Friday, August 18, 2006

Evil Genius strikes!

I finally got around to installing a computer game I acquired last year. I shouldn't have waited so long. Evil Genius is a bucket of fun, kinda like The Sims doing an Austin Powers movie. Lots of humor, a great soundtrack, great art, good game design, reliable operation. No wonder it won "Best of E3" and a bunch of other awards. My old vice, MechWarrior 4 (at which I excel, by the way) has been retired for a while.

Incidentally, try putting "Evil Genius" (use the quotes) into Google for a whole lot of interesting stuff.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blues Camp 2006 a success!

This was a good birthday weekend for me, beginning Friday with the George Benson & Raul Midon concert at Chastain Park (along with my sweetie Barbara, and our friends Rich & Liz). Then I had to get up in the middle of the night Saturday morning (6:30 AM!) to drive up to Blue Ridge, GA for the first annual Blues Camp.

The setting for the "camp" is a beautiful house tucked away in the north GA mountains. The students had gathered Friday night and jammed, watched guitar videos, etc. I got there about 09:30, set up my gear and started classes about 11:30. Late afternoon, I took a break while Ms. Michael Broderick taught the segment on vocal techniques. We learned hard and played hard and ate very well and learned & played some more until about 02:30, then got up the next morning and did some more until mid-afternoon. The students were attentive and dedicated, and all said they got what they were looking for (and a few things they didn't know they needed).

Topics covered: Basic music theory (linear scale, numbering the notes, melodies as numbers, chord construction, chord sequences as numbers), what makes 12-bar blues so special, variations on 12-bars, basic scales, harmonized scales, modes, new chords, going beyond 12-bars (intro to jazz blues), how to read music, and a walk-through of the software, videos and other goodies on the DVDs that I had burned for them. The lectures were well supported by labs (meaning we played a lot of songs).

A few photos are saved at:

All in all, a successful first run for Blues Camp and we hope to do it again soon. Please let me know if you're interested. My thanks to Mike "Cathead" Nunn for organizing this, and to the students for your faith and hard work.