Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Improving my vocals

In an effort to improve my ability to sing on-pitch, I've recently recorded a few mp3 files of me playing a series of repeating single-notes on the guitar.  I start in the middle of my vocal range and go down a half step until I run out of guitar; then I resume at the middle, but go up until I've maxed out my vocal range.

I've saved a few copies to the mp3 player that's connected to my car radio, and every once in a while one of them comes up on the playlist -- and I sing along:  "Aaaaaaaaa.  AAAAAAAAAA.  AAAAAAAAAAAAA."

One of them came up while I was driving the boys to school this morning.  So I sang along.

After a few minutes, B2 commented "This is a boring song."

It was also my turn to pick the kids up from after-school care.  Another copy of the "vocal practice" mp3 came up.  "Hey!," I said (jokingly).  "It's B2's favorite song!"

The Girl listened for a moment, and then said:  "This is boring."

I can't argue.  ;)


I invented a word

Asked a co-worker how she was doing; she said “Oh... OK.”  And she wasn't her usual cheerful self when she said it.

I said that was too bad -- she deserves better than that: she deserves to be extrabulous.

“Extrabulous” = “Extraordinary” + “Fabulous”

I enjoy portmanteaus.  :)


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Monday, March 02, 2015

Finally a large spider

When I moved to Australia -- Lo, those many years ago -- it seemed like there were **tons** of fairly large spiders about.

But recently, I haven't been seeing any spiders except for teeny little things, about the size of ladybugs.

But!  This afternoon, B1 (Blondie Boy) asked to show me something in the hall.  "What's that?", he asked, pointing up near the ceiling.

Ah!  A spider!  And a decent-sized one, too.

I got a duster-on-a-stick from the broom closet, and had The Girl wave it about to the right of the spider.  Meanwhile, I got up on a stepstool with a plastic container from the "dirty dishes" counter, and a flattened cereal box, to catch it.

I wasn't worried about it being venomous:  as a rule of thumb, the smaller ones are the venomous ones; the larger ones don't need to be.

I took it outside and took a few snapshots:


And then I released it, and tried to get it to run away to safety (I've heard that large spiders and small spiders compete for territory:  so having large spiders around is actually a good thing).


Here are some photos (with rules with inches, and centimeters) for size comparisons.


So -- a 5" leg span?

I showed the photos to The Lady.  She reckons its a huntsman.  I believe her.


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Sunday, March 01, 2015

Young guy but old voice

Found this guy when doing a web search for "Hispanic country singers".

Vince Mira.  15yo, from Federal Way (near Seattle; woo!!!).  Has a much deeper voice than you'd expect -- especially given his voice during the interview.

His singing starts around 1:52.


ADDENDUM:  An original song by him.  It's a good song.  I hope he does well.


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Friday, February 20, 2015

If you're single, date a middle-aged person

(Inspired by something I just e-mailed to a family member, who is single.)

Here's my theory:  if you're on the dating market, try to date a middle-aged person.

Middle-aged folks are more stable and predictable:  as a buyer, you know what you're getting.

People change a lot from their teens to their 20s to their 30s.  But by the time you're around 40, you know who you are, and what you like (and don't like).  Your personality, your temperament, your lifestyle, your interests:  your twenty-year forecast is more predictable by your 40yo status than your 20yo status.

As a 45 year old, you know what your political views are.  You know whether you're a drinker or not.  Whether you're a smoker or not.  Whether you exercise or not.  Whether you're good with money or not.

If you're going to end up overweight, you're probably showing it about now.  If you're still pretty slim at 45, you're probably going to still be slim at 65.

It's unlikely that your 45 year old partner is going to unexpectedly take up a new hobby:  it's not a midlife crisis -- it's finally getting around to doing something that she/he has always wanted to do (buy a sports car; buy a boat; learn the electric guitar).

At least, that's what I reckon.  But I'll let you know once my cohort hits 65, to tell you whether I was correct.  :)



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Plus five GeekPoints

The statistical software (Stata) that I use at work runs primarily off the command line and/or scripts -- although you can also work with it through the GUI (the drop-down menus).

One of the cool things that I like about Stata is that if you type "exit" into the command-line window, the software shuts down:  delightfully old-school. I figured that Linux must have something like that, so I Googled it.

And thus, last night I successfully used the command "sudo shutdown -P now" to turn off my PC (running Mint Linux 17).

Woo!!! :)


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Monday, February 09, 2015

An oddball pickup line

There's a backstory behind this -- but let's just say that "How old are your chickens?" is possible the most peculiar pick-up line ever.

Still -- it might work.

(Let me know.)



Thursday, January 29, 2015

It will be lumber

About a month ago, on the road where I live, there was a pile of cut logs by the side of the road:  the local road crews leave piles of branches and/or logs when they cut down trees that are in danger of interfering with the power lines, and a few days later they come by with the chippers and pick up the branches.

So, I saved two of the larger pieces.  I didn't have time immediately to split them into blanks -- to prevent them from cracking while they dried.  So, I stuck them in my kids' wading pool. 

A few weekends later, I split one of the logs into blanks -- each about 1/8 of the circle.  And two weekends after that -- which was last weekend -- I split the other one.

Here's what they look like at the moment (I need to find a better place than "on the edge of the kids' trampoline"):

I realize that at the moment it's indistinguishable from firewood.  But in a few years the moisture content will have reached equilibrium -- and then I can saw it to my desired thickness, handplane it smooth, and make something useful out of it -- probably some sort of storage box.

Something more useful -- and interesting -- than the mulch that it would have otherwise become.  ;)


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