Week from Monday 6th December 2010

By the time I posted that, however, my[______] might have moved the goalposts again... Ah but no, I actually 'moved the goalposts' MYSELF this time. I've changed back AGAIN to FIREFOX (after only about five days of Chroming - fickle teenager that I am). I've discovered a plug-in for the Fox called "STYLISH". It enables those of us of a nerdy bent, with the appliance of a little bit o' Javascript, to block from view some of the REALLY annoying features of the my[______] homepage (or indeed any webpage that gets on your nerves!). In particular, I've now hidden that tedious "Discover" dropdown, the useless IM bar at the bottom of the screen and the animated my[______] logo, while the horrid black menu bar now scrolls with the page instead of staying there in yer face. All those rubbishy bits of pop trivia listed down the right-hand side of the page can also be banished. In short, in the space of about five minutes of typing a few lines of code, I've fixed for the better what my[______] themselves couldn't do in several months. Now if someone could suggest a way of filtering out all those "comments after" in the 'Stream' list, everything would be doozy. That still leaves my[______] to fix all the REAL bugs, of course - Yep, I still live in Portsmouth, Afghanistan. 

[NB: I found out about all this handy stuff via a FORUM posting by someone at "METAL ON METAL RECORDS" which, in turn, led to a blog by a German fellow called "PFEIFFER STYLEZ CUSTOMIZING(n/a)" - Thanks people!]

Winter is over. It's Autumn again. The rain has washed away all the snow now. It's as if it had never happened. Not that I've had time to look outside much, as I've been preoccupied with more UNCLE WILLY work. He's off to address some Belgians today (Monday), but I only started work on the Powerpoint this Saturday! Never mind, I think I might have my weekend now instead. It's a lovely, Wintery Spring morning in Autumn. Walkies!

There's a new bit of TXTSPK doing the rounds, "TL:DR", which means "TOO LONG: DIDN'T READ". It occurs to me that I've probably lost our Shelfy's (and anyone else's) attention within THESE pages weeks ago, what with all this 'POOTERY nerdytalk. He, along with many others, has all but abandoned HIS my[______] page out of frustration.

But this is how I occupy my time now. I don't have any music in me at the moment, so these are the things that keep my creative juices flowing. I spend the days solving 'pootery artproblems for other people and any spare time solving 'pootery artproblems for myself. All those folks who are leaving my[______] are merely THROWING THEIR TOYS OUT OF THE PRAM, because the profile update doesn't give them magical instant results. We only fear what we don't understand. SO LEARN. The only way to keep ahead of THE my[______] QUANDARY is to dive in and find workarounds. It's no good waiting for THEM to sort it for you. If THE my[______] STORY has shown us anything, it's that THAT ain't gonna happen any time soon.

THE CONTINUING STORY in my futile search for a reliable CD PLAYER without spending too much money... So, that MARANTZ device that I acquired on a whim, on balance was not such a bargain. Like the TECHNICS SL-PG370 that I paid a pound for, it is prone to tripping over specks of dust and scratches. But it also loses out to the TECHNICS in sonic performance. Even allowing for my FUNNY EARS, I can detect some deterioration of signal in one of the channels, a sure sign of a sickening pre-amp. A player of that calibre should NOT sound like that. So I've now taken it back to the shop under warranty, to get my cash back... AND another CD player to try out! This one is yet another TECHNICS (the '590 model this time). 

So far, touch wood (or maybe silicon), it looks and sounds promising. It's SONICALLY just as good as the other Technics (as far as I can tell anyway, funny ears and all that)...  plus, having tried it out with a couple of discs which I KNEW to be skippy on the rejected machines, it seems to be pretty STABLE too. The Ultimate Test... I have an second hand copy of CLANNAD's "Pastpresent", which looks for all the world as if it's been attacked with a brillo pad. If it'll play that, it'll play anything!

MOJO magazine has published a rather nice 148-page special edition to celebrate what would have been FRANK ZAPPA's 70th Birthday. Much better to remember him this way than via some of the piss-poor "tribute" bands that are doing the rounds at the moment... On the 21st of this month, I shall, no doubt, "Eat good chilli and listen to Johnny 'Guitar' Watson's 'Three Hours Past Midnight'" in memoriam.

Not for the first time, the BBC 6MUSIC website and onscreen listings are full of DUFF GEN. It was advertised that Gideon Coe would be 'featuring' the 1980 session by ROBERT FRIPP & THE LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN. I stayed up 'til midnight to hear it. It wasn't on. Pah! this wouldn't happen on Radio 3.

Week from Monday 13th December 2010

One of those 'Kubla Khan' moments... I spent a couple of hours of a Saturday morning, writing a 'blog of which I was incredibly proud, of extraordinary wit and filled with satirical barbs. Then it was LOST TO THE ETHER due a my[______] failure! Expletive Deleted! Rather than throw my toys out of the pram though, I just walked out and went on one of ME DAZE OUT, to get some freshish air. I hopped on a train heading West, to view the New Forest in all its Wintery glory. The ultimate destination was Bournemouth, but it is a disappointing place, if truth be told. The shopping centre is nothing special and is miles from the station. Considering it is a major STUDENT town, it is woefully short of charity shops, and its branch of HMV is very poor indeed. The open air market is very "municipal/corporate" (all specially-provided, neatly regimented wooden sheds). The town is brimful of night clubs and bars, but it doesn't have much going for it during the day. Never mind, it was the scenic train journey I went for! And the ponies and piggies and pheasies and buzzards...

Once back home again, I wrote the aforementioned 'blog all over again. Of course, I swear it is nowhere NEAR as good as the version I'd lost earlier!

I have signed up for FACEBOOK, only to deactivate the account almost immediately! I've just been dipping an exploratory toe into the murky waters, to see if it looks like THE RIGHT THING FOR ME, should my[______] finally go base over apex. But at first glance, I seriously doubt it. I definitely have major issues about using my real name and birth-date on a public profile. Besides, I can't stand crowds. No, I think, on balance, that SOUNDCLOUD would be more my sort of thing...

Sunday morning was bright and frosty, so I went for a walk to the CAR BOOT SALE. Nothing to report there, but it got me out of the house! After catching up with some of the week's telly, and doing my routine SECURITY UPDATES, I spent an hour 'PROFILE3.0'ing the "FUTURE OF ROCK & ROLL?" and "BLUE WAILS ON BLIT STREET" pages. I merely used a couple of the readymade templates available, but at least they no longer look like all the other freshly stranded ex-Profile1.0 pages, sitting there in their pale, naked embarrassment, unsure of what to do with themselves.

Calling all chums, you know who you are! If anyone else needs a hand with their my[______] layouts, drop me a line!

Off to downtown Gozzy for a couple of wee printjobs, and then I went round a few CHARITY SHOPS in search of some 'new' TROUSERS. I also came away with a couple of CDs of American twentieth-century classical music (an assortment of CONLON NANCARROW pieces on one and the complete solo piano works of LUKAS FOSS on the other, both from the NAXOS concern). So that was nice. This afternoon, I've been getting my act together over on SOUNDCLOUD - or 'ZAYNCLAYD', as it will no doubt become known here in Solent City - 'networking' with a few FOLLOWEES; formatting my biographical notes and adding a couple of hyperlinks; commenting on Darkening David's version of "BACH IS DEAD"; syncing the account with the my[______] stream; adding some favourites... It all feels so RIGHT! A thriving, friendly community of INDEPENDENT electronic weirdoes, without all the 'TOP NAMES' hijacking the site and boosting their egos in the name of big business.

Week from Monday 20th December 2010

Oh... I see it's been snowing again, then...

Week from Monday 27th December 2010

CHRISTMAS now, is it? I attempted to get my new GRAPHICS TABLET working, but it felt too much like 'work' at this moment in time... My telly treat of the day was Sylvain Chomet's film "BELLEVILLE RENDEZVOUS" - BEST ANIMATION EVERRRRR! you can stuff your Disneys and Pixars and Shreks and Toy Stories... followed by the Pythonian "JABBERWOCKY" and this year's "DOCTOR WHO" special. Dined on cheese and nibbly things.

The 25th was supposed to have been the day we all boycott my[______] and hit the delightful Rupert Murdoch where it hurts. I did my duty, but it doesn't look as if many other people bothered. Still, it will have no beneficial effect whatsoever on the future of my[______]. It won't harm him in the slightest, but it might do for us. This is, after all, one of the men who helped trample the PRINTING TRADE UNION movement underfoot, and who thinks nothing of shutting down TV stations if they do not meet his profit expectations. A true hero of Thatcherism. The words 'small', 'independent' or, indeed, 'public opinion' are not in his dictionary. Git.

BOXING DAY... catching up with last week's "LE SHOW". I thought the PETER & THE WOLF spoof went on a bit long... Last week, John Shaeffer's "New Sounds" show on WNYC aired an entire hour of ROBERT FRIPP in conversation, with excerpts from one of his performances at the World Financial Centre at the beginning of the month. So I 'caught up' with that as well. Lovely... Usual Sunday activities: doing the crosswords; doing my security updates; watching crap telly (and, let's face it, telly is PARTICULARLY crap at this time of year), a bit of Greek mythology, "The Goat Whistler" and "Agatha Christie's Parrot"; dipping into the forums and discussion groups on my[______]; the usual malarkey really...

BANG COLLAR DEMON DAY... cleaning up and defragging of hard drives... a couple of murder mysteries and those Oscar-winning penguins... another peep at the ongoing my[______] discussions...

And then there's that STRANGE SHAPELESS OTHERTIME BETWEEN THE HOLIDAZE... five weekdays when things are supposed to be "back to normal", but no one can be bothered. The smaller shops are still closed. The TV is full of the dregs of semi-seasonal fare that wasn't good enough even for the holidays themselves. There is a huge void left on my digibox by the good shows which have reached the end of their seasons. Everyone is too bloated to go out and the weather is a further deterrent... Time spent in front of the box watching MONTY PYTHON deeveedees, with occasional toedips into 'work'...

SOUNDCLOUD NEWS: Today, I put up another piece of spaciness from my PRE-DIGITAL YEARS (what? before I had fingers?); a newly edited version of the opus formerly and formally known as "ALGEBRA: LOST RELIGION OF THE SUMERIANS"... Not much activity from Shelfy since HE joined ZayndClayd. All he's done is change his name every so often. At the moment, he's known as the GIRAFFE'S TUMMY SHOWBAND. Which is nice.