A Big, Big Box

Another odyssey. I went to Antwerp to pick up a big, very big box that contained an ARP 2600 synthesizer. Finally, after waiting for 8 months the synth arrived.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jimi’s Odyssey, the ARP 2600 was the last synth on my bucket list I really wanted to have in my studio set-up. The ARP 2600 is a semi-modular analog subtractive audio synthesizer, designed by Dennis Colin for Alan R Pearlman, and manufactured by his company, ARP Instruments, Inc. in 1972. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. On January 10, 2020, Korg Inc. of Japan reissued a one-time-only limited production run of the ARP 2600 as the ARP 2600 FS, a faithful reproduction of the original 1972 gray version. With a little luck and a lot of patience I was able to buy one.

Jimi (and especially his shadow) seemed to be interested in the big flight case that came with the synth. Maybe he can use it to build a fortified castle. It looks like we both will have a lot of fun the next days…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

PS: I hate hate hate the new WP Block editor!

This Is Not My Beautiful House!

Jimi’s check-up visit. Medical care is as essential for your cat as it is for you. It’s a good idea to get a checkup for your cat once a year. Jimi was due for his first annual checkup today. All went well. Jimi is in top condition – though the vet told me I got to keep an eye on his weight.

For many cats, a veterinary visit is a stressful experience. Mr. Bowie was always relaxed and enjoyed the car rides. But Jimi was so stressed, the poor boy. He was so happy to be back home.

And you may find yourself
In another part of the world
And you may find yourself
Behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may tell yourself
This is not my beautiful house!
And you may ask yourself, well
How did I get here?

“Once In A Lifetime” – Talking Heads

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Older Bodies

Older bodies need longer to mend. I’m feeling a bit down lately. My right foot is healing well but very slowly. Unfortunately, my left foot is showing the same injury since a few days ago. It’s already 3 weeks I’m stuck in my house. It seems healing gets harder as we age. I’m trying to compensate it with daily fresh fruits and vegetables. I also added food supplements to my diet with extra vitamins and minerals. But I got to be patient and take it easy the next month. I’m happy to be still able to check out how my Dad is doing in these weird Covid-19 times. 

Thank goodness I can spend some time in the studio, although it’s very hot (no airco and having a heatwave). Jimi keeps asking me to play with him but that’s very difficult for me right now. I can only throw away some bouncing balls. 

I’m also very lucky to have Jimi by my side. He’s keeping an eye on me and counts the chocolates each day to see if I’m not taking an overdose. I have to pay him with extra yoghurt and vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Fracture

Bummer. Right now I’m the kid with the crutches. I spent some time in the hospital today due to some problems with my right foot. After a botscan they saw a stress fracture, tiny cracks in the bone. Most stress fractures are caused by overuse and repetitive activity. I need to take it easy the next 4 weeks so no more walks in the nature. That’s not a big problem; we’re still living in a lockdown (light) system and having another heatwave. So bring on the ice cream…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Lose Your Head

Lose (one’s) head. To lose one’s composure and act emotionally or irrationally.

Lose your head. COMMON If you lose your head, you panic and do not remain calm in a difficult situation.

Nah, I don’t think Jimi lost his head…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

 

CIA

CIA. Cat Intelligence-agency (C.I.A.) field offices have to find a delicate balance between blending in and providing adequate security for the humans. Jimi is very good in blending in while I’m reading the newspaper and having my morning espresso.

Meanwhile, this part of the world is going in the wrong direction due to the rising Covid-19 infections. The National Security Council closely monitor the situation and we’re looking at new reinforced measures. 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI Part 2

Jimi’s preliminary conclusion. Only about 0.0000000000000000000042 percent of the universe contains any matter. The universe is a pretty empty place! Empty like the little pot of yoghurt from the human…

Planet Earth is blue. And there’s nothing I can do.

“Space Oddity” – David Bowie

 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

SETI

Sweet investigator. The search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) is a collective term for scientific searches for intelligent extraterrestrial life, for example, monitoring electromagnetic waves for signs of transmissions from civilisations on other planets. Many radio frequencies penetrate Earth’s atmosphere quite well, and this led to cats investigate the cosmos using large radio antennas. But often, the investigators fall asleep. This post is based on a Wikipedia article.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Jimi’s Odyssey

New toys! I had a secret “bucket list” for buying synthesizers I really wanted. Recently I could finish off the list with placing orders for the ARP 2600 and the ARP Odyssey. ARP Instruments, Inc. was an American manufacturer of electronic musical instruments, founded by Alan Robert Pearlman in 1969. Unfortunately, the company was declared bankruptcy in May 1981. In 2015, some ARP instruments were revived by Korg. 

The ARP Odyssey, an analog synthesizer introduced in 1972, arrived today at my home. There were several versions of the Odyssey over the years, and it was reissued by Korg in early 2015, in cooperation with the original designer and ARP co-founder, David Friend. As always, Jimi was very interested to see what was in the box. But he preferred to go for a walk outside in the garden and to the bedroom for a nap afterwards.

And introducing in the photograph, the new guardian of my electronic devices, a retro tin robot from a Berlin shop. I call him Metal Pete, in analogy to the classic John Foxx song ‘Metal Beat’ from his legendary 1980 album ‘Metamatic’. Metal Pete is very terrifying, he doesn’t feel anything, especially not mercy. It looks like nothing can stop Pete, except rust, perhaps.

Meanwhile, Jimi was grounded for a long time. He found several ways to break out of the garden (via espaliers, the roof of my pavilion, and various trees). The cat-friendly fence doesn’t seems to be working for him. Jimi managed to get back in my garden after wandering around in the gardens of my neighbours. Unfortunately, one day I got a call from one of my neighbours. Jimi was stuck in their garden and I had to catch him quick because they have 2 dogs; one is a mean big dog, from the breed that likes to hunt terrorists. This is such a shame. Mr. Bowie never tried to get out of the garden in 10 years time and was happy with the area he had to wander around. It shows that all cats are different. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to explain this new situation to Jimi (the adventurer & acrobat) and he doesn’t seems to be happy after going outside for 5 weeks. It was so great spending time outside with Mr. Bowie all those years. I’m afraid it’s going to be very difficult and unpleasant to do this without Jimi.

Oh, stop whining, you human! There are worse things in life; like queues for food in democratic and civilised countries, recurring police brutality and crazy lying politicians all over the world. Snap out of it, get yourself another espresso and watch some clips of the amazing Sarah Cooper! It’s a mad world out there…

Update: I’m letting Jimi out again with a new strategy. He can go for a walk in the morning (around 7 AM) before he gets his breakfast. After a while he comes back inside because he’s hungry. The rest of the day he has to stay inside. He seems to accept the new situation. Thank goodness.

I want to thank you with all my heart. All your heartwarming comments in the Teared Up A Little Bit post made me feel better and helped me get through this empty and sad day. I sincerely apologise for not replying to your comments.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Peeping Tom Cat

Peeping Tom Cat. /ˌpiːpɪŋ ˈtɒm/kat, noun
A cat who derives pleasure from secretly watching humans in activity.

All that peeping is making me sleepy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Show Me the…

Show Me the Money! No, but show me the comments, please! It seems a lot of your comments don’t show up in the blog. It looks like they vanished into thin air. The WP Spam folder is empty. I get notifications in the Mail app on my iMac and I can find some comments in the WP My Home section. I reported this issue to WP but I’m still waiting for an answer. My apologies for this inconvenience.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Update from WP: The comment issue has been fixed. Unfortunately, any comments made from April 21st at 9AM UTC, until today at 2PM UTC will not ever reappear.

Extra update: WP fixed the problem thoroughly, all the missing comments are published.

Watching the Detective

What’s up, Doc? Cats seems to sense when something is wrong. Jimi noticed strange sounding noises in the neighbourhood and went outside to check it out. It appeared to be my neighbours working in their vegetable garden so everything was safe. Thank goodness there were no idiots, even some morons carrying heavy armer, outside protesting against COVID-19 measures like in other parts of the world.

We’re almost 2 months in lockdown modus. Up to last week my family and friends were all safe and healthy. Unfortunately, recently some friends got sick due to the Corona virus. And an elderly couple in my circle of friends passed away both, in one week time. This is hard and confrontational.

That night, to my surprise, I heard a certain idiot in the U.S. of A. saying his country is doing great compared with some countries in Europe, especially Belgium. Well here are some other facts. Public healthcare in Belgium scores well thanks to its combination of health insurance and social security contributions. Belgium didn’t need to deploy a 1,000-bed hospital ship or set up field hospitals in parks or convention centers. Even during the highest peak almost 50% of the hospital beds with respiratory equipment in the COVID-19 IC units were still available. Why is Belgiums death toll so high? According to Belgian authorities, that’s because the country has chosen a reporting system that differs from pretty much every other country’s method of counting.

Okay, sorry for talking politics. Next post will be about cats and a dead fish. And now if you’ll excuse me, I need an espresso and chocolate. Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Delta Echo Foxtrot

What’s in the box? Yes! After searching for years to buy a vintage Roland RE-201 Space Echo I finally found one in absolute perfect, near mint condition. The RE-201 Space Echo is an iconic audio effects unit that produces delay and reverb effects and inspired a generation of musicians. It was produced by the Roland Corporation from 1974 to 1990. I used to own one decades ago but sold the unit to buy a digital delay and reverb. Nowadays, a lot of musicians miss the real analog, moody, warm, gritty and unique sound of the Space Echo and they call it “the holy grail piece of equipment”.

I’m so happy that I found this iconic Roland Space Echo at a company in Antwerp, specialised in pro audio equipment and instruments. Anyone with even a passing interest in music production must surely have heard of the Space Echo at some point. Even Jimi was very interested. So I’m a happy musician and Jimi is a happy cat.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Cat Infected

Cat infected by owner. The virologist Steven Van Gucht told the press conference that a pet cat has also been found to have symptoms of the virus. The animal contracted the novel corona virus from its owner. However, “This case is unique. There are no indication that this is common”, Professor Van Gucht added.

“The cat was infected by a human” and there is no reason to believe that a cat could infect a human.

Worldwide there are just three cases in which pets have been found to be infected by with the novel corona virus: the cat here in Belgium and two dogs in Hong Kong. The dogs displayed no symptoms, while the cat developed respiratory and digestive issues.

Source: vrtNWS

Tough Times Part 2

Weird times indeed. After staying 2 weeks at home, I had to go to the war zone today, a.k.a. the supermarket. Access to supermarkets is limited to one person per 10 square meters and a duration of 30 minutes per customer. Much to my surprise, it wasn’t a chaotic experience. There was no queue of impatient angry customers and everyone was friendly and calm. Before you could enter the supermarket, a security guy disinfected your shopping cart and hands. Yes, there were some empty shelfs; toilet paper (of course), Italian pastas, some frozen food… But if you asked a shop assistant for info they all checked the stock to see if they could help you with an alternative product. Respect for all the hard working people nowadays!

I should stop watching the news. It makes me really mad. There are still state leaders all over the world who doesn’t give the people a sober analysis of the situation and clear instructions. Haven’t they seen the dramatic footage of what’s happening in Italy and Spain? No, a border won’t stop the coronavirus. Idiots. 

Meanwhile, Jimi stays indoors and takes serious precautions while he’s taking a nap. Sometime, all you need in life is a cozy blanket to make everything feel just a little bit better. Can I join you, sir Jimi?

Stay safe and healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Tough Times

COVID-19 update. Belgium declared a lockdown for the entire country over the coronavirus crisis from noon today until 5 April. We are all urged to stay at home to avoid social contact with the outside world. People will be allowed to go out in an emergency or to a supermarket, pharmacies and doctors. Any gatherings and meetings are prohibited. All non-essential stores will be closed while food stores, supermarkets, pharmacies, newsagents and banks will remain open. Access to supermarkets is limited to one person per 10 square meters and a duration of 30 minutes per customer.

 Last week my Dad turned 95. But we canceled his 2 birthday celebrations. I’m very worried about his health and I’m praying that he gets safe through this coronavirus situation. I keep him isolated from family members, neighbours and friends. Meanwhile, Jimi tried to sneak outside by hiding in my shopping bag but he was caught.

I know the world and a lot of you are going through tough times. But these tough times that we are facing with the rest of the world shall pass. Stay safe! Stay healthy!

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Blue Cat

Feeling blue. Blue Cat Audio is a privately held company based in Paris (France). They develop audio software for musicians and audio professionals. They create real time audio processing plug-ins for computers. I’m using their plug-ins on a regular base. And they also sell beautiful t-shirts too…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

First Snow/Last Snow

Finally, we’re heading to spring! The days are getting longer, yeah! I’ve got a good feeling about it. Last week, we had 2 days with light snow fall. Jimi was very interested in what was happening outside. I guess this was the first time in his life he actually saw snow. It reminds me of Mr. Bowie, he loved going outside and play in the snow. Feel free to go back in time and check out this post.

Meanwhile, European countries are on high alert as coronavirus (Covid-19) is spreading rapidly across the region. A few days ago, the government announced the first coronavirus case in my hometown. We have to be very careful at the moment.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Unhappy Cat

Not at all happy about it! I sold a Roland synthesizer last week. There was nothing wrong with it but I wasn’t using it anymore. And I need space in the studio because I bought/ordered new (and exciting) equipment. I was happy to get a good price for the instrument.

Unfortunately, Jimi was very disappointed he couldn’t keep the original box. But don’t worry, my furry friend, you’re going to get a bigger box very soon…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Ciara & Dennis

Stormy Sundays. The Storm Ciara, one of the most violent for years, battered this part of the world last week and left a trail of destruction. Today, Storm Dennis brings ferocious wind and heavy rain. The Storm Ciara blew the roof off my best friends house last Saturday. Thank goodness no one get injured.

We also had cold but sunny days during the week. I enjoyed my walks in the nature but had to wear a warm, woolen hat and some gloves. Sir Jimi stayed inside and turned into a ginger cat. He loves the sunshine entering the living room through the roof window. I’m sure he will enjoy all the sunny spots in the garden next spring and summer.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Any Way the Wind Blows

I’m very lucky. There are a lot of intersections in my neighbourhood where you can switch from one trail to another. I do this on a regular base so I can go from one beautiful spot to another. I love to walk in areas where there are rivers, canals, lakes…

 A few days ago I followed a trail on the Albert Canal. It passes an industrial area with big petrochemical plants. On the left side of the photograph you can see the new bridge. I wrote a post about it some time ago. Thank goodness you can also find a lot of windmills. But I switched very quickly to another trail and got back in the nature.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Left Alone

Let’s go for a walk! A friend told me recently the Department of Nature Conservation (re)opened a new hiking trail that follows the riverside of the river Grote Nete (aka Molse Nete). The hiking trail crosses a natural region where you can see a lot of different wildlife animals. That’s a bonus for me because the trail is only a few km away from my house.

 

Last week I went walking for hours on this trail and I had a great time. I had a lot of encounters with all kinds of animals. I also met this strange dude. It’s a sculpture made by a retired stone carver.

Pleased to meet you!

 

Coming back home I saw that Jimi was very disappointed he had to stay at home. Well, if you were a dog you could join me for these long walks, my furry friend.

   

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Steppin’ Out

Jimi’s first days out. I let Jimi outside in the garden a few days ago. The first time he was very cautious but the second day he was climbing into all the espaliers trees. And that’s a big problem… If he reaches the top of the trees, it’s rather easy to jump on the roof of my neighbours garage. And then it’s very easy to get in their garden. But my neighbours got a big mean dog, one of the breed that loves to chase terrorists in dark tunnels… Mr. Bowie never climbed into a tree and the fence was high enough to keep him inside the garden. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the future, keep Jimi inside or let him out again. I’m afraid that Jimi wants to discover the world on the other side of the fence after a while…

Meanwhile I received a photograph of 2 Maltese dogs who follow Jimi’s blog. I wonder if Jimi would love to play with his 2 new friends… 

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Jealous Guy

I’m clean. I have trouble falling asleep. I’m a very light sleeper. I just lie awake and worry. Over the last 10 years I tried so many different things. Yoga. Meditation. Walking and running. Herbal teas. I was constantly taking medication. Plain sleep medication. Tranquillisers. Anti-anxiety meds. Anti-depressants. I had good nights from time to time but I was also suffering from the side effects and nightmares. But today I’m clean! I started to reduce the medication this spring with succes. I stopped counting the days but I guess I’m clean for almost 3 months. I’m only drinking a herbal tea before I go to bed. And I feel fine.

You shall not pass!

 

That’s why I’m so jealous at cats and the way they sleep. They don’t worry about a hard, soft, warm or cold surface. Cats just lay down and fall asleep. Immediately. I wish I was a cat.

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

Poor Poor Pitiful Jimi

Oh no…!! I had to take Jimi to the veterinarian hospital, this afternoon. Last Saturday, I noticed he was suffering a bit from a swelling under a healed wound on his right paw. Today he stopped playing and wanted to be left alone. Just to be sure, I called for an appointment at the hospital.

Jimi doesn’t like the car rides as Mr. Bowie did. Bowie always enjoyed the car rides, even if it meant an irritating medical check up. Jimi’s medical check up all went well. It seems he was suffering from an infected wound. Jimi was treated with appropriate medication after they cleaned and disinfected the wound and the abscess. All should be well and healed very soon.

Afterwards, back home, Jimi needed to take some time to relax and recover from this first stressful event with his new human. I needed time to relax too. No espresso please, I’ll go for some dark chocolate…

Enjoy this beautiful day, my friends, wherever you are. Peace, love and understanding.

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