Linux, musical road-dogging, and daily life by Paul W. Frields
And the big tomato says, “Ketchup.”

And the big tomato says, “Ketchup.”

It seems that all I’m doing these days is chasing the tail end of whatever I was supposed to get done the week before. Most of my busy time has come from my musical life. Leah has a final show coming up in a few weeks, and inexplicably we have to learn a bunch of material to accommodate a songwriter/guitarist who is sitting in with us for that gig, since Tom is away on tour with These United States most of the month. Beyond that, things have been kicking into gear with Laura, and we’ll be making a debut at IOTA in Arlington on the 18th.

Plus, my longtime musical partner Rich has whipped up a project specializing in what I like to refer to as “70s AM gold” music (think Ambrosia, Boz Scaggs, James Taylor, Doobie Brothers…). Yesterday we got most of the participants together for the first time, and things went well. Mostly we discovered that we want to get a little more rigorous on the arranging, and that pretty much everyone is going to have to sing. We even got Rich to croon “Shower the People” from his drum booth. Sweet!

I’ve decided to take up more of my Fedora time just working on writing, editing, and publishing. Last week was more productive there, since I had some evenings free — except for the night that Karsten and I decided we were going to try and hook up a joint podcast via Ekiga. We got about 80% of the way there — mostly the problem becomes one of recording, but I think that since I have a mixing console and a pro digital audio interface, we can make this happen via some creative signal routing. The problem is not talking to each other but rather recording both voices at one time, a task made only slightly more difficult thanks to Ekiga’s crappy routing constraints and the ALSA suite’s even crappier presentation of my DAW’s 8-in, 8-out hardware. However, I think I have the right idea for patching at the board to overcome the problems. We’ll probably try something this week as time allows.

Eleya and I watched a great movie on Thursday night called A Tale of Two Sisters, a Korean horror thriller that packed not only beautiful cinematography and an excellent, Hitchcockian pace, but a great dramatic story and a triple-take Fight Club twist ending. Not really gory, but actually scary. Wow, go figure, a scary horror film for a change. Maybe American cinema can learn something from this other than “Let’s remake that, only with Sarah Michelle Gellar.” Highly recommended.

Friday night some friends from my high school graduating class stopped by. Some of them were in town for vacation, visiting family, and/or attending the 20th class reunion. I didn’t really feel the need to go, since I’m still in touch, albeit sporadically at times, with most of the folks with whom I was close. But it seemed like a nice excuse to get together — dinner plans were usurped by the fact that we almost all have kids of our own, and trying to find an accommodating establishment that’s not a horrible megachain would likely have been doomed, so everyone converged at our house. The kids were great together and even though most of them stayed up past 11pm, nary a complaint nor a whine was heard.

Funniest moment: Connor, the five-year-old (?) son of friends Scott and Megan, told my daughter, 6, that they could meet at Costco for a hot dog sometime. His ladykilling antics were somewhat premature, though, because Evie looked at us with shrugged shoulders and exclaimed, “I’m dumbfounded!” Connor is probably working on a fresher pickup line as we speak.

UPDATE: Fixed the link for These United States — thanks Christopher!


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