Thursday, October 24, 2013

Electric Dreams Realised

The first proper synth I owned was a Jen SX1000.
It took a lot of persuading to convince my dad that the loan was worthwhile. It took me weeks to pay back but I was in love with my synth and all I did was play it. That was in the 80's.
These days I'm overwhelmed with the variety and quality of synth apps at pocket money prices. In all honesty I think some devs are doing themselves out of a few quid because I'd happily pay more for what I'm getting.
I have a few favourites but I've just bought Arturia's iSEM. It is the synth I've always wanted. Not only is it just an amazing synth but it sounds the way I remember synths sounding. So why is that a big deal for me?
The reason is that deep within my psyche I can create music that has a certain sound to it and if I can hear the sound then I can concentrate on getting the tune right. I've messed around playing with iSEM's presets and adjusting them a little. Every starting point is there and adjustments are easy and intuitive. This synth for me is less about the synth and more about the music it'll help me create.
That's what the big deal is.
Well done Arturia.

Monday, October 21, 2013


It's been a year since I started growing my hair.
I used to cut it every 4-6 weeks and when I say cut it I mean Bic it off. The reason was that I was too lazy to grow it. Curly hair is a bit of a nightmare when you're starting out. Since growing it I've straightened it a bit using and Afro-Caribbean hair product. For a white guy I do have some serious curls. My hair will handle products made for Afro hair.
A year ago I became lazy about cutting my hair so it's been growing and now looks long because of the hair relaxing product. I think I'll keep it growing for a while longer but there's no telling when I'll get bored with my fringe falling into my eyes.
In the meantime I'm quite enjoying looking different to my previous self.
How long it will last, who knows.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


When I was 17, some 27 years ago I owned my first Bianchi road bike.
It was a major purchase. It cost me £100. I spent a further £140 on getting better components added to it. I only wanted to cycle and I wanted the best I could afford. In 1986 there was no Internet to buy stuff from and shops weren't cheap, one saved and built up ones possessions one by one.
These days there is the Internet and because of this stuff can be found cheaply and gained in fairly quick succession. To that end I've got my Bianchi winter / summer cycling gear fairly easily and without waiting too long either. I also own my second Bianchi road bike. As you can guess I'm a bit of a Bianchi fanboy, and unashamedly too.
In those past 27 years I've always owned a bicycle. Always for the love of cycling but sometimes as my only means of transport too. In those past 27 years I've also put on more weight than I ever wanted to. I'd thought of running but I'm no runner. I'm a cyclist and I should stick to what I'm good at. I needed some kind of encouragement to get back into shape. Of course I'm never going to be a 17 year old, I'm not kidding myself. What I could be was in better shape than I am. So I got myself my Bianchi gear. Strangely enough not to look good but to look somewhat ridiculous. Why? Because by the time I didn't look ridiculous in that clothing I'd have achieved my goal.
That is the position I'm in now. I have my rollers for when the weather is rubbish (as it usually is this time of year, and I've been using them.) and I have my Bianchi clothing for when it's good enough to go out.
The one thing I've maintained in all this time is that whatever the weather, however old or fat I become or how much money I earn, or not. I'll always own a bicycle, or maybe four.
One for work, one for fitness, one for travelling and one for two. That last one, my tandem, being my most recent acquisition.
Time has changed me but the bicycle defies time.

Sunday, October 06, 2013

The Unplanned Weekend

This weekend started off with me waking up on Saturday and heading straight into a small job of making a table for a neighbour who wanted to sit in his chair and do the odd jigsaw puzzle. If you've ever seen Roald Dahl's shed you'll know the kind of thing.
The small job took me some three hours and because I'd spent time buying wood and stuff and then making the chair-table there was no time to get a few miles in on the Bianchi. Never mind there would always be Sunday. Saturday evening put a stop to any thoughts of a Sunday ride because by 8pm I had bought a tandem (above) and Sunday would be spent collecting it from Burton upon Trent.
By the time I'd got home with the tandem it was again too late for a ride but myself and the bear went around the block a couple of times on the new bike to bed it in a little.
As I've said in the title the weekend wasn't planned. The table job was arranged for me and the new bike was an out of the blue thing. Nevertheless I've enjoyed this weekend and I'm happy with the outcome.
I'm planning to get a few miles done next weekend.
We'll see.