Friday, June 11, 2010

Busy

I have been so busy lately that I haven't had time to get back to the blog. I'm still waiting on approval for my business from IND, but have been doing a lot of small things in preparation for that. I have been building effects pedals, although the painting of those has held me up because of some trial and error....mainly error! I have been breadboarding them so that I can change values of parts and listen to the difference as I really want these to be kick ass, and since I've always had an ear for good tone, I think it is going to very possible. The one negative is that lately the best tones that I have heard from other players is from guys that plug directly into the amp.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Roadburn 2010

I went to the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg 10 days ago and had an amazing time! The festival was really well organized, even with the problems caused by the volcano. Some of the highlights for me were Goatsnake, who were absolutely amazing. I got to meet Greg Anderson and Pete Stahl (along with Trouble bassist Ron Holzner) a couple of nights earlier in Amsterdam at the Cave. Greg has the filthiest guitar tone I have ever heard. I also really enjoyed Earthless...quite amazing that a drummer can keep going for a 50 minute song! Karma to Burn!!! I had seen them at the end of the 90's and were blown away then, so I was highly disappointed when they broke up and happy that they got back together. They are so powerful live. Sons of Otis- I had seen their show in Toronto with OM and Lichens and really enjoyed them as I have been a long time fan. Their shows at the Roadburn were really fantastic and I got to meet all the guys in the Cave a couple of days later as they were stranded by the volcano. They almost played in the Cave (!) but Ryan was able to get a flight out and it didn't happen. Dude, you owe me a show!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Amsterdam apartment hunting

I've been in Amsterdam for most of the last 6 years, and it has always been such a hassle to find a place here. The rental market was really hard previously, but this year I found that not to be the case, maybe the only advantage of the economic crisis. A lot of expats here were pulled back home went the economy went south, so there are a glut of GOOD apartments on the market this year and agents will actually take some off the rental price to try and fill the apartment. I decided that I was going to pretty much find an apartment in under two weeks and managed to do so. I'm going to pay double rent for one month but that gives me plenty of time to move and clean my old apartment, plus I have the added benefit of getting out from under the post stealing, noise until six in the morning moron living above me. I'm just so going to enjoy next month when I can come over and blast the vacuum at eight in the morning. :-) I found a really nice place, but more on that after I move in.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Las Vegas

I got back from Las Vegas on the 25th after staying a week and wish that I had stayed longer as one week isn't long enough for the flight time involved. I had a great time other than having a nasty cold most of the time that I was there, and I'm pretty sure that I'm going back in September but for a couple of weeks this time. I stayed at the Flamingo, just like the last time I was there, and everything was really nice. I walked from the Flamingo to the Town Square mall, back to the Flamingo and then walked from the Flamingo to the Stratosphere and back. Google Earth says that is a total of 12.4 miles, so it was a nice walk!
I also attend the WSOP Academy 2 day cash game camp and the 1 day hand analysis camp the day after, and both were excellent. Annie Duke was the lead instructor and the other instructors were Bernard Lee, Jim Shipley, Tom Schneider, and Shawn Rice. Annie and Tom were the hand analysis instructors. I have to say I was a bit dubious of learning much, but both camps were excellent and I learned a ton. I was told that there may be an advanced camp in September and I'm looking forward to that if so.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Why...

do I keep getting idiots living above me in Amsterdam? I've been meaning to post about this for a while now, but luckily, in some ways I guess, I was out of Amsterdam for 20 weeks and didn't have to deal with it. It was pretty obvious from the beginning that this idiot is dealing and/or manufacturing drugs. For a person of normal intelligence, doesn't this make it seem like you would try to operate under the radar somewhat? Which makes it obvious that he's not of normal intelligence. It was incredibly loud until five this morning and sometimes the noise sounds like he is rolling something really heavy across the floor, much like you would roll a heavy barrel. Maybe a barrel of safrole? This is the ecstasy capital you know. What has also become evident is that he has no kind of schedule- school, work or otherwise, and has nothing better to do than stay up at night, making shit loads of noise and disrespecting other people. And on top of that, he's a thief as he stole my mail.
Once again, when I move out I will post an address so maybe no one else will move in below this idiot.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Getting sorted out...

I'm currently still getting sorted out from my return from the US...everything except my sleep that is. I'm a notoriously bad sleeper and this time it is really screwed up. My usual routine is to stay up on my first day back, sleep about 3 hours or so at 3 or 4 in the afternoon, then get up and do some things, then try to go to sleep and have a normal schedule from then on. This time I did that but slept too late and got about 6 hours, and have totally screwed up my sleeping since. Yesterday I didn't go to bed until 6 in the morning and slept until 9 at night! So now I'm awake at 7 in the morning....I have been reading and printing out a lot of the things that I'm going to need to apply for my residency permit and to get my business started, so it hasn't been a total loss of sitting here vegging out. I've also been setting up my soldering station so that I can install a pair of pickups today, formatting a 2TB hard drive (taking damned near forever!), installing a Blu Ray burner in my computer, and once that is all done, I'm going to be putting on Windows 7 Ultimate.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I haven't abandoned this...

And I did finish the 20th week of my guitar building course, even if I didn't blog about it. We took off the last day, so I had one of my friends from the course take me to Toronto, and we went out with another course friend on the last night that I was there. Did I fly the next day with a massive hangover? You bet!

I've been busy trying to get my business started in Amsterdam but the weather didn't cooperate with all of the snow. Since I don't have a car, the streets didn't bother me so much but the sidewalks were treacherous. The weather didn't get better until the day I left, of course.

I'm currently in the US seeing to my house that I've been renting out. It has been since October of 2004 since I've been inside, so I'm getting with the real estate agent that is taking care of it to see what needs to be done as far as carpet, paint, etc. I know that I'm going to have to replace the external heat/ac unit as some crackhead scumbag decided to steal it for the $30 of copper inside. I'll be prepared next time. While I'm here, I'm also buying some things for my business and buying some guitar parts to resell, since prices are so high in Holland. A pickup that is 95 dollars here is 95 euros there, a 40+% markup in just the currency exchange.