I did not even know “Mountain Dulcimer Bass” was a thing

Fred showed up for Second Thanksgiving from Oregon with a MOUNTAIN DULCIMER BASS. I did not even know this was a thing. I sat around playing metal basslines on it. I want to hook it up to like three overdrive pedals and rawk out.

I posted proof of concept video on Tumblr, go check this thing out, it is hilarious and awesome. :D

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a side-quest achieved

For years, I’ve been making apple pie with Second Thanksgiving. I make it the day before, it’s an easy recipe, it’s good. Very straightforward.

But I’m always left with apple peels, because I peel the apples. And I like apple peel, but not that much of it, so I’ve experimented a bunch of times with the leftover peels, trying to see what I could make. And it’s never been worth mentioning. I’ve tried toasting them, I’ve tried sautéing them in brown sugar, I’ve tried a lot of stuff.

This year I finally pulled it off.

Peelings Managed

Apple-peel tarts. One eaten; other four in the fridge for the morning. Surprisingly tart with softened peels. Recipe:

  • Flatten leftover crust dough on parchment paper, very thin. Cut into strips and lay a couple into each tart cup.
  • Get a long spiral of apple peel, and lay across bottom of cup. Add a few leftover apple pieces from the pie filling, and wind in the rest of the spiral.
  • Add pieces of leftover apple, again from the pie filling. It’s important that the apple and peel mingle, I think.
  • Put in oven with pie, after the initial higher-temperature 10 minutes are over. For me, this means as reducing the oven from 450F to 350F.
  • After 10 minutes, move to a second oven (or toaster oven) at 300F.
  • After 20 more minutes, add about 2 tablespoons apple cider. (New and critical!)
  • Allow to bake for 10-15 more minutes; judge it by eye, you want the cider to boil down a bit in the oven.

The peel came out soft and tart and delicious. The apple chunks (about half of it) retained their shape and were sweet and yummy. The crust strips add a third texture and also absorb candied cider flavour.

I’m really hoping it holds up in the morning. Fingers crossed.

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oh now this is very interesting kit right here

Check it out – it’s a sample-based synth, right? But it lets you snip and select subsets of the waveform live, as you’re playing. Sure, there’s nothing here that you can’t do now with a DAW and mics and such, but as an interface? This is really, really slick.

It’s a prototype only at the moment, which is too bad. Love to play with this.

(h/t spazzkat and gizmodo)

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aaaaa I totally forgot the raffle!

What with the power outages and then going out of town and and and things, I totally forgot the raffle! OK! So! Um, entry is extended to Wednesday! Either Like THIS POST on Facebook OR Click HERE and leave a comment to enter – make sure you have a valid contact email in your comment – and I’ll draw a winner on Wednesday morning.

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hey orycon, guess who has the high ground?

It’d been so long since I’d been to Orycon that it was basically my first Orycon kind of all over again. And a con other than VCON that I wasn’t working! How strange!

They were in a new old hotel, and we were in a very strange room down past what appeared to be the end of the hallway, down a second, very narrow hallway that did not look like it was supposed to go anywhere. (Seriously, it was some single-file-only narrow.) Our room started then with a very narrow rectangle, one long side of which became the hypotenuse for three sequentially larger and overlapping right triangles. This sounds terrible, but it actually wasn’t; it was kind of neat and certainly more visually interesting than most hotel rooms.

But nobody’s here for architecture. So, oh, what happened that I didn’t talk about in the weekend post? Well, I got into a band scramble with Callie from Echo’s Children, Chris Waffle from Going Viral (who had a great set on Sunday morning that not enough people attended – your loss, folks) and Andrew Ross, a well-liked solo performer in filk. The PDX Broadsides also put on a killer show – really, I didn’t see a bad performance out of anybody, everyone seemed pretty on point.

The party scene at Orycon isn’t bad at all – they have a nice balance of sizes. The Westercon party’s entry stamp was the largest I’ve ever seen, a minotaur that was over 10cm long and looked like it was taking over half my forearm. Fortunately, the Radcon party had a choice of stamps, including a top hat, so I had them give my arm minotaur a dapper chapeau. I’m almost disappointed the ink was water-soluable; I didn’t think to photograph it before it got damaged.

I also found high ground at the NIWA party – which at the time, I found unreasonably entertaining – all while staying on what architecturally my brain decided was all part of an excessively extended patio. (Because until I started heading upwards at the end, it was all on more or less the same level, connected by skybridges, so therefore: same patio. Two different buildings across three different blocks, whatever: same patio.)

Sniper Bitch Instincts: Engaged

Sunday continued to be pretty loopy and we ended up in some long conversations with people we’d never met personally before, including one of Anna’s favourite writers (and both Orycon and this coming Norwescon’s Writer GoH) Tanya Huff, talking about substantially about music festivals of Quebec and Atlantic Canada and guitar strings. I ratted out Anna’s elevator squee to her, of course.

It’s not 10pm post-dead-dog arguments in a hallway about FM broadcast standards in television signals, but it’s pretty close.

Anna and Tanya Huff, trying to keep each other vertical

Anyway, all in all, a successful and fun convention. Played a bunch, sold stuff, had a good time. Next up here is Second Thanksgiving, on Thursday, so posting will probably get a little sparse. It can take a little while to remind all the Henchies about being thankful they are still alive, but eventually, even they get it.

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Orycon is in Full Effect

Hey minions, it’s Day 2 of Orycon! Last night was a bigger travel day than expected due to reasons, but we got here in plenty of time. It’s been so long since I’ve been to Orycon that this is pretty much my first Orycon all over again, and so far, it’s pretty sweet.

Last night was definitely Questionable Decision Time as I played a lot of things I hadn’t played in a while, and one thing I had literally never played ever but found in one of Anna’s songbooks and scanned a little while ago. (“Catatonia County Rag,” an old Elfquest song.) That was obviously a bit of a spur-of-the-moment decision, but wow was I not expecting the whole room to know it and sing along. I’d never even heard it performed live before, but apparently it was like super-famous back in the day.

Fandom, rite?

I am sad I had to miss the last day of Desert Bus; even though I couldn’t be there, I did wear my Zeta Shift T-shirt last night while playing. Best news is that they broke last year’s record, and raised $677K and change! So congratulations all around.

Anna’s books are the NIWA table and occasionally so is Anna; I’m just wandering around because I’m not scheduled for anything today or tomorrow, but I’m sure I’ll make it to the open filk tonight. If you’re here, come say hi! :D

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nwcMUSIC needs a new Concerts Director

I haven’t been posting much about nwcMUSIC’s need for new personnel this year, and that’s because they had people! And they still have some people, but the Concerts Director had to step away due to work and oncoming new child.

So they need a new one, and they need them now! As I’ve said before, I will help you. I will meet with you, I will infodump like a madwoman on you, I will introduce you around.

It fun and it’s also kind of a glamour position in that you get to work with all the bands and even be MC if you want to, which is awesome, or you can pick an MC to do it for you and just sit back and watch them work.

Please, if you’ve given this any thought, this upheaval has left them short, and they really need someone to step in. Here’s the news post about it – and if it’s not for you, please, please pass it along!

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almost certainly losing power today

I’m queueing this post for overnight, because given the weather forecast, I’ll be more surprised if we don’t lose power than if we do. So! Our website may be down because of a major storm, but if you’re a member of the Recording Academy looking for Bone Walker, the music portion of the site is on Bandcamp and will be up:

Bone Walker, by Crime and the Forces of Evil, on Bandcamp

And if you want to enter the drawing for any downloadable thing from the band website, go like this post on Facebook, which will also work even if we’re down. Or, if we’re up, you can drop a comment here.

See you on the other side!

mst3k and desert bus

Very busy today, but here’s what’s fun today:

1: The annual Desert Bus for Hope play marathon is running! Desert Bus is probably the worst video game ever made – this was by design – wherein you drive a bus in realtime from Tuscon to Los Vegas in realtime. There are no stops, nothing happens. It does get dark and one or two bugs may hit your windshield. When you get to Los Vegas, you get one point, and start heading back.

In other words, this was Penn and Teller pulling an Andy Kauffman on videogaming. And where this goes from unmitigated pain to hilarity is that the whole thing is hosted by Loading Ready Run, a group of comedians from Victoria, who are hosts. No; what makes it hilarious is the chat stream running in parallel, with which they interact. The chat stream is critical.

Here’s the twitch stream, and here’s the official website. For me, as a Zeta Shift regular (midnight-6am Cascadian time), things really start getting hilarious late-night. But Dawn Patrol, Alpha Flight, and Nightwatch all have their things.

2: Mystery Science Theatre 3000 is attempting a comeback; here’s the Kickstarter. They broke US$1,000,000 in the first day. They’re hoping to break US$2,000,000 today, and they’ve announced the new host. Joel is driving this, and he specifically wants a new host, because it’s no good if it doesn’t stay fresh. But some of the old crew will be involved, so the flavour doesn’t go away.

As Joel said, ‘you can take MST3K out of Minneapolis, but you can’t take the Minneapolis out of MST3K.’

Anyway, those are fun, there are updates, enjoy and possibly donate. “Think about it, won’t you?”

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glowstick durability

Glowstick – or in this case, glow-tube – durability in storage is highly variable by colour! This is unsurprising. But it is still interesting to see in real life – I found these behind a bunch of other stuff in a closet, they’re probably… six to eight years old? Somewhere around that, I think.

already activated, not that you can really tell

yep, that’s all y’got

still kinda pretty tho’

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