Over the past half year I've been uploading quick (mostly) acoustic
covers of songs over on SoundCloud. It's been an interesting experience...
getting into the habit of recording more often and less formally has
been valuable, and I feel like every day I'm getting better at
singing and playing simultaneously.
The goal last year was to cut together a little EP of songs that I
thought were cool when I was in high school. Sort of a nostalgic
trip to practice recording and improve my singing. Given the
soundcloud tracks, I think it's safe to skip this project entirely
and get on to what I really want to do: some original material.
This cover of Scars is probably my magnum opus thus far,
although the Die Young cover is a close second favorite. This
song is cheesy as hell, but man, it really does help me feel better
when I'm down, thinking about every wrong turn I ever took, and bad
decision I ever made.
At the same time, I worked with Jackie Anderson on a couple of tracks for
her YouTube channel. This cover of Nicole Atkins' A Little Crazy was
such a fun project. The backing track is all live recording performed by
me... including the snare and hihat, which is almost the first time I have
ever recorded myself drumming. Also present: acoustic and electric
guitars, and bass.
I put together a little demo of DOS EGA graphics in the low-resolution
640x200 mode. It's a "playable" game of bouncing balls, where the player
controls one ball that can kind of move. Check out the video:
If you want to try it yourself, or check out the source code, here's a ZIP
with everything as it was in the video: GFX.zip.
Note that you'll have to run the executable in DOSBox or actual DOS, and
that the EGAVGA.BGI file included in the ZIP needs to be in the same
directory. This file is some kind of Turbo-C++ specific graphics driver...
BGI perhaps standing for "Borland Graphics Interface" or similar.
New for 2018... it's 2013!! I'm taking a page out of my own old playbook,
and setting the clock back half a decade. This is a return to that fresh
out of university and ready to take on the world feeling!
I'm bringing back the nasty old green/black/blue/gray/white colorscheme
that I've always desperately loved. It's loud and amateurish looking, but
also bold. The colors are inspired by the bright tones of a beautiful late
summer's day on the road.
This year I'm committing to being my truest self. I'm bringing back the
reckless courage I used to be so proud of, and breaking the shackles of
shyness that have in the last few years held me back.
So begins the s u m m e r o f k r a k. AWOOOOOOOO!
It's always a struggle trying to produce music by yourself. My
latest project was a cover of "Fell in Love With a Girl" by The
White Stripes. You can check it out on YouTube.
Most White Stripes songs are essentially three tracks: vocals,
guitar, and drums. That simplicity made it the perfect song to get
back into recording with. This was the first time I would be using
my new old Gibson SG. In fact, the entire setup was completely
different than last time with The
To get a better drum track than last time, I sequenced every hit
myself in Reaper. The sequence is extremely plain, though, featuring
only one interesting fill in the entire short song. Next time I'm
hoping to have real percussion.
I wanted to get a more old-school sounding crunch with the
distortion on this song, so I used both the SD-1 and DS-1 at the
The actual recording was done via direct XLR connection from the
preamp output of the Ampeg head. Given the chance to do it again, I
think I would record a blend of the live speaker sound on mic and
the direct connection to get some of the natural reverb of my small
studio room. Altogether, though, the guitar sound is on point.
Way back in 2015 I low-sided my Honda. The damage was minor enough
that I fixed everything myself, except for a tiny gap between the
cowl and dash surround that wouldn't close up. I could press on the
cowl, and it would kind of snap together...but a few miles down the
road it would pop apart.
Fixing that little gap means removing the dash surround... no big deal, you
just need to remove the windshield and mirrors, and the fairings around the
headlight. Of course, those fairings don't come off without removing the
ones bridging the tank and dashboard... and those don't come off without
removing the entire side fairings and turn signals.
With the whole machine apart, it was just a matter of bending the
tube structure the cowl sits on with a screwdriver about a quarter
of an inch. It took an hour to get to the point where I could do the
actual one minute job I set out to do.
After an amazing five year run, it's finally time to close Krakchat.
It's kind of unbelievable that it lasted as long as it did. The
mythical "krakchat2," which seemed to be in development and Coming
Soon™ for ages has now been out a year longer than the
original chat lasted. KC2 introduced MySQL as a database, to replace
the completely unreliable and broken sqlite3 implementation. It also
introduced a chat API with crude JSON interfaces, replacing even
more crude query parameters. Some may even remember the earliest KC,
in which everybody was just an IP address and couldn't set their
username at all.
At its heart, Krakchat was always just a science project. I wrote it
in college in an attempt to learn about AJAX/XHR and web development
best practices. Along with Kraknet, it helped me to get my first
real job in software development.