The warm-up blog before the headliner appears

The teacher that ran our school football team was ahead of his times; he made us warm up before a match. We would do stretches and shuttle runs. Our opponents would mock us for this ridiculous new science. Nowadays only a fool doesn’t warm up. Even our five-a-side team of crocks bend their arthritic bones before an important fixture.

It’s not just sports that you need to prepare your organs for the big event. Vocalists have to exercise their tonsils by tuning up with a scale of doh, ray, me, fah, soh, la, ti (at this point the joker in the band will stand on the singer’s toes) DO-TOH.

Old cars had to be warmed up. You had to choke them.

Even writing blogs needs a warming hand. Your fingers hover over that big, empty page like a skier at the top of the piste. 1,2,3 you’re off, banging the keys until you reach the bottom.

Sometimes you make gold, other times…

Julian, Gregorian, Jaydubyian

There’s never enough time to do all the chores and leisure that a human wants to do. There’s still many mountains to climb, rivers to cross, swamps to ford, twisters to outrun. More time is needed and I have the solution.

Previously, I proposed an extra hour in the day. A 25 hour day would be manna from heaven. This gives us more time but it’s as clear as daylight that this pilot plan does not fix the problem. My suggestion now is to add an extra month to the calendar. This idea is not as crazy as it sounds. It’s obviously been done before.

Consider the calendarial ber month prefixes: sept, oct, nov, dec. I’m not an expert on these things but an educated guess would be, seven, eight, nine, ten. Yet these months September, October, November, December are months number nine, ten, eleven and twelve respectively. Somebody, somewhere along the line has added a few extra months to the total. Well played, that man, I know where you’re coming from. They must have been short of time in the Dark Ages or whatever and thus made more time available. Continue reading “Julian, Gregorian, Jaydubyian”

Of Beards and Men

It seems to be de rigueur for young men nowadays to sport beards and/or facial growth. One of my sons sometimes lets the bristles grow a bit before applying the clippers. This is usually before he visits his gran and I can understand why he reaches for the cutter.

When I were butter lad (© J-Man) I toyed with having a beard. My mother shot this idea down in flames. The woman don’t like facial hair, not even a Zapata tache passes mustard. She didn’t fancy Magnum one bit. Maybe it was the actor’s name, I don’t know. Anyway, she warned me if I grew one she would shave half of it off in the middle of the night. I figured she thought men with beards had “something of the night about them”.

Therefore, my father was always clean shaven. Sometimes I know he shaved twice in a day! Wilson’s Sword! I’m not jesting if I say he might have shaved three times just to break a record, as you do. His skin was like leather. I can still hear the rasping of the open razor as he filed away at his Adam’s apple. Not one cut on his face. I think the blade was more afraid. It screeched in agony.

Thankfully, and I blame the not so close electric razor for this, I can go through a few days without shaving. It is bliss to bask with a three day five o’ clock shadow on my boat race. The horror starts when mum pays a surprise visit.

The Great Vinyl Rip-Off

A slogan posted on the wall of HMV stores proclaims, in a hubristic paraphrase of the famous Buggles song “Vinyl is killing mp3s”.

Vinyl might be a murderer but it has definitely revived the fortunes of the ailing music industry. Every man, woman and his dog is flocking to HMV to buy vinyl. It’s back in Vogue and Fashion and Stylistics. The shelves are cluttered with black plastic again. A recycled Sevenfold Nightmare. I don’t understand this nostalgia trip. While disagreeing with FEEG over the hi-definition rip-off I have to admit that the CD format is superior to vinyl.

The re-emergence of vinyl is a record industry attempt to stop the file-sharing pirates that download music for free. Seeing those record covers again and reliving Glory Days is Nirvana to a lot of soul sisters and brothers, so it’s a Gimme, Gimme ,Gimme Rush for the needle players. Me, I gave most of my LPs away while retaining the coloured vinyls, bootleg albums and rare promotional issues as family heirlooms. It pays to have a Record Collector guide book handy. Like Yazz, the only way is up for these beanstalks.

While old-timers are taking longer to Knock on Heaven’s Door maybe other brands will seek to fleece the Old Sheps from their Money and Time. Betamax could tape us to the future. Sodastream might teach the world to sing in perfect harmony. Another big lift-off and we will be Fooled Again by Ground Control putting another Man on The Moon.

The vinyl revolution won’t last but it has brought a memory revival of all things past; Melting tar on the road, running through clothes lines, eating blackjacks then sticking out your tongue, footie in the street, chapping doors and running away, climbing trees and falling out of trees…

Newfound stuff of old

Discovered on my hard drive’s page 7 was a TV film from last year, An Inspector Calls. I swivered over whether to delete or not. Not got the verdict and I watched.

The play in question was part of my English O grade course a few Keith Moons ago. I couldn’t remember anything about it as, during the readings, I was too busy throwing paper planes and making passes, unrequited I must add, at my beloved Lillian. Therefore, the story was all new to me.

I’d give it a six out of ten. Criticisms were that the Birling family must have been well birling not to ask to see the Inspector’s I.D. And David Thewlis, the actor playing the Inspector, had all the charisma of a stopped clock.

Still, like Columbus, it’s good to discover. And that’s one play less to score off my play list. Now, away to rummage in the loft and see if there’s any old DVDs still in the wrappers. I’m sure there’s a Dustin Hoffman Death of a Salesman gathering dust up there.

A Square Go

It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it? And it was Time magazine that stated in this week’s issue.

“In a milestone for AI, a google program beat South Korean grand master Lee Sodol at the strategy game GO on March 15. But machines have been mastering board games since the 1970s”

Awhile ago I wrote a blog about the Chinese game of Go on these pages. Nosey parkers that they are, I am sure that was the reason google made the super program. They love it when they beat humans, love it. They’re making driverless cars. They love it. Famously, the Deep Blue computer beat Garry Kasparov at chess but google have went one move further with their Go victory. They’re loving every minute of it.

The only thing that humans have left is Battleships. There’s not a computer programme made or ever will be made that can come anywhere near the standard of some of the truly great Battleship players of this era.

Little lies, big lies and a beautiful disguise

There are two things that screenplay writers script that smack of laziness and just an excuse to kill time; much like having to write a 2,000 word essay and filling it up with verbiage and periphrasis. One of them is the reading of the Miranda rights to a suspect. By now you can go and make a cup of tea while the cops quote the full speech. “..If you can’t afford an attorney-” cetra, cetra. The other thing is the lie detector test.

How many times have you heard the deflating dialogue that states “a polygraph test is inadmissible in court.” Nhhhhhhhh. The lie detector test could well be the most useless thing ever invented… if we exclude rugby from the list. (upsetting the ruggeristas is a sure fire way to get a comment, even if it is a rebuke)

The pioneer of the modern polygraph was William Moulton Marston. His original research was expounded upon and “bettered” by other scientists though he is credited with being the father of the machine that felons fake their way through with a steady heartbeat.

However, our Willie wasn’t a one-trick filly. He also invented Wonder Woman. Continue reading “Little lies, big lies and a beautiful disguise”

Travelling through different dimensions

If you’re insane, do you know you’re insane?

If you can withstand pain, where is the pain?

If you’re a zombie, what is a zombie?

If you’re ugly, why are you ugly?

If you can work any of these out, you’re a better worker outer than me.

That’s not music, this is music

Slayer is a way of life.

Of the big four, they play the purest form of Thrash Metal. Mozart was, allegedly, accused of making too many notes. I would Eden Hazard a guess that a four minute Slayer song will have more notes in it than any of Agadoos’ symphonies. The speed and intricacy of the guitar solos are mesmerising. Memorising them is a walk on part for these guitar geniuses.

Then there’s the drums. You don’t get many double bass drums in classical music. That would be a drum too far for those “virtuosos”. They couldn’t keep up to our beat.

The bassist/singer of Slayer, Tomas Enrique Araya Diaz, might look like a Billy Connolly lookalike but this Big Tam was born in Chile. There’s a lot of nice wines come from Chile. No really, there is. I don’t know if it’s Global Warming, Climate Change or Alec Salmond, there’s something in the chilled Chile that slays the opposition.

Parental guidance. The following video contains swearing.

Live Fast. On High. Repentless. Let it Ride.

Play it Loud.