also this weekend

Some months ago, I discovered “Class T” amplifiers, and also discovered that they have pretty good reputations and can be had for astonishingly low prices direct from manufacturer. They’re mostly used in automotive audio, but I’ve had some thoughts on converting my passive main speakers to active main speakers, so I acquired one.

I finally built a test harness for one of these boards on Saturday night.

Damn right I know how to party

Result: it’s worth building a better harness, and, most particularly, use a more suitable power supply. I basically grabbed a 15v DC adaptor out of my I ♥ You Power Supplies box of random salvage, and really, that’s a pretty shitty test transformer.

But even with that, it worked, as in, it functioned and sound good enough to give it a proper go. I didn’t get the low end out of it I’d’ve liked to, but, again, radically underpowered supply voltage, and one of the places that shows up is in lack of low end oomph. I’m hoping that’s it, because if it is, I’d be able to upgrade a lot of old kit on the seriously cheap.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

How was your weekend?

“lukey” now on youtube

I’ve got a couple of weekends off that I had planned out for work that fell through, so I finally made another one of those fake turntable videos. So now “Lukey” – from Bone Walker, of course – is on YouTube. Being played on a gramophone, apparently, for which we thank David T. Stone of Seattle! So, if you’re a big YouTube user, now you can play it there:

I could totally see this track being the one I’d put on an actual cylinder were I to do that craziness. It’s period! It could have been done then, and almost certainly was in some form. Ah, someday. Until then, we have this. Enjoy!


I can’t tell you – no that’s a lie, I won’t tell you – why all these people are busily installing a concrete facility under this major highway near the Lair. However, I can tell you that they think it’s a new stream culvert.


But construction is interesting, so have some site photos.

Also, there is an alpaca. How is this relevant? You may never know.

Larger copies of the pictures at Flickr.

for all the BritSF fans out there

Thunderbirds are in fact go. Supermarination lives again, the Kickstarter has met first goal, and Thunderbirds series 3 episode 1, “The Abominable Snowman,” will be produced. All original cast, all supermarionation.

Click through to Kickstarter project with details

They’re $25k away from Series 3 Episode 2, a prequel episode, “Introducing Thunderbirds.” If they make that, they’ll go for 3×03, “Lady Penelope Investigates: The Stately Home Robberies.”

While I’m more of a Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons fan myself, I’m all over this. And I’d love to see the Lady Penelope adventure. If that’s you, click through to Kickstarter to support it. They’re doing well so far and are definitely in range of at least 3×02, and 3×03 is not out of the question.

Norwescon is actively looking for you!

You likely know that over the last several years, I built a music festival at Norwescon, called nwcMUSIC. It’s a pan-geekmusic festival, with nerdcore and chiptunes and filk and elfmetal and seriously anything geek-friendly I could find. Here’s last year’s show report, and the year before (part one and part two), to give you a feel for it.

But it was built heavily on force of personality – specifically, mine – and I’m stepping down. So they need new people. Our sound crew is stepping down as well, so they need several new people. But there’s good news: it has momentum and all the tools are in place and everything. And it has that all-important social and political momentum; people want to keep it going.

There will be opportunities like Daytime Programming Lead, and I happen to know that Programming Head is looking for someone right now to take that slot. This kind of work is about making panels and workshops, and getting attending performers and pros onto those workshops. They’ve all been very hands-on/instructional in the past. One of the big advantages of this position is that all this work is usually done by January, so you can do this and go to the panels like usual. Sound like it’s for you? Mail today.

They’ll also be needing Publicity and Communications Lead or whatever they end up calling it, promoting events and concerts. That’s work that will start in January and also is mostly done by convention time. There’ll like be a Special Events/Filkcircle Lead, which will have a mix of before-convention and at-con work. There will be a Concerts Lead, working tightly with the Daytime Programming Lead. This can also make you Concerts MC! That’s how I did it.

all this can be yours

There will be a Concerts Second (what I’ve called “Water Fairy,” ably managed by Anna in the past), who does stage management work at the shows, and fairly little beforehand. There will be a Concert Sound Engineer or two (replacing the most excellent Jen and John after six years), possibly a Videographer, and so on. For most of those, contact – the sooner, the better.

I promise this: you will not be going in without help. I won’t be running things, and I won’t be on concom, but I will share everything I’ve done and learned because I want this to keep going. It’s built up into a nice community – one that I want to continue to be part of, as a musician. It’s a really good educational experience for the attendees, it promotes participation in your own culture, and it’s a heck of a venue for nerdy and geeky artists.

also, possibly some srsly bitchin’ gear

So someone – several someones – need to take my place and take these jobs. If no one does, it really will go away, and I don’t know anyone who wants that. So please – even if you aren’t the right person for any of these positions, cast that net wide, and pass along the news to everyone you know. Even if you’ve done it once already, do it again.

And contact Norwescon to get involved, as soon as possible. This is a big change for Norwescon, too. We’ve got a hell of a thing here. Step up. Keep nwcMUSIC going.

updated press page stuff a bit

I’ve updated the Press page with new about Dara and about Solarbird the Lightbringer links, replacing old ones I never liked. Basically, the difference is that one is supposed to be OOC (the secret identity) and the other is in character.

Like there’s really a difference, am I right?

Hopefully it’s less confusing this way, though. If you want to read those and give some feedback, I’d appreciate it.

I still need some proper, professional head shots. I’ll get that done soon and probably replace the pictures currently being used with these pages. Consider the ones there right now to be placeholders.

on the beach, part two

As promised, more photos from Clallam Bay Comicon, a.k.a. CBCC, a.k.a. the Party on the Peninsula. Scroll down, there’s a third fireworks picture that’s pretty good, and a fourth one that I really like.

I’ve mentioned before that CBCC is really kind of a weekend vacation for me, but one where I’m running a table and doing a show, and how that works out to be a vacation is mostly because it’s also during Fun Days, a yearly event out there. Also, the fish and chips at the Clallam Bay Inn.

There are Giant Metal Salmon:

Yes, It Will Eat You. But there’s art inside.

And a small-town parade, with goats and, of course, antique cars:

C’mon, goat!

The Obligatory Muscle Car

And there’s also a whole-town potluck and some surprisingly good hamburgers from the local Lion’s Club and all that sort of thing that goes with rural festivals thrown in the middle of summer just because you can.

But there is also a convention! I did a few panels, and here’s Anna doing a roundtable discussion panel on self- and hybrid publishing:

Anna took a picture of my show, which was nice of her! She posted it on Facebook earlier, but there was some Thanks Facebook compression and artefacting that I cleaned up.

The con had an official hotel for the first time – the Winter-Summer Inn, which is actually a Bed-and-Breakfast, which means it books about… 16? I’m not sure. Something like that. Still, it’s our hotel, and we sold it out.

From the road, it looks super-tiny. I mean, hilariously small. Turns out it’s actually quite large inside. Not quite TARDIS-like, but surprising. This is one of the common rooms, where the mini-video film festival took place:

And in the evening, SO MANY FIREWORKS OH MY GODS. This year we went down to the beach itself. While the explosions went on for over two hours, it was quieter than usual, probably because of the burn ban followed by surprise but deeply, deeply appreciated all-day rain. (On the way out, the fire danger signs were all at their highest levels; on the way back, all the way back down to “high,” which is normal. Such a relief.)

Anyway, the best part about sitting directly on the beach is that some of the fireworks end up directly overhead. Which is seriously the best thing. Plus, if someone happened to, you know, find some fireworks somewhere, you might set them off! Can’t leave them there, after all, that’d be a hazard.

Donna Lights One Up

I’ve put more photos than here on the Flickr account, but these and the other two posted on Monday are my favourites. This first one? Directly overhead. A highly satisfactory BOOM.

And I love the sillouettes on this one. There are more kind of like this on Flickr, but this one has the best colour and scatter.

So, yeah! See you there next year, maybe. As long as we don’t get destroyed by giant earthquakes before then. Boom.

on the beach

Going out to play on the peninsula is the best thing. The weather is normal and the rain gods are kind and on the right weekends there are stupid amounts of fireworks over the water. It’s fundamentally just so restorative. Here, have some explosions.

Also, here’s a photo of the Saturday show from Anna in the audience. Thanks again, Clallam Bay! <3

not ready for his closeup

George was clearly not ready for his official portrait.

Off to Comicon! Clallam Bay Comicon, of course. Where were you thinking?

wow, nook is totally committing suicide

B&N is shuttering Nook in every location except the UK and US. Meanwhile, even here, Anna discovered that Barnes and Noble’s new website only talks to Internet Explorer on Windows. Nothing else will let her log in. If you look at the code, it seems to be testing for IE versions then throwing some obsfucated JavaScript code at you that doesn’t work on anything but recent Explorer.

For the record, Internet Explorer is currently about 12% of web traffic.

Interestingly, if I tell Safari to ID itself at IE 8 or 9, I can get a login box. It’s throwing different code in those cases. Identifying as IE 10 creates the same behaviour as the Safari user agent string. There are also some reports that for other people – at least some percentage of users – it works on Chrome on Windows. But it’s definitely not working here, tonight.

This is crazy. They’ve locked out as much as 88% of potential customers in North America. It doesn’t work on any Safari, including mobile. It doesn’t work on any version of Chrome, or Firefox, that Anna can find to test.

This is amazing. And once you do manage to get logged in, all you get really is a tile-display of books you’ve bought and no option to download them or anything – the links just go to those books’ sales pages. It’s a disaster.

I hope Kobo buys their Nook customer base soon, like they did with Sony. Amazon needs some sort of ePub competition. Nook clearly doesn’t want to be it.

eta: Apparently some people can log in on various shades of Chrome on Windows, but it’s inconsistent. Anna was able to log in on Safari on Macintosh this morning – for a while.

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