Gaming Music Parenting

Too Busy To Blog

Hi, remember me? I’m the guy who hasn’t given you a non-stunt post since early May. It’s probably time I caught up.

Learning songs

I’ve got a couple of party gigs coming up in July, one for my regular band, and one wedding gig for an irregular, ad-hoc band formed expressly for the purpose. I’ve been learning a lot of new cover versions. *Brown-Eyed Girl* is in both sets.

Watching television

Since December, Karen and I have discovered How I Met Your Mother and Hustle, and also embarked on a project of watching Friends and The West Wing “cover to cover”. We’ve actually been watching less television than last year.


Towards the end of March, I started reading the books in the Earth’s Children series by Jean M Auel. I’ve been finding them interesting, hence getting through them at a rate of one book every 2 or 3 weeks. That’s quick, by my standards – I’m a fast reader, but I don’t tend to devote much time to reading. I’m now very close to finishing the fifth (currently the last published) book.


Not much of this actually. I haven’t had as much enthusiasm for it this year. There seems to have been quite a lot of rainfall in the last couple of months, which deters me somewhat. Last year I think that I cycled a lot because the regular exercise helped my mood, but this year my mood seems to be (mostly) just fine without it.

Playing Zelda III

One of the greatest games of all time, in my opinion, was *Zelda IV: Link’s Awakening* on the Game Boy. It’s been a source of sadness to me that there was never a sequel. I once bought a game called Quest For Camelot that looked like it might be similar, but it fell far short. In fact, one of the reasons why I disliked it was that the main character’s sword did, literally, fall far short. She had about half the reach of Link (the main character in *Zelda IV*) which led to much frustration.

Anyway, thanks to the wonder that is emulation, I’ve started playing through *Zelda III* which is the SNES predecessor to *Zelda IV*. Seems to be incredibly CPU-hungry on my computer, but we can live with that. UPDATE: I’ve fixed the CPU problem by experimenting with different display resolutions, and I’ve also improved the sound quality by using the sdl audio driver.

Chilling with the boy

Yesterday we went to Legoland for the afternoon. It was awesome. As you can imagine, not many people go to Legoland on a grey Thursday during term time. As a result, we managed to get on more rides in 3 hours than we usually do in an entire day. Also, packed lunch + annual pass = incredibly cheap day out. I quite wanted to take Bernard onto his first rollercoaster, but he preferred to just watch it go round. He doesn’t like fast rides yet, but he assures me that he will when he is older. Of course, when he’s older, we won’t be able to go to Legoland on grey Thursdays during term time, so we won’t be able to enjoy the benefit of being able to board the rollercoaster without queueing, but I didn’t want to pressure his decision by burdening him with this information.

Music Stunt 2009

Stunt 2009: Week 21 – Further Complications

*This is a companion piece to a similarly-themed article on Karen’s site which, all things being equal, should be published at roughly the same time.*

This week we have been listening to Jarvis Cocker’s recent album, *Further Complications*. It’s a great step forward from his previous album, which I have to confess, failed to impress me. Having lived in Paris with his wife for the last 5 years, he’s now single once again, and free to write an entire album about wanting to get into the knickers of girls who are half his age.

Generally speaking, the music on this album falls into two separate genres. There’s his noisy, brash, punk-rock material (which bears resemblance to what he did with *Relaxed Muscle*) and his mellower, thoughtful, clever-lyriced material (which bears resemblance to what he did with *Pulp*). Personally, I prefer the latter, because to me, it’s what Jarvis excels at. The loud stuff tends to sound the same after a while, and doesn’t sit as well with his voice. But he’s earned the right to indulge his fancies. It makes me wonder what direction he’s going to go in for the next album. One thing is almost certain though – I don’t think we’re ever going to hear anything like *Different Class* again.

Album closer *You’re In My Eyes (Discosong)* is a (slightly imperfect) throwback to those 8-minute Pulp epics of old, songs like *Sheffield: Sex City* and *Seductive Barry* and *My Legendary Girlfriend*. It sounds far cheesier than any of them ever did, and I can’t see myself getting absorbed by it in the same way, but it still serves as a kind of comforting familiar landmark.

The next week’s playlist

Karen’s selected Animal Collective so we’re going to listen to their most recent album, Merriweather Post Pavilion.