Portfolio Time

Tim needs work. Instead of plowing I’ve been reading tractor manuals, and as a consequence I’m about out of potatoes. It has been fun and I’m sure my chops will improve now that I understand the tools better- you know I love that learning curve, but education doesn’t equal moolah.

So, I will be posting like crazy to catalog the various projects, art, music, and film that have filled my days over time. Hopefully this will have some entertainment value, as well as the practical application of helping me negotiate the realities of work. I have started posting images from “100 Images”, a project I started to better utilize Photoshop as a creative medium, and I will soon post excerpts from “Home Power Hour”, a video program chronicling a weekly radio show broadcast on WCOM LPFM in Carrboro, N.C.

Stay tuned.

Surfacing

Every once in a while it’s probably good to come up for air. I’ve been underwater, swimming with my friends, and spending less time in my own territory. I am a secret. Really most all of us are secrets we tell to ourselves when we think we are alone. If I am left too long by myself, I get more than a little weird. It becomes harder to interact with the occasional human, to the point of embarrassment. Tongue tied brain cells tripping over each other.

A List

I rebuilt an old Macbook. SSD,  maxed Ram, and gave it away.

Installed Minecraft. Thanks Notch.

Modded out my Fernandes Strat. Red on Red on Red. New duds make it look good. Shiny

Felled, cut, split and transported pick-up loads of firewood. Cozy.

Got my re-UP from Jawbone. Ordered in December.

Finally got the power cord for the KX88.

Started experimenting with Open-G tuning on my acoustic.

Received a Martin backpacker guitar from a friend. Sweet. Curiously balanced.

Got some work done; un pocito.

Coy Karma Whore

Today I shared a song with Reddit, that was written for Reddit, and gleamed (for the most part) from Reddit. At times during the process of writing and recording the song I felt alternately brilliant/incompetent. Once it was recorded I tinkered with it endlessly to hide its inadequacies and elevate its finer points, until it all blended into something that I love on Tuesday and wish to hide by Thursday. Fuck that shit. I put it up anyway.

Being me I envisioned various video options, and being me there was no money, no time. So this morning when I woke up there was no video. Strictly speaking there still is no video, but I did manage to photoshop a “Psycho”esque image and roll the lyrics over the scene.

So today I put together a “video” to go on YouTube. Started a YouTube account/channel, uploaded the video/song. Posted on Reddit, tweeted the post, went and had Valentine’s dinner with my mom, and now I’m telling you about it. Since it’s already been over nine hours, and as you can see I am not yet a household celebrity – known to all but a few luddite aboriginal folk in the deep far away, I have failed in my quest to gain support in an unreasonable time frame.

What did I do wrong? Nothing. This has been a great experiment, and just because I let my delusions drive the expectation buggy, that doesn’t reduce the value. The light that shines through the cracks tells you where to pay attention. And as Reddit says, you get your answer while the coin is in the air, not when it comes up heads or tails.

There is a cognitive dissonance that arises in seeking your communities support while exploring strategies for exploiting its perceived openness. Today I learned, we can trust the communities we call our own, and we can’t own the communities we trust. This is more fun than it seems.

Oh, here’s a link to the song. It’s NSFW.

Ubuhutu

Spent another few days trying to get Ubuntu fully functional on a Chromebook. The Chromebook is sleek and cool, not quite the spare austerity of a Mac, but not as pretentious either. The Ubuntu installation was frustrating and byzantine; full of Developer Modes and arcane key clusters. By my third time through the install process I was starting to remember “sudo … 34v87 /dev/mmcblk1”. But did it work? Yes, if you didn’t care about sound, or a stable implementation of Java; first 7 then 6, but still with the error messages, and third party disclaimers on bug reports.

At the end of the second day I threw in the towel. I learned a lot, but mostly that the idea of Ubuntu on Chromebook is in its infancy, and not likely to mature anytime soon, if ever.

Why not just use Chrome on the Chromebook? Well, mainly because it’s invasive, and takes the concept of vertical integration another step deeper into the lives of the users. This is of course Google’s holy grail. To move the population into, if not forced trust, at least subservient acquiesence, born of the necessities inherent in the new communication forms. Relevance requires Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Gmail, etc. Ubuntu was to be a layer between me and the data mining industry.

Let me take a breath and tighten down my tinfoil hat.

In order to use Chrome the user apparently has to register a membership (free) with Google. And this membership gives the user access to a suite of integrated communications options; each connected to, and enmeshed with the others. But that’s a good thing, right?

That’s a great thing as long as you are aware of the price you are paying for all this “free”, and are willing to pay it. Your personal data paints a pretty clear picture of who you are and what you are likely to do. And that might be okay too, except that there is a reinforcing pattern of information filtering that is quietly closing down options for the user. You should know that this is a feature. It’s meant to remove the clutter and move you toward the information you really want, not those distractive undirected shards of information but rather the clear well worn neural pathways that lead to comforting consumption.

In the end I found the Chromebook experience shallow. It’s an appliance meant to connect one to the infrastructure of narcissistic self reference. I still hold out hope that I will be able to create rather than talk about what I would create if I weren’t just talking about it.

It was a fascinating roller-coaster ride of successes and failures, and I did learn things I might not have learned if I hadn’t made the effort. Thank you Chromebook and good-bye.

Past Lives

Every once in a while I find a box or some sort of container holding evidence of a former life. Was I ever that small? Was I ever that big? Did I sing that? Did I write that? Was I in Love with her? Was she in Love with me? I used to like those colors. Will this harmonica still work? Hmm, look as these pictures, we were limber.

I find projects that I have forgotten, but not given up on. I drag them through my life like Marley’s chains. I pack them away like memory landmines; I hear them rattle and clank.

Today I found a box of clothes. I’ve missed them. I promised them that I would visit them, and maybe one day wear them, but today was not the day. I wasn’t supposed to be looking in boxes anyway.

ubuhu

I really wanted to try a USB Ubuntu setup on my computer. Felt so smart. There I was in Terminal typing out the commands to format the USB stick. Really I was only following the written instructions, but it felt empowering, like when a program performs the way you wrote it to perform. It actually took a few tries because I kept assuming that I was doing something wrong, but no. After my efforts, I find a forum thread that clearly states that the USB stick boot on a Mac is just a dream, and it’s all Apple’s fault.

Damn!

I believe it’s just too much trouble to figure out for the Ubuntu crowd, because the return on investment would be so low. As only a few Applelites would make the switch.

So since that didn’t work I go the DVD boot route, only to find that it too is mostly a fantasy. If I had lost my weekend to a success I would feel okay, but now I just feel stolen from. Ubuntu, please take down the enticing invitation to waste one’s Sunday afternoon following spurious instructions in pursuit of a fantasy. That is all.

 

STAHP!

Sometimes you just have to not go forward. But when it’s something you love to do; doesn’t that mean something is wrong. Yes, it means that the time is wrong. But can’t you push through. Yes, but will you end up with the truest expression or will you end up just finished. You have to take a quick inventory of your energies and experiences in the past, then determine whether to push, but when you know, why not relax and gather your energies for a dance with the muse.

If you want to push; spend the time practicing a new technique or learning something new. Or give yourself permission to vegetate.