Saturday 31 December 2016

The Last Post .. For 2016 ... Happy New Year ... Tomorrow Never Knows

I'm having a quiet day, and looking in to having a lie in tomorrow and not having to go to work on Monday. The weather is very windy and I have been out and shopped for essentials , but am now ensconced on a warm couch with a choice of TV programs at my disposal.

While 2016 has emphasised the fragility of existence , and the continual promotion of bullies and idiots as heroes by the media was not ideal. There is also the continual worship of money as the ultimate end in life, money is just a way of supporting life and is only any use when it is actually moved about.

Anyway I am looking forward to a more positive 2017 despite the monstrous obstacles that we have to deal with. I have met so many positive people in 2016 and retained positive people from my past. I am proud of the achievements of my family, always forward looking.

So this is my Happy New Year to all my friends and people who read my blog. Keep looking forward, keep being positive , don't accept the bad, look out for others and your friends will look out for you.

I am glad for social media because it keeps me in touch with friends who I might have lost touch with. There is a lot wrong with social media but I can deal with the bad bits.

Anyway maybe a perfect song for the new year is the wonderful "Tomorrow Never Knows" and I am going to include The Beatles original from their finest album "Revolver" and the magnificent 801 live version.

Happy New Year my friends ...... Tomorrow Never Knows

Thursday 29 December 2016

Life's A Long Song.... With Tattoos

Tonight I had the chance to do some catch up TV, but I didn't catch up on any TV at all. I've been meaning for ages to test the soundbar out with a 5.1 album and decided to do that. The first album was Jethro Tull's "Thick as as Brick" and I was impressed, and realised I would be doing a lot more listening to albums like this (I  hope my neighbours understand). I followed this with "Aqualung" which I got for Christmas and also contains "Life's A Long Song" which is absolutely beautiful. I remember buying the original five track single which I think Jethro Tull charged 48p for because the price of singles was seen as exorbitant for what may be as little as four minutes of music Ithis was way pre punk). Any the final couplet in that song seems so appropriate for what's been happening recently:

"Life's A Long Song,
But The Tune
Ends Too Soon
For Us All"

That has been sadly true.

On a brighter note there seem to be a lot of Tattoo Parlours springing up.  There are some great names too. I love tattoos but I will never have one, because I couldn't decide which one to have. Two Tattoo Parlours I have friends in are Arthur T Sharpes (Newcastle) and Dirk Parker Tattoos (Shrewsbury) . It's far better having another Tattoo Parlour than another Mobile Phone Shop or Betting Shop or Greggs / Subway / Costa / Starbucks .

Anyway that's my lot, I'm going to bed now, if you want to come remember to switch the light off... I have an early start.

Two Thousand and Sixteen Dot Dot Dot

We're coming up to the end on 2016 and a lot of people are going to say good riddance due to the number of celebrities that have departed this plane. I always say I am the worst person to be around in the case of death , because I remember the good stuff, and because of evolution I do not believe that the mind ends there. I don't how it continues but it's a thing that gives me hope, and if I'm wrong then it hardly matters when I go. Very often the grief is for their own loss and everyone deals with that in a different way. I'd seen Rick Parfitt live a few times but that's as close as it got for me, I have a few Wham and George Michael albums and I STILL have them. These guys have carved their own immortality in our world and we are still as close as we ever were. This might seem a bit narky but it's not meant to me. Twice in my life I have been within a few days of possibly leaving this world, the first time really scared me because I thought I wouldn't see my daughters grow up (they were 2 and 4 at the time)  but thanks to the brilliance of the NHS I'm still here and will be for a long, long time. Anyway enough of this dark stuff.

It looks like I am now doing one post every two days, the last three years have been around 183 posts per years. There have been busy and not so busy months on the blog but it does average out.

So what song should we play today, really I think it should be something uplifting that always makes me feel better and Elbow's "One Day Like This" fills that spot perfectly.

Have a wonderful Thursday my friends

Monday 26 December 2016

Positive Light

It's sad that we've lost George Michael, six years my junior, a great talent but I couldn't listen to a Wham album start to finish and of his solo stuff only "Listen Without Prejudice" and "Faith" go on for the full duration. The thing is George Michael spread a lot of light and positivity in peoples lives like a lot of artists.

Waltz Away George
And he didn't limit himself, I remember he set up his own label (Aegean) and released a single collaboration with Toby Bourke and remarkably ignored artist in his own right. Toby Bourke's work will cost you a lot of money now, but you should try and listen, and of course track down a copy of  "Waltz Away Dreaming"

It is a wonderful song and should be remembered as part of his legacy. As I said, I don't like all George Michael's work, some of it is very bland and formulaic , but with things like this he and his collaborator nails it.

And again George Michael's life in episodes such as this, are moral pointers as to how we should be living our lives. Do your best, have fun, share what you can and if you can be there for others who can't hit your highs, try and give a helping hand.

Well that's Boxing Day over, both Newcastle and Preston lost but it's been a nice quiet day. Sleep well my friends and be a positive light for all around you.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Surely The Grim Reaper's Scythe Must Be Blunt Now

It's Christmas night and another one has gone. It's pointless me naming names, you know who I am talking about.

As we get older we are going to experience more people leaving this mortal coil, but 2016 seems to have been non stop. There isn't much we can do about it , every one still comes as a shock. Some of these people are relatively young too. OK there may have done drugs, alcohol and tobacco but  usually they have a fitness regime that counteracts it.

People will leave us in 2017 but I hope it is not the reaping that 2016 has been. When Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and The Big Bopper died they were all under 22 and Eddie Cochran released a song called "Three Stars" not realising that Cochran himself would be soon joining them. I know this is a short post but I will leave the Eddie Cochran song as a tribute.

Goodnight my friends

On Christmas Day Reach For Love

I really wasn't expecting to post today but so far I've had a brilliant relaxing Christmas. I've managed to talk to some friends and family, got some lovely presents, and am listening to one of them , The Rolling Stones "Blue & Lonesome" , Mick Jagger sounding bluesier than ever almost like Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters or, dare I say it Captain Beefheart, and that is just one of the wonderful albums I received today , which I am now transferring to my music server.

There's no snow so it's not going to be a White Christmas I don't think although there's parts of the sky that are black while others are blue and sunny. So really who knows what the weather is going to decide to do.

Be Like Frank
I am sort of wondering what song to play on this one , and though I haven't posted in the #LikeNoOther sequence for ages, which makes me think of Wild Man Fischer but I don't think that's one for today. I remember Frank Zappa telling a story about Larry Fischer meeting his brother one day:

"Larry had the axe, his brother had the bad luck" , which made me chuckle, though I hope his brother was not too traumatized

Just looking out the window and it looks like one of my neighbours has got a new drill for Christmas, I so detest getting or buying anything practical for Christmas and Birthdays, this should be a time of getting something pleasurable and out of the ordinary. I know that is not an option for a lot of people but if you need something you should get it immediately as soon as you can afford it, not wait for Christmas or a Birthday.

I was wondering what to play and it was staring me in the face, Marcel King's "Reach For Love" , it's Shaun Ryder's favourite Factory single, and a truly wonderful uplifting record, from the sadly missed singer , love Marcel's voice. I found this New York Mix which stretches it out to five and a half minutes, and if there's one thing better than a good thing, it's more of a good thing, and this certainly is a wonderfully good thing.

Anyway I hope your day is going brilliantly , I hope that you are going to rest and then kickstart another year of fun, good deeds , enjoyment.

Saturday 24 December 2016

Put A Little Love In Your Heart

It's Christmas Eve, well it's nearly Christmas Day and I have used today to relax, sort of barring walking a couple of miles for some shopping and buying stuff that wasn't immediately needed but not able to get mince pies (which I have eaten lots of already, so the house ins a mince pie free zone).

The estate of Charles Dickens must have made  a mint today as there were at least three takes on "A Christmas Carol" screened, namely "Scrooged", "A Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Scrooge" starring Alistair Sim in probaly the finest Dicken's adaptation after David Lean's "Great Expectations"

Anyway I'm going to wish you a brilliant Christmas and leave you with a message from Al Green and Annie Lennox  . "Put A Little Love in Your Heart"  ... and make the world a better place for you , your friends, your loved ones and everyone.

Time for bed... I think I can hear sleighbells ......

Friday 23 December 2016

Some Christmas Mutterings

This is year is the first I can remember when I have zero social Christmas contact. Tonight I was feeling wrecked so I did miss the opportunity to go and see The Star Spangled Chestwigs but the wind was cold and biting, and I know Shev, Adas, Bill and Paul will have a monster crowd and a great night. The thing is, with a bit of effort on my part, I did have the option to see people and it was lovely meeting very briefly with Krista and Jessica and Asher over the last two lunchtimes. So really I did a bit of solo socialising, and did have a lovely meal with my daughters last week, and in laws at the weekend. The thing is that some people don't actually have a choice. They either can't afford , or have no one to even talk to.

I am so lucky in having a wonderful circle of friends, and was thinking of this as I actually picked up my guitar for once and was surprised that I could remember "Rebel Rebel" (the best Rolling Stones song they never wrote) , "Shake Some Action", "People Get Ready" but stalled on "Norwegian Wood".

With Christmas Day falling on a Sunday I now have four days to relax, and not do too much.

I hope all my friends have received their cards and presents and are looking forward to a wonderful time to enjoy themselves.

2016 has left me shell shocked, but I am just seeing 2017 as a time to actually challenge idiots and make a small contribution to making the world a better place.

The wind is blowing outside and there has been some serious rain, but I am going to enjoy this break, enjoy next week and enjoy next year.

So what song should I choose? I reckon "Shake Some Action" , I remember the first time I heard that almost sinister riff transforming in to some gorgeous guitar runs and I still love it today. I always loved the Flamin' Groovies. So enjoy your Friday my friends, look out for others , be compassionte and make the world a better place.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Optical Delusion

This morning I woke up, looked out of the window, across the street and saw Darth Vader looking back in my direction. I blinked, looked again and realised that it was a wheelie bin , not Darth Vader. I quite often look and see things that aren't there, usually caused by failing light, seeing something at an unusual angle , or something looking like something else.

I got thinking, is this how ghosts, miraculous visions, angels and religious icons find there way into real life? I know people who refuse to admit they are wrong even when they have made a huge mistake, and it only takes one of these to convince themselves and the gullible that a ghost or god has manifest themselves. It's just a little thought for a very short post.

I know I said I was going to write about Christmas but we have another few days before that hits us and I must have written a lot of Christmas posts before. I just wanted to say how sometimes we thing we see things that aren't what we think.

So I will include my optical illusion slideshow  with the Temptations "Just My Imagination" for you to enjoy before you go to bed. Sleep well my friends.

Popular In Russia ... and a smidgen of Finland's Finest

Who Loves Me?

Just looked at my view stats for this week and I have been hit twice as much by Russia than the UK., which is nearly three times the hit rate of the USA. The page is in English so it's not that it's a very Russian oriented page or blog. In fact it's not really anywhere leaning, just that it's in English and I write about anything that takes my fancy and feel that may interest others.

My posts tend to get about fifty views on first post but there are pages with almost two thousand views, though they may have been there for many years.

I've just realised that with the graphic this is in fact a very columnar post. Obviously I would love to be popular but that will never happen, though I know I have my hard core of followers who I value very highly.

I think I was going to write something about Christmas and an observation about Darth Vader and a dustbin but I will save that for a later post. It's always good to have a subject lined up that you can drop into your writing.

So the obvious musical piece is by the wonderful Finnish beat combo , The Leningrad Cowboys , backed by the Red Army Choir singing ZZ Top's "Gimme All Your Lovin'" , seriously what's not to like. My friend Krista is Finnish , she is a wonderful designer and has a place KOTA in the Grainger Market. Go and see her and her beautiful place.

Enjoy your Wednesday Evening my friends.

Monday 19 December 2016

Time To Get Up

It's the last week before Christmas and we're getting hit with Christmas Songs and requests for charity donations from lots of organisations. I am sure I have said this recently, but looking out for people and being caring and compassionate shouldn't just happen at Christmas, it should be the norm. The problem is many people are so easily distracted and led by the media to hate those less fortunate than themselves is that society can be horrible at times.

A cliche is the oppressed kick downwards and that is so true today, people get their Red Top that tells them the reason why they are worse off is that immigrants , the sick, the poor, the old are making their life worse and there is no doubt that there are a few milking the system, but people fail to see that that corporations and  big money tax avoiders with the collusion of government are the ones making life worse for the majority.

Anyway I am staying positive. The people I know and number as my friends are sensible, compassionate and make me happy.Try and make sure your circle of friends and acquaintances do the same.

I'm going to include a wonderful Tim Minchin song "White Wine In The Sun" (he's Australian) that my friend Daniel alerted me to. Just had a thought Tim Minchin sounds alliteratively like Tin Machine , David Bowie's excellent but maligned rock band.

Enjoy this and it really is time for me to get up and go to work, and probably you too. Have a brilliant day and week everyone.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Time For Bed

After a day which involved going to Edinburgh and back , semi acknowledging my mate John Scott coming out of Edinburgh Waverley, buying far too many books in FOPP (all essential of course) , I am now ready to fall into bed before another days work tomorrow.

I've been writing Christmas Cards and for some reason keep typing Christmas as Christams , just me getting careless with my fingers. Spelling mistakes are very easy to make and then easy to miss. I am just glad we have spelling and grammar checkers which give you a fighting chance of getting your text right , although sometimes you can use the wrong word even though it sounds right

When I came back I checked some stuff on my PC and thought I would pull out a random album, which happened to be "Going For The One" by Yes. I'd forgotten what an excellent riff that was , and so obviously I will include it here. The album contains the twee "Wondrous Stories" but it is worth buying for the title track alone.

Anyway I will include "Going For The One" and I am going to bed right now.

Sleep well my friends.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Wond'ring Aloud

I don't know what made this song come to mind, but today has been sort of a million miles an hour non stop for me. The original version of "Wond'ring Aloud" is on Jethro Tull's "Aqualung" but I found this version by Ian Anderson and some classical mateys. As I write this I'm listening to Rick Wakeman's "Six Wives of Henry VIII" which I still don't think he's topped though I have always liked him. Love the story of him having an Indian Meal delivered while is was doing nothing during other memeber's solos at a Yes gig.

Anyway today I went to the Grainger Market and finally found my friend Krista's gorgeous Kota store, which really does show off her eye for design , it is a typical sized Grainger Market but she makes it light and big, and the stuff she is selling is beautiful. That is one place you have to visit next time you are in there.

Then I found Hoam Grown CIC  a new organic produce store. Absolutely lovely so I bought some potatoes , got home and realised that I didn't need any. Not to worry , The Grainger Market is full of brilliant places all under the same roof, far better than the chain food aberration that they have turned the Eldon into, still some people see that as progress. I don't.

Ok, it's time for a cup of tea now, enjoy your Saturday my friends.

Thursday 15 December 2016

Totally Wired

This week I bit the bullet and got some wired headphones for my Samsung Note 4. Some update or app has caused Bluetooth to crash settings, meaning I cannot add or access any new device. One of the solutions was to clear Bluetooth data which means it has in fact become unusable. Others are factory reset, uninstall apps one by one (there's about 300 on the phone half a dozen of which that I use).

A couple of months back someone posted that Apple were screwing their customers because system updates were causing devices to slow down forcing customers to buy new devices. Apple aren't, everybody does this. Often new apps require more resources and more powerful processors , it's generally how these things progress although I would like it if I could get my Bluetooth to work again. But whether it's Android, Apple , Microsoft , you will hit these situations. It's not built in obsolescence , it's progress. Yes lots of the software is bloatware , but in our hand held devices we are heading towards Star Trek territory.

The thing is with wires is they always get tangled up and you spend all your time untangling them, though it has enabled me to start watching TED talks, films and listen to music on the move again which is brilliant.

The only song can be "Totally Wired" by The Fall , although I also found a version by The Last Shadow Puppets as well so you get two versions of this amazing song.

Enjoy my friends and have a great Thursday.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Thirteen, Thirteen and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

I Am
It's the 13th of December and I've just started Chapter 13 of "I Am Zlatan Ibrahimovic" his autobiography. The talk is often cliched, and he comes across as an idiot at times, but he knows this, but you can forgive all this because it is absolutely fascinating. I keep learning lost of fascinating things about football and outside of football. I never knew Ferrari was owned by The Fiat Corporation.

I got the book on the recommendation from Richard Osman on Pointless and it is definitely worth reading. It is quite small print and there are three hundred pages to get through but it's definitely worth trawling through and there is no down he is an entertaining character will the skill.

Anyway "Skinhead Moonstomp" by Symarip was playing on 6Music so that's what I will include. Enjoy my friend and have a great day.

Friday 9 December 2016

There's Only One Thing Worse ........

..... than something not working is something (apparently) working when its shouldn't do. This happened to me this morning. Maybe my reactions were slow, maybe I was tired and if I'd have thought properly this wouldn't have happened.

I switched on my PC and it said there was no internet connection. Hmm I thought, then I thought "Ah My Phone is connected to my router via WiFi, I 'll check that" ... and of course it was working fine. It must be my PC, or the cable, but all my checks seemed to imply that the cabling was fine. I though "I don't want to have to install a new internet thing into the PC" but it was pointing towards the PC being the problem.....

... then I remembered  I had the switch on my phone set use 4G if there was no wifi connection, rebooted the modem and all was fine. I spent half an hour messing with wires and connecting and disconnecting when if I'd have just rebooted the modem all would have been sorted because I thought my phone was running off WiFi when it was really running off 4G. C'est la vie.

Also this is my 1200th post just thought I'd tell you that, there is probably enough stuff on here to actually work out a book from, I'm sure psychiatrists would have a field day ("He's a Very Boring and Uninteresting Person, Lock Him Up").

So as I write this I am listening to my Faces boxed set that my girls bought me, so I'll play a Faces song and what should it be? "That's All You Need" is probably my favourite slide driven rock song of all time, so I think we'll go with that.

Have a brilliant Friday night my friends, best night of the week, Monday is 48 hours away so plenty of time to relax and have fun.

Thursday 8 December 2016

Is That A Christmas I See?

Three years ago I posted a seasonal song of the the day every day in December, obviously there's no point in me doing it this year but you can sample it here. Christmas is two weeks on Sunday and we'll get bombarded with pleas for goodwill to all men and looking after those less fortunate than us from people like Gary Barlow, who , if they paid their taxes, would go some way to alleviating the suffering caused by poverty. Sorry I went of track there. The point I really want to make is we should spread goodwill and help EVERY DAY and not just at Christmas. I once had a boss who was a miserable spiteful git throughout the year (his introductory words to me were "If I was allowed I would sack you on the spot" ... I replied "and nice to meet you too"), then at Christmas he was everybody's friends. That doesn't work for me. You can always be supportive and friendly.

On a separate not , it's been a good week and on holiday I learned how to use an option on Garageband which I had bought a keyboard for. The keyboard can go back now and I will produce something at the weekend hopefully. with my iPad.

Last night going to sleep I used the iPad to play my copy of "Timewind" by Klaus Schulze to drift off to sleep too. Technology is brilliant at times.

Anyway we're in December now and maybe I will include a seasonal song and I have decided to go with two Public Service Broadcasting songs Elfstedentocht Part One and Part Two . Here's the story:

" In April 2013 we were approached by the organisers of the Explore the North festival in Leeuwarden, Netherlands. 

They asked if we would use some footage of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven Cities Tour), the world's biggest ice skating race, and write some songs around it. 

So we did. "

Have a brilliant Thursday my friends

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Insert Positivity Here

I haven't written anything for a few days which doesn't bode well for me beating last year's number for posts, but who knows where December will go. Looked out of the window this morning and it's foggy and frosty.

Over the weekend Preston threw away the chance of getting something from the match against Sheffield Wednesday when Jermaine Beckford and Eoin Doyle ended up fighting and getting sent off.

Still we have Arsenal in the FA Cup, with two strikers benched by red cards.

Having said that Lee Trundle's penalty here made me laugh though how he manged to get the power while doing what he did borders on genius.

Anyway I don't care I am going to enjoy myself, I discovered something on Garageband that I am going to be playing with and hope to have something put together soon. I do like messing about with musical things although like a lot of things I have to do stuff on my own, and I still haven't got the hang of decent digital recording, I really need to force myself to get used to it.

So I am going to leave you with "Rings Around The World" by Super Furry Animals, because it's always good to talk to people. Sometimes you need time on your own but you also need the stimulation of contact with others, so have a brilliant Tuesday everybody. Be careful on the footpaths and stay safe and happy.

Friday 2 December 2016

Grey Day

It's the second day of winter and the sky is covered in grey cloud, there is light but it's cold. I'm sitting here writing listening to "I Gotta Go" from the new Rolling Stones album "Blue & Lonesome". I am impressed with it.

Ive just noticed also that Newcastle United have a match tonight despite having played 120 minutes against Hull City on Tuesday night. Surely they could have moved it back to Sunday or Monday, but I suppose TV is King and dictates when things happen. That is the problem that TV money is such a huge part of Football's income that Football has to bow down to it's paymasters.

Anyway I am having another day of relaxation, so the obvious tune to include is "TV Is King" by The Tubes. I could have chosen the a track from the new Rolling Stones album but it's an excuse to include something by The Tubes.

Have a wonderful Friday, the weekend is almost here.

Thursday 1 December 2016

The First Day Of Winter

I heard today that today was the first day of Winter. It doesn't seem two minutes since Autumn came upon us. I still haven't cleared the leaves from my back garden, maybe I will get the chance to do that on my return to home. The weather here is cold and foggy, which means I can take photographs and go for walks.

No doubt we will hear predictions of snowdrifts and arctic colds, but I still take my weather predictions by looking out of the window. The weather is a complex beast capable of changing at a moments notice, so I take predictions with a hefty pinch of salt.

Today will be spent in Litton, relaxing and watching some catch up TV, and listening to music. So what else to play but The Housemartins playing "I Smell Winter".

Have a brilliant day my friends.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

The Last Day Again

As the wind howls down the chimney, I was thinking I should go to bed, but I don't really have to get up too early tomorrow, so I thought I'd write another post. To have my most productive year in number of posts I'd need to write about seventy posts before the year trots out, that's like five posts every two days, and that's not going to happen. Second most productive year is a definite possibility, I only need maybe twenty five posts, so that's less than one a day.

I am glad I have actually begun to start posting again, the longer you go without doing it, the more likely you are to put it off for another day.

A propos of nothing, I'm still being bombarded with "Black Friday" advertising on devices and TV. I thought "Black Friday" was last Friday, and it only lasted 24 hours but according advertising, it's still Black Friday. Well I didn't buy anything, and if you don't want or need a thing then it's not a bargain , it is just you parting with more money. And I keep hearing the phrase "Everybody Loves A Bargain", well I don't. I look for value for money always , and 99% of "bargains" are useless tat that corporations unload on  the "less discerning" public.

So anyway, I think I will go to bed now, and this gives me an excuse to play the wonderful "Black Friday" by Steely Dan. Sleep well my friends and don't be seduced by corporate snakes convincing you that you need to buy their latest product.

The Last Day

The last day of November 2016 that is. I haven't written anything this week. I've probably been doing what I should be doing, that is nothing apart from relaxing on holiday.

Today I went to Manchester and was getting very depressed at the industrial levels of Christmas products for sale , the proliferation of chains, especially in the Arndale Centre until I came across a bunch of apparently non indigenous guys (though they were probably third generation Crumpsall residents) giving a spirited rendition of Silent Night (see here) which cheered me up no end.

There were also lots of beggars and people sleeping rough and religious people handing out pamphlets but no practical  help. To quote Half Man Half Biscuit:

"If Jesus came to Earth Today
 They'd crucify him straight away
 Upon a Cross of MDF
 And use No-Need-For-Nails"

There seems to be little charity in the religious presences.

Anyway if you avoid the chain dominated areas there are some lovely places to go and eat and visit, and this is after driving to Chatsworth, Bakewell, Monsal Head and enjoying the scenery and indulging in food and music.

So the song has to be "Upon Westminster Bridge" by Half Man Half Biscuit that I lifted the quote from.

Have a lovely night my friends, I am going to catch up on Westworld.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Another Saturday Night - Jazz or What?

It's funny, the drive down to Litton was remarkably relaxing despite the numerous fogbanks and traffic bottlenecks in places. I must say I am very tired after the journey but wish I could have taken some photographs of the sun through the fog and the amazing images that the fog threw up (is that a good choice of words?)

Cloud on a Crane
I am always amazed by the images that nature creates for us and often they are only there for seconds, so I am grateful for the handiness speed and quality of my two year old Samsung Note 4 phone that sometimes allows me to capture these images. Like the crane holding up a cloud from a couple of years back. A few seconds later that didn't exist.

We're close to the end of November and I thought I may have just hit double figures, but I have actually done over twenty posts this month, that surprised me.

How Strange?
I can actually write quite a lot of rubbish, but I am so glad that people actually read it. Several people tell me they look forward to my writing, and that is one of the reasons I do keep writing. Anyway I need to choose a song for this post and decided on "Sonia" from Robert Wyatt's "Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard". It's remakably uplifting and many years ago when I first got made redundant I put together a radio show for a local station and used it as a theme tune, but it never got broadcast.

Enjoy your Saturday Night my friends and enjoy this wonderul  Robert Wyatt piece. Is it Jazz or What?

Thursday 24 November 2016

Glass Half ......

My friend Julie mentioned that's it's good to be "glass half full" rather than "glass half empty". It's always good to appreciate and enjoy what you have rather than being dragged down by what is, for now, unattainable. Remember the glass can always be topped up.

I'm not saying that people should be satisfied with what they have, it is always good to attain more, but as long as it's done with love, happiness and enthusiasm and not to the detriment of others. In fact it is good if you can help other and make their lives better, that will make your life better and fill your glass nearer to the brim.

I am very tired but Julie's comment inspired me to write this, she is a wonderfully positive person, and the only person along with her husband who celebrates their wedding anniversary with a music festival. Now how is that for filling up your glass.

So this is another blog post that is really about nothing, but it's just a message to all my friends to say enjoy your life, find something to smile about, always  try to do good, and you will make the world a more wonderful place.

An in other news my friend Nicolle is going to review my friend Jessica (and Asher's) Wildflower Cafe for her magazine, so life is good.

The weekend is here and I'm going to sign off with one of my favourite uplifting songs, "The News" by Carbon/Silicon. Now that's a way to kick start your weekend. Sleep well and refill your glass my friends.

Push Those Negative Vibes Away

It is quite amazing the number of people who focus on the bad things and miserable events. These are usually people who have more than adequate lives. Often the people who have things the hardest are the most positive and find things to enjoy because the have found ways , one way or another to deal with the bad stuff.
Stay Positive

I always try and look for positives, even when things go wrong. Luckily for me I am in an extremely good place, yes I would like to not have to go to work, to do what I want, but I know I will be sleeping in a warm bed and can have holidays and have a wonderful circle of friends, and to be really honest, work is a pleasant and interesting place to go, with some great people and daily interesting problems.

So try and distance yourself from the negative vibes, be like Oddball in "Kellys Heroes" and the song today is the wonderful "Prag Vec at The Melk Weg" by Half Man Half Biscuit. Look up that title on Google, see where it takes you,  do something to put a smile on your face, smile at people, have a great day and push those negative vibes away.

Right I'm off to vote and then go to work.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

It's Wet

Last night the rain was battering the back of my house, the front got off lightly but I wasn't going out the door. There were streams running down the road. The thing is this is extremely mild compared with what others have to put up with. Speaking to a friend in Japan , he's nowhere near the quake zone but he said they've had a tsunami warning "but we're always getting them".

The problem is weather like this is not exactly inspiring, you can hardly use an umbrella because of the wind, but it's nice when you are inside sheltered from it, though I feel sorry for people sleeping rough or who can afford to heat their homes and in the UK their number are growing daily. The other night I was in Newcastle and the charity was out feeding the homeless , when I see them I always slip them something. We are the sixth richest country in the world apparently, this should not be happening. Here's Shelter if you want to contribute.

Anyway it's time for me to get off and brave the elements  and I will leave you with Half Man Half Biscuit's opener from the Wylam Brewery, Palace of Arts concert on Friday "Outbreak Of Vitas Gerulaitis" ,  have a great Tuesday my friends and don't get too wet.

Sunday 20 November 2016

The Finale - #ALifeInNumbers #59

Well it's here, the finale, the last #ALifeInNumbers. I had decided on Smoke (EFS 59) by Can from the album "Flow Motion" but it's blocked in this country on Youtube and I do apologise to anybody who can't see any of the videos on here. It's a great piece well worth tracking down and would have been a great finale piece.

I was going to wait til tomorrow, but for some reason I am aching badly and my blood sugar was dropping rapidly, but I am OK and will be in a warm bed soon.

So the second song, and I don't know how I missed this is, of course, Simon and Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)" , I mean what a song to finish on. I was looking through my Simon and Garfunkel box set and was surprised that they only made five albums, plus the soundtrack to The Graduate which is effectively a compilation, plus their Greatest Hits.

So it's now late on Sunday night so I will quietly sign off this sequence, and I hope you have enjoyed it. Sleep well my lovely friends and I will find something else to keep my fingers going tomorrow.

Running AMOK in The Age Of Stella - #ALifeInNumbers #58

While I am writing this I am listening to my friend Juli's show AMOK  on Pride Radio so you can time this at 7pm on Sunday night.

It is one of the non 6Music shows where I am certain to hear something I haven't heard before, as well as being fun to listen to. That's another benefit of the internet the sheer choice of listening and watching options. The only problem this gives me is that the amount of time I have is still the same, but the amount of choice I am given increases exponentially almost daily.

Internet radio can be brilliant as AMOK proves, go and give it a listen and release you inner Industrial Goth.

Number 58 has been awkward to track down a song for, I have a couple in my collection that would have done but decide to look a little further afield and came across "58" by The Age of Stella and found this live take from The Maze in Nottingham. These are a band I have never heard of but I am well impressed with their stuff.

This is the penultimate post in this sequence, and I may actually hit the 120K hits by the end of number 59 which is a brilliant one to end #ALifeInNumebrs on.

Enjoy you Sunday evening my friends.

Saturday 19 November 2016

TV Dinner - #ALifeInNumbers #57

I often hear (and see thanks to social media), people complaining that there is nothing on television. That is in these days of so many channels that you can get lost. The thing is you can only watch one thing at once, but some people seem to think that means they can only watch one thing, their TV diet is often X-Factor, EastEnders and if they are feeling adventurous maybe Coronation Street and Britain's Got Talent. Needless to say I don't watch these , but I do remember the days before BBC2 existed and you couldn't record anything.

It is true that since the digital explosion there are an awful lot of channels filled with unwatchable dross, but this very fact means that there is always something that you can watch. Groucho Marx once said that he found TV very educational, if he walked into a room where the TV was on he'd walk out and find a book to read. TVs have always had an off switch.

Today the options to watch high quality content has never been better. There are films and TV series that I will never see despite them being must watch programmes. Dexter, Braquo, and 24 are three that immediately spring to mind.

Also I remember everyone complaining about repeats on television, now you have whole channels screening repeats DAVE and GOLD are two that spring to mind though there may have been name changes and one may be the other.

Anyway we are up to number 57 in #ALifeInNumbers and it has to be Bruce Springsteen's "57 Channels (And Nuthin' On) which does hit the nail about the choices we are presented with which are maybe no real choice at all.

Me, I find that 6Music , Radio 2,3 and 4 then BBC2,4 , Film4, Sky Living, Atlantic and Arts provide me with far more than I need. If I then add Youtube and TED then that gives you a small indication of my tastes.

Enjoy Saturday Night my friends.

Today's Rock and Roll Call - #ALifeInNumbers #56

This is another contrived shoe in , but it's a great and funny record. It was released in 1956 (even older than me) and starts off counting to and from ten 1-2-3-4-  56 -7-8-9-10. Like all great comedy the Goons were very hit and miss, but for me "Bloodnok's Rock and Roll Call" is a definite hit.

This morning I was hoping to update Song of the Salesman but it's running slow , the support adon't seem to have a clue. It's funny how so much technology support is outsourced to the cheapest bidder regardless of their ability to do the job. But that's the world we live in today.

Still this week I have got to see The Bonzo Dog Band and Half Man Half Biscuit , found a great venue in the most ridiculously inaccessible town centre location. I do loke walking in parks but not after a late gig finish on a cold rainy night. Wylam Brewery's Grand Hall in The Palace of Arts is impressive though.

Anyway enjoy this wonderfully sunny day and if you fancy some lovely food and drink slip down to Wildflower Cafe on Westgate Road.

The Palace of Arts

Thursday 17 November 2016

Tom Waits For Now Man - #ALifeinNumbers #55

Well we're on the home straight now, after this four more posts. It's already been a great week with various excellent things happening. Last night got a huge compliment from management at work which is a sort of cherry on the cake for this week so far.

Tuesday night I say the Bonzo Dog Band at the Sage, which has now become a very fluid lineup but it was an absolutely brilliant night, and on Tuesday my friend Jessica and her friend Asher opened Wildflower Cafe on Westgate Road. I work near St James' Park so was hoping to walk there, I needed some cash so got some from the St James' cash machine (it only had twenties), then set off. I then realised there was a large derelict area / building site which would mean a long right or left detour, however when I got there I notices a tarmaced path that seemed to skirt the new Science building a head straight to where I was going,

Wildflower Toastie
I got there and then saw across the road a big "Wildflower" sign in the window. I got in and was greeted by Jessica and Asher and there were two girls having coffee and chatting. The place has been furnished via Freecycle,and is bright and airy and welcoming with some of Jessica's designs on the walls, art displayed and books and things to catch the eye. I was trying to find a menu to display , but the fare is mostly if not all vegan, with felafel , hummus and tiffin!  There is lots of choice and I decided on a cheese and tomato toastie and a coffee which I can show you (See Right).

It was delicious, and just right for my dinner (I'm from Preston , it's dinner), too many times toasties are served in doorsteps or huge slabs of pretentious bread. This was perfect, and complimented by green stuff with dressing, which I also enjoyed.

I am looking forward to making this a regular eaterie and general good place to go, though I can see it's going to be popular, it aleady is with me.

Anyway #ALifeinNumbers is "Ol' 55" a song I first heard by the Eagles, so they're getting their second run out in this sequence, but it was written by Tom Waits, and it is one of many songs that you probably don't know have been written by him. So I'm going to include the Eagles version AND the Tom Waits version, because I can, assuming Tom Waits has let it out on Youtube. He's very protective of his music and sued Levis and got them to take out big billboard apologies when they used Screamin' Jay Hawkins'  version of "Heart Attack and Vine".

So enjoy the music and enjoy your Thursday my friends.

Wednesday 16 November 2016

Just Numbers - #ALifeInNumbers #54

I'm hoping to hit 120K viewsby the end of #ALifeInNumbers , but with six posts to go I will probably fall just short. I need four hundred hits and with an average of 50 per post I'll be 100 short. Not to worry.. This is a kludge one and Dave Wright mad an early suggestion of 534321 by Manfred Mann to cater for the first five posts. I didn't use it then and am not going to use it now, as I have gone for Patti Smith's take on the same song , 5-4-3-2-WAVE , which is great fun.

Anyway I am feeling very tired and I've nothing much more to say apart from the fact that this has been an interesting week so far, having seen The Bonzo Dog Band last night, and Looking forward to Half Man Half Biscuit on Friday , The CureHeads a week on Friday and the Star Spangled Chestwigs for two gigs in December, so although I want to sleep, I may not give my body that option.

So looking forward to the next couple of weeks and all the great things that are going to happen. Sleep well my friends.

Mortality - #ALifeInNumbers #53

A weird thing happened last night. I was going to see The Bonzo Dog Band at the Sage and decided to walk from the centre of town to the Sage over the Tyne Bridge. As you walk over the bridge there's a big sign with the Samaritans phone number to help people who may be thinking of ending it because things are so bad jumping over the side is the only way they can see of dealing with things. I know how easy it is to jump over the side because I did it in a charity abseil. While I have fleetingly thought of that once or twice in my life I reasoned that was not the way to make things better, also the number of people I would hurt by doing that weighed on my mind, and am I in a good place now.

Watching the Bonzo's it was great to see Rodney Slater (75) saying the crowd were getting better at getting older and a great night was had by all. After the gig it 15 minutes til the next bus and I walked back across the Bridge and had looked over the side and got vertigo, but when you come into Newcastle it's wonderful that you are walking above the rooftops. But again it is worrying that the exit option is so close. If ever you feel like this talk to friends or Samaritans, think of your friends, loved ones and people who rely on. We probably don't tell each other how much we like or love each other.

The other thing is that the older we get the more likely we are to lose friends and loved ones, Leonard Cohen recently declared he was gong to live forever on the front of the Times Culture magazine. I think he had a feeling he was on his way and was displaying his wonderful sense of humour. Enjoy your time with loved ones and friends, that will give you memories that will stay with you forever.

One other thing is that while I was waiting for the bus there's a psychological block that tells you it's a long way because it's across the river. I walked up to St James in around 15 minutes and saw my bus at the traffic lights , so had to then run 250 yards, which luckily I can still do.

Anyway back to #ALifeInNumbers and we hit 53. Sorry if this has been dark, it's actually meant to be positive and helpful.The song is "53rd and 3rd" by The Ramones and we have the album version and a live version with Rancid. This is classic Ramones and a great way to wake up your Wednesday.

Have a great day by friends, the weekend is in sight.

Tuesday 15 November 2016

A Classic Motorbike in A Love Song - #ALifeinNumbers #52

Bike Music
I suppose I was brought up with motorbikes, British ones of course, generally. Japanese were dismissed as "japcrap" yet my mates still went for Yamahas. Did you know that the Yamaha logo is three tuning forks? It took me years to notice that.

These days almost every bike you see is Japanese with the odd Harley Davidson. If I see a British bike I will tend to photograph it, I still think they look great like  50s American Cars.

Harleys were seen in films such as Easy Rider, but I never knew anyone who had one.

One foreign bike that that a few of my friends had was the 250 Ducati Desmo, which despite the orange livery looked absolutely class. My brother tended to crash bikes a lot , one day spending three days in a muscular paralysis, he took a right hand bed too fast the bike slid across the road hit the pavement, through him off and crushed him against the school railings. He also once took a motorbike apart and put it together again and had a box of "things" left over. The bike still ran.

My problem with motorbikes is and was that I could never coordinate balance, gears, brakes, clutch , accelerator so always ended falling off. My limit was Speedway bikes which just have an accelerator. I do enjoy riding speedway bikes which just have an accelerator, and to this day Speedway is one of the only "going round in circles" sport that I actually enjoy.

Anyway we come on to #ALifeInNumbers #52 and there are two versions of this song, both of which are brilliant. The song is "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" written and originally performed by Richard Thompson. The structure is weird, the playing amazing , the story wonderful but sad but typical Thompson. Dick Gaughan covered it and his version is also excellent so I am going to include both versions. His is here.

The thing is I will never be able to play this song like I will never be able to ride a motorbike.

So enjoy you Tuesday my friends, the next post features one of my favourite bands, although really all these posts do.

Oh and I found this version by a band called Red Molly , a wonderful version. This is the first time I have posted three versions of the same song, and I love them all . This is great, looking for a great song I've found another great band. Their version is here. Today is a very good day.

Monday 14 November 2016

A Short One - #ALifeInNumbers #51

This is just a very short post.This morning I seem to have been doing lots of things with no end product.  I 'm going to be positive thought , this week I am going to see The Bonzo Dog Band and Half Man Half Biscuit and over the weekend I managed to to vent my spleen about bad and annoying things, although that may happen this week. Anyway good morning to you all, and it's time to hit the week head on.

We're up to number 51 on #ALifeInNumbers and it's the excellent "51st Anniversary" by The Jimi Hendrix Experience a great way to kick start the week. Unfortunately there's very little Hendrix available on YouTube so I've included a cover by the excellent Hamsters.

So have a great day my friends.

Sunday 13 November 2016

Rush Makes Formula One Watchable - #ALifeInNumbers #50

Well it's Sunday evening and this weekend has included a lot of catch up TV mostly involving lot's of gore, violence , and shouting, but that's enough about the election fallout. Though the reality has been American Horror Story (Roanoke not  the election) , Ripper Street , Arrow and the excellent Rush about Niki Lauda and James Hunt. I must say I do find Formula One (and virtually anything that has things running round a track) incredibly tedious but Rush is a truly wonderful film.

The weather has been most depressing, drizzling greyness and I have a garden covered in leaves that I could do with clearing but it's far too wet to do anything with it, and as it is going dark at around 4 pm I'm not sure I will get to do it til next weekend.

So back to #ALifeInNumbers and we hit 50 today. I am sure there are lots of possibilities but I have gone for the raucous "50 Foot Queenie" by Polly Jean Harvey. It's her second entry but she is one of my favourite singers, and this will certainly blow any cobwebs away. Not music to drift off too, but it's something from one of our most original talents.

So enjoy the weekend as it drifts away and prepare yourself for the challenges of this week.

Thank you for reading my friends and feel free to follow me by email.

Saturday 12 November 2016

A Wonderfully Arty Vegan Lift To The Weekend - #ALifeInNumbers #49

In a week that has felt like the world is raining hammer blows on us, today I had two pieces of good news. My friend Craig is out of hospital, but posting on Facebook and sounding very upbeat and positive, though has a drug stash almost as big as mine.

Not Wildflower
Not Thousand Yard Stare
Secondly my friend Jessica, well we've met twice, she has given me cake and I know her mum and we are Facebook friends, and her friend Asher Turnbull are opening Wildflower, an art / vegan café in Westgate Road on 15th of November.

I mentioned that their logo reminded me of the one that one of my favourite bands, Thousand Yard Stare ,had used for their new album (which is excellent by the way). If you follow the tag or click on her name you will find details of the amazing exhibition where I first met Jessica , but as yet I haven't visited  Wildflower but will do as soon as it opens.

While I am pleased to have a vegan eatery close to home I will give a real review when it opens but I am just going to share Jessica's words with you for this. Yes it's a bit lazy I know, but as well as being an amazing artist , she can write too:

Wildflower is a vegan art café opening up on 283a Westgate road, just a little walk from town. We are a friendly place aiming to help creatives express themselves while eating delicious cake!

The café is owned by two very creative young vegans, Jessie and Asher, who aim to make this place spectacular. We want to have many fun events and parties, such as still life drawing sessions, anarchy knitting groups, themed dinner parties, vintage markets, art markets, live music, comedy, upcycling workshops, cooking demos and many more things! All with demonstrating an eco friendly ethic, and helpful attitude towards the local community.

We have started out with very little money, but have so far managed to get most of our furniture from Freecycle, which has been rather glorious. But there are a few essential things that you simply cannot get for free, such as ovens (that work properly!) so we are raising some money to try and get those few essential things! Link to our crowd funder is here

Their Facebook page is here  and this is where it is, so also handy for me for lunch.

Anyway this is being woven in with my #ALifeInNumbers  sequence and for number 49 it was always going to be "Funk #49" by the James Gang. The James Gang featured Joe Walsh on guitar, and I have always loved his economic style. Pete Townshend once said that Joe Walsh was his favourite guitarist and you can see the similarities. The chord holsds sway in their songs and this means that they are easy to follow for budding musicians. I've included an excellent live session but you can here the James Gang original here.

Have a wonderful Saturday night my friends.

Friday 11 November 2016

Staying Positive - #ALifeInNumbers #48

I'm staying positive and will likely have a rant on And Annoyingly over the weekend. This morning we learned of the loss of Leonard Cohen, but he will live on in his writing and music and my belief in the evolutionary process makes me feel he will be progressing in one form or another, and no doubt his record company will have a treasure trove of unreleased material.

Anyway we are at the the weekend (well almost) and this is time for the good and sensible people to regroup and realise they can actually do good, and make a world actually worth living in. The thing is not to give up and very often you find something new to work towards.

Stay Cool
Anyway we come to number 48 of #ALifeInNumbers and it's "48 Hours" by The Clash from their first album, one and a half minutes to blow any cobwebs away. Incidentally The Clash and Leonard Cohen are still label mates, they may have departed this mortal coil (well Leonard and Joe) , but Mick Jones still produces some great music, and actually I am going to include "The News" by Carbon/Silicon because it's an incredibly positive way to start the day.

Stay positive and find good things this weekend my friends.

Tuesday 8 November 2016

Post Office and Customs Tarot and a 747 - #ALifeInNumbers #47

Yesterday I got home and saw a note through the door. from the Post Office. There was apcakage for me but I have to pay £8 Customs Duty and an £8 fee to the Post Office to administer the Customs Duty. This is on to of the £37 I paid for the item , which is a Goth Rock Icon Tarot, which looks absolutely beautiful, so yes a lot of money for a small package but I've just had a thought, if Brexit goes through there will be a hell of a lot more instances of this I think.

Psychobilly Tarot
Still, at the weekend I will have the thing in my hands, so I am looking forward to that. I don't know much about Tarot, but have a beautiful Psychobilly Tarot set. These are both limited editions and things of total beauty.

Anyway we are up to Number 47 in #ALifeInNumbers and again  this is a slight kludge which was bound to happen the further we get from Number One.

I'm still disappointed I forgot to include "Map Ref. 41°N 93°W" by Wire for number 41, but hey we are up to 47 and for this I am going for "747" by Joe Louis Walker, so enjoy this slice of Rhythm and Blues as you venture out this Tuesday.

Monday 7 November 2016

Toot and Smile - #ALifeInNumbers #46

This is the first blog post I've done since I got home. I try to keep things positive, but I am sad that Brexit and Donald Trump are causing many people to think aggressive bullying, racism and misogyny , as well as the demonisation of the weak and poor is now ok. Farage, the tories and Trump do it so it must be OK.. Well you know what, it isn't, and I hope I am never brought that low.

Anyway I want to be positive, and I will be, despite the storm clouds there are lots of great things to look forward to, like spending time with friends and loved ones, getting out to great gigs (although Blyth is a bit awkward for The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, still one of my favourite live bands), and in Newcastle we have so much to enjoy and savour.

I am thinking of my friend Craig who is going through a difficult time at the moment, but he is the most loving, positive , inclusive person you could meet and he is the sort of person that makes life worth enjoying. We need to all follow that example, put a smile on other people's faces, that is a great way to live.

I've just realised that I missed at least one great song from my list because my list was on my home PC. Bugger.

Anyway we hit Number 46 and it's a bit of a kludge but it's "54-46 Was My Number" by Toots and The Maytals, and it's an excuse to fit one Toots song in. I found this live cut , but click on the title if you want to download the studio version.

Anyway that is Monday over with, enjoy your week my friends.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Thousand Yard Stare - #ALifeInNumbers #45

This morning I got another follower on twitter, someone called Kelly. I thought the name was familiar and I think she is a great girl I worked with at EE, I am not 100% certain but may be right or wrong. I was Facebook friends but dropped her when I started getting some spiteful harassment from other people and decided it was not a good idea to be Facebook friends with management at the place where you work. The good thing about social media is you can connect with people who are worth your time and effort and I do look to try and be friends with positive people and Kelly is definitely one of those. Who knows we may reconnect on Facebook.

Today is fairly grey and this morning was spent dodging cattle and sheep on the road between Orton and Shap on the way to Tebay services via the back roads. Today was meant to be total relaxation, with no driving, but needs must and I took the car out again. This means that I will have driven on every day of the holiday, which has still been very relaxing and enjoyable.

It is so nice to not have to get up and go to work. As I write this I am sitting in the warm listening to Tom Ravenscroft on 6Music, with the likes of Leonard Cohen, Yak, Prince and Grandaddy flowing through the airwaves.

Anyway we’re up to number 45 in #ALifeInNumbers and it was always going to be “God’s P45” by Thousand Yard Stare. Thousand Yard Stare are a band I always loved but didn’t get the success they deserved. I think their sound and attitude is in the same universe as Half Man Half Biscuit and The Wedding Present, and loved the titles of their songs such as “Happenstance”, “Buttermouth” and “0-0 After Extra Time” (that could have been Half Man Half Biscuit. I was delighted to hear they had got back together and produced a new digital album, which still have to buy, but it’s here.

 "God's P45" is the first song that I can't find on Youtube and it's not even available digitally. I have a copy at  home, so I will create a slideshow and put it up at the weekend and include it here. Anyway enjoy “Version of Me” , and enjoy your Thursday my friends, the weekend is nearly here.

Wednesday 2 November 2016

Howling - #ALifeinNumbers #44

Well we are two days into November and although there was frost this morning it has been a pleasant day. The rest of the week is not meant to be as good, but this week I have visited Kirkby Lonsdale, Kendal and Ambleside as well as using Orton to walk and relax.

I have done catch up TV, finishing series one of Fortitude and continuing with Better Call Saul which is most entertaining.

While in Ambleside I noticed front pages from the racist Daily Mail and idiotic Daily Express and I am seriously sad that people I know still defend the red tops, because the like the crossword or the horoscope or the sport coverage. But I will try and not let that bother me, you cannot argue with these people, because they are too stupid to understand what you are telling them.

Anyway that’s enough of a rant and we can continue with #ALifeInNumbers #44. I was racking my brains for this one and was sure there must be some kind of firearm or motor vehicle or motorbike with that number in its name or description, and sure enough there is a Howlin’ Wolf number called “Forty Four” which is about his gun, which he has to pawn.

I love Howlin’ Wolf and always thought “Smokestack Lightnin’” was an amazing title with a monstrous loping riff. A couple of years ago I found that he used to watch steam locomotives go past his residence at night with the funnels shooting out smoke and sparks and fire, the funnels are also called smokestacks and fire was Howlin’ Wolf’s Lightning.

So enjoy you Wednesday evening my frienda and enjoy this classic slab of Howlin’ Wolf.

Tuesday 1 November 2016

Nothing About Samhain and All Hallows - #ALifeInNumbers #43

I’m obviously a bit on my guard after the data drain caused by the Windows 10 update. The main “enhancements” see to be trying to make me log into OneDrive every time I connect to the internet and telling me I need to upgrade my copy of Microsoft Office (I’m on 10 but obviously I need their rented version) . I still like having some control Microsoft.

Similarly Apple did an update that forced me to add a credit card so I could use Apple Pay. I don’t think I will ever have an iPhone, and I won’t use my iPad to pay for anything, but it was a dead end, give us your credit card details or you can’t use your device. Very nice Apple you have really gone up in my estimation.

Anyway it lookslike yesterday I used about .7 Gb of data. My usual use is maybe 1 Gb a week, but that is in environments where wifi is often available, and this week I am in an area where wifi and phone signals are seen as a form of magic only practiced by “outsiders”.

Anyway we are up to number 43 of #ALifeInNumbers on this beautiful sunny 1st of November. I thought it was unusual that 39,40,41 and 42 could have been represented by those numbers as the song titles. I didn’t use 42 for reasons explained in my last post.

Number 43 I have no such qualms about , and I am going for “Made-Up Love Song 43” by The Guillemots, one of those bands I haven’t really followed but always enjoy hearing, they are just a casualty of there being so much great music to listen to in my musical universe.

Anyway enjoy your first day of November,Today is either All Hallows Day or Samhain depending on your belief system. Enjoy and and celebrate.

Monday 31 October 2016

Author Author and No Coldplay - #ALifeInNumbers #42

Number 42. This is a really difficult one for me. I can think of a song called “42”, but it’s by Coldplay and I listened to it and it's Coldplay in limp chinned student mode. Having said that there are probably not all that many Coldplay songs I would countenance so really I don’t want to include it.

Because it’s 42 I want to include something related to The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, because Douglas Adams told us that the answer to the Ultimate Question was 42 , that answer was of course 42, provide by the mega computer Deep Thought. The quest for the ultimate question… well read the books and you’ll find the answer.

A similar scenario occurs in another of my favourite books “Venus On The Half Shell” by Kilgore Trout.

Kilgore Trout is an author who is a figment of the imagination of the wonderful but sadly missed Kurt Vonnegut.

However this pseudonym was taken up by Philip Jose Farmer to write the book. All three authors are incredibly intelligent, have a healthy attitude to life and humanity, as well as a wicked sense of humour.

The premise is the search by the hero to find the answer to the ultimate question, “Why are we born to suffer and die?”. At the end of the book the hero gets to meet God and asks God the question. God’s reply: “Why Not?” One of my favourite las lines in a book.

Anyway I have decided, for number 42, to go with The Eagles “Journey of the Sorcerer”, because it is awesome and the theme to “The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy” which has as the answer to the ultimate question the number 42. And that is good enough for me.

Enjoy Halloween my Pagan and Wiccan friends.

Sunday 30 October 2016

When You Take You Eye Off The Ball - #ALifeInNumbers #41

Today something happened that shouldn’t have happened to me. I’m in a low connectivity area so I’ve been using my phone for tethering to give me internet access. I have a contract that gives me 4Gb a month which is usually plenty of data.

This morning I was doing a couple of blog posts and the laptop required what I thought was a routine update. Then all of a sudden web sites were not available. I looked at my phone and there were messages saying I’d used 80% of my data then all of my data. I thought my phone company have screwed up again, then I checked and saw that according to the phone it had used up all the data in background tethering.

So it wasn’t my phone company, but I noticed the iPad had connected, so that was the next thing to blame because Apple products are always downloading stuff in the background. So I bit the bullet and bought 10 Gb of data, and the download had finished then it said it was 50% complete.

I disconnected the tethering but the laptop continued to update itself, for the next two hours. It was that massive Windows 10 Update that happened on my desktop a couple of months back.

The thing is that I have experience of IT and mobile phones so I should have realised what was happening. But that is a lesson learned and it won’t happen again to me … I hope.

Though we cannot foresee everything no matter how much information we have at our disposal.

Anyway we hit number 41 in #ALifeinNumbers and the song I’ve chosen in #41 by Dave Matthews, an artist who doesn’t get enough exposure.

Here is some excellent guitar playing for you to enjoy, and for me to enjoy too. There are another 18 songs to go, in the sequence so we will hit the end probably in mid November.

Last month over 3,000 people visited my blog, that’s 100 people a day. It’s not a great number in the scheme of thing but given the number of visits I got for my first posts it’s nice to know that people return to look at what I have to say. So enjoy Dave Matthews and enjoy your Sunday evening.

The next one is 41 which everyone knows, because Douglas Adams told them, is the meaning of life.