Tuesday, August 15, 2006

There's this guy I know....

....who really likes his traditional photography. Old school cameras with no fancy electronics, black & white film developed in the kitchen and printed in the back bedroom. Real photo's with a little bit of his soul in every one.

Problem is, recent months have seen a complete cessation of any form of silver halide exposure. Darkroom being turned into storage room whilst house stuff is being done and a shortage of chemicals for a while has really curtailed the artistic endeavours. To remedy this and after much soul-searching, matey has taken a drastic step and purchased himself a digital camera. Nothing fancy mind, it's pretty much fully manual with nothing in the way of bells & whistles but it has got him out & about snapping again.

He's trying to ignore the constant insults and abuse being hurled by his Jimmy Cricket but it's no good, the only way to placate the little bugger is to unpack the other cameras and start using them again. He still needs somewhere to develop and print though, so thoughts are turning to building a shed in the garden for a darkroom and turning the conservatory into some sort of studio that can also be used by his wife for her new jewellery hobby.

Much as he hates to admit it, turning (albeit in a small way) to the evil god digital seems to have fired him up again, creative juices have started flowing and the new camera has opened up imaginative possibilties that used to be too much effort.

To get an idea of what's going on in (ahem) his head at the moment check out the new photoblog here.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Diagnosis: Gilberts Syndrome. That explains everything.

After nearly four years and numerous procedures my latest hospital trip is going to be my last for a while now. Not much point me going every three months to be weighed, drained of blood and told nothing has changed when they couldn't do much about it if it had. Better to leave that sort of thing to my GP apparently. It's up to me now to look after myself and make sure I don't have to repeat this wonderful experience. Hmmm, that'll be a good incentive then.

The problem is I now know what the problem is! I have been diagnosed! 'Surely that's a good thing' I hear you mutter under your breath so the boss doesn't hear you and realise you're surfing blogsites instead of doing work.

Well it is in a way. I now have a better idea of what I need to do to keep myself healthy(ish) but on the minus side, everytime I feel a bit off it's because of the Gilberts, if i'm tired it's the Gilberts, if I can't concentrate it's the Gilberts. If I've just spent twenty minutes on the loo suffering hideous stomach cramps whilst every last dreg of every meal I've eaten in the last three months is forcibly expelled from my bowels it's the bloody Gilberts (alright so in this case it probably is).

The point is I don't want to become someone who's entire life is governed by their condition, either in their own minds or in other peoples. Yes, Gilberts Syndrome does cause fatigue, but so does going to bed at 3 o'clock in the morning. No I shouldn't really drink Alcohol but a couple of beers now and again isn't going to hurry me to an early grave. Fatty foods probably aren't a good idea but that applies to everyone and in the last six months i've lost a stone, how have you done?

It's hereditary, there's no 'cure' and i'm stuck with it. Some days I feel utterly shite, some days I just want to put my head down and sleep for 24 hours but until last week I just thought it was how I looked after myself in general and I should do something about it. Now, if I choose to, I have a label to hide behind and use as an excuse.

If I do, then you have my permission to slap me.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Last picture post

... for a little while anyway. Don't want to bore you all! Anyway, Renthal bars and Motrax mirrors are now in place.

Aside from the fact the bike is now starting to look nasty, the riding postion has been improved and visibilty behind me is 100% better, especially at speed. I'm now slighter further forward over the wheel and can tuck in better without those hideous old mirrors right in my face.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

New bitz

Got a few new bits on the bike now. Official Kwak screen and seat cowl, a Tail Tidy International tail tidy with mini indicators, tarty rimstripes and a starter motor cover. Only things left to do now are fit the gold Renthal ultralow bars and bar end mirrors I picked up this week.

Now i've replaced the small barge known as my rear mudguard it really has accentuated the length of the standard Kawasaki end can. So I have a cunning plan. The very nice people at MTC do a rather OTT twin exit Tri-oval stumpy can which comes in under £200 delivered.

You know it's got to be done.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Quick update

I am still about. Even got a couple of posts planned shortly. Bike had its 600 mile service last Thursday (with 750 showing on the clock) and is now boasting a Kwak genuine screen and seat hump (pictures will follow, Mad before you ask). Mileage currently sitting at just over 1000. Tail tidy to go on this weekend, got my eye on a set of gold Renthal ultra-lows with bar-end mirrors then the 'look' of the bike is sorted. Other plans include ZXR636 rear shock and fork transplant and a stubby end can of some description.

Other news? Not much really. Saw the Chili's and it was gooood. Portman Road Acoustics were shite though! Going to see The Divine Comedy again in November and will be logging on at 9 o'clock exactly tomorrow morning to pick up some tickets for Muse.

Work is slowing down a little at the moment so I am optimistic about getting one post a week out for the next few weeks at least.

Or something.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Supermassive Extravagnza

There is one band I have wanted to see live from the first time I heard them and Muse's new album, 'Blackholes & Revelations' has just made that urge itch even more. If you're not familiar with the sounds of Teignmouths finest then I suggest you pick up 'Blackholes' now and be ready for some serious rock.

Imagine Thom Yorke at his most existential joining forces with Queen at their most operatic and you'd be about halfway to understanding the sound of Muse. Huge guitar solos full of feedback and distortion fight for attention with crashing piano interludes, all overlaid by the wailing voice of lead singer Matt Bellamy have characterised the bands previous three albums, most notably in the raw sound of 'Origins of Symmetry' and the slickly produced 'Absolution'.

So how does this latest offering compare?

The sound is still definitely Muse but it's obvious from the very first track, 'Take a Bow' that things have moved on. The whole thing starts off sounding like the soundtrack from a Sci-Fi movie, then 1min 39 secs in something unexpected happens when an Erasure-like bassline kicks in and away we go. Things stay unpredictable from thereon in. 'Assassin' is probably the closest you're going to get to the sound of 'Origins', with the other tracks getting more and more over-the-top, culminating in the gloriously silly 'Knights of Cydonia', a real 'Seven Seas of Rye' for the 21st Century.

'Blackholes & Revelations' is a fantastically extravagant Space/Rock/Opera/Epic that should please existing fans and will hopefully (with their new-found higher profile) introduce some new ones to the weird and wonderful world of Muse.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Well, you asked for it.

After the overwhelming response from both my readers here are some more hol pics.

The old Venetian fort that overlooks Kassiopi harbour.

Me wishing i'd bought a decent camera loaded with that roll of IR film i've got sitting in the fridge.

Why would anyone clamber over sharp rocks to reach a pebble beach this small?

To swim in water this blue!

That's your lot for Corfu folks. But while your here you might as well check these out. Apparently people are interested.

Oh Yeah!

Current revs: 6000rpm
Current top speed: 80mph
Current miles: 406
First service booked in for next thursday. Bring it on!