If movie space-aliens are so smart and powerful…

After our Monday afternoon meeting at work today, a bunch of us geeks got together for a little geek-chat and something hit us: All of us have seen the movie Independence Day and how the aliens in the movie were superior to us in both intellect and technology. However, we had this burning question in our mind:

Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith went up to the mothership and while docked in the mothership, Jeff uploaded a virus from his laptop to the alien’s computer prior to blowing up the mothership. What we want to know is: where did they suddenly get a wireless connection from? Did the mothership come equipped with an Apple Airport Extreme? Did they log into the Apple Store online and order a few thousand Airports? Even more so, what did they use for a credit card? Milky Way Mastercard?  And, how did FedEx get them their package? So many holes here?

And another thing? If the aliens are so smart, how come they never heard of a Firewall and Virus Checker? Sure, they were able to destroy cities with a wall of fire, but they couldn’t protect themselves with a firewall?

I guess space aliens are not really that smart, even with all of their technological advancements.

Exhausted from recording…

Who ever thought that recording a bunch of tracks could be so exhausting? If anything, I spent a four hour session laying down some guitar tracks last night and when I was done, I started to pass out in the chair. I wasn’t going to push myself to do the bass tracks at that point as I wanted the song to be as tight as I could get it, so it could retain its energy and emotion. But, getting the guitar parts down itself took a lot out of me.

And to think, I’m not fully done with the guitar parts. I still have an acoustic part to record alongside a crunchy-clean electric part as well as a dual guitar lead. And if that starts feeling exhausting, then I had better rest up for the vocals and do the “Zen of Screaming” warm up before recording. No, I’m not screaming in the song, and if I am, it will be screaming in pitch. Those exercises help me breathe and sing.

As usual, I will post it to my Facebook music pages… which, in case you don’t know where it is, its at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Jordan-L-Chilcott/6109943346

Of Hypocrites and Liars…

I remember once not too long after I got my black belt in Karate, that my Sensei had told us a story dealing with honour, truth, and integrity:

A woman once took her child to talk to their Sensei and the woman had asked the Sensei to tell her child that he must stop eating sugar. The Sensei looked at them and had asked the woman to come back next week. The woman reluctanctly complied and brought her child to the Sensei and once again asked him to tell his child to stop eating sugar. The Sensei complied and spoke to the child about not eating sugar and the child happily complied with his Sensei’s request. The woman was puzzled and had asked the Sensei, “For what reason did you make us wait a week for this? Why could you not tell him last week?”

The Sensei replied, “Because I ate sugar last week.”

This story has always stuck with me because it ties right in the Bible is that one shall know their trees by their fruits. Bad fruits always come from bad trees. Even worse is that bad fruits spring even more bad trees. If anything, it really bothers me when I encounter hypocrites and liars. I’m not saying that I’m above them… far from it! If anything, I’m more pee’d off at them when they go and teach people one thing and do something totally opposite to what they’re teaching. If anything, I know I’m a hypocrite at the worst of times, but I also know that I am not fit to teach others. I may be fit to learn… but never teach.

Would you take serious financial advice from a bum on the street?
Would you take a con-man at his word?
Would you take health advice from someone who’s overweight?
Would you learn the Bible from someone who shows little respect to others, and displays this in front of their children?

My love/hate relationship with the 407ETR

One of the things working in Woodbridge that I put my foot down with Joelle was that I was not going to be caught dead in rush hour for 2 hours or so trying to get home. I can handle the 401 coming in providing that we’re talking about the normal rush hour (within normal limits… major accidents and obstructions are the exception), but going home is another story. Enter the 407ETR… our toll highway. It takes me from the back door of where I am working to 401 just outside Mississauga. A 32 kilometre stretch, costing $5.75 a trip.

Even though it is not considered cheap, if it weren’t for the transponder, it would really be the Expensive Toll Route. However, I can tolerate the cost, although I hope they eventually do adjust them to be a little lower one day.

Here’s the thing, however: THESE GUYS GET IT!

The highway is always moving. There are so many lanes going through it to between the 401 in the west to Markham in the east! They add more lanes to keep this thing moving and it really moves. They are totally on top of our travelling needs. They give us great value for what we pay for. I like that in any company that I do business with. A 15 minute trip on the 407 certain trumps a 60-90 minute drive to get to the same spot on the 400/401 combination. This is valuable to me!

I would go as far as to admit that the 407 Consortium should be managing the 401 and other Toronto highways. If they were to do everything for the 401 and perhaps charge a reduced toll for the 401 and 407, I’d take it! If it keeps me moving, I would certainly take it. The Ontario provincial government just does not get it and the Ministry of Transport has created the most inefficient highway infrastructure in their 400-series highways. I can’t believe we vote for this crap! If it were an ordinary business, these dudes would be out on their asses and slinging burgers at Wendy’s. I wouldn’t even trust them at the drive-thru window… keep them away from cars!!!! The dudes at the 407 Consortium are forward thinkers and they have the road to show for it. Even if it isn’t cheap, it is moving.

Still the undisputed King of the BBQ!

Now that spring has finally sprung, Joelle and I decided to celebrate the season by firing up the barbeque and chowing down on the t-bone steaks. Well, let’s just say that I am still the reigning king of the grill. Those steaks were the absolute best tasting and juiciest steaks one could ever eat. It was cooked to perfection!

It was our way of celebrating as we were preparing for Passover. Yes, I know that Passover begins tonight, but we were not having our seder until tomorrow night. We just weren’t ready to begin the holiday just yet. However, we were spending the day and evening together just enjoying each other’s company and our steaks. Didn’t really touch any guitars this weekend, but that’s okay.

Here’s to another season of the grill! May there always be some meat cooking on it and may it be pleasing to the smell and juicy to the tastebuds!

Serving Notice: Had enough with M-Audio

Just like the subject says: I’m at the boiling point with M-Audio and I’m about to just cut my losses and just say good-bye! I have owned an M-Audio ProjectMix I/O control surface for 2 years now. When I got it, it was good because all of the drivers were working intact and I had no weird behaviours when mixing with Logic. However, as time went on, the quality of their drivers dropped to worse than crap and the frequency of getting new drivers out is slower than molasses. Even more salt in the wounds is the so-called beta driver that they released for the unit. That wasn’t beta… heck, that wasn’t even alpha quality. It was garbage and it rendered my ProjectMix entirely useless. I had to uninstall the drivers completely and re-installed the crap for drivers that I had in there to restore it back to its half-baked condition.

It has become the worst piece of junk to hit the market and I am about to cut my losses and get rid of the thing and pick up either a Mackie or Euphonix control surface, depending on what I can get from my fave dealer for the trade-in. I don’t need the audio interface in the ProjectMix because I have a much better interface/tube pre-amp feeding my 24I/O that I can also use standalone if I happen to need more inputs than the 24 that I already have. If anything, all I want is something that works, and M-Audio has now failed to deliver.

M-Audio’s stuff has become nothing more than a pile of worthless junk and their quality control for their software is non-existant. I don’t need substandard crap in my project studio and I am totally prepared to dump that piece of garbage at a loss in order to get a project studio that works at least as good as when I first got the ProjectMix. If M-Audio cannot be bothered to provide me with a proper set of drivers for the ProjectMix and keep me as a satisfied customer, then I see no reason whatsoever to provide M-Audio with my business when there are other reputable businesses that are simply dying to give me more bang for my buck. All I can say is consider yourself on notice and you had better show me something by the time I’m ready to obtain a new MacPro for the studio. And don’t drag your feet either, because it won’t be that long, and the other companies are simply itching to serve me. I’ve had enough with your crap and I don’t have to take it anymore. I have a project studio to run!

And don’t take this personally… it’s only business!

First Project Jitters

I guess I should be careful what I ask for… today my impatience got rewarded, but time will tell if it turns out to be more than I can handle.

I got handed a project today and it is a pretty big one. To top it off, it is my first project. I’m not gonna cower from this… heck I never cowered from anything Trapeze threw at me. I’m just jittery, considering the fact that this is my first project and I want to make it work. If anything, I want to kick it as hard as I can and show what I am made of… which is hopefully some good stuff. That’s what makes me more nervous than anything else. I’m still quite unproven, despite the fact that everyone has seen my coding style and likes what they see so far.

I am going to plan this thing out… I actually have time to do that. It’s giving me a chance to sharpen my UML chops. Let’s hope it helps ease the jitters.

If you’re reading this… wish me luck.

Did I do the right thing?

I don’t know if it’s everything that has happened today, but I am really starting to wonder if I really made the right move by leaving Trapeze. Yes, I know that the hours and the pay are better and I get home at a saner hour and even wake up a little later, but I feel something missing that I got from Trapeze. It’s hard to ignore this. Not to mention that I think that my timesheet got pissed around with, which means that my money will get pissed around with. It’s not so much that I have bills and stuff to take care of. It’s more of a case that I feel like I am trying to do the responsible thing and I am getting messed around with. I never got messed around with in a manner like this at Trapeze.

I felt useful there. Hell, I even felt a degree of respect there. I’m feeling almost lost here, and I don’t know if I’m being being played around with. I’ve been itching for a chance to get my hands dirty and it hasn’t happened. If anything, I was in from the get-go with Trapeze. Heck, part of the stuff I was privileged to be a part of won an award, for the first time. I never got to be a part of something like that in the past.

Is it too early? Or, am I feeling something legit. Thing is, I have to remain committed to this decision and give it some time. Even more so, I’m not going to go crawling back to Trapeze. I do have some pride to consider, especially since in the end that despite the respect I got from them, I didn’t feel valuable enough to fight for.

So, where do I go from here?

Pushing my buttons…

Today has already started off to be great freakin’ day with the devil just hammering at my buttons trying to find the one that makes me explode.

To start off, I can’t seem to get out the door no matter how early I wake up in the morning. Can’t find the pattern there and break it. Traffic pile-ups between Milton and Toronto… courtesy of the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (they are the most primitive agency… heck, they should get the dudes to run the 407 to manage our highways – they get it!!). And, the cherry on my sundae is a scum-sucking brainless twit in a blue Ford F-150 that just decides to cut me off and almost wanting to get into an accident. The butt-head probably got his license out of a cereal box! He has the brains of a dead cow… and that’s an insult to the dead cow.

And to think… my day has only begun! I’m gonna be in such a fantastic mood when I go pick up Joelle from the airport… and worse of all, she doesn’t deserve to be at the end of my acid tongue. So much for today!

Big CD score this weekend: Complete works of Robert Johnson!

This weekend I scored big while going out for lunch with Josh. We decided to take a walk around the mall, and I decided to take a walk into HMV and just browse just for the sake of browsing. To my surprise, as I was having a look at the blues section, I found the complete recordings of Robert Johnson that he did back in the late 20’s and early 30’s. I felt like I was playing the of part of Ralph Macchio’s role in Crossroads, except for the fact that I have a lot more than 12 songs. In fact, there were 41 recordings in this collection, full of alternate takes and such. Now, I have something to go along with the Robert Johnson guitar video that I found not too long ago.

If anything, I’m going to give my ears a treat and listen to this stuff today. I’m hoping that when we go down to Florida this year, I manage to find a bunch more stuff like this, such as Son House, and a few others. Plus, I am going to find the guitar stores down there in hopes that I find some more guitar videos teaching the styles of Rev. Gary Davis, Lightning Hopkins, Mance Lipscombe and others like them.