Sunday, December 31, 2006

A personal annual resume`

It's difficult to summarize one's year in a few words, especially for one who doesn't keep a life diary (oh a blog doesn't count if you may ask).

I believe that my major 2006 highlights in a nutshell, in chronological order, were the following:

1) Formed a band, White Crimson, and have been gigging around and writing original stuff. Actually it's my first rock band which I have really faith in and give it a certain priority in my life...
2) Departed from my best buddy Keith since we took separate ways in our career (although we do still meet)
3) Resigned from a company in which I've been working three years, and joined a new company which was only operating for 5 weeks at my time of joining (crazy eh!)
4) Bought (and learning) my first motorcycle

Maybe you had a more interesting year, or a more boring year than mine. But nonetheless I wish you are still in control of your life and look forward for next year. This is my personal greeting to you guys. I deeply wish you a Happy New Year!

BMAs Best Singles

Today I've just happened to view the Bay Music Awards (BMA) on television as Eden's Arena was not honored by my presence two weeks ago since I wasn't able to attend. I was really surprised and dismayed by one of my favorite local artist, and the BMA itself - how come an artist could win the Best Single award if that single is not hers, or in music terms, its a cover of another artist? I am referring to Ira Losco who has won the Best Single award in 2006 BMAs through Lisa Miskovsky's cover, Driving One of Your Cars. For 2007 I'll ask my band to cover some song by Queen for the BMA...maybe it will be our ticket to local fame heheh...

Nonetheless, I still prefer the original version :)

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Sweet!

That double bass is really nice!















(Oh i didn't notice Jennifer Aniston in the background)

Viva el torrento!

I switched from the conservational P2P (kazaaa, limewire, emule, ares) software to BitTorrent and it's definitelty the way to go. Read more about torrents here.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

A dream coming true

When I was younger I saw a rock band playing at Luxol bar and from that instance I wanted to be a rockstar and transmit my passion of music and bass playing to all those people. The moment has come, and tonight we, White Crimson, are lucky enough to endorse the main act at the Luxol music bar during the presitigous Live at Luxol last event. Another band, Explicit, will be playing before us to warm up the people.

















Monday, December 11, 2006

Lost, now what?

Yesterday i saw the twenty third, i.e. the last, episode of LOST season 2. I was addicted to both seasons for the past four weeks. You can consider me a LOST fan as well :p















...waiting for the third season to be released!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Who are White Crimson?

I decided to post a biography of my band, White Crimson. Since for the past weeks we have been doing a lot of gigs one might have heard about us by now:

White Crimson is a Maltese blues oriented hard rock jam band. The band is heavily influenced by groups such as Led Zeppelin, The Jimmy Hendrix experience, Queen, Oasis, The Rolling Stones, The Who, AC/DC, The Kinks, and Guns 'n Roses.

History:
Friends Gordon and Duncan grew up listening to classic rock from the 1960s and 1970s such as The Jimmy Hendrix Experience, The Who, and particularly Led Zeppelin and AC/DC; these were their father's records. They also listened to bands like Guns 'n Roses and Queen which were a big influence during that time in their youth.

After both of them started learning the guitar, it took them several years to decide to form a band. In the course of several frustrating auditions, it was around September 2005 that Gordon found James, their new bassist. Although he goes by the silly nickname Jelly, he turned out to be an experienced and mature musician. Around two months later, Rigmor showed up. He was a very compatible drummer, being powerful and energetic despite his young age; he was fifteen years old at the time. Unfortunately James had to quit the band due to further studies in his career. The band remained still incomplete but with Duncan and Gordon on guitars and Rigmor on drums, the momentarily 3 piece band was already making some rock cover versions including Guns n’Roses and Led Zeppelin. Auditions to find a suitable bassist and a vocalist continued for several months without success.

On the 14th March 2006 there was a pleasant turn over - James returned again to fill the missing riff together with John Mark (Vocals), another experienced musician with a very nice attitude. This was an important day for the creation of the band and White Crimson was formed with the complete 5 piece line up. The band took their name from the colours of the national Maltese flag.

White Crimson aims to be one of the leading Maltese rock bands playing both covers and original music.

Line-up:
John Mark // Vocals
Gordon // Guitars
Duncan // Guitars
James // Bass
Rigmor // Drums

Saturday, December 02, 2006

The Pudding Guy

For some reason this morning I remembered of a movie I saw a couple of years ago, Punch Drunk Love and did some research on Wikipedia to help me remember the movie plot.

It was then that I stumbled across The Pudding Guy...you might need to read it twice to understand the concept as these sort of schemes don't exist in Malta. But hey, that guy was smart! And now that i have read this I might watch again Punch Drunk Love because the first time I've seen it there were many things which I didn't understand.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Hectic

Run, rabbit, run
Dig that hole, forget the sun,
And when at last the work is done
Dont sit down, its time to dig another one
For long you live and high you fly
But only if you ride the tide
And balanced on the biggest wave
You race toward an early grave.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

1st Blogoversary

Last Sunday was this blog's blogoversary. Another interesting thing is that this is the 5000th visit to this blog in order for me to write this post. Too much numbers for a single post, no pun intended.

I hope that I have achieved my primary goals from since i created the blog. Most importantly, it is of imperative use and somehow personal interest for me to look back at all these entries and try to pinpoint them to all my life experiences during the past year! Check out also the gallery on the right hand side. It is also one year old :)

During this year I have had many readers and of particular interest I would like to thank a particular blogger, Maressa , for her support in this project. Now it is time to update yours as well!

Coding my new desktop

I spent the whole afternoon coding my Linux box to achieve a very superb desktop...Ladies and gents, admire my fully customized desktop.












Check out the system monitor, transparent taskbar, calendar and yes, a Maltese weather forecast :)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Two Octave Major scale

I feel that this excercise is going to open me doors with many possibilities in my bass playing...














Sunday, November 12, 2006

Silly but dangerous incident

This afternoon I decided to take a little ride with the motorcycle across the neighbourhood. I opened the garage door, wore the bike helmet, took the motorcycle outside the garage (kept it on to warm the engine) and headed back inside the garage to close the doors from the inside. Destiny wanted me to remove my helmet before i closed the door - I close the door, slightly slamming it, and POOM...A piece of the rooftop fell on my head, causing me a 10 second concussion and a minor head injury. Wasn't really terrified of the bleeding, however I panicked since I had left the mobile phone at home (which was like one hundred metres away from the garage), noone in the neighbourhood, ruins from the rooftop which dispersed all over the garage entrance impeded me to take the bike (now in the centre of the road) back inside, and a bloody nausea. I realized that the wound was deep and the bleeding didn't cease, in fact I was already counting the stitches to be done :)

To cut it short, i managed to be in contact with my father who brought some first aid stuff with him, and I was back home in around an hour later the incident occured. Needless to say, since me and my father shared the garage, he appreciated that he could have been the victim in place. I on the other hand appreciated that if the stone block feel one inch apart from the forehead, it would have landed on my temples and God knows what would have been the result.

This incident really reminded me of a story I've read about this person (I think he was a priest or some minister) who was told by a clairevoyant that he will die of a head injury when something from the roof will fall on his head. He eventually will wear a helmet at all times. This was so for several years. One particular day he removed the helmet for a few seconds to scratch his head, and a stone chip fell on his temple, killing him...hehe...ok it wasn't that funny.

Moral of the story - incidents may occur in very twisted ways.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

Another interesting day

Today was my last working day at ACME Inc. I will begin my new work at ABC Ltd. in 1.5 weeks time. Until then, I will try to have one of those big breaks away from the mobile phone (hurray not more on call).

The highlight was in the afternoon when i passed the ADT Motorcycle Theory test.

I defeated G.A.S.!!

I managed to defeat my Gear Acquisition Syndrome which hit me last week and continued to torture me until yesterday. For the non-musicians, you have GAS when you want to buy a new musical instrument, in my case a new bass guitar. Do not mistake it with ebay addiction although the difference between the two can be a very fine line. This means that I'm still Lm150 above, and I still adore my Musicman.

Spoiler: I have a new toy for the musicman...Hopefully will be ready by mid-November. Details coming soon.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Sunday Cyclenoon

Yesterday I spent the afternoon cleaning the motorcycle and fiddling around with it. I also took the opportunity to take some good shots of it, as promised in the previous post.























PS: Please don't mind my retrostyle pose but it was the only way i could fit in that photo.

White Crimson featured on local newspaper

Local Newspaper it-TORCA this week has dedicated it's music column to a White Crimson Interview.














Fire, winners of the Battle of the Bands

Fire were the winners, followed by Mindstate and Cable 35. That means that we were honored of having competed with the best two bands last Friday ;) They were indeed the best - they provided a very good performance, although i would have chosen Cable 35 for their originality, interpretation and sense of humour despite their very young age.

These three bands won their chance to perform next Summer at the Matthew Street Festival in Liverpool. Congratulations indeed!

Whilst at the Oktoberfest, I took the opportunity to taste chocolate pancakes, banana pancakes, l'escargot, bavarian hotdogs, and many many beer. Oh...i can feel my stomach upside down again...

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Goodluck Fire, Mindstate, Retrophytes

Although White Crimson and Access To didn't qualify for the finals, I believe that overall we delivered a very good show and had a very good time. This was noted by the crowd who made us feel comfortable on stage.

I will try to post pictures of the event as soon as possible. As for tonight I'm supporting two local punk bands - Cable 35 and Cell 109. Good luck fellows!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Twangy sound

Never mind this post. It's just for me to remember something :P You're all welcome to guess what i'm talking about though.

Twangy - stainless steel
Non-Tw - nickel

Sunday, October 22, 2006

White Crimson live next Friday @ 20:30

It's a friendly battle...well it's not even a battle...we're not gonna fight! But anyways, my band, White Crimson is gonna take part at the OKTOBERFEST 2006 Battle of The Bands. The event will take place at the Trade Fair grounds in Naxxar and there will be eleven bands competing. Five bands on Friday and six bands on Saturday. The finalists will perform on Sunday as well.




















So keep next Friday free cos we're gonna kick ass at 20:30...Also remember to drink loads of beer and eat loads of food from there cos you'll only be eligible to vote for your band with every Lm1 spent on food.

Metrosexual [Urban Words]

You might be "metrosexual" if you're a male and:

1. You just can't walk past a Banana Republic store without making a purchase.

2. You own 20 pairs of shoes, half a dozen pairs of sunglasses, just as many watches and you carry a man-purse.

3. You see a stylist instead of a barber, because barbers don't do highlights.

4. You can make her lamb shanks and risotto for dinner and Eggs Benedict for breakfast... all from scratch.

5. You only wear Calvin Klein boxer-briefs.

6. You shave more than just your face. You also exfoliate and moisturize.

7. You would never, ever own a pickup truck.

8. You can't imagine a day without hair styling products.

9. You'd rather drink wine than beer... but you'll find out what estate and vintage first.

10. Despite being flattered (even proud) that gay guys hit on you, you still find the thought of actually getting intimate with another man truly repulsive.

"My brother is a metrosexual."

The Helmet

I couldn't have asked for a better birthday gift from my girlfriend - an MDS Edge Gloss Black crash helmet with tinted visor...a real jewel.














Friday, October 20, 2006

Another Maltese priest scandal

This time goes back to several years ago in the USA:
http://edition.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/10/19/foley.priest.ap/index.html

quarter of a century old

Some couple of hours ago i turned 25 years...If you are younger than me, why would you like to be my age? Some ideas:

1) legal to visit places like the casino, adult pubs (lol..)
2) now you pay less for the vehicle insurance
3) you can own a vehicle without a license (although you cannot drive it on the public roads)
4) you are always right
5) you are legitimate to say 'From my experience..'

P.S. According to blogger Beta, I am 249 years old:














Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Jelly and the Art of the Motorcycle

This is not a counterbook for Zen and the Art of the Motorcycle which seven years ago I had to study for the most repellant sixth form subject ever - systems of knowledge. The irony is that seven years ago I never imagined myself riding a steel horse. Over the years, particularly after my car driving experience, I now appreciate the fact that having a motorcycle one can go beyond where the four wheels can take you.

My type of bikes are the cruisers - this motorcycle just reflects my personality - lean, relax and aggressive at the same time. To cut it short, I just bought myself a nice birthday present - a Daelim 125cc cruiser:















I know...you're curious to see a real picture of my babe sitting in my garage until i get the license! So here is a crappy photo of my cruiser:

















As you can see it has some custom airbrush done by their previous owners John and his fiancee` Jane, both very nice persons. Can't wait to get the license and ride the beast on the road ^_^

Explosive week

This is a week to remember for sure. I don't remember whether i had another week crammed with sensations, like this one. Let's just take today...This morning I handled my letter of notice to the boss, and less than an hour ago i bought my first motorcycle...What else? Ah yes...on Monday my band was shortlisted for the Battle of the Bands of Oktoberfest 2006 and we are standing a very good chance to win a trip to Liverpool to perform at the Matthew Street Festival. And next Friday is my birthday. Should i go on?

Monday, October 09, 2006

Switching to blogger beta

This weekend i decided to migrate the blog to Blogger Beta...Although the steps were simple, there were some hiccups. ****place geeky comments here*** Anyhows, I'm having trouble logging in the dashboard from windows...so I'm using Linux, once again. There are some nice features like the 'labels', although i dunno if i shall introduce them in this blog. I recommend you to give Blogger Beta a try.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Commandments (Maltese)

This morning I received an email from Ms. Bzara and i think it was worth to blog it. Sorry Maltese only:

Kmandamenti bis-sens

Dawn veru bis sens u jgeghluk tirrifletti.Kieku
kellna niktbu l-Kmandamenti mill-gdid, kif niktbuhom b'mod li
japplikaw ghal kulhadd u kulhadd jifihom?

1. Jiena hu l-imhabba. Thalli lil hadd u lil xejn
jikkmandak

2. Sejjahli biex nghinek u mhux biex tizfoga fija
bid-dagha.

3. Il-Hadd hallieha gurnata libera. Ahdem biex tghix
u mhux tghix biex tahdem. U bilhaqq... nhar ta' Hadd ejj' oqghod!

4. Il-genituri la titlifhom, tapprezzahom.
Taghmlilhomx hajjithom infern.

5. Hares l-ambjent ghax minnu trid tghix. U tinfed
lil hadd bi lsienek, lanqas bic-cajt.

6. Minghajr ir-rabta ta' l-imhabba vera, is-sess
jigi bla sens.

7. Dak li hu tieghek gawdieh, dak li mhux tieghek
hallieh

8. Nehhi l-bluff u l-faccolizmu. M'hawnx isbah
mill-verita'.

9. Fedelta' fiz-zwieg ifisser ferh fl-ulied.

10. Ifrah bil-gid ta' haddiehor, tkunx materjalist.
L-aqwa mhux x'ghandek, imma x'int.

Jekk ma' tridx tghix qiesek l-indannat/a, segwi dawn
t'hawn fuq!!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lesson on two wheels

I had my first motorbike lesson today...actually i started on a 125cc peugeot scooter. It was easier than i thought, and quite fun and thrilling. In the next lesson I'll learn on a 125cc motorcycle with manual gears...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bassist [Urban Words]

1) A person who has probably banged your girlfriend, because girls cannot seem to resist them, because deep sounds are arousing to women.

2) A female bassist is common and is usually underappreciated visually, and is often stereotyped as a lesbian.


God is a bassist
Jesus plays drums

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Private geeky posts

Now that I discovered the existance of Blogger-Beta, i can create a private blog where i can put all the geeky stuff there for myself...so for those complaining about my latest techie entries, you can stop whining :)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Upgrading to MySQL 5 [Part 2]

In the earlier post Upgrading to MySQL 5 [Part 1] I have simply reviewed how powerful version 5 is. In this part I will explain how in a typical scenario a DBA can upgrade an existing MySQL4 to MySQL5.

The process normally involves the following steps:

a) shutdown MySQL4 db (/etc/init.d/mysql stop)

b) backup the following files just in case:
- /usr/bin/mysql*
- /etc/mysql/*
- /var/lib/mysql/*


c) download MySQL5 (the non-RPM x86 package) and untar/unzip to ./mysql5. Then install as follows:
- mkdir /usr/local/mysql
- cp -R ./mysql5/* /usr/local/mysql
- cp -R /var/lib/mysql/* /usr/local/mysql/data/
- chown -R mysql:mysql /usr/local/mysql/*


d) startup MySQL5 db:
- cd /usr/local/mysql/bin
- ./mysqld_safe


e) connect to database and confirm that it's ok:
- cd /usr/local/mysql/bin
- ./mysql -u root -p


f) delete backups/old binaries from /usr/bin/

g) smile

RHCP tribute band concert

It was a blast last Sunday on Campus Fest with the Red Hot Chili Peppers tribute band. As expected, their bassist was funkifying on a musicman bass and slapped the hell our of it. In fact as soon as i arrived home i throwed away the 5 string bass, and grabbed again my good old Musicman.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Normalization

At the moment I'm revising the old school database design tips and I've just stumbled across some interesting links regarding normalization which I would like to share with some fellow techie readers:

1NF
2NF
3NF

And for the more adventurous:
4NF
5NF

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Oracle XE on Debian

I am currently installting Oracle Express Edition on Debian - piece of cake. Take a look here for more info. ORACLE_HOME will be in a place similar to /usr/lib/oracle/xe/

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ferragosto?

Are you kidding? I still haven't taken any vacation leave this year...Reflects the hopeless environment at work. So what's my hiatus all about? Who cares anyways? hehe..

Will definitely update this blog more and more especially now that my band will have a couple of gigs in the upcoming months. Our last gig at Imqabba was a blast although I must say that the organizers of the Arts Festival and the mayor were disorganized and acted unprofessionally with respect to our band. To mention a few - our time slot was moved from 19:30 to 19:00, reduced from one hour to forty five minutes, interrupted between each song by the compere` of a parallel event in the same Arts Festival, and to put the cherry on the cake, lack of sound equipment - so we had to use just our amplification equipment to deliver sound to the people watching us (for music and gig lovers, the sound engineers dealing with the PA system wasn't aware that there was going to be a band, hence lack of cabling necessary to plug us to the PA). A typical Maltese paprata. Considering all these misfortunes, we managed to deliver a decent professional show...

Msg Shite

At the moment i'm playing around the latest MSN messenger, branded as 'Live Messenger'...Nine out of ten people will not connect anymore to MSN, at least according to my little research. I have found out that if you are having troubles connecting, like me, add these 2 lines to C:/WINDOWS/system32/drivers/etc/hosts file and you ll be able to sign in.

65.54.239.80 messenger.hotmail.com
65.54.239.80 dp.msnmessenger.skadns.net

Monday, August 28, 2006

White Crimson live next Friday

We are going to play live next Friday 1st September at Imqabba's "Lejla Sajfija" event together with other artists.

































Location: Gnien Tfal ir-Rahal (Imqabba Gardens)
Time: 19.30

Visit White Crimson's website for more information - www.whitecrimson.com

Thursday, August 17, 2006

What instrument should you play?



Bass Guitar
You're the time keeper. You're the studs behind the drywall. You usually just back up the guitars but every now and then you bust out a solo of your own and everyone loves it. You're not really recognized enough and you don't get the credit you should. Oh well, shit happens.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Upgrading to MySQL 5 [Part 1]

Apparently the MySQL 5 is very powerful so for a moment I'll contribute my geeky time not just on Oracle...Beware, if you're doing an upgrade, make sure you remove the file /etc/my.cnf in order to start the service.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

No title yet

I've just completed this solo which I've been working on for the past couple of weeks. It is just 60 seconds long, and most of the time I've spent in it was basically in mastering special techniques (coming with the tune didn't take me that long, although I have to confess that the piece is quite original). This composition is basically made up of two parts - The first part consists of a simple melody made up of natural harmonics. The second part is basically slap groove 2 with slight modifications. The drum pattern is set to a four fourths bassdrum/snare alternate beats (105bpm). I won't post a video of this composition but I promise you that I'll play it during White Crimson's gigs...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bass Blister


















I have blisters on me fingers!

Playing bass is definitely playing with pain.
I have been playing for 5 years and it has become a fact of life. Maybe I just like it. The above is a result of playing Slap Groove 2 along with breaking the 'G' string twice :)

Painted ceiling for a smoking area























Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Carsmalta hacked

















This is the second Maltese site hacked within a span of 7 days by this hacker who calls himself MazaGi

Monday, July 31, 2006

Slap Groove 2

This is my second slap groove on youtube. This time I'm making (ab)use of percussive slap (which unfortunately is barely heard in this clip). Forgive me about the sound quality - again, i'm using a mobile phone to record this video clip. Most importantly, I hope you enjoy it, however feel free to comment.



Editor's Note: I've re-recorded the clip and i've introduced a drum track, apart from better sound quality.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Burning Linux isos with Nero

I will explain graphically how to burn a linux iso using Nero express:




































Wednesday, July 26, 2006

MSVDM

MSVDM (Microsoft Virtual Desktop Manager) is a Microsoft Powertoy for Windows XP. It allows you to maintain up to 4 different desktops, each with it`s own applications and desktop wallpapers. It integrates into the taskbar and allows you to quickly switch between your virtual desktops. You can also assign keyboard hotkeys to switch between or preview all 4 desktops at once. For example, you can open your e-mail program on one desktop, an Internet chess game on the second, several Internet sessions on the third, and multiple database sessions on the fourth.

It's similar to the virtual desktops we normally see on Linux distributions. You can download this freeware from here.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

bye bye EMBED

as you may have noticed i got rid of that boring music video autoplaying without your consent...fuckin EMBED tag ... got rid of you ye!

Low 323F

My last major mod on the car is complete (I know I say this every time i finish a mod, but this time is true haha)...With 35mm Eibach lowering springs, I achieved what i always wanted in my mazda - that is to remove the large gap between the arches and the wheels... I can assure you that the car looks even wickeder and surprisingly the ride is not as a stiff as i expected which is another plus.

I can't wait to drift the car with my friend, as a lower ride gives me more stability on the roads ^_^ . Stay tuned with the gallery as I will post photos as soon as i can...

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bass Slap Groove 1

I won't promise you readers that this will be the start of a series of my bass videos...but till you can enjoy it, i'm posting one of my favorite grooves here. Don't mind the sound and picture quality since this clip was recorded through a mobile phone:



Update: I re-recorded the groove with my drummer, Rigmor. check it out :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Roger Waters gig

I was lucky enough to win two VIP tickets for this fabolous concert which was estimated to have 12,000 people. It was one of those dreams coming true to see the musician who inspired me to play the bass guitar. The concert was simply great - Sting concert can't be slightly compared to it. With around 2.5 hours of music, the audience felt the Pink Floyd psychadelic charisma blended with the powerful lyrics that only Roger Waters can deliver (such as Leaving Beirut).












Now that I've seen Roger Waters, I won't probably be looking for another concert here in Malta, unless of course I win the tickets or the Red Hot Chilli Peppers miraculously decide to come... :)

White Crimson "World Cup's final" gig

Hadn't neither the time nor the energy to comment on last Sunday's gig...It was fun and great although most of our crowd was stolen by Italian's world cup victory. Gig kicked at 23:30 sharp and we were ready by 00:45.













More photos on our website.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Fusball Fever

As soon as the company rented a 'tablesoccer', or more better known in other countries, fusball table, I'm spending the break spinning hard the ball :) With only 10c per match we are playing roughly six games each time and we've even paired up in teams. Below you can find me and my partner, who formed the team Interisti, celebrating after a tough match which we won with honor *grin*






















White Crimson live next Sunday

White Crimson will be having their first gig next Sunday at the BJ's live music pub. Good rock music blended with entertainment will be the main ingrendients offered that night by our band. All this after the World Cup's final match, around 23:00. See you there!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Festahwid 7

Yesterday's main event in the underground scene was Festahwid (the 7th edition) which is mainly an event for punks. Although I'm not a punk, I have some roots from there due to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and I confess I enjoyed listenining to some of the bands playing. The event took place at the Gaia Foundation in Ghajn Tuffieha and I think it was the ideal place to organize such an event. I was impressed by I Skandal and Shoshtakovich's Nightmare which I've seen live for the first time. They are made up of very competent musicians. It's a pity that I had to leave earlier (around 1AM) because I missed Xtruppaw's anniversary...Well it will be for another time!














Thursday, June 29, 2006

Driving in Malta

Some tourists uploaded a video in YouTube, about the roads of Malta..
Click Here For Video

and there's another one too..
Click Here

In my opinion the guy who posted the videos is quite pathetic...I would have appreciated more his efforts if he showed us some videos of his sister running naked after him...

Ebay yellow star

Today I was awarded my first yellow star because I got a feedback profile of 10... Click here for more details about Ebay stars!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More music stuff arrived

This week arrived more stuff for my music playing:

- Set of 6 nylon strings for my now fretless 6 string bass..they're cool, thick, and very caring for the fretless neck. They do not produce the 'mwah' fretless sound which i expected :( but who cares.. they're just perfect for an acoustic session

- Fender PT-100 chromatic tuner...I have been long searching for a good priced heavy tuner..Got it with shipping for just thirty british pounds.


Moral of the story:
Do I own too much stuff? Yes
Do I care? No
Will I buy more? Dam Straight!

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Internet Sacred Text Archive

I was searching for some UFO coil technology when I stumbled across this website. It states that it is the largest freely available archive of full-text books about religion, mythology, folklore and the esoteric on the Internet. It is dedicated to religious tolerance and scholarship, and has the largest readership of any similar site on the web.

Another mod on the 6 stringer

Yesterday I had some free time to spare and decided to change the appearance of the six string bass by using some simple methods.

This is how it originally looked like (this was taken around last year):
























And now after some simple mods:























Ok I know I look like an idiot but I'm just too impatient for the nylon strings to arrive!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Yanks really surprised me

For the final 43 minutes of the match, the USA played a man down. In a game with three ejections, one own goal, one disallowed goal, one bloodied face, three stitches and 37 fouls, only one number mattered to the Americans – the point they received for a tie. I've enjoyed watching the match every minute although I support Deutschland.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Eibach springs finally arrived

Yesterday my Eibach sport springs, which when fit on the car will eventually lower it by 35mm, have finally arrived from the UK. Normally a package from UK doesn't take up more than 5 days to arrive, but this time it took 25 days from the day of shipment (nearly a month). This morning upon reading the newspaper i discovered that i wasn't the only one experiencing this delay - apparently this was due the skeleton staff in Malta Post.

Back to the springs, I hope to get them fit by next mid-July!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The usual suspects






















With compliments of our work colleague, prankster and artist, Ian Christie :)

Monday, June 12, 2006

Calculate your chance of failing

This is old news but anyways...Researchers have come up with a mathematical formula which proves Murphy's Law really does strike at the worst possible time.

Ordinary people have long known that computers crash on deadline and cars break down in emergencies, while previous studies have shown the Law, also called Sod's Law, is not a myth and toast really does fall buttered side down.

But now a panel of experts has provided the statistical rule for predicting the Law of "anything that can go wrong, will go wrong" - or ((U+C+I) x (10-S))/20 x A x 1/(1-sin(F/10)).

In the calculation, five factors have to be assessed: urgency (U), complexity (C), importance (I), skill (S) and frequency (F) and each given a score between one and nine. A sixth, aggravation (A), was set at 0.7 by the experts after their poll. The closer to 10 the result is, the higher your risk of falling victim.

Top of the most likely and most annoying events that go wrong are: spilling something down yourself before a date and the heater breaking down in cold weather, followed by rush hour being worse when you're already late.

Reference: World News Australia

Project 'Indiglo Dials'

I took advantage of yesterday's bad weather and decided to spend the afternoon playing with my car in the garage. Last week, the indiglo dials which I've ordered online, have finally arrived and it was the perfect moment to install them. The nightmare of every car modder is the removal of the dashboard, and I'm no exception.

So what are these indiglo dials? They are after market dials which look white during the day but when powered in the dark, the background glows bright blue or red, depending on the product you buy. These are how they looked when they arrived:
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The whole point in making these dials was because I was bored of the stock dull green-lit dials:











As I stated before, the tedious part of the project was removing the dashboard. Although this step was not the most cardinal one, by all means, it was the first step to complete to get somewhere! Nonetheless, after following the guides on Club 323f, I managed to dismantle the dashboard for the very first time, in less than 30 minutes! It was a personal triumph too.. :)












Dashboard stripped out:











I used the fog-light connector to power up the indiglo dials (yep it has an independent power source):












I confirmed by using a voltmeter and marked 12V when I turn the lights. I made use of a pair of china connectors to connect everything up:











Speedo cluster stripped:











Fit the new dials and test them:











Mount back the speedo cluster:











Mount the dashboard and watch the end result:











Final cool shot with the ICE and dials on:











That was it folks! If you're a Mazda owner and want to do something similar, I hope you got a rough idea of the process. Don't discourage, it only takes a bit of patience and around two hours to spare in some cloudy weather :)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

King's Stingray


Not many of you remember the British pop band, Level 42 (although it is still producing albums). As usual for the 1980s, this band featured one of the best bassists on Earth who influenced a lot of modern bassists. Level 42's bassist and founder is Mark King, and I confess that he is one of my main influences in the art of slap bass. Infact I still make use of some of the techniques I learned from him. At that time though, I used to think that he only used Jaydee basses and I was quite surprised when I stumbled across his official bassography. This page states that among his incredible arsenal of high-end basses, he also used a Musicman Stingray bass, perfectly identical as mine, including the translucent red color and maple neck. He used it in three of Level 42's albums.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Laughing babies

Ain't these quadruplet babies laughing together cute?

Machine Gun Bass Guitar















Some guitars gently weep...not this one for sure. People thought putting a camera in a cellphone was crazy too, i'm telling you convergence is THE FUTURE. Now finally I can end my bass solo when I damned feel well like it!!

Fretless conversion

ok my plans were foiled! I confess during the last month I was working in a bass defretting project. Basically I have this six string bass guitar which I don't use anymore since it was replaced by the musicman stingray, so after futile attempts to sell it, this bass seemed to persist to stay with me.

As a matter of fact I can't withstand to put something i don't use in a dull corner...At the very least i want to have that sweet satisfaction to screw a bit with it, and maybe break it! the engineering syndrome...

To cut it short, i decided to remove all the frets from this six string bass and see how it will sound... The process was not simple... Thankfully my dad was a carpenter when he was younger, and helped me a bit in the process. I followed the instructions on this site to complete my conversion. At the moment I'm waiting for my black nylon strings which I've ordered from Just Strings. They should arrive in two weeks time and my 6 string fretless bass monster will be complete!

Search for sound II

In an earlier post, Search for sound I based the sound on the Boss GEB7 pedal. What this pedal lacked was the fact that it is not suitable for live and recording situations, reason being that it is not a preamp. So in small clubs I might obtain a very good sound, but for PA/mixer situations (such as in a beerfest venue) the sound engineer will just overkill my EQ.

That's why I got the SansAmp Bass Driver D.I.. It took me a long effort to find a cool sound, but it was worth every second. This is an ascii representation of my sound chain:

Musicman Stingray ---> SansAmp ---> Amplifier ---> Cab

If the Amplifier is a bass amp, I use the Return input of the effects loop - this way all the amplifier's EQ is completely bypassed so I rely solely on the EQ of the bass (with a bit of boost from the SansAmp). Since the SansAmp is 3-way programmable, I took advantage to make the following sounds:

Channel 1 ---> Mute (This will be useful for tuning, changing bass guitars, eliminate any feedback when bass guitar is not played)

Channel 2 ---> Distortion (The sort of distortion you can hear in Smoke on the Water)

Channel 3 ---> Clean/Slap (This gives a warm tone with some highs and beefy lows)

This is how I configured SansAmp:














Distortion:
Drive - 5 o'clock
Bass - 12 o'clock
Treble - 3 o'clock
Presence - 12.02 o'clock
Blend - 10 o'clock
Level - 2 o'clock

Clean/Slap:
Drive - 9 o'clock
Bass - 5 o'clock
Treble - 5 o'clock
Presence - 7 o'clock
Blend - 5 o'clock
Level - 3 o'clock


This is how I set the EQ on the musicman stingray:



Using the notation that each knob goes from -10 to +10:
Volume: +10
Treble: 0
Midrange: +5
Bass: -10





I hope that this article was useful to musicians having a similar setup.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Is-CD tal-iXTRUPPAW

This week I put my hands on XTRUPPAWs CD, Is-CD tal-iXtruppaw. You'll have fun listening to this CD. I'm not a music critic, i don't critisize at all, so why don't you just buy the CD from their website? keep punking!

Presummer hiatus

The actual reason for this last hiatus was not because I was busy or something..Actually I was so relaxed and lazy and in an apathy mood that the last thing i dared doing was updating a virtual journal.

Thankfully this mood has only lasted around three weeks...just in time to update you with some latest news.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Sans Amp

I can consider myself one of those lucky musicians who are now in possession of this Tech 21 invention. Discover my new toy which will replace all my pedals...It's the Sans Amp Programmable Bass Driver DI box...Why Sans Amp? Cos you don't need to carry anymore bass amplifiers with this thing. Just plug the bass guitar to this box, and then to the PA system. cool eh :) And more than that I am now achieving tube-like sounds. Olee` finally...

Recall that my ultimate goal is that wherever I play, I always sound the same irrelevant on which amplifier I'm using. So I either plug to the Return of the bass amp which will defeat the amp's master volume and tone coloring, or else I can connect this stomp box to the front input (active) of the amp (where one would usually plug the bass) but with all the EQ flat. Equivalently I can connect it straight to the mixing console.

But what's all this big deal? You would have told me that I'm already in the possession of the Behringer V-Amp. Ok..It's a cool pedal, it blinks red, nice lights and effects, has flangers, distortion, delay effects, etc.. But what it lacks is the analog signal path..Most of these pedals are digital unfortunately..This SansAmp is simple - it has no effects, no delays, no compression, but it is 100% analog (except for the programmability feature which stores up to 3 presets). This means it is more reliable, doesn't reset on stage if there's a power surge, etc. Moreover, you'll achieve a nice tube-like sound which will cut through better (i.e. no more muffled bass, or weak thing-sounding bass) - pure tube sound (which ranges to fat bass, juicy bass, slap bass, solo bass, grit-distortion a la John Entwhistle, and Crimson style) :D

More info here

Friday, May 12, 2006

White Crimson relaunch website

Check out White Crimson's new website. I think it's cool enough to be visited by my fellow readers.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Maltese National Emblem


Dr Edward Fenech Adami and Dr. Michael Gonzi today announced that they are changing the National Emblem of Malta from a SHIELD to a CONDOM because it more accurately reflects the government’s political stance. Dr. Alfred Sant seconded the motion. A condom allows for inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks and gives you a sense of security while you’re actually being screwed.

The colours chosen reflects both sides of the House.

The Speaker.

Maltesenglish sayings

Nigi naqa u nqum
I come and fall and I rise

Nigi nitmejjel
I come swinging

U hallina minnek - - - - - - - - -
And leave us from you

Abjad karti - - - - - - - - - -
White papers

Inqela b`zejtu - - - - - - - - -
He fried in his own oil

Ikragh daghwa b`Alla - - - - - - - -
Ugly swear with God

Ghaddejtu passata - - - - - - - - -
You passed him a coat of paint

Kollox ejja ha mmorru - - - - - - - -
Everything come so we go

Tridx tmur ! ! - - - - - - - - - -
- You want to go !

Gejja bin-nejk ! - - - - - - - - - -
She's coming with the screwing

Gbejna mghoxa - - - - - - - - - -
Maltese goat cheese with her cunt

Mela Le ? - - - - - - - - - - - -
So no ?

F`daqqa wahda ! - - - - - - - - - -
In one punch

Kielni b`ghajnejh - - - - - - - - - -
He ate me with his eyes

Kemm inti basla ! - - - - - - - - - -
How onion you are !


Nadif tazza - - - - - - - - - - -
- Clean glass


Qaxxru l-missieru ! - - - - - - - - -
- He peeled his father

Niexef Ghuda - - - - - - - - - - -
- Lean wood

Mur ghand boxxla xjaten - - - - - - - -
Go to a compass of devils

Xemx taqli l-ankri - - - - - - - - - -
Sun frying the anchors

Dorna dawra madwarna - - - - - - - -
We went for a round around ourselves

Haditha qattgha bla habel ! - - - - - - -
She took it a bundle without rope

Kemm inti vaz - - - - - - - - - - -
What a vase you are

Friday, May 05, 2006

Worst music video, EVER

An 80's Finnish video called "I wanna love you tender" by Armi & Danny:

From my daily mirror


This morning I was stuck in traffic. The sun, the heat and the pollution were already making the milkshake I took thirty minutes ago acting strangely inside my stomach. The thing which made it worse was when I was looking through the rear mirror and saw this fat ugly woman driving a junk Skoda Favorit behind me and picking her nose...And she seemed having an orgasm while removing that mucus. Geezis!