New Recording: Now and Forever

Here’s a new recording of Now and Forever, a jazzy ballad. You may recall Michelle came up with the lyric and the tune a couple years back (she was in third grade at the time; she’s now in fifth) and I helped her put it into shape and work out the arrangement. We recorded it for Jeannie for mother’s day. I liked it so much I decided to do my own version. I ended up making it a duet, so Michelle is still singing on the track. It came out very nicely.

I’ve also been experimenting with EQ on the bass, since that’s one of the keys to a really good sounding mix. Been trying to get more power and definition in the low end while removing the mud. You can hear new mixes of Is It Safe? and Black Swan.

I think this set of tunes is pretty much done, except for final mixing and mastering. We’re up to five, which is a good album side. Now it’s onto the next batch of partly-written tunes that need to get fleshed out. I’ll let you know in a while how that’s coming along.

Shepard Book

Last week I was extra busy cuz I got the third and final round of proofs for my book back from my publisher. By this point the layouts were all corrected and it was down little details like typos and subtle zoom issues on the steps. I had to make a few new corrections to some drawings, replacing a mountain fold with a valley or make a layer white. Out of almost 400 diagrams I only had to correct eight, so that’s not to bad. So it looks like this is. The next proof will be high-res pre-print master. Shiny!


We’re now a month into winter, and we’re back to cold and snowy. So far we made two trips up to Buffalo and Rochester, the first to visit family for the holidays, and then again just this weekend for my nephew’s baptism, for which Jeannie and I were the godparents. We’ve been making the trip from NYC to Buffalo for years. We estimate we’re up to a hundred times. Snow and freezing rain on each leg of the journey this time, which is not my favorite thing. Still it was a good time.

Now we’re back home and it’s another blizzard. We got about a foot of snow already and expecting more tonite. Everyone got sent home early from work and school. I shoveled once when I got home and it was light, fluffy powder, great for skiing. Too bad it’s only on the coast.

At work our department just moved to a new floor. My new office is pretty nice and in one of the better spots. I’m just down the hall from our CTO so I guess he’ll learn who I am. Last year I got an ergonomic chair and had my desk raised because I’m unusually tall and it’s bad for my back to sit a standard size desk designed for normal, puny humans. I alerted the move people about this because they normally don’t move chairs or customize desks, but they assured me it’d be no problem. But then Friday when the movers came they refused to move my chair and I had to persuade them. This morning when I came to my new office I found they raised my neighbor’s desk instead of mine. It took a while to get it all straightened out. Once I did I discovered my computer must’ve gotten bumped in the move because all it wants to do is run a low-level scan of the hard drive. I had to leave early because of the weather, so we’ll see what the outcome is next time back in the office.

Music Site Update: Elixr

Back from xmas break. Had a brief trip upstate to visit family and friends. Heavy weather driving both ways. Great to see everyone and glad the everyone is doing well. My dad got eye surgery and for the first time in my life doesn’t need to wear glasses anymore. Discovered the Hamburg Brew Pub.

The new year is off to a cold and snowy start. Last night we had a foot of snow, canceling my band practice. Both the kids had no school today, extending our xmas break. Took a good hour and change to shovel out, even with Lizzy’s help. Luckily the snowblower started right up after not being used for almost a year.

I’ve been updating the music section of my web site at I’ve added a link for The Relix, and added links to the new tracks on the Buzzy Third page, Is It Safe to Go Outside? and Black Swan, which prettty much bring me up to an album side. I changed the working title of the third Buzzy Tonic record to Elixr. It’s an anagram of Relix and also a play on the whole Buzzy Tonic theme.

I also came up with a logo, which makes a much better place holder for the eventual album cover than what I had before. This particular task has been on my todo list for a whole year; indeed made a sketch last xmas vacation. Constructing something like this in the computer is extremely tedious for me, so instead I drew it by hand and traced over in sharpie to get the right combination of precision and looseness. This is a technique I used a lot in college when I was studying design and architecture. Then I scanned it and played around with filters in photoshop until I caem up with something I liked. It’s been a long time since I used photoshop this way. I was able to achieve a rich look buy building up lots of layers of effects with varying transparency, a lot you’d build up layers using paint.

Even though I like how it turned out the colors don’t particularly match what I had going on the BZ3 page. Like I said it’s a placeholder for the eventual album cover, so I’ll continue to play with it. Meanwhile enjoy!