So much, so little

The thing is, the cats have been sapping my energy levels with their innate cuteness.

And then there are the many broken nights of sleep during this heatwave.

But the truth of the matter is that I have not been practising guitar as much as I should have.

As much as I need to.

And no matter how much I blame this on the cats, or the lack of sleep, or whatever, it’s just pretty pathetic of me, really.

There’s a music festival this weekend in Charlbury, Oxfordshire.

And I fancy being there next year.

With my guitar.

And in the company of a few friends.

On stage.

But based on my current levels of rehearsal, I wouldn’t even get through the gate as a member of the audience.

Let alone get onstage.

Pathetic really.

My intentions are good, I just lack the willpower (or whatever) to get myself going and give it a good session every day.

Like I said, pathetic.

For example, instead of getting over the far end of the room and picking up a guitar and getting on with it right now, I’m sitting here banging words out on this keyboard.

Yep, pathetic.

It’s like one of the far-too-frequent school reports I used to get at the end of every term.

‘Could do very well if he applied himself’

‘Lacks application’

‘Doesn’t do homework’

‘Easily loses interest’

Ho hum.

Video nasty

Today I watched a computerphile video that scared the living crap out of me.

As a result of this video, I’ve come home and changed the root, the system, the user, and the backup passwords on everything I own, even though they were already ‘secure’ by most standards of IT security.

Then I changed the passwords on all of my webservices.

If watching this video doesn’t have the same effect on you – that you immediately change your Amazon, email, eBay and any other webservice password – then you need to have a word with yourself.

Really.

Getting collared

We have two rescue kitties.

This is what happens when you let two immature adults loose in the RSPCA rescue centre, looking for a dog.

They come home with two rescue kitties.

Obv.

Anyway.

We got them both collars.

With bells on.

To help protect the local wildlife.

I used to have a cat, when I lived in Radstock, many moons ago, who was a prolific slayer of vampires wildlife.

Suki (for that was her name) brought half a seagull in to the kitchen one day.

She had to gnaw it in to two halves, because that was the only way it would fit through the cat flap.

Another day she also brought home a very large, very beautiful Koi carp.

A neighbour valued it at between £8,000 – £10,000.

When it was alive.

Obv.

Fast forward a big bunch of years and we come to the collared, belled rescue kitties.

One of them is showing all the talents of having been a career assassin equal to Jason Bourne.

Despite the bell.

The other is content to eat the more humanely-prepared stuff.

But the more pacifist of the two lost her collar a few weeks ago.

I eventually found it, and reattached it.

A couple of weeks later she lost it again.

We replaced it with a brand new one, with a bell.

Today she lost it again.

I have a theory.

She’s taking off her collars and selling them, to other cats in the neighbourhood.

So if you see a cat, wandering around the locality, with a bunch of collars around it’s neck, it’s the feline equivalent of Flash Harry.

And it’s ours.

Buy a collar, please.

I’m itching to know what she’s going to use the money for.

Motorcycle Emptiness

Is it possible to get bored of riding a 1,000cc, 200mph Supersports bike?

Asking for a friend.

No.

Last week my commutes were in the car.

It is brand spanking new; had 7 miles on the clock when it was delivered.

Normally I commute on the ZX10R, but the weather was dire last week.

So I made the daily round-trip in the car.

And with every mile I travelled in the car, the sheen of the ZX10R seemed to become slightly more dull.

I don’t know why, it just did.

And then, yesterday, there was a break in the rain, so I took the Ninja out for a little trip.

Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, back in to Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire.

I travelled across some fantastic English countryside, and through some beautiful villages.

Sometimes I rode the Ninja as if it was a tourer, sometimes I opened the throttle and rode it hard, like the breathtaking supersports bike that it is.

I have no idea how I could feel remotely bored with it.

Maybe riding it to work on the same roads (weather permitting) day in, day out, was the cause?

Maybe the new car seduced me.

Whatever it was, it’s gone now.

I do wonder if I will ever be brave enough to switch the engine output to ‘full’.

Music Challenge: Day 30/2016

A song I’ve heard from someone else, that I like

 

It seems appropriate to finish this blogathon with a tribute to someone who brought some musical richness in to my life.

So there’s this girl.

She’s a talented muso.

Australian.

Currently lives in the US.

She has been in a bunch of bands, including, but not limited to, 16 Millimetre, and the quite brilliant The Good China.

Before she recently moved to the US, she used to do an annual mixtape (mixCD to be more accurate) which she would send to her friends around the world.

Each mixCD contained slightly left-field, quirky, indie music.

The 2007 mixCD contains this track.

Which I love.

It’s slightly left-field, quirky, indie…

And quite brilliant.

This is Soko.

And every time I hear this track, I thank that Australian girl.

Music Challenge: Day 28/2016

My favourite song from the last decade

 

I had a few possibles lined up for this one, but then my iPod threw me a curve.

A few nights ago we did a gig.

We went to a gig, not took part in a gig.

And then today, while I was reading some new templates (with my iPod on shuffle), this track popped up.

So yeah, today, at around 5.15pm, this is my favourite song from the last decade.

And that gig?

It was this band!

And they were aces!

Music Challenge: Day 27/2016

A song to Listen to at the End of a Tough Day

 

Oh dude.

I’ve had a tough tough, rough, lumpy and bumpy day.

Not the commute part (either end), because I’m lucky to have a brand spanking new car to do the trip in, and I’m still learning how to use all the onboard toys.

No, not because of the commutage.

It was the actual day itself.

There was the sleepless bit around 2.45am.

There were the hurt words and acrimoniousness (yep, that’s a proper word and everything) that just fall between two people who have had a seriously painful discussion, hurt words that arrived before getting in to bed and went right through to leaving the house.

Then there was the actual day at work itself.

It was a full-on day of the busy.

And then home, where I’ve been rendering and re-rendering a film I’ve edited, in to a variety of video formats; looking for the right screen resolution for the screen that it will be featured on tomorrow evening.

And, to sprinkle a little edgy toughness on top, it’s been a Monday.

With all the extra tiredness and worn-outness that a typical Monday brings, after a weekend of being a different kind of busy.

I just want to pull on my favourite ear-muff headphones, and shut the world out, and lose myself in a visually-negative world, where the warm embrace of music wraps me up, and tells me that everything is going to be alright in a few minutes.

Einar Stray and the track Arrows. That does this, on a day like today.

And The Boxer by Editors.

But this evening’s ‘wash away the day’ goodness starts with The National and Fake Empire.

I hope you had a good day.

Music Challenge: Day 26/2016

A song I would give to my offspring

 

There are so many possibilities, for this one.

But after a lot of mental umming and ahing, and not getting much inspiration from anything around me (because the title is a broad brushstroke), there was, really, only one choice.

I have spent so much of my time in darkened rooms, with headphones turned up so loud, that in the quiet sections, the needle/vinyl hiss could be plainly heard.

So much time listening to an album that changed the musical game.

So much time listening to this one track.

Not everyone’s cup of tea, I’ll admit.

But it wasn’t just a game-changer for the musical world, it was a game-changer for my world.

Music Challenge: Day 25/2016

A song from my childhood

 

A lot to choose from.

And yet an easy choice.

Like many of my generation, it all used to be about Thursday night.

Not so much for the comedy sets, the bad miming, the substance-fuelled over-acting, the bad punning from the DJs, or the hilariously out-of-step-with-the-youth dancing from Pam’s People.

Top of the Pops was, for me, about the sounds.

Bands that I would talk to my mates about the next day, in school.

I was learning to play brass at the time, so anything with a good brass riff was immediately something I would fasten my ears on.

And one day, this happened: