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2012 - Creating Things

It has been nearly six months since my last blog post. The original intention of the blog was to facilitate the collision of my worlds. One hopeful effect was that someone who has enjoyed my work in one field would become aware of my work in another, leading to more meals for my kids- All this while being cleverly disguised in witty bloggy banter (but lacking in grammar). I would say that this did indeed happen, which then resulted in a lack of time for writing clever blog posts. I enjoy writing about projects and challenges, and perhaps 2013 will afford a new schedule where I can catch up on writing (including my children's book, Marble Alert!, and no, I am not kidding).

So to the uninformed: yes, this looks like a guy talking a lot about himself. If you are in that camp, you closed this window long ago. This is for the folks that have had me hang their TV in their living room. They may not know that I can also help them in a number of other ways. This is for the guy who I scribbled out a logo on the back of a bar napkin, but had no idea who to call when his kid needed a dose of Auto-Tune.

Here are the creative highlights of 2012:

KIM DEXTER MUSIC

After a season of Kim writing a new collection of songs we finally went into the studio to produce her second solo album.

With Jerad Atherton taking the production reigns, I resigned myself to steer from the back of the ship. We brought in a lot of terrific old and new friends to play with Kim on the project. Aaron Sterling, Jonathan Ahrens, Jerad Atherton and others all brought their talents to help create what I think is a masterful project. Watch for it this spring!

Visit Kim's site to stay in the loop - KimDexter.com

 

REDULAR

The year at Redular started with a small handful of unique projects and ended with a full plate and a growing team.

Our work with Call & Jensen was not only a creative challenge, but became the most rewarding graphics and media work to date. Rebranding a mature law firm in a way that reflects their tradition while carefully pulling forward is a common challenge, not commonly done well. Apparently we succeeded, as they had us do a fresh web site, print materials, magazine ads, booklets, mailers, and more.

Instapparel was another interesting creative project. Tyler Carroll came to us wanting users to be able to design a shirt using their instagram photos. While a competitor was  allowing users to print a single photo on a shirt, we wanted to create a unique "shirt builder" that would allow users to design a collage- a grid of up to 16 of their images with varying transparency, white space and more. This was fun to dream up, but Jonathan Preston who leads our coding cause at Redular magically brought it to life.

Another exciting new project is Planda. Imagine your Facebook timeline in reverse - today forward. That is what Planda will bring you. Next month we will begin to invite a small batch of users to play with it. If you are interested, feel free to visit Plandago.com and enter your email in the form.

2013 holds a host of new creative challenges: From the Steve Jobs Personal Meeting Assistant app, to an online hotel booking site with a unique approach for a client in San Francisco. Farmers and Merchants Trust has also selected Redular to handle their 2013 marketing efforts including fresh branding, web, and print.

7K SOLUTIONS

2012 was a fast year for 7K. Where most years we install two or three large-scale systems alongside a host of smaller upgrade projects, this year we installed seven full-scale audio, video, theatrical lighting systems in and out of the So Cal area along with the usual smaller upgrades to other systems.

Part of this surge might have been due to many clients wanting to see the C.A.R.V. up close and in person. The Crisis Audio Response Vehicle was engineered to respond to Audio and Video disasters everywhere. As you can expect, there are no limit to those disasters. Every time I pay fifteen bucks to go see a movie only to hear a blown, distorting subwoofer I demand my money back and wonder why it is so common.

You can see more about the C.A.R.V. HERE. The 7K team grew again this year thanks to Scott Clement and Jordan Olhevski joining the force.

This year saw more diverse projects than usual. From an outdoor courtyard venue to a vintage Catholic Claret. Of course our usual rock and roll systems were still the majority, and we have no complaints about that. Christmas Eve we launched a system at Newport Mesa Church, which is like a second home to Kim and myself.

I am not sure if this fits into 7K, but Landscape Design even came across the desk this year thanks to the Dawson's who wouldn't take no for an answer!

DEXTER MUSIC

This year we introduced MusiCamp with a South OC and Central OC week-long day camp. Kids of all ages came to experience the rock star lifestyle- or at least the positive side of the rock star life! Everyone joined a band, wrote or learned a song, recorded that song in the studio, then performed it on the big stage at the end of the week! You can watch a recap video HERE!

Late in 2012 we acquired another music school in north Orange County. This paves the way for a North OC MusiCamp in 2013!

ODDS AND ENDS Throw in a few tour dates running live sound for recording artists, a couple of studio recordings this year for TRU Worship, and other ventures brewing or boiling, and I call it a full year.

Through it all the family still had a lot of great time together at home and out of town. Next year we hope to pack up the kids and tour with Kim's music a good part of the summer months.

Here's to an interesting and creative 2013!

Paul

 

Vanguard Veteran's Courtyard

Vanguard Veteran's Memorial When Vanguard University rang about a sound system for their upcoming Veteran's Courtyard of Honor it sounded like an interesting challenge. Fill a space that would seat 250 people with natural, distraction-free background music as well as a wireless microphone for speaking.

Since the visual focus of the courtyard is a water fountain memorial, I wanted to develop a solution that allowed you to enjoy the waterfall while still being able to hear every word of the person speaking.  This called for a distributed approach, surrounding the area in smaller speakers rather than a traditional set of large speakers projecting from the fountain/speaking area.

We installed QSC AD-S82 speakers around the courtyard about twenty feet from the ground. They were placed and directed so as to minimize interference with each other- the nasty cousin of a "blanketed with speakers" approach. We processed the audio with a Symetrix Jupiter 4 processor. The iPod input receives a fair amount of auto-leveling so that background music can STAY background when the next song in a playlist rears it's ugly loud head.

Our Shure SLX-SM86 wireless mic received a very generous helping of processing. Regardless of who is using the mic, and how far or near they hold it to their pie hole, the sound remains very consistent. Finally, automatic feedback prevention is constantly being performed in the background. Our wireless mic will often be passed around, many times directly under our amplified speakers. Feedback is terrific on Yelp, but not at a somber memorial service.

Vanguard Veteran's Memorial

The users see an iPod connector to input music, and a simple volume control for music and voice. There is nothing else to do. This means that at 15 seconds, our training session ran long. "Here is where you plug in your iPod and here is how you turn up or down the music and voice. Even the Q&A segment ran over after I stumbled answering where the greenish-black thing stuck in my teeth had originated.

At the end of the day Vanguard landed a system which sounds consistent in all points of the courtyard. Background music and speech are all heard with gentle clarity, lacking irritating spikes and missed words in the presentation.

Vanguard Veteran's Memorial

My toothpick and I can now attend this dedication service while still enjoying the gentle sound of the waterfall.

Artesia can be quite forgiving

In the audio world, most people think of me as a rock and roll guy. If you want a sound system that sounds clear and musical while shaking the paint off the drywall, you call Paul (which rhymes). But every so often someone comes along asking for help with their system which does not fit that mold. (Mold is another thing I can shake from buildings). First Christian Reformed Church in Artesia is one such place. Built in 1939, this ambient room was intended to self-amplify the pipe organ in the front and choir loft in the rear. What was lacking in the modern era was the clarity for spoken word, ease of use, and an architecturally pleasing solution. The latter wasn't hard- over the years people (wonderful people mind you) had attached various black carpeted speakers to the walls at seemingly random locations. The result was not unlike a portable DJ sound system in what was otherwise such a wonderfully designed old space.

A Little R+D

As I consume this plate of Deviled Eggs I think nothing about the happiness of the hens that birthed them. I don't wonder whether they had a name, good friends, or fresh air to breathe. I don't ponder whether they can still support themselves on their own two legs after countless cycles of hormone injections. It's 2012. How could I be so careless? Do I have no chicken compassion? Are these devils so good that the taste is numbing my conscience? Well, yes. But it is also because I am sitting in the harmonious crossroads of audio and architecture leaving me socially irresponsible. A few years back Hillstone Group came to me while they were designing their second R+D Kitchen (or their “restaurant formerly known as Cafe R+D”). I had been a fan of how Houston's had done food for some time. Now they were convincing me that they wanted to value their audio experience as much as their food, architecture, and impeccable service.

Getting Stronger

 

If I remember correctly, I recorded my band’s first demo in 1981. From there it was a pretty rocky, arduous path to get to the point where artists were willing to pay me to record their music. For the most part I would beg to record bands for free to enhance my “portfolio.” This portfolio of mine became one of the largest private collections of worthless music on the West Coast, and I was having a terrific time building it.

Years later and driven mad with success, there was one musical platform I never embraced: The Live Album.

 

THE RECORDING STUDIO WAS MY WOMB Inside I was safe. I could record two hundred passes of a vocal if I wanted without the singer dancing around the stage. I could isolate acoustic guitars and hear when a mosquito was flying near the mic. I had no desire for the mayhem of a live concert.

Then the wild west came back for a visit. Suddenly high school punks could record albums in their bedrooms on a laptop or iPhone. For the first several years I criticized them because they didn’t know that recording engineers once actually wore lab coats. My standards were so high that I became irrelevant. (To be clear, I ultiamtely stopped criticizing these punks because many of them were making brilliant recordings).

I decided I could still find a way to beat these hacks. When the next live concert project came across my radar I snapped it up. Invigorated, I took on another. The only issue with these first live recordings was that they were "live" in name only. With most elements painstakingly overdubbed for months in the studio, they were basically studio recordings wrapped in a live skin.

 

GETTING STRONGER [audio src="http://pauldexter.com/wp-content/uploads/SpiritComeSample.mp3"] I was asked to record and mix a live album for RockHarbor church. This project was to be produced by Bobby Hartry, and the discussion was for it to be a very honest, authentic live album. I jumped in.

My studio isn't exactly a "mobile" studio. It has no wheels. No road cases with handles. And yet, after a day of unplugging hundreds of connections, wrapping and loading one piece at a time into various trucks and cars, a mobile studio was born. We rebuilt the studio in the green room of the church. Good planning years before had provided an audio split where you would normally find the green M&Ms.

Bobby and I discussed our desire for the sound to be "thick," especially the bottom end (that's the "bass" knob for the rest of you). Dreams of a thick bottom end isn’t usually a client’s request, say of their Yogi, but this is rock and roll.

To capture the ambience of the room we hung four condenser mics from the ceiling. We wanted the listener to feel like they were a part of the event. These mics would capture the crowd singing, but equally important was to capture the sound of the room. For a concrete box, there is a certain wonderful and energetic sound in the RockHarbor Center, but this also presented another challenge: RockHarbor isn't known for being the quietest church in town. Especially on Sunday nights, when the Loudness Patrol is given the wrong address.

The room is oriented wide (the stage on the long wall) so our ambient mics were only about twenty feet from the PA speakers -- speakers putting out an amazing amount of pleasure. This became the angel on our shoulder during overdubs. You can't exactly change a vocal ad-lib later in the studio when your ambient mics also contain everything coming out of those speakers.

The vast majority of the performances you hear on the final album were captured live. Only a few fixes, rather than complete lead vocal takes were recorded in the studio. Bobby added a some of his delicious guitar candy in the studio, but tastefully restrained.  While we did use the best songs (or best parts of songs) from two nights, we were able to stream them back together and in a new sequence to create a cohesive experience which feels very much like you are part of the event.

The mixing process was best described as "old-school." I don't remember any digital reverbs being used. A generous helping of our ambient mics brought all the life to the drums that would normally be sauced-up in the mix. The great sound of dynamic mics through placement and solid equipment brought a wonderfully natural sound. Pairing that with a gobs of musical talent onstage and well-crafted songs, this is a project I was very proud to be a part of.

 

FIND "STRONGER" ON ITUNES

ChurchMix Live

I wrote this post only to realize that it wasn't funny at all. Discouraged, I put it away and slept on it. How can you write a story about a bunch of church techies wearing their all-black outfits with gaff tape hanging from their belts and not have it be funny? Perhaps if they had something funny printed on their t-shirts like "...the quieter you'll end up." I think the reason the post was not funny was because, while writing it, I started getting upset again over the fact that most churches sound awful.  While such cacophonies can sometimes be attributed to a church simply not prioritizing acceptable acustics, this is rarely the problem.  More often than not, churches will prioritize the sound but hire the wrong people.  Hiring the wrong people results in the wrong sound.  A louder, more irrating sound.

Like a lot of people, I have spent plenty of time in churches. But unlike many, I have mixed concerts in hundreds and hundreds of churches around the world. This alone doesn't make me an expert. What makes me an expert is the response received from people in the majority of those churches. "Why can't it always sound as good as tonight?" I tell them that it can, they just have to prioritize it and get the right help.

If you are going to put a microphone in front of a singer, a guitar, or glockenspiel, and then take that audio to send it through loudspeakers, shouldn't the result be an improvement? If all this effort is only making it sound worse, do us all a favor and take the sound system out.

You can now see why this post wasn't very funny. One or two jokes then I start lecturing. This is my blog after all, so I can do as I like. Still, I promised jokes, so...

Q: Your ex-wife, your auto mechanic and your church sound tech are all drowning. You only have one life preserver. What do you do? A: Pull out your Flixter app and check movie times of course.

Ride the ChurchMix Bus

Six years ago I started ChurchMix.com. It is a place where churches can send their volunteers for some simplified online help at church sound. Many of the users on the site had asked if we held live conferences. We eventually took the plunge and began planning our first "ChurchMix Live: A Two-Day Techie Extravaganza."  RockHarbor Church in Costa Mesa, CA agreed to let us use their facilities if we agreed not to trash the place. Alex Magaro and his team at the church were actually happy to host the event so long as he could get free admission and donuts for his volunteer mixers. Scott Clement, my young audio doppelgänger, helped in the planning, taught a breakout session and did jobs that honestly I was not interested in doing.

We thought that perhaps a hundred or so people from local churches might be interested in giving up a weekend and entry fee to help their church sound better. Nearly 400 people surprised us and filled our space. We are not sure how many were there by their own desire, versus those that were tied up by their congregations, put in the back of a car and dropped off with a bag lunch. People came from all over the western states (the promise of 70 degree coastal weather in August didn't hurt our case to those in the desert states).

With a live band onstage and a mixing console front and center (where it belongs) we took the group through our own unique process to achieve great sound. I believe there is far too much technical instruction on decibels and megahertz, and not enough lessons on listening. If you can show someone how to really listen to a good music mix and identify the elements inside, they have a better chance at reproducing such a mix. If they learn that a lead vocal doesn't sound as big and full within a mix as it does on it's own, maybe they will not try to overload their mix trying to make their lead singer sound like Darth Vader.

Some of my favorite memories of the weekend were those after each main session.  While I was feeling great about my lecture and ready to interview top speaking agents, my team would pull me aside and tell me everything I did wrong. "You moved your hands around a lot" was one of their favorite ways to put me in my place. Fair enough, but some of my favorite magicians of all time move their hands a lot.

Another favorite moment was when we discounted the Radio Shack db Meter. This is the dreaded $20 tool that churches use to keep the volume down. With the band playing, and an intentionally bad mix built by yours truly, we asked the attenders to raise their hands when it started to hurt their ears. This occurred around 90db. Expected. Then we pulled up a well-crafted mix and did the same test. Hands weren't being raised until nearly 100db. The church db Police needs a new beat to patrol. Loudness isn't the perp, bad mixing is.

One of the breakout sessions was "Help: My Church is Small!" This session focused on the unique challenges a small room can bring. It can be easier to achieve good sound in a large hall where the sound coming from the band's instruments is swallowed up by the space. We were able to share a host of tips and tricks to bring the most help to this environment.

After the event we began to get emails from church leaders that were not at the event, but who's people were. They reported that their volunteers had returned energized and ready to practice their newly acquired tools. Even better, we heard from leaders who months later told us that their church has sounded better every week since the event.

Many thanks to everyone involved in putting on CML. If the demand arises and the energy is there, I could see making this a tradition.

Paradise on the Beach

Like Jesus, my father was a carpenter. Also like Jesus, I learned the trade but had other plans for my life. In case you're nervous, that's the end of comparing myself to Jesus.

While most kids were busy tearing things apart, I was learning how to build them. For me, daycare consisted of going to work with dad. With scraps of wood and a few nails, I would build little airplanes, towers, and bridges.

I also discovered early on that I knew how electricity worked. Once old enough to drive, my Pinto wagon delivered my services all over town. I retrofitted a castle with electricity. Yes, I said castle; as in stone complete with roof corners that look like rook pieces from a chess boad. The only thing missing was a mote.  However, it didn't take long to learn that the real money was in commercial work. I got a gig to wire up a new retail/service building. I made what I thought was a killing.  Meanwhile, the general contractor who paid a sixteen year old kid to single-handedly wire the building saved himself tens of thousands of dollars. I was blissfully unaware.

Sadly, I hated every moment of this construction channel. The only thing I wanted to power up was my guitar amp and distortion pedals, and the only thing I wanted to build was an audience.  I didn't realize just how much I would appreciate these skills later in life. It wasn't until just after my 40th birthday that I finally apologized to my dad for not appreciating the gift earlier.

One such use of these skills is the Tamer Condo. The Tamers are a couple from Dallas who were looking for a beach retreat.  They wanted a place to escape when the weather at home was less than ideal.  Based on my experience with Dallas, they will probably want to "escape" to the condo for about 50 weeks per year.

The Tamers found their condo on the beach in San Clemente, the ultimate beach town in my opinion. Standing on the balcony for the first time staring at the 220 degree ocean view was an amazing experience. Turning around and looking inside the condo was also amazing, but for all the wrong reasons.

The condo could charitably be described as mountain cabin, but it really felt like you were inside the home of some Keebler Elves.  It was like a chipmunk had exploded.  Countless trees had selflessly given their lives to skin every square inch of this place, and they had sadly done so in vain.  In addition to problematic asthetics, the layout was no better.  The kitchen was so dramatically divided  from the rest of the living area that you felt like the room was designed for folks with Leprocy.

My task was to both modernize the look and open up the living space. Also, they wanted it done in less than a month. The Tamers went to work selecting surfaces while we went to work filling up twenty refuse bins with Pine. We were able to open up the kitchen completely to the living room while creating an oversized island perfect for entertaining.

Where there wasn't pine, there were mirrors installed to help create the illusion of more pine. Removing all of this destroyed all remaining drywall. Since we had plenty of electrical work to do, off it came. Same for the ceilings where a not-so-subtle spanish texture had been liberally applied to hide patches and cracks over the years.

Another job was to create a laundry room. In a thousand square feet, this is quite a challenge. Still, I had seen what Ikea can do with five hundred feet. Knowing that American ingenuity has to be superior to Norwegian, I was able to create a double-doored laundry closet with plenty of room for supplies. Recessed lighting went in throughout, as did gas cooking. In the sixties all electricity was going to be free through nuclear power, but that didn't work out as they had planned.

The balcony became my work area. Splitting my time between working on my laptop on other projects, assembling Ikea kitchen cabinets or just eating a burrito; everything was better on the balcony.

The bathrooms were stripped down and redone as well. The tiny master shower gave way to a walk-in doorless shower complete with natural pebble floor. Stone and rock surfaces were perfectly selected by the Tamers. More accurately, they were selected by Ditto Tamer with clear instructions for me not to let Michael know the cost. To this day he continues to ask why his doorbell was $3000.

We didn't quite make the three week goal I had hoped for, but about a month after we started the Tamers were entertaining guests. We came back in a few weeks later to install the home theater system and complete some loose ends.  The only bad part about the timeline, is that I could have used another few weeks of that balcony.

Steel Toe Sandals

  If you find yourself reading this and have no idea why I am talking about this job, you might like to read last week's installment. In it I discussed two things: deer in the headlights, and messing up my circles through this blog. You can read it HERE if you like. There you will learn about the different things I do to entertain myself while providing bowls of feed for my kids. I have selected the hipster term "channels" to describe these different companies of mine. This week we introduce the 7k' Solutions channel.

Recently, we designed and installed an Audio/Video/Theatrical Lighting package for Sandals Church in Riverside, CA. The day I met them at their very empty and newly purchased industrial building it felt like we were standing inside a massive blimp hangar. My German engineered laser measuring device claims to be accurate to within 1/64" at 400 feet. This was the ideal opportunity to disprove them and get a partial refund. Sadly, the only other measuring device I had with me was my 12" shoe. Not interested in walking the entire length of the building looking like I was on a tightrope, I put it off my refund quest for another day. Someday I hope to consult for a really really long measuring tape factory. Watch out German engineered laser measuring device, your day is coming.

Back to the blimp hangar.

Like all building projects, this space was not going to look like the inside of an Ikea for long. With the architectural design to come from the mind of Tony Massaro, I knew that visually we would wind up with a terrific, warm, and comfortable space with plenty of natural wood diffusion.  My particular task was to fill the meeting rooms with sound, light, and video.

The church had recently invested in an EAW line array speaker system, along with a host of equipment including a pair of Yamaha M7 mixers (read: poor sounding and awkward to use digital consoles that have taken the church market by storm. How you ask? Early bird gets the worm.). Happily, the EAW speakers, along with their set of Lab Gruppen amplifiers, appear on my go-to list of equipment for a room this size. However, the accompanying 15" subwoofers were not capable of true bottom end, if causing nausea is your goal. Since, in fact, it was part of ours, I supplemented with a pair of EAW dual 21" subs. If you have ever seen Back to the Future, you get the idea. This combined for a tight punchy bottom end along with lows that extend so far you can count the pulses.

I was able to convince church leadership that their Yamaha mixers lacked the sonic quality they needed. We installed an Allen and Heath iLive mixing system at main and monitor positions. With superior sound accompanied by a far better user interface, the iLive brought to Sandal's what they sought.

Another major battle was won in the front-of-house mixing placement. While concert venues prioritize sound quality and place the mixing area appropriately (for example, in the middle of the room where the operator  can hear the nuances), churches typically prefer the mixing to happen from the next county and just live with the "bad sound" complaints. To make both sides happy, we designed a low, rolling mix booth. The operator sits while mixing so people can sit directly behind with no visual interruption. The booth can be rolled away and patched in at the back of the room for events where open floor is more important that perfect sound- such as a banquet or wedding event. In the bottom photo you can try to find the mixing booth among the crowd.

While my crew wouldn't allow me to enjoy the scissor lifts, this was with good reason. They all know of the game I invented, "Bats," nearly twenty years ago. It requires two or more people to be up on the lift. The one who draws the short straw grabs on to the ceiling structure, while the others lower the lift and drive to the other side of the room. This is not one of those things you are proud of later in life, but I do clearly remember my turns hanging there 30 above the hard concrete waiting for my friend to return with the lift. This game was meant as a "Trust Building" exercise for the team. These days it seems that "safety first" is taken literally, and while I thank Alex Suchey and the guys for not hanging the speakers upside-down, it could have been a lot more entertaining if a little "Fear Factor" were introduced.

To match the size of the room, we installed a pair of 16'x9' fixed screens at either side of the stage. With a tight camera shot, Sandals can bring the speaker right in front of you even when sitting at the back of the room. Production is handled by a Ross Crossover 12 HD production switcher. This video, along with accompanied audio is sent to every other meeting room in the building, as well as flat panels in the cafe, so that any room can become an overflow room as needed.

Lighting comes from a combination of LED, with their infinite color possibilities, and traditional fixtures. Source 4 lekos with and without color scrollers are used for the furthest throwing fixtures. I give Joe Chappel a big shout out for the help with lighting design. He brings not only terrific insight and ideas to lighting, but also a host of entertaining stories from his days at Disney. Finally, we covered the entire seating area with Altman scoop lights tied into the theatrical lighting system. Lighting control is handled by an ETC console from Sandal's inventory. I consider this console to be technically "vintage" as it boasts a floppy drive. Yes, a floppy drive, I know, right?

At the end of the day, our goal was to leave Sandals with a system that is easy to use, but even more importantly, a system that delivers stunning results. Sound that rivals concert venues, video that does not limit creativity and lighting that can go from elegant to dramatic instantly.

So there you go. Welcome to the introduction of the 7k' Solutions channel.

Paul

What Do You Do?

 

WHAT DO YOU DO? At a get-together last month a guy asked me, “What do you do?”  It is a common enough question, and most people generate their answer without any drain in resources. But for me you might as well ask, “I saw you coming out of that bar last night with my wife.  What’s going on with that?” Beads of sweat begin to form above my hairline and I take the look of a deer in the headlights. Quickly, I puzzle together the relationships between this person and myself, pairing them with one of the channels in my life to keep everything in harmony. Is this a music channel? Construction channel? Design channel? Studio furnishings? Product reviews?

If I can’t process quickly enough I just go with the last thing that I was doing. If I had mixed a song in the studio that day, I would say “I make music.”  If I remodeled a bathroom, I would tell them I was a general contractor. If I had created a logo I would say I was a graphic designer. If I had interviewed teachers that day, Bam: Music School.

 

WALMART The term “Jack of all Trades” always seemed cheap to me. Walmart sells cameras, shoes, bicycles and home theater systems. I personally wouldn’t buy any of those things at WalMart because, I assume, they only sell the crappy versions. I don’t want to refer to myself as the WalMart of the professional world.

“Renaissance Man” sounds quite a bit better. But I don’t’ think one can use that term for oneself. That’s like saying I’m a “genius” or “good with the ladies.”

Have I convinced myself that it is possible to be on par or better than actual trained specialists in so many different fields? I am not actually sure, but the terrific thing about being forty-five years old is that I no longer care.

 

ENTER THE PAUL DEXTER BLOG This is my coming out. This is me messing up my circles. My music friends might turn on me when they find that I love to get up a five a.m. to go hang a kitchen cabinet. The architects that depend on my technical drawings might learn that I create them in Illustrator because I have three other art projects going at the same time. Get ready for it to all come caving in. No longer will I pretend to be a specialist when I sit at your conference table. Maybe not a specialist, but I will still claim to be an expert in the field, because of the results I bring. After contracting for the last twenty-five years I have found myself to be, more times than not, the last guy called but the first guy that delivered.

I do not consider myself to be an expert in everything (knitting and securities trading come to mind). The thing that took the longest for me to learn has been when to say no, and how to stay within my limitations. (I know a few singers that could learn the same thing).

So this is my blog. I don’t expect many readers, but does any blog? The point will be for me to embrace the diversity, while introducing you to some of my different channels. The first half of my ride was enjoyable, while pretending to be a specialist to most of my clients. Let’s see what happens when they learn what’s on the other channels.

Until then,

Paul