An Addendum To The Portal Post

I found out who wrote the end credit song for Portal, and failed to mention it. It was written by a guy named Jonathan Coulton who is, essentially, an internet musician. A while back, he decided to quit his tech job and become a musician, and spent the whole of the next year writing one song a week and posting them to his site, among other places. I’m impressed, really, and he seems to be making a decent go of being a self employed musician in this internet age. He gives me hope that I might be able to make a bit of money from my musical hobby, if I ever get around to recording more songs.

There’s another artist, Brad Sucks, who is doing a similar thing, though the guy behind Brad Sucks still maintains a regular job.

In both cases, they give a very significant amount of their music away, even while selling it from their sites at the same time. The whole idea is sort of interesting, as we’ve seen big artists, Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails to name a couple, basically giving their latest albums away. The mainstream media talks about this phenomenon as if it’s fairly new, and I suppose it is for artists that have had record deals, but Jonathon and Brad have been doing it for quite some time – since 2005 or earlier.

Anyway, I think once I’ve got my music to a point where I’m willing to put a price tag on it (I’m not willing to sell things I don’t think are worth selling), I think I’m going to follow in these guys footsteps a bit. Give it away, sell it, do anything I have time to do to get people to listen to it.

Drill Press Finally On The Way?

I talked to Woodcraft again today, and they said they had talked to the rep, and I should maybe have it by the end of next week, which would be nice. I’ll believe it when I get the call that it’s there, however. I’m aware there are always circumstances that cause shipping of product to be delayed when it’s coming from overseas, but this is getting ridiculous.

I’ve Got A Fat Head!

Yes, yes I do have a Fat Head. A Cascade Fat Head ribbon microphone. Showed up at the door via the UPS man today. Can’t wait to try it out and see how it does on my guitars. From reviews I’ve read on it, it compares favorably to some other, much more expensive mics, and in many cases, beats them.

I am anxiously awaiting my wife’s return from work so that I can try it out tonight.


I bought the Orange Box for my 360 the other day (birthday money), and if you don’t know what that is, it’s basically a package of five games from Valve – three Half-Life games, and a couple other games, one of them called Portal.

If you haven’t heard of Portal, it has an interesting game mechanic in that you have a gun that can make a portal to another place. A portal is made when you place both sides. Imagine a piece of paper that you cut a hole through. From one side, you see a hole – one side of the hole. Turn it over, and you see the opposite hole. The gun will allow you to create one side of a hole, then go to some other place and create the other side of the hole, and it doesn’t have to be in the same surface. This is a portal.

The game is fun. It’s not terribly violent. There are some interesting puzzles and tricks that are possible because of the portal gun. I like the game a lot.

One of the complaints about it that I’ve heard from other people is that it is quite short. And, really, it is quite short, compared to other retail games you see. I played through it in about seven or eight hours. I wasn’t really counting, so I’m not quite sure. Part of the reason I wasn’t counting is because I was never ever bored. And the best part of it being short is that I was able to finish it, and discovered the really cool end credit song that I really like and never would have heard if the game was forty hours long.

So, at $50, or $10 a game (well, $12.50 since I’ll likely never play team fortress 2 since you have to have a gold account to play, or more 360’s around to link with, and my wife won’t let me buy another one), I’d have to say that, at least, Portal was worth it’s share of the price.

And even if it’s the only game you play in the collection, where eight hours of entertainment at the movies would cost you at least $40, it’s very close to being worth buying the Orange Box for Portal alone, as long as you don’t mind short games.

One other thing about The Orange Box. I’ve heard Half-Life 2 is supposed to be a pretty good game, too 🙂