“So, maybe he’s got like a cheerful mental hold on you.”

My first movie.  (I know it wasn’t necessary to state this after allowing you to view it.  Humor me.)  I feel so naked, letting you see my happy place.  The lights are dimmable, and each dot you see is an individual (RGB) light I can control individually with my phone via Bluetooth.   Or I can make it all one color.

I used channels to diffuse and mount two 16.4′ strips.  I’ll provide a list of links to purchase a less nerdy solution I’ve tested working on both IOS and Android devices.  (Computer nerds don’t need links.)

RGB LED strip

Bluetooth controller

Power supply (up to 2 strips tested working.)

There are less expensive options, such as buying directly from China or using eBay.  The section where it’s dark is where I connected the strips.  Also, this is after my Star Wars memorabilia purge.  M. said he didn’t notice I gave any away.  (Sometimes I do get the hint.)  I’m going to start leaving vintage and current Star Wars figures in random places around town with little “Take me home” stickers on them.

I’m all about making everything fun, whenever possible.  My gift to people who pay attention to their surroundings, I guess.  Heh.  Fifteen days until the release of Oathbringer, by Brandon Sanderson.  This is even bigger than the new Star Wars film to me.  Novels reach me far more than movies.  (This is why I pronounce so many words wrong.)  I’m off to read.  🙃

(Edited to add crappy photos)

P.S.   I don’t know Stevie Nicks personally in this galaxy.  Only the one I imagined.

You were making out during Schindler’s List?

 

I’ve been upgrading my electronic drum kit.  Nothing from the original kit survived.  (I’m using the entry setup for Rockband, instead.)  I got a beautiful, shiny rack.  It took me an embarrassingly long time to assemble it.  It didn’t come with any instructions, and the Gibralter website sucks.  So I studied what is possibly the only photo on the internet of this particular rack, and winged it.  (Every musician site I visited had the same description and photo pasted from the Gibraltar website.)

It’s all curved, which made it more difficult than the straight poles on the entry kit.  It looks great.  So shiny.  I got the Yamaha DTX502 module.  I also got three 8″ Alesis mesh pads, each for cheaper than it cost me to make one.  I did a lot of research to find what will help me improve and get the most for my money.  It’s so quiet now.  I decided to try Yamaha’s electronic 3 zone choke-able cymbals.  I love them so much, I ordered the Yamaha 12″ 3 zoned textured silicone snare.  It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m excited.  I’m not skilled enough to justify the Roland TD 30K V-Pro kit (yet).  I’m using trigger pedals instead of a traditional hi-hat pedal and kick pedal because people live below me.

I also have 2 rug pads, a wool rug, and a thick workout mat under my kit.  It’s my third kit, but the first one never even made it out of the boxes.  It was a Roland TD-11K V-drum kit.  It went to a nephew with an acoustic kit whose neighbors were complaining.  I didn’t have the heart to tell his parents I gave him the amp, too.  He promised to use headphones at home.  He plays for their church now.  I wish he were local so he could have helped me set up the new rack.  Now that it’s done, I do feel a sense of accomplishment.  Even though it took me a really long time.  I’m cracking myself up.  I started assembling it at around 6 PM because Seinfeld was on.  I wiped all my fingerprints (and a few tears) off just after 3 AM.

I took a few frustration breaks.  I distinctly recall playing with Amelia Bedelia when she dragged her string toy into the mix, too.  It was so cute!  I have a habit of narrating what I assume my cat is thinking.  (I blame Mystery Science Theater 3000.)  I’m pretty confident she sees herself as the Queen, and I’m her faithful servant (who occasionally forgets her place.)  I hope all cat owners do this.  Cats suck at playing fetch.  One time, years ago, I tossed a plastic cat toy down the hall, and she chased after it like a puppy.  Unfortunately, when she discovered what I tossed wasn’t edible, she decided she was done with fetch forever, I think.

Her idea of fun is playing Peek-a-boo, I’m Gonna Get You.  I have a love/hate relationship with the game.  It makes me laugh really hard, but it also can trigger a panic attack.  It’s not like playing with a toddler.  She stalks then pounces, but never when I anticipate.  I’ll think she wandered off and peek around the corner to see her little butt shaking in preparation to get me.  One time, I looked at the same time as she pounced and we banged heads.  It was hilarious, but I suppose you had to be there.  She has a few blankets I rotate for her to drag around.  She knows they belong to her, which surprised me.  My nephew tried to borrow one, and she had a cow, so I made him give it to her.  She sat on it and stared him down for a while.

I made the wrong decision of narrating her hissy fit in front of my then 13-year-old nephew.  He started doing it too.  Only, his narration turned my beautiful, sweet cat into a sarcastic little shit waiting for me to die so she can eat me.  (It was still funny, though.)  I’m off to serve breakfast to her majesty.

Red shirt! Red shirt!

It snowed so much yesterday and all night.  It cooled off, but it’s already melting.  It’s fitting that tomorrow will be a slushy mess.  I’m failing at atheism.  It’s as if declaring it made it unattainable.  Unobtanium.  (Still so bad it’s funny.)  I think about religion more than algorithms now.  I can’t even get pissed off about it because I keep getting distracted by questions about religion.  It’s probably for the best, as my last two creations would have only made energy barons wealthier.  It began as a contest I didn’t enter for rights issues.  It sparked an idea that wouldn’t leave me alone, so I worked it out.

I realized the purpose was to make more money which means making electricity more expensive.  It also made it easier to manipulate the cost based on almost any criteria in real time or by schedule.  Sigh.  I know.  I should have realized that before I went to all the trouble.  I deleted it, but it was a fun project, and I learned a lot in the process.  Hadoop is so choice.  I haven’t used that expression in ages, but I rewatched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off recently.  The first time I saw it an usher scolded us for laughing so loudly.  I was with Heather, and she was loud and proud.  It was when Jeanie encountered Ed (the principal) in her home and kickboxed the shit out of him, then ran upstairs like Cujo was chasing her.

I canceled my overpriced cable and switched to Playstation Vue.  In between, I tried Sling.  I got a seven-day trial, but it only took about thirty minutes to determine the service is crap.  The sound was shitty.  It was only in stereo.  The picture had artifacts and was out of sync with the sound.  There’s no excuse for artifacts and sync issues in less than 1080P resolution with only stereo sound on my overkill broadband.    Netflix mastered the streaming process first, and therefore set the standard.  Sling sucks.  I didn’t even want the rest of my free trial.  I canceled and deleted it off my devices.

Playstation Vue is perfect for me.  It has TBS, HGTV, SCIENCE, and Syfy.  It has a lot more, but those are the ones I watch regularly.  It only costs an eighth of what I was paying for cable.  It works on existing devices, too.  No more renting an ugly cable box that doubles as a furnace.  Yay.  It runs on my PS3 and PS4 which is the perfect DVR.  The picture is HD, and it has DTS 5.1 at the least.  Plus several of the channels have on-demand content including movies.  You can pause up to 30 minutes (if you select the feature), too.  But best of all, you can fast forward through commercials.

I love Playstation Vue.  It’s a better option for far less money.  That’s so rare I had to gush about it.  I have a love/hate relationship with the cable company here.  The service is exceptional but expensive.  There is always at least a 10-minute wait to talk to customer service.  During that time, they play automated messages repeatedly, between a crappy recording of their theme song.  I could feel my blood pressure rising every time I had to call for service outages.

Then there was the time a car accident took out their entire infrastructure; phone/cable/internet.  I tried to reach them with my cell phone, but only got a line disconnected drone.  They didn’t get it going again until the next day.  On the other hand, they just built an aquatic center in walking distance to the VA.  They also employ quite a few people who participate in United Way.  So they’re good for my community, but not for my TV.

I’m still an ISP customer, though.  They’re the best option where I live.  We won’t be getting Google Fiber anytime soon.  Sigh.  I’m just glad they let South Dakota be in Google Maps.  That was kind.  (We know they could have just put Dakota in big letters over both North and South Dakota because we don’t have enough people among us to make a convincing fuss.)

 

 

It rhymes with a female body part.

Today was alright.  My privacy was violated by a relative, and it upset me in slow motion.  I went from being relieved to find my phone, to being annoyed that my past text messages were read without my permission.  There’s something about this incident that I haven’t been able to put into words yet, that has resulted in my feeling something I don’t know how to identify.  Frustrating.  However, I got Season 9 of The Big Bang Theory on Blu-ray, Digital HD, and DVD today.  I’ll probably stream it tonight, rather than sleeping or reading.  I know doing things like watching TV or movies can help me regain my sense of control over my attention span.

Hopefully, that will allow me to segue into a movie marathon this weekend.  I’m glad I always get the digital HD version of movies I buy, because the option to stream them on my iPad is perfect when I’m away from home.  I’ve been testing bluetooth earbuds, and am finding them ideal for streaming movies on a tablet.  I bought 3 pairs from Chinese companies that are fulfilled by Amazon.  The results are amusing to me.  The pair I’ve chosen as my favorite were $22, have a clip that curves around my ear to secure them in place, and a blue cord connecting the buds.  The right bud has 3 buttons to control volume, pair, and turn on/off.  The battery life is >9 hours, and charge time is <2 hours.  I got the bluetooth 4.1+aptx.  It has other features for talking on the phone, but that’s not why I like it.

The other 2 work just as well, with similar specs.  It just cracks me up that Apple and Samsung want $159 and $199 for their versions, respectively.  While they do offer other features, you have to choose in accordance with your preferred phone brand.  I use Android and IOS, so that alone is a problem.  While the cord connecting the buds is absent, so is any chance of my managing not to lose one or both buds. I won’t be going with the AirPods.  They look to me like they’re designed to fall out of your ears.

So I’m delighted that I discovered an excellent solution for watching movies on my iPad.  I love the unobtrusiveness of in-ear headphones.  But for music, I’ll be sticking to my cans.  I saw a review of Focal Utopia 2’s today, and that had me drooling.  They look comfortable, and far less clunky than their competitor for high end headphones.  They cost $3999, so I won’t be buying them, but I sure am glad to know they exist.  

I’m obsessed with sound.  This has always been the case, however, I’ve decided to take it to another level.  I’m going to do some research, and then find a good portable recorder that’s compact and simple, but records at 24/192 in multiple formats.  And then I’m going to start collecting sounds.  I’m excited to begin.  So much of my life is lived with headphones on or earplugs in so that I can participate.  It feels like a barrier between me and the world, rather than a buffer.  So I’m going embrace the sounds in my life on my own terms.  I think it’ll be fun.

Ooh, shiny!

The announcements from Apple today were fun to watch.  I’m planning on getting the Apple TV since I dumped cable a while ago, and stream everything now.  I have smart tv, roku 3, and the Amazon stick, but in my living room, I’m using my Playstation 3 for streaming and watching blurays.  It’s fine, but not ideal.  The interface is frustrating.  I hated the Xbox One, so I’m hoping the Apple TV will fulfill my needs.

The problem with the Xbox One was that it was always on, and constantly downloading shit in the background.  Between that and the camera, it felt way too invasive.  I didn’t hack it because I knew quickly that I hated it.  I sold it on Amazon, along with my Wii U.  I hated that even more.  The games were fun, and the interface was okay, but the painfully slow downloads that were required before I could even play made me want to throw it off my balcony.

I don’t know what’s wrong with Nintendo, but they just can’t seem to get it together since the original Wii.  That was awesome.  Everything since has sucked so badly it’s hard to believe they came from the same company.  It’s sad.  I gave my 3DS XL to a kid in my building.  He cleaned up my parking spot in the underground garages in return.  He was probably 8 or 9, so that was as much labor as I was comfortable with him doing.  He was so eager to earn it, so I know he appreciates it far more than I ever did.

I love my Playstation Vita, but I keep reading that it’s considered a failure for Sony.  I’m a Playstation fangirl.  I didn’t realize it until I noticed that I have two Playstation 3’s, a Playstation 2, a Playstation 4, a PSP, and the Vita.  Four consoles plus 2 handhelds equals fangirl.  I used to like a lot of other things by Sony, but now I only like their gaming consoles.  They were so incredibly bad at creating software for the Viao laptops.  I’m glad they sold Vaio, hopefully to a more competent business.

The rose gold iPhone 6s was tempting.  I may upgrade, but I haven’t decided yet.  I didn’t pay attention to much of the upgrades.  I saw the 12 MP camera and 4k video.  Meh.  The iPad Pro and iPencil look ridiculous to me.  That was when I started noticing silly shit.  Like how every year the new whatever they are plugging is better than anything they’ve ever offered before.  Duh!  Why would you go to so much effort to announce something that’s not as good as what’s already available?  I laughed when I saw that.

Their pathetic attempt to be more diverse was funny too.  Between the 3 token females, and the photoshopping of the image of a woman’s smile, it was embarrassing.  They have a way to go in that regard.  I didn’t even bother watching the Apple watch stuff.  Mine is still my alarm clock and nothing more.  I’ll upgrade the OS on the 16th, but if that doesn’t result in a full day on a single charge, I’m selling it.  I wish I had stuck to the golden rule:  Never buy first generation anything from Apple.