Writing is going slowly - I am continuing to build up quite the treasure trove of stems and snippets but nothing has quite taken off as of yet. My day job and aspects of my personal life are very stressful right now which really isn't helping - I'm either writing a lot in a melancholy open D tuning, or just riffing and sludging along on tired (for me) riffs or piano bits. It's not truly a writer's block but it's almost worse as I come up with some stuff that in another frame of mind or another time would just fuel a ton of output but at this moment it's falling flat for me. Alas, yet to find something totally inspiring...
The Alesis drum kit is at the 7 piece size now, the picture of it is below:
It's a nice solid electronic kit - the disappointing thing is the better quality hi hat trigger and pedal controller don't work with the Nitro module, and I should have checked on this before investing in the ProX Hi Hat. In the meantime I discovered I really like the Roland hi hat trigger/controller and am watching for a cheap 2nd hand one on Craigslist or eBay. I picked up the Alesis Trigger IO USB interface online, and it has enough inputs for all the pieces in this kit including the two for the hi hat - I'll be selling the Nitro module fairly soon or depending on how well my son does at school I might continue upgrading my kit and then gift him the original Nitro stuff to learn on. He's coming into my office quite a bit and making racket with this so it might be something that he and my other sons would enjoy and learn on.
I'm getting close to the end of a major project at work though - a big data center relocation and replacement as we move servers, switches, data storage and firewalls from Sunnyvale, CA up to Seattle, WA. When it's done it will be absolutely something I will be proud of but at this moment I'm absolutely miserable and stressed - some operational problems happen coincidentally with planned changes, which freaks everyone out and then we roll back the changes just to find out the issues were unrelated. Today's fun time happy path incident involved network changes on the Seattle side to facilitate completing some testing - after the network config was completed, just minutes later the SFO facility suffered a 3 minute network outage that caused one of the old systems to freeze up and our logging mechanism to choke. It took the entire afternoon and 5 engineers (incl myself) plus our System Admin friend to remedy this with a simple restart of the service. Living through weeks and months of this kind of thing is really wearing on me at this point.
One thing musical that could come of my own frustrations and writer's block is that I would choose to go forward with the Tributes 2 project - being able to work on my chops, hone my drumming a bit and continue tuning my studio would be a great thing. It would also allow me to not only bring the guys in the band into something that is productive, but even maybe some people outside my immediate sphere. Being able to reduce the stress and pressure of trying to come up with original material that is exciting and inspiring could actually result in new exciting inspiring original material through relaxing and letting shit happen. Don't discount anything before you prove it to be wrong.
Finally I leave you with best wishes for (what is in North America) Labor Day Weekend. It's the last hurrah of summer 2017 - and here in Seattle it has been a really very nice one - absolutely dry, sunny and for the most part very pleasantly warm with only a few hot spells. There's a lot of pressure from my partner to relocate to Southern California and the earlier the better for her, but even though November through May is really gloomy and oppressive with rain and thick clouds I still really love this area and while I might really love SoCal after moving there, I am very resistant to change. Next year in June is my 20th year here and all the cute local allusions apply to me - I feel like I've got moss and lichen growing on the leeward side of me, and most of the time the air is clean and clear with the bluest skies you'll find anywhere. I moved here from Toronto and felt like I got to somewhere that was more Canada than Canada (at least more than Toronto was) and the next few months will be difficult I think. Here's to trying to put together a very fondly memorable time while it lasts.