Jump to content

pluk

Moderator
  • Content Count

    4378
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    28

Reputation Activity

  1. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Luke_A for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  2. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Coaster for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  3. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Matt Creek for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  4. Like
    pluk got a reaction from coastercameron98 for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  5. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mer for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  6. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mark9 for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  7. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, Still Alive   
    I had a final destination type near death experience the other day.
    Driving to work along an A road a hail storm of biblical proportions suddenly fell out of an otherwise sunny sky, accompanied by a bit of thunder. I've never seen a lightning bolt hit the ground close up before, so when one hit a wooden power cable post about 20 ft in front of me a very nearly **** myself, such a blinding light and deafening crack of thunder that I could feel in the air as much as hear. The post exploded in an enormous shower of sparks which really filled the sky, followed almost instantly by another post on the opposite side of the road which the bolt must have traveled to along the cable to. It was like driving through an 80's car advert.
    I was doing about 60 at the time when amongst the chaos I noticed out of the corner of my eye something falling towards me from above. The power cable between the two posts was dropping out of the sky onto the road below and I was driving towards it. Now I know that you are insulated from electricity in a car but at that moment you don't think that rationally and I was convinced I'd explode like the posts if it touched my car. It flashed through my mind whether to slam my brakes on and hope I stopped in time or put my foot down and try to get under it.
    Not wanting to come to a stop right underneath it I slammed my foot on the accelerator. The power cable bounced off my windscreen and into the floor behind me in another huge shower of sparks. I guess if had smashed through I'd have been a goner but it didn't even make a mark, I survived. That was an exciting couple of seconds I can tell you.
  8. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mer for a blog entry, Old time clubbing   
    The talk of a '90's Anthems' MoS night at Thorpe in the summer has got me excited about some of the old music my clubbing days were made from.
    I'm a bit past clubbing these days, but from my few experiences of recent times things have changed for the worse in club land. Everyone seems to take themselves too seriously, the music is either angry or made by numbers lightweight commercial rubbish, and the mixing is soulless; relying on computers to keep it too slick and taking all the energy out of it. Clubs used to be dirty, sweaty and carefree places, it didn't matter what you looked like as long as you were having a good time. Now it's all posturing and posing. If I jumped round the dancefloor like I used to I think I'd get sectioned.
    Maybe it's the manifestation of the change of most people being on acid or ecstasy back then to nearly everyone being on coke or truly excessively drunk now. Maybe it is because clubbing has become the standard after pub choice for drinkers, rather than the original destination for music as it was back then, not an after pub bolt on to the evening to grab some bonus drinking time. People didn't go to clubs to get smashed, you were there for the music and that's all you needed really.
    There are some tunes you haven't lived until you've heard them ear-splittingly loud in a room full of buzzing people who are loving it just as much as you are. Here are a few that spring to mind and I hope to hear at Thorpe in June...



    http://youtu.be/Z4NpnPBfI44












    I could go on forever.
    Oh dear, seems like I've turned into my Dad where everything was 'better in my day'. Well it was.
  9. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Han30 for a blog entry, Old time clubbing   
    The talk of a '90's Anthems' MoS night at Thorpe in the summer has got me excited about some of the old music my clubbing days were made from.
    I'm a bit past clubbing these days, but from my few experiences of recent times things have changed for the worse in club land. Everyone seems to take themselves too seriously, the music is either angry or made by numbers lightweight commercial rubbish, and the mixing is soulless; relying on computers to keep it too slick and taking all the energy out of it. Clubs used to be dirty, sweaty and carefree places, it didn't matter what you looked like as long as you were having a good time. Now it's all posturing and posing. If I jumped round the dancefloor like I used to I think I'd get sectioned.
    Maybe it's the manifestation of the change of most people being on acid or ecstasy back then to nearly everyone being on coke or truly excessively drunk now. Maybe it is because clubbing has become the standard after pub choice for drinkers, rather than the original destination for music as it was back then, not an after pub bolt on to the evening to grab some bonus drinking time. People didn't go to clubs to get smashed, you were there for the music and that's all you needed really.
    There are some tunes you haven't lived until you've heard them ear-splittingly loud in a room full of buzzing people who are loving it just as much as you are. Here are a few that spring to mind and I hope to hear at Thorpe in June...



    http://youtu.be/Z4NpnPBfI44












    I could go on forever.
    Oh dear, seems like I've turned into my Dad where everything was 'better in my day'. Well it was.
  10. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, Old time clubbing   
    The talk of a '90's Anthems' MoS night at Thorpe in the summer has got me excited about some of the old music my clubbing days were made from.
    I'm a bit past clubbing these days, but from my few experiences of recent times things have changed for the worse in club land. Everyone seems to take themselves too seriously, the music is either angry or made by numbers lightweight commercial rubbish, and the mixing is soulless; relying on computers to keep it too slick and taking all the energy out of it. Clubs used to be dirty, sweaty and carefree places, it didn't matter what you looked like as long as you were having a good time. Now it's all posturing and posing. If I jumped round the dancefloor like I used to I think I'd get sectioned.
    Maybe it's the manifestation of the change of most people being on acid or ecstasy back then to nearly everyone being on coke or truly excessively drunk now. Maybe it is because clubbing has become the standard after pub choice for drinkers, rather than the original destination for music as it was back then, not an after pub bolt on to the evening to grab some bonus drinking time. People didn't go to clubs to get smashed, you were there for the music and that's all you needed really.
    There are some tunes you haven't lived until you've heard them ear-splittingly loud in a room full of buzzing people who are loving it just as much as you are. Here are a few that spring to mind and I hope to hear at Thorpe in June...



    http://youtu.be/Z4NpnPBfI44












    I could go on forever.
    Oh dear, seems like I've turned into my Dad where everything was 'better in my day'. Well it was.
  11. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. for a blog entry, The Swarm - Forwards vs Backwards   
    As we know, following a poor response to marketing of Swarm last year, Thorpe decided to "revisit" Swarm's image and increase the "'thrill factor' for visitors". This was despite very positive reviews for Swarm as it stood last year. So, along with the new billboard theming elements, the back two rows have been turned backwards.
    Now, in a way, it's very hard to do a comparison between the two. They are, essentially, the same ride - they follow the same layout, you more or less experience the same things, the off-ride experiences (queuing, ride interaction, etc.) are basically the same and so forth. More or less the only difference is the way you're facing. So, a comparison between the two is highly subjective - it boils down to what you're looking for when you ride Swarm.
    So, the best way I can think to compare the two experiences is to focus on individual aspects of the ride's layout and how they ride when going forwards and backwards. Then, any other things can just be dealt with afterwards...
    Inverted Drop
    One of the defining features of Swarm is the 'head first inverted drop'. When going forwards, you are either in the front row, so are left looking at the track ahead of you, unaware of how much of a spectacle the 180 degree turn really is. In any other row, you see the train twist slowly upside, which is one amazing sight. It shocks you, makes you realise what you're about to experience, and before you know it - there you are, spinning around yourself. It is truly great. Going backwards has little difference to the front row in my opinion, except you just don't know exactly when it will happen. It's still a great feeling, but it neither adds nor takes away from the experience. So, basically, either way, it's great!
    The Plane Wing
    The first of the near misses really does little for me when going forwards. It's there, but it is a generic 'close, but not too close' near miss. It's certainly there more for the spectacle of it all as opposed to being something that's genuinely too close for comfort. That said, when on the left hand side of the train, it can catch first-timers off guard. When going backwards, it's as you would expect - you don't see it. I personally don't really even realise it's there when going backwards - may as well be a mist box there as the plane wing adds absolutely nothing. So the plane wing is nice and all going forwards, and superfluous when going backwards. So, forwards > backwards.
    Zero-G Roll
    Now, I absolutely LOVE this when going forwards. It's an inversion you really, really feel - something which I think is lost on more modern inverting coasters. When you are nearer the back of the train, it's great being able to see the train twist through the inversion as well. Going backwards is good as well; again, you really feel the inversion. But I'm not as big a fan of it going backwards; I still enjoy it, but just not as much as going forwards. A part of me thinks that, because when you were at the back of the train (I.e. row 7) and going forwards, it added to the idea of seeing the train twist through even more, I'm thinking that 'well, the backwards rows lose this effect'. Thus, as a straight out comparison between the forwards and backwards rows, I think the forwards rows JUST edge it out over the backwards rows, but comparing the Swarm we have now to the Swarm we had last year, the Swarm we had last year was better. So, forwards > backwards.
    It is here I'd also compare the ways facing when the fire goes off from the fire engine, but as I've only been fortunate enough to experience it going forwards, it would be unfair of me to compare.
    The Billboard
    The all new near miss for 2013 is certainly a great addition. Many people's favourite near miss of the ride, it is certainly effective. Off ride, it is great to look at, and has a nice bit of quirkiness to it. On ride, when going forwards, just WOW. The way the train twists out of the zero-G roll means is it is genuinely an exciting feature and one where it seems like you may not 'twist enough in time'. The left hand side also provides a secondary near miss after the corkscrew, which is nice. Backwards though, you of course don't get the effect. You simply twist out of the zero-G roll and dive on through. Yeah sure, you see it afterwards (which is a nice advantage of the billboard compared to the other near misses, as it feels designed for backwards as well as forwards viewing, probably due to the fact it was built with the backwards rows in mind), but it's nothing special really. So, again, forwards > backwards.

    The back of the billboard.
    The inclined loop follows. It's nothing special either way - just a solid element that is paced well. Nothing more to say here other than forwards and backwards are equally solid.
    Turnaround / The Helicopter
    The turnaround is probably by favourite section of the ride when going forwards. It is surprisingly fast and forceful, and lasts a decent length of time. When on the right hand side of the train, it is just phenomenal, with the addition of the water spray and the subtle near miss of the spinning helicopter blades which can catch the unsuspecting off guard. One of the reasons why last season the back-right seat became my favourite was because of this part of the ride - you'd get a splash of water, force, speed and a near miss - what more could you want?! Backwards through this section is great as well; being able to see the water effect 'chase' you feels nice, and is something missed a bit when going forwards. But the subtle near miss from the helicopter is missed, which is a shame, as it is my favourite near miss of the ride.
    When it boils down to it, riding forwards or backwards through this section of the ride is equally good. However, I did prefer back-right going forwards to going backwards there.
    Corkscrew
    The entrance into this element is great, continuing the forcefulness of the turnaround. Going forwards, the corkscrew is another solid element, and I think it has been designed with the visual spectacle in mind - going through the inclined loop looks great off ride. However, going backwards, it is a real highlight. I can't explain it really, but I just love it. Maybe it's the novelty of doing a common inversion on coasters backwards, but it's just a great feeling and the one thing I think 'WOW' about the most after riding backwards. So, backwards > forwards.

    The corkscrew, beautifully cutting through the inclined loop!
    The Tower, Church and Inline Twist
    Near miss wise, I don't rate the tower or church highly. They're a very generic 'close, but not too close' near miss, and whilst nice, it doesn't impress me much. This doesn't mean they're bad in any way, and off ride it is simply stunning. The inline twist is, as with all the inversions, one you feel, and even if you don't get the near miss effect too much from the theming, it's still great being twisted upside down over it! Backwards you miss the near misses (same old story there then...), but the inline twist is fun, and as with going forwards, it's great seeing the station when you're hurled upside down. So, backwards and forwards are both equally good.

    The tower, where the brilliant 'Swarm noise' plays.
    And that basically ends the ride. The rest that follows is the worst part of the ride as it stands, going forwards or backwards.
    Other Bits and Bobs
    Just one final thing I want to say. I'm going to ignore the fact that I hate the way the queue system works and not use that in my judgement of which 'way' is better. However, the fact that the old Fastrack queue is now the backwards queue means there's less chance to see the ride in action, and it's harder to see the queue line TVs (and they are less frequent). I'm a big fan of having the experience of a ride start when you enter the queue, and finish when you're out of exit - a ride should never just be about the hardware. The backwards queue suffers from the fact that you can't get a decent 'feel' of the back story unless you've already seen it, which is a shame. It's only a little niggle, but it's a niggle nonetheless.
    And so, there we have it. So, if you haven't been counting, here's how each of the individual on-ride elements 'score up', if you will:
    Forwards 'wins' - 3
    Backwards 'wins' - 1
    Ties - 4
    The fact that there are equally many ties and 'wins' should tell one thing - The Swarm is an amazing ride. Whether you have the seats facing forwards, backwards, inwards, whatever-way-wards, you won't take that away. However, facing forwards is the way forward (if you'll pardon the pun...); as, simply put, it allows you to experience the theming and the near misses that Swarm has been designed to take advantage of. If you take them out the equation, the experience is lacking something. Now, me knocking the backwards rows all sounds very negative, but honestly, it is my third favourite coaster experience - only beaten by Swarm going forwards and Nemesis at Alton Towers. So, time for the final verdict:
    The Swarm (Forwards): 10/10 (In a way, I don't want to give it a perfect score, but I just can't justify not doing so).
    The Swarm (Backwards): 8.5/10
    (And comments and criticisms are welcome! )
  12. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Han30 for a blog entry, absolute 80's   
    Well the CD is still stuck in the car player, so this week what I have been mostly listening to the hum of rubber on road. I've given up and turned her off.
    Once at work though, I've had an unusually office based few days. Most of the time I'm out in cars without music radios so it makes a nice change to be inside with some audio company even if it is frustrating not being out and about fighting crime. Some genius in the office had left our little DAB on the superb Absolute 80s which for someone my age turns the radio into a magical box of memories. Not great for my productivity to be honest, but made the nights fly by...


    This so vividly transports me back into the hurricane of 1987. About 3 in the morning, sitting in the dining room with my Mum, Dad and Sister, with the wind howling like nothing I've heard before or since. We were sitting in the dining room because it was the only central room in the house, with no windows to the outside world which were threatening to blow in at any time. While this was playing the room became much less internal as our conservatory gave into the wind and took off, never to be seen again. It was an incredibly exciting night!


    Although I would have been in many before the first time I specifically remember being in a pub this was playing, with the video on the TV too, quite a novel thing in a pub back then. It was in Norfolk with my Dad and Grandad while my Mum and Nan stayed home, a pub was a mans place then. I was allowed a sip of beer, I remember quite liking it!
    Also work related this week, it is 5 years since I joined the Police. It was a very daunting thing, going from something I knew inside out where I was at the top to being the new boy, the clueless beginner with everything to learn. I remember driving towards the police college for the very first time, not knowing what to expect or really if I was even up to it. The thought of all the training and proving myself to come felt crushing, as someone going in knowing nothing I felt so small and insignificant I half wanted to turn around, drive home and ask for my old job back. But then as I joined the A130 in the final run towards Chelmsford a song came on the radio. It had nothing to do with anything but was so fresh, so upbeat and just happy it totally changed my outlook. The day and months ahead suddenly felt like an exciting challenge, not a burden, and I've loved nearly very minute since.


    Inescapable this week is this little nugget of turd


    It's horrific. Every time it gets to the chorus and it doesn't quite follow the melody it has otherwise wholly ripped off I want to scream. It has no redeeming features, from the talentless bloke speaking over most of it to the shallow weak production, I have no idea why it keeps getting played and people seem to be buying it. It isn't even an original rip off, it is a rip off of a rip off after last years Alone Again by Alyssa Reid, who at least managed to learn the whole tune before she gave it a go even if she did butcher it in exactly the same way. For those who don't know, what these are both ripping of is the powerful and beautiful Alone by Heart.


    Doesn't need improving, does it?
    Laters.
  13. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, absolute 80's   
    Well the CD is still stuck in the car player, so this week what I have been mostly listening to the hum of rubber on road. I've given up and turned her off.
    Once at work though, I've had an unusually office based few days. Most of the time I'm out in cars without music radios so it makes a nice change to be inside with some audio company even if it is frustrating not being out and about fighting crime. Some genius in the office had left our little DAB on the superb Absolute 80s which for someone my age turns the radio into a magical box of memories. Not great for my productivity to be honest, but made the nights fly by...


    This so vividly transports me back into the hurricane of 1987. About 3 in the morning, sitting in the dining room with my Mum, Dad and Sister, with the wind howling like nothing I've heard before or since. We were sitting in the dining room because it was the only central room in the house, with no windows to the outside world which were threatening to blow in at any time. While this was playing the room became much less internal as our conservatory gave into the wind and took off, never to be seen again. It was an incredibly exciting night!


    Although I would have been in many before the first time I specifically remember being in a pub this was playing, with the video on the TV too, quite a novel thing in a pub back then. It was in Norfolk with my Dad and Grandad while my Mum and Nan stayed home, a pub was a mans place then. I was allowed a sip of beer, I remember quite liking it!
    Also work related this week, it is 5 years since I joined the Police. It was a very daunting thing, going from something I knew inside out where I was at the top to being the new boy, the clueless beginner with everything to learn. I remember driving towards the police college for the very first time, not knowing what to expect or really if I was even up to it. The thought of all the training and proving myself to come felt crushing, as someone going in knowing nothing I felt so small and insignificant I half wanted to turn around, drive home and ask for my old job back. But then as I joined the A130 in the final run towards Chelmsford a song came on the radio. It had nothing to do with anything but was so fresh, so upbeat and just happy it totally changed my outlook. The day and months ahead suddenly felt like an exciting challenge, not a burden, and I've loved nearly very minute since.


    Inescapable this week is this little nugget of turd


    It's horrific. Every time it gets to the chorus and it doesn't quite follow the melody it has otherwise wholly ripped off I want to scream. It has no redeeming features, from the talentless bloke speaking over most of it to the shallow weak production, I have no idea why it keeps getting played and people seem to be buying it. It isn't even an original rip off, it is a rip off of a rip off after last years Alone Again by Alyssa Reid, who at least managed to learn the whole tune before she gave it a go even if she did butcher it in exactly the same way. For those who don't know, what these are both ripping of is the powerful and beautiful Alone by Heart.


    Doesn't need improving, does it?
    Laters.
  14. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. for a blog entry, Is the concept of a 'Vanilla Coaster' dying?   
    In the past two decades or so, roller coaster manufacturing has seen many technological advances. Back in the 1980s, the idea of having a roller coaster where the trains were underneath the track or having a launched roller coaster was about as technologically superior as the industry has reached. The first 'suspended' coaster, 'The Bat' at Kings Island in America, opening in 1981, only to close two years later due to being highly temperamental, whilst the first launched coaster, 'King Kobra' at Kings Dominion opened in 1977, though the model was inefficient and nowhere near the type of launches commonly used in today's roller coasters (although clones of King Kobra do still operate today!).
    However, in the past two decades, we have seen many technological advances. 21 years ago saw the introduction of the first 'inverted' roller coaster (not to be confused with a suspended coaster), which was the first roller coaster to have trains underneath the track, yet act like one where the trains were above the track. In 1998, the world's first vertical drop roller coaster opening, with Oblivion at Alton Towers. Though this may not sound impressive, it is indeed a technological advancement in the way the train's wheels are designed, so that the trains are able to stay on the track. We have also seen the introduction of many other styles of roller coasters, such as flying roller coasters, winged roller coasters, beyond-vertical drop roller coasters and so much more.
    So, what is this 'vanilla roller coaster' I speak of in the title? It's not a technical term when designing a roller coaster, not is it something said to market one; it is probably a term I've made up.. Well, it's a plain and simple roller coaster - the train sits above the track, you sit down in the train, get strapped in, and away you go. There's no bits of 'trick track' (whereby the track itself moves to create an additional effect, such as track dropping vertically like a drop tower). There's no gimmicky elements to the track, such as ridiculously steep drops (vertical and beyond). There's no launches or anything like that. So basically, the plainest of the plain roller coasters (much like the flavour vanilla).

    Silver Star is an example of what I would call a 'Vanilla Coaster'. (Photo taken from CoasterForce).

    Saw - The Ride is not what I would call a Vanilla Coaster, due to the gimmicky 100 degrees 'beyond-vertical' drop it features.
    Hopefully that gives a clear enough definition of what I define to be a Vanilla Coaster. Of course, many may disagree that vanilla coasters are something which should be defined, or that what I class as vanilla coasters is incorrect, but more on this later.
    But, are vanilla coasters now dying in the current coaster market? There's a plethora of ride types available, all of which are capable of doing something vanilla coasters cannot, so they will add an extra dimension to any park's line up - give something for parks to scream and shout about. The addition of a gimmick or something different brings in crowds, so, what's not to like?
    Now seems like a nice time for a little analogy - what would you prefer: a rich, creamy Madagascar Vanilla ice cream full of proper vanilla flavour, or some Tesco Everyday Value chocolate ice cream? Coming from someone who prefers chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream, I'd still go for the former of the two options. And the same goes for roller coasters - I'd much rather be riding a excellent roller coaster which does nothing but go round a track with no gimmicks, than ride an okay coaster that has some gimmick(s) to it.
    So then, are vanilla coasters actually a dying concept? Well, in my opinion, yes, they are. Let's that UK theme parks for an example. Since 2003, the only vanilla coaster I can vaguely think of being introduced in the UK is 'Kiddi Koaster' at Adventure Island in 2011. So, out of at least fifteen new coasters added in the UK in the past 10 years (there's no doubt more, but this is just a quick search from major theme parks), one of them has been my so-called vanilla coaster. So, in my opinion, it's safe to say that vanilla coasters are dying in the UK, and no doubt worldwide. Why exactly they are dying is likely down to what I explained earlier - that other coasters can offer things vanilla coasters cannot. If a park gets something different, something unique, and it is in itself a good ride, then of course such a coaster is going to be seen as a better option than a vanilla coaster. To go back to the earlier analogy - given the choice of a rich, creamy Madagascar Vanilla ice cream or a 500ml tub of Ben & Jerry's, you're pretty much in a win-win situation, and it comes down to personal taste. The same applies here; given the choice of a great vanilla coaster or a great non-vanilla coaster, the choice just comes down to what is preferred - and that almost always is the non-vanilla option, because of the large variety of choice.
    So, on that note, we can see that if the concept of the vanilla coaster is dying, it's not a bad thing. But maybe, it's not dying, and the concept of a vanilla coaster is fluid - perhaps what defines 'vanilla' changes as coaster manufacturing improves. For example, launches are a very common feature these days on rides, and are incorporated a lot more naturally than they used to be. It is far from unusual to see launches used on coasters with lift hills, and the launch is not as much as a gimmick 'one hit feature' of a ride (unlike with, say, Stealth, where the launch pretty much is the ride). So maybe vanilla coasters have naturally developed to include launches, thus greatly expanding what defines one. Maybe the gimmick of vertical or beyond vertical drops is not really that much of a gimmick, and just an extra feature available due to advancements in technology. Really and truly, is it just picky of me to call Gerstlauer Eurofighters such as Saw a non-vanilla coaster? Probably. So, again, that expands the rides defined by a vanilla coaster. With inclusions such as these, the concept of a vanilla coaster is most certainly not dying. Even rides inverted coasters are pretty common these days, though to call it a type of vanilla coaster in my eyes would be rather extreme in my opinion, it is perhaps a 'chocolate coaster', in that it is common, but not the most basic.
    One final point to finish - maybe all of this just doesn't matter. So what if a certain type of roller coaster design is becoming less commonly built? There's still plenty of good coasters types out there, and plenty of good coasters to be ridden. Some types of roller coasters have bitten the dust in the past, such as 'pipeline coasters', and some types never really caught on, such as backwards in the dark. Other types never rethinking / extra work done to them before they catch, as can sort of be seen with 'Winged roller coasters'. Maybe the concept of a vanilla coaster dying is in no way a bad thing; it just shows a natural development in the roller coaster industry, and for all we know, they could come back into fashion before we know it..
    So, that's it really. I had no idea where this would be going, so no idea if the trail of thought of this seems logical in any way. To be honest, even though this is finished, and this was a 'topic' I've thought about for a long time, I don't even have an idea of what I've concluded. I've argued it is possible that vanilla coasters are dying, but in the Golden Ticket 2012 Awards (one of the more reliable roller coaster rankings I've seen), the Top 10 steel roller coasters all fit my original definition of a vanilla coaster. So, maybe, even those aren't dying? But who knows? I guess what I finish off with saying is that the roller coaster industry is developing in so many ways that sometimes it is forgotten that all is need when it comes to the actual roller coaster is trains on a well-designed, fun track layout.
  15. Like
    pluk reacted to Sidders for a blog entry, Let's take a look at 10 lamazing songs from 2012.   
    Some alright songs were released in 2012. I've made a list of ten of them, including some that I think are a little bit better than I give them credit for.
    AWOLNATION - 'Kill Your Heroes' (from: 'Megalithic Symphony')

    AWOLNATION are an odd band. One minute they're happy enough screaming out erratic, borderline psychologically-damaged odes to pyromania and suffering as on 'Burn It Down' and 'Soul Wars' and the next they're plodding along to pop-lite melodies like 'Jump On My Shoulders', complete with la-la-la-ing post-choruses. 'Kill Your Heroes' is a brief reprieve with the extremities of their apparent dissociative identity, happily straddling the fence between throat-shredding wailing and infectious melodic catchiness. The lyrics may come across as too eager to scan as modern-age poetry ("Never let your fear decide your fate/I say you kill your heroes and fly") but the aloof references to carving your own path in life and breaking free from the shadows of idols doesn't stop 'Kill Your Heroes' becoming an easy entry point into the rest of their music. Whilst it's not out and out their best track, it's in this list because it whets the appetite to try out some of their other, better tracks.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'Wake Up', 'Soul Wars', 'Sail'.
    7/10
    The Sound of Arrows - 'Conquest' (from: 'Voyage')

    It's never easy to write about this duo, but in short, they're Swedish; they do pop music, and they're ****ing brilliant at it. Ambition and wide-eyed wonder illuminate the red velvet layers of synth-brass on ‘Conquest’, a song focusing on the age-old theme of achieving the impossible and rising against the odds. There's a timeless feel to Storm's lyrics and his featherweight voice; something ardent for accomplishment and celebration that suitably fills every available space it can reach. The song's production is flawless, packed with ideas and subliminal layers but never once feeling over-bearing. Though poppier and nowhere near a 'smooth'-sounding as the majority of the rest of the stunning album 'Voyage' , 'Conquest's tones and textures are rendered beautifully and almost feel alive, billowing gently as the pastel-coloured, metallic melodies translate as softly appealing and commanding at the same time.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'Nova', 'Wonders', 'There Is Still Hope'.
    10/10
    Imagine Dragons - 'It's Time' (from: 'Night Visions')

    'It's Time' is the flagship song for Las Vegas-born Imagine Dragons, effortlessly encapsulating everything their music is. Despite being active since 2008 and releasing an EP every year since 2009 (with full LP 'Night Visions' released earlier this year), they've only very recently had some recognition in the UK with 'Radioactive' and 'Hear Me', two songs which barely hit the Top 40 and exist in two different genres that themselves are wildly different from the chiming, stomping, sonic celebration of 'It's Time'. But don’t think that means they’re the type of band who require an Apple product or a low-budget film about coming of age to provide the soundtrack for in order to surface to popular consciousness. Much of 'It's Time's success as a song can be attributed to the band’s ear for a killer hook and lead singer Dan Reynolds’ grounded poetic lyricism, the result being that even though they sing into unpredictable, shifting abysses, the opulence of their music still burns with the expanse and intimacy of a candlelit dinner in the Nevada desert.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'Tiptoe', 'Working Man', 'Hear Me'.
    10/10
    St. Lucia - 'All Eyes On You' (from: 'St. Lucia')

    This one's an interesting one. It sounds like something whipped off a B-side released by an off-the-radar artist in the 80's. It's also been used in Hollister & Co. advertising and probably soundtracks the wet dreams of the type of people who eat lentil soup and Instagram packets of fig rolls. St. Lucia aren't ever going to take off and the hipsters will like that, as will I because a lot of everything else that St. Lucia have put their name to could pass as lullabies for the indie market. However, as a momentary blip of redemption, the reserved tone and almost blase delivery to the lyrics on 'All Eyes On You' turn what could otherwise pail as a slow-dancing borefest into a certifiably palatable mix of indie dweebness and knitwear-clad passion.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'September', 'We Got It Wrong'.
    6/10
    The Killers - 'The Way It Was' (from: 'Battle Born')

    Let's be brutally honest: this isn't really a Killers song. It's the closest you'll get to a Killers song on new album 'Battle Born' though (unless you consider 'Day & Age' as the pinnacle of The Killers' trademark indie-quirk fanfare, in which case 'Flesh and Bone' has a good chance of buoying the rest of a poor album for you). But whilst the lukewarm 'Runaways' and sleeper-hit 'Miss Atomic Bomb's only distinctions as Killers songs is Brandon's voice, 'Deadlines and Commitments' carries on the theme of family issues and personal identity crises as heard on 'Sam's Town' as vividly as ever.
    The song's gentle guitar canter and minor key gloominess serve to establish hackneyed lyrics as an empathetic plea for mutual understanding, supported by a side-helping of wishful thinking, which brings a genuine warmth to the song. The gentle motif at the end of every line marries perfectly with some of the best lyrics on the album.
    Other songs worth listening to (from 'Battle Born'): 'Deadlines and Commitments', 'Flesh & Bone', 'Miss Atomic Bomb'.
    9/10
    King Charles - 'Lady Percy' (from: 'LoveBlood')

    Round about 2010, popular chart music shifted into two very different gravitational fields. One has, sadly, prevailed till this day and involved barely-talented label puppets diving headlong into the latest musical technologies and the other, which has dwindled of late, involved returning to rootsier, acoustic sounds. Among the acts to have been picked up on this wave were Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling, Damien Rice, and Noah And The Whale. Birth-child of Prince and Adam Ant, King Charles, was nowhere to be seen though, but that's probably a good thing because after the promising 'Lady Percy' and 'The Brightest Lights', the rest of début album 'LoveBlood' ran like a hipster's paradise, even including comparisons of a loved one to the wax in his mustache.
    'Lady Percy' runs dangerously close to making such declarations of devotion to make Ed Sheeran blush, but the pacing, the bluegrass influences and the rustic overtones from the breezy instrumentation of guitars, banjos, steel drums and gospel choirs are combined in a rare stroke of breezy and summery genius for the bequiffed hipster.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'The Brightest Lights' (featuring Mumford & Sons), 'Mississippi Isabel'.
    9/10
    Aiden Grimshaw - 'This Island' (from: 'Misty Eye')

    Imagine Moby and Gary Jules had a musical offspring and you'll land right on the money with the sound of 'This Island'. A lot of sulky X Factor runner-up Aiden Grimshaw's music revolves around the same effortless groove and smouldering intensity. After X Factor, Grimshaw disappeared and came back a year and a half later with 'Misty Eye', which serves as just about the gloomiest, lest conventional post-X Factor release ever. 'This Island' is a swirling, hi-fi journey through suicidal thoughts and psychotic murmurs backed by the monochromatic of a Jarrad Rodgers production. Throughout the thematically lead-heavy track about being isolated and cut off from everyone, Grimshaw demands attention and empathy to the point listening to a whole album of such tracks can become one hell of a challenge. But here, Aiden provides a relatable understanding and a fearful reverence of the maddening loneliness that we all strive to evade.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'Hold On', 'Is This Love?'.
    7/10
    Ed Sheeran - 'Give Me Love' (from: '+')

    Another soppy one, and from someone who fervently speaks about his hatred for Ed Sheeran's acoustic guitar-wielding bellendery, 'Give Me Love' does something completely unprecedented. Whilst the usual Sheeran simpering is still as prevalent as ever, he's stripped back the awkward metaphors and overly acute observations about love's little trivialities; the cups of tea, the strawberries and the tweeting birds aren't mentioned here; things may get a bit grisly when in the chorus he rolls out the lyrics "We'll play hide and seek to turn this around", but it's worth learning to love it as the song's climax displays the maturer prowess that seems all too rare in Sheeran since the release of '+'. The song slowly transforms from just another Ed Sheeran ballad with improved lyrics into a borderline euphoric flood of passion; the intensity cranked up and Sheeran's vocals impressively pulling off desperation without feeling as cringe-worthy as the thought of him screaming "Love me" might first seem.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'You Need Me, I Don't Need You' (version from the 'Small Change EP').
    8/10
    M83 - 'Wait' (from: 'Hurry Up, We're Dreaming')

    If you've not heard M83's 'Midnight City' by now then you've been living in a cave. Most only know it by it's effervescent synths and that hook, but it's use on advertising campaigns and throughout the 2012 Olympic Games coverage should be enough for you to have had it ingrained by now. Follow-up singles 'Reunion' and 'Wait' haven't enjoyed the low-key success of 'Midnight City', but it's not big surprise. 'Wait' is an ambient track, slowly moving through it's duration and occasionally interrupted by Anthony Gonzalez's vocals, at first softly accompanying the delicate strumming until the chorus approaches and he cries with tangible emotion over the spaciousness of the precision-formed production. This song's final two minutes are like musical gold dust.
    Other songs worth listening to: 'We Own The Sky', 'Midnight City', ''Lower Your Eyelids To Die With The Sun'.
    10/10
    There's plenty of other contenders to be fair, and these are by no means the best 2012 had to offer, so don't be boring and complain about chart music be uninteresting. Go find your own music and put Capital FM out of a job.
  16. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Phill Pritchard for a blog entry, Music is the answer   
    First off, I don't really get this bloging thing. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm old. Well, older than most here and so I haven't grown up with computers and internet and forums and now blogs, so some times it takes me a while to 'get' it. I had to grow up the hard way when if I wanted to see one of my friends I had to get on my bike, cycle to their house and ask their Mum if they could come out and play, not send them a text or Skype them or comment on their latest blog about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies. Sometimes it was raining and I actually got wet. And then there was all that awkward social interaction to bumble my way through. Oh the hardships.
    I don't understand why, when there's a lovely little forum a couple of tabs along, there's now another place for people to write down their ramblings? I'll guess it is because people have something to say which they don't want disappearing on to a previous page a couple of days later never to be seen again, because what they have to say is so important and insightful it should not be damned to an eternity of obscurity on page 5 of 6 and instead needs a topic of it's own in the form of a blog entry for all to admire. Well I have nothing of such importance or insight to say that it deserves it's own little corner of the internet all to itself, but I'll say it anyway as it doesn't seem to have stopped anyone else.
    Just have to think of something to write first. I'm going to guess people don't want to read about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies, so what will be my 'thing'? I am passionate about my work so I'm sure I'll touch on policing, crime and the current disturbing destruction of the police by our government that everyone should be worried about, but that won't be much fun. I enjoy TV, radio, film and skiing but am nothing of an expert in any of them. My real love is music, so there I shall start.
    It is a god awful song and an annoying and overused phrase, but rather apt here, that life is like a rollercoaster. Most of it may turn out to be dull flat bits but everyone goes through their ups and downs, which is nice and exciting until you realise your riding an intermin, your restraint has failed and it is so bloody terrifying you don't know if you can hang on. I've had a fair few of these periods in my life, which will be much worse than anything that has ever happened to other people because it happened to me instead. But now, my theme tune.


    Since I was tiny right up until today one thing has been there for me and really has got me through some of those tough times. Music has helped me so much when I've been in some bad places, the right song at the right time can do so much. Music really has been the answer to my problems and has shaped who I am and how I think. It is strange that a melody or lyric created by someone I don't know, not for me or about my life, can resonate so strongly and fit my situation so perfectly it's as if I am the only person it was ever intended for. For some of these songs the moment will pass and the meaning will fade, but others I'm sure will stay with me forever. Here are a few of the latter, any of which can make me weep quite unexpectedly if my head is in the right (or wrong) place.
    They are probably no revelation, they are fairly mainstream and you'll probably know most or all of them. Of course it is entirely personal to me and a lot of it will be down to what was going on in my life at the time rather than the track itself, so they are likely to do nothing for you on any emotional level, but maybe try and detach them from the film, tv show or advert they've whored themselves out to and listen to the original feeling. I won't go in to why these in particular came to mean so much now, maybe another time, but each one has helped shape who I am today, I would be a different person had I never had them. They are me.




    (about four Badly Drawn Boy tracks could be here. He is special)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezUkQZx9rw


    (and on the whole I really dislike Sting. But this? )




    Laters.
  17. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. for a blog entry, Jogging On   
    So, in a contrast to my other blog, these entries will be about all things not related to theme parks. There'll be entries which are a little bit serious and / or personal, like this one, and there'll be some which are just random. Either way, hope you enjoy!
    So, this is going to ramble on for ages, but basically it's about me and exercising / sports. Probably sounds quite boring in honesty, but hey-ho. A few years back, (about 7 or 8 years actually thinking about it; I'm starting to feel a little bit old now... ) I was part of a local fencing club. I was by no means great at it, and only took part in one competition after a few months of taking part and lost every match, but I really enjoyed it - which is what counts when playing sports. I did improve as I went on, but unfortunately after about 18 months, the head coach did a runner from the club; a couple of years later I saw his name pop up in the paper following a court case, and I'll leave that there...
    So, after 18 months, I stopped fencing. The nearest club to me was about 30-40 minutes train ride to me, and was over twice the price for yearly membership; it was just something that couldn't be committed to financially. So, until recently, the only sport I really did was the sports done in PE at school, and that was only until I was 16. The only real exercise I did was cycle my bike (which I enjoy doing, but I just don't do it as regular as I should).
    So, needless to say that over this time, I got quite 'big' - by which I basically mean overweight. Doing little exercise and sometimes 'binge eating' if you will due to many spouts of bullying, it would of course happen. Fortunately, I've never been clinically obese, but I have indeed been overweight, unfit and so forth. Being perfectly honest, I was probably in denial for a period of time thinking that it was just a 'phase' that I would 'grow out of', and would eventually just magically lose weight. To those of you who have met me in real life, or stalked photos of me on Facebook for whatever reason, you would no doubt agree that I am on 'the large side', if you were to put in politely. Whilst I am, naturally, self-conscious about my weight, I have no problems with people who do put it politely / helpfully, as I agree.
    Anyways, back to the topic in hand... As some who read this may know, I started university last month. When joining, I always had the intention of joining one of the many sports clubs and sticking to it - maybe even be part of one of the teams / take part in competitions, just for the fun of it mainly, but also to get back on track with my fitness. There's a fencing club at my uni; all seems great I think; I can get my fitness back on track and get back into a sport I know I enjoy!
    But things are never that easy it seems. I went along to a free taster session, and was getting kitted up after arriving. For those not aware, you need a fair bit of clothing to fence, namely an 'under jacket' (which I forget the name of) and a jacket, basically to make sure you don't get hurt. So, I picked up all the clothes necessary and was fine until the jacket. I struggled to get it zipped up, so asked for some help (it's a 'side-back' zip, for the record - so not the easiest of things to zip up anyway!) from a helper, and was told it was too small for me, so should find a larger size. Turned out I picked out a women's one by accident, tiny bit awkward. So, found a men's one, picked up the largest size and tried again. Again, struggled to get it zipped up, asked for help again, and again to no avail. The sniggers started from the helper and his friend, which was pretty obvious despite their poor efforts of disguising them; I've been here before. And so, I left, with one of my little ambitions of uni left shredded up. Needless to say I was a bit upset really.
    After 7 weeks at uni, I still haven't joined a sports club, and have no intentions to. Instead, as the title suggests, I've taken up jogging. Now, jogging is never really something I've liked the idea of before. It seems so time consuming, laborious and not worth the effort to me. However, a few days after my fencing club experience, a few other people in my halls were planning to start doing some jogging together, so I thought why not, and gave it a try. On my first jog, I did 'badly', if that's possible. Not even 10 minutes of jogging and I was way behind the group, out of breath and needed a break, and so just walked back to my halls. The group jog became a semi-regular thing, about every 3-4 days, and more people would join in, and I was always the one left trailing behind, and cutting short the route.
    Due to the weather getting colder, people's timetables getting less flexible and so forth, the group runs have pretty much fizzled away, and some who have joined sport clubs have used that as their way of keeping active. However, for the past 4 weeks now, I've carried on, just going for jogs by myself. I'd go at my own pace, stop when I needed to stop, cut the route short when I needed to, etc. I jog 3-4 times a week; so jog one day, have the next one 'off'. Just over 2 weeks ago, the breakthrough came when I went for a jog without stopping. Sounds silly I know, but considered I'd always had a break or quit half way through, it gives a real sense of satisfaction, even if it was only a 15 minute jog. From there, I've been able to build myself up, increasing the lengths of the runs and picking up pace as well. Today, my jog involved going up two hills and lasted nearly half an hour.
    I'm really noticing the benefits of it now as well. I've definitely lost weight and this is visible as well - rather annoying now though that all my jeans are a bit too big me.. I 'feel' fitter as well, and things just seem better in general. Whilst I don't really have long term aims as to a specific weight I want to reach, are a specific time of jog I'd like to do or anything like that, I'll just carry on, push myself and sorta enjoy it. In saying that though, one thing I consider on my 'to do list in life' is to run the London Marathon - even though it's a big though and I'm a long way away from even seriously considering that, if I keep at this, then maybe in a couple of years time, that won't seem like such a crazy idea...
    So just as a random, general statement, if anyone is considering doing a bit more exercise, wants to get their fitness up a bit, don't knock the idea of the good old fashioned jog. It's free to do and you feel the rewards of it quickly (oh, and despite how you always feel when you jog, people don't judge / laugh at you when you do it...well, at least I haven't seen anyone do it towards me.. XD). Most importantly though, as corny as it sounds, do something you'd enjoy or will get satisfaction out of doing, otherwise there's no point. I know for sure that after every jog that the sense of satisfaction I feel is what spurs me on to do more.
  18. Like
    pluk reacted to Sidders for a blog entry, Why I'm not a religious man.   
    Welcome to the first semi-serious blog post from me. As the title suggests, I've subsided the music talk for a brief moment to consider a more emotive reflection about why I have the religious beliefs I do. I consider myself atheist, though on paper I am a Roman Catholic and was raised a devout Christian, at least until my father was ex-communicated for a reason none of the members of our family are completely clued-in about. I believe it had something to do with the Parish priest wanting to bless my parents' marriage, despite them having married in a church and in the eyes of God fourteen years previously, so upon denying to sanctify their marriage he ex-communicated them in front of the assembly of Sunday Mass. Pleasant fellow. I went to a Catholic Primary school in which our R.E. classes taught us only what Catholics believed; attended a secondary school with no religious denomination; a 6th Form which was staunchly Protestant and had close ties with the town Abbey; and I'm now attending a University with one of the strongest Anglican support systems in the UK in the Ancient Capital of England, the City of Winchester. So I've met many different angles of belief when it comes to Christianity and yet, since that five-year period with no religious interference during secondary school, I've not been able to reignite any longing for the fear of God to rekindle itself with me.
    But unlike most cynics, those who've never had a religious upbringing and Richard Dawkins, I didn't jump to the conclusion of atheism first and then accumulate the knowledge to bring me right back to where I started. I believed in God, Jesus and Satan (sort of) from the start. And also unlike the far more fervent Dawkins, I'm not here to persuade you to believe what I believe, but since you've been so kind as to click in to my Blog I'd have hoped the unwritten comprehension that you're about to read my opinions is clearly understood, but please be sure to utilise the wonderfully-presented comment box at the bottom of the post if you have issues with my spelling. You see, where Dawkins is different not only in his methodology of belief but also his justification, is that he actively enforces an ideology of his own that stands beyond simply disposing of the belief of God, and it's fair to say he's slightly more relentless than I in trying to prove it.
    I continued exploring my religion. I experienced many ups and downs in that journey, and as the whispering playfulness of childhood innocence left me during secondary school and I became... an arguably less model Christian (parts of which I still struggle with today)... I came to the point where I found that it might be impossible to truly believe when so much terror was going on in the world. The London bombings brought the frailty of humanity to everyone's mind as many innocents were killed; the Kashmir 7.6 Earthquake in Pakistan killed many more; Hurricane Katrina had just destroyed the American Gulf coast in one of the most devastating natural disasters in history, and Pope John Paul II had passed away. Looking back, it was by the end of this year - my first in secondary education and the first time Mass was no longer ingrained as a necessary Sunday activity - that I really began to question my beliefs. I plateaued somewhat for a while, and then coming across a passage in the Bible which really bothered me, I sat back at thought about whether or not it was really that logical to read the Bible anymore:

    "Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:37 I couldn't conceive any God (especially since this God seemed to me more like an ‘idea’ at the time) was more worthy of my love that my family was. It just didn't make sense. It's asking to give abstract emotional attention to an abstract form. Again, no sense was made. And then, as the real turning point for me, I watched a repeat showing of Derren Brown's 2004 TV Special Séance, which, if I recall correctly, has since become one of the most complained-about programme in TV history. In it, I watched in complete disbelief as a smug and self-important Brown caused a number of paranormal events, much to the sheer horror and fright of both those in the room and those watching. Impaired vision through hidden cameras and dim candle-light made it hard to see the workings of what was soon revealed to be a massive hoax (by Brown himself; the show was aimed to disprove the legitimacy of 17th-18th century seances).
    This got me me thinking about how much I could 'see' with regard to my dwindling belief in God. I no longer read the Bible, having discovered the heinous chapters under Leviticus' name. But I still sort of wanted to believe there was something out there, but like the 12 bewildered volunteers in Séance, it was fairly impossible to test for legitimacy when your own vision disallowed you from ever finding out the truth.
    I remember mocking those who believed in the paranormal shortly after, thinking myself numinously enlightened by Brown and his all-encompassing powers of discovering and exploiting fraudulence. It took me less than a year to realise that in fact, I was part of the same belief system as they were. I believed in God; they believed in spirits. Spot the difference. There isn't one, and there isn't one because there's just as much historical documentation about the existence of ghosts, demons, witches and the undead as there is for God, angels, apostles, Jesus and The Holy Ghost. Who was I to say spiritualists were wrong? Who was I to say that there beliefs were foolish and mine weren't? Just because my belief system was arguably more mainstream than their's didn't make mine a more factual historical entity. And sure, it's a comforting thought to be able to feed off the 'sense' of your cohort in order to validate our own beliefs, but since when did the popularity of a belief constitute it's accuracy?
    And right now, I'm not really belonging to any religious system. I believe you can have faith - you can have faith in anything. A god, a person, or a chair in hoping it won't fall when you lean back in it. But faith should be individual. Faith is not something that should be enforced onto others or used as a tool in validating arguments with tenuous existential links, otherwise we're stuck back in religious territory and we end up with idiots like the Scientologists.
    End note: Writing this blog is the first time I've really consolidated my thoughts on this matter. I suppose I thought it'd help in some way... Hmmm...
  19. Like
    pluk reacted to JoshC. for a blog entry, How do you Solve a Problem like Fastrack?   
    This is a blog entry that relates to the hot topic of Fastrack and Fastrack sales. So why's it in here, and not in that topic?
    The aim here is to illustrate how Fastrack sales affect the main queue of a ride, and demonstrate what many bring up - those who pay for the premium service (Fastrack) negatively affect the service of those who do not pay for such a service (those who use the main queue). Unfortunately, this will be quite mathematically thought out, will ramble on a bit, and uses many assumptions, but nonetheless, it will show just how bad Fastrack can affect the main queue.
    Example - The Swarm
    I've decided to use The Swarm as an example to demonstrate this point. Why? Simply put, I think there's enough information to be able to show the point.
    So, first thing first, where am I getting any information from? Well, the following photo from TTP was taken from the Swarm Behind the Scenes event in April:

    The main and Fastrack queues illustrated in this plan seem to resemble that of the real queue lines, so I'll assume that these are the same. As can be seen in the top right corner, there's a bit of rough information about the queues. The main queue is 450m long, and should take 90 mins, whilst the Fastrack queue is 75m long and should take 15 mins (these are presumably guestimates). Strangely, we can see that the Fastrack queue and the main queue have the same length-queue time ratio, in that 5m takes 1 minute to queue. Presumably this would mean the guestimates given don't include the main queue and Fastrack queue working co-currently; in other words, a full main queue would taken 90 mins with no Fastrack whatsoever. The theoretical throughput, again taken from TTP, is 1100pph.
    So then, by the guestimates the park has made, a full queue which takes 90 mins will hold 1650 people (in theory). If we divide this down, we find that 28 people, which is a full train, are in (84/11)m of a queue, to be quite precise.
    Okay, now this is where I have to make a perhaps strange or unrealistic, to a slight degree, assumption. However, for the ease of calculations, and the fact this is only a rough example, it will have to do. So, I will assume that, on average, at any given point, the Fastrack queue is 2/5 full. So, perhaps confusingly, this would according to above information, only be a 6 minute queue - IF there was no main queue. Yeah, sounds ridiculous, doesn't it?
    Anyways, being 2/5 full, this adds and extra 30m worth of queue, if we were to literally 'plonk' these people in the queue. So, being 2/5 full, there are (28)*(30)/(84/11)=110 people using the Fastrack queue. Again, unsure of the realism of this, as I don't particularly pay close attention to how many people are in the Fastrack queue, but I think this seems like a reasonable number in my opinion.
    Of course, we would not expect the park to send trains' worth of Fastrack guests round at any one go; it is ridiculous for that to happen. So then, we need to create a form of ratio for the number of main queue guests let in to Fastrack guests let in. Now, I don't know if this is how the park operates it - I'd hope it is something like this though - or what sort of ratio they would use, if they use it. This means I'd have to make a guess, but I'll work out two cases, which are a couple I've mentioned in the Fastrack topic.
    Say we work on the basis of 3:1 (main queue : Fastrack queue). In other words, a quarter of the train is made up of Fastrack guests. (NOTE: This would mean 7 people per train, which seems unrealistic, as most people will be going in even numbered groups, but bare with me). Assuming a linear correspondence to this and the throughput, the 'throughput' of the main queue will be 825pph (three-quarters of 1100). Again, I'll assume that we are in a full queue. So, in the space of 90 mins, a person would move 337.5m (which is three-quarters of the queue length). In another 30 mins, you'd move the remaining 112.5m. So then, if just a quarter of guests are Fastrack users, this adds an extra 30 minutes to a full queue. Following some additional calculations, which I can't be bothered to write up here, I can confirm that if a quarter of each ride is made up of Fastrack guests, the queue time of the main queue increases by a third.
    I'll cut this second case a bit short, but if we work on the basis of 4:1, a full queue would take 112.5 mins (again, to be quite precise). Again, a couple more calculations confirm that if a fifth of the train is made up of Fastrack guests, the main queue time will increase by a quarter.
    Personally, I've always felt that these two ratios are reasonable amounts to satisfy Thorpe's need for money, which is understandable, whilst creating a balance so Fastrack users get their premium service which they've paid for without creating too much hassle for guests. However, this is still quite a large inconvenience for ordinary guests, and it certainly surprised me. This does show how not only does Fastrack offer a premium service, it DOES give a negative effect to those who do not offer such a service.
    Overselling and Sales
    So, now time to see just how many tickets Thorpe could sell according to this. Let's take a 10-5 day, which would probably be expected to be a reasonably quiet day. Say that the Fastrack sales have time slots from 11am until 4:30pm (half an hour in each slot). This gives 5 and a half hours of the 7 hour day where Fastrack is available.
    Taking the first example of 1/4 of each Swarm train being for Fastrack guests, this would mean that a quarter of all guests who ride Swarm in an hour will be Fastrack guests - which is expected to be 275. Multiply that by 5.5 (number of hours in the day where Fastrack is used) and we get 1512.5, round to 1512 for simplicity. This would mean that there's 1512 Fastrack tickets up for sale in a 10-5 day. I don't really know about gate figures or the like, but if we say that there's between 8000 and 10000 guests on such a day, about 15-20% of guests will use Fastrack to get on The Swarm. Reasonable? Again, I'm really not sure, but I was expecting a figure around 10-20%, so I would say so.
    Now then, there are of course many issues with this, which I'll explain a bit more in a bit. However, there's the issue of implementing this is reality - it is unrealistic to assume you'll be able to shift the same number of tickets per hour all day, every day. I believe Fastrack works on a half-an-hour basis, so this means that there's about 137-138 tickets for each of these slots, (which is just over the above assumption that at any given time, on average, the Fastrack queue is 2/5 and has 110 guests waiting). No doubt it's possible to think that, time slots will be more popular and others less popular, which could possibly lead to there being more slots designated to the popular periods of the day, and less to the quieter periods. It does mean that we could easily see a queue time increase by 40% (which, to reiterate the long running point, would mean the main queue for Swarm would be nearly 130 mins - over 2 hours - when it would only be 90 mins with no Fastrack at all...). Another issue, which has been pointed out in the Fastrack topic, is time slots and how they are kept to, or rather how they are not. Say a 'popular' time slot is 1pm, and many people missed their half-12 slot because of eating lunch, waiting for their lunch to go down, had the intention of going at 1 anyway or whatever, a Fastrack queue which can increase a queue time by 40%, can easily increase it by even more. Okay, I'm belabouring on the point here,
    Ways to Solve?
    So, this is where the blog becomes rather similar to the post in the Fastrack topic. Before I carry on, I'd like to say that with the two ratios I looked at, 3:1 and 4:1 Main Queue-Fastrack Queue (ie, a quarter and a fifth of the train full of Fastrack guests), we're looking that on average, about 6 Fastrack guests per train for Swarm. In turn, this will increase the queue by about 3/10, such that a full queue line will approximately take nearly 2 hours, 117 mins to be precise, as opposed to 90 mins. The idea that 6 people per ride are Fastrack guests is a little on the conservative side in my mind in my opinion.
    One way to solve it would be to increase prices and decrease the availability of tickets. This way, the park still make money a plentiful with Fastrack, and will not lose out on cutting tickets. Again, using Swarm as my example, if instead of having 1512 tickets, it went to 1000 (again, to make life easy when doing calculations). So, this cuts the tickets available by a third, meaning we have about 92 tickets available for each slot. Cost-wise, at the moment, if everyone bought a Swarm Fastrack (again, to make life easy, let's just assume there's no front-row Fastrack and all tickets are £5), then 1512 tickets in a day would create just over £7560. If we cut tickets by a third, and raise the cost by £1 (a fifth), meaning people would pay £6 for one Fastrack, which no doubt people will willingly pay, they earn about £6000, losing £1560. Now, I guess one great thing for the parks is Fastrack will pretty much be all profit - ticket printing costs are low, and it won't require many, and in some cases, any, extra staff on rides. So, I'd assume that what is quite a large change in money earnt won't stop profits, just decrease them. However, I'd be quite confident in saying that if the park were to advertise 'Fastrack tickets are limited all day and certain time slots sell out quick!' or something, people will happily part with their money even if the cost has gone up and, dare I say, I think the same would happen if a Swarm Fastrack cost £7.
    A couple of other options would be to implement just one of these without the other; either just outright increase prices, or outright decrease availability. The former of these two options means more money for Merlin, but possibly less people willing to pay if it's not as premium as they expect (ie - having to pay a large-ish amount to queue for a period of time which they'd judge as not worth the additional cost). However, we have seen prices slowly creep up over the years, and I believe that this will continue and prices will naturally get a bit more expensive, especially with the packages. The latter of the two means a full out decrease in profits for Merlin, which in terms of a company, is a bad thing. Not to say that they would never do it, but I can't see it being considered, or considered to a degree such that it would be noticed.
    A different and, in my eyes, most sensible and realistic idea would be to be stricter with the time slots. I guess Fastrack tickets have half an hour time slots, and it states on the ticket 'To be used within 30 minutes of the time printed on this ticket'. Yet, by the sounds of it, as long as you arrive after your time, it's fine. Why not actually enforce such a thing? Well tickets are sold, tell the guests verbally 'You have to use it within 30 mins of the time printed or you can't use it' and print it on the ticket, along with 'no refunds'. That way, they still make their money, and people have been warned - surely unless there's a valid reason for missing it (stuck on a ride, breakdown extending queue length and so forth), it's not the park's fault, so why should they have to refund it? The issue is of course people aren't always great with time management, especially if they've never visited a park before, so this may be a bit harsh / need refining.
    Another thing I'll briefly mention is the Fastrack packages. How exactly do they work? Is there a specific time slot for them and how does that work? Maybe they can designed so that they're as strict to times as possible, whilst still giving enough lee-way? I really can't comment much on this, and can't think of much to say seeinghow I've never had any experience with the way the packages work.
    So, that is that. Fastrack has a negative effect on the main queue line - fact. However, there's an issue with everything that I've gone through. I've been concerned with the queue length, queue time, etc. of the main queue, but mentioned nothing about how long the Fastrack queue will actually take. This is something I won't actually try to work out at this stage, but may do it at a later date. However, if it turns out that this leads to the Fastrack queue being not-so-fast, then all of this is pretty much...complete twaddle and everything I've modelled would need refining. I'll also point out again that I've made many assumptions here for the sheer ease of calculating this, so there will be things such as 'Hey, that's unrealistic, that would never happen', but hey-ho, life carries on..
    Thanks for reading this and hope I haven't been babbling on about complete rubbish all the time. As said, if anyone sees any mistakes / problems with this, just say, as I may well have made a silly mistake somewhere. For now, that is well and truly that!
  20. Like
    pluk got a reaction from MarkC for a blog entry, Music is the answer   
    First off, I don't really get this bloging thing. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm old. Well, older than most here and so I haven't grown up with computers and internet and forums and now blogs, so some times it takes me a while to 'get' it. I had to grow up the hard way when if I wanted to see one of my friends I had to get on my bike, cycle to their house and ask their Mum if they could come out and play, not send them a text or Skype them or comment on their latest blog about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies. Sometimes it was raining and I actually got wet. And then there was all that awkward social interaction to bumble my way through. Oh the hardships.
    I don't understand why, when there's a lovely little forum a couple of tabs along, there's now another place for people to write down their ramblings? I'll guess it is because people have something to say which they don't want disappearing on to a previous page a couple of days later never to be seen again, because what they have to say is so important and insightful it should not be damned to an eternity of obscurity on page 5 of 6 and instead needs a topic of it's own in the form of a blog entry for all to admire. Well I have nothing of such importance or insight to say that it deserves it's own little corner of the internet all to itself, but I'll say it anyway as it doesn't seem to have stopped anyone else.
    Just have to think of something to write first. I'm going to guess people don't want to read about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies, so what will be my 'thing'? I am passionate about my work so I'm sure I'll touch on policing, crime and the current disturbing destruction of the police by our government that everyone should be worried about, but that won't be much fun. I enjoy TV, radio, film and skiing but am nothing of an expert in any of them. My real love is music, so there I shall start.
    It is a god awful song and an annoying and overused phrase, but rather apt here, that life is like a rollercoaster. Most of it may turn out to be dull flat bits but everyone goes through their ups and downs, which is nice and exciting until you realise your riding an intermin, your restraint has failed and it is so bloody terrifying you don't know if you can hang on. I've had a fair few of these periods in my life, which will be much worse than anything that has ever happened to other people because it happened to me instead. But now, my theme tune.


    Since I was tiny right up until today one thing has been there for me and really has got me through some of those tough times. Music has helped me so much when I've been in some bad places, the right song at the right time can do so much. Music really has been the answer to my problems and has shaped who I am and how I think. It is strange that a melody or lyric created by someone I don't know, not for me or about my life, can resonate so strongly and fit my situation so perfectly it's as if I am the only person it was ever intended for. For some of these songs the moment will pass and the meaning will fade, but others I'm sure will stay with me forever. Here are a few of the latter, any of which can make me weep quite unexpectedly if my head is in the right (or wrong) place.
    They are probably no revelation, they are fairly mainstream and you'll probably know most or all of them. Of course it is entirely personal to me and a lot of it will be down to what was going on in my life at the time rather than the track itself, so they are likely to do nothing for you on any emotional level, but maybe try and detach them from the film, tv show or advert they've whored themselves out to and listen to the original feeling. I won't go in to why these in particular came to mean so much now, maybe another time, but each one has helped shape who I am today, I would be a different person had I never had them. They are me.




    (about four Badly Drawn Boy tracks could be here. He is special)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezUkQZx9rw


    (and on the whole I really dislike Sting. But this? )




    Laters.
  21. Like
    pluk reacted to Sidders for a blog entry, The Sound of Arrows is an amazing sound.   
    Though few will have heard of their music, or even their stage name, Stefan Storm and Oskar Gullstrand (yes, this makes them Swedish) are very good at making a very special, very rare denomination of dream-pop; the very kind of music which is capable of conjuring up long-forgotten memories and of giving you the building blocks for new ones as you soar through your own imagination into a distant galaxy. It's the kind of music that turns timid souls into brave ones that dare to tread the unknown and engage in fantastical adventures to recreate to wide-eyed wonder of simply being a child again. You may remember me saying at some point or other that the best pop music is that which doesn't look like it's trying to hard. This music is the embodiment of that. The crux of it being that there's traces everywhere throughout the duo's 2011 début album 'Voyage' that immense care sand attention is paid to every verse, every chorus, every line and every musical interlude that can be found on the album. It was a stunning accomplishment for today's music industry, despite passing under the radar completely, even in Sweden.
    Only few acts can really be placed into the same sort niche as them. I suppose the closest high-profile reference I can give you is that if you like Underworld's 'Caliban's Dream' and M83's 'Midnight City', then you should be listening to The Sound of Arrows. This following clip is the trailer for 'Voyage', and introduces their world with far more accuracy and celebratory warmth than my words ever could. It's not easy to carry the immense gravity of such beautifully complex music, but their whole world is perfectly encapsulated here.

    Songs featured: 'Lost City' and 'There Is Still Hope', my personal favourite.
    Taking their name from a single line in a little-known Swedish poem by a little-known Swedish poet, the dream-pop duo's small-time attributes end there. They may be modest in their approach to publicity and commercial attention, but their approach to music suggests a determination to create and explore enormous, gorgeous landscapes with vibrant colours, textures and emotions with the wild fervour and creative carelessness of a fearless childhood. On top of that, the stunning Utopian visuals they give their videos transcends their lowly-funded membership as part of the music industry, mocking big-budget videos and soaring into a near palpable new reality. In a time where music videos achieve their 'avant-garde' qualities by diving headlong into monochromatic moodiness, obscure hi-culture symbolism and cheap sex, bleached of colour and traceable emotion, it's a warming thing to see something so simple like this:

    Still trying to fathom VEVO logic. Not even I can make an explicit link between The Sound of Arrows and One Direction.
    Having listened to 'Magic', you'd only be seconds into the song before comparisons to Pet Shop Boys are made. Perhaps now I should dispute the common links made between the few who have heard of the Arrows and the frequent comparisons they often get to Pet Shop Boys. Whilst it's no comparison to sniff at, Pet Shop Boys prided themselves (before they strayed into the MOR wilderness) for their sneering satire of Thatcherism and society in general ('Opportunities', 'West End Girls', 'Love, etc.') and Neil Tennant typically spoke-sang with an un-emotive tone, mimicking the objectivity of their social critiques; their music was a commentary on the flaws of human nature and then-modern culture. The Sound of Arrows are far more optimistic than this - perhaps even naive. Would Pet Shop Boys use a children's choir? Would Tennant sing the lyrics "Seize the chance, follow your dreams/Be yourself, don't plan and scheme"? The Arrows' musical inventory may be the same but viewed through a noughties lens, but the result of their toil produces music that sings of hope, promise, love, and alluringly manifests itself within the relentless energy of youth.
    'Magic' is merely the tip of a very deep iceberg. Swapping poppy melodies for billowing silk layers and sedate, reflective vulnerability on songs like 'Ruins of Rome' and 'Longest Ever Dream', it's hard to imagine such polished productions and carefully augmented sounds can be produced on such a small budget. The overtones of triumphing-over-adversary you get from the the red velvet synths of 'Conquest' or the mighty ode to love, loss and longing, 'Wonders', vibrate with a sparkling richness rarely ever seen or heard from such a small-scale duo. Their single 'Nova' combines chart pop know-how and a glorious fervour for the love of someone else, even if it involved treading blindly into the vast unknown - "Though I fear what is to come, I'm a soldier running; try to see/At the end of the world, someone holds out for me". It's a full-scale event held at the distant reaches of the farthest galaxy, and everyone's invited.

    Masterfully crafting layer upon layer into full-bodied walls of sound and imagination, in many ways it's quite hard to picture listening the Arrows' without seeing at least one of their accompanying cinematic triumphs - it's part of the promise of The Sound of Arrows and magnifies their ability to invigorate the unconscious with metallic, pastel-coloured melodies like on 'Into The Clouds'; the video for which is a spectroscopic world of pure optimism, hope, and the carefree frivolity of simply being a child again. Second album track, 'Wonders', is one of their best. Instead of stringently connecting itself to collective memories of bygones and childhood abandon, 'Wonders' forms new memories that promise us we can still revive such days whilst indulging in our present, with it’s pulse-raising, spacious longing and heavily-breathing journey into the introspective.

    There are darker sides to the Arrows' work, and when the tangible highs run low we see them mourn the injustices of this reality. Their shortest song, 'Hurting All The Way', doesn't suffer it's length. In the brief two-and-a-half-minute song, the removal of the adventurous wonder that illuminates the rest of the album sees a moving tale with a gentle crescendo that speaks of the emotional and social confines of homosexuality. It's not a massive departure of sound, but the themes and tones are far darker and Storm's vocals take on a lamenting vulnerability. Following hot on the heals of 'Hurting All The Way' though, is the tempestuous 'Conquest'. It doesn't take much thought to propose that it was strategically placed after 'Hurting All The Way' on Voyage's tracklisting due to it's message of determination to discover and achieve the impossible, a perfect partner to the tender pathos of the previous track.

    Warning: Video contains horses, boobies and floating pyramids.
    Cynics may snigger at the dreamy naivety of The Sound of Arrows. Some may critique them for compromising their chart appeal by not being 'pop' enough to bother the Top 40 and never leaning too far into the left of field to drum up alternative interest. Some may even retort at their attempts to hide themselves away from the trials and tribulations of this reality in order to thrive in their own, but for me they take listeners on a journey you don't want to come back from. Grimace if you will, but in the words of Stefan Storm himself:
    "I may be dreaming but I think I believe/I might be seeing things that aren't quite real/But right now, I don't care if I do".
  22. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Sidders for a blog entry, Music is the answer   
    First off, I don't really get this bloging thing. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm old. Well, older than most here and so I haven't grown up with computers and internet and forums and now blogs, so some times it takes me a while to 'get' it. I had to grow up the hard way when if I wanted to see one of my friends I had to get on my bike, cycle to their house and ask their Mum if they could come out and play, not send them a text or Skype them or comment on their latest blog about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies. Sometimes it was raining and I actually got wet. And then there was all that awkward social interaction to bumble my way through. Oh the hardships.
    I don't understand why, when there's a lovely little forum a couple of tabs along, there's now another place for people to write down their ramblings? I'll guess it is because people have something to say which they don't want disappearing on to a previous page a couple of days later never to be seen again, because what they have to say is so important and insightful it should not be damned to an eternity of obscurity on page 5 of 6 and instead needs a topic of it's own in the form of a blog entry for all to admire. Well I have nothing of such importance or insight to say that it deserves it's own little corner of the internet all to itself, but I'll say it anyway as it doesn't seem to have stopped anyone else.
    Just have to think of something to write first. I'm going to guess people don't want to read about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies, so what will be my 'thing'? I am passionate about my work so I'm sure I'll touch on policing, crime and the current disturbing destruction of the police by our government that everyone should be worried about, but that won't be much fun. I enjoy TV, radio, film and skiing but am nothing of an expert in any of them. My real love is music, so there I shall start.
    It is a god awful song and an annoying and overused phrase, but rather apt here, that life is like a rollercoaster. Most of it may turn out to be dull flat bits but everyone goes through their ups and downs, which is nice and exciting until you realise your riding an intermin, your restraint has failed and it is so bloody terrifying you don't know if you can hang on. I've had a fair few of these periods in my life, which will be much worse than anything that has ever happened to other people because it happened to me instead. But now, my theme tune.


    Since I was tiny right up until today one thing has been there for me and really has got me through some of those tough times. Music has helped me so much when I've been in some bad places, the right song at the right time can do so much. Music really has been the answer to my problems and has shaped who I am and how I think. It is strange that a melody or lyric created by someone I don't know, not for me or about my life, can resonate so strongly and fit my situation so perfectly it's as if I am the only person it was ever intended for. For some of these songs the moment will pass and the meaning will fade, but others I'm sure will stay with me forever. Here are a few of the latter, any of which can make me weep quite unexpectedly if my head is in the right (or wrong) place.
    They are probably no revelation, they are fairly mainstream and you'll probably know most or all of them. Of course it is entirely personal to me and a lot of it will be down to what was going on in my life at the time rather than the track itself, so they are likely to do nothing for you on any emotional level, but maybe try and detach them from the film, tv show or advert they've whored themselves out to and listen to the original feeling. I won't go in to why these in particular came to mean so much now, maybe another time, but each one has helped shape who I am today, I would be a different person had I never had them. They are me.




    (about four Badly Drawn Boy tracks could be here. He is special)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezUkQZx9rw


    (and on the whole I really dislike Sting. But this? )




    Laters.
  23. Like
    pluk got a reaction from JoshC. for a blog entry, Music is the answer   
    First off, I don't really get this bloging thing. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm old. Well, older than most here and so I haven't grown up with computers and internet and forums and now blogs, so some times it takes me a while to 'get' it. I had to grow up the hard way when if I wanted to see one of my friends I had to get on my bike, cycle to their house and ask their Mum if they could come out and play, not send them a text or Skype them or comment on their latest blog about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies. Sometimes it was raining and I actually got wet. And then there was all that awkward social interaction to bumble my way through. Oh the hardships.
    I don't understand why, when there's a lovely little forum a couple of tabs along, there's now another place for people to write down their ramblings? I'll guess it is because people have something to say which they don't want disappearing on to a previous page a couple of days later never to be seen again, because what they have to say is so important and insightful it should not be damned to an eternity of obscurity on page 5 of 6 and instead needs a topic of it's own in the form of a blog entry for all to admire. Well I have nothing of such importance or insight to say that it deserves it's own little corner of the internet all to itself, but I'll say it anyway as it doesn't seem to have stopped anyone else.
    Just have to think of something to write first. I'm going to guess people don't want to read about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies, so what will be my 'thing'? I am passionate about my work so I'm sure I'll touch on policing, crime and the current disturbing destruction of the police by our government that everyone should be worried about, but that won't be much fun. I enjoy TV, radio, film and skiing but am nothing of an expert in any of them. My real love is music, so there I shall start.
    It is a god awful song and an annoying and overused phrase, but rather apt here, that life is like a rollercoaster. Most of it may turn out to be dull flat bits but everyone goes through their ups and downs, which is nice and exciting until you realise your riding an intermin, your restraint has failed and it is so bloody terrifying you don't know if you can hang on. I've had a fair few of these periods in my life, which will be much worse than anything that has ever happened to other people because it happened to me instead. But now, my theme tune.


    Since I was tiny right up until today one thing has been there for me and really has got me through some of those tough times. Music has helped me so much when I've been in some bad places, the right song at the right time can do so much. Music really has been the answer to my problems and has shaped who I am and how I think. It is strange that a melody or lyric created by someone I don't know, not for me or about my life, can resonate so strongly and fit my situation so perfectly it's as if I am the only person it was ever intended for. For some of these songs the moment will pass and the meaning will fade, but others I'm sure will stay with me forever. Here are a few of the latter, any of which can make me weep quite unexpectedly if my head is in the right (or wrong) place.
    They are probably no revelation, they are fairly mainstream and you'll probably know most or all of them. Of course it is entirely personal to me and a lot of it will be down to what was going on in my life at the time rather than the track itself, so they are likely to do nothing for you on any emotional level, but maybe try and detach them from the film, tv show or advert they've whored themselves out to and listen to the original feeling. I won't go in to why these in particular came to mean so much now, maybe another time, but each one has helped shape who I am today, I would be a different person had I never had them. They are me.




    (about four Badly Drawn Boy tracks could be here. He is special)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezUkQZx9rw


    (and on the whole I really dislike Sting. But this? )




    Laters.
  24. Like
    pluk got a reaction from Mer for a blog entry, Music is the answer   
    First off, I don't really get this bloging thing. In case I haven't mentioned it, I'm old. Well, older than most here and so I haven't grown up with computers and internet and forums and now blogs, so some times it takes me a while to 'get' it. I had to grow up the hard way when if I wanted to see one of my friends I had to get on my bike, cycle to their house and ask their Mum if they could come out and play, not send them a text or Skype them or comment on their latest blog about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies. Sometimes it was raining and I actually got wet. And then there was all that awkward social interaction to bumble my way through. Oh the hardships.
    I don't understand why, when there's a lovely little forum a couple of tabs along, there's now another place for people to write down their ramblings? I'll guess it is because people have something to say which they don't want disappearing on to a previous page a couple of days later never to be seen again, because what they have to say is so important and insightful it should not be damned to an eternity of obscurity on page 5 of 6 and instead needs a topic of it's own in the form of a blog entry for all to admire. Well I have nothing of such importance or insight to say that it deserves it's own little corner of the internet all to itself, but I'll say it anyway as it doesn't seem to have stopped anyone else.
    Just have to think of something to write first. I'm going to guess people don't want to read about Thundercats and Jubbly lollies, so what will be my 'thing'? I am passionate about my work so I'm sure I'll touch on policing, crime and the current disturbing destruction of the police by our government that everyone should be worried about, but that won't be much fun. I enjoy TV, radio, film and skiing but am nothing of an expert in any of them. My real love is music, so there I shall start.
    It is a god awful song and an annoying and overused phrase, but rather apt here, that life is like a rollercoaster. Most of it may turn out to be dull flat bits but everyone goes through their ups and downs, which is nice and exciting until you realise your riding an intermin, your restraint has failed and it is so bloody terrifying you don't know if you can hang on. I've had a fair few of these periods in my life, which will be much worse than anything that has ever happened to other people because it happened to me instead. But now, my theme tune.


    Since I was tiny right up until today one thing has been there for me and really has got me through some of those tough times. Music has helped me so much when I've been in some bad places, the right song at the right time can do so much. Music really has been the answer to my problems and has shaped who I am and how I think. It is strange that a melody or lyric created by someone I don't know, not for me or about my life, can resonate so strongly and fit my situation so perfectly it's as if I am the only person it was ever intended for. For some of these songs the moment will pass and the meaning will fade, but others I'm sure will stay with me forever. Here are a few of the latter, any of which can make me weep quite unexpectedly if my head is in the right (or wrong) place.
    They are probably no revelation, they are fairly mainstream and you'll probably know most or all of them. Of course it is entirely personal to me and a lot of it will be down to what was going on in my life at the time rather than the track itself, so they are likely to do nothing for you on any emotional level, but maybe try and detach them from the film, tv show or advert they've whored themselves out to and listen to the original feeling. I won't go in to why these in particular came to mean so much now, maybe another time, but each one has helped shape who I am today, I would be a different person had I never had them. They are me.




    (about four Badly Drawn Boy tracks could be here. He is special)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OezUkQZx9rw


    (and on the whole I really dislike Sting. But this? )




    Laters.
×
×
  • Create New...