Thursday 31 October 2019

Samhain - #Oktoberfest #37 - Gong Flying Teapot

Today is Samhain the Gaelic festival (wiki here) that takes us into the "darker half" of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. It's also the time for a number of much lesser and more commercialised evens such as Halloween , and I always think how these lot would would run and scream if a real vampire ,zombie , with real blood and dismemberment turned up. I'll probably get a tub of sweets to keep the children away.

So the drink list for #Oktoberfest as this will probably be the last one in the sequence (unless I do one later tonight). Scotch , Bourbon come under Whiskey so that's why I may seem to have missed things.
  • Whiskey - 7
  • Beer -4
  • Wine - 4
  • Tequila - 1
  • Gin - 1
  • Champagne - 1
  • Brandy - 1
  • Coffee - 3
  • Milk - 2
  • Tea - 2
  • Cocktails - 2
  • Fruit Juice - 2
  • Water - 1
  • General Alcohol - 8
  • General Juice - 2
  • Soda - 3
There's thirty nine there but some sontion mention more than one drink so it's about right.

So this #Oktoberfest ends (or it may not) with "Flying Teapot" by Gong and about four minutes in there is the the refrain:

"Have a cuppa tea
  Have another one
 Have a Cuppa Tea"

And that's a good way to start the day.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Chart Plan - #Oktoberfest #36 - Janelle Monáe - I Got The Juice

I think tonight I will put together a chart of all the drinks mentioned in my #Oktoberfest sequence. Normally when I do things like this I plan them to ensure I know what's coming next and ensure I don't repeat myself.

Early last year I heard what has been my favourite and most played album over the last two years , "Dirty Computer" by Janelle Monáe , and I often listen to it when walking to work. I thought about buying it on vinyl (which I could do) but it is naturally digital and here is my original post about it. This features the Dirty Computer Emotion Picture and fifty minute science fiction story / music video based on the album well worth watching on your big screen.

So #Oktoberfest continues with "I Got The Juice" by Janelle Monáe and again I am stretching the nature of drink, but you can drink any form of juice , even from Janelle Monáe so it does fit into my definition for #Oktoberfest and I am way over the 31 I expected for October (on 36 now) and will probably do two more.

Janelle Monáe also appeared in the Channel 4 Electric Dreams episode "Autofac" based on a short story by Philip K Dick.

The last couple of days the number of visits have increased from 1200 to 1800 a day , an increase of 50%.  October has had over 40K visits which is the highest ever (39K last month) so I don't know if 400K visits before the end of 2019 is a possibility as it stands at 334K now.

Tuesday 29 October 2019

Difficult - #Oktoberfest #35 - Orange Juice - Rip It Up

This morning I had to replenish my diabetes and blood pressure tablets from my stash, but every cardboard pack seemed absolutely super sealed, requiring the total destruction of the pack to get into it. It's almost as bad as digestive or Weetabix biscuits , you should be able to unwrap them but often have to resort to a knife to break into them. Often you will have a box is in shrink wrapped cellophane that is difficult to remove , then the box itself is designed for you not to get into it followed by the stuff you actually want which is in another from of close wrapped plastic packaging.

I got what I needed and incidentally Gemma Cairney is playing the excellent "Pills" by St Vincent on 6Music so there's a bit of synchronicity for you.

But we are still on #Oktoberfest  (I must make a chart of which drinks have been featured)  so for a change the band name gets it in and we will go for "Rip It Up" by Orange Juice to continue the sequence which is now well over the edge of October hitting #35 which I seriously didn't expect. There's still two days left to go and I can think of two more drink related songs.

I think because of the synchronicity and the subject I am going to include the St Vincent song as well as the Orange Juice one, so you get a double treat.

Monday 28 October 2019

Plan - #Oktoberfest #34 - Little Ole Wine Drinker Me - Dean Martin

Life is much easier if you have a plan and everything falls into place. It is seldom that that happens especially for me, although today I decided what I wanted to eat at lunchtime and waled into the Strawberry and, for a change there were lots of free tables, then I had some leftovers that were perfect for tea , meaning I came home took drugs and then my tea was ready and I ate that. There was no preparation and I didn't have to go out and buy anything, everything just fell into place perfectly.

Because all this worked it means that I can watch TV tonight and am totally relaxed, not that cooking is a problem, but it is nice that everything just slots into place.

So my intention was to do a post a day for #Oktoberfest but this is #34  in October so I've gone off the end a bit, but the latest is Dean Martin's "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me" , and while Dean Martin is hardly your average rocker fare , he came up with some absolutely class performances and this is one of them. A good song is a good song and you have to admire that.

Milk - #Oktoberfest #33 - Milk and Alcohol - Dr Feelgood

Over the weekend I was speaking to someone about living in the wilds with no neighbours for miles and said that's great in some ways but a major problem if you need something for either convenience or something more serious. Last week I saw an ambulance drive away from my neighbours fairly rapidly. They are great friends but I only have email contact. When there was no sign of their car or lights in the house after two days I was worried so emailed , but got a reply fairly quickly saying it wasn't them and they'd seen as well.

The first thing about living in suburbia, if you are lucky like me you get some great neighbours who you look out for and they look out for you.

The other thing was last night I had some cereal and used the last of the milk. I knew I was running low and had been out a few times and not replenished it but it was nine o' clock at night. Now I have three local shops open from six am to 11 pm (I would not have a problem if they had shorter hours) but it meant I had the option of getting milk when I got up or nipping out immediately. I chose the latter.

They are a couple of reasons why I prefer to live in this type of suburbia, I also don't need a car either which is another plus.

For #Oktoberfest we have "Milk and Alcohol" by Dr Feelgood in their post Wilko Johnson phase but still good. Wilko Johnson is is my guitar hero and an absolutely heroic cancer survivor still playing live today. He lost his wife to cancer, then was hit by pancreatic cancer and given three months to live but decided to not have chemotherapy and perform until he died. Six months later he was still with us and apologised it an interview saying that people probably felt cheated that he was still here (jokingly). Then a surgeon offered some groundbreaking surgery (see here) and Wilko is still with use and you can still see him performing and he's still making records. Oh he was also in "Game of Thrones" (Ser Ilyn Payne) as an executioner and the cast were devasted on his initial diagnosis and elated on his cure.

Sunday 27 October 2019

Clocks - #Oktoberfest #32 - Milk - Garbage

I was thinking of using "Milkshake" by Kelis for this #Oktoberfest sequence post but then remembered "Milk" by Garbage which I feel is a bit classier if less poppy. Both Milk and Milkshake are drinks though not alcoholic, but I suppose you could always ad your own choice of alcohol , imagine a Baileys Milkshake , now that would be very nice.

Anyway why Clocks.? I woke about 5 O' Clock and went to check if my Google Pixel had charged (though I think it's started losing charge faster) but anyway the time said 4:05 . I thought bloody hell it's losing time. Then I remembered that it was sometime around now that the clocks go back.

Because almost all TV is watched on demand , news papers are seldom taken , and even TV news is seldom watched I had received not a single prompt to put the clocks back. However now that all our electronic connected devices are programmed to reset when they need to we can almost ignore clock resetting (although all my watches and analogue timepieces do need resetting.

If you think about this "The Eighty Minute Hour" by Brian Aldiss could become reality and we wouldn't even know because we tend to trust our electronic devices, the number of times I've left my watch at home so use  my phone to check the time is very high.

The concept of  "The Eighty Minute Hour" is that the controllers slow clocks down during working hours and speed them up out of work, and it so often feels like that is our reality.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Charged - #Oktoberfest #31 - Cigarettes and Alcohol - Oasis

A weird thing , last night I switched my phone (a Google Pixel) off and put it on charge. It is always good to switch the off at some point, I do not understand people who sleep with their phone's next to their bed (unless you are on call for something) but it was about 20% charged when I went to bed last night. Switched it on this morning and it was on 2% , yes that's 2%. So although it was off, therefore not doing anything , even if it hadn't been plugged in to charge, it should have still been around 20%, so that is just a little disconcerting. It is on charge now, and though it says it's charging slowly, it's sitting at 60% charged.

I got the PIxel on the recommendation of my youngest daughter Kirsty who pointed out that you don't get all the phone brand crap that you don't want and by going on to SIM only with EE (who still are probably the best network to be with as they are reliable , fast, and have good customer service despite the awful Kevin Bacon adverts , they need to get Brennan Brown and Steve Furst back who did the amazing classy ads for Orange also check here but one of my faves was the Elton John one advertising the dawn of 3G here)

So continuing #Oktoberfest and another reserve is "Cigarettes and Alcohol" by Oasis. Oasis always annoyed me as mouthy Mancs and Beatles rip off merchants, but they actually came up with a handful of decent tunes and this one is OK.

So have a good Saturday everyone.

Friday 25 October 2019

Odd Socks - #Oktoberfest #30 - Baby Lemonade - Syd Barrett

LAst night I looked down at my feet and noticed one of my socks was blue and one was green. It's just the toe and heel and one is a bluey green and the other is a greeny blue so today I have worn the other mismatched pair. It is very easy to do when you are sorting a lot of socks from the wash to put into the sock drawer.  I know this is a bit boring but it's amazing how many spelling mistakes you can make in a really short sentence. I don't know if autocorrect causes some of the problems , di I really write "si" instead of "is" , my mind says know but I am often wrong.

It is a very wet Friday the sky is grey and heavy and the windows are covered in rain

So #Oktoberfest continues with "Baby Lemonade" a song from Syd Barrett's second and really final album after he left Pink Floyd. Barrett produced some amazing stuff on the first Floyd album but sadly the drugs and possibly other things took their toll. Syd was one of my heroes because of the songs he produced and some of his amazing lyrics. This is probably not him at his best but it is good for the #Oktoberfest sequence and so that's why we include it , and it's always good to hear some Syd Barrett.

Actually listening to "Baby Lemonade" I still love it mostly for the lyric, and have a feeling that the guitar intro is Dave Gilmour , but  still worth five minutes of my time.

Thursday 24 October 2019

Vegano - #Oktoberfest #29 - A Glass of Champagne - Sailor

Today I really didn't feel like anything to eat, but I do make a point of getting out of the office at lunchtime. It's not good to bring a packed lunch , sit at your desk and work through lunch , though a lot of people feel absolutely obliged to do it. I work better if I get a total break. I was thinking about all the places I normally eat then Vegano came into my head, I have eaten there before and they do a gorgeous vegan "sausage and egg" muffin, so that was decided. The had the muffin on so that was it, and it's just as good as ever, highly recommended.

The first time I was in the conversation about the muffin went thus:

Me: "That's gorgeous but what is the egg substitute?"
Vegano: "Tofu"
Me: "I hate Tofu"
Vegano: "Oh Sorry..."
Me: "No don't be, I love it , how have you done it? Tofu normally tastes like furniture stuffin"

They then explained what they did to make the "egg type pattie"

Me: "So how you make the sausage bit"
Vegano: "We get xxxxx hot dogs , skin them and make the patties"
Me: "So it's not vegan then"
Vegano: "It is they are vegan hot dogs"

So I ended up have a gorgeous lightish lunch which you can see here, also they play mostly decent music, and great to speak with, and really nice people, and they are right in front of the Discovery Museum which is round the corner from where I work.

Now I have got a few more drink related songs for #Oktoberfest and we will go with "A Glass of Champagne" by Sailor who had the mad "nickleodeon" two man keyboard built by their main man George Kajanus although the Star Spangled Chestwigs do a cracking version which you can see and hear here.

Weird Dreams, John Scott, Ellen Mellor and Nick Cave - - #Oktoberfest #28 - Coffee and TV - Blur

I've just woken up for a sort of weir dream. My friend the excellent comedian John Scott was emailing me songs from the new Nick Cave album "Ghosteen", the title reminiscent of "Ghostkin" a novel by my friend Ellen Mellor , any way John was emailing me three songs at a time and Nick Cave was sending me similar stuff from John Scott. The only thing to trigger this dream is that John has said how goof the album is and the title reminds me of Ellen's book. For a dera this was fairly normal apart from the fact that the only emails I get are spam and demands for money of to renew my web domains.

So that's the dream and now on to #Oktoberfest and I hadn't really thought of any new drink related songs so have to fall back on a reserve which is "Coffee and TV" by Blur  so really I need to get a few more on the list as there is still a week to go in October although that has just reminded me of "Cigarettes and Alcohol" by Oasis so that is not the worst song to include in the sequence, so I am OK for another post.

Wednesday 23 October 2019

Imperfect - #Oktoberfest #27 - Marguerita Time - Status Quo

Sometimes solutions to problems are not always what you want them to be, but they are always what you need them to be, otherwise they wont be a solution.  Two weeks ago I needed a certain bus but it didn't turn up (it did but five minutes early and I watched as it went by my house) so I had to take a different bus which meant I was dropped off a lot further from the train station than I needed to be to catch my train, meaning I had to walk faster and further than I intended and while this was not the solution I had planned this was the only solution possible given the circumstances as I was on a fixed ticket on the train.

Similarly for #Oktoberfest the song "Marguerita Time" came to mind and  I thought it was a probably decent Jimmy Buffet song . It isn't . I'd got it wrong. "Marguerita Time" is a fairly bland Status Quo song which I wouldn't use as part of the sequence but I know if I don't it's nag away at me until the then of October. Status Quo are responsible for a lot of good stuff, and I have a triple vinyl tin which is rather excellent.

The song I'd mixed it up with was "Margaritaville" which, despite a few clever lyrics, is awfully bland. My favourite song by Jimmy Buffet is the really excellent "Volcano" which unless it's a cocktail wont get into the sequence. Anyway you can listen and tell me my evaluation is right or wrong or whatever this Wednesday morning.


Tuesday 22 October 2019

Hunger - #Oktoberfest #26 - Randolph's Tango - Thin Lizzy

Several times over the last year or two or maybe even longer I've been hit by a weird hunger. Normally when you are hungry you need to eat and fill your stomach and that satisfies the hunger. This is different, I am unable to eat something to fill me me up, and it's like the hunger is coming from my arms , legs and the whole of my body except my tummy, it's a little like low blood sugar and maybe that is what it is. It happened very intensely yesterday morning and usually a bacon sandwich would sort out a morning hunger but when you can't face a sandwich then what's left , maybe a mars bar?

I used to love a Full English Breakfast but these days it's not something that holds a huge attraction for me.

I don't know if the hunger I mentioned is a result of my diabetes or age, and it is not a huge problem as yesterday it was sorted with some fruit and porridge when I got into work, but it is something that is, in my opinion , and inconvenient annoyance.

So onto #Oktoberfest and should I or shouldn't I, yes I will. We'll go for "Randolph's Tango" by Thin Lizzy, I know the Tango refers to a dance but if you say Tango to anyone they'll think of a can of fizzy Orange first won't they? I've also referenced Tango in previous posts which you can check out here, although I've realised it was just my last Thin Lizzy post, so I need to track down more Tango related stuff.

Monday 21 October 2019

Nothing To Say - #Oktoberfest #25 - Whiskey In The Jar - The Dubliners

I keep toying with the idea of doing a one or two word blog post just to see if anyone notices or not as they are all robots (I know they are not because although I am virtually unfollowed, and I'm not sure what benefit following gives the follower in the case of this blog, friends leave comments about posts on Facebook) but in 2010 I was on holiday in Oswaldkirk and posted this. It had a link to a to photos from the holiday but , really, thirty words, but the cat picture is good and the photograph link has some decent stuff on there from my point of view.

So anyway it's Monday morning and I don't have much to say after a weekend of Football disappointment in which Preston North End lost to a goal in the 98th minute (though Reading are a real bogey team for us) , Newcastle lost to Chelsea (that was not unexpected, the fact it was only 1-0 was), Liverpool's juggernaut was finally unexpectedly stopped by a misfiring Manchester United but the were not beaten (and I love Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Jurgen Klopp) and Ayr (Fiona's team)  were unexpectedly beaten by Dunfermline (who are my friend Scott's team so that was good for him).

Anyway, as I said, I have nothing to say this morning, so without further ado we will continue #Oktoberfest with "Whiskey in The Jar" by The Dubliners. That's the third time this song has appeared on this sequence but it's a great song and all the versions I have shared are excellent and worth your listening time, and The Dubliners live take here is certainly livelier than the Thin Lizzy / The King takes

Dawn is breaking now so I may get a photo or two on my walk to work this morning.

By the way the blog visits has now passed 320K and although this most was meant to be short , it's more than 300 words (I think my average is about 250 words), so so much for nothing to say , whether it's worth reading is a different matter entirely.

Sunday 20 October 2019

Optical Delusion - #Oktoberfest #24 - Whiskey In The Jar - Thin Lizzy

After "Apricot Brandy" by Rhinoceros in #Oktoberfest that prompted me to remember "Brandy (You're A Fine Girl)" by Looking Glass which in my thoughts is a goddamned awful record though listening back the lyrics and sentiment are cheesily depressing and the melody is half OK but it ain't getting on this blog but you can listen by clicking through on the link.

Today I went out to hunt down some Quorn for a Vegan Cottage Pie and was unsuccessful, ironically the Co-Op had pre packed Quorn Cottage Pies and that was the sum total of their Quorn. Anyway I thought I saw this sizable worm thing wriggling on the pavement but it turned out to an unmoviving piece of stripy cable. I do find it amazing the number of people who swear they have seen something when there is a logical explanation if they actually think about it , but often people like to be happy in their delusions and nothing will move them from their belief in what they have seen

I remember a case of a scientist / ghost hunter who actually saw something but realised it was caused by an instrument running at a frequency that caused his eyes to see something that wasn't actually in front of him. It is always good to check things out.

I do see and hear loads of weird stuff but when I look at the whole picture I see the explanation for what I thought I saw.

So on the #Oktoberfest and we have to have , what in my opinion is the definitive version, of "Whiskey In The Jar" by Thin Lizzy. Just thinking on this , at a push maybe we could have "Randolph's Tango" as well, cos Tango is a drink isn't it? We will also have The Dubliners' take on "Whiskey In The Jar" before the sequence ends.

I wasn't sure that I could actually keep this up but with eleven more days to go I can see me seeing it out.

Hope you are having a fun Sunday.

Day of Rain - #Oktoberfest #23 - Apricot Brandy - Rhinoceros

Today is grey and rainy. It's strange you can spell grey as gray which as far as I know means exactly the same thing, so why have two separate spellings . It's the same with "despatch" and "dispatch"  although apparently the British prefer the prior version. The English language can be interesting and strange at times.

The song "Stone Fox Chase" by Area Code 615  (theme from The Old Grey Whistle Test) was playing somewhere today and I thought ah that's "Apricot Brandy" by Rhinoceros and would be great for the #Oktoberfest sequence. I was obviously wrong and can't think of any reason why I even know of "Apricot Brandy" by Rhinoceros but obviously I do. It was a one hit wonder so it's unlikely that I got into it from anything or through any friends but the title has stuck with me and it is a half decent riff.

So back to this rainy Sunday.

Saturday 19 October 2019

Philosophy - #Oktoberfest #22 - The Philosophers Song - Monty Python

What is philosophy? I've never really thought apart from that fact that it's something that clever and intelligent people do so not for me. Definitions of it include:

  • The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, especially when considered as an academic discipline. 
  • A theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour.
    • "don't expect anything and you won't be disappointed, that's my philosophy"

So out of my league for consideration, my attention span is probably inadequate for pursuit of such thoughts and subjects.

I saw an advert relating to a Dementia Charity (follow the link to donate) and thought if that should happen to me , this blog is a diary that I can use to keep track about what has happened in my life. Last week I was at a work away day and forgot the names of three people I work with, I associated wrongs names with right initials with them and spoke to my doctor about it , but it seems Alzheimer's is much more fundamental than that, but something that steals your memories while leaving a functioning body and fairly worrying. My incident was just due to natural forgetfulness, so nothing major.

That is definite food to philosophize over, one would think, were I intelligent enough.

Ironically one of my favourite places in Newcastle is the Newcastle Literary and Philosophical Society which is housed in an amazing building and it's president is Alexander Armstrong and I am forever berating native Novocastrians who have never visited the place. It is both important historically and an amazing building and library and meeting place.

So this post really came about because of the #Oktoberfest sequence and although drink is not mentioned in the title, the incredibly clever "Philosopher's Song" sung by Australian Academics in the Monty Python sketch is based completed on the alcoholic consumption of historically notable philosophers so fits in well with the sequence. Listen, Learn and Enjoy.

Feeling Good - #Oktoberfest #21 - Seven Drunken Nights - The Dubliners

I'm not exactly sure why but yesterday I made two walks without thinking and without noticing that I had made them physically. One I do most Friday's but the other I sometimes take the bus for, instead this time walking from Citygate through St James' Park then Leazes Park and , yes , it took longer than the bus , but it was just incredibly natural. Both walks are up a hill, probably a couple of hundred feet rise and usually, while it doesn't bother me, I am aware of it, but yesterday I just wasn't, and I am not sure why but long may it continue.

The only very slight change is I have run out of Omega 3 capsules and been eating Minneolas , Oranges and Apples and yesterday had a Mumbai Sandwich from Snackwallah for lunch. I will see how this continues but feeling physically good is excellent, most of the time I feel OK, sort of adequate, but I do want to feel better. I am writing this at 6 am because, although it is Saturday morning I am mentally compos mentis enough to put fingers to keys and tap this out without any effort and that's good.

To day I need to get some website updates done for my artist friend Bob Armstrong (check out his amazing work by clicking here or on his name) , he does some amazing work. His wife Ann runch a plant nursery Woodland Plants and the Codonopsis Plant Information site both of which I also maintain. I'm not a fine of Web work but Bob and Ann are really lovely to deal with and lovely people.

So I've finally got round to including The Dubliners in the #Oktoberfest sequence but their first entry is going to be "Seven Drunken Nights" a song I've always found funny, and while I don't remember my parents having any Dubliners records they definitely always turned the radio up when this came on. It is Saturday morning , still dark and I have to have a shower , but this is a good start to what will be an excellent day. I challenge you to listen to this and not be taken in and sing along.

Friday 18 October 2019

Murder - #Oktoberfest #20 - A Pub With No Beer - Slim Dusty

Well I've finished chapter one of "The Secret Commonwealth" and there's already been a murder, and I doubt that will be the end of it. It is a fairly hefty tome but unlike "The Illuminatus! Trilogy" I am looking forward to this as I do with all Philip Pullman's work.

Today I was at Snackwallah and Rachel told me they had been drafted into going to a Bavarian Oktoberfest in Manchester despite being vegan and non drinking and we got chatting about my #Oktoberfest sequence and saying the "Whiskey In The Jar" was absolutely essential to it. I have already featured a version by Irish Elvis impersonator The King but definitely need to shoehorn in The Dubliners and the The Thin Lizzy version which came on the radio when she was discussing a deal with a guy called Gary Moore...... pure synchronicity.

However "A Pub With No Beer" by Slim Dusty and Australian country and western singer came to mind, and it was a record that my mum and dad used to play a lot, and was released around the time I was born. It is one of those records that just pops into your mind with out being particularly groundbreaking. Have a listen you may find it entertaining.

Thursday 17 October 2019

A Day Not Reading - #Oktoberfest #19 - Starbucks - A

Yesterday I sort of didn't read, I had finished the 400 page "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins which I have passed on to a friend and this morning I have started Philip Pullman's "The Secret Commonwealth" clocking in at close on 700 pages. After "The Illuminatus Trilogy" (800 pages) it seems I have been taking fairly hefty tomes to read.

The odd thing about "The Secret Commonwealth" is that it is the second in "The Book of Dust" Trilogy , the follow up to "His Dark Materials" but "His Dark Materials" is bookended by "La Belle Sauvage" and "The Secret Commonwealth" , this is not a problem , just unexpected.

I'm actually telling a fib because yesterday, as a respite from big books, I dipped into "Ten Years In An Open Necked Shirt", poetry by The Bard of Salford John Cooper Clarke which is always entertaining.

#Oktoberfest continues with a brand name that is generally associated with coffee, but sell anything they can these days, that is Starbucks. The song is "Starbucks" by the band "A" from the album "Hi-Fi Serious" who with a name like that are impossible to search for on Google (a bit like "!!!") . The song is more about the company's dodgy employment practices rather than the product but the product association will do for my #Oktoberfest sequence.