AndyO Blog

Thursday, May 28, 2009

World's Largest Model Rocket Launch

If you've ever built model rockets, this launch is going to blow your mind.







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posted by AndyO @ 10:47 AM   0 comments

Monday, May 11, 2009

An amazing video

This is some serious "video" art:


posted by AndyO @ 8:06 PM   0 comments

Nine words women use

This was sent to me by my loving wife. I thought it was so good, I wanted to put it here for everyone to see!


(1) Fine: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

(2) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour.. Five minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

(3) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine.

(4) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

(5) Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing.. (Refer back to # 3 for the meaning of nothing.)

(6) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a woman can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

(7) Thanks: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or faint. Just say you're welcome. (I want to add in a clause here - This is true, unless she says 'Thanks a lot' - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking you at all. DO NOT say 'you're welcome' . that will bring on a 'whatever')..

(8) Whatever: Is a woman's way of saying F-- YOU!

(9) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking 'What's wrong?' For the woman's response refer to # 3.


posted by AndyO @ 11:25 AM   0 comments

Friday, May 01, 2009

When equipment fails the drummer

As Chris Mess blasted through the four-song opener at the High Dive, I thought things were going pretty well. My playing felt good. The large crowd was responding positively. Time, which usually runs by quickly on stage, seemed to slow down.

highdive042909 When we reached the part of the set when we play a cover -- Bowie's Suffragette City on this night -- Chris invited his girlfriend Mary on stage to sing ("Hey, Man!").

The crowd responded enthusiastically.

Then we moved to the quiet part of the set, starting with a song called Oleada by Julieta Venegas (lyrics in Spanish). When I stepped on my right bass drum pedal, it went down  to the floor and didn't bounce back. I tried a few more times. No dice. So I played the entire song using my left bass drum pedal (it's a double-bass pedal).

Once the song was over, I told Chris I needed to fix my pedal. He tried to entertain the crowd. After a few seconds I realized I couldn't fix the pedal. The chain that connected to the foot plate was broken.

Normally, this would be a drummer's worst nightmare. But I came prepared.

I ran offstage and grabbed my single chain-drive Camco pedal from my gear bag. As I tried to attach the pedal to the bass drum, I realized it was missing the wing nut that would make this possible. I slid the pedal under the bass drum, hoping it would stay there. Then, when I tried to play the pedal, there was hardly any response.

Now this was becoming a drummer's worst nightmare.

We started playing Bossa Nova, and the first few measures were punctuated with mistakes caused by me trying to adjust to the poor feel of the replacement pedal. (It was at this point I realized I would have been better off leaving the double pedal on and trying to play with my left foot.)

I struggled through the song and realized that there was no way I could play No Joke, an up-tempo punk song, with this pedal. When I got Chris's attention to tell him this, he said we couldn't play it anyway due to time constraints. So we launch into our final song -- a Cheap Trick cover, Southern Girls.

We finished our set. I was angry.

I guess I thought I was prepared, and I was angry that it hadn't been good enough. I mean, at every gig I bring two snare drums, two bass drum pedals, extra drum heads in the car -- even a small drill with a drum key bit to help me fix a broken head more quickly.

But now, as they say, it became very clear:  When it comes down to it, you really only need a few drums and hardware to play a show:

  • One drum throne
  • One bass drum (with pedal)
  • One snare
  • One ride or ride/crash cymbal
  • One optional crash cymbal

Everything else is non-essential. It's nice to be able to play drum fills on two or three tom-toms, and use an open or closed hi-hat or different crash cymbals to color the song. But it's not essential.

As an example of this principle, William Cremin, the drummer in the headlining band, Tim & the Time Machines, had only a hi-hat, snare drum, bass drum, and floor tom. I was impressed with the sounds he got out of his kit -- though it's worth noting that this band had six members (as opposed to Chris Mess's three), including acoustic guitar, bass, glockenspiel, keyboard, and cello (yes, cello at a rock show).

This meditation on being prepared doesn't mean I'll bring fewer drums or cymbals to gigs; it just means I'm going to be better prepared and not worry about the non-essential drums breaking anymore.


Show details:

High Dive, Wed., April 29
9 p.m. Chris Mess
10 p.m. Mighty Shiny
11 p.m. Doctor Doctor
12 a.m. Tim & the Time Machines

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posted by AndyO @ 9:13 PM   0 comments