mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)


Some brief plans for the week in case any of you care to join me:

Monday:
-Be there at 1100 when they come to pick up my old pick up. Make sure that the tow truck driver stays very far away from my motorcycle. If not? Break him - many times.
-Draw.
-Work on the new and improved Dragonbones.net. Shhhhh - it's a surprise.

Tuesday:
-Open Figure Drawing from Life at DCAD.

And the rest? Well, I haven't quite figured the rest out yet. I'll let you know when I do.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
So tonight kicked all kinds of ass.

Today we did a lot of little stuff for the house, none of which really added up to much, but mostly (for my part) I got a little homework done on people I need to make phone calls to.

Then, we got a dinner visit from the always [profile] jafosmite  and the always lovely C came by to record the music from [personal profile] ms_violet  's wedding so that they could have a copy. I can say with absolute certainty that it will never get old hearing [personal profile] xtingu  and company perform here in the house in which we live. Good times with good friends.

Then? The pièce de résistance.

Yours truly learned a thing or two about music. Yes me. The guy whose voice could kill large herd animals came one step closer to not being a complete musical moron. I owe this entirely to the unwavering teaching skills of the lovely and talented [personal profile] xtingu . I assure you all that I had nothing to do with it.

To summarize, this is the range of things that she managed to squeeze into my brain. While I can't promise that I will retain all of it, I have the advantage of living with my teacher. (I plan to pick her brain a lot.)

  1. How to play a G chord on a guitar, using two different fingerings.
  2. How to tune a guitar both to a piano and to itself.
  3. How to read guitar tablature.
  4. How to tell the difference between when a pitch is too high or too low, using the oscillations between the pitches.
  5. How to read treble clef.
  6. What a key signature is, and also what accidentals do.
  7. What a time signature is, and what it represents.
  8. How to sight read rhythms in both 3/4 and 4/4 time (including eighth rests and sixteenth notes).
  9. How to play a major scale on a piano by understanding the whole step/ half step sequence, and how to apply the pattern so I can play a major scale in any key.
  10. How to make a major triad.
  11. How to play a minor triad (flat the third).
  12. What relative minor is (A minor is the relative minor of C major).
  13. Sight read a little bit of a melody on the piano.
Not bad for two hours.

I got it pretty damn good.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Well, for those of you who don't already know, my main desktop PC has taken a big fat turd and is done. I'm pretty sure that I can fix it.

But I refuse.

The poor beast is a frankensteined collection of probably 4-6 generations of hardware. It's time to put the poor thing down. She's been good and faithful, but I think that I make enough money that it will be a better use of my time to buy a new machine off the shelf of some big box company, strip it of all the crap they load on it for 'Joe-Home-User' and have it... well... just work. Obviously that doesn't mean that I won't ever hack or mod the thing, but at least for a time, I want a machine that just does what it's supposed to do without me holding its virtual hand and stroking the case sweetly while saying prayers to long dead gods in the hopes that it might get through the night.

Clearly I'm putting too much thought into this.

Anyway. The point is that I am not without my ability to surf teh intarwebs or post to LJ, but it does vastly restrict my ability to do digital art. Both of my laptops are not exactly what one would call 'gaming rigs' This means that anything I do digitally will not likely be anything I could use for prints - even when using software with as few system requirements as Open Canvas 1.x (which I am still amazed would fit on a 1.44 floppy unzipped!).

I want to wait until [personal profile] xtingu and I are in our new place before I go buying a new desktop. We're so close to move in day that I don't want to buy a machine just to transport twice.

But I was getting the digital art itch. I've been doing more with traditional media. (See crappy camera phone 'scans' here and here.) As usual, I found myself learning at a rapid rate when I forced myself to shift gears back to traditional, but it just doesn't satisfy me the way that digital stuff does. Especially with OC's ability to replay the process, I find that I learn a lot from digital as well, I can work (muuuuch) faster and it more readily translates to the net (I don't have my scanner hooked up to either of my laptops and wouldn't want to really).

AnyMcWhoozles, I tell you all this to let you know that I finally installed the driver for my wacom and did a quick sketch self portrait -
As always, I'm more than a little interested in everyone's thoughts - so comment away.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (squishing_my_head)
Having a fairly productive morning. Already installed some memory, fixed a problem for one of the Help Desk folks (thanks to my coworker Jeff), noted that the solution might work for another problem, fixed that problem, and now I'm off to install more memory. I needed a productive morning to follow last night's foul up. I managed to erase every picture in my phone - including a bunch that hadn't been backed up. I found it terribly upsetting, but at least I learned some things. I'm using Bitpim and I was mucking around with the file structure of my phone. Live and learn I guess. 

And from the stupid people file: 
(What follows is a rough approximation of a small part of my day - Dilbert Style) 

Their Guy: "Quick Matt! We need to fix this problem right away! The people involved are only free for another 15 minutes! We're on the bridge - join us as quick as possible." 

Now I'm a pretty bright dude so I figure out fairly quickly that the 'bridge' being referenced is a conference call, not a physical structure. As the people involved don't even work for Da-bank, I have no knowledge of their conference call technologies whatsoever. 

Me: "Forgive me for this - but I don't know how to access the bridge." 

Their Guy: "Oh - no problem - just call this 800 number, then enter this 7 digit passcode when prompted."

I call.

And get muzak.

For longer than it took me to type this all out. Good thing that they were in such a hurry. 

Update: Finally Their Guy came on the line and said "Oh hey - I'm going to give you two phone numbers to call Our Other Guy directly." 

He does. 

I try both numbers and get voice mail on both. I reply all to everyone involved giving my direct line (for the second time) and ask Their Other Guy to call me directly. 

I'm still waiting for that call. 

Think that I will write a new song while I'm waiting - it goes like this: "Stuuuupid peeeeeeeeople - they irritate my
braaaaaaain." 


Update 2.0:
I finally got a call from Their Other Guy. I walked him through the 5 minutes worth of work that needed doing. He's going to reboot, test, and call me back.

All I can think is "Did it really need to be that hard?" I'm in a pretty good mood though, so I'm snickering rather than pull out my few remaining precious hairs.
 
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Wow. What an awesome weekend.

For any of you who managed to not catch [personal profile] xtingu 's weekend summary post...

Friday September 7th, 2007:
I worked a little late. Ok - maybe not worked so much. A co-worker sold me a motherboard and cpu to update my sorely antiquated home PC. It took a little work, some prayers in long dead languages and a couple of virgin sacrifices, but we got it working. The power supply, in fact, wasn't the right pin out, but my handy pocket knife explained the situation to the cabling, and now it sees the error of its ways. Now I'm able to do things like play music AND browse the web at the same time. What a concept.

After that, I swung by my place, dropped the pc off, got packed up for the weekend and headed over to see [personal profile] xtingu for a nice relaxing evening of 'chill with my girlfriend' - which is not a euphemism - it's just really good.

Saturday September 8th, 2007:
We headed up to my folks' place to celebrate my brother and my birthdays. Our middle brother and his lovely wife came down to join in the festivities. Brunch at Pickles (more on that later) and then we lost Josh, Ben, and Trina to other plans. My folks, [personal profile] xtingu , and myself headed back to the house to drop off crap and consolidate vehicles, then it was off to the Allentown Art Museum to see the Looney Tunes Exhibit.

After a delightful time at the museum (which included sitting and watching cartoons with my Mom and Pop in the 'kids section' and getting bemused looks from security guards) we headed to lunch and to do a little shopping. I needed to update a couple things in my wardrobe pretty badly and I annoyed Llij and my Mom with my efficiency in that department. To illustrate:

Step 1: Walk into the shoe store.
Step 2: Grab the first pair of shoes that I like after a quick glance.
Step 3: Try on one other size in the same 'model' shoe.
Step 4: Pay for shoes.
Step 5: There is no Step 5. Nor is there any spoon.

I did much the same thing with some other clothes, a new tie, and so forth. Since I was going to a wedding reception with [personal profile] xtingu and I both seem to really just enjoy the hell out of  'farting around' with my folks, and this was some good time with them that we don't get nearly often enough. My brothers and their significant others were sorely missed, but Ben and Trina were at a good friend's wedding and Josh doesn't get to see enough of Angie these days, so he was visiting her, so I guess we can forgive them.

Later, [personal profile] xtingu and I caught up with [profile] kar0na at The Starlite Diner (which - as a side note - is INcorrectly located on Google Maps) for some munchies. We called it a fairly early night because my Rock Star Girlfriend had a date with a recording studio on Sunday. I won't point out that I'm getting to be an old man and really like to get to sleep at a decent hour myself or anything.

Sunday September 9th, 2007:
We got up and spent a little time just nibbling muffins, drinking freshly brewed coffee, and chillin with the fam. Again - good times. The folks even brought out the photo album of my < one year old baby butt. [Insert 'Awwws' here.]

After Llij took off for her studio time, I got ready for the reception with [profile] kar0na and then headed out. We got some good hang time with good peeps at the party (which was at the Sheraton Jetport). First a couple drinks at the bar with munchies - then to the banquet hall where people with much more nimble feet than my own danced after we ate a delightful meal. And had a couple more drinks. (Don't worry kids - Yours Truly was exceedingly well behaved since I knew that I had a lot of driving ahead of me.) [profile] kar0na looked lovely, I got to meet some new folks as well as see old familiar faces, and I even got to snap a couple pics/vids. All in all? I had a pretty damn fine time.

Headed down to Delaware and more or less collapsed - only to get up entirely too soon for work since I'm 'the early guy' this week.

Ugh. Can't we go back to the weekend?
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
The weekend thus far (rather than the weekend in review- for a change):

Friday:
Immediately following work, I rode to drop off a movie and pick up (rent) the DVD collection of Brisco County Jr.. I remember it being a fun series and Bruce Campbell s kinda a personal hero. What's more, it makes better sense than full blown movies for 'workout entertainment' as they're only one hour shows each episode, so I'm not working out for a half hour or an hour and then sitting for another hour to an hour and a half.

After picking up Bruce's misadventures, I headed back to the house where I met up with [profile] lotusanddragon  . We headed over to [personal profile] shellefly  's place to pick her up and than to Philly to assist in the celebrating of [personal profile] jeremym  's birthday at North Bowl. The place rocks - there's just no two ways about it. Great music, the drinks flow, and the lanes are clean and well maintained. That's one hell of a combination.

After bowling, the rest of the gang which included [personal profile] ms_violet  , [personal profile] boutell  , and many more (whose lj names I can't recall because I suck) headed somewhere for a drink, but [profile] lotusanddragon   and I headed back to the house since he still had to pack for his trip to Japan. We did that (I kept him company while he did it really) and got a chance for the first time in a long time to just shoot the shit. It was a grand time. We even had a mini-adventure taking a quick trip to his office for some forgotten info while K-T (who doesn't have LJ) read some of the end of the last Harry Potter book to us via my cell phone's speakerphone function. Then a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee, a moment where I broke his world a little by introducing him to the 'omg shoes' video, some chill time up on the deck, and the limo service was there to take him to the airport. It really kinda felt like the perfect way to send my bro off to another country. I sacked out afterward to some long overdue sleep.

Saturday:
Saturday morning I woke late (figured I earned it) and headed to [profile] jafosmite  's concert with X-Fusion at the 100th Annual Arden Fair. I took the Yamaha, and it was a damn good thing - the place was mobbed. I managed to find a completely illegal convenient parking space, locked up the scoot, and headed straight for where I hear the boys getting ready. The show rocked hard, though there's little surprise there. It was fun watching an all new batch of folks rockin out to X-Fusion's music. I was a little disappointed by the fact that the fair closed supah early, so I only had time to do a quick 'fly through' after the show, but I'm betting that's a good thing in the long run as I need to keep all the cash I can these days.

After the fair, I headed to good ol' Barnes and Noble for some time to do some writing, screw around, and browse the newest batch of 'how to draw' books and magazines. This is something that I haven't done in a while, and I missed it. It's something that I enjoy both with friends or alone. When I'm by myself, it's almost like meditation. I can people watch, get my thoughts in order, and often be inspired. I was impressed by my ability to not buy any of the new art books/magazines. Almost, but I managed to put them back. Really, it's not like I would use them - not in any real way. Most art books are great, but they wind up being more or less inspiration sources and that's about it. While I was sitting and parusing my latest batch of books and magazines, I got a phone call from [personal profile] xtingu  . Being a spaz, I went instantly into high alert mode - she was supposed to be out on the playa, and that would mean without cell phone reception of any kind at all. She assured me that nothing was wrong but that she 'just wasn't feeling it' this year and that she was homeward bound and would keep me posted on her travel plans. She said she missed me. I'm a lucky bastard like that. I stayed at B&N pretty late and went home. Once back at the house, I started working on one of the images that I got stuck in my head while at the bookstore and when I realized that it was almost 2am I hit the sack - I had a big day coming up.

Sunday:
Woke up fairly early, but not early enough. I had planned to ride with [profile] burningkirby  , Lee (sans lj), and Ballz (also sans lj). However, as I am the planning master, I didn't have any of their phone numbers and I was having net connectivity issues (I had Ballz's street address in my email account). I did finally get connected, but the whole process delayed me enough that I got to Ballz's place about 15 minutes later than planned and I hate being the limiting factor. We made our way via back roads to [profile] burningkirby  's compound where we gathered up [profile] burningkirby   and Lee and after some very minor repairs to [profile] burningkirby  's bike, we headed out. It was the perfect morning for a ride. Cool but not cold. Bright and sunny and just... frickin... gorgeous. miles melted past under our wheels as we rolled west into PA. If I can convince Ballz to send me a copy of our route, maybe I'll post it later. What a great run. I broke the 600 mile mark since buying the Yamaha with ease.

After our ride we stopped back at [profile] burningkirby  's place and had some snackages. Then off to Lee's and then I headed back to B&N. Yes, back to B&N. I've decided that I'm a creature of habit. Once I find something I like, I tend to stick with it until I find the next thing that I like. While there I got some more stuff done both in the writing and the creativity departments.

While I was at B&N, [personal profile] xtingu   called to let me know that she had landed and asked if I could meet her at her apartment. I said sure, packed up my gear, and headed over. We arrived at almost identical times, and commenced a good old fashioned 're-connect' kind of night. We were visited albeit briefly by [profile] theseitz   who showed us his supah sexy new iPhone. We sacked out shortly thereafter.

Monday:
We woke up a bit late and had some more really amazing reconnect time. It had been a while since [personal profile] xtingu   and I had the chance to talk more than "Hi - how's the weather?" Okay - I'm exagerating, but you get the point. We'd let our 'life stuff' kinda keep us so focussed that we hadn't spent much time just talking. We'd both missed it terribly and this time (Sunday night and Monday morning) really scratched that itch.

Next, we hopped on the bike and headed up to [personal profile] swingchickie  's place for the afternoon and got some more hang time with the good peeps. [personal profile] swingchickie   and Jack, [personal profile] jeremym   (and the always awesome JD), [personal profile] boutell   and Jenny, [profile] opadit   and Steve, [personal profile] ms_violet   and Vince, and of course [personal profile] xtingu   and myself. Jack manned the grill and [personal profile] xtingu   brought some corn salsa that was muy muy yummy.

Then, of course, there were donuts.

Now, [personal profile] xtingu   and I have come back to her place, she's on the phone with her folks and I'm wrapping up what was started as a "weekend up to this post" but has become a "weekend in review".

Hope you had a weekend as awesome as mine!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (coffee)
So during 'Creativity Night' with [livejournal.com profile] xtingu and [livejournal.com profile] shellefly the topic of bios came up. I hate writing them, and have had to write a number of them for the different websites that I'm on. I'm really awful at writing about myself for promotional purposes and I need to do it for both myself and for some others.

I've done the obvious Google searches, but I just thought that I would turn this little dilemma out to you oh wizards of teh intarwebs. Do any of you know of a place with a good bit on writing artist related bios?
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
The "golden hour" with live music on the Riverfront along with good friends, good food, and good drink. Not a bad Sunday night.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (south_park)
I never would have put the number this high, and I'm not too sure about the method that they use to get their numbers, but it was fun anyway.

It has nothing to do with the fact that it made me feel like someone's paying attention. Nothing at all...


My blog is worth $6,209.94.
How much is your blog worth?

mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
So I'm doing data entry (yawn) and part of that data is serial numbers. Every so often I land on one that includes the series "MXL". This has a special place in my heart because my first 'real internet account' (ie -not an 'echo' through a BBS) included that same series in my user id. I found myself actually smiling when I saw that.

There are times when I'm so nerd-tastic it hurts me.
Tags:
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Okay. I had an ass-kicking good time seeing [personal profile] xtingu and the IJG perform last night at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philly. Got home at a (relatively speaking) decent hour, which worked out perfectly as I knew that I really wanted to get into the office early today.

I had promised the boss that I would modify some forms in order to update them and make their use more beneficial to the team. I said that yesterday, so I wanted to have it completed by today.

So I got here this morning at 7am. I managed the changes I had planned, so I was 'done' when the boss arrived, but we made more changes as the day went on.  I got a lot done today, but the boss redirected me to some other work. And that work was... monotonous. Now, I find myself seeing the freedom to do some work that I kinda 'want' to do, but I think that I better get out of here or I'm likely to look up and see that it's 8pm and I haven't left the office.

I'll leave that to Quito.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (mirror)

Friday Night - Company Party
Got to the party kinda late since I got back to town late from work. There's irony in there somewhere, I think. Got to see [personal profile] xtingu looking absolutely stunning. I get to see this more often than you poor mooks, but this was exceptional - even for her. Best part? I got to walk into the place with her on my arm and thumb my nose at all the other doods in the place. I soooo win at girlfriend.

Saturday - Got up at an ung-dly hour (6:45am) and led my coworker Larry to the Lehigh Valley to meet up with my brothers and some friends of theirs. Once the gang was all together, we made our way to Skirmish for a fun filled day of paintballing adventures. I had a complete blast and now I'm paying for it. My adventures at the base of the castle towers left me with a slightly wounded pride and welts on the very top of my skull, but it was totally worth the adrenaline rush.

After returning from paintball and bidding adieu to my coworker, I had a great sit-down meal that's about as manly as my day had been - meatloaf and potatoes with green beans. I know that [personal profile] jeremym would have gone ga-ga. After dinner, Mom (as always) spoiled us with an award worthy apple crumb bake a la mode.

Post chill-time with the family, I headed to [profile] metikulos and [profile] kar0na's for some festivities making. Got to see a lot of dear old friends that I don't get to see nearly enough. Stayed late and headed home surprisingly sober (what can I say? they bring out the hellion in me). They always do such a great job of making me feel at home (and the food's never shabby - which just does not hurt one little bit).

Sunday - Today I woke up (relatively) late (9:30) and headed to a great brunch at Perkins with my family. Still seems funny sometimes going with my family to the Perkins that I used to wait tables at so many moons ago. After breakfast, I headed back to the house, loaded up my stuff, talked with Josh about some X-Massy stuff, and headed home here to good ol' Smellaware.

As I arrived in town, [personal profile] xtingu found herself craving sustinance, so I joined her in a lunch at our beloved Golden Monkey. What can I say? I'm an eating machine. After lunch, I hit B&N for some more X-Mas presents and stuff, came home and got productive, and then headed to xtingu's place to lend a hand with some minor crapola, then back here to finish this post/my todo list.

Oh, and I got some laundry done.

Damn it feels good to get shit done.

Edit (again): Almost forgot - when xtingu and I were leaving the Monkey, we ran into a waitress there who wants a tattoo designed by Yours Truly. She and I made arrangements/discussed the design, and work has begun. Before long, I should have another tattoo cred. to show you all!
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
I feel like I have stage fright - only it's for holiday gift buying.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
You know something? I've always found it funny how deeply movies seem to affect me. Tonight, on the long ride home from Va., Jimmy let me watch movies on his laptop. Two, in fact. It had been a very long time (for me anyway) since I had just sat down and watch a movie. Or two.

The two in question for the evening? Well, the first, I had actually already seen, but knew to be fun - Hitch starring Will Smith and the ever stunning Eva Mendes. Corny? Yes. Hoaky even? Absolutely. But I enjoyed it immensely.

The second? Equally cheesy, and at least as 'bad' - but these are the things I love - Click starring Adam Sandler. It's basically a re-telling of It's a Wonderful Life, if you ask me, but it really kinda did move me. It caused me to start thinking about the changes that I've seen in myself since I moved to De. and to the direction of my life. Not in the catastrophic sense that the movie portends, but rather in a 'watch the pendulum doesn't swing too far there Capt. Extremist' way.

Yes, I realize that I wasn't really in any danger of becoming a 'workaholic' or anything like that. Perhaps it would be better to say that it was what I needed to re-focus on the plus side of my life and re-notice all the amazing gifts that I have been given. Every day.

If you are reading this? I want to thank you for being a part of that.

/end Cornball
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (mirror)
From: http://www.smaltzhd.com/

Because We Care
A White Ribbon Run for Children (The Innocence of a Child)
In light of the horrific tragedy that our Amish brothers & sisters are enduring, there will be a ride to show our respect & support. This ride is to raise money for the families of the victims.
Please meet at Smaltz's H-D at 9:00 am on Sunday, October 15. We will be leaving promptly at 10:00 am.
Riders - $20
Passengers - $20
Checks preferred

If I go - I'll actually be meeting at Christiana Mall at the Park and Ride near Macy's at 8am.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Been feeling too big for my skin lately.Bumping into things and just not fitting in spaces that I should.Feel like a teenager.:(
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Back in Philadelphia - tired, cranky, and yet pleased as punch that the adventure was such a success.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Sooo tired and we have to get up entirely too early for my taste. Headed home tomorrow and I have to say I'm excited to get home
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Beautiful mountains, vineyards, lush gardens, fine wine, sensuous roads, and good friends - this place is a slice of heaven.
mrlich: Photo with great thanks to Joe del Tufo - http://www.deltufophotography.com (Default)
Coffee encrusted filet mignon at Mosaic in Forestville- exquisite doesn't begin to cover it. The night just jumped upwards.

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