Things are looking up for 2010…

Nearly a month into 2010 and the year’s looking pretty good so far. The PhD is nearly all done and I’ve started an RA job. Which is great, although I’m not going to get my first paycheck for a little while. But that’s what credit cards are for right? I’m going to splash out on a squash raquet this afternoon… must start getting more exercise while I wait for the weather to improve. I think I might also buy some new kitchen scales for cake baking tomorrow… am giving a seminar Monday morning and if I bring cake, the hope is that people will be too busy eating to ask questions 🙂

And some exciting developments musically. While I’m still hoping to play some more music with Ali, I’m becoming increasingly sekptical that it will ever happen. But not to worry as I’m now playing ‘cello for Lindsay and the Storm, and accompanying Calum Carlyle on fretless bass. So that’s keeping me busy on the live music front. Although, saying that, the gig with Calum has been put on hold for the time being (not my place to go into details, but hey Calum, if you read this, my thoughts are with you). We’re due to play our debut set at Secret CDs,  on the 3rd of March, and I think we’re planning on keeping to that date, even if the set won’t be as polished as it could be.

Music with Lindsay is going well. 🙂 Although, it does make me wish I was a lot better at playing the cello and didn’t play as many out of tune notes. I get a bit of an inferiority complex, as I’m fully aware of my limitations, whereas on bass, I can just get on with playing and enjoying myself. And the new violin player, Peter, is very good! But, not to worry, I’m sure I’ll get up to scratch soon enough. I seem to be improving with every rehearsal, which is a nice feeling, even if progress is slower  than I’d like. (While I’m talking Storm, here’s a link to Nelson’s new blog which has some interesting posts about the local music scene.)

Last, (and probably least) there are a couple of riadsala tracks bubbling in the undercurrent. (Bubbling in the undercurrent?!? What does that mean?). I’m still working on some of the Cantus ideas (if you hadn’t guessed, Cantus imploded due to lack of a drummer and Matt now refuses to speak to me). But hey, there are a few ideas that were going to make songs which I’m hoping to work on myself, and Doug is up for collaberating. I just need to find time. (A stable audio driver for Windows7 and my Focusrite Saffire would be nice too). Still hoping to do an “EP” sometime and every now and then I listen to some of the tunes I did a few years ago and think “hmm, you know, some parts of this are actually pretty good, I should do some more.” So hopefully i’ll pick up the Warr Guitar and start recording some bits and pieces…

And, if it wasn’t like i was busy enough, i’m also hoping on learning some new skills. Starting with ironing shirts. Seriously. There are some major big creases in my shirts. I guess, the first thing to do is find out if I have an iron. Hmmm. Should have a look in the cupboards. I’m also hoping to improve my programming skills this year. I got by with just MatLab for my PhD, but  I figure I should get the hang of some proper languages (C, C++, Java, etc). So, I’ve got a two pronged plan! First of all, I’m going to learn how to use RenderMan (Pixar’s interface for specifying 3D information to renderers) at work. This invovles some C++, and i can use it to make some interesting stimuli for psychology/perception experiments.

Part two of my plan is to learn at home. In order to motivate myself, I’m going to play around with Unity (game development stuff) and challenge myself to do some interesting stuff with its scripts (which are .net based). Doubt I’ll ever make an actual playable game, but hopefully it’ll keep me interested long enough to get better at programming.

Hope everybody is well. (Who is everybody? Does anybody still read this?)

Time to find that iron…

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