Friday, June 04, 2004

harness your horse and catch the wind

That's not *actually* the title of what I'm listening to, but it is the real title of a Tuvan throat singing song that I have somewhere...just not the actual bit I'm listening to. There's a really good film called Genghis Blues about this amazing singing style and the effect it had on a blind blues man called Paul Pena, who taught himself to sing it after hearing it on shortwave radio from Moscow, and eventually got invited to Tuva to compete in their singing competition...terrific stuff and a potent reminder of how lucky we are to be able to hear each other across the world.

I'm a pretty quiet and shy kind of person, but I have a recurring desire to want to be really good at doing something in the arena of musical performance, so I tried to learn Tuvan throat singing. Long car trips (luckily I was alone) turned into "EEeeeeeeeAaahahahhaaaaaaooooooooouuuuuuuu" as I tried to coax a harmonic out of my voice. I think I might have made a start on the "karygra" style, but mainly the only result was a sore throat and an appreciation of the level of control it takes to do this.

Actually I started this entry wanting to point readers to my friend Daniel Bowen's latest missive, a summary of how volunteers can force a pig-headed government to fix something that's broken, even when they claim it isn't? How? With video cameras and some organizing.

It was another nice day at the office today. Fixed a bug with how one of my programs interacts with our database, and I watched a corporate helicopter land and take off at the building opposite ours (see pic from a few days ago). FPL, our local electron wranglers, fly execs and secure documents regarding the two nuclear power plants in our area between that office and the Miami office. One of my colleagues used to work for them and he said that legally they had to do this for any written material regarding operations at the two nuclear plants. Wonder if they had a list of doughnut deliveries to Sector 7G?

Lastly my brother's computer got it's domain name back, so I can start my pursuit of beta testers for Mercury Mailroom. I also got a 120GB drive into the new computer and hooked up my VCR to the video capture card and, for the first time ever, the whole thing worked smoothly! I can start turning my old VHS tapes into DVDs, though there seems to be no easy ways to do chapter points without VERY slow video editing software.

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