Monday, September 27, 2010

Now we are 3

On Friday, I became a father :-)

Here's how it all happened, according to my Twitter feed:

So, what shall I do for the rest of the year? Oh yes - become a Dad LOL!
11:29 AM Sep 21st

Hey, why didn't anyone tell me Flevopark was so nice?
3:54 PM Sep 22nd

So... Debs is actually having our baby. Like, right now!
1:31 AM Sep 23rd

That is to say, contractions are proceeding apace
1:42 AM Sep 23rd

2:03 AM Sep 23rd

Nature is a bitch
2:21 AM Sep 23rd

Lots of effort, not much progress :-(
3:56 AM Sep 23rd

Aaaand we're off to the hospital for some good, old-fashioned sedation. Nothing wrong, just a tired wife who needs some rest.
4:21 AM Sep 23rd

Baby update: Debs is on her way home! Things are starting to move a bit, so we're back on for a home birth
12:08 PM Sep 23rd

Which is great - she really wasn't happy in the hospital.
12:09 PM Sep 23rd

I have managed to snatch about 6 hours sleep in the past 30 hours...
12:10 PM Sep 23rd

Not so bad you might think.
12:11 PM Sep 23rd

September 23/2010 12:11:15 PM

My shoulders feel like they're made of scaffolding
September 23/2010 12:12:11 PM

Just up after 4 hours sleep. Debs sounds tired and miserable, but I will push this baby out for her! Er... if that's possible
September 23/2010 12:22:04 PM

This is all quite exciting! Though I'm sure Debs would not describe it in quite such upbeat terms...
September 23/2010 12:40:04 PM

Hooray! She's home again, looking a bit done in, but much more relaxed
September 23/2010 13:11:04 PM

Deb: snoozing, woozing, contracting. Me: A perpetual motion machine fueled only by Yorkshire Tea. And tweets.
September 23/2010 13:41:12 PM

Can't believe how my selfish wife has made me miss 3 frames of Ronnie vs Jimmy. THOUGHTLESSNESS!
September 23/2010 14:28:01 PM

Ice cubes and puking
September 23/2010 18:09:18 PM

Also, we have passed the 36 hour mark! GREAT!
September 23/2010 18:09:38 PM

Pop go the waters!
September 23/2010 19:15:12 PM

Aaaaand we're off to the hospital again. This time, three of us will be coming back.
September 23/2010 19:42:17 PM

So, just discovered a KPN hotspots. I can now continue to tweet the heck out of this birth.
September 24/2010 01:44:18 AM

Which we are now 42 hours into. FORTY TWO HOURS!
September 24/2010 01:44:59 AM

Currently in the VU (a hospital). Debs is shattered, but soldiering on.
September 24/2010 01:45:59 AM

She managed a couple of hours of sleep earlier, amazingly. I think the pethedine helped...
September 24/2010 01:46:48 AM

I'm not sure, but I think we might be rounding the final bend into the home straight
September 24/2010 01:48:11 AM

Thank you to everyone who has txtd or tweeter their love and support - much appreciated by us all :-)
September 24/2010 01:48:57 AM

We had no fucking idea it might last this long.
September 24/2010 01:50:58 AM

We've nearly got to the bit where the Doctor says "Push, Mrs Blench, PUSH!"
September 24/2010 02:12:00 AM

There's a little bed being warmed up with those kruiks they love so much over here
September 24/2010 02:25:15 AM

And a little changing mat with a range of clothing laid out, ready for our new friend
September 24/2010 02:26:10 AM

He or she is apparently "quite hairy" by the way
September 24/2010 02:26:43 AM

Fuck, this bit looks hard
September 24/2010 02:45:51 AM

September 24/2010 02:47:35 AM

It's the "PUSH!" bit!!!!
September 24/2010 03:01:23 AM

September 24/2010 04:18:28 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the world my son, Beau Shotton Blench, weighing in at 3.7KG. Mother and baby are doing great :-)
September 24/2010 06:58:26 AM

Monday, May 3, 2010

Twit gift rig lift

Feast yer peepers on this little beauty! Weep with jealousy at the news that I just won it! Then gasp in disbelief as I reveal that I'm not talking about the keyboard, but the smoking hot Cordinated Cable perched provocatively on top.


I am living in exciting times. Seriously, I fucking love this whole thing. I only started following Cordinated on Twitter a couple of weeks ago, and was wondering how to break it to Debs that I was thinking of buying yet more bloody cables when they ran a "retweet this to win" competition... and the rest is history.

I love cables at the best of times, but this one's a real cracker. Hand made in Chicago by Juli and Dan - he solders 'em, she wraps 'em in yarn - and up for sale on the ever-excellent Etsy. Love the schtick, the look, the whole "supporting independent business" thing, and of course (ad-man wank alert!) love the effortless demonstration of the marketing power of social media.

I can already tell that this is going to be a spectacular addition to my Fender setup (American Sunburst Telecaster and tweed-covered Blues Deville 212 amp). In case you're interested, Effects Bay did a comparative review, and if you want to hear one in action, check out The Nick next time we play.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Barber of Amsterdam

I was hugely looking forward to paying a visit to Mister Pasquale Capone, the Barber of Amsterdam. I wanted to go on my birthday, but he's only open Tuesday to Thursday, so I had to wait until I could sort out a day off work - today!

Pasquale's a true Figaro, who lists his skills as tailor, shoemaker, cabinet-maker, dentist, and of course, gentlemen's hairdresser. On his website, Pasquale gives a full account of his responsibilities, including:
"The most important standards in my trade are: personel attention and individuality. I practice my profession in a most natural way. This is in contrast with the operation of most of the present hairdressers À la minute: modernisation, rationalisation, complex machinery etc. They forget the real profession. SOCIAL and CULTURAL VALUES are neglected and the result is SOCIAL and ECONOMIC POVERTY."
This had all the hallmarks of being a classic Barber shop experience. What transpired was... educational, to say the least.

I turned up at 2 and was warmly welcomed into his delightful "living museum". Then I sat there for 40 minutes while he lectured / humiliated me about social responsibility, integrity and my being "an opportunist".

I was made to read aloud, to the assembled audience, a newspaper article in which he expounded his philosophy and vision - all very sensible and noble. You can read all about it for yourselves on his website.

Having ascertained what I did for a living and how much I earned, he wanted to charge me a cool €200! A little steep, in my estimation. I ended up leaving, unshorn.

As I opened the door to leave, and he addressed himself to one of his regulars, I caught sight of his face. What a transformation! The kindly-yet-playfully-antagonistic old codger had vanished - in his place, a sneering, judgmental old git of a man, happier to domineer and sermonize than to provide friendly service to his customers.

I won't be going back.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

6-Face Fun Time

Here's a nice video by Rinpa Eshidan. I'm always impressed by people who conceive of things like this. Even more impressed when they actually do it :-)

If I did a time lapse video doodah, it would totally be about a cable trying to find a hole to plug into. On his voyage of discovery, he'd fall in love with an effects pedal and they'd have kids. In the end the whole family would settle down on a pedalboard. Or something.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Waveform is analogue

This is rather neat - an analogue representation of digital waveform editing, in the form of "how to make that Prodigy song":

Helps if you have the sound on :-)

I love all this "writing on things in your house" stuff. Reminds me of this.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

An Awful Book

Delightful bit of writing on this dressmaking book of Deb's:

Charming and inviting. From 1965, dontcha know? 3 and 6, and worth every penny.

Inside there's a useful glossary, which reveals to me an entirely new meaning for the verb "baste", and has some nice things to say out loud, like "blind hem," "notches," and "catch stitch." Go on, say them now. Now! Feels GREAT doesn't it?

Also: "Bodge". There's one I haven't heard in a while.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In-trays and postcards

Here's a good one for everyone in England enjoying the postal strike.

Debs heard a thing on Radio 4 a few months ago which told a wonderful story about a man who would go to work in the morning, check the contents of his in-tray (probably while smoking a pipe), and then, having gauged the amount of work he had to do that day, send a postcard to his wife letting her know what time he would be home for tea.

How very civilized.

But for all that we have lost... how much we have gained :-)

Friday, October 16, 2009

Here are all the wires...

This explains everything!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ad bash

Let's mock some adverts. Sorry if this is boring to people who don't get British TV... actually no, I'm not sorry at all.

1. 8x the size. Could be "8 weeks worth of stuff", not sure, can't remember

No idea what brand this advert was for (FAIL!) but the premise is something like "What if you had to buy 8 weeks worth of stuff in one go?". Not a particularly daunting idea, really, especially since the first product they use to illustrate this ghastly scenario is a gigantic tube of toothpaste - like 2 metres long or so.


A product you use maybe 3g of per day. I don't know about you, but a tube of toothpaste 2m long would probably last me a decade. I can proudly boast that a standard tube easily lasts me eight weeks.

How come the agency was allowed to get away with this?? Who is the client? How come I can't find any pix or videos to illustrate my frustration? Why are you all looking at me like that? IT'S AN INCREDIBLY ANNOYING ADVERT!

2. Dulux - What would you change?

I dunno, it's something about the link between colour and emotion, so therefore... buy paint!

Except that even after the crying woman has had her room repainted (probably by her henpecked husband who we never actually see - I suspect he's down the pub by now) - even after that, and even though by the end of the ad her mouth is smiling, she still has a look of such empty desperation in her eyes, plus that apologetic little mouth motion... hot damn, it makes me want to adopt an abused puppy to redress the balance of good and evil in the world.

This execution FAIL is the most horrific thing I've seen in ages. Conspackulations, Dulux!

3. Glade's "I want to do a poo at Paul's" abomination

I know this was invented by the Germans or something, cos it looks funny and is clearly dubbed, but even they should have realised that children don't give a fig what a bathroom smells like after they've relieved themselves. Concept FAIL.

Even so, a lit match is a far more pleasant solution than some airborne chemical stink. Product FAIL.


Plenty more where this came from, if I can be bothered. In case you can't wait, read this neverending thread of other people letting off steam about dreadful TV commercials.