alan little’s weblog archive for november 2003

the only bad software on my mac

28th November 2003 permanent link

May I just take this opportunity to point out that Microsoft Office X (the version of Office for Mac OS X) is an incompetently written piece of crap?

I rarely need to use Word these days, thank god, because very little of what I write is intended to end up on paper. But just now I need to write a fancy-looking letter that involves precisely positioning some text over a background image. In the process of which Word has crashed. Twice. There is no other application on my Mac that crashes on a routine basis. This isn’t because every other application I use is simple and trivial, either. I suspect Photoshop is (at least) comparable to Word in its complexity, but it doesn’t crash.

Also, although I am well aware that my 700MHz iBook is not exactly an awesome supercomputer, Excel is the only thing I have on it that is so slow it’s almost unusable.

related entries: Mac

master and commander

25th November 2003 permanent link

I’m a huge fan of Patrick O’Brian’s Jack Aubrey novels (start here). They are definitely the books I’ve enjoyed most in the last ten years, so I was interested and alarmed when I found out (last week – I’m not exactly closely in touch with what Hollywood is up to these days) that one of them has been filmed. This is worrying – I know I’m going to go and see it, and I know I’m probably going to come away feeling disappointed, irritated and personally betrayed by it.

Films of books generally don’t work. I don’t think Lord of the Rings is a great book, but it’s a gripping story and I enjoyed it when I read it in my teens. I’m not particularly impressed by the films – they’re wonderful to look at, but even three unusually long feature films can barely begin to sketch the depth and complexity of what can happen in a book. A book just has more time – time to get inside the minds of the characters, time for the reader to build a world in their mind. A film has to try to get all that visually, in a small fraction of the time – and, these days, do it in a way that appeals to adolescents who want to see things exploding or people being chopped up. Even if the film is good as a film, it will barely be a sketch of what’s in the book and they will dumb the story down and get things wrong.

(On the other hand, films of seafaring books actually have quite a good track record. The Gregory Peck Hornblower film is good, and I know the Hornblower TV series a few years ago also got a good press, although I can’t really comment on it because I only saw one episode. At least films about naval warfare in the Napoleonic era have no problem staying true to the story whilst having things exploding and people being chopped up)

Of course all O’Brian fans have thought about filming the books for years. I’ve talked about it on the phone with my friend Peter in London, most recently last week when I rang up to say “bugger me, somebody’s filmed one of the books” and he said “of course they have, didn’t you know?”. For me, Gerard Depardieu could be a Jack Aubrey - he’s obviously physically right (big, blond and wild-looking) and I think he’s ok as an actor too (e.g. Cyrano de Bergerac) - if it weren’t for the fact that he’s, er, French. (Klaus Kinski - too mad. Aubrey is not remotely Aguirre.) No English-speaking actor immediately springs to mind. Maturin, on the other hand, is easy and obvious - a young John Hurt. (Peter says Robert Carlyle) So there you have the dream team - Depardieu but not French, and John Hurt 30 years ago. Simple.

Apparently there was a rumour that Heath Ledger was going to be cast as Aubrey. OMFG. Heath Ledger starred in The Four Feathers, one of the worst films I have ever seen in my life. I find it, er, unpromising that he might even have been considered.

The director is Peter Weir. I’ve heard the name but don’t know much about him. A quick check on imdb reveals that he’s made he’s made a couple of films I’ve seen, and found entertaining but not especially memorable – Green Card (Depardieu in less Aubreyesque mode), Dead Poets Society, and I think I may have seen Picnic at Hanging Rock on TV years ago, but if so I hardly remember anything about it.

Movielens thinks I’ll rate Master & Commander four out of five, which is interesting. I’ve never actually been to see a film on the strength of a movielens prediction, but it usually guesses about right when I rate films I have seen.

After I wrote most of this, the “Master & Commander, the making of …” documentary was on German TV at the weekend. It was just after England won the rugby world cup final so I was in a good mood, but even so it left me sceptical. They’ve gone to impressive lengths to make it authentic – they actually bought and sailed an actual frigate, and they clearly tried to make the crew training as realistic as possible without actually killing anybody. But Russell Crowe just doesn’t seem right for the Jack Aubrey in my mind. (And English films dubbed into German sound ridiculous – German is more verbose than English, so the actors have to talk absurdly fast to stay in sync. Fortunately there are two English language cinemas in Munich and one of them is showing Master & Commander next week.)

Interesting article on Patrick O’Brian here.

NOTE: When I was in Boston a couple of years ago on business I went to look at the USS Constitution (obviously – what else is an Aubrey fan going to do in Boston?) I talked to one of the crew members who said not only is the Constitution still (sort of) seaworthy, but they actually took her out into Boston Bay for her bicentennial, and he personally went aloft and did things with the sails. Wow. There aren’t many people alive who have done that on an actual in-commission warship.

Disclaimer: my son is not named after Jack Aubrey, although I wouldn’t mind in the least if he were. His mother thought of the name - I just agreed, immediately and enthusiastically.

UPDATE: Brian Tiemann, who IS a huge Tolkien fan, describes the whole waiting for a film of a book you love phenomenon a lot better when he talks about his feelings waiting for The Fellowship Of The Ring: “We awaited opening day with the dread of a train-wreck of which we had foreknowledge, standing in the railway cutting with the camera rolling and a lump in our throats.”

panther – yes

24th November 2003 permanent link

I upgraded my iBook to Panther at the weekend (having first carefully backed it up to an external firewire drive which I then unplugged. I have to say I’m impressed so far. Nothing has broken yet. The look, on my severely small and cluttered laptop screen, is generally cleaner and easier on the eye – font rendering in particular is much better. Even leaving aside the wonders of Exposé, the performance improvement in basic windowing operations is enough to make a significant difference in ease of use.

And, as every Mac advocate always says, when was the last time a new Windows version was faster on the same hardware? Particularly when the hardware in question is an obsolescent and rather underpowered little low end laptop. Of course, for a long time Microsoft could put out increasingly sluggish bloatware and rely on Moore’s law to save them, whereas Apple couldn’t because Moore’s Law didn’t apply to Motorola. Those days, one hopes, are over. What is not over is the look of Aqua getting steadily cleaner and better, whereas Windows sinks ever further into blue-and-orange blotched amateurish ugliness. When I first saw Windows XP I couldn’t believe that anybody would actually ship something that looked like that except as a joke.

I just noticed the standard python version is now 2.3. That’s nice too.

related entries: Mac

what i did last sunday

20th November 2003 permanent link

Sunday was the last day of Maria’s mum’s visit from Russia. We had to hire a car anyway to get her to the airport early on Monday morning, so we decided to have a day out. We went to the Altmühltal national park in northern Bavaria: saw a very impressive mediaeval castle, walked in a spectacularly beautiful autumn beechwood, and had lunch in a country pub. So far, so good. But was I then content to say “ok, we’ve had a good day out, now we’ll go home”? Unfortunately I was not.

Not far away was a place where the Danube flows through a gorge with cliffs on both sides, and I thought that would be worth seeing. Which it was, when we finally found it after over an hour of wandering around on poorly signposted country roads. Then the adventure happened.

We take the wrong road back out of the gorge, and just as we’re starting to think “this isn’t the road we came in on”, it turns into a muddy track in a field with steep banks on both sides. I decide I don’t like the idea of reversing a couple of miles back to the last village – instead I try to turn round in an equally steep and muddy field gateway. Mistake. I let the car roll back just a little too fast, the reverse parking alarm screams, a cloud of smoke, the engine dies. Game over.

A quick investigation reveals that the exhaust has buried itself in the muddy bank at the side of the road. The engine will start, but dies as soon as I actually try to move the car. Maria suggests trying to dig the exhaust out, but it I think it’s too firmly rammed in and the earth looks hard and stony. I try the engine a couple more times, but no joy and meanwhile baby and grandma are sitting in the back of the car, alternately shivering and choking on the nasty engine fumes. Decide to get the baby out of the car, and park his child seat a little way up the track covered with quilts and sleeping bags. But it’s cold and dark, he knows the grownups are stressed, and he’s not happy. He informs us of this. Maria and I try pushing the car, but the back wheels are crossways in a deep rut and it's going nowhere. Maria’s mum wants to help. Now I have a car firmly wedged into the side of a field, a baby screaming twenty yards up the track in the darkness, and a little old lady trying to help me push the car. No. Time to try another approach. If we actually knew where we were we could call out a rescue service but we don’t. Women and children, abandon ship – we decide Maria and her mum will walk back to the village with the baby and call a rescue service from there.

They go. I sit for a while getting cold and bored. Sitting getting cold and bored isn’t good, so I try pushing again, and the start-the-engine-and-see thing a few more times, both with just as little success as before. I decide I might as well just see how far the exhaust is buried. And the ground as it turns out is softer than I expect, and the ice scraper for the windscreen turns out to be good for sawing through grass roots, and if I’d just listened to Maria when she first suggested digging the exhaust out, we’d have been out of here an hour ago. Meanwhile here I am, lying in a muddy field in Bavaria in the dark, with my hand up a BMW’s exhaust pipe. The exhaust pipe is full of earth further in than I can reach. Hmm. Wait, there’s a pipe wrench in the emergency toolkit (why?). Presumably not for getting rammed-in earth out of exhaust pipes, but it works fine for that too, and I’m free.

Down to the village, pick up the family, home.

What lessons can I derive from this experience?

  1. When you’ve already had a good day and it’s getting late, go home
  2. Turn back while you still can
  3. The car we had was a BMW. I’d never driven a BMW before, and it was pretty nice.(*) Unfortunately it was an automatic. Lesson three: cars with automatic tranmissions — just say no. Not only are they less pleasant to drive, but there are at least two ways a normal car could have got me out of this situation that an automatic can’t (**)
  4. More general version of lesson three: if you use dumbed-down technology that exists to make life easy for the lowest common denominator user in everyday situations, and you find yourself in a non-everyday situation, you’re f*cked.
  5. Finally: sometimes, many thousands of pounds worth of fancy technology can’t save you from having to dig with your hands in the dirt.(***)

(*) If you don’t need a car every day, hiring one every now and then is a good way to save money whilst getting to drive a wide selection of nicer cars than you might otherwise. This time I had booked and paid for a Volkswagen Passat. Another time, I booked and paid for a Golf for a weekend in the Italian Alps, and they gave me an Audi TT.

(**) Way Number One: start it in gear and use the start motor to pull you forward that crucial few inches. Way Number Two: let the clutch in carefully to try to get forward that crucial few inches before the engine dies.

(***) I know a guy who works for BMW in product design. I doubt if he’ll be ringing to ask if they can use this as a marketing slogan.

pattabhi jois's teaching style

14th November 2003 permanent link

Brian Micklethwait has been reading Yehudi Menuhin’s memoirs, and talks about Menuhin’s experiences with his first violin teacher. Some of what he says reminded me of Pattabhi Joi's teaching approach, as I said in Brian’s comment section:

This is very interesting. I study yoga (as Menuhin also did) and the yoga master I studied with in India - who has been practicing for 75 years and teaching for over 60, and is now one of the best known and most senior teachers in the world - has exactly the kind of minimalist approach Menuhin describes in his violin teacher. He doesn't care in the slightest what students' practices look like. He teaches mainly by touch - helping students into positions they never thought they could get themselves into, so that they then experience what it's like to be there and have their perceptions of what they are capable of altered. Outside of class he does - sometimes, when he feels like it - issue long philosophical lectures in a very endearing but not easy to follow mix of idiosyncratic English and fluent sanskrit - but in class it's all short, sharp commands/reminders - "breathe!", "straight arms", "your heel to your navel!". As to why the arms need to be straight, or the heel at the navel - he doesn't bother explaining, just says you should do your practice diligently every day and "all is coming". If you're willing to put the effort in, it will all make sense eventually; and if you're not, what good was a verbal explanation going to do you anyway?

related entries: Yoga

panther and too many windows

14th November 2003 permanent link

Just in case camera geek tv wasn’t sad enough, I’m about to suggest that a review of an operating system is interesting reading. Even if you don’t use a Mac, but especially if you do, John Siracusa’s review-cum-user-interface-philosophy-seminar of OS X 10.3 “Panther” on arstechnica is worth a look. Certainly one of the best pieces of writing about software that I’ve read for a while. I don’t understand all of what John is talking about—I suspect anybody who isn’t a long time user of pre-OS X Macs wouldn’t—but what I do understand is interesting and makes sense even if I don’t necessarily agree with all of it.

(John is one of the best technical writers around. I seem to recall his paper on the architecture of IBM’s awesome PowerPC 970, aka Apple’s “G5” processor, was so good that either Apple or IBM – possibly both – ripped it off for their promotional materials. Now I come to think of it, John Gruber, who also writes about things Apple, is another of the more intelligent technical writers around at the moment. Something about Macs?)

Update: John Siracusa writes to say he didn’t write the PowerPC article at arstechnica, Jon (no “h”) Stokes did. As I explained to John (Siracusa), I wrote this article on the train on the way to work, so my fact-checking opportunites were limited.

The review section on Exposé, Apple’s super fancy new singing & dancing window switcher, is particularly interesting. Anything that potentially helps with desktop clutter would be a huge win for me. Let’s see what my iBook is wearing today:

Mail. Three Safari windows: the last few pages of John Siracusa’s Panther review that I’m still reading, the draft version of, the various weblogs that constitute my morning newspaper. NetNewsWire Lite. Software Update is trying to tell me something. Goodness knows how many BBEdit windows (only 9 today, says BBEdit. This is unusually low). Internet Explorer? Why? Ah, it's doing cross-browser testing of my “baby’s first stylesheet” attempts at CSS. Terminals: 4 (None of them sporting that ultracool white-on-translucent-green look. Must fix that.) iCal, so that I can add “ultracool translucent green terminal look” to my to-do list. iTunes: Motörhead’s rendering of Louie Louie (nostalgia trip: a teenage favourite that I recently rediscovered on emusic). Emusic download manager, not currently downloading anything because I’m on the train and Munich doesn’t have free WiFi in underground trains just yet. Only a matter of time. Fugu, left over from last night’s visit to’s secret top security data centre in New Zealand. At least 24 windows in total.

That this is even remotely workable on a 12" laptop screen is a great tribute to the quality of Apple’s user interface design and the stability of OS X - it takes me a while to get back up this level of clutter after I reboot, which I have to every few weeks when things start to slow down. But a pleasure to use it isn't, especially on the train when I’ve left the mouse at home and am reduced to the trackpad, at which point the more useful keyboard shortcuts I can find the better. Maybe I should think about upgrading sooner rather than later.

Update 20th November: Gruber reviews Siracusa’s review. He rather likes it – “exhaustive, accurate, and insightful” … “Siracusa’s coverage of the Panther Finder is pure genius” … “It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know what I look forward to more: Apple’s annual Mac OS X update, or Siracusa’s review of it.”

related entries: Mac

nokia 3650 photo critique (2)

12th November 2003 permanent link

I was in the charmingly-named Munich Ausländerbehörde (“Office For Foreigners”) yesterday, sorting out a visa for Maria’s aunt from Moscow to come over and meet her great-nephew for Christmas. There on the wall was a fascinating sheet showing the number of registered foreign residents of all nationalities in Munich. I was surprised how few native English speakers there are – maybe 10,000 or so in total; I had the impression there were a lot more than that but then, from the people I know I would. There are only just over a thousand Irish – they must all go out drinking, every night, to keep all the Irish bars in business.

The big numbers are the obvious suspects – Italians, Turks, ex-Yogoslavs of various kinds. And then there are the lonely folks who are the only ones from their countries – there aren’t many Dutch Guyanan bars for the one Dutch Guyanan to go and socialise with his or her compatriots.

What does this have to do with Nokia 3650s or photography? Bear with me. I had noticed this interesting sheet on my last visit (the life of a foreigner in Germany tends to involve regular visits to the Ausländerbehörde; at least the one in Munich is generally friendly and efficient. Once I was there and the official at the next desk was explaining to a young Polish guy that having a verbal offer of a job next week didn’t count as being “in employment”, but he was polite about it.) I checked on the website but didn’t find the figures there. This time I thought “if only I’d brought a digital camera with me – but wait, I have!”, and whipped my phone out and took pictures. Here’s a sample, blown up to double the original dimensions.

foreigners in Munich

As you can see, Nokia will not be seriously threatening Minox in the spy camera business any time soon. The paper was white - the darkish grey-green tint is because the picture was taken under not very bright fluorescent lights. The fringing around the writing is, I think, chromatic aberration typical of a not very good wide angle lens being used close to the subject. Even after the application of what I suspect are some of the same sophisticated image enhancement algorithms used by the CIA (i.e. cranking the contrast way up and sharpening in Photoshop) there’s no way to get legible text out of that picture. (Alright, alright - you can see that the first two are “Uruguay” and “USA”, and the number for Uruguay might be 38 and the number for the USA is four figures and might be eight thousand and something)

(Yes, of course this is tongue in cheek – what do you think I expect from taking photos with a telephone? I did sort of hope they might come out legible though)

related entries: Photography

photo exhbit - indian landscapes

12th November 2003 permanent link

A few months ago I had a photo-essay published in Nama Rupa. Nama Rupa is a project I feel very honoured and proud to be involved with — it’s a serious magazine about yoga and other systems of Indian philosophy (unlike Yoga Journal, which is a rag that exists to sell designer yoga clothing and expensive workshops with celebrity yoga teachers. This of course also means Nama Rupa can’t afford luxuries like paying its photographers – I’m purely in it for the karma)

I’ve been busy in the last few months, but I’ve finally got round to putting all the Nama Rupa pictures up on the web. This page has everything I submitted, including text and pictures that they chose not to use. (WARNING - lots of big images. Will be slow for dial-up readers). It’s an interesting experience submitting a portfolio to a photo editor who says “hey, these are great”, and then proceeds to use your least favourite pictures that you put in almost as filler, and not use your beloved masterpieces. I assume professionals get used to it. The text is more a series of extended picture captions than a coherent article.

Full disclosure regarding Yoga Journal and possible accusations of inconsistency/hypocrisy: I am well acquainted with the designer/celebrity yoga scene. I know a designer who designs Designer Yoga Clothing. I bought some for Maria; it looks great and is outstandingly well made. Fashionable yoginis of my acquaintance reckon it is better then Christy Turlingtons “Nuala” range. I would have a “buy Nathalie’s stuff” link, but I can’t find her website just now — exclusive, see? I have studied with a couple of the celebrity yoga teachers who regularly feature in Yoga Journal. They are very good yoga teachers. So I have nothing in principle against Designer Yoga Clothing or Celebrity Yoga Teachers. Nama Rupa is still a much better magazine than Yoga Journal.

related entries: Photography Yoga

rss alternate - broken?

12th November 2003 permanent link

Hmm. I thought adding RSS auto-discovery tags to my weblog pages would be a quick & easy way to increase my web-standards-coolness quotient. Er, no, as it turns out.

RSS auto-discovery tags look like this:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" 
title="alan little’s weblog" 
href="" />

… and they tell news aggregators looking at a normal web page where they can find a version of it where they can track updates automatically.

Problem is, this assumes that the content of a web page can/should only be found in one RSS feed. What if I want to offer feeds in several different formats? What if I want to have subject-specific feeds, and my weblog entries have their own pages and can be in more than one subject category? What if I want to allow readers to define their own custom feeds, as I know a couple of people are doing?

I’m not, in fact, doing any of these things at the moment or planning to in the immediate future — which means my declared allegiance to the software engineering principles of Do The Simplest Thing That Can Possibly Work and Never Add Functionality Early should mean that I just shut up and add a link to the one RSS feed that I actually have. Which I will, but I’m still uncomfortable about implementing something with an object model I know is Wrong.

related entries: Programming

mysore, city of culture

8th November 2003 permanent link

I wrote in my Indian diary about how impressed I was with Mysore as a city of culture - everywhere you go you meet artists, sculptors, choreographers, sanskrit scholars in practically every street. Apparently it was even more impressive when Vish Murthy, who emailed me recently, was growing up:

Pattabhi Jois lived very close to our home, he in Lakshmipuram ( where you probably were too) and me at my grandfathers house very near what used to be called the 5 lights circle (now Ramaswamy circle). Between people like him (who were held in awe as the original yoga masters and whose gleam in the eye I can still vividly remember), between the Maharaja of Mysore (Jayachamrajendra Wodeyar, whose last tragic days are perhaps only known to a few folks like me), between writer RK Narayan and between the musical doyens like T. Chowdiah (who used to practice his violin in our house and in whose honor my family dedicated a performing center in Bangalore in the shape of a violin and which happens to be a now famous landmark of Bangalore ), Mysore remains in my memory a quintessence city (something like  Padova to an Italian). Of course the city then did not have the population and the burdgeons of a declining system that it has now.

related entries: Yoga

pictures at an exhibition

8th November 2003 permanent link

I went to an art exhibition today. This is something that happens a few times a year and not, in itself, particularly unusual. But this one wasn’t a public museum or art gallery - it was an art dealers’ trade fair, the Munich Kunstmesse. It was a great day out with far more interesting stuff to look at than in most of the galleries I’ve been to. Not comparable to, say, the Museum of Modern Art in New York or the Kunstforum in Berlin; but I would say better than all but possibly one of the galleries here in Munich.

The variety and quality of the things there were to see was amazing. I counted two Picassos, three Joan Mirós and a Chagall - all with no prices shown, which I assume means they were firmly in the “if you have to ask you can’t afford it” range. Whereas a mere 16,000 euros buys you a five thousand year old Sumerian cuneiform tablet. Probably a shopping list or somebody’s tax return but still - a voice from the dawn of civilization. I had no idea it was possible even for rich people to just walk into a shop (or, in this case, a trade fair) and buy such things. I thought they were all long since locked away in museums and galleries.

16,000 euros also buys you an 11th century Ganesha from south India. Alternatively you could have (price not shown) a 10th century Pallava dynasty Vishnu. I’m not sure about that - I’m all for Indian sculpture but I prefer to see it where it belongs, on the walls of temples in India, not stolen by sacreligious British imperialists and shipped off to Europe.

Indian temple sculpture (Right) An Indian sculpture where it belongs - on the wall of the beautiful and fascinating Hoysala temple at Somnathpur, south India.

Also striking was how much better and more interesting the “modern art” (for want of a better term for the art of the first half of the last century - there was very little on display that was less than about forty years old) was than the older stuff. People who dismiss modern art can’t, I conclude, have spent much time looking at eighteenth and early nineteenth century European art, most of which is hideous. I doubt if even Damien Hirst or Tracy Emin has ever produced anything as ugly and ridiculous as a sparkly porcelain bundle of asparagus.

(I specify “eighteenth and early nineteenth century European art” here, because 7,000 euros buys you a stunningly beautiful 18th century Japanese landscape by Hokusai)

The only other commercial art experience I’ve had was the Dom Khudozhnika (House of ArtPainters) in Moscow - a former tea warehouse on the bank of the Moskva river that is now a huge emporium of contemporary Russian (and other ex-Soviet) art. I expected lots of kitsch, and there was, but there was also a huge amount of good stuff. It was actually even better than Munich because some of the things were affordable. I bought a marvellous self-portrait by a Georgian painter, Julia Pankrelidze, for a hundred bucks. Maria and I both loved a semi-abstract landscape by Ossetian artist Magrez Kelekhsaev; we didn’t buy it because we hadn’t gone with the intention of spending $1500, and have regretted the decision ever since.

Token education-plus-gratuitous-lilexia bit for Brian: Maria’s friend’s 12 year old son, my former English student, was bored senseless by the whole thing. Which prompted Maria to worry about how, in twelve years time, will we go about giving Jack the chance to have what we think are worthwhile cultural experiences without boring him senseless? No conclusions reached.

Updates & corrections: my editor says that I actually paid over $200 for the painting in Moscow and it isn’t a self-portrait. She can’t prove it, it’s just her recollection of what happened over a year ago against mine. What she can prove is that “Dom Khudozhnika” should be translated as “House of Painters” rather than “House of Art”.

related entries: Photography

camera geek tv

8th November 2003 permanent link

There’s a fun German TV programme called Wetten Das (“Bet You That …”), where celebrities bet on whether members of the public can do odd and improbable things.

Today we had a used camera dealer from Munich betting with Boris Becker on whether he could identify cameras, blindfolded, by the shutter sound. He had brought a selection of a hundred wierd and wonderful cameras from his shop; the presenter selected five of them and he had to get four right. Which he did. An EOS 3, a Yashica SLR from the 70s, some funny little 1960s Agfa rangefinder, and something else that I don't remember. He passed on an Olympus OM3 Ti (which sounded lovely). I thought this was excellent, the most interesting thing I’ve seen on TV for ages, and it was a shame they didn’t do all 100. Maria thinks I’m sad.

related entries: Photography


1st November 2003 permanent link

If somebody had told me a quarter of a century ago, while I was lying on my back stoned at a party at four o’clock in the morning listening to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here, “in a quarter of a century you will be standing on a railway station in rural Bavaria with your three month old son and his Russian mother, waiting for the train home from an evening in a country biergarten, and the dodgy German pub band at the biergarten will be playing this song” I would most definitely not have believed them. However …

related entries: Music

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