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We live in litigious times, so I should say that content reflects only my opinions!

Friday October 29 2004

Another few days of sorting out

a lot of things. Quite a lot of discussion of future music business plans with various people, and a long look at getting a good guitar together. I reached a few conclusions, which I'm writing down here as much as an aide-memoire to myself as for anyone else. Still, you may find some of this interesting or useful - that's the point of the net after all. Most of this relates to my being, for my sins, an electric guitarist.

  • Amplifiers need more than one speaker. Otherwise, things are not good. Not if you work in a fairly basic technological environment, at any rate. Depth and dispersion are where it's at.

 

  • More good sounds die at the hands of portability considerations than from any other single cause. Wear your burden with pride. I now even carry a spare amp. It's good to be sure.

 

  • Better to invest time and money locally, all other things being at least equal.

 

  • To spend much time thinking about the tone of your various guitars and amps in isolation from one-another is fairly meaningless. The two are inseparable from one another in defining your tone. Which is, in any case, in your fingers.

 

  • More soon, I expect.

Posted at 6:30 pm by Jim Woods



Wednesday October 27 2004

I notice with amusement

that Hotmail no longer wants to play ball with Firefox, refusing to log in. Something to do with Passport. Using Internet Explorer, though, things work perfectly well as usual. Well, in relation to Hotmail at least. I can see various explanations for this:

It may be that the latest update to Firefox is broken in this regard. It does happen, nothing's perfect.

Something may have gone tits up with my particular setup. I have better things to do than worry about it, and hey - I do have two phones, people. My other browser-based mail accounts still work fine in Firefox, so this is unlikely.

Microsoft have realized the burgeoning popularity of Mozilla browsers, and have decided to fight back by fair means or foul.

I've no idea which explanation is correct. I'm reticent to go with the last, if only because Hotmail is not a bad service in fact. I'd love it to be rubbish, but it is half good. What it is not, however, is good enough to be worth pissing about with should it not play nicely with the other software. Given the amount of welcome and useful communication I have ever achieved by email - and I'm afraid that being sent jokes or product newsletters is hardly vital - my inclination is say "so what" and use a different account. I certainly am not going to go back to using a primitive, insecure browser.

We'll see what happens...

 


Posted at 4:28 pm by Jim Woods




RIP poor old Peely,

whose eclectic taste and tireless championing of the musical underdog were an inspiration and an institution both. It won't be the same without him on my radio. Watching BBC3 earlier, I noticed that the channel ident logo in the corner of the screen read "BBC3 - dedicated to John Peel". Quietly touching. Music has lost a friend.


Posted at 1:22 am by Jim Woods



Monday October 25 2004

Why am I up in the middle of the night?

Nothing new there - I'm giving weighty consideration to important issues. Chief amongst them: Chilli sauce. Or chile or chili, there seems to be no absolutely authoritative spelling to be found. I'm going with "chilli" because that's the way it's spelt on the bottle of my current favourite sauce - Lingham's Chilli and Ginger. Sweet, like a Thai sauce, but opaque and like a dark crimson ketchup. Plenty of ginger. Great.

Anyway, I've always been a big fan of hot food and hot sauces. One of my small pleasures is to check out the Asian grocers around my neighbourhood in search of new and interesting sauces. I even went so far as to grow a couple of little chilli plants last year. Once I'd found out the hard way that slugs and snails will devour chilli plants almost overnight - they love the dark whose deeds are dark, basically - and got the remains installed safely indoors, I had some moderate success. I got a fair number of good green chillis out of the enterprise. Can't, disgracefully, remember what they were exactly. Nice though, with a bright clean heat. A bit like big bird's-eyes. Anyway, this year my mother has just given me an amazing Cheyenne chilli plant, which is expansive and bedecked with at least twenty good sized chillis already. The ripe ones are a lovely yellow, and the less ripe ones green. I can't find any mention of a Cheyenne chilli on the net, given the amount of material out there on chillis in general. Cheyenne is what it says on the plant's tag though, as clear as day. This site will eventually allow me to identify the new plant I suppose, after I've looked at a few hundred photos.

Exact specifications notwithstanding, the only way that I can put this bounty of good chillis to effective use is to make chilli sauce with the bulk of them. Well, that or give them away - hmph - or cook a hell of a lot of very hot food and scare my friends with it. I think practicality favours the sauce method, and I have therefore been looking around the web for recipes. I'm a bit freaked by the sheer amount of available stuff, but then we chilli-heads are a devout breed who never tire of the subject, so I guess that's to be expected. I'm an experimenter by nature, so I've taken the following approach: First step, read a lot of existing recipes. Second step, figure out that they have much in common, therefore arriving at a general idea of how to make chilli sauce. Third step, scrutinize the ingredients list of my stock of old favourites and deduce further what I want in my own effort. Fourth step, make the stuff. Stay posted.

Three gigs in the last four days. More work than I'm used to, but great nonetheless. Things are definitely looking up. This week, pay a colossal amount for a TV licence again, make sauce and go into town for coffee. Oh yes, and the rest of life. But that's less important.

This has been, substantially, a cooking and gardening post. I must be getting old.


Posted at 4:32 am by Jim Woods





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