Archive for February, 2005

Believing the Hype

I said I wouldn’t do it again. Never again would I fall for the hype. Listen to the babble. Believe the wild conjecture. And yet, I fell for it. Again.

I woke up this morning before 7. I turned on the local news to get the latest. “Four to seven inches by 2 pm,” they claimed. “High winds, blizzard like conditions during the afternoon” they cried. Based on this, and all of the hype preceding the “Nor’easter” the last few days, I decided to burn a personal day and stay home today. I’ve been caught at work during heavy snows before, and I didn’t want to deal with the hour+ drive home (which usually takes a half hour) and chance being in one of the many accidents that happen during these things.

So, here it is, almost 4pm, and the roads are wet. Just wet. There was some heavy snow, but it must be too warm- the roads are wet and the grassy accumulation is only an inch or two.

Ratings-starved idiots.

Still Standing

So it appears that despite weeks of neglect, the old blog is still standing. Guess I should post something before the tumbleweeds start to clog up the server.

One of the reasons for the dearth of posts lately is the new toy I received for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. The M-Audio Keystation Pro 88 is a MIDI controller with a full-sized, hammer weighted keyboard. I cleaned some junk out of my office so I could set it up (on its stand) next to my computer desk. When seated in from of the iMac, the keyboard is on my left.

A little over a year ago, when Garageband was released, I immediately ordered a copy. I picked up an M-Audio KeyStation 61 from eBay. At first I played with it alot, and even posted a song. But eventually, I used it less and less.

There were a couple of contributing factors. The primary reason was that my only Mac at the time was a laptop without a permanent location, and my keyboard also had no place to live. Everytime I wanted to make some music, I had to clear everything off the family room coffee table and drag out the keyboard, laptop, cables, headphones, etc. The other factor was the keyboard itsself. I’m no virtuoso pianist (quite far from it), but I’ve played a real piano since I was a kid, and I just couldn’t get used to the plastic, spring loaded keys on that keyboard.

The new setup has fixed all of these problems. With the iMac on my desk and the keyboard to the left, everything is always setup when I want to sit down and play. And the size and feel of the keyboard have made a huge difference.

I haven’t composed/recorded much so far. I started out working on a few melodies I had in my head, but quickly found that both my piano muscles and my music theory muscles had long atrophied from lack of use. Mostly I’ve been practicing various piano music I had on hand and working through various “How to play” books that focus on fake-book style playing, refreshing my knowledge of chords, progressions, etc. The important thing is, I’m having alot of fun doing it. The composing/recording will come in its own time.

In the near future, I hope to post a review of the keyboard, Garageband 2, JamPack 4, etc. For those of you who don’t care about such things, I’ll try to get back to posting other things as well. The one down side of my new setup is that when I come sit down to catch up on my blog reading and maybe post something, it’s very easy to flip on the keyboard and make some music instead.

Time

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun, but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Time, Pink Floyd

Coincidence is a funny thing. I was cleaning out my office here at home this evening, and ran across an unopened CD package of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. This package was unopened because it was a spare copy I picked up somewhere years ago; I already had a (well-used) copy at the time. That original is now long since misplaced (along with most of my CD’s from college), so I opened the package and ripped the CD into iTunes.

Even before listening to it, the lyrics to Time started rolling around in my head. It’s always been one of my favorite tracks from this album, but seemed especially apropos. For the reason I was cleaning my office was to make room for my birthday present.

Shorter of breath, and one day year closer to death.

Site Browsing Stats, January 2005

Time once again to look at the browser stats on the ol’ weblog. Here’s the final numbers for January:

Browser              Hits      %age
-------              ----    ------
FireFox             49976    40.5 %
Internet Explorer   32787    26.5 %
Safari              12953    10.5 %
Unknown             10642     8.6 %
Mozilla              6224     5.0 %
NetNewsWire          4086     3.3 %
Netscape             2372     1.9 %
Opera                1868     1.5 %
OmniWeb               805     0.6 %
Konqueror             526     0.4 %
Others               1027     0.8 %

As compared with last month, Firefox has crept up slightly (.4%), while IE has lost over 4%, in bits and pieces. For example, NetNewsWire (+0.7%), “Unknown” (+0.7%), and even Netscape(!) (+0.7%). Not sure what it all means.

Of course, the numbers are likely to be skewed due to comment and referer spam; but nearly all of that shows up as IE. I’ve been trying to fight that stuff more actively over the past month, which might explain why IE has fallen off a bit, allowing smaller browsers to increase a bit.