[-] Wed, 30 Nov 2005 19:18:27 UTC

Sheesh! Blog entries have been more sporadic this month than the uptime at jenkster.com, haven't they? I shall do what I can to address that here, by flexing the muscles of my shiny new HP Laptop what we bought from HP Marketplace (UK) on eBay (but more on that later).

The past few weeks have been very music-oriented. I don't just mean advertising a portion of our CD collection (but more on that later).

Tuesday evenings this month have been reserved for getting together with my two good friends James Casey and Kris Jenkins and their respective guitars. This has been a time to catch up, reminisce over old times, play some music and drink copious quantities of wine. Aside from all of the revelry, we were also rehearsing for James and Kris' performance at the ever-lovely Fran Merivale's birthday party (but more on that later).

Betwixt these musical sessions, we fitted in a performance by some professional musicians, in the form of The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. These guys are so good! All very, very talented musicians and highly entertaining to boot.

Last Friday was Fran's birthday party. As you may have read elsewhere, I sneakily took the day off work to pick up an amplifier from my friend Rob and then head up to Hammersmith to rehearse with James and Kris. The rehearsal took a slightly more serious tone than the previous sessions (photos here), but we still had the time to fit in an episode of "The A-Team".

Before I knew it, the night was upon us and it was time to get up and perform. Having never been educated in music or performed in public before, I was more than a little nervous, but managed to hide this to keep up the surprise. James and Kris played four songs (two covers and to of James' own fabulous creations) before it was my turn to take to the 'stage'. Once I hit the first note, all the nerves had gone and I really began to enjoy myself. You can see evidence of this on Andi, Kris and the ever-wonderful K's Flickr albums. Enjoy!

I want to say a big thank-you to James and Kris for their encouragement and support... you've really whet my appetite to play more music! I'll have to pick up some tips from the talented Mrs J, who played her Swan Song with the Dorking Philharmonia on Saturday night. If you missed this concert (and indeed, The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain) or even if you didn't, I can highly recommend that you go and see their very next performance. I can also recommend that you get yourself to a Pluck gig. I shall leave the connection between the two as an exercise for the reader.

Back to the new laptop... having had it delivered on Monday, I have to say that I am very impressed. It's nice and quick (rips Audio CDs to 192kbps at ~12× speed, in fact, I've seen it reach the dizzy heights of 20.7×, which is loads quicker than my current PC), the screen is absolutely fantastic (just right for watching DVDs in wide-screen and is also very handy for looking at photographs straight off my Sony Memory Stick) and the sound out of the Harman/Kardon speakers is very good indeed. Overall: Very Chuffed!

Which brings me onto my list of things that any home computer must have on its hard disk:

Those are just the things that come to mind. There are a couple of my own scripts that I like to have, too, such as my Doskey macros, which interested parties can view here.

I said I'd mention the great CD sale, too, didn't I? Well, I shall leave that up to you:

Barabara Windsor & Mike Reid? Why? When all the other music on the list is of pretty good taste? Caz

Your CD collection was much as I expected, however, I have to ask which one of you owned 'Cotton Eye Joe' by Rednex? The bigger question is why?

Y'see... the thing is this... We published the list of that portion of our collection because we want to sell it off, not because we wanted to justify having had them in our collection in the first place. The thing to bear in mind, dear reader, is that for every questionable item in the collection there is at least one real gem.

I think that'll do for one month. Until December...

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