Sunday 28 July 2013

Fighting With My Left Hand III

Cm Successfully Held down for first time in about four months
I've just managed to play a Cm chord . It used to be easy but using my little finger on my left hand has been awkward since the incident. This is a huge step forward . I'm managing with the other three fingers , but losing that later use of all the fingers of your hand makes certain tasks a little difficult.

I'm waiting for an appointment with a neurologist , and two doctors have remarked that there is obvious muscle wastage , usually attributed to results of a trapped nerve , which is better that the initial potential diagnosis. Obviously there's still a long way to go and I keep trying to do other things with my left hand and think "Did I ever do that with my left hand?".

Anyway despite the downpour last night wondering whether to attempt to mow the lawn and make some more newspaper logs.

4.45 ... The Deluge Is Here

An Exception at The Tynemouth Volkswagen Rally
Just been woken up by a noise that was actually the promised rain coming down. Plans for mowing the lawn , making newspaper logs and maybe even going out for the papers and into town could be out the window. Well the first two are anyway. After a great day yesterday meeting friends and seeing lots of Volkswagens in Tynemouth, and the Red Arrows doing their stuff at the Sunderland Airshow south of the Tyne , finished by a barbeque and taxi journey home , I'm sat here in the middle of the deciding what I'm going to do today.

Coincidentally yesterday I watched this excellent TED talk about the car as art , though I'm certainly not a petrol head myself.:

Well actually things and ideas are formulating in my mind now , which include tracking down a Southern Comfort advert favoured by my friends Dawn and Colin which should appear here. Actually it's the first one on this list featuring Odetta singing the elusive Hit Or Miss

It's slowly coming light and dawn is breaking , wondering whether to go to bed or to stay up messing around , I'm sure I can find things to do but then I may be tired later , but my mind is racing with a million things.

Is this the end of last week and the start of the sew work . One thing is certain it's been a extraordinary week in many ways including lots of sunshine and a little rain. You need the rain though ore else everything dies off , but I do enjoy the sunshine .

Friday 26 July 2013

Coincidentally Opencast

New OpenCast  Office
Often things happen and because of some other event we notice stuff that we maybe wouldnt have noticed . This week a number of things happened that are sort of tenuously connected and are sticking in my mind because  of the way things happened. It started with an instagram post by a great friend of mine CEO of Opencast Software referring to the Happy Mondays song . This came about when they were asked to do a cover for Rubáiyát: Elektra's 40th Anniversary album. They loved John Kongos' He's Gonna Step On You Again , and covered that , Shaun Ryder lifting the "Twistin' My Melon Man" from a quote from a Paul Newman film.

 Anyway apparently (and this has been verified by the Guinness Book of Records) , He's Gonna Step On You Again by John Kongos is the first commercial single to use a sample (the Africa Drum Loop). So here is its to listen to:

Tokolshe Stalking a Mad Dog
The band liked their cover , re-titled "Step On" so much they released it as a single and covered another John Kongos song Tokoloshe Man. Now listening to Mark Radcliffe and Stuart Maconie they were talking to a guy about the top record covers , and that included the Happy Mondays "Step On" which most people don't realise is actually a cover. Aparently when Kongos was stuck for inspiration he would ring his mum and one of her suggestion was Tokoloshe Man, and the Tokoloshe appeared as a voodoo dwarf in the last series of Mad Dogs.

So if you want a copy of the Happy Mondays Tokoloshe Man you will have to hunt down the album or get Loaded.

There were many other coincidences that happened this week but that's all they were  , but it is sometimes amazing how many things coincide when you dont expect them to 

Wednesday 24 July 2013


Despite the rain during the night the temperature tells me it's still hot. T-Shirt for work today I think , though not a Star Spangled Chestwigs or Half Man Half Biscuit one, which will confuse or offend the more genteel among the people I will run into today. Hopefully trains will be stopping at Darlington.

I need to get off extra early to get my train tickets for the next three work days, which is unfortunately always a trial. The number of times you pass a piece of paper with your exact requirements and they still come back with an super saver instead of a normal ticket. Though in my time in my current job cost of travel has increased by 50% and wages not. We're continually told to practice austerity while governments , banks and corporation are profligate in what they take out of the economy.

Anyway it's nearly 6:30 am so time to publish , pack up and get out.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Sun and Soak, The Beatles and John Niven

Just a short post. After all the fantastic weather we have had for the music Festivals such as Mouth Of Tyne and Summertyne , today we had a downpour of Biblical proportions in Darlington . It was very very wet. We are now back to hot and sweaty and obviously very summery, not great weather for work.

There's not much else to report without actually going into a diatribe about petty annoyances, although I always like to maintain positivity and starting from last Saturday it's actually been a great week for me, I just wish it could be as good for everyone else.

I've managed to watch a lot of films , about to finish a book that's going straight to the charity shop although it's full of surprisingly pertinent coincidences involving names and ice cubes, but it's continual name checking of eighties bands is very trying , but I won't let it beat me.

Oh yes I'm looking forward to August 15th when John Niven's new book Single White Male is released. His whole canon is to be recommended though I didn't really like Music From Big Pink , boringly serious for me. He's worth following on Twitter (@NivenJ1) but be warned not for the easily or even difficultly offended.

Anyway I think I will post a music video as well , which I've done before , one of my favourite two Beatles' songs "Rain" . Apparently the bass on the original single was so heavy it had to be damped down when remastered for CD. I don't remember having taht problem with my seven incher , but that's another story .........

Sunday 21 July 2013

Don't Keep Calm - Go Wild!

A short ranty post this . I sick of all these idiotitic KEEP CALM posters that say KEEP CALM KILL A ZOMBIE or KEEP CALM PAY YOUR TAXES or KEEP CALM DRIVE A SPORTS CAR. All of those scenarios cause people to go wild and annoy me intensely. The original KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON motif was sensible and fine , but it doesn't mean you can add anything to KEEP CALM , it should make sense.

Incidentally the first time I saw this was at the magnificent Barter Books in the old Alnwick Railway Station.

I've added my poster. Feel free to copy and distribute

Problems, Solutions,Good Things, Art and Valhalla

We all have have them , sometimes they seem insurmountable. Sometimes you feel as though you are up against a brick wall and there's no way forward. Sometimes you find an alternative and it might be wrong , but sometimes you find an alternative and it's right. This breakthroughs are often inspired by totally unrelated happening within your life or experience such as a piece of good news or something great happening with a friend. For weeks I've been trying to work out how to do something with misfuctioning software. I had the option of trying to roll back the software (as yet the company haven't found a solution but they normally do) , or hand coding , both pf which I loathe and to lazy to do.

Then lots of little good things including Katie Pukrik's song selection on 6Music this morning (Springsteen's "Thunder Road" , Sparks "Number One Song In Heaven" among others) , good friends I've spoken to in years reappearing on the scene, and amazing film "Valhalla Rising" (who needs a plot and dialogue if it looks brilliant , and has Mads Mikkelsen  <Hannibal>as a one eyed mute) and today I shall wander over to Summertyne , and the weather is still excellent.

Anyway all this set a light bulb of it my head and though ah - that might work, and it did , so the site is now finished for another year. You can check out Bob Armstrong's wonderful paintings here.

Also got some news last week that the loss of control over my left hand is likely to be a trapped nerve not a TIA as first proposed.

Monday 15 July 2013

Try Everything - Fireships, Blondie , The Police and Stateside Diner Shakes

It's one of those things. I have lots of albums I've not listened to, Today for te first time I decided to play "Fireships" by Peter Hamill and was stunned by the first song "I Will Find You" , an amazing alien splicing of Blondie's "Presence Dear" and The Police's "Every Breath You Take" . You haven't a clue whether the protagonist is a love struck, caring  admirer or an evil , devious stalker with the latter being the favoured outcome. I've included the song just because it really is a case of you don't know what you're missing.

Stateside Diner Ice Cream Pancake
Then coming back I finally decided to visit the amazing Stateside Diner and treated myself to a luxury mint milkshake absolutely lush. The have a free rock and roll CD based juke box , serve alcohol in the form or wine , spirits and bottled beers and of course lots food. So glad I've finally gone in there and intend to visit a lot more often. Their Facebook page is here so if you are ever near Central Station in Newcastle , check them out.

So as I say , never be afraid to try anything , and even try anything and if you have music make sure you listen to it. Don't download buy and forget you have it , as I have a habit of doing.

Sunday 14 July 2013

Snake Oils

Well actually Hemp Oil and Omega 3. I get my Hemp Oil from Holland & Barrett and my Omega 3 from Boots , and I can recommended that they both seem to work from me. Hemp is a very versatile product and the way Omega 3 works was brilliantly analogised for me by a diabetic nurse which I documented here.  It is , of course , possible that effect is a placebo effect and I just think I feel better, but if something causes that then you tend to perform better and just generally be better.

Last night one of my friends Chris Ball told me a story about someone who was taking loads of vitamin supplements , which "must be working because they make my wee smell funny". Chris is responsible for the excellent but brief "Ape of Wrath" blog.

Also he mentioned that the government were going to push aspirin as  a "Vitamin S" cure all , unless you are advised not to by your doctor, which then becomes a bit of an iffy policy to say the least. I personally think you should generally try and get your vitamins by eating the correct (fresh) foods (fruit and vegetables),  but people will still swear by their little rattling plastic containers.

Sunday 7 July 2013

All The Sevens

After last months daily song , the blogs taken a rest but today is 7th of the 7th ad the name of the blog is 7 Days In ! I'm surprised we've not been bombarded by chain mails quoting ancient Chinese legends that will bring you untold wealth if you pass it on to 7 people. Did they have email in ancient China , I think not.

Today Andy Murray plays Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final with the press and various idiots sharpening their blades to say how he can't cut it when it really batters , and he's a miserable Scot and he has no personality.

My thoughts on Murray . I love because he annoys the fuck out of the media , is totally focused on the job in hand , and delivers !! Though if Scotland becomes independent he'll be just another foreigner who's won Wimbledon. We're still waiting for an English man or woman. Murray is brilliant , and I must I used to hate John McEnroe as a player , again he did the job, but he is absolutely brilliant as a pundit , going to have to get his autobiography , that WILL be worth a read.

Also another gripe is English pronunciation , names like Cholmondely and Waldegrave are pronounce Chumley and Walgrave. The Scots can be as bad Menzies in Mingies ? It's E N Z not I N G !! But the worst is Feng Shui. This is an english representation of the oriental ideagram, there it's say what you see FENG SHOOEE , NOT FUNG SHWAY . It's an E not a U andas for the second word I wont even go there.

Oh and I'm English so its Zed Zed Top not Zee Zee Top and it's Jay Zed not Jay Zee. And on that not I'll finish the video that so upset Jay Zed and Alisha Keys!!: