Gye Greene's Thoughts

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Good lyrics by Kevin Adams

This is a bit of an "open letter" to "Captain Crash" Adams -- Kevin G. Adams:  if you ever Google this, please ping me.

What prompted this is that I've have our album in heavy rotation on my car's mp3 player, and "Rose in the Sand" has the line "It's like I'm wishing on a rainbow // And there's nothing at the end".

That's a good line.  Nice one, Kev.


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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

My Stylophone timeline

November 2009 (approx.):  Saw the below Molly Lewis cover of Lady GaGa's "Poker Face" on YouTube; decided I wanted a Stylophone (see 0:47).

12 December 2009:  Added MC Hammer’s “U Can’t Touch This” to my (exceedingly long!) list of "Songs to Cover... Eventually".  Notes include:  maybe use a Stylophone for the main riff.

24 January 2011:  Mail-ordered a Stylophone from a "neat-o things" Australian website; showed up in the mail after a few days.

Late January 2011:  Played the Stylophone once; found the interface awkward (poking the flat keyboard with a stylus); put it back in the box.

17 Oct 2016:  In our "Room of Boxes", where I do my music things, ventured into a rarely-visited corner; saw the Stylophone on top of a pile of boxes; realized I had not touched it in (literally) years; decided that there's little point in me keeping it.

18 Oct 2016 (morning):  Gave the Stylophone to a co-worker "Notesy", with whom I occasionally geek out about synths and other musical gear; he's far more likely to actually use it than me -- and at the very least, he'll appreciate it (he certainly seemed appreciative at the time; knew what it was from the photo on the box, even though I had the name intentionally covered up).

18 Oct 2016 (evening):  Typed up this timeline; realized that it wasn't just "a few years" that I'd not used the Stylophone -- it was more than five years; yep.


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Monday, October 17, 2016

Multitool magic

I send my family a snapshot of me and a necktie, and my sister e-mailed back to ask about my belt pouches.  This was my reply:

Tools: I dislike being without tools on my person -- it drives me nutty to be unprepared. For example, every few days at work I open a package of frozen veggies: instead of having to go back to my desk, I just get my folding scissors out of my pocket. 

About two weeks ago a co-worker came up to me and asked if I had a screwdriver (I have a reputation on the floor for having tools). I reached into my pouch and got out my multitool: he was suitable impressed that I had a screwdriver **on** me (rather than my having to crawl under my desk to get my tool kit). 

And yesterday during my lunch break, two German(?) young-ish tourists were sitting on a bench, trying to open an inexpensive bicycle LED light they had just bought, to insert the batteries. I offered my assistance, and (again) brought out my multi-tool. I let them do the actual opening, though [using the flat-blade screwdriver]. 

I also also carry a few rubber bands with me (looped around one of the pouches).  I was standing in line at a store, about two months ago, and the woman in front of my asked the check-out lady if she had a rubber band she could use. The check-out lady said, apologetically, that she did not. But -- I did!!! So I gave her a rubber band, and saved the day. 

Two pouches on each hip. From far left, to far right: pocket knife; harmonica; multitool; cellphone


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Sunday, October 16, 2016

My shoulderversary

This is to my kids, and my future self:  my one-year shoulder-versary.

Friday, Oct 16, 2015.

It's good to be able to floss and tie my shoes without needing the help of children.  :)



Saturday, October 15, 2016

A reminder to The Girl

Girl (your future self),

I know that sometimes you and B1 ("Blondie Boy") sometimes don't get along.  So I want you to remember this:

Today was B1's turn to go shopping with Mom.  You collect owls:

While they were out, they saw another owl:

Mom was sure that you already had that one -- but B1 was certain that you did not.  He insisted -- so Mom ended up buying it.  And, of course, B1 was right:  you didn't have it yet.

B1 knew what you had (and didn't have); and he looked out for your interests:  he wanted you to be happy.

Remember that.  :)


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Someday a road trip

Sometimes I get funny ideas in my head.  Like:  I rather dis-like travelling -- but a few years ago I had the notion that it would be neat to live in Norway for a year.  But then I realized that I envisioned myself hiding out and doing woodworking and recording songs -- and I could do that more easily here at home (and not have to ship my tools and musical instruments overseas).

A variation of that occurred a few weeks ago, when I accidentally stumbled across the town of "Bell", in regional Queensland.  It's a few hours west of here, and pretty small:  hypothetically I could spend a few months there, recording and doing woodworking:  and driving there with a pickup truck or van full of tools and instruments would be far more feasible.

My latest thing is this:  I was reading an article in a guitar magazine this morning about ten great guitar shops in the U.S.; one of them was in Chicago; and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool to have a used guitar from Chicago?"

And the thought developed:  I've never really been on a "road trip".  Family trips as a child don't count.

I drove from Tacoma to Portland, Oregon once, for business (about a three hour drive); and from Seattle to Pullman, WA once (about four hours).  And that's it.

So:  one of these days, fly into Oregon; meet up with Old Roommate; and do a road trip to Chicago.  Stop by a few guitar shops along the way (and whatever is of interest to him); drive, reminisce, stop at some truck stops and diners.

And when we get to Chicago, phone the store to ask how to get there without getting stuck in any of the dodgy neighborhoods.

Aim for getting a guitar.  But if a Fender Rhodes, a compelling tube amp, or some funky old synth, calls to me...

Bonus points if I buy a used guitar from a Chicago pawn shop!!!

Then drive down to Nashville (only eight hours away!  Had not realized it was that close!), book a few hours in a low-end recording studio, and record a demo -- just to say that I've recorded in Nashville.

And then drive back.

Not now.  Maybe in a decade or so -- when I'm about 55 or 58.

Not in the summer -- too stinkin' hot -- nor in the winter -- getting stuck in the snow. Either the fall or the early spring.  Maybe fall, so I can have Thanksgiving with my family before heading back to Australia.

The "fun" part will be trying to ship that stuff back.  Probably by ocean freight, not by air freight.  Depending on the volume.


Addendum: (3:55pm) -- Bring a guitar or other musical instrument (but one that I don't care about!) to sell at a pawn shop in Chicago.  That way I can also say that I pawned a guitar in Chicago.

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Friday, October 14, 2016

Chicken coop mod reminds me of my grandparents

I'd like to think that I reflect certain (positive!) traits of each of my late grandparents.

I have my maternal grandfather's jolly, laid-back temperament.  Usually.

I have my maternal grandmother's tendency to "take in strays".

I have my paternal grandmother's positive outlook, and the attitude that "food is love".

And, possibly to the greatest extent I echo my paternal grandfather's tendency to build things out of wood:  enjoying the mechanical problem-solving, making wooden things for others which solve specific needs.  As an extension of this, we both modify our home environment to suit our needs.

I was reminded of that final trait this morning, when I was feeding the chickens.

I needed to open a new bag of chicken feed:  usually I have my pocket knife and my multi-tool with me -- because they're always on my belt.  But at that moment I was wearing sweatpants -- so I didn't have any tools with me.  Gah.

I decided to solve the problem, so that I would always be able to open the bags of chicken feed.  First, I went back inside, and got an extra set of scissors from my box of (of course!) extra scissors!.  I went back to the chicken coop and cut most of the top off the bag of feed, and dumped in the metal storage container:

I had also brought a paper clip from inside.  I bent it into a double-hook shape:

And then I hung it near the top of the screen, near the entrance door but inside the chicken coop.  I hung it high enough that it would be sheltered by the eaves and therefore -- hopefully -- not get rained upon and rust.

The hook next to it used to have a green screwdriver hanging from it:  I'll have to see where the screwdriver went.


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Still using the knife

A while ago I posted a blog entry of the pocketknife that Old Roommate gave me during my last trip (June of this year) to the U.S.

Yep -- I'm still using it, every day at work.

As pictured.


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Alien hand tree

Saw this outside of work.  In person, it looks like an alien forearm and hand, rising up from the sidewalk.

Not so much in the photo, I'm afraid.   Needs a 3-D element, for the "thumb" to be closer to you than the "fingers".

The left-most branch is the thumb.  Plus, two fingers.  Palm of the hand is towards the viewer.


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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Finally accepted The Dandy Warhols

For years, people have been telling me that I'd probably like The Dandy Warhols.  And about five years ago I saw the music video for "Scientist" and liked it -- but when I investigated some other DW songs I wasn't really taken.

Maybe my tastes have drifted slightly -- because a week ago I picked up their album Welcome to the Monkey House, and it's been on non-stop rotation at work. 

Curiously, the vibe and vocal harmonies of their song "I am Song" reminds me of The Rentals -- except that the arrangement lacks vintage synths.  Being reminiscent of The Rentals is a good thing.  :)

So, yeah:  Dandy Warhols.


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