Monthly Archives: December 2008

2008 Year-End Wrap-Up

A fairly usual year of activity for me- less traveling, more stuff locally. My last holiday letter came out in early March, so this covers from there forward.

Family trust: finished liquidating the rest of my mom’s properties and closed out the trust business. Yay! Have a closing tax return and K-1s to distribute, but there wasn’t much activity in 2008, so it should be straightforward. I’m Really Glad it’s done.

Real estate: I bought my mom’s house from the trust, hired contractors to do the major overhauls. Spent the 2nd half of 2008 doing hands-on reconstruction work, which will last into the first half of 2009. It’s fun and satisfying to swing a hammer and push a paint brush, seeing direct results from my actions (as opposed to managing 50 people two levels away). On the other hand, I’d have been happy with a couple months of that, not the year it’s going to take.

Fungus Fighters Construction removing old floor heater

Fungus Fighters Construction removing old floor heater

Relationships: started dating Dorit, and, by extension, her 7-yr-old son Gil. It’s been fascinating learning about 7-yr-old views of the world and modern family dynamics. It’s also startling how world-wise he is in some ways, and completely naive in others. I’m also recognizing some adult behavior as carried over from when the people were his age…
Dorit & Gil at his 7th birthday party

Dorit & Gil at his 7th birthday party

Music: finished a second certificate program at Berklee, a 9-unit electric bass series. Spent the rest of the year doing the other half of the classwork that didn’t fit the first time through. Reworked my 5-string Fender Jazz, am starting to look for people to play with. Also found the Jazzschool in Berkeley, which might be a good next step on the path to adding academic heft to my music doings.

Biking: bought a new road bike (Bianchi) in April, joined a couple bike clubs, and successfully completed the Chico Wildflower and Wine Country centuries (100 miles each). Don’t know that I’d do the Wildflower again… as much as I like Chico, parts of the Wildflower are tedious, especially the 20mi return through never-ending orchards. The Wine Country c. was excellent, though, scenic and varied. Only rode about half the 4000 miles I’d targeted for this year, but that’s better than 2007.

2009 is undefined. It will take another 4-6 months to finish the building rehab and find tenants, though sooner would be better. I’ll do something with music, still working out what that will be. Am considering returning to the salaried working world- steady paychecks are looking kinda luxurious in these economic times. Will do at least another couple century rides, am resisting the enthusiasm of the Grizzly Peak Cyclists list for double-centuries. 200-mile rides are unnatural.

Have a great New Year!

Have a great New Year!

Live To Rock up and playin’

closeup of Fender J-Bass pao ferro neck
There’s a new track posted- Live To Rock, from the early Urban Fiction work with Jenn last spring, remixed with a rewritten bass line. I went for a live club feel on this mix, not overdoing things based on what four people could do live on stage (though, really, it’s either five people or Jenn would have been singing and playing rhythm guitar at the same time). The energy and groove of the track is pretty cool, even with just four players.

This is the first piece using the reconstructed Fender 5-string jazz bass (on the left in the linked image), with a little crisper sound than the p-bass. Jenn’s vocals were recorded in my loft using an AT 4033a large-diaphragm cardioid mic, into Digital Performer at 24-bit. Didier played and recorded his lead guitar work separately and uploaded his audio; I later dropped it all into Logic Pro 8 for the rhythm section work, mixing, and mastering.

Credits: Vocals- Jenn Flaa. Lead guitar- Didier Bouvet. Bass, rhythm programming- Slate. Lyrics- Jenn. Music- Jenn & Slate. Arrangement & production- Slate.

If one hand claps in the forest…

Created a Twitter account today, partly because I’m thinking about doing Santarchy next Saturday and they’re planning to use Twitter to communicate on the day, partly because it’s survived long enough it might be worth a look. It’s like Yahoo Groups for TXTers – one person has 2100 people he was following and 2200 following him, another woman follows 5,644, has 7,253 following her. Wonder how many people actually correspond, versus the lurkers?

Even so, 7,000 reading your tweets is non-trivial, even if one is a “Bio Social Web Strategist.”

It’s kinda fun to post snippets re whatever I’m thinking / doing / experiencing at the moment. My approach would change, though, if I had a couple thousand people paying attention. Heck, my approach changed with ONE person paying attention.