Technology is a great thing as long as it works! Over the New Year both my phone and the computer decided not to work properly. This just causes all sorts of problems and ill feeling. And bad language.*
The computer decided on New Year's day to stop recognising the router - on a wireless system. It recognised the neighbour's and our son's PS3 but not the one about three feet away. Ah well, such is life. At least, for a price, the Geek Squad are around. I'm not advertising their services, but as a TalkTalk customer, they're the first stop. Again, at a price. There is no way I'd have ever found out the somewhere in the deep recesses of its cybernetic brain that our computer had simply decided to switch the connection off. Hours of anguish. Anyway - for now, I'm back online. Sorry if you missed me. Tough if you didn't.
Back in July I posted about clip-on guitar tuners and how ubiquitous they had become (It all comes round again). I also mentioned the 1970s prototype I had bought from the back of the Melody Maker. Well, it's turned up (thank you Mr M) and in the true style of finding something ridiculous to do rather than any serious work, I decided to do a head-to-head test. The 1970s model is called a Vu-Pitch. If you remember (or are still awake) I drew a sketch of it from memory. Here's the real thing:
It never caught on and I can't find out anything about it - I can't be bothered to Google it again. Nothing came up the first time I tried. I'm sure nobody other than me can remember the damned thing but I remain smug in the knowledge that someone had thought of the device years ago before the technology was available to actually produce them properly.
I cannot let the day disappear without mentioning the sad passing of Gerry Rafferty. A great songwriter gifted with a lovely mellow voice. I am listening to his most famous album, City to City as it features one of his all time greatest songs. And it's not the one you're probably thinking of. I'm referring to The Ark. It's the opening track with a plaintive Gaelic tune played by that great lost Australian band, The Bushwackers. The obvious song which has been played endlessly, no doubt on various radio stations was okay for its time. It is, actually, a great song. It's a shame that the hook of the saxophone became so ubiquitous throughout the late 70s and early 80s. I know Rafferty was not happy about it.
Ironically, Mr R couldn't cope with the fame it brought. Evidently he has been earning about £80,000 a year ever since. Still. 33 years later! I would have loved to have only had one song that allowed me to do what I want for the rest of my life on the back it. It's the premise of Nick Hornby's About A Boy, you may remember.
Radio 4 seemed a little coy about reporting his death. I'm glad they celebrated his life albeit briefly. However, they termed his death coming after a "lengthy illness". The truth is, he was an alcoholic and had been for a long time. He had left home to escape his father's violent temper from drinking. Ironically, he ended his life through first, liver failure and then, yesterday, succumbed to kidney failure.
I know some would consider him just a peddler of "soft rock" but he was more than that. I have always considered him a talented songwriter with an excellent voice. Although he had not released anything new for many years, it is a sad passing indeed.
* I have just spent the last hour with my son hopefully getting rid of a Trojan Horse virus infection. Death penalty for the bastards who create this stuff?