Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The tale of the dodgy S-Video cable...

A tale fresh from the floor of the day...

So this morning I was picked up by the lovely Lucy at 7.15 to go help the lovely LCET team with their Sex Presentation at Lea Manor High School. My job in the team is to make sure all the technical stuff gets set up ok and then to run the technical side during the presentation, which includes Sound, Lap top, projector and sometimes lighting. I was a bit worried cos we only had half an hour to set up when we usually have 45 mins to an hour!

Anyway, suprisingly everything went relatively smoothly, even got all 3 radio mics working properly.

Everything was ready and with minutes to go i was just checking the laptop and video feed to the projector. It had been working fine, when suddenly the picture started to flicker! I wiggled the lead a bit and it stopped but then started again. My heart started to beat faster, the year 9's were starting to come in the hall. I decided to un plug everything from the vision mixer and plug it all in again but it still flickered and then we lost the signal altogether.

In a last desperate attempt I plugged the long s-video cable that ran down the length of the hall straight into my laptop thinking it was a fault with vision mixer, but alas nothing, and thus concluding it was in fact a dodgy S-video cable. So running through the program in my head, I realised that without the laptop and projector working that was a few big chunks of the presentation gone. But, to my dismay the teacher was just introducing the presentation and I was out of time to do anything.

The presentation started with the drama, and then went on with Gill doin a lot of improvisation. Then I suddenly had the brainwave that if I whisked the laptop down to the projector at the front I could plug it straight into the projector with the shorter s-video cable that hopefully still worked. This meant atleast we could use the stuff that didn't have audio on it as the laptop was now miles away from the mixer and me audio cable was no where near long enough.

However, a but further into the presentation I then realised I could plug the laptop audio cable straight into the amp for the speakers which was at the front near the laptop, which would allow us to use the audio stuff as well. So sneaking behind Gill and Lucy during their interview(which I think was completely unplanned cos they were tryying to cover for the lack of other stuff) me and Tom sneaked on and wired it up and it worked.

So we managed to get to the end of the presentation having most stuff in their as we would usually have, maybe not in quite the same order and format but most of it was there.

A big well done needs to go to Tom, Lucy and especially Gill for keeping going and improvising as stuff went wrong and then started working again. You guys are awesome:)

But just remember this story and beware of dodgy s-video cables. And if you fear that one may be dodgy then always carry a spare. I have warned you...

Back in the swing!

So after a week off to refresh myself I'm back in town and back into the swing of life.

In the weeks running up to Easter I was house sitting for the Hurst family, some friends from church, and looking after their cat and dog. Please note the cat doesn't wee all over the work tops like Tom's cat, tho the dog did wee on the floor a few times...

But I had a good time there, and it was nice to have my own place for a couple of weeks. Made me really miss living away from home, and now I want to move out even more. The great thing as well was the week before Easter, which had the potential of being a very busy stressful week, I ended up having lots of time just to chill out with friends, which I haven't really done properly for ages, so thank you to everyone who came over, and who invited me out including Tom, Lucy, Gill, Andy, Steve, Tim, Christine, Kate, Tim H, Harriet, Ron and anyone else I forgot. It just made my week really great and helped keep the stress levels down so thankyou:)

So with Liz(my boss at the church) off to have her operation, the responsibility of leading worship for the big Easter Sunday Celebration fell to me! I was really really nervous about it, as any of you who spoke to me pre that day would know. But in the end I just gave it all to God and as always he did an awesome job. It was still a bit scary but I felt comfortable and confident in the job that he had given me to do. I think that its good to be a bit nervous about doin stuff, I always getting a bit nervous if I'm leading whether it be big or small. And I even get nervous when I do sound and techy stuff, whether its church stuff or anything. Maybe its me, but I find it helps me be more focussed, and not get too complacent about it.

So, also in that busy week before Easter I had my first 2 rehearsals with the new band I've just joined, the "Frank Soul Lovers". We are a function covers band playing a variety of Soul, Funk and Jazz. Its been really fun to play drums in a band again, but also hard work, cos I've had to do a shed load of sight reading. We've only had 2 rehearsals and our first gig is this Saturday, so I'll be reading the charts for most the songs. But if you want a good fun covers band for any weddings, anniversaries or birthdays then let me know.

So after that busy week, I was on my long awaited week off. It was a bit strange leaving the LCET office Tuesday lunchtime as all the LCET guys were just back to work after their holidays. After negotiating the Trains and London Underground(at one stage I managed to get off the tube to make a connection only to get back on again after finding out the station I had got off at had no connecting lines as I had expected) I arrived in a rather over cast Salisbury. This was a shame as while I was in London it had been sunny with cloudless blue sky. It was really great to see my friends Steve and Lianna, and catch up with all that they're doing. I pretty much spent the week just chilling out, which normally I'm not very good at, but bein away from Luton and work helped. I went and nosed round Salisbury a fair bit, went on some nice walks, had a look at the Cathedral (I'm starting to sound old) and on Saturday we went shopping in Southampton. It was really good to go to a different church where I have no responsibilites, something I should do more often. I take a lot more in, and feel more relaxed.

So now I'm back and swinging again. Next big thing is Townwide prayer meeting which I'm leading worship for, another thing I took of Liz when she went in for her operation. I'm probably more nervous about this than Easter as its gonna be a spontaneous spirit led evening, so there's no set plan. So if anyone reads this before then your prayers would be much appreciated, or I guess even after cos God is outiside of time.

Anyway, this post has become an essay, so will round it up there. Will post about some more up and coming stuff soon.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Worship... with a bang!

I love it when God turns up and has his own way.

Sunday morning, I was leading worship for our family healing service. All through sound check and rehearsal things didn't feel right, we weren't playing well together as a band and ...well it just didn't feel right. Anyway, started first song, and we were barely into it when bang, all the power to the sound and multimedia desk went dead. For a while I kept going cos my guitar amp was still working, but I soon realised what had happened. I proceeded to tell the church we had broken the sound system and went on a mission to the breaker box(which is in the hall next door which is currently a building site) meeting Dave Jeffs our head Deacon on the way who proceeded to tell me that everything tripped out when he unplugged a fan heater at the back of the church.

After pondering for a few minutes with Dave, Andy my electrician friend and a few guys from the sound team, I came to the conclusion that we needed to carry on with the service, power or no power. So after re-grouping with Alan and Liz quickly to work out what to do, I grabbed my acoustic guitar(which luckily was sitting in a corner at the back of the church) and started to lead the congregation. It was a really amazing time of worship, it was just really cool to be able to hear everyone's voices so loudly, and with no projection screens or anything for people to focus on, they really entered in. It just felt really natural and really right and like real genuine worship. I think God was trying to tell me and the church maybe that we soemtimes rely so much on technology and making things look and sound so good, that we forget what we're really doin which is worshipping God. We don't really need Plasma screens, projectors and big PA systems to worship him, we just need to come as we are.

Anyway, the service went really well, despite not getting the power back on. By the end of the worship as well as me with my guitar on the stage downstairs we also had cello, sax and a little percussion section goin on, the team pulled together really well. And I just really enjoyed leading worship, wish we could do every Sunday like that.

Anyway, I'm off to plan a prayer meeting for tomorrow. I also have to put together a video for Palm Sunday this week to the song Miracle Maker by delirious, but don't know when i will actually have time to do it. So your prayers for time and inspiration for that would be appreciated.

And wow look, I've blogged twice in the space of about 3 days!!!

I guess I'll be blogging again soon...

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Everything is changing.... but I still stay the same!

Hey dudes.

I am finding that blogging regularly is not as easy as I first thought. I always have good intentions with stuff like this, but at the moment other things always seem to take first place like sleeping.

But do not fear I am here to blog again, and update you all on the ins and outs of my life.

A lot of developments have taken place since I last blogged, meaning lots of things have changed. We are no longer doing our big Easter Opening for reasons you will see later, and this week I had to cancel our Kids Music Academy till after Easter cos of shortage of space due to building work and shortage of staff.

Basically Liz, who is the worship director at LCF and my boss, is having to go into hospital anytime soon for an operation. This means she'll be off work for a good few weeks leaving me in charge of it all, which is quite scary. Even scarier is I have to lead worship for the big Easter morning service!!! Please pray for me, as at the minute the whole thing is quite daunting for me and in all my time working at LCF Liz has always been there as a back up and someone to call on if I get stuck, so it will be scary not having her around for a while.

I mentioned in my last blog that I have been asked to play drums in a new band. The band is being put together by my old music tech teacher Ross, with a few other music teachers from across the region. It's gonna be a sort of soul/funk covers band problem mainly doin functions and stuff. I am really looking forward to it tho, as its the first band I've got to play drums in for ages, and hopefully it will be good fun, and a good way for me to relax.

Developments for next year - some of you may or may not know I've been looking into the possibility of next year Sound Engineering for a band touring round the UK who are based in Manchester. I'm off up to Manchester on the 3rd March to have a meeting with the guy in charge of it - a kind of informal interview I think. Your prayers round this are would be much appreicated. The idea really pulls me, but it would be a big move going up to Manchester, and it would mean leaving all my friends and stuff going on in Luton behind.

Anyway, life in general is busy as always. Have a lot of stuff to do between now and Easter and then looking forward to going down to Salisbury to stay with my good friends Steve and Lianna for a week.

I am very much enjoying being in my office at LCET, peace out to all the LCET dudes and dudettes(especially my pals Tom and Lucy, and Lillie cos she posted on my blog) you guys all work so hard and you rock!!!

I must go for now, but WILL blog again soon I promise....