Category: Personal


Silence is golden

I’ve not done a blog for this week- it’s on purpose.

I’m a little wound up. I feel a bit upset, victimised, confused, angry, bullied, and helpless about an incident. If I write about it, I’m just going to get wound up again.

So, Silence Is Golden.

Catch you next week!

Advertisements

Ah, an early week blog! Just to catch up on last week when I missed one.

I am sometimes described as a bit of a cynic. Well, to be slightly more truthful:- I describe myself as healthily sceptical about what we are told. Mrs Barljo describes me as “someone who’s crazy”, but I digress.

I don’t think that we’re fed the true and whole story about some things. Not to the point of “we haven’t built the International Space Station” or anything, but I think that some of the news is highly controlled.

I’m also very suspicious of marketing. I think it’s entirely possible for, say, tech manufacturers to either build-in or code-in expiry dates. I also think it’s entirely possible that, in the case of a connected item, they could (maybe) issue a remote kill code over the Internet.

All I’m saying is that I have one of the more popular games consoles. I’ve had it since shortly after UK launch date. It’s been faultless, and great value for money over the years, which is why I’m not saying which one. However, many of you will be aware that both Sony and Microsoft have recently released later models (the PS4 and the X-Box One). This weekend, for no reason, my console, completely out of the blue, bit the big one.

So, who’s crazy now?!

In closing, in case you dear readers care, I’m not sure what the next step will be. I’m not sure we’re in a position to justify getting a brand new piece of kit in terms of the use we’ll get out of it over the next few years. Maybe I’ll see what the prices are doing on amazon to replace that which has just corked it. Naturally, I’ll be taking it apart to try and fix it or even to see if I can put it back together after!

“I have only come here seeking knowledge, things they would not teach me of in college”. Wrapped Around Your Finger- The Police

I apologise in advance. It’s a very high horse I’m on this evening. I’m happy to confirm that we’re going to ACE Hire tomorrow to get a ladder so I can get down ;-).

What is people’s problem with the speed limit? 

I’m talking to you, clown in a silver Peugeot who overtook me whilst I was making the correct progress, and subsequently cut me up at speed on King Edward Road by Port Jack going uphill with cars parked on the other side of the road this evening.

I’m also talking to you, well known local printing firm van driver, inches from the back bumper of my car with my stepson, and pregnant wife in, again this evening.

That’s two examples from today alone.

It’s the law. The law isn’t negotiable- an absolute figure is given, and you’re either sticking to it or you’re not. Simple. Anything else is selfish and/or dangerous.

I’m a bit cheesed off right now and I apologise.

“Slow down you’re moving too fast, you’ve got to make the moment last”.
Feeling Groovy – Simon and Garfunkel

Never gonna give you up

Just a quick blog this week- it’s slightly hard to type at the moment, for reasons that will become clear.

There aren’t any links in this post by the way, so don’t worry about being Rick Rolled!

It’s lent, and whilst I’m not into the whole Christianity thing, it’s a good opportunity to try and give something up. I have given up biting my nails. So far, it’s going better than many times I’ve tried it before.

Just a few weeks left now!!

“Never gonna give you up”, Rick Astley

I can’t smile(y) without you

A very short entry this week.

Sometimes, the words just don’t come, and aren’t even hidden behind the white noise of thoughts.

That made me think slightly- are we losing our skill with words?  I’m a huge Douglas Adams fan, his various writings and gentle British humour are surely to be treasured.

As a result, I stumbled across the blog entry and I think I’ll subscribe to it’s theory. Once a week, no smileys.

I’ll try and avoid lol as well. I type It far more than I actually “lol”, as I’m sure we all do!

https://adasociety.wordpress.com/about/

“Can’t smile without you”, Barry Manilow

This week’s unique achievement was some DIY.

I planed a new interior door to fit the doorway, and managed to complete the task without any splinters in my testicular area, so it counts as a great success!

The Good Lady Barljo chipped in (ahah!) with excellent planing of the foot of the door, and I finished off with some sawing, before hanging to prove our work, and varnish to finish.

There was a power tool involved in drilling holes for the handle and latch (sorry Neil, I should have included a trigger warning on the post!) but that passed without incident.

I class myself as not particularly practical around the house, but the more I do, I surprise myself at what I can actually do. Things I build tend to stay built, things I put up stay up, and things I take down seem to get taken down with very little drama.

It’s a talent hidden so well, that it’s even hidden from myself- I don’t have faith in the project before I start it, and I am oft amazed when it works.

What’s a thing that you’re good at that nobody (including yourself) expects? Hit up the comments, tweet me, email me. Anything, I’m genuinely interested!

“If I had a hammer I’d hammer in the daytime. I’d hammer in the nighttime. I’d hammer all over this land.”
If I Had A Hammer – Pete Seeger

Ticket to Ride

I promise I’ll keep this short!

I know that most people reading this will already know what’s happened, but it’s just to stop me thinking about it.

This week, I got a parking ticket.  Strange, really, but I did. On my scooter. Parked in a motorcycle bay.

Long story short, the Isle of Man statute says very clearly that lmotorcycles are exempt from all disc zone parking restrictions”, and I don’t know how a ticket can be given for “parking longer than permitted”.

I’d like to say “it’s fine… I’m over it”, but we all know that I’m not! I’ll update this when the appeal of the ticket comes through.

“Ticket to Ride”
Ticket to Ride- The Beatles

Plug it, play it

Well, it’s been a week of delightful serendipitous coincidences!

Last week, I blogged about listening to more music, and completely unannounced and unrelated to the blog a shiny mp3 player arrived from a source-not-to-be-specified.  As an aside, musical mission accomplished!

The awesomely lovely Mrs Barljo and I went out for a meal on a whim. The first place we tried was full, the second was not.  Result was discovery of some great soup. Win!  A perfect date with the perfect wife.

But that’s a summary! This blog is to unfortunately confirm that I’ve joined the dark side. I have clicked “agree” to the terms and conditions, and placed a tick in the box.  Yes, I now have an AppleID.  I’m expecting a knock at the door any day now!

Although, it has confirmed to me that my suspicions about Apple are right.  Setting up a new piece of kit was as easy as plugging it it, and just made it seem like science fiction is here and now.  For me the fun of new kit is getting it set up just right for me, tinkering, messing and generally geeking out. A new (and my very first) iPod did leave me wanting for that experience, but just highlighted first hand that Apple have made pretty high-functioning tech (phones and mp3 players in general) available to the masses.

Not their Macs which still need something like the sale of a kidney though!

“Plug it, play it, burn it, rip it.
Drag it, drop it, zip/unzip it”
Technologic, Daft Punk

Open your eyes

I’ve been watching a program about the making of one of my favourite albums- Queen’s “A Night At The Opera”. It’s one of their earlier albums, and yes- it’s the one with Bohemian Rhapsody on.

This post isn’t really about the record, or the songs, or even the technical ‘behind the scenes’ that I am always fascinated by. I haven’t listened to much music recently, and this made me feel like I was letting these guys down. They clearly loved what thy were doing, but so much work from so many people went into it, and the end result deserves more than me not listening to it.

I’ve been trying to keep up on podcasts whilst washing up, and scooter riding isn’t really conducive to a musical commute.

This programme, with the lovely gentle Brian May and some interviews with Freddie I haven’t seen before, brought back memories of their music.  I remember finding a vinyl of Greatest Hits when I was about 6 years old. I didn’t know who those guys were, or what music was going to be, but I remember bugging my Mum and Dad to put it on. They gave in, and I listened with huge headphones on.

Since then, I’ve got pretty much every song they have released, some that they haven’t, and a Guild Red Special 250 of 315 from 1985. Without Queen, I probably wouldn’t have ever played the guitar.

And so, a public promise to you all: starting next week, I will listen to music again, and what better place to start than Queen I from 1973, and I’ll follow their timeline first.  One album a week, in order, on repeat. I also hereby promise not to skip Hot Space.

I won’t blog about it, but I will do it. After Queen, who knows, but that decision is months away.  Maybe something recent!

“Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see…”
Bohemian Rhapsody, Queen.

On the road again

It’s been a long time coming. I lose track of just how long, easily 2 years, maybe even 3. I know it’s a couple of years since I picked up a guitar though.

The amazing StoneChase have been booked for a (private party) summer gig, and this year nicely coincides with our ten year anniversary of that weekend at the Blues Festival Fringe when we played for over 20 hours altogether in a single weekend.

I don’t know if this will lead to more gigs, or if it’s just a one-off. I don’t know how long we’ll play for do to various injuries and us all being ten years older. I don’t know what songs we’ll play. I don’t really know much to be honest.

I do know that picking up my Irn-Bru coloured Gretsch again felt ok, and playing went ok (ish)- the muscle memory was there, eleven if the fingers weren’t as quick or accurate as when I was match-fit.

I’ve moved to heavier strings (two reasons- I’m having to relearn how to play again so I may as well try and sound as good as I can; and also Brian Setzer generally uses heavier ones than I used to). That’s a challenge in itself, but everything does feel a little tighter. I’ve also loved to different plectrums ( plectra?) as I got an awesome pressie from my awesome wife that I haven’t yet used.

It’s a whole new fretboard based adventure!

I don’t usually go beyond one line for the lyric quotes, but this one just had to include the extra line.

“On the road again, I just can’t wait to get on the road again. The life I love is making music with my friends”
Willie Nelson, On The Road Again