Red Echo

May 31, 2008

I feel almost too busy to think.

Last night we had another Friday night mixer at Heden. Around eleven I brought my music system downstairs, plugged it into the stereo, and played for our guests. There were a good forty or so people there, all hanging out and talking and drinking wine, so I played more ambient, downtempo stuff. It was a good supportive crowd and I think everyone enjoyed it, for novelty’s sake if nothing else.

My goal was to play for an hour, but I figured I would let myself stop after 40 minutes if inspiration ran dry. The hour went by in a blink, so I kept on going, and ended up playing for 90 minutes before I had to stop, stretch, and get a drink. Wow! Fun!

Tomorrow night is the show at Ouch My Eye. I’m a lot less nervous now than I was before last night. This will work.

Other things going on: I am going to clean up my old bike and post it on craigslist this weekend. I am also shopping for a new bike, and have a couple of candidates I want to go check out later this afternoon. It took an hour and a half to get home yesterday, in beautiful sunny weather: I just sat there with the sunroof open, watching the motorcyclists zoom by in the carpool lane, and tried not to be too jealous.

The Burning Man camp is on. Seven people have committed so far, and another four are thinking about it. Yesterday I designed a layout, sent in the placement application, and started up a google group. I even have a project in mind which will be a great theme-camp hook, but won’t require much prep work: I’m going to bring along a whole bunch of LEDs and other parts, and hold on-playa electronics workshops teaching people to make their own wearable blinky gadgets.

Miss Black landed in Los Angeles yesterday and will show up in Seattle next week. I am excited.

May 28, 2008

Here’s a simple and fun heartbeat LED blinker circuit: instead of flashing on/off, this blinks twice, then pauses. Looks like it might be a bit of a nuisance to drive multiple LEDs, though.

May 25, 2008

Andrew gets ready to take Joel, MJ, and I up on a plane flight

May 24, 2008

Out on the town for his 21st birthday, Mike arm-wrestles his friend David

May 23, 2008

MJ and Andrew

Jeanine and Abigail on their way to Andrew’s graduation ceremony

May 20, 2008

Open Flame Dance Theater will be holding a benefit party on June 1st at the Ouch My Eye Gallery, in Seattle’s stadium district. The event will run from 7 til 11 PM, with music, a bar, a silent auction, and a preview performance by the dance troupe. All ages, no cover, open invitation.

This is the event I referred to a couple of days ago. I’m going to be playing something approximating ambient downtempo glitch & breaks; it may or may not be danceable, but it should at least be interesting. Please come! It’d be great to have friends there for my project’s debut.

May 19, 2008

Creative Technology Lasers offers
blu-ray lasers (405nm)
at reasonable prices, with cases.

I took the 545 express in to work today and sat on the north side of the bus, facing south. You can see Mount Rainier across the whole 520 bridge, of course, but it pops back up for an encore from the 405 interchange to the beginning of the exit ramp for 148th.

May 18, 2008

This morning I did some more work on the music I’m going to perform at Katie’s dance-troupe benefit show in two weeks. This will be the first public outing of my improvisational-electronica project; I’ll be opening up for a couple of bands with an hour of downtempo. I’m a little nervous; despite the fact that improvisation is the whole point, I think I’m going to feel underprepared until approximately five minutes after I’ve finished playing.

After a nice lunch with Lena at Salmon Bay Cafe, I did some cleaning at the Rocket Factory and then started in on a new pair of legging-lights for next week’s product photo shoot. These are about 5x brighter than the actual product; the idea is that they might stand up better against Thomas’ studio flash and help reduce the need for post-processing.

Adam, Michael, and John came by while I was working, to check out the space and pick up the stereo system. John and Holly bought a piece of forest land in Eastern Washington, and they’re having a big campout over there this weekend.

I am thinking about hiring a part-time assistant for my sewing projects. Lena suggested I might be able to get an intern through Seattle Central, which is an interesting option. I’m not sure how much time I would need, or how I would fit this around my work schedule, but the idea of amplifying my creative process via parallelization has a definite appeal.

Adam and Janet invited me over for barbecued kalbi steak on their rooftop deck, so we all sat around drinking wine (brought by a neighbor Adam pulled in at the last minute!) and watching the sunset glow fade on Mount Rainier. Beautiful city.

After dinner Dawn came over and we worked on the lining for her coat. We only do a little bit each time, but it is steadily coming together; the lining is finished now, and next time we’ll stitch it into the fur.

May 17, 2008

I borrowed Alexis’ pickup again and drove down to White Center to retrieve my motorcycle. It is now living in Peter Z.’s garage, so he can tinker with it if he pleases. When I talked about giving up on the bike project, the universal response was, “well, have you talked to Sandy yet?” I don’t really know Sandy but all my friends apparently do, so I got in touch with her, and she’ll come by some time this week to have a look. Maybe the story isn’t over yet.

It was a really hot day. I spent most of the afternoon laying around, doing little or nothing. A dozen or so people came over to hang out before going off to watch a roller derby, and we all sprawled out on blankets in the back yard.

After a nice satisfying sushi dinner I went over to Grrrattitude house for Maegan’s 30th birthday party. It was full of smart people, friendly conversation, goofy party games, and even some arts-n-crafts. We all made custom wine charms from a coffee table overflowing with beads, wire, and other supplies. Paper airplanes, sidecars, duck-duck-goose, psytrance, and costume changes – it was a great night.

May 15, 2008

MJ in her jacket

Nobody will work on my bike. I spent three hours last night manhandling it into Alexis’ truck and down to some shop in White Center that said they would fix it, only to get a call this morning from an irritated mechanic who doesn’t like what he sees.

Time to give up, I think. It’s a sexy, bad-ass bike, but this just is not working out.

Maybe I’ll try again next summer, with a newer machine.

May 13, 2008

May 12, 2008

I spent the weekend in New York with MJ. I left Wednesday night, arrived early on Thursday, and proceeded to spend much of the day asleep. My plans had revolved more around a shopping trip in the Fashion District than a good long snooze, but I probably needed the rest.

The shopping trip, once it got underway, turned out to be overwhelming. Just one store, Mood (of Project Runway fame), provided more options than I could deal with. I walked in with the idea that I would pick out perhaps a dozen really cool fabrics, bring home a few yards of each, and let them inspire my projects for the next several months. This plan turned out not to make any sense. Each single aisle had as many bolts, stacked floor to ceiling, as an entire Pacific Fabrics outlet – and the store spans three floors. There was just no way to narrow it down. Instead I wandered, browsing at random, letting my sense of possibilities expand, collecting swatches of everything that caught my eye. I’ll go back in six months with some specific designs to shop for, and in the meantime I can mail back a swatch if I want to order some material.

MJ finished work around eight-something, which is early for her these days, and took me on a tour around her office. It’s a great place; nice, polished, and more approachable than I expected a big NYC law firm to be.

Friday, we collected her friends Jodi and Cat, Jodi’s little sausage-dog Gus, and a trunk full of camping gear, then proceeded upstate for a weekend in the Adirondacks. We all brought our iPods, and spent the drive up shuffling them around and picking tracks from each other’s collections. The city becomes forest with surprising speed, and most of the drive in runs through green rolling hills. You’d never know you were only a few hours away from North America’s second-largest city.

The group totaled about a dozen people, and we spent the weekend at a wilderness reserve called Dippikill, hanging out in a big log cabin, cooking over a wood fire, playing Taboo and kick-the-can, chopping logs, drinking a lot of whiskey… MJ’s friends are smart and fun and the conversation rocketed along nonstop. She enjoyed herself thoroughly and I think everyone else did too.

The big question, of course: what about the jacket? I hope to have pictures up within a couple of days – MJ looks great in it, and was really happy with the way it looks. All the back-and-forth with the prototype paid off, as the the fit didn’t need any adjustment. I did tweak the front hem line to better suit MJ’s taste, but the new line still works with the original concept.

This was the most ambitious project I’ve attempted so far, and I was worried that some mistake in styling or execution would turn it into a big white elephant. It’s a relief to have it finished, and I’m so glad MJ likes it! It has its rough edges, as every creation will, but I achieved what I set out to do, and it feels really good.

May 8, 2008

May 7, 2008


Finished jacket for MJ.

May 5, 2008

I just installed a little program called Synergy, which lets you share a keyboard and mouse between multiple computers. It’s as though you are using a single multimonitor system, except that each machine is still running its own OS. Move the mouse off the edge of one machine’s screen and it will pop up on the other; the keyboard drives whichever machine the cursor happens to be showing on. Terrific! Now I have cleared the great big black ergonomic monster keyboard off my desk and only the sleek aluminum Apple keyboard remains. It’s prettier and much more comfortable.

May 4, 2008



exploring abandoned bunkers at Fort Worden

May 3, 2008

Jeff and Carrie at their wedding reception


abandoned gun emplacement at Fort Worden

May 2, 2008

Google Mars. Seriously.

May 1, 2008

I sewed both sleeves into MJ’s jacket tonight, and that was enough for the evening. The jacket shell is finished now; still to do are pockets, snaps, and a lining. I have one week more – I leave for New York next Wednesday – and that should be plenty of time to finish. This project is definitely a challenge, but it feels good to stretch myself.