Flops' Friday mini blog


floppybootstomp

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Conclusion: Bought some soluble painkillers for hurty hurty knee on Friday after limping around to Superdrug and they worked very well though didn't suppress the pain entirely. On Saturday I had to work so took more pain killers first thing which supressed the pain to zero throughout the day.

And on Sunday the pain had gone away so what the hell was that all about :confused:

Ah well, one of those things as they say.

atm revisiting Soundgarden's Superunknown on CD - a good album albeit a bit samey track to track.

Whilst making an entry on my wall calendar I notice that today is 'International Peace Day'. Right. Best not thump anybody then :D
 

Becky

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Glad to hear the soluble painkillers worked well for you @floppybootstomp!

We just got in from a short walk in the rain... it was so heavy at some points that it felt like buckets of water were being thrown at us. I probably jinxed things by saying "Oh look, it's clearing up!" :wall:

The joys of living in Manchester I guess :lol:
 
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I do know what you are going through Mr Flops, I injured my back in my Fire Brigade days resulting me having to early retirement. It has never been the same and I have good days and bad days but I have found for me it bite the bullet an keep going , now I walk my dogs and with them I walk at least 6 to 8 miles (I walk they run) a day. But there is much I cannot do like bending over as often I get stuck and it takes ages to get upright again. Also the weather also affects it wet and damp days gives me gip. So you do have my sympathies.
 

floppybootstomp

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Glastonbury 2019 tickets on sale soon, combined coach and festival tickets from 18:00 today (Thursday 4th) and Festival tickets only from 09:00 Sunday morning. I’ve no idea what they will cost. As 6 tickets can be purchased at once advice given for gaining tickets is for 6 people all to try at once using as many devices to connect as possible. Linking together on Whatsapp or similar will let each of the 6 know if anybody gets through.

Time was when I bought my Glastonbury ticket by pulling up under the railway bridge at 7 Sisters Road near Finsbury park, parking up in the main road then going into the CND bookshop and paying cash for a coupla tickets. We’d arrive Wednesday or Thursday then park and camp just off to the side of The Pyramid Stage. Camp fire made from a circle of rocks then up to top of the field near the pylons to have a few pints of cider from the large wooden barrels on the back of the flatbed wagons parked there. That always guaranteed a good nights kip.

The last time I went to Glastonbury was 2007 and that will be the last time I go. It hadn’t lost its spirit but it teemed down with rain every single day and I shivered at night it was so cold. Mind you, that’s likely an age thing, lol. Highlights of that festival were Bloc Party; Amy Winehouse; John Fogerty; The Broken Family Band and the Cosmic Sausages. There were more, but memory fails me.

When I attended the earlier Glastonbury (Pilton) festivals the whole event was villified and pilloried by the National Press, the likes of The Daily Mail painted all of us degenerate festival goers as unwashed hippy scroungers, the very spawn of Beezlebub. These days (how I hate using that term ‘These days’ but here it holds true) the Press fall over themselves to announce what a wonderful occasion the Glastonbury Festival surely is, right up there with Henley and Ascot. They’re almost wacking off in public gushing praise over the three day festival, they be saying “Look how hip we are – please buy our ‘newspaper’ “. How times certainly change.

For all those who gain a ticket or backstage pass to Glastonbury 2019 I wish you all a grand time and may be the spirit of that magical place be with you.
 

floppybootstomp

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Finally finished this 3-way electronic crossover that I started more than 2 years ago. It didn't work initially but me mate Slim visited recently and after taking a look at it informed me that I'd overlooked fitting all the 3K resistors. Doh.

It's working fine now though. To complete the project I have a preamp in matching case; a choice between two pairs of tweeters and I have a 75W x 2 Amp module to drive the bass units on its way from India. I have some Peerless 10.5" & 6.5" Bass and Mid units earmarked and of course I'll have to make some cabinets for them so this project is far from finished. But I'm getting there.

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floppybootstomp

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I bought quite a lot of vinyl records over the last week or so, I decided to have an LP cull and weeded out more than 40 for part exchange with a stallholder at the local market. Have also had a fair bit of work coming in during the past few months so have splurged out a bit. A little extravagant of me but as it’s about the only thing I tend to indulge myself in these days I do not feel guilty.

Here’s what I bought recently:

Badfinger – Magic Christian Music – A Dutch reissue from the 90’s with an added 12” single.
Billie Holiday – An Evening With/Sings – New reisuue of two LP’s. Turquoise vinyl.
Billie Holiday – Strange Fruit – Double LP new reisuue.
Can – The Singles . New triple LP
The Clash – London Calling – New Reissue, Double Red Vinyl
Chicken Shack – Forty Blue Fingers Freshly Packed & Ready To Serve. New reissue. Blue vinyl.
Dexys Midnight Runners – Searching For The Young Soul Rebels. Original copy.
Edgar Broughton Band – Sing Brother Sing. Original copy.
Elvis Presley – 4 x 10” Records each of which has 2 EP’s from 1956. No. 4 is white vinyl.
Jimi Hendrix – Axis Bold As Love – New reissue with 8 page booklet.
Magazine – Old World Charm. Record Store Day New Live at The Roundhouse.
Magazine – Play. Live at Melbourne, original copy.
Magazine – The Correct Use Of Soap – Original copy.
The Move – The Ultimate Rare Tracks. New copy, old tracks, most previously unissued.
Pink Floyd – Azimuth Co-Ordinator – Double pink vinyl bootleg, Melbourne 1971.
Pulp – Different Class – New reissue.
Renaissance – Prologue – Original Copy
Santana – Welcome – Original copy.
Smashing Pumpkins – Live At Chicago 1995. New double LP
Stevie Nicks – The Wild Heart – Original copy
Television – Marquee Moon. New reissue, Blue vinyl, Original LP plus extra LP with extra tracks.
Various – Tighten Up Volume One – Trojan Records Reggae sampler, original copy
Various – Tighten Up Volume Four – Trojan Records Reggae sampler, original copy.

I’m not keen on jazz, particularly jazz featuring brass instruments and Billie Holiday is Jazz isn’t she? But couple that enchanting voice with a host of good tunes and I can put up with all that noodling and tooting.

The Edgar Broughton LP was £25, original copy on Harvest label, hadn’t heard it in Donkeys Years. Negative Negative.

The line up of Chicken Shack on the reissue of their first LP were the band I saw at The London College Of Fashion and Technology in Regent Street back in 1968 and were the first rock/blues band I ever saw, supporting the Savoy Brown Blues Band. Prior to that show the only live band I’d seen was Jimmy James And The Vagabonds.

Strange to believe but I’d never owned a copy of Jimi’s Axis Bold As Love. I do now.

The Elvis EP’s from ‘56 are great imo, there was a time when he was vital, not a puffed and bloated parody of his former self performing at Las Vegas.

The Smashing Pumpkins Live LP is, imo, a bit dull, it doesn’t seem to capture any energy or spark. I have a bootleg recording of some of their set at Brixton Academy the same tour/year and it knocks spots off of this official recorded performance.

I have my original copy of Televisions’ Marquee Moon but this new copy is in blue vinyl and has an extra LP with extra tracks including a full version of Little Johnny Jewel. Back in the day I had the 7” copy of that track, half the song on each side, don’t know whatever happened to it. And I saw them at Hammersmith Odeon May 1977, Blondie were the support act.

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floppybootstomp

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Warning!! This here prose has one biased political reference for which I apologise in advance to anybody who may take offence

Winter is coming and I realise I need a new coat cos the only two I have for combatting chilly chilly it’s evening time are worn out. I do actually have one serviceable warm coat but I’ve had it forever and am fed up with it.
So via the DLR and Central line I travel through ‘olborn to Hoxford street in search of a winter warmer. I have two initial provisos – Nothing shiny shiny and no fur trim, artificial or otherwise. Which pretty much eliminates about 80% of the coats our major shops are stocking right now.

My favourite frosty time coat was of the Adidas variety and I decide to replace it I want something black and warm. Some might say to save a few bob maybe I should take up with a Jamaican lady named Jemima but I think a coat would be a more practical solution.

I traipse the length and breadth of Hoxford Street and visit Debenhams, H & M, John Lewis, Top Shop, Primark and Marcus and Sparkius but don’t see anything there that either takes my fancy or fits the guidelines I’ve set myself. There were lots of Nigel Farage style coats available but I don’t think I’d want to be seen dead in anything that pillock promotes.

There were, interestingly, lots of very loud suits on sale, mostly in Top Shop, but I don’t know if I’d have the bottle to wear one.

I returned home without a coat but did buy me’s a copy of The Red Shoes by Kate Bush, just re-issued on vinyl and one of the few LPs of hers I didn’t have. Looks like I may be wearing the coat I don’t much care for through the dark months then, I won’t feel pristine but I will save some money.
 

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Sorry to hear you didn't manage to find a coat. It has got a bit cold recently hasn't it? I'm chain drinking tea to try and warm myself up! I hate coat shopping, it's the worst. I only ever manage to find coats I like when I'm not looking for them, so when I actually need one I never see anything good.

Maybe Jemima isn't a bad idea after all... :lol:
 

floppybootstomp

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Still haven't found a coat, only one I really liked was made by Hugo Boss and was ON SALE for £280 in John Lewis. Originally it cost £380. It was a plain navy blue, padded to be nice and warm, 4 x front pockets, no hood but I will not pay that much for a coat. Sometimes, considering my taste in clothing, I think I must have been born above my station.

Today I washed my pill crusher. In one end of the pill crusher is embedded a tiny scalpel like blade for cutting pills in half. When I was drying that part of the pill crusher I stuck my right hand middle finger in there and sliced it deep. Much claret abounded, dripping red stuff all over the show. Eventually stemmed blood with some plasters.

Each evening I usually play an hour or so of Call Of Duty 4 online and usually come between 5th and 3rd out of about 20 players. Today I came very near the bottom because of this sticking plaster on my sliced digit. It's strange having the plaster neutralise my fingers' nerve endings and not conducive to competitive computer gaming.

I'm thinking about playing a little more Shadow Of The Tomb Raider but this temporary finger setback may make it not viable. Incidentally, out of a sea of rubbish games, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is the best thing to come along in yonks, have been playing it a lot. Oh, I've died a thousand deaths, almost given up several times but the quality keeps me coming back.

Have had the busiest work time this Christmas just gone, have worked in two locations in Fulham, Wandsworth, Dulwich and Bethnal Green. Blimey, it's almost like being at work full time again instead of being an old semi-retired curmudgeon. Still, mustn't complain, work buys toys and Mr Flops likes toys :D
 
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I really want to play Shadow of the Tomb Raider, I'm sure I'll get to it eventually. Sorry to hear about your finger!
 

floppybootstomp

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At last, my quest is complete, I have found a coat I like and didn't cost a small fortune.

Thanks for the link Mr Urmas, I bought this one: Cool and groovy outerwear

With the detachable hood, postage and re-packaging option it came to £98.76 which to me is acceptable.

I like the look of it, it's warm enough for this mild English winter, it'll do me.

Only slight misgivings I have are that sleeves are a bit on the long side (or my arms are a bit on the short side) and the top covering gives it a slight resemblance to a donkey jacket. Not that there's anything with donkey jackets, I used to wear one in my younger days for a spell.
 

floppybootstomp

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Four years ago I bought an assembled and used Tubelab SSE amplifier from an audio Forum member. 'SSE' stands for 'Simple Single Ended' meaning there's just one valve on the output of each channel as opposed to a pair of valves on each output channel, which is known as 'Push Pull'. The valves I'm using and the current configuration give it an output of 7.5 watts per channel. The seller was reluctant to post it to me as it weighed heavy and was therefore liable to damage but I said I’d take the risk and it was posted to me.

When the amplifier arrived it had suffered some damage in transit, one of the wooden side panels was dislodged and there was also damage to the metal infrastructure. It had probably been dropped as all the weight of the amp is to the rear because of the three heavy transformers and picking it up centrally tends to make the amp swivel in the lifters hands.

I repaired the damage best I could, put the valves in place and connected the amp to my system. After around thirty six hours of intermittent use one of the output EL34 valves disintegrated and filled the room with a dense cloud of blue smoke. Inspecting the amps PCB I found a burnt out wirewound resistor; a blown electrolytic capacitor and an open circuit voltage regulator.

I replaced the faulty components and also as a precaution a new octal valve base, ran a soldering iron round the area where the damage had occurred to make sure there were no dry solder joints and fitted a new pair of 6550 valves. I took a deep breath and switched the amplifier on and it worked ok for the next four years or so.

However, during that time one output valve on the side that had suffered damage burnt out, there was intermittent noise present on that channel and that sides output transformer ran warmer than the other channels output transformer. I concluded the PCB must have suffered damage or possibly another component that didn’t fail had suffered unseen damage.

After 4 years the intermittent noise on the damaged right hand channel became fairly constant and was an irritant so I decided to order a new PCB from Tubelab and rebuild the amplifier. So I did. I used all new components in the new board including the expensive 0.22uF 1000V capacitors from Hi Fi Collective.

I purchased from Langrex a Mullard ECC81 and a pair of Svetlana 6550Bs and I already a spare new GZ34 rectifier valve. The new board, components and valves have been running in for five days now, there is no noise or hum and it sounds sweet, I’m very happy I made the decision to rebuild.

The cost of the PCB, board components and new set of valves came to £220.00. The cost of hiring a car to drive from SE London to the South coast to have collected the amplifier instead of opting for postage would have cost around £60.00 including fuel.

Not sure if there’s a moral here but I will say that sometimes it pays to listen to peoples advice.

Some pictures here, first couple are the old PCB showing the burn mark from the former wirewound resistor, and the discoloured PCB connections of one octal valve base and the 3 legs of the current regulator.

Next 5 are the rebuilt amp and the final pic is of the components I salvaged from the old PCB.

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It looks like you've restored it nicely.
In the USA, we sometimes have difficulty finding valves (we call them vacuum tubes). Are they readily available on your side of the pond?
 

floppybootstomp

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Thanks for the comment Bob. Us limeys also refer to these devices as vacuum tubes and I haven't had any difficulty sourcing tubes anywhere, as well as in the UK I've bought valves in the past from the States and places such as Holland.

I also have a valve preamp in this setup and have built a valve phono stage though that one's currently not in use.

Here's a few UK valve suppliers:

Watford Valves Langrex Hotrox

And here's the site that makes the printed circuit boards for my amp, it's a one man show run by a fella named George Anderson: Tubelab
 

Urmas

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At last, my quest is complete, I have found a coat I like and didn't cost a small fortune.

Thanks for the link Mr Urmas, I bought this one: Cool and groovy outerwear
Always happy to be of... something! :fool:

Mind you, I don't "advertise" often, but I've had nothing but good experiences with that company. Plus, I like their attitude:





:cool:
 

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