More Drought photos

I've posted more drought photos at my flickr site.

These were taken December 19th during and after a light rain.

the cove's a beach now

This is the cove that i referred to a few posts back. It's a decent representation of what's happening, you can see the high water line versus the low trickle of runoff in the wide expanse that used to be a lake.
This is from the lower part of Falls Lake which, as bad as it is already, gives a sugar-coated look at the drought. This is downstream. Like the bottom parts of an ice tray, it has the most water on average... I think. Further upstream at the marina (where the buoy picture was taken) does look far worse.

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No swimming

I should be 6 feet under

The buoy on its side was attached to an anchor with about a 10 foot line. Observe the evil monster Water Tower slurping in the distance.

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gulp. no gulping

Falls Lake is a series of fingerlike coves taht have been reduced to a hint of their previous life as the Neuse Riverbed. Mid Frame to the right is a patch of formerly submerged land that stretches at least as far as the right edge of the frame.

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Raleigh's dwindling water supply.

Falls Lake's water level is down considerably. These stumps, are supposed to be meters and meters beneath the surface. I am pretty sure they are remnants of vegetation that was there before the Nuese River was dammed to create this reservoir. I'll upload other photos that show more of the low levels than this ironically aesthetically pleasing pic.

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Truth links iTernal

Apparently, if i link to this post about Truth I'm entered to win an iPod. 

Who doen't want to win an iPod?

Originally discovered through this post at Seed Magazine's Science Blogs's Worlds Fair.


Magic Babies are Latin Wizards

apparently the music staff at the Independent doesn't actually go out to hear the bands they are promoting:

Magic Babies, Bull City, Slim's

The classic part of classic rock is all perspective anyway, right? Durham's Bull City pulls more from the updated, stateside interpretation, playing lean, hooky guitar pop a la Chape Trick, with edges as crisp as fresh laundry on the line. The Magic Babies, though, go across bodies of water both east and south, pulling from the loose, communal vibe of decades-old Brazilian psychedelic heroes and, simultaneously, the irresistible swagger and charm of the dudeful Badswinger. $3/ 10 p.m. —GC

Brazilian, what?!? Oh yeah, psychedelic again. you'd think we "jammed." i think our longest song is 4 minutes. oh, grayson. will we see you there? Nice to get the nod in the "Music Worth Leaving the House For" though.


Onlooker - Today I'm a Gunmaker

Mastered CD is burned and off to the copyright office today.
Today I'm a discmaker.

Three years (not including several false starts) in the making (or is it four?), I think it's totally come together. Definitely no radio-friendly hits, but who are we kidding with that ambition anyway? Maybe late-night Rachel at KEXP would play Low Soft Shoulder because she likes the long songs...

The unmastered tracks are still streaming at Onlookersounds.com. Enjoy. Soon the record will be available on the iTunes store. holy crap. can this be true?


how to produce a birthday hit

jackblack, originally uploaded by Leetotheann.

air-guitar over the ridiculous guitar solo.

if you really want to hear it...

Our local cat house

sleepykitty, originally uploaded by Leetotheann.

Our outdoor cat (only because she refuses to associate with the indoor cats) used to live in luxery on our previous place's screen-in proch. Our new house only has a patio. She must have been irked at the first turn of the weather and done r-u-n-n-o-f-t. when she came back we built her her own kittie house with a window on the shaded side so we could make sure that she's as comfortable as possible.

Many many thanks to Habitat (habicat?) for Humanity for the parts. Mucho props to Laurie for the skillz and toolz.

also props to Blue the cat for rocking so hard.


Brian Wood's Northern Boy T-shirts - going quick

If you like yourself, you should treat yourself. Treat yourself to a T-shirt and cover that thing.

Brian Wood, author/creator of DMZ and the Best-Ever-My-Favorite Local, has had a screen-print business on the internet for some time. Now is the time to order a shirt - he is moving and might leave the T-shirt biz behind him. The designs are impressive and the shirts are American Apparel, so they will last longer than your cheap ass slave-labor Urban Outfitter Target tee.

Northern Boy - hurry hurry

I just ordered the Great Lakes design for my lady, because I owe her. She ordered three shirts from Etsy.com in November and they came in wrong size wrong color wrong design in March. They all smelled of cigarettes and took 6 months to come in. Luckily, they fit me. I can guarantee that the Northern Boy tee will be better than that experience.

Onlooker - Follow Me Down

Trav and I are working on a new EP. I went back and listened to this track-in-progress and became delightfully reminded of it. Thought I'd share is again and try out blogger's new enclosure link thing. [edit: apparently i don't know what it's for or what it does. here's the file.]

why not.

lyrics and commentary here in original post.

Recyled Coated Paper Stock!

I have spent the last few chunks of spare-time at work to do some heavy duty cross-referencing about recycled paper.

After reading Silent Spring, I got very concerned with the processes that paper goes through at the mill. It all seems completely logical, now; but, it didn't occur to me that chlorine was being used to make papers white. Duh. According to a great instructional pdf for eco-worried designers (download it, it's great):
The EPA labeled dioxin, which is produced in chlorine, as one of the most potent carcinogens ever tested in laboratory animals. Its natural production is very small in comparison to those made by humans.

So I got to thinking about the choices I make with every project and how much control I actually have over the thousands upon thousands of pieces of paper that I am responsible for.

It is damn easy to find beautiful uncoated stock that is Processed Chlorine Free. Most paper lines carry these but don't indicate it in their stocking tables - It's only briefly mentioned in the swatch book copy. Generally, I found as a rule that your have to find the 100% recycled sheets in order to find a Processed Chlorine Free (and certification is not available for this credential, I believe - correct me if I'm wrong, please). Some of these are:
  • Domtar Proterra (Jute and Chalk only? I need to check that again)
  • Neenah Environment PC 100, Mohawk Options 100% PC
  • Via Smooth 100% PC cool white
  • Strathmore script
  • Wausau Exact Eco 100
What's missing? A coated sheet. In my experience, thus far, people really like to leave their fingerprints all over everything and they want glare off of lights to impede their reading, so they go straight for the ooo and ahhh of a coated sheet. I, for one, really dislike every brochure I've made that comes back coated. It makes it look cheap and like rest-stop tourist fodder... which in all honesty, most of the stuff I've done for the state is. I won't be able to win the "let's try an uncoated sheet" argument with some people (the same folks that think the final printed copy looks "too dark - it didn't look that way on my monitor when you sent me the pdf." Luddites.

So, I need to find a 100% recycled PCF COATED sheet. Good luck with that, buddy. There is one such product that I've located.
New Leaf Paper
You can order a swatch book from them, of course, just to see and believe. Until I find a competitor for this sheet (New Leaf Reincarnation C1S) I am going to specifically put this stock on my bid requests. State Law prohibits substitutions in the print-bid process, so I should win a few battles here.

Do Less Damage.


Democrat's & the Environment

I'm about to head home, but i wanted to link to this scorecard from the League of Conservation Voters. Interesting how all of the responses (where there are any - ahem, Gravel) are standard responses that you might even find on a republican scorecard. Very unimaginative... grated it's summed up in 10 words or less. Clinton's responses (and Obama's on Coal) are disappointing, while Edwards surprises me the most in being a little daring.

Me in Sprinfield

Get your own Simpsons avatar here.

Guild Wars trail dvd set

Anyone interested in playing the best online MMORPG that has no monthly fee and an amazing amount of re-playability (i've been playing for a year and a half) should get this trial disc set.
From the site:
The Guild Wars Trilogy Trial is now available at:

* GameStop
* EBGames
* Fry's
* Hastings
* Amazon

The Guild Wars Trilogy Trial is coming soon to the following stores:

* Hollywood Video / GameCrazy
* CompUSA
* Fred Meyer
* Best Buy
* Best Buy Canada
* FutureShop

c'mon. you know you have some dork in you.

currently reading: The Children of Hurin

Screw the Hobbit - this is the story that Peter Jackson should re-tell.

The Silmarillion without cosmological preamble.


currently reading: Why's (poignant) Guide to Ruby


programming language guide that speaks to the side of my brain that doesn't hurt when i try to code.

thanks to bro-in-law Norjekudo


Bug Juice

Amanda Congdon vlogged this story about dye made from bugs in some beverages the other day. After tracking down (an embarrassing oversite of her links to her show-notes) the story, I did some further investigating, which may be of interest. I don't eat things with faces or parents for reasons of my own; but, increasingly I am also weary of pesticides. Eating dye pressed from a crop of insects seems like a substantial way to injest some more "safe" amounts of carcinogenic pesticides. Luckily the product lists (from FoodFacts.com) are short:


Cochineal Extract

mmm. enjoy!

no time for timely linkatude

if i had the time or energy (and less of a workload) i would go over the List of the King's Offenses in our Declaration of Independence and link to current events where ever there is a parallel, which would be more often than not.

Read through them and see for your self.

that, which could not be done, is...well...done.

I have successfully hardwired the Earthlink internet digital phone into the existing phone lines of the house. Hot Dog!

I can't find the link to the article that I used, but this one has most of the information you need.

THe most important thing to remember is to disconnect the phone companies incoming lines at the box outside of the house (single family homes only - i'm not responsible for you mucking up your apartments complex's phone system). Disconnecting these lines protects your VoIP box from any random ringv-voltage that the phone company might decide to send into your home.

Hurray for me.

EDIT: here is the link to the document that helped so much.


hey baby, it's the fourth of july


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


independence day

not much going on tomorrow for the big day o' freedom. I think most festivities will take place in or around our house.

today i walked a mile and a half in 27 minutes. dang! i mean business. i was actually trying to make it to a bus stop for the first third of the trip, but then decided to just keep going. I was on the way to pick up my car from the service shop. A light had turned on saying, "service engine soon." i didn't for a long time because sometimes it gives up and stops telling me that. but, because of it's persistence, I failed my vehicle inspection. okay okay service engine now. the service shop flipped off the light and said, "sometimes it will do that. on your way now sonny."
"how much?"
"nothin'" [continues to read newspaper]

surround sound is up. friend brian wants to have a listening party. i'm all for it. we'll have to distract the ladies so that we don't get teased.


Rough Going All better

This monday morning was rough... I had to argue with former landlords who were lying to me. I had my car inspection fail. I had a dude actually, sreiously tell me as he handed me a request to combine and bookmark a 350+ page pdf that he wanted it in 5 minutes. But that's all over now and everything's going to be alright.

I know this because, among other my-lifey things which are increasingly great, Brian Wood, my favorite comics author just posted a link to his flickr stream of damaged and rescued film from a trip to Iceland (and other stuff from Brooklyn probably - a chicago pic in there?). Unbelievable landscapes, colors, compositions. Totally chilled me out.


my Smashing Darling

Leeann's jewelry Just got featured in Smashing Darling's email! She's #12 in their list - see here.


everytime i think about the iPhone, I get antsy and want one. What a devilish device - makes me want to find a better paying, more miserable boring job just so that i could afford one.

now accepting donations.

currently listening

John in the Morning!
Best Show Ever.

currently reading

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
The best book I've ever not enjoyed reading.
Highly recommended must read.

Democrats debate

I missed the debates last night. When I got home from Magic Babies practice, Leeann told me a little about it. I was, of course, a little too eager to judge - i.e. Edwards is smarmy, Clinton (the news will only call her by her first name - it's irritating) is a closet warmonger, and Obama is too religious. I realized, while listening to leeann talk about how well the debates went (i'll be trying to catch the webcast during off-time at work), that she is remarkably more tolerant than i could ever hope to be. She was excited that everybody (some more than others) had great things to say.
I forgot that these are all democrats and I will vote for any of them. There can be no place for my rush to judgment. I'll ease into it!


new name for blog

dot yup.

long time gone

so - no post since February, eh? nice.

I've redesigned my former freelance site's home page (now a online ftp hole for project passing) to be a little less ugly and experimental. I was tired of it being up there - especially so close to my HS reunions where people will undoubtedly be looking for me.

I think i'm going to de-specialize this blog and use it for all purpose. I really pigeon-holed myself when i said "music projects." I got into a habit of not posting when and what I wanted. I'm feeling the urgest of urges to be webby again.

I've got to figure out some things like flash music players so that i can keep a playlist on the side of my projects - for easy access. then i can clutter up the blaaaahg with posts like these.

For reasons in addition to their genius, Kieron Gillen and Warren Ellis are setting a good example of how to maintain (for a few years running!) a consistent web presence. .. as if Blogger could be a host to that.

Content first. Format second.

Welcome back to me.


Poles Apart - Digging Through Dirt

At long last, the final version of Digging Through Dirt.

Digging Through Dirt - right click to download

I am very happy with this. Most of my satisfaction, admittedly, comes from finally being able to get something done. It had been four months since i had been able to make any progress. I know that i've been busy with the Magic Babies and pre-occupied with finding a house to own; but those are really just excuses for not coping with the writer's block. I finally had the opportunity last night to have about two hours after work to myself. Being alone in the house (i may have mentioned before) is important to my recording because 1)I need quiet and the house doesn't really have doors to isolate my "studio" and 2) i am terribly shy when it comes to doning headphones and singing into a microphone in ranges not normal for a 33 year old man - plus the lyrics tend to get written on the fly and usually start off as mumbles and jumbles.

With this song in particular, lyrically i had been hung up on a two work alliteration that would loop over the ending: "enemies and animals." I have no idea where it came from or why and what the heck i was going to do with it. So for months I sat on that and would get nowhere with terrible lyrics trying to be smart and witty concerning perhaps the war or maybe vegetarianism or a ton of equally overly Important subjects that all sounded too terribly pretentious. So in order to break myself of this tendency, I put the song (as it stoof, instrumental and such) on loop at work all thrusday afternoon so that i would have it burned into my brain and subconsciously work through all of my first impressions and gut reactions - i needed to work past my usuall flowy melody line trappings - especially if this was going to not sound like the other songs.

When roy's guitars come in, the song really takes on life. I chose to focus on those guitars and their pace. I had no idea about my subject matter, still; so, I just scratch-tracked a two sylable work over and over again, typed it out as many times (i think the word was "enough") and symply started replacing each occurrance with two sylables that might come next in a sentence. very very random. I used to do this sort of mental cut-up back in school. Highway Anxiety, one of the better "songs in Lowkey" was written this way using a short story/dream recellection in my journal as fodder. Digging Through Dirt didn't have any fodder as source, sadly - another testament to how much less i create 10 years later.

Admittedly, the second verse is stronger than the first - i really got my pacing down. I also revised the chorus a handful of times - for a while I kept finding new ways to phrase things so that they would be more -er- allerterific(?). Once I settled on what the song seems to be about, that second verse was easier to write. I decided not to re-write the first verse. lazy? perhaps. but, with the second verse being there, the first is excusable, i think - sort of a setup.

I hope you like this, the last in this series of Poles Apart songs. Next we will tackle the collection and distribution.

again with the link

it took enough to get caught up enough of all the waiting for the big one
the hour's gone gravity won you dropped it when i tossed back the last one

are we like enemies
or are we only animals
digging through the dirt
to take up time

i'm not convinced the other wins when words are lost and speech is for the wicked
but i caught up and called your bluff i think i did my logic is now slipping.


massively multitouching operation

video discovered on warren ellis's blaaahg:

to which i say:
oh my crap. look at this. Whatever software UI is driving this thing looks like it's run on the new Apple OSX 10.5 Core Animation engine. Integrating that sort of action with a mixing process for movie soundtracks could accurately place foley sound from its true point of origin on screen.
Oh My Crap.


Explosions in the Sky


another "i heard this on KEXP and am entirely surprised at myself for not knowing them before."

their instrumentals are dreamy and epic like i like them. one of their most surprising credentials (besides being from Texas - good things come from texas? lies!) is the soundtrack to Friday Night Lights. Composing on a soundtrack on which Daniel Lanois also appears must be a great feeling.

available on the site is an entire "song-a-day" EP to download free-like. interesting production notes available too.

Highly recommended.


Winter Weather Window

Winter Weather Window, originally uploaded by branjo11.

I took this picture out of my window at work. It's a very distracting view - especially when it's snowing.
Last time it snowed i thought, "next time it snows, I'll take the day off and play in it because it might be the last time because yadayadabahbahbahba." SO today, i walked to work in the snow and stared at it all day out of my window. My own way of holding out hope for a huge snowstorm in the future. THEN i'll take the day off.