Thursday, 13 December 2012

DIY GUITAR KIT from LHG Custom Guitars (Australia)

UPDATE: These DIY Guitar Kits are now available from the good people at diyguitarkit.com.au

Three or four months ago I had never heard of a DIY Guitar Kit.

The LHG logo
I was approached by LHG Custom Guitars (Australia) in August to provide some marketing and internet services to enable them to sell DIY Guitar Kits throughout Australia.

I am a moderately capable guitar player, but I have never built a guitar or even though about building a guitar because I didn't think I had the skills required to undertake such a project.

Well ... I was wrong.

The first kit I built - a very easy Strat-Style guitar
While providing my services, I encountered the merchandise and was most intrigued and very impressed.

I had also been set the task of generating the documentation that is provided with the kits. The instructions are comprehensive and illustrated. And it wasn't far into this task when I realised ... I can do this ! ! !

My other kit - Ibanez RG Style. The neck has a cool Mother of Pearl inlay in the shape of a Dragon.
I bought two kits and have 2 more on order ... which provides me with plenty of man cave projects for 2013.

Basically there are 3 steps.

1.  First job is to finish it. By that I mean painting, lacquering and polishing the body and neck.

2. Assembly ( not as hard as you think).

3. Set up, which requires stringing the guitar, setting the action and intonation.

Step 3 was the step I was unsure of. I was ok with stringing, but the other two parts (Action and Intonation) were new to me.

I was provided with a couple of 12 minute video tutorials ... and lo and behold ... I can now set up an electric guitar like a Luthier.

On order - Due Jan 2013
Such a fun way to learn. I didn't take pics of the first build because I was busy documenting ... but I will from now on and post them on my blog.

Building your own guitar is ssoooo cool !

LHG's kits start at $99.00 and range up to around the $200.00 mark, which I think is incredibly cheap, considering that on completion, you end up with a great quality guitar.

Also due in Jan - to appease my AC/DC Wannabe-ness

There are heaps more models ... and you can order yours here.


Anyway ... much to do ... more later !






Tuesday, 11 December 2012

WANNA ROUTE ???

If you are planning on seeing England and Scotland ... and have the smarts to do it by narrowboat ... then, try this route. Allow approximately 90 days for a round trip. Or start and finish somewhere en route if you can't spare that much time.


It is a one-way route taken by a bunch of comedians, taking them from London to Edinburgh over 47 days on a 69ft narrowboat (doing gigs along the way), starting at the London 2012 Festival and culminating with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe at it's destination, the world’s largest arts festival.

Take the link above if you'd like to know more.






Saturday, 20 October 2012

8TH WONDER OF THE WORLD !

Not commonly considered as one of the 7 wonders of the world ... but ask yourself ... where do GNOMES come from and/or where do they go to get away from it all or to retire ??


Surrounded in mystery, Gnomesville's location is a well guarded secret known to only a few ... most of whom are West Australians ...


... and if you wish hard enough ... I may divulge this location for my avid readers.


It is not a deliberate tourist attraction, nor is it owned by any human ... it exists simply because gnomes of all persuasions escaping their suburban existences, choose to live wild and free in an obscure sanctuary located deep in Western Australia.


It even has Australia Post mail delivery for all the messages and letters that people send to their gnome friends.


Well ... ... ... ... ... ... it is 2 hours drive (south) from Perth, in the Ferguson Valley.


More precisely, it is at the corner of Wellington Mill Road, Ferguson Road & Wellington Lowden Road, Wellington Mill, Western Australia 6236



You can zoom in and look around ... but gnomes are very good at hiding and slipping into the background.

Once upon a time (it is believed) a lone gnome appeared in the vicinity protesting a planned local council development. Soon, this lone protestor was accompanied by a throng of rallying gnome brothers (and sisters) and a community was born.



The exact population of Gnomesville is unknown, but recent estimates put the population in the region of 6,000 residents ... and growing !


This is despite the infamous (but globally un-reported) Great Gnomesville Massacre of 2007 where many gnomes lost their lives in defence of their proud nation against a hoard of rampaging humans.

Gnomeazons or Lesbignomes ??

Ram-gnome or the Ter-gnome-ator ??


Gnomesville interview on ABC radio :




Looking for Home

"In this beautiful rugged land, I have roamed
One lost Gnome looking for home.

Rescued by the Langes I was
My only wish was to live in Aus.

Given shelter for the night
I knew then I was alright.

Given the name eddie Boy
Made me happy & full of joy.

Now here in Gnomesville, I publicy stand
the head of this bloody great Lange Clan.

To all that read this through
May good health & happiness be with you.


And all I can say in reply to that is .... fairy nuff !




Saturday, 6 October 2012

WARNING ! GRAPEFRUIT WILL KILL YOU ! ! !

First ... grapefruit will not kill you. Quite the inverse in fact.

I have another blog about food. And I think this recent entry to that blog is IMPORTANT and worth re-posting here.

Contact me (through either blog or at mhcook@gmail.com) if you wish to know more about how drug companies have NO INTEREST in curing you whatsoever.

OK ... enough ranting ... here is the entry which speaks for itself.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I don't even consider I am 'dieting' because I am eating the foods I like in regular and large quantities.

And I am happy to do that day in and day out, every day of the year, without sufferance of any kind.

Initially, I kept my usual breakfast as is (because it was quite ok), to be refined at a later date.

Well ... as it happens ... breakfast evolved by itself.


Changes I made are :

1. Replaced white bread with wholemeal. This is an easy change and though the calories don't change much ... the quality of the food increases considerably. There is no cost difference.

2. Replaced the glass of fruit juice (at approx. 125 calories) with fresh pink grapefruit at 32 calories per half.

Note the sticker that denies me the one food that will cure my condition. Who benefits from that ?
The advantage of eating the pink grapefruit ... and the reason for the change ... is that eating pink grapefruit every day for 90 days is said to clear heart blockages, thus eliminating the need to take blood thinning medication, which after 12 years (4,380 days) of taking the maximum dose of Lipitor (not to mention Ramipril & Metoprolol as well), has done NOTHING to 'cure' the 5 blockages in my heart.

I will post another entry at a later date concerning my personal experience with how ineffective modern medical practice (and drugs) have been at ACTUALLY curing my health issues.


OK ... so that's the breakfast changes, reducing my daily brekky calorie intake from 444 calories to 390 calories.

And I'm still loving it and eating plenty and eating well.






Sunday, 30 September 2012

SPRING HAS SPRUNG

Spring is here, so I have been doing my spring cleaning and gardening. Both things I like to knock over before it gets too hot.

The ground in Mandurah is typically sand. Sand with the consistency of caster sugar, which drains instantly and leaches out any residual organic matter. Hence, it is very dry and contains very little nutrients.

Native plants can survive in it. But not much else.


I am proud of my soil. It is still sandy, however, it is black and rich and plants thrive in it. Being well mulched .. it also retains water. If you have ever lived in WA ... you would appreciate what a blessing that is. It has taken 10 years to get it this way.

Early days ... tomatoes should be over 6ft high by New Year.
This is my vegie garden. It is small ... about 2.5m X 1m. But it grows more than I can eat on my own through summer.

This year I have a bed of rocket, sheltering some basil, thyme and capsicums. Against the fence I have red and yellow tomatoes and sugar peas. The sugar peas should have been a punnet of snow peas ... unfortunately I picked up the wrong punnet from the tray at the shop. 

Ohhh ... there are a couple of onions in there as well.


I will post pics of the produce that comes out of this tiny patch ... I made it ... and even I am impressed with how much comes out of it. I picked 20 - 30 kg of tomoatoes off the two plants last year.


Excuse the dates on the photos ... seems the camera date went back to default on the last battery change.

Seizure later !





Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DOOF TO MAKE YOUR NOSE BLEED

So you like music huh !

This is my home sound system.


It is made up of :

1  x  MP3 Player or laptop computer

1  x Behringer XENYX 1002FX  10 Channel mixer


1  x Behringer B1500D Subwoofer (1400W)



2  x Behringer B205D Speakers (150W each)

And thats it !

The media player connects to the mixer, then connects to the subwoofer (which not only has the amp built -in ... but it also has a built-in crossover) and then to each of the B205D's (also powered), creating L & R stereo.

All up (including all cables and stands) ... buying everything brand new ... I have spent AU$800.

The sound ??? It is really something to experience ... even at low volumes.




Tuesday, 14 August 2012

STONEHENGE IN AUSTRALIA


In Esperance, WA  there is a life size, solid stone replica of Stonehenge. The structure was originally destined for Margaret River.

video

When the Margaret River project went bust, it was saved by a farmer in Esperance.

It is located 15km east of Esperance on Merivale Road, towards Cape Le Grande. (8km up Merivale Road).


Esperance is 760km south east of Mandurah ... or roughly the entire length of Britain from north to south. In WA, that's a day's (8 hour) drive.

Summer Solstice
While there are thought to be 66 large, permanent replicas of Stonehenge throughout the world, the Esperance project is believed to be the only life size stone one.


It has been constructed as a replica and no religous activity or chanting is allowed.



I'll have to take a drive down there some time soon to check it out.


And I'll take a camera so that if any UFO's or strange beings appear ... I'll get them to pose for a few shots.


Unlike the English Stonehenge ... this one is not broken  : )






Tuesday, 17 July 2012

WEATHER COMPARISON

It is the middle of winter here in Mandurah. It is the height of summer in UK.

I thought I might compare the weather.

Mandurah mid winter
This is the 7 day forecast for the Perth area, which includes Mandurah:

IDW12300
Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology
Western Australia

Perth Forecast
Issued at 4:35 pm WST on Wednesday 18 July 2012

Warning summary
Nil.

Forecast for Wednesday evening
Clear. Light E/SE winds.

Precis: Clear.

Forecast for Thursday
A cold morning followed by a sunny day. Light NE/SE winds.

Precis: Cold morning. Sunny.
City:                  Min 2    Max 19
Mandurah:          Min 7    Max 17

UV Alert: Nil , UV Index predicted to reach 2 [Low]
Fire Danger: Coastal Plain: NOT RATED
Hills: NOT RATED

Friday                     Cold morning. Sunny.            Min 3      Max 21
Saturday                Cloud increasing.                     Min 6      Max 24
Sunday                    Shower or two.                      Min 10    Max 21
Monday                  Shower or two.                       Min 8       Max 21
Tuesday                 Cloudy.                                  Min 7      Max 19
Wednesday          Partly cloudy.                             Min 6      Max 19


Almost no boats and swimmers in winter.
At this time of year, Mandurah's nightly temperatures are about 2-4C higher than Perth City (displayed) as Mandurah is coastal and the city is about 10 or so km's inland.



And here is the forecast for Manchester:

Manchester five-day forecast
             
   Date        Temp   

Wed 18     H  16 °C       Good
                 L  15 °C       Moderate

Thu 19       H  14 °C      Good
                 L  12 °C      Good

Fri 20         H   18 °C      Good
                 L   11 °C     Good

Sat 21        H   19 °C      Good
                L   14 °C     Good

Sun 22       H   21 °C      Good
                L   15 °C      Good

Last updated: 0401 on Wed 18 Jul 2012

Manchester skyline
Not a lot of difference between Mandurah and Manchester weather at this time of year. In fact, the nights being 2-4C colder is about it.


As I sit here in a thick minky-blanket-style dressing gown, with the heater on my feet, I am reminded of an observation by Alain de Botton in "The Art of Travel".

It's not what is the same as home that can make a travel destination interesting, more the differences.