Anachostic

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Tag Archives: buy buy buy

Hooking Up With A Previous Love

A recurring story on my blog is my relationship troubles with iced tea.  Maybe it deserves its own tag at this point.  To quickly recap, I had a very long relationship with Nestea mix, but it changed, so we had to break up.  I rebounded with Publix mix before settling down with Lipton, who was very good to me for a long time.  Then one day, Nestea completely disappeared and while that was a little upsetting, I found Te Bustelo, which made me dump Lipton immediately. Man, that makes me sound like a horrible person.

As in other relationships, the fickle one gets their due, and Te Bustelo ended production, leaving me a widower.  I had purchased a case of the mix – the last available – to get me through the next couple of years.  Well, it’s been almost three years now and I’m down to probably a few last servings in my last container.  I was probably avoiding the looming reality by not attempting to find a replacement.  Still mourning, maybe?  Today, I finally sucked it up and decided to find out what my options are.  Off to Amazon, source of everything.

Searching for iced tea mix, I got results dominated by Lipton, with a few other brands scattered here and there.  One of those brands was Nestea (trying to avoid eye contact).  You know, maybe I wasn’t completely with my head in the sand about my future tea product because at one point I did consider buying unsweetened tea mix and adding my own sugar.  And you know, Nestea does make an unsweetened mix…

This is what Nestea looks like today, the same it’s looked for many, many years.

Nestea Sweet Mix Iced Tea, 45.1 oz

As I’m working through the results, I see this.

Nestea Sweet Iced Tea Lemon Mix 90.3 Oz

Whoa, what is that?  That is a different package with a different logo.  And another thing – I am extremely sensitive to names, because of my trauma from “sugar sweetened tea mix” morphing to “sweet tea mix”.  This canister says “sweet iced tea mix”.  That is different.  That must mean it is different.  I click the link and look at the ingredient list on the package.

Sugar, Citric Acid, Instant Tea, Maltodextrin, Tricalcium Phosphate (prevents caking), Natural Lemon Flavor

Oh my god.  This mix changes out Sucralose with Tricalcium Phosphate, in the same way Sweet Tea Mix changed Fructose with Sucralose.  If I haven’t used the word enough yet, let me try some more.  Sucralose is why I had to stop drinking Nestea in the first place. It’s an artificial sweetener that hurts my stomach. Suckralose.

I actually couldn’t handle this revelation at the time, bordering between excitement and disbelief, so I return to my search results.  I scroll a little further down and I see this.

Nestea Original Canadian Lemon Iced Tea Mix Jumbo Can 2.2kg 122 Servings Imported from Canada

WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON, HERE?  I click this item and look at its ingredient list.

Sugar, Citric Acid, Instant Tea, Natural Flavour, Silicon Dioxide

This mix, I read, is the Canadian version of Nestea, named “Original Lemon Iced Tea”.  A second Nestea mix with no sucralose.  Where the hell has this stuff been for all these years? (Canada, apparently.)  And while I have no regrets over my special time with Te Bustelo, maybe it’s a sign that I should get back, even if it’s with the exotic, foreign cousin of my original love.

Still reeling a little from this sudden discovery, I make a fairly dumb decision to buy both of these items right away.  They’re not exactly cheap, since one is a giant container and the other is a giant container imported from a foreign country.  So, $60 in tea will be at my house on Tuesday so I can then see if there is still a spark between us.

Hope springs eternal.

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Another Brick In The Closet

Last year, before the holidays, I found a nice, massive keyboard sitting unloved at a thrift store.  I assume it was still sitting there because anyone that tested it would have found it to be broken.  I, however, am foolish enough to buy things without any consideration of functionality.  So I brought this keyboard home, discovered it was broken, and proceeded to fix it up enough to make it work.  And it’s been sitting in my closet ever since, waiting for its moment of glory.

On this most recent holiday, I saw something else at a thrift shop – a nice, tiny keyboard.  The price was right, so I bought it – untested as is my way.  As soon as I got the device to the car, I realized it was broken.  One of the controller knobs was completely snapped off.  Oh well.  The price was right.  Let’s get it home and see if it even powers up and makes noise.

I got it home and it powered up and made no sound.  Well, it made a buzzing sound, sometimes.  I started doing some online research and learned that this particular synth has a well known issue with that control knob failing (not sure if being broken off is considered “failing”).  So replacements are generally easy to get.  At this point, I don’t even know if that’s the actual problem.  But let’s take a step back and look at this thing.

This little bugger is the Alesis Micron, which is an analog modeling synthesizer.  It originally sold for $400 back in 2004.  It still sells for about $200 on the used market.  I got it for $7.50, half-off the original $15 price.  So you see, it was worth the gamble.  I’ve spent far more on far less (which should be my life’s motto).

When I saw “analog modeling synthesizer” on it, I got really excited.  The only synth of that type I’d really known about before dropping out of the music scene was the Nord Modular, which I remember being a 4-figure keyboard.  These types of keyboards emulate the older synths of the 70s and 80s. and they typically do it very well.  They also have a lot of the features of older synths like arpeggiators (for playing Who Are You) and vocoders (for playing Mr. Blue Sky).  There is a video on Youtube of someone playing Mr. Mister’s Kyrie live and solo on the Micron. But before I can have that kind of fun, this device needs repair.

I have a couple of options.  I can just replace the knob (a potentiometer, if you want to sound cool), which requires some soldering work.  The part costs less than $2 (plus shipping), and of course, I’ll need a new knob button to cap it off.  Yeah, that’s one option, or I can buy a whole new control board with knob for $40.  That’s the plug and play option and the one I opted for.  That and the cap were about $50, so if this works out, I will have a really neat new synth for a little under $60.  And then, it can sit in my closet, too.  How stupid.

It is dumb, but I have a lot of fun rescuing junk and making it (or trying to make it) usable.  I should consider myself fortunate this desire is just for musical equipment and not, say, cats.

The parts are currently being shipped and I should have them next week.  Let’s hope I have as much success with this little Alesis as I did with the huge Alesis.

The (Sea) Eagle Has Landed

It was many years ago, in 2012, that I started the hobby of kayaking.  I was fresh into a new relationship and had experienced kayaking for the first time.  It was pretty clear that tandem kayaking was probably not going to work out for us.  That meant I needed my own kayak in which to isolate my terrible paddling technique.

As luck would have it, Woot was selling inflatable kayaks at a pretty good price, so I bought some.  Two is some, right?  I did the research and these kayaks, by Sea Eagle, were pretty well respected.  Obviously they had their detractors – those who would never use anything but a solid kayak.  But, there are a lot of conveniences to be had with these inflatables.  The most important is that I could transport it in my MX-5.  Not only that, but I could transport both of them.

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Years have gone by, and I’ve been wanting an upgraded version of the Sea Eagle.  I find it very odd they have such a good entry level model at a reasonable price, $200, but if you want the real deal, the model that really earns its keep, the price is over $1000.  There’s nothing you can do in-between?  Damn.

So I watched and waited.  Actually, I let CamelCamelCamel do the watching.  When I created the watch, the Sea Eagle model I wanted was a little over $1000.  I set my target price at $850.  And I got nothing, for almost a year.  I had nearly completely forgotten about the watch when I got an email notification that the kayak was now being sold for $822, and that was the cheapest it had ever been.

Part of me wanted to sit back and think about it.  The other part of me went to Amazon and saw there were only two left in stock.  There’s a lot of expenses that have suddenly crept up on me lately, so I couldn’t justify buying two of these, so I just bought one.  The next day, I went back and the price on the remaining one had gone up slightly to $835, so I guess I did the right thing.  A few days later, that one remaining kayak was up to $913, so, yes, I think I did do the right thing.  However, that’s not the cheapest I’ve ever seen them.  Woot, of all places, once sold the Fast Track model in the $600 range.  Now that’s a great deal.

The package arrived a couple of days earlier than the the initial tracking estimated.  The box was compact and heavy, just as I remember my other kayaks arriving.

I inflated it to get an idea of how it compared to my original Sea Eagles.  There is no comparison.

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Where the SE330 hugs your sides, the 385FT gives you plenty of width.  The floor in the FastTrack is firm and has little give.  The material on the FastTrack is substantial and much less pliant.  I left it inflated overnight to let it sort of stretch out.  And of course identify any potential leaks.  It was fine for days (because I’m lazy).

I have yet to take the craft out, but I am eager to try it out this year.

All Things Must Pass

It was a little over a year ago that I knew my phone was obsolete.  I was one of the few, brave Windows Phone users remaining and Microsoft had announced that there was a Samsung Android phone being sold as a “Microsoft Edition”.  That simply meant the phone was preloaded with all the MS Android apps and you could get assistance on using it at a Microsoft store.  Whee.

And this change was a surprise, but not really so, since there was a Microsoft division that was doing nothing but writing nice software for Android and iOS and not writing anything for Windows Phone.  The up-and-coming mobile powerhouse apps hadn’t been developing for Windows Phone for a very long time.  But none of that was a concern for me, since all I needed was a way to call, text, read email, and browse the web when I was bored.  And play Solitaire. A Windows Phone did all that just fine.  Until it didn’t.  And that became infuriating, because I don’t ask much from my phone.

Early in my WP days, I used to visit Yahoo’s news site, but then Yahoo changed something and the pages started locking up, where I couldn’t scroll anymore.  So, I switched to MSN and happily used their news site for many years.  Recently, though, an odd bug started happening.  After a minute or so on a page, the page would reload, sending me back to the top of the article.  And it would happen again a minute or so later.  And again.  Then the browser would literally give up.  It would display this message:

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Now, there’s a message to piss off your users.  “We’re having trouble so we’re not going to try anymore.”  And when you clicked Back, you didn’t return to the previous page, your history was wiped out and you went back to the Start page.  Keep in mind, this is a Microsoft device, using a Microsoft web browser on a Microsoft website.  And it doesn’t work.  I’ve determined the root cause of the bug is the advertisements injected into the page by script, but without any ad-blocker or other customizations, a fix is out of my control.

Another recent shutdown Microsoft did was of Zune>XBox Music>Groove Music.  I don’t use streaming services, so I didn’t think it was a big deal.  But I also didn’t think it was going to affect Cortana’s music search feature (which is like Shazam).  I searched for a song recently and I got:

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Good job finding that song.

So that’s it.  I made up my mind I’m going to do what Microsoft wants me to do, switch to Android.  Now, where before I had a few available models of Windows Phone, I now have a choice of probably thousands of phones.  Which one should I get?  As a creature of habit, I chose a new model from an old company.  The Nokia 6.1.

Soon, I’m going to be able to be up-to-date on all the apps.  I can start collecting rewards from stores and restaurants.  I can start tracking this and that through apps.  I can use any fitness tracker I want.  I can play games – all the games.  I won’t have to get all pissed off and feel left out when I see:

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And hopefully, I can browse a goddamn web site without the pages reloading until the browser just shits the bed.

I ordered the phone on Amazon for all of $287, which I think is pretty cheap.  What do current phones go for now?  A good place to buy Android phones is the Microsoft Store.  Let’s see.  5 models for sale:  1 Windows Phone (out of stock), 3 Android Samsungs, and 1 Android Razor.  They are priced from $699 to $929.  Nope, I will not be getting any of those.  I don’t need a $1000 Solitaire game device.

So, Are YOU A Collector? Clearly Not.

As I posted recently, I went on a CD safari and ended returning with 20 CDs.  15 of those were purchased from two flea market vendors, both of whom said they were collectors. 

In the first booth I went to, I felt I was in a hurry for time, so I scanned the discs very quickly, looking for smooth cases.  However, I saw one CD that I had scored on my last flea market trip that was a valuable find.  The CD wasn’t in a a smooth case (actually a shitty, flimsy case), so I was curious what a normal edition of that album looked like.  When I opened the case, I was surprised.  Similar to my previous reaction to finding gold, I said, “Oh, it’s a red-faced Polydor.  Nice.” 

Only a real geek would say “a red-faced Polydor”, right?  That’s a statement that would come out of the mouth of an orthinologist.  Like, you should log that in a bird-watching book along with the time and location.  But, I didn’t log it, I bought it.  WHY?  I already had one and it was a valuable one at that!  Sometimes, you can’t explain these things to collectors.  Different is good.

When I got home and cleaned the CDs all up, I researched what I had purchased.  Now you may recall the post about my $300 find for $3.  Well, this time, I paid $5, and wouldn’t you know it?  Someone has paid over $500 for this CD.

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I now have both of these CDs.  What’s the difference?  100% appearance.  These are the two CDs.  They have the same music.

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And when I say they have the same music, I checked.  They DO.  I posted this on Relative Waves.  It’s the same.

That’s two waveforms overlaid on each other.  There’s no green or white peeking out anywhere.  That means no differences. SAME SAME SAME.

Anyway.  So now I have a new most valuable CD.  Again, by a large margin.  In fact, my collection value went up by over $1000 from this last trip.  After all, I did find a bunch of other rarities.

Safari 2018

A little over a year ago, I went on a CD hunt, and I recently chose to indulge myself again.  This time, I would travel to a remote metro city with a whole new, fresh collection of thrift shops to plunder.  The trip would be two hours to get there (and coincidentally, two hours to get back).  But that’s quite ok, because driving is something I do.  The MX-5 has 263k miles on it right now and shows no sign of giving up.

I plan on making a couple of alterations to the car before this road trip.  The first is removal of the Zune integration with the stereo.  It’s been fun, but as time wore on, and Zune support in Windows went away, it’s less of a thing now for me.  I’ve gotten back into CDs, which seen to have more fidelity than the Zune audio pumped through a 3.5mm cable, even when the files are lossless.

While I have things disassembled, I also plan to implement the traffic power cable for my GPS and hide the ugly bits behind the dash.  Right now, I have a frankencable coming up from my center console and up the dash.  It doesn’t provide a traffic antenna for the GPS and said GPS bitches about it every single time I start it up.  It will be nice to be rid of that stupid alert and also to have the traffic info for better routing.  This will involve purchasing an add-on 12v socket that I’ll hide behind the dash and plug the GPS power cable into it.  I can’t understand why they don’t design GPS power cables to be either plug-in or hard-wired.  Anyway, it’s been a while since I’ve torn the interior of my car apart.  I used to do it on a monthly basis.

And then, a trip like this is something that must be done solo.  I can’t imagine the mind-numbing boredom of sitting in a car as a passenger for hours on end, then slogging around dingy shops for a full day.  I have a list of 20 locations to hit in the remote area, including one bona-fide music store.  I’m not sure if I will have time to hit the flea market while I’m there, but I’ll certainly try.

Friday after work, I spent a couple of hours fighting in the car, routing the power cable for the GPS and removing old audio stuff.  That was a success, or so I thought until I went out for dinner that night.  Now I have an alternator whine in my front right speaker, so I’m going to have to take the dash all apart again and be a bit more cautious with my power cable and audio cable routing.  Worse, it means my Saturday trip (two hours each way) will be in silence.  Oh fucking no.

I headed out early in the morning and made it to the flea market just as it opened.  I found two large CD sellers and spent more than I usually would at a flea market.  I paid more per CD, but I think I got some good items.  (Wait for the post on this.  You have no idea!)

The rest of the day was pretty sad compared to the flea market.  Many thrift shops were closed or out of business.  The music store I went to had outrageous prices, like $8 for used CDs, and nothing remotely collectable.  Well, that’s not true.  I treated myself to a Gold CD for $50.  I’ve said before, you can’t really go wrong with those.  They keep their value.

I finished the day at an old favorite Thai restaurant, which was amazing as usual.  Just like the good old days when you would judge how good the food was by how long your tongue would burn after the meal.  And it was a while.

The traffic feature on the GPS did its job and told me when construction was coming up and when I would be delayed by traffic and for how long.  At one point it was counting down when the traffic jam would end and almost as soon as it said it was over, we started speeding up again.  Amazing.

So tomorrow is car stereo repair time.  And tonight has been cleaning, logging, and ripping.  I’ll do some relative waves posts with some of the new editions I picked up tonight as well.

Listen To This Story

Amin_Bhatia_The_Interstellar_SuiteOn a regular CD shopping run last week, I picked up a random album.  I didn’t know the artist, much less the album, but the name was intriguing: The Interstellar Suite By Amin Bhatia.  Peeking inside the case, the liner notes stated: “The orchestral textures on this recording are a complex blend of synthesizers.”  Well, consider me sold.

The tracks of the album were named very specifically and initially it somewhat bothered me.  Songs named explicitly like, LAUNCH: Mission Control and Liftoff/Jumping to the Speed of Light. Another one was: BATTLE: Planning the Attack/Return Fire/The Last Missile.  I wasn’t entirely keen on being told what I should be thinking about as the songs are playing.  Despite that, I did review the track names as each song came on.

So let me say first off that this is an amazing album for many reasons.  The music is exquisitely composed and performed.  It is extremely orchestral and melodic and that’s made even more impressive because it’s done on a collection of synthesizers circa 1987.  The first track reminds me strongly of ELP’s Pirates and has a lot of John Williams influence, which isn’t a bad thing.  The thing that makes this album stand out from a Star Wars soundtrack, is the addition of sound effects, including some minor character dialog and atmospheric sounds.  And maybe it’s just the geek in me, but space ship launches and flybys and missiles and lasers and explosions, all rendered by 80’s synthesizers… consider me a fan.

I have probably played this a dozen times on repeat; it does not get old for me.  And that part is what is most interesting to me.  This particular album is what is termed “program music”, which I had not been exposed to before.  With program music, the songs are meant to conjure up specific imagery in your mind as you listen to them.  And this album does that amazingly well.  To carry the example of Star Wars, when you hear the Star Wars themes, you can visualize the scenes in your head, you’ve seen this before.  But there’s no movie with this album, all you have are the song titles, which I originally thought were too much.

Something about me is that I don’t re-read books.  I also don’t re-watch movies (except concert videos).  So, I find it peculiar that this album is very much like a movie or a book in that it tells a story, but unlike books and movies, I can leave it on repeat.  In fact, I’m playing it right now.  It’s a soundtrack for a movie that was never made or a book that was never written.  It’s also theme park music.  If you’ve gone to any Disney or Universal park, there is atmospheric music playing all the time that keeps you in the theme of the sub-park you are currently walking though.  This music would not be out of place in the slightest.

Hearing this music has made me think of a couple things.  I have a project limping slowly forward that involves a musical soundtrack.  Hearing this suite of music has given me serious reservations of calling my music a soundtrack.  Despite that feeling, I also realize that I have done something similar to this before, although nowhere near as grand.  It was a short-lived time where I wrote two multi-track songs I called Spy Song and Airlock.  The first was a short little song that could be considered intro/chase scene/romance scene/intro reprise.  And Airlock was just a short scene of someone trapped in a space ship and eventually ejected into space.  Neither of these little songs would be useable for any projects just because they’re too short – a couple minutes or so.

So I now have a whole other genre of music to explore now.  I used to buy random CDs at pawn shops when I felt my listening habits were getting stale, but I haven’t done anything like that for a long time.  And sometimes you get really lucky when you do that.

In Retailiation

AK: “When are you ever going to blog again?”

Me: “I just posted yesterday!”

Much later…

Also Me: “When am I ever going to sleep again?”

Still Also Me: “You have to post something today.  Post now, sleep later.”

Today I got to visit a couple houses of insanity, each made further insane by the current season.  The inimitable Pier 1 Imports and its evil cousin Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  In the former, I was searching for holiday placemats specifically.  In the latter, I was searching for a secret Santa gift.

Let’s start with Pier 1.  This store has a very unique atmosphere.  I’ve tried to figure out what uplifting, empowering message they are trying to convey and the best I’ve come up with is: “There are many things you can buy in this world, some are cheap, some are not.  Here’s as many of them as we could fit inside this building.”  I’ve never been to a true “bazaar”, but because bazaar is so phonetically similar to bizarre, I envision that Pier 1 is similar to a bazaar.  Shopping there makes me feel like I have ADD.  It’s impossible to get through the store quickly, because there is always something somewhere attracting your attention.  And at the same time, because you can’t focus on any one thing, you want to get out of there because it’s so overwhelming.

So, thank god I found some decent placements within the first two minutes of walking in.  But as I was standing in line, the ADD hit me and I had a thought of a product I knew they sold that would be a nice stocking stuffer.  I broke out of the line and walked the store, looking for this item.  I never found it.  After checking out, I found I had spent almost 20 minutes in the store.  How the hell did that happen?

Later in the evening, the GF and I went to BB&B.  As we were walking the parking lot to the store, the power turned off in the entire plaza.  That’s not a good omen.  We stood outside the store for a minute or two and determined this wasn’t just a small power blip.  So we moved on to another shopping plaza and came back later.  Power’s back on; we’re good to go.

The atmosphere in BB&B is slightly different than Pier 1.  They are both packed to the gills with shit, but the difference between the two would be, Pier 1 is “chaotic” and BB&B is “claustrophobic”.  BB&B is nicely organized into departments, BUT, there’s a whole bunch of shit that doesn’t fit into any standard department.  That stuff goes in the aisles.  It’s everywhere!  The specific thing I am looking for is one of those aisle things, I assume, because it would be classified as a “beyond” product.  I have to walk all the aisles, which is a misnomer, because there’s only one aisle that loops the store.  So, I make a loop around the store and constantly dodge other people’s shopping carts.  Like Pier 1, the aisles are organized utilizing using the excellent sorting algorithm, “shuffle”.  There’s no rhyme or reason to anything, which means you have to look at everything.

Don’t get me wrong, I love treasure hunting.  Ross, TJMaxx, Bealls Outlet, even flea markets.  That’s all fun.  But when I want something, I want to be able to find it quickly.  And neither of these stores are made for such precision.

And as it turned out, the product I wanted at BB&B was not stocked in store.  It was online-only.  Which makes you wonder why retail stores are having such a hard time against online shopping.  I really wonder why.

Random Music

So, Woot, I’ve said I’ve been done with you plenty of times, but still you suck me in.  This time, you made me buy this thing.

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And you know what, you jerks?  It’s not the first one of those I’ve bought.  I bought not one, but two from you last time.  And this time I bought not one, but two, again!  If you care, I plan on taking one to work to try and drown out the stupid noise leaking from all these cubes.  My desk fan is effective, but having a range of potential sounds is also very attractive.

But that’s only a lead in to what I was going to post about.  I’d been thinking about this for a while, because it’s been happening for a while.  It’s kind of a recent thing, too.

One day, I was explaining this noise device, the LectroFan, to AK and I was saying, “It’s weird.  Sometimes when this thing is running and I’m lying in bed, I hear…” and AK interrupts, “voices?  Do you hear voices?!”  No, it’s not voices. (“awww.”)  It’s music.  But it’s not exactly music.  It’s very similar to turning an analog tuning dial on an old radio, except there’s no points of static.  It’s just microseconds of what sounds like songs constantly cycling in my head.  And sometimes, it kind of makes sense, like “I’ve heard that before, what is that song?” but it’s gone in a flash and replaced by another song in another moment.

The LectroFan does not use sound samples, it generates white noise.  White noise is a random waveform that is constantly morphing with no predictability, as I said, random.  And songs are music, full of tones that overlap and interact, and those tones are made of waveforms.  Another blog I manage, Relative Waves, actually focuses on the difference in sound between albums by comparing waveforms.  For example, one comparison looks like:

All sound is waveforms, and you would think there is infinite variation in waveforms as sound, but in everyday practice, you will encounter sounds that remind you of something else or trigger a memory.  And you also might think that white noise is just noise, that it couldn’t be mistaken as voices or music or anything else, but in small enough bites, yes it could. 

This phenomena doesn’t happen often, but it isn’t a single isolated occurrence for me, either.  It’s a very curious effect, and I find myself trying to make sense out of what I’m hearing, which of course is impossible.  But it also makes me wonder if there are people out there that are not as logical and analytical to study the sounds and understand how they are tricking the ear.  These people may be the ones becoming obsessed with “hearing voices”.  Seems like there’s more of that nowadays? 

The Envelope Please

Yesterday, I picked up a new keyboard.  I found it at a thrift shop.  I suppose most people would be like, why would you want a grungy old keyboard?  Just go to WalMart or Best Buy and buy a new one.  Well, this keyboard was $100.  And your reaction is probably, what the hell keyboard costs $100.  And I’d keep feeding you clues.  It’s 20 years old.  Is this some sort of vintage IBM mechanical clicky monstrosity?  The kind that annoy everyone in the room?  Nope, it’s a keyboard.  An Alesis QS8.

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A picture doesn’t do this thing justice, only because you have to pick it up to appreciate it.  The case is solid steel.  The ends?  Solid oak.  55 pounds of wood and steel.  88 keys of weighted piano action.  It’s a monster.

It’s not the first monster I’ve had.  The predecessor to this Alesis QS8 was a General Music Equinox Pro.  Another 88 key steel anchor.  I have a whole story about the disposal of that anchor that will probably never get posted, but it did involve me getting very belligerent with a sales person at Guitar Center.

Although the news that I now have a second 88-key keyboard is cool, that is not what I really wanted to post about.  I had a revelation tonight.  I may have mentioned I am participating in NaNoWriMo for the first time this year.  This is week 2 and I’ll be honest.  It’s not as much fun anymore.  And that led me to my revelation.

If you have ever programmed a synthesizer, you probably know about the ADSR envelope.  If you have ever participated in NaNoWriMo, you are living through an ADSR envelope.  If you’ve done both, you are probably nodding right now.  For those that don’t know what an ADSR envelope is, I will explain it very quickly and it will make immediate sense.

This is an ADSR envelope:

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ADSR means: Attack, Decay, Sustain, and Release.  And these four points of the envelope correspond to the weeks of NaNoWriMo.  You’ll need to replace “Amplitude” with “Daily Word Count”.

You have your first week, where you are full of energy and ideas, so your word count skyrockets.  The second week (where I am now), your output drops to a more realistic level.  Week three is the grind (I’m going to expect this will be true), where you have to force yourself to keep going although you are sick of seeing words on a screen.  The final stage, if you make it, and if you’ve plodded along consistently, is coasting to the finish line, putting in filler text and additional dialog that fills in the blanks until you collapse at the finish line with one word left to go and you find that one character who never had a line of dialog and make him say, “Fuck.”  Just because.

So, welcome to Decay week of NanoWriMo.  Next week, we all Sustain.