Archive for November, 2007

Nov 29 2007

Project Studio

Published by under Music

Over the last few weekends I’ve been working to get the project studio cleaned and organized. I never really got things setup properly since moving the studio from my old house. About a quarter of the room was filled with boxes and equipment that had not been unpacked since the move.

A friend of mine who plays guitar moved some of his equipment over recently (e.g., the Marshall stack). Messing around with it has renewed my interest in guitars and the studio in general. My new PRS guitar is a lot of fun to play and another reason I’m spending more time in there.


The audio recording side of the studio is still a bit dysfunctional. I need to decide if I want to continue using my mixing console or switch to a model where everything is done on the computer. Since I rarely record anymore, I’ll probably just stick with the existing setup rather than investing time and money in a new system. I do need to sell some of the synths, sound modules, and devices that I no longer use.


I must admit, it is really tempting to replace the mixing console (barely seen on the right) and all the outboard gear with a mostly software based DAW setup. Switching to software based synths and sampler would also significantly reduce the equipment.

I expect I could get by easily with just a set of outboard A/D converters and mic preamps that interface with the computer. I would keep the Korg N264 keyboard as a controller for when I need to actually play something live.

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Nov 21 2007

Paul Reed Smith Guitar

Published by under Misc,Music

I’m the proud owner of a 2004 PRS Custom 22 10 Top Brazilian Limited guitar. Paul Reed Smith guitars are famous for superb design, craftsmanship, and quality hardware. This limited edition has a carved maple top with tortoise shell finish, Brazilian rosewood fretboard & headstock, and a mahogany neck, back, and sides.


The back plate is signed by Paul Reed Smith and numbered 450 of 500.


The Brazilian rosewood fretboard features abalone bird inlays which are a signature feature of many PRS guitars.

prs3.JPGThis guitar is a bit lighter than either my Stratocaster or Les Paul and has a sound that is somewhere in between the two.

 It has PRS Dragon II Pickups which sound great and I’m looking forward to trying out different AMP and effects combinations.

The guitar has a wide/thin neck profile and feels good in my hand. Likewise, the string setup is almost perfect for me.

This is the first guitar I’ve owned with locking tuners and I must say they are very convenient. I really should have my Stratocaster fit with them.

I bought the guitar from who had it listed on ebay. They were great to work with and I’m very happy with my purchase.

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Nov 19 2007


Published by under Misc

The rats are a little over a year old now. The two sisters are full grown and living happily in their 3 story rat cage with a hammock at the top. The one below is named Pint and the other (not shown) is named Lomi. They were named after a couple in my WoW guild.


The rats spend most of their day sleeping in the hammock but are pretty active at night. Pint loves to run on the wheel while Lomi never goes near it.

They both have great easy going personalities which I think is due to the breeder handling them regularly since they were a week old. Rats in pet stores often don’t receive any significant human contact until they are 5-8 weeks old which is really late in their development.

I’ve had some great rats that have come from pet stores, however, I think from now on I’m going to adopt from local ratteries. 

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Nov 09 2007

DC Unlimited Figures

Published by under Games

In the mail today arrived several World of Warcraft models that were designed and produced by DC Unlimited. These highly detailed models stand 8″ tall and include weapons.

Here we have an Orc shaman named Rehgar Earthfury. The model features nice detail and the wolf helm comes off to reveal the face and head.


 This stoic Dwarf warrior is known as Thargas Anvilmar. I’m sure when he is not in a tavern drinking you could find him adventuring in the mountains of Khaz Modan.


Last but not least, we have a nasty looking Undead warlock named Meryl Felstorm.


I’m really happy with the quality and detail of these models. DC Unlimited has several more coming out before the end of the year and I’ll definitely have to check them out. More information on these and other Warcraft models is  here.

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Nov 05 2007

Blizzcon Tavern Music Performance

Published by under Conventions,Games,Music

Here is a video I took of a cool musical performance at Blizzcon this year.

The song, which starts about 90 seconds in after the introduction, is a Celtic folk piece called “Deepwater” and is the in-game song heard when you enter the Deepwater Tavern at Menethil Harbor.

YouTube Preview Image

I shot the video at the “Sound/Music” panel. That panel was part of the developer track which featured talks by people in the various disciplines (e.g., cinematics, music, development, etc) who work on the game.

During the panel, they had a surpise appearance by David Arkenstone and his band. Arkenstone had been commissioned to write a collection of tavern songs for the World of Warcraft which is available on the “Taverns of Azeroth” CD pictured below. It features 19 songs that are heard in taverns across Azeroth. A review of the CD can be found here.


The “Sound/Music” panel was in a small room and I happened to be sitting in the front row which was a great spot to watch the 30+ minute performance.

I hadn’t heard of Arkenstone prior to that panel, but he is apparently a well known composer (nominated for several Grammy awards). He and his band played a few songs the next night at the big Video Games Live concert finale.

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Nov 04 2007

Bodiam Castle

Published by under Castles

This is the first post in what I hope to be a series on castles I’ve visited.

Here we have one of my all-time favorite castles. Bodiam Castle is located near the River Rother in East Sussex in South East England. This picturesque castle was built in the late 14th century by Sir Edward Dalyngrygge as a fortification against invasion from France.

Below are some photographs I took of Bodiam Castle (35mm Fuji Velvia 100 ISO).


The castle features cylindrical towers on each corner of its square construction. The symmetrical design is complimented by rectangular towers in the middle of each wall. The Southern tower at one time featured a drawbridge that extended out over the wide moat. On the opposite side is the gatehouse which now serves as the primary entrance to the castle.


To me, this castle really symbolizes medieval castle architecture with its moat, towers, crenellations, battlements, gatehouse, and draw bridge. Interestingly, the castle does not feature a keep so the outer walls provide the only line of defense.


The castle has been featured in films such as Monty Python and the Holy Grail and even appeared in a Doctor Who episode.

Castles have always fascinated me at both a historical and architectural level. They served as defensive structures, centers for social activities, homes to kings and queens, and are one of the most powerful symbols of the middle ages. There is also the fairytale/romantic aspect that sparks my imagination with images of knights, ladies, chivalry, and adventure.

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