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02/22/19

rick

Remembering Rick Bowman who passed recently. We played a lot of gigs together with High Roller, back in our 20's. Later Rick and Bev graciously hosted former bandmates and many others at jams in the Bowman home on Marticville Road. Rick taped just about every one of those jams- there must have been hundreds of cassettes on those shelves behind him.

Having a place like that was my salvation sometimes, a place to get loud. Bob Dylan wrote a song about it, once.

Also remembering Andy Sottile today. He made a lot of friends along the way, running monitors for Clair Brothers. He was one of the original sponsors of Steam Powered Studio- I'm still using the speakers and portable digital recorder he gifted back in the 90's. Thanks, man.
02/17/19

the Time Machine

gx-1

It's a Dell Optiplex GX-1 with a Pentium III processor running at 550 MHz. Functioning machines like this are asking over $500 on eeebeigh today- don't know if they're getting it. But it's possible- even stripped ones, with no hard drive or operating system, are selling for around $100. How can this be?

I picked mine up at work back when they switched over to newer processors. These were so slow! It runs Windows 98, and even though I know that it can't handle heavy tasks, as far as booting up and shutting down and loading programs it's actually quicker than Win 10. Funny.

I like the package, with the rounded-over front edge and the buttons on the sides that release the cover- it works better than any other desktop cover I've ever tried to open. There's lots of space inside for things.

gx-1 inside

I hauled this out of storage for a purpose. I need it to drive Schrödinger's Projector.

quantum projector

The quantum projector (so-called because you never know if it's going to be in an operational state until you turn it on) accepts all kinds of inputs- including pc video. Yeah, I could use it to watch a lot of boring old movies from DVD, even plug in a firestick, but what I really want it for is to display "slideshows" of some of my photographic obsessions, like the doll house and 1933, or my over 1,700 scans of family photos from the 1800's through 1970's. Just a little something going on in the background here at the moonbase.

time machine

Once these two have been joined together, it's only natural to investigate the other joys of the 1990's, like "visualisations" from Winamp and funky psychedelic screensavers.

time machine

I was astounded at some of the graphics this thing generated- I could (and did!) just snap photos of the screen...

screenshot

screenshot

screenshot

screenshot

screenshot

Video wallpaper... like at Mr. Gate's house...

02/11/19

baskethead

baskethead

The basket on this lamp is more useful for trash, I think.
I need to replace the whole thing.

bucket head

Now, buckethead is a found base and a recycled shade support, and...

bucket head

...some playing around with foil spinners. But today I bought a new spot bulb, and I like the way it shines.

bucket head

But I haven't got it spinning yet! Not enough heat. Ongoing research...
02/10/19

eiffel wheel

eiffel, which is currently a combination mic stand/lighting fixture, proved to be difficult to move on carpet. On a hard surface it's easy enough to roll on the edge of the base, but carpet put up enough resistance as to require a solution.

eiffel wheel 2

One wheel is a little tippy, but it works well as a point of leverage for small adjustments. Ongoing research...
02/02/19

How Deep is the Well?

haropcrates face

In New Jersey they have this fragment of a Grecian bust of Harpocrates from around 300 B.C.E. Remarkably enough, the pieces that remain are the vital ones, as Harpocrates was commonly known as the "god" of keeping quiet.
It's the original shush.

But they say that Harpocrates wasn't always like that. The Greeks took 'im from the Egyptians, for whom he was Horus the Child, and the finger to lips gesture was a symbol for a child.

harpocrates boy

This figurine, from the near east, is a sort of combo of the Greek and Egyptian ideas- looking more like a little kid who always has a finger in his mouth. But Egyptian Horus was a very powerful god when he grew up- he was skinned alive, and chopped into pieces, then resurrected as the sun.
A very useful story!

The Greeks took this gesture as having a different meaning, a more practical meaning, and Harpocrates (which was a corruption of the Egyptian name for Horus) simply morphed into the god of keeping silent, of keeping secrets. But it doesn't end there, does it?

roman harpo

Here's a Roman version from a few centurys later. They appropriated the "shushing" god, and possibly combined it with the child god to create this little monkey- who is making a shush while performing anasyrma, a thing I bet you didn't know there even was a name for!

The prankster aspect of the silent god is evident at this point, and there it might have remained, except that these things have a way of coming back around.

modern harpo

I bet the cop had just said, very sternly, Do you see this badge?
(it's just an accident, of course, that the fancy streetlight is directly behind Harpo)

Groucho Marx once joked that his brother, who never spoke while in character, took his name from the Greek god Harpocrates, but of course we all know it's because Harpo played the harp. Right?

How deep IS that well?