3 Days To The Village By The Lake

white house near sea and mountains

3 days and counting.

I’m looking forward to seeing my Brothers, Vince and TJ. I’m looking foward to the meet up that we are having on Saturday the 26th when we will be meeting some fellow Men and having some food, some drinks, and maybe even a couple of cigars with these guys. It’s going to be a good time.

In other news, I was serious when I said that I was going to limit my activity and my time on Twitter and I meant it. It’s been nice being off of Twitter. I have more time to pursue other projects and my stress levels and my blood pressure has dropped quite a bit.

It’s a good thing I’ve taken time away from Twitter, learning my new MIDI controller so that I can start creating music has been a challenge to say the least. The device itself isn’t too hard to figure out, it’s 8 pads, 8 knobs, a joystick, and 25 keys of a keyboard with other assorted buttons that do different things. Pressing keys, turning knobs, and tapping pads isn’t too difficult.

The difficult part is getting the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that I use to interface and recognize the MIDI controller. I was hoping for something that would be a “drag and drop” type of interface where I could just throw “kits” and samples into the DAW and then assign them to the MIDI controller, and then I could just start to play and record.

That’s not what has happened so far. So far, I need to tell the DAW about each and every button, pad, and knob. Thank god I don’t need to do much of that for the keys. That part seems to be fairly straight forward. It’s been a challeng to say the least, and it has taken a lot of time to get things sorted out and working. I still haven’t got it all figured out at the time that I’m writing this. One thing I know though is, once I have everything sorted out and set, I’m saving the profiles so that I can use them without issue.

I’ve also been recording some “B-Roll” video footage to use in upcoming videos. I broke down and bought a decent stand for my phone so now I can set the phone up and use it to record different scenes and footage and not worry that it is going to fall or shake or any other sort of nonsense. Stay tuned to my YouTube channel for future videos to see some of this new and somewhat interesting video footage.

I also broke down and bought a couple of video games. One of them is called “Among Us” and is something that you play online. I’ve played it enough so far to understand the general movement and mechanics of it, now I’m excited to play with some other guys from the ‘Sphere and see where it goes.

It’ll be a good way to get some additional video footage for future projects at least.

I also bought an Atari 2600 “package” that has 100 video games on it. Some of them are the actual arcade versions from back in the day, and many others are from the Atari 2600 console days. I’ve been playing Asteroids from the old console days. Talk about absolutely shitty graphics compared to games today, but man, were they fun and simple to play. No weird button combos to do special moves, no extra controllers or levers to push or manipulate to execute different actions. It’s literally up, down, left, right, and shoot.

Those are the games that I played the most when I was young and it’s what I remember the most fondly even though I had the original Nintendo, the Atari Jaguar, the Playstation, the Playstation 2, and the Wii. Not that I didn’t enjoy the games that I had on each of those particular consoles, but it was the old Atari 2600 that I played the most and had the most games for.

I’m still wondering what the State of Utah is going to do over the next few days because we have had a spike in ‘Rona cases. Apparently we have had more cases in the last few days than we did when the bug first hit Utah and peaked out in July. I know most of these new cases are because the schools are back in session, both the elementary levels as well as the college levels, and that’s where the spike in cases are coming from.

It’ll be interesting to see if Utah is going to shut the schools down again and make the “kids” do everything remotely, or if they are going to suck it up and keep going. I’m hoping for the latter. What we don’t need is another “lockdown,” though. The mandatory mask mandate is still in effect, and is supposed to go on until the end of the year from what I’ve heard, and that’s bad enough.

A lot of other people are getting sick of it as well from what I’ve been seeing and many of them are not wearing masks when they are going about their day. When I think about it and remind myself, I tell those people “thanks for not wearing a mask,” and I mean it sincerely.

I’m sure I could get a lot of grief for this view, but I don’t care. Life goes on and I want to get on with my life, and not under this “new normal” bullshit that a lot of people are calling it.

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I Was Born In The Wrong Decade


amplifier analogue audio board

1987. That was the year that I first started learning how to play guitar. I remember borrowing my uncle’s cheap acoustic that would never stay in tune for long, because it had a warped neck. I graduated from that to my first electric guitar about a year later. I can’t even remember the name of that guitar now.

It was some sort of Fender knock off though and between the guitar, the amplifier, the handful of guitar picks, the case, and the cord from guitar to amp, I think I spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $250 to $300 dollars total. It wasn’t a great sounding guitar, but compared to the crappy acoustic that I had been playing for the last year, it was a dream.

Fast-forward to 1989. My father had heard me playing this knock-off guitar and he knew that I wanted something “bigger and better.” I was listening to a ton of heavy metal because that was the music that I grew up with and that was what was popular at the time. Guys like Blackie Lawless from Wasp, Paul Stanley from Kiss, and of course, Metallica, were the guys that I idolized. I wanted something like what they played. I had my sights fixed on a B.C. Rich Warlock. Not one of the knock-off ones either, but an actual genuine B.C. Rich.

1989 was that year. My father took me to a local music shop and he bought me that B.C. Rich Warlock, and a Peavey amplifier to go with it.

My Guitar

It played like a dream and it sounded so much better than that cheap Fender knock-off. Now I could really play music, now I could really get the sound that I was looking for.

Why did I play music? Because I loved and still love music. And to get the girls of course. Chicks dig musicians and music.

Back in the late 80’s and early to mid-90’s, when it came to recording music, everything was analog, which meant you recorded everything on tape. Whether reel-to-reel, or on a cassette tape, everything was done physically. I always wanted to get a track recorder, a 4-track specifically, and convert one of the rooms in my parent’s house into a studio. Making minimum wage back then, at $3.35 an hour made a $400 dollar 4-track recorder pretty much prohibitive. Never mind a mixing board and/or a larger track recorder.

The track recorder was a dream and life went on. College came and went and the guitar ended up in storage. Dreams and priorities change as life goes on.

2020. I haven’t picked up that B.C. Rich guitar in many years, and I honestly don’t know if I’m going to pick it up again or not. But I still desire to make music, it still runs in my veins. Nowadays you can buy a drum machine MIDI controller for $150 dollars. Ask me how I know. You can also purchase software that is literally a complete studio, that you can run on your laptop for $60 bucks. Again, ask me how I know.

What would have cost me thousands of dollars and dedicated an entire room of my house now costs about $250 after tax. I’m blown away. If only I had this technology when I was 18 and had a band. I could have made an album or two or ten.

But I still can.

While I may have “been born in the wrong decade,” I realize that I really haven’t. Now is the time. I may have a learning curve to go through again, it may take me some time, but I am going to create music once again. I’m going to make songs, whether short, sweet, and silly, or some sort of deep, dark, epic poetry of sound. I’m going to create music once again. I have to. I don’t have a choice in this matter, not really. I’ll drive myself insane if I don’t do this.

Now it’s not so much about getting chicks as it is about the creation of the music itself. As I’ve said in the past, and to anyone that cares to listen to me in person, my whole life is a soundtrack. Whatever events happen, there’s a song or two to accompany it. More often than not, those songs are songs that someone else created. Every now and then though, it’s a song that has never seen the light of day. Every now and then it’s a song that resides only in my head and it is screaming to be let out into the world.

It’s time to do that. Who knows? Maybe there’s an album or two or ten in there somewhere.

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