net comments edit

I’m out the week of May 5 and will return May 12. If you send me email… I probably won’t get it or respond. Too bad, folks. See ya in a week!

music comments edit

I’ve been pretty addicted to this Seattle radio station, C89.5, since my trip to Bellevue. Thank goodness they broadcast online.

I hate normal radio for several reasons:

  • Too many commercials. For every minute of music, there are like two minutes of commercials. This is worse during most morning shows, where there are three minutes of commercials for every minute of comedic drivel.
  • Radio “powers.” Songs that are considered “power” on the radio get repeated over… and over… and over… Most of the time I hate those songs. Who says payola doesn’t exist anymore?
  • I’m WHITE. Let’s be frank - most of the new stuff coming out is Ebonic-laden hip-hop. Admittedly, I can dig some of it, but not as much as is getting cranked out. Pronounce your words, people. And make it something I can hum along to. You can’t hum to hip-hop.

C89.5 overcomes all of these obstacles. It doesn’t play commercials because it’s a public radio station, run by a Seattle high school. It does repeat songs, but they’re songs I can get into and enjoy. I understand all of the words to all of the songs. And I can hum or whistle along. Added bonus - all the tunes are danceable.

So I’m digging it.

Anyway, they’re having a pledge drive because apparently the school has pretty much cut their funding and they have to raise their own. From what I’m gathering, they’ve had to do this in past years, but this year’s a little tighter because they’ve gone online and the funding has been cut (as is standard with school funding nowadays).

I started thinking about school funding. From what I can tell, they cut the drama departments and the libraries before they cut sports. That’s cool if you’re into the sports thing, but I’m not. I’m the guy the jocks picked on. I’m the guy who went to the library. I’m the guy who loved the drama department.

I’m pretty sure the kids in the radio broadcasting program want to be there. I wish my high school had run a radio program. I’d have been there. And I know that I’d be pretty pissed off to see that the assholes playing football still got to run around on the field where they’re learning no marketable skills while I’m trying to learn something and my program gets shit-canned.

So I went to the pledge site (which I encourage you to do, as well), checked out the different things you get for different pledge levels, and really wanted the custom dance mix CD… but didn’t want to pledge the $89.50 for it. I like the station, but I’m not going to single-handedly support the place.

Instead, I threw in $50 to get the t-shirt. You can get a “can-cozy” for $35, but… I don’t need a can-cozy. I’ll wear the shirt with pride, though. So a shirt it is.

I’m sure I’ll hear about this when I get home. We really are pretty strapped for cash lately, what with Jenn working pro-bono at her pharmacy technician externship. I figure it as an investment in something I believe in, though, and it’s tax-deductible, which is a Good Thing. (Of course, I don’t own a house or anything, so my contributions rarely actually make any difference on my overall deduction at the end of the year.)

Anyway, listen to the music, love the station, then go pledge. It’s worth it.

personal comments edit

The Ironic Email of the Day award goes to the spam I just received to advertise… anti-spam software.


personal, family comments edit

This weekend went, as most weekends do, altogether too quickly and now that it’s Monday I can only wonder at the speed with which the weekend sped by.

Honestly, I barely remember what I did. I know that Saturday morning I vacuumed the apartment and dusted stuff. That sucked. The rest of Saturday… I don’t remember. We eventually ended up going to Hollywood Video and renting some movies and the PS2 game The Sims.

Saturday night we ended up playing The Sims too long and didn’t watch any of the movies. Jenn and I discovered that The Sims is specifically engineered to appeal to the micromanagers of the world. The stupid characters you create require so much attention that it’s almost hard to have fun with it. We played it forever, just trying to figure out how to make the characters happy. What we decided is that it’s too real: There are just not enough hours in the day to actually keep your characters happy and meet all of their needs adequately. Just like life, huh?

Sunday we made the rounds to visit parental units. After a quick stop at Jenn’s parents’ house, we went over to my parents’ to hear about their recent trip down through Reno, NV, to Las Vegas, then up through Provo, UT (for my sister’s graduation), then home again. As far as I’m concerned, yuck. I’m not one for car trips, and this one is no different.

At one point, they went to Scotty’s Castle in Death Valley. Dad told stories about how the place came to be and what it was all about. Mom told a story about how bad she had to poop on the way there. I think that pretty much sums up how that trip went.

While we were there, we watched Ghost Ship, one of the movies that Jenn and I had rented. It was actually pretty decent, with a good ending and everything, sort of like a big Twilight Zone episode.

After that we went home to finish up the laundry while we watched another of our rentals, Wasabi. That was a French comedy/action movie from Luc Besson and was pretty good. Great soundtrack, too. I find that I like to watch foreign films in their natural language with English subtitles rather than with English overdubbing. There’s something about overdubbing that just doesn’t work for me. Unless it’s Jackie Chan.

After Wasabi was a new Alias, which was probably the highlight of my weekend. It ruled, and I can’t wait for next week’s two-hour season finale.

And… now it’s Monday. Ugh. I’m sooooo tired. And I have a headache. Someone just shoot me.

music comments edit

I’ve mentioned this idea before, but I keep thinking about it so I thought I’d expand on it here: The idea that music can be represented by a mathematical equation of some nature and can potentially be analyzed for certain qualities that can be reproduced in other songs.

First we need to find a way to accurately represent music mathematically; that is, to be able to model every aspect of a piece of music numerically. This would have to include the type of instruments being played, the notes themselves, the quality of the singer’s voice, the rhythm, the volume… every possible quality of a given piece of music.

Then we need to do this modeling for several pieces of music. Model similar pieces - pieces by the same composer, pieces played by the same band/orchestra. Discover the similarities in the pieces. Now model very dissimilar pieces. What makes them different from each other?

With enough data, you could generate a model for how music looks mathematically. From that model, you could potentially create a formula for the generation of other pieces of music.

This would totally revolutionize the music industry as we know it. Someone needs a song, they plug in a few parameters into the formula and out pops a new hit tune. People could create a song-generating machine - push a few buttons, it prints out the sheet music with all the arrangements and everything for a pop hit or a new symphony.

What would that mean for creativity? Would it mean that good songwriters are the people who naturally understand this equation? Would it put the songwriters out of business? Or would it change the way songs need to be written? Maybe both?