Planting a Garden

Posted July 6, 2011 @ 7:40 pm | Filed under: The Workbench

This is a new type of “project” for me: planting a garden. I’ve been wanting to do this for a while now since I have a bit of land of my own, and finally it’s come to fruition.

Constructing It

I went with a raised-bed garden, which means I made some 4 foot by 8 foot frames out of untreated 2x8s, and within the frames I added some organic soil to the native soil and mixed them together. Around the outside of the garden, I put up a fence to hinder critters from helping themselves to the fruits of my labor.

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Retro Game Highlight: Time Tunnel

Posted July 1, 2011 @ 11:05 am | Filed under: Geekery

I need to write more about old games that I love. So here’s an attempt to that end.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I was young I had I have a collection of Commodore 64s, and one of the games I remember playing a lot in my younger days is Time Tunnel. Time Tunnel is a strange game that places the main character, a nameless gnome, in a mysterious mansion (with four rooms) containing a broken time machine. The goal of the game is to find all the pieces of the fabled Gnome Treasure Map, store them all in a black hole in the year 9999, and thus reveal the location of the also-fabled Gnome Treasure. The pieces of the map are hidden — you guessed it — at different times throughout history.

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Alive In The North Woods: Technical Details

Posted May 4, 2011 @ 2:05 pm | Filed under: High Fidelity

Yellow Lady Slipper recently released their (our) new live disc, called Alive In The North Woods. For those interested, here are some technical details about what went into producing it.

First, some background: The disc was compiled from two live shows done in the month of February 2011. The first show was at North Country Brewing Company (Slippery Rock, PA) and the other at Beans On Broad (Grove City, PA). We ended up with somewhere around 25 usable song takes, and whittled that down to a final 9 we were happy-ish with our performances on. We also decided we didn’t want to do any “cheating”, which we defined as: nothing that couldn’t be done live. So no overdubs, no wrong note or pitch correction aside from turning down the volume on a track, etc. We believe in “audio honesty”. ;)

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Free Software Highlight: GnuCash

Posted March 30, 2011 @ 11:19 am | Filed under: Geekery

Not everyone likes doing double-entry accounting… including me. But I do it anyway, because after squeaking by my accounting classes in college, I now know that there’s no better way to get a handle on your finances. I’m pretty sure if I wasn’t keeping track of every dollar I spend, I’d have a much tougher time deciding whether or not I can afford purchases.

Given my penchant for software freedom, I was happy to find a few years ago there are some free/open-source double-entry accounting options… I went with one called GnuCash, which aims to be a Quickbooks replacement (though I actually prefer it to Quickbooks now that I’m used to it, because it’s more straightforward for my use-case, personal finances).

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Sump pump installation

Posted March 14, 2011 @ 12:31 pm | Filed under: The Workbench

To combat the mostly-minor water accumulation trouble in the basement where the studio is being built, we decided to put in a sump pump. This wasn’t a minor undertaking by any stretch, and I don’t recommend doing it unless you absolutely need it or you love annoying dirty projects. For us, it was the former: there’s no way we could take a chance with water accumulation being a problem in the studio. The sump will keep the water level well below the basement floor at all times so we don’t get water leaking up through the cracks.