Wednesday, 26 October 2016

26th October 2016 - Touch of the Cubase

Thought for the day:"Walk a mile in my shoes.. You'll end up in the wine bar"

So - had my first couple of attempts at working with Cubase Software. Seem to have managed to get the inputs form the mixer into the machine - though the lap top may be a little under powered as I have to reload every so often as some distortion comes into play.

Cable for the midi to USB arrived this morning so I think there will be another learning curve today...
Going to have to get the carpet laid in the basement so that will be another task for the day.

in the meantime ...  Cheers

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

25th October 2016 - Welsh and Stuff

Thought for the day: "The Flat earth Society has members all around the globe!"

I was musing about my desktop today and looking at some of the varied stuff that I gather at times and pop onto the desktop to use "sometime"..

One of those was a picture of Welsh Speaking in Wales - and because I can't think what else to say about it I thought I would just post it here for information ,,

It was interesting for me when I made the transition in going to University in Aberystwyth, as at the age of nineteen, having been brought up in Glasgow ( for a short period) and London, and considering myself fairly well educated, I had no concept that people still used Welsh as a language. I am not even sure that I was aware that the language had once been universal.

I was not totally unaware, I had a copy of Mary Jones and her Bible while I was still an evangelical youngster, indeed I later got a copy of the same book in Welsh and it is somewhere in the warehouse "in a box".... 
was the same edition I think
Mary Jones was from a poor family, the daughter of a weaver, who lived at Llanfihangel-y-pennant, Abergynolwyn, at the foot of Cader Idris near Dolgellau. She was born in December 1784. Her parents were devout Calvinistic Methodists, and she herself professed the Christian faith at eight years of age. Having learned to read in the circulating schools organised by Thomas Charles, it became her burning desire to possess a Bible of her own. 

The nearest copy was at a farm two miles distant from her little cottage, and there was no copy on sale nearer than Bala – 26 miles (42 km) miles away; and it was not certain that a copy could be obtained there. 

Welsh Bibles were scarce in those days. 

Having saved for six years until she had enough money to pay for a copy, she started one morning in 1800 for Bala, and walked the 26 miles over mountainous terrain, barefoot as usual, to obtain a copy from Rev. Thomas Charles, the only individual with Bibles for sale in the area. 

According to one version of the story, Mr. Charles told her that all of the copies which he had received were sold or already spoken for. Mary was so distraught that Charles spared her one of the copies which was already promised to another. 

In another version, she had to wait two days for a supply of Bibles to arrive, and was able to purchase a copy for herself and two other copies for members of her family. According to tradition, it was the impression that this visit by Mary Jones left upon him that impelled Charles to propose to the Council of the Religious Tract Society the formation of a Society to supply Wales with Bibles.

Mary later married a weaver of Bryn-crug named Thomas Lewis. She died in 1864 and was buried at the graveyard of Bryn-crug Calvinistic Methodist Chapel.

A "Mary Jones Walk" was held in the year 2000 to commemorate Mary's journey, and has been repeated several times.
So I was aware that there had been a language, but in the same way as I presumed no-one used the Gaelic I assumed the same for Wales. Moving to Wales  and renting a small cottage in a village called Llanfarian (for £25 a month instead of the £45 we were paying in London for a leaking flat under the Brent Cross Flyover) was a real eye opener. One of the Halls of residence Pantycelyn was for Welsh speakers only and they often kept themselves apart from the rest of the campus - or at least that was what appeared to be happening. It was the first time I came across the principle that any notice on any wall in college had to be translated into Welsh first and that Welsh had to be the first language on the notice. Anything else would be immediately removed. Street signs would be painted Green!

The principle is still in existence despite the level of Welsh across Wales. However, as you cross the Loughour Bridge into "West" Wales rater than "South" Wales there is a subtle difference. In South Wales all street signs are in Welsh and English - that is law for Wales, however the law does not state which should have precedence. In South Wales, the English is followed by the Welsh. As soon as you come into Dyfed (now Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Powys, Ceredigion) the Welsh must be first. While I was back in my previous job I often would chair meetings to discuss roadworks and improvements with local authority and service suppliers. This included the interesting concept that if you were going to dig up the road it is better to do all the services at the same time - rather than do the gas today and water next week etc.  Seemed a good idea in those days - do not know why it is not still done - but that is another matter. No, the interesting part of those meetings would be the big construction companies who had managed to get all their road works signs translated - and would be told that they were in the wrong order as soon as they passed into the county and would have to be re-made...  That caused a lot of eyebrows for those who travelled up from the depths of England. But it was practice. Travel up the M4 motorway tomorrow and look at the road signs ..  You will see the change in the last 5 miles as you enter "God's Own Land".....

I recall a friend visiting many years ago when the M4 was not completed and there was a stretch at Stormy down where the motorway stopped and all traffic had to cover about 12 miles on normal roads - always a bind.... But this Friend was delayed in her journey, and when queried, she explained that she kept of finding signs saying "Pob Cerbyd" with arrows and she had to stop a few times to try to find out if she wanted to go to Pob Cerbyd and where was it because she could not find it on the map..  Of course the signs actually read "All Traffic" with "Pob Cerbyd" beneath (because it was in South Wales). Not understanding Welsh she interpreted this as being "All Traffic that want to go to Pob Cerbyd" when of course "Pob Cerbyd" is the Welsh translation for "All Traffic"..

We laughed...

I still remember my first Welsh. "Dyma HTV Cymru. M'aen deg o'gloch" - not sure of the spelling, I never really learned to write. But that was "This is HTV Wales. It is 10 'oclock" which was time for the 10 o'clock news, and time to let the dogs out for their "last night walk" across the fields ...

Nos Da!

In other news - there is still an election going on in the US    

Monday, 24 October 2016

24th October 2016 - Twiddling Dials and stuff

Thought for the day:"Waking up this morning was an eye-opening experience."

Well - an interesting day yesterday playing with recording software and trying to get the mixer to work with the laptop..   Spent a long time configuring according to the google articles only to find that the version I have does not have the multi-channel options that the FX 2.0 has as standard, which explains why the I can only get two channels working - but then again that was all I was wanting to have - just seem to have lots of problem getting the volume and input right...

I suppose that is why people go to university and get degrees in this sort of thing...   but that does not mean that I can't have a  go ...

Searched the house for a stanley knife to cut some carpet fr the basement and then gave up in the end and popped up to B & Q to buy one - less than a fiver and seemed good value..  Got to the warehouse and found that there was sufficient underlay for a 10ft x 10ft square and a piece of 10ft x 10ft carpet without having to cut it...  I probably will have to trim the edges - in which case I wish that I had not left the stanley knife at the warehouse...

Bothy in for MOT this morning - so am sitting with fingers crossed that it does not prove too expensive. There were a couple of "advisory's" last year so there may be some bits to put right.

So Monday Morning and time to change the cover pages as usual....

  and of course for the moon - this weekend's event for Teutonians

So... back to the recordings I suppose...
Can't be that hard ...   Can it ??    really

oh - and to continue the Doctor Who theme of the last few days ...


Sunday, 23 October 2016

23rd OCtober 2016 - Start of Project Studio

Thought for the day: "Archeologist: (n) someone whose career lies in ruins."

So - under the stairs...
There appears to be an area that might one day become something else ..
But today was a day for mopping out the spores and damp in the floor with a very strong bleach ...
Carpets taken up and thrown away ...

Back to google and the tutorials of Cubase as a piece of software - at the moment not really recognising the mixer input - but we will get there I am sure ...

another day -

And a follow up to yesterday's Blog about the ecclesiastic dalek - I found this today ...

I laughed..

Saturday, 22 October 2016

22nd October 2016 - Delightful Daleks

Thought for the day: "Thanks for explaining the word "many" to me, it means a lot."

Something caught my eye today - an image of a stained glass dalek called Dalek Stainley..

It was such a delight to see - and I immediately looked forward to seeing the episode in which such a work of art would appear...   Sadly - I find that it was created for an Audio Episode of Dr Who!!
How could you do such a thing?

Jamie Anderson would appear to be the inspiration - director, designer and producer for Dr Who ..  and writes in his blog...

As part of my Doctor Who main range directorial duties for Big Finish, early in 2016 I was given a scrip by Mike Tucker entitled Order of the DaleksFrom the moment I read it, I just knew that we had to take advantage of this amazing opportunity to create a brand new type of Dalek – one fashioned from bent lead and stained glass. I became slightly obsessive about this, and spent many weeks nagging producer David Richardson and executive producer Nicholas Briggs – asking them to let me bring the stained glass Dalek to life.
Working with Big Finish and designer Simon Holub, I enlisted designer Chris Thompson to help bring my vision of Mike Tucker’s stained glass Dalek to life.

So, now that the stained glass Dalek is ‘out there’, I asked Chris to write a little report about the process:

"The Daleks are pretty awesome, iconic and well… unforgettable! Unlike the Cybermen where redesign and evolution is almost expected, the Dalek has remained the same for over 50 years with only a few alterations. Deviating from the classic silhouette (as was attempted back in 2010) is often met with anger and disappointment.
So imagine my reaction when Jamie Anderson emails me asking for not only a new Dalek design, but a new Dalek made mostly of stained glass. Funnily enough, I’d always liked the idea of reimagining designs in different cultural styles, I’ve had a feudal Japanese “Samurai Dalek” that I’ve been planning to model for some time.

My main thought process was to create a “Gothic” Dalek and replace all the flat surfaces with glass designs. My initial sketches had palisades, crowns, spikes and other gothic elements, but we decided to dial a lot of these back for story reasons. In the episode itself these Dalek casings are made by very primitive monks so the focus needed to be on the stained glass and not the metal elements.

The cloister style neck slats and the claw holding the eye did remain to add a bit of character.
The glass was the tricky part and I felt that getting a good design here was important, as it in itself could mean something. The slats on the skirt represent the seasons of the planet, the eye on the chest represents the mutant inside, the dome is entirely decorative. We decided to omit the ear lights as a way of making the design even more primitive.

Luckily the idea turned out to be crazy enough that it came out well and the fans really seem to like what we now affectionately call “Dalek Stainley”.

I’d like to give my huge thanks to Jamie for letting me do this, Simon Holub for the awesome cover and thanks to everyone who said nice things about it. Maybe one day Big Finish will let me have a crack at the Cybermen!"

 The story seems reasonable..
"In the Galactic Census, idyllic Strellin is recorded as a Grade Three planet – its inhabitants possessing neither advanced technology, nor knowledge of other worlds. Accordingly, Strellin is protected: landings by off-worlders are strictly prohibited. Unless, of course, those off-worlders are officials of the Galactic Census itself, come to investigate the origin of a mysterious sub-space signal – a signal no native of Strellin should be able to send...
Breaking all local by-laws, the time-travelling Doctor and his companion L/Wren Mrs Constance Clarke (AWOL) have only just landed on Strellin, too. But they and the Census officials aren't the only off-worlders to have come here. Inside a nearby monastery, the monks of the reclusive Brotherhood of the Black Petal are guarding a strange and terrible secret. Something that might bring disaster not just to Strellin, but to every civilised world in the galaxy!"

Of course the Doctor is Colin Baker - and we will each have our favourite Doctor. As an Original watcher (yes I saw both the first episode and the repeat because the first showing was the day after JFK was shot and there was an extended news coverage)

I also have the original book "Dr Who and the Daleks" by Terry Nation in a box in the warehouse somewhere -
Of course if you have to update things then you get a technicolour dalek ...

and the iconic image continues..

But for me - the stained Glass version is the pinnacle of achievement - though I do rater like the Steam Punk daleks as well ..


but everybody loves the daleks..

and so I leave you with the dalek relaxation tape for humans ..



Friday, 21 October 2016

21st October 2016 - Born in the Fifties

Thought for the day :"I bought a vacuum cleaner six months ago and so far all it's been doing is gathering dust."

A bit more nostalgia - this time about the fifties which happens to be when I was born ..

Remember eating jam sandwiches and collecting bottle tops?

The 1950s saw the coronation of the Queen (on a television set!), the Festival of Britain, the end of rationing, rock'n' roll and the arrival of us! When Mum stayed at home cleaning with only a mangle to help and we played outside all day.
Then came the swinging '60s and the first warm glow of central heating. We watched men go into space, marvelled as British music took the world by storm and England actually won the World Cup. What a great time to be young!

Yes - I remember having a bath in a tin bath filled from the kettle - It was at my grandmother's house and the tin bath hung up above the sand pit and was brought into the kitchen...

We think of on-line shopping starting the delivery system and though I accept it is a lot easier we did have large amounts of "stuff" delivered - the milk - the bread - the meat ...

Playing outside with little thought about safety.. This photo is from the 60's a stark reminder that even in the 60's there were bomb sites still around - this one in Manchester.  Falling over ? Brush yourself down and pretend it did not happen !!

We were lucky enough to have television fairly early - but there was always the Saturday Morning Pictures. In my later childhood I also had the Robert Mayer Concerts - travelling on my own up the tube to London to get to the Festival Hall for free Saturday morning concerts. Not sure any parent would be allowing this these days ...   happier times.  Looking at Google - though he died in 1983 at the age of 105 it seems that the concerts still exist ... Maybe a future study..

This image took me back to the days of trying to tear off the corner without spilling the orange..

Posters and pictures on all the walls - well maybe I was not that fascinated by the Beatles but my room looked a little like this

And the cars - well we covered that yesterday really ...

And kitchens could be bright - I remember having a gas fridge. I was always confused by having to light the fridge - but now I know the technology it makes more sense ....

and of course - the lava lamp...  with images in my mind of the "Prisoner" ..

Used to have one of these and loved the glow - happy that the retro market has brought some back - though I have not been tempted yet...

But that is of the past..

We have had another farce of a US presidential election debate ..
I will leave this image here  ... and who would you vote for ???

Enough to drive you to drink...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

20th October 2016 - Of costs of cars....

Thought for the day :"My favorite mythical creature? The honest politician."

Some new cover pics for this week ..

 and one for the next Crimson Moon event

Nostalgia is not what it sued to be they say - but whiel we are worrying about the pound falling - it is perhaps worth looking back upon the cost of living in the past...  In particular - the cost of our main transport - the car....

Our first car was the wonderful Ford Anglia - with its cut back rear window - and in our case a "racing" gearstick setting - can't remember what we actually paid for it - But I do remember that I was earning £17 a week before stoppages...

In the late 1940s (before my time I may add), the Ford Anglia was one of the cheapest cars you could buy, costing £310 new. Sounds like a bargain, but when the average house price house in 1950 was under £2000 - it certainly wasn’t a steal. No wonder we were content with an old banger or pinching the parents’ car at every opportunity.

Morris Minor - cost £358 10s 7d in 1948
A true British favourite, the Morris Minor came in all shapes and sizes, from the 2-door saloon, to the tourer convertible and the iconic wood-framed estate. Its popularity meant that in 1960 it became the first British car to sell more than a million. Even if it was nicknamed the Morris Minus, it never failed to capture our hearts. We had a post office van like this...

Ford Anglia – cost £310 in 1950
This great-value family motor had three gears, a single windscreen wiper and the option of a radio and a heater if you were feeling flush. You could pick up a second hand Anglia for around £100, but you’d be nervous about parking up, just in case it never started again.

Mini – cost £497 in 1959
The Mini was the car of the 60s. It’s quirky, compact nature made it a hit with the masses, as well as the rich and famous. You’d have to push it up big hills and fold up like origami to get in it, but we loved the fact you could park it anywhere.

Morris Oxford V1 cost £869 in 1961
Early Morris Oxford models had a split screen, bench seat and three column speed change. You thought you were going like the clappers at a top speed of 30mph. And you’d often have to thump the side of the car to get the indicator to pop out. Yup - had one of those...

Vauxhall Victor FB “Super” – cost £798 in 1961
This was the motor with three gears on the steering wheel, a panoramic windscreen and a two tone paint job. If you bought one new it was called a Vauxhall Victor, if you bought one second hand it was a “rust bucket” or a “knee knocker”. yup - had one of those - loved the bench seat...

Hillman Imp – cost £508 in 1963
These pint-sized cars were a driving instructor’s favourite. The nation’s teens were let loose on the roads in a Hillman Imp adorned with L-plates. While the adverts promised the car would be IMPressive, you’d have to drive at 50mph to make the heater work.

Ford Cortina – cost £963 in 1972
The Cortina’s design was a real revelation for Brits who’d been brought up on Morris Minors and Standard 8s. They even managed to look snazzy with a caravan in tow. With security not the problem it is today, it was also handy to know you could open it with your house key! Molly Maguire - MMG 735C - even remember the number plate - didn't have a tow bar though...

Ford Capri – cost £4,035 in 1978
The Ford Capri was the Brits’ answer to the American Mustang. Yes, you had to sit on a box to see the front of the bonnet, but its slick style and go-faster stripe made you feel like you were in a Dukes of Hazzard episode. And that did wonders for your street cred. Didn't have one myself - but friends dropped a lotus engine into one  - and crashed it !!

Ford Escort RS1600i - £6,700 in 1983
And finally, in glorious 1980s technicolour… it’s the Ford Escort. Launched in the late 1960s, it only became a top seller in the 1980s. No wonder because there was an Escort for everyone – from sensible to soft top and run-around to rally car - we couldn’t get enough of it.

So- back to today and more from the US election and mythical creatures...  so on a political note - I enjoyed this one...

I think a glass of Chateau 41 will be required...