I Ran Aground On A New Shore

GIMME THAT GUITAR
So I’ve been playing guitar, learning some cover tunes for no obvious reason other than that I need the practice and I just want to have a few tunes under my belt in case someone actually asks me to play something. Interestingly, I’m not rehearsing much of my own material. this isn’t because I think my stuff is inferior. In truth, it;s just because almost no one is listening to my stuff, so it hardly seems productive. If I get a gig, sure, I’ll play as much of my own stuff as I can remember (I write these things and record them pretty fast, so I don’t always remember what I played; hey, I never said I was a GREAT musician). But unless people start demanding I play more of my own material, I guess I’d just rather play stuff people know, so at least someone is having fun. Maybe me. Maybe not.

Problem with playing covers is, I’ve kind of injured my left elbow and wrist a bit, so I’ve got them smothered in over-the-counter (i.e. the weak $#!^) Tiger Balm and wrapped in slightly worn out tension bandages. Even typing is a chore right now. And neck tension is giving me a headache. Thus, little work is getting done.

I’m listening to a lot of Barenaked Ladies at the moment, just for fun. Even learning some of their songs. Again, for fun. Here’s one I’ve almost mastered (not performed by me, of course:
ODDS ARE (with Lyrics)

MASSIVE GAMING
I’m looking for an MMO for my wife and I to play together. We’d hoped to play The Secret World, but I haven’t had enough money to put toward a new computer for Dawn so she can play it, and as such, haven’t laid out the money for the game software. I still want to play, but until I get enough money to overcome those hurdles, it’s a no go.

So I’m noodling with Neverwinter, RIFT, and Age of Conan Unchained, and I still have a free account for beginner WoW, just for fun, and an account in LoTRO, because I like it, despite it’s slower gameplay style.

I’ve played a little Minecraft, which is sort of alright for me, but I’m not wild about it. Thing is, My buddy Mike Belkie introduced em to the idea of Tekkit, the sci-fi mod pack version of Minecraft, and it looks a little more like my speed. Problem there is, I think Dawn is all Minecrafted out for now.

Neverwinter is a teensy bit of a throwback to older fantasy MMOs like Dark Ages of Camelot and EverQuest and suchlike. The graphics aren’t bad by any means. I found it enjoyable enough, but it feels just a little dated. This is mostly because it is essentially an older game that finally went Free-to-Play with a cash mall built into the website. The gameplay is fair, as the combat system is a shade more involved than, for instance, World of Warcraft; auto attack and tab targeting don’t exist in Neverwinter. This is similar to Age of Conan, or what I remember of it (still haven’t actually entered it since reinstalling the other day. Later today, I think), where you had to select your opponents and hit specific attack buttons or risk being pummelled to death (or eaten, of course). Much has already been written about these games, so I don’t really feel the need to review them; I just wanted to point out what sets them apart from the WoW experience I know so well.

PUBLIC ART
My wife has just started a new open group on Facebook dedicated to Graffiti in Hamilton, Ontario. We’re big proponents of public art, but we recognize that our city’s idea of acceptable public art is pretty narrow and limiting, and sort of defeats itself by trying to cover walls traditionally tagged (very poorly) by graffiti artists with more acceptable (whatever that means) forms of visual art. Issue: The new art only occasionally meets with the taggers’ approval, and thus avoids being tagged over. Public Art in Hamilton is often jury-led, and the juries on these things are often fairly closed-minded, hidebound people who want to see pretty landscapes and classical mural art, where street kids want to see something vibrant and hip.

The divide between these two camps is perfectly illustrated by the struggle we have in the Stinson Neighbourhood to get some public art done to cover up the Claremont Access, which roughly divides our neighbourhood in two. I’ve been talking about submitting to this endeavour, but the Call To Artists keeps getting pushed back because the so-called consensus on what the neighbourhood wants to see on the wall of the basketball court (for starters) is anything but unanimous. Perhaps Dawn’s new group will help to end stalemate by re-educating people as to what good street art looks like and how it can enliven and invigorate a neighbourhood.

Well, I think I’ve babbled enough. Time to consider taking some more Tylenol (darned headache) and try to get some work done. Haven’t decided what I’ll be working on today, but that might just be because I was trying to leave the day open in case Gary called to do some music (like’ that’s a good idea in my condition).

Time to go. Thanks for reading.

Lee.

Don't be shy. Tell me what you really think, now.

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