Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Well, first and foremost I'd like to welcome myself back to this blog from an almost year long sabbatical of sorts...

I think I've learn a thing or two when it comes to explaining philosophies and posing arguments, one of which: you should NEVER make definite statements; there would pretty much be a counter example 99% of the time, most of the time people don't smack it in my face, but something inside me does it for them. I've also learn (a hard) lesson: common sense does not always prevail. The explanation of this I have in mind is rather lengthy, hence I might do another post in future regarding it (or I could integrate it into this post, we'll see how this goes...), but basically, I've realized that I would be nonsensical to rationalize every situation, while serving a God that thrives on irrationality.

A while ago, a friend of mine posed a somewhat philosophical question, I can't remember the exact question word for word, but in essence, he asked why do people who can have children, not want them, leaving an innocent life by the dumpsters, whilst others who desperately want children, can't.

In my attempt to answer the said question: I took a step back and dissected the question if you will, revealing its true face. The theme of the question revolves around the IRONY and INJUSTICE of this world. Correct? So by answering the question this way, not only am I able to answer THIS question, but many more that carry the same theme, although in doing so I may have generalized the situation a tad bit.

Cases like the one above are part and parcel of the irony that is life in this world. Ask yourself this: Would life still be, shall we say, interesting, if this irony were non-existant? ...sure everything would be all peachy and rosy (or the opposite), relatively one dimensional. The single biggest piece of irony (for me at least) is that Jesus came and died for me, came and died for you, even though he did not have to. That I think is evidence which shows how our world is ruled by incidents of irony, paradoxes, weird situations etc. You could go as far to say that the same reason why there is suffering in this world is the same reason why Jesus came - there is a gap between the world of the broken and the world of perfection. The irony: is that, something that's perfect in every way, would be so interested in something so imperfect, that His love would be personified in a way so profound, that the world seems in be in a 2000 year long case of denial, frankly with no change of the condition in sight.

I don't think we should discredit irony, but use it to our advantage. After all, it is only because of irony that we are saved, yet because of irony people suffer as well. As the gifted we should do our duty as to help those who suffer receive the Savior, and get from this world to the next. He who suffered this injustice should not have died in vain.

I think our soul would be truly in line with the vision of God, when we come face to face with circumstances that seem to rock us off our feet, yet be able to be still and say "It is well with my soul". That is irony. That is Godly.

you only live once, you get born twice,

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The New Contenders

... for my (dads) money.

It all started when my dear friend Rikipu questioned my choice of desired guitar amplifier. If you were following my previous posts, its the Vox Valvetronix VT30. Since I'm already getting a Line 6 Pod X3 Live, "which is already some super amp modeling thing", I guess there is no point in getting an amp which is essentially, another effects unit with a speaker attached.

Since then, the competition has been thrown wide open. However, me being me, and having the time I do, I could not help but do some "research". Please do keep in mind that I've decided to keep an open mind when it actually comes to making a decision, this is just for the sake of showing the results of the research and what I find interesting, the highlights if you will, at my price range of course, even if its just a tad bit over. You might just realize that I am a very biased Vox man...

Meet this little bugger.


Yup. 4 watts of screaming power. DO NOT BE FOOLED, 4 watts is NOT soft (as you may think). Anyone with a decent knowledge of logarithmic functions: the relationship between power (Watts) and volume (Decibels), is exactly that, a logarithmic function. Without boring the faces out of you (trust me, I can do that), it basically means that at lower Watts, closer to 1, the lesser the power, the more drastically the volume reduces, eg. twice the power can mean 10 times the volume. From Watts 5 and beyond, generally, depending on how you view the changing gradients of the graph (MORE MATHS?!) an increase in power means a less drastic increase in volume, eg. 15 W to 30 w can only mean an increase in 3 db of volume. All in all, this thing can be pretty darn loud.

This amp is all tube, Class A for those "pros" out there. Dear old Rikipu uses one, loves it. its a 4 watt, which means that it will (theoretically) have less "headroom". It can be a downside for me, I'm not the type that overdrives his sound ALL the time, especially when I need the volume out for a gig, this amp is not very gig worthy as far as I'm concerned (take note, I could ALWAYS be wrong), especially when the venue has poor PA equipment or crew (and there are plenty of those, I've been to a few too many already, drums that drown out the rest of the instruments, unbalanced EQ, the whole lot). Although I'm told this makes for the perfect practice amp, so that the neighbors won't start screaming at me. Plus its all tube, you've gotta give it that, natural overdrive is just sweet. From the video clips I've been watching so far, it sounds pretty good, another good mini tube amp to note is the Epiphone Valve Junior, far simpler construction and features, but its sound is very good, especially with the overdrive. Its cheaper too, well under my amp budget, which is superb when you are spending your parents money.

Lets bring in the big boy:

Vox AC30VR

30 WATTS! Definitely gig worthy. Reports say that its a good representation of the real AC30. I can only complain that the annoying VR logo makes it look like, what it is, an imitation. This amplifier is driven by the same technology that drives the VT. They call it the Valve Reactor. A 12AX7 preamp tube is used as a power tube (giving it tube like response), but with only 0.5 Watts or so of power, the actual amplification of the sound is done with solid state technology that "adds no tone coloration to the signal". The result is debatable, if not with a little sense of controversy, you are either with it, or against it, if you're on a fence, you don't know your gear. In my opinion, hybrid amps will never be able to fully emulate the texture of a true tube amp, since this is only emulating the preamp stage of the amp, but it can come very close to the real thing, so for musicians on a budget (*cough*, me), this could be a life saver. For me, I say, why can't we just treat this product as what it is, another amp, with its own character, flaws, pluses, if you like it, buy it, simple.

It seems that the amp has favorable reviews so far, although amp ownership by public is far from adequate to present accurate data. But some have commented on the early breakup of sound (ie. less headroom) at relatively low volumes. The overdrive channel is a bonus for a lot of people seeking versatility in sound, "vintage and modern" sounds can be created. Problem with this amp though, is the volume, if this is anything at all like the real AC30, then this is going to be LOUD (which can be an advantage as well). the 15 watt version (in theory) is not softer by much, so getting the AC15VR will not help with noise, only makes the sound breakup earlier.

The thing with these 2 amps, is that they appeal strongly to my appetite for that Vox sound. In my opinion, these are some of the best amps for they types of sounds I want to create. Sure, there are other amplifiers out there I'm sure, that sound good as well, its just that they seem to only be an expert in the type of sound that I do not need as much. DON'T get me wrong, I would love those sounds, just not as much. For the photoholics, I leave you with this picture of the man, Hendrix, and his Marshalls, carving tone history.

you only live once,

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Ok, so, we, humans, competitive, love being first no?
Well, here my readers, is a list of firsts.

Humans are the first:

1. To be powerful or intelligent enough to affect mother nature (to a certain extent based on current technologies)inflicting noticeable change within a life time.

2. To defy mother nature by:
- terminating his/her own life.
- being sexually attracted to the same sex.

3. To create artificial life.

4. To manipulate preexisting life.

5. To choose his/her own ideals.

For all you evolutionists out there, if mother nature did indeed create us, we are a massive failure. Simply because we have evolved too far, as we can defeat and defy mother nature herself. If you are a believer in evolution, the human race is doomed and all forms of life like us, are likewise. A good analogy would be creating robots that have achieved such a high level of intelligence that they become conscience and can fight to rebel against us instead (think I-Robot, Terminator).

I am a Christian, what can I possibly say to counteract all this? Here is a list of firsts for Humans, according to the Christian faith.

Humans are the first:

1. To be able to be rescued from the penalty of sin, death through the perfect sacrifice that is Jesus Christ.

Yup, that's it.

The beautiful part of this is that even though, God died for us, he loves us enough to allow us the choice, of following him or not. That is what your prayer, your asking of God, to come into your life is for.

you only live once,

Monday, July 26, 2010

Patterns of Emotions

As some of you may know, I seem to have this ability to predict what you are going to say. If you didn't then there you go. It does have limitations though, it does not work well on people I don't know (I can only narrow down the possible outcomes, not accurate enough to pinpoint exact actions or words, but enough to predict the most likely ones), and predicting exact words really is a matter of luck. I realized why I can "predict" human behavior. Humans of all things in nature, are predictable, unlike your everyday horse or bee, humans are a tad bit more complicated, but still, predictable.


There seems to be this mathematical phenomena discovered by Leonardo DaVinci (yes, that Mona Lisa guy) called the Golden Ratio which pretty much maps out everything in nature mathematically. Of course, that's not ENTIRELY the case, because if it was, the "mathematically beautiful" would look more like Angelina Jolie instead of a random hobo, in fact that's what a study discovered, Mr. Leo isn't always correct. But his idea of an overall pattern in nature is still applicable, generally, not precise-to-the-dot accurate but hey...

Back to topic, this habit of mine, of saying what you are going to say before you say it. Its second nature for me to create this formula in my head (think of it as a mathematical function all you mathematicians eg. f(x)=...) , and factor in your personality and hey presto, I have a prediction. Sounds easy, in reality it is a lot more complicated and abstract than that, but i'm used to it. Now that I have the results, all I need to decide now is whether to say it or not, which could influence the mutual relationship between you, people around us, and me. I could also give myself away, allowing you to do similar judgments on me, which naturally, I wouldn't want (or would I? see this is the Great Paradox of Artking if you will, you will always need to see both sides of the coin to see if its two faced, or two tailed, or normal, either of which is possible, and even then it would be hard for you to know my motives).

Recently, I realized that the reason why my predictions aren't 100% (or close to) accurate is because i base my data on emotions, not so much the intellectual or rational part of the brain. I realized that all along I was actually "feeling" what people feel, kinda creepy I know.

I set myself this challenge, because I find that constantly doing this thing I do doesn't really help me or you or anyone else. If anything it makes my head want to blow, WAY too much information is being processed. I'd like to be a "victim" for once, helpless to the actions of the world around me. Often it feels so lonely, being myself, as all other people do, I want to try, just for once, to "fit it", destroying my "individuality" in the process. Well of course you would wonder, would I have hypothesized what I would feel during this self set challenge? well, I leave you to answer that question, a paradox in itself. Didn't I stand for individuality? Didn't I say that people are born who they are, unique in the eye of God? Well, all I can say is, frankly I don't care anymore. I'm tired of living an entire life within a few seconds, tired of experiencing things that should be beyond my physical self.

You could say I "know" what is about to happen to myself, then why would I do it anyway? Perhaps, perhaps to know and to experience are two separate phenomena of the human mind. Its funny how you can "know" the future and live through it at the same time, something like Dr. Manhattan, maybe I know what he feels like now (I do believe that he is fictional, its just something to stimulate the Watchmen readers out there reading this blog).

you only live once,

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Dear diary,

Indeed this is another one of my English homework tasks, that I think is good enough to be posted here. The task is to write a diary entry to investigate the use of various language techniques. Dear Nexas, I am not suicidal.

Dear diary,

Will this be the last time I’ll write in you from the “comfort” of my room? The last entry written on my bed, somewhere in this inner-city suburb? As much as the cold hard street below stinks, it is 10 times worse in here, trust me.

I can hear my father, just beyond my closed room door, shouting at mom. World's most convincing drama if you ask me, I get a dose of it pretty much everyday, or at least when the dadium and momium particles collide. As if that’s gonna solve their problems. It’s funny how simple things like money and lipstick can tear apart the two people who made me.

There were nights when I cried like the kid I was, the quit sob I cried trying not to give in to “weakness” when I fell and grazed my knees, and I thought that was painful. Some nights I distracted myself with studies and stuff that other teens do, anything other than my parents. But tonight is different. I feel like I’ve been crushed in the debris of a collapsed building, but I’m not aware of the pain I’m supposed to be in, because I’m about to leave this world, and everything around me is fading into a bright light. I think I’ve earned this numbness, after all this bullcrap I’ve been through.

I feel this calling, a strong desire, almost a longing, all my life, to run away, escape this hell hole, before everything turns apeshit, with me in the middle of it all. Nothing has hurt me more than this, and nothing will. I cannot possibly be selfish in this decision. If anyone, they should be the ones mature enough to sort this out, bloody hypocrites. I’ve waited long enough, no more tomorrows. It should be easier for them when I’m gone. No longer will I be around to piss them off, “...what do we do with the lil-shit?” I’ll be on the streets somewhere, looking for something, or someone, somehow...

you only live once,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Down and Never Up

This a piece of homework I did for English as part of poetic studies. It was originally meant to be four lines of poetry, but I decided to finish what I started. The point of the task is to investigate the effect of poetic techniques and their applications in poetry as well as how feelings can be communicated indirectly. I did not get the chance to present my poem due to time constraints but here it is anyway. In case you are wondering, I am not psychotic.

My heart is chained to a mountain,
A burden too heavy to carry.
My heart is bound by the stem of a rose,
Piercing with every heartbeat.

Rid me of these memories,
These hideous acts of crime.

Should I run?
Should I hide?
Either way,
The demons will hunt me down,
I am never alone.

you only live once,

Sunday, June 13, 2010


Over these few years, my musical taste has been through an incredible journey of both highs and lows. My taste in guitars has also evolved since then. Here is a list of guitars in my guitars wish-list as of 6.00 p.m., June 13th, 2010. (it is in order of most desired to least desired, from top to bottom)

Burny (Super Grade) Les Paul - almost a must in my collection, and I may be able to get one at the end of this year, from a friend of mine. Made in Japan with hand wound VH-1 pickups (only those made from 1975 - 1977), these are one of the best replicas of the original Gibson PAFs to date. The VH-1s are only available on the neck pickup of my friends guitar however, his bridge pickup is a Gibson 490, even better. The Gibson 490 is featured on Jimmy Pages Gibson EDS-1275 double neck guitar which he used to play Stairway to Heaven live, as well as several other Gibson guitars.

Gibson EDS-1275

Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster (Left-Handed) - call me a wannabe, I am one. Yes I play right handed, although I'm left handed, but I want a left handed Stratocaster so that I can play it like Jimi Hendrix did. Not for show if that's what you think i'm trying to do, for sound. The slanted bridge pickup on the Stratocaster was originally designed to highlight the highs of the high E string and make the lows on the low E sound mellow. This is because the closer your pickup is to the bridge, the more of the treble you will pickup (I call it twangy-ness, because that's what it is). When Jimi Hendrix played his Stratocaster the other way round (because there were next to none left handed Stratocasters available during the time) he accidentally created this new sound when his strings were restrung. The low E string, because bright sounding and the high E because mellow, thus the famous Hendrix sound. So although I play right handed guitar (despite being a left handed person), I would love to get a Stratocaster and play it just like the master did, inverted. Also, I have this bias toward maple fretboards, the warmness of the rosewood versions do not suit stratocaster sounds very well, although there are exceptions where it works very well indeed.

Fender Left-handed Stratocaster

Duesenberg Starplayer TV - a semi-hollow electric guitar made by the Duesenberg company which oddly enough used to make cars. This guitar has a P90 on the neck and a vintage humbucker on the bridge. The floating tremelo is a favorite of many artists including Nigel Hendroff of Hillsong. It looks like a Gibson, plays like a Fender, and sounds like a Grestch, perfect combination.

Duesenberg Starplayer TV

Epiphone Les Paul Custom - nothing too fancy about this guitar, however, it is a relatively cheap quality instrument I intend to upgrade. If I could, I would distress the finish, change the neck pickup to a p90 and put a Seymour Duncan Seth Lover at the bridge.

Gibson SG Standard - two humbuckers, 22 frets, one great body. That's all I need to say about this.

Ibanez JEM 7V - Steve Vai's signature guitar, 24 frets, tone that cries goodness, food for my progressive rock soul.

Ibanez JEM 7V

Danelectro 59' Original - cheap plywood body, two telecaster pickups, ideal for the beginner or the professional. I will not need a fancy Fender for a telecaster sound, this will do just fine.

Eastwood Airline 59' Custom 3P - Any good fan of The White Stripes would be craving for one of these Eastwood guitars. The model that Jack White uses (or used) is a 2P, slightly different, but in the spirit of 'originality', why not?

Fender Road Worn Mexican Stratocaster - maple fretboard please! and this time I will play it right the way round. A friend of mine gave this guitar a really good review and I'm hoping to get my hands on one. I have tried a Mexican Standard Stratocaster which is miles cheaper than the normal American ones, but you get what you pay for. The workmanship on that guitar is acceptable, and the sound is reasonable, but not as full or vibrant as the American version.

Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette Special - Super Stratocaster type guitar, used by Lincoln Brewster when he was in the Steve Morse Band. I plan to replace all the pickups to create a Yngwie Malmsteem/ Lincoln Brewster hybrid. The single coils will be replaced by Seymour Duncan STK-S10 YJM Fury pickups, and the humbucker at the bridge will be a P90.

Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette Special

you only live once,