Saturday, 31 December 2011

Hello 2012

Internet is incredibley bad here in Tenerife, we seem to be bouncing off a reflected signal which comes and goes, usually right in the middle of something important that needs downloads.

So I'll keep this brief.

Happy New Year to you all, its been an interesting year, no where near as bad as 2010 but a lot more work, 2012 has promise though...lets hope we all get what we want, or if we try real hard we might get what we need.

Peace love and other assorted platitudes which probably won't post.....


Friday, 23 December 2011

Lost and Found now for some sunshine

Lost in Space did turn up, she'd been delivered to the next building, the sender seems to have forgotton to put the building number on the label, though he did put the building name on so I am surprised at UPS not making the connection with a big building with PAKHUIS carved in 3 foot high letters on the wall as well as a large PkHS logo on the front..
never mind, it arrived..sadly very slightly damaged but not in anyway that causes it to be unusable, as I said before she is a cheapo guitar, so her wood is not solid mahogany like my other axes, more plywood if you get my meaning, as a result a flake on the tip of one of the legs got bashed off and lost the paint exposing the wood. But not to worry.

So she's now waiting to be abused by hoards of students in our Game Anylsis Room...or rec room as it should be called. So long as they don't throw her around she'll be fine and we'll all have a lot of fun plugging our ipods into her..ermmmm lots of things wrong with that statement.

Lucky it did show up today, since this is our last day at work..I have a full day of GameLab supervision/help ahead but after that 2 whole weeks of Xmas holiday, much of which we are spending in sunny Tenerife, spending our lovely double salary bonus...I've mentioned how much I love my job right??

Roll on the sunshine, I must confess to beig totally exhausted this last block, with difficult classes and huge amounts of prep, admin and marking work its been pretty intensive and I need the rest.

oh well back to work..for a few more hours.


hmmmm ebay losing the plot

With The Lost in Space guitar still not resolved, and not likely to be anytime soon, this has been a pretty bad month all told for ebay purchases and postal purchases in general

I bought some expensive wireless headphones which were useless and the seller agreed to replace them, but so far has not, and has suddenly started accumulating lots of neg feedback on his store, and not responding to mailes, suggesting big issues/walked away, which might be a problem

Several small packages from the US appear to have gone awol, including Bina's Birthday pressie/s to me which she tells me was coming from the US though she thought it was NL.

I'm not overly worried about my ebay problems, I buy huge amounts of stuff, sometimes quite expensive things, and lots of small things, and problems are rare.

Paypal is of course a total joke and never any use when there are genuine issues, which is why I usually pay via paypal with my credit card, there's always a protection system in place there, so if worst comes to worst and my headphone guy has done a bunk with my cash, I can claim it back and let the UK Police pay him a visit at my credit cards request.

We'll give UPS a chance to resolve the guitar over the holiday period, its not the sellers fault, though when all said and done I have not got my goods, so if a claim has to be made, it has to be made. They can claim from UPS who have gone so far down in my estimations I don't ever want to use them again.


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Lost in Space

Quite annoyed with UPS, it seems they have lost, or misdelivered a package.

I bought this,

She's a Space Invader themed flying V, as a "gift" to my work recreation add to our acoustic guitar and keyboard collection which the students and staff sometimes bang out a tune on..(I may be tempted to play it a bit myself)

It wasn't expensive, but all the same it wasn't free, so was a bit narked to find that UPS reported it as delivered yesterday. I had it delivered to the work address since thats where it will live and the office is never usually empty.

Apparently it was delivered at 1.07 and signed for (with a squiggle according to image on the tracking system) by someone called Jansen




Trouble is we have no one called Jansen here and no one saw any sign of the UPS man who's no stranger to our building.....oh dear.

So its either gone to the totally wrong address and someone has taken it in...or someone has snagged it as it was being delivered here...either way..WTF!!! are UPS doing giving large box to someone who's name is not on the box.

Lets hope the driver remembers where he delivered it, or a claim will be heading off pretty soon.


Sunday, 18 December 2011


Birthday weekend == time for guitar playing ;), at least until I have to start prepping this weeks lectures.

Been wanting to do a version of this for a long time, its a really big classic of course and everyone knows the amazing original, its not often done any different, so I had planneed to do a darker version which was sounding really ermmm "nice" , when I practiced it, but I can't sing (or even think sing) and play so I got the I know I know I know bit in the wrong place when I laid down this track, but I thought it sounded great even with out the dischordant stuff I had planned ot put in, so I decided to just do a bit of mood noodling along to a great sounding 1st track riff I got down...shame its not a bit longer....might revisit this if I can find a singer to do the vocals properl


Thursday, 15 December 2011

Crappy day

Won't go into too much detail since my blog is not as private as it once was, but today was a seriously crappy day...I don't think I've had a day quite like it in 3.5years of teaching, trying to get a simple and important concept across and being forced to simplify it till it had little or no meaning, only to find even that extreme simplification wasn't registering.

When you stand next a student and they can't even type in a dictation of the answer its hard work.

There's only so many ways you can express a simple concept till you end up repeating it over and over again and feel like giving up.

Going to have to have a bit of a rethink about the teaching method used and the expectations of the students involved. Some advice from my didactics tutor is needed.


Sunday, 11 December 2011

Hmm I'm doing it wrong.

I am supervising 1st year IGD gamelab at work, thats my 1st time working with the IGD group and its been quite an eyeopener.

The IGD are designed to be more specialised than the Programming and Visual Art tracks, they need to be all rounders who can do some coding, some art adn some production with a view to letting them develop their own specialites.

The Gamelab concept is based normally on the idea that students get chucked into the thick of it and we stop those that are sinking from ermm sinking while the swimmers get going and in time everyone picks up the the working in a team mentality.

That works very well with PR and VA students who get mixed up and do their own thing, but we're finding IGD to be a bit more problematic.

Mainly due to the coding side of it, there has to be some level of tech skills and in this case we really don't have it. I do teach some of them programming in the 2nd block after they have already been doing gamelab for 3 months.

So its been a struggle, and this week I've been doing some work to help them get things up to spec....I can see so many basic mistakes, stuff I have been teaching in class just isn't being used.

so...while I get that they have not had the benefit of me teaching them coding for 3 months..they have had me for 5 weeks and the basics I explained just havn't been getting used...Thats my fault I think, if they are not understanding the importance of what I am explaining, especially the basics, then I'vd not done my job right.

Got 3 weeks left to get them on track before they start their next gamelab. I am going to be keepng a very close eye on them to see if my re-asserting the basics works.


Saturday, 3 December 2011

Diet !!!! Hell no!

As I approach 49 (edit oops 48...maybe I can postpone the exercise a year then) in a couple of weeks...I am becoming increasingly aware of the fact I'm a right podgy bastard...most of my shirts are getting tighter....and its not due to machine washing.

Despite cycling a lot, I also eat a lot..and of course something has to happen. I am currently 14st, 92kg. Which is actually what I weighed just before my cancer. I lost a lot of weight soon after than, but slowly its been going back on.

Anyway for my height and build, I should really be around 10-11st. begins!! I can't really carry this weight around and not expect a heart attack before I'm 60. So its time to shed it...not with diet..I hate diets..but slightly more sensible eating and ...wait for it.



I have agreed to join Bina's Gym (which will also encourage her to go a bit more as she does not like going alone) and I'm going to take up some running.

To enforce this I just bought THE most expensive pair of trainers in the history of my ever buying trainers. 160euros..yes I said 160. Apparently after testing my running style (by videoing me running in the shop..I shit you not) the specialist show shop reccomends a set of shoes with some extra lift on the instep to help prevent injury.

160....gulp...There's an old saying which goes something like...Spend little, but spend wisely, I take that to mean don't waste money but buy the best you

I better end up being ablet to run sub 2 hour marathons after that level of investment!!!

Anyway...Starting off light till I get into the swing...Going to go for some light cycleing around the area, then some walking then light jogging.
I'll keep a track on the weight to see if its dropping.


Thursday, 1 December 2011

A wall of Gibsons

There's Libby lined up with my other Gibsons.
waiting for her to warm up a bit before I tune her up and have a bit of plinkyplonky time. She's really nice though, a '98 model so nicely aged. Only 1 minor crack on her, but she has been looked after very well.

She does need a clean though...she smells a bit, think her last owner must have been a smoker.


Impressive performance by DHL giving next day delivery and regular notifications. I really though it would be Friday or Monday before she got here.

Edit..ok warmed up...tuned up, plugged in.

'kin 'ell.....what a belter....fantastic just fantastic, feels amazing, sounds amazing, looks...incredible....WHY did I not buy one of these babies before...just spent nearly 2 hours noodling around, doing mega barre chords and stretches and all worked perfect, no hand strain, no hard to reach frets, nothing, perfect position, pefect weight, perfect neck, perfect sound..I am genuinely smitten.

Just need to do something about that smell of smoke..

Libby, time for a wash.....c'mere you!


Nearly here

Looks like Libby might arrive in the afternoon sometime :D
She's already on the mainland.
I am planning to get to work tomorrow, if I ever get to sleep...So with a bit of luck I'll be able to have some plinkyplonky fun when I get home.

Arrived at Sort Facility BRUSSELS - BELGIUM
Sign up for shipment notifications Thursday, December 01, 2011 at 01:45
Origin Service Area: EXETER - EXMOUTH - UK
Destination Service Area: EINDHOVEN - BREDA - NETHERLANDS, THE +1 Pieces

Thursday, December 01, 2011 Location Time Pieces
7 Arrived at Sort Facility BRUSSELS - BELGIUM BRUSSELS - BELGIUM 01:45 +1 Pieces

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Location Time Pieces
6 Departed Facility in EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 23:32 +1 Pieces

5 Processed at EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 21:54 +1 Pieces

4 Arrived at Sort Facility EAST MIDLANDS - UK EAST MIDLANDS - UK 21:43 +1 Pieces

3 Departed Facility in EXETER - UK EXETER - UK 17:24 +1 Pieces

2 Processed at EXETER - UK EXETER - UK 16:13 +1 Pieces

1 Shipment picked up EXETER - UK 13:57