Gye Greene's Thoughts

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

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Loads o' books

Every second year, the University of Queensland has a fund-raising alumni book sale. We went today (Saturday): first time in four year that we'd attended.

My wife and I enjoy books -- and the kids seem to, as well.

Below is a snapshot of the piles of books: mine, my wife's, and our three children's (combined).

I think my pile is equal to the other two combined.

Put differently, here's the height comparison of my pile of books and CDs to the height of a three-year-old boy.

Looks like about shoulder height. That's decent enough.

Picked up a few CDs (a buck or two each). "Best of" Huey Lewis and the News (I'm of that era, but didn't have any of their stuff); misc. Irish folk music; instrumental versions of various t.v. show theme songs; an alternative version of Bush's Sixteen Stone album; and two classical music CDs. Six CDs.

Here's the proportion, by rough topic, of the books. Serves as a profile of my interests -- although filtered by what books were available. For example, if there had been more martial arts books on the "Sports" table (there was only one -- and I already owned it), that topic would've made a showing.

As you can see, the "Carpentry/Woodworking/How to Make a Fence (Playhouse, etc.)" category was the biggest. Second was fiction -- mostly little kid and teen-age-level fiction. Included a book from the "Wizard of Oz" series, plus one of his from another series. Several anthologies of bedtime stores. Also Jonathan Livingston Seagull, which I'd read long ago. Most books were only a dollar or two, so they were easy to acquire. ;)

Next was "Camping/Cooking/Outdoors/Scouting" -- including two reprints of some early 1900s Boy Scout manuals, and an older Australian Girl Guides handbook.

Next was "Languages/Cultural", including a Japanese-English dictionary, and a children's pictoral book on how Vikings lived.

Then "Music/Art": a "how to paint" book, a book on being a band director/teacher, a children's biography of Beethoven, and a children's biography on Mozard.

And finally, two books on computers: one on the theory behind programming languages; the other was a children's book about home computers -- from 1985! (2kb of RAM; tape drives; modems where you put the telephone headset on the modem device...)

Somewhere in those categories was a "how to" book on beekeeping. I don't plan on keeping bees -- but it looked interesting, and seemed worth the buck-and-a-half.

A **very** good day. :)


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Friday, April 29, 2011

Free exit

Today I finally brought home the box with the spare "Exit" signs that's been under my desk at work since Friday, April 8th.

I was at the bus depot at 9:03am, for the 9:08 bus. Didn't want to just stand around, so I thought I'd go inside the mall, make the short loop, and come back.

As I went inside, I noticed some workers taking down the "EXIT" signs, and replacing them with the "person running out the door" signs. Asked them what was up, and they said that the "EXIT" signs (with the word) were being systematically replaced throughout the mall -- I guess so that little kids and folks who can't read wouldn't be disadvantaged during an emergency.

I asked what they were doing with the signs the took down. Getting thrown away.

I asked if I could have one. Sure.

Guy handed me one that he'd put in a box. (When I later looked, it also had some extras of the new version: nifty!) Didn't have time to go back to the car -- I'd already missed the 9:08 by talking to the workmen -- so I took it in to work with me.

I'll probably install them on the speaker cabinets for some future guitar amplifier. You know: because the sound "exits" through the speaker. Back-light it with some LEDs.


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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Are They Not Men

Genius. :)

(Two guys from England (?) doing a Devo cover -- on ukeleles.)


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Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Once in a while, pairs of city transit employees come onto the bus with their little scanner machines, to check out people's swipey cards. Kinda like train conductors coming down the aisle to check people's tickets.

A few weeks ago, a woman who was probably 18 or 19 was sitting across the aisle from me. They took her card, then asked her age. Turns out that she was using the "high school student" card (with cheaper fares), rather than the "adult" card (which is blue, not orange).

She was no longer a high school student. So, they wrote her a ticket for a hundred bucks or so.


Then, last week, this woman was sitting about two rows ahead of me. When the card-checking folks came down the aisle, she handed them the blue card. The guy swiped it, and pointed out that this card had never been used. (I'll betcha she was still using her "student" card, but had bought the blue card for the next inspection.)

The lady said that it was new.

So how did you get on the bus?, the inspector asked. Doh.

So -- he wrote her a ticket -- for fare evasion.

Busted again.

Justice, on the bus. "Bustice"?


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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fairly productive weekend

Here in Aussie-land, a lot of what I would call "religious holidays" are federal holidays -- such as Good Friday, and Easter. Sure: I'll take what days off I can get!

So, we got Friday off, as well as Monday and Tuesday. Five day weekend: woo!!!

Had hoped to **finally** move great-grandpa's workbench over from my wife's uncle's, to my place. Moved a bunch of potted plants out of the way of where I'd need to back up the trailer, and mowed that area as well. But, it rained to day before (and most of the day of), so my backyard got a bit mushy -- and I didn't want to get the car bogged. So, the workbench-moving didn't happen. But, laid some good groundwork for it.

Similarly, I'd hoped to finally get around to figuring out my (free! Audacity) recording software, and record a complete song -- first time since 1996!

Spent from around 8:30pm on Friday night, to about 1:30 in the morning. A lot of it was just figuring out where the heck I'd put my microphone, which cables worked, how my mini-mixer worked (bought it years ago, after moving to Australia, but hadn't really used it) -- and of course, how the Audacity software worked. But still, managed to record a few scratch tracks.

Spent another session Monday night, from 10pm to 12:45am. Recorded some "keeper" percussion tracks, a better version of the scratch vocals, and some guitar parts which I may or may not be able to use (they're a little sloppy).

Rather than aiming for perfection, I'm being pretty minimal: using the same mic for everything, the same guitar for everything, a small little practice amp, and going direct in (rather than micing an amp) for a lot of it. Plus, I'm using whatever's handy for percussion, rather than trying to mic up my drum kit. And, no effects, no compression, no EQ except for the Low/Mid/High controls on the mixer. Just bare bones.

Some of my time was spent just trying to learn to play the guitar parts without messing up.

I tried to remember to time how long it took to set up, and put things away. Basically 17-18 minutes (including tuning my guitar). So that means I need to have about an hour available, or else the setup and packup time would make it hardly worth it.

That said, I think another 10pm-1am session (Friday nights, probably) or two might get me a completed song.

But still: had hoped to completely record a song over this long weekend -- and it didn't happen. A little disappointing. But, eh.

Oh: And my daughter and I finally sat down and unearthed her room -- **major** room-cleaning session. Some tonight, and some last night. Good progress -- but a long way to go.

So, a highly productive weekend (also saw a movie with the wife and kids, and went to a dinosaur exhibit). No projects completed -- but still, lots of progress.


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Monday, April 25, 2011

Movie review of Enterprise

Didn't manage to catch Enterprise in the theatres. Borrowed the DVD from my sister-in-law. Good stuff.

It's a reboot of Classic Star Trek. Excellent job of doing a new version, with subtle changes to the characters, while still making them very recognizeable (including their catchphrases). The new actors managed to capture their speech patterns without being imitators.

Again, good stuff.


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Saturday, April 23, 2011

I am proud

Today (Saturday) at the mall, I had the boys (both 3 y.o.) spend their allowance for the first time.

Took them to the toy aisle at the dollar store -- pointed out the various plastic dinosaurs, squeaky tigers and sharks, and etc.

They both chose a yellow soprano recorder, for AU$2.50.

I'm very proud. :)


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Friday, April 22, 2011

Movie review of Rio

Saw the movie Rio.

Basically, the last male of a species of birds goes to Brazil to be bred with the last female of the species.

MUCH better than how I thought it would be, given the trailers; good storyline, good dialog; worth seeing.

Although it's targeted at children, both my wife and I enjoyed it a lot.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Some YouTube Superman vids

Did a YouTube search on the R.E.M. song "I Am Superman", and found this video: nicely done, and obviously with a lot of work behind it.

Also found this video -- which I found amusing (and insightful, really).


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Movie review of "Next"

Watched it tonight, on DVD. A good movie. Not "OMG, I **must** get this on DVD!!!" -- but certainly an enjoyable movie, glad I saw it.

Nicholas Cage plays a guy that can see two minutes into his own future. They played the the various applications of that: pretty clever.

Well-made, and it seemed internally consistent.

I don't remember if there was cussing or not. No nudity, for those for whom that's an issue. A little implausible that the lady would fall for the guy **quite** so quickly -- but, hey.

A fair amount of shooting violence (little or no blood, though), and one part near the beginning where someone shot a guy's knees out. Other than that, though, the standard action-movie level of violence.

Worth renting.



Sunday, April 17, 2011

Movie review of Bolt

Saw the movie Bolt last night, on t.v.. A lot better than I thought it was going to be, given the Wikipedia summary. The whole family (me, wife, three young kids) ended up watching the whole thing.

Basically, about a white dog named Bolt, who seems to have super powers and needs to save "his human" (Penny, I think her name was).

A fair number of amusing lines, a good story, and etcetera. A Disney children's movie. My only negative against it is that (without spoiling too much) you should keep an eye on the super-things the dog does in the first few minutes of the movie -- and then think about which of those a non-super dog would be able to achieve.



I saw

Sadly, one of the trees that self-planted itself (from a seed, presumably) in our back yard right after the house was built (a few years ago) has died. Not a BIG-big tree -- probably two Gye Greenes tall.

I need to take it down before it rots and falls over on the doggie yard fence, or the children's play yard fence, or the septic tank control panel.

So, started sawing off some branches. Smaller ones will be kindling for next-door uncle; larger ones I'll save for woodworking.

Hm. Kind of a boring blog posting. Ah well.


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Saturday, April 16, 2011

I dig

We don't have an actual driveway -- just the area of lawn between our front gate and our carport.

Over the years, a fairly large depression has formed in front of the carport. When it rains, water collects there, and stays for a few days. If it rains at least twice a week, then it never completely dries out.

Every time we drive through the mud, some of it sticks to the tires -- then gets thrown off when we drive down the street. This process of transferring the mud (i.e. "wet dirt") from our yard to the street further deepens the hole -- which allows it to collect even >>more<< water -- which creates >>more<< mud to stick to tires. Etcetera.

The big problem is that we can no longer park the other car (the non-Four-Wheel-Drive) under the carport, because it's in danger of getting stuck in the mud. So, **something** must be done.

Originally we were saving up to buy a few thousand dollars of gravel and such to make an actual driveway. The idea is that it's best to do it all at once, as if you do it in little bits, it's not cost-effective: it costs thirty or forty bucks to rent a trailer, which would add 50% to your cost ($30 for the trailer; $50 for the dirt or gravel).

BUT -- Friday night, while perusing the price list from the local landscaping supplies place, I noticed that they offer a "courtesy trailer" (that is: free!!!). Ah!

So, Saturday (today), I went down, picked up 2/3 of a cubic metre of gravel, and shoveled and hoed it into the hole. Helped a bit. Made another trip: better. And fifty or sixty bucks per trip is certainly affordable. ("Doing the whole driveway" can wait for another time.)

Looks like this might be a once-a-weekend practice for the next month or so. Kinda fun. And certainly, it feels good to be **doing** something about the situation.


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Friday, April 15, 2011

A good Friday

The Lady was in the paper today (a short paragraph, describing a research paper that her and her writing paper recently published); she also had a five-minute interview on a local-access t.v. station, on the same topic. Pretty neat-o!

Since today (Friday) was a pupil-free day at my daughter's school, she went in with The Lady for most of the day. But she couldn't come with to the t.v. station. So, The Lady dropped The Girl off at my office, I took a late lunch -- and (bwah ha ha!!!) never came back! (I've been putting in a lot of hours recently, so even though I'd taken the day off a few weeks ago, I still had five hours "saved up" as flextime.)

Showed The Girl a few of the nifty downtown places that I like, including a semi-secret cafe that's at the end of a small alley. Showed her my office, and introduced her to my co-workers. Showed her the used CD shop where I bought my Devo shirt. And took her to this teeny little "world music" store a few blocks away, with all sorts of reasonably-priced percussion instruments.

While we were there, I noticed that there were four "Half Off" plastic tubs in the middle of the floor. Had a rummage; bought some well-priced treasures. :)

A swell day.


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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Simple synth boy

Yesterday I went for a walk on my lunch break, and visited again that downtown music store. Looked at all their synths (about twelve?). I respect them all -- but the only one I could honestly see myself using is the one I played last week.

The rest of them look too complex and fiddly for me. Lots of flexibility and options, sure: but I'm happy with simply having 128 presets (as long as they're >>good<< presets -- which the Micro Korg XL indeed has).

Which indicates that I'm not a hard-core knob fiddler, some some synth players are.


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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Lyric substitution

I try to keep my song lyrics pretty PG-13, or less.

There's song from Chromeo with the line "Is that that way you treat your Mother-F****** friends?"

A radio-friendly work-around would be "Is that the way you treat your Mother And Her friends?"

"Mother AND-her" has the same cadence and inflection. And (bonus!) it results in an intelligible sentence -- albeit with a changed meaning.


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Monday, April 11, 2011


Over the weekend I re-discovered the remastered CD that Guitar Cousin had done of our first band: Quiet Storm.

I took it in to work today, and showed off the twenty-years-younger photos on the back of the CD case.

One of my co-workers said, "Gee -- I wish **I** had musical talent."

My response: "So do I." ;)


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Sunday, April 10, 2011

My weekend

Pretty good weekend. Still have a head cold, hanging on from last weekend. Not as bad as a flu -- just makes my voice a bit throaty, and I use up a lot of tissues. Oh, and my energy levels are at about 90%.

Yesterday, got on a "clearing off my desk" jag: I tend to write down song lyric ideas, "field notes" of my children's social and cognitive development, and various woodworking ideas on scraps of paper, and then toss them on my desk for later entry into the computer. Also magazines that I read: I tend to write page numbers in the margins of the table of contents, for later logging (f/x pedals to check out online, amps and guitars to maybe buy someday, clever woodworking tips).

I'm now mostly done -- I have a "to enter" pile that's about a foot high -- but I stayed up 'til 2am doing that. Well, actually, the final fifteen minutes was spent YouTubing this AU comedian Adam Hills...

Because I stayed up late, I think I've relapsed a bit with my head cold. Was tired all morning; but, my sons and I had a lovely nap this afternoon, so I'm better now.

I also spent about an hour today doing further tidying and consolidation in the shed ( my workshop/stand-alone garage which will never hold a car). As usual, a casual observer wouldn't notice the improvement -- but **I** do! Shifted a few sheets of plywood, and moved some tools around. I can now make it most of the way through the "storage" end of the shed -- nearly to the other door!!!

Also, at church this morning, I asked the pastor about the pair of waist-high speaker cabinets that had been sitting in the hallway last week, and were still there today. He said he'd been doing some Lenten cleaning (spring cleaning? except that it's autumn, here), and found them in the back of some closet there at church. The church has no use for them.

I offered to take them off his hands for a extra donation in the offering basket next week, to which he agreed. So, put them in the trunk, took them home. Both seem to work -- about 22 Ohms, IIRC. Each speaker cabinet has three sets of 5-1/2 inch speakers, presumably wired in series. The cabinets are a little worse for wear -- some of the plywood veneer is starting to come off -- but I've begun gluing on the floppy bits, and will later putty up the other gaps, then paint the whole thing green, blue, and/or purple.

By the way: **super** satisfying to have enough room to actually work on a project in the workshop!!!

Possibly two weekends from now I'll rent a trailer (about thirty bucks) and bring the "family heirloom" workbench from Next-Door Uncle's workshop to my own.


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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Partial movie review of Next

Tonight I saw a few minutes of the movie Next, with Nicholas Cage. It's about a guy who can see two minutes into the future, and is a small-time stage magician in Las Vegas as a cover.

The parts I saw looked pretty good -- but I was distracted by trying to get kids to bed (brushing teeth, all that stuff), so I gave up trying to watch it.

Some violent bits, but it looked entertaining and well-written.



A good saying

Besides "These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For", I think that "That Only Works on the Ferret" is totally under-used as a catchphrase.


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Friday, April 08, 2011

Movie review for Twenty-Seven Dresses

According to a scrap of paper amongst the other papers piled on my desk, I saw the movie "27 Dresses", on DVD, on Saturday, March 12th, 2011.

Basically, a woman is obsessed with helping to plan weddings, but never met the right guy for her own wedding: thus, she has a closet crammed with 27 different bridesmaid dresses. She crosses paths with a disgruntled wedding section newspaper columnist.

Good movie, good script, some swearing.

Oh: a Romantic-Comedy in genre. Obviously. ;)



Thursday, April 07, 2011

Nice synth

I haven't done very well on my "music a day" progamme as of late -- whereby during my lunch break I would go for a short walk to the nearby park, play the tin whistle or harmonica for a bit, and then walk back. Was rainy for a few days, or I've not brought my lunch and had to stand in line to buy something, or my foot has been sore.

Today, however, t0day I walked over to the only music instrument store that's downtown (not including a teeny little "world music percussion" shop). Wandered around the electric guitars, amps, drum kits, pianos, recording gear, and synths -- just absorbing the latent music.

Had a play-about with one of the teeny little synths: a Korg Microkorg XL. Has two eight-position selector knobs with which to choose the sound, plus a "Bank A/Bank B" toggle switch -- so 8x8x2 = 128 sounds. Good stuff! Also a pitch mod wheel.

Even though the exchange rate is better than a one-to-one ratio between the U.S. and Aussie dollar (i.e., tilted in AU's favor), that synth costs about AU$900, versus US$500 through an American mail-order place.

It also has a vocoder. The mic wasn't attached, though, so I didn't use the vocoder aspect.

Totally going on my "To Buy (Eventually)" list!!!


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Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Good song

"Paranoid", by Blk Sabbath.

Good song. Wish I'd written it.



Tuesday, April 05, 2011

My happy brain

OK, here's my reasoning:

Some people have neuro-chemistry where they have too much of the stuff that makes you sad and depressed (or, not enough of the stuff that makes you happy). And most people have the correct balance, where they're somewhere in the middle.

I'm pretty sure I'm in the other end of the spectrum, where I'm blessed with an excess of the brain juice that makes you cheerful and perky. For example: I have a head cold (runny nose; ears are clogged; decreased energy) -- and I'm **still** feeling darned chipper. A little giddy, even -- around the edges: doing a little disco boogaloo in the elevator on the way out the office.

I don't deserve this: but I'm grateful for it.


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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Comon misconceptions debunked

Grandpa A. would've enjoyed this: webpage (a Wikipedia article) that debunks various science, health, historical, and etc. myths and misbeliefs.

(Among other things: alcohol doesn't actually kill brain cells.)

If you don't believe the assertions, nearly all of them have supporting citations.

(Found it by reading this online cartoon-- )



Saturday, April 02, 2011

Favorite bands and recording artists

Every few years I sit down and figure out my top five (or ten? it's been a while) bands, songs, or albums. I save the results as a document on my computer: these serve as a "time capsule" of my musical tastes at that point in time.

Today, as I was running Saturday morning errands, I worked out my favorite bands and recording artists.

The parameters were that I had been abducted by aliens, and put in an Earth-like terrarium. Because they only had limited iTunes bandwidth (??!!!), I had to choose ten bands or recording artists that I would have access to in my artificial environment.

Under those conditions, my choices would be weighted in favor of bands that had a deeper catalog (i.e., more albums).

First, my brainstormed list. This isn't ranked -- it's just the order in which they occurred to me. They're not necessarily my favorite bands, but rather "historically well-liked".

Note that although the list is pretty long, it's not of "bands I like": that list would be two or three times as long. Yes, I listen to a lot of bands. :)

  1. Quiet Storm (my first band, with my cousin and my roommate)
  2. Laptop
  3. Bell (a band from Seattle; released about three albums, then disbanded)
  4. Devo
  5. The Cars
  6. The Ramones
  7. The Nils (somewhat obscure Canadian band; only two albums, I think)
  8. Silicon Teens (a "fake" band, of two or three producers; only one album; got me through some tough times, so I have strong memories associated)
  9. Local H
  10. The Beatles (of course; probably on a **lot** of people's lists)
  11. Gye Greene (i.e., my own stuff)
  12. They Might Be Giants
  13. Tom Petty (his solo stuff)
  14. Chromeo
  15. Buddy Holly
  16. Rush
  17. The Who
  18. The Smithereens
  19. Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club
  20. All the Voices (very obscure band; I only have one of their EPs, but I **really** like it)
  21. Petra (Christian hard rock, from the '80s)
  22. Material Issue
  23. Nilsonance (my cousin's stuff)
  24. Paolo Pinto House Pants House Band (I know the guy from a home recording discussion list, and I read his wife's blog)
  25. The Go-Gos
  26. Men at Work (Aussies! **and** '80s!)
  27. Men without Hats
  28. Jem
  29. Jill Sobule
  30. Lisa Mitchell
  31. Aimee Mann
  32. Michael Penn
  33. 10,000 Maniacs
  34. R.E.M.
  35. B-52s
  36. White Stripes
  37. Dolly Parton
  38. Dan Bern (witty folk music-ish)
  39. Ani DiFranco (folk music-ish, with great lyrics)
  40. Psychedelic Furs
  41. Sisters of Mercy
  42. Love Spit Love (has the singer from the Psych Furs)
  43. Creedence Clearwater Revival
  44. Jim Croce
  45. Public Enemy
  46. Marginal Prophets
  47. The Rentals
  48. Midnight Oil (Aussie!!!)
  49. Weird Al
  50. King's X
  51. Jimmy Durante
  52. Joan Jett
  53. John Williamson (Aussie folk/country singer; sings a lot about Australia)
  54. The Blue Hearts (Japanese Ramones-y punk rock)
  55. M.C. Lars
  56. Simon and Garfunkel
  57. The Lemonheads
  58. (added 4/4/11) Cake (duh.)
Whew! I might've overlooked something -- but if I did, I doubt it's something that would've made the top ten.

Looking back over this list of contenders, I'm pleased with my musical diversity. There's a little from the '40s and '50s (Jimmy Durante, Buddy Holly), the '60s and '70s, the '80s and '90s (my key formative years), and -- despite being over 40 years old -- a decent amount of stuff from the last ten years. That is: my musical tastes haven't yet seized up.

Also, I have mostly "power-pop" (whatever **that** is!) and '80s synth/new wave music -- but also some bits of hip-hop, folk, goth, and country. And a few female artists (for what that's worth).

Notable absences from the list:

  • Weezer (I **really** like the "blue album"; and the rest of their stuff is "eh" to me)
  • Nirvava (Yep: good stuff, and I have most of their albums; but I can't say they're a "favorite" band)
  • U2 (some good stuff, and I have two or three of their albums)
  • The Smiths (good stuff, but not in the top)
  • Led Zeppelin (I respect them, but their music doesn't grab me)
  • Pink Floyd (likewise; I have two(?) of their albums, and yeah, they're pretty good)
  • The Rolling Stones (I have one of their albums, which I really like; someday I need to listen to more of their stuff)
  • Many albums from obscure artists where I have one album (I really like the album -- but the parameters of my task disadvantage bands and artists with only one album)

Anyhow, from the above "master list", the top fifteen jumped out at me. This strata might be thought of as "bands for whom I would wear a band t-shirt". Which isn't completely correct (I have a Weird Al concert tee!) -- but it's a good heuristic.

  1. Laptop
  2. Bell
  3. Devo
  4. The Cars
  5. The Ramones
  6. The Beatles
  7. Gye Greene
  8. They Might Be Giants
  9. Buddy Holly
  10. The Smithereens
  11. Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club
  12. Material Issue
  13. Lisa Mitchell
  14. Dolly Parton
  15. Dan Bern

But the task was my "Top 10", not my "Top 15". So -- time to exclude!!!

With reluctance, I dropped Bell. Although I really, REALLY enjoy about one-third of their songs, the other two-thirds lose out to some of the other bands where I like **all** of their songs.

Similarly, The Cars are a great band, and I like most of their stuff. But they lose out to the "density" of the quality of some of the other bands on my list.

I excluded Gye Greene (my stuff), as I hear it in my head pretty clearly, so it's o.k. if the recorded work slides by the wayside. Plus, if the aliens supply me with musical instruments and recording technology, I could re-create my older stuff pretty closely.

Logan Whitehurst is good. Very good. But sadly, he, too, falls by the wayside. (Still: "Top 15" of **all** of the bands I like is a pretty good showing.)

Lisa Mitchell: I like the album I have. But, as I've said, groups with fewer albums are at a disadvantage in this game.

So, now we're down to my (non-rank-ordered) Top Ten.

  1. Laptop
  2. Devo
  3. The Ramones
  4. The Beatles
  5. They Might Be Giants
  6. Buddy Holly
  7. The Smithereens
  8. Material Issue
  9. Dolly Parton
  10. Dan Bern

But wait! say the aliens. It turns out you only get **five** artists. Sorry for the confusion.

O.k. -- now **this** is tough.

Here's the top five -- not in ranked order:

  1. Devo
  2. The Beatles
  3. They Might Be Giants
  4. Buddy Holly
  5. Material Issue

And that's about as far as I can whittle it down. I **think** They Might Be Giants might come out on top -- under **these** parameters -- if I had to pick only one: they have a pretty deep catalog, and span a lot of genres (so, variety).

And The Beatles would probably be the next to go, as I don't have as strong of an emotional attachment to them as to the other bands. Plus, they have a handful of "clunkers", in my opinion (I've never much cared for "the white album", for example) -- whereas for the other bands I like pretty much all of their songs.

Although: except for their "basement tapes" albums, I like pretty much all of Devo's work -- whereas I've been indifferent to the last few albums from They Might Be Giants. So maybe Devo is number one.

I really enjoy Buddy Holly and Material Issue -- but sadly, both only released about three (four?) albums worth of work before the main songwriter (Buddy Holly; Jim Ellison) died. So again, under these parameters, they're disadvantaged for their lack of back catalog.

But -- there you go: my top ten, and top five, bands/artists.

One of these days I'll have to sit down and choose my ten favorite songs, or my ten favorite albums. But **that** would require that I actually dig through my LPs, cassettes, and CDs -- as I don't have a strong memory for which songs are on which albums -- or even the album titles, really.

So, not any time soon.


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Friday, April 01, 2011

A VERY good day

My wife had a meeting in Sydney today, so I was responsible for the morning drop-off of children **and** the afternoon pick-up. After my commute each way, this meant I'd only have four hours at the office.

Since I have about eleven hours of flex time saved up, I got my permission from my boss to just take the whole day off. Since I would've only "earned" four hours today, anyhow, this only puts me four hours down from what I would've had.

Spent most of my time finishing the lumber rack in my workshop -- then shifting pieces of wood around so I can actually walk around again! I can now also walk directly from one half of the workshop to the other! (Used to be blocked by a pile of lumber across a sawhorse, and a large piece of plywood.)

Also shifted a storage rack from "across the garage door" (there was nowhere else to put it) to "against the wall. And am closer to having room to put the great-grandfather workbench from Next-Door Uncle.

I considered posting a photo or two -- but realized that no one except me notice the difference between "before" and "after". ;)

Then I picked up The Girl from school, took her to her piano lesson, and then went to a branch of Cash Converters (a chain of pawn shops) that I haven't been to for several months. One Ibanez electric guitar with two humbuckers and a Charvel-ish "fake Strat" body shape. Although it was green, it didn't **grab** me -- so I left it behind.

I did, however, pick up a well-priced D-shaped tambourine.

So: I removed a major bottleneck in my "resurrecting the functionality of my workshop" project, and got to browse for music gear. A fruitful day. :)


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