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Woodwind repair by day, all sorts of shit by night.

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scissortail  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: October 31, 2018

I've finally been hopping back on here after swapping out my Raspberry Pi3 for an old craigslist desktop. I definitely missed reading the discussions.

In other news, I've started to learn to program in C and am having a minor existential crisis regarding my work/career/life direction in general. I've also been reading a ton lately, and strongly recommend John Gardner's Grendel and Kurt Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle to all of you.

Now, I never called Chrichton sexist, though I won't disallow the possibility. I found Chrichton pointing out that men and women both struggle with similar issues, as you mention, to be some of the better bits of the piece ("shreds of truth and insight"). This was particularly good:

    When I look at people, I see individual human beings struggling to find love and fulfillment, using the skills that they have, overcoming the drawbacks that they have. Each individual human being has some behavior that he or she can do easily, almost without thinking, and other behavior he or she can accomplish only with painful effort.

    From this individual standpoint, gender doesn’t seem very important. It’s a detail, like where you were born. I can’t say “All men are this way” any more than I can say “All Chicagoans are this way.”

    Generalizations won’t hold up.

However, even though Crichton may not have been attempting to be scientific, his citing of science without reference severely detracts from the credibility of his arguments:

    To take a single example, every good study of domestic violence concludes that women engage in it as often as men.

    We are biologically frail: more male infants die in the first year of life; we don’t live as long as women; and we fare less well living alone.

    These days, men and women can live comfortably as singles, and 25% of the adult population now chooses to do so.

I know some of this to be true, of course, but the lack of citations makes the claims rhetorically untenable. For my money, statistics mean nothing without a source. I also have no clue what he means by "[men] fare less well living alone." Does this refer to income? Happiness? I can't know without a source.

Now, a big part of what I take issue with here:

    There is no question that men feel under attack, and psychologically beaten down.

I was not around in the late 80s, but somehow I doubt that the anti-male narrative was worse then than it is now. And I don't know about you (and it may be because of my personal choices in media consumption), but I personally do not see this kind of narrative, ever. I am a remarkably average-looking man, and I have felt personally attacked for my maleness a grand total of...once. I of course cannot speak for anyone other than myself, but I think the vast majority of MRA-type rhetoric is engineered to create outrage from things that are rarely an actual issue.

This is not to say that men don't face issues on the basis of their maleness; they do. This is not to say that some systems in society are unfairly biased against men; some are. But, in the grand scheme of things, bias (personal and systemic) against men pales in comparison to what pretty much every other group of people face. While the small amount of injustices against men should be recognized and corrected, much, much more time and energy should be spent correcting the injustices against those facing more substantial oppression. Chrichton's bellyaching about the stereotyping of men comes off as silly because the stereotype carries so little weight into the real world in comparison to other stereotypes (that is, men rarely encounter difficulties because of their portrayal in stereotype).

This album is an old favorite of mine, especially "Becoming Insane" and "Change the Formality". I feel like Infected Mushroom understand texture better than most electronic acts; they have a gift for knowing when more (or fewer!) voices are needed, and transition between sections masterfully. This album is my favorite of their works. Great shit.

I've been running through the SOPHIE album that finally dropped. It's really something else--it might be the craziest pop release I've heard in ages (and certainly my favorite since Kirin Callinan's Bravado last year). It's got dreamy synth textures, filthy distorted bass and industrial sounds, elements of ambient and noise, and one of my favorite new pop bangers ("Immaterial"). It's a weird and wild ride and I definitely recommend it to fans of unusual pop and electronic music.

There are some shreds of truth and insight in here, but also a whole lot of [citation needed] material and faulty rhetoric. Chrichton pulling from anecdotal experience to reveal that (surprise!) women are humans with human faults was particularly tough to read. I suppose it's a good indicatior for our current social climate that this piece reads as being rather dated.

Well, it's hard to say anything for sure without both seeing the horn in person and knowing the geographic area you are in--prices in the industry have no real standards, and fluctuate wildly depending on where you are.

My first and most important recommendation is to take it to your local repairperson. If they are worth their salt, they will assess the instrument's condition honestly and for free. Not many of us are skilled at valuation for sales, but they should be able to tell you what it needs and how much it will cost. Try to get someone with at least a decade of experience in woodwind repair, if possible.

The Mark VI is a quality horn, and will likely fetch a decent price even with a broken/missing spring (so long as you are up-front about it, of course). I personally would get it repaired before selling, though. If your assessment is pretty close and it only needs one spring replacement and some regulation work, it should cost very roughly between $45 and $85 (again depending on where you are). That said, horns sitting for a decade often need more than that, usually because of the age of the pads (or if they have been eaten by bugs). A full repad of a tenor (sometimes a necessity in these cases) will almost definitely run north of $350 and sometimes $600 or more.

Again, an assesment by a trusted technician in person is the best way to understand what your horn needs. It should only take a few minutes for a good technician to make an accurate assesment. I hope this was helpful in some way, and good luck on the sale!

Those images are incredible. Crazy to think that we had that sort of technology in 1966--makes me wonder what technologies governments currently have access to.

I feel extremely lucky--I landed in a career I love right out of college. I repair wind instruments for a living, and it's satisfying in quite a few ways:

>I constantly have to solve problems every day. I have decision trees that I run through, and am always refining them and establishing new ones. In the same vein, I encounter completely new problems on a regular basis, and have to solve them creatively. This is partially because I am still green (<5 years of experience), but even my mentors who have been doing this for 3-4 decades still see completely new problems fairly frequently.

>I get to help people make music. Even though my own musicianship is covered in meters of rust, I am still meaningfully involved in making music happen. Perhaps most meaningfully, I help kids play (and hopefully learn to love) music. Even though kids are often little shits who bang up really nice instruments, I want them to have as few external barriers to success as possible.

>I get to work with my hands. There's something satisfying about this that is difficult to describe. I get serious satisfaction from making something that can barely wheeze out a note into something that sings. There is definitely a fine degree of craftsmanship and aesthetic judgement that can be applied to the work, too. There are also tons of adjacent skills and bodies of knowledge that I can refine to make my work better--woodworking, metalworking, chemisty, toolmaking, the list goes on. Hell, I even plan to learn drafting and 3-D printing in the future.

Plus, scheduling is flexible and I get to play with fire and acids all day. What's not to like?

scissortail  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 13, 2018

Haven't been in ages, but if you don't mind being a little touristy the Polynesian Cultural Center is really pretty awesome.

scissortail  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 6, 2018

One of my favorites of hers. I feel that it's one of her most emotional performances from after her first album.

scissortail  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 6, 2018

I briefly flirted with a League of Legends addiction a few years ago, and my life improved significantly when I kicked it. I realized that I was dedicating a tremendous amount of mental energy to the game--MOBAs are really information-dense, which (imo) makes them so fun and interesting.

That said, I think one could have a fun and still healthy experience with the game if one played with a dedicated team. If you had a group of five people who were serious about improving their skills, developing coherent gameplans, and sharpening their minds, it could even be useful for one's cognitive processes.

For my money, other hobbies are much more useful and fulfilling in the long run. Good luck with everything.

scissortail  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Pubski: June 6, 2018

That sounds wonderful. I ought to work on finding a group like that in my area.

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