Friday, October 31, 2008

Far too excitable...

I suspect that unlike many of those who have been very opinionated on the subject, I have actually listened to the Brand/Ross phone incident for myself before choosing to comment.

Did they go too far? Well yes in my opinion. It didn't offend me personally but I would have felt considerably different in Andrew Sachs' position.

Should it come as a surprise that these two characters didn't know where to draw the line? Not really. I usually find them both very funny as a rule and largely because their humour is so near the knuckle, but this was more like listening to a couple of schoolkids messing about on the phone while their parents are out of the house.

Are the current outcomes appropriate (resignations, suspensions, etc.)? Well I don't think that's for us to decide. I guess that is down to exactly how offended Andrew Sachs and Georgina Baillie are over the issue and certainly nothing to do with the millions of people jumping on the bandwagon crying for heads on platters.

Why is it headline news all over the country? I've absolutely no idea, there are far more important things going on in the world at large than the offensive antics of a couple of celebrities. Sometimes it seems to me that the media in this country is just a self perpetuating beast that thrives on the very drivel that it creates.

It has provoked some hysterical comment on internet forums though...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Is she or isn't she...

Fair enough, given my hairstyle I couldn't really give two hoots about hairspray but I've always held a soft spot for harmony where music is concerned.

My recent trawls through YouTube have uncovered a couple more great examples; maybe not as emotionally stirring as the Dixie Chick's truly stunning version of their national anthem I posted a while back but examples of great a capella music.

First off are the Kings Singers, who I seem to remember had a weekly guest spot on some comedy show or other, but I particularly remember them for their version of Blackbird on a Beatles TV tribute (this is clip is actually more recent). Oh and [Capital] Em - if you're reading this you may want to skip to the second one!

Until a couple of nights ago, I'd never even heard of The Real Group, but they do an amazing version of Dancing Queen and were lucky enough to be accompanied here by one of the original singers

Sorry - YouTube have deleted the original video, but you can find another here:

I know I'm seldom short of something or someone to complain about and think that maybe we could all do with a bit more harmony in our lives...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

They will rock you...

I've just got back this afternoon from a superb long weekend away with Little Sis & family. We usually enjoy our time with them but this was something a bit special as last night I went to the O2 with her other half to watch Queen and Paul Rodgers.

Firstly, I ought to say that the O2 is an excellent venue which also boasts some superb food venues to be tried whilst you're whiling away the hours between turning up as enthusiastic and early as we did and the doors opening about 6 hours later. We eventually settled for a couple of burgers from the Slug and Lettuce, which I highly recommend (especially on Mondays when food is half price and therefore, nearer to prices expected in Grimsby than London).

At 5:30, we were both surprised to receive a text from O2 telling us we had won a mobile text competition and had been upgraded to a VIP lounge. We verified this at the desk and it was correct. Well, to a point. I was already on the phone trying to text everyone I knew saying that we had been upgraded to better seats, with VIP passes and who knows what other perks, when I overheard the "actual" prize being explained to another winner. What we had actually won was access into a separate lounge to wait in more comfort before making our way to our original seats. Still with its own reasonably priced bar (by London standards), some O2 bank notes to flutter on the casino tables and an abundance of free chocolate dice and chips on offer, who was I to complain?

After another brief burger stop (from the huge selection of food counters available within the actual arena complex) we made our way to our seats on the 4th tier and although that sounds a mile away from the stage, we had an excellent view and the little distance there was didn't diminish our enthusiasm for cheering, clapping, shouting, singing and generally getting into the spirit of it all. Hand on heart, I think I would have preferred one of the standing tickets, but perhaps my ageing bones may have thought otherwise after a two and a half hour show.

The band themselves? The word awesome is severely overused in conversation these days but it is well deserved here as they all gave a truly outstanding performance both collectively as a group and individually with solo performances. They sang all of the old Queen favourites you could have asked for, liberally interspersed with tracks from their new album, a couple from the Paul Rodgers archive and not forgetting of course the obligatory guitar and drum solos.

I'll not spoil it for anyone who is planning to go and see them by giving too much else away, but if you're interested, Brian May has added the whole set list here to yesterday's post on his website and of course, YouTube is already crammed with video footage from the tour so far.

I really would recommend you go to see them if you're lucky enough to track down any available tickets but I understand that even the extended dates have practically sold out now. Not bad for a bunch of blokes with a collective age of nearly 350...

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Rise and shine...

Having spent the best part of the last week recovering from man-flu the last thing I really should have been doing is messing around outside in the cold and rain early this morning.

That said, I'm sure the last thing my neighbours wanted was to be woken by my garage alarm going off about 6:00am this morning following a power cut (not that it was the only one I hasten to add).

And it's not as though you can go back to sleep once your mind starts racing through all of the gizmos and gadgets that will need resetting, or worse still, how long to leave it before doing a mercy dash to save the contents of the fridge and freezer

Still at least I've done my bit for energy conservation by consuming absolutely no electricity whatsoever for at least an hour and a half this morning...

Friday, October 03, 2008

About last night...

This afternoon I feel the need to set the record straight about my previous post as I'm aware that most of my regular visitors look in over the weekend.

All too often I've read posts proclaiming the end of a blog which quite frankly appears to be little more than a lightly veiled complement fishing exercise by the author. Delcatto and Jeremy have already left some very kind comments, but I'd just like to clarify that this was never my intention! It was simply carrying on my tradition of blurting out whatever had been going through my mind at that particular time.

As long as I have anything [in the slightest bit] interesting to share, I will keep posting. As a certain Mr Mercury (almost) sang once, "The Blog Must Go On".

In fact, that reminds me that it's only a couple more weeks until I go to see Paul Rogers & Queen (well, Brian & Roger) at the O2 in London and on the Friday of the same week, I'm meeting up with Pete Frenzy who's visiting from the USA.

So there's at least another two posts in the making...

Thursday, October 02, 2008

So what's new...

When I first started this blog nearly four years ago, I had no idea it would still be going after all this time. I've certainly never managed to keep a diary this long.

One of the first principles I promised myself when I started this off is that I didn't want it just to become a catalogue of whines, but rather somewhere to share my thoughts and opinions on whatever happened to be going on in my life at the time. Hopefully, some of these tales would have proved entertaining, maybe even informative to a few of you out there.

If I'm going to be brutally honest, my lifestyle of late has become a little too predictable with nothing really worth writing about:

Work? Expectations are running ridiculously high with my having to cover five people's workload for far too long now (all free of charge) and there has been virtually nothing suitable new on the horizon. Needless to say my search continues.

Travel? I'm too busy in the UK office for any overseas jaunts and I think I've pretty much done the commuting stories of lousy driving along the M180 to death. Having just paid through the nose for a car service, I'm inclined to delay updating it now for a while so there's another fun-filled adventure that will have to wait.

Social Life? Sure, there have been a few nights out, still restricted to Fridays or Saturdays and on those nights probably still drinking more that I ought in one night, but again, that's hardly news. I also can't deny that as the global financial situation gets closer to home, it is having a distinct influence on where my money would be better spent.

Health? Well I've had a couple of days off work this week when what started out as a cold suddenly developed into the sweaty, shaky, sneezy, coughy, man-flu it always seems to. Beyond that, I can't grumble. Staying off the smokes has been an unexpected challenge of late, but I'm still hanging in there and the weight has stayed pretty static since my dramatic loss earlier in the year.

So I guess the big question is whether it is time to finally give up the blog? I hope not as I'd like to think there's a few original stories left to tell yet. Perhaps the aforementioned credit crunch will provide the basis for some interesting stories - hopefully nothing too dramatic!

Facebook is my latest preferred forum for more frequent (if less verbose) updates of what I'm up to (apologies, but you need to register with them to read it). Otherwise, please keep dropping by - who knows what blog-worthy adventures are around the corner. And of course, I'll always need to find an excuse to put together another one of my silly animations...