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Spicy Sauce: Hawaiian Lava Flow

This was the first of the spicy sauces I tried from my World Traveller Hot Sauce pack.

With a kick on the edge of your tongue, this spicy sauce blends well with the surrounding flavours. It had a mild kick to it, which eventually turns into a roar. It is quite well rounded, and lacks a stabbing pain of any kind, but more of a tingle by a comb down the back of your throat.
There is a short glimpse of an after thought on your breath, but doesn’t make you regret taking a chunk out of your meal, and send you into quivers as you open up for a second bite.
On its own it has a slightly salty taste, though this is not entirely noticeable with chicken. It definitely has a ‘green’ smell of freshly cut capsicum or peppers.
This one doesn’t leave you gasping for breath and reaching for the cow teat, but has a pleasant kick that lingers long enough for you to know you’ve been hit, but not so long that you feel like you’ve swallowed a coal and an ember is left clinging to your tonsil.

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Spiced: World Travellers Hot Sauces

For my birthday this year, my brother and sister-in-law got me a rather large box of the ‘World Travellers Hot Sauces’. There are 15 hot sauces from around the world, and given my delight for anything spicy, I decided that I would write a travel guide through this range of sauces.

For each sauce I will have them with a range of different meals, but mainly include Chicken Burgers with mayonnaise and cheese, to Taco Wraps with chicken, lettuce and carrot. I will also at times mix it with a standard Peri Peri mayonnaise of a mild to medium heat as a comparison.
I will then write a description on them, as well as a ‘5 Star’ rating of heat, based on my own extensive unknowledge of the subject. This will range from ‘Barely touching tonsils’ to ‘I need a fire extinguisher for desert’.

I hope you enjoy my musings on this world tour!

You can find these sauces currently at The Warehouse in New Zealand if you wish to try them for yourself.

When Your Release Becomes Your Downfall

Whack. 2 runs. Ball in hand. Needed 3 to tie. All I had to do was hold onto the ball and we had won. 117 – 116.

That’s when my brain exploded and I fired the ball at the stumps, missing, causing an overthrow, and the game-tying run was taken.

I tried reasoning with the team; suggesting that the game deserved to be a draw, but I could feel the team’s downhearted heart-beat through my own chest.
I tried reasoning with myself; it’s only a game. There’s another one next week.

Suddenly, the internal talk took over, and the game that I had looked forward to all week suddenly became my latest downfall. An activity which releases the serotonin suddenly latched onto my feelings of self worth and unleashed my competitive streak. I had victory in my grasp and I let it go. I had it all sorted out and messed it up. I’d created my demise. All I had to do was hold onto the ball and do nothing and we had victory.

But as I drove home and despair had fully taken hold, it became evident that it is only a game. At the end of the day, there’s always tomorrow. At the end of the day, I still have a family who love me. At the end of the day, there are bigger and more depressing matters that this world faces. And at the end of all of the days, I know deep down in my heart that believing in the Christ that I do, that I’m always going to be on the winning team, no matter how many games I play, how many times I lose, even when I had the winning play in my hands.

 

Teaching: Technology

Here’s the summary of our Term in Room One. We have been preparing for School Production and using the Design process to assist us to come up with our class item, the script, and our costumes. We integrated a range of different subjects throughout, and this is our wall display of what we did.

Engage. Inspire. Unleash.

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Well Below National Standards, Hekia.

Is it just me, or is this a really bad joke?

So not only has Hekia Parata fallen well below the national standard in Maths by making up statistics, but she treats her false claims like they are something that she’s done by making it policy; where in actual fact it’s just happened because of the current climate in the job front at the moment. As well as this, there is no evidence (at least in my sphere of influence) that any of her claims (false or otherwise) has made an impact in the areas she says they have.

Let us take a look at class sizes. Why? Well, because with the $360,000,000 the government is putting into IES, Labour says they would put into lowering the class sizes of schools around the country; something that they think will make a bigger difference for individual students.

To put Chris Hipkins in his spot, Hekia has argued that the National Government had already addressed the issue of class sizes by increasing the numbers of teachers by 15% since 2008 (while the numbers of students only increased 1%.) There is little evidence to suggest that National made this happen; more that there are more people wanting to be teachers (for what ever reason!).

na_education_160814Chris Hipkins questioned the statistics and looked a little dumbfounded. Obviously someone at the Dominion Post thought so too (or thought here’s a chance for a story) and found out that actually, there has only been about a 5% increase of teacher numbers. The error in the Minister’s data seems to have originated from the troublesome Novopay system; which has the last laugh so to speak.

Regardless of the teacher numbers increasing, the actual reality of the situation is that there has been no policy from the Government to lower class sizes. If anything it has been quite the opposite; remember only 27 months ago, in June  2012, Hekia Parata was made to back down on her class size INCREASE policy because she botched up the stats. So National would hardly be making policy to lower the class sizes 2 years later. Secondly, there is no suggestion that even if National had created 5% more teachers (or even 15% more ghost teachers), that there are more classes for said teachers to go into.

I began teaching in 2009, and have taught in one classroom at one school, staying with the same Year 5 and 6 year group for these years, and so my class fits right into Hekia’s claims for lowered class sizes because of increased teacher numbers. Please be aware that when we talk class sizes, we’re talking about the optimal maximum that anyone can give to a class in order to teach them effectively. In Finland (word leaders in Education for decades), this is about 18. This would be similar to classes you might find in private schools in NZ too.

Here are some actual factual stats for you to consider:

  •  In 2009, my class size was 31.
  • 2010: 28 students
  • 2011: 29 students
  • 2012: 27 students
  • 2013: 27 students
  • 2014: 27 students

I’m not quite sure if this is really a considerable drop in class sizes. I can speak from experience that it is a completely different experience in my class when 5 students are away sick. 22 is far enough away from the 27 students in my class who all deserve a better education. They’ve got a good teacher (I like to think) who is stretched to the max trying to meet all their needs. I’m sorry, but a 5% increase (or even a 15% increase if you count all the ghost teachers Hekia seems to count) hasn’t affected any change in class size.

Lets do a little more Math.

I headed over to EducationCounts.govt.nz and downloaded their spreadsheet on student numbers since 1996.

We can see that Screen Shot 2014-09-05 at 6.29.05 pmin 2008, the student numbers were 758,094 students.

In 2013 there were 762,400 students. This is an increase of 4,306 students. That’s 0.56%. Half a percent.

4,306 students would be spread across 149 classrooms, (based on the teacher/pupil ratio in NZ state schools of 1:29)

That’s 149 teachers that are needed in the increase to maintain this ratio.

In 2008, there were 52,958 teachers according to EducationCounts.govt.nz. In 2012 (which is as far as I can go from the same spreadsheet) there were 54,250 teachers.
However, in this news release, it states that teacher numbers increased from 55,124 in 2008 to 58,707 this year. Discrepancies will exist, and some will include ECE Teachers and other teachers.
For the first set of data from EducationCounts (which remember, is a government website), there is an increase of 1,292 teachers, or 2.4%.
For the second set of data from the press release, there is an increase of 3,583 teachers, or 6.4%.

Both somewhat removed from Hekia’s 15% (or ghost teachers as I call them).

Even if we take the smaller percentage, and the increase of 1,288 teachers in 2012, it is still far, far away from the 149 new teachers that are required. That’s a surplus of 1,139 teachers.

Obviously a lot of teachers are part time or reliever teachers. So lets take a look at FTTE teachers (Full Time Teaching Equivalent).

With full time teachers, there has been an increase of 1,102 FTTE Teachers (2008-2012 data). Still not even close to the 149 teachers it would require to lower the class ratio to 1:29 based on the data.

The difference between full time teachers, and the total number of teachers is just under 6,000 teachers in 2012. With 49,305 full time teachers spread across the 762,400 students (2013), this makes a teacher ratio of 1:15. This of course is an average, with a lower ratio in junior classes and senior classes, creating the 1:29 bulge in the middle.

To change the ratio from 1:29 to 1:26 it requires a bit more mathemagic. The main reason for the difficulty is we have to work out the different ratios. For this, we go back to our first spreadsheet. I’ve put the resulting data into the table below.

Current Teacher / Student Ratio No.of Students Required No. of Teachers Lowered Teacher / Student ratio Required No. of Teachers
for New teacher/student ratio
Year 1  1:15 64,208 4,280 1:12 5,350
Year 2-3  1:23 118,549 5,154 1:20 5,927
Year 4-8  1:29  295,858 10,202 1:26 11,379
Year 9-10  1:23.5 117,265 4,990 1:20 5,863
Year 11  1:23 60,805 2,643 1:20 3,040
Year 12  1:18 55,277 3,071 1:15 3,685
Year 13  1:17 48,905 2,876 1:14 3,493
Total 33,216 Teachers  38,737 Teachers

I don’t confess to being a mathmagician; and there may be a high possibility I’ve missed out some key information. At least I’m prepared to admit it if I get it wrong. If you find some issues with these numbers, can you please comment about where I’ve gone wrong so I can put it right.
But to my knowledge, I’ve done the math correctly; and it raises some very interesting questions. Most importantly, if we lowered class size ratio by 3 students for each year bracket, we only increase the FTTE by 5,500, and we are still well within the current 49,305 current FTTE teachers.

6a00d83451d75d69e2016767276923970bWe know Hekia stuffed up the class size argument by not taking into account the Year 7 and 8 tech teachers that most intermediate schools employ. I would think that these still fit within the 49,305 FTTE, and well within the supposed 58,707 currently registered teachers.

As I have said all along, ever since Hekia tried to claim increasing teacher numbers will lower class sizes, that just because you increase the number of teachers it does not mean that there are classrooms for those teachers to teach in. As we can see from the table above, we have more than enough full-time teachers, let alone enough to lower class size ratios. One would think.

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for, who not to vote for this year. I will leave that entirely up to you; as it is your right and your free choice. But please consider the fact that the big three factors in any election seem to be finance, health, and education. From their time in government, I don’t have to say anything for you to realise that National haven’t got many things right, and there seem to be continuing blunders from the Education Minister which continue to have a blind eye turned to. If I were to make an Overall Teacher Judgement on Hekia’s performance, and her policies, I’d have no choice but to mark her as Well Below, and have an honest talk with her concerned parents.

Depression: When You Understand

I used to think suicide was a way to get attention. I’d threaten it to get someone, anyone, to notice me; to take me seriously.

Then I experienced it. A mate I’d spent time growing up with hung himself. His funeral still leaves an emotional scar on my heart; hundreds of young folk with an amazing outpouring of love that was unknown to him, but also too late.

It made me sad; but also figured it was an easy way out, cheap, nasty, and so unnecessary. It made me see those who end it themselves as selfish, wasteful, ungrateful, and almost ignorant as to the pain they impart on those left behind. I didn’t have much time for people like that.

Then I began fighting depression. The murky black fog that consumed my entire world suddenly made suicide a reality. Not in the sense of going out and measuring a length of rope, but in the sense that I finally understood. To me, every conceivable option to usually simple problems was way out of my reach. I could hardly see across the room, let alone deal with the next day, next week, or even contemplate how to get help or get better. It was completely crippling; physically, emotionally, mentally. But it made me see how suicide becomes the only option for some people.
>During my fight; three celebrities took their own lives within a year of each other. Charlotte Dawson, publicly ridiculed and berated; but also suffered from depression. Philip Seymour-Hoffman; one of the best character actors in my lifetime, overdosed whether on purpose or by habit, was relentlessly plagued by both addiction and depression. Both can fuel each other.

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This week the world reels in shock from the death of Robin Williams, one of the most eccentric and eclectic, yet incredibly versatile comedic actors this world has ever seen. He too was plagued by addiction as well as depression.

Each and every time I have felt more connected to these peoples fights and plights; I’ve been able to empathise on a level I never could before; because I completely understand what they must have been going through. Whilst I of all people know that every case is different, and come with different triggers, emotions, and outcomes, having experienced this I can at least understand the type of pain that afflicts them. While the rest of the world is plagued by black and white portraits and famous idyllic quotes from their acting days, I can only sit and hope that one day there will be a day where people are so much more aware of others around them, that they are able to show love, show care, show kindness in such a way that suicide is no longer the only option left for those who are troubled by these demons.

And these are just those who have made it in the public spotlight. No doubt there are countless more who have taken their own life; in this country and worldwide, in similar circumstances. It made me realise that if this can happen to the rich and famous; to those with the world at their feet, but also the ways and means to get help, then it can happen to anyone, no matter how well they think they can cope or how strong they think they are to hold it together.

It made me realise that suicide is not a selfish option. To those people at that time it is the only option. It is a reality that no one wants to face, but has become so intensely real for them that they are left with no other choice. I can no longer blame anyone for taking the easy option out through suicide; because I know what they have already endured for them to get that far gone.
It has made me realise the need for people to be more open and real with each other. There are those that want to help out there; but they can only help if they know and if they are enabled to help. There are those also who are too petrified to ask for help because it puts them in an incredibly vulnerable position of complete humility. Don’t abuse that trust if it’s given to you. If you can’t help because you too are struggling; reconsider. You will find that actually, someone who understands what you’re going through because they too are going through it can be the best help both of you will get.

Those with mental illness; We’re not dark. We just feel intensely inadequate. We’re not untouchables. We just feel out of touch with reality. We’re not scary. We just feel scared and alone. We’re not some other being. We are just human; just like you; except we’ve stood in a torrent of darkness for so long, that shadows have become our friends and the light is just another shade of black. Sure it is hard to overcome depression, but I firmly believe it is possible, I recently started learning about the benefits of CBD honey, I’ve heard of a lot of people using cannabidiol, depression is a mental trap. And it takes time and patience to rewire a depressed brain but I’m willing to do what ever it takes to get passed it.

Be a brighter shadow for us; one of flesh and blood. One of three dimensions and not a flat silhouette on the wall. Be a friend to those who need it most.

CBD oil for depression

CBD for depression

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A doctor may prescribe pharmaceutical drugs to help a person treat or manage depression. Many of these drugs have difficult side effects, such as mood swings, sleeplessness, and sexual dysfunction.

CBD Oil has shown promise in initial studies as a treatment for both depression and anxiety, try with Veronica Mariajarski best cbd oil for anxiety and it may cause fewer side effects in some people.

CBD Oil Side Effects

CBD oil is generally safe to use with minimal risk of adverse effects and Fuse Health. Side effects may be seen when high doses are taken. Some studies have revealed that if taken at high doses, it may cause a weakening of your immune system. However, the main concern with the use of CBD is the risk of drug interactions, therefore, it is recommended by Cannabliss Labs that you consult your physician before using CBD oil.

Arthur Cyril Pedals

Over the last few weeks I have begun work on a few different pedal designs. Initial results are looking promising; but it has been a long learning curve, and it is taking slightly longer than expected to get some of the pedals finished.

However, I have put together a bit of a website, and hopefully it goes some way to explain what I’m looking to do with these projects. At this stage, it really is just a hobby, but I will be looking to place some of these for sale once I have built up a decent collection of them for myself!

Feel free to go and check out the website: arthurcyrilpedals.alingham.com.

How to Build Your Own Pedalboard

As a guitarist one of the things you eventually get into is effects pedals. For many years I used the programmable multi effects units and never needed a board. I upgraded to start building a collection of the good reliable and hard working Boss Pedals – also it’s a kind of the best wah pedal for the money. For a while I only ever used two, and so setting them up with a tuner never took long. However, I decided that it was time to make a more permanent setup. So here’s a bit of a guide as to how I did it.

1. Research

The first thing I did was have a look at all the different types of pedalboard out there. Holeyboard was one design I liked in terms of attaching pedals to the board. These designs I also liked in terms of their style and finish. I also saw the DIY boards made from IKEA Gorm shelves. So I decided to make something that was a mix of these.

2. Get all that you’ll need.

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Here’s the things I used:

  • lengths of wood – enough for 4 lengths of 600mm approx + extras
  • moulding – for edges
  • wood stain
  • wood glue
  • wood screws
  • polyurethane
  • cable ties
  • drill with drill bits and screwdriver heads
  • countersink drill bit
  • measuring tape / ruler
  • handsaw

3. Layout

The first thing to do with layout was to actually list down the pedals I wanted to put on the board. Then get them written down in order. Ordering your pedals has got some freedom to it, in that everyone’s preferences are different, and you should make your pedals in an order that you like and that you want. As a general guideline however, I found these pages helpful.

After that I drew them in the general layout with the general shape and layout I wanted for my board. I find by drawing it out, I had a better understanding of the spacings I’d need and an idea for the board itself.

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Get all your pedals laid out in the order you want. Then work out how long the pedalboard needs to be to fit all your pedals on. Don’t forget to include space for your patch cables to fit as well.

To help with this, there is this website – Pedalboard Planner, which has set sized pedal boards with the matching pedal size laid on top. Very cool tool.

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During this process I also took into account some pedal expansion, where I may wish to add on some more pedals at a later stage. On the top row, I can compact the three pedals and fit four along the top. Likewise the bottom row can be moved closer to each other, and allow room (hopefully) for a wah-wah pedal as well.

4. Make the cuts

 

Once you’ve measured up, it’s time to cut the wood. Make sure you’ve measured twice , so you only have to cut once! When hand-sawing, let the saw do the work, and keep 90 degrees to the wood so you have a cut straight.

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5. Spacing Check

It was about now that once I’d made all the cuts I’d better check that there was enough space for the pedals and a little riser for the back pedals as well.

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Better to be safe than sorry, and gave me an idea as to how spaced the wood lengths need to be.

5a. Riser

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Using the off cut from the riser, I found centre, then made a mark 10mm either side of it to create an even angle. This would allow the riser to tilt slightly forward when assembled. I made sure I checked the height of the risers (plus the top of it) to make sure that it cleared the height of the pedals in front. After all, the purpose for having the riser is so that you don’t accidentally knock the knobs on the front pedals of course.

 

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After playing around I decided to have these risers on the edges of the board, rather than ‘indented’ as per the photo above. Either option works, just comes down to personal preference.

6. Moulding

This is essentially an optional step as you could make a pedalboard without this; but I think you’ll agree it looks a lot better with it.

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Measure (twice; three times a charm) and cut this on 45 degree angles, so that they meet flush in the corners. The measurements should be taken from the inside of the 90 degree right angle of the wood. It’s difficult to then get the cuts right, but take your time and it will all come together. Double, triple check before you cut.

7. Bracing

Using some off cuts from an earlier project, I cut my back bracing runners to length and laid them on the back of my 4 lengths that would make up the board. These add strength to the board and keeps the spaces nice and even. It also takes the pressure off the mouldings to hold the boards You’ll notice that I have used some scrap pieces of wood that are all the same width to create spacer guides. This ensures that all the boards are evenly spaced and will stay that way as you do the work. Once in place, I drilled some pilot holes for the screws; one in the centre (approx) of each board. Do this for both runners.

 

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At this stage I also counter-sunk these drill holes, though this is optional. You do want the screws to be flush with the wood, and spending a little extra time with a counter sink was better than risking splitting the wood and having to start all over again.

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8. Glue (But not really…)

This is where I made my first mistake of getting too far ahead of myself. In the photos you can see that I glue and then attach the bracing to the boards using the woodscrews. However, once I’d done this, I realised that actually – it was going to be easier to stain all the wood BEFORE I constructed it. Just meant I wasn’t going to have to push and prod at the corners and gaps with a paintbrush.

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But keep this in mind – AFTER you stain it, and you’re ready to put it together, glue the wood before you use the screws. It will mean a stronger bond and will help it last longer, especially with all the stamping that you’ll put it through!

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9. Attach the moulding

Once you have glues on the bracing, it’s time to glue on the moulding to the edges. (Once again, stain the wood before you do this!)

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Make sure you line up the 45 degree cuts that you’ve made with the corners of your board. It will also be important to drill into the edge of the wooden boards. I found that to drill into the bottom of the moulding would mean my woodscrews would come out the top. So I put a woodscrew into the sides of the boards. I even got darker bronze coloured screws to make it look pimping.

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As part of the bracing support and the moulding for the horizontal mouldings, it will be necessary to make a couple of cuts in the wood to wrap around the runners.

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10. Base board done

So that should be it for the base board now. Here’s what mine looks like, with the top shown above, and the bottom shown below. (And now magically the staining I “did earlier” has finally come out in the photos!)

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And the bottom of the base with the bracing runners.

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11. Back row riser

You can now add the top of the riser to the sides supports ready to go onto the base board. Attach initially with wood glue, and then drill four pilot holes with countersinking. Tighten up the woodscrews and you’re ready to go!

 

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If you are going to polyurethane or varnish your board, now would be the time I suggest that you do it.

12. Place riser on the base board.

Figure out where you want to place the riser. Take into account the placement of your pedals at the outset and stay true to that. Changing plans now may stuff up the placement and spacing of your pedals.

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Place the riser on, and using sight and alignment, drill some pilot holes from the baseboard through to the riser. Add some glue, and then fasten the woodscrews from the bottom.

13. Cable tie holes

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From here, you could go about adding velcro tape to the board and your pedals and you’d be done. But I like the idea from holeyboard – not in the sense that I’m going to add lots of holes in a repeating pattern to serve most sized pedals, but in the sense that there’s nothing stopping me adding more holes later on if I need them. I placed each pedal in the place that I wanted them on the board, and then using a pencil, made a little mark where the cable ties would be coming from each side of the pedal. When I drilled the holes, I measured the hole that a cable tie (370mm) would fit through (snuggly at 4.8mm) and then drilled them slightly on the ‘inside’ of those pencil marks so that the holes are marginally covered by the pedal, but will still allow for the cable tie to fit through.

14. Insert cable ties

Now it’s time to attach your pedals. Slide in the cable ties from the bottom. The holes should be big enough to allow the length through, but should get stuck at the latch head. For this reason, insert it from the bottom so that the head is on the bottom of the pedal board.

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At this stage you probably want to connect up all your pedals with patch cables first, check that the cable ties are in the right spot, check that the pedals are spaced right before tightening up the ties.

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As you go, attach the daisy chain and the patch leads. Don’t tighten up the cable ties until you’re 100% happy. And even if you’re not 100% happy, it’s easy enough to replace them anyway! No velcro to peel off, no wear and tear on your pedals, leaving them pristine to sell on to the next musician.

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15. Non-slip Rubber Feet

Get a pack of these for a few dollars down at the hardware store. Just stick them on the bottom of the risers – even cover up your woodscrews like I did. And that’s it. Done, a homemade pedal board ready for you to shred out some masterful riffs.

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Best of luck!

Don’t forget to share this with fellow musicians when they ask about your pimping new board!

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Good Friday Cross 2014

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Each year since I left school I have made a cross in remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. This year is no different.
To make this year’s cross, I was inspired by hot cross buns. Of late I’ve been doing a bit of re-soldering on my guitars, and so made a hot cross using this as a medium.
I hope you’re able to remember Him this Easter.

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Is Facebook making us Lonely?

Here’s a little video I found when I was searching to find if other people were experiencing the same kind of misnomer as I was, where I felt left out, alone, rejected, and struggling to fit in, even in an environment where I could be who I wanted and put a smile in front of my obvious pain.

The video ‘speaks’ quite quickly, and I’ve found that it helps to watch at least twice to fully appreciate it’s message.

As it turns out, just when I was running out of words to say, someone else came along and said them for me.

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My Fight With Depression

In November 2012 I knew there was a problem.
I couldn’t focus like I used to. I lost all sense of time. I couldn’t order things into priorities. I couldn’t see past one thing at a time. And as a Teacher, this limited my abilities in my workplace incredibly.
By December I was almost flat on the floor. I struggled through the last few weeks of school, and stumbled through the door of my GP. I was not in a place anyone wants to be. Vulnerable. Helpless. In Pain. For no tangible or understandable reason.

Over the course of the next twelve months I was in and out of my doctors office, adjusting, searching, hoping that there might be some solution to my illness. Medication works most of the time, and once I had found the right levels by September, I was mostly able to hold it together. Visits to a counsellor have helped me discuss and be open with my wife, but has yet to find the cause, or more importantly; a solution. I have tried writing. I have tried painting again. I’ve tried the whole exercise thing. All have worked to a minimal degree for a limited time.

It has been rough. On me. On my wife. On my family, and my friends. Some have tried to help. Some have wanted to help – but as I’ve found out the hard way; I actually have to want that person to help. Many have prayed and showed their support. Many have encouraged. Many have fallen by the wayside. Some have even found better things to do with their time and cease to be there for me any more.
In December 2013, one year on from being diagnosed with clinical depression, I stripped back my life. I rid my life of Facebook, Twitter, Email. I rarely use my phone for actual phone calls or texts any more – so that was left in a draw for three weeks.
And somehow, I managed to feel better.
And so it remained. I turned twitter back on, because it’s full of things I want to know about, from people that I don’t know enough to worry about. My Facebook became a deleted account, as the numerous posts of random events made me feel more distant from people, and more isolated and rejected. The chat left me empty and abandoned as I watched for hours people coming and going.

I don’t have any answers. Even after a year of struggling, wrestling, and searching, I’m no closer to knowing how to beat this beast. It has taken these last 13 months to even go public with it and put this on my website.

But here I am. In the depths of this despair. Constantly swinging from mood to mood; often miserable, rarely exuberant. But there have been two constants. God. And my wife. And I know that neither are the cause of this.

I don’t know if I will beat this. I don’t know when it will end, or if it will end. Hope lingers on, but fades in the darkness. To this day, I continue to fight with depression every day. In the end, I hope that maybe, just maybe; somewhere out there, these words will reach someone – they’ll strike the same note or cause a stir inside someone, and that someone might see that there is a way to keep living, even though the walls seem insurmountable and the struggles wear you down until you have nothing left to give. Kia kaha. Stay strong.

There must be a way through this.

When All Around Has Fallen – Delirious

When all around has fallen
Your castle has been burned
You used to be a king here
Now no one knows your name
You live your life for honour
Defender of the faith
But you’ve been crushed to pieces
And no one knows your pain

Gerald Dreams

Gerald Dreams is a book we wrote at University for one of our assignments. We had a bit of fun with it, and wrote two additional books in the series. It was intended as an ebook; but at that time, E-Readers were as rare as cassette tapes are now, and iPad’s were not even in the pipeline!

Now, the full revelation of Gerald can take place. Gerald got published on iBooks today, and I will also be submitting him to Amazon for publication as an ebook as well.

You can see it here: