Turn Out The Lights

Today I’m closing my business. It’s been making software for 23 years and has officially been a corporation for 18 (IIRC). But, the cost of simply filing the periodic paperwork to keep on the good side of the State finally exceeded what sales brought in. So, that’s that.


On a bright note:
When I decided to close it, about a month ago, I did my first ever mass-email to all the customers of one of my products. This product was a toolkit used by other programmers to do image processing tasks (read a JPG, resize it, rotate it, etc.); we made the source code for the toolkit available for purchase as well because that allows programmers to find and fix any problems they might encounter, which provides insurance against things like my biz going out of biz. I told them, in the email, that the biz was closing and that they had until today to purchase the source code. In the first week after that, there were more sales than the past two years combined. Even today, people are doing source code purchases.

Hate to say it, but unsolicited email works.



Cabinets have been installed!

Most of the countertops are installed!

Some of the appliances are installed!

The floor hasn’t been installed but it’s in the house and is being acclimated to the temp and humidity of the AC’d house (instead of sitting in the house with the windows open to the summer heat)!

Doors and garage doors, installed!

Money, gone!

And the lottery still refuses to work out for us.

New Instrument

Behold the Akai LPK25!

It’s a MIDI controller; in response to user input, it generates MIDI signals for other devices to use. This one sends its signals down a USB cable into a computer. And that’s all it does – it makes no sounds of its own. It exists to tell other things to make sounds: things like a copy of Cakewalk Music Creator, for example.

I can’t play piano, but I’m going to learn enough to amuse myself. Here’s one of my first attempts.

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All of the sounds here are from the software-based synthesizers that come with Cakewalk. Technology is amazing.

I’m still shit for coming up with chords on the fly, but I can pick my way around a scale once I map out the notes.

Amusement achieved !

Such A Stupid Git

Here’s what your protest vote gets ya, snowflake:

One voter told the BBC that he didn’t think his vote to leave the EU would matter.

I’m a bit shocked to be honest,” the voter, identified as Adam from Manchester, England, told the broadcaster. “I’m shocked about both. I’m shocked that we actually voted to leave. I didn’t think that was going to happen. My vote, I didn’t think, was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to remain.”

He also didn’t expect Cameron to resign: “The David Cameron resignation has blown me away to be honest. I think it’s been- the period of uncertainty that we’re going to have for the next couple of months, I think that’s just been magnified now. So, yeah, quite worried.”

La di da. Pissin away me vote.

(LGM’s take.)

Chatham County man able to redeem Ticketmaster voucher

Local news site tells amazing story of man redeeming a voucher.

Customers that purchased a ticket through Ticketmaster between late 1999 and early 2013 could be eligible for free tickets to a number of events.

An email sent to eligible Ticketmaster customers includes instructions on how to get vouchers for free tickets to selected events as well as discounts on Ticketmaster purchases. Those who bought a ticket through the company between Oct. 21, 1999, and Feb. 27, 2013, are eligible. The vouchers expire in four years.

The clock is ticking!

Frank Manginaro, of Chatham County, is one of about 57 million people who recently received a voucher.

Meet our lonely hero, Frank.

He said he was thrilled until the site started giving him an error message when he attempted to use the voucher code.

“All of a sudden they are giving me excuses saying it doesn’t work, you can’t buy tickets, try again later,” he said. “I was upset about it, and so were my friends because they couldn’t even get through.”

Technical difficulties have beset our brave hero! What will he do?

After trying for two days, Manginaro tried again and found a way to get tickets. He said he ignored the voucher link on the Ticketmaster website and went straight to the band’s page.

“I just skipped over it and went straight to the Counting Crows and ordered it through there. It went through with no problem,” he said.

Cunning has saved the day! The enemy is defeated!

We can thank WRAL.com for this thrilling story of triumph over adversity.

We All Lose

I am sick and tired of watching folks like Boris Johnson, Marine Le Pen, Donald Trump, and others appeal to the worst racial instincts of our species, only to be shushed by folks telling me that it’s not really racism driving their popularity. It’s economic angst. It’s regular folks tired of being spurned by out-of-touch elites. It’s a natural anxiety over rapid cultural change.

Maybe it’s all those things. But at its core, it’s the last stand of old people who have been frightened to death by cynical right-wing media empires and the demagogues who enable them—all of whom have based their appeals on racism as overt as anything we’ve seen in decades. It’s loathsome beyond belief, and not something I thought I’d ever see in my lifetime. But that’s where we are

Brexit Wins

Listening To…

When I do these “Listening To” posts, I always have a hard time remembering which albums I’ve recently purchased. So here’s a screen shot of the most recent 16 from my iTunes “Recently Purchased” list to help me…

  • Joni Mitchell – For The Roses. Haven’t heard it yet.
  • The Internet – Feel Good. Haven’t heard it yet.
  • Gastr Del Sol – Upgrade & Afterlife. Haven’t heard it yet. (this is going to be a great post, I can tell already)
  • Attic Abasement – Dream News A band from Rochester NY. They do a version of the scrappy-but-unhurried, dissonant, ever-so-slightly folk-tinged, alt-rock thing: Silver Jews, Kurt Vile, Three Mile Pilot, etc.. There’s some ‘post-rock’ angular noodly stuff in here. Reminds me of 1995.
  • King Crimson – Starless And Bible Black Haven’t been able to get into this one much. The very first line of the very first song is “Health-food faggot with a bartered bride”. And, even though I get that 1974 was a different time, it just sours me right off the bat.
  • Madvillain – Madvillainy. A collaboration between the masked rapper, MF Doom, and producer Madlib. This one zips along with 19 of the 22 songs less than three minutes long, more than half under two minutes. The lyrics and delivery are very clever and the backing tracks include tons of those ironic 90s-style samples of overwrought dialog from movies of the 50s and 60s.
  • Taj Mahal – Taj Mahal. A great straight-up blues record from the 60’s blues revival.
  • Aretha Franklin – I Never Loved A Man The Way I Loved You I got drunk, watched a documentary about the Muscle Shoals studio(s), and decided I had to have this record. Thankfully, it’s great!
  • Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool. I like this a bit better than some of their other recent records. It’s a bit chilly, tho.
  • Brian Eno – The Ship. My first late-era Eno record. It sounds exactly like what I’ve imagined all of his ‘ambient’ records would sound like. I like it well enough, but I prefer weird glam-rock Eno.
  • Autolux – Pussy’s Dead I think of them as a groovier and more accessible Radiohead. They have that blend of clipped drums, cold electronics and distant, detached vocals, but it’s geared a bit more towards toe-tapping.
  • Prince – Sign O The Times I remember really liking this in 86. Now, it feels very dated.
  • The Underachievers – Cellar Door : Terminus Ut Exordium Sometimes I buy records because the little 30sec iTunes samples hit me in the right mood. And then the record itself makes me wonder what I liked about the samples. Just not my bag.
  • Kendrick Lamar – good kid…; Parquet Courts – Human performance; New Order – Power, Corruption & Lies Already did these in a previous Listening To.
  • Mos Def – The Ecstatic A couple of really groovy tunes. A lot that misses.
  • Andrew Bird – Are You Serious A bit more engaging than his other recent records, but short on the quirky spark of his first releases.
  • Ty Segall – Emotional Mugger Loud and raucous guitar rock, like a modern T-Rex: heavy riff-based stomp with playful vocals on top. Excellent stuff.
  • Tanya Donnely – Swan Song Series The former leader of Belly and member of Throwing Muses has been releasing uniformly-great solo records since Belly broke up in the mid-90s. This is a series of self-releases that came from collaborations of various kinds with various people. Though the styles vary greatly, they’re all unmistakably Donnely. Wish Belly was coming to NC on their upcoming reunion tour.