The year 2017 in review – Part 1

loooooooooong post.

I’m gonna start this on 12/3 and work it through December. Just cuz. Ooh…I know…I’ll do it in Parts so you can skip around through the boring stuff if you want.

So…I promised I would let y’all know the massive changes that occurred in 2017.

Before we get to that…a little backstory.

A time map, if you will:

Skagit house: 1990-2003
Arthur Place house: 11/2003 to 11/2017
Sagewood house: 11/2017 to today (unless I do something to tick off the HOA and get kicked out).

We moved into the house on Arthur Place sometime around 14 years ago (November of 2003?). At the time we moved in, we lived only 2 doors away from it and we knew the folks who lived there. I remember the “move” being so amazingly easy because I somehow had a trailer of sorts that I could move by myself (e.g., no car needed). So I would just load that baby up with crap, walk it down the street about 20-30 yards and throw it in the garage of the Arthur Place house. Besides the proximity being a factor, there was also the fact that the original house on Skagit was a mere 1800 ft2 whereas the Arthur Place house is close to 4000 ft2. Ergo: we didn’t have a ton of crap going FROM 1800 ft2 TO 4000 ft2 (yeah…you know where this is going don’t you!). A brief foreshadowing here: after living 15 years in the Arthur Place house, we moved to a 2000 ft2 dream home and then attempted to figure out what to do with 15 years of accumulated stuff sitting in 4000 ft2 of space and how that might get compressed down into 2000 ft2. Lesson: it cannot.

Back to the 15 years at Arthur Place. I remember we moved on a Thanksgiving weekend if memory serves. We had the wonderful help of some friends (and their army of children…heh heh) and because of the details already mentioned above, it wasn’t a difficult move at all.

When we moved in, the house was basically in pretty good shape. The landscaping was excellent including a little miniature putting green with about 4-5 holes in the backyard on an upper terrace.

Also…the exterior had been painted (finding out later: painted lousily in the wrong temperature by college kids who didn’t know you shouldn’t do that) and the interior was practically carpeted EVERYWHERE…I think even the bathrooms had that berber carpet that was so popular (still?).

No holes in any walls. All doors intact, hinged, and working. All windows pristine. All irrigation watering stations working. No known leaks in roof. All neighbors cool, relaxed, and chill. All fences between said neighbors in working condition and looking good. Pets on the Selby side: reasonable. I think we brought over 2 cats or so and a single dog. All landscaping trimmed, neat, alive(!), and perfectly manicured by previous owner. All appliances working reasonably well. Actually…I will take a time out right here and point out that the ONE SINGLE APPLIANCE that could be described as the “hero” appliance of the entire house was (wait for it) this GIANT hot water heater that refused to break down or stop working. I think I replaced both sets of “heater elements” (can’t remember what they’re called) one single time and it was easy and a consumer such as myself could do it. Other than those two replacements, this water heater was like the rock of Gibraltar. I seem to recall the previous owner having FOUR(!) girls (and a wife). So I think I see what happened here. In the Selby case: we had 3 girls, one boy who took as many baths/showers as a girl and then I suppose normal guys (me and eldest son). The point is…that water heater was working overtime ALL THE TIME. To this day (having been in the new house at Sagewood now for a few weeks), and having communication with the new owners of Arthur Place…that water heater is still going strong. Meanwhile…the tiny, miserable, pathetic (it’s not its fault) water heater in the new house goes cold with ONE SINGLE BATH. Sigh.

Okay…where was I? Oh…naming all the things RIGHT with the house at Arthur Place. We had the place for 14 years total (almost to the day!). We started out with rather small children (the oldest was only 12). The house was huge because we didn’t have a lot of stuff. I remember how difficult it was just to FIND a child in that mansion. At the previous Skagit residence (two doors down…remember…try to keep up), I could stand at the top of the split level entrance and bellow and my voice would reach every corner of the house (mostly). At Arthur Place, I could spend a significant amount of time hunting down one or more miscreants (or their miscreant friends) and it almost became like a game (one which was not fun). At one point, the kids and their friends from Dayton devised a game called “Aliens in the dark” and guess whose house was perfect for that…Arthur Place.

What then began to happen is what happens constantly in our universe (or does it?): entropy. Between entropy, and the never ending revolving door of friends (some who lived there for several months at a time), the house and grounds began to decay, very slowly at first, but gaining speed in its later and final years of our ownership.

And that is all I have for today because I need to eat something and take the dog for a walk…because I can and because this newest neighborhood is so amazing to look at (eye candy for my middle-aged tired peepers).

Until next time,

K

New Subscribers (this means YOU!)

ALRIGHTY!!! I just received word back from the WordPress folks and I now know what’s going on with my subscription to the blog thang.

So…turns out the ~400 subscribers are more a reflection of the Faceplant (er…Facebook) friends of mine than actual subscribers.

What that means is that I can safely say:

We’re open for business for anyone to subscribe to the blog here at KevinSelby.com!!

Just stick yer email addy in the box at the bottom of most pages (maybe go to the bottom of THIS post you are reading and it should be there) and you’ll get a confirmation email that you gotta complete and all that. BUT…it allows us to manage this here blog subscription thing muuuuuch easier *and* allows YOU to unsubscribe with a minimum of fuss and all of us can be happy either subscribing to the blog or UNsubscribing to the blog. I know how irritated I get when something I accidentally signed up for keeps bugging me and I CANNOT get out of it. That shouldn’t happen here (let’s hope).

I have the blog subscription thing working correctly (I’m pretty sure!) and you will get a simple email update whenever I submit a new blog post. I plan to hopefully be more communicative in 2018, especially about the progress of my music. It’s funny…I’m an IT developer by trade (for over 20 years now) and yet I haven’t had the time to FULLY understand this WordPress/blog subscription thing (which I could probably write the code myself…but would rather not!). Yeah…silly cobbler has children with no shoes…or something like that. IT developer guy can’t even get his WordPress blog subscription correctly setup…I’m so ashamed….

Since switching the house over to Apple products (which, again, will be an entirely separate post…hoo boy it’s been an interesting journey), coupled with all the other things that happened in 2017, my creativity seems to be soaring right now and I DEFINITELY want to take advantage of that!

I’ve basically already completely re-written everything on At My Old School in my head and plan to try to do it all in the Apple environment (either on the iMac (Logic Pro X) or on the mighty, but tiny iPad 5th Gen that AT&T was so nice to offer up to me for $99) OR on an iPhone X (more on THAT later as well). That $99 iPad was the single best musical investment I have made in a long time. Heh heh. It’s what “started the ball rolling” into the Apple camp.

I am also hot on the trail of a new solo piano album (or two!) and THIS time around, not only do I have ALL the tech ready and nailed down (and the grand piano libraries I will use are STELLAR!), but there’s that creativity thing being poured on me and there’s also just a general sense of happiness and calm in my life right now (knocking on wood!) which I think will really add to the warmth and overall “vibe” of the various solo piano albums I have planned.

Regarding the massive changes in the Selby tribe…isn’t it funny how, when we are blessed by something or someone in our life, we sometimes look fearfully/guiltily over our shoulders waiting for “the other shoe to drop” when, instead, we should just be basking in it and soaking it up. Yeah…I’m pretty two-faced about that whole thing. Not enough time to get into it…maybe in another post.

Alrighty…even though I caught you up a little in this post, I WILL post again with hopefully a bit of a timeline as to EXACTLY what things happened in 2017 to cause such emotional/spiritual/physical turmoil/joy/sadness/happiness (yeah…multiple emotions all in the same year…weird).

Until next time,

K

 

Test Post for all subscribers (I hope you know who you are cuz I sure don’t)…

Hey gang!

Sigh…you know how it is…I think “hey…let’s make it so folks can subscribe to my Blog and see how that works…”…and then I don’t post anything…hah…shame on me.

So this particular blog post is merely a test (namely for me to make sure it works correctly to one of my throwaway email addies). I’m noticing that 2 of the three email addies I used DID NOT WORK (didn’t get the confirmation). This suggests that there may be a bug lurking here and…because I now appear to have over 400 subscribers…I guess it’s time to take this here thing seriously.

But this blog post is *also* for YOU.

All 434 of you beautiful subscribers (sure…maybe some of you are bots…sorry…bots are people too…or are they?).

Anyway…this is to let you know that rather large changes have occurred in my life (many of them good, a few sad, and a few annoying) but that most likely the calendar year (CY for those in the know) 2018 will be a year of great things coming out of my little studio.

And “little” is exactly how to describe my current setup. Heck…maybe I’ll take a picture of it so YOU can see how little it is. I’m now relegated to a corner in an office in our new house.

But at the same time…I switched all technology in the house over to Apple products (that will probably entail an entire blog post) and so technically…I don’t need as much space.

In fact, I researched whether I could record/mix/master and produce my next solo piano album solely on an iPad 5th Generation device (that AT&T gave me for $99…HAH!). Not only CAN I do this, but I want to go even smaller and do it all on an iPhone X (which I should have in my hot little hands in a few weeks). Hoohah it’s a great time to be alive ain’t it?!

So yeah…heady, heady changes here folks.

Alright…enough…this was supposed to be a test.

I WILL say this: if all (or most) of you are real people…(and I’m almost gonna tear up here…for realz!), then I can only extend my hand of friendship and get a lump in my throat as I say that I am truly honored that you would even take the time to subscribe to this silly thing here on kevinselby.com. I’m going to beg you to be patient as “the dust settles” on our new house and new life. Don’t worry…I will explain everything (in fact, I’m often accused of explaining TOO MUCH…yeah…crazy isn’t it?).

Okay…bye for now…but I will be back!

K

(oh…and get used to me signing my missives with simply: K. It’s who I’ve become)…don’t read into this…I’m just lazy…

Two new solo piano tunes for Tales from the Green Room

Been busy people…been busy. I take “breaks” from random housework and I sit down at my master keyboard controller (Casio CDP-120) with XLN Audio’s Addictive Keys (with a custom Steinway grand piano patch that I designed) and I “dream out loud” with solo piano.

Two new tunes:

Happy Hippy Trail: The Happy Hippy Trail is a path (well worn, mind you) that, on the one hand, has purpose and direction and a general happy-go-lucky vibe to it. On the other hand, the trail is replete with meadows and glades where thoughtful introspection can occur (or one can simply enjoy the view, be content, and sort of fall into one’s “nothing-box”).

In The Box: for some reason, this tune felt like someone in a box trying to get out (hey…I can’t keep tabs on how my brain works…it just does what it does?!).

Head over to the Tales from the Green Room page and check ’em out!

The plan is for ~10 songs and then she’s done! Let’s hope for the best…shall we?!!

Sincerely,

K

2016-09-16 Live at Walter Clore (Prosser, WA)

Hey folks…here’s a little gig recording from a duo gig with Phil Lynch over at Walter Clore Center in Prosser, WA.

https://archive.org/details/kse2016-09-16.sbd.h2.flac24

While there are certainly some “rough” spots (we were told about a week before the gig that we had to perform instrumental songs so the mad rush to learn/practice a bunch of this stuff before the gig), nonetheless, Mr. Lynch and Mr. Selby certainly have some “musical conversations” that are interesting.

We seemed to enjoy taking a simple song (say, Chitlins Con Carne (originally written by Kenny Burrell)) and we played it various ways during its entire 10 minutes of play time (heh heh).

Other instrumentals had similar treatments.

Who knows…if we could somehow find a market for our little instrumental duo, perhaps we could do more Phil on solo guitar, Kevin on solo piano, and then perhaps some Phil/Guitar and Kevin/Keyboard (no drums or bass or whatever??) on certain things (just thinking out loud here!). Somehow gotta keep playing occasionally with this dude (Phil-ster).

Until next time,

K

Killed my email addresses today

In a further attempt to “withdraw”, I have killed my two main email addy’s (Gmail and Yahoo). And I’m not going back!

I had several reasons, but the only reason you folks need to know is that I wanted to really “quiet” my life so I can focus on getting not one, but hopefully *three* albums out the door over the next year.

Oh…the other reason was of course, the still spinning “circus” that we call American politics. I forced myself to binge-watch both conventions. Egads the platitudes…the inhumanity…the insanity…the inanity. Sigh.

Anyway…look for new tracks coming soon to this website!

Yours in musicland,

Kevin B. Selby

Stopped using FB today…

Actually…it was about 5 days ago.

Sigh. It’s really a struggle with today’s “social media”. I guess I got to the point where it seemed like every time I went to FB, all the “stuff” (“news”, posts from all the folks in my circle, etc.) were telling me who to hate that day. Very negative. And when I look at this horrendous political climate and the fact that it seems we are led by psychopaths and sociopaths, well…it’s only going to get worse as we head down to November 2016 (may God help us!).

So I quit.

And I gotta say…it’s kind of nice! I certainly don’t miss it. Now sure…if I were to release a new album tomorrow…would I worry that I didn’t have the outreach of FB to trumpet to the masses the new album? Hmmm…maybe…but then again…nobody really cares about a hobbyist’s music anyway…so it’s not like I’m losing major market share here! Heh heh.

So yeah…I think I’ll stay out for awhile. Who knows…I may end up not hating anyone for awhile…

Best,

K