Wind Generators and General Windiness

My car's inseparable friend.

It has been quite some time since I wrote the previous post. No doubt some loyal readers were wondering such things as:

  • “Did Zach just stay in Utah forever?”
  • “Did Zach ever install his carputer or did he only assemble it?”
  • “Did Zach actually, in fact, die?”
  • “If I had a nickel for every blog post apologizing for not updating frequently enough, how much money would I have?”
  • “Is this project ever going to be finished?”
  • “What’s for lunch?”

I apologize first for making you ask those questions, second for waiting so long to answer them, and third for not giving you a single nickel for this very apology. Because these questions do have answers. Answers such as ‘no’, ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘more than enough to pay for the rest of my gas’, ‘definitely’, and ‘delicious sushi with a glass of Oolong tea!’

U is for Utah!

Which ties in nicely to what I was wondering about as I drove out of Utah, very alive and full from a delicious lunch, to continue my amazing project: wind generators. It so happens that I ran across a couple of them on my way.

And behold, the wind generators were spread out before me, as ripe fruit to the harvest.

Okay, it so happens that I ran across a friggin’ slew of them.

You may wonder, were they generating a headwind or a tailwind? When they are all turned up full, they can reputedly generate hurricane-velocity winds. WHOOOOOSH! Just think of how much change this wind farm causes! WHOOOSH! Tote that pail, generate that wind, pitch the council tent...

What was the world like before we had wind generators? What was the world’s weather like with so much less wind? Did we have clouds or only fog? Was the Midwest still windier than the rest of the US?

There they are standing in a row.

Most of the world’s wind generators are located on “wind farms,” huge wind-producing complexes of wind generators, which are also often located close to actual farms. The reason for this is that wind farms, with their ability to generate wind in just about any direction, can effectually control the weather – of course, their direct influence on the weather fades quickly with distance, but the effect is, of course, worldwide (a la butterfly effect). Amazing, what mankind has wrought.

Then I thought about Chicago, dubbed “The Windy City” long before the advent of these marvelous weather-influencing machines. That was a different type of wind, however.

And I felt inspired by both types of wind. Wind. Wind carries the seeds of life from one place to another. Wind makes waves, affecting even the underwater world it cannot directly touch. Wind pollinates plants, carries whispers, lifts the eagle high into the sky, fills a boat’s sails and gives it motion. Wind turns the weathervane of change, and blows the dust from the old and stagnant. The wind completely shapes the unplanted desert, and can wear down even rock with its persistence. Wind.

And wind generators, though manmade, are one source of this wind, this agent of life, transportation, and change. And I too can be a wind generator! I will blow my trump and sound my horn and smack my drum to the beat of a different drummer, drumming together with 100 different friends from different cities and cultures. I will carry the seeds of music to places they have never been carried. I will blow a wind that has never been blown. I will bring music around the world and bounce the music of one man off another’s until all the world has connected their ideas in one big celebratory web of human experience.

I believe strongly that music is a language common to all humanity (one of very few such languages), and is therefore something remarkable and unique. With my Recording Tour of Love, I want to promote inter-cultural dialog to an extent impossible using traditional languages. With the wind of this project, I will blow the world together in a collaborative effort heretofore unseen.

Things like this go through my head all the time, I just don’t often write about them because I’m too busy doing something about them.

“Um…”

What is it, Attractive Girl?

“You know that wind generators don’t actually generate wind, right?”

Yeah, so?

“Okay, just making sure.”

Wind Generators: Not Really Generators of Wind

Soon I was out of Utah and on my way to Fort Collins. I was happy to say that getting out of the cattle region of Montana/Utah/Idaho also put this behind me:

Grisly scene of carnage.

NEXT: Carputer… PART DEUX!

State of the Project: 12/23

It’s been over a month since my dad took this picture:

The triumphant return!  Only about 17 steps to go!

In fact, now it’s the day before Christmas Eve (a.k.a. Christmas Eve Eve) and here I am, writing about what I did back in the beginning of October. But there’s a method to my madness: if through some miracle I finished writing about the tour today, there would be months of nothing but “well, I’m still mixing…” posts. Not very exciting. Instead, I’m timing things so you get a slower but constant stream of actual, exciting project news.

“Bah!” grumbles Mr. Yerfulovit. “You’re just telling yourself that to make yourself feel better about not updating as often!”

Maybe partly true. And hey — welcome back Mr. Yerfulovit, we haven’t seen you around for a long while. Anyway, while slowly bringing the travel bloggings home, I will occasionally mix in current project news so you also know what’s going on now.

Current project status

Mainly, I’m waiting on my visa to go teach ESL in Korea again, and start climbing out of the debt this project has already put me in. The wait is far longer than expected, evidently due to lots of changes to the visa process in Korea. Because I needed a week or two where I wasn’t thinking about the project and 10,000 related details every day, I had been planning on waiting until I was in Korea to really buckle down and get things edited, mixed and recorded, but as the wait drags on I’ve had to reassess that plan. So, I have been working on making sure I have everything recorded in the States that I need. I’ve been doing a good bit of mixing, and recording a handful of people in Omaha.

But to be honest, I’m experiencing a bit of a “down” after the constant hustle and bustle of traveling and recording. Certainly I needed to crash a bit, just to recover from the exhausting tour. But I still don’t feel like doing anything, and it’s been about a month since I got back to HQ. This constant waiting for the visa and not knowing when I’m leaving yet has also got me a bit frayed. But it’s been more than long enough and I need to get back on my feet.

I’ll be taking a very stripped-down version of my studio with me to Korea, so I’ll be able to finish up the project over there. But I won’t be recording anyone (besides myself) in Korea. It’s a kind of project rule: only US Americans on the project. I know some great Korean musicians, but I’m saving them for later. This particular project is about Americans from all over playing American music from all over. As it turns out, even limiting it to the USA is diverse enough for at least three albums (Amazing!). I’m not generally very nationalistic — I don’t see why any country is necessarily better than another, when every person on Earth is equally valuable — but America is my home and the source of a lot of my musical upbringing, and the best context for my first album. A kind of foundation, from which I can depart but never permanently (I’m applying that to both my geography as well as my music).

In exciting future news, I have both a really great painter and a really great graphic designer both on board to help out with album artwork and jacket design (!!!!1!!11!!), and a handful of musicians ready to collaborate with recording online should I discover a hole I’m not able to fill myself in Korea.

There’s a new version of Sonar out. It looks shnazzy.

And now for our regularly-scheduled travel blog.