Friday, December 15, 2017 | RECENT NOTES

Tommy: a bluegrass opry

The last time I went to London I spent an afternoon and evening with Mark. Conversation turned to The Who and Mark pointed out gleefully that, as a teenager, I bought a copy of Tommy, an album we both agree constitutes a folly of heroic proportions and very little merit. I tried to slide out of this by pointing out that the original release had a very good cover but Mark rightly refused to allow this.

Imagine my delight then when I discovered this morning that The Hillbenders have realised Tommy – a bluegrass opry: a full length realisation of “the entire album” played with an acoustic string band.


Lidl Shark 5: the results

The Lidl Shark 5 razor blade that I started using on September 1 finally stopped working this morning, just as I finished shaving. It had started to feel a little blunt but it still worked well, and I would happily have used it for a few more weeks.

This ended an experiment to see how long an inexpensive Lidl blade would last. The answer: ninety six days.


Friday, December 15, 2017 | THE TIME OF DAY


Friday, September 28, 2012 | ESSAYS

The zen of productivity

Someone asked me last week what was the best calendar/to-do app for the iPad, and I was unequivocal. Pocket Informant is the best general purpose app. It is the most well-developed, most stable, and most flexible of the available apps. It has an active user community and the CEO, Alex Kac, is active on the forums on a daily basis.

This essay looks at my brief flirtation with an alternative app called Smart Pad, and what I learned from it. The comparisons are by now out of date but the principles remain true.