How NOT to knock down a wall. Only in Iraq!
How NOT to knock down a wall. Only in Iraq!
How to inflate a tire, Iraqi-style.
Gameboy… Gameboy…. Gameboy… Headache!
My CD and 180g vinyl copy of the new Daft Punk is here. Now all I need is that LP player!
I’ve just come back from Manchester, having visited some very close friends I’ve not seen for years and my brother.
I also stumbled upon the coolest shopping centre ever, Afflecks. Full of kooky stuff, it feels like a timewarp to the early 80s. It also has “The Retro Games Shop” which does what it says on the tin.
There, I saw this fellow, and I knew he would make a great addition to the gaming room. The woman who worked there was very helpful, and she threw in lots of freebies to entice me. It worked and I brought him home today.
A hefty, huge model, probably from a Mario Super Sluggers promotion (sadly not released in EU). Just check his size compared to the smaller toys or even the Wii U game case.
I like Dan Brown books. There, I said it. Now leave me alone to read!
Om nom nom nom!
(This is the second part of the story of my discovery, and love of, Jean Michel Jarre. The first riveting part is here)
Soon after watching that amazing Paris La Defense gig, I accidentally stumbled upon Jarre’s music again. This time, it was a recording of Destination Docklands, the 1988 London concert. Jarre was on top form again, this time playing on a barge on the Thames while the lasers and lights were illuminating the buildings behind. It was pouring with rain (as usual) but the crowd was still there and was loud. I saw this concert from start to end, and I got my first listen to awesome stuff like Oxygene IV, Rendez-Vous II and IV, and a Turkish-flavoured Revolution.
After this, I knew that this was the kind of music I wanted to listen to all day, every day. It ticked all the right boxes: the musician was obviously a geek, and obviously obsessed with computers. The bleeps and bloops hit all the right nerves, even more so when accompanied by pictures of robots and weird things on buildings. The choreographed fireworks amazed my young mind, and those computer screens all over the stage were like porn. They were better than porn.
Most of all, this was a musician whose music I wanted to blast out loud and be happy to. Growing up in the 80s, I was more a fan of the new wave of electronic pop (think Pet Shop Boys, Eurythmics, Ultravox, Five Star) than the pop/rock giants of the time. But I never really had a favourite band. Sure, I had favourite songs, but not one specific artist who I could say was my absolute obsession. For me, Jarre became that artist.
We went back to Iraq soon after that. As I’ve mentioned before, the initial period was monumentally shit. Leave aside the hormonal insecurities of a 13 year old, my dad went to prison in May 1990 leaving my mum to look after 2 teenage boys, almost penniless and without a home. In August that year Saddam decided to fuck all the country and invade Kuwait, and in 1991 the first of many Gulf Wars started. In short: life was fucking awful.
During the war, electricity came on a very short while a day. Thankfully it was cold so we didn’t melt to death in between, and when it did come on we were grateful the fridge and freezer were being powered. Oh, and the VHS recorder. You see, my brother’s ever-resourceful friend (the same bastard that had the Amiga) had taped both Jarre gigs when he was in London. Better still, he made me a copy of both of them!
For me, this was better than ANYTHING! I would run to the VHS, pop the tape in and watch the gigs every time I could. Thankfully, there were no state channels during the early days of the war so no one else wanted the TV, so I was mostly left all by myself in the living room, squatting on the floor with my neck cranked up at an impossible angle, watching the magic on TV. It was like a window back to a world where I was, a few months ago we’d been in England and everything was going to be OK, but then for reasons beyond teenage-comprehension we went back to this fucked up life and it was all awful. Except when I watched Jarre play in London, as the rain poured down. He’d be joined by Hank Marvin and Jarre would say “It’s a bit wet tonight”, and Hank would reply “This is not wet, this is England”.
This is not wet, this is England. A sentence that stuck with me for a very, very long time…..
Here’s a quick snap of my favourite pens, LAMY Safari fountain pens. They just feel right!
Daylight Saving (British Summer Time) starts today, and the clocks go forward one hour, that’s to say midnight became 0100 AM.
This seems to always spark a rush of tweets about how we lose an hour, which seems to be a misconception. We actually gain an hour of daytime (hence Daylight Saving), which is the whole point.
An example: Johnny is allowed to play video games from 4 PM until the sun goes down. Before Daylight Saving, the sun goes down at 6 PM, so Johnny can play for 2 hours. The next day, Daylight Saving starts and clocks go forward one hour. Johnny starts playing at 4 PM, and the sun goes down at 7 PM. Has Johnny “lost an hour”?
Think about it.