Mommy, what’s a Boogafoo?
In 1974 while I attended St. Olaf’s Paracollege, my best friend Larry Heyl ran the Moog Studio. He taught me how to plug patch cords and fiddle knobs to wring squawks out of the Moog Modular Synthesizer. I was earning a hand-rolled degree in Creative Studies so I added Torturing the Moog 101 to my curriculum.
Veluria Ponsonby’s Epiphany
Wherein two horrible dogs perform behavioral experiments on an innocent fellow.
Moog Modular Synthesizer like the one in the St. Olaf Moog Studio
To me the Moog was a machine for making weird noises so I pushed it into uncharted territories of sonic strangeness. I didn’t emulate any musician but indulged in pure sonic experimentation. I taped a handful of tracks and called my album “Babie’s[sic] First Words” Twenty years later my daughter renamed it “Boogafoo Music”, which stuck.
Doug Sharp in ’74
I carried around this 2nd-gen tape for years before digitizing it, no charge for the tape hiss
We kept track of our Moog patchcord setups with this worksheet
St. Olaf Moog Studio Gear:
- 1 x 901 oscillator bank with 3 oscillators
- 2 x 921 oscillators
- 1 x 905 reverb
- 1 x 903A noise generator
- 1 x 904 filter
- 3 x 902 voltage controlled amplifiers
- 3 x 911 envelope generators
- 1 x 951 keyboard
- 3 x 901 oscillator banks, 1 with 3, 1 with 4, and 1 with 5 oscillators
- 2 x 4:1 mixer
- 4 x 2:1 mixer
3 x stereo tape machines (Revox A77, Tandberg 6021X, Ampex 601)
PTSD is a monster. PTSD is a cage. PTSD distorts my self. It keeps me away from people I love. It keeps me from doing things that I love.
My PTSD is sometimes a blunt instrument to my psyche, brutally knocking me down when pain hits my limit. Usually my PTSD subtly handicaps me, chains me in ways that I can’t fathom nor address, much less battle or finesse.
Because I live in the midst of constant trauma, my trauma isn’t in the past–it’s in the past, present, and future. PTSD that develops “in response to prolonged, repeated experience of interpersonal trauma in a context in which the individual has little or no chance of escape” is called Complex PTSD (See Wikipedia article), sometimes called DESNOS or Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified.
The primary trigger my CPS agony is animated conversations with bright, creative people. The trauma is interpersonal because the pain is caused by conversing. The person I talk to doesn’t (usually) mean to traumatize me, but the reptilian complex of my brain classifies the trauma as an interpersonal attack.
Links to Chapters:
I sliced up some of the longer chapters to make smaller chapters so numbering jumps around:
“That dot? It should be bigger.”
“It’s big. So far away it’s small.”
“I know that.” She squints, sighting along her arm. “Like I cover up that big volcano with my thumb.”
“I know that.”
“You got it–far makes the volcano small. But Home is a zillion mountains big and a zillion clicks away.”
Giggle. “I can cover it with my eyelash.” Giggle. “It makes my eyelash sparkle. Try it.”
I squint and rotate my head minutely. An old man’s blur. “Sounds wonderful. All I see is a blur. My eyes aren’t young.”
She considers that and moves on.
“When can I go to the Party?”
“To The Party at the Earth place. Where our cousins are.”
To the right of the evening star a brighter dot blooms and burns… out.
“A spark! Is that for the party?”
“Bigger than a spark, sweet. It’s a rocket ship slowing down. That’s what I brought you out to see.”
“About a day.”
“Is it robots?”
“It’s our long-lost cousins. When they get here we’ll have a family reunion to remember.”
“Best party ever.”
I am honored that John Scalzi has published my article about Channel Zilch on his blog.
Some books take longer to write than others.Channel Zilch took longer to write than most. But to be fair, author Doug Sharp has a very good reason for that. Here he is to explain.
It only took me 21 years to finish Channel Zilch.
Channel Zilch is the story of ex-astronaut Mick Oolfson and geek goddess Heloise (Hel) Chin. NASA canned Mick for stunt-flying a space shuttle; his one desire is to return to space. Hel is a testosterone-surfing evolutionary roboticist, cortical multitasker, and aspiring midwife to the technological Singularity. The first book in the Hel’s Bet series, Channel Zilch begins with the theft of a space shuttle. And that’s the easy part.
Here’s the deal:
In 1992 I needed a new computer game project. I was droolingly bored cranking out lucrative contract code. My game career was dead. I was determined to resurrect it.
In the mid-80’s…
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Snow is thin on the ground. I hiked to the Tamarack Bog today to see if the Pitcher Plants were poking through.
Here’s a Pitcher Plant with frozen water inside it.
Travis is great at improv acting so long as his part is that of an enthusiastic dog. Trav-trav is a Collie/Shepherd/Something mix.
Today he looked particularly Colliesque so I called him Lassie which devolved into this piece of Canine Improv Theatre:
For those of you too chronologically deprived to catch the Timmy/Collie reference, here is the opening of one of the best TV shows ever: Lassie.
Timmy was the clumsiest boy on Earth. His inability to avoid falling into wells stressed out poor, sweet Lassie day after day after day.
Travis and Mika and I evened the score.
Last week Martel Lake froze and I thought canoeing was done for the year.
This week we got a warm spell – temp in the 40’s F – so I decided to give canoeing one last shot.
I love icebreaking in a canoe. The ice was crumbly around my dock and along the shore so I was pretty sure I could make it to open water.
I wanted to get some crunchy icebreaking sounds so I stuck my trusty Zoom H2 in my jacket pocket and got this [crunchy ice with intermittent narrative at 2:00; best crunching sounds start at 4:05]:
I was too busy breaking through the ice to take pix until we hit the open lake.
My dock is in the distance just right and up from center. We paddled through the thin shore ice and then broke through the white patch above.
It felt good to break through to clear water. Icebreaking with a canoe is great arm exercise because you need to chop into the ice with the paddle and haul the canoe forward up onto the ice, breaking it with the weight of the canoe. Repeat until clear of ice.
Thin ice you can just cruise through. It makes a tinkly sound as it shatters.
Mika and Travis were not happy with our expedition. It’s Wisconsin’s Annual War Against Deer and gunshots in the distance kept them nervous.
After our icebreaking adventure I tied Mika to a tree and put away the boats and accessories for the winter. I hung lifejackets from the rafters of the screen porch while Travis watched, amused:
I pulled my canoe onto the bank, where snow will soon cover it.
The next time I canoe I’ll hear loons.