Tuesday 24 April 2012

Sometimes I Know What I'm Talking About

Whilst idly flicking through my vinyl collection looking for something to play, I stumbled upon The Quireboys first album ("A Bit Of What You Fancy").  This was released in 1990, around the same time many of my acquaintances had been playing the first Stone Roses album for what seemed like ever.

"I don't get it", said I, "will anyone still be listening to that in 20 years time?"

I put forward a considered and well argued case for the expected longevity of The Quireboys and The Dogs D'Amour, versus the likely disappearance of The Stone Roses (I think the argument was declared a draw).

And now, 20 years on I eagerly await the 20th Anniversary Edition of The Dogs D'Amour album "In The Dynamite Jet Saloon".

In a way, I was correct - The Stone Roses did disappear for 5 years, returning in 1994 with "Second Coming" (which of the two Stone Rose albums, I much prefer).

Were the Quireboys & The Dogs the future?
Probably not, but they still get regularly listened to round these parts

Dogs D'Amour - Sometimes

Quireboys - Mayfair

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Dreams Can Come True

Despite the barrage of TV programmes, films, books, newspaper articles etc advising us of the 1001 Things We Must Do Before We Die, there is more to life than an ongoing exercise of ticking boxes.
And despite the opening statement, I have just put a great big tick in the one box I never thought I would complete.

Since passing my driving test, my dream garage has consisted of:
  • Ford Granada MkI (as seen in The Sweeney (actually The Sweeney car was a Consul))
  • Ford Capri (as seen in Minder and The Professionals)
  • Lotus Esprit (as seen in The Spy Who Loved Me)
  • Triumph Stag (as seen on the driveway of my next door neighbour)
  • Mark 2 Jaguar (as seen in The Long Good Friday)

Without being specific, the one car marque that I've always wanted to own is a Jaguar.
The model is relatively unimportant, I just want to own a Jag.
And now I've got one.
And since taking delivery, I have been grinning like an imbecile - I still can't believe that I own a Jag.

If you're interested:
2005 X Type XS 2.0 Diesel
It a special edition version - it has 2 balaclavas in the glove box, and a sawn-off shotgun in the boot.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

Super Hero Qualifications

All Super Heroes have distinct abilities that separate them from normal mortals - hence the reason they are Super Heroes I suppose.

My Special Powers are:
  • Drink a pint of beer in 19 seconds
  • Eat a Jam Doughnut in 3 Bites
  • Ability to calculate Net Present Value
  • Understand the concept and application of binomial distribution
  • Rudimentary HTML
  • Memorised the following pointless trivia:
    * starting XI's for Aston Villa, Ipswich Town and Liverpool for the 1981/82 Season
    * the scorelines and starting line-ups for all FA Cup Finals from 1970 to 1990
    * the catalogue numbers of Iron Maiden albums
    * the complete track listing of all Stiff Little Fingers albums

Apparently, none of the above makes me a Super Hero.

And what would my alter egos name be?

Slightly Overweight Trivia Bloke

Tuesday 3 April 2012

A Luddites Salvation

I freely admit it - I am a Luddite
The Product Diffusion Curve shows the different stages of product adoption:

I am happy in my position in the final 16%

Technology I own:
  • Desktop Computer
Things I don't own (which everyone else seems to, and no-one believes I can survive without):
  • Mobile Phone
  • iPod
  • Laptop
  • iPad / other Tablet PC
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
In this same category, I would include streamed/downloaded music - theres just something about the physical product I prefer.
As a result of this, I have been no more than a cursory user of Spotify.  I don't doubt that it is indeed a revelation, having a virtually unlimited selection of tracks at your fingertips.  And in a market where physical product is on the verge of dying out, this must surely be a cornerstone of any future model for the business called music.

But now I find myself spending more time listening on Spotify and creating & sharing playlists - why now?

Well its a long story (forgive the self indulgence in what follows):

This Year marks 25 years since I started my apprenticeship
40 blokes aged 16/17 (and one girl) thrown together in a lecture hall, destined to spend the next 4 years (at least) in each others company.
And so we did the "Forming, Storming, Norming" thing that Management Theory tells us about.
Distinct groups of people collecting together over shared common ground (football, music, comedy etc).
Whilst it might sound like a flimsy basis for a long term friendship, Ozzy Osbourne and Monty Python proved to be the commonality between me and my (soon to be) best mate ("best mate" sounds like a childish statement, but I really can't think of another term)

Friendship continued right through the Apprenticeship and beyond.
Around 1992, I had what can only really be described as a mid-life crisis (if it was a mid-life crisis, then my life span is only 44!) - I went off and got married.  We remained in sporadic contact, meeting up for a chat/moan, going out for'Beer & Curry Nights', but as often happens, our lives drifted further apart.

Eventually, he moved to America and we completely lost touch, apart from the odd phone call.
Why did we lose touch?  Despite my job title being Planning Manager, its quite shocking how dis-organised I am in my personal life, and the e-mails and phone calls that I fully intended to send never happened.  And due to my refusal to sign-up to Facebook (on principle, but I can't remember what the principle is), there was no possibility of maintaining contact through that medium.

Well, thankfully, there are people in the world better at making phone calls than me, and my mate Skyped me just the other week ('Skyped' sounds like it should be followed by the phrase "Oo-Matron!")

So after a long chat about important stuff, and a healthy dose of inconsequential bollocks, we have re-established contact through the use of Spotify Playlists and supporting e-mails.

I've already sent and received a number of playlists, and have been introduced to some great stuff that seemed to have completely passed me by.

Top of the pile so far is 3 albums by Frank Turner

Frank Turner - Try This At Home

And to round off the self indulgence, this TV Theme (especially in its full length form) always seems to resonate.
By the way, I always thought I was Terry Collier.  Turns out I'm actually Bob Ferris.

Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads (TV Theme)