Monday, August 14, 2006

This is something you wanna see live...
Well that's four days of cycling finished. I think it'd be fair to say that it wasn't quite what I expected. When I first heard we were cycling the Thames Path I thought, great a chance to stop of at many pubs, have a few beers, do some nice relaxed cycling and generally relax. I wasn't alone in thinking this was what it would be like. The reality? Cycling 40 miles a day along a tow path is a lot harder than it sound. But in a good way.

Basically it was non-stop, hard cycling. Brilliant! Honestly, I really enjoyed it. It made me realise how going through a small amount of suffering makes the end rewards so much sweeter. When we arrived at the pub in the evening it was so much more satisfying having a couple of pints and a large meal knowing we'd fucking earnt it. My legs are very stiff now, but I'm actually getting some muscle definition on my legs! I can see calf muscles! My quads do exist! This is major stuff... No upper body definition yet, but that's good for cycling. No excess weight for those uphill stretches!

Speaking of hills.. I've gotta make sure I keep doing mountain biking up in Edinburgh. The rough up and down patches are so much fun on a bike. Going down a dusty hill at high speed over tree roots and jumping ditches is quite an experience and one I wanna do again. However, heading front wheel first into a metal pole isn't quite as fun... But I managed to stay upright! That's right, despite being a malco idiot I managed not to fall off my bike while it was moving, nor did I fall into the river. Shock and horror all around. That said, I maybe wasn't quite as proficient in front wheel control as other members of the party...

Those other members were Robert, Linda, Felicia and Simon, or as he was affectionately known: Fatboy, due to the weight of his bike. It was a chunky fucker. But we all got to the source, despite the suspicious looking cows surrounding it. It's a clump of rocks. Pretty unimpressive but it's the principal of the thing!

The only bad point was the abundance of stinging nettles lining some of the paths, especially the latter ones where we were basically going through fields and tiny paths. Our legs were red raw by the end of the third day. They're horrible fucking things, why do we need them? Surely even the most tree-hugging of hippies can't like stinging nettles? Surely? What possible use do they serve apart from to hurt people? They're ugly, painful and spread everywhere. It is now my task to find a scientist who can make a virus that wipes out stinging nettles. No one will care, in fact there will be much rejoicing. You know it makes sense.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

So that's it. 100GB of music and TV shows that are impossible to revover from my external hard drive. Gone. Finished. FUCK. Yes, I'm slightly annoyed. Partly because I listen to music a lot, partly because I was only halfway through the series 3 of Angel.

If I had my iPod it would be ok. But no. Some cunt stole that. And so begins the epic task of getting all my music back through the magic that is Soulseek. This could take a while...

On a plus note, they did catch the git who stole all the stuff from my room back in November. I was amazed and impressed. Not that I get any of my stuff back, he sold that long ago. He was a drug addict too. Maybe if he didn't have to steal to get drugs we'd both be better off... ar well. I'm currently helping the police with enquiries, meaning that they keep phoning and leaving messages trying to get hold of me and vice versa. Just as well the criminals are even less well organised.
Off cycling down the Thames Path tomorrow for 5 days which will be fun, but means right now I should be packing because I'm heading straight up to Edinburgh afterwards. Am I? Am I bollocks.

I'm sitting around doing nothing apart from listening to the Melvins and burning DVDs. But then I thought this was unproductive so went upstairs and found my school yearbook. That was a scary thing. It amazes me how many good friends I had there and how much I enjoyed it, but also just how many people there were in the same year as me who I don't care about and will never see again. Makes it a depressing read. Maybe I can tear their pages out and just keep the ones with my mates in...

Anyway, trying to think of what I'm going to need to pack for Edinburgh is a bit of a 'mare. Ideally I'd bring my grandad's old drinks cabinet up with me, so I can fulfill my dream of having a cocktail bar in the flat. But unfortunately I can't fit that and my bike in the car.. hmm... plus, everyone else in the family seems to hate the thing. Yet more evidence of my complete lack of awareness when it comes to fashion and decorating. Perhaps my flat mate's would appreciate me not inflicting that upon them...

By the way, if you haven't seen the Green Mile John Coffey, the big black guy, dies at the end. I just saved you 3 1/2 mediocre hours. Where's my cheque?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sometimes when you smoke it relaxes your muscles, meaning you have to shit. This must have caused problems in the trenches. Of course they had other things to worry about back then. Such as not stabbing your mate in the face with your helmet everytime you bent down to tie up your shoe laces. No wonder they lost the war.
On a musical note... I never really got into Nirvana. Sure, as a 14 year old I could quite happily jump along to Smells Like Teen Spirit and other assorted grunge numbers, but their music never quite did it for me. Not that other stuff I listened to then was any better: those were my nu-metal days of Limp Bizkit and Korn. I still weep sometimes in remembrance.

So it was a pleasant surprise when on my gap year I listened to their Unplugged in New York album for the first time and found that some of the songs were actually really good, they were well written and had interesting lyrics. So I listened to them again. And then I did some research.

The songs that I enjoyed were: The Man Who Sold The World, Plateau, Oh, Me, Lake of Fire and Where Did You Sleep Last Night?

They were covers! All of them! No wonder they were my favourites, Nirvana had had nothing to do with them. That's the trouble with covers, and why I think they are much maligned by the musical press. It can incredibly embarrassing if you say something like 'Oh, I love that Nirvana song 'The Man Who Sold The World' ' to a David Bowie fan. After that you can never again trust songs, who knows who they were written by? Are you going to look like a musical ignoramus because you weren't aware that your favourite song was actually written by someone else entirely? It's just not the risk. So if everyone says that covers are pointless and stupid then perhaps no one will do them and these poor people won't make the same mistake again.

Which is a shame because I think covers are brilliant. Not generic cut and paste jobs, but when a band takes a song they like and makes it their own it shows the talent of the band and also pays great homage to the original writers. For instance, a Black Sabbath tribtue album got me into stoner rock. I started listening to Joy Division because of covers I'd heard. And of course, thanks to Nirvana I'm now a massive Meat Puppets fan. So yeah, go covers.

On a final note, it's a little bit unfair to say that 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night?' is a cover because Kurt Cobain and Mark Lanegan wrote it a few years before Nirvana. But I reckons Mark Lanegan was the main influence. That guy has the most beautiful voice around. It makes me want to smoke 60 a day and have a bottle of whiskey for breakfast just so I can have that same gravel pit vocal sound. Listen to his duet album with Isobel Campbell of Belle & Sebastian fame, you won't be disappointed.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Yeah, apparently I have to upload this photo cos the Facebook link is too long, blah blah blah.

Much more worrying is the fact that I've only just realised that one of my home speakers is fucked.

No, wait, it's fixed now. Loose connections. There's a lesson there: don't listen to music in stereo.

In case you're wondering it's Karma to Burn - Twenty Four Hours. Listen to it. Or at least go and listen to Joy Division's original. It's a choon.
So when contemplating impending financial doom and drinking too much red wine, why not create a blog? The latest fashion for all those who want to get their unimportant and misinformed views out into the public and I'll be damned if I'm gonna miss an opportunity to do the same.

Not that there's anything interesting to mention at the moment; apart from the fact that I'm pissed off that everything electrical is dying on me. Why is that? It's been one of those summers of lost passports, stolen iPods, stolen glasses, knackered digital cameras, failed exams, girlfriend leaving for 4 weeks, massive overdrafts, friends being away, failed attempts to write anything and an external hard drive with 100Gb of entertainment blowing up.

And yet it's been an awesome summer. I dunno, maybe it's just cos of the heat. Which is gorgeous. Or seeing mates from school. Or doing nothing. Wait, that's bad... I did want a job, I swear.

And I'm cycling now, even considering doing the London Triathlon after watching my brother almost die doing it at the weekend. But unnecessary sport will be covered at a later date I'm sure.

For now, make sure you check out and cos they've been making me laugh.