J.D. Moyer

beat maker, sci-fi writer, self-experimenter

No Car Update: Month 16

Not my car. Probably not your car either.

So we gave up. Or gave in. After more than a year without a car, we decided to get one.

We knew we wanted a hatchback. You can fit anything in a hatchback. One time we purchased a bunch of furniture at IKEA, pulled our Fiat 500 into the loading zone next to a guy in a Ford F-150 (that’s a biggish pickup truck, for you European readers). He gave us a dubious look until we popped the hatch, folded down the back seat, and loaded in those flat-packs no problem. I think we got a tiny nod of appreciation.

After reading too many reviews and watching too many YouTube video reviews, I narrowed it down to the Yaris, the Prius c (both Toyota), the VW Golf or eGolf, and the Honda Fit. I created an account on TrueCar to get some estimates. I also called a few dealerships directly to get some lease quotes.

That’s when things started going south.

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A Few Things I’ve Learned in My Forties


Getting older doesn’t automatically make you wiser, but there’s more experience to draw on. One theory suggests that this is why we appear to think more slowly as we age–the dataset is bigger but the processor speed is the same.

Sign me up for cybernetic processor enhancement.

Forties (mid, edging into late) is still youngish, and I feel young, despite more than a few gray whiskers in my beard. As long as I eat my berries, anyway. 100% foraged, either from my backyard or the shelves of Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Here are a few of my hard-earned wisdom nuggets from the last few years, for your entertainment (and possibly +1 to your WIS score).

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Berry Beneficial (Health Benefits of Blueberries and Goji Berries)

Now that I’m bipedal again and regaining strength in my foot, I’m focussing on getting back in shape. Part of that is increasing my exercise (both strength and cardio) and the other part is some dietary modifications to get a bit leaner and improve my general health.

In terms of diet, the more I learn about berries, the more I want to eat them (and the more of them I want to eat).

All berries are high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, and low in sugar and calories. But for today’s post I’ll pick two–blueberries and goji berries–and review some of the research.

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Stunning New Ambient Album from Marshall Watson, Free Track, Personal Update

While I don’t announce every Loöq Records release on this blog, Marshall Watson’s new ambient/analog electronica album is exceptional. Listen to “Attack of the Little Straw” from I’d Rather Be In Space to get a taste. You can download a different track from the album here if you join the Loöq mailing list (about one email per month).

 

From the press release:

“I’d Rather Be In Space” is a stunning collection of instrumental music from accomplished composer Marshall Watson. Falling into the broad categories of electronic and ambient, the album transcends both. The sound palate is rooted in the classic instruments of analogue sound synthesis – Korg, Juno, Moog, Prophet. Piano, guitar and field recordings were also utilized. The result is a transformative album with a timeless feel. Enjoy this future classic.

In the artist’s words: I’d Rather Be In Space is a collection of improvisational and generative music, performed and recorded in San Francisco in 2016. It is my soundtrack for ordinary days as viewed through the windows of buses, and experienced on the city’s sidewalks and alleys. For this work, I relied less on the computer, and attempted to capture the music of the moment without a lengthy editorial process (if any.) I found myself getting lost in the sound as the machines interacted with each other, and often times, I just hit record and let the sequences run, playing along and hoping for the best. The result of this vérité style approach, is an ambient, cyclical, synthesizer- heavy soundscape inspired by works of Eno, Reich, Smith, and the city of San Francisco itself.

Available on: iTunes | Beatport | Junodownload

Personal Update

I’ve been posting less often on this blog lately, mostly because I’ve been writing short stories, including an eleven-thousand-word novelet “The Verdant” which I just finished. Selling my second story gave me a jolt of motivation–I’m trying to level up.

I’ve also been putting in more studio time, both with Mark Musselman (the other half of Momu) and Spesh (my business partner in Loöq Records and the other half of Jondi & Spesh).

But another reason I’ve been blogging less is a feeling of dissatisfaction with my blogging voice. Sometimes when I read older posts, they hold up. Other times they seem impersonal, or too know-it-all, or so abstract as to be useless and/or boring for the reader. It’s frustrating to feel irritated with your past work, especially when it’s up there for all the world to see. But I’m not going to edit anything or take it down. Ultimately that’s part of what a personal blog is–a record of a changing person with evolving ideas (including the awkward bits).

I’ll get my blogging groove back, and I’ll keep writing about pretty much the same things (I’ve got posts planned about the health benefits of berries, a long-term experiment with l-tyrosine, my brief experiment with Google AdSense ads, lessons I’ve learned in my mid-forties, and a bunch of other topics). My plan to get through this “awkward voice” thing that’s happening is just to blast through it.

Day to day, in addition to writing and making beats, I’m rehabbing my foot (it’s great to be bipedal again), looking for a new D&D game, watching The Great British Baking Show with my family, reading short stories in Fantasy & Science Fiction and Asimov’s, training up Leia the puppy, and dealing with the logistics of my kid changing schools (more on that later).

Feeling grateful to be alive, walking around on two feet, having most of my family in good health, and many other fortunate events. Hope the same is true for you.

Coming Clean On A Few Things (and an Announcement)

Yes I drink spinach now (sometimes while looking at reddit).

One of the peculiarities of keeping a personal blog is that the things you write about yourself diverge from your current state, either quickly or slowly. I feel an obligation to you, the reader, to occasionally provide an update re: how my views or habits have changed from what I’ve previously written. So without further ado …

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New Published Story “The Fo’dekai Artifact”

My science fiction short story “The Fo’dekai Artifact” appears this month in the web magazine Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores. This is my second fiction sale at a professional rate, doubling my number of published stories and bringing me two-thirds of the way towards joining the SFWA as an active member (which bestows the privilege of voting on works for the Nebula award, among other things).

The story has shades of Cthulhu/Lovecraft, featuring a race of mind-controlling squid-like aliens, but is primarily a science fiction tale that explores one way an expansionistic civilization might spread throughout the galaxy (without giving too much away: tiny ships, storing information in an infectious DNA-like molecule). Thematically, it’s a story about which class and cultural groups might be more open to the possibility of alien immigration/invasion, and why.

Cosmic Roots And Eldritch Shores charges a modest $1/mo. annual subscription fee (sign up for 2017 here). Well worth it, if you’re a fan of short science fiction and fantasy.

Reference photo: “Underwater Dance” the Russian photographer Willyam Bradbury Stock Providers: “Octopus” http://www.deviantart.com/art/Octopus-473740570 by Kayla Ascencio http://www.kaylafantasyart.com/fantasygallery.html “octopus”  http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/art/octopus-31560066 and “Tentacles 2”  http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/art/tentacles2-31560216?q=&qo= by Guyang   http://mysilentsky-stock.deviantart.com/ “Octo ll” http://idnurse41.deviantart.com/art/Octo-II-136435437 and “Octopus Stock”   http://www.deviantart.com/art/Octopus-stock-136411455 by Pamela   http://idnurse41.deviantart.com/

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