Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tuesday Junk

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

Been a while since I posted last so here are some random thoughts for you look at (chewing gum for the eyes!).

  • I got sick the last day we were at Disneyland (November 7th) and have been sick for 2 months now. Not just lightly sick either, full blown snot, etc... then I got the flu a couple of weeks ago. Been a sucky couple of months. It's starting to clear tho...
  • Funny things my 2 1/2 year old says: 
    • "Get out the carpet" (when I'm sitting on the floor). 
    • "Get out the couch" (when I'm sitting on the couch). 
    • "Go feep" (when pretending to sleep).
  • I just watched an old anime called Castle of Cagliostro . Man I love old anime. It just satisfies so much more than current stuff.
  • I'm getting Long Distance Blues and want to be back in the city so I can see the few friends I have more regularly.
  • My doc has me on 15 supplements... I better live forever now (or something)...
  • I was the guinea pig for a new MRI test at work a couple of weeks ago and they needed to shoot me with contrast and they stuck me 6 times and could not get a vein.... 6 times! They even used a vein finder and they couldn't do it!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Nostalgia to Look Forward To

By Chris McGinty (of AccordingToWhim.com)
I got into a very one-sided phone conversation tonight about my history as a songwriter. I think that the reason the conversation went on as long as it did, and remained as one-sided as it did was because I started to come to the realization that I have an interesting body of musical work that is largely on formats that make it difficult to properly archive. I can’t say that the overall quality of my songwriting qualifies as good. I think it took me a number of years to start writing good music. It’s not music for everyone, but it’s good.

The thing is that I started “writing music” as early as about 9 or 10 years old, but I lacked the talent of the young songwriters you typically hear about. The songs I wrote at that point were probably absolutely horrible. If there were recordings of them (and there aren’t) I would likely burn them. This is a lot coming from me, because I believe in preserving things.

As I got into my teenage years, I wrote better stuff. There are a couple of things that I would even claim are pretty good for what they are.

At the end of my teenage years, I did my first collaborative work. I wrote a song with my friend Dex that was more silly than anything, and then I wrote a reasonable amount of music with Miguel (sometimes with others involved). As with everything creative involving Miguel, he eventually bowed out of the project leaving me to work with the other person who had been involved. This happened with the “band” with our friend Brett, and would happen again later with the public access show with our friend Nathan.

Around 1998, I went solo musically, and until 2006 everything I wrote was on my own.

In 2006, I joined a band and then followed up with a second band in 2008. I co-wrote six songs, three with each band.

In 2009, I wrote three songs as a solo artist, and I’ve since not recorded anything new, though I have worked on some songs here and there.

This is the short version of the conversation. I got into a lot of detail about what worked and what didn’t. I explained the steps it took to find my own style and voice. I explained the few things that helped me along the way to improve the quality of my work. I got pulled over by a cop for walking at night. He said that there was nothing wrong with what I was doing, but ran my driver license anyway. That’s a rant for another time.

After the phone conversation, I remembered that I had written some snippets about how the three songs in 2009 came about, so I searched the blog and found that article. It was part of a six-part series of articles in which I scoured the draft section of our blog and talked about the incomplete material.

Talking about my songwriting history made me realize that I miss the songwriting process, and I feel like I should quit delaying and go buy a multi-track recorder. The primary reason I’ve not recorded new music is because my last multi-track recorder broke.

Reading those articles about writing the blog made me realize that I miss the blog writing process. The blog was nice because it was both Nathan and me writing, which meant that we had material to read by the other that gave us things to talk about, and sometimes write about. Even Miguel sometimes chimed in.

The blog may be a harder thing to reconnect with. Nathan and Miguel might be interested in writing again, and they might not. If at least Nathan wrote it would be easier for me to keep at it. If they both wrote, it would really be helpful.

Somewhere along the way, we forgot that we’re a creative team. It’s not that we’re not working on projects, but we’re just not working as closely together anymore.

I went down Memory Lane tonight, up one side of the street and back down the other. This little journey, coupled with a recent desire to continue contributing to the body of work I’ve accumulated in my life, has me looking to the future and thinking that it’s time to get back to work at what I should consider my real job.

Chris McGinty is a writer who has spent too much of his recent time as a shift manager at Pizza Hut.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Disney World - Magic Kingdom Pin Trading - Super Useful Info!

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)

So here are some AWESOME secrets on pin trading at the Magic Kingdom (all from me, not taken some click bait article, no sir... all me. For those of you who don't know Pin Trading is another money making scheme from Disney that's actually fun for us 'collectors'.

You buy some pins and a lanyard (if you want) and when you are at Disney World you can trade your pins with most Cast Members. You just ask for the one you want and you can trade the one you own that you don't want (they don't care which one you give them). Easy huh? The trading part is not really the money maker for Disney, it's the massive amount of nicer pins you can buy new from their kiosks and shops but forget that! Let's trade!

So there are several 'levels' of pins. Basic ones (which the cast members generally have) up to fancy big ones (which can cost up to $30 for the nicest ones). Secret #1 Go buy a bunch of pins off eBay before you go to WDW! The pin starter packs (which can come with up to 6 pins) will cost you around $30! Forget that! Spend $25 on 50 pins off of eBay! Just look for sellers that state that the pins are authentic and in good shape. Pick the ones you like out of that lot, then load up a lanyard with the junk and off you go! Now you will can not even go to WDW but just collect your pins with these eBay lots. There are many different auctions/buy-it-nows with varying amounts of pins. 25, 50, 100, 200! Cheap fun!

So here you are at WDW (and to a lesser extent Disneyland) with a lanyard full of crappy pins... get to trading! In order to get rid of the 30 unwanted pins I had I made a rule that I was going to just walk up to the Cast Member with a pin holder and ask to trade (not looking first at what pins they had). This was I was forced to trade away the unwanted ones. Sure, I would not always find ones I wanted but at least I was rotating out the stock and trying to move up the likeability scale on my crappy pins. I felt it was rude to walk up to a Cast Member, stare at them then walk away or reject them. Just seemed nicer to just do it.

One time I did the Keys to the Kingdom Tour and we got to go downstairs in the Utilidors and we passed the pin trading room. Here Cast Members stop by and get a pin holder they wear over their shoulder pre-loaded with pins to trade. Secret #2 Can you believe there is a whole department devoted to pin trading?! So just know that you will get standard (bottom of the barrel) pins early in the morning. Later in the day (after little Johnny has traded away his $10 pin will you start to see better pins on Cast Member's pin holders and pin boards). On the last day of my trip I scored a spinning 2016 pin from the Christmas shop in Liberty Square.

Wait, did you just say Pin Boards?!

Secret #3 Pin Boards! Throughout the WDW resort there are trading pin boards. These are cork boards of varying sizes where there are WAY MORE pins that what a Cast Member carries around with them. Some pin boards are not monitored all of the time so you can trade away several of your stinkers.

Could this article get any better?! IT DOES!

So during my last trip to Magic Kingdom I was in the gift shop of Space Mountain and there was a Cast Member at the pin board talking to some other guests and writing on a map. He was circling locations. When they left I moved forward and he asked if I wanted a map too, I said sure then asked him what it was... lol. He took out a map and began to circle every location in the Magic Kingdom of Pin Boards! Woot!

Secret #4 Pin Board Locations at MK! I hereby bequeath this map unto you! Click to enlarge!

Ok, so these aren't the biggest secrets in the entire universe but at lease you are not having to click though a bunch of links and ads to look at the article right? If so then this post was stolen off my blogger (accordingtowhim.com).

Love Nathan

Saturday, July 30, 2016

An Interview in the future... 2016

by Nathan Stout and Chris McGinty (of According To Whim.com)

CHRIS: By Chris McGinty and Nathan Stout... So Nathan, you say you want to start writing for the blog again. Tell me about that.



NATHAN: Is this in script format?


NATHAN: I was just looking at our websites and noticed that people don't use the internet like they used to. People hardly use PCs anymore. Its all phones and tablets. In fact, I'd say that our website is more 'non-mainstream' now than it has ever been. It's 'A Little Underground'. Congratulations Chris!

CHRIS: Neat. I think we should write another serial. Whattaya say, pal?

NATHAN: I don't know about that. I'd just assume help you finish one of the many rambling projects you already have started... like "Zombie Death Force, Go!" Te he. Sure... Maybe... well... I think.

CHRIS: So that sounds like a yes. So Chris and Nathan are going to an online college, playing cyber paint ball, when they end up in a deep cover espionage adventure. Or we can do the Kickstarter for "Zombie Death Force, Go! Either way."

NATHAN: Okay, sounds good to me. Who knows maybe we will finally have a successful Kickstarter.

CHRIS: So if we do this blog again, we should go to either a three post a week, or five post a week, format. Since there's not really a readership for the blog, there's no real reason to knock ourselves out trying to post every day. As far as the website is concerned, I feel like the bigger problem than even everyone being on their phones is just the massive amount of content available at all times to all people. There really isn't a reason for them to come back to our website or blog, even if they enjoyed one article or aspect of what we did. Maybe everything we write needs to end with us begging for followers and subscribers, because that seems to be what works.

NATHAN: Well, you see I came to this conclusion about these sites and blogs... I enjoy doing them... for my own selfish reasons. I know no one is going to come and stay, but I still enjoy creating all this content. It's our little kingdom on the internet.

CHRIS: Fair. But I think that readers would be a good motivator for us to keep writing. Empires are built on a business plan, or the blood of dead soldiers. I'm just saying that we have no one to send off to get killed, so we need a good plan.

NATHAN: Faire enough... that means I don't want to go back to Scarborough Faire btw...

CHRIS: I think you would like Covenant, Nathan. So anyway, I guess this concludes one of our most confusing, and pointless, dual interviews yet. I think we accomplished a lot here today. I can't wait to see what other wonderfully questionable things we write in this "Brave New World" of blog posting. I think you'd like Covenant, Nathan. I really do.

NATHAN: Where... is the Save Button?

Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Junk

by Nathan Stout (of AccordingToWhim.com)
  • I installed my favorite game once again (after a good year-long hiatus). I now have a 21" monitor and the game doesn't look that great all stretched and zoomed in. Other than that, it is still a fantastic game!
  • I had some Mochi ice cream this weekend. Dang weird Japanese. It's a ball of chocolate ice cream covered in this gooey material (dusted with something). It's OK... nothing to write in a blog about... doh!
  • Why does Costco have gas station attendants? I don't ever see them doing anything. I guess they stand around out there to help people but I can't imagine what they can do. By now everyone knows how to pump gas from a pay at the pump station.
  • Speaking of gas, the OPEC guys are saying that gas will never go below 100$ again. That's fine with me. They want to shut down US oil manufacturing (read: competition). True there will be many lost jobs in the field but in the long run we (consumers) save LOTS of money and we can spend it to help our economy and we (as a nation) save our natural resources. Sounds fine.
  • 3 weeks to Disney World...