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Friday, 14 Nov 2014

It is my view that there is a deeply melancholic and emotionally ambivalent vein running through Nik Kershaw's songs.

Here is one that is - musically at least - a real relaxer; yet if you examine the lyrics the result is profound and convoluted. Happy and sad, content yet despairing, satisfied yet yearning, mundane but complex... All at the same time. Or to put it more succinctly: Wistful. Poignant. Yet Hopeful.

At least I think it is.

This song stirs me up. What does it do for you?

Already by Nik Kershaw on Spotify

Old YouTube link (defunct):-

Nik Kershaw - Already - Lyrics

There ain't no stopping this thing he's chasing
There ain't no stopping this runaway train he's on
He's wishing his wishes and missing his station
It's there one minute and the next
It's gone, gone, gone
Keeps on betting on winning this race
Don't see it looking him in his face

He's already there
He's already made it
He's already stolen the show
He just don't know

There ain't no stopping this rollercoaster
There ain't no jumping this merry-go-round she rides
You won't see this girl smelling these roses
You won't catch this girl showing this thorn she hides
A love bound mother and a dutiful wife
Well it's too much living and not enough life

She's already there
She's already made it
She's already stolen the show
She just don't know

And it'll never be right unless one of them sees
The proverbial wood from the proverbial trees

They're already there
They've already made it
They've already stolen the show
They just don't know

It's on the tip of my tongue
It's there and then it's gone
It's coming around again
It's just around this bend
It's over the horizon
It's right before my eyes
It's right beneath my feet, my feet

There ain't no stopping this thing we're chasing
There ain't no stopping this runaway train we're on

Tuesday, 11 Nov 2014

Do Microsoft want to succeed in the smartphone market? I think not.

There's an error code, reports of which are ubiquitous in web forums. Folks are unable to download and instal apps after upgrading from WP 8 to WP 8.1. The error code is 80073cf6, and it forms part of a loop of download despair, whereby a download gets so far ("finalising") then it hangs and there is a message suggesting you tap a link, after which you get the option to "try again". Rinse, lather, repeat.

This error has been reported for months on the various forums and I have found only goofy suggestions for a fix.

Some reports say that this is a problem just with Microsft apps, adding hilarity to the issue. In my case it's the Facebook app, practically the only app I use with any conviction. My phone has been draining the battery really fast of late. I though the battery was at its end of life. The man in the EE store said my Facebook app could be to blame and suggested I uninstall it for a day or two and compare the performance.

I'm not convinced much changed with the battery, so I decided to instal the Facebook app afresh. And I am locked out. Boom.

The Lumia phone is a Microsoft-badged device. The Windows Phone 8.1. is a Microsoft-badged OS. The Facebook app is a Microsoft badged app. Is it too much to expect them to would work together?

Sunday, 9 Nov 2014

I saw Pendragon in concert last night in the Smoke. They are a prog rock band that I used to listen to and support at live performances back in the 1980s. They are still rocking, 35 years after their inception. Amazing. And the show last night was a blast.

They played this song - which was new to me - and my mate, who's up to speed with their cannon, told me it's not a "politically correct" song. Indeed it is not, but it is appropriate at this time of Remembrance for our lads and lasses who died protecting our way of life in the years - and months - gone past.


Pendragon - This Green and Pleasant Land

Our country is cobbled lanes of London town
The valleys of Wales the Devon tides
Built on hard won freedom honour and pride

So it's crazy it seems
We've become helpless like babies again
Just waiting for someone or something
To bail us out at the slightest twinge of pain

My grandad Michael Barrett took shrapnel in the neck
Uncle Ken was a padre in Burma he returned a living wreck
Uncle John was a major and was stranded on the shoreline at Dunkirk

It's beyond my comprehension this kind of sacrifice
So many gave themselves up
And in the end so many would fall
It's not legal to say what I think anymore
Cos I don't believe in sharia law
But I can honestly say we've pissed it up the wall

Can we please stop all this madness before it's too late
No one takes responsibility and wants a free life on a plate
He can close the door switch off the light
Stick his head deep in the sand
The death throes of this green and pleasant land

Is this really where our passion goes?
Is this really where our energy flows?

I awoke on Christmas day
But Christmas is a word you can no longer say

Is this really where our passion goes?
Is this really where our energy flows?

The hospitals are just another business plan
Like justice and the law of the land
An old war hero dies of cold alone in his flat
While British Gas and their shareholders are getting richer getting fat

Take only what you need and be on your way
Is this really where our passion goes?
Take only what you need and be on your way
Is this really where our energy flows?
Take only what you need and be on your way

Everybody hears but nobody listens
Empathy oh empathy
The robot people with robot answers
Invasion of the bodysnatchers is here finally
10:58 Wootton Bassett every tuesday that plane goes right over my head
Cos I can't get the drugs for cancer of the kidney my life is in the hands of
Something called NICE how nice

Is this really where our passion goes?
Take only what you need and be on your way
Is this really where our energy flows?
Take only what you need and be on your way

Apparently it's Carl Sagan's birthday. He would have been 80 years old today.

Sagan was a prodigious producer of scientific papers but was also a novelist and communicator of science to the general public. He is possibly best remembered for television programme Cosmos, which I grew up on. Cosmos was, as the name suggests, about astronomy - but lots else too, including observations about anthropology and technology.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia page about Carl Sagan. It's worth looking up this significant contributor to our civilisation.

I'd wish him a happy birthday, but he's gone. So I'll say instead: So long Carl, and thanks for all the science.

Saturday, 8 Nov 2014

I have just been introduced top the four-string bass playing of Grant Stinnet via a Facebook group. I think it is worthy of a wider share.

It's easy to be impressed by the Andy McKees and Tony Levins (because they are terrific) but the fact that this is fella is playing just four bass strings and getting that sound is most impressive. Beacon