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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Friends Re-United.

I havent got long, i`ve just put some cheese on toast under the grill and i dont want it to burn.
a bit of cut-and-paste from my myspace blog from 2008 - 

myspace blog ; sometime 2008
Current mood:bitchy
......anyone else notice that friendsreunited is now subscription free ?

about 8 years too late in my opinion, but all the same.............you may be at the mercy of school/college stalkers wanting to affirm their own credibility. You may be tempted to get in touch with that ..certain.. person.
...alternatively, like me, you may want to trawl through the vaguely recognisable names in an attempt to get back to sleep after a disturbed night.

one last thing..........dont believe everything you read on FRU, some people tend to exaggerate on these sites,,, i myself am a share trader in saudi, collect faberge eggs and work part time as a body double for brad pitt when our anjelina gets a little greedy.


---- not long after this, people migrated big style to facebook. 
Myspace ended up slow and cluttered, no wonder facebook took off,,  i hear that facebook is now connected to myspace, so maybe i`ll have another look.

mmm, there`s a lovely smell coming from my kitchen......

Thursday, 23 February 2012

well sprung.

I`m not sure when the first day of spring actually is,, but today sure feels like it.

this lonely looking thing is the one crocus to brave enough to poke its prettiness through the soil.
i like to have a cup of tea and a smoke first thing in the morning , sitting outside and taking in the sky ,thats when i spotted this little trooper.

i must have planted 100 bulbs over the past 5 years, this is the first one to come up, - (there must be some sort of crocus dance that i`m neglecting. i`ll look it up.) . 

the first batch of blue tits have already come and gone, but they dont mess about. they get it over and done with before the winter ends,, i expect to see the next lot and their ratty feathers that dont fit , in the next month or so. 
there is another little twittery type flitty thing that nests round here too, but i`m not sure what they are. when the young start exploring, they all appear at once, in the same trees, at the same time - every day. you could set your watch by them, but i wouldnt recommend it. Another month or two will see the blackbirds nesting next door again , excellent  for letting you know when the rain is stopping, really good for letting you know that a cat shape piece of bush ten miles away is threatening the nest. - wound up black-birds and relaxation do not go hand in hand.

 i live on a hill over looking the town with the best view of the skyline. at night the neon strips compliment the taller buildings, a bit of blue here,, a bit of green there. the local college art facility is a multi-floored building with ever changing patterns of colour running down the sides. it really is quite pretty at night.

Twice a year,, around the equinoxes, the sun is in just the right place as it sets, to light up every widow in the office buildings ; the most incredible golden shine comes off the town for 3 or 4 minutes. it`s stunning to see, but you have to be really quick ( and in the right place ). if i could get a decent photo of it , i would. believe me, i`ve tried.

thanks for reading.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Liebster Blog Award

Infinite  Plans  Nominated me for the "Liebster Blog Award".
 an excellent way of promoting bloggers who deserve the traffic.
not that i deserve the traffic.

< walks slowly up to the podium, catches breath, takes a sip of water .. >

 i`d like to say thank you to everyone who revisits my page, 
it warms my heart to think....

< pause for dramatic effect >

< pauses a bit longer >

... .. ... 

< someone coughs >


< now it`s just getting uncomfortable >

<  the sound of shuffly bottoms and texting fills the hall  >

 the three rules to accept this award - namely - I must:
  • Link back to the person who gave you the award.  check
  • Pick 5 people deserving of the award and notify them on their blogs. check 
  • Post the award on your blog and spread the love. check 
 here's my list of 5 blogs I think are worthy of this award:
do i need to give reasons ? 
no ?

 ok then. here we go . . 

Parkdale Wolves -  

Bonafide Jones

i shall nominate Debra again.

Dani ? have you got one. ?

i think we`ve all got one now.

i`m keeping one spare if anyone would like it.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

had to be done.


something else i did when i was myspace famous.

< its a bit loud >

i used ableton live, reason and twiddley-button stuff to do the music.

 for the video 
i used bryce, gimp and some random chaos generator freebee to make gif animations 
oh, and tied together reasonably well with windows' very own, movie maker.

i did say it was a bit loud.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

lil help

i`ve started a photo blog and i`m struggling with what to call it.

i only point and click and i`m sure there are  plenty of   technical faults with all of them,, but - i enjoy it.
 i lost count of the number of times i heard myself wishing i had a camera with me. that was until 4 or 5 years ago when  camera phones started to be a viable option.

the contents of my hard  drive have gone to data heaven a couple of times in the past , so , i`ll be archiving material here from now on. < clicky - clicky  >

i dont know what to call the blog ( the addy is crowsnaps, and that makes me cringe ), so any suggestions welcome.

Thursday, 16 February 2012


So,, i got tagged by Dani,

i`m supposed to tag 11 people and ....,rules or something.
( note to self : pay more attention)

the fact i`m watching scarface while i type may  .  or may not . influence my answers.

i`ll do my best on this one, i`ve not seen scarface all the way through before.  it seems like a really long film and it`s only just started and...wooah, whats he doing with that chainsaw...?

oh , thats nasty.

1) Have you ever cheated on someone?

Regrettably, yes. ( only once )  i`ve been cheated on  many times, but it didnt seem to bother them. we are all different i spose.

2) What do you think happens when we die?

there`s only one way to find out isnt there ? i think i`ll wait,, nice suit Tony.

3) If male, are you happy with the size of your penis? If female do you think you are pretty?

happy ? i`m overjoyed, its delightful..from what i can remember.. its been a while since i`ve seen it.

4) Stars. Old light or new?

this argument is invalid.

5. For a million dollars would you kill another person? They aren't really that important and you will not get caught.

Not really important ? what kind of a statement is that ?? besides, show me the money you cockaroach. i do it for fun.

6) As a rule, should all religions be treated/respected equally?
funny you should ask that, because only this morning we  .. < some text is missing > .. ,all the way up and, of course, when they ..< some text is missing >..  with pineapples . . simple

7) Think of something embarrassing that you did that makes you cringe every time it crosses your mind. What is it?

possibly this post,, only time will tell.

8) If you knew that everyone you know was going to die tomorrow, who would you want to visit today? It doesn't matter whether or not they want would want to see you.

mind if i dont answer that one ? ok, thanks.

9) Would you rather lose all your old memories, or never be able to make new ones?
these questions are twisted, are you asking if i would like Alzheimers?

10) If life is so short, why do we do so many things we don't like and like so many things we don't do?
speak for yourself, i like everything i do, but i cant always do what i like.

11) If Hollywood made a movie about your life, what actor do you think would be cast to play you?
michelle pfeiffer

 that went pretty well  i think,, i`ve seen this scene before. tony Montanna looks well annoyed, the disco feels edgy.

oh no.

the boss.

did michelle pfeiffer ever eat anything in the 80`s ?

i`ve just thought of another answer to question 3.

thanks for reading

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


303 was the combination of my first bike lock, an ancient piece of kit that probably would have opened anyway with a bit of force, but there it is. You never forget these things. It came with my very first grown up pushbike which gave me the freedom to explore. 

whenever the number 303 came up anywhere i would remember my padlock. i still do.

Skip forward to my rebelious teenage years, (1983 to be precise ) an i find myself hitch-hiking along this road to find out where my girlfriend had got to. Its a main trunk road in the south of England, linking London and the start of the heavenly counties of Devon and Cornwall. Any london surfers will know this road well. Its that number again.

The A303 goes right past a place called Stonehenge, which was the site of a free festival. I found my girlfriend, i found my friends and made some more friends. - lifetime friends as it turns out.

 You could say i discovered a sub-culture and dived in head first. So did many other people, the following year saw over a quarter million people roughing it in  the fields  for a free party. That particular time is worthy of another post so i`ll try and stick to the thread.

there is a slight chance you dont know what Stonehenge is, and - if you live in the uk and have never been - shame on you.

These parties worried the government , so they were stopped in 1985 by use of violence and sheer manpower. it would be many years before anyone other than paying tourists would be allowed anywhere near what i still see as " our stones ". 

This spirit could not be quashed so the free-party continued elsewhere, and grew.
and grew. i myself organised many a party in the 80`s, but had to stop when the numbers got out of hand. i moved into the clubs in the 90`s, but that`s another story.

by 1988, everyone wanted one of these.
the Roland Tb303

this little silver box, unwanted by musicians when it was released in 1981, produces noises which touch your very soul. This is no exaggeration as anyone who has heard one of these through a p.a. will tell you. these now change hands for incredible amounts of money.

Again, this is worthy of another post, which i think is best left to other people. Please check out this blog ( my friend wayne anthony i think ? ) - < click here > for an eye-opening history.

so there we have it.

303 and me.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

far from a beach

i live in the middle of an island that has many names, none of which i am particularly comfortable with..

luckily for me, the range of jobs i`ve had in the last 20 years has meant that i`ve been able to visit most of it....... to cut a long flowery introduction short,, the place is stunning.

i live right in the middle of it, give or take a few miles, which suits me fine. Two hours in a car will get you to a beach, two hours on a train and you land in London - not bad for a country with lots of hills and not many straight roads.

i live on the edge of what is called the black country. if you`ve not heard of it before, i`ll give you a minute to google it.

there is alot to read so here`s the TL;DR -

the black country sits on a coal-seam which kickstarted and fueled the industrial revolution. the amount of coal that was used/dug/burned turned the whole area black for quite a while.

my house is 10 minutes walk away from where the first motorcycle factories were located. another 10 minutes on and you are at the location of the worlds first traffic lights.  if you could be bothered to jump on a bus at this point, a 10 minute ride would take you to the world famous black-country museum which now houses the equipment that would turn out to be genesis of steam power. ,, get back on the bus for 10 minutes and you are looking at the buildings where they made the anchor and chain for the Titanic....ok,, so it never got used, but rumour has it that the marks are still on the road where the locals dragged it through the streets.

....bored yet ?

ok, try this...stick a pin in a map and draw a circle with a 20 miles radius.

20 miles radius of my back garden gives you the home of the following musicians. -

Ozzy Osbourne – singer of (Black Sabbath)
Roy Wood – (Musician - co-founder of the Electric Light Orchestra)
Chris Wood – (Musician; co-founder, Traffic)
Steve Winwood – (Musician—solo artist and co-founder, Traffic)
Pato Banton – (Reggae artist)
Geezer Butler – bassist of (Black Sabbath)
Carl Palmer – (Musician - Emerson, Lake & Palmer)
Roger Taylor – (Musician - Duran Duran)
Nick Mason – (Musician - Pink Floyd; did not reside in Birmingham)
Ali Campbell and Robin Campbell – (Musician, UB40)
Robert Plant ( musician - Led Zeppelin)

....thats enough cut-and -paste from wiki - the link is here = < wiki >
 other bands of note from within the circle  - Bizaare Inc,  altern8,  n-joi , Goldie. I`ve no idea why so many influential musicians have sprung from the area, a post industrial life may have something to do with it, but i`m more inclined to believe that the motorway system and the way it converges near here has played its part. -

try negotiating that without a sat-nav.

Thanks for reading,, i`m off for a cup of tea.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

The Cat

This cat stares at me .

 all the time.

it started off as a kitten born in a cardboard box, on the doorstep of the house over the road, to one of the semi-feral cats in the area. the numbers are kept in check by local kitty-catchers and harsh winters. i think it was one of 6, three of which are still around. here and there. the brother of this one lives and sleeps in my back garden. i only feed it if the weather is really rough...i`m not totally heartless.

You find that  some cats who follow students home and invite themselves in. One or two cats go back to the feral and survive quite nicely on vermin and scraps. i`ve lived in this neighbourhood for 8 years now,,, i`ve never seen a mouse or rat.

Its just like a little puppy, follows me round the house, goes out when i tell it. i`ve got an idea that it uses the toilet, but cant prove it other than.....never mind.

When this starey bear of a cat started sleeping on my doorstep, the winter was starting to set in , so i placed some newspapers and a cardboard box by the front door. little by little it came in for a bit of food, before turning tail rapid style for outside.
 the cat slowly moved in and now, 7 years later it stares at me all day and is an expert at stealing the comfiest places. 

i`m pretty sure its a neutered male, but explaining that to my 4 year old daughter at the time was a little awkward. i approached the subject of naming with, "i`m not sure if its a boy or girl ...". . to which my daughter ( hi sasha ) replied : "Tiger Lilly. tiger if its a boy, lilly if its a girl. ."  genius.

all cats have the same name if you ask me,, they are all called chuch-chuch. this one is resting as close to the mouse as possible, just in case it can get an effort free tickle.

thanks for , well, you know.

Monday, 6 February 2012

Thumbs Up

this is a thumb. - 

...and this is an axe.

Ideally speaking, these two things should never really meet, not at speed anyway. 
If an axe meets a thumb and brute force enters the equation, things can get rather messy. If you are lucky, the axe is sharp and you get to keep the bit you axe-indently chopped off.

I didnt mean to chop the end of my thumb off in 1992,, i had walked the 5 miles home  to chop enough wood to get the Rayburn going , knowing full well the guys were out getting drunk and the only girl in the house wouldnt  go near an axe. Winter time is no fun in wales if you have no income, so i felt duty bound to at least try and keep the house warm. The whole house depended on the #Rayburn for heat, hot water and cooking.

There is a right way to sharpen axe,, and there is a wrong way to sharpen an axe.
Get it wrong, and the least painful result is you get the axe stuck in a log. I had started to put a fresh edge on the axe earlier that day, but didnt get chance to finish. oh yes,, of course,, i forgot and went at it with gusto. 
choppitty - chop -chop - chop -split- chop -chop - oh dear. 

i may have sworn at that point, i cant really remember. The shock hit me like it usually does and i started to pass out. 
to be fair, i got a lift to a hospital by ambulance when i didnt really need one. The axe had bounced and came down with full force ( and a blunt edge  ) onto and, ahem.. through my thumb. Past the knuckle and through the nail luckily for me.

yes,, it hurt.

having it quarterised every week wasnt exactly comfortable either - but the worse thing about the experience was having to have a large comedy bandage on my thumb for 2 months.

You would think it would help with hitch-hiking,, but it doesnt. Drivers are too busy laughing to think you might be asking for a lift. 

thank you drivers of wales.

As it turns out, having a small amount of thumb missing and a really strong nail means i can open boxes like a boss; came in very useful in a factory environment.

Why am i blogging this ? , well it just happened again. nowhere nearly as bad mind ,, i may have a black thumbnail in a couple of days.

Thanks for reading, 

Friday, 3 February 2012

Are You Alice ?

 No, my name isnt alice  but if you say it  , there is a good chance i`ll turn round.

My name isnt crowbloke either, but i get called both.  My favourite question is when i get asked - " why do they call you crowman ? " . My well rehearsed reply is always , " because its my name, man ".

If you have 5 minutes spare i`ll tell you why they call me Alice. -

Back in the early 80`s i played  alot of pool  around the pubs of my local town, my regular haunt was a pub right next to the local football ground, almost in the city centre. ; good jukebox, good pool-table, good crowd and open fireplaces. The fact they served beers after hours may have had something to do with the choice of venue, but either way - i liked it in there.

In some places, you stake your claim to the next game by putting your money down. In those days the game required a 50p coin, so if you wanted to play next - you put a coin on the side of the pool table and there you go - you are on next.  a queuing system manifested as a row of 50p pieces, five or six people waiting for a game. a compliment for a pool player with this system is if you play a really good game, other players fall over each other to get their money down - just as bad when the coins are taken off because no -one wants to play you.

the coin system only works up to a certain point - the money ends up on the floor, disputes over " thats not my 50p !!! ".... etc.

  this is where you need a blackboard.

quick refresh :  you want a game of pool, you walk in, put your name down on the board and wait for your name to be called...

this worked fine until names got rubbed off the board,, these were dark days. i`ve seen full-on fisticuffs when a name got rubbed off a blackboard.  you wait an hour for a game and someone rubs yr name off.. not nice.

well done for staying this far,, i do appreciate it. it will make sense eventually,, promise.

Toward the end of the 80`s, some players would deliberately arrive early, just so they could get a game of pool. Tony Rainbow was one of these pool players. I`m not sure if his real name was tony,, but his name definitely wasn`t rainbow. Any mental image you have of someone called tony rainbow , is probably spot on - long hair, rainbows and flowers, a whole heap of yeah man and a liking of things he  shouldnt. 

Tony, one day, decided it was really funny to wail  in my ear - " i never knew your name was alice ", after he heard someone say " who`s on the table ?"  with the answer,  "al is ..". ( He also pursued the idea that i should be called alice dee. -  no,, i dont think so tony rainbow.) 

by the end of the night, i realised that no-one rubbed girls names off the " i want to play next " blackboard. so, after that, i always wrote "Alice" on the board.... it guaranteed me a game and always gave me the edge. i never explained why i was called alice and to this day, some think my name is alice.

take it away paul simon, you know the words.

thanks for reading, you may even be interested. who knows.


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