Showing posts with label Star Trek. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Star Trek. Show all posts

Wednesday 8 July 2020


Just thinking about what we can do now as opposed to what we could do ten , twenty or thirty years back. We used to buy from the local shop, market or high street although big business was giving us supermarkets and hypermarkets and shopping malls.

Our phones are communication devices , we can do video calling , share video as well as text and speech. Thanks to Arpanet and Tim Berners-Lee we have 24/7 to an unbelievable knowledge resource.

Also we used to only have radio , then TV , but although we still have these they also come through digital channels and where there were just a couple of options now thanks to digital , we seem to be unlimited , though the Bruce Springsteen song "57 Channels And Nothing On" sometimes comes to mind , but now that programs are on demand , you can never say there is nothing on.

I remeber having to order anything slightly out of the ordinary from record shops , "No Woman, No Cry" and "Jah Live" by Bob Marley come to mind, but remember being told "We don't sell singles and we only stock the top 20" when asking for a copy of "Ummagumma" by Pink Floyd at a furniture shop that also sold records. These days you can have your music or video immediately as long as you have the ability to pay for it.

Phone advertisements are always promoting the camera abilities of the device, the sound and connectivity is seldom mentioned, though the thing is that they are generally hand held computers, thought we can't use them for transportation ... yet. That's something that always confuses me, when, in Star Trek someone is transported where the atoms are disassembled at point of departure and reassembled at the point of arrival is that just a clone at the point of arrival or the original person , and if the clone has all the memories of the original person , how would it know that it is a clone. The other side of that is that our bodies shed and recreate layers and we are not the same person we were last year. I'm sure that could be the basis of a short story , it is about time I actually wrote one.

I could go one about driverless cars and other vehiles and Smart everything but think it's time to share some music.

Maybe we will go with the Springsteen one , while we have hundreds of channels and streams , a lot of it is filled with rubbish , but a lot of it is the highest quality. You can never say there is nothing on.

Tuesday 10 September 2019


I've just watched a short series on Amazon Prime called "Silent Eye" and it was shot on a Samsung Galaxy S8 (see here) . I remember seeing the film "Tangerine" that was shot on an iPhone and it's quite amazing that we still refer to this devices as "phones" . They can do everything in a hand held package.

I still think they are not ideal for watching a big film, but when they work on normal or holographic projection even that might be just another thing to do. As yet we can't use them to teleport (like Star Trek tricorders and communicators) but how near might that be, although that is something that has always philosophically confused me. If you are teleported then you need to be deconstituted and reconstituted so is the reconstituted you really you?

Obviously reading Stephen Hawking has got me (over) thinking big thoughts, but that is not a bad thing, and I've included "Star Trek Dreaming" by Spirit from "Future Games" for your enjoyment.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Going Mobile

It's a hell of a long time since my daughter Juliet palmed off her old mobile to me introducing me to having a mobile phone. Since then they have metamophosed from handsets with the hus plus of being able to text people, and if you were lucky actually send a picture to the hand held computers that we have now.

You still see the odd person with the old Nokias (thatill work)  or the Doro's (but even they have a smart version now) but I am still waiting for my phaser / teleporter Star Trek one to turn up.

It used to be that if you were meeting up with someone you would specify a time and place and you would all meet up  and all will be fine. No it's texting ,Google Calendars , messaging and the like. We often don't even use our phones and phones prefering to use some form of messaging, and there is an absolute deluge of them.

It's another glorious morning so I will get off, feeling very good although my left shoulder is still painful, but that should be rectified when I go through the physiotherapy.

This is an excuse to play The Who's "Going Mobile" from one of my favourite of their albums, "Who's Next".

Have a brilliant Saturday everyone.

Saturday 21 April 2018

#TenAlbumsInTenDays #3 - Future Games (A Magical Kahauna Dream) - Spirit

Before the internet and email and mobil phones the was CB , Citizen's Band Radio. I'm not exactly sure what the attraction of this was for the average person but I know a few people who had CB Radio set ups.I could see a use for it for long distance lorry drivers and this was documented in the CW McCall song "Convoy".

This album opens with a track called "CB Talk" with Randy California descring the Spirit album. I had been majorly impressed by  "Spirit of '76" but this album took things to another level for me. The songs are excellent but are spliced with soundbites from Star Trek (this was just pre Star Wars), Science Fiction "B" Movies and The Muppet Show. There are a lot of interjections from "Jack Bond" the drummer Ed Cassidy's creation (he was also Randy California's father in law!)

It was like a movie for the ears, carried along by the excellent songs. California was favouribly compared with Jimi Hendrix but he was definitely his own man, but they still tackle Bob Dylan's "All Along The Watchtower" and deliver a creditable take although no one has ever touched the Hendrix version.

The songs are California sun influenced as well as being touched by certain other substances. THis album is my favourite all time album and when I first got it I was working shifts so would often drift off listening to this during the day.

Like all good albums you listen to it as a whole and ideally it should just be continously played, non stop.

I'm not sure if this was the first album where not musical dialogue was used an intefral part of the album,a concept later embraced by, among others, Big Audio Dynamite and Public Service Broadcasting.

Thursday 25 January 2018

Future Games

Yesterday I was listening to Spirit's "Future Games", my favourite album of all time. I mentioned it in a favourites post here. It was the first time I'd heard an album where sound snips from film and TV were woven into the fabric of the album. The songs a classic second stage Spirit with Randy California's etherial voice and guitar playing and Ed Cassidy's (Randy's father-in-law) guttural Jack Bond interjections, with effortless covers such as "All Along The Watchtower". Into this seemless tapestry are woven The Muppets, Star Trek and Science Fiction "B" Movie dialogue. The song I included gives you a feel for the album, and if you like that just buy the album. "Spirit of '76" has a similar feel to it though not quite as seamless but still brilliant.

It;s like a film for the ears. I'd often go to sleep listening to it after a shift as a computer operator when I got the chance. Though often I'd finish a night shift and my dad would ask me to just drive a wagon to a site and drop off some stuff, and I'd get there and they'd want me to some more stuff to another site going on til the end of the day and I soon be back on the computer night shift. As I was about 19 at the time I could take it.

Big Audio Dynamite were another band that used this process in their early albums successfully and their first two albums are brilliant, highly worth listening to.

Oh by the way Blue Oyster Cult's "Curse of The Hidden Mirror" is a class album if you can get hold of a copy, some of the lyrics a bit AOR but all the songs are brilliant.

Anyway it's time to set off for work, have a brilliant day everyone.

Friday 14 April 2017

On Mortality

A departed friend of mine once said we now die because something wears out, once we get that sorted we become immortal, that was decades ago. I've just started reading "The Age of Bowie" by Tony Morley after finishing "Tom Waits on Tom Waits". When I first opened the Tome Waits book , the writing was so tiny that I had difficulty reading it. I actually found a solution which was .... remove my glasses and hold the book a bit closer, then everything became crystal clear. When I opened the Bowie book the print was bigger so is easily readable using glasses or contact lenses, the books have similar numbers of pages but the Bowie book is larger format.

That got me thinking that without contact lenses and glasses my life would be far more difficult. I wouldn't be able to drive, watch TV properly or spot things from a distance. We now take these things for granted but visual aids have only really proliferated properly since the late nineteenth century.

When I was a child, people died because they died, there was the odd time there was a reason but , mostly they jsut died, the equivalent of "natural causes". Now there is always a reason. The thing is, we are still all mortal, but now have a lot more support in prolonging and enjoying life, although unfortunately the younger generations have a shorter life expectancy that older generations mainly due to junk food and sedentary lifestyles.

Today's media promotes that you child is under threat from any number of predators, when in fact that has always been the case. I taught my children to look out for themselves because I would not always be there to protect them , and also they needed their own independence. In all the time we once lost Juliet for three hours (pre mobile phone days) . it turned out she was with friends in a house across the road. We just emphasised to let us know if she was going to do that again. Another time Kirsty phone me at midnight:

"Dad can you come and get me"
"Where are you?"
"I don't know"

It turned out she had fallen asleep on the last Metro and missed her stop. Luckily she was at Manors station, not the best place to be but it was within walking distance for me (no car) and two nice guys had stayed with her til I came for her.

The thing is if you look after yourself , and keep in touch with friends and family , life can be very positive. You should always do things that you want to do , and don't procrastinate. Anyway I could go on and on, but I kept putting off writing this because I thought it would be too depressing, and I prefer positive things.

Despite all the bad things the media piles on us, we are living in great times. We have so many opportunities to enjoy life, experience things, and do things , alone and together and if you do all those things you will live long and prosper (to nick a line for Star Trek's Mr Spock I think , but am willing to be corrected).

I think in this post to have seen a little of how my mind wanders. I was going to include many more examples but I think I've have generally got some points across, and am now returning to the book that sparked this off "The Age Of Bowie" and Tony Morley keeps mentioning "Supermen" by Bowie from "The Man Who Sold The World" , although I first heard it when I bought the Glastonbury soundtrack from Palace Records and Coffee Shop next to the old Public Hall in Preston (where I saw my first live gig Uriah Heep on the "Demons and Wizards" tour) and spent many an afternoon there when I should have been in lessons. Wildflower on Westgate Road has very similar atmosphere but these students just go corporate brands. I wanted to "educate" one I heard walking through Newcastle yesterdat who proclaimed loudly:

"Newcastle has so much choice.... Jamie's Italian, TFI Fridays, Frankie and Bennies, Costa, Starbucks ...."

What an idiot. I desisted though.

Anyway my mind wandered again and I will leave you with "Supermen" by Bowie , because that is want we can all be (I am using it as a generic term).

Enjoy Good Friday Easter Bunnies.

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.

Sunday 28 October 2012

Accentuate The Positive

My third post today , just to make sure that the last post wasnt the first thing that people see when they get to the blog. Yes it'll get buried in the other pile of posts but really I wanted to say something happy and positive and end (or start depending on which way you look at it) the week on a high note and feeling good.

Last week was full of lots of things happening and next week , workwise will be even fuller with people off looking after kids for half term. The thing is , as well as your own work you have to cover for other people , which makes you aware of what they do , and appreciate them knowing they will do the same for you . The other thing is that when you are so busy time just flies by at work , and that makes you appreciate being , home , being able to go out and spend time with friends.

We are at the advent of 4G communication with EE (get your 4G phone here) which can bring people closer together as well puting a wealth of knowledge within your grasp. I know this internet thing has a lot of frivolous stuff , but it is  a wonderful reference library and also a source of entertainent. You hold a phone in your havnd and it can act as a link to friends and love ones , a reference library and a source of entertainment. Star Trek or Hitch Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy here we come.

Well I  am looking forward to this week , lots of great opportunities , a big party on Saturday , a few train journeys , maybe get to see Skyfall and lots of other things.

Most people can find something good in their life and if you concentrate on those things life definitely improves. Fighting and war does no one any good and is just destructive. Build something , enjoy something , have fun , Life is good.

Sunday 17 May 2009

The New Star Trek Movie and Respect For Referees

The two have nothing to do with each other , but after Phil Dowd's brilliant Homer impersonation for Bimingham against Preston, the Norwegian FIFA stooge in the Chelsea vs Barcelona decider , Howard Webb's ridiculous decision to disallow a perfectly good goal for Newcastle against Fulham , how the hell can you have any respect for the sort of people who get things so wrong and are allowed to get away with it?? Are they planning to become MPs??

This video is fairly appropriate:

From the album Cammel Laird Social Club

Webb's screw up could send Newcastle down , though spare a thought for West Brom fans who've lived with that feeling for most of their time in the Premiership , documented brilliantly in Adrian Chiles' excellent book "We Don't Know What We're Doing"!! Incidentally there's a couple of pubs in Darlington , one's The Albion , next one is The Hope. Humm , it wasnt to be"!!

Anyway this Star Trek review may calm you down:

Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As 'Fun, Watchable'