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Jarrett Heather
Jarrett Heather's Journal
jarrett

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(*plus one Paul and Storm song)

It’s been more than a year since I posted the original JoCo medley. I was a little surprised by the response I got the first time around. The people really love their Coulton.

Here are the very special tracks that made the cut this time around:

Shop Vac (Intro), Space Doggity, Opening Band (Paul and Storm), Blue Sunny Day, You Ruined Everything, First of May, Big Bad World One, I’m Your Moon, When You Go, I Feel Fantastic, Shop Vac (Reprise)

I must admit I knew nothing of Paul and Storm’s music before my first JoCo show last year, but I became a loyal fan before they finished their opening number. Perhaps the next medley will be just Paul and Storm favorites. They have more than enough great songs to choose from.

As per usual, here are some files (right-click and choose “save as”):

I’ve got tickets to both San Fransisco shows this month, which will be my sixth and seventh times seeing Mr Coulton perform live. If you have the opportunity to see a P&S/JoCo show, please don’t pass it up. It’s impossible to not have a good time.

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jarrett

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jarrett

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As always, right-click here to download the mp3. Of you can download just the piano track by itself.

Here’s a MIDI file that I made while working out the arrangement. This isn’t quite the same as the performance in the video, but the data might be useful to someone.

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jarrett

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I entered this songwriting contest, but I’m currently losing.

If you’re not too busy, head over here to listen to all the entries and vote for your favorites. If you are too busy, then just go there and vote for me.

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jarrett

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This video made me lol.

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jarrett

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My Cintiq 12WX arrived this evening. Here’s a couple sketches I made while trying to get a feel for it. The tree was drawn in Photoshop, and the moon was done in Corel Painter, which I need a lot more practice with. It’s a bit frustrating.

I’m very happy with the tablet so far. It’s a lot of fun to use.

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jarrett

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Ethan decided he wanted to make some beautiful paintings to send to his grandparents as Christmas gifts. We thought it would be fun to share a video of the artist at work. I imagine the video of Ethan creating his masterpiece will eventually help us deflect scrutiny from 60 minutes.

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jarrett

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I didn’t bother to hook up a proper mic, so the sound is a little low-fi.

But I did put on pants, being that it’s a special occasion and all.

The three songs in this medley are Christmas Time is Here by Vince Guaraldi, Jingle Bells, and of course, Chiron Beta Prime by Jonathan Coulton.

Merry Christmas!

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jarrett

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It’s recycled from 2006, but you’ll listen to it, and you’ll enjoy.

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jarrett

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I made a cover of Still Alive about a year ago and put it on YouTube. It’s gotten over 150,000 views, which isn’t too shabby, I think. Here’s the original description:

So, here’s a little cover arrangement I made of “Still Alive”, the ending credits song from the excellent video game Portal.

The song was written by my personal hero, Jonathan Coulton. Explore his music. It’s wonderful.

I performed all nine tracks (on the keyboard), and I kept pretty close to the original arrangement.

The encoding on this movie is a much, much higher quality than the YouTube version.

Help yourself to the piano sheet music (PDF), or the mp3, or the MIDI file of this performance.

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jarrett

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Let me set the stage.

It was a little past seven o’clock last Thursday evening.  The weather was very foggy that night, and the sun sets before five this time of year, so it was really dark and nasty outside.  Danielle was easing Ethan into his bedtime routine, and I was fiddling with some hardware in my office.

I heard distant police sirens and fire engine horns growing steadily louder.  Our neighborhood is usually pretty quiet.  We don’t get a lot of police chases or gang shootouts.  But the sirens grew louder still, and I could see the flashing lights through my office blinds.  A moment later the noise reached its ear-splitting cacophonous crescendo of police, ambulance, and fire sirens, along with occasional loudspeaker announcements too distorted to make out.  I decided to investigate what was going down.

I peeked out the front door, and I saw a massive fleet of police and emergency vehicles across the street a few houses down.  Neighbors were all coming out to see.  Some people were shuffling up the street toward our house.  I was sure I smelled smoke.

I retreated inside, and Danielle and Ethan were there staring out the living room window.  Ethan looked absolutely terrified.  The noise was unbearable.  We had no idea what was happening.  Was there a fire?  An industrial accident?  A natural disaster?  I was ready to pack a bag and say goodbye to all my worldly possessions forever.

As a ladder truck crept past our house, we finally heard a voice on the loudspeaker we could understand.  It boomed THANK YOU FOR COMING OUT TO SUPPORT THE CHRISTMAS PARADE.

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jarrett

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After nearly five days of my new routine, I suspect that daily exercise has improved my well-being more than the nutritious, 1,500-Calorie diet.

I genuinely look forward to doing my exercise each morning. I didn’t expect that to happen so soon. Yourself!Fitness deserves real credit. Maya recognized my state of complete physical neglect and started me out with just the right kind of exercises to begin conditioning my body.  I can already see some results.  On day one, I was about five minutes into the warm-up before I felt so winded that I had to pause to take a few breaths.  Today, I got through the entire warm-up section without losing momentum, even though the software has already bumped me up to slightly more difficult exercises.

My workouts this week have cycled through cardiovascular, upper-body strength, lower-body strength, core strength and flexibility.  Today’s workout had some very challenging moves.  I failed to perform a proper V-up.  My core just isn’t strong enough yet.  I also couldn’t hold a boat pose for the full duration, but I tried my best to keep up.  Doing the yoga poses with correct form and balance is extremely difficult, but I can feel myself growing stronger and more controlled with each session.

I very proud of what I’ve done this week, and more importantly, I feel great.

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jarrett

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It’s December 8th, 2008, and today I’ve decided to do things differently.

I’ve been pretty off-balance lately. My old routine went out the window when Ethan was born, and I’ve never gotten back onto a firm footing. My sleeping and eating habits have been very erratic, and I’ve gradually become less and less physically active. This lifestyle has impacted my overall health and mental well-being.

I haven’t gained much weight, as it turns out. For the past few years I’ve been between 185 and 190 pounds. This morning I weighed 191.5. But my shape has changed. I’ve gotten softer and rounder in the middle, and I look like I’ve gained 30 or 40 pounds. I’ve been drinking too much soda and eating too much junk food. I’ve never really over-eaten, but I haven’t been getting proper, balanced nutrition. And generally speaking, I pretty much feel like crap…

Read the rest of this entry »

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jarrett

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So, this guy is playing the guitar part with a custom drum controller. I am awestruck by the ingenuity, skill and endurance.

Stay tuned for “Hamster Piano”.

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jarrett

Cross-posted from SpaceParanoids.net. Please leave your comments there.

I’m hooking up a plug-in for threaded comments in my blog posts. I don’t have a separate development site for SpaceParanoids, so we’re all in the test tube.

Help me test this by leaving me a comment here.

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jarrett

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My dad used to tell my brother and me that once the infrared wireless television remote control became affordable for the masses, there wasn’t any good reason to have kids around. Actually, Dad probably never really said that. But I bet he thought it.

In the twenty-first century global economy, today’s toddler has to be versatile. Waddling over to the Zenith console to turn the giant rotary dial just isn’t enough to remain competitive anymore.

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jarrett

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The crazy kids on the Jonathan Coulton forums started a virtual band called The Mandelbrot Set. They pick a JoCo song to cover, and everyone who wants to participate puts their track on a big pile of files on the web.

The song chosen for their first project was Re: Your Brains, a song I actually included in my own medly (at the 9:39 mark, as if you care). They had this thing in the works for a year or longer, but I managed to show up at the last moment to toss in a piano track just under the wire.

Listen here.

If I’d known they were going to give me part of the solo, I might have done a few more takes.

Anyway, a big tip o’ the hat to my virtual bandmates: Angelastic, bigcambridge, Bry, Colleenky (awesome vocals!), Lunacy, MaW, mtgordon, Shruti, and The Doifter.

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jarrett

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“Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moo. Moooooooon.

Ethan talks about the moon more than anything. By a pretty wide margin, actually. His mother is waxing concern (see what I did there?) over Ethan’s latest fixation, but I’m confident he’ll grow out of it in eventually. He’s probably going through a phase. (Pause for laughter.) In the meantime, we get hourly requests to go outside to observe the moon, and story book time often consists of skimming through illustrations to point out ones in which the moon is depicted.

The last few weeks have been tough because the moon was in a phase that made it very difficult to observe, rising in the early morning hours and setting some time in the afternoon. But Ethan was in for a treat Monday night. The moon was setting over our backyard and it had some very special company. The silver crescent was paired with the planetary conjunction of Jupiter and Venus. I did my best to photograph the celestial meet-up…

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jarrett

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It seems like everyone has a story about going to the emergency room on a major holiday. On Easter Sunday, 1995 I was in the worst car accident of my life (hopefully). I was spending some quality time with my second family. My best friend Chris, his sister and folks were piled in a minivan. Chris’ dad, blind in one eye, pulled the Dodge onto Route 13 directly in front of a car speeding along in the fast lane. I don’t remember hearing the screeching of rubber before the impact. The little wagon struck the van on the right-front fender and veered off into a ditch. The van spun around like a top, coming to rest in the facing south in the center northbound lane. Both vehicles were totaled.

The old people got the worst of the impact, but thankfully everyone recovered fully. I got scraped up and bruised, but I wasn’t injured. The ER doctor made me get a tetanus shot, which ultimately caused me more pain and discomfort than being in the wreck.

We had been on our way to morning church services in Cheswold, and we often joked that this was God’s way of telling us, “don’t bother.” And I haven’t.

Despite being 21 months old, Ethan already has his first story about going to the emergency room on a major holiday. On Thanksgiving morning I was trying to keep Ethan busy while Danielle frantically prepared for the trip to her mother’s in the Bay Area…

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jarrett

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It seems oddly appropriate that my LiveJournaling ended abruptly after Ethan was born (though I certainly wasn’t as active on the site as I used to be).  That’s when my old life ended and my new life began.  I do still read LiveJournal, but updating my own journal never quite made its way back into my new routine.

After almost two years of abject neglect, my LiveJournal will now spring back to life.  Its new purpose, however, is to recieve WordPress cross-posts that will direct my old LJ friends toward my shiny new blog.

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