Cardiff surprises

•April 19, 2009 • Leave a Comment

So, to try and help get our relationship back together (last chance saloon…) myself and Cat went for a little day out into Cardiff.

Surprise 1:
I always look in the market for albums, last time finding Martin Grech’s Open Heart Zoo on CD. This time I had a couple of vinyl albums ready for purchase (The Smiths and R.E.M.) when Cat wanted to look to see if she could find something for herself, so I took another look through the rare albums section. To my surprise what did I find? Only triple disc bootleg Time Has Told Me by Nicholas Rodney Drake! Sweet…

Surprise 2:
Shortly afterwards, as it was a nice day, we sat outside a Brains pub with a couple of drinks, and I was certainly enjoying my pint of S.A.. A young couple walked past, and I recognised the female, the very flat-chested female from a previous occasion which made me giggle. The reason I giggled was this; I was taking the train from my hometown to return to Bridgend, generally the first stop on from Cardiff though there are minor stations inbetween, and saw this very (as in the very same, not 12 years old) young woman there. She was fussing over my puppy a little and for some reason she struck me as a somewhat odd, and I thought I knew why but was a bit too tactful/reserved to ask outright. At some point she picked up her phone and rang someone in Bridgend, and in a very low gruff voice said that (s)he was about to arrive. Suspicions confirmed then! First time in Cardiff since that trip too, it’s a small world.

Flat and flexible speakers

•April 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Seriously, where can I get these mofo’s?

flat flexible speakers

Less than a quarter of a millimetre thick, and with enough flexibility to probably makes clothes out of, these speakers (made by Warwick Audio Technologies, a Uni of Warwick spin-out company) are just too cool for me to even fathom! Let’s just hope they’re good and loud too :)
Warwick.ac.uk

Single again

•April 15, 2009 • 1 Comment

Oh the joy.

To be honest, I have known it was coming for a while now, there had been little in the way of romance or animalistic sex for quite some time. Just a swine that I have to organise a lift to collect half my clothes, my Strat, Hi-Fi seperates, CD’s and vinyl and that I can’t pack the dogs too.

Nice to see she’s already signed up on a dating site too…after all of three days.

Families. Who’d have ‘em?

•April 10, 2009 • Leave a Comment

My sister and her fella are going through a rough time right now, so rough that he’s left (it’s not quite catagorical, yet) stating that he’s tired of coming home and tidying, he doesn’t like her anymore, and other such things. Thing is, if he leaves, she’s really up shit creek, without a paddle, and in a paper boat. They rent privately, away from her closest family, she has two children and obviously no job.

So, the missus asked her if she’d like to come here for a few days, to get away and clear the air a bit between the two of them, a bit of reflection and so forth, so she packed the kids up and came down promptly.

Now the thing is, I can see just from a few hours why he feels the way he does. Okay, so she’s been unwell lately and unable to do as much around the house as she could, but that’s really no excuse. From about half an hour after she got here, enough time to put any belongings where they needed to be, till it was nearly time for bed, she simply sat on the sofa talking to people on Facebook while I looked after my nephew and neice.

Cat and myself have had times where we’ve not communicated, we’re still not sharing fully but we’re vastly improved, and this is what’s been going on there too. Add to that my sister not looking after the house tidily, while he’s working long hours by the way (who needs to come home and do everything?), then you’ve got a certain recipe for disaster.

Tomorrow I shall see if she’s improved at all, and if she doesn’t pay attention to her kids, or anything else for that matter, throughout the day, then I guess I’ll just have to tell her what’s fucking what. Such a pleasure that’ll be…

the most beautiful boat-empty

•April 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The Most Beautiful Boat-Empty.

It would seem someone from Twitter.com, a site I see no use in unless you have a life/ideas you want to share 24/7 (something I don’t, yet I signed up to see what the buzz was about), has posted a link to my other blog. Whoop-de-doo. “The most beautiful boat-empty” was the Google translation of something like “some lovely bootlegs” or something.

Additionally; I know you really shouldn’t blog about two things at once, but I really wish that I took another nom-de-plume with which to publish my personal blog under, as there are things I’d lie to say right now, yet am unable due to the fact some people I’d rather not read certain things could easily be brought against me in a court of law. Or something.

Went to my hometown (Abergavenny, if you must know) ‘folk evening’ tonight, and as can be expected from a market-town, performers were rather hit-and-miss. The earlier artists were quite good, then came a very good singer, it would seem a rock singer in some band from a terrible little town near my hometown, who was very good at least vocally, he certainly did seem to get the biggest round of applause of the evening.

Yet; A guy I know well played also (prior to said very good singer) who was less than impressive vocally and guitar-wise, yet bigged me up to some other punters as very good (even though I know well that both my vocal and guitar abilties are somewhat lacking), really embarrased me by just being in my general vacinity. I know that with a bit of practice, I can be okay in both disciplines, but at the end of the day I am really not in the league of many, many people (although I have my own merits), who perform in such small, local venues, so I really do not need some fuckwit saying how fantastic I am to people who have just listened to actually rather good performers (and believe me I am very honest and brutal when grading musicians) when I am there as simply yet another punter.

I’ve done okay I think, not mentioned what I didn’t want to, yet said enough to pass off this as a post worht reading. Whoop-de-doo! Oh wait, I nearly forgot the mention of ‘form 696′ a government legislation where all live perfomers must be…blah! It’s a racist issue (at least myself and others think so) where venues where people of race perform are subject to close scrutiny by the police and other officials, as to whether any people who’ve ever broken any laws might be coming to the event; something you’d imagine near impossible, as you never know who’ll knock a door until they do. The reason I mention race, or at least the first reason for doing so, is due to the ‘sample/example’ musical styles given on the form as erm, examples. When someone asks if there’ll be rap/grime/r&b music at an event at a local pub frequented by older white people, then I kinda take notice as to what the agenda might be.

Please do look up ‘form 696′ if you’re a UK resident and interested in any kind of live performance, as it may well be something you’d want to oppose, something where the internet also has loads of options. Take a look at the FB and MS social sites if it’s something you’d like protest against without having to be arrested for being within one mile of Parliament.

(this post may weel contain technical errors. I am rather drunk, as ‘weel’ shows)

The Home Office and Counter Terrorism

•March 24, 2009 • Leave a Comment

The UK Home Office has just announced the launch of their new counter terrorism plans.

From homeoffice.org.uk

The strategy – known as CONTEST – provides a detailed account of the history of the terrorist threat to the UK, and explains what led to the emergence of the threat we face today. It also theorises as to how the situation may evolve in the coming years.

The strategy sets out the principles that form the basis of the government’s response to terrorism. These include keeping human rights at the heart of all the counter-terrorism work in this country and overseas. It also emphasises the need to address the longer term roots of terrorism, as well as its actions.

The new strategy retains the framework of the old strategy – four main areas of work known as ‘the Four Ps’ – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. Each of these areas has been updated, and the document provides much more detail about specific objectives and programmes.

These programmes include:

* a Pursue strategy which uses new resources to investigate and disrupt terrorist networks here and overseas and to prosecute those responsible
* a Prevent strategy rolled out since last year that reaches more people – nationally, internationally and locally – than ever before, and which reflects our better understanding of the causes of radicalisation
* a Protect strategy which will further strengthen our borders, consolidate work on our critical national infrastructure (new window) and improve the protection of the crowded places where we work, live and play
* a Prepare strategy that will enable us to respond effectively to new threats, and to recover from any terrorist attack faster than ever before

Some counter-terrorism work spans all four areas of work. This includes work to deal with the threat of terrorist attack using chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive devices.

Now, this all seems well and good, and I’m not going to get all conspiracy theorist for a change, despite the many things that the past century has brought us in the UK, but all this does seem rather much.

Since the attacks in the USA, which ruined my brothers 21st as it happens, there have been at most 4 terrorist attacks in the UK. Yes, the London Underground event was terrible, yet that aside there’s been little damage caused by such events. So why the reported £32 billion yearly spend on this scheme? It really makes no sense to me at all. Besides, since when has the Home Office had anything to do with external affairs (see ‘Pursue’), surely that’s outside the departments remit of running, and keeping secure the country?

Full published documentation viewable here: homeoffice.org

Simpsons and a Frame

•March 17, 2009 • 1 Comment

Was surprised just a short time ago to see a UK exlusive episode of the Simpsons in commemoration of the demise of the pub in Ireland, if commemoration is the right word (it’s not), with their St. Paddy’s Day special.

To be fair, it was a below par episode, but then I only put it on as I saw nothing else on anyway, but there was an added bonus of the cast. As well as having Sir Kenneth Branagh in a prime role it included Colm and Glen from The Frames, along with Markéta Irglová, with whom Glen Hansard appeared in the surprise hit movie Once.

I’ve been a fan of The Frames for a while now, though far from throughout their career, and rather enjoyed both the soundtrack to Once and the Swell Season collaboration between the Once stars. It’s good to see them getting the kind of recognition usually reserved for the likes of R.E.M., Michael Jackson, U2 and Metallica.

Nice one The Simpsons team!

A couple of bootlegs from The Frames for you as a little bonus :)

Park West 2005
The Metro 2005

 
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