Wednesday, 31 August 2011


Bathroom Ceiling LEDs
A 3.5W LED
Just replaced my halogen light bulbs in the bathroom , for of them . Fitting the restraining clips was an absolute pain , but they use replaced my 50W halogens with 2 x 1W and 2 x 3.5 W LED ones so that should save a little more on the electricity bills, in theory.

Incidentally , wwhen I switched the bathroom lights on the energy usage went down!! Go work that one out!!

The other trouble is I'm insulated , using efficient stuff , and eventually I'm going to hit a wall where I can't do any more , in fact I feel I'm near that now. Except maybe get a wind turbine in the back garden!!

Monday, 29 August 2011

A Record Shop In Hexham!!

The Front of Gojo Records Hexham
A nice surprise today , decided to drive over to Hexham and was shocked to notice on the main drag a shop that appeared to be selling records. On closer examination discovered it was music and video rental as well , and had a small but excellent selection of CDs , good enough for me to purchase two of them , "Game Set and Match" by Nic Jones (they also had Penguin Eggs as do I) ,  and "Yan, Tan, Tehera Methera" by The Bad Shepherds!!

The Bag and the CDs

Enclosed are the photographs of the shop doorway and the bag and CDs I bought. Love the fact that they don't even have the area code on the phone number and they only take cash or cheques. Good to see that there are still shops selling music!

Sunday, 28 August 2011

57 Channels and Nothing On ... Does It Matter?

It isn't all that long since we were looking forward to getting Channel 5 , in fact I remember the days before BBC2 (so you had BBC and ITV) . In the seventies we had four channels and Saturday nights were taken up with dross such as Seaside Special and 3-2-1 , featuring irritating presenters and forgettable acts.

The bitching all over the red tops this morning reminds me that nothing much has changed , we have Gary Barlow replacing Simon Cowell presiding over the latest batch of conveyor belt wannabes covering tried and tested standards until Christmas , when the X-Factor winners single takes it's rightful place at number one in the singles chart.

The BBC provide competion in the form of the totally fascinating National Lottery draw , which was OK when it was once a week , now it's about once a day!!

The thing is we now have hundreds of channels to choose from , admittedly most of them screening repeats , especially in the case of Skuy News that is on a 15 minute repeat loop , but the are diamonds to be found such as Sky Arts , BBC4 , BBC2 , Channel 4 , but most of the population on Saturday night are glued to X-Factor oor The National Lottery Draw , and I was thinking , this country could satisfy 95% of the population with two channels. It waould also give them something to complain about such as the repeats , and the use of the BBC License fee!!

It's Not Easy Being Green

I recently attended a "Green Champions" course courtesy of my employer , and a couple of things struck me. A lot of people are committed to going good to recycle , use renewable energy and implement changes that will benefit and sustain our life style.

A couple of scary facts were put forward such as the fact that we have less than fifty years of oil left , and slightly longer with coal and gas . While that's enough to see out most of us , the edge is drawing closer. Steven Tyler , Mick Jagger look alike and lead singer with Aerosmith , made a pertinent quote about life which applies the same to our fossil fuell resourses , "Life is like a toilet roll , the closer you get to the end the faster it goes" !! , and that reminds me , one of their songs is perfectly titled for this situation , "Livin' On The Edge"

Anyway we can see that people and businesses will not embrace "Being Green" , unless it's convenient and financially viable!!

Personally , my own bit is the removal of all incandescent bulbs and the installation of an electricity monitor courtesy of my electricity provider.  This has decreased my electricity usage , although my home IT network is probably racking it up , the problem being if I want my music and film available 24/7 from anywhere in the house then the storage needs to be running 24/7 , though I think that solid state storage will help reduce this in the future , but at a cost.

I also do my bit recycling plastic and paper with my blue bin , and organics via the green bin. Paper either goes in my blue bin or is recycled into logs for my wood burning stove (see here).

I'm looking into the solar panels on the roof thing , which was part of my Green Pledge, but again , this is motivated out of a pereived benefit to me  , rather than being a "Green Champion" .  Still the result is the main thing and if I end up being moore energy efficient , then that is one more little action which makes the world a slightly better place , which can't be too bad.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Big Brotherly X-Factory

Well the nights are getting shorter , like the attention span of most of the population , and nights are going to be filled with the pre packed eye and ear fodder , presedided over by Take That's Gary Barlow  (who really doesn't need this gig)  , and I don't think he will last as he's far too decent a person to be involved with this organised bully fest.

At the same time Channell Five have revived that dead duck "Celebrity Big Brother" . What a misnomer that is , but I might do it for the 150 grand the contestants are getting each!!

Enjoy your Saturday nights!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Birmingham and Luton Tonight!! - Snuffin in a Babylon!!

Just amazed at the blatant looting that has gone on for absolutely no reason apart from they can. I'm sure the government and police will be targetting more money and resources at congestion charges , more yellow lines and traffic wardens and clampers as we speak. It is funny how in all the times I've experienced violence , thieving and the like the police have done nothing , yet they can always come down on you for speeding , parking and the like.

Personally I dont think that they should use water cannon , batons etc on these animals , they should be given real live bullets . The reason why this looting is taking place is that , the animals are totally unconcerned with any potential reprisals , if they thought they might get really hurt or killed they wouldnt do it.

The Bob Marley song above is appropiate about what is happening but not the reasons. Most of Briatain's rioters and looters are not deprived or oppressed. Well not yet but this will be an excuse for governments to bring in new laws to control the rest of us.

By the way I'm left wing in my politics , but I know how fragile society is , and these scum should be put down . Full stop. A simplistic solution I know , but it makes me sick , and to think that if dispensed justice to to a looter I'd probably be the one that the police would prosecute!!

First Londaon , then Birmingham , Manchester , Leicester , Wolverhampton , Nottingham , scary

Sorry for the randomness of this post , but It's just a load of thoughts that came to me

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Sopranos - Selling Music

I 'm quite amazed and the number of artists who have benefitted from the exposure of having their music featured in an episode of The Sopranos. Obviously you have the Alabama 3 theme tunes "Woke Up This Mornin'" from Exile on Coldharhour Lane , though apparently someone else absconded with the profits.

Then the final episode featured Journey's Karaoke favourite "Don't Stop Believin'" , though in a disturbing sign of the times I've seen this song credited to Glee!!

Then I  was at an Al Stewart concert and he mentioned that his bank balance and benefited from the use of his song "Time Passages" in an episode.

The latest I've heard is John Cooper Clarke's "Evidently Chickentown" featuring . I's amazing tgat the series can be so influential , though it is totally brilliant!!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Monetary Value of Music

Around 1975  I was out of school , on the dole , and my job seekers allowance was £3.25 a week , and I had to get into town to sign on , so that a week later I'd get my cheque or whatever. Around this time Pink Floyd issued "Wish You Were Here" . This was just after the petrol / vinyl shortage that had caused album to rocket from around £2 to over £3 , and petrol to hit £1 a gallon!! Hard times indeed.

Anyway I got to thinking , today petrol clocks in at £1.30 a litre if you're lucky , that about £7.50 a gallon (worked that out in my head so apologies if it's wildly out) , Job Seeekers Allowance is around £60 I believe , so if music had kept pace with these items we should be paying around £50 for an album , but we're not . Amazon have 100 classic albums at £3 to download , and the Pink Floyd album you will pick up for around a tenner (however the new "Immersion" release will set you back £90)

So really music just give you great value for money , and it amazes that people still think it's fine to steal . Amazon have plenty of free downloads so you can get free music , but really are you telling me you can't afford a tenner for a new CD?

Football In Hock To Legalised Loan Sharks?

Last night I caught a bit of the seasons curtain lifter , Hull City vs Blackpool (though according the media with therir three page spreads on Manchester United and Chelsea and that team from Manchester the season hasnt started yet) , and was slightly worried by their shirt sponsors.

Blackpool are still sponsored by Wonga and Hull City by Cash Converters. To the left you see Gary Taylor -Fletcher in his sponsored shirt and the one to the right is from the Hull City web site!!

Worrying times indeed for football , sponsored by people who routinely charge 2000% interest to people who can't afford it , but can't get money from banks because they're paid pittance wages . Admittedly there will be some druggie scum in there but surely football should not be effectively endorsing these brands!!