Jobs & Permaculture

Vs The Job Center

16th - 26th June 2013…

Why I’m just writing about the above days, I’ll never know. Perhaps I need some filler for my next blog entry from the coming weekend?

This title/subtitle should never have to be typed in this context. The point of the Job Center (in theory) is to help one find a job. Alas, I have had anything but help. I’ve been told lies, misinformation, fabrications and contradictions, been told NOT to apply for jobs I qualify for, been told under threat of sanction to apply to jobs there is no way I’m qualified for, been repeatedly asked questions designed to “trip me up” in regards to my voluntary work in case I was somehow able to earn money on the side from “VOLUNTARY” work, been accused of fraud, been repeatedly offered the “fantastic opportunity” to work for free either in a slaughterhouse or with the ultra-homophobic whack job sally army to make me feel better, been told that the employer contact I had made WITH REPLIES FROM EMPLOYERS was worthless - while also being told to do 5 hours of pointless job database searches every day via their website which crashes and returns invalid database queries because that was a much more productive use of my time…

My adviser decided that I needed more computer literacy skills and so signed me up with a private contractor (who I’m guessing get a dirty big backhander - Atos Origin, anyone?) who needed every single piece of information about me to sign me up. So, having just about reached the front door on the day of my “this is a keyboard… this is a mouse” training session, I had one of the biggest anxiety/panic attacks I’ve had this year. Add in the excruciating anxiety I had to face to the following week in telling my adviser (who believes Autism can be cured with an over-the-counter tablet) that I had missed the pointless appointment (which only adds to the anxiety) - when, suddenly, she seems to actually understand for once. So she just books me on the same course for 2 weeks later, for which she needs to hand over my full name, address, post code, NI number, cell phone number and email to the contractor (within earshot of 3 clerks, 3 “customers” and a random junkie standing in the corner). I should have asked her if she needed my mom’s maiden name as well.

Arbeit macht frei

Speaking of work… I landed an interview at DUSA Dundee for the role of Assistant Tech Manager. Given that I was experienced in the technical side of things - but just not the management side, I’m pretty confident I didn’t perform as well as I could have (ignoring the several brain freezes throughout). I was asked to leave behind details of my plans for the nightclub - so if they wind up doing ballerina sweeps synced to music and video projections of DJ action shots and snazzy title overlays - you’ll know they used my ideas. :)
I had been “advised” by the Job Center to take along an info leaflet advising potential employers that they could earn £2k by employing me - by phoning up the Job Center and sorting things out… Or in there words, they wanted me to do their job for them. You see, the potential employer didn’t necessarily have to employ ME, just someone on the broo.

The Job Center will be the destroyer of me.


Noticed the Americanisms? Good. Are they annoying you? Good. This is the one place I can use them (there’s 2 places if you count my markup).

Would you care to do the (Hons)?

Although I may occasionally stray from audio and such, this is still my “Hons Blog” - because I’m always writing a dissertation-length blog entry. Only this is far more interesting than a dissertation - and possibly more useful to boot (to the one person in Hong Kong who actually reads it, judging by the IP address). Plus I can’t be bothered changing my file directory.

Wrong Planet

Finding work, having friends, socializing, being bored witless by Taggart - are all activities done by all “normal” people. I only recently read that not only do we have to work at making friends, we have to work at KEEPING them. The world is such a confusing place. Networking is definitely not my strong point. All I need is some understanding. And possibly a hug.

Bon Scott Memorial Statue

Have you donated toward DD8 Music’s Bon Scott Statue?
Click for more info from DD8 Music.

Composer’s Block

I’ve still got it. Finding it very difficult to even put a basic drum beat together in Cubase. I opened Logic Pro and by the time it had finished re-scanning my plugins for the umpteenth time, whatever creative spark I had had, was long dead.


Want their Jazz gig recorded? Bebop, swing, fusion, any style. I am still available for on-location recordings in Forfar & Dundee (and as always, wherever the music takes me) whether you are running thru a sound desk or not. I can mic up everything, multi-track from the mixing desk or just position a stereo pair somewhere in the room. Why just Jazz? Everything else just seems to sound the same (except maybe some acoustic stuff).


I briefly spoke of “Permaculture” in my previous entry - and this is one of the many things I have been busying myself with recently. Permaculture is a system that functions in tandem with nature whereby one can transition from a passive consumer to an active producer - beyond mere “sustainability”. It teaches intuitive, creative and ethical design… Or you could just go read about it and accept that I’ve been doing Permaculture-y stuff while not having taken the time to understand the philosophy behind it.

So for the past few weeks I’ve been helping install cleverly shaped chipped wood pathways to allow easy access to fruit trees and the like. The idea is that after channeling out the path, you would use cardboard with wood chip on top - this layering being highly resistant to wandering thistles (or “wistles” as my Permaculture Buddy calls them) and the like. As per Permaculture theory, given a few decades or so, the modifications will slowly revert back into the land. It’s kind of sad in a way that all the work will eventually disappear back-aways, but it’s also kind of cool that you’re not imposing yourself negatively on nature.


It also struck me whilst working away that the field would make a neat Binaural Soundscape (wood chip crunching, a pile of wood chip slowly caving in, bees buzzing, roosters Cock-A-Doodle-Do-ing, Chocobos learning how to fly (hopefully), ducks making duck noses etc) - particularly when contrasted with the noise of the town, or city. I have invented a new word for this: Binaculture. :)

Buy it. Use it. Break it. Fix it. Technologic.

I have been ebaying for LED lights for upcoming projects, but am currently having a problem with suppliers and the Royal Mail.
Update: the remaining consignment of lights came today. :)


DD8 Music were running sound for the Forfar Gala Opening Day in The Myre - and I wanted to record the gig for posterity and absent friends. The problem with attaching a laptop to the Tape Out was that, when the desk is driven over analog 0dB (which is OK), it drives the laptop over digital 0dBFS (which is bad - and just sounds horrible). The Hi-Tech solution came in the form of a C90 and a Pioneer CT-450. The genius in this was that the tape can handle being driven above analog 0dB, and potentially right up into analog +6dB which actually sounds quite warm and full bodied - without any nastiness. I played the tape back at a later date, and with a touch less 315Hz/400Hz it would pass for a pretty good master.

I needed treacle for the drive belt however.



Or just Google it!

One More Thing…

Stevie’s Top 20

  1. “Ganja (Dub)” by Dub Pistols
  2. “Song for Summer” by Dub Pistols
  3. “Keep The Fire Burning (with Justin Robertson)” by Dub Pistols
  4. “Out The Blue (with Alice Gold)” by Sub Focus
  5. “Rock You Like A Hurricane” by Scorpions
  6. “Phorever People” by The Shamen
  7. “A Final Hit” by Leftfield
  8. “D’You Know What I Mean?” by Oasis
  9. “Untitled” by The Sellars Brothers Quintet
  10. “Half Man Half Machine” by Goldie Lookin Chain
  11. “Come Into My Head (Opiuo Remix)” by Kimbra
  12. “School Days” by Ricky Cocozza
  13. “Lisa” by Ricky Cocozza
  14. “Call On Me” by Eric Prydz
  15. “Flawless (Sharp Hammerhead Remix)” by The Ones
  16. “Moar Ghosts n Stuff” by Deadmau5
  17. “Psychosocial” by Slipknot
  18. “Mixed Emotions (12" Version)” by The Rolling Stones
  19. “Bumper Ball Dub (Karmacoma Mad Professor Mix)” by Massive Attack
  20. “Is Yesterday, Tomorrow, Today?” by Stereophonics