27. October 2012 · 2 comments · Categories: Life

It is the weekend!!!

I actually will be pretty busy, still. I have a software design assignment and two artificial intelligence assignments to work on. Too much fun

Tomorrow I have a driving lesson from 11am to 12pm. I am looking forward to getting my driving skills better before the road test

Tomorrow night I am going to see Christopher Carter at the International Center. He is an illusionist. It should be a good show. If anyone wants to go with me, I can bring one non student guest. Just let me know.

This semester has been very satisfying so far. I really really like my job at the NSCL.

There is a root beer party at a neighboring dorm Sunday night. I may go, depending on how much I get done before then.

I have next to me a tentative set list for my first album. I really wish I had my cello here at the dorm so I could practice the pieces! i hope to do some recording over Thanksgiving break, my Dad’s schedule permitting, and the rest during the mid semester break.

 

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I ended up in the hospital yesterday morning because my back/headache got so bad. Not fun. Fortunately, they gave me a nice medication that made me sleep and when I woke up the pain was gone.

Now it is starting to hurt again. But, I have doctor’s appointments the next couple days to try and get to the bottom of it.

Class is going well. Huge “step assignment” project in my software design class is threatening to eat all of my time, but I’m making sure I get some fun in too.

Work went well today. We had an impromptu meeting in the early afternoon. My project is coming along nicely.

I have made a few more quick, messy recordings of my music that I will share here. These four are all solo cello. The last is a rather long, 4 part improvisation. It cuts off at the end, sorry about that. I may upload the full version when I have more time.

The first piece is Run right in.

Next, we have Waltze to the gate.

And now, Waldorf the Great.

Last, but not least, is the long but good one: Wanderlust. Sorry it cuts off at the end!

I will be recording a CD of some of my music this year. Consider these a sneak preview for those of you cool enough to read my website.

If you are curious how I composed these, here is a little insight. I get in the mood to make a piece. I might see my cello, and think, hmm.. I think I’ll write a piece for it. I then pick it up, adjust the bow, adjust the end pin, make sure I’m in tune, and then switch on the recorder on my iPod.

Then I start playing some open strings, and a few small forms and phrases that come into my head. Sometimes this is all that happens. Often, however, a large phrase or musical idea pops in, and I give it form as best I can.

The recordings you are listening to below are first recordings. This means I composed them right on the spot. That is why there are occasional hesitations, squawks, and out of tune bits, or parts when I might start singing along or such. This is all part of my creative process. When I make the CD, most of these artifacts will vanish, as by then I will have played the pieces several times and know the hard parts better.

I do not plan and write the music out first, as some composers do. I just “hear” the music internally while I am holding the instrument and play what comes to me.

Before I became a composer, I always wondered about how composers made their music. If you have that same curiosity, you now know how I do it. For now, at least. I have been known to put something together in Finale before, just to get an idea down. Now that I have a recorder, though, more and more I just will sing a tune if it comes into my head when I am not ready to compose.

21. October 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Life

Today I called Pearle Vision, who I am getting my contact lenses from. They had trouble getting the order to the right store, so I had to call both the Ann Arbor and East Lansing locations today to get it straightened out. Finally the two locations just called each other.

I have worn glasses for many years, so getting contact lenses is a change for me. I’m looking forward to seeing how they work.

Today I put in an order for an investment in health care through Vanguard. Vanguard is my investing company. I am saving up money to buy a car, once I get my license to drive. This account is for the money that I am saving.

Yesterday was my first pay day at my new job at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory! I really like my new job. I get my own cubicle, and get to work on fun programming projects related to internal business aspects of the lab.

I exercised for 30 minutes today, doing kickboxing. I was surprised how fast it came back and how well I did with it. I hope to lose a bit of weight over the next few months.

I worked on my Artificial Intelligence homework today. It is interesting to observe myself as I work on it. I’m finding I make many little errors, but am getting better at catching them as I go. I am doing a lot better with the topics from these chapters compared with prior. I find AI to be a challenge. It can be tedious at times.

This week, my team finished our virtual city game project for my Software Design class. It came out quite nice. If you are interested, check out our team’s website. It is my first project made using wxWidgets. I like wxWidgets. It is a cross platform library for GUIs.

I have found that over breaks in school, it is really nice to have a project to work on. This year I am thinking I will make some programs in C# and .NET on my Windows machine. It has been a very long time since I have used Visual Studio, so this should be a treat.

I am currently in the brainstorming ideas phase of the project; hopefully I’ll have a bit of a plan by the time break starts. I will probably do a few test programs, like, hello world, maybe implement an algorithm or two, and see about user interface designing and such, and then I will go about making some cool programs.

My current ideas are utilities for the Windows desktop. Possibly Widgets. I am considering making something to organize the desktop icons into groups, or implement a tabbed desktop sort of system, or multiple desktop interface.

I am also considering making something for the Emotiv Epoc, the EEG headset that you put on your head and then it reads your brain waves to control the computer. I think I would start with a simple launcher type utility, that can be used to make launching programs using the head set easier than controlling the mouse with head movements and clicking on the icons. I am thinking something like a gaze analysis box, that based on where you look can select one of several prearranged applications to launch.

With this, I could also have the application slots automatically populated using a determination of which applications are most frequently run when the head set is in use.

Just some ideas. One of these breaks I want to get to learning Java, too, but I think I’ll save that for a different one.