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Blog update & a bit of boating

Submitted by on March 11, 2013 – 12:44No Comment

Hey folks – its been a good while since ive posted anything, so i thought id write a more traditional blog style post about a few things that have been happening since the end of last year.

NB. All these posts are postdated as they were written in Feb & March, but i’ve been having so many problems with my hosting with inmotion, the sites have been offline. Keeping my fingers crossed they will stay online long enough for me to post them and send out this 5th newsletter.

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 Part of the reason for being offline, is that i seem to have a load of spammers relentlessly taxing the server im on. I have no idea why they’re so interested as it only happens for this site, but it keeps getting my account suspended with my hosting, which brings all of them down. I had to disable comments for a while, and then tried reenabling them with a load of spam plugins and only allowing registered users to comment. Suffice to say i then got a load of spammers registering, and even then they’d bombard the login, and again taxing the shared server cpu.

As a solution for my other sites im trying facebook comments plugin, but it doesnt seem to want to play nice with this one, but ive just been recommended cloudflare, which claims to make your site faster and protects it for free if you dont use ssl certificate. It seems a real useful service, so hopefully i can enable comments again, and can get back to uninterrupted posting.

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Aside from all the work on websites, music and djing, i’ve worked on a couple of soundtracks for community arts projects and been spending the rest of the time working on the boat and spending time with Pyn and Lucy. New Years eve was totally different from normal and we opted for spending it on the boat, which was a nice change from the normal 24 hour party, although part of me wished id have taken the pst gig as they are always such great parties. That said we had our own rather more serene magical moments which ranged from being surrounded by fireworks on the back of the boat whilst first footing it , through to falling in the canal on new years day, whilst attempting to save an untied boat!

On our boat we’ve been out doing our first locks with a new friend Peter who moored up close by for  the winter. He’s a top man, and we had a real nice cruise last thursday, which left both me & pyn feeling a lot more confident with the locks and turning the boat round as a result of his assistance. Last weekend we met his cruising partner Janis, and all enjoyed a few drinks at the closest pub which was inspiring and lovely in equal measure. Here is the locks we travelled through and Peter’s victorian styled boat from his blog post, which is a real beauty inside.

Peters boat nb futurist

On the boat diy front, we now have a quality new cratch cover from the excellent family run staffordshire canopies (which was around half of the cost we were found anywhere else, including measuring and fitting!)

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And after 6 months of saving, we also have solid steel front doors with 5 lever locks courtesy of the talented folks at the stockton branch of kate boats. Again we got a really good price as they were fitting it in between their existing work, and the work was of a really high standard throughout. The lock that was installed has recently started to play up so i’ve replaced it to be on the safe side, as 5 lever lock stuck in a solid steel door would be a major pain to fix! Heres are the inners of the steel doors which are made of some real nice teal wood (i think)

Inside of our solid steel 5 lever doors

The diy legend that is my dad has been helping me fit some double glazing which took a while with 9 windows, but looks great and keeps the boat warmer, secure & quieter. Again we got something resembling trade price from the good folk at Wesley windows (another family run business) due to a very kind soul who gained some useful info about various website and radio show elements that id put online, and put me in touch with a friend who put us onto wesley windows.

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In the winter, we’ve been making fires pretty every day to keep the boat warm, and even with fat double glazing, we still get a lot of condensation on the boat, it just settles on the frames. We really need to look at de humidifier when we have some more money, but theres a load of things we need, and aside from the cost of the windows and doors, the tax man reared his ugly head and basically took everything and then some, after our tax returns, so we’re going to have be a patient and tighten up the spending.

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Our dog is doing well and had a session with behaviour guru Hannah from Pawfect Dogsense, who confirmed our hopes for her. She responds excellently to training, and isnt agressive towards other dogs in an attacking sense, its just she doesn’t really know how to behave around other dogs, but really just wants to play. She’s such a powerful and boystrous dog, and as a lurcher, she has a somewhat aggressive approach to play, which really means most other dogs aren’t really suitable unless they adopt a similar view, but this is also ok as she seemed much more interested in playing with us than other dogs. We had the very placid and accomodating Max, who Hannah uses as a stooge dog when determining dogs behaviour who helped us all understand.

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 Recently Ive been taking her out on a long lead again, and we throw the ball for her in the yard when its locked, both of which make her a lot happier. She had her first dip in the canal when it froze over in January, which was a surprise, but thankfully she could swim, and it was easy to pull her out as she had her harness on. It was real funny watching her get warm by running up and down the towpath and doing angel slugs in the snow!

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On the creative front ‘ve been getting a lot stuff done, and built a couple of websites that have been on the back burner for  a long time. One is the Reckorder site which aims to shares useful & hopefully inspiring music tutorials. And the the other is my Reckorder Project site, which aims to records the process of making music, specifically an album and live performance, but at the mo im in the getting reaquainted stage so its more on the learning tip. Its working out real well in practice so far, and im hoping that both sites it will provide a useful resource for my own development and anyone else who’s into making music.

Reckorder Project

Aside from all the music stuff ive been learning, i also undertaken a premiere pro video editing course, and feel pretty competent in video editing now. Digital media is of great interest to me, and i’ve also got an after effects course lined up for when i next have a block of time. Following that is a photography and photoshop courses and at the end i hope to be making some halfway decent stuff to accompany my dj narrative mixes in the spring and early summer, and also to provide content for the reckorder project.

On the dj front, im still taking time off the gigs, although am very tempted by a gig with the zion train in may. Ive been practicing my scratching and its really coming along as i hoped. Ive made a series of scratch samplers which took a lot longer than i anticipated, but after a day or so trying them out seem to be making all the difference. My inspiration for making the samplers, aside from wanting to practice with samples that i liked scratching, was to avoid having to trawel through my existing scratch samplers for the sounds i liked, and to accompany a new mix ive put together, which i’ll post on here in the next week or so.

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The cards above were some of my many membership cards that i have kept along with a box of other memories, which until now are one of the few things i kept hold of in the move. The more time i spend on the boat the less stuff i feel the need to keep, especially with the ability to digitise most things, which im finding addresses the worry that i’ll forget the thing im throwing away. Space is paramount in a narrowboat and we seem to working towards a much more simple and hopefully streamlined setup.

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Any music lovers out there please watch out for the next couple of mixes as they’ve turned out real well, and i hope will bring a really enjoyable musical experience. Any people into music making hope you find plenty to inform or inspire in those two new sites, and if you want all the best bits in short form, please think about dropping your email into my newsletter.

Thanks as always for taking the time out to check out my site and although its now march i wish you a belated yet very prosperous 2013.

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