Thursday, 29 December 2016

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - Always There – Detz

Always There – Detz

Another track, like yesterday’s that ranks as one of my faves from this year.

S.o.t.D. - Garland Noose – Liar

Garland Noose – Liar

Yet another Romanian producer. Lots of totally creamy stuff coming out of that country lately. Feel like the beats are sampled from something I ought to recognize. Just can’t place it though.

I think this may be one of my favourite tracks from 2016.

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Tap’mups Mk. 2

After carrying around the Tap’mups (Mk. 1) for about ¾ of a year, I noticed the plastic sleeve was starting to crack.
More disturbingly, the bottom was cracking to the point where I feared the cards would fall out.
But before I could even make a trip to Toronto to buy a replacement pouch, something worse happened.
One afternoon after work, getting on the bus, I noticed that the card pouch was loose in my hand. Given that I made that particular version of the Swipe’mups in 2007, and carried it for quite a long time, I’m a bit surprised it lasted this long before the thread broke.
I went on a trip to Lee Vally with the idea I would buy one of these. I stopped into a Staples next door and found a (possibly ?) better solution. Certainly cheaper than the retractable lanyard at LV, and (possibly) a trip to Toronto to get a replacement pouch would have been. A Merangue Silicone ID Badge Holder and Klip-N-Pull Retractable Keycard Badge Holder.
Unscrewed the belt clip off the back of the “Klip-N-Pull Retractable Keycard Badge Holder”.
Now on to making a pouch for it. Tubular webbing wouldn’t work this time, as it was too wide to fit. Just took some 2" webbing and folded and sewed it to form a pocket and belt loop.
The one notable thing I did was to put tabs along the sides that I could put some bunjee cord through. I didn’t like how the card hung down. Wanting to avoid it catching on things, I added this feature so I could put it out of the way when needed.
After using it for a while, I noticed that the cards had a tendency to pop out from behind the clear plastic cover.
You can see here that the card itself isn’t much bigger than the slot it sits behind.
Made a pouch from some 20 mil marine vinyl, which so far, has done a great job of keeping the cards contained within the silicone pouch.

The Presto card doesn’t show at all, but it really doesn’t need to. Only the library card needs to have the bar code scanned.

(And a quick update on this. About three weeks after completing this, I was about to get on the bus, felt around, felt around some more, looked - the stainless steel wire, which I figured would be way more durable than the cord of the previous retractable lanyard, had broken. Library card and Presto pass – gone. I should have checked the reviews, because everyone seems to have the same experience – give it a few weeks and the wire breaks. Worthless piece of shit. Do not trust this. Your keys, cards, etc. are too valuable.

And Staples hasn’t posted my bad review of it more than a month after submitting it. Maybe they have a limit on how many bad reviews they’ll post. Lame.)

S.o.t.D. - Do It Right (Hybrid Minds Remix) – Rainer + Grimm

Do It Right (Hybrid Minds Remix) – Rainer & Grimm

Hybrid Minds do it right every time.

Tattoo Removal Cleaver

I posted this recently, and found out in the intervening time, that it’s a “hog splitter.”
Andrew’s original intention to have it painted has come to fruition.

Auto Trace Sucks

I’ve been using vector drawing programs for almost 30 years. Turning a scanned image (aka a raster or bitmap image) into a vector drawing (aka a line drawing) has always been a laborious task. When Adobe released Streamline in 1989, I was excited at the possibilities it opened up. But I was sorely disappointed with the results. Over the ensuing 25+ years, I figured the technology would improve. I’m still as sorely disappointed today as I was all those years ago. It’s still a computer algorithm that tries to deduce what should happen - and gives you a RIP clogging mess of random points, and weirdly contoured lines. You spend more time trying to fix the resulting mess than you would if you just traced it yourself. Sure, the results can give you a crude effect - which may be fine if that’s what you’re after. But if you want precision – which, since I’ve been told I’m a persnickety control freak, is definitely the case – doing it by hand, carefully placing points and controlling the nodes, is the way to go. There are online programs - Vector Magic is one - but they all produce the same slop.

I recently turned a drawing Mike Austin did years ago into vector file. Took a kooky amount of time – and I see all sorts of things I want to tweak – but I wanted to use it as an opportunity to show how lacklustre the results are.
A crop of the original that I was sent.
My effort.
The setting used was Illustrator’s “Black & White Logo”. Her hair and the lettering are obvious examples of the inaccurate results created.
“Line Art.”
“Technical Drawing.”
“High Fidelity Photo.”
What that looks like in wire frame mode. Nothing a plotter could ever handle. Image setters would have started belching smoke if you tried to print that, back when I started in this field.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - Them Never Love Poor Marcus – Johnny Clarke

Them Never Love Poor Marcus – Johnny Clarke

I think part of what I love so much about a lot of early reggae, beyond just the appeal of the melody or the lyrics, is the often slightly crude quality of the recordings. That lack of polish is really appealing to me.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - No More – Deft

No More – Deft

Great track from an act with a great name, off of the Project Mooncircle 15th anniversary compilation.


Just what the world has been clamouring for! The world’s first tactical thread snip holster! For rapid deployment of cord cutting tools on covert black cloth missions! 
Okay, in all seriousness, I picked up these (quite nice) thread snips at the terrific Lee Valley. 
I use them a lot for work, and wanted some way to carry them on my belt. So, naturally, I made something for that very purpose.
The snips open by squeezing the sides together. I removed the wire loop at the end of the sheath, put some cord through and attached them to the holster that way. Piece of 1" webbing forms the bottom, a piece of 2" webbing forms the front, and a piece of 1½" forms the back. Sewed 1" webbing on for the PALS, put a malice clip through, and voila. It’s not pretty, but it serves its purpose perfectly.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - Come On Home – Sugar Minott

Come On Home – Sugar Minott

House and cat sat for some friends recently, and me being me, pulled vinyl out at random. One of the treats I listened to.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - Big Love – Fleetwood Mac

Big Love – Fleetwood Mac

I mentioned yesterday that I preferred the original of this. Not as good as the stuff of Tusk, but still really liked this song.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

S.o.t.D. - Wavemail – Swayzak

Wavemail – Swayzak

Given how good Swayzak is, kind of weird it’s been 7 years since I last featured him.

Day at the range.

Went out to Waterloo with Ryan, Scott and Alex yesterday afternoon to do a bit of shooting. Very fun day. Bit pricy for what it was, and it didn’t really allow for anything more than a cursory appreciation for each weapon. Just a handful of rounds, in a pretty static setting. Getting a realistic appraisal of each weapon and getting better at using it would have required more time and more ammo. Since I haven’t shot in an indoor range in a LONG time, I forgot how loud it is, and also the sensation of the pressure blast. Fired a 9mm SIG P226, 9mm CZ75, AR in .223 and a Browning shotgun (can’t recall the model) in 12 gauge.

I fired so few rounds through the AR, that by the time I realized the aperture was set wide open, it was too late. But I didn’t think it was my place to start fiddling with them. Didn’t get the target for it, so I don’t really know how I did. I haven’t shot a pistol in a very long time - stupid Canadian gun laws - but it all came flooding back instantly and did all right, for them both being unfamiliar weapons. The 12 gauge was surprisingly comfortable to shoot and I did just fine with it.
Shooting the CZ75.
Shooting the AR.
Believe it’s a Browning BPS. Likely I’m incorrect though.
CZ75 at 5 yards.
CZ 75 at 10 yards.
SIG P226 at 10 yards.
12 gauge at 15 yards.

Didn’t get a target for the AR.

Fun, and for not shooting nearly often enough, I think I did okay. But certainly nothing to be taken too seriously.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Friday, 18 November 2016

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Sunday, 30 October 2016

S.o.t.D. - Delhi (Original Mix) – Sirch & William Kiss

Delhi (Original Mix) – Sirch & William Kiss

Found a “We Wear Black and Listen to Techno” gif on FB of Wednesday and Lurch, and a snippet of this track was the accompaniment. I may bear some resemblance to Lurch, but I wouldn’t have been standing there stock still. Hard techno, not so danceable, but a stonker none the less.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

S.o.t.D. - Shot Down – The Sonics

Shot Down – The Sonics

An early 60’s garage rock band, that I suspect never got the full recognition they deserved.

Signage: Antigues

Once Again on Ottawa Street in Hamilton. Weird “Q” that reads a lot like a two storey lower case “G”. But that’s part of its charm for me.