Showing posts from 2014

Replace Harddrive in PVR PACE

Does your PVR skip? Jitter? Hickup?

I noticed mine was starting to over the last few months. Since i bought mine outright refurbished a few years back and the warranty was non-existent i had no qualms ripping it open and trying to diagnose it myself. Some research on the internet suggested replacing the coaxial cable and hard resetting the unit.

These initially helped - but for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. All signs pointed to a failing hard drive. I opened it up to find a standard Seagate Sata drive. Replacing it didn't work. The unit hung up on boot up suggesting that there was some boot data needed on the actual hard drive to make the unit operate.

I grabbed a very good hard disk cloning utility, put the PVR drive into a spare PC and took an image of the existing drive. Next I grabbed a similar sized drive and swapped it into the spare pc and ran the disk cloning software again. I blew out any partitions and data on the replacement drive and restored the image to it.  Amazing…

Droppin the Bass

Managed to sneak away to the studio the other night.

With some help from MC we nailed down the bass part for the next song of the recording project.

Tracked it a few times and we believe we have got a few good takes that are keepers.

It's very minimalist and very tonal.

It gives the song a lot of breathing room.   It's a fairly intimate song so the bass should compliment KJ's vocals very nicely.

This is one of my most creative bass parts I've crafted to date.

I don't purport to be a bass player.  I'm a guitar player attempting to play bass.  Not having any experience on the 4 string the consensus among the group is that I can potentially come up with non-standard 'go to' bass lines.

So far so good.


If you're into podcasts and are looking for some recommendations here's what I've been tuned into for a long while (in no particular order)

Specifically Andy Greenwald,
Do You Like Prince Movies,
Girls with Hoodies,
Hollywood Prospectus
There's a really great one about the career arc of film director Steven Soderbergh If you're into Football - they have plenty to offer on that subject matter as well). Great website overall.

Tim and Sid
(From Sportsnet- their entire show is carved into 1 hour episodes each day)
CBC's Tech podcast with Nora Young
Eli Glasner
CBC Movie Reviewer
Get-It-Done Guys' Quick and Dirty Tips to Work Less and Do More
(Stever Robbins)
Hockey Central
Pensions Plan Puppets
assorted collection of Ted Talks
Stuff You Should Know
How stuff works website
Documentary of the Week
BBC Radio
Day 6  (CBC Radio)

Paris Letters

I just completed reading Paris Letters - One woman's journey from the fast lane to a slow stroll in Paris.

Without being preachy the author Janice  MacLeod describes how she took many of today's practices of minimalism, journaling  and slew of other self discovery tools to centre herself and find clarity in her life.

As she eventually reveals to herself that the rat race isn't for her she sets her eyes on the lights of Paris. Not to vacation but to live there.

A daunting and ambitious notion. But with any goal - they all begin with the first step.  In her case she asked herself - how much would I need to save in order to live for one year without working? This was followed up by - "where does all my money go now?"  This to me was the most intriguing part of the story. 

The film Fight Club has a line that says
"the things you own end up owning you".

Janice instead of trying to figure out how to afford the life she currently has while away instead tackl…

Nuisance Bears

A recent article Bear Visit was posted in the news which has re-ignited the Bear Hunt issue.  I'm not going to weigh into the hunting debate.  I'm not qualified to do so.

However the point I'd like to make is the issue of urban sprawl.   Instead of the city continuing to develop more and more sub-divisions which I believe stresses the road/water/electrical infrastructure, why doesn't it start building 'up'?

I think its time for Thunder Bay to start building decent sized apartment and condo buildings in the city.  If the Ring of Fire ever gets started - Thunder Bay would surely see some rise in population.  They need to live somewhere.   I'd hate to see more urban sprawl.

It's a chicken and egg scenario. The bears aren't a  nuisance - the people building houses 'out there' are.  Bears and other wild life are part of the surroundings and should be considered part of the deal.

Leafs Re-Boot

I was so happy with the Leafs when they competed in the playoffs two seasons ago.

I told my fellow hockey fans that I didn't expect anything from the Leafs except some building blocks and a taste of the playoffs.  It was a young energetic team that was gaining valuable experience.  They were great days to be a Leafs Fan.

I was happy to see them win 1 game in the series.  I really liked the 'lunch bucket' attitude they had. They had lots of grit, for-check and toughness.

This was a team to be proud of - they left it all out there and played for each other.

All other teams hated the Leafs.  Not because of the cliche 'leafs suck'. But because the Leafs broke other teams.  They were tough to play against.  With 1 line of  skilled players (JVR/Boz/Kess) and 3 lines of fast, pesky, grinding players with some fists to back it up they were formidable.

That all changed last year when the 2nd line was gutted (Grabo/MacArthur/Kule) in favor of Kadri and Lupol.   Those 2 were…

Cosmic Seam Is Tracked

Our first song is completed and no more is to be recorded for it.  It is ready for editing and mixing.  We spent the last session adding a few sprinkles of guitar notes here and there.

Of possible interest to the audio geeks - we borrowed a technique from Mutt Lang and Brian May.  You see some of us have been on a Def Leppard Hysteria kick for the last month and we've been watching a lot of the behind the scenes action of how that classic album was recorded.

One little nugget we came across was recording little guitar noodles. Mutt Lang made them track each  note  separately. The result of this time consuming process was that no note would be cut off or muted if it was on the same string.  Each note would have the same sustain.

I had a little 3 note run we wanted to record with this technique.  To make it official - Mike dug out an original Rockman X100 guitar amp simulator - the same one they used for the recording of the guitars in Hysteria.

To take a it a step further - we did…

Quick and Dirty London Fog

A friend of mine got me hooked on London Fog tea.  It's professionally made from a local sandwich place - Bean Fiend.  I"m not sure where he sources his ingredients, but its fantastic.  A problem I run into is the craving for this London Fog and the inability to simply go to Bean Fiend and get a cup.

So what's a  guy to do when he wants his fix and Bean Fiend isn't possible?

Try and make it myself.

So here's what I use when i'm in the office/home for my London Fog fix:

Tetley Earl Grey "specialty tea'Nestle Coffee Mate ' French Vanila' That's it - well hot water if you want to get picky.   I was using milk originally, but it was missing that sort of sweet and vanilla taste.
I happened upon the office coffee maker and there just happened to be the coffee mate.  It's no Bean Fiend London Fog - but it'll have to do.

Dubai vs The Orb

There's an aerial photo of Dubai making its rounds on the Internet today.  The man made palm tree developments in the sea reminded me a lot of The Orb's remix album Auntie Aubrey's Excursions Beyond the Call of Duty.

Could the Engineers been late 90's electronic aficionados?

Today I Learned Jack Adams was from Thunder Bay

I was watching the Winter Classic over the Holiday.  During the pre-amble Don Maclean mentioned Jack Adams, Toronto Maple Leafs and Thunder Bay in the same sentence.

I was born and raised in Thunder Bay. Played minor hockey in Thunder Bay. Seen the Stanley Cup visit here numerous times thanks to the Staals, and Patrick Sharp.

Thunder Bay has a pretty good hockey factory. 
But not until the other day did I learn of Jack Adams and his roots.   It was one line - but enough for me to be dumbfounded?  How did I not know of this?   "...when Jack Adams from Thunder Bay went to the Toronto Maple Leafs..."

He played for Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and won 2 Stanley Cups. 
He coached the Red Wings to 3 Stanley Cups and still holds the most wins as coach to this date.
The Jack Adams award in his honor is awarded to the most valuable coach in the NHL.
A mistake I made was thinking the "Adams" division was in his honor as well.  It is not.  Charles Adams is who the division was…

Percussion Rogue

We took a brief break over the holiday to spend time with family and loved ones.  But that didn't stop Mike from jumping in the studio to track additional percussion tracks.  Sneaky sneaky!

I haven't heard it.  I've only seen these photos.  Looks like Mike had as much fun as one can when left to his own devices (egg shakers, chimes...)

I will try and convince him to bounce the percussion tracks for a sneak peak :)