Daily archives: December 19, 2002

Jack Frost

Edinburgh is coated with a deep white frost this morning and it feels marvelous! All the way to the office humming christmas carols and thinking about baking some cookies tonight. The office is nearly empty as all have bade farewell until January and the jovial spirit if those remaining makes it fun to be at work.

“My God, John O, you must have gone mad, far to happy for this time of year”, you say? No not really. After four years of living down south and the Northwest, this is the first time I feel as though its Christmas. People are far more festive in Scotland and to some degree it is infectous. I even have a cold, afresh with runny nose and sinus that makes my head feel like exploding. What else says cold weather and warm hot toddies, possibly some mulled wine sitting in front of an open fire?

It will all be over to quickly, and those New Year resolutions will be meaningless by Monday, 6th January, 2003, but for most people this holiday isn’t even about religion anymore. It is an opportunity to stop with busy lives and enjoy some downtime. Getting out of bed late for the next two weeks and not having to rush about will be the best thing ever. I have decided that me and Christmas Holidays are super-dooper-bestest friends. Oh and I forgot to mention, unlike you uncivlised people elsewhere, 2nd January is also a holiday! Take that London!

Addicted to raaawk!

I want more stuff, no make that need more stuff. Well actually, I could do without it, but then life wouldn’t be the same. The dilemma that faces every guitarist experiencing Gear Acquisition Syndrome. There’s even a self-test for those unsure of whether they’ve captured the “disease”. So from my point of view, I want/need (the two are fully interchangeable, but need occurs more often) a new amp head and a new guitar. I don’t have to think hard for reasons, in that I don’t have to justify the purchases to myself. I looking for a particular sound, that justifies all.

So the amps, down to two at the moment, Engl Powerball (or something else from their line-up) or Hughes and Kettner Triamp. You will understand that although the Engl stuff I’ve heard sounds very good, it has to compete with the fact that you can see the H&K’s valves being lit up nicely. OK, from the point of view of a guitar purist, then looks don’t matter, but bands are as much about stage presence, image and act as they are the music that the band is there to play. Having something as cool as backlit valves, just gives you instant respect (until you hit the strings on the guitar – then it’s another ball game entirely). Reminds of the time that Trace Elliot started putting neon tubes on the front of their amps, I’d never seen bass players dribble so much before.

As for a new guitar, currently the JJ Guitars Retro is top of the list, but there are a few others to try close behind.

Fancy seeing the current band, then we’re playing at the Grey Horse, Reddish, Stockport tomorrow (on Friday 20th December). Want to see a better band, then look at Stockport SU tonight.

Back to writing, I remember looking for some useful information on creative thinking. I found the odd one or so, then found an index of the stuff. Much more useful, however do I use them? No, not in the slightest. Think I need something more about motivation instead. From what I’ve seen though, it’s mainly a question of people trying to sell you self-help packs, often thinly disguised pyramid selling.

Off key?

You know when it’s time to give up singing when your computer can sing better than you can.

Since Ian and me both write, I thought it worth pointing out a collection of dodgy science facts in the Hall of Infamy and some fantasy cliches. Just so we know what to steer clear of.

Did you try the “which science fiction author are you?” Need more info on the author, then start with the list of scifi authors. Need more info, then there’s the only decent sci fi encyclopaedia.

There’s a Manchester-based scifi group, didn’t know that before.