top hat James wedding

Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments...

Only later do they become memorable by the scars they leave.

Final Mashups - DJNoNo - Ballroom album
top hat James wedding

Planned 10 years ago, the Ballroom EP (now album) has been a long time coming...two of the tracks were released (here in a remastered or better quality form) but the rest laid in the Unfinished folder.

Mixing ballroom music - big band, jazz, bossa nova, exotica, swing, easy listening and classical pops - with hip hop and r n' b years before the term electroswing was invented, I'm surprised no-one has done an album concept like this in the last decade?

Dedicated to Mr Fab, Evolution Control Committee and all the Crumplebangers Crew.

Download DJNoNo Ballroom - zip file (73Mb) or Mediafire.

Answer for question 4535.
top hat James wedding
The Star Wars movies -- do you love 'em or hate 'em? How excited are you for the new movie in December (if at all)? Will you be getting tickets for the 12:01 AM first showing, or are you "eh, whatever" about the whole thing? If you're looking forward to it, what or who are you most excited to see?
I'm fairly excited, tempered by what happened with Phantom Menace (still not seen it, my friends that do indeed see it first warned me off).

Looks like I will be seeing it with said friends...probably at the IMAX, but I'm not going to stress if I don't see it until after Xmas...

FInal Mashups #2 - Impact Mode
top hat James wedding

Started 6 (!) years ago, this mashup of Depeche Mode's Just Can't Get Enough vs Orbital - Impact (Live) has been featured on mixes, usually from the Parkade but never released - until now. I was never happy with any mashup it has to be told, despite what some people say - stuff that got released either was 'oh sod it - I'm so fed up with this, that'll do' or in some cases had been hanging around for years, and on the 3rd, 4th or 5th iteration.

This one is dedicated to the Parkade and all the DJs there.

Impact Mode (Orbital vs Depeche Mode)

Final mashups...Dark Dreams & Lost At The Beach
holy synth

I decided to stop doing mashups - for good this time, as in I took down all my old mashups and my own videos - back in August but felt sad for the tracks that almost made it, were nearly finished when I downed tools. So here are a few that I've tarted up for release - these are more downbeat but planning to finish the DJNoNo - Ballroom EP that was partly dropped at Crumplstock live mix I did last month

So here's Dark Dreams, which is Fleetwood Mac - Dreams vs a track from Dark Night Of The Soul, which is Sparklehorse vs Dangermouse and David Lynch. It might not last long on Soundcloud being FM, so here's a direct download.

And Lost At The Beach, which happened fiddling around with Lost In The Supermarket by The Clash (one of my favourite songs...ever!) and realising that it didn't work with Steely Dan but Beach House - Myth works just fine. Download here. Also on Soundcloud, but given SC has turned it's back on the mashup and bedroom remixers that made it's name, might not be there for long.

Filter bubbles and idiots
Always bemused by brittle people who blog contentious things, and if you dare criticise what they say (rather than them, but quite often they project *personal* offence) it’s like ‘Get the Fuck Off My Blog!’? Eh?

Uhoh filter bubble? It seems to be common in this age to avoid those who oppose us, or contradict us and get all stompy and throw the toys out. It's not good...for discourse or anything. But it usually shows up how immature they are.

Then again, it's not worth bothering with those people, so it's all meat for my ban list (ironic I know given what I just said, but some people take it to extremes. For instance there's a certain redbearded person here who I find and add to my blocklist on every social media site. It's just peace of mind, since he's a bit of a entitled narcissistic sociopath, like all these airbags tend to be. An echo chamber inside their own head and on their blog/presence. But it's odd - why say it if you expect everyone to agree with you? Narcisstic games, ego trips....I'd rather not).

Funny thing is they quite often pretend to be the bad boys, swaggering and sweary like they don’t care. but then run off whimpering when challenged. Don't talk the talk if you can't walk the walk. And don't say contentious things, then expect *everyone* to agree with you, it's confirmation bias 101. Grow the fuck up.

I'm guessing this is why Twitter followers are called that, and how FB and LJ got it wrong with sadly seems many people want the former, not the latter.

Anyway LJ Drama is SO 2006...:-P

Computers computers computers - WARNING GEEKY POST
Me Djing 2
Still here, still checking in from time to time...machines allowing.

I have a new Mac Book Pro - the 5 year old was slowly dying with broken keyboard so the power button was duff, dodgy USB ports and general slowness. I still will keep Frederick - couldn't sell it in the current condition anyway - but All Hail Luiggi (only a few of you might know why I called it that...usually it was fantasy names but now it's based on a real person - maybe not a real name - who I fancy a lot ;-)

It's very fast, but there are a few niggles. I miss my 17" screen, even with Retina this screen isn't as big as that one, even for a 5 year old Mac. It has HDMI so I could run my Sony monitor I picked up for almost nothing for the Pi as a second monitor if needed.

This is the second replacement machine, after a week and a half I took the old one back and started again. I've had problems with Thunderbolt disconnecting if you as much as breathed on it or moved the cable slightly (annoyingly the new laptops don't have Ethernet, and only two USB 3 ports, and no Firewire so you have use adaptors for those). This seems to have hopefully been fixed, but not the weird sleep problem while you are using the machine, which I suspect is connected either to the tilt switch for the screen (it goes away if you tilt the machine!) or graphics card. Grr...I hoped the GFX card issues had been fixed, I dreaded programs switching to the graphics card on Frederick (you can't stop apps from doing that) since there was a bug that made the computer sluggish and a bit unstable. Apparently not.

I have a Genius appointment booked...maybe they'll fix it. Maybe not. Apple seems a bit flaky nowadays.

Seems like in the last month or so I've been always fixing machines, harddrives, installing things, going wrong...seems like finally at the end of that cycle.

I resurrected the Raspberry Pi2 from the place I had left it in disgust earlier in the year (it corrupted itself and was obvious I couldn't run a NAS through it, it kept losing NFS and SMB shares, files temporarily disappeared which was worrying, very glitchy...) to work as a sort of media centre - Shairplay (Airplay on Linux), DLNA as my cheap chinese Airplay/DLNA device was just too flaky, and to run get_iplayer to download BBC Radio and TV programs so I don't need to be connected to a UK IP or VPN (I was almost missing shows since if the machine was on a foreign VPN it couldn't download).

But then the Pi decided to go wrong during a backup script and delete my whole media drive...partly my fault, partly Linux which has an arcane mounting system using directories...I didn't know if I deleted the directory and the unmount failed it might delete the contents of the drive! Oops.

So I spent a week or two recovering that, still have lots of unknown files fileXXXXX...grr. I had a backup of some of the files...well did. More of that later.

I then tried many other systems on the Pi - I was originally on Raspbian - to fix a strange AAC glitch that crashed iPods. The Alpha Geeks on the forums, you know the type that's usually the resident moderator or accepted troll were no use, in fact the opposite...telling me the answer or 'I'd done it wrong' AFTER I've fixed it. I of course growled back. I hate those people, they might develop or fix the software but it comes with such a fucking ego that it renders any help they might give as moot.

So in an attempt to fix that I tried Ubuntu MATE on the Pi - pretty good after the terrible install issues (see later) but I couldn't get the audio to work. I then tried plain 14.04 Ubuntu and 15.04. Ditto. I gave up and went back to Raspbian as fortunately I'd created a backup.

Tim's Good tips for the Pi is:

1) Use Dropbox (there's a great script called DropboxBackup and yes if it's sensitive you can encrypt with OpenSSL, I use this for my VPSes)...and don't try and backup images, it takes WAY too long. The Windows program for backing up images seems legit, but the OSX ones are mostly crap. And the Terminal method takes hours or days. Easiest to backup just the files you use into a tar/tar.gz using --one-file-system then extract it over a fresh OS.

2) Always take backups, I'm using a USB stick and these things can corrupt easily, if the power goes or just randomly. I backup to the SD card and then upload to Dropbox.

3) Most of the information online is wrong or might need to fiddle with it. Amazed these things are foisted on children, it's like handing them the cogs and asking them to build a difference engine. The Raspi is *quirky* and a lot of the software even in repositories is unfinished. I mean the idiots that made the Ubuntu MATE image didn't bother to include a default user AND THEY ARE COMP-SCI GRADS (from a decent school too). And seemingly have abandoned the project. Of course, the installer fails, leaving you with no easy way to get IN to the OS or fix it since it's not setup your user yet, can't sudo, there isn't a root account. *facepalm* And these people are the future of computing? o.O
Like many Raspi things, much of the software or projects get developed for a few months after launch of a new machine then abandoned. So maybe stick to Raspbian...and fix the quirks!

4) These things break a lot, so keep spare SD cards and/or USB sticks OF THE SAME BRAND/TYPE/SIZE, so you can easily install/restore

5) If using images you'll find they won't fit even from reinstalling to the same card/type due to differences. Best way is to solve this by not using all the card when you resize2fs or resize the partition (fdisk etc) and then truncate / gtruncate the image file making sure it's blocks + 1 * 512 or whatever your sectors is...fdisk should help with that. This means it won't corrupt the partition when restored. Corrupt partitions will not mount, or will go very wonky fast with corrupted text everywhere, then die.

6) Get a good power supply, especially if using a lot of USB devices.

It's working now...but really should have bought another USB stick early on of the same size. Would have saved a lot of pain trying to fix my old computer's triple Win/OSX/Linux boot (corrupted EFS, nice), then giving up, buying a new machine to fix it, then realising I may as well run Virtual Machines of Linux on that (and Win7, works like a dream in fact, I own Ultra) - installing those only to find my Linux images were unmountable, and some were suspect/compressed or possibly unfinished. Boo.

Having a Linux install or VM is handy for Pi, since if there is a serious problem you might need to fschk or edit the files directly and depending on install you might be able to see the second partition.

As an aside: I have no idea why OSX and Windows has never supported more than one partition on a USB stick. It's odd. I mean, USB sticks can be massive nowadays, but those systems will usually only mount one partition, usually the boot partition, nothing else.

Same with the recovery, should have bought the 2Tb little drive I have now, but no, I went and got one of my removable (old) RAID 3TB drives thinking I could backup the recovery to that. It then had a complete unrecoverable error, losing that data. Fuck. So recovered to another drive, forgetting that Time Machine was on. You can guess what happened - the recovery files overwrote the few backed up files from the rest of that drive. AAARGH. I now have a little Seagate Expansion Drive, with those files on just in case.

So talking of NAS drives, I now have a QNAP TS431 burbling in the corner as it's migrating from RAID 1 to 5. It's called Archibald although I had to make it Archduke Archibald since the name was taken.

I'm not new to RAID - my second PC had built in RAID and I have a G-Tech G-SAFE removable 3TB which is full of photographs and stuff with one of the drives at John's...but certainly new to NAS drives. Almost had a fit after being told by another Alpha Geek that It Was Not Possible to do the very thing I'm doing now...migrating from a single disk to RAID 1 (31 hours!!) to RAID 5 without losing data. Obviously you can...just takes a long time. So much for the 'experts'. I ripped out the Touro 4TB from it's enclosure I was using - the aforementioned Drive That Was Deleted - after copying the files to the mini HD first.

I'd bought 2x4TB Toshiba drives, I wanted Seagate but they aren't cheap, and the Toshiba drives get good rep. Funny that the Toshiba drives are similar technology to HGST - there was some kind of 50/50 technology split when Dell I think it was bought one of them - which is what I've stuck to religiously until now - including the drive that failed, and the possible 'bad blocks' on the Touro one after 8 months use. During the migration I tried to use my 1TB Touro (yes HGST/Hitachi again) and THAT failed and pretty much started to smoke, and I abandoned I've had 1 drive fail outright and 2 new or newish HGST drives give bad block or corruption errors in as many weeks.

So HGST is a Big No in this is Western Digital after a really bad MyBook that needed to be hit to get it to boot. Yup. Shit.

Thing is in a RAID 5 config, one drive can go down, so if the HGST Touro drive pulls a fit, I can just plug in another and rebuild. So less stressed about using it in that scenario...whereas I was worrying as an external drive all the files would disappear again!

Idea is to not use or rip out the iTunes drive (yeah HGST again, although an older one that seems actually very solid, a 2TB G-Tech) - Gerald and put my library on the NAS with all the media/video files in one place. This would make the get_iplayer stuff easy, as currently I use bash scripts to check for downloaded shows then move the files over to my machine but they have to check if the external Gerald drive is connected, etc. I quite often have that drive shut down since it's really noisy...not sure why G-Tech (owned by HGST basically) can't make quiet or silent drives, given they aren't G-SAFE is like an airplane going off...the Touro (Branded Hitachi/HGST) was pretty quiet, Seagate is silent as is the little Touro 1TB Wilfred (one that started to fail during migration) and my new NAS when it's not rebuilding.

I have to currently use USB 3 since Apple's Thunderbolt as mentioned was so flaky I just returned the Firewire adaptor for a refund. USB 3 is pretty fast anyway, although I found my cheap Chinese USB3 hubs were causing corruption/random disconnections, so got a new EasyAcc one. Works fine now.

But it all seems to be working now...I thought during the HD wipe then many failure(s) and then the Raspi dying/corrupting several times that the place was jinxed or wondered where the big magnet was. But it seems OK now...fingers crossed...

Answer for question 4338.
pub step
Have you ever had any run-ins with the law or been arrested? What happened (if you feel comfortable sharing the story)?
Kind of - neither of which were anything to do with me.

I've been told to 'fuck off' by an officer when trying to get a kebab (sober, and I was living locally) near Tottenham when I asked politely why I couldn't walk down this local street which was taped off. Never found out why, but wasn't surprised that riots happened there years later since even myself as a white bloke got treated like shit there by them, hate to think how they treated other people.

I have told police they can't come in, same place due to an arrest of someone at the address for GBH. That was very satisfying, I also barracked them during the arrest...oddly one of the policemen admitted to breaking the law himself casually, he was playing good cop to the other (bearded, the authority figures with beards never are nice and always turn out to be right c***s) playing bad cop...very odd.

Answer for question 4336.
top hat James wedding
What's your reaction towards people who are outspoken about their beliefs (whether that's politics, religion, or anything else)? Does your reaction change based on whether you agree with them or not?
Nothing wrong with being passionate, in fact if it matters to you then in my mind you SHOULD be outspoken. I personally don't get people who keep quiet to 'keep the peace' or 'get along' because all that happens is the truth comes out eventually. Keeping it in isn't healthy, and is sneaky.

I personally prefer to know where people stand rather than to be wrong-footed, I get quite annoyed when someone seems at total odds to what they were presenting and they're like 'so?' - especially on important issues, like LGBTQ rights, religion, politics etc. Hiding who you are from me just makes me suspicious of someone rather than what they probably want which is some kind of social grooming.

And anyway, when you have discussions or arguments with people then their true nature comes out - if they are insulting or illogical, petty or pedantic (I can be all of those, but try not to be) it tells you what kind of a friend those people are, what assumptions they've made and what strategy they choose tells you a lot about their internal makeup. More than they think.

I don't expect friends to agree with my opinions, quite often they don't, but I do expect them to have some sort of logic/thinking behind it, even if it's not mine. If I can see where they stand, then it's fine...if it's fluffy or not thought out but they are putting it out there, I'm less kind about it, usually.

That said, I try and avoid arguments unless it's someone who is being hella illogical or offensive, or completely out of what I think is their usual character.

Answer for question 4316.
top hat James wedding
What’s your favorite smell/scent? Is it somehow connected to a specific memory? If so, what is that memory and why is that scent so strongly attached to it?
Coffee and fresh sweat of a man I like ;-)

'Just friends'
Farnese hercules
Hmm, the weird thing about being over 40 is being in this odd hinterland, being sexually dropped for 'fresh fruit' - amount of bears and older bearded/hairy guys who are only looking for 18-20's aged guys is depressing (given what bears was originally about), and I probably didn't know how unique I was back then...I liked older guys AND wasn't expected to get paid. No wonder they loved me, saved them so much money for rent :-P

Just had the 'just be friends' line via someone who seemed interested but apparently now is only attracted to guys in their 20's, I wished he'd made that clear...

The irony will be is by the time I might be considered eligible again - e.g. 50-60+ 'daddy' type with grey/white beard (already getting close with the latter) and maybe attractive to the late 20's-30's group*, I suspect I might have just given up bothering. :-(

* Unlike these chicken hawk bears, I don't go for that 'student' age group, even though a few have expressed interest out and about I'm always suspecting they might just want my wallet! Nor do I pretend I am younger, or go to the gym, or cut my beard - all things that would 'improve' my chances, but I see no reason to change myself just to shag someone that shallow...what's the saying? My right hand is a better lover? :-P


Log in