Hula Chair

Linda Dahlstrom is a health editor at MSNBC.  She has reviewed the hula chair and the article is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time.  It has everything an article needs to be funny: veiled sarcasm and engrish examples.

These is the first of two examples:

Promotional materials that come with the Hula Chair say that a “fat waist and belly are caused by the lack of sports and accumulation of fat on these parts.” That is exactly my problem: No sports and fat on my waist have resulted in, well, a fat waist.

This one is pretty good too:

But working your muscles isn’t supposed to be comfortable, right? That’s the point. No pain, no gain.

I’m just not sure a diaper rash is the right kind of pain. One of the days I tested the Hula Chair I wore a skirt with a rough texture. Add the friction of an hour’s worth of gyrating movement on the chair’s seat and a little sweat and the next morning I was digging through a cupboard for an old jug of baby powder. Clothing wasn’t on the manufacturer’s list of 27 “safety points for attention,” but it did warn away those with “serious bleeding wounds,” people with “equipment trapped inside” and “persons that need a rest cure” from using it. Also, stay off it when you’re wet. Word to that.

Awesome article with the icing on the cake being the sweet video of this poor girl getting her ass kicked by the chair.

Rhodes/Wurlitzer Greatness

I recently started working on a project to make Ableton Live work like a hardware looper for my friend Randy Craig. He currently utilizes the Roland RC-50 and a Byzantine series of pedals and we are trying to eliminate some of the complexity he currently has in his setup. In the process of figuring out how to do it I have discovered that it is actually a pretty difficult problem to solve for the way Randy works without making some pretty dramatic concessions due to the lack of an overdub feature in Live and a real-time reverse functionality. Live is truly amazing software and there are a lot of artists that use it for live looping; however, to make it behave like a hardware looper requires some cleverness and some concessions. Anyway, I am looking into writing software to do exactly what Randy wants in MAX/MSP and in the process found what you see below. It’s so robotic sounding and yet so organic. It just goes to show that the Rhodes and Wurli are such flawless instruments that even a sample of one of them can make robots sound beautiful.

I will keep you posted on the results of Randy’s looper and when we get it working I’ll post video. It seems to be a difficult problem to solve as there really is nothing on the market that works quite right for anyone. If you have a solution, let me know.

We Prepare

Heather and I are supposed to be getting ready for our trip to Mexico next week.  Instead I am sitting on the couch trying to find ways to distract myself and she is with her sister at a potluck at the adoption agency her sister is using to give up her child.  Randy Craig is in my basement working on vocals.  I would go assist with that but he seems to get better takes when I am not around.  Besides, it’s hard for me to sit in a room while he sings the same phrase 300 times.  I don’t know how he has the patience for it but the performance ends up sounding good so I don’t complain too much.

I have several solid 8 hours days of work to do on the 4 songs we want to have done before Christmas and I have to get those days in before December 15th when Heather and I leave.  Randy and I have been working on this record for over a year and we have 4 songs close to being done, 3 or so on deck, and probably 3 more in the incubator… yet to be inspired.  I would like to work on my own music, but I can’t seem to make the time.  We really need to get Randy’s new record done so I can move on to some other things.  I like working on Randy’s stuff but I am 28 and would like to get some of the ideas I have for songs down before I am 30.

I also have lots of work to do at my actual job.  I’ve become an asset to the company I suppose and I actually really like what I have been doing lately.  I have a sense of pride in my work, as corny as that sounds; however, it is exhausting at the end of the year when everyone wants everything done immediately and right now I just want to go on vacation.

I decided earlier this year that I wanted to learn a programming language.  Programming was directly responsible for the difficulty I had in college and I kind of want to kick its ass now that my mind is a little more agile.    I had originally wanted to learn Java; however, the syntax gets in the way and the whole process just seems kind of clunky.  I spent 3 weeks writing a very simple piece of code that logged into a remote Oracle database, grabbed some data and analyzed it, and then updated some tables in said database based on a csv file provided by another company.  I got it about 90% of the way done but that last 10% was a pain in the ass.  I figured I would try python because everyone rants and raves about it.  I literally did the same project, having no experience with python, in about 4 hours only it worked as a standalone app and was much more robust.  It just proved to me that my logic was good but the language was getting in my way.  I’ve always struggled with foreign languages and programming languages don’t seem to be an exception to that.  I’m not bagging on java.  It has its place in the world for sure; but it was actually fun to write python code and not have to look shit up constantly to be able to do it.  Now that I am done with it, I have all kinds of little parts I want to change; however, the project I wrote it for will be over at the end of next week and I’ll probably dump all the code.  Oh well, it was a good learning experience.  If I get bored I will finish the java version.

Anyway, I just started this page and I want to be able to post about the things that interest me.  It’s probably going to be strange mix of all the little things I like to do but it will be good for me to write down.  Sometime later I will put something up on why I think writing it down is important; however, for now I am going to do something a little more productive.  With that, I leave you with a picture of Scarlett Johansson because she’s hot as hell and I’m down with that.