I might be a fan of your insolence

4 02 2013

3.6km

25minutes

232lb

These three numbers need to change.

I signed up for the Vancouver Sun Run in April the other day. It’s 10km. The only time I’ve ever run 10km was… well, LAST Sun Run. I have walked 80km non-stop (well apart from pee breaks, but I hope you’ll let me off for those), but that was a few years ago when I was a bit younger and a lot lighter. Actually no – a lot younger and a bit lighter.

I bought myself a fancy running jacket at Christmas and this was only its second airing. I’ve not been running in about 6 weeks, so I was actually quite please I managed to run my usual route without stopping. It’s a slightly modified Canadian suburban block, so I reckoned it was about 4km, but Google maps tells me it’s only 3.6km, so who am I to argue? As we get nearer to April I suppose I should move to longer routes, but I feel no particular need to do another 10km, until the race itself.

The 25 minutes can come down a bit though. Once I get back into my swing, it should be around 22, I reckon. Tonight I was pleased simply for finishing without having to stop or walk.

The 232lb? Yeah – not sure where that came from. I’d like to be around 200lb really – despite not seeing that since before I had kids (they do say it’s hard to regain your figure afterwards. :) ).

I hovered around 215lb for long enough, but post Christmas I seem to have been pogging out a bit. Anyway, in the spirit of disclosure keeping us honest, I figured that if I publicly announce my weight/times you lovely lot will cajole and embarrass me into altering the numbers accordingly. The first up, the other two down. Deal?

You may recall my offspring bought me some lovely earbuds for Chrimbo. They’re a great sound, but the silicone inserts kept falling out of my narrow ears, so I replaced them with the manky old neoprene ones from my broken earbuds. Perfect. Not a hint of slip for the whole run, and excellent reproduction from the new electronics.

And the soundtrack for my exercise?

Not quite as gloomy as it might seem! My MP3 player takes a random sample of the 20,000+ tunes on my hard drive when I recharge it. Playing them alphabetically gives a suitably random performance of bands and styles. I just happen to have got into the D’s!





Lorenzo Duran and BAFTA awards

24 11 2012

Years ago I used to live in the UK and was an annual member of the National Trust. As a subscriber I got to visit all manner of Manor Houses (sorry – couldn’t help myself). Amongst them was Snowshill Manor – about which I wrote in an earlier post. (If you’re interested, I’ll leave that as an exercise in googling.)

One of the bewildering collections there was a small group of scrimshaw carvings by sailors and Napoleonic prisoners. In bone and ivory. Also some very fine oriental cricket cages. All were examples of very fine handiwork.

Good ol’ StumbleUpon led me to this page today. A similar level of detail… but on leaves!!

Lorenzo Duran – Designaside.com (It’s in Italian, but most browsers will translate it for you if you feel the need).

On a very tenuously connected thread…

When I was a Scout Leader in the UK, one of my young charges went by the name of Diarmid Scrimshaw. Still does actually – why change such a great name? It’s pronounced “Dermott” BTW, in case you were wondering. (I won’t share here what his rather cruel nickname at the time was – boys will be boys!) He was a bit smarter than the average, and I took a shine to him because he was a little bit out of phase with the rather bland world around him in Stony Stratford.

He used to ride a unicycle, just as a random example. To and from Scout meetings. While juggling live cats and chainsaws. OK, not actually, but the unicycle was real enough. I vaguely recall he was a dab hand with cards tricks too, and even more vaguely recall fire eating, but that might just be a false memory. A born performer, nevertheless.

I once bumped into him in a bar at the local cinema complex (he was still very much under drinking age) and he was dressed something like the Blues Brothers. It turned out he was there to play trombone with a band going by the name of The Blues Collective. I have a CD of their’s… not bad at all (“Hot Hits – Volume 1″… not at all pretentious!). Not unlike the sound of the band in The Commitments actually. Plainly this young man would go far. Here’s the opening track “Syrup” about a French prostitute.

Turns out he did go far after all. He just won a BAFTA award as the producer of “The Tyrannosaur“!! Read his interview here.

He just went up even further in my esteem as I learn on IMDB that he produced the Arctic Monkeys at the Apollo!

Diarmid Scrimshaw: now appearing on TWO wheels!

Diarmid on the right with Paddy Considine





What goes around, comes around

1 05 2012

So the other day, a very dear (well, at least “reasonably expensive”) friend sent me a link to an incredibly gifted young lady going by the name of Kawehi.

It was the first time I’d seen this technique of creating a loop and building up layers of sound as a backing track to the subsequent vocal. Plainly it’s a well established technique… I’m just old and slow to the party.

Anyway, last night – as regular readers will recall – I went to see Snow Patrol at the Orpheum in Vancouver. Excellent show. The opening act was a young chap by the name of Ed Sheeren. Now he is a very talented young lad indeed. And not only because he is from Halifax (the one in Yorkshire, not the one in Nova Scotia).

And guess what! He also used a similar device to set up loops of backing music, all live, on stage. All he used was his voice and an acoustic guitar (on which he broke strings on two occasions in his 30 minute set, he played with such passion!) With the looping tracks building up, he filled the Orpheum with a wall of sound- beats, rythm and melodies. Amazing to experience.

Wikipedia: Ed Sheeren

Not much to say about the Snow Patrol show really, except “you had to be there”! I only had my humble BlackBerry to take some low light snaps, so I’m afraid they are all I can share. There was some older Snow Patrol songs I wasn’t familiar with, but my well documented favourites of “Lifening”, “This isn’t everything you are” and “In the end, there’s nothing more to life than love is there?” from the current album Fallen Empires were definitely among the most well rendered of the evening.





David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust gets a plaque on Heddon Street in London – Telegraph

27 03 2012

David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust gets a plaque on Heddon Street in London - Telegraph

David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust gets a plaque on Heddon Street in London – Telegraph.

Wow… 40 years! I’m really feeling old now… :(





OK Go do it again!

12 03 2012

OK Go must have a brilliant time thinking out their videos – Genius!

Here’s Needing/Getting:

And “the making of” is almost as good!





“Love, baby, love… that’s the secret!” – Louis Armstrong

12 02 2012

I was at a fund-raiser for Scouts last night. One of those things that just have to be done…

Not often I feel young these days, but I probably had a good 10 years to go before I was at the average age present. That of course meant the music was a little “mature” for my tastes (not much chance of “Arctic Monkeys” or even “Coldplay”), and I got itchy to leave as soon as the dancing (which you’ll recall is purely a spectator event for me) began. I was however returned to momentary calmness when Louis Armstrong came on the playlist. He had such a unique voice, and a kindly manner.

Wikipedia: Louis Armstrong

Wikipedia: Louis Armstrong

This song was first released in 1968, and written as a positive antidote to the American mood around the Vietnam War (allegedly.) Tony Bennett turned it down and it was offered to Satchmo. Good move!

This YouTube version has a spoken introduction by Armstrong, using his other nickname of “Pops”.

Have a warmer, snugglier day…

Writers: GEORGE DAVID WEISS, GEORGE DOUGLAS, BOB THIELE 

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do
They’re really saying I love you.

I hear babies crying, I watch them grow
They’ll learn much more than I’ll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
Yes I think to myself what a wonderful world





Mother Mother

18 12 2011

Tick tock… can’t wait. Only 12 more days to go until I get to see Mother Mother live. My style councillor (who conveniently shares half my DNA and a large portion of my music tastes) put me on to them about a year ago with their song Arms Tonite from their O My Heart album. Quirky doesn’t come close. Turned out they were Vancouver based. Then turned out they’re actually from Quadra Island. (Could explain the poor spelling, I suppose.)

New album (Eureka) is awesome with Baby Don’t Dance and The Stand (below) standing out (no pun intended).

I especially love The Stand because of the senses being enumerated. Just sayin’…

(Oh… I forgot about handfuls!)

They’ve got three albums under their belt now, and I’m sure they’ll stay a while longer.

They’ve even got a free download of a Chrimbo tune on their web site.








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