Monday, 31 October 2011

Noel Gallagher - Aka... What A Life!

Where Has The Time Gone?

I can't believe it's the last day of October already. To use the old phrase, "Where has the time gone?" The year 2011 seems to have passed by in a flash. It appears the older you become, the years come and go with increasing speed. Before I know it, I will be reaching the age of retirement!  

The past couple of years haven't been great for me in the career department, having made a big mistake in leaving a former employer in December 2009. I thought I was doing the right thing at the time, but it was only a few months afterwards I realised it was the wrong thing to do. I missed the type of work I had been doing there, so for the past year and a half, I've been trying to return to that type of work. I now have the opportunity to do that with a different employer, and I'm hoping for a telephone call from them this week to confirm it. 

My fingers are crossed, because I never take anything for granted in this unpredictable world we live in.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Observation Of Apple Products.

Reading this article about "4 Ways Steve Jobs and Apple Changed the Music Industry" had me cringeing a bit.

First of all, the sentence "For starters, the iPod meant that a listener could hear any song in his library at any time. This allowed users to create their own personal soundtracks, instead of being constrained by a particular time, place or media."

Oh dear, what a hardship! Isn't it terrible being constrained by a particular time, place or media? Even though you can still pick any specific cd and type of music from your collection to listen to, this still isn't sufficient. It has to be a particular song itself to suit your mood for that 5 minutes you are in. Really, there is no need to be that particular! I could never be that specific in wanting to hear a certain song at the present moment I am in.

I laughed at this sentence: “I was on the crosstown bus in Manhattan during a snow storm and had a sudden urge to listen to some Bob Marley. Needless to stay it brightened up my mood and showed me the power of the iPod."

Good grief, that's a bit dramatic. It sounds like a sales pitch to me. It doesn't sound a natural feeling someone would have in this scenario. I can honestly say I've never had a sudden urge to listen to a particular music artist. And definitely not during a snow storm.

Using iTunes is the most popular method of buying music today, but for me, I much prefer to have the product physically in my hands after I've bought it. I like to look at the sleeve and read the notes and lyrics inside after I have put the compact disc in the cd player to play. You can't do that with a downloaded music file. It just sits there anonymously in your device without any character. I will always buy cds rather than download music.

As for the musician heavily using Apple programmes, he says “Live, I use a MacBook Pro with Ableton. In the studio, on a Mac pro, Cubase & After Effects.” He is "now dependent on Apple products to manufacture and refine his sound." I think manufacture is the keyword here. This isn't the natural sounds of a song being written from the heart, but a song manufactured together by computer sounds.

And that's what I hear when I am subjected to modern music on the radio and satellite tv music channels. Songs that have been constructed on a computer, heavily weighed down in production so you can't hear a natural voice or natural instruments. Not much soul and passion being put into that type of music.

I have never owned an iPod or had a need for one. I have never used iTunes or had a need to use it. And I have never used Apple programmes to record music or had a need to do so. But it doesn't stop me making observations about the product!

Friday, 30 September 2011

Carlos Tevez.

The refusal of Carlos Tevez to come off the bench for Manchester City as a substitute this week is an absolute disgrace and highlights how spoiled and pampered modern footballers have become. It's the biggest mistake a footballer can ever make... to refuse to play for their club, whether they start the match or are asked to replace a player as a subsitute.

In a regular job, a person would be sacked for refusing to work. Which Tevez did. However, it's a different situation in football because of the worth of the footballer. Tevez is being paid £200,000+ per week and is worth around £40 million to £50 million as a transfer fee. Obscene figures, and why football supporters can no longer relate to the top modern footballers. Financially, we can't begin to imagine what it would be like earning what they do for kicking a football around a pitch.

All of these facts add to the fact that Tevez's behaviour this week was disgraceful. He didn't want to play in a top European match against one of the biggest teams in Europe, and to help his team (who were two goals down at this point) to fight back and get back into the match. Tevez has let himself down, his team mates down, his manager down, and his team's supporters down.

The Manchester City fans paid hard earned money to go to Germany, expecting to watch all of their players give 100% commitment and perform to the best of their capabilities. Carlos Tevez failed to fulfill these obligations, sadly. Apparently, he wasn't mentally and physically able to play for the team when called upon. Why was he sitting on the substitutes bench ready to play? Why didn't he tell his manager he wasn't able to play? Tezez is making excuses for himself because he knows he was badly in the wrong, and will face a lot of abuse and criticism for his actions.

After the match on Sky Sports, Graeme Souness summed it up perfectly when he said, "Tevez is a disgrace to football. The man on the street thinks there's a lot wrong with your modern footballer. Tevez epitomizes what the man on the street thinks is wrong with modern footballers." Souness righty represented the anger of the pundits, media, and fans alike towards Carlos Tevez.

At the moment, Tevez has been suspended for two weeks while his club carry out their investigation into the sorry affair. If he is sacked, Manchester City would lose the 40 to 50 million pounds transfer fee which they won't want to do. A fine won't make any difference because of the obscene amount of money he earns. Hopefully, he will be transfer listed and never play for City again. Potential buyers may be put off by his unwillingness to play this week, but I'm sure a big team will still buy him.

In my opinion, Tevez should receive a 6 months ban by FIFA from playing for any team. After that, Manchester City would receive a transfer fee from any club still willing to buy him. That would be justice, but in football, justice isn't always carried out, sadly.

Back Online.

I have just, somehow, survived a week without access to the internet! I don't know how I did it! You could equate it with living in the jungle for a week without food. Okay, perhaps I am exaggerating, but living without a modern convenience like the internet is strange when you're so used to having it there at your fingertips.

I first went online in 1998, and in the 13 years that have passed, it's very rare I have been without internet access... the very few times when the computer has a fault, and a couple of weekish long courses that I attended out of town. I guess we all take the internet for granted, just sitting there at our service when we need it for all sorts of reasons.

I'm happy to say I comfortably survived without it for a week. I have other things to do in my home, so there was never a time when I was bored and had nothing to do. A couple of times I wished I could have just logged on to find out what people who I follow were saying on Twitter, and what what the trending subjects were. However, I survived, and so here I am back blogging and tweeting. It feels great to be back online!  

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bus Driver.

A month ago, I started training with an employer to be a bus driver, which in the main, I enjoyed. Sadly, it came to an end yesterday when I failed the practical test at the second attempt. Not so much because of driving incompetence, but due to safety and awareness errors.

I have the option of sitting a test privately, with the aim of passing it and being re-employed by the company I was with for my month of training. This all comes at a cost, of course, so I have to think carefully whether I want to pursue a career as a bus driver. At the moment I have mixed feelings. 

I am still waiting for a reply from another job I attended an interview for recently. I certainly hope to find out soon whether I have been successful for that position. Fingers crossed.

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

BBC And Sky Sports F1 Coverage.

So typical of the BBC to cut back on the amount of F1 motor racing coverage from next year. They will now only broadcast half of the races, while Sky Sports will show every race.

Apparently the decision has to do with cutting costs, but I think the BBC have their priorities elsewhere, in particular the Olympics, which will be staged in London next year. Also, cost savings could have been done in other areas of their F1 coverage, as highlighted here in the final paragraph.

It's also worth remembering Sky Sports have more money, and now dominate sports coverage in the UK. I hope they sign up Martin Brundle, whose opinions on all things F1 I highly value. Who else could do the grid walk as good as him? To me, Brundle is the star of the BBC F1 team, and I want to see him at every F1 race. And that will be on Sky Sports, not the BBC.

A letter regarding the BBC and Sky Sports F1 matter was recently printed in the Radio Times letters section, and to me, it perfectly sums up the problem with the BBC...

"Don't dump expensive celebrity presenters, save on the hour long lead-in and interviews, or abandon the funky special effects. Don't even stop the interesting, but not vital, qualifying sessions. Just chop half the races. Well done, BBC!" Peter Hibbert, Shrewsbury.