Thursday 30 May 2013

If I Had Five Wishes ...

I often wish that I could add something to my life to make it even more enjoyable than it is at the moment and I started thinking about what I would wish for if a genie popped out of my teapot and offered to grant me a few wishes.

To be honest, there are simply too many to be able to write down all my wishes in a single blog post so I will simply list, what I like to think of, as my geek wishes, i.e. wishes that are straight out of the mind of the creators of my favourite science fiction movies and shows.

Here are five for you to ponder.

1. Observational Time Travel

I would love the ability to be able to observe past events first hand without actually being there. As I’ve got older I’ve become more fascinated with history and, in particular, significant events that shaped the world in which we live.

For example, I would love to be able to pop back to the court of King Henry VIII to watch the tyrannical King in action.

How about popping across the pond to see who really shot John F. Kennedy?

Or visiting Jerusalem to listen to what Jesus had to say, first hand?

Or maybe wander around Hitler’s bunker at the end of the Second World War to observe his demise?

Sadly, my German is nowhere near good enough to understand the ranting and raving of Adolf Hitler as his world crumbles around him. I would need a second wish.

2. Universal Translator

Whenever Dr Who lands on a distant planet, the TARDIS translates the speech of the indigenous aliens. Similarly whenever the Starship Enterprise makes contact with an alien species, the Universal Translator makes sure that both parties totally understand each other before all hell breaks loose.

My next wish would be to have the ability to understand not only all human languages on earth but also to be able to make sense of any attempts by animals to communicate with me or other creatures.

Can you imagine being able to talk to your cat? I’m sure, in my case, my three cats would say:


Poppy: Leave me alone; I’m terrified.

Liquorice: What can I attack next?

To be honest my desire to have a built in Universal Translator stems from my love of travel. Although English is fairly widely spoken, and I have a smattering of French and German with a hint of Spanish, my inability to communicate with the local people is deeply frustrating. I certainly make an effort but Chinese people would like to hear me say more than just:

“Waiter! The bill please!” 

Japanese and Russian people want more entertaining conversation than:

 “Hello! Beer! Thanks! Goodbye!” 

I still love to travel though. And I would love to make it easier – which leads me nicely onto my third wish.

3. Teleportation

Many science fiction shows introduce the concept of teleportation. Star Trek has its transporter and other shows have similar devices to get a person or object from A to B in the blink of an eye.

Regular readers will know that although I love to travel, I hate travelling, i.e. sitting on board a metal sausage for twelve hours in a space that can barely accommodate a child let alone an adult male like myself.  As well as the discomfort, the time difference, the length of time it takes and the ignominy of having to be nice to immigration officers and customs officials is another source of irritation.

If I had the ability to teleport instantaneously anywhere in the world, I could pop to a restaurant in Hong Kong and then pop back to feed the cats.

I could materialise into an electronics shop in Tokyo , buy the latest must have gadget and still be home for tea.

I could look outside at the good old British summer, turn my back on the torrential rain and pop along to a glorious beach in Barbados.

I could beam into any major concert or sporting event worldwide and watch it for free and even get up close and personal with the stars of the show during the after show party.

I’d have to make sure that I had some sort of navigation system to make sure that I don't materialise in the middle of a ladies changing or, worse, where a cruise ship had been ten minutes earlier, or even worse, in Piers Morgan's house.

I imagine that I might get a little bored with travelling the planet and wish to spread my wings a bit further afield.

How about a fourth wish?

4. Observational Space Travel

Although I really do want to keep my feet firmly on planet Earth, I would love to be able to observe other planets, again without having to actually travel there. Imagine you could project yourself to the centre of the huge hurricane raging on the planet Jupiter?

How about perching yourself on the summit of Olympus Mons, the tallest volcano on Mars?

Or following in the footsteps of Neil Armstrong and seeing Earth from the moon?

Why stop there? There are billions upon billions of stars and potentially several billion gazillions of planets out there, far too many to see in a human lifetime.

And that’s a problem. Here’s where wish number five comes in.

5. Immortality

With the progress of technology in the past 50 or so years, I envisage huge leaps and bounds in the next few hundred years and am deeply annoyed that I won’t be around to witness it first-hand. Immortality combined with the other wishes above would mean that for the remainder of my existence I would be able to enjoy bearing witness to the development and evolution of the human race.

Like most of the human beings I want to live forever so my final geek wish is immortality and the ability to grant or revoke that gift from any other human being. I would need this latter part to ensure that friends and family were immortal too (unless they annoyed me in which case I would take away their privilege).

Of course, there are downsides to being immortal and I’m sure that you can suggest many. For example, one day the world will end or become hostile to humanity; for example if pollution and global warming make the Earth uninhabitable, a giant asteroid collides with the planet or the huge volcano under Yellowstone national park finally erupts.

The Yellowstone Caldera, which erupted so spectacularly in the movie 2012, is absolutely huge (measuring 34 miles by 45 miles). The last eruption was 64,000 years ago – apparently we are due another.

That’s scary and being immortal when that happens might be an unpleasant experience, watching the world disintegrate around me.

Nevertheless I would go for it because I think it is a risk worth taking.

I guess ultimately I want to end up being Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation. For those of you who don’t watch Star Trek, Q is an omnipotent being with a mischievous streak.

Sounds like that might be fun.

There will be more wishes in a future post, perhaps a lot less selfish, a little more realistic, more global and a little more serious.

In the meantime, over to you, dear reader. What would be your geek wishes? 

Friday 24 May 2013

The Ugly Stick

While on holiday recently, I woke up, prematurely, thanks to jet lag, and stumbled into the bathroom to answer a call of nature. 
It was 3am and pitch black.
I was in that weird state of limbo when you have woken up but your brain is trying it’s best to catch the train back to dreamland. Reality exists but it is tinged with a dreamlike trance created by your subconscious mind and you basically have no clue what is going on, driven only by natural instincts - in my case, the instinct to pee. 
With one hand on my head, scratching through the forest of hair that was sticking up all over the place, the other hand groped the wall outside the bathroom in the hotel room, searching for the light switch. My face was drawn in one of those massive vociferous yawns – you know the type – a yawn that makes a peculiar wailing noise, like a bear with a headache.

My brain registered the yawn and tried to ignore it.
I found the light switch and stumbled into the bathroom, blinded by the sudden brightness. I squeezed my eyes tightly shut, opening them fractionally in a futile attempt to get them used to the painful brilliance.
I didn’t have my glasses. My eyesight was worse than Mr Magoo’s.

After a couple of minutes, my eyes adjusted to the light and I looked around the bathroom searching for the toilet. I had only been in the room once and it was totally unfamiliar to me.
And then I saw it; a blurred image staring at me, grimacing like a grotesque gargoyle. Its skin was pale and wan and I could just about make out two dark orbs tinged with red. Its head was huge – a caricature of a human being with a monstrous entity moving menacingly on its head like the serpentine style of Medusa.

My ears were filled with a horrific wailing. 
And then the door burst open and in walked Mrs PM.
“What the phark are you screaming about?” she shouted.
It was as if somebody had slapped my face with a wet fish.
I realised that the horrific wailing was my own terrified cry. More embarrassingly,  I realised that the monster that had freaked me out was in fact my own reflection in the mirror as seen through my useless eyes.
“I … er …I …er “ I stuttered, like a gibbering imbecile.
“You scared me half to death,” wailed Mrs PM. “I’m going back to bed. You’re a bloody idiot.”
I returned to the bedroom briefly to pick up my spectacles so that I didn’t annoy Mrs PM any further by missing the toilet bowl. 
Yes I am that blind without my glasses.
I returned to the bathroom and answered the call. When I had finished, I stood staring at my reflection again. I asked myself one question.
“When did I get beaten so badly with an ugly stick?”
My hideous hair was all over the place. My eyes were bloodshot through lack of sleep. But my face was drawn and haggard and, worst of all, jowly. A close inspection revealed a network of wrinkles, highlighted by the brightness of the mirror light and various blemishes peppered my face.
And then to my body – when did I start looking so chubby? I’m not fat – just slightly overweight – but the mirror revealed various pudgy portions of the body that, as a youth, I used to think was skinny but acceptable.
Of course, being a 50 year old man, what else can I expect? I realised many years ago that I am not Adonis. My problem is that while I have always made jokes on this blog about my own appearance being very similar to that of an orang-utan, the image that stared back at me in that hotel mirror resembled a primate more than any other reflection had in the past.
When did that happen then?
It got me thinking. I returned back to bed and lay there unable to sleep and listening to Mrs PM making her own bear noise as she snored and started to pinpoint the moment when my already monkey like visage started sagging.
Regular readers may know that I have always been terrible at chatting up women. In the dim and distant past, I have tried too hard and ended up making a complete arse of myself. On a couple of occasions, though, some women have been brutally honest:
“I just don’t fancy you!”
“Your mate’s far better looking than you.”
“What? Me go out with you? Do I look like I’m into bestiality?”
Maybe I always aimed too high. 
Thankfully, some women have in fact been forward enough to ask me out so I have figured that perhaps I am not as unpleasant to look at as I used to think. Certainly when I look back at photos of myself when I was younger, I don’t look too bad. I’m nothing special – just plain – but not offensive to the eye. 
I’ve always had the feeling that I have been pursued throughout my life by an evil little entity brandishing an ugly stick. Whenever the little monster has had the chance he has given me a sound thrashing with it, each blow removing an element of attractiveness. 

Now I am older, it is more difficult to outrun the little bugger and the thrashings are becoming more frequent. 
Some call it ageing; I know the truth.
However, with ageing comes wisdom. 
With wisdom comes acceptance and contentment. 
Yes, my blurred reflection, a bloated mass of blubber with mad hair and red eyes, might have scared the living daylights out of my jet-lagged mind but at least I can be grateful that there is a woman who still loves the monster she shares her life with.
If I didn’t know any different I would swear that The Beauty and the Beast was loosely based on our relationship.

You can’t outrun the little beast wielding the ugly stick but you can put your own mind at rest. Next time I grimace while examining my crumbling countenance in the mirror I shall thank my lucky stars that I am wiser and happier than I was in my youth. 
I will look the vile ugly stick wielding goblin in the eye and say:
“Come on then – give it your best shot! By the way – can you lay off the hair? I think it’s had enough.”
Ultimately, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
I am so pleased that Mrs PM believes that.

Thursday 16 May 2013

Taking Notes

A year or two ago, I declared war on procrastination and told the world that I would write a book.

The good news is that I am about to start and hopefully score a massive victory after years of abject failure.

Actually, what I am planning isn’t really a book as such; it is a travelogue of my recent trip to Hong Kong and Japan. It will be my third such piece of work.

There is also an added bonus. Because I travelled to the other side of the world, jet lag claimed me as a victim for a couple of nights, resulting in my lying wide awake in bed at 3am with Mrs PM, a woman who can sleep anywhere and anytime, snoring loudly next to me, leaving me no other option but to create a novel in my head.

As I lay there in the dark, soaring through my own imagination, I came up with a story that I think will work. Furthermore (and this is a definite first), I have an ending.

I am therefore going to say to you now, dear reader, that by the end of 2013 I will attempt to write not one but TWO books.

I will start work on the travelogue immediately and the novel will begin on 1st November and will be completed on 30th November, providing that my company doesn’t send me abroad again. That’s right – I will attempt to create a novel in National Novel Writing Month in November.

The travelogue will, of course, be easier than the novel because I will take my time over the coming five months using the copious notes, photographs and sound bites I recorded during the trip.

Real published writers have told me in the past that the notebook is perhaps the most important tool in a writer’s toolbox. I would go further and suggest that a camera is also imperative and, in case of emergency, a device for recording verbal notes.

When I travelled around China and down the east coast of Australia, I had a notebook with me all of the time. My problem is that I am quite shy and hate having attention drawn towards me and making notes in public is, to me, quite a difficult thing to do, depending on the situation.

In China, it was easier because I had Mrs PM with me and I was already the centre of attention, due to my obvious foreign appearance, exaggerated by my blonde hair and wispy ginger beard. Some of the local people openly stared at me, making me the centre of attention by default. Whipping out my notebook to write notes about the contents of the plate in front of me in a weird restaurant did nothing to make that situation worse.

Australia was trickier. We were accompanied by Mrs PM’s mum and her other half, and I was writing the travelogue as a 60th birthday present. I had to hide the notebook whenever we were all together and make notes from memory at the end of the day or the beginning of the next day, lest she ask awkward questions like:

“Why are you writing everything down?”

Thankfully, we were in possession of a fairly decent digital camera and I could elaborate on my mental notes with decent photographs. In China we didn't have a decent camera and had to use film. We didn’t take anywhere near enough photographs. In Australia, however, I took loads of them and, on occasion, was asked questions by \mrs PM's mum like:

“Why are you taking a photo of the menu?” 

to which my reply was: 

“Just to show my mates that you can actually eat kangaroo down under.”

Japan was better in many ways, but worse in others. 

Unlike in China, we weren’t the centre of attention in Japan but because Japan is arguably the most amazing country I have ever visited, my notebook was a constant companion. 

At first, Mrs PM volunteered to carry it around in her handbag. After a while, with constant requests to “hand me the notebook”, she began to tire of it. Mrs PM’s handbag is like the TARDIS, small on the outside but seemingly huge on the inside. However, with guide books a phone, a Nexus 7 tablet, my notebook, a camera and everything that she needed to survive outside the hotel room contained within, she found on occasion that it got a little too heavy and awkward to carry.

I offered to take my rucksack, which is like an inverse TARDIS, big on the outside but seemingly tiny on the inside and even more awkward for me to carry. Besides, Mrs PM, as forgetful as she is, never ever leaves her handbag behind in restaurants and bars. Sadly, because I am not used to carrying a bag normally, I have a tendency to leave things behind. I promise that I don’t do it on purpose and have lost countless umbrellas by leaving them on buses and trains or in restaurants and pubs because I simply forget I have something with me.

I walked out of one hotel in Japan to check out and actually left the rucksack behind in the room. Thankfully, I realised before we caught the taxi to the railway station, prompting Mrs PM to demand that I leave it in the hotel room when we were out and about.

Making notes in Japan drew back vague feelings of anxiety about being the centre of attention in the middle of a bunch of strangers because I would invariably take it out and start scribbling in a restaurant or bar full of people. On more than one occasion, I noticed that the staff in particular were watching me surreptitiously, as if I were a food critic or something. On a train, one guy next to me was actually trying to read what I was writing.

Whether or not he could understand English, read my dreadful scribbling or even make sense of my terse and unintelligible notes is irrelevant; I felt self-conscious. It didn’t stop me from scribbling but the feelings were unmistakeable.

I discovered yet another tool during this trip that also had potential for embarrassment. One day, as we were strolling around, I asked Mrs PM for the notebook, only to discover that I had forgotten to put it in her handbag.

As I cursed my luck, Mrs PM made a suggestion.

“Why don’t you use the voice recorder on your phone?”

This proved to be a fabulous idea and I found myself pausing every so often to record a small sound bite or two to serve as memory stimulation for when I returned to the hotel. I could pretend that I was making a phone call, but unfortunately on at least a couple of occasions, I found myself getting carried away and talking loudly in full earshot of passers-by. While it may be fine in Japan, it may yet prove to be potentially awkward if I feel the need to use it in the UK or somewhere where English is widely spoken.

Can you imagine: 

“I’ve just walked past the weirdest meathead I have ever seen. Oh dear – I think he’s heard me. Oh no – I am now running away. Shit – he’s caught me and is about to …”

I just need to learn to be discrete and not use my normal loud phone voice when recording such messages.

Work starts on the travelogue later today (I’m currently off for the rest of the week to recover from jet lag in the comfort of my own home) and hopefully the novel will be spawned in November. While I am promising myself I will complete these tasks, the thing I can’t promise is that the two manuscripts will be appealing to anybody but me and perhaps Mrs PM.

Hopefully they will be a bit of fun and I may pop the travelogue into a brand new blog. Either way, expect a few excerpts, summaries and snapshots on this blog in the next month or two.

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Another Music Meme

Mrs PM and I are off on our travels again tomorrow, This time we are heading to Japan, a country neither of us has been too before, via my favourite city outside the UK – the wonderful Hong Kong.

And I can’t wait.

In the meantime, here is a music meme I stumbled across while drifting along through cyberspace and thought it would be fun to inflict yet more of my music on you, dear reader.

Here goes - and please follow the links for maximum enjoyment/pain...

      (1) Name some songs/music from your childhood:

I assume by childhood, you mean “pre-teen” (given question 2 – yes I did peek ahead). I remember being obsessed by a really weird tune. At the time I thought it was amazing – but then again, I was a kid so didn’t know any better. The song was Popcorn by Hot Butter.   Actually, listening to it now, it is quite catchy.

Other than that I was really into Glam Rock and loved The Sweet. Listening to Ballroom Blitz you can see the similarity between that and the rock music I love now.

And I still love songs like This Town Ain’t Big Enough For The Both Of Us by Sparks which is also quite a rocky little number.

(2) Name some songs/music from your teenage years:

I was really into the charts when I was a teenager and, although I am slightly ashamed to admit it now, I loved Abba – particularly a song called So Long which is also quite a rocky tune. Regular readers may recall that I have confessed to having a crush on  Agnetha Fältskog  and I took every opportunity to watch her when she was on TV.

I was also a huge fan of the Electric Light Orchestra, with songs like Turn To Stone.

(3) First live concert you atteneded:

My first concert was an American band called Cheap Trick when they played Birmingham. I had never heard of them but I didn’t want the ignominy of being a concert virgin at school. The mother of one of my mates worked at a theatre in Birmingham and offered him some free tickets to give to his mates.

I wasn’t overly impressed but it was free and musically, they popped my cherry, so to speak. Here is I Want You To Want Me

(4) Songs you parents sang along too:

My dad had an eclectic taste in music ranging from jazz to rock and roll via country and western. One of his favourite artists was Jerry Lee Lewis and I heard him singing Great Balls Of Fire more than once.

(5) Songs your grandparents played:

I really don’t remember my grandparents singing and playing music although I once found a book full of old time music songs in my grandad’s house. He had a small piano and my mum said that he used to play quite often. One of the songs in the book was an old time music hall number called Joshua and I can imagine my grandad playing and singing it.

(6) Did your family have sing-a-longs at home or with the neighbours?

In a word – no. I think I was born about 20 years too late for that to happen.

(7) Did you have a musical instrument at home?

My sisters had a recorder and I borrowed a school trombone for about five years making it a fairly regular visitor.

(8) What instruments do you play, if any?

I used to play a trombone, although I imagine that if I picked one up now, the neighbours would accuse me of torturing my three cats. That said, a tiny part of me wants to give it another go – just to see if I can still remember how to play one.

(9) What instrument(s) do you wish you could play?

Regular readers will know that I would love to play an electric guitar. To be honest I would also love to play a piano/keyboard as well as bashing seven bells out of a drum kit. At various points in my life, electronic keyboards have appeared in my home and, with a little practice, I have been able to play a tune on them. One day, I might invest in one – just for fun.

(10) Do you/did you play in a band or orchestra?

Yes indeed. I played in the school Brass Group, had a brief stint in the school orchestra and even briefer stint in a jazz group – that was until I confessed that I hated jazz.

(11) Do you/did you sing in a choir?

No. My music teacher held auditions for the school choir within a week of starting at the age of eleven. All I remember is having to sing a scale and failing miserably (partly because I could barely stifle the wild guffaws wanting to escape from my throat). The teacher was frank, telling me I sounded like a cat being strangled. This is yet another reason why I try not to curb my desire to sing at home in case the neighbours think I’m a serial cat torturer.

(12) Music you fell in love to:

Mrs PM and I do not share the same taste in music. It is therefore extremely difficult to put my finger on a song that we could share as our song

I guess the nearest from my perspective might be something by Morcheeba, a band that Mrs PM introduced me to when we first got together. Here is a song called Fear and Love.

If I were to choose one from my collection, it would have to reiterate exactly how much I love Mrs PM – so I would choose I Love You More Than Rock and Roll by Thunder.  

(13) Romantic music memories:

As I said, that’s tricky when it comes to Mrs PM because any songs we think are romantic will immediately be cast aside because of our mutual hatred of each other’s taste.

(14) Favourite music genres:

I am a huge fan of Progressive Rock but I generally like any rock music, ranging from Classic Rock to Heavy Metal. I am also a fan of ambient electronic pop music and I regard classic Motown as a real guilty pleasure. I also  love most chart music from the 70’s and early 80’s (up to about 1986). Finally, I quite enjoy listening to certain classical music, which leads me onto …

(15) Favourite classical music:

I love the Planet Suite by Gustav Holtz, particularly Mars .

(16) Favourite opera:

I hate opera.

(17) Favourite musical:

One of my guilty pleasures is West Side Story and I love the song America.

(18) Favourite pop:

Pop music has always been lurking in my music collection and there are a fair amount of albums by bands that might surprise you. Here are a couple of songs by some of my favourite pop artists from over the years:

(19) Favourite world/ethnic:

Assuming that by World/Ethnic you don’t mean anything by a foreign artist (America is after all foreign for a Brit like me). I guess I’ll opt for Return to Innocence by Enigma

(20) Favourite jazz:

I hate jazz.

(21) Favourite country/folk:

I hate Country and Western – apart from Wichita Lineman by Glenn Campbell

(22) Favourite movie/show musical:

See (17).

(23) Favourite sound tracks:

That’s a tough one. I would probably choose the soundtrack to the Matrix because it has a couple of cracking heavy metal songs: Du Hast by Rammstein and Dragula by Rob Zombie.

(24) What music do you like to dance to?

These days I don’t dance unless Mrs PM drags me kicking and screaming onto the dance floor. I used to occasionally go to a rock club in Manchester many years ago and, after a beer or two I would basically go up and dance to any half decent rock song. Sadly rock music doesn’t lend itself to dancing so I probably looked like a complete arse.

(25) What dances did you do as a teenager?

A mate of mine taught me a dance to Tiger Feet by Mud which you can see if you follow the link. I later reproduced this at university at a night club when they had a retro night, much to the amusement of my new mates. I could also do the dance to Prince Charming by Adam and the Ants and I had another go at this a couple of years ago at 1980’s night, again amusing my mates in the process.

(26) Do you use music for called ID on your mobile phone?

Not now. I use a standard boring ring tone.

(27) What songs do you use for caller ID?

I used to use Clocks by Coldplay for a while and then replaced it with The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin.

(28) What music do your children like or listen to?

Stephen actually likes some of the same music as I do but some of the bands he likes are not exactly my cup of tea. There is a significant overlap though, like Metallica and Rammstein.

Michael likes music that is similar to Mrs PM, i.e. complete and utter garbase.

(29) Favourite live music concert as an adult:

I’ve seen loads of concerts spanning a period of 30 years or more and there are only one or two of my favourite bands that I haven’t seen. Favourites include Rush, Dream Theater, Rammstein, Metallica and the Foo Fighters but most of them have been incredible.

(30) Silly music memories from your family:

As a kid, my dad used to listen to Lonnie Donegan and because his songs were mildly amusing, we used to sing them occasionally, songs like Does Your Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour on the Bedpost Overnight.

I’m sure that my own kids would tell you, if they had a blog, that their old man (i,e, me) used to sing stupid songs when in the car or change the lyrics to existing songs in a stupid way.

I don’t care – its fun and it used to make them laugh (not now sadly – they would probably tell me I’m a bloody idiot).

(31) Silliest song you can think of:

Apart from the Lonnie Donegan song above, you mean? How about The Majesty of Rock by Spinal Tap?  

(32) Pet hate in music/singing:

Rapping and vocalists who over-sing.  Rapping is pointless and awful and over-singing completely ruins songs. Who are the main culprits? Any rapper and people like Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera who sing like this.

(33) A song that captures family history for you:

For me, a great song to capture silliness in my family is Stupid Things by the Wildhearts

The reason? I bought the album shortly before Mrs PM and I got together – but Mrs PM hates the Wildhearts and this song in particular. 

So when I got the kids to repeatedly sing the chorus to her, it drove her up the wall  - and it still does.

Doing stupid things, doing stupid things
Ain't it funny how they all turn into saints and kings
If your only sin is doing stupid things
Doing stupid things when you're feeling low
Isn't something that you want all of the world to know
If your only sin is doing stupid things

You deflate, ego shrunk
You're just a little bit crap when you're drunk
But it's worse in your mind
‘cos everybody everywhere
Does stupid things from time to time

Marvellous – though Mrs PM would disagree.

(34) If you could only play 5 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?

My goodness – that is a tough question. I have so many albums.

Off the top of my head:

Images and Words – Dream Theater
Fear of a Blank Planet – Porcupine Tree
Hold Your Fire – Rush
Moon Safari – Air
Mutter – Rammstein

(35) Favourite artists - list as many as you like:

Being ultra selective - take a deep breath …

AC/DC, A-ha, Aerosmith, Air, Airbourne, Black Country Communion, Black Sabbath, The Black Spiders, Coldplay, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Def Leppard, Depeche Mode, Dream Theater, ELO, Enya, Foo Fighters, Guns’n’Roses, The Hives, Joe Satriani, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Muse, Nazareth, Nine Inch Nails, Pink Floyd, Porcupine Tree, Queen, Queensryche, Rainbow, Rammstein, Rush, Steven Wilson, Supertramp, Tears For Fears, Ten, Thunder, Whitesnake, The Wildhearts, Within Temptation.

That really is the tip of the iceberg. If I were to name all of the bands I really like, it would be an enormous list.

And finally ...

That's enough for now. 

As usual, please feel free to steal the meme – I did.

See you in a couple of weeks.