The change we need, the view I didn't have

So I went to the Obama rally in Norfolk, VA tonight. Those of you that follow me on Twitter prolly got tired of seeing my comments. It wasn't bad, a little shorter than I was expecting, but then I've never been to a rally before so what do I know?

He's a decent speaker, needs to either wear a lavaliere or remember to only talk when facing the microphones. Still, a decent speaker. Some people say that the photos and video of him speaking don't do him justice. I wouldn't know, I had to turn around and watch him on the screen at the back of the stadium because there was no line of sight to the stage from where I could get to.

Oh well, still it was interesting to see the people that showed up. The variety of people. All ages, nationalities, and by their dress economic groups too. I saw people in obvious hand-me-down coats, to well-tailored suits standing in the back with me. Was also interesting to see the detractors that showed up. The barkers along the side of the road as I walked from my car to the stadium. They weren't politically motivated McCain supporters like I thought they might be. They were members of the 'Religious Reich'. The fear-mongering, Bible-thumping, 'if you don't believe like I believe then you can't be a good person' types. They held up signs like "Follow Jesus/Fear God". Never understood why I should want to fear the force that supposedly created me and allowed 'their son' to die so that I who had not even been born yet could be forgiven of sins I had not even committed yet. That's another post altogether, though.

I can't say it was fun but then I can't say it wasn't. It was interesting, it was cold, and above all it was me doing something I don't usually do. It's a thing I'm trying. Not the new me but the me I never knew.

Play time now... new toys... more on that later.

Pardon me while I have a geeky *squee* moment

O'kay this is a rare moment for me. I don't go 'fanboy' over anything and I certainly am not the kind to be phased by 'star power'.

I've met and hung out with the members of Sister Machine Gun and Gravity Kills in the same night after they did a show at that same club. Very cool but never once did I achieve squee. Tonight that has changed.

I got notified that my twitter account is now being followed by Cali Lewis  of and I achieved squee. I am a dork, I know. I am o'kay with this. :)

Unplanned days off are nifty...

This post contains a slight spoiler for Eagle Eye - you have been warned.

So my day starts off a little earlier than usual with a call from one of the supervisors at work to advise me that the time off I'd put in for today was approved last minute. This was nice not only in that I didn't want to go in any way, as I would have had to sit through a meeting that I already sat through on Tuesday when I was there for overtime, but nice that he called to tell me so that I wouldn't drive all the way out there for no reason.

So I get up and decide to do something with the day. A few text messages, phone calls, and failed attempts later I end up just a few minutes away from work at the home of someone I work with, the same person that invited me to the evening of Rock Band about a month ago. Then from there, we go to see the movie Eagle Eye. Not a bad film really. Shia LaBeouf really is turning out to be a decent 'incidental action hero'. The storyline is revisiting the same one that The Terminator series of movies is based on "what happens if we let our technology think for us...what happens if we don't". Hope that wasn't too much of a spoiler.

Much talking was done, much fun was had, or at least I had fun... I shouldn't speak for my companion for the day as they might see it differently and aren't here to rebut my statement.

So after that, I wandered off to the local Best Buy and did what one is supposed to do at Best Buy when one has no money, play video games. They had a drum kit connected to a console running Rock Band, so I got some time on the sticks... actually a lot better at it than on the guitar but then my coordination has always been better when performing similar tasks with both hands. The more I play the game the more I seriously think about getting it. I really do enjoy it and it wouldn't hurt to do something that requires me to tax my coordination from time to time; might improve it a little. Besides maybe if I limber my fingers up again I can get back to trying to teach myself to play a real guitar.

Bedtime now... dreaming of being awoken tomorrow with the same phone call; what to do if that happens? Who knows?

Clicky Clicky

For the last few weeks, I have been dealing with my mouse misbehaving. I would try to only click once, it felt that was not enough and would double click about 30% of the time. So today I decided to replace it. Got a new Mighty Mouse (yes, I do think about the cartoon every time I hear the name). I could have gotten a cheaper mouse with a scroll wheel but that wouldn't have been as much fun as having a mouse named after a rodent superhero on my desk, now would it? *grin*

While I was out today (well it was actually the reason I went out) I looked around for a MIDI controller keyboard with a USB interface. Who knew it would be next to impossible to find one. The only one I found that wasn't in the $400+ dollar range was a rather clumsy and it had mini keys. So I had to order one. So in about a week (I'm not going to pay for express shipping) I'll have a nifty new CME M-Key and I can then get back to my remixing. Well, I can get farther anyway. I tried to use the onscreen keyboard and I tried using key mapping but it just wasn't working out. I also have the feeling that I'm going to soon be feeling the limits of my somewhat outdated machine. I'll get by well enough for now, though.

Now, now it is bedtime. For some reason that I don't understand I agreed to overtime tomorrow, in the morning no less, helping out a class of new hires that just hit the floor. I think they're video agents, which means they're going to need all the help they can get. For a company whose core product is video, our training for video troubleshooting to the people that take the calls leaves a lot to be desired.

Standing on the throats of giants

So I've been spending a lot of my free time at home listening to the gems at Nine Inch Nails' remix site. Why? Well aside from the fact that there is some really amazing stuff there (occasionally the remixes are better than the original), I've been playing around with the idea of remixing the song Survivalism and so I've been looking for inspiration.

I have a working title and I've started cutting up the vocals from the multi-track files for the song, which are available from the remix site but also from the DVD that comes with Y34RZ3R0R3M1X3D (yes I just typed that out). My plan will probably require that I create some of my own vocals as well as some keyboard work, so I'm in the market for either a MIDI/USB interface or an inexpensive USB MIDI controller. Given my space constraints in my little corner of the world, the controller would be easier to work with but the interface would likely be a lot cheaper as I already have a fairly nice keyboard with MIDI ports. It doesn't have a pitch binder, but I can do that in software after laying down the track.

For now I'm still in the planning stages. Listening to the samples over and again, as well as to others versions of the song to see what works well and what doesn't. I haven't done anything like this since back in the heyday of MOD and S3M tracking and my experience with GarageBand is just a few steps short of none... this should be interesting and I hope in the end turn out well enough to post back to the remix site.