Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Two Decades Ago...Our First Date

Twenty years ago tonight was my first date with the woman who would become my wife. Funny thing is, I didn't know it was going to be a date.

Marci and I had met a couple months earlier on a double first date, but she was paired with the other guy. As the four of us continued to spend time together, Marci and I developed a nice friendship. Marci's short-lived relationship with John (my friend and "the other guy") fell apart, and it became clear that my relationship with Betsy was nothing more than infatuation that couldn't fuel a real coupleship.

I asked Marci to go to dinner at the World's End and see a play at Vanderbilt University Theatre because Betsy was going to be out of town. As it turned out, our friendship morphed into something more later that night.

Marci and I were married four years later, and we've had our major ups and downs over the years. On this day, twenty years later, I'm really thankful for where I am even though sometimes I don't act like it. Marci, I honor you today.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Great Moments in Parenthood, Vol. 1

For months I've been quietly playing the Illinois record by Sufjan Stevens. I've wanted my sons to really like it but haven't pushed it. I tivo'd Sufjan on Austin City Limits last weekend and played the show a couple of times and since then noticed both Will and Harry humming the tunes, especially "Casimir Pulaski Day." Well last night Will was practicing guitar and he went online to find the chords for the song! I listened to him play while I softly sang in the other room.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

What's that disease I can't remember the name of?

Several years ago my wife had a scary skiing accident in New Hampshire where she bonked her head pretty badly. To this day she suffers from memory loss and still doesn't remember much of the rest of that "vacation."

Yesterday she was in an elevator and stuck out her hand to the man next to her and said, "I'm sorry, I recognize you as one of my doctors but don't remember your name."

To that, the man said, "I'm Dr. Soandso, your neurologist who's been treating you for your memory loss since your ski accident."

Friday, November 03, 2006

RØDE Podcaster Mic Kicks Serious Butt

I'm working on a project that requires some high quality voice over and the headset mic that Jon gave me (okay I stole it) just wasn't going to cut it. I couldn't spend a ton of money on new gear, so Pete turned me onto the new RØDE Podcaster USB Microphone. I picked it up on my way home from work (US $200), hooked it up to my laptop via supplied USB cable (thankfully it doesn't require USB 2.0), plugged headphones into the built-in jack on the mic, and in seconds I heard what I had been missing: high quality voice recording directly into my laptop without expensive hardware. I was blown away.

Uber giddy me because:

- No software you have to install from a CD (Windows XP hooked me up)
- Built-in headphone jack means you can "hear" what the mic "hears"
- No other special hardware required such as a mixing board
- Kick ass audio quality
- I can now play the Larry King Home Game in style
- The damn thing looks like a device I'd buy my wife from Good Vibrations on Valentine's Day

So tonight I went into my soundproof chamber (junk closet) and laid down some great VO (samples to come). Keep in mind you're going to need a mic stand and probably a pop stopper (think panty hose stretched over a coat hanger on the "We Are the World" video) if you want to do this thing right.

Only downside was that I couldn't get it to work with Adobe Audition so I ended up downloading the free Audacity which worked like a charm with the Podcaster. The mic is so new that a search on the Internets turned up no posts on compatibility with Audition 1.5. RØDE has a nice, short tutorial on using the mic with Audacity, though. Check it out.

The best part? My kids heard me working on the audio editing and asked "whose voice is that?"

"Why, it's Dad," says Mom.

"That's so cool," says Harry.

Tech notes:
Dell Inspiron 2650 (Macs supported)
Windows XP
Audacity v 1.2.5
Rode Podcaster

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

MusicIP Selected by Disney to Provide Key Technology for New Media Player Devices

Monrovia, CA (PRWEB) November 1, 2006 -- MusicIP, the world's most comprehensive music search engine, announced that Disney Consumer Products has licensed MusicIP's MyDJ™ embedded technology, which allows users to find the music they want to hear and to create instant playlists with a single button, to power the MixIt! feature on its popular Disney Mix line of portable media players for kids. more...