Archive for November, 2015

more like Cylon Monday if I had my way

Cyber Monday always makes me think it’s basically HELLO CYLONS time, but hey, who am I to stand in the way of a good robot uprising? I mean, let’s face it, nothing says “discounts now!” like an old-fashioned cybernetic apocalypse.

So in that spirit, here, have a discount code for anything – including physical goods – on the Bandcamp site. Bandcamp is the best because they let you download lossless files, and also because you can actually get physical media if you want, and get them signed and such. (Just be sure to tell me you want that!)

Enter this code at checkout:


…and it’s 20% off everything.

Now if you’ll excuse me, having played Christmas Capitalist, I must now go conduct some experiments on brains. Possibly my own, possibly using bleach. You know – the usual Monday.

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a raffle winner, a note about "cyber monday", and a video shoot

Hey, remember I extended the raffle deadline – any Bandcamp download for free – to Wednesday, right? Then I didn’t post the winner because Second Thanksgiving and a Lair full of visitors and all that. Well, I did in fact roll the dice to determine a winner, and that winner is Kimberly Turriff on Facebook! Kimberly, I’ll tag you on the Facebook link of this post, please contact me and tell me what you’d like!

Also, thanks to everyone for entering! If you didn’t win, well, this being Cyber Monday, well, I think you can make a guess about the post I’m about to make right after this one. But that’s for the next post. 😀

Meanwhile, this weekend a few of us got out there and shot some material for Mary Crowell‘s upcoming new video. Tune in for EXCITING RAKING ACTION:

Actual raking not included

After all, that’s why I have Minion Rachel and Minion Ian. Note the stylish Minion sashes.

It’s all for Mary’s cover of “Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked.” The video is due out later in December. I’ll link when it comes out.

And how was your Second Thanksgiving?

Looking for the Grammy Awards Long List nominee post? Thank you for listening, and for your consideration.

there is a cyber monday post coming

Hello, Atlantic Canada and American East Coasters! There is in fact a Cyber Monday post coming. Yes, I’m doing it too, I’m calling it Cylon Monday. It’s queued for 9am Cascadian/Pacific time, so if you’re looking for such things, come back then.

Looking for the Grammy Awards Long List nominee post? Thank you for listening, and for your consideration.

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. 😀

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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.

Looking for the Grammy Awards Long List nominee post? Thank you for listening, and for your consideration.

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! 😀

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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!

Looking for the Grammy Awards Long List nominee post? Thank you for listening, and for your consideration.

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