Saturday, December 22, 2007

DrGaz's Music: Jingle Balls!

Another little Christmassy treat for you! This is Jingle Balls, my own rendition of Jingle Bells (obviously). It is perhaps nearly as irritating as my Hark the Hells Angels Sing. Play them loud and annoy family & friends over the festive period. Well that's it for me for 2007! I'm off somewhere hot over Crimbo and will be back in the 2008 with some more mildly interesting stuff for your entertainment.

By the way, this is the 1st anniversary of DrGaz's Stuff - a bit worrying since I only started it for a laugh with absolutely no intention of taking it seriously at all.

Coming to DrGaz's Stuff in 2008
  • The rest of the 2008 Nicola Bryant calendar
  • More of my terrifying Horror Dream Diary. Dare you read about The Man in the Chair, or The Void?
  • Some more recipes perhaps
  • Generally more of the same stuff as before (Doctor Who, sketches, photoblog etc etc)

Friday, December 21, 2007

DrGaz's Music: Hark the Hells Angels Sing

Merry Christmas! Here's a little treat... possibly the most irritating version of a Christmas carol you will hear this year. It's intentionally crap, and I also think it has an "imperial" feel to it! Enjoy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

2008 Nicola Bryant Calendar: January

Oh, yes. Here's a special Christmas treat for all you Nicola Bryant fans out there! This is the 1st installment of my very own "DrGaz 2008 Nicola Bryant calendar". This is something I hope to do on a monthly basis (it would take me ages to issue the whole year right now), so please pop back at the end of each month for the following installment! If you don't want to miss out, just sign up to my mailing list (don't worry I won't spam you), and I'll make sure you're notified the second each month is ready!
INSTRUCTIONS: Just click on the above image to open the larger 580x580 version in your internet browser. Then right mouse click to save to your PC. When you've done that just make it your desktop wallpaper. Bingo! You now have some saucy pics of Nicola to keep you company throughout 2008!

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Monopods

This is something I came across on YouTube recently. I thought I'd post it because I've done a few Tripods posts recently. Anyway, I thought this was quite amusing - it's rather silly. I'm really impressed with how they've done the title sequence so accurately to the original.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Purple bally thing in space

This is something I did ages ago in 3D on Autodesk Inventor 9, that I just found on my PC. I thought I'd just give it a quick Photoshop job (add some stars and stuff) and bung it on here.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Horror Dream Drary: The Haunted Apartment

I was living in a Victorian mansion that had been divided up into individual apartments. My apartment looked out onto beautiful gardens.

Soon after moving in I realised that the apartment was haunted, and it became worse over the space of a few weeks. The ghosts were three black servants – a man, a woman and a young girl in her early 20s (possibly their daughter). The man and woman were both in their 50s, and were extremely menacing characters. The man was particularly frightening. He had deformed hands and I would often turn around to find that he’d been standing behind me, glaring at me.

The hauntings started off pretty low-key – Just a fleeting glimpse of one of them in a mirror, but when I turned around they would be gone. It wasn’t long before they were still be there when I turned around, fading away seconds later. Soon they were around pretty much all the time, and I decided to try to exorcise them, which was very difficult at first because they mocked me as I read prayers. I persisted and gradually the hauntings got less and less until I stopped seeing them.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

DrGaz on the keys

Just got back from my 4th piano lesson! I've played guitar (mainly electric) for the last 15 years but it's always been a compromise, because since I was a kid I have ALWAYS wanted a piano! Sadly this is something that was always been impractical for one reason or another - usually "It's too big", "It's too expensive" "It's too noisy" etc etc etc... (the list of excuses not to is endless - you'll never win), so I've decided to go for it in adulthood and learn it properly with a teacher, and hopefully very shortly I'll be purchasing a digital piano. Not the cheapest hobby with lessons at £24/hr, and yes an electric piano WILL take up space, but what the hell! Sometimes you have to say balls to it just do it!

What I really want to do is go through the grades, and I'm aiming to make grade 1 by summer 2008. For now as a novice I have to start somewhere, so I'm currently working my way through the Grade 1 scale book, and another book called Piano Time 1 by Pauline Hall (both pictured below). Piano Time 1 is written for 5 year olds, and contains exciting stuff like "She'll be coming 'round the mountain", but as I said, you have to start somewhere. You can't just start bashing out Beethoven straight away.

A tricky thing about learning an instrument "properly" is learning to sight read (I learned guitar completely by ear and tabulation or "Tab" as it's called) . The thought of learning how to read music sounds pretty scary, but in the last couple of weeks I've actually been getting on quite well with it. This is largely thanks to a piece of software called Note Card which tests you on all the notes. I downloaded it to my PC at work, and give my self a quick test every lunchtime. It's amazing how quickly you pick it up.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

DrGaz's music: Tuesday Night

This is a little thing that I recorded on the PC this evening. It's just a 30 second ditty I did on the guitar as a little test. I wanted to see if I could plug it into the mic port on the PC soundcard and record in Audacity (a nice piece of Freeware for sound manipulation that allows you multitrack). This is about 5 or 6 tracks together. The sound quality isn't wonderful, but it's nice to know that I can do this so easily. I wouldn't mind having a bash at doing some guitar stuff in Garageband (if I can ever get around to it).

Below is a pic of my guitar. It's been recently dusted down after spending a year in storage. It's a US Fender Stratocaster that I puchased new in 1996. Cost me £500 from Cranes in Cardiff.

Actually I quite like this little tune, so maybe I can turn it into a proper song. My ultimate aim is to make an er "album" (it'll be called DrGaz's Party), and with a bit of work I can also develop some of the other tunes on this blog to go on it too!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

DrGaz's virtual Dalek build

This is something I did a couple of years ago on a piece of 3D software called Autodesk Inventor 9. Since I was a kid I always wanted to make a full-size Dalek. Unfortunately I never got the opportunity and these days I certainly haven't got the time or a garage to devote to such a project. Therefore I thought it would be fun to create an accurate 3D model using this sofware. Here's some pics of the model. It's onlt about 60% complete. Maybe I'll come back one day and try to finish it off.

I used the plans compiled from The Dalek Builders' Guild to create this model. They are extremely accurate, and if you can get into their website there are some fantastic examples of replica Daleks that people have built themselves. There is also an amusing section devoted to "Wokleks", which are slightly dodgy, less accurate builds!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Wiggy Davison

This is the cover to the latest Radio Times which is promoting the Doctor Who special for Children in Need. Someone on the Outpost Gallifrey forum mentioned that Peter Davison should wear a wig because these days he's a bit of a slap-head - his hair was much longer when he played the Doctor in the early '80s! Well I couldn't resist the challenge of Photoshopping on Davison's original hair to see the difference, so below is here's him before and after his makeover. Actually I think it takes a few years off him:

...and here's the revised Radio Times with Wiggy Davison in all his glory:

...and here's some more wig options for both Doctors:

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Photo of the day: Traffic

Again, on the way home this evening on the top deck of the bus. Now that the clocks have gone back it's dark so early in the evening.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Photo of the day: Empty bus

On an empty top deck of the bus in the way home from work this evening.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

DrGaz's Music: The Tripods v2

This is my second attempt at the theme tune for The Tripods. Although still not perfect I think it is slightly closer to Ken Freeman's original than my first attempt. I have corrected the key and tempo, and I think that I've managed to get the bassline a bit more accurate. I have also synchronised it better to the opening credits (see YouTube video below). The main problem I've been having is with the instrument sounds. I still can't get the main theme instruments to sound right - the original has more attack and also seems to have some horn sounds in there somewhere that I just can't get close to. Instead I'm pretty much having to use the default Garageband strings instrument. I am also unable to find anything similar to the gut-wrenching metallic sounds at the beginning. I quite like my version of these, but they don't have as much oomph as Ken Freemans!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Photo of the day: Donkeys

Donkeys on Mablethorpe (Lincolnshire) beach last Saturday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Photo of the day: Haunted archway.

I visited Lincoln with some friends last weekend. On Saturday night we went on the excellent Original Lincoln Ghost Walk. Pictured is the most haunted part of Lincoln - a medieval archway that was originally the "back door" to the walled city. The Greestone Stairs are beyond the archway.

Apparently lots of people who take this shot get a mysterious black blob in the top left-hand corner of the pic by thee lamp. I resisted the temptation to photoshop on such a ghostly entity...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

DrGaz's Music: There Is Only Death.

Here’s a cheery tune for you! I hope you don’t find it too depressing. I actually did it a few months ago and just got around to putting the finishing touches to it today. There Is Only Death is more of a mini audio project rather than a song because apart from the rhythm of the “heartbeat” bass drum and the bleep of the life support machine there’s no actual melody. It’s mainly sound effects and weird noises.

This is the final few minutes of terminal pain before the heart gives out and brain activity ceases. Everything goes black and that’s yer lot, mate!

I’m hoping to go completely in the opposite direction for my next tune. I’d like to make up to you for this utterly depressing song by making something so sugary and cheerful you’ll want to throw up! Something about happy, happy people, blue skies and cute furry kittens perhaps.

Sevans Daleks Adverts - NEW DALEKS (1987)

Thanks again to Outpost Gallifreyan MasseyLopez for sending this in. I believe that this is the final outstanding advert for Sevans models (if anyone knows about one I've missed, please get in touch!)

This ad introduces a redesigned range of Sevans Daleks, far simpler to assemble than previous models. The TV Dalek (pictured) also shows a further improvement - a removable head section complete with Kaled mutant and controls!

A very nice ad, I must say. Some great looking models, and I like the warehouse set. There's even a pic of the man himself!

Interestingly this advert also mentions the availability of an A2 Sevans wall-poster. I've certainly never seen this and would be interested in hearing from anyone who has a scan of it.

Source: Doctor Who Monthly, 1987 Autumn Special, rear cover.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

DrGaz's 2008 Nicola Bryant calendar.

Coming soon from DrGaz!! It's the "unofficial and unauthorised" DrGaz's 2008 Nicola Bryant calendar. This is my own tribute to Nicola Bryant, the actress who played Peri again Colin Baker's and Peter Davison's Doctor. She was indeed the hottest companion the Doctor had in my opinion.

Soon to be available (hopefully in time for Crimbo) in an electronic format! Watch this space...

P.S. Sign up to my mailing list if you'd like it to be emailed to you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

DrGaz's Music: The Tripods

Contrary to the slagging off most Doctor Who fans give The Tripods, I have to say that I bloody loved the series! I recently re-watched some episodes on YouTube and was amazed to find that even after 20 years it is still gripping and the effects hold up surprisingly well.

I recently had a bash at trying to emulate Ken Freeman's magnificent theme tune using Garageband, and you can listen to it here. You can either use the above player or hear it on the video below where I've dubbed it over the title sequence:

Above: my version of the theme opening title sequence.
Aaargh it's all out of sync! The bassline's all wrong! Where did those drums come from at the end? It's ALL wrong! (But I sorta quite like it).

Well I'm not saying it's perfect and I have to admit that I did this when I didn't have an internet connection so it's completely from memory. Listening to it against the actual theme music, I know now that my instruments, tempo, key, phrasing and baseline are all wrong (well everything's wrong then).

I'm been slowly working on a more accurate version, but sadly I'm limited with the voices available on Garageband - I just CAN'T seem get the strings to sound right on my new version - they don't have enough attack and sound too relaxed. Maybe I can find a way around that somehow...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Photo of the day: Hammersmith Tube Station

Well I just happened to be in London last night and passing the tube in Hammersmith I thought I'd take this as I had my camera on me. There are a number of stations in Hammermith for different lines and this is the lovely old Victorian one that accommodates the Hammersmith & City line. I really like the style of some of these old London Underground stations have, and I thought that this one looked quite atmospheric all lit up at night.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sevans Daleks Adverts - Doctor Who Monsterkits (1988)

Here's another full page DWM advert for the Sevans model kits. Interestinigly the price of the Dalek kit has risen again to £17.95 (from £14.95, and from originally £11.95). Quite a large price rise in such a short space of time (approximately 2 years). I imagine that this increase reflects the overheads involved in the introduction of the other model kits seen in this particular ad, notably the Cyberman and Ice Warrior kits.

Thanks again to Outpost Gallifreyan MasseyLopez for sending this in.

Source: Doctor Who Monthly, Issue 136 (May 1988), page 10.

Sevans Daleks adverts - TIMELORD - BEWARE (1985-6)

This advert was featured in several issues of Doctor Who Magazine (DWM) during 1985-6. Thanks to Outpost Gallifreyan MasseyLopez and John Main for sending this in.

A fantastic advert I must admit, and the first Sevans one (to my knowledge) that was in colour, this one frequently adorned the rear cover of DWM during 1986, and again as a kid I remember drooling over it trying to decide what colour to paint my very own one that I got for Crimbo in '86! In the end I painted my Crimbo '86 one in the "Resurrection" scheme, and my Crimbo '87 one in the silver/gold scheme that you can see in this ad.

Hey they've gone up to £14.95! That's a whopping +25% in 1 year. I know that house price inflation was insane in the late '80s (as it is now), so maybe Stu Evans had a whacking great mortgage he needed to pay off!

Source: Doctor Who Monthly, Issue 105 (October 1985), inside front cover.

Sevans Dalek adverts - DALEK INVASION (1985)

Here's a classic example of a Sevans models ad from the mid '80s. This was featured in several issues of DWM (Doctor Who Monthly) in 1985. I remember drooling over this particular ad for a long time as an 11/12 year old before finally getting one delivered to me by Santa in 1986. As you can see, the price was £11.95. That sounds so cheap by today's standards! It's amazing how inflation creates that impression... probably the equivalent of £30-£35 nowadays I guess. Thanks to Outpost Gallifreyan, John Main for emailing this in.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Photo of the day: Post office signs

Here's a photo taken in Prague this weekend. It is a post office door. I was amazed by the amount of activities that are non-permissable in this establishment. I even had to leave my shooter outside.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gaz’s Spaghetti Bolognaise (serves 4)

This is my own recipe for spaghetti bolognaise. It is no doubt based on a number of recipes that over the years I have I have combined, altered, refined and customised to my own taste.

Actually, I find that spaghetti bolognaise is pretty hard to get right. This recipe is based on my most recent attempt from the other day. It came out really well, and I believe that the secret is totally in reducing the sauce so that the flavour of the tomatoes is intensified.


  • Olive oil
  • Onion (1 large one)
  • Minced beef (500g)
  • Tomatoes (12 of them, nice and ripe)
  • Basil – A handful of leaves, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Ground black pepper (a good few grinds)
  • Mixed dried herbs (2-3 tbs)
  • Chilli powder (1/2 a tsp, don’t go mad – you shouldn’t notice it)
  • Balsalmic vinegar (3 or 4 tbs)
  • Optional – red wine (a good slug)
  • Optional – Worcestershire sauce (3 tbs)
  • Minced garlic (3 or 4 cloves)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Optional – mushrooms, chopped and fried separately (a tub of them)
  • Pasta (as much or as little as you want)


  1. Heat a good slug of olive oil in a pan.
  2. Finely chop the onion and fry until translucent.
  3. Add the minced beef and brown off nicely. Give it a good blast but do not burn. Salt it while it is cooking.
  4. Skin and chop the tomatoes and add to the pan.
  5. Add the bay leaf, pepper, mixed dried herbs, chilli powder, Balsalmic vinegar, optional red wine, Worcestershire sauce.
  6. Finally add the garlic (I always add this slightly later in the cooking process. I find that its flavour is diminished if it’s put in too early, especially with the onion).
  7. Add the previously fried mushroom to the sauce (and their juices) if required.At this time the sauce will be quite watery because of the tomatoes. Reduce the sauce over an hour or so on a moderate hear. This will intensify the flavour and make it tangy (most recipes use tomato puree to achieve this, but I don’t use the stuff). The longer you can do this the better.
  8. Salt the sauce to taste.
  9. Serve with pasta that has been boiled with some salt and a slug of olive oil.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Horror Dream Diary: My Gran's Remains.

My grandmother died in 2000, which is obviously plenty of time for me to come to terms with her passing, but strangely I have had two nightmares recently that featured her. Both were within 3 months of each other, and both featured people desecrating her remains. This is not exactly a pleasant thing to dream about, and originally I decided that there was no way I would write down something so disturbing, but after a while I recognised that the dreams had a slightly comic element to them that takes the sting out of them …so here we are with my macabre (but slightly silly) tale of “My Gran’s Remains”.

In the first dream I stood in the aisle of a church facing the altar. In front of me was my grandmother’s coffin. It was on a long, high table that raised it up to shoulder height. A man stood at the side of the coffin. He was dressed in a black suit and was leering at me. His eyes gleamed with wickedness. He rubbed his hands together in an extravagant way like a magician would before performing a trick. He then lifted the coffin lid slightly and reached inside with his whole arm.

He heaved on something large that was inside the coffin, and in one motion pulled out my grandmother, but minus her insides. The man had basically pulled out a Gran “body-suit” somehow leaving her bones and internal organs inside the coffin. The nearest thing I can think of that resembled this is that trick where someone yanks a tablecloth from a table leaving the crockery intact on the tabletop. This was a grotesque parody of that stunt, with my Gran’s bones being the crockery and her outer “body-suit” being the tablecloth.

I don’t know how the man did this but I found this scene utterly vile. He stood there laughing at me while my boneless grandmother flopped limply around his feet. When I woke up I felt quite sickened at what I dreamed about.

I had a second, similar dream around one month ago. Once again I was in the church from the previous dream, but this time I stood facing a wall. It had been crudely smashed open to reveal an urn that stood within the wall cavity. Somehow I knew that it contained the cremated remains of my grandmother (this is strange because I was fully aware in the dream she had actually been buried in real life).

My mother breezed into the church and tipped the urn upside down, pouring out some of the ashes into the wall cavity. She scooped some up using a small gardening spade and shovelled it into a small plastic bag. I asked her what the hell she was doing, and she explained that some of my Gran’s ashes were needed over at the hospital. Apparently “the hospital” had a collection of ornaments and semi-precious stones that they liked to display, and they favoured displaying them on a bed of somebody’s cremated ashes (apparently the colour of the ash complimented the display items perfectly). For some reason the hospital occasionally needed to renew the ashes, and this time it was my mother’s turn to get hold of some. Interestingly, when my mother explained all this to me, her tone was one of nonchalance, as if what she was doing was simply just a normal everyday occurrence. She did not seem to understand why I found her actions strange, and she found it odd that I thought she was doing something unusual.

My mother breezed back out of the church with a plastic bag containing some of my Gran’s ashes, and I turned back to look at the urn feeling very confused.

Read more of my HORROR DREAM DIARY

Friday, September 07, 2007

Mechanics of a Damaged Mind

This is an experiment that I've been working on sporadically for a few weeks and I finished it today. I set out to draw a completely random picture - just anything that came into my head. I stared in the middle of the page and progressed round and round until I got to the outside, aiming to cover every inch of the page with some sort of design.

During the process I realised that is that if everything is completely random it is not so interesting to look at - the eye is not drawn to anything specific. Therefore, as I progressed to the extremes of the page, I tried to work in more geometric designs and bolder patterns. I think that they work much better. I suppose that even chaos needs a few rules.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Horror Dream Diary: The Grey Man

Recently my brother told me something disturbing. He described how he had seen a ghost in my parents’ house some 8 or 9 years ago. Why he had not told me sooner I don’t know. I have always felt slightly uneasy in the upstairs rooms of that house – there is something unusual about the atmosphere - and now that I know that the place is haunted everything makes sense. It’s not a particularly old house. It was built in the early ‘70s, but in my opinion that’s more than enough time for a soul to make its mark.

What he described to me was quite unusual, and not at all like any ghost stories that I’ve heard before. He was having a sleepless night in the back bedroom (a twin room), and out of frustration shoved the duvet aside. With the duvet out of the way he could see that an elderly man was kneeling on the floor between the beds. He had grey hair and was bent over so much that his forehead was almost touching the carpet. The man held his head in his hands, his knuckles clenched around the back of his head. The position that the man was in was almost like a brace position as if an earthquake or bombing raid was happening. Despite this, my brother sensed that there was something deeply tragic about the man and that he was in this unusual position because he was experiencing some grave despair.

Terrified, and realising that he was seeing something supernatural, my brother covered himself back up with the duvet. A few minutes later he dared to take another look, but the old man was still there, frozen in the same position as before. Somehow he managed to get off to sleep and by morning the apparition had thankfully gone.

I mention all this because the other day I had a nightmare featuring the same ghost which went something like this…

For some reason I had taken up residence in the upstairs of my parents’ house. The house was disturbingly empty, as if nobody lived there anymore. I was alone in the house and it was night. The place was really creepy and inexplicable things would happen – electrical appliances would spring to life by themselves, and the light cord in the bathroom would often start swinging, clacking rhythmically against the tiles.

I heard the noise from the light cord and went to check it out. I passed the open door of the back bedroom where my brother had seen the ghost. Inside the room the electric light crackled dangerously, and a TV in the corner hissed menacingly at me. I stood at the threshold of the room and watched as the same elderly man that my brother has seen gradually materialised in the middle of the room. Sometimes he partially appeared then faded away, but once or twice he appeared to be completely solid. He seemed animated as if talking and gesturing to an invisible person who was also in the room. I could hear what he was saying. It was mostly gibberish – the ramblings of a madman, but he coherently said two or three sentences. I distinctively heard him say that there were “problems in Arkansas”.

I tried to attract the old man’s attention. “Hey” I shouted, but he was not aware of me. I tried again more loudly and he immediately stopped talking to his invisible partner. Slowly and silently the man turned around and looked into my eyes.

“What is your name?” I asked.

He told me.

I wish I remembered what it was when I woke up.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Queen tribute band tickets (2000)

I designed these tickets in 2000 (bloody hell, that 7 years ago) for a Queen tribute band that played in Aberdare, South Wales (I worked near there once upon a time). They are business-card size and I based the design of the first one on the colour scheme for Queen's Greatest Hits 2. The second one is is pretty much the same design but with a different colour scheme and diffrerent effects. I used CorelDraw8 and Corel PhotoPaint8 for these. These days I am using Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop CS2 (far superior!)

Hi-fis, Daleks and smoke alarms - 3D modelling (1996)

Here are two images that I created in 1996 on 3D Studio version 3. The first two images are based the hi-fi that I owned at the time. It was a nice easy one to do as the geometry was relatively simple to model. The third image is of some Daleks. They are slightly inaccurate because I modelled them completely from memory without a visual reference. More recently (about 2 years ago) I modelled a much more accurate Dalek using a 3D package called Autodesk Inventor 9. I used the Dalek Builder's Guild plans for reference so the new model is faithful to the original props. I never completed the model (it is about 80% finished), but I will shortly post some images of my "virtual Dalek build". The final image is a wireframe of a a smoke alarm moulding that I modelled for some reason.