Thursday, 22 March 2018


Last May I started on a challenge to walk a million steps in three months. I took it up, did it, listeened and rediscovered a lot of my music collection, discovered lots of new places to walk, reduced my insulin intake, lost a little weight and now I'm six weeks away from doing this for a year.

After the initial three month challenge I decided to do 340K steps a month so I would do a rolling million every three months. I though February would be a problem, it wasn't and March started badly with the ice and snow but I am way ahead of my target for the month, with only April to do, and then I'll start again.

It's not actually a huge challenge , less than two hours walking a day does the job and it keeps you a little bit fitter.

I have seen some great sights I didn't know were there including walking bit''s of Hadrian's Wall and areas of Arthur's Hill where they are residential but you can walk a long way without encountering a road.

I was going to go with Spacehog's "Millions" but it isn't on Youtube (I may put a slideshow together) so intead I will treat you to "Tiny Steps" by Elvis Costello. Sleep well my friends.

Turns out the Spacehog song is called "Millions" at all but "Zeroes " and the is one called "To Be A Millionaire", so another example of my memory messing with my memories.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Na Pyg Chi Pig

Not Chi Pig
When I walk up a certaing road I see a car on a drive and the registration plate reads NA62 PYG. I have been convinced this was the name of a band that John Peel played and featured on the Stiff compilation "The Akron Complication". though Amazon list it as "The Akron Compilation".

This is one of a clutch of Stiff release that , to my knowledge, have never been released digitally. The album also features a scratch and sniff cover that releases the smell of rubber when you scratch it.

It turns out the band was not Na Pig (or Na Pyg), it was Chi Pig, and when The Bok went sign up with Rabid Records they raved about this album and played it a couple of times as we plotted world domination (which by the way never happened). The album featured some great. bands and is worth tracking down if you have any interest in music .

It shows how your memory can be fooled when an image supercedes the actuall reality, well certainly mine can be.

Anyway Chi Pig have a lot of great stuff on youtube here and "Miami" seems a wonderful album. This is a band I am discovering forty years after the event. "Dismal Dismissal" is playing as I finish this, but definitely a band worth investigating, but again not served well digitally just three songs on Amazon here.

The thing is there is more music in the world that we can think of listening to in our lives, and there is always something new (or old) to discover.

Right I'm going to make my tea now.

Complete Demotivation

On Monday, after a great weekend I really couldn't motivate myself to do anything. I don't know if it was the overcast weather and the fact that the footpaths were iced up, but I couldn't even be bothered to walk very far and so caught the bus home and into work (not in that order obviously).

Work is fairly pressured but it's the work that is causing the pressure and normally that is a great motivatorm but not on Monday. Of course the other factor was that it was Monday and combine that with potential SAD then you have a fairly toxic situation. I got home and couldn't be bothered cooking or even getting a takeaway so made a tomato sandwich, swithced on the TV feeling really drained and tired, watched fifteen minutes of The Simpsons then went to bed .... and slept all teh way through to six o' clock Tuesday morning.

The weather is still grey skies and not great but after a busy day yesterday dealing with some exasperating people I have come up with a solution to part of a project at work which I expect to get completed today.

The thing is that how I felt on Monday must be a small part of how people suffering from Depression feel all the  time magnified God knows how many times with lots of additional dark feelings. I am lucky, on Monday I knew that I would feel better soon. If you suffer from Depression you do not have that luxury.

Anyway it is now Wednesday and yesterday I was listening to "Ritual De Lo Habitual" by Jane's Addiction and thought it was a time to listen to a different band, which contains among others the brilliant "Been Caught Stealin'".

I decided to choose Pink Floyd's "Atom Heart Mother" which was co composed with Scottish eccentric avant garde composer Ron Geesin. It features some amazing melodic brass, and this giveds me an excuse to share this wonderful live cover at Théâtre du Chatelet somewhere in France. I'm not certain but I think Ron Geesin is on keyboards on this. It is is nearly half an hour and is and uplifting and exhilarating piece and maybe contributed to my good mood yesterday.

It is Wednesday  so enjoy yourself everyone.

Monday, 19 March 2018

The Falkirk Wheel and Stuff

This morning I was sort of woken by a metallic clattering coming from the next room. It was a clothes hanger that had fallen off a radiator and just managed to hit the radiator as it fell to the floor. The problem is that the hangers are almost exactly the same with as my drying radiators and a tiny deviation either way causes them to fall off. This quite often happens when I'm adding clothes to the hangers but I have never ever done anything to rectify it, but this is the first tiime that it's actually happened when I haven't been in the room.

Gardens and footpaths are still white with snow and ice and no doubt it will be very cold out so I can see myself taking the bus into work.

Had a great weekend with friends in Edinburgh , though Matt and Lesley's plane was delayed for several hours but they got home and despite Nick's warnings we tried the impressive looking Café Noir, but the service was frosty and the insistence of serving coffee, tea and "hot" chocolate at 50ºC, ie lukewarm so we decided to rechristen it Café Noir.

Saturday was spent with a first visit to The Kelpies and the amazing and simply brilliant feat of engineering and design genius that is the Falkirk Wheel. My instagram photos are here but you can click on the links to visit the relative sites and you can see the Falkirk Wheel in action below. I had heard of it but really didn't know what it was. Now I do. One of Nick's books is about Scottish canals so we got him to pose with one of his books that was on sale (which Fiona bought and got signed of course) but you can see all his books on Amazon here.

As it's Monday morning I thought Stakka Bo's "Here We Go" is fairly appropriate. It was also one of my girls' favourites in the nineties and is still an excellent record.

So go on wrap up and enjoy your Monday.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Weather Warning

It's cold and wet this morning and there is a YELLOW  SNOW warning!! That was so well named, but it's the weekend so if you are really lucky you don't have to get up at all, you can stay in bed all day, if you want.

I am off to Edinburgh so I'm not even doing a full day today, though that means I need to fit a days work into half a day before I finish today, but this afternoon I will be on a train watching TED talks for an hour or so before hitting Edinburgh Waverley.

There can only be one song can't there? Frank Zappa's "Don't Eat The Yellow Snow". Have a great weekend people.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Surreal Kilo

"Q:Why do Computer Scientists get Halloween and Christmas mixed up?
  A: Because OCT:31 = DEC:25"

I had to think a few seconds about that one then it made me smile. Another Mathematical Guffaw from Simon Singh in "The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets" a book I contue to enjoy so much I've ordered a couple more of his books, although I am intending to enjoy some more fiction in between servings of Simon Singh.

Today has been bitterly cold, walking down the West Road the wind almost took my face off, a couple of times I had to shelter and contemplated finishing my journey by getting the bus, but I perservered, and walked in.

Work has continued to be challenging but I am on top of things though prefer actually doing things rather than ticking boxes to say that I've done things, and finding that in IT still a remarkable number of people work manually rather than using the numerous tools at their disposal.

I'm looking forward to a weekend in Edinburgh, one of a few coming up, though snow is forecast. Still I'm sure I will have fun walking round , taking pictures and finding presents for friends.

Last year I was told about the Two Together Railcard. For £30 a year you get 30% of rail tickets if two of you travel together. This means if you go say Newcastle to London and the tickets are £210 , you would get the ticket for £150 and even accounting for paying for the card you would still be £30 in pocket on that one journey. If you plan to use the railways this could be useful for you.

So before I sleep I will leave you with Bob Dorough's "3 Is A Magic Number" given the mathematical introduction that I introduced the post with. Sleep well.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Too Much Is Never Enough

Woke up to the sad news that Stephen Hawking had passed. Others will better eulogise than me on the brilliance of the man and his mind, though he is effectively immortal in our new digital world and in the books he has authored. I read "A Brief History of Time" and found it varied between illumination and hard going, but something that everyon should at least attempt to read.

I have recently had cravings for a hamburger from MacDonalds or Burger King , you know the trashy ones, but I also know that if I actually got one I couldn't actually eat the damned thing. That's another way my mind works, pushing you to get something that you don't need or actually want.

I suppose this leads on to the title of the post with my music collection, there is always new music appearing and to support this you have to buy the stuff. I always prefer to have something to touch (not a download), but even my vinyl collection needs severely pruning now.

The added irony is that most of my listening is done to MP3 stored on my phone and home network. It's the same with video, DVDs are so cheap but I don't have room for any more and it;s a chore to get the DVD out of the case , turn the player on and play the DVD when you can just press  a couple of buttons and play something from your home network or TV supplier, my inherent laziness taking over.

Over the last two days I have been listening to Jane's Addiction's "Nothings Shocking" and "LIve In NYC" and I realised despite possessing their albums I'd never listened to them. Bought them, ripped them and that was it. I knew odd songs like "Been Caught Stealing" and Perry Farrel's voice is fairly distinct. But I have been impressed by the muscular rhythm section (Dave Navarro on drums) monstrous bass and wild shining gutar. "On The Beach" and "Ocean Size" than open "Nothings Shocking" drag you straight into the album and the quality never drops. The live album is definitely live but a great listen.

So basiclly my music collection will never ever be complete but I am trying to trim it by selling stuff on Discogs but may have to think of a better way of trimming it, but I still have my digital copies (which are backed up as well).

Anyway I need to get off to work so have a great Wednesday everybody