Mostly walking the dogs

Bell Pitched Up At The Top Of An Escalator

"Armed with his $3.5 million Stradivarius violin, Bell pitched up at the top of an escalator in a metro station in Washington DC during morning rush hour, put a hat in the ground to collect donations and performed for 43 minutes... By the end of his performance, Bell had collected a measly $32.17 in his hat."

Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry

From the Art chapter. Not my kind of gig so I doubt I would have stopped or donated, but it is funny how the value of art is perceived based on the context and the reactions of others.

Bonin Didnt Know How To Fly The Plane Safely

"And that's what happened with Air France flight 447. Although Bonin had accumulated thousands of hours in an Airbus cockpit, his actual experience of flying an A330 by hand was minimal. His role as a pilot had mostly been to monitor the automatic system. It meant that when the autopilot disengaged during that evening's flight, Bonin didn't know how to fly the plane safely."

Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry

About planes, but from the Cars chapter. And this is kind of how I feel about on-call and runbooks. Runbooks, automation and safety systems (I.e. tooling that tries to stop you doing stupid things) are important, but you do also just need some skin in the game and some understanding of the fundamentals of the systems you are supporting. Runbooks aren’t the be-all and end-all.

Even If You Have Been Diagnosed With Breast Cancer

"And it's Bayes' theorem that explains why - even if you have been diagnosed with breast cancer - the level of error in the tests means you probably don't have it."

Hello World: How to Be Human in the Age of the Machine by Hannah Fry

Got this book for Christmas from Little M. It’s very readable and interesting. This quote actually comes from the Cars chapter which is after the Medicine chapter; The opening page of the Medicine chapter is mind-blowing.

LINK: My 2023 Spotify playlist in a bottle

Forgotten I’d done this. The playlist doesn’t show the categories for the songs, but they were:

  • Spinn: Stargazing - A song that reminded me of my favourite person.
  • Let’s Eat Grandma: Strange Conversations - A song that I thought should be here just because (good choice).
  • Nia Archives: So tell me… - A song to I needed to hear live (oh, crushingly heart-breaking. So close).

Nobody I Know In My Age Group Who Remotely Likes This Kind Of Thing

"Now John’s gone there’s nobody I know in my age group who remotely likes this kind of thing. I don’t understand why. I’m driven by it."

Incorrectly, she wasn’t as big a deal for me as John Peel. I don’t really know why. I’ve listened to her last and most recent show from just before Christmas - the BBC have re-released her fiftieth anniversary shows on Sounds, which I will try to listen to, but those didn’t immediately feel in the spirit of Annie Nightingale who was very much about new music and looking forward.

LINK: My Music Picks Of The Year

Until I get bored, I am enjoying doing this. Here’s this year’s to go with the last two.

I say “bored”, but this is actually somewhat important to me: How would I cope without music? How amazing is it that there is this much great new music this year? It would be so easy to just listen to my formative years instead of trying to make all years my formative years.

Even with this I am sure I’ve missed some great music from this year; Afterall, I missed Cristale and ShaSimone from last year’s playlist.

Album of the year

On a related note, it’s strange that I couldn’t pick an album of the year this year, but although there was a lot of good music there wasn’t one album that grabbed me emotionally. The nearest I got was (in no particular order):

  1. Jadu Heart: Derealised
  2. Cleo Sol: Heaven
  3. CASISDEAD: Famous Last Words

Since each feature three tracks in this picks list. I re-listened to all three recently to try to decide between them. I couldn’t.

LINK: Glastonbury 2023: What actually happened

And to go hand in hand here’s a playlist of what actually happened.

LINK: Glastonbury 2023: What I wanted to see

Approaching the end of year, so better late than never here’s a playlist of the acts I wanted to see.

Always A Girl With A Secret

"I remembered my own classrooms, dance classes, playgrounds, youth groups, birthday parties, hen nights, I remember there was always a girl with a secret, with something furtive and broken in her, and walking through the village with Aimee, entering people’s homes, shaking their hands, accepting their food and drink, being hugged by their children, I often thought I saw her again, this girl who lives everywhere and at all times in history, who is sweeping the yard or pouring out tea or carrying somebody else’s baby on her hip and looking over at you with a secret she can’t tell."

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Oof. That’s some sentence.

Those Were My Salad Days

"But I was not a tourist and those were my salad days of impossible heels."

Swing Time by Zadie Smith

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