Saturday, December 29, 2007

Sick Cat

Yesterday we found out our cat Boris is going into renal failure. We have lots of stuff we have to do for him now. But it's ok we will do all we can to keep him healthy as long as we can.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007


So as we hit midspan of the Hoilday season, I already feel kid of dazed. Some times they go by real slow, but this year seems to be whizzing by. Its crazy. Anyway its almost over, so nothing to do but hurry up and wait.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Crocodile Cafe closes without a bang

So, for the people who read this who don't know me I spent 15 years working as a independent sound engineer in the Seattle area. Some of that time I worked on the road, touring with bands, some from my home town and some from out of state. The first Seattle club I worked for on a regular basis was the Crocodile Cafe.

My band had played a few shows there in the early 90's and I had become friends with the house engineer from coming in to mix for some of my friends bands. He had worked for years only taking one night a week off, and during the holiday seasons no days off for months in a row. He asked if I could cover a couple of nights for him. Then he asked if I could cover a few more. Then he got sick and I came in for a few months while he recovered. It was a great place to work, I loved the sound system. I got the chance to both play some great shows and mix some great shows. I got the chance to meet some great bands and make them sound great in that room. I also worked for a great sound engineer who really cared about the bands and making them sound good, even when they didn't deserve it.

I woke up this morning and checked the news and saw they closed this weekend. I knew that they were in financial trouble, but I hoped they would make it.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Some more synth noise video

I thought I would make another video of the synth I built last year. I think it wants me to play it more. Thats why its so fuzzy.

It is a modular synth that comes as a kit from a company called Paia. I want to build some more synth modules, I just need to get around to buying them. Then putting them together. Than testing them. Than maybe I will make some more little videos. Sounds fun huh?

My walk on Capitol Hill

Last night I met my wife and a friend at Quinns for a burger. Before they arrived I went for a walk around the block and took some camera phone shots.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Also from my desk

From my desk


So as usual I am hitting myself for ignoring the local music press about the show to see, it is months past and I pick up the CD and think, "I should've gone to that show". Last week as my wife and I left the Queen Anne Easy Street Records, I grabbed the latest release by Battles .

The opening high hat and side stick beat combined with looped guitar and whistling soon turns into a jazzy prog frenzy. The second song starts with a heavy tribal drum beat combined with warped carnival like vocal manipulation and guitar/ bass confusion. The third song is the closest to anything that resembles pop music, if played by a schizophrenic.

This album is amazing. If you are looking for a band that combines live sampling, solid drumbeats, synth weirdness, and total noise freak outs, Battles are for you. I won't go into the pedigree, but they have all spent time in some great bands. I now know what my music teachers were trying to introduce me to by playing Frank Zappa, Yes and ELP. This is where I want to see the future of music going ( with the use of sampling, looping, and electronic manipulation). At least the music I want to hear some of the time.

Thumbs up to Buddha Machine

I've been loving my Fm3 Buddha machine this holiday season. It is nice to be able to deprogram the holiday music by centering myself to the drones and loops of the Buddha machine.

If you haven't heard of it, the machine is a box made by the electronic group FM3. They took 9 loops they use in their music and put them on a little hardware box that looks like an old am radio. The loops will play until the battery wears out and there is a switch to cycle thru them.

The boxes also spawned some remix records last year with artists using the loops or playing along with some of them.

I keep mine at work and it helps me relax when tension rises. Some days I leave it on the whole time.

nothing to report

Nothing to report. Its the holiday season and my mind is wandering too quickly to form complete thoughts. I have been spending more time working on sound and less on words. I will try to post more sounds clips tomorrow. For now a shakey shot of some storage tanks. It is nice to have a less shakey camera, but I now have to try harder to get interesting shots. Not as many happy accidents.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A little synth buzz for today

Everyone loves puppies

Another week flies by

So we started out with the most rain in quite some time, (if you don't count last year, I love the media's ability to over hype anything) and it ends with a movie probably better left for video. The Sasquatch Gang is the new movie by the people who made Napolean Dynamite. It had its moments, but overall I thought it dropped the ball. I liked some of the characters, but the story was lacking and they spent too much time with the stupid rockers. I give it a see it on cable or as a discount dvd rental.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Flooding down the street

So I was checking out the West Seattle Blog and they had some photos of the road between Delridge and 26th. I guess the Longfellow Creek flooded and was covering the street a couple of hours ago. I'm glad we live on the second floor.

The photos of the car in the Allstar Fitness parking lot covered to the roof is awesome.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Stuck in my head explained

So last February my wife bought me an Ipod. I had held out for some time, but I wanted a personal device that I could watch movies and listen to music on and the 80 gig video Ipod fit the bill. So now I have my whole music collection and some movies ands tv shows and music videos and still enough space for more.

It has caused me top listen to some new music that I might not have. But that also means I have a big mess of little bits of songs whirling thru my head all day. I can't listen to the Ipod all the time (which might stop the songs from being stuck in my head) or I would be even more anti social. So instead I will spread the love by posting some of the songs here. Sometimes.

stuck in my head as well

3 Inches of Blood


stuck in my head

Tokyo Police Club

The Dresden Dolls

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Viaduct stories

So most days I drive to work from West Seattle to Queen Anne on the viaduct. Most of the time when making this morning ride I take the Western St. exit. The last stretch of this trek is directly below a park in the Pike Place Market area. The edge of the viaduct below the park is always littered with odd items. I wish I knew the stories of how they found their way to sitting on the edge of the viaduct. Shoes, coats, and a cane are all items I have seen in the last year. How do you lose your cane over the edge of a highway?

I will be sorry when the viaduct is taken down, or rebuilt, or whatever. I have always thought it gave Seattle character. Raise your glasses to the Viaduct.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The other side

I like looking at doors. I think when I was younger if I didn't know what was on the other side of a door, it led to a magical land, like in some of the books I read. As I have grown I still have some hope that doors hold secrets on the other side. Not all doors, but ones that pop up in places that seem incongruous to their location. I think subconsciously that's why I like to take photos of doors.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Bring in the clouds

remember the smell

Some times I miss my old practice spaces. If think hard enough I can remember 9 over the years. Some were in dirty basements of punk houses. Smell of rats and cat piss. Buzzing of the fluorescent lights overhead. Not enough power outlets, so we had to string extension cords from the next room.

Then moving to the space shared with a couple of other bands. Crazy guy who manages the building living in the room across the hall, filled with electrical equipment. G trades for a bass amp he built. Toilet doesn't work in the building and he sets up a plastic wading pool for people to piss in.

The next place closed at 2:30am, and the room was small. Loading in after show sucked. But the bathroom worked.

They all had character.

The Can't See

So I drag my ass off the couch at 11:30pm to head out and see my friend's band play at Chop Suey and when I get there they are already done. The show was over. I was totally confused. But I did have a nice conversation with someone I hadn't seen in a while and the drummer told some funny stories about being drunk at Thanksgiving. I need to get out more often.

Go see the can't see next time they play, I dare say it will be well worth it. Maybe I will even make it on time.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


So today is my wife's birthday and we went out to dinner at this new place she told me about on 10th and Pike, across from Nuemos. I will keep this short, they have the best hamburger I have had in months. Go try them out if you know whats good for ya!!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


I think I want ribs for lunch. MMMmmm ribs!!!


So, the middle of the week can be frustrating. Not only does it signal the approaching weekend, but the arrival of the garbage-people. You might ask who is that, well I have posted earlier about the garbage pickup, and that hasn't happened yet today.

Please let me explain. It is 6:05 am on Wednesday morning and I was just woken up by people who climbed the locked gate to dump garbage in our dumpsters. It has been a problem since before my wife and I moved into our condo, and will apparently be a problem after we leave. Not that we are leaving, I just think it will never end.

It wouldn't concern me, but the noise wakes me up. I mean, I do also feel a sort of animal need to protect my property, so after it wakes me up I try to stop them, but most of the time they are gone before I can do anything. Maybe I will start to take pictures of them and post them on my blog, like some kind of crazy neighbor (Gladys Kravitz). Or, maybe I will just continue, waiting to catch them in the comedic criminal act of dumping garbage, so I can threaten them out my window, "hey you kids get off my lawn"(making me feel like an old man at 38). Maybe I will follow them home, and dump garbage into their garbage cans, but they must not have any since they have to put it in my dumpster, making the dumpster full, so other tenants leave the lid open, and the smell of hot garbage wafts up so we can't leave the windows open in the summertime. I know its winter, but if I let them do it now, they do it in the summer too.

Oh well, I had better get ready for work. I mean I should be happy, its a holiday week and today is really Friday. Later.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Choosing grindcore

I have been reading a book about the history of Grindcore and Death Metal. When it was first appearing I listened to some of the bands. Most of the time I wrote it off as a mess. Grindcore was too fast and grunted vocals that were indiscernible. Death Metal was the same with lyrics about zombies and cannibalism, I couldn't look any further into the music, I didn't believe any message.

As time passed, I grew to appreciate some of the bands. My interest in Justin Broadrick and Godflesh brought me back to Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror. My stint on the Ozzfest tour renewed my appreciation of extreme metal. But the question always haunted me about the vocals, if you can't hear them why write lyrics?

I don't regret my choices, I still think grunted vocals don't make sense, though I do understand why some bands chose them. The vocals are what made me start to explore that part of musical history. So take a look at the shortest song ever according to the Guinness Book of World Records, "You Suffer" by Napalm Death.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Movies this weekend

Went to see two great movies this weekend, "Gone Baby Gone" and "No Country for Old Men".

"Gone Baby Gone" is a story about a couple investigating the disappearance of a young girl in South Boston. It stars Casey Affleck, Ed Harris, and Morgan Freeman. We missed the first couple of minutes, and I was able to catch up quickly. Not having been Boston too many times, I don't know their accent well, so I don't know if everyone sounded correct. But I thought they did. I liked the interaction between Casey Affleck and Ed Harris. Michelle Monaghan was great as Casey's girlfriend/ partner. I also thought the feel of the neighborhood came across very well. Go see in the theater if you can.

"No Country for Old Men" is a thriller set in Texas. Its an adaptation of a book by Cormac McCarthy by the Coen Brothers. This movie was perfect. The scenery in Texas was impeccably filmed and the locations were just right. As most of the reviews I read for the film before seeing it, I thought the acting was amazing. Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones were on fire. I could list all the actors, because I liked every one's performance in this movie, down to the extras in the background. See it in the theater for the complete immersion needed to experience this film.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

non verbal

I haven't had anything to say this week. So I thought I would post some older photo work of mine.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Useless News of the Day

So I opened Internet Explorer today and the MSN homepage had this news story . I won't mention the person's name as I don't think anything she does is news and the media should quit giving her headlines.

I do think that if this is what passes for "improve her bad-girl image ", I think all the people I see picking up garbage for comunnity service need to get her judge.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Skylark November 24th

So, I haven't been in a while, but the breakfast at Skylark is great.

I have only been to a show there once, as I don't drag myself out of the house as much as I should these days.

I wanted to put up something about a show coming up in a couple of weeks. All the bands have old friends of mine in them. It should be a fun evening. I hope I can make it out,but even if I don't and you should. An added bonus all the shows at Skylark are free, if money is a concern.

Support local music.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

my favorite snake story

A few years ago I was working at a club on Capitol Hill as a sound engineer. this is a little story about the weird things you can see at work.

Anyone who has worked in a club that hosts music knows the end of the night always moves slow. First you have to get the audience to leave, then you have to get the bands to leave. Don't get me wrong, sometimes it happens very smoothly, but most of the time musicians want to linger, take their time, even if you want to get home. It happened on one of those nights.

After the band finished playing the bouncers cleared the house and I tried to get the band to get their gear off stage. After killing as much time as possible, I checked to make sure they didn't leave anything and cleaned the stage of beer bottles and set lists. Off to the side of the stage we had a stack of cinder blocks used to hold bass drums in place. On top I saw a toy snake. I could still hear the band loading out, so I reached down to grab it and it moved.

Now I can't completely describe the hallucinatory effects of the realization that the snake I thought was rubber was actually real, but believe me when I say it was trippy.

I gathered my composure and asked the bartender what he thought I should do. He wanted to see it for himself, then we put it in a bucket from the kitchen. I later found out someone had lost the snake a couple of weeks before and it must have been living under the stage until it came out to say hello to me.

Just another day on the job.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Was Radiohead online album a failed experiment?

Radiohead released their latest album "In Rainbows" on Oct. 10th.

An article in E! online says " The findings were announced Tuesday by comScore, an information company that provides real-time measurements of Internet usage through a database of nearly 1 million Netizens. The company has permission to track all the users' Web activity. And according to comScore, approximately 62 percent of the people in its focus group who downloaded In Rainbows didn't kick in a single cent to what's been dubbed Radiohead's "honesty box.""

I'm not a fan of Radiohead, but I was glad to hear they are helping to change the business plan of how music is provided to the public. I don't think CD's are going to be phased out. I do think digital downloads are still going to happen and if musicians provide them to the public like this I think it will work to their advantage in the long run. The change will only happen if more artists with wide appeal like Radiohead embrace new techniques. Only time will tell....

Odd Warnings

The other day someone left some packing materials in my office at work. This is a copy of one of the warnings on a bag used to wrap a computer.

On first glance I was curious how Casper the Ghost had gotten caught in the computer screen. I know its a bag, just kidding.

Then I thought, if you just bought a computer, shouldn't you know not to put your head in the bag it was packed in and hold it closed? If your head is in the bag do you have to look in the mirror to read the warning, and shouldn't they print the warning in reverse making it easier to read in the mirror?

Why are Casper's eyes closed? If they were open he might be able to see the visual warning. It also might be easier to read without the bag on his head as well.

Pay attention to the warning labels, they might save Casper's life, if he wasn't already a ghost.

Monday, November 5, 2007


I felt after a week of relaxing in Hawaii I should post something about the vacation.

It was the first time my wife and I have been to Oahu. We went to Kauai for our honeymoon and also went to Maui with my side of the family to spread my grandparents ashes on the volcano. But other than landing at the Honolulu airport, we had not spent anytime on the island of Oahu.

A few observations:

If you have to be homeless, Hawaii is a decent location. In cities like Seattle, New York, Chicago, etc, it gets cold in the winter. We saw several tent cities on the beaches of Oahu, they seemed to be tolerated by the locals and they won't get cold. Not that I 'm saying being homeless is a good thing, but not as bad in a location like Oahu.

Even in Paradise the big city is busy. We stayed at our timeshare on the western side of the island most of the week. On the last day we stopped in Waikiki for a burger. It was insane, I couldn't see wanting to go there for vacation. It was like Los Angeles and Las Vegas combined. Too busy for me.

Teddy's Burgers are great. Hand formed and delicious.

Hot Tubs are cool, only when they are hot.

I like Sea Turtles.

I like the Poke Stop.

We had lots of fun in Hawaii. Now we have to wait 4 years until our turn with the time share comes up again.

Don't forget to vote

Tomorrow, get out and vote!!!

We have some important races and issues that need to be decided. So go vote, unless you already have like me. I voted before I went on vacation last week. So mines already in the hopper. But if you don't vote by mail, which I love, than go to the polls tomorrow.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Pulled apart

The last day of work before vacation.

It can be calm one minute. Everyone joking and talking about where you might be over the next week, then BLAMMO. Busy, busy, busy. Then relax for a moment, until someone else has another problem and suddenly the day gets longer and longer. As the end approaches you realize you can't finish it all before you leave, multitasking isn't enough, you must become the "Office Octoproducer". (the temporary employee superhero)

I feel like this:

Soon I will be on the beach. Aloha!!!

Almost full moon over West Seattle

I woke up this morning and saw the moon shining quite large through the bathroom window. I checked and tonight is the full moon. It must be a good sign for our upcoming trip tomorrow.

This photo is a little blurred, but I still like it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Phone Banking

So, I have been making calls for the last couple of nights for the Approve 67 campaign. Like I said in the previous post I don't want to make my blog into a political statement, but I do support this campaign.

I haven't done any kind of phone calling since 1992 when I did a short stint as a telemarketer for a sort of shady contractor who did remodel and repair work. The manager of the telemarketing job, I think lived in the office and he chewed tobacco, so cups of chew spit were all over the room. The lists we called off of were sort of outdated. More than a few times I spoke with people who's ex or recently deceased spouse was who I asked for. Needless to say it didn't go well. Some cried, some yelled, and some hung up. I didn't get anyone who wanted to have any work done. We got paid by the hour , so I still made money. I only lasted a couple of weeks, if I remember correctly.

I also did half a day for another outfit. I can't even remember what they sold. It was so bad I left at the lunch break and never came back.

I thought that calling for this campaign would be similar, but I was wrong. Most calls have been messages. The people I have talked to have been mostly nice, a few hang ups and only a few people who are against the referendum.

What ever you think about this referendum remember to vote on November 6th in Washington.

Monotonic Labs Type - U 73 Synth

My latest synth acquisition is the Monotonic Labs type u73. I am waiting for it to arrive, as I just ordered it today. It looks like it will be fun though. At $89 I think it is a steal. I might get another one. Check out sounds at their myspace page .

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Heavy Metal

The other day I was reading a post on The Stranger's Line Out by Trent Moorman. It was a tongue and cheek piece about seven string guitars. It reminded me how much I love extreme metal. I know most of the time it is hard to understand, filled with violent imagery and fast chord changes, but I still like it when I need to tune out the world. Not all the time, but sometimes.

This Thursday one of my favorite metal bands, High on Fire is playing at the Crocodile . Matt Pike is an amazing metal guitar player. He comes out with his shirt off (very metal) and tears the house down. I hear now he plays a 9 string guitar. His amp set up is huge as well. Check them out if you get a chance.

In other metal news Paul Raven of Killing Joke, Prong and Ministry fame was found dead a few days ago. He will be missed.

Approve Referendum 67

I didn't want to turn my blog into a political statement, but some recent discussions made me think that I should put up some support for this referendum. If you go to the page for Approve 67 you can look at the endorsements, read the arguments and think about what they have to say. Go to the page for Reject 67 and read who endorses them, and what they have to say.

I believe that the people of Washington need protection from the insurance companies and I think this law will help. Make up your own mind, look at what they both have to say and decide. Then make sure to vote in our upcoming election in King County on November 6th.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


On Sunday we took our friend's children to the Seattle Aquarium. It is our first visit since the recent remodel. Here are some photos.

Friday, October 12, 2007

New stickers and a nice dog

My Capitol Hill correspondent sent me this photo of some new dumpster stickers:

and last night I saw this guy at Westwood Village when I was getting a pizza from Giannoni's and picking up a copy of " Dishdogz" . I couldn't resist a photo.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Come down to the Comet Oct 12th 9pm

Tomorrow night head out to The Comet Tavern and check out Ruins (Solo) .

He is a great jazz/noise drummer from Japan. Ruins is usually a drum and bass combo, but he is playing solo which I saw last year at the Wooden Octopus Skull Festival and it was amazing.

Playing with him will be Sean and Sugar Skulls .

I haven't seen Sean, but the Sugar Skulls are great. Show starts at 9pm

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

my new photo fun

I didn't have much time this morning, but after I was awaken by the garbageman, I stumbled over a neat program to change photos into ascii.

How the garbageman

Every Wednesday we are woken up to the sound of the garbage being emptied right below our bedroom window.. Normally I don't have to get up until around 7am. The garbage man must think I need to get up between 5:30 and 6am. I don't know why he thinks that. I get up at around the same time everyday. That is unless we have something special to do. On the weekends I might get up a little later, 9am, even 10 or 10:30am on occasion. But during the work week it is almost always the same.

We tried letting them know and a couple of times they came a little later. Then they returned to the previous start time. I would say I'm going to go to their house and wake them up, but they obviously get up way before I do. I guess I will just continue to wake up early one day a week.

The day after

Our show had a good turnout. We played a good set and my only regret is we didn't record it. C'est la vie! Our Cd's look very good as a finished product. My wife said she has never heard us play so mellow. I find that it is more a reaction to the feel in the room for me than anything else. I don't pre-plan the set, I just follow the sound in the room at the time of any particular show.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


So I decided to try to update the impacttestdummy website. I have been trying to learn more about css and how to better optimize our website. It is slow going, I don't use these skills in the workplace, and like any language, if you don't use it it tends to fade. Hopefully I can catch up quickly.

Saturday, October 6, 2007


One of the groups I perform in is playing live on Tuesday night at the Rendezvous in Seattle.
The show is at 7pm. You can check out our music at phase3 . The show is free and we will have our new cd available as well as some buttons I made up special for the night. It will be an audio/visual overload. Come on down.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


I went to the dentist for the first time in 3 years and found out I have a cavity. I also have to have root planing and scaling, which is code word for pain. I do not look forward to this. I would rather go to a 12 hour seminar on the values of foot care, or have to listen to12 hours of christian music, than go to the dentist. Ouch!!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

New impacttestdummy video

I posted the video to one of the new songs we recorded in September. It is an edited version of the song, so the video would fit on You Tube.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Resident Evil: Extension

So we checked out the newest of the Resident Evil movies tonight. They only "sort of " set it up for another movie. But If it happens it will be epic. This one was just OK. Kinda like a video game script version of the Road Warrior, in Vegas instead of Australia and with Milla playing Mel Gibson's part. Ali Larter plays the same character she is in everything. The zombies are crazier some of the time and the crows are great. I liked how no batteries ever ran out. Over all see it on video if you can wait. Or wait for the next one, I think it will be better than all the previous ones.

Seattle Phonographers Union Sunday, September 30 @ 8 pm

So I spend quite a bit of time lurking on the former I heart noise board and I saw a post about an interesting performance piece.

Sunday, September 30 @ 8 pm
Building 27 at Sand Point, Magnuson Park

"The Seattle Phonographers Union improvises live with unprocessed field recordings drawn from the huge archive of sounds they have collected around the world and right here in local streets, pastures, and forests.

The SPU performs in the vast environment of a former aircraft hangar at Sand Point Magnuson Park, allowing the natural reverberation of this large space to influence their improvisation.

There is no seating at this performance; listeners will be free to come and go, their echoing footsteps another component of the sonic environment. Bring a cushion and/or blanket if you wish to sit.

The SPU features an all-star cast of noted Seattle-based sounds artists including Steve Barsotti, Pete Comely, Katie Gately, Mark Griswold, Doug Haire, Dale Lloyd, Perri Lynch, Rob Millis, Toby Paddock, Steve Peters, and Jonathan Way."

It looks like it should be a cool performance. I don't know how long I will spend out in the cold on a Sunday evening, but I definitely want to check it out.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Terminal 5 skating

This is video my wife shot of me skating at Terminal 5 in West Seattle.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Me Skating Alki

I made a video of some still photos my wife took of me skating on Alki last week.

I'm not carjacking you , I'm the devil.

"Reaper" is by far my favorite new show this season. Hopefully it won't go the way of "Drive", my last favorite new show that just disappeared without any notice. "Reaper" is funny, and doesn't look like it will have too much of a story thread that moves from episode to episode, so if god forbid I miss and episode, I won't lose my mind trying to catch up.

Unfaithful Servants live video

I recorded a song of the Unfaithful Servants playing at the Oyster Run last weekend in Anacortes. The sound isn't great, but I still think it captured the moment well.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Longfellow Creek pics

I took some photos on a walk through the Longfellow Creek path down the street from our house earlier this summer and have just got around to getting them off the camera.

I like the wire wrap to keep out the beavers.