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Archive for July, 2010

31
Jul

IWent, ISaw, IBought

My uber practical wife went out and bought her and I both an iphone 4. What started it was when my daughter emailed her with the link to Steve Jobs video presentation for said phone. Not sure I’ve heard her use that many oohs and ahhs and stay glued to the monitor for that long.

What finally sold her was the Facetime, essentially Skype for iPhone…at this point the networks can’t handle the speed required, so it only works on an iPhone 4 and it only works on wifi. But it’s still pretty cool.

At the end of it, she’s busy checking all the plans and comparing all the carriers to see which one gives you the best deal. As if that were possible… She has a cell phone with Telus and I have one through Virgin Mobile. Our son has Rogers for his iPhone and likes them. I’m not 100% convinced that any of them are any good at all, seems to me the name of the game is to separate you from your hard earned money. They did a good job of that today…

So I’m enjoying my new iPhone right? Ah, nope. No one has any stock so you put in the order and it’s first come, first served. And would you like fries with that…so next week sometime the household technology level is going to get a swift kick in the silicone….

29
Jul

Angry Boids

It’s getting a little harder to write in the blog. No, not because I lack the discipline to do it each night, it’s that Carol has found a worthy adversary on my iPad. You know, the iPad that’s for watching videos, playing music, and photos? Well it’s shaping up to be a pretty good games platform. That must have the likes of Sony and Nintendo paying close attention.

I have a few games on the ipad, but mostly Carol just plays solitaire on her iPod. Until she found Angry Birds HD. HD is the big screen iPad version and while you can play the game on an iPod it’s much more fun and rewarding to play it on the iPad.

After about 10 seconds of playing it, you’ll understand why it’s so darn addictive. Right now she’s trying to better almost everyone of my scores and get three stars on each level. She’s hooked. Big time….death to the pigs….!!!!!

28
Jul

Hogwarts and all

We’ve been playing Lego Harry Potter Years 1-4 on the PS3 and we finally finished it. Sure the kids can breeze through this title in 20 hours, but it took Carol and I 46 hours. We did get 100% completion but finding the last couple of items seemed to take forever.

We’ve played the other Lego titles as well, like StarWars and Indiana Jones, so we knew what to expect and weren’t disappointed. Except that we had to crank up the brightness on our plasma tv because there are a number of areas that are quite difficult to see otherwise.

I’m still working on getting completion for Red Dead Redemption but the main part of the game is complete, just a few of the side missions that I’m toying around with. Odd when you play this game that it actually develops into a story. Although it’s done by RockStar, who did the Grand Theft Auto series, this plays more like a western yarn that gets deeper as you play through it. Well if you take the time to think about it…

When you finish Red, you get to watch the credits, if you take the time. And the number of people working on these games is incredible. It looks like the cast from a major motion picture and I guess that makes sense when you consider the vast scope of the game.

27
Jul

Swell, just swell

You know the mornings, get up ready to take on the day and there’s a knock at the front door. You open it expecting to get some sales pitch and instead it’s your neighbor. He says, “Did you know your vehicle was broke into?”

So out you go and one look at the glass shards littering your driveway tells you the short busers that did it didn’t clean up after themselves. Thus, armed with a shopvac and a couple hours time you clean up the mess. It is amazing just how far that glass goes and all the little places it can get into.

Next it’s off to find the insurance policy to check the deductible. Ouch…. Then make the appointment to get the damage fixed which doesn’t happen quite as fast as it took to do the damage…

So in a while it’s all going to be back to normal. But for now some one will have to explain to me how $2 in change can translate to $1500 in damage..and it’s a minivan for petes sake, what treasure did they expect to find hidden in there…

Short busers…sheesh..

26
Jul

What’s a sunrise?

Okay so you might get the idea that I’ve rarely seen a sunrise. Good, that would be correct. Glad we got that cleared up. However I have friends, some of whom are also retired who insist at being up to watch those sunrises.

Hence at 6:30am I am heading off to the golf course. Apparently at that time there isn’t a big line of people who suffer from insomnia. The place was virtually empty. When I mentioned this simple fact to my golf buddy he said it was perfect this way. I retorted, for him.

To make a long and stroke filled story shorter, when the clock finally rolled around to 9:30 I started to play much better golf. I stopped nodding off between shots at the tee box and I didn’t have to squint into the sun any more. Wonderful.

Yep, I’m going to miss those guys…

25
Jul

I see the light

Spent a few hours today wiring under cupboard LEDs for Andrew. We used a wireless ac switch to turn them on/off and it works great. Cost was less than most lighting places charge for those led puck style lights you put under the counter.

The strips are one meter long, about 15mm wide run off 12vdc. We used speaker wire to connect the strings together and they are all equal brightness. The back of each strip is self adhesive but when you’re working under a counter, sometimes it’s easier to be the counter…

24
Jul

Wooden You Know It

Apart from getting all the bits and pieces ready for an under cupboard lighting install at my sons tomorrow, my daughter decided I know something about woodworking (ha ha fooled her) and we drove into downtown to look at a mahogany dinning room table and chairs.

Now I admit that in high school wood shop I was known as the wood butcher. I couldn’t tell oak from cherry other than one had acorns and the other had fruit and it hurt your teeth if you mixed the two up.

Thus when we finally arrived at our destination and looked at the table and chairs, well, even a wood butcher would have known this wasn’t Mahogany. As we gazed at it the second clue was the sellers admission that he thought it was mahogany. Finally I meet someone who knows less about wood than I do. Scary.

No, it wasn’t IKEA (Swedish for vinyl covered sawdust), but from the weight I’m going with petrified wood.

The seller says that there are some surface scratches and just normal wear for something this old. Except that it really wasn’t that old and the wear was from a cattle stampede from the look of it. I can’t remember the last time I see a dinning chair with leveling legs either.

My daughter has the tact to handle these situations better than I do so she said we were going to go have coffee and talk it over. We drove home. Oh, and talked it over….

Course she did got out with Carol after we got home and found a much nicer table and chairs. The granddaughter and I read Geronimo Stilton while they were gone. I think we had the better time…

23
Jul

To Modify..or not

Having more than guitar means that I have guitars that not only look different, they play and sound different too. The odd thing about this is that on any given day, one guitar will sound better that the other.

I modified my Fender Strat a long time ago with Seymour Duncan Surf Antiquity pickups. Pretty much anything would sound better than the Texas hot pups that were in there.

As it happens I had some recordings that I’d made with those old Texas pups (before I sold them on eBay) and now they don’t sound all that bad at all.

I recently acquired an Eastwood Sidejack Deluxe and an Ibanez Jet King II. While the King was way cheaper than the Eastwood, it had double the sound quality and build. I actually got the Jet King as a cheap project guitar and couldn’t find anything I wanted to change on it. The Eastwood was supposed to be a player and it’s turned out to be the project. A luthier fixed the neck on it, I redid the pup mounts and intonation so it plays now. Quite nice as it turns out.

None the less the tuners are junk and the pickups are very overdriven. The tuners can be changed easy enough but the pups, well that’s another question. I’ve been looking at GFS pups, typical p90 style. Cheap enough, but, will I go through all the work to change them only to find that the originals weren’t that bad? Good question. No answer because you can’t try before you buy..

Along a different line, I found this budget cable rack idea online. Fascinating…

22
Jul

Hardware McTweaky

One of the things about having a recording studio in the house is that it’s always in a constant state of flux. Adding new gear like a guitar, amp, compressor, fx pedal, DI, or just updating the recording software (Digital Performer) keeps it interesting…

The second is just adding decoration to the studio to “pretty” it up. This I’m not so good at. I tend to leave things functional, hang up a poster, stick a decal or two on a amp, call it done.

But I do have a weakness. In a word, lights. I put led rack lighting in and it’s great. Saved me many times from crawling around In the back of the rack with a flashlight clamped in my teeth…

Cost is minimal at best, a strip of 36″ of LEDS (60 of them) is $7. The DC transformer wasn’t much more.

Now I’ve ordered a midi relay setup so I can add a recording light. Mmmmm.

21
Jul

Different course, better game

Decided to play a different course today, something a little more forgiving. Shaved five strokes off the game and played much better. I figured in about twenty years I’ll have it down to a science…

In spite of how bad anyone can play golf, there’s always someone else who has a worse day:

The Wrong iPhone

Not that you should sorry for a thief but I’d imagine the look of “doh” when the cops picked this guy up and explained he’d picked the wrong iPhone to steal might have been one of those priceless moments…

20
Jul

Hello ball…

It all starts off innocent enough. A friend calls you up, he’s got a deal on a twosome on one of the nicer courses locally. So you make sure you got the GPS all charged up (yardage is important when you are on a course that you don’t play often)..you got snacks, new balls, clubs are clean and you’re good to go.

You get to the first tee, and bingo. Now you remember this course and the last time you played it. And how it beat you up pretty bad because it’s a lot of target golf…

By the third hole you’re having doubts as to your choice to play it. You’re so busy gluing wheels back on the golf bus that you forget how to play. Then you hit your stride and par six holes in row.

Now over confidence kicks it it’s back to hack and slash golf….

At some point you decide that if you can stay under 100, it’s going to be a good day. Course this only makes sense if you normally golf in the mid-80’s. So by that ruler I had a good game, pulled in not so respectable 91. That’s high for me, but it stopped being a golf challenge and became a challenge just to finish.

For me, and probably a lot of others, golf is a game of consistent inconsistencies….

The golf course? Morgan Creek Golf And Country Club, Surrey, BC.

Oh and sitting down for a coffee to relive some of the better shots after the round, I think I seized up…

19
Jul

In The Beginning…

First there was a morning with too much time on my hands, followed closely by the reading of an article on using the iPad for blogging. Combine those two with my built in geek factor and you have the basis for the Wabbit Wavings. Or perhaps better, Wavings From A Mad Wabbit…