Spleeter

Spleeter is an Open Source library written in Python that uses TensorFlow to separate the different components of a song.

For the less technically inclined: the folks at Deezer trained an artificial intelligence program with the ability to separate the voice and instruments from a given song; then they made the software freely availabe for anyone to use.

Given a bit of computer know-how, it was pretty easy to install and run on my Mac. Below is one of my tests using one of the all time greatest songs. It sounds pretty good, but not quite completely natural.

Soda StereoPrimavera 0

Any songs you’d like me to try out?

The Great Wall (Addendum)

Back in the USA, I can now upload to YouTube at reasonable speeds.

You are taken up to the mountain on a ski lift.

And you get back down on a slide. If there was more distance between riders, then you could go faster and this would be an extraordinary amount of fun. As it is, you will often have to stop for slower riders in front of you making the experience only quite fun.

The Great Wall

I took a quick break from apartment hunting to visit the Great Wall of China in Beijing last weekend. I didn’t get to see the whole thing though as it happens to be on the larger side – only the Mutianyu section. This is one of those places I’ve been wanting to see since I was a little kid.

Whenever I get back home and have solid access to YouTube I will upload a video of the ski lift that takes you up and the longest slide ever that gets you back down.

Bye bye Backblaze

Backups: Using a computer and not backing up is like driving around without car insurance. Unlike with car insurance, you aren’t legally forced to back up. And a lot of people don’t and sooner or later they learn.

One should have two kinds of backups:
Local, incremental like Time Machine. If you delete something important by accident or your hard drive crashes, you can recover; and off-site like Backblaze so if someone breaks in to your house and steals your computer and your external hard drive, you can recover easily… like Backblaze.

Note: no, iCloud Photo, Dropbox, etc. is not an appropriate backup. When your two year-old learns to delete stuff, all the deletions will dutifully be synchronized.

I’ve been using Backblaze to backup my home Mac mini computer for over a decade. Their software has been great and so has their support. They’ve saved me before. A few months ago the external hard drive on this machine crashed. Fortunately it was all backed up off-site.

I no longer want nor need a home computer, so I sold it. Then I had Backblaze mail me a hard drive with my whole backup perfectly encrypted. The whole restore process was seamless, fast, and free after I returned the hard drive they sent me.

Make sure you back up. I recommend these guys, and I’ll use them whenever I have the need again.

Monterrey Campeón

CONCACAF Champions League 2019 against arch-rival Tigres. This helps us all heal from the December 2017 catastrophe.

I was luckily able to attend the first leg in which Rayados won 1-0. You can recognize me as the sole schmuck wearing the visiting team jersey in the photos below.

Masacotes 2019

Moving up from the Intermediate to the Advanced League has been rough on the team, now on our 19th season.

We still look good, though.

Disneyland

We did a short trip to Los Angeles for Sarvi’s wedding last week. Which means I couldn’t resist hopping over to Disneyland Park.

I brought the family along, which slowed me down considerably (lesson learned!) but still managed to cover quite a bit:

The original Disneyland is still the nicest! Next time I’ll plan it better and stay longer. I need to go back soon anyway, since Ari probably already forgot about it.

Monster Jam

Ilán has had a lifelong obsession with all things vehicle, so we headed out to San Antonio to check out Monster Jam at the Alamodome.

I don’t consider myself knowledgeable about Monster Trucks and I had never attended one of their shows. We got tickets to the pre-show which allowed us to go down to see the machines up-close and even meet the drivers and get their autographs.

Little did I know that these guys are celebrities. There were long lines of kids holding their $10 program ready to get an autograph from these superstars. Is the world of Monster Trucks big and somehow I’ve stayed unaware of it?

It was a great show, easily able to hold the attention of a 4 year-old kid for 2.5 hours. Just bring earplugs.

Three times Grammy Award Nominee