Music Stunt 2009

Blog Stunt

Back in late 2007 (and early 2008) Karen and I did a blog stunt where we would both write posts on the same subject, and publish them simultaneously.

Just now, Karen and I were talking about how back in 2005 we listened to a lot of music, which was partly because we went to Reading that year. She mentioned how it would be nice to have a similar motivating force this year.

“Maybe this is the answer.” I said, holding aloft the copy of The Rough Guide book of Playlists that her dad bought me for Christmas.

And that gave me an idea for the Rise/Goo Blog Stunt 2009. Once a week we will randomly select a playlist from the book in question, spend a week listening to the specified 10 songs, and then write a few hundred words about it.

The book has 417 pages, so we will use a random number generator to select the page. If there is more than one playlist starting on that page then we will use a coin toss to select it.

This week’s playlist

Random number: 152
Playlists: Goth (Head), Grateful Dead (Tails)
Coin: Tails

Grateful Dead it is. The book says:

> From spaced-out acid rock to mellow Americana, Grateful Dead covered the whole musical waterfront until the untimely death of their leader Jerry Garcia in 1995.

Food Photos

Solstice Breakfast

freshly squeezed orange juice

Happy Solstice Day! We celebrated with a breakfast of freshly squeezed orange juice, and pancakes with an assortment of banana, lemon juice, honey, golden syrup and sugar.


Karen gave me some long-sleeved t-shirts, which is just what I always wanted. It’s been many years since I’ve worn a long-sleeved t-shirt under a short-sleeved t-shirt (I used to do it fairly frequently) and I’m planning to start doing it again, partly because Bernard makes it look so awesome.


Yule Stick

Yule Stick


Daily Food Music

Dailies for Monday 8th December 2008

  • Video. You don’t need the sound on to be able to enjoy this.
  • “The 696 Form compels licensees who wish to hold live music events in 21 London Boroughs to report to the police the names, addresses, aliases and telephone numbers of performers, and most worryingly, the likely ethnicity of their audience. Failure to comply could result in fines or imprisonment. We believe this places unnecessary and frankly Orwellian powers in the hands of the Metropolitan Police, an institution which does not have the best record of racial fairness. The 696 form can only serve to deter the staging of live musical events – a positive form of activity in London and all cities – stifle free expression and quite possible penalise certain genres of music and ethnic audiences. It is an intrusion too far.”

Error while opening sound device in Audacity

I’m running Audacity 1.3.4-beta in Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). Every time I try to record, I get the following error:

> Error while opening sound device. Please check the input device settings and the project sample rate.

To fix this (and allow me to record) I open the System Monitor, locate the `jackd` process and end it (don’t kill it, otherwise you’ll kill Audacity too). Recording will then work.

You’ll need to do this each time you start Audacity.

Alternatively, you can install 1.3.6 from getdeb which seemed to work for me.

What I’ve watched this year

*Oooh, I did it last year too!*

I got a big hard drive in December last year, exclusively for storing videos on. I haven’t needed to delete anything all year, but I will have to quite soon. The upshot is that it’s really easy for me to list what we’ve watched this year, because it’s just anything that’s on the hard drive that we didn’t watch last year.

On the one hand, I can look at this list and think “wow, that’s quite a lot.” But on the other hand, if I’m able to list nearly everything we’ve watched on TV this year, then it can’t be that much.

Shows that Karen and I have watched together

* Blackadder (series 1)
* Criminal Justice
* CSI (series 1 to 8)
* Doctor Who (series 4)
* Gavin and Stacey (series 1 and 2)
* Heroes (series 1 to 3)
* House (series 5)
* Merlin (series 1)
* The Mighty Boosh (series 1 and 2)
* That Mitchell and Webb Look (series 2)
* Outnumbered (series 2)
* Peep Show (series 5)
* Respectable
* Sapphire and Steel (series 1)
* Spooks (series 3 to 5 and 7)
* Torchwood (series 1 to 2)

Anything that we started watching last year, and continued watching this year, is not listed a second time. Likewise, anything in the above list that we haven’t finished watching, will not be listed if I do this again next year.

Shows that I watched on my own

* 3rd Rock From The Sun (series 1 to 6)
* The Mighty Boosh (series 3)
* My Name Is Earl (series 4)
* Red Dwarf (series 4 to 8)
* Spaced (season 1)
* Top Gear (series 12)

This section should probably actually be entitled “things that I am watching on my own”, because with the exception of The Mighty Boosh and Red Dwarf, I am in the middle of a series for all of these.

I also watched the first three episodes of The Brittas Empire before concurring with Karen’s assessment that it is unwatchable shite.


Again, we’ve probably watched 30-40 films. And they’re all on my hard drive, so there’s nothing to stop me giving you an exhaustive list. Haha.

* 12 Angry Men
* American Gangster
* Big Fish
* Boyz N the Hood
* Casino
* City Lights
* Crash
* The Dark Knight
* First Blood
* The Fisher King
* Gandhi
* Heavenly Creatures
* The Ipcress File
* Juno
* Knocked Up
* Leon The Professional
* Mr Smith Goes to Washington
* National Treasure
* No Country For Old Men
* Notorious
* Once Upon A Time In The West
* The Prestige
* Rebecca
* Rocky
* Taxi Driver
* There Will Be Blood
* The Third Man
* To Kill A Mockingbird
* Vertigo
* Walk Hard The Dewey Cox Story
* Zorba The Greek

(We also managed to get about 5 minutes into Metropolis before giving up because it didn’t have subtitles)

And these are the ones that I watched on my own:

* Cloverfield
* Crank
* Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
* Dr Strangelove
* Futurama – Bender’s Big Score
* Futurama – The Beast With A Billion Backs
* Futurama – Bender’s Game
* Hitman
* Resident Evil Extinction
* Stardust

And, as Karen reminds me, this is the one that I’ve watched with Karen and Bernard:

* Ratatouille