Tron: Legacy – Main Theme

This is gorgeous, and I’m totally jealous of this guy’s ability to play, the light up keyboard that he’s got with the excellent piano samples, and then the “Guitar Hero” type player-piano roll that comes down to tell you which notes you’re meant to play. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜Š Obviously he already knows how to play this, so the falling notes are just a bonus… but take a close look at them each time a note is played. ๐Ÿง The digital “gel” that contains the particle effects, where the “dust” from a recently played note gets “pushed out of the way” by the next note’s exploding dust. ๐Ÿค“ Should be played full screen, in HD, maybe with headphones, and definitely in the dark…

Get A Hobby

Bad dreams ended up waking me last night around 3am, and I’ve been up ever since. Kinda doesn’t matter what sleep schedule I keep these days, given that I’m not going anywhere and I didn’t even realize what day it was today. Not meaning April Fools Day, just meaning that I didn’t realize it was Wednesday. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ Point being, anxiety filled sleep, waking up early… it didn’t lead to much of a day for me. I did text with Dad and Genesee a bit, and she got me thinking about playing the keyboard again. ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽน๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I forget what she said, but it reminded me that thanks to the YouTube Music app searching my own videos for music to add… I ran across this old video of me playing Don’t Wake Me by Skillet. ๐Ÿ˜Ž And when I did, I realized that if you put that keyboard in front of me now I’d have no idea how to play it. Elton John made a comment on his Melbourne Symphony album, that he was playing some songs that were so old that he had to re-learn them as well for that concert. ๐Ÿ™‚ So that’s one thing I’m gonna try to make time for… “keyboard dickin’ around time” every now and then.

And then thanks to NASCAR and iRacing running these virtual races on the weekend… and apparently a dirt track / winged-car race tonight… that’s got my mind back on video games. ๐Ÿค“๐ŸŽฎ๐Ÿ“บ I’ve got an XBOX One and a Playstation 4, yet it’s probably been at least six months since I’ve even turned either of them on. ๐Ÿ˜• Once I got into a funk a while back, my brain just never seemed interested in reminding me that I’ve got kewl shit that I could play. So I’m gonna go through my games tonight and figure out which system I’ve got the best racing games for, and I’ll probably try to re-familiarize myself with all that. ๐Ÿค” I used to be good. Years ago I was really layin’ ’em down at the road courses, or at least it felt that way. (Wow, that was from 2013…)

I don’t wanna get ahead of myself, since I’ve already got a couple options there, but I’m probably gonna play around with time-lapse and long-exposure phone photography like I usually do each spring… plus I’ve got a couple new photogrammetry apps for creating 3D models from a series of regular digital photos, so that might keep my attention as well. Meh… we’ll see, I guess.

Don’t mind me… just doing a little more “talking out loud” to hopefully burn these ideas into my brain a little more effectively. ๐Ÿคฏ It’s not like I’m making valuable use of my time otherwise, so I might as well be doing something that I used to consider fun, eh? ๐Ÿ˜ All this time stuck in the house might help me figure out where “old me” went. ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

More Nostalgia

I live in the past more than I probably should, but the past day or two have been nice… old memories being brought back to life as I texted back and forth with Dad last night. ๐Ÿ™‚ I can’t even remember how we got on the subject, but around my junior high years we moved to a house in the country – significantly different in almost every way from our former place, and of course with me going to a new school. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Oh, I remember… we were talking about all of our various kitties over the years. And while living out on the hill, the strays apparently came with the house. ๐Ÿ˜ But because they weren’t really pet pets, and I don’t say that to belittle their worth in any way, but between that and me being rather young – I had forgotten a lot about them. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ But once Dad mentioned their names, all these memories instantly popped back into my head. Weird how the brain can have stuff stored away that well, where you can’t even access it by just trying – but an outside influence can provide the key. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ™‚

But yeah, memories of the outside kitties, memories of the bus driver forgetting that a new kid now lived in that house – and therefore blowing past me as I stood in the dark, in the snow… ๐Ÿ˜„ I remember more about the bus rides and the time spent with my couple of good friends at that new school than I do about the time actually in school. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Moving was a pretty big deal, so it was nice to go back to the town where I originally started school eventually. But another pretty kewl memory… getting a portable little B/W TV one Christmas, that I could take in my bedroom to watch broadcast TV at night as I went to sleep. (Man… I’m old… lol) I’m not sure if I was supposed to be watching TV, but yeah…

Then I wake up today, start clicking around through YouTube on the TV, and they suggested a video from 8-Bit Guy about the new “The C64” full sized Commodore 64 replica / emulator with functional keyboard. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ My first computer was a VIC-20 that Dad and I got at Hamvention. I can’t remember how much it was, but I feel like it was pretty reasonable… a big box full of VIC shit along with the computer. ๐Ÿค“ No disk drive yet, but then later on I upgraded along the Commodore path to the C64 with a 1541-II drive – as did my cousin – which lead to lots of “freeware” copying with him and friends. ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿ˜„

But of course since that was such a big part of my childhood, seeing this thing instantly made me want it. ๐Ÿคค

Believe it or not, I had actually already ordered one from these folks years ago. They had a crowdfunding thing going on, but then they decided to produce The C64 Mini first due to the then-fad of “mini” game consoles being released. It was probably the right move, at least to fill their bank accounts, but it delayed the full sized version – so I requested and got a refund. ๐Ÿ˜• Since then I’ve gotten the Mini though, and now, years after it was due to come out, it looks like I’ll eventually be getting a full-sized version as well. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I can use the excuse that the audio and video lag on the full sized version is less than the Mini, so not only will it be nice to have the keyboard – but technically there is a performance improvement since they’ve optimized the emulator code. (Not to mention double the USB ports, which is a bigger deal than you’d think.)

Not sure why they didn’t go the FPGA route, but it looks good enough for me.

Piddling

I took a break from researching the countless different Medicare supplemental insurance plans to sit down with the keyboard… something I haven’t done in quite a while. I just really like the song Severely by FT Island, so I listened to it a couple more times and started picking out the chords by ear as best as I could – and this is what I’ve ended up with so far.ย ๐Ÿ™‚ Yeah, a little bit of cheating by using the auto accompaniment, but I do still have to key in the proper chords to make it sound right.

Be Flat

I tried to get moving today but it just didn’t happen. When I woke up and started working on information for appointments and doctor stuff or whatever… I realized that this Wednesday, when I intended to go to the walk-in clinic, I’ve actually already got my monthly appointment with my neck doctor. ๐Ÿ˜’ And it can’t be missed.

So after my regular visit, I’ll then have to make my way across town, an hour later than everyone else has already gotten there to the walk-in clinic… so I’m probably gonna be sitting there for hours, if I’m able to be seen at all. ๐Ÿ˜‘ I think if that all fails, I’ll probably have to go to urgent care and (first) ask nicely for the tests I need, and if that doesn’t work (second) I’ll make it very clear that someone needs to order the tests that I need.

So rather than lie around like a blob today, I dragged the big-ass keyboard out of the extra bedroom and tried to teach myself a couple of new songs. Both of them feature chords, one of them with four-finger chords… heh… I don’t know what the actual term is. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Nor do I know what a “B flat chord” is by just reading it. It’s all effing trial and error… but at least I eventually manage to bang out something that sounds close to what I’m trying to emulate.

Interestingly, I notice that I rarely use my middle fingers to hit any keys… which I’m sure isn’t how it is supposed to be done. ๐Ÿ˜ณ And my left hand is just stupid in general, and almost always refuses to do what I want it to – so I end up sticking with “banged out” chords without anything much fancier.

And because each of these songs push my brain and fingers a little further than they’re actually able to go, I can guarantee that I won’t remember how to play either of these songs in a few days. And one of them is just a teeny part of a song. But I like when I can do something that makes it almost sound like I know what I’m doing, and those are two examples. ๐Ÿ™‚

That Doesn’t Go There

Rather than sitting around the house grumbling, I decided to focus my frustration on making some changes here. Oh, and yesterday I also got a text that my prescriptionย  is ready to be picked up. ๐Ÿ˜‘๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ I swear they just wait to see if I’ll keep forcing this process to continue before just authorizing it. ๐Ÿ™„ But anyway, realizing that the reason I rarely use the desktop computer is mostly because it’s in the back bedroom, and that bedroom is friggin’ cold… and purple… I decided to move my desk (and the computer) out into the living room. ๐Ÿค”

It doesn’t actually look right in the living room, at least not yet, but I made the decision based on my “I rarely have company, so I could even move my bed into the living room if I wanted to” theory. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ But I enjoyed the process of setting it up and using zip-ties on all of the cords and cables to make it as neat as possible. The printer is wireless, so it can stay back in the purple room for now, and since the PC has bluetooth I can broadcast audio to the good stereo here in the living room as well. (Which might encourage me to create a new tracker tune at some point… as unlikely as that may be.)

If I could figure out where to move my bookshelf I could also bring the keyboard out of the yellow bedroom and get it hooked up to the computer as well. I’ve got a USB MIDI adapter that I’ve never put to use, so that idea has been clanking around my head too. But really I want the purple room to just be storage for stuff I’m going to sell or donate, the yellow room as a real extra bedroom, so I’m just starting to move and condense stuff as needed. It may be nothing, but it makes me feel productive.