Rising, Rising

We got a package of yeast with a sticky note that read, “all I had” and a pack of masks from Rodger over on the West Coast.

I already have a loaf of honey wheat almost ready for the oven!

Thanks, Rodger!

Last Night’s Fun

Last night saw the inaugural meeting of The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society. It was a hoot. Imperfect, a few glitches, a killer performance by one of the members, and a lot of fun.

Lou shared this link with instructions on how to improve setting audio for music on Zoom. If we all follow these steps, next week will be even better!

Jeff shared these tips:

Having done several I know that jamming together is not possible, if everybody has mics running, jamming together with one leader with their  mic running, works. Fortunately you have the ability to mute everybody while you speak.Just in case you have not looked at it, Zoom has a feature called “Original Sound” if you have not looked at it please do, The link tutorial that I used was https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50NoWIiYECA but there are others.We have also found that if members use headphones / ear buds it helps to reduce echo / bounce back from their speaker to mic.

Also look in the audio settings to turn off Background Noise Suppression, Suppress Persistent Background Noise and Suppress Intermittent Background Noise. This will do a lot to improve sound quality for everybody.

More Stuff:

Get ready for next weeks meeting! Don’t Miss it!

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society
May 6, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84864370953?pwd=ZUdLckJ6ZXd0Q3ZRa0pIRlBhOU9QQT09

Meeting ID: 848 6437 0953
Password: 508199

Juggling-Related Injuries

Just before The Banjo and Donut Marching Society meeting, Dear Old Dad walked into the office and spotted me groaning with a cold soda on my cheek.

“You’ve been juggling again!”

Now, this was offensive on multiple levels. First, just assuming that any injury was juggling related and second, he said it like somebody on one of those intervention televisions shows.

Tonight on a very special ClownTervention:

Christina: “Bobo, you said you were getting things together. No more clown shoes. No more unicycles. No more juggling. Then I come home and you had the salt and pepper shaker up in the air with a tomato all twirling and #@%$! You’ve been juggling again!”

Bobo: Sad honk

Christina: “Oh, Bobo…”

It was also upsetting because he was right. I was juggling again.

I have dyscalculia. My spatial relationships are a mess so juggling for me is like a sloth trying to drive NASCAR. No amount of desire can offset the fact that I simply cannot catch a ball. Every attempt at playing catch with my dad as a kid ended up with me getting beaned.

I am a musician, author, teacher, photographer, baker, martial artist and a bunch of other things. What I am not is a juggler – but that won’t stop me from trying.

So, what happened last night?

Well I was juggling. I dropped a ball. When I bent over to pick it up I did not put my banjo in a stand like a rational adult human being. Instead, I held onto it. When I bent over to pick up the ball, I rested the banjo pot on an office chair – but I leaned on it a bit because my broken foot was sore, As I picked up the ball, the chair turned and the banjo pot caught me square on the cheek

Thankfully, the banjo was unharmed.

It is okay to love something and be terrible at it. Nobody is perfect on the first attempt. Learning is a growing process. Some folks might juggle in a day or two but never master an instrument like the banjo. We all grow at our own pace.

And no, I won’t give up trying to juggle.

Dear Old Dad’s Song For The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society

Glendale Train
Key of G
4/4 time

Chorus.
G
Somebody robbed the Glendale train
        C                 G
This mornin' at half past nine
G                  
Somebody robbed the Glendale train
       A             D
And I swear, I ain't lyin'
G
They made clean off with sixteen gee's
    C                  G
And left two men lyin' cold
G
Somebody robbed the Glendale train
         D                 G
And they made off with the gold


Charlie Jones was the engineer, 
he had twenty years on the line.
He kissed his wife at the station gate,
this morning at six thirty-five
Everything went fine till half past nine
when Charlie looked up and he saw.
Men on horses, men with guns, 
and no sign of the law.

Amos White was the Luggage man,
and dearly loved his job.
The company rewarded him, 
with a golden watch and fob.
Well Amos he was workin' time
when the door blew off his car.
The found Amos White in fifteen pieces
Fifteen miles apart.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vQOMUsDk-vBdH1TRcvx5IYNYOHoHBTbnBanydu76umQaIN7rcv3c4FXK9kJHk93-gCVT_Iyl3hnxuW4/pub

If you have a song for tonight’s shindig, email me the tab, lyrics, chords, etc. and I will post them so folks can play along!

A Linuxing We Will Go!

I got into Linux back in the ’90s with a boxed copy of Mandrake Linux purchased from the Walmart in Pocomoke City, Maryland.

Yes, they used to sell boxed Linux at Walmart. It was a weird time of big dreams and basically unusable Linux distributions.

I loved working with Linux, but for a long time getting work done on Linux was tricky. I used to drive Dear old dad insane with my room full of funky old desktop towers scavenged from dumpsters rattling various flavors of open-source computing and stacks of books filled with weird commands. After a couple of disasters, he talked me into giving Linux a rest for a while and relying instead on the bland, flavorless, and stable pablum offered by Microsoft and Apple. I stayed a good consumer for a long while. It was boring.

During this Covid-19 shutdown, I realized that I missed interacting with my computer. I want to bang on my tower and swear like the dad from A Christmas Story! This time everything is working so that you don’t notice and uninstall the spyware stuff is for the birds.

I wrote The How and the Tao of Old Time Banjo on a Linux box. I wrote The How and the Tao of Folk Guitar and A Book of Five Strings on a PowerBook with a barely functional installation of Yellow Dog Linux.

The truth is, open-source computing can be flaky with an atheistic from a rejected Olympic Village design – but it exists because people love it. Just like Plan 9 From Outer Space or Equinox.

So, I headed over to distrowatch and tried a few of the distributions I used to use back in the day. I was torn between Mx Linux and Solus, but in the end, I had to go with Linux Mint simply because I don’t have time to deal with flaky sound card drivers and fighting to install Zoom in time for tonight.

In a few weeks, I will drag two more computers out of storage and get them running. Then I can work on Solus to get it where I need for writing, audio, and video work.

The New Book Project – First Look On Patreon

Even with everything going on here at #6 Potomac Street, I have somehow managed to begin work on my next book.

Like before, I am doing the initial work by hand. This time pencil and paper are not a necessity. I love the rhythm and flow of the pencil gliding across the paper.  

I have a huge box of sharpened pencils and a bucket to drop dulled pencils. I had to put a lid on the box of sharpened pencils after a near-tragedy today. I was practicing juggling (I still suck, but I don’t care) and one of my juggling balls landed hard in the box of very sharp pencils. The crash sent a nice Blackwing flying at my face like a shuriken from a Sho Kosugi movie. I stared at the flying writing implement hurtling toward me thinking, “So this is how I die.” Then dropped to the safety of the floor.

When not coming close to maiming myself trying to juggle, working with students, baking bread, getting ready for the worldwide re-release of a beloved banjo book and planning for The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society I have been working on this new book that has yet to get an official title.  

Tonight we uploaded the first draft of the introduction to patreon. It can and probably will change as work progresses. I will continue to post new chapters and revisions for my patrons as work progresses. Giving you a chance to watch the work grow from idea to finished work.

What is the book about? Think of it, among other things, as a users guide to the Tao without any mysticism.  

Our Patrons can download the introduction here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/36515178

How to take part in The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society is a free gathering on Zoom to celebrate the joy of making music. Musicians of all levels and genres are welcome.

The Wednesday Night Banjo and Donut Marching Society meets on Zoom. To join, just use this link on the night of the meeting:

Time: Apr 29, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (USA)

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83923091726?pwd=cGh6dllMK0NDeWY1VWZDS2MwWlRlQT09

Meeting ID: 839 2309 1726
Password: 934800

The Zoom videoconferencing app should install on most computers. I am working on a computer running Ubuntu Linux and Zoom installs and works fine.

Now, this is our first time doing anything like this. Stuff is going to go wrong, things will go surprisingly right and we all will have a chance to have some fun. Roll with the punches and learn with us.

Guidelines:

  1. Patrick is not tech support!
  2. Be in tune before you log in!
  3. Be nice. We are streaming video feeds into the homes of other musicians, so mind your manners. If Patrick can make it through a meeting without swearing or saying something rude, so can you.
  4. Respect your fellow musicians by being yourself. Do not misrepresent playing ability or experience.
  5. Go by your first name and where you are e.g. Patrick in Crisfield, MD. No handles.
  6. All Songs are welcome but be aware of content. We all know where the line is. Do not cross it!
  7. If you call a song you sing it. Use raised foot to end the song, or just say “raising my foot!”
  8. Stick to one tuning (your choice) through the session. Switching around distracts and wastes time.
  9. Please respect our member’s privacy both on and offline.
  10. Be courteous. Do not talk over each other.