I’m Scott Darlington and this is my personal web site. I retired from IBM Canada at the end of 2015, where I had been a Senior Product Manager for many years. I also spent years at ObjecTime Limited, which was acquired by Rational, which was then acquired by IBM. I may be retired from the high-tech world, but there’s lots more for me to do. Below, you can find out more about who I am, what I do now that I’m retired, and what’s next for me.
Breaking News: Shades of Grey has changed its name to Frozen Echo, found at frozenecho.band. I’ll be updating the section below shortly.
Shades of Grey
I’ve joined a band called Shades of Grey (http://ShadesOfGrey.band). The band was formed as part of the League of Rock, which is all about getting musicians out of their garages and up on stage and into a recording studio.We were one of five bands in this eighteenth Ottawa session of the League of Rock.
We had an official weekly practice where we received coaching from prominent Ottawa musicians including Dick Cooper of The Cooper Brothers, Matt Sobb of MonkeyJunk, Jeff Rogers of The Cooper Brothers, Peter Fredette of the Kim Mitchell Band, Rebecca Noelle of The Peptides, JW Jones, Brian Cooper of The Cooper Brothers, and Anders Drerup.
Along with the weekly practices, we had two live workshops where we performed on stage and received guidance on how to improve our performances. We also had four hours of studio time at Audio Valley Recording Studios where we recorded our best song as determined by our live performances.
Our time with League of Rock culminated in a Final Showcase where all five bands in this League of Rock session playing live on stage in front of family and friends. It was an absolute blast. You can see video from this performance, listen to our studio recording, and see lots of photos at our site, http://ShadesOfGrey.band.
After the League of Rock Final Showcase, the band took a month off and then got together in January to discuss what was next for the band. Unfortunately, Karen wanted to leave the band to sing in a metal band. She was gracious enough to stay on until we found a replacement. That left us looking for a new singer.
Scott had worked for a long time with a keyboardist and singer, Joe. His wife, Kelly, sings competitively. The two of them had recorded some wonderful material together. So, we invited them to a practice for an audition on February 8th, 2017. I assumed that we’d hear them perform for a couple of hours after which we would say thanks and discuss them among the band to see if we should invite them into the band.
Instead, their performance was fantastic and we started jamming with them. We meshed really well both musically and personally. Somewhere along the line, we all simply assumed they were in. At the end of the night, when Kelly and Joe asked us how they had done, we laughed and said that, of course they were in the band. 🙂
You can see much more about the new lineup at our web site, http://ShadesOfGrey.band. Also, there’s a great posting with lots of pictures of the new lineup, Practice Makes Perfect, taken at our old practice location as well as Practice, Practice, Practice!, taken at our new practice location.
One big change from before is our vocals. With the old lineup, we only had Karen singing and Marc and Rick singing backup occasionally. Now, we have Kelly and Joe singing on pretty much everything. We also have weekly vocal practices in addition to the weekly band practices to work on harmonies. Rick is currently on sabbatical, leaving five of us singing. It’s a lot of work and we’re not ready for the stage yet, but we think it’s going to be pretty good when we do finally perform. Performing, though, is really just a goal to keep us practicing and progressing as well as an opportunity to please an audience.
We’ve been doing multi-track recording of our band practices since April 12th, 2017. Listening to the recordings is remarkable. You pick up all kinds of things. Some are obvious such as the usual assortment of mistakes as we’re learning songs, but there’s also a lot of detail we pick up. For example, we can easily hear distractions such as strings buzzing when we miss pressing directly on a fret, or vocal harmonies where we don’t all start and stop at the same time. We also hear when someone plays or sings louder or softer at different times. So, we find it’s a great tool for self, and band, improvement.
The band is really all about, first and foremost, having fun. For example, we had a vocal practice where we listened to our recordings from our previous band practice. Because we do multi-track recording, we can play back the vocals louder than the instruments to focus on our vocals. We can even focus on any one individual’s performance by making it louder than everything else. At several points, egregious mistakes had us rolling on the floor laughing. It’s a great group of people where we feel safe with our mistakes and constructive criticism–none of the drama of bands in our younger days.
So, if you’ve ever dreamed of being in a band, go for it. You’re never too old. 🙂
Upcoming Travel Plans
I plan to visit Raleigh, North Carolina and Boston, Massachusetts sometime. I’ve posted many dates that come and go so I’ve given up predicting when these trips will happen. I’ve found myself so busy in retirement, especially with the band, that it’s become hard to find time to escape for a week or so. But, one of these days…
More About Me
Under the three icons below you’ll find a list and descriptions of my other web sites. Most of them are brand new and still being built out. Then there’s DarlingtonMediaworks.com, a very old site that I’ll be renovating in the third quarter of this year, 2016. The new version was being built at NewDarlingtonMediaworks.com. When ready, it was to replace DarlingtonMediaworks.com. However, I’m no going to rebuild DarlingtonMediaworks.com in place. It’s still hosted on a Yahoo hosting plan but I will be moving it to my main server in Canada as part of the renovation. So much to do, so much to do… ￼
My Other Sites
A Grey World
AGreyWorld.com dispels the notion that the world is black and white. The major issues that draw polarized positions are usually much more complex than most people realize. This site provides examples and explains how to avoid falling into the polarized traps. It’s often as simple as understanding the underlying reasons for the positions people take.
As a simple example, consider the kerfuffle between the FBI and Apple. The FBI wants Apple to help them get into an iPhone used at work by one of the San Bernardino shooters. If you trust the government, and you really fear terrorism, then you’re likely to favour the FBI in this issue. On the other hand, if you don’t trust the government and really value your privacy, then you probably favour Apple in this case. And if you see terrorism as the least of your worries given how rarely it occurs compared to car accidents, gun deaths, and so on, then you’re really likely to favour Apple.
Very few people understand the technical issues surrounding encryption. So, it’s easy to see why Apple’s position about letting the genie out of the bottle is given little weight. The FBI itself doesn’t seem to understand the issues. They’ve been telling people it’s only about one iPhone in this one case, and that it isn’t about setting a precedent. (In front of a committee, the FBI admitted that, of course, they’d use it as a precedent.) If you trust the government, then you probably trust the FBI, and so you’re doubly convinced that Apple is in the wrong. Then again, Apple has bent the truth in some ways, too.
Once we understand the reasons people hold their viewpoints, it’s much easier to have a reasoned discussion in place of a shouting match. Should you trust the government? Is terrorism a big threat? How important is the privacy of your mobile phone? What would really happen if Apple built a “GovtOS” to help the FBI in this case? Now we can debate the heart of the matter.
In the end, if you can’t fairly articulate both positions and the reasons for them, then you don’t really understand the other side. Therefore, you’re not entitled to a strong opinion!
DarlingtonMediaworks.com is the site of my film-making production company. The site was overhauled in late 2016 and the event pages for events done in the past have not been completely ported over from the old site. Those pages will be updated throughout the summer of 2017.
Grey World Productions
Master of Leisure
MasterOfLeisure.com describes adventures after retiring from the high tech industry at the end of 2015. This site should help others heading into retirement, or already retired.
ObjecTime.org is a tribute to a great, successful startup, ObjecTime Limited. Based in Kanata, Ontario, I joined as the sixteenth employee. I stayed through its acquisition by Rational Software which, in turn, was acquired by IBM. I retired from IBM at the very end of 2015.
My web sites try to present balanced opinions that carefully consider the many sides of a debate. The exception will be PrecisionLightning.com. Within my circle of friends, I have a reputation for a good rant on a variety of topics. Though I’ll be a bit more tempered than that, this site will contain strong, perhaps even acerbic, constructive criticism of politics, policies, or general issues. However, until this site is ready–and it remains a fairly low priority–it redirects to AGreyWorld.com.
Shades of Grey
ShadesOfGrey.band is the former site for the band I’m in. We’ve changed our name to Frozen Echo and can be found at FrozenEcho.band. The old Shades Of Grey site will be changed to showcase the original lineup from the League of Rock, though it currently still holds most of the content from the new lineup. Watch the video, listen to our music and studio recording, and see the pictures from the original, League of Rock lineup of Shades of Grey.