Featured

Doodling with Video

quietly messing about with video tools while exploring the depths of how Star Wars has ruined / greatly enriched my life. if you know, you know.

a processed and layered and trashed scene from Lost River by Ryan Gosling featuring Ben Mendelsohn (and Christina Hendricks!) paired with F**kin’ Problems by A$AP Rocky- as the good lord intended. (you so very are welcome.)

under the pixel trash you can see Mr. Once-a-dancer-always-a-dancer, Mads Mikkelsen killing it in Druk by Thomas Vinterberg paired with a dance challenge version of Bitch Better Have My Money by Rihanna (may Mads always be Riri’s bitch) and ambient techno layers resulting in this sloppy drunken travesty.

voice: a Ewan McGregor sound clip stolen from his reading of The Little Matchstick Girl. (this is the line in the story that guts me most every time.)

character and animation: Adobe

trash effects: yours truly

Pistils & Alphabetti

This month SoCal / Baja Cal weather has already given back so much water to the earth. 
It is an unruly kindness to accept. Rain brings forth so much life even as it causes so much damage. 

I think all our civil engineering ancestors would be ashamed if they knew how we still have not tamed water. And how uncivilized we are in general. 

It will be fun to go out- when it is not a total mud hole to venture out- and see new green rioting across the usually dusty hills. 

Even better will be seeing the flowers. The coils of razor wire are a bit more tolerable when you can look at some wild flowers blooming beneath it them.

Flowers will appear in abundance anyway during this time of the year. In all the shops! 

This is, after all, the month of bouquets- candy, and plushies. Mustn’t forget to mention the plushies!

This month happens to also be an anniversary month. Conveniently.

The trials of these last few years have been such a strain. I am not even ready to talk about where my relationship is at with the S.O. or with anyone for that matter. 

It’s been more than enough for me to address the horrors within myself and try to work on that self-compassion / self-love thing. 

With that work in the forefront of my mind, I’m not phased by the external onslaught of pink and red; the hearts and flowers, and goo-goo eyed sentiments that bombard commerce centers. I welcome the softness. I generally accept the expressions of love that other people share between themselves. Unless they are being intentionally obnoxious about it. I do have my limits.

It is more delightful to see a couple of young, low level gang members (posers maybe) tough swaggering down the street sporting bunches of flowers in their hands instead of pistols.

Pistils over pistols!! 

Learning to be easier with myself is so- the opposite of easy. It’s work! I have to yell at (!hype) myself to do the work. I find myself actively telling myself to not be a pile of emotions and DO THINGS.

So how is this being easier? 

And what is my self anymore?  I am alien to it. (Again.)

I am mostly unfamiliar bacteria 

I am elements on the periodic table

I am some shifting hormone level 

I am the genetic material of others

I am this other that is heavily influenced by said things

We are a collection of parts that barely function together at all and yet here I am. 

Another mediocre miracle soon to be forgotten in the wash of time.

Nothing special. Everything special. 

And how is this alien conglomeration of self supposed to interact with other intricate, complicated lifeforms?

And why interact if the outcome isn’t worth all the unseen efforts put in?

We are in this soup of interconnectedness. And yet-

Everything is fluid, everything can change. And yet-

Why is there so much friction, endless resistance- Stagnation- Isolation- Chaos?

I have heard love called the reduction of entropy.

Entropy is a measure of disorder in a system. The more entropy, the more randomness, the more chaos. The less entropy, the more order, the more structure, the more harmony. 

Love is less spaghetti and more alphabetti. 

I’m pretty much indecipherable spaghetti, but maybe I’ve got a fork and spoon here somewhere to get it all to twirl in the same direction at least. Would that even reduce any entropy? 

I don’t know, but I am trying. It might not look that way to anyone else, but I am still trying.  

A new, old interest

It began with cold war Number Stations. 

Because I have an interest in a wide array of things in life, I learned about number stations once upon a time. 

Number stations are spots on the radio dial where operators send out information encrypted with a one-time pad cipher (or whatever) over the airwaves to be received and decoded by unknown parties for purposes unknown. This method of not-so-secret / secret communication has been going on from as far back as WW1. And is still going on. 

I had this relatively useless information squirreled away in my head and I didn’t think about it again until the end of 2023. Randomly, I discovered a Netherlands uni website that’s set up to let you listen to all kinds of radio transmissions. And it’s been amusing ever since. 

Voices from around the World.

Without any radio equipment of my own, I’ve been able to tune into voices connecting to each other from all over the globe. 

CQ CQ calling CQ this is…

Besides the host of the ‘usual’ international radio stations, you can hear regular people calling out and connecting with other people. Usually the exchange is simple: what the status of their signal is. 

I’ve heard so many languages: French, Polish, Russian, German, English, Italian, Spanish, American… The Dutch are seemingly all over the place laughing and having a good time. It’s beautiful to hear people get so excited about a how they can hear a clear signal and just say hello to someone else on the planet. When they do settle in and have more substantial conversations, I think they call it chewing rag. If I were on more often (and understood more languages) I am sure I would know the life stories of several total strangers by now.

Oh, The Unusual Stuff  You Can Hear!

And apart from the HAMateurs, I’ve heard other more exotic transmissions: signal jamming from China (siren jammers are my fav!); weather reports specifically for pilots (‘auntie’ Shannon VOLMET); reports for ocean going vessels; general RADAR disruption; a Chinese woman speaking in Esperanto; famous operational number stations out of Poland and Russia; and of course those wacky Dutch radio pirates.

The Russians also have their ever present ‘Buzzer,’ ‘Pip,’ and ‘Squeaky Wheel.’ 

The US military has their own coded Emergency Action Messages- EAMs. You can catch them read live every once in a while if you know where to tune in. The most alarming EAM is Sky King. If you hear the Sky King callsign, it has something to do with nuclear weapons. Not the radio/tv show. 

I caught a live air force EAM and the poor kid reading off the message messed up and had to read it over with corrections. The message was was well over a hundred characters! I hope he had a beer or something afterward. 

I would love the catch the Bird Signal from Turkey. I’ve heard recordings. It’s hilarious. 

Morse code is very alive and well on the airwaves. The operators still use shorthand from the mid 1800s! 

I am glad I went down this shortwave radio rabbit hole. 

As a dabbling sound artist, this is a GOLD MINE of audio. It’s crazy how much much material I’ve got to work with now. You can certainly expect to hear some radio inspired sound collages from me (if you ask nicely). While I don’t think I will personally be making transmissions anytime soon or deciphering all the beeps and bloops, it’s been a trip to listen in and learn about a subculture that has been internet-ing before there was internet! 

I also discovered that long wave radio is being discontinued as of March 2024.  I show up just in time for the death of something. Typical me. 

Do you have any experiences with unusual radio signals or transmissions? 

Would anyone want SKY KING (as seen above or variant) on a t-shirt or a sticker or something? 

Let me know! 

CL (closing)

73 (best regards)