M a t t . T r e d e r

Archive for April, 2008|Monthly archive page

You might be from Eastern Washington if…

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2008 at 9:11 am
  • you refuse to cheat and use the carpool lane in Seattle when you are driving by yourself. (Extra credit if you don’t know what a carpool lane is.)
  • you know all the best Indian reservations to go to get sweet fireworks.
  • you have ever wondered how it is that we could possibly be experiencing a drought when one of the largest rivers in the country is just a few miles away.
  • you stop at Miners every single trip you take to Yakima with your entire basketball, volleyball, or any other team from high school.
  • you ever skipped school because the pump house froze up.
  • you know that Ellensburg is the middle of the state and have seen the plaque on Central’s campus that says so.
  • you call Wazzu Wazzu and no one out of state knows what you are talking about.
  • you refer to the stretch of rocks between the trees and the cold water on the west side as “the beach”…and you’ve actually been excited to go there.
  • you’ve aimed for tumbleweeds as they cross the freeway
  • you get confused when you go to the west side and see one big huge city, and then people there tell you that there are actually hundreds of cities there, and can point out the dividing lines.
  • the hill behind your house burns at least once a year, maybe more.
  • you install security lights on your house and garage and leave both unlocked at night.
  • you think driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow.
  • the local paper covers national and international headlines on one page but requires six pages for cattle listings.
  • you know the names of the Tri-Cities.
  • you know where Tree Top apple juice is made.
  • the neighboring city refuses to call a snow day when there is fourteen feet of snow on the street because they think your city should call it first.
  • your only exposure to big bands was at the county fair, or at the gorge.
  • you know exactly what and where the gorge is, and can drive there in your sleep.

Thanks to this facebook group.


Would a chocolate bar at half price taste as sweet?

In Uncategorized on April 22, 2008 at 6:48 am

If you like Dagoba dark chocolate like I do, you’ll be happy to know that these unique creations, made right here in Oregon, are half price at Amazon Grocery through the end of April. Buy $25 worth and the shipping’s free, too.

If chocolate infused with chilies, lemon and ginger, or lavender and blueberries isn’t your thing, you can always browse the rest of the 886 chocolate products on sale. Just enter coupon code CHAWCLAT when you check out. And be sure to tell me how dark you take yours!

Dumb Words and the Copy Editors Who Love Them

In Writing on April 22, 2008 at 5:14 am

Every newspaper has a style guide, such as the Associate Press Stylebook, that its writers attempt to adhere to for clarity, correctness, and consistency. Here’s the style guide I wish we’d used back in my newspaper days.

Read on…

Hey kids! Here’s a way to get drugs you haven’t thought of…

In Policy on April 21, 2008 at 7:45 am

World’s dumbest TV commercial?

A kid in the cafeteria faces the camera and describes how he filches prescription pills from his parents’ medicine cabinet. This is somehow going to result in FEWER kids who raid the medicine cabinet for a cheap high. Hmm.

TV commercials depicting novel ways to abuse drugs. As a deterrent.

Wonder how that’s working.

The anti-drug indeed.

Logic Studio 8

In Music, Tech on April 21, 2008 at 5:42 am

Finally got my registered upgrade of Logic Pro 8. And I have to take issue with some of the criticisms of Apple’s latest. The merging of minds between Apple and Emagic appears now to be complete, and the result is a breathtaking, minimalist makeover that finally consolidates all of the power of Logic and for the most part wrestles its justly famed complexity to the mat.

No, there were few new goodies. A new plug-in delay, a few nips and tucks for Ultrabeat and other soft synths. No matter. What needed to happen — a complete rethinking of the interface — was done with typical Apple elan. Bravo.

Sketch: Slow groove in Gb

In Music, Sketches on April 20, 2008 at 8:39 am

If you like it, let me know in the comments and I’ll finish it. Plus, you get a high-rez pressing of the final mixdown!


Would a helicopter on a turntable take off?

In Curiosity on April 20, 2008 at 8:09 am

This brought a chuckle. I’ve always enjoyed posing questions that no one else would think of asking…


As to the airplane-on-a-conveyer-belt question, the answer seems to be resolved:


What I love about it is not just that someone thought it’d be cute to present their answer in the BIGGEST POSSIBLE TYPE, but that the next person took it and put it on a T-shirt for purchase. The world is certainly shrinking.

Don’t mess with the Big Dog

In Tech on April 20, 2008 at 8:03 am


Via my Uncle Mike:

This is quite simply the most astonishing robot I have ever seen.

Watch it climb over jumbled concrete blocks, walk uphill and downhill
through snow, amazingly regain its footing after slipping on ice, and
even gallop and leap.

When you see the way it stays on its feet after a researcher tries to
kick it over, does it make you wonder how a future version of this
robot might respond to such an attack?

Seems to me in the past decade or so there’s been a sea change in the way scientists approach science. Old way: We can design and engineer solutions to any problem, using intellect and reasoning. New paradigm: Let’s look as closely as we can at how nature solved these same problems…and follow nature’s lead in discovering possible answers.

Very much the way Leonardo da Vinci approached science, well before anything called “science” existed.

Best argument for not learning to read music

In Music on April 20, 2008 at 7:54 am

Via Wikipedia:

In college, [Dave] Brubeck was nearly expelled when one of his professors discovered that he could not read sheet music. Several of his professors came forward arguing for his ability with counterpoint and harmony, but the school was still afraid that it would cause a scandal, and only agreed to let Brubeck graduate once he promised never to teach piano.

A band called ToneDawg

In Tunes on April 18, 2008 at 10:46 am

I wanted our band to be called “Merlin’s Madness” or perhaps “Merlin’s Magic.” I was overruled, and perhaps that was for the best, as our floppy-eared alter ego did constitute the coolest band logo/mascot ever. The genius behind the madness was an energetic, pony-tailed 6th grade teacher who moonlighted as a guitar god, ruling over Eugene and the surrounding environs with a potent mix of Steely Dan, Grateful Dead, Bruce Hornsby, and Phish-influenced jam band rock.

With bassist Arne Olsen and drummer Rick Buckendahl, we crisscrossed western Oregon, often traveling as far as Bend, Portland, and Ashland, as often as not depending on the kindness of strangers for our lodging. We played Ashland, in fact, during the infamous New Year’s Eve flood of 1996, loading in during a driving rainstorm over a wet wooden footbridge spanning the creek that lent the late, lamented Ashland Creek Bar & Grill its name. When we loaded out the next day, Interstate 5 was closed and part of the outdoor dining deck was washed away, along with two unfortunate and adjacent lower-lying businesses.

We sailed, we soared, and for $40 a night we presided over Eugene’s hallowed haunts — The Old Pad, the Good Times, the Vet’s Club, Taylor’s. We played for weddings, parties, and festivals. We packed it in when I got the call to go on the road with a rising country singer, never to resurface.

More’s the pity.


Tune: An old favorite

In Music, Tunes on April 17, 2008 at 9:50 am

Recorded at Gung Ho Studio in the late 1990s with a gospel singer who for a time befriended me. I always liked this arrangement, with its unexpected reharmonization  and wistful pitch. We got it in one take, with only a minor punch-in on the takeout.