Friday, 31 July 2015

That Time Of Month (Out Come The Freaks)


Well the end of one and the start of another. I managed to get a good night's sleep and didn't do five blog posts yesterday. While that helped towards my millennium goal I ended up being shattered during my day at work, I'll had a generally good day with the odd not good thing but that's life and as always I concentrate on the positives and ignore the negatives unless I have to deal with them. Too many times people concentrate on the bad things that might happen and usually don't, although I'm just dealing with my hire car bump but I was prepared for it. Being prepared for something doesn't mean you expect it to happen , it just means you can deal with it if it does.

Though there's been lots of good news today , some great time spent with friends in Bar Loco (their food is amazing) and Trillians , a friend is moving tomorrow with the help of another friend and I am going to have a catch up with my great friends at Geek Talent next week, I was privileged to be able to contribute a little at the start up of this excellent venture.

Rhythms Gonna Get Ya
The weekend is here but it may just be gardening and relaxing after last weekend's festival (and there is another on next weekend). However I am always so easily tempted , and Newcastle is full of luscious temptation , so I don't know what I'm going to end up doing. For some reason the phrase Geek has turned up quite a lot today which gives me an excuse to include the wonderful (Return To The Valley Of) Out Come The Freaks by Was(Not Was).



Sleep well my lovely friends

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Body Rebellious - Jehovahkill


NOW my body says IT WANTS SLEEP !! But it is time for work , the time for sleep was last night , not this morning. So it's time to load up on drugs and porridge and coffee which will keep me going and cause me to have a great day.

Yeas it's very short but it's an excuse to play some Julian Cope

Over Kill

Today Will Be Brilliant


OK I've had very little sleep and my eyes hurt a bit but I am going to make sure that today will be absolutely brilliant. I don't know what's going to happen , but there are so many opportunities everyday that we often don't take and I'm just going to grab me some.

The amazing thing about last night is that all I ate were two nectarines , so it was hardly going to give me a sugar  rush that would keep me awake.

Anyway being up at this time means I can let these words fall out of my head through the keyboard on to the printed screen to reside forever on the world wide web in the cloud or whatever.

Stand By Me
If you see me say hello , and smile at every opportunity , it gives you the same rush as eating chocolate. Keep cool , I home the sun shines and we get a summers day , but friends can make the sunshine and that's the sort of thing that is worth getting up for (especially of you can't sleep).

Gone are the days when I could survive of three hours a night sleep , but I am sure tonight I will sleep perfectly. Here we go no

And what better way to start the day than with one of my favourite Clash songs "Train In Vain"

This Ain't Good


Wide awake on a school night , with absolutely nothing on my mind. I've tried to sleep, got up , found something to do , read, gone back to a warm bed, thought about playing guitar , but it's three o clock in the morning , which the neighbours wouldn't appreciate.

Ages since this has happened. I know I need sleep cos it's work tomorrow , but I don't want to be reliant of coffee tomorrow to keep me going. Yes it's a day closer to the weekend but I still appreciate I need to be fresh.

I ran into and exchanged emails with an old friend yesterday so that perked me up , though I am just going through one of those down phases I suppose. Everyone gets them and often use it for a reason to rail at someone or something. I am always looking to channel even negative energy into something positive , so that's why I am writing this.

I obviously need some social contact but , hey it's 3 in the morning and everyone with any sense is in bed , tucked up and asleep.. One positive from this is that it's another post closer to my millennium aim which I hope to hit before the end of the year. I'll roughly have to maintain three posts every five days to hit that target (87 posts in five months so roughly 150 days , you do the mathematical calculations)


Crazy Man Crazy
Anyway , the obvious song for this is the Dictator's "Sleeping With The TV On" except I'm not sleeping and the TV isn't on. As I pointed out recently on Instagram and Facebook , once you see the cover of "Go Girl Crazy" you don't even need to listen to the music to know you will love this band , and if you do listen to their music .... well you are in for a total treat.

Ok ... can I grab a couple of hours shut eye

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Falling Down


Today , and the last few days have been sodden by rain and black clouds. I came home to my website not working and my favourite FTP program not working , but it's so old I can't trouble shoot it so have to get used to a new one , then I went out , luckily with an umbrella but got hit with another downpour.

Anyway I'm sorting things out slowly but finding it really hard to be positive about the whole thing. I think part of it is the dark clouds that don't exactly brighten your mood. But I always find positives in things even when all seems like it's disappearing over a cliff. If that's what happens then you deal with it . If stuff goes your probably not meant to have it. Certainly my old FTP program hits that category nad my new one is Windows 10 Compatible so it was probably going to have to be done.

DO IT!
Thing is it's half way through the week , for most people it's on or near payday , and tomorrow will be a bright and lovely day , with lots of great fun things happening . There is so much good to enjoy that most of the time you can ignore and forget about the bad. Which is my intention for this short post. And I will choose one of my mum's favourite Carpenter's songs "Happy" because will make me happy and it's a damned site more uplifting than that Pharrel song.

Goodnight and sleep well my lovely friends.

The Order Of Disorder


Last night I watched an episode on Odyssey on catch up TV. I'm also reading "A Brief History Of Time" by Stephen Hawking and today discovered what a quark is . I knew the name and know it's a vegetarian filler food but I didn't actually know what a quark was. This started me thinking and I recalled an incident from twenty years back after taking a psychometric test....

...after the test the guy told me I had a problem , but it could possibly be corrected. I asked him what the problem was. He told that my problem was that I always wanted to be right! I didn't see this as a problem, and asked him didn't everybody want to be right , as an example didn't he want to be right in his assessment assessment of me? His assessment was correct , but I didn't see it as a problem and still don't see it as a problem. I still want to always be right, but that statement unqualified does not show the full picture. I WANT to be always right BUT I am often WRONG, and when I am wrong I want to be told how I am wrong and to be shown how to get it right. I know that I'm not infallible , I would just like to be .... especially when I put a bet on the horses! At the time I was working with a manager who took me to one side after I's questioned a situation and told me "You might be right ... but I'm in charge" ....   though that was was true I knew he was wrong and I was right but there was nothing I could do about the situation. I was right but not in control.

And this sort of brings me to the next part , is that in general we want to be in control , but not be controlled although we may need and want direction. When I was watching the TV last night I was thinking before the option of recording we were very regimented by TV . You had to be at your set at a particular time or else you missed that program , and god forbid there were clashes , yet people still complained about repeats (yet most digital stations serve nothing but repeats these days), but now I very seldom watch live TV, I let my recorder build up what I think I want to watch and watch it in almost chaotic fashion. Whatever I want whenever I want and with apps like BBC iPlayer and my Samsung Note 4 Phone and my iPad and Laptop wherever I want. So is that disorder or the control I want ?  I think it's latter , I feel I have tools to manage my disorder and allow me to order my situation as I want.

Need Control
I do think it's good to be right , but you have to also be open to new ideas and the fact that you may be wrong. We are at our most vulnerable when we lose control and are reliant the power and ability of others to help us get it right. I always try to be there for others , and part of that is that I want others to be there for me if I need their help.

Given the tone of this post , what else could I choose but Joy Division's She's Lost Control.





Incidentally this is post 911 given my last post was about numbers.

Anyway I didn't think I would finish this , but I still want to be right , I still want to help people , I still want to be there for my friends and family , I sill want to be in control and I still want to have a wonderful time. So everyone have a fantastic day.




Tuesday, 28 July 2015

The Numbers Game , Pirates and Burgers



I stated that I wanted to hit a thousand blog posts and a hundred thousand hits by New Year's Eve 2015. That's not likely to happen although combined views for both my blogs are over 100K now and the combined number of posts is up to 970 , so if I add the two together , then both the targets are achievable.

Jack Sparrow .. Well Burger Me!
At the weekend I attended the rather excellent PKD Festival (see here for my review) and met a pirate at one of the burger vans . One the odd things was that there were lots of variations on meat sandwiches involving Aberdeen Angus Steaks ,Sausages , Chicken, and the like , and then you had salad!  You can't have a salad roll , although that was your only option if you were a vegetarian.





A Classy Tricycle
Anyway apart from the music , there were pirates , big guns a small fairground , bike and cars , something for everyone , and I think they sold a lot of food on the day. Oh and they had a doughnut stand as well , but I'm not a huge fan so I gave it a miss.

Anyway this is just a short post about what I'd like to do and what I enjoyed doing at the weekend, so all of you have a good night and enjoy whatever you are doing tomorrow.

Although essentially this post was meant to be about numbers and I've always loved this Bob Doroug song so I thought I'd put it in.

OK Good night

Sunday, 19 July 2015

The Genius of Simple


When I was at primary school my headmistress Mrs Walsh told us that a genius who could see and explain things very simply. She gave the example of a guy who went to a match company and said he could save them a great deal of money for actually stopping doing something.

In those days match boxes were sandpapered on two sides. He posited that people always checked for where they were goig to strike the match , so the boxes only needed one strip of sand
paper instead of two. At a stroke halving the company's sandpaper bill. It does sound obvious, but until he came along no one had thought about.

Genius at Work
I am currently reading Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History Of Time" , and there is no down in my mind that the guy is probably in the genius category. The book is less than two hundred pages, but is packed with content and not a word is wasted , which means it is slow going , but his style of writing comes across with a "Go On, You CAN Get This!"  message.

That's a long probably unconnected intro to what this post is actually about . I may have blogged about this or touched on this before but it is really about musical genius. If someone were to ask for an example , Jimi Hendrix , Brian Wilson , Lennon and McCartney are probably goig to come over in responses and there's no doubt that these  were musical Genii . I would add Joni Mitchell , PJ Harvey , Kate Bush and Sandy Denny to that list as well , but it's annoying that music is seen as a boy thing. Girls are good too.

The problem is that most of the music that these artists produced was complex, and taken to extremes by bands like King Crimson , Emerson Lake & Palmer and Yes. One of the main ironies was that of Yes's initially simplest constructs "And You And I" is a lovely melody set to basically three acoustic chords , but by the time it's finihed it hits ten minutes with lots of additional bombast. I still love it though , and it was released , uncut as a seven inch single.


Ok we're here , real genius is to do something musically so simple that anyone can do it. Songs with three chords or less. The Velvet Underground's first album didn't initially sell many copies but everyone who bought it formed a band. The descening G riff from "I'm Waiting For The Man" can be heard in "White Riot " by the clash, "In The City" by The Jam and "Holidays In The Sun" by The Sex Pistols. The inspired Jonathan Richman , who's "Roadrunner" is only two chords  "D" and "A" which any one can learn on a guitar in minutes. Van Morrison's Gloria and The Who's "I Can't Explain" are more examples of easy to play songs , along with The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" a staple of any garage band's repertoire , and The Kinks "You Really Got Me" and  "All Day, and All Of The Night" also fall into this area.

Another example of genius is the one note guitar solo. If you can make one note sound good you are a true genius. To this day I am only aware of two examples of this "I'm A Hog For You Baby" by The Coasters and "Tommy Gun" by The Clash. To do that , is inspired genius.

So I've bookended this post with those two songs , sitting an Amazon MP3 selection in the middle for you to sample. Love to hear your thoughts on this , and sorry this one has gone on a bit


Coconuts


Feed The Birds
I have a garden and a stand with various forms of bird seed to give the birds something else to eat. As well as seed I put out fat balls and half coconuts filled with fat and seed. When first half coconut I put out stayed for ages and I thought , maybe it's badly designed, maybe the birds don't like it , or whatever. The one day there was some kind of blitz on the food stand,  Everything went! including the coconut contents.

I'm not sure what caused this, I had seen some crows , although they tend to prefer roadkill, and then the bigger birds are magpies and pigeons as will as the smaller birdlife.

So I put another half coconut out and that has been devoured too. The smaller birds like finches are devouring the fatballs , and am just wondering whetehr they are the ones enjoying it.

Well I'm not going to let it bother me , but will get some more today , and it is an excuse to play Harry Nilsson's Coconut, just one of the weirdest songs that you have to sing along to , and we all know Harry was an "interesting" guy as the video testifies ...

Have a great Sunday everyone.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Sometimes....


I feel the urge to write about something but I've really nothing to write about that is interesting or has caught my imagination.

Last weekend I managed to completely miss the Mouth of Tyne and Corbridge Festivals which I attended last year, that almost shocked me. One of the problems may be that there is just so much going on that it did manage to pass me by.

Next weekend I'm going to see Big Country in Scotland and then just after that Ash play Chase Park in Whickham , not forgetting Summertyne that is going on this weekend.

I've written about all these in previous years mainly on the Spoongig site so will probably update if I get time after those festival.

Oh and tomorrow we have a Pride March in Newcastle. I like diversity and love to acknowledge and be part of it. Sometime people forget what GAY means (acronym for Good As You) , which we should all feel we are.

Also now I'm going off on a language tangent about the word "Homosexual".

"Homo" can mean man as in "Homo Sapiens" , or the same as in say "Homogenous"

I'm doing all the reasoning without referring to anything so my reasoning can probably be blown out of the water.

But "Homosexual" uses the meaning of the same , but I suppose in male / male relationships could be misconstrued as man.

Anyway , although I'm  "straight" all my friends delight me , whatever their orientation , and they are part of a rich and diverse tapestry that I am so lucky to be enmeshed in.

All You Need To Know
So I'm gonna choose Tom Robinson's "Glad To Be Gay" , a great singalong song which me and my mates had great fun with putting on the jukeboxes in severely homophobic pubs in the late seventies. It was fun because we were well able to take care of ourselves . Also reminds of the time me and three mates went to see a Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything"  lecture in Newcastle's Centre For Life . We are not the smallest of frames and we were sat at a table in the what I believe is a gay pub called "Barons" , when a girl came up to us and asked "Are You Gay?" in hushed tones , to which my mate Chris replied "But Of Course We Are!" somewhat louder.

Anyway , It's time for bed and I have managed to ramble on for quite a bit about nothing. Sleep well my friends

Sunday, 12 July 2015

We All Make Mistakes .. And Often That's Good


Someone asked me if I knew about the Alberts as they'd seen a great documentary on them. I said yes, I have , and have a couple of their records, and whilst they were influential I thought, they're hardly the sort of band who would merit a documentary, especially now. Although I then pondered and thought well, with today's access to recording and media , anyone who's willing to put the work in can actually make a documentary about anything. In an experiment I did a very short one about Staddle Stones here just to see if I could talk about something maybe people had wondered about. It was unprepared, so I just said what I knew, but there's a good example of the story of of mine and John Peel's second favourite song about Liverpool , Amsterdam's "Does This Train Stop On Merseyside" here. Anyway that's by the by...
It's All Jazz

The band I was talking about was the trad jazz band The Alberts, from the early sixties who were a big influence on The Bonzo Dog Band and other less illustrious musical combos. I'm not sure if they even made any albums , as I can only find odd tracks on compilations.






They were talking about Alberts an Australian music dynasty , responsible for bands such as AC/DC and the Easybeats and many, many more and a new documentary called Blood and Thunder that has been released documenting their history. The trailer of it is below. So it's just an example of how you can be talking about the same thing but actually be talking about something different. While searching for this I found a documentary on The Easybeats here. which is well worth a visit.

And the good thing about mistakes like this is that you can discover even more about stuff that you didn't know about, a great example of a good mistake.

Anyway hope you enjoy the music , and I hope this post isn't marked as abusive and offensive by Facebook like the last one was. Have a great Sunday everybody


Saturday, 11 July 2015

You Never See A Poor Bookie


In January this year I took redundancy , and kept busy at Geek Talent and Oxfam before landing a new job. I still had a decent chuck of reduncy money left and thought I would indulge myself on paying for horse racing tips. Basically the advice was that you bet 10% of your pot and you make lots of money ..... so they say. Anyway the cost of this tipster was £100 a month, but I set aside £500 to play with and if I lost it then it would stop. The cost of the tips was factored into my trial , but the advertised earnings looked too good to be true.

The first few weeks went fairly well and at one point I was £300 in profit , but then things started to fall apart. One of the problems was that the tips were at odds of evens or less, which meant if you lost a bet then it would take two more wins to get back on track (this is one one bet a day). The other thing is that you need to bet at least £50 at those odds to have a reasonable return. Anyway they seemed to be getting more desperate but tempted me back with one final month for £50. The first week seemed to be back on track then back to the usual failures. At this point including the £250 I'd paid for the service I was £350 down on the trial , so hadn't hit the £500 loss limit I had set myself.

Then I found FreeRacingTips

Free Racing Tips

These lot actually give away a free each way tip every day (today's lost) , but have a few plans for £9 a month , which is very reasonable., so I decided to give these lot a try, to see if I could actually make a go of this. I went for their lucky 15 , which is a combination of four bets , and I do a bit of rearranging , but  you can do this with  small outlay. Anyway I've been using them for about three weeks now and had a lot of days where I've got nothing but some days with good returns. My bets are around £25 a day, and I promised I would right a review of their service if they took me back into profit. Well it's been creeping up very slowly but going in the right direction. Last week on two days I got £100  and another couple of days had £20 - £30. Yesterday I took £100  , then today three bets have won , which was looking good, but went on to Betfair to see how it was going and had an option to cash out with the final horse remaining - my cash out option was £300. I didn't have to think about that one as that has taken my betting trial well into profit.

My Shot of the Finishof the 2010 Epsom Derby
The beauty of these guys is that their tips, when they win, bring is a good return. That means your bets are smaller , so when you do lose, which you will do , more often than not, it doesn't really bother you, because the wins pay excellent returns. I've corresponded with them and they seem really good people. If you combine them with a Betfair account then it's possible to make a bit of money on the side.

Just remember that as soon as you make a bet it's in the bookies pocket, and never bet what you can't afford to throw away. I'm obviously in a happy mood today so I'll use my favourite Rolling Stones song for todays song.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Quietly Raising Hell


This week has been back to work , I saw the Grateful Dead's last gig at the cinema with a friend I hadn't  seen in years and sort of signed up to do an introductory presentation at  work , while discovering the problems of support teams who use the Apple model of pretending there is nothing wrong and the problem is with you , like ordering steak and being served bacon and then being told that's what you ordered !

A Puzzle
Still these are the challenges that make life interesting , and it is pointless getting angry , I just see it as a puzzle to be solved , and talking of puzzles I've almost finished the latest Clive Barker book The Scarlet Gospels , and we all know how the Cenobites are summoned ....... I've always been fascinated by the puzzle box since I first saw Hellraiser , but wouldn't dare have one in my house. The book however is up to his normal standards though not a Weaveworld or Imajica. So I've done an Amazon carousel with some of my favourite CB Books below.





Anyway summer is continuing with good weather interspersed with showers, and I'm listening lots of good music. I have been mightily impressed with Ezra Furman , but the slideshow I did for One Day I Will Sin No More is banned in a lot of countries for copyright reasons by Youtube , although I believe my antipodean and American friends enjoy it here. , the guy has talent. It has had almost fifty views so far , so that's not too bad given the audience limitation.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Shakespeare, Breaking Bad and The Grateful Dead


After a week in which I saw a great production of Othello at the RSC in Stratford (despite the baking heat the aircon kept the temperature constant , so no slowly falling asleep as the place turns into a pizza oven fueled by body heat and stale air) .

Heisenberg at the Door
As well as that watched the last 16 episodes of Breaking Bad , which never let up, not even to the last moment. I wonder if Badfinger benefited from an increase in sales of their records due to the final scene. A particularly tragic band , their leader Pete Ham committed suicide in the seventies despite his song "Without You" hitting Number One when recorded by Harry Nilsson , Badfinger's Baby Blue was the appropriate playout song and I've chosen an excellent mix up that summarizes Breaking Bad using that piece. It is very, very good.

So today has been housework, gardening and preparing for a return to work. I also have material for another two blog posts , one on betting and the other on the Alberts of the music world, but that will be something to keep be going next week. Oh also there is a screening of the final Grateful Dead concert. Information here , at the Tyneside Cinema , which I am going to tomorrow, though the setlist only includes one of my favourites , the gorgeous "Standing On The Moon", should I have two videos? Oh why not , they are both brilliant. Enjoy your weekend.



Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Heatwave


A great week to take a holiday , but don't do sunblock normally so ended up a bit burnt. It's very hot and very nice and very warm in the centre of the UK. It's nice to be able to read , listen to Radio 6 , enjoy the weather and the peace and not have to bother about work.

Today will be a visit to Stratford to see Othello , and visit any record shops I can find , plus any other interesting places I can find, and who knows what that might be. This post is going to be even shorter than the last two and I'm wondering what song to put up.

Dancing In The Street
Decided to plump for Heatwave by Martha and the Vandellas who I intend to see headlining this year's Mouth Of Tyne Festival. I first heard the song covered by The Who who were one of the never ending list of bands who played this year's Glastonbury. Anyway , you all enjoy the weather wherever you are in the world and have a totally brilliant day.