Archive for November, 2015

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?”

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

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’

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


I did not know that Beirut was also attacked, some hours earlier, with the same techniques and also by ISIL. The death toll was smaller by raw count, but much larger by population.

تضامنا مع أهل بيروت


Solidarité avec les gens de Paris

oh hey, the books are on sale

Hey, check it out – the Free Court of Seattle books are on sale – ePub only 99¢, and print $5 off for the two novels! Pretty swank.

Also in hey news, the Facebook band page hit 200 likes! That’s awesome, so let’s celebrate with a giveaway of any download you want from the Bandcamp site, including the apparently-we’re-now-allowed-to-say-Grammy-nominated album, Bone Walker. Apparently we’re allowed to say that now!

(Being me, I will of course remind people it is the long list, not the short list that most people think about. Still, we made it past the jury, and apparently that counts. We’re nominated! Yay! (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧ )

Anyway, We’ll do it as a drawing. Hit “Like” on this post on the Facebook band page to enter. Everybody who does that is entered.

Alternatively, since most of you aren’t reading this on Facebook, you can drop a comment right here on the official blog to enter. I know that’s an extra step but it’s a Facebook achievement, right? So they get it easier this time.

You’ve got ’till, oh, Wednesday. How’s that?

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

an xwindows question

On my digital audio workstation, I run two monitors, and I do it in xinema mode. This is because Ardour – like the overwhelming majority of apps ever – wants all its windows to be on one desktop. xinema mode is how Xwindows does that.

It’s great for Ardour. I have mixer on one screen, editor on another, it’s lovely.

But a couple of system updates ago, a lot of apps started getting “better” ideas about where “centre of screen” is, by which I mean, instead of getting centre of monitor, they were getting centre of desktop.

Which means that many applications now start split in half across two monitors. Including, annoyingly, Ardour’s startup menu and open-file menu; it remembers opening positions for main windows but not startup dialogues or splash screens.

This is incredibly annoying.

So is there a way for it to get, idk, “monitor centre” when it asks for “screen centre,” or to set a default location for unspecified-position windows, or… stuff? Because yeah. Annoying. So annoying.

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

very shiny review and auxiliary couch room viewscreen

Hey, remember that show last Friday? We got a really nice review from Howlin’ Hobbit. Thanks for coming and for the review! 😀

I’d write a longer post, but, well, Fallout 4 got here. So, yeah. Oh, so did the new couch, which is nice, because I moved the old couch up into another, more remote room in the Lair (electronics and sewing, if you really want to know) and along the way kind of duplicated the main couch room’s arrangement, which means that we now have an Auxiliary Backup Couch Room.

And that means we need an Auxiliary Couch Room viewscreen, since the primary Couch Room has a viewscreen, which, if you want to go old school, means the Auxiliary Couch Room viewscreen really ought to look something like this thing from Star Trek, right?

And I was thinking “well, this seems to be important now,” and I was thinking about what to do about that (if anything) when I realised that oh hey, we have a really old sunflower G4 iMac lying around, and I seem to recall something about its screen being all thick-border and curved-corners, and I bet I can figure out at least one of its passwords (success!) so…

…there we go. Sorted.

Incidentally, did you know there’s a Firefox branch specifically for PowerPC OS X antiques? It’s called TenFourFox, because it’s for OS X 10.4. (And 10.5, but presumably it’s 10.4 users who care.) So I have installed a modern-standards browser on its 80gb hard drive (lol 80 gigs) and wow does it eat CPU, but it works if you give it time, and VLC 0.9.iforget is still on the archived builds site and so it has that now, and talks to the Lair’s media server, and that actually works okay! So, well, yeah! Auxiliary Couch Room viewscreen engage.

I spent way too much time on that today. Also too much time on this post, if I want to be honest about it. ‘Scuse me while I try to actually get some work done now. XD

not amused

Getting Up an Hour and a Half Early for a Phone Call That Doesn’t Happen makes Solarbird Go Something Something.

(There is supposed to be a rather substantial delivery. Actually two, because aside from Fallout 4, there’s several large boxes of materials. Okay, a couch. But that’s not supervillainy enough and it’ll come in several boxes. AND I DON’T KNOW WHEN BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T CALL.)

(Damn I’m sleepy.)

So what’s up with your day?

eta: godDAMMIT

We’re writing about the order(s) XXXXXXXXXXXXX

We wanted to let you know that your package may not arrive on time due to extreme weather conditions or an unforeseen natural event. Shipping carriers in the area of your delivery address or cities along the delivery route are reporting delivery delays because of these conditions. UPS will deliver the package as soon as possible. We are sorry about this unavoidable delay and we appreciate your patience.

The package tracking number is XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX. The items listed below are included in this package:

  1. Fallout 4 – PlayStation 4


eta2: The “extreme weather conditions” are LIGHT FOG.

10,000 wax cylinders

UCSB digitised 10,000 old wax cylinder recordings and has put them all online. Since they’re all public domain, which is awesome, the opportunities to play around with and even insert into recordings is essentially unlimited.

BoingBoing has an article up which describes how they still have 2,000 in their collection to record. You can help by “adopting” a cylinder. Or, you can just go straight to the online archive. Some of them are just bizarre.

The craziest and best thing about these – conceptually, anyway – is that they were all recorded mechanically. Electric recording didn’t exist yet, so microphones what even are those? No, these were recorded using giant funnels aimed at the performer, who performed as loudly as they reasonably could – at which they had practice, performing in unamplified halls – and a needle etched the grooves directly into the cylinders.

And with the earliest cylinders, those would be the ones sold. They’d do however many at a time they could manage to fit into a room, so you’d get maybe 40 recorded at once, then perform again. Some cylinders kept being recorded that way for years – Edison’s Concert series in particular.

Very quickly, they moved to recording a master that they’d then physically replicate, either using copying or casting techniques – copying yielding awfully poor results, casting techniques doing far better. But either way, cylinder recordings are basically fossilised sound waves, and that is pretty much just deeply awesome.

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

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