Monday Motorway Music™, September 11 – Ambience

This is partly inspired by listening to Everything But The Girl’s “Missing” somewhat on repeat in the car – I had  few errands and the song didn’t quite finish on the short stretches between each, so it started over a few times. Not that I mind, I love the song. Not least because of its ambience…

Ambience – which is harder to say than to define – generally is something I value. Restaurants, for example – when I travel, I’d much rather have relatively good food and a brillian ambience in the place than something culinarily stellar but stiff or formal.

The images, I hope, show some ambience. They are from the Darband area in Tehran, Iran – described to us by one of our local colleagues as “in the foothill of the mountains”. Sure was hilly – and a very lively and colourful place. And – we even had good food!

 

(The sharper ones of you will re-find the image in my Instagram feed over there to the right –> 🙂 )

 

 

 

Missing – Everything But The Girl (doh!)
Blinded By The Light – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Mig & Charly – CV Jørgensen
Killing Me Softly – Fugees
Drop Dead Beautiful – Six Was Nine
Highway One – Sinne Eeg

Photos by me
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Monday Airplane Music™, September 4 – Flying High And Fine

Not so much motorway driving today. Well, yes – a bit on the way to the airport, but that was in a taxi and vewwy, vewwy early, so it didn’t really involve any music.

But to make up for that, here is a list of songs from seat 3C on OS873 en route VIE-IKA 🙂 And a picture that at least has a little flying critter in it.

We’re riding in style as Lufthansa / Austrian apparently has a service under the Miles and More programme where companies accrue some points. And when you then book an ordinary back-of-the-bus ticket as we have to do, a friendly lady from their account management programme suddenly sends an Email and asks if you want to use a rather tiny amount of the company’s sum of points to sit in business class.

Well, yes, don’t mind if I do 🙂

(Even if we’re not talking wide-body long-distance aircraft lie flat down luxury business class – but still, somewhat better leg space and at the very least a guaranteed empty middle seat in the 3:3 configuration of the Airbus A320 is nice. And the food service also was very appreciable!)

How Come You’re Not Here – P!nk
Heavy Metal Poisoning – Styx
Hallejujah (live) – Paramore
You Shook Me All Night Long – AC/DC
Night Life – Delta Cross Band
Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police
Road To Nowhere – Talking Heads

Photo by me
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Tuesday Motorway Music™, August 29 – IT Housekeeping Still Lurking

I did sit in front of the Mac yesterday. But instead of blogging, I was sweating (and swearing, to be honest) over finding a way to map a series of network drives from the new NAS to the Mac in a way to have my internet-based backup recognise them reproducibly, preferably in a way that was as inobtrusive as possible.

Didn’t quite work the way I wanted. I ended up mapping the drives in the most classical, ordinary way – which has Finder windows pop up for them at system start-up. But if I use my other methods, something subtle / under-the-hood stuff apparently changes and the backup lists the files as “missing” when I restart. Hrmpf.

And all that meant that I didn’t get anything written for the Monday. And further, as all that makes for very boring photos (if any), above is a soothing shot of Frigiliana (in Andalucia, Spain) by night. For my nerves as much as anything – and where I was holidaying instead of writing last week 🙂

Hit Me With Your Best Shot – Pat Benetar
Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen
Dig og mig – Dieters Lieder
Cherry Bomb – Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

Photo by me
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Monday Motorway Music™, August 14 – Some Heavier IT Housekeeping

Yep, the old trustworthy NAS has been replaced with a new shiny one – and with the drop in HDD prices since I bought the first one, the amount of storage also has gone up. Considerably! So now, what used to take up most of the space I had only takes up around 20-25% of the new, roomy thingumyjig 🙂

And even if the new storage device also has a remarkably faster write speed than the old one did, it still takes a solid amount of time to copy over all the old stuff. And then to use some of the plentiful space to make backup copies of important stuff from my Mac.

So that’s how time is spent at the moment. Renewing the IT backbone of the house. But when it’s all done and polished and ready, we’re solidly into 2017 and major overhauls is a thing that can be considered checked off the list for quite some time!

Sådan nogen som os – Poul Krebs
Manic Monday – The Bangles
Rock Me – ABBA
Glemmer Du – Sinne Eeg
You’ve Got A Friend – Carole King
Jeg vil ha’ dig – TV-2
Twilight Birds – Gasolin’

Photos by me
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Monday Motorway Music™, August 7 – Back On The Chain Gang

Church somewhere in Central/slightly Western France

 

I’m sure I have used that headline before – it’s a little too obvious not to, innit? And it’s even a wee bit outdated as I – precisely as predicted on the 11th of last month – had plenty to do with staying awake in the beginning of last week as I was back at work but also battling a week’s worth of scarcity of sleep.

Hey, it’s not my fault that nice people make a good campfire and sit around it so that you end up hitting the sleeping bag at 1:30 am instead of sensibly before midnight, is it? 🙂

But SL2017 was a good camp and the team spirit and community feeling when you are on the upside of 37,000 scouts together is a thing to behold. Truly.

August will provide a bit of respite in terms of travelling – well, apart from another week’s vacation with the family – but I can already now read in the tea leaves that autumn will provide the quite usual amount of travel madness.

So far, the list of certainties and possibilities this side of Christmas looks like this:

  • Spain
  • Russia
  • Brazil
  • North Ireland
  • Kenya & maybe Uganda
  • The US

Lots of flying going to happen, that’s for sure!

I Surrender – Saybia
Elsker dig for evigt – Lars H.U.G.
Hung Up – Madonna
(I Just) Died In Your Arms Tonight – Cutting Crew
Idle Worship – Paramore

Photos by me
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Cobblestone Flight Review: CPH-ORY and back on low-cost carrier Norwegian

Gate, as announced by the airport, 15 minutes before scheduled departure…

To start with the conclusion: Norwegian shouldn’t be proud of this one…

Outgoing trip: an hour of delay and a scarcity of information from Norwegian. Thank Bob for my TripIt that kept me informed – CPH Airport came second in terms of availability and timeliness of information and Norwegian… Well, they didn’t tell us much at any time.

In fact, the most interaction I saw from norwegian staff was a gate agent that went around in the departure line (at gate A12 where we eventualy departed from) and rather brusquely checked carry-on wheelers and told people to measure them in the provided stand, slamming out 400 DKK checked baggage fees for anything he found not to fit.

Yes, Norwegian’s rules apply – but you can enforce them in so very different ways. You can choose to annouce by PA that the flight is very full so baggage space is under pressure and kindly ask people to verify that their baggage complies – even offer to check them for free to expedite the process as I have experienced Norwegian do on their CTA-CPH route. Or you can walk around and (excuse me) piss passengers off by barking at them to check their bags in order to find out whether they’ll have to pay 400 DKK or not.

As to the delay, the Norwegian app on my phone was extremely silent throughout the whole procedure – no messages, no gate redirections, nothing. The status screen for the flight in question did not give any information, either – the only option to check came from the flight status per airport screen. And 45 minutes before departure – well after I’d had info from TripIt about the delay (meaning that the delay is registered in the systems, otherwise TripIt wouldn’t know) – the Norwegian list from CPH as shown to the right still had the flight as on time.

Well, we got onboard and to Paris eventually.

The return trip had a departure delay as well – announced to be about 20-25 minutes. In ORY, at least, the info came up on the gate monitor (still well after I’d been alerted).

When it came to boarding, basically I have to say that the Norwegian staff in the airport and on the particular plane had cattle herding down to an art. Friendly customer service not as much.

In the terminal, they started boarding as soon as the (late) incomming plane had been hooked up to the bridge. But what about the incoming passengers? Well, boarding mainly meant that we were being collected into the next pen – between the gate counter and the door to the bridge. So we stood there for the 15 minutes or so it took to empty the plane.

Once we started getting on to the plane, the crew several times urged us by PA to hurry storing our stuff and ourselves so as not to delay them. Again, there’s a choice of approch here. It could have been “we’re sorry for the imcoming delay, but if you could please help us to achieve a speedy boarding, we’d appreciate it – if we make the current slot time for departure we may actually be able to catch up with the delay and get you to Copenhagen on time.” Y’know, I’ve seen that work once – so well, in fact, that we ended up in that particular case pushing back early.

But here? Just a flat, unapologetic, “hurry up or you’ll delay us!” Bleh!

We actually did catch up and got to Copenhagen on time. Something that a 100 km/h tail wind had more credit for than motivating passengers to help out with a speedy boarding, I’d say.

Two depature delays, a not very friendly customer tone, the usual low-cost carrier policy that everything on board is to pay for only, no options whatsoever to pick seats when checking in… (and two F/window seats in a 3:3 plane configuration as the result).

And, a pet peeve of mine with regards to Norwegian: Of all the airlines I fly, they’re the only one to have departure time on their boarding passes instead of boarding time. Dear Norwegian: The practical detail your passengers probably look most for is when to be at the gate. Why do you require people to look up information and do math in order to work that out? Why not simply, like everyone else, provide that information straight up?

Verdict? Not a single cobblestone – it’s just not a pleasant experience to be cattle rather than service- and friendliness-deserving passengers.

score-blankscore-blankscore-blankscore-blankscore-blankscore-blank
PS: Why did I fly them, then? Tickets booked for me, no influence on carrier chosen.

Photo by me
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Tuesday Motorway Music™, July 11 – Missed Monday; Many More Misses…

As the saying goes in guides for good writing: Always avoid alliterations…! 😉

It’s an odd thing at the moment. Things, to some extent, has quietened down – the commute, for one, is a breeze and Thank Bob for that. But it is also very intense and lotsa (!) things to do and deadline that rushes to whoosh by and … phew!

I don’t know if it’ll be for the better or the worse – or some even-handed mix. But the next three weeks will have me away in on way or the other for most of the time. Two work trips – the second one will entail tough technical talks (there he goes again). In French. And, in between, a 10-day (well, 9½) stint at Jamboree Denmark 2017. More on that later.

(Man, I can see that I also have a tag on this blog for “Jamboree Denmark 2012”. How time flies…)

Sure thing, scouting is a significant part of what gives me energy. But please don’t remind me about that the day after the camp when I’m boarding a flight to Paris. With just one night at home under my belt, I am sure to be sleeping all the way until the cabin crew shakes me awake and tells me that I have to get off the plane unless I want to fly somewhere else 😉

Those who have ever done scout leading at big camps will know what I’m talking about…

In other news, it’s Copenhagen Jazz Festival. And so, the first couple of concerts are under our belts and we have a couple more to go. Saturday, we were in the venerable Tivoli Gardens and heard a very jazzed-up (pun intended) Caroline Henderson. Good concert!

Get Up And Go – The Go-Go’s
I Wanne Be Yours – Arctic Monkeys
Might Quinn – Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry
No No Never – Matt Bianco
Girl of 100 Lists – The Go-Go’s
Lose Yourself To Dance – Daft Punk

Photos by me
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Monday Motorway Music™, July 3 – Where Did Half of ’17 Go?

Taken two hours earlier in the evening than last week’s – but it still pretty well illustrates the concept of long, light summer evenings 🙂

But – waking up this Monday and rummaging a bit around; driving to work – and, hey? What?? It’s July?

I have a nasty feeling that this could be an annually recurring thing. But – where did the first half of my year go? Whoooshed away like Doglas Adams’ famous deadlines? Man, I must have fun for the time to fly as it does, that’s for sure. And of course, that’s a comforting thought…

In a very allegorical (and maybe ever so slightly over-constructed) sort of way, this time thing reminded me of yesterday, when we took as 12 km walk up in Sweden. One moment, we were walking across this long, straight, reasonably wide path on top of a dam – the next, we went “where’s our path?? Oh, that’s it now?” and had to continue along a very narrow, winding and not too obvious trail* through the forest.

* Not too obvious – expect for the ubiquitous, nicely visible yellow marks, of course…

But a beautiful part of the walk it was – and let’s just hope that the coming half year also will offer lots of beautiful experiences, shan’t we?

Don’t Wait Too Long – Madeleine Peyroux
Feel It – Kate Bush
My Melancholy Blues – Queen
Avalon – Bryan Ferry
Smoke gets In Your Eyes – Maria Augusta

Photos by me
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Monday Motorway Music™, June 26 – Midsummer and Humanity

The nights are quite light here. That photo was taken at 23:27… And it seemed lighter (probably the camera reacting to the street lights).

And that’s of course because it was just Midsummer (and, ok, because Denmark is pretty far up North). So, on Friday, we had the “Skt. Hans aften” aka Midsummer Night, a few days after the summer solstice and on the eve of the day named after Saint John (Hans in Danish, go figure).

And, as we do, the scouts had done the local bonfires – two of them, an early one for the small kids and the major one somewhat later. But of course not when it got dark 😉

Getting this out today, still on the Monday (14 minutes to go – and counting…) has been a bit of a feat. Left home at a little after eight, back to change into jeans around six, off for a dinner and walking back from the station, as mentioned above, at 23:27…

And yet!

But – in the train back from town, I found this Twitter thread. And for those intent on painting the UK and Europe as being in fear, of having religions and people pitted against each other: Just have a read. And weep. For the raw, lovely humanity on display. So awesome.

Have a good one, all of you.

Ain’t No Cure For Love – Leonard Cohen
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough – Zindy Kiki Boogaloo
Missing – Everything But The Girl

Photos by me
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An Affair To Remember

Walking home through city streets
on a summer morning
Early. And late.

An early morning
could also be called a late night
But the sun is up, warming me
So I call it a morning

A late summer morning
could also be called early autumn
But the sun is there, warming me
so I call it a late summer

The morning is brilliant
turning water to gold, bathing hard stone in softness
speaks of the good day to come
Yet in the light
lingers the remnants of a wonderful night

The rays of sun, golden and warm
whispers about a summer so good
but also of autumn to come with leaves turning red

After the joyful bliss of summer
I don’t know if you are leaving of if I am
But we are
And we know
And it’s fine

I am ready for the changing season
for the change in life, our lives
I am happy with the summer that was
All the sun that will forever shine within me

We will always remember this summer
With fondness
Knowing that it was and will forever be
An affair to remember

– – – – –

(An old piece by now, from 2006 – I thought I had reposted it on this blog when I had to take my old blog down but I can’t find it here, so I don’t think so.)

This all came out of listening to one piece of music – “An Affair to Remember”, The Lynne Arriale Trio from their “Live at Montreux” album.

Of all places, in the car – in relatively solid morning queues on the Motorring 3 North, on my way to work.

I’d recognised Lynne Arriale’s piano playing and looked at the car screen to get the title. Half a minute into the tune the thought struck me “Bob! That is exactly what she plays!”

All the sights, sensations and emotions of the piece I put together above came out of that piano melody. I was furiously turning sentences over in my mind, lamenting the fact that I couldn’t get them down on paper – or screen – in the car.

Having parked and getting into the office, I just had to get it down in words – and there it is, as near as I could do it. And you can say that my experience with Lynne Arriale playing that song certainly is an affair I will remember 🙂

Photo courtesy of Felipe Gabaldón on Flickr
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