Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Did I Really See This?


I don't know if it's just age or what, but I often think I see things, then look again and realise it's just a trick of the light, and arrangement of shadows or something else. I remember seeing a program about a guy who had seen a ghost at work and when he looked into it (he was a scientist) he actually replicated and showed that it was some device that caused air oscillations at a certain frequency that caused the "ghost" to appear. A couple of months back I saw this "flying saucer as I walked out of my front door. It was a cloud formation and a couple of seconds later it was gone. However there are a lot of people who would say that this WAS a flying saucer, and I suppose it could have been, but the probability to me is that it was just an unusual cloud formation.

Flying Saucer
The thing is that we should always question things and demand proof, even if we have to get that proof ourselves. Although we can assume that some things are true because we trust the framework that helps reinforce our belief. I  believe that my keyboard and wires are working because I can see the words appearing in front of me on the screen. That reminds me I had dream that I got a computer last night but it had a CRT screen, that just got dredged up from my mind because of the analogy I was using.

So my lost contact lens has not appeared although my left eye is a bit irritated, but is that because I have two contact lenses in there or is it just psychosomatic. I don't know but I will keep you posted.

So next in the artists who have covered The Rolling Stones' "Happy" is Nils Lofgren and wile my favourite Nils Lofgren song might be "No Mercy", I've gone for "Secrets In The Street", cheesy eighties video with a great sequencer intro and outro used  as a backdrop to an excellent song with some brilliant guitar lines.

Have a great Wednesday


Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Sleep


After spending half an hour waiting for Excel to save my workbook, I was not happy when it crashed, said it had recovered my  workbook (and the hours work I'd done on it) and restored it to it;s state as it was when I started. Still I just closed down my laptop and will do it all again tomorrow morning except then I am sure it will work. They say a bad workman always blames his tools, well 95% of the time Excel is really useful, but every so often it can really let you down. Really when you thing these programs just move round binary digits and such a clever way you can do some incredibly useful calculations and analysis.

I suppose that it still puts a strain on my tiny mind. Tonight I managed to lose a contact lens. The worry is that's it's still somehwere in my eye. That happened to me once before, so we shall see if it resurfaces at some point.

Anyway I said my next three posts would feature artists's who'd covered the Rolling Stones' "Happy" and the first of those are The Pointer Sisters with their excellent cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire".

Right it's time for bed, there will be more tomorrow.


Encouragement


One of the great thing in life is when people say what you are doing is good, that they enjoy it, that it makes things better, and that does give you a lift and makes you want to do more. In a work situation this encourages teamwork and working together. Outdie of work it makes you want to interact more and work with and help others. It can bring your life to another level.

You get the opposite, people looking to find faults, trip people up and cause trouble and mischief, the sort of people who are only satisfied when they and others are miserable. It's not enough to succeed, somebody else must fail.

Part of my job has always been to spot faults and errors and to fix them, the fix rather than blame culture is so much more positive. Also encouraging others gets the best out of them.

Social interation also helps in a work situation because if you talk about non work things, it becomes easier to share ideas and deal with problems.

I wrote this post because someone gave me some encouragement, it was unexpected, but it was appreciated.

Also yesterday I saw someone almost resorting to violence because of a small mistake in a shop, and the person behind the counter was being very helpful but the customer was having none of it and ended up being ejected, it would have taken five minutes to sort his situation but he wanted blood.

Anyway I thought I'd try and find a cover of one of my favourite all time songs "Happy" by The Rolling Stones, and listened to covers by Nils Lofgren, The Pointer Sisters and Spirit but for my mood all fall short of the Stones doing that song. However my next three posts will include songs by each of those bands.

Anyway it's Tuesday, it's still dark but dry so have a brilliant day.

Monday, 29 January 2018

A Monday To Experience .....


I've just finished "Cold Hands" by John Niven and started "No Good Deed" qualified ominously by the completing phrase "Goes Unpunished" but while this are started with some dark situations at least there is humour in there. This is to take nothing away for "Cold Hands" but don't go there look for humour however dark there.

Weather outside looks drab but dark and dry so a walk into work is on the cards, and currently my listening is "Electric Ladyland" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience which I always listened to in sides (four odf them). Now I'm listening to it in effectively on chunk. One thing I 'd forgot was the two "Voodoo Chile" sole songs, one the fifteen minute blues jam and the other the "(Slight Return)" killer riff post departure number one single.

Electric Ladyland was the name of Hendrix's New York studios and when it first came out it was sold in brown paper bags as the cover featured a lot of naked women which you can see here. It was then split into part one and part two and packaged with more "acceptable" covers, but I do prefer the original (which you can see in this group of dodgy covers here).

It also contains his cover of Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" which if I was allowed only one single on a desert island, that's what it would be. The lyrics of Dylan allowing Hendrix's voice full flow (he was emabarrased about his own lyrics so tended to hold back on his own songs) the his guitar work backed by The Experience absolute perfection for four minutes.

My favourite song is "1983...(A Merman I Should Turn To Be)" which takes up most of side three and am definitely looking forward to hearing that on my walk into work, but I will leave you with this live take on "All Along The Watchtower", enjoy your Monday my friends.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Threks


When I sign in to do this blog I have to press "Sign In" on three different screens. Now OK I habitually delete cookies and such ensure web stuff I do is showing the current expected version but I don't know why Google has this incredibly inefficient log in process. In fact while I accept that cookies can be useful, they should not be used to store sensitive or secure information, although maybe that's just my opinion.

I've finished the latest John Niven novel I was reading "Cold Hands" and was surprised that there were zero laughs, these was a very dark pumped up Irvine Welsh with some disturbing insights into the natures of revenge and madness. While it is excellently written it was not an easy ride, so I'm hoping "No Good Deed" may provide a little light. I am fine with black humour but when you find yourself in a world of total darkness that gets scary.

Today has been a great day, my Dad's 83rd birthday and he's finally using his computer, then we finally caught up with Mark, Helen , Eve and Jess over a Sunday Lunch and high def Harry Potter movies.

Step wise this is the first day I have done less that 5K since a rainy day on holiday in Yorkshire, but I am  still ahead of the game for my January walks. February may be a different matter.

The word Threks is non existent as far as I know and was shome letters I was trying to make a word with in Scrabble .

One of the many things I have to thank my Dad for is introducing me to Johnny Cash , his "Greatest Hits Volume 1" was in our house and often on the stereo Radiogramme that we had, and from that I'll choose "Five Feet High and Rising" before I hit my bed. Tomorrow is Monday ....... the start of another wonderful week of life ....


Friday, 26 January 2018

Work


I suppose a sign of you enjoying your job is you don't begrudge thinking about solutions to problems when you are away from work. I'm wrestling with a problem of testing a system updateby  basically replicating the live system using Excel. The set up is all over the place so there is no consistency between units. When Iasked to do this last year I set out what needed to be done and was then told that the testers were taking "a different approach". If I had a COBOL set up this would be a cinch to set up , though I think I may be able to do it using SQL but stepping back it's OK how differnt units need to be treated differently but then you get the exceptions thrown in , sometimes for no other reason than "they need to be treated differently". The thing is solving things like this makes time fly, especially when you are working with good people. The other thing is failure is not an option, so it will be done, and there is a tedious manual option, but that is a last resort.

I can;t believe this is the first time I've mentioned COBOL on this blog, though I've not used it for fifteen years it was my first programming language and as far as I know is still used for large batch processing operations in places.

Anywaty it's Friday Morning, the weekend is closer, the weather is mild but boring so I will be walking to work and am currently listening to Hawkwind's "Space Ritual" which I bought on vinyl recently and still looks wonderful and sounds excellent, over the top riff driven space rock smattered with poetry readings. I saw Hawkwind a couple of times and loved the music and light show, and listening now I'm impressed by how simple the song constructions are while still sounding impressive (well they do to me). I've chose "Orgone Accumulator" which lifted the "Green Onions" riff and went on for ten minutes but it's still a great song.

Have a great day everybody.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Future Games


Yesterday I was listening to Spirit's "Future Games", my favourite album of all time. I mentioned it in a favourites post here. It was the first time I'd heard an album where sound snips from film and TV were woven into the fabric of the album. The songs a classic second stage Spirit with Randy California's etherial voice and guitar playing and Ed Cassidy's (Randy's father-in-law) guttural Jack Bond interjections, with effortless covers such as "All Along The Watchtower". Into this seemless tapestry are woven The Muppets, Star Trek and Science Fiction "B" Movie dialogue. The song I included gives you a feel for the album, and if you like that just buy the album. "Spirit of '76" has a similar feel to it though not quite as seamless but still brilliant.

It;s like a film for the ears. I'd often go to sleep listening to it after a shift as a computer operator when I got the chance. Though often I'd finish a night shift and my dad would ask me to just drive a wagon to a site and drop off some stuff, and I'd get there and they'd want me to some more stuff to another site going on til the end of the day and I soon be back on the computer night shift. As I was about 19 at the time I could take it.

Big Audio Dynamite were another band that used this process in their early albums successfully and their first two albums are brilliant, highly worth listening to.

Oh by the way Blue Oyster Cult's "Curse of The Hidden Mirror" is a class album if you can get hold of a copy, some of the lyrics a bit AOR but all the songs are brilliant.

Anyway it's time to set off for work, have a brilliant day everyone.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Dreams and Hidden Mirrors


Spmetimes what you east can cause you to dream. Cheese is a  good one if you want to dream. Last night I had Aloo Chole a chickpea and potato curry along with some Sag Aloo from Rajnagar. I finished about half of it so I will be warming up the remainder tonight for my tea tonight and looking forward to it. I don't think that's the normal food to stimulate dreams although it's very good.

Anyway last night was a night of mental fragmented dreams. To start with there was something to do with the music on Nick Lowe's "Bowi" EP then I was in a high rise office block in Liverpool (I used to work in JM Centre in the early eighties. Then there was some work going on at the entrance to an underground car park , there were two guys doing it and has a small two seater smart car.

One of the guys walked into the car park and suddenly a big chunk of the floor sank about a foot. The guy ran in to so solid concrete floor , lay down and faded as if teleported. The other guy's girlfriend turned up and told him to clean the concrete dust from the passenger seat. She went into the underground car park and sank calf deep into another hole.

I'm not sure what happened then, but I was thinking how the hell do you deal with a really big sink hole? What if one appears in the middle of the streat and it's miles deep? You cannot just fill it can you? I'm sure someone will have an answer.

Well today it's dark and rainy so my steps are going to take a big hit, but that's fine as I am far ahead of my target so all is fine.

Current listening is "Curse of The Hidden Mirror" by Blue Oyster Cult. I bought this for completion but it's actually a very good album. Closer to "Imaginos" than "Agents of Fortune" that further over the top and veering into mystical Lovecraft type horror, as illustrated by track 3 "Old Gods Return".

"Now is the time the moon is in alignment 
With the unknown zodiac, the untold sign 
Of the fiery maniac within each breast 
Awaits a stirring irridescent whirring 
Of a six eyed god whose wings beat In a time so odd, so very odd 
And we're all lost, all of us blessedly lost "

Classic over the top BOC lyric fest.

The opener "Dance on Stilts" is a brilliant song (though the title doen's lead you to expect it) and the coda is just gorgeously excellent. The album doesn't seem to be available digitally and it is very expensive on CD but is worth getting hold of.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

On A Fiction Kick


Just reading "Cold Hands by John Niven, a Christmas presnt from Fiona when I found two John Niven books I hadn't heard of. John Niven to me is essentially darkly comedic with some serious points, but this is marked as a "thriller". I got it because it was John Niven and following on from the first "Book of Dust" by Philip Pullman must mean I am on a fiction kick.

While "Cold Hands" is more Irvine Welsh with it's flashback sections there is no comedy in there. That doesn't mean it's bad, it's anything but, reminding vaguely of the TV Series "Tin Star" based on it's location / relocation premise, but something has just happened which is the literary equivalent of being hit by a truck (that's a good recommendation for a "thriller").

Outside it's black, grim, wet and cold and even the snow has gone. This is the sort of morning when the walf to work doesn't look so inviting, and I have a nine o' clock meeting which, shall we say , may be challenging, but luckily my views on systems are taken seriously so I am in a good place for it.

So what should I play. Yesterday I was listtening to Bob Dylan's "Tempest" his last great album, and found a Sony album sampler on Youtube so thought I would give you a taste before I set off for work. I love the sound of his voice on this album, and the lyrics and songs are brilliant depite lifting the "I'm A Man" riff for "Early Roman Kings" just wonderful.

Have a great day.




Sunday, 21 January 2018

When You Don't Have To Get Up and The Coconut Connection


... but at six AM you are wide awake. You sort of have to get up, it is nice and warm in bed and because it's weekend the heating hasn't come on yet. These days I'm finding the thought of having a shower a chore, especially early in the morning, but once I'm in I don't want to come out. I don't do cold showers so enjow the warm water and current shower gell is Coconut and Vanilla and current shampoo is Coconut and Keratin. I'm not a huge fan of coconut although I quite like Bounty Bars. Then when I'm in the shower I don't want to come out because of the chore of having to dry myself and put my contact lenses in, luckily I don't do make-up or hair drying, but in it's place I need to sort out my medications for the day and take them and inject myself. On a normal day this is all done before six thirty AM and today I will probably do the medication in the next hour (it's seven thirty now). So that is my usual start to a day.

They are forecasting snow or rain later and it's still dark now as well as still being cold with icy footpaths and iced up car windscreens. I was speaking with a lady who was clearing her windscreen yesterday. She said she was going in the car as she had already slipped and fallen three times, buut seemed in fine fettle. I thought she was maybe fifty and she told me she was seventy!! I don't know if my idea of what old people look like has changed as I passed sixty this year, but I do remember thinking sixteen was old, and seeing a documentary about Tyneside in the sixties and this guy was talking (I thought he was about forty, he was seventeen).

Anyway what song should I choose this mornin. Yesterday I was listening to 6Music and some guy was talking about band who exude joy in their performancesand one of the bands he metioned was The Avalanches guerilla sampling Australian Mad Hatters and  that has turned me on to "FRankie Sinatra" from their album "Wildflower" , love the song , love the video , love the band. Enjoy my friends. After this played "Frontier Psychiatrist" came on which contains the line "Crazy as a Coconut" so as it's the bands finest moment and because of the Coconut connection I have to include that as well. An Avalanche crazy Sunday.

Have a good day friends.


Saturday, 20 January 2018

And One More


Today I didn't really do much except getting some  essentials and refilling the bird feeders. It is still cold and there is still snow about, but it is Saturday night, the middle of the weekend for us Monday to Friday workers.

I've gone on in my last post about the number of words that I writes and I suppose even if I stopped this post now it's just adding to the number of words that I have written today and a few more more for you to find your way through. Well this is just over 90 words so far, so not that many for you to digest.

I've started watching the new Sky production "Britannia" and it's totally mad with David Morrisey and Mckenzie Crook hamming it up with some huge slabs of unspecified mysticism thrown in with this particular Roman invasion. I don't think I've TV like this since Robin of Sherwood , but because I've cancelled my NOWTV subscription (they didn't offer reduced rates when I said I was leaving), I have a week to watch the remaining 8 episodes, so a binge watching week coming up methinks.

This also uses Donovan Leitch's "Hurdy Gurdy Man" as it's main theme tune so that's another plus point,  but I'll leave you with this to listen to before I go to bed.

Sleep well my friends.

1500


It's not yet eight o' clock , it's still dark (or was when I started writing this), there's snow still on the ground and the cars are white with frost and the footpaths dangerously slippy, and this is my 1500th post hennce the laconic numeric title. It's just over two years (November 2015) since my thousandth post here and when I started I wasn't sure how far this would go. Lot's of friends have started blogs and then left them and I have a few friends who still have current blogs such as the BBC writer Paul Campbell's cleverly titled Scriptuality and a few others.

On the positive side it's Saturday morning so I don't have to go to work and it has been a very intense but satisfying week, managing to get the impossible tasks and donkey work done and not having to worry about the coming week.

I need to shower, take drugs, get dressed then go out to shop for essentials after I've posted this, and start towards my 2,000th post my going on about nothing in particular.

This morning I'm attempting to record stuff to the PC, and while the guitar sound is great the original device I was using created a half second lag on the sound from hitting the string to hearing it, and lets face it Alvin Lee could have played a hundred notes in that time (see Ten Years After playng "I'm Going Home" at Woodstock to see what I mean. Techically it's just very fast and in tune , the song is just basic rock and roll and blues time. My daughter Kirsty was well impressed when I played her this.

I do find it amazing that I metion things on this blog to find I've never mentioned them before in the eleven years I've been writing this. Here's my first post and in the first couple of years the posts were barely notes and now you get a couple of hunderd words. I think possibly the longest post is about two thousand words when I sat down one day in Craster just to see if I could actually do it and it's here.

Anyway I need to kick start the day and I will leave you with Alvin Lee and Ten Years After at Woodstock.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The Day After Yesterday


Yesterday we woke up to a decent snowfall, two or three inches deep in parts as I walked into work. We had sun and the snow started to melt. By the time I walked down Barrack Road the footpath was like slush driven slide. Because it was still so cold the melted snow started turning to ice.

I don't know if it's age or my lardy weight but despite a decent pair of boots I could not negotiate even slight iced slopes, each time having to find an alternative clear path which involved extra walking. This wasn't me being safe rather than sorry, it was me being forced to take a (slightly) different route to get to where I want. The final one being the path from Rosie's bar near the start of the Town Wall to the front door of Citygate. I could,t go on the path and the grass was reduced to a slippery muck, luckily the footpath round was level and partially ice free. Having thought about it no one else was walking on that slope either.

It's like the feeling you get on the bus when you are starting and the bust (apparently) slams on or goes violently round a corner , and I have difficulty keeping upright. Again is this old age or is it just that buses (I still think it should be spelt - or is it spelled - busses, the joys of the english language, I'm English and can hardly spell.

This morning looking out of the window ther is still a decent white snow blanket, though this will now be infused with ice so the walk to work may not be so comfortable. I will tell you tonight how it went.

February will mean increasing my daily steps by 10% to 12,250 steps a day but so far this month I am averaging more than that (12,650 a day at the end of yesterday).

Chris Hawkins played "Calling All The Heroes" by It Bites and that reminded me of the excellent "American Life In The Summertime" by Francis Dunnery http://amzn.to/2DpHDAvafter he left the band, which is what I'll share with you twenty three years after it's release.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Polish Wind


How do you pronounce that? Is it Polish  - relating to Poland or polish - to buff something up? Is it wind - the atmosmeric movement of air or wind - the ,ethod of tightening something up like a spring on a mechanical clock. Then the words wind, wined and, at a push whined could all sound the same when spoken, In isolation you wouldn't know what the person meant. Similarly wind and winned are both the same.

The English language is brilliant for writers and wordsmiths but must be hell to learn as a foreign language.

The reason that this came up is I was watching "Black Lake" last night and the police turned up and the word POLIS was on the car but the end of the word slightly obscured by snow and I though is that POLIS or POLISH ? "Black Lake" is well short on humour although absolutely excellent.

This is my first post in which I have mentioned Poland. Currently I have two Polish friends, Marek who runs RPM and Ola who I work with. At school I had lots of Polish friends and used to rehearse at Chorley Polish Club with my first band Cyrus Teed. I remember the first gig was a snowy night in Chorly and during the drum solo in "Wipe Out" the drum podium  (which consisted of four big blocks) split four ways leaving the drummer and crowd and us "surprised".

Anyway we have had real snow last night (see here on my instagram feed)

I have donned a large pair of boots because I would like to see what Nunsmoor is like covered in snow so that's a ¾ mike walk on snow covered paths but I will post a video on instagram if I get there before I freeze.

For absolute no reason apart from the smow / rain at the start of the video I'm including Jordan Reyne's "Shadow Line" which still gives be goosebumps, reminding me of the first time I saw her (documented here). Wrap up and be careful if you have to go out.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

404

For some reason my blog redirection is not working. It's actually a 503 not a 404 but I watched the dream sequence in Mr Robot and there was a 404 sign on a tree where a house was missing. It's been cold today but the snow dusted footpaths were fine but the walk across Nunsmoor almost took my face off (which many would say would be an improvement) but I warmed up once I hit the shelter of the trees. Tonight more snow is forecast and no doubt it will be very cold.

Snow looks nice and is fine while it is solid and crunchy but once it melts a little the freezes it becomes treacherous. I am not looking forward to that.

I'm currently flipping between Mt Robot and Black Lake on TV catch up , the benefit of Mtr Robot is that I don't need subtitles but Black Lake is creepy and scary and uses a possibly non existent language, so just a small smattering of the glut of excellent TV we have out our disposal and I still have to watch the latest Black Mirror and Orphan Black. That's three excellent series that have the word BLACK in their title. Are my viewing preferences trying to say something to me.

I've been listening to Blue Oyster Cult's "Fire of Unknown Origin" which is a bit rock by numbers. There's probably three songs on there that are worth continual revisiting, the sword and sorcery of "The Pact", the drum heavy Michael Moorcock collaboration "Veteran of The Psychic Wars" and the bona fide classic "Joan Crawford (Has Risen Frome The Grave)" which I've included or you delectation with a great video and slide show.

Wrap up well and keep the heatig fired up, it's going to be a cold, cold night.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Is This A Dream Week?


I woke this morting and the lasting image from my dreams was interpretive dance versions of  Terry Pratchett's novels "Mort" and "Cardiff City vs Preston North End". Yest I know the second one is a football match and not a novel but this is one of my dreams and it wouldn't be a dream if it made any sense would it. This is the first time I mentioned Terry Pratchett on this blog although I' never got into him , though I enjoyed "Mort", that was it, but I know I was in a minority the

Last night I was feeling wrecked, I was heading towards another Diabetic hypo (3.8) and was in bed for nine. Today I am not really looking forward to work as I have an annual donkey work task that I will be lucky to finish today, but I will do it, so maybe that was on my mind.

Last night I watched Ben Wheatley's take on JG Ballard's "High Rise"  which is a flawed masterpiece in my opinion, very 1970s and the buildings look simply monstrously awesome from a distance, but the soundtrack featuseds both Can and Amon Duul II and an awesome take on Abba's "SOS" by Portishead. I can't find this officially available anywhere but found this wonderful Youtube montage from the film soundtracked by the Portishead take.

Monday, 15 January 2018

More Strange Dreams


Good night's sleep but more weird dreams. Often dreams take it something you have seen or are thinking about and I've seen a lot of these Butlins Music Weekends advertised which I think are a great idea but have never got to one yet. But this one had shared flooding showers with no towels, some American artist playing "music you cannot buy" and me playing Eddie Cochran's "Summertime Blues". Like all proper dreams it made no sense whatsoever but there's obviously bits of real life in there. Our showere ever so oftent needs the drain pod clearing and if I didn't ot would eventually flood, but once every six moths keeps that clear.

Yesterday at the Tyneside Cinema we saw the excellent "Batteries Not Included" while brunching before watch the excellent "Darkest Hour" which features Gar Oldman doing an excellent turn as Winston Churchill. Oldman is a great actor not tied to type as demonstrated by the dreadlocked half-caste drug dealer in my favourite file "True Romance".

Walking yesterday was down but the weekend pverall was fine. It's the 15th of January and I am well over half way to my target for the month, but had my first diabetic hypo (3.3) last night after walking for a pizza.

Apparently it's Blue Monday today (most depressing day of the year), but I am going to have a great day and you should too. It's strange how the media and tradition push things like this on us and we take them on board and make them true. So I've included the brand new Simple Minds song "The Signal and The Noise" for you to enjoy.

Have a brilliant Monday everyone.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Careful With That Axe Eugene - Five Words and a Scream


This morning I went to the local Post Office depot to pick up an item "too big" for my letterbox. Because it was early it was a walk across the park and down Stamfordham Road and I got there ten minutes early.

The album I was listening to was the live disc of Pink Floyd's "Ummagumma" and for the firsy yime I noticed that the rhythm is provided by the guitars, with the drums used more as a musical embellishment whereas on most rock songs it's the other way round, especially on a lot of modern songs where rhytm machines and sequencers are used. I remember when I bought it as a teenager from a record shop at Lane Ends in Preston, the rather haughty guy dismissed me with "We don't sell singles" instantly displaying his musical ignorance. Needless to say I never revisited that shop.

The second song, although it's not really a song more a jam piece and it goes on for a hypnotic eight minutes. The lyrics consist on the title whispered once followed by a scream, and that's it. Then I started thinking (over analsing of course) what was this about.

Was it a murder?

Was it a suicide?

Was it an unsatisfied plea for mercy?

The singer is the one who screams so is he the victim or does the singer take  multiple parts?

All this from five words and a scream.

I've included the version from "Live at Pompeii" for you analysis although this has a few more words in it, some Roger Waters indulgence.

Anyway this is far too deep for a Saturday morning, have a brilliant day everbody.

Friday, 12 January 2018

#ItsNotThem #2 - The Jesus of Cool


Nick Lowe was the producer to have during the punk years 1976-79, he'd cut his musical teeth with the excellent Country Rocker Brinsley Schwarz who went on to back Graham Parker as The Rumour (well some of them did). So how many bands did I mention in that sentence, and I didn't even think about doing that.

Anyway Nick Lowe's first release on Stiff was the double "A" side Heart of The City b/w "So It Goes" both of which appeared on his excellent "Jesus of Cool" album. The song "So It Goes" is a perfect "Thin Lizzy" song, whicjle it is lighter that the Irish Rocker's sound , the dynamics and phrasing are pure Thin Lizzy and I am surprised that they never covered it,

It's a simple descending chord sequence with a virtually spoken dialog / melody, very Phil Lynott / Thin Lizzy.  I know this is a very short post about the Jesus of Cool but follow the links and get a listen to some of his stuff, it is worth your while.
 
Enjoy my friends, I 'm going to bed as I need to be up very earlty tomorrow.


A Little Blue Sky


Today has been grey and overcast with a foggy and misty start. This afternoon though there was a short period when blue sky came through and even a little sun. That soon went though and we were back to the grey cloud cover. The good thing though is that it is Friday and for many of us that means we have the weekend to relax and enjoy although I have to be up early tomorrow morning to pick up and undelivered item from the Post Office. It always amazes me that deliveries of larger than letterbox items are tried aroung lunchtime rather than early or late when there might me somebody in.

This in turn reminded me of that album "Goodbye Blue Sky" by Godley and Creme two very talented Mancunians who made up half of 10CC and from that I've chosen "A Little Piece Of Heaven" for you to enjoy. Enjoy your Friday evening, I may treat myself to a curry from Rajnagar after lunching on a Sweet Potato and Chickpea curry at Aurora Kitchen.

Another Foggy Friday


Well today is the first full week that I have done this year, or it will be when I finish today, and I have done a lot this week so am looking forward to the weekend, most definitely. Outside we have fog or low lying cloud (which I assume are the same thing) as will as a fine drizzle, but it's not windy or freezing so a walk into work is a distinct possibility.

Yesterday I only did 10K steps so that was the first lapse this year but I'm still ahead of where I need to be, which is good. This was because I took the bus in and used that time to watch a couple of TED talks, my first so far this year.

I'm still on a Hawkwind listening trip (literally) and yesterday put on "XIn Search of Space" , I'd been putting off listening to it, because while it has one of the most impresive album covers and packaging the opening track "You Shouldn't Do That" goes on for sixteen minutes. Well I played it and it sounds even better that I remembered , all sixteen minutes , great riff rock for walking to and I will be playing it a lot more in coming months. The album also contains some other great songs like "Master of The Universe" plus extras such as the two sides of the "Silver Machine" single (that and the excellent "Seven By Seven) and "Born To Go" which I first heard taking up most of a side of the "Greasy Truckers" charity album.


Thursday, 11 January 2018

Mad Dreams and Orange Bicycles


After waking up after a series of dreams that wer so mad I wouldn't know where to start describing them, and they are fading now. I think part of this may be the slight surreality of the current phase of "La Belle Sauvage" by Philip Pullman that I am on the run in the the finale of.

I'm actually not too tired either although I went to bed relatively early last night so that was probably a reason for feeling reasonable awake, although honestly I could have still stayed in bed for a few more hours but unfortunately one has to get up for work if one does not want to lick rocks for sustenance.

I don't know if I'm setting off earlier or what, but mornings seem to be darker longer (I know that can't be true) but so far this year I haven't seen a decent sunrise. A lot is the overcast cloud when I'm walking in, but at least the last couple of days there hasn't been much ice and it's a bit warmer than it has been.

I'm also surprised that I have more than maintained my required steps every day this year (usually once a week I let it drop off), but the have been no freezing cod wet and windy days that make walking difficult. Also part of my mind is what I have to in February , effectively increase my steps to 12K a day (almost a 10% increase) , though it's funny if you don't have to do it it's quite easy, but when you have to do it it suddenly becomes more of a chore. This pales into insignificance with my friends efforts of 5 and 10 mile morning runs and 50 mile bike rides.

I've seen the Orange  Mobikes in Newcastle (follow the link for five free rides) and thought that would be a great idea but most of the time I can't think of a reason to use them, if I'm going round town I'll walk and if I'm going further I'll use a bus. I'm sure I will use them one day as they look quite good and you don't have to maintain them. I've seen the odd charver trying to nick one and alarms go off .

So maybe on that I'll leave you with Nazareth's cover of Tomorrow's "My White Bicycle" about when Dutch students stole bikes and painted the white for everyone to use for free (I think , but look it up.

Have a great Thursday everybody.



Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Pleasant Surprises


One of the nicest things is actually unexpectedly meeting up with a friend you haven't seen for too long. Too often we put off social contact because it's easier to just be home, watch catch up TV and not socialise. Today I was walking back to work with my free decaf latte from Patisserie Valerie and ran into my great friend Sophia who I haveb't she for ages. She is working at a tattoo studio and we had a quick ten minute catch up about music and what we had been up to and she triggered an idea for me to try Audacity on the new computer, and the first try seems to have created some noise which is good.

This si what friends do for me, and this year I am going to try and resume social contact with lots of people. I do know so many lovely people that I really do need to redouble my efforts to get out more. There is a Reginald D Hunter gig in February which a few friends will be at so, that is one thing to look forward to, plus meeting up with Mark and Helen who I have not seen for probably twelve months or more.

The thing is contact is good for us, and I know this is just a short post so I will include Edwin Starr's "Contact" which I think is just a brilliant song. Enjoy my friends , and get out and reconnect with someone you haven't seen in a while, you never know what it my inspire you to do.


Monday, 8 January 2018

#ItsNotThem


Today would have been David Bowie's sevent first birthday, and he left us a huge musical legacy, so really to us he is immortal and will be with us forever. I was thinking of artists who released songs that really should have been released by someone else hence the #ItsNotThem tag. I've already included David Bowie at least one in the #LikeNoOther sequence , click on the tag below to find that entry.

The song I am going to include is "Rebel, Rebel" from "Diamond Dogs". That song should have been a Rolling Stones single , a classic riff with a Stones swagger and to my knowledge they have never covered it. It is still one of my favourite guitar riffs the hear and play.

Outside today cars are frozen and I need to go to the General Hospital for my six monthly Diabetes check up where I possible will be told off again by the consultant for doing things like walking, losing weight and reducing my insulin intake, Actually most of these are the same as my last visit apart from the weight that will be slightly down and hopefully this time I will have a more positive consultant.

So wrap up, be careful on the footpaths if you are walking, and have a good day.

Sunday, 7 January 2018

Straws


It's 9:30 on this Sunday night and iTunes is still importing my music collection. It started at around ten am this morning. I don't know how far through it because I can't query it without stopping he import. Also as it imports it starts randomly playing songs from album playlists, it never plays a complete song and the songs it plays are random and unless I stop the import not of the buttoms work. Typical Apple rubbish programming. I'm just hoping iTunes will work when it has imported all the songs.

Anyway today we went for a nice brunch at the Tyneside Bar and Cafe and were treated to "Close Encounters of The Third Kind" (now a thirty year old Steven Spielberg classic) . While at the bar we got talking about the plastic straws that were in my mang smoothie and I asked about if it would be more eco friendly to use paper straws. They said they were often not actively providing staraws but leaving them in a cup on the bar so those who wanted them could take them. One guy also pointed out that paper straws are often laminated like paper coffee cups therefore probably can't be recycled. Here's one campaign to make a difference, though there are a few. If you go to a pub or restaurant state you don't want a straw BEFORE they serve you , not after they've brought the drink with a straw in it.

So what should I leave you with at the end of this weekend, I suppose "Think For A Minute" by The Housemartins really instructs us how to approach the problems of addressing small changes to look after our environment.

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Success

Today I was just thinking how small successes improve how you feel in yourself. Today I was not expecting to his my step target but due to onw thing and another I ended up doing almost 15K steps , well over my required 11K , so when I passed it it gave me an extra fillip,

I had already had a good day having a nice meal out for Fiona's birthday followed by Preston doing what they should against a League Two team and beating Wycombe Wanderers 5-1 (hopefully you can watch here if you are in the UK).

The weather has not been too bad and we even saw some blue sky, but I've definitely ended the day on an up and tomorrow is Sunday so I can have a lie in (although I bet I will end up getting up early again.).

Also today I was listening to Hawkwind's "Hall of The Mountain Grill" and although the opener "Psychedelic Warlords" is based on a speeded up version of the riff for "Time We Left (This World Today)" from "Doremi Fasol Latido" some of the songs have almost patoral country rock beauty. I'm thinking of the piano coda from "Web Weaver" (though there is still a lot of fuzz guitar in there) which I will share with you before I hit my bed.

Twelfth Night


Today is the date of the Epiphany or revelation of Jesus to the Magi according to the Bible , which has gone through so many rewrites we can't be sure any of the original text is still in there and the first one was probably compiled about half a millenium after the supposed event.

It's also the date of the twefth nigh (isn't twelfth an odd looking and sounding word) t of Christmas so decorations and Christmas Trees should be deconstructed and put away or thrown out to bring life back to normal.

Today we have so far seen rain and hail and the sky is still very grey and it's total SAD weather.

I do apologise for the lack of content in my posts, as I've not seen or done anything worth writing about apart from walking, but I haven't been able to take any photographs for instagram , if you follow the link you see the last few have not been that good, but I am still walking and still exploring my record collection. To take decent photographs you do need decent light to take the and the curent weather is definitely not conducive to that, but hopefully I should be back on track within the next week. One has to stay p[ostive and as I am looking out of the window there is a little bit of unclouded sky, almost blue.

I found this great Saturday Night Live clip which is appropriate for the occasion, so I will leave you to pack up your decorations and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Mr Kilmister Said


I'm still listening to Hawkwind's "Doremi Fasol Latido" and the original album closed with this acoustic song from Lemmy (Ian Fraser Kilmister to give his Sunday name)  and sung by him. While the song is gentle the lyrics are a little more acidic although there is very little indication of  what was to come when he was sacked by the band. This was not his last album with Hawkwind and on "Hall of The Mountain Grill" he contributed probably the best track on that album and also one of his and Hawkwind's finest, the amazing "Lost Johnny". Now that I've mentioned it I have to include that as well don't I.

I wasn't sure if his surname was Kilminster or Kilmister, it turns out it's the latter.

Anyway this week my walking has been good despite some rain and cold mornings, but it's still raining now so I am glad to be warm and dry inside the house.

The weekend is here, the first one of the year and I am looking forward to some well needed rest. My knee has been playing up when I sit down so th eanswer is surely to keep walking, although I think the weather may have contributed to it.

Another thing technology wise is that most of my photos these days are taken using my phone and I was thinking I don't need a camera at all. In fact generally my phone is actually better than my camera for getting the shots I want so I may be have a small technological clear out.

Anyway it's time for bed so have a brilliant weekend everybody.
 

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Early To Bed


I thought that the older you got the less sleep you needed. I've never gone for afternoon naps but this week I am enjoying going to bed relatively early after watching some catch up TV, and ending up in bed between nine and ten. That will happen tonight, and it's quarter to nine as i start to pen this particular post.

I have to admit work has been particularly intensive (mainly due to Excel 2016 being particularly tedious and lost of new projects coming up)  and maybe that has something to do with it. It's been another grey and uninspiring day weather wise, the sun didn't come out at all today. Despite that I've still managed to hit my step target so that's a little positive news for me anyhow.

Tomorrow is Friday and we can look forward to the weekend, it's also Fiona's birthday on Saturday so we shall be having something celebratory then, so definitely a weekend to look forward to.

As I said this is just a very short post mainly about me going to bed early every night so far in 2018. For some reason "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" came to mind and I found this version remixed by DJ Electro Swingable with the offensive word removed. I don't know if you can buy it but the are several takes on the song here

Right I'm off to bed, see you tomorrow.

Here Comes The Sun


It's already 4th of January 2018 and yesterday after a couple of miserable grey days we got some sunshine and blue sky. Yes there was rain and we'd had grey overcast skies but the sun and blue sky gave me and most people a palpable lift. People who'd been feeling down on Tuesday (not helped by the fact it was the first day back at work) were visibly uplifted yesterday.

It is strange how nice weather actually can lift us, although I think Tuesday was really bad because it was just dark, cloudy, cold and nothing much was happening weatherwise. Even rain or snow would have perked up the weather a bit. I know some parts of the country had been hit by Storm Eleanor so we should count our blessings round here, but I am looking forward to more interesting weather today.

I'm still listening to my apocalyptic space rock and at the moment I am working through Hawkwind's third album "Doremi Fasol Latido" which was probably the second one that I bought . I loved the black and silver cover (and still do) , I am sure there was some interesting text on the sleeve somewhere, but maybe I will search that out again at some point.

Anyway the second song on "Space Is Deep" contains an amazing saxophone coda from Nik Turner and was based on Michael Morrcock's book "The Black Corridor" so that is what I will leave you with and I will be listening to that as I walk into work this morning.

Have a good Thursday everybody.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

Walk This Way ....


I wasn't expecting a great start to the New Year with my walking but the first three days I've passed 40K steps , which is a good return. February will be more difficult as I will need to hit 12K a day and part of me thinks I can't do that, but part of me is determined that I WILL do that.

I was looking It a post I'd done about Tideswell and Litton in 2009 here which contains less than 100 words, and looking at it I'm surprised that there are that many. It is remarkably sparse, although it is my ambition to do a coherent post of maybe ten words, though I am not sure that would be possible. While I can ramble on about something and nothing sometimes I do need to be reigned in to stop me from going off at such a tangent that I fall of the edge of whatever I'm actually doing.

At this point this post clocks in at around 170 words, so the Tideswell post would have probably finished after the first paragraph.

Anyway people will probably expect me to include "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith, a band I missed when they first came round and still don't think I missed much. The only song of their's that I really like is the excellent "Livin' On The Edge" though I am sure lots of people will tell me how wrong I am.

Instead I've been listening to the excellent "Quark, Strangeness and Charm" by Hawkwind a thouroughly enjoyable album from start to finish, but while the opener "Spirit of the Age" is great, my favourite is still "Damnation Alley" based on the book by Roger Zelazny (turned into a rubbish film but it works well as a backdrop for the song) and probably appropriate given Donald Trump's "My Button is Bigger Than Your Button" Shenanigans with Kim Jong Un

Monday, 1 January 2018

One One Two Zero One Eight


Happy new year and an obvious song to welcome in the New Year would be U2's "New Year's Day", but that is a bit obvious, and I'm currently working therough "Songs of Experience" their latest album which I was completely unaware of until my friend John Scott mentioned he was listening to it. It's a follow up to "Songs of Innocence" , the one they deposited free into everyone's iTunes accounts that people then couldn't easily get rid off which turned a lot of people into your typical red top readers being offended by something that , at worst , was just an annoyance.

The new album is very listenable all though there it's nothing that hits you like a hammer and the first ten songs have very low key production although toward the end you begin to hear U2 signatures such as the duplo guitar and Bono starting to actually stretch his vocal chords. My favourite song so far is "Lights of Home" which sound more like an old blues song with a wonderful guitar sound and ruff.

Today I've seen a rainbow, and been out to the Co Op and it's another month to start my steps but I don't think I will hit my 11K today.

So it's a  start to a New Year and I have just found another reason to hate iTunes , tryied to play the beautiful "To Ohio" by The Low Anthem then I had to log in to play it, then it told me my computer wasn't authorised, so I had to autorise it (two logins to play one song), I do hate Apple, they may look good but their systems are full of holes and stupidity.

Anyway I found a live version of "To Ohio" and that I think is a great start to 2018. Start having a good New Year now.