Category: Uncategorized

a christmas ‘carol’…

Ok well, no human voices were used, only synths, so technically not a ‘carol’. But Christmas ghosts were on the mind while putting this one together:

Three tracks, all sound synths (Logic Pro and/or Ableton Live).  Live was used for the final arrange and mix down.

Happy Merry, all…

roses in december…

Basically just wanted to put this here since Twitter feeds are so ephemeral.

Dec18_Roses

Dec 18th, just North of Boston. Dear Roses: Why Aren’t You Dead Yet?

Snapped this last Friday when I got home from work. I’m no gardener at all, so this poor rosebush has been left to fend for itself until I can find a decent landscaper next Spring. One can only admire its stubborn opportunism, though, getting in that one last bloom just a week before Christmas. (First frost was later that night).

Our typical blizzard season around here is January-March, but by this time in December, there would usually would have been a few minor storms, and there’d be snow cover on the gardens and sidewalks.This bush is normally bare by mid November, but the New England coast has been unseasonably warm this year (and, so far, mercifully quiet).

It wasn’t until I looked at the picture above on a bigger screen to post it (for its own sake) that I noticed the ‘fuzz’ around the window framing. Which brings me to this photo:

AtticOrb

The iPhone cam caught… well, something. (Please don’t mind Gizzmo the cat, he’s actually quite friendly– he can’t help the shiny retinas).

I had taken this picture a few days before, on the 13th.  I’ve been working through large piles of crap in my half-finished attic area, sending a load of junk off with the haulers every couple of months or so. While setting up the picture, I saw that the sleeping bag near the bottom of the frame was obscuring the cat, so I reached down to move it out of frame (mostly). So at this point I’m standing, knees slightly bent, and I’d just tossed the bag out of the way as I was pressing the “shutter” on the phone (oh how I miss real buttons…)

Just as I did so, I distinctly saw… something. Something that appeared to fly out of one of the boxes under the sleeping bag, then upwards, right in front of me, and then shot up quickly, through the ceiling.

The most curious thing is that it flew literally right in front of me. Less than 6-8 inches from my face. And it was real: It was about 4-6 feet wide so I could see it distinctly around the edges of the phone, almost filling my peripheral vision. Not just on the screen. I’m also reasonably sure it’s not a flash artifact, since this happened right before the flash went off. My first thought was that it was just a cloud of dust I’d kicked up by moving the sleeping bag, but I once it was at eye level, I quickly realized that it was made of light. Bright light of a clear, distinct color: A brilliant white/cyan, with touches of violet around the edges. The edges seemed to move and wave more than the white part did, to the extent I could tell (having only seen the thing for a split second).

Luckily I was lucid enough to snap another photo ASAP:

AtticClear

Snapped 1-2 seconds after the previous one. Gizzmo saw it too, BTW.

Forgive my weak photography (and terrible early 1960s vinyl/asbestos flooring, that’s getting covered up with something nicer once this gets all cleared out).  Gizz’s eyes still have that certain feline glow, as in the previous photo, but any other “orb” or flash artifacts are completely absent from this one.

The cat saw it too, BTW. His head and eyes had followed it up to the ceiling, then looked back down at me, so here I am capturing that startled “WTF was THAT!? did YOU see that!?” look most cat owners would recognize.

I’ve never seen ball lightning, but this doesn’t seem to fit the descriptions I’ve read. It was unseasonably warm on that day, too, with a slight on and off drizzle, but no storm or electrical activity. It was too damp that day for static electricity. And, it did fly less than a foot in front of my face. I’d have expected to feel the static, and smell ozone afterwards… but none of that manifested. Only by sight, and only the light. (Fun fact: I have two EE degrees. I’ve fried enough circuits in my younger days to know what electricity ‘smells’ like. I’m reasonably certain this wasn’t electrical in nature).

I didn’t get any malevolent feel. It almost felt like stumbling onto a mouse or something, just some little thing had been hiding in the box that got startled and GTFO when I moved the sleeping bag to the side. However, I don’t much like uninvited guests in my house (of either kind), so I salted the room, lit some incense, and did a few other things I won’t get into here… but I’ve neither seen nor felt anything up there since that Sunday.

Now back to Friday: I snapped the Roses picture because I saw untimely roses on Dec 18th, and knew they would die that night. I didn’t notice the fuzz around the first-floor window until I uploaded it to post it for its own sake, and saw it on a bigger screen.  In this case, I saw nothing out of the ordinary in real time. But I’m wondering now if “it” just kind of politely left my parts of the house, and started hanging out outside and/or downstairs (I don’t live down there myself, it’s rented out… and I’m not quite crazy enough to ask the tenants if they’ve seen anything “ghosty” down there. The neighbors think I’m eccentric enough).

I’m half tempted to leave it an offering or something (which isn’t generally a thing I do). It’s welcome to hang out on my tiny little plot of land as long as it doesn’t hurt anything. I just don’t want it in my living space. Still deciding on what to do. (And am open to suggestions!).

BTW: The wind has just starting whipping up as I was typing this.  So much for the quiet Atlantic.

Happy Solstice, Kids…

-mjl

PS: Just to be clear: I have no idea what this phenomenon is/was, and cannot even begin to pretend to know. And these photos are unredacted (straight from the built-in iPhone 6S camera, through email, then up to wordpress. No filters or compression applied).

so, as i was saying…

It’s been over a year. Not yet over, a year.  (Won’t get into that… here). Just never really felt like writing. Moulting time, I suppose. But at least I’ve been making a lot of music.

Maybe I needed that more.

IMO, the particular “decade-ness” of any decade doesn’t really become apparent until the 3rd or 4th year of that decade. The music shifts then. The politics shifts then. The fashion starts to shift then. The look and feel of it starts then. And so, here we are…

…and (quite abruptly, as it usually does) it’s finally begun to feel like ‘the future’.

Tomorrow came. Now what?

marathon memories, in no particular order…

For the first handful of years to my life, Patriot’s Day just happened to be the Monday of April vacation week (most Massachusetts schoolchildren have this week off, and most businesses are closed today as well). There was a Marathon or something, it was a Boston thing, it was all over the local news. It often rained, but once in awhile it was the start of true Spring weather. Sometimes it fell on the day after Easter. It was just part of the rhythm of the year. Last vacation before summer.

My first adult year living in Boston (this would be April 1990), I was struck with this sudden irrational urge to buy and set up an aquarium. I decided to walk to a nearby pet store (found in the yellow pages, which were still a useful thing back then) to get a tank, filter and some gravel for initial setup. I had to cross Beacon Street to get there, and it turned out… oh, Marathon. That’s right, it’s today. That year they had kids in uniform (ROTC kids, I think; from local schools, probably) serving as escorts to help noisome pedestrians like myself across breaks in the (surprisingly distributed– as you cross it, the street is actually eerily empty) pack of runners so we could get to the other side of the street. So I crossed in one direction, an awkward anonymous grad student all alone. And a half hour later I crossed in the other direction, the same awkward anonymous grad student bearing a 10 gallon aquarium tank with 3 bags of gravel and a filter inside of it, on his way home to fill said tank up with water so he could let it sit for a week to settle before he could add some fish to it.

Later (1995-9 or so), it became a day when there was no point in trying to take the train to work. I’d take it off, hide from the crowds. It signified the beginning of the end of the Winter Funk. I developed a habit of going to the local package store (along the route) in the late afternoon on Marathon day. Most of the crowd had dispersed by then, but standing in the littered streets were always those last few Spectators, and they’d be cheering on the ‘stragglers’ who were at that point just running to finish it. To this day, when you say “Marathon” to me, that is the image that comes to me.

By now, I live well north of downtown, and I know how to get to work without running into Marathon issues. It’s just another day. But then I heard sirens, and heard planes flying over Cambridge, and checked twitter etc and found out what had happened only a few minutes after it had.

So, Now?

Ask me in a year. Or two. Or a few.

For today, so close to home… barely two miles from my office?

I have nothing.

the night before…

Almost everybody is exhausted, and just wants it the hell over with. Even a lot of people who wouldn’t normally care about such things.

The Quants like Nate Silver and the rest say that Obama’s a statistical lock. The Reality-Creators have already coronated their next Reagan, and are eager for the 1980s to return. Most mainstream outlets have depicted the race as neck and neck, even though it hasn’t been for over two weeks. And so, nobody really knows what is real.

I side with the Quants this time: Statistically, Obama should win tomorrow.  But I worry about mischief.  How bold will some obscure county clerks in OH, NV or VA dare to be?  Or even a Secretary of State?

Hard to conceive of a world where you have to fight for the Real. But that’s where we are in 2012.

after the storm

The wind had died down by morning. There were leaves and large branches strewn everywhere, as you’d expect. Also more than a few asphalt roof shingles scattered all over the street and sidewalk. I did my best to look around and color-match them to the roofs around me, and more than I liked looked like mine. I walked around and couldn’t easily see anything missing, but I’ll look more closely tomorrow (I was in a rush this morning).

NYC didn’t fare well at all. Record storm surges over 13 feet, flooded subways, whole blocks on fire. Luckily under 50 deaths so far, but that is sure to rise. NJ Gov Chris Christie plays the class act, drops all politics. Everybody interprets this however they like.

Mitt Romney re-brands his Victory Rallies into ‘Relief Rallies’, collects canned goods, and runs brazenly false ads hoping that there’s not enough time to counter them. (One ad: Jeep shipping jobs to China. Another ad obfuscating the GOP platform on Roe v. Wade. I’m sure there are more).

McCain. Benghazi. Fast and Furious. Screw the Hope, Time to Change. It’s like watching your country get eaten alive by Amway Zombies.

The election is a week from today. Most everyone just wants it the hell over with.

But IMO, there’s no guarantee it’ll be over quite so soon.

sandy

So there’s a hurricane post-tropical cyclone going on outside. First high tide was about noon, the harbor looked like this.

Too soon to say, but it’s looking like this area’s main issue will be the wind. Basically an October Nor’easter, like 1991. Or a February storm without the snow.

I was worried about storm surges and excessive rains flooding my basement, but for now at least, it’s all about the roof. And the occasional downed power line.

Good luck, NYC. The Weather Channel just posted a record 11.25ft surge.

And my house has just started shaking.