Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Exciting Times

It's been awhile since I have blogged. Been busy with a mixture of motor home life, writing and recording songs, learning more and more about recording, teaching myself how to use audio gear, website design and content creation, and then the iPad.

Things have settled down somewhat. Of course, when I say this, I don't mean to suggest that I have completed my original projects that I had set out to achieve some four years ago. Far from it. I am now just nudging up to production and completion of some projects while others are still burning the midnight oil.

When I said "settled down" what I was trying to describe is that I have studied and learned a wrath of knowledge, across a large precipass of technology and topics. Using iPad now fuel injects my reading life about 6 hours a day. Now I am in the groove with many of my daily and nightly activities which still account for the original design of many projects that were dreamt up years ago.

Such as recording music. This idea has turned out to be a much larger undertaking than I would have ever imagined. Starting with the idea of a studio in a small motor home to learning many new pieces of hardware and software in order to use the equipment involved to record said music. Then there are the songs themselves which always need adjustment and arrangement. But, I'm in the groove and on track, and bit by bit, song by song, my record album moves forward. A few times I thought I would quit, and choose to release a single song. Some people have asked me, "Why don't you?" And, my answer is, "I set out to record a record album of 10 songs, perhaps more, and for the sake of the principle, I shall continue my effort".

Meanwhile, the end result of recording music and replicating CD's will require websites. Now the design and content creation for HappyHarryNET has been on the back burner for years now. I haven't submitted much content to my site in quite some time. The site has been "functional" for those who lean on its usefulness. Web traffic has drastically reduced in three years, after all, I don't SEO or run any advertisement to draw traffic to my site and that is just as well because there is no new content anyhow. But, this is changing soon.

Recently I have delved into Adobe's Creative Cloud program and I am enjoying the new apps and cloud system. Additionally, the TouchApps for iPad really enhance this entire package. It is great to relax and draw wireframe layouts, with text, colors, menus and animation. If an idea works you load it from the cloud into Photoshop, Illustrator, Fireworks, Muse or Dreamweaver on the Mac and go full boar with it. This is a game changer because I used to do most of this on a legal pad. Now, there is no more double work. My ideas are captured and stored in the cloud. Then those ideas can go directly into the appropriate app to further enhance, embellish or produce their final results. The quality is stunning also.

Same goes for songwriting. I use GarageBand on iPad to capture immediate musical ideas. GarageBand for iPad is great because everything captured goes to the cloud, so no musical ideas are lost. They are easy to recall and my songwriting production has tripled. I can easily go back in time and work on songs, take the songs into Logic Studio for production or sometimes I will produce them right in GarageBand and flush out an idea quickly. The iPad has relaxed this entire operation. I no longer have to race to my MOTIF workstation to capture a song idea. Now the MOTIF is Step_2 in the chain and I like it.

Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is a great operating system and it's like having a new Mac! My MacBook is almost 4 years old and to this day seems like a brand new computer. My almost 3 year old Toshiba Qosmio i7 power house laptop is gathering dust. I have grown weary with the repetitive problems associated with Windows. Since my using iPad, my tolerance for such frustrating hardware and software has become zero. Thus, I am really enjoying the Mac again. The iPad is now a content creation tool and is serving me well.

If all of this was not enough, I am specializing in technology research and have began the incarnation of a new podcast that will probably be called, "The PowerHouse Show". Right now we're kicking around some ideas and testing various spots to see how we wish to do this. I am choosing a couple people to co-host the show with me. I think I will initially release the show as a SpreakerCast and to Facebook. If the show survives that, then we will move on to the iTunes Store with a Podcast. It is my hope this project will survive to evolve into a video show.


Monday, March 05, 2012

A New Chapter • NASAV Ends

After living, full time, for six years in the NASAV motor home, it became time to retire her from service.

Eight years ago the idea of moving out of the city and retiring to the RV lifestyle was planned on paper and NASAV was born. It is an acronym which stands for North American Surrealistic Adventure Vehicle.

My idea of constructing a recording studio in a 27.foot motor home was challenging. However, it is amazing that I created a very top-class and productive studio inside of 6x5.feet of space! There are photos on my blog here; try searching the word "studio".

Prior to our purchasing the motor home, I created the NASAV logo which initially began on a yellow legal pad. I hand drew the general idea of the logo font along side of an American flag. The first mock-up was drawn using pencil and Sharpie marker, while the American flag was quickly sketched using Crayola crayons. Soon, the NASA worm font was introduced for the logo letters. I acquired the font from a disgruntled, retired, ex-employee at NASA who wanted me to have the original PostScript font. The lettering was constructed and edited using Adobe Illustrator version.9 and the .AI file was emailed to a vinyl lettering shop. They special ordered a flat.black.rubbery vinyl for the lettering. The flags were custom ordered from a store that only sells American flags and flag accessories, including flag stickers.

It was only a couple weeks after the final logo mock-up on the wall above the 8.foot computer table that we purchased the motor home. During our first two weeks living in the RV we prepared and applied the NASAV lettering and American flags. The truck's engine hood, front grille, all bumpers, wheel skirts and trim that ran along the RV shell were are painted flat black.

We moved four times in six years and did not travel as much as we had originally planned. This was because we found some VERY nice places to live where the air ranks 9th place in the entire United.States and we had unparalleled privacy.

Moving out of NASAV was bittersweet and a new chapter has began as we take residence in a very quaint small house nearby.

The new location offers tremendous studio space which I feel will enable much faster production of my up and coming record album slated for Q4.2012.