Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
So this is the alternative for jobs? For growth? For justice?
"The sad thing is that in spite of their crocodile tears, Balls and Miliband will feel quietly satisfied by the disorder – a token, they will tell themselves, of the public feeling that is out there to exploit.
They will be content to see the police being unfairly attacked on all sides, for being too passive (the Right-wing press) or too brutal (the Guardian) and they will continue to blather on while saying nothing about what they would cut themselves. The real alternative is to cease talking ourselves down, to cut taxes as soon as possible, to create tens of thousands more apprenticeships for 18- to 24-year-olds, to repeal politically correct legislation, cut waste and invest in education and infrastructure, and remember that of all the major cities recently examined by a Citigroup survey, the UK capital had by far the greatest potential for growth. If this hypocritical silence is the best "alternative" Labour can come up with, they will remain in opposition for years."
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Well that's because we've become too soft on the criminal elements. What's happened to this country? Thirty years ago this wouldn't have been a problem. Shoot the bastards.
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Because they think the world owes them a living, off they go on their marches against the evil cuts that will mean they might actually have to meet an obligation for once.
As Margaret Thatcher once said: "People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation."
Friday, March 25, 2011
- Jason Taverner (from "Flow My Tears the Policeman Said" by Philip K. Dick)
Thursday, March 24, 2011
I stocked it with six goldfish and poured myself a drink. During the first year I lost two of them (probably herons), but the remaining four reproduced and by last autumn there were eight happy little fish.
One Saturday morning last November I was woken up by a splashing sound outside so I got up, peered out of the window, noticed that it had been snowing and saw a ruddy great heron standing by the pond. It (rather gracefully) flew away when it caught sight of me parting the curtains, but the damage was done - further investigation suggested there were no fish remaining.
I subsequently discovered that there were, in fact, three surviving fish (these had not turned gold, so were difficult to see and small enough to hide...although one of them is missing part of its tail).
Anyway today I "fished" two of them out of the pond (I couldn't find the third) and put them into a container, while I drain, clean and refill the pond over the next few days (I stopped looking after it when I thought they'd all been eaten and now it's full of leaves, crap and blanketweed).
The holding container looked big enough for the fish until I put them in it - I hope they'll be OK.
You guys might not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack…it grew by one. So there…there were two of us in the wolf pack; I was alone first in the pack and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys I thought, "Wait a second, could it be?" and now I know for sure that I just added two guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together in Las Vegas looking for strippers and cocaine...
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
I really liked Tumblr and they have a great iPhone app, but the whole social aspect wasn't working for me and there were too many Tumbeasts for my liking (as an aside, there's an awful lot of porn on Tumblr - my last follower was a peddler of such stuff). So I quit Tumblr and tried Posterous.
Posterous is pretty good at auto posting to a variety of services, but their web interface and iPhone app are not as "mature" as Tumblr. Anyway, I set up a Posterous blog and auto posted to TypePad, WordPress.com, Blogger and Twitter. Why? How many blogs does one person need? All I really needed was one blog that I could post to via the desktop and iPhone which would send a notification to Twitter.
One of the problems with services such as Tumblr and Posterous is that your content is on their servers, I wanted to have more control over my media and so I revisited the self-hosted WordPress option (I've dabbled with WordPress before). I have an account with a hosting provider (Linux, cPanel, all the bells and whistles), so set it all up, imported all the posts from WordPress.com, played around with themes and plugins and here we are.
I can post to the blog from the desktop using the wonderful MarsEdit (or the WordPress bookmarklet). There is a WordPress iPhone app (not brilliant - it seems to have problems uploading certain images - but it's regularly updated). And I found a plugin that will auto post to Twitter. Sorted.
I have now deleted my Tumblr and TypePad accounts (and will probably phase out the others in due course).
- Prince Hamlet
Friday, March 18, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
"Go to work and take your calls,
Hang the fruits of your labour on the walls.
Such precision and care,
What does it matter if there’s no one here to share?
The flowers in the garden, the wine,
The Waiting For Godot and so much modern time…"
The Absolute Minimum (Humanly Possible) by Complete Confusion
"So, what about you? What are you gonna do? Today is the first day of the rest of your life, Lee.
Well, um…I always thought when this was all done I would, um, ah…kick back. Relax. Spend the rest of my days doing the absolute minimum humanly possible.
And now that you’re here?
I wanna explore! I wanna climb the mountains! I wanna cross the oceans! I wanna…Gods, I can’t believe I’m saying this; it sounds so exhausting! I must be crazy…"
Monday, March 14, 2011
“I think we’ve been through a period where too many people have been given to understand that if they have a problem, it’s the government’s job to cope with it. ‘I have a problem, I’ll get a grant.’ ‘I’m homeless, the government must house me.’ They’re casting their problem on society. And, you know, there is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women, and there are families. And no government can do anything except through people, and people must look to themselves first. It’s our duty to look after ourselves and then, also to look after our neighbour. People have got the entitlements too much in mind, without the obligations. There’s no such thing as entitlement, unless someone has first met an obligation.”
- Margaret Thatcher (1987)
Saturday, March 12, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Back in the day, I always wanted to have my hair like Gary Numan; unfortunately it was a bit thick and wavy and would never do what I wanted it to. Then we both went bald - I did so gracefully and he stuck a cat on his head.
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Since 1994 or 95 I’ve had a personal web site in one form or another. Usually music-related, initially with MIDI files and lyrics, it has evolved into this.
It seems to me that the advent of social networking has consigned sites like mine to history (which might explain why I have so few visitors nowadays).
So is this the future?
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Thousands of years ago, when mankind had a limited view of the Earth and its place in the Cosmos, we considered ourselves the pinnacle of creation. Elevated to the level of sons (and daughters) of God, we were in a personal relationship with our Creator.
We now know that the Earth is not the centre of the Universe, that it’s around 4 billion years old (not a few thousand), revolves around an unremarkable star in an unremarkable galaxy (consisting of billions of stars) in a sea of billions of galaxies in a Universe that’s almost 14 billion years old. We also know that life on the Earth has evolved from lower forms over billions of years.
So if God(s) exists, is it even aware of our insignificant existence?
Imagine an experiment using the Large Hadron Collider, which creates a “Big Bang”. During the course of this experiment, over a period of probably nothing more than a few seconds or minutes, a miniature universe is created which expands, evolves and eventually fades away.
Within that universe, tiny galaxies are formed and within those galaxies, stars and planets. On one planet life emerges and evolves to intelligence. In contemplating the nature of their existence, these life forms conclude that they were created by a supreme intelligence, a prime mover, a creator. Their Father.
But “He” is completely unaware of their existence.
On the 19th or 20th (I can’t remember which) April 1983 I saw Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark at Hammersmith Odeon in London on their Dazzle Ships tour. I bought a tour booklet and a couple of badges. I have digitised the booklet for posterity and you can download it from here.
"One must state it plainly. Religion comes from the period of human prehistory where nobody…had the smallest idea what was going on. It comes from the bawling and fearful infancy of our species, and is a babyish attempt to meet our inescapable demand for knowledge (as well as for comfort, reassurance and other infantile needs)…
…But I am compelled to remember what I know - which is that there would be no such churches in the first place if humanity had not been afraid of the weather, the dark, the plague, the eclipse, and all manner of other things now easily explicable. And also if humanity had not been compelled, on pain of extremely agonising consequences, to pay the exorbitant tithes and taxes that raised the imposing edifices of religion."
- Christopher Hitchens (God is Not Great)
truncate |?tr? ng ?k?t|
verb [trans.] [often as adj.] (truncated) shorten (something) by cutting off the top or the end.
Monday, March 7, 2011
The other day I went for a nice hour-long walk - the sun was shining, not a cloud in the sky, it was cool but not cold, trees were starting to bud; Spring was in the air (much like today). I listened to Navigation: The OMD B-Sides on my iPhone and it dawned on me that, after 30 years, my approach to music-making has been all wrong.
I have been trying to create music which has commercial appeal (and failing miserably), when I should have simply followed my heart and been more avant-garde and experimental (just as OMD considered themselves in their early days and I also did when I was messing around on my Yamaha CS-5 with the tape recorder running).
I feel my creative juices flowing again; watch this space and may the angels keep turning the wheels of the universe.