Phil Keaggy – Maker of the Universe

So I happen to like good “cosmic” worship songs. Hymns about space and stars and stuff just kinda get to me. Last night, my dad was talking to a guy about a Phil Keaggy song that was taken from an older hymn titled “Maker of the Universe.” Overhearing the lyrics just blew me away, so I asked him to send me the link to the full rendition also. Here it is:

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Pandora Music

Pandora.. Great selection of music, stays on topic and all that. But seriously..is there a way to prevent the computer inactivity timeout? Stops playing, starts giving me whiny messages of “Are we playing to an empty room? It costs us to play these songs so we don’t want to be playing to nobody.”

However, I’ve got my computer set up with a Kensington FM transmitter so I can listen upstairs (bad laptop won’t support hardly anything streaming, bad sound card, etc.). So no, Pandora, you’re NOT playing to an empty room. You’re playing IN an empty room. But yes we are all still listening.

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Cell Phone to Sound Board for only $20!

I have successfully finished yet another garage-shop electronics project that actually WORKS!

Tuesday, Pastor Mike at Rez announced that in two weeks, when they’re on their short-term missions trip to India, they’ll be performing yet another Skype call in to 6:33 pm. However, the last two or three times they’ve been anywhere, they’ve tried this, and every time it’s been a rig. Here’s how they did it: a laptop on their end runs Skype, the Mac computer on our end runs Skype, but the bandwidth is low enough that we can only manage video. The audio cuts in and out. So for audio, we do a regular cellphone call (and use the headphone jack on the phone to pipe it into the sound board at church). And on top of that, we relied on the built-in mic in the cell phone to pick up any audio for the overseas guys to hear. A really poor setup to say the least. And each time, I’ve promised to come up with a better solution for next time.

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Step Seq

A few days ago I discovered an amazing music program hosted on the game site Kongregate. Apparently the creator, the guy who runs QuickFingers.net is in some sort of contest for a LOT of money to see who can make the coolest music game on that site. Well, his was on top when I checked a few days ago, and I tried it out. It was AWESOME!! The game he created is called Step Seq (try it at https://www.kongregate.com/games/quickfingerz/step-seq).

Really, this is just like any hardware-based step sequencer, which is apparently some sort of grid of buttons that you can press and it will modulate a midi device and play back notes. Each row on the grid is a single note, while each column is some sort of time index. The sequencer part is based on a concept that the grid will play itself over and over and you can change the settings each time.

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Soundcards and Shoutcast

Yesterday I received an Amazon order in the mail. It was my first ever ExpressCard device!

A few years ago, I burned out the left channel on my laptop headphone jack, so if I wanted to listen to anything with a pair of headphones at the library or something, I couldn’t without putting up with just one side of the stereo mix. So last week, I went on Amazon and found a Creative (Soundblaster) ExpressCard sound card. Just yesterday, it came in the mail and I got it up and running! And I have to say it has excellent quality. 

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Lack of Lyrics

Ha! This Tuesday we had a great time at the Men’s meeting at church. However, due to a real good worship time, we had to come up with a few songs on the fly. This was a bit difficult, due to the fact that the two we were given ahead of time were put into the overheads software ProPresenter.

ProPresenter is REALLY cool, not because it’s Mac only (I don’t like Mac that well), but because it can do EVERYTHING without using another program. You can import video files, audio files, images and text files. The idea of this program is to pipe this stuff to a full-screen window on a second monitor which would be piped into an overhead projector feed. Thus you can get lyrics for songs up. Of course, you probably wonder, why the video and audio and images if the program is for putting lyrics up on an overhead projector? Well, modern media technology is trending toward an animated background beneath your words, which really enhances the experience.

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11-22-09

Two things I’m excited about:

  1. I donated $65 to this missions group to provide blankets for new Afghan mothers. Link here.
  2. I bought Phil Wickham’s new CD – Heaven & Earth. Now all I have to do is..OH! I need to download vCast to get my phone drivers working again. I like to listen to music off of my phone, and so far I’ve been missing the drivers for transferring music onto it. I’ll go do that after I finish this thing.

Another cool thing is: I’m at the new library in Fort Collins. What’s it called? I don’t remember. Let me go look it up. Council Tree Library. It’s the second floor of a new outdoor mall complex in southeast Fort Collins. Not very big on normal tables..they’re into this retro comfy-chair look, but I can manage.

Anyhow, that’s about all. Let me go get those drivers.