This is the website of Neil McDougall, a musician/blogger/podcaster/bookie from Ayrshire.

STRAYA update – Almost time!

Greetings, fellow interweb denizens.  Some of you may recall I wrote a thing on here a few months back cataloguing my planning thoughts about what was, at that point, a distant plan to travel to Australia for an extended holiday.  Now, some 10 months after writing that post, I sit here a few days out from getting on the plane.  So, what’s happening, how did my plans change, for better or worse?  Let’s do this using the same section headers I used in the original post and compare my original plans to how things panned out.

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This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on March 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm, filed under life, musings, travel. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



My Mac Dilemma

Here’s the deal- thanks to the overwhelming success of my ‘Siri Answers The Ultimate Question‘ video on YouTube, and YouTube inviting me into their video monetisation programme, I have managed to squirrel away a few quid.

Subsequently, I’m quite fancying getting a 27″ iMac. The only thing that’s holding me back now is- do I buy now or wait until the forthcoming Ivy Bridge model refresh?

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This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on February 18, 2012 at 4:28 pm, filed under apple, geekery, life, Mac, musings, tech and tagged , , , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



52 Weeks of Music – Week 4: FAIL~!

Sorry folks, couldn’t get a song out this week.  A combination of a lack of anything remotely decent coming out of my brain/fingers and work/personal-related stuff continually getting in the way put paid to any chance of me getting anything that wasn’t utter shite out there.

However, the objective remains the same – 52 songs in 52 weeks, and I’ll do some catching up on my two weeks off work at the start of March.

In the meantime, you can download an album I co-produced and co-engineered back in 2006 (95MB .zip file).  The album is by a band called The Mocha Nights, who are, for all intents and purposes, no more.

My mate James did a new mix on the album to make it sound ‘massive and modern’.  While it’s not the way I would’ve mixed it (and hopefully will mix it one day…I still have all the master multitracks on my hard drive….)  it sounds great and I’m glad that the songs are out there again.  This band should’ve been massive, but things didn’t go the way they perhaps should’ve.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on January 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm, filed under 52 weeks of music, life, music, recording and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Ring the GAS bell!

Today, I popped into Cash Generator, just to kill some time before a work meeting…and I saw a Godin LGXT-SA. Seymour Duncan pickups, piezo bridge for acoustic sounds, synth output, ebony fretboard…these bad boys retail for £1600 approx brand spanking new. The price tag for this one?

SIXTY.

FUCKING.

QUID.

I couldn’t get the debit card out fast enough.

It’s a bit rough around the edges (pots are a bit scratchy, no whammy bar arm, switch tip is missing off the pickup selector, the low E string is quiet in acoustic mode, needs a restring and a tidy up), but even so…£60. Fu-huck ME.

This can only mean one thing. I’m probably going to get T-boned by an 18-wheeler driving to work some day.

Did I mention it came with a Hiscox hardshell case? Well, it does.

A pic should be attached to this post, if I’ve used the iPhone WordPress app properly.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on August 31, 2010 at 12:59 pm, filed under life, music and tagged , , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Just a wee missive…

If there’s any Mac users out there that read my blog (according to Statpress I get a few hits from Mac users…) feel free to swing over to http://www.macheist.com and snag yourselves a nanoBundle of some nifty apps, headlined by the yet-to-be-unlocked Tales of Monkey island point-n-click adventure game and the Mac-only web design software Rapidweaver.

I’m even using one of the programs from the bundle to write this post- MacJournal.

Oh yeah, the audition went reasonably well. With any luck I should know whether I’m in the band by about this time next week or earlier. Keep ‘em crossed, folks.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on March 3, 2010 at 7:32 pm, filed under geekery, life, Mac, music, tech. Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Back on the gigging trail. I hope.

This year, I’ve decided that my main goal for the year is to get back into playing live with other musicians. This mission gets under way properly this Sunday when I throw my hat in the ring for the vacant bass player position in the Glasgow hard rock outfit Blood Drum.

It’ll be a weekend of firsts; the first time I’ve ever auditioned for a band, the first time I’ll have done any serious motorway driving, and the first time I’ve ever driven myself to Glasgow.

I might do some in-progress updates about the whole deal. No doubt I’ll be tweeting, but I might throw some video or audio updates in there too. Wonder if there’s an Audioboo plugin for WordPress? 🙂

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on February 26, 2010 at 3:57 pm, filed under life, music and tagged , , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Bah, I had to miss Dream Theater.

Gah. Need to vent. Going to go through the whole situation so you can understand.

So, a few months ago, my new friend Fiona and I started planning to go see Dream Theater in Wolverhampton once the tour date was announced. I, with my last pay from Ladbrokes (I was let go at the end of August – company was overspent on staffing and contract cutbacks and outright non-renewals across the board) I bought two train tickets. Fiona’s bought the gig tickets, but the hotel’s not booked (Fiona’s job – she spent £40 ish on the gig tickets, I spent £90 ish on the train fare, so a hotel room should’ve balanced it out nicely), but I’m thinking ‘we’ve got time.’

September passes, and every so often I quiz Fee about the hotel situation. September ends, still no hotel. I’m getting a bit concerned at this point. It’s around this point I start to get the feeling that Fee’s getting a bit more distant with me – I’m pretty good at reading the vibes people give off in conversation, even over the net it seems. Remember the timing of this, it’s important later.

So, we’re into October and the gig’s rapidly approaching, still no Hotel, so I badger Fiona about it, as I know she has the money to pay for it, so what’s the hold up? Then she springs something on me that I had kinda thought might be the situation in the back of my mind: she’d landed herself a boyfriend, a co-worker, who she’d been seeing on the quiet for the last month, pretty much about the same time I started to feel things were changing in the way Fee and I were interacting with each other. Now the reason for the lack of hotel bookage is a bit more evident: you get a new romance and some other things tend to go out the window, it’s understandable to a degree. However, she’s left it so long that the hotel I was hoping we could’ve got was booked out. And to cap it all her new beau isn’t too chuffed about the prospect of his new girlfriend trotting off to spend the night in a hotel in england with a guy who’s fancied her recently. Again, understandable.

So, Fee explores the prospect of her boyfriend coming along, which doesn’t overly appeal to me, due to the inevitable gooseberry factor. Turns out the boyfriend can’t get the time off work, so we decide that the best thing to avoid unpleasantness is to do seperate hotel rooms rather than splitting a hotel room as previously planned. Through all this, I’m getting a bad feeling about the whole situation deep in my gut. I could sense that the situation could be awkward due to the spectre of Fee’s new fella hanging over everything. I tossed the whole thing around my brain for a few days and decided to go with what my instincts were telling me, and cancelled going to the concert. I e-mailed Fee to tell her, and sent the train tickets back to Virgin with all the necessary details to get my ninety quid back.

Fee’s not happy about the situation, and I get the feeling that she thought I shouldn’t have sent the train tickets back and gave her her ticket so that she could go. Fuck. That. I bought the tickets with my own money and if I want to cancel them, tear them up, fold them into a paper aeroplane or wipe my arse with them, that’s my right. I’m not complaining about what she did with the gig tickets. They were her property…but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Fast forward to last night, and in the middle of a game of Mortal Kombat: Deception on my trusty Xbox, my mobile rings. On comes a male voice I don’t recognise. The following conversation isn’t exactly verbatim, but it’s as close as I can get it from memory.

“Is that Neil? Neil o Mac?” (Neilomac is my nickname on the mikeportnoy.com forum, where Fee and I first started talking to each other).

“Yes,” I reply.

(In a sarcastic tone) “Where would you really like to be right now?”

(Thinking it might be someone from the MP.com or VoicesUK forum, or even a UKMGer) “Err…Wolverhampton? Who is this?”

“Ahh, you go and leave her in the lurch…you left her in the lurch!” (And something about the train tickets too, I think)

“Who is this? Who am I talking to?” (I’ve got a pretty good idea who it is by this time, but I want to be sure)

He kept rambling on, so I just thought ‘fuck this’ and hung up on him, then turned my phone off. Later that night, I switched my phone back on to see if the offender, who I assume was Fee’s boyfriend, decided to leave any messages. Predictably, he did. More of the same, with added “I managed to get time off work after all, so we’re down here, and you’re not, nanny nanny poo poo.” and calling me a fanny. The words ‘pot’, ‘kettle’ and ‘black’ spring to mind. As well as ‘fucking douchebag of epic proportions’.

Really, how was he expecting me to react? All “Waaahh, they went to DT! Boohoohooo!” All it did was reinforce in my mind that I made the right choice. I don’t appreciate being insulted by an insecure, smart-mouthed cock monkey though. If I was as much of a prick as him, I’d probably have phoned back and ripped him a new one. 😛

So, yeah, I missed what sounded like a killer DT set, but I get the feeling I might not’ve enjoyed it as much as I should’ve had I went with Fee. Bah, had I known this would happen I would’ve went with my pal Steven instead.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on October 27, 2005 at 12:32 pm, filed under life, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



That music meme…

Nabbed from various people on my friends list…thirteen questions, the answers generated by the first 13 random songs on my Winamp playlist.

1. What do you think of me, Random Music Player?

One Vision – Queen

…Right…

2. Will I have a happy life?

Heartbreaker – Led Zeppelin

But whose hearts are getting broken?

3. What do my friends really think of me?

Altered Course – Isis

Erm, that’s a stretch to make sense of. 😛

4. What does my S.O. think of me?

Great King Rat – Queen

I’d be upset by this…if I had a significant other.

5. Do people secretly lust after me?

In The Mystery – Allan Holdsworth

Bah.

6. How can I make myself happy?

Alaska – UK

Nah, too cold.

7. What should I do with my life?

Tender Surrender – Steve Vai

To what, though?

8. Why must life be so full of pain?

The Chase is Better Than The Catch – Motorhead

Too true.

9. How can I maximize my pleasure during sex?

Cross Eyed Mary – Iron Maiden

I hear she’s shite in bed.

10. Can you give me some advice?

Where Did You Sleep Last Night? – Nirvana

Dammit, I asked for advice, not a bloody interrogation.

11. What do you think happiness is?

Rooster – Alice In Chains

You sick fuck.

12. Do you have any advice to give over the next few hours/days?

Fool You – King’s X

Fool who?

13. Will I die happy?

Electric Hellfire – Black Label Society

Sounds painful. 😛

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on September 23, 2005 at 12:14 pm, filed under humour, life, music and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



Blargh.

No real progress with Fee. She went out to the cinema last night with a guy friend called Dougie last night. A guy friend who fancies her. Who owns a flashy pad near the marina in Inverkip. With a gigantic plasma tv. Who’s happy to drive all the way down to glasgow just to go to the pictures with her. I know she’s supposedly not interested in a relationship with anyone at the moment, but deep in my gut is a feeling of ‘how the hell do I compete with that?’

Argh. My luck with women SUCKS.

This entry was written by NeiloMac, posted on July 14, 2005 at 10:23 am, filed under life and tagged , , . Leave a comment or view the discussion at the permalink and follow any comments with the RSS feed for this post.



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