Sunday Ramblings

Sunday morning, up with the lark
I think I’ll take a walk in the park….

Bah. Why would anyone get up early on a Sunday, let alone go for a walk? These song writers really need to get a reality check.

No news on the cat and her brood. She comes in regular as a clockwork, eats enough for three, and disappears. Doc Tarique (he of paediatrician in Nagpur fame, not vet in Bangalore) says this is a good sign – it means that she is probably taking motherhood seriously.

We are now hatching a plan to put a lookout on the roof to see which direction she disappears.

Yesterday was havoc at home – Anjali had her friends over for “group study” (yeah, right), and when I came home, and wanted something to eat, they offered to go and get something from the shop. Well, it took them 3-4 trips – first they forgot to get my stuff, then they forgot the money, then the dog ate my stuff, and so on. By the time I actually got to eat something, I was ready to pass out.

Mrinal found a fabulous plugin for XMMS called SndStretch. If we play an MP3 through this, we can slow down the song without changing the pitch. This makes it very easy to figure out fast guitar licks. Tried it on Eric Clapton’s Layla – hilarious, but very effective. OpenSource software rocks!

BTW – in the process of disassembling Mrinal’s guitar, we took a lot of pictures of the guitar and identifying marks (to prove the warranty, since we couldn’t actually send the guitar to Chennai for fixing). Some of Mrinal as well. If you want to know what this guy and his axe look like, go here.

While on the subject of music – I had written to the Stranger Audio guys, asking for a catalog and pricelist. They promptly sent both, and I was amazed by the range of equipment they offer. And the prices are very fair, too – much lower than the prices their cut-throat “dealers” here in Bangalore are charging for them. For example – I bought a Stranger PM100 amp from one of them recently – cost Rs.9500. The actual price is Rs.6800 plus taxes. Even if taxes and shipping come to 15% (actually comes less than that), the price to the end-buyer would be less than Rs.8000!

They also have a lot of other cool and well-priced equipment, including guityar effects, speaker systems and mixer consoles. While this may not be BOSS quality equipment, it definitely is very good quality equipment (judging by the the various pieces of Stranger equipment I already own) and definitely worth investigating.

Sadly they do not have a direct Bangalore dealer/distributor (they are looking for one), but check out their website and request their catalog/pricelist – good stuff!

Sony and Shanu (currently in Chennai) managed to locate a car-cigarette-lighter-powered adaptor for my CD discman – which means that I will now be able to play CDs off the car stereo without worrying about running out of power. Of course, I could always consider a 6 CD changer for the car, but somehow that does not make too much sense to me. And besides – the car stereo that comes standard with the Fiat Siena is of exceptionally good quality. It is actually made by Sony (the company, not my collegue! ;) . Sadly, there wasn’t (and still isn’t) an option for CD player when I bought the car, so I have to take the discman route. That’s cool actually – the car stereo does have a direct input for an attached CD player.

I finished reading two of the three Ringworld novels. While they are great science fiction, I have issues with the way both books ended. Sort of “got to finish this *now*” feel. Haven’t started the third one yet – critics panned it, fans scorned it. I guess I will read it for the sake of completeness, but I don’t have major hopes here. I have a bunch of old Perry Mason novels lined up for reading, thanks to Vinod (who is about to undergo a mind-bending exercise – he is going to read the unabridged Lord of the Rings. ;-)

Today being Sunday, I have nothing specific to do except laze around until I hit the scheduling nightmare when voyager, X-Files and TNG play at roughly the same time this evening.

Maybe I’ll jam a bit this afternoon (if I can pry Mrinal loose). There are a couple of old Foreigner songs I’d like to have a crack at, especially “I want to know what love is”. What a song!