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We had about 89% coverage of the sun here in the Chicago area which is, well, not really all that exciting. But with the eclipse falling on the first day of school, I had finally decided that we should just let this one go. Maybe in seven years or so...

Having seen totality once before, it wasn't as big a deal to miss it. :)

In the meantime, the girls had a good first day, so that made staying home more worthwhile.
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Today was Katie and Julie's last day of school for the year. I have not had a chance to look at their report cards yet (because of important reasons appearing on next rock), but Gretchen tells me that they are very good. I am appropriately proud. :)
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It has been extraordinarily busy here for the last few months. It was thus that we found ourselves coming up on the end of the school year and having not yet written a song for Katie's teacher, Mrs. Sharko. We knew what we wanted to write, but actually putting pen to paper was being challenging. We had had discussion on the subject with Katie and Julie. We had nothing actually written down.

And then on Thursday night, I started my vacation.

And at 3 AM I woke up Gretchen and rapped out a verse to her.

"Can I go back to sleep now?"

"Yes. Yes, you can."

Not much later, but much more awake, we managed to finish pulling everything together. While performing the song as a rap was a possibility, setting a tune to it was going to be a better choice. :)

And today, Katie was able to take the recording of the song to Mrs. Sharko, who likes it.

It is only deadline that would get me to record something with this case of bronchitis... :)

Anyway, here are the lyrics:
Lyrics inside... )
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Yesterday's softball game was canceled, which was a good choice, as it had rained much of the day, so the field was not only on its way to becoming a quagmire, but it was the sort of wet cold outside that would have made everyone thoroughly miserable. As a result of the cancellation, we all got to attend the Ice Cream Social at the girls' school. This made everyone very happy.

There's a raffle there where various of the teachers and parents have donated prizes for the benefit of the PTO. I bought raffle tickets for Katie and Julie and let them distribute them as they chose through the various sacks that were collecting tickets for the various items. Katie didn't win anything, but happily Julie won the thing that she really wanted, which was a chance to spend a half day with Mrs. O'Brien, her former first grade teacher, in her class.

The Book Fair was also finishing up last night and I bought a couple of more books that Julie had asked for, because, well, books! (And chapter books to boot...)

Now, if only Katie hadn't picked up a head cold...
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The Terrace Talent Show went off well tonight. All of the participants did well, including Katie and Julie, which made everyone happy.

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The audition for the talent show at the girls' school was tonight. It looks like it will be interesting. Both Katie and Julie tried out and we expect they'll be in the show.
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Really cold. According to Weather Bug, the wind chill at the girls' school is already at -16 degrees F.

I'm thinking that it's a coin flip at best as to whether we're going to wake up in the morning and find that classes have been canceled for the day.

I suppose we'll see in the morning.
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Katie has been accepted into the gifted program at her school. We are all very proud of her.
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When I got my Behringer X-Touch control surface, one of the first things I did was to make little tiny labels for the buttons so I could remap it for use with Cubase. This was easy to do with my Brother P-touch label maker.

Of course, all I had was white tape. The white labels stood out. Like a sore thumb.

Earlier this week, I was poking around on Amazon and found a source for black tape with white lettering, which -- even on the gray parts of the background! -- was likely to look a lot better than the white labels. So I ordered the tape, which arrived earlier this week.

There was then the question of finding the time to do the relabeling. But after today's early morning softball game was rained out (finally, while we were on the way there after getting up earlier than usual -- not the coach's fault in any sense, but the local park district taking their sweet time reaching a decision), we were able to go to the pancake breakfast at the girls' school. Then I came home and paid the bills, after which we took Katie to Glenview for a birthday party. And after we got lunch and picked her back up, we came home and a bit later, I got to relabel the control surface.

Nice looking bunch of labels there. Shame you haven't actually mixed anything...
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When we dropped off supplies at school on Thursday, Katie's new teacher had a handout asking them to bring a "Me Bag" containing things that would tell a story about them, including a family portrait.

Yeah, family portrait. Right. This would require everyone holding still at the same time and someone to take the picture.

Pause me while I laugh hysterically.

On the other hand, a solution could be created.
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My sister and some of my friends asked if they could hear Reader's Waltz which we wrote for Katie's teacher.

If this link works then, yes, you can. :)
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Tomorrow is the last day of school. This means that if we are going to get Katie's song to her teacher, we need to do it tomorrow. (Well, we could wait until next year, but...)

So the chord check was done. Katie and Julie learned the song. And off to the basement we went to record.

Of course, Gretchen hasn't worked with the new interface box. So I showed her how to do that. Not too complex.

And then we recorded my vocals and guitar. And then we recorded Katie and Julie's vocals. And I mixed everything down in Cubase. And I exported the mix to do the trims and burns in WaveLab.

Which would not run.

Did I mention that I upgraded this computer to Windows 10 since I last ran WaveLab? *oops*

I had noticed earlier that there was a new version of WaveLab available which I had intended to get when I had more time. Well, I could either fight with my current WaveLab installation to try to get it running under Windows 10 or I could get the update.

I have gotten the update. It is now thinking about starting as it catalogs all of the available plugins.

I hope this works, because otherwise I am going to be reduced to Windows Media Player or some such to get this CD burned...

Technology. Wonderful stuff. :)
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We're up a bit early this morning, trying to get everything packed and get little girls off to school in advance of our flight to Balticon.

Chaos? Well, just a bit. :)
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Today was the annual bowling fundraiser for the girls' school, so off we went to the bowling alley tonight. Gretchen decided not to bowl, but I had a good time bowling with Katie, Julie, and one of their friends on our alley. My bowling is extremely rusty, but I managed to bowl in the 130s for the first game and the 140s for the second game, which was vaguely respectable.

If only I had known where the ball was going to go. :)

Now, I have a great many sore muscles...


Mar. 25th, 2016 11:41 pm
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Today was the first day of Katie and Julie's spring break. I, of course, had to work...

On the other hand, I did finally finish the large round of changes I've been working on for several weeks, so that was good.
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On Katie's math worksheet for today, we find the following assignment:

Write a math problem that uses the word time interval.

The question for you: what is wrong with this question?
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The Terrace Talent Show was tonight and all of the kids in the show acquitted themselves nicely. Katie and Julie got a lot of nice compliments on their performances. Julie managed to get all the way through to the end of the song before getting a bit lost going into the coda, which had been the bit least practiced, since I hadn't reworked the karaoke track until last week so that it would be included -- they'd been fading it down before the extra chorus repeat to save time. And although Katie and her dance partner managed to line up on the opposite sides of the stage from what they'd done in rehearsal, that actually seemed to improve the performance. :)

Gretchen also got a lot of compliments on the costumes she'd put together for the dance bit.

Overall, a very successful evening!
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Dress rehearsal for the girls' talent show at school was tonight. It went pretty well, all things considered.


Mar. 3rd, 2016 11:04 pm
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Gretchen and I went over to the school this evening while Katie and Julie were rehearsing for the upcoming talent show there. Both girls did well, although I need to get an improved version of the karaoke track for "Juicy Details" for Julie to work with. Another project for the weekend. :)
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I just need to throw the bags in the van and then we can leave for Confusion as soon as Bonnie gets here.

They are teaching Katie to play the recorder at school. She is practicing now.

Someone is going to die. :)


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