Easter service

These two make quite a pair. It’s a pear tree! That’s a joke, son!

Spring isn’t a date on the calendar. It’s more of a feeling. A warm one, if you’re lucky.

For me, the vernal equinox is rarely the starter’s pistol. I don’t hear that big bang until Herself asks whether her Soma Double Cross is ready to ride after a long winter’s nap on its hook in the garage.

Turn your radio on.

By that reckoning, spring arrived in The Duck! City on April 9, Easter Sunday.

It was a few degrees short of ideal — I like to think of spring as that time when I can unsheath the arms and knees, charge those solar batteries, collect a little free vitamin D.

But if we had to roll out in arm and knee warmers, so what? As you know, you go to ride with the spring you have, not the spring you might want or wish to have at a later time.

And exactly one week later the experience gives rise to a spring-feverish episode of — yes, yes, yes — Radio Free Dogpatch. The doctor will see you now.

P L A Y    R A D I O    F R E E    D O G P A T C H

• Technical notes: Once again the sonic environment was less than ideal at the indifferently equipped Infernal Hound Sound studios, so I thought I’d try an audio experiment. This episode was recorded using an Audio-Technica ATR2100-USB microphone (now discontinued) hooked via XLR to a Zoom PodTrak P4, which in turn was connected to my 13-inch 2014 MacBook Pro. Recording and editing was handled via Hindenburg Journalist software (since rechristened Hindenburg Lite), with a sonic bump from Auphonic. Music and sound effects are courtesy of Zapsplat (shoutout to David-Gwyn Jones for “Looking Back Over the Hill”); the Free Music Archive (a snappy salute to the U.S. Army Blues for “Walk That Dog”, from “Live at Blues Alley”); Freesound, and Your Humble Narrator.

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31 Responses to “Easter service”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Good stuff again, pilgrim!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Thankee, sah. The Hindenburg software I used is aimed at voice types — podcasters, audiobookers, radio — so it lacks the musical whizbangs of GarageBand, which I’ve used to put together background tunes.

      In some ways Hindenburg is easier; in others, more difficult. There are a few filters and plugins that confound me completely. I’ma have to study up some.

    • Pat O’Brien Says:

      I see on Hindenburg web site that they have tutorials on it. Audio interfaces, editing software, and microphones all hooked together. Gets complicated real quick, doesn’t it? Didn’t you have a small mixer with a USB output?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yup, I had a Behringer Xenyx 1204USB mixer, but it was real old-school with a lot of cabling and skull sweat involved — total overkill for my little one-ring circus — so I had Herself sell it on eBay.

      The Zoom PodTrak P4 that I’m using now is a whole lot simpler. It’s basically a swole-up version of the H5 Handy Recorder that I’ve used forever. Much easier on the old brain-pan, sets up a mix-minus for phone interviews so I don’t have to, and lets me record both to software on the Mac and to an SD card in the PodTrak P4 — belt and suspenders in case something goes pear-shaped.

      Truth be told, I could run this little lounge act of mine with a USB mic and GarageBand. But it’s fun to play with the toys.

  2. Shawn Says:

    I just had to add to your rhythmic Bon A-pear-tif:

    It’s a-pear-ant that those pair of pear-ly white appendages may no longer ap-pear to require the benefit of long legged ap-pear-al.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Alas, the appendages of which you speak still look more like the inside of a pear than the outside of a pecan. The weather shifted on us after Easter and we had to run in pants and long sleeves yesterday, though today I could’ve skipped the arm/knee warmers if I’d started my ride a bit later.

  3. SAO’ Says:

    Radio Free … and every one of us would pay double if you’d ask!

  4. SAO’ Says:

    Your pear tree looks like it got a four week head start on ours. We just barely have a hint of the bud velvet, guessing we won’t see flowers until Mother’s Day.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That photo goes to show you how the camera can lie like a Supreme Court justice. Our poor pear tree is on its last legs, half alive, half dead. If it were in a superhero blockbuster it would be Two-Face from “Batman.”

  5. B Lester Says:

    Glad to hear that your weather is reliable. Here in Cheeseheadland we finished up a beautiful week of sunny in the 70s and 80s when my soccer team had its first victory on Saturday. Yesterday we had another victory in the rain at 38F. This morning finds us under an inch-ish of snow that won’t begin to melt until sometime later tomorrow. Sheesh.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, man, I hate it when that happens. You get suckered into thinking winter is over and then pow, right in the kisser. Gives you some appreciation for activities like bowling, where it rarely snows and you don’t even need to bring your own shoes.

      • B Lester Says:

        I do enjoy your podcasts. As a former recording studio rat, I have to admire the production quality. A lot of Firesign Theater in there.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      B, I’m tickled to hear that you enjoy my occasional amateur hour (or six minutes, which is more like it).

      And yep, The Firesign Theatre was a major influence on my interest in audio. I started listening to them in high school and have a ton of their albums and a book or two. Saw them live once at a small venue in Denver; for me, it was the equivalent of a Beatles concert.

      A couple of my lifelong friendships formed around the Firesigns when a bunch of strangers started jawing at a party and wound up doing the entire “Nick Danger: Third Eye” bit.

    • SAO’ Says:

      I read “soccer in the rain…” and thought, yeah, that used to be the best

      Then I finished “ … at 38° F.” and remembers, nope, zero fun.

      I do remember playing a game where the ball felt like it was frozen solid, whole team was hobbling the class the next day.

      • B Lester Says:

        Yeah, I had a coworker who was a high school football referee. We used to let him have it during late November playoffs. “Hey Chip, it’s 35 and driving rain. Gonna be fun tonight, eh?” Those days he’d rather have snow cuz as least that doesn’t soak you to the bone.

        Still, I’m proud of the team as we’re 2-0 right now versus the fall season record of 0-7-1.

  6. khal spencer Says:

    Spring is nice but my allergies are horrible, compounded by the 10-20 mph winds up here blowing pollen everywhere.

    Well, I pulled the trigger on Socialist Security today. Figure I’ve been paying into it all these decades. Might as well pull in a few bucks before the Grim Reaper corners me.

  7. Herb from Michigan Says:

    I started drawing at 66 but timed it 4 months too early so I was still getting a paycheck and then came some pesky taxes I didn’t see coming. But on the bright side, I took the SS money and maxed out I-Bond purchases when the rates became very tasty. Now, we hear the Rethugs want to do away with I-Bonds claiming the government should not compete with the private sector. Ha! It’s because the Fed can’t make those big donations to their (ahem) campaign fund like Wall St does.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We were late to those tasty I-Bonds, dammit. Herself changed financial advisors and the new crowd tipped us to them. I wish I had a better grasp of this financial voodoo but I just can’t force what remains of my round mind into those square holes.

      We didn’t need to tap into my SS with Herself still on the job, but goddamnit I wanted to git some — git some! — before Charlie McCarthy and The Turtle pour it all into Clarence Thomas’s retirement fund or down some other entitled shitheels’ ratholes.

  8. Herb from Michigan Says:

    Well ya gotta pity poor Clarence for only pulling down $280K a year. I mean, how’s a fella supposed to stay in beans and bacon and Mercedes at that? Plus he’s gotta have high cable TV bills to keep Fox News a going 24/7 so he knows how to render his astute decisions.

  9. Michael Porter Says:

    I loved those ‘cross days in Monument Park. We still have Miche’s award for placing in the women’s race. Of course it has your artwork on it. Will send a photo one of these days

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That was a good space, wasn’t it? I liked that it was possible to put together a couple of long off-street rides from there — south to Fountain, north to Palmer Lake and even the Greenland Open Space, or west through Bear Creek Regional Park and into the mountains.

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