Personal

POD-licious

amp guitar line 6 Music POD

I had a nice surprise from my wife this Christmas, a spangly red kidney-shaped surprise in fact - a POD 2.0. I’d been recommended one of these some time ago, but had put it on my ‘future purchases’ list since I didn’t think I was really good enough to justify buying myself one yet. I wasn’t expecting anyone to buy it for me, so it was a pleasant surprise to unwrap it.

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Merry Christmas everyone

xmas

From the presentable version of us… and from the less presentable version: Yes, our 2-person band Indigo Alert is going through a Goth phase for no particular reason except that we’d already been through punk & glam rock. ๐Ÿ˜€Our 4-person band รœber Syrup doesn’t really have a cohesive theme yet so was unavailable for a photo op. Online avatar toys are fun! I hope everyone has a great Christmas and new year.

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Sarah Keys' 'Back Sufferers Bible'

Keen to ramp up the self-treatment of my recurring back problems, I hunted about for a good book on personal spinal therapy. I picked up a book a little while ago on pilates but found it next to useless, and although I’ve dabbled with yoga, so far I found the results a little random, and with seemingly little focus in these resources on the kinds of back issues I’ve been getting, I came to the conclusion that non-targetted application of these techniques was a very hit-and-miss affair, with potential to injure as well as assist.

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Rise and fall of the spine

back Health personal

Apologies in advance for another dull post about my varying spinal health. But, I figure friends, family and some people in my various online communites are interested in contextual stuff like this, so here we go. Hit up some other bookmark now if you’re bored ๐Ÿ˜€ Since my epiphany 6 weeks ago I’ve been on what I realise is going to be a long road to recovery, and generally each week I’ve been improving, barring the odd minor blip.

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Defensive planning

Games left 4 dead zombie

So, my back has been getting slowly better over the last month since my hospitalisation experience; I occasionally have a small relapse, like just after I picked up my new guitar - you wouldn’t think that shifting a small practice amp would be a big deal, but I certainly felt it for the next few days - but overall steady improvement. Part of my rehab is to take more regular gentle exercise, and to mix up my routine a bit so I’m not hunched at the desk in ‘work posture’ for such long periods of time, which means, among other things, daily walks of a few miles, daily guitar practice and plenty more gaming time (hence more game-related posts on this blog).

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My first proper 'axe'

112V guitar Music pacifica

My new guitar arrived this weekend ๐Ÿ˜€ It’s a Pacifica 112V, and I picked the Old Violin Sunburst finish. I’m really impressed by the quality of it, considering this is a beginner / intermediate guitar and will leave you with change out of ยฃ200. Everything feels really solid, and there are nice little touches like the polished fretboard and the chunky, satisfying chrome tone & volume knobs. Even the guy in our local guitar shop (who has a ton more experience than I do, obviously, and is a high-end Strat user) commented on how impressed he was with the quality, since this was the first of the newer model they’d had in.

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Late night was worth it

I generally don’t stay up late into the night to watch things live, such as Formula 1 or the Oscars. However, I did stay up until almost 3am this morning watching the US election results come in, only going to bed when Ohio declared for Obama, pretty much guaranteeing he was going to win (it’s a crucial swing state) - at the same time unofficial predictions were that Florida and New Mexico were going his way too, making it pretty much unassailable.

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Dear US citizens…

Please don’t inflict another 4 years of clueless right-wing government on yourselves and the rest of the world. McCain might seem like a change from Bush, but have you noticed how much his previously independent rhethoric has changed since becoming the republican nominee? He’s towing the establishment line more and more, and becoming more of a negative compaigner by the day. And anyone who picks Sarah Palin as a running mate needs their head examined.

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Three steps forward, two steps back

back Health

OK, now I’m getting really pissed off. My back has got slightly better every day over the past week and a half - yesterday I went for my third physio appointment and everything was pretty hunky-dory, just a bit of soreness, but my range of movement was much better and his prodding barely hurt at all. I went more than 24 hours with no painkillers of any sort for the first time in ages, and this morning I felt great.

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Mouseless Firefox

I’ve been trying to use the mouse on my main desktop machine less, because it’s awkward to use when I’m typing away in my ‘recliner’ position which has been helping my back. On my MacBook, the trackpad is a joy, and while it’s possible to get keyboards with in-built trackpads, I like my current keyboard and don’t want to get rid of it, or to get a separate trackpad / trackball which will be awkward.

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