Category Archives: Cool Things

New toy

So I now have an iPhone 4. Only stupid thing is that connection indoors with any cellular network sucks. Stupid foil insulation for the house. Yes, you keep the house cool in summer and warm in winter but you screw up mobile reception year round. A minor inconvenience. Outdoors and I am fine. Fun for years to come. I can’t believe that I have finally joined the cult of Steve. Steve Jobs.
Time to stop playing around with this and get back to doing the ironing.

+ 1430hrs

Little goodies

If you happen to be in Brisbane CBD and you happen to be a guy (or maybe a girl who is shopping for a guy who is a friend or a sig-oth), the Good Guide To Brisbane (GGB) is out now.

I picked up my copy this afternoon from some proprietors who are fast becoming good acquaintances (dare I say because I frequent and purchase items from their place of business), Nick & Ben at Apartment.

OK, not so much picked up a copy from them but rather Nick saying to me “Everytime you come here, you get some free shit from me…”

And then he dropped a copy of the GGB into a bag with a pair of Grenson derby shoes (model name: Kirk, see pic below) from another of my favorite haunts (mentioned below) that were dropped off at Apartment for me to pick-up this afternoon by another Ben (let’s call him “Ben the Shoe Guy”).

Grenson - "Kirk" Derby Lace-Ups in Burnt Pine
Grenson - "Kirk" Derby Lace-Ups in Burnt Pine

Mmmm, beautiful, supple leather straight out of the box with white stitching on the leather sole (attached via a Goodyear welt) that was topyed by Ben the Shoe Guy with same day service. I’m expecting these bad boys (along with the two pairs of Lloyd’s black lace ups I also wear) to last for the next 5 to 10 years of my life. Assuming I take good care of them. Which I bleedin’ well will be doing! Just have to get these re-topyed every couple of years. Maybe replace the leather and rubber on the heel as well in a couple of years.

Much better than a lot of the mens dress shoes that still cost about A$100/pair from Myer, David Jones, Mathers, Williams, etc, etc that nowadays are just of inferior quality (even compared with the same brand made 10-15 years ago). Windsor Smith’s, Julius Marlow’s and Hush Puppies have all seen their quality drop in recent years, but their prices are yet to go the same route… Recent Made-In-China shoes are worse than Made-In-China pairs from about 8 years ago which still lasted a fair while.

The only good value mens dress shoes I know of from David Jones are the by the Milana brand which are also leather-soled with good quality leather uppers (though some are stiff like hell). Sadly, my feet are too damn fat for me to wear the the Milana shoes.

If you don’t know what Apartment is, you can click here to read the GGB blurb about them.

If you also are unsure about another one of my favorite haunts in Brisbane for menswear (yes, my inner monk and inner hedonist are always duking it out on a daily basis), you can also click here to read the GGB blurb about The Cloakroom.

2202hrs

Could really do with a holiday…

[ now playing? ] Diane Birch – “Ariel”

I’ve only been home for less than three hours tonight since getting home from work.

It already feels like it is Friday. But it’s only Wednesday night.

To think that in about an hour’s time, I’ll be asleep and 7 or so hours from now, it’ll be time for the next daily grind again.

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

On another note, the Urbanears Plattan in “Army” is beginning to warm up quite nicely.

Urbanears - Plattan in "Army" color
Urbanears - Plattan in "Army" color

Enough channel separation. Very heavy on the bass. A bit too flabby at the moment. See how it evens out after 20-30 hours of audio playback. Mids are very warm. Diane Birch’s vocals are sounding quite nice. Highs on “Nothing But A Miracle” (i.e. hi-hats) could be a little more defined but I am kind of expecting this sort of response given the frequency chart that’s displayed in the included brochure/warranty info. Soundstage is quite intimate. Got a fairly good seal on my large noggin with these little circular earcups.

These drive really easy though. Whether it’s through my computer headphone output or via the headphone output on my iPod Classic or Creative Zen Vision:M. Should be good for battery life on portables then. These sound best when listening to pop, rock and urban styles. For jazz and classical, it’s passable for listening on the go but I’d choose other options for those genres.

For A$90, not too shabby at all. They do look gorgeous though. Retro-styled and with clean functional Scandinavian design.

David Jones at Queens Plaza has these in stock. Though I’m kicking myself now that I didn’t get the red ones. Those look absolutely stunning. Instead I have urban camouflage. Sort of.

2233hrs

Angels, Carhartt et al…

So earlier this week was the Feast of St. Michael and All Angels (more traditionally known as Michaelmas) in the Anglican Calendar. And then today is the memorial of the Guardian Angels in the Roman Calendar. I’m always reminded of Psalm 90(91):11 read during Compline which says “For he shall give his angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways”.

Universalis had a rather pithy little summary of what today’s memorial/lesser feast day is all about.

The Holy Guardian Angels
The doctrine that every individual soul has a guardian angel has never been defined by the Church and so is not an article of faith, but it is present in both the Old and New Testaments. As Jesus says, See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tell you that their angels in heaven always gaze on the face of my Father in heaven. [Matthew 18:10] Thus even little children have guardian angels, and these angels remain in the presence of God even as they fulfil their mission on earth.
Anciently, all angels were celebrated together on the feast of St Michael. A separate feast of the Guardian Angels began in Valencia in 1411. At the reform of the Breviary in the 16th century it was included among the local feasts, and it was raised to the status of a feast in the General Calendar in 1608, placed on the first free day after the feast of Saints Michael, Gabriel and Raphael.
One of the benefits of this feast is that it reminds us that God cares for us each, individually. We all know this in theory, but it is easy – in times of depression or temptation – to convince ourselves that we are too small to matter, for good or ill. Let us use this feast to remind ourselves that each of us has an angel of our very own looking after us; and also to pray to God for our own Guardian Angel. What a bore and a burden to them some of us are. May we one day be a cause of rejoicing for them also.

If this is the case, my guardian angel (or angels) must be having a riotous old time with the Lord watching over my triumphs and my (many) failures. Watching over and praying for this poor, sometimes stupid, sometimes (relatively) smart sinner in need of God’s remarkable grace. The last two sentences in the Universalis summary are grouse. Very grouse.

As an old children’s prayer goes:

Angel of God, my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love commits me here,
Ever this day be at my side,
To light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Amen.

========================================

Carhartt x Apartment = Very tasty clothing in a very tasty shop

Finally some clothes that fit me properly. Had a fitting there yesterday afternoon and Ben and Nick were helpful (as always). The other guy there (Craig/Stuart, dammit I forgot his name) who was working in the Pop-Up shop was also seriously helpful. And, what the heck, I managed to actually fit into a pair of size 36 jeans. SIZE 36!!! The last time that happened was about 12 years ago.

And the Pop-Up shop was looking very nicely set up. Now looking fwd to picking up my Carhartt denim and pants after Ben alters them for me. Either before or after he gets back from Japan. And going by the Neighbourhood stuff they have there already, what is to come should be very very nice.

Now time to go and help the cousin-in-law out with moving stuff over to their new place. And a quick trip to IKEA Logan. Turns out my little hatchback actually can fit some serious flat-pack furniture in it.

+ 0850hrs

Flashmob!

I forgot to post this last night in my Eurovision 2010 blog, but on second thoughts, it deserves an entry of its own.

IMHO…

Best.

Flashmob.

Dance.

Routine.

Ever.

The last ten years worth of final interval acts have been s-h-i-t-e. This one redeems them all. OK, maybe not last year’s in Moscow (which was overall a really crappy Eurovision Song Contest).

Madcon on the backing track are dope as well.

See for yourselves.

1925hrs

Phoenix

Lent 2 – Tuesday

It’s just ticked past 12:30am as I begin this post. And I am still awake dammit. I’m still on a high from the Phoenix concert that I went to tonight with Lynn and met up with a few of her buddies from school who were there too.

Honestly, Thomas and his band of Frenchy’s know how to entertain a crowd. Very good. And they got “Lizstomania” outta the way early in the set too. Nice to hear Air’s “Playground Love” as one of the acoustic encore items too. And despite the bleacher seats that Lynn & I ended up getting assigned to us, we both ended up migrating down to seats that were closer to the stage anyway. Yay for a slightly un-full Great Hall at the Brisbane Convention Centre. Miami Horror were the warm-up act and I will have to try and find some of their stuff now. Nice electro-influenced funk rock (to my ears).

Set list was rocking. And this time I come home with sore ears as I forgot my musicians earplugs tonight. Given I usually use them every other time I go to a loud event, one night without them will only cause a little bit of damage as opposed to a lot.

One thing I have to note about the entire night’s sound: too freaking damn loud. I can understand that you need to close mike the drum kit up (the subs did their job of pulsating out the kick and toms perfectly). I can understand that you need to patch in the electric guitars and bass guitar into the FOH mix along with the synths and pre-recorded sound effects. But do you have to run the signal out at what would have been well above the green zone on the mixing board?

I could hear the woofers elevated above the ground in the airspace above us crackling at numerous points in the night. The amps on our side of the floor for the stack of speakers hoisted up in the air were running very “hot” for the entire night (where Lynn and I were seated originally and after our migration was right behind the monitor engineer and his mixing desk as well as the racks of amplifiers).

Is this an element of the “loudness wars” in recorded music now starting to make its way into live shows? I sure as heck hope not. Clarity in the overall mix was sacrificed for extended bass and highs. Thomas’ vocals at times were almost unable to be heard in amongst the overall mix.

Apart from this minor bugbear of mine (being an amateur hobbyist audio engineer), the night itself was one of the best nights I’ve had out. And that’s saying something given that I don’t go out often.

While Switchfoot will make their appearance at The Hi-Fi in April, will I go? Probably not. While I do enjoy the a bit of “t&a” (you can work out what this abbreviation means yourself) rubbing up against me at close quarters, too much of that all night long alongside unfortunate rubbing up of “c&a” (again, figure it out for yourself) leads me to feel a wee bit claustrophobic and wanting personal space again.

Now time for sleep. Lucky I took a day off work tomorrow (I mean today). I’m looking forward to sleeping well after my cultural side has been satiated for the next few months.

Phoenix. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!! =D

+ 0057hrs