de Wals

Micha de Wals' personal site

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My new toy arrived today

So if you have been following me on facebook you might have noticed I’ve been liking and commenting a lot of things related to airsoft.
If you don’t know what airsoft is follow this link.

After a few tries with borrowed or rented equipment I decided this would be my new hobby and I started collecting my gear and joining a local airsoft team called Dutch Airsoft Resistance. The last item on the list was my own replica. August 16th I finally ordered one from Gunfire but the delivery took some time. But today it finally arrived.

The replica is from G&G Armaments. The model is CM16 Carbine in Desert Tan.

How the package arrived

How the package arrived

Real life intervened but after preparing and eating dinner it was time to open the package.

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Ready to cut the plastic wrapping

After the plastic wrapping was gone the box was revealed.

The box

The box

Let’s open the box.

The opened box showing the included items

The opened box showing the included items

You see the airsoft replica based on the Colt M4A1, a 450 round high cap magazine, 1000 BB’s (Sadly not Biodegradable so I cannot use them) and a one point sling mount (bought separately because all reviews said the replica didn’t have one but this one did).
Also, slightly hidden in the box is a cleaning rod.

The replica with it's magazine.

The replica with it’s magazine.

This is what the replica looks like with the standard magazine. If you find me on the fields some day you most likely will not see me use that particular magazine. I also have 5 mid cap magazine’s that hold 120 rounds each. That’s a lot less compared to the 450 but there are 3 reasons for that.

1: High caps need to be found up. There is a wheel on the bottom and every so many rounds you have to wind the magazine.
2: High caps have a rattle because all the BB’s are basically in 1 big reservoir.
3: With only 120 rounds you have to change mags more often (is more realistic) and with less rounds you pay more attention to where you fire and thus less “spray and pray”.

I will however take this one with me on the field but only for backup if the 5 mid caps are all empty and I haven’t had time to fill them up again.

the replica with the mid cap magazine

the replica with the mid cap magazine

So this is what the replica looks like with the mid cap magazine.

The replica in the gunbag

The replica in the gunbag

Last picture of the day. Here the gun is in the gunbag. Needed ntfor transportation.
I cannot wait to actually fire the rifle. I did a few dry fires (without a magazine and thus no BB’s) and it sounded good but I have no idea how hard the replica fires.

Sunday September 14th I probably will go to D.A.R.’s training field to test it. I will report back how it shoots.

If you’re interested in playing airsoft yourself, at least 18 years old and are from the Netherlands contact D.A.R. for an introduction skirm or find a team near you. Another option is going to a field that has rental kits (Bunker Hill for example). You can try airsoft 6 times but after that you need a permit which the NABV can give you.
For anyone outside of the Netherlands, please look into your local rules for airsoft.

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Hailey laughing

So my last update was almost two months ago. That’s not really keeping it up to date now isn’t it?

I tried to update the site a few times but I probably was having some sort of writers block. I had a lot ideas but when trying to type it out it never satisfied me and got deleted again. But finally I have something I want to share. Last night we where at my in-laws for a BBQ. Hailey got new diaper and Gerdi started making noises. Words are not needed to explain what happened. The video below will do it more justice. Enjoy.

Note that this was just a minute of it. She was laughing like this for a good minute or two before I started filming.

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More pictures of Hailey

Yesterday, wednesday may 28, our Hailey was already 4 weeks old. The last few days she started to actually smile at Gerdi and today there where moments she actually smiled at me.

The weeks have flown by. Partly because I’m already back at work. Because of that I missed the latest photoshoot by Sander van Tuijl of our little wonder. If you ever need a professional photographer I can really recommend him. He made the pictures of our wedding and did 2 wonderful bellyshoots while Gerdi was pregnant. A great photographer who is very willing to share his knowledge instead of fearing competition. Gerdi already learned a great deal from him.

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Twin Forks

A few months ago I was sitting next to my colleague driving home from a customer. He was driving and Radio2 was on. This song came along and that voice, I recognized it from somewhere. It sounded like Chris Carrabba from Dashboard Confessional but they never get played on Dutch radio nor did they have a new album out. Coming home I totally forgot to check it out. Until earlier this week when the same song was played on 3FM. This time I checked the name of the band and googled it. It was Twin Forks and yes Chris Carrabbe is in it.

Twin Forks is his new band. According to the bio on their website Chris wanted to form a band with a classic folk, country and roots sound. This new band does not mean his other bands, Dashboard Confessional and Further seems Forever, are now defunct. They’re just on hiatus.

The song in question is “Cross my mind”. It’s gaining some fair airplay in the Netherlands and likely in other countries as well. Watch the official video here.

It’s a very catchy song that will get stuck in your head. The DJ’s on the radio already branded it the sound of the summer and I think they quite hit the spot with that remark. The song screams summer and summer romance.

The rest of the album is what you expect from this style of music. Some up-tempo catchy songs, some mid-tempo songs. And to finish it off a great ballad of the kind Dashboard Confessional gained their reputation with before evolving into a more pop/indy-rock band. No distracting drums, no distracting electric guitars, just Chris’ vocals and a acoustic guitar to provide support and brilliant backup vocals by the bands mandolin player Suzie Zeldin.

Zeldin’s vocals and mandolin are a great addition to the band. On the opening track “Can’t be broken” her voice works very well in harmony with Carrebba’s Voice. The mandolin on “Cross my mind” really stands out. The melody is one of the things making the song so good.
She could have gotten more lines of her own on “Kiss me darling” however. The song feels like a conversation between two lovers. He just has more to say than her apparently. A loss for us the listeners.

So should you get this album right away? Well that’s for you to decide. If you’re not into the current folk hype or already fed up with it, it’s better to steer clear of this one but I’d recommend you to at least listen to it on Spotify before shooting it down. If you are a big fan of Chris Carrabbe’s previous work like me you will love this one as well.
Chris Carrabbe is, in my opinion, one of the best singer-songwriters of the moment. His work, especially the early releases, are among the best I’ve heard the last decade. So if you share this opinion this one is for you.
Having that said, to be fair this isn’t an instant classic. I liked it, I loved it but wasn’t blown away by it. It’s not. It does not rank up to the first two Dashboard Confessional releases (“The Swiss Army Romance” & “The places you have come to fear the most) but it’s close to share 3th with the MTV Unplugged album.

Note: When buying the album be sure to get the album and not the EP by the same name.

Down below you can listen to the full album on Spotify or buy the album on iTunes or from Amazon or from Large.

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Are we not men? We are diva!

Six years after their last full length release (Have another ball) Me First and the Gimme Gimmes are back with a new album. One might argue that “Have another ball” is a compilation album rather than a full length release. If we take that into consideration it has been 8 years since their last album (Love their country). It’s not that they haven’t done anything in the meantime. In 2011 they released two EP’s. One with hits from Australian artists and one with Japanese hits. The latter one was completely in Japanese.

Before I go into their latest release, let me first inform some of you of what Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, or Me First or the Gimmes as fans also call them, actually is.
Me First and the Gimme Gimmes is a so-called supergroup. They differ from most other supergroups however. Me First solely plays cover songs. The band was formed in 1995 and most of it members earned their stripes in other bands. Bassist Fat Mike formed NOFX and runs the label Fat Wreck Chords. Joey Cape and Dave Raun are both from Lagwagon and Chris Shiflett started out in No Use For A Name and now is the lead guitarist of the Foo Fighters. Due to this he cannot always join them on the road and among others is replaced by his brother Scott.
Spike Slawson earned his stripes in the mail order department of Fat Wreck Chords and later on went on to play for the Swingin’ Utters.

Since 1997 the Gimmes have released 7 studio albums (including this one) and one live album.
All albums have a theme.Ranging from 60’s and 70’s hits to show tunes to country songs. On “Are we not men? We are Diva!” they cover songs originally performed by Divas ranging from Gloria Gaynor to Celine Dion to Barbra Streisand to the late Whitney Houston but also include Lady Gaga and Boy George’s Culture club. The last one most likely being included because of his feminine appearance during the 80’s

From the first to last note this is a true Me First album. You’ll recognize majority of the songs and on most of them you can sing along almost right away. The Gimmes however throw in a few surprises in this one. It’s not all straight forward pop-punk covers of the songs we all know..
On “My heart will go on” they use a more folk-punk acoustic arrangement with even an accordion in it turning an overrated song from an overrated movie (Spoiler alert: the boat sinks) by an overrated artist into a classic on its own.

On Madonna’s “Crazy for you” they actually stick close to the original. Spike can show off his ukulele skills. The entire song you expect them to put the ukulele aside and break into their normal routine of pop-punk. This song could get airplay on almost every radio station and could go far in the charts. Especially if you take into consideration that Belgium rockband Triggerfinger scored a huge hit with the massively overrated song “I follow rivers” (it makes “My heart will go on” look like a half decent song).
Dolly Parton’s “I will always love you”, made famous by Whitney Houston in The Bodyguard, will take a moment before you recognize it. This version is a lot faster than the original. It took me until the chorus to figure out which song it was as I wasn’t looking at the playlist at the time. But once I heard it it was an “Oh yeah!!” moment. Just as with “Top of the world”. The title didn’t ring a bell for me but then the chorus kicked in and I recognized it.

Listening to the chorus of “I will always love you” however makes you wonder how Spike will pull it off live. He doesn’t go as high¬† as Whitney Houston did but it’s still pretty high and he already seems to struggle in the studio. But this is Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. If you expect a flawless live show this is not your band. This band is about fun and having a good time. They either “fight” who made the mistake or claim we, the audience, received extra notes in the song. They sometimes high five each other when they actually play a song practically flawless.
So, if Spike cannot pull it off on stage it’s kinda part of the show. Honestly I cannot wait for the reactions of his bandmates when he does fail. It’s going to be hilarious.

So is this their best release ever? Probably not. It’s not their worst either. Their albums pretty much scores the same. None really stand out and none really fail to deliver. Non-Japanese speaking fans might put “Sing in Japanese” on the bottom of their personal lists but only because they (including myself) cannot understand a word they’re singing. But that doesn’t make it a bad release. It’s still the sound of Me First that you expect only with words you don’t understand.
Me First isn’t a band that does release legendary albums like “Energy” by Operation Ivy or “London Calling” by The Clash or “Nevermind the Bollocks here are the Sex Pistols” by the Sex Pistols. No, the Gimmes are a band that you should see live at least once in your lifetime. And that’s why this release is as important as their previous releases. It means they’re still around and going back on the road. With the band almost being 20 years old and some of it’s members closing in on their 50th birthday it’s something to cherish as it might be their last album and/or tour. But obviously we hope they keep on rocking for at leat another 20 years
So do yourself a favor and buy a ticket to their show if you get the chance. After all, bands like this make most of their money on the road and not from releasing albums so pick up a shirt while you’re there as well.

Down below you can listen to the album on Spotify or buy the album at one of these links 1 2 3

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Small update

Hi there. A small update today. As some may have noticed the site also includes a review section. I plan on using it to review music (albums and live shows), movies, tv series and (video)games.

The first review will most likely be the latest album of Me first and the Gimme Gimmes called “Are We Not Men? We Are Diva!. On this album they’re covering songs by so-called diva’s like Christina Aguilera. Paula Abdul, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston and as an obvious joke Boy George.

I haven’t had the time to listen to the complete album but once that’s done I’ll write my review.
Time just is a little sparse these days with Hailey around and me going back to work again after two weeks off.

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Projects

idea

Projects. I have enough of them stuck in my head but lack the time, knowledge and/or money to make them happen. For now they stay projects in my head but maybe one day I will share them here.

The projects include business idea’s and documentary idea’s. One idea I am willing to share now is a documentary on one of my hobby’s from the past.

For year’s I’ve been playing racing simulations on my computer and Xbox. A long time I even raced online in competitions. I never had any real success but for me it was the only and cheapest way of experiencing racing as I simply didn’t have the funds to do some actual racing. I wasn’t the only one. And even real life racing drivers used these games to practice the tracks they had to race on. One of the more famous one’s is Dale Earnhardt Junior. He even participated in online competitions besides his NASCAR Schedule.
The story also goes the other way. The most famous one is the NISMO Playstation GT Academy where people can win a year of racing by playing the Playstation game Gran Turismo.

So my idea for the documentary is to get back into this world. Not to start racing online but to see who the stars of today are. What happened to the real careers of the winners of the NISMO Playstation GT Academy. I also would follow my former racing buddy Steve Claeys who is pushing hard to go racing in real life. And obviously I would look at iRacing. One of the biggest online racing games at the moment with over 50.000 active members and sanctioned races including a sanctioned series by NASCAR.

For now just ideas and dreams but if enough people get interested it might be something we can look into and make this idea and dream a reality.
And if this works out I hopefully have enough experience to work out another documentary idea about something even more interesting to me.

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Kids crying for the funniest reasons

Kids crying for the funniest reasons

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Changes

Hi everybody!!

as you can see the site has changed a bit. Just like my live. Soon my baby daughter will be born and she will turn my live upside down. I cannot wait for it.

I’ll be adjusting this site a bit more and will try to keep it up to date with stuff that’s going on in my live.