Sunday 7 April 2024

AFTER yesterday’s busy day we have a long lie – Sunday Brunch on the telly, coffee and leisurely email and socials check.

Then it’s into the studio to get down to business with Kevin’s video.

Aside from the general edit, I’ve a lot to learn off I wanna pull off some of the ideas we’ve had.

Late afternoon there’s a break in the rain and I head out for an hour or so’s walk…halfway through the rain starts, then hailstones, then the sun comes out.

I’m back in the studio ’til late, finally stopping for dinner…

Saturday 6 April 2024

Greenscreen setup in the studio for Kevin’s video…

UP early to get the studio sorted for my pals Kevin and Nick. It’s filming day for Kevin’s forthcoming single Sha Na Na (who shot the).

As well as clearing space and setting tip lights I need to add a count in to the beginning of the song so the guys know where the music starts.

Own arrival we have a coffee, I outline my plan and we start the filming.

We’re done in less than three hours with lots of green screen rushesin the bag. Hopefully I have enough to start working with.

Margaret’s made soup so we have some lunch then Kevin and Nick head off. I start ingesting the video footage into the computer and deal with some other stuff in the studio while the video churns away.

I manage to get some editing started before Betty and Liz arrive for dinner. We have a grand night…

Friday 5 April 2024

Prototype Ben Lomond plaque – needs a few design changes, but looks promising…

UP EARLY for my first guitar lesson. My student and her two (very well behaved) dogs) arrive bang on time and once we’re finished I hit the office to start a prototype make of the plaque I designed yesterday.

Margaret’s off into Glasgow to meet some old colleagues for lunch. I’m waiting – and hoping – for the lights I ordered to try and get a more even green screen illumination int he studio to be delivered. I’m filming tomorrow!

Meantime, I nip along to Betty’s with the bit I rode4red to fix her coffee machine. I get if fitted easily enough. fingers crossed it works OK.

I get the Ben Lomond plaque finished. Looks OK but I need to move the cloud from behind the Ben..and maybe exaggerate the size of the hill a bit to make it stand out more. Maybe I should make the whole thing a little bigger too. Otherwise, it’s not bad!

Thankfully the lights arrive late afternoon, then I nip down to the village shop to collect some cable my pal’s have left for me.

Back in the studio I get the lights all wired up, working and mounted. Not exactly ‘pro’ level, but a lot better than what I was using. There’s wider, more even coverage and looks like not so many hot spots and shadows.

There’s some work to be done sorting out the Shure wireless system on the pedalboard and I’m just finishing when Margaret gets home with some shopping to be put away…

Thursday 4 April 2024

I’VE got a new West Highland Way Gifts’ product idea that’s been in mind for quite a while…today’s the day to try and create it, so busy designing in the studio.

The lights I ordered last week to light the green screen in the studio more evenly were meant to be delivered by DHL yesterday (Wednesday) but became subject to a ‘delay’. They’re out for delivery today…I need to have them sorted in time a for a video shoot for my pal Kevin on Saturday.

On the upside another delivery – from DPD this time – arrives. Rubber matting for the new stomp box that was ordered 10 days ago and was subject to four ‘delays’ in delivery. What the fuck is wrong with couriers this week?

I take a break from designing the new product and mess with the keyboard in the studio. The software all needs updated though, so my tinkering is short-lived.

By 6pm the delivery tracking for the lights tells me the driver is about 12 stops away…apparently it’s to be delivered by 8pm. I keep an eye on things but just after 7pm the live tracking ‘disappears’ from the website and app. Mmm..I can guess what’s gonna happen now. Or not.

Sure enough, no delivery by 8pm and around 8.40pm I get an email from DHL saying ‘delivery status updated’. On tracking I see the package is now back at the depot. Fucking useless.

Wednesday 3 April 2024

AFTER my regular Wednesday morning guitar student has left I get on with some admin stuff.

Next, I head to Vale of Leven hospital for an x-ray. I get parked up right outside and only have to wait 10 or 15 minutes to be taken.

A quick stop of at the supermarket not he way home then it’s time for lunch.

In the studio I spend some time looking over the local community hydro society website. As a board member looking after comms, I reckon we need to give it a bit of a revamp so start thinking over some recommendations.

My sourdough is almost finished. Normally lasts a week but I’ve been making lunchtime toasties with it this week. I got the starter out the fridge after lunch but forget all about it until I come back from the studio…it’s nearly 9pm so the dough ain’t gonna have as long as it should before it goes into the fridge overnight….

Tuesday 2 April 2024

Younger Days…from the recent Memorial Hall show…

THE alarm goes off to remind me to call the doc as soon as the surgery opens (8am) to see if I can get a face-to-face appointment.

My shoulder/upper arm and back still giving me pain and discomfort and the ibuprofen gel the nurse practitioner prescribed a couple weeks ago hasn’t done any good. He’d ‘diagnosed’ rotator cuff problem but I’m not so sure…I’d like the doc to have a look nd he can’t do that with. phone appointment.

I’m lucky today and get through in time to bag a late afternoon appointment.

After checking the bank I realise we’re in financial do-do (again)…a bit of brainstorming and it seems like a loan to clear the credit card and cover some unexpected expenses might be a sensible solution. I do some research online – mainly via the money saving expert – and apply for a loan online. Looks like it’ successful. Not ideal, but the best of a crap range of options.

In the studio I restring the acoustasonic. Been having third string ‘unwrapping’ issues resulting in a ‘dead’ sounding string. Newtone has sent me some different options to try out but I’m beginning to wonder ion the problem is down to the locking tuners. I may be over-tightening the posts and damaging the delicate winding on the third/G string.

Margaret runs me to the village where the doc reckons I need to go for an x-ray – which I can go for anytime (tomorrow I hope!) – and a scan..whoch might be a while away.

I enjoy the hour-and-a-bit walk home despite the drizzle then spend some time in the studio and, now my Wildcats’ Facebook group folks have seen it, upload the Younger Days video to my YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Monday 1 April 2024

A still from the weekly Wildcats’ live-stream – join the group here

I’M UP early to get sourdough in the oven…the kids aren’t far behind and come to jump all over me!

After breakfast I hit the studio while Margaret, Catriona and the kids get ready to go to a local farm for a ‘lambing and calving experience’.

I have a couple of online guitar sessions with a lunch break in between then Catriona and the kids head off.

In the studio I finish sorting some video clips of Trevor’s set from the village hall show and get them on a USB stick to send him. Next, I edit footage of Younger Days from the same show.

The edit’s a little fiddly as I wanna ‘lose’ the string breakage in the middle of the song.

Thanks to the lighter nights there’s time for a wander up the lochside before my Wildcats’ livestream then it’s back to the house for dinner and some telly.

Saturday 30 March 2024

Wild garlic pasta turned out good… 🙂

MY FAVOURITE kinda Saturday morning spent in bed, drinking coffee, watching Saturday Kitchen and dealign with emails and socials 🙂

After a very late breakfast…’brunch’ perhaps…I get busy ion the office prototyping some ideas and designs for ‘I climbed Conic Hill’ badges in prep for tomorrow’s (Sunday) wee West Highland Way Gifts’ pop-up in Balmaha car park.

For some reason I can’t get my dye-sub badges to work despite having had success before. I try various kinds of acrylic and wood, finally deciding on walnut laminate with a white acrylic infill. We’ll see if they work out.

Mid afternoon I go out for a quick walk to pick some wild garlic. Taken a notion to make pasta tonight. Haven’t done fresh pasta in a while and spotting some wild garlic sparked the notion.

Back home I do some more work on the badge ideas then get out for a quick paddle..just half an hour or so. I do a wee livestream while I’m out there.

Margaret goes to get some shopping while I make wild garlic puree for my pasta dough. I’ve got the dough finished and resting in the fridge when she gets back…but it’s still well after 10pm when we eat. Worth it tho’ 🙂

Friday 29 March 2024

The first batch of Conic Hill pins/brooches finished and on sale here 🙂

AFTER my guitar student and her dogs have left I get busy in the office finishing off the first run of Conic Hill pins and pendants. Pretty pleased with the way they’ve turned out 🙂

A message comes in from a potential Zoom guitar student asking if it’d be possible to have a lesson this afternoon. Short notice, but I’m fairly flexible time-wise so we get something sorted for mid-afternoon.

In between times I research ways to improve my green screen lighting for a video I’m gonna be making next weekend. I really need to sort some flatter, better lighting for the screen.

I have a good session with the new Zoom guitar student and we arrange a follow up lesson…then it’s back to the green screen lighting research. I don’t have m much, if any budget, so need to look for a cheap DIY solution.

I’d hoped to get out for an early evening paddle but the weather’s turned a bit. Plus, I want to start spreading the word about a special international touring/live performance event that Andres and I are doing at the Scottish Music Centre, Glasgow before our run of Scottish dates kicks off in May before we head off to Betty’s for dinner…

Thursday 28 March 2024

FIRST job of the day is to redesign my Conic Hill pin and pendant. The prototype pin was too big and balance between metal and inlay wasn’t quite right.

We’re planning a wee pop-up in the village car park on Sunday so it’d be nice to have some Conic Hill related stuff.

I get my designs done then hit the studio while the masters are processing. I wanna do a ‘proof of concept’ for some of ideas for my pal Kevin’s video we’re gonna put together soon.

When Margaret drives into Glasgow for some shopping I get her to drop me off so I can return a screen to my pal Martyn then walk back home. It’s a nice evening and IO come across some cool spots for future video and photo shoots.

Back home I cast some more Conic Hill prototype pins and pendants, cut and tidy up the castings and add some inlay. Hopefully I’ll get them finished tomorrow (Friday) and they’ll work out OK…


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