Help me replace my microphone before I go silent. Gofundme! Update. – Melodic metal singer and band – Fundraiser.

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Fundraiser for a new microphone for jennyK.
Donate here.

Hey, people.
It’s me again.
Thanks Steve for getting things started.

Don’t let him be all alone on that list now. anything will truly help.
Wonderland

this tune was an absolute pleasure to sing on. the collaboration page can be found here:
on kompoz.com.

And Steve is roaming the net as well on kompoz.com and on
Rhythmic Devil,. Check that out.

And thanks for listening. Now, go
help JennyK replace her microphone!

JennyK and Icarus Machine

It’s okay to not be okay. Attitudes change, that’s great. But is it? Is the word Anxiety losing its meaning?

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It’s okay to not be okay

It is isn’t it?
Well, in one very important sense it is; it’s okay to not have it all together. Mental illness is something so many of us deal with and it’s the new normal to some degree. Not that it’s something people are comfortable talking about, but it’s getting better.

True. Yes?

But I’ve noticed something a bit odd and quite disconcerting. I admit, this is my perspective and I do not speak for you or anyone else. These are just thoughts that have come up lately. I’m not even sure if it’s an actual viewpoint, a definite opinion, if it’s something that has actually changed in the last few years, or If I’m just completely full of it.

So here it is.

Yes, mental illness is okay to deal with, to admit having issues with. Everything from slight social anxiety to serious cases of OCD and beyond where serious medication is needed. I think it’s going the right way if nothing else.
but the first thing I find myself uncharitable enough to think at times is that, “If everyone and their aunt claims to have anxiety, then what does the word “anxiety” actually mean in real life for me?” The odd thing is that if I tell someone that I have anxiety, Joe Blow down the block might say “Oh, that’s okay, we’ve all got that. Pot helps with that these days, doesn’t it? I get anxious all the time. You should take a walk or something. Join a club or whatever.”

Sigh.

the thing is; I don’t think Joe Blow down the block knows what anxiety is. he most certainly doesn’t know what an anxiety attack does to a person. Or how crippling social anxiety can be. Or how stress hormones in the body from cronic anxiety will make you sick, physically. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Joe, I know you mean well, but before you minimize the suffering of those who actually do suffer, you might want to talk to a few of those who know what it’s like.

Really, I do feel like my anxiety, which is both crippling and makes me physically sick, and prevents me from doing so many of the things I deep down wish I could do, gets viewed as nothing more than a slight case of being a bit scared or nervous. Oh, everyone has anxiety these days, no big deal. If it gets bad, there’s pot, and there are drugs. What’s the big deal?

Now, you tell me, am I being fair?

let me know in the comments if you think, as I do, that just the normalizing of the word “anxiety” has made it pretty much meaningless. Or maybe I’m thinking about this a bit screwy, then tell me that.

Jen

Music: Demo of “Hey, it’s okay.” by JennyK.
‘s

Fail in the JennyK Studio. Help me replace my microphone?

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Campaign page – click here to help.

Hey people.

I’m Jen, JennyK to my bandmates. So, I’m the lyricist and vocalist in a melodic/prog-metal bank called Icarus Machine.  It consists of me, Bill, Jordi, and recently Ben joined us on drums. We have produced two albums and we are right now working on an EP we call “Fragile” 

This band and our music is what we love to do. It’s simply the most rewarding project I personally have been part of for a long time.  We love what we do and we will keep writing songs and producing music even if this continues to be a zero-budget endeavour. As independent artists, all our costs come out of our own pockets.  This is the nature of the beast -the music biz in a nutshell. 🙂

but as things go in any studio, big or small, gear fail or they leave much to be desired in quality. this time  I find that my microphone, cheap to start with, is failing me. So I will need a replacement sooner rather than later.  My desired microphone –if you are not into gear and stuff, don’t worry about it because it doesn’t matter- is A studio Projects condenser microphone. this is not a super high-end mic, but it’s something I have used before and one I truly love. It may  cost  around $350 on the low end, possibly as much as $500. I have not shopped around lately so I’m spitballing it, but that is the price range I’m aiming for, even if I end up with something different. 

So, it’s simply that. I need this to keep recording vocals for not only Icarus Machine, but also for any other voice work I tend to do. I have a podcast, I would like to offer services  as voice talent, I also work with other fantastic  artists where I add vocals on their music.
Bottom line is, without a decent microphone I’m not able to do any of that, and that makes me into a miserable person. 😀

If you can help me out with this, you would be my hero forever!   but seriously, it would  make  things easier and future releases will sound the way they are supposed to sound.

thank you!. 

JennyK and Icarus Machine 

 Campaign page – click here to help.

When the hunt for accessible WordPress plugins makes me exhausted and frustration takes over the keyboard. A blind webmasters commentary

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When the hunt for accessible WordPress plugins makes me exhausted and frustration takes over the keyboard. A blind webmasters commentary

There are great plugins. There are bad plugins. There are fantastic plugins. There are accessible plugins.

And I quote from my latest encounter with one of those: It’s fantastic -according to the 5.0 rating and 200k active users,

“Easy to use and 100% FREE social media plugin which adds social media icons to your website with tons of customization features”

I’m not naming this company because I know I can find something else to use and I don’t have the energy to try to make them change things. But here is the deal: It’s a simple thing one would think. A few buttons, a few links, five minutes to set up, set and forget. Unfortunately, after thirty minutes of fighting with it, I deactivated, deleted, and drew a deep breath, backing away from the computer.
And I remember perfectly decent people say to me,
“Well, at least you can do some of the things you need. Better than nothing isn’t it?”

Let me say that again,

“At least you can…. Better than nothing…”

Oh, pardon me while I throw my prospects in the waste bin and cleanse work ethics from my brain. Let me also tie myself to a corner and promise to never want to excel in anything, ever. Allow me to learn the concept of Good Enough, I am blind after all, why want to be professional?
, Now, let me reframe all of that:

“Boss, you know that new computer?”

“Yeah, it’s amazing isn’t it? It’s really fast.”

“Yes, I’m sure it is. But there’s no monitor.”

“Yes, I’m aware of that. We’re thinking of getting the monitor sometime in the future. I’ve got people looking into it, I think. It is something I thought about but it seems complicated.”

“Okay, so how am I supposed to do my work? I have video to edit for the Friday show.”

“Oh well, I can’t see a real problem. Just build yourself a monitor and use that.”

“Err, well, it’s not something I ever thought I’d have to learn. So, no I cannot.”

“No? I thought you were capable and could do anything.”

“I’m a video editor, it’s not my job to build the equipment I need to use, is it?”

“Funny, it’s not my job either. I don’t even know who makes those. But don’t fret. You can always use the 486 over there can’t you?”

“You mean the DX? The one with the broken mouse and 16 mb of RAM?”

“Yes, of-course. Hell, At least you’ll have a chair and a desk to work at. That’s more than some have. It’s better than nothing, isn’t it?”

***

JennyK.
.

,

Do you thank your Alexa? Here’s why I think you should. – A reflection

Thank you text on chalk board
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Do you thank your Alexa? Here’s why I think you should.

A House of Imp Life-hack Click To Tweet

So, you’ve got one of those. The Alexa, the Google assistant, the Cortana, the infamous Siri on your phone, tablet, computer, or of course that smart speaker sitting there on the counter listening.

Do you ever ask for something and she says, “I don’t know about that.”?
What do you say? And do you make sure she is listening when you say it?
I ask that because I’ve noticed a difference in how my husband and I talk to our brand new Echo device, namely Alexa. He asks her for a song and she gets it wrong and no matter how he tries to get the correct title or artist, she just doesn’t get it or the song is not available for some reason. At that point he gets frustrated and says “Alexa, Fuck off!”

Yeah, I get it. The funny thing is that I say it out-loud too, but I don’t say the name. So, I don’t say it when the damn thing is “listening”.

Yep, I am really big on anthropomorphizing, I admit it. And I’m well aware of it.

And that is why, when I ask Alexa to create a list, or look up something interesting, or when she tells me something amusing I didn’t expect her to say, I say Thank you. I don’t always make sure she hears it, I’m not all that out there. But I do say it. I say it in almost the same way I thank my dog when he brings me something he shouldn’t have picked up in the first place or when he sits politely when I ask him.

The other night my Alexa played some pretty ding and said, “I’m reminding you, about that thing.”
I had totally forgotten so I said without reservation, “Alexa, okay got it, thank you.”
“Of course,” she said.

Nice.

The thing about that little interaction is that it made me feel good. I mean, not in any earth shattering type of way but in some abstract sense of decency kind of fashion that is so hard to describe. What I believe is that my thank you was an expression of gratitude toward the technology and the people behind it. I’m grateful for this kind of thing, the convenience, the ease of use, the amazing people making that semi-creepy human-machine interaction possible.
It fascinates me, it scares me at times, but overall I am delighted.

So yeah, I do thank my smart speaker when it gives me something I find of value, like information, entertainment, or cleverly stupid lame jokes. I thank my stupid privacy killing talking speaker because it makes me feel good.

To be fair, I am the kind of person who says thank you to the impossible-to-open packaging when it finally gives me the goods. I thank the printer for spitting out my shopping list without a hitch. I give my thanks to something in the air around me when I hang up the phone after a successful phone call.
It’s all about gratitude,. And I am grateful for so many things. In some odd way, having Alexa gives me an incentive to express that gratitude more often. And I think that is a good thing. Whatever makes me feel better in some small way, has to be a good thing.

So, don’t tell your idiot device to go shove it when it gets it wrong. Remember that behind that little thing and beyond all the wiring and intangible signals, are humans. People with amazing ideas, and awful flaws. Be grateful for all it has to offer instead.

Say Thank you.

Jenny,

About the author


Jenny K. Brennan is a Swedish/Canadian vocalist, songwriter, and writer living in Ontario, Canada since 2002 with one husband, one dog, and unfinished projects in the thousands. Find her on
The House of Imp,
kompoz.com,
Icarus Machine official,
JennyK Productions Youtube,
and other places. She is the lyricist and vocalist in the melodic metal band Icarus Machine since 2015. She studies braille at The Hadley Institute for the Blind and Visually impaired. On her free time, she learns Wordpress by trial and error, audio production using Apple Logic Pro, and carpentry by association.

Gutenberg editor in WordPress 5.0 – yeah, I gave it three minutes. Useless crap I can live without.

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Crap, I tell ya!

I have but a few words to say about the new editor in WordPress’ latest update. Their new fancy editor has become cool and intuitive and modern and flexible…. errr, and totally fucking useless! If you like it, then I know that you are sighted. I am not. The accessibility that WordPress has worked so hard on the last decade or so did not make it into the new Gutenberg editor. Yes, the buttons are there, in all the wrong places. The functions are there, without following any logical workflow thinking.

So I gave it about three minutes before installing the “Classic editor” plugin to write this post. I did notice that this plugin had, after only a few weeks since the upgrade , been installed over a million times. I spend a fair amount of time in the plugin directory and you don’t get numbers like that if users are not desperate to get it.

Again – “Classic editor” . Search for it, install it. Maybe you wish to try out the new editor with time,, maybe not. But if you are like me and like speed and efficiency in your post creation as well as rely on access technology such as screen readers, do not fight with Gutenberg. It’s not worth the frustration.

Classic is good.

JennyK