Cherishing the Moment

August 26, 2008
bearfacedcow

After a day of anything that could go wrong on a project, did go wrong, I decided that it was time to just get away from it all and do something for myself that would be the perfect distraction from it all… I grabbed one of my most special guitars and restrung and restored it completely.

What makes this guitar so special is that Joelle got it for me. It’s not all that often that she will go out and buy me a guitar to cheer me up, but she did. She bought it for me when I was feeling really down as I had just gotten into a car accident. She knew that I had once met Frank Gambale and he let me play his guitar, and it felt really nice. So, Joelle got me a purple one just like Frank’s and it has been my main electric since.

Up until recently, I hadn’t been good at taking care of my guitars. However, since I started restoring the finish on my other guitars, I have been wanting to do it to all of my guitars. After I applied the Swirl & Haze Remover and the Deep Polish/Conditioner, that guitar, like all of my others, seemed to come back to life. And after a day like today, I really appreciate a guitar like that one and restoring it to its natural beauty made me appreciate it even more. It made me realize just how blessed I was that day to have a wife that really cared enough to get me such a guitar and I should cherish the moment because it will probably never happen again.

Awestruck, Humbled and Empowered by a Few Simple Words

August 22, 2008
bearfacedcow

“Jord, your recordings have that ‘big’ sound I’m looking for. My son recently recorded his band in a so called ‘professional studio’ and the sound isn’t nearly the quality of yours. I’m thinking the sound engineer lacked experience.”

“I have to second the kudos to Jord’s tunes and the great sound on his recordings!”

These were two of the comments that I have read today about my recording and mixing abilities today on the Inside Home Recording forum. The second comment was made by one of my friends, Dave Chick. What makes this comment so special is that Dave is a respected composer and engineer in his own right. He has written numerous soundtracks and I wish I could write music like him. You gotta hear his stuff at http://www.hatchedproductions.net and you’ll know what I am talking about. His stuff leaves me awestruck. That’s why I feel humbled reading his comments.

I can’t begin to tell anyone how it makes me feel to read that I may be getting somewhere with my mixing. All I know is that I feel empowered to push my mixes even further than they are today. I fell empowered to improve myself even more. All I can say is thanx huge, Joe and Dave. I can’t explain how deep your words have touched me, but they have given me renewed strength and purpose.

My Mother was Right

August 21, 2008
bearfacedcow

My mother always told me, “for all the time you spent arguing that you don’t want to do it, you could have already had it done.” Truer words couldn’t have been spoken today!

Being the project lead for a rather major web project due to launch in a couple of weeks, I managed to uncover something that I suspected all along just before I was about to give the go ahead to push to the integration sandboxes. The worst part of this was that each department involved thought that the other department was going to handle this. Sure enough, no one handled it and it was left until today, less than two weeks before launch. Not having a choice, I had to get a developer to implement this code.

So, I tell the developer what needed to be done and I get the buck passing routine. In fact, I’m getting almost every excuse in the book as to why this should be handled by someone else. Even worse is that I am getting another developer chiming him his support against my decision, and this developer isn’t even on the project. That’s where I had to pull my project lead rank and put my foot down on it. I knew this developer was capable of it… heck, I consider him a better developer than I am. Yet, I knew that I could do this easily if I knew which libraries to poke into, so I know that he could easily do this because he knows which libraries to grab the information from. Yet, he puts up a fight.

Finally, he listened to reason when the main tech lead approached him supporting my decision. All I’m thinking to myself is that all this time you were arguing with me, you could have had this done and we could be integrating. My mother was right!

Satori… Linux… NOT!

August 20, 2008
bearfacedcow

While I’m waiting for a repository to download, I figured I would take out my laptop and take a renewed shot at Linux (CentOS 5) and see if I could get any instant awakenings with it. So far, I still feel like a deer in the headlights with it. It must be psychological. Reason being is because I’m always working in the underbelly of my Mac, which is FreeBSD Unix. I know my way around FreeBSD as run on my Mac. I don’t know what it is on a Linux box that still shuts me down.

Perhaps, I just need to pick up a good book and follow a few exercises to get me through this initial hump and then perhaps the lights will come on with it. Problems is that I will need to pick this up rather quickly… as in crash course quickly! I have some new freelance clients that I want to keep separate on their own sandbox. I don’t want things intertwined on my computers as I did in the past. The way I see it, it’s either a Windows VM or a Linux VM, and I’d rather do Linux, even if it means I have some extra homework to do.

Fortunately, I have a couple of friends that work with CentOS. I may have to rattle their cages.

Mental Block Not Necessarily a Punishment from God

August 19, 2008
bearfacedcow

I love Joelle… she’s very cute with her answers at times. I told her that I was suffering from a mental block because I was having trouble thinking of an idea for a song. No quicker than me saying it did Joelle come out and say, “Maybe it’s a sign from God telling you to stop writing that loud rock and roll and write some hymns.” What can I say? She made me laugh with that one. But, while there could be a grain of truth to it, I would highly doubt that God is “punishing” me with a mental block, and I have reason:

  1. These days, everything I write deals with Him. Whether it deals with my relationship with Him and Jesus, or simply to glorify and honour His Holy Name, it’s all about about God. Not me… God! Why would God want me to stop talking about how great He really is?
  2. Considering that all of my ideas are Heaven sent, and all of my “loud rock and roll” comes from God, if God wanted me to write something in a different style, would it not stand to reason that God would send me the idea? I would like to think that every time God inspires me with an idea, I run with it, no matter how bizarre I think it may be. Trust me, I wrote a couple that felt bizarre to me, but somehow, they reach other people. That’s why I won’t question this.
  3. It may not be a mental block. It may be a mental rest… or a mental fast. God rested. Jesus fasted from the things his body physically required, such as food. I should probably embrace the rest, or fast, period rather than be frustrated by it. This way, I’ll get back to more songwriting with a more refreshed attitude and inspiration.

This is why I can’t believe Joelle’s answer when it comes to this. God works in His time and if there’s a great idea that He wants me to write, He will give it to me. God knows how music fits into His plan and He knows where I fit in.

“He who waits upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall rise up on wings of eagles; they shall run and shall not faint…” Isaiah 40:31

Drum videos for my padKontrol

August 18, 2008
bearfacedcow

Okay, as much as I am hating the fact that Korg is giving me non-working free software (I stuck the free in, so that you knwo that I know that it is free), I am really lovin’ the new padKontrol. Mind you, it’s no real surprise to me as Korg has always put out great stuff (been using their gear for over 25 years with no complaints at all). This thing is so sensitive that it picks up my palm resting on the pads when I am playing. I am finding it much easier to play some rhythms, fills and even some percussion. I definitely need to see if I can do some darbuka, bendik and tabla type of stuff on it. I’m even liking the fact that the software is a little easier to use in order to re-arrange the pads.

I decided to take a day and formally get acquainted with it, rather than simply dabble with it. I bought some drum instructional videos for Joelle a few years ago, because she wanted to learn to play her drums, and I thought I would take a crack at one of them seeing as I could probably transmute some of the entire limb stuff to my fingers. If anything, I picked up a few great finger exercises on the pads and found myself practicing some of the various exercises such as swing pulses, polyrhythms (loved those!) and managed to transfer a few licks and was able to arrange the pads in a manner that allowed me to play the licks easier. I even managed to soak up a little beat making history and transmuted that stuff to the padKontrol. It was actually easier to do on the padKontrol than on my ol’ Trigger Finger. Funny enough, I may find myself picking up some more drum videos to improve my technique on the padKontrol. They work, and they work well for me. I can’t wait to try them out in my next song.

One person that I would love to see an instructional video out from is David Haynes. If you don’t know who he is, check out http://www.drummerworld.com/drummers/David_Haynes.html and you’ll see why I would want to learn from this master!

WARNING: Useless Freebie Rant!

August 17, 2008
bearfacedcow

Yes, I am ranting today. I am ranting because of the freebies that came with my Korg PadKontrol. It has nothing to do with the quality of them, in fact, I would love to use a bunch of the freebies that I got with my padKontrol. It has to do with that fact that they aren’t working on my MacPro.

To add even more salt into the wound, the freebie software was made by Korg itself! It was their M1 LE software instrument, which is modeled after their M1 synthesizer. I try to install this sucker and their so-called authorization utility simply pops up a blank screen. YES! A blank screen! Is this a new challenge-response type of game that it is playing? Not only do you have to enter your serial number, but you have to find the box to enter your serial number as well as the button to press okay with! Who is the genius who came up with this authorization scheme??? The dude was probably the class clown in tech school, and missed a few important things that the teacher was talking about when it came to programming. Either that or their project manager is an ex-Microsoft employee. So, sure enough, I am totally unable to use this piece of software and I want to use it. I can’t wait to contact Korg about this and express my satisfaction to them about their own software that comes with the thing. It’s a great thing that I love their padKontrol, as well as all of the other Korg gear that I use in my studio. In fact, I have always loved Korg hardware. Joelle and I owned a Korg Trident as well as a PolySix and they were great synths. I loved the old Korg synths and the VC-10 vocoder. Those were fantastic pieces of gear. And yes, I loved the M1. The beauty of it is that all of these synths are available in software, but I can’t try out the M1 LE, so how do I know how well it will be? I sure as heck am not going to buy software sight unseen. Maybe Korg will see this blog and make good… then again, who am I kidding?? They don’t know me from the next shkeef with a padKontrol!

Yes, I know they came free with the padKontrol and I probably shouldn’t complain about it, but heck, if you’re going to give me something for free to use, the very least that you can do is make it so I can at least use it!! This is even more important if you want me to ever consider purchasing the full versions of the software!!!

There, I’ve vented my spleen all over your screen! I’m going to play with my padKontrol and maybe I’ll post a blog on how much I really love that unit.

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