22 January, 2018

Quartzsite, A Campfire, and A Van

My wife and I just returned from an extended vacation. We were driving to a small desert 
community called, Quartzsite in Arizona; although, we weren’t staying in the town. We decided 
to try out our homemade camper-van and see how it worked in the desert. There were almost 
4000 other folks doing the exact same thing. You’ll be happy to know it worked like a champ.  
The solar array charged the battery, which charged our devices, and kept our little 12 volt 
refrigerator working just fine. 
Sunset @ RTR
Some of the funnest times during our vacation though were around the campfire. There was 
a sort of community fire pit, and we’d all dutifully assemble there after supper. Now as a musician 
I almost always get asked to bring my guitar and play some tunes which I have always been very 
embarrassed about. I get all flustered and don’t know what to say or do. This time was no different, 
but I brought it up. I said right out that I get all freaked out about it and it turns out there were others 
there who felt the same thing. Eventually we talked each other into playing and took turns around 
the fire. It was difficult at first to take a step outside my own experience of embarrassment and do 
what I do. However, once I did I had a pretty good time. Now I don’t want this to come off as a 
self-help thing, an ego thing, or Goddess forbid a promise to always be the guy playing at a campfire.
 I am just saying that in this case I had a blast playing and listening to others play. 
Camper Van

We are all capable of jumping out of our comfort zone in order to try something new or just to share 
with other folks of like mind the things we do. Whether that’s music, construction, or anything else. 
It can be a very fun thing if looked at right. 

Cactus @ RTR
Good luck with all things.
-Trevor Marty

25 December, 2017

Ms Mama Macy saves Santa & the Holiday

 Authors note. Ms Mama Macy is an anthropomorphic character which I base off of my cat. Her name is Ms Mama Macy. The character is a hard drinking, tough talking private investigator. The kind you see in old movies. Can't pay the bills, the cops don't like her and neither do the crooks. She's a little to quick with a 45 and a little to quick with hope Her buddy Marley the Wonder Dog is also loosely based off of my dog. These characters continue to crop up in my writing and I am putting together a longer form story involving them as well as a compendium of their short stories.
Thank you and I hope you enjoy the story.
Ms Mama Macy Yawning

      Ms Mama Macy and Marley the wonder dog were tobogganing down the ice shield fast as they could go. Marley was her long time friend, cohort, and sometimes strong arm. They were being chased by members of the Frog Gang who were firing their semi-automatic 9mm pistols. Macy tossed her little 2 shot Derringer to Marley and said, “Makem count”.
     Marley shouted back, “But we’re not supposed to kill them.”
     Macy responded with a gruff look that told Marley she didn’t want to be bothered with the details. She was in the front and steering. If that’s what you want to call it on a toboggan. Marley promptly lost the gun in the snow and whimpered. “Great!” was all Macy had to say. Then just as the Frog Gang were getting close enough to get a couple of good shots off she had an idea. “Hey Marley, the great thing about being a mammal and not an amphibian is that we make our own heat. The water. Toss the water at them. Christ it’s like 2 or 3 below zero up here.” Marley did what she was told and just as Macy thought they started to freeze one by one until everyone on that sled was frozen solid and laying on the hill. Their empty toboggan continued to drift down and past our heroes.    
     “They’ll be like that until Spring.” said Marley and she did a little dance shuffle. “Do we still have the jewels?” she asked Macy.
     “Yes, I’ve still got them right here.” she gestured to a little bag which she wore around her neck. The jewels were Mr. Mrs. Clauses magic gems. They helped the two old folks with their jobs. Making toys for a whole planet of children, never being seen, never having their secret north pole hideout found either was a good trick and it’s all down to the little blue jewels in the bag which Macy is wearing around her neck right now.
     The quick thinking of Marley and Macy had frozen most of the Frog Gang solid but the remaining sled had the boss and two henchmen on it and they were gaining speed. The closer they got the bigger their targets were. It was only a matter of time before one of our heros got shot. Macy was in the front and Marley was in the back. It was at that moment that the hill leveled out and they lost all of their speed and momentum. It was also the time that they remembered the trick Santa had taught them to get him to help them and they did it. Just in the nick of time the toboggan stopped, Santa appeared, and a shot rang out clear like a bell in the early morning sun. Santa stepped in between the two groups and took the bullet right in the chest. The Frog Gang had shot Santa Claus. He lay on the ground spilling Christmas red blood in the white snow.
     This is the story of how Ms Mama Macy and Marley the Wonder Dog saved the holiday and more importantly saved Santa Claus. It happened ohhh lets just say a few years ago and leave it at that.

     Macy was sitting in the local blues dive down the street from where she lived and had been there all night listening to her favorite band. J & V.’s Blues Extravaganza. Macy had all of their albums, a couple of t-shirts, knew all the words to all of their songs, and desperately wanted to share an evening with both of them and I don’t mean in the bar. Eh, what can I say the hero of Christmas is a kinkster. Marley came in and the two of them sat and listened. Marley was a dancer but Macy wasn’t drunk enough yet. That’s when it happened. The oddest thing in the world. The thing which started this whole adventure. This really old looking guy who was the places new waiter came up and asked if they wanted anything else. He was standing in their way and neither lady could see the band. As they looked at this old man he opened his hand and they saw a pretty blue stone which glowed and pulsated to the music. The room began to blur a little and give off a faint Winter Blue color then everything went black. They wouldn’t wake up till the next morning.
     Macy awoke first and turned over in her bed to see Marley they were in the same bed. A comfy, warm, and large oversize bed. The fire place was filled with a joyful dancing flame and she had a feeling of peace and contentment which she hadn’t felt since that time she rode her motorcycle to Montana to meet her old buddy. She laid there listening to her friend Marley’s snores and the fire crackling. Nothing seemed strange to her even the fact that she was most definitely not at home. The room came into view as she let herself slowly wake up.
     Cat stretches on the bed are something I’ve always loved to watch and wished I could do. What would it be like to have a body like that which just stretches sinewy and joyfully into a long arch like the universe and then back again into the machine which carries you around.

     Macy looked around and noticed she was in a cabin. The furniture was all antique and overstuffed. Everything was colored hues of red and green including the bedding she and Marley were laying under. The room was about 100 square feet and around 7 feet tall. The walls had been stuccoed, but she could see through the window that the building was a cabin. There was also quite a bit of snow. Which hadn’t been there yesterday.
     Marley was still sleeping. She could sleep all day wake up have supper and then go back to bed sleepy fully through the night. Macy looked at her and muttered, ‘Weirdo’ then pulled herself out of bed. She dressed and walked around the room hoping to find evidence of where she was and how she got there. That’s when she heard heavy footsteps approaching the door and two voices. The first was a females.
     “Now, pa you remember to be gentle with these ladies. They’re going to be scared and will need to be comforted.” said the first voice.
     “I know Ma I know, but I think they’re going to surprise you. These women are pretty tough.”, the second voice said.
     “Yes, but it’s not everyday a magic fat man whisks them away.” said the first voice with confidence. Macy could hear in the voices that they were very familiar with each other. The way they used the old Ma and Pa thing to reference each other even though they probably had been married for many years was a dead giveaway. Macy didn’t feel threatened at all, but quickly sat at the table next to the window. She crossed her legs and gazed out the window pretending to not have noticed the voices. A knock came on the door and Macy said,
     “Yes, who’s there?”  Macy answered
     “Can we come in deer? Are you dressed?”
     “Yes, ma'am. Come in.” said Macy a little more formally then a heavy drinking, bar fly, private detective kitty cat is used to. She looked at Marley who was finally awake and motioned for her to just stay there. The door knob turned, the door opened, and two very large humans walked in. They had many smile wrinkles on their faces and carried themselves in an old fashioned proper sort of way. They each carried a tray filled with breakfast goodies. Soft, boiled eggs, toast, oatmeal, orange juice, and mugs of what smelled like hot chocolate and not coffee. It was the hot cocoa that did it. Then it hit her who these people were. As it happened it also hit Marley and the two ladies said it together.
     “Santa?” it was said like a question but it was more of a statement. The next thing was a joyful heart healthy laugh which echoed throughout the house.
     “Yes, it is Santa, but I’m here too dearies.” exclaimed Mrs. Claus who shuffled to the table where Macy was still sitting with eyes as big a plates. “Now close your mouth young lady it’s not polite to leave it open like that. That is unless you’re wanting a truck to drive through.” Mr. and Mrs. Claus placed the trays on the table next to Macy who suddenly realised just how hungry she was.
Marley closed her mouth as soon as she heard Mrs. Claus reprimanding her boss. She was also suddenly aware she wasn’t wearing any clothes but the bedding. Mrs. Claus noticed too and mentioned. “Don’t worry young lady I undressed you both so that you could sleep better. Turn around Pa and close your eyes so that the young lady can dress and have her breakfast.” Santa blushed and immediately turned around and closed his eyes till he was told it was safe to turn back around. Marley dressed and then went to the table and sat down next to Macy. “You two go ahead and eat we’ve got a heck of a story to tell you. Starting with being sorry to have taken you from your party, but as you will see it was necessary.
    “Where to begin? Yes, that’s a good question.” expressed Santa as he sat on the bed. Mrs. Claus went to his side and sat next to him as well. She put her hand on his knee in a way that looked as if they’d been doing that for a thousand years.
     “Begin at the beginning I suppose.” said Macy as she pointed with her spoon and then started shoveling oatmeal in.
     “I was born a very long time ago, but even in my time there were olden civilizations which had passed into dust. I had always wanted to explore these places so I left home and traveled. Oh not the way you know me to travel now. No, no. This was very much conventional for my time. Horses, walking, ships with sails. I traveled all around this globe of ours and ended up in the modern state of Iraq. Back then though it was completely different. Anyway, I had been there awhile and made friends with some traveling peoples.” Santa paused a bit and the girls could see he was lost in his memories. Macy wondered just how many memories a human mind could hold. This old couple was a thousand years old at the very least. How many spirits, minds, people, animals have they touched in that time? She could only imagine. Long after she would be dust they would still be here eating oatmeal and that laugh which shook the house would still be happening.
“Now you have to remember I was a very young man maybe eighteen or twenty years old. I had found myself with this family of traveling folks and who moved around the desert. They were a small group of maybe twenty people. Once in awhile they came together with other clans and that’s when a lot of trading happened. I, as you can imagine, was very unique to everyone I’d met most of them had never seen a European. It was at one of these events that something wonderful happened. I met my Mrs. Her family had been merchants and went east looking for new trades. Unfortunately all had died of a fever but her. A small caravan of folks much like the one I had been with found her wandering the desert and kept her alive. From the moment I saw her I fell in love and still am. I mean we’ve been together a very long time.”. The two of them laughed at that. It was a big healthy laugh which made the icicles outside the window tinkle like crystal chimes.
Mrs. Claus took over at this point. “They became my family. I was very young and because just another child in the group. That’s how I grew up, and it was wonderful. When our two families met in the desert it was a perfect moment. Someone I didn’t like was eyeing me up and wanted to marry me. When Mr. Claus came by I was smitten. Well my family could see that he liked me and so could the people he was traveling with. They asked if he wanted them to see if I was available for marriage. He said yes. Well, my father...now that’s my clan father not my real father...had taken a liking to me and only wanted someone with a strong heart to marry me so he devised a test. The person who wanted to marry me had to go on a journey into the desert find the Blue Gems of Babylon and bring them back and that’s exactly what he did.”
Santa continued from here.  “It took two days journey through the deepest part of the desert to find the place. My camel and I were both way out of our element but there we were so we had to finish. When we got to the place I didn’t have any idea where to start looking. I mean I only had enough water to stay one day and then the two day journey back to where both families were waiting. We wandered around the ruins of Babylon not really knowing where we were going or where to start looking. That’s when I spotted a building which must have been the library. I love a good library, so I went in and that’s where they were. Can you imagine the luck? It was almost to good to be true.”
     “Which was the case.” interrupted Mrs. Claus.
     “Yes, well it all ended okay.” Santa said and shrugged his shoulders. There was clearly more to the story.  Macy and Marley were both grabbed by the story and sipping on their cocoa. “I went into this giant building through a set of pillars and then down some stairs. The stairs circled around a central place with a sort of desk and behind some glass were the gems. Now I’ll admit to feeling bad about grabbing them at first because they weren’t mine. Even though the civilization had long since gone to dust. They were still clearly not mine for the taking; however, that’s what I needed to do to win the hand of Mrs. Claus so that’s what I did. I walked right up and past the desk to the glass case lifted it and grabbed the gems and that was that or so I thought. I had unknowingly triggered a protector. The Blue Gems of Babylon were and are very powerful and should never fall in the hands of unreputable people. I left the library and was on my way out of the ruins but before I could get to the border of the city a massive sand storm engulfed the place. There I was with only enough water for a couple days. I had to go, but if I left I would be lost to the sand. What was I to do? I went back to the library and brought the gems with. As I walked in I noticed another person standing by the glass case. An older thin man with dark eyes that looked right through me. I don’t know where I found the courage, but I walked right up to him. I figured he knew what the heck was going on and was about to ask him that when he spoke, “Who are you and why have you taken the Blue Gem of Babylon?” His voice was big and booming although I can’t remember seeing his mouth move. I explained who I was and why I had to have them. He said, ‘The Gems choose their keeper not the other way around. Did you ever really look at them?’ I had to confess that I hadn’t, so I took them out and looked. There were five blue crystals and they were all the same shape, but one seemed to pulsate while the others just glowed a gentle blue. They were as blue as the sky but warm to the touch. The longer I looked at them the more it seemed I fell into the stones. Everything else just fell away and there was nothing but the blue, myself, and the silhouette of The Protector. ‘They have chosen you.’ he said. ‘Now what would you like to do with their power?’ he asked me. My only thought was to family. I wanted to marry the lady waiting for me and have children. I told him so and it must have been enough, because he raised his arms together and dropped them and the storm stopped. It was as if all of the energy went out of it at the same time. I left the building got on my camel and went back to the families. We were married that night and have been together ever since.  We discovered that we couldn’t have children of our own so instead we choose to make children happy all over the world. That’s what we’ve done for all these long years. The stones have given us a long life, helped with our mission to help all the children of the world, and even made our little home and workshop invisible to prying eyes.” Santa stopped there. He had the look of someone whose sole passion in life had been suddenly canceled even when there is still strength left in him.
     “So why are we here?” asked Marley while she stuffed her face with more oatmeal.
     “Well, that’s just it. I fell asleep recently while out traveling, and someone rifled through my pockets and found the stones. All we have left is this one.” he lifted his hand and one smallish stone pulsated in his hands. It’s to small to do everything we’re asking of it, and we need to get the other ones back. The people who stole them are connected to you. The Frog Gang.” he finished. Macy and Marley’s mouths dropped at the same time. They were going to have to get the stones back from the Frog Gang. Not only one of the toughest gangs in the country, but their hideout is way up in the mountains and more protected than Fort Knox.
     “The thing is there can not be any of your normal shenanigans. You are doing this for Santa and Mrs. Clause. Which means no killings. We don’t mind if you rough them up a bit, but don’t be killing anyone. I remember all of those boys and girls, and I can take out my list and tell you everything they’ve done in their lives. They are like my own children. Everyone is.  You just go in and get them and when you’re ready to go just say my name  three times in a row and it’ll bring me right to you. Got it? No fibbing now. We’ll know.” said Santa quite sternly. The two elders of the house looked at the young ladies and seemed to look right into them. “Okay” was all the girls could say and with that Santa grabbed both young ladies and everything turned blue and faded out as another place faded in. They found themselves standing in a suddenly very cramped little bathroom with Santa Clause and they were now dressed in a houseperson uniforms. The girls were both wearing maids clothes and listening to the last words of Santa echo in their minds. When you have the gems just say my name three times and I’ll be there. With that he opened the door and stepped out suddenly a very thin middle aged man with bald spot.

Finding the Gems

Both ladies had a lot of experience cleaning hotel rooms so they settled right into the new gig and tried to find the gems.
     “I think we should go to the new bosses room. That’s probably where they are.” said Marley.
     “I know I know. They’ll probably be in some giant safe which is twice the size of us. I wonder how we’re going to get in it. If we find the safe won’t Santa be able to get inside and then we’ll all get away?” Macy thought out loud.
     “Good idea.” Marley nodded. They pushed their housekeeping carts down the hallways hoping not to run into anyone that might know them. They weren’t exactly what you’d call friendly especially after Macy put their old boss in prison for life. “Do you think they remember what you did to that other guy?” asked Marley
     “Probably.” sighed Macy as she hoped for silence. Just then they watched as a group of the Frogs came around the corner surrounding the new boss and talking all at once. It was a great cacophony of frog voices echoing in the big marble corridor. They were obviously very excited about something. The ladies opened the first door they could get to and walked in to hide. They closed the door quietly but before they could feel safe they heard someone panting. Well two someones actually. Two people who were so caught up in what they were doing they didn’t notice that Macy and Marley were starring slack jawed at the spectacle. The boss and his entourage passed in the hallway and the girls quietly walked back outside the room, closed the door, and followed them. The group of frogs were so excited they never noticed a little dog and cat following them down the hall. The group went into a big office room, but the guards at the door prevented the girls from following.
     “Shit. What the hell are we going to do?” Macy asked more to herself than anyone else.
     “I don’t know. We could probably take them, but it’s the ones in the room I’m afraid of.” Marley expressed. At that moment a tall thin butler walked up to the two guards and whispered in their ears. They both got funny, happy grins on their faces and took off down the hall. The butler looked right at where they were hiding and then followed the two goons down the hall. “Cool.” said Marley and then both of them walked right up to the door listened and then slipped in unnoticed.
     The room was giant so it was no wonder they got in unnoticed. Just inside the door was a piano which hid the ladies quite well. They watched and waited. Hours passed, day turned to night and finally they were alone in the room. Macy had watched as the boss put the gems in dish and put it in the safe. In the dark of the room the two friends snuck toward the safe, found it open and walked inside. Just at that moment the boss came in closed and locked it before he went to bed.
     “What the fuck?” said Macy. When said right it can be neither a question or a statement. When said properly it can mean both at the same time. This was one of those moments. The door to a giant safe just closed, they had no idea how to get out, or where they’d go even if they did. It seemed like the best response. “Well, we might as well get the gems and have a peak what we’re dying for.” Macy stated as she went for the gems by the light of Marley’s cellphone.
     “Wow, those are beautiful. Look how they sort of pulsate a deeper blue. Hey do you think we could use them like how Santa did? I mean what if we just pictured ourselves outside the safe? Like right next to it.” asked Marley.
     “Yeah, I was just wondering that too. Let's do it.” Macy and Marley held the gems and pictured themselves next to the safe. Nothing happened. They tried again, and something sort of happened. The third time they tried it worked. They felt the familiar falling into the blue again and then found themselves outside the safe. They immediately left and tried to find Santa forgetting the little trick he’d taught them. They wandered around the place for what seemed like hours.
     Now this chateau had been forgotten for many years, and laid in ruins. A mear smudge of what it had been, but with the money which was streaming in from Frog Gang it was able to be restored. Now its high walls, ramparts, and even the towers tickled the sky from the top of a mountain. In the Winter the only road which goes up to it is closed and the only way up is either by climbing or helicopter. The only way down is to tobogan or ski. The girls didn’t know any of this since Santa had brought them, so when they came on the ski area and found all manner of sleds they thought they were being sly.
     “Hey Marley do you know how to ski?” Macy asked hopefully
     “Yup, waterski.” Marley said rather dejectedly
     “We’ll just have to use that sled.” Macy responded and grabbed a nice wooden toboggan and headed for the outside door. Just as they were walking toward the outside the boss and his gang came in.
     “Hey boss ain’t that the stupid cat P.I?” asked one of the henchmen. The only answer he got was the sound a 45 going off. They all pulled their guns and started firing at the ladies. Before they knew it they had the door open and were sledding down the mountain side.
This is where we began our little Christmas tale. This is where I said Ms Mama Macy and Marley the Wonder Dog would be saving the season for everyone.

The gang and their boss grabbed the two remaining toboggans and headed after them. Macy and Marley got a head start but not much of one, so right from the beginning it was a close race. The gang was so close the ladies could smell their cologne. Now anyone who’s been on one of these little death machines knows they go really fast and mostly in a straight line. You don’t so much steer as lean and hope for the best. The girls were racing down the hill hoping not to hit any trees as they cut their way through the undergrowth. The slussing sound of the rails of the toboggan on the frozen topped snow and the bullets whizzing by their heads built their anxiety as trees whipped by. Macy noticed it first the drop at the end of the hill Marley had been looking behind them and only noticed as Macy shouted, “Hold on to something!” and the constant sound of the rails on the snow was replaced by emptiness. They were airborne for no more than three seconds, but the story over the years has been exaggerated. As they say it’s not the fall it’s the landing and this was a perfect example. The ladies sudden landing almost knocked them off their sled, but they stayed saddled and even pulled ahead a bit. This is where we began our little Christmas tale with Ms Mama Macys idea of freezing the Frogs. This is where I said Ms Mama Macy and Marley the Wonder Dog would be saving the season for everyone.
     The quick thinking of Marley and Macy had froze most of them solid till Spring to thaw them out but the remaining sled had the boss and two henchmen on it and they were gaining speed. The closer they got the bigger their targets were it was only a matter of time before one of our heros got shot. Macy was in the front and Marley was in the back. It was at that moment that the hill leveled out and they lost all of their speed and momentum. It was also the moment they remembered the trick Santa had taught them to say.
     “Marley, the trick Santa said. Let’s do it quickly.” and they did it and just in the nick of time because the toboggan stopped, Santa appeared, and a shot rang out clear like a bell in the early morning sun. Santa stepped in between the two groups and took the bullet. The Frog Gang had shot Santa Claus. He lay in the snow spilling Christmas red blood in the white snow.
     “No No! Not Santa. You dirty son of a bitches.” said Macy and she reached in her coat took out her own 45, and took careful aim at the boss as tears streamed down her face.
     “No Macy. Remember your promise.” said Santa as he reached up to the gun in her hand. “Do you have the gems for me?” He laid in the cold snow his hand shaking violently, but he held to his conviction of no violence.
     “Yes, Santa” Marley said and pulled them from where they had been hidden. “Here you go.” Marley handed them to Santa. When all of the gems were combined they made a beautiful blue pulsating glow which surrounded the three of them and pulled them off the mountain and back to the North Pole. Santa had enough strength left in him to get them home.
     Over the years Mrs. Claus had sort of trained herself not to think about his nightly traveling. All it did was worry her. The elves had gotten used to her pacing around and talking to herself. She’d wash all the dishes, the windows, try and read a book anything to not think of that old man with a bunch of fancy reindeer racing the night to deliver presents. This time was different though. She couldn’t get it out of her mind. The feeling that something was wrong or was going to go wrong. She just knew it, but she couldn’t do anything about it. That’s when she saw it. The blue light from the other room and she rushed into the room hoping and when she saw them all she could do was cry out.
     “Pa!” She ran to his side and called the elves to help. They rushed him into their bedroom closed the door and all of the elfs which had been working were called into the room. With the door closed the girls were left on their own. They sat on the floor outside the room and  eventually fell asleep. In their dreams they saw a beautiful blue light emanating from the room. They fell deeper into the dream world. Dreaming about Santa, snow, and a pretty blue light. When they woke up they found themselves in the same room they were in the beginning when they first came to the house. Santa was sitting in a rocking chair looking out the window. Hot cocoa on the table and not a pain on his face at all. He seemed in perfect health considering his age and he’d been shot.
     “Santa!” shouted Macy and she felt for the first time in many years like a happy little kitten. There was nothing to worry about at all. No one was after her, she wasn’t behind on her rent everything was a beautiful snowy morning in a warm happy home. Santa got up and walked over to Macy and Marley. He put his big heavy arms around them and believe it or not he purred like a giant papa cat. Macy felt the softness of his beard and nuzzled in closer. Marley felt like a puppy again, and just before she closed her eyes she saw a dazzling blue light and heard her boss say, “I believe in you Santa. I believe in you.”

11 December, 2017

Unboxing IK Multimedia Monitors


As you read in last weeks post I won something pretty neat.
Monitors. I won monitors from IK Multimedia and Garageband & Beyond. Well, they came in the mail and I did an unboxing video. Which is right here. (LINK)

The monitors were heavier than I expected. I guess I was prejudging them by their size. They are small so I figured they would be about the weight of a standard computer speaker you would get at a big box store or these at Amazon. (LINK)
However, the iLouds are nothing like those.(Link to iLouds)

Back view

Front View

Front View

Ok are these the best in the world?
No, but for the price point they are at I would most definitely say they are as good or slightly better than some of their competitors of the same price. At least the competitors I’ve been exposed to. I have not tuned them to the room they will be in or the system which they will be apart of yet, but for sitting in front of my Mac editing video and the soundtrack of the video with I think they’re great. I can’t wait to get them tuned to the room and see what they’re like then.
Thanks for popping by and please check out the video. Like, Comment, and Subscribe.

Keep The Shiny Side Up

04 December, 2017


I just won something. 
     First off I never win anything so you know there’s that, but then to win something that’s actually interesting doesn’t just push the boundaries it makes them just disappear.

A little history. 

I subscribe to a Youtube channel called, “Garageband and Beyond”. A really nice guy named Lewin tutors people on how the Apple program Garageband can be used and is way more than a toy. Now, as far as DAW’s go (DAW = Digital Audio Workstation) I have a couple one of which is Garageband and I do use it. I use it a lot for video editing. Well, the audio of the video anyway and any smallish song idea I might have had and used the mobile version to record.  I have learned tons from his channel. He does reviews of products, how to’s, and Give Away Contests. The one I entered he was giving away these mixing monitors from IK MultiMedia which he had tested out. All you had to do is listen to a track played through two sets of monitors. One of which were the Ik’s. Guess correctly and then he picks a name from all of whom got it right. Well, he picked my name. Cool huh?
I have one set already, but have been looking for another set to work with. I’m hoping that this Winter I can redo my studio. Utilize the space better and create more space in it. 

Here’s a link to the company’s page on the speakers I won.
And here’s a link to Lewins contest winning announcement.
Here’s an Amazon Affiliate link to the speakers themselves. I mean you know just in case you want to get your own.

Of course having a new set of monitors means I need to produce another cd this year, so I guess there’s one coming.
Keep your ear to the rail for that. It will most likely be blues oriented.

20 November, 2017

Misadventures with the Martys

Introducing: Misadventures with the Martys

Hello, Greetings, G’day, and Merry We Meet

I want to wish you a happy happy day, and let you know about big changes coming soon. Very soon, as in now.
For almost a year or so my wife Elissa IMG_8671  IMG_8568 
and I have been posting both videos and blog entries here on my personal blog, and I’ve enjoyed having all of the content here but I think it’s high time that we have our own channel. Elissa and I together. Each having/sharing equal parts to it. That also means a new website LINK (which I have been diligently building), new social media connections, and a new YouTube channel. After all there are two of us. 
This blog started out as a way for me to connect with booking agents, fans, potential fans, so it’s unfair to Elissa to make herself known through her husbands name. She is a person on her own, so onto the new channel.

It’s called, “Misadventures with the Martys”. LINK

Now, let me introduce you to what you will be seeing on that new….ah....well everything channel.
The same sort of programming you’ve been enjoying from the both of us here. We’ll be doing travel shows and adventures, household projects, how to’s, goofing off, and lots of laughing.

This channel won’t be getting abandoned at all. I will continue to publish here as well; however, it may not be as much and it will probably be a lot more music oriented. Which means, gig stories, how to’s, song crafting, set list crafting, booking gigs, recording and all that.

We really hope that you’ll come by our other website which will be the sort of jumping off point for all things ‘Marty’.  Misadventures with the Marty’s is an eclectic blog/vlog published every Wednesday. Some of the things we have coming up are: 
  • trying out our new tiny house on wheels, 
  • traveling to the desert for two weeks in January, 
  • booking gigs along the way, 
  • how to’s and remodels,
  • maybe some reviews, 
  • and fun day to day adventures. 
There will be both a blog and a video to accompany each other.
This channel (the one you’re on now) will be going back to an every two week publishing schedule.

Please stop by the new place comment, subscribe, and share with your friends.
Keep the shiny side up.

Trevor & Elissa

13 November, 2017

The Jive Mill and Jack and Kitty Norton

The other day I had this great gig of which I can’t even begin to say how excited I was about. I got to open up a show for an Emmy award winning vaudeville duo who also happen to be great old friends of mine.
They asked me to open for their show at a new local hot spot called, ‘The Jive Mill’.
The Jive Mill is owned and operated by Noelle and Christopher Roberts. What began for them in 2012 as a hope for building community and broadening the arts has culminated in a wonderful, large, and vibrant performance space.
Not only was I fortunate enough to play here I also got to open for the Nortons; although, we didn’t get any footage of my portion of the show I sure got some great stuff of their show.

What is vaudeville?

A short answer is it’s entertainment. Music, acting, clowning around. Before television and radio any sort of entertainment was great. Small bands of traveling musicians went around and entertained the masses. You can trace the evolution of where we are at today to those same wandering folks. Lucille Ball, Red Buttons, all three styles of clowns come from those times. If you want to go down a little Youtube hole check out any of those, or just watch the video of the show. Here. 

06 November, 2017

Further on up the road


    Elissa and I live in a part of Minnesota with a lot of hiking and biking trails. While we may not be the type to go kayaking in a raging Winter river and call it fun we are most definitely going to be found in Nature. Hiking, biking, walking the dog, we’re trying to get our cat into it but it’s a slow process she’s a city girl.
Ms Mama Macy Yawning
     One of the places we like to go hiking on has had the road toward it closed all of the Summer because of repairs. However we found another entrance to it just a little further on up the road.  
     The Great River Ridge Trail is a flat land path which runs from the corner of Olmsted County Road 9 and Mn 42 all the way to Plainview, Mn. A thirteen mile paved path in which you can find walkers, runners, bikers, and horseback riding along this trail. Careful not to scare the horses.
Here’s an interactive Google map of the path.

Here’s a link to the Minnesota DNR page on it.

I would say that it’s worth the time to explore it.

This video is of us goofing off and enjoying our hike. 

Keep the shiny side up
Trevor & Elissa

Here is an Amazon link to the camera we use.
I am an Amazon affiliate and get a small percentage of the purchase price; however, it doesn’t come from your money it comes from Amazon's.
Have a great day.