Strange life of a Running Widower

Life of a Running Widower (to Gabrielle) can be a strange one… tough at times, early mornings (earlier when it’s warmer), there can be hours sitting in the rain, mud, the cold and steamed up cars. But sometimes, there can be just the best weather, location and things you don’t normally see.
Having a dig through photos and came across a couple from 2013
No need to guess where it is… but as the song goes “the sun comes up over……”

Apparently this sun rise business looks like this a lot here... I was more like "whoooooaaaaaaa, WT-fffffffffffffffffff awesooooome" [drool]

Apparently this sun rise business looks like this a lot here…
I was more like “whoooooaaaaaaa, WT-fffffffffffffffffff awesooooome” [drool]

The lonely one wheeler, in search of a new wheel....

The lonely one wheeler, in search of a new wheel….

Then another appears

Then another appears

and they formed a gang and went a-roamin

and they formed a gang and went a-roamin

I've seen spy meetings, murdered folk and shootouts on that pier #justasyin

I’ve seen spy meetings, murdered folk and shootouts on that pier #justasyin

Oh... and she's back.... yup, looks like it was murder ;)

Oh… and she’s back…. yup, looks like it was murder 😉

Movies Shot at Santa Monica Pier

Tillie’s Punctured Romance
Quicksand, Elmer Gantry
1941
The Opposite of Sex
They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
Night Tide
Bean
The Sting
Her
A Night at the Roxbury
Miracle Beach
Titanic
Forrest Gump
Not Another Teen Movie
Iron Man
Desperate Teenage Lovedolls
Dark Ride
Cellular
The Hottie and the Nottie
“Falling Down”
Ruthless People
Love Stinks,
Hancock
She Wants Me, and
Hannah Montana: The Movie n.

TV Shows

The Rockford Files
The Incredible Hulk
Three’s Company
The Amazing Race
Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
Star Trek: Voyager
NCIS: Los Angeles
24,
Gilmore Girls
Castle
90210
Grey’s Anatomy
Private Practice
Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Monk
Charlie’s Angels episode “The Sandcastle Murders”

and a lot, lot more……. not to mention far too many music vids to list.

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Strange Challenge Turns into Enjoyment

So, I have been spending not hours, but days working on an image that has frankly changed the way I do business – i.e. I won’t do that again lol.
Four days in and I get a fun photo challenge from Gabsatrucker’s Aunt who lives on the edge of Death Valley in Nevada, USA.

It was simple really, take and post a photo under the broad title of “Nature” every single day for one whole week.

I’m not saying I’ve got used to my chair but I was like “Wha…. you mean go out *there*….”

Our camera is a Fuji HS30 EXR, it’s far exceeded its shutter life, it takes about one sharp photo in 200 now – but I thought, If I can do this then maybe, just maybe,  if I ever get good equipment I might be alright at this one day.

The week just finished and here are the results for your enjoyment.  I’m not fishing for compliments as I have found in my life, criticism is a far better creative tool and one that makes you learn more. So feel free to complain about them, but note I possibly already aware of blur, aberration etc. 😀
Oh and the photo of the big house (Wollaton Hall aka Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises) was taken from 2.05 miles (3.30 km) away.

No points of spotting the TWBrit logo in every pic 😉 Copyrights are what they are, TWBrit/RWIR/Me 🙂

Finally a huge thank you to Cheryl and of course Gabsatrucker for pointing out and showing me some amazing places where I took all but one of these photos.

Gabsatrucker also runs another great site for all you fitness and running type folks called of Runsound Mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Devastating few months in British Music History

 

It obviously can’t have escaped many people’s notice of the close proximity of several deaths from the archives of British Rock history.
I don’t know where to go with this other than to add my little bit:
Music for me started in 1976, it was the early days of punk and when I got to boarding school, we had an amazing teacher called Adrian Schoeberl who, once a week would introduce us to a couple of different bands until we gained a vast spectrum of knowledge in the area and even took in a Buzzcocks gig once.
It was while at home on school break I watched a show called “The Old Grey Whistle Test” (star kicker) on the BBC when, before my eyes a live concert with a school boy running around grabbed my attention Old-Grey-Whistle-Test– and there born was my love of AC/DC.
I left the school and attended another in Sheffield and this was the first time I ever saw people wearing merchandise. A kid and later a friend came up to me and asked what bands I was into and he was wearing a Led Zeppelin and a Genesis badge, I said both names and he accused me outright of just reading his badges – well yes and no, I had every album by Zeppelin and nothing by Genesis.
As we flew into the 80’s we were so lucky, Sheffield City Hall was a major venue on the UK touring circuit back then and every major act played there. We also had the Top Rank Suite, The Wapentake (a rock pub), local bands like Def Leppard, Saxon and got to see everyone. Ozzy Osbourne’s Blizzard of Oz was a show that got me interested in Audio Engineering which I was fascinated with. Girlschool made me slightly more deaf in the right ear than the left – for life!! We saw everyone. And then I worked in a Merch shop right opposite the City Hall (gone now) called Impulse Records… the only place I ever knew of back then that sold the leather, studs and bullet belts – so much so that when touring bands finished sound check at the City Hall they’d come in to buy gear on their way to the Wapentake bar just down the street. It was a great time in my life.

Then it all changed, City Halls were taken over by Arenas, the record shop became a parking lot, the Wapentake changed hands and then changed names.Wap reopening ded.The only other bar with the a Rock reputation as close or even better than the Wapentake was a long way away, in another country in fact and I knew it would be highly unlikely to ever visit…

 

And then, 3 years ago I did, with Gabby aka Gabsatrucker. In fact I mentioned it briefly in the post LA to Sin City : Las Vegas
A life time later from 1982, and we had been shooting  about picking up a few things in West Hollywood and were starving hungry… a few blocks away Rainbow Logowas this little place : The Rainbow Bar & Grill… not the kind of name or  look from the outside you would associate with a bar like the Wapentake, but I’m told the name was from the Band “Rainbow”.
So we went, we parked and we entered… got a booth and ate a hearty burger… as it got later the faces of 80’s, 90’s and early 2k’s rock scene were everywhere, I was surprised I guess, but not star struck, it was like a reassurance that such great places still exist, where people can be themselves and no pretension entered into.
Age has had a strange effect on me, whether I’m becoming an old romantic or just that little softer – but as we left and a famous individual said “sup – brother” as an informal greeting  – I knew then I would probably return.

I miss music…
And as the deaths of Phil Taylor, Lemmy, the final demise of Motorhead and David Bowie sink home having left a true mark in history, I feel that in these rare places – they will always be as alive today and in the future as they ever were.

 

Motorhead-Raw-cut-out12345

I tweaked the album artwork for the purpose of this blog

My 2014 in a few pictures

A little travel (London, Paris, The West Country) and stuff about the house and dubious oddness
Click on any Image to open in Gallery view

Published in: on 2 January, 2015 at 16:48  Comments Off on My 2014 in a few pictures  
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I Got Art!!

The concept of “me” buying art is rare to say the very least. In fact, few of the things that have ever blown me away, I could never afford anyway and as an engineer at heart, Installation Art is more my cup of tea than most things as long as I can see the passion and uniqueness of the item.

So a few weeks ago I was collared by the site’s editor “Gabsatrucker” to go and have a look at a small studio who’s artist had caught her eye.
On a freezing November weekend, we arrived at Treehuggery owned and run by Jackie Ward. Jackie’s art has anart1 air of irony and simplicity that was so refreshing I ended up buying Gabsatrucker a piece for Christmas!
From making images like people waiting for a bus out of old bus conductor tickets to sport and cycling images from used car tax discs and there’s just so much more besides. To me, the best part is, Jackie is passionate and loves what she does.
If this reads like an advert, well I’m not being paid for it and I can’t recommend a true artist enough 🙂
KMA, you’d love her work!!

Then I see a competition for a piece on Facebook and get this – I won it!!! What more can I say to that?!art2
So If you want something a little different and very individual for a space on the wall of for a gift that seriously will not hurt your pocket – click on TREEHUGGERY and give her stuff a look because if you like quirky, interesting and most definitely original – then you just found it! 🙂

 

Published in: on 8 December, 2014 at 00:19  Leave a Comment  
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New York, N’ooo Yoyk!

Bouncing out of Nashville we set about attempting a 2am ETA in NYC and made it!

DSCF2232

Strangely, after all that people had said about driving in the Apple and it being a city that never sleeps, there was hardly a thing on the road and it was a straight forward navigation to our downtown 6th Ave hotel, where they promptly stole the Snot Rocket (our car) for safe keeping.6th Ave

However, the New Jersey (N’ooo Joyzeee) Turnpike is NOT for the faint hearted or for anyone with a shred of logical commonsense due to the clarity of the signage, or indeed no signage. Thankfully, other than a few other lost souls, all was good.

The following day was a mad rush and full on with Gabsatrucker heading out early to chase her own butt up 20 blocks and pound out the rest of her 7 mile run around Central Park.

I jumped in a cab and headed to Chelsea and the new global headquarters of Rocketboom.com!rocketboom gold

Set in tasteful surroundings and interrupted from beavering away I sat down and had a great chat with Andrew Baron about how the future for Rocketboom and how other enterprises were rapidly shaping up to be far larger and indeed a permanent existence in the day on day “must watch” web media  listings 🙂

The evolution of Rocketboom has been long and its consistency in what I call intelligent humour – ie Witt, sarcasm and irony mixed in with a variable amount of new or leading tech, entertainment and global web cultural insight is well established and is still leading in this field.

Andrew’s exceptional ability to seek out great talent for presenting Rocketboom is second to none and the present anchor of the show Keghan Hurst is a perfect example of this.

Andrew Baron’s great strength is not just that he is one of the first true instigators of what we term web media, but it lays at the door of not just knowing what he wants to achieve, but also in listening to so many others without being derailed from his overall aim. In this he has achieved a greater understanding than most within this field and in the creativity stakes there are few to rival what he has achieved.

In the evening Gabsatrucker and I headed over to meet Andrew, his stunning and glowingly pregnant wife Rima and their friend Eli for what Andrew termed Korean BBQ which was a fantastic evening with a lot of laughter.

While we were invited to stay for another evening, our plans were forever changing and we were sadly unable to. As we walked back to our hotel leaving great people and company behind us we came upon Times Square which was very much alive and bouncing.

TSq1

Grabbing pictures and a bit of t’shirt swag we called it a night.

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TSqHersh

TSq3

Naked CowGirl

Day 2:

Waking early and packing up our gear, we headed out to catch a few sights before leaving this unrelenting island city.

A fast walk up the street our hotel was on (that sounds like they moved it) and you hit the likes of Radio City and the not so liked News Corp headquarters.

NewsCorp

Radio City

Onto the subway and Grand Central Station for crepes (of course)

NYSub

GCS2

GCS1

Then South to the 911 Memorial.. BUT, remember all the trouble I had getting into the Hoover Dam? Well this time, I’m wearing a Leatherman tool and all manner of sharp objects as we headed into security.

The X-ray operator sees the Leatherman and asks to look at it, calls another guard over and then “Sir, where did you get this?”

Me: “Ebay, why?”

Reply: “I’ve been looking for the same model” before handing it back to me…

Now that is commonsense security!! They acknowledge the item, make you aware they have and then carry on as normal – and where? Where this whole terror thing for this country started!! Well-done 911 Memorial Security with their reasoned, professional and very logical approach to what they do.

I can’t really add much more, this place and most definitely this memorial leaves you silent as it stands for so much more now than the day it all happened, and to a far higher loss than ever before.

DSCF2336

With that, we left the fair city of New York and headed back south, Philadelphia, DC, and on to Virginia – or ENGLAND as I like to call it.

Stuff :-)

Firstly, hurricane Sandy…. Wow!!

Hope most people are ok, I guess NYC will be building some new infrastructure over the coming weeks and months to minimise this kind of thing again. Web buddy and owner of Rocketboom.com Andrew Baron managed to get out and about and take some pics of the aftermath. Click on the image to go and see

All things “Sandy” aside, it was Halloween and a quick look at this site called TMZ made me realise that at least 90% of the so-called celebs they talk about, I’ve not in fact heard of lol. Most of which didn’t come close to @gabsatrucker’s Halloween cozzy which was based on a pirate wench – less sword, belt and hat. But in all of this, something strange appeared. [***Segue***] I’ve been looking into “E-Cigarettes” and so far I have found that many rave about the “Apollo” brand for being so like the real thing – yet DONT smell, DONT kill you and DONT affect the people around you… But who knew that come all things Halloween you can “Mod” them and make them look Kewl?! This pic is care of @gypsyhooker or better known as Shannon to the good ladies of the US trucking fraternity.

But… I’m about to embark on a trial of these e-cigs and see if they work where on 4 occasions everything else (patches, a punch in the mouth etc) have failed. But while doing my research I have come across some disturbing things.

1. There is no enforced safety standard or Govt. Regulation

2. There is no guidance regarding public places and mass transit.

3. If these things work, then they are in everyone’s interest to allow and to help stop smoking widely

4. The cost of these things are targeted at the price of a pack of cigarettes – whereas most people in the UK at least, hand-roll – so moving to e-cigs is a far more expensive consideration than the cost to remain smoking…

5 What I do disagree with is that they are made to look like real cigarettes! As such there have been instances on flights where one person has seen someone smoking an e-ciggy and just assumed it was ok to smoke – and lit up a real one… So, they should ban the use of Red or Orange LED’s in them and the outer colour should not be white.

Talking of planes though…

Air New Zealand have brought out a new flight safety video… Think Hobbits!! It’s great lol

In other news

As I mention in an earlier post, this blog’s and my buddy Sue Black was raising pledges for a BOOK publication… Well not only did she raise them, she far exceeded them and in doing so she halved the record time it takes to raise them!! Great work Sue and everyone who pledged – rocking, just rocking!!

More news…

Dell, who class themselves not as a manufacturer but as a Solutions provider have been making steps forward into the digital home. Work, office, media, study, play, photography, design, interact; you name it, dell has drawn it all together for the home in a realistic way and far beyond any other company to date. The new Tech Inspiration site is now up and running with tons of know-how, and cool stuff HERE or click the pic.

SXSW 2013 Austin, Texas… Yer know…. as far as music and film goes – SXSW still has it, but the “Interactive” part? I think 2012 was its death knell… You see, the Interactive part was a meeting place of ideas, conceptual minds to share and conceive of next-tech etc. Now it’s basically a highly sponsored group of events to flog the attendee something.

Even Toby Daniels the CEO of Crowdcentric and the Founder and Executive Director of Social Media Week said the format is old and stale. But the worse parts of SXSW are:

The Ticket Prices!! For an event so highly sponsored they’re unreasonable, unrealistic in the present climate and just money grabbing!

Transport!! Austin really needs to address its transport for such major events. Especially from the Airport – which for the most part you can’t fly internationally to from any country other than Mexico… But would desperately benefit from direct flights to London, Tokyo, Vancouver, Toronto, Sydney and Shanghai.

Yet Austin feels it has a place on the world stage – I happen to agree, but it will soon be looked over due to the inability to get people to the city and around it in a reliable and at a reasonable rate… The Taxi’s are just too expensive.

And Finally: Accommodation… Often booked up, too many tickets than hotel rooms available and of course – the premium prices for the accommodation…

The only thing killing SXSW is – SXSW and Austin itself and it pains me to say that. But Austin will learn this the hard way if F1 finds fault with transport and accommodation that is for sure.

Personally, I like Austin!! In fact I believe Austin has a massive opportunity to make itself one of the best City’s in not only the USA, but culturally and in a cosmopolitan sense – one of the finest in the World!! But there is much to do, and little time to waste.

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