Autism vs. The iPad: Part II

As you read before we had a little mishap with the iPad and it was replaced for free by Apple. The day it was replaced we searched for a case that would keep it protected no matter want and we decided on the Survivor by Griffin Technology. I watched their video of their case with the iPhone and searched for reviews and figured that if the case was considered military grade in the US and UK it could hold up to a moderately autistic child.

Well I was right and I’m glad now. In the three days it took to get the case we’ve been keeping a watchful eye on our little spud to make sure she didn’t throw it or bash it again. Well, it turns out that our over protectiveness only encouraged her to do so. Nothing really terrible, but if we moved toward her in a preemptive strike to keep her from damaging it she knew and would try and toss it.

Luckily we have quick hands and got it before any damage occurred. Now about the case. It’s really good. It’s a polycarbonate housing that’s strong and I liked it because it took me awhile to get it apart so her getting it out of the case will be difficult. The polycarbonate case is covered with a silicon/teflon outer soft cover with flaps covering all of the access ports. This would be great in the sands of Iraq, but what I liked most is that it muted the sound a bit which our daughter like to turn up full blast. This isn’t a problem when you hold it in your hands, but when it’s flat on a table the sound ricochets off the table and is amplified by about 30db making it very loud and annoying whenever there’s an elmo video playing.

Watch the video below. It’s a great case and I found it online for $39.95. It’s a bit thicker than the iPad or iPhone, but it’s worth it for the practically hermetic seal it gives to the iPad. While for some people $499 isn’t too high a price to have to replace, if you have a young kid you’ll want a strong case to protect it so that you can keep your iPad for as long as possible.


Why I’m Glad I’m Not a Touring Musician

Ted Aguilar: Death Angel

Since music’s been on my brain a bit lately I  remembered a conversation I had with my old friend Ted Aguilar. He and Will Carrol were in a band I managed called Warfare D.C. in the 90’s. Now they’ve moved on and have joined Death Angel and are going around the world on tours. These are big tours as well. We’re talking the thousands of people at Wacken, Tuska, No Mercy, etc. I figured now that he’s in a band that’s opening for Metallica, Anthrax and other huge bands that he must be living large. Well, apparently the music business has changed a lot since i was involved with it outside my home studio.

You see in the old days we had what was called pay for play. That meant that they local club would give you say 100 tickets to sell for your show and you had to give them half the value of the tickets back. If you sold all the tickets you got to play. The problem was that a lot of new bands had to sell the tickets for half price just to move them. If you were a bigger band you might be able to sell for 3/4 of the price and make a little money. Hell, we even got Morty’s club to give us dinner and a 12 pack of beer. Those were the good ole days. If you were a signed act they’d just pay you because it made the club look better.

Well apparently when you get bigger you used to make a lot of money from the touring and that’s why some big bands toured so much. Now I wouldn’t put Death Angel on the same level as Metallica, but still they were pretty big in the 80’s and they’re getting bigger today. You won’t hear them on any local radio station, but they’re all over internet radio stations [I won’t get into my hatred of corporate radio now so consider yourself spared.]

Apparently today because it costs so much to fly the band and crew and lodging, etc. That the record labels and the venues aren’t paying the bands to play, but they’re letting them sell merchandise [i.e. t-shirts, patches and anything else they can think of.] From that is where they get the profit and it isn’t that great. So when these bands come home from a world tour they have to find real jobs like the rest of us just to pay the bills.

In the pay to play days you could sell your merchandise as well and come out even better. Now it just looks like the record companies and their falling apart business models are taking in out on the artists who are keeping them in their fine offices. Friends of mine have been pushing me to get a band together and start touring at least in California. I even have one fan in the “adult industry” who’s been begging me to play down south, but while tempting as it may sound to get to hangout and have pictures taken with porn stars, there would be just too much money involved to make it worth while. It might happen someday, but things have got to change big time. For now I’m just going to have to bang out my music in my house. Besides, I’m a real pain in the ass when I’m touring.