Mine's on the forty five

Turned 45 yesterday and have just rounded off a wonderful day. If life is supposed to begin at 40, then mine took an additional five years, because only now are things starting to fall into place. At long last I am getting my teeth fixed, which is astounding considering how hard it is to find affordable dentistry in the UK. I have existed for far too many years not being able to have someone peer in my mouth and then want three or four figures. I will also be learning to drive, having taken three lessons aged 21 and then bottling it. This place does not have transport like London!
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Forgive me CMC, but I happened to land upon your Facebook page, and it became clear that a certain someone has met their end - and that you are happy about it.

If it is who I am thinking of, then I fully understand your reason for feeling this way. I know we should not really jump for joy when someone dies, but some people really do manage to earn themselves a reputation for being thoroughly despised. I am not ashamed to say that I was one of the people who partied when Margaret Thatcher finally died. Believe me, the Cava came out and I danced to the fine Glee rendition of the Wizard Of Oz staple! The invisible bastard sits on my shoulder too.

All I can suggest is that the makeup can at last come off for good. You don't need to hide anymore. You are free of the wretched specimen now. Pour something sparkling and dance your freedom. Here's to some long-awaited closure.

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Cool runnings

I built my first desktop PC in 2003. It was based on an AMD Athlon XP 1700+ processor and was housed in a ghastly beige tower. I would then replace the beige case with a grey one that rattled, but at least it looked acceptable. 2008 saw me upgrade the graphics card (view post), while in 2009 it was time to swap a defunct motherboard for a newer AMD Athlon 64 3200 board (view post). That clearly was not enough for me, for in 2010 I then went onto building a slimline PC based on an AMD Phenom X4 9600 chip. All would be fine until 2014 when that motherboard would play up and need replacing (view post).

Last Friday saw the power supply give up. It was time to face the fact that this seven year old slimline PC - handbuilt by yours truly - was in need of replacement. After all I had done for it! In all honesty it just ran too hot.

So now there is an ex-business Dell Optiplex 755 on my desk, running an Intel (bing-bong-bing-bong!) Core2 Duo. It certainly runs a lot quieter. Let us hope it can stand being worked by this Ug!

All of the PC's I have owned have had names attached to them.
  • My first PC in 2002, a Compaq Deskpro 2000 with 266MHz Pentium II processor was simply named Puter.
  • The beige case with the Athlon 1700+ chip was called Athlon, funnily enough. Even changing the case didn't change the name.
  • The Athlon 64 board was named Maplin, after the store I bought it from!
  • The slimline PC with the Phenom X4 board was called Yoyotech, again, after the store I bought it from.
  • When I had to replace the motherboard of that slimline PC, I just renamed it Phenom.
  • As my current PC is a Dell, I have chosen to name it.... Adele. I am sure Ms Adkins would approve!

Now it is time to leave you with a video. When I first saw (or rather heard) this advert on TV, I thought: "WHAT ON EARTH IS THAT?! GOOD HEAVENS!!" Now I am a bit more forgiving of it, and actually like it now! It is real life after all...

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Stand together

Despite the atrocity that befell Manchester last night, family members are safe and well. Which is no consolation for the fact that 22 youngsters are dead. All because some sod thought that planting a nail bomb in the MEN Arena would be a good idea. Meanwhile, The Sun newspaper chooses to blame Jeremy Corbyn. Those sh*ts will never change.
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The sincerest form of flattery

I have spoken before about those delightful things known as soundalikes, and now I am going to revisit them. Aren't you glad!

I decided to dig out that erstwhile copy of Musical Rendezvous presents 16 Chart Hits volume 9 which dates from 1973. Like all soundalike albums it has its good and bad moments, but two tracks seem to stick out for me. First up is a rendition of Showdown, a song which saw The Bearded Genius of Birmingham AKA Jeff Lynne tapping into his inner Marvin Gaye. The cover itself is pleasant enough, with the vocalist stretching himself to reach those high notes, along with a bonus tambourine throughout to help usher things along.

The second candidate comes to us by way of a British folk band called Strawbs. Better known for their rousing anthem Part Of The Union, They also had a hit with the poetic Shine On Silver Sun. The original version is a little hard to digest, with the lead singer's affected pronunciation, along with a somewhat muddy production - and this is where the soundalike version helps things out, with its simpler production and gentle string section. If only they could have got the lyrics right! I have listened to this version for years, and as a result, I always had the wrong lyrics in my head. Listening to the original had me thinking: "No! Surely not! I prefer the nonsensical version!" For your reference I include the correct verse lyrics:

Once I sat upon a hill to watch the world go by
My friend the young magician had forbidden me to cry
But I was the comedian with the laughs in short supply

The sunlight filtered softly through the pale and watery sky
To catch the mirrored salmon as it rose to take the fly
The flowers on the riverbank were left alone to die

The church bells sounded midnight as I rose to say goodbye
And a solitary tear fell from the corner of my eye

But tell me true, how does one arrive at a lyric like: "The treadmills on the kite"? I will assume they were whacked off on nutmeg or something....

For further reading, see my post of Friday 24 January 2014, entitled Broaden your minds, and also Record rip-offs from Monday, 9 June 2014.
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