Sunday, 30 January 2011

I'm getting good at this.

I'm getting so I can spot potential fakes quite quickly now...this for example

Seems to be a '95 Corvette Les Paul with some damage...but its wrong!. Seller claims to know nothing about it yet makes quite an effort to sell it with hi res pics and all, but starts it at £1 with NR, then avoids hassle by claiming no technical knowledge.
Its a pretty beasty to be sure, even with a bit of damage, which in itself looks suss...but there's other things, the lack of chrome in places, the pickups should be inscribed and there should be a stamp on the headstock back, as well as a chrome truss road cover.

I'm not 100% sure its a fake, no two guitars are exactly the same even in the same model, and its not uncommon for things to be changed in production or after..but...meh I'm more than 50% sure which is enough to keep my hand off mouse.

If its real its one of 200 in the world, quite collectable and worth 5-8K maybe more depeding on the damage....and it probably will sell for around 1K.
Someone will either get a bargain or be very very pissed off.

edit....yup..its been withdrawn....probably other people noticed it too.

edit.edit yup was a copy, in fact another corvette LP with the same serial number is for sale on the US ebay for £4.2K with all its chrome and engravings in the right place, so that is probably the genuine article (or a better copy using the same serial)..So a good spot.

Anyway the point of to be careful when you buy expensive items on ebay, impluse buys are often prone to the checks and research the item and you can avoid being ripped off 99% of ebay sales go without a hitch and are very successful but never forget there are crooks and cheats out there as well as people who just make mitakes and sell stuff in good faith which is not what they think it is.

Nice innit?

She's an Ovation VXT-s Hybrid, which means she's an "electric", acoustic with fancy pickups and internal electrics to dial in the Electics sounds when you want them.

Like this

Nice...I just picked it up from ebay, nice and cheap too, though they are being sold off, as Ovation is going through some managment changes and a lot of models have been discontinued like this has, making them more affordable than the £1500 they were asking for them a couple of years back.

Sadly though this does mean the end of my Roberts Skeleton, since she's basically a much more advanced version of that, and I can't really claim that keeping both is justified. Will put it on ebay when I get this one and check it all out, think I might dump one of the electric classicals as well to make space and help pay for this.


Friday, 28 January 2011

Too Good to be true?

You know when people say something is too good to be true, it must be a con.

This looks like one to me

If your reading this 3 months later, it will be gone and you have no idea what I am linking to, but basically someone on ebay is selling a very rare Duane Allman signature Les Paul, prototype no less, with no reserve starting at £1. with 2 hours or so to go, the price has reached a little over £1000

I dunno what it'll make in the end, probably £3-4K. But that is a bargain. These retail "new" at £7K when they were out in 2003, and change hands for anything up to 24K now...

But its all wrong, as much as I am DYING to bid on this for a purely investment chance (well maybe some playing) it don't feel right..The seller is apparently US based, but the item is in Spain and listed in the UK ebay for pounds not Dollars or Euros..They won't deliver to most of the European countries and to top it off they are totally unresponsive to questions.

And that price...who the hell puts a 24K+ guitar on an auction starting at £1 with no reserve.

Its all very very suss. So while my savings are screaming at me to buy it buy it, my head is correctly pointing out, something aint I'm going to very very very reluctantly pass on this.


2 hours to go and its at £1,130....I predict 3K as the final price, but I'm going to keep an eye on feedback on this to see if it really is a con, if not I will be soooooooo upset.

edit, yup £3100, a fair bit of money, but of this thing is for real its an absolute steal and an easy double/triple your money by selling to a specialist store. I really can't see it being genuine though, just too many things not quite right about it, I'll be keeping an eye on the sellers feedback to see if it all goes tits up.


Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Guitars are cool

I'm really loving Larry, the Gordon Smith G60, though she does need a new pickup selector, or perhaps just a clean..she's really light and has an awesome neck, she and my SG are my 2 now favourite practice guitars. I most certainly am going to keep my eyes peeled for a GS flying V if its anything as good as this G60 it'll be amazing.

On Doctors orders, I've been practicing a lot recently, my fingers are positively sore to the bone, but the result is my picking/finger co-ordination is considerably better, I'm hitting complex licks with much more confidence and regularity, even a few solo's are starting to sound melodic..yeaaahhh only took 30 years to work that out.

I'm practicing hard for a public jam session with other IGAD players next week. Might have a crack at some more recording soon, that should make mumsy proud :D

Gibson sent me a new selector switch for my DF, so I'll be taking a trip up to the dealers near Amsterdam to get it booked in for its repairs. It won't be ready in time for the jam, but thats fine I don't want to take it anywhere where it might get picked up and dropped again, I'll probably take Nonemore and Frankie with me to the Jam. Nonemore's EMG's will make themselves heard above any amount of din and Frankie is awsome for chugging away in the background.


tick, tick tick tick, not yet, tick tick

Just been doing a bit of reading up on post cancer issues, and boom

This section here about depression and anxiety is very very familiar.

hey ho...


Monday, 24 January 2011


Starting another cold...thats the 3rd since my birthday last month.

I had a reasonably cold free year last year and now I seem to be catching up on all the sniffles I missed out on.

3 in a row is crazy shit!


Saturday, 22 January 2011

zombie no more

As part of my treatment for depression brought on from my cancer treatments, I've been taking oxazepam, the pills he gave me to sleep. They're pretty standard tranqs and calm you down when you have feelings of heightened anxiety or stress, which depression tends to magnify ( a lot!!!).

At the doctors suggestion I've been taking more of them the last few days as I was feeling said heighted feelings of anxiety and stress recently over the mail opening issues, which deeply affected me.
But no more. I've been a total zombie unable to do much more than shuffle around or sleep were I fall. I'll have to deal with anxiety and stress issues some other way.

In actual fact I'm not feeling quite so stresed about that now, could be residual oxazepam in my system, or just time calming me down. I HATE being doped up and this is exactly how the oxazepam makes you feel after 2 or 3 pills. Going to walk to the shop for some milk and then having several strong coffee's to clear my head.

I am really hating this whole depression thing, its a roller coaster ride with more downs than ups.


Wednesday, 19 January 2011


Just noticed a text on my UK phone which I charged up to investigate the card fraud..Seems I missed a call today, and then recieved a text, saying I was £499 over my card limit and to reply back with my 3 digit code to pay...

hmmmmm bit suss, will call them tomorrow to see if its actually from them, or if the scrot who's using my card is trying to get my security number again. It does mean they have my phone number too...quite worrying.

Hope to fuck I'm not £499 over my limit, it means there's even more cash being stolen than I have information about. Shouldn't be a problem of course since its fraud but eek!! discovered I can check my account on the internet now and sure enough, Enjaz information tech have been very busy £1,952.36 in total taken out over the last month or so plus the 350 or so in November.
Dozens and dozens of transactions some small some large...and the card comapany seem to only have let it happen till the credit limit was reached....shocking


Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Fraud reported

Ok so the fraud has been reported and the transactions should be refunded shortly, there's clear evidence of fraudulent use so they can't say it was me buying 50 online entry visa's to Saudi Arabia

They may even refund all or some of the missed auto renewed payments since there is supposed to be a notice of renewal and I never got one...though its possible it got stuck in a junk mail filter..They'll contact the company and should be able to agree the account was unused for over 3 years so they had no right to charge for it, but thats not as clear cut apparently since a lot of companies hide autorenew systems when you pay for things with cards and its up to the card holder to stop it...bloody scam merchants. Apparently its a well known issue but since everyone is making money out of it, they don't seem too keen to cut it out.
Nothing more dishonest than bankers!!

Either way, it won't be happening again, I'm being issued with a new card and pins to prevent further use and I'm going to be more careful about using cards on line.


Monday, 17 January 2011

Fuck me twice

To the tune of 350quid, some twat has used my card number to pay for Saudi Arabian visa's via a company called Enjaz Information Tech, they made a number of small transactions in November with my card details until a limit was hit and then they stopped, though may have tried again later.
Clearly a scam of some kind, I've no idea how they'd get the card number there are so few transactions on that card normally so the passcode on the back should be quite secure.

I'll call the card company tomorrow to get it resolved, visa should repay when there's fraud and there's not much doubt about this.

My 1st case of ID theft...not nice.
But still does not excuse in any way opening my private mail, I feel deeply hurt by that.


Sunday, 16 January 2011

fuck me...

2 issues I am furious about.

1 is unnotified auto renew on credit cards you may use to pay for website subscriptions, it seems I've had one on an old dating site for some time when I was single, and every fucking year since its charged me even though the account was long since closed down. Took me ages to work out how to stop the autorenew hidden away in layers of account settings, and the cheeky bastards made me go through endless, are you sure confirmations. I'll be calling the card company on Monday to make extra sure that autorenews are stopped. I am down about 300 quid over 3 years and never noticed.

I'm livid about this of course, its a cheeky sneeky thing to do, and am trying hard to think about all the subscriptions I have signed up to over the years that will probably have done the same....but I don't think there are many others, mags and personal website renewals being the only ones I can think of, I'll need to investigate further.

It would have gone unnoticed, until I got my statements, since the card used is my old UK credit card which I only use for a paypal backup and situations when my dutch card does not work.

I have to send the statements to a UK address, which was fine till I recently renewed the card and had to give a different address in the UK. Previous years statements went to the house I was sharing with Austin when Bina and I were split, and I've not really been checking the couple of packages of mail he sent over as they were nearly all junk.

But how this was discovered is the 2nd point, the statements now go to Bina's mum, who from time to time sends our uk mail over to us. But for some reason, Bina asked her sister inlaw to open the mail to check for junk mail.

Open MY mail, my personal financial mail, being read by someone other than me...and now I've just had Bina on the facetime link on Ipod asking me about my financial spending while going through MY credit card statement, because the credit card company have been writing personal private letters to get in touch.

It seems there is some odd activity on the card, someone might be using it and they've sent a couple of letters asking me to get in touch, but it wasn't me who opened that personal and private letter....they've tried to call a few times, my UK phone has not been charged for some time, so I missed the calls, so they've written, and it wasn't me who opened that letter, someone else opened that letter.

Now despite the fact that these letters would be marked private, possibly urgent, other people are opening MY mail and going through MY finance statements, and reading that someone may be using MY cards fraudulently, and I'm then being asked what I am using my card for.

Jeezuz, that is utterly utterly wrong, I feel totally and completly exposed here...I totally trust Bina in all things but I have a very very strong sense of personal privacy and to me opening someones mail is just completely wrong, espcially financial things...I never ever ever open her mail, never, not in a million years, and she knows this, I've always handed her mail to her to open, and I would never ever expect anyone to open mine, bills, statmetns, letters, bank statements etc, are just so utterly personal that you just don't do that...

You just don't!

And I'm furious about this....but somehow I'm in the wrong for being upset that my personal and private mail is being opened.

I don't care if the autorenew scam got discovered, I dont' care that there is a worry that my card is being used by a scam artist, I will resolve that all when I open MY own personal private mail and am informed of the issue...I do not expect someone else to open my mail and hassle me about it.


And I am 100% totally and completly right to be angry as fuck about this.


No bloody way is that right, no bloody way.


Mojo is still missing

Lost at poker again..but played pretty well really, only the fact Dennis was on bloody fire and taking every big pot of the night, edging me on 3 big hands, stopped me from being in a money finish. So feeling quite good about it. A great game as always.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

dark times

Man, the news is so gloomy, floods in Australia and Brazil killing hundreds of people, massacares in Tunisia, stampedes in India, bombs pretty much everywhere. Fires, disasters....

never seems to end does it.

Crazy old world.


Friday, 14 January 2011

The day after the night before

Had a good night out last night with several collegues and was drinking till 1ish. But have been suffering a bit today, not quite managed to shake off the hangover or upset tum.

Think I might stay of the booze for a bit after all ;) Though I need to have a bit tomorrow as I've going out to play poker.

I was planning to have a poker night in tonight since Bina is in the UK and I have the place to myself for the weekend, but everyone else had plans for tonight.
But I got an invite to come play tomorrow with my Dutch friends at their new housse, so I'll take them up on that. Lets hope I don't continue my losing streak, havn't won a damn game since my surgery, quite sure my mojo got removed.

Gibson have been in touch, they have sent out the replacement parts for the Dark Fire and I've found a service centre in the North to take it to have them fitted and the other issues fixed, will cost a couple of hundred euros but insurance should cover it ok. Quite pleased that Gibson have been so helpful in sending the parts for free or it would have been quite a bit more cost and inurance might be a bit fussy.

Larry is proving to be a cool guitar, though she does have a slightly dodgy pickup selector switch that might need cleaning..will look into that soon.

No more recording for a bit, I need to finish up some marking stuff so that I am free and clear next block to work on a new PS3 course, and not have people chasing me for old grades.

We're having some problems with our electrics, not quite sure what the problem is though, either lights or the central heating are surging from time to time and tripping the fuse. Its proving very hard to isolate the cause, though I know its the fuse that handles power in Bed 1,2 and attic and the Central Heating, but not sure which specific thing is causing it. All the lights are off and everything has been unplugged but it only seems to trip if multiple things are on.

But I'll switch one thing on overnight to see if it causes a trip in the morning, and call out an electrician or a plumber depending on the culprit. Its a bit of a pain if out CH is out, lucky its not cold at the moment though.

It caused a bit of a panic for the girls last night when it dawned on them the CH being off would affect the hot water for showers...but it stays on long enough for that, and if it trips you just need to make sure someone switches it back on before the water cools down. Its annoying for sure, but hopefully just a dodgy light fitting or something that can be isolate and fixed.


Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Another addition to the family

It was a long labour and took some time to locate but there is a new addition to the Beuken family.

Meet Larry.

She's called Larry becuase of the large Larry Flynt for President sticker on the back...which strangely has a connection with genuine Guns 'n Roses band members....

She's a 1991ish Gordon Smith G60 with custom Van Zandt bridge pup. A very cool hand made British guitar costing a fraction of the price of a Gibson or PRS. I had heard good things about these guitars but not found one that I liked the look of till this one came up. She's a stunner, lovely simple finish, very light, lighter than my SG, but a neck to die for and the lowest action I have seen so far.

She will be loved.


Monday, 10 January 2011

playing with recording toys

Amplitube on the Ipod is really cool, but the recording system is a bit flawed, I can't seem to work out how to do fade this effort just ends up going silent while the backing still plays then brings in some crap I doodled when I was setting levels.

It must be possible to set the fades, but not really a problem its just shits and giggles.


Thursday, 6 January 2011

too cold and too wet but plenty of practice time

Got a stinking cold, and today its been raining constantly with very low temps, so no good chance to stand up on the roof for an hour or 2(an optimistic guess at time) to align the dishes....better luck tomorrow.

In the mean time I've been twanging my guitars and am loving my new Fender G-Dec3 practice amp, which lets me play backing tracks and record some stuff, as well as play stuff on the PC and play along with it through the amp. Quite brilliant for youtube tutorials.

Been using a lot of cool gadgets recently, amplitude for Iphone/pad is brilliant too and means you can play and record anywhere, just remember to switch it off when your done or it eats the battery. (speaking of which I finally have a new battery for my laptop...yeaaahh)

No sign of any parts for the DF yet, will probably give the Gibson guys a nudge tomorrow, but am starting to think it might be wiser to use the insurance to send it off for a full and proper repair..will cost a fortune but if the insurance covers it, it might be worth it..after all its not as if I'll be without a guitar while its gone.

Also no sign of Danni's pressie from the UK which she sent over for my Birthday...must be lost :( shame....hope its not a puppy???


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

tick that off the list

The list of house jobs has been reduced by one. I had some trouble getting internet into the attic, it seems our floors are very very dense and even an 802.11n router could not penetrate from the ground to the 3rd floor. Surprising considering the increased range these have over standard .11g systems.

Thanks to my old mate Lee, who posted on FaceBook I was reminded of the Powerline mains networking tech, which seems to have become much more speedy and reliable. I had totally forgotton about this tech, and thought it had faded away but no its still going and has got much bettter.

A quick hunt on ebay for a Dutch supplier yielded a pair of Sweex 200MPS adapters and they duly arrived this morning.

Couldn't be simpler to install, plugged one into the mains and connected it with supplied cable to the Tele2 wireless router to get the internet, plugged the other one in upstairs and fed it, via cable again. to the 802.11n router and voila, we have coverage through the house via 2 seperate wireless systems. Job done, I might do some movie streaming upstairs on the projector system now ;)

I also built a new wall on the roof yesterday, more bricks and a lot more mortar this time should prevent it falling down. I was going to hook up the dishes today, but the lack of a partner to call out signal strengths means that might have to wait till tomorrow.

Once that's done, the only major job left before summer, is to paper the new wall in the attic, need to locate some cheap woodchip, its not that easy to find here.

Only a few more days of vacation I guess I better get on with shelve building and any other minor jobs that need doing. I'm hoping we can sort out some wardrobes from Ikea soon.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy 2011

A slightly belated Happy new year to both my readers :D

2011 started off well with a great New Years Eve curry spectacular, we toasted the New Year in twice, during Dutch time and English time and a really good time and much drink was had by all. Though I tried to avoid getting totally blotto, I still had a bit of a hangover the next day.

So now we have a week of R&R before heading back to work so I have a chance to get things on an even keel again for the start of the year.

I'm not one for resolutions really, when all said and done, new year is just the day after yesterday so not that much actually changes but I want to take the pause we have now and try to re-focus a bit on what to do in the new year.

Certainly get my marking ALL done, try to sort out my bad brick laying and resolve the Satallite dish issues, paper the new walls in the attic room, which we're now using for film nights and generally try to get a bit better I say not so much a resolution, more a case of get a grip on things that I've let slide.

Oh and practice my guitar playing more...I am improving quite a bit with the recent extra playing but still frustratingly at a (bad) beginner level...after 30 years....shit!!! Lucky I am a persistant twat or I'd have thrown them out.
Perhaps some more lessons?
I also noticed a bit more damage to my Dark Fire the other day when I was showing it off to Martin, (who is a damn fine player and puts me to shame), the high E tuning peg is bent..working but bent, and the teflon nut is scratched. I guess I won't be selling it as an investment any time soon.

New IPod is very cool, though a bit of a battery eater, I've not worked out how to stop apps that are mult-threading so as a result it sometimes leaves apps running overnight and kills the battery...hmmm must be something I've missed in the setups.

Anyway....Festivities over, normality is returning to Breda, I'm looking forward to a good 2011.