Tag Archives: grunge

You thought I was dead right?

Well not quite, although if North Korea have anything to say about that, I might be vaporised some time soon.

Firstly an apology.  In the 12 year history of this blog, I don’t think I have ever suffered a silence this long – almost two months !! So, as you might expect, I have plenty to rant about and as my connection is shit and I need to be quick, I need to type fast so don’t expect it in any kind of relevant order what so ever.

Skype – lets talk about them for a minute.  Couple of months ago, my Samsung auto updated overnight and gave me the all new Version 8 of Skype – what an abortion it turned out to be.  I also took the update on my iPhone to equal disappointment.  The android however, would let me roll back to V7 where it still comfortably sits until this day – making the android my extra special phone of choice again.

I would dearly like to hit the ‘New Skype’ team with a fully charged bolt of lightning – right up their ring holes.  They have turned what was a very unique and life saving application into some pre pubescent teenager dribble, forgetting that the majority of their user base is probably over the age of 30.  I keep checking in on the iTunes Store and also Google Play to see the hammering they are taking in the ratings but still they blindly plug on, forcing the shit that no-one wants on all of us.  What was once a 4*+ experience on the iTunes store has now dropped to just above 1*.

Of course, I have tried half a dozen other applications for communicating with friends and lovers but none of them do what Skype V7 does.  That got me thinking.  See those developers at New Skype must have thought ‘we need to do what everyone else is doing’ and that makes no sense.  If you have a product that is the same as 10 others , your market share is limited, people will choose which they use based on silly things, colour schemes, friends that use them etc.  If you have a product that is different and no-one else does anything to rival it – you have something that, I remember from my corporate days, is referred to as a USP or a unique selling point.  That alone will draw people in, away from those other 10 products in the market that don’t have your function. Sadly though, New Skype is giving its clients something they don’t want or didn’t ask for – a bit like ‘New Coke’ if you are old enough to remember that.  Sadly though, and unlike New Coke, I expect New Skype will not be withdrawn in favour of the old V7 masterpiece, even when customers leave in their hundreds of thousands to other platforms.

Either way, its a loss for the consumer – even more so when I asked Skype to refund me the credit that is on my Skype account and they said no.  For anyone like me who works away and likes to communicate long distance in relative simplicity – Skype was a godsend, now it is just a pile of shit.  All of this at a time where I was seriously considering a move away from apple completely and back to Microsoft – but now that’s on hold.  I hope I can eek out more life from my 7 year old mac.

The world is a changing place too, as I edge towards 50 I am feeling different.  I put some proper grunge on this morning, Soundgarden, no, I am not a fashionista that recently got into Soundgarden when their lead singer recently died – (quick divert here), why is it, that when someone dies, iTunes suddenly doubles the price of their music?  I can see it now, news breaks across the world and the iTunes admin staff go into overdrive to instantly hike up their prices, Chris Cornell was no exception, as were the Beastie Boys when Adam Yauch left us behind, even the mighty Bee Gees get the same treatment – it really pisses me off, these big fat corporations getting even bigger and fatter from other people’s misery.

I just mentioned to my second engineer, how about some real grunge?  I put on Screaming Life and jokingly said ‘this is probably older than you’ – turns out , it was. After the whole album was gone, I turned to a little bit of Green Day just to spice things up a bit.  then it hit me – these fuckers on here probably don’t even know Green Day, FFS.

The biggest frustration I have with the youngsters on board is their lack of caring and respect for the very vessel that keeps them safe and alive.  They crash around, bashing and slamming everything, leaving every electrical device turned on with no thought for their actions.  I have just had a frantic call from the chef about his freezers.  From the sound of his radio call, you would think his freezer was on fire when in fact all that had happened was he had shut something in the door and damaged the door seal.  Now call me a twat if you will but if you can close a walk in fridge door with two steel plates in the way that shouldn’t be there and NOT EVEN NOTICE – you shouldn’t be working at sea.  Go and join a Facebook group or something, complain all you like but please, fuck off and leave me alone.

The other week, one of the stewardesses came to me with a door handle in her hand.  She had slammed the handle down with such force that the shaft that runs through the door from one handle to the other had sheared completely.  That’s a lot of force.  Even better, I don’t think they know that door handles can also be used to close doors gently so that you don’t wake other people up.

Now of late, I have had more of a need to communicate while at sea than I have in recent years.  I am of an age where we didn’t have full time internet connections.  Transatlantic sailing was done from Mallorca to Antigua without any contact with the rest of the world, 16 or 17 days at a time. Now, everyone feels so privileged that they should have it all the time.  This in turn causes the boss to have internet anguish as I like to call it.  His speeds get so slow that he can hardly function.  In fairness to him, if I was paying 4 grand a month for an internet service, I would want all the bandwidth too but it is making my life extraordinarily hard.  On a work level, my boat computer gets shut down from the outside world.  That can be a real drag.  When the boss is on, I have to be very selective about what work I do, most of it is hugely invasive so it has to wait.  While it waits, I normally catch up with suppliers, theories, paper work or just hunt out solutions for current problems.  Cut me off from the outside world and it really hurts.  Most of my shopping is done with suppliers in America who are 12-18 hours behind.  Cut me off at the wrong time of day for a couple of hours and I can lose a whole day – not funny.

Then of course, there is the want and need to communicate with the squeeze. I am not talking about full on video conferencing here but just the need to send or receive simple messages or photos and that gets frustrating. Two days it took to download a recent video message the squeeze sent – as it happens it was a very important clip, a tearful squeeze explaining and sharing how she struggles with my absence – and it took me two days to see it.  Looking at it from her side, she has bared her soul, sent me a message and I haven’t even bothered to respond – or so it seems.  Knowing how things can spiral out of control, i get frustrated at the inability to communicate.  Let me put it into perspective.  When I am finished here today, I will click on the menu area at the top of my screen. i will then wait for around 30 seconds for the menu to appear with the ‘sign out option’.  Now imagine trying to load a whole page?  It ain’t pretty.

So change will come, change will happen, change is good – and if you oppose change there is always Facebook where you can say you protested your bit by joining a Facebook action group where once you have clicked ‘join’ no further action is taken.

So, change is good, unless you are the New Skype Team, in which case your product change was shit but nowhere near as shit as receiving your p45 when Bill Gates sees all the reviews people have left you.

 

Anyway – I want to leave you with a little grunge.  Not my all time fave track but one you are more likely to recognise.  As it happens, it’s not too bad either.  This song deserves your attention so stop what you are doing and take a moment to enjoy it.  Put your headphones in, turn up your speakers, lean back in your chair  – just take a moment.  Grunge is not dead – long live grunge

 


Heimatliebe

Firstly, and most excitedly, my new FHRITP T-shirt has arrived – I look forward to posting a selfie in it soon.

Secondly, I got told off tonight at MMA for apparently hitting too hard while sparring. Now, don’t think I am getting all Adolf Hitler or to a lesser degree, Mel Gibson on you but there is this old Jewish guy that I sometimes spa with.  Now he hits quite hard for an old fella.  I normally let the first one go, then he gets me with the next one and then the third one comes in.  Now, three hard ones in a row in my book is a request to play harder.  We can all misjudge one, maybe stumble on the second and add a bit of power but three is an open invite.  So after taking the third one in the face, I gave him a bit of a twat around his ear, rocked him on his feet after which he stops, holds his head (presumably counting the tweety birds that are circling it) and asks for a rest, telling me I hit too hard.  Straight off again he gives me a couple of good ones so I give him another tweety bird up the side of the face and stop the fucker in his tracks. Now me, I just want to play fair but someone always wants to up the ante.

Thirdly – I want to tell you about my 16km (10 mile) circuit I have been running.  For those of you that are not on runkeeper, let me tell you all about it.  5 days ago, I took just over 3 minutes out of my 16k time.  While writing about it, I mentioned that there was more time to come out of that – I was sure. I wasn’t wrong.  Last night I pulled my Brooks Glycerin shoes on, waiting until the top of the hour had passed so the draw bridge wouldn’t stop me , and started my run.  The first part is always painful, up and over the bridge and down towards the sea front, but once down on the flat, I can stretch my legs and really get a wiggle on.  I knew I was running harder than normal, my breathing was noticeably more intense.  It’s normal for me to drop my pace so that I am not even out of breath but last night was pretty full on, I wanted a couple of minutes out of the time.

My ear buds started slipping around, even filling with sweat from inside the ear until they short out and I have to remove them and blow the sweat out of them to get the sound back. Shirt off just over half distance and the evening is cooling – next target is Las Olas Boulevard and the bridge – once I am over the bridge, I consider myself on the homeward stretch – albeit still around 2.5 miles to go.

I hit my wall at around 8 miles, right next to the swimming pool and then, Machinehead by Bush comes on – the perfect uplifting track to keep me going – and keep going is what I do.  As I pushoff Seabreeze Avenue (or as Vanilla Ice would call it – A1A Detroit Avenue) onto SE 17th St, I spy a couple of chicks way up ahead of me – I thought I would never catch them – but catch them I did!

I passed them on the uphill side of 17th St Bridge and then once crested, I noticed another chica on the downhill side – could I pass her before the end of the bridge?  You bet I can – I nailed it, running like  a bank robber until I got back to the boat and stopped the clock.

So, on 4th September, I ran this route in 1h 34 minutes – September 19th I managed an impressive  1h 31 minutes, 3 minutes faster – last night, I managed it in 1h 26 minutes, another 5 minutes (and 20 seconds) off my best time.  I was happy but man alive was I tired.  I managed to get out of bed for the gym this morning but my rowing speed was massively down on normal.

All that said – I want to give a shout out to my OLDER SISTER who hasn’t posted anything on Runkeeper for some time. I would also like you all to consider the prospect of a Leamington Parkrun early in December – think about it, get a baby sitter, clear your work diaries and let’s do it.

Less than one month until I hit Boulder, Colorado

 

 


Smack my Bitch Up !

Ok, maybe I jumped the gun a little bit.  I went for a burn on my cycle tonight along ‘Ocean Drive’, one of my normal routes, in fact it is probably my only route here in Newport.  There was plenty of debris still strewn over the roads and it was clear to see that someone had spent a lot of time cleaning up, snow ploughing the sand off the road from the beaches, pulling boulders out of the way etc.  So maybe I have to admit the storm was a little tougher than I first thought.

Let that be said but tonight I blasted Purgatory Hill at 20mph!! Check me out.  I also double checked that with my GPS plotter and that told me I had in fact hit a respectable 22.5 mph momentarily before plunging off the other side to a very mediocre 36mph (still, quite scary in the dark). I am impressed, and of course, moving the goal posts once more – upward to 22mph.

I shall be in Antigua in December and it is here that I fully expect to smash my current downhill record of 44.6mph – the drop down from Shirley Heights is long and steep.  I know this morbid curiosity with speed and my mountain bike will inevitably end in tears but I just can’t help it.  Be thankful though.  Less than a decade ago I would have been trying to crack the double ton on a very very fast motorbike but either way I guess broken bones are broken bones.

So what stimulates you first thing in the morning? My alarm woke me at 05:30.  By 05:45 I was sitting on the rowing machine in the gym having pre programmed  my 40 minute schedule and was looking for some ‘uplifting’ tunes to see me through. I poo poo’d the workout euro pop that I normally opt for that I stole from Nic and Steve and instead went for a bit of Keith and Liam – I got the poison, I got the remedy and of course thoroughly thrashed about trying hard to improve my overall average time for 500 metres.  I was about 5 minutes from the finish when ‘breathe’ came up for its random turn – breathe the pressure, come play my game I’ll test yah, inhale inhale – you are the victim – and by christ was I panting hard by that point – the lyrics amused me.  I started to think about the youth of today and the shite music they have to endure, I feel sad for them, they missed out on greats like the Prodigy, the whole grunge era of Sound Garden, Alice in Chains, Nirvana.

By the time my thoughts had control of me, my pace had slipped – Oh bugger!

I would like to share with you though, a little video by The Prodigy – one of the best vids out there in my humble opinion, and this one, for me, is a tad better than Fatboy Slim’s Weapon of Choice or  Feeder’s Just a Day – but don’t take my word for it, have a look and listen

Smack my Bitch Up

I also had my second busiest day ever on the site yesterday, 320 hits in one day, not too shabby for my little old on line diary.  I credit that to my recent posts about the storm Sandy

Weird dreams?  I dreamt two nights ago that I was in a field with hundreds of other people while an assassin was preparing to take pot shots at us.  Suddenly I was whisked into a palacial mansion and the assassin was Oprah Winfrey and she wanted to get jiggy with it instead of shooting me. Now the worst thing about dreams is that I usually wake up at the most interesting point, the point where you really want to see the story continue and find out where it leads, but once you are awake, you are done for. I was just about to get my hands down the front of Oprah’s pants when the harp started playing.  The harp is my alarm tone on the phone – I was gutted – always wondered what Oprah’s muff was like.

Talking of dodgy looking women, I added more photos to the America 2012 section from the birthday party the other week, you know the one, where I was dressed as a bearded lady?

Pop on over and take a look


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