Tag: <span>UPDATE</span>

UPDATE: Great stuff so far, I’ve started pulling the playlist together so thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Keep them coming though, there is still time to win!

With everything that’s going on at the moment I have to admit that the jogging thing is keeping me focussed and reasonably sane, but then that’s part of the point of doing it. Alongside the whole “get fit/lose weight” thang there is another factor which I’m looking forward to gaining, the “mental release” that regular exercise brings. Those who do it will know what I mean, those who don’t, or haven’t, won’t. And for those who are confused, don’t worry. I am too.

Thankfully, despite the heat, I still have the motivation to go along to the class tonight and I’m hoping to get to Achilles Heel soon to get my gait assessed so I can buy a proper pair of shoes. The classes run for the next 9 weeks, and I’ll see how I’m doing after that. If things are going well I might even shell out for the new Nike+ system (it’s only £19 as you don’t NEED to buy the trainers and I already have an iPod Nano). I mean I can’t start a new hobby and NOT buy a gadget to go with it… er… aside from my new watch of course (which I got for around £20 on eBay, yay!).

So, with my current determination to ‘be a runner’ still intact —hell, I’m *this* close to subscribing to Runner’s World magazine (and that’s their choice of apostrophe… with good reason!)— I thought I may as well take it as read that I’ll be getting the Nike+ system in which case, obviously, I’ll need a good “running” playlist!

And, as ever (hey, this is the internet!) I can’t be bothered thinking it ALL up myself so it’s over to you guys. What? You want some pointers? Sheesh, do I have to do EVERYTHING around here?? Ohhh, alright then…

Pace wise the tracks can’t be too slow or laidback. I’d much rather have music than any spoken word stuff (podcasts, audio books, radio etc). The first few bands/tracks that have popped into my head are either dance music (Chemical Brothers) or rock (AC/DC, Muse). Basically it needs to be loud, not too subtle and provide some ‘energy’ when used. Music type and era isn’t an issue, availability is. If I can’t get it from iTunes or some other method then don’t suggest it.

AND, to spice things up a little, how about a little competition.

The Nike+ system includes the ability to set a “Power Song” which you can play at the push of a button, so whoever offers the best suggestion* for a “Power Song” will win a copy of the final “Running Wild” playlist (on MP3 CD probably).

So, I’ll need the track title, the artist and whether it’s a general “running” track or a “Power Song“.

Entries close on this coming Saturday (22nd July). Multiple entries allowed. The decision of the judge (me) is final. All other rules, that I’ve not yet considered, apply.

It’s the first ever competition on this site, so make the most of it!

* I’d love to give criteria for how this will be judged – it’ll mainly be down to which track I get the best ‘buzz’ from so be as wild and wacky as you like.

Life Media

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Inspired by Lisa and Rob, I’ve got a little quiz for you.

It’s simple enough, 25 lyrics, guess the song and artist. I’ve used the “Party Shuffle” mode of iTunes to pull 25 random tracks from my library, so don’t blame me… entirely..

Ohh and it’s not always the first line of the song, some were a little to obvious for that.

UPDATE: DEADLINE passed, here are the answers to all… er… 26 tracks

  1. I want your tender charms, cause I’m lonely and blue
    Rescue Me by Fontella BassPB Curtis
  2. Spread out the oil, the gasoline. I walk smooth, ride in a mean, mean machine
    Start me up by The Rolling Stones
  3. From the torn or taffeta, You’re frozen in the contemplation of a win
    4 pounds in 2 days by Lambchop
  4. Go hug your sister, Go love your sister, Go hug your sister, One and the same<
    Pistol of fire by Kings of Loen/li>
  5. You can hear, dear Mother Nature murmuring low “Let yourself go”
    It’s De-Lovely by Cole Porter (sung by Jeri Southern) – Cheerful One
  6. And her hunky funky junky, Of a boyfriend, Got her on late nights, With her skirt tight
    High Times by Jamiroquai
  7. With all the will in the world, Diving for dear life
    Shipbuilding by Elvis CostelloRullsenberg
  8. Put your hair back, we get to leave, Eleven gallows on your sleeve
    Perfect Circle by R.E.M.David
  9. Inside you’re pretending, Crimes have been swept aside, Somewhere where they can forget
    Mysterions by Portishead
  10. Seven out a twenty one knocked down now only fourteen left to go
    Out of nowhere by Athlete
  11. There is nothin’ fair in this world, There is nothin’ safe in this world
    White Wedding by Billy IdolJoanna
  12. I got a faulty parachute, I got a stranger’s friend, An exciting change in, My butchers blend
    Losing Hope by Jack Johnson
  13. I have a choice between the bat or the belt, each time I hear about the hand you’ve been dealt
    Wind Up by Foo Fighters
  14. Petrified for the millionth time. Slowly my soul evaporates, No parachutes no dismal clouds, Just this fucking space
    I’m not working by the Manic Street PreachersLyle
  15. Fear me you lord and lady preachers, I descend upon your earth from the skies
    Seven Seas of Rhye by QueenTom
  16. L.A. proved too much for the man, So he’s leavin’ the life he’s come to know
    Midnight train to Georgia by Gladys Knightrobin
  17. You stay the night at his house, With no ride to work, And I’m the one who tells you, He’s another jerk
    You by Aimee Mannpootlecat
  18. We dive into a dark doorway, Hiding from the clouds of grey, Oh babe, I don’t mind it at all
    Scottish Rain by The Silencers
  19. May God bless and keep you always, May your wishes all come true, May you always do for others, And let others do for you.
    Forever young by Bob Dylan – Canute
  20. Yeah but nobody searches, And nobody cares somehow, When the loving that you’ve wasted, Comes raining from a hapless cloud
    Slow Hands by Interpol
  21. I dont have to sell my soul, Hes already in me
    I Wanna be adored by The Stone RosesRullsenberg
  22. Hold up, hold on, don’t be scared, You’ll never change what’s been and gone
    Stop crying your heart out by Oasis
  23. And into the sea goes pretty England and me, Around the Bay of Biscay and back for tea
    This is a Low by BlurKerron
  24. A year ago, last Thursday, I was strolling in the zoo, when I met a man who thought he knew the lot
    I’m a Gnu by Flanders and SwannZ
  25. Viktor was born in the spring of ’44, And never saw his father anymore, A child of sacrifice, a child of war
    Leningrad by Billy JoelBlue Witch
  26. Lost in a lullaby, Side of the road, Melt in a memory, Slide in a solitude
    Fugitive Motel by Elbow

Honourable mentions: Adrian McEwen.

Right. Have at it people! I’ll update correct guesses when I can over the weekend. Ohh and we all KNOW it’d be easy to just Google for the answers but what’s the point in that?

Blogging Media

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What to start with, what to start with…

Ohh come on, you know fine well. Love it or loathe it, the carnival/freakshow that is Big Brother has kicked in and what a marvellous piece of car-crash casting it looks to have been this year. From the campest gay in Glasgow (Shahbaz AKA the “wacky Paki poof”) to “the one who may just be the most normal” Bonnaaughhh (Bonnie), the Vickey Pollard-esque (Nikki) to the geezer-ish wideboy (Sezer – rhymes with Caesar) it’s probably the most outlandish group they’ve come up with so far. And that’s before you consider the fact that they’ve included someone with Tourette’s Syndrome (Pete).

I’d imagine a lot of the initial focus will be on Pete, and I hope that they at least TRY and play safe. It would be too easy to reduce his condition and play him up as a laughing stock, although I fear the ratings may have some influence on this. Only time will tell.

~

I have to agree with Jason, this year the NBA playoffs are all about the team (baby!). In the past the focus has always been on the individuals, the Michael Jordans, Shaquille O’Neals, Kobe Bryants and so on, but this year whilst the superstars are there the focus is switching to the best team. It’s been a gradual process with the Pistons leading the way and forcing the NBA machine/marketing department to start lauding teams over single players. I’d suggest that is simply because, whilst they are without a doubt the best team in the league over the past couple of season, they haven’t ever signed a superstar name, and even the league’s best efforts to try and pull some of their players up into that ‘stratus’ has failed because.. well… Big Ben just ain’t that charismatic.

~

What would the world be like without the internet? OK, what would MY world be like without the internet?

I got a scary glimpse into the past last night as BlueYonder had a few connection glitches. Only lasted about two hours but it was slap bang in the middle of me trying to get some work done and, you know what, I couldn’t. I was stuck on one piece of coding and had nowhere to go to look it up! PANIC!! EEK.

Thankfully normality was restored and the first thing I did? Look up the BlueYonder support page and WRITE DOWN their telephone number!

~

And finally, if you are bored here, scroll on down and pick a site from the list on the left. They’re all quite good and don’t feature as much “dross” as I do. Apparently.

Ach. To be honest I really REALLY don’t care if someone doesn’t like what I’m posting here. It’s very VERY simple, don’t read it. You don’t HAVE to visit here, you don’t HAVE to read all this. I’ll still post it anyway so there is little point in complaining. Ohh yes you may think this is a democracy but let me assure you of one thing, whilst I’m very very stunned and amazed that so many nutters of you keep coming back, what I do with and what I post to this site is none of your business.

Shocking stuff to end on but, frankly my dears, I was THIS close to “hiating” for a while. And for me that means this site closes until I’m ready to come back. The fact that you are reading this can be taken as a two-fingered salute to both my own attitude (which sickens even me sometimes) and to the fact that I don’t run this site to please anyone else bar me.

Phew. That feels better already!

UPDATE: Me and my big gob
OK, as ever I’ve jumped in with both feet. Yes one comment that was left yesterday irked me, but hey such is life. If I’m honest the comment isn’t that big a bother to me, and I was probably focussing on that as an excuse. What I should really do is take a break from this site. Which I will sometime soon, if only to provide a gap in which to upgrade WordPress, get the spam plugins sorted (lots of trackback stuff all of a sudden) and whatnot.

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KABOOMCRACKFLASHRUMBLE

Went the weather.

F  l i   c  k e   r went the lights.

Satellite box turned itself off, and off went the PC too (just in case).

Quite a nice evening was had reading books.

UPDATE: I wasn’t the only one enjoying the storm.

~

I love pistachios. I like sitting at a bar, watching the drops of condensation race down the glass —Last one to the beermat’s a loser!— Fingertips prising the shells open, before the creamy green nut reveals itself. I like that some of them are tricky to get open, fingernails to the fore. I like the act of tossing the shells aside. I like the flavour, I like the texture. But yeah, mostly I like the fact you have to work for them a little.

Except when you are trying to read a book. Then the wee buggers all turn out to be the ones that require two hands to open, presuming you can get them open at all! And that’s not to mention the flakes of shell they leave behind, trapped between the pages forever more.

Tasty though.

(And yes, technically they are a seed, not a nut)

~

Such a lovely fresh morning, the air scrubbed clean by the thunderstorm last night. Couple that with a an unexpected email or two last night and my mood is veritably soaring. AND it’s Friday. How good is that?!

~

Thanks to everyone who answered my question yesterday. I guess I should take a bash at answering it myself eh?

Firstly I think it’s a bit daft to go back in time without allowing yourself the benefit of hindsight. But then that presumes, to a degree, that you would like the opporchancity to change something about your life. A decision, a moment, missed perhaps? Something you’d have done differently? I guess it’s easy to think that, knowing what you know now, you’d go back and do X, Y or even Q differently (aye, she was a bonnie lass was Q). Is your answer more a reflection of your current situation and your whether you are happy or not? For that matter, what IS happiness? Ohhh boy. Better not head down that philisophical path. Not today.

If you choose NOT to “go back” then you can justify this by saying that your past has made you the person you are today and you are quite happy thankeweverymuch. Good for you, I say. However, I do think you are missing out, aren’t you even a teeny tiny bit curious to see how you would have turned out if just one teeny tiny decision had been made differently? Not even an ickle wickle little bit?

Me? I’d take hindsight with me and go back to being 17. Or 20.

~

And finally a big Happy Birthday to my sister!

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The price of fame, in blogland, appears to be nasty comments. At least that’s what some visitors, the minority it would seem, to Naked Blog take it to be. Peter rightly points out that it is his writing that is the key element of his site, but I’m not sure that the following statement is quite what he means.

“the medium would descend to a money-making racket, then I wouldn’t have championed it so vociferously over the aeons.”

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to second guess a Bloggies Lifetime Achievement nominee but there seems to be a growing view that you either blog for pleasure, for the aesthetic if you will, or you are a whore to the green mistress that rules us all. The more I think about it, the more I begin to wonder if that isn’t exactly what is going on at the moment.

On one side you have the hobbyist blog. The traditional, grass-roots publishing side of things where, largely (putting small amounts from adverts aside), the key element is the publishing of posts on whatever topic takes the author’s fancy.

Contrasting that you have the “pro” blog. Usually topic-focussed (specialised), and aiming to have a large readership to ensure the revenue generated by adverts is maximised. Includes blogs that rely solely on advertising or sponsorship to survive.

Too simplistic? Well have a look at a blog, any blog you like, and try and apply the ‘rules’ above. I warrant you’ll be able to decide which camp it belongs to pretty easily.

I’m not arguing for/against any blog, what you do with your blog is up to you dearest reader. I just think that, as blogs permeate further into the media and society in general, it’s better for those who blog (that’s us) to take a look at these things and offer some suggestions. What I think we really need is a new word.

I think both ‘sets’ of bloggers would benefit from a new term in the blog lexicon that offers us a way to categorise a blog along the simplistic lines I’ve mentioned above. We already have the term “blog” and I’d suggest that is kept for the hobbyist (although as we are the ones without the money I’m not entirely sure we get to decide!). So we need a new word for the professional blog.

Except we already have one, a quick search for problog brings plenty of results. However I think this is still missing a trick as it doesn’t account for the ‘non-corporate’ professional bloggers (Kottke, Dooce… umm… are there any others??) but I think I can live with that. There are always a few sites that bend the rules.

This site is, and will remain, a blog. A means to publish whatever zips across my radar. A way to keep in touch with a large number of interesting people whom I’ve never met. Something that keeps my interest. A hobby.

UPDATE
Well this has sparked an interesting set of topics, not to mention a couple of very well thought out emails. There are a few other comments over at mike’s place which add to the discussion as well.

To close this out I thought I’d post a copy of the comment I made over there (hey if he can do it..)

Kettle fish etc..

Having re-read my own post a few times, and thought about some comments, and emails as well, I can see why some would think I was saying that X is “more worthy” than Y. That wasn’t the intention.

My background is communications. A key part of that is the seemingly simple matter of using common terminology. GETTING simple terminology out of a complex topic, like blogging, is nigh on impossible.

So, you take the mix of ‘what is a blog’ and distill it down as far as possible. I still think you can categorise ANY blog as either PRO (for money) or PERSONAL (not for money).

You are right that blogs are just “websites with reverse-chronological dated posts”. Couldn’t agree more. So maybe I should have focussed on the author, the motivation behind the blog.

Do I think that one particular type of blog is “more worthy” than another? Define “worthy”. OK, I’m being argumentative… in short, no I don’t.

I read political blogs, web design blogs, blogs about people’s lives, blogs about people’s football teams, blogs about music, movies, books… etc etc.

They are all blogs. The motivation behind them may be different.

I THINK that’s the point I was trying to make (but I’m backtracking a bit).

The next question is WHY categorise at all?

Simple answer? Don’t. There is no need. It was just something I was thinking about (and that I thought might spark a few comments). I certainly wasn’t getting “all het up about it” or anything. Far too unhealthy an attitude if you ask me.

As mike (as usual) succinctly puts it “Live and let live. Peace and love.” Well said, that man, well said.

Blogging

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Blimey, it’s almost cold enough to freeze the testicles off a monkey made from a copper and zinc alloy!

Anyway, my fingers are just about warm enough to type so I have a question. How long should I wait for payment before re-listing an item on eBay?

The bidding ended 5 days ago, and I’ve contacted the buyer twice, once to say if they paid immediately they could have the item by the weekend, and again last night to enquire WHEN they would be paying… the second email was mainly to see if I get a response at all!

I didn’t include a ‘must be paid in x days’ note anywhere but in my limited experience with eBay I’ve never had anything take this long. Even cheques have appeared quicker.

What say you, oh wise denizens of the internet, should I re-list the item?

UPDATE: eBay’s Unpaid Item Process is what I’m after!

Life

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UPDATE: The idea for this post came from Lea Alcantara. I’ll summarise your comments over the weekend and maybe even let you know why I asked. Maybe.

Right, interaction time (stop groaning at the back).

For reasons that I can’t yet disclose (unless you’re willing to sign a non-disclosure agreement? No, didn’t think so) I need your help. I need to know how other people (that’d be you lot) perceive me. Simple.

This is open to everyone, whether friend or family, regular or virgin reader. Three adjectives are all I ask, although I suggest you think them up before you open the comments so you aren’t influenced by others.

I’ll collate the responses later, and I’ll be emailing “non-blog aware” people as well.

Feel free to comment more than once; three adjectives per comment on what you think when you think “Gordon McLean”.

Blogging Life Personal Musings

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The Go! Team

I’m definitely getting old as my ears are still lightly ringing after a fantastic gig last night.

Met up with Sudhesh for a drink beforehand, and Alex joined us in the queue. As we entered the first support act was on, didn’t catch the name. One guy, some samples and beats… he was from Bristol.. er… the rest was kinda forgettable.

The main support act was provided by Lady Sovereign who surprised me and others (I’d imagine) by turning up with a full band and delivery a largely rock-based set – I’d been expecting a grime sound, heavy on the MCs and mixing desks. Alas the sound mix wasn’t too great and you couldn’t really make her out but, on that evidence, I’ll get hold of her album and see if the hype is justified.

And so, after trying to find some other people we were supposed to meet there (it turns out they had been in the upstairs bar all along), the lights dimmed and the assorted members of The Go! Team made their way onstage.

I was really looking forward to the gig as they’ve got a great reputation for their live act and no wonder. Two sets of drums played in turns by three drummers, one bass, two guitars, harmonica, keyboard, xylophone and a few other instruments are all bashed, twanged, blown, and general assaulted by the 6 band members, ohhh and let’s not forget the 4 backing singers. Special mention should go to the lead singer, Ninja, who keeps the crowd going and oozes energy as she pogos and dances round the stage almost constantly.

Musically the best description I’ve heard was that they make “charlie brown music”, except it’s charlie brown with a little bit of attitude. Simply put it’s a cacophony of beats, instruments and samples over some lovely upbeat melodies. This is FUN music, evidence by the fact that, independently of each other, Alex and I both said that we couldn’t remember the last time we’d spent an entire gig grinning from ear to ear (with a little booty-shakin’ as well of course).

Anyway, it was a long time coming since I first mentioned them here, and I can thoroughly recommend you catch them if they are in your area. This band will be the darlings of the festival set next year, guaranteed.

Visit the Super 8 section of their site for a couple of tracks.

UPDATE: Alex posted his review at Diskant.

Media

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