luckykaa: (Game Of Thrones)
And a man with a horse's head.

I love Eurovision parties! A friend of [personal profile] flickums had invited us to Durham, so we zipped up there. Went by train. Stag party on the way back. Hen parties on the way back. *sigh*. But the evening was fun.

I brought paper flags!

So we almost watched Doctor Who but people were talking over it. Something something space. I'll have ot watch it again later. But I'm two episodes behind again! Then Eurovision started, so I started the Rum and coke, and flickums went for the Chocolate wine. We seemed to be the only people drinking. Alcohol is not ssential to have a good time but it helps.

We picked countries to support from a hat to support, and I handed out the flags I made. People liked my flags! Bloody things took way longer to make than I expected so the fact that people liked them made me happy! I had Croatia, Belgium and France.

Eurovision 2017 was meant to have a diversity theme. Ukraine is not that diverse a country. In fact I think the only minority - apart from Italy's gorilla - was the Russian entrant who was denied a Visa. The event did have a Game of Thrones theme though, with Margaery Tyrell representing the UK, Sam Tarly representing Croatia, and I'm sure there was a Daenerys in there somewhere. Khal Drogo was representing Montenegro but he was eliminated in an earlier round.

Azerbaijan had a goth, and man with a horse's head on top of a ladder, because why not? Spain, Australia and Bulgaria all decided to send kids in, or I'm just getting old.

I rather liked Belarus and their ballad on a boat. I also was fond of Romania's rap yodelling because I think Eurovision should be fun and a little bit crazy.

Portugal went for the daring and controversial idea of having someone sing a song reasonably well. We didn't think it was interesting enough but it turned out both the voters and the jury loved it.

So they won. Well, good for them. I wasn't a huge fan but everyone else loved it, and Portugal has never won before so it's nice to see them do so.

luckykaa: (Exterminate)
Looking forward to Eurovision party on Saturday.

Decided it would be fun to have flags for Eurovision. [personal profile] flickums thought I was being way too serious about things. I just think it's nice to have something to wave. Sadly nobody sells them. Still, I have a laser printer. Sticks can be made from bamboo skewers. It's just a process of resizing and printing off a zillion flags.

Shame my magenta cartridge is running low. And the yellow. I have the flags but they're a little faded and spotty. Oh well. They'll do.

How is Australia still part of Eurovision? Is it just because they're so enthusiastic and nobody has the heart to tell them to leave?

Anything else needed for a Eurovision party?

Except alcohol of course. It's in Ukraine. Should I try and get some Horilka?

luckykaa: (Exterminate)
I went from having no clue that there was a live production of Jeff Wayne's War Of The World, to really wanting to see it in about 2 seconds flat after [livejournal.com profile] flickums told me about it.

Of course, getting tickets this late was a little tricky. I could have got good seats, but they would have been expensive and involved sitting several rows away from each other on different sides of the theatre. Fortunately lastminute.com had tickets still. Up in the rafters, on the back row, but there's actually a pretty good view still.

So, the plot. I will mention that there may be spoilers, but I think the statute of limitation there has expired for a book released in 1897. Aliens invade late 19th century Surrey and London, set against the backdrop of Symphonic-Rock, with a very late-70's early 80's synthy feel to it. Lots of people are killed by death rays, which are represented by pyrotechnics. Everyone dies, and people sing about it. Then someone sneezes and the aliens all die.

Is very cool to see it on stage, and see a live orchestra, with all the funky light effects, plus a giant animatronic Martian tripod. And apparently there were some very famous people there that seemed to get a lot of applause at the curtain call. Also pretty awesome that Jeff Wayne was conducting.

Afterwards we went for Chinese food with [livejournal.com profile] multiclassgeek and [livejournal.com profile] zoeiona. I had Dim Sum. And it was awesome seeing those guys and their little one again.
luckykaa: (Rocky horror)
The usual organisers of the Redemption Music Quiz couldn't make it! I hated the idea of not having the quiz, so I volunteered as tribute! [livejournal.com profile] tlanti agreed to be my incomparable compere, so the quiz was on! Fortunately, we also had Morag - the team's usual scorer - keeping score for us!

A week isn't a lot of time to create a quiz. I need to get the music. I need to trim it, test it and in the case of one round reverse it, slow it down or speed it up (and then pitch shift it back to audibility). Am really pleased I did a last minute check of the questions. Question 9 was completely wrong!

I put on my cat herding ears to get everyone organised. I can't overstate how good the Tech Crew are. They're awesome. "So, I want microphones and I want to be able to play audio from my mp3 player". No problem at all. A bit of tweaking and a sample tune and all was working.
Here's how it went )

If I do this again, will bring chocolates or something to hand out to audience members for getting questions right. Still not sure if throwing the questions to the audience was a good idea. It is good to keep them involved and does mean that there's no need to pick which team to give a shot to.

Glad I did it but I'm more than happy to hand the reins back to Christine and Michael for the next event!

MP3 players

Feb. 2nd, 2015 11:57 am
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
I replaced my lost Sansa Fuze with a Sansa Clip Sport. At first I was quite happy with it, despite a few annoyances. I loved that if I dislodged the SD card, it took less than a minute (rather than more than 5) to rebuild the database. I also liked that there was a shuffle option on the song select menu rather than buried in settings.

The problem came when I tried to find a specific song. It wasn't there!

Turns out that it can only handle 2000 songs on the SD card, and 2000 in main memory. I have a total of 4500 songs. Even more annoyingly, I want them all in the same place. For some inexplicable reason, the SD card and the Music folder on the main device are accessed via separate menus. My idea was to shove everything on the SD card, but can fit less than half my music there. Rockbox was my first thought. I need Audible audiobook compatibility and rockbox doesn't support that. Dual boot seems way too much of a hack.

But even discounting that, the Clip Sport was didn't have anything like as nice a UI as the Fuze. That thumbwheel was fantastic!

So I want a replacement. Requirements: Must be new, must be able to handle a micro SD card or have a lot of memory. Must be able to handle 4500+ songs. Must be able to handle Audible.com audiobooks. Must play songs in track order. Ideally has a thumbwheel and shuffle option on the song menu.

And no, I don't want to use my phone. I never have been satisfied with it as a media player.

Option 1: A new Sansa Fuze
Turns out they don't make these any more. I don't want a used one! Also the long wait for a databse rebuild was a pain.

Option 2: Sansa clip zip
May work. Am a little wary of Sansas now. Also I want the thumbwheel.

Option 3: iPod nano
Twice the price of most players. Also the ones I like are out of production. I don't like touch screens! They're unresponsive. I'd love a 3rd gen but they only go up to 16GB and once again I can't buy new.

Option 4: Sony
Expensive again. Bit of an unknown quantity. Also I have a dislike of Sony's anti-consumer attitude.

Option 5: Some other brand
Even more of an unknown quantity. I remember I got my mum an unnown brand,  and the UI was rubbish. It's very hard to actually get a chance to play with these things.
luckykaa: (Exterminate)
A very sweet fraulein invited me to a Tori Amos concert. I like Tori Amos. Who am I to say no.

Not that I keep up with music. Still, Little Earthquakes was good:)

Turns out it was the first time I've been to a concert. At least in the sense of a big music concert in a proper venue. So that's one more to add to the anti-bucket list. Not that I didn't know what to expect. A warmup band (who did seem extremely small on the big stage), followed by the star performing her songs that we all know and love.

Curious that several people hold up their cameras/cameraphones  to record it. Are they really going to watch it again? Do they think they'll get the same ambience as a live show through a TV screen with a crappy shaky recording? Most odd.

Not sure what the signal was that encouraged everyone to rush to the front for the last song but it seems lots of people did.

Audience reaction suggests the old ones are the favourites. Although we responded pretty well to a cover of The Tide Is High.

Was fun. Tori is still awesome.
luckykaa: (TV)
After some degree of faff, I managed to find a place showing the show, and get together a group of like minded fans. Was then a bit disappointed that the bar allowed smoking. Forgot there were such places in Germany still. But it was well ventilated and I'm not nearly as averse to smoke as some people, so it was fine.

Were accosted by a drunk German who felt an urge to rant in a good natured way. But I'm not sure what he expected us to say.

Missed having the commentary by Graham Norton. It was made up for by the commentary from the bar and twitter.

Personally I rather liked the Polish entry but that's just me. I like the novelty acts. Also rather liked the skater effects they had for Montenegro.

Rather miss the days when countries sung in their own language.

Is fun though. I'm sure Eurovision was seen as tacky rubbish a few years ago and has only recently transcended from that into into kitsch.
luckykaa: (Default)
So it's that time of year again, when all the shops play Christmas music non-stop.  It's December.  I'll let them.  It's just a shame there seem to be only half a dozen songs that all the shops play, and are then played repeatedly on all the radio stations and music channels. 

It's possible to come up with a playlist that:

Is not played in most shops
Is entirely christmas songs
Includes Fairytale in New York

Here's what I have:
2000 miles - The Pretenders
Stowaway - Murray Gold
The Night Santa went crazy - Weird Al Yankovic
Fairytale in New York - Amy McDonald.  (see told you so)
What's This - Danny Elfman
Merry Fucking Christmas - South Park
Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC
Please Come Home for Christmas - The Eagles
Bling Bling Christmas - The Silvertones

Anyone got anything else to add?

And I really ought to get some humbugs.  It's that time of year.
luckykaa: (koala)
Seriously, is that the best title I could come up with?

I was treated like a damn criminal!  I'd paid for this!  The Old Melbourne Gaol is worth a visit where the ticket includes the Arrest experience.  All the fun of being lined up against the wall, checked for drugs, I was designated the criminal for the day.  Actually had met the prison guard at the convention.  Apparently I was caught manufacturing drugs.  I wasn't on drugs.  Just sleep deprived.  We were then thrown into a prison cell.  I pulled out my imaginary harmonica.  It's a pretty gruesome depressing place.  You'd have expected this given it was a prison.  Saw Ned Kelly's armour, saw all the exhibits.  Had a fun afternoon. 

Discovered a shop that sells chocolate pizza!!!

Met up with Emilly.  Was introduced to Sumana. Ate food.  Drank chocolate porter.  Ate dessert.  Was also given a free comedy act courtesy of Sumana which was absolutely hilarious. Saw live music courtesy of Justin Carter and Rosie Burgess trio, who were all pretty good. 

Goals

Apr. 7th, 2010 10:50 am
luckykaa: (Default)
Today:

Finish unpacking.
Go to 99p shop to buy bits.
Sort out accounts.
Meet up with nice albeit somewhat normal seeming girl I met.

This week:
Fix issues with rocket pack.
Chase up potential contracts.
Read up on video compression.

Longer term:
Go to more conventions.
Do more costuming.  Possibly actually win something.
Build more steamy bits and pieces.
Seriously - They all seem to be in September and later though.
Learn to sing.
Finish writing one of these may works in progress.
Fall in love, get married, live happily ever after.
Win a Hugo! (May take a while for this one.  Perhaps I ought to try for a Nobel prize, or Time's Man Of The Year first).

This is a work in progress...  Goals may change. 
luckykaa: (Default)
A friend of mine is doing a street piano crawl this Sunday.

From Portland Square, St. Pauls to Waterfront Quayside. 

Also,another friend is running a little Firefly Shindig on the 26th. 
luckykaa: (Default)
Well, that was adequate... 

Graham Norton was okay.  Was worried that he might overshadw the contest but no.  He was fine. 

Wasn't nearly as much fun as last year.  No pirates or 1930's gangsta rap!  We need pirates dammit! 

Amused by Armenia's entry.  "Nor Par!" became a Klingon salute. 
luckykaa: (Default)
I deny any and all responsibility for this.

The Reaver song

luckykaa: (Default)
Eurovision went well.  This is the first chance I've had to update. 

I tried making far too much food.  This was the right choice because I ended up making slightly too much.  Hopefully nobody starved, although I did have a slight problem providing a decent selection of non-dairy;non-tomato options. 

And I cocked up the Spanish omelette.  This was not a problem dues to [personal profile] luckykaa's buffet catering tip #73 - Expect at least one dish to go horribly wrong. 

I think I need to run smaller parties.  My place is a bit too small for 10 people.  Although I want space for a bigger party!  I did provide far too much alcohol.  This is a good thing but I'm a little concerned about how long my cider will last having been opened. 

I rather liked Croatia - Kraljevi Ulice and 75 cents - just for the scratching on a gramaphone, and the song wasn't too bad.  Latvia's Pirates of the Sea was also rather fun.  I'm disappointed to find out that Latvia isn't landlocked.  Ours was rubbish although the lead singer did remind me of The Hood in Thunderbirds.

Then we played Singstar.  That was fun.  Some people are worse at this game than me!

And before anyone else asks, Eurovision is a sub-organisation within the European Broadcasting Union that is responsible for such events as the Eurovision song Contest.  It has nothing to do with the EU, and being in Europe is not a requirement for EBU eligibility, and Israel joined in 1957, seven years after the organisation was formed.  So that is why Israel is allowed in.  M'kay. 
luckykaa: (ceroc)
So, who's coming for my Eurovision party?

So far I'm pretty certain [profile] tinkerbell1980, [personal profile] tictactoepony, [profile] masterofapath,[info]squirrel_dreams, [info]medium_jock and  
[profile] ghostpaw are coming, but let me know if other things have come up. 

Anyone else?

Also let me know if you have any particular dietary requirements. 

The futon is spoken for on Saturday night but I have floor space if anyone wants to sleep over (bring a sleeping bag if you do).  If you have a long way to come I'll happily entertain you on Friday, as long as you're willing to help me cook on Saturday.

There's a big water pistol fight the following day which we might go along to depending on energy. 
luckykaa: (Default)
So, it's almost a week since the Vernal Equinox, so we know what this means...

Eurovision is coming up!!!

Okay.  It's got nothing to do with the Equinox.

So anyway - Eurovision cheese, food cheese, wine and cheese, and Singstar cheese (and presumably Doctor Cheese) at my place on the 24th May.  Who wants to come?  I can put up half a dozen people, just about.  and probably hold about 10 people for TV watching. 
luckykaa: (Default)
Been a busy week.  Finally got around to updating.

Friday
Took a day off work.  Was so pleased I did as well.  Really wasn't in the mood for working. 

Instead I went to London. Met [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_dreams and [livejournal.com profile] tictactoepony in London.  Also met up with [livejournal.com profile] the_smut_fairy and [livejournal.com profile] raygungothic for lunch.  Had a nice baguette in Soho.  Saw an impressive wheelchair walk up some stairs.  Then they went their own way and we went shopping.  [livejournal.com profile] squirrel_dreams wanted to go to the Finnish shop, and squeed impressively on actually meeting some genuine Finnish people. And left a nice message in the visitors book about how much she likes Finland. 

Strange girl.

After stocking up on Finish goodies and noting the times of key events in the social calender such as the twangy guitar music festicval and the wife carrying championships. 

Went to a bead shop.  Really can't quite get this female obsession with beads.

Then went to Camden.  Haven't been there for a while.  It's always a nice place to visit even if it has turned a bit emo.  They seemto be rebuilding a large chunk of it though.  This worries me. 

And we went to B&B7.  And boosted attendance by 150%.  Was a little disappointed by the turnout.  People went their own ways so I joined [livejournal.com profile] multiclassgeek at the Buffy meetup.  And there was much loud music...  Nice crowd.  Shame I can't really function well in loud pubs. 

Saturday

Helped my dad shift some wood up to the loft.  Got fed.

Strange incompetence with ordering.  12 pieces of 2x4, and 9 of 2x3 came back as 13 pieces of 2x4 and 15 pieces of 2x2.  I guess they could have got the order more wrong if they tried but it was still pretty impressively wrong. 

Sunday

Had friends round.  Watched firefly.  Watched Neverwhere.  Listened to music. 

People mock my music far too much. Yes, I do have an mp3 of YMCA, and plenty of other rubbish.  This is because I rarelyt delete na mp3.  You never know when it might come in useful.  It's thrown in with all the other rubbish that nobody would actually want to listen to unless they were in a silly mood but I still got mocked for it. Do people really not have a load of old rubbish in their mp3 collections? 
luckykaa: (Default)
Link nabbed from [personal profile] tictactoepony. Bill Bailey to enter Eurovision.

Cool!

Cockney Europop songs anyone?
luckykaa: (Brighton)
So, went to see Alice Shaw at the Red Roaster coffee place in Brighton.  Met [profile] moose_biscuit and [personal profile] shebit and [profile] pewterfish and a couple of other of [personal profile] shebit's friends. 

Good music.  Alice Shaw followed by uhm.. some guy, and then some other guy and erm, a couple of guys...  All good music.  Entertaining players.  And I don't seem to go out as much as I'd like (Lack of local friends <sigh>.  Hopefully I'm sorting that one out though)

Bought a double hot chocolate.  That was a pretty extreme cup of drinking chocolate.  It was thick and gloopy.  I want more!!!

Also got hugged by Curly Al. 

I'm feeling much happier now.  What I really needed was friends, chocolate and hugs. 

Please note though, I'm not feeling so much better that more friends, hugs and chocolate will not be appreciated:P

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