Thursday, 30 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Ventura Highway – America

Ventura Highway – America

I referenced this song yesterday, and then discovered to my chagrin that I had never featured America. That needs to be remedied. Of all the yacht rock bands, I think they’re my favourite.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Disturbed (Kessell Alternative Remix) – Pulse One

Disturbed (Kessell Alternative Remix) – Pulse One

Is it too much to ask for one night a week where several hours of this kind of spacey, echoey, but really groovy techno is played?

It probably is.


This tempo and sound is so much fun to dance to.

Monday, 27 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Afternoon Delight – Circle Jerks

Afternoon Delight – Circle Jerks

Been on a bit of a punk kick the last few days. Quite fun. Saw these guys once, waaay back when. Also quite fun.

Squish’mups

My new compression panel day pack, the Squish’mups. 
(And just to give you a sense of the size, I’m 203 cm (6'7") and 113 kg (250 lbs). Yes, I make a 130 lb. Great Dane look small.)
I’ve tried a few approaches to this idea, and they all fell a bit short. But I’m certain this will be the solution! I think. Maybe...

The idea is to have a detachable day pack that I would have with me on a two hour hike or a two week canoe trip. There are things that are necessary for both –what changes usually is insulation, shelter, food, etc., on longer trips and time of year. I want to have a way to carry the necessities; water, means to purify it, first aid kit, rain protection, some insulation, a day of food, etc.

Besides being able to carry it as a stand alone day pack (with or without a waist belt, and with a frame sheet, aluminum stays, or both, or none) or have it attached to a frame (Kifaru or the one I’ll eventually build), it’ll serve as a compression panel. Between the Squish’mups and the frame I can carry a no-frills pack sack (the next thing I’ll make), a duffel bag, a dry bag, a barrel, a Pelican case, a rifle drag bag, etc., etc.

The difference between some of my other attempts, is to have a pack not very deep, but wide and tall. Keeping the depth of it down helps prevent the center of gravity from being put too far out.
The dimensions are 60 cm (23") x 33 cm (13") 10 cm x (4").

Using some very complimicalated mathematics*, I derived at a figure of this being about a 37 liter pack, or approximately 2250 cubic inches. 

*( C = W + D x 2 ÷ π ÷ 2 = R
π x R² x H = V )
Some of you will automatically recognize that the belt and the way it’s attached, and really the whole suspension, is pretty much my take on the Kifaru Omni system. I’ve been using it for a decade, it works very well - so why re-invent the wheel as far as that went. Some ideas for the belt were also nicked from the Hill People Gear Prairie Belt.)

Some closeups of the belt. I changed the Delta Straps a little by adding removable ladder locks. In Kifaru’s the webbing is sewn into the belt. I wanted to be able to have this as a stand alone belt if need be, and wanted to be able to remove them altogether. (The HPG belt does something similar.) I also added four tabs along the top so that I could attach suspenders. The other things I did was attach Eva-Zote foam and spacer mesh to the belt (as well as two strips along the back) both for padding and - hopefully - a bit of comfort on hot days.

Another view of the belt with the ladder locks removed and the suspender tabs more visible. The other thing I did was use a buckle arrangement similar to the HPG Prairie Belt.


The back, showing the inside and outside. The 2" straps at the top go all the way to the bottom, and serves as a carry handle.
The back, showing the inside and outside. Inside I put 4, ½" strips of webbing on both the front and the back, so that I could hold things in place with bunjee cords and cord locks. Inside is also a slot for an HDPE frame sheet and you can just see the 2" slot pockets for aluminum stays. I can use one or the other, or both, or none.

Bottom. Bit hard to tell, but it’s an irregular hexagon. One piece of gear that I absolutely wanted to use was my MSR Titan Kettle – which was a bit bigger than the depth I had envisioned for this. I shaped the pack so that only the bottom part I would put it in was sized to accommodate it. The rest tapers away to be as slim as possible.


Sides showing the water bottle holders (corsets so that any size bottle can be accommodated), compression straps, and the daisy chain riding up the sides and over the top. 
Top, again showing the daisy chain and the compression straps, as well as carrying handle (the straps go all the way along the back to the bottom). 

Trekking pole holders on the front. A strip of ½" webbing, sewn to be 2 channels, with bunjee cord and a cord lock.

The straps that will attach the compression pack to the frame. (You can also see how I shaped the front to accommodate the larger kettle at the bottom and then flare away to a narrower wifth.

Some closeups.
Closer look at the water bottle holders. I wanted to be able to accommodate different sized bottles if need be. I did the bottom so there is a hinge, to better fit either Kleen Kanteens or the Classic 1 liter Nalgenes. And on the bottom by the seam you can see the two holes I put for the cord to emerge from.
The Kifaru E&E and the Squish’mups side by side. I got the E&E a decade ago for the purpose I outlined earlier. Just found it too small for my needs. I also found the fact that I can only attach it via the sides meant it always sags down.

The ½" strips of webbing and how things are held in place with bunjee cords and cord locks. If it was a top opening pack I could just shove things down inside. Given that it opens all the way up, I wanted to makes sure everything stayed put when I opened it.
To give a description of what’s all here:
Starting top left, first aid kit (I’m going to make one specifically to fit along the width along the top, and have it be a tear-away), below that a pouch with some miscellaneous stuff - repair kit, toiletry kit, headlamp, gaiters.
To the right of that, at the top, an inflatable seat pad, below that a ground sheet (foot print from a 1 person MEC tent) below that a bag with approximately a days worth of food.
To the right of that a bag with a sweater, gloves, socks, toque and buff, all in merino wool.
To the right of that at the top, a Swiss mesh scarf. About a meter square, it’s one if those items I could in theory live without, but it’s so versatile it always comes along and I always find a use for it. As a scarf, I drape it over or wrap it around my head when I sleep, I’ve rigged it up as a sun shade, it can serve as camouflage, collect leaves for a debris shelter, I’ve strung it up as a place to put gear so it’s off the ground - the uses are endless. Below that is a cozy that fits a home made dehydrated meal and inside of it is my trusty MSR Titan kettle and LMF cup with a homemade stove and wind screen and fuel bottles and lighter. Below that is an Integral Tactical silnylon poncho. Thin and light, it serves as both wearable rain protection and shelter.


Anyway, my confident prognostication that this will be THE solution ... fell a bit short. It’s very close, but not quite. It’s really comfortable, but then again, it’s an Omni suspension, so it would be. 

My biggest gripe is the water bottle carriers. The bunjee cord adjustment system mainly. The next go round will be attached in the seam at the bottom, and via SRB at the top, and instead of a cord lattice, it will be webbing straps adjustable via Velcro. 

 The daisy chain up the sides and top will be dispensed with, since its main purpose was for the bottle cord lattice to weave through. And my initial thought was maybe use as an attachment point for something. Would rather dispense with the weight. 

Also the way the compression straps attach to the pack itself when not on the main frame, will change. I had attachment points all the way up the sides, top and bottom. Instead there will only be tabs specifically for those straps to connect to. Again, unnecessary weight for, maybe I might attach something to it some time.

The way the compression webbing attaches will be different as well. Part of my original design was to have a mesh panel that I could use to stick a wet rain jacket or tarp under. Then it hit me. Duh. Why not just use those compression straps for that purpose. The next iteration will do away with the metal tri-glide / loop-loc attachment, have it be one piece and route through webbing tabs. I can loosen it, stick what I need under it and cinch it tight. Basically, the Kifaru Cargo Net. Slightly different, but essentially, as soon as it’s no longer sewn to the pack, that’s what it became.

Another idea that seemed good at first, but had to actually use for a while to realize the shortcomings of, are the trekking pole holders on the front. The next iteration will have them be attached to the main frame instead.


It will also be just a pocket, rather than a full on pack. Rather than a built in suspension, I’ll simply attach it to the main frame. I think I may keep shoulder strap and waist belt attachment points (and maybe include pockets for aluminum stays). If I want to take it off the frame and carry it alone, I can if I do that. I intend to put a pocket along the back to slip a piece of foam in, both as a seat pad and to give the pack some rigidity. (And that would also clear up room inside currently taken up by the inflatable seat pad I have in there.)

I also have the idea to do an iteration of it which is just a top opening pack, rather than a full clamshell opening. While everything is neatly attached, I wonder if it’s really such a good use of the space available.

Some more photos.

A Pelican 1600 strapped on to a Kifaru Duplex frame. (The belt, shoulder straps, frame sheets and aluminum stays removed from the Squish’mups.)
Stripped down Squish’mups strapped to the Kifaru MOLLE Express.
Stripped down Squish’mups on a Kifaru Duplex frame, with a MEC duffel bag between them.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Wait in the Car – The Breeders

Wait in the Car – The Breeders

I knew about this ahead of time ... and then forgot to post it on the day it came out.

Soooo much fun. Only downer is that it’s 2 minutes long.


The Breeders are back. And doing it better than many others.

And a video by Chris Bigg!

Saturday, 18 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Grime – KOOS

Grime – KOOS

With all the other sub-genres of house, not so surprising there is one called “Bass House”. Sounds like a bit of bassy house and elements of dub-step thrown together. Pretty good.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Withering Flower – Phelian

Withering Flower – Phelian

Patchery: Ktarftwerk Trans Europe Express

Rendezvous on Champs Elysées
Leave Paris in the morning with T.E.E. 
Trans... Europe... Express... 


The patch on the right was one I did about a half year ago. Made it too small and there was too much infill. Learning as I go. Went back and opened areas up to avoid that, and made it larger. 

Now I have myself a Kraftwerk patch!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Scientists – Four Tet

Scientists – Four Tet

I think the tune loses focus towards the end and becomes too discordant, but the first three quarters is buoyant.

Union Special 38200 C

One of the many weird and wonderful (and very old) sewing machines at my work.
It’s a Union Special 38200 C.
I believe that’s known as an aggressive auxiliary puller.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Move – Ministry

Move – Ministry

Really surprised by this. For many years I had known this tune from Keith LeBlanc’s 1989 Stranger Than Fiction album, and also from Tackhead’s M.O.V.E. It certainly has that very distinctive On-U-Sound sound. Then I belatedly hear this for the first time. So I’m guessing this is an outtake from the production work Adrian Sherwood did for 1986’ Twitch.

It kicks ass, no matter what the progeny of this song is.

Monday, 13 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Stormy Weather – Fats Comet

Stormy Weather – Fats Comet

Or...Tackhead in another guise. The vocals are sampled from a version of the song done in the 1930s by Bert Ambrose and His Orchestra with vocals by Sam Browne

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Friday, 3 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Rain For Avalon – Robert Haigh

Rain For Avalon – Robert Haigh

Robert Haigh, he of the crackerjack early to mid 90’s drum & bass productions of Omni Trio, has changed gears quite a lot in the intervening years. Reminds me a in a sense of the change in direction Spring Heel Jack took after their D&B days.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Dog Eat Dog – Adam and the Ants

Dog Eat Dog – Adam and the Ants

My friend Rob’s cousin came to visit him from England, in 1979. He brought some 7" records with him, of a group called Adam and the Ants. It was one of the first inklings I had that there was music out there, that I wasn’t ever going to hear on commercial radio. Also the mind boggling concept of two drummers. Never did become much of a fan, and I don’t think they aged so well, but this song still kicks ass.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

S.o.t.D. - Blue Heat – Cabaret Voltaire

Blue Heat – Cabaret Voltaire

One of the standout tracks for me on Micro-Phonies. An early example of a track that was menacing , but still had that driving beat.