splash
twitter
sponsor steam powered studio
j.banner design
send me the bill
summer thieves
the stray birds
joe ellis
woggi noggi
kenny gross
the blame
sporting hill ramblers
robert bobby
doll house
the Bambiverse
eagles n' flags
amazingly life-like
guns
video
locals
sponster
tascam porta-two repair
kurzweil key fix
squire amp buzz fix
archives
05/29/18

katsuyama at night

City lights Osaka, Japan's 2nd or 3rd largest city. Some part of the city also known as Katsuyama not to be confused with nearby Dogashiba. Click the pic for a larger view.

I'm not a city person, but I am attracted to these enormous places (19 million in the metro area). The size of rooms in apartments are given in mats, (you know, like a floor mat), with a typical bedroom being 6 mats. I once lived in a place that small, when I owned almost nothing. I didn't have a phone or TV, but I did have a cassette player. The kitchen area featured a little booth for two. I never cooked.

In Osaka there are many places to eat. People get around on bicycles, and ride the trains or buses. Streets are amazingly free of cars, but umbrellas are ubiquitous. Seems like a good place to catch up on some reading!
05/27/18

Always questioning.

Questioning, say... what is this website about, anyway? This was brought about by a search for my name on the web. There were plenty of hits, but none of them were me. This shocked me. I've been online for 18 years. That I wasn't turning up in searches ran counter to the "legend in his own mind" thing I have going on. On the other hand, it explains a lot.

What is this website about? Why isn't it appearing on a search for my name? The answer to that is clear- I have tried to remain anonymous. My name doesn't show up here, so it's working! But- why?

Why remain anonymous? Partly because of a refusal to commit- after all, the web allows a person to create themselves as anything they choose- so why choose? The answer to that is that a person must become a brand, a definite "thing" or type, in order to make an impression.

It can get interesting when a person refuses to do it. I refuse to do it partly out of ignorance- I have no idea how to create a cohesive "brand" that would represent me- and partly because I believe that brands aren't real. Not because the brand is an oversimplification of what a person is, although this is true, but because typical ideas of branding misrepresent or limit the thing that I want to create here.

Big idea! That a website might reflect something more than a sales pitch. I suspect that it can be an artform. I've seen it! Some websites which were actually trying to be brands turned out to be artforms- and never knew it. Is this possible?

Well, whatever. This site will continue to represent whatever happens to be going through my mind at the moment, including dreams of flower-headed dogs. Which I will admit is a little freaky, but then, surrealists...
05/26/18

I love dreaming. Sometimes dreams are perfectly ordinary, and sometimes...

flower head

A dog like this showed up in a dream last night. I pieced this image together, but I have the feeling someone (Koons?) painted a dog like this that I've seen before. Can't find the reference... write me if you know it.
05/20/18

Does anyone still use Yahoo Mail? I guess that's like asking if anyone still uses the Windows XP operating system... nobody still uses that old thing! Except for the millions of people who do.

I have three Yahoo mail accounts, which I set up many years ago. One was for junk, one for my studio, and one was for I forget what it was for. Anyway, I haven't used any of them but the junk one for years, just for all those times I needed a valid address for something that I wasn't sure I wanted to give my "real" email address. A little anti-spam move, we've all done it, right?

So about a year ago, Yahoo had a big security breach and a lot of their accounts got hacked. Right then was probably already too late to drop those accounts- any personal information was already in the hands of the enemy. So I did nothing at the time.

Months later now, and I've seen no negative effects from that hack. I guess I got lucky, or there's a more sinister game afoot. But now I notice that this useless portal, this damaged and worthless entity called Yahoo has been purchased for what- billions of dollars? And by who? Verizon, possibly one of the evilist of evil empires. Only they call this tentacle of their empire Oath. (pretty sloppy work by the evils there- you'll notice #BUILTBYGIRLS listed twice!)

oath family

I said an oath when I read this news, because it meant that my personal information would soon be in the hands of an entity that really could do me some serious harm. (just read their terms of service to see how they are changing the game in their favor) It's now time to scrub my Yahoo mail accounts. Fortunately Oath has to provide an "opt-in" clause and for the moment you can still access your old accounts without agreeing to the new terms.

So I've been scrubbing these accounts, but because there's information there I'd like to keep, this is sucking up a bunch of my time. Funny how these "labor-saving" things like e-mail suck up so much time, innit? If I had actual file cabinets full of letters they could sit there for years, completely private, and not require any more maintenance than an occasional dusting. Live and learn.

I am enjoying reading back through this stuff. I've starting by deleting photos and my contacts lists. This covers a period of about 17 years, which includes the founding of the Steam Powered Studio, its sponsorship phase, the controversies surrounding online music in general (during which I was an active participant in the pho group) as well as major personal events.

This will take a while- I want to save a lot of this correspondance. I'm mailing it to myself... like an idiot.
05/15/18

nice day

Click to see the entire photo.

The profusion reminds me of something Baroque, and now I see that those guys weren't just piling on a lot of excess crap, that sometimes natural beauty is overwhelming like that.

It's... just a matter of perspective. If you try to see things from a remove, you may get a clear picture of the trees, the blossoms, each thing unique and definite. If you're standing within the picture, it's entirely different.

Maybe the baroque represents immersion- into life, into religion, whatever the theme.

05/13/18

I've recently discovered the cab view videos on yootoob. Highly entertaining, mostly ad-free at the moment.

up the alps

This is a view during a trip up the Jungfrau on a cog-railway. (be sure to listen as you watch- I find the audio just as fascinating as the video)

This one is also in Switzerland, but it's confined to the lower reaches. Chur to Zürich. It was the one that got me hooked. It's fun seeing what these countries look like without having the whims of some bureau of tourism involved.

To me, the beauty of these things isn't the !!!trains!!! aspect (which is for sure why they were created in the first place) but instead the fact of hour plus long videos without commentary and with minimal editing. (they generally speed up the playback during station stops) I let 'em run in the background while I'm mixing or recording.

From scenery to speed.

fast train

Here we click along at a top speed of 175 miles per hour- much faster than the cars on that autobahn.

This next trip is not only fast but the grades, curves and tunnels make it seem like a roller-coaster ride!

heading to Cologne

The payoff at the end is the approach to the cathedral in Cologne over the Rhine.

heading to Cologne

Last but not least, Chicago has a series of videos taking you along their elevated transit lines. You can even transfer at the stations.

This is a small sample of what's out there. Search for "cab view" on Youtube, or just enter the cities you're interested in visiting.
05/05/18

Ads on the internet piss me off. I will continue to add links to ad-free sites here for a while.

I've got a news aggregator which is ad-free for the moment- Flipboard

I just found a site dedicated to Mozart where you can stream anything in his opus- Mozart archiev

Here's last months list.

Wikipedia
Craigslist
Project Gutenberg
Internet Archive
Freesound
National Weather Service