FW: fwd: re: Fw: fw: RE: >>

May 30, 2006

You know that email that’s going round at the minute? You know the one I mean. The one with the “look out for bad drivers, they’re the ones with flags on their cars”.

Stop sending it to me. I’ve seen it. I’ve read it. I appreciate it. I saw it before you did, in fact. I wrote it. I carried it in my womb. I hatched it from an egg. It spawned from me when I got some water on me.

Yes, they’re fuckwits for having the flags, let’s just ignore them. How about that? Eh? EH?

Actually I’ve got a great wheeze. I’m going to order up a couple of million German flags and then go around the country, removing the England flags and replacing them with the German ones.

Who’s in?

ssh! ls-ten and let the geek speak forth. or c. or kylix.

May 29, 2006

Gotta love Linux as a desktop O/S.

I now have a Linux box that is controllable from WinXp – and vice versa. (especially now I’ve got Ubuntu to release the fucking root password… honestly, you can’t do anything in Linux without a root user, how dare they make me sudo every useful command!).

I just need it to admit the kernel source is installed somewhere and then I can begin to take over the world.

[Pic: This is impressive. Really.]

(to quote Ben) "Now that sounds like a story…"

May 27, 2006

In all, it was.

I stink, however the clever application of a clean shirt and trews may be helping… however I doubt it.

Got to work Friday morning at 10.

Missed the train I wanted to get.

I get on the DLR and head on off to Stratford.

Left Paul’s house, having had to shake him awake with a “You need to be at work by 8:30”. We leave his house at 8:05. He doesn’t make it to work on time.

Paul fell asleep in the back of the taxi. The driver was like “where do you want to stop?”… I had no idea and I had to physically pull Paul up out of his seat to agree that where we were was good enough.

Sat outside Baker St Station whilst Paul slept til he was a bit more sensible. We eventually got a taxi to take us back to A Road In The Docklands.

I was unable to find out from Paul his address in London for 3 hours, so I was unable to hail a cab.

A group of 10 of us went back to Sally’s flat tp drink champage and eat the world’s smallest “large” pizzas. I got to dance with Sal. She liked me. It would seem. I have a “good arse”. It would seem.

At the aftershow, I skillfully ignored: Billy Bragg, Stelios and many Radio 2 DJs. Including the Gambachini. And Alan Yentob. But I did speak to a man called Lewis who is rather important, it would seem. Didn’t stop me using sweary words in his presence though.

During the performance I had to go for a wee during the playing of “Graceland”. I guess I’d had too much beer…

[Pic: Steve Gadd on Drums, Paul Simon on acoustic, Vincent Nguini on rhythm. Mark Stewart is behind the head on the left.]

At the start of the performance, when it’s broadcast next Saturday, you may hear me yell “Come on!” in an over-the-top kind of way.

A quick, expensive taxi ride and we were in the venue by 7:55. No entry after 8pm.

We picked up the aftershow tickets from a ginger DJ’s producer, whilst the ginger one cowered in a restaurant. We’d been hunting them down since 7:15 when we were sat outside Liverpool St Station. We then had to leg it to Gt Portland St, go to R2, R1, a random pub, and then find this restaurant where Helen the producer (with whom the DJ is, er, “involved”) handed over an envelope.

Paul arrives and spends a lot of the time between 4pm and 7pm negotiating with various people for yet more tickets and aftershow party wristbands whilst we drink copious amounts of beer.

I meet my old IBM manager, Maf, for a quick lunchtime drink at 2:30pm. We don’t stop lunchtime until 6:45.

A review: Surprise

May 17, 2006

[Pic: Some poor kid gets the word “Surprise” tattooed across it’s face in the name of “art”]

Being a part-time Paul Simon fan, and having promised, in a previous life, a review of the Simon and Garfunkel concerts from back in 2004, I figure I should at least put podgy-sausage fingers to keyboard and expose the world to my opinions on something as lame as a new long-player by a 64-year-old New Yorker.

I will also expose you to ridiculously long sentences. Like the one above.

No-one could claim that any of Simon’s albums sound the same, and with Surprise he’s gone and surpassed – yes indeed, despite my previous concerns in entries passim – himself. Collaborating with Brian Eno (a man from round Ipswich way) has given this new album a sound which I never thought I’d experience. Paul Simon with some electronic big ambient beatz (although maybe that’s an oxymoron)? Gimme a break! But wait! Wait! It works goddammit, it fucking well works.

There is not a thing wrong with any of the new material on this album. Not one thing. The only weak link is the inclusion of Father and Daughter, a track which obviously just missed being on You’re the one and doesn’t fit the musical or overall narrative style of Surprise. For a guy as so obsessed with perfection from his work as Paul Simon, I find it a curious thing indeed. Still, the song is great. It just feels welded on in a “oh shite we’ve only got 40 minutes of material and really we need 45…” way.

The first three songs were co-written with “sonic landscape” artist Eno. And long may the collaboration last. All of them are, to be hackneyed in my so-called review, a surprise. When you know what’s coming, the layers of music, the rhythms, the revival of Rhymin’ Simon’s lyrical genius, there is so much to look forward to. Listen and experience the beauty of careful songcrafting at it’s finest.

Sure don’t feel like love starts off with an unmistakable Steve Gadd drum riff, and continues to give us a Paul Simon song which is filled, despite it’s apparent subject, with fun. Case in point is the “Yay!/Boo!” middle eight (Buz will correct me on the number of bars no doubt).

Wartime prayers. There will never be another Bridge over troubled water, especially not without Artie’s singing and the extra nigh-on thirty years. However this song is as close as you’ll get, and is one of the two most shiny examples of fabulousness this recording contains. And it’s got the Jesse Dixon Singers on it. You want more? Geez, I’ll get it fuckin’ diamond encrusted for you.

Beautiful would be a satire on the current trend of adopting kids from other countries, then. The protangonists having visited current “trendy” countries to build their own united nations of children.

I don’t believe. Just check it out. Get the words, listen.

Hmm. Methinks I should stop with the wine already. It’s not so much a review, more an entreaty for you to just buy the bloody album and enjoy it.

Another galaxy. Right, this song is the second piece of genius here and to my mind (and what a mind!) a companion piece to both Hearts and Bones and Graceland (as well as, I guess, Trailways Bus from the Capeman, but unless you’re a real fanboy, we’ll disregard it in this instance). Seriously, listen to all three and hear a story arc that spans from 1983 up to 2006. The production is blinding. Eno did a fine, fine job on this one.

Hear the bassline on Once upon a time there was an ocean as Simon considers that he was once “an ocean but now is a mountain range”. Nothing is different, but everything is changed. The track blends into That’s me with it’s melancholy and it’s life examination. It’s a two-for-one Paul Simon life examination at its best.

Hey, look, go get the album when it’s out in the UK on June 5th. I know I will (well I gotta have the US and the UK version haven’t I?). It’s here and it’s a shilling short of nine quid to you squire.

Didn’t win

May 17, 2006

Looks rather like I didn’t get tix to go to the exclusive Radio 2 Paul Simon gig. Which is rather a shame to be honest and I guess I’ll self-harm myself to sleep this evening – And it’s all Steve Wright’s fault (just so they know, you know, for the inquest an’ everything).

Jumping frog

May 16, 2006

Had some very excellent Sainsbury’s vegetarian Hot Dogs for tea. They would appear to be the safest way to eat hot dogs if you are the sort of person who worries about what exactly is in one of those things.

Utterly indestinguishable from the “real” thing.

Find them in the freezer section under “Genetically modified carrot and potato skin products”.

A Parade of Cuteness

May 16, 2006

The last few days have produced a long line (well, actually a short line) of pictures from my chums of their very lovely, very cutely children.

First, and foremost came Buz’s Boy. Asleep in his car seat getting ready to go home for the first time.
Then came a piccy of Eleanor stood at her bricks truck, in a pose not-too-dissimilar to one I struck about 33 years ago:

[Pic: a young boredofjam practices
his chosen profession of supermarket trolley management

Then Harry’s dad popped along a school photo of H and his class chums, big smiles all round.

Kids! Just when you think you hate ’em, three cute ones come along at once.



May 14, 2006

hello to the new reader.

I know that there is one, because I was talking to the new reader this evening.

And if you’re not sure it’s you, it is.

So sang Cliff Richard…

May 10, 2006

Congratulations to my erstwhile chum Buz and his wife, Mrs Buz!

For today Buz went through the agonising pain and hell of holding his wife’s hand/pacing up and down/butterflies in stomach whilst she calmly delivered their first baby at about 10:02 this very morning.

And what a beauty*!

A baby boy, 9lbs 13oz. Any doubts that this one isn’t anything to do with Buz can rest easy. At that size, he’s a cert to have the now famous Beeton DNA.

Mother and Baby doing well. Buz tired and shagged out after having to drive for 20 minutes to get to the hospital.

*Not seen him yet, so this could be a lie. I mean, you should see his dad. No oil painting is he. Oil slick, maybe…

Have now seen pics of the little tyke and rather thankfully he takes more after his mother than papa.
No name yet, so I have been calling him “Little Dennis” all night, after his grandad. Buz not happy.

Some things that happened today

May 9, 2006
  • Grandma got discharged from hospital following her hip replacement operation: Hurrah!
  • I didn’t nearly kill someone on the journey into work: Hurrah!
  • I listened to the Paul Simon album some more, I have ordered proper niceness from the States today as the UK doesn’t get a release until June 5th: Bah!
  • It turns out that the nasty skippiness on my cd is due to my ruddy CD/DVD writer: Bah!
  • The survey on my house came in the post today: Hurrah!
  • But my mortgage offer didn’t (despite my mortgage bloke saying it would): Bah!
  • However the tix for the Cambridge Folk Festival arrived today: Hurrah!
  • Kev managed to leave his wallet at work so I had to buy his weekly shop this lunchtime: Bah!
  • I found a caterpillar wandering out of my Tescos sandwich as I was eating it: Bah!
  • I ended up leaving work nigh on an hour late due to some idiot fucking Australian (it turns out that you don’t actually have to be intelligent to be a solicitor): Bah!