Friday, June 23, 2006

Digital Suicide?

CableFix 1.0

I'm beginning to grow uneasy. The structure my life is built around is due for an assessment. The sheer number of structural changes available to me are overwhelming. July 24th 2006 is a date as significant as any other in history for me. This is my D-Day - Decision Day - because my teaching contract is up.

Trying to figure out ones life is a daunting task. Rather than approach it strategically, one piece at a time I opt to start tapping out the Beats Per Minute of my entire music collection. I'll need to know this information once I live my dream of being an international DJ.

If tapping beats gets old I delve into iPhoto and begin managing my photo library. I upload my shots to Flickr in the hopes some amazing photographers will recognize my work and hire me on with National Geographic. A watched inbox never gets a message so I pass the time integrating those photos into this here web page because there are few things I enjoy more than writing HTML code, and I'm not even being sarcastic.

I'm not sure how clear it is to strangers reading this, but my friends and family know that my life 85% digital. Digital music, digital photos, digital movies, digital documents and digital communications. Lately I've considered quitting digital cold turkey. My room mate has his doubts about whether I'm capable of this kind of digital suicide. But he's also making offers on all of my gear.

For a long time I've daydreamed of returning to a simpler, more practical life. A life filled with more tangible things. I'm worried our generation will see a day when electronics become boat anchors; be it due to neutron bombs, energy exhaustion, global collapse, environmental rage... or Mr. Kim Il, my next door neighbor! If this happens, and even if it doesn't, what am I left with, both physically and mentally? Let's see:

I'll have beautiful aluminum Mac Power Book to grind my grains on. A MIDI Piano/Keyboard which makes absolutely no sound. Maybe if I ripped out the fake ivory keys I might be able to craft them into spearheads. Also, the rotary knobs world make good buttons! And then there are three MP3 players and 2 digital cameras I could easily throw and knock a small varmint out with. Or perhaps the lens on my SLR could be used as a spotting scope or to make fires!

I've been considering a transition as follows:
Typing -> Learning to write on paper again
Photos -> Learning to draw and sketch
Music -> Continuing with drumming and learning guitar
Net Research -> Reading books
Programing -> Gardening (hey, seeds are full of code)

There's only one problem, I'm having the time of my life here in Korea. The job and life style afford me the time and resources to do everything I enjoy doing. Every weekend there is a grueling selection process. Will I take trip somewhere in Korea, spend the weekend at home with my girlfriend, go surfing, play paint ball, go on a motor bike tour with the boys, go hiking, visit a festival, make tracks, do some photography, update the blog or drink myself silly. Usually I can't decide and it's a combination of all of the above.

Thus I may delay my digital suicide for one more year and live it up here in Korea. This'll buy me another year to figure out what I really want to do with my life... and that's what my generation is all about.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

My Pants Caught On Fire

My Pants Caught On Fire

powered by ODEO

060618-060415: Sampled some whack interludes on my room mate's Beck CD which were the inspiration for this D&B track. Starting to better understand Reason. Think my production is getting better.

SoundClash 5 - SampleGration

Listen - Vote - Battle

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Funerals, Bikes and Swimming

I was reading my buddy Bryant's blog. He summed the day up so nicely I figured why reinvent the wheel...

"Then the motorcycle called. Greg, Will and I took off through country roads at breakneck speeds, breaking the thin pavement while taking turns like animals, frightening the locals and running over animals. Well not so breakneck..."

Read the rest here

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Busan Breaks


Any ideas how my hands turned this color? No, I didn't dip them in the local river. Nor are they the result of pretending to be a muslim woman for a day. This is what happens when your wet-suit ends at the wrist.

The only thing which has mattered these past few weeks is surfing. My once new room mate, Bryan, spoke of nothing else since arriving here. Then his computer was delivered and surf videos began streaming day and night through my modem. Where as Bryan has done relatively little surfing Jason, my friend and previous room mate, has considerable experience.


Whenever Bryan and Jason communicated, 90% of the message had to do with surfing. Long after the parties at our place had ended these two would be sitting there, watching a surf vid on the lap top and throwing out all sorts of big names and surf jargon I could only pretend to relate to. One night Rory, another surf fanatic, stayed after our other friends and girlfriends got sick of surf talk and left. The four of us flipped through a surf magazine Bryan had brought with him. We gazed at the well worn pages, fantasizing about riding similar waves one day.

Then on May 5th Rory and Bryan set out on a mission to find waves. I only remember the specific date because I and many others suffered our worst hangover yet in this country. The previous night had been my birthday.


We all met at a local gravel pit, a pork restaurant with a gravel floor, and ended up drinking copious amounts of beer, soju (24% Rice Liquor)


and whatever else the locals encouraged us to drink that night.


Then we migrated to the park to drink more, play basketball and make music until four in the morning.


I met my girlfriend at the bus station at 8:30am, on the verge of death. The can of beer Jason prescribed for my hangover wasn't helping any. I slept the first 5 hours to the Tea Festival and came so close to barfing on the last bus I decided to sit on the steps next to the garbage can. As soon as Alice and I hit the hotel it was lights out for both of us.


That night the rain came with vengeance. It never stopped poring the entire trip.


We almost decided skip the festival but at the last minute we realized it would be stupid to skip the very thing we had come for.


So we endured the rain and actually really enjoyed the aesthetic it gave the place.



The journey home was much more pleasant.


Judging by the last time I'd seen Bryan - sleeping with the kitchen garbage can beside his bed and already quarter full of vomit - I figured he and Rory would have opted to stay home. But they had in fact gone - and found waves... and it had been even easier than anticipated. Their taxi driver not only knew where to take them, he gave them the low down on some super secret surf spots!

Since this day Bryan, Rory and I have gone surfing every weekend. Weather has suddenly become a whole lot more interesting to me. All of us are constantly up date on the marine forecasts looking at wave tables, tides and satellite imagery. The first weekend was gray and rainy but this meant the waves were peeking at 1.6 meters.


They were no good for learning, and we got absolutely pummeled by them but it was still a hell of a lot of fun.


Also, bad weather meant uncrowded beached which was nice. The water was cold enough that part of my feet went yellow-y numb by the end of my three hours, but I didn't come close to loosing them like Bryan had the previous weekend.

This last weekend was amazing. Alice and Jason joined us this time around. The waves were a little smaller than last time, 1.2 meters, but they were rolling in much nicer, great for learning.


Only this time is was sunny and 28 degrees so tons of Koreans and and half the US Army were holding the beech.


I never realized what a huge difference height makes when trying to make it past the break. Waves were hitting me in the wast and pushing me around a little but to Alice they were brick walls body checking and washing her up onto the shore. Nonetheless, she was a trooper and managed to catch a couple rides in before calling it a day due to exhaustion.

I found and named my favorite break out there this time. Not only did it have the best waves, it didn't have any current . The water had warmed up significantly, the whole experience was euphoric and thus I had no desire to leave. Things started coming together. I was learning how to read the waves and select the better ones. I got the hang of how to speed up and slow down when lying on the board. I even managed to stand up and ride an entire wave out before jumping around screaming with joy.


When I finally turned in I realized just how tiered I was. Alice, her friend and I had some dinner and then caught the train back home.


Now, I too, am becoming obsessed with surfing. Bryan now owns a board and is living his dream. I'm considering spending a week or two of being a surf-bum up in Busan. I've already checked the wave tables for text week and looks like 1.1 meters on Friday!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sound Thoughts


It's never a dull moment when allowed a glimpse inside of the mind of a grade eight Korean student. A couple weeks ago I tried a new activity in my most advanced English classes. It would turn out to benefit both teacher and students. Students would have a chance to do some "free-writing" and try to translate music into words, meanwhile, teacher would get some feedback and much needed votes SoundClash.

The following is a copy of what my grade 8 English students wrote when listening to each track. Enjoy!

deep sea, scary, (picture of lantern fish) a piano that one key doesn't work, a song that is one octave down, mechanical, violin + mechanical, cool waves (picture of waves), weird matrix, movie

*** 3 STARS

frog, funny kids, joke mischief, country, violin, climbing a mountain, bagpipe, skirts Scotland, frog, jump, zig zag, game
(pictures of a bagpipe and a frog jumping)
**** 4 STARS

stinky, farting, mechanic, a machine that is broken. echo, weird, alien, drain, sewer (picture of a mouse, can and sewer)

echo, weird, dancing, a ball bouncing (picture of a bouncing ball)


mysterious, aquatic, ringing, submarine, underwater, radar, classical, piano, up and down, African drum beats, rhythmical, lively, all combined, violin, chasing, dancing, searching, weird, imaginary

funky, funny, slow, repeating, country like, D.J. song, harmony, cool, in the long highway, with an open car listening to this music, wild west, hiphop car, childish, jumpy, glueish

boinky, French, electric, bouncy, repeated, weird, phone call, prank, joke, horror movie, Armageddon, devilish, joke, hooking, heeping, fade out

space, funky, beat box, ringing, talking


temple, bells, ring, in the quite temple, ghost, scary, chilly, scary, a thief came into the store

entered into a game place
a famous chellist is playing fusion music
stuck in a puzzle

talk on the phone secretly
float on the moon
old game

left in the jungle


cool, freaky, scary, in a dripping cave
bright sunlight comes out
drum - tropical island, a feast
suddenly - cyber place, someone chasing someone

funny harmonica
jumping, jump-rope or bouncing a ball
playing hide and seek
alien language

I like Harpyness better because it's fun. The first one is rather scary.

a horror movie, bad phone calls made by that man
I don't understand what he says
he's chasing me
he says a weird language I can't understand
weird freaky

scary texture
squeeze slightly, right now
What is he saying?
If you have saliva?
I wrote what I heard