Sunday, March 30, 2008

Nailed Again

Well when I went to bed, I thought I would wake up and sew up the rules and protocol documents for final approval and publishing. But, to my surprise my day began with another screaming headache. Now 5 hours after medication and 122ºF shower, things are down to a dull roar and I am not in the mood to make myself do anything, let alone edit documents that have words and sentences which convey true meaning to a group of 118 people. So this will get kicked to Monday and we'll see if there is anybody in the end zone to catch the ball.


Friday, March 28, 2008

What Am I Doing?

For starters that is a Twitter question. And, if you don't know what Twitter is, you need to find out and get involved using it. Personally, I think you'll enjoy Twitter because it is an easy, fast way to keep in touch and up to date with your friends and what they're doing. You can do this on a desktop, laptop, PDA and other mobile devices including hand held gaming consoles such as NDS (NintendoDS) you heard right. You can do Internet and Twitter on a hand held Nintendo!

This past week has been a complete failure for the local HillbillyNET cable company. No cable and no Internet for hours at a time. Thursday I literally spent 6 hours watching DVD instructional videos on my MOTIF XS because I had no cable. So this is good use of time when common resources are no longer available. Had I lost power, as in 110v AC, I would simply fire up the RV generator and continue home schooling my brain.

Taking breaks, I am creating two PC Help Videos. One is done and the other has to be completely rerecorded due to bugs in the latest version of Camtasia running on XP. I backed up TWO versions and will complete the second video. Also, it takes more time because I must configure the PC to be in a specific state of affairs. In this case, the PC must be infected with spyware. So between uninstalling the program, gutting out the registry entries so when showing how to install the program will actually look like it does when THEY install the software... all of this takes excessive time.

So you people out there that claim you can make a quality Camtasia help video in 10 minutes, let me clearly say it now, "You're full of shit". Okay, I feel better now. Also, adding zooms, pans and other effects during post production enable users to actually see what you're doing on the screen. Many Camtasia content creators simply just record the screen at some small dimensional size, and if you can't read whatever is on the screen, "You're screwed". I do not subscribe to that nonsense and believe that a help video should do just that, help you.

Next in the line up are some document projects that were 90% finished and needed that final touch so I plan to deliver those for approval over this weekend.

Next on deck is a unannounced project that involves one of my best friends' cartoon work. He returned to college for his degree in cartooning, 3D animation and all that, so for now his website is down. So I begged him for 16 of his cartoon strips and I plan to create a simple site where you can flip through the comics. I have enjoyed having CoyoteVille™ on my site since its inception and I don't mind tooting my own horn that although Steven Graziano invented CoyoteVille™ it was me, Harry James, 15 year veteran typographer who suggested that he change the logo to initial-capping the C and the V, so the idea took and stuck. I like that... took and stuck.

Okay next. While I am waiting for the weather to decide if it is going to rain or be kinda-sorta rainy, I am ceasing the construction of NASAV Studios™. Perhaps Paramount Studios works in the rain NASAV doesn't. So until the weather clearly clears up, and for good, I will not begin final construction because it demands DRY weather for at least 3 weeks. Besides the installation of the studio itself, there is construction, sawing, drilling, caulking and painting to be done. All requires dry weather, "For Harry to enjoy doing it". So this project is delayed.

However, in lieu of the delayed studio setup, I am daily working on the MOTIF XS learning and doing my best to fathom its enormous features and capabilities. As I learn these modes and details, I am noting and marking favorites which I will use to construct arrangements and songs later down the road. Meanwhile, EVERYTHING audibly sounds gorgeous. It brings tears to my eyes to listen to my own creations. Especially the orchestral arrangements. They remind me of songsl like Randy Edelman's, "Kathleen Mavourneen" which is an absolutely brilliant, intensely emotional composition which became just one of his stellar soundtracks for the finest Civil War movie produced, "Gettysburg" which is a Ted Turner production. The next time you find yourself with nothing to do for 4 hours, you owe it to yourself to watch, "Gettysburg" and hopefully you have a surround system or at least a stereo system connected to your VCR/DVD or TV. Prepare to be blown away by the movie and the musical soundtrack. I was lucky to see this film 70mm full screen in one of the best surround theaters in the United States, bar none. The music, the cannons, watching men load their rifles a mere 15 feet from each other to see who gets their shot off first, wow! Those men had pride and determination not found in today's modern men. And, they respected their duty to their country. And, they were passionate about their beliefs and were willing to die to achieve them. But with all wars, "...Different dreams" amongst men (and women) is the culprit to all wars. Well, besides the international bankers... Ahem...

Well the point is, I am really enjoying learning and composing music on my XS while I wait for the actual studio to get constructed, installed and wired up so I can get busy recording music. With a little luck I might get half my album recorded in 2008 and sew the rest up in 2009. Then of course, MASTERING my own album will be a new venture. But, I have confidence in myself because during this entire process, I am teaching myself to be a recording engineer which is a VITAL part to mastering an audio CD.

My life with Kathy is wonderful. We love living in our RV motorhome and we truly enjoy living here at this beautiful resort on the lake here in Soda Bay. Although closer to civilization, this is nicer than hundreds of miles further out up north near Mt. Lassen where volcanic ash replaces the nice forest and abundant wild life here. We enjoy the water fowl here. Mallard ducks and Coots, or commonly called Mud hens. The Ravens are back as are the squirrels, crows and deer. It's neat to watch, listen and learn how they go away during winter and come back pre-spring. And they add another level of wonder to our lives and we are thankful for that. We go for walks, spend time [not enough] hand-holding and just hanging outdoors. Kathy has some natal family reasonably close, and they have become MY family. But, Kathy and I mostly do each other here in the NASAV. He keeps saying, "NASAV" what is that? Well, had you read all my blogs you would know. So I shall repeat for those of you who have skipped ahead or just happen to plunk into this blog. NASAV is the acronymn for North American Surrealistic Adventure Vehicle. I apologize the NASAV website is not ready yet, but it is coming. So you will see photos and videos of the before and after of the RV. It's our home and we love it.
Kathy and I have our own set of hobbies that we're content dabbling with, and yet we spend a great deal of time together doing things we enjoy together. Enjoying walks, wild life, watching movies on our TOSlink digital THX home theater and other times just relaxing back in the bedroom on our luxury bed while enjoying movies, TV or video games on the 19" inch LCD/DVD combo back there. In the bedroom we have (SNES) SuperNintendo and IntelliVision. Up front on the 30" inch we run both Xbox1 and Xbox2 (360) but I call them box1 and box2. I also have a PC jacked into the 30" inch which was to be used for Studio Manager software and displaying lyrics to read while recording in NASAV Studios™ but this idea has already been replaced with using a 19" LCD and XP SP1 PC which actually works better. Between the PC, MAC, and gaming consoles we have over 600 games with not 1 over 3 years old. They are all databased and bindered for quick and easy retrieval (finding and storing them) so that's a boatload of fun. Most recently, Kathy and I have both taken a liking to the NDS (NintendoDS) and we each have our own. I bought Kathy her Nintendo DS Gold Edition during Christmas 2007. Just 2 weeks ago I ordered my Crimson and Black NDS and have added a slot1 and slot2 ROM technologies and 4gb of microSDHC RAM to get things started, including homebrew, free SIP VoIP telephone calls, surfing the net, email, twitter and ebuddy. Check out my other Blogs about this stuff. It's totally fun and it's totally cool. These are not niche products but rather hand held gaming machines that can perform MORE than most cell phones, PDA's or even an iPhone which will cost you at least $60 dollars a month to use and more than likely if you have an iPhone you're paying $99 to $120 a month. So mind your P's and Q's when shopping iPhone contracts. Don't get me wrong. The Apple iPhone is phenomenal. It's just that I am waiting for A) 2nd generation product so by that time, the iPhone will actually do what I want it to, and B) the contract costs need to be HALF what they are for new subscribers.

Also, let's not forgot I still play Shanghai on the Atari Lynx which, "Is the first hand held color gaming system in the world". When I ordered mine on TV from HSN.COM I bought a Atari-logo'd case, so my Lynx is "like new" and still lots of fun to play. The graphics are great, the controls are easy to use and the games are fun. There are even a couple new games now that I want to order for the Lynx. The Atari Lynx was released in 1989! I bet some of you reading my Blog weren't even born yet! LOL

Anyhow, thanks to Activision, a game called, "Shanghai" happened, first coming to the PC in all_green_monochrome 320x200 graphics. Later, they released a 2nd version supporting MCGA 320x200x256 color and 640x200 black and white. Although Shanghai is not the actual Mahjongg game, its 144 stacked tile matching madness became America's FIRST tile-strategy game on the PC. To this day there are hundreds of variations of this game. Many can be found at and you can even buy and download a very nice Shanghai/Mahjongg from Apple iTunes to play on your iPod 5th generation or greater and the graphics looks gorgeous! And, thanks to the NDS supporting GBA on slot2, I can play the Shanghai game that I already have on my NDS.

On another note, right about the time Activision was creating blockbuster game cartridges for the Atari 2600 there was internal brewing going on within the company. This eventually led to one of the programmers, Al Miller, leaving Activision and founding Accolade which became famous for the games Hardball and Test Drive on the Commodore 64/128, Apple II and later on the PC. Further down the road Accolade began producing games on the Sega Genesis, Nintendo Gameboy, Super Nintendo and Macintosh where I actually corrected over 150 typographical errors in what they considered to be, "Their final draft of its game manual". Wow, those were the days. And, don't forget Elvira on the Amiga. Although one of Accolades best European games, Hardball and Test Drive truly put Accolade on the map. I was ecstatically employed at Accolade for years when on August 6, 1993 I was hit, head-on by an automobile while driving my motorcycle just 2 blocks from my home. If interested, you can read the rest of that story on my website. and click on MILD TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY.

I believe this would be quite the appropriate time to close my Blabbing-Blog mouth. I do hope to see you here again, same bat-time, same bat-channel.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Answers To Your Questions

Since I'm back to blogging, some of you have asked me questions about previously announced projects that I am currently working on.

Q: What about PC Help Videos, are more coming?
A: Yes, two are in production now.

Q: What do you mean in production now? I thought it took 10 to 20 minutes to make one?
A: Correct. Some help videos do only take a few minutes. Other videos take much longer for they require your PC to be in a certain state of affairs. Meaning, perhaps it's necessary to manually infect the PC first in order to show [in the video] how to remove malware, etc. Then there is post production. Adjusting audio, and adding zooms and pans so you can easily see what I am showing you in the video. Many content creators on the Internet simply record the screen and it's not easy to see what they are showing you because things are just too darn small. I don't subscribe to this formula so my way of producing videos adds up to taking much longer to create them.

Q: Where are the ducks?
A: You'll see them upon the completion of the NASAV website still in design.

Q: You mentioned "Flashing" your websites?
A: Yes, two have been drafted to legal pads and are ready for construction.

Q: When will these sites get constructed?
A: That's a good question. Considering that I am already buried, I'd say Q4 2008.

Q: What about your music?
A: I am very busy home schooling myself. But, some audio snippets are coming soon.

Q: What is HappyHarryNET_TV?
A: HHNET_TV is a new website where you can watch videos of HappyHarryNET projects such as live music recording sessions from NASAV Studios™ and see photo albums too.

Some of the materials that I am currently studying are very interesting and fun to explore. However, for example, shown below is just ONE paragraph where you will find a bevy of verbiage and terms that are all real and they really do what they say they do. And until you learn how they work, you don't get anything accomplished. Agreed, had I recorded and captured every minute of practice on the MOTIF you would be hearing interesting music along with a lot of not-so-interesting audio junk. Most of it has been bits and pieces with a ton of mistakes. Remember... making zillions of mistakes equals unparalleled success at whatever it is you are trying to accomplish. Once I am up to speed with my new toys I can begin creating serious audio productions.


Each Performance can be up to four Voices (each placed in a PART 1-4) and can include an AD INPUT Part, as well. [Harry note: the AD INPUT just mentioned means recording something using the Analog/Digital inputs via the integrated sampler] All PARTS of a Performance can recall their Dual Insertion Effects. And since you have the capability to use up to four simultaneous ARPEGGIOS, each of the synth PARTS can be under the control of a separate ARP phrase. Additionally, five sets of arpeggio phrases can be associated with each Performance – allowing you to have 5 different musical segments. You have the innovative [PERFORMANCE CONTROL] functions that allow you to dynamically control what is happening with each PART and the [SELECTED PART CONTROL] functions that give you the ability to apply 24 knobbed parameters to all four PARTS in common, or you can select a single PART and apply those 24 parameters to just the one PART.

I don't expect anyone to understand the above complex paragraph. But, no other keyboard workstation currently on the market even has peer to peer multi channel Firewire connectivity, never mind the possibility to expand to more flexible connectivity with other products. The MOTIF XS is significantly ahead of any other workstation on the market in it's computer integration. This is, in part, what interested me in buying a MOTIF XS in the first place. Although Korg Karma is really cool stuff, again Yamaha TYROS 3 will be finding a new home when it releases to the public.

What I'm trying to convey is this stuff is complicated and takes time to learn. I don't care who you are or how good you can play music. Simply put, it takes TIME to learn professional audio equipment and become proficient using their features. This extends to other devices such as my 28 channel digital O1X mixer, which now is a joy to use!

To sum this up, this is precisely why I stopped posting music snippets to the Internet. Yes, I know. During the first few days after receiving my MOTIF XS and O1X I got excited and immediately created some junk and stuffed it onto my FTP for you to hear and announced that you can go there to hear new stuff.

But I needed a lot of learning before I truly got started. It's amazing to acknowledge, that by comparison to those December 2007 snippets, my present audio quality has skyrocketed into the 4th dimension. And this is because I have taken MONTHS reading and studying how to use this gorgeous music production synthesizer called the MOTIF XS. If you are interested in learning more, I'd be glad to give you access to the educational portion of my FTP which houses the learning materials specific to the MOTIF XS.

Digressing back to one of the original questions, "Harry when do we get to hear some of your music?" Well, it's gonna be a while still. I am pleased with my progress yet NASAV Studios™ is not complete. Between real life and the speed-bumps that my health tosses in front of me, the months have a way of zipping by. Admittedly I bit off more than I can chew and it has taken me time to get up to speed with all of my new audio toys in between the continued myriad of headaches, spinal issues and BrainCrap that I physically deal with.

Glad you asked. Right now I am fiddling with the MOTIF XS Vocoder. Initially developed by Bell Labs in the 1930s, music application vocoders started to appear in the 1970s and have been used thereafter in many musical contexts. To name a few; Alan Parsons, Herbie Hancock, Daft Punk and Cher are known for using vocoders in their musical recordings. So, learning how to use the vocoder in my XS was very important to me, because I have some original ideas exclusively intended for use of the vocoder. Vocoding on the MOTIF XS is designed as a real-time, live feature. You can accompany a song live using the vocoder or record the Vocoder to any DAW which I use both Cubase4 and Tracktion3.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MOTIF XS - What Time Is It?

We all have hobbies and many hobbies surely do help us to pass the time. But not since my entering into the world of Yamaha MOTIF XS have I ever experienced such time loss mayhem.

This is a world class music workstation with a zillion features and I find myself toying around and playing music all day, through the night and into the next day. It is very common to turn the XS on and ;;poof;; 7 to 9 hours just zips by.

Yesterday I was persuing through over 6000 arpeggios to try and learn about, "some" of them. Then I got on a mission to find a great sounding harmonica to accompany the spanish guitars and cello. After looking at the samples list I learned there was one. I just didn't know where it was. Afterall, there are over 1000 sounds per se, but in fact there over 3000 samples in this super musical time consumer.

Then I had a blast using the integrated sampler where you can overdub tracks within the MOTIF itself. Totally cool. Then I spent a lot of time adjusting the mix and effects using its onboard mixer. This is massive fun!

I have some other projects to finish up and I became sidetracked with the MOTIF. So now that I have rediscovered myself, I spose I will finish up my document projects and burn a couple help videos that I've been meaning to get done.

Gosh. I can't wait to get back to losing days while learning how to use my MOTIF XS.


Saturday, March 22, 2008

NDS Homebrew

My Nintendo DS Lite (NDS) is really getting customized. And, the NDS is truly delivering pure excitement unrivaled by any of my other toys, with perhaps exception to the MOTIF and O1X.

I just bought some really cool add-ons for my NDS. I chose the M3DS ReaL slot1 ROM. This allows me to play games AND do everything you do on your PC and MAC. I can listen to my favorite music in OGG and MP3 formats. I store videos and photos that I like to share with others when I am mobile. Providing I got a hotspot to jump onto, I can surf the net, do email and even chat using all of my favorites thanks to ebuddy where just TWO taps of my stylus on the NDS logs me into AIM, MSN and Yahoo chat clients! By the way, ebuddy works great on any PC and MAC too using your web browser. But, having these capabilities on a handheld gaming rig is pure joy. And, the NDS is a deluxe all-in-one mobile solution. The only thing better is the Apple iPhone and it doesn't have the gaming capabilities of the NDS.

The M3DS Real is a single slot1 passcard solution that supports microSDHC memory up to 32GB. Additionally, I plugged my slot2 with a EZ-Flash 3-in-1 Expansion, mainly because I wanted its 16MB SRAM for fast browser cache. The expansion also hosts 256Mbit Norflash for GBA ROM and sports both a battery for no data loss and a 3-level rumble-pak for games supporting that feature! Now that I have the M3DS Real rigged, I had to jack some memory for all my stuff. After sorting brands, pricing and performance I settled with a Kingston 4GB microSDHC. This easily accommodates EVERYTHING I want on my NDS including 100's of OGG, lots of WMV video and at least TWO full length DVD movies, and still have tons of space for all of my homebrew apps with room to spare! This is Handheld-Heaven! The NDS executes everything FAST, but stick to mobile apps when using the net. Going for the gold using the Opera browser will add to loading times if you fancy MySpace and the like. Afterall, the Nintendo DS is not an Intel Pentium. But let me tell you something. Surfing the net on this handheld using the stylus is pure magic. In the time it takes most PC's using Windows to coldboot and get to the desktop, I can check my Yahoo! mail, turn off my NDS, and put it back in my pocket! Does it appear that I am sticking my tongue out at PC and MAC users? You bet I am! Now the Nintendo DS is a productive pocket computer. It can do what most iPods do. But, unlike the iPhone it doesn't cost $$$ to use it. Plus, using SIP DS you got FREE wi-fi mobile telephone calls. Did I say free? I thought so ;;grin;; Saving the best part for last, the NDS is a FUN-tastic handheld gaming system, and the 2008 games are incredible. Awesome, awesome, awesome!!


NASAV Studios™ Update

The 1GB RAM (2-512MB DIMM) is ordered for the MOTIF XS and I can't wait to jack my microphones and Takamine AE12-string guitar into the MOTIF's 24-bit, 16-track sampler. Also, I am very excited to pipe vocals into the TC-Helicon vocal processor BEFORE it hits the MOTIF. This allows me to shuttle my voice and up to 5 harmony parts with effects, before pumping all of this into the MOTIF. The XS can sample while monitoring, making "overdubs" a snap in real time. Everything on the MOTIF is done in real time ;;grin;; For me, the real genius is working exclusively at the keyboard WITHOUT the need to sit at a computer during recording sessions. Eventually, the MOTIF mix will get shuttled into Cubase4 or Tracktion3 via LAN or Yamaha mLAN. You read correctly. The entire recording session can be transferred using ethernet 10/100 LAN and the Yamaha mLAN (1394). I use both LANs for different reasons, which perhaps at a later time I will explain their usage. Meanwhile, the Yamaha O1X is show-boating and managing the entire digital domain while storing every technical setting, so when I come back to the mixer 3 days later after a screaming headache, I've got, "total recall" including mixer automation, rotary encoding and motorized fader positions. Finally, the mix ends up in Cubase or Trackion where again the O1X runs the show and treats the session to more tracks. At this point, I'm working more vocal tracks or arranging additional instrumentals. Many times, after I shoot a mix from the MOTIF to the O1X, I will polish things up and prepare for final mixing using some sweet Yamaha plugs. This is where a song gets embellished, cleaned up, mixed, mastered and burned to CDR along with OGG and MP3 formats for web distro.

Be on the lookout Q4 2008 through Q2 2009. HappyHarryNET_TV will be shooting live video during recording sessions at NASAV Studios™ and publishing the videos, audio clips and photos at these websites:

• HappyHarryNET
• NASAV Studios
• YouTube
• Click and Listen
• MySpace
• SoundClick
• Flickr

I am already enjoying the spacial improvements inside the NASAV RV thanks to the renovations needed to begin the NASAV Studios™ construction. This is a true, "win-win" situation.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

NintendoDS Lite News

Well after much debate and research I finally ordered my personal, "Crimson and Black" NintendoDS Lite (NDS) along with a custom G-Pak™ case by NAKIWORLD. I had to wait months to find a red & black case to match the DS, but finally one appeared on Ebay. Luckily they had 2 auctions because I lost out on the first one but won on the second and saved a whopping $3 dollars. Also ordered the new Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring Of Fates.

Currently I am playing Fire Emblem on the GBAmicro (GameBoyAdvance micro) and just began Chapter 23. Fire Emblem is a fantastic RPG series that incorporates excellent story-writing, amazing characters that you become attached to, and a fun TBS (Turn Based Strategy) gameplay system that never becomes tiresome. Previously to finding the first version of Fire Emblem I had been playing Fire Emblem: Sacred Stones, the sequel to this game. At the time, I had played through Chapter 9 when I found the first Fire Emblem cartridge. I then ceased playing the sequel and began playing the first game which proved enjoyable because the first game is the start of the story and introduces you to the cast of characters. You start out as the group tactician who manages their battle decisions. The characters in this game have an uncanny way of growing on you to the point you WILL become upset when you lose a character. And, when you lose a character, they are gone for the rest of the game! Luckily, you can always replay an entire chapter and try a different strategy to avoid losing a character. Still, as the story progresses, you will find yourself making decisions along the way as to which characters you will let go of, in spite of continuing the game to finish playing the game. This is where the true strategy of this game lies.

Playing GBA titles on the GBAmicro is a bit more comfortable than playing them on the NDS. But the NDS has additional features not found on the GBAmicro and you learn to adapt to the NDS rather quickly. It's nice having a full clock, calendar aboard your gaming rig. Also, the screens are much larger and the NDS has a more powerful CPU and GPU. Additionally, the NDS has wonderful stereo separation with its built-in speakers. Also, games like Metroid Prime Hunter and two of the new Pokemon games support multiplayer voice chat via Nintendo's stereo headset with microphone.

Then there is NDS homebrew. NDS homebrew has a ton of really neat things you can do using your NDS. Whether you're chatting on MSN Messenger or surfing the Internet using Linux, it all can be done. You can easily run the Opera browser to surf the net with full WYSIWYG color graphics. It is recommended that you stick to the, "mobile websites and apps" such as the Goggle-suite and other online mobile apps if you want perky wi-fi performance. But, you CAN visit websites such as MySpace and CNN, but loading times are slow. Also ;;frown;; there is no Flash support [yet] which means no YouTube video watching, and there isn't [yet] any JAVA. But, thanks to javascript, life is good. And, don't let those Sony PSP geeks tell you otherwise. PSP doesn't support Flash either. Sure you can convert Flash content and watch it on the PSP and DS, but that's a different topic. Nevertheless, the NDS manages all of these duties with relative ease and it is a relaxing unit to spend time with. Whether curled up in your favorite spot at home, or hanging out at your favorite hotspot, where ever that happens to be. You can also view PDF files on the NDS. But, this is a HappyHarryNET invention that I am keeping secret for right now. But, I will blog about this and create a how-to video in the future. And, by the way, the NDS sports no wi-fi configuration. It simply works! You can surf the Internet, check your Yahoo! or Gmail, chat on ICQ, AIM and MSN Messenger, but I prefer ebuddy. Nintendo's built-in PictoChat is always available for local wi-fi (30 feet range) the same as you would play local wi-fi multiplayer games with other NDS players. MP3 and OGG music files sounds great, WMV video plays nicely as well as converted VOB data. You can even use the NDS as a wi-fi MIDI controller to your MAC or PC. This is a bucket-of-fun to say the least. Look to the future when HappyHarryNET_TV will post a music video using my NintendoDS as a MIDI controller to my Yamaha MOTIF XS during a recording session! Is that awesome or what!? And, to frost the cake there is a video chat cam coming to the NDS.

Well that's my NDS rant for now. Until I finish my Fire Emblem games, I won't be starting any new games on ANY platform. Keep checking my blogs for updates on this hot topic.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Nailed Again

Woke up 4 am to skull and spinal morbidity. I thought I had grown accustomed to these screaming headaches over a decade ago. But they still sneak up on me, blinding my vision, frailing my breath and making my entire existence so sensitive it hurts to be me. Now it's been years since I have publicly spoke about my pain. Years ago I vowed to myself to learn how to not speak of it and here I am 15 years later blogging about the same damn pain that began the day I got by that car on August 6, 1993.

Anyhow, I had great plans for today but soon as I am done here I will generously medicate and bail out. I've had enough of Monday already.

Stay tuned whenever I return.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

NASAV Studios™

Since the inception of NASAV Studios™ I began taking photos and video. Below is the official grand opening photograph of my first recording gear setup at NASAV Studios™ back in December 2007. Notice the prime recording components, uniquely set up in the RV's generic layout in the forward cabin. This is such a custom fit, I actually slip into my chair similar to how John Glenn had to climb into his Friendship 7 space capsule. Once seated, I have everything easily within reach and can work for hours. Equipment setup is cumbersome and inconvenient. Also, this temporary setup hogs the main walking isle space so the recording gear must return to their cases and stowed in rear storage in the bathroom. The new NASAV Studios™ construction is now underway and will eliminate this bottleneck actually freeing up, "more space in the same area" than I presently have even with the recording equipment, "stowed" and not even set up.

These are exciting times here at NASAV™ as this entire forward cabin area of the RV will transform into a no-nonsense, serious recording studio. I will continue to blog about the progress of NASAV Studios™ and post more pictures during the construction period.

Soon... NASAV™ and NASAV Studios™ websites coming with, "before/after" video.

It's Sunday, I'm going back to bed and sleeping in for awhile.


Friday, March 14, 2008

A New Day

Hello. I see it is Friday morning already. Had a lovely dinner out last night. Although always fun to come back home, the ride jostled me into illness. As a child I got car sick all the time, and in my late 20's it simply went away. But when I turned 54 it came back.

In any case, no sleep there. I was feeling pretty nauseous once arriving home so distracting myself with some graphical ideas and sitting in one place was my best resolution. Of course, inside of an hour my stomach felt fine, and then I was left with just a headache and my mind was on fire with ideas so I fired up my web tools.

Made some modifications, minor edits, a few new graphics, trying some different rollover colors, and integrated my blog into my websites more efficiently. Changing some internal elements of Blogger's HTML is a pain because of how they have their CSS setup. So I find it's simply much easier to pull most animated graphics from my server. But I would prefer to have Blogger hosting them for faster operation.

As usual Xara was king of the hill last nite. It is such a fun and productive application to use. Most other applications truly require you to have each of your projects or documents open in their own document. But using XaraXtremePro, "most of the time" I will have only ONE document open, with a black background (because that is the color I render my graphics to) and then I may have 2, 3 or like tonite 5 graphic projects going on at the same time on the same screen within the same project. And I will save that .xar file as it is. I use a productive labeling scheme and I can now open that particular file to accomplish FIVE different graphical achievements. Very convenient to say the least.

Between now and Monday I will be ordering materials and parts for the NASAV studio. First, finally getting the table going. Next to order the 1GB RAM (2-512MB DIMM) for the MOTIF XS (picture shown above). Installing this, "pre-tested" memory enables the use of the built-in sampler as well as being able to jack a microphone directly into the XS and utilize its built-in VOCODER. My Audio Technica ATM75 phantom head-mic can also be switched over to 9 volt changing its status to a DYNAMIC mic which works well with the vocoder. And even though the MOTIF XS in itself has a tremendous volume of onboard DSP effects and the ability to create vocal harmony tracks via its 16 track sampler/sequencer/mixer, I'm very excited to jack the mic into the TC-Helicon vocal processor which in turn outputs stereo into the MOTIF's sampler. Now besides the MOTIF's DSP abilities, the TC-Helicon just added 5 harmony tracks including thicken, along with over 100 presets and effects. Yes! I am very much looking forward to things getting exciting here in the month of March. With a little luck I will be up and running just post April Fools.

The most challenging aspect to this project will be to construct the mixer stand extended riser that will come up through the table. First, I am going to try heavy duty ABS PVC which will mount into the existing 5-spoked and wheeled floor stand which resides beneath the table. The boom mic stand has plenty of extension so there won't be any fudging needed to install and set that up. But, the mixer stand post doesn't rise high enough to mount the mixing board high enough ABOVE my other studio gear on the table. Including monitors which are 15" inches high. So a custom length post must be made. The post will be male at one end and female at the other. I don't exactly have a machine shop here in RV-in-the-forest-land, so I will keep this as simple as possible. With a little luck I can PVC my way through this and it will be strong enough to support the mixer's weight, which although is not light duty, it isn't too heavy for the industrial thicker PVC. The picture shown above is to scale and as you can see, its purpose was merely to provide me with a yes or no whether or not I could fit my gear into this given space. Once that became a, "Yes" then the next step is to create the mixer stand extension riser pole, and to drill holes in the table for the 2 poles, another for cords and cable routing and four holes not shown in the diagram which will be used to mount the aluminum channel which will hide the AC power cables which drop from the ceiling. This is purely asthetics as the cords pose no issues hanging from their sockets.

Well, that's all I had on my mind for this blog. Later today we're going to finish mounting more velcro for additional black toweling mounts (again asthetics) and to finally create the custom clothing hamper closet which will be a blessing. Other than 10 minutes dusting and vacuuming it's back to, "play time".


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Nailed Again

Well I'm trashed today. Spent hours getting to my feet just to grab meds and try some assemblence of life amidst this morbid screaming headache. It's a pleasant 76F degrees and yet my core level is ice cold so I'm off to get into a 122F shower to kill the chill.

Won't be seeing me in PCTech today ;;heh;;

Today is further challenged with traveling into "metro hysteria" to celebrate a natal family member's birthday including dinner arrangements. I will be medicated throughout the ride into the city, but look forward to dinner out-on-the-town. By then, pain levels should be down to what I call, "A dull roar".

Hey! Have you seen the Amazon Kindle? Very neat. High quality electronic book reading, built-in wireless, gorgeous display for reading your favorite books, magazines, daily newspapers and blogs. They are already on back order! Don't know nothing about the Kindle? $399USD, no contracts and book prices are under $10 dollars and automatically loaded onto your Kindle in 60 seconds or less! The unit stores 200 books, magazines, newspapers and blogs, you can also insert SD memory cards containing your favorites or to store more new books. Watch some flash movies and obtain more information @


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Harry Take Your Meds

Today someone said this to me [in gest of course] "Harry take your meds". I took no offense because the fact is, "I am a brain injury survivor." To this day, I am continually plagued with "residual" symptoms which all stem from a brain injury I sustained August 6, 1993. The medical community calls it Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). Let me clarify that there is nothing, "mild" about brain injuries. Their chaos will disrupt your life in so many ways, it WILL be a miracle if you find your way out of the forest. And that challenge alone, is usually very difficult, because just one of the symptoms brain injured people deal with is, "YOU ARE LOST".

With everything I have been through, you would have thought the American Academy for the Certification of Brain Injury Specialists (AACBIS) would have desired my consulting expertise on their team. But, whereas I only possess a BA Liberal Arts, Dayton University, that hardly qualifies me to be anybody's doctor, eh?

Okay, reset your focus Harry. When I heard that comment today, I was immediately reminded of just how much hard work and shear determination on my part, that I chose to commit to my rehabilitation. There are no accidents, "Thank You Peggy". And although I am a God fearing man, and give our Lord most of the credit, the fact remains that I did most of the work. A few friends helped along the way, but that was much later after I was already on my feet and visiting them in public.

Okay, reset focus again. First, brain cells do grow back and so do nerves, but nerve take a long time to heal. Seemingly, forever. Secondly, the synapses also grow back and they also take a long time to heal. Healing from a brain injury seems like an impossible endeavor. And that attitude would be a healthy one because when you're in the driver's seat of this monster, there are no obvious clues to sort things out and get back to, "normal life" whatever that is.

Focus. Today I am self-educating myself about a slew of topics. From digital audio recording using 3 new pieces of pricey equipment utilizing over 350 buttons, rotary encoders and motorized faders to learning FLEX, XAML, and getting more serious with XHTML and Flash. Oh, and Adobe AIR has grabbed my attention. The point being, I still suffer with debilitating headaches and skull pressure, spinal pain, occipital nerve pinching and other variations of pain. I take no pain medication. I have already been through the pain management doors several times, and got myself off of those narcotics too. You can't live your life, "All doped up". Well... you can. But, you won't get much accomplished.

Speaking of accomplishment. Good topic! What I am about to say is something I spoke out loud just the other day. And I quote myself, "Even with the ongoing levels of pain that I deal with on an hourly, daily basis, I am nearly exceeding my productivity levels that I had achieved PRIOR to injury 1993". WOW! Now that's saying something! My progress is slow and steady, and spread across a large amount of time due to the gaps of time I lose from, "Time OFF of my feet". I lose days and weeks of time. Notice that I did NOT say, "I lose track of time". Although that would be an accurate statement as well. But, I make up for lost time when I am on my feet. Most people do not see or witness my dysfunctions, because they only know me online or see me, "When I am on my feet". Believe me, I truly understand when I say everybody's got something plaguing them. Pain is relative. And you gotta live your life.

But, I would like to rewind back to my original reason for blogging about this. And that is, in the beginning, I spent a hurrendous amount of time and energy rehabilitating myself to get to where I am today. Then I spent years developing my own personal technologies that I [currently] use to achieve goals. And let us never forget that, "Working with others" is key to anyone's progression through life. There is no magic pill that's going to take the brain damage away. You just have to be patient, eat healthy food, exercise and lead a healthy life style and give your body a chance to correct the damage. You can help your body a lot by adjusting your life style, eating healthy food and proteins to build up the brain cells that have died. Veggies and fruits will give you most of the vitamins you need to create the enzymes capable of building up your cells and they are also rich in anti-oxidants. And don't forget about WATER. Hydration is very important. Exercise helps with your blood circulation, providing your body cells with the proper Oxygen and nutrients which help to accelerate the healing process. But, do all of THAT with a morbid, screaming headache that lasts 40 to 100 hours. Good luck and when the pain drops to a dull roar, both the tranquilizers and any pain medication you're taking will leave you in a state of stupor! So you can kiss that week goodbye because you'll need 2 to 3 days to overcome the 100 hours you just spent practicing your fetal positions. Oh! I got sidetracked again. LOL. Sorry... but it's true.

I am playing 12-string guitar again. I lost that ability for nearly 6 years. Now I have worked my way up to playing for about 10 minutes continuously before having to stop. Mind you, this is a far cry from my ex-usual 45 minutes of continuous nuclear playing power. And please! Don't give me the speech, "You're getting older..." Save it! I am an accomplished musician. What I'm talking about here are physical dysfunctions that can only be improved by means of commited, aggressive therapies and practice... And, "Time". Still, just physically playing guitar again is a majorly big deal for Harry. More to the point, just last week I spoke with an expert guitar repairman. I'm having him install precision-gear tuning pegs, reset the nut and replace the saddle with superior materials. Also, I'm going to try a different brand and guage of strings because it was brought to my attention that the kind I have been using are incorrect to achieve the playing style that I was attempting to achieve on this instrument.

My guitar playing goal is to have my [like new] Takamine 12-string reworked and to play my trio-set of "Only You", Arlo Guthrie's "Coming Into Los Angeles", and Richie Havens' "Freedom". And, be able to play them back-to-back without breaks or resting. See ya center stage.

In closing, it is wonderful for me to be experiencing idiomatic phrases such as, "Yes I can see the forest for the trees". Because... "I can."

Please excuse me for a moment, "It's time for me to take my meds."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Subscribe To RSS Using IE 7

This is just a quickie tutorial on joining RSS feeds using IE7. If you'd like to stay up to date with my blogs you can certainly add my blog URL to your Favorites and visit here any time when it's good for you. OR... you can SUBSCRIBE to my blog. But before I explain any further, let's pretend you are using Microsoft's Internet Explorer version 7 web browser to surf the web and subscribe to RSS feeds.

Shown below, is the IE 7 toolbar showing the orange RSS logo. This is what you will see when you visit my blog website. Click on the RSS button to begin the subscribe process.

After you click the RSS button you'll see the screen shown below:

Click the link, "Subscribe to this feed" shown above and the box below will appear.

Click, "Subscribe" and my blog will be added to your Feeds. You can easily access your Feeds just as you would your Favorites using the menus, shortcut keys OR click, "Yellow Favorites Star" in your toolbar and click, "Feeds" then click, "HappyHarryNET" and voila.

Ctrl+Shift+J takes you directly to Feeds. Notice that the Feeds tab is also located in the same window as Favorites and History. For many of you, clicking the Yellow Favorites Star and then clicking Feeds will be just as easy. Below is a picture of what the screen looks like after you press, Ctrl+Shift+J Note the HappyHarryNET feed shown in the feed list.

Below is what the screen looks like after you click on HappyHarryNET in the Feeds list.

When you subscribe to an RSS feed and access it from your Feeds list, it will contain every version of the feed since you subscribed. The only real difference between reading my blog via RSS as opposed to viewing my blog website, would be the colors and appearance. The RSS version as shown above is not the black background with green headings, white text and lavender links. But, for the sake of reading, it doesn't really matter. The content is there, the pictures are there. However, if you prefer the look and feel of the, "black blog" then just add my blog to your Favorites and visit my blog using that method. The choice is yours.

As your RSS interests grow, I suggest using a dedicated RSS feeder program to better manage RSS feeds. Top 10 Free Windows RSS Feed Readers / News Aggregators


Windows Live Messenger

Those of you who enjoy using these newfangled chat clients, may want to install and use Windows Live Messenger the next time you want to give me a buzz.

XboxLIVE, now over ten million subscribers, got jacked into Messenger a while back. I never was much for Messenger chat on the PC. But having this ability on my Xbox360 really interested me. I liked the idea so much that I purchased the
Microsoft Messenger Kit which allows me to chitchat when I'm on my Xbox360.

So anytime you see the name HappyHarryNET on Windows Live Messenger, that means I am on my Xbox360. Feel free to send me a buddy invite so I know when you're online. Don't worry about bothering me. I can mark myself busy, away or go invisible just like you PC people do on your chat apps ;;grin;;

The chatpad not only serves its purpose for chatting with your buddy list. You can also use it for any text entry needed during ANY process involving text on XboxLIVE and in 360 games. Previously you had to use the analog sticks and the green, "A" button to enter text. The new chatpad, officially called Messenger Kit, is a MUST HAVE accessory for any serious 360 user. And you can actually type when sitting in total darkness. This is truly one of Microsoft's better products and services to date.


Mapping Out The Apps

Whereas, I've got a full plate of website activities planned, I thought I would take some time to share with you some of the processes that I mentally go through as I step through the creation process. As I look at my yellow legal pads of ideas and designs, it is ever so clear to me, that I need to map out which applications are going to do what.

Sometimes you can simply take an idea and set out to produce it with whatever knowledge you have in your mind at the time. For example. I have an existing piece of artwork that I want to use on my website for visitors to click on to take them to another website. Of course, I want there to be some kind of mouse over effect or what is commonly known as, "rollover" artwork. So in this case, the original artwork has tones of blue, so I will create a copy of the graphic and apply a tone of pink to it. This second, "rollover" image will be the image you see as you, "mouse over" the clickable graphic. There are many ways to create rollover artwork, but I must confess that XaraXtremePro and Macromedia Fireworks makes this job child's play.

So the same as using Xara or Fireworks to quickly create high quality rollover artwork, I must choose which applications I am going to use to assemble all of the various multimedia elements that will be used on several different websites that I will be constructing in the coming months. With this in mind, I find that it helps to write these things down. Not because you forget which program or its name, but rather, to design your workflow. Designing your workflow in advance is not only a time saver, but you will be giving your nerves a rest and be saving a ton of braincells as well. Not having to sort out design workflow while you are constructing animations, graphics and websites is a major plus. Your production times will decrease. You can do MOST of your work on a scratch pad. Constructing the idea that is sketched on your legal pad is simply a matter of choosing the appropriate application(s) that will be needed to achieve the end result. Nevertheless, if you don't [in advance] know which apps you will use to produce your design, you can bet your production time will increase.

Earlier tonite, I spent probably an hour or so going over three websites and two flash projects. Making notes here and there, but mostly I mark up the design much as I would mark up a typography job. I use my own symbology to describe to myself which program I'll use for a given task and sometimes I will jot down the steps for a specific feature to be applied.

Although music is not my focus right now, I am spending daily time working on new songs. Today I spent only 45 minutes fiddling with 2 measures of music. I spent more time listening to different instrument sounds and choosing which sounds would be appropriate. Still, even though this song is a, "back burner" project, I dabble with it along side my other projects. This is the beauty of digital production. You can work in bits and pieces across a non-specified amount of time, and at some later date you can glue it all together as if you were constructing a model airplane. My digital audio mixer is very much the same. It has hundreds of settings, motorized faders and rotary encoders; that's really fancy words for, "knobs". But the point is, if a morbid screaming headache wrestles me off my feet, when I return to the mixing board two weeks later, just one touch of the button and, "bingo" all of the settings, rotory encoders and fader positions are restored. Years ago I had created, "tracking sheets" that I used just for this purpose. To write down all of the settings, the knob positions, and anything that had to do with that, "moment in time" so when I returned to the project a week later, I could refer to the tracking sheet and adjust the equipment to match the settings written down on paper. I am grateful to the digital revolution.

Jeeze, where does the time go? Well, it simply ticks along. I hope you have enjoyed my little rant because I plan to continue my blogging and do LQQK forward to some visitors to appreciate me talking.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

March 2008... Busy Times


Well, I have jumped back into the fray of blogging!

I've got so much to tell you! 2008 is an exciting year with a ton of new content coming.

+ PCTech gets a brand new website - Q2
+ HappyHarryNET website gets a facelift - Q3
+ More! PC Help Videos - XP / Vista Tips and Tricks - Q3
+ NASAV RV website coming - Q3
+ HappyHarryNET TV - LIVE recording studio sessions - Q4

Those of you who enjoy new and different things, TWITTER is very cooL. I rant 'n rave over there all the time. My TWITTER name is of course HappyHarryNET and you can fetch me and your other email contacts at

Keep those cards, letters and blog comments coming, and I LQQK forward to seeing YOU on TWITTER.