Oct 23, 2016

505 Union Street

I was working part-time at the University of Washington. Attending classes part time. Missing classes often. My ambitions and my major changed a few times before I had landed in Informatics. The second cohort of a program still within its genesis. And that showed in some its execution.

I don't remember what course finally gave me cause to cut ties; but I remember the moment. A call came in from Elle. Danny had a friend named Ryan that was in need of someone full-time. Elle suggested me.

I interviewed to be a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer. I stated in the interview that I hoped to be a Developer some day. I learned shortly after being hired that I almost wasn't hired for saying that. A huge division had driven itself between the Development team and QA.

We were developing a brand-new computer. Portable laptop the size of paperback fantasy novel. We released it to low fanfare and eventually most of us were cut.

It was the start of an incredible journey. The beginning of my technical...

Feb 11, 2016

I have a colorful imagination that can often take me to far off places. Re-mixing the media and experiences of my life into the work that I am doing at the moment. However, this head full of memories and thoughts can bear down heavy on me. I can very often become stricken by paralysis.

I see the problem. My brain begins to see through to a solution. A faster, clearer way of accomplishing the work or expressing the idea. But I cannot find all the steps or maybe the right, first step. So I stand there and ponder the work ahead. Eventually I may take a step in; other times I may turn away and return another day.

It has been more challenging than I thought to step away from contributing code to an active application. My current work, developing training content, is often not as targeted, exact, and does not require quite as much coordination. I can often lose sight of its importance because for the most part the organization continues on without it.

Working closely within other individuals...

Feb 3, 2016

When Hannah and I drove through Viroqua I would see the small town radio station WDRT. I would crane my neck to see into the window, hoping to find someone on the air. To see someone talking into the microphone and to simultaneously hear them on the radio. I longed to be a part of radio.

I am not even sure why I felt exactly that way. Why in the age of everything online would I want to be onthe radio? Why, when there are podcasts? On the radio you have no chance of knowing your listeners are there listening. I would be hard-pressed to find the metrics to help guide improvement. I would be restricted to when I would be able to perform and be restriction in my performance.

Yet, I still wanted on the radio.

When we eventually moved here I finally popped into the station. I thought I would find glaring holes in the schedule on nights and weekends. A station in need of people to donate their time and fill the airwaves. Instead I found a schedule that filled the week. Shows even alternateed...

Feb 3, 2016

When working I continue to find that that greatest thing that hampers me at the moment is myself. I can feel it come on. During the act of creation I am sometimes acutely overtaken by this understanding that what I am crafting is at the pinnacle of my understanding. In in that moment I faulter.

I continue to explore with the ways that I create. With music the act of creation has grown harder as my expectations on my skills has increased; a desire to build bigger. That desire has outpaced my skill.

To combat this I have imposed a 30 minute time limit. The following is a product of that work:

Oct 22, 2015

I live in small town in Wisconsin. It's a long story and a lot of miles since I left Van Nuys High. When I graduated I had no clue what I was going to do with my life and the early choices that I made showed that. I spent a year signing up for classes at Los Angeles Valley College; signing up and then dropping them for the cash. I would walk out of the Valley to UCLA and spend time with a good friend. I flipped burgers at In-N-Out on Van Nuys Boulevard.

Then I drove my car into another car. I didn't have insurance. I declared bankruptcy. The hardest part was not having a car in Los Angeles. I didn't feel like I had many choices left – I couldn't see much past my own life. I joined the Army for five years. I joined another good friend for a year.

The Army took me to a few more States and the South Korea. I eventually landed in Washington State. I left the military August 19, 2001. I enrolled and tried my hand at school again. This time I reached farther and found my way enrolled in...

Oct 6, 2015

The recent jam felt great. We caught up. We felt like friends.

The weather has changed here in Wisconsin. It is far colder out. Especially that evening. Autumn comes on you quick here. These days are warm in the sun if you can find a window to stretch out under.

We actually started talking about that first. We were talking about how good it was to get back into that room so we could generate some heat. Making music generate heat.

The the studio switched over to jam mode and and we needed to slowly work our way back up to volume in a number I like to call Sexy Sandwich.

We then flew right into Fast Enough and Let Down Your Hair which were super fun and funky. I tried to figure out how the hell you backup someone else. I learned a few ways not to do it.

And then felt an endless spout from my mouth. It had been a few weeks of bottled shit that needed to be shared. But not in particular words and thoughts but the feeling of need to getting it out. I think this has become a valve.

Oct 4, 2015

I walk late at night in the country here. I walk in the dark. I walk when the wind howls and the drops drizzle. The night is my time. It is restless time. I start to overheat. I want to either end the night completely accomplished or absolutely frustrated.

I want to wake up the next day already having said goodbye to that task and planning summer visits. Or I want to be so locked in horns with it that I won't give in. Either of those. But the space in between is probably some of the worst.

And the truth is that more nights out of the week are those nights. I continue to stare at this infernal contraption each night expecting to find my fill. To have played all the notes out of this instrument. But that day never seems to come.

So I walk each night. I walk because without it the entire evening would have been a waste (I would have sat there all night!) in my head. And more often than not it gives me a little back in waking me up and helping me center and prepare that time.

I walked...

Sep 29, 2015

There are four questions that I use to judge if I am happy where I am working.

  • Am I working with talented and excited people on a close basis?

  • Am I improving at the work that I am currently doing?

  • Am I learning and able to explore new things?

  • Do I feel like I have control over the things that I am working on?

Sep 26, 2015

I am leaving Chicago. While the trip was measured in its amount of excitement it was a gorgeous time to visit the city. Fall as always remains one of my favorite seasons to visit cities. I wish I could live in a world of permanent Fall. Where the days start crisp, roar to a warmth, and finish again with cool evenings that invite you to walk about and stare at the night.

I arrived late on Monday. Taught Tuesday through Friday. Grabbed a flight after the class on Friday. A benefit of living only an hour flight away. When I made it through security I was pleased to think about all the times I walked through the concourse. Getting a chance to see what it was outside this behemoth hub.

I ate far too much hamburger here in the city. I am sure I will pay for that in my declining years. Early on in the week I snacked on bad candy and cookies. During the day I guzzled water after water as I danced my way through the material I shared with all those there listening.

This class more than any...

Sep 21, 2015

I often feel these three things throughout my day. I have a good life but on certain days this critical side overtakes me and for a brief moment I review my station against the great cosmos projected from some fractal born of my childhood brain.

That's the mindset I am talking about. When I am here I measure my magnitude. I measure my effectivenes. I measure my sense of need.

In this place I can wildy obssess the entire day. “Thought Storms” roll in across my front lobes and suddenly each step matter - each communication. The same powerful brain system that aims deep vectors into “flow” cartesian zones turns it around and has it careen carelessly through the dark borrows of frustration.

I am anxious these days about my abilities and their effectiveness. I have escaped a previously well understood orbit and now flouder in space searching for my next gravitational pull. It feels like transition from a mountain of changes. I feel the hollow eyes of a ghost when I stand in front of a...

Sep 20, 2015

This jam more than other jams felt like we were really focused and working on the music. There was a real sense of focus that night. Unfortunately, a number of technical difficulties conspired against us capturing all the work that we created but what did find its way to be captured was memorable.

“Are You Talking About Me” really captured some of my feelings of when I am completely obsessed with someone. Whenever I sing something like this I wish I had a better understanding of finding the musical structure. I feel like often can find what feels like a chorus and perhaps a melody but not the story and the melodic adventure with the chorus as the reward. The singing strangely reminded me of GlaDOS singing “Still Alive”. Something about the song structure.

There were a few moments when I was singing “Head In Space” with those around me that we truly felt like we were really performing. I found more confidence in some of my ad-libbed words and in my voice. Of course this is me embodying...

Sep 17, 2015

I'm afraid now to practice the work of someone else. I want to get it. I want to flounder and fall into something and make it feel like a discovery. I don't want to be shown. I know we are always shown – I wanted a little more mystery about it.

But if I listen to my fear its telling me that it would be a big challenge. I am afraid to know a sing. To be able to sing it. I'm afraid that I cannot do it. I'm afraid to try.

I realized this I drove over to jam at Orchard Road. I played the album I bought at the Madison Market and tried to grumble along with the song. “If I make it up” I think to myself “it can't be wrong. It is whatever I want to be for the moment.”

But I am a beginning to realize it is necessary choice. Because everything is a remix.