Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Will it ever end?

The modelling I mean, not the shopping trip to Eindhoven we went on today:) Now I remember why I gave it up, takes aaaages..

But today decals were added and as is usual on kits these days, no tail swastikas, I know the reasons for this of course but its bit sad that the powers that be feel that putting accurate symbols on model kits might somehow cause the return of the Nazi's. I do have a stock of swastika's in my decal collection but I'll leave it off as I decided I was going to build this kit out of the box with no extras.

Disaster though...the gunners cannon fell into the cockpit and there's no way I can get it out short of removing the cockpit and fishing for it..not a good plan after paint and varnish is on..I'll leave it, and worse I dropped the center sliding canopy which then got broke. I've only been able to find half of it, either the dog or the carpet monster has swallowed up the rest. I may break my OOB rule and scratchbuild a new centre canopy...we'll see how I feel.

Anyway pic, and notice of an important event, this month has the highest post count of any so far...must have had a lot of drivel to discuss...oh yes...I did didn't I! we go, just after decals applied. I used microscale micro set to place the 1st couple but it seems the gloss coat was just too impermeable and the set just formed bubbles on the surface so I stopped using it after the top crosses.

The decals were quite thick but the film was clear and transparent so I didn't bother doing a lot of trimming on the excess. Micro sol was then used to soften them into the panel lines but due to the thickness it barely worked, so several dabs were applied. Since the bottom crosses partially sit over slat supports I focused on those and it seems to be forming ok. We'll see tomorrow.

Tomorrow, some paint touch up on wheels/rads, application of dive brakes and decals, slat balancing horns, exhausts and carb covers, tail supports, pitot tubes and intakes, another coat of gloss, then a wash, then a matt coat then finally add the antennae and wiring....then decide on the canopy!

fun fun fun...if you're a sad geek that is.


Tuesday, 29 December 2009

more modelling "fun"?

My damn samsung camera is still not doing the biz..5Mpixels but I've yet to ever get a decent pic

Anyway, before I add the decals, I did a bit of metal simulate a plane that had been through the mill a bit in a desert environment. The paint used to strip off every time they took off and landed with the big prop essentially sandblasting the airframe every time. Again this is overdone (though not that clear on the pic) and the addition of decals which will also be distressed along with a suitable wash to pick out detail should calm the shininess down.. Probably tomorrow now as I managed to pick up some gloss clear coat at the model shop, but I don't have my decal setting solutions which are on teh way from the Aviation Megastore (great place in Holland for model bits)


Monday, 28 December 2009

Another sad hobby

Don't want this blog dominated by certain matters. so time to wheel out another sad confession, I'm a scale modeller..yes yes I know who Airfix, Revell,Academy and all the others are.

I have a massive interest in aviation from 1935-1950 which was a time of massive technological advancement and also just pure artistry in aircraft design. That interest easily led into collecting information and of course models of aircraft from that period. Dominated by WWII which saw a move from the last of the biplanes to the 1st of the jets with masses of weird and wonderful designs in between. They lose their appeal after the 50's when the sciences of aerodynamics and jet propulsion started to dominated the development of aircraft rather than the 'if it looks right it is right" approach so often seen before hand.

But though I did have a bit of a dabble early in the year when I bought some kits and paint materials from a local model shop, I've not really had time to indulge myself in my hobby. I like to take time to research my subjects and make a proper attempt at a full representation which eats time. I used to have a pretty massive collection of books/photo's and research material as well as a massive stash of unbuilt kits. I still have the stash (down in the cellar) but the reference materials have long since gone...Lucky there are many other geeks like me on the internet so all the resources I need are easy to find.

But this Christmas holiday, with a bit of encouragement from my colleague Martin at NHTV who is also a closet modeller, I got out my glue and files and made a start on a simple kit and have been having a great time. I don't really have all the tools and bits I used to have when I last took this up in anger, but no matter, I need to get some practice in, so throwing something together works wonders.

Oh but age has taken its toll...I found at one point I really could not see what I was doing and had to resort to borrowing Bina's reading glasses...they worked, but now the image of me slumped over the table with reading glasses on the end of my nose is one thats going to be hard to shake.

Anyway its better than sitting on a computer all day, and I still do my hour or so's guitar practice, a very relaxing way to spend a few hours so I'm making more effort to fill my spare time with fun things.

I'm building an Italieri model of a Junkers 87, not a bad little kit at all, though lacking in detail it went together well with no real problems and I didn't have to sand it to death like I often do, I've whipped out the new airbrush bought in my earlier dabble and have made a start on its basic colourings, time to get decals and weathering done and see how it works out.

some pics..this is the base colours only

and now some detail colour added, the belly demarcation cleaned up and the canopy masking removed, not happy with the demarcation line on the tail hoop so that will need a bit of work once the white is dry.

Next step is a gloss coat, decals, then a bit of weathering followed by a wash to pick out panels lines. But since I don't have any gloss clear coat in my paint box that will have to wait till tomorrow


Still an ever more sanctimonious prick.

Still unable to email me about MY blog...and then has the cheek to continue to attack me via email to Bina. You're not going to get a response from her, so stop mailing her.

Heres the reason I don't like you're a fucking abject stop using Bina, Jodie and Celia to fight your battles.

Your miserable attempts to get a rise from me, will be better served by contacting me direct, where my only reply is going to be..nothing. I really don't give a damn what you think about me, my relationship with my father or my so called hate issues and again with the laughable bullying comment....Your sad attempts to use these "issues" and other peoples feelings as justification for your indignation shows you for what you are.

In every day life I would happily ignore pointless people like you; sadly due to Jodie, I have to have some limited contact...I suggest for the benefit of all, including Jodie, who is more than aware of how I feel about you and therefore has no need to take sides, we limit our contact to when, where and how Jodie will be collected at the airport.

I will repeat for the record....everything on this blog are things that amuse me or are a record my events in my life, and my feelings about those events, its all true, If you don't like it...don't read it!


Still a santimonous prick

Ah well, it had to happen eventually, Jodie has now discovered my blog and in typical teen fashion has taken offense to some of the items posted (while it seems, telling all her friends about it, at least according to the new hits I'm counting)

This is a shame since the whole point of this blog is to document how "I" feel about things and the events that occur in my day to day life. Also, in doing so I provide an outlet for some of the negativity that can be quite crushing and keep my friends and family up to date with my life.

Rather than realize that certain actions have caused certain feelings to manifest and treat this as a simple report of those feelings, certain people choose to focus on the reporting of the events, well I'm not going to apologize for that, I will put down my thoughts as I see fit, and that does include the absurd dealings I have to have with all manner of people.

Including of course Jodies dad...who has the gall to mail Bina complaining about my blog.

Grow a pair of balls, if you have an issue with my blog, you need to contact me...though of course my response will be fairly predictable. have no reason whatsoever to hassle my partner. also need to learn that sometimes you have to listen to what other people say and its not always about you, you've done bad things that hurt us deeply, and good things that make us so very proud, you need to learn to focus on the things that make us proud.

edit...oh in his mail to Bina, Dad suggested that if you google Jodie and Flatulence (eh...why the hell would you??) then my blog is right at the top...riiiiiight!!!

I'm now VERY proud to say that if you also google "sanctimonious prick", it also takes you here as the top post...I can't tell you how much that made me giggle.


Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas

Don't think I need to elaborate on that do I?

no...didn't think so!


Tuesday, 22 December 2009

I'm Melting Mel......

Well there is a thaw on, but its only expected to last today, if it freezes tonight all this water everywhere will turn into nice slippy ice :D

Bina and Jodie have (un)wisely headed off to Schipol this morning to catch a 5pm flight. Since the trains are still very hit and miss the trip is by no means certain and I'm worried that Bina might not be able to get home tonight..we'll see.

OMG as I am typing this I just noticed out the window it has started snowing again!!! Perhaps not quite as warm as I thought! Though as I watch it does look a little bit sleety so perhaps we might get some rain to clear away the snow and get things moving again.


Sunday, 20 December 2009

Wrong kind of snow?

Well actually more a case of just too damn much of the white stuff.

Like most of Europe, Holland has been hit with severe snow falls, and this as badly disrupted the trains.

Normally not a problem for chez Beuken and occupants who only use trains for school trips, but since Jodie was supposed to be on a flight at 8-40pm to the UK (along with her father who had to fly to Schipol to collect her due to him booking her on a no "under 16" airline).

We tried to get to the airport, Bina was prepared to take a blind punt on heading to Rotterdam where the trains were going, but the railway staff advised her that after that there was nothing heading North.

Never the less, she bought tickets and we stood on the platform to start a journey to ......wherever it was it was stopped by a phone call, Jodies dad called with news that his flight to Amsterdam was cancelled.So even if by some miracle we could get her to Schipol, the lack of suitable adult to accompany her back to the UK meant the trip was off. She was gutted. In that way that kids think everything can be fixed but actually can't be, gutted.

So we trekked back home dragging a somewhat suspect over limit suitcase through the snow back to the apart to await the inevitable fallout.
Fortunately it wasn't too bad, though the killer came when Bina got an email from dad asking for us to contribute to Jodies fare as he'd had to spend so much in fares already. Hmmm maybe checking she can travel unaccompanied next time might save you a few bob, and also allowing for the possibility of a cancellation. Damn cheek...never pays a penny towards her upkeep or education but expects us to fork out when he hits a snag on Jodies travel!!!


Friday, 18 December 2009


We got our 1st snows yesterday and temps have dropped to a staggering low -11c expected tonight.
But there's a least 1 "person" who's pleased about the snow

I got a nice pressy for my Birthday yesterday. When we were in town last weekend, we walked passed a posh art shop and I was quite taken with some mad sculptures I saw there.

Well..Bina took note and bought some for my Birthday...Next year, the weekend before my Birthday we need to go for a walk around the Ferrari garage.

btw..I have no idea who this barefaced fat bastard is in the photo playing with my art, but the dog looks familiar!


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

happy birthday to me

yeaaaaahhhhhhh 46yo today.

Its my birthday (Dutch time not UK)....and I feel great...pissed, and slightly incontinent, with a few twinges here and there, but great.

I live in a lovely apartment, in a fantastic country, with a wonderful woman, a greatly improving daughter, with another lovely (but somewhat quiet..hint hint) independent daughter in the UK. A miserable auld bag of a mum who keeps out of my way and I love to bits, along with 2 great brothers who also keep out of my way and let me get on with my life without sily family squabbles over ....nothing. Fan bloody tastic.

I have a great job, with great colleagues, fantastic students, and a growing group of friends.

I can't express how fucking fantastic my life is.

roll on the next 46 years.

time for cake.


Brrrr part 3

-7 last night...not the best time to decide to shave off my beard...but I did anyway.

That is impressively cold, thankfully our apartment is very well insulated so the heat we generate from our gadgets and body heat is keeping the place livable, that and a small fan heater is keeping the room temp at a reasonable 20deg.

Got a bit of flash programming to do this morning before I head to work, I teach a programming course for artists, its all quite simple stuff, a 7 week taster to get a feel for programming and Flash allows them to get stuff up and running pretty quick.

Not my favorite language I have to say but I guess I will have to improve my understanding of it. Last year I knew nothing of it and was learning with my students, which was on occasion quite embarrassing as my lack of knowledge was frequently exposed. This year though I have done a bit more research and found some excellent basic "shootorials" at which provide a good base level to build on by getting the basic understanding of putting something on screen understood so I can then add some proper coding concepts to that. Last year, despite a few teething issues my artistically inclined students managed to produce some really nice things so I'm hoping this year with some better teaching from me we'll see something better.


Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Brrrr prt 2

Still no heating, and temps last night went down to -5c...-5c??? and its expected to be the same the next couple of days. Snow is expected soon too....
Repair man is coming on Thursday...thankfully


Monday, 14 December 2009


Well its sods bloody law innit. The 1st hard frosts of winter arrived this morning, and our heating packed in last night.

I say packed in, its been sounding alarms on and off for the last 2-3 weeks. Usually I unplug it and switch it back on in the morning, that seems to work. But last night I decided to try to get the incomprehensible menu system to display the cause of the alarm. I didn't, instead I seemed to reset everything, and as a result now there is no heating at all.


I've sent a mail to the landlord to come and get it sorted, it really is a stupidly complex underfloor/remote sensor type of thing but I have no idea how to make it work so need to get them to come and help...either that or find a 5 year old who can program a video recorder.


Saturday, 12 December 2009

Mine...all mine....

Ok so here they are, all my guitars (apart from the bass which I never use much)
I've finished my reworking of my guitar collection, and this is what I have now,

From the Back L-R 2008 Breedlove AC250/SM12, 2005 Fender Strat Custom Delux, 98 Gibson 355 Lucille, '87 Gibson Les Paul Studio, 2007/8 Breedlove AC25/SR+
Middle flat, Roberts Skeleton
2008 Granada Classic, 2006?? Rodriguez Model B


Nice eh!!! Guitar porn on a budget is possible after all.

I play them through a Marshall Valvestate 50 amp or a Cheetah 30W pracice amp, usually clean via a suitable Zoom multi Pedal (one for acoustic and one for electric)

I posted this pic on a couple of sites I frequent and drew lots of admiring comments :D (and a funny about how homo erotic it is that people are posting about the quality of wood they hold in their hands??)

ok the Les Paul is a recent extra addition and I said Lucille was my last, but honest that really is the last one. Lucille is a very special guitar and I don't intend to take her out and about much, home use only, so wanted something with humbuckers to take out to my jam sessions/whatever and it was a good price for a near vintage Studio so that completes the line up.

The Granada is for sale and most likely so is the is just such a fun guitar to practice on quietly at night?


Friday, 11 December 2009

you plonker

1 day

I had it one day....and I put a dent in it.

1 bloody day

What a pillock, i took her out the case and as I was doing so the lid dropped and the latch put a small ding in the body.....12 years without a mark and I have it 1 so pissed off with myself.

I can probably polish the worst of it out when I get some wax but unlikely to remove it totally.

I just hope the guitar cruelty people don't hear about this.


Thursday, 10 December 2009

She's here....


OMG...she's in perfect condition, aside from needing new strings and a bit of a polish. She even has the plastic still on her electrics cover at the back and on the varitone cover..(took that off though). Not a dent on her, a few plectrum scratches and the expected tarnishing to the gold...but just perfect condition...Clearly owned previously by a light home user who's kept her tucked away in her excellent condition original case.
Can't believe my luck in getting such a good condition '98 Lucille for that price. Customs did sting me for 295 quid idea how they got that figure, but I guess it could have been worse.

I tuned her up with the crappy strings and perfect perfect perfect. Not a buzz or a rattle to be heard, low action and the smoothest neck ever. I will polish up the gold and get new strings on her this weekend.

ok course we need pics

whats in the case, whats in the case

ohhh original Gibbo shroud!!!

I just made a mess in my pants

and in her full glory...damn my samsung camera..I'll get better pics soon

ah this is better


Wednesday, 9 December 2009

ohhh the anticipation

Finally, the USPS site has updated after nearly 3 weeks of no news...She's out of customs and on her way, I expect her tomorrow.

Out of Foreign Customs, December 09, 2009, 3:03 pm, NETHERLANDS
International Dispatch, November 20, 2009, 8:43 pm, FOREIGN CENTERJERSEY CITY NJ 099
Acceptance, November 16, 2009, 1:48 pm, SPRING, TX 77380


Saturday, 5 December 2009

Jammin' Practice

Bina's over in the UK with Jodie at the Birmingham Clothes show, so I've been having some guitar fun in the lounge (will put it all away soon dear)

On Thursday, I booked a rehearsal room at the Mezz, one of our local concert halls, for a guitar jam session. I was joined by several students and colleagues from work, nothing too mad, but it marked the 1st time I've really played with other guitarists/bass players and we had an awesome time. We deliberately restricted it to beginners/intermediate players to avoid anyone overshadowing anyone and the tactic worked well. Quite a lot of incoherent noise was made with an occasional recognizable tune popping up from time to time.

We're definitely going to do it again and perhaps regularly, its not often I get a chance to get my guitars playing at full tilt, and I think it pushes you forward.

Oh a few pics from the "event" on my crappy don't expect too much


Friday, 4 December 2009

Ransom demand!!!

Lucille is not lost....but she is in the hands of bad people...Dutch Customs.

They sent a letter today asking for details of the contents and value (gulp) and of course they want to charge me for her... least now we know where she is...I'll have to fill out the form and send it back, hopefully next week she'll be where she belongs.


Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Unaccustomed as I am...

To wearing a suit in front of 3 or 4 hundred students, parents, faculty and university management...I had to give a short speech last night as part of our student foundation awards ceremony. Wow that was nerve wracking.

I was aware that I had to give a speech but thinking it was going to just be a hello, thanks for coming, here are the guys type of thing, I never wrote anything down. So when Rob from work got up to give the 1st speech and proceeded to have the whole crowd in stitches with his long and slightly mad but very funny speech comparing IGAD survival to getting through WWI, I realized I was in deep shit.

I got up, improved a bit about how I'd started at the same time as the guys on stage with me and this was as much an event for me as it was for them, so if no one minded I wanted to take note of it...and then tried to take a picture of the crowd with my camera phone....this got a few giggles I'm happy to say, but my damn stupid samsung camera phone refused to take the pick so while the gag worked well I didn't in fact get the photo I wanted to post here. That would have been awesome.

Never mind, there were a few photographers taking pics of me for the event so I'll try to post a few when they go up.

I cocked up the presentation a bit too, I didn't realize the certificates were all named specifically, and the lads had come on stage out of order so I gave the 1st 2 to the wrong people....more laughs..this time for my idiocy ;) But I got my revenge; The school also gave every student a small (and a bit tacky) snow globe as a reminder of the event...I gave all my lads a pink one...bwahahaha

ahh... some links to pics

no....there is no news on the Lucille front.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

I love this

The chap who does this is called David Thorne, and he's either the most irritating annoying prick in the world or a comedy genuius who has discovered a whole new use for the interwebs....I suspect the latter.

The site has many many of these real life exchanges as well as musings on life and whatever from the viewpoint of a man with a mental age of 4....brilliant (especially the spider drawing)

no...but he said he's check...and he hasn't and no it hasn't

dont' ask!!


Friday, 27 November 2009

insomnia returns

probably caused by Lucille, no contact from the seller and the track and trace site has not updated since the 20th...grrr

nah not too worried, its just taking its time in typical post style. Bina had some tickets sent to her by her mum in the UK and that took 2 weeks..So I can easily see how a large parcel, possibly traveling surface mail could take quite some time

Just not able to get to sleep unfortunately, I had a nap on the couch this evening and its buggered me for getting to sleep proper. will have a bit of a mooch on t'internet and try again in a bit.

A slightly belated happy thanksgiving to any 'merkin readers out there. I'm going to a thanksgiving dinner myself tomorrow. An american friend of mine (from my poker cronies) has been cooking for weeks in preparation. There will of course be poker afterwards so will be a good night. Bina is having a witches coven meeting....I mean a girls night in with work colleagues so I'm well out of that ;)


Thursday, 26 November 2009

not going to mention it

nope, not going to mention that my Lucille is still "in transit" somewhere

But in other news my 1st year students this year have passed their 1st block with and 84% pass rate...Thats awsome, last year I didn't take a note but I think it was around 60% so this is a huge improvement. Our fasttrack program really is paying dividends.


Wednesday, 25 November 2009

keep calm keep calm

5 days now with no word, the track and trace website simply states it was despatched from NJ, it has said the same thing since the Jersey has a port I believe...I wonder if its actually travelling by boat...grrrr

I hope to christ they detuned it before shipping. The AC25 might have bee able to tolerate tight strings but a Lucille is a little more delicate so cold strings could have a much more detrimental impact.

bah...bah bah bah.....this is really putting me off buying things from the US and shipped USPS now, what a slow delivery system... Fed ex every time or no deal in future.

Bina's sax playing is already starting to sound less strangled cat and more honking sealion now, a big improvement, at least Harvey does not want to go running into the bed room to save/attack the cats any more.

Watched the Peter Green Man of the World Documentary last night (you tube), very moving, sad and also in the end uplifting as the Green God appears to have made a significant (but not total)recovery from his mental illness. He was much brighter and more coherent and playing the guitar with a degree of style again. Would be amazing if he were to capture some of his past greatness and make some real blues albums again. There is even talk of a Fleetwood Mac original line up reunion (Danny Kerwin excluded of course..another sad story). I dunno, it could never be as great but still...I'd pay to see that.


Monday, 23 November 2009

Lucille, please come back where you belong

Well, I woke up this morning, Lucille was not in sight
I asked my friends about her but no, all their lips were tight.

ok not quite the right Lucille...but you get the message


Sunday, 22 November 2009

wherefore art thou Lucille?

Well after the hassle of getting the tracking number, it was further frustration to see that there appeared to be no movement by Lucille since she was picked up in Spring Texas. Though this seems to be more a case of the USPS not updating than anything else.
Days went by with no update and I was starting to doubt I had the right tracking number.

However on Saturday I did get a notice that she had arrived in New Jersey for International dispatch and finally she's on her way over the water. Will probably hear on Monday that she's in Customs and then have to wait to see what happens.

Harvey is starting to calm down now that there are less strangled cat sounds coming from the bedroom when Bina is practicing...actually starting to make some recognizable tunes now...Go and tell Aunt Nancy never sounded so good...after 100 attempts. :D


Thursday, 19 November 2009

ebay dilemma

dammit...sometimes ebay really winds me up. I'm still waiting on the Lucille to arrive from the US. Fully expecting to have to pay some customs and fees but am unable to tell until I hear from the seller and get the tracking number.

He was quite chatty before I commited to the sale, but since paying up he's become much less chatty, and the only info I have is that he shipped it last Thursday and he'd send me a tracking number on Monday when he got back to the office....its now Thursday and despite mailing him every day so tracking number. It may be in customs, it may not..I have no idea.

All a bit worrying..Notmally I'm not too stressed, but given the value (both cash and sentiment) of the item, I don't like this lack of comms. I'm fully covered by paypal and visa of course, but it'll be a pain in the backside if I have to go to those extremes to get refunds...not that we're at that stage yet, but the lack of communication gets you thinking the worst. I do have a phone number though so I might give them a call this evening to ask what the fuck is going on. a mail from the sellers wife (he's away apparently). So I now have a tacking number and of course it wasn't shipped on Thursday (boxed maybe but not shipped). It was shipped on Monday, and hasn't left the US yet..ah least I know its on its way now.


Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Bina's new hobby time she complains about my guitar amp being too loud I have a come back.

Poor Harvey, he's very stressed out by the sound of the strangled cats he can hear coming from the bedroom...he hates cats.

Hope its not too long before he can't hear cats any more:)


Monday, 16 November 2009

The Life of a Game Developer



The 6 string Breedlove has arrived...with a bill for €150 for customs but ah well..still saved over €400 on the European cost.

Lovely lovely guitar, I tried to take some pics to show of the lovely purling with Abalone binding but it does not come out on a phone camera. I'll post them later.

Of sounds magnificent too, really a quality bit of kit, low action and fantastic neck..oh it is a work of bloody art.

Came in a gig bag though, was hoping for a case, but no matter.

I was rather shocked to find it came tuned and because it was cold the strings were over tuned by at least a tone!!. Its normal practice when shipping guitars to detune them so that when they chill the don't tighten so much that they put strain on the neck. I once had a guitar headstock snap off cos it was shipped in tune.

Never mind fortunately there was no harm this time

Still suffering a bit from the Friday lurgy which came back with a vengeance yesterday..Not really in the mood for much but eating and sleeping, will have a good play with the 6 later


Saturday, 14 November 2009

My last purchase here it is, my last guitar purchase (no really thats it) I now have all the guitars I could ever hope for.

She's currently on her way from the US, and yes this is a she, a very special lady, A '98 mint condition Gibson ES345 Lucille. Thats the BB King signature model if you are interested.

I won't tell you what I paid for her but it was a fair bit, but waaaay cheaper than I could ever hope to get one in Europe due to the crashing $ price against the pound. If you want to buy anything expensive at the moment look into buying on rather than I wish I had more money to spend with so many cool things I've never been able to afford becoming affordable.

Every year NHTV give us a Christmas I spend it on this (before I got it..but basically this is my Xmas bonus for myself)

And that really is it..I have no interest in Jazz style guitar (though I could use Lucille for that) so don't need a widebody hollow electric so I have what I want

1 Gibson ES-345 Lucille
1 Fender Strat Custom
1 Breedlove AC250/SM-12
1 Breedlove AC25/SR+
1 Rodriguez Model B

Course I still have the Roberts which I will keep for pedal effect stuff and quiet night practice. The Sigma GC4 though will have to go, I'll keep it for now while I'm taking my lessons as I can carry it around without fear of breaking something that will cost a fortune to repair or replace, but once I feel I've moved on far enough with my lessons, I'll sell it off, it will give someone a lot of fun.

So...I bet Bina's looking at this now and going why so many (mum too)? Just remember I had 9 before, now I've cut right back to 5 main guitars and 1 silly one (The Roberts Skel)

Each has a different use, sound and tone, the Lucille is a blues guitar, pure and simple, the Strat is for Rock and heavy metal/grunge etc. The Breedlove 12 is for big ringing acoustic chords and the Breedlove 6 is for all other kinds of acoustic. The Rodriguez is for classical.

Also..these are not as you may have noticed cheap shit novelty guitars, these are genuine quality instruments who's value will grow with time, I'm investing in my guitars and making a commitment to learn to play properly to justify the expense.

See, sensible when you think about it....Though ask any can never have enough guitars...and who kmows I might develop an interest in Jazz guitar (George Benson is AM AZ ING!! ):D


12 days and its ......


well actually it was released yesterday to the delivery service. According to the tracking details they already attempted delivery this morning..this is possible but they've left no note to say they tried to deliver like they usually do. So I'm more inclined to think its been released to the local parcel service who may not deliver on Saturday...Though it may well have been an attempted delivery.. We had a poker night here last night (which was a great success...yes I won!!) and much alcohol was consumed resulting in a bit of lie in and a hangover, so we might not have heard the buzzer.....We can probably expect teh re-delivery on Monday...or at least a note saying when to arrange delivery.


Friday, 13 November 2009

11 days

starting to get silly now.

In other not very well, Bina was quite poorly a few days ago and took to her bed with girly flu like symptoms and looks like I've got a dose of the lurgy too. I will not succumb though..I wont...guughh

Anway, here's a few images of my Granada classic which I am selling and uploading here so I can link to the pics.


Thursday, 12 November 2009

10 days

and counting

In other news though my 3rd year students are working on porting a PC project porting to the PSP. Originally I was going to do a no deadline DS version (still am I hope) but in the process of evaluating the project I realized it was an excellent chance to let my students work on something meaningful in their AGT console classes which I teach. No more dry fussy tech demos, lets make an actual commercial game.

The details are under NDA of course so I can't say too much at this point, but basically its a fun arcade puzzle game that was written a few years ago as a personal project between an artist and a coder. The coder did pretty much all the work and then left to start a new job, leaving the artist (and project owner) high and dry to complete it.

I had offered my help a year or so back, but lack of time on both parts meant we couldn't get together on it. But this year our schedules were free at the same time and we agreed to complete it.

But having taken delivery of our new Sony Edu program PSP dev kits, this was just too good a chance to turn down, especially with it turned out a major (as in huge) publisher had expressed an interest in it..So...I gave the 3rd years an assignment to port the code and produce graphic systems to display the assets supplied and they've done an amazing job in the time available (more so since we're a bit short on PSP dev kits).

Next block we'll work on enhancements and speed improvements but its clear the game is well underway and looking awesome. It's entirely possible I won't need to do more than a bit of polishing up on it to get it up to scratch. We've even managed to find a way to include our design students so they can contribute levels to it making it a project almost every student will be involved in.

I'm very very proud of them, they RTFM as I told them to do.


Wednesday, 11 November 2009

9 days and counting

9 Days my guitar has been in Customs...very annoying.

I did however receive my Moondog Electric Violin today which I also bought on good old ebay, for a silly price.


Yeah, been wanting to have a crack at violin for a while, but not right away, I know these particular violins are very good value for money.

Moondog used to sell some really awesome low cost, high quality guitars, as well as violins (a husband and wife company, he played guitar, she played violin) but sadly the company went bust last year (probably should have been charging more) so they are now hard to get. I was saving up to buy one of their guitars before I moved to Holland then forgot about it. Shame really.

Anyway when I saw the violin on ebay and noted it was being used by a pro in a band I bid for it, got it for 50quid...which is about half price if memory serves.

I'll have a bit of a tinker with it, but its not something I'm going to take serious for a while, got my guitar lessons to focus on 1st


Tuesday, 10 November 2009


Still no guitar...still in Dutch Customs...still waiting...grrr

In other news, got myself some new glasses....went to specsavers and took advantage of their 2 for 1 deal..

Quite pleased with the result. Though could barely contain my amusement when the pretty young shop assistant was ever so delecately adjusting the nose pieces on them to make them sit...I mean...they'll be bent to buggery inside 20seconds of shoving them on my nose, but she was ever so careful to make sure it was correct to the most minute detail and that the legs were just the right shape behind my ears...

Silly really.

ah well I suppose it keeps her busy in what must be a very very boring job.


Monday, 9 November 2009


During todays guitar lesson, I lost my place in the sheet music and started to improvise....properly. :D

wooo hooo

thats actually a big step, I'm well chuffed...


Friday, 6 November 2009


Still waiting for my Breedlove 6 string, its been in Dutch Customs since the 2nd.
I wish I'd known about this FedEx shipping that the 12 string came via. I suspect I'll get hit with a wedge of duty/vat as well as the delay..Dammit.

Mum got home safe and sound, she even managed to wangle a ciggie on the taxi home. So no one had to put up with her being grumpy due to lack of nicotine.

She had a nice time though and we miss her already. Jodie said it was nice having her here and she thinks she should come live in Holland. aahhh


Thursday, 5 November 2009

Bye mummsie

Finally getting rid of the auld bag today, I have to take her up to Schipol and dump her at the departure gate to make sure she goes though ;)

Been nice having her here though and she's enjoyed her time in Breda. Shame the weather has been pretty rubbish the whole time. We'll try and get her back here in the summer when there's more to do.

In other news, we had our office "study day" yesterday, which is designed to reflect on what works and what needs changing for our course. Considering we recently achieved a #1 rating as the best program of its type in Holland for the 2nd year running it's easy to rest on our laurels, but we did spot a few things and had a great days meeting working out new proposals to make it stronger still. Holland this year, Europe next ;)

Its actually a shame our program does not get more coverage outside of Holland, I suspect we are quite possibly the only course of this nature which is set up with experienced game developers teaching students and geared to producing fully fledged game developers able to walk straight into the industry with little or no further training.

My experience of other courses has been quite disappointing with graduates often lacking even basic understanding of the game dev process. I have my 3rd years working on a potentially commercial project for the PSP and already they have the skills needed to produce a working game on a hardware platform they've only just been exposed to. Really does make me incredibly proud to see them tackle something like that with such gusto.


Tuesday, 3 November 2009


Having to shout a bit as mum's getting a bit deaf...aren't you mum?

She's been staying with us this week and seems to be really enjoying our little bit of Dutch paradise, despite an unfortunate attack of vertigo the day after she arrived she's recovered well enough to participate in some Olympic standard girly shopping with Bina.

At least I'm not drinking alone now eh mum ;)

Got my new 12string Breedlove yesterday, I ordered it from a US company as they are a bit hard to source in the Europe and also quite expensive. I was very worried about shipping a guitar that far, but I really needn't have. It arrived well packed and in perfect condition. The falling dollar rate made it an absolute bargain.

I wasn't going to get another 12 string but after deciding to get rid of mine and playing it a lot to try it out I realised I really do like the sound it makes and its an excellent practice guitar since you have to be more precise with the fingering.

So I couldn't escape the fact there was a Breedlove AC250/12 for sale on ebay at a silly price, Its a factory reconditioned one so even cheaper than a shop bought so long as I'm willing to put up with a small "used" stamp on the back of the headstock.

So long as it plays I don't mind little blems like that. And now it's here it is just wonderful, the action as almost as low as my Fender and once I tuned it up it had the most amazing warm woody sound to it. Definitly goes to show that you do indeed have to pay for quality. Amped up it sounds amazing..though I don't play gigs I am sure it would be perfect for a live performance.

I'm expecting my other Breedlove, a new (not refurb) AC25/SR+ 6 string any day now. Also from the states (the dollar rate is too good to ignore I'm getting these things almost half price compared to a few months ago) and I'm itching to try it out, if its half as good as the 12 string its going to be wonderful.

My old 12 string has a buyer and that just leaves a spare classical to sell off to make space, after more (well I do still want a Gibson 355...but that's currently way beyond my means so we'll have to wait for that....hmmm but the exchange rate no..wait)


Friday, 30 October 2009

temp fix in place

ICT gave me a replacement laptop, they put my HD into one of the staff laptops and I am able to get all my stuff off it. They're going to see if mine can be repaired, if not I'll probably get a new laptop...yeah...and boo, I'm not overly keen on switching machines if they are working well because you always get something you need left behind. But for now I've got my files and can do my backups.

Also I picked up the 99€ adapter from Apple...yes it works but what a bloody price for what is basically a converter. Trouble is I only have 1 dual line DVI cable, so will have to pop into town tomorrow to get another for the mac. But testing it out on my pc's cable it looked smashing and I can get Xcode to work at a good size and get the Iphone simulator on screen too.

I'll have to get into this iphone stuff sooner or later so now I have my full screen res again I've got not excuse (actually I quite like my new mac now that it is running quiet so will try to get a few hours time on it soon.

Got a PSP gig to get off the ground 1st though.


Thursday, 29 October 2009


I dropped my work laptop...well, to be more specific, I was using it on the arm of the couch, then had to answer an urgent call of nature and as I stood up, it slid off and crashed to the floor...banged on the corner and the screen is now a rainbow of colours and unreadable.

I broked it..I totally broked it.

oops...Hope I can get a new one from work without too much effort...fortunately its just the screen so I should be able to transfer everything from it by hooking it up to a monitor but a sad way for a faithful and reliable laptop to die, so young too, less than 18 months.

In other news..Bina's coming home tonight (yeahhhhh) and bringing my mum over for a week. This will be her 1st proper trip to the Netherlands, though she always says she's been here before as a result of a transfer at Schipol airport. Now she can have a proper look around.

I suppose I'd better to some cleaning up and shopping before they arrive. :D


Still trying to sell some of my guitars in anticipation of some nice new ones :D

I have here a nice unbranded 12string guitar I got on ebay, can't remember exactly what it cost now but it wasn't much. Its a rather nice Elec Acoustic, Large Concert size/shape (maybe a small jumbo) Sounds nice and stays in tune well. But does have a tiny bit of top warp which has caused the bridge to rise very slightly on one side and as a result the action is a bit high. The neck does have a truss rod fitted though so it might be possible to tweak that.
No case or bag for this though

3 band Equ with presence and of course volume

Trying to show the lift

and of course front and back



Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Girl shopping?

Today, rather than sit around at home I took Jodie shopping in Rotterdam. She was quite pleased to hear that is a Primark there and she wanted to stock up on bling and cheap stuff. Well so did I (not the bling) and off we went for a "girly" day out. do they do this...I go to a shop...get what I want in the bag, pay and go home....Women....its an olympic sport!!!

This trip involved a (delayed) train to Rotterdam, a walk around Rotterdam town centre (which I partly wanted to do...found a model shop :D) Then 2 metro trains to the out of town suburb where there is a huge shopping mall...which we had to walk through before we got to the Primark.

So she's stocked up on bling, tops and boots and I got myself some jumpers for the winter....Yes it was cheap but not sure it was worth the cost of the trip and the time and the fact my feet are killing shopping in heels for me in future!!

Oh...we also found the famous Dildo Gnome

funny thing


Sunday, 25 October 2009

I'm so Ronery

Bina's over in the UK for a week to see her mum who's been a little poorly recently but is picking up...Jodie went to stay at a friends last night and I've had the apartment to myself all day yesterday and so far The dog is sulking because the girls are not here and just stares at me :( even though he's going out every 2-3 houtrs cos I'm bored.

Only so much guitar playing you can do before the fingers start hurting...(maybe that's why he's staring)

Anyway...quite pleased with my new multi track recorder even though it arrived with a broken knob which fortunately was easy enough to superglue back on. Works a treat, I had a spare 9v 300mA PSU which works with it so that makes it easier to use. It even has a little built in mic so I can record my classical guitars as well (they're not equiped with pickups)

Have sold my little Ashton guitar to one of my Students, so thats only leaves the big unbranded 12 string to sell off.. Have actually been playing it into the recorder to hear what it sounds like recorded and it really is very good to listen back to, but as a guitar its just too hard to play with its high action so needs to be sold off, but I suppose it's good practice for my finger placment as I have to press down quite hard to get clean notes.

I am trying to play this...

But of course I am not even close to being there yet, its a simple Am Em C repeat arpeggio but it trips you up when you try to get more intensity into a measure..Thom Yorke makes it seem so simple to play, I'm quite envious, this is probably one of the best acoustic versions of this Radiohead song ever recorded.

Even if I do manage to get the guitar part right, I don't sing, so I can't really add the colour that he does to a simple melody.

My effort(guitar only) does sound a lot better when you listen back to the recorded track though and add a little chorus to the mix. Still not good enough to make public though but the aim of recording to highlight errors is definitly working well.

I also recently upgraded my Mac mini (which I use for iphone/ipod stuff). The old one was a lovley bit of kit but it did not have dual dvi output support to allow it to drive my big monitor. I got the new one (which does have dual DVI but annoyingly I discovered I need a seperate Apply only adapter for), from the same guy I got the old one as its cheaper than buying from Apple direct and he's very reliable.

It's an upgraded 2Ghz system with 4G Ram and a 500Mb hard drive and Nvidia graphics. A step up from the old one and I have to say much much quieter. The old one got a bit noisy when the fan was blowing to cool down the stressed CPU. I've not heard the fan once on the new one...awsome.

I've sold the old one to Dino, who also wants to do some Iphone stuff, to offset the costs and once he pays up I should be able to invest in that quality acoustic guitar I want.

Bina says she is missing Breda and finds Bradford very strange and noisy. Which is funny, she lived there for so long and now it seems like another world. Her heart is here now like mine, I really can't see us living anywhere else.

Jodie just texted to say she's on her way, so I guess I better clean up and start thinking about food for tonight.


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

And so begins a long slog

Today after 30 years of tinkering with a guitar I had my 1st lesson. It was cool, Joost, (for it is he who has foolishly agreed to attempt to fix all my bad habits) showed me a few interesting things to help with my F/B Barres which I have real problems with (it might be the action on my Sigma needs adjusting according to Joost) and seemed happy with my basic fingering and picking skills...Just that small matter of having no sense of rhythm and being tone deaf to deal with now.

I really have decided to take this seriously this time, I love playing guitar,but have always wanted to be able to play to a half decent standard so this will be a motivation for me to move my playing forward as well as get my lovely new strat to sing to me.

I picked up an 8 track digital recorder (Zoom MRS8) cheap on ebay so that I can record and store some of my practice sessions and studies and listen back, hopefully to hear improvements…if things go well I might post some things here. Gulp!!

Going to sell off some of the lesser guitars though as I said before and focus on a couple of very good quality ones. I have the Strat so don’t need another electric and I already sold my telecaster copy (very cheap ebay guitar but surprisingly good player) and I think Carlos S from work, will take my SG copy which I’ve loaned him for a few weeks to try it out. The Ashton and 12 string will probably go on ebay, but I doubt they’ll make much since they both suffer from the curse of cheap guitars, lifting bridges, which are stable but do raise the action…they are really too cheap to consider having repaired, I may end up giving them away.

A really good quality acoustic is on the shopping list once these have been sold. I intend to visit some guitar shops to try and find something that I really like. I like my Sigma a lot and won’t be selling it for a while for one thing is less risk to transport to Joost’s place …we’ll see how I feel when I get myself a quality acoustic. I may eventually just cut down to my Rodreguez Model B classic, 1 good acoustic (considering a Breedlove), my mad roberts skeleton silent(below) and the Strat, 1 of each main type…I may :D

This is a pic of a Roberts Skeleton...not mine, this is from the site..mine is this finish but it really is a shabby effort form them, more than likely a prototype they just wanted to get rid off. But it does play extremly well and when fed through a guitar mod pedal you can make it sound like any kind of £2000 guitar you want..Also, it was free....which is a long story, but I bought it, got into an argument with the maker about the tatty case it came in and general poor finish and he returned my money and told me to go all its cosmetic faults...but excelent playing its a really unusual guitar and at that price....a bargain.


Saturday, 17 October 2009

I am a poker god!!!

Every week or so I try to go to a poker game, sometimes with my dutch friends sometimes with work colleagues. Last night was a colleague event, which are a bit less serious than the others.
Last night was a fairly small group 6 of us, due to some other events that were happening but it was still one of the best games I've played in ages. Of course I say that with my chest puffing out becuase I won, but it was still really good, with everyone enjoying themselves.

I played great all night except for 1 incredibly reckless hand where I badly miscalculated how many chips I had and almost got wiped out on a very bad call. I mistook my blue 2's for black 10's....must get some more distinct chips. Fortunately though I was left with enough to play a few hands and managed to get back into the game ending up in a heads up with Gisselle from the office, who had been playing brilliantly all night (and was responsible for my almost terminal mistake). The heads up only lasted a couple of hands and the final play was unbelievable....All night we had been hitting straights and I had a 3 and 4 of spades in the pocket. Not a great hand at all but as I was the big blind I had no reason not to play it. Gisselle called and the flop turned up 2 aces and a 2...a possible straight... but the flush still possible but unlikely.

The 2 aces were important. I played a small bet to test Gisselle and she went all in....Oh boy...what to do.. I was a way out chip lead so could afford to call it but 3 and 4's are not going to win most times....She had to have something good and my only real chance was a flush, hit 3 of a kind with my pockets for a full house...not likely, or hit the straight, so there were possibilities of 3 strong hands, but the chances of hitting them seemed poor. The chances of a flush or full house are pretty poor, so I figured I needed the straight, only a 5 would win and I had 2 cards to get it...

The odds normally are terrible, but in a heads up those 4x 5's are likely to still be in the pack...I really had to think about it..Gisselle's all in was big enough to make me think, I'd still be chip lead if I lost but the chances of winning were pretty slim.....but we had been hitting straights all night....

I called!

It was a show down. Gisselle had an ace in her hand..oh no.3 aces on the flop and I still had nothing. The turn was a red picture card, no help the flush and full house were now gone.. I was all on the River and only a 5 would save me.

Dino was dealing and paused on the last card....his face said it all as he saw the card a second or 2 before we did.

.....I hit the 5....INCREDIBLE just awesome, I won the game on a crazy hunch that I might just hit a straight.

One of the best games I've played in ages and a hand I will remember for a long time, here's the hand sorry its so blurry, my camera phone is rubbish...never buy a samsung for the camera.


Wednesday, 14 October 2009


We had our 1st frosts of winter today already....brrrr
Jodie is still enjoying 30deg sunshine in Spain. It'll be funny if she comes home to the Dutch weather in shorts and skimpy tops..brrr


Sunday, 11 October 2009

Loving it


love it love it love it. Its just awesome, puts all my lesser guitars to shame, so they are all getting sold....some of them....a couple are getting sold off as I just don't need them any more.

Staggering difference in sound, tone, and ease of play, I love it..So much so, I'm going to get get some lessons to learn how to play the thing properly instead of just plonking around on it..Time to get serious.

Jodie is away in Spain with her school for a week, nice. 30deg sunshine she is having there, while here in Holland the Autumn has definitely hit and the temperatures are dropping (as well as the nights fair drawing in). Our under floor heating kicked in this weekend for the 1st time since winter so thats a sure sign of temps dropping.

Anyway, ..going to go watch Xfactor now, which will be missing Louis Walsh tonight as a result of Stephen Gatley's sad age at all. I wonder what the cause was.


Tuesday, 6 October 2009

My New Toy :D

As promised....some pics.

Pretty I have to learn to play!!



This morning a large box arrived.

Inside was the most beautiful (non indian) thing I have ever seeen.

Then I had to go to work......with a huge huge grin on my face.

Pics later.


Friday, 2 October 2009

am a bad widdle boy

I bought a new guitar.......well I had to really, there it was on ebay, from a dealer in Holland and it kept saying..."Buy me buy deserve an end of project treat.....I'm it" over and over again it said it to me....I could only resist for so long.

I bought it.....a 2005 Fender Fat Stratocaster with Suhr custom pickguard and pups.....oh boy cant wait for it to be delivered.

Years ago I had an 70/80's white strat...can't honestly remember much about it, other than it was a very very cool guitar and I had to sell it to raise finance to start a business...These days that same strat is probably worth a couple of grand. I have always regretted selling it. so this new one is an investment.....honest.

So as I am currently enjoying a very minor cash surplus.....I took the chance to buy something I have always wanted to replace.

A genuine Fender Stratocaster.

Now I have to sell a couple of my other lesser guitars to make room.


Monday, 28 September 2009

Very late updates on douchbaggery in the IGDA

So a couple of months ago I told you all about the antics of a certain Dr Tim Langdell. A liar, a cheat and a charlatan who has over the years managed to carve a fairly impressive niche for himself as one of the "top 5 industry specialists".
In truth hes a blow hard and a bully who has managed to wheedle and wangle his way into various industry in dins and work his way up a greasy pole to be "recognized"

Thats not to say that once upon a time he did indeed manage to achieve something, he set up a company in the late 70's called Softek which was one of the founding companies of our industry. And as was normal at that time, was a small dingy office based venture that provided an outlet for the creative young nerds of the day who wanted to sell their games.

A great many current game giants started this way and grew, or started this way then were swallowed up by others who got a bit bigger, and they in turn got swallowed and they in get the picture.

Tim's little company though never really quite reached the heights he'd hoped it would and never really grew big enough to swallow others or be of interest to the bigger fish in the pool. So in the 80's, when branding became the big thing, he attempted to develop his own brand and renamed his company The Edge.
Nice ring to it don't you think?. Tim also knew the value of self promotion and managed to get himself a seat on pretty much every board going for any industry related committee that was formed. It wasn't long though before he started to belive his own press and stories of his empire raised more than a few eyebrows.

It did help to raise his profile a bit, but The Edge still never really became the power house that Ocean, Infogrammes, Gremlin and the like became in the 80's and 90's

Financially then Edge slowly died off, leaving scores of pissed of developers and contractors who never got their money and Tim it seems (according to accounts from former employees) actually became quite proud of his ability to screw people out of money. But eventuality the game was up.

The Edge simply could not compete with the now very established and professional companies making games and it was time for Tim to move on. To the US in fact, leaving his debts and bad feelings behind him for now.

His career in the US is less traceable, He "transferred" his assets form The Edge to a new Edge Games corporation in the US, and continued to try to release games, but it all came to an awkward end around 1994. The unthinkable happened...Tim was no longer in the games industry...he had to get a proper job...teaching. (not a bad profession at all if I say so myself).

But Tim had one little ace up his sleeve. Back in his branding days, he'd trademarked the phrase "The Edge" and could therefore claim license fees from any unsuspecting use of that fairly common word.

He had been doing this while The Edge was still trading but with no actual business to run now, Tim was free to focus on his new source of income and continue his self branding madness as well as his now out of control self promotion which pretty much defied any logical scrutity..but so long as the plebs continued to think he was important, he was impotent..sorry important.

Until of course he ran into Mobigame's little Iphone game called The Edge.
It would take me hours to type up what happened next, and I briefly went over it in my last post, but lets say for the 1st time in a long time, Tim finally met someone who didn't want to pay up to save hassle....but best to read this for a full run down of those events and some of the histry.

Now me and several others called for Tim's removal from the board of the IGDA, and despite really appalling inaction by the board, we did eventually manage to get the 2000odd signatures needed to call a special meeting to vote on his removal.

Sadly however before the meeting Tim resigned claiming it was for the good of the IGDA..though in truth the board were about to vote him off anyway for his idiotic mistake of threatening me personally with a lawsuit by writing to my employers using his board of the IGDA title :)

He is gone from the IGDA at last, some of my colleges made this little skit up

Very amusing and so accurate.

Tim is still around though, his antics since his booting for the IGDA are comical and also a little sad. you can find some info here Tim still clearly desperately wants to be something he's not, a games publisher. But really he's just trying to convince a court that he's a games publisher because unless he can prove he's actively trading (which he clearly is not) he will lose his beloved trademark and only claim to "fame".

Tim Langdell, is apparently currently in hiding, several court officers carrying envelopes and briefcases have been knocking on his door wishing to talk to him.
So far they have not quite managed it.

But they will....oh yes...they will.


Friday, 25 September 2009

And on the subject of stupid people?

Well perhaps stupid is too strong, but I do feel when peoples grasp of reality is so shaky, that some stupidity is involved.

Recently as I've blogged, Jodie has been a little troubled of late. While we've seen some wonderful improvement in her behaviour and attitude she is still very fixated on her old Friends in Bradford. I've pondered on whether to put something which is personal to so many involved in my blog...but as it is something I feel affects me...and I want to document things that affect me...I'm going to put it here..I will however obfuscate names and locations....but you know who you are if you are reading this.

While it may seem harsh, to her, we've tried to cut back on Jodie's contact with the UK, and encourage her to find new friends and interests here in Holland...When all is said and done she's 14 and we have to do all we can to help her to acclimatize to Holland.

She can moan as much as she likes about it being boring, and school being too hard, and and and...Of course being in Holland has little to do with that, ALL 14yo's hate school and find everything boring. Its important for their development that they learn to embrace the school work and find their own interests and make friends where they are.

But of course she moans....and moans....and moans.

Bina and I for the most part...ignore the moaning and treat it for what it is, a means to get what she wants and try to get her to take more interest in Breda life and work to get good grades and continue her development....

Her Dad....listens....and when there's an ear to bend, Jodie, of course turns up the moan volume. She paints a pretty bad picture if what we hear back is true. Oh my god, what a dark bleak world she's being forced to live in.
And Jodies Dad...believes it!!!

So much so, that when she went AWOL (in his care) last month and she was faced with the retribution for her actions. What does any 14yo do? She turned on the waterworks about how unhappy she is in Holland....and Dad...believed it. (I'm sure you can see the problem with that....what happened to the retribution for a 14yo going awol and spending the day in Bradford with her boyfriend. But lets not bother...we know the answer)

So Dad and his partner...without discussing it with us 1st, decides to offer Jodie the chance to live in the UK. WITHOUT discussing it with us!! (And despite the fact we wanted this option to be available to Jodie before we went to Holland and they refused point blank to consider it)

Without...that’s important. Suddenly Jodie now has everything her heart desires offered to her, a home in the UK, an easier school in the UK, and a chance to finally away from these cruel harsh parents who make her work hard at school and encourage her to find interests in a small Dutch town and give her a huge monthly allowance and factor her into every decision they make ..yes indeed lets escape from that! No need now to care about Holland, Daddy will let her live with him, and that’s a bit closer to Bradford.

Well 14yos are more interested in their short term wants rather than their long term needs of course. But even cruel wicked parents like us want to do what’s best...and frankly at this point Bina was at her wits end after Jodies AWOL adventure. so we listened to what was being proposed.

And could not believe what we were hearing.

It turned wasn't Dad's it was his partners. At no time was he prepared to make a stand and say he wanted her and would do what was needed to provide her with a home, security, education was her decision....Ohhhkaaayy!!

Well that’s not right for 1 thing, but in light of Jodies Dad's past inability to accept parental responsibility for his child I guess we had to expect that (lets say the list is a bit too long to print here)

The partner, opened "negotiations"...and I've quoted that for a reason, because basically that’s what the following discussions resulted in, negotiations. By insisting, that she (slightly paraphrasing as I don't have the quote to hand), "reserves the right to send Jodie back to her mother if she make her or her families life intolerable on the grounds that Bina is her mother"
I mean really, what the fuck... reserves the right? RESERVES THE RIGHT!!!!
I mean her Dad is her Dad, but I don't recall ever having the right to send her to him because he his her Dad!! Or indeed more importantly I don't ever recall believing I have such a right.

The rest of the opening negotiations focused, almost exclusively on how much we were prepared to pay them to look after Jodie. I quote

"To help us with the decision it would also be helpful if you and
Brian gave some thought as to how much you can contribute towards
Jodie's monthly upkeep. We currently have no income and so we are
still living off my ever diminishing savings. It would need to be a
reasonably substantial amount as you know first hand how much things
cost." help us with the decision.

Now, it may seem trite at this point to note that Jodies Dad, has not paid maintenance for Jodie for some time..due to his losing his job a few months back and for....various other reasons...mostly revolving around him not having thought about it at most points in Jodies life, indeed on odd occasions where Bina has had to push the point the CSA threats tended to produce some token amounts.

But trite or not, its true. Dad has been delinquent on his maintenance payments all Jodies life, has failed repeatedly to honour promises to have her stay with him or take her on holidays ever)...but now they want us to pay them!

oohhhkay....well we're not Dad so we're willing to discuss some finances, after all, as has been pointed out by the partner, neither of them are working....and can't afford to pay for a 14yo***(I'll come back to this point later)

Already alarm bells are ringing for I am sure they are for you...Jodie is not a commodity to haggle over, and also its not really the "partners" place to be discussing this...yet Dad refuses to get involved, as he’s on a business trip to Amsterdam....presumably with no access to phones or emails...or indeed the chance to take a few hours out to get on a train to Breda to see Jodie!!!!

Finances really should not be the reasons behind such a decision yet here we are taking about money alone!

We offered what we thought was a fair amount, considerably more than Dad has ever paid per month...and also were willing to continue to pay Jodies monthly allowance of 200euros while she could buy her own clothes and girlie stuff..

This was not enough, indeed they/she wanted more and suggested we reduce Jodies allowance and they would let her get a Saturday job..
It seems this amount was based on the information Jodie provided them about how much we were willing to spend on paying for Jodies education here. This time I do have the quote

"From what Jodie has told me you and Brian have been spending money
on School fees and also Jodie's weekly travel and were prepared to
commit to another year of fees and travel. Therefore if Jodie comes to
live here you and Brian will effectively be saving money"

This indeed is true, but what was not considered was that I was taking on extra freelance work in order to pay for Jodies education, due to the fact she did not want to go to a Dutch school..I'm not too keen on the idea of continuing to take on freelance work so I can give it to them.

Now at this point I had had enough, going back to my *** point earlier. While Jodie has been busy discussing details of how much we are spending to keep her educated in The Netherlands, she's also been telling us a little about Dad and partners spending habits...which seem rather excessive given the fact neither of them currently has an income and are living of the partners "ever diminishing savings".

We can't help but wonder if the need for a "substantial" amount, is to pay for their recent new laptop purchases, or perhaps their high end cars? Perhaps its to pay for some outstanding ironing service bills? Or maybe its to pay for their cleaner, who keeps the house nice and tidy and therefore fit for Jodie to live in "well" (another comment made by the partner), there are a host of other little titbits we've been told...frankly we're getting back to this idea of lack of grasp of reality or stupidity. But perhaps also something more unpleasant.....

In my usual, what the fuck are you on about way, I asked Bina to stop these negotiations and confronted Dad, we asked him why he had not taken responsibly for his child personally at such an important decision point. he still refused to accept it was his decision. indeed going so far as to say when he met his partner he was a single man with no kids and he found it remarkable she was willing to consider taking Jodie on now....

Well...Dad..I don't find it remarkable at all, because you may well have been single, but you are a fool to suggest you had no kids. You have had a child for 14 years.

Now in times gone past I have called Dad a sanctimonious prick, due to his unpleasant and often sanctimonious comments to Bina. Though he seems to disagree. Of course its very easy to be a parent from the grandstands shouting down advice. Its quite another to be the one on the receiving end of a terrible teen.

As such our relationship is not the best, and invariably we end up arguing, usually with me insulting him and he in turn focusing on the insults rather than the relevant points. In this case his daughters well being. He is a sanctimonious prick, and also a coward and a hypocrite, I have no respect at all for the man, were it not for the fact we share a Childs interests I would happily avoid this waste of space.

While still refusing to accept his responsibilities and recent failings (letting her go AWOL) our argument reached enormous proportions and he retired to a bizarre “You are a bully” defence when I pointed out all the failings in their dealings with Jodie.

By now we had realised that Jodie’s interests simply would not be best met by her living with her Dad, Yes we’d have a lot of hassle to deal with, but at least Jodie would not be sent out on a try before you buy basis to someone who seems more interested in how much they can make out of having her and another who refuses to accept that he has responsibilities as a parent.

Jodies is staying with us…while the decision was not popular with her, hopefully we have finally drawn a line and she no longer uses her Dad as an excuse to keep the links with a troubled past open.

Surprisingly once the decision was made and finalised (Partner has decided not to continue with her "kind and generous” offer to have her due to my rude and insulting mails…ha!) Jodie seemed to settle down again and accept things.

She’s attending to her school work, looking forward to a school trip to Spain…and…has noticed a few boys at school… Also we found a Rubgy club in Breda that she can join as she really enjoys girls rugby.

Lets hope the sanctimonious prick and his partner try and support Jodies moves forward this time!!

Perhaps we should start talking to them about their maintenence payments which should be paid unitl Jodie is 16...we can use their estimate of how much is needed!!!


Facepalm of the ages

For when people do the stupidist things!!!!


Thursday, 24 September 2009


Busy busy busy
work is busy
life is busy
busy is busy
Usual strife with Jodie, but things getting better...actually I will blog this later as its been a revealling few weeks.
I will try to do a couple of updates soon to make up for things

oh mum is coming over to the Netherlands...course I've had to pay for the old dead beats flights and otehr expensies...I just hope she does not hit the bottle and get into my herion stash when she gets here ;)


Sunday, 6 September 2009


Oh dear, its been a very busy few weeks,so there's been little chance to update the blog...that and I am incredibly lazy.

I guess there are 3 main things to talk about, home, work and the IGDA farce of recent weeks...Probably best I split them into separate blogs.

Lets start with home and by extension holiday.

I have to get the pics from the holidays onto my PC, but Bina sent me one which is nice, she took most of the pics during our holiday and her SD card is full of them showing us in differing stages of white-red-brown, or brown-dark brown in her case.

It was a really great holiday, incredibly hot some days (we were told it was getting close to 50degs in the sun) lots of fun memories and nice times, though the hotel entertainment was dire, we still managed to get out and amuse ourselves..Not sure we'll go back though, Alanya is one of those places that when you've been there a few days you've pretty much seen all it has to offer.

One thing that did take my breath away though was the Dim Caves
The pics on the site really don't give justice to this awesome amazing place. I've never seen anything quite like it.

Another highlight was a "jeep safari" riding around the countryside in convoy with other tourists, with the maddest jeep driver I've ever met..Who spent 20 mins at the start of the event filling up drink bottles with water smiling and showing an evil glint in his eye, since he knew what was going to be coming next to his unsuspecting passengers.

We found out soon enough as we headed out, and had to run a gauntlet of water hoses, which signaled the start of a surprising but in the end great fun, water fight the whole day.....hence the bottles which he never missed a chance to refill so his team would win (and cool everyone down in the blazing sun).We returned to the hotel totally soaked to the skin but having had a great day.

I even had the chance to swim in a freezing clear river at the end of it....not something I do often as despite being an all round Adonis and sporting hero (ahem) I'm a very weak swimmer.

I enjoyed the walks around, examining massive insects and a range of crickets and grasshoppers as well as the odd lizard. These things interest me :D. Bina and I even managed to slip away from the kids (Jodie's friend Shamielha came with us and we let them do some things on their own) and do some things we wanted to do.

Since getting back we've been working, setting up for the new year, getting our courses in place, and in my case working hard to get some Sony PSP dev kits to work...This has proved to be considerably harder than 1st anticipated and has eaten a lot of time. This can go into another post thugh.

I finally finished the wallpapering!!! Yes that inner hall has now been finished..all thats left are a few skirting strips to be cut and nailed....maybe next year.

My Nintendo project....failed a couple of submissions but went back in..and we're still waiting to hear...this has become one of the longest submissions ever. Very frustrating as I'm keep to strip this PC down and rebuild it with some new SSD drives but can't while there is even the slightest chance of a comeback from Nintendo.

Jodie...ah there's lots of news on the Jodie front. She went AWOL on a trip back to the UK to see her dad. who foolishly in my opinion, allowed her to travel up to Leeds to see her "friends", she of course ended up in Bradford several hours after she was supposed to have been back at her Dad's..Bina was worried sick of course, nothing worse than getting calls from people saying they can't get hold of Jodie.

The ramifications of this will go on for a while, but as they are still under discussion best to keep most of that under wraps for now.

And thats it..I promise to put up more pics when Bina puts them on a flash card for me. More posts will follow on the other subjets...when I've done those skirting strips.