How Tasty Is Your Music?

Today was Drum Circle day down at Kokomos. On my way there I stopped at the supermarket and browsed in the produce department for my musical instruments.

For this first public foray I chose an Apple, Pear, Orange and a Mandarin Orange.

I was late – they’d already stared drumming. And I had to stop and ask the proprietors if I could borrow 4 forks and a knife. (needed for the musical instrument of course!)

As everyone was having fun on the drums I set about assembling my ‘musical instrument’.

  • I removed the fruit from the plastic bag and laid them out on the flattened bag (so the table would not get messy).
  • Then I stuck a fork into each fruit.
  • Then I fastened a different alligator clip to the handles of each fork.
  • Then I connected those alligator clips to the Makey-Makey board. (I hadn’t mentioned this component yet had I? more on that in a second)
  • Then I connected the board to the USB port on my tablet. My tablet was already up and running SoundPlant software.
  • Holding the ground clip in my left hand I then touched each fruit in succession with the knife in my right hand. The knife didn’t work all that well so I dropped it and used my hand.
  • The oranges worked right away, but they did require some squeezing. The Pear and Apple did not. So I stabbed them with their forks a few times and smeared their blood juices over their bodies. Then they worked.
  • I found that if I squeezed the fruit I got a good connection and a sound. But squeezing too hard yielded machine-gun rapid sounds. Just like holding a key down on the keyboard. I also did that when I bit into the fruit and ripped chunks off it. Music from dining!

Ok, what am I talking about?

Last winter I got a Makey-Makey. This little device allows you to turn almost anything into a ‘key’ on a keyboard to your PC. And using software like SoundPlant you can put any sound behind almost any key. So that means you can pick a sound and then make a real world thing make that sound.  A Carrot can sound like a Picollo. A Croissant like a French Horn. Bowls of Jelly become keys on a scale.

And when the drumming session was over I got to eat my musical instruments. And share them with others. Delicious.


not missing it yet

Now on evening 3 of the no TV period.
Today I’m hurting because last night I used muscles I haven’t lately and bent joints in ways I do not normally bend them.
And my wallet is skinnier than before … I can’t believe how much bowling cost. 2 people, 5 games + shoes = $39 😦
But it was fun. And a bottle of wine with good company made the walk home tolerable.
Tonight it’s a local choir at the local highschool auditorium. The only thing I can imagine getting hurt is someone’s feelings if I fall asleep … haven’t sat through a choir since I was young.

every journey begins with step one

So what did my first evening without the boob tube go like?
I edited video, ate, napped which turned into a sleep to 1:30 AM … at which point I got up and had tea and edited more video (different project) until 4:30 AM. I left the machine rendering a 2 1/5 hour file and slept until 7:30 AM.
Got the news from the newspaper and the web. Actually leafed through the paper from front to back, and then did last week’s weekender issue.
Tonight I’m going bowling. Not alone …
Am I suffering withdrawal symptoms? A number of times I’ve checked to see if it’s really gone … it is. 🙂
But I’m not feeling bad about it being gone. There might be some shows I’d like to keep up with but in the near future they’ll all be available on DVD so I can put my money where my viewing desires lie instead of bulk payment for bulk product – most of which I never consume anyway.

Another path away from here

Today I may be starting a departure from a ‘here’ that I’ve had as long as I can remember … TV world.
Back in the spring I asked for my Cable to be disconnected.
Time went by and it stayed live.
I go in and their records show it as having been disconnected …
We figure that maybe it’s some sort of freebie for volunteering on the community channel side of things but don’t really know.
But … the way I think of it is like this: TV may be my oldest ‘addiction‘ (or here). When it’s on, a part of me fixates on it while a lot of the rest of me goes into suspension. It’s that zombie-like state that gets you more relaxed than sleeping (ok, maybe it’s reading – but I seem to remember it as sleeping in more than one encounter with this idea in the past),
If I ask ‘Please stop it’ and they do not, it’s like having drugs delivered to a junkie’s front door. “You don’t have to do them you know …” just does not work. My hand can find the damned TV remote all by itself and my fingers find the On button on their own as well … I don’t want to close them up in a box because I do watch movies and do produce video and need to see it.
So … months went by and the cable kept working …
A month ago I noticed that someone had tipped the lid of the cable junction box in the lane and I reported it – hoping they’d notice I was still hooked up when they fixed it and disconnect me. Nope.
Today I come home and … snow. On TV. All channels. It’s been hours …
Could it be gone? For real this time?
Like – I have to find things to do with my time instead of mindlessly staring at the tube?
(just a bit of a shudder there)
Hmm …
So I’m blogging … and when I went to re-search the idea above (TV relaxes more than sleep) I found myself spending time reading … about being addicted to TV.
This is interesting stuff … but I feel kind of like I’m doing navel staring from the inside. I’ll have to find something else to do with my time.
Maybe a movie … Nahh, just kidding.
The house could use some organization … there’s editing to do … books partially read in the pipe … something will get chosen.
DIY entertainment