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Showing posts from 2019

Today I did this...

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I'm currently on a project to create a VIP area in a nightclub.
These downlighters look great and make it feel really clean and modern.

Also fitted across the bar area.

Tomorrow we're going to be wiring up some pendant lights and fitting a grid switch to power them all.

Judge as you wish to be judged.

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You have one life to live. Live it as yourself.

DMX Trials & Tribulations

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Ok so I'm tinkering with DMX on stage lighting for the first time ever.
Amusingly, I have a lot of understanding of the protocol already as I used to tinker with BBC Econet and essentially it's the same idea.
All devices sit on a line and see every byte of data sent along it. They receive it, and send it on down the chain verbatim.
The fixture looks for it's address being announced and then reads the command following the address - the command being any number of 8 bit bytes telling it what to do, be it change a colour, or a focus, or move a head.
Having addressed all our fittings and connected them to an American DJ MyDMX Go Paired to my Tab S4 I was instantly able to create amazing programmes, albeit within a limited number of styles.
The next part of the experiment involves these though.

They were very cheap for what they are - they are DMX receivers which simply read a signal blasted out by the sender. No clever two way comms, just brute force.
The sender connects to the end …

Lush

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I love these. Henderson's Relish is lovely.

That Suit!

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It doesn't fit me anymore. Really. It's huge on me; but this was the first latex suit I bought after seeing the rather awesome Ray Cokes in this beautiful latex suit...




He struts better than I do though.

Any offers, please comment below.

Merlin Pass!

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I upgraded my Alton Towers season pass.


I now get early entry, plus other goodies.

My "PC"

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So, all you guys have a proper computer. Well, this is my daily driver.

The monitor is a 13" 'Thinlerain' branded one from Amazon. It does HDMI over USB C and is also powered from the same USB C.

The keyboard is branded Jelly Comb. It has a trackpad which is actually not bad to use (although I prefer a mouse for long term use).



The monitor is driven by my Galaxy Note 9 running Samsung DeX. A platform I must say I rather like (if you learn to live with a couple of limitations).


The desktop wallpaper is from Amiga Workbench 1.3 - Amiga was a great platform in it's day and I had Amigas for quite a few years.
All of the above packs into a neoprene case which means I can have a desktop experience wherever I am with minimal equipment.

I'm exhausted!

I've just done 22 hours of very tiring work in a 48 hour period. Yesterday I started at 9:30 and finished at 9:45 that night.
I know a lot of people do 12 hour shifts, but 12 hours physical labour on tools cutting, drilling, chipping, grinding. That's something else.
All this was for 14 rather amazing floor lights. Full DMX. Multi colour. They're going to look amazing when they're finished.

Songwriting with the Fishes

Friday night was a great night for me.
After a somewhat awful run to Manchester, I joined the rest of Strangefish for a songwriting session.
I'll not give too much detail, but two ideas bore fruit and might lead to songs.
I stayed overnight at Paul's and then came home the next morning.

Felt pretty

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I attempted to catch a pure white background, and for the most part succeeded, however, I edited it up a little more in Snapseed and removed some artefacts.

From a heatwave to flash flooding.

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The song four seasons in one day was very apt yesterday. From waking up to a little drizzle; then spending a couple of hours walking in warm sun, to the day ending with torrential rain and flash floods.
I played around with my new DJ software yesterday. It's called "djay 2" and although it's not as comprehensive or pretty as the 3D one I've been trying, it does allow you to load stuff from Spotify and use it in your sets.


A bit of It Bites on one deck with some Genesis on the other (not their best album, but Domino is for me one of the last breaths of a dying prog band before they became full pop).
I connected my bigger PA up and ran it through the 12 channel Behringer. It's much nicer sounding than the tiny practice PA I have, but much less portable.
This will come in useful for Spirit of Prog gigs!
Speaking of Spirit of Prog - we now have posters!

Two of these gigs are doing very well. The third is concerning me. We can't afford any failures whilst we still h…

And at last it cools down.

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After yesterday's ridiculous 38 degrees (highest temperature I saw on the gauge in the van), today was a markedly cooler 25 degrees. Still very hot, but the occasional spots of rain helped it feel better. Even at half past five it was still 36 degrees out.

After a few days of the jag off the road we've found the source of it's problems too. The radiator expansion tank is made of shit and has split right where a top hose goes in. I suppose it's good we've found it before it emptied the engine and killed it.
I've ordered a new water bottle and it'll be here Wednesday.

I don't like this weather.

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Anyone who does can go and give their head a wobble.
It doesn't agree with my work, my chosen favourite clothing (shiny clothes are pretty much always hot and sweaty) and it certainly doesn't agree with my sleeping patterns.
Tomorrow... Well that's set to be the hottest day on record. Ever. 35 degrees plus.
I am not looking forward to that.

31 flipping degrees!

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I don't really do heat very well at all. I'm not used to much above 30 degrees.
Out there right now though, it's 31°C and forecast to get even hotter on Thursday.


The screens on both the van and the Jag confirm it.
Luckily tonight I've got plans to spend a couple of hours in an air conditioned pub.

New lights... It had to happen!

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I was playing around with the new stage lights and I thought I'd see how they worked with my PVC suit.
I think we can all agree the results are awesome.

I bought some lights.

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I've been keeping an eye out for new lights for a while now. I loved the idea of the ADJ hexapar but did wonder whether the UV part of the light would get used much.
These on the other hand just have four elements on the chip - Red, Green, Blue and Amber. Amber is a great addition because it just lifts the other colours and stops them looking over saturated thus giving a more retro "Par Can" feel rather than the very intense LED colours you normally from these setups.

They look really good in all colours, and the beam focus is really tight and bright.


Unlike the cheap four head unit I bought which focuses the colours in different places and gives some strange shadowing effects on the wall behind.
I think these will be great mounted on the front trusses in place of the aging Cabaret Colour 3's we have on there now.
I've set the DMX to 1-8, 9-16, 17-24 and 25-31 which means that the trusses are mirrored so modifying fixture 1 and 2 puts all four lights into a single rak…

This thing...

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Yes, This.
This little blown component caused me to lose sleep and a customer to miss the deadline for Rammstein tickets.

Felt pretty.

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I have to say I was feeling a bit pretty so I took a selfie.

Alton Towers... Again

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You are all probably very well aware that I love Alton Towers. It's one of my favourite places to visit and I often travel every few weeks (season pass... aaah).



Unfortunately on this visit I misjudged the school holidays and Gaz and I ended up in a theme park full of brats! (admittedly, most of them are actually totally fine, but there's always the odd few who make you want to get stabby).

Yesterday's particular brat was quite merrily walking down the side of the queue line of Nemesis to join her mates who were about half way down. I stopped them passing me and explained that if they wanted to join their friends then their friends would have to come back to them.


Explaining the concept of queue jumping to someone in their teens should NOT be something anyone in England should have to do. Indeed, had I tried such a trick when I was that age I would have been fetching my head from the other side of the park as I'd have had it knocked off, and we'd have certainly bee…

Alton Towers again tomorrow!

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It's my last trip to Alton Towers for a few months. The school holidays will be putting paid to it until early September.


It's one of my favourite places to be. I always feel relaxed and yet excited at the same time. It's also true that when you go as much as I do you don't feel as eager to do all the rides every time.

It looks like it's going to be a rather warm day so it might well be shorts for me. Rather different from last time when I contemplated leather jeans!

First steps in leather.

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I see nothing wrong with a leather suit... Indeed I've owned one now for a lot of years. This is my latest - the waistcoat and trousers are from Higgs Leather (specially selected leather, not the cheaper option).


I was asked recently about my starting out in leather; well one of the first men I really appreciated it on was back in the late 80's and early 90's. The TV programme was Bread and the character was Joey.
For the first few years Joey was played by Peter Howitt (yes, Sliding Doors, that one).
However I preferred how Graham Bickley wore it from season 4 onwards. He was playing the same character, but he wore it as more of a suit with a waistcoat and shirt, although he mostly wore it with a blouson style jacket.
The trousers were pleated style, as was fashionable back in the day.

I saw this programme on TV back in the day and always wanted to dress like Joey, although I never wanted his hairstyle! Even then I realised how bad it was. It wasn't until about 2008 th…

I'm a Strange Fishy!

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Hannah has drawn the entire band as sea creatures food us.

I'm a lobster...

The rest of the guys...


Steve is a cuttlefish.
Jo is a turtle.
Paul is a seahorse.
Bob is a jellyfish.
Dave is an octopus.

They're very sinister and yet amazingly cool! They've certainly gone down very well though. If you're around Sheffield this weekend then consider this:


Back in the bike leathers

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The last time I wore this exact outfit I was 27 years old. It didn't fit me as well then as it does now!

Now all I need is the motorbike to ride in it 😞


For your information, the jacket is a 44 chest Akito V-Force and the trousers are a 36 waist by Syko. I doubt either of those brands still exist!

So I'm back here.

I'm back on Blogger again. Not totally through choice, but I find Wordpress seems to be over priced. Blogger uses my Google storage (of which I have tons and tons) and can easily embed Google photos. Wordpress limits me to less than 20 gig of storage for a lot of money.

Yeah I know it's a no-brainer.

I just wish Blogger had a decent app.

Great Band!

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I was introduced to a mate's new band today. They're called Every Black Day. They're great! It's quite Gothy music but with elements of Steampunk.





Bloody Rip-off

My opinion of WordPress.com is severely tarnished.

They charged me £11 for a domain diversion.
What a flipping swizz!

Wordpress... not quite right

My Wordpress blog has expired. I was originally on a fairly large package, but found I wasn't using the storage or data. I opted to renew on a lower package but for some reason Wordpress won't let me! I can renew on the current package, or not at all.

I've emailed them about it, but for the moment I've backed up all my content to here just in case it goes tits up.

Luckily I have the domain for another year, so I can always point back here.

I have a soft spot for Blogger, to be honest, I just wish it had support for galleries.

Weird shit in Denaby?

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I saw a strange road rage incident earlier today.Make of it what you will... It happens near the zebra crossing.

Rehearsing with the Fishes... Again!

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Yesterday was our final rehearsal before the forthcoming Sheffield gig. We went through the usual stuff, and had a couple of runs through Delicate.

The decision stands that it is officially in the set!

Also compared body sizes... Paul has huge hands!



But short arms!



I wonder if that means he's a particular creature?

I also got a photo of us with the chimney

[wpvideo Wv6TaGH1]

But the short video was more fun!

Open at last!

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We opened the MSAS Observatory earlier. The mayor and our local MP came down, as well as the local papers.



We had Paul Money and Dr Allan Chapman give short talks for us.





Unfortunately I had to bail slightly before the end due to having a gig.

Wardstock!

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Oh yes our annual return to Wardstock. A great little private festival with 6 bands playing.

We just did a short half hour set due to the nature of the event, but we went down well as usual.



I was very brave! I wore white jeans, and then spent the evening avoiding grass stains!

Adventures in Doncaster

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So it was Jake's 27th on Saturday. He decided he wanted to go around Doncaster.

He also told me he was going to wear his new rose gold pvc jeans (ASOS, pretty much sold out now).

Not wanting to overshadow him I decided to go fairly vanilla - just a pair of jeans and an Oxford shirt. But when I jokingly said that I was thinking of wearing the PVC suit he said "mint!".

Ok, I followed his intention...



It wasn't too warm a day so I thought perhaps I could get away with it for a while.

We arrived in Doncaster and immediately I was a talking point. Loads of people commented on the amazing suit. Jake looked stunning in his outfit. Very metrosexual - quite flamboyant.



I was driving though so the only drinks I could have were Mocktails and low alcohol beers.



The night went as follows:

The Gatehouse -> The Wool Market -> The Gin Rooms -> The Red Lion

We left after the lion as my pvc suit was getting a bit clammy. It's a great looking suit but it's not really practical …

Alton Towers... Again!

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You'd think I was addicted to the place, but Gaz and I traveled there again yesterday for the day.

We managed to ride 17 coasters including 5 rides on Smiler, 4 on Wicker Man, 3 on Nemesis, 2 on Galactica and 1 on each of Th13teen, Oblivion and RITA; plus the obligatory ride on Duel.

We missed out Spinball and Runaway Mine Train on this occasion.