Sunday, March 1, 2015

Curry: been a while

Lost a bit of confidence in my cooking over the last year, and motivation. But weekly bible studies have been good for that. I cant recall the last time I made a curry and was pleased with it so this should be interesting. Testing it on Josh pre vampire. Will be a quick curry cooked in the saucepan as opposed to the crock pot.

Teaspoon of each spice added into a tupperware container with half a cup of flour and 500g diced beef. Get that all shook up for an even coating.

Dice onions, cookingthem to a golsen brown with oil in a sause pan.

Then at a high heat attempt to sear the spiced meat, sealing all the juices in, but not burning the onion.

Oce the meat is mostly sealed, turn to the lowwest heating and add tomatoes cream and an extra tablespoon of olive oil. Then make the rice.

Hrm, looks almost entirely like milky tomatoe soup.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Elva the Bass: Four months in

Well it has been great weather for Kitesurfing all January and February, So that has been my afternoon priority. I’ve almost stuck to my plan of an hour of Bass per day. I’ve lost interest in the lessons that came with rocksmith, mainly because they all use the “E” string and it does not always get picked up by the program. Same thing with the mini-games. They work fine until I need the E string and then I fail and it takes ages to restart the game. Scale Warriors is about the only one that still works well. I just ignore the red hints.

This has left me for the most part running 20min sessions with a small break between them. As such I have a bunch of songs at 99% completion. I’ve not been able to get many to 100% as that requires zero error or using master mode. I’ve only won with master mode is there is a simple riff and I’ve been able to memorise it. So songs with a bridge or instrumental have been too hard and with no hints I forget that they are there.

Being able to read Tab music has not been as helpful as I was expecting, and I know that our church songs should have really simple riffs. I’ve found a couple of instructions but kept loosing my place until…

Karl explained chords to me in a way that I could understand. So now I can follow the chord music that has been written for guitar, with the added bonus that it usually has the words underneath the chords so now I know where in the song I should be. The tricky part is that whatever the chord for guitar is called I play that note (just the one) that it is named after. So now I can see that most songs have only four notes that I’d need to remember. And once I know the pattern of the Riff that should be achievable.

But, Karl also explained about the pentatonic scales, so whatever note the song starts with sets what pentatonic scale I should be using. Then all the other notes in the song will be a part of that pentatonic scale. With this I can see how people don’t need to learn an entire song by rote. If I can follow the pentatonic scale things should be mostly fine. Within this riff all the four notes of the song can be found, that will help me with learning the scale I think. Now I just need to keep an eye out for these as I practice the complicated rocksmith songs.

Yay, there are some of the church songs in there already and the pokemon theme works well plus a bunch of others. I wonder how hard these are to make, maybe I’ll be able to add in some Dean Martin songs myself. I wonder if I can transcribe sheet music into chords?

Another avenue is this box set from a UK church mob, I may get the intermediate pack at the end of April if my back account has recovered by then. Seems like I can use it to supplement the supplemental rocksmith CDLC.

If I can get a new laptop I could run my guitar through rocksmith and use that as an amp emulator. Currently though my plan is to use my Uni laptop to display the music, whether it be tabs or chords.

Alternatively I can download and use free versions of Guitar Rig and Amplitube, then install the ASIO4all drivers to it to recognise your guitar., Instructions on

I still have not located any tango music that I understand but with what I learnt this week it should be possible. Before that though I’ve now prioritised practicing church music. I should be able to spend a month arriving early to church and joining in with the singing practice. Once I can play a few songs without losing the beat or where I am at then hopefully the singers will request I join them onstage.


Onday I should change rocksmith back from French to English. There are a few other people I could play with now and it would be easier for them:  Allan choceran, Jez, Kyle, Karl Helbig, Geoff Sampson. I’ve got my second cable too so the co-op thing works OK.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Revi's Potatoes

Since Rebecca left some spuds behind and it's bible study night.

Preheat oven to 180C
Spray oven tray liberally with canola oil (grease with butter)
Peal a number of spuds
Slice them to a thickness of about 2mm
layer slices in tray untill tray is half full.

pour evenly ~200ml thickened cream
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of nutmeglayer 2 mm slices of fetta chese

Layer over the rest of the potato slices
100 g of fetta
100 ml of cream
100 g of grated parmesan cheese

Artistically spread out some sliced tomatoe, filling in any gaps around the edge with tomatoe.
I forgot I was going to have a layer of onion in the middle also, next time I suppose.

Season with white pepper and garlic salt.

Cover with aluminium foil and place in oven for 60min.
Remove foil and return to oven at 200C for 10min, to make the top crispy.

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,

  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 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 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.,1
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.