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Monday, 31 July 2006

New York mega snackies

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LHR to JFK; iPod; Watch V; read book; long line at immigration; right index finder; left index finger; smile; pickup bag; airtrain to Hertz; Beige Toyota rental car; bottle of coke from vending machine; Van Wyke Expressway; find hotel; checkin; note large amount of snackies above the minibar; call Victor; meet in bar.

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Sunday, 30 July 2006

fringe trailer

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So here's the trailer for the Warhol production by bubbleandsqueek at the upcoming Edinburgh Fringe! They are ramping up the promotion for this now and have the web site, a myspace, a photogallery, a blog, the bongo club link and the promos at the John Lewis department store in Edinburgh.

Click here to see the video

I think the fame may be more than 15 minutes.

problematique black hole revelation

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I need to find a few minutes today to transfer Muse's new album to my iPod, for plane listening tomorrow when I pop over to New York for a few days. A decent travel soundtrack makes all the difference. Muse make big music and have quite a few classical sounding elements in their work. Three years since "Absolution", they seem to have been touring the USA and parts of Europe in the interval. The new CD's packaging is somewhat old school vinyl looking, and rather reminds me of a Floyd cover.

And here's that shiny guitar in full...
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Saturday, 29 July 2006

fringe countdown

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I'll be visiting the Edinburgh Fringe later in August and am being asked by various people to mention events taking place. The main dates are between 6 August and 28 August and the full info is available here. Some shows run for the full duration and others for just a few days; as usual, there will be a blend of well known people and new people starting out.
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Today I'm mentioning "Storm" - we need good satire and analysis of our esteemed leaders Bush and Blair. I think Steve Hughes will provide this. Its on my list of shows to see. At the centrally located Pleasance.

Christina asked me to mention the bubbleandsqueek Warhol production which I think she will be describing in any case. When they get the video trailer loaded I'll post a link.

tax

moneymachine.jpgEnlivened by the great skip clearing activities, this weekend will also see me complete my tax forms. In the UK, we have until September before the forms need to be ready - thats if we want the taxman to do the calculations.

The main challenge is finding all the little pieces of paper that have the numbers to be transferred to the return. I think I have found everything now so I don't have any more excuses.

back to save the universe

radiodread.jpgReggae is good listening on a hot summer day and this one made me smile. Here's Radiohead's "Airbag" done reggae style by Horace Andy.

Friday, 28 July 2006

skippy

skippy2.jpgA slight accumulation of household debris led to the hire of a skip. Some difficult questions, 'What type?', 'What size?' and so forth. I was thinking 'Yellow'. Great ceremony as it arrives on a noisy truck and then 3 hours to fill it with, er, Stuff. Sad bad thing is I need another one to finish the job.

There goes Saturday morning.

Thursday, 27 July 2006

Thursday Thirteen (V28)

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My last thirteen purchases

1) A train ticket from London Waterloo
2) A rather agreeable meal for two at the WInter Gardens, Marylebone
3) A taxi ride across London
4) A magazine about music
5) A strawberry smoothie
6) A cup of coffee on an aeroplane
7) A round of Guinness and other drinks
8) A small chocolate gift
9) A hotel room in Dublin
10) Two thin bicycle tyres
11) Three carrier bags of groceries
12) 65 litres of fuel
13) A bubble pack of gel finewriter pens

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Wednesday, 26 July 2006

WW: Today in Dublin

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Tuesday's Guinness in Dublin
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Overnight stop
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Full Irish breakfast with Paolo

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Tuesday, 25 July 2006

commercial road

towerhamlets.jpgLunchtime in Commercial Road, in the East End of London. This is an area well known for Indian shops and many wholesalers. Its between the City of London (global banks) and Canary Wharf (skyscraper corporates).

The only logical choice lunch was to meet at an Indian restaurant - we'd been in the City, Docklands and I came in by train. The choice of food was delicious and refreshing in the current hot London summer.

Tonight I'm in Dublin.

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Monday, 24 July 2006

piper at the gates of dawn

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Our Sunday musical interlude opened with the Pink Floyd set playing 'Shine on you crazy diamond' - referencing the recently departed founder member of Pink Floyd - Syd Barrett.

Its difficult now to contextualise the early psychedelia of Floyd with Interstellar Overdrive, Astronomy Domine and later 'Set the controls for the heart of the sun'. The Floyd's first album was named after Syd's favorite chapter from "Wind in the Willows". The much later "dark side of the moon" references the madness which dragged Syd away from the band.

Well you wore out your welcome
With random precision,
Rode on the steel breeze.
Come on you raver, you seer of visions,
Come on you painter, you piper, you prisoner, and shine!


as the song says.

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Sunday, 23 July 2006

shake it up, baby now

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This evening we wandered along to Wellington Country Park to see the Beatles, Pink Floyd and T-Rex. Well replicas of them anyway. From around six o'clock in the afternoon we found a pleasant spot of grass and chilled to firstly Pink Floyd, then Marc Bolan and finally by late evening we twisted and shouted to the Beatles. This was a well organised concert with slick changeovers between the acts and some very strong performances. The Pink Floyd numbers were great sunny afternoon music as we lazed upon the grass. Then T-Rex's songs got us cosmically rocking. Finally, the Beatles songs were played with great energy and with some good Beatle-like repartee.

A fun evening. So here's my enlargeable snaps of Paul, George and John. Ringo was hiding in the background, but should come out when I upload the video from my phone.
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Paul (playing right handed!)
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George with a weeping guitar
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John wanting some peace, shoo be doo wah

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Saturday, 22 July 2006

twin post

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I'm proud to say that for this weekend only, rashbre central is twinned with holyhoses. Twinned you say? Yes, we have decided to adopt the same process as a twin town and post and collect comments together on a single topic.

And the topic is...Donuts!

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So, the burning question...Are donuts better with a hole in the middle, or with jam? and what type of coating?
donuts.jpgPlease play along...
a) add your blog below
b) make a comment
c) visit our twin!

Show you have visited below!


UPDATE:
Well between holyhoses and rashbre central we seem to have around 40 comments and a superbly high quality list of esteemed visitors. If you've missed out on this, its not too late to comment and join this select band - go on - you know you want to!

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Thursday, 20 July 2006

topless

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This afternoon we'd decided to get a large group together run a treasure hunt followed by a pub quiz. We headed off towards a nearby stately home and in teams of four we tried to solve many difficult questions.

Some were about the gardens and some were about the inside of the house. Our team found some very helpful ladies who were visiting to properly study the plants and knew rather a lot of the answers to our complicated questions.
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Then, inside the house, a helpful guide took us to look at the areas where we would be most able to solve some more of the clues.

After this, we headed from the house to another nearby spot (an old long hall called the Refectory) and here we enjoyed refreshments and a supper along with the answers to our quiz. My team didn't win anything but it was still a lot of fun. And further fun was that I'd had to borrow the little convertible coupe you see in the picture.

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Tuesday, 18 July 2006

jam today

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Today - my M6 Motorway traffic jam - UK @ 35 degrees Centigrade

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Monday, 17 July 2006

pocket full of kryptonite

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I've just seen "Superman returns" which has some great visual moments and those rumble effects that make the whole cinema shake. However, I found the film dutiful rather than exhilarating.

In the Reeves movies there were some moments of crackle, like when Lois was killed and Superman had to mess with time to replay the scene and rescue her.

This film has its share of action moments and whizzy visuals, but somehow doesn't have the heart of some of the previous films. I suppose I was hoping for something new, but this is essentially a paraphrase of the first Superman movie, but somehow managing to capture less plotline in more elapsed time. Some of the camerawork is really quite stunning and technically accomplished, but a langorous edit, poor pacing and some wooden acting made me think at the end of the film that I'd rather watch the first Reeves movie again.

Sunday, 16 July 2006

cycling on a sunday afternoon

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I've just been out for a bicycle ride. Only a few miles, but beautiful sunshine and a chance to head off along some country lanes, finishing in Hartley Wintney, Hampshire.

There were a couple of adjustments to the bike along the way but nothing that the all-in-one bicycle tool couldn't handle.

And everywhere was quiet, with only a few cars, but when closer to houses it was more sounds of barbecues, plates being moved around and generally of people taking advantage of a lazy sunny Sunday.

the sun machine

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I've just watched the Glastonbury music festival documentary on the television. Glastonbury has been running with the occasional year off for 35 years!

Last year there were 300,000 people there and I featured the event in my early attempts at blogging!

Saturday, 15 July 2006

a scanner darkly

scanner.jpgAnother part of last week involved me taking some psychometric tests. You know the sort, answer a lot of seemingly unrelated questions and get classified as a certain type of person. I did a Jungian variant here at rashbre central once before with the Briggs Myers result ENFJ (just redid the test and still ENFJ!)

The one I did during the week was about core behaviour and adapted behaviour. To reduce stress its always best to operate as much as possible from core behaviour rather than adapted behaviour (pretending to be different). So don't sniff any Substance D or you might find your left and right cortexes going autonomous.

Be yourself.

Friday, 14 July 2006

a bit of a week

pub.jpgI havn't been blogging as much this week because I have been quite busy. Last weekend was Priddy, with around 40 bands and singers playing at a fine series of gigs in sunny Somerset. A relaxed weekend with a combination of friends, music, sunshine and cider.
Berystede.jpgThen back home on Sunday evening, a rapid pit stop and away to a hotel where I was hosting a gathering of people from around the world. We had that calm moment whilst we waited for the first people to arrive and the stories of their varied travels.
Uk-windsor-river-and-castle.jpgOne evening we had a great barbecue in the pleasant evening sunshine and on another day we hired coaches to travel to a nearby riverside restaurant where we could eat well whilst watching the sun set over Windsor Castle and the river Thames.
lebanonA friend in the restaurant was on his way back to his family in Lebanon. They normally live in Denmark. Next day he arrived at Beirut airport one hour before it was bombed. We have been texting as he finds his family and drives a rental car out of the country.
beers 02.jpgAn event like the one I describe has its share of late evenings and I'm afraid I was starting at 07:00 each morning with various breakfast sessions but finishing at around 02:00 or even 03:30 one memorable and somewhat riotous evening.

And then for the end of the week I've been with an American friend as we plan some new ideas before he comes to live in the UK. He has been figuring out schools and houses and this weekend plans to hire a British car for the first time.

And me, I shall be taking it easy this weekend.

Thursday, 13 July 2006

Thursday Thirteen Unboomed (V27)

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Tonight's TT is for internet star Amanda Congdon.

1) One of my favourite blogs has been Rocketboom
2) It consisted of a wall, a map and the lovely and slightly crazy Amanda
3) It fired itself into the internet firmament and through Amanda's strange attractor created huge readership with its three minute bursts of daily energy
4) A combination of excellent content filtering and whimsical presentation made it a daily internet peak as a new episode was published
5) It was breaking a mould and used strong personality to drive a new model
6) Amanda taught us all kinds of crazy things
7) Amanda normally hosted the show from the studio, but also reported directly from Internet seminars, conferences as well as some red carpet moments.
8) There was a famous "build your own Rocketboom" episode which provided editable content to build a show.
10) Sadly, Rocketboom then somehow imploded under its own forces of high acceleration. Here's Amanda's account of what happened with about 200 comments from friends and supporters.
11) And a special unboomed episode from Amanda explaining the ownership 49% and 51% situation.
12) And Amanda is making plans
13) And I'm sure something fabulous will happen.

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Wednesday, 12 July 2006

OTA Wordless Wednesday

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folk music marquee

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Tuesday, 11 July 2006

mayhem or mists?

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Additional mayhem provided from the more offbeat sounds of the Incontinentals, and simply fine singer songwriting from Scottish singer Jo Hamilton, taking our minds to Highland Scotland .
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Monday, 10 July 2006

folk songs are your friends

prisoldout.jpgPriddy Folk Festival originated from a Parent Teachers' Association. Now it is a good sized event with a very friendly vibe and a great selection of bands and singers, over a long weekend interspersed with cider, beer plenty of sunshine and a variety of tasty foods from around the world.

Everyone is friendly and the bands and singers happliy sit amongst the visitors between gigs and play and sing from the grassy areas around the venues. There's the larger tents with well-known names and the smaller club tent which is showcasing new singers. We wandered around happily between all of the areas and found almost exclusively accomplished, entertaining and tuneful singers and musicians.
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So here's a few samples...We started with KTB, singer, songwriter, performing with a small ensemble of accompanying guitarists and violin players. Tuned 'Close enough for folk' and entertaining.
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Then it was Ember, who I particularly wanted to see. The photos from the set were rather blurry, so see instead a moment captured on the grass the next day, with engaging and humourous troubadours Emily and Rebecca playing alongside KTB. Next we rushed to see the end of the Jim Moray set which included some sonically experimental moments. By co-incidence, we met Jim's sister and then Jim the next morning and had a good chat about life on the road, guitars and clever effects.
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The final act of the evening was Waterson and Carthy, who are proper folk royalty, playing a strong set and on this occasion complemented on accordian by Tim van Eyken. We enjoyed the set which ended around midnight; an appropriate time to stroll back through the starlit village.

Sunday, 9 July 2006

priddy bands

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You'll have to make do with these Priddy bands until I can get blogging again. The red one means access to the whole event and the green one is for the camp site. I've just removed them from my wrist now I'm back from a sun filled weekend of music and mirth and right now am swapping sandals for smart shoes as I go straight to a global thingy which starts tomorrow.

Thursday, 6 July 2006

Thursday Thirteen (V26)

priddy02.jpgThis week I'm preparing to visit the Priddy Folk festival, which starts tomorrow.

1) So tonight I had two different dinner invitations and had to give up both of them because of time
2) We did have some strawberries, cream and Pimms this afternoon, though
3) I have to find several items for tomorrow including my acoustic guitar
4) A harmonica may also be useful
5) A russian tank commander T shirt with a red star is always effective at a pop concert
6) Some sort of jacket with the same water repelling capability as a trash bin liner
7) Come to think of it, some bin liners are always good for improvisations
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8) Camping paraphernalia
9) One of those swiss knives with lots of different gadgets
10) A day back pack
11) A digital camera and loads of batteries
12) A book about the universe
13) Sandals and beads

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Wednesday, 5 July 2006

OTA Wordless Wednesday

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electricity

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Tuesday, 4 July 2006

Fourth of July

US-flag.jpgAs a Brit with a blog often visited from across the pond, it is an important decison whether to comment about the Fourth of July (I notice it is usually quoted in this European format rather than July 4th).

Fortunately, although the day celebrates the independence of the United States from the Kingdom of Britain, as proposed on the Seventh of June by Lee and voted on the Second of July, 1776 most sentiments about Independence Day are nowadays a celebration of all things American.

So, even if there was a bit of a misunderstanding about the tea, back in 1773, and that old taxation thing was a sore point (still is today for most, I expect), and we Brits wanted to put stamps on everything, then I can see the point that some Americans thought the whole thing was Intolerable.

Anyway, the place seems to get along mighty fine nowadays, so y'all have great day!

Monday, 3 July 2006

angry alien

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Sometimes I just don't have time to relive all those great moments from my favourite movies. Luckily, angry alien has sprung to my rescue with high speed version of many famous movies (such as alien, brokeback mountain, casablanca to name three from the alphabet) each lovingly told in 30 seconds by a cast of bunny rabbits.

A highly useful service.

Sunday, 2 July 2006

alison

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I couldn't delve far into my Sven research yesterday without remembering the work of Alison Jackson, who has a rather creative way with pixels.

This goes back at least to a Schweppes campaign using look-alikes a few years ago (there was Sven, Camilla, Cherie Blair and others) and most recently inspired a couple of UK-screened television mocumentaries about the young Tony Blair and the romps of Sven.

Alison gets published in the glossy weekend sections and I recommentd a look at her website for more subversive, amusing and edgy photographs. There's life with Bush, the Royals, various WAGs (Wives and Girlfriends if you don't read tabloid) and all manner of unexpected candid shot snapped up by every genre of UK newspaper and magazine. I believe Al Jazeera published some snaps in the past as genuine.

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