A milestone or two

The first one is pretty trite, the second, far less so.

Yes, this blog hit a milestone overnight my time, as it crashed through the 10K barrier in spectacular style, given there has been 59 views today, and 31 yesterday. Wow! The irony being that my ‘personal’ blog is barely past 5K, despite having been going on longer. Yes, this has slightly more support than the other, the main one only gaining credit by word of mouth, and Facebook, whereas this has a couple of Forums, and a few other blogs supporting it. But even so…

The second milestone, 50 years ago today, Martin Luther King made his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech, in the battle at the time for racial equality. Yes, seems incredible now, doesnt it? Only sad that he barely lived long enough to see the dream starting to come true, let alone flourish.

Who killed him, I guess we will never really know?

The video, yes, it relates to the more important milestone

Is swimming like riding a bike?

In the sense of you never forget how to do it, that is?

For about 10 years or so, up to 1999, my main form of exercise was swimming. I used to go, with my other half (yes, female lol) swimming on a Tuesday at a nearby school pool in Sherborne. We then tended to ruin it by having a cake with our coffee afterwards, but at least we’d worked off the calories first!

Then we split, I moved away from the area, and the convenience of a local pool disappeared from my life. So my main form of exercise became walking, and I did plenty of it. Still do to a lesser degree, though the physical state of the body means I have to take it slightly easier now, more in the sense of distance, than speed though, in my case!

I have swum a handful of times since, when on holiday, but thats about it, and not in a while now. Funnily enough, one of those pools was in Richmond, back in 2000, though I have no idea which hotel that was, or whether its still there. Its not the one I will be staying at this time though, I could walk into Richmond from there (2-3 miles or so, I did tell you I could walk distances!), and certainly wont be doing so from this one.

But yes, the hotel has got an indoor pool, and looking at the picture on the hotel website, it looks quite nice. Now, somewhere upstairs, I have a swimsuit. Plain black, almost certainly feeling unloved, and I have no idea how good a condition it might be in. Where in my room, no idea, but a hunt might be needed. It has been to the US before, one of the hotels I’ve stayed at near San Francisco had an outdoor pool, but I never ventured in, so it just stayed in my room. Mainly because I spent most of my time downtown, and swimming outdoors in the evening didnt have quite the same appeal, even if it probably was still warm enough, even in September!

But this one is indoor, I will probably have some downtime at the hotel, as Kate will be sharing host, and work duties while I’m over there, so…You dont forget how to swim, do you? I can always splash around the shallow end anyway, I guess?

The video, someone who looks good in a bikini, something I definitely wont be wearing, even if I cant find the swimsuit, or its worn through by now. I’d love one of those full body ones that the Olympic swimmers wear nowadays, but my budget wont run to that!

Coincidence factor, I have met a few famous names in my time, or semi famous at least, that might be a better term. But yes, one of them is Geri Halliwell! Soon after she left the Spice Girls, preparations were made for her first solo album, of which this is a track off. Thing is, I knew some of the team working on, and playing on the album, and one day, when I was up in London, I got invited out for lunch. Yes, you’ve worked out who else was there, Ms Halliwell herself!

Lets be honest, when she was Ginger Spice, she was loud, and in your face, so I inwardly groaned. In fact, so it seemed, that was pretty much an act too. Dont get me wrong, I dont think she had nun-like qualities, but if you thought Ginger was the real her, you were wrong! Conversation was good, intelligent, and yes, alright, I actually found the new unpainted blonde look quite cute on her.

So Geri, if by the faintest chance you read this, I’m glad I met you, changed my perception of you dramatically.

But, if anyone has a metallic silver swimsuit, size 14, full body preferred, that needs a new wearer, let me know! 😉

A day at the races

No, no Marx Brothers here, so if thats what you’re looking for, go elsewhere lol! But given my love of vintage stuff, it just seemed an apt title.

For the next 4 days, its the big August race meeting at York. Thankfully, if things work out right, I should miss most of the fuss and finery involved, as 3 of the days I’m starting at 9, and the other day I’m off. Thankfully thats early enough to avoid the race going crowds, as the trains will be busy enough without them. Tomorrow night, I’ll be through Leeds before they get back there, as I finish work about 5 minutes after the start of the last race, and they are 25 minutes or so earlier down the line than us. Friday and Saturday, should I miss the stopper train, I will see some staggering back mid evening. Probably delay the train (and TPE dont need much excuse for that anyway), and I could do without that in all honesty, especially Friday, as I will have to be up early again for Saturday.

So alright, its fun to see some of the dresses and stuff (and the silly hats) that they wear, and probably would be fun to wear myself, but post racing, many are very drunk, and a sight I’d prefer not to see!

I know going to the races can be expensive over here, but even so, I was amazed to hear the cost of a days racing in the main stand at York each day, £54! ($80 ish?) Wow! And thats not the most expensive option, that was £123 ($180 ish?), and was sold out! Sorry, I thought there was a recession on, or something, or maybe thats just for ordinary folk? The last meeting I went to, a few years back, Philadelphia Park, they welcomed you in for free! Much lower grade racing, but even so…

So, no I wont be going to York races this week, unless someone offers to take me Thursday, and I dont expect that to happen! Me, Thursday, plan is off to Wakefield, afternoon out, collect my dollars for next month, and maybe some shopping? Much cheaper, and for me at least, more fun!

The video, a lovely song, and maybe a moral for those throwing £123 a person at York races this week. If people stayed away due to the ridiculous prices, they might learn sometime, but…

The woes of baseball

Sorry, if there are any Yankees fans reading this, you might want to leave now.

Yes, for my pains, the Mariners are my No 1 baseball team, and believe me, they provide me with plenty of pain. But second in my list, well, it might just be the Red Sox.

Have I ever mentioned before that Fenway Park is a wonderful old stadium, and other than perhaps Wrigley Field, I’ve never been anywhere like it. So yes, even without Kate’s influence, I sort of follow the Red Sox too. The last 2 seasons, horrible. First, the September collapse in 2011, and then the whole season collapse last year, it hasnt been good. And all the talk this year was of more of the same. So, take a look at the AL East table, and see who’s on top. Yes, thats right, the inhabitants of Fenway! 🙂 Fine, we could have yet another September collapse, but it seems a whole different team, and attitude this year.

Oh, sorry, did I mention the Yankees? Oh my, what a mess! And not just the A-Rod issues, though there seem to be plenty of them, they’re limping along in the division too. Whats that, hate the Yankees? Yes, I know, shock horror, a Red Sox fan who doesnt care for their biggest rivals. Alright, I dont hate all things Yankees, its impossible to dislike Derek Jeter at least. But otherwise…

I had to laugh last night, hearing the Fenway crowd booing A-Rod as he came out to bat. Funnily enough, when he joined the Yankees in 2004, the other big contender for his signature, was the Red Sox, werent they lucky to miss out! Yes, I know, he used to play for the Mariners, but that was a long time ago! A-Rod, boo…!

In case you dont know, steroids, trying to cover up the evidence of doing so, and everything else doesnt make him the most popular man in baseball at present.

Oh, the other delight this season, it looks like the Pittsburgh Pirates are finally going to have a winning year, its been over 20 years since they did so, just delighted for them. Funnily enough, guess who I’m watching while typing this? Yes, the Pirates.

The video, mentions a true baseball legend, and one who did it on natural talents.

Sweet Home Alabama

Right, I think we are due another in the series of ‘brief pieces’ about people I know, in and around the Mind Control scene.

Tonight, I’m going to introduce you to one, with whom its fair to say that we’ve had a few ‘fun’ moments over the years, but plenty of good ones too. The name I know him best by, that you might recognise, at least if you’re into doughnuts (or donuts, depending where you’re from), is Kris P Kreme. Of course you might already know him as an author, and artist, if not, you can find more at


Well worth a visit, especially if you’re into bimbos and the like. Just say Merry sent you, he’ll know who you mean! 😉

As I said, Kris and I have had some moments over the years, principally from the old days when he was posting stories on the Archive that werent really my scene, and I tended to say so. They were good, if you liked that sort of thing, but pregnancy (a major factor in many) is a major turn off for me, so all in all… But we soon got over it!

In more recent times, I received a lovely present from him, one of those flat stone type things (dont ask me the correct term) of a mermaid, one of my favourite things. I guess now if he repeated the deal, it would have to be a flapper! Mind, as he owes me, maybe this year…

And funnily enough, indirectly he was one of the reasons I went to Rochester this April. Initially I’d planned the trip to be to Buffalo, given that he was in the area at the time of planning the trip, so thats where I was heading for. I was planning an excursion to Rochester, to pay my respect to Brooksie, but then he moved back to Alabama. So I went to Rochester for a week, and the rest is history! I had planned a day trip to Buffalo, but never got there, too much to do.

One of these days, I hope I will meet him, either in 2015 or 2016, depending on how holidays play out. Well, assuming he stays put this time at least, once I’ve planned it out!

The video, well you could say its about his home state!

All I will say is, if he offers you a doughnut, check the glazing before eating it lol!

Lift me up

Yes, back to the old system, the clue to the video is in the title!

39 days from now (volcanoes and everything else permitting), I will be lifting off for the US again, eventually heading back to Virginia, looking forward to it. I just hope US Airways are on a going day that day, not always the case with them for me!

The funniest thing this weekend though, was watching the US PGA golf (mainly for work, partly for me) coming live from Rochester, NY, where I was in April. So alright, the golf wasnt happening down the main street, just outside the city at Oak Hill, but close enough. Funny thing is, that so far at least, the Rochester Red Wings baseball team are having a great year, and top of their division. Not that they would remember the ‘old biddy’ sat in the front row, on a freezing cold Sunday in April, but anyway…I was there! Equally uniquely, they were playing the Red Sox minor team from Pawtucket that day, and the last home MLB stadium I was at, was their parent team in Boston. Also, top of their division at present, though given the year I saw them, they totally collapsed in September, lets not count chickens yet!

As far as I know, the next MLB game I get to see live, is ‘your guess is as good as mine’ country, given my plans for September, and next year, which dont seem to tie in all that well. On TV will be an improvement on present, now that I no longer have ESPN, but live baseball is always fun, just not sure where, or when the next time will be for me.

I dont really remember anything about Richmond, 13 years is quite a time, and I suspect a lot has changed anyway. Not that I remembered any of Rochester, beyond the lake, but at least that was 25 years! but I’m getting old, memory is going and all that, so…

But given I’ll be flying there, this video seemed sort of apt

Oh, and this evening, I received my first royalty statement for book sales. Amazon in July, brings me $23.69! No, I wont be giving up the day job, especially as August sales have been awful so far, but fingers crossed. Even more so as I wont get paid until October! But if you’d told me that I would ever get paid for writing, I would have laughed at you, but look at me now. Yes, another Geri Halliwell video, but lets leave it at one for tonight.

If you have a few spare pennies, cents or whatever

In a sense this fits in more with ‘my’ blog, but given that gets barely half the views that this one does, lets go down this road.

You see, at work, there is this really nice guy called Jake. No, nothing of that sort, before you get excited, he’s taken, I’m not interested, so all in all, but he’s fun to work with, all the same. Besides which, probably wisely, he’s leaving for a new job at the end of the month!

So why mention him? Well, starting off tomorrow, he, and another guy I dont know at all, are cycling across from coast to coast, to raise money for the Wakefield Hospice, a cancer charity over here. The link to donate is


Just say Merry Brooks sent you, and he’ll probably kill me!

Its over 200 miles, something I could never have done (admittedly a lot of that relates to medical issues) and it deserves support. Yes, I have given, and yes, I regularly support the Hospice charity shop in Wakefield too.

He’s reached 85% of his sponsorship target, lets see if this can help him hit it.

The video, very apt, and no, the woman on the bike isnt me, one of my medical issues is balance, I couldnt ride one without stabilisers lol!

What does the future hold?

Not that any of the current forecasts will probably have much relevance, if those of the past are anything to go by!

Though its fair to point out that a few of these things forecast in the 1920’s did come to life, most are wildly off the mark. Especially the forecast in here that air travel at the turn of the century will see people travelling from London to New York in about a day. Its about 8 hours actually, and even less then, if you could afford to travel by Concorde of course

I mean, even 30 years ago, if you’d said nearly everyone would have personal computers with the current amounts of capacity, they would have thought you were crazy. Lets face it, its only really in the last 10-15 years that they’ve been affordable for ordinary folks, and they were pretty basic back then.
So as to what computing capacity will be 10-15 years from now, no point even trying to imagine it.

From a personal perspective, no, I dont think the capacity to turn people into robots will be around by then, but that could prove to be famous last words. Even assuming I last that long, I’ll be too old to care by then anyway! It will probably happen eventually, but not in my lifetime. Complex, construct robots though, I wouldnt be at all surprised if they arent around by then, if not yet available to all.

But anyway, this is someone’s view on what 2035 will be like.

I’m sure it will be wrong, just a matter of how wrong, I suspect! Me, I doubt I will be around to find out anyway lol!

Come to look, and admire

I’ve seen a few acts live in my time, though with the one exception, all when I was much younger. I am glad I saw OMD again this year though, that was quite special, even if my body didnt think so on the night. All that standing, at my age, with my knees,…aargh!

But there is one act I always wanted to see live, and never got the chance to do so. No, not my close namesake, and a few will know who I mean, but in this case, I mean Simon and Garfunkel.

Generally I had a fair reason for not seeing them live, the first, and major split was when I was still a small child, and far too young to go to pop concerts. They have had one or two reunions (see the video for an example), but apart from one, very expensive possibility in London some time ago, I’ve never had the opportunity, even if I could have done.

I suppose because my first major influence by music came at such a young age (6, or 7), I grew up on their music, and that of the flower power era, as my first chance at becoming a fan. By the time I was old enough to go to concerts, they were gone from the scene. But yes, I still hanker back to that music, even now. Its funny, you would think that this many years on, that they might have lost the edge, but clearly they havent

Probably my favourite song of theirs, but it would be a close run thing. But given that in less than 7 weeks, I’ll be looking for America, so…

Other things, I’ve seen the pictures, they are quite amazing, and in a few weeks time, when they arrive, I’ll post a couple here. I will also post one on the author profiles, so if you go hunting the books down then, you might find it. Though seriously, I wouldnt mind one or two going to the book site, and buying now, all the same. Lets just say the new story isnt flying up the internet sales listings at present!

Reminder, they are at https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/merrybrooks

Right, I’ll try and post something more thought provoking over the next couple of days, but no promises made, depends on time, and things.