Showing posts from June, 2011

Overdue CD reviews

It has been a while since I posted any reviews on here... so a catch up on the latest purchases, actually probably better this way as they have been in the car a few days now so this is a considered review rather than one after the initial listen. Elbow - Build a Rocket Boys I absolutely loved their last album and was turned on to them only after that had been out a while and I saw them on a TV show with an orchestra. This one I'd not heard much off, only a couple of tracks on a Jools Holland show but thought I'd give it a shot. Brilliant. It took a while to grow - at the end of the first listening I was taking it out the player thinking, "Hmm - didn't really listen to that closely" and I worried it wasn't up there. After listening a few more times it is right up there now in contention for CD of the year. Beautifully crafted songs, great vocals with lyrics that are way beyond the average. Some are wistful little ballads others huge athemic tunes cryi

The good news...

I have access to Tescobank again!!! Now given my first denied access (due in fairness then to their planned upgrade) was Friday 17th June (I thought the upgrade black out was for the 18th and 19th only) and it took until the evening of 27th June that is by my Maths 10 days!!! Anyway - I shall stop whinging on about it now. One of those irritating issues that really get in my head. Often I hear people who are recovering alcoholics like me saying things like "I can manage the big things in life, deaths, divorce, redundancy, serious illness. However a broken shoelace or a dropped plate will send me back to the drink". I really really appreciate that concept after the last week or so. Little things but little things that get in my head - the Tescobank thing, the PC dying - of course just when I knew a backup was outstanding. So now I'm just so worried about getting the data back. Again that isn't an issue actually - I need to buy a disc caddy thing for about £15

I'm only famous when I'm moaning

The bank rant post has made me almost famous for a few seconds. I got quoted in the MSN money column!! Given I was once featured in a well known British consumer affairs magazine as well... also ranting on about poor service! It appears the only time I approach celebrity status is when I'm moaning!! Not been a good week on that and sadly continues - tonight a meeting about the issue with my daughter last weekend and then a moan at another financial institution about selling an inappropriate product to my mother-in-law and their crap service over a recent issue as well. I hope next week will be more serene and less grumbly! I really don't like to consider myself a miserable old git... old git yes but I'd rather be considered a likeable, considerate old git!

Bank rant!!

So I've been ranting on Facebook, Twitter and anywhere else I can the last two days about... Tescobank. Frankly - give up on the view of being a rival to established firms and go back to selling baked beans. WHAT A JOKE!!! So - they were "converting the system" over the weekend - so no access. Ok now most online banking systems don't seem to need to be offline for 48 hours but it was well advertised beforehand. So Monday morning - I attempt to log in on the new site. New signon screen says I need a new ID set up - as the little pamphlet they had sent me had said it would. I select new ID and then... and then... next section stayed "greyed" out and I couldn't progress. I tried a few things, refresh the page, go back etc. In the end I was dumped out the site. So fire up new browser and try again. Now old ID is not recognized and the new one says I have a "general error". So find a bit to check the id is associated with my account -

The good, the bad and the ugly

That is the story of the weekend. Quickly to deal with the bad and the ugly - something really horrible happened involving my daughter on Friday night. It really angered me, I haven't been that angry in a long, long time. Now this shows the progress on my recovery and how I have learnt to be better and dealing with such stuff. Instead of some aggressive response or the equally negative passive response I figured out a course of action and calmly took the first step in initiating that. Sadly it'll mean that the problem will have to come back again as we've put it in someone else's hands now and the process will have to follow through. The great thing though is that because I "Let Go and Let God" (I don't like that trite little AA phrase btw but it seems appropriate here) within a few hours the anger has reduced and the issue is not dominating my brain. That is also good as this weekend has some super highlights... the first being that when I got hom

I need more time

I'm not saying I need an extension to a deadline in order to get something finished... I mean I need more hours in a day, days in a week and weeks in a month! It is very nearly the middle of the year - summer solstice is only a handful of days away. (Looks outside at the pouring rain... must be summer in England then :-)) Where's the year going? Also our family seems to be in a bit of constant spin at the moment - life has been a bit disrupted since my Mother-in-Law had her accidents. Note the plural, after dislocating her shoulder she managed to fall and hurt her knee as well. So she is unable to drive at the moment and finds doing other things a bit difficult. We already have a busy schedule which now has to find time for taking her shopping, helping with some stuff around her house etc. It just seems to be that we are constantly chasing our tails at the moment. Still there again if I had the extra time I'd probably squander it - I often feel I don't make bes


Some people will pay thousands - this one is over £3000 to buy a guitar that looks like it has been beaten up through years of misuse. I on the other hand have a 30 year old Strat that I've looked after as well as I can and then in a fit of stupidity dropped the flipping thing on Tuesday and did this.... However it is a real ding - not one created in an artificial custom shop. I've decided not to get it fixed - it'll never cover up properly and a total respray will cost 100s and devalue it really. (For the nutties out there, it is a 1983, Squier JV Series 62 Strat - but with replaced electrics and tuners...) Before After

Over my dead body...

I got an email this morning from Wembley Arena... It said.... THE WAIT IS OVER… Now in its eighth year, the new hopefuls are getting ready for the immense competition! Upon the journey they will pick up advice and tips from their mentors preparing them for their next challenge… Wembley Arena! As a previous booker we are offering you the exclusive opportunity to buy your tickets now, before they are released on sale to the general public! Last year thousands were disappointed so be one of the first and get your tickets today! Yes - X-Factor Live!!! Given my previous purchase of tickets at Wembley Arena will have been things like... Rush, Dream Theatre, Queen with Paul Rodgers, Judas Priest and Megadeth on what possible basis do they think that I might want X-Factor tickets! I wonder if this is due to me having the rant about live music on here yesterday and of course mentioned it and if you mention it anywhere - shit I've just done so again in this post!!! - Simon C's

Where were you?

Last night I played at the Nags Head Songwriter Stage night. These have been running about 7 months expertly arranged by Glen Barnes - who gets up to perform his own stuff from time to time and handles the sound very capable. Knowing that you are going to jump up on stage with a trusted pair of ears out front is critical for these kind of things to me. Anyway - sadly the "crowd" wasn't as big as previous events. Shame - why? Nice summers night maybe people wanted to be somewhere with an out doors, maybe something else, heaven forbid that people put watching jumped up a'holes on The Apprentice talking shite ahead of seeing live music. What did these people miss? Frankly a stonking nights entertainment that knocked spots of any Britain's Got and XFactor Idol. Real music, real people, great emotion, some bum notes a little bit of feedback but one of those evenings where I left thinking. How the hell could I help make these people recognised. Answer is I can&

How did you come to be an alcoholic?

I read a blog post on Liz's blog - She is a regular source of inspiration to me for some reason. It contained the following statement... "how he came to be an alcoholic, but there'll be reasons; there always are." I felt I needed to comment on it - so I rambled on and clogged up her comments with an abridged version of the following... but felt I should share it here too. "how he came to be an alcoholic, but there'll be reasons; there always are." Are there? Well yes there are but for me it was simple, I am an alcoholic. I had a great upbringing by lovely parents who cared for me and did their very best for me, my schooling was on the whole good, I went to college and into a good job within a growing industry - within 3 or 4 years of leaving college I was married, buying a house earning twice what I'd been straight after college and looking forward to a very successful life. How


I am incensed. Really I am. I'm livid. I'm so angry it is making me feel ill. A friend of my wife's husband has not been well - last year his daugther and son had a double wedding. A lovely day etc. He was sadly taken ill during the day and it transpired he'd had a heart attack. He has had more in the intervening time. In the end they had to fit an internal defibrillator. However he has continued to be unwell - as you'd expect. He has been frankly a martyr trying to get to work when he could. Hs is a "driver" but obviously at times he can't drive with this illness. Anyway - he had another bad day Monday and had to leave work. He saw his GP yesterday and was signed off for a month. He called to tell his boss and... was sacked on the spot!!! Their rationale being that his contract says he is a driver and can't do that therefore he is no longer capable to work. Goodbye! I was sure this was illegal. However some searching through the w

Middle Age

Ok I can't deny it any longer I'm middle aged. I'm closer to my 49th birthday than my 48th and as a friend said the other day... "Knocking on the door to your fifties". Indeed. Firstly - where the hell did the time go - days feel like seconds used to, years like weeks and decades like years. This year will be the 10th anniversary of 9/11 - I find that difficult to believe, that was 20% of my life ago but if seems like only a year or two ago I was there in NYC that fateful day. Secondly - back pain. I have pulled a muscle somewhere in my back somehow - I honestly don't really know when but it really became a pain (excuse the pun) over the weekend. Saturday I was struggling with it, getting in and out of chairs was difficult and leaning forward sometimes caused a shooting spasm up my back and arm - which led to me spilling more than one cup of coffee. Sunday was a bit better - Mrs F coming to the rescue as ever and sorting out some pain relieving gel, of

CD Reviews - Logan The Great Unknown and Whitesnake - Forevermore

Logan - The Great Divide Brilliant. Right if this band was American and had been spotted some while back they'd be huge now as they'd have had the backing to get there. Sadly they come from Scotland and I think that is playing against them now. This album has some new stuff and some reworks from previous releases - oh yes these boys have sold 20,000 "home made" CDs!!! And toured supporting Alter Bridge! This is a great rock album if you like Alter Bridge, Pearl Jam, Creed etc. I Get Down is the stand out with Save Me up there too. Go seek out and listen / buy this is really good. Whitesnake - Forevermore Sadly this starts well... but then there are too many tracks where Coverdale is trying to sound like Plant and you think, what Led Zep track is that like? However the title track does redeem the whole thing - it's worth the money for that 7 mins alone! So not bad but certainly not the best Whitesnake album, not as good as the last one overall despite