Showing posts from January, 2010

Pointless things to do on a Sunday Morning

Number 28 Following from Number 27 ... Washing the car when it is so cold the water freezes on it and also makes the drive a skating rink and likely to catch the unaware mother-in-law when she comes up for tea! Also - my outside light... damn thing keeps not working, get up on the ladder unscrew it fiddle a bit and it works again... Grrr! Maybe I should just buy a new one, I noticed one like ours for only £10 in B&Q. Last thing - printing passport photos out. Became really stressful! Mrs F needs to send her licence back (least said the better) and needed a new photo done what a palaver.

How rich am I!

I was studying the summary of the governments inequality report that was reported in the press earlier this week. Now I know that in regards of the whole world's population I (like most really in this country) is extremely well off. I also know I pretty well off and well paid compared with the average in the country. However what surprised me was how well off I am in comparison to a lot of people in this country - I was further up the tables than I was expecting. See whilst I live in a "nice" house in a "nice" area and we have food on the table, clothes in the wardrobe, warmth in the radiators, can afford some luxuries and don't really have to scrimp to make ends meet I'm not exactly Rockefeller you know. I don't live in a mansion, my kids go to state schools, my fleet of automobiles is actually one that is a company car anyway and the other a 1.4 little town runabout for the Mrs... not a Ferrari, Rolls, Bentley etc. in sight. I'm comfortable y

Old bass finds loving new owner...

Regular readers may remember I sold my old Peter Cook bass late last year to a guy I met via a chat on a vintage guitar forum... I know that is very sad but... Anyway I got a lovely email from him telling me he loved the bass and had set it up to his style etc and figured it's versatile, unique and confusing control system. He had recently gigged it and included a photo of it finally back where it deserved - on stage being used. See a guitar isn't just for Christmas it's for life :-)

MRI scan done!

So I'm glad the scan is done. I hate those machines! Firstly I get claustrophobic, just talking about pot holing or things like that make me feel mighty scared. So they lay you down and push you back into this tube that is no bigger than the inside of a Christmas Cracker. My instant reaction is to scream and push the button to ask to come out. This one had a mirror system so you could see the operators who were behind about 2 ft of bullet proof glass and steel doors! However the system sort of makes you think you are standing up if that makes sense. With my balance issues that was something the brain just wouldn't suss at all so I wouldn't look into that. Then there is the noise - I think having a dustbin on your head and someone smacking it with a baseball bat would be preferable. So they say things like "Right this one takes 5 mins, please try to stay still"... Then this bombardment like being in the trenches starts and the whole machine shakes like it's a

Saturday outpatients clinics... and other weekend stuff

Saturday outpatients clinics are possibly a good idea. There was no one in the car park and the hospital virtually empty, plus I was seen bang on time and felt had more time as the consultant wasn't behind trying to make up time. The good news (as I type this I'm desparately looking for some wood to touch) is that I've been really good since the last attack back about three weeks ago. Hopefully the road forward will continue like this. I couldn't find a link to foodstuffs and in the end the consultant agreed that stress is probably the biggest influence on the condition. I've got to go and have an MRI scan this week now - that is 7:45am! Doesn't really mean a problem as I'm normally in the office by then anyway and hopefully it'll mean the car park is clear again. I had one some while back and hated it! I'm not great in confined spaces and the noise really does do my head in! Most of the rest of the weekend had a huge music focus to it. Mrs F and D

Big in Yorkshire

According to Four Dinners some of songs are "going down very well in Yorkshire". Now that is good news but also a bit odd, here's why. When I was about 10 I was asked to write a story at school. Now I was already music obsessed so no surprise I chose to write about a band who were on a tour in a little old van, I think it broke down and that was the point of the story them being helped to a gig. Okay - so what. The band was called "The Yorkshire Boys" and the story was set in the Yorkshire Dales as we'd visited there on a school trip my first one staying away from home without Mum and Dad. So when Dinners told me this I was somewhat aghast! Funny how I so vividly remember that nearly 40 years later when I can't remember what I did yesterday at times! Now do you think this prophetic and that I'll soon be organising a tour of Yorkshire? I doubt it somehow :-)

Line 6 JM4 Looper for sale

I'm selling my sons looper for him as he's found he's not using it much and as an impoverished student could do with some readies... although he found a fiver in a puddle the other day and wondered whether picking it up qualified him for tramp status. We had a vote on Facebook, anyway it bought him and his girlfriend a meal out... well sausage and chips from the chippie. Anyway the looper is on eBay if you are interested.

New songs!

Look at the player or pop over to my Reverbnation page to hear them. Rise Up and Within. You can join up to a mailing list by clicking on become a fan on the widget on this page.

Essential reading

A classic post from the creator of the Some Grey Bloke Vblogs.

None the bloody wiser...

I have toyed with making that the title of this blog on more than one occasion! I'm 47 which on anybodies estimate should make me. An Adult Mature Just over half way through life (if using current life expectancy averages - 79.3) Older than the majority (average age in UK in 2008 was 38) However despite all these factors in my favour I often feel completely at a loss in the world. Wisdom and it's application a dim ambition on a far horizon. Glee? What is that? Everyone on the Radio was talking about it this morning - I've seen numerous episodes have been recorded on the PVR, presumably by my daughter. No idea? I watched a couple of mins of Big Brother and said "That guy looks like Vinnie Jones". My daughter in that teenage exasperated way explain it was him ("DEERRRRR!") since it was 'celebrity' big brother. Who the hell are the others then?!?!?!? Anyway the few mins I tried to watch this to "bond" with my daughter was more than enou

Good days... bad days...

Sometimes they are the same one... Yesterday I helped out a colleague who has inherited a guitar from his Father-in-Law. He doesn't play himself and therefore was looking to sell it. It is a mid 90s Fender Strat made in Japan, with a large Fender logo but with a small Squier Series on the headstock. An odd mix as it had a vintage sort of look / feel to it but then some non vintage features i.e. 70s like tuners, modern style truss adjuster, skunk stripe on a rosewood fingerboard (odd!), a single ply scratchplate but with '62 position screw holes... yes '62 not modern I checked, a vintage trem but with more modern looking bridge pieces. Anyway it wasn't in bad nick, few worn frets in the lower positions, clearly someone who predominantly played open chords a little rust and some dents on it. I restrung it and did a quick set up, neck relief was ok and intonation close but the action needed a little tweak. Anyway he has advertised it at work and if that fails then it'


Now I used to like to think I was technically savvy and not a Luddite about modern advances but... Is it just normal as you get older to resist change? Is it that change is now so flipping fast no one can keep up? Anyway I have a new phone... well it's not just a phone it's a BlackBerry. Partly I got it as my boss had a moan I didn't have a company mobile that was on the list to be call in an emergency - I pointed out I had a personal one and that was on the emergency list, but apparently they won't call that in some emergencies only others you need a company one to get all emergencies. Don't you love the nonsense of large corporate policies I wonder where the hell that one came from. Anyway - now I can do my emails while sitting on the loo. Why? I have no bloody idea! But here is the best bit... Mrs F had to show me how to make a call - simply using it as a phone nearly flummoxed me, then I couldn't get out of keypad locked mode. Convergence - that is the bu

Happy New New Year

I've decided to restart the year. All the snow and hassle with that, getting to work (or not), schools shut, getting my son back to uni etc, the Haitian earthquake - how horrible is that? How it makes you glad of where you live, by total luck of birth pure and simple isn't it, I'm just damn lucky I was born here in the UK. It reminds you so quickly about the fragility of life and of our society doesn't it. If a quake of that size hit a large conurbation in the the UK would it be much different? Might be easier to mobilise relief from closer quarters but frankly when everything you take for granted, food supply, shelter, warmth, clear water is taken away I think we'd easily find ourselves in a similar position. You feel so helpless don't you? I've made a donation via the DEC website but that seems such a small gesture. My personal biggest issue at the moment (which is in the grand scheme of the universe a piddling little trifle) is my job. I just loath it.

"Barely passable, with extreme caution"

I now know what that means when referring to a road over a hill in Wales!!! In the end after aborting getting my son back to Aberystwyth at the weekend we heard that friends of his were making it back ok so we set off Monday morning. We had a really good run, M25 quieter than you'd expect on a Monday, the Dartford Crossing queue free for example. We thumped up the M1, M6 and onto the M6 Toll where we stopped for the usual exorbitant snack lunch. Push on along the M54 and A5... everywhere blanketed in snow with Kent where we live and the M6 Toll looking the biggest snow falls. Into Wales through Welshpool and the amount of snow on the ground increased esp. through Newtown. Then the climb up over the mountains. Stunning! The most wonderful sight! It was clear and sunny and white peak after white peak in front of us and walls of snow and ice on either side. I remarked I was hugely impressed that the council had got and kept the road so clear esp given our local council has struggle

So like I'm a bit fed up of the snow now...

Schools shut. AA meetings closed. Swimming club cancelled. Can't get to work... so working from home off the dining room table while the rest of the family try to be quite around me when I'm on telephone calls. Clear the drive and it starts snowing again before I got finished! Cancelled plan to get son back to university this weekend. Blah blah! Still things to be grateful for... I'm warm, have plenty of food, etc. really it is no hardship just pigging annoying. Hats off to the people who do carry on working, we've had deliveries over the last two days, even if the parcelforce guys had to trudge up the road with my heavy box as they didn't fancy getting stuck in our road. The post man continues as well and Amazon met their next day delivery promise via CityLink. Not felt brilliantly well this week, the tinnitus and balance issue there again, had a clear day most of yesterday but Tues night, Wed and today have been crap. Hey ho... this will all pass some p

Where is music going in the next 10 years?

This post is in response to this post by Toby Burton which is itself a commentary about two other articles. The premise is that a musician can create a sustainable business model if they can get 1000 "true fans" who will part with $100 a year on purchases from said artist, i.e. a turn over of $100,000 makes you a viable concern. However there are many issues with all this that have me thinking. Firstly 1000 people willing to part with $100 a year just on your material. Now I'm a bit nuts about Marillion but I doubt there are many years I'd get close to that and they are probably the artist I spend the most on any year. So say a new album is out I'll buy that, possibly on preorder and a special edition lets say that is £20, a gig with the Mrs say £30 a ticket and membership of the fan club that's £20. That does get to £100 but I probably only see Marillion live every other year so that's £100 on a good year. I very much doubt there are other artists

Why I hate South Eastern Trains

We live in a part of the world that must have the most expensive and useless train service. I've always marvelled at the East Coast and West Coast mainlines when I've used them. Jump on a train in Kings Cross - you get a nice seat and a power supply etc. Just settling into the book and bugger I'm in York or wherever it was I was going to. Cross London and then... hours of hassle with South Eastern. So they now have the new high speed service - with "bullet" trains. Well if all bullets were like these guns wouldn't be the problem they are. The bloody things go slower than a degenerating old lady with a zimmer frame! My son paid the excess the other day to go "high speed" and arrived 45 mins after if he'd gone the slow route!! Then cap it all New Year's Day. We had a massive family gathering and my sons girlfriend was travelling from West London to meet us at midday for the meal in Medway. First the tubes were running late. We look out... on

Belated Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all. I hope 2010 will be good to all of you. Been busy the last couple of days with family and stuff.