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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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Nov. 7th, 2013

It's been a funny old week, journal. Almost had to go to Carlow, Ireland, but that was called off. Haven't had to go anywhere for work. Instead, been around the house mostly while the people have been here installing our new bedroom cabinets / wardrobes... and new bedroom carpet. Today, we had Adam for part of the day so we went out to the soft play place. Not had to go to the horse all week as we have friends doing that for us because of the goings on here at home. Worked a bit to try to catch up on my geograph photo submissions. So it's been a good week, but a funny one... funny unusual not funny ha ha.

The other day, I was curious to see if there was footage of Tommy Cooper, the British comedian, dying onstage... and was surprised and a bit traumatised to see it on YouTube.... he had a heart attack and went down on the floor live on TV in 1984... with people laughing because they all thought it was part of his act. The camera lingered for an uncomfortable amount of time until the band started playing and they cut to a commercial. Pretty disturbing footage... and I've been thinking about it and affected by it for the past few days. Weird.



Well... here I am stuck in a traffic jam in the highlands. There was an accident on the A9 and so it's closed with a diversion in place. It's past 6pm now and it looks like I won't get home til probably 11pm or so now.

What a bugger of a week I've had.

So this traffic allows me to post an update on my iPhone.

We've got our new cat, Rosie, staying in the garage room until it gets used to things. It's been a week or so. It's a very friendly cat and purrs a lot.

Looks like I won't be painting much when I get home tonight. But I'll have to do lots tomorrow. Linda has been doing great with it, and has done all the low bits in my absence.

Tomorrow we're meeting up with a guy and his wife for lunch... This guy is visiting the area, no longer lives here, but he grew up in the area. He attended a Jimi Hendrix / Cat Stevens / Walker Brothers concert in Carlisle with Linda in 1967 when she was 13. This was Jimi Hendrix just before he got big. Which always impresses people.

I should've gone another way home. Traffic is hardly moving. People walking by are getting much further down the road than the cars are. And there's no internet reception... so I guess I need to just keep writing.

I guess there are worse places to be stuck in traffic.... the highlands. I was just in Inverness. Had to go back and forth from Dumfries twice in two days... a five hour journey each way. Fixed a problem (for work) yesterday but then the next day it didn't stay fixed and had to go back up today. Doh!

Well at least I've been able to take a few pictures along the road. I've got a huge backlog of pix for the Geograph website... mostly pictures of various things in Ireland. This geographing thing I do is pretty pointless, but I do it sort of to just track where I've been... And I've been a lot of places lately... thus the backlog of pix to put on the website. Usually it's stupid pictures of Tesco car parks or service stations as that's the only time I can take a picture. Occasionally I stop somewhere scenic at some lay-by and try to take a decent scenic picture.

I'm falling way behind with my other stupid hobbies. I try to keep track of news events by clipping things out of newspapers... so I'm developing a huge backlog there too, in my hardcopy journal.

Lament for Whitney, and other things


At first I thought it was another of those internet hoaxes, like Jon Bon Jovi or I forget who else it was, which spread thru the internet a bit and was then revealed to be a death hoax. But no, this one is legit.

Whitney Houston was found dead in a Beverly Hills hotel last night. Linda and Jenny were big fans. When Jenny was young, they used to watch The Bodyguard. I certainly thought here voice was something special. The best around, probably. It's a shame she died at 48 years of age. No word on cause yet.

I've been thinking lately, lamenting about, also that I sometimes let pass some current events without so much as a mention in my journal. I'm always watching the news, and have great interest in things going on (even BESIDES politics) but I just haven't been in the mood to even mention them in my journal, much less have anything really intelligent to say about them.

I'm thinking specifically about, for instance, the death a few weeks ago, or was it a couple months ago, of Kim Jong Il in North Korea. That sort of thing is very interesting to me, but I just let it slide without much of a mention, or even a political cartoon or excerpt from a news article. Bugs me a little. Also thinking about the Costa Concordia disaster in Italy. Big events like that, which I've been watching about on the news over the past several weeks should really find their way into my journal.

My hardcopy journal gets this stuff, as I subscribe to Time magazine and snip out interesting photos and article bits from, to put into my journal, and have done for 25 or so years (weird, huh?) but it has just seemed unacceptable that I haven't been mentioning news events in my Livejournal as much as maybe I used to.

Egyptian Revolution


I forgot to mention...

Something else I've been a bit obsessed with (maybe obsessed is too strong, but very interested) is the events in Egypt over the past few weeks. If I wasn't so busy, I'd be cutting and pasting all sorts of things into this journal, like the good old days.

I don't know why lately, but it just seems like too much effort to post LJ entries... it isn't really, but just haven't been very inspired.

But I did want to mention that I'm amazed at how well the people in Egypt did to overturn Mubarak. They really hated him, didn't they? Makes the US look like idiots, if you ask me, 'cause they were quite good pals with him. The US talks about standing up for democracy, but they stood by this guy and his hold on power for 30 years or so. It was the Internet that finally toppled him. People have forced a change, with the help of Facebook networking. I think there will be more autocrats who will fall.

Life update


Been neglecting my journal lately, haven't I? Not a whole lot happening lately... school is getting busy with assignment due dates starting to pile up... too many group assignments, too much cooperation and coordination with other people needed. I do my bit but you need to count on other people to do their bits in order to get a good grade. Bit of a hassle.

Meggie the horse has a new blacksmith. Linda fell out with the last one a little when he seemed callous about Meggie's hoof health. It's a long story I won't get into.

Adam the grandchild is doing well. I personally haven't seen him in a few weeks, I think, because I've been so busy with schoolwork on weekends. Need to find time to visit. But Linda goes over there quite often.

Still involved in that rock hall of fame website voting thing. Obsessed with that sort of stuff, a bit. Nowadays we're voting on songs and albums to go into a hall of fame type deal, so since I have my own little hall of fame, I already have a basic list of songs to vote for. Some get in, some don't. It's interesting to see what songs other people like.

Anyway, just wanted to affirm that I am still alive, just busy.

December 2005


Events from my hardcopy journal 5 years ago...

Wednesday, December 7, 2005           Glasgow

"Hooray!  Another volume for my journal." (Volume 65 begins...)  "You know, just in the past couple of months, I've been "blogging" on the internet using LiveJournal and this has meant that my actual written entries to this journal have decreased.  I've been dutifully taping in my LJ entries in here, tho, as the intent is to use LJ as I would otherwise use this journal..."

Here's an LJ entry on how fate brought Linda and I together.

Lots of other interesting LJ entries from then, too, I think...   but as far as events in my life, not much happening except Christmas shopping, working in Glasgow, going to the gym, going to Starbucks, etc.


Massachusetts' Scottish citizen has voted

I've sent in my absentee vote for the upcoming congressional and state elections... sent it in awhile ago, actually, but I just sent the final bit they needed because this is the first time I'm doing it entirely by email.  I've had to jump through hoops, it seems to do this... might have been easier to have just done it through the post as usual....  but I had to sign forms, scan them, email them...  send the ballot paper as a scanned document etc. etc etc.  This was apparently the first time that my "hometown" in Massachusetts had used electronic (email) balloting for absentees, so it was a bit of a learning curve for them.... they kept having to get back to me and tell me to do one more form.  Anyway, I finally sent the last thing in today, after procrastinating a bit.... so I'm all set to help throw the bums out.

Rock Hall Snubs Revisited


I've been involved, for the past couple months or so, in an internet site voting project in which the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is being re-selected year by year.... and some of the omissions in the real hall are being corrected by this "revisited" hall of fame project.

The voting is still going on and is currently a bit in the future... voting year 2015 or something like that.

Here's a list of artists voted into the Rock Hall Revisited but still not in the real Rock Hall in Cleveland:

Casper wrote:
In Our Hall But Not Cleveland's:

Deep Purple - 1994
T. Rex - 1994
MC5 - 1995
Alice Cooper - 1996
Link Wray - 1996
King Crimson - 1997
Moody Blues - 1998
Kraftwerk - 1999
Donovan - 2000
Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio - 2000
KISS - 2000
Roxy Music - 2001
Yes - 2001
New York Dolls - 2002
Big Star - 2003
Dick Dale - 2003
The Cure - 2004
Joy Division - 2004
Rush - 2005
Chicago - 2006
Judas Priest - 2006
Peter Gabriel - 2006
Depeche Mode - 2007
Monkees - 2007
New Order - 2007
The Cars - 2008
Cheap Trick - 2008
Jeff Beck - 2009
Jethro Tull - 2009
Motorhead - 2009
Neil Diamond - 2009
The Smiths - 2009
Stevie Ray Vaughn & Double Trouble - 2009
Devo - 2010
Electric Light Orchestra - 2010
Iron Maiden - 2010
Red Hot Chili Peppers - 2010
The Spinners - 2010
Def Leppard - 2011
Duran Duran - 2011
Emerson, Lake & Palmer - 2011
The Replacements - 2011
Beastie Boys - 2012
Dire Straits - 2012
The Zombies - 2012
The Carpenters - 2013
Donna Summer - 2013
Husker Du - 2013
Thin Lizzy - 2013
Tom Waits - 2013
B-52's - 2014
Gram Parsons - 2014


Guns 'n Roses - 2012
Soundgarden - 2012
Pixies - 2013
Public Enemy - 2013
N. W. A. - 2014
Nirvana - 2014

And here are those that the real Hall picked but have not been voted in by the Rock Hall Revisited voters:

(Matt L wrote:)

Lloyd Price - 1998
Del Shannon - 1999
Bonnie Raitt - 2000
Lovin' Spoonful - 2000
Moonglows - 2000
The Flamingos - 2001
Brenda Lee - 2002
Gene Pitney - 2002
Dells - 2004
Percy Sledge - 2005
Ventures - 2008
Bobby Womack - 2009
Little Anthony & the Imperials - 2009
Hollies - 2010
Jimmy Cliff - 2010

Big Star

The strangest thing that has happened lately is that the "Rock Hall Revisited" message board group I'm involved with, who vote every week sort of reenacting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (in Cleveland) year by year, has recently voted in a group called Big Star.

Now, I consider myself a moderately knowledgeable music person, but for the life of me, I had never heard of Big Star...  altho I had heard one or two of their songs before, not realising who they were.

They're a group from the early '70's who have apparently had a lot of influence on indie music that was to come after them.

Anyway, I found that sort of strange that a group good enough and well-thought-of enough by people to be put into the revisited Hall of Fame had flown so low under my radar that I knew practically nothing about them...

It caused me to buy one of their compilation albums on iTunes so I can catch up on what the big deal is.

Donovan getting recognition


I'm happy about Donovan (one of my favourite musicians) getting lots of votes this time around, so that it looks like he's destined to be inducted into the year 2000 class of "Rock Hall Revisited" (a section of a website, in which voters re-do the Rock Hall of Fame year by year). It's good because he's been snubbed so far in the real Rock Hall.

Here are the others that have been voted in who are not in the actual Rock Hall of Fame in Cleveland:

1994 Deep Purple, T. Rex
1995 MC5
1996 Alice Cooper, Link Wray
1997 King Crimson
1998 The Moody Blues
1999 Kraftwerk

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