Whittling Away At The Fourth Amendment

Posted Friday, 31 October, 2014 By Ross Meier

If the government has complete and unfettered access to your online world, including your “cloud”, how can they use any evidence obtained from it to prosecute you in a court of law? If the police had access to your home without your knowledge, any evidence obtained there would not be allowed to be used, so what’s the difference? None, except there are laws governing law enforcement from unlawful search and seizure when it is your home. That’s why they need to get a court order to be able to search your premises. If the search is done illegally, the door is wide open for any decent defence attorney to make utter mincemeat out of the prosecution. But upon trying to answer my original question, I’ve learned the origins of the 4th amendment and how it has been interpreted and changed through the years.

Here is a link to the reference article that goes into great detail about the 4th amendment, but I took the liberty of snipping a very interesting few paragraphs that explain what has happened recently regarding the courts interpretation of it.


That is, the ”capacity to claim the protection of the Amendment depends not upon a property right in the invaded place but upon whether the area was one in which there was reasonable expectation of freedom from governmental intrusion.” 38

The two-part test that Justice Harlan suggested in Katz 39 has purported to guide the Court in its deliberations, but its consequences are unclear. On the one hand, there is no difference in result between many of the old cases premised on property concepts and more recent cases in which the reasonable expectation of privacy flows from ownership concepts. 40 On the other hand, many other cases have presented close questions that have sharply divided the Court. 41 The first element, the ”subjective expectation” of privacy, has largely dwindled as a viable standard, because, as Justice Harlan noted in a subsequent case, ”our expectations, and the risks we assume, are in large part reflections of laws that translate into rules the customs and values of the past and present.” 42 As for the second element, whether one has a ”legitimate” expectation of privacy that society finds ”reasonable” to recognize, the Court has said that ”[l]egitimation of expectations of privacy by law must have a source outside of the Fourth Amendment, either by reference to concepts of real or personal property law or to understandings that are recognized and permitted by society.” 43 Thus, protection of the home is at the apex of Fourth Amendment coverage because of the right associated with ownership to exclude others; 44 but ownership of other things, i.e., automobiles, does not carry a similar high degree of protection. 45 That a person has taken normal precautions to maintain his privacy, that is, precautions customarily taken by those seeking to exclude others, is usually a significant factor in determining legitimacy of expectation. 46 Some expectations, the Court has held, are simply not those which society is prepared to accept. 47 While perhaps not clearly expressed in the opinions, what seems to have emerged is a balancing standard, which requires ”an assessing of the nature of a particular practice and the likely extent of its impact on the individual’s sense of security balanced against the utility of the conduct as a technique of law enforcement.” As the intrusions grow more extensive and significantly jeopardize the sense of security of the individual, greater restraint of police officers through the warrant requirement may be deemed necessary. 48 On the other hand, the Court’s solicitude for law enforcement objectives may tilt the balance in the other direction.

Application of this balancing test, because of the Court’s weighing in of law enforcement investigative needs 49 and the Court’s subjective evaluation of privacy needs, has led to the creation of a two-tier or sliding-tier scale of privacy interests. The privacy test was originally designed to permit a determination that a Fourth Amendment protected interest had been invaded. 50 If it had been, then ordinarily a warrant was required, subject only to the narrowly defined exceptions, and the scope of the search under those exceptions was ”strictly tied to and justified by the circumstances which rendered its initiation permissible.” 51 But the Court now uses the test to determine whether the interest invaded is important or persuasive enough so that a warrant is required to justify it; 52 if the individual has a lesser expectation of privacy, then the invasion may be justified, absent a warrant, by the reasonableness of the intrusion. 53 Exceptions to the warrant requirement are no longer evaluated solely by the justifications for the exception, e.g., exigent circumstances, and the scope of the search is no longer tied to and limited by the justification for the exception. 54 The result has been a considerable expansion, beyond what existed prior to Katz, of the power of police and other authorities to conduct searches.

– See more at: http://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment4/annotation01.html#3

So the Government is not allowed to tap your phone without a warrant, but the government claims the authority to read your emails without a warrant. The government can’t open your postal mail or seize papers from your home without a warrant, but it says it can read any private and sensitive documents you’ve stored in the Internet.

The government claims this authority to violate your privacy under a federal law called ECPA, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act. However, ECPA was written in 1986, before most people had computers, and before most people even knew what email was. So why hasn’t ECPA been updated? And what are the results of legislative inaction and/or incompetence, or is it nefarious? ECPA was interpreted to now to say that government agents can demand stored documents, even documents still in draft, without a judge’s approval.

Of course when you talk about ECPA or the 4th amendment, the government will within a nano second bring up how “everything’s changed since since 9/11.” They don’t want people to use encryption, the peoples privacy is of seemingly no concern. I remember a statement by a Google exec. answering criticism over the G-Mail scanning flap a couple of years ago, talking about how G-Mail customers shouldn’t expect privacy. I thought that was a very disturbing statement to make, and with such matter of fact. But now, understanding a little about how these laws are interpreted, Google was basically laying the groundwork for the government to claim what is reasonable privacy and what isn’t. If you shouldn’t expect your email to be private, the 4th amendment wouldn’t apply.

Compounding matters even more detrimentally is social sharing, one should not expect that their ‘About’ section in Facebook or Twitter to be private, nor should they think that their posted content is either. So maybe that’s the answer, the less privacy we expect to have online, the more our rights of privacy will be violated. Personally, I expect my online files, transactions etc. to be private, for my eyes only. But until the laws are changed, the government will use every opportunity to seize more power and turn our Bill of Rights on its head.


More Holiday Desktop Wallpapers!

Posted Tuesday, 14 October, 2014 By Ross Meier

Enjoy these new Holiday wallpapers, and don’t forget to check out Yuletide and the Pinterest page for even more desktop wallpapers in “The most wonderful time of the year”




New Holiday Wallpapers 2014

Posted Thursday, 9 October, 2014 By Ross Meier

This year, a few more great desktop backgrounds have found their way to me, so I’m passing them on a little early. As this is being written, there’s 76 days, 11 hours and 57 minutes until Christmas. And check out Yuletide for more of the ever growing collection of holiday wallpapers.

Holiday At Home Merry Yuletide Christmas Tree HD Santa and Snowman


Tip Jar | New Age Christmas Radio

Posted Wednesday, 1 October, 2014 By Ross Meier

Tip Jar | New Age Christmas Radio.

I’ve listened to New Age Christmas Radio for a few years now, so I thought I would give them a little shout out. It’s getting closer to the Holidays and as usual I’ve been listening even more. Take a stop by their site and check out the goodies that they have to offer, and of course tune in for some great relaxing Holiday music.


First Studio Renovation

Posted Monday, 7 April, 2014 By Ross Meier


The studio in the back of my house on the Caloosahatchee River went through some changes in the years that I lived there. What was once a blank and boring room got turned into a perfect spot for easy recording. Most of ‘Into The World’ and ‘Blue Skies’ were recorded here. Nothing like laying down some tunes and then stepping right outside and into the hot tub.

These are some of the pics that came out of the renovation, more pics (around here somewhere) of the finished studio will be in a future post.


USA Freedom Act

Posted Thursday, 27 March, 2014 By Ross Meier

From Free Press Action Fund:

After months of deliberation, President Obama has announced a proposal to end the NSA’s warrantless collection of millions of phone records.1 Under this proposal, these records would stay with the phone companies, and the NSA would need to get a special court order to collect “metadata” about our calls.

Thanks to public pressure from Free Press Action Fund activists and our friends, the president is moving in the right direction. But his solution doesn’t go far enough.

Tell President Obama to Support the USA Freedom Act.

The president’s proposal wouldn’t do anything to address the many other ways the NSA and other agencies spy on millions of people in the U.S. and around the world — by tracking our Web searches, reading our emails, even serving National Security Letters that make it illegal for people to speak out.

That’s why President Obama needs to support the USA Freedom Act — which would shut down the NSA’s “back-door” warrantless searches of our private information and improve transparency and oversight of the NSA’s spying programs.

Meanwhile, the other surveillance bills in Congress are full of fake fixes.

The FISA Transparency and Modernization Act — which Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger introduced this week — bolsters some of the NSA’s worst practices, including the accessing of phone records without a warrant.2 And Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s so-called FISA Improvements Act would “make permanent a loophole permitting the NSA to search for Americans’ identifying information without a warrant.”3

The USA Freedom Act is the best bill we have to stop the worst of the NSA’s abuses. It will go much farther to protect our rights to connect and communicate than any of the other options on the table.

We can’t let President Obama fall for a fake fix. It’s time for him to support the USA Freedom Act.


Obama administration wants a former SOPA lobbyist to negotiate TPP

Posted Sunday, 16 March, 2014 By Ross Meier

From Demand Progress:

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a secretive international treaty that lets the world’s most powerful corporations make a power grab for our resources at the cost of our civil liberties. And now President Obama has nominated Robert Holleyman, a former lobbyist for the Stop Online Privacy Act (SOPA), to help lead the TPP negotiations for the U.S. We need to tell the US Senate not to let the salesman for an awful bill become the architect of a monstrous treaty. The TPP will have ruinous consequences for free speech on the Internet by expanding already ridiculous copyright protections and laying the groundwork for internet censorship. If confirmed by the Senate, Holleyman would be working to ensure that these anti-free speech provisions are enshrined in the TPP for good. We’ve done a good job slowing down the progress of the TPP, but we can’t let up. By blocking Holleyman, we’ll not only keep this dangerous lobbyist away from this trade agreement, we’ll also send a message to the architects of the TPP that they are in for a fight. Let’s send that message and continue that fight.

Please share this with your friends


What Should The Minimum Wage Be?

Posted Thursday, 6 March, 2014 By Ross Meier

So what do you think the minimum wage should be? If you want to let the powers that be know your opinion, you can go to BarackObama.com and tell them. Of course you’ll be asked to donate afterwards, but you can skip that part.


What have we done since 9-11?

Posted Friday, 14 February, 2014 By Ross Meier

No need for explanation, Benjamin Franklin said it perfectly!


Some NSA Facts

Posted Friday, 14 February, 2014 By Ross Meier

The NSA “has secretly broken into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world.”
— The New York Times

The NSA collected “almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks” in one month in 2013.
— The Guardian

The NSA is collecting the content and metadata of emails, web activity, chats, social networks, and everything else as part of what it calls “upstream” collection.
— The Washington Post

The NSA “is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans.”
— The Washington Post

The NSA “is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on the whereabouts of cellphones around the world.”
— The Washington Post

The NSA “is searching the contents of vast amounts of Americans’ e-mail and text communications into and out of the country.”
— The New York Times


Scroogled And Then Some

Posted Monday, 23 September, 2013 By Ross Meier

I was hanging out online the other night and decided to search my own name to see what goodies I would find. I came across some other folks named Meier that were hanging out on the same search pages as I do. Then I came by this site called mylife, and under their link, they had my age and place of residence, basic stuff. After a few investigative queries, I found that this is all public information and anyone that has an interest can acquire the same information as mylife.com or the other online information for profit companies. They get your publicly available info and then try to get you to pay them to remove it from public view. Putting it in a physical example, it’s like paying your city council for the privilege of walking down the street without your address stamped on your forehead. But with these information companies, they also get the other guy to pay them 10 bucks to find you and your info.

It doesn’t seem like such a bad idea to have some kind of information gathering safeguards implemented, at least something where the person accessing some other persons information is documented as having done so. Then at least we’d know who sought out and obtained the information in case they ever show up on your doorstep. We are losing our privacy at almost every turn, whether it’s the Federal government or Google scanning emails or some other lecherous company somewhere, our information is someones product now. From Facebook making money selling likes to corporations or now any assortment of back room, private companies hoping to do the same. And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that I got scroogled one more time. You can read about it here: Yes I Got Scroogled.

I read that some judge just made a ruling that cloaking your IP address is against the law. I haven’t had the chance to look into it yet, but if it is true, I have a few questions that I would like answered. Does this mean that leaving your house dressed in disguise is illegal too? Is it also illegal to go to the bar as Sheila instead of Carl? How about simply borrowing your friends car so you can go somewhere that you’d rather not be recognised? Or do these new rules only apply to the internet? While privacy has been an important subject to discuss and is of deep concern to many, we have managed to share even more of our privacy away. We give it away through social media, and the information resource companies like mylife.com buy and sell it, Google mines your emails and just about every search engine knows what you like and where you like it. And now the Federal government is found to be spying, taking whatever data they can get their hands on, metadata or otherwise.

I’m not quite sure where all this is going, but it’s not going to be all figured out anytime soon. Of course Congress or the President could change the course that we’re on, but that’s going to take a lot of intervention from their constituents. On that note, I’ll end this article with what seems quite apropos at the moment, maybe because it was speak like a pirate day or something a few days ago. So here goes… Batten down the hatches me mateys, it’s gonna be a long and bumpy ride!


Privacy is Non-negotiable: Tell congress to oppose CISPA 2.0

Posted Sunday, 22 September, 2013 By Ross Meier

CISPA is back.

Last year, our collective efforts helped put a stop to one of the gravest threats to online privacy and internet freedom we have ever seen — The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act.
The bill grants companies unprecedented power to obtain users’ personal information (such as from private communications) and to disclose that data to the government without a warrant — including sending data to the National Security Agency.

Read more… Demand Progress


Pres. Obama talks Egypt, human rights

Posted Thursday, 15 August, 2013 By Ross Meier

In President Obama’s speech today, he announced the canceling of joint military exercises with Egypt that were to take place in September. “We deplore violence against civilians. We support universal rights essential to human dignity, including the right to peaceful protest.” Said President Obama in regards to Egypt and the new Egyptian interim government. “But while we want to sustain our relationship with Egypt, our traditional cooperation cannot continue as usual when civilians are being killed in the streets and rights are being rolled back,” Obama said.

In the meantime the United States has been droning the hell out of Yemen where it is estimated 300 or more civilians have been killed. Of course the official government figures are well below that. The last figure I heard was about 34 people, militants of course.

Is it any wonder that a good portion of the world looks at the United States with a very suspicious eye, to say the least. “Do as I say, not as I do” is still the mantra of the US government, regardless of who the president is apparently. Having been a strong supporter of President Obama in both 2008 and 2012, I’m very disappointed on yet another front. Between the NSA spying revelations, foreign policy meddling and a never ending appetite for “a grande bargain” with Republicans (usually siding with them 90% of the way), an increasing number of citizens (myself included) are left shaking their heads in disbelief… again.


Yes, I got scroogled!

Posted Wednesday, 14 August, 2013 By Ross Meier

Yes, I got scroogled! I sent a link to myself from one gmail account to another and the next day I’m getting ads based on what the link was about. I was on my phone when I sent the link so I know it wasn’t browser based, they read my email!

Between the NSA and corporate spying, the internet is no longer anywhere near safe or private. I’m just disgusted and fed up, I guess it’s time to get my own server and use my website email addresses (if that will even help).

The NSA wants the passwords for everyone’s email addresses and the encryption codes that any company uses, which is why Lavabit is closing down. That’s two Internet companies that are closing down because they refuse to go along with the illegal spying on American citizens.

When I sign into my Windows 8 computer with my Microsoft ID and search with Bing, they can now search my computer as well as the internet. Now I’m wondering if they are handing over all my info, from my documents, SkyDrive, Google Drive, Picasa etc. directly to the NSA, great!

No, it’s not great, it’s bullshit!


Writers Block And This Place

Posted Tuesday, 4 June, 2013 By Ross Meier

So around the beginning of 2012, when I was working on the Ambient Stratus project ‘Surroundings’, I started writing a song called ‘This Place’.  2012, the year that flew by so fast for me, like hyper space.  And through the entire year I suffered with writers block like never before.  I’ve had writers block before, but nothing like this last time.  And I’m not really sure that it’s over, feels like it might be as I’ve actually finished writing and mixing down the synths for ‘This Place’, a year and some later.

The ‘Surroundings’ project was supposed to be percussion free, but after writing a few songs, I completely lost direction.  Before long, I had the drum kit going and my ethereal beat free music was turning into dance music.  Whether or not that contributed to my dry spell, I don’t know.  It doesn’t really matter now, I’m just happy I was able to actually accomplish what I set out to accomplish this evening.  I’ll have to check the dates and see if the Summer/Winter solstice lines up with my dry spell.  Interesting thought!

The night before last, I forced myself to write a post as I hadn’t done so in a few months.  Something, anything I argued to myself.  So I posted a pic and wrote a few lines, an ice breaker!?!  Anyway, when I finished recording this evening, I wanted to write about my new found literary and musical productivity.  So here I am, sitting in my backyard with Angus, writing my second post in as many nights.

I usually hang out in my backyard sanctuary, pondering everything under the starsAmbientStratusFav.  And now, hungry and a bit tired, I can retire for the evening with thoughts of job well done!  So in the words of the late, great Walter Cronkite, “That’s the way it is, June 4th, 2012.”


Weekend Views

Posted Sunday, 2 June, 2013 By Ross Meier

Here’s a couple of nice pics from today. It’s been a relaxing weekend, just hanging about. Playing with a few tunes which is nice as I’ve had writers block in a bad way recently (too long).

So from my backyard sanctuary I snapped some pics with my phone and thought I would share.




Daily Upsum, Peanut Buttery Fudgery Brownie Highlights

Posted Thursday, 21 February, 2013 By Ross Meier

So my day so far, rest! I’ve needed it as the pain meds have barely been keeping me from going mad. But whatever I say, like I say everyday pretty much.
I’ve got dinner planned, of course I’ve gone veggie so I won’t be having sausage. I cook for my mom and Sam and the children, can’t leave out the children.
Oh yeah, I made snacks! I call ’em my peanut buttery fudgery brownies, and if you’re wondering, yes they’re yum!


So now on with the rest of the day as we go into the night, my favourite time. With any luck I’ll makes good progress on my song called ‘Wonderful Day’.
And that’s the daily upsome brought to you from my little android. That’s right, no Windows phone yet but all things good things come to those who wait, so they say, whoever “they” are.

Well, I’m done writing this post, kind of odd really, like a public diary. Now it’s documented how exciting a day I’ve really had, but any day that involves peanut butter, cocoa and sugar is a ‘Wonderful Day! Shameless I am…

P.S. Isn’t it amazing how much I can write about so very little? And I thought I had writers block!


A Post For A Page

Posted Thursday, 7 February, 2013 By Ross Meier

picture window is the name of the new page at rossallenmeier.com and its first inhabitants are some of my digital works. A little taste is one of my latest pieces called, ‘Looking Thru Blue Skies”, shown here. Hope you enjoy.


Looking Thru Blue Skies


GOP Racism At The Heart Of Obama Hatred

Posted Tuesday, 22 January, 2013 By Ross Meier

I’ve said it all along, racism is at the heart of republican hatred for Obama. It’s not so much that people forget what it was like four years ago, almost a depression, bleeding countless jobs a month to now thirty some odd straight months of job growth. It’s that they refuse to accept Barack Obama as their president, even to this day. And the same people slamming President Obama today are the same ones who just can’t admit G.W. Bush took us to war with nothing but lies and ideological claptrap.

Yes, I’m talking about the nuts going around with Romney/Ryan bumper stickers, whining about how Obama has done such a horrible job. But when you ask how, they come back with crap about not keeping promises. Honestly, what promises are those? The one about five percent unemployment? Why don’t you go ask your knuckle dragging representative where the jobs are? Why don’t you ask him or her why they voted no on the jobs bills! But no, no questions will be asked except by a few. It’s easier to watch Fox news and accept what they say as truth, even though most to all of what they say is just plain manufactured. Lies about this president are as common as white only water fountains were throughout the first part of the twentieth century.

The complete disrespect and disregard for President Obama is both amazing and disgusting. It’s actually grown through his time in the white house, in this past election you heard right wing hackers like John Senunu calling him lazy, Sarah Palin saying that he’s shucking and jiving. Shucking and jiving! Really? And where is the news media outrage? And what about the representative that called President Obama a liar during his State of the Union? Can you imagine if a black democratic congressman had called Bush a liar? Wolf Blitzer and the rest of the CNN crowd would have been spitting all over themselves trying to vocalize their outrage! The whole American political world would have blown up, congressional conniptions all over the airwaves.

Even after George W. took us into Iraq where over 4,000 soldiers died a horrible death, no one interrupted his State of the Union speech. Then you can dive into the social scene and read what they’re saying there. Yeah, there’s a reason why some people just should not have their opinion heard, because they are low information people spreading bullshit from one end of the internet to the other. The Facebook and Twitter republicans… what can be said about that bunch? Coming home from work, stopping at the store to pick up their beer and cigarettes, unthawing ground beef to make Manwiches because there’s “no time” to cook. Then hurrying to their social pages and finding their friends so they can continue to bash, bitch, moan and groan about Obama. These are the same people that ganged up on the Dixie Chicks after they were against the Iraq war and called out President Bush on it, saying he was lying; which he was!

Ungrateful, hypocritical Republicans! Oh so happy to use 9-11 to scare people into voting for them. Remember this line? George W. has kept us safe from terrorists, reelect him or else be doomed. Well excuse me head nodders, it was under George W. that we had 9-11! Not Clinton, not Carter, who they mock all the time for being a weak president. And certainly not Barack Obama! Barack Obama was the one who got Osama Bin Laden! Got him, killed him and buried him out at sea, over and done. Oh no, that’s not good enough for this racist crowd, they’d rather have this bumbling and fumbling two bit vacuum cleaner salesman that went around with signs promoting the Vietnam war, then going off to France on deferment… again… and again.  The same guy who was eating Grey Poupon off of his maids ass in France while soldiers were dying in Vietnam.

Oh, you don’t like the economy growing so slow? Then go back to Bush and the bleeding of 400 thousand jobs a month then. Happier now? Oh my God! Health care! He’s forcing us to have health care! Get a grip Louise, the ER is not how a progressive society in the 21st century is supposed to get health care. For whatever reason, the GOP doesn’t like or want Americans to have access to health care. And the head nodding right wing followers go right along with them, even though it’s not in their best interest.

And now we come to Romney and the people that chose him over Obama. They showed the world how a good portion of Americans really feel about black people, whether they know it or not. It’s been smoldering under the skin of a lot of white people as long as I can remember. I can’t tell you how many times some jack ass thought it was funny to talk about “niggers” at the cookout or cocktail party. And now there is someone they can point to and take their racial aggressions out on.

The hatred of Obama, it’s got a life of it’s own and although the election is over, I still can’t get over the fact that about 47% of the people voted for Romney. Worse yet,  a lot of those 47% didn’t think that he was talking about them when he was bashing them at a fundraising cocktail party. No, they thought he was talking about some other people, like black or brown people, certainly not them. President Obama has spent a good portion of his first four years in office fighting off republican attempts to trash the economy, because as Mitch McConnell said “Making Barack Obama a one term president is my number one priority.” But you won’t hear a thank you Mr. President from this crowd, you’ll find them on Facebook and Twitter calling him an idiot! What is even more outrageous is that some people would rather have had a well documented liar as president than another four years of Barack Obama.

But when you bring up racism, they play this bullshit about how it isn’t like that and the liberals are just using that to divide the country. Hockey pucks! I’m sure it’s not all racism, there are some points to be argued against Obama, but the majority of bashers don’t really know the facts, they’re just repeating what Fox News or Rush Limbaugh has told them. Thankfully most of the citizens of this country don’t think or feel this way, although the election was way too close for my nerves. I still can’t get over how Romney just blatantly lied about everything and still cornered almost half the votes. Crazy man, crazy. It’s not really surprising to see this racism, 2012 was the same year as Trayvon Martin and a long list of other young black men and women being killed. But every year is like that in this country, the number of black and other minority males going off to prison each year is astounding compared to other countries.

I’ve heard more than a few people say that we have come a long way since the 1960’s, and we have, but we have quite a long ways to go still. Looking back on this past election, I realize that the now infamous 47% remark would have been more truthful if it wasn’t directed at the “freeloaders”, but instead the stupid people. But thankfully, we didn’t have to endure four years of Romney as president to realize it.


Sonar 6 Works in Windows 8!

Posted Thursday, 17 January, 2013 By Ross Meier

fpo-hero_imageUpdate 17 Jan, 2013

I am so beyond happy right now, something that was looking pretty ugly has turned right around for me. I installed Windows 8 over the holidays and have since been learning touch screen gestures, but I needed to get my recording studio set back up and was told that Sonar 6, which I’ve used for nearly a decade wouldn’t work in Windows 8, bummer. Sonar 6 has been around since 2005 I think, and it’s got everything that a musician of any caliber needs to get their job done. And when I have an idea that I want to get down, the last thing I need is getting the glazed eyes from staring at a system that I’m not used to. But it looked like this was it, after getting away with not upgrading for years, passing by versions 7, 8, 8.5, X1, I would finally be forced to do it.

So after letting Microsoft format my drive, ridding my computer of any traces of Windows Vista, I did a clean install of Windows 8. Now with a blank canvas, I decided to upgrade to X2, Sonars flagship recording software or DAW. I did the trial version just in case it was something I hated. I just never saw why I should move on, when Sonar 6 had everything I needed and I can basically operate it in my sleep.  But first the computer, before I upgraded to Windows 8, I upped my memory to 8 gigs, thank you crucial.com. They have a cool test for your system, letting you know exactly what you need. Anyway, I went from a 32 bit to a 64 bit system.

Cakewalk_1c_black_invThen I downloaded the newest, latest and greatest Sonar X2. But when I opened up the program I was very disappointed to say the least. Who on earth thought of this? Who decided it was a good thing to take away the ease of use, the ability to customise the colours, and replace it with the “skylight interface”, whatever the hell that is. I still don’t know and to tell you the truth, well I digress.

My dear X2, I knew Sonar 6, Sonar 6 was a friend of mine, and you X2 are no Sonar 6. It doesn’t even have a save button on the dash, maybe it’s there somewhere, but I can’t find it. You can’t change the colours of anything, so unless you like grey on grey, you’re screwed. It has a horrible UI, like old newspaper cheap, and just all around doesn’t have a comfy feel to it, coldish. The funny thing, it’s layout is pretty much how I’ve wanted Sonar 6 to be for years, with the console sliders on the bottom. That was my only gripe about Sonar 6.

Anyways, I did what I almost did right after first install, pulled out my Sonar 6 disk, threw her into the drive and let her rip. To hell with what they say, if it worked then it worked. I tried a side by side setup first, but that was a no go. Tried again and got a redundancy error, never heard of that before, so I looked it up. The redundancy error has to do with the inability to read data, in my case it would be the disk. But I knew it wasn’t the disk, it was more like the drive that I was using. I’ve been wanting to change out that drive for awhile. Continuing on, I was not to be that easily discouraged, I uninstalled X2 and I put the Sonar 6 disk into my other dvd drive. Low and behold ladies and germs, I have Sonar 6 up and running on Windows 8!

For anyone counting, if you’re a Sonar Producer upgrade, you get X2 for $200.00. Yeah, saying they don’t support Sonar 6 in Windows 8 because they wanted to sell me and everyone else that has Windows 8 a $200.00 upgrade. Business is what it is and you can’t blame them for trying to make a profit. But sorry Cakewalk, I’ve been a customer since the early days, like Sonar 2, maybe before that, and this X2 was the worst product you’ve put out. I’m sure you had great intentions, but it didn’t show in what I was looking at. It looked and felt unfinished and kind of jumbled up. Hopefully, there will be an update or change to it, fix it or something. And to make matters worse, one of the phone techs told me it would have Z3ta, wrong! I could go on about it but I won’t, it’s over and I’m all good now.

Hint: when I uninstalled X2, it asked if I wanted to keep shared files or code and I did, all of it. Maybe that had the drivers that Cakewalk said it wasn’t supporting, although I doubt that to be the case. I don’t know, but what I do know is if anyone asks now, the answer is yes, Sonar 6 works in Windows 8.

The only problem I’ve encountered is some of my favourite plugins didn’t work now. With almost every song that I’ve done I’ve used dbAudio mastering plugins and FXReverb to name a few. So looking into the Cakewalk forums I found out why and how to fix it.

As it turned out, those particular plugins don’t work with a 64 bit Sonar system, only 32. Not to be deterred, I uninstalled Sonar 6 64 bit and installed the 32 bit, which doesn’t matter anyway because it has a 64 bit engine. And once again some good news, all of my plugins work. I also reinstalled X2 64 bit next to it since I still have time on my trial, thought I’d look at it some more, no hurt in that.

I’ll keep checking in with Cakewalk to see if any improvements occur, maybe give it another tryout in the future. But until that day, goodbye X2 and hello again to my dear companion, Sonar 6.

A few thing I didn’t mention originally, everything works just fine in Sonar 6, although I have noticed a bit of thrashing of late. For those who don’t know thrashing, it’s when the system is jumping from physical memory to RAM and back again, crossing paths with itself along the way. That’s how I interpret thrashing anyway. Whether it’s a Windows 8 bug or an incompatibility issue, it’s certainly nothing to freak over. A few times I have had to let Windows do an emergency save before exit, but that happened before Windows 8 too. You could probably run Sonar in compatibility mode (just thought of it), that could help any confusion within either the system or program, but it hasn’t been a big enough issue with me that I would go that route.

The only other issue with Sonar 6 and Windows 8 is sliding the project horizontally, vertically is fine. But my solution to that was using the bottom ribbon, hold down the nav button till it catches, then slide the project that way.


Our Christmas Tree 2012

Posted Wednesday, 2 January, 2013 By Ross Meier

The last day for our Christmas tree 2012. A tree that filled our home with holiday goodness and wonderment. It will be remembered as one of the all time best trees. It was a quiet but lovely holiday, spent with family and friends.

Unfortunately, one very important member of our family, Carol Terpening, passed away over the summer. Carol loved Christmas, and she was thought of thru-out this holiday season. I know she would have approved of this years family gatherings.

Our family is more united and stronger than would have been expected, so there is a lot to be grateful for. Thru sickness and strife, tears and anger, love shined bright and led the way for us to see. So, from our family to yours, a last Merry Christmas cheer for this season. May 2013 bring health and happiness, success and prosperity and love… plenty of love… and understanding.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ross Meier


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New Holiday Wallpapers

Posted Saturday, 22 December, 2012 By Ross Meier

In case you missed the first posting early, early this morning, I’ve been busy sharing my holiday wallpaper collection. Here’s a few that I’ve included just recently, stop by Yuletide and help yourself, I just added more and will update as I come to find them.

Merry Christmas all!






Happy Holidays Desktop Wallpapers

Posted Saturday, 22 December, 2012 By Ross Meier

Merry Christmas all, if you’ve visited me on Pinterest, you already know that I love desktop wallpapers. So I thought it would be great to share my wallpapers here as well, and what better time than the holidays!

If you’d like to see more, head on over to Yuletide where you’ll find an ever-growing assortment, including some of my favourite holiday wallpapers. And remember… download as many as you’d like.




Serious Food For “Social Networking” Thought

Posted Wednesday, 19 December, 2012 By Ross Meier

I was sitting around yesterday thinking about social networking. I know, shut up already with the social networking chatter. Twitter is running rampant with folks trying to sell their expertise at it, and that’s just what I need is another “peep” on Twitter not looking at my tweets, just there to sell you something, how one sided is that.

So I was sitting around with nothing to do as I was in between checking my numerous sites and pages. Idle thoughts just like any other moment in time, then all of a sudden it hit me, again. That thought that I get every once in a while that makes sense but I don’t do anything about it. The question is: Why do I have a website and a facebook page, both of which I’ve invested quite some time into. I’m redundant, and redundant to myself mostly. A lot of people don’t know who I am, so why would they look for me.

When did this happen, that I became so preoccupied in making myself available and popular? It’s rather distasteful… Anyways, back to my epiphany and conclusion I think. Of course,  it’s still fresh and all of the details are a jumble of what the to dos are, but in the mean time I’ll just go on bitching about Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, Google+. Not to mention the other online identities like Yahoo, Windows Live, now Bing.

I thought I pretty much had all of my bases covered, but then I saw some that I had and still have missed: Orkut, Digg, Hunch, OMG! AOL, etc. etc. etc. I’m hopping around like r2 friggin d2 making sure that my user name is claimed for that social site. Even The Huffington Post got in on it, my Facebook is now linked to them, why? I don’t know. It’s really gotten dizzying, I could go on and name even more but that would be redundancy all on itself.

A little bit about what I do online goes like this: Read news, share news, add something to Pinterest, share something else I found fascinating, upload pics to Facebook, tweet, check my web sites, read more news, share more news, update profiles here and there, try figuring out how Google+ works for the zillionth time. Ok, time fire a cigarette break, then go to cnet and lose myself in new apps and downloads for way too long, tweet some more, check followers against my follows, read more, share more and on and on and on.

As you can see, that’s not the most productive a human being could and should be. Which brings me to my epiphany, if people want to find me, I am findable… At Home! Not wandering the halls of Facebook, looking for some interaction from a bunch of people that honestly could give two shits about you. Being a politician must suck, always worried about your popularity and how many followers you have. Sound familiar? Twitter and Facebook anyone? There are even places you can go to buy your followers, so you look more popular than you actually are. Really!!

This one twitter person that I saw has over 2 million followers and I’ve never heard of her. Gets me questioning my own out of touchness. So why are these other people so popular? I’m just as witty kinda.

There’s even teams of tweeters that follow, it’s like some kind of social sport, who can have the most followers. 100,000 followers, really? Damn I wish I was that popular, it’s like high school for Christ’s sake. Well I wasn’t any good at high school so I don’t know why I thought I would be any good at this. How about I am on line like I am in person, hello…how are you…move along.

What really got me going was when my partner came home from work and told me that a mutual “friend” on Facebook was complaining about my over posting. My Twitter is tied to my Facebook, so when there was a Celtic game on, I usually go into my backyard and tweet, saving my overworked nerves by not watching telly. Well I guess that’s just too much inclusion and activity for some “friends” on Facebook. So as to not offend me she simply changed her settings so that she would not be updated with my stuff. Unfriend without actually unfriending is what I call it, but whatever. This is from the same friend that spent a whole day one Friday posting picture after picture after picture of people that I don’t know having fun in a place I don’t know where. Woo Hoo…that was great fun, thanks for sharing.

So I think I give up, I give up with constantly updating myself all over the place. Honestly, it’s a lot of work to be relevant when all I really want to do is make music that I enjoy and if someone else likes it, cool. So you’ll be able to find me in the usual places, I’ll still be there, but if you want me, really want me, I’ll be at home. You know I pay actual money to have my home in these here internets. That’s the way I am in the not so virtual world of me, I stay at home and if someone wants to visit that’s great. As I’m writing this, I’m still trying to remember the password for one of my 20 something email accounts, but I digress.

So, I’m going to see if there is a way out of this madness without throwing it all away. Maybe make a list of sites that I like to wander around, make sure everything is proper, then go home. Something will be done, somehow, cause it just can’t go on like this.

Thanks for reading my rantings and don’t forget to “Like” me before you leave!






Viewpoint From A Friend

Posted Monday, 17 December, 2012 By Ross Meier

This is from my dear friend Sam Terpening, who in light of the Newtown, Ct massacre of the other day, wrote this on his Facebook page. It speaks directly, as if from my own thoughts, like he took the words right out of my mouth. And also with President Obama’s eloquent speech in Newtown last evening echoing what we’ve been saying privately and publicly when there is the opportunity. So with his kind consent I am sharing his first writings on this topic with you.





I am finding myself searching for the words to express the sadness I feel tonight over the events today in Newtown, CT. I feel I need to do something or say something that would help heal the world and stop this senseless violence. The politicians talk about how to curb gun violence as we watch the unfolding events of today. They talk about how to keep the “wrong people” from getting guns.

In this case the mother owned the gun and the son stole it from her. Do we need politicians to tell us as parents, uncles, aunts, grandparents lock up your GUNS! Guns are not the enemy however; the problem is that our society has been built upon Americans and their love of guns. The romance, the glorification and the argument that it is a right to own a gun, rings false.

I understand that guns and weapons have always been a part of our culture but must we carry on with such traditions when we have so many young people being destroyed, not to mention their families and those that love them?

Please America, please, I ask you all to think. These are our children, our legacy. When are we going to stand in the love of our families and stand up and say the protection of our children is paramount in ensuring our future as a nation of civility and not violence and darkness?


Sync This

Posted Wednesday, 28 November, 2012 By Ross Meier

So, I’m trying to sync my Windows live calender with my Google calender, but it’s not going very well. I get the share link and paste it into the right place, change out the beginning to http:// and my Google calender is updated. But then I make a new entry into the Windows calender and the Google calender does nothing.

I realise in writing this, I’m showing off my incomplete and half baked knowledge of syncing stuff. I seem to spend a lot of time trying to sync stuff, lots and lots of time. I have a general idea of what I’m doing but when I go to do it, I end up stabbing away at it until I eventually get things right.

Previously, I was able to sync Google calender with Mozilla Thunderbird and was all set. But I’ve not been using my Windows calender for awhile now and thought to start using it again. That’s what usually gets me into trouble, I think of something that I think I should do and it turns into something that I end up writing about ad nauseam.

With this syncing problem, I’m left totally bewildered, I could just keep using the Google calender only, but knowing that there’s something I can’t do would drive me nuts; opposed to the nuts that this is making me at this particular moment in time. And I like the idea of everything being in the same place, along with my Skydrive. I haven’t gone to the Microsoft forum for help yet, that’s last resort stuff. But judging by the progress so far, maybe it should have been first resort!

So now I’m thinking about feeding the Windows Live calender directly into Thunderbird, just like I did with the Google calender. Then the Google calender will read from Thunderbird both of the calenders that I’ve created on it. My phone will in turn be updated, but that’s only in my head, hasn’t happened…yet. I’m sitting in my backyard thinking and writing, gathering the courage for yet another go at it.

An hour has passed since that last paragraph and the answer is no, just plain no. It doesn’t work that way either! I pasted that same url into Thunderbird and the calender did update itself, but it’s still not syncing directly to Google and my phone.

Oh well, I still have the sync that I had before, so I’m no worse off. Besides being a little more aggravated! I really do like Microsoft and all their new stuff, so if Santa is looking at my Pinterest page, he’ll see a special folder just for him. That will solve all of my syncing problems, and trying to get Google and Microsoft to play nice together will be a thing of the past. A Windows phone and the Surface tablet and my desktop all running Windows 8, synced all around like it was meant to be. Sounds good to me!

Just before publishing I checked the calender on my phone. Would you believe that I have double postings of the test syncing entries? Looks like it’s syncing after all, don’t know why it didn’t update right away. Apparently, it takes a bit of time for the information to reach my phone but it’s working just fine. Meanwhile, there were a few problems, like not checking the ‘read only’ part of the calender set up, big deal after all this. Having to go back and check mark a box is something I for sure can do.

Next, I’m gonna re-screen my backdoor… I’ve done that before, so I shouldn’t end up writing a post on the subject!!!


Campaign Ends Where It Started

Posted Tuesday, 6 November, 2012 By Ross Meier

Bruce Springsteen started off President Obama’s final campaign event. The rock icon and enthusiastic Obama supporter, spoke and played for about twenty thousand people.

Michelle spoke next, “the final event of my husband’s final campaign.” In a beautiful speech before introducing her husband and our President.

“This is where our movement for change began,” President Obama said. His voice hoarse and emotional after days, weeks and months of cross country campaigning. ”Iowa, in 2008 your voice changed the world,” Obama declared.

President Obama told the boisterous crowd “Change isn’t easy… I wasn’t this grey when I first started up in Iowa.”

He said the higher powers and special interests fought his agenda every step of the way. ”Their bet is on cynicism,” he said. “But Iowa, you taught me to believe in you.”

”After all that we’ve fought through together, we cannot give up on change now.” Through the cheers, Obama said: “We are not done yet on this journey.”

Obama is ahead in polls of the Hawkeye State, where two out of three early voters have said they’re Obama supporters. “Iowa, it’s in your hands,” Obama said.

The Obama’s hugged eachother before waving goodnight. Now, all that’s left is the voting and the results.


Message from Obama for America – Florida

Posted Monday, 5 November, 2012 By Ross Meier

Obama for America – Florida: BREAKING: Until 5:00 p.m. today voting is open in Broward County at 1501 N.W. 40th Ave. in Lauderhill. Share this so your friends know.


Artist Shows Great Promise With Rihanna’s Song ‘Diamonds’

Posted Wednesday, 24 October, 2012 By Ross Meier

A few weeks ago I got a tweet out of the blue by someone that I didn’t know. At first I thought it was spam, but I was on my phone and wasn’t worried too much about following the link. Immediately I was taken in by a beautiful Antoinette Alston telling me she was going to be singing the song ‘Diamonds’. And there it began, my hours upon hours of You-Tube watching, one artist after another. All kinds, all trying to make a name for themselves and doing a pretty decent job of it too, but it all started off with a like of Antoinette’s version of that song.

Antoinette Alston started her video with her talking about how she was going to sing this song and hoping that I would like it. Direct enough approach! Then the music started to play and she began to do a live (for the camera) sing over as far I could tell, not lip syncing to a previous recording but live! And she blew me away from the start, what a great voice she has! I sat and listened and listened some more, coming to the conclusion that if she gets a few lucky rolls, she has everything to make it huge. Antoinette Alston can be found on Twitter at AntoinetteTeteA and also on Facebook at AntoinetteSingingStar.

Mind you, I normally don’t write promo bits, so my first intention was to write about everyone that I listened to that night, but realised that I could continue writing forever. There were a few other artists with great productions, including Adriel, Drew Chambers, Durand Burnarr and Taps Mugadza to name a few. The thing that stood out for Antoinette Alston was the simplicity of her production, music and voice, without the bells and whistles of a super mixed production! I strongly recommend checking her out, whether on You-Tube or live as she travels with her parents and their band. Also, check out the other artists that I mentioned as they are also very talented and quite dynamic.


Auld Lang Syne

Posted Wednesday, 17 October, 2012 By Ross Meier

As I was putting together my bit on Rantin Rovin Robin, I came across another song from Robert Burns, ‘Auld Lang Syne’.  Well I kind of think that random happenings are for a reason, so I figured I’d write a bit about this song, a song truly for the ages.  Yes, Robert Burns penned ‘Auld Lang Syne’ in 1788, and it has since become one of the greatest songs of all time. Every year, most people throughout the world sing this song, and all at once too. Follow the time zones and circle the earth, an entire swath of the earths people are singing this song… ‘should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind’. And according to Wikipedia, it’s sung at funerals, graduations and used by various groups like the international Boy Scout youth movement.

I wonder how many people know who wrote this song though? Millions upon millions of people sing this song every New Years Eve, not even giving thought as to where it came from.  Of course why would they, who ponders such things, especially on New Years Eve.  It seems to be a song that’s ingrained in our minds. A great song is a great song, regardless of when it was written and this one without question, holds its own with any song in history. There is some doubt as to whether the melody used today is the same one Burns originally intended, but it is widely used in Scotland and in the rest of the world.

When I was a kid, all the older folks liked what we called elevator music. They would turn on whatever “Sea View” radio station was on and enjoy. My dad once asked about a really nice song that his station was playing, and it was to his total surprise that it was ‘Yesterday’ by Lennon and McCartney. Of course this version was all done up elevator style and fit the radio stations programming, perfectly fitting into all the other floating strings songs that they played. I can still here the stations advert with the sounds of the ocean and the very calm voice saying “Sea view, WCVU”.

A few months ago, ‘Black Bird’ was one of the biggest songs on country music radio, and I wonder how many kids knew that it was a song done over 40 years ago by the Beatles. And through the ages that’s the way it’ll probably always be. The youth of any given generation think that the world is all about them, and their music is the be all and end all. But we get a little older and (hopefully) learn about other times and generations and the changes that can occur to the complete structure of our media.

When Robert Burns (1759-1796), wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne’, I’m sure he didn’t think for the life of him that the entire world would be singing it two or three hundred years later. I just now realised how old he was when he died, 36 is pretty young. Anyway, all this social chatter about what’s hot and trending today doesn’t strike a chord with me, except that I make an effort to stay current… kinda. Maybe because I grew up listening to classical music, mom played her recordings while hanging out or when she cleaned the house. She would point out pieces and tell me the story behind the music. The classics of all sorts were introduced to me at a very young age.

Anyway, back to the great songs and more interesting to me, the great songwriters. Who would you rank as the one of the worlds best songsters? And while that question sits there for a bit, let’s talk about Robert Burns being one of the best songwriters of all time? I could probably take a survey of my neighbourhood and I’d bet that most, if not all would not even know who Robert Burns was, let alone that he wrote ‘Auld Lang Syne’. “Oh yeah Robert Burns, he does those entertainment bits on royalty and shit.” I can almost hear some people say.

So here it is, ‘Auld Lang Syne’, don’t sing it right now, ’cause you might get that holiday feeling.



The Incredible Never Leaving Derelict Boat

Posted Saturday, 1 September, 2012 By Ross Meier

This is the story of the incredible never leaving derelict boat. It continues on with me having made numerous phone calls and having the local newspaper, ‘The Charlotte Sun’ come out and do some pics and ask some questions.

Evening discussions on this boat have now become the norm in my home. And now, apparently there’s no one next-door except a dog that barks, leading us to have just a few suspicions of what could be going on. We ended up calling the sheriff this particular night out of concern that the dog is possibly home alone and starving to death or worse yet, their could be something more sinister at play here; obviously too much ID Discovery channel. A deputy came out and looked around, even opened up the front door for a peek. Just a dog, but no one dead that he could see without going inside and breaking the law. After a few remarks about how that’s all he could do, he left on a fire call. So that’s that for the night, nothing more to accomplish til tomorrow.

The next day, I got a call from someone in the derelict boat department who came by while I wasn’t looking and took pictures of the boat and the other code violations on the property, now he would pass the info on to a person in the right government agency; frig me already!

Nothing else happened that day which didn’t surprise me, but the next day I happened to be looking out of my kitchen window to see a guy walking around the neighbours property. So I went out and told him I was the person calling and trying to get the boat removed. We talked for a bit and I gave him the number of the property owner, Fran. I told him how her son had lived there for a while and just recently moved and that his sister moved in directly after him. She was living there with her boyfriend, two young kids, the dog, and a blonde guy that’s a cousin I think. They were the ones that moved the boat to the easement after filling it up with trash that had lived in the backyard for quite sometime. I also told him about the car having an etched out VIN and the washing machine that empties out into the lake behind our houses.

Anyway, Joe wasn’t with the derelict boat agency, he was with the illegal dumping unit. A nice guy who takes his job seriously, I got a bounty hunter vibe from him. He said that he would inform all of the appropriate agencies and that I wouldn’t have to do anything else. Awesome, finally I was getting someone to help me and something was being done about this eye sore and possible fly away derelictness. But obviously not in time for Isaac, which was now less than a day from hitting us.

So Isaac veered off into the gulf and started it’s trek towards Louisiana, leaving us safe from what could have turned into the derelict boat from hell. I could envision all the garbage (including TV’s, saws and empty beer bottles) becoming derelict missiles.

A few days passed and I saw some activity next door. The guy that used to live there is back to move the boat? Yes and no, the next day they moved the boat… farther back and away from the house. But it’s still there, mattress and all sticking out of it. I thought they got rid of the car, but no, only moved it to the backyard. I had called Joe when I first saw people next-door and he said that he got hold of the owner by phone and she had seven days to dispose of the boat and show him a receipt showing proof. If they move the boat onto their property it becomes a code violation and Joe would have no jurisdiction.

Maybe they’re moving the boat and car temporarily and will move it again I’m thinking. Needless to say, I’m slowly losing my positive ‘I can take care of this problem’ frame of mind. I have my doubts, and well founded doubts they are because since I wrote the last paragraph, they moved the boat into the backyard next to the car; ten feet away from our fence. So with all my bitching about the boat, I’ve succeeded in getting it moved closer to me!

A few good weeks have passed without me calling anyone, my plan was to call code enforcement on Monday (now last Monday), but again I was stopped. This time code enforcement beat me too it, I watched with glee as the officer made a full inspection of the property and then sat in her truck to make out a report I suppose. I decided to just let her do her thing and not involve myself anymore than needed. I’m sure they don’t need me describing something to them that they’ve seen first hand.

And again, another week passes and nothing, no word from anybody and no boat removal. Well, this story is turning into a ridiculous never ending novel. Hopefully I will have some positive news to jot down shortly.


The Derelict Boat

Posted Thursday, 23 August, 2012 By Ross Meier

So next door to my neighbor is an easement owned by no one seems to know. And on this property is a boat full of everything from the neighbors cleaning up their back yard. A lot of shit is in the boat: tv’s, beer bottles and cans, a mattress and all kinds of other nasty items.

At first I thought they were going to take it away, but as time went on, I’m thinking maybe no. It’s unreal that it’s still there, even Sanford and Son had junk, this is just trash in a pile in a boat. I called the county code enforcement who referred me to the derelict boat department who immediately tried to refer me back to the county code enforcement. But after explaining what the problem was about, she took my message for the derelict boat supervisor person. I never got a call back from him, but I figured he’s probably busy so I’d just wait, and… Nothing. So weeks and weeks went by and the boat is still sitting there, with its nasty mattress protruding proudly, like a flag or something.

Now it’s August and hurricane Isaac is figuring out which way it’s going to go, much like Charlie did a few years ago. I’m thinking that it’s not just an eye sore anymore, it’s potentially a derelict boat full of junk missiles. Why didn’t code enforcement do something about this themselves? They just forwarded it on to the derelict boat people instead of doing their jobs. And with a potential hurricane coming up the coast, you’d think that they would be more vigilant about having debris lying around that could become dangerous. I guess people forget what happened when hurricane Charlie came thru.

With that in mind, I called the Charlotte Sun, our local newspaper.  Hoping to get a positive response I was surprised that I got a nibble. Greg Martin, a reporter came out and took pictures of the boat and seemed genuinely interested in getting some action on what is now a good two months of boat ordeal. The name of the boat is ‘Don’t Worry’, how fitting. If this boat were in a different part of town, it would have been an ordinance problem on day one, but since we’re outside city limits, I guess stuff like this doesn’t matter. Well it matters to me and it’s getting to be a pain in the ass. What is it gonna take to get this damn boat moved out of here?

I’m now on my second day of writing this story. The supervisor, Andy Stevens, from the derelict boat department called me and said that although it’s not his jurisdiction, he would come by this afternoon and take pictures. Says he knows a guy in code enforcement that will take care of it. So I’m waiting for him to show up as I write this, we’ll see what happens.


Music Revisited

Posted Saturday, 11 August, 2012 By Ross Meier

So I’m not supposed to go back and redo music that I’ve finished. Close the books on them and go onto something else, that’s what I was told anyways. And for the most part that’s what I do, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. And it comes in waves, not just one song, but a group of them.

It was Paul McCartney who said in an interview that he doesn’t revisit his music. When he’s done, he moves on to something else. I have tried to do the same but whatever, I can’t hear something that I know is wrong and leave it.

‘Into the world’ was recorded back in 2006 when I was migrating my recording environment from stand alone hd recording to computer. With all the new sounds I had at my disposal and my new love of the piano, I remember having quite a mixing issue.

My levels were all over the place as I tried to get all of the instruments heard. For example, I know now that the piano volume belongs in a certain range and the synth belongs in another. But back then it was hit or miss, and hours were filled with drastic changes in the mixes.

When I listen to that older stuff, it brings me right back to the all night mix fests. I can hear myself learning how to record and produce, something that do now without really thinking too much about it. I hear the older songs and think “Could this be any busier or more involved?”

So I’m taking ‘Into the world’ into the studio again, sans the orchestra. And it’s a beautiful thing, to hear the melody without all the other stuff that I thought was needed or sounded good at the time. It was bugging me and now I’m doing something about it. But this is it, no more revisiting this one. It’s a beautiful song on piano and the inflections and reflections can actually be heard and felt now.

I think I know why Paul doesn’t revisit his music, it can begin to take on a life of it’s own. I mean where does it end? The recording has to finish at some point.

It’s interesting to have the contrasting versions, for posterity if for nothing else. As I have become much better at conveying my musical intentions, probably the only songs revisited in the studio will be the older ones.

Ugh, what if I’m saying the same thing about the music I’m doing now, five years from now? Stop the madness.


First Post… and Outside

Posted Saturday, 4 August, 2012 By Ross Meier

Well this is different, sitting outside writing this for this site, my site. A really nice change from the tweetys 140 characters or less. I’m on facebook, myspace and others too, but this is home, my home. And I think I like it! So after spending way too much time and effort, I fixed some problems with this site that were driving me nuts and making it so I was unable to properly post something. I can’t believe after all this time that everything is working, but that’s all I’ll say on that, don’t wanna jinx it.

Now I’m typing… or swyping I suppose, on my phone, relaxing on a chaise lounge in my sandbox. If you’ve seen my backyard, you know why I call it the sandbox. My sanctuary,  the sandbox, is just outside of my studio and where I spend a good portion of my time, writing and playing with my children. When I’m not working on a song or tending to other stuff, this is where I am. And now I can cogitate directly, phone home as it were.
So if you’re on the tweety or something, you can follow me there or like me here or whatever the case may be, that’s would be cool too.

Alright, lemme go in and do some stuff, besides my bottom is numb from sitting here too long.


Rantin Rovin Robin

Posted Tuesday, 12 June, 2012 By Ross Meier

I’ve updated this earlier post, since it wouldn’t make sense without the scanned song being a part of it. Somehow it got lost in the transfer from my first site.

So back in my early childhood, I came across a poet named Robert Burns. Well I got an old book of Scottish verse and dove into what quickly became one of my favourite reads, and one of those faves was Rantin Rovin Robin. To me, it encompasses the rock and roll of poetry. I was going to write music to it, but found out that it was already done.

I’ve had a Rantin Rovin bit going around in my head for years and maybe I heard it being sung at sometime and just remembered it, who knows. I’m gonna do this song one of these days, but I’ve said that for years. But in the mean time I decided that I would share it. The book I have is ‘The Oxford Book of Scottish Verse’, and it’s 45 years old. It was gonna be written out, but when I scanned it, I thought it looked way too cool, so here it is.