please remain seated until the ride comes to a complete stop

The chair I’ve been using at home for the past few years was a little bit of a compromise, so it could be a reasonable price to put on my wish list. It had the required weight capacity, good reviews, armrests that fold up out of the way, and nice aesthetics. It was a decent chair for the price — but given how much time I spend in that chair between working, gaming, web browsing and making music, more comfortable is always better. It’s always had odd pops and squeaks, but more recently it’s started randomly sinking too.

Andaseat had a Prime Day special (even though it’s not affiliated with Amazon) on the Kaiser 3 gaming chair, so I went for it. It’s a very good chair! Sturdy, heavy, not fun to assemble or get through doors, but worth it. It has serious padding, a nice tall backrest, a magnetic pillow you can place wherever you like, an adjustable lumbar support, adjustable armrests, and tilt/rocking but also an adjustable backrest angle. It can go way back into a sleep-friendly position. It’s not making any distressing noises under my weight.

I do miss the retractable armrests of the older chair. Too bad there’s no release button for them, instead of having to unbolt them to remove them. I’ll do that if they interfere with musical instruments, but I find them nice to have when leaning back a lot.

Sunday we took a short trip to Columbia Bottom Conservation Area, which is sort of a managed and planted area not primarily for industrial/food agriculture but meant to benefit wildlife (mostly waterfowl and pollinators, in this case). They have impressive fields of sunflowers, each one keeping 1-4 bees at a time gainfully employed. It was a hot day (but not overwhelmingly so, yet) and the gravel roads were extremely dusty, each car kicking up thick clouds that obscured the road for everyone else, but I enjoyed the experience.

I don’t think my photos really do justice to standing among hundreds of 5-foot tall flowers. They weren’t “as far as the eye can see” except for a short person (and there were shorter patches as well) but still, it was really neat.

I’ve reread the Imperial Radch trilogy, and it was maybe even better than I remembered. This sort of rereading is helpful, as the newer book shone a light on some of the little mysteries of the trilogy, and vice versa. But now I’m curious to read the short stories too; one of them goes into Justice of Toren‘s (or is it One Esk Nineteen’s?) history as a religious figure in the Itran Tetrarchy, which should be fun.

Currently reading the 3rd Brandon Sanderson Secret Project book, Yumi and the Nightmare Painter. While I didn’t find myself immediately charmed and engaged with it like I did Tress of the Emerald Sea, the setting has got some cool concepts to it. It is a very odd, fantastic, and extremely visually striking world — and with a magic system based on painting too, I kind of want this to be a very stylish animated movie or graphic novel. But I’ll stick with the words and see what my imagination can do for me visually.

(I have aphantasia — I don’t “see with my mind’s eye” except in rare circumstances, or when I dream. I don’t really imagine characters’ faces or what buildings look like when I read books. I wonder if this is related in any way to my poor navigational skills and sense of direction. But I do find some kinds of visual cues helpful, for instance, viewing signals and audio with an oscilloscope, or graphs and charts to visualize data.)

I have 31 minutes of music recorded toward the next album. And, same old story, I went through a phase of feeling a little lost and unsure where I was going with it, and recorded a couple of things I wound up rejecting or partially recycling. But then I found kind of a common thread. It’s just the natural result of chronological proximity, and exploration of the new gear, new arrangement and the new techniques they’re leading me toward.

The gear influences the composition. Interstellar Radio doesn’t track 1V/Oct, so sequencing it tends more toward free tuning and atonality. Spectraphon, while it does track pitch very well, will give different timbral results if its input pitch is sequenced. Univer Inter and the Seaboard Block give me new ways to control and play things — a bit more rhythmic stuff and some generative MIDI with UI’s clocks, and more pressure-controlled polyphonic goodness among other things. The Strega/Minibrute pairing seems really fruitful to me and I’ve been loving that. And of course, having access to different timbres leads one to different density and complexity and rates of change in composition, in general. And so the new stuff influences how I use some of the old stuff too.

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