I was resisting the temptation all day to support Neil Young’s kickstarter campaign. Maybe I’ve seen too many Gail Vaz Oxlade shows on Slice, or maybe it’s my inner hipster-guilt from contributing to giant pools of plastic in the ocean.

But a few minutes ago while listening to Led Zeppelin through my dying iPod (geek: 256kbps LAME encoded MP3′s from 1994 Remaster, on iPod 5th Generation running Rockbox) and looking for ways to procrastinate, I pledged $300 for a yellow pono player. For an extra $100 I could have got a limited-edition chrome and black version with Neil’s signature laser-etched on the side, but my income doesn’t put me in the “having an extra $100″ demographic – so I got the ugly yellow one. Why the ugly yellow one? Well, because the pono t-shirts are ugly yellow, and even Neil’s pono is ugly yellow.

Firstly, Neil made the USB connector shaped like a USB connector. Unless you are the weirdo that enjoys owning six chargers for six devices, this should just make sense.

I have a feeling Neil’s goal with this isn’t long term success. For now, it looks like he’s making a high-quality music player with expandable-memory and a built in headphone amp that can play any file-format. He’s also releasing insanely high-definition remasters in an open-source format which has no DRM to stop the files from being copied and pirated. #NYFTW

Oh damn, I hope they didn’t also design a slightly thinner version with a built-in camera to release in 6 months at half the price…

A Welcome Breeze time-lapse video

For a few months in 2009 I was running around Wellington New Zealand shooting time-lapse videos with a hacked $100 digital camera. I saw Koyaanisqatsi a few months earlier and wanted to make my own version for some reason, but only ended up shooting about 20% of the stuff I wanted to before my concentration wandered to something else (or nothing at all).

Last year my buddy Brian asked me to film his band A Welcome Breeze playing downtown. After I was done editing that video, I decided to put his music to the old time-lapse footage I had and things fell pretty nicely together. Now, standing in a grocery store for 60 minutes while trying to hide a camera doesn’t seem like a complete waste of time, thank you Brian!

snow stuffs

Songs: Molina, A Memorial Electric Co. in Chicago

New Base for AR-XB Turntable

Finally done! This project has been on the back burner for 2 years, when I first picked up a really nice piece of rough cut Black Walnut. The base of my Acoustic Research XB turntable was originally made of particle board and covered with plastic printed to look like walnut. The company’s previous turntable used real wood, so I’m guessing it was a cost-cutting measure.

I wanted to make the new base match the original dimensions and design exactly. It ended up being more complicated than I anticipated, the most detail is actually at the back where I ended up using the original base as a template to copy a curved cut-out where the cords exit.

I know it’s not as impressive as making a chair , but this project makes me remember two years of acquiring tools, restoring them and learning how to use them safely. I can’t say the turntable sounds any better, but I’m happy the particle board is gone.