July 1st, 2004

mandolin

Wednesday Recap: WUP, Mandolin, Guitar, and BZFlag

I had a busy day yesterday. At work, I'm currently working hard on my current project. Same old story: tight deadline with lots to accomplish and all that. So having to take four hours out of my day for mandatory WUP (don't ask) training was absolutely the last thing that I needed. That's four hours of my life that I won't ever get back. Anyway, after the training, I pretty much finished most of the major functionality for the project. There's still a lot of polishing to do, much of which I hope to accomplish today since we're doing our initial build tomorrow.

I didn't have a whole lot of time after the training to get some real work done, because of my Wednesday afternoon mandolin lesson. This past week wasn't the best for my practicing, but it wasn't too bad and I did OK with Turkey In The Straw. The toughest part for me always seems to be starting a break after chopping the chords. In jam sessions, I'll often quit chopping a few measures before starting a break, but to do it properly, I really should chop chords right up to the break. More practice, I'm sure, will help me in that respect. After going over Turkey In The Straw, Jeff asked me what else I'd been working on and I told him that I could do Soldier's Joy by memory now, so we went over that. I stumbled a little bit at the beginning, but I found my groove and it felt pretty good. After that, Jeff showed me a fancier way to play it, which is great, 'cause the version I've been doing was the one I learned at my third lesson, so it's pretty simple. Having a handful of variations in my bag will be helpful -- not just with Soldier's Joy, but with other songs as well. The half-hour lesson was over before we knew it.

I came home and Mrs. Mellow was preparing yummy enchiladas, using up the rest of the leftover filling she had from last week, when tldz visited. While they were baking, we went over the exercises she's been doing in her guitar book. She's coming along really well -- she's pretty comfortable with the notes in first position on the first four strings, and a few chords. Then we ate some enchiladas.

After supper, I came down to play some BZFlag, where I got my rear handed to me by drjekyll and dogcatpig. It was lots of fun, though -- I hadn't played in a long, long time. After playing for a bit, I picked up sidelobe's copy of Speaker For The Dead and read another half-chapter before going to bed.

This morning, I got up early so I could listen to Greensboro's only alternative for real country music: the DJ beeler show on wqfs (90.9 FM), which runs from 0600 to 0800 every Thursday morning. I've been using these two hours to do some computer organization: my "Inbox" now sits at 11 messages instead of 52 and I'm taking the time to write this LJ entry. So far on the DJ beeler show, I've heard some Johnny Cash, Marty Robins, Bob Dylan, Southern Culture On The Skids, George Jones, Two Dollar Pistols, Hank Williams Sr. (my request), The Sidewinders, Loretta Lynn, Dale Watson, Merle Haggard, and lots and lots of other great stuff. This is a great, great radio show. Maybe next summer I'll see about becoming a volunteer DJ at wqfs, too. Except that if I did, the show I would hope to do would be very similar to DJ beeler's show, so I don't know if they'd want another show that's so similar on the station. I guess if I had a show, it would have more "classic" country and bluegrass, and less alt.country, but that's really only because I'm not as familiar with some of the alt.country stuff out there. Anyway, it's worth getting up an extra couple of hours early in order to catch DJ beeler's show. He spins some great tunes.

Anyway, it's getting close to the end of the radio show and, like I mentioned, I've got a lot of code polishing to do at work today, so I guess it's time to get ready.

Now playing: Rusty Cage - Johnny Cash (wqfs Radio)
headshot

Drinking Songs

I love drinking songs. I hope you do, too. I love drinking songs so much that I'm on a quest to determine the best drinking song out there. I know a lot of drinking songs, but I'm not so arrogant to think that I know them all, or even know the best one. So use the comments here to suggest drinking songs (title and artist, please). I'll collect all the suggestions and make a poll. Then everyone can vote for the best drinking song.

Then we can try to get a presidential candidate to use our choice in their campaign. With Bush and Kerry essentially being the same person, I'm almost willing to give my vote to whichever candidate will use a drinking song in their campaign.

Now playing: I Think I'll Just Sit Here And Drink - Merle Haggard (wqfs Radio)
headshot

Happy Canada Day

File in the "something else I don't like about Canada" department: Sir Sandford Flemming, a Canadian, invented time zones. (Thanks, sidelobe for alerting me to this fact.)

When I'm supreme benevolant dictator of the world, one of the first things I will do is abolish time zones and Daylight Savings Time.