30 January 2009

Feel Free to Name this Orchid

Another bizarre looking orchid from mom's collection. God only knows what it's called scientifically. Would appreciate any help in its name.
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29 January 2009

Guitar Combo

I recently went to a music store looking for good quality guitar tuner. I was quite surprised at the line up of available gizmos for just this one piece of equipment. It comes in a wide range of prices from the 'starving musician' range which is roughly around US$20 - US$30 range which I wouldn't recommend anyone purchasing. To the 'musician virtuoso' type. This type of musician generally entails millions of dollars worth of endorsement. For starters the inexpensive ones are made in China and, if you intend to be an opening act for Ozzy (which literally means you're equipment will have to go through some serious air cargo bashing and thrashing across the globe) you wouldn't see it reach pass its prime for your next gig.

Throughout my search for a tuner in the music store's glass display, there was one particular box that out shined the rest. It was a little too large to be just a tuner yet a little too small to be anything else. Out of curiosity I summoned the store owner to let me have look at it and to my surprise it was actually software! A bit way ahead of their time for a music store around my area. What's software gotta do with metal bangers ? Everything really. Of course, the store owner didn't allow me to open up the box to take a look inside it's mechanics but just let me read the sales pitch on the box. It was quite a sales pitch and I bought it for at a hefty price of about US$90. I installed the software and it comes with a USB guitar interface. This is what the software looks like (click on the image for a larger view):
It comes with 39 amp presets and, you can come up with one of your own amp settings as well. It also came with a built in tuner. Which is great cause I nearly got duped into buying a tangible tuner. The only drawback to its tuner is that you can only tune at the standard 440 Hz frequency. That is you can't tune your guitar sharp or flat. But then again you can also do a Google on online tuners and you'll be amazed at what you can find.

Also, notice the grey theme on top of the black frame. It's actually a metronome and a tape deck. I haven't fooled around enough with the tape deck but, I did manage to record a riff or two with it. I couldn't figure out how to do a playback without affecting the amp settings. Guess I'll have to refer to the guide book that came along with it.

OK, so you're wondering how it sounds compared to a standard amp? I'm running an Altec Lansing speaker with sub woofer and it sounds just as good if not better than a standard amp. I plugged in my '86 Fender strat and jammed to Rage Against the Machine's Battle for Los Angeles on my mini hi fi. Honestly speaking, I kicked Tom Morello's rear when it came to sound quality.

However, this application is really meant for those whose in the business of songwriting. Hook it up to an 8 track mixer and you got yourself a one man band. Churning out albums like there was no tomorrow. Perhaps this is the way to go if you're an aspiring musician or band. You can start burning your demo Cd's, do a little promo photo shoot and send it to a producer. You might just end up with a lucrative contract.

I'm not quite sure what other available guitar software is on the market that I can compare it with but I must say that I'm content with my purchase.

Guitar World: 50 Greatest Guitar Solos

28 January 2009

A Little Tribute

Little miss can't be wrong.
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25 January 2009

Goodbye year of the Rat, Happy year of the Ox.

I'll return to this blog next Wednesday. Chinese new year is observed in Malaysia this coming Monday and Tuesday. Which also means its a public holiday for two straight days. I'm taking leave from the blogosphere so that I'll have enough energy to brainstorm for my next post. Stay tuned and, happy holidays to those concerned.

23 January 2009

Create Your Evil Plan

Ok, Friday will be aptly themed Freaky Friday. Anything from the bizarre to the spot on weird will be showcased on this day. I just wanted to stick to the main title to this blog and not to deviate too much on the dark side on the other days. I just might scare myself silly. See, I'm on a roll.

Have you ever had an evil plan but never actually thought about completing it? Perhaps you're not quite sure of how to formulate it into a successful proposal. Well, let me be the harbinger of my evil scheme:

Congratulations on being the creator of a new
Evil Plan (tm)!

Your objective is simple: Criminal Activities.

Your motive is a little bit more complex: Power

Stage One

To begin your plan, you must first assassinate a rich and powerful ceo. This will cause the world to swallow nervously, horrified by your arrival. Who is this demented madman? Where did they come from? And why do they look so good in classic black?

Stage Two

Next, you must seize control of the white house. This will all be done from a medieval castle, a mysterious place of unrivaled dark glory. Upon seeing this, the world will gibber like madmen, as countless hordes of evil clowns hasten to do your every bidding.

Stage Three

Finally, you must reveal to the world your doomsday device, bringing about the apocalypse. Your name shall become synonymous with sheer dementedness, and no man will ever again dare roll his or her eyes. Everyone will bow before your mind-boggling insanity, and the world will have no choice but to give you control of the planet.

Need to formulate one of your own? Click here.

22 January 2009

Tech. Thursday

During my period of mental despair yesterday the proverbial light bulb flashed and, a sudden burst of adrenalin filled my thoughts. I love technology and how it is always improving over time. From TV sets to Telephones there's always something new and improved around the block. I have decided to theme my Thursday posts as "Tech Thursday". You can expect posts of anything to do with technology on Thursdays here.

What better way to kick it off than what I've been eying for so long. I'm not a digital camera connoisseur or buff, but I do know that my current digital camera, a 7.1 mega pixel Canon Ixus 700 is facing extinction. Images get blurred when I turn off the flash due to slow read/write speed to the memory card. A tripod is a necessity when it comes to snapping shots without a flash. Color shots with the flash is ok, but not exceptional and at times images taken with a flash appears too dark. I'm thinking I might need a new battery. The existing one is not kicking up enough juice and is about to kick the bucket.

Enter the Nikon D90. It's packed with features that according to Wired.com, "...even a 4 year old can handle it." Which is what I really needed to hear. I don't want to be spending valuable minutes just trying to tweak it to the right settings. It's also a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera. Read PC mags definition of DSLR It comes with a hefty price tag. In the US it retails at $1300. I'm expecting for it to come down middle of this year which is about the time I intend to own it. If you're a blog owner, having a good quality camera is indispensable. Not only do pictures do a lot more talking than words but it adds a lot of flair to your posts. Also, the D90 comes with HD movie mode, so you're able to capture movie clips with sound. I can just picture it now, the D90 hung around my neck poised to my eye level capturing nature's best and, uploading it to this blog for the world to enjoy. For more specifications of the D90 visit Nikon's website here.

21 January 2009

Another Wicked Wesnesday

So here I am again, thinking of what to put into this blog every Wednesday. In my quest to categorize my daily blog updates, I have ran into a state of mental disparity. There's surely a dozen things to blog about on any given day but trying to 'defrag' them into any particular order is proving futile.I'm not sure if this approach will work out for me yet but like the cat in the picture above, the chances are very bleak at the moment.

20 January 2009

Sink or Swim America

I've been thinking long and hard on what to write in this blog every Tuesday and I can't quite figure out what to put down. All the buzz on the Net lately is Obama's Inauguration Ceremony. Lets digress for a moment into this auspicious event. It's going to be a star studded event nonetheless. Perhaps this is what the country has been yearning for all so long. Tomorrow, America will have a new face. A face where a nation once shunned to be its equal more so its leader. How will this historical moment in time play out ? Is this just another president destined for failure? More bullet for the gun so to speak. A time where America sits precariously at the cliffs of desperation, a young Harvard Law School graduate virtually unheard of two years before he won the presidency has trailblazed his opponents right into the oval office and into the American heartland. Stupid Cupid. A reason for the name ? Experts has pointed out that it's going to take more than a term in office (4 years equivalent to one term, maximum is two terms or eight years to be in office) for Obama to gear the country back to its glory. Will he even survive one term is still anybody's guess. The Republicans will have a heyday once this Columbia graduate slips and, will see him out office before he can have his favorite Chilli corn dog at Capitol Hill. Perhaps, its already preordained for disaster but a drowing man will struggle for his last breath before he takes the inevitable plunge into the abyss. Now back to my drawing board. What will it be for Tuesday?


A Breathtaking Beginning

19 January 2009

Shiny and New

New year, new resolutions, new plans, and a brand new theme for this blog. Hope y'all like the changes. I'll attempt to be more organized at my posts and am thinking of what to post everyday. I like how Dr Carson organizes her daily updates categorically. I'll move this blog towards that direction. I have a lot of pics I'd like to post yet I don't want to smother this blog with pictures daily. I'll make Monday Picture day. Tuesday ...?, Wednesday ...?, Thursday ...?, Friday ...?, Rest for the weekend? Any input would be deeply appreciated.
Once in awhile you stumble upon a great quote to get you back on your feet when you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. Here's mine;

Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is that quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." - Mary Ann Radmacher.

17 January 2009

I nearly pissed myself laughing when I saw this. Reminds me
of my youngest daughter, she still haven't left her baby talk yet,
so sometimes she expresses her experiences in actions.