Saturday, August 06, 2011

A bit silly, but....

While in the gym the other day I saw something called Dippy or Doppy or Dopey or something-I think it does some sort of stuff with something called ndubz whatever that is. This Dippy thing was with something Tinchy or Tony or something and was in a video involving a couple of Ferraris skidding away and this pair stood in a Mediterranean port with wooly hats on.
For some reason I find this hilarious.

Friday, August 05, 2011

So how do you stay happy?

One of my earlier posts was about the late Ms Winehouse, and how despite not being a fan I wished her well and hoped that she would survive her train wreck. I knew nothing of her talents but hoped it would work out-you know the rest. I'm really sorry to hear what happened. God rest her.
And now the house of cards that is the world financial system is coming crashing down around our ears-not a great surprise either given the nature of much of it.
So where does this leave my cunning plan to celebrate the positive? And equally important how do we be grateful in the midst of good people losing jobs, homes and dignity?

Answers on a postcard.....

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Being grateful

I came across an idea the other week which I thought made a lot of sense. I've been looking at what is called the "law of attraction" which seems to postulate that if you are positive in your outlook, then good things will result. There's a lot of stuff associated with this (making money appear out of nowhere for example) that I don't buy into, but the idea of gratitude seems to me a really sensible one.
Like most kids I was always taught to say "thank you" to people. My wife and I do the same with our kids, and regard it as normal, as does everyone I can think of. There's nothing special to any of this, it's just a simple way to spread a bit of light, and sometimes has a deeper effect than we realise. But it can start to change your outlook on the world if you let it.
It seems to work like this. When you feel fed up, find something to be thankful for. When you feel happy, be grateful. If you want to make it a prayer, say thank you as a prayer. If you feel that people are delusional by praying to "sky fairies" or "spaghetti monsters" that is your chosen point of view (not mine as you may guess) and is your right and privilege. It doesn't in any way mean you can't be grateful - this is about having a positive effect on your own mindset.
The point is that the more gratitude and positivity we can spread around, the better the world gets.
Just a thought......
Oh, and thanks for reading!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Now for the good news

I went to a show at my son's school last night. It was great to see the kids working together and supporting each other. The show might not have been perfect but it was great fun to watch and a great, positive event.
The thing is perfection isn't going to happen, but doing things with a good heart often goes a long way. That's not to say "think nice thoughts and do what you like"-but it it is to say that we should all be fair to ourselves so that we can be fair to others as well.
The former England bowler Steve Harmison was interviewed in the Telegraph today, and he said something to the effect that whilst he enjoyed cricket he did view it as a job, and was glad he hadn't burnt himself out after 10 test matches-maybe he didn't do as well as he might, but that's life. In a world where everyone is meant to be ruthlessly dedicated to their form of wage-slavery to the exclusion of all else, it is a refreshing thought-your job has a beginning and an end, and the person you are is way more important.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

More on "Fly From Here"

I really am going to have to listen to this a whole lot more before I even attempt to review it. My quick conclusion is that it is well worth a listen, Geoff Downes is very competent but no Rick Wakeman. However he does obviously have a big and very positive influence on the music. I'll sit down soon and write a proper review, promise.
Is anybody sad to see the News of the World finally making its excuses and leaving? I'm always sorry to hear of people losing their livelihood, particularly if they've done nothing wrong, but it will soon be replaced by something equally bad. All that effort and hard work to produce something so negative. If you're reading this and know of something good or praiseworthy that's happened please add a comment and share it-let's try to spread some good and happiness throughout the world, life doesn't have to be misery!
Peace be with you.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Fly From Here

New Yes album released a few days ago. I'm a fan of Yes, increasingly so at the moment. They can ramble for sure, but there is something really positive and life-affirming about their best work. "Turn of the Century" is a good example of this-it might be drippy hippy (not a criticism as far as I'm concerned) but it brings something good out of what could be pure misery. And Jon Anderson's voice has a purity and clarity that is wonderful. Even if you can't work out what he's going on about a lot of the time, I love the way his voice is another instrument.
Fast-forward to 2011, Jon Anderson has left Yes, released The Living Tree with Rick Wakeman, and been replaced by Benoît David. The new album is out (though not in the US) and ready to be ripped to shreds by a devoted army of devotees who live Close to the Edge, next door to Mr Relayer who is always telling Tales from Topographic get my drift.
As I said, Yes music is about positivity. "Keys to Ascension" is an apt title-something that can contribute to a better life, whether you want to be ethereal about it or whether you want a more down to earth kind of experience. The essential message is often "be decent to others and see the good in them". Not an easy task by any means, maybe not always possible, but a good way to start improving your own life perhaps.
So what's the album like? Well, Benoît has a similar sounding voice to Jon Anderson, but it's by no means the same. And thankfully he doesn't really try. To start with you'd have to have Jon Anderson's lyrical whimsy, and that is something nobody else has. It is a very straight ahead kind of album, but first impressions are good. There is unsurprisingly a similarity to Asia, but not aggressively so. I'm only beginning my time with this recording, but I' finding it easier to get into than Magnification (must give that a spin tomorrow). And I might even be able to play some of the bass parts-Chris Squire does a lot less weaving in and out around the melody on this record.
So overall, it's a thumbs-up from Scropenoggin. I'm enjoying it a lot.
See you again soon!Search Music for fly from here yes

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Free schools

It's a clever title, a Free School.  Free from LEA interference (and resources), free from the need to send children home at the end of the day, free from holidays and all manner of other hindrances to progress.  And now they can allow parents to work every hour God sends, the childcare will be easily and cheaply available.  Then the children can all grow up into uniform subservient little worker drones.  And the lucky ones will be allowed out occasionally to get to know who their parents are.
And who will run all of these wonderful free schools?

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Kindle

Well, I resisted e-readers for ages.  I remember having discussions with friends way back in the 80's about the concept of reading on a computer-we all thought (even the computer genius in the group) that books couldn't be replaced.
Fast forward to 2011 and I have an Amazon Kindle ( a birthday gift). I've read 2 books in the last week, and I'm hooked.  It's easy to use, comfortable to read and neat to carry around.  I didn't think anything would replace books, but this certanly comes close for me.
I love having a variety of books in one place.

Amy Winehouse

I'm not really a fan of Amy. At least I don't really know as I've managed to avoid hearing any of her music. However I have managed to see the tragic footage of her performing, and it really is sad to watch. It's easy to say that she had it all and threw it away, but I guess most of us have been one bad decision away from a train wreck at some point. And then there's some sections of the media which glory in seeing people destroy themselves-she's on a hiding to nothing.
So for my part I hope she gets sorted out and produces some good music-there's plenty of people who would be happy for that to happen.
Until then she really needs to be left alone.

A few years ago (well actually quite a lot of years ago) Glenn Hughes was part of Deep Purple and in the middle of his own drug-induced train wreck. He's now part of Black Country Communion, who have just released their second album-what I've heard so far is evidence that you really can turn things around in a big way.