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I’ll let the Sharpie do the talking

In Photos on March 19, 2011 by ryepdx

Despite having more ways to post available to me than I knew before a week or two ago, I still have obviously been quite lazy about posting. About forcing my day-to-day into some sort of narrative. I’m a rambler. I think it comes from spending too much time as a child alone with my thoughts.

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But I can come up with random stimuli. Disjunct thoughts from my day. Pictures that seemed interesting at the time.

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Like this one. It’s from the trip I’m taking out to a tiny town near Baker City where I’ll be meeting my girlfriend’s mother. I’ll probably be posting more like this. Because honestly, there’s a lot to post about. It’s just that none of it has coalesced into a coherent story yet.

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Long time no blog!

In Uncategorized on March 2, 2011 by ryepdx

Well, it’s been a while since I blogged here, hasn’t it? I may have to change the subheading up there to “updates on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays… sometimes.” But I’ll probably start posting here a little more often now that I’ve made two discoveries:
1) I can post audio blogs just by calling a phone number.
2) I can type out blogs and post then on my iPhone via the WordPress app.

This should help this blog get a bit more love. After all, accessibility and the ability to post videos and pictures from my phone is pretty much why my Tumblr has been getting all my attention recently.

But this is all you are getting for now. I am hungry and not in the mood to sit here pecking away at my iPhone screen any longer.

See you next time I post! If you want to be alerted when that happens, just enter your email address in the box at the bottom of the page.

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Management’s Response To My Neighbors

In Uncategorized on February 16, 2011 by ryepdx

I received an e-mail this morning from the guy who manages the apartments I live in. It read:

Hi Ryan.
We are needing to enter your unit. Workers will be adding a pad lock to the attic access in the unit. Is this afternoon or tomorrow morning work?

I guess John and Yoko showed Mr. Manager their photos.

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A Visit From The Neighbors

In Uncategorized on February 14, 2011 by ryepdx

*knock knock*

I put down my guitar and get up from my bed. Perhaps my neighbors are annoyed by my attempts at songwriting?

I open the door to find my neighbors, John and Yoko, standing there with a ladder.

“Hi. We want to get up into your attic,” says John.

“Again?”

“We need to take pictures,” says Yoko.

The management has been ignoring their requests for work on the pipes above their room, claiming that nothing can be done due to the insulation in the attic. But there is no insulation in the attic, as they discovered in their last foray through the access panel in my ceiling.

“Have a cookie,” says Yoko.

“Oh, thanks.” I take the cookie. From anyone else I might have been wary: I’ve learned from Lauren’s encounter with the magical brownies left in the kitchen all those weeks ago. But John and Yoko don’t strike me as the “magical brownie” type.

“You can go back to practicing,” John yells down to me after he’s scrambled up into the attic.

Well, technically it was songwriting, I think, but I don’t correct him. The song I was writing owes far more to my pre-Sound Trash days than to anything before, and as such will probably stay in my notebook for a long, long time. Usually I can’t write if there’s anyone else around, but somehow it’s alright with John and Yoko in my attic. The situation is just weird enough, and they’re far enough removed.

When they return, John’s speaking in a high falsetto. I can’t decide if he’s making fun of Yoko’s high, mousy voice or not. I keep thinking of making a joke about puberty, or about castration, but I’m too polite and I can’t think of a clever way to slip a comment in anyway. (“So, still waiting on your balls to drop?” Nah.)

He keeps talking like this until they leave. I shut the door and go back to songwriting.

I have weird neighbors.

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A Tale of Moving In

In Uncategorized on February 8, 2011 by ryepdx

I moved in to the same apartment Lauren lives in last Friday.

At first it was somewhat depressing. On the first Friday of every month, the apartment is open to outsiders to come in and peruse the works of the artists living here. In my experience there is usually a pretty good crowd. Apparently the crowds have been dwindling as of late though, and the Friday I moved in it was like a ghost town. The Chef (the same one from Lauren’s blog) was blasting away recordings of random sounds. I made a snarky comment about there being a poltergeist about. He just gave me a weird look and I scuttled off to Lauren’s room to see what she was doing.

There was nobody there, aside from her. She was trying to write songs for people, a dollar or two a pop, but the Chef’s noise was making that impossible for her. I wandered off again.

I met the Jerk With Bad Teeth at that point, along with his friends the Cello Player and the Other Musician.

“Hi, I’m Ryan.”

There were introductions all around.

“So, do you live here?” Asked the Cello Player.

“Yeah, as of today. I’m subleasing.”

“Oh, cool.”

We made small talk. I was getting a bad vibe from the Jerk With Bad Teeth. Then, as we parted ways, the Jerk With Bad Teeth said:
“Well, ‘bye. I’ll probably forget your name.”

Except he didn’t say it like most people do. Most people say it apologetically, as in: “I’m sorry, I’m really bad with names, so if I forget yours it’s nothing personal.” This guy? It was more like: “Well, you failed to impress me and thus are not important enough for me to remember your name.”

“I’ve already forgotten yours!” I replied with a smile. It was the one time I was actually glad to be bad with names, though for a while I felt somewhat bad for immediately pegging him as a jerk. I felt less bad after my suspicions were confirmed.

After that? After that things got better. People started coming over to Lauren’s place. I had a nice talk with one of the other people from my college now living here. I went to a folk concert in someone’s studio. Then there was beer and a deep conversation about the universe that left me in a very zen mood.

“I think you are more Buddhist than you think,” I was told.

Yeah, maybe. Aside from that whole neurotic need to control the future. But I’m getting better at letting go and leaving my worries for the day they become relevant. Maybe that’s what’s making me go all zen. Or maybe it’s the Buddha statue someone left in my room.

Buddha, India-style.

I dunno. I’m sure it’s one of those…

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No Video Friday

In Slice of Life on February 5, 2011 by ryepdx

Today I moved in to the artists’ apartment that Lauren is in. Awesome times were had by all. I will write more later. Sorry, no video today because of that.

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Music That Makes Me Happy

In Video on February 2, 2011 by ryepdx Tagged: ,

The other night I worked until 6am. It’s okay: I started at 8pm. I drank lots of tea and ate dark chocolate to get me through the long night. I also listened to a lot of music on YouTube. The combination of all these things pretty much always puts me in a ridiculously energetic, optimistic mood.

Here’s some of the music I use to get me there.

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Ramble Ramble Ramble

In Slice of Life on February 1, 2011 by ryepdx Tagged: , ,

Nothing like a good ol’ fashioned slice o’ life to shut me up.

Sorry I missed my post yesterday. I could feel the tension from all of you. All six of you. I had stayed up all night working on That One Freelance Job and ended up sleeping through most of the day. Various other errands then consumed the rest of my Monday and I found myself in Tuesday with nothing posted. I’ve made some good progress on that project, though. I could be one or two more all-night coding sessions away from finishing. I just need to gather some of that ever-elusive focus.

Focus is hard to gather when there’s a revolution going on, even if that revolution is halfway across the globe. I haven’t even spent that much time gathering facts about it due to trying to get things lined up to move in to the artist apartments where my bandmate live and working almost nonstop on That One Freelance Job, but there it is, taking up space in the back of my head. The role that technology has played, especially the hitherto frivolous-seeming Twitter, has captured the technologist in me. “When the revolution comes, it will be…” tweeted? That was a surprise.

It has set me to wondering about what good I could be doing with technology and set me to wondering about what my focus is, what it should be. I believe in long-term action, long-term planning. Only the lucky get anywhere without sustained effort. My heritage is Irish, so I definitely can’t count on luck. (Has anyone else besides me wondered how the “luck of the Irish” came to mean “good luck?” A most ironic malapropism, that.)

On the other hand, I think there may be something to being rudderless for a while, if only to find your internal compass again. As Steve Jobs put it:

“…have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

Well, what do I want to become? How about this: Warren Buffet meets John Lennon meets Cory Doctorow meets Ghandi. Something like that, I’m not too picky about the icons as long as they’re more or less equivalent. But how do I make all these mesh up?

I guess that’s where living creatively comes in. I guess that’s why I’m going to have to work hard at this.

The Universe has at least begun cooperating. The freelance jobs have continued their “just right” trickle into my inbox. All I have to fight now is myself. I’m meeting someone tomorrow about potentially joining a startup. I’ll see what their idea is, whether it’s something I can get behind, whether they want too much from me.

Honestly? There is one project I would personally like to see brought to fruition. As soon as I finish with That One Freelance Project I’ll have to get started on it. It’ll require people who have skills in business theory and psychology, people who are way smarter than me and probably hard to find, but I think it’ll have the potential to do some really cool things for the world as a whole. It’s a need I’ve identified which I’m really excited about trying to fill.

I’ll keep you updated.

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The Times, They Are A-Changin’ (cover)

In Video on January 29, 2011 by ryepdx Tagged: , , , ,

Sorry, took a while to get this up, but better late than never, right?

I was going to do a different song, but I decided that this was more appropriate in light of the revolution going on over in Egypt.

I’ve been following the Egypt situation loosely throughout the day. Mostly checking in on Twitter feeds and Facebook posts, since that’s where most of the news from the ground seems to be coming from. Here’s a composite of what I know at this point.

1. The military is rumored to be joining with the protesters in certain areas. I saw a Tweet this morning that made this claim, so it’s only a rumor as far as I know, but it’s one of the best things that could happen for the protesters, I think.

2. The riot police are, for the most part, still trying to put down the protests with non-lethal force, though it sounds like lethal force is being used in certain areas. The government has also turned off the electricity and water to Suez, possibly other cities. Paloma Farah on the primary page used to organize the protests (which can be found at http://www.facebook.com/ElShaheeed/) writes:

“To all the people of world

The people in Egypt are under governmental siege. Mubarak regime is banning Facebook, Twitter, and all other popular internet sites. Tomorrow the government will block the 3 mobile phone network and the internet completely. And there is news that even the phone landline will be cut tomorrow, to prevent any news agency from following what will happen.

Suez city is already under siege now. The government cut the water supply and electricity, people, including, children and elderly are suffering there now. The patients in hospitals cannot get urgent medical care. The injured protestors are lying in the streets and the riot police are preventing people from helping them. The families of the killed protestors cannot get the bodies of their sons to bury them. This picture is the same in north Saini (El-Sheikh zoyad city) and in western Egypt (Al-salom). The riot police is cracking down on protestors in Ismailia, Alexandria, Fayoum, Shbin Elkoum, and Cairo, the capital, in many neighborhoods across the city.

The government is preparing to crackdown on the protestors in all Egyptian cities. They are using tear gas bombs, rubber and plastic pullets, chemicals like dilutes [diluted?] mustard gas against protestors. Several protestors today have been killed when the armored vehicles of the riot police hit them. Officials in plain clothes carrying blades and knives used to intimidate protestors.

All this has been taken place over the past three days during the peaceful demonstrations in Cairo and other cities. Now, with the suspicious silence of the local media and the lack of coverage from the international media, Mubarak and his gang are blocking all the channels that can tell the world about what is happening.

People who call for their freedom need your support and help. Will you give them a hand?

The activists are flooding the net (youtube and other sites) with thousands of pictures and videos showing the riot police firing on armless [unarmed?] people. The police started to use ammunition against protestors. [A] 15-year old girl has been injured and another 25 year old man has been shot in the mouth. While nothing of these has appeared in the media, there is more to happen tomorrow. Will you keep silent? Will you keep your mouth shut while seeing all these cruelty and inhumane actions?

We don’t ask for much, just broadcast what is happening.”

3. There may soon be protests at various Egyptian embassies around the world. Someone created a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=158147054233898 today in an attempt to organize international demonstrations of support for the protesters in Egypt.

4. This is more of an idea than something I learned. Ahmed Hefny writes:

“Egyptians suggested that we should call random numbers in Egypt especially in Suez, Ismailia, Port Said, Alexandia and Cairo. We need to support our people there. We need to post the spirit. We will ask them not to surrender and to continue protesting until Mubarak regimen is down. Freedom is a week away. We will not let Egypt down.”

 

 

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What the hell, Egypt?

In Uncategorized on January 27, 2011 by ryepdx

In recent news, Egypt has disappeared from the Internet.

Okay, that’s not entirely true: there are still a few small ISPs functioning. But the vast majority of Egyptians are now without access to the Internet. This is going to do a number on their infrastructure unless the block is lifted soon.

It’s not Friday and I haven’t really researched this much. This only came to my attention about five or ten minutes ago. I’ll try to get a much more complete post up tomorrow after more details start coming out. But this is too big a deal, I think, to not at least write something about it right away.

The outage appears to be linked to protests which were planned to take place just a few hours before. Most of what I’ve read so far seems to imply that the government may have shut down the nation’s four largest ISPs in order to keep the protesters from organizing. It’ll be interesting to see what comes out after the dust has settled.