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Phone Anger .. June 30, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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I consider myself top be relatively of the moment in terms of technology, I am certainly not an early adopter (I get burnt with Mini Disc), but usually keen to get in before the masses. Mobile Phones are however one the areas of technology that pass me by .. I want a phone that looks good, is easy to use, not too heavy and can make phone calls ..

These days the focus seems to be well away from all of that, aside from the looks .. I don’t want a camera that is inferior to the camera that I own, I don’t want an MP3 player that is smaller and the wrong format to my iPod & I don’t ever intend to make grainy videos on my phone .. just let me make phone calls without having to weave round a bunch of menus that I never want to see..

This may all have been formed by working for a communications company and having free mobile calls as a perk of the job, but I do wish phone producers would wait until they have a camera/video to match that of a stand alone, an MP3 player to replace my ipod & a phone that makes calls easily before they throw all the useless gadgets on me .. 

Aside from that, life is one big happy smiley sunny day ..

Viva the Hamster Wheel .. June 30, 2006

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The blog stats throw up some unlikely events .. the best this week was a search that landed on these pages for “russian revolution hamsters” ..

It amuses the hell out of me that someone, somewhere, is doing a research project on the Marxist Leanings of some small furry fellas in the second decade of the previous Century..

Dead Birds .. June 28, 2006

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In my garden I have a Cherry Tree. It’s a real life working model that means we can get excited about the amount of fruit that it will deliver .. but .. about a couple of weeks before all the fruit is ripe, the damn birds are having a field day and stealing the booty .. gggrrrhhh

The sub-plot to this is that yesterday saw the third dead bird on the patio headline in the same amount of weeks .. I think they must eat the cherry, choke on the stone and keel over on the patio .. I would like to warn them, but haven’t devised the correct communication medium as yet – hanging dead maggot infested bird corpses from the branches could cause dislike from the neighbours .. 

The greatest dancer .. June 27, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Reviews.
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They are not just ripped, the garment that was once a pair of smart slacks, is now two pieces of flimsy fabric that best resemble quick release Velcro stripper pants ..

The weekend was good fun. Friday night was a quiet drink or two in Keo Garden, taking in the balmy evening air. A relatively mellow affair, just chatting, no hangover, no late night.

Saturday was ideal scooter weather, went for a long ride into town via the country roads, shopped for a couple of hours, bought myself a bow tie and then headed home to get ready for the evenings events..

The evening was a joint 40th Birthday Party. A black-tie occasion in a hotel in Essex. Pip had made the kindly offer to drive the distance enabling the rest of us to drink to our hearts content .. our hosts were also kind enough (overly kind) to provide a free bar, so it would have rude to decline such an offer.

Dressed up to the nines, tens and twelves, it was a big crowd in attendance. It was really good to see people making the effort. The birthday boy and girl, one a close friend the other a friend of a friend, were doing their utmost to meet greet and keep people amused .. not a difficult task when the bar is free and the DJ is playing chintz hits of the 80’s I have to say, but they did a grand job.

It was a great night for chatting/catching up with people that I rarely get to see, some of whom I’d like to see more, as well as giving and taking too much sarcasm to those that I do see on numerous occasions whose jokes just don’t get any better ..

There was a level of general high drunken feeling & the dance floor was full, pretty much from the off. Everyone seemed to be digging the Black Tie vibe. My defining moment came toward the end of the evening when they resorted to playing footy songs. I had just previously done a merry two step round the dance floor & was about to head outside to catch up on the chatter when I decided on one last leap around. I foolishly decided to choose the only person in the room that was/is 7ft 7in as a dance partner. I leaped, he leaped, my legs did that ballet type splits manoeuvre in full flight and the result would have rendered the judging public speechless .. if only my suit trousers hadn’t decided that doing the splits is not the done thing in a Dinner Jacket .. suffice to say, they had succumb to the laws of physics ..

The split in the back of trousers felt minor, and given that it was the end of the evening not insurmountable. Sure I had a queue of people lying on the floor in hysterics around me, digital cameras clicking frantically, but you get that in life sometimes ..

It wasn’t until the next day (after Michaela invited everyone back to hers and then fell asleep in the car, oh and then fell on top of the car getting out) when I woke in a haze, gathered my things together and spotted the damage. The rip was the full destruction of the seam, if my buttocks were not so pert (ahem) I could easily have fallen through the base of my trousers. How do I explain that to the seamstress – ‘oh it snagged on a chair’ ..

Still, you take chances in life that sometimes come off, sometimes don’t .. I seem to be able to pick the top moments for the ones that don’t. I suspect that if you google, ‘hot dancer type suave sophisticated dinner jacket good looking trouser nightmare’, you will get to see the results too ..

It’s over now ..

Sunday I decorated, watched football, hurrah, and then watched Munich .. at two and half hours long, it was twice the length I think it needed to be, but well put together. It also worked well in focusing in on the events after the hostage taking, which has been covered in full elsewhere. Not the most uplifting Sunday night movie, but given the recent news in the middle east, it seemed quite timely.

Rats can’t vomit .. June 26, 2006

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Apparently they are the only animals that can't .. if there was only one thing I learnt this weekend, that was it .. however .. there was something else I did learn .. more of that later ..

Good Guys don’t wear White .. June 23, 2006

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060614_icarta.jpgI might be heading for an Ektopian dream of a blog, but if you are looking for iPod companion, check this out … oh boy ..

Skating Mean, Skating Tough .. June 21, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts.
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Having watched Dogtown & the Z-Boys twice on Sky+ & listened to Minor Threat in the Gym yesterday (it was a good workout, but I was ever so slightly out of step), in my head I can skateboard like a rad mother, surely my time has come .. discuss ..

Please Sir .. June 21, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids.
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I hosted a few friends to watch the football last night and had a house over-run by salted snacks and pizza wrappers. It was very good fun and really nice to see everyone. Big screen football, warm summers evening & some close friends is a good way to spend the week. 

The kids stayed up in their newly acquired England shirts (thanks Auntie Jane) & were both very well behaved. JEly even provided a life-saving entrance fee of a jar of Peanut Butter which was most kind and extremely welcome.

I went to bed fairly late after staying up chatting and had one of those tear jerking, proud parent moments. I'm not sure if these become heightened after losing your own parents (or Dad in my case), but I often find myself questioning how my Parents saw me as a kid .. I digress .. Dylan awoke as I climbed the stairs and sat on the edge of his bed in a sleepy haze, he looked up and asked sheepishly if he could go to the toilet – he often asks that, as if it is a treat for good behaviour <bless>. I helped him on his way and as he came out of the bathroom he looked up, still squinting with sleep, lightly grinned and said 'love you dad, goodnight' and walked back to bed .. all simple everyday life, but I was sufficiently touched to pause for thought, I am also wise enough to know that you can blink & watch the years pass so quick that you forget that moments like that are what being a parent is all about.

I am very proud of my kids, as are most parents, I love spending time with them not just because I am their Dad, but they are growing up, their personalities are developing & they are great fun to be with. I have a poor memory for most things and aside from travelling daily with a camcorder need to ensure I don't forget stuff like that .. I somehow doubt I will.

Crap Trumps .. June 20, 2006

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trumpsWhilst clicking through links on Jason's web page, I spotted the most desirable toy that no one has ever bought me .. Top Trumps only crap ones .. perfect .. I can see it now, Corsa windscreen wiper blades are way faster than P Reg Astra's .. I want some & I'm sure my kids need some ..

Part Time Genre .. June 19, 2006

Posted by stagedive in Idle Thoughts, Kids, Music.
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I must have tried most of them .. perhaps not all, but after watching the excellent Rough Cut and Ready Dubbed, it reinforced with me the way we haveas a nation, absorbed scraps of every youth/musical genre and sub-genre of the late seventies and early eighties (as well as any borders that existed between them) and regurgitated them in the current Millennium .. there is little in the years since (excepting Madchester and Grunge) that have had such a effect on music and youth culture ..

We no longer have Youth Cults as such .. even rap and hip hop which is by supposed to be real rebellion is owned and loved predominantly by the white middle classes that are equally at home listening to the safety and banality of U2 and Travis. We don't need them these days cos' you can pick and mix the bits that you want, & unless you admit to liking Bono et al, you can usually justify your reasoning ..

It was once the case that you had to define yourself by either being a Skinhead, Mod, Rude Boy, Punk or Metaler, not just a musical choice, more a way of dressing and a way of life .. there were new genres being created every week and I can even remember at primary school a kid insisting he was a Mod in the morning and a punk in the after noon all because he had initially brushed his hair to the side and then spiked it up with soap and water at lunchtime.. it was that easy to jump ship!

If you didn't pick a gang, you didn't fit in .. you used to have the bravado of inter gang insults and fighting, but all in all it was largely harmless youth antics all brewed up against the state – there really was something to rebel against .. Skins became Mods, Mods became Rude Boys and eventually everyone (at least all the cool ones) became a Scooter Boy 😉

Perhaps that is more the point, whilst the strikes and unemployment of the 70's created the foil for the initial punk explosion, Thatcher, all the horrendous decision making and yuppie culture that she brought, actually created the environment for the complete mish mash that was post punk to really happen – everyone wanted to rebel & at last you didn't have to be a punk..

I seemed to have taken on board most of the genres too, maybe I was fighting with myself?! I bought into Punk before I hit my teens, likewise owned a Harrington and had a flat top, bought my Oi! albums, doc martens and fred perry's, shaved my head, I even briefly owned almost the full discography of Girlschool .. I don't think I would (or could) have classified myself as belonging to any one gang in particular as I was a little too young for a start, but also grew up in middle class suburbia where ones parents considered Thatcher was someone to shout at on the TV but wouldn't really feel the need to take strike action march on Town Hall .. my Father retired when I was 6 anyhow, so striking didn't really fill the political void in my household.

It is nostalgic thinking back, but in the period of about three years I was everything and nothing.. I think the turning point was around 13/14 when I and seemingly everyone else where I came from stopped bothering and settled to a point where genres became really blurred ..I/We just pretty much liked what we liked .. and the nation as a whole lept out from post punk ..

Present day hasn't really shifted from that marker point. There were a few musical casualties along the way that I would happily forget about, but youth cults that I dabbled with were generally great fun whilst they lasted .. the Two Tone skanking at the school disco immediately comes to mind .. and then we all grow up and chew on nostalgia until our kids rebel – I can't think what shape it will take if at all, but I hope for their sakes they enjoy the ride .. rebellion in that sense could be listening to U2 and spouting what a great being Bono is .. please please please don't let it be that ..