So guess what I did this week!

It’s part of an iPad app for people in the pharmaceutical industry. You see, when you drag the little slider thing from Partial to Full, the image, which starts off at slightly healthy skin, gradually fades into horrible bloody flesh wound. It’s pretty rad stuff. Until I forget that the real life images are still on the computer screen when I come back to eat my lunch.

Me and bgStretcher.js

Hey. Today I figured out a problem I was having with one site. Just had to hack a JavaScript file to allow more parameters. Once that was done I was golden.

Funny how the easiest thing to do was the last option I explored.

I should go into more detail. But I think I will in the morning. It’s midnight.

So, Daylight Savings Time

So here’s the thing.

If you know me, you probably are tired of me saying this every single year. One night, I stayed up until almost three in the morning because I had nothing better to do that Sunday, and I wanted to see what’s going on in TV-Land. Some cable station was showing the old Superman show from the 1960’s. And I thought, well, this’ll be fun. I’ll just watch it at 1am, and then when the clocks fall back, I can watch it again!

I guess I should announce two things right now. 1) I was young and stupid. 2) Daylight Savings Time was ending.

So I watched the episode. It was nothing spectacular to me, because I grew up with Christopher Reeve beating up General Zod, and Dean Cainwooing Teri Hatcher while stopping the guy from the Jeffersons. But I was excited to see it again, because — as everyone knows — the Fall Back from DST happens promptly at 2am.

So 2am came and it was some other show. Some sitcom from the 70’s about a radio station, I think. I got mad and complained to the TV. It didn’t listen. I flipped stations, looked for something else, got bored, and then fell asleep.

So, basically, if there is anything I can offer to you, the public at large, who are curious about TV schedules during the DST changes, don’t be. Because nothing happens.

Although I suppose it’s a great way to get you ready for the new times, so you’re not up at 4am and in bed at 7pm.

The problem with this new theme

I just installed this theme called Yoko, by elmastudio.

yoko-theme

It looks pretty and everything, but . . . . oops . . . . since I’ve used the banner image of each post as its thumbnail (because that’s how the old theme operated) . . . well, it’s like too much image duplication. And I am not a fan of this.

Although I am a fan of kitten randomly jumping up on chair arm and chirping at me.

Let’s share some music

I’m settling the new house tomorrow. This’ll be fun. I’m already a bundle of nerves. But hey, instead of focusing on that, how about this?

At least I’m wearing a shirt in the pic.

Here is Gone

Because I don’t like retuning the guitar in completely wonky ways, I think all I did was drop the low E down to a D (or maybe not), and then definitely tuned the B string up to a C. And then I did two cover songs. Let’s also get it out of the way now: I’m not a lead guitarist.

Rock Song #4

It’s instrumental coz I couldn’t figure out words for it. And then I lost the files. And I can’t redo this coz I lost the high E and the A strings.

The Sun Goes Down on Jenni

So here’s one of those songs you write because some girl named Jenni (yes, with an i) is like, So how come you never wrote me a song?  Fine, Jenni. But It’s entirely fictitious, but at least it’s got a girl named Jenni. You can pretend you’re her if you want.

Midnight World

This is the last song I recorded, about two years ago. It also has one of the few lead lines I’d managed to play that I’m happy with, though by normal guitar solo standards, this one’s pretty . . . . cool because it’s not a million notes crammed into about the same time it takes a hummingbird to procreate. And has melody.

Free Fallin’

So, many years ago I played guitar for some South Jersey girl in a South Jersey band. I got to cover this with the band. It was cool, coz it was all fast and upbeat. And I didn’t remember the original but I liked how we were doing it. I was even able to play something that vaguely passed for a guitar solo on it. And then one day the guy who started the song, on the acoustic, came up to me and said, “I never knew I was playing it too fast.” So it was played like at half speed and I hated it.

Then a week later I did this on my own. As usual, the drums were played by the computer.

All By Myself

At least it’s not the Celine Dion cover.

Pre-2000 instrumental music

I’m trying to find some old MP3s, but they’re just nowhere to be found. Music I composed years ago, because I want to share a couple with someone. Specifically, not the songs below, but I thought you might enjoy them anyway.

How I used to compose and record the music was simple. Step One,think up the music in your head, and Step Two, create it all using synthesized instruments. Like MIDI files, but then recorded as MP3s.

The songs below were part of a CD I had put up on MP3.com (back when it was cool). In random order of preference, here they are:

Fallen Dreams

This was actually imagined as the telling of the fall of a castle. It took place in Medieval times, when people fought with swords and shields instead of guns and vests. Uses a dumbed-down orchestra.

Do You Remember?

I always imagined this simple piano piece as a sort of hypnosis on someone who was repressing something awful, like a murder. I never did figure out what was being repressed. Also, this was the first time I actually tried creating a MIDI file based on something I actually played on a piano. I didn’t have a MIDI keyboard, so the entire piece (like almost all of my instrumental work) was created on a computer by pointing and clicking on musical staves. Very time-consuming, but worth it in the end.

Assassin

The long version of how this came about it: Back at university I took a screenwriting course. The final project was to adapt a short story into a screenplay. What I ended up choosing was Answers to Soldier by Lawrence Block. It first appeared in Playboy magazine, and subsequently was collected in the book Hit Man, which chronicled the main character’s career as a hit man up until his retirement. Spoiler: he lives.

So, I chose this, wrote it, and then decided to give the screenplay a soundtrack. I was going completely for the synthesized music feel. I also just downloaded the instrument that made the Blade Runner theme and thought, “I must use this somewhere!” The melody was an instrument I had the computer make that was basically a muffled sine wave tone.

I hope you enjoy all of the songs posted. If you do or if you don’t, write below.

Funny, I found a CD of MIDI songs created before I had a good Soundfont bank, and also before I had a real grasp of good music composition. And I listened back to it on the ride home and was very happy to know I don’t compose music that poor anymore.

Then again, I don’t really compose music anymore.

Sometimes I wonder how good of a web developer I really am

Here’s the thing: I get things done. You say you need this or that, and nine times out of ten it’s done. Four times out of five it’s in a timely manner.  But when I go back and look at the code that I wrote, I can’t help but scratch my head and wonder what possessed me to write everything so haphazardly. I’m finally getting deeply into Linux, so far as I can set up a website without the use of a control panel like cPanel or Plesk. But I’m sure once more advanced things happen, the scripts and config files will end up looking just as jumbled as everything else I write.

So, at the place where I sit in an office and work, I’m trying to handle mass email things. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people who don’t like being emailed without their explicit consent, right? So I’d been doing this thing, manually supporting a team in this regard.  But there’s just so many people I have to give the boot!

So I finally got the bright idea, instead of staring at all these emails and going through them, to just separate the good from the bad, and then run the bad through a PHP script that gives me their unsubscribe link. And if cannot find one, I am given the entire email so I can use other means to take care of the removal.

I’m more of a jQuery guy than a Javascript guy. Go figure. I find that it’s easier to use as a front-end developer, like a Javascript Lite (tastes great, less filling). I love when I can type less, and jQuery lets me type less. When I need real Javascript I can pull it out, but I’m not as versed in that area.

I actually get excited when I do things I haven’t done before. Like, I have mouse gestures set up to help me scroll to the top or bottom of a page. When I set it to check a box because I click on a link, the convenience I just created astounds me.  And then when it turns out I have to click the box around the checkbox instead of the checkbox itself, I get frustrated to no end.

Ah, the glorious life of a guy who makes websites when they have an unrelated job.