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.