Week from Monday 3rd October 2011

It's OCTOBER, it's the middle of the night and it's 14 degrees Celsius (that's about 57 of your Fahrenheits!). Earlier this afternoon, it got up to 29 on the centigrade scale, or 84 degrees in old money. Later on it will be a comparatively cool 22C, or 71F to you! Poor autumnal little England doesn't quite know what's happening to it... But they've promised us that we might get to see a REAL LIVE CLOUD some time tomorrow!

My ELECTRIC FAN has been pulling such long hours (for this time of year) that the motor burned out over the weekend!

As suggested previously, those pre-existing "New Improved Austrians" drums and bass parts DID INDEED come in handy for another CC:PP piece - "REQUIEM FOR THE LOST (Round & Round Mix)" - which I posted to Calliope Central late last night.

"Comedy's a dead art-form... Now, tragedy - THAT'S funny!" (Bender, 'Futurama')

Having thoroughly enjoyed his masterpiece "THE MASTER & MARGARITA" as a result of a spacefriend's recommendation, I thought I'd give some more of MIKHAIL BULGAKOV's works a go. I picked up the slim volume "THE FATAL EGGS" from the library, an allegorical science fiction tale involving SECRET RAYS and mutant critters. This particular edition has an introduction by DORIS LESSING.

A bigger and FAR more powerful ELECTRIC FAN has been purchased from a charity shop in Gosport. But the weather is a lot cooler today anyway, what with that cloud cover making its scheduled appearance.

Before I could do anything today (Wednesday), I had to rush out and buy a new MONITOR for this here beasty. The old one went kablooey in the night! I've now fitted a nice new 19" widescreen Samsung, but it's taken some doing to get it anything like "OPTIMAL". Samsung's own software was dangerously unstable (BLUE SCREENS OF DEATH!!!), so I had download some better drivers and then do the tweaking via the ATI graphics card software instead. The Windoze fonts are still not as sharp as I would like, but we'll get there...

Week from Monday 10th October 2011

Ridiculously busy this week. I haven't had time for this nonsense... I'm loving this new monitor though, now that I've got it set up correctly...

DREAM DIARY... (Nice SCI-FI scenario, this one!) All the metallic "non-organic" material in a particular area (the area I was in, naturally!) periodically underwent some sort of "PHOTONIC CONTRACTION" - We experienced 'attacks'... first tremors, then metallic structures and objects would buckle. Each attack became more intense than the last, till eventually the objects collapsed in on themselves and disappeared altogether... Nearby, there was a military installation consisting of ancient reflective dishes ranged along a tropical beach... Was this the "TARGET"? Conspiracy theories abound - Was it an alien attack? Was it a military experiment gone wrong? People huddled together in groups (as they do)... I found myself sheltering in a house that used to be a shop in Gosport High Street... The worst part of the whole thing was that the "earworm" soundtrack was the wretched Elton John's "BENNIE AND THE JETS"... clearly, I have been subjected to that as piped muzak somewhere in the last couple of weeks...

Week from Monday 17th October 2011

After a week of semi-couped-upness, I just had to drag myself screaming to a CAR BOOT SALE this weekend! I got a brand new Novatec KEYBOARD & MOUSE for the laughable sum of 2! My elderly beige keybo' has been in need of replacement for quite a while now (it was probably the last remaining component of my original, home-assembled WINDOZE 98 peecee!)... plus it's nice to have a new one that matches the new monitor. The mouse can stay unopened in the 'spares' box for the time being (the great thing about optical meeces is that they don't wear out!).

I also found some very desirable "back catalogue" items: JANE BIRKIN's gorgeous "Arabesque" (an album which I adored when I first heard some of it in 2002, but which I never 'GOT AROUND TO' buying until now)... RUSH's "Power Windows" album, which will always be associated in MY head with one particular SNILTWEASEL-driven Vicarage jam session, when we clattered out the closing riff of "Mystic Rhythms" for over half an hour... HERBIE HANCOCK's 'Mwandishi'-period "CROSSINGS", an album that, I learned this week, Messrs WETTON & BRUFORD were particularly fond of, and which would flavour their funky soundcheck jams circa 1973...

And where did I learn this piece of trivia? The '40th ANNIVERSARY SERIES' 'definitive' edition of "Starless And Bible Black" has arrived, and it's right there in the sleevenotes! If pinned up against the wall, I would probably confess that this is my SECOND favourite KING CRIMSON release, right after "Larks' Tongues In Aspic". That one won't be out in its full BELLS & WHISTLES & EVERYTHING BUT THE KITCHEN SINK edition until next year, its REAL 40th anniversary.

Another quotable quote from "FUTURAMA"...
"I've only got a few more years to live. I don't want to spend them dead..."

Off to the DOCTOR this morning, for my bi-monthly check-up and stock-up...

Wednesday, and I took advantage of the continuing bright weather to go for a RAMBLE, partly to deliver a parcel to Portchester, but mainly BECAUSE IT'S THERE... I think the BRENT GEESE have arrived in the Harbour. I couldn't see them clearly, but I could certainly hear them honking away on the distant mud-flats.

Week from Monday 24th October 2011

This seems an appropriate time to go public with my remixes of JUDY DYBLE's "Grey October Day", a year after the fact. As the project came to naught in the end (bit of politics, bit of string), Judy has allowed me to post my versions on my profile, on the understanding that I plug the official single and direct everyone towards the iTUNES STORE to purchase the versions that don't have me mucking about on!

Another Sunday, a different CAR BOOT SALE... THEM'S GOOD WALKING! I came away for a trio of upgrades for some mouldy oldies in my collection (all CDs emblazoned with numbers that betray their origins in the collection of the Portsmouth Library Service):- 

RUSH's "Counterparts"... I'll admit it's not one of MY favourite Rush albums. I mean, they're ALL good, but some are a LOT gooder than others!

TODD RUNDGREN's "A Wizard, A True Star"... I'd previously bought this on an earlier CD edition. I was hugely disappointed, because it really didn't SOUND any better than the cassette! To be honest, there are so many overdubs and bounce-downs on the original tapes, not to mention some pretty extreme compression, that one shouldn't be too surprised. It was 1972 and he was on magic mushrooms. The mushy swooshy sound of "A.W.A.T.S." has always been 'A FEATURE'. It is still a classic, of course, whichever way you look at it, albeit something of a PERIOD PIECE now. (This particular "remaster" IS a definite improvement on the earlier one, by the way). 

THE BEES' "Free The Bees"... I've had all The Bees albums on my Odd-Pod for ages. As I've mentioned on previous occasions, I love this band precisely because they sound like ALL MY FAVOURITE MUSIC FROM BEFORE 1975 rolled into one. And as Homer Simpson pointed out, "Everyone knows rock achieved perfection in 1975...". Take a goodly dose of "Nuggets" garage band, a dash of English psych-cum-prog that might have come from somewhere in the vicinity of the University of Kent, plenty of that getting-it-together-in-the-country "Berkshire Poppies" vibe, some psychedelic soul la Shuggie Otis (or even Todd himself, complete with 'mushy swooshy sound')... I mean to say, WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

Another busy week of headbuzzing brainwork. All these styles are starting to cascade into one big sheety mess! In addition to the 'day job', I've been ADVISING and REASSURING my friends about the new my[_____] homepage that's been foisted on North America.

I've treated myself to a new all-purpose Toshiba DVD player, as the old Acoustic Solutions one was starting to get a bit erratic. So far, the wee beastie has passed all the usual tests (it played the most wretchedly scratched CD in my collection; it plays self-burned CD-Rs without a hiccup; it does a fine job as an MP3 player), and that's BEFORE I try out its video capabilities.

Week from Monday 31st October 2011

Had a tweak with the video settings of the petit new DISKBEASTIE and spent a nice Saturday afternoon watching "MANHATTAN" and a STAR WARS in "RHD" (Reasonably High Definition). I haven't QUITE got the colour balance comfortably set-up yet and the audio on movies doesn't seem to be as good as on CDs or even MP3s (both formats sound crisp and punchy and easy on the ear), but further tweakage will ensue, I dare say...

Most important of all, though... "STARLESS & BIBLE BLACK" sounds bloody marvellous on it.

This morning I'm taking care of some outgoing invoices, then I'm delving into the whys and wherefores of creating a Javascript PICTURE GALLERY for a website. But Javascript is not my strongpoint - it's a whole other language. It's rather like spending years to become reasonably fluent in French and German, only to be asked to write an article in Greek! And now that everyone appears to be using something called JQUERY, it's not even classical Greek, it's some strange dialect from one of the outer islands! But I've downloaded some examples from elsewhere and I'm beginning to recognise some logic to it...