You know you’re getting old, when…

Up until now, when booking holidays and stuff, I’ve always tried to save every penny, by taking the lowest price possible. Well, except for when I’ve traveled by Premium Economy, for the extra room and stuff, but in the sense of the option which is non cancellable, but is just that bit cheaper than the more flexible deal, mainly with hotel bookings, I’ve always plunged for the non cancellable deal. In truth, of course, until last year, I was generally ‘young and healthy’ enough (thats a video hint, btw) not to need to worry about it. Well, healthy enough, anyway! πŸ˜›

I cant remember the difference for the Seattle hotel next month, but I know it was enough for me to be taking my chances with the cheaper rate! I just left the booking to a bit later, to see how the back was, and then just went for it!

However, when I looked at the trip to Scotland in September for a few days, I noticed that the difference between the cheap, non cancel rate was only about Β£20 less than the more flexible one, allowing the opportunity to cancel up to the day before, should I, or the person going with me, not feel up to the challenge. Fine, there will be a point where I need to sort out the rail tickets, so last minute will not be practical, but that much, to give the 2 of us (other is older than me) the opportunity not to panic if we dont feel up to it at the time, well…

So yes, for the first time in forever, I’ll be paying that little bit extra, just to be sure. Ah, the delights of getting old, lol! Sadly, unlike rail fares, hotels dont do senior discount cards lol!

Right, video time. One of those occasions when you dont believe the claim on You Tube. No, this isnt rare, colored film from 1932 as it claims. This is actually a Turner Movies colorization jobs from the 1980’s. Considering that, its not great, and I have no idea why audio is missing, unless Turner Movies really messed that up? So no, its not real color film of Clara Johnson (at 2:17 or so), but probably the best I can get!

Preserving memories

Its fair to say that since leaving work in the betting industry, that my interest in horse racing has dropped off pretty considerably. So much so, that this year, I even wondered if I was going to bother to bet in the Grand National, the biggest betting race of the year. History shows that I did, and did the right thing, as one of my 3 horses was placed, and I made a profit on the race. Even so, next years event will be my next bet…maybe?

In truth, the only racing I go out of the way to watch now are the very big festivals, or the quirky races. Hey, I didnt even really care that I missed 1 day of the Cheltenham Festival this year, because of the trip back to the flapper era in Blackpool!

So what do I mean by quirky racing, I hear you ask? Well, probably the most obvious is the race meeting on the beach, at Laytown, in Ireland. Yes, they literally set up a mile long straight on the beach nowadays, once a year, and race there. There did used to be a longer, circular course, but due to the iniquities of the tide, and Health and Safety regulations, no more.

The other quirkiness is what they call cross country racing. Instead of standard hurdles, and fences, you get grass banks that they run up, and either run down again, or jump off, according to taste, and the like. Cheltenham doesnt have any really weird fences on their course, but Punchestown actually has a stone wall they have to jump on the course, albeit a very low one!

Thankfully, the biggest, and best cross country race of the year, at Punchestown, was run today, on my day off. I’ve had the delight of seeing it live numerous times in the past, and managed to catch it a few more times on TV, now that racing has its own channels on this modernity known as cable TV. Irish racing, up to this year at least, has been on a channel that you dont have to pay any extra subscription to watch. Sadly, in the world of racing politics, this is the last year it will be there, as next year, Irish racing is changing channels to a subscription one, and I certainly wont be paying that for 2 days racing a year!

So yes, today I said goodbye to an old friend, as lets face it, I’m not likely to get to the festival again now, given my much lessened interest, and the amount of money it would take to get there! There will be another race there, later this year, but its only over part of the course, and given its on a Saturday, I’ll be at work, so will miss it. Laytown races, yes, one last time, in September, as its on a Thursday, the week before my holiday, I should see it then. I’ve always said I wanted to go there, but I’m beginning to realize its probably not now going to happen, shame! But given where it is, and the state of my back, I suspect not.

Video time, a real oldie! I dont fancy my chances of sitting on a park bench at 70, unless I’ve moved somewhere a lot hotter than here!

Silvered Lady

Its fair to say that in my life, along with all the boringly sensible stuff I’ve done, I’ve done a few crazy things too! Most of those I’d be inclined to blame on acting roles, singing in a tribute band (when I was a teen), though I certainly couldnt use that as an excuse for everything, being honest. No, I’m not telling you some of them, I’d hate to shock some who think they know me well, and I’d hate to bore some of those who do know them, and would just say so what?

But one thing I’ve always done when doing ‘spectacular’ roles, or dressing up exercises, is to always wear clothes! And now, lets face it, anyone that would get excited by seeing me in the buff, well, you’d be crazy to do that, in truth! Believe me, I’m 60, and there are bits you’re better off not seeing! But anyway…

One of those things that has always fascinated me over the years, is the body painting thing. You know, as in painted to look like you’re wearing clothing, or an outfit, or if I was really lucky, an all silvered robot! No, I’ve never done it, never going to now, but I’ve always wondered what it was like to be painted like that?

Does it feel strange being painted? Does it feel like you’re naked, or clothed once completed? And other silly questions like those! Anyway, I guess now, I have more chance of dancing in a chorus line, like Clara Johnson did, than of modelling just wearing body paint! And given the former is minuscule, you get my drift? πŸ˜‰

But yes, if anyone wants to cure my curiosity, without killing this ‘cat’, I’d love to know.

Right, videos tonight. In truth, I assumed, in my innocence, that I wouldnt find David Soul singing live, but seems I’m wrong

Oh, and for those fortunate enough to read, and know about both blogs, this comment is for you. Dream outfit to wear to the races, probably this! Hat would even work for Royal Ascot, lol!

Two (hundred) hearts, beating with just 1 mind

One of the fascinating tropes of Mind Control stories is the one known as the Hive Mind. Basically its comes down to everyone in the unit thinking as one, usually the thoughts of one controlling person, though there have been ones where literally everyone is computer (or AI) controlled, which is a pretty fascinating thought! The story tonight that brought up this subject matter is one of the former though, a supposedly evil woman controlling the thoughts of all her slaves, as one glorious hive mind, under her control.

http://192.155.80.152/Yew/index.html

Warning, it is long, just saying before you decide to leap into it, this section is over 11,000 words, and seemingly more to come, just saying… And fine, her methods suggest she is pretty determined to be in control of all, given the chance! So for those thinking of going to Mars, just be warned, lol!

In reality, I’m not sure if its truly possible to create a hive mind? Oh fine, so Mind Control as a whole is fictional, so obviously, no it isnt. But even if it was, for example, would it really be possible to control so many minds, to do so many roles, all at the same time? Seems impossible to me, but if anyone wants to prove otherwise to me?…

I know, strictly, in this case, the ‘slaves’ dont think, they just obey. But I wonder what it would be like, to be one of many all being sent the same commands Fine, part of me thinks it would be interesting to find out, but at the same time, its just one of those tropes that I think would be so weird to be part of?

I know, no one will tell me, but what do you think about that? Fancy being part of a hive mind, being in control of said hive (given the challenge that level of control would take), or just remaining yourself? Anyone brave enough to answer? No, I’m not seeking power, just the opposite in fact! πŸ˜‰

OK, video time. This came to mind (pardon the pun), as close as I could get, a good old Phil Collins multi appearance video.

The lady dances

(Clue, do not take this too seriously!)

Not that any of you would have noticed it, because I only ever type the blogs up in the evening, UK time, but I was actually offline for the first half of the day today. Officially the reason was that my laptop had a corruption issue with my user profile log in, and therefore I couldnt get on here. So yes, today, I’m miles behind pace. I did think about passing on the blog tonight, and try to catch up, but what the hell…?

Right, as I said, thats the official reason. Only because you wouldnt believe the actual one, OK? πŸ˜‰

So, in truth, I’ve been in contact with some crazy scientist guy, who claimed he could make me look like a young Clara Johnson, with all her dancing skills, so that when I fly into Las Vegas next month, and a friend of a friend offers me a contract as a showgirl dancer, I can take him up onΒ  his offer, and make my fortune in skimpy outfits, dancing like a dream, and getting to marry a millionaire at the end of it.

No, I didnt believe him, but I thought I’d call his bluff, so…

Fine, its a bit weird only being about 5 ft 4 tall, and only weighing about 125, but I’ll get used to it, I guess? And hey, its lovely being young, free from arthritic, and back pain, and having amazing dancing skills. But yeah, I guess I’ll get used to it? Who me, dancing in heels, seriously? Fine, I miss the boobs, but hey, nothings perfect, giggle! Now, all I have to do is convince my friend that I really do want her to arrange a producer to meet me at the airport, with said contract, and then wait for men to fall into my lap! Or something close to my lap, anyway, giggle!

OK, fine, it didnt really happen, but it would have been a lot more fun than the real reason I was offline all morning, is that my poor old laptop (its about 10 years old, to be fair) is just getting as old, and moody as its owner!

Mind, if anyone reads this, and wants to arrange for that show dancer makeover for me, just give me a call, OK? πŸ˜‰

Right, video time. Here, you get the honor of a real rare event, a decent movie close up of Miss Clara Johnson (though she was working as Elaine, her middle name at the time). Yes, if you freeze the film, about 4 minutes 13 seconds, thats her! Its one of two actual credits she got as a chorus line dancer, ooh! Watch the rest, entirely up to you, but if you want to know ‘how I look’, this would be it!

Take me dancing?

Actually, before anyone gets any ideas from that title, in truth, the answer is no, you really dont want to do that! Despite the fact that my past life self was a chorus line dancer in numerous musicals, it fair to say that she used up all our allowance of dancing skills, and left me with 2 left feet! Well, maybe she didnt, maybe its just the physical issues with my knees that held me back as a dancer, but in truth, after that, I couldnt get my legs to feel the rhythm, so like Doris Day, that was the end of my dancing career, if I ever had one! And maybe I did have the talents before the legs went bad, as I certainly won a couple of small contests before the accident, so who knows?

But in truth, however reasonable a dancer I might have grown up to be, I suspect I would never have been able to match Clara Johnson, and some of the routines she did. For example…

How they ever danced like that, let alone how it was ever choreographed, I have no idea, other than to say Berkeley must have been a genius. And just remember, this isnt your very top dancers, these are the ones just below that level doing this! But fine, he couldnt have done any of that if the dancers couldnt have performed it. Mind, there were times allegedly when the routines were just too complex, but of course, we would have no record of those. But even this is amazing to me!

Of course, I’ll never know if I inherited any dancing skills or not, now, due to the accident that wrecked my knees. Who knows, me as a dancer, or a showgirl, now wouldnt that have been fun? Then again, I probably wouldnt be posting this if that had happened.

But yes, there are times when this ‘old actress’ does wonder what her life might have been like if she could have danced too? Not that I will ever know, unless I can time travel back, to before that accident, and not get on that pony, and then see what happened…? I wonder how different my life would have been if that could be done?

Right, video time. A little bit of Carpenters. A lesser known, and pretty minor hit, but it works for this. Mind, unless someone mind controlled me to be the perfect dancer, this isnt going to happen now!

You know how to please me?

Let me say that I’m currently on a bit of a subject drought for these, now I’m doing 3 a week, instead of 2, so if anyone has any suitable ideas for subjects they’d like me to discuss (excluding anything UK politics related), feel free to either post in comments here, or send them to stephmajor8@hotmail.com , and if they appeal, I might just go with them!

This morning I got to see last nights baseball game between LA Angels, and Kansas City in the latter city. To say the weather was interesting for baseball would be putting it mildly. It would be fair to say that the second half of the game was played, quite literally in a snowstorm! Mind, its not exceptional, as apparently recently, a game there at the beginning of May had the same issue! They did get through, but you couldnt see a lot of anyone’s faces, shall we say? πŸ˜‰

In truth, only a matter of just over a fortnight into the season, and lots of games have been postponed due to the weather. To say this hasnt been helped by the fact that the season started even earlier this year, to try and give more rest days for the players during the season, but in truth, a good number of these have come after the season would normally have started too. Snag is, now all these extra built in rest days for some teams arent going to happen, because of making up all their lost games in the future.

Of course, if sanity had prevailed, the MLB should have scheduled most of the games for the first couple of weeks away from the ‘frozen north’, though I guess that would have then caused issues late in the season for the warmer weather teams in having no home game revenues later in the season as they tried to compensate. But yes, seriously, games in Detroit, Minneapolis and Cleveland at the beginning of April, oops! You may have noticed Toronto missing from this list, which is even colder, but of course has a stadium that can shut a roof, and solve climate issues that way!

But yes, believe me, you wouldnt get me at a baseball game in a snow storm! Only once have I been to a game where the temperatures couldnt get out of the low 40’s, but that was minor league, in Rochester, in April! That was more than enough. Oh, 4 of their first 5 games, cancelled due to the weather!

Ah well, Seattle will hopefully be warmer, and besides, they have a retractable roof, so I should be fine this year. Famous last words!

Right, video time. Some live glam rock from the 70’s! Yes, its hard to find film from those days, has to be said. So who wants to Skweeze me, lol?

The oldest dancer in town?

I have the privilege to know a lovely lady, now living in Florida, who seems to have had quite a life from what I’ve seen of pictures, and been told by her, it must be said. I dont know all the details of it, and unless she wanted to tell me, I’m not going to press for details, but I know among other things that she worked in Vegas in her time, and I dont mean as a croupier! No, her skills are more in line with the dancing, and MC’ing and stuff, than that. What I do know, is that seeing her posts, and pictures on Facebook, and chatting with her on the messaging system there, I’m truly in awe of her, and everything she’s done in her amazing life. No name, without her permission, so sorry those that would love to know.

I’m sure if she had her way, even at my age, if I gave her the chance, I’d be following in Clara Johnson’s footsteps in another way, the outfits at least, as I’m certain that short of her knowing someone that can program dancing skills into my mind, I couldnt match Clara on that front. Definitely not now, almost certainly never, but thats beside the point! And fine, a Vegas showgirls outfit might be different to some of the stuff Clara had to wear, though in truth, what I’ve seen of both, there wasnt that much difference! Oh fine, I’ll admit it, it would be fun, though it might be wise if I wasnt seen in public wearing it! Though if she had her way, and my actress attitude got together, well, who knows?

Certainly if I ever get to her corner of Florida, and I might, though not this year, I’m sure, I wouldnt be at all surprised to be offered the chance to be a ‘showgirl’ for the night, albeit, not the youngest, or prettiest of all time. But would I do it? Probably! Why not, its as close to Clara’s lifestyle as IΒ  would ever be likely to get! Though I’m not having millions watch it at the cinema, unlike Clara did! Or I’m sure she did, in Vegas shows!

Yes, I’m going to Vegas next month, as its my transit point to Seattle going out, first time I’ve ever been there, or indeed to Nevada. Yes, state number 24 will be added to my list, not bad for a Brit! And no, Florida isnt on that list, nor is Oklahoma, both of which might be possibles for next year! So, reaching halfway…? No, I’m not going to give her the details of my flight times in Vegas, because I wouldnt put it past her have me met by someone with a Vegas showgirl outfit, if not a contract! Oh fine, I’d take the outfit like a shot, though maybe not the contract lol?

Oh fine, dear lady, if you do want to set that up, and ask, I’ll take my chances, and give you the flight details! πŸ˜‰

Right, video time. Firstly a live version. What I will say of this, is that if you are of a sensitive nature, or under adult age, go watch the alternate one! There is a lot more than just the song in this one

Alternate version, just the song, from a Top of the Pops recording, with a number of dancers in suitable outfits for a young lady, not a mature one like me

Just be good for me

Alright, seeing I’m lacking for inspiration, and given that I’m sure that people who come here for robot stuff arent interested in diversity issues, so lets talk pills instead. No, sadly not robotization pills, or anything interesting like that, just useful painkillers, for ‘old crocks’ like me!

Its fair to say that over the 9 months since my back got seriously damaged, I might have spent a fair bit of money on the prescriptions for all the painkillers I need. Even more so, with the need for the extra ones I took to help me get through the winter. Thankfully, my Kofi campaign earned me one big one off donation, and another generous patron has been helping to top up my funds for me through there, because having had to cut back on my work days, I really havent had the money for them, in truth. Ironically, now, I wont have to pay for them!

No, sadly, no mad scientist has transformed my back from damaged bone, into perfect cybernetic material, if only! No, the reason I will no longer have to pay for them (starting this week) is a simple one, I’m old!

I assumed that like everything else for seniors (or pretty much everything, at least), the age for free prescriptions had risen along the lines of retirement, pension, and the like. No, it seems that like railcards, coach cards, and oh, meals at some places, you still qualify for free prescriptions at 60! Yes, annoyingly, last month, I would have run out of pills on the weekend I hit 60, and as I was away in Blackpool, I had to pay for them. In truth, I only found out they were free after I got back anyway! Given they last about 4 weeks, I’ll be getting my first free prescription on Thursday! Sadly, the gel I have to use on my back isnt prescribed, but as a workmate is providing me with her excess at present, I’m not paying for that at the moment anyway!

So, there really is one blessing of getting old I guess? Still rather not need them, but anyway…But fine, they’re not going to do much with a damaged back, unless they really have to, far too many risks. So I guess I’ll have to put up with it? Well, unless a mad scientist has a nice rejuvenation, or robotization chamber he wants to test out, and then…? πŸ˜‰

Tonights video is a song that will probably mean nothing across the Atlantic, and was a one hit wonder over here, so how many remember it? But yes, you might recognize Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook, in one of his numerous line ups over the years.

A couple of old friends, revisited

Its amazing to think that in just 6 weeks time, I might be doing a blog on a Sunday evening, but be 8 time zones away, in Seattle. Strictly, at this time in Seattle (about 12.25 pm at time of writing), everything permitting, I should be at the baseball park, about to watch my first Mariners game. Its not the first baseball park I saw, that honor goes to Fenway Park, 16 years earlier, though only from a distant observation tower, Seattle was the first I saw up close, and personal. That first trip there, back in 2003 began my love affair with Seattle that has gone on ever since. I’ve been back a few times since, though not recently, and never been there at the right time for a game. This year, I’m planning on 2! This time around, I sort of wonder if its the last time, because with my less strong body, old age, and only 1 trip to the US a year, it probably is, unless I get to Alaska in retirement year, as I would most likely transit through there, with a short break either way, if I get that far, in a healthy state.

In truth, Seattle probably now only ranks Number 2 in my heart, after Los Angeles, but long before I ever visited there, I fell in love with this place. Maybe its because the weather is just so British, with all that rain? Well, I guess all those coffee places help too, lol! I’m sure I will see some new sights (I plan to visit the Uni, now that the light rail runs out to it), and some old friends too, like the Space Needle, Pikes Place market, and oh, some of those coffee shops lol.

But yes, its going to feel strange this time, when I get to say goodbye at the end of the stop, because this time, it might be forever, not just for a few years? But hopefully, one more time, just after retirement…?

The other old friend I plan to visit this year, well, I’ve been away a lot longer than just under a decade. More like 3 decades, in fact, if not slightly more! But yes, given a lot of my childhood holidays seemed to end up in the Scottish Highlands, Inverness holds a special affection for me. And indeed, after those childhood holidays, I went back a few times on my own too! So landmarks like the Castle, the river, and the Northern Meeting Park are all ingrained in my memories. But I’ve never gone back since then, because as tastes, and flight prices changed, I’ve been going abroad pretty much since then!

This year of course, due to cutting back on my work hours, due to my crumbling back, I can only afford 1 US trip this year. But the week was booked in September, and I can afford a short trip, so I’m going back! Mainly for some rail journeys, but I’ve now decided to renew my acquaintance with the city. I know, I said after Newbury that I shouldnt do things like that, but in truth, after over 30 years, there’s barely any details I remember, so I dont really see any issues on that front, in truth. But yes, in this case, almost certainly will be the last time. Still, given I thought I was never going to return…?

OK, video time. Inverness seems not to have produced many pop stars over the years, if Wikipedia is to be believed. But I found Runrig, and when I saw the title, assumed it was a cover of the Public Image song, but it isnt, just the same name.