Weekly Rewind #102

Hello again and welcome to another Weekly Rewind. Updates and tales from the interesting (or not so interesting) happenings in my life. We’re just over a week from the last article so that’s not bad going. Only 1 day late. Let’s begin with Sunday night, January 8th…

I broadcast episode 69 of Rathole Radio and it went pretty well. There was some lively chat going on in the IRC and it seems the new website is holding up well. I need to fix a few things on there still but you know how these things are. You’re never 100% done, at least not if you’re a hopeless perfectionist like me.

A close up picture of a brown owl.
I'm a total night owl

On Monday Jan 9th I got up quite a bit earlier than usual in an attempt to start a new regime. I decided I need to add a little more structure to my life and begin separating work and leisure time more clearly. I don’t have a 9-5 job or any strong routine, outside of podcast schedules I suppose. This makes most people think “lucky bastard, doing nothing all day”. In fact what happens though is I work on 10 different things pretty much all the time. There may not be a clearly defined clocking on time, but there’s also no clocking off time so it’s difficult to unwind. I always work late nights and weekends. I rarely watch films, television, play video games or do anything like that really. Now I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me, put the violins away. Compared to a lot people my life is very easy. I just think I should make some attempt to get more in sync with the rest of the world. I also hope it will help me be more productive and enjoy some time off. Maybe it’ll work, maybe it won’t. Time will tell.

One of the first things I did on Monday in my newly defined office time was arrange to have our band PA collected by courier and taken to Newcastle for repairs. It died on us just before Christmas but luckily it’s still under warranty and they should repair it for free. I also got quite a few things ticked off my list of jobs which I was pleased with. Monday is of course Linux Outlaws night and I got ready to record the show live with Fab. At this point the Internet gods decided to mess with me and we spent the next hour trying to get our VoIP communication working. It seems like it’s either something going wrong with my broadband connection or the new studio PC. I’ve tried to trace the problem but typically it hasn’t happened since. The show went well once we did get started and you can download it as episode 245 – “Dirty I/O”. On Tuesday I continued hammering my way through a back list of jobs. I also released the episode of Rathole Radio from Sunday, fixed some CSS problems on the 20lb Sounds website and edited a video for LEAF. Hopefully you’ll be able to see that soon. I then contacted some venues about booking gigs with the band and there’ll be more on that in a moment.

On Wednesday I joined Randal Schwartz to host FLOSS Weekly 197. My Internet gremlins seemed to have disappeared which was good. Our guest was Sam Aaron of the Overtone project. An Open Source music making framework written in Java. Well worth having a listen to that for anyone interested in synthesizers and new ways of making music. Following FLOSS I headed down to Dale St for a practice with 20lb Sounds and delivered some interesting news to the lads. I almost remember the conversation word for word. I said to them “You know I was gonna look for more gigs? …. I’ve got 3!”. Tony, the manager at The Zanzibar very kindly offered us 3 gigs, all on prime nights and we owe him a big thank you. Combined with the Rathole Roadshow at LEAF in April it means we have the first half of 2012 pretty much fixed up gig-wise. Here’s the line up:

  • Saturday February 4th – The Zanzibar, Seel Street, Liverpool.
  • Saturday March 3rd – The Zanzibar, Seel Street, Liverpool.
  • Friday April 27th – LEAF, Bold St, Liverpool.
  • Friday May 25th – The Zanzibar, Seel Street, Liverpool.

Ok so it’s hardly a world tour but it’s a good start I think. If any of you can come along please do, we’ll have a good time and it would be great to see you there. On Thursday we had another 20lb practice but my voice was shot. I’d been developing a cold all week and as I write this I still can’t shake it off. I can just about talk, but only like some weird cross between Ringo Starr and Barry White. Yeah I know, what’s different about that right? On Friday morning I met Neil and we discussed Open Source City business. Still a massive amount to do there but we’re starting to make progress. In the afternoon I got online and recorded a Linux Outlaws special with Fab and our guest Jonathan Nadeau. Jonathan has been on the show before but we dubbed him our official Accessibility Corespondent some time ago. He’s a blind computer user and offers us a great perspective on problems we don’t even think about as sighted people. Plus he’s a great guy and very funny. I don’t want to give the impression that his lack of sight is the only reason we have him on our show. Following that I recorded some lines for a radio play I was recently asked to appear in. It’s for one of our listeners and I’ll get you more details when I can. My character is a wise old warrior and I used my croaky cold voice to full effect. I hope I didn’t go over the top in a Christian Bale Dark Knight style though… “HE MUST HAVE FRIENDS!!!”. Not content with my day’s work I then wrote a Bash script to automate downloading and uploading the raw audio Bradley sends me for Free As In Freedom. It’s just a wrapper for a couple of rsync commands really but I was quite pleased with myself. I posted the code on Pastbin at the request of some people on Google+. It’s not gonna win any awards but it was nice to get it done.

Eddie Vedder on stage playing a dark coloured Fender Telecaster
Eddie Vedder, on stage

On Friday night I decided not to do any work and try to stick to my new routine. Instead I watched Pearl Jam Twenty, a documentary about Pearl Jam, one of my all time favourite bands. Back when I was 14 I would have given anything to be Eddie Vedder. Watching the film I realised something. I still want to be Eddie Vedder, some part of me always will. On Saturday I nursed my worsening cold and tried not to do too much. Then late in the afternoon I headed to LEAF for my friend Rachel’s leaving do. She’s moving to Australia with her husband which is all very exciting. It’s a big change but I’m sure it’ll work out for them. I got a chance to catch up with some other friends down there and had a nice evening. I didn’t stay too late and was home in time to watch Match Of The Day, rock and roll or what?

Yesterday I had did a lot of audio editing. First I assembled the next Free As In Freedom for Bradley and Karen. Then I moved on to editing the Linux Outlaws special we’d recorded on Friday. It took up most of the day but it felt good to get it done. I canceled band practice as I still had no voice but hopefully that’ll be back in a day or two. It better be back in time for our gig or we’re screwed. I’m trying to be good and rest it though. No attempts to sing at all while I recover. I’m even trying to talk less but not really succeeding. Come on, this is me after all.

That pretty much brings us up to date.


In the next week there’s much podcasting to be done. Tonight we’ll record another Linux Outlaws, Internet gods willing. On Wednesday I will host another FLOSS Weekly, this time with Simon Phipps. Our guest project is FreeNAS and I can’t wait to hear more about that. At the weekend we’ll have more live Rathole Radio on Sunday night. Plus, on Thursday 19th it’s back to LEAF as Jelly Liverpool kicks off for 2012. I also hope to get back to singing again once my throat recovers. This cold has totally scuppered my plans of recording an acoustic album quickly. I’ll get that done as soon as I can but unless I decide to make it a Tom Waits tribute it’ll have to wait a little longer. Sorry Folks. I’ll report back on events next weekend I hope. Until then take care of yourselves and I’ll see you soon.


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