Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Introducing Vulcan Mode

No, I didn't forget about posting today. I just didn't have a chance to write anything until now. And since I still don't have much time, I think I'll go ahead and share that "Vulcan Mode" script I mentioned in a previous post.

This is just a suggestion script by itself, not a complete program. And it's just a simple text document, so you should be able to open it and save it (if you wish) even if you don't have Virtual Hypnotist on your computer.

Click here to view the Vulcan Mode script.

If you want to save this script for personal use with Virtual Hypnotist, just copy the text and save it as a .txt file in the VH "suggestions" folder, then build a session around it with your favorite induction, deepener, wakener, etc. You might need to change some pronouns, but everything else is already nicely generic - and G-rated, too, if that's a concern for anyone. This is a script you could share with your mother...assuming she's a Star Trek fan.

Look for (probably) the final Virtual Hypnotist tutorial post over the weekend. I plan to blog about how to write scripts and how to get the most out of the speech synthesizer. Then maybe I'll have a chance to write all the tutorials up together in a single document.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

a cool discovery

For the first time, just now, I tried running a Virtual Hypnotist with earbuds on rather than listening through my speakers. Wow, what a fantastic difference that makes! The voice and the binaurals just wiggled right down into the center of my brain and tickled it deliciously into submission. I'm going to listen to every VH session this way from now on, and I encourage anyone else experimenting with the program to give it a try.

Oh, and just BTW, trying the Bedtime session with the binaurals set to mid-theta rather than high-theta did send me much deeper; but I still wasn't able to get to sleep that night with just the melatonin. It's pretty clear now that I need that expensive Medication B to get over the hump. Dammit. But still, going deeper and deeper every night as I refine the session is just soooo nice. I can't wait to try it tonight with the earbuds.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

More about the VH "custom audio" function and binaural beats

I sent the male Silver Robot sessions back to Jukebox for proofing this morning, and since then, I've been doing a little experimenting on other VH-related matters. For instance, I've finally figured out how the custom audio works. I'm going to post my latest discoveries here in this entry, then go back and update my "Virtual Hypnotist 103" entry, as well. And once I have all the VH tutorials online, I might write them up in a single document and make them available here for everyone's use.

So this is what I've found out about the custom audio. It is, indeed, the best way to play an mp3 by Lady Ru'etha (or Follow the Watch, or anyone else) which you're using to replace the scripts and speech synthesizer. But in order for custom audio to work, you have to work through several steps. First, save the mp3 in the VH "sessions" folder. Second, enable custom audio under the "Components" tab (Note that this will disable all the scripts and any other selected audio, because the mp3 is replacing those). Third, go to the "Graphics and Audio" Tab and choose the file under "Custom Audio."

Now, this is where it gets just a little tricky. Note that the default option in the "file name" field is the name of the currently-selected session. You can easily change that by selecting the mp3 you want, but then when you try to save the session, you'll find yourself prompted to save the session under the name of the newly-selected custom audio file. But just switch it back, and you're good to go. See? I told you it was just a little tricky.

And now, on to binaural beats. I've been doing a little more online research, and I've found a neat little meditation site that explains binaurals in layman's terms and lets you test and download different kinds of beats. In doing so, I discovered that I drop like a rock after mere seconds of mid-theta, so I'm going to incorporate that into my Bedtime session tonight and see how it works.

Once I knew a little more about binaurals, I felt more competent to experiment with the "Brainwave Synchronizer" under the "Other" tab. I saw that the default difference between the two tones was six hertz, which is high theta, so I just changed it by a single notch. But testing the result with the "test" button revealed the pitch to be much higher than that of the sample from the meditation site, so I adjusted the frequency of both tones downward until I got what I wanted.

Now, I don't know for sure if it matters whether the tones are loud enough for you to hear consciously; but I did notice that the lower I pitched the frequency, the softer the result sounded. So I kept bumping up the volume, because I want to be able to hear the sound. It might be purely psychological, but hearing those low, vibrating tones makes me feel like my whole brain is buzzing; and that's a really lovely sensation. :-)

So that's the news for now. I'm still exploring options for hosting the Silver Robot mirrors (Thanks to drp for the suggestion, but unfortunately, they don't allow adult content), and the fact that the sessions won't be ready for another day or three gives me more time to find something workable.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

a few things you should know

In increasing order of interest:

1. If you're having trouble finding the speech synthesizer download that goes with Virtual Hypnotist, here's a quick link. Just scroll down a little way to SAPI4 (Don't get SAPI5, because it's not fully functional with VH yet). Once you've saved and unzipped the files, run each one separately to install it.

2. I've just spent about an hour browsing Google Images for a suitable picture of a silver penis (And you'll never guess where I found one!), then photoshopping it for use with the male Silver Robot sessions. You're welcome. ;-/

3. All four Silver Robot sessions are almost ready for their debut. If anyone knows where I can put up some mirrors, please let me know. Otherwise, the downloading might be really slow for some of you.

Sealed for your protection

Earlier this week I saw my sleep doctor and told him I was experimenting with hypnosis as a cure for insomnia. I had prepared myself for all kinds of reactions from him, and had even figured out how I could safely describe Lady Ru'etha, if it became necessary. But the doctor only asked, quite blandly, "Who's hypnotizing you?" And when I told him I was mostly doing it myself, with a program I'd downloaded from the 'net, he was fine with that. He said some of his other patients also use hypnosis, then let the matter drop. Whew!

I also told him that I wanted to try changing my meds, since hypnosis seemed to be helping so much. He okayed me to experiment with replacing expensive Medication B with melatonin, and also prescribed a new drug for my restless legs.

I got both later that day and began experimenting that night. When I opened the melatonin bottle, the print across the safety seal read, "sealed for your protection." That gave me a smile, as I thought about my latex and total enclosure fetishes. In my mind, I could be sealed for my own protection. Or maybe someone else could be sealed for my protection. And that made me think of the Sorayama gynoid above. Now, there's someone who's sealed for everyone's protection. She's a battle-bot so fierce she needs restraining even in sleep mode.

I'm still not quite sure how the new medications are going to work out. The first few nights were great, but last night, not so good. Of course, that could be attributed, at least in part, to the fact that Lady Ru'etha called me shortly before bedtime. We had a nice chat, and then she dropped some hints that left my thoughts squirming and churning all night long (which was not her intent, of course, just my reaction). Some hints that will remain strictly between me and her. Sorry. ;-) Anyway, we'll see if I sleep any better tonight.

As for my other hypnosis projects...

1. I've become a much better driver since I started working on that issue via hypnosis. I haven't been able to induce actual arousal when I come to full stops at stop signs, but I have come to experience a deep satisfaction when I feel that last, little backwards rock. And I'm much more comfortable driving the speed limit now, and keeping my eyes peeled for everyone and everything around me.

2. Around the middle of last week, I started a new suggestion script for myself called Vulcan. I'm trying to teach myself to enter "Vulcan mode" in stressful situations, because right now, I get too overwhelmed by emotions to think clearly when I'm stressed out. I ran that script "live" for the first time this morning, and it went well. I was able to visualize all the scenes clearly, and when I had myself respond with mantras like, "It's perfectly logical," my voice did sound very calm and precise and Vulcan-like. I'm thinking I might share this script with all of you somewhere down the line, too - just share it as a text file that VH users can put in their "suggestions" folder and use with whichever inductions, deepeners, etc., they like.

3. Silver Robot is almost finished! My co-conspirator (whom I can now reveal to be Jukebox, in case anyone hadn't figured that out on their own yet) took a look at my female-POV scripts this morning and dashed out corresponding male-POV versions in less than two hours. Now I just need to test the wording to make sure everything flows well through the speech synthesizer, then come up with some sexy male robot images to use as subliminals. But while I'm doing that, does anyone know of a good place to host the zip files I'll be creating? I had planned to use my Yahoo/GeoCities webspace, but being free, it has limited bandwidth; so I'd need to put up some mirrors. And then Lady Ru'etha told me last night that GeoCities is folding later this year, so I'll definitely need another free host site down the line. Any advice, anyone?

Finally, just in general: one big lesson I've learned about writing suggestions for myself is that I can't make them too forceful. If I say, "You are going to do such-and-such," or "feel such-and-such," the odds are 50/50 that I won't. And if I don't, then I feel like a failure. It's much better to say, as Lady Ru'etha does in her mp3's, "You might experience such-and-such," or "You can let yourself do such-and-such, if you like." Now I understand why she does that.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Virtual Hypnotist 103

So. Just a little more about the VH optional components before I head off to work this morning. For tomorrow, I have a slightly different topic in mind.

Yesterday I told you about the video, custom visuals, and brainwaves. The only other really important optional components, IMO, are the subliminals.

Now, I've already talked about the fact that VH has two kinds of subliminals: one set pops up randomly around the screen, and the other flashes across the top and bottom of the screen.

One thing I didn't think to mention before now was how tricky those pop-up subliminals can be. Remember, they don't stick around long enough for you to get a good look at them, which can lead to rather amusing results. For instance, I finally got curious enough recently to peek at the subliminals Lady Ru'etha included in the special session she and Follow the Watch made for me. Imagine my surprise when I didn't see two of the messages I'd expected to see, two I honestly thought I had seen - several times, actually - while running the session. In fact, I'd even e-mailed Lady Ru'etha and teased her about noticing them. And she, in her wisdom, just smiled quietly to herself (I imagine) and kept mum. I do hope she reads this and has a good laugh at my expense.

And what were those two messages that I thought I saw? well, one was "e-mail me." The other, um, started with an m. ;-)

Now about those other subliminals, the flasher phrases. These are just slightly trickier to work with than the pop-up's. Go to the "subliminals" tab, and on the right-hand side, you'll see slots for up to eight phrases, with some suggestions already in place. You can change those suggestions and/or add more, if you like. But one important thing to note is that you'll need to be sure the text color and background color aren't both set to black (That's the default for both of them) in order for them to be visible. This gave me fits for awhile, when I was starting out with the program. Finally I realized that I had to set the text color to white or pale gray, to make these subliminals visible during a session (The pop-up subliminals default to a dark gray, so you'll want to lighten those, as well). As for the slider bars on the left, the best cycle time is on or around 400; cycles per message, 1; and duration, 19.

And now back to the "Components" tab. What's left?

1. "Enable Visible Character" - lets you select a character that will speak the text of the session to you. You can move the character around the screen as you like, to get it out of the way of the visuals. I don't personally care much about this function, but you might like one of the characters and decide to use it.
2. "Enable Custom Audio" - [EDITED FOR 2nd TIME ON 4/26/09] If you want to run a session that uses an mp3 by Lady Ru'etha (or Follow the Watch, or anyone else) instead of the scripts and speech synthesizer, this is the way to go. You'll have to take several more steps in addition to enabling the custom audio, though. First, save the mp3 in the VH "sessions" folder. Second, enable the custom audio if you haven't already done so (note that this will disable all the scripts, because it's replacing the scripts). Third, go to the "Graphics and Audio" Tab and choose the file under "Custom Audio." Now, this is where it gets just a little tricky. Note that the default option in the "file name" field is the name of the currently-selected session. You can easily change that by selecting the mp3 you want, but then when you try to save the session, you'll find yourself prompted to save the session under the name of the newly-selected custom audio file. But just switch it back, and you're good to go. See? I told you it was just a little tricky.
3. "Enable 3D Graphics" - I haven't figured this one out yet and suspect it's not yet fully coded.
4. "Text-Only Session" - Displays the words of the script in the middle of the screen during the session. This is useful if you don't have the speech synthesizer installed; but really, you should have the speech synthesizer installed, unless you're deaf (not a bad-taste joke, I promise. I'm being serious. And BTW, if you are deaf, you'll need to preview each script you plan to run beforehand, to edit out any suggestions about closing your eyes).

And that's it for the "Components" tab. Tomorrow I'll tell you about "sealed for your protection," and then I might have another VH tutorial somewhere later on during the weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Virtual Hypnotist 102

Yesterday I gave you the basics for getting started with Virtual Hypnotist, enough to let you experiment with the presets and peek at the scripts, audios, and videos. But if you did as I suggested, you probably have half a dozen new questions now. Well, once again, I'll be glad to any specific questions via comment or e-mail; but if you prefer to lurk, I'll probably get around to answering you via blog entry somewhere down the line.

This particular entry is going to be about some of the optional elements included in most of the pre-installed VH sessions.

Yesterday I pointed you toward the "Components" tab, which you can access from the "Advanced Configuration" button on the main screen. You'll notice that you can select or deselect various options there, but what exactly are you selecting or deselecting? Okay, the "scripts" are pretty obvious, and I explained those in detail yesterday, anyway. But what about the video, for instance? What are "brainwaves"? Are "flashers" the same as "phrase flashers?"

Well, pardon me for recycling the same image I used in my last post, but it'll explain everything you need to know.

Let's start with the video. In this screen grab, it's the central image and is actually an animated GIF called "spurt" that flashes from "deep" to "sleep." The video image in this shot takes up 40% of the screen; I configured it this way by going to the "Graphics and Audio" tab and moving the "video zoom" slider bar to 40. If you create a new program and don't adjust the zoom, the video will automatically size itself to the height of the screen, and that usually doesn't look very pretty. 40% looks much better, and allows you room to throw in a custom visual in the background.

So let's talk about those custom visuals next. In the screen grab above, they're the red and blue rings, which pulse delightfully when you actually run the session. You can choose or create your own custom visuals from the "Other" tab, under "Hypnotic Visual Maker." When you click this button, a new window will pop up that lets you experiment with different color tunnels, spirals, custom objects, or a Grok Tunnel (Don't ask, just try it out; the demo screen alone put me under). The latest version of VH has 12 custom presets under the color tunnel tab; the red and blue one I used above is #2. I got it to fill the whole screen by dragging the "size" slider all the way to the right. Note that if you don't make the custom visual large enough, it might be hidden by the video, and you certainly don't want that.

Now, also in the screen grab above, you can see a vertical blue bar on the left - but nothing on the right. That seems odd, doesn't it? Well, that, my friends, is one half of a set of "flashers" (See? They're not the same as the phrase flashers.). You can configure them from the "Other" tab by clicking the "Brainwave Synchronizer"...but don't try to configure them unless you really understand what you're doing. Me, I only dared to change the colors, nothing more.

So, what are these brainwave thingies I'm telling you not to mess with? They're binaurals. Wikipedia has a long, technical article about them, but here's the short version: scientists have discovered that, simply by using the right combination of tones or flashing lights, they can induce a state of relaxation in human brains. It only takes about five minutes for the binaurals to have an effect, which explains why most VH inductions last 7-10 minutes.

You're only seeing one of the pair of lights in the image above because it's just a snapshot, and the lights don't flash at exactly the same rate; but when you run the session (And you know which session it is, don't you? ;-)), you'll see them both flickering together: blue on the left, red on the right. Oh, and there are also a pair of hidden tones in this and all other sessions, unless you turn the "Brainwaves" component off. One tone comes from each speaker, but they're both masked by the audio file (assuming there is one), so you won't consciously hear them. You'll just feel them. And that's oh so nice. :-)

But now, I'm afraid I'm out of time. I'll let you in on a little secret: if you see an entry on my blog with a timestamp of 12:00 PM, it was no accident. I wrote it beforehand and timed it to post itself at noon the following day. Right now, it's time for my Bedtime program, and then bed itself.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Virtual Hypnotist 101

I understand that some of you out there are tempted to try Virtual Hypnotist for yourselves (even if only to experience the upcoming Silver Robot sessions), but are still a little nervous about it, while others have downloaded the program but aren't sure yet how all the pieces fit together. So I figured it would be a good idea for me to do a series of entries about VH: what it does and doesn't do, and how.

So, then, you might want to consider this post to be Virtual Hypnotist 99. If you missed last Sunday's entry, the gist of it was that hypnosis can't make you do anything you don't want to do, and VH is very much an "in the privacy of your own home" kind of thing that should give you no worries whatsoever about embarrassing yourself in public - or even in private. In fact, you can peek inside every pre-loaded script before running it, just to see if there's anything you'd object to. And if you do find something you don't like, you can just edit it out before you ever run the program.

Today, I'm going to start the series by telling you how to take that peek. But first, a quick explanation of the essential elements of a standard VH session:

1. Every session begins with an induction. This is 5-10 minutes of breathing and/or visualization exercises or something similar, something designed to lead you down into a state of relaxation and light trance.
2. After the induction, there's normally a deepener. This can involve a countdown from ten to one and/or the repetition of your trigger, if you supplied a trigger when you installed the program (Note that you'll have to practice your trigger for awhile before it has much effect on you. But more on that another time.).
3. Next come the suggestions. These are the meat of the session. By the time you hit this stage, you should be nicely hypnotized and open to all kinds of fun visualizations and, um, other stuff. ;-)
4. A session normally concludes with a wakener to bring you back to full awareness, unless you design something like my Bedtime session that's meant to send you off to sleep at the end. The wakener is pretty short and sweet, maybe a few suggestions for how you'll feel once you wake up, possibly some post-hypnotics, and then a count-up from one to five.
5. Virtual Hypnotist also comes with two different kinds of subliminal messages that run all through the session. The first is a collection of words and/or phrases that pop up randomly around the screen for only a few milliseconds each, long enough that your subconscious mind registers them but your conscious mind only knows it's seen something. The second set of subliminals is a pair of "flasher phrases" that run continuously along the top and bottom of your screen. The image grab at left above shows an example of both kinds of subliminals. At the top and bottom you see "Relax your body" and "perfect silver robot." Those are phrase flashers. The only subliminal pop-up I could catch (They're just so damn quick, even when you intentionally slow them down) was the one you see at middle-right saying "just drop."

Now I've just given you the five elements that the Session Wizard asks you to choose from if you go that route in running a session - but don't go that route. ;-) Really. If you're just starting out with the program, do yourself a favor and try one of the presets first. Just click that button and select whichever session sounds most appealing to you based on its title, load it, and click the "Start Session" button. Voila. Oh, and if you're still nervous about the whole hypnosis deal, I'd suggest trying one of the two "Hypnotherapist" presets; they're strictly vanilla. The two "Brainwash" scripts, on the other hand, are a bit more exciting - and don't really brainwash you, just in case anyone was seriously worried about that. ;-P They just let you play around with the idea for a little while, have some fun with or without a partner.

But I promised to tell you how to preview the scripts, didn't I? Okay, there are a couple of ways to do that.

Let's say you want to see whether or not Brainwash II is too scary for you before actually committing yourself. Load the preset; and then instead of hitting the "Start Session" button, hit "Advanced Configuration," then go to the "Components" tab. There you'll see a breakdown of which induction, which deepener, and so on - right down to the audio and video files - the session uses. You can double-click on any one of those elements to get a preview of it. If it's a script, it'll pop up in a text window for reading - and editing, if you see anything you don't like. If it's a video (which might actually turn out to be a GIF and not an actual video, FWIW), it'll pop up in your media player. Audio files do the same.

The other way to view any of the various scripts and other elements separately, rather than as parts of a session, is to open the VH folder on your computer and just poke around in the subdirectories. There's one for all the inductions, another one for all the deepeners, and so on. This is a good way to explore all the different possibilities at once and, somewhere further down the line, to piece together a session of your own with all your favorite elements.

But more on that later. I've said enough to get you started, and I'll be glad to answer any specific questions anyone has via comment or e-mail before I post Virtual Hypnotist 102 - either over the weekend or perhaps earlier, if time permits.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Another great Deviant Artist discovered

Obviously, the image at left was the most appropriate of arcipello's pieces to share with you here, even though it's really a reworking of someone else's model. I was strongly tempted to go with Softly Sleeping instead, though. That one reminds me so much of some of Sorayama's freaky-sea-creature-sex paintings. But I'm probably reading way more into these images than arcipello ever intended. ;-)

Anyway, this artist has six gallery pages on Deviant Art so far, and they like him so well over there that they're selling his stuff in the official Deviant Art store, which is where I first discovered him (I so want this T-shirt, and I so don't need it).

arcipello's medium is digital art that looks like painting, mostly post-apocalyptic and Japanese themed; but unlike so many so-called artists around the net today, he's good enough to make these nouveau clichés work. I recommend clicking through his whole gallery, but if you're in a hurry, here are a few of my favorite pieces: Forget Me Not, Her Silent Silhouette, Glacial Castle, and Incomplete.

P.S.: Tomorrow, look for the first in a series of tips and tricks on Virtual Hypnotist.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Silver Robot notes and random coolness

First, some random coolness I just stumbled across on Deviant Art. This pic is called "hypnotize." How appropriate, eh? And it looks ten times as awesome when you view it full-sized.

Now, about that Silver Robot program. I've got the two female versions (for use with or without a sex toy) almost finished. All I need to do now is figure out how to pop in the subliminal images, then run the whole thing through once or twice more to find and fix bugs. Once I've done that, I'll zip everything up and ship it off to my co-conspirator for adapting into sessions for men.

But there's one more thing worth noting here. Earlier this morning I answered an e-mail from a friend who's been following my blog. She's very curious about Virtual Hypnotist, but she's also a little concerned about letting someone else mess with her head. I figure there are probably plenty more of you out there thinking the same thing, so let me tell you all what I told her:

1. Hypnosis can't make you do anything you don't want to do.
2. It seems to me that you have to get pretty experienced with it (much more experienced than I've gotten, anyway) to completely lose track of what you're hearing or to be made to forget something.
3. Virtual Hypnotist is totally customizable; and if you like, you can preview any script that comes with the program before you run it. That way, you know exactly what you're in for, and you can even edit out anything you don't like before you run a session.

Now, VH does give you the option to write a script of your own that can't be previewed, but none of the pre-installed scripts have that kind of lock on them; and the Silver Robot sessions won't have a lock on them - though I would suggest, purely to increase your enjoyment, that you don't peek at the script or subliminal images ahead of time. You have my word that no program I write for the public will leave any lasting effects...except, just perhaps, to help you associate hypnosis and your individual trigger with sexual pleasure. But you wouldn't really mind that, would you? ;-P

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The President of the United States is a nefarious mind controller!

This is just fucking least until you stop to think that some people actually take this shit seriously.

Where I am and what I've learned

Okay, first, I finally got the Audacity/VH issue sorted out to my satisfaction, although I still have some questions. I'll start this entry by telling you what I've learned, just in case anyone else out there is experimenting with these two programs and could use some advice.

1. If you're using the speech synthesizer to read your VH script, the background audio only plays in the right speaker. Therefore, your background track can't be stereo. That explains why the fine-sounding stereo experiments I created were missing a track when I played them in VH.

2. If you want to mix two or more tracks into a background track for a VH session that uses the speech synthesizer, begin with the separate tracks in .wav format, import them into Audacity, adjust the volume levels as needed, make both tracks mono, and finally export the whole thing to an mp3.

3. If you want to create an audio track of your own to replace the speech synthesizer, and you want to have stereo background tracks, it's even more complicated. You'll have to separately combine the "lead" track with each background track and export the result as a .wav; then import both new .wav's, set one for the left speaker and one for the right, and export the whole thing again as an mp3.

But enough of the tech talk. Where am I now with my sleep program? Well, last night I finally got the background track I really wanted, at the volume I wanted. Plus, I changed the visuals a bit and totally revamped the script imagery to bring it closer to what I personally experience when I go deep into trance. For me, it's like my head fills gradually with feathers that weigh down my conscious thoughts and make my whole mind feel too pleasantly full to move (You'll get more of that imagery in the Silver Robot session I'm working on, when it finally debuts).

Anyway, the end result, these last two nights, has been excellent. I've finally got the Bedtime session just about exactly where I want it. I'm very, very happy.

And now it's time to work on Silver Robot. :-)

P.S.: The woman in the photo is not me. Sorry if that bursts anyone's bubble. ;-P

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Seeking advice from Audacity and Virtual Hypnotist users

I still haven't figured out how to combine two different audio tracks into a single track that will play in the background of Virtual Hypnotist. I came close, once, getting "Down by the Sea" to play very loudly over a muted version of the new subliminal suggestion track I've designed; but I can't seem to fix that version of the experiment, and every other attempt has ended with only one of the two tracks audible in VH - even when they both play clearly in Windows Media Player. I could really use some advice here.

Meanwhile, thanks to those of you who've already offered to mix something up for me on your own system. I'm tempted, but because of the sensitive nature of the material on the new subliminals track, I'd only trust someone I already knew fairly well to handle that one - and I'd want to be sure that that someone also had VH and could test the mix they made in it before sending it back to me.

Otherwise, I'd just be grateful for any advice I can get.

EDIT: Just after I posted this entry, I went back and retried one of my old "failed" experiments - and lo and behold, it worked this time! I have no idea what's going on, though, or what I did right with this one that I didn't do with the others. So advice is still very, very welcome. Also, I owe a belated thanks to Callidus for hooking me up with a certain audio file that I declined at first but later went back and downloaded. ;-P

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Just pretend there's an image here

Something from Horton Hears a Who - the book, not the movie. I tried to find a little "We're here!" image from Google Image Search, but I had no luck, so you'll just have to imagine.

Yes, I'm here, and insanely busy with work. Have I ever mentioned here that matchbox 20 gave me the official motto for my life when they sang, "I wish the real world would just stop hassling me"?

Anyway, I'm still plugging away with Virtual Hypnotist and that Silver Robot program. A certain partner in crime has agreed to write a male version to go with my female version, so everyone should be happy in the end. :-)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Help yourself - and someone else

If you haven't stopped by Lady Ru'etha's Realm of Bliss yet, now would be an excellent time to check it out. She's just updated her Free Stuff page with some mp3's, as well as Virtual Hypnotist preset packages for her hypnotic CD's. This is the perfect opportunity for you to experience her skill and inventiveness for free. And then, if you like what you see and hear, perhaps you'll want to check out one of her CD's (Reviews can be found on Jukebox's Hypnosis Blog, among other places).

Now, normally, I only recommend free stuff on my blog. It's a decision I made early on, and eventually it became so central to my philosophy that I took down my sidebar links for pay sites like Bianca Beauchamp's and Susan Wayland's. But this case is a little different. As Jukebox notes here, the hospital bills for Lady Ru'etha's loved one are mounting horribly. For those of you outside the US, that's just the way our system works. It sucks. In fact, it sucks so badly that there needs to be a stronger word for it than sucks. Something that implies a vast, festering, Mordor-esque wasteland.

So anyway, if you chose to buy a CD from Lady Ru'etha, not only would you be giving yourself a treat, but you'd be donating to a good cause, as well. I'm just sayin.'

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Stream of (sub)consciousness

A lot has been going on with me this week, but I haven't had a chance to write because of work and allergies (It's pollen season here, and by late afternoon, my eyes are too swollen and irritated to keep open very long). So to make up for it, I'm going to take the lid off the storage bin in my brain now and just dump everything out in no particular order.

Let's start with Callidus. He asked me a few days ago if Spy vs. Guy's Brick Logan, with his man-love for Samson, was inspired by Brock Samson of The Venture Brothers. As a matter of fact, I've never even seen The Venture Brothers and only vaguely knew the show by name, but that Wikipedia link definitely piqued my interest. And what a hilarious coincidence! Brock does have a lot in common with Brick, aside from his hair and dress sense, but I didn't base Brick on anyone in particular.

Second, to those of you who had comments and questions about my Safe Driver program: I'm being careful to give myself only positive reinforcement for good driving, no negative reinforcement for bad driving. After all, you never know when you might have a legitimate need to speed, not come to a full stop at a stop sign, etc. Anyway, I didn't get a chance to actually try the program until this morning, but I was unusually conscious of and careful about my driving all this past week, just from taking the time to write the program. And today, after running it for the first time, I noticed some clear results, some things I'd like to build on...all while making sure I don't become so distracted that I stop being the good driver I want to be, if you know what I mean. ;-P

As for my sleep program, I've decided that the best thing to do, at least for now, is to keep using Mary in the Stadium as reader with both "Down by the Sea" and a fade-in version of the babble script running in the background. I'm getting some great results this way, and not using a recorded version of my own voice gives me the freedom to change the wording as often I like without having to re-record. I've gotten the sleep program to the point where it sends me very deep, very quickly - so deep, in fact, that I actually begin to feel a pulse in my head at about the halfway point; and by the end, the straight script and the babble are equally loud and I find myself almost unable to pay attention to either one, which is exactly what I want. I've gone back to Medications A and B (with A at a quarter dose), but I plan to make an appointment with my sleep doctor soon to discuss where I might go from here.

The Silver Robot program is coming along quite nicely, too. Today I plan to experiment with ways to change and increase the subliminal messages, and maybe see if I can throw in some subliminal images, too. I don't yet know when I'll have a public version ready for release (or where I'll host it when I do), but you can go ahead and start anticipating now. ;-)

And lastly, there's this. The two hypnosis shows I saw while in college were a big inspiration for my Willing Subject. In fact, one of my sorority sisters who went up onstage for one of the shows was named Melissa. But the volunteer I'm thinking about at the moment is a frat rat acquaintance named Todd. Todd went onstage for both shows, and I still have a vivid memory of how deeply he went under the second time, just lolling in his chair like an ecstatic rag doll. I've had that same experience myself, now, and it's got me wondering if Todd was a secret hypnofetishist all along. In fact, I'm wondering if perhaps Todd might stumble across my blog one day, or might have already stumbled across it. So, Todd, if you're out there, guess what? You know me! ;-P

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sometimes I don't even have to write anything

Pictures like this one (the right-hand half of the latest Antiseptic Fashion shot on Deviant Art) speak perfectly well for themselves.

And that lets me off the hook for Wednesday so I can go back to my hypnosis experiments...or it would, if I didn't feel compelled to add that that the Antiseptic Fashion DA gallery is chock full of this sort of high-art bondage gear, and that one pic in particular (of the ever-scrumptious Mosh) continues to be among my all-time DA favorites even without any obvious MC overtones.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Grrr x 2

Still no luck with my mp3 mix or Medication C. Yesterday evening I had several hours to work on the problem, and I discovered that the doubling effect wasn't an issue with the mp3 I'd made, but rather with the fact that I had two versions of the same thing playing at once from different places. Unfortunately, the mp3 had another problem, which was that "Down by the Sea" was playing at a much lower volume than the other two tracks. I couldn't hear it at all once the talking started. And the only way I could fix it in the end was to make a fresh version of the mp3 with all three tracks set to mono (I'd previously tried to have the straight script on mono, "Down by the Sea" on the left speaker, and babble on the right - so future Audacity users, take notice. You can't do that).

Well, after that, I thought I had the problem fixed, took Medication C, and tried again. Unfortunately, two new problems cropped up pretty quickly: a) I was talking too fast to put myself into trance, and b) all three tracks were playing at the same volume.

But I'm babbling now, so I'll stop. You really don't need all the gory details, do you? Here's the short version: I went back to Mary in the Stadium for another night and ended up having to take more OTC medication on top of Med C again. So now I'm going to postpone this experiment until the weekend and play with other that Silver Robot session, which is looking better and better, and a new Good Driver session I wrote last night but haven't had the chance to test yet.

I'm discovering that some suggestions slip more easily into my subconscious than others, and the driving suggestions aren't "sticking" as well as, for instance, the no-cursing-at-work ones. I guess it's because my bad driving habits (speeding, not coming to full stops at stop signs, etc.) are much more deeply ingrained. So now I'm going to try using some, ahem, sexual imprinting to drive that message home. We'll see how it goes. ;-)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Grrr, setback

Last night didn't go so well. I thought I'd successfully combined the three tracks I mentioned yesterday into one; but either I didn't do it right after all, or else I had the Virtual Hypnotist settings wrong. Anyway, when I went to try out my new customized mp3 at bedtime, I got several long seconds of silence and then a doubled mishmash of voices and music. But, having already taken Medication C, I knew my time was limited; so I went back to the Mary in Stadium version with the babble mp3 and spent several frustrating minutes trying to get the sound level right so I could have a good experience.

Of course, by then, there was no way I was going to have a good experience. When I finally crawled into bed, my thoughts were still whirling like mad, and I ended up having to take a dose of over the counter sleep aid on top of Med C, then run my customized Quick Deepener, before I could get to sleep.

At this point I'm thinking Med C might not do the trick after all, but then again, maybe I just need to use it under better circumstances. I'll have to try again once I get the three-track mp3 issue sorted out, and that will require more time than I have just now.

In the meanwhile, I'd welcome any feedback from anyone who knows more about Audacity or about hypnosis. I'm wondering if going under too many times during the day can keep you up at night, because I did spend a lot of time yesterday working on the Silver Robot program.

And yes, it is coming along very, very nicely. And yes, I will share it with all of you in the end. :-)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Fits and Starts

That's how my Bedtime program is coming along: in fits and starts. Last night was a bit of both.

As I mentioned in this post, I can tell my mind is sinking into sleep when little nonsense phrases start popping up in my brain, so I've been tweaking the program to encourage the spread of that nonsense as much as possible.

I've also bought a computer mic and, on Lady Ru'etha and Follow the Watch's recommendation, downloaded a freeware program called Audacity that lets you create and play with audio files.

Then, a few days ago, I remembered that Neil Gaiman had used another freeware program called Babble when he wanted to come up with some semi-meaningless nonsense passages for one of his short stories. So, I thought to myself, why not create some babble of my own and use it as a background track for my Bedtime session? A search of Gaiman's blog led me to this link; which led me to download Babble itself; which turned out to be a really, really old program. The damn thing actually runs in a DOS window! But, hey, it's free (for two weeks, anyway), and I managed to figure it out well enough to produce a babble-ized text version of my Bedtime script.

Then came the fun part. I had already written a Reader Drone program which would take me deep into trance and then have me record a hypnotic session for my future self, speaking as my real "inner drone." I tried it out for the first time yesterday, initially attempting to record myself reading the "straight" version of the Bedtime script with "Down by the Sea" playing through the speakers behind the mic (because "Down by the Sea" simply will not allow itself to be opened and played with in Audacity; it seems to be some kind of copyright thing). That didn't come out very well, but I continued on and recorded myself reciting the babble-ized version of the script while still in trance.

But let me take a moment here to tell you how incredibly fucking awesome it is to sit there, staring blankly at your screen and reciting things you don't really understand, not caring that you don't understand, because you're just so deliciously deep in trance and because you know you're recording something that will put you back in trance, even deeper, later on. Mmmmm. :-)

Anyway, the straight script/"Down by the Sea" recording didn't come out very well because, in an attempt to record my voice nice and loud, with the music playing softly but audibly in the background, I had the speakers turned up fairly high and held the mic close to my face. So when I played it back afterwards, I could hear every little breath and lip smack all too clearly. Yuck. Not pleasant listening at all.

But the babble-ized recording turned out quite nicely, and I used it as the background audio track in my Bedtime session last night with "Mary in the stadium" on lead vocals. It only took a minute to realize I had the babble track up too loud, but I ran with it, and by the end of the session my brain was nicely scrambled. It took me a bit longer to get to sleep than it has with my more successful experiments, but I see a lot of potential here. A lot.

Plus, I was really doing two experiments last night, since I had also switched out Medications A and B for an older, cheaper drug that I still had on hand. Medication C is prescribed primarily for restless legs, which is another thing that keeps me awake at night; but the doctor had hoped it would help me with my insomnia, too. Unfortunately, it didn't allow me to "turn my brain off" the way I needed to, the way my current (outrageously expensive) Medication B does. So, since I have the "brain off" problem mostly solved now, but I still need something to calm my restless legs, I figured I'd give Medication C another try. And it worked, even with the "bedtime" session itself not being at its best.

Obviously, this all makes me very happy and very hopeful of chucking A and B completely.

This morning I re-recorded myself reading the "straight" Bedtime script, incorporating several enhancements that occurred to me after last night's experience - but not incorporating "Down by the Sea." This time the recording came out every bit as well as I'd I hoped it would. My Reader Drone program enables me to speak loudly, clearly, and with appropriate inflections while still in trance; but it also lets me sound drone-like enough to tickle my subconscious fetish buttons and (I hope) take myself deeper than Mary in the stadium can.

The next step, then, is to try recording "Down by the Sea" all by itself, from the speakers to the mic. I know the sound quality won't be great, but it's only going to be a background track; and I have a tin ear, anyway. I don't think I'll mind. ;-)

Then I'll see if I understand Audacity well enough to combine all three tracks with the straight Bedtime recording on top and the babble-ized Bedtime and "Down by the Sea" as background tracks running in separate speakers.

Results tomorrow...maybe.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Getting tired of picture-free posts?

Well, if you are, this entry ought to make you feel better. I discovered two lovely new galleries on Deviant Art sometime last week, one by a photographer who calls himself mrgone, and other by his preferred makeup artist, mishkamink. A lot of their efforts appear in both their DA galleries. At left and below are just a few of their most MC-ish collaborations, but there are plenty of images in both their galleries that also involve latex and/or human dolls. In other words, there's plenty for everybody to enjoy.

As for the heroin references, yes, I get them; no, I don't like them; and yes, I can ignore them and put my own interpretation on the pictures.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Last night

I'm working lots of overtime this week and have been pretty exhausted by the time I get home, so last night I was running my "bedtime" hypnosis session a little after 8:00 PM when the phone rang. If it was one of my three blog readers who have my phone number, I do apologize, and I hope this will make you feel better about not getting to talk to me in person. ;-)

The phone sits right next to the computer, so it's pretty hard to ignore. But I was about halfway through the session when it rang, and I was deep enough that I noticed it but didn't feel any great urgency about answering it. I knew that I could pull myself out of trance and answer it, but a) when you're in trance, knowing you could do such-and-such but considering it to be too much of a bother is a pretty common experience; and b) I was aching for sleep, anyway, and answering the phone would have meant keeping myself up even longer.

So I ignored it. I heard it, and I heard my answering machine pick up, but I just kept focusing on the session. And when the caller hung up without leaving a message, I was very satisfied to notice that I hadn't broken trance in the slightest.

I've cut my nighttime dose of Medication A down to a quarter of what I started with, and I'm still getting to sleep very easily with this new program. Medication B will be harder to cut down since it's a single pill and doesn't look like the kind you can split, but I'm already thinking about talking to my pharmacist and doctor about options. This hypnosis stuff is really working!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

No actual math involved. I promise.

Not too long ago, Follow the Watch taught me an interesting new word: fractionation. This is a hypnotic technique in which the subject is drawn into trance, awakened, and drawn back in several times in short succession. He says it's very helpful in teaching you how to go deep and stay deep. So I've been trying to do at least a little bit of that, myself, these last few weeks. I don't have the time for several uninterrupted hours of trance-play like he describes, but I am getting into the habit of doing at least three or four sessions a day, two at a time when I can manage it.

I've talked already about the "bedtime" session I've been working on, and I have a "morning" session now, as well. It includes suggestions about things like handling stress and keeping my mouth shut when I need to. I've discovered that I get the best results from these sessions if I play Lady Ru'etha's mp3 first, then the morning or bedtime session right afterwards, while I'm still pleasantly hazy and relaxed.

And by "best results," I mean excellent results. I went to sleep very quickly last night and am noticing a huge reduction in my stress levels during the day. And I really am obeying the suggestion I gave myself that curse words wouldn't even occur to me while I was at work.

I'm still boggling at just how suggestible I've turned out to be. This is just the kind of thing I've always dreamed of. I'm enjoying the experience of being controlled, but it's also teaching me self control of the kind I've always needed. And I'm just so much calmer and happier these days.

Now if only I could find the time to unpack that computer mic and try it out. I'm so excited by the possibilities there.