Being shaped by life

I think I have an idea as to why things are happening the way they are at the moment. Everything in life usually happens to build strength in character for the next things that happen in life. If anything, I know I have been unhappy at work and have been stressed out of my mind here. I also know that I have been getting stronger in the sense that certain admirable, I hope, characteristics are starting to show. As weird as it may seem, I think that I’m starting to see some leadership qualities in
me.

Let’s put it this way. For the past four days, I have been running a team of nineteen developers to try and get this project over and done with. With the help of our resource manager, who has been nothing short of a fantastic support for me, I actually managed to put a strategy together to match the project to the developer. So far the plan was met with acceptance, and even if it wasn’t it was still a big accomplishment for me. If anything, part of this plan was also to reduce the chances of having to stay late or do weekends for any of the developers. I don’t want them to wind up as I did emotionally.

I’m hoping that this plan works, because if I matched them up right, then not only will they complete their stuff, but we can all pool together to blitz out the remaining stuff in a snowball fashion.

I even managed to take the lead on couple of project and paired a few devs together on projects that were in danger of missing their deadlines. Funny thing is that this was the fastest I ever acted.

So if this is what is supposed to happen in life right now, then perhaps I just need to try and let it shape me, rather than just drop and run like I seemed to used to do I the past.

I guess it is like iron when you beat it so many times. It gets stronger and more resistant.

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can

My computer gave me a new respect for bassists!

When Apple introduced Logic 9, they added a feature in there, called Flexible Audio. Being the interested audio engineering geek that I am, I had to give it a test.

First place I decided to test it was with my bass lines. If anything, they looked in time so I didn’t think it would make that much of a difference. Boy, was I wrong.

I locked the bass to my kick and all of a sudden, it sounded like a brand new song. I’m fact, I had to redo the mix because everything was very clear and punchy. I was shocked because in the blink of an eye, I could see just how bad my bass playing was. That minute timing in my playing made all the difference between a tight groove and a sloppy mess. It obviously didn’t take much to show just much of a difference it makes.

If anything this little venture into flexible audio has given me a brand new respect for bassists and just how important they are at holding down the bottom end of a song. It means that I really need to work on tightening my timing because that little adjustment will be the difference between something with a punchy bottom end and something that is flabby and loose.

It also means that I’m going to have to trust my gut a little more. There were plenty of times that I felt that the timing didn’t feel right, but thought perhaps it’s me overreacting. Obviously not! That groove is important and I need to do everything I can to keep it going. Timing is definitely everything.

More is not better…

I just finished restoring my fave guitar last night and I decided to plug it into my POD X3 Live. I was thinking to myself that I could find out what settings I needed in order to make it as nice sounding as the Amp Designer plug-ins with Logic Pro 9. I decided to try some of the many settings that I had made, that I thought once sounded good. Sure enough, they don’t sound very good anymore. I got to a point where I had to switch patches because they were hurting my ears. That’s when I decided to cut it down to the bare essentials.

I cut out all of the effects and just went right for the amp itself. In many cases, that’s where the problem lied. Sure, there are a lot of modelled amps in my X3. However, it seems like the 25 that I have in Amp Designer really kick the stuffing out of my X3. In Logic, I hear music and harmony. In my X3, I’m hearing noise and dissonance. I don’t know if it’s me, but I seem to lack inspiration when I plug into my X3. As soon as I plug into Logic, I’m hearing musical vibrations. I can’t put my finger on it, but with the last two songs I did, I decided to use the Amp Designer and Pedalboard from Logic and loved the results. I couldn’t stop listening to “I Wanna Be…” as the guitars totally rocked out.

I may have more amp choices in my X3, but I am starting to feel like I have better amp modelling in Logic. I’m hoping I’m just missing something…

Wanting to be wanted…

God must have been listening to me talk to Joelle last night about spending Christmas in Calgary with my kids that are out there. If He didn’t, then we really couldn’t not explain the fantastic seat price we got on the plane ticket, considering that there was no announced seat sale and the fact that Westjet usually never has a Christmas seat sale.

God probably heard the rest of our conversation as well, which was to eventually move out to Alberta, to be near our kids that are out there. I’ll admit that my heart aches to go out there and probably spend the rest of my life out there. If anything, it’s starting to feel as if there’s nothing left in Ontario for me anymore. Heck, look at how I see it: the three that are out there with their families are begging to always have us out to spend the holidays with and the one that is here with his family never spends any holidays with us. For the past two years, nothing: no Easter, Passover, Christmas, Thanksgiving… nothing. They go to his wife’s parents for the holidays. It sort of makes me feel insignificant to them. This is why I am glad to fly out this year. I have always wanted my family together for the holidays and it seems sad that I cannot have this. Heck, even my one son out there who feels I am the worst father to walk this planet wants me out there to celebrate the holidays with. That says more to me than anything else. I’d fly out for him because I know he wants me there… nothing more. Heck, the grandkids out there are so excited and Grandma and Grandpa are coming for Christmas. They can’t wait to see us… and I really can’t wait to see them! At least I now know why grandparents love to spoil their grandkids.

I don’t think that what I am feeling is wrong. Sure, as parents, we are no longer needed as much as our kids get older and grow with their own families. But, it is not wrong to want to be wanted by our kids. I think that’s what any parent wants these days as they get older and see their kids go off on their own lives. And, sometimes, the easiest indicator of showing a parent that you want them is by spending a holiday or two with them. Yes, Joelle and I are busy people and we’ve always been… but we’ve always made time on the holidays because we know it’s about family.

At the very least, I’m grateful I have one child eating with us this Thanksgiving…

It’s all coming back

It’s been almost a couple of weeks since deciding to take back my life from my job. All I can say is that I have no regrets.

If anything, I’ve started to see things a lot clearer now. I can see the damage I have done all over. My health suffered. I have never seen the type of illnesses that I had experience lately. And considering that I was rundown and stressed, I probably should not be surprised to see these diseases. At least I can feel my strength coming back while my body is cleaning up the garbage. I had my best bike ride last night.

My creativity suffered to the point where I had been not able to write any music. This was depressing in itself. My ventures back to the mixing board have been nothing short of therapeutic. There’s definitely healing in the vibrations.

I feel my emotions coming back in check. This was something that I will not doubt was wreaking havoc throughout my family. Poor Joelle must have gone through hell putting up with me for the past little while. And Joshua… I will no doubt bet that my own state of mind has been affecting his state of mind. Heck, he’s been an emotional train wreck for the past two weeks.

All I can say is I’m sorry and I’m not going to let that ever happen again. Certain things in life are just not worth the cost!

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can

Musical Healings…

In my resolve to take back what is mine and separate my life from my job at the end of the work day, I’ve taken the first steps in regaining who I am after all the work is done. Part of that first step is healing. I have to heal the wounds because they don’t help to remain open, as I have discovered in the past.

For me, there’s no better healing than music. I went to the mixing board last night and ripped apart “In the Eyes of a Stranger” mainly because of the same reason as “I Wanna Be…”. I didn’t like how it sounds.

The first place I looked at was the drums. There was something wimpy about it. Once I found a stronger kick, I could feel an immediate uplifting. Mind you, I may change my mind tonight, but at least the healing is happening.

It must be something in the rhythm or the vibrations because I could feel them in the healing. If anything, I am using these anomalies in the rhythm to fix what I am finding in the song. The beauty of this is that I am finding conflicts with the bass due to timing. Fixing this will probably help this healing process. I can feel it already. Thus, it must be right.

I will admit that I am grateful for the audio tools that helps the healing. But using them now is coming from within. I’m finding that I am not just hearing what’s happening, but feeling it as well. And it is feeling better… music is definitely part of my healing.

— Posted from my iPhone… because I can