Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Flow and Focus

After making some progress with the physical side of the Lakshmi Project -- The re-ordering of My immediate environment -- I'm now revisiting the mental side.

There are several things happening simultaneously that could be construed as evidence that the Project is starting to take root in My mind.
  1. Due to other commitments, my violin teacher is only going to be teaching for another month. This will give me some extra cash in the form of a tuition refund, and give me additional practice time to prepare for a clarinet exam in June. Conveniently, this turn of events will provide the cash for a pre-calculus prerequisite math course I want to take... And the required graphing calculator, too.

  2. I've acquired a paid proofreading gig... Cleaning up a book manuscript.

  3. And I've been improving My self-discipline and concentration skills through various means, including leaving the computer switched off during music practice, and doing My reading in a straight-backed chair under adjustable lighting.
The mind truly is the final frontier... And oh, what a trip I'm having on this particular starship!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Put down the lutefisk and back away slowly..."

As part of My household's traditional vernal equinox cooking frenzy, tonight I'm featuring some not-so-traditional Scandinavian cooking. Check out this vinatarta recipe: Based on a similar recipe I found elsewhere on the Internet, but modified to make it gluten-free.

And, to date, the most fun I've ever had with a 750 gram bag of dried prunes.

Next up: Rack of lamb with yams and caramelized pearl onions for dinner tomorrow, and maple crème brulée for dessert.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Mini-Egg Emergencies and other small panics

Went out to Thursday night writers' group, as usual, then picked up Red so we could go shopping. Our objective: A two-pound bag of chocolate mini-eggs.

Tried the grocery store. No large bags there, and overpriced smaller bags.

Tried the drug store. Still no large bags, although they had a suitable quantity of store-brand eggs in a rather pleasing canister.

Then I read the ingredients.

Wheat??
Who the Hel puts wheat in chocolate eggs?
(*heavy sigh* as I put the container back on the shelf)

But we did come home with a "contingency" bag of a third brand, free of both wheat and tartrazine.

And they go great with an icy mug of mead. *chomp*

Happy Equinox, everyone!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's here! It's here!!

(signs for package and closes front door) Now, let's see what we've got...

*rip* *unpack*

Yup, it's all here. Vernal Equinox 2008, Northern Hemisphere Edition.

(loads software into computer)

Oh, heck. They forgot about the Daylight Saving Time change.

*downloads patch*

*program crashes with random equipment malfunction*

@#!%!!

Hang on, folks... It may take Me till past one in the morning, but you will have your Spring on schedule.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Springy MC and Her Amazing PenguinLoops

Well, My open-source audio studio is slowly starting to fall together. This is what I have so far on the software side:
  • Audacity (Multi-track recording)
  • Hydrogen (Drum machine)
  • LMMS (Linux MultiMedia Studio)
  • JACK connection kit and frontend
  • Rosegarden MIDI/Audio studio
And, on the hardware side and in varying states of connectivity:
  • M-Audio Oxygen 8 controller
  • Audiophile 2496 soundcard
  • Tascam US-122 mixer
  • Yamaha E303 synthesizer
  • "Spiny Norman", a Schechter 5-string bass
  • "Dr. Venkman", an Ibanez RG
  • "François", an acoustic 12-string
  • "Vilma" the 100-year-old German-made violin
  • Sundry other instruments, microphones and cables
...Not counting moribund gear such as the mortally wounded Tascam analog multitrack, or that Roland JV-80 which sorely needs to be cleaned and/or rebuilt, or the digital piano which I am *not* hauling up the stairs to the studio.

But it does appear that, sometime in the not-too-distant future, I'll actually be set up to record something. Watch (and listen to) this space.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

"I don't want to go on the wagon!"

"Oh, don't be such a baby." (Springy G runs several pads of obsolete blank cheques through Her shredder)

Yes, the Lakshmi Project continues. Tonight I did something extraordinary indeed... I finished Phase I of the data entry for My 2007 tax return. And it isn't even the last week of April.

Bank statements, sorted and hole-punched and clipped into the correct folder. Teaching income sorted by month and tallied. Car expenses and mileage entered.

(puts paperwork away in filing box for Later, then starts sorting through the last few CDs on Her desk)

Well, I'll be... There actually *is* a desk under there, after all!

Life is good.