Gye Greene's Thoughts

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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Halloween costume

So, I was prepping for a friend's costume party today. I'd planned out the costume in my head during the week: some sort of generic green super-hero.

But then, this morning as I was assembling the parts, I had an inspiration: instead of a green super-hero, I'd be a 1930s pulp science-fiction person.

To achieve this, I added goggles, omitted the green gloves I was going to wear, and added two art deco-ish rings.

And then, I cast about for something steampunk-ish to add. Saw the kids' bubble gun -- so that worked for a 1950s ray gun. But it needed a futuristic-looking muzzle.

Went out to the library/home office and looked about. My eyes found the bucket of old-timey radio parts on the edge of my desk (which everyone has in their home office). Tried a few of them, and one of them actually fit snugly into the nozzle of the bubble gun. Score!

Here's a snapshot of the resulting "space gun".

Essentially, I didn't want to spend too much time -- or any money -- on a costume.

Seems to have worked out OK. :)


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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Witch broom

The Girl got this idea that for her Halloween witch's costume, she wanted an authentic-looking broom. Not surprisingly, within about ten minutes she lost interest, and it somehow became **my** project.

We cut a length of bamboo to be the broom handle, and we (or "I") cut a bunch of sticks to be the bristles.

Then I set up a workstation by the back porch, with a bag of sand to weight down the end of the broom handle, but allow me to turn it. (Oh -- after I drilled two holes in the bristle end.) Some string, and scissors.

Here's the broom-making in progress. I made a pair of "needles" out of a straightened paper clip, folded in half, which I used to thread the doubled-over string through the branches.

And, here's the finished project. Turned out pretty well.

She'll probably use it for five minutes at the costume party, then abandon it. But, that's o.k.


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Thursday, October 27, 2011


So, I have a pair of longjohns which I sometimes use as pajama pants. Had 'em for a few years. Still good -- no holes -- except that the elastic in the waistband had deteriorated and no longer held the pants up.

I'd rather repair, rather than toss, things. So, I installed a drawstring.

Made marks at regular intervals inside the waistband, with a permanent marker. Then I used an awl (pictured) to poke holes. With each hold, I pulled a drawstring through the hole, using a paper clip which I'd straightened, then folded in half, as a needle.

Have worn the "repaired" longjohns several times now. The repair seems to work fine.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Boy #1 is remarkably good at finding money on the ground when we run errands.

On Sat, Oct. 9, 2011, he found found 50c at the news agents, on the floor. An hour or two later he found 5c under the seat at McDonald's. The Girl started to cry, because she never finds money -- so Boy, unprompted, took the 5c from his pocket and gave it to her.



Monday, October 24, 2011

Two music quotes

Although I'm not a heavy metal guy, I have enough of a sense of the genre to find the two quotes below amusing.

Both are from record reviews on p. 21 of Rave, the local free music rag, Oct. 11, 2011.

Review by columnist Jody Macgregor of a "rap-rock" album:

"There's a decent hardcore band and a decent rapper here, but the combination isn't working out for them."

Tom Hersey's review of the "Public Enemy No. 1" single from Megadeth:

"Has anybody else started to notice how Megadeth no longer write political songs? Like, that was their thing -- they had politics, Slayer had religion to hate, Metallica had money [i.e. were wealthy] and Anthrax had... err... Chuck D collaborations and funny beards."



Sunday, October 23, 2011

Decent weekend

Well, a pretty good weekend.

**Finally** managed to mow the lawn (about 2/3 of an acre, so it takes a while).

Shifted a pile of wood that had grass grown up around it, and thus was starting to rot here and there. Luckily about 90% of the wood is still good. Moved it to a more sheltered location. Really need to build some sort of mini-carport for my lumber -- but, have other things that are a higher priority.

Spent time w/ the family.

Spent an evening tidying (excavating?) my daughter's room. Had tried cleaning her room in conjunction with her, but her attention span isn't enough to make it productive -- ended up just being frustrating for me. When she's older, she can do it herself.

Kept meaning to play the bass, and it didn't happen -- other things took priority. Hopefully later this week.


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Saturday, October 22, 2011

Song backlog

For a week or so, I was doing pretty well with recording: spending an hour or two an evening, a few times a week. But I seem to have stalled out: busy with other stuff in the evening. So, the song for which I've been laying down tracks is still only about one-third completed.

And yet, while helping with the weekly grocery shopping this weekend, I accidentally wrote another song. Had a bassline and a drum beat going through my head, as I pushed the shopping cart up and down the aisles. Figured I should add some lyrics. At the end of the second line of the first verse, I took a left turn and followed the concept to its logical conclusion.

The song is about about a guy who decides to break up with his girlfriend and date a mime instead. I'm fairly confident that this doesn't mean that my subconscious thinks The Lady talks too much.

It's good that I wrote another song -- but, frustrating in that it's yet **another** song that I have in the queue, that I can't managed to get to. A week ago I had three songs in the "hot" queue. Now I have four.

But, better than **not** having songs in the queue.


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Friday, October 21, 2011

My daughter

Was at my daughter's annual school fair today. As we wandered the grounds, we walked past a mini-dumpster, which was (obviously!) for people's misc. garbage.

As we walked past, my 7 y.o. daughter stood on tiptoes, to see if there was anything good in there.

**That's** my daughter!!! :)


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Friday, October 14, 2011

No sleep is less music

I guess I'm old enough that I'm starting to repeat myself. Was gonna do a blog entry on how productive I'd be if I didn't need to sleep. But a quick Google search of "gye greene sleep superman" returned my earlier blog entry on essentially the same topic.

But, to elaborate: I haven't been able to get much recording done, as late. For a while I was squeezing in an hour or two an evening -- mostly after everyone else had gone to bed. But for the last few days The Lady has been trying to finish up a work project, so I've been getting the kids to sleep -- and accidentally falling asleep myself in the process.

But, if I didn't need sleep: man! I could record about a song a night. Talk about productivity!!!


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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Zombie ants

Wow! (Non-sarcastically.) There is apparently a type of rainforest fungus that takes over a species of ant, "drives" it a location optimal for the fungus to survive, and then kills the ant.


(Note: learned of it in this blog entry, which does contain the F-word [if you're at work or whatever].)


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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Funnier if you are into computers

A very short, somewhat amusing blog entry on a Google "suggested alternative" to a web search.


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Monday, October 10, 2011

Gun kata

A fictional gun-based martial arts style -- from some movie called "Equilibrium", which I have not seen.

Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled for this YouTube video. But, here's the link.


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Sunday, October 09, 2011

The Mighty Lemon Drops

The Mighty Lemon Drops are (were?) a "college radio" band, I think from the '80s. I know they got a lot of airplay on our college radio station -- and I have two or three of their albums.

I think this song is their most famous: "Hypnotized".


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Saturday, October 08, 2011

Wrongfully accused

In the '90s, there was a pretty good band called "School of Fish". Their best-known song is "Three Strange Days." I have both their (major label) albums. Then the band broke up, the singer went solo, and his album flopped.

It's always bothered me when singers ditch their bands when they **finally** get famous -- so when I discovered that his solo album flopped, I thought "Good riddance." And I'd mention it as an interesting factoid whenever I introduced someone to their albums.

Turns out that -- at least according to the Wikipedia article -- the **band** broke up, rather than the singer leaving. And then a few years later he got cancer and died at the age of 32.

So, umm -- sorry for badmouthing you, dude.

(Less latency, it seems, if you click through directly to YouTube.)


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Friday, October 07, 2011

Pecualiar but real stickers

Apparently, you can buy the actual stickers (medical surplus, etc.) that say inappropriate things like "May cause loose stools" or "Do not exercise" or "Save all urine."

Potentially useful. Like, if your company had a really bad financial year, you can put "May cause nausea" on the annual report.


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Thursday, October 06, 2011

Illusion of pricing

I'm in Australia. Almost bought a guitar effects pedal (an octave pedal) thru Pedal was about thirty bucks -- but turns out that international shipping and handling was **also** about thirty bucks. Pah! Not gonna pay as much for shipping as for the pedal.

Funny thing, though: If the pedal had been fifty bucks, I probably would've still thought that was a fair price for the pedal. And if the shipping had been ten bucks, I would've thought that reasonable.

So, still sixty bucks, total. And yet one transaction gets rejected, while another one would be approved.

It's all how you slice it.


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Wednesday, October 05, 2011

North versus South Korea

My brother sent this to me. I thought it was pretty good.



Monday, October 03, 2011

Reasonably productive weekend

Had a pretty good weekend -- and by "good", I apparently mean "productive".

Made substantial progress on the luggage rack for the garage: it's a place to put misc. boxes, suitcases, and such which are currently haphazardly piled on the floor in the middle of the garage. It's more efficient to make use of vertical space: right now the pile is only about waist height; I want to move it to ankle-through-forehead height, and against the wall.

I have yet to put two more horizontal braces, plus a diagonal, on the main framework. And I need to cut and install all the slats for the platform: right now there's nothing to the shelves, just the framework. I'll post a photo when it's completed.

AND -- I mangage to get some recording done!!! Sunday night, spent about two hours with a song I haven't recorded on since May(!!!). Played back the existing tracks (most of them "scratch" tracks, but three were intended to be keepers) -- and realized that I'd recorded it at the wrong tempo! Sang a track just vocals, no instruments, just to see the inherent speed. Ayep -- noticeably off.

So, had to dump all of the existing tracks, and start over. Ah well: good experience. And the existing tracks didn't line up very well, anyhow. It had been so long since I'd recorded that I'd forgotten my basic approach, so I hadn't laid down a reference vocal track (i.e., to keep track of where I am in the song -- verse, chorus, etc.).

So: I now have a click track (a wooden metronome, which may remain in the final mix as an unusual percussion track), and a scratch vocal track. Onwards and upwards!

BTW -- the metronome had an unpleasant buzzing sound with every click. Turned out that the sides of the case were buzzing: when I pinched the sides with my fingers, the tone improved. So, held the sides in with a woodworking clamp before recording it.


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