Saturday, December 22, 2007

Jukebox stuff

Last weekend we finally got up to Castleford near leeds and collected our 70CD series 3 Sound Leisure jukebox. This weekend I've finally got it wired up with fresh tangent speakers from Richer Sounds, it sounds cool!.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Tetrion for blogs

I decided to day to take a minute to fill this in a little. Without giving too much away to the identity thieves, of course.

Good things that have happened recently:
  • eBay - won a CD jukebox, "regency" series 3 from sound leisure, popped up to Castleford (!!200 miles!!) to collect it and it's great!
  • Found somewhere I could source an EL84 (just the ONE) but their ordering system turned out to be pants so - surprise surprise, modern e-shopping nightmare - it's sat in a bloody Citylink warehouse in Hayes waiting for pickup. Why couldn't I have it delivered to work you MORONS?
  • Chrimbo tree is up and looking very pretty
  • Updated the Wii and posted my Friday the 13th Mii onto the new Mii competition channel (they've got some well freaky stuff on there)
  • Restrung the old white Aria, took it to a jam night in Windsor and the bass blew them away - that old beast has the most fantastic sound for a passive bass. A real peach, and the strings are so light I found it tricky to play! That's always a good sign.
  • Get together with the old crew from Panasonic - which was very very well attended, how many people can say they had a Christmas works dinner with their ex-colleagues and more people came than where they work at the moment??? Lots of good natured loud boisterous chatting over excellent Indian food at Spice in Thatcham (I'd recommend it, they put up with us, they'll put up with you, trust me) - well done Andy Beith for organising it.
That's a short list for 17 days. I really need something local and musical, the Windsor jam night is fun but I'm not sure how many contacts I'll make that way. I think I'll have to bite the bullet and find something in west London, maybe Ealing. A bit of a hotbed of jazz-funk there.

Wish me luck. Incidentally, I'm back on the 5-string fretless again. Erp!

Friday, November 30, 2007

CAPTCHA with a conscience???

I'm a geek really. A gear geek and a bit of a computer geek as well.

So the story on Techworld about a Quicktime exploit allowing nasty people to do things to your computer if you're running firefox was of passing interest. Much more interesting was the CATCHA image at the bottom for weeding out spam comments from bots! Not only does it have something political to say, which is an interesting and new viral idea spreading idea, but I love the logo - "Stop spam. Read books." It almost sounds like a bored mantra of someone who writes captcha code for a living :)

Music - the stack needs a new EL84 for the valve channel (arse!) but the solid state is good so tonight I'm going to give the new Warwick NEO cabs a baptism of fire in O'Neills - come and see Janeiro at their best, we'll rip the roof off again!

Just do be careful at the front of the stage. Jay usually ends up with at least one woman who crashes into his lap (not that he isn't used to it)...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Bit the bullet, did the deed: now 20 kilos lighter!

It's not quite as it seems... I've traded in all the cabs I owned (1 4x10 Warwick cab, 1 1x15 Warwick cab, and a 2x10 Trace Elliot cab) and bought two Warwick NEO PRO cabinets to replace the 4x10 and 1x15 cabs - and they weigh masses less! As an example, the old 4x10 weighed 41Kg(!!!) and the new one weighs 28Kg... and handles 200W more power (nice.)

I can safely say they sound fantastic. And I did all this in Brighton at GAK - the title links to them - and they were friendly, enthusiastic and didn't bat an eyelid helping me get the three cabs into the shop from the car 2 streets up, and getting the new cabs back to the car. Top fellas.

I just woke up in the morning, looked up some prices (I've been lusting after these cabs for a while!) and decided to bite the bullet and finally do the job.

Incidentally - on the geek front - just got a proper conference call on Skype working (fixed the video banding problem with newest S3 drivers for my laptop) and it's wicked! Got the whole family on with a reliable skype link!


Friday, November 23, 2007

Laughing my arse off!

I heard about the lost child-support database CDs when the story first broke and was open-mouthed for about 10 seconds until I started laughing... I realised pretty quickly what this meant for a government obsessed with holding as much information as possible about us, and their precious (apparently terrorism-beating) ID card idea.

Now, I don't have kids, and thank god: my bank account details, national insurance, etc should be safe - so I can laugh like a drain at this story ( and hope beyond hope that the UK public make their anger known in some other way than voting for the opportunistic tory scumbags who sit opposite in our ancient corrupted democracy!

It's time for the UK public to demaind that our ruling classes GET A LIFE - I mean it, they need real-world knowledge, not this horribly insular bunch of lawyers (who the hell decided to let the country be run by them, for god's sake????) who studied politics at Oxbridge or whatever. Maybe some of them should get a real job before running the country?

Public confidence in the government of the UK has apparently dropped from over 60% to 28% since september - the question I'd like to ask is, "do you believe our system of government is high time for a change?". Our ruling class needs a wakeup call, but I fear we're all too busy paying tax and trying to survive... which is a whole other story!

Still, I'm still laughing at this sorry tale! It's even funnier that the whole database was on there because government IT strategies mandated they'd have to pay a third party IT contractor to work up the new version of the database minus the sensitive data, and thus they didn't bother!!!!! Pointy haired bosses in Whitehall?? Whod'a thunk it?

Monday, November 12, 2007

*** Scary financial rant alert ***

Spotted this today - I think it's in the US but one of the "companies" they refer to is based in London: it seems companies are buying and selling discharged bankruptcy debt!!!!!

this is off the wall. If this insanity can produce a “robust market” in discharged bankruptcy accounts, what bloody hope is there? Apart from the poor saps who find themselves unable to progress because organisations are demanding funds that have been legally excused, surely that “market” in this dead debt can only be worse than the current madness in the entire global financial market about badly labelled investment vehicles that looked like gold but had crap sub-prime mortgages sitting underneath!

A bigger picture proving the need for screwing down these insane bent suits I cannot think of!

The horribly irony is, it doesn't matter if you're a follower of the "neither a borrower or a lender be" and you lead a comfortable but non-40" LCD TV existence: ultimately this soaraway $$-pupil greed will see all of us royally shafted as the world economy goes down in debt flames and the same suits retreat to safe distance in Monaco, Switzerland etc and wait for the dust to settle before sharpening their steak knives and salivating again in 10 years time...

When will we learn? Kill the suits.

P.S. buy your strings from Strings Direct - they rule.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Quick post in a hectic week...

Hullo punters! What an insane week. Two days of madness on monday and tuesday, a mad drive back home on tuesday night getting back at about 2am, then a full day's work behind that desk I keep on about...

Then I got the chance to be a bassist in shining armour for the jam night at Havan in Windsor - this has proven to be a great place to meet new musicians, and the standard of playing is high, I ended up well outside my comfort zone the other week playing fretless 5 string fusion jazz of sorts, definnitely a stretch for me - anyway, I was considering a quiet night in on wednesday night, but the call came at about 9pm - "We've got 2 drummers and no bassist - can you come down?"

"I'll be there in 20 minutes" I said. I'm close enough to Windsor to mean it's a short hop (especially compared to driving to O'Neills in Oxford as I often do for Janeiro/Breeze gigs)... I had a cool night, met another drummer (a man I'm sure I've exchanged emails with, Colin Bibby) who has a nice line in grooves and reggae and got home relatively early for a music night.

Last night I thought... I'll have a quiet night and recover. Fat chance! I'm on my way home after another full day at work and Jamie rings me - O'Neills need us, the stuff they thought was on wasn't and Jamie has been offered a gig. Not one to turn down the chance to boost adrenaline levels both inside and outside myself, I stopped off for pie and chips on the way home, grabbed the 5 string fretless again (hell, I'm way way way outside my box now) and shot up the M40. What a night - Steve was totally left field, I don't think I've heard him ever play Sweet Home Alabama that way, it really groooooved. Jamie was ready for a gig as well, and it was just the 3 of us, Andorra style: good to be at the front and out from behind the speaker stack!

Plus, the PA behaved - last gig we did (a wedding in Oxford) it developed feedback problems when nothing was plugged in(?!) but Jamie tracked it down to the crossover, which appeared to be feeding back by itself!

Great crowd in there last night, lots of good natured revelry. Oh yes.

I got put onto this by a friend in the office - A tiny solid-state drive laptop from ASUS - it looks rather spiffy and it's fairly cheap. Looks like you can load it with anything you want - linux, windoze etc. With an external SD slot you can slap 8GB in there, and the internal drive being another SD card the wear-levelling of the SD standard will def come in handy, although with the number of cycles modern cards can handle I'm sure it'll do well. It even has a built in webcam and skype installed in the linux distro that the beast comes with. I'd probably load ubuntu myself... Looks like a useful and neat little piece of kit.

Tonight I'm off again, watching some shakespeare... wish me luck, hopefully I'll stay awake! I feel for the poor cats, they've barely seen us!

Friday, November 02, 2007

An update! Local music is alive in Windsor...


It's been a good week: I've fixed the linkback to Musicians-in-my-city from my website (they seem to demand that their little graphic is in every frame) and got a few emails as a result. One was from Jayson Norris's band, who are looking for a bassist, it seems. I'll be getting in touch with them: he's from New Zealand and I like their sound. It's like a more energetic Jack Johnson, and the songs are better written, I reckon...

I also got to 2 gigs last weekend with Janeiro in Oxford, one classic O'Neills mad night, and then a Saturday night wedding in a place called Dragon School on the way into Oxford centre. Wierd gig but the audience was very into it!

And finally, on wednesday night I took the plunge and took the 5 string fretless to a jam night in Windsor at the Havana pub in the station. Happens every wednesday (I'm sure I mentioned it before) and the gear is brought along by Tony from Phat Tone studios in Reading. Nice fella.

Great night, I ended up doing wierd 6/8 jamming in some odd new-jazz thing at one stage. Was insane for the first 5 bars as I found my feet, then when I realised what the feel was, I started to pull it around like a piece of blutak. I made some of the best 6/8 grooves I think I've ever done!

Other stuff... Richard and Judy are splitting the band! I love the article -
"It is understood Judy Finnigan, 59, plans to move away from television to write books, while her husband Richard Madeley, 51, will pursue a solo career. "

So Judy's going to get Pickfords in, and Richard's going to play a piano in a big white room and sing about peace and love and good happiness stuff. Hmmmm.

I just found a myspace page for local music hereabouts which includes some tuesday night jam nights in Maidenhead! Excellent!
----- Today's Practise Diary -----
I must learn 2 more bars of chromatic fantasy :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Musicians with Integrity!

Excellent: just seen a band bow out of the Channel 4 "Mobileact Unsigned" competition on the grounds that it was demeaning: even Alex James couldn't persuade them to poledance for the 4 "lorded" judges (I will admit that Jo Whiley has definitely not done herself any favours being associated with this attempt to create a slightly grungy X-factor - although she tends to be the only dissenting voice sometimes).

I've been in battle fo the band competitions, but never at this level: to be honest, the "stakes" for this comp are much higher - or are they? At least with the last one I was in (with Janeiro) we knew that the eventual prize was to play at FoxFMs party in the park in front of several thousand people: that was definitely an experience. The poor buggers who make it through the Channel 4 skit will be bankrolled by a fat arsehole who I bet won't stump up for a second album.

So kudos to Nemo for turning up and making a stand. The only positive Channel 4 can be assigned in this situation is that they did in fact broadcast the situation. But then chose a lame piss-take about how the van was parked in. The presenter implied they'd parked in such a way they couldn't get out: what if the other cars parked him in, you floppy haired arsewit?

We have to stop reality TV shows. Lazy, cheap, voyeuristic crap. And when they start playing on the dreams of people (X factor is bad enough, but they're mostly starry-eyed McJob cannon fodder - which is cruel) - especially real musicians who play real gigs for real music fans (i.e. people who support local music scenes) - they have crossed a line which makes even my cynical brain-centres hurt.

----- Today's Practise Diary -----

Friday, October 19, 2007

The hunters in your home...

We have 3 young female cats who get antsy when they only get let out in the late afternoon. As a result, they stay out until dusk falls and thus get into "wild cat hunting mode". This seems to have been added to with a "take some work home" mentality where they literally bring live unharmed rodents into the house to chase everywhere.

This poor little bugger is one such rodent.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Your up-to-date source from Google Trends...

Here's the up-to-date info from Google Trends for those of us waiting for the "house price correction"... bear in mind this is not a totally accurate picture and it does make certain assumptions:
  • Google's search engine is by far the most popular and nobody goes looking for houses or information on when prices will drop without making a google search first
  • The information from Google trends is useful as an indicator of social trend (note - we're only talking about online UK here, nothing about anyone who doesn't use google as a first-point-of-access) and the overall "feeling" of people
  • That what people feel ultimately dictates what they do, no matter how hard the vested interests (estate agents, conveyancy agents, banks/building societies, mindless property TV shows etc) try to keep pumping out the positive messages to try to keep the bubble inflated.

With that in mind, here goes...

2007 only "house price crash" trend - this continues to rise, with a very noticeable "blip" in the recent Northern Rock wake. This one has to be the biggest indicator of what's on people's minds. Self fulfilling prophecy? Well, if the herd mentality holds true, eventually, yes...

2007 only "buy to let" trend - falling? Can it be that either there are enough debt-laden greedy private gits out there now, or is the lure from the TV show is waning as people realise the line of cheap credit is drying up?... I saw a guy in a crap striped suit admit that out of £7.5m of property portfolio he owed about £5m - so he'd be up £2.5m if he sold up now. At which point, the other studio guest said "assuming you could sell it"... and surprise surprise, the "polite strained argument" so prevalent in England today broke out, as our reality-aware bubble-burster was treated to a stonewalling from Mr Pinstripe who couldn't believe things would possibly change...

"Northern Rock" 2007 trend - this one shows the strartling jump in interest in this crappily-planned company at the time of the crisis - but also shows people are still keeping an eye on it...

I've seen some good new stories recently on "shoring up" mortgage markets with banks putting aside crisis funds... holy cow, they'll never be made to pay for their stupidity, will they? :)

BTW, another Windsor jam night wednesday night! Think I might take the 5 string fretless and the combo... not sure where to park for that though!

----- Today's Practise Diary -----

Friday, October 12, 2007

Jam nights... bit o'fun!

Wotcher all.

I got to that Jam night in Windsor - it's the Havana club in Windsor: a stone's throw from the station (actually, it's underneath it, in a very cool arch-basement-long-thin style).

Great night: the guys there have a PA which pretty much does the trick, but the Carlsboro bass head and a wedge monitor definitely don't cut it. I'd consider taking the combo if I wasn't about to sell it! It's always a bit of a lottery taking good gear to a jam night - you can end up with it totally fried (it's happened to me before) by people who don't understand how amps work.

Thing is though, my sound really sucked! The moment I started tweaking the warwick I knew I'd have to use more midrange honk because the Carlsboro simply didn't have the welly. While that might work in some places, I don't like bass with less BASS.

I used to have a carlsboro Cobra 90 bass combo: first proper amp I had. Got a lot of mileage out of it too, but I don't hanker after one of them again!

So on balance, I think I'll bring the combo next week. Hopefully I can park close enough by. I'll take the pod as well.

The guys there are cool - the dude playing percussion's a pretty good drummer: Nick, the guitar player, was very kind about my playing on the night. It's been a long time since I jammed with musicians I don't know... bit rusty, but otherwise OK!

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
Some sight reading: a few more bars of Chromatic Fantasy!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

windsor-home of great musicians?/

Well, I'm hoping it is. It seems to be a fact that musicians have to keep looking for bands to join, more than anything I suppose it's probably a function of not finding yourself in a stable act which is the main source of income for all involved. Therefore, you all don't have day jobs, and you're probably young enough not to have too much to lose. I've got the creeping realisation that I'm going to die a bit before I reach forty as my goals and ideals don't match the life I've fallen into.

This won't be anything apart from a resignation that dreams are dreams, and a hardening of the person to what life really is. Starting to realise that the best part really was good, and it was 10 years ago.

This has to change. I'm probably going to have to do something radical. nic feels it too, she's had enough of the emptiness, the vapid manic crap we put up with.

I'm not sure what to do. I could just keep sleepwalking, I suppose.

Maybe tonight will spark me up.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

friendship entropy

...or, How I learned to let go of the past. Or at least started to.

Maybe it's just the feeling of passing of seasons, maybe it was the huge lucid dream I had last night about being in St Andrews again (which I didn't want to end), but I've been thinking about friendship entropy and loneliness.

Right now there are probably a fair number of people I remember from St Andrews days, scattered everywhere from the US to Shetland to Switzerland to London. All have their own lives (the ones in london seem more successful in keeping together), and a lot use stuff like Facebook.

But it's not the same. The best part of my life was with these people, and telling each other every other month by email that "we must get together sometime" is pretty lame after the first few years.

With that in mind, I guess I'm saying "you can never go home again", which is sad, because that means the place I felt happiest, safe, useful... Is in the past.

I see now that I have to give in to friendship entropy. It's time to stop trying to stay in touch with people who simply have their own lives to lead. i guess i should go get one now, even if it is a tiny, small, rather grey one.

i'm not stopping this blog though: this falls under the heading of self-publishing. I'm just going to stop trying to keep the past alive. I wonder if I've done this before?

Monday, October 01, 2007

I promise I didn't watch the race.

Well, it sounds like I missed an "eventful" race. The FIA messed up telling people what tyres to use (or so it seems - perhaps ferrari thought there was advantage to be gained in "getting the email late"?) - how hard is it to tell them all at once? Another classic cock-up...

The rain fell in Japan for the F1 weekend, and surprise surprise it was like the M4 on a wet commuting afternoon - chaos. And - double surprise - the pole position man won! Well duh, I may not have seen the start but I bet he was one of the few who didn't get pranged in the first corner or so...

Really. I think it's time for F1 to stick its tail between its legs and slink away for 2007.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The great F1 swindle... self-delusion by drivers? Never...

OK, ok, it's not music related. But it is a big "I told you so", and we've all got to feel smug sometimes.

So Felipe Massa thinks Ferrari deserve their F1 constructors title, does he? Come on mate, you should have kept your mouth shut. At least then if Ferrari had kept saying "no comment" we could limp to the end of the season and let the 2007 championship whimper to a close and lick its' wounds in time for 2008.

But no, the idiot had to open his big, fat, stupid mouth. And now everybody will be thinking that Ferrari are paranoid that nobody thinks they deserve the title. So now, in everybody's eyes, they won't!

Well done, there's a hole in your foot guys.

I don't like to extend political intrigue in sports (it diverts from everything that's good about sport) but in this case I had to say something. F1 sucks, it really really does. It's like Heathrow, it can't grow any more without pissing people off (the technology has become too big a factor) but if it doesn't grow people will think it has failed.

Let's hope F1 can find a new direction, or it'll implode in more messy ways next year. Meantime, don't watch grand prix... it's pretty boring.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

small gigs, small rigs...

Tomorrow night we're at the Bricklayer's in Marston, Steve's local, tiny pub for the big noise that is Janeiro: they love it tho. I have to remember to bring mic cables so I can get sone singing in!

I'll take just the combo and 2x10 I reckon. The crating up of the two big speakers is pretty much complete, now I have to weigh them and work out how much it'll cost to ship them! On the plus side it's original boxes, so they're up to the task. Was a pain getting the boxes down from the loft.

Our pond is drying up: don't know why, but the ducks are looking worried. Think we'll have to work this one out for ourselves. Could get messy.

Btw, if you've got a wii, there are actually websites out there where you can register you wii number so connecting yourself to local gamers!

Friday, September 21, 2007

In an effort to look more well-rounded...

OK, I admit it, it's been a while since my last gig(!) - I do think about other stuff though, hate you to think I'm a one-trick pony.

So stuff I've noticed - F1 - so Juan Pablo Montoya, the world's greatest has-been in F1 (let's face it, he's a better driver than I'll ever be, but that's not the point of being a sports fan, is it?) slags off the way F1 works. Well mate, now you're really playing with the big boys at NASCAR, driving around and around in circles on unchallenging tracks and able to bang your steed off anyone who gets in your way (never did work with F1 cars did it you lead footed hot headed tit?) after quitting halfway through the 2006 season you're obviously hugely qualified to comment on the state of F1...

Honestly, what a cack-headed dimwit.

The Dilbert Blog - (latest story)

I don't believe it, the man who writes Dilbert has time to write an acidic blog... and he's got plenty to say on a lot of stuff. Gets a lot of good comment traffic too. Well worth the odd peruse.

And if my post last night from the Globe during the intermission (complete, I might add, with elizabethan musicians on the stage!) wasn't enough to persuade you to go see a show there - I'll reiterate - the complete lack of technological stuff in there (aside from the standard white lights so everybody can see) means you just have the play, the words, the fun, the actors voices: I've never found a Shakespeare comedy quite so funny! Who thought ol' Will did fart gags? And bloody long ones too, Family Guy have a real lineage behind them (no pun intended).

Tonight I'll be packing up huge speaker cabinets in prep for selling the buggers on eBay. You heard it first here folks, I'm cutting at least 20Kgs off the 900W warwick stack by buying new cabs. Woohoo!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

surprise theatre!

Alas alack-no!

I'm watching shakespear at the globe!

This place is fantastic-and the guys playing are really funny. One of the leads is on crutches (accident, not character!) and he's been using them to great effect.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Northern Rock, etc... and that McCann thing...

Right, non-contentious as ever.

So northern rock shares have rallied, hmmm? Well well well... do you think people might have bought some when they thought it had bottomed out? Oh wow, that could never happen... this doesn't mean a thing! And the government saying they'll guarantee every penny? Well, it seems to have worked in Leeds and Manchester... but surprise surprise, you get further south (north london) and they were queueing at 1am again this morning.

"I don't trust my life savings on the govt's promise" seems to be something the nearly-deads queueing outside the branch are saying. And we still don't know what the postal and electronic transfers are going to do yet... watch his space.

In other points, I'm seriously glad to see the Portugese police pointing out that engaging celebrities and high-ranking british officials is a pain in the arse:

I suppose they might be feeling a little like their every move is being scrutinised - but just to play devil's advocate... if you'd engaged in a high-stakes high-media savvy attempt to cover up something that happened to a member of your family accidentally ( it has happened comparatively recently you know - the news conferences by the tearful boyfriend, etc and it turns out they're guilty... ) would you keep raising the stakes? I mean to say, getting Gordo to set out your case???? Holy crap, I hope Mr Brown has more sense than to get involved...

Oh - and I heard on radio 4 earlier on the classic politician-has-ears-shut response to constant calls from almost every phoned-in caller for ELECTORAL SYSTEM REFORM.

We keep shouting, they ( i.e. the two main parties ) keep shifting in their seats and nervously bleating about "minority parties having too much power"...

Look, either give us a "none of the above" or do something about that crappy one-past-the-post bullshit.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Wait a moment... that sounds like Rock and/or Panic...

Good fun generator, that one -

Northern rock... who'da thunk it?

I'm at home with a cold today, (ahhh stoppit I don't need sympathy I need more beechams) and I've seen a few more reports about what's going on with Northern Rock. Now you'll know I follow the UK mortgage market with a cynical eye so you'll find no surprise in a degree of schadenfreude on my part... but the extent to which the media-fuelled paranoia is becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy is just staggering me. Once some speed gets into a story like this now, it's amazing how people will run with it.

So people are still queueing outside branches (although if you believe GMTV there aren't any north of Kingston), trying to extract their savings. Hmmm. As long as you keep reporting this, I think it'll keep happening, chaps.

There's a number of things I've heard this morning which are new, though.
  • The head of northern rock accidentally(?) revealing that they can indeed pay everybody who wants their cash - thanks to the loan from the bank of england! No distortion here, he literally said that on GMTV this morning. So, how much real liquid asset do you have, Northern Rock? Hmmmm.
  • Northern rock's shares have gone into freefall again this morning (I watched "fun with dick and jane" over the weekend... that poor CEO is reminding me more and more of Jim Carrey) - the pillocks reporting this story and queueing are all going to bring about the takeover of northern rock if they're not careful: then the mortgage holders will end up owing the cash to someone else... someone not so nice? It does throw Fiona from GMTV into stark contrast - the dozy bint was trying to emulate Paxman interviewing the CEO of northern rock this morning while repeatedly mentioning she had her mortgage with them(!!!) - well done dear, there's no amount of foot-shooting you can't achieve with a microphone and your incessantly annoying nasal whine if you put your mind to it.
  • Paragon (who are a huge UK mortgage company specialising in buy-to-let - no deposit accounts AT ALL) are being eyeballed as the next to die - they're staunchly saying they've got credit funding secured into mid-2008 but to that, I'd say - who from, and will they still be able to supply the cash? Where are your facility providers getting the credit from? Cash? Or the global (frozen) credit market? Buy to let - your time is nigh. Here's hoping all you property tycoons jump out of the second stories of your ludicrously extended houses and impale yourselves on B&Q conservatory glass panels!!! (me, bitter? Nah)

The ol' google trend for England (the most paranoid in this search in the world, I might add) for "house price crash, mortgage rate" is starting to pick up big time! Clicky clicky for all the good reasons to wait out the storm!

I'll be in my room, sniffing, sneezing and chuckling.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

why facebook might survive...

I've heard and read a lot recently about facebook, and how it differs from other social networking sites: the third party app plugins (I'm fond of scrabulous), the status updates, and I've realised they're right, but nobody I've heard so far has summed it up: facebook is more like having some shared experience with old friends, whereas myspace is always more of a "look at me! I'm here!" sort of thing (which you could do with any copy of dreamweaver and a space on the web somewhere, myspace just made it a bit easier for spods).

Although no replacement for getting out and seeing people (which I really need to do more of) it's something more collabarative than old email lists, etc. Maybe it's got something that'll keep it alive: enough quality to keep people updating their status. I'll keep leaning over the e-fence and spying on my mates status for now...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

That Flickr experiment...

Didn't work, actually. I ended up trying to send the email three times, but the flickr pic email address seems to be a bit shafted: no worry though, if you include pictures with a post to the blogger email post address it includes the pics in the post, as you can see from the previous post.

And it ends up as a link in the Facebook RSS feed note trawl, which'll do. I'm lay-zee.

Still going to make an app which can post to Facebook, Blogger and Myspace though - once I get some content MP3 wise onto my myspace page I'll be making sure my blog on there gets posted at the same time. Email me if you're interested in the app, or have any suggestions for other sites it should post to: my aim is a tick-box list of sites the prog will post to via web page control, which I'm thinking will happen similtaneously in the background (i.e. it'll post to all of them at the same time, with progress bars for all of them too as it goes).

Cats can be a pain in the arse - our three are predictably great at catching things, but their habit of bringing live stuff in for practise means the poor small furry beasts often die hiding in corners, where they then start to stink after a few days. Not nice. We've aired the house all day and here's still a lingering trace of decompsing mouse.... grr!

We've been harvesting nature's local wonders again. Within 30 feet of the back door are enough brambles and an apple tree with masses of fruit on for the 5 gallons of bramble wine we've got brewing upstairs, two frozen apple and bramble crumbles and now many many pots of apple and bramble jam.

And flying off in another direction... touchscreen Ipods! No need!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Fwd: mega blog picture tastic

Ok, this is a picture of green park in reading where i work. The lakes are actually really nicely done, did get rather full during the floods, but the ducks, fish, swans, geese, and million other living things you can stroll about looking at from bridges after lunch were not bothered.

Why is this a test? Well, flickr gets this from email from my phone, which took the pic, it then posts a new blog on blogger, and facebook then gets the rss feed and it's all dead clever. But as simple as sending one email.

Btw, good time on the 6 string last night, totally funked up on some beats on the pandora. Nice.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Oh dear, well, it had to happen... I'm on Facebook.

And this post is echoed to it as well. That's possibly a good example of why I'm thinking I'll probably keep an account there - I've been thinking recently that E-Mingling is nothing compared to real mingling (which is definitely true) but then again, how much mingling do I get to do these days? Best days of your life, student days. You socialise in a random way which is stimulating, life-affirming and definitely exciting. Adult life just kills all that really!

So in the absence of real mingling, we'll declare that E-mingling will do for now.

BTW, anyone need a bass player to play some danceable stuff?

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
This evening Andy will mostly be clearing a space and setting up his studio!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Friday night gig...!?!

Well well well. No sooner am I predicting my own spiritual demise when an O'Neills gig comes along and saves me :) Great night, I was knackered before I started but soon got into it, and the familiar berserker instinct kicked in. Must remember to always bring my own mic cables though. However, the exertions of the night definitely proved to me I could use some more gigs - just lifting the cabs was an effort where normally I wouldn't have a problem.

This should change soon when I get the neodymium (sp? who cares!) cabs for the warwick stack. I'm selling the combo (fully up to speed after the tiny fix to the relay- ran close to flat out all night at O'Neills no worries!), the trace elliot 2x10 cab, the warwick 1x15 and 4x10 and purchasing the 4x10 and 1x15 lightweight cabs Warwick currently have. Smaller, lighter, they should go into car a lot easier and be generally better! Plus, I'll take the stack places more as it won't nearly kill me (and Jamie, and Steve, and Richie.... :) to get them into and out of the venue.

Oxford on friday night seemed a little more out of control than usual - although there's usually a fair number of visible police about (and one night recently a car full of plainclothes?) last friday seemed a little less like people having fun and more of an undercurrent. Maybe my most hated topic, the media, is actually getting to me at last... still, the vespa with alarm shrieking into the 1am night sky with graffiti painted all over it seemed like a valid soundtrack to the closing of the night.

I've signed over the Myspace site to Jamie now, so if you leave messages etc he'll get the emails! I'll still sign on and do stuff (friend adding, etc) but Jamie is doing the admin.

Cheersh punters

A much revitalised Andy.

P.S. did anybody reading this get back to me with stories about why you had kids? Tell me some of you haven't done it by accident... what is it with the UK and not liking children? It's like some new form of the victorian premise of "seen, but not heard" only now we don't even want to see them... I blame the newspapers.

Friday, August 31, 2007

WOAH! A month???

Oh my lord, I've dropped off the face of the musical world again. Not good.

This space feels very like the one I was in when I started this blog: it's a rather dark, dreary place where I continue to practise to keep myself up to scratch, but I start to wonder if that was it - if I must now, finally, admit that I'll not be much more than a slightly overweight programmer for the rest of my life, not really achieving much of note and definitely not spreading much happiness.

I suppose it was rather naive of me to think I could just slide back behind a desk after the first few months of this year and think that I'd be happy... As ever, I'm torn, split down the middle between the "honest job" which I know I can do (and do pretty well) which brings in good wages (even for the UK) but isn't what you'd call socially fulfilling (especially compared to my hobby) and the "hobby" of the last 19 years which is awe-inspiringly fulfilling but has little financial stability. These are not tradeoffs you can really discuss with anybody on a level playing field either. Ever tried telling your wife ( who actually hoped you'd go for your hobby ) that the reason you can't is in no small part that it would change everything so badly that she can't realised what she's asking?

I've been listening to the UK zeitgest again as well, which is always a bad idea. The current frenzy of reported stabbings, shootings, square mile financial sector bonuses (obscene!), public sector pay wranglings and sudden interest in emigration of Australia just makes me shake my head and want to do the Keanu thing - stick up a hand and just say "stop."

I thought about this on the way in this morning. I heard a Tory who vociferously maintained that violence was getting worse, on the basis of stuff he'd read in the papers and heard from his constituents. The (government) minister was counteracting with remarkably reasonable sounding assertions that it simply wsn't true - apparently the head of the chief constables' assoc in the UK was on earlier saying that firearms offences were down, etc etc etc.

At one point, the "white elephant" entered the room again - just as it has in discussions I've heard on the radio in the last few days - where someone mentioned society and family breakdown. The irony was it was the Tory, levelling accusations that the current government were ignoring this worrying phenomenon. And still, nobody suggested that we revalue how our society works, what it strives for, how it measures success... we seem to be reaching away from human contact (single parent families, single person housing, singletons, single...) and ever more towards "double digit growth"... when will someone say "stop."?

The irony is (and it pains me to reduce this rather tired diatribe to something so predictable) that the Tories' unbridled addiction to munitarism in the years they were in power prior to 1997 must have laid the foundations for the breakdown you see before you.

If 1974 was apparently the happiest the UK has been, is it surprising that the 80s are reviled as the era of the upwardly mobile oik (remember loadsamoney)? And that we now finally find ourselves bankrupt as a nation, both financially, morally, parentally...

I'm reflecting on the irony of the Tory idiot this morning, rather than blaming them exclusively. As V said in V for Vendetta (forgive me for using the quote from the film) -

Good evening, London. Allow me first to apologize for this interruption. I do, like many of you, appreciate the comforts of every day routine- the security of the familiar, the tranquility of repetition. I enjoy them as much as any bloke. But in the spirit of commemoration, thereby those important events of the past usually associated with someone's death or the end of some awful bloody struggle, a celebration of a nice holiday, I thought we could mark this November the 5th, a day that is sadly no longer remembered, by taking some time out of our daily lives to sit down and have a little chat. There are of course those who do not want us to speak. I suspect even now, orders are being shouted into telephones, and men with guns will soon be on their way. Why? Because while the truncheon may be used in lieu of conversation, words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth. And the truth is, there is something terribly wrong with this country, isn't there? Cruelty and injustice, intolerance and oppression. And where once you had the freedom to object, to think and speak as you saw fit, you now have censors and systems of surveillance coercing your conformity and soliciting your submission. How did this happen? Who's to blame? Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid. Who wouldn't be? War, terror, disease. There were a myriad of problems which conspired to corrupt your reason and rob you of your common sense. Fear got the best of you, and in your panic you turned to the now high chancellor, Adam Sutler. He promised you order, he promised you peace, and all he demanded in return was your silent, obedient consent. Last night I sought to end that silence. Last night I destroyed the Old Bailey, to remind this country of what it has forgotten. More than four hundred years ago a great citizen wished to embed the fifth of November forever in our memory. His hope was to remind the world that fairness, justice, and freedom are more than words, they are perspectives. So if you've seen nothing, if the crimes of this government remain unknown to you then I would suggest you allow the fifth of November to pass unmarked. But if you see what I see, if you feel as I feel, and if you would seek as I seek, then I ask you to stand beside me one year from tonight, outside the gates of Parliament, and together we shall give them a fifth of November that shall never, ever be forgot.

The part I find interesting is "Well certainly there are those more responsible than others, and they will be held accountable, but again truth be told, if you're looking for the guilty, you need only look into a mirror. I know why you did it. I know you were afraid." because, in the end, we still buy the papers, believe the hype, and now 47% of us are apprently scared to go out at night. The BBC regularly appears to regurgitate whatever A4 they're handed by whatever political organisation without checking it for authenticity (or, indeed, bias)... and we all grow ever more paranoid.

Try a google trends afternoon. I tried the UK trend search "mortgage rate", "house price crash" and it's an interesting view into the national psyche...

Time to close this post. Time to close my efforts? No. Not yet.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Fillin' in for yesterday's digital procrastination

Very naughty - I didn't put up what I did yesterday evening.

I could really do with an hour a night.... hmm.

Let's see what I can get up to this evening.

----- Yesterday's Practise Diary -----
-Warmups with special emphasis on right hand exercises at 133bpm - triplets, 1/16th note work
- iPod work: random stuff including "Riviera Paraside" by SRV (a great example of blues bass with taste), Stillness in Time (Jamiroquai - great Latin feel) and more
Total time: approximately 45 minutes

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

APB.... musician down! In need of backup!

I think it's time I took my own musical career into my own hands again, just like at the beginning of the journey detailed in here.

Kicking around doing some covers occasionally is fun, but I'm in danger of letting myself wander into the terrible stage of middle age where people just give up by degrees. If you do that you might as well just hang up your fun for the rest of your life and settle down to prepare for death!

Life must have passion: if passion is only available through dedication, then so be it.

So this is an APB: if you read this, and you're located within 15 to 20 miles of Slough (there are some pretty places around there! - and I'm including West London, where Jamiroquai came from) and you want to start something original which could get huge, with a lean towards all things funky (no gauge of how hard the music will be yet - i.e. skunk anasie or james brown, or both? Who knows?!) then get in touch with me at (yep, it's a real email address) and we'll see what we do from there.

Even if this means I can't do covers anymore, I've got to reach for something and not turn into a wrinkly Rollings Stones cover player... argh!

If you read my profile on and follow this blog, you'll know I can play. Question is, do you want to?

I'll be looking through the want ads again as well. I may find you first. Be prepared...

Oh and BTW, anyone want to buy my small rig? One Warwick CCL combo (250W, 15" driver great sound) and one 2x10 Trace Elliot extension cab making up a great portable rig for any pub gig. I'l selling the two huge speakers from the main rig as well to upgrade to something a little lighter. Any interest to


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Floods, eh? Who'd have em?

Well, even though I reside in the hallowed halls of South Bucks I am still at least a little affected by the extensive wetness on this emerald swimming pool isle at the moment...

We're not playing O'Neills this friday, which is pity. I was looking forward to that - after the holiday (greece for a couple of weeks - hence why I've been away!) I'd been digging into the 5-string (re-loaded with boiled Hartke strings from Andorra - which polish up very nice, thank you!) really hard in an effort to get gig-fit ASAP. Now it seems that the river from which Oxford takes its name has had its revenge! Poo.

On the plus side, I'm looking seriously at the possiblities around here. There must be some musicians who want to make a quality racket, and not just fart about in a pub every so often...

Big shout out to Virtu from the Aspen in Soldeu: she's off to Argentina with her son this summer, but somewhat mysteriously insists she'll see us in september!

Look forward to that. She nice person. Bail Janeiro out. So to speak. :)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Greetings from Kite Surfer central on rhodes!

Hullo chums!

OK, I figured I should tell you where I got to... rhodes! I've figured out that Janeiro could make a small fortune here (the Greeks do like their Rock) and also that sometimes the road less travelled can lead you somewhere really cool.

The picture is this wicked outpost (believe me, it's like a cool oasis) called Fanes where kitesurfers skid up and down and rapid speed (good winds on this north-western shore) and catch some cool air.

From where I sit I can see ads for snowboard gear, which is wierd in 28 degree heat! I can tell that some of the guys out there are wicked on piste when they're not out here having fun making windsurfers look slow! :)

If you make it out here check out Delfini restaurant ( where the waiter, this total friend ol fella, will challenge you to his cold beer!

I know the weather in the UK sucks at the moment. My advice would be to get into a watersport with wetsuits, then a) you don't care and b) you'd be as cool as these guys on this beach.

peace (it's here)


Thursday, July 05, 2007

Poddly pod!

Today I've decided to get my iPod ready for the holiday season... wish me luck, I'm filling 40GB with top quality sun tunes here.

Deep breath...

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
Slap practise and reading on a new set of 5 strings!

Monday, July 02, 2007

The O'Neills sweat-pit...


Friday night was a night to remember... all four of us were totally blown away by the crowd response, the first set went well but the second and third were huge too. In particular, Jamie's usual calls for all the laydees to get down the front and dance actually went answered - with the result that at one stage he nearly got fallen onto at the front of the stage by some rather unsteady dancers :)

A great night - when the Arctic Monkeys track started I thought the floor would give way. Not a good idea, as the toilets are under there...

A huge shout to anyone who came to see us that night: one of the best. You could tell it was going to be a good one by the sheer number of uniformed police on duty in town! I got told to move my car (while unloading, I might add - how are you supposed to make a living around here???) by no fewer than 2 carloads of coppers, one of which was unmarked and stuffed with plainclothes guys!

Great night though. CHEERS!

And a huge shout to John, Alison and the Andorra frat who totally surprised us by turning up and getting the Sambucas in. SHOTS!

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
Well, the weekend's anyway... lots of funky stuff, but i did about 2 hours of guitar(!) yesterday as I wanted to learn "Riviera Paradise" by Stevie Ray Vaughan. After ploughing through several crappy tabs, I found a video on youtube and worked it out for myself. Got the intro and first section, which is what I had in mind!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

pseudo fame

You know, it's wierd. I'm on a minibus at this moment speeding back (literally, this driver is a nutter) from the cambridge area, having been on the sepura barbecue evening, which was fun. Met people i have emailed, which is cool in itself, email can get a lot across but face to face is something else. I mentioned the andorra trip to give my move to sepura some context, and a couple of people did the 'you're interesting' dance in our chat which was cool. People should keep being interesting, it's such a shame people give up.i was thinking i'd have to do the same yesterday morning, but now i'm not so sure. Maybe there's a strata of pseudo muso i can be. Still pushing myself but not living in bedsits?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Quick note - looking forward to this friday's gig at O'Neills. Should be a cracker, I'm going to take the 6 string and get the bugger gleaming with a brand new set of medium elites on there.

Heard from Jamie s new job is giong well - he's got a company Hyundai(!) and he's waiting for the S3 roadster he's getting as his kosher company car! Says he's doing really well and I'm starting to think I'm in the wrong job :)

He was driving a Nissan Micra before he took this job... with his rock n roll coupe he'll get himself killed Bolan style! Jeez....

I'll try to talk him down this friday. Wish me luck :)

----- Last night's Practise Diary -----
After the standard warmups on the Warwick Fretless...
I sight-read "the chicken" from the Jaco book. Man, he was funky...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Waitin' in for a parcel....

... so I grabbed me some practise time on the ol' 5-string! Yes, Cliff the Hohner B-Bass V got a few good licks this morning. A bit of Jaco too, I was working on Chromatic Fantasy again. I'm up to about the end of page 2 at the moment, but you need to be very warmed up before you can work on that stuff!

Finally left the house at about 930am. You can tell I'm dedicated... breakfast was still arguing with my stomach when I sat down for a moment's practise, knowing I'd be there a little while.

The heavens opened while I was doing it though - I've seen thunderstorms come on quick but this took me by surprise.

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
AM (smug grin) : 45 minutes including warmups and some reading Jaco

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Ooooo, I've been naughty. Popped out to see a couple of friends in Chesham. Wierd place. Spent a nice evening in a nice pub drinking nice beer and musing on the collective niceness of open-source and how, paradoxically, it produces greate software for no fiscal return.

You must all slap my writst in comment form.

----- Today's Practise Diary -----

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Wow, surreal stuff! Just had a 2.5 hour trip across the fens in an authentic london routemaster bus! I'm now in Skegness thinking about fish and chips in a classic english seaside setting...

Wierd being on the top floor of a london bus careering through the fens, watching harvesters taking broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes... Like the driver of the marble arch route got horribly lost! Ever seen the harvesters they use for cauliflower? Regular tractor, trailer, and a huge conveyor belt which carries the veg from the front of the tractor to the covered trailer behind!

You get a lot of smiles in a london bus outside london.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Rats! Had to throw over a gig!

Nuts. Saturday night and I should be in London, but it's work work work. The new job has a rather large learning curve on it so I'm treating myself to some research. Hmmmm.

Oh well, tomorrow should be fun. We're heading for Skegness on a london routemaster bus!!!

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
Usual warmups including slap ones for scales (2 octave)
B flat scale stuff
"Chromatic Fantasy" reading from the Jaco book.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Daily practise reaps its rewards once again!

I know, I missed a few days in the diary - new job and all that! - but I'm religious in the evenings at the moment. I'm working from the Jaco book with Chromatic Fantasy (which I did learn the first couple of pages of a year or so ago) and Teen Town / Portrait of Tracy (hullo Smurf ol mate!) which I worked out from record before getting transcriptions. I'm enjoying a spot of reading again!

All that live playing is great - it's definitely made my hands one hell of a lot stronger - and now to go back again to something more cerebral... well, it's actually pretty cool. I suppose the variety is helping. All that as-you-go-along was bound to make me lust after some brain stuff eventually!

I must collect my strings from the local place - they can order out for me for reasonable price, which is cool - BTW, does anyone know where you can get Warwick EMPs online?

Nic and I had a wicked time yesterday, we played Wii tennis for about an hour straight as doubles partners against the Wii, and we totally whipped their ass - by the time we'd finished, the skill levels of the opposition were 1900 and 1200!!! That's very pro, by the way.

----- Today's Practise Diary -----
A warm veloute of the usual warmups (which I'm shrinking a little), followed by
An Entree of Chromatic Fantasy
Compote of Sweet Fretless Scale Practise
That should do nicely. :)

Monday, June 04, 2007

First days...

Well, I think I'll be OK at Sepura. Lots of stuff to read, lots to take in as you'd expect, but I reckon there's some dweebyfun to be had.

In an attempt to keep my practise diary again, I'm going to use Blogger's templates to make a note of how much I do like I used to do on A4 bits of paper...

Warmups and exercises: 30 minutes.
(cut short for dinner)

Well, it's time.

The wedding gig on friday night was ok. Jay's new job is definitely tiring him out though, he was pretty shot by the third set. Steve had an entire bottle of vodka to himself (it's like having rasputin as your drummer) and even blagged some red bull substitute off me late in the evening.

The guitar gear misbehaved again. The guys really need to dig out the gear from the van of an evening, set it up and check all bits. Buzzing for 2 minutes on stage and cutting the set short is not good!!!

Today I start a new desk job at Sepura.

Thanks to everyone who wished me good luck. I've heard from several agents that they're a good company to work for. Just wish they weren't at green park. Reading really sucks.

Maidenhead town centre is like Faliraki on a saturday night btw. There's more baby chavs conceived in piss-laden doorways in that godforsaken hellhole than are planned in china I'd wager.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Wedding gigs!

Tonight, matthew, I'm going to wear a gold suit. I kid you not. I'm going to look like something out of either a bond movie or maybe a poor-taste talking heads gig.

Should be a giggle though.

Listen, if anyone's reading this I want to know about motivation. What keeps you going? I'm losing interest in keeping Janeiro's myspace running! Help me out...

Toodle pip!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Modern advertising - is anybody watching it?

Having spent a few weeks at home has given me a chance to catch up with the advertising around at the moment whileb hoovering, etc. yes, this is a bass player who does housework heh heh!

It's total pants, isn't it? (the advertising)

I mean, there are some tragic obvious bits like continuous wobbly camera to try to make it look like "real footage" (despite the fact that all modren camcorders have stabilisation), negative positivity (by that, I'm referring to ads which say the service provider doesn't do something obviously nasty like "talk down to you" - what company would, you morons?), a profusion of CGId nasties (domestos-you can keep putting different voices over that crap "bug" but it won't make that ad work).

I think even less people really take notice than we think. But this is another unaskable question, isn't it? We can't kill the advertising industry, so it just strides on, the money gradually drying up and everybody keeping their heads firmly planted in the cat tray...

Saturday, May 26, 2007

O'Neills last night.... nutters!

Well, that was a fun gig, from the bass point of view ;)

I took the minimum I could, and didn't regret it - walking across Oxford with all my gear meant it was easier to get out of town at the end of the night, I didn't have to drive back across town to the pub. Oxford is a pain in the arse for the jobbing musician, the one-way system means you spend huge amounts of time driving up and down the same two streets to get to that part of town.

Had to park in the multi storey again, that small weird shaped car park was full with the usual zombie-like space-crawlers trying to grab a place quickly, and as usual, we'd just finished soundchecking and I needed to park the car and get back to O'Neills asap! It is cheap (certainly cheaper than a £20 parking fine, which I've had a total of 3 times now)...

The gig went well. We thought it seemed a bit quiet for a friday night on a bank hol weekend but figured it would get lively. Lots of hen parties and large groups of large women in small denim shorts with turn-ups (this season's widely-adopted crap fashion choice) and a large group of pink cowboy hat wearers who seemed to convene on O'Neills en masse over an hour (which is pretty scary if you're about to whip the whole place into a frenzy).

Steve and I ripped out a wicked groove for the soundcheck - his time off has freshened up the whole vibe. In fact, he was in seriously good form the whole night... the bruises on my right shoulder have definitely faded already heh heh! :) I suspect Steve thinks I'm not listening sometimes and cues me by giving me a quick hit. Steve, I'm not a cymbal. But ta for the cues mate!

Great at the end of the night - a lot of compliments, and a bunch of guys Jay knows who haven't seen us for ages who I did recognise! Thanks for the shouts guys, appreciate that loads. A big shout to the guy who said they'd been out to see a pro band that night and then come to see us and thought we were better (!) - and thanks to the guy who said we knew how to really milk a guitar solo! Richie was really havin it last night, his solos on the last two tracks really soared. That's a good word for it, they soared. Definitely. Thanks for doing Comfortably Numb last night Jay, I made sure I got the chorus on there for the big exit solo (which I'm sure went on for at least 8 minutes, maybe more!) and we had that HUGE SOUND.

The fella at the front who bought Jamie a whisky - ta mate, pity Jay doesn't drink whisky but then Steve will drink pretty much anything so it didn't go to waste. The same fella rang his wife on his mobile during the Proclaimers(!) so she could hear 500 miles!

A great night all in all, with loads of people at the front, loads of people singing (what is it about Oasis and Guns n Roses???) - BTW, I heard from a fella last night a band called "fake plastic chairs" played in O'Neills during the week and they JAMMED their way through "Sweet Child O'Mine". HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE??? Answers on a postcard to and we'll publish the worst ones here!

Cheersh m'deersh!

Friday, May 18, 2007

loki and bartleby again

Here's me, once again, the victim of over zealous estimation of how crappy the drive to terminal 4 heathrow would be. I suppose the pessimistic amongst us might propose that this was sod's law in action, and the geeks would have suggested I check traffic reports properly in future. The hippies would tell me to chill out, the middle-class parents would tell me to stop being so self indulgent, don't i know grammar schools are threatened, the bloggers would accuse me of another tragic waste of bandwidth. The musicians would tell me to find a bar, the drunks wouldn't have heard me, likewise the deaf.

But this does give me a moment to reflect outside the house, where I have been working flat out for the last 3 days, and briefly spy on people as they wait for other people. I may come down here again next week, this could actually build some faith into me.

If you've seen "dogma" you'll know what I'm talking about. Kevin Smith's witty philosophical flick on the absurdities of Catholic Faith includes a great scene in an airport arrivals lounge (although I reckon it was actually filmed in a departure lounge to give them the seats they needed) with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck debating if, at the moment of greeting on arrival, humans are at their very finest, that all traces of the crap we stack inside ourselves are momentarily forgotten and we reveal our true love for one another. I'm not seeing that right now, sitting here in Starbucks watching the arrival gangway-in fact I'm not seeing any smiles at all!

I still believe though.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Anyone else out there ever moved a hundredweight of gravel 50m using nothing but a spade and a huge plastic bag as a sled?

Just wondered if you had as hard a time as I did...


Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gig in London last night!

Yep, I gigged in london.

First time since the last Janeiro gig at Pop Bar in Soho... a bit of fun in the grand style, a la Aspen bar. Justin, Mr S-Bar himself, saw us in Soldeu and decided he wanted us to play in London. I'm pleased he did!

Thoroughly enjoyable, and the first time I've ever mended a speaker cone using gaffa tape and superglue ;)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cool, now I'm an electronics engineer! Well, a hacker anyway.

I've got a Warwick CCL combo - wicked little piece of 250W 15" kit, works well with the 2x10 trace cab. However, it has suffered from the usual warwick problem of crappy internal connectors which partially fell off during transit last year - on powerup, it clicked wildly then crapped out, all the LEDs come on but no poweramp - can't unmute it.

I've got a multimeter now after Andorra, so i decided today to try to diagnose the problem and fix it. After a little investigation I've got an order in with RS for a few cheap components in the signal path from the switch for the mute (no probs there!) so I'll have a crack at replacing them from smallest to largest and see what happens! If it works at least it'll be easier to sell!

Damned if I'm going to give someone £80 or so to fix it when I could do it...

That's me all over that is. Wish me luck ;) It's not a valve amp btw, so little chance of my frying myself. heh heh

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Big shout to James for the comment. New job!

Thanks for the LDV parts site link James, appreciate that.

I've got a new job, phew. In the end it was a choice between local (less than 3 miles!) with really good money but some of the hallmarks of the management pointyheadedness that narked me off an Panasonic (large company, odd people promoted, possibly to places they can't make a mess, etc etc. Very dilbert.) or more distant (but still half the commute to Panasonic) with slightly less cash but a really keen bunch of guys who pulled out all the stops to make a position for me (initially they wanted a 6 month contract, but now it's permanent - they liked me that much and that counts).

In the end, short commutes and more cash didn't win. I'm just not that kind of employee - the job's got to be good: after all, you're there for a bloody long time each day, it's got to be something you take pride in and I can sacrifice £3K and a few minutes of commuting time for a job I actually want to do. I'll even brave M4 junction 11... you heard me.

So that's a new day job sorted. Cool. And I don't start until beginning of June, so there's time to work on some tunes for the Myspace site, give my website a kick up the arse (just got a new URL - - telivo rule, dead easy to use and cheap too) and sort out other things around the place, like fitting my Car PC (which is totally ready!) and getting my bike license! I need the Virago overhauled and MOTd as well mind... but that could be a cool way to beat the J11 blues and no mistake.

Right, I'd better go fix the house aerial, which appears to have stopped working. Bah!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Tragic spam and complete rabbiting nutters...

I thought emails like this one were a thing of the past...
Good day,

Its my pleasure to inform you that your draft has been stayed more than necessary And I went to the bank to confirm if the Cheque has expired or getting near to expire and Mr.JOHN YABAGI the foreign operation Director of Financial Trust Bank Plc, told me that before the cheque will get to your hand that it will expire.
Then I told him to covert the $800.000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS to cash payment to avoid loosing this funds.However, all the necessary arrangement of delivering the $800.000 UNITED STATES DOLLARS in cash was made with GLOBAL diplomatic COURIER COMPANY here in Cotonou Benin Republic,
Mr.JOHN YABAGI the Director of Financial Trust Bank Cotonou have packaged the sum of $800.000 in consignment in your favour. Then he also helped me to Register the Consignment with GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY. Thank God very much for all the movement I made, every thing goes smoothly.
As for our agreement with the GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY they promised that your consignment will leave this Country as soon as you provide the necessary information to enable them deliver your consignment to you,as the Director of the GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY said that they need your contacts informations to enable them locate you immediately the Diplomats arrived to your Country.
Please write a letter of application to the given address below including the below registration number,

Please, Send them your contacts information to enable them locate you immediately they arrived in your country with your BOX .This is what they need from you.
Please make sure you send this needed info’s to the Director general of GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY MR SANI MBAJI with the email address given to you above.
Note.The GLOBAL trust COURIER COMPANY don't know the contents of your consignment. I registered it as a BOX that contains fabrics materials. They don't know it contains cash,this is for security reason. don't let them know that it contains money .
I am waiting for your urgent response as soon as you have received your consignment.
Thanks and Remain Blessed.

Mr Denis morh

and I hope you die in your sleep, you sad muppet!

BTW, check this blog out. It's insane and appears to be written by a bunny oiler. No missing B there.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Cool, P990i on apples!

Apple blossom
Originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
I'm very VERY impressed with this camera on the P990i. You really can get some decent shots with it... now, to buy that 4GB memory stick... :)

Monday, April 30, 2007

That P990i camera...

White flower closeup
Originally uploaded by Spammy Spamton.
Blimey, it's not bad - I remember the first digital camera I got (a 1.3MP Kodak) and I guess it was about time I got something with better res... this P990i camera is actually making me think I'll get a bigger memory card for it and use it on holiday (etc) - the quality of the shots isn't bad at all. The autofocus works rather well...


Sunday, April 29, 2007


Nah, we didn't drink so much we all forgot about the gig. We left that to the audience... I had a couple of pints of water (rock and/or roll yeah) and jumped about a lot in front of the stack (ah blissful bi-amped sound! So much headroom! Woohoo!) and sang until I got hoarse. Actually, I did all the above things until the power went out on stage and couldn't be persuaded to come back on!

Apologies to all of you who had a great time in the 2.75 sets we managed to play that night ;) on the plus side we did literally only have a couple more songs to play. It was going so well as well! You were all dancing like nutters, having a great time... then the lights dimmed a bit and it all went quiet!

All I can say is we had a chat while we were trying to get it all working again, and the band in O'Neills the night before had the same problem... the sparky got called out but said there wasn't anything wrong, and charged 150 quid for the callout! Talk about a rip off...

Anyway, a big shout to everybody who came along on friday night, total stars.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

It's all good news...

Cool, lots of stuff happening... I redid the Janeiro myspace profile over on, I've saved the old one so we can rotate them about a bit. Janeiro have got what might become a residency at S-Bar in Battersea in ol' london town, which is cool, some london exposure and maybe some original material and who knows?

I've got employers lined up at different stages of giving me a new day job, and I'm pleased to say I'm hopefully not going to get hit by the time out I took in Soldeu. BTW, on the whole job hunting thing, I've only got one great tip, which is for gods' sake don't lie on your CV. Apart from the unprofessional creases (sorry) it will always get noticed. I remember at PMCDE a guy came for interview and he'd quoted some stuff he said he'd tested and worked on, but within 2 questions from the (knowledgeable) interviewer it was obvious he didn't know about the stuff he said he did.

Why do that to yourself? Over-reaching is one thing, but setting yourself up for stressful interviews where you have to try to fake knowledge of something? Don't bother - be totally honest.

That's probably dead easy for me to say, I've got 7 years behind me with a lot of different stuff that I've done at Panasonic so I can probably say I've touched on most stuff, and some of it I've done in a lot of depth.

But don't lie, please don't lie.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Holy cow, Speak and Spell!!!

We had one of these when we were kids... sweet emulator!

Amplifiers... a new search begins. Why?????

Well, I've finally got to the stage where I need to unpack and organise the studio. This means I have to think once again about how to keep the stack available to take to gigs, and looking at the stairs in the new place the 32+ kilo cabinets are starting to look a little excessive.

It's a 900 watt Warwick monster and I love it to bits but it's just too big... it only just fits into the Xantia! So it's time to consider some other options I reckon.

I saw some Gallien Krueger stuff out in Andorra which looked the part. Classic for them, it was small, portable, and had a massive power rating. Sweet. :)

I'll keep looking...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Getting stuff off camcorder...

It's not as hard as I thought, actually... the software that came with the Sony is a bit basic, but it does work. The avi files it captures are mental huge though, I'm using Nero Recode to bring them down to post to Myspace.

Now I can get into video editing (after I get another huge hard drive to fiddle with, mind)!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Looks like my interview technique isn't too bad.

woohoo! Got a call this morning from the agent fella, these tetra radio guys are apparently pleased with our meeting yesterday. 6 month contract with a good chance of a permanent position afterwards, so it's nice to have got things off the ground.

The actual job doesn't sound too bad (i didn't know the details before I went!) some testing to do in implementing a new feature.

And now, for a change, I can make a choice rather than being pushed into accepting the first position that comes along. That's liberating, you have no idea! Big thanks to Nic once again for supporting me like a trooper. Bless!

Cheers punters!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Summer? Maybe...

Blimey, I come back and the sun comes out... what a weekend! This is the only time of year I really have a lager or two, otherwise it's time for wine :)

But seriously, this is a very nice change. To think 4 weeks ago I was snowboarding where I lived!

A big shout to all the new friends at - thanks for the love people :)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Carpe Diem!

Now don't get into a hissy fit because I used some latin. It was in a Robin Williams movie anyway...

I was just thinking that a lot of the things that happened to me recently were pretty cool, especially when things were up to the wall, like moving house and needing to do it very quickly (like before going out Soldeu) - I was just looking out of the window at Bass Towers here and thinking how lucky I was, and then I suddenly realised the really obvious cliche. It sounds like one of those simplistic American Disney Cartoons about "How Capitalism Is Great"...

If you grab hold of a task and wring its' neck to do it right, good things happen more often than not.

Now, bad luck does occur, but I'll tell you right now that I can remember more good things happening to me when I grabbed hold of something I had to do and applied all of my resources to it than when I really didn't want to do something because it seemed like too much hassle, etc. Not just the extra effort: like something fell into place and the Gods themselved smiled down on the enterprise and decided that, well, yes, since I had put that extra effort in they'd lend a hand etc.

That's how it feels: like when I really tried and it worked out, that the hand of fate had almost helped out! You have to be careful with those rose-tinted specs: they can skew your perception. The truth is that you do, to a certain extent, make your own luck. Armed with that knowledge, and without any of that excremental american self-improvement garbage, go out there and really engage with what you're trying to do. Don't do the 21st century "oh, it's too hard" thing, really go for it. Properly.

You might be surprised how much you believe in fate afterwards :)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

P990i problems... yes, I do have some

Ah, the thrills of a handset-still-in-development. It's been months since I had that... but this is mine, and it's a sonyericsson, not a pre-production Panasonic!

Basically, on the latest P990i software version, the phone app gets confused if you've got contacts which are in both the SIM and the handset phonebooks, and as a result personalised ringtones, number to name lookup etc don't work.

Simple solution - delete all the contacts on your SIM. It's not as if the phone uses them anyway...

I only stuck that on here so Google'd index it and some other poor sap will be able to find this solution pronto. Only one problem though... how do you access your SIM phonebook on the P990i...? I used an old Panasonic GD96!


Friday, April 06, 2007

A little geeking can go a long way, musically speaking...

OK, Myspace is a cool way to get people into your stuff. The band are a covers outfit, but we do give one hell of a show, so while I'm looking for another job to occupy my waking hours behind a desk (poo) I decided to try making something using AutoIT v3 - an automatic Myspace Friend Adder!

There are plenty of things on the market which do the job, but you can pay upwards of $15 for them, so I thought "I wonder if AutoIT could control a web page?" - little did I know that the latest version has a whole user library pre-written to do just that.

I now have an app (windows only now) which can auto-request friends! There's a limit of 50 adds a day (which I'm working on, there are a couple of known workarounds which seem to work a bit) but for nowt and only about 5 hours of dev and test it works pretty well.

If you want to try it out for yourself (free at the moment, maybe a small paypal donation of £2.50 to drop me an email at the same address...

Cheers m'deers


P.S. Still playing a lot of fretless 5 string Warwick. I've started recording some stuff too, in the "let's see where this leads" style, rather than coming up with something concrete like a melody and moving from there.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Forgot to add... more geeking - P990i!

Well, after a lot of research (and some anecdotal negativity on the forums which I had to dispel) I finally got a P990i. It's vodafone "branded", so I thought I'd have to go through the usual stuff to get it de-vodafoned but to my surprise the firmware out of the box (R7c ish) was good looking, and felt pretty stable: 2G/3G network selection (sticking to 2G thank you very much, better battery life), RSS feeds enabled, and no vodafone crappy icons. Excellent! Then I read about R9 software, put the update service on the laptop and fired it up: 30 mins later I've got a happy up-to-date P990i which seems to be plenty stable.

Overall I'm impressed - the flip is more solid, the QWERTY keyboard is fine, and the WiFi is blisteringly quick. Now all I have to find is SKYPE and a blogger app for it! :)


Myspace Friend Adders.... useful musically?

Wow. I have to tell you, I've been geeking out for the last couple of days: I wrote my own Friend Adder for Myspace. It's still in the early stages, but it's got a windows front end, you give it a list of friend IDs to scrape for IDs to invite, and once it hits the 50-a-day limit it saves its position and tells you to restart tomorrow. So far it's made the 50 invites each day for the last 3 days!

Coming soon... scheduling and synchronisation with the Myspace server and I'll leave it running on the Server upstairs, permanently adding more friends to the JaneiroBreeze profile! Mwahahah!

Seriously though, I want everybody in Oxford to know about the band. Nobody could not want to see us in full flight, it's an experience :)

Cheerio chums!


P.S. the adder is available on request, and for a small shareware donation to my paypal account at

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Holy cow my wife wants a games console.

Well, this is a turn up for the books and no mistake. I've fallen off the games console treadmill (you know, new hardware every 2 bloody years, plus buy another controller, oh and there's the 4-way multi tap for parties that you never use, oh and the games are now 50 quid each and....) but kept an eye on happenings, at least partly because I've always wondered about working in the industry (hell, if the teenagers can get together the cash I for one would like to join in fleecing the little square eyed ecstacy freaks).

But now Nic has tried a Wii (no smart jokes now punsters) at a show and likes it, specifically the bowling game. I guess it would be pretty cool with the projector and that funky controller, we can stand either side of the projector beam and swing to our hearts content...

But, I mean to say... I've been out-geeked.


Friday, March 30, 2007

A good start to finding gainful employment...

Blimey! I posted an online CV to Monster last night and I've already had 2 emails and a phone call this morning before 9am!

I can see the Word version of my CV is going to become hot property in the very near future. May have found something not-too-dull (I'm not really fond of desk jobs, remember) in Henley which actually talks about there being limited office space so working from home is de rigeur(!) - you only go in for design meetings or to meet customers! It's a development job though, not testing... I wonder if they'd take me on...

Must dash, have to produce that Word CV now. Actually, have to take lunch now. Seen "Flushed Away"? It won't be a french lunch. Heh!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Ebay... when it is at its worst...

Ebay can be pretty crappy, can't it? I'm in the worst situation at the moment - goods not as advertised, plus a vendor who won't respond to ANY messgaes. Where do you go from here? I presume you report the vendor... if he won't talk, you can't do anything about it.

We'll see what happens.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Mornin' all!

Ah, the joys of home. It's been a quiet week really... caught up with the guys at Panasonic on thursday lunchtime down t'Berkshire Arms (a friendly if clinical theme pub on the A4 near thatcham - try it, the guest ales are pretty good) and found out pretty much everything there is the same, bless 'em. I enjoyed the Gallows humour as much as ever but found myself curiously detached from it - and then realised it was because I don't work there any more!

When I left everything happened in a blur (and really, us moving in was part of that blur, that whole month was manic) so now I'm back it's not just about readjustment from entertaining merry snow-lovers in Soldeu, it's about adjusting to how my life altered before I left. I actually don't know where most things are in the Kitchen, as if we'd just moved in! One thing has changed for the worst (it's sunday morning as I write this and Nic has become re-addicted to TV a bit while I was away) - Hollyoaks is now officially abysmal! I've never seen a worse mixture of "I won a school competition" scripts, wooden acting (wooden??? I'm ga-vomiting here! (ta scrubs))... this is the most dismal pile of crap I've ever seen on TV. When it was self-effacing and funny it was light relief, but you can't marry a lack of acting gravitas with these miserable storylines - you end up with the UK equivalent of Spanish Soaps (minus the crash zoom addiction perhaps).

BTW, as an aside, Alison (bless you hen) informs me that it's done nothing but snow in the Soldeu area for the last 4 days and shows little sign of stopping! That big powder dump, and it happens DAYS AFTER WE LEAVE... typical!!! Still, I guess the silver lining is that I didn't shell out for a season pass - this laptop was about the same price - so it did save me some cash. I think in the 10 weeks I was out there I got out on to the slopes maybe 10 times, which it roughly how many times I'd be out there in a two week holiday :)

Anyway, after that little bit of wrap-up... "what I done this week"...

I've managed to get some cash changed back at Marks n Sparks - I can recommend them over the Post Office, MUCH better rates! I've done a lot of tidying up, unpacking and hoovering... got to be a good house husband.

I'm skirting around here :) I haven't done any CV work yet! Actually, I haven't really had time yet. I've got a ton of address changing to do, financials to sort out... etc etc. No excuses though, next week is the big CV write and post. I've been compiling a big list of recruitment agents from the emails I've received recently, and I'll be posting it all over the place.

No worries, I've been back to the practise schedule, exclusively on the 5 string Streamer Fretless! My intonation is improving (those 3 octave major/minor arps all the way to the top of the board help) and I'm back to jamming along with the iPod to help out feel, etc. My hands are the strongest they've ever been - the automatic pilot on them is wicked - and I feel like right now I have to get a really funky act to show off these chops!

Life is good: it's full of possibilities. God bless the last 10 weeks: it's shaken things up nicely.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The unbearable wierdness of not gigging...

Wow, it's odd being back at home. Plusses include:
  • My other basses - I'm playing nothing but 5 string Warwick Corvette Fretless and carver acoustic 4 string at the moment
  • Nic on tap without a 15 hour journey (she'll kill me if she reads that but it's meant in a nice way :)
  • Mogs - the three terrors who scamper about trying to kill each other during the day, missed that while I was away
  • Not having to climb the hill back up to the flat :)
  • Living in a big house with 2 showers, 3 toilets, a music room, a pool table, a stocked fridge, a dishwasher.... the list goes on :)
  • Having my car back (I know Alison will appreciate that one), although I need to tax it at the moment
  • More chance of snow (that's not fair really is it.... nah, it's true though)

Minuses include:

  • No gigging 5 days a week
  • Snowboarding chances pretty limited (although this isn't the wrench I thought it would be, given the season in Andorra I've had... lol)
  • Got to get another desk job (although I'm actually looking forward to being able to choose something this time)

I'm really missing the gigs. This time around, I got a taste of being up front, and I liked it: I was chatting to Nic the other day and realised that I may be ready to start another band - not since the Apostles of Funk in St Andrews have I really managed the activities of a band (I was writing out brass parts for that band) - I think I may be ready to really want to make something work again. The usual dichotomy though: to work, or to play? If it's a hobby, there's only so much you can do... there's always my Myspace site I guess, for the solo stuff... where did I leave Cubase...

Heh heh watch out for some warped live bass electronica people

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Wow, what a couple of weeks...

Well, the last week was mental. No posts on here as Nic came out and I didn't need to get down to the brussels to talk to her! But I can relate some of the highpoints of the final week.

In a minute :) got to go unpack the board and ski bags right now, just making sure the place looks good! So good to be back home, wierd too - in 11 weeks Soldeu almost started to feel like home (ish!) - but the flat definitely didn't ever feel as good as being here. Back home to Nic, the mogs, and all the basses I left behind! I'll be playing nothing but 5 string fretless Warwick for the next few weeks, for sure :) May even play an O'Neills gig with it...

Back in a tic. Just wanted to make sure y'all knew where I was.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Friendships - are 99% of them real or not???

Now I've had a slightly strange upbringing. I moved about a fair amount, owing to the dictates of where I ended up going to school. While I can say I did have friends at school, I have no idea of where they are, and in most cases I've actually forgotten their names. Friendsreunited didn't spark my interest in getting in touch with them either!

At Uni, I pretty much got into being in one place long enough to make friends I knew I could call on to come out to the pub, got into a lot of bands, and generally had a great time. I was there long enough to see several years of student friends come and go, and I still had a great time every year.

But time has taken its inevitable toll on those friendships, until now we rarely see each other - even the guys from the last band I was in. Our lives step in to take people we felt strongly for from us, and communication seems to inevitably die with geographic isolation. Here, the internet cannot help: it's just not the same.

With all the moving around that Nic and I have done in the last 7 years, we've never really spread roots anywhere: all I can hope is that my friends have found their place and stopped frantically trying to move up, on, and out... and perhaps come to rest somewhere where they can actually be happy. Me? The only real friend I can say I truly have is Nic, because she's always with me (OK, except for the last few weeks). When you see someone every day, it's that human interaction, the face-to-face, the shaking hands, the contact... these are the things that bind people. Cyberspace is cold, compressed, blocky, with voice calls that break up like daleks and juddering video. Improving these quality of service issues might help, but there'd still be a lack of human touch.

Did we really do ourselves any favours at all when we stopped being agrarian and living in one place our whole lives? I feel lost and if it wasn't for Nic I'd definitely feel alone and isolated! Thank god for the one true friend.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Positivity of personal stocktaking!

People, you must make sure that at regular intervals you do the horribly cliched american thing of telling yourself how useful and good at stuff you are. Don't do the standing in front of a mirror and verbalising roten cliches like "I am a valuable person and I love myself" - that's frankly bullshit and only works if you think Disney is a model employer and George Bush is a great human being - but actually write down some of the good stuff you did recently, and maybe how it helped someone or got something done, and what the skill was. Don't turn it into a full CV, no need, but give it a whirl.

I mention this because I was looking at my old CV from 2005 which doesn't contain anything from my job at Panasonic during "the wilderness years" when they gave me crappy jobs (apart from the automation system stuff which was a blast). I had thought those years were lost time, but after sketching out all the things I did on the automation system alone I realised I had actually done one hell of a lot in that time.

And just writing this has reminded me of something else I did that I can stick on there - not just an empty "I did this", but "I did this and it proved this and saved this amount of money, etc" - just the sort of positive linkage of thought-deed-outcome that CVs need, rather than dry fact stuff.

It's been a positive experience and has actually built my gumption for the task ahead. BTW, read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for a great description of Gumption: spot on.

Go on, do youselves a favour and give yourselves a real lift.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Age hath its privs...

BTW, took a while to get online in the Brussels today - Regis has fitted a new router (A D-link, like mine) and the onboard DNS routing is totally screwed! In the end, he gave us the address of the STA DNS server and a static IP address (which I'm holding on to, def!) and I'm back on again. It showed me once again that embedded software is gravely in need of my services everywhere... I HATE bad software. I live to prove how awful it is. The satisfaction in watching developers and project managers running around like scalded cats after you tell them they can't ship a product because this problem will happen a lot and they'll look like prats is pretty cool :)

Last night's gig was OK - I decided not to take the usual plethora of gear and left the POD behind, just taking the 6-string and a cable to see what the "pure tone" of the bass was like through the Trace V4. I have to say, I was impressed - Jamie even asked for a solo, so I quickly tweaked the preamp dirty channel on the thing and got one hell of a racket out of it. Total anarchy, I just let rip and didn't give a shit what I played, and it seemed to go down well. I'm pretty sure I deafened at least the first three rows of the audience.

I'm 36 and I can see what I used to be like when I was in my 20s... I'm really happy with all the stuff that has happened to me, and where it has brought me. This trip has taught me many things about myself, including that I am through playing covers - I will never play cover music on stage again after this is over, I have had enough! I've spent half my life playing other people's music, and this has to be the end of it. I might pick up the odd technique from some track, but I won't play covers to audiences any more.

There, I've said it. You can keep me straight if you see me playing anywhere :)