Friday, December 23, 2011

GPP 098: Countdown to the Solstice (-1 Days to Go) MONO

After some casting about for topics we talk about a few books including Haruki Murakami's 1Q84, Terry Pratchett's Snuff, and Barry Hughart's The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox. Technical note: I'm having some trouble with my audio recorder. In the previous recording, there was distortion on both channels. On this recording, it seems to be limited to the right channel, so I was able to work around it by making this a mono recording, taken from just the left channel.

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GPP 097: Countdown to the Solstice (No Days to Go)

The shortest day is here! Technical note: I'm having some trouble with my audio recorder, which just started with today's recording. There is some distortion happening. My apologies; it was a complete surprise, and I haven't yet been able to figure out what is wrong or what it might take to get it repaired.

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GPP 096: Countdown to the Solstice (1 Day to Go)

An early drive down to Ann Arbor for some follow-up medical care for Grace, and then a long chat on the drive back.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GPP 095: Countdown to the Solstice (2 Days to Go)

An ordinary walk with no topic planned turns into an extended discussion about our respective positions on abortion.

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Monday, December 19, 2011

GPP 094: Countdown to the Solstice (3 Days to Go)

We're almost there! Joshua accompanies us for another walk around the neighborhood, to our regret.

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

GPP 093: Countdown to the Solstice (4 Days to Go)

In which we host a pre- and post-caroling party, and I take the recorder with me with a group from the Adams Boulevard Neighborhood Association.

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I changed up the Ozone plug-in settings in this one to emphasize the stereo image rather than centering the dialog as I did for the last few. I'm not sure if anyone will notice the change, but I think I like this setting better. It produces a more vivid stereo image when listening on headphones. I'm also using a 320K bit rate for this particular episode to try to preserve the image of the singing a little more clearly.

I continue to be very glad that my recorder is a Sony PCM D-1. I dropped it on the floor tonight and it came through completely unscathed and sounds fine. Here's a reference to one that was bitten by a hyena. I mention in the audio "we'll see how it sounds to drop the recorder on the floor" but in fact the recorder did not actually capture that moment. This makes sense when you consider that audio is buffered and there is latency between the moment the audio is picked up by the microphones and the moment the samples of that audio are written to the flash memory. When it hit the floor, it crashed before that audio was stored.

After eating a couple more of the extremely fresh roasted chestnuts I decided that I actually really liked them and wound up eating at least a dozen... here's a method for roasting them. The first one was a little disconcerting because I wasn't expecting them to be soft, chewy, and even savory, with a meaty, slightly umami-like flavor. Isaac described them as tasting a bit like roast chicken, but he couldn't get into them. Once I got used to the flavor I found them delicious, a true natural delicacy that reminds me of some my favorite meaty-tasting black Chinese mushrooms. We'll have to try another batch!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

GPP 092: Countdown to the Solstice (5 Days to Go)

In which we take you around our neighborhood for a sort of audio tour of some homes.

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The term I was looking for is "Rocket Mass Heater."

GPP 091 - Countdown to the Solstice (6 Days to Go)

Cookies, Christmas ornaments, a new song in progress, and Christopher Hitchens. Also, the sadly crippled Kwanzebra, Kweezna.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

GPP 090: Countdown to the Solstice (7 Days to Go)

Paul blathers about rarity schemes and the psychology of collecting collectible card games, and Grace expounds about invasive species such as the Emerald Ash Borer.

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GPP 089: Baby Five, Part 5 (Conclusion) (Audio from 30 April 2011)

Driving with Veronica, back down to pick up Grace and the new baby.

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GPP 088: Baby Five, Part 4 (Audio from 29 April 2011)

Another long night begins in the Family Birthing Center.

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GPP 087: Baby Five, Part 3 (Audio from 28 April 2011)

Crawling along on a spare tire with a very pregnant wife, and then on a flat spare with a very pregnant wife whose water is broken, and a bleeding gash on my scalp. Fun times.

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GPP 086: Baby Five, Part 2 (Audio from 27 April 2011)

Paul fires his psychiatrist and drives home in a rainstorm.

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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

No "8 Days to Go" Episode in the Countdown to the Solstice Series

I did have a conversation with Grace on that day, but it was in the evening, in a waiting room at the University of Michigan Hospital in Ann Arbor, as she waited to have another round of imaging. It will probably show up eventually as part of the Gallbladder Season sequence. I don't think we recorded a conversation earlier in the day but I suppose it is possible and I accidentally lost it.

GPP 085: Countdown to the Solstice (9 Days to Go)

Marching triumphantly under overcast skies, stopping only to contemplate the problems with vinyl siding.

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GPP 084: Countdown to the Solstice (10 Days to Go)

Love will keep us together.

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GPP 083: Baby Five, Part 1 (Audio from 20 April 2011)

Paul talking to himself on April 20th of this past year, a few days before the birth of baby 5. A series of field recordings about the usual complications of living: Grace's health issues near the end of her pregnancy, gripes about banks and credit unions, buying a few things at Meijer for our Passover Seder, blather about the Harry Potter movies, especially number 3, meandering thoughts about the extra cost of living and maintaining our home, an unexpected bit of religious education, and one final surprise to liven up the day.

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GPP 082: Countdown to the Solstice (11 Days to Go)

Paul in full Seasonal Affective Disorder Anxiety Depression Freak-out, because he loves to over-share.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

GPP 081: Veronica's Seventh Birthday

Three years ago I had an interview with Veronica (episode 3) that was just delightful. This was an attempt to follow up with that chat with some unfortunately all-too-rare "just Dad and daughter" time. We'll have to try again in a setting where she can express herself a little more -- perhaps another walk, although County Farm Park in Ann Arbor is now now a long way away.

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GPP 080: Gallbladder Season, Part 6 of 4

Grace and I talk in our bedroom about her health issues. I also wind up on a digression about a recent musical collaboration with JoAnn Abbott, our cover of Paul and Storm's song "More than Two."

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GPP 079: Gallbladder Season, Part 5 of 4

I was imagining that the Gallbladder Season chats would be done with part 4, but Grace's medical issues continue to linger, so we're in gallbladder overtime, and will not soon be completely resolved.

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GPP 078: The Race Talk, Part 1 of N

I've been wanting for a long time to get Grace engaged in a talk about race. This is a sort of opener, in which we talk about segregation, schools, and a bit about being a bi-racial couple. I'm calling this "Part 1 of N" because I'm hoping to have some related follow-on conversations, perhaps with other people in the mix, and I have no idea how many parts might eventually be involved.

I'm using a new preamp that allows me to record with a pair of tiny clip-on microphones instead of the recorder's built-in microphones. The idea is that our voices should easier to hear over the ambient audio, as the microphones are closer to our mouths. But in this case we were still in a moderately noisy pub, so there is a lot of background sound, and just EQ'ing the audio to emphasize our voices doesn't really help much. After the first few minutes it gets a little less noisy, although the eighties music continues painfully unabated.

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