Archive for September, 2013

lol government

Anna has a real post about the government shutdown, but me?

Cascadia Now

Quick, everybody – let’s all get out while they’re not looking!

adventures in the rift

It’s more fun to deal with DDOS attacks if you pretend it’s a kaiju.

“Motion in the rift: DDOS attack.”
“Got it. Looks like… 1128 unique IPs.”
“Category 2. Codename: CATBUTT. Dispatch IPTABLES.”

We have it contained at this point. If you can’t get to any of the murknet sites, including my site, then we accidentally tagged you in combat; let me know and I’ll fix it.

my vcon schedule

Here’s my VCON schedule for this coming weekend – they’ve got me pretty busy Friday evening, as you can see! Then the Saturday afternoon workshop, and the concert at 10pm.

VCON 38, October 5-7, Vancouver, BC

I’m not entirely sure why they have me moderating a “What Is Filk?” panel on Sunday, but I’ll do my best. ^_^

soon to be standard gear

…for any travelling musician: the inflatable concert hall!

Unfortunate resemblance to the inside of a stomach
should be mitigated by different colouring agents

Now they just need it backpack sized and we’re good to go.



inspector spacetime series two

It’s new Inspector Spacetime! Yes, yes, thanks to NBC, it’s officially Untitled Web Series About etc nobody cares, it’s Inspector Spacetime. There’s an eight-minute prequel to Series 2 out, there’s a Kickstarter to fund the whole series, it is great. This prequel is everything I wanted in Series 1 but didn’t really entirely get. Don’t get me wrong; I liked Series 1, but it was a bit slow and kind of uneven. Now, though, now they have it going:

Here’s the Kickstarter. Hie thee and go fund!

black midi

Black MIDI is a thing. A thing of cacophony and madness, of multi-million note MIDI songs, played on MIDI pianos as visual art and audio maelstrom.

Does anybody going to Norwescon do this? If so, talk to me. If there’s a panel to be had here, I’d like to have it. music at norwescon dot org.

vcon songwriter workshop

VCON asked me to host a songwriter workshop, which is kind of amazing, and I said okay, which is even more amazing. So, Vancouver, if you want to workshop a song with a supervillain? Now is your opportunity. Details below, but move fast, deadlines are kind of now. Or the 30th. One of those.

VCON 38, Song Writers’ Workshop
Instructor: Dara Korra’ti
Date: Saturday, October 5
Start Time: 2 PM
Duration: 2 hr
Max participants: 4

Singer songwriter Dara Korra’ti will meet with workshop participants for a collaborative review of songs-in-progress. The focus will be on general feedback and constructive criticisms for improvement from both her and other participants.

Participants must submit the work-in-progress they wish to have workshopped no later than September 30. To submit, send the lyrics you have written so far and a recording (or a link to a recording) of the song or the music your lyrics are for via email to

Any quality recording is fine – even a phone recording – though obviously higher quality is better within the constraints of sending a file by email. If your lyrics are written to go with an existing, popular song you can just provide the title name of the artist. If you have written your own music, you may also submit the score but, at Dara’s request, the deadline for a submission with a musical score is a week earlier (September 23) to give her more time to review it.

While not required, participants are encouraged to bring their favourite, portable musical instrument to the workshop.

NOTE: Online registration for VCON hands-on workshops are normally restricted to those who have pre-registered with those who purchase a membership on site only being allowed to register if there are open spaces available the day of the workshop. However, given the nature of this particular workshop (that is, material needs to be pre-submitted), and the fact that pre-registration ended on Sep 15, anyone who would like to participate in this workshop but who has not pre-registered for VCON is invited to contact the VCON Director of Programming to discuss possible options regarding their participation.

you cannot get a good kamikaze in vancouver

While a song is not a documentary, all of these variations actually happened, the first one repeatedly. In none of those moments some people call “ironic” but actually contains no actual irony, I was at a party this weekend hosted by the Agora featuring the Attoparsec Cocktail Engine, and while it was not capable of making a true kamikaze, it was capable of making one of these terrifying variants.

I labelled the programme card for it, “PAIN.”


You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
2013 Crime and the Forces of Evil
or maybe Mary Kaye and the Cosmetics, it’s that kind of song

Should probably be played with banjo or possibly ukelele
Also tuba. BOMP bomp BOMP bomp BOMP bomp BOMP bomp

You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
It doesn’t matter where you buy your drinks
You can’t get a good kamikaze in Vancouver
Gods know I’ve tried and every one just stinks

Verse 1:
[on beat] Sometimes they’ll swap out the lime for orange
A trick they learned while serving in the Navy
I should be glad at least it is a citrus
But something I could rhyme would be nice maybe


Verse 2:

The Sheraton Vancouver’s pretty pleasant
Although it’s really really really really really really really really really really far away
The kamikazi served was phosphorescent
That kaiju flavour sticks with you all day


Verse 3:
Le Vent du Nord was playing in Coquitlam
     Spoken: Yeah, I’m gonna rhyme something with Coquitlam. Watch me.
Le Festival du Bois’s a panacea
The drinking at the restaurant left my face numb
A kamikazi’s not a margarita!


Verse 4:
Davie during Pride is made of glitter
Commercial is a starker raving zoo
The kami that they served me was so bitter
The other girls around me bit ‘er too

ar ar ar
But still I tryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy…

panoramas are also weird

I played more with the panorama function on iOS 7 last night. It appeared to assume that you’d stand in place and turn, which is how most people do it, but I wanted to see how it would work if you didn’t do that, but instead scooched along in a straight line, to the side.

It really doesn’t expect you to be doing that. Check these out and click for larger:

Turning in place

The above looks pretty much right. I’m not practiced with it and the light could’ve been brighter, but you get the idea. Items look the correct size and shape, really, and the seaming is handled very well.

Now check it when you don’t do what they expect and slide from left to right:

Scooching left to right

Look how wibbly and bent things get! Particularly the compost bin – that’s the silver cylinder on the countertop. Is that cool or what? I suspect there’s some insight into their algorithmic assumptions here.

So, yeah. Not built for this purpose.

Oh, the stand-in-place version is cropped, because it came out to a higher total vertical resolution for some reason – 2468 pixels high. The slide version used I think the whole width, or close to it, and came out to 8627 horizontal. That’s a pretty high resolution pan. It is kind of noisy, tho’; I’d like to see how it does in good light. I suspect it’s optimised for outdoors.

waveform rectifiers are weird

Playing with a waveform rectifier. It’s external hardware, so to bounce stuff through it, I have to route out through analogue and back in, old-school. That’s fine, but kind of slow.

The odd part is, to me, the difference is substantial – at least, when the drums are thrown at it, not so much with the zouk and vox – but Anna doesn’t hear much of a difference. I wonder which is more typical?

Trying to throw an entire drum mix through it and using that in place of the separates Does Not Work, though. If I want to use this even as an incremental change tool, I should use it live (as recommended by maker, actually) or bounce per-instrument. That’s also suggested as reasonable in the manual.

Either way, it’s not showing up that hugely in the mix, even to me, and a lot of what this is doing is reminding me how much better the headphone amp in my workstation is than the headphone amp in my Macbook. By which I mean damn.

But at least I get to say “I have a waveform rectifier.” That’s cool.

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