Thursday, September 27, 2007

Happy 9th Birthday, Google



Google is my friend, so it deserves a space on my page :)




Wednesday, September 26, 2007

LinkedIn

As you can see, I added a LinkedIn button on the right hand side of the website which will redirect you to my LinkedIn profile. I recommend professionals to register their profile with LinkedIn. Check it out to see why.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Malta commemorates the Independence Day

...and I officially commemorate my 1 year length of hair :)

Nearly scammed by Ertishop.com!

I was just about to get scammed from what seems a bogus online company Erti Shop (aka Ertis Shop) and lose $720. Fortunately I always use Paypal for all of my online transactions, and I recommend everyone to stay away from other payment methods (especially e-Gold and Western Union since they pose certain risks for customers if you read well their FAQ).

So what's the story about? Recently I've been interested in acquiring a 13" macbook so I've been lurking through ebay a lot. It's been through ebay that I stumbled across the Erti Shop 'sponsored' link, and I am very unhappy about it...Well I visited this website, and wohoo..Unbelievable prices! I was going to get this macbook brand new, 12 months warranty parts and labor, free shipping for just $720! I read all the terms and agreements and ordered this product and paid it through Paypal. So far all was good and I was already dreaming about this macbook and happy about the bargain - so I returned back to the website to add it to my bookmarks to show it to my friends...however I noticed that the macbook was still in the shopping cart and didn't clear out, so I sent an email to Erti Shop. I got the below reply after a couple of hours:


Dear James Attard,

We accept payment by direct Bank Transfer, Paypal, Western Union and E-gold. Bank Transfer and PayPal is available for returning customers,
and for new customers at this time we can accept only Western Union and E-gold. That's the reason we cannot move forward with your order.
Your order has been cancelled but you can visit our website and resubmit anytime a new order.
We do send both order confirmation (You will receive further information on processing the transaction) and shipment confirmation emails automatically to the email address you provided. Occasionally these emails get mistaken for junk mail by email filters and firewalls (because these emails are generated by a computer). Check your junk email folder and set your email filters to allow emails from ertishop.com.

PayPal probably charged your credit card, but we didn't receive the funds. However in case they charged you, the full amount will be refunded to you. Most orders will be shipped within 48 hours of the payment clearing. Once payment has been received you will be notified of your personal tracking number.

If there is anything else we can do to assist you, please contact us at customerservice@ertishop.com. We are always happy to help.

Sincerely,
Quinlan

Customer Service Department
http://ertishop.com


I read that email quite a couple of times to make sure I really understood what I've been thinking to be as a scam. So I began my research on this company by doing an enquiry about their domain name, and guess what:

Domain Name: ertishop.com
Created on .............Fri Sep 07 19:42:15 2007
Expires on .............Sun Sep 07 19:42:15 2008
Record last updated on .Fri Sep 07 19:42:23 2007
Status .................LOCK,

Administrative Contact:
Brent Daily
Brent Daily
3730 Tecumseh Dr
Domain Name: ertishop.com
Created on .............Fri Sep 07 19:42:15 2007
Expires on .............Sun Sep 07 19:42:15 2008
Record last updated on .Fri Sep 07 19:42:23 2007
Status .................LOCK,

Administrative Contact:
Brent Daily
Brent Daily
3730 Tecumseh Dr

Well well well...what does this mean? In a nutshell 'Erti Shop' was created two weeks ago..on the 7th September 2007. This contradicted the footer of the website which stated a copyright on this website since 2004:



Further research led me to discover that Mr. Brent Daily appeared to work for a construction company in Arizona. This ticked an alarm inside my head and rushed to Paypal to cancel the payment...As stated before I was lucky enough to have always chosen Paypal for my online transactions - Paypal has a feature which protects customers from frauds by not letting them pay recipients with an unconfirmed Paypal account (and therefore fraudulent accounts, which most of them are untraceable). The cancellation was successful and I resumed my research about this seemingly bogus company. Apparently other people were bitten. Check out this link.

I hope this article opened your eyes and veered you from ErtiShop. If you had a similar experience with this company, leave a comment below.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Scat Singing

Recently I discovered the potential of Jazz scat singing, like in the below video clip where we see Ella Fitzgerald scatting on an impromptu Jazz tune.



Imagine if I replicate her melody on a bass guitar...super!

Some Jazz please

Yesterday was a really long day full of stuff and ended with a Jazz night at BJs, with Roberto Badoglio on bass guitar, Paul Giordimania on piano and some German dude on drums. But before I consumed some beer to make sure I enter the mellow mood :)
























Ok...and this morning my eyes are still red and I can hear my brain cells popping...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Motorcycle Diary - Chapter 1



My first motorcycle vlog. You will hear my voice for the first time (wohooo), although I sound like I am squeaking (maybe because of the camera microphone). I talk about my last week at work and bass guitar master classes, water puddles and crash related episodes and finally I see a beautiful lady by the street.

Somebody Told Me



"Breaking my back just to know your name
Seventeen tracks and I've had it with this game
I'm breaking my back just to know your name
But heaven ain't close in a place like this
Anything goes but don't blink you might miss
Cause heaven ain't close in a place like this
I said heaven ain't close in a place like this
Bring it back down, bring it back down tonight
Never thought I'd let a rumor ruin my moonlight

Well somebody told me
You had a boyfriend
Who looked like a girlfriend
That I had in February of last year
It's not confidential
I've got potential

Ready? Let's roll onto something new
Taking its toll and I'm leaving without you"

Say hello to my new Squire

I have put this video on YouTube for two reasons - first of all to test the audio recording with this new bass, a Squire Deluxe Jazz V. The other reason for this video is for those fellow bassists who may have seen a Squire in a local music store and are pondering whether to buy it or not, just because it's a "squire"...Put off what have you heard aout Squires for a while and test them yourselves. When I managed to go across this brand name stumble block , I grabbed a very nice one, yours truly showed in the video, and tested it for around 45 mins. The action is very low and the ebonol fretboard not only looks cool, but sounds good and plays fast. Although the basswood body may not be the most expensive wood out there, it is very nice - mine was coated with an eye catching sunburst finish.



PS: yes i am again with a bare belly, a shorty shorts and didn't shave the beard...lol...so??

Saturday, September 08, 2007

V-day

Today Malta celebrates a national holiday - the Victory day - to remember two victories which coincidentally happened on the same day (8th September) - the Greate Siege against the Turkish and the second World War on the fall of the Axis.

...in Italy they celebrate the V-Day as well...the Vaffanculo Day. Read more about it here!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Roberto Badoglio Master Class


The least I can say is that I am honored that I am amongst the few Maltese bassists sitting for master classes with Italian genious Roberto Badoglio. Roberto, born in Trieste, is a bassist with a large portfolio and experience to boast of. He has recently come to Malta for one month to deliver some advanced bass lessons to fellow Maltese musicians. Today was the first lesson and I really like his approach - playing with an incredible technique and singing jazz phrases on the bass were few of the highlights of the lesson. Looking forward for the next couple of lessons!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Boom!



"Modern globalization
coupled with condemnations
unnecessary death
matador corporations
puppeting your frustrations with a blinded flag
manufacturing consent is the name of the game
the bottom line is money and nobody gives a fuck
4,000 hungry children leave us per hour from starvation
while billions are spent creating death showers"

Sunday, September 02, 2007

White Crimson live next Wednesday

I hate putting up these posters of my band, but anyways, on request:














My rig - revisited

Many months have passed since I talked about my musical equipment. At the moment I only have three guitars - 2 basses (the Musicman Stingray which I use in my live performances, and an old custom p-bass which I use for rehearsals), and a guitar (a Fender Mustang strat, which I'm still learning how to play). Regards amplification, I had acquired a new one a few months ago - a 300W Ashdown combo. I have also used various strings for my bass guitar - at the moment I'm using Ernieball Regular Slinkies which suite my style at the moment. The more I play them, the better they get.

Let me talk about my overall bass rig, and how I am connecting everything. The bass is connected to the SansAmp BDDI preamp. I found that in this way the output level of the bass guitar matches perfectly without losing any signal strength. The output from the preamp goes to the input of the Boss GT6B and finally I take the mono signal to the Return input of the amplifier.












The preamp is set as follows, with a little bit of drive to simulate tube amplification:












Regarding the Boss GT6B, which I spoke about in some earlier posts, I have removed the compression which I used to use. I found that with this setup, the signal is already compressed, and further compression just diminished the overall punch. So I basically use the Boss GT6B to put some chorus, wah, flanger, octaver, distortion, volume control, etc. I am always keeping the Chorus active - puts some nice effect especially on the higher strings.












As much as possible, I try to control all the EQ from the bass guitar - At the moment I'm happy with maximum treble, flat midrange and bass. I am not losing punch and yet I have that nice zincy presence on the higher strings.

Facebook rocks

Yesterday I subscribed to Facebook and I realized how silly I was not subscribing there before (hi5 networking is for kids anyways). I also looked around their APIs - if I have some free time I might develop a Facebook application. For now, I just made a quick profile there, and still learning something new whenever I take a look at this networking site. One thing is for sure - things are more organized here and abuses are minimal from what I'm seeing.

Nightrain bassline

After a day studying for the LPI 101/102, I concluded Saturday evening with my rendition to Guns 'n Roses powerful song Nightrain.



Oh well, back to study :/