Tuesday, January 6, 2015

January – new routines

Pretty much finished with this now until the update with the portal guns. Played for more than three days over Xmas, from scratch to Pumpking. With four of us, two terrablades (built from scratch) and some potion buffs we couldn’t complete all 15 waves. So did not want to attempt Duke Fishron.

Lol – occasionally as per normal.


The only game I bought in the steam sales, disappointed. I was hoping for a suspenseful game with smooth graphics and a water physics engine like in Hydrophobia. But it reminds me more of CS Source and Killing Floor. Grainy textures and static maps are my other complaints. I get lost in the maps and most times I ate a diver I’ve ended up stuck in the corner of a room then getting shot like a fish in a barrel. If the maps were procedurally generated and the shark team had a minute to familiarise with their “home ground” then it would be much harder for the divers to camp.


Still short on cash, partially due to how much I didn’t spend on holidays, also overestimating the amount of my home loan I could pay off and failing to account for the exchange rate when I bought my 18m kite. It seems I’ve let my general and food expenses exceed $1k per month all year and it slowly caught up to me. So I need to pay closer attention to my economics for a while…
Aim to keep the LLL between 5 and 9 thousand dollars ( a months pay ~4,181.21)
That is to say down to ~5k on the 23rd and not more than 9k on the 30th
Bank $1-2k (prevent homeloan from using the credit card)
Home loan auto pay is $686, add monthly $500 total $1,186. To accommodate ~500 interest.( I think this number should go down every month) Maybe on the 30th I round the loan to the nearest 1K? But for now only the bare minimum in preparation for my next council rates bill.


Don’t Starve Together
Seems like a good replacement for Terraria and minecraft. I may even be interested enough to mod my own characters in. Both this and Depth should be on the schedule for the next Sojourn.


Got two half days in once I was back home from holidays in SA. I may have been able to kite two days down there and it would have been a great opportunity to race against dad with his NACRA 16, but it wasn’t to be. Very sore hands at the moment from holding on tight while going around the island at Elliot Heads, still have to check via Tony’s GPS how far that was. Good fun to be out in the middle of the ocean with the big swell, the main challenge there was to not loose balance. Still unable to reliably jump and aiming to be able to jump+turn rather than tack/gyb.
30km and 2h, or thereabouts but we did get a bit distracted by mucking about in the surf once we reached the Oceanside of the river delta. [LINK]


Marvel Puzzle Quest
Since the Bowes Clan started to play it’s gotten more interesting, and they fixed the cheating too. So this is my phone game, just have to play once a day to keep up to speed.

Elva the Bass
Has been unused for a month now, while I’ve lost a bit of condition I have not forgotten what to do. So I just need to practice for more than an hour a day and find somebody else to play with. I think I’ll try to learn to read tab music as its similar to the rocksmith interface and I don’t understand how to translate sheet music into finger positions. Plus while I can hear the wrong note I’m never sure what note is actually played. I could get a Behringer US600 pedal to change tuning, rather than actually adjusting my guitar.
Shift it up or down a half pitch or whatever, for the songs with non standard tuning. Alternatively stick to “E” and wait for cash reserves to build up again. I’ve found a coupple of people I may be able to practice with and that may make it desirable to obtain a second Rocksmith cable. Kyle, Jez, Scotty, Geoff.
Additionally there appears to be free DLC, http://customsforge.com/

  and I can request some songs to learn.


Signed up to lead/host a small group over Lent. So that’s the first new thing to startup as the habit breaking January passes by. Also had my first hot-cross but yesterday, they should make them all year round… or maybe they shouldn’t.

Friday, November 28, 2014

A little bit better

What about now? What about this week?
I'm still aiming to beat Rock lee and be a bit better than yesterday.

TV+Oil+sound system= good anime, bad for being close
TV+Stearing wheel = fun driving games
TV+eyefinity= too close to TV and wings unhelpfull.
Oil+3monitor desktops= fullscreen gaming while watching youtube/web browsing.


Assuming I can get a rocksmith cable, or an extension lead, so that I can stand comfortably whilst playing rocksmith. I may leave this setup running and catch-up with Naruto/Fairytale until xmas. Otherwise I’d be more satisfied to do away with the TV as my primary monitor. Go back to something that doesn’t hurt my eyes to be so close to and use just the one superfluous monitor. Then try to win space rangers before Tony does.


Having Deo visit from the 21-28 November has meant that I had some help and a bit of a rush to get one of my old PCs functional again. So I now have a decent XP Gaming machine, called Old-Freddy. But there are also 5 HHDs to clean, backup & reformat. Mostly with old anime/Nicole’s photos/Linux OSs I think.


The Terraria server on toplessness.noip.me has ended up letting my Argonaut character fairly easily defeat Planterra. So I’m not quite certain how to make the game fun when people with no experience in hard mode join. Gathering Chlorophyte and plant hearts was pretty easy when digging sideways through my jungle. So these hearts are probably the best way to buff my allies. Oo I should change to a sailor uniform too. For the nautical theme. And my main goal will be to make a GPS, I think I have some of the components on other accounts.


I wonder if I can count the mint that has taken over the herb garden as flourishing? It’s a bit more untidy than nutgrass and tastes better. Maybe if it is really a weed I should plant it where the rats-tail grass is growing? Then I could choke out the thistles with something that smells nice and has flowers.


BG, the skill that I aim to develop over the next six months that should be more useful than fencing and used more often than the argentine tango.


Have a look at the Apollo-M teaching program that Miranda recalled.

Find bassline for the argentine tango, pasa double, Catherin waltz, Sway by Dean Martin.

Sheet Music for “Wags the Dog” to be my first song I think.

I should translate real musical notation into muscle memory.

But it’s easier to learn how to get a high score on Rocksmith and remember Red7, yellow5

Red          Yellow      Blue         Orange

0E            A             D             G


F♭/G♯  B              E

G              C              F

G♭/A♯                                  B

A                                              C


B              E

C              F

C♭/D♯                  B              E

D                              C              F


12E          A             D             G


Beth explained chords to me in a way that I could understand. The dots show where your fingers go and you don’t move your hand but alternate which string is played, so a chord is a group of notes that all sound nice together. Whereas I’ve been playing nearly everything with my index finger and trying to quickly move it to the next required fret.

The other marvellous thing on Tuesday was connecting the Parfits Bass amp to my guitar, and using the headphones to transfer the amped “music” into Rocksmith. With this I can actually hear myself playing over top of the songs that I’m trying to learn and now I can hear how bad I actually am, rather than assuming its mostly correct and waiting for visual feedback from the game. Now that I can hear I’m terrible I should be able to tell when I begin to get better and which parts need improving most.

Somehow I plan to play a tango, but it’s really slow to translate musical notation into notes then into string/fret finger positions. I think there was a program called “musicnotes”? nope, that just has sheet music, though it does have Sway (Quien Sera) which is apparently by the Pussycat Dolls, not Dean martin as I have previously supposed. It seems similar to IMSLP, but that you have to pay for MusicNotes.com. So far this has been more challenging than I anticipated. I think the next part after I start to translate something is to use the rocksmith Jam session mode thing to see if the computer thinks that I am playing something like what I want to.


On the water I have not been able to progress as much as Tony, mainly due to his proximity with the beach. There have also been a lot of northerlies lately making Archie’s the place to go. Also while the initial plan was to take a kite to SA for xmas I think travelling with the wakeboard may be a little too challenging. So the taking Elva the Bass is probably the best plan. Might end up loaning all my kite gear to Tony for the xmas break. Then he will defiantly be better at it. Unless we get the very windy days where I’m overpowered but still having fun on the 12m starter kite. I just need more time on the water with less breaks to get a hang on whats happening. I need to relearn how to do jumps and practice my downwind approach a bit more but I think my light winds relaunch and tack/Gybe is all good.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Which Bass

So last saturday I had a play with a bass guitar in Bout Time, a local music shop currently undergoing renovations. and between then and Tuesday the elevelnth I settled on a decision. Im still a little annoyed that I didnt get a fretless bass (More like the doubble) simply because it is 'aparrently' harder. But then again from what I had access to to try out and a desire for a new instrument I'm happy that I got the one with a sound I liked best.
I'm a little surprised that after ringing all of the music and computer game stores in town only two people had heared of Rocksmith, and nobody had any 6.3-USB cables in stock. Rocksmith appears to be dead, eBay was the only place I could find that sold the cable, everywhere else didn’t actually have anything in stock, even ubisoft itself. But untill my cable arrives I've got the cracked version from Sam [Link] and been able to use the headphone in to get the game to work.

Anyway what I have is:
PC with 36Watt 9’Bass speaker [Link]
$125 for Case, may be able to fly with it.
$350 for the actual bass [Link]
$17 lead
$19 Tuning device
$60 rocksmith 2014
$50 real tone cable (still waiting on this)
$60 leather strap
$2 6.3 – 3.5 phone jack adaptor to connect to the PC mic in and the Moshi BassBarrel [Link]
Total $683

and maybe later:
?? for a small powered headphone connection to practice without annoying people.

$350 Amp [Link] to play in a band
?? lessons from a real person
?? bluetooth wireless pre-amp

Currently this and catching up on Naruto has taken over much of my computer time, and it may be this way until my holidays start. So I have untill the 15th of December to decise if I want to take it with me down south as I travel. Most things will fit in my case and will be easier to fly with and cheaper to insure. Plus there is the possibility that I will be able to find somebody to co-op with?

So what has been challenging? Well I've spent about 2 hours a day on the bass since getting it and my left hand can always feel the strings so it may not take long for the callouses. Rocksmith was much harder to setup than I thought. I have no idea which notes belong to what octaves, even with the help here:

It's also a bit quieter than I was expecting (using the line in with no pre-amp) Also if it was windy I'd still go to the beach in preference to practicing.

Why a Bass

Talkbass has been a nice website. I’ve got 1k from grandmas will and have earmarked that as for something memorable. At this stage it’s either for a double bass, a Bass guitar or something Kitesurfing. Either I should consolidate a skill I already have or diversify into something different. I’ve been a bit discouraged buy the starting price of double Basses, and the recommendations that beginners should always start on a well made, nice sounding instrument of the appropriate size and get it calibrated as a personal instrument: Or rent one.

Actually calling something "grandmas harness" seems like a terrible idea. And "Grandma's Kite" would have to be a smaller one for >30knot winds, rather hairy proposition.

Then I started to look at the bass guitars, seems more in my price range. Both instruments should be complimentary to nearly any sort of music, so long as I can hold a beat like a drum (Right hand). The bassist/drummer sets the tempo of the music, and I like the sound of the double bass. Piano Guys was some good motivation but I like the bass better than the cello, its bigger and has a deeper sound. A bit unfortunate that the electric bass needs an amp but I suppose the double bass is also limited in that its rather large to transport.One of the main motivations was my second stop in Brussels, near the train station there must have been a theater and all these well dressed musicians started turning up and going to what I assume was a convert. The Sheela with a double bass was the most impressive bit.



Living End

Piano guys, Cello wars


Nightwish and heaps of other bands have an electric Bass, dude with the hair.

Even Donald Duck plays the bass apparently.

Esperanza Spalding can blay both, no troubble.

seen these people live a coupple of times now.

even kids can do it.


Let's kik the beat

Another bearded bassist in Mumford & Sons

I forget

plenty of free tutorial thingy

and a teaching game.

Aside from researching on the net I've also talked most musical people I know.  So thanks to Delwin Ainsworth, Sean, Karl Helbig, Diane McDonald, Aurore, Levi & Tony Bowes; for helping me obtain a decision.

Friday, November 7, 2014

By Xmas

Whenever somebody complains about Monday/work or asks me what I want to do with my life. I end up thinking, So why aren’t I doing this now?

If money was no object and I had all the time in the world then by Christmas I would…
Be good enough at Kitesurfing to join the Olympics in 2016, not win just participate.
Organise Aurore to tour me around Europe, see an orchestra/opera like it was 1805.
Put a game of my own making on steam (via humble bundle) and sell more copies than I have friends. Ie its good enough that strangers want to play.
Own my own house with floorboards and have sufficient Ethernet cables that it is easy (& safe) for visitors to be totally wired.
Have a working reliable anime linux (SteamOS) PC connected to my TV, As well as a stylish portable gaming box for Sojourns.
Finish writing an interesting story about Жизньμαιじつ that uses Russian/Greek/Hiragana nouns in an understandable manner.
Have a flourishing herb garden, using them in my own cooking, which other people enjoy to eat.
Start to settle down with a wife who loves me very much.
Regularly play the Double Bass at church. Also being capable to play and sing along with Classical/Scat/Country music (and the starwars imperial march)
I’d go camping and relax under the stars chatting around a fire with friends.
Have somebody else organise a community that plays computer games in a public manner, which I regularly attend.
Walk on my hands for fun and finish by doing the bridge and standing upright without falling over.
Things at work running smooth enough that I can manage a 4 day week easily, spending the other two working days on the things above and resting all day on Sunday.
Be an example of meekness to the rest of the world. I’m not really sure what it entails, but strangers should recognise me as being Meek. Not for the rewards of the sermon on the mount but because it sounds cool and is hard to describe and because of that Rougelike where I could start as a shepherd.

But this week? What can I do?

BluCat replacement (as I’d given that rig to Scotty Bowes)
Linux, USB Boot?|     |Windows       
TV+Controller|     |Keyboard
         Anime/movies|     |Music/Games
                       UEFI+SteamOS|     |Graphics card, Eyefinity
                                 Permanent, heavy|     | portable (home-made, stylish)
            HDDs +RAM drive|    |SSD + gaming HDD
                 VLC, zSNES, Server|    |Steam, client games, Lol
OR, give up on linux, use the TV as my primary display for my gaming PC.
With the sound system all connected and sitting in the couch to game.
Then dismantle it each time I go away to play games.

In the third case I should run my Linux box to recover all the anime, or whatever else was stored on it, transferring the data to my new HDD in Oil. I still have a new storage HDD that is ready to be installed. For ~$300 I could obtain a 1920x1080 Dell monitor with native mini-DisplayPort input. And setup the Eyefinity a little cleaner with the TV on HDMI in the centre. Probably would cost ~1k for a new miniITX portable setup, which is a bit much for a novel test rig. And I’m unwilling to downgrade my main system in order to use steam on Oil’s UEFI mobo.
But first I should see how the couch feels while gaming, where would my keyboard sit? On the card table maybe? What about back posture?
Couch is OK, using the other folding table as it’s the right height and can fit all the monitors. Not so nice to sit this close to a TV, but the resolution is nicer to manage. The third monitor having less x pixel width means that the Eyefinity program is not centred correctly (possibly to do with the Bezel?). And the peripheral screens actually seem less helpful now. But the sound is much better. Though, it was very much fun to watch Dad racing Dirt3.

Borrow a Double Bass, have had a look at some forums. I should listen to what they are like and Delwin Ainsworth may have one that I can loan. I can either learn with a bow or just using my fingers. Regardless I’d need to get callouses on my left hand. Possibly practice an hour a day. Apparently the best way to start out is to hire a teacher and rent a correctly sized upright bass, but there are also success stories of self taught people that bought several instruments until they found one that they were comfortable with, just like how I’m learning to kitesurf. Although it sounds like you need a really expensive one to be satisfied with learning on, and the electric portable versions are around $5,000.

Procrastinate with computer games, I know I will anyway so scheduling it in makes sense. Still keen enough on Marvel Heroes to do a daily quest or three. And as long as Tony keeps at it I will want to win Space Rangers HD a War Apart. Which is a good game to play while cleaning the house; or making dinner as it is turn based and easy to pick up where I left off. Though neither of these games work well with my current Eyefinity setup they may be better with a central TV. Or three monitors in portrait orientation, but that would cost a bit too much this week.

In reality I have no holidays left to go to europe for a cultural experience, but by the time I have holidays I should be able to afford the flights again (or pay off my house) So for now I just need to keep in touch with Aurore and enquire as to her health and wellbeing occasionally, shouldnt be too hard on facebook.