Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Lock Him Up, And Throw Away The Key!

Yesterday was an unexpected eventful day. I was at home working away in my room , when I heard someone in the next room looking for something. Not unusual. I don't own this house and the person I live with is the most untidy person you have never met and so therefore is always losing something. So I ignored the rummaging for a bit and carried on working. But after a while I got up off my chair to see if I could help, I put one hand on the door handle and the person on the other side ran down the down the stairs, instinct took over, I ran after them.

Stupid thing to do for two reasons, the other person I was trying so desperately to confront could have had a knife or worse a syringe but more importantly I struggled to get out of bed in the morning and walking from A - B causes discomfort. Yet here I was suddenly trying to run after someone without a plan of what I was going to do if I caught them. I'm sure they would have been really scared if I said something like "Ooh you lil ******! Ow! You made me run after you, you ****! Ow! My back hurts, now your face is going to hurt - but wait, let me just get my posture back....OWW! That's better - kinda."

Something tells me he wouldn't have been suitably distressed, it may just as well he was always 10 steps ahead of me and got out the garden before I could catch up with him. I never even really got a good enough look to identify him. I did see a girl, well I say girl but as the police would prefer to say, and did so often, 'female' around 25 years of age, run across the garden in the same direction, after I had given up the chase. It was a second or two of seeing this 'female' before my mind went from 'what the hell is a woman doing running in the garden?' to 'oh hell, she's with him, and was the lookout.' At least, even though I was too slow in my reactions to give chase, I did get a decent look at her. Which then meant I spent much of the morning looking through a scrapbook this morning. It was a little disconcerting thumbing through a book of mugshots - there was that little bit of doubt that I might identify the wrong one but apparently I got the right one that the Police suspected all along. Phew! That was a relief I can tell you. My guilt was instantly dissipated. Why I felt guilt I cannot say, I was, presumedly, thumbing through a book of people who had all done something legally wrong and all guilty of something.

Perhaps I would have done society as a whole a favour by changing my story (slightly) to "Officer I remember now, I don't know why I didn't remember this important detail before - excitement perhaps, but there was 12 of them, girls in the garden that is, females I mean. All of them of similar appearance and here you are - one, two, three." Pointing at the corresponding pictures of course."Four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve." But I didn't do it, I couldn't - even if I had thought of it. In the end I was around 90% sure I had the right one but still the nagging doubt of 'what if?' at least until I saw the knowing nodding exchanges between the two policemen in the room.

Anyway to my point, the above was just a long winded precursor inserted for a sense of place - nothing more. A neighbours suggestion after taking an interest in the activity caused by the arrival and dispersal of the police vans was that they should "lock up him and throw away the key." Personally I find this saying to be rather stupid and a counter productive approach. How far can you throw a key? I couldn't throw one very far, but then I'm injured, perhaps you with a better back might throw it further. But I suspect not much further. Even the best trained object throwers probably wouldn't throw a key a reasonably suitable distance. Steve Backley an ex Olympic silver medallist, eternal loser to a Czech (I think) whose name escapes me) with many years of experience could only throw a javelin 90 odd metres. As impressive as 90 metres may sound, my suspicion is that a javelin is a little more aerodynamic than a key and would take to being thrown further distances. A key being thrown by an expert with the perfect technique might throw it 40 metres away, maybe, failing a convenient passing hurricane, it would land 50 metres away on a good day. Now what's the point in locking someone up if his friend can so easily find the key and release him again? Someone really needs to rethink that saying.

Throwing a key into a key manufacturers workshop with hundreds of thousands of similar, but suitably different, keys lying on the floor might be a better idea. That way the friend might get bored and give up trying different keys in the lock or just take enough time to release the guilty and therefore give them time to rethink their ways. This may be unlikely too, but hey I'm an optimist, just a very cynical one.

Friday, 25 April 2008

A Day Of Experiment

Remember that new camera I bought back in the middle of January? Well now that's it almost the end of April I finally got the chance to use it. And only because my back was killing me so much that I couldn't do any work.

That's not to say I haven't taken any pictures with the camera before now, I have, but mostly just to see if it was working as it should. My main reason for buying the camera was because I wanted a DSLR and it was cheap. The image quality of the sensor is good, on a par with the mid range cameras but feature wise its poor - it doesn't really have any, so it wasn't a camera I would have paid the full initial asking price for. Its not that I need features but I like value for money - just call me McScrooge. What I didn't realise when I bought the camera was that it was in fact two cameras in one. A normal every day colour camera, and, with the simple removal of the dust filter, an infra-red camera. Normally with most digital cameras in the market today if you want to shoot infra-red you have to have the camera altered permanently, at a cost, to shoot in only infra-red.

The Sigma SD14 which I bought, has a removable dust protector that also doubles as an infra-red light blocker that can removed and replaced easily as you so wish. Well of course, I who used to at the age of 3 take radios apart to see how they worked had to check out this happy accidental discovery for myself.
Here are the results.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

It's On Repeat (Wait what number is it? 6? Eh, does it matter?)

It's been a while since I blogged due to working 2 full time jobs for the past 7 weeks, coming home at 06:35 only to get up again at 10:00 to go back to work has meant time was at a premium and sleep was a priority over writing. Sorry about that. Ironically this was a time I had lots of ideas floating in my head but now that I have two minutes to spare none of those thoughts seem to want to detach themselves from the messy tentacles that seem to exist inside my head. So instead to prove that I still blog, albeit infrequently, I will share the music I have been listening to when I've had a few minutes to do so.

You know how it works, I share some music that I deem worth listening to, some songs are new, some are old, some are classics, some are strange ones that you will never hear on the radio any time soon - it's mixed, its very eclectic, chances are you won't like everything on the list, but you should hopefully like some of it. The idea is you join in with a list of your own or maybe just seek out some of the songs and are turned on to a new listening experience. See something on the list that you like 'and want to know other similar songs by the same artist of genre? Feel free to ask.

So without further ado let's start

Last time I did a It's On Repeat I was given a dressing down for being prejudiced against Canadian music which of course is not the case I just umm didn't have anything Canadian on my list. This time I'll put that right after all I don't want to upset a nation of 30 million plus that has altogether too much land and armed forces that buy second hand submarines that have a tendency to self combust. Wait what has that got to do with music? Nothing. Anyway here's my token Canadian band Bedouin Soundclash, they don't sound much like Celine Dion (phew!), the song St Andrews. No it has nothing to do with Scotland's patron saint but it is a catchy tune nonetheless and well worth its place in the list and not because its placement may have have appeased a nation.

Song number two Just A Boy by Australia's brother and sister duo Angus & Julia Stone is a beautiful song that eloquently expresses some of those early feelings when you discover that you have fallen in love.

Ida Maria. Newish Swedish songstress (does that make sense?) with attitude could be the next big thing so see her in a small venue near you for a pocketful of change while you can and enjoy Oh My God. Its got all the ingredients to be a classic at the summer festivals. Well I think so anyway, but I know nothing. I will however be going to King Tuts on the 1st of June (if I can get the day off work) just for this song, its that good! Anyone want to join me?

Che Fu & Aaradhna are from New Zealand and the song Spin One is a nice song for those who love music but can't adequately express it with words. That will be me then.

J. Holiday & Nina Sky - Bed is a song that's right up there Dresden Doll's Coin Operated Boy that you probably won't want to be listening to on your mp3 player on the subway in case you find yourself singing along. Let's just say you might get more than a few strange looks but its a great song though.

I've been seriously sleep deprived over the past few weeks and I'm not a caffine drinker so on occasions I've had to resort to songs that have a rejuvenating effect just to get me through the work day. Bob Sinclar's - Rock This Party was that song on occasion.

And now a classic Gloria by the Rolling Stones. A classic for a reason.

I've had my token Canadian band, now my token representation from Scotland. Keep On Breathing by The Delgados I love this song, almost as much as I love Emma Pollock's voice. Sadly The Delgados are no more but Emma is singing solo now so its not a total loss.

Considering I have only ever spent three weeks in New Zealand I have way too much music from that small country, you'd think I'd spent the whole time just listening to music but I did eat too - honest. Anyway Savage is another Kiwi R&B artist and Swing is a real floor filler.

Whoops! Just realised I have two Scottish bands on the list. Me bad! But I defy you not to join in the chorus in Biffy Clyro's Who's Got A Match, you can try not to but like trying not to like your lips after eating a sugary do nut it can't be done.

Now time for another classic this time by Nina Simone. I Put A Spell On You.

Take Me Back To Your House
With a song title like that you may think it of a similar subject matter to J. Holiday's already mentioned song, you'd be wrong, this is one you can sing along to when in public. Not always the case with Basement Jaxx.

Something a little quieter Bright Eyes - First Day Of My life Can you tell I'm getting tired of typing? Time to let the music do the talking.

And now for a song you might not be familiar with if you aren't a weirdo like me that listens to music in a foreign language. Jacques Brel - Amsterdam

Something for those who like to tap their toes - Gomez - Machismo

I don't know how many people Akon has worked with over the years but he must be or close to being the hardest working R & B artists around and here's another one Shaggy & Akon - What's Love

Sometimes the choices on my music list sound like someone preparing for a wedding - something old, something borrowed, something blue' - something old - Desmond Dekker & The Specials - Take It Easy

We all have our slightly embarrassing musical likes and one of mine left over from my mother's influence is Neil Diamond. I can't help it, she played Hot August Night one too many times when I was growing up. It was a few years before I redeemed myself by picking up Guns N Roses Appetite For Destruction. Anyway the Neil Diamond Song on the list is Hell Yeah. Man, I'm glad I'm not catholic, confession is not good for the soul.

Time to end this list on a positive cheery note. Finley Quaye - This Is How I feel. Ahh! Thats better!