Hitchin’ a ride

I saw an AWESOME movie tonight, Hitch.  Wow, I don’t remember when I’ve laughed harder.  Maybe it was funny because I have lived through most of those moments in real life.  Sort of like Spinal Tap.  Any musician will tell you Spinal Tap is the world’s greatest movie.  The humor is funny because we can relate to the people.  Hitch hits you like that.  Almost the entire movie made me uncomfortable, because it’s WAY too close to home. 

Running low on ideas…

I’ve not had any brilliant ‘blog this’ ideas lately.  The only thing going on is that I’m selling some of my music gear to fund a new purchase.  G.A.S. (Gear Aquisition Syndrome) has reared it’s ugly head again.  I’m going to be purchasing a new GT-8 and selling my GT-6.  These help me record music with the computer.  Hopefully someone will pick up the GT-6 quickly.

Are we walking commercials?

Just looking back through my blog, I’m noticing that I sound like a commercial. ‘I like this product’ or ‘isn’t this cool, even though I don’t have it?’.  I like Rick’s ideas.  If I’m going to post about products, I’m going to post about how to use something.  I’ll still post opinions, but I’m not going to post about every new product that comes out.  That’s what AnandTech and Betanews are for.  Ok, will get off the soapbox now… <grin>

Calm after the storm…

After the blizzard of blog entries yesterday, it’s back to being normal.  I finished reading The da Vinci Code.  Interesting book.  What’s amazing and a little frightning is that I heard all of these ‘legends’ over 15 years ago.  A friend of mine actually was studying the subject when we were in college.  There’s a lot more information out there that supports the ‘story’.  It’s just weird to have something out of your past jump up and ‘say hello’.  I will say this, the book piqued my interest enough that I’d like to go to Europe and see some of the places mentioned.

People are reading this?

It’s wonderful to know that people are actually reading your blog.  I think that inspires more writing.  Thank you Happiest_Lily_lover_9282!  I’ve uploaded more pictures of the cat (she’s a lot better to look at then pictures of her feeder(me)!)

I think we all have little voices that want to come out and touch the world.  Living life in a shell is hard for a human being.  It seems like most people have an artist in their soul.  The people who find the artist and let him/her seem to have a lot of joy in their life.  They have a reason to live and a reason to enjoy each and every day.

So, go out & let the artist out!

Tip for the rapidly expanding drive letters…

My friend Rick just pointed me onto a great tip.  In Windows XP, drives can be added anywhere in the directory structure (like Unix!).  In the disk management console (Start, right click on My Computer, select Manage, go to Disk Management), right click on a hard drive in the list.  A menu should show up for Change Drive Letters and Paths.  This allows one to set the location of the hard drive to anywhere!

Update:  Rick has posted a much better article about this @ http://rekle.blogspot.com/2005/02/mounting-problem-in-windows.html

First guitar post… GT-6 content

This week, while researching some new gear, I came across a problem with my current setup.  I own a GT-6, and am thinking about purchasing a GT-8.  A lot of reviews of this new piece of equipment mention problems with the sound of bending notes above the 15th fret of the guitar.  Some people were complaining that when doing said action, they would hear horrible noises.  I had poo-poo’ed this, because I had been getting a good sound.  Unfortunately, I made a small mistake.  I tried to duplicate the problem.  Lo and behold, I WAS GETTING THE EXACT SAME PROBLEM.  This completely pissed me off, as I’ve had the unit for over 3 years, and have been extremely happy.  Not anymore!

Before deciding to chuck the thing, go all tubes, and write nasty reviews and emails about BOSS and how they have ignored the problem, I figured I’d at least TRY to find a ‘working solution’.  It turns out I was making a mistake *gasps from the audience*.  I had the PREAMP’s output level too high.  After backing off the preamp output & increasing the patch level and unit output level, the issue is gone!

Now I understand the arguments, and why people are having trouble with this.  When the unit ‘aliases’, it sounds gawd awful.  BUT, there usually is a solution.  Unfortunately, people are not taking time to find that solution.  Once I realized that I was overloading the signal chain, just backing off helped TREMENDOUSLY.  Increased other things, boom, same sound, no artifacts.

Hope this helps someone…  Now it’s time to get the GT-8…

Lousy day…

I’ve been trying to keep personal stuff off this, but today I think I’ll change that. 

Some background… A year and a half ago I had a life changing event.  I lost my job suddenly, and the option that I chose was to take a job very quickly.  Nothing good came of this.  The ‘new’ job paid less and required many hardships.  Unfortunately I had a ‘series of unfortuante events’ while working the ‘new’ job.  Let’s just say that during the time I worked the ‘new’ job, I was living off borrowed time and money. 

About seven months ago, a windfall came my way.  I was able to take a new job that is now my current job (and will be for a while).  While I am making more money and spending a LOT less, I am having to pay off bills that were racked up from the previous 10 month.  I’ve been working on these bills.  Today was supposed to be the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’, a pay-day that would finally bring me back ahead of my payments, and give me a tiny bit of breathing room.

Well, the light turned out to be the headlight of an oncoming train…

First thing was to get the oil changed in the car.  Simple, right?  All I wanted was a basic oil change (as the computer on the car was complaining about oil life).  Forget that!  The brakes needed to be rotated.  Ok, we can handle that.  Nope, they needed to be completely replaced.  Bye-bye paycheck.

Also, one of my co-worker’s had a family emergency.  I didn’t get the details, but it was serious.  I hope & pray that all goes well for her family.

There is a bright side.  I still have an excellent job, a great boss, and a wonderful cat.  I have a roof over my head, and some food on the table.  Maybe it wasn’t such a bad day after all.

Good programmers borrow, great programmers steal !?!

I just re-learned a lesson that should never be forgotten, especially being a musician and a programmer.  I’m currently working with 1 other programmer and 1 manager who programs.  Both are excellent, but that brings about a limited scope of programming techniques and ideas.  So, I’ve turned to start reading source code for projects like Paint.NET, RSS Bandit and the Enterprise Library to start getting a ‘feel’ for how other people code.  There’s a lot books leave out, like real world error handling, that ARE in these various projects.

No iPod for me…

Lot’s o’ hype of the iPod at Microsoft.  Personally, I’ll get the Creative Labs Zen Touch when I can afford it.  I don’t like how expensive the iPod is.  I also have all my music ripped to WMA Lossless (I transcribe music on the computer).  I’d like to even try my hand @ blogcasting at some point.  I definitely don’t like iTunes.  It’s funny how people yell & scream about Microsoft including Media Player with Windows, while Apple can install iLife free on every system.  Go figure…

So much to do, so little time…

Things have been crazy lately.  I been working a LOT harder than I ever had in my life.  I think that’s because before, I really didn’t care about my jobs.  I’m a Gen-X’er who was disillusioned a LONG time ago.  I tried really hard, but had not been able to make much headway.  Jobs were either very easy, boring, or tedious.  The very easy ones ended up being dull.  The boring ones were just boring, and the tedious, well, let’s not even go there.

Part of the problem was that I’m not one who applies himself without some sort of internal ’cause’.  Most of my jobs previous had removed that ’cause’.  My previous job was what I would consider ‘HELL’.  All I could do was figure out a way to get out of there, and NEVER return.  This helped put my next (current, and hopefully very long term) job in perspective.

One other thing that’s helped is that this job is interesting!  I’ve been working with the company for a little over 6 months, and it’s not slowed down.  I get to travel a little, meet people, and still program.  I get to use tools that I pick, decide on methods, methodogies, and procedures, and control the entire process.  I have a great boss.  He’s got a similar background and his values are VERY similar to mine.  We have one other programmer whom I dragged away from ‘HELL’.  He’s the only person that I respected from that company, and I think that he can do much more and be happier doing it.  We’ll have to see.  It makes for a great team.