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Thursday, October 20, 2016

Now is a Time of Great Decision...

..stolen from Blazing Saddles (watched it again last night).

One issue with being multi-talented and indecisive is figuring out where to expend your energy.  I love to write, I love to compose/record music, and I love to work on computer art.

Problem is,with a more than full-time job, it's difficult (read: impossible) to focus enough energy on any one thing to do the job well, creating a Jack of all trades, but a master of none.

So, the past 2 weeks I've been fretting over many a question having to do with the future of my creative life, given that at any time I may be asked to pack up and move to San Antonio and I really don't want to load myself don with any large equipment.

That lets out buying a guitar rig, the guitar and case with the effects pedal would be a pain to move in a hurry, and buying 2 seats for the the guitar) doesn't make it any easier, and I don't want to check it.

An Alesis Vortex Wireless is super-light, can be carried in a gig bag, and has a bazillion MIDI controllers.. but until I get a dedicated music machine I won't get the most out of it.

Writing is just a matter of putting time into it.  I have no need for additional gear, thankfully.

Artwork?  Right now I have what I need to make alum and track rt, if I drop my animation aspirations.

So, much wailing and gnashing of teeth while I work all this out!  But something will have to go (or I need to win the lottery)...

Work goes quite well, happily coding, testing, and helping out like crazy!

Monday, October 3, 2016


Ah, regrets.. I've had a few.

I regret deleting all my music software!

So here I am, re-downloading, re-installing, and re-authorizing. Ugh.  For HOURS.

The one good thing, such as it is, is that this has made me focus on what I'm going to actually use as compared to what I grab on the off-chance I might use it someday.  So, my stable of instruments is small, my effects few and professional-level, and the best of my loop libraries will be ready to hand.

Not having over a dozen software synthesizers and over 100 (!!) software effects will help me spend more time composing and less time wondering hich flavor of reverb/ech/phaser/etc. I really want for a track, which frankly was a productivity killer.

Jury is still out on a physical instrument.. there's no finger pain typing now, but I haven't tried long-term pressure to them so I need to buy a finger exerciser and see where that goes.

Regardless, the Synthetic Aurality music project rises from the ashes!

Scrivener and Jutoh are both installed, so I can get back to my writing, and I've copied all my music to this machine so I have tunes.

Decisions, decisions...

Monday, September 26, 2016

The First Week Of Work

I'm fairly sure my brain has lost 10lb. of ugly fat in the past week!  Talk about a mental workout!

Two days in San Antonio, three days Austin, teleconferences via my cell phone while on the bus, teleconferences on the laptop, source code, hardware, IDEs, setting up a small firmware development lab in my room..


Payday on October 7th., this will put me in excellent shape, let me pay back Anne her bridge oan and pay this months rent, but a desk, chair, and coffeemaker, a few small things around the house, and funds for travel.  PLUS - open a savings account!!  I'm going to move money online from checking to savings, so bank visits in person will be limited to getting money for large cash purchases (and I might even find  way round that).

In the meantime, I'm learning a ton about 802.11 wireless.  IT's pretty wild stuff, and very different from what I usually deal with, so it's going to be my "learn a new skill" thing for this year.

Still in shock from it all, though.  Literally from total hopelessness to top of the world in a few days.  Definitely going to be some partying when that first check arrives!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

And, out of nowhere

My live is a shambling mass of crawling chaos!!

Last Friday, I get a call from a recruiter.. they have a remote job based out of San Antonio, needing a firmware guy.  Sure, submit me!

Friday afternoon.. they want a phone interview Tuesday.  Sure!  Sign me up!

Tuesday interview goes extremely well.  Technical interview Wednesday!

Wednesday technical interview goes extremely well.  Wednesday evening - they want a face to face in San Antonio!

All day Thursday, travel plans, and the agency pays for the bus ticket.

Friday.. bus is late, so I get to the interview 1/2 an hour late, nobody cares.

Five people in 3 hours... brain hurts but I feel like I did really well.  Agency says they should know before I get back to Austin..

On the bus, phone call with job offer!!!! I start the 19th., will get paid every week!

And I was down to my last $20, and was ready to wind up in jail for a while, I was prepared and everything was set.

Talk about miracles.  They do happen.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

End Of The Road, Part 3

Things proceed apace.

Most of my newsletters and subscriptions are shut down.  Dribs and drabs filter in but so far all the major sites have been dealt with.

Going to mostly take it easy net week as I plan to be here for 2 more weeks before I pull the plug on this mess for the next 8-10 years.  Football this coming weekend, Texans play Sunday - GO TEXANS!

The landlady has completely withdrawn.  Since Tuesday, she's spent all the time locked away in her room, not coming out except for food or to take care of the grand-kid that she's Granny Day Care for.  And she was snappish with him on Friday.. not sure how bad it really is with her.  I had an unopened bag of pasta in the kitchen cabinet, as of today it seems to have taken a powder.. would Anne be petty enough to hide it out of spite?  I have no doubt she'd do it at this stage of things. Eh, not my fight, plenty of more important folks in my life to take care of!

Next week I will be blogging "Learn From My Fail", which is basically a brief autobiography of how I ended up in this mess.  Hopefully someone will run across it and decide to plan for disaster - which I didn't do - and avoid ending up like me.  This is definitely not working out as desired!

Next up - removing the utilities from my name.  I think I can do it over the phone...

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

End Of The Road, Part 2

No apologies from the landlady today.  She simply avoids looking at me and does her stuff and leaves, which is fine by me.  I don't expect an apology from her as I've never heard her apologize for anything, I don't she has it in her to admit to ever doing anything wrong.

Today has mostly been the shutdown of my job search - turning off job alerts, turning off searches, hiding my resume' on Monster and Dice, emailing headhunters, killing my LinkedIn account.. whew! A slow process but a necessary one as I intend to quietly vanish for many years/

Sold the last of my Native Instruments music software, so that's done.  I have $58 in Paypal and I'm planning on using that for one last blowout Chinese feast as kind of a final celebration for making it this far (heh).  I still have a $35 check coming from Paypal, that will buy me my last booze and some burrito-sized tortillas so I can enjoy the food I have here.  I have enough for a month easily, so no real worries on eating.

I'm STILL fuming about yesterday!  Talked to a bunch of folks online and not one of them thought she had any right to search my food stock for anything, much less walk out with something.  So, while I have my fair share of issues, being overly-sensitive on this subject likely isn't one of them.  Much shaking of head.

No sign of my housemate yet.  I need to type up some support documentation for her on how to reset the router and cable modem, I'm sure it'll need to be done on occasion and I don't want to leave her with zero support.  She's a nice person, likely the only mostly-sane one in this house.

I have vodka and beer, I suppose I could send out for Chinese tonight.  Or get the money in cash and have a mega hot wings feast, I have plenty of tasty goodies for tonight.

Ugh, need to do laundry to clean a t-shirt that needs to go to Goodwill.  Ugh, tomorrow maybe.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

End of the Road, Part 1

And, just like that, it's over.Not the best timing, bit I just had to suffer through another stupid event with the landlady, ut was the last straw and I'm pulling a Plan B shortly after the phone plan runs out.

It took 3 stupid events to push me over the edge, so let me fill you in on them:

EVENT 1: it's nearly Midnight, and I've been sleeping - woke up to go to the bathroom - and had just turned the light out to go back to sleep when I hear a knock on my door.  Being as late is it was I figured I'd better answer it (likely some issue to solve) and it's the landlady, waving a file of money in my face!  I thought wtf man, she said "Here take this money to pay down the water bill in case you get up before me in the morning".  First, we never discussed this at all, so this is coming out of nowhere.  Second, I was half asleep and only wearing my underwear.  And finally, when I told her I had no plans to go anywhere in the morning, she got upset and said "Why not?".  Really? I went off on her a bit and she mumbled something about putting it away.  Weird, and no mention from her on the indicdent the next day.

EVENT 2: About a week later, I'm in the kitchen fixing a cup of coffee and the landlady returns from shopping, comes into the kitchen, and in front of her visiting grandson announces "I bought security lights, so since Ed is the tallest he has to go up on the roof to install them".  Again, I was thinking, wtf, I have a missing foot, insane balance issues to to that, can barely climb steps and she wants the DISABLED guy up the ladder and on to the roof? I did go more off on her this time, she just ignored me and plunked the lights on a chair.  And AGAIN, the next day, no mention of the incident.

EVENT 3: I went out today to pick up my order from Walmart.  Nice trip, got out and about, came home hot and sweaty but semi-happy.  So, I'm sitting in the recliner in my room, bad leg not happy with me at all, and there's a knock on the door.  I say "Who is it?" and in walks the landlady, holding something to her chest. "I'm out of coffee and wondered if you minded me using a spoon of yours?  I came into your room and found this, so I took it, and wondered if I can use some?".  OK WTF THAT ABSOLUTELY DOES IT!! She came into my room and rifled through my food and then ran off with my coffee, without asking, without thinking it might piss me off!!! This woman has mental health issues! Oh, she tries to justify herself by saying she forgot to buy some when shopping, oh Lord I went off on her, asking why she thought it was OK to come take my food without even waiting for me to come home? Really? Sure, steal my food, I'm the one with no income and you're the one with your husbands sizeable pension!  I went all the way off on her, took my coffee back, informed her that I would be locking my door from now on and that I would be out of here at the end of the month.

I have just totally had it.  Dementia? Alzheimer's? Schizophrenia? I have no idea but it was the last straw.

There's something wrong with her, nobody seems to care, and she will literally talk over you or just walk off if you try to point anything out to her.  And she will talk to empty air for about 5 minutes, not muttering to herself (Lord knows I do that on occasion) but conversationally, as if someone were listening and responding.

Prison will be more sane.  Between how hard it's been to get a job this time, my health issues, running down to my last few bucks - I just can't handle it all and I'm powerless to change the situation to a better one.

Well, except for Plan B.  Rob a bank, et sent to jail for 8-10 years, get out and immediately retire because, apparently, committing a Federal crime doesn't invalidate your Social Security!  3 meals a day, a place to sleep, books to read, free medical care, and maybe teach a few inmates some computer science classes.

It beats being homeless, with no medical support.

Anyway, so now I'm moving into the final stages of shutdown.  Short of a miracle, this is it for the next several years.

I'm going to try writing my autobiography in this blog over my final weeks outside, as a cautionary tale.  Don't end up like I have...