01-Mar-2015 Just Don’t

Posted March 1st, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

The PC issue is still not sorted – so be it. Time to take some direct action on that one. Taking control of life is good, it’s certainly better than sitting back and letting life dictate.

just-dontMost of you will know that one of our mantras, taglines, catchphrases, philosophies (call them what you will) is “Just do it” – and we do, sometimes we just get on and do things… as long as no one gets hurt or suffers by our actions we stop dithering and what-if-ing and just get on and do it. Another thing we normally do is see things through – sort of “We’ve started, so we’ll finish”… and that sometimes turns out to be really hard work – uninspiring, unfulfilling and sometimes downright depressing. So we’ve decided that we need to make room for a “Just Don’t Do It” alternative, and we’ve done it (or stopped doing it) once already.

Astute readers of our monthly Muse Update may have noticed a reference to “Wot – No College“. Well spotted if you did. Having completed a Songwriting course we signed up for the Singing and Vocal Coaching course at the same establishment. The prospectus promised all manner of goodies and benefits including the opportunity for “One On One sessions with our professional vocal coach” – that seemed just the thing for us, we’re always looking to improve in our crafts/skills of writing and performing. Unfortunately the reality did not live up to the expectations in that there was no “one on one” anything and we started each evening in a large disparate group trying to do the exercises with no feedback on whether we were doing it right or not, then the group moved to a performance studio where we all stood around singing songs that we didn’t like in keys that were difficult for many of us, being divided into men on one side and women on the other and being told when and what to sing with no real plan or target in sight.

We carried on up until half term in the hope that things might get better after the break – but no, things were re-arranged and in danger of getting even worse. So we filled in our course assessment booklets trying to combine honesty and diplomacy and quit on the spot. Once we’ve started something we find it very difficult to not see it through to the end, but in this instance we decided that rescuing those Tuesday evenings and also the time spent on cogitating the fact we weren’t getting anywhere was much more valuable than persevering with it.

And, d’you know what? It felt liberating to release some of the ties that bind us.

Life is good, but sometimes it needs a bit of extra effort and the strength to Just Not Do It.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

22-Feb-2015 Normal Service Will Be Resumed

Posted February 22nd, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

win8-1… as soon as possible


The best laid plans and all that.

Remember the delight at the new Lenovo IdeaCentre K450 powerhouse desktop PC?

  • Ultra fast processor
  • Huge hard disc
  • Tons of RAM
  • Powerful graphics cardWindows 8.1 (well, not everything’s perfect)

The Lenovo slogan “For those who do” seemed very appropriate – well it seems that in this case (no pun intended) “For those who don’t” would be much more in keeping.

lenovoHaving run their official tests – no issues revealed, lots of green ticks – we then did as instructed and totally trashed the machine, resetting it to factory defaults and a brand new install of Win 8.1… and… and… no change… boot up problems for first boot every day are still there. This leads us to believe that it’s a hardware issue… maybe the puny 280W power supply might be insufficient for what we’re asking of it, but Lenovo don’t do a direct more powerful replacement PSU.

So now we’re left with the prospect of returning the PC for them to look at and repair or replace (and of course that means we will be without the thing for weeks – not acceptable)… so what do we do? Ask for a refund? Dig our heels in and tell them it’s not fit for purpose? Do we just write it off? (£700 is a lot to throw away.) Do we attempt to replace a couple of components ourselves that we suspect might be the cause? (That means more expense, with an uncertain outcome.)

Life is good, but sometimes technology can be a real pain when it doesn’t work as it should.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

15-Feb-2015 Scotland The Brave

Posted February 15th, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

Well, we reckon they must be to allow us to do a few shows over the border during the next week.

Our mini tourette begins in Dunblane Folk Club tonight (Sunday 15th February) and we’re looking forward to going back… the first time we went to Dunblane the folk club was in the Westlands Hotel where we politely remained in the bar while they had their AGM/committee meeting, and we were then made most welcome even though there were a couple of pool games going on at the other end of room where the singing took place. It was a memorable night indeed. Although we’ve not been up that way for a few years we still feel a connection as it was there that we met with songwriter and performer Rob Griffith – he asked us to design a website for him, we did and we’ve been looking after it ever since – head on over to www.robgriffith.org for a look see.

This will indeed be a shorter than usual blog as we will be spending time away from home base (as opposed to Homebase) and wanted to prepare in advance so that we could post this before we actually pack the gear into the car and head northwards.

Next week’s blog may be even shorter – we currently have Saturday 21st February and Sunday 22nd blanked out for essential computer doctoring – a start from scratch re-build of Jimmy’s desktop PC (only 4 months old) to restore it to factory settings, then (if all is well at that point) re-install the software necessary for all the jiva, jiva design and jiva media stuff that we get up to… oh joy.

forrest-gumpForrest Gump’s mother told him…
“Life is like a box of chocolates – you never know what you’re gonna get”

We like chocolate, ergo life is always good!

Jimmy & Val (jiva)

08-Feb-2015 Wot – No Gigs ?

Posted February 8th, 2015 by jivauk and filed in jiva

wotnogigsStrangely enough, no… none, not one last week (but that all changes in the very near future).

Mind you, that doesn’t mean we’ve not been busy – a medical check up, initial recordings for an album from a local trio (their first jiva Blue Room CD was so successful they’ve come back to do a second with us), Tuesday evening singing and vocal coaching course, a jiva Design website commission enquiry received and accepted (and would you believe, the site is live already – four days from enquiry to completion and acceptance… wow! See www.tynedaletrains.co.uk), a SWAP-NE (Song Writers And Performers – North East) meeting with a performance “masterclass” presentation by jiva, a Digital Jimmy visit to a friend to sort out computer and printer stuff (mmm… thanks for the cheesecake and wine!), and later today we’re heading off to the local cinema.

And of course, throughout the week there’s been bookings coming in, and work done on various commissioned projects behind the scenes (poster designs, audio and video editing and mixing, website updates) – and we even found time to research, test and buy a new bed!

The next few weeks will be manic with 13 booked performances over 19 days from Scotland to Teesside and points between, more Tuesday evening college classes, medical appointment, optician’s appointment, a band reunion from way back when, another booked Blue Room recording session, delivery of the new bed… and, slap bang in the middle, we’ve blanked out an entire week-end dedicated to rebuilding Jimmy’s new PC from scratch back to factory settings.

Maybe we need a holiday – sometimes we feel like the Titanic (hmmm… there’s an idea).

Full steam ahead, life is good.

Jimmy & Val (jiva)