You Make a Song!

Hello there you chicken pickins. Today I’ve got a fun activity for us, along with some updates. Let’s get the updates out of the way so we can get the fun stuff! I’m going to be changing the schedule of Free Lunch, from Tuesdays and Fridays to Wednesdays and Saturdays. This helps my schedule a lot so that I have everything more spread out in my week. Tuesdays and Fridays are also not very good news days for me, as I usually have nothing to say that hasn’t been said on the Tuesday post since I have so little going on between those two days.

For today’s magic trick, I will be making a song appear! I’m going to give you a series of polls that will determine the song’s structure and such. Once I get the final results this Thursday, I’ll begin creating the song. I’m going to give myself a week to complete this so it will be out the following Thursday.

Let’s begin!

If you have any other suggestions for the song, feel free to leave them in the comments! Otherwise, thanks for reading all the way down to the very bottom of this post, I’ll see you next time!



Losing the Personal Plan Broke the Website

Hello there you comptrolling carts. Today I’m just here to talk to you about how WordPress messed up the blog after I didn’t pay for the personal plan again. I don’t usually complain on here, but these are pretty annoying.

When you search for Riley’s Backpack, the first thing that shows up to me is rileysbackpack.com, which when clicked leads to an error page. The second link is also broken, as well as the third. It was only the fourth link about halfway down the page (thanks to the images of backpacks) that lead to the website. I know WordPress says in the plan that it would promote your new domain on search engines, but why is it still maliciously promoting a blank page?

In posts when I would insert a link for you to click that leads to a post here, it would automatically make it a rileysbackpack.com address, which was fine when I owned rileysbackpack.com. Now I would need to go back and manually edit every single inserted link from the past two years for them to work again now.

I think it would be easy for WordPress to fix these issues, by just taking the wrong URL off of search engines, and replacing mention of the old URL with the new URL when membership expires.

That’s all for today, thanks for reading this post.


New Composition, Tech!

Hello there you Ctrl-3’s. I’ve got a song for you, and while I don’t think it makes sense together or sounds particularly good, I’d like to know what you think. I made it all in about 3 hours, with some light editing a little bit later fixing some mistakes. My favorite part is the piano solo because I think it sounds cool in its’ dissonance. The final section before the ending is kind of out-of-place, but I like it nonetheless. So tell me what your impression of this is, what could I improve, and what are some things that stick out to you.


Free Lunch · Home

Free Lunch #71

Hello there you conversing cobblers. Today is Tuesday, which means that it’s time for another Free Lunch. If it’s been so long that you’ve forgotten what this series is, that’s alright. I just type for five minutes about whatever I want to and then publish it with only light editing.

I haven’t posted in almost two months, and I can finally have a good reason. Hume Fogg is pretty academically challenging so I have been using most of my free time to just relax instead of writing. I was spurred back to this by remembering when the author of one of my favorite books said my review was written eloquently. That’s a really fond memory, and I’d like to make more in the future, so here I am.

I’ve gotten a lot better at Trumpet in the last few months, thanks to being in two after-school clubs and practicing at least an hour at home every day. In Jazz Combos (one of the clubs) I’ve been developing my improvising skills, and I am a lot better at soloing than I was when I started. I think I’ve made more progress in the last 2 or 3 months than I did last year. I haven’t been working on my piano songs that much, but I did buy a melodica, which is fun to take around and play with. Speaking of my melodica, here are some very short musical ideas that I put on Soundcloud using it. They don’t make a lot of sense unless you read the description of each song, (click the title once it’s playing) which offer some insight on what I was trying to do. I think that trying out concepts from other mediums in music is super fun, which you can see in Hero’s Ringtone.

I got a raise at my job and made all A’s and high B’s in the first quarter of the school year, so my life is pretty good everywhere else too. I’ve generally been happier at high school than I was at middle school so far. What’s been going on in you guys’ lives?

That’s all the time I’ve got for you today, I’ll see you in the next post.

Free Lunch

Free Lunch #70

Hello there you remind me of the rainy days. Today is Friday which means it’s time for another Free Lunch! If you don’t know what Free Lunch is, I just type for five minutes about whatever I want to talk about. It seems like this is the only type of post I do these days, but I plan to release a book review sometime in the next month.

Since the last Free Lunch, I’ve gotten a bit more settled into my classes, and boy do I have some stuff to say! For the first time ever, I’m behind the class in Math (I had a very confusing teacher last year), so I really need to study on something like KhanAcademy. In Band, I am significantly worse than all the other Trumpets except for my friend who came with me from my middle school, and it feels weird going from like top 10 in the whole band program to one of the worst in my class. I haven’t had any particularly challenging work yet, but I’m trying to stay diligent and not fall behind on anything to prepare for whatever lies ahead. I’ve been going to the library after school every day to do my homework and play video games with my friends, which is pretty fun.

But here’s the fun part! Today my friend Iverson and I were walking around downtown, and we saw this guy singing old jazz songs with a microphone on a street corner (Fly Me to the Moon, What a Wonderful World). We both had our instruments, so we walked over and talked to him for a bit. I tried to play Trumpet along with his singing on Fly Me to the Moon, but I did really poorly so I stopped halfway through. However, Iverson took out his clarinet and we started playing a song we learned last year in band, “Park Street Celebration”.

And then someone actually left a five dollar bill in my trumpet case! I split it with Iverson, and the dude on the corner said that there were these two boys who were about my age who busked on street corners like that for a couple hours, and would pull in hundreds of dollars! This is the first time I’ve ever seen music as something you can make money like that so easily. I’ve never really thought of hobbies as careers unless you put some serious dedication into it, but thinking that I can be good at an instrument and make money without going to college or having connections is interesting.

I typed for about ten minutes instead of five, I hope that’s alright with all of you diehard Free Lunch fans.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the very bottom of this post!

Free Lunch · Home

Free Lunch #69

Hello there you potential pots. Today is Tuesday, which means there’s like a 50% chance of a Free Lunch coming out. Lucky for you, today one’s coming out! If you don’t know what Free Lunch is, I basically just type on my computer or phone for five minutes about whatever is happening in my life, or anything I feel like typing about.

I have officially finished a whole week of high school, and so far it’s been mostly positive. The worst things about the new school year have just been getting lost on the way to classes (my school is like a maze), and being in awkward situations around people I don’t know. However, I think all of my classes will be pretty challenging and fun, even if they might get tedious later on. My favorite part of being in high school has been the freedom. At the end of the day, we aren’t shepherded into rooms to wait to be dismissed or even released over the intercom. Once it’s 3:00, we are just free to leave the building. There are no announcements telling us to leave or anything, the teacher will just say that class is over, and then we walk out of school.

I am 6th chair Trumpet out of 11 right now, which I think is higher than I should be. I’m not really going to complain about it, but I’m pretty sure some of the people behind me are better than I am. The schedules are pretty weird as well, we have double period days where classes are an hour and a half long, which is a really long time to be sitting and paying attention in my opinion.

The second unnamed piano piece that I’ve been working on for about 8 months is nearly finished, and I’m trying to think of some good names for it. An idea that I have is “Gymnopédie No. 4” because it draws so heavily from the original Gymnopédies.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the very bottom of this post, I’ll see you in the next one!



I think I’m going to have a particularly rough start to the school year. Not only did I not even get close to finishing my summer reading assignments, but I have just now accidentally cut my thumb in a way that will stop me from comfortably holding a pencil, playing guitar and video games, and snapping. I also need to wake up at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning so that I can catch the bus to school. I’m sure I’ll be fine but these are some discouraging signs. (The summer reading thing was basically just me being lazy all summer though.)

Thanks for reading this short post which will act as a precursor for tomorrow’s Free Lunch.

Cya later!

Free Lunch

Free Lunch #68

Hello there you kindly cooks, it’s time for another Free Lunch! If you don’t know what Free Lunch is, I just try to type for five minutes without stopping about whatever I want to. These typically come out every Tuesday and Friday.

Starting at 9:50.

Since the last time I made a Free Lunch, I haven’t really done enough to warrant a new post. I got the strings fixed on my Electric Guitar and a haircut. Now that my strings are fixed, I can finally play solos that use the high E string. I haven’t made very much progress on any of the songs I’m learning/composing since Tuesday, but I have started practicing the Trumpet vigorously. I have band camp next week and I haven’t really been practicing every day over the summer. I’d say I’ve practiced about 35% of the days this summer, and a lot of that shouldn’t really even be counted as practice. Mostly I’ve just been playing Fly Me to The Moon, Megalovania, and doing a bunch of scales to try and hit new high notes. My record right now is High D, which you can see below.

I’ve made a little bit of progress in Earthbound, I’m past Saturn Valley and starting up the next arc of my journey. Enter the Gungeon had a huge update so I started playing it again for the first time in a few months. The new content is definitely enough to warrant picking it up. On the Nintendo Switch eShop it’s 50% off right now, and I’d say it’s totally worth it.

That’s all the time I have for today, thanks for reading all the way down to the bottom of this post.

See you next post! (Retiring the Bai?)

Free Lunch · Minecraft! · Pokemon

Free Lunch #67

Hello there you inklings of thought. Today is Tuesday which means it’s time for another Free Lunch! If you don’t know what Free Lunch is, I just type for five minutes about whatever I want to talk about. It’s allegedly posted twice a week, but that hasn’t really been happening for the last few months.

Starting at 2:05.

As I think I’ve said a lot of times before, there’s no real reason for me not posting for these long stretches of time. I just don’t do it. I suppose I would just rather do something else a lot of the time.

On the Piano, I’m learning Gymnopédie No. 1 by Eric Satie, which has influenced me for a long time. I’m not quite sure where I first heard it, but I’m pretty sure this song has been around me for a while. I never really realized until recently but one of the reasons it probably feels so close to me is because of how much it touched the Minecraft music. Some of my favorite songs on Volume Alpha seem heavily influenced by this one ambient piano piece. One of the songs I’ve been working on composing for a while has been mistaken for a Minecraft song by a lot of my friends because of how it’s similar in form. I think that Gymnopédie No. 1 has been indirectly inspiring me through the form of a video game that I started playing around 2013.

In slightly more embarrassing news that also has to do with Minecraft, I was playing on a Pokémon server the other day when the Youtuber PopularMMOs was on and got a shout-out to like 15 million subscribers. Here’s a link that starts around when he said my name.

The high E string of my guitar snapped and I haven’t been able to get it fixed yet, so there hasn’t been much progress made on my Smiles and Tears/Home arrangement.

I’ve gone way over the time limit that I normally set for myself, but I’m going to stop writing now.

Thanks for reading all the way down to the very bottom of this post, I’ll see you in the next one!



riley’s backpack is dead

i think :^(