Archive for June, 2008

First Post of the Summer

Sunday, June 29th, 2008

It’s the first week of summer, and the brutal Texas heat is upon us. It is time, therefore, to blow the dust of the old Blazing Sun mini-icon and give it its inaugural showing for the year.

And now, some miscellaneous stuff, and let’s try to make this fast:

Thanks to our blogging friend Renny (whose weather is not near as hot as ours, being in Oslo) for being the only one to comment while I didn’t post for a bit. I appreciate it, Renny!

Renny recently posted photos of a Seafood Fair in his city, so go check it out!

Speaking of my blogging friends, Kim likes to take tours of state capitals and collect souvenirs, and thus one day last week or so we got a postcard from her from Little Rock. Thanks Kim! I’ll scan it in and post it when I get a chance.

She’s got one picture from her trip posted on her site now, but we’re looking forward to seeing more. (Hint, hint!)

Speaking of collectible snail-mail, my mom sent me a letter for the sole purpose of getting it postmarked with our town’s 100th Anniversary postmark, which I think was a one-day thing, and because which the town leaders the town’s leaders and movers-and-shakers (not necessarily the same thing) were tring to get eerybody to mail a letter to family out of town that day.

That too will be scanned in when time is found …

Speaking of noteworthy goings-on back home, I’ve mentioned in times past that ol’ college buddy The Spook was instrumental in helping make the first CD for country singer Jake Kellen a reality. This year, Jake (whose mom and aunt and uncles I went to went to school with, BTW) wrote and recorded a song for Spook for his birthday, and I was lucky enough to get an advance demo copy of the song, which is pretty funny, especially if you know the Spook.

Spook was going to call me to detail exactly how I would be allowed to distribute the song, but I haven’t gotten that call as of yet, so you Dear Reader are out of luck for now, but keep checking back.

Speaking of friends, another friend (and former co-worker) Todn8r has taken me to task for not commenting on the passing of comedian George Carlin.

Yes, yes, in due time; it’s just that Carlin fits nicely into a theme post I’m doing, so that is yet to come as well.

Speaking of former co-workers, my good friend Misty called on Friday to say that she had bid a fond adieu to Chucky’s Madhouse (my term of affection for what our old company has become), and she even found a job first so that she could leave on her own terms.

I’m so proud!

Speaking of jobs: I had a job interview last week! Woo-hoo! And this was for a job as the tech support guy for a mortgage insurance office. I don’t know if I’ll get it, since I didn’t immediately know some of the more esoteric network admin terms on the skills assessment test, but I have to say that the person who interviewed me was the most un-Catbert-like HR person I”ve ever met — and that’s a GOOD thing.

And now for something completely different: Waterloo TV.

Epic-Fu

Thursday, June 12th, 2008

I need to post more, I know, but basically I’ve just been DJing some more in Second LIfe … I do have things to say about it, of course (like: I finally got wife my to try Second Life, and she’s hooked — mostly on the shopping part; I’ve done four DJ gigs in under 2 weeks, and am already in serious talks with at least 3 clubs for paying gigs; my fan club is up to 68 members already; and I had the idea to preserve my playlists send them to everybody in my fan club after ever gig), but I’m too busy actually doing those things to write about them in detail …

Anyway, gotta post something: I’ve previously mentioned Epic Fu, a fascinating, fast-paced video newsmagazine. EF recently was discontinued and given a facelift, and relaunched.

I think I remember liking this more before, but it’s still got the same edgy, energetic hostess, the same jump cuts, the same kind of piling on of lots of different subjects — my ADD loves it — and the same casual youth-cultural attitude (at one point she says, “I’m not just blowing smoke up your ass when I say this …” — now that’s what I call cutting edge journalism!), so I’m posting the latest three epiosdes for your amusement.

Enjoy!

DJ Report

Sunday, June 8th, 2008

Well, I’m happy to report that my debut in my regular slot as a DJ in Second Life went very well in spite of technical glitches (stupid Winamp ate one-and-a-half of my playlists just hours before the show) and accidents of nature (our power went off 15 minutes before the end of my show due to wind storms in our area).

Other than that, though, the music I picked to play was solid, I got a lot of great comments, and the club had a nice-sized crowd (mostly with people that *I* knew and asked to come, further illustrating my value as a DJ).

My “fan club” (okay, okay, it’s really just a mailing list, but still it’s a measure of my popularity) is up to 50 people now (after just one complete show!), and three more club owners are wanting me to do regular slots this week or next.

Ha! I knew that once I could finally get in to do a show, my musical tastes and networking skills would do the rest.

By the way, the picture above is my avatar (yeah, yeah, it’s based on the Japanese hipster kid, or harajuku archetype, because all the other male archetypes in SL are these big musclebound apes), but that’s not the club where I worked my DJ magic … yet.

I just wanted to post a shot of me posing in the smoking hot DJ booth of Club Orion, the club owned by Kelly Yap Studios in SL and the next club where I’ll be entertaining the masses, such as they are.

And because that picture didn’t do justice to the club or the booth, here’s a wider shot of my little throne room:

Pretty sweet, huh? It gives the illusion that I know what I’m doing …

Anyway, I need to get back to whipping my thousands of MP3’s into workable playlists …

Hey, Mr. DJ

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been dabbling in Second Life in recent months, and have even been in job discussions with a potential employer smart enough to see Second Life (and the other social networking sites I belong to) as an asset.

What I haven’t mentioned is something that I’ve been angling to do in Second Life, but have encountered lots of foot-dragging and excuse-making.

This past weekend, however, I began getting more aggressive about my endeavors, and finally achieved my goal:

I’m an online DJ!

On Sunday, I was supposed to have a quick test of my connection at one of the many virtual dance clubs in Second Life (an Irish-themed club, at that!), but the scheduled DJ didn’t show up, so I ended up spinning tunes (figure of speech) for about an hour and a half. (Good thing I had already compiled a sizable playlist.)

And they liked me so much they decided to keep me!

Keira, the club manager, offered me the 5-7 (Pacific Time) slot on Thursdays, so I snapped it up. And today she messaged me that she wants me to do a special theme night on the 27th (we’re going to do a hippie night, but with more than just 60s music).

My playlist on Sunday, and pretty much every time I go on, will be a good mix of new music (the more accessible new alternative and indie music, like Panda Bear, LCD Soundsystem, Portishead, Foxboro Hot Tubs, Hem, and one of my personal favorites, The Go! Team), classic rock (mostly album cuts, not the singles that everybody’s sick of), and a few dance floor crowd-pleasers (like “Brick House” and “Jump Around” — I’m certainly not above pandering).

And of course, Weird Al. You can’t DJ in Second Life without Weird Al.

Anyway, it was exciting on Sunday to get back to my college roots, going back to playing DJ. I always enjoyed to take the graveyard shifts during finals week, when I could ignore the formats and play what I wanted. Usually I could count on the Spook to tap on the window about 3 a.m. and help me get the records on. We’d sit around drinking Cokes out of glass bottles and take calls from the few listeners up at those wee hours.

This feels a lot like that, except with technologies the way they are, I can chat with several listeners at once, get instant feedback, and they can shout out comments about the songs and discuss among each other. As a bonus, I can have listeners in all parts of the world.

Of course, this isn’t anything like having a real radio show. For starters, I’ll be DJing for audiences for about 20 or 30 people tops, and sometimes as small as three or four. Also, this job doesn’t pay, except in micro-tips — although at this particular club, all tips go to a charity, Project Children. (I like the donation aspect; I actually feel productive doing something as frivolous as playing music.)

Oh, and another bonus: I have a fan club!

Okay, okay, it’s just a mailing list group, but I’ve got 20 members so far, and they’ll have my DJ tag over their names while they’re dancing to the music I play.

Hey, I’m out of work; I’ll take my ego-boosts where I can find them.

Oh, and I get to play and promote my own original music!

So seriously, if you’re already on Second Life, come by on Thursday. Again, it’ll be at 5-7 Pacific Time (7-9 Texas time), and the name of the club is Nancy Blake’s West of Ireland.

I could use the attendance boost on my first time in my regular slot.

And tell the host you showed up because you heard the DJ is HOT …

Couldn’t hurt …