I am a generally easy-going chap, originally from Nottingham (UK) but also a Spanish National. I'm stuck in the 70s/80s when it comes to music and am a great fan of science-fiction and I have a very bizarre sense of humour. I occasionally play the acoustic guitar. I speak English, Spanish & BSL (British Sign language). I'm the Admin Assistant & IT guy at Ideal Country Property!
Yesterday I attended a friend’s wedding in Fuengirola and at the reception we were treated to several guitar and song performances by two local artists: Lorenzo Ruíz and Jorge. I have had the pleasure of seeing Jorge sing and play guitar before with my friend and ex-workmate Enrique. It amazes me how he manages to play seemingly without any effort at all but then that’s due to his experience and natural talent. What surprised me is how humble he is and during his breaks from playing, he mixed with the rest of us dancing and chatting. The same can be said of Lorenzo, who I just met for the first time yesterday.
Guitar, Rumba & Music Box – What A Combo!
Lorenzo took the lead in singing and sat atop the music box, a very popular instrument here in Andalucía, whilst Jorge astounded us with his dexterity on the guitar. Below are two videos recorded live from the event, that will hopefully give you a taste of what we enjoyed. They were recorded with an iPhone 4 so the quality is not great (as a side point, I’m slowly being converted over to the Dark Side in favour of a Samsung Galaxy S4 if anyone has one that they want to give away)!
(Chorus) Tápame con tus manos…que tengo frío… Porque ya no me dices cariño mío Y acurruca mi cuerpo entre tus brazos Y déjame que crea… que estoy soñando. (Bis).
No quiero que se pierda nuestro cariño Y si no te apetece no estés conmigo Siento que el amor nuestro se está enfriando Y a solas me pregunto, ¿Qué está pasando?
No sé por qué motivo me has olvidado Ni quien en tu camino se te ha cruzado Por que cuando te hablo estas ausente Dime si me queda algo por ofrecerte.
La vida que me queda yo te la ofrezco Por si salvar pudiera este amor nuestro Pero no me traiciones con tus mentiras Que el amor verdadero no se mendiga.
Actually the question should be what was home taping as I doubt that people use cassette tapes any more. Whilst the advantages of technology in the music field cannot be denied, for those of us who are 40 and above, the old formats of video tapes, cassette tapes and vinyl records still hold great appeal, perhaps due to the many fond memories that they produce. Home Taping just means the recording of an original music source onto (analogue magnetic) cassette tape, much like you convert a music CD to an MP3 digital file in this modern age.
The logo above will be quite familiar to the aforementioned age group, especially if you’re from the UK. It originally was a black & white image (I just changed it to green as that is one of my favourite colours!) and was part of a campaign by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) who were very concerned that with the increase in home music centres with recording abilities and easy access to cassette tapes, there would soon be no music industry left as nobody would buy the originals any more. Hmmm, that sounds familiar right? This campaign then led to many other parodies such as the one I drummed up last night whilst commenting with a friend about the great hairstyles in the Eighties, the best decade by far in my opinion. You can see the results below:
Home Taping’s Greatest Achievement
What will probably be most fondly remembered from the era of home taping are the famous “Mix Tapes“. Whereas with original tapes or records you just had to make do with the producer’s mix selection, with Mix Tapes you could create your own playlists. ‘Yes but that’s what I do with the songs now on my iPod’ you youths may be saying. However, back in the 80s we didn’t have that luxury so we would sit for hours by the radio waiting for our favourite songs to come on and frantically hit the record button. Some people would just leave it on pause but I was slave to the old wives tale that leaving it on record-pause for too long would strain the tape so I would have to start the record process from scratch which always took a little longer. There was a whole art form to it too; stopping the recording just before the DJ started talking again or before the advertising jingle.
We were fortunate to have a home music centre from when I was born and when I was about 9 or 10 my dad gave me a SANYO Home Entertainment System of my own. It belonged to what is now the Panasonic family so was very good quality. It consisted of a modern (back in the 80s at least) combined tape recording deck, radio and record player so I used to borrow as many records as I could to then tape them and listen to them on my ridiculously sized imitation Walkman (the iPod of its day). My system was something as is pictured here and is taken from Bill Wellham’s BLOG as is his spot on description of these amazing systems: “The music centre was a combination of all three points on the audio triangle; radio, vinyl records and cassette tape. It is difficult for young people today to imagine how great these machines were when they first appeared. The loud speakers were separated on long wires. The sound quality was great. There was even the ability to record directly from radio or vinyl records, which lead to the first great wave of music piracy, with everyone taping friends’ records.”
The great thing about them was that they made great gifts and had the personal touch. Nowadays you can give someone a digital music voucher but in my opinion it just doesn’t feel as heartfelt or personal as giving someone your own mix tape, especially prepared for them with hours of work gone into it (you had to listen through each song completely and each tape was at least 60 minutes long) and your own handwriting on the cassette label and cover. It was a good way to discover new music too when swapping them with mates at school. By the way Lloyd Belton, you still haven’t given me back my BASF C-90 Mix Tape back yet; it’s now 23 years overdue!
Which Tape To Use?
There I go again talking in the present as if people still used them! With LPs from the 70s and early 80s, you could get away with using a C-60 tape (30 minutes each side) but then from the middle 80s onwards, the LPs seemed to have a longer playing time so the C-90 tapes (45 minutes a side) had to be used. Actually both presented you with a problem if you have slight OCD as I just couldn’t stand to leave too much blank space on any side of the tape. More often than not, especially when recording from a whole album, I would end up missing out a song or two or changing the order of the tracks, requiring extra skills with the stylus and placing it in the space between the tracks on the LP. There was of course the incredibly 2 hour long C-120 tapes but these were usually notoriously bad quality (OK for taping speech) and tended to snap quickly with frequent use as the tape stretched due to its thinness (logical when you think about it as they had to cram all that tape into the same casing after all). The best quality tape I ever used? I swear by TDK SA range. I still have a few even now and they sound as good as when I first recorded on them.
Well that’s enough musings for today. Hope you enjoyed the read and feel free to share your memories by commenting below. Cheers!
Imagine my surprise today at work when my work colleague Yolanda is there sat at her desk, mobile in hand, dressed in what I can only describe as a Star Trek: Next Generation officer’s uniform. Both Yolanda & Kelly have very modern dress sense but today, Yolanda shot to number one in my opinion. Sporting a gold and black two-tone dress, it resembles the command colours from the TV series “Star Trek: The Next Generation”.
After taking a photo (what Star Trek fan wouldn’t?) just so I could show my friends, I decided to put my limited Photoshop skills to use and show a ‘before & after’ picture. I’m quite pleased with the result but decide for yourselves.
Thanks again to Yolanda for her unending patience with me and my photography & Star Trek obsessions! As always, comments are welcome. The original photo is shown below so that you can compare the two. Just click on it to see full size.
Aquí va un post en español, especialmente para vosotros quienes están quejándose que no escribo mucho en el español jeje. Hace tiempo alguien me envió este curriculum de mentira y me hacía tanta gracia que no podía olvidarlo. Así que, ya que hemos avanzado en el mundo de tecnología, os dejo dicho curriculum vitae (o CV como suelen decir en inglés). Por supuesto, está hecho con buen humor y su propósito no es insultar ni degradar. Un beso grande del ‘Gitano Blanco’.
Foto real al 12 de junio del 1998
JOSE MARIA HEREDIA VARGAS
EDAD: 31 AÑOS ESTADO CIVIL: CASADO 3 VECES SITIO DE NACIMIENTO: BADAJÓ TIPO DE SANGRE: ROJA NORMAL SIN SIDA OJOS: UN POCO VERDES Y ESPRESIVOS CABELLO: A LA MODA COMPLECCION: ATLETICA O TIRANDOLE A CACHAS ESTADO DE SALUD: UN POCO RESACOSO PERO BIEN GRACIAS A DIOS DOMISILIO: BARRIADA DEL ALAMBRE. LA CASA CON LA PUERTA AZUL AL LAO DEL BAR JOSETE TELEFONO: 9520000 ES DE DOÑA CONCHA ME DEJA RECAO. ES MI VECINA. ESTUDIOS: SI QUE ESTUDIE, SE LE JURO SEÑORITO
CURSO A V ANZADO DE PLASTILINA
COMO HASERSE UN PORRO CON UNA SOLA MANO
PRIMEROS AUSILIOS EN LA CRUZ BERDE
GUITARRA FASIL DEL CCC
ESPERIENCIA LABORAL EN TRABAJOS:
TRABAJE EN EL CIRCO RINGLIN DANDOLE DE COMER A LOS MONOS
LOS FINES DE SEMANA ME TOCA LAVAR LA COCINA ENTERA EN DONDE EL PROYECTO HOMBRE
UNA VES ME CONTRTARON UNOS SEÑORES PARA PARTIRLE LA BOCA A JORGE LEIVA PERO NO PUDE PORQUE ME PERDI
PARTICIPE EN UN PROYECTO DE IRRADIACION GAMMA CON COBALTO 60 EN EL INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE INVESTIGACION NUCLEAR DE GUADALHORCE PERO DESDE ENTONCES ME DAN ATAQUES EPILEPTICOS
TRABAJE EN EL CARREFUL LLEVANDO CARROS DE LOS SEÑORITOS
AFICIONES Y JOVIS:
SOY DEL MADRI DE CORASON
ME GUSTA IR AL MERCADILLO LOS DOMINGOS CON LA CHONI A VER A LOS COLEGAS, BUENA GENTE
COLECCIONO CUENTOS DE ESPIDERMAN (EL OMBRE ARAÑA POR SI NO SABEN INGLES)
LOS FINES DE SEMANA DE BOTELLON EN LA PUERTA DEL BURRI KING CON TODA LA BANDA DE COLEGUITAS, BUENA GENTE
BUSCO CURRE DE:
POR LO MENOS DIRECTOR GENERAL DE EMPRESA INTERNACIONAL
SE FIRMAR DOCUMENTOS IMPORTANTES
MANDAR A LA SEÑORA QUE LIMPIA A UN CAFELITO
SE MANEJAR COCHE, MOTO, BICI Y PATINETE
MATON DE ALGUNA ARTISTA COMO EN LA PELICULA DEL GUARDAESPALDAS
AMANTE PROFECIONAL DE VIEJITAS SEX SIMBOL
DE LOS QUE DICEN LO QUE HAY QUE HACER
POR FABOR NESESITO TRABAJO DE LO CONTRARIO TENDRE QUE BOLVERME DELINCUENTE Y NO VA CON MI IMAGEN.
Two Spocks, an Audi and a Mercedes. You may think that there’s a type-o there but then you’d be wrong. The latest video from Audi for their S7 features not one but two Mr. Spocks from the famous Star Trek franchise. The following video in lovely High Definition presents us with Leonard Nimoy’s Spock (from the Original Series) and Zachary Quinto’s Spock from the new JJ Abrams films. Both actors (or Spocks, for those of you who often confuse fiction with reality) agree to a challenge in which the loser will buy the winner their lunch.
Which Spock Is Better?
That is likely to be an eternal debate, almost as heated as ‘Which is better: Star Wars or Star Trek?’! However, the video presents both actors interpreting the same role and in a light-hearted setting, thus providing not only a touch of humour but should keep fans happy, both of the Original Show and the New Films. Enjoy and don’t forget to comment. Thanks.
I have a good friend at work called Yolanda who is the latest addition to our small family team at Ideal Country Property. She is one of those fortunate people to be loved by the camera. I came across this photo the other day on her desktop and instantly fell in love with it. I’m already in awe of Yolanda’s amazing & luxurious hair but in this photo it is accentuated and the whole shot has a lovely summer feel to it. In fact, it’s like something you’d see on one of the old Sunsilk Shampoo UK adverts from the 80s. What do you think?
Seeing a friend’s post on Facebook this morning reminded me of this wonderful character: Morph. One of Scotland’s famous exports to the States, Glenn Gibson, made his own model of Morph, which then suddenly brought back loads of childhood memories of watching BBC afternoon TV with my grand-parents.
Who Is Morph?
If you’re asking then then you’re more than likely under 35. Morph was a character made out of reddish plasticine and then animated using stop-film animation by the production company Aardman Animation, later famous for their “Wallace & Gromit” series. He appeared on the BBC children’s show “Take Hart” with the artist Tony Hart. He lived in an artist’s brush box and appeared for brief moments throughout the show, often interacting with Tony himself. The show first started in 1977 and later on other characters appeared, most notably his mischievous friend Chas (pictured below). They often changed themselves into different shapes or imitated other objects, hence the name Morph.
So who sent their photo into the show hoping to get it featured on “The Gallery”? In case you’re wondering, I did. Oh and the music that was played during the Gallery section was “Cavatina” by Stanley Myers.
It is no secret that I’m a big fan of The Muppets (the original ones from the 70s, from when Jim Henson was still alive and voicing Kermit) and have a special place in my heart for them, like most people of my generation that had access to a TV whilst growing up. One of the most iconic and most imitated characters is the Swedish Chef, whose cooking sessions more-often-than-not ended in disaster! We are so used to seeing him in his chef’s outfit that I thought you would be as pleasantly surprised as me to see him dressed by Versace, as featured in the September 2008 issue of the UK’s POP magazine (shown below).
In my search for all things ‘Swedish Chef’ I came across a brilliant site that actually ‘translates’ anything and most sites into this Muppet’s language. CLICK HERE TO VISIT The Dialectizer Site.
As an example of what it does and of how easily I am amused, here’s how it translated the my WordPress biography: “I em a generelly iesy-gueeng chep, ooreeginelly frum Nutteenghem (UK) boot elsu a Spuneesh Neshunel. I’m stoock in zee 70s/80s vhee it cumes tu mooseec und em a greet fun ooff sceeence-a-feecshun und I hefe-a a fery beezerre-a sense-a ooff hoomuoor. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I oocceseeunelly pley zee ecuoosteec gooeeter. Hurty flurty schnipp schnipp! I speek Ingleesh, Spuneesh & BSL (Breetish Seegn lungooege-a). I’m zee Edmeen Esseestunt & IT gooy et Ideel Cuoontry Pruperty. Bork bork bork!“
Credit where credit’s due: well I would love to give the credit for this montage to someone but I cannot find the original source that this came from. Even though it’s meant as tongue-in-cheek, the reality is that Star Trek has been a forerunner when it comes to predicting future technology. Even the PADDs are called iPads; maybe Paramount can take them up on that and force Apple to display the Starfleet emblem on the back of every iPad.
Aparentemente en el mundo moderno en lo cual vivimos, existe una cosa llamada “publicidad personalizada”. Consiste en mostrarte publicidad relacionada con lo que estás viendo actualmente. Eso dicho, quiero saber ¿qué tiene que ver el trailer de la nueva peli de Star Trek con 3 restaurantes de lujo de Barcelona y Madrid? ¡Algo falla en alguna parte! je je.
Apparently in this modern world in which we live, there’s a thing called “personalised advertising”. Basically it means that you are shown adverts relating to what you are actually looking at. That said, I would love to know what the new Star Trek film has to do with 3 swanky restaurants in Madrid & Barcelona. Something is not working somewhere! ha ha