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Archive for March, 2017

3,272: Fußball in Berlin, part 5

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There’s a cup competition in the city, it’s called the Berliner Landespokal, the Berlin Cup. The only teams in the city that don’t seem to take part are the ones in the first and second Bundesliga divisions. The competition started in August with a qualification round, with 51 games, then there’s the first round with 64 games, etc etc. This weekend were the semi-finals, and a pal and I went down to see VSG Altglienicke v. FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin. Altglienicke are in the fifth tier of German football, Viktoria in the fourth. On the way to the semi-final, Altglienicke beat Hellersdorfer FC Schwarz-Weiß of the Berlin Kreisliga B (10th tier of German football) by a score of 20-0. Eleven different scorers, including the goalie, and an own goal.

I’ve never been to the Altglienicke part of the city before. And once I was there, I can see why. It seems quite nice. Quiet. But if you were dropped there, you’d never really know you were in a capital city. It’s a part of town where you have to use two different types of public transport to get there. The buses here, though, are dreadfully modern, and have a screen displaying the names of the stops and everything.

Inside a clubhouse near the street, we bought a ticket (€8) and a beer (€2.50) and went over to the larger of two artificial turf fields where the game would be played. Plenty of people already there, the four or five rows of concrete bleachers nearly full. Before kick-off, a fella sang a song about VSG Altglienicke. Let’s go, football team! And, oh, they’re one-nil down within four minutes. They were two-nil down after ten minutes. The first half finished 0-3, and the game was essentially over. Final score: 0-4. Attendance: 528.

The second semi-final was on Sunday, where SD Croatia Berlin v Berliner FC Dynamo ended 0-3. The final is on 25 May at Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark, which is a) really close to where I live, and b) also Dynamo’s home stadium.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project – five down, six to go:
25/02/17: Hertha BSC
18/03/17: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
19/03/17: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
22/03/17: Berliner AK 07
25/03/17: VSG Altglienicke
1. FC Union Berlin
Berliner FC Dynamo
Hertha BSC II
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin

A wee bit of artwork

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Gloria by Laura Branigan

On this day
Personal pie charts, 27 March 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Queen Victoria

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March 27th, 2017 at 7:10 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,271: Embedding the week

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Post-Brexit luxury apartment. £500/week. No pets.

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I lived in that building from October 2000 until April 2003. It was really nice.

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FIST

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The lads

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Zum Steckenpferd, Neukölln.

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll by Prefab Sprout

On this day
Greys, 26 March 2015

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
The Great Game

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March 26th, 2017 at 1:09 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,270: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Boker tov

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Bonjour

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Guten morgen

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Dzień dobry

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Buenos días

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
(Feels Like) Heaven by Fiction Factory

On this day
Observer Magazine cover illustration, 25 March 2013

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
British Empire

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March 25th, 2017 at 1:04 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,269: Fußball in Berlin, part 4b

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Last night I went around the corner to the Kleines Stadion at the Friedrich-Ludwig-Jahn-Sportpark. Literally a five minute walk. It was a testspiel, a friendly, between two local teams: SV Empor Berlin of the Berlin-Liga (the sixth tier of German football) and 1. FC Union Berlin of the 2. Bundesliga (second tier).

Union are one of the city’s more popular teams and their home games are quite often sold out these days, as they are challenging for promotion to the 1. Bundesliga.

I umm-ed and aah-ed about whether to go, as this game (where the home team is of the sixth tier of German football) is not part of my Eleven Berlin Teams Project. It was Never Say Never Again, or the Factory Benelux release of Murder. Non-canonical, I guess.

SV Empor is a sports club with lots of members, lots of children’s football going on, so a ton of those people were watching the game. The rest of us paid six euros to get in. No seating, just three rows of terracing along one side, a few portable toilets, and some refreshments.

The kids from Empor made lots of noise and in the third minute, their team was 0-1 down. Four minutes later it was 0-2. By the ninth minute of the game it was 0-3. Eleven minutes went by before a fourth goal. By halftime It was 0-8.

As soon as the halftime whistle went, loads of the Empor kids ran onto the field and had their own kickarounds.

The second half was kinder on the home team: the game ended 0-11. The highest score game I’ve ever seen, besting a 5-4 game I saw in 2001.

According to Empor’s Facebook page, attendance was 621 paying attendees and “ca. 500” club members.

(Sorry, the photos were rubbish. Not sure what was wrong with my phone last night.)

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Good Morning by Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor

On this day
Hexidecimal words, 24 March 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Presidencies and provinces of British India

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March 24th, 2017 at 2:48 am

Posted in Sports

3,268: Fußball in Berlin, part 4

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After three games way out in the west of the city, it was nice to go to one that was closer, just six trams stops away. I went to see Berliner AK 07. The AK stands for Athletik Klub, not Avtomat Kalashnikova. They play in the fourth tier, the Regionalliga Nordost, at Poststadion in the Moabit district, about a 10 minute walk from the city’s main train station. Yesterday’s game was against FC Schönberg 95.

Let’s talk about the stadium. Postastadion was built in 1929, and the main stand is very very nice-looking indeed. It was one of four stadiums in the city used for football at the 1936 Olympics. One of the quarter finals was there. Germany 0 Norway 2. The attendance that day was 55,000. One of those people was Mr Hitler. I wonder which team he was rooting for…

(Old stadium photos from here.)

Nowadays, though, it doesn’t have such a high capacity. It’s 10,000 apparently. There’s the main stand, a few rows of un-covered seating on the other side and some terracing behind one of the goals. Where people would’ve stood higher up back in the old days, it’s just trees now.

The old entrance ticket gates are still there but don’t need to be used. Instead, I bought my ticket (€10) from a woman in a small cabin about the size of a portaloo next to the main stand. Nearby were two fellas each with a small table. One, a younger guy, selling official team stuff (t-shirts, scarfs, hats, badges), the other was an older guy selling pins. Pins seem to be a popular thing for German football fans. I bought an AK 07 pin from him. I’m hoping to get one from every team I see doing this eleven-team project. A nice souvenir set to remind me of the project. (Although, I suspect it’ll end up being ten pins, cos one of the eleven teams is Hertha BSC reserves who play in the same division as AK 07.)

I got a beer, €2.50. The food on sale included döner kebabs. Never seen that at a football game before. It was the smallest crowd I’ve been a part of so far, just 111 people. But, y’know, this is a stadium without floodlights, so kick off for a midweek game in March was understandably early. 4.30pm. The crowd though, seemed nice. A nice mix of young and old. A good feeling in the stadium.

The game ended 2-2. The home team were never in the lead: 0-1, 1-1, 1-2, 2-2. They were the better team, though. The lack of floodlights meant it was pretty dusky by the end of the game. Totally reminded me of being a kid, not wanting to stop playing when it started getting dark.

The Eleven Berlin Teams Project:
25/02/17: Hertha BSC
18/03/17: FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
19/03/17: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
22/03/17: Berliner AK 07
1. FC Union Berlin
Berliner FC Dynamo
Hertha BSC II
CFC Hertha 06
SV Lichtenberg 47
Tennis Borussia Berlin
VSG Altglienicke

Other business
This video of correct pronunciations of car manufacturers massively gave me the giggles the other night. Here’s another, of famous actors.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke ft. T.I. and Pharrell Williams

On this day
Inauguración temporada, 23 March 2011

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Badminton

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March 23rd, 2017 at 2:09 am

Posted in Blah blah,Sports

3,267: Respectable

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Respectable by Mel and Kim was number one in the UK thirty years ago. What a great song. They had that proper pop star essence, too, didn’t they?

I’ve always thought (and when I say always, I actually mean it, cos I’ve been saying this to anyone who’ll listen for nearly 30 years now), that if you change the instrumentation of Stock Aitken Waterman records to sound more like Motown or Red Bird recordings, people would adore them, and they’d get the respect they deserve. (Although, looking at Mike Stock’s Twitter these days, he seems fairly right wing, so respect only goes so far with him.)

This is definitely one of the highlights of SAW’s output. This, You Spin Me Round (Like a Record), Never Gonna Give You Up, and obvs a whole load of Kylie songs.

But, here I am, falling into the male rockist trap of praising the producer over the artist. Pop stars have producers. Rock stars work with kindred spirits. Pop star producers “do everything,” rock music producers enhance. The Stone’s albums with Jimmy Miller get rightly praised, but we don’t really take anything away from the band in that praise, and I feel we do when talking about pop music (clearly, I’m not comparing the output of the Stones and Mel & Kim, cos that wouldn’t be fair).

It’s the same with they don’t play their instruments or they don’t write the songs. Who cares? Really? I don’t need Lionel Messi to manufacture footballs or mow the pitch to enjoy his skillz.

But yes, Respectable. Brilliant record. Showing Out was ace, too.

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me
08/03/2017: Everything I Own

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Manchild by Neneh Cherry

On this day
Balls, 22 March 2007

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
India ink

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March 22nd, 2017 at 2:18 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music

3,266: Tower city

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Another drawing done with both hands. The main bulbs of each tower were drawn right (wrong) handed, the rest with my dominant hand.

In Brexit news…

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
My Heart Will Go On by Celine Dion

On this day
More finger painting, 21 March 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Marquetry

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March 21st, 2017 at 1:27 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah

3,265: Fußball in Berlin, parts 1, 2, and 3

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I had this thought a couple of weeks ago: could I see all of the Berlin football teams before the end of the season? There are eleven teams in the top five tiers of German football. The sixth tier of German football is very regionalised, and the regional league here is simply the Berlin-Liga. That’s got 18 teams. Time and will mean that including the sixth tier isn’t gonna happen before the end of the season. Even eleven teams is quite ambitious really innit? Here’s what we’re looking at:

1. Bundesliga (top tier):
Hertha BSC

2. Bundesliga (second tier):
1. FC Union Berlin

3. Bundesliga (third tier):

Regionalliga Nordost (fourth tier):
Berliner AK 07
Berliner FC Dynamo
FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin
Hertha BSC II

Oberliga Nord (fifth tier):
Tennis Borussia Berlin
FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf
CFC Hertha 06
VSG Altglienicke
SV Lichtenberg 47

(You will notice the word “Hertha” crops up four times. Only two of those are related: Hertha BSC and Hertha BSC II, who are big team and reserve team respectively. Hertha 03 and CFC Hertha 06 are not related to big Hertha or, indeed, each other.)

Last month, I went to see Hertha BSC v. Eintracht Frankfurt at the Olympiastadion.
Final score: 2-0
Attendance: 43,323
Ticket price: €31.00

Obviously, the Olympiastadion is pretty massive. I always liked this building. I went several times before the renovations where the 1936-ness was a bit more obvious. Hertha is my Berlin team by default more than anything. I just went there to watch games in a cool stadium and, y’know, you end up rooting for them. One noteable good thing about having a ticket for a Hertha game: the match ticket included public transport, so no need to spend €5.60 on a ticket there and back.

I started properly thinking about the eleven-team project on Saturday morning. I went through the schedules of the remaining ten teams and made a chronological list of fixtures. And there was a game that afternoon, so I went to see FC Viktoria 1889 Berlin v. 1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig at the Stadion Lichterfelde.
Final score: 3-3
Attendance: 624
Ticket price: €10.00
Beer price: €2.50

Something I became immediately aware of, that I’d not really thought of, was how I would actually be seeing parts of the city I’ve never been to before, to U- and S-Bahn stations I’ve not used. Viktoria’s stadium is in the southwest, just a couple of stops away from the edge of the city. Just the one small stand here, but the crowd were loud, and it was pretty cool, and it was a good game. They were 2-0 up, but by half time it was 2-2. Viktoria retook the lead, but with 10 men on the field, due to having made all their changes before their keeper got injured, Leipzig equalised in stoppage time.

The Leipzig coach was wearing jeans.

Off topic, I do enjoy embassy buildings. Especially ones that aren’t grand and all look-at-me. This is the Ethiopian one, just a couple of streets away from the stadium, on a normal suburban street. It’s nice, that feeling of, oh look, a little piece of another country is right here next to Uncle Florian’s house.

Sunday afternoon, again trekking out to the West. This time to see a local derby: FC Hertha 03 Zehlendorf v. SV Lichtenberg 47 at the Ernst-Reuter-Stadion.
Final score: 1-6
Attendance: 147
Ticket price: €8.00
Beer price: €2.50

First noteworthy thing, the local U-Bahn station is call Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

When I left the station, I didn’t see a local map near the entrance, so just outside, I was looking around for a street sign, and an old fella saw me and pointed left. I asked him what is to the left? He said, you’re going to see Hertha Null Drei? Yep. He gave me full directions, seemed mildly surprised that a foreigner was going to see a fifth tier team, and we wished each other a good day. Amidst a few other sports fields was one with a small terrace on one side and a small covered stand on the other. Obviously, 147 is quite a small crowd, and maybe it was the drubbing the locals were given, but the more vocal fans of the visiting team seemed to make up about half of the attendance.

This was the teenage club of former Liverpool (and Bayern München, AC Milan, and Spurs) player Christian Ziege.

It was a grim rainy afternoon. More so for the Hertha 03 players, I suspect. 2-0 down at half time, they came out for the second half pumping themselves up ready to rock. 25 seconds after the kick off, it was 0-3.

Here the highlights on YouTube.

So, three teams down (four, if I view it as a smaller, more manageable plan of simply seeing the teams rather than visiting their stadiums). There are a couple of games this week, gonna make an effort to go to at least one of them.

A wee bit of artwork
This is the entrance to the Olympia-Stadion U-Bahn station. Done with a mix of pencil and watercolour, and some parts done with my stronger left hand, some parts with my weaker right. And yep, three months into the year and I wrote down the wrong year.

Other business
I wonder what it’s like to do a job where you pretty much annoy people all the time. I’ve often felt bad for traffic wardens. It’s not their fault that you parked your car where you weren’t supposed to, or can’t tell the time. Aaah, but they’re vindictive bastards you will say, which a) I doubt, and b) could you blame them, really? They get shouted at by strangers for just doing their job. Anyway, in this building, for the last week and a half, there’ve been some workmen working on the stairs. Taking off battered covering and the metal edges of the steps, generally tidying shit up. It’s quite loud work, especially when they do it on your floor. I’m actively trying to keep myself un-phased by this. And, whaddayaknow? It’s nicer to not get angry about it.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Only You by Yazoo

On this day
Inselaffen, 20 March 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Wood veneer

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March 20th, 2017 at 2:33 am

Posted in Sports

3,264: Embedding the week

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
What is Love by Haddaway

On this day
The follow-up, 19 March 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Shaker furniture

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March 19th, 2017 at 2:12 am

Posted in Photos

3,263: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Good morning

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Eh up

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Guten morgen

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Goedemorgen

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Günaydın

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Body by Syd

On this day
Arthur No.5, 18 March 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Shakers

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March 18th, 2017 at 1:56 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,262: n i n e d i g i t a l t h i n g z

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One of the things I love about drawing digitally is how quick I can bash ideas out. On paper, I can bash the idea out with a pencil or a pen, but it’ll just be a sketch. Digitally, I go through a similar process but also define colours, change things, and still feel something of the spontaneity. So here’s a bunch of stuff drawn in Photoshop and on the Paper app for iPad. I really like the Paper app. I just wish it could export the drawings at larger than screen size. I would use it so much more if that were possible.

This was an early morning warm-up sketch:

For this, I had this thought of doing the US states as squircles sized according to total area of each state. I figured that doing something like Canada first would be a better idea. Less provinces and territories to deal with:

I like the idea of doing a whole family of records. Like, the 7″ single is a kid who just wants to have some quick fun; the 12″ single is a bit older, going to clubs; a 10″ single is the kid who wears mis-matched socks whilst reading French novels; and the album is the sensible one who is thinking about his pension:

Start of a quick dirty project that may or may not be finished:

I look back with much fondness at the time when I was a kid, drawing rockets with three numbered parts:

Still really fucking angry about brexit:

Every now and then, I try drawing with my wrong hand (the right hand). It’s a useful exercise. I’ve been doing it for a couple of years, and it still feels weird, but less weird with every passing drawing. And I really like how my right hand drew clouds here, something my left hand would never have done:

Not really sure what I was doing here. It was quite late last night, just drawing with my brain turned off:

But the stickman vibe felt like it could be worked on, so I did a Kraftwerk concert. Might work on this style some more.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Love by Lana del Rey

On this day
Santo Daime, 17 March 2008

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Gender equality

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March 17th, 2017 at 2:43 am

3,261: Oooh I like that 2

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Last March, I made a Spotify playlist of things I liked at the time. In my head, I’d do it once a month or every couple of months. Those of you who appreciate the unforgiving nature of the human calendar will notice that last March is pretty much a year ago. But, that was pre my new blogging vibez. Let’s see, huh? A monthly mix would be good for me, too. Anyway, yep, like last year’s playlist, it’s mostly what would be called pop music. Barely a guitar in sight. Most of it is new-ish stuff, and it wasn’t a concious choice, but nearly every song has a female singer. That’s been something I’ve noticed in my listening habits over the past couple of years: more and more female voices. Less men whining about girls not liking them and stuff blah de blah guitar solo. Anyway, here you go. There’s some really good stuff here, I think.

A wee bit of artwork
Ü

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Upper East Siders by Actrese. It’s on the Spotters playlist linked above.

On this day
A zoo for you but no kangaroo, 16 March 2006

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
United Nations

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March 16th, 2017 at 2:22 am

Posted in Artwork,Music

3,260: One photograph inverted with 50% opacity

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Following on from last week’s post regarding trying to take the same photograph on three separate occasions, here’s two photographs of a corner of my room taken three seconds apart. The idea was to see how still I can hold a camera. So I took the two photos, put them in the same Photoshop document, inverted the colours on one of them, and changed the opacity to 50% on the top layer photograph so that we could see the differences.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Emotional by Charli XCX. My fave song off her new mixtape.

On this day
Radiofringe, 15 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Deaths due to the Chernobyl disaster

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March 15th, 2017 at 1:28 am

Posted in Photos

3,259: YMCA and a burger

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This is digital week for me. I’ve been painting pretty solidly for quite a while, so spare time drawing this week is gonna be iPad-y stuff.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Green Light by Lorde. This is one of those weird things, like when you have an opinion that means nothing really but you feel out of step by expressing: I find her voice really quite grating. She has ace songs but the way she sings them rubs me up the wrong way. It sounds like an affectation.

On this day
A poem, 14 March 2009

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Chernobyl disaster

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March 14th, 2017 at 12:59 am

3,258: d i g i t a l d r a w i n g s

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A drawing made in SketchUp, a quick little story about a senior citizen, a drawing of a pop group, but first: a snowman is for life, not just for Christmas:

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
It was technically Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic, but really there was a bit of a soup that also included Fun by Coldplay, Crucified by Army of Lovers, and two Neneh Cherry songs, Buffalo Stance and Manchild.

On this day
Harmony, 13 March 2010

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Helicopter

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March 13th, 2017 at 2:17 am

Posted in Artwork,Blah blah,Music

3,257: Embedding the week

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The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall by Coldplay

On this day
Old digital photographs, 12 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Hummingbird

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March 12th, 2017 at 2:52 am

Posted in Blah blah,Photos

3,256: Morning views

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Guten morgen

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Previous morning views:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
On the Bible by Deuce

On this day
Life cycle of gum, 11 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Santo Daime

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March 11th, 2017 at 1:11 am

Posted in Blah blah

3,255: Cataratas del/do Iguazú/Iguaçu

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I noticed last night that Iguazu Falls is on Street View. It’s the best place I’ve ever been to. I feel very lucky to have been there.

Embedded below is the view from the Argentinian side, here is one of the views from the Brazilian side.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Green Light by Lorde. Second time this week. I have a feeling this one has the potential to be in my brain a lot over the next few weeks.

On this day
Self portrait, São Paulo, 10 March 2008. Maybe it’s because there’s photographic evidence of the moment, but I can still clearly remember taking that photograph in a hotel with a good expansive view of part of the city. Blue Demon t-shirt, Marlboro Light cigarette. The next day I went to Curitiba which, after two months of travelling, kinda felt like the beginning. I was mentally ready to do it properly at that point, I think.

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Ayahuasca

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

March 10th, 2017 at 2:52 am

Posted in Blah blah,Travel

3,254: Couple of things

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Just a couple of drawings done with Procreate on the iPad.

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Lil’ Love by Petite Meller

On this day
() \/\/ I_, 9 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Psychedelic drug

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

March 9th, 2017 at 1:18 am

3,253: Everything I Own

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Everything I Own by Boy George was number one in the UK thirty years ago. I’ve never been keen on the original Bread version, or the Ken Boothe one (the best of the three, and the one George is covering) and this one is worse.

I think it’s partly because the chorus is illogical and I can’t get past that. You would give up all of your possessions, the place where you live, and your life itself? Just to have someone back again? So, this “someone” would actually be back with you, a dead homeless person?

Previous posts about number ones from thirty years ago:
18/01/2017: Jack Your Body
01/02/2017: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
15/02/2017: Stand By Me

The song in my head when I woke up this morning
Power by Petite Meller

On this day
CLWNMNTNJNNJNJN, 8 March 2016

Here’s an interesting Wikipedia article
Mezcal

Self-promotion
Flip Flop Flyin’ Flip Flop Fly Ball
Behance Feedly Instagram Society6 Tumblr Twitter (@flipflopflying) Twitter (@manypencils)

Written by Craig

March 8th, 2017 at 2:13 am

Posted in Blah blah,Music