Friday, April 30, 2010

Dying For An Angel - Avantasia

Tobias Sammet's Avantasia project have just released two albums featuring just about everyone worth listening to in the European classic rock / power metal scene, Scorpions frontman Klaus Meine sings on this track.
Psycho Ostrich vs. Small Girl

Could be the best youtube video ever, small child on midget pony, giant insane avian, angry and vengeful father, and then, random donkey !
Album Review : Medicine County - Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs 8*

For Fans Of : Old Crow Medicine Show, Neko Case, Hank Williams

Well here is a bit of honest to goodness tuneful weirdness, Bluegrass - Americana - Indie is the game as Holly Golightly boogies down in Southern style like Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the barn dance from beyond.

Golightly mixes plaintive love songs, Two Left Feet, country meets gospel, When He Comes, outright weirdness on Escalators, a paean to moving stairways, and a great big splash of black humour on the Wreckless Eric cover Murder In My Mind with a lyric that could have come strait from the aforementioned Cave's Murder Ballads "I want to see you in concrete propping up a motorway bridge.

This is the third release from the band, Golightly and partner Lawyer Dave, and it is a witty and entertaining exploration of the darker and seamier side of Southern roots music. Even on the songs that have slightly happier lyrics, like Can't Lose, Golightly's vocal style is such that an element of doubt is injected.

Golightly's take on Americana certainly isn't a parody, it is far too well done for that, although you can't help but raise a smile as Lawyer Dave does his best John Wayne impression on Blood In The Saddle. This is a well crafted collection of Southern folk songs with a sharp twist, best country and western album for a while, and it's done by a Brit.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Album Review : Curioser & Curioser - Alice Moving Under Skies 7*

For Fans Of : The Mission, Sisters Of Mercy, Fields Of The Nephilim

I hate those 80's albums that keep getting churned out, "Best of the 80's", "Ultimate 80's", happy cheesy pop that makes me sick. My 80's were spent wearing black eye liner, a spiked wristband and some strappy leather bondage trousers as some weird glam rock - goth - punk - metal crossover kid. I wasn't happily dancing to Wham or Culture Club, I was moshing to Metallica or shoe gazing to The Mission or Siouxsie.

AMUS then are a brilliantly retro sounding throwback to everything that was dark and awesome about the 80's counter-culture. The wheel always turns, classic rock is as big now as it ever was, and goth culture both here and across the pond has a strong a passionate following.

Mark Dreizhen and Penny Dreadful both share vocal duties throughout the album, Mark has a touch of Justin Sullivan about his singing, and that's no bad thing, Penny pitches somewhere towards Siouxsie with a hint of either Melissa Auf De Mar or Juliette Lewis or both. Whether she is doing the subdued vocals of the debut single Grit Girl or the more in your face vocals on Sweet Little 666teen her voice is more attention demanding than current goth (darkwave / crimsonwave etc) contemporaries like Zola Jesus.

The album is electro goth with rocked up guitars in a style similar to The Mission / Sisters of Mercy. Mark and Penny are the whole band, Mark playing guitar, synth and the drum machine, Penny playing bass and keyboards. C&C is greatly enjoyable in the inverted manner that goths love where everything that should be bright and pleasant becomes gloomy and worrying. C&C displays some nice changes in pace and tempo, from the grinding Numanesque sound of Grit Girl, through to the more typically goth (and a song title I bet Marilyn Manson wishes he thought up) Sweet Little 666teen. AMUS move into less typical goth territory by covering Steeleye Span's Fighting for Stangers, goth folk, it could be a whole new micro genre.

If I have a problem with the album, and it's the reason I've given it 7* rather than slightly higher it is that I think the overall sound is slightly thin. All the elements are there, but it could have been mixed a little better to provide a richer and fuller sound. Don't let this minor fault stop you from buying the album though if goth is your thing, this is a good debut album from a duo who are obviously well schooled in the genre.

AMUS describe themselves as making "exciting noise designed to fill dance floors" and I would agree with that, I could see myself happily dancing along to this electro goth debut.

You can buy the album direct from the AMUS website

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

(By Hedonist at b3ta)
Babes - Aishwarya Rai

Gosh, she is rather lovely isn't she, not to mention being talented, hugely famous, fabulously wealthy, adored by millions.....
That's Gotta Hurt

Whisky Is The Life Of Man - Bellowhead

Last Week's Listening

1 Alice Moving Under Skies 90
2 The Beatles 69
3 Marillion 61
4 Ozzy Osbourne 43
5 Simon & Garfunkel 42
6 Coheed and Cambria 35
6 Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip 35
8 Adam and the Ants 34
9 Toots and the Maytals 30
10 The Clash 29

Apart from AMUS topping the chart, I seem to have been listening to my most loved bands last week.

If you have a account and you want to see which band you spend most time listening to rather than which band you play most tracks by, check out the normalisr. So, punk bands with short songs drop down the chart, prog and rock bands with long and wandering songs jump up the chart. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Mozart are the biggest risers, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys and Simon & Garfunkel the biggest fallers.
The Old Wooden Spoon On The Back Of The Head Trick

If you are in need of some Tuesday morning cuteness, click here to watch a live feed of chicks hatching out.

A convocation of eagles, a pitying of turtledoves, a murder of crows, a charm of goldfinches, a rafter of turkeys, a deceit of lapwings, a puddling of mallards, a descent of woodpeckers, a mustering of storks, a herd of wrens, a tiding of magpies, an ostentation of peacocks, a tribe of sparrows, a siege of bitterns, and a peep of chickens. - Glossary of Provincial Words Used in Herefordshire, G. C. Lewis

The illustration is A Murder of Crows by Gary at Karmasoup.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kent Bested by Gale Force

Alright, I'm sorry, I managed two dreadful puns in that title.

Yorkshire batted out for a comfortable draw in the County match against Kent, and then faced Kent again today in whatever the 40 over series is called this year.

Newly arrived (delayed due to volcano) quick Tino Best took four wickets, including clean bowling Alastair Cook to leave Kent on 232-9, then Andrew Gale and Jacques Rudolph demolished the Kent bowling attack. Rudolph finished on 101 n.o. whilst Yorkshire Captain Andrew Gale got a magnificent 125 n.o. from 124 balls, which I think is a career best in 40 over play for him.
Walking Cumbria.....Scafell Pike

One of the the things I enjoyed most about our trip to Scafell Pike happened as we left the coast road and entered the valley in which Wast Water lies between the steep and forbidding hills to either side. Suddenly we had left pleasant and pretty countryside and we had entered the realm of the dramatic and imposing, simultaneously we all gave a little 'ooh' of anticipation and enjoyment. We were amongst the mountains.

In the photo the natural barrier of Rikes Crag rises, still with snow nestled in its fissures and gullys, above the steep valley where Lingmell Gill tumbles its clear and cold waters down to the lake. Behind Rikes Crag is the peak of Scafell Pike itself.

We had come here because nephew Joseph, aka Mountain Goat Boy, had asked to climb Scafell Pike when he came down from Ingleborough and so finished his set of Yorkshire 3 Peaks. The hiking team was made up of Alex & Johnny, Liz & Kevin, Jo, Ellie, Diane and myself.

Squirt, Ellie, Kevin and Diane on the climb up from Wast Water.

Johnny and Alex by Lingmell Gill.

Looking across Rikes Crag to Mickledore and Lord's Rake. These are proper mountains, I must admit that as wonderful as my home hills of Yorkshire are, the mountains here have that extra touch of drama, it's magical up here. I can't help when looking at this shot but to hear a voice saying "One does not simply walk into Mordor."

Despite the heat of the day there were still fields of ice and snow on the upper slopes, snowball fights on a hot sunny day are brilliant. In photo, Jo about to launch a missile, Kevin, and Flossie the dog.

On the summit cairn, Johnny, Kevin and Jo, and one of the hundreds of other people who has chosen to summit Scafell Pike on the same day. It was like being in a pub beer garden on the top, with the happy chatter and laughter of contented hikers sounding around us, the sun shining, and the chocolate biscuits with Marmite (not intentional but strangely appealing).

Now this sort of view gets me all excited. The dangerously steep looking hill on the left is Great Gable with Styhead Tarn nestling in its saddle, to the right is Great End, further back are Glaramara and High Raise. I havn't been up Great Gable since I was a Venture Scout when we used to attend to summit Remembrance Day service, but seeing it again makes me want to climb it.

So, we've done the tallest mountain in England, what's next Jo ?

"Er, Snowdon."

OK mate, Wales it is.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy St. George's Day

A great day to be English.

Speaking of which, I hope some good English lads perform well on the green fields under the bright Engligh sun today, and they are named Lyth, Sayers, McGrath, Gale, Bairstow, Shazad, Rashid, Bresnan, Wainwright and Hannon-Dalby (plus Rudolph, who is South African).

Tha painting is St. George by Scott Norwood Witts.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Who Do You Hate ?

(By Benito Vasselini over at B3ta)
Welcome To The Family

In picture, Lurker, Hecate (also known as Alice), Lurker's Wife, Vladimir (also known as Jack).

We're all really happy to welcome the twins into the family, I can't wait to introduce them to the joys of Yorkshire Cricket, Leeds United and heavy metal. Lots of love from your mad beardy uncle YS.

A very proud and happy Auntie Meg.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Love Toast

Paula thought we might need some loving at work, so she made us all some love toast.

My staff are rather special.
What Dunbar Likes...

What Dunbar likes is little girls, he likes them for their pretty shoes. Dunbar eats up the little girls and wears their shoes. New shoes get dirty quickly, then Dunbar needs a meal and clean footwear.

Dunbar is obsessed by the number 3, he counts off the most important events in his dreadful life like a child repeats by rote its times table.

"The three noons of Tine." This is a flat, almost dismissive tone.

"The six maidens at the Inner Gate." This is performed in a lascivious manner and with such a wet clacking of his jaws that even I am offended.

Nine is three and three and three, three ages of child, babe, infant, food. Three stations of the Spear, raise, throw, impale. Three quarters of the day, dawn, noon, sunset." Once after I heard him perform this triplet in an excited and rambling patter, his voice dropped to a whisper and he added. "For the black quarter always belongs to Her."

"The Twelve." He always stops and shudders, and if the moon is dark he glances nervously around. Sometimes he clutches his shoulder and rubs it as if to relieve some phantom ague, and I wonder. They say She is missing a talon, am I seeing its hiding place.

"The fifteen turns of the clock on the Fifth Year's Day." And off he goes, skipping away as if his shrivelled, blighted heart was restored to blood and vigour.

Art - Amelia, words - Mike J.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Oh Why Oh Why ?

A quick question for you, imagine this scenario, you walk into a restaurant, the restaurant has nine tables, three tables are full of contented looking diners, one table has obviously just been vacated and is piled with dirty plates and wine glasses, the remaining tables are set up ready to receive customers. You ask the waiter if you can have a table for two, sure he says, take any table you like.

Where do you sit ?

I'll tell you where people always sit, where do the members of the general public always bloody sit ? They sit at the dirty table that's where, despite the fact that I have any number of tables in pristine condition, with fresh flowers in little vases and flickering candles producing a warm and welcoming glow, people always choose to sit at the table where someone has spilt that third bottle of Bordeaux over the tablecloth and some over enthusiastic pointing with an asparagus spear has produced a polka dotting of hollandaise across the menu cover.

Waiters shouldn't have to point out "You can have any table in the house sir except the one where the previous resident has just liberally sprayed bolognese sauce around because to be frank sir you'd be a complete idiot if you sat at that table when I have six others clean and ready for you."

People would be mildly offended if you said that to them, and yet, always, every time, people sit at the dirty table. It seems to be a deeply ingrained, lemming like behaviour. Surely these people know on some level that to force the waiter to scurry around re-setting the table while you are sat at it is not going to bring about the best level of service.

The waiter will now slope off into the kitchen and have a moan. "Hey boys, that berk in the green shirt, I offer him any table in the room and where does he sit ?"

All together...."The dirty table."

Aspersions will now be cast upon the unfortunate diner's epicurean sensibilities.

"I bet he asks for a fillet well done."

"I bet he asks for his whitebait topped and tailed."

"I bet he thinks a reduction sauce means he has to pay less for his main course."

My advice then for a more successful and mockery free dining experience, sit at the clean table, if you want your meat burnt order a burger, and always leave a generous tip.
Album Review : Gallaudet - Manatarms 7*

For Fans Of : Rush, Coheed And Cambria, Biffy Clyro, Mastodon, Tool

Manatarms are a modern progressive metal band from Chile. They describe themselves as a 5 piece, but there seem to be six blokes in some of their promo photographs, perhaps I've missed something in translation.

To follow on from the five or six confusion, the opening track on the album is titled 7, other titles have a similarly proggy feel, Hacth Of The Jackrabbits (part one + two), A Cutted Tail Of A Small Lizard, but the music is more vigorous than the song titles might have you thinking. In parts Manatarms sound like the heavier end of the Rush/Coheed spectrum, approaching Mastodon like intensity on Cutted Tail.

There are also nods to Iron Maiden on the guitar work on Aspirin and strains of Biffy Clyro can be heard faintly here and there.

The songs tend towards epic length, with many hovering around the seven or so minute mark, and are filled with time and rhythm changes, there is almost no standard verse chorus structure anywhere on the album. Overall, the music on the album is of great quality, demonstrating a really high standard of playing, chugging through heavy riffs one moment then switching to soaring solos and high vocals. It is the vocals that in places are a slightly weak point on Gallaudet, when singer Chinasky is using his voice in a more direct rock style the vocals sound great, strong and in your face, but on some of the lighter sections, as on The Last Man On Earth, the vocals sound a little strained and wavering.

Chinasky can sing softer stuff though, and on the final track he sings a brilliant counterpoint entirely suited to his vocal range, when I said that bits of Gallaudet sounded like Biffy Clyro, Jackrabbits (3) could have been lifted straight from Only Revolutions with its cycling guitars, vocal and lyrical style.

You can get this excellent album free from the band's website Manatarms Blog (Spanish). Look for the post 'Baja Gallaudet Gratis' with the picture of the album cover and click on 'Haz click aqui' which will direct you to the download site.
Some Austrian Yodelling For You

Followed by "Bloody hell, I wasn't expecting that."

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Nick Griffin Cookbook ?

Proofreading error leads to recipe for disaster for Australian publisher.

(From BBC news)
Volcanic Ash Clouds, Is It Safe To Fly Through Them ?

To answer this question, I asked a pilot (oh yes, these are the social circles I wallow in you know) and he told me this tale.

On a British Airways flight cruising at 37,000 feet over Indonesia, the plane flew through an ash cloud that the flight crew had not been notified of. At the moment the plane went into the cloud, the pilot was at the rear of the plane chatting to some travellers. One engine clogged up with ash and turned off, the co-pilot summoned the pilot back tot he cockpit but by the time he had walked the length of the aeroplane all 4 engines had shut down.

"In about ten seconds the craft had turned into the world's heaviest glider," he told me.

Over the next few minutes the plane went from 37,000 feet to 13,000 feet. I don't know exactly where the plane was flying, but Indonesia has mountains that reach 16,000 feet. At 13,000 feet the pilot managed to get a single engine lit and pulled the plane out of its stall, when a second engine fired up they managed a safe emergency landing.

As the super fine ash was sucked into the incredibly hot jet engines it melted and was sprayed onto the interior surfaces of the engines, effectively coating the blades and surfaces with a thickening layer of heavy glass. All four engines had to be replaced before the plane was brought back to the UK.

According to my source then, flying through volcanic ash is definitely not a wise course of action.
"There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know that we don't know. These are things we do not know we don't know" - Donald Rumsfeld appears to be channeling Ronnie Barker whilst briefing on political instability in Afghanistan.
Attack Of The Homophobic Oranges

That's Style That Is

Michelle demonstrates that when the champagne is free, the serious drinkers grab a pint glass, sister Liz doing the pouring. Cheers Dad, we all had a great time at your birthday bash.
Burley Lions vs Brighouse

I think the score was either 36-0 or 42-0 to the Lions, a very good effort and an entertaining match.

Bad Music Link

Don't bother with the 'Live From Filmore' Black Sabbath album I mentioned a couple of posts back, it is an audience recording and sounds like the man was stood at the back on a windy day, rubbish.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Do Lava Lamps Work On Venus ?

This might not be a problem that is bothering you right now, but Neil Fraser was apparently being kept awake at night by this particular conundrum. His solution was to build a bloody big centrifuge in his front room and spin the lava lamp around until it approximated the heavier gravity of Venus.

"The centrifuge is a genuinely terrifying device. The lights dim when it is switched on. A strong wind is produced as the centrifuge induces a cyclone in the room. The smell of boiling insulation emanates from the overloaded 25 amp cables. If not perfectly adjusted and lubricated, it will shred the teeth off solid brass gears in under a second. Runs were conducted from the relative safety of the next room while peeking through a crack in the door."

Neil's device of whirling doom.

That's bloody brilliant that is. Mad. But brilliant.
This Month's E-Music Downloads

Bright Bright Bright - Dark Dark Dark, downbeat indie.

Stridulum EP - Zola Jesus, downbeat electro goth, reviewed.

Boomerang - Benji Kirkpatrick, solo album from the Bellowhead guitarist.

Charlemagne - Christopher Lee, hit and miss operatic concept album from Saruman, reviewed.

The Logic Of Chance - Dan le Sac vs. Scroobius Pip, second album from the pair, good, but not quite as fantastic as their debut.

Tarkatt Tajje - Etran Finatawa, 3rd album from the Niger tribesmen, longer more rambling tracks than before.

Medicine County - Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs, quirky Americana folk.

Grabbed for free from elsewhere, These Pipes Are Clean - The /mu/tants : high WTF rating for this indie weirdness (from, Giving Entrance - Scavanger : decent German trad metal (from Jamendo), Gaulladet - Manatarms : Impressive prog metal from Chile (from Manatarms blog), Live at the Filmore West - Black Sabbath (Heavy Sugar Radio.).
Gale Ton Puts Yorkshire In Good Position

Captain Andrew Gale scored 101 yesterday, and with support from Joe Sayers (51) and Tim Bresnan (61) helped Yorkshire to 320-7 against Somerset. The visitor's innings were held together by Marcus Trescothick who contributed 177 to his team's total of 272.

'Relegation favourites' looking good again then.
The PB Sports Tipline

Yes Chef Phil has gone, but his spirit lives on in the PB Tipline. Phil has been very fond of offering free sports betting advice, along the lines of "You should put your house on a Man U win" (result - dumped out of competition by little fancied German side). So, every so often I'll be asking Phil for a bet you should bet your house on*.

This week's hot tip from PB is......Manchester City 1 - Manchester United 1.

*Of course, if you are going to bet your home on the predictions of the PB Tipline, then I would advise investing in a tent first.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Do You Omegle ?

People using Omegle have a limited sense of humour.

Stranger: hi
YS: hi
Stranger: asl
YS: pardon ?
Stranger: age sex location
YS: oh right
YS: 42, yes please, wherever you fancy
Stranger: ok 1st of all age is right, sex as in gender, and location as in where u r located
Stranger: 2nd
Stranger: HELL NO!
Your conversational partner has disconnected.
Album Review : Stridulum EP - Zola Jesus 5*

For Fans Of : Siouxsie And The Banshees, Bauhaus, Cocteau Twins, Alice Moving Under Skies

Genres, genres, genres, nobody making music likes to be pigeonholed, yet genres make it easier for us to describe the sound of a new act to someone who has not hear them. I would say Zola Jesus, real name Nika Roza Danilova, is firmly in the resurgent Electro Goth camp, there are those however who would have you believe that this is a new and previously undiscovered style of dark music called crimsonwave, it isn't. It does have a bit of shoegaze about it though.

Musically, this is one person, a drum machine and some keyboards, it's all done in a flowing but rather slow and leaden style. There are some similarities to Siouxsie, but it is like the Banshees with all the fun sucked out. Zola Jesus suffers from suffering too much, this is all tremendously depressing, slow as a funeral cortege, downbeat and I'm afraid a little dull.

Danilova can certainly sing, but she needs to inject some more punch in to her songs to make them memorable.

Boys breakdancing at the piers in San Francisco.

(By B'aeu Bo Dor at b3ta)
My Staff FTW

We had a bit of a busy day yesterday, the Harrogate & District Union of Golf Clubs hosted one of their Winter Alliances here at Ilkley Golf Club with 170 players. On top of looking after all those golfers we then had a private dinner for 20 in the evening.

Well done to the bar and kitchen staff, Julia, Meg and Phil, Rob, Paula, Saskia (pictured), Amelia and myself, I managed a 17 hour shift and was quite ready for my bed at the end of it.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Rudolph and Bairstow Propel Yorkshire to Win

Jacques Rudolph scored 75 & 69 to give Yorkshire a base from which to win their opening County Championship match against Warwickshire, Yorkshire, who are relegation favourites with the bookies, took 21 points from their win and start the season joint top of the Division 1 table with Essex.

Yorkshire fought hard for the win in a 4 day that twisted and turned, Adil Rashid and Ajmal Shazad batted carefully and well in the lower order to build on the start made by Rudolph and Sayers in Yorkshire's 1st innings, in the 2nd innings Bairstow smashed a rapid 81 which along with the contributions from Rudolph and Lyth (67) was enough to get past Warwickshire with 4 wickets remaining.

The bowlers all chipped in, and young Oliver Hannon-Dalby took a 5for in Warwickshire's 2nd innings.

Yorkshire are likely to be weakened in the summer when Bresnan gets called up for England matches, and possibly Rashid as well, but the county announced this week that they have got a work permit for Windies loudmouth Tino Best, who under the complicated permit system may be registered as a Kolpak player thus allowing Yorkshire to search for another overseas player.

A good start, and nobody in Yorkshire believes we're going to get relegated anyway.
Who To Vote for ?

My constituency is Keighley, the three main political parties have each put up a candidate here, no other parties have. The seat is currently held by the Labour MP Ann Cryer, although Mrs. Cryer was not implicated in the tidal wave of expenses scandals that drowned the Nu-Labour government, I think there were still worrying and important issues about Mrs. Cryer's spending of public money.

My next MP then is going to come from this list of candidates.

Labour Party - Jane Thomas

Conservative Party - Kris Hopkins

Liberal Democratic Party - Nader Fekri

I am what the parties most desire, a floating voter, although I have already decided that the greedy, lying, corrupt, sleaze ridden Labour Party will not be getting my vote, so don't bother with a phone call Jane.

I am also angry at the way in which Jane Thomas has already stated that this election will be a race between the Tories and Labour only. I don't think two party politics is healthy for the nation and like many other voters I would like there to more more serious choice in politics.

Does this mean Nader Fekri for the Lib Dems will get my vote then ? Well, I'm very concerned about the UK's energy future, I believe we have squandered the money earned from our now diminishing oil reserves without investing properly in future energy sources for the nation. Wind, wave and many other alternative technologies remain largely a pipe dream, capable at this time of producing only tiny amounts of power. The solution is to have more nuclear power, France produces almost 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. The Lib Dems however are strongly against nuclear power.

"I have been an opponent of nuclear power for a long time, a position that the party also now supports. we have a concerted policy of supporting alternative technologies, such as wind, tidal, and solar, as well as reducing our power consumption, and furthermore being much much more energy efficient." - Nader Fekri.

Will I vote Tory then ? David Cameron has gone some way to easing my worries about another Tory government, and yet I can't quite seem to trust the man. Although Cameron speaks well, we all know that cuts mean job losses, I'm in the entertainment sector, I need people to be employed and earning well so that they can spend money on things like playing golf.

This week's polls have the Conservatives 21 seats short of an overall majority (UK Polling Report), perhaps we should be hoping for a hung parliament to allow some Liberal influence on the, presumably, incoming Tory government.

Whoever gets in, we're in for a hard time. The Labour government under Gordon Brown has run up a national debt to equal that of bankrupt Greece, cuts will have to be made, business will end up paying for the situation via NI or VAT, millions of people like myself, who have worked hard and tried to run their business's well and honestly are going to suffer because our government was weak and corrupt.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Uber Geekery

Yes, I am the rather excited owner of shiny new Iphone. I know this seems a bit odd coming from a bloke who rarely uses his mobile phone anyway, and to be honest, the phone bit is fine, but it is all the other neat things that the phone does that made me want one. The huge music storage for the I-Pod at 32 Gb is great, so long as I don't stuff it all up with apps of course, and the apps, there must be hundreds of thousands you can can get for free and an equal number of pay apps.

So far I'm wasting my time on.....

ECB Cricket app - Really nice looking screen showing all the domestic matches as they happen, press the match you want to get a scoreboard for it, then turn your phone sideways for a complete innings breakdown, plus news, photos, video and cricket podcasts. This app has by far the nicest look and ease of use of any of the sports apps I have seen. Yorkshire 243-5 btw.

ESPN Mobicast Cricinfo - A simpler display giving live coverage of international cricket and the IPL, also with news, pics and video feed.

Sky Sports Football - much as the cricket apps with live updating, news and fixture lists. Slightly clunky design though. - The I-phone doesn't support scrobbling via the inbuilt i-pod, but you can stream music from your library or's custom play lists via the free internet service.

ielectUK - Find your candidates, and bother them with relevant / entirely pointless questions, top marks to Nader Fekri, Lib Dem candidate for Keighley for his prompt responses. I'm sure you could get up to some harmless mischief with this app, I wonder what is the daftest question I can get a candidate to answer ?

Asteroid Alert - Find out from the chaps at NASA if we're all going to die by asteroid impact tomorrow ! GM32010 is going to miss us by a mere 1.305million Km on Tuesday morning.

I also have The Bible, OECD Factbook, Planet Rock Radio, Shazam (doesn't get along with folk music) and a pile of other free apps. It is a really nice device, although horribly expensive.

Phone calls you say ? Well, I suppose I'll make one on it eventually.
My Family, They Drive You To Drink

Here is poor Harriet having been driven to exceedingly large amounts of drink after having to serve my family all day. Thanks Harriet, you're a star, big thanks also to Julia, Phil, Georgie, Saskia, Amelia and Paula.

My uncle was particularly impressed with the waitresses and kept asking "How did you get Girls Aloud to wait on ?."
Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad is 70, or at least he will be on Tuesday. Yesterday we hosted Dad's official 70th birthday lunch here at the club, he had invited many of his friends and family for the celebration. The pic shows Dad giving his speech after dinner. It was a lovely day, with great weather, and so nice to see loads of people that I havn't seen for years.

Ellie being very cute and giggly.
On This Day...Feast Day of Saint Erkembode

Every day is a Feast Day in the Catholics church, and Irish monk then priest then bishop Erkembode shares his day with 9 others in the Catholic list of beatification. Erkembode was a travelling monk who rose to become bishop of Therouanne, he held that position for 26 before his death in 734.

The photograph is of Erkembode's tomb in Saint Omer Cathedral. His shrine is visited by the parents of crippled children, who leave pairs of their children's shoes on his tomb as an offering for the healing of their children.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Eagle Eyes of Chris Kamara

I've watched this three times in a row and I'm crying with laughter. Chris Kamara, what a bloke.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

On This Day.....Gabriel's Hounds

Gabriel's Hounds - Wild Geese; from the noise they make when flying, and from the legend that they are the souls of unbaptised children doomed to wander until the Day of Judgement - Albert Hyamson, Dictionary of English Phrases.

The painting is Canada Geese by Nigel Gittins

Today is also the anniversary of the birth of the poet William Wordsworth.

'He the seven birds hath seen, that never part,
For overhead are sweeping Gabriel's Hounds,
Doomed with their impious Lord, the flying hart,
To chase forever on aerial grounds' - William Wordsworth, Miscellaneous Sonnets.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

The Phony War Is Over

(Poster by Scrumpy at b3ta)

Turkeys have called for Christmas etc.

General Election May 6th, I know they're nearly all dishonest buffoons, but still, use your vote or stop whining for the next five years.
Album Review : Charlemagne, By The Sword And The Cross - Christopher Lee 5*

I really, really wanted this album to be good, the concept of it sounded awesome, Sir Christopher Lee, a couple of metal bands, an orchestra and a choir and a concept album about battles and violence, it sounds like it should be great.

Sadly though, despite some good music and the voice of Saruman, the album takes itself rather too seriously and as such becomes just a little bit po-faced, camp and hammy. Christopher Lee's daughter Christina narrates the album in a strangely inflected style, her vocal emphasis comes at odd points in sentences which distracts from the story being told.

Lee himself has a great voice, especially considering that the man is just a few weeks from his 88th birthday, but, it is a really great speaking voice and doesn't hold up quite so well when he sings.

Charlemagne has been promoted in the press as a symphonic metal concept album, and it isn't that either, it is much more of a rock opera, don't buy this expecting heavy guitars and rock songs because their is a minimal amount of rocking going on. The album falls between two camps, it isn't an opera, and it isn't a rock album, and as such it isn't likely to make lovers of either style overly happy.

The main songs, or acts, are all largely similar, semi spoken word pieces telling the story of Charlemagne's life and epic battles, but even on the best of them, The Bloody Verdict Of Verden is the best of the main acts, the song style has just a hint of cheesiness about them, just enough so that you won't take it entirely seriously.

This is a valiant effort, and one or two tracks, the more metal Finale for one, work well. A lot of the rest though is somewhere between a musical, an opera and a film score and doesn't fill any of the roles entirely convincingly.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Me and my mate have just been fighting over which is the best vowel.

I won.
4 Days To The Start Of A New Season

Yorkshire's opening match playing Warwickshire starts this Friday, and as the season approaches, are Yorkshiremen positive and upbeat about the upcoming domestic season ?

Yorkshire have kept the services of batsman Jacques Rudolph, but are experiencing difficulties with finding a second overseas player. Ryan Harris, who recently made his Australian test debut, is playing IPL at the start of the English domestic season so Yorkshire lined up Kiwi quick Daryl Tuffey for the start of the season. Tuffey has now broken his hand and Yorkshire are left seeking a replacement for their replacement, Windies motormouth Tino Best seems to the the next option.

Yorkshire finished a disappointing 7th in the County Championship last season, 7th again in the Pro-40, didn't qualify from the group stage in the Friends Provident Trophy and only just finished above bottom placed Derbyshire in the 20-20 North Division. Looking at those results, captain Andrew Gale only has to avoid relegation to equal 2009's dismal record, but we really want better than that. We want Yorkshire to put up a decent challenge for the County title, and to get out of the group stages, at the very least, in other competitions.

Can Gale motivate a team, who are largely the same as far as personnel go, to improve and win more matches ? Tim Bresnan has found good form with England, but of course that means he will spend a large part of the summer playing for the national side, in a reversal of fortune Adil Rashid will probably play more games for Yorkshire than he will for his country, but that's because his form at a higher level has disintegrated.

(Spin bowler Adil Rashid)

Who then will step up to the crease this season and do something remarkable for Yorkshire, Joe Sayers, Lee Hodgson, Azeem Rafiq, Gerard Brophy. Are these the men who will propel Yorkshire CCC to victory and glory this season, let's hope so.
Chef Wanted

One or two people seem to think my my previous posting about the chef's job was a wind up as I posted it on April 1st, not so I'm afraid, that was just unfortunate timing.

Chef Phil is leaving us to further his career, it's been a good couple of years working with Phil and I will be sorry to see him leave.

So we need a new chef/cook, or someone who wants to be trained as. Hours are pretty decent as catering goes, Mon-Fri days with only a few weekend and evening shifts + holiday cover, full time position. Contact me at, or 01943 607277 at work.

I have been putting the job advert around the net this morning, the Gov jobs site, Craigslist, Polish Forums, and further suggestions are welcome.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

One Solitary Life

One Solitary Life, beautiful photography and the story of Jesus.

Thanks to Wosser for finding this.

Right, I think I have almost got the hang of Foursquare now, so what is it ? Foursquare is a combined social networking site, entertainment listings and recommendations.

It works like this, you download the app onto your phone, and then when you go out, say you visit the Rose & Crown, you use the app to 'check in' at the pub. Foursquare records your check in and gives you points for it, if you check in a venue more than anyone else you become the Mayor of that venue. Foursquare also tells you who amongst your friends might be at a particular venue, it also allows people to add idiosyncratic tips about places, "try the vindaloo at Royal Spice, it's super hot" for example.

Is being the Mayor any use ? Well, the site are hoping that business owners will award freebies for Mayors and regular customers. There is a short list of companies doing this at the moment, but Foursquare hasn't really found its feet yet in the UK so all the freebies are in the USA at the moment.

So, it's a game, a social networking thing, and an entertainments listing, I think the idea seems cool actually, although I'm not sure what free stuff I'm going to get for being the Mayor of Ilkley Golf Club.

My Foursquare page, if the times are a bit odd on my check ins, it is because I'm doing them from my PC at home, I wasn't really getting a takeaway curry at 7.15 this morning.