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Where am I at?

Jun 18, 2011

Well its been quite some time since wrting here, so a wee bit of an update.

Workwise,the review I mentioned before has been put on hold, which is good in some ways but still have a degree of uncertainty.  Jill has now relocated to Auckland and is living with friends till I get a job and the house sells.   We have found a potential house to buy once ours has sold;  see it here,

Its a bit lonely being on my own, the dogs are good companions as they don't answer back much!

I have 10 applications in at present for jobs in Auckland and have been shortlisted for two, one is with a Training Consultancy company and the other is NZ national training manager for Burger King, woo hoo discounted junk food!

Being on my own has some consolation though, I can play my guitars almost as much as I want and also spend time on TG.  Recently purchased a Mandolin a Carlos just a cut above entry level , but I'm taking it back next week as the pick up doesn't!  It is a fun thing to have, I've been happily distracted now for the three weeks i've had it, playing all sorts of traditional music.  I might even be brave to share lol.

Guitar wise, mainly working on two songs Life By The Drop and Snowflight and a little bit of Sleight of Hand when I feel brave enough.

I need to put record straight also I was recently asked to lay down a track over a chord progression and I need to say thats not my thing, I have little imagination and certainly not enough skill to get into that kind of thing at this stage, need more confidence I guess.  Just cos I'm an older player and been here a  bit longer than most and I could be considered knowledgeable doesn't mean I am advanced enough player as some would believe. 

Anyway enough babble back to practice.

Jill just rang and told me at her work she has already organised some guys to jam with..  A drummer a couple of guitarists a keyboard player and a vocalist, I feel a band coming on lol.

till next time.  Cheers



Well time has marched on since I first mentioned the review of Police Training.  The first 'discussion' paper since the initial review document has come out and what a blow!.  Now to refresh memories the initial review said we were under resourced and poorly managed by our hierarchy.  So what do they recommend, reduce staff Supervisor and Manager positions from 15 to 9...   Beggars belief actually, my job has gone in the new proposal.  3  new positions replace some of those dropped so if this 'discussion' paper comes to pass I will be applying for one of those.  However, our key customer, in fact our only customer, Police District front line staff are somewhat outraged as they have not been consulted and the comment from them is how can what is proposed be better as they fail to see it.  Anyway this looks like it may become a protracted affair and I think a lot more dialogue will be entered into. 


My guitar world not much new happening really continue to procrastinate about which song to play and record for TG next, been working on , SRV 'Life By The Drop' on my 12 string that was coming along nicely until I tried the vocals alongside my playing only to discover the tab I'd got was way off and as such I have gone back to the drawing board and am writing my own tab now.  What else?  Oh yes Neil Young's  'Cinnam0n Girl', Don't Let It Bring You Down now they are almost good to go, also a Hank Marvin version of 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' also writing the tab out for that, hard to replicate without a tremolo arm on my guitar though.  Another song I pick up every now and then is Dan Fogelberg's 'Longer',  a lovely song but might need to ask a decent singer to collaborate on that one.  And last but not least trying out 'Logos' by Rodrigo Y Gabriela, both parts (Tvarga recently uploaded Gabriela's part without Rods solo, Tom did very well on this, mastering some difficult stretches.  If you are not familiar with R y G's work check out You Tube , in particular a tune called Tamacun or Foc, or even their versions of Metallica's 'Orion' or LZ's 'Stairway'.  Like a few others I am now in the market for mics and recording gear, thanks to Buddy I may have found what I'm looking for, a TASCAM bundle package.  Anyway back to work trying to save my career.  See ya later team.

A Tad Annoyed

May 13, 2010

Last weekend Jill and I headed off for a long weekend in the South Island of New Zealand for my sons 30th birthday, we had a ball despite the airline losing a bag for a day on our return.  Anyway thats was not what was annoying, we had left my stepdaughter (17) in charge at home with explicit instruction about feeding pets and No Parties, well we got home and she'd had a small party, now even that didn't annoy me, teens are teens after all and what an opportunity! Nope that didn't annoy me as she had been responsible and only had a few friends stay over and had tidied the place up a bit , as much as a 17yr old can anyway lol. 

Now what annoyed me was that about two weeks prior I had finally found a new set of strings for my resonator guitar , they are like 'Hens Teeth' in NZ very difficult to find and expensive, $36.00 a set, and they were the last in the store, if not the country!  These ones are coated also.  Boy was I over the moon to find these, you can't even get single strings here, so this was a great find

Now, this is what annoyed me, I went to put them on my guitar and found the packet open and the 1st string missing... oh ohhhh. I went and checked Emma's guitar an el cheapo but adequate steel string I gave her as a gift about a year ago and low and behold their it was on her guitar...  NOw being a shorter scale no way can you take it off and put it on my Reso.. So there I am one string short and none to be had in the entire country!!  Now that annoyed me slightly... But what really annoyed me was the attitude I got when I asked her about it.. still civil at that point, called restraint!!   She denied it at first and said no they were her strings, this lasted all of two minutes when I pointed out the word Resonator on the packet.  Then I asked have you ever bought strings ... pause then 'No,  but that packet was in my case so they had to be mine' she claimed duh!!!  Now I knew for a fact they were not in her case but I didn't puruse that arguement, she finally admitted she had taken it but said 'It doesn't matter you have plenty other strings in your cupboard'  now this was a thing that got me as earlier we had a discussion about her using my stuff, tuners books and the like without asking and letting her friends play my guitars when I'm not there, and she swore blind she had never done such a thing and had never even been in my room... hang on then how did she know about the strings in the cupboard!!!  Incidentally, before I left I locked all my guitars in their cases and had them in this rather large cupboard in my room, and on return I knew they had been tampered with as they were not in the same order I had left them!!!.  Well I've told her to pay me the money and I'll try and order another set, that went down well... Not!!  Despite finally admitting it and reluctantly agreeing to repay me, still no apology and no remorse or feeling that she had done anything wrong.  Had she asked me I would gladly have given her a set of the correct strings but oh no that would be too easy.    So my reso still has crappy old strings on it.  Silly thing is the string on her guitar has to come off anyway as its about a 17 way to big and quite likely will stuff up the relief on the neck of her guitar, but having been weakened by winding round the tuning post its no good now!!  

Gen Y kids are different thats for sure.

The blues doesn't get much more exciting than this! John Mayall is of course a pioneering English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. His musical career spans over fifty years, but the most notable episode in it occurred during the late '60s, when he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.  The concert in New Zealands Palmerston North was the third of 9 concerts across the country.  Playing to an almost packed house , not bad for someone who has never had a number 1 hit single or album, the Breakers were on stage for a solid 2hrs of music from Mayalls early Breakers days with numbers from the Beano Album to numbers from his most recent release 2009's 'Tough'.  On arrival at the venue we were actually met by the man himself in the foyer doing  a meet and greet with fans , helping sell his CD's, signing autographs and spending time just chatting.  As a gifted talent-scout, Mayall has been influential in the careers of many instrumentalists, including Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Mick Taylor, and Don "Sugarcane" Harris. He must have listedened to the two earlier NZ reviews which said too much of him and not enough of his talented line up as he certainly gave equal time to all the band to do their thing, Rocky Athas certainly got his share of the limelight even getting into a Harmonica vs Les Paul duel with Mayall, that was almost worth seeing alone never mind the rest of the concert.

At its best - the sultry jazz-blues of an extended California, the enjoyable interplay with Athas on Pretty Woman and with keyboard player Tom Canning in places, bassist Greg Rzab throwing in some Stanley Clarke funk and a snatch of Hendrix's Third Stone from the Sun - this was occasionally terrific.

But Mayall's vocal expression has always been limited although lets keep in perspective this guy is now 76, there was perhaps too much harmonica blues and better material on Tough to showcase than Nothing To Do With Love.  But at 76, John Mayall - who looked in remarkable, cheerful condition - remains a rare one.

I would go again, as my stepson (18yrs of age) who accompanied me said at the end 'That just blew me away, fantastic'.  The man is legend!


General Update

Mar 28, 2010

Well guys and gals, some of you may have noted I've backed off just a little of late, this is due unfortunatley to work pressures.  To cut a long story short the NZ Govt had as one of their election promises to cut back expenditure on Public Services, which had kinda got out of control.  What no one expected was cutbacks in Police.  What they are talking about is cutting back 'Back office' and reinforcing the fronline.  That kinda makes sense I guess , but my department is frontline training so not really 'Back Office' nor are we frontline troops.  My department was recently reviewed and the findings said we were under resourced in all areas, people, vehicles, classroom facilities and training equipment.  The same review however recommended centralising Admin and computer training functions (consequently two of my staff may lose their jobs), the reviewers sort of contradicting themselves.  So I am busy writing papers and conducting meetings trying to convince the hierarchy otherwise, trouble is the next level up of Management was also deemed unceccessary so a lot of what I am saying is falling on the ears of my Manager who is a bit disillusioned at present.  The irony is if my manager goes in the slash and burn, I get a slight promotion!  Anyways I try and keep in touch with TG at work but am limited to what I can do there due to all the restrictions IT put on us.   My actual playing has suffered slightly also as I don't have quite as much time as I would like and I haven't hardly touched my guitar in my office recently lol, probably not a good look anyway during current crisis!.   My last blog on G.A.S. got to me also as I have now got a new classical Hirade TH90 made by Takamine and what playing I have been doing has been on that, learning Flamenco and also dabbling with Hectors lessons, really enjoyed his latest addition, bit like being behind the scene with him.  Actually able to spend time on here today as I am off work with a recurrence of an old gastro problem, nothing serious just a pain in the @#$%.  So hopefully I can catch up a bit with all the goings on.  Cheers team till later




Mar 12, 2010

Well, this site has a lot to answer for lol, in the short time this site has been in existence I have seen numerous members rushing out to acquire new guitars.  In the last month Tony has bought at least 2, Glenda has finally bought herself a new Taylor, lovely guitar ma'am, and Michele is still searching for that exclusive bit of WOWness.  Does TG admin have shares in every guitar company around or what!! lol.  Personally I am finished buying for the time being.  No guitars in my sights at present, how long will that last I wonder?   

One thing I find I am using my electric guitar less and less, maybe now we have Steve onboard that may change, oh oh that could be dangerous I don't have a Les Paul or a Strat or a PRS or .....

A collection of news snippets from around the region:

Stevie Nicks reckons it was the perfect end to a year on the road.

She said she was blown away by the crowd at the TSB Bowl of Brooklands during Fleetwood Mac's two New Plymouth concerts at the weekend.
The venue, the fans and even the weather added something special to the band's last two performances of their 10-month long Unleashed tour.
Although band members declined to be interviewed in person, Nicks told the Taranaki Daily News via email the audience at the Bowl was "awesome".
"The crowd was mesmerising to me because they were so in to it and having so much fun," she said.
"Of course, that kind of crowd makes such a difference to an artist."
Indeed, her fellow band member Lindsey Buckingham agreed, citing Saturday's concert one of the top five in his entire career.
It was Nicks' second time at the Bowl and the weekend's concerts exceeded the entire band's expectation.
"The fans were great, the venue was great, and the Maori welcoming ceremony after the show was truly magical," she said.
About 36,000 fans filled the Bowl to experience the veteran rockers' still amazing act over the weekend.
While Sunday's concert was a stunner and significantly drier than Saturday Nicks said the persistent rain actually added to the ambience of the atmosphere.
"The rain was very dramatic and of course, we love drama!
"So I would have to say that it certainly lent itself to romanticism."
Although the shows were the last of the tour, the band did not plan anything special to sign off the past year. Instead, they played it by ear.
"You never know what is going to happen on the last show of a tour," Nicks said.
"You can never make any plans because emotions are high and a part of you is sad because it's ending and a part of you is glad because you have been on the road for a year. So you never know what is going to happen."
And people were not disappointed. While the Fleetwood Mac concerts were generally expected to attract a more mature crowd, people of all ages turned up in droves. It was widely speculated that the tour might be their last.
During Saturday night's concert Buckingham hinted at the possibility of another tour and maybe another album.

Nicks says although the band has not discussed the next move, it is not off the cards.

Buckingham owned the stage, stalking with his guitar, low-slung, crouching, peeling off piercing runs of notes, squalling solos that enthralled.
If he was occasionally too intense with his between-song banter detailing the emotional connections – something lost on parts of the audience, there to drink first and listen to the six radio hits they knew – then he certainly saved face with his powerhouse solo acoustic take on Big Love, transformed from the Tango in the Night version.
By the time the set-closing anthem Go Your Own Way was ringing out, Buckingham was receiving healthy ovations for every guitar solo.
Nicks, ever the beguiling performer, manages, still, to very much become the song she is singing – to morph into a character that embodies the white witch of Rhiannon; that is the "poet in my heart" of Sara; that is the Gypsy.

Her tour-de-force moments were Gold Dust Woman and the final encore, Silver Springs. An always tender moment in a Fleetwood Mac show is when Nicks sings Landslide; the emotional journey that she and Buckingham have provided for generations of listeners and for themselves seems to be summed up in the lyric.
John McVie was the quiet rock, as ever, pushing the songs forward with his bass playing, receiving huge applause for the exploratory line that propels The Chain, the concert's first of many truly awesome moments.
And Fleetwood, a towering presence behind the kit, got to show off a touch of his possible madness as he chanted near-gibberish around a drum solo at the end of World Turning.

Well Hi again,


Made it to the end of another week yeah!! And I am now on holiday through to the 11th January great!!  So next week I shall be frantically working on that long overdue video for TG.  I am departing for New Plymouth which is an approx 3hr drive very shortly for the Fleetwood Mac concert tomorrow night, staying with Jills Sister for a couple of nights,  don't think I shall be online till Monday night though.  No guitar either :-(

What a week for TG ending the year with a bang all the new Floyd lessons absolutely fantastic.  I will have to try and not get distracted too much by them and concentrate on the video lol

Anyway I have to go pack a bag for the weekend.

I will post another bit of blurb on Tuesday and provide my review of the concert.  Enjoy your weekend everyone cya next week.


This Weeks Blurb

Dec 11, 2009

Well G'Day everybody or at least the 5 of you who read this lol.  Another week has gone by and well its ben a wierd week in some ways... I have my Epiphone PR400 Acoustic at work for 'stress relief' anyways for the song I am trying to prepare for TG I have it in Double Drop D and on Monday I was early to the office so no one around I thought i'd practice and it was so out of tune it was not funny ok so re tuned and had a practice, next day same again it was so out of tune whats going on here, hmmm damn Air Conditioning I thought temp goes up and down so much that had to be it, anyway I switcehd off the Air Con , next day What!!! way out of tune yet again.   Then a cop friend from the next office came in to give back my Eric Clapton book and he just meniotned as he went out 'You know your guitar must be stuffed every night I come in to have a play its Way out of tune and I have to retune it for you!!!  I was a bit brassed off but saw the funny side ... now the office is locked at night, not just for the guitar but I do have lots of Staff Confidential stuff lying around.  Well what else this week, been practising as much as work permits, song coming along for TG and also anohter song I plan to use as the intro to all my vids thats coming along nicely too, just hope I can do it justice with the editing (and playing).  Well the Police band had its major gig in the town last week also they played my new song and it went down well (bit gutted I wasn't there but family comes first)  the band played well and learnt they need a better PA and also to have someone to adjust from the front as the overall sound wasn't that flash, but they did well ewnought o get two more invites before Christmas so maybe I get another chance, heres hoping. 

My wife hasn't been too well of late and the GP has had difficulty in diagnosing what is wrong but finally it looks as if he's cracked it, she has an appointment next week with a Neuroendocrinologist as all recent tests point in that direction so believe it or not its a bit of a relief actually getting a diagnosis and also knowing that its most likely fixeable.    So thats been a bit of a distraction of late, but hopefully she can make some progress to getting better now, with her just knowing there is a marked change so thats all good! 

Anyway guitar practice has been slow I get too easily distracted thats the problem and I don't always practice what I preach at work about time management etc  I need to be tough on myself and just get onto it.  But the major distraction is sooo much to do on this site, its becoming an obsession almost lol, so i've decided to better prioritise things and make time dedicated for the important things in life, which includes time for guitar practice with a proper routine mostly using this site ...can't get away from it lol!

What else of significance this week... Hmmm Major meeting at work with senior management, NZ Police are preparing already for the security needed for the Rugby World Cup in 2011, so we had briefings on Counter Terrorism, yep even in little green New Zealand we are concerned about things like that even though in NZ's entire history there has only been one terrorist event and that came from the French of all people...  If interested Google NZ and Rainbow Warrior for full story. 

Well i'd better try and stick to my newish timetable and go and post my Bithdays post and edit the Weekly Music trivia column for my ardent followers lol

So guys lets get SMARTER everyone..

Letter Major Term Minor Terms
S Specific Significant, Stretching, Simple
M Measurable Meaningful, Motivational, Manageable
A Attainable Appropriate, Achievable, Agreed, Assignable , Actionable, Action-oriented, Ambitious
R Relevant Realistic, Results/Results-focused/Results-oriented, Resourced, Rewarding
T Time-bound Time framed, Timed, Time-based, Timeboxed, Timely, Time-Specific, Timetabled, Time limited, Trackable, Tangible
E Evaluate Excitable, Ethical
R Reevaluate Rewarded, Reassess, Revisit

TG Live Today 5th Dec

Dec 5, 2009

G'Day Team,

This was the best ever TG live for me in NZ, only experienced a couple of freeze moments.  I thought Jim did a great job filling in for Matt, karma to you buddy!.  It was also great to see quite a few new faces on the TG live.  Then to be able to continue Chat on the new Chatroom just the icing on the top well done again TG team! 

I think ability to Time Manage is getting even more important now due to all the 'Candy' available here now!.  I might have to give up a few of the other sites I belong too.





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