Thursday, March 31, 2016

A Camera

When you own a camera you are never alone. When you use a camera you capture another world. When you look through the lens of a camera you see what you really see. A camera captures a moment you can't remember. A camera captures a sight you didn't quite see. A camera changes your view. A camera exposes. I tend to use my phone because I'm lazy.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Night Time

Tea in Nandos

Had tea today in a Nandos in Glasgow, mostly chicken, with salad and rice. OK in my book. These pictures are of course entirely irrelevant. Just dead animals artfully rendered and presented so as to illustrate the circle of life etc.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

No missed calls

Tuesday, no missed calls: The reason that this blog is slowly sliding downhill into banality and repetition and more repetition is that every time I try to type something a cat comes along and lies on top of my hands. This makes typing, thinking and concentrating very difficult. It also makes my hands itchy as he's a hairy kind of cat. It may simply be bad timing on my part, I may be the root cause, it may be a manifestation of writer's block (some manifestation) or it may all be a complicated delusion. I don't know. Cat don't care either. I do know that I've no real strong desire to take up the piano keyboard, I'll leave that to others. The other theory is that I'm simply eating too much fish and my brain is slowly turning into cod-liver oil. I should also read more...I'm working on that.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Lone Wolf

Making slow but steady progress, currently suffering from some uneven sanding, pyro and staining but the main ironmongery has been chosen, single Seymour Duncan JBH with coil tap and nothing much more. Hence the (stretching things a bit) lone wolf name.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Uncomfortably close

Clearly at some point in the seventies the world of artwork and lettering became very congested with similar over used forms. Maybe there was a limited supply of Letraset and cartoon styles. Strange bedfellows.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

We wuz there

Strangely the stars and planets aligned today and allowed DAFC to win the Championship due a) them winning and b) their nearest rivals losing, and it happened in March with many games still to play and even more strangely I was there and saw it happen, first hand. Seeing things first hand is pretty important, you are a witness, part of history and you have a testimony should you ever be asked to share it. If only other things in the wider world were as simple, turns out they are not (you'd never guess). They demand some judgement, perspective, belief (or unbelief) and the ability to see that truth can have many multiplied versions of itself, most of which don't really make any sense at all. This article has been bouncing around on FBook for a while, John Pilger is the author, it sets more questions (in the reader) than it answers and answers questions that you don't really want answered but not necessarily answers anything with the correct (?)  answers. Sometimes you just want to forget the world and live some kind of off-line life.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Canine design

Just a quick mock up featuring a standard type to dog / wolf head design. Still a bit more to do to fill out the empty spaces but as this body is a heavy relic (that's guitar speak for seen better days) then the overall finish isn't too important.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Pots, pies and procrastination

The pie in question, rather tasty.
Single coil in the soup.
Hard to make out but this is a Tele bridge pickup. 
The backside of a Humbucker gets a hot bath.

Mainly a stay at home working on other things kind of day and I ate a rather nice pie. Most of the afternoon was spent dipping guitar pickups in hot wax to reduce noise; unwanted and unpleasant noise that is. The devices are simply dipped into hot wax for about ten minutes, this fills all the coil and internal spaces with wax and quietens them down and stops the microphone effect. It's known as "potting" pickups. Then it was a busy period with the Dremel and Black and Decker doing some furious sanding outside on the various "reject" guitar bodies I'm working on, now they're all a bit smoother and usable. Then I coated the inner cavities with anti conducting paint just to top them off. The whole assembly process has yet to happen  for these pieces but I'm trying to meet my own KPIs, one of which is that the guitars I produce should work properly. Obvious you may think but not every guitar works like it should.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

One of those days

Having not posted anything for couple of days I feel like should post something, probably just some trivial rubbish as usual. Well that's how I felt until I heard the news today (oh boy), somehow I'm just not in the right place and some of my fellow humans completely puzzle and disgust me.

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Apparently it's officially Spring, a moment I may well have missed, however it's been captured here in the quiet suburbs both in the morning and the evening by Mrs A G. So we've arrived and the tropics are on the move once more. I did notice a few little lambs out in the fields so there's further proof. There was a high presence of obvious townie types out there by Loch Lomond, shirtless and standing by smoking BBQ pyres. Bikers weaved in and out of the traffic in an irritable line of bright lights and electric green. Cars formed long queues desperate to find the next coffee stop and a clean toilet. The geese, formerly assumed to be flying south seemed to be all other place and flying in random concentric circles presumably looking for a clear picnic area. In the bushes fresh litter gleamed as I measured the length of the  traffic jam by Rolling Stones tracks listened to, a full nine from Exile on Main Street.

Friday, March 18, 2016

The waiting room at the end of the world

This is where you sit when you're awaiting the clerk that pulls together all your lifetime information and grants you a bus pass. Once you reach 60 years of age you get to travel on buses for free, anytime anywhere (unless I've missed something in the small print). You also get to ride all the trains in Fife for 50p or £1.00, if you want to get back to where you started which should still be in Fife. No wonder this country is bankrupt, corrupt, in austerity, there's nothing but charity and wishy washy coffee shops in the high streets and the pop charts are filled with crap. Anyway, they granted me a bus pass, feels like I've won some kind of weird medal for doing nothing really special.

Mock ups x 2.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spam spread

I just like these old posters.
The strange and illogical patterns of spam email behaviour would be almost interesting if they were not so frustratingly stupid. Credit cards and loans abound yet relentless requests begging for money and bank details follow, erectile dysfunction cures and Brazilian girls ready to meet up at a moment's notice, sports clothes, e-cigs and whisky and other healthy lifestyle options, retirement and pension plans and then offers of incredible jobs far away in hot and glamorous locations should you change your mind, flight and hotel bargains and details of how to manage all those debts you've now accumulated, eBay super cars you could win and AA breakdown cover, PPI solutions and then easy ways to pay for your own funeral so there's no fuss when you snuff it. Of course whatever it is you've ordered there's always an easy way to collect the prized item at Argos.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

More pyromania

No work today so killing the time day dreaming and attempting to recover from a stinking cold. There can be no better remedy than getting some pungent wood burning fumes up into your nose and sinus cavities from a little guitar based pyromania. I'm not so sure that many medical professionals would recommend this as a method of treatment but it seems to hold back some symptoms and I'm none the worse...cough! I'll regret this in twenty five years time when I'm in the middle of some legal wrangle over compensation for self induced suffering. Please note this guitar body has yet to be sanded, finished, oiled etc. etc.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Abandoned Cities of the Heart

There are not enough Chinese people to fill the many cities they have built. So they sit there, empty and clearly in the wrong place. I have to admire the strange and unrealistic optimism. If you build it you may well find that they just don't bother coming. Of course the beautiful part of this is that you have at least built something even if it is ugly. Some day their day will come.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Just checking

A good way to check pyrography is to take some photos and stand well back. Bear in mind this guitar still needs cleaned up, sanded and the wood has to be treated with oils.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Who needs friends?

With influential friends like these: Trust Uncle Frank to get it right. Trouble is that he's dead and all these other people are mostly alive or at least appear to be. Oh and his house is now up for sale for about $6m Dollars or thereabouts. 

Sad to see that Keith Emerson took his life. ELP were always a love/hate outfit and over time I failed miserably to stay with them; too much keyboards and not enough guitar (and expensive rugs and daft ideas), pretty obvious for somebody like me but I retained a soft spot for their first album. A must have for most kids in my year at secondary school... one of these days I'll rediscover it along with my hearing.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Cat roll

Above: The cat from down the street rolling about on top of our cupboard without a care in the world. He's been there most of the day, dozing and watching. He really doesn't give a flying fig. Eventually we persuaded him to leave and head back home to where he belongs (something he's not clear about). This was not easy requiring a number of special tools and devices, patience and cunning on our part. I'm glad to say that no animals were injured in the creation of this blog post.

Third eye

Many years ago I was invited to a religious meeting in St Hellier Jersey where I was told "my third eye could be opened". I felt a bit queasy at the thought but went along to the meeting, of course nothing really happened apart from an Asian gentleman playing a harmonium and chanting. It was a bit like a Nico gig in some ways. I saw this photo on Fuzzbook the other day and the memories came flooding back...well slowly returned and they were all rather blurry.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Have a break

By some clever calculation and devious deduction I've realised that I may only have somewhere between 14.5 and 11.5 working days left in my current employment. I'm suffering a kind of "ground rush". Something I'd heard of but was unlikely to experience as I've managed  to spend all of my life quite successfully avoiding parachute jumping. Alas there are other more subtle forms of ground rush it appears. Things appearing larger in the mirror than they seem to be and so on. No need to panic or be morbid or desperate about it, once this current state of employment is over I'll simply find another. Maybe better, maybe self employment or just open for general business. That is how I believe it works and so the world turns every day and twice a year the clocks change for no good reason.

Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Saint George


Sad to hear of the death of George Martin though at 90 after a full and incredibly creative life; sad isn't really the correct term nor a useful word. So time to reflect. I should probably sit down and listen to Abbey Road or Sergeant Pepper or anything else on a long list of production credits, Flanders and Swan even. I wont though, I have memories and of course as the week progresses the songs and voices and anecdotes and tributes will tumble out of every spare TV and radio moment until we move onto the next big death. These defining sounds, tunes and effects we grew up with, puzzled expressions, puzzled parents as the loose cannons fired volley after volley across the lives of a spoiled generation. Stereo was a wonderful, magical black vinyl thing and headphones were the ultimate trip and somebody could make Ringo's drums sound really cool. We just didn't realise what was really going on at the time but we did read the credits over and over again.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Scared Twitless

Just reflecting on my recent lack of tweeting anything, either rubbish, funny or meaningfully profound. Possibly seasonal, possibly mental. Sometimes there's just nothing formed up and ready to say at the time you could and should be saying something. So eventually I picked up two other tweet worthy things; CBQ's latest eclectic selection and the worthy world women's day of international things in general. Both occurrences are pretty much unrelated and on different scales but significant. If only I'd had my intelligent head on earlier in the day when it all seemed to mean much more. In life timing is pretty much everything.

Monday, March 07, 2016

No Northern Light Photos

A latte with smart water served down south.
So at the moment I'm definitely not here (there) enjoying coffee, I'm home alone missing the Northern Lights because I keep looking south and existing, like a penguin, mostly on fish. Downstairs a camera now monitors the cat flap because of the stray can refugee stand off we find ourselves in. Borders and boundaries make life complicated everywhere, even at this micro level. So right now I can't type anything else as another non-stray cat is insisting on lying across my keyboard.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

This morning

Ben Lomond tries very hard but somehow fails to touch the early morning sky. Some other time perhaps.

Saturday, March 05, 2016


Despite the fact that we have 999 TV channels and a smart TV that provides connections with all sorts or weird, wonderful and mediocre providers sometimes there's nothing much on TV. Strange but true. That tends to disturb the cats a bit, they like us there on the couch, staring like zombies into the great, humming silver screen and not moving too much. This tends to provide them with a feeling of calm and well being that's unavailable elsewhere (unless we're fully asleep).  Better recheck the schedules and the unwatched box-sets.

Golden Slumbers

OK I know that the sun sets everywhere, that's a common thing. We see it most days assuming there's no fog or low cloud or grey and murky weather. Here when that everyday thing happens the trees facing west into the fading light are bathed for a short time in a warm, ethereal glow that lasts only a few moments. Is there a name for it? I've no idea. These photos don't really do justice to the effect either.

Friday, March 04, 2016


No snow but some real hail and a biting cold wind. Not a great afternoon for venturing out too far. I did however decide to refill the bird feeders and thought I'd better catch a shot of the scattered and fragile clumps of snowdrops before they disappear.