My Days are now in Song

TrebleClef

I've been home for too long and apparently have had too few conversations with adults.

I've been off for a few weeks and have spent a majority of that time with a child who only utters a few simple things... more like breaths with some noises attached. He's experimenting with passing air over his vocal chords.

We've had lots of one sided conversations and most of them in song.

It's like a chess game with myself... again, in song. "Oh you're gonna play the knight I see... then I guess my Rook it will have to be."

Most of these conversations end with me singing, "No more rhymes... I mean it!"

And I wait and wait and wait but he never answers. So I do and laugh, "Anybody want a peanut!"

I laugh and swear that this is the end of that game but I get slap happy and it starts all over again. I'll trip over a toy and sing about why daddy is such a klutz.

The rhymes never make any sense and often start with, "Take it from me boy..."

And they are never set to a good tune!

Try as I can to get them out to a Dead or a Phish riff or even The Beatles but my rhythmic abilities stretch only as far as tunes like "Take me out the ballgame" or "For he's a jolly good fellow". What the hell is that about? I've a got a wide range of tracks in my head don't I? I'll take a Wiggles mix or even a song about cooking up a grilled cheese with a backdrop of the "Three's Company" theme over 1940's birthday melodies.

I was able to get a simple verse from Shakedown Street the other day. "Eat, Eat, Eat... yes it's time to eat." But that is where it ends. I'm no singer/songwriter.

In the past, every time I'd attempt to toss trash into a can and miss I'd remark... "This is why I fly airplanes." The same response now applies when I find myself singing a horrid remix to the baby. "This is why I fly airplanes."

Or rather it's, "Take it from me my boy, this is why I fly planes... yes just like your toy."

Lost and Found - Mixtape in the gutter from "Yo Boy Billy"

Yo Boy Billy

Press Play

I found this CD in the gutter up the street the other day while out walking the dog. Apparently, Emily has moved on. The disk may have fallen out of her car but I think she frisbee'd it out the window and it bounced off a tree. From what I can gather... she's with someone else now. These things happen. But, to give Billy some credit. He does have a nice ear for expressing himself through overused popular music. I can't compliment him on his handwriting though. Or his heart-drawings for that matter.

But, what can you do? You can get pissed and let her know it about 4 tracks in! Start off nice and sweet and then! Yeah! Take that. "Don't touch my girl." I'm not sure who sings this song - (I am old) - but it really fires me up! If i were a pissed off 16 year old - this would speak to me. But then I'd balance it with a classic.

"Hey Dad, what was that song they used for Michelle Obama? The blind guy?"

And then The BloodHound Gang? Really... gonna win her back with this?

But then we go way back to the 90's. I think I may have used a few of these songs for the same purpose. Regardless of generation, all broken heart mixtapes have a Cure track. When I mixed in The Cure, I think I had to pull if off a tape. Damn. Do they still make blank tapes? I forget who that tape was for. I wonder if she still has it? It probably ended up in a gutter somewhere. Some guy remixed I bet.

Ah well, Yo Boy Billy. I wish you the best. It may be time for some "Journey."

MTV once made me buy music

In 1992, I started college in Danville, Virginia. My roomate and I had a black & white TV and no cable. But, we met a girl, whose parents lived nearby who had cable and MTV. And more importantly, they had a VCR! We set up their VCR to record "120 minutes" every Sunday night at midnight and each Monday, she would rush home to retrieve the tape. Monday night was our night to watch the latest in 'alternative rock'!We sat in the dorm surrounded by show posters from the nearest music scene in Chapel Hill, NC and took notes on what bands to keep an eye out for when they came around.

I've got a bike - you can ride it if you like

We spent the day peddling around Amsterdam... the first sunny day since we've been here. The houseboat comes with two bikes and we set out this morning to first see the De Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam and then ride around town some. The Botanical Garden was suprisingly close to our neighborhood by bike... but after a day of peddling, we found that most things are pretty close! (More on the gardens in another post, as well as our trip to the Tropenmuseum yesterday.) Although the gardens were beautiful and the butterfly house was awesome, I had the most fun just riding around and acting Dutch. With ipod in and proper hand signals given for turns, I did my best to keep with the flow through town. Each road has bike lanes on either side as well as traffic lights for bikers alongside the lights for foot traffic.

One of our favorite neighborhoods in Amsterdam is Jordan (yor-Dahn). We peddled there for groceries even though there are several markets near the boat. We bought our dinner on the other side of town so we could fit in more with the locals as we peddled with groceries strapped to the bike. The Dutch are born with impeccable balance. We rode behind an older man with what appeared to be a musical instrument strapped to his back, several bags on his sides and a fifty pound dog in the front basket. Amazingly, he still had the dexterity to use a free hand to tip his hat at friends!

After navigating through the congestion today, it gives me a great appreciation for the parents I see with kids strapped to their bikes and groceries on their backs. We had some trouble near the end of the ride just getting going from a stop. Imagine the bikers we'd pass that have piggybackers riding side saddle on the rear tire?

What’s on my dock

Undocked

As friends make the jump from windows to mac - I often get asked what mac apps to use? Where are some good places to get software? What's in your dock? Here is what is currently in my dock... some programs I use often - others I recently downloaded and need them visable so I remember to try them out. Most are free... I left out the standards "I" Programs. Itunes and whatnot.

My Dock

  • djay - Uses Itunes tracks with two digital turntables.. not sure what to do with it. But's it's fun to play with. Now I really have two turntables and a microphone.
  • quicksilver - A quick app launcher. the precurser to 'spotlight'. It works much faster than spotlight and has many plugins to make the program dig deeper into your computer. It searches bookmarks and address book entries as well as Ichat logs.
  • appzaper - They had it free one day. It's a great way to delete apps and makes a cool sound when deleting. Like uninstall for windows in that it deletes many of the leftover pieces of the programs when you zap.
  • Flame - Shows what services are being offered by computers on your network.
  • bluecoconut - Allows you to 'borrow' music from shared itunes libraries on local networks. Fun to use in airports when you see dozens of libraries. I like to walk around and try and identify the human with their playlist. Of all the libraries I've 'browsed'... regardless of how obscure or common - EVERYONE has The Beatles and Eminem.
  • senuti - Takes music from you ipod back to mac. itunes <> senuti.
  • vlc - A great media player. Plays most formats.
  • azureus - A bit torrent client. I like the RSS plugin that downloads recently posted torrents in the genre's you assign.
  • firefox - Webbrowser with many user created themes/plugins to enhance your browsing. The plugins I use most - All-in-one sidebar, Bigmenot, Del.icio.us, dictionary search, Digg This, Downloadthemall, Flashgot, Forecastfox, Foxytunes, Google Calendar Quick Add, Greesemonkey, IE View, PDF download, ReloadEvery, Stop-or-Reload Button, TrackmeBot, VideoDownloader.
  • istumbler - Finds hotspots.
  • vienna - Free newsreader.
  • google earth - Earth through the eyes of Google.
  • stellarium - Planetarium software that shows exactly what you see when you look up at the stars.
  • celestia - The free space simulation that lets you explore our universe in three dimensions.
  • skype - Free voice over IP client.
  • fire - A great instant messanger client.
  • second life - Virtual reality second world.
  • renamer4mac - Allows you to easily rename items in bulk.
  • deliciouslibrary - Catalog your home library. DVD's, games, books.
  • activity monitor - MenuMeters is a set of CPU, memory, disk, and network monitoring tools.
  • ipodder lemon - Podcatcher sometimes called 'juice'.

Menubar items

  • Todos - This is great program for launching, finding apps. It shows all apps on your mac by icon.
  • pod2go - Puts news and gas prices and weather and email on your ipod. audioscrobbler - Stats for itunes. Builds charts on your listening habits and shows 'friends' who have similiar listening habits. slimbatterymonitor - Replaces your battery icon with one that is a little more customizable. alarmclock2 - Wake up to itunes playlists.

I use http://del.icio.us to save my bookmarks online. The sites I've saved with the "TAG" mac are here. Most are lists like this one of mac software. http://del.icio.us/stork123/mac