Getting into Deep DooDoo, Audio DooDoo, That Is

The deep doodoo, for me at least, is getting my USB microphone working with Linux. I’m planning to do many screencasts over the next few months, both for my day job, and for the Skillshare courses I intend to create, and I’m trying to get my old Samson C01U working. My Skillshare courses will be all about programming languages.The irony here is that I’m talking about left-brain stuff on my art project blog.

After several days of tinkering I got my old Samson working. This mic works without any hassle with WIndows or OS X, but getting it to work on Linux requires putting on a pointy wizard hat and waving a magical staff at several configuration panels. The fact is, I was lucky to get everything working.

USB audio is a real pain on Linux. When I think of the time I’ve spent getting this old mic to work, I realize that I could have spent that time better by buying a low-end XLR setup that would sound better than any USB mic. But you know what, I like to get old equipment working. The computer I’m writing this on is one I built five years ago. It just feels good to keep the old electronics alive rather than junk them every time a pretty new gadget comes around.

Populating the Cover Image with All of the Characters in the Book

Rather than restrict the cover image to simply Jimmy jumping down the chimney, I’m going to make the cover a group picture that shows all of the characters. That will be Jimmy Jay, Jenna Jay (his sister), the two hitchhiker mice (I don’t know their names yet, but I think they’re definitely hobos), Momma Jay, Bernie the Buddhist Dachshund, and Uncle Johnny. Even though Buddy Butterfly has fallen down the chimney and is out of sight, I’ll have him popping up through a hole in the page saying something like, “What about me?!” It will be cute, I promise.

The other question I’ve been thinking about is the age range for the book. With children’s books you have to declare the ages the book is appropriate for. I think the ages 8 and up sounds right.

Here are the two hitchhiker mice. I wonder what their story is?

It was a good day...none of my friends got killed

I’m channeling Ice Cube today. I’ve been listening to 90’s hip-hop for the last two days. I hated it at the time. Now I really do get it. I love it. It just took me 25 years to get with it.

I spent the day at work focused like a demon on getting my new project off the ground. I’m going to release it in two weeks. It’s Bread and Butter time, folks, and I’m in survival mode until I see it take off on its own power.

For some weird reason, when I sat down to draw today, all I could think about was what future iPhones are going to look like.


Keeping an Online Journal of an Art Project is a Humbling Experience

Today my partner gave me some straight advice. She said, “I cringe when I read your posts — there are typos and grammatical errors in every one. I read your last three posts and found careless errors in all of them. I was afraid to read any more! I know you want to share what you’re doing, but you’ve gotta do better. Those errors are a real turn-off. Try reading your posts aloud before you push the publish button. There’s no way you’ll wittingly make those posts public if you’d just take the time to read them out loud.”

That hit me hard. She’s my biggest supporter and she’s cringing. And I know she’s right. Today I went back through the last two week’s posts and found typos and grammar errors in every post. I know that I get sloppy and lazy when I’m rushed, but I’ve got to get the writing right. After all, I’m a writer.

So, today I spent my time proofreading my sloppy work. It’s painful and embarrassing to think that I’ve been putting out shitty writing for months. Wow!

So, no picture today…just a post with no typos or grammar errors. That’s my daily inch.

Chore Day Oct 5, 2019 -- Cooking for the Week, Going to the Art Store, and Brainstorming

Every Saturday I cook up food for the week, usually making some bean and sweet potato burgers for my canine amigos (with all the nutrients required by canines), and some delicious goodies for myself, such as rice and beans flavored with lots of powerful spices.

The big event of the day was a trip to B&N in Medford, where I bought the latest issue of Ad Busters which asks, Can artists save the world with a Brutalist new aesthetic? That’s a question well worth investigating, I say. To prepare myself for the future, I went to Art Central I bought a big Fabriano notebook for my gouache paintings, a Kunst und Papier watercolor tablet, and four small Princeton brushes for my gouache painting. They have with eye-pleasing cerulean-colored handles.

And I did some uncritical brainstorming on the iPad — I’m trying to figure out how to do the cover image of Jimmy Jay jumping down a chimney. This is my third effort. I think I’m loosening up a little with each attempt.

Speaking of ISBN Numbers

In the United States, there’s only one place to buy ISBN numbers: Bowkers. Bowkers has an unquestioned monopoloy on these numbers. It costs pennies to generate an ISBN number but the least expensive price for a single ISBN number is $125. I do realize that there’s some infrastructure around the ISBN system that will raise the cost above mere pennies, but $125 for a single computer-generated number lays a punitive burden on self-publishers who are not likely to never need hundreds or thousands of numbers. I’m speaking as a self-publisher.

My question is why are there no other options for buying ISBN numbers? Here’s the Bowker price list to mull over.

isbn_price_list.png Bowkers fees for ISBN numbers