San Francisco – A Nice Two Day Trip

LucasFilm

Greetings readers,

It’s been awhile since I posted a blog, so I thought I’d share a short summary of trip I took to San Francisco earlier this month. I accompanied my daughter on her all-expense paid trip, sponsored by the Keds/BraveLife Foundation. She was chosen by this foundation based upon an essay she submitted about her dreams and aspirations of becoming an animator. The foundation will be filming a mini-documentary of her doing a one-day mentorship with Maya (last name), an animator and illustrator employed by LucasFilms.

Day 1 – San Francisco Trip – 3:00 am

Our trip started out by leaving the house at 3am to catch our respective flights on Delta Airlines out of BWI. It wasn’t her first time flying but was her first time flying without any family and having to make her connecting flights, as well as arriving in San Fran two hours earlier than me.

8L03 am: With one carry on each, she seemed to pack a little lighter than me, but I’m carrying more reading material than her (insert pics)

Caught a little nap shortly after we took off but it already seems we’re preparing for descent to the ATL with a layover of 90 mins. My daughter should be wheels up out of Detroit.

9:08 sm: At the gate for the connecting flight to SFO…already dreading a possible two days out of the gym. Here’s hoping the hotel has a workout facility. This just in: “Hey Dad, dunno if your flight left yet, but I’m still here in Detroit, I’m on the plane but I guess their waiting for something, so we may come in close to the same time”. Turns out it was an hour delay in the ground.

She gets to SFO at 11am and me an hour later. Now, waiting for our rep to meet us and have lunch.

1:34pm – Taking our first Uber drive to the hotel. So much for the shuttle. 

2:15pm – Lunch at Sweet Woodruffs. Excellent good, quaint corner restaurant that allowed us a view of some guy with a mohawk and his female friend involved in an argument and beatdown with some other woman. A citizen was crossing the street and whipped out his phone to catch all of this on video. Next thing we know, three police cars and an SUV were on the scene. Even the SF Fire Dept. showed up (the fire department ??)

3:15 pm. Back to the hotel, the semi-swank Kensington Hotel, for a break before my daughter when to be filmed talking about this mentorship, etc with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Me? I chilled #jetlag

7:45pm. We venture out for dinner, initially heading to explore Chinatown but got confused via what Google Maps was telling us. Some more nearby exploring in Union Square brought us to a nearby. Cheesecake Factoey, in which we found that we probably wouldn’t be taking te first bites of our meal until 10pm. Our final eat stop: Jack In The Box lol. We eventually walked to the tip of Chinatown then back to the hotel. Our room is $300/night (penthouse is $400), nice amenities but I no gym, which I won’t see until Thursday…grrrr!

Day 2

6:00am – Four alarm clocks go off so we’re not late for a 7:45am meet at the front desk. My daughter, not knowing how to turn off te fancy iHOme alarm, proceeds to hit me in te head with a pillow so I can turn it off. 

8:00am – We depart the fabulous Kensington Park Hotel (with no workout facility) and pack into van with the film crew and company reps and head through downtown San Fran towards LucasFilms.

9:00am – We arrive at the campus of LucasFilms and meet our host for the day, Allison. The lobby area is pretty much all Star Wars regalia. As the film crew follows, we get our badges and proceed to the conference room on the second floor for breakfast and a small briefing as to what happens next. After snapping many pics and shooting video shorts, I’m kindly told that nothing recorded above the second floor is to be posted on social media :)

10:00am – The film crew is all set up and ready to start recording Danielle and Maia’s face-to-face which, in the end, went smashing! Maia let me know she really enjoyed talking with Danielle and that they shared a lot in common. Afterwords. Allison gave us a mini-your of the campus and the film crew shot more footage of Danielle around campus.

1230pm: We depart LucasFilm as head back to the hotel area where even more B-footage is shot of Danielle walking downtown, boarding a streetcar, etc.

SFS

2:30pm We head uptown to The Fly Restaurant for a great lunch, shooting the breeze with the film crew as company rep, wrapping up with a recap of all the great activities of this trip. I highly recommend this restaurant if you ever visit, the food is phenomenal.

Fly

530pm: We say goodbye to all, hop in an Uber car to the airport, with plenty of time to spare. Ironically, both our flights suffered massive delays to the point where we coincidentally ended up on the same red-eye non-stop headed back home.

11:19pm – Wheels up, Danielle is sitting next to me half asleep. I have a feeling I won’t be too far behind her. Thanks for reading.

Peace. 

The Journey To Coding Nirvana

WelcomeBackPython

Greetings all,

It’s been awhile since I posted a weblog and this is a return to fulfill a desire to blog more often. Today I decided to write about “restarting”, in this case, it’s about my return to teaching myself how to code.

Like many things, picking up something, learning something out of sheer excitement and desire is often very easy in the beginning. It’s not until you encounter obstacles (of any sort) that you learn just how mnuch you really want to accomplish what it is you’ve set out to achieve. I can directly relate to this from my experience in working out/maintaining a physical fitness regimen. For me, it began with working out in the gym. It came easy and I was able to achieve satisfactory results as long as I maintained a regular habit of doing things. As often happens, life situations may prohibit those habitual activities for a day or two, which may turn into a week, then maybe months, even a year or more. The key is to sometimes force yourself to get back in the saddle and reinstate those habits that were netting you the results you were hopping for.

I draw this direct correlation to coding. I took my first programming courses a very LONG time ago in college, but did well in both – to the point that even took the skills I learned and coded simple programs to help me complete duties that were given to me as a young engineer. Coding and programming wasn’t a regular hobby for me, so I didn’t do much of it for years to come. That said, since my last go at coding, things have changed a GREAT deal, and in 2013, I felt it was time for me to ride that wave again and take advantage to explore all that was new in programming languages and what they can do, not only in the professional workforce arenas, but from a hobbyist standppoint. After all, I did well in coding way back then, I know I can do well in it again. In addition, the approaches to learning coding on your own today gives far greater flexibility than having to be confined to a formal classroom setting.

So there I was, back in 2013, after some research, finding myself on Codecademy to learn Python, a scxripting language that I dound was very relevant in my field of work as well as for programs I want to code for my own personal use. Python is a scripting language that is widely used in areas like software testing (spaecraft software, etc) and has wide ranging use in other scientific and technical fields. Along with Python, there is a long list of other languages (high and low level) that are suited for various things that I found I’d like to learn as well, such as Java, Javascript, Ruby, CSS, Hadoop, Linux, and this goes on….and on…and on.

coding nirvana

In my net travels, I ended up subscribing to adn.net (The Application Developer’s Network), a network much like Twitter, originally created for developers to forge relationships and discuss softeare development, but has turned into a nice social network as well. It was while I got to build me followers list that I met a programmer there by the username bayprogrammer who became very helpful and unselfish in sharing all he could about the nuts and bolts of coding with respect to the major (and minor) languages out there and what they are best used for. I’ll take a moment to thank him for investing the time he took to share the knowledge (and he continues to) with me.

So, here I am, starting again at a place where I got stumped. The difference is I know that if a push is not made, the achievement won’t be either. That being said, there are tons of resources on the net as well as two regular Python coding meetups every week here in the DC metro area. I know the satisfaction I can achieve in learning to code (and this is in line with and beyond the pish to get “everyone learning how to code” in the US these days). I’m a techie, a builder, and a creator….coding, I know, is for me. Wish me consistency and good fortune in this journey.

Thanks for the read, have a great day.

Chronicles of A Remix – For A Time (Fresh’s Continuum Edit) – Part 1

Greetings readers…

Hope all are well. I’m taking a break from watching the SB, it’s half time (Go Seahawks!). I’m starting another edition to a the series, Chronicles of A Remix, that I began back in 2011 when constructing a remix along with Bill Cammack from NYC. This time, I was invited to try remixing a track given to me by a DJ and music producer in Baltimore, MD. After view some of my Instagram videos, he noticed I use Logic and happen to have a track he was working on in Logic. He decided to “gift” me the track to play with. After getting the stems and the Logic project from him. I set out to regroove this. The downside was that the Logic project he sent to me is in Logic X. I still use Logic 9 so I couldn’t open it to hear what the original track sounds like. Actually that’s not a bad thing because the key to moving forward is one piece of information – BPM (beats per minute) or teemp of the track. Once I got that from him I was golden. Below is a short video basically summarizing what I said above. Stay tuned for subsequent installments.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky: The Regrooves EP – Day 25

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Greetings all…

9:24 pm… In studio checking out one of the remixes just sent to me for the EP. As I thought, stellar work, and the vibe is exactly what I expected. I’m looking forward to dropping this project as soon as possible. I’m equally excited to have an artist from the Netherlands remixing one of my tracks from the Halcyon Sky release. It remains to be seen as to whether his track will make this EP, based on his daily schedule and my predicted drop date but either way, you will be hearing it in the future. It marks the beginning of a collaborative effort between him and me, so stay tuned throughout the year for some tracks by us.

I’ve received some rough mixes from the two other artists who’ll be featured on this project and I’m definitely feeling the flow of both tracks. Music composition and the technology of the internet, a beautiful thing… :). Back to work on mine.

Have a good night…

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP – Day 24

HSREP6

Greetings all.

Happy 2015. I hope the start of the new year finds you well and vice versa. As predicted, the start of 2015 has jumped off, music production-wise, as expected. Most of you know, the debut release by AfterSix Productions (Dan and I) What Love Is, is available on Bandcamp, another CD recording project for the band I play in, Divine Intervention, is underway, I’m tightening up some tracks for a show that will be “airing” on FB this quarter, along with a few other things. This post, obviously, as about the upcoming release: Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP.

This morning I had a great conversation with one of the remixers about the status of the remix he’s working on for the project. He began to tell me about how this opportunity really stretched his ability as a producer, made him realize the criticality of how he sees his work, wanting to make sure the vibe of the track fit the essence of the project, etc. These things were not foreign to me at all because I’ve often had the same thoughts when produce music to be used in other capacity, let alone just listened to and hopefully enjoyed by the masses.

Within the discussion I had learned the track was already delivered to me on New Year’s Eve, but I hadn’t checked my email to know it was even there. I shared that a big aspect of releasing Halcyon Sky was to meet my own deadline and achieve the goal or releasing the product as planned. The remixer also shared that it was a driving factor in getting it to me when he did but like all conscientious artists, he is very critical of his work. I asked him if he wanted more time to submit a new track. He accepted but asked me to listen to what he had submitted first. I assured him I would, but that I was certain I’d like it because of the time I took to listen to all this particular artist had shared on IG videos, YouTube videos in terms of music snippets he’s composed. In addition, his posts showed his passion for creating music in the genre he likes most – all that played a part in me choosing him for the project.

Thirteen hours later, I finally remembered to check the mail for the track and give it a listen. As I thought…I was 100% spot on. I’m feelin’ the vibe of this track and cant wait to release it on the project. In case you’re reading this bruh….much thanks (I know you got my text message already! ha!)

Slumber time….enjoy your day.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP – Day 23

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Greetings…

Sunday night, 9:43pm. As usual, where did the weekend go? It seems like a long minute since I posted. This is probably do to a simple necessity of replacing a dying hard drive in my studio computer. What’s the correlation to not posting? The correlation (reasoning, whatever) is due to the fact that not only did I get it replaced (on Black Friday no doubt), but had to spend day after day reinstalling not just the OS software, but music production software I mostly had backed up to DVD, or frim the original DVD. In 2014, as in other applications of software, many installs are done from the cloud and with a not so spiffy wireless connection, the entire process became too tedious. In addition, add another long desired unit to the production arsenal (one that also need software installation and updates from the cloud), the Maschine Mk2, and time to at least play with it, and there you have about three weeks of time taken up.

IMG_3014

So, what’s the deal with the Regrooves EP? I’ve heard one of the remixes that will appear on the project and I *like it*. The concept for the remix I’m providing actually (finally) came to me today (why great inspiration always finds me in the shower is how is for another story, another time!)

As mentioned in an earlier post, this will be a five track EP and the remixer artists I’ve chosen to participate have already released their own tracks, so from what I’ve heared them release, I’ll looking forward to manifestation of their interpretations on the tracks I’ve assigned to them

In any event, I may leak the track names in the next post (wink).

Have a great night/day….

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP – Day 22

HS

Greetings all…

I’ve reached what I call Phase 3 of this project and am glad to present unto you news on the development of Halcyon Sky – The Regrooves EP. This four track EP will be what is known commonly as remixes of tracks I’ve chosen from the project. Some of you have heard the remixes I’ve done over years: Philip Clark’s “Granted (the Groove 7 3am Eternal Mix) “, Mary Mary’s “Walkin” (Mr. Fresh/Bill C. Regroove), The Most Impossible Plan (the groove 7 outerbanks edit), and a few others.

I’m excited about this EP because I’ve got three other remixers on the project – Todd (The Big La) Kelley, Netm8ker, and Upright. They have their own fluid, nice moves in their respective music productions that I’m sure will bring stellar touch to this release.

Stay tuned for updates, all the way through the drop date in January!

Thanks for the read!

Fresh!

Halcyon Sky (Debut EP) – The Bonus Track, Social Media (Pt 2) – Day 21

Halcyon Sky_final_

Greetings…

Last night, or should I say yesterday, was a long 12-hour stint at work, so I decided to go into work a little later to, just in time to make a 10am team meeting. I’m transcribing this post from paper at which time was written while sitting in a local Starbucks.

Now that the EP is released, I’m still thankful for all the positive feedback I’ve received since the release date. It was nice to see some producers in a FB producers forum I frequent saying how much they’ve enjoyed the EP. That said, I’m definitely realizing that the work ahead (in terms of promoting and marketing it in the most effective manner) is far from done.

I’ve developed a social media and marketing strategy, which I had my publicist review last week. At the moment, in appears to have the underpinnings of a solid plan, so I’m going all out for it. While the net provides a seemingly endless reach in terms of audience, the work required to reach that expanse is directly proportional to that expanse.I have the beginnings of a database comprising local, nationwide and global contacts in different media formats (print, web, college radio, podcasters, etc). so it’s definitely time to get the ball rolling.

Phase 2 is the completion of the bonus track, which I have incidentally taken back to the drawing board. The original track is nice, but was regularly finding it difficult to progress through. I don’t know if my muse was purposefully absent or what, but I came to the realization that the song is much better for a release like Soulosophy, my contemporary smooth jazz project, currently in the planning stages.

Phase 3 is the project remixes. I don’t intend to remix every track in the project but definitely rease at least three remixes. Stay tuned on more of that next year.

Anyway time to head off to bed. An eight hour day is standard, but today was a long one too. Nevertheless, I’m grateful for a job.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!

Welcome To The Sunday Soundtrack – 02 Nov 14

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Photo Credit: instagram.com/imthejam

Greetings listeners, welcome to another edition of The Sunday Soundtrack. It’s always good to be back. I’m sitting in Starbucks as I type this post in preparation for what you are probably listening to as you read this. The image is perfect for the feel of the day outdoors. I was having a text chat with my publicist about rainy overcast days versus sunny ones and how they some stir up the creativity in me. I enjoy them and think the have a place along with sunny days. Whether it be rainy, sunny, or in between, I hope you’re enjoying it.

Today’s podcast playlist brings a number of new tracks, mixed in with some favorites. In particular, there are two tracks from some fellow friends that are also chillout/downtempo/artists as well as gifted musicians and bandleaders. I’ll elaborate on a bit more on the tracks “Radio Format” and “The Dreams We Dream” in the podcast. For the first time (if memory serves me correctly), an urban contemporary track finds its way into the playlist. The very popular track, The Worst, by Jhene Aiko. This is the instrumental version, which I’ll be talking more about in the podcast with regards to why I chose it.

1. Wanderer’s Creek- Between Yesterday and Tomorrow/Art Bleek
2. Not Just Anybody f/Kate Rogers (AtJazz Flugelhorn Mix) – Nocturnal/Rae and Christian
3. Radio Format – Radio Format (The Downtempo Sessions/The Sevens
4. Hidden Shore – Hidden Shore/Blackfish
5. This Journey In – The Rebirth/The Rebirth
6. The Worst (Instrumental) – Sail Out/Jhene Aiko
7. The Dreams That We Dream – Various Shades of Blue/e:trinity
8. Elephant (Dub Mix) – In Your Dreams/Spiral System
9. New Dawn – Halcyon Sky/Mr. Fresh
10. Our Secret Garden (Bonus Track) – Cool Off Chillout Vol. 2/Sine
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There you have it! A big thanks to my podcasting massive: Jason Smith, Nikki Norwoood, DJ Diva (The Mixtress), Calandra Branch, DK Wyatt, Anji Bee, Todd Kelley, Angel, NT Grundy, EJ , “The Sensei” Flavors, and everyone else doin’ it big. I hope you enjoyed the tracks. Special shoutout to my publicist, Felicia Hodges of Tigerlily Communications.

Halcyon Sky can be found here.
Ok, I’ve got a brunch date I’m a wee bit late too. Catch u soon.

::: oceans of rhythm :::

Fresh!