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Friday, August 25

Back To The Keyboard

I've been primarily writing entries to this blog on my mobile phone which is undoubtedly having an effect on my writing style. For those people who think that I'm seldom terse enough, the change in draftsmanship has probably been positive. For those people who like me blethering and using words that the predictive text feature is not likely to know, then I probably will have been coming across as a bit watered down... or maybe concentrated, but in the way that stops people from drinking Robinson's Barley Water directly from the bottle without adding water.

As might be obviously from the waffle thus far exposed, I'm back at a computer keyboard for this post. Welcome back to verbal diahorrea.

Work is still very surreal and it's hard to know what to do for the best. I'm trying to absorb information at the moment, but my sponge-like brain is full and I'm quite tired, despite sleeping in, so a lot of stuff is washing over my head. I need to get stuck into something - then I can fill in the gaps.

It's hard to be motivated to turn up to work when all you do there is fill time with reading. No targets = no motivation. However, there are going to be some training courses next week, which will, at least, have their own structure imposed on them. I think that things are going to become more clear as the weeks progress... I'm going on holiday in a couple of weeks, too, so that will pretty much break things up. When I get back I'll be able to get stuck in.

Last night I did my first post-Edinburgh gig. It could have gone better. It could have gone worse. I managed to get them laughing from the off and I got some good response to my musical stuff. I tried and failed to change gear in the middle of the set and do some of my non-musical material. A combination of me being a bit vague and maybe a lack of confidence (or amusement value) made it a bit of a sticky few minutes. Still, I came back with the guitar and things ended pretty well.

I was scuppered a bit at the start of the gig. This was a very frustrating sound check and the end result was that I couldn't plug my guitar into the sound at all. I was using the smaller guitar, which meant that it probably wasn't audible at the back of the room. Last time I gigged there, there was an amplifier and everything was great. This time, things were significantly less good.

I made a big mistake. I asked the compere to turn the sound on so I could try to multiplex the existing microphone and my guitar with my wee mixer. The compere didn't do that. So I started work on the setup. Sadly, when he got round to turning things on, nothing worked... even when I returned the setup I'd been playing with to its original settings. I regretted this a lot. On the face of it, it looked like I'd screwed it up. This was not the case and I now know why, but at the time, I was undoubtedly looking like the guilty party. This is why you shouldn't jump a step ahead. D'oh! This is also why you should sort the sound out for the musical act properly. This is, in fact, why you should have a sound setup that works, rather than something roped together.

The mic was connected via a long lead into the phono-input of an amplifer which was, itself, daisy chained to another amplifier. We couldn't make this work. The reason for this was that two amplifiers needed to be plugged in correctly and set to the correct inputs. In fact, the initial sound-off was caused by the fact that they weren't attached to each other, which had nothing to do with what I'd been up to at the other end of the room. After a lot of playing about, we decided to remove one amp from the equation and wire directly to the main one. This still didn't work. Apparently, one of the inputs on the main amp doesn't work... eventually it got working.

I wanted then to run my mixing desk in, which would have had the effect of giving my guitar some amplification and also pre-amping the microphone, which, by rights, cannot be connected straight into the back of a regular domestic Hi-fi amp. I was denied this chance... so the sound was shit. It wasn't my fault. I give in!

In my post-Edinburgh haze, I'm trying to fill the diary up for the rest of the year and capitalise on my new strengths. I've had a few people offering me gigs and I'm now ringing round begging. I hate ringing round begging. However, there are some clubs I really need to beg...

To Write
Be careful what you wish for. In this case, be careful which features you suggest to a computer magazine editor. He might just take you up on the idea. So, I'll be writing a 4 page article on comedy websites, a 6 pager on urban myths and maybe even a piece on how to construct your own laptop using pizza boxes... that should be a laugh!

To Sort Out
Still plenty of things to sort out. Some ebay items need sending - one to a buyer, one to be replaced by the seller. There's a mortgage to complete on, still! I have some Doctor's appointments for health check and jabs. I have to sort out my mail redirection to get it to arrive in Reading, rather than Farnborough, so I can return my key and get my deposit back.

Basically, I need to move my arse!


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