Sunday, 26 March 2017

Writing: Humour

Ya gotta laugh: it beats sobbing uncontrollably.
















References

my blog: Books / Writing
Various postings about books and writing including my own experiences with NaNoWriMo.

my blog: Book Review: On Writing by Stephen King - Dec 27/2010
Who on this planet doesn't know the name Stephen King? Born in 1947, this American author has written and published 49 novels including 5 nonfiction which have sold over 350 million copies. Of course, his fame has spread even further as a number of these books have been turned into successful films: Carrie, The Shining, It and Misery to name but a few. Consequently, when Mr. King penned a book about his experiences as a writer with his advice on the craft of writing, everyone took notice whether they were writers themselves or just fans of his work.

2017-03-26

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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Dr. Viossy: Ludwig van Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata - 3rd Movement



Uploaded on Aug 31, 2011 by Dr.Viossy
YouTube: Dr. Viossy: Ludwig van Beethoven - Moonlight Sonata - 3rd Movement
Dr.Viossy playing Ludwig van Beethoven's Sonata in C#m n° 14 "Moonlight" - 3rd movement. Arranged for electric guitars. Metal version of course!




References

YouTube channel: Dr.Viossy
Guitar Player for Michele Luppi (Whitesnake, Secret Sphere), Absynth Aura and solo artist. Special Tutor MMI - Modern Music Institute

Facebook: Dr.Viossy
Michele “Dr.Viossy” Vioni is renowned as an italian virtuoso guitarist both in Hard-Rock and Prog/Neoclassical Metal thanks to his famous renditions of some of the greatest Classical masterpieces. Michele started from an early age the study of classical and electric guitar. He is the guitar player for Michele Luppi (Whitesnake, Secret Sphere, MLB), Absynth Aura and solo artist. He released with Michele Luppi (“Strive”), Killing Touch (“One of a kind”) and Absynth Aura (“Unbreakable”). Michele is well known and appreciated for his amazing guitar arrangements of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Paganini’s 24th Caprice and Mozart’s Piano Sonata n°12.

Wikipedia: Shred guitar
Shred guitar or shredding is a virtuoso lead guitar solo playing style for the guitar, based on various fast playing techniques. Music critics have stated that shred guitar is associated with "sweep-picked arpeggios, diminished and harmonic scales, finger-tapping and whammy-bar abuse", while others contend that it is a fairly subjective cultural term used by guitarists and enthusiasts of guitar music.

Wikipedia: Neoclassical metal
Neoclassical metal is a subgenre of heavy metal that is heavily influenced by classical music and usually features very technical playing, consisting of elements borrowed from both classical and speed metal music. Deep Purple's Ritchie Blackmore pioneered the subgenre by merging classical melodies and blues rock.

2017-03-23

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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Wintergatan: Marble Machine



Published on Mar 1, 2016 by Wintergatan
YouTube: Wintergatan - Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles)
Marble Machine built and composed by Martin Molin

Wikipedia: Wintergatan
Wintergatan (Swedish pronunciation: [vɪntɛrˌɡɑːtan], The Milky Way) is a Swedish folktronica band from Göteborg. Martin Molin and Marcus Sjöberg were previously part of the former band Detektivbyrån. Their debut album Wintergatan was released in 2013.

Marble Machine
Between December 2014 and March 2016, the band uploaded several YouTube videos featuring Martin Molin documenting the construction of a music box that uses marbles to play instruments. The machine is powered by hand, and works by raising steel marbles through the machine into multiple feeder tubes, where they are then released from height via programmable release gates, falling and striking an instrument below. All the instruments are played by striking them and include a vibraphone, bass guitar, cymbal, and emulated kick drum, high hat and snare drum sounds using contact microphones. The music score is stored on two programmable wheels that utilise Lego Technic beams and stud connectors to trigger armatures to release the marbles. A final music video showing the machine in use was released in 2016. The video counts more than 40 million views on YouTube as of 15 March 2017.


Seven months later after Martin played the machine, the band made plans to make another upgraded machine, called the Marble Machine X, together with Karin and Olof Eneroth, Marius, and other engineers. Upon visiting the first machine, they found it broken. After taking some measurements of the machine, Martin announced the machine should be transferred to an museum at Holland. The band asked people for suggestions for the machine ideas to be posted on a Google Photos link.






References

Published on Mar 6, 2016 by Wintergatan
YouTube: How It Works - Part 1 (Wintergatan Marble Machine)

Published on Mar 6, 2016 by Wintergatan
YouTube: How It Works - Part 2 (Wintergatan Marble Machine)

official web site: Wintergatan

Wikipedia: Folktronica
Folktronica is a genre of music comprising various elements of folk music and electronica, often featuring samplings of acoustic instruments—especially stringed instruments—and incorporating hip hop or dance rhythms, although it varies based on influences and choice of sounds.

2017-03-19

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Sunday, 5 March 2017

Bruno Mars: That’s What I Like



I got a condo in Manhattan
Baby girl, what's happening?
You and your ass invited
So gon' and get to clappin'
Girl, pop it for a pimp
Pop, pop it for me
Turn around and drop it for a pimp
Drop, drop it for me
I'll rent a beach house in Miami
Wake up with no jammies
Lobster tail for dinner
Julio serve that scampi
You got it if you want it
Got, got it if you want it
Said you got it if you want it
Take my wallet if you want it now

Jump in the Cadillac
Girl, let's put some miles on it
Anything you want
Just to put a smile on it
You deserve it, baby, you deserve it all
And I'm gonna give it to you

Gold jewelry shining so bright
Strawberry champagne on ice
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Sex by the fire at night
Silk sheets and diamonds all white
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like

I'm talkin' trips to Puerto Rico
Say the word and we go
You can be my freaka
Girl, I'll be a fleeko, mamacita
I will never make a promise that I can't keep
I promise that your smile ain't gon' never leave
Shopping sprees in Paris
Everything 24 karats
Take a look in that mirror
Now tell me who's the fairest
Is it you? Is it you? Is it me? Is it me?
Say it's us, say it's us, and I'll agree, baby

Jump in the Cadillac
Girl, let's put some miles on it
Anything you want
Just to put a smile on you
You deserve it, baby, you deserve it all
And I'm gonna give it to you

Gold jewelry shining so bright
Strawberry champagne on ice
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Sex by the fire at night
Silk sheets and diamonds all white
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like

If you say you want a good time
Well here I am, baby, here I am, baby
Talk to me, talk to me, talk to me
Tell me what's on your mind
If you want it, girl come and get it
All this is here for you
Tell me, baby, tell me, tell me, baby
What you tryna do

Gold jewelry shining so bright
Strawberry champagne on ice
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Sex by the fire at night
Silk sheets and diamonds all white
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like
Lucky for you, that's what I like, that's what I like

References

Published on Mar 1, 2017 by Bruno Mars

Wikipedia: That's What I Like (Bruno Mars song)
"That's What I Like" is a song by American singer and songwriter Bruno Mars from his third studio album 24K Magic (2016). The song was released as the album's second single on January 30, 2017.

Wikipedia: Bruno Mars
Peter Gene Hernandez (born October 8, 1985), known professionally as Bruno Mars, is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, and choreographer. ... In 2014, Mars lent his vocals to Mark Ronson's "Uptown Funk". In 2016, he released his third studio album 24K Magic with the lead single of the same title released on October 7, 2016. To date, he has sold over 100 million singles and albums worldwide, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. Mars has landed six number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since his career launched in 2010, attaining his first five faster than any male artist since Elvis Presley.

official web site: Bruno Mars







2017-03-05

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Friday, 24 February 2017

Studio Smack: Paradise



Published on Dec 5, 2016 by The CGBros
YouTube: (PG-13) CGI Animation 4K "PARADISE" - by Studio Smack
PARADISE", a contemporary interpretation of The Garden of Earthly Delights painted by the early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch.

Studio Smack
In their latest work, the group cleared the original landscape of the middle panel of Bosch’s painting and reconstructed it into a hallucinatory 4K animation. The creatures that populate this indoor playground embody the excesses and desires of 21st-century Western civilization. Consumerism, selfishness, escapism, the lure of eroticism, vanity, and decadence. All characters are metaphors for our society where loners swarm their digital dream world. They are symbolic reflections of egos and an imagination of people as they see themselves...

These characters once precisely painted dream figures, are now digitally created 3D models. All of them have been given their own animation loop to wander through the landscape. By placing them altogether in this synthetic fresco, the picture is never the same. What the animation and Bosch’s triptych have in common is that you’ll hardly be able to take it all in, you can watch it for hours.

‘Paradise’ was commissioned by the MOTI Museum in The Netherlands for the exhibition New Delights, which is part of the Hieronymus Bosch 500-year anniversary. A gigantic video installation of this work is exhibited in the Museum until the 31st of December.



My blog: Hieronymus Bosch: The Garden of Earthly Delights - Jan 22/2015


Wikipedia: The Garden of Earthly Delights is the modern title given to a triptych painted by the Early Netherlandish master Hieronymus Bosch. It has been housed in the Museo del Prado in Madrid since 1939. Dating from between 1490 and 1510, when Bosch was between about 40 and 60 years old, it is his best-known and most ambitious complete work.


Deep Purple: album #3 (1969)

Wikipedia: Deep Purple (album)
Deep Purple, also referred to as Deep Purple III, is the third studio album by English rock band Deep Purple, released in 1969 on Harvest Records in the UK and on Tetragrammaton in the US.

Album Cover
Tetragrammaton issued the album in a stark gatefold sleeve, wrapped around with a segmented illustration from Hieronymus Bosch's painting "The Garden of Earthly Delights. The label ran into difficulty over the use of the Museo del Prado-owned painting, which was incorrectly perceived as being anti-religious; featuring "immoral scenes", in the US and thus rejected or poorly stocked by many record shops. The original painting is in colour although it appeared on the LP in monochrome due to a printing error for the original layout and the band opted to keep it that way.




my blog: Deep Purple: Chasing Shadows - Aug 20/2012



2017-02-24

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Sunday, 19 February 2017

Pet Shop Boys: Domino Dancing



(All day, all day)

I don't know why, I don't know how
I thought I loved you, but I'm not sure now
I've seen you look at strangers too many times
A love-you-once is of a, a different kind

Remember when we felt the sun
A love like paradise, how hot it burned
A threat of distant thunder, the sky was red
And when you walked, you always - turned every head

(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day) Domino dancing
(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day, domino dancing)

I thought that when we fought I was to blame
But now I know you play a different game
I've watched you dance with danger, still wanting more
Add another number to the score

(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day) Domino dancing
(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day, domino dancing)

When you look around you wonder
Do you play to win?
Or are you just a bad loser?

(All day, all day)
(All day, all day)

I don't know why, I don't know how
I thought I loved you but I'm not sure now
I hear the thunder crashing, the sky is dark
And now a storm is breaking within my heart

(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day) Domino dancing
(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day, domino dancing)

(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day) Domino dancing
(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day, domino dancing)

(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day) Domino dancing
(All day, all day) Watch them all fall down
(All day, all day)


References

Published on Feb 27, 2009 by parlophone

Wikipedia: Domino Dancing
"Domino Dancing" is a song recorded by the British synthpop duo Pet Shop Boys, released as the lead single from their 1988 album, Introspective. It reached number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.

Music video
The Domino Dancing music video was directed by Eric Watson and was director's sixth of the 11 collaborations he had with the band.
Bottman walks through Old San Juan with her bicycle.


The storyline is about a love triangle between two attractive young men who are fighting over one girl. Rolling Stone magazine calls the video "probably the most homoerotic pop video ever made", citing the slow-motion shots of the boys wrestling on the beach:
“As such, the video exemplified the mainstream exploitation of gay sex in the Eighties, most evident in Calvin Klein ads and feature films like Top Gun. Unfortunately, Domino Dancing was every bit as dishonest, titillating the straight world with images it could never acknowledge, then doubling the repression by keeping openly gay expression closeted.”
— Jim Farber, "Beyond the Big Hair – Video News and Notes", Rolling Stone magazine, 14–28 December 1989, page 235

The video was filmed in about four days in the old colonial district of San Juan, Puerto Rico in 1988. One of the locations that was featured in the music video is the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery. All the actors were Puerto Rican; the two boys were David Boira and Adalberto Martinez Mojica and the girl was Donna Bottman, who was an aspiring actress and model. All of them were cast by the Pet Shop Boys.

Domino Dancing (extended version) is a seven-minute dance song, combined with Lowe's synth melodies, Cuban brass and early hip hop beats.

Wikipedia: Pet Shop Boys
Pet Shop Boys are an English electronic pop duo, formed in London in 1981 and consisting of Neil Tennant (main vocals, keyboards, occasional guitar) and Chris Lowe (keyboards, occasional vocals).

Pet Shop Boys have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, and are listed as the most successful duo in UK music history by The Guinness Book of Records. Three-time Brit Award winners and six-time Grammy nominees, since 1985 they have achieved forty-two Top 30 singles and 22 Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart, including four UK number ones: "West End Girls" (also number one on the US Billboard Hot 100), "It's a Sin", an acclaimed cover of "Always on My Mind" and "Heart". Other hit songs include a cover of "Go West", "Opportunities (Let's Make Lots of Money)" (satire of Thatcherism) and "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" in a duet with Dusty Springfield.

At the 2009 Brit Awards in London, Pet Shop Boys received an award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. In 2016, Billboard magazine named Pet Shop Boys the No. 1 Billboard Dance duo/group over the 40 years since the chart's inception in 1976.[4]

2017-02-19

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Monday, 13 February 2017

Coldplay: Adventure Of A Lifetime



Turn your magic on
Umi she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
And we are legends every day
That's what she told me

Turn your magic on,
To me she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
Under this pressure, under this weight
We are diamonds

Now I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
And I feel my heart beating
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again

Said I can't go on,
Not in this way
I'm a dream that died by light of day
Gonna hold up half the sky and say
Only I own me

And I feel my heart beating
I feel my heart underneath my skin
Oh, I can feel my heart beating
'Cause you make me feel
Like I'm alive again
Alive again
Oh, you make me feel
Like I'm alive again

Turn your magic on,
Umi she'd say
Everything you want's a dream away
Under this pressure under this weight
We are diamonds taking shape
We are diamonds taking shape

If we've only got this life
This adventure, oh, then I
And if we've only got this life
You get me through

And if we've only got this life
In this adventure, oh, then I
Want to share it with you
With you
With you
Yeah I do
Woohoo
Woohoo
Woohoo


References

Published on Nov 29, 2015 by Coldplay Official

Wikipedia: Adventure of a Lifetime
"Adventure of a Lifetime" is a song by British rock band Coldplay. It was released on 6 November 2015 as the lead single from their seventh studio album, A Head Full of Dreams (2015).

Music video
The official music video was directed by the band's long-time collaborator, Mat Whitecross. It was released on 27 November 2015. The concept for the video was hatched after Coldplay frontman Chris Martin and British motion capture expert/actor Andy Serkis met on a plane and discussed ideas. It took about six months in the making of the music video.


Wikipedia: Clodplay
Coldplay are a British rock band formed in 1996 by lead vocalist and keyboardist Chris Martin and lead guitarist Jonny Buckland at University College London (UCL). After they formed under the name Pectoralz, Guy Berryman joined the group as bassist and they changed their name to Starfish. Will Champion joined as drummer and backing vocalist, completing the performing line-up. Creative Director Phil Harvey is often referred to as the official fifth member by the band. The band renamed themselves "Coldplay" in 1998, before recording and releasing three EPs: Safety in 1998, Brothers & Sisters as a single in 1999, and The Blue Room in the same year. The Blue Room was their first release on a major label, after signing to Parlophone.






2017-02-13

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Saturday, 28 January 2017

2017: Where I am and where I’m going

I haven’t blogged much in the past year. What could I possibly say about anything?

Blogging
I’m bored with blogging. There, I said it. I have no idea why I’m sitting here by myself typing out these words. Who cares? I could say I’ve run out of things to say, but it’s more like I’ve gotten bored with my own opinion. Who gives a rat’s ass what I think? Heck, I don’t care what I think.

I look around on social media and it’s all about stating your opinion: your thoughts on politics, your view of the world, your take on latest headline. I’m tired of listening to my opinion. I can’t do it anymore. Or maybe it’s more accurate to say I can’t do it right now. Who knows? Tomorrow, I could go off on a five-thousand-word rant.

Retirement
I turn sixty-five on October 20, 2017. In June of 2016, I turned in a letter announcing my retirement on July 14, 2017: this corresponds with the anniversary of my original hiring at the company. That’s it. It’s over. My career comes to an end and I supposedly go off to enjoy life, as though I haven’t been enjoying it while I work.

The response I’ve gotten when announcing this has been for the most part, “Congratulations.” Congratulations for what? I know people mean well, but what exactly have I achieved? What have I done to merit this expression of praise? I can’t help making the comparison with birthday greetings for old people. “Congratulations!” Yeah, congratulations on still being alive.

I stop working and that means the bi-weekly direct deposit in my bank account stops. That means I have to figure out life not just personally, but financially. Yes, there’s the question of what am I going to do with the rest of my life, but there’s also the question of how am I going to pay for the rest of my life. Congratulations on entering a phase of your life when you’re supposedly free to pursue whatever you want but end up with one more thing to worry about. This is also the part of your life when you get hit with a health issue and see your savings wiped out. Doesn’t that sound like fun? However, I will continue to smile good-naturedly at the next person telling me “congratulations” and leave the fretting for all that free time I’m going to have.

I owe my ex-wife a debt of gratitude
My ex-wife and I were together for sixteen years, thirteen years married. Our divorce was not amicable and we’ve had no contact since, six and a half years as of this writing.

A colleague at my office recounted to me their ski vacation in B.C. I’ve skied. When I met my wife, divorced with two teenage daughters, she had started skiing with them as a family outing. I joined the fun. In other words, I took up skiing because of her. If I had never met her, I doubt I would have ever learned to ski.

It occurred to me that I owe her a great deal. If it wasn’t for her, I never would have had many wonderful life experiences: vacations, trips, cruises, camping, cottages, being married and all the little things that go into making a home as a family.

Will we ever meet again – amicably I mean – and discuss the good ol’ days? Never say never, but right now, there’s nothing on the horizon. I figured I should at least jot this thought down: “Thank you. You enriched my life.”

I wrote a book
I published a book. Ta-da! I did it. I check off another item on my bucket list. Technically, I’m an author, however, I won’t be jetting off to my mansion in the south of France anytime soon. Right now, according to my sales reports, I’ve sold 257 Kindle copies, eight CreateSpace paperbacks and one IngramSpark paperback. That works out to about $1,300 in royalties. That, by the way, is with little or no marketing, other than me posting on Facebook and Twitter. I didn’t start this project knowing anything about writing and I continue in phase II not knowing anything about marketing. How far can you get not knowing anything? I’m going to find out.

Sometime, I should write a separate blog posting about the experience. It’s been an interesting journey undertaking something I’ve never done before in my life. I should share the steps of my project to give other potential authors some ideas of what to do or better yet, serve as a warning of what not to do. Ha, ha.

Bed Bugs
Holy Mother of God, this was not something I wanted to add to my list of life experiences. This started at the end of September 2016 and is still on-going, having involved so far four professional exterminators, four sprayings of my apartment, a sniffer dog, and countless washing and drying on hot settings plus vacuuming. I’ve had dozens of itchy bites on me, some that persist in being itchy weeks after the original bite. I’ve had an allergic reaction to one set to bites that’s turned into a mysterious rash. My doctor took a photo to get a professional opinion of a dermatologist and I am now going through a ten-day treatment of steroid cream.

Just before Christmas, I got frustrated and I threw my bed out. After spending three weeks of sleeping on the floor on an exercise mat in the living room — I was scared to go back to the bedroom — I’ve bought a camping cot and have been sleeping in the bedroom, but using something called the Climbup Interceptor under each leg of the cot. Supposedly, this contraption prevents bed bugs from crawling up the legs of the cot to get to me. If this works, I will eventually buy another bed, however I’ll be using this interceptor.

I know more about bed bugs than I ever wanted to. My first inclination is to call them insidious little bastards, but like the cockroach, they’re remarkably resilient organisms and I joke they could probably survive a nuclear blast.

Until I know with any certitude that my infestation is gone, I’m not going to buy another bed; I’m going to continue to “camp” in my bedroom. Every night before I go to bed, I take all my bedding and put it in the dryer on the hottest setting for an hour. At least when I slip between the sheets, I know there are no hidden bugs waiting to crawl over me to suck out my blood. Okay, after writing that vampire description, I’m going back to calling them insidious little bastards.

FYI: Bed bugs only feed on blood. Their presence is in no way associated with filth. They’re agnostic. They will infest a rich house just as well as a poor one, a clean one as well as a dirty one. According to my research, bed bugs almost disappeared in the 50s and 60s during the era of DDT. However, they’ve been making a comeback.

Like writing a book, this experience deserves its own blog posting. Heck, I could write a book just about this!

Politics
In 2011 and 2012, I went nuts writing about American politics. This time, I vowed I’d stay out of it. And I did. Sort of. I didn’t blog, but I posted to Facebook a zillion times. I got caught up in the back and forth with other people of linking and commenting on various articles about the campaign and election. I’m not sure I ever appreciated how divisive politics can be. And I did not appreciate how crazy the Republicans were in losing in 2008 and 2012 until I saw how crazy the Democrats are in losing in 2016.

Of course, Donald Trump is a most unusual character. Is he the most unusual president? Ever? I have no doubt the next four years are going to be tumultuous. This too merits a blog posting. Just one. I find debating politics to be exhausting and fruitless. I think I find it exhausting because it is fruitless. Once somebody says “I believe”, the debate is over. You don’t argue belief, you just believe. There is no debate, rationale, or argumentation. With belief, you’re accepting something as true without proof. I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower grows.

Donald Trump is about misdirection, the form of deception used by magicians. Donald Trump is also about gaslighting, a type of psychological abuse. While he is certainly wealthy, a larger than life character, I don’t know if his unorthodox approach to government will lead to the breaking of the ideological deadlock between Republicans and Democrats. While we praise or criticise the president, the leader is really the head of a group of people and therein lies the devil in the details. As with the butterfly theory, changes to policy can ripple throughout society and have larger and unintended consequences. I’m a strong proponent of the idea “If it was as easy as that, it would be done by now.” In other words, every politican gives us a slogan and gets us to rally behind them as the one true savior. Unfortunately, the situation is far more complicated than any of us including the politicans understand. For every person standing at the podium saying, “I have the right answer,” I would counter with how many others have said the same thing and been wrong.

Trump won. The United States is committed, for better or for worse. The world is committed whether they like it or not. Did we roll the dice with Obama? With Bush? With Clinton? Trump is a most unusual personality. That could be good. That could be bad. We have no idea. However, when I get up tomorrow morning and read the headlines, I have no doubt it won’t be boring.

Social Media
I have a love-hate relationship with it. On the one hand, it's interesting to see other people's postings, repost, post my own stuff, comment, like, etc. , that is, interact with like-minded people. On the other, it's a big time suck. I can waste an entire day looking at stuff instead of doing something productive. I joke about being easily distracted, however I think there's a lot of truth to that. Geesh, like my posting or my comment is going to change the course of history. Sometimes, I realise how much time I've spent on Facebook and I hate myself. What did I accomplish today? Nothing!

My Health
In April 2012, I suffered a sports injury and traumatised the upper left quadrant of my body, stopping short of tearing my left rotator cuff. I was in pain twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week for five months straight. Every waking moment was about pain management: various medications, moving very carefully, and avoiding a number of body positions. I could only sleep on my right side for nine months curled up in the fetal position. It was hell on Earth: I was trapped in my own body. It made me think of people like Stephen Hawking or Christopher Reeve: you’re alive but have little or no control over your body.

Coming up to the fifth anniversary, I’ve established a new life style. Every day, I do five sets of thirty sit-ups with several isometric exercises. Once a day, I do a fifteen minute set of exercises using resistance bands connected to a door jam. Every two days, I go to a gym and do a two and a half hour routine on various weight machines. Once a month, I visit a kinesiologist for a “tune-up”, a check of the ol’ bod. In other words, I’m doing everything to ensure my 2012 accident never happens again in my lifetime. Finding yourself trapped in your own body, unable to move, feeling pain constantly, unable to function normally, is frightening. As a consequence, it’s also inspirational.

I’m at a ten. I have this incident and fall to three. Slowly, I work my way back up to nine. Nine isn’t ten, but nine is a lot better than three, so that’s a good thing. Later, I have another incident and drop to six. Six is bad. I remember how bad three was. I work my way back up to eight. Eight isn’t nine, but eight is a lot better than three. Ten, nine, eight ... I think you see where this is going.

I had an uncle recently die at the age of one hundred and one. While that’s amazing, he’d said several times not to live past eighty-five. It was then he began to suffer from a number of physical ailments which only accumulated and got worse with age. These past few years were not the best and after my own issue, I reflected on his quality of life. Yes, he was alive, but what was the quality of his life? Seizures, diapers due to incontinence, cataract in one eye, macular degeneration in the other, restricted mobility, use of a motorized scooter, pain from slow-growing cancer, and in the end, he couldn’t even go to the bathroom unassisted. Is that living?

Right now, I’m inspired to work out, however I realise I’m only staving off the inevitable slide into growing physical limitations and ill-health. I’m sure anybody would say I’m being overly pessisimistic, but I’d say I’m being realistic. Life: Nobody gets out alive. We all only get so much “quantity” of life, but we can work on the “quality” of life?

Ransomware
I manage the I.T. department of a small company. We got hit with ransomware, but I’m pleased to report we didn’t pay the ransom and escaped pretty much unscathed, other than some lost time while we restored the infected parts of our systems. I need to write about this to serve as a warning to everybody: what to do to protect yourself from the bad things in the world.

What’s next?
I don’t know. I have a lot to figure out. And I have a lot to accept: the end of my career, budgeting for financial self-sufficency, and discovering what to do with all this free time I’m going to have. Vacation in Tahiti? Write another book? Shave my head and become a monk in Tibet? The world is my oyster: I can do anything I want for this last and final part of my life.


References

Wikipedia: The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
Act II, Scene II
Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
Pistol: Why then the world's mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.
Falstaff: Not a penny.


my blog: 63 and Counting
I’m 63. More than likely, you’re not. More than likely, you’re younger than me. Consequently, how does your view of the world differ from mine? With age, do we tend to look back more often and with greater concern? What have I accomplished? What’s left for me?

Justin Trudeau, at the age of 43, has just been elected Prime Minister of Canada, with a majority government I should add. Where am I now? Where was I at age 43? The vast majority of us are average people. Not famous. Not rich. No Oscars, Nobels or Pulitzers sitting on our mantelpieces. And yet, I’ve met people over the years who have been interesting personalities in their own right, accomplished, and blessed with an array of life experiences. In light of that, would a trophy have made it any better? At the end of the day, the cameras have been turned off, the crowds have gone home, and all of us sit alone with our thoughts. How do we feel about ourselves? How confident do we feel? What sense of accomplishment do we have? How much do we love ourselves? If you’re 43, are you out there trying to set the world on fire while at 63 you’re reflecting on your attempt to set the world on fire and how much you succeeded or failed?

2017-01-28

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Sunday, 22 January 2017

Pogo: Grow Fonder

A dance mix of Disney's Robin Hood (1973)



Pogo? Nick Bertke? I only recently discovered this remix artist from Perth, Australia. Good Lord, I find this stuff mesmerizing, hypnotic.

According to Wikipedia: A remix is a piece of media which has been altered from its original state by adding, removing, and/or changing pieces of the item. A song, piece of artwork, book, video, or photograph can all be remixes. The only characteristic of a remix is that it appropriates and changes other materials to create something new.


References

Published on Jan 16, 2017 by Pogo

Wikipedia: Pogo (electronic musician)
Christopher Nicholas "Nick" Bertke (born 26 July 1988), better known by his stage name Pogo, is an Australian electronic music artist. His work consists of recording small sounds, quotes, and melodies from a film or TV programme, and sequencing the sounds together to form a new piece of music. In most of his works, the newly created piece of music consists solely of the sounds he samples from those films or scenes, without additional, 'external' music or sound effects.

official web site: PogoMix
Pogo (Nick Bertke) is a music producer and remix artist based in Perth, Western Australia. His music has garnered over 110 million plays on YouTube and integration with many major studios and agencies around the world. Pogo also takes his work on the road having performed at the Guggenheim Museum, The Highline Ballroom and in most major cities across North America.

YouTube channel: Pogo

Twitter: Pogo @NickBertke
Official Twitter of music producer and remix artist Pogo (Nick Bertke): Perth, Western Australia

my blog: Pogo: Data & Picard
Ya gotta see this. This remix of Star Trek is incredible!




2017-01-22

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