I’ve been reading Magic: the Gathering’s stories on their website. Some are less than stellar but the Innistrad series is pretty good. The last Innistrad story was definitely intriguing.
Also, they’re releasing a Lord of the Rings set – very cool.
I recently tried out NYXL strings and the bright tone was both rich and long-lasting. They’re a bit more expensive but the tone has great harmonic overtones – sold in a few different gauges.
As a huge fan of Formula 1 racing (go team Ferrari!), I was thrilled to discover F1 TV. If you’re willing to wait a couple days after the race to watch it, it’s just $3/month to watch any race going back decades, all the way up to the current season.
I drink a lot of tea, and while I’ve enjoyed regular Rooibos tea (or “red tea”) as a caffeine-free plant to drink, it has an extremely mild flavor.
On the Tealyra website I came across green rooibos, which is the same plant but processed much like regular green tea. The flavor is stronger, with a spicy peppery note and grassy flavors.
I definitely recommend it for a flavorful herbal tea.
I’ve just delved into the official book describing the systems language “Rust”; so far I love the syntax, a nice hybrid of C++ and F#/OCaml etc.
Eclipse has tools for developing, which I haven’t really tested much yet.
I read somewhere or another that Rust was the #1 language surveyed developers wanted to learn… and I can see why!
You can check out the Rust homepage here.
Late last year I purchased a BBE Sonic Maximizer, for both recording music and enhancing music I listen to from my PC into my stereo. While I haven’t recorded all that much music lately, the difference with the Maximizer on or off is astounding.
The bass is boosted without becoming boomy, the stereo separation is dramatically enhanced, and there is a treble and/or presence level EQ enhancement that really clears the sound of music.
It sounds particularly amazing with techno and electronica. My device version is the 882i.
I re-listened to Joe Satriani’s “Engines of Creation” album from just after the turn of the millennium… and while I love his guitar work, it basically sounded like Sonic the Hedgehog background music. Nonetheless, a great album using probably the most elements of electronica of any Satriani album.
One technique I came up with years ago for an exotic tone from electric guitar is to tune the A and D strings in unison, and the B and e strings in unison, giving about two octaves below the 12th fret for playing “courses” of strings. Tune the E and G strings to a suitable pitch for your chosen open tuning.
Then, place a microphone right up to the guitar and record it acoustically… add some reverb and it provides a wonderful (albeit tinny) sound to change the tone of a song.
I’ve finally started playing the free-to-play game “The Elder Scrolls: Legends”, a digital trading card game. It has the concept of lanes for cards, which can only interact in their own lanes, a player life total, being able to attack a specific target without the defender choosing how to block etc, and an increasing amount of magic to cast cards each turn (as opposed to “lands” in a game like MTG).
As you might imagine, it features the fascinating lore and concepts from The Elder Scrolls series.
From what I’ve played, it seems like a great game.
I’ve been spending a lot of time lately working on clean, fast alternate picking on electric guitar. I’ve noticed I like a slightly thicker pick for this than general playing – so I’m back to using green Tortex picks, which are .88 size; I might try an even thicker pick at some point.
I also bought a mechanical metronome, which I thought was just cooler than a digital one or a phone app. It’s a cheap Chinese model but it works fine. It’s amazing how much more productive practice is with a strict time, like a drummer or metronome provides.
The work seems to be paying off as I’m playing fast lines much cleaner already.