Another Friday, another remote production.
Another Friday, another remote production.
I was way too optimistic about my schedule this week, so to compensate I had to go back to work tonight after the kids went to bed and record a video about one of our mixing consoles.
For the first time in a very long time I started writing a song today. Not an ambient chord progression experiment, not some synth fiddling, but an actual alternative rock song with soaring guitars, pounding drums and lyrics about heartbreak.
To be clear, nothing about it is done yet and long time (really long time) readers of the blog will know that the biggest hurdle for me is always the lyrics. My inability to write lyrics have resulted in a lot of thrown away melody lines and riffs, but this time I’ve got a very clear theme for the lyrics and a persona to write them from. I also have a basic melody, some guitar parts and the outline of an arrangement and instrumentation.
I guess this counts as my ”doing something fun at work” this week, since I worked from home today and the song writing happened when I was about to start working.
Today was in many ways the most average of average days at work. I did some administrative tasks, my weekly review, some scheduling for an upcoming course, some planning for stuff coming up later in the spring and held a short lecture.
After that I headed home and had an average afternoon with the kids and Linn.
Since nothing really stood out I also didn’t take any pictures today so I’m kind of bending my own rules today and I am posting a screen shot instead of a photo. Here’s my current home screen, something that I’m fiddling with quite a lot at the moment.
This weekend Linn’s parents and her grandma visited us. We had a good time and today they went home again. Also, Iris was at a birthday party for a friend and then all of us played out in the snow so there wasn’t really any time to take many pictures, so this photo of my Irish coffee will have to do. (Yes, that is indeed blue cream.)
Linn and I also finished the first (and so far only) season of You on Netflix.
Iris has made a dress out of Play-Doh for one of her Anna dolls, inspired by one of her favorite YouTube channels.
Skrev lite långt på Facebook om den här regeringsfrågan. Varsågoda: https://t.co/WjABvfceEQ
Jag är mer eller mindre lika tokliberal/ultraliberal som Hanna och jag röstade på Centern i valet och jag köper hennes argument helt och fullt. Nej, det var inte så här vi ville att det skulle bli men det är den minst dåliga kompromissen just nu.
Both today and yesterday I managed to squeeze in some time to play guitar, something that I haven’t done properly in quite a while. Now my fingers hurt!
This is me wearing the headsets of two different intercom systems. I took the photo today while connecting the intercoms to our Dante system to enable communication via the intercoms between our tv studio and a remote location 30 km away. In the end it worked, but intercoms are terrible to work with.
There seems to be a common theme to a lot of these daily photos. Lots of tv after the kids been put to bed. On weeknights that’s pretty much all we have energy for and a good way to unwind.
Right now we’re watching You on Netflix. Decent get-out-of-your-own-head television.
Today I tried the SPL Transient Designer for real for the first time. We used it to get some extra punch in a snare drum and the result was very good.
I’m bringing my pedalboard to work tomorrow, so I made some substitutions of pedals to better suit the ambient/industrial/metal-thingy we’re doing. I replaced the Polytune and Echo Park with a Nano Muff and Heavy Metal.
Today we cleaned Christmas away, danced around the tree and tore down its decorations. Now the house feels slightly empty without all the Christmas stuff, but also clean in a nice relaxing way.
The easy part to report on is the photoblogging. I’ve been doing that every day, except today but I’ll soon get around to posting a picture for today as well. Probably while fulfilling the third bullet on my list, reading at least one evening/night every week.
As for the work stuff, things have not been going as planned but I blamed that on it being i week with only three work days, two of which were booked full with teaching. That means no work from home this week and no three hours for fun stuff.
I did build a ”self-playing ukulele”, but that was used in teaching the very next day so it doesn’t really count as a fun thing without a clear connection to the everyday grind of work.
That’s it for the first week.
Iris has been telling us again and again that she really, really wants glasses for Christmas. (There’s nothing wrong with her eyesight.) Today my father and his wife came over for a late Christmas celebration and to her great joy, they did give her glasses. 🙂
Friday in Sweden means På spåret on tv.
My view for the evening, in my couch, wearing pajamas and talking to Linn about everything and anything. Lot’s of stuff to talk about tonight.
My daily photo for January 1st is this partial view of my messy network equipment shelves, in particular the Raspberry Pi that serves as my Plex Media Server for my home media, since that Is something that I’ve dealt with quite a bit today. Now the kids can enjoy a lot of their shows on both tvs and almost all of the iPads.
One thing that has been quite clear this year, especially during the fall semester is that I’m having less fun at work than I’ve previously had. I think much of it comes down to the fact that this August marked my tenth year as an employee of Dalarna University. I’ve had a lot of fun for those ten years, I’ve learned a ton of stuff and I’ve been able to work on a lot of cool projects. But I’ve also done a lot of the same teaching for most of those years. As I actually started thinking about the fact that it had been ten years, I probably got more sensitive to the daily grind and bore, and the fall are the more dull part of the year at work.
So I feel a strong need to do something about this, to make sure 2019 is a more interesting year at work. The yearly theme, if that’s the way it’s supposed to be framed, is therefore more fun or less bore or something. Please note, not less routine. Routine is important, especially for a one and a half year old and an almost four year old. So it’s not about throwing out routine or make dramatic changes. It’s about making room for fun stuff, even during the boring parts of life.
The first actual thing to do about this is probably also the simplest. It’s something that I’ve done before that I just need to get back into doing and that is making sure I work from home at least ones a week. When I work from home I approach work differently and it’s also very nice having the house to myself for a few hours. Some weeks it won’t be possible scheduling-wise, so it’s not a definitive promise but an important thing to aim for.
Another thing to do to make life, especially at work, more fun is to to make sure I set aside at least three hours every week to do something fun at work. It can be things like making a drum playing robot, making a silly guitar effects video, testing out things for VR/ambisonics, maybe building a midi pedal, fiddling around with our Eurorack synth or any other kind of thing that I have no idea about right now. Things that I technically aren’t payed to do but that tends to benefit my work in one way or another in the long run. I now I can make my schedule work so that I can do this, I just need to actually do it.
I also constantly want to get back into reading, so consider it a resolution that I should read at least once every week, preferable fiction. I am currently reading through Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series and am loving it. Hopefully I might get through a few of those books during the year.
Finally I want to get better at posting pictures from my life, so another resolution is that for the month of January I’m going to post a photo every day. It doesn’t necessarily need to be a photo of something that was a big part of the day, but at least it should get me into the habit of posting more photos.
What was that, Jony? Right, an elegance that only Apple could achieve.
I recently had a reason to revisit my workflow for dealing with dvds and turning them into mp4-files. Here’s the new workflow that results in a video file that’s playable in QuickTime, on iDevices and a bunch of other devices and that has subtitles that can be turned on or in QuickTIme and iDevices.
I love that Lisa’s Guns N Roses reference at the end seems to go completely over Jason’s head. 🙂
🎞 Watched: Captain America: Civil War
Before getting into the MCU, this was probably the movie that I thought would be the very worst one. Super heroes fighting each other over issues that could be solved be talking is just so boring. Turns out, I was wrong about the movie. I really liked this one!
I think we all can agree that this is an Avengers movie, just as much as a Cap movie. And as such it is the Avengers movie, at least in the sense that this is how I would like more of them to be. The world is not going to end if the heroes fail, but instead there are real personal stakes here. I can understand motivations, I can get invested.
As for the fighting, the Avengers movies have the problem that you have a demigod, an almost invincible rage monster, some really powerful metahumans and a spy/assassin and a guy with a bow and arrow. This imbalance of power amongst them gets more or less silly in both Avengers and Age of Ultron (and I assume in Infinity War as well). In this one, it is much better managed. The airstrip scene, which I kind of dreaded, was really exciting. Everybody had an important role and I could understand the abilities of every character and why the could, or couldn’t, match each other.
It was also interesting that I still don’t really know if I’m on team Tony or team Cap. Philosophically speaking I would like to agree with Steve, but I can also totally see myself acting just like Tony does in the final battle, if I were in his shoes.
Right, I almost forgot. Spider-Man! (I’m looking forward to seeing Homecoming.)
🎧 Listened to: H.I. #113: Thelma & Louise — Hello Internet
I like the fact that Grey accidentally put a car with automatic transmission into manual, because that was exactly what I did the first time I drove in the USA. I tried to get on the freeway out of Las Vegas and was accelerating to try to get to 60 (or 75 or whatever speed the rest of traffic was in) and the engine just screamed in pain. I had the take the first exist, park at a fast food restaurant and try to figure out what the hell was going on. Wasn’t this supposed to be a car that I didn’t have to shift gears in?
In my defence it was the first time that I drove an automatic, because Sweden – that likes to claim itself being one of the worlds most modern countries – have somehow failed to realise how driving a stick is like using a non-graphical user interface on your computer.
🎧 Listened to: The Incomparable | Panspermia, but for Clothes (Episode 328)
I really, really liked the movie Arrival. (I’ll write more about it, soon.) Therefore I had high hopes for this Incomparable episode, but I was kind of disappointed. They never got down to discussing the interesting issues that the movie brings up, or at least brought up in me.
🎞 Watched: Ant-Man
I’d heard a lot about how this one was different from the earlier MCU movies and while it felt less serious – mostly in a good way – I don’t think it was this radical shift that some made it out to be.
Anyway, it was enjoyable but also a bit forgettable. I probably won’t rush to rewatch this anytime soon.
One interesting thing was the scene in the beginning that was set in the past, where they’d digitally de-aged Michael Douglas. I knew this was going to be a thing and after my negative reaction to Tarkin in Rouge One I expected to dislike this as well. Turns out I was wrong. Technology marches on fast and this digital effect looked really good. Funnily enough I actually though digitally de-aged Douglas looked more real than the real Douglas in the rest of the movie.
🎧 Listened to: The Incomparable | My Favorite of the Chrises (Episode 416)
I wonder if having watched Agents of Shield makes The Winter Soldier a better movie. I mean, I liked The Winter Soldier and the original Captain America movie as well, but the movie that The Incomparable speaks about sounds like better movie than the one I watched.