Chris Croft's Personal Blog

October 7, 2016

Blood Red

Filed under: Happiness, Music — chriscroft @ 12:01 pm

We are a rock band based in Poole, playing original music

bloodred3

Tracks:  

bloodRedSun   Blood Red      

black3   Black Shadow Creek  

Personnel:

Penny Humphries – vocal

Dave Carson – guitar

Chris Croft- sax

Mike Nicholls – drums

Dave Thomas – keyboards and studio work

blood6

 

Contact:

Chris – 07966241750

chris@blood-red.co.uk

bloodred2  red8

 

 

band20

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January 4, 2016

Revolution Club – live band

Filed under: Music — chriscroft @ 12:29 pm

Revolution Club are Dave Carson on guitar and Chris Croft on tenor sax, Mike Nicholls on drums, Dave Thomas (in-house producer and keyboards) with new addition from London, singer Penny Humphries.  When we are not performing live we work in our studio producing other artists, in styles ranging from Acid Jazz through to Dance and HipHop.

Penny – Vocals                   Dave – Guitar                    Chris – Sax                   Mike – Drums

Gigs: 

Jazz Cruise, Poole Harbour on the Dorset Queen, 2-4pm

30th July

17th September

 

Neo’s – Bournemouth

Wed 26 July – evening
23 Aug – evening
Sunday 24 Sept  – 2-4pm

 

We have live sets of tracks in the following three styles.  Click on the pictures:

Acid Jazz

TallGreen   SpaceWalk  BackThen guitar

Dance / HipHop

SugarStar   YouLeftMeLikeThis   always  wiggle

Indie Rock

bloodRedSun    singing   island    sugarrave   fox

Contact chris@34ph.com

Other contributors are:

Arthur Rathbone-Pullen – bass

Jolyon Bradley – rap

Standing on the Summit: we are proud to have produced the theme music for the 2016 Bournemouth Jazz Festival

Festival:   bomojazz4    Full track:  summit

December 14, 2014

My favourite tracks, ever

Filed under: Lists, Music — Tags: , , , — chriscroft @ 11:35 pm
  1. Jackson Browne: The barricades of heaven
  2. Van Morrison: In the garden
  3. Van Morrison: Celtic New Year
  4. Lynyrd Skynyrd: Sweet home Alabama
  5. Of monsters and Men: Little talks
  6. Don Henley: Boys of summer
  7. John Martyn: Solid air
  8. Wishbone Ash: Sometime World
  9. Led Zep – for your life
  10. The Pet Shop Boys: Being Boring
  11. Bruce Hornsby: The way it is
  12. Robbie Williams: The road to Mandalay

I wanted to get it down to one, or maybe 5, or at lest ten.  But I just can’t let any of these 12 go!

And here are the ones that nearly made it……..

  1. Love and affection (Joan)
  2. Once in a lifetime (Talking Heads)
  3. Driving with the brakes on (Del Amitri)
  4. Like a Rolling Stone (Bob)
  5. Tangled up in blue (Bob)
  6. Propane nightmares (Pendulum)
  7. Cajun Moon (JJCale)
  8. Romeo and Juliet (Dire Straits)
  9. Need you tonight (INXS)
  10. Afternoons and Coffeespoons (Crash Test Dummies)
  11. Mr Jones (Counting Crows)
  12. Tinseltown in the rain (The Blue Nile)
  13. Secret World (Peter Gabriel)
  14. Holding back the years (Simply Red)
  15. Read My Mind (The Killers)
  16. Treat (Santana)

April 28, 2014

PS Collection part 7

Filed under: Gadgets, Happiness, Lists, Music, News and Politics — chriscroft @ 12:36 pm

 

PS – Christmas music:  Rod Stewart’s Christmas album failed to move me. Solstice Bells (Jethro Tull) remains the best Christmas song closely followed by Fairytale of New York. But the Tull track I keep coming back to is Fire At Midnight http://grooveshark.com/#!/search/song?q=Jethro+Tull+Fire+at+Midnight   Even more romantic and perfect is this: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=paul+mccartney+valentine (choose the LSO version not the cover).  If you want something more crunchy, try the amazingly powerful and also clever ‘For Your Life’ by Led Zep, who still stand above the world as the best heavy band ever, and always will do: http://grooveshark.com/#!/search?q=led+for+your+life   Others come and go, but Led Zep will always be there.

PPPPS – Last week I did a course in The City and my chair cost £3,000 (it was leather and it swivelled – it was quite comfortable) (there’s a photo at https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1114&action=edit&message=6&postpost=v2 ) and they had 15 of them in the board room. How scary is that?? Still, maybe the company that made them pay their workers really well and the workers spend the money in their local economies and so it’s all OK in the end……

PPPPPS – Several people have recently been amazed by this tip when I show it to them, so I’m thinking there may be more of you out there who I can make happy: if there is no wifi for your laptop then use your iphone (probably similar on android, I don’t know) as an instant wi-fi hub. Go to settings and select Personal hotspot and slide it to On, and then on your laptop you’ll see “Fred’s iPhone” as a wifi source, so just log in with the password that is shown on your phone. Magic! (Though you are now using up your phone’s data allowance. But for just emails that will be minimal).

PPPPPPS – sorry to all the people who asked me to sponsor them this year – I get several a week and can’t do them all, or in fact any of them really. I did my own thing last week though, I ran 2 miles dressed as Santa (I was quite relieved I could do it without collapsing, in fact it wasn’t too bad) so if you want to laugh at photos or even give some cash to the British Heart Foundation then it’s here http://www.justgiving.com/Croft-Centre   As you can see, we’re not quite in the league of Pudsey, but still, everything helps.    This is an interesting site too – http://www.easyfundraising.org.uk/ – check out their unusual model of buying things on line from places like amazon via this site so that a portion of it goes to charity.

PPPPPPPS – Free talk on the radio, which you can Listen Again at any time – me answering the question “Does money make you happy” http://www.letstalkbusinessonline.com/ltb/lets-talk-business-5th-november-2012/   (seven and a half minutes in) (hey, shout out to JB!)

 

PPPPPPPPS –  thanks for all the replies about Retired4hire – I’m going to do it. I’ll let you know when it’s ready.

P -lost count-S  – British Airways let me down hugely on my (work) visit to Budapest last week – 2 hour delay sitting on the runway waiting for de-icing, not even a cup of tea or a sandwich, and on the way back, flight cancelled completely, when other people were still flying to Heathrow, stranded in Hungary, no explanations, had to pay more to get home (to Luton instead of Heathrow where my car was), no idea if they’ll pay the price difference, no email or text, either before to say “cancelled don’t come to airport” or after to say sorry. They just don’t appear to care at all. Certainly not worth paying extra compared to the other airlines. Budapest great though.

PPPS – Favourite phone apps at the moment: Sleep Cycle, which allows you to view your sleep patterns during the night (the phone is under your pillow monitoring your movements) and it wakes you up at the best point in your sleep cycle. The other day I was deeply asleep at 7 and then almost awake at 7.30 so that’s when it woke me up. You set a range of time for it to use. It seems to really work.  I also like Cadence which picks music from your collection at any desired BPM, so I just walked up a hill at 113, listening to Garbage followed by Deacon Blue and then Scritti Politti … mmmm, nice!

PPPPPS – Pet hate of the month: Ramekins. Are you supposed to each it out of the little bowl, or tip it out onto your plate? (bowl is too hot to pick up). And you always get smaller portions when they come in little bowls.

PS – Lewes Nov 5th celebrations verdict: good fun, a nice family evening out, (though for children and fragile people you might want ear plugs for the loud fire-crackers), great costumes, a few amusing effigies of politicians etc, amazingly long / large parade of people. Not as scary and full-on as the Ottery St Mary burning tar barrels which is still the most amazing thing I’ve seen.

 

PPS – ‘The Nasty Alphabet’ – thanks to Cathi Driver for finding this clever collection of words that you can use when spelling out your postcode in order to make it very hard for the other person to understand (though that’s a fairly niche market!) http://www.ooblick.com/text/NastyAlphabet.html   “A as in Aubergine” – hilarious!

 

PPPS – Inspiration Corner – a brilliant little audio clip about forgiveness and friendship:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/features/the-listening-project/conversation/p010nswp

 

PPPPS – I’m being plagued by texts from PPI insurance people – very irritating and not sure what to do about it. Joined TPS but I think that doesn’t cover texts. Any suggestions welcome!

 

PPPPPS – Sorry that some people got their emails filtered last time, I think it was the mention of the special IAT mug in my Christmas present ideas list. Anyway, the mug and all the other things, plus a few new additions, are all viewable at https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/tag/xmas-christmas-presents-suggestions-ideas-list/

 

PPPPPPS – Enjoying the new Killers album, Battle Born. They are slowly changing into Bruce Springsteen, but I think that’s OK, as long as they still preserve that fragile Killers essence too. For example, Deadlines and Commitments – very nice.

PS –  Time Management: you can hear the first of a series of 20 ‘Management Moments’ by me on the radio here: http://www.letstalkbusinessonline.com/ltb/lets-talk-business-29th-october-2012/   I’m on first but the whole show is pretty interesting so why not listen to it all?

PPS – James Bond and The Rolling Stones – why are they both suddenly cool again? And did you know that I am the same height as Daniel Craig with the same eye and hair colour. Just saying….

PPPPPS – Negotiating: written by my daughter so I’m a bit biased, but this is a great list of tips for bartering when shopping abroad (or even possibly in the UK?) http://pauper-to-princessreviews.blogspot.no/2012/10/how-to-barter-abroad.html Somehow you can tell that she really has done them all!

PPPPPPPS – Inspiration corner – great speech on Leadership and Success performed by Al Pacino http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyiohbbM51g&feature=fvwrel with sporting video clips behind it.

PS – Why can Italian men look cool with a man bag when I can’t?? Very annoying!

 

PPS – Wow – music: reviews of any album by every reviewer!   Very useful but might be expensive – for example I think I might have to get the new Bob album…. http://www.anydecentmusic.com/review/4849/Bob-Dylan-Tempest.aspx

 

PPPS – things to do in Siena: See if you can find and photograph all 17 of the fountains – each part of the city has one. Clues here if you want to cheat a little bit, but it’s still quite a challenge in a day

https://sites.google.com/site/betsydonnelly/siena%27scontradafountains

What would be a London equivalent? Email me!

 

PPPPPPPPS – if you’ve not heard this then blow your mind here, Sunscreen Song, and do everything he says without arguing – and then make your kids listen to it!

 

PS – if you don’t have an electric blanket, on a timer, then you’re missing out on an autumnal treat. They might even stock them at Robert Dyas, I’m not sure.

 

PPPS – an interesting checklist: http://wrightcreativity.com/2011/04/are-you-easy-to-work-with/

PPPPPPS – Inspiration Corner: the Olympics already seem an age away, and you may feel that getting fit is too hard, but look at this: http://www.godvine.com/Man-Barely-Able-to-Stand-on-his-Own-Does-the-Unthinkable-Amazing-1476.html

 

PPPPPS – ‘Worst ever album cover for an album that is actually very good’: The Poet 2 by Bobby Womack http://www.zemaitisclub.com/bobby-womack-the-poet.htm   Can anyone beat that?? Every track has a little bit of cheese but is still a classic, for example http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/If+You+Think+You+re+Lonely+Now/4sNzAM?src=5   Love his voice too! He’s still releasing albums and produced a pretty good one recently. Check him out if you like music with soul.

 

PPPS – And in DIY Corner this week: I successfully fixed two torches (with the help of my dad – What is it about dads and torches?) and in both cases the fault was the same – old batteries had leaked, and the bottom end cap (other end from the bulb) was where the circuit was broken. Capillary action seems to pull the battery acid inbetween the spring and the casing, where it then solidifies and blocks the current. So you need to pull out the spring, scrape the white powder out the end cap with a screwdriver, and reassemble. Done!

PPPPPS – Wondering what sport would suit you best? Why not compare yourself with the top people and find your Olympic doublehttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19050139   It reckons I ought to be a fat bloke on a horse. Oh well!

PPPPPPS – Music: Did I mention The Fall? Criminally I only discovered them recently, (thanks Adam!)  thinking they would be too inaccessible and tuneless, but on the contrary, they have a great groove and the vocal is hilarious and brilliant – for example, a cover of the old Sister Sledge classic http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Prague+91+Mr+Pharmacist/3k1LfO?src=5 which feels like it’s being jumped on by a tramp but still strangely wonderful.

 

PS – As a couch potato for the last two weeks I have discovered that the best cook-your-own-from frozen pizza is Pizza Express’s Sloppy Giuseppe, available from Sainsburys and others – excellent!!  http://www.ocado.com/webshop/product/Pizza-Express-Sloppy-Giuseppe-Pizza-12/23100011    Don’t forget to drizzle on some olive oil before you cook it! Does anyone else have a recommendation? Most frozen pizzas are rubbish!

PPS – Problems with neighbouring cats  digging and dunging in your flowerbeds? Someone on a course told me they buried a fully-inflated balloon just under the surface, and when the visiting digging cat burst it with its claws it decided not to visit that particular garden ever again…..! Sorry if you think this is cruel – I think it’s not as bad as many other methods people use….

PPPS – A time management related jazz title: Make A List, by Art Pepper. Also a completely brilliant performance:  http://grooveshark.com/#!/s/Make+A+List/46mGM7?src=5

PPPPS – Dog years aren’t as simple as just x7. It seems that I am a ten year old dog (that’s quite alarming!) and my dog is a 37 year old (lucky thing!). http://www.onlineconversion.com/dogyears.htm

 

 

November 4, 2013

All time best rock and pop videos

Filed under: Lists, Music — chriscroft @ 11:47 pm

AHA – take on me http://youtu.be/djV11Xbc914

Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer http://youtu.be/OJWJE0x7T4Q

Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity http://youtu.be/4JkIs37a2JE

Firestarter http://youtu.be/wmin5WkOuPw

Foo fighters – The Pretender http://youtu.be/SBjQ9tuuTJQ

Addicted to love http://youtu.be/XcATvu5f9vE
You can call me al http://youtu.be/uq-gYOrU8bA

Kylie – Can’t get you out of my head http://youtu.be/8UPT8u4Cq1w
come into my world http://youtu.be/63vqob-MljQ
love at first sight http://youtu.be/wf421JsG004
slow http://youtu.be/Omrp4QR_Rpo

Chic – Le Freak http://youtu.be/h1qQ1SKNlgY

George Michael – Fastlove http://youtu.be/kQVWYu4BdMo

Daft Punk http://youtu.be/h5EofwRzit0

Robin Thicke http://youtu.be/yyDUC1LUXSU

Peter Gabriel Sledgehammer http://youtu.be/OJWJE0x7T4Q

Madonna – Vogue http://youtu.be/GuJQSAiODqI

Rock DJ http://youtu.be/BnO3nijfYmU
let me entertain you http://youtu.be/ymPu2PdLW3I
Kids http://youtu.be/cvn6eYJh-0c

Gangam Style http://youtu.be/4JkIs37a2JE

Saturday night fever: Night fever http://youtu.be/FECFb1_YdII
Stayin alive http://youtu.be/Fa9n7GirhsI

Billie Jean http://youtu.be/Zi_XLOBDo_Y
Thriller http://youtu.be/hG6oy46qKE4

Your’e the one I want – Grease http://youtu.be/aataTbxlWeM

Where the hell is Matt http://youtu.be/zlfKdbWwruY

Oasis – d’y’know what I mean http://youtu.be/6NtqA5zywQA

Bowie – ashes to ashes http://youtu.be/CMThz7eQ6K0
– let’s dance http://youtu.be/N4d7Wp9kKjA

Teen Spirit http://youtu.be/hTWKbfoikeg

Another brick in the wall http://youtu.be/ViDECLF_l4Y

Boogie Pimps – http://youtu.be/t6HSlZBNwUQ

INXS – need you tonight http://youtu.be/w-rv2BQa2OU

Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams http://youtu.be/qeMFqkcPYcg

Beyonce Crazy in Love http://youtu.be/ViwtNLUqkMY

Jessie J – the money – http://youtu.be/qMxX-QOV9tI

Start Me up http://youtu.be/SGyOaCXr8Lw
Miss you http://youtu.be/hic-dnps6MU

Madness – house of fun http://youtu.be/GJ2X9SANsME
one step beyond http://youtu.be/SOJSM46nWwo

Foo fighters – learn to fly http://youtu.be/1VQ_3sBZEm0
The Pretender http://youtu.be/SBjQ9tuuTJQ
best of you http://youtu.be/h_L4Rixya64

Stacey’s Mum http://youtu.be/dZLfasMPOU4

Call me maybe – girls http://youtu.be/FIfbghHdG1s
original http://youtu.be/fWNaR-rxAic
split screen – http://youtu.be/O7zdr-82WAo

Nelly – Ride wit me http://youtu.be/RtSDWq6HsJE
Hot in here http://youtu.be/GeZZr_p6vB8

U2 – Vertigo http://youtu.be/98W9QuMq-2k
– Get on your boots http://youtu.be/JcDNilZbZg8

Missie Elliot – Get Yr Freak on – http://youtu.be/FPoKiGQzbSQ

Bob Dylan – subterranean homesick blues http://youtu.be/trosB4pa3vg

Californication http://youtu.be/YlUKcNNmywk

Little talks http://youtu.be/ghb6eDopW8I

Bryan Adams – run to you http://youtu.be/nCBASt507WA

Electric Six – gay bar http://youtu.be/HTN6Du3MCgI
high voltage http://youtu.be/2a4gyJsY0mc

Kelis – Milkshake http://youtu.be/6AwXKJoKJz4

Darkness – Thing called love http://youtu.be/sRYNYb30nxU

OK Go – on running machines http://youtu.be/dTAAsCNK7RA

Red Hot Chili peppers – Can’t stop – http://youtu.be/BfOdWSiyWoc

White stripes – seven nation army – http://youtu.be/0J2QdDbelmY

Utah Saints – Running man – http://youtu.be/oMLCrzy9TEs

Satisfaction (power tools) http://youtu.be/V5bYDhZBFLA

Macklemore – Thrift Shop

Rihanna – Rube Boy
Eric Prydz – Call On Me – http://youtu.be/L_fCqg92qks
Britney – Toxic http://youtu.be/LOZuxwVk7TU

Grace Jones – Private Life – http://youtu.be/yvLn_qC7QAs

bakerman http://youtu.be/ymdssZOAx3Q

all saints – never ever http://youtu.be/Vx6DtgW_uh0

Queen – I want to break free – http://youtu.be/o-Zo4AVL7AE

3oh3 -0 Starstrukk http://youtu.be/dvf–10EYXw

Azealia Banks – 212 http://youtu.be/i3Jv9fNPjgk

Will Young – your game http://youtu.be/YrZ1joBXiQw

Green drummer girls http://youtu.be/APtj3EvhfWA

 

what did I miss??

February 17, 2013

Justin Currie lyrics to “No, Surrender”

Filed under: Music — Tags: , — chriscroft @ 11:22 am

Saw him playing live last night and he was brilliant
Most of his songs are sad observant love songs, but this one was also quality:

Big Macs for the fat, lo-cal wraps for the call centre battery hens,
Japanese snacks for the choice-spoilt citizens, caviar kickbacks for the citadel denizens.

Airport shoeshines servicing the suits among the little silver stereos and hand-rolled cheroots,
First class passengers file on last after the scum are packed in with their tax-free loot.

Checkout calamity, you’re cheated out of loyalty points, ten more years at this joint you’d be home & dry,
Beggars beat round the cash machines but you just slip between them with the usual lie.

Terrible tales of kidnapped kids keep you focused on the family and filling up the fridge,
Neighbourhood watchers shop dole dodgers, stick their semis on the market & start racking up the bids.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Constant growth the cancerous cure, a swarming race of profiteers ensure
Cheap cars for the rich, cheap lives for the poor, cheap weeks in the sun, free drinks at the door.

Puerile propaganda plugs up the TV, keep folk following the money so they’ll never be free
Keep them swallowing the swill, the celebrities, the paedophiles, the immigrants invading from the
camp over the hill.

War talk, the big debate, footsoldiers in the capitol liberating new kinds of hate
Cum-shots of human dots caught in the spotlight’s glare; he dies who dares.

Fatuous fast-trackers sneering at the shelf-stackers, little Middle-Englanders can’t stand the backpackers,
Fortress Freedom, come on in, take your chances-you might win.

Should you stand and fight, should you die for what you think is right
Find More lyrics at http://www.sweetslyrics.com
So your useless contribution will be remembered?
If you’re asking me I say no, surrender.

Sunset beaches security patrolled, keep out the undesirables who don’t accept the code
Equal opportunity to live in total poverty, execute the ignorant incarcerate the slow

Car caressing managers choking up the avenues, brain dead patriots standing in salute
Paperwork raining again and again so that billionaires can claim there’s an enemy to shoot

Pill pushers, doorsteppers, personal goal shoppers, lifestyle trendsetters, meditating mindbenders,
Hare-brained share sellers pumping out stocks til you’re choking on a chain-letter avalanche of dross.

God squads trawling through every country tracking down fools who are bullshit hungry
Blinded by divinity followers fall into the man-traps set along the Wailing Wall.

Athletes compete in grand charades while tanks flatten streets and a nation laughs,
Visa holders gape at the changing guards while creeps bribe bums to take their photographs.

Film fans flock to the latest schlock, blockbusters block out even the vaguest thought
Bankrupt schools grind out fool after fool then feed them to a system where idiots rule.

Polling booths, phone votes, bogus questionnaires, you get a say as if anybody cares
Joe Public doesn’t want to play so liquidate his life as he looks the other way.

Don’t get sick, don’t get wise or they’ll gut you with a *justice* where everything is lies
March down Main Street, complain if you want but it’s twenty years straight for the losers at the front.

If you’re asking me I say no, surrender

June 3, 2012

iPad music – listening to an artist on shuffle

Filed under: Gadgets, Music — Tags: , , , , — chriscroft @ 12:02 pm

Very irritating the way the latest upgrade of the player doesn’t have a button for “play all by the artist”.

Quite a lot of googling and an answer is found.

Once you get to the artist page (listing of tracks next to album covers), if the progess bar at the top is not blank, tap the back arrow (two triangles pointing left) repeatedly until it is.  Turn Shuffle on.  Press play.  It will now play all tracks regardless of album.

The key is to have a blank progress bar at the top.  If you select a track, it will only play that album. And if you press play without skipping back first then it will just play whatever you were listening to previously.

December 22, 2011

Third collection of PSs from tips of the month

Filed under: Computer tips, Customer Care, Gadgets, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 5:39 pm
    1. PS – Saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden yesterday.  My favourite insect – worth looking out for!  View pictures of them on google…

    PPS – An exciting new DIY product that I have only recently discovered:  self -amalgamating tape.  Weird, and brilliant.  How on earth does it work?  Bodges almost anything.

    PPPS – I’m continuing to discover things about google.  On the google toolbar there’s a thing called Auto-Fill which is marvellous – it fills in your name and address etc automatically when you buy things on-line….

    If there’s anyone out there who uses autofill, self amalgamating tape, and has seen an HHM in the last week, then I ought to award you the “Similar to Chris” prize.  But you don’t want that!

    PS – it’s getting cold and autumnal all of a sudden (apologies to my African and Australian readers!) and the positive thinkers just have to find something good in it.  Personally I am quite looking forward to foraging for mushrooms in the forest, maybe finding a hedgehog mushroom or parasol mushroom.  But don’t try this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!

    PPS – MBA news: we now have our first ever person enrolled in an MBA following doing a DMS course (Diploma in Management) with me.  She is just starting at London Met, where she has to do one final year of their MBA, having got exemption from the first 2 years of their course.  Sunderland have also agreed a (distance learning) MBA final year.  Kingston have not agreed to it – we thought they might.  Details on the forum, or email me.

    PPPS – “British Airways:  Britain’s favourite airline”.  Well maybe, but not mine!  When stranded at Newcastle and needing to change a flight at the last minute, from Newcastle-Gatwick to Newcastle-Heathrow, they quoted me £190 even though both flights had spaces on them and the original ticket was only £50.  “Because it’s a last minute booking”.  Thanks guys – good to know you really care!

    PPPPS – greatly enjoying a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox – fascinating.  What an odd bunch we are!

    PPS – just saw Garage World from the M6 near Crewe.

    PPPS – Tour de France on ITV – marvellous!

    PS – listening to Blue Six “We had a thing” as I write this.  Mmm, nice.

    PPS – Thanks to Pete B for this hilarious and brilliant nightmare vision of the future!  It’s great to have all your customer’s details at your fingertips when they call, but you can go too far:  http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

    PPPS  Being the renaissance trainer that I am, I have a sensitive side behind my rugged exterior.

    I have therefore been investigating poetry, and, as a person with the Hurry Up driver, it HAS to he Haikus.  Only three lines – brilliant!

    The official rules of Haiku are very strict (Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5., must mention the weather etc) and I would like to propose ‘The Modern Haiku’ where you can write about anything you like, and the three lines have to be short but not exactly 29 syllables, as long as they ‘scan’ in some way.  It just has to “feel” right.  I also think we should try to keep the rule that there has to be a twist or clever observation or “aha” moment to the Haiku.

    I’ve put some of my efforts on the forum – but what I really would like is for readers to send theirs in, ideally to the forum but replying to this email would be OK too, and I’ll upload them to the forum – anonymously if you like.   https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/?s=haiku

    PPPPS – now listening to Audioslave – Sound of a gun.  Chunky!

    PS  thanks to Ben for this website:  Ever wanted to send a large file (e.g. a video, a Photoshop file) to a colleague but your server won’t allow it because the file is too big? Fear not. The website www.yousendit.com allows you to upload files of up to 100 MB (in the free version) to its server, which it will store until your recipient downloads it. The website even sends an email to your recipient telling them that they have a file waiting for them. (There is a professional upgrade which allows files of up to 2 GB to be uploaded but this costs $29.99 per month). It’s very handy if you work with large visual and/or audio documents.
    PPPS –  Open House London is this coming weekend.  A chance to have a look at all sorts of interesting buildings, which are opened to the public, for free, one weekend a year.  The gherkin is fully booked already, but lots of others, modern and historic, are worth seeing.  There are guided walks too, which are great if you want to know how and why things got built.  I went last year and I’m going again this year.   Sad or interesting? –  you decide!

    http://www.londonopenhouse.org/london/home.html
    and
    http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/whats_on/article2387236.ece

  1. PPS – this weeks stupidest website has to be http://www.pimpthatsnack.com/project.php?projectID=348 – if you want to see a 6 foot twix or a malteser that’s bigger than a football…

September 17, 2011

Second batch of PS’s from past tips of the month

Filed under: Lists, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 5:32 pm

PPS  Thanks to Bob Battye of Vistage for telling me about www.ted.com

which is an amazing free collection of educational business videos on subjects like “How to prioritise all the biggest problems in the world”.  I love it!

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PPPS – if you prefer your media to be in paper format I’d thoroughly recommend a weekly magazine called The Week, which has the best of all the papers, and compares them.  It gives you a one page summary of UK news, what’s happened in Europe this week, what’s happened in the world, the best articles from the UK and European papers, sport on one page, a tabloids and gossip summary, science news on one page, a section called “boring but important”, who has died and what’s happened on the archers and desert island discs, the best letters from the papers during the week, a review of books and films just out, art exhibitions, best TV, suggested holidays, recommended websites, city news and share tips, occasional gadget corner, and even a sudoku!  More info at www.theweek.co.uk or any newsagent.  I love it.

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PPPS – talking of fast driving, I regularly hear about people who have been done for ridiculous speeds like 33mph in a 30, by a camera which is set at 31 and cannot use its discretion.  Because of course sometimes it’s dangerous even to do 30 in a 30., and sometimes it isn’t.  But I’ve never actually seen any evidence of this camera tightness – and there is another rumour that you’re allowed a 10% margin of error, so 33 would be legal (though not always safe!).    Anyway, if anyone has actually been done by a camera for 33 or less I’d like to hear from them – please do email me.

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PPPPS – greatly enjoying those X-files reruns on whichever obscure satellite channel they are on.  Heroes is OK, but Mulder and Scully are still the business!

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PS – a few extra Christmas present ideas (all the previous ones can be seen at http://www.croftcentre.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=109

Pilgrim Jewellery – this really is the best, I think. And relatively affordable (ish!).  See google.

How about getting children (yours or a friends) into the idea of reading a newspaper and thinking about the world?
You could get them a subscription to First News
http://www.firstnews.co.uk/home.aspx
might be a bit worthy, but on the other hand, what’s wrong with that? Better than the latest transforming robot snake with laser (maybe!) http://gadgetshow.five.tv/jsp/5gsmain.jsp?lnk=101&id=470

…or how about some celebrity weighing scales (since both celebrities and weighing yourself are both pointless wastes of time, they sort of cancel out with this gadget)  http://www.firebox.com/product/1753

Meanwhile I think I might finally succumb and get an 8GB ipod nano.  They are just SO beautiful, and I have finally found a way around my pet hate with ipods, which is that if you visit someone you can’t take music off your ipod onto their PC, or from their PC onto your ipod, like you can with a Creative Zen or Archos or Sony.  But now you can, by using Yamipod.  Google it, download it (free), and install it on the ipod and then, wherever you go and whoever you connect to, you can see all your files as mp3s.

.

PPPS – I’m gutted that the Pope has brought out a sort of rap record, (heard a bit of it on radio 4, and I rather liked it actually!) just beating ME to it.  My Time Management rap is nearly ready.  I’m just not sure what to do with it when it is.  Suggestions please….

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PPS – Christmas – a couple more present ideas (the full collection is at http://www.croftcentre.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=109

Two gadgets for around the house: (a bit expensive, but go on, spoil yourself!)

1.  A kettle that makes boiling water in five seconds – it boils the water in a continuous flow rather than hearting up the whole lot every time, so it’s much more eco friendly as well as faster.

http://techdigest.tv/2007/11/tefal_quick_cup.html

And 2.   The most beautiful and powerful hand-held vacuum cleaner, the Dyson DC16 Animal (titanium and bronze edition)

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dyson-DC16-Animal-Handheld-Cleaner/dp/B000VBTSJC

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PS – how to avoid sending ANY Christmas cards this year (in order to help with the environment, obviously).  I learned this from some friends of mine who revealed that they just send cards every other year – and if anyone notices that they didn’t get one (unlikely) and asks “What happened to my card?” you just say “Well, you SHOULD have got one!” as if to imply that it’s the post.  It’s not quite a lie – because really they should indeed have had one from you!
So you still get to keep in touch with people, by sending them a card every other year, and if you think abotu it, would you notice if you didn’t get a card from just one of your firends this Christmas?  Of course, if we all do it then it might get noticed.
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PPS – one more present idea: these LED candles are great.  Really cosy, safe, and even rechargeable!  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philips-Imageo-Rechargeable-Candle-Lights/dp/B000JP4M6O/ref=pd_sim_kh_title_1 .  Full list is at the forum at www.croftcentre.co.uk as usual.

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PPPS – thanks to a Matrox DualHead2Go Digital, I am now operating with two screens at my computer.  It’s great!  You can have one with the net and one with Word or powerpoint or whatever.  If you ever need to compare two documents or have one huge spreadsheet or edit a multipage Word document then it’s great.  Of course most new PCs have a graphics card that can take two screens, but if not, the n a Matrox is the thing!

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PS – in case you still need a couple of Christmas present ideas, I had an interesting experience yesterday morning with the Debenhams Personal Shopper!  Mine was in Bournemouth but I expect they have them in other branches.  It’s free, and they don’t humiliate you a la Trinny & S, but they do suggest all sorts of things that you wouldn’t have thought would work.  Not sure if it was more of a present for me or the wife (who says I look 10 years younger).  Ended up costing a bit for all the stuff we got, but I’d really recommend it for those of us who just want to wear the same thing every day, and have no concept of what matches what.

The other present is for a dog, and it’s a Kong (thanks to John Chambers for this one).  It’s a hollow rubber cone and you stuff biscuits or bits of fat inside it and the dog tries to get them out, poking it’s tongue in etc.  Keeps them happy for hours!

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PPS – got my dog from www.blackretrieverx.co.uk and she’s brilliant.  Very laid back, very cuddly, and really rather handsome!  She’s asleep next to my desk as I write this.  Look at the other ones who need homes – you know you want one!!

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PPPS – currently listening to For Your Life by Led Zep, from the underrated album Presence.  How may beats to a bar is it?  So clever!

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PPS – humble pie corner.  My ipod nano is indeed brilliant.  I hadn’t expected the sound to be so much better than my Zen but it really is, even with the allegedly rubbish headphones that come with it.  Although I kind of resent being controlled by World of Apple, it is leagues above any other player I’ve used.  There, I’ve said it.

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PS  – Pet hate for January:  Unnecessary and distracting background ‘busy’ music on radio travel news.

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PPS  – Has anybody else noticed that Gordon Brown has stopped dyeing his hair black and is letting the grey show – in order to look more distinguished maybe?

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PPPS – listening to Van Morrison ‘Celtic New Year’ as I write this.  What a fantastic track!

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PS – Kepner Tregoe’s problem solving method says “find out when the problem happens and doesn’t happen, so you really understand it, before trying to fix it”.  Very useful when tracking down printer and computer problems, and car problems.  Wish I’d remembered that, and tried different phones on the ipod and the headphones on a different ipod, before cutting up and re-soldering the plug on my son’s expensive Bose headphones and then realising that the phones are fine and it’s the ipod phone socket…  The headphones are now reassembled again, but an hour wasted, and of course the ipod is probably unfixable.  Unless I take the back off…

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PPS – just been enjoying Matty Groves by Fairport Convention, and also Sandy Denny’s amazingly female breathy desolate voice on Fotheringay.

 

PPPS – I’m going against the flow and recommending Harry Hill’s TV Burp.  You may find him annoying but it’s a very clever little programme – I think!   And of course This Week (late night Thursday BBC1) continues to be the only thinking person’s politics programme.

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PPPPS – Following on from background music on radio traffic news, don’t you just hate the way the TV gets louder just for the adverts – (thanks Tony Glover for that – you are so right!).  I also hate the squeaking and plopping sounds in the background of cute baby nappy ads.

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September 2, 2011

Collection of PS’s from past tips of the month – Part 1

Filed under: Books and Culture, Gadgets, Lists, Music, Random stuff - uncategorisable — chriscroft @ 7:47 pm

Hi everyone

for those who don’t get my tips in their email in box every week or two (hey! sign up here: http://www.free-management-tips.co.uk – it’s free) or who missed some of these, here is a collection of the PSs that weren’t too time dependent. I hope it makes an amusing browse…

PS – Saw a hummingbird hawk moth in the garden yesterday. My favourite insect – worth looking out for! View pictures of them on google…

PPS – An exciting new DIY product that I have only recently discovered: self -amalgamating tape. Weird, and brilliant. How on earth does it work? Bodges almost anything.

PPPS – I’m continuing to discover things about google. On the google toolbar there’s a thing called Auto-Fill which is marvellous – it fills in your name and address etc automatically when you buy things on-line….

If there’s anyone out there who uses autofill, self amalgamating tape, and has seen an HHM in the last week, then I ought to award you the “Similar to Chris” prize. But you don’t want that!

PS – it’s getting cold and autumnal all of a sudden (apologies to my African and Australian readers!) and the positive thinkers just have to find something good in it. Personally I am quite looking forward to foraging for mushrooms in the forest, maybe finding a hedgehog mushroom or parasol mushroom. But don’t try this unless you REALLY know what you’re doing!

PPS – MBA news: we now have our first ever person enrolled in an MBA following doing a DMS course (Diploma in Management) with me. She is just starting at London Met, where she has to do one final year of their MBA, having got exemption from the first 2 years of their course. Sunderland have also agreed a (distance learning) MBA final year. Kingston have not agreed to it – we thought they might. Details on the forum, or email me.

PPPS – “British Airways: Britain’s favourite airline”. Well maybe, but not mine! When stranded at Newcastle and needing to change a flight at the last minute, from Newcastle-Gatwick to Newcastle-Heathrow, they quoted me £190 even though both flights had spaces on them and the original ticket was only £50. “Because it’s a last minute booking”. Thanks guys – good to know you really care!

PPPPS – greatly enjoying a book called “Watching the English” by Kate Fox – fascinating. What an odd bunch we are!

PPS – just saw Garage World from the M6 near Crewe.

PPPS – Tour de France on ITV – marvellous!

PS – listening to Blue Six “We had a thing” as I write this. Mmm, nice.

PPS – Thanks to Pete B for this hilarious and brilliant nightmare vision of the future! It’s great to have all your customer’s details at your fingertips when they call, but you can go too far: http://www.aclu.org/pizza/images/screen.swf

PPPS Being the renaissance trainer that I am, I have a sensitive side behind my rugged exterior.

I have therefore been investigating poetry, and, as a person with the Hurry Up driver, it HAS to he Haikus. Only three lines – brilliant!

The official rules of Haiku are very strict (Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5., must mention the weather etc) and I would like to propose ‘The Modern Haiku’ where you can write about anything you like, and the three lines have to be short but not exactly 29 syllables, as long as they ‘scan’ in some way. It just has to “feel” right. I also think we should try to keep the rule that there has to be a twist or clever observation or “aha” moment to the Haiku.

I’ve put some of my efforts on the forum – but what I really would like is for readers to send theirs in, ideally to the forum but replying to this email would be OK too, and I’ll upload them to the forum – anonymously if you like. https://chriscroft.wordpress.com/?s=haiku

PPPPS – now listening to Audioslave – Sound of a gun. Chunky!

PS thanks to Ben for this website: Ever wanted to send a large file (e.g. a video, a Photoshop file) to a colleague but your server won’t allow it because the file is too big? Fear not. The website http://www.yousendit.com allows you to upload files of up to 100 MB (in the free version) to its server, which it will store until your recipient downloads it. The website even sends an email to your recipient telling them that they have a file waiting for them. (There is a professional upgrade which allows files of up to 2 GB to be uploaded but this costs $29.99 per month). It’s very handy if you work with large visual and/or audio documents.

PPS I want to do more reading, (currently enjoying Mark Haddon’s “A Spot of Bother”) and also I’ve been feeling a bit stressed that there are books all over my house that I want to read some time. So I have moved them all onto one shelf, and there are quite a few! But for your amusement, here are some of the ones on the pile:
(and does anyone think I shouldn’t bother with any of them??)

• The Code Book by Simon Singh
• Alan Clark’s diaries
• Sharon Osbourne: Extreme
• The Mission Song – John Le Carre
• John McEnroe: Serious
• First Among Equals – How to Manage a Group of Professionals
• The Seven Sins of Memory – How the mind forgets and remembers
• The difficulty of being a dog – Roger Grenier
• Just Six Numbers – Martin Rees
• The Dice Man – Luke Reinhart (read it ages ago, know I loved it, can’t remembr the details, must re-read)
• Michael Lewis – Liars’ Poker
• Nancy Mitford – The Pursuit of Love
• Back from the Brink (Coping with stress) – Nick Leeson
• Roger Penrose – The Emperor’s New Mind
• Predictions – 30 great minds on the future
• Potter on Gamesmanship
• Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance (another re-read)
• Impro – Keith Johnstone (my brother’s favourite book of all time, so I think I’d better read it)
• Why do buses come in threes? – the hidden maths of everyday life
• The inside story of Viz – Chris Donald

PPPS – Open House London is this coming weekend. A chance to have a look at all sorts of interesting buildings, which are opened to the public, for free, one weekend a year. The gherkin is fully booked already, but lots of others, modern and historic, are worth seeing. There are guided walks too, which are great if you want to know how and why things got built. I went last year and I’m going again this year. Sad or interesting? – you decide!

http://www.londonopenhouse.org/london/home.html
and
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/whats_on/article2387236.ece

PPS – this weeks stupidest website has to be http://www.pimpthatsnack.com/project.php?projectID=348 – if you want to see a 6 foot twix or a malteser that’s bigger than a football…

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