Archive for March, 2014

proof of midi: The Seelie Host

Another work track from Bone Walker: The Free Court of Seattle; this is Faerie Blood chapter 23, third movement, the arrival of the Seelie host. I’m posting it as proof-of-MIDI; these chimes sound reasonable, I think, and the small bells, as well. I did play both, in the sense of playing on a MIDI keyboard tied to sampled instruments.

You should hear the Faerie Court of the Seelie come in at, oh, around 30 seconds or so? Depends upon how good your speakers are. You should hear them for sure by the 50 second mark. But don’t skip ahead, I mean, the thing builds, that’s the point. ^_^

Track credits so far: Ellen Eades (hammer dulcimer, faux double-bass with Dara Korra’ti), Sunnie Larsen (fiddle), me (see above, mandolin, Irish bouzouki, MIDI chimes and bells, recording, engineering).

I cannot wait for percussion tracks to start coming in. Normally I do my own percussion (see also everything I’ve done, but also Kitsune at War (work track), from this soundtrack project) but these are being done outside, and I’m really looking forward to them coming in. 😀

destroying the evidence



the problems in tech: a lovely example

James Nicoll pointed to this post on Scripting News, wherein the author tells a story about a guy he hired who didn’t do any work, had to be fired, then sued on the basis of discrimination, all back in 1985. The author lays out this gem:

[E]very time a company hires someone who is not a young male, they run the risk that the new hire isn’t there to work, rather is there to scam you.

…and proceeds to deny that he’s advocating only hiring young white men. (The white part comes in later, in comments.)

Here’s my reply, in case it doesn’t get unscreened:

The statement that you made very much advocates hiring only young males, whether you want it to or not.

”[E]very time a company hires someone who is not a young male, they run the risk that the new hire isn’t there to work, rather is there to scam you.”

The meaning of the sentence is that people who aren’t young men might just be scamming you, and that young males, by exception, are not out to scam you.

Young women need not apply: might be out to scam you! Anyone over whatever your definition of “young” age is need not apply: might be out to scam you! Risky! Young men, by contrast: not part of the problem; not out to scam you.

What do you think this advocates?

And yes, there is an implicit whiteness in this, by virtue of the point of “Roy” using civil rights laws to sue you. C.f. all the people in comments picking it up, and comments already made that “this scam only works because of protected classes.” You may not want to own that, but you put it out there.

The underlying assertion, of course, is bullshit. I’ve seen exactly this work behaviour out of your “young males” more than once. When I was at Microsoft in particular, I saw this a couple of times, and how your “young men” had to be so carefully nudged out the door to prevent them from being able to sue either. I saw your “young males” doing it when I was doing research in academia. It was project-destroying.

But that’s not part of your story, now, is it?

Stories matter. We tell stories for reasons, and we pick stories we think have meaning, and meaning we want to communicate. And yours, here, communicates certain things very clearly – whether you want to admit it or not.

My only regret is failing to mention that exactly this thinking is exactly how Bitcoin’s Reddit forum had posted in their FAQ not to do business with people identifying as women online, because it was probably a scam.

Awfully similar language, don’t you think?


Today is accountant day. Hopefully it’s also water-heater replacement day. It is a day of Things and Stuff, most of which are not that interesting, but all of which take a lot of time, so I will give you a flower, and be off. Enjoy the day!


women in electronica

Hey, check out Strah Statham’s post on the women who paved the way for electronic music. She’s added a a Part II, here, as well.

You know about Delia Derbyshire, of course – everyone reading this should – but this post has six others, including Clara Rockmore…

…who worked with Léon Theremin to improve his new musical device (the theremin, go figure) to make it a true musical instrument. Unless you’ve heard her play before – I actually have – then you haven’t heard a theremin sound like this. Check it:

Final days for TWO projects you should support

Everybody listen up and pay attention! There are two artistic projects going in to their last days and both are on target to make it, so if you haven’t gone and pitched in already, GO NOW!

First is Heather Dale and Ben Deschamp’s Celtic Avalon album-tour-video project. It’s musical and educational, and they’ve just added SJ Tucker to the project, making it even more awesome than it already was. They’re down to less than a week and are very close, but not quite there. Heather Dale Band fans, SJ Tucker fans, Canadian music fans, you are on deck. If they get over in the next couple of days there will still be time for the only-once-already-successful people to jump in for stretch goals.

eta: They have a fan who will match donations today! Make twice as much support!

Second is the Inspector Spacetime/Doctor Who parody film which has not just Travis Richey and Chase Masterson and Robert Picardo and Mayim Bialik but the actual Seventh Doctor, Sylvester McCoy, in it. I talked about this before; they’re a little over halfway through the project period and are about three-quarters of the way to funding. It’d be great to get them over the top this week so all the people who don’t jump in until the project is already funded actually jump in, so they can do extra stuff.

They have the prequel already posted, it’s long, it’s good, you can see it at their IndieGoGo project page. If you’re not already in, go watch that and decide. Sylvester McCoy’s not in that clip – he shows up in the next scene, I’ve already seen the animatronic, it’s good – but Robert Picardo is. G’wan, you wanna.

eta: Woah, made IndieGoGo front page! Awesome. 😀

Okay, enough screwing around online for me. Back to taxes.

sailing the salish sea

More photos from the Vancouver Island trip! I have a few more photobombs to lob at you before I’m done, and this is one.

I’d never sailed BC Ferries before – even going to Vancouver Island has been a Seattle ferry or Kenmore Air trip. So this was a new experience. BC’s ferries are a lot bigger than Washington’s. And a bit more expensive, but also… don’t get me wrong, I love our ferries? BC’s are nicer. The trips are longer so that makes sense, of course. But still. Seven decks, quite tall, multiple restaurants, business cubbies so you can work, it goes on a while.

It was typical Cascadian sunshine on the way out. This is from the forward restaurant, run by White Spot – nothing crazy, but a nice buffet:

I went up top to take some outside photos. It wasn’t too windy when we left, and only light rain. The light rain part mostly stayed, but the wind – hoo boy. Seriously, I came ’round a corner on the top deck out of shelter I didn’t realise was shelter and literally almost got knocked over. The rain hurt. I’ve been in typhoons before, and this wasn’t quite that bad, but damn.

I swear to you this photo is in colour.

Lonely Island

The trip back five days later was very strange. Somebody had angered Ra, apparently, and he was looking down with fury. Still, makes for interesting high-contrast photography, I suppose.

Big Tower

That wall on the left? That’s the wall I walked around and into the SURPRISE WINDS that almost knocked me over. Again, it provides shelter; Anna and I hid under that tower for a while to escape Ra’s gaze:

Not Entirely Successfully. Fortunately, we are not vampires.

Less wind than before, too. I’ve said it before, but I love taking panorama shots. It’s genuinely 75% of why I wanted a newer phone than I already had. Widescreen is awesome.

Yep. Them’s Islands.

Some foolishly risk Ra’s wrath

I tweeted this next one – BC Ferries picked it up, replied, and retweeted it – and I should probably say something about our doppelgangers heading into the time loop vortex around Vancouver Island and how we’re on the other boat or other-dimensional versions of us are because they have to replace us or we can’t leave or something but eh, I don’t have time, the Sleestak get cranky if you bring it up, and I have taxes to do and music to make. I just like the picture. 😀

Hi Opposite Boat!

Anyway, back to work. Bigger versions of these photos on my photostream, like before.

because i can, of course

I’m doing taxes – actually, I’ve been doing them all weekend, I’ll be doing them all day today, and I’ll be doing them tomorrow. I’m doing most of the math on this:

Original Odhner Mechanical Calculator

Why? Because I can, of course. But it’s not all taxes, I’m also working on Something’s Coming (2014), in the evenings – seriously, this tax bullshit is a four-day full-time job and that’s just to get things together enough to go to the accountant – and I’ve got a mandolin part charted out, and reminder notes.

Mandolin part!

I did a test recording on Sunday, and made a couple of changes. Between taxes and water heater replacement today, well, hopefully I can record it tonight. PROGRESS! 😀

snuggly george does not need midi

I know I’ve posted too many pictures of George lately, but apparently, he really missed having us around as couch-warmers.

So there’s some content to this post: the problem with the MIDI interface is the US-800 itself, apparently. No, it works, and it works fine with iOS and OS X, but Linux is all snippy and picky about things and stuff and won’t deal with it. Fortunately, my old M-Audio Fast Track Pro’s MIDI interface is common enough to be tested against, and now I have my chimes. Excellent.

the happy dance of coding triumph

So for the longest time, the comments count on the blog page have been totally wrong. A post could have 30 or 40 notes (comments, likes, etc) of various kinds and show up as zero or one comment in both archives and latest-post (“Blog”) views. The correct number would never appear.

For example, the two pictures I posted of George today showed up as zero notes combined; the real number was 14, mostly likes. But if you went to the post view or went directly to the individual post, you’d see everything.

There are reasons for this, having to do with custom comment types and echoing posts around and stuff. I’ve tried to fix it before, to hilarious failure sound effects, but now? I FINALLY HAVE IT YEEEEEEEEEEEEES 😀

It still doesn’t count linked comments, which means comments on places like Livejournal and Dreamwidth aren’t included, but those are only linked-to comments anyway, so that’s fair.

Damn, this place has felt inappropriately lonely from the Blog view for a long, long time. Talk about discouraging new people from interacting!

Oh, hey, also – I have a mobile theme (Carrington) that kicks in on small devices. Mobile users, are you okay with that thing? It’s incredibly hard to customise so I haven’t. I could turn it off entirely, and you’d get the desktop view on your phone, but that’s… not super-optimal either. Any thoughts? (She asked on a Friday afternoon, when nobody reads anything… XD )

(I will say this for Carrington: it has counted comments correctly the whole time. So there, WordPress! XD )

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