Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Opa Brian

I wasn't allowed to say anything till she was a bit further along but my snotty little kid, that I changed nappies for only yesterday, and took to school for the 1st time, yesterday as well....is going to have a baby :D

I cried with joy and pride when she called me,  as indeed I do whenever I hear some of the wonderful things she does... but this is a biggie..

I'm gonna be a Granddad....and I'm only 39.....ok 40 then.

So very proud of you Danielle, I hope you have a nice easy pregnancy and look forward to meeting my little Granddaughter or Grandson later in the year.


Monday, 27 April 2015

Well that was strange.....

Our gig tonight was cut short...very strange, we had a big crowd, dancing and applauding us...seemingly enjoying it, but the club owner had some issues with the sound quality.
We were using their PA, and we we're not very happy with it ourselves, with some of the levels being very unbalanced...and the monitors, were next to useless, with very poor sound check time, but we were making small adjustments as we took short breaks to fix things..and things were starting to balance up.

But after one monster, though very loud solo at the end of a song, from me, the bar owner asked us to wrap it up...we'd only done about a 3rd of our set...so this was very very upsetting for us...

We still got paid, but I really was upset that we didn't get a chance to work our entire 30 song set...we'd worked so hard on it and all that was needed was a bit more of a boost on Richards guitar, and a reduction on mine....but with the mixer at the side of the stage, it wasn't something that could be done in real time...

I dunno, even with the level issues, the feedback we got was mostly positive, even from those who are normally quite negative, but clearly we just weren't the bar's cup of tea...despite having our set list it seems they didn't like our repertoire, or my loud solos, even if they were really good...and they binned it.

sad...but I guess we learned something....no more 30 song sets... that's almost our entire repertoire it prevents us tailoring the set to the bars requirements...


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Another one bites the dust

Despite some serious eating and drinking at the weekend, when I went "on retreat" with Starrcase doing some wonderful recording sessions up in the woodlands of Rockanje my diet is back on track. A kilo or so gained then has been dropped again and I am also under 89kg for the 1st time

scales reported 88.7.  :D

That's pretty good going, keeping the calories to under 1500, ideally 1000, is working very well and I am enjoying the food, especially the lunch/later afternoon Sushi/Bento box which is surprisingly filling.

For me the trick of not going to bed hungry, eating something like 300-400 calories in the evening is proving very effective. Added to the basic push/sit ups and long walks....oh I've also discovered a stress exercise called planking. Which is very good too.
I haven't had time to go to the gym yet...busy rehearsing in the evenings and makring too, but I will.......(I do hope you are getting the running gag....that I promise much on the gym front but never deliver)

The folds are definitely going, I can see that...still have a beer belly to work on, but the folds are going... I will continue till I hit 70kg...and can fit in my teeny weeny yellow polka dot bikini.


Wednesday, 15 April 2015

weight is important

Yup I am down to 89.5kg, another 0.2 dropped,  :D

And my lighter pedal board is now complete. I did purchase a new dual XLR mixer which arrived this morning, but sadly its too big, No matter, you can never have too many small mixers, But for this, I need to consider other options, though I am pretty sure all I need are some XLR->1/4 Jacks...and the jobs a good un...I'll have a hunt
Soon as I work out what to do with that, I'll drill some holes in the board and hide the connecting and power cables and that will be my carry too band board...quite pleased overall, aside from routing the GTX to the mixers Aux inputs which have no level/gain options, there are ways round that.


hmmm thought it was too good

Marking was going really well, so it stands to reason it would go horribly wrong, some diabolical and I do mean diabolical submissions ruined what has been a fun couple of days, oh well they fail, not my problem...(no really they didn't do a damn thing more than class work and then submitted it...bahh)

The new board works great, of course I can't quite fit all I want in it, but on reflection I need to fit what I need, not what I want, and it does that perfectly. Just need a few right angled cables to finish fitting it all in and make sure that the holes in the board are clean and tidy, if I ever do want to use a looper on it, I'll take it as a separate unit, rather than fit it on to the board. (I must resist)

I have used it without mixer, but now the mixer if fitted, and I tested it with cluttered cables and its great, a bit of earthing noise to deal with but other than that, its fantastic. More important, I can carry it and put it in the boot.....its been fine at 2 rehearsal so far, and now with the mixer fitted, I can take it and only use 2 channels and lose 2 huge XLR cables...once the current titles are tidied up under the board, the GK cable and the dual jack (or jack to XLR depending on venue) will be tucked in and secure in the case ready for transport.

I've also fallen head over heals in love with a new toy, TC-Helicon have brought out a new Voice Live 3, extreme edition.. It is fantastic, especially if you plan to play along to backing tracks, which I like to do....its dammed expensive though....So I have made a decision to sell off all my older voice processors, and see if I can come close to the price of a VL3X, I don't intend to buy one unless I sell at least 3 of the other unit...watch this space. (it will fit in the new board, replacing my GTX and 3button switch).


Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Marking going well so far..and 89.7Kg

I'm genuinely quite pleased so far with the CT1 grades of my non programming students, so far, pretty much all of them have actually done a good job, even those who failed didn't fail by much. Non programmers usually have a really hard time with this course and there's a lot of staring at blank screens in the class usually, but this years crop certainly had a go.
Hoping to get them finished up by tomorrow, then I can do the PR4's.

And yes, the scales didn't flicker this time I have properly cracked the 90kg's. The Diet...is still going ok, I am finding, that I tend to eat a small meal/snack, something healthy and low carb around 3/4in the afternoon then later in the evening, around 10 I will have a larger meal...this goes against the usual advice of not eating later, but I find it stops me going to bed hungry, and I'm not exactly an early to bed person, usually heading to bed 1 or 2am, depending on whether I have to be in work early.

The weight is indeed slowly dropping without me feeling constantly nagged by hunger. Of course, I have to cut out all sugar,(still tend to drink a few sugary fizzy drinks at band practice, that needs to stop) reduce my calories as much as possible; I aim for 1000 a day, but going up to 1500 is ok on occasions.
The push ups and sit ups are also increasing... as are the long fast walks with the dog...who's starting to get left behind sometimes.

I tried to find one of those door mounted pull up chin bars in the local sports shop, but nothing.... Guess I have to start getting my 25euros a months worth out of the gym soon...
I do plan to (yeah right) as soon as I'm not completely out of puff going up and down stairs a few times....I want to get some proper use out of it.

Cycling to places also helps too... now the nice weather is here its nice to be out on the bike,I am trying to only use the car for to and from Band practice.
Anyways...back to marking for a few more hours, then back some guitar practice.


Saturday, 11 April 2015

Rehearsals begin

This is just us in rehearsals, its a rough mix and we had Britta's voice over gained so she sounds a bit distorted at times, but we'll learn...less gain when the wee one is doing the shouty stuff


Phew... Cracked 90kg

Finally, I cracked 90kg....granted it was only flickering on and off but the scales defiantly said 89kg then 90 then 89 then 90...clearly my intake of air I my lungs was kicking it over, I shall stop breathing.

But at least the diet and exercise is starting to pay a visible dividend....no difference yet to the folds though...Now that the better weather is here I 'll be cycling to work more so it we can start to up the exercise parts.

The Gadgeteers are on tenderhooks (tenterhooks?? I never know) at the thought of a live pub gig in 2 weeks, we have 33 songs in our repertoire we have to become note perfect on in 5 rehearsals...


Maybe that's why I'm losing the weight...nerves


Thursday, 9 April 2015

The Gadgeteers Ride again, getting a new board ready.

We have a gig, on the 26th April at CafĂ© Happy Days in Breda...one of the busiest nights here, its called Koningsnacht, Kings evening, the evening before a National Holiday for the King...so always a busy evening, the Dutch love to party.

Its short notice, but we do have a fair set arranged and can add a few numbers, it is far longer than we have ever played though, 3.5 hours...not all playing of course we can take breaks.

Scary though to book a gig only a few weeks away...better get our practice heads on. I hope this will be the 1st of many new gigs in the pubs and cafe's


In honour of this event, and the fact I am getting a cool tax rebate in a few months, I am finally putting the finishing touches to my new gig board idea. Something much more portable for band based events. The Mega Board is just tooooooo huge to lug around for band events, it's staying at home for recording my looping efforts, unless I ever get some gigs on my own...unlikely.

The new Gigboard, will consist, of a GR55 (I picked up a 2nd one super cheap on eBay), my VoiceLive Play GTX, which will also serve (with the GR55) as my main guitar source and of course vocal processor, perhaps with the Tone Synth added for Daft Punk covers.. A small 5 port mixer, going out to my RC3, and maybe...just maybe a few of my single pedals, hooked up via my 5 way signal looper. (not an audio looper, it routes the guitar signal to different paths, allowing different pedals to work in different routes.)

The VL-GTX is not as powerful as my VL2, but it works fine for the singing and backing I do in the bands, so no need to load up the VL2 to the board.

I need to keep this light, so the single pedals, and even the RC3 are probably going to be overkill. But the Mixer to bring the 4 cable outs from the GR and GTX will make it easier to hook up to a PA. At the moment I take 4 inputs which is a lot.
If it turns out its getting too heavy I'll keep my single pedals in their current board and use when I am only playing guitar.

I've bought a basic but strong pedal board on eBay, its on its way now, so assembly will start next week when it arrives. Pics will follow

As will some video and audio of our rehearsals.


Monday, 6 April 2015

My board Final?

Always hard to say for sure, but I think this is my final board configuration, at least with these pedals.

Under the tier is still a shambles of cables than will need some work to tidy, but aside from a sticky out XLR on the VL2 everything is looking neat..and more importantly working fine

Behold..the new "final" board.
Of course, there's more... The Adrenalinn III is capable of far more than just being an Amp modeler, its a fantastic fx unit in its own right, so it can connect up to my Berhinger FCB1010
Which then gives me the ability to select presets, volume control, wha control, and a few other things...
Now....to learn how to use it all.

The BeatBuddy is still proving to be a bit hard to get my head around when the RC-300 is the midi master (it refuses to be a slave) so I need to adjust my timings to work within that and see if I can get some recording done.

The cold/cough from hell kept me from recording for the last few months, but it hasn't stopped me practicing a few songs,  I've got holidays soon, so I'm going to gear up for a mega recording session with all toys fully on display.


Sunday, 5 April 2015

The temptations of the flesh are many and tasty

Not going to do the weigh in today.. I know for sure I blew it big time the last couple of days.. And especially last night at Poker with Peter and Liz and the gang..

I pigged out on Gourmet and more importantly on some absolutely fantastic rum

Wow this stuff was nice, I had quite a lot of it.....which probably caused me to play quite brilliantly at poker even though I suffered a massive loss when sitting 2nd or 3rd in chips with over 50euros, when I had a nut flush only to lose out to 4 kings....ouch that was a killer, but my betting strong actually scared the 4 king hand into thinking I had a royal flush....he bravely played and caught me out...
Damn it was the hand of the evening...and pulled in  a wedge of euros, wish I'd won it lol
Lucky I  still had 10euros in reserve and managed to push that all the way back to 27.50 in only a couple of rounds, for a 2.50 profit. at close.(we only play 25euro stake games and set a time rather than last man standing). If it hadn't  been for that big loss I would probably have left as chip lead, but no matter, I'm always happy to leave in profit.

I did however lose a clear 1kg when I checked on Friday... If will try to walk/exercise the excess of the last few days away.

I had some awesome news on Thursday too, but can't say just yet....I did however celebrate...more to follow on that one when its all out in the open.


Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Hungry...but determined, and more toys

ok I've upped the stakes now....calorie counting and a bit of light exercise, walking , using stairs, and the sit ups and push ups....grrr, will try to pop to the gym (yeah right) sometime soon.

I'm trying to stick to 1000-1500 KCals, basically, a breakfast biscuit eaten as later as possible around 11. A small sushi or bento box from AH (ideally the 35% discount one)  followed but a small evening meal...no supper
Drinking lots of coffee, with no sugar of course, I've not had sugar in my coffee for years.

So yes by 9-30 am hungry, but am not going to give in.. I have FOLDS....

if I haven't started to lose weight with this on Sunday's weigh in.. I'm just going to pig out and go with the rag on a stick.
I am hoping once the weight loss becomes noticeable, I will be able to focus better on ignoring the hunger...right now, though there's a couple of cheeseburgers in the fridge that are calling to me....I am resisting, even though I'm well under my quota, I don't want to go to bed with food in my stomach...It needs to burn off.

Onto Toys....
I picked up a Google Chromecast dongle today, only 35euros so I can easily get Netflix on my downstairs (or bedroom) Tv. Its  not without flaws, the thing is controlled by your iphone, or laptop, but it seems to sometimes lose the connection to your chosen control device and then it can't be controlled, needing a reset to get it going again... Hoping they fix that, as resetting is a bit of a pain.
But it does stream well, no major issues there.