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

There is sadness this week, as NASA's Opportunity Rover Mission on Mars Comes to End. Oppy's last transmission amounted to “My battery is low and it’s getting dark.”. Several songs have already been written; I'll almost certainly try to write one of my own. Probably from Oppy's POV; I seem to enjoy anthropomorphizing AIs and other inanimate objects.

Not a whole lot has been getting done this week. I did manage to run some errands Thursday and Friday, with the car on the street. Pulled back into the driveway Friday after things were done, anticipating that the predicted good weather would make it possible to get up again the next time I need to. Fingers crossed.

I started working on the potential writing (tutorials) gig -- we'll see whether $editor likes my proposal. Not many notes Friday and Saturday as a result. Not sure I'm working fast enough. That remains to be seen; it's going slower than I'd like but that may just be because I'm working on the outline.

If you're into music at all, you'll get a kick out of (Gimme Some of That) Ol' Atonal Music - YouTube and Twelve Tones - YouTube (via ysabetwordsmith).

And I was highly amused to find someone seriously advocating the use of RFC 1149, some 18 years after I wrote a song about it.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

This is coming out on a Monday rather than Sunday because I spent the weekend at Conflikt, our local filk music convention. I'm usually too lazy to do a formal con report, and this lets me collect all the notes in one place that's easy to find .

Meta: rather than create tags like conflikt-2019, I use the two tags conflikt and 2019. This only works if the year tag is only used for events that occur annually. Using the same tag for every post in a year would be pretty useless. DW doesn't appear to give you boolean searches, but I can do it in my archive.

I didn't have a concert slot this year, and didn't feel up to a twofer, so my own music-making was confined to a little noodling in the hallways and a couple of songs on Sunday. One of those was following Frank Hayes's "When I Was a Boy" with my parody of it; that was a major win. Ad-libbed a reference to RFC-1149, and "talk about spaghetti code" after the line about plugboards. But, yeah; not enough singing. Not enough conversation, either.

I think my favorite concert was Lauren Cox's Interfilk Guest concert; her song about her cat made me tear up a little. That, and her joining Cat Faber on "I Will Remember" (about depression) on Sunday.

I got in my request for a concert slot next year; we'll see how far that goes.

The week also included a total lunar eclipse -- I didn't stay outside for the whole thing, but got a good look just at the start of totality.

Notes & links, as usual )

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

I was reading an interesting blog post a few days ago with the catchy title "How do we make remote meetings not suck?" by Chelsea Troy. The main point was that meetings need some form of moderation, otherwise people tend to talk over one another. This is especially bad in remote meetings because a lot of the visual cues are missing (even with video), and also because network delays make pauses in the conversation hard to distinguish from a series of dropped packets.

Naturally, because I'm a filker, I immediately thought of the many ways our musical community has for organizing song circles. For those who haven't taken part in such a thing, a song circle is a group of people sitting around in a rough circle to sing. Song circles present many of the same problems as meetings, and in the sixty-odd years that people have been singing at conventions they've come up with some interesting solutions. (I might add that similar solutions can be found in operating system schedulers and computer networks; I'll leave most of the details as an exercise for the reader.)

The simplest method is the Bardic Circle, which is more familiar in the OS literature as round-robin scheduling -- the turn simply gets passed around the circle, e.g. to the right (or left) of the person singing. (Without loss of generality I'll say "person singing" for the person whose turn it is at the moment, but they have other options, e.g. picking someone else to perform, asking the group for a song on a given topic, or simply passing. This is generally expressed with the phrase "pick, pass, or play".)

The more people you have in the circle, the longer it takes for somebody to get a second turn. In a large group it can take an hour or two, but it's probably the most effective way of managing such a large group. There's a kind of computer network, now largely obsolete, called "Token Ring" that works pretty much the same way.

On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Chaos Circle, which is pretty much what it sounds like. This works best when there are comparatively few people who want to perform, and when they're all from roughly the same (geographic) area. Different regions have different expectations about what constitutes a pause -- we ran into this recently in a conversation that included several people from New York and others from the West Coast. Ethernet, back when every computer was connected to the same piece of coax, was chaos with the convention of exponential backoff to resolve collisions.

Moderated Chaos usually works well in slightly larger groups -- a moderator can resolve collisions by saying "okay, you get the next turn" A good moderator will also keep track of who hasn't had a turn recently, and encourage them to sing. My guess is that this is probably closest to what a moderated meeting is like. The moderator can either be assigned ahead of time by the event organizers, or may simply volunteer if things are getting too chaotic.

In between, we have Token-Passing Chaos, and Poker Chip Bardic. In a token-passing circle each performer gets to pick the next by passing them the token. The token is often an inflatable beach ball -- this has the advantage of requiring the performer to pass it along before they take their turn, to get the thing out of the way. Another good token is a ball of yarn. The resulting web makes it easy to spot people who haven't had a turn yet; if everyone gets a turn it's topologically equivalent to a Bardic Circle, but more flexible and fun.

The Poker Chip Bardic is probably the most interesting, and I think it has some potential for meetings as well. In this format, everyone gets three poker chips when they enter the room, in three different colors, and there are three corresponding rounds, one for each color. It's almost exactly the inverse of a Token-Passing circle -- people toss in their poker chip when they want a turn. Requiring each round to be completed before the next one is, again, topologically equivalent to a simple Bardic.

It gets a little more interesting -- and fun -- when you end a round when no-one wants to throw in the next chip. That gives people who pass in the first round a higher priority in the next. Reasons for doing this vary, of course. It's very effective for changing the subject or bringing in a new song at exactly the right moment.

I don't think this counts as a curmudgeon post, even with the slight technical content. But it's a post.

mdlbear: Welcome to Rainbow's End (sign) (rainbows-end)

RainbowCon 2.1 (our second convention, in our third year, thanks to a brief hiatus for moving) will be held on May 4-6, 2018! North American Guest of Honor is Cat Faber; Overseas Guest of Honor is Gwen Knighton Raftery. We are hoping there will be a toastmaster, but we don't have a name to announce for that yet.

Location is 4414 Skyline Drive, Freeland WA (on beautiful Whidbey Island), and there is information about local hotel options for people who want them. The new location has two acres of outdoor space in which we can spread out, hold our traditional maypole dance, and have outdoor song circles around the fire pit. Keep your eyes open for our neighborhood deer, who like to browse on the lawn.

We're still doing free membership but accepting donations to offset the out-of-pocket expenses of bringing our guests here and running this thing, for those who are able and willing to contribute. We welcome members who want to run events -- workshops, games, theme circles, or whatever. RainbowCon is a participatory event... everyone's welcome to take a turn at leading if they want to, but nobody is required to do more than show up and have fun!

Please contact nrivkis  at  fastmail with membership requests, or questions about the convention. Ditto if you want to be part of the programming. It will be really helpful to us if we can get early memberships, because then we'll be able to block out hotel space nearby.

We look forward to seeing you here!

mdlbear: (rose)

Jordin Kare died yesterday, from complications of aortic valve replacement surgery. I am still somewhat in shock. He was younger than Colleen.

There is not much to be grateful for on this Thursday, but I am profoundly grateful for Jordin's music, which has been part of my life's soundtrack since at least the early 1980s. He was one of the founders of Off Centaur Publications, publishers of the Westerfilk songbooks and many fine filk tapes. (Jordin did the typesetting for Westerfilk I using troff, which led to a number of typos involving single quotes, which troff treats specially if they're the first character in a line.)

Last night Naomi and I sang a few of his songs -- "Fire In the Sky", "The Designer" and "The Engineer", "Waverider", and all I could remember of "Kantrowitz 1972". It wasn't until this morning that I found the lyrics for that and "Sail for Amber", Colleen's favorite.

I just ...

(Jordin Kare: Fire In The Sky (1991) | LyricWikia)

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

Rough week. Even a con, with a concert that came off well, didn't help all that much. My anxiety--or whatever it is, because alexithymia--levels are through the roof, even after cutting back on coffee and Facebook time.

Getting through the concert did reduce my stress quite a bit; that effect lasted through the rest of the weekend. A couple of great conversations; the one we had Sunday evening/night reminded me a lot of the conversation I had with Naomi all those years ago at OVFF, which arguably led to a lot of what's happened since. So, yeah. Friendship is good. Making new friends is wonderful.

I'd originally planned to leave Sunday afternoon. I'm incredibly grateful to Naomi for giving me an excuse to stay on the extra day. I wouldn't have missed that conversation for anything. (That's assuming, of course, that I'd known about it ahead of time. One can't exactly schedule such things. One can, however, be open to them when they happen. I seem to be moderately good at that; it's just getting started that's so rare.)

The concert. Well. Of course, being totally frazzled leading into it, I neglected to record it. I'm hoping that the woman who recorded it on her cell phone gets back to me -- of course I neglected to get her contact info, too. The set list was drastically revised after the election; what we ended up with was:

  • Kitchen Heroes
  • Quiet Victories
  • Windward
  • Nemesis
  • Mary Ellen Carter
  • Bells of Norwich
  • The Times, They Are A Changin'
  • Gentle Arms of Eden
  • The Dreamer
  • Ship of Stone
  • Millennium's Dawn
  • Most of them had new arrangements--N has started composing harmony lines. Millennium's Dawn, with her harmony and the new last verse, worked particularly well. Bells of Norwich was new to me, as was the guitar part for Nemesis. You know things are going to be different when QV is the second song in the set.

    Oh, yeah: the bad stuff. Colleen's stairlift finally broke past my ability to jury-rig it. Much cursing, while I set up the sofabed in the Rainbow Room. (Although that was another good reason to stay the extra day at the con -- the sofabed is horribly uncomfortable.)

    ...Aaaaand the ... ugly? Maybe. N handed me a card that said "YOU MATTER". Which is something Colleen says to me quite frequently, also. That started a train of thought, because it reminded me of an article that had come by earlier in the week and that I felt... odd... about. Some initial reactions below in the notes. I know it's meant to be encouraging; to make me feel good about myself or something like that. It doesn't, though, and I can't figure out why.

    I really hate important stuff I can't figure out. If it was a server I'd be busy analyzing logs and cursing the lack of comments in the code. Come to think of it,...

    Notes & links, as usual )

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

    My right peroneus muscle is still painful. No idea what I did to it or am doing wrong, though one article suggested that it could be plantarflection due to sleeping under heavy blankets. So maybe I should go back to sleeping on my side instead of on my back. Sleeping on my back is fairly recent, so that may be fairly simple.

    I've been doing a lot of puttering, and arguably a lot less practicing than I should, given that I have a concert in less than two weeks at Orycon. I've been practicing most days this week (see notes), and I think my calluses are back, so that's something. Need to print out my set and start doing more complete runthroughs.

    Halloween was fun, going out with N and her kids. Gave the adults someone to talk to.

    I've been taking care of the critters, since N, G, and g are away at OVFF. Cricket's been in the Great Room, mostly hiding in the Cubhouse -- at least, that's where I usually find her when I come in. Ticia's been pretty good about not trying to come in, though I still have to warn her away from the door.

    Puttering. Yeah. G' did some major re-organizing and cleanup involving the downstairs closet and playroom, and the upstairs closets. Unfortunately, this was accomplished mainly by moving things into the garage and craft room. I've been gradually moving stuff to more sensible places. Some of the decisions have been good ones, though; I'm not complaining about the kitchen cabinet re-org.

    Oh, yeah: the Cubs won the World Series. I'm not a sports fan at all, but that's pretty extraordinary. If it's a sign of the apocalypse, I'm hoping that it continues with the person the wingnuts are calling the Antichrist getting into the White House. And that's the last thing I'm going to say about politics until November 9th at the earliest.

    Notes & links, as usual )

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

    So, last weekend was Westercon. It was the first we'd been to for a while -- Portland is close enough to drive to in less than 3 hours, so we were able to do it without my having to take any time off.

    My concert Saturday evening went ok: Bigger on the Inside, The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of, Millennium's Dawn, Riverheart, The Toolmakers, The Bears (A Talk With the Middle-Sized Bear, A Tribute to the Middle-Aged Bear), The Travelers (Where the Heart Is, Windward), Rambling Silver Rose, QV, Ship of Stone.

    There were a couple of flubs, but nothing serious -- not bad for next to no prep, but I'll have to get more serious about practicing. I had taken Plink, the little Vagabond travel guitar; that was almost certainly the right choice. Though I think the battery was dead; we ended up micing it for the concert, which got me off to a bit of a late start. Putting my phone, in clock mode, on the music stand turned out to work very well.

    I didn't go to any panels -- just hung out in the filk room or the lobby with my laptop. (I'd also brought my work laptop, but never used it.) As usual, I enjoyed it more than I expected to beforehand: I've learned the hard way that it's better -- and I'm less likely -- to regret having done something than to regret not having done it. (Does that construction make sense? Probably, though it's less clear than I'd like.)

    Great conversations over dinner with [personal profile] alatefeline on Saturday (or was that Sunday lunch?), and Roy and Joan Sunday. On the whole a good, fairly relaxed con.

    Notes & links, as usual )
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    I am actually breaking at Friday evening, one day over the month boundary, so as to group all the practicing together here, and the con and concert in the next entry.

    So, yeah; this week's big surprise was finding out Thursday morning that I had a concert coming up Saturday evening. I hadn't asked for one, but apparently Colleen did. Um... thanks, I think. (Spoiler -- it actually went surprisingly well, though not quite as well as the run-throughs. Nervous.)

    I hadn't asked for a concert or answered my participant questionaire because up until two weeks before the con I was still waffling about whether or not to go. I knew it would be stressful, and I knew it would be fairly expensive (though driving, skipping Friday, and coming back Monday instead of Tuesday helped a great deal). I also knew I'd regret it if I didn't go. On the whole I'm glad I went (especially since I got to meet [personal profile] alatefeline). But I'm exhausted. I must be more introverted than I was even a few years ago.

    Made Boeuf Bourguignon on Sunday -- came out quite well, though I think not quite as well as the Stroganoff the night before. I made a stupid mistake with the pepper, but managed to skim off most of it and didn't get anyt complaints. I have not, unfortunately, been keeping up very well with the dishes.

    While on the subject of food; Monday around 12:30 I noticed that my blood sugar was getting low. It didn't feel like what I usually label as hunger, i.e. wanting food. Something is definitely miswired there. If there's food around and I'm not deeply engrossed in something, I'll want to eat it. If I'm in a flow state, which I was a couple of times this week (Yay!), I won't notice food, and will eventually run out of energy. The situation is probably not helped by the amount of coffee I drink.

    Friday some idiot came within inches of getting herself killed when she started ambling across the street against the light, with her nose in her phone, and in front of the bus I was riding to work in. (It's not exactly a street -- it's a bypass lane on the left-hand side of 4th Avenue. To get to the island where one can board the bus, one has to cross that lane. But, still...) That's one of the reasons I don't try to read -- or text -- while I'm walking.

    Only a little writing -- just one day with over 500 words. But two solid practice sessions, so that's good. Put up shelves in N's closet -- that was good, too. I have to keep reminding myself to feel accomplished after that sort of thing. (Like last week, the only emotion I actually noticed while I was feeling it was despair. I'm altogether too good at that one.)

    Close enough to 500 words -- I'm going to stick a fork in it.

    Notes & links, as usual )


    2016-07-01 07:33 am
    mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)

    I didn't ask for a concert at Westercon this year, because up until about two weeks ago I wasn't sure I'd be able to affort to go. (It's marginal, but it's important enough in terms of keeping in touch that we decided to go anyway.) I also don't read my email very closely if I'm not expecting anything in particular.

    So you can imagine my surprise when I took another look at the schedule and saw that I have a one-hour concert slot tomorrow (Saturday) at 6pm.

    There may be a lot of old favorites in this one.

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

    RainbowCon 1 happened last weekend, and it was wonderful. The guests were Decadent Dave Clement from Canada, and Tim and Annie Walker from the Uk. Programming also included gaming -- I'll get to that -- organized by Naomi's friend Steven Schwartz. Con suite by Mama Colleen. Con chair and head of programming was Naomi Rivkis, and I was Con Bear (my badge read "Ursa Major").

    I don't think people knew whether to expect a large house filk, or a small convention. We wanted a small convention, and I think we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams. Attendence was in the low to mid 30s; we were aiming for 30-40. Enough with the stats.

    Naomi and I worked out most of the schedule the weekend before. We left it up to the guests which order they wanted to go in, and although we had suggestions for other programming we left the final decisions up to them too. They decided to put Dave's concert on Friday, a Stan Rogers sing-along Saturday with Dave and Tim, and Tim and Annie's concert Saturday night. We had three workshop slots scheduled. I'll get to that.

    Dave (with his wife Liz, who had done the driving), Tim, and Annie arrived Monday. Tuesday they all went with Naomi to Dusty Strings, to rent Annie a harp. (The only instruments they came with were Tim's button accordion and some whistles.)

    Naomi was jumped by a large djembe, which followed her home. Its name is Rebel.

    Tim and Annie needed guitars; one each, plus one they could leave tuned to DADGAD. Fortunately this household has more guitars than cats. They seemed a little awestruck by Snuggles (the Martin O-15); the Applause that I brought out for DADGAD had apparently last been used by Talis.

    OK, so that brings us to Friday. In addition to pulling guitars out of my hat I also got the maypole up, with Chaos's help. I'll get to that.

    Friday got off to a somewhat late start, so the opening ceremonies sort of tailed off early into the introductory circle. We started, naturally, with "Bigger on the Inside" as an introduction to the house.

    During the introductory circle, dinner break, and some of Dave's concert, people were voting for their favorite workshops. They did this by dropping poker chips (they're not just for bardics anymore) into paper bags, with a blue chip representing their pick for the 90-minute slot.

    After the concert we finished tallying up the poker chips, and did a little last-minute negotiation with the attendees, which resulted in the 90-minute slot getting sea shanties and kitting out your home studio in parallel, and the vocal and harmony workshops getting combined into one.

    The poker chips then re-emerged in the poker chip bardic. Our variant on it has people using their chips in blue-red-white order, but with no need to complete a round before moving on to the next color. Instead, an earlier color jumps to the head of the queue if mixed colors are on the floor. It worked very well -- people had time to think about what they wanted to do or hear in their own time, rather than holding up the next round while they struggled to come up with something.

    Saturday we actually had two full tracks of programming during the afternoon. Three at one point, since the Cat game (Did I mention gaming? There was gaming.) overlapped the sea shanty and home studio workshops. The build-a-dragon game overlapped the "sensitive percussion" workshop earlier in the day. The afternoon ended with the Stan Rogers sing-along concert. (We skipped the scheduled critiqued one-shots due to lack of interest, and went for a longer dinner break.)

    The evening had Tim and Annie's concert, which was wonderful, followed what was intended as a ball-of-yarn chaos, but after we noticed that there was never more than one person queued up we just passed the ball around.

    Sunday started with the Ecumenifilk circle, moderated by Annie, followed by the drum circle, led by Dave. And featuring several of the household's assorted drums and my box of random small percussion instruments that had been left around from Saturday's workshop.

    After that was the Maypole dance. Unlike last year (RainbowCon 0 was Naomi and Glenn's wedding) there were enough experienced dancers to keep things running smoothly.

    After that was the vocal/harmony workshop, where I had surprisingly (to me) little trouble keeping to my assigned part. Then there was the jam, and closing ceremonies.

    Then most of those who were left went out for dinner. The restaurant, 13 Coins, is right across the street from the airport, so even the people who had to catch planes could come along.


    Rainbow Con II will be held next year, with guests Alexa Klettner from Germany, and Trickster and King (Ada Palmer and Lauren Schiller, the touring subset of Sassafras. We expect it to be as amazingly wonderful as RC1.

    We'd originally thought that we'd move the con to a hotel after it got too big for the house. But we really liked the small size -- it gives people a chance to hang out, talk, and make music with the guests and each other. We may end up capping the membership if it threatens to get out of hand, but it will stay at Rainbow's End as long as we're there to run it.

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

    Well, "Ship of Stone" didn't win Best Classic Filk Song (again), but it wasn't because of my performance in the Pegasus concert -- I turned in what was probably my best single performance so far. Hopefully I'll be able to post a recording soon. I'm still mildly boggled by the amount of positive feedback I got.

    I need to practice more -- the fact that I was able to perform off-book helped a lot. And record. It's time I started working on Amethyst Rose again. Past time.

    Not as many conmversations as I'd like, but a few, and a couple of new people. (Whose names I don't remember.)

    Uneventful trip. I ended up getting a limo because there wasn't enough room in the van for five people, their luggage, and a scooter. We did manage going to the hotel, thanks to a full-sized SUV rental.

    Packing was disorganized; I managed to misplace my laptop charger (in the side pocket behind my folding cane), so I bought an overpriced one in the airport. I don't mind too much; it's one of the new, tiny iGo's that I've had my eye on for a while. It has long enough cords that I can just leave it in the rolly. Next time I need to pack either a lightweight backpack, zippered tote, or sling bag to go under the seat with my laptop, magazines, and snacks; next to the CPAP. (Which gives me a good excuse to put both Rolly and Plink up in the rack.)

    On the other hand, having Rolly partly packed ahead of time helped quite a bit; I'll be making that an ongoing practice.

    Links in the notes.

    raw notes, with links )
    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.


    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
      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

           1:30 PM - Stevens Creek - Opening Ceremonies
          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
           4:00 PM - San Tomas - Panel: The Changing Nature of Fandom
          10:00 AM - Lafayette - Panel: The Pros & Cons of DRM
           3:30 PM - Lafayette - Closing Ceremonies

    Colleen Savitzky

           1:30 PM - Stevens Creek - Opening Ceremonies
           6:00 PM - Stevens Creek - Panel: Con Etiquette
           8:00 PM - Grand Ballroom - MING the Guests
          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
          12:00 PM - Cypress - Panel: Fannish Daycare
           2:00 PM - Bayshore - Panel: Filk History
           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.

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