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Favourite male vocalist

Unique male vocal
An angry sneer embodies
The spirit of punk
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A song that makes you want to dance

The last song that I danced to was a mix of 'Pjanoo' by Erik Prydz vs Tears For Fears 'Shout', but the bit that really makes me want to jump around was used on the trailer for 'The Ballad of Gay Tony' which you can see here.
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Weather : the cold, gray light of dawn gave way to a watery sunrise bathing the world in an autumnal air of damp gloom. Ceci n'est pas un Août.

I seem to be getting a good deal for my phone at the moment. I'm on a pay as you go arrangement with O2 whereby I top up by ten pounds a month (soto voce - I paid ten pounds!). For this I get 500Mb of web usage (which I use) and 300 text messages (which I don't). Out of the £10 I pay £7.50 for a Friends and Family package that gives me unlimited calls to Jan (and vice versa), who is the only person I ever call. Therefore I now seem to have fifteen squids worth of credit on there that I can't see a way of spending. I suppose I'll just have to call the Sydney speaking clock until it runs down or something.

In telly news, after a promising start Big Brother is lurching towards the inevitable disappointing dénouement. Can't say I'm overly surprised, really, but no doubt I'll watch the final just to see the lumbering beast being put out of its misery (apart from the unnecessary coda of 'Big Brother Ultimate' where they have assembled all of the most irritating and objectionable housemates of previous series who were either too vain, too venal or too vacuous to turn down the offer of appearing on the telly again). If they revived Big Brother as a format that stuck strictly to its own rules without trying to fiddle things to favour the producers' chosen housemates, it would be worth a watch, otherwise farewell and adieu to ten years of voyeuristic entertainment.

In other telly news, it seems that X-Factor are now auto-tuning the voices of the contestants, which surely takes all of the fun (for some values of the word 'fun') of watching the tuneless honkings of the early rounds of hopelessly deluded wannabes and borderline psychotics of previous series. I'd much rather play 'Rock Band' for an hour or two, to be honest.

Talking of Rock Band, I think that I am going to need to devote some serious time to the practice tutorials if I am ever going to improve my technique. I can't seem to get the hang of hammer-ons and co-ordinating my little finger on the lower fret, which seem to be essential for the more difficult songs like 'Enter the Sandman'. The World Tour mode is rather good fun though, and I now have a rather natty Cowboy hat, leather trousers and Sgt Pepper style jacket combo for my avatar, as well as a tour jet with our band name of 'The Thermal Pigs' emblazoned on the side. Aces.
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A lazy Sunday, apart from a bit of ironing, with the usual round of dog walks, sunshine, games of Carcassonne and Words with Friends (in which I got royally flattened by Becs). The afternoon was mostly taken up with a bit of co-op Red Dead Redemption with Lufferov which was excellent fun, apart from one irritating twat who insisted on trying to set the raft that we were on on fire whilst we were being sniped at by Mexican banditos on either side of the river.

That's about it, folks!
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A song that makes you cry

John Otway may not be the world's greatest singer, but he knows how to write a heartfelt song that combines sadness and optimism in equal measure. This genuinely made me well up the first time I heard it, and it still does now
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Small world, innit ...
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After my complaint yesterday I was rewarded with a sunny day (mostly) and it was warm enough to require my Panama for the morning walk. Hoorah! I made hay (or at least cut the grass) whilst the sun shone, so the garden was looking tidy too.

A much needed afternoon nap, and a trip out to the retail park to look at tellies - I'm being nagged, er, encouraged to choose a bigger tv and blu-ray player for the lounge and I have to go through my usual umming and ahing routine before committing to any techo-purchase.

Home to Rock Band, and the songs are really starting to get more difficult. The final tune on our set list tonight was the six minute Highway Star with a punishing guitar solo in the middle. Jan was playing drums on hard too, which was a spectacular achievement I think.

Ace fun for a Saturday night with a beer (or two).
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Lots of people seem to be doing this meme, so who am I not to follow the herd ... :-)

I love this song as a classic piece of Tom Waits, and the imagery of Burma Shave being a real place that you could escape to is a marvelously effective conceit.

The full list of prompts is as follows:
Read more... )

Free Bird

Aug. 20th, 2010 07:29 pm
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The weather can be summed up with the concise phrase : same old, same old. I am starting to despair of ever getting a decent run of sunshine this summer.

We had just settled down to watch the telly last night when we heard the unmistakable sounds of one of the cats bringing a bird into the kitchen. Fortunately (for the bird that is) it was Daisy who had done the catching and bringing in, rather than Doris who has the tendency to carry off her prey to a dark place for unspeakable purposes. We shooed the cats out and managed to rescue the bird - a little finch of some sort, I think - and put it in a box to give it a chance to recover. It perked up after an hour or so and managed to fly off, seemingly no worse for wear.

In other bird news, we have had a veritable feeding frenzy of blue tits, coal tits, great tits and even a bullfinch feeding off the seeds on the vine, and the ripening elderberries in the garden. There must have been twenty or more different birds swooping around at lunchtime. Fortunately the cats were all too busy snoozing to take advantage of this aerial bonanza.

Oh, and in corrections news, I have to admit that I was wrong to say that 20% of Americans are fucking idiots. Apparently, it's only 18% but on the other hand 31% of Republicans fall into said category of fucking idiocy. So there.

I hereby declare this Friday night to be well and truly ... open!


Aug. 19th, 2010 07:01 pm
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Weather : Sun, tending to grey, tending to chucking it down by the time I got home. Summer time, and the living is chilly and damp ...

Not much to report today really. The stomach cramps of yesterday have faded, thankfully, and I slept a bit better too. The office was reasonably quiet today and hence I had a productive day sorting out the document viewer on the app I installed last week, getting the registration services installed on my test environment and even doing a bit of development work, shock, horror.

In other news, 20% of Americans are fucking idiots, not many boys got their exam results today and schadenfreude can occasionally be very sweet.
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Weather : A bright start followed by a descent into a world of grey around lunchtime before ending up with a bit of sunshine to end the day - seven out of ten on the sun-o-meter, I think.

Yesterday had turned out to be surprisingly tiring, all round, and I finished it off with an hour on Rock Band playing 'Still Alive' (aka the song from off of the end of Portal) on guitar. Quite amusing to see the faux punk lead singer of our band 'The Thermal Pigs' singing along in the voice of the demented computer GladOs.

I had a bit of disturbed night last, after flaking out during Big Brother, and felt rough this morning. I had stomach cramps for most of the day, off and on, necessitating frequent trips to the loo. Not much fun.


Aug. 17th, 2010 06:52 pm
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A cat duvet day
However, teh hoomin has
To go to London

User group meeting
Requires a formal approach
Suited and booted

Hit the road and drive
Park at Finchley Central then
Tube into London

Steel leviathans
Tower over the remains
Of Old London Wall

Genius playlist
Of female singers somehow
Adds Robbie Williams
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After the pleasant sunshine of the weekend, it was a return to overcast skies and a gloomy air this morning. Just perfect for a Monday morning in the office - happy happy joy joy. To make things even more tickety-boo, the milk for my morning coffee was on the turn after being in the temperamental fridge in our second floor kitchen over the weekend. Ack. To be fair, the sun did show its face by mid-day but I didn't get to see much of it for being stuck in the aforementioned office.

We realised that at least some of the problems from last week were down to the wrong environment being installed by the customer that I was then trying to patch on top of. I need to put a check into the install script to make sure that the code base is what we have asked for, rather than assuming that they will set things up as we have requested. At least it made for a productive end to the day when I got the app to fire up successfully.

In games news, I fired up DJ Hero for a spin (ho, ho, I am satirical) last night and jolly good it was too. I unlocked the Daft Punk set list and ran through eight tracks plus the bonus beat of a Daft Punk mega mix. To finish with I put the system into automatic party play mode so that I could jump around the lounge like a loon to a mix of Tears for Fears vs Erik Prydz. Aces.

In Echo Bazaar news, I am considering giving up on the Knife and Candle part of the game. I looked at some of the twitter accounts of the characters at the top of the leaderboard and there seems to a group of about five or six people running multiple accounts and collaborating on assassinations. I don't know if it is technically breaking any sort of rule of the game, but it's against the spirit of the thing, I think.
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At last, a spot of summer sunshine worthy of breaking out mah favourite hat for the statutory two walks today! I think this is probably the sort of weather that suits me best - sunny and pleasantly warm without being oppressively hot, and with a touch of a breeze too. Smashing. Shame I've got to go back into the office tomorrow, really.

I was up at a civilised hour this morning. Not so early as to precede the lark, but late enough to allow a gradual restoration of the senses from the tangled webs of dream without unseemly haste. I even felt energetic enough to take advantage of the sunshine to cut the grass, although I didn't use the leaf blower today - it always seems to leave me sneezing from the dust kicked up.

A shower, a walk and a cooked brunch, interspersed with a bit of game playing and an afternoon nap as well made for a most enjoyable day all round.

In games news, I signed up for a game of Diplomacy via Facebook. I've not played for years and I'm not entirely sure how it will pan out, but I'm looking forward to it. It strikes me that it would make an excellent game for an iPhone/iPad implementation with a Carcassonne/Words with Friends style of play.
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