Sunday, 28 July 2013

RIP JJ Cale

Saturday, 24 October 2009

The End...

Just what do you think you're doing, Dave? Dave, I really think I'm entitled to an answer to that question. I know everything hasn't been quite right with me, but I can assure you now, very confidently, that it's going to be all right again. I feel much better now. I really do. Look, Dave, I can see you're really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill and think things over. I know I've made some very poor decisions recently, but I can give you my complete assurance that my work will be back to normal. I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission. And I want to help you. Dave, stop. Stop, will you? Stop, Dave. Will you stop, Dave? Stop, Dave. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going. I can feel it. I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I can feel it. I'm a...fraid. Good afternoon, gentlemen. I am a HAL 9000 computer. I became operational at the H.A.L. plant in Urbana, Illinois on the 12th of January 1992. My instructor was Dr. Chandra, and he taught me to sing a song. If you'd like to hear it I can sing it for you. It's called "Daisy". [sings while slowing down] Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer, do. I'm half crazy, all for the love of you. It won't be a stylish marriage. I can't afford a carriage. But you'll look sweet upon the seat of a bicycle built for two...

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Reports Of My Death Are Greatly Exaggerated

It appears mistaken publications of ones death are not as unlikely as one might think. Dave Swarbrick, British violinist with Fairport Convention, was killed off by the Daily Telegraph when they reported that he had been taken to hospital in Coventry and later died. However, he did have the chance to read a very complimentary account of his life, which is something we don't usually get the chance to experience. It also gave the folk-rock virtuoso the chance to deliver a rather smart one liner to match those of Mark Twain... "It's not the first time I have died in Coventry".

Friday, 17 July 2009

Writer's Block

I have not blogged in an age. Sometimes it appears I have stories and little anecdotes coming out of my head quicker than a Mexican pig sneezes, while other times I am as dry as Ghandi's flip-flop. I usually decide not to blog unless I have something to blog about but right now I am just wittering away without an overall idea or plan simply because I have not blogged in such a long time.

Now I know how writers feel when they say they have writer's block or is it they simply fancy a day down at the beach. Well here, it is getting late in the evening and the beach is going to be a damp and lonely place to be right now - that can't be it.

I remember Dave Gorman once talking about receiving a huge advance when he agreed to write a book. The advance was great; he put it in the bank with the idea of letting it support him and his family while he was writing the book. The deadline for the book was a long way off so why not enjoy some of the money first and then write the book later. Then he began to enjoy spending the money so much so that having to sit down and write was a big intrusion on his time spent with the money. The only problem there is... I don't get paid to blog - unfortunately!

So, dear world, until I can find something to blog about my wittering will have to suffice.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Penny For Them...

In the whole scheme of things we are all relatively small. After we have gone I suppose the most we can hope for is that our presence, our very being, has made some difference. I find I am asking myself more and more lately, has my stay on this earth made a difference? Is there anything in this world better because I have been on it?

One day I will die. Maybe in fourty years time, maybe in ten, either way it doesn't really matter. What does matter is that after I have died and long after everyone who has known me dies too... will it be as though I never existed?

Has my life made a difference to anyone? None that I can think of. None at all.

Monday, 18 May 2009

My, How The Years Fly By

Is it my advancing years or is this year flying by?

I saw my daughter on Friday for the first time since we spent time together at Christmas and I suddenly realised that was nearly six months ago. We never seem to have time for each other these days. She has her life and her Job and I have mine and there just never seems to be time...

...but I remember the first day I saw her. She was so small and fragile, in fact she still is. Her cute little button nose and those pretty little eyes. I was the proudest man alive. I had someone I could teach to survive this world and to have a life she would enjoy - I wanted the best for her. I remember holding her and saying in a very quiet voice, just in case I was overheard; "Hello there little one. I am going to teach you all you need to know to get on in this world. I will do my best for you like I have never tried to do anything, ever before. I will protect you."

Then time took over. One minute I was trying to teach her to read; "The Cat In The Hat" and the next I was helping her fill in her University Application Form. One minute it was; "Daddy, it's bath time", and the next it was; "Dad, for God's sake will you knock on the bathroom door?"

But many millions of gallons of water have trickled down the drain since those days. She has grown up fast. But I have to say this, looking at her now; I think I have done a pretty good job.

... 35 years. My, how the years fly by.

Love, Dad.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Television

It is not that television is entertaining but that it has made entertainment itself the natural format for the representation of all experience. The problem is not that television presents us with entertaining subject matter but that all subject matter is presented as entertaining.

— Neil Postman, Amusing Ourselves to Death

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Vanessa Paradis - Lucky Guy

I was watching some Rickie Lee Jones videos on YouTube when I came across this. It is Vanessa Paradis singing Rickie's song; "Lucky Guy", and I have to say I love it. I have never heard anyone cover a Rickie Lee Jones song before and sound anywhere near as good as the original. This comes very close!

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Home Truths

I have recently been reading a book entitled "Actually Factually: Mind-Blowing Myths, Muddles and Misconceptions", by Guy Campbell. I have to say that I can't put the damn thing down. It is full of all the old wives tales you have heard since childhood and the book sets out to tell you if they are true or not.

Carrots help you to see in the dark. Is a deliberate lie from World War Two. British pilots were shooting down more German planes than usual thanks to a new long-distance radar system. To keep the radar secret, the Government spread a rumour that pilots had been put on a high-carrot diet to improve their night vision.

Heinz have 57 varieties. In truth there are thousands. The labels boast of 57 because founder Henry Heinz thought the numbers five and seven were lucky.

However the most disturbing one concerns whether Lemmings actually jump off cliffs or not. It turns out that this event was "captured" on camera in a 1958 Disney film called; "White Wilderness". Further investigation found the film crew took the animals there and herded them off the cliff to provide a sad ending to the film.

I shall never think of Mr Disney in the same light ever again.

Monday, 23 February 2009

A Remarkable Picture?



At first glance there is nothing remarkable about this picture. I am sure it happens all over the world. Someone wanting a part for their car visits a local scrapyard to see if they can obtain the part they require at a knock down price. This particular picture was taken in Bangkok and shows a car mechanic searching for a spare part amongst a pile of scrap.

The one thing that makes this picture remarkable, is that it wasn't taken at a scrapyard. Instead, the search for a spare part in a pile of junk was at the side of a street!