Song of the Week – 07 (Night Train)

19 January 2009

Each week, I’ll bring you a new song to listen to. You may like it, or you may not. Either way, I’d love to for you to post your comments.

This week it’s “Night Train” by James Brown.

James Brown is a favourite artist of mine. If I am not sure what I’m in the mood for, chances are James Brown will satisfy. Great music for housekeeping as well.

[Edit: the embedded video from youtube is now no longer available. I will try to find an alternative].


Xbox and Espresso

15 January 2009

Now that the Christmas break is well and truly over, and the panic of the first weeks back at work is receding, I can return to the blogsphere. Here’s some thoughts on the period.

Espresso: A new-found joy.

The Daily Show (with Jon Stewart): Heavily biased, but all the better for it.

Cold weather snap: Electric heater on a timer switch in the bathroom. Can’t believe I didn’t think of it before.

Barack Obama: Bring it on.

The book of Ecclesiastes: Way cool. Much more ‘relevant’ than I remembered.

Full English breakfast with the groom etc. before a wedding: Unforgettable.

Cycling: Still enjoy it. Invested in a warmer ‘base layer’.

Xbox 360: Pretty darn cool. But most good games require a TV that can do 60Hz. Mine doesn’t, so the Xbox is lying in wait
Last year saw the following posts as the top three most popular on my blog:

  1. Penal Substitution as a Valid Theory of Atonement (67 views)
  2. Reason vs Revelation (58 views)
  3. Top 100 Songs Ever – kinda (52 views)

I must say that I was suprised about the first one.


Song of the Week – 06 (Tiny Little Fractures)

17 December 2008

Each week, I’ll bring you a new song to listen to. You may like it, or you may not. Either way, I’d love to for you to post your comments.

This week it’s “Tiny Little Fractures” by Snow Patrol. I realise this song may be old for some of you (are they in the States too?), but I heard it today for the first time. A friend swapped ipods with me at work: a good idea if you’re looking for some new stuff.

Not sure what the youtube video is about. Just ignore it, I guess.

I also highly recommend their new hit: “Take Back the City“. I would have posted it instead of “Tiny Little Fractures”, but it’s a recent hit. Seriously though, check it out if you haven’t heard it.


On Illness and Virus Protection

14 December 2008

I’ve discovered something: being ill is not fun. I don’t mean this in the obvious sense – but I’ve come to believe that being ill promotes itself. To wit (my new favourite phrase): illness saps the will of the energy to actually do anything; and this in turn lengthens the recovery process. Or at least, prolongs the agony. I am not suggesting we push ourselves into further malady, but that accepting lethargy is no substitute.

But then, it’s a sort-of catch-22, isn’t it? Because the very moment activity of some kind is helpful, my condition leaves me devoid of motivation and creativity. At the moment, all I can think of is comedy: books and TV. I would be very grateful for any other suggestions. I may take a bath to pass the time.

On another, but tenuously related note, I have finally succumbed to (commercially driven?) paranoia and am planning to install one of the many, free virus protection programs. I previously held out because I hate how they ‘hog the system’. I justified the risk by keeping Windows up-to-date and using redundant data storage. And I am perfectly happy to reinstall Windows, or reformat my hard-drive. I guess I no longer convince myself.

So If anyone feels led to recommend a particular brand of software I would be much obliged.


Song of the Week – 05 (Spanish Lady)

4 December 2008

Each week, I’ll bring you a new song to listen to. You may like it, or you may not. Either way, I’d love to for you to post your comments.

This week it’s “Spanish Lady” performed by Celtic Woman. This is a proper Irish folk song dating from 1624!

This post is in part a nod to my housemate who is infatuated with Celtic Woman (although it still is one of my favourites). I especially enjoy the epic feel to this particular performance, created by the addition of a choral element.


Cycling to Work – Day 15ish

2 December 2008

Today’s commute to work was accompanied by snow. Or at least: the slush that goes for snow in the Midlands. Thankfully I didn’t suffer from the slippery surface – I just got splatter all over my face.

Today’s unique cycling experience lead me to think about my progress so far. Somehow for the last 3 weeks or so, I’ve managed to fall out of bed each morning and onto the saddle. The ride in is still sometimes painful and tiring, but less so each week.

Then there’s the weather. I don’t mind the rain much, but it’s pretty darn cold. And I’ve learned to dread headwind. Most of my body warms up quite quickly, but not so the face and hands. I now wear gloves and also a hat under my helmet. I’ve even started to using moisturiser occasionally to counter wind-burn (or whatever it is). I figure if I can hack these next few months, then summer’ll be easy-peasy.

I’ve certainly learned a few tricks that make life easier: pannier bags are great, sponge baths aren’t too bad, and musical accompaniment is essential (not recommended for those who travel mainly in traffic).

All in all it’s not too bad. And when it comes to Friday afternoon and the train ride back, I wish I was cycling.


Song of the Week – 04 (Butterfly Lovers Concerto I)

26 November 2008

Each week, I’ll bring you a new song to listen to. You may like it, or you may not. Either way, I’d love to for you to post your comments.

This week it’s Part I from the Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto. I recommend a good pair of headphones for this one.

When the violin soloist first comes on, I can’t help but imagine China’s countryside and villages.

It’s a very interesting peice: a fusion of Chinese folk melodies and Western arrangement; and is an orchestration of an ancient legend. You can find out about it here. I also highly recommend Part II (and subsequent parts).