Geo-Location By Mayonnaise

Many years ago, as a youngster living in Oregon, I found the following inscription on a jar of Best Foods mayonnaise:

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This seemed faintly odd to me at the time. Why would one brand of mayo have two different names, and why would one name be chosen based upon what part of the country it’s being sold in? And besides, who cares? It’s just mayo, right? “Gee, honey, I love living in California, but I really wish we could still buy the Hellmann’s mayonnaise I grew up with in Rhode Island. All I can find is this Best Foods stuff.” Now that I’m a bit older and run two businesses, I’m somewhat more appreciative of the importance of brand recognition. As a kid it just seemed silly that they’d go to the length of mentioning this on their labels. read more

A Tale of Two Servers

A few friends and relatives have expressed interest in learning why this site disappeared altogether earlier this month, then reappeared only to be replaced by a placeholder page for several days. Here’s the story as it unfolded.

On January 2, Saturday morning, we discovered early in the day that we couldn’t retrieve our email, nor was my web site online. This wasn’t an unprecedented situation–anybody who spends any amount of time online knows that there are the occasional outages–so I didn’t think much of it at first. After an hour or so I became disconcerted. I managed to find a status message at my domain host’s site that said the server which hosted my site had experienced a RAID failure, that restoration was in progress, it might take until 11:00AM on Monday for everything to be fully restored, but that I should check my site occasionally because they expected to have most accounts restored within a few hours. read more

Yes, It’s Back

Mostly, anyway. now lives on a new, faster, better, stronger server. There are still some pieces missing, such as the entire older photo gallery, but I should now be able to resume blogging at my usual unpredictable pace.

Sorry for the interruption. I’ll provide a longer description of the transition and the reasons behind it shortly.

Morning Light on the Modular

It’s been awhile since I posted a self-indulgent gear-porn photo, so let’s remedy that:

Morning Light on the Modular

Actually it’s somewhat pertinent in that I spent part of the weekend happily making insect-like drones with the thing, and this morning have been happily making little filtered-noise whisps and patters. I think I could spend all day doing this, but alas, other duties call.

Disturbing Mental Image du Jour

The date on this article is Dec 1 but it was only recently brought to my (actually Tracie’s) attention. It’s about liquefying corpses as a “green” alternative to cremation. To quote the juicy part, so to speak:

In alkaline hydrolysis the body is submerged in water in a stainless steel chamber. Heat, pressure and potassium hydroxide, chemicals used to make soap and bleach, are added to dissolve the tissue.

Two hours later all that’s left is some bone residue and a syrupy brown liquid that is flushed down the drain. The bones can be crushed and returned to the family as with cremation. read more

Announcing Tattoo

It is with a great deal of pleasure that I announce that Audio Damage’s first software instrument is now on sale. It’s called Tattoo; it’s a drum synthesizer and integrated sequencer. All sounds are synthesized in real time–no samples are employed. Every parameter of every percussion voice has its own step sequencer. The sequencers have extensive randomization features so you can go completely overboard with unpredictable rhythmic and timbral variations. The percussion synths themselves are directly inspired by the famous Roland drum machines of yesteryear but provide a wider range of sonic territory. All this and more for $79, available now at the Audio Damage website. You’ll find several demo audio files there also, and you can watch video demonstrations of Tattoo on the Audio Damage YouTube channel. read more

Back from the Dead

As you may have noticed, this site went offline since early on January 2. If you sent email to either me or Tracie between then and yesterday, it bounced. The short version of the story is that the service that hosts had a massive hardware failure and it wasn’t until a few minutes ago that my website was fully restored. Email started working on Wednesday, but if you sent something to a address between Friday evening and Wednesday evening, it was probably lost. Please re-send anything which was bounced back to you; I have no other way of knowing what was lost. I also have fallen behind on email that arrived shortly before the outage, for which I apologize, particularly to two of my cousins. read more

Happy New Year (Long Update Post)

It crossed my mind this morning that I never referred to years of the previous decade as e.g. “twenty oh-eight.” I always said (or thought) “two thousand eight”. This struck me as faintly odd since in the previous century I never said something like “nineteen hundred eighty-four”. Hence I think my resolution for the new year is to see whether I can train myself to say “twenty ten” when naming the year.

Actually my resolution for the new year is 96dpi, as it was for previous years. read more