solid, liquid, gas

So, that colon cancer screening I was scheduled for? I went through the low-residue diet (not too onerous) and the day of clear liquids and gallon of nasty laxative+electrolyte sludge and the disturbing and unpleasant consequences of that. But there was a massive thunderstorm with record-breaking flooding — 10.85 inches in a night here, up to nearly 13 inches a bit west of here — and the doctor had to cancel.

So at this point I’m waiting for a call back from the nurse to reschedule me and hook me up with more of that crud I had hoped not to have to drink for another 10 years. Sigh. My considerable ire and frustration at this were mainly offset by the fact that our house suffered no damage, while several houses around here flooded spectacularly. Last I read, one person and several pets and shelter animals died. So my day was on average, far less awful than it could have been.

The next album is at 42 minutes of material. With lots of beta testing recently of both Eurorack stuff and plugins, I was inspired to take one track outside my usual area (*) although there’s still continuity to it. Then the next brought it back in, with the next with some very simple but effective patching, including the Mikro just running through a volume pedal, Valhalla Delay and compression, and a two-voice drone done with one instance of Arturia Easel V.

(*) My spouse says, “you have a usual area?” That got me contemplating the perceptions of an occasional listener vs. the musician who is steeped in this stuff 24/7. Part of the music exists in my head and not in actual sound transmitted to others, perhaps. On the other hand, she might also be thinking about my older work or my earlier Starthief releases, which certainly have differences from most of my more recent music.

Since it’s been a bit since the progress photo of my Miezo, I wrote to the luthier to ask for a time estimate. Mostly I wanted reassurance that I didn’t miss an update or invoice. Between a very busy shop and a much needed vacation, it still does need the final sanding and finishing, then assembly — but it should only be another couple of weeks. I’m eager but satisfied with that.

I am rereading the Stormlight Archive series, as it’s been a couple of years and it’ll still be a while before book 5 is released. I’m nearing the end of its first novel, The Way of Kings.

I’ve become a more critical reader of Brandon Sanderson. The way he wrote women at the time the series began, while better than many authors, still had some room for improvement I think. And while his very specifically designed magic systems are kind of his trademark and they work well, they are sometimes explained by exposition dumps that can affect the pacing of an action scene. (This is contrasted with a lot of secrets and mysteries that are hinted at and never fully explained, or foreshadowing that happens several novels before the event itself… but you just know there are charts of how all these mysterious figures and legends are interrelated.) In my opinion he’s gotten better about these things in more recent books. Anyway, what I find especially compelling about the Stormlight Archive is the distinct voices and attitudes of the characters — you can really see their mental state and their different ways of thinking — and the great big emotionally packed moments.

Some of those are big glorious hero moments. Some of those are “just told off the asshole” moments (and those are almost as glorious). Some are “holy shit” moments (big reveals of something hidden or really, really bad news for the good guys, or super weird freaky scary stuff). And they all hit hard. And sometimes they hit in rapid succession without even time to breathe in between them. He’s really good at these and it’s very much at its peak in this particular series.

So I reread the series because Dalinar and Adolin and Shallan and Rock and Lopen and Lift and co. are awesome characters, but also for the really huge payoffs and gut-punches.

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