File this under “Aimlessly Wandering Pebbles” rather than migratory ones. I have a lot of strange and unrelated hobbies. But my New Year’s resolution is to collaborate more in creative endeavors. So let’s talk about my longest running collaboration to date.

Alicia Bessette and I have been friends since high school. I enjoyed her writing in English class and in our school’s literary magazine, and I respected how she already knew in 10th grade what she wanted to be when she grew up: a writer. Along the way I heard her play piano, both in recitals and just messing around in the school auditorium.

I’m not sure what possessed me, almost a decade later, to not only suggest that she record an album, but to suggest that I produce it. I guess I’m often overcome by confidence that exceeds my actual abilities. Mind you, I had no training in piano myself, nor in sound engineering, nor in anything else that would be useful to this collaboration. I just had this urge to make it happen.

20-something years and three albums later, I’m still as excited about each new song that goes from Alicia’s head, onto her piano (aka Naked Franz), and some months/years later via the magic of Wachusett Records and our state-of-the-art recording facilities (ha!) eventually to CDs, iTunes, etc.

I hope you enjoy this new video we recently completed. I expect there will be plenty more where that came from.

Meet the new boss

Almost same as the old boss.

The path of least resistance would have been to replace my canoe-tragic camera with the identical model. But you know I’m not the sort of guy to take shortcuts. Instead I will struggle with the adoption of a new-fangled Canon 5D Mark III. It is my cross to bear.

The truth is I’m intrigued by this camera’s potential, with sufficient hacking, to support RAW video recording. I suppose if I’m willing to take my cameras canoeing, then I may be willing to install back-alley, warranty-voiding firmware, too. Some people find their courage in the form of running into burning houses, or standing up to the school bully. Mine comes in the form of being reckless with electronics.

And now, after this joyous announcement, let the universe proceed to unveil a Canon 5D Mark IV.