hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I was walking back to work this morning listening to music on my iPhone (as I always do). I thought to myself hmmm, I haven't heard any Styx in a while. I wonder what that's about. Now I think I only have three or four Styx songs loaded on my iPhone out of all of my music.

The next song that played was "Come Sail Away" by Styx. Clearly my iPhone was able to read my mind. Like that's a surprise!
hr_macgirl: (splash)
This morning in the pool I heard Alanis' take on "Crazy", followed immediately by Seal's single version of the same song. What are the chances?
hr_macgirl: (splash)
I listen to music while I swim. For a while, I was using the X1 Waterproof iPod shuffle case (formerly known as "H2O Audio"), along with a standard issue iPod shuffle. However, the case never seemed to last long, the ear plugs would eventually lose sound out of one ear or the other. In addition, the water sealant wasn't perfect, and I had a couple of iPod shuffles die because they got wet.

So I changed tactics and moved on to a waterproof iPod shuffle, which I clip to the back of my goggles. That required me to get separate headphones, and I started by going with the same brand (X1) as my old waterproof iPod case. However, I found the cable very long (it was as long as a standard set of headphones!), so I ended up having to tie a knot in the headphones so they wouldn't drape down my back.

I then moved on to Swimbuds, which had a nice short cord. However, the earbuds don't fit well in my ears, and even worse, the headphones die after less than three months (of admittedly daily wear, but still!). I've gone through two sets and have had multiple warranty replacements on each unit. My most recent set died yesterday, and I immediately put in a warranty replacement request (very quickly, because they only have a 90 day warranty!), while at the same time, going back to my old X1 headphones.

I bought myself a set of Swimbuds Sport which have a one year warranty. I'm unsure what I'll think of them because they haven't arrived yet! I hope they will fit my ears better. I live in hope.
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
The BBC recently did a list of Top 10 cover versions, and The Pet Shop Boys' Always On My Mind topped the list. I remember keenly when I was in England during Christmas of 1987, and the song was on heavy airplay (in fact, it was the Christmas #1 for that year).

Other good songs are on the Top 10 cover versions list, including All Along the Watchtower, but none have quite the special place in my heart as Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe belting out the song.

hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I heard Crosby Stills & Nash "Marrakesh Express" this morning when swimming. It reminded me of seeing the movie Coral Reef Adventure back in 2003, which was an IMAX film with a CSN(Y) soundtrack.
hr_macgirl: (Default)

I heard The Cranberries "Linger" on my way to work the other day, and the song is now stuck in my head.

lyrics )

Posted via

hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
when I was swimming this morning, I heard Eric Clapton's "Let it Rain", and the song has been stuck in my head all day!
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
I recently watched The Eagles: A Documentary about the eponymous band. One of the quotes in the documentary, from Don Henley, was that people "did things" to The Eagles. Broke up with their girlfriend, took a trip across the USA, etc.

I have seven songs from The Eagles on my iPhone, and by far the most important one is Hotel California. However, all seven of them get heavy rotation (one of them, not Hotel California, I like so much that I never let the song play through. I listen to the song, then rewind to the beginning so I can hear it again on my smart playlists sooner).

In addition to the songs by the band, I like various numbers by both Don Henley and Glenn Frey (You Belong to the City, by the latter, is a love song to urban life. Ignore the drug references, I mean). In one particular memorable scene of the documentary, there's a shot of the Billboard Hot 100, with the following tunes:
(1) We Built This City - Starship
(2) You Belong to the City - Glenn Frey
(3) Separate Lives - Phil Collins, Marilyn Martin
(4) Broken Wings - Mr. Mister
(5) Lay Your Hands on Me - Thompson Twins
(6) Never - Heart
(7) Head Over Heels - Tears for Fears

Really. That was one week's hits. Now I remember why I liked the music of that era. That doesn't even count Don Henley's "The Boys Of Summer", where Don Henley famously said "I got MTV awards for riding around in the back of a truck".

If you're a fan of The Eagles, I'd recommend you catch the documentary if you can.
hr_macgirl: (splash)
I typically break my swimming down into a few sets (where a set is a group of laps, either a number of laps equating to a particular distance, or an amount of time, where the distance is less important). I find it difficult to remember how many times I've gone back and forth across the pool, so I tend to stick to the latter. Now that only helps when I can see the on-deck clock. Less of a problem at the Z center, with huge digital clocks. When I'm consigned to Alumni Pool, where there are analog dials, I just have to guess. As a backup, I run a timer on my digital watch, but with goggle fog up, I find it difficult to see my watch time mid-set, and have to remove my goggles before I can make out the digits.

I used to alternate flip turns, first one every 100 yards (two round trips on short course), then one every 50 yards (one round trip short course). Lately I've started doing flip turns every single end touch, which has resulted in me having less of an idea which end of the pool I'm at. All of this means I have to keep a closer eye on the clock, as I can't just say to myself "three flip turns per set".

Aside: my set times have dropped since I've been doing more flip turns.

In any case. The other way I have to keep track of set length (without looking at the clock every lap, which I try to avoid) is to count songs. I have an iPod shuffle I use while swimming, in a waterproof case and earphones. The case attaches to my goggles, and when I pull my swim cap over my head, that keeps the earphones safely in place. Most of my songs tend to run about four minutes long, so if I'm aiming for a 600 yard set, that's about 3 songs for 12 minutes (I never said I was the fastest swimmer, but I am very consistent, speed wise). The problem I run into is when I get a song on my iPod which is either very long or very short. Example: The Who's Won't Get Fooled Again, a rocking song which carries me along, but lasts over eight minutes. Going on the rule of thumb of three songs per set, I would have gone way over a 12 minute set ...

...except for the irony that one of the other two songs in that set was Miracle Cure, also by The Who. Which is all of ten seconds. So it worked out in the end.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I made one of my regular runs to the MIT property warehouse today with one of my staff members. The purpose was to rid our storage closet of old (>3 year) equipment in preparation for a new shipment.

Since June, we've rolled out 90 MacBook Air units, and today we received another 12 plus a handful of 15" Retina MacBook Pro units. The equipment for disposal was Core 2 Duo iMacs (24") and MacBook Pro (15") A1286 Core 2 Duo. We will get some nominal fee ($300-$500) per machine, but that's just noise (okay, 100x$400 is not really noise, is it?)

In December we'll get 27" iMac units. That will be fun (albeit a ton of work, for it will involve Mountain Lion).

While on the way, Stevie Winwood was playing, and we grooved along.

cut for lyrics )
hr_macgirl: (tuppence)
I didn't watch the debate on Monday night (and it sounds like I didn't miss much, not even any good lines a la Romney's binders full of women).

This morning on my way to swimming I heard a song on my way to the pool that I thought summed up the situation perfectly. It never ceases to amaze me how few people actually get out and vote, even in a US presidential election. There is no doubt in my mind that the situation is broken. Whether I vote in Massachusetts or not is practically irrelevant, there's no way this state is going to vote for anyone but Obama (just like Wyoming will only vote for Romney). It leads the candidates to focus on just a few "swing states", motivating people with attack ads. That isn't democracy.

I want my vote to count, to mean something, but in reality, it means less than people who vote in Ohio or Colorado. I can understand why people feel apathetic.

cut for lyrics )
hr_macgirl: (Life is Good)
Grandad R was born on this day in 1913, and Grandma R five years later. He would have been 99 today, she 94.

They each played such a key role in my life. I can't believe Grandad has been gone almost 31 years, and Grandma 14. The world feels like a less rich place without them.
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I have been a fan of Fleetwood Mac for as long as I can remember (thanks, Dad!). Recently I came across the "Cleaning Lady" version of Sara on YouTube (quite extended, 9 min compared to 6). not really a "video", just a photo while the music plays.

Twenty years ago there was no way for rare demos like this to get circulated, short of bootlegs, but YouTube now fills that void.

cut for lyrics )
hr_macgirl: (splash)
I stopped at LaVerde's this morning after my swim to pick up a bagel (I didn't think I'd have time to get out the rest of the day, and as it turned out, I was so right), and as I stood there in front of the bagel selection, I heard music playing overhead. I stopped dead in my tracks, not because I didn't know what bagel I wanted (I did!), but the music was so familiar.

I didn't know the name of the song or the artist but I heard a few lines of the song and remembered it from a trip to England back in '95 or '96. Sure enough, I later remembered to google the lines and came up with the song: "I Know" by Dionne Farris, a very rockable, drivable (and probably danceable) song. It doesn't seem to be available from iTunes, boooo.

lyrics below the cut tag )
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
Earlier post about a YouTube find, Gabriel's Message by Sting.

Back in 1986, I made a memorable journey with a school group to Pineville, Kentucky. The night before we left on the trip, I listened to Conspiracy of Hope tour, sponsored by & for Amnesty International, and recorded most of it onto cassette. I still have the tape, and it's one of the few places where I have, or had, un-reproducable material. There was a horrible storm going on at the time, and I don't remember if the storm was local (northeast Ohio), at the tour's location, or at some intermediate point; the tape is full of hisses and crackles. At one point I listened to the tape so much that it became wrapped around my stereo's tape heads. I very carefully uncoiled it and used tape to seal the split ends.

While killing time today, I searched online for one specific song from the concert, and found Tonight by Bryan Adams, from the aforementioned Tour. It's exactly the same as what's on the cassette, minus all of the static. The first 3/4 of the song is, if not acoustic, very close to it: just Adams playing his guitar. The rest of the band does not kick in until the very end.

I listened to the tape during the trip to Kentucky, the ensuing trip to England that summer, but most remember the song "Tonight" from the Big/Little Sister Dance in September of 1986. just leave them alone, we can't change it at all.


Dec. 8th, 2010 10:13 am
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
YouTube video of the song "Famous" by the skiffle band Johnny Leroy & The Impulsives. Music from the soundtrack to Benjamin Sniddlegrass and the Cauldron of Penguins (explanation of the name).

Best line comes from the introduction: "and best of all, he was ginger". Redheads of the world unite!

ETA: Famous by Wordle.

(and hello to Jason Isaacs)
hr_macgirl: (created via imagestation)
on a recent cross-country flight I watched the movie Control, a biopic about Joy Division's lead singer Ian Curtis. I had picked it up some weeks ago at the library, ripped it, and copied it to my iPad.

I don't remember hearing Joy Division before I saw this film, although I have spent my time listening to Joy Division's "child band" New Order. After Curtis departed Joy Division, the rest of the band went on, but chose to change their name. I liked New Order's Blue Monday, and later True Faith ('87 mix).

But back to Control. The director, Anton Corbijn, is primarily known for producing music videos, not films. In fact, he only recently had his first motion picture release that had nothing to do with music. Control is beautifully shot, completely in black & white. I'm not familiar with Macclesfield (where the film takes place), but I didn't have to know anything, the director did it all for me. The music scene, family lives, the claustrophobia, you name it.

I enjoyed the music in the film as well, so I'll now have to go and see what I can find. New Order did re-record some of the older Joy Division tracks, but I'd like to get the originals.

nb: the original recommendation for Control came from the great god Mark Kermode, of course (whose autobiography I also read on my recent trip).
hr_macgirl: (Default)
I watch ABC's Private Practice (kinda soapy, not my favourite, but there you go). This past week's episode had Lazlo Bane's lovely cover of a-Ha's brilliant song Take On Me. The song is slow and moody, the polar opposite from a-Ha's synthpop version (which I used to listen to in high school, and was part of our regular rotation during dry-land workouts for swimming).

I'd be willing to buy the song, but the show's webpage goes to a "buy" link to, and none of the songs listed are the one I want. iTunes also has no sign of it. Grrrr!

Lazlo Bane previously did an excellent cover of Men At Work's Overkill, where Colin Hay makes a cameo appearance. Watch the capering in the video. When I first heard the song/saw the video, I wondered how the lead singer of Lazlo Bane would ever be able to hit the high notes in the last verse of Overkill. Watch/listen to solve the mystery.
hr_macgirl: (splash)
There's a book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running with a humorous title I was thinking about while swimming this morning. While going back and forth across the pool (50 meter/long course, truly a summer gift) I was able to categorize my swimming thoughts into these categories:

  • whatever music is playing on my iPod. Some songs really help me pass the time; others are those to be endured (although I often find that those I categorize as "merely endurable" get relegated to a non-swimming playlist, or down-rated so I don't hear them as often). While all of the songs on my swimming playlist are "fast paced", some have more of a constant beat, while others have varying tempos. I heard David Bowie's "Let's Dance" and Laura Branigan's "Self Control" this morning, which aren't prototypical fast songs, but are nice and steady. Down at the other end of the scale (and that's a line from "Pharaoh Story" from Joseph [etc]) there's Billy Squier's "Rock Me Tonight" (which always makes me think of [ profile] mdyesowitch) and Cyndi Lauper's "Change of Heart".

  • mental unpacking and sorting. Swimming gives me an opportunity to think about what I'm working on and decide a best course of action. For example, my boss will soon meet with the (not so new) head of IS&T and has never met her before. While in the pool this morning, I decided to write up a briefing for my boss on key points (what we rely on IS&T for, where we've had sore spots, where we need their help). I wrote it up today and sent it to my boss who found it very helpful.

  • emotional "hot" spots. Those topics I won't let myself consider during light of day because I've buried them too deep inside. With one such item this morning, I pondered it so much I found that I'd over-swam my intended set by 200 meters! Still, it meant that when I got out of the pool the complicated feelings were left behind. I have no idea if the people who got into lane 3 after I got out took on those emotions, and if so, will they want to maim the users who I feel so annoyed towards. It made me more able to face the day with fewer distractions.
  • hr_macgirl: (splash)
    A few months back I was in a café in Olympia, Washington (Batdorf & Bronson on Capitol, across the street from my former favourite-in-Olympia pie shop, Boston Harbor Pies) sipping on a hot chocolate. I heard the Thompson Twins' Lay Your Hands On Me playing on the radio (well, maybe from somebody's iPod mix, not sure).

    Why is this notable? Well I'd gotten the song from the Thompson Twins' "Platinum & Gold" album, but the mix on that album just wasn't "right". Years ago, when on swim team in high school, Lay Your Hands On Me was something we'd run to (explanation: we had two water workouts per week and two "dry land" workouts per week. The dry land workouts took place in the basement of our brother school. We did a long run, lifted weights, and then ran sprints). The song playing at Batdorf & Bronson was the one I remembered, not the one from Platinum & Gold.

    So not long after I got back from my trip I went on iTunes and found the "correct" mix, and spent the 99 cents on it. I up-rated it and loaded it onto my swimming playlist. This morning, it was the last song that played as I swam my final set (I did hear one song after it, but that was on my warmdown set, so I don't count it). I found myself taken back to cold winter nights running up and down hallways with twenty other girls. Fun stuff.
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