Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

active weekend


Saturday I set out to keep some commitments. I got up early and began reading and listening to legal seminars. I completed my required mandatory minimum for 2014. I enjoyed the material I learned as well as completing the requirement. I want to get my 2015 requirements done early in the coming months.

I needed to affix my new car registration sticker onto my car. I had procrastinated by roughly 15 days in doing so. The process of removing the old sticker and affixing the new took less than 10 minutes, which made me feel a bit silly for having waited so long to have done it.

I read on Facebook that my nephew's store was supporting a local toys-for-Christmas charitable effort. I drove to the discount store Big Lots and began selecting toys. I liked the stuffed dogs and the Hot Wheels cars. I was disappointed that none of the Barbies on offer were rocket scientists or emergency med techs. Play Dough still exists, though, and the world still turns on its axis.I soon emerged with a few sacks of toys. I drove down to my nephew's store, where he arranged the sacks of toys into the donation box. I was glad to get to see him. We spoke a bit about his father (my brother), who was admitted to hospital Saturday to check on something. The something worked out not to be a big issue, thankfully, and he was discharged Sunday.

I stopped by Bob Woodruff Park in Plano to get my Saturday exercise in. I enjoyed my walk, where I saw ruby-crowned kinglets, Blue Jays, Northern Cardinals, Tufted Titmice, Killdeer and American Crows. The bitterly cold wind, though, drove me back to my car after just half an hour.

In the afternoon, I worked hard on a Secret Mixter remix to post on ccMixter.org. Secret Mixter is a roughly quarterly event in which one "signs up" and one is assigned at random another ccMixter music maker. One then takes samples from that artist's work and uses it to create a new song. My assigned artist was a fine musician, a UK artist named Loveshadow.
I had begun the song on Friday, working with Audacity. I continued on Friday evening, and Saturday afternoon I tackled the song in earnest. I spent several hours on it, cutting up songs to make samples, writing a new melody to serve as the backbone of the song, and then lacing all the components together into a coherent whole. The song was due to be posted on Sunday (in the way of Secret Mixter, all the assignments are "secret" and then all the songs resulting from the assignments are posted in one day). So I needed to finish it on Saturday.

Early Saturday evening my wife and I went to see the movie "Interstellar". I liked the film, though the movie turned out to be a bit more Golden Age sci-fi short story than like a cutting-edge modern science fiction movie. Still, it was a fine way to spend an evening.
When we got out of the film, we went to the Black Walnut Cafe. I had been unimpressed during an earlier visit with this place, which seemed more about concept and less about food. But our meals were delightful.

Sunday morning I got up early and posted my Secret Mixter remix. I posted a fairly long explanatory note for the title "Maisie's Dream", an obscure pre-Raphaelite painting reference. Then I settled in to listen and review numerous other songs posted by other Mixters. I enjoy listening and reviewing these songs, as I enjoy being exposed to lots of different genres and approaches. Most of them were electronica. However, while most of my music leans ambient, chill, post-rock or novelty (I use the phrase "weirdbient"), most of the Mixters lean toward electro, drum 'n' bass, Detroit techno or various funk-influenced genres. My songs typically happen at 40 beats per minute, while the other mixters are between 120 and 180 bpm.

At 11 a.m., I went to church at First United Methodist Church. The weather was cold and rainy.
At one point in the service, we all went to the front, dropped off a pledge card, and picked up one rock per congregant. I liked that the rocks were all polished in a tumbler.

After church, I drove to Brockdale Park. There I walked along an enclosed roadway by a wooded area. I watched Carolina chickadees, tufted titmice, and a large group of resting mourning doves. I saw two large black-faced gulls there that I took for laughing gulls. Then I drove to Caffe Promenade in Allen, where I had a hot chocolate. I logged in my bird watching results on eBird.com.

I was up a bit over a pound at Weight Watchers, my second "up" week in a row. I like that now when I am up, I am only up by a pound or two. I must work out ways to get more indoor exercise on days when the weather is so cold.

I came home to find that my ccMixter song got selected as an Editor's Pick for the site. That made me happy.

I got a lot done this weekend, but have more to do in the coming few days to feel closer to caught up.
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