31st of Blaugust – Alphabet Free Sunday – And We’re Done Here!

Last post everybody!

This was an insane thing to do and some posts were down to the wire but I managed to do it. One post a day for 31 days! Technically that was one post a day for 32 days as I did a prep one the day before Blaugust started.

Here is a summary of all the blog posts.

1. ASMR Videos. I thought I’d do something freaky first up. Had fun with that one.
2. Bronies! I thinks I also named myself as one in the process. Welcome to the Herd.
3. How I write my Chipmusic. No excuse to asking me how it’s done.
4. Community. Really cool to know what’s out there in Adelaide.
5. Dr. Mario. Great game. Even greater for taunting. Brings out the worst in everyone.
6. Eurovision! I’m an addict and cant stop going on about it.
7. Fanfiction. My slashfic was terrible but that was the whole point.
8. Grace – Jeff Buckley. An interesting album indeed.
9. Homestar Runner. Actually more about Strongbad to be honest.
10. Randomness. No structure to this one. Just ramblings.
11. Iron Chef. Awesome show with awesome cooking.
12. Jumanji. A fitting post to say goodbye to Robin Williams.
13. K’nex thing I put together. Really couldn’t come up with anything for K.
14. Last Week Tonight. A show I’m really rocking right now.
15. Mahjong. A game I love to play. Still haven’t got that Green hand yet.
16. Nineties. You know your’e from the nineties when you do one of these posts.
17. gdgd fairies. Why oh why did Sam have to show this to me. It’s so cool!
18. Old Photos of Adelaide. I love these things and would want to find more to show.
19. Pizza. Terrible post that I had to backdate because I lost track of time.
20. Quiztime. Wednesday quiz is a Blaugust thing since Thom does them. BTW Thom won this one.
21. Retro Gaming Collection. I show you what consoles I own and my cool White Gameboy.
22. Sailor Moon Crystal. Getting in touch with my Anime roots by watching this reboot.
23. Trumpet. A small summary of Trumpet related things. Written in a hurry.
24. Weekly Beats. I did something like this before but music related. I tell you all about it.
25. Unboxing Videos. I think I’ll make another one only this time with a box of cornflakes.
26. Vegemite. That wonderful black spread that originally didn’t sell.
27. With Blackjack and Hookers. Made people worked up about this and for that I am not sorry.
28. Xfce. An interesting Linux desktop environment that I just installed for the hell of it.
29. Yet another Eurovision post. This was a cop out but a nice post none the less.
30. Zander from the past. All the awesomeness of me in photo form.
31. This one!

So what was post? I’m going to go with the Dr Mario Video I made because I forced Thom to do his own comeback video! Nice work Thom. Nice work!

Now I can let this blog fade away again as I forget all about it.

But coming up next: Dubsteptember!

Please note. I will not be doing Dubsteptember. Or Raptember either. I’m done!

30th of Blaugust – Z – Zander in the Past

At last I have come to Z and my alphabetical journey is soon to be over. This letter for me was quite obvious as everyone knows Z clearly stood for Zander. And so I thought I’d make it all about me. But I’d thought I’d do it in the form of a photographical journey from growing up. So I went through my parents photographs and lifted a few that I liked to show you.
1988 – Approx. Age 1

This is from my baby album and I think I’m almost one so I’ll say this is from 1988. I’m just chilling with my hoes, I mean hose.

1989 – Age 2

Who doesn’t love swings at this age and I remember this was set up in the back yard. Can’t believe I’m in the same jumper from the previous photo. I can promise you I did have other clothes.

1990 – Age 3 

This ine I really like. I’m pretty sure this was taken from under the cubby house at my old home.

1992 – Age 5

I was lucky enough to be in the 1992 John Martins/State Bank Christmas Pageant. Nipper and Nimble weren’t pink and baby blue back then. Instead they were Rad and Royal Blue. I was on nimble and surrounded by the ladies. I have footage of this on a VHS tape of the Chanel 7 broadcast which I might put up on YouTube one day.

1995 – Age 8

I was on a holiday in Perth when this was taken and I was absolutely marvelled at what was basically and Bus and Train interchange. I’d never seen one before even though they existed at Adelaide but not like this one. The Interchange was built directly above the train station which you accessed by escalator and lift.

1996 – Age 9

I threw this is just to show that I was a gamer as a kid and played the crap out of the SNES. I think this was immediately after getting Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest for Christmas.

1997 – Age 10

I was easily able to date this photo as out family was completely worked up over getting a puppy. Sasha was a Maltese Terrier and was only a two or three months old when we got her. She was always a loving pet and a welcome part of the family.

2005 – Age 18

Now we skip a bunch of years and make our way to when I was 18 and in year 12. This was when I was on a holiday in Hobart to see my sister who was staying there for a year as she was doing a one year medical internship. I just really like the photo.

2008 – Age 21

Finally some proof of something. When I say to people that I grew my hair out it made it to my shoulders people don’t normally believe me. Well here I am in my third year of my Music Degree, with that incredibly long and curly hair. I finally decided to get a hair cut shorter around July because it became really hard to manage and got it cut progressively shorter and shorter again as I was doing my Teaching diploma until it was like it is now. Sometimes I consider growing it out again every once in a while. You should have seen what it used to look like when I got it straightened.

So that’s me growing up through pictures. And nod I am all out of letters. Just one more Alphabet free post and Blaugust is done. The alphabetical journey’s definitely been a lot of fun and given me some direction to keep things varied instead of just rambling on.

So be sure to see my final Blaugust post tomorrow everyone.

29th of Blaugust – Y – Yet Another Eurovision Post

Back to me finding an excuse to talk about Eurovision for not apparent reason. I hadn’t been fully prepared and I was compiling this list anyway. So I thought I would put it out there as a Blaugust Post. I went through the train-wercks but there is actually some good stuff in there. I promise you.

This is my list of favorite songs that didn’t win from 2014 back to 2000.

2014 ­ Sweden – Placed 3rd

 I liked this and really thought it could win. At one point it was even the bookie favorite. However the Austria was a deserving winner.

2013 ­ Ukraine – Placed 3rd

I thought this one was really cool and got stuck into me. However Denmark had a really great song and took the deserving title.

2012 ­ Cyprus – Placed 16th

This was theyear Sweden took it out with a very awesome song. However I found this one by Cyprus to be ultra catchy. Not exactly original lyrics, but catchy none the less.

2011 ­ Italy – Placed 2nd

This was the year Italy returned to Eurovision. They hadn’t taken part since 1997 (and even that was by mistake). They came out with this great Jazz piece which came 2nd. I think it should have won as I didn’t care much for the Azerbaijan song that won.

2010 ­ Ukraine – Placed 10th

I guess I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Ukraine at Eurovision. They’re normally pretty consistently good and this was no exception. But Germany were awesome this year and took it out. BTW, this was also the year of Moldova and the Epic Sax Guy.

2009 ­ Iceland – Placed 2nd

Speaking of a song that was awesome, how awesome was this? Even though Norway was a clear winner setting a record to do it, I really have a soft spot for this one from Iceland. If only it was just in a different year.

2008 ­ Iceland – Placed 14th

But I liked this one from Iceland as well. So much more than the Russian entry that won. Russia winning Eurovision officially broke Terry Wogan causing him to throw a tantrum and quit.

2007 ­ Finland – Placed 17th

Having won the year before, Finland got to host the contest. And I quite liked their entry that year despite not really being into Emo music. But Serbia had a great ballad that took it out.

2006 ­ Sweden – Placed 5th

Who could forget Finland’s winning song “Hard Rock Hallelujah” which is one of my favorite ever Eurovision songs? Nothing really came close that year. But this one by Sweden was quite a good entry. This singer had previously won for Sweden back in 1991 and tried to take it out again.

2005 ­ Malta – Placed 2nd

This year Greece won it with their number one song. But in second was this entry from Malta. She came back in 2009 to try and go one better.

2004 ­ Turkey – Placed 4th

Turkey had won the previous year and put in this cool Ska style piece to try and do the double. But Ukraine in only their second ever contest showed they were great at Eurovision by taking it out.

2003 ­ Belgium – Placed 2nd

This is weird but really cool. The language restriction had been removed in 1999 and Belgium pushed it by entering this song with a made up language. It came 2nd to Turkey which also had a song worthy of winning. But to be honest there wasn’t much else that was any good. This was not a period in Eurovision which was known for it’s quality.

2002 ­ Malta – Placed 2nd

But this one from Malta was pretty good. Came 2nd to Latvia with a song that was not that great to be honest.

2001 ­ Malta – Placed 9th

Once again I’m picking this song by Malta because it was the least worst that didn’t win which was also the least worst of them all. But the one from Estonia that did win was at least catchy.

2000 ­ Sweden – Placed 7th

This was a song I really liked from a contest that was really good. If you want to see a good Eurovision with everything from good stagecraft to a good balance of good and terrible songs then the 2000 contest is my recommendation. Sweden had won the year before and put out this great price. Yet Denmark came out with a song that was a 100% guaranteed winner. 2000 also contained my favorite bad train wreck from my last Eurovision post (that horrible Israel one).

But some train wrecks can also be awesome! Like Germany from the same year. As I said, the 2000 Eurovision had it all.

Bonus Train Wreck – Germany 2000 – Placed 5th

28th of Blaugust – X – Xfce

Today I’m writing this on my old laptop because I wanted to use my Linux install. I hadn’t done anything Linux related for Blaugust yet and so I wanted to find something. I settled on getting the Xfce window manager installed.

It didn’t take much for me to do this as I was already running Ubuntu which uses Unity as the default window manager. My desktop looked like this.

So the easiest thing to do would be to install Xubuntu (the Xfce flavor of Ubuntu) on top. You could use symaptic or the dreaded Ubuntu Software centre to do this but I find the terminal to be way easier. So all it needed was one command.

sudo apt-get install xubuntu-desktop

By the way, Kagami is the name of the computer i’m on. I name them all after Anime characters. My Macbook is Mio (from K-On!), this old Dell laptop is Kagami (from Lucky Star), I have an older compaq laptop named Nagato (from The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya), my mums old Lenovo she gave me is Asuka (from Neon Genesis Evangellion), there’s an onld eeePC by the name of Ushio (from Clannad Afterstory) and a HP desktop called Haruhi (one guess where that’s from).

Well anyway, my install was done so it was time for a reboot. Probably didn’t need to but I did anyway. The install has replaced all Ubuntu themed stuff with Xubuntu themed stuff. There was even a different login screen. I had to select xubuntu from a dropdown list on the right to get into it. Here’s what it looked like after logging in.

My wallpaper was gone! Not to worry though. Just one right click to select Desktop Settings and that was sorted in no time.

So there’s the Xfce menu on top left you can select and use like the Windows 7 start menu to type the name of your program which is handy.

And all the programs that are open are shown up top.

Quite a handy little window manager to be honest. But would I use it? I doubt it. If I want a minimal window manager I tend to use Lxde.But normally I just stick with Unity. I’ve been considering doing an Arch Linux install on something lately and wouldn’t mind going back to Gnome and giving that a try.

27th of Blaugust – W – With Blackjack and Hookers!

It’s felt like its been a while since I did a cloud-yelling rant that I feel long overdue for one. So if you don’t want to read about me complaining then go and watch this video of a hamster eating a tiny burritos. For those that choose to stick around I wish to go on about what I call the “With Blackjack and Hookers,” effect.

Named after a running gag from the second ever Futurama episode, the Blackjack and Hookers effect is when someone becomes so enraged with an event, community or group that they decide to take them on at their own game with a rival event, community or group. The concept isn’t new but has been happening all the time. One Michel’s Patisserie franchise told me that Michel’s Patisserie originally started because an employee didn’t like how The Cheesecake Shop ran their business. Most of the time it happens because of a falling out between people who do not see things the same way. Steve Jobs had a falling out with Apple in 1985 so he went and started NeXT. Eventually Apple ended up buying NeXT in 1996 and Steve Jobs came back to eventually run the company as he wished.

In business it happens all the time and is completely fine. In a community however, when it happens it’s something that can be damaging to everyone. Especially in a small place like Adelaide. This sort of “chew-up-and-spit-out” behaviour happens all the time at AVCon where people rage quit and fortunately I’ve never heard the phase, “Well I’m going to start MY OWN Convention,” recently. But it has happened. Back in 2008 I heard this at an EVAC meeting where some people didn’t feel they were treated well enough. That was the first time I ever heard of Evacuation being brought up.

They were different times back then. The relationship between EVAC and AVCon VG were much much closer. EVAC and AVCon VG were basically one and the same as there were very few non-EVAC people on the AVCon VG team. But there seemed to be a bit on an anti-VG thing going on in AVCon at the time. I won’t bother you with it because I don’t even know all the details to be honest. So people at AVCon’y people at EVAC were complaining and so they thought they would start Evacuation, walk away from AVCon and watch and laugh while everyone else in AVCon failed to run the VG area properly. This never happened in the end (fortunately) and those that were complaining aren’t even around. Some still support AVCon. Evacuation never happened but it is something that gets thrown around as something EVAC could still do in aid to the community. I was that latest person to try and make it happen.

Well I say enough! Evacuation MUST DIE! It was started for the wrong reasons and a major gaming event by EVAC will never get off the ground if it is to have the name Evacuation. Even the name was based on Evacuating from AVCon to do try to challenge AVCon. I’m not saying EVAC can’t hold a major event but it can’t be called Evacuation. Not even as a working title.

Even Bender his proposal to build his own Lunar Lander to “screw the whole thing,” as he couldn’t be bothered. Now we have to say the same thing about Evacuation for once and for all.

I am putting a ban on the word Evacuation at EVAC. Let’s never speak of it again.

26th of Blaugust – V – Vegemite

So few V words to choose from. So many of them inappropriate too. But I thought I’d rattle on about spread you all know but only some of you love.

That’s right, it put a rose in every Australian’s cheek. It makes Americans gag when they try it. It’s Vegemite!

It all started back in 1919 when Marmite (a similar product from the UK) imports were being disrupted due to the end of World War I. However there was a lot of Yeast Extract from Australian Brewery’s that was just being thrown out. Cyril P. Castiller was given a task by Fred Walker & Co. to make use of it and create an Australian product to fill the void. That product became Vegemite and was released in 1923. The product didn’t sell very well.

An attempt to boost sales was to rename the product Parwill in 1928. This was so they could take market share from Marmite by using the saying “Mamite but Parwill.” Turs out, using puns didn’t help either so they changed the name back to Vegemite in 1935.

In the meantime Fred Walker had established a partnership with American company Kraft foods to create the Kraft Walker Cheese Co. and got successful at selling processed cheese. From 1935 they used that success to promote the failing product. They gave Vegemite away for free with Kraft Walker cheese products. Eventually the British medical Association officially endorsed Vegemite as a source of vitamin B. When World War II hit it was included in Australian Army Rations and this was when product sales really took of. It’s been a national icon ever since.

There are equivilent products in other countries. For example Marmite is popular in the UK and New Zealand. But it should be noted that New Zealand Marmite (which is what is sold in only Australia and New Zealand) is not the same as UK Marmite which is the original product. There is also a similar product in Switzerland called Cenovis (not the brand of vitamins). We also have our local compettitors such as Promite (made by Masterfoods and I quite like), Ozemite (made by Dick Smith) and Aussiemite (made by a small Adelaide company). Not to be out done, food chain Aldi also made their own supermarket brand version called Brekkie Mite.

But lets not forget about that other Vegemite variant that was released by Kraft in 2009. I don’t even care that it’s called now. I will always know it as this.

The aim was to make a lighter tasting product that was not so apparently gag-worthy and the product was released without a name. Instead it said “Name Me”.

There was a competition and the judges decided to go with iSnack 2.0. Turned out the public thought it was a shit name. So Kraft announced they would let the public vote on a better name. So, “Vegemite Cheesybite,” the new name was the most popular name followed closely by “These names all suck and so does this product!” I’m not loking. No confidence only just lost to the winning title.

I never bothered trying iSnack 2.0 as Vegemite is good enough for me. I like making hot beverages out of it by putting a teaspoon of Vegemite in a cup of boiling water. Tasty!

25th of Blaugust – U – Unboxing Videos

You know when you’ve been waiting for a long time to get something and you just want to show off your latest purchase It’s apparently “über cool” to film taking your purchase out of the box. These are referred as Unboxing Videos and I thought I’d have a crack at it to see what the fuss is all about.

I think I managed to cover all the essentials of an Unboxing Video. Complete with the shaky camera, the obligatory, “Hey Guys,” opening, the eternal struggle of only having one hand free to work wth and the heavy nasal breathing.

Seriously though. What the hell is with these things? Most of these videos are of a really bad quality. yet they seem to amass a huge number of views. If you want to show of a product, then show how it works and performs. Not the packaging it came in.

24th of Blaugust – Alphabet Free Sunday – Weekly Beats 2012

I’m having one of those mental blank days today really. When you realise that you’ve got only a small ammount of time left and you really don’t know what you’re going to do. I experienced this a lot during 2012 when I was doing something like this for an entire year.
Weekly Beats is a website with a very significant challenge. The aim is to publish a song every week for  an entire year. I didn’t decide to do it this year. This was partly because I didn’t know it was a thing this year and partly because I had already done it a few years ago and know how hard it actually was.
All my 2012 tracks are still up on the website here.
Quite a few of them I am proud of. Other’s not so much. But I managed to do 52 tracks within the time constraints. It was never a competition but I still managed to do it. Which was made all the more harder because I started living at home, moved to the UK jumping from place to place before finding somewhere to rent, discovering living in London was a bad idea. Moved back to Adelaide (managing to upload a song on the remnants of mu UK phone credit with 5 minutes to spare), moving to the Barossa Valley and trying to find somewhere to rent while staying at a caravan park, getting a place, not having internet at that place for a month, getting a job in the Riverland and staying in a caravan park until I got given my house from the government (while still still going back to the Barossa on weekends), returning to the Barossa after that contract was done to finish the year then moving to another house in the Barossa in late December. It was a CRAZY year! But the music kept constant. I remember being up at 3AM on a  Monday morning at my place in Berri trying to get songs in before the 9:30 AM cutoff time and surviving Mondays on very minimal sleep.
So one blog post day for only a month when I’m staying in the same place for me is childs play in comparison.

Hard to believe that after today there’s just seven posts left in Blaugust. Some awkward letters coming but it will still be a lot of fun.

23rd of Blaugust – T – Trumpet

Some of you might know that I have a Bachelor of Music. In which I got it for my skills on the Trumpet. If you’re a Trumpet of Brass player I will be showing you a few resources that might help you out.

Fingering charts are always helpful if you haven’t played in a while or are starting out. As suss as if may sound to those who don’t play Trumpet, it just means the valve positions for every note.

If you play regularly then you’ll want to amass a collection of mutes. You’ll want at least a straight mute and a cup mute. Getting a harmon mute and plunger mute might help too. I’d suggest getting this Straight mute made by Dennis Wick, this Cup Mute also by Dennis Wick (I don’t have this one, but they are good) and this Harmon Mute by Jo-Ral. For your plunger mute don’t spend ridiculous amounts of money on one as you can just use a small plunger from Bunnings with the handle removed. You might also want to cut the centre out as it helps with intonation. Don’t bother with a bucket mute. Just stick your bell into your music stand. I don’t even have one.

There’s a new product in development right now called the pTrumpet. It’s actually a fully functional plastic Trumpet that’s meant to not be a toy. I could see the practical benefets of a plastic trumpet and many say they’d be great for beginners. I’m not convinced beginners should be using something that is not a reall Brass Trumpet as they need to get used to the feel, size and weight. But then again, there are small String instruments for beginners so it might still be a help after all. I still want one!

That’s all I’ll write for now as I have somewhere to be today. See you all tomorrow far whatever!

22nd of Blaugust – S – Sailor Moon Crystal

What to say about Sailor Moon Crystal? It is a remake of that good old anime from the 90’s Sailor Moon. To many it was their first experience of Anime. It was actually my second as I had seen Samurai Pizza Cats on Argo’s Cartoon Connection before they started showing Sailor Moon. However most of us saw the butchered American dubbed version with all the characters renamed and scenes retouched to make it child friendly. This kinda made Sailor Moon a bit of a black spot after the licence ran out. So Sailor Moon just faded away.

Lately there’s been a huge resurgence of Sailor Moon as they’re currently re-releasing the original animation as originally intended including a new dub as well (not everybody’s cup of tea but it is for some). On top of that they’re also doing a new animation of the original Manga arc by the name of Sailor Moon Crystal.

Two episodes are being released every month on the web. There have been 4 episodes released so far and I’m really liking it. Rather then dragging it out like the TV series, they’re basically introducing a new character every show. So far we have Sailor Moon, Sailor Mercury and Sailor Mars in the show.

So that is Sailor Moon Crystal. Go and watch it on Crunchroll Yo!