26-Oct-2014 Where Have All The Hours Gone?

Posted October 26th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

icons-galoreWhere have all the hours gone
long time passing
Where have all the hours gone
long time ago
Where have all the hours gone
gone to PCs every one
When will they ever learn
when will they ever learn


Where have all the PCs gone, long time passing
Where have all the PCs gone, long time ago
Where have all the PCs gone, gone to errors every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn

Where have all the errors gone, long time passing
Where have all the errors gone, long time ago
Where have all the errors gone, gone to fixes every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn

Where have all the fixes gone, long time passing
Where have all the fixes gone, long time ago
Where have all the fixes gone, gone to hours every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn

Where have all the hours gone, long time passing
Where have all the hours gone, long time ago
Where have all the hours gone, gone to PCs every one
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn

A new computer is an exciting, if somewhat daunting, prospect… the shiny new lenovo IdeaCentre K450 Desktop has finally replaced Jimmy’s Dell Vostro 470.

It’s been slow progress, re-installing and re-activating software with much correspondence between us and various software firms. We’re very impressed with the response from all the companies – the advantages of only using properly purchased, licenced and activated software are many… apart from the ethical side of doing the right thing and being 100% legal, it makes it so much easier to get support for your products. In today’s rip-off “Why should I pay when I can download/copy it for free” world, those who steal/copy deserve what they get! OK rant over…

Mind you, it hasn’t all been plain sailing – Windows 8.1 certainly has its foibles, and installing and running software that was written over 10 years ago certainly brings its own share of problems, but nothing so far that can’t be worked around. And to confound matters even further, a virus somehow sneaked past our firewall and anti-virus setup. This meant shutdown/lockdown of the jiva audio and video editing, web design and maintenance etc while 3 PCs were given the full in-depth scan and disinfect treatment (thankfully only 1 virus and only on 1 PC).

But, we’re getting back to normal on that front. You might therefore think that all is well. But, no, that is indeed not the case. Remember Jimmy was suffering with man flu? Well, he’s almost out of the woods – but not quite… and, guess what? Val is now laid low with coughs and sneezes and aches and pains. She’s still in the stages of it getting worse before it gets better. All this means that the jiva music machine has almost ground to a halt – cancelling/re-scheduling gigs is an awful thing to have to do, but turning up to give an under-par performance while all the while spreading germs is not something we do… it’s just not on.

November and December’s gig list is bursting at the seams – so we’re concentrating on getting better, albeit slowly.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

19-Oct-2014 Man Flu

Posted October 19th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

What a super week we’ve had – 5 care home performances, one offering an immediate re-booking for December, and a few days away performing in the North West (it’s becoming like a second home for us).

We also managed to fit in a visit to Gregson Lane Folk Club to see Anthony John Clarke (he was superb) and a visit to Ireleth Temperance Hall to see Brian Willoughby and Cathryn Craig (they were superb).

manflu1Unfortunately by Sunday morning Jimmy had come down with an absolute stinker of a cold (Man Flu ?), so we had to postpone our intended care home performance for that day (we hate letting people down, and postponing is not something we do lightly, but we don’t want to pass on any of his germs) and now we’re safely back home. Hopefully he’ll be better soon as we have more performances scheduled for next week, a college evening class, more work to be done changing over his computer, websites to design, video and audio mixes to complete, and all the usual stuff that makes up the life of jiva.

Life is good, but a bit snotty at the moment.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

12-Oct-2014 For Those Who Do

Posted October 12th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

lenovoThat’s what it says on the box


And so, with much ado and unplugging all manner of leads from the current Dell Vostro before re-plugging some of the said cables into the lenovo K450 Desktop, the new PC bursts into life with just a little bit of coaxing using one monitor rather than our accustomed two. There was an almost imperceptible whispering whirr as the opening screen announced that it was preparing to run for the first time… and so, fist in the air “Yes! It works! It’s alive! It’s alive!” (not quite Frankensteinian, but close), followed by slumped shoulders “Windows 8.1 is a pain – please, don’t automatically do stuff for me… I know what I’m doing… let me have access to the settings I need without losing what’s left of my hair!”

Excitement over, we unplugged it and set it aside for a time when we could begin the long haul of installing the various bits of software that will be needed to turn it into the audio and video editing/mixing/mastering powerhouse that was previously the domain of the Dell. It now sits under the spare desk purring occasionally like a contented cat as we install updates; add a second hard drive (Western Digital Black 3TB for the tech-minded among you); install Speccy, Office 365, GoldWave, CD Wave, Magix Samplitude Producer 11.5 just for starters with the heavyweight software to be added when we have enough time to allow migration of data from Dell to Lenovo… the problem is, when are we going to find three days to dedicate to nothing else? Probably not this year according to our diary.

20041021128_lg1Things on the music front are keeping us very busy with gigs coming in left, right and centre (it’s lovely to answer the phone to hear something like “Hello… is that jiva?… We’d like to book you to come and play… What’s your availability for the rest of the year?… Or 2015 if that would be better…”).

We’ve just changed the strings on Jackson, Jimmy’s beautiful Taylor 954CE-L7 Limited Edition 12-string. We’ve had the guitar in our possession for 13 months now, and we’re ashamed to say that we’ve not changed the strings in all that time! Seriously folks, it’s true – Jackson has been sounding as great as on the day we first tinkled and strummed way back when, and we were wary of changing anything, anything at all… but there comes a time…

Which brings us to more musical good news, drum roll please:

A new jiva song

Provisionally entitled Another Time, this is a blue waltz-time song which cries out for (and gets) harmonies, harmonies and more harmonies. We’ll be getting down an initial recording soon, and we’re going to experiment with using a drum track as a guide – no, not a plink-plonk-plonk click but ‘proper’ sampled drum sounds courtesy of our Alesis SR-16 drum machine. When we lay down the guitar(s), bass, (possibly piano too?), we’ll take a look at replacing the drum guide with Jimmy doing his thing behind the full kit. Who knows where this might lead.

Busy, busy, busy and fun, fun, fun

Life is good – especially, to quote Lenovo, “For Those Who Do“… and we certainly do.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

05-Oct-2014 Thought For The Day

Posted October 5th, 2014 by jivauk and filed in jiva

keep-calm-and-say-the-serenity-prayerAttributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, the best-known form of the Serenity Prayer is:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.

The words have been adopted by many addiction and rehabilitation groups (Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, etc).


Another variant is:

God give me grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
And the wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

A similar philosophy can be found in a Mother Goose rhyme:

For every ailment under the sun
There is a remedy, or there is none;
If there be one, try to find it;
If there be none, never mind it.

All through the ages, similar sentiment has been expressed by scholars, philosophers, teachers, writers, et al (thank you, Wikipedia). So there may just be something in it…

Let’s all give it a try.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)