May 312015
S is for... Surprise

Back in 1995 I listened to American punk rock and American punk rock alone. Occasionally there’d be a bit of metal in there from the likes of Metallica, Megadeth or Machine Head (interesting – they all begin with ‘M’). But in general I listened to American punk rock. I was a horribly obnoxious and opinionated bastard of a teenager and simply refused to take any advice from anyone regarding most things. So when my ‘friends’ at school suggested I have a listen to ‘The Holy Bible’ by Manic Street Preachers I just refused to – because, you guessed it, it

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May 052015
R is for... Random

I’m going back to a straight forward music post this time. I considered writing about the bands Rancid or the Ramones but thought that’d be too obvious. I considered discussing ‘rock’ as a genre and all its many and varied sub-genres but decided that could end up taking months. I considered writing about the NOFX album ‘Ribbed’ but remembered it’s one of my least favourite of theirs. I considered creating a rhapsody (“An instrumental composition of irregular form often incorporating improvisation”) but decided I’m not talented enough for something like that and, anyway, that would have been a bit too

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 Posted by at 6:22 pm
May 052015
QR is for... Quietly Returning

11 months ago I started a theme of blog posts for the “A-Z of Music” as a way to get me back into regular blogging. The initial plan was to just write about a different artist or album… Oh sod it, you know what? Read my last post: Q is for… Questioning – there’s no point in me explaining it all again! I’ve questioned myself a few times about if it’s appropriate to post what I’ve ended up writing – when your head’s a bit all over the place then the stream of conciousness becomes a rather large, random delta

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 Posted by at 11:29 am
Jan 132015
Netflix, VPNs and UK/US Content

The other week there was a bit of a hoo-ha online about how Netflix were allegedly blocking VPNs from accessing their American content. I know my Dad will be reading this, so let me explain about VPNs. Firstly, it is a VERY different thing to a VPL! Netflix, and various other sites, have methods in place so that you can access certain content if you’re from a certain region – the BBC do this with iPlayer – try accessing it while you’re in another country; you can’t (easily). A VPN (Virtual Private Network), without getting into to much detail, essentially

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Jan 052015
Coping Mechanism

School holidays are always difficult when you throw autism into the mix. The change of normal routine can be a big issue. Add Christmas to that anxiousness, the extra attention from friends and family, the noises, the colours, the smells… well, I’m sure you can guess, it gets a little difficult at times! Not just for Mini-MaFt though, the anxiousness rubs off onto siblings and affects Mini-Mrs-MaFt too. Quite simply, while we’ve had a nice Christmas, we’ve also had a fairly chaotic one… Today Stupid-Dad (that’s me) picked up Mini-MaFt to go to his Monday night club only to find

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Aug 122014 I’m sat here shedding a few tears over the death of Robin Williams. I never knew him, I wasn’t even a massive fan of most of his work either. So why am I upset?! I’ve had a horrible few months. I’ve reached new lows that I’ve never experienced in my 34 years of life, even worse than the disaster that 2004 became. I’ve spent probably most of my life wearing a mask, the mask of a fool. Laughing and joking to cover up all the self-loathing and hurt inside me. I don’t know if I was ever truly depressed,

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Aug 012014
Trust Them, They're Professionals

A diagnosis of autism is just that. A diagnosis. It shouldn’t need questioning by laymen. A professional has done that already over the course of 12-18 months. The parents have, more than likely, also struggled for many years before that too. The small parts that others see of my wonderful little man are, literally, just small parts of his life, tiny snapshots, fleeting glances. They may not see anything wrong with him but that doesn’t change the facts. If they saw a physically disabled person sat normally on a couch would they question their disability or the diagnosis because, for

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 Posted by at 2:30 pm
Jul 092014
Q is for... Questioning

This post might not end up particularly musical but it is, at least, about my ‘A-Z of Music‘ series. About 3 weeks ago I decided to get back into blogging and decided that an A to Z of musical posts would give me a common theme to ease me back in gently. My initial plan was to go through the alphabet and simply talk about songs, albums or artists that I liked. The first few posts did, pretty much, follow this initial plan. When I write I often go off on a bit of a tangent; one of my first

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 Posted by at 12:33 am
Jul 082014
P is for... Playing

Generally I’m a relatively shy, quiet person and I’ll (usually) keep myself to myself. But stick a guitar and microphone in front of me and that shyness gets blown out the window. Over the years I’ve played in a number of bands and groups, joined in at countless jam nights, entertained kids at nursery and parent/toddler groups and had many drunken laughs doing bad karaoke. Random fact: my karaoke song of choice was usually ‘Walking on Sunshine’ – but only if they had a pitchshifter and could lower it 2 semi-tones from A to G; otherwise I just couldn’t get

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 Posted by at 6:19 pm