne "instant USB-bootable creative desktop" being kind of a crossover between the music/video geeks and the computer geeks.

mdlbear: (fandom)
raw notes )

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

A good talk with Dr. Reed in the morning; she told me to force my walking pace a little higher -- aerobic exercise will help my mood. (I tend to walk more slowly, or even slow to a full stop, when I'm feeling down. This drives the feedback loop in the wrong direction.)

After that I showed off the copy of Hearts of Glass, Nerves of Steel that I'd been carrying around, and ended up giving her a copy along with one of Coffee, Computers and Song. Turns out she used to play flute, before med school.

And there was a moment of shared humor at work when I playfully "volunteered" [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt for an implementation job that we were discussing as he was walking by. I think the important factor there is knowing that the joke made me happy.

As it turns out, FILK is a Korean organization that tests fireproof tempered glass. Amazing what a casual google search can turn up. And research suggests alcohol consumption helps stave off dementia. One more link under the cut.

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

I've had bits of Walk In the Day earworming all week. Not surprising. I knew I was going to muddle through it, exactly a week ago, but I had no idea how much fun it would be, and how big a high I'd get from getting through it. I guess I'm still processing that.

And in just a few minutes we'll be leaving for the Lamplighters' production of Yeomen Of the Guard, my all-time favorite G&S operetta. So..., well then.

It was an extremely productive, if tiring, week at work. I think I spent more time actually coding, in what I call "hackertrance", than in the whole previous month. All tricky stuff involving PDF and other graphics processing. My sleep was pretty thoroughly disrupted Wednesday night, thinking about it. But it's done. DONE!

I don't know which I feel better about: WItD, the stuff at work, or simply noticing that I felt good about them. Given my ongoing struggle to notice my emotions, I'd have to say the latter.

In other news, Debian 6.0.0, codename Squeeze, is out! Also, catsidhe | Auditory Processing Deficit, or, Why I Can't Hear You Even Though I'm Not Technically Deaf -- there's actually a name for it! Or maybe not. My filters aren't nonexistent; sometimes they're actually far too effective (e.g. when I'm reading). Just weird, I guess.

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

It was a great con. I guess a lot of it was summed up in this con report "It was sad to miss [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi, but the other members of Tempered Glass, [livejournal.com profile] cflute and [livejournal.com profile] mdlbear, kicked ass."

Not having Naomi on board made for a set that wasn't nearly as good as it could have been, but I guess we did OK. It felt like a good performance, anyway.

My recording of our concert, unfortunately, does not appear to have survived -- it cuts off mysteriously after a couple of seconds. :P Clumsy bear was probably clumsy with the buttons again. I know there were several other recordings made, though, so all is not lost, though it may be a couple of days before I can get my hands on them.

Lots of catching-up with people we don't see very often, especially Roy Torley and Joan Gaustad, who we spent several hours talking with on Sunday (and whose concert also kicked serious ass).

Travel was a lot easier than I expected; having (niece-of-choice) Kaylee along helped immesurably, since it meant that we could take all the bags while Colleen scooted. Public transit from the airport to the hotel and back was cheap and smooth.

Lots and lots of links under the cut, along with the usual details.

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

A pretty good day, but occasionally painful without even the compensation of a walk or bike ride. It started with the standing, bending and lifting involved in doing the dishes and putting away the groceries, and ended with overusing some arm muscles manhandling a gig bag made way too heavy with songbooks and a music stand.

In between I mostly hung out at the Ugglas' house, which they're moving out of next week, hanging out and helping pack, mostly by handing things to people. It was followed by one of their Rise Up Singing "songfests". A good day with friends, and worth the comparatively small price.

I came home to aspirin and a hot bath in the walk-in tub, which I can soak in up to my neck if I scrunch down into the footwell. The hot water triggered the same trembling that I get from a good backscratch or nestling down into Colleen's arms. So that's one more data point to triangulate from: simple physical pleasure. I'll figure it out one of these days.

The 2010 Pegasus Ballot is up online. I'm not on it, so I'll just be pushing for Ship of Stone in the classics category. That will make it even easier to trade my trip to OVFF for one or two trips to Seattle to rehearse for the Tempered Glass gig at Orycon. I'd like to do both, but there are these time and money things... (ETA: not to mention a friend's wedding that I really need to go to. So it will be good not to feel torn about it.)

A couple more links under the cut.

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

Good day. Good con. Made a laundry run, retrieved my doxazosin, and got the con's 5lbs of coffee at Barefoot since it appeared to have fallen through the cracks.

Tempered Glass did "The Looking Glass" as a one-shot. Came off well.

We split up for dinner; Colleen and Callie went to Nijo Castle for sushi, while Naomi and I went to Mehran for Indian.

Tricky Pixie is pure hammered awesome.

Naomi has become the Setlist Goddess for Tempered Glass by self-selection and popular acclaim. I'll have to consult her about upcoming album tracklists.

Finally went splat at about 3am, but only because I knew I had to.

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

Somehow it felt like a merely "good" day while it was happening, but it looks more like "very good" in retrospect. Not complaining.

A good walk, 3 times around the Rose Garden. A good housefilk at Kanef's -- it took a while to ramp up, but by 11:30 I was sorry to have to leave. And I got to set up two Kanef parodies, and got a request for Desolation Row. Which doesn't happen very often, for some reason.

But the really big thing was finally pulling the Big Switch on my email, and moving thestarport.org over to Dreamhost. There are, inevitably, some bugs left, though hopefully mostly in my internal DNS where they won't make any difference externally. And spam is way down. If I'd done this a year or two ago... I still have to get outgoing mail to work again, of course. But that's been broken for the last year.

Anyway, that was a big one. Odd... I'm not feeling much of an emotional reaction; I feel good about it, but not much more so than I do about having made a tasty dinner on the spur of the moment. Isn't a major accomplishment supposed to feel different? On reflection, that may be part of my problem.

But anyway, a very good day.

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

If you're ever in Palo Alto, CA and in need of a guitar pick or three, be sure to stop by Gryphon Stringed Instruments.

This machine takes all credit cards )
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
raw notes )

A pretty good day, I guess. Just above neutral. Some good fast walking around the Stanford Shopping Center, though I didn't find the kind of shoulder bag I've been looking for. Toccano has a nice one, but it has no organizer compartment. Eagle Creek has two: one's about an inch too small, and the other's a couple of inches too big. I know where that leads. And both EC bags are rather expensive. Who knows? I might end up learning how to sew.

I also went in to Macy's and bought a Cuisinart burr coffeegrinder for about $60 with tax. Colleen will keep the old blade grinder for spices. No large French presses in evidence, though.

And we had [livejournal.com profile] gorgeousgary for the evening, out from DC on a business trip. I sang the two Bears and Inherit the Earth.

Oh, yeah: links -- Droid trumps iPhone for Time Gadget of the Year | Electronista -- how about that?

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

Just a very quick note from Loscon. We arrived safely; my concert was this evening at 5:30. Set list: Riverheart, Inherit the Earth, the two Bears, Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of, and QV. I recorded it; that will be up eventually, but not until after I get back to a reasonably fast computer with gigabit access to my fileserver.

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

Now that he finally has it posted, allow me to present Monkey Brains [lyrics here], which Bob commissioned Kathy Mar to spring on me at ConChord. Yes, of course I like it!

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

Eeep!! A week is way too long to be playing catch-up. I haven't fallen behind on my reading, so my pants aren't bankrupt; I wonder what item of clothing corresponds to posting. Shirt, maybe.

I think that if you want the details, you'll have to slog through the notes. (Ugh!)

Most of the week was, of course, taken up by OVFF, which was wonderful even if I didn't win a Pegasus -- there are people I only see once or twice a year, and I did a lot of catching up. I even met a few new people. I only sang a handful of songs. That's ok.

MEW's concert was magical, with a stage full of backup musicians. Wow. And it was especially good to hear Duane Elms in concert after all the years he's been away from filk.

The netbook worked out OK; I only felt a need for more battery life a couple of times. The biggest problem was not having set up synchronization via git before I left. Next time.

I didn't end up paying up as much attention to my emotions as I intended to, but I don't think I noticed much anxiety interacting with people. The major insight is that most, if not all, of my problems in that area are due to low self-esteem, not social anxiety. It's not that I expect to be rejected; I expect to be ignored. Or perhaps that I set things up so that I'm more likely to be ignored, because that's easier to handle than rejection. Yeah. That.

I have a really hard time imagining that somebody might prefer talking to me to whatever they're doing at the moment.

The next week is likely to be busy. My boss cornered me late yesterday afternoon and said something like "You know that server project you've been working on that's due to be finished at the end of December? How about getting a simplified version going by the end of next week?" Right. Oddly enough, that's going to be pretty easy. But still...

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

My friend [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi had a dream of a friendly society (read mutual-aid society, co-op, mutual benefit society) -- households banding together to help one another out in the current unfriendly times.

Here's her original post, where she says:

I want to see what we can do with this. The filk community is the group I know, the people who already have a predisposition to help each other when someone truly needs it, to regard themselves as family, and to see with a bit longer an eye than most of modern economics. It also covers a wide cross-section of economic, geographical, and occupational ground.

The resulting community here on LJ is called [livejournal.com profile] filk_friendly. See you there, maybe?

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

I don't know whether this makes me feel old, proud, or what. My older daughter, [livejournal.com profile] chaoswolf, has posted to announce her shiny new Etsy shop called Chaos of Creation. The name comes from my song The World Inside the Crystal.

She sells chainmail jewelry and bags.

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

Somehow I seem to have neglected to mention the fact that my songwriting talents have been recognized once more in the form of another Kazoo Award. Specifically, Thrill-Seekers' Waltz was the winner in the "Recycled Fish" category. I am speechless.

It's worth noting that T-SW was the first of two songs I wrote after the Challenger disaster; the second was Keep the Dream Alive. Which I think is probably more worthy of recognition, though I suppose that's a matter of taste.

SQUEEEE!

Aug. 29th, 2009 10:57 am
mdlbear: portrait of me holding a guitar, by Kelly Freas (freas)

The 2009 Pegasus Awards Final Ballot is up, and I'm on it! In the "best writer/composer" category.

Just being nominated is a big honor, of course. But if you want to evaluate my credentials as a songwriter, go to the song index on my website.

(Added 11:33) My congratulations to my fellow nominees, of course. And I just want to add that if I'm the only filker you know on that ballot, or if you have no idea what filk is, you shouldn't vote.

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

It appears to have been a fairly productive day, in spite of ending rather badly. I did quite a lot of puttering, installed the other new shelf in the office, did some shopping, went to Kathy Mar's bash (and bought her new CD/DVD set), and boxed up Kat's computer, keyboard, and monitor. Discovered that just after getting up seems to be the best time for meditation.

On the minus side, no walkies, I got a well-deserved chewing-out from Colleen about the fact that email still doesn't work on her computer, and I ended the day sore, dead tired, and unable to get to sleep. A bath and a bit of IM conversation with another insomniac helped.

My stomach muscles were all knotted up as if I was afraid of something, but I still don't know what. Weird.

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

It was a pretty good day, with glimmerings of hope.

I went to the 1800wheelchair.com site to check on my order for Colleen's scooter, only to find that it had actually shipped Wednesday morning, and was due to be delivered today!

Kat said "I loves you, mdlbear" in an IM, for no particular reason except that she was thinking about me. Wow.

Colleen surprised her PT with how well she's doing, and had an appointment with her gastroenterologist where she got prescriptions that will, hopefully, take care of the diarrhea. He said by Tuesday. She's already revising plans for Saturday, but I remain skeptical.

Naomi and I settled on a tentative set list for Tempered Glass's Baycon concert, and Joyce and Jordan came over for a Tres Gique rehearsal where we firmed up that setlist.

Yeah, a pretty good day. I think I was mostly happy and guardedly hopeful, though too busy to really think about it much.

mdlbear: (audacity)

Many projects and subtasks have been stalled for a long time. Two of them got done this morning.

First, I hooked up my new printer (Epson Workforce 600) to Dorsai, downloaded the latest version of Gutenprint, and it worked. No such luck with Nova, which is still running Etch: the latest version of Gutenprint available for it is too old. I have the choice of either trying to backport, or upgrading to Lenny. I'll choose the latter, later.

Second, I dragged in a music stand, headset mic, and Flame; hooked them up, and recorded a couple of test tracks of [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi's Riverheart. Oh. My. [ogg] [mp3]

A couple of minor vocal/wording glitches, and a few mic position/level tweaks still needed, but nice and clean; not bad for the second take of the day. The headset mic is close enough to my mouth that there's almost no guitar crosstalk. We likes it.

Waves to [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090227 )

A little better at noting emotions today, though I see that I totally failed to note my walk, which included a phone call to [livejournal.com profile] cflute, at the time. Not slowing down helps. It also included a second call, to AT&T's technical support, to see what could be done about telling the phone to favor the edge network over 3G, which has crappy coverage.

I was delighted to find out that both [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi and [livejournal.com profile] cflute liked The Owl and the Mountain Goat, my first song of the year. A bit lightweight and far too full of in-jokes for general consumption, but a lot of fun.

mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
to.done 20090226 )

A very long, mostly very boring day, which is exactly what one wants when a family member is going in for surgery. I had the notion that I was relatively calm, but the contrast in mood after I actually heard that things had gone well, and again when I went in to see her, was noticable.

I'm feeling perversely gleeful about having written a parody of "The Owl and the Pussycat" about a couple of my friends. They'll probably kill me.

I was very disappointed about having to go to bed so early, both yesterday and the night before. I needed the time, damnit.

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

1. Fractals (Because of your default icon, I originally thought your LJ handle was short for Mandelbrot Bear.)

My handle is (partly) short for Mandelbrot Bear; it was shortened both to make it fit in less than 8 characters and to make it ambiguously mean "middle-sized bear" as well. You can find more about the set and the program I wrote to generate the icon here. I came up with my original description when I came in to alt.callahans feeling "infinitely fuzzy"; someone else described me as a Mandelbear and the name inevitably stuck.

I love fractals. I bought Benoit Mandelbrot's books, and explored the space with fractint on the PC and some other program on the Mac 2. I think it was fractint that let you play around with different formulas; I discovered the Mandelbear set by replacing zi2 with zi3 in the usual Mandelbrot set definition (the set of points z0 such that the series zi+1=zi2+z0 remains bounded).

The Mandelbear and Mandelbrot sets are actually cross-sections of four-dimensional objects; the cross-sections in the other direction are the corresponding Julia sets.

I first encountered fractals in grad school, before the name had even been coined, when I was introduced to the Dragon Curve. This is the shape you get when you fold a strip of paper back on itself repeatedly, then open each of the folds out half-way. Four of them fit together to make a square with fractal edges that can interlock to tile the plane.

Fractals are perversely beautiful: they take difficult mathematical concepts such as limits, self-similarity, complexity, and infinity; and wrap them up in an image of such breathtaking gorgeousness that you forget just how weird they really are.

2. Filk

Let's see. I think filk first came to my attention in bardic circles at the SCA tourneys that Colleen took me to in lieu of dating. It was sometime in the late 1970s that we started going to SF conventions. My real intro to filk was through Amy Falkowitz, who had learned most of the songs on Leslie Fish's "Solar Sailors" album. I wrote the first song that I actually identified as a filksong, The Shores of the Night, in 1981 shortly before Bayfilk 1, if I remember correctly.

Ask three filkers to define "filk" and you'll get between four and six definitions. Mine is "the indigenous folk music of science fiction fandom." Your mileage may vary.

I love writing songs, and I've even gained enough self-confidence to love performing them. I love hearing other people cover my songs. I think the best things, though, is the filk community; just being able to hang around with a bunch of amazing, talented people, swapping songs and talking about everything in the universe.

3. Coffee

Let's face it: I'm addicted. For better or worse, one of the best coffee roasters on the West Coast, Barefoot, is only a short drive from our house (and on the way to the hospital, for what that's worth). Not surprisingly, I have song about it.

I usually drink two or three 12-oz mugs worth in the morning. I have learned not to drink coffee after noon unless I need it to stay awake driving at night.

4. The River (It's something you already write about on LJ, I know, but it is nonetheless one of the first things I think of.)

I'm glad The River is one of the first things you associate with me -- it's been an amazing ride, and I'm still more than a little bemused to find myself a respected authority on getting along with geeks. It surprises and delights me that some people are finding it helpful.

It started with the song a little over a year ago, turned into a major theme in my livejournal, and is now threatening to spawn at least two books.

5. Cross-talk (I remember you mentioning it in a post about geekboy care and maintenance or flow or something, and it made me more aware of my own sensitivity to cross-talk.)

I ganked that usage from [livejournal.com profile] cflute, who's even more sensitive to it than I am. Some of us don't multitask very well, so if there's another conversation going on, or more than one person talking to us at once, or a major distraction like a TV in the room, our train of thought gets totally derailed.

My main post on the subject was this one.

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

... I wrote a song titled "The River". I posted about it the following day. It was another ten days before I started using the title as a tag, but the song definitely marked a transition of some sort in both my songwriting and my thinking.

There will be a couple more posts coming out on the River over the next ten days, but I felt that it was worth marking the occasion.

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

After half a week of nervousness, frantic practice, and raw fear, the concerts went well. Small audience, but that's to be expected mid-afternoon on Sunday. A few screw-ups: a swapped chorus in Middle-Sized Bear, and a large number of botched chords that probably nobody in the audience noticed. Nailed all the chord changes in Landscapes, which I wasn't expecting to do. And after taking out two verses in QV I ended up with room for one song. Callie came to my rescue by suggesting WitC, which we can nail cold.

Set list later; I'm about to head out to dinner.

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

It's been a good trip so far; relaxing. Got in some good rehearsing for [livejournal.com profile] pocketnaomi's set on Sunday, some of it with [livejournal.com profile] cflute listening in to double-check my chording -- some of the songs don't have lead sheets. Or they didn't.

A fair amount of socializing, but not as much as I'd like. Naturally. (It's basically impossible to get as much socializing in as I'd like, since one has to sleep sometime. :-) No walking. :(

I'm pretty sure that a larg part of my congestion is due to an allergy -- it's less here. But not gone completely.

Ordered flowers for Colleen, at her request demand. We miss one another, of course. Next time...

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