Isqua Istari

The Wise Wizards

PS Cast: Music Videos, Audio, Visual, Tools, and Associated Rambling

Posted in PSCast:S2 by Ziggy Sunday July 13, 2014 at 00:02

Well, here’s another doozy of an episode. Wide-ranging and soporific.

Enjoy listening to: Sights Sounds and Tools

Transcript below:

[Musical Intro]

Hey there gentlemen, ladies, and children of all kinds? Ages? How does it go?

I don’t know how it goes.

I’m here to talk to whoever’s listening… which is you! You’re listening… I hope… maybe you’re not listening. But if you’re not listening then you won’t hear me saying this!

It’s a rainy day! Gettin’ off work, and I’m tired. I would like to be at home, but I’m in the car. So I’m going to use the time and talk to people.

It was a slow day at work so I spent all day recording a song for a music video. It’s a big A-Capella piece. It’s my first… big… musical… thing. And… uh… it’s kinda garbage.

I mean, it’s not total garbage, but, ehh, it’s kind of, it’s not great. If I wanted to spend maybe another day or two recording it, I could probably get it really nice.

Well, actually, no. I couldn’t. Because I don’t have a recording studio! I’m either recording in the car like this, or I’m recording in my office which is an iso container box. And outside there is an incredibly annoying… you’ll hear it if you listen to the video, or if you listen to my Patreon pitch (I’m gonna do a Patreon thing, and I don’t know if this will come out before or after the Patreon thing comes out but anyway.), you’ll hear it in the background, it’s this really… it’s not terrifying, but it’s just terrible! This screeching sound, like, you know the fingernail on the blackboard sound, where it’s like [vocal screech] screeching fingernails sound? Well it’s kind of like that, only it’s sharp. Like a [short chocked off screech].

I don’t know where it’s coming from. I probably should go find out at some point, and maybe see if I can fix it, because there is something wrong! Nothing should be making that sound if it’s working properly! But anyway…

But it’s intermittent! It’s not even regular! If it was a machine running, you’d think it would be on a regular beat; On a regular rythm; Some sort of interval! But no! It’s this weird, intermittent, screechy, terrible, sound!

And so, even if I spent a lot of time getting perfectly on-tune and getting all the rhythms just right, and getting all the harmonies in, it would still have that terrible screeching sound in the background, so I feel like it would just be wasted effort to try to increase it beyond a certain point. I’ve reached the point of diminishing returns! It was one pretty solid day of effort (maybe about six hours) to record it and edit it and re-record the parts that were bad… And then (of course) they didn’t sound quite the same because there was rain today, so sometimes there was rain noise in the background and sometimes there’s not. And my hand is a different distance from (Editor’s note: I believe I meant “…a different distance from my face with the recorder.” but I hope you get the idea) the recorder. There’s a reason that people have sound studios! So that they can record professional sound!

But I don’t, and so it’s not professional quality. But it was still a lot of fun, and I think it turned out alright. It’s not terrible to listen to… I think. You know, as long as you’re not expecting professional quality stuff. It’s an amateur song. It’s a music video.

And… I wrote it kinda backward.

From the impression I get, people normally play music, and then get a bunch of footage and edit the footage to fit the music. In this case, I went to the park with my kids. I went to Yoro Mountain (which, interestingly is spelled (in English) “Yoro” but of course the “r” and the “l” sounds… in Japanese it’s an intermediate sound, it’s kind of inbetween them, so you could just as easily spell it “Yolo” which is an acronym commonly in use right now, and maybe it’s on its way out, hopefully, but it’s an acronym that stands for “You only live once”)… So, I went to Yoro Mountain with my family, and we went to the park and we climbed up to the waterfall and it was an outing! And I had got…

“I had got”?

What kind of a…

[incomprehensible] go into hilbilly mode!

I had purchased a video photo camera (maybe a few days before) for work (but the company I work for is awesome and they… “Us”! “Them and us”! It’s Peter! I’m going to dinner with him tonight! Peter Zieve, the owner of the company encourages us all to use company equipment for personal stuff, as long as we don’t break anything.) So I carry this camera around with me all the time. So, I had it with my, and I took some video of the kids playing together at the park. And I was thinking “You know? There’s not really a whole lot here. It’s a home video… basically of them playing in the park. I could upload this and show it to people, but why would anyone watch this? It’s just home video!”

So what I decided to do was make a music video.

I had this footage. I went over the footage; I did a survey, figured out what I had. I made a plan… a video composition plan for how long the shots were going to be, and what order they were going to be in and give it some flow, and give it some order…

And then I wrote a song.

I didn’t really write the song. I wrote the lyrics to the song, gave them a kind of rhythm. I kind of had this melody in my head of what I wanted it to be like in general. All that was written down was the lyrics and the timing of the lyrics, the general timing. I messed with that a little bit while I was recording.

Today, I took the lyrics, went into Audacity, made a click track, and recorded me singing the lyrics to whatever tune came to mind, or seemed appropriate. That turned out, for what it was, pretty decent!

If I was going to do it professionally, of course, this would be the demo of the song. And then I would go back and go to a recording studio and record the whole thing over again, all the stuff and there would be instruments and you’d have to annotate everything so that we’d know what notes we were playing and what key it’s in. I have no idea what key it’s in! It might be in-between keys or something! I tried to sing in tune with myself  but that was more than I could do most of the time, and I certainly wasn’t trying to sing in tune with any particular reference pitch.

I had kind of hoped it would turn out better than it did… but then again, it’s only audio right now, so maybe when it goes together with the video it’ll be better! I mean, it won’t be better audio (It’ll probably be worse audio) but maybe it’ll be more attractive in that whole package. Because that was kind of the idea.

The idea was to make the footage of my kids playing on the playground more interesting by having a song that goes along with it. So I hope that works! I haven’t tried it yet; I haven’t put the video on it yet. But now that I’ve got the audio I can do that. (Editor’s note. It is released already! Check out the music video I’ve been talking about here)

I recorded it today (I really wanted to get it done today) because my co-worker is out of the office. So I had the office completely to myself… So I can use it as a kind of poor man’s terrible sound studio. So I did that, and that’s why I did it today instead of waiting to get everything in order or doing it somewhere else. If I do it at home, the kids are either awake, and so they make noise, or they’re sleeping and so I don’t want to wake them. And there’s really nowhere else I can go that’s marginally quiet. I guess I could go out to the park and sing in the park. But my office has my computer and so I can iterate really quickly there. I can record something, slap it into Audacity, see how it sounds, change something or overlay something or add a harmony to it (listen to the melody in my ear and sing a harmony to it, that kind of thing), and it works really well to have that really quick turn-around time. So, it works.

So now that I have the audio, I can go back… or… not go back! Go forward!

I can go forward and edit the video together at my leisure, because editing the video isn’t something that I need quiet in the environment for. It’s all internal to the computer.

Which is an interesting thing! You have a recorder for video, and you can point the video recorder around and point it at what you want to record. But audio is omnidirectional! It records everything! I can’t take this recorder (… and I do, kind of… I mean, I’ve got it… I’m holding it kind of  pointed at myself. Well, actually, I’m holding it at kind of a 45 degree angle. Here it is at 45 degrees. Here it is pointed straight at me. Here it is pointed straight up; I don’t know if you can tell the difference. But, anyway, this is just a comfortable angle for me to hold it at, I don’t know what angle is best for audio quality. I’m not that skilled yet! Maybe I’ll get better at some point.) You can point an audio recorder but it still picks up noise from other directions. You point a video recorder at something, and it’s very cropped out. If you don’t have the thing “in frame” it doesn’t exist in a film.

And of course, this has to do with the relative wavelengths of light and sound.

Audible sound, that we can hear, has wavelengths of anywhere from about 2 meters to about 20 millimeters. I thin it’s somewhere along those lines. The frequency range is, on average, about the size of a human body. So, anything that’s smaller than the wavelength won’t block the wave. It’ll just defract it, or warp it, or reflect it in wierd ways, it makes it blurry, but it doesn’t block it. And so you can’t have an audio recorder that is directional unless it is really big. It has to be (at least) about twenty meters wide before it will block out all the frequencies, the real low frequencies, that a human ear can hear. And of course that’s completely impractical for almost all purposes.

So I’ve got a hand-held audio recorder, and a hand-held video recorder. They’re about the same size, which is incredible to me. The video recorder is… what is this? Sony sv100… it’s really nice! Works great. (Editor’s note. It’s the Sony HDR-AS100V) But they’re about the same size. The video recorder, though, is recording light!

The best I can recall, the wavelength of visible light is around 500 nm. Nanometers! So it’s… what is that? Aahh, nano is ten to the negative nine, so it’s a billion… It’s about a billion times smaller than audio. So if you wanted to have an audio recorder that recorded with the same kind of accuracy and precision and exclusion. You know, you had a directional audio recorder that was like a video recorder in that it could map out not only what sounds there were, but what direction they were coming from and you could have a whole, a visual representation of the sounds, you could do that… but you’d need a recorder that was, like, the size of the Earth to get all the refractions and reflections and stuff…

Well, maybe not the size of the Earth… Let’s see, the size of the Earth, that’s 20… no now I’m thinking kilograms, 23 thousand kilometers? It’s not million… I think it’s 23 thousand. (Editor’s note, more like 6 thousand kilometers, or 6Mm) So it would be… maybe bigger than the Earth, to get an audio recorder that worked on the same principles as a video recorder.

Now, of course, you could have it much smaller. Like I said, you could have it maybe 20 meters, or maybe a few hundred meters and you could get very accurate sound-scape and directional sound and all that kind of thing. (But I don’t have that!)

So, as a result, if you want to record video, you can do it pretty much anywhere, as long as you can get the background and the lighting correct. And you can just point your camera somewhere, and the environment doesn’t matter. But if you want to record audio, you have to have the whole environment strictly regulated, because of the wavelength of audible sound, it’s so much larger that it’ll just sneak in and get in everywhere! It’ll sneak through cracks, it’ll come through the walls.

So sound studios…

And a buddy of mine (who hosts my website actually) is building a sound studio in his house. And it’s a lot of work! Because you’ve got to sound proof the walls! He’s got fancy sound-proof drywall! I think he’s going to install sound-proof doors! So it’s a lot more work to do sound than to do visuals.

And on top of that, it seems like people appreciate (or have a higher estimation of) visual work than they do of audial work. There’s some credit there to be given, because visual work is two dimensional and audio is one dimensional… yeah, one dimensional… or even zero dimensional I guess? It’s a frequency space… anyway! So there’s more to work with, and you also have different colors in visual… ahh, you have three colors in visual when you have only one color, basically, in sound… it’s just…


It’s a much larger range!

I mean, that’s so interesting!

Sound! We… our dynamic range of hearing is, I think about a thousand. It’s three orders of magnitude from the lowest frequencies you can hear to the highest frequencies you can hear. And my ears are very sensitive, actually, I can hear outside of the upper end at least, I don’t know about the lower end, but definately on the upper end I’m outside of the normal range of human hearing. But it’s still around a thousand. (Or maybe it’s a million? I don’t remember. It’s kilohertz. Yeah! Twenty… it’s 22 kHz I think! It’s around 20Hz to 22 kHz. If I’m remembering correctly (Editor’s note. In this case, I was) I’m not at my computer, so I’m stupid, like they say in XKCD, if you don’t have access to wikipedia. But I think it’s somewhere around there) But visual light is only… not even one order of magnitude in frequency range! It’s like… 400 nm to 800 nm, so like, double? It’s one octave. Which is tiny compared to sound! Our ears can pick up, like I said, a thousand times! You have a thousand times the frequency from the very low frequencies to the very high frequencies.

So, there is a lot more to work with in the sound spectrum, but it’s different! It’s on a different axis! It’s all mushed together in one spot and layered frequencies on top of eachother. Whereas vizual is a very few frequencies that your eyes can actually pick out mixed together in different ways. You know, there’s basically only three or four frequencies that your eyes can pick out, that are mixed together, and then spread out in two dimensions, so they’re spatially located.

So, visually, things are much more spatial, and audially they’re much more tactile I guess? There’s a broader range of texture that you can get with sound.

Going back to my point!

People tend to estimate the skill of visual artists higher than those of audial artists. At least, it seems that way.

And I’m not sure what that is! It takes a lot more effort to get good recordings than it does to get good visuals. Because, like I said, we’re so much smaller than the frequency of sound, than we are of light, that you can’t block out the stuff you don’t want, you can’t make audial filters or audial processing equipment mechanically, you have to do it all electronically or in post processing basically. It’s a difficult underappreciated discipline, and I think audio engineers should get more props.

I mean, visual guys are great too, and I do visuals as well, and I think I’m better at visuals, honestly, than I am at audio. But audio is hard, and I don’t think people really appreciate how hard it is.

And the coincidence of the average wavelength of human speech, and the size of the human body is interesting! I kind of wonder if the same holds true for other animals, like if the average frequency of elephant noises is elephant sized. Because I know they can make sub-sonic noises, so they make larger wavelengths. And smaller animals make smaller noises. Is it just based on the size of their vocal apparatus? Or, I mean, it’s got to be their vocal apparatus, and also their resonant cavity. The… what they use to shape their sounds. Their nasal cavity or mouth or whatever. But generally that’s proportinate in mammals? I would assume? To body size?

Anyway, you can tell how big something is by the sound it makes. Roughly, anyway.

I mean, that’s for animals. For inanimate objects, it’s related to… also the size of the object! If you just have it floating in the air and you strike it then it will oscillate in some way. And usually it oscillates in a non-harmonic way, so that it makes a weird sound. It doesn’t make a pure tone, it makes a mixture of a bunch of different tones.

([yawn] Ooh, so tired. Why am I so tired? It’s because I stayed up so late last night, working on my Patreon page. I did all the icons yesterday. All the icons. So many icons. They’re fun though! It’s fun to make stuff again; Make little things. Doodads. Icons are like a microcosm. But anyway, I was talking about audio.)

If you’ve got a large object and you strike it it’ll make a low tone because it takes a long time for the oscillations to travel across the object. So if an object is made of something that has a very high speed of sound, like iron or rock. Rock has an even (ceramics and rocks have) an even higher… Maybe they’re both the same… I think it’s based on the young’s modulus of the material. Anyway, hard things, generally, have a higher speed of sound, and therefore they sound smaller! Because their frequencies are higher! So if you have a very big object, but it’s made of a very hard material, it will make a higher frequency.

You can also tell if an object is “sound.” And we use this word “sound” in English, to mean “solid”, partially, I think, because if you strike an object, and it has a primary frequency, a single primary frequency, that has a long resonance, it doesn’t have a short falloff. So, like, if you have a rock and you rap it, it’ll go “clack” and it has a very sharp falloff. If you have a hunk of iron that’s of the same size and you rap it, it’ll go “clink” which may sound about the same, but your ear can tell that there’s a difference there. The “clink” has a primary frequency; It’s one sound, one main wavelength that corresponds to the size of the object. And if it’s a solid piece of iron, it’ll go “cling”! And that “-ing” at the end that we use for onomatopoeia to represent the sound is the long falloff, the tail of that sound, the bell sound, the “Clinnnnnnnnnnnnn…” the falloff there. And that’s because if its sound, if it’s whole, and doesn’t have cracks in it, doesn’t have inclusions of other materials in it, then it’ll have a single frequency and it’ll have a long falloff, because there isn’t internal structure that absorbs the sound.

If there IS a crack in something, and you hit it and it goes “clink” or “clank” then… and the “a” the “claaaa” “a” sound is internal, multiple internal frequencies fighting with eachother on the inside of the object. Because there is some sort of inclusion that seperates it into two or more primary sections which each have their own primary frequencies. So you’re always going to have some primary frequencies, and the point is to have an object that has a single primary frequency so that it… so that you can tell that it doesn’t have inclusions. It doesn’t have cracks or flaws of some kind.

Rocks go “click” most of the time because rocks are, as a whole, just completely chock full of cracks everywhere! All in side them! All over the place! Rocks are harder than most metals, but they’re also easier to break. And one of the reasons is because they’re harder, but one of the reasons is that they’re just so full of cracks. And you don’t see them, because the cracks are very small, but rocks are actually very weak for the material (the chemical material) that they’re made from. If you have… and I don’t know any of the technical names for it… Alumina… or I think alumina… aluminum oxide I think, is very very hard! And you can use it as a ceramic, if you get the whole thing without any cracks in it it’s very strong! But I think aluminium oxide also shows up in nature a lot and it’s… it’s very brittle and it’s crumbly almost because even though it’s hard, there’s a bunch of little pieces all glued together with other chemicals or with, probably… carbides? Or, not carbides… car… ca… Calcium! Calcites! Calcium? Anyway, Calcium is pretty soft. So you’ve got these calcites that kinda glue stuff together, because there was water in it and the water evaporates and the calcites kind of glue everything all together. This is all, you know, rubbish geology, by the way. If you want to know about this stuff, look it up. I’m… don’t take me as an authority, but… it’s just interesting to think about! Interesting to have…

Because it all goes back to sound! (Editor’s note: Goodness, this is a distractable episode! I really was pretty tired. Sorry for the rambling) If you have this object that you can, that you can hit it or strike it or knock on it and you can tell from how it sounds what it’s like inside! Even though you can’t see it!

And it, again, goes back to the size of the frequencies. The wavelengths. If we were so small that light had about the same frequency as our bodies, then we would be able to “see” through things roughly one wavelength thick. And the same thing happens with sound, Sound will go straight through things that are less than a wavelength thick. And they can go through things that are even thicker than that if they’re transparent to sound.

You can use your ears to “see” inside things! You can take a present and pick it up and shake it, and hear what the thing sounds like inside. You can “rap” on things and, like I was saying, and the “soundness” of an object, the inclusion of cracks or the not inclusion of cracks is all included in that. So if you have an object… and this is really true of ceramics, because ceramics, being so hard, are very prone to crack formation, and cracks will affect the quality of the sound. So if you have a glass and you strike it with your fingernail and it rings, it goes “ting” then it’s (probably) sound. It probably doesn’t have any cracks in it. If you strike it and it goes “clank” or “clink” then maybe there’s a crack in it, that you can’t see maybe.

And if you get very high quality ceramic, ceramic dish ware or ceramic bowls or things like that, it works especially well for high quality very thin ceramic bowls, you can take the bowl and strike it and it will ring like a bell. And it is a beautiful sound because you can hear that the internal structure of that object is intact, that there are no cracks, there are no inclusions, It’s uniform in density, it’s uniform in strength, and it has a good shape, it has good thickness, the whole thing has the same thickness all the way through. It’s a very gratifying sound, especially when you know what it means, instead of hearing the normal… because normally pottery has small cracks in it. It is not uniform thickness, and is not made of high quality materials, and so you have a piece of pottery and you strike it and it’ll go “plank” or “clnk” like a rock. But when you have a really high quality piece, and you strike it and it goes “ding” it’s just… ohh, it’s lovely.

And I had, at one time, a very nice ceramic bowl, and I don’t know what happened to it! It disappeared at some point maybe in the move, or one way or another I forgot it somewhere or left it someplace. I used to take it with me and carry food in it (Editor’s note: Here comes another rambling tangent). It was fantastic! And it had that quality where you could strike it and it would ring. But, uh, I’d like to get some more like that eventually… more pottery… but I mean, the problem with pottery of course is that it’s brittle, and if you drop it, it’ll shatter!

And that doesn’t happen with iron or copper!

So, maybe I should just get an iron bowl, or a gold bowl. That’s… there we go! I’ll just get a bowl made of solid gold. Because gold, of course, has a great property that it is ductile, it’s really really ductile (which means that it will bend instead of breaking) and so if you have a gold bowl you might drop it on the floor and it might go “splat” but you’ll be able to pick it up again and kind of bend it back into shape with your hands and it will be just fine, and it’ll still hold water. And it’s also a metal, which means that it conducts heat well, which isn’t always good if you’ve got hot things or cold things, but it’s very nice for heating things up or cooling things off, if you want to change the temperature of things. And of course it’s incredibly expensive. But, you know, that would be nice! It would be nice to have one of those at some point, a gold bowl, just carry it around with my all the time, use it for everything. It’d be great!

I like the idea of having tools at hand that are portable and broadly useful. Like this audio recorder I’m recording on right now! This is an Olympus WS600S Digital Voice Recorder, and it has been great. I carry it with me everywhere. It’s, uh, I think it was about a hundred bucks when I got it and it’ll probably stay around that price. You’ll get a newer model and it’ll be around a hundred bucks. But it produces good quality audio. It’s not professional quality, but it’s good enough. It’s certainly good enough for me. And it’s really handy for recording things, for if I want to remember something later, I have this idea, just pop out the recorder, record it, and away you go!

And the previous way that people would do this was with tape recorders. And people would carry around tape recorders and record thoughts on tape recorders and things, and record interviews, and this is just the next step, it’s the same kind of thing, it’s got flash memory in it, It’s got a USB plug and you plug it into your computer and it’ll hold, I don’t know, twenty hours of audio or something rediculous like that, a huge amount of audio, and records straight to MP3. It’s not… I mean, it’s compressed… so it’s not perfect. But, uh, ehh, that’s fine. It’s understandable. And it’s amazing how well it works, for what it is. It’s a $100 piece of equipment. It’s the size of a… it’s like the thickness of a pencil, and maybe the width of four pencils, and the length of my hand, and it’s very light, it’s all plastic. It’s got a little display in it. It’s great! It’s got a few little settings in it, but basically I just leave it at “medium”. Anyway… sound recorder.


I like the idea of having tools around that you can carry with you, like a pencil. But a pencil isn’t quite as useful as an audio recorder, because [with] a pencil, you need something to write on, whereas with an audio recorder, it writes on itself…

I guess you could get a pencil (now that would be cool) a pencil that had some sort of inertial system in it so that you could write with the pencil and then the pencil remembers. They’ve probably made that already. I’ll bet they have. I’ll bet someone’s come up with that, where it’s got an inertial… an inertiall, uhhh, dead reckoning system inside so that you could write with it and it’ll be able to re-play the path that the tip made on the paper. That’d be pretty cool! But, again, you’d need something to write on, and it’s not very useful to be just writing in the air. I guess you could use it to trace things. To, like, scan in three dimensional objects. That would be interesting, three dimensional shapes, or trace around stuff… It’d have to be really good intertial though. Or have some sort of visual dead-reckoning thing where it could recognize it’s surroundings. Like have a few cameras in it, and use the mouse tracking kind of thing where it does mouse tracking in multiple directions and then use that to get your location. I don’t know. I’m sure there’s a way you could do it. Have, like, a stylus… an encoding stylus of some kind.

Get on it cool tech people!

But one of those, a video recorder, an audio recorder, and then tools. It’s very handy to have a number of tools around. You can have a… oh man, what do you use for tools? You know, sticks and a rod of metal, like a screwdriver, and a hammer, and a file (a file is really handy), um, mabe a keyhole hacksaw.

I don’t carry a lot of tools with me. I’ve got a tool bag that I’ve got at home, and I’ve got a tool bag that I’ve got at work, and I don’t keep tools in the car. This is a rental car, but I keep tools in the car when I’m at home, in my own car. Although, I don’t have a car now, they’re all sold. I’ll have to get one when I get back. Or rent one, I don’t know! We’ll see!

If this Ki…a… if this Patreon thing (I almost said “Kickstarter”) If this Patreon thing takes off maybe I won’t get a car! Won’t need one! That’d be great.

But I like the idea of having a few high quality tools… like a bowl. A bowl and a spoon… I’ve got a spoon that I found on a walk with my buddy Andy Wilkinson. And… I think it was Andy and Daniel and I were walking around; Walking around Camarillo and we found this spoon on the ground! It was in the middle of the road! So I picked it up and washed it off, and of course it was in perfect shape. And, you know, not perfect shape, but it was in pretty good shape. And, uh, it’s fantastic! It works well! It’s a big stainless steel spoon! Very handy! And, you know, a mirror. That kind of thing where you have an assortment of general use things… Gas mask, that’s handy. Isolation stuff, Safety goggles, hard hat, boots, clothes.

And most people wear some tools on them. They wear their clothes. You can use clothes to wipe things up, and you can tear them and use the cloth for other stuff, and you can… all kinds of stuff you can do with your clothes! And they’re protective as well! Very very handy. So clothes are a tool that everyone keeps with them, or most people do, if they can afford it. But I think it would be wise for us, as a culture, for people to carry more tools with them. We can, it’s not a great burden, people are not traveling huge distances by foot these days. So, carrying more tools, it’s not really a great burden. You know, carrying a screw driver and a file and a mirror, and audio and video recorders and that kind of stuff. Just a basic tool-kit.

Maybe I’ll put together some time, the fundamental tool kit for any situation kind of thing.

A knife is handy to have… although a knife is not really that important. You can make a knife out of a lot of stuff you find around. You know, a rock! You can make a knife out of a rock just by breaking it properly. You can take silverware and sharpen it, you know in prisons people make shivs all the time. So, having a knife isn’t super important. People will be like “Oohh, I want a knife!” I mean, it is handy. But it’s not really that useful, I’ve found. I used to carry a knife with me all the time (Editor’s note: Four separate knives, in fact, all with their own specialized purpose. There’s the eating knife, the box cutter, the dirty knife, and the hold-out dagger hidden in my shoe.) but now that I’m in Japan I don’t carry a knife with me at all (Editor’s note: mostly because it’s basically illegal). And I haven’t really missed it that badly. I do occasionally, but there are situations where you use a knife in where you can use other things in just as easily. So maybe a knife wouldn’t go into the bare minimum essentials kit that I would have in mind.

But definately recorders, for recording things (Editor’s Note: Duh), because you can always analyze stuff after it happens if you can remember it accurately. And video recorders, audio recorders (they’re our primary senses but) they are both ways to remember more accurately than the human mind is usually… I’m not going to say “capable of” because people are capable of a great number of things, but the human mind is usually accustomed to remembering. And you can always throw the data away later if you don’t need it. I throw a lot of data away.

So that was kind of a diversion there! Mostly about audio but also about tools a little bit!

Um, I’m trying to navigate the streets here around my appartment… Getting close to being done!

I have been Paul Spooner! This is the Paul Spooner Podcast! And… I’ll sing a little diddy, to accompany you on your way out to do other things.

Enjoy! And I’ll see you later.


Er… I won’t. I’ll hear you.


Ahh, you’ll hear me. You’ll hear me later. There we go.


[Marginally Musical Outro]

Man, I was hoping the beeper would be a little more musical. But it’s not!

Oh well.

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