Showing posts with label blog stuff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label blog stuff. Show all posts

Monday, August 10, 2015

Putting lipstick on a . . . blog

Things may look a little different around here. Not a whole lot . . . but enough.

Welcome to the new look of Revolution 21's Blog for the People. The basic format is the same, but we've given the old girl a new set of duds and a little eyeliner and lipstick after several years. I like the new look, and I hope you do, too.

Probably the biggest thing you'll notice is that the blog now displays a lot better on tablets, courtesy of installing (and tweaking) a new Blogger template that, at long last, will keep all the elements of this thing where they're supposed to be, no matter how you size your browser window.

IT'S LONG overdue, and she'll be looking a lot less like a hot mess, all without you having to futz with the size of your browser on the computer screen. Here it is full screen on my Surface, on the right.

Before, it would have looked staggeringly weird. But you probably know that if you have a tablet and have ventured over to the blog.

So, that's all I have to say about that. Enjoy the new, more adaptable look of the Blog for the People.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Analog in a digital world

Rockin' it really old school in the Revolution 21-slash-3 Chords & the Truth studio tonight. Jazz in the night from a 1960 Voice of Music tuner hooked up to a 1962 Pioneer stereo multiplex converter, and it's all being recorded by a TEAC reel-to-reel deck, circa 1969.

The Crown monitor amp is new, but what you gonna do? They're damn fine amplifiers.

For what it's worth, I shot the video with a Microsoft Surface tablet, which has decent-sounding microphones that also are prone to being overdriven. Sorry about that.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Soul, crackle and pop

Posting, obviously, has been light here as I break in the new studio and prepare for the big relaunch of 3 Chords & the Truth . . . coming to your computer, tablet, smart phone or MP3 player soon.

Really soon.

So here's the JPEG version of a little sweet soul music in the night.

Be there. Aloha.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

It is finished . . . enough

After a couple of months of work, worry, planning, painting and stringing lots and lots of audio cable, here it is.

Welcome to the newly remodeled and reimagined 3 Chords & the Truth studio. It's all done, right down to a new office chair. Comfy, it is.

The only thing left to do -- apart from catching up with a decade's worth of advancements and changes to the audio-editing program I use (changing from Windows to Mac meant getting the new OS X version of Adobe Audition) -- is getting the old reel-to-reel deck fixed up right and returned to the studio. Other than that . . . we're back in bidness. The Big Show will resume presently.

Pretty spiffy, isn't it?

WHILE Y'ALL are looking at the pictures of your Mighty Favog's remodeling handiwork . . .

. . . your Mighty Favog is going to go take a nap.

Or something.

FINALLY, here's another look at what used to be but is no more, thanks be to God.

And Lowe's.

And several electronics and computer vendors. Nighty night.

Friday, March 01, 2013

This is not the end.

But I can see being done from here, despite losing most of a week to a nasty, nasty winter cold. (I don't think I've ever had a "slight cold" in my life; I get Almost the Flu or nothing at all.)

Anyway, most of the furniture refurbishing and "repurposing" is done. I'm painting the last piece that needs painting now.

Don't ask about getting it out of where it was and getting it to where it is.

After the furniture phase is done comes the wiring of the studio equipment phase. No, bringing you 3 Chords & the Truth is no job for wimps . . . or the technically challenged.

Hang on a sec -- one of my favorite songs is playing on WSM right now. "Aimee" by Pure Prairie League. Yay.

OK, I'm back. And that's about it for now concerning the Great Remodeling.


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Waiting for the paint to dry

That's pretty much it, the headline on this post.

I'm sitting here in the big blue chair, drinking Community coffee, listing to BBC Radio 2 on the Internets . . . and writing this on the Surface as I wait for the paint to dry on the former dining room table that's being repurposed for the remodeled 3 Chords & the Truth studio. 

The pictures tell the story. We're getting there.

I rather like the studio curtains, don't you?

Monday, February 18, 2013

I. Hate. Painting.

But, in the ongoing remodel of the 3 Chords & the Truth/Revolution 21 production studio, the painting is done. Alas.

Eventually, these 60-something-year-old wood windows will be replaced; they're fairly well shot. Still, they got a coat of paint -- it may help hold them together for a while longer, who knows?

THE IMPORTANT thing here is that, throughout the whole process, the Wi-Fi never went out. That took a little doing, it did, keeping the Internet plugged in. Yay, me!

DID I mention that I hate painting?

Of course, I'm now moving on to painting the parts of the studio furniture, old and new, that need painting or repainting. One piece that's already fallen under the brush, however, has gotten the coveted Mrs. Favog Seal of Approval.

So, there's that, at least.

Monday, February 04, 2013

Good Lord

Yes, I'm still here. No, I haven't quit the blogging thing or the 3 Chords & the Truth thing.

It's just that this studio-remodeling thing has taken on, to use an overused term, "a life of its own." This, actually, is kind of an understatement.

Please help.

For one thing, the amount of sheer stuff  I had accumulated in there over the years. Scores of old reel-to-reel tapes, for example -- many of them historical treasures from the 1940s and '50s. Man, did I underestimate the process of cleaning it out.

THAT, I don't dare pitch into the trash. Webcor "Electronic Memory" Recording Tape, you are safe . . . as are the 50-something-year old wonders hidden in your ferrite coating.

Anyway, the room now is empty. The walls have been washed and spackled. So has the ceiling.

And the dirty old drapes are gone. And the floor has been rejuvenated. And the light fixture has been replaced. Much cursing was done in the process.

Fortunately, electrocution was avoided.

MEANTIME, the new iMac waits in its carton. As do all other manner of gadgetry.

The old production PC sits, unhooked, on a cabinet in the middle of the dining room. I write this on my Microsoft Surface tablet.

Now comes the painting. Stay tuned, folks. We're getting there.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Going . . . going . . . going. . . .

This is the studio where 3 Chords & the Truth is recorded. Or, was the studio as of last week.

Here's the same studio a day ago as the deconstruction and remodeling proceeded . . . deliberately. Yeah, that's the ticket.

Honestly, the crap I've had to take apart. The cables I've had to clean and neatly bundle. 

The books and knickknacks I've had to box up and store. The stuff I've had to knock apart and move out.

The vacuuming! Oy!

Which leads us to today. It's getting there -- or not there, as the case may be.

Deliberately, alas.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

You've gotta have a plan

Before I tear the 3 Chords & the Truth studio the heck up, I thought it might be a good idea to decide what it was supposed to look like when I put it back together.

Voila! A plan.

And it only took a week of looking at office furniture, considering building my own office furniture, looking at more office furniture and drawing up one previous floor plan that was mulled over and found to be wanting. This one, though, I think is a winner.

Everything is to scale, everything has been measured and measured again, and I found a way to repurpose much of what I already had. Best of all, I think we'll be saying goodbye to clutter and being cramped.

OK, I can tear everything the heck up now.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

And that's the way it is. . . .

This is how the studios look here in Omaha (by God!) Nebraska.

OK, it's "studio" -- singular. "Studios" just sounds better.
Anyway . . . this soon will be how the home of 3 Chords & the Truth was. Past tense.

The place is kind of dingy and way cramped, not to mention a little messy. Sounds like time for a remodel to me.

IT'S BEEN needed for a while, but my official excuse is the new, screamingly fast 27-inch iMac that's soon to replace the ancient Dell that's in here now. Trust me, a 2005 vintage is ancient in PC terms, and I was penny wise and pound foolish when I made that purchase almost eight years ago. The new and extremely tricked out iMac is sorely needed, particularly for audio production.
Soooo . . . while I remodel the studio into something more worthy of a fine Apple product, blogging will be sporadic, and we may miss a new episode of the Big Show or two. I'm hoping the disruption will be more than worth it -- both for me and for you.
Be there. Aloha.

Friday, November 09, 2012

An important reminder

Advanced pickups aren't just good in bars and nightclubs. They're absolutely crucial on phonographs.

That's why it's important not only to play your Miracle Surface long-playing records only on the best equipment, but to make sure you're playing your stereophonic albums on the right equipment.

After all, an RCA "Living Stereo" LP with the advanced Miracle Surface is a terrible thing to waste.

This important hi-fi reminder comes to you courtesy of Revolution 21 and 3 Chords & the Truth.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012


If you type "" into your web browser now, something will happen.

That's an improvement over what's been going on here -- or not going on here, actually -- for more than a week. About that, I have just two things to say:
● Never assume that pointing your Internet domain name at this website instead of that will be anything but a harrowing, drawn out, overly complicated and crazy-making experience.

● Avoid Network Solutions as a host for your website or as a registrar for your domain name.
Revolution 21's long not-so-national nightmare began as the web-hosting contract ended. Basically, I didn't want to pay significant green just for Network Solutions, may a camel pass gas in its tent, to host a website that did little other than point you to this blog, 3 Chords & the Truth and where to buy R21 swag. That and a couple of email addresses.

The plan was to leave the domain name -- -- registered at Network Solutions (pretty cheap and the contract had yet to expire) and just have the web address point right here to Revolution 21's Blog for the People. After all, the blog is where all the website action is anyway and, as you've no doubt noticed, it now has several pages for all the same destinations and explanations.

And the hosting is free on Blogger. That, my friends, is a big monetary and operational "Well, DUH!"

EXCEPT. . . .

To redirect your domain name, Google/Blogger gives you one set of instructions and Network Solutions gives you another. Blogger's won't work with Network Solutions -- indeed, the web host rejects one of the DNS addresses Blogger says you must enter -- and Network Solutions' do nothing on the Blogger front.

So you call the technical support at Network Solutions late one night -- actually, early, early one morning -- and the Guy Somewhere in Timbuktu gives you a third set of instructions that turn out to be somewhere on the bad side of bulls***.

So later that day, you send a help request in writing with a detailed summary of the problem and "27 8x10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one explaining what it is." They say they'll get back to you within a business day.

A business day passes. Nada.

Another half a business day passes. Nada.

You're doing a slow burn, and you do some research on the Web. And from running across many of Network Solutions' unhappy customers who became grateful ex-customers, and from seeing rave reviews of DNS hosting companies that actually can get your domain to work with Blogger, you decide to just transfer your domain to a better place. In this case, that better place is easyDNS in Toronto. Even between the devalued American dollar and the strong Canadian one, the price is what I was paying at That Whose Name I'm Done Uttering.

OF COURSE, after you've signed up with easyDNS -- which will redirect your domain name for you . . . for free -- then TWNIDU starts trying to rekindle the geek romance when you call up to inform them of the coming tech divorce. And then . . . then you hear back from tech support regarding that written help request you sent.

The service rep writes that he's sorry about the delay, and won't you please give him another chance or he won't be able to live with the shame and the loneliness and the regret, that he'll do something drastic if you don't take him back, he swears to God!

ACTUALLY, that's not exactly true. He wrote to apologize for my request being sent to the Group W bench, and to say that TWNIDU could just go ahead and reconfigure my settings and redirect the domain name for me.

For a minimum of $99.

Sorry, dude. The tech support from north of the border is fast, friendly, personal and free . . . and now everything works just fine. And we also find time to chat about beer a little.

Did you know that beer on tap is unheard of in Ontario, and you have to go to the provincial bottle shop to pick up a six-pack? Bien sûr, there are no such stabs at prohibition across the border in Quebec, for the Gallic heart (mine included) requires an unregulated sip, snort, quaff or blast every now and again.

Tonight, when I typed in "" and, lo, the blog appeared, I just may have hoisted a couple of cold ones in sudsy tribute to the good people of Canada . . . and their technology sector.

To TWNIDU, I merely say "FU."

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Just to be perfectly clear . . .

I am still a geek.

In this view from the Revolution 21/3 Chords & the Truth studios as we get ready for the 200th episode of the Big Show, the CDs are Karrin Allyson and John Coltrane, the mixer is a Soundcraft Spirit ES stereo model, the microphone preamps run on vacuum tubes and the background on the computer desktop is from a 1944 ad for KOIL radio in Omaha.

Yep, geek.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Happy are the ears that hear the Crown

There's a new monitor amp in town at 3 Chords & the Truth, and there's only one thing I really can say after getting it hooked up and going strong.

Long live the king!

My only regret is that you can't hear the Big Show as an uncompressed WAV file played on a Crown D-75A and a pair of vintage Electro-Voice Sentry 100A studio-monitor speakers. It sounds soooooo sweet.

There is no comparison to any consumer audio equipment that you're likely to find or be able to afford. I'd forgotten how spoiled you get having stuff like this in radio-station air studios and production rooms -- the old E-V studio speakers absolutely come alive when paired with the Crown amp. It's kind of breathtaking, actually.

Oh . . . I even built a little equipment rack for the Crown out of oak 1x4s, which I oiled up right nice to bring out the natural finish. Wait till I add the vintage '70s Pioneer tuner ($15 on eBay) that's on its way to Papa as I write.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hi-fi fries self in line of duty, once played the hits

This just in to the newsroom:
OMAHA, Neb. (INS) -- Harmon/Kardon 330C, the vintage stereo receiver deep into a second career as a monitor amp in a home production studio in this Midwestern metropolis, died in a cloud of ozone Saturday, with its right channel humming and the room stinking of toasted electronic components.

Harmon/Kardon 330C was 36 years old.

"Well, you had to figure this would happen sooner or later, using an old, second-hand receiver hours on end every day," said 3 Chords & the Truth host Mighty Favog. "I can't get mad about it; I think I got more than my $35 worth out of it over the past few years."

The dead receiver will be interred later in the week somewhere in a basement closet and will be exhumed for spare parts at a later date.

In a related development Saturday, 3 Chords & the Truth management announced that Crown 75-A -- a broadcast-industry standard monitor amplifier -- has been purchased as Harmon/Kardon's successor. Favog said it was time to call on pro equipment to do a real studio amp's job.

"Crown is the Cadillac of monitor amps," the aging program host slurred. "Those things were (unintelligible) built to go 24/7 in radio air studios, so it ought to (unintelligible) work here with no . . . problem."

The new 75-A, which Crown is discontinuing after decades of pro-audio popularity, was obtained from Broadcast Supply Worldwide for $399 -- a $622 discount from the list price as the merchant closes out its stock. Favog, somewhat distracted by the absence of Early Times from his coffee, added that he wanted to pay tribute to Harmon/Kardon for kicking the bucket at such an opportune moment.

Crown 75-A is slated to begin its studio duties sometime during the next two weeks.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

A hard day's day

This was my day today.

I went through much of what needed culling or cleaning up -- metadatawise, at least -- in the Revolution 21 digital record library, and then I backed it all up. Well, today was taking care of the backup to the backup, after cleaning up the backup along with the main repository of musical goodness.


AS YOU can see (or perhaps not, picture quality being what it is on Blogger), after culling and cleaning up, I still have 16,372 songs on the old hard drive. That's 133 GB to you and me.

It happens when you fill up the hard drive the music library used to live on and need to transfer it to a newer, bigger one. That was Sunday afternoon's task.

Wanna know how long it takes to transfer 133 GB via USB 2.0? About four hours. If this computer weren't old in PC years, I would have upgraded to USB 3.0 long ago.


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

F*** Google

After a year of resistance, it's about to become futile.

I'm going to get the new, "improved" Blogger interface whether I want it or not. In fact, I'm using it now.

And I hate it.

Perhaps "hate" is too weak a word. All right, I loathe it. Despise it. 

It sucks.

some things are easier -- allegedly -- with the new interface. Adding a video, for example. But not that much easier, and you get what you get. You can't change the size that way . . . see?

You can't customize the size of your photos, either. There's small, medium, large, extra large and original size. Before -- unless you were foolish enough to try to post to your blog from the Google Chrome web browser -- you could drag a corner of a picture and make the thing as large or small as you wanted.

If you'd like to try that with the new interface, dig into the HTML code, open up your calculator program and do the math. See the "TV set on acid" above? Did the math to get it that size.

I hate math -- even the easy stuff like that. Maybe I should invent a proportion wheel marked off in pixels.

Homogenization and standardization is the way of our postmodern, corporate world, though, isn't it? You know what? I resign. I quit. I refuse to be the idiot against whom everything must be "proofed."

If you want to be a cog -- or an idiot -- go ahead. Not me. I'm about this close to going off to live in a shack in the woods.

And this blog is now officially on life support . . . not that the world would come to an end if it did. Anyway, that's what I'm thinking. Your mileage may vary.