31.5.05

Updates

It's getting late, or rather I'm getting tired. Lots has happened in the last few days and I want to write it up properly. Expect some text and pictures soon.

28.5.05

We're down in Hampshire for the wedding of two friends. Yesterday we had the run through - today the real thing. Exciting stories soon.

24.5.05

Sith

With the exception of one or two (maybe three) howlingly bad moments Revenge of the Sith was a good film. Even the majority of the dialogue wasn't too bad. Who would have thought?

More marking tonight. The end is in sight. I've also got to hone my best man's speech. That's 'hone' as in 'finish it.'

22.5.05

Eurovision, marking and pure evil

I stayed up to watch the whole Eurovision song contest extravaganza last night. Great Britain came third from bottom with a good singer and generic song. There were a lot of generic songs last night. Every other one featured drums on stage and every single performance featuring a 'band' showed the 'band' members overplaying and mugging at the screen. A horrible car crash of a show - but still fascinating in its own way.

Malta featured a real singer, singing a generic power ballad. They got my vote just because the song had the least painful lyrics.

I completed the work I wanted done this weekend. Well, as much as I could do at home. As a reward J and I are off to see the new Star Wars film tonight. We're doing this in much the same spirit as I watched the ESC last night. We know it will have terrible dialogue and some hammy acting, but it's part of the culture. I know I can balance this with bass practise and some good lit. I've just begun Cloud Atlas.

21.5.05

Eurovision

The cheesiest television night of the year is about to begin. I'm taking my paperwork into the front room and lining up various foods and drinks to help me enjoy it (the show and the paperwork). I have set a work cut-off time of ten, which is when the champagne gets opened. More soon.

20.5.05

Late night

I'm having a rare late night up. It's not that late really but I tend not to hang around until the early hours like I used to.

Listening to the Projekcts Box Set (King Crimson personel in different combinations). It's all instrumental, mostly improvised, challenging and rather wonderful.

OS 10.4 is fun too. I'm experimenting with the Dashboard feature. This effectively allows me to lay a fresh set of apps over my desktop. I've set it up with Dash Blog (the app I'm writing this on), some stickies (like post it notes) for a place to jot ideas down, a photo stream from Flickr, Calendar, iTunes controller, weather forcast and (to complete the mad guy up late feel) four clocks set to the times in LA, NYC, London and Tokyo. This relates back to a story a friend and I tried to write many years ago. Except that character had seven clocks. Hmmm. Tried it but it looked too crowded.

Had some good musical ideas tonight too. I've been playing my fretted bass in Soul Beaver for a few gigs. Having got back into playing that I've 'rediscovered' the five string fretless. I feel in a position to bounce between the two now, which is good because I'm having a lot of musical ideas filtering through my head. I never seem to be without a tune and try to play everything that hangs around on the bass. In three months or so the Stick Bass will be here - goodnessonly knows what I'll be able to play then. I'm truly excited by this; to the extent of having dreams of basslines. Yes, you're right. It's time for bed.

19.5.05

Worst TV ever

It's possible I've finally found the worst TV programme in the world. An easy choice, as you'll know if you've watched any, is Celebrity Love Island. So bad it's unbearable. So bad, it's not even good. So bad, I can't even enjoy it in a post-modern ironic way. Talking of which, it's the Eurovision Song Contest this Saturday and I don't have a gig. Scorecards, champagne and a good time is going to be had.

17.5.05

Phat... OK, fat


Fat
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Just so you don't think I'm painting too glamerous a picture of my musical life (quickly glancing back avid readers will remember Jelly Babies sorted by colour and exciting Hindu weddings) I've posted this. It's what greeted us at the place we rehearse in (a scout hut). In case you can't make it out, this is a frier filled with solidified chip fat, and chips. Yummy!

Easy

If you are reading this it means the new Dash Blog widget is working. In theory this means more posts than ever. Lucky you.

I am now properly back on line. The solution to my problems was to stop fiddling with everything. Stopped fiddling - everything works. OK, the printer and the Maxtor external drive still aren't talking to the computer but the new OS is running beautifully. Widgets are fun. I've downloaded tons and have quickly gone through the process of judging their usefulness.

The other piece of good news is that the new wireless hub works and there are several fewer cables cluttering up my desk.

More music news (some possibly very exciting) soon.

16.5.05

Wedding gigs - the short one

In amongst all the madness at work I had to find the time to post quickly on last night's gig. Soul Beaver were booked for a wedding. It was running late (almost all weddings do) so we sat around in this lovely barn area playing ping-pong, jenga and coits (is that how you spell it). Much later we set up and then... wait for longer as the crowd are entertained by an Indian drummer. It was a Hindu wedding by the way. Amazing food and, once the drummer got going, very enthusiastic dancing. We finally got to play and the dancers happily transferred their allegiance to us.
After a truncated first set we took a break for Indian food, chips and drinks.
By the time we got back to the stage the guests had gone and the groom requested just one song. We obliged, having three or four people dancing along. After all this it was a quick drive home; I even managed to catch Jenna awake.

No more gigs for a month or so but expect some other stories of musical adventures.

15.5.05

Frustration

This has been a frustrating couple of days.

I updated my OS to Tiger (Mac 10.4) and enjoyed the benefits up to the moment when it became apparent that Tiger did not recognise my USB modem anymore. Then I noticed the Firewire external hard drive wasn't registering and neither was the printer.

I bought a new modem which, only now seems to be working in a stable manner. The drivers for the printer and hard drive do not yet exist so I have no way of printing and a 250GB drive full of goodies I can't reach.

My reaction to all this, besides a lot of muffled swearing and threats, was to pick up my bass and play solidly for an hour and a half. Bass good - bass not let me down.

The other piece of good news is that Stick Enterprises have been in touch to tell me my Stick is in production. Due date for arrival - August.

More soon, assuming I can get back on line again.

7.5.05

Bluebells


07-05-05_1151.jpg
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Looking a bit woozy, these are the bluebells in the wood where we had our morning walk.

6.5.05

HHGTTG

A busy week. I'd be posting more but I'm still having trouble with getting on line in the study. This comes to you from the hallway downstairs.

Last weekend I saw the movie version of Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I love HHGTTG but remember it fondly as a (very funny) radio series and a (very funny) collection of books. I seem to remember a very funny stage play and fairly hilarious towel too. The film was very clever and beautifully made but, you guessed it, not very funny. I had gone to the cinema wanting to like it, and I did. Just not very much, that's all.

In other news, Soul Beaver rehearsed on Tuesday for a gig this Saturday night. I enjoyed the week's teaching but have a mountain of paperwork to do (it's going to be like this for the rest of the month and then some). I said good-bye to a friend who is moving away but I said hello to my in-laws at an Indian restaurant for a meal with lots of conversation.

The elephant in the blog/room recently has been the elections here in the UK. I voted yesterday and stayed up listening to results with Jenna. The general election is typically British. We spend all our time banging on to others about the importance of democracy, and then as soon as an election is called we start complaining about how boring it is. More people turned out to vote than last year but it's still shockingly low. And did the right party win...?

2.5.05

open for you


open for you
Originally uploaded by Roostar.
Another walk today. We were defeated by swamp-like conditions on a track that should have lead us on to fascinating deserted plains. This will have to wait for another day.