Stuff I been thinking about
Of all the versions of Soundwave, I really dig how they did him in Prime. The design took a while for me to get into, but his characterization was really super strong. He never speaks, only sends Laserbeak out to gather intel, and silently stares, a quiet indictment, like he’s saying “You know what you did…”
I can’t think of any times they got him into any real action sequences other than in season 3 – but it was awesome. That’s really when I really realized how into the show I had gotten. A series with paper thin characters will always threaten to bore me to death, but they did a great job fleshing out every character in Transformers Prime. I’m such a nerd.
The figure himself was picked up at Quake Collectibles for just a couple bucks. I didn’t even know it was Soundwave until I started watching Prime. I had a big office and plenty of room for toys, so I wasn’t too picky about what I was buying, as long as it was from the franchises I care about. I’m trying to get my boxes unpacked, so I can take a look through my G1 toys, but that ain’t happening this week. Catch you guys later.
I like lots of things, but love a select few. Interacting with things I care about gives me energy to be passionate about things. Reminds me that life is fun. This is Predaking:
I had been seeing the Transformers Prime figures, and the Beast Hunter line, wondering what the deal was with that. I hadn’t gone all the way through Prime yet, so I didn’t get it. Most annoying to me was the way it seemed like they were just redressing the old characters in some organic looking armor to make a buck – which in some cases they do – but anyway…
I DID finally finish Prime, and I’m totally in love with it – not going to need all the toys, just named characters as they were animated. I’m not too into the alternate versions unless they remind me of something else.
As far as the show itself went, they developed the characters in new ways that stayed mostly faithful to the G1 show, and even made room for the Maximal/Predacon conflict from Beast Wars, I think. That’s really the thing that does the show for me – it reminds me of Beast Wars. Once I’m done unpacking my toys, I’ll talk about those figures. But if you’ve got a fondness for season 1 of the G1 show – give Prime a chance – then let’s get a bucket of wings and a copy of the new movie, Predacons Rising.
I’m too stoked.
I play Magic the Gathering. Love it like there’s no tomorrow. Addison, our 7 year old REALLY wants to play, but the rules vs her attention span battle tends to get in the way. She used to think I was doing magic tricks. Adorable.
Not so adorable was my 3-1-0 record at the prerelease Pastimes, though – check out the best part of my pool:
Before the tournament, each player had to pick a color preference for the night. Each color had a slick box with a seeded pack of cards from (or compatible with) their chosen color, a promo card, a life counter, and 5 Theros Boosters. I chose white. There was more stuff, but I don’t got all day, I came to gloat. Check the stuff out here.
Not pictured is this guy here, who I dropped after the tournament for a few bucks – ultimately, I prefer to play for free if I can help it –
When I lay out a sealed pool, I sort by color first, then count creatures and removal to see what colors I have the best resources in. This pool was sweet, and the 4x Wingsteed Riders and 3x Leafcrown Dryads got me looking hard for GW playables. 2x Heliod’s Emissary and the Celestial Archon promo really did seal the deal for me. The only real problem I saw was a lack of removal. I had a Divine Verdict, so that was good. Otherwise, I had to rely on playing solid and using combat tricks and heroic triggers to get there.
Since the removal suite in this set is slow and expensive, that made the bestow mechanic and auras in general very playable. And turning a 3-drop 2/2 flyer into a 5/5 flyer attacking on turn 4 is a great feeling. The Wingsteed Riders and Leafcrown Dryads were amazing together – They enabled me to play reasonably fast and aggressive, which is awesome in a slower format that’s trying to get you to hit the big drops later in the game.
Rounds 1 and 2 weren’t too memorable, but round 3 I met my match in a mirror. My opponent had a very similar GW deck and it was a real nail-biter. At the end of game 3, I had him down to 1 with a big, evasive team. Still had a flyer behind for a chump block if he was able to do anything. I had inevitability, 11 life left, and not a care in the world. Then he bestowed Heliod’s Emissary onto his own Wingsteed Rider, making him a 6/6, cracked back with his whole team, the Emissary tapped my blocker, and he 11’d me. Well done.
Round 4 was lovely, since my brain was fading, and it was like 4am. My opponent was playing black, drew no gas and I slaughtered him. Good times.
So… wrap-up sentences are weird… Catch you guys tomorrow!
Lately, a couple times per week I have a morning exactly like this one: Wake up at the crack, Nikki’s asleep on the couch with Abby, I get Addison ready to roll, and drop her at school. Aiden isn’t up yet. I got probably 45 minutes before things go off. So I grab a guitar and start writing.
Fitting in some creative time in between tasks is a great way, I find, to keep my wheels greased. Not every Idea is good, not every song gets completed, but that’s how we get a gem – put out a buncha crap until there’s something worth keeping, focus on it, then work it to completion.
In the last couple weeks, I’ve probably run through about ten new song ideas. So far I think that 3 of them will become one new Something Beautiful song (all heavy ideas in related keys that could work well together) and 2 of them will be new Dale Tippett, Jr songs that I’ll need to demo out and teach to Tin Lolita – after I can get a good lyric set together at least.
All this while working on some studio tracks for Angel Anatomy. And directing for 5 active accounts, AND keeping 3 kids from starving/freezing to death. I’ve been asked how I do it, and really the most important thing is having a partner like Nikki, who can trade parent/creative shifts, depending on the situation. She knows how a project can take over a night, and is always accommodating to my work – but I’m not always accepting of it.
There’s a ‘feel-bad’ that I get when she’s willing to take all the kids so I can woodshed on a track or write for awhile. I can intellectualize it, but I tend to make myself rush, and sometimes even push out sub-par work just so I can get back to helping. I’m getting it under control, but I personally need to remind myself that she does that so I can succeed, not so I can just get by.
That’s enough for now – Imma go be a daddy for a while. Stay out of trouble you guys.
So I’m supposed to be writing my bio right now. And looking up my upcoming show dates. Instead I’m writing this for you, and hanging out with our Aiden and Abby, while Nikki works on some design ideas for Northwest Arts Connection. She has deadlines, and all I really have to worry about is finding a 14-hour energy drink so I can play Magic: the Gathering tonight. More on that in a minute, but for now, here’s Abby:
There’s at least one Dale Tippett Jr feat Tin Lolita show coming up – I’ll let you know details when I know. Something Beautiful will need to get back to work, we have one in November that I need to start thinking about… That’s of course, alongside a TON of solo work, and studio sessions for Angel Anatomy.
Know what’s kind of fun? Putting links into blog posts.
So there. I’ve been productive today, right? Right??
So we’ve been talking about it forEVAR. Trying to get the capital together to do the big pig roast at Meatstravaganza has been a goal that was finally met this past year by Best in Show award winners Steve and Sheryl Grimes.
Too rad, really.
Not sure how many people made it out this year, but it was a major success. Me and Nikki hosted, and after a lot of people got done needing a buncha stuff from me, I got to dancing n singing – as is my custom.
All in all, I’m just thinkin bout the day, and playing with the photo blog template thingy my nerdy girl made… It’s a free download. Here’s a link 😉
So this week was a bit of a wash – HOWEVER, I DID book a slot at the NAC tent for BBQ Fest with Tin Lolita – so that’s a good thing, right? ALSO, I’m waiting on a call back from Ribfest – I booked a wedding ceremony for that weekend already, so we’ll see how that goes. exciting!
In the meantime, we had the 11th annual Meatmorial Day Meatstravaganza! Big fun, tons of food, friends and drinkin! Best moment:
Otherwise, I been working on getting myself back in gear for hitting the gym on the regular and doing LOTS of these:
So stay tuned – I’ll have em videos up in no time. Getting the graphical elements together and picking up my new bottle of energy supplements to get my gumption up! See you soon, you guys!
So I’m always teasing Nikki about how serious she takes everything… Maybe I’m being an ass about it, but I don’t mean to be, sometimes things are just funny to me. Everybody’s got their quirks.
Anyhow, we were out with the kids for breakfast one morning. Addi was coloring, and Nikki was holding her iPhone aloft and trying to get a good pic – as is her custom. She looked super dramatic and focused, so I snapped one of her – as is mine. Took it home and while she busied herself with some design work, I cranked a few of my own out. Hope you like em!
So about once a year, I get asked about what kind of strings I use. It’s usually because somebody wants to get me a Christmas/birthday present, doesn’t know about my toy collection, and also is unaware that I love getting a bunch white socks – as boring as possible, so I don’t have to spend much time matching them.
Anyway, this usually gives me pause, because I have a really hard time remembering what I use on my acoustic guitars – the ones I use the most, but restring the least. So I figured I would write about it today so next winter I can just google “what kind of strings does Dale Tippett Jr use?” and get a faster answer.
Here’s the rundown:
On my six-string electric guitars (my primary is a fixed-bridge Schecter Hellraiser), I use ten-gauge D’addario strings. Playing on a six, I lean on clean or slightly pushed tones. Ten-gauge strings don’t go as sharp when I hit em hard, as is my custom. I use a lot of my acoustic technique on clean/pushed electric guitar music, which means a lot of percussive picking and hard pick strokes. On lighter strings, that causes the notes to go sharp, and that’s a boo all day long.
On my seven string Schecter Hellraiser, I use nine-gauge D’addarios. Nines can bend wildly, which allows for a couple different things. There’s a lot of give, so bending is super easy, and a little vibrato goes a longer way. The action on my seven-string Hellraiser is set REALLY low, so with the strings light and the action low, I can play for hours without much fatigue. On top of all that, Something Beautiful tunes a half-step low (Bb,Eb,Ab,Db,Gb,Bb,Eb), so the strings are even looser than they would be in standard. All these factors make shredding about a million times easier. My technique on that guitar is much more gentle – I let the gain from the amplifier do most of the work, and playing more percussive parts with a lot of incidental string sounds is generally undesirable in a high gain situation.
I always need this video:
I have two Schecter seven-string Avengers, that I write on, but rarely play live anymore. They’re fixed bridge (the seven string Hellraiser has a Floyd Rose on it) so I treat them with a lot less care, and a ton more aggression. Since I hit them so hard, I use ten-gauge strings on them. That keeps them from going sharp, and I can just go to town. It’s a bit of a challenge to play very fast on these two, but sometimes that’s enough to give me a new idea for a solo.
My main acoustic guitar is a zebrawood (what?) Ibanez that my gorgeous Nerdy Girl got me for Valentine’s Day. I was restringing it this morning and that’s what prompted this post. I put a set of EXP11’s on it. That’s D’addario 80/20 bronze, twelve-gauge. what’s that all mean? I don’t really know, but they sound good as hell. Most new strings do, but more on that later. That guitar has the usual Ibanez fast-action, pretty low, so I’m ridiculously happy with it. The electronics amplify beautifully, so I don’t get in awkward micing situations and it’s plenty clear for small rooms. Real balanced output, too, so nothing weird comes from my percussive right-hand technique. So good, and also real good for soloing.
A few years ago, Auggie from 5 Minus X, Hubbard Union and Tin Lolita got me a Fender Twelve-String Acoustic. I tend to go lighter with that one, eleven-gauge – to prevent fatigue on account of the big grip of strings. Technique is more gentle on a twelve, with focus on arpeggios. I even prefer a lighter pick on that. Not sure why though.
So why all D’addario? Durability and cost are really the main driving factors for me. I play more than 200 gigs every year, and that wears my strings down quite a bit. If you’re not gigging very much, you should be changing your strings 3 or so times a year, but with that many shows, my strings go dead faster, and that makes playing a lot less fun. Breakage happens, but mostly on my six-string electric, because I play it so hard. Overall, I have fourteen guitars (I think) and getting super fancy coated strings can get pretty expensive. D’addario’s last long enough and don’t break so often that it complicates gigs.