My wife and I dropped in a real estate open house in our neighborhood this afternoon. We’re not shopping, but it’s a usually a fun diversion to get decor ideas. Something we do often.
But I am haunted by this one.
This house was clearly occupied by a man, living alone. Neatly kept, but sparsely furnished, with several unused bedrooms. Three large bookshelves in the game room were filled to the brim with books. All of them spy thrillers and horror fiction. Tom Clancy, Stephen King and the like. All very alpha-male stuff.
Then there were the two large refrigerator-sized gun safes. And a mini-fridge sized safe in the bedroom which I have to assume had handguns.
No one needs that many guns.
It was creepy. It this the neighbor you get in a road rage squabble with that goes South? Likely not, but it’s hard not to go there with all the gun violence.
This guy is my rock. For the last 10 years, he’s always been there for me. He has liver disease and the prognosis is not great. I’m in for a very difficult time over the next few months.
Trying to get the fingers back in shape. Fired up VoiceMemos out on the porch tonight to capture a little. Pretty rough, but improving. soundcloud.com/greg-pier…
Fantastic Negrito’s “Last Days of Oakland” (2016) and Gary Clark, Jr’s “This Land” (2019) make a great one-two punch. Easy to see the same influences.
New foster kitties are tiny.
Going to see Mike Doughty perform the entirety of Soul Coughing’s “Ruby Vroom” tonight in Dallas. Really looking forward to it, such a great record.
Drafts for Mac has hit the App Store in it’s full non-Marzipan glory.
I can only assume Albert Collins only used half of the guitar because there was no way we could have handled it if he used the whole thing. www.youtube.com/watch
Nice new collection of unreleased early Townes Van Zandt acoustic tracks from ‘73. The most poetic of melancholy songwriters.
One day Homer was doing a reading of The Illiad at an open mic night, and Socrates came up to him and said, “Dude, this would be so much better with a little musical accompaniment.”
The two thought on it a bit, and decided they could stretch some strings and pluck at them and the lyre was born.
At least I’m pretty sure that’s how it went. Maybe don’t quote me.
Over the centuries, the lyre evolved, but stayed true to it’s early use as an instrument that was primarily plucked with the fingers. Since this was the main interface to the instrument, it was natural that most held the lyre with their left hand and plucked with their right.
Over time, stringed instruments evolved. Necks were added, we got violins. Later frets and in the last couple of hundred years the modern guitar. But no where along the way in this gradual evolution, did the right-handed folks think to flip the instrument - which is unfortunate for them because for most modern guitar styles, the left hand does most of the work and requires the most coordination and dexterity.
If you are a righty and have learned to play guitar, you likely struggled early on teaching your left hand to do those chords. Obviously, this can be overcome, but if I were a righty learning to play today, I’d consider learning on a lefty guitar.
I’m a lefty and have always been very glad I choose to learn on right-handed instruments. It always seemed a lot more natural.
There are many unique wrinkles to copyright law. As you might expect, most of them are boring. In fact, the one I am about to relate is boring…but had an interesting impact on my life.
For songs copyrighted prior to 1978, there is a provision in the copyright law that allows creators who assigned rights to someone else to reclaim their rights to royalties after 56 years.
This provision addressed an inequity generated from the practice of “work for hire”. Many songwriters in the days of Tin Pan Alley, early Broadway and Hollywood, worked writing songs for a salary. When they did, the songs they wrote were the property of the company who paid them that salary.
If you wrote “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” for Disney you were bumming, because you never saw any more royalties beyond the paycheck you got on Friday.
Enter me. In the late 80s, I was an undergrad studying music and business at NYU. In search of practical experience, I got a job working two days a week at the Songwriter’s Guild of America. The guild was a non-profit which essentially functioned as a union for songwriters. Advocating for songwriters, providing legal services, and helping songwriters with managing their copyrights.
My job was digging through books of copyright filings (Yes, books. No computers yet) and finding songs written by guild members which were eligible for the 56 year provision, and making the necessary filings for them to reclaim rights to royalties for these songs (with a typewriter. Honest).
This was a pretty big deal to aging songwriters and their families. Many of these songs were lost and forgotten, but many were popular favorites that still got airplay, were covered, played on elevators or whatever else. If you are a retired songwriter living on a fixed income, you want that “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah” money.
It’s been a long time. I can’t relate the names of the songs and songwriters, but you knew many of them. They were songs I saw the title of and heard instantly in my head. I had the privilege of meeting some of these songwriters who would come into the office for meetings…and I am proud that I helped them, in some small way, regain ownership of their creative work.
I must admit, as much as I love micro.blog in concept, I’ve had trouble figuring out how to fit it in to my routine and have not utilized it as much as I’d like.
Light bulb moment tonight, however. I’ve decided moving forward, this will be where I share music-related thoughts, shares and insights.
That may or may not be what anyone else wants from my feed, but it’s something that I’ve struggled to find the right place to share.
So expect random bits of music history, thoughts on guitars, and mini-reviews and stories of music in my life moving forward.
Drafts for Mac beta release is available in preview for Drafts Pro subscribers: getdrafts.com/mac/beta/
It’s truly amazing how much noise three little kittens can make playing in the room above you.
I could have picked a better week to be sick.
For Lou Reed fans: This newly released set from the 1989 tour is great.
Lou at his best, IMHO. One of his best backing bands. He had overcome some of the worst of his demons in these years and his positive, glib audience banter and spontaneity is in good form.
I was cordially invited to the grand opening ceremony of a new funeral home. Free wine and hors d’ourves. Followed by “open house”. Can’t decide if I’m curious enough about how “open” the “open house” is to go.
I think we are reaching the point where the Real Estate agent who sold us our first house in 1998 has spent more mailing us promotional material than he made on that original commission.
BTW, interested folks, I’m sending out more Drafts Beta invites.
5.4 will ship along with iOS 12. It has WordPress support, so if you have self-hosted Micro.blog it’s easier to post directly. (You can already easily use a micropub action for Micro.blog hosted sites. Could use a few more folks testing.
If there are any social scientists out their looking for a case study, I seem to have the only three kids in the US who don’t give a crap about Fortnite.
Me: Still working on Chemistry?
Son: Yes. Had to figure it out because I stopped listening to my teacher.
Son: He told the class the 2nd law of thermodynamics proves that evolution is wrong, which is like arguing that because of gravity birds can’t exist, and I couldn’t keep listening to him.
Me: Which one is the 2nd law?
Me: That only applies in a closed system, right?
Son: Yes. I mean, left alone, my room can only get more dirty over time, but I can totally come in here with a vacuum and clean it.
Me: So, is he saying that because of entropy, cells could never have organized themselves with some intelligent intervention?
Son: Yes. He teaches AP Biology, Dad. I can’t take AP Biology.
Me: I tend to agree.
(PS - it’s fun watching your kids grow up)
I’ve been told in the past I probably should not do my own design work, by people who were not wrong.
But I enjoy doing it, and I’m honestly pretty happy with the branding for the new Drafts and think it looks great up there on the App Store. :-)
Drafts 5 has shipped. I started working on parts of this update almost 2 years ago. Excited to get it out there finally.
Now, I just need to find some down time to read the MacStories review of my own app. Which is mind-bogglingly extensive.
Apple’s asset templates are much better than they used to be. I call this is the “Wishful Thinking” template. ;-)