The Oracle of Apollo Snippets from the life of Apollo Lee

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Digeum Mix Session 04R

I’ve been listening to a lot of tech house and electro lately, so I wanted to reach back into the soulful deep house treasure chest. This one came out nice and mellow with lots of vocal grooves that just make me smile.

In a couple of spots, I got a little carried away with flangers and other effects processors. But, it was all in good fun. I have a great time spinning these mixes.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Romeo — Solstice Eve Stepping. Mixed by Apollo Lee in Sunnyvale, California, USA, on Sunday, June 20, 2010. Running time: 1:16:57.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Barbell and Bumpers

This afternoon, Eric and I got together to move his barbell and 260 pounds of rubber bumpers to my garage. They were stored in the garage of a relative, among a bunch of other stored items. He wasn’t able to use them sequestered in there. My garage is newly empty and freshly cleaned out by the people tearing up my house.

All the equipment fit in my car. The plates vary in weight from ten pounds to forty-five. Everything’s brand new. So, we set up in my garage gym and got down to business with the first workout.

The workout of the day today was five rounds of five rep sets of the deadlift. I figured it would behoove me to start light to make sure I had the form right. I started out at 135, finished the fifth set at 205, and tried one at 235. Eric, on the other hand, started where I left off and finished with all the plates on the bar (305).

So, it looks like I can do barbell work in my garage. Now, all I need is a bench and a set of squat stands. Thumbs up for new gear.

Thanks, Eric!

Digeum Mix Session 04Q

I upgraded to Traktor Pro the other day. After a couple of fumbled attempts to get started this evening, I stopped trying to mix without sync and tried to get the hang of this new software.

Fortunately, I picked out a small group of tech house and electro tracks that should be pretty easy to mix. There were a few dicey spots that are barely noticeable in the final mix, but the double effects processors are fun to play with. I eventually kicked into my groove. This was fun. I’ll get more confident with Traktor Pro soon.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Quebec — Bumpgrade. Mixed by Apollo Lee in Sunnyvale, California, USA, on Tuesday, June 08, 2010. Running time: 2:11:03.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Upgrading to Traktor Pro

This month, Native Instruments is running a deal by which I could upgrade Traktor from version 3 to the new Traktor Pro for half price. This made my upgrade less than $45.

Tonight, I took it for a little test spin and noticed immediately how drastically different many of the controls are. For one, my usual looping controls are all out of whack. There are multiple effects processors, which is nifty, but the new controls will take some getting used to. The tempo clock measures to two decimal places now, so I’ll have rely more heavily on sync than I did in recent mixes.

The upgrade was fairly painless. I was happy with Traktor 3, but if I ever finally upgrade OS X to Snow Leopard (which I bought a couple of months ago and haven’t installed yet), I need Pro. I guess we’ll see how the next mix goes.

Digeum Mix Session 04P

Jay Def works up another lip-curling tech house mix, full of filthy basslines and tough beats. This three-hour mix has that underground warehouse party feel, when a new DJ takes over at 2 and inches us closer to dawn. Hell yes, Jay. Nicely done!

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Pap — Blip Beat BBQ. Mixed by Jay Def in Meridian, Idaho, USA, on Sunday, May 30, 2010. Running time: 2:52:08.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Digeum Mix Session 04O

Today felt like an opportunity to make a friend smile. So, I pulled together some of my favorite vocal house tracks, filled out with artists like Dubtribe Sound System, Jay Tripwire, Lisa Shaw, and Samantha James. This one’s for Amanda, my smiling friend who is always excited about everything.

Keep dancing, Amanda. I hope you like this music.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Oscar — Dancing with Amanda. Mixed by Apollo Lee in Sunnyvale, California, USA, on Sunday, May 23, 2010. Running time: 1:16:14.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Digeum Mix Session 04N

Jay Def takes no prisoners in this fist-pumping set of tech house gems. For just over two hours, he delivers twerky synths, gritty basses, and beats that makes you go “UNH.”

Each track is carefully chosen. Some of them are stomping, and some of them are goofy and hilarious. One of them spins into an Irish fiddle tune. This big variety keeps a fun groove going until the very last track.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session November — Hit It, Brobot. Mixed by Jay Def in Meridian, Idaho, USA, on Friday, May 21, 2010. Running time: 2:08:40.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Digeum Mix Session 04M

I was feeling a little disco today, so I decided to throw together a short little mix. We’ve got soulful grooves and punchy funky tracks. It’s a fun little mix of house music for the middle of May. I hope you like it.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Mike — The Ides of May II. Mixed by Apollo Lee in Sunnyvale, California, USA, on Saturday, May 15, 2010. Running time: 1:19:18.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Digeum Mix Session 04L

It was Jay‘s turn to drop a Digeum Mix. He pinged me by email to let me know he was throwing it down. This time, he wandered, for the first time in Volume 04, into house territory. He calls it “Lazy Saturday Afternoon”, but it’s anything but that.

This mix stomps hard, a street-hardened set of tech house that delivers a drubbing that never softens for a second. When Jay Def wants to spin house music, it’s always gritty, tough, and punches you right in the chest. It feels like three in the morning in a warehouse, where everyone’s sweaty and screaming, the DJ pulls out another record with a bassline that comes from nowhere, and the weak have left the dancefloor for the committed.

Don’t believe me. Go listen to it. And close your eyes and picture every underground party you’ve ever been to — every time it’s getting to that hour when you’ve passed the point where you’re worried about getting up and doing stuff tomorrow.

Digeum Mix Sessions – Volume 04, Session Lima — Lazy Saturday Afternoon. Mixed by Jay Def in Meridian, Idaho, USA, on Saturday, May 08, 2010. Running time: 2:03:33.

Go give it a listen and leave a comment with your thoughts.

Building Parallettes

My friend, Eric, came over today to work on homemade CrossFit tools. The original plan was to build a few medicine balls, which we would build out of rubber basketballs, playground balls, sand, and duct tape. We also decided to build a pair of parallettes each, per Greg Glassman’s instructions. After a visit to Orchard Supply Hardware to pick out the supplies to build parallettes, we were ready to get underway with the construction project.

I remember some time ago reading a funny story about a guy’s misadventure making a medicine ball. I thought to myself, “The worst that can happen is that I’ll mess up the cuts on a PVC pipe and have to buy another $2.25 pipe to start over with.” I knew that, whenever we built the medicine balls and parallettes, we’d be working outside. Spilled sand or miscut pipes outside damages nothing. Right.

When Eric and I got the supplies out to my car, I pointed out that the seats in the back fold down flat and that there should easily be enough room to put the PVC pipes in the car and close the rear hatch. Unfortunately, I loaded the PVC pipes in the car, put one end against the windshield on the passenger side and closed the hatch. This caused the PVC pipes to impact the corner of the windshield on the passenger side. Yes, now I have an impact fracture from the inside about the size of a dollar bill. So, my parallette construction project just added a $150 windshield repair to the bill.

Eric and I wandered to find burlap bags, found the clock ticking against us as we researched glass repair options, and finally scrubbed the medicine ball construction (which would involve running to a beach to get 50 pounds of sand and, the way my luck was going, dumping it all over the interior of my car). We decided to focus on building the parallettes.

The actual construction part of the parallettes was really easy. While Glassman’s instructions call for a high level of precision and straight cuts, we had minimal tools and cut the pipes by hand on my front lawn. Using electrical tape as a cut guide, in accordance with the instructions, was brilliant, but electrical tape never forced a straight cut from a small hack saw. While some of our cuts were weirdly crooked, once the parallettes were put together, they were as solid as they would be if we had used a mitre box.

After some testing, we were both surprised by how solid and useful these parallettes are. I was also surprised by how much more challenging kicking up to a handstand is when you’re effectively nine inches taller. Fortunately, we have photographic evidence of our adventure.

Parallette Materials:
  • 1 PVC Pipe, 10 feet: $2.23
  • 4 PVC Elbows: 4 x $0.47 = $1.88
  • 4 PVC T Joints: 4 x $0.65 = $2.60
  • 8 PVC End Caps: 8 x $0.53 = $4.24
Tools & Supplies:
  • Electrical tape: $0.59
  • Mini Hack Saw: $6.49
  • PVC Cement: $4.79
  • Windshield repair: $200.00

Today’s grand total: $233.77

The lesson: When loading your car with something long, don’t put the end against the windshield.

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