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The Fab Four

July 7th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Music

A while ago all the Beatles back catalogue got added to Spotify at last, which partly compensated for Prince pulling his stuff off it. Personally I do not dislike the Beatles, but I never got round to buying any of their records either, apart from Sgt Pepper on vinyl ages ago.

All of this means that I have never really listened to much of their stuff apart from what might crop up on the radio or TV which is mostly just the singles, and predominantly the early 60s “ooh-ooh-ooh” stuff, but now I have been trying complete albums, and realised two things. [Read more →]

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Passport swindle

July 7th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

When we booked our holiday, one of the requirements was that you must have a passport that is valid for six months after the return date. This winds me up. You can have a passport that expires in December but you can’t use it after June so your ten-year passport is effectively only valid for nine-and-a-half years.

I think that passports should be issued for 126 months instead. That was you would actually get ten years of use from them.

Of course it does not help that our holiday is outside Europe. I remember some years ago travelling to Greece on a passport that had just expired but it was OK because you could still use it if it had not expired more than six months ago, so within Europe my passport was for practical purposes a 126-month passport already. I imagine Brexit will put a stop to all that.

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Wave to me

July 6th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

After a couple of barren days, Euro 2016 is back on the telly again tomorrow, so time for me to get back to my obsession with the shots of the crowd. I am still waiting for for that moment when somebody spots that they have been picked out and then waves at the camera instead of the big screen in the stadium.

It probably will not happen unless Adam Ant happens to be in the crowd for a match. He was always good at instinctively knowing which direction to face for the camera – just look at those old TOTP re-runs on BBC4 for proof.

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Losing Face, gaining Book

July 6th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life, Technology

BackBaby“Welcome back my friends, to the show that never ends, we’re so glad you could attend, come inside! come inside!”, as ELP said, or as the legendary George Costanza would say “I’m back baby!”

All of which is just to say that, having neglaected this website for ages, I shall probably be posting more often from now on. [Read more →]

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The Ice Beneath Her

June 27th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe

I have just finished reading my first Scandinavian thriller. It is called The Ice Beneath Her by Camilla Grebe, due to be published on September 8th.

This is what I thought about it…

[Read more →]

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Foorball idea

June 26th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

Three live Euro 2016 games on the TV today. Live football is good because it means you can watch for at least two hours without Nigel Farage’s gurning face popping up. A lot of the play yesterday was best described (as it was by one of the presenters) as ‘for the afficianados’. In other words, quite dull.

In contrast, the France/Ireland game today was great, and I think it was because of that penalty in the second minute. Some of the other games were played so cautiously, it almost felt like they were playing for the penalty shootout right from the start. So I decided that an early goal is good. So why not start all knockout games with an early goal?

Here is the idea: toss a coin and give the winner a one-goal head start. Sounds unfair, but it would make the games more lively. The other half of the idea is that the first goal scored by the disadvantaged side counts double. Think about it. A team starts 1-0 down but if they score they go 2-1 up.

Actually it might work in normal games too. No more parking the bus and settling for a draw straight away. Right from the kick off there would be one team needing to score just to get a point, and then if they score, the other lot need to score.

I am going to suggest it to whoever is in charge of FIFA. I might enclose a tenner with it because I know they like that sort of thing there.

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Fire it up

June 13th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned on Facebook that Busta Rhymes was lpaying in London and how tempting it was to go see him. A few days after that our daughter e-mailed me e-tickets to the show as an early father’s day treat. Which was nice. I think the only way I get to do anything now is if somebody else makes the decision for me. Left to myself I would think about all the travel hassle and other logistics and not bother. [Read more →]

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Lets hear it for prejudice

May 31st, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

We all like to think we are not prejudiced, but I will happily confess to a few little prejudices. Mind you a prejudice is supposed to be an unreasonable opinion and, like all prejudiced people, I think these are perfectly reasonable and they save time.

The first regards outward appearance. I know you should not make snap judgements based on appearances but when I see somebody wearing a Bluetooth headset permanently they are going to have to work ten times harder than anybody else to make me take them seriously.

The next one is a useful filter for comments on the internet. Sometimes you see a comment thread on a bulletin board, or on a newspaper article or on a Facebook post that is so big you just can’t read all of them so a handy rule of thumb is to ignore any comment that contains the words “should of”, “could of”, “must of” or similar. I am not sufficiently competent in all aspect of the language to be a grammar nazi, but that doesn’t mean I have no standards at all.

Another litmus test of whether to listen to somebody’s argument is if the phrase “we are only a small island” is used. It is OK if the person is referring to Rockall, Scarp, Canvey, or even Malta or Tuvalu but if they are referring to Britain I have to restrain myself from ranting that we are not *a* small island, we are a collection of islands, the largest of which is the 9th largest island in the world. I bet I would feel even worse if I lived in Northern Ireland.

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Double hats

May 24th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Politics

I have been meaning to moan about this for a long time now, and tonight I am going to do it. It is the topic of councillors who serve on both a borough/district and a county council. [Read more →]

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The Hateful Eight

May 24th, 2016 · Posted by Skuds in Life

At the weekend I watched the latest Tarantino film, The Hateful Eight, which I had a slightly strange reaction to. It is not that I didn’t enjoy it but rather that I enjoyed it more in retrospect than I did at the time. This is partly because it is a very long film which takes its time, in the way that films used to, and I just wanted to find out what was going to happen next. OK, I was waiting to see who was going to get killed first and how. [Read more →]

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