Thursday, 27 August 2015

And neither is this.

Another COLD!!!! aawww c'mon

sneezing and nose running like a water tap on full.....

only 3 weeks after flu and just as I get over the resulting chest infection.



Monday, 24 August 2015

Oh thats not fair

It was quite windy today, lots of branches getting blown off trees and it made me remember that I had planned to weigh down the solar panels with sand bags...They're not light, but there is a large surface area so if a strong enough gust gets under it, it could in theory at least, blow them off the roof... You may mock but I found my old satellite dish in the neighbours garden one day when I neglected to take it off the roof...

Anyway...went to the garden centre for some bags of sand, wasn't able to find any canvas sacks, but I decided the 20kg plastic bags on their own were ok.

I got 3, for 5 euros, no problems loading them into the car from the shopping trolley, got home, took one 3 flights of stairs, put it down, set up the ladder, and climbed the ladder, a little shakily but successfully. And put the back on the edge of the roof.

Climb up...lift the bag to place it under the panels frame..and


The sound you are hearing in your head, is one most middle aged men are familiar with....I didn't bend my knees and result, I pulled a muscle in my back....


more pain

followed by even more pain as I tried to stand up.

But I bravely, soldiered on ( soo sooo brave) dragged the bag to the frame and placed it

But I needed to get at least 1 more in place...

So..still in agony...I got down off the roof...made my way the bedroom where I had a tube of advil ipubrofen gel, and applied a healthy dose to my back...

Still in screaming agony (you'll notice its getting worse)
I made my way downstairs, grabbed another bag, and with courage in the face of excruciating pain, carried the 20kg bag on my shoulder up the 3 flights...took a small breather at the foot of the ladders and made my way up.

Then as the pain almost forced me to black out...I manfully put the bag in place over the other side of the Aframe ensure the panels were now securely locked down with 40Kgs of sandbag.

My job done I got down of the roof, swallowed a couple of paracetamol and rode (manfully) my bike into town for drinks with colleagues....where still in, unimaginable pain, I had several drinks which helped no end to block out the agony.

And now...several hours later when I should be fast asleep in preparation for my 1st early morning in 6 weeks as we return to work, I'm sat here trying to keep my back straight writing this absolute pish....

Good job I have some oxycontin in the med drawer....soon as it kicks in I'm going back to bed.


Monday, 17 August 2015

Sad day..but it had to happen

Last night I made a fairly on the spot decision that has been a long time coming, but today I have felt that it was totally the right one and a huge weight has been lifted. I'm no longer a member of the Gadgeteers. The band I helped form some 5 or more years ago...

I guess its basically the old musical differences reasons. As a band we never really quite knew what we were trying to be, and personality issues with a couple of the band members, myself included meant we never had any way to stamp any kind of authority on that... so we couldn't ever seem to get our own sound/style or consistency in what we did, our set list had over a dozen different styles and genres, with each of us being represented to large or small degrees in our personal rather than group taste...the group just never found its own identity.

When our lead singer proposed this song. I just knew we were done.

Despite the fact we have no keyboards, seldom use acoustic guitars, and its a talk song in a cockney accent...when our lead singer has a German accent.....I had enough...the stupidity of this suggestion just should not need to be pointed out..Clearly we are lost.

So...its over...I will miss it, and hope that we will find some way to play again, whole or in part, but I don't want to do this any more. I'm going to focus on Starrcase for my band work, at least we have focus and direction there and don't get stopped during our gigs... :(


More sad songs.....

Yeah I know I'm singing a lot of sad songs....its true I'm still very down over my break up, but not sure its the reason I'm doing sad songs... I just find them much easier to sing....and given that I have 0.0001% or less talent for singing, picking easy to sing songs is more of a factor than my broken and bleeding heart that just won't heal no mat.......oh best not get into that.

This is still a test recording though, I'm getting much closer to the perfect recording situation, mic is set right, levels are good, just some issues with the mastering settings on the audio..its compressing the vocals too much and putting a dull chorus on the guitar....But its still getting close. a few more test recordings and I'll start making some proper ones maybe with some happier songs.

Anyway this is the Tony Rich Projects song from 96, which I always loved, shame he didn't do more.(edit, apparently he did several albums, but none were as successful as his 1st with this song) It's played a little faster, cos slow solo acoustic guitar gets boring really quick..

I was going to do some VoiceLive harmonies on it as well, but somehow it sounded ikky so its just a solo voice, auto-tuned to fuck of course... And done in 1 take, no joins, but I might do a small acoustic guitar solo when I do a proper take over it....
This was the 5th take, I am still a bit croaky from the cold/flu and it does crack up at one point but I managed to clear my throat and carry on without coughing up a lung.. Also I nearly lost my plectrum and had to do a dummy stroke to re-grip...think I covered that up well too.

Overall, even though as I say its still just a test, I think this is good, and when I look back at some of my very 1st recordings, I think my playing/singing is getting better. I am still not a natural play while singing kinda person though, I really don't multitask well without a lot of practice, but here it seems to fit well....excuse me while I bask in a bit of self praise...don't worry though I know I'm still shit, just slightly less shit than a few years ago.. I'm chuffed with that.


Thursday, 13 August 2015

Cant get no...satisifaction..

or videos vocal work just isn't up to it since the flu/cold/cough I've been crackling and croaking... Doing some lovely guitar work for sure but no way to finish a vid till my already bad voice comes back to the normal shit level it tends to have..

Holidays are slowly coming to an end too, which is pissing me of, its been such a nice quiet time, but very unproductive on many fronts. The illness sent me nocturnal for about a week, which I've only just managed to fix...

The z80 project should now be done..a couple of minor bugs to fix, and a visit to the client on Saturday and we should be able to sign it off, then start looking for something commercial.

I did have a couple of projects lined up but both fell through..very upsetting.

In other news..I'm pretty fed up generally, life is dragging on a bit, not much happening in my personal life at all, I can only clean and polish the house so many times...I really want to get those videos made and do some fun coding.

Had an hour to kill in town yesterday when I took my watch in to get a new battery. So I went to the music store to try some outrageously expensive guitars

The high end PRS was wonderful, but had a distinctive electrical snap every time I changed the pickup with the selector, not nice... and for 3500, I expect more.

But the killer was a Gibson Les Paul Custom Silverburst.

Customs are supposed to represent the pinnacle of Gibson guitars, and yet this..felt a bit naff, it sounded ok, but it didn't exude the quality my Lucille, herself a Custom model has. Worse,  fretting the F on the high E, the note was totally choked hitting on a fret somewhere down the neck....ffs..that's shocking. 4600 for that guitar and Gibson, despite their much touted Plek setup system can't even spot a massive flaw on the 1st fret.. Several other frets produced dead sounding tones, but an actual choke is unforgivable...4600Euros, Gibson???

I do not for a second doubt that the shop will fix that now I pointed it out, and that it will leave there perfectly set up by them..but Gibson really need to get their quality control under..ahem control.

anyway...better use my newfound getting up in the morning skills to get started on some work...Z80 ahoy!!!


Thursday, 6 August 2015

Fever, in the morning fever all through the night

Not been at all well the last few days. Had that cough I mentioned I didn't go to the docs cos it didn't seem as bad as before. But on Tuesday evening  I started to feel quite unwell, with sweats and a steady rising fever...
It sorta crept up on me, between coughing and sweating keeping me awake my temp started to rise really high and then before I knew it I was in bed for 2 days, letting my sheets soak up far too much bodily excretions. I had a full blown fever and some very very odd dreams as I tried to sleep through it.

Talking cats was funny...telling me all about my war record and insisting I get ready for my work as a pool attendant where I could jump in an cool off.

Poor Harvey didn't quite know what to do, I left the back door ajar but locked so he could nip out to have a pee when needed, and I topped up his food in some of my more lucid moments, but basically I just lost 2 days and have no idea where they went.

very odd...

Anyway the fever seems to have passed, sweaty sheets are in the machine, and I've had some food and water to try to get myself back together again...feeling pretty wiped out though, the trip to the shop was more exhausting than 30 pushups....not much chance of doing 2 today.

better get back to the land of the living, the talking cat insisted.