Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Went to see these last night at the Hull Ice Arena (the band not the South African football team LOL) with my brother Danny, they were absolutely fantastic.....unbelievably so! After queing for about 20 minutes, we walked in to find that it was relatively empty (we didn't exactly rush to get there to beat everyone, we only live about 5 minutes walk away) we were only about 5 meters from the front. The place soon filled up until it was packed out, don't know how much it holds I would guess 15,000.
The first band were called 'The Little Ones' from southern California, followed by 'We Are Scientists' who were a class apart then the Kaisers who were another class apart!
It was very hot and sweaty apart from my feet which were freezing because the Ice was just under a sheet of plywood!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Just spent a horrid, stressful afternoon trying to get my wireless router to connect to the internet, after hours of trying this and that to no avail, I rang up the help desk to find it was something so stupidly simple, that I am now very annoyed with myself!
Sunday, December 02, 2007
I just created this "popped" photo of our dog 'Layla' as I was sat here bored! I had intended to go out today and take some pictures but the weather is really crap so I'll look to do that tomorrow! Besides even if the rain had stopped entirely, the skies are just dull and would not look great on the pictures I had in mind.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Had a band rehearsal yesterday afternoon, our drummer brought his electronic drum kit, he gave a demonstration of it's various functions then let me have a go, It was very cool and could give some far out, mad sounds, If I had £2500 I would get one, but I don't, so I wont!
Friday, November 30, 2007
One area of digital photography I have always had a desire to try my hand at is "High Dynamic Range" or HDR photography. To see a true master of this technique visit the 'Stuck In Customs' link on my sidebar, and see what experience and "top end" equipment can do!
So the above images are my first attempts using this technique. It basically involves taking a -2, 0 and +2 exposure and combining the images using bits of software and then adjusting contrasts, to give a vivid and almost surreal photo. I am quite pleased with my first attempts and look forward to doing some more!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
Excellent news! I have just managed to get hold of 2 tickets for my brother and I, to see the 'Kaiser Chiefs' at the Hull Ice Arena next Tuesday evening. The concert was actually sold out but a friend of mine who knows the people in the ticket office, contacted me to say there had been a few tickets become available, so I rang up and booked them! There is also good support from a good American band called 'We Are Scientists' which is a real bonus!
The image is just taken from the window of our house looking onto the road with a long shutter time.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
I took a short bike ride down the road to the riverfront, to see if I could find anything to photograph, I noticed in the distance this Jetty, so using the zoom, I took a couple of pics from a few different locations to see how well they would turn out. It was a bit windy but I managed a few nice shots, I just wish that lampost wasn't in the way on the first two!
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
I say it was a miserable afternoon, but we won the game and that more then made up for my painful fingers and toes, even though it was not a particularly good game of football. Hull City are now into the good part of the league table.....the bit near the top! Still, we are only half way through the season, theres a long way to go yet!.....up the tigers!
I had my mobile with me and took some pictures whilst crossing the Humber bridge and when we were in the ground (Glanford Park) itself!
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Ive done it! Just ordered my new camera as pictured, now I've just got to wait for the thing to arrive, oooooooh, I'm gonna be hard up this month, but I'll be poor and able to take pictures with a nice camera.
I'm very very tired today, I was practicing with the band till about 11:30 last night and because I knew I would be tired at the rehearsal, I drank a high caffeine energy drink and subsequently I could not get to sleep till around 12:30.......I was up at 5:00!!!
Bed now for an hour, then Body Balance fitness class tonight at the gym!
Oh and we chose our meals for our departments Christmas dinner......16oz T-bone steak for me, and best of all, it'll cost me nothing.....same for the drinks too! So I cant wait for 20th December!
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
Nothing much to say today, to be honest! Although for the past 2 hours or so I have been learning some funky disco basslines......Good Times - Chic, Disco Inferno - The Trammps and I Want You Back - The Jackson 5, all three are classic bass guitar driven songs and I love em! I don't plan to perform them as such, but they may come in useful for a soundcheck or to fill some time if our singer/guitarist Dave snaps a string! I'll do a kind of medley I think!
This last week I have been listening a lot to, The Wombats, Young Heart Attack and lots of Led Zeppelin!
Friday, November 16, 2007
The picture is of my dog Mia asleep on my bed.
Band rehearsal was canceled last night due to some unfortunate circumstances surrounding a relative of our singer Dave, but Dave and I are going to have an acoustic practice round his house either Monday or Tuesday to work on my backing vocals, there are 2 reasons for this a) I aint that good a singer for starters and b) it's hard to hear if your own voice is in tune, over the crashing and distorted sounds of drums and electric guitars whilst practicing with the band.....but I still put my self on the firing line by attempting to sing anyway hahaha! It's not uncommon in rock music to be able to sing great anyways....most people just get away with shouting in punk music!
I was going to meet up with my new female friend tomorrow night at The Adelphi to watch my friend and co-worker Dean's band 'The Strands' but Dean left work today feeling ill, this included a sore throat and headache, so it's not looking promising for the gig to happen.....which is a shame because it would have been the first time I have met her in person since our first meeting a couple of weeks ago which was very brief indeed, and it was my chance to shine as a person and show her what I'm all about, but there'll be another time to meet up I'm sure! It would have been such a good opportunity as well, we were both going on our own!!!!
My younger sister is off on holiday to Canada tomorrow, Toronto I think....she's been quite lucky to meet a guy that's paid for her to go to Venice, Holland and now Canada this year, with a possible visit to Russia early next year! There's so many places in the world I would love to visit and I haven't even left little old England in the 29 years I have been on this earth. I would love to tour the US and Canada and also Japan, Hong Kong, the list is endless! I have not even seen a lot of the UK or London for that matter!
I'll get going now and walk the dogs around the marina.......oh yeah, I cant stop listening to Sigur Ros this week! I'll have to buy their DVD I think.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
So I have booked my last 8 holiday days off at work starting in the last week of November....cant wait for that! Don't know what I'll spend my time doing but who cares, I wont be doing it at work!
The girl I mentioned in the last post has become a nice new friend we talk sometimes for hours on MSN messenger having a laugh, we don't seem to discuss anything in particular and yet we talk about everything, if that makes sense, but I like her and even though she's not interested in romantic relations with me, I'm glad I have found a new friend, she's a good one to have! Probably because we are both a little bit mad!
We finally decided on a name for our band, we are now called 'The Strangelets' and I am currently in the process of booking our first gig for (hopefully) sometime in January. I am itching to get back on stage, I really have missed the adrenalin rush of playing live...I really do feel as though we have been practicing way to long (albeit with some hinderances and set backs) and I am of the opinion that no matter how much you practice in a room with no onlooking eyes, you really have to play in front of a crowd to get tight and learn the performance part which is probably the most important aspect. We are now also a 3 piece with Dave singing/guitar, me playing bass/backing vocals and Garry on the drums. Nick who was playing lead guitar has had to take a hiatus from our band due to time constraints/commitments with his other band 'The Strands' who he joined first and are in the ascendancy as far as the local music scene goes! I am actually pleased about this as Nick also can be a bit of a hinderance in terms of learning/creating new songs.
Friday, November 09, 2007
The above photo shows my 2 Rats 'Jazzy Jeff' and 'The Fresh Prince' as they awake from a doze in their hammock!
Popped along to the gym again last night, for the fitness class, not nearly as sore as last time, in fact I did notice I was just that little bit more stretchy, compared to the first time......it's good though, most enjoyable!
I was worried I had made an arse out of myself on Wednesday.....at the sesh gig on tuesday night, I saw a girl and introduced myself and after a bit of chat, I walked away.....the next day I popped onto Myspace to leave a "well done" message on the bands page, I noticed she had left a message and that she was online, so I sent here a "hello, remember me" message...after an hour or so of sending messages back and forth, I thought I would cut to the chase and told her I thought she was "a bit of alright" and asked if she wanted to meet up for a drink....she kind of fobbed me off and I was left with the impression that I had been a bit too bold, a bit too soon, and had generally put her off, anyway......the last 2 days she has been instigating conversations with me via MSN, so she may have a slight interest in future relations after all! Though she could just be thinking she's found another myspace/MSN friend. We'll see! Either way, I no longer feel I made an arse of myself!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Last night I popped along to 'The Sesh' live band night at 'The Linnet & Lark' (Hull) to see my 2 friends Nick & Dean's band 'The Strands' play. It was a f***ing good gig and they sounded spot on, anyways, I posted this video taken on my mobile of them playing their new song......can't remember what they said it was called, something like 'Hey hey my friend' not the greatest quality video you'll see but please do enjoy if you can!
Still aching a bit from the fitness class last Sunday, going again tomorrow night!!!
Monday, November 05, 2007
Last night I walked the 5 minutes into the town center to watch the city's annual fireworks display, I took a bit of footage on my mobile phone so you can get a taste of it! I wish I had the new camera that I will be buying myself (next payday) with me, I am getting the Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18. I have been looking for a "pro-sumer" camera for a while, but quite frankly the ones on offer were a bit ugly! I have missed not taking photo's as much as I used to with my old point and shoot Canon Ixus, but now the time is right for an upgrade in class of camera, I'm not quite ready for/not in need of and nor can I afford the cost of lenses for a proper DSLR but would like a bit more control over my pictures then that of a point and shoot....it'll also have an 18X optical zoom (35mm Equiv.: 28-504mm) which should be fun to use, I have not seen one bad review of this camera.
Yesterday I went to the gym and attended one of the fitness classes, it's the first time I have been brave enough to attend such a class and show how un-flexible and generally unfit I am in front of what is essentially a 95% female class! It was a yoga-ish type of class which aimed at stretching every group of muscles in the body.......and I'm feeling the soreness today ladies and gentlemen, oh yes! I now go to 2 gym's, the posh and expensive one for the fitness classes, pool, sauna & steam room, and the free gym at the company I work for, for actual weightlifting type stuff.
Not been up to much, not worked on any of my music, not had any band practice sessions as our drummer as injured his foot and did not go to the football match as it was an away game, though I will be going to watch the tigers away in Scunthorpe on 22nd, anyway that's all for now!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Since I last posted 'The Tigers' have won and drawn a game so that makes up for losing last weekend, as their position in the league is still a comfortable one!
Worked a lot of hours last week, partly my own fault because I requested to be trained on a new process, and also, one day i was delayed for 3 hours and subsequently late home by 3 hours because a colleague decided to shut off some cooling water valves which then tripped a sensor for the plant steam supply which meant i could not get any steam to heat the reactor I was using.....what a dumb ass! Due to this I did not get up to much during the week!
Last night I went out around the town with some friends, together we were celebrating our friend Rob's birthday, much a good time was had by all, we all got a little bit drunk and at one point could not contain ourselves with laughter as my (shy younger) brother was coerced by some 'mulan rouge' girls into pulling of a garter by his teeth with a lot of sexiness and flirting thrown in by these girls for good measure so as to put him off! Lots of people in fancy dress as Halloween approaches!
I awoke today without the slightest of hangovers which is always a good thing! I am currently watching the (American) football game which is being played at Wembley as part of their regular season (Miami Dolphins vs New York Giants) I wish they would show more coverage of American sports here in the UK such as the football and baseball and especially the ice hockey!
Sunday, October 21, 2007
What started out as a potentially excellent and enjoyable weekend is quickly becoming a bit of a disappointment, I had my football team 'Hull City AFC' playing on the Saturday afternoon, England in the Rugby world cup final on the evening and Lewis Hamilton potentially picking up his first world Formula 1 title in his rookie season on the Sunday teatime, as it stands both Hull City and England have lost so I hope the same fate does not befall Lewis today or that would be a total washout of a weekend!
Onto some good news....my sister has passed all her Nursing exams at university and is now a qualified Nurse, so she will be able to start her job in the Fracture clinic at Hull Royal Infirmary once she gets her "pin number" making the last 3 years at university worthwhile. It seems like only yesterday that she was working alongside me in a Laboratory at the pharmaceuticals company were I work, unfortunately she did not have the best of times there due to some unsavory characters and so she decided a career change was in order and subsequently pursued nursing.
She doesn't know it yet but I got her a little present, as she seems to collect perfumes, I have got her the new Christina Aguilera fragrance and a card and CD, my brother has got her something as did my parents, so she should be pleased!
Had another practice yesterday, not a great one, as our drummer Garry is on holiday in Spain with his family, we decided to have a relaxed jam session in my friends garage.....unfortunately is was very cold outside and my fingers were a bit numb causing problems whilst trying to play the bass, my fingers just wouldn't work!
I took the above picture last night whilst watching the Rugby, I turned around to see our dog Layla sitting on my computer chair staring at me as shown, she seems to really enjoy it when I shine a torch beam onto the floor for her to chase and this is her way of asking me to do it!
Thursday, October 18, 2007
The thing is, these polls only go on national statistics like crime figures and education results, pollution and so on. They don't come and spend any time in our city sampling it's culture, lifestyle, vibrancy etc., to make an informed judgement. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I would rather live in Hull then most other cities in the UK. Middlesborough was voted the worst place to live, so the question is....what have they not got that we have?
Sure, crime levels are a bit high, we have too many (of the no good type) immigrants, we are bottom of the pile for educational results, but there is a lot going for Hull and in general it's a nice place to live, and getting better!
Finished late from work today, due to a faulty steam valve causing a 2 hour delay in starting my process.
The picture is of my watch, I cant help using that particular photo effect, it makes things look so cool and pop arty!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Another day off work, no super extended lie in time for me today though, up at 7:30am, get a shower, iron my shirt and get dressed ready to accompany my dad to court as a witness for 10:00am.
What have you witnessed this time? You may ask, well…..a few months ago, on a rainy day, me and my dad decided to walk the dogs (each holding 2 on a lead) as we were walking them, a big white Alsatian came bounding around a corner and seeing our dogs, decided to attack (not a smart thing to do (1 Alsatian Vs 4 Rottweilers) anyway, the dog after having a bit of a go and sending our dogs crazy runs back to it’s owner. During the little dog scuffle my dad and I are now on the wet grass being pulled this way and that by the dogs on their leads and 2 of them slip their collars and chase after the dog (at this point I would just like to say our dogs are not vicious, but as any dog owner knows, a dog is most excitable during the first minute of a walk, which is when this incident occurred) We run after them and whilst trying to get their collars back on their heads, the owner of the other dogs is ranting and raving and swearing and shouting etc. After we regain control of our dogs, during which this other guy still has not even attempted to put his dog on a lead (he also had 2 more dogs with him on leads) and the dog is still having a (albeit, more nervous) go at our dogs. Anyway, as we are walking away this guy is still shouting and swearing, one of his Neighbours walks up, he then puts his hand to his cheek and tells her my dad just punched him???????? We just walk away. Low and behold a few days later we have a police officer at our door investigating a claim of assault, with this woman suddenly saying she witnessed my dad punch this guy. Statements are taken and then my dad is suddenly at court hmmm.
So we go to the court and wait for an hour before being called in, it turns out that it’s just a preliminary hearing and I don’t need to stand as a witness, my dad pleads “not guilty” and it now goes to trial on 17th December, where I will have to stand. It was the first time I have been in a court room, it was a bit weird, very formal. Let’s see what happens! We were reading through the statements by this guy and his neighbour friend and could not believe the lies, they are completely twisted and almost fully fabricated to the point were I was actually laughing with disbelief. Things that are not in our favour….my dad does not qualify for legal aid because he works for a living and will have to defend himself as he cannot afford a solicitor (he has a mortgage to pay) and he also has been to jail (about 11 years ago) for assault (on a paedophile who said some disgusting things to my sister) On the plus side, he should be able to rip their defence to shreds due to their nonsense statements which contradict their own versions of events!
I get back home and chill out for the rest of the day, keeping it real!
Monday, October 15, 2007
So, as I am on holiday from work, I finally get up at after a spot of snoozing, I get a shower so that I am fully awake and as the dogs are looking at me with great loving in their eyes, I decide I should take them for a walk and throw the ball for them.
(Speaking of walking the dogs that reminds me of a worrying little incident yesterday afternoon whilst I was walking the dogs. My brother and I were both walking a dog each, when we stopped at a crossing for a main road. We have recently purchased some of those ‘head leads’ for the dogs….you know the ones that fasten around the head and nose in order to stop them pulling, by simply pulling their head to one side! Anyway, whilst I am putting a hand across to press the button at the crossing, my dog Boo suddenly spins around and pulls his head out of the lead and then runs across the busy road, I shouted after him in panic, and then with a quick glance to make sure there is space, I ran after him and caught him on the central reservation, just before he ran across the second carriageway. It was amazing he did not get hit by a car!!! That is how I found out that ‘head leads’ are a good design if your dog is in front of you and walking forward, but they don’t work as good if your dog is behind you or facing you, because it’ll pull straight of their stupid heads)
Anyway, I get back from walking the dogs and head out to the supermarket in order to get 8 cans of beer for my father that I had previously borrowed over the weekend., and also a ready meal so I don’t have to cook before heading out for a band practice.
I get home and read a few chapters of ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Phillip Pullman (I am re-reading ‘His Dark Materials’ in readiness for the upcoming movie ‘The Golden Compass’) I then worked on a new song called ‘Four Foot Fez’ for my not so serious musical side project ‘Legend of Sid’ the title of which, came about because of the following;
Clem (the worlds best bedroom band) rang me a few months ago, to say they are making a hat which is going to be exactly four feet tall into which they are going to install a discreet camera, the reason…..they want me to wear this four foot tall hat, and walk down a pedestrian street in the city centre during rush hour and using a combination of 2 camcorders held by Clem and the footage from the small camera in the hat, capture the surprised and confused expressions on peoples faces as they head off to work, naturally I said yes, I have always wanted to wear a four foot tall hat with built in CCTV and will now be able to cross it off my list of thing to do before I die. Anyway, they ring me again last week to say the hat is close to completion (imagine my excitement) and that it will be a
I had my ready meal and then I was picked up by our singer Dave and went to the band practice 7-11pm. The practice room was a different one from what we normally use, we were not very impressed, Dave’s head and my head were actually touching the ceiling, the room was tiny and we had to set up the PA system ourselves. Not only that but we had to pay £25 for this room compared to £20 for a room almost 3 times the size with a better PA which is all ready to go! Nevertheless, we did not let it spoil our fun and had a good practice anyway, including a bit of a funky jam!
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Mother and daughter on the carousel
Didn't go on any rides, I was too busy stuffing my face with fast food, but enjoyed the walk around anyways!
A funny story about Rob.....once at work we took part in "secret santa" with the rest of the department, Rob got a guy called Dave and bought him a "lucky Rabbits foot" upon receiving the" lucky Rabbits foot" Dave subsequently contracted MRSA when going into hospital for an operation, had his new house partly collapse which then had to be demolished and his wife left him for his best friend, not so funny for Dave!
Friday, October 12, 2007
I have the day off work, as I had accrued about 12 hours, so I thought I would use 8 of them and have a day off! I was about half way through recording a new song when my computer just turned itself off, something it's been doing a lot over the last couple of weeks, I don't know why!
Not been up to much over the last couple of weeks because I have been feeling a little bit ill...I have been going to work, but I have been feeling drained of energy when I get home....hence no blog posts, today is the first day in about 2 weeks I have felt OK, although I still feel a bit brain dead, so I decided to sit down and record a song, hoping it would help to get my brain working!
I'm going to Hull Fair tonight with some friends, I'll try and take some photo's like I did last year, but maybe some black and white ones, in contrast to the colorful ones I took last year.
I have also managed to procure myself a bass guitar, I am buying one off a mate.
Speaking of being off work, the whole site had the day of work last Wednesday due to a power cut to the site, which was unexpected and welcomed (although I had to work a bit harder yesterday to catch up) It would have been even better if they had phoned me to tell me not to bother getting out of bed, instead, I did have to get up and walk to work and back before going back to bed. So there I was, at home getting paid to sit watching the new Tarantino/Rodriguez, Grindhouse movies....cool!
My watch went on the fritz a couple of days ago, I took it back to the shop this morning, as it was still under guarantee and chose another watch, which was good because I did not like the old one very much anyway!
The above pictures are of an old tree stump which was cut down and left in a local cemetery.