Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Cars Hiss By My Window

This is basically my start to the days, around 4:30 - 5 am I start hearing cars on the road, then about 5:30 I hear the Central Heating Boiler (serviced today by my friend Harry Willis) start up , then at 5:45 my alarm goes off, which I turn off immediately then stretch to wake my body up before going to the bathroom to shave and clean my teeth, followed by a shower. That's my normal start to the day except today I heard a car and then the alarm went off, meaning I sort of had to get up immediately, with Harry coming to service the boiler at eight.

The "Follow The Music" book is very similar to "On Some Faraway Beach" , a lot of text, but very interesting and is going to be a long and interesting ride, about the history of Elektra records as well as the history of recording media and lots of other things including interviews with the artists involved and Jac Holzman's first record shop "The Record Loft" (it wasn't a loft but he thought it sounded folky.

The title of the post is another song from "LA Woman" one of my eldest daughter's favourite Doors albums so we will use that for this post methinks.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020


Last month I was 20K steps short of my step target, this month I am, so far,  37K ahead of my target. Last month I was plagued by 'flu'  which lasted into January and I am still recovering from it. Today, for the first time in a long time I walked into work and then walked home , so that 15K steps which is about six and a half miles, and it was quite easy. I was helped by listening to David Bowie's "The Man Who Sold The World" and the "No Plan" EP.

This morning I started reading "Follow The Music" by Jac Holzman and Gavan Daws which is large format , small but readable print and four hundred pages , so it will take me a long time to get through, but has started out promisingly, and is a wonderful accompaniment to my most impressive box set "Forever Changing" the story of Elektra Records , you can see some pics by clicking on the Follow The Music link.

Anyway during my walk I listened o "The Man Who Sold The World" , disturbingly dark and although there were some songs I thought I didn't rate highly , namely "Running Gun Blues" and "Black Country Rock" I found that I actually did, and "She Shook Me Cold" is the only one that is not on the same level as the rest, and it's still good.

I followed this with the "No Plan" EP which I had dismissed as out takes, but even though it leads with the prophetic "Lazarus" from "Blackstar" it is remarkably good while not part of the "Blackstar" universe but thoroughly worth your time.

So we obviously go with "Lazarus".

Sunday, 19 January 2020

Back To Front

Yesterday I posted that generally we can trust technology. After finishing  "Riders on the Storm" by John Densmore I picked up "On Tyranny" by Timothy Snyder and it has pointed out a couple of instances where technology is possibly not to be trusted.

The book is small , 128 pages and large, easy to read print and has 20 lessons on tyranny in the last two centuries culminating in our current situation, and what YOU should do to combat this and defend freedoms. It is an absorbing, informative read, highlighting a lot of things that you may have missed, assumed were OK and the like.

One if the the points was electronic voting, machines can be manipulated, so the only safe way of voting is on paper slips that can be checked and recounted, although we know even that can be manipulated.

It mentions how easy it is to ignore when others are being mistreated , especially by authoritarians.

There are also example books of how authoritarian groups can subvert nations with the implicit approval of the silent majority , namely George Orwell's "1984"  and JK Rowling's "Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows" . "1984" and Ray Bradbury's "Fahrenheit 451" highlight the power of destroying books and relying on screens and billboards and an ever decreasing number of controlled words.

I will probably finish this book today but it really should be in everyone's library , and I do worry about people who say they don't read or don't like books.

We are in worrying times and one of the problems is that we laugh at our political leaders rather than taking them to task, so I think given the rise of the acceptability of racism in both the UK and USA thanks to their governments we will go with the excellent "Ich Bin Ein Auslander" by Pop Will Eat Itself.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Inside Out

Today is going to be functional. I was changing the bedding and whichever way I pulled the quilt cover and pillowcases they seemed to be inside out. I got it right eventually but it is a tribulation to say the least.

Then I tried to fix the charging port on my phone, apparently it's full of compacted fabric so the charger wont stay in so it needs cleaning out. I tried it at work yesterday and thought I had broken it, but it seems as it was at home so that's something I also seed to look at.

Also the sink plug mechanism is sort of broken , it's nothing major just a bit awkward to put back together.

Add to that basic shopping and a haircut , as you can see a very functional day.

I thought there was a Hawkwind song called "Inside Out" but it's actually called "Upside Down" , thein I remembered Imelda May did a song with that title so I will share that with you.

Thursday, 16 January 2020

Psychological Barriers

Yesterday I had a doctors appointment in Shieldfield , East of Newcastle Centre over the Central Motorway, I live in Fenham to the West of the city centre and took the first bus that actually terminated in the city centre (it's the only one on that service that does).

A bus that would have served me just pulled out as I arrived so I walked down to the next stop where there were huge queues and I thought  "Could I walk? But it is across the Central Motorway" . Immediately I was placing a psychological barrier to stop me actually walking there. I looked at my watch and had 21 minutes to make my appointment and thought well I may as well try.

Six minutes later I was over the motorway and one bus stop away from the surgery, I kept on walking and five minutes later I was in the surgery , just over ten minutes from town centre to my doctor's surgery. My blood pressure was initially up after the walk according to their machine in the waiting room and the doctor was slightly concerned so retook it and all was fine. It was just after a brisk walk your blood pressure can go up.

Coming back I thought I can wait for a bus or be back in town in ten minutes walking. I chose the latter, and also took some photos and video of the Central Motorway on Instagram here.

This is just one example of the barriers we put up to stop us doing things when really we would benefit from actually doing that thing.

I now have to walk to the Post Office to pick a delivery and think I will go with "Walkin'" by CCS.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Trust In Techno

On Monday morning I had to get up at 4:45 Am , my alarm normally goes off at 5:45 and while it's fine to switch on an off , it's messy to change the alarm time, so I set my phone alarm for 4:45. No we are generally well served with technology, things generally work and failure is normally an exception, so generally you can trust technology (although computers and be a bit awkward and phones are not really phones anymore they are computers that, among other things allow you to make phone calls.

I also use mine to send videos to my dad and he, under Francesca's direction is getting a lot easier with sending video messages., and this all generally works.

If you press the light switch the light turns on or off, same with any number of devices so when I set the alarm on my phone, that should have been it until the alarm sounded, but I woke up at 1AM , 2AM , 3AM , and 4:30 AM . I am not sure why because I trust the technology but each time I woke I thought I had missed the alarm. I hadn't of course, and eventually at 4:30 I just got up and switched the alarm off, so it never got to sound.

So we'll go with one of my favourite bands The Alabama 3 , a live take of the excellent "You Dont Dance To Tekno Anymore" from their "Exile on Coldharbour Lane" amazing debut, and any time listening to the Alabama 3 is time very well spent.

The Grey Quiet

This was a phrase that came to me when I was out early Sunday morning, the sound of my footsteps disappeared almost before my feet hit the floor , there were no vehicles and the only person I saw was someone soundlessly walking their dog. The dog never barked. There was no wind, there was just an uncanny stillness in the air. It was quiet, and the quiet seemed to swallow all the sound.

It was an almost science fiction scenario, imagine if it was always like that. I'm sure there is at least a short story in this scenario, but it was something I just wanted to write down. Maybe I will revisit it sometime in the future.

Normally in life there is sound and movement but when you are the only thing moving and making any sound it gives an unusual feeling of loneliness. There are times you need to be alone, but not all the time. When I write these posts I can only do it when I have my own space and time.

So I still haven't finished "Riders on the Storm" but John Densmore has reached the making of "LA Woman" and according to him the word "Mojo" is a negro word for sexual prowess, I'd always assumed it was sort if charisma. This comes from the phrase in the title song of the album, as I 've said seven minutes, one and a half chords and a riff and totally brilliant, "Mr Mojo Risin" which is an anagram of Jim Morrison. To record the album, which Paul Rothschild didn't want to produce , so he didn't, the band co produced it with long term engineer  Bruce Botnick and "regressed" from 16 Track to 8 Track recording, recorded it in a couple of week and credited all songs to the band, going back to the situation with their first two albums, and producing one of their best discs.

So I am now off to the doctors and leave you with "LA Woman"