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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Sleep and Dreams of the 121st

Sleeping now, and walking,
somnambulant toward remembered things,
things I’ve not yet seen;
dreaming now in the memory of color
behind the veil of tired eyes.
Look up to mountain peaks
beyond this pilgrim’s path;
where is my help to come from?

The sleepless one who dreamt
all reality into star-dusted glory,
dreamt of heaven and this gritty earth
so we could travel treacherous roads
to that hidden place just beyond;
the sleepless one is guardian
and defender against striking noon day sun,
against the chill of lonely moonlight.

He never slumbers, he never sleeps,
but he dreams just the same.
(2010)




Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cemetery Rain

It's just not a funeral if it's not raining.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Playing the Devil's Game

















You can download it here.

You can probably hear it in the song. I used a lot of samples for this one. What I like about this one is how the different sounds resonate with each other. For example - the fog horn sample sounds like a cello and the servo motor sounds like the call to prayer sounds like the miltary alarm.


Small Water Bubbles
Military Alarm
Strange Vocal Cutups
Civil Defense Siren
Sub Oceano B
My Mom is Huge
Foghorn
Static with some singing
High Singing Static Flips
Servo Truck – Open
Lg Brooklyn Army Terminal
Call to Prayer
Mystery Cat Vodcode
Persia
Switch
Violin FX
Delay Galore
Rampage
Freedom ru
Duduk
CB-Radio Report
Rattler
Clanking Warehouse
Electronic Non Grata

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Photos from North Dakota

These are a couple of photos I took as we (my wife and I) drove to Minot, North Dakota earlier this week.

I played with them in photoshop.













Thursday, October 21, 2010

Open Bowling




He bowled a 123.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

NaNoWriMo


Where did the year go? It's almost November already and I'm not sure I'm ready.  Last year - almost on a whim - I decided to try writing a novel with the NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month.  The goal is to write a 175 page (50,000 words) novel by midnight November 30th.

My novel (admittedly, not a great one...not even a good one) was just slightly more than the 50,000 word goal and I felt good about it.  Even if it was terrible. It had some serious plot holes.  And the dialogue was bad. I could probably have fixed the later but not the former - not without having to restructure most of the novel.

But I appreciated my novel - flawed as it was - because I did it.  I wrote it, every line.  I proved to myself I could do it.  And now, having done it, I can do it again, and do it better. 

I hope.
Last year, it was almost a whim.  I decided October 31st that I wanted to participate.  I had only a vague idea for a story and only a couple of characters.  But this year I've been brewing an idea for several months.  In the back of my mind a story was developing - almost without my knowing it.   I sat down a couple of days ago to make a couple of notes for myself. I began with a simple one sentence description of the story.  Then I enlarged that to a paragraph.  When I stopped - because my hand was cramping around the pen - I realized that I had plotted out the entire story and developed a timeline and background information for some of the characters.  I realized I have a story - with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

So here's the plan.

•Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.


•Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people's works).

•Write a novel. We define a novel as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you're writing a novel, we consider it a novel too!

•Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.

•Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lunar Landing

There is no sound in space, but if there were...



You can download it here.


With thanks to J.S. Bach, N.A.S.A. and
The Freesound Project :
violet sea
floral_chant
Police Siren2
highway patrol
CinematicBoomNorm
The Thing
Olezicabi
Bellece
Wolf Howl

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Tell me I'm an Idiot



And you know what?
I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Put on Your Party Clothes

This was the message in a fortune cookie I recieved a few years ago.  It still makes me laugh.

The clean ones.

Autumn Trees, Grey Sky, and Psalm 98

This is a new song
part of that great song
heard before the universe began.
This is a love song
for the Holy One
the one who creates, redeems, and saves.

He performs wonders
and so we wonder
at the power of his mighty arm.
He makes all things new
and we are renewed
by the salvation in his right hand.

So let us sing,
and let us praise;
let the whole world
see and acclaim
that Yahweh is God.

Play this song with harps,
with all instruments,
let their fanfares announce our great king.
Let the oceans roar
and all that they hold,
let rivers and mountains clap their hands.


-a paraphrase of Psalm 98 for singing - though I haven't yet put a melody to it.


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

3 Excerpts

I'm a reader. You may have already reached that conclusion. I'm always reading something.  When I go out of town I pack books.  I read books, newspapers, magazines and the sides of cereal boxes.  I don't like having to drive long distances because I can't read and hold the steering wheel (not safely, anyway). 

And usually I'm reading more than one book at a time.  Currently I am in the middle of three very different books, two fiction and one non-fiction.  Here is a brief excerpt from each:

Moby Dick or The White Whale by Herman Melville

"Haul in the chains! Let the carcase go astern!"  The vast tackles have now done their duty.  The peeled white body of the beheaded whale flashes like a marble sepulchre; though changed in hue, it has not perceptibly lost anything in bulk.  It is still colossal.  Slowly it floats more and more away, the water round it torn and splashed by the insatiable sharks, and the air above vexed with rapacious flights of screaming fowls, whose beaks are like so many insulting poniards in the whale.  The vast white headless phantom floats further and further from the ship, and every rod that it so floats, what seem square roods of sharks and cubic roods of fowls, augment the murderous din.  For hours and hours from the almost stationary ship that hideous sight is seen.  Beneath the unclouded and mild azure sky, upon the fair face of the pleasant sea, wafted by the joyous breezes, the great mass of death floats on and on, till lost in infinite perspectives.
Did you realize that Melville's great American novel is actually based on two "ripped from the headline" events? Melville used the the sinking of the Nantucket ship Essex, in 1820 after it was rammed by a large sperm whale 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America, and the alleged killing in the late 1830s of the albino sperm whale Mocha Dick, in the waters off the coast of Chile. Mocha Dick had been impaled by dozens of harpoons from attacks by other whalers, and appeared to attack ships with a premeditated ferocity.  

This is a wonderful book.



A Royal "Waste" of Time: the Splendor of Worshiping God and Being Church for the World by Marva J. Dawn

Please do not think ... that I am advocating a wooden traditionalism.  Jaroslav Pelikan's distinction is forever apt that traditionalism is the dead faith of the living, whereas tradition is the living faith of the dead.  In the worship controversies between the "traditionalists" and the "contemporaryists," I am opposed to both polarities.  I want the best from both sides, since the Church's treasure house is filled with both new and old.  Since our congregations are linked to all God's people throughout space and time, we need continuity with our heritage and constant reformation using faithful new forms and words and musical styles.
Marva Dawn is one of my favorite authors.  I mentioned her and this book in a post a couple of days ago.  Her book Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down (to which Waste of Time is a sequel) was the first of her books that I read. It was one of the text books for a class.  Several of my friends who were also in that class and read the book complained about it. It was too "heady" too "intellectual".  Dawn wants the Church to think carefully about its worship of God and for the Church to avoid a sloppy, sentimental, feel good kind of worship - which isn't worship - or not worship of God, but of ourselves.  So she encourages the use of critical thinking applied to worship.  And I completely agree.  Let's have no more trivial worship.



Diary by Chuch Palahniuk

Misty says, "Mother Wilmot, we need to talk"
And Grace turns back a couple of pages and says, "Oh dear.  My mistake.  You won't have that terrible headache until the day after tomorrow."
And Misty leans into her face and says, "How dare you set my child up to have her heart broken?"
Grace looks up from her book, her face loose and hanging with surprise.  Her chin is tucked down so hard her neck is squashed into folds from ear to ear.  Her superficial musculaponeruatic system.  Her submental fat.  The wrinkled platysmal bands around her neck.
Misty says, "Where do you get off telling Tabbi that I'm going to be a famous artist?"  She looks around, and they're still alone, and Misty says, "I'm a waitress, and I'm keeping a roof over our heads, and that's good enough.  I don't want you filling my kid with expectations that I can't fulfill."  The last of her breath tight in her chest, Misty says, "Do you see how this will make me look?"
And a smooth, wide smile flows across Grace's mouth, and she says, "But Misty, the truth is you will be famous."
Grace's smile, it's a curtain parting.  An opening night.  It's Grace unveiling herself.
And Misty says, "I won't."  She says, "I can't"  She's just a regular person who's going to live and die ignored, obscure. Ordinary.  That's not such a tragedy.
Written as a "coma diary" - a record of the events endured by Misty during the time her husband, Peter, slept in a coma after a failed suicide attempt - the diary describes the life of Misty who was once a promising young artist but is now middle aged single parent trapped on the once-quaint-now-overrun-with-tourists Waytansea Island, working as a hotel maid.  But this is a horror story and there's something darker going on that Misty can't see.  She's being prepared for something she may not want.

Palahniuk isn't a writer for everyone.  His subject matter is always at the edge of taboo (oftentimes, over the edge).  He writes from the dark borderlands of human experience, but even there in those desperate and lonely and dangerous places there is a longing for something transcendent, something real, something capital T True. 

Like his novels, Fight Club and Choke, Diary  has been developed as a screenplay and, at some point, may become a movie.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Captain K and the Robot Masters

I made this song for fun, and maybe for my friend, John, who is a Trekkie or Trekker (whatever the prefered geek nomenclature is), but mostly for fun.





If you had fun with the song, you can download it here.


To make it, I used a few sounds from the Freesound Project.  (Have I mentioned that truly great resource?)

cracklebox- high bloop
cracklebox- odd Doppler
cracklebox- sweep down
cracklebox- scream then sweep down
cracklebox- clicking

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn Trees and Wasting Time

I spent part of this afternoon reading in one of Fairmont's public parks. It's been a nice day - brilliant sky, warm sun, riotous autumn colors and a great book.

I'm reading A Royal "Waste" of Time: The Splendor of Worshipping God and Being Church for the World  by Marva J. Dawn (William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999)

I'm usually a quick reader -not a speed reader, reading a page every 30 seconds, but I do read quickly.  Except when I read Marva Dawn.  I slow down and ponder as I read.  I come away from her books with a hundred new thoughts and having added another 20 books to my "to read" list. 

Here's a brief quote from the introduction:
"A Royal Waste of Time" intends to counteract the current push for worship to be the means by which people are attracted to God.  Of course, people will be attracted when we worship well, but if we make such appeal the focus of worship, then God will no longer be. Worship is idolatry unless it is a total waste of time in earthly terms, a total immersion in the eternity of God's infinite splendor for the sole purpose of honoring God.  It is my prayer that the One whose splendor fills our corporate praise will draw us through the pages of this book to worship him extravagantly and, as a result, to be his people more faithfully and to serve our neighbors more lavishly.

Sound Over Water








If you like it, you can download it here. Maybe you'd like to leave a comment.
I made this with sounds from the Freesound Project. (It's one of my favorite resources).
Xylophone 1
Xylophone 2
Xylophone 3
Xylophone 4
You might not recognize the xylophone sounds in my piece. I subjected them to quite a bit of manipulation before I was finished with them.
Clanking Warehouse

Tone Drone

Friday, October 8, 2010

Watch Your Step - A Digital Collage


Watch Your Step


This is a digital combination of eight photos I've taken in the past couple of months. 

There are some from the state fair, some clouds, some water, some purposefully blurred pictures of the lights on our DVD player and a photo I took of the TV screen.  Can you guess what movie I was watching?

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I Don’t Believe Him

He’s a pavlovian preacher
by rote and repetition,
a phrase and a posture
trigger a conditioned response.

He pauses to regain his composure,
to choke back a tear
but I don’t believe him.

His alliterated three point presentation
is just the maze this rat has been trained to run.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

At Sea


At Sea


Music for times when I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul...


You can download the song here.

Some sounds from the freesound project.
Piano Chords
Gurgling
Tibetan Prayer Bell
Emin 9th

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Not Ready


I'm Not Ready For This
 No Surprises


A heart that's full up like a landfill,
a job that slowly kills you,
bruises that won't heal.
You look so tired-unhappy,
bring down the government,
they don't, they don't speak for us.
I'll take a quiet life,
a handshake of carbon monoxide,

with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
Silent silence.

This is my final fit,
my final bellyache,
with no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

Such a pretty house
and such a pretty garden.
No alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises,
no alarms and no surprises please.

("No Surprises" by Radiohead)

All This Blue

Monday, October 4, 2010

Return the Call to Home






(Lyric from the song "Cedars of Lebanon" by U2. Click the picture to see it enlarged.)

Concrete Sky


Concrete Sky



The sky is falling,
and when it does,
it's going to hurt.





(click the picture to see it enlarged)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

They Shuddered






They shuddered, as if expecting again to hear his piercing cries...

Friday, October 1, 2010

It All Leeches Into the Soil Eventually

The worst part of flood may not be the water. The worst part of the flood may come days or even weeks later - long after the waters have dissipated.

In every basement and garage and kitchen, in every factory, warehouse and industrial park, are dangerous and toxic chemicals.  We all have them. 

Lead, Arsenic, Mercury, Chromium, Zinc, Petroleum, Gasoline, Kerosene, Pesticides, Herbicides, Solvents, Detergents, Freon, Paints, Aerosols, Fluorine, and many others.

And Sewage. 

In Fairbault, Minnesota (home of Herbert Sellner, inventor of the Tilt-A-Whirl carnival ride) the water treatment plant was inundated with flood waters.  The city was forced to pump sewage into a nearby lake.  Flood water fill the sewer pipes and the waste backs up into peoples homes and into the streets. 

You can smell it for days afterward. 

And all these chemicals, toxins, and sewage waste  - they all leech into the soil eventually, into the farmland soils where the food we eat is grown.





The first photo was taken in Owatonna, Minnesota, the second near New Richland, Minnesota.

This Silence

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