academic bookkeeping

I was double checking the classes I've taken so far to make sure that I have enough credits to graduate next year after my internship and such... Fortunately, I didn't forget to take any classes, but it turns out that I only needed 12 credits of "open electives" for my degree, and I have 27 credits. Whoops. That's an entire extra term's worth BY MISTAKE.

Mind you, I don't regret taking any of Those courses. In fact, most of them were my favorite courses. It's mostly the mandatory ones that I hated.


Okay, it turns out I DO need all those credits. Apparently, the New music ed program is 18+ credits lighter than the one I enrolled in (and have to graduate under). I guess I didn't spend an extra $2,300 after all!
  • Current Music
    Weird Al coz I'm still a dork after all these years
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1. Look at the poster. (Maybe print and put some up. They use legal paper instead of letter.)
2. Read the program.
3. Be there. Exemptions will be made on a "not in the right province/country" basis, but it would be nice to have at least One old friend from high school show up to the biggest event in the course of my music degree (this recital determines 60% of my studio mark this year). I don't want the entire audience to be made up of music students who are there because recital attendance is mandatory.

uh oh

Google Sketchup 6 may be the end of me. Quick, easy, 3D [home] design with a simple, intuitive user interface? How dare they bait me so.

Goodbye, cruel world... there are some houses I need to design.

(seriously, though. this program is awesome.)

- b

term 2

Well, the new term has started and I must say I like it. The only school thing I have tues/thurs is a Spanish tutorial at 11 on Thursday, and aside from my Wednesday night class, I'm done by 1:00 at the latest each day. Weird how that worked out, I suppose, but excellent.

And my project list has changed somewhat. A revision, so you all know what I'd rather be up to than school:

- The new cabinet is still going to happen. My buddy needs some plywood for a project he's working on, so we're planning to split a 4'x8' sheet to cut costs. This cabinet is SUPER NECESSARY because I need some place to put my crap.

- My electric guitar is ever so slowly making progress. It's turning out well so far. I need to order some parts for it before I do much more, but I haven't decided what kind of pickups I'm going to use in it and that's slowing me down because I might need to order some, and I like to minimize shipping costs. Also, I need to pay for school.

- Flutes: I need to take the reamers (the tools I'm making) to Davis Machining so they can do some work with a milling machine for me, and stuff keeps coming up to keep me from getting there... but they're still going to happen.

- Violin: not right now. Don't have the cash, the time, or a few of the requisite tools. It can wait a while.

- Classical guitar: same situation as the violin. At least the one I have is actually pretty nice... I just really want to build one myself, because it seems like such an intriguing challenge...

NEW ones, you say? Why, when you already have so many on the go? Well, a lot of those ones are fairly long-term projects, and some have been seriously put on the back-burner for budgetary/time/feasibility reasons. Meanwhile, I've been rethinking my amplifier (it's a little bit dull on the clean and too harsh on the distortion channels) and wondering if I should obtain a new one sometime in the near-ish future. The answer I arrived at was a yes, and though I haven't decided what, I've got one important thing in mind: it needs a killer good, sparkly, bubbly, lively clean channel, and it needs to be low-wattage... Which means I probably won't be able to find anything affordable, because low-wattage tube amps that aren't pieces of crap are often more expensive than high wattage ones. (It's a long story involving marketing and brainwashing consumers.) Which means I might need to build...

- A guitar amplifier. Fortunately, low wattage tube amp kits DO exist. It would probably cost me about $300 to build the amp head (plus some more for a speaker and cabinet - maybe $100) and it's simple enough to modify the preamp to optimize it for clean playing. So I might do that this summer. However, I don't have the skillz to build a two-channel amp, so anything I build is mostly going to be a clean to slightly gritty one-trick pony that'll need an outside source for distortion, which means I'll also need to build...

- Some guitar pedals; namely, a boutique Tubescreamer clone and possibly a BSIAB2, neither of which are very expensive to build. And the nice thing is that if you sit down and put your mind to it, you can build one pretty easily in an afternoon. These I intend to order so that I can work on them over February break. Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee


- me


Okay, so, we leave for Mexico sometime overnight. We have to be at the airport by 3am, I think. So I'll be gone for a week.

Christmas report:
I got a deluxe Black and Decker workmate (folding workbench with a top that can be used as a big vice), a nice Stanley block plane, and some cabinet scrapers. I also got about $200 in Long & McQuade gift certificates, despite the fact that I work at a different music store and never buy anything except strings, so now I have to come up with some way to blow $200 at a competitor's store (and contrary to popular belief, Mother's Music actually has the better selection of guitar gear, amps, and accessories, and we probably have almost as many guitars, too). I'm thinking... maybe some sort of effects pedal. But I don't know what. A delay, perhaps? Or some sort of modulation multi-effect, hopefully with phaser, flanger, chorus, etc?

I got some other things too (some clothes, a Sandman collection from Meaghan, season 3 of Futurama on DVD, etc, all of which are super), but I think that the tools, Futurama, and gift certificate for a store I don't shop at are the most noteworthy/atypical (of gifts for a 22 year old) of the lot.

Also, the violin and the classical guitar are being put on hold due to a lack of funding. See, the money that Should have gone toward them went toward L&M instead... *grumble grumble*
  • Current Music
    El Telocote - La Calaca

one week until Christmas

Time for my quarterly update! badum-psh, zing.
Aw, but seriously, y'all, I really don't update much.

So this term was certainly full of homework, ensemble rehearsals, concerts, running a music festival, and doing more homework... I'm not sure I've ever experienced such a boring, academic 3.5 months in all my years of schooling. It was certainly nothing to write home about... thus why I didn't bother to post in my LJ very much at all. (Also, I don't feel like bitching about my problems because I know that in the grand scheme of things they are rather minor, and it does not help solve them or make You guys feel any better.) But I figure I should update now that I finally have my last exam out of the way.

Um, school continues. I took Spanish this term - that was pretty neat. I didn't get a good mark, but I liked it, and I'm taking more of it.

I didn't play enough guitar. Siiigh.

Things are good with Meaghan.

I played clarinet in the Wind Orchestra once again! It was pretty fun most of the time, although some of the rehearsals Were retardedly inefficient and an absolute waste of time. I'm not doing it next term because it would be too time consuming... i.e., so much so that I would have to drop classes so I could afford school because that's how many work shifts it would cut into.

My room is ALMOST CLEAN. It's so exciting. All that's left to do is get rid of some old clothes, go through a lot of old school notes and texts to sort out the useful from the useless (and thus clear up some shelf space), get these gifts for other people out of my room, and put some instrument supplies into the resulting empty spaces. AND THEN MY ROOM WILL ONCE AGAIN BE SPACIOUS ENOUGH TO SAFELY PRACTICE KUNG FU IN. It's so gorgeous when it's not cluttered with clothes and books and papers and boxes of guitar parts and pieces of roughly sawn lumber and tools and half-built amplifiers littering the floor...

So obviously I'm still building things. Right now, I have the following projects on my list:

- A long low shallow cabinet (planning stages) to store art portfolios and books in, with a flip-out table that I can use for drawing and working on stuff (because I have no empty work surfaces in my room right now and am running out of shelf space for books and things)

- An electric guitar, in the construction stage; one of the ones I built over the summer turned out poorly due to a few serious mistakes I made with a router and a chisel, and also the bridge is just a piece of crap. I mean, sure, it's a real Wilkinson tremolo with graphite saddles and everything optimized for it, but hello! It doesn't sound as good as a fixed bridge would, and it doesn't stay in tune as well as a Floyd Rose tremolo. Thus, it fails tonally And tuning-ly. SO. I'm harvesting that guitar for parts to build a new one, this time with a deep-set neck tenon (which is so deep the bridge actually goes through it), a walnut top, a 5-piece maple/walnut neck, a solid Wilkinson/Gotoh PRS-style wraparound bridge with adjustable intonation, and more solid tuners. It's in the early stages of construction still - i.e., I'm still gluing the neck laminates together and piecing together the body. But it's off to a good start.

- "Irish/Celtic/Wooden/Keyless/19th Century" flutes, in the prototyping/tool-building stage. I had to make some custom bore reamers to taper the inside of them, which was exciting because I haven't done much metalworking before. Slowly but surely they are coming along. Eventually they will most likely be made from Bocote, because I bought a buttload of the stuff specifically for this purpose.

- A violin, in the research/design/gathering materials stage. I've got all the materials for the body, neck, fingerboard, bridge, and possibly tailpiece (depending on whether I make my own or just go with a premade one)... all that remains to obtain are the fittings like pegs, chin rest, purfling, etc. Oh yeah, I also need to make some tools. Right now I'm doing a lot of reading about construction techniques, modern design, Stradivari's instruments, finishing/varnishing, etc. and trying to decide exactly what I'm going to do. My goal isn't to build a masterpiece (especially since I don't even know what such a violin would be like) but rather to build something functional that sounds better than a cheap production-line PoS instrument. The other goal is to have a bitchin' looking violin: rather than the usual stained maple/European spruce/ebony color scheme I'm going with a natural-colored walnut/Sitka spruce/bocote/East Indian rosewood color scheme. It'll stand out whether or not it sounds good.

- A classical guitar, in the research/design/wishing I had money phase. I've mostly decided on materials and general design features, and now I just have to find some way to acquire the necessary materials. (I'm thinkin'... make dad buy them for me, since he owes me.) It's based on a José Romanillos design with Palo Escrito/Sitka Spruce lined back/sides, Engelmann Spruce top, East Indian rosewood fingerboard & bridge, and Sapele neck. I chose Sapele because it's muuuuuuuch stronger than the "classier" neck woods like Spanish Cedar and genuine Mahogany, which are definitely lighter but much weaker. In fact, when you look at the weight to strength ratio, Sapele is about twice as efficient. Even when braced by ebony or rosewood reinforcements, a cedar/mahogany neck won't come close to being as strong as a Sapele neck - even a thinner Sapele neck. Also, I'm going to bind it with the excess Palo Escrito cutoffs from the sides and back, so the binding will match the body... which is kind of cool and classy, but it won't stand out much, so I'm going to have curly maple purfling to help it show up. I figure: the palo escrito is a wild-enough looking wood that it doesn't need some sort of insane contrasting binding, so the best way to go is self-binding.

Anyway, I realize that most of you didn't read past the first sentence of each of those project descriptions so I'm going to stop typing and go to bed now. Night!

the end draws nearer

Unifest went passably well.

So now I have to do homework. Just one art critique, a 6 week grade 10 art unit plan, 20 or so sketches illustrating various drawing techniques, a 4 week elementary music unit plan, a short paper on music education philosophy, and a long paper on classroom discipline left to do over the next two weeks! Er, and Spanish to study and guitar to practice, I guess, but whatEVER.


I wish it were just Christmas vacation so I could get back to the workshop and make some stuff without feeling lazy and guilty... that would be sweet.
  • Current Music
    I have "Tenderly" stuck in my head because my combo was jamming on it today
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