Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The Rejuvenation of Klaus III

Yesterday I finally found some 240 Grit sandpaper in the garage and decided to finish off the sanding of Klaus.
The 240 Grit got rid of all the tiny little white lines and scrapes off the body, but I think I'll still have to redo the sides before it's completely finished. The top of it is pretty hard to sand evenly.
Anyway, soon I hope to get some Butterscotch paint from ManchesterGuitarTech... One tin should do, so I'm only going to buy one and then if I need more I'll buy another one. I know that if I get two initially I'll only use half a tin or something.
I'll get the Clear Gloss lacquer a few weeks after the Butterscotch because it takes about 3-5 weeks (!) to harden anyway depending on the weather, humidity and temperature.
Here's some more pictures to clap yo' eyes on:

Monday, 21 June 2010

The Boxer

Today I got my copy of The Boxer by Kele Okereke. I preordered it about two months ago off Play.com because I would get a 'Limited Edition' signed copy.
So, it's come today, and it is signed! (Suck on that, UK Undercurrent!)
So far, it's a pretty good album. It's a lot like Intimacy by Bloc Party, but also has bits of the other two albums by them as well, but mostly from Intimacy with hints of A Weekend in the City, like a fine wine. But, it's very clearly not Bloc Party. It sounds very similar and has a similar style, but there's something about it which makes it not Bloc Party.
So far, the standout tracks are Everything You Wanted, The New Rules and Yesterday's Gone, with the last one being quite similar to Ion Square by Bloc Party.

Mmmm... Signatures...

These images were uploaded with my new Photobucket account, because I don't want to keep using the Dropbox Public Folder for my images.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

A Levels

I've just completed my last A Level exam ever!
Today it was the second module of A2 Biology.. And I think it went really well. There was only 2 questions which I didn't know the answer to after thinking about them and they only added up to 4 marks in total. (One was about Genotypes and the other about the genes involved in Body Maps of a Drosophila Fruit Fly)
The other exams I had have also went pretty well... I had a AS Chemistry resit from January and also the second module of AS chemistry, which hopefully went better than the first time.
So.. Other than getting my results I never have to go back to that awful prison-hospital thing. The worst part of Sixth Form was having to share the building and resources with the lower school childs, most of which didn't want to be there or abused everything in their power. And they stunk, were full of disease and made everything sticky.

I now have an AS Chemistry OCR textbook for sale if anyone here wants it.
£9+Postage... They are £15-17-ish new, and mine is as new apart from a bit of tea-stain on the edge of some pages... Spillage happened. Comment if you want it. I like PayPal.

Tonight I'm going to watch Hancock I've had off LoveFilm for a few days now, and I'm going to play some games, kill some aliens on the Xbox and get some Southern Comfort to suck on. It's going to be an anti-revision par-tay in my house tonight.

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Xbox 360 Slim

So... Microsoft has announced their newest version on the Xbox. It's shiny, black and pointy and looks like a nerd's gaming PC which he thinks looks cool. I think it's pretty hideous.
However, on the plus side, it now has built-in WiFi, which means no more silly expensive USB wireless receivers. WiFi should have been on the 360s from launch, really. Also, it's now thinner and has both an internal Hard Drive and an internal power supply. I don't like the internal HD at all. What if I needed to take my hard drive and put it on another Xbox? What if it breaks and you have to send it to Microsoft? You'll have no save games when you get it back.
The little Memory Cards have now also gone, being replaced by Microsoft's rubbish version of USB mass storage.
So other than that, there's not much change on the inside apart from a smaller, cooler chip (hopefully to avoid the dreaded Red Ring of Death).
On the outside, apart from the new hideous angular design, there is actually a nice on/off button, which looks to be made of chrome... Or shiny silver plastic.
The controller has also had some slight changes to match the new box - The analogue sticks are now black rather than grey and the Guide Button matches that of the on/off switch, whih I like. I'd consider buying one of them if I need a new controller, but knowing how much Microsoft love money it probably won't work with old Xboxes unless you buy a £60 adapter and subscribe to the Controller Service for £40 a year.
That stupid Project Natal is also official now, with a real name... It's now been ever-so-cheesily called 'Kinect' (See what they've cleverly done there? It's like 'connect' but using the word 'Kinetic' as well because it's movement based... Har-har!). It's a silly device. There won't be any more information about it on this Blog... Not in my name!

UK Pricing has it down for a surprisingly cheap £199, which makes it almost identical to the US pricing of $299. The UK may actually get it £2-3 cheaper. Amazing.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

New Design

Blogger has been updated in the last few days, and it's added a load of new templates and backgrounds for me to use. This one came under the 'Textures' list, and I liked it, so here it is. Wood.
I'm currently working on trying to make another header in the top... The last one had outstayed it's welcome I think... Probably been there since around 2007.

Friday, 11 June 2010

Requiem for a Dream

Requiem for a Dream was in my rental list on LoveFilm for ages, but today I've cancelled it because I watched it online for free.
This film is, again, one of those 'completely fantastic films which I managed to not see for ten years'. Possibly the best film I've ever seen for free, it is about four people who all end up addicted to drugs and what happens to them over the course of a year and what effect the addiction has on them.
Harry Goldfarb, the main character, is a heroin addict, who repeatedly sells his mother's TV in order to pay for more drugs, while his mother will continue to buy the same TV back from the pawn shop because she is addicted to TV game shows and self-help programs.
Eventually, Harry and his friend Tyrone begin selling heroin to make lots of money for themselves, while his mother receives a phone call from a TV station telling her she'll be on TV, which is her perfect dream. She decides to wear her red dress to the occasion, but cannot fit into it properly so goes to the doctor to get diet pills, to which she also becomes addicted.
The story is about each character's addiction and the downward spiral their lives take when they struggle to cope with the effects of it.

If there was ever a good enough argument not to start taking heroin, it's watching this film. Then reading Russell Brand's Booky Wook.
I can't recommend this highly enough if you like films which are gritty and harrowing, which I do. I think it has gone straight to the list of my favourite films, along with Seven, The Darjeeling Limited, The Orphanage and Donnie Darko.
I also have Trainspotting in my rental list, and I can't wait to see that.

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

The HomeHub

If you remember the last time I had internet problems, it turned into a month-long saga involving phone calls to TalkTalk/Tiscali and BT. I wrote an account of the horrors I witnessed during this down-time, detailing what I had done to save myself from insanity caused by disconnection.
Anyway, it appears that I now have yet more problems, only this time with BT's HomeHub repeatedly losing connection for around 1 minute at a time. When we first got it, we were told that in the first 10 days it may occasionally restart because BT were 'testing the line' (I reckon it was seeing how much speed they could shave off before we noticed). So then it was fine up until about a month ago, when it disconnected, but I assumed it was just an update, and I was used to disonnections happening almost daily with Tiscali, so I didn't pay any attention to it. Recently, it has started to disconnect on (or around) the hour, probably about 5 times per day. By this I mean anywhere between x:50 and x+1:10.
I know it's peak periods, but that silly estate agent guy on the advert is moaning about his internet because '''alf the worwd's onloine!'' but then that other guy off My Family is thinking: "Yeah, you should have got BT" (just like how I think "Should have got a Mac" when everything goes wrong on Dell-Boys). I don't think I'm getting 'consistently faster broadband, even at peak times'.
I've also noticed it gets pretty hot as well... I don't know if it's supposed to, but it does. I mean, pretty hot, like fry-some-eggs-on-it hot.
On the super-massive plus side, when I am connected I'm getting speeds 10x faster than I was putting up with from Tiscali - When not in peak times, I previously got about 14-25kbps download, 3-10kbps upload, but now I'm getting up to 200kbps download and 30-40kbps upload. Serious improvement considering the phone lines where I live are made of cheesestrings or something...


"Got message from Buckethead, he's doing much better, he said he miss everybody's Slaugther-House but he will be back from Bucketland" said Bootsy Collins, via Twitter.

This makes me a Happy Bunny!

Sunday, 6 June 2010

What's This?! A Review of In Search of The...?!

Yes, here it is. If you read this regularly or remember when I said I was going to review In Search of The... properly back in August last year, you'll find that I never got round to it.
Well guess what? I done a review of sorts. Clap your eyeballs on this juicy review, Motherlickers!

In Search of The... was a set I really, really wanted. I thought that the idea of 13 original CDs in a set was amazing and entirely original, not to mention quite a task to listen to it all (which it still is). However, most of the time before buying a CD (or in this case, 13) I like to listen to it on YouTube/Spotify/Grooveshark and decide whether it's worth getting, especially since I don't have too much money to begin with anyway, making Buyer's Remorse seem that much more bitter to me. Unfortunately, this set has very little representation on YouTube and none at all on the other places I check, so I had to buy this set, for around £70, based on about 5-10 tracks out of ninety-something. So it's a bit of a stab in the dark.

I got it, put Disc 1 into my player, and heard what sounded like an electric horse being cattle-prodded. I thought for a second, bearing in mind the first track is 59 seconds long, and thought to myself: "Oh no... What have I done?"
I pushed this thought to the back of my head, and tried to find consolation in spending $115 on a few CD-Rs in paper cases with nothing but photocopied stickers on the covers.
As a few days passed, I half-listened to each disc in order while doing other stuff. I finally got to the end of Disc 13 and that awful feeling of "Oh no..." came back. During this first listen, there had been some 'standout' tracks that I had noticed as being almost unbearable, where I skipped the track altogether, notably the dangerously similar 7.4 and 11.2, and various other tracks I would personally label as 'sub-filler' standard.

However, I imported them into my computer, and began listening to them in no particular order on my iPod, desperate to find something to console me for what I had heard already. It was around then when I discovered that there really are some good tracks on here, which I would not be surprised to find on a regular album. These include 1.2, 2.5, 3.3, 4.6, 5.1, 5.8, 6.3 and 8.1 as what I would call the 'gems' of the set (Real Diamonds in the Rough you could say... Har-har!). After 8.1, it all seemed to get a bit too odd for me, with sometimes things which sound like a drum kit sneezing and a guitar having an epileptic fit.

Now, about 8 months later, I can listen to a lot of the ones I previously labelled as 'sub-filler' standard. Instead of melting into a large block of similar sounding noise, I can now see that each disc may have been intended to have a unique sound, gradually getting more unhinged as the discs count up.
Despite my somewhat delayed appreciation of the set, there are still up to 15 tracks which I still find absolutely dreadful, and those are the ones which I remembered from my first listen.
ISOT, to me, is a set which I think I will only like more as time goes on and I listen to more tracks individually rather than as a set. I think Disc 5 is the best of the lot, so if you want to buy them individually, get that one first.

There's not much more I can say about it. Almost every track features a strange guitar effect which I can only relate with a smooth-jazz effect, somewhere between a fully clean sound and something which is too loud for a tape recorder to pick up properly, causing slight 'blurring of the edges' of the sound.

I'll end this rather long review by saying that if you have $100 and want to buy a slice of what Buckethead is as a musician, buy this set. It ranges from the gentler, almost Colma themed songs to the mindless, atonal messiness of early Buckethead relea
ses, and has almost everything in between.

As Buckethead once (not so) famously said: Music to me may not be music to most. I think he's proven that here with a pretty inaccessible album if someone is new to him. If someone who's first time listening to Buckethead was some of that 'sub-filler' stuff, I wouldn't blame them for thinking this is music for the deaf and/or insane, but if you're persistent and you take the time to scour the depths of this set you can find some real gems.