Showing posts from March, 2013

Amber - Fretwork update

Remember Amber - of course you all do!  I've been wanting to dress the frets on it as a couple of the high ones choked off.  I bought a new file from Crimson Guitars - in the foreground of the picture which is a brilliant file and with watching the videos online from the Crimson's Ben I had a go.  Really really pleased - solved all the problems!  Amber is now super duper gorgeous!

So 2013 continues...

Last week I was telling you all how 2013 has already thrown some bad issues our way.  Well it continues. Thursday night my niece called to say she was in hospital.  She has suffered with ME for ages and it has been bad lately especially after a couple of bouts of the flu etc.  A couple of times she suddenly found she can't move her legs - that has again happened she has no movement below her waist.  She has a great spirit though as I visited her yesterday and she was joking away.  The doctors actually are wondering if there is an actual spinal injury at the root cause this time (she has had a couple of accidents in the past with her back) so are getting scans etc. organised, but with Easter - everyone is on holiday so she's stuck there until at least Tuesday. Another bump in a very bumpy year so far. On a brighter note on the kitchen is all finished... here is a rubbish picture to prove it - I like the colour, B&Q Warm Yellow.  And proper paint - you know with all

Time off

One of the benefits of working for a university is the holidays.  We get a healthy number of days holiday to take at our discretion but then two closures - one for the week over Christmas/New Year and then one at Easter.  This year that means my last day was yesterday (Wed) and I'm not back in the office until next Wed!  So almost a full week - and with everybody else off and the college closed no build up of emails and actions! So Maundy Thursday - I'm painting the kitchen, Mrs F and Daughter-of-Furtheron had to get up as usual and head off to their respective schools whilst I had a cosy lie in.  Now I'm half way through painting the walls - the ceiling I did last week.  So lunchbreak and then back with a second coat of the paint on the walls.  Tomorrow I'll paint the woodwork - doors, skirting etc.  Hopefully all done by Saturday.
If you've ever wondered what the guitar is that currently is the head photo on the blog... i.e. It is a Gordon Smith Graduate 60 - hand made in England. Here is a lovely little and quiet brilliant short video about the lovely people who made it. Now - listen up... these are hand crafted really good guitars and you can seen from the "factory" they hardly match Gibson/Fender/PRS etc. for output so more un-usual.  Now Richard Guitars has a similar Graduate to mine available today for only £899!!!  BARGAIN! PS... If you wondered what the body was Lynda was sanding down in this clip here is the new Gryphon bass now available at the Manchester Bass Lounge ...

I broke a tooth!

Yes folks about as exciting as it gets these days in the Furtheron household.  I broke a tooth - on a naan bread!  I know.  I chomped into the last bit of naan at our curry on Friday and felt something in it - I knew what it was.  Yes a cusp off one of my back molars!  Surprisingly it has hurt little but I went today (Monday) to get it fixed as I didn't want it leading to more problems but time to face facts most of my teeth have one or more fillings in them and really this fix is possibly only temporary I think I'll need some major dental stuff soon - like a couple of crowns or more. In other news.  Daugther-of-Furtheron had her French speaking exam today - the messages on Twitter/Facebook don't auger well sadly.  Also Son-of-Furtheron is soon to book his flight back!  Yes he is over halfway through his stint in the frozen north - frankly though given we had snow again this weekend there is little difference from here.  He'll be back in May some point. Where the hell

2013 - emphasis on the 13...

2013 is living up to the 13 part of its nomenclature if you believe in the superstition that it is unlucky. I apologise for the rugby rant - I think I now know why I ranted so much, I'm angry about other stuff I have no control over and this is my anger/frustration about that coming out sideways in a place I feel comfortable ranting and safe from any effects of said rant!  That all said - I still think England have much to learn from that performance. Why am I angry?  Life is throwing a bunch of stuff in my direction at the moment - all of which I have no control over and little that I can actually do to help in any situation.  Here is the list... In January - a good friend in AA succumbed to Lung Cancer, only 47 and such a sad loss. In February - another acquaintance in AA died suddenly, probably from a blood clot. In March (so far) - a friend has had a car crash and has a suspected broken back, he is being transferred to one of the countries leading specialist units.

RSS Aggregation Aggravation - The Final Part(?)

I hoping this'll be the last post in this series (rant!). With Google Readers demise I've been pushed out of my comfy zone and need to find a fix for a new RSS reader.  If you've never used one briefly RSS is a method used by websites to "broadcast" the content of that site to users who have "subscribed".  Essentially you then have a "reader" which has "feeds" from these source sites you've selected.  You open up the reader and there is a list of all the new stories you can go read.  If you join sites in Blogger or Favourite them in Wordpress you get a similar, if very limited thing, off you home page/dashboard in those tools.  The benefit with RSS is that it is open and not tied to any blog tool etc. you can have news sites, blogs etc. etc.   So I have all my blogs in mine categorised into groupings, like work, Blogs, Guitar etc. So here is the (hopefully!) final view. I used to use Bloglines - so went back there first.  H

What did the 6 Nations really tell us?

That England are sadly still rubbish - sorry a bit harsh but frankly a long long way from being a great team and threatening for either a 6 nations grand slam or a good chance in the World Cup. So three games in I reported I was really pleased.  By then England were the only unbeaten team. However let us consider... Scotland - getting better and didn't get the wooden spoon this year but frankly they are one of the sides with lowest ability in the championship.  We played them when it was their first game with a new coach and style they beat Italy and Ireland but... France - I have no idea what they were doing - the French have this ability to implode and this year is no different, the selections and substitutions have left most observers totally bamboozled. Ireland - What the hell happened there?  Another team to lose it and play way below their ability.  Injuries didn't help but they just never played how we know they can.  They need to shake the team up, they know

Plectra I currently use

Inspired by another blogger talking about plectrum choice I'm going to bore you all rigid.  (However some while back a post call Let's Talk Plectrums... (yes I know the plural should be plectra) was one of the top read posts on this blog - hello you sad people! :-) Anyway currently I use Dunlop Tortex picks – normally the just the standard ones but I did buy some of the III ones based on the shape of Dunlop's line of jazz picks and I did like them… I also have bought and use some from a UK company called Stone Deaf – they were good value if not as good quality as the Dunlop ones. Now different horses for difference courses - or different plectra for different guitars (doesn't rhyme that so won't catch on in the same way). On 6 string acoustic my favoured thickness is now the orange ones at 0.6mm thick – I did use 0.5mm for a while but beefed up a while back and currently seem settled with them. On 12 string acoustic I use the yellow ones 0.73mm - I just fe

RSS aggregation aggravation continued...

Thought I'd look at - hit Import and gave it my Subscriptions.xml file to chew on... "Thank you for uploading your OPML file. We will soon start importing your subscriptions, which might take up to several hours depending on the amount of feeds you have. There are 20643 users in the import queue ahead of you." LOL!   I think a lot of people are moving over today!   I'll come back to it... I've tried Bloglines and Netvibes (same thing actually as Bloglines is now just rebadged Netvibes from what I can see).  Most stuff has gone over ok but frustratingly a few feeds are not working.  I have to go through and re-add and some of them then say "No feed" or similar - which is rubbish as they are working Reader - quick look on the forums seems a common complaint, if there is a problem and you are only subscriber they are unlikely to help.  Annoying! Hence why I'll try  - when it catches up, still it does put up a

Google Reader demise...

Damn!  Google has announced that Google Reader is being killed off. I use it a lot - I have the blogs I follow in there and it is easy to read.  I have the Andriod client which syncs it all up on my phone as well so I can read on the move or at a PC.  I moved to Reader in 2010 when it was announced that Bloglines was closing.  In the end Bloglines didn't close but I'd moved over already.  Sadly Bloglines doesn't have an Andriod reader from what I can see and exporting / importing my feeds has worked but Bloglines seems a pain.   And how long before that closes. Annoying.  I know everyone uses Twitter these days .... well actually they don't - I'm an RSS aggregator die hard fan - I like having it all in one place, I can catagorise etc. and read in the reader or pop to the site to comment. Grrr - Annoyed of England. Stop press - there is a petition - whether it'll do any good who knows but if you want to sign go to

Minimum alcohol pricing

Many press reports ( BBC ) over the last two days seem to be indicating that the government is backing away from an alcohol minimum pricing policy. I smile at this idea - a lot of learned people think it is a good idea but as recently I've talked about on this blog, alcoholics will go to extraordinary lengths to drink, putting your life and well-being in repeated danger seems small fry to me compared to saying - oh that is a bit more expensive.  Alcoholics lie about their use of alcohol, the recent report indicating that 50% of the UK's alcohol purchases are "lost" when you ask people how much they drink.  So how much difference will this have?  Some but I feel minimally for people like me. When I drank I bizarrely almost exclusive drank beer; there are some awful incidents involving vodka that meant I thought it best I avoid shorts and stick to beer only.  That was "sensible".  I almost exclusively drank in pubs - because that gave my drinking an air

Understanding addiction and alcoholism

I wonder if people who are not addicts can ever really understand - even the really clever ones. I'm drawn to this question again having watched a fantastic programme about addicition that was on the BBC last Friday.  If you can watch it in your locale and want to here is the link go the BBC iPlayer page for it Frankly I don't like Mr Brand as a performer I don't find him that amusing as an entertainer but I know he is an addict in recovery so thought this would be an interesting watch.  It was.  Maybe others can watch this and start to get in the head of people like me when Russell sees a video of himself taking drugs from some years ago he admits to jealousy of his older self.  I'm similar - I just wish I could drink and not have the consequences of someone who drinks too much.  But I can't I'm an alcoholic and so that I know if I did go and have a drink today it would

Catching up with my son

Son-of-Furtheron's continues his Arctic adventure.  We had a great Skype catch up call with him last night.  What a fantastic thing Skype is frankly! Good news is he is liking the work and enjoying himself studywise.  That is key it would be a disaster to travel there and not enjoy that side of it which occupies so much of his time. We were catching up on the bizarre costs of things.  Chicken is particularly expensive apparently so he is living of Salmon which is by comparison a bargain - he gets four fillets for about £7! Tea is another expensive luxury so he is very grateful for the large box of tea bags we sent to him and great expense... the woman in the post office thinks I'm nuts no doubt, and I found out the other day it is a good job he isn't in China.  Caffeine is a prohibited import into China so if you have anyone there you know, don't ever send them tea bags - it'll be illegal!  And probably pointless given they already have all the tea in China! H

Music I've been listening too recently.

Ok - so having said I don't do record reviews any more - here are some record reviews!  No, no!  These are simply observations about new music I've recently been listening to - in no particular order then... 1. Muse - 2nd Wave .  A bit different from Mr Bellamy and the boys, probably never going to be my favourite Muse album but a good listen no doubt.  In some ways on some of the later tracks on this I get a feeling of Porcupine Tree overall in the sound - not a bad thing just my observation. 2. Blair Dunlop - Blight and Blossom .  Super d├ębut album this.  Billy in the Lowground is my highlight - Blair takes this old bluegrass fiddle classic reworks it on guitar adds some amusing lyrics and it is a real delight.  Whole album is great. 3. The Albion Band - Vice of the People .  Hang on it is Blair Dunlop again!  So great solo album and here he has re-ignited his Dad's old band (he is Ashley Hutchings son if you don't know).  So the great folk rockers of the past

Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel

I stopped posting book and album reviews generally on this blog as largely I felt they were rubbish - I'm no critic and I noticed a lot of reader traffic was to these posts, I personally felt I was doing the authors often a disservice in my reviews as I say... I'm no critic.  If I was all about driving traffic to the blog I'd only do reviews - many of them get 1000s of reads!  Often with the music stuff I'm going to wax lyrical as I'm already a fan I'm normally reviewing something I was obviously going to buy so people aren't reading an unbias review but often a fan's eulogy. Anyway I have to mention this book.  I bought this as a result of seeing Ms Mantel receiving much critical acclaim and prizes for it and it's sequel which I daftly bought at the same time and will now I fear remain forever unopened. Sadly though I've given up reading it less than half way through.  I just can't get into it at all - the writing style is virtually all

Where does it go then? Alcohol Consumption

I saw this report the other day Actually this is work from where I work so I have extra belief in it's integrity. Bottom line is if you add up the figures for what people in Britain say they drink you get a number.  If you compare that to the sales figures for the industry then about 40 - 60% is unaccounted for. I just burst out laughing!  What do you suspect? I spent years lying to everyone about my alcohol consumption, alcoholics do.  I think probably 90% of all booze is consumed by about 10% of the population.  Then there is a rump who think on a "normal" week when stating their comsumption but forget the 1 or 2 days a month it is higher the occasional bingers. For me however I had no control over my drinking it simply controlled me.  On a daily basis I rarely could accurately add up how much I had drunk by the end of the day, I'd have to give you a range generally greater than 10 pints but less than 15 - no wonder the figures are so far out. Still a wak