Month: December 2013

Playlist Of The Year: 2013…

IT’S FINALLY HERE – MY TOP 40 MOST PLAYED SONGS OF 2013

Remembering that I’m Steve and I’m an iTunes-a-holic – I produce a yearly playlist of my Top 40 most played tracks of that year. Thanks to last.fm, this is a fairly simple process.

Here is an iTunes screenshot of 2013…

PLAYLIST OF THE YEAR: 2013

PLAYLIST OF THE YEAR: 2013

It was not really a surprise to me that Number One of 2013 is “Another Love” by Tom Odell. In fact he pretty much dominates the Top 20. I’ve played his album, “Long Way Down” constantly over the past few months and I put a review of it in this post. If you’ve not listened to Tom yet I really urge that you do!

Other songs that feature high in the list are by Tegan And Sara. I first started listening to them back in 2005 and they released a brilliant album, “Heartthrob” in 2013. The most played song from it by me was “I Couldn’t Be Your Friend” but every track on the album is a winner. Go listen, go listen!

Sail” by AWOLNATION has made it to the Top 20 despite it being off on a tangent from my usual listening habits as I discuss in this post.

I really like John Newman just now but I didn’t really think much of him at first – a bit of a grower. My favourite song is “Losing Sleep“.

Nice to see a few Gary Barlow songs in there and a yearly playlist wouldn’t be complete without a Eurovision song!

Polly Scattergood released her album late in the year which is why she is towards the bottom – I’m sure next year she will be in the top 10! My favorite song from her new album, “Arrows” is “Miss You”. Take a look at my album review to listen more.

Wow! What an amazing list of songs. Do you know theses songs? Is your favourite in here somewhere? If not, what was your favorite song of 2013. I’d really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

See my 2006 playlist here

See my 2007 playlist here

See my 2008 playlist here

See my 2009 playlist here

See my 2010 playlist here

See my 2011 playlist here

See my 2012 playlist here

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC!

HERE’S TO 2014 BEING FILLED WITH MANY MORE GREAT SONGS

Michelle’s Weekly Photo Challenge 13

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To round off the year for Michelle’s great weekly pet challenge I’m going to use a photo of both my cats – Bingo & Disco.

It was taken with my new Christmas present camera and just goes to show that cats can photo bomb too.

To see more great pets and to submit your own, go here:

http://hopethehappyhugger.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/michelles-weekly-pet-challenge-round-up-and-start-of-new-week-8/

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Photo Editing Challenge : Macro and/or Close Up

The theme for Sonel’s photo editing challenge this week is Macro/Close Up. I’m not sure I quite acheived what I set out to do. I wanted to take a macro photo of the macro button on my old camera. I tried to use my new Christmas present camera to do this but I couldn’t do it. I think I need to refer to the instructions… So I opted to used my iPhone 5 and then had the thought why don’t I take a picture of the camera while it takes a picture of another picture. Confused yet? Here is the original…

Picture In Picture - Original

Picture In Picture – Original

I then used PicStitch on the iPhone to crop it, focused on the control circle and done a bit of colour splashing and this is the result…

Picture In Picture - Edit

Picture In Picture – Edit

Phoneography Challenge: Travel

Phoneography Challenge: Travel

Phoneography Challenge: Travel

The theme for this week’s challenge is a free choice and I have chosen Travel.

The picture I have chosen was taken one quiet Sunday afternoon. Not really something you see going past your house every day…

It was taken with a Nexus 4 and I used Adobe Photoshop Express for the iPad to give it a “dreamy” filter.

Steve’s Monday Music Mix – Week Eleven

Here’s a reminder how it works:

Each week I will post 3 new questions so…

(1) Go to the music player of your choice and put it on shuffle
(2) Say the questions aloud and press play
(3) Use the song title as your answers
(4) NO CHEATING

Title your post “Steve’s Monday Music Mix – Week…” and link back to that week’s page.

Post your response in the comment section of that week’s page.

Any suggestions for future questions welcomed!

For more information, to submit ideas for future questions or just general feedback go to Steve’s Monday Music Mix.

Here are this week’s questions and my answers:

How do you feel right now?   

Stay In Love Forever

Comments: Yes, that’s how I feel. It’s just too much hassle otherwise ;)

You will only make one New Year’s Resolution and it is….?

Friend Is A Four Letter Word

Comments: Hmm, that’s a difficult one. Maybe I should MAKE MORE TIME to MEET my friends. Yeah, I’ll go with that!

What do you think of this Steve’s Monday Music Mix?

Party Hard

Comments: Yeah, it’s a party but it’s not hard. It’s FUN :)

PLEASE JOIN IN AND TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS!

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Playlist Of The Year: 2012

Ohhhhh, one more day to the big 2013 reveal!!

Remembering that I’m Steve and I’m an iTunes-a-holic – I produce a yearly playlist of my Top 40 most played tracks of that year. Thanks to last.fm, this is a fairly simple process.

It’s almost time to produce the 2013 playlist and usually by now I have done a pre-check to see what will be Number One but so far I have refrained and will leave it as a surprise.

I thought it would be a good idea to share previous year’s playlists on the run up to the big 2013 reveal, so over the next few weeks I will be posting/reminiscing about playlists gone by.

Here is an iTunes screenshot of 2012…

2012 Playlist

Playlist Of The Year 2012

Number One of 2012 was “Primadonna” by Marina & The Diamonds. As you may be able to tell she released a new album “Electra Heart” in 2012 and I just played it constantly!

This was also the year that one of my friends started putting music to some of the lyrics I had written. You can see more of that in this post and all the other songs can be heard here.

A big song of 2012 was “We Are Young” by fun. I was so glad they became really popular as I have followed them for a while. The song has such a reflective vibe and I used it as the soundtrack to a video I made of all my little bits & pieces of mobile video footage dating back to 2005…

Do your remember theses songs? Is your favourite in here somewhere? I’d really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

See my 2006 playlist here

See my 2007 playlist here

See my 2008 playlist here

See my 2009 playlist here

See my 2010 playlist here

See my 2011 playlist here

Stay iTuned for the 2013 playlist – coming soon.

An Open Letter To The Gregorian Calendar…

Dear Gregorian Calendar,

As your gift to us of 2013 is at its end I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for everything it has brought with it. You have been giving us these since 1582, that’s 431 gifts and I bet no one has ever thanked you for any. Until now….

So, 2013…where to start. I could start with December but I know how fussy you are with the order of the months so let’s look at January.

January

Calendar2You named January after Janus, the Roman god of gates, doorways, beginnings and endings, or as he is known to his friends – Hugh.

Janus (January) – a great big hole at the start of the year waiting to be filled by the pleasure and pain of what is yet to come. But Mr Gregorian, why before we can even embark on the year do you give us homework to do? As we lie in bed, nursing a hangover from the celebrations of one of your birthdays might I add, you give us complicated equations to do so we can work out how many days the months have? I refer you to the below:

 L = 30 + { [ M + floor(M/8) ] MOD 2 }, where L is the month length in days and M is the month number 1 to 12

What the hell?

You have obviously never read my post, Learning – Keeping It Simple because that equation is just way too difficult for us to work out. Luckily for you someone came up with the “knuckle mnemonic” otherwise no one would ever know when to flip over our calendars and begin the next month. I do have some bad news for you Gregster – every man and their dog (and cat, guinea pig, meerkat) have jumped on to your bandwagon and produce calendars these days. Don’t panic though, they don’t mess around with the months or anything. Basically, if you are a celebrity or an animal it has become an unwritten law that you need to have a calendar. I personally think you should put in a royalty payments claim!

There are apparently 7810 famous people who were born in this month. A good mixture of people from presidents to porn stars (Mr Clinton, if you are reading – that’s not a career path). Alfred Tarski, a Polish mathematician, was also born in January and I bet even he used his knuckles to work out how many days were in a month!

Thank you for January.


February

29-february

In January you gave us your equation for calculating the number of days and we had 31 days to get used to it and then February arrives and kicks your equation right up the Janus! Is it 30 days? Is it 31 days? Not even close! Sometimes 28, sometimes 29. However, I will forgive you for this slight error as it’s a very quick month and means I get my salary sooner.

You named February after Februss – Etruscan god of death.

Interesting choice.

So January is a time for setting new goals, making plans for the future and before you even get a chance to flip your “I Love Cats” calendar to 1st February – dead!  To date there have been 141 famous deaths on 1st February which I hold you responsible for Gregsy but looking at the list I don’t really recognise any of the dead people so perhaps it is a good opportunity for a clear out.

There are some unfortunate people wandering this planet who were born on the 29th February. This means they only have a birthday every four years but at the same time they age at the same rate as normal humans. Surely you could have built-in some anti-ageing clause for these poor people who only get birthday presents every leap year. Even a gift voucher for Botox in their birthday card would help their plight.

Luckily, I wasn’t born on February 29th and I am neither famous nor dead so thank you for February.


March

mars-bar-egg

Now we have got to grips with the numbers and can happily use our knuckles from now on things are looking brighter. You named March after Mars – Roman god of war (and confectionery). I think you chose Mars for one of two reasons:

(1) You sometimes make Easter come early (do you have an equation to calculate when Easter is as I’ve never worked that out) and you have shares in the company, Mars, with a nice healthy dividend payment from all the chocolate eggs and bunnies sold.

(2) It’s been 3 months since you got the board game, Risk, as a Christmas present and Mrs Gregorian has lost some of the cards so you think let’s have a real war instead – March 20th, 2003, Iraq War. Thank you for flying Gregorian Calendar Airways – Chocolate or war?

I was born in March and I like chocolate, not war ergo option (1)

Thank you for me and thank you for March.


April

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I’m not really sure what you named April after as my source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, is somewhat confusing:

“Modern scholars associate the name with an ancient root meaning ‘other’, i.e. the second month of a year beginning in March.”[54]

Maybe you have a reverse, hidden, subliminal message in there that reads “this is the first of the three months that you are allowed to name your female children after”. April, May and June are the only three months that are also common female names. That’s it!

However, I hate to rain on your parade but there are kids out there called August and January. But rest assured Mr Gregorian, these kid’s parents are most likely hippies and don’t even know what day of the week it is never mind months of the year.

There are lots of famous people called April, I’m sure, but the one I share back to you is one of the most influential women in modern journalism. Her talents know no bounds and she is worthy of every second of her on-air time. She is also the only woman in history that knows how to rock a yellow jump suit. I present to you – April O’Neil. Kids, if you are reading this do not attempt to Google April O’Neil as there is a porn actress of the same name who is currently number 49 in a list of The Top 100 Porn Stars Right Now.

Thank you for April…and porn ;)


May

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We’ve made it to May Gregypoos – don’t the months just fly by? By the time we get to May we’re usually upset by how quick the year has gone and frustrated by how many (if any) of our New Year Resolutions we have fulfilled. So, we’re like – come what, May? There’s just a general sense of “oh if it happens, it happens”.

A very nice man called William Shakespeare (you would have liked him) coined the phrase in Macbeth and his definition is “let whatever events crop up come to pass”. He makes use of the word “crop” so I sense a secret alliance between you and him. You gave him a sign to tell him to spread the word on when to plant crops, didn’t you?

A good friend of yours, Mr Julian Calendar told me that you are a big fan of the Musicals, well hold on to your lunar cycle because they only went and made “Come What May” into a song too.

Apparently you named May after Maia Maiestas – Roman goddess of springtime, warmth, and increase. Well she’s changed a lot since her days “godessing” it up in Ancient Rome. She too has went down the Musicals career path. She’s changed her name to Mya and teamed up with a bunch of lovely girls called Christina Aguilera, Pink and Lil’ Kim. She now uses her powers to tell all the Ladies of the world that May is the time to make Marmalade.

Thank you for Moulin Rouge and thank you for May.


June

juno_ver2_xlg

You named June after Juno - a 2007 Canadian-American comedy-drama film starring Ellen Page and Michael Cera which was quite strangely released in September….oh no, silly me I’ve only gone and got my Juno’s mixed up.

You actually named it after Juno – Roman goddess, wife of Jupiter (and also sister apparently, bloody Romans).

I know it’s been a lot of years since you spoke with June but you’ll be glad to know I have a telephone number for her. If she doesn’t answer then leave her a message after the beep just like this person done.

You decided to put the longest day of the year in June. I’m not quite sure on the thinking behind that because I’m usually working that day. I don’t get paid any extra for working longer as I am sure a lot of other people don’t. Could you not have put the longest day of the year on January 1st – that way we get longer to celebrate your birthday and don’t have to work extra for free – win, win situation.

Thank you for June.


July

ID swag

So, here’s a question Mr G…

July on the sand or July on a towel? Haha, that was just a little joke to celebrate the halfway point and also the fact that July means summer and beaches to me. You named it after Julius Caesar – Roman Dictator and lead actor in the 1953 film Julius Caesar. Dictators aren’t nice people, why did you chose to name the month after him? He must have given you no option and forced you to do it or he would have made you marry your sister or something. I’ll let you off.

You decided that the following won’t have a good month in July:

(1) Spring lambs, born in late winter or early spring, are usually sold (it’s not looking good) before July 1st

(2) Aliens trying to land in America on July 4th – be warned Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum will whoop your ass!

But the following will have a great July:

(1) Australian Trees – National Tree Day (the last Sunday in July throughout Australia) has been observed in Australia since 1889

(2) Dogs – Dogdays begin in early July, when the hot sultry weather of summer usually starts So on behalf of dogs and trees everywhere thank you for July.


August

princess-diana-4

You named August after another Roman person – shock! If you ever need to develop the Gregorian Calendar II then I urge you to steer clear of gods and emperors and look on Perez Hilton’s website for inspiration. Alternatively, do a competition, hold auditions and make some money from it “Calendar Idol” or ” The Month Factor” – open it up to the public!

My entry would be to re-name August to “Princess Diana” as this was the month you chose to take away our Queen Of Hearts.

Just like the artist formerly known as Prince, August used to be known by another name before you and your new calendar record label took over. It was known as Sextilis…..good call on the change!

Thank you for Princess Diana – the month formerly known as August.


September

1922.09.0004_14

You must have run out of Romans for naming the next few months as they are all named with Latin numbers. That’s very inconsiderate to the non-Latin speakers of the world. They get up to the end of August and then have no clue what’s going on until January. It’s just one big time of confusion. They just have to look out for the tell-tale signs of what month it is:

Osama Bin Laden is on the television – must be September.

American people go over the top with ghosts & monsters – must be October.

British people celebrate a terrorist with fireworks and bonfires – must be November.

Someone gives you a new calendar – must be December.

So, they have a workaround but learn the lesson – no one speaks Latin anymore!

Did you know that cheeky little chappy Nostradamus? His book was top of your charts in 1555 and you didn’t produce your calendar until 1582. Apparently he predicted the 9/11 attacks. I wish you had worked together and got him to mark exact dates when we are likely to see such catastrophes or the end of the world. All his little poems are a bit wishy-washy and some of us like to plan for these type of events.

Thanks for September.

October

IMBRF-00102243-001I’ve marked this heading red because I think Sean Connery is still looking for it and I like to help out my fellow Scots when I can.

The obvious celebration you give us this month is Halloween and this is what “normal” people look forward to and enjoy. However, there is another celebration that goes on in October isn’t there G-man? You’ve kept it well hidden to prevent ridicule.

Mole Day

Normal people like myself would expect this to be a day of celebrating the little furry animals but oh no! This must be the biggest, geekiest, saddest celebration I have ever come across. It’s too sciencey for me to even comprehend. They even try to make it “funny” by having different themes i.e. “Moles Of The Caribbean”. It’s not big and it’s not clever Geester, next you will be telling me that the Pie Day I am so looking forward to in March is about the 3.14159 number and not crusty, meaty filled goodness. What? It is? Noooo..

Thanks for October – if you see Sean, tell him you’ve got it.


November

Och_Aye_Cufflinks_large

No one likes November and you are entirely to blame!

You start it off with a big, negative No!

People ask me in November am I looking forward to Christmas and No is the answer. Think positive Gregori and call it Yesvember. Or as we Scots would say – “Och Aye”vember. Then ask me if I am looking forward to Christmas and I shall say No, it’s still 2 months away – get a grip. But I will say it in a positive way :)

There’s not really much else to say about this month as it is too often overshadowed by the forthcoming, heavyweight…

Thanks for November.

December

Forget the Super Bowl, forget the Word Series and forget the Wimbledon Men’s Tennis Final (well except 2013 when Andy Murray won) there is only one battle you want us to focus on in December.

unnamed

Santa Claus vs Baby Jesus

Every year on 25th December you host the ultimate showdown between these two Christmas favourites. You’ve been keeping the score since 1582 and at the start of December it was all equal and everything to play for.

I was rooting for the Baby Jesus as I know what you always have in store for him come Easter….

However Santa pipped him at the post this year by leaving a brand new shiny DSLR camera for me underneath the Christmas Tree. Sorry, Baby Jee maybe next year….here’s a head start, get me a car :)

I’ve got another bone to pick with you about December Mr Gregorian. What the hell do you sprinkle on the days after Christmas that makes everyone forget what day it is? It’s so confusing, stop it!

Then we get to then end of December and everyone is in party, joyful, happy spirits and before we know it – January again! You make us go through all this once more!

Thanks for December.

Thanks for 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 etc etc etc.

Lots of love,

Steve

Playlist Of The Year: 2011

Ohhhhh, it’s getting closer to the big 2013 reveal!!

Remembering that I’m Steve and I’m an iTunes-a-holic – I produce a yearly playlist of my Top 40 most played tracks of that year. Thanks to last.fm, this is a fairly simple process.

It’s almost time to produce the 2013 playlist and usually by now I have done a pre-check to see what will be Number One but so far I have refrained and will leave it as a surprise.

I thought it would be a good idea to share previous year’s playlists on the run up to the big 2013 reveal, so over the next few weeks I will be posting/reminiscing about playlists gone by.

Here is an iTunes screenshot of 2011…..for some reason there is only 39 songs and that is really affecting my iTunes OCD but I can’t dwell on that just now..

2011Number One of 2011 was “I Am Not A Robot” by Marina & The Diamonds. This is one of my favourite songs of all time and every other song by her is fantastic!

This year seems to have been dominated by female solo artists such as Lady Gaga, Adele, Marina & The Diamonds, Katy Perry, Cher etc….

You might also notice that Icona Pop are in there with Still Don’t Know – that’s a whole two years before they hit the big time. What can I say? I’m just ahead of the time.

A song I had forgotten about until just now is Green - I’m listening to that now, so jolly!

Do your remember theses songs? Is your favourite in here somewhere? I’d really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

See my 2006 playlist here

See my 2007 playlist here

See my 2008 playlist here

See my 2009 playlist here

See my 2010 playlist here

Stay iTuned for the 2012 playlist – coming soon.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

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The theme for the weekly photo challenge is Joy.

Usually going to use the bathroom in a DIY store isn’t a joyous experience but when I looked at the tap/faucet and saw the the happy, smiley face I had to snap a photo.

To see other joyful entries and to take part, go here:

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/weekly-photo-challenge-joy/#more-63371