The weekend of the studio revamp

Ma , my better half, decided that I was barking too often which made the decision to upgrade my computer a safe bet. When the comp got here, we realized that the ” thought” of a rack mount computer compared to staring at it in my office/studio were two completely different mind sets…


When the UPS Dude dropped off the computer to Zen , he waited until he was sure Ma was able to sign for it before dragging it out of the truck… Why? you might ask…85 lbs is why and the box would shelter a fine pony…

I got home that evening and saw the box in the entry. I stared at it for a bit before walking into the house wondering what the hell else Ma added to the package…

Nothing… Nothing is what was added… It is just a ginormous computer. I looked at my small office then walked back out to look at the computer which was taking up the bulk of the landscape in the entry then walked into my room, scanned completely around trying to see where this would sit.. Nowhere as the room sat.

Well alrighty then. It look like it would sit until the weekend .

Something for the weekend?

I stood in my room early Friday morning trying to figure out just what had to be moved to fit the new computer in place without evicting anything important…..The answer turned out to be easy .. in theory anyway.. :


Everything other than the cabinets had to come out.. Meh.. long weekend so perfect …In a Okie Dokie sorta sigh…

The pull , of course, was actually a good thing. as I had a den of snakes worth of cables connecting all my bits and bobs having to do with studio work.. several which I had actually rearranged how I did things so cables were just hiding in wait for me to trip over as they slid out from under the throw .

Multiple guitars , amps , drum pads , pedals and more were hauled out , packed up and put away. Cords rolled , sorted , untangled from around my ankles in their last ditch attempt to pull some Amazonian Anaconda move on me before I could wrangle them into their case. Fortunately Ma was close at hand , helping me pull the wretched beasties from around my torso before they tightened their grip to point of my eyes bugging..

Our Mather Bedroom looked like a Music store warehouse for several hours before I was ready to reverse part of the move.


I wont get into the stats of the new comp other than it being massive even more so in power than in size.

I have already put days on end of moving files and folders to be and most have been transferred which only leaves the weeks of downloads yet to go. Our Centurylink modem ( absolute POS from day one ) conveniently  decided to crash hard on day one …. We have had to reset the POS daily , and usually multiple times a day as the router portion …well.. doesn’t…. They ( CL ) didn’t like our old modem as I got it before they took over our internet up here so they couldn’t get into it and dig around… That one we reset maybe once a year and then only because when CenturyLink’s end goes down they always say it’s us.. They neglect to mention that the net is down in two counties ….ANYWAY…..

A lot of the files have to be redownloaded due to how they go into multiple places on multiple drives..yippy… Several of said file have a download time of 23-45 hrs…EEP! Ma needs the net for her job so no can downloady while she be doing the worky worky thang ….. This all makes moving said files weeks worth not days…

What does this all mean ? I honestly have only looked quickly at my studio wares.. I haven’t worked on any songs all week/weekend and beginning to get a twitch in my eye..

I broke down last night , running the old comp to at least play a set before bed … Just a week off and I was like

” What the..?? “

The nice thing is that my job changes back again come Tuesday, well then again on Weds and back again on Thurs and one day the following week it flips yet again , but that’s all the norm… What THAT all means is now , for the most part, I am done getting up at 3am.. Yeah !..other than the flippy flippy days of course which with my slightly later hours of my normal job makes flippy all but back to back by the time I get home and turn around to leave again but..yup.. the standard norm..

AND what the hell does all of that crap mean??

I’m a gittin there dang nabbit..

Now I have my time in the mornings and time in the evenings to work on things…sweet!

The downside being ; two day weekends instead of three…damnit ……

Phase two :

Ok , so the rebuild has started but no where near done. I have one larger monitor coming in as I am tired of wiping nose prints off the pair that I am using right now.. let alone the beany little one I am running the old comp on..

I also have a new Dobro coming in.


This year’s songs seem , so far , to have more acoustic work from Mandos to box guitars and more to come . The Dobro sound will fit in well I believe ..and something I have always wanted so there ya go.

The other things yet to get ordered are some HDs for the RAID Hot Swap ( internal hard drives I can use like R/W-DVDs and can be pulled while the comp is running. That will keep the massive amounts of audio and video files in their own little home and not on the main HDs for me to sift through or delete to make room for the next project.

The newer ( old ) look

studio N1a

We’ll work North to West here….

Yes, I have a tree in my room..moving on.. Although not the only guitars I use , these cover a lot of the work;

Gibson Bass , Line 6 modelling , One of the guitars I built from the wood on up, a Gibson LP which is one of my slide guitars , and a Gibson ES 339.

My Helix board which does a lot of the pre-load effects as well as being my main mixer.

The beast of a computer is upper left ( under my moose thank you very much ) My old tried and true Shure SM 58 from back in the days, still goin strong .

Presonus monitor speakers and my DT 770 Pro headphones .

StudioE1aThe monitors for both comps running my Studio one 4 and goodies..Hmm looks like I am getting ready to write the Post on the old one… You can see my wireless transmitter off to the left which I am using for the headphones right now .

studioS1aThe Mando I use most often though its partner will be coming back in again soon to hang around with it. My Katana amp as well as my Fender . My Dean bass that I have rebuilt and tossed on Silk strings . She gives a great sound for the more folkie kinds of music.

My drum pads , my Yamaha keys.. Oh and you can Just see my old rocker from back in the days for any that ever stopped by to hang.. Yup , that’s the one you were sitting in..


and finally , to the West , you can JUST see one of my Yamaha’s as well as the old FG 180 I played since the beginning. My Ibanez 12 string there to the left and just barely seeing ” The Keith” one of the other guitars I built ; she is the other slide guitar ,and finally JUST above the FG  you can sorta see ” Test Kitty ” another of the guitars I built….Both Box guitars as well as the two I have built are all alternate tunings  that I use.

So.. in a nutshell , there is the studio. I am hoping that I may be able to put out some of the new songs/videos off the new comp somewhere around the beginning of the year..IF I am lucky and stay focused .

Thanks for letting me take you on a walk about..Now let’s move on to Zenny type crap…

Harvest continues

As one would expect, Ma and I are working the harvest on the weekends. We got enough Zukes for another batch of pickles yesterday. It only took MAYBE an hour to get them all canned up. We have it down so it is no biggie to toss things together and getter done…

Yesterday Morning , I picked our ” Winesap” apples. There were even a few Granny Smiths on the fairly new tree to pick so that will be nice as well. We have a decent amount , nothing to brag about however we will be working on Apple Sauce hopefully later today ..We will see how long it takes me here.

We have been picking and drying our hot peppers pretty much daily as well as the herbs. The Dehydrator never seems to stop this time of year and up to four of them running constantly..But , at least we know where all of our herbs and hot peppers come from.

Our Prunes are getting closer to ripe as are the Golden Delicious Apples. They usually come in while we are on our Anniversary Holiday.

We also got some 8 Ball zukes again so “boats” are what’s for dinner tonight .

Ma has some zuke grinding to do so we can freeze up a Giant Zuke for muffins at some later date.

Our “perennial ” Brussel Sprouts are getting some nice fruits on them as well but , of course, that’ll be around Thanksgiving …

We have squasheses that are a squashing out there but nothing close to being ready and taters popping up out of the ground like mole hills . If all of the plants put out a few taters we will be doing great into next season assuming they all hold up long enough….

The tomatoes finally started turning. We have enough for  lunch today , as they just started yesterday that isn’t bad. Now that they are gettin’ red, it will be pasta sauce time..which is also a Holiday thang of ours.

It looks like things will be busy up until the frost takes things down which is just fine by us. Hopefully that will hold off up here until November some time but you never know.. It could be Anytime with the cooler summer.

The kids

The deer have been hanging around as usual. Our girl and her little one come in all of the time now as well as her little friend. The two fawns play in the yard and run around the field and meadow while the girls kick back and visit. Being close to the house they are safe from most things leaving the does able to relax for a while…Until one of the little monsters takes off up towards the grove .

The Hummers are , of course, still here from dark to dark playing mostly around the feeders by the porch and Hummie Garden” on the West side. Flowers are finally up giving the little buzzers something different to add to the menu though Ma’s Super Juice is A#1 on the list.

Final Thoughts

We have lots to do , today and pretty much every day. We have already started the Winter prep though the tractor is still sitting in the same spot and we need to find a new supplier for wood. We really should get in two to three cords before it gets too cold.

We finished up Ma’s cabinet on Friday and it is great. With a bit of leftovers , we also did a first upgrade to the pantry as well which looks like that’ll go quickly for the next step.. We will just have to do a town run first.

Ma is finishing up an Orenburg Shawl right now along with a couple other shawl projects . We talked it over and are going to get started on a Shawl Post some time after this shawl is finished , giving some history on the different types Ma makes as well as what makes one different than another….It is somewhat akin to me and my guitars …and they are valued about the same if not more than the guitars. …. More on that later… It feels like this will be the best way to work through Ma’s spinning and knitting for anyone interested..

Last week beat the crap out of me BUT finally being away from my heavy machine my knee is finally starting to heal which I was beginning to worry about so , so far , it looks like I could be back to normalish by the time I have to break out the snowshoes again .

Zen they finally came in

With the work schedule changing , Ma and I actually slept almost to sunrise . I brushed my teeth as I watched a doe watching me through the window . Utterly unimpressed with my dental hygiene , she dropped her head to start slurping water from the pool .

I made my way through the house to see Ma step out the door and onto the porch. I grabbed my 1/4 cup of coffee and followed her out.

Within moments , we heard the beating of weenie little wings as our hummers started filing in , having heard the storm door close and the chittering began. Ma and I said our good mornings to the little guys as they began to whizz through the porch and around the deck .

I walked out onto the deck to see if anything was close by when I had a young doe staring at me from the pool .

“Oops. Sorry Baby . I didn’t see you. “

” What? Are you blind? I was standing RIGHT here !”

” Yeah , well , in my defense , you ARE on my right side so , um, yes.. blind..”

” You just have an answer for everything don’t you? “

” Well , I …”

” Hellllloooo! Talking here!…”

” Um..sorry?”

” Really ? You interrupt to say sorry for interrupting? You SERIOUSLY need to cut back on your Citiot interaction time. “

” Well I uh.. “

” Hush.. Adult talking here.. “

” Hey, you know I’m older than you right? “

She just glared at me .. I pantomimed zippering my mouth shut….She continued to glare..I pantomimed unzipping my mouth…

” You forgot what you were going to say didn’t you..?.. “

I re-zipped and patiently stared back at her …She huffed at me and trotted off mumbling something about rude humans and obnoxious old men … I shrugged and began to walk back to the porch when a nice four point buck came jogging through.. That is Western Count, as in eight point for ally’all Easterners.. He looked over at me and waved. Panting a good morning.

” Can’t stop. Keeping my heart rate up . Rifle season soon . Need to get in my cardio and all. “

I waved to him.

” Nice jogging shorts Dude . Not sure pink is your color but…..”

” It’s my cow camo. “

” Ummm…… Cows are pink..”

” Huh….. Colorblind … The guy at Cabelas said this is what I should wear…”

” You took advice from a guy at a Hunting store? “

” He looked Geeky .. Figured he was a plant. “

” A plant ? Like a Pansy ? “

” Haha.. It is to laugh!.. Busy now …Work on your one liners.. You suck.. “

” Hey ! You know I own a rifle right? and so does Ma ?”

” Yes , yes, and I sleep next to an old truck.. Doesn’t mean I am a Nascar driver..”

I watched him top the ridge and just shook my head.. Damn deer are getting lippy this time of year. I turned , once again to attempt to make my way back to my chair when I saw movements to the north. Just around the edge of the house were several more deer. One was a buck , I couldn’t see the others , their heads down . Ma told me I should grab my camera.

” Hey , good idea. “

I ran in , grabbed the camera , set it up for video only to see that

A) The battery was low

B) The card said it needed to be formatted

C) The lens was my long range which doesn’t pick up low light well

D) Damn deer disappeared

” Oh Bother… “

I set up the camera , after re-seating the card to watch the sun rise.

I ran back in grabbed a battery and a different lens. The deer popped out from behind the woodshed. Our small buck and the three girls he hangs with.

‘Meh…” I ran the camera taping them as they made their way out into the field. They all kept looking into the woods, I hoped maybe something interesting would come out…

I filmed and filmed , waiting , hoping for something special to break out; a bear, coyote kids , a wolf , cougar would kinda suck for all of us…. Bobcat? …..Turkeys ? … Bigfoot?

Some time later a doe came out.. we ALL huffed…

” What?… “

” Well I was hoping for something entertaining .. “

” Like a clown ? “

” Oh HELL No… something a little less creepy.. like a zombie maybe…. Seriously? You’re glaring at me too? “

She gave me the evil eye as I threw up my hands , turned off the camera and sat down my arms and legs crossed as she watched through.

” Where’s Mama ? “

” In the house .”

She gave me one last look and walked around to the front of the house to go sit at the tree in front of Ma’s office…

” Really? “

The little hummers flew into the porch , chasing each other , buzzing my head and tugging at my hair as they flew by giggling .

I had to grin… Most people are being annoyed by other people right now… I am just getting my arse handed to me by the kids… It looks to be

Just another day on Zen Mountain.

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