(or the idle musings of person number 105,565,372,101)
Who am I anyway
In a nutshell
A guy from Lanarkshire in Scotland who somehow ended up living on the South Coast of England and owning a group of computer businesses in Hampshire. I am an eater of curries, a lover of flamenco and generally all things Spanish, a terrible road runner and future circumnavigator.
In my spare time I play bass and sing in a three-piece rock, pop and Indie band called Daphne Don’t Float. I’m right in the middle of two generations. Depending on who you ask, I could either be one of the first people from what is called “Generation X” or maybe I just caught the tail end of the preceding “Baby Boomers” generation.
I’m married, with two grown up children. Despite mostly looking stern and serious, people who really know me will recognise that I have a generally frivolous train of thought in process at most points in time. I’m currently working at (or at least contemplating working at) re-instating the six-pack washboard stomach that I used to be able to look down and see – but that was about 30 years ago.
I am the fourth of five children of a sales director from Burnbank and primary school head mistress from Motherwell. I think I may be the only Denis McLinden on the planet. That’s kinda cool or a bit lonely - depending on how I think about it.
I used to be a swimmer
That used to be a big part of my life and has played a big part in who I now am. From the age of 9 to 19, I swam a mile and a half in the morning and another mile and a half in the evening. The resultant legs and shoulders are still there.
I am a runner
Not a very good one, but it keeps me fit and is lots of fun. There is a page for that on here somewhere!
Other people like me
To give you a better idea, I’m roughly the same age as all of the other people born in 1963 like: José Mourinho, Ian Wright, Seal, Graham Norton, Elle McPherson, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Jordan, George Michael, Sergey Bubka,Johhny Marr, James May, Whitney Houston, Coolio, Jimmy Osmond, Colin Montgomerie, John Barnes, Peter Schmeichel, Fatboy Slim, Mark Hughes and Eddie “The Eagle” Edwards.
I’m exactly the same age as Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman, both of whom were born on the same day as me – 19th September, 1963.
Around that time
The year of my birth, 1963, was a great year for pop tunes. The rock stuff that I’m all about came around a bit later, but there were certainly some tunes released in ’63 like: Be my baby, Summer holiday, Then he kissed me, Blue velvet, From me to you, Walk like a man, Ring of fire, You’ll never walk alone and Surfin USA. Significantly, The Beatles debut album “Do You Love me” was released in this year and spent 40 weeks at number one – only to be knocked off the top spot by The Beatles second album called “With The Beatles”.
It was a busy old year in the world. The Porsche 911 was available for sale for the first time and the Cadbury’s Cream Egg was born (although it was initially called the Fry’s cream egg). Significant things were happening in the news. Ronnie Biggs’ Great Train Robbery was a heist on a scale rarely seen before in the UK, Dr Beeching published his plan to significantly and irreversibly reduce the UK’s railway infrastructure and, of course, President Kennedy was assassinated. People say “everyone knows where they were when they heard the news”. Well, I don’t know exactly where I was, but I would have been in a cot or a pram somewhere in a suburb of Glasgow. Martin Luther King also delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC that year. Lesser known, but still significant among events in ’63, is the fact that Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space. Forward thinking people those Russians. That was only two years after Yuri Gagarin became the first person in space. It took another 20 years for the Americans to send Sally Ride up there.
I read this article recently in a scientific journal which reckons there are about 7 billion people on the planet right now and there have been a total of about 108 billion people who have ever lived. So, although this isn’t an exact science, I roughly calculate that I’m the 105 and a bit billionth person ever and I’m allocating myself the number 105,565,372,101.
I was born on 19th September. On that day, every year, it is "International Talk Like a Pirate Day" – apparently. Two eejits somewhere in Oregon in the USA came up with the idea 10 years or so back. On that day, you should not greet people by saying “hello”, but rather “Ahoy there, me hearty” or something similar. I must remember to try that.
I am a runner
I'm not the greatest runner, to be fair, but I'm very enthusiastic. I do this great thing called Parkrun every Saturday morning at 9.00 am. It's a timed 5,000 metre (3.1 mile) run for all abilities around various local parks. It's a great way to keep fit and I've made lots of friends doing it.
How fast? Well I get around the course in just about twice the amount of time Mo Farah takes around the Olympic 5,000 metre course. That's not bad. He doesn't have to contend with dog walkers, children's railway tracks and overhanging branches.
I'm also part of my local running club (Tone Zone Runners) which is a more serious affair. There are lots of fabulous runners in there, running everything from 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 miles, half and full marathons all over the place. There are some people who do these "ultra" races which are like 40 odd miles and the like. There were even a bunch of guys this year who ran a number of marathons back to back on consecutive days (was it something like 8 or 12 marathons in a row?) in the Sahara desert. That's not me. I'll stick to the more gentle things.
I do a 5K every weekend and a training run of about 5 or six miles midweek. As of July 2015, I've not done a midweek training run for a couple of months after a vehicle collision - but I'll get back to it soon.
I'm working on it.
BTW: There is another page on the site - a blog page on which I'm trying to document my attempt to get under the 24 minute barrier for 5000 metres. I can do it. That's only 112 seconds (or 7%) faster than I have done it before. Check it out <here>
I play in a band
I’m in a band called Daphne Don’t Float. We’re a three piece electric guitar, bass and drums combo and play in pubs and clubs along the south coast of England. Paul Axon is on guitar and lead vocals and I play roof-shaking bass guitar, backing vocals and sing the odd lead. We have played with a variety of drummers over the three and a bit years we've been together. I think there have been eleven of them in all. The incumbent is Gavin Shoosmith from Worthing.
We play tunes that people know and can sing along to. It’s almost karaoke in a way. We do things by Oasis, Pulp, Blur, The Stone Roses, Radiohead, The Housemartins, Blink 182 and The White Stripes. We also do a mean Mamma Mia by Abba.
What I really mean is that I co-own a number of computer installation, support and software companies – the main one being called Business Technology Partners Ltd. The companies have been in operation since mid-2001 and are now the go-to computer support companies in the Southampton area – in fact, throughout the whole of Hampshire.
I’ll post more info on here about my business activities in due course.
In the meantime, you can find the company website here.
I'm equally at home with fast bass runs or steady simple grooves. I can do subtle and complex but I really specialise in high-energy slam dunk, aggressive bass playing that's high in the mix. I have an arsenal of bass gear to get the sound I need. I'm always being asked for some playing clips. Here you go.
Daphne Don't Float @ The Alex in Bognor Regis.
This is a bit of a "showreel" in one clip that I did with the Daphne Don't Float band at The Alex in Bognor Regis in early 2014. Just in case you wanted to see if I could sing too!
Daphne Don't Float - Teenage Kicks at The Smugglers Return
Highway to Hell "Unplugged" by Daphne Don't Float
This is pretty cool. It was an "unplugged" gig at The Country Inn, Bepton near Midhurst. Although, you'll notice I'm clearly wielding my trusty Fender Precision bass.
It's difficult to believe, but the drummer was a deputising drummer whom we'd never met before that night. Peter Turtle turned out to be amazing and we used him many times more after that night. If you look carefully, you'll see (behind me to my right) is one of the amazing Bose L1 (Model II) PA columns.
I’m playing a black, rosewood neck, 1999 Fender USA Precision through an AER Amp One 200 watt Class D bass amplifier. I’m using a Samson Airline wireless transmitter and a Line 6 X3 Live floorboard using an Ampeg SVT with 8×10″ cab simulation.
Daphne Don't Float - Molly's Chambers
This one was from a gig at The Mitre in Southampton. My current band (Daphne Don’t Float) play here from time-to-time and always go down well. On this occasion, we were playing with Christchurch-based drummer Danny Pearson. In fact, you can’t really tell from this clip – but not only was this the first time we’d played with Danny, but we had only just met him an hour or so before.
I like this clip as it is a simple beat which really showcases the deep and punchy sound of my incredible Fender Precision.
I’m playing a black, reliced, rosewood neck 1999 Fender USA Precision through an Ashdown MiBass 550 and a Barefaced Bass Compact 15″ bass cab (on of the early ones). I’m using a Samson Airline wireless transmitter and a Line 6 X3 Live floorboard using an Ampeg SVT with 8×10″ cab simulation.
A design for life
Do it for yourself. Don't wait for someone else to do it, say it, buy it, make it or invent it. Do it yourself. Like the great Norman Tebbit famously said "Get on your bike and look for work". That's typical of me.
I'm an individual. I can feel that quite intensely. I'm not part of any collective and I don't think that my needs are best served by joining together with lots of others. Co-operativism is not for me. Everybody should not get the same. People should get what they work for and what they deserve.
I'm not a huge fan of democracy. I don't think it really works. A camel is a horse designed by a committee as they say. I think it's an inevitable necessity. If you think about it, a company would fail miserably if everyone who worked there had an equal say in how the place was run. I don't see why a whole country should be any different.
I don't like people who copy things. They should do something new. Something that has never been seen before. Ask yourself - how good is that? Have I done it to the best of my abilities? Could it be better? How can I make it excel?
I believe in a small state, with low taxation policies, working as a regulator rather than a provider. A state which only provides those necessary services which cannot be provided by the private sector.
I think the BBC should be a news organisation only. The best news organisation in the World. A state-funded, non-licence fee charging flagship for our country and our values, reporting with impartiality. There is nothing else that other channels cannot do and cannot do better.
I'm pro life in all of it's forms. Life is such a wonderful thing that I can't advocate we take it away from anyone whether they've yet to be born or no matter how badly they have offended. There is only one person who has the right to give or take life - and it's not any of us.
I totally believe in equality through meritocracy. Women are an equal part of our society and should be treated no differently to men based on their gender unless it is necessary as part of their gender identity. No gender, colour, creed, social status or any number of other of our intrinsic differences should prevent us from having an equal crack at the whip. Having said that, our actions and effort levels should dictate whether we get to the front or back of the queue.
I believe in universal healthcare which is free at the point of access for everyone who deserves it, but I don't think that organisation should be the NHS. It doesn't work. If you want to eat yourself into a state where we need to make a hole in the side of your house and use a crane and a truck to get you out of there, then your only destination should be to a corrective asylum. If you smoke two packs a day and you turn up to a medical facility with lung disease, then you should be asked to pay for your treatment. If you can't, you should be turned away. If you don't care about your own body, then why should the rest of us be asked to care for it?
On the subject of religion, I'm hooked - but not in a conventional sense. I truly believe in the one eye that sees us all. We didn't happen by accident. We are a creation and he or his ancestors are out there, know where we are, and check in on us from time to time (or she and her ancestors of course). We are the machines if you like. We can make complex computers with Microchips, but they can make complex machines which can think and replicate themselves. They are probably watching over us right now. It would be nice if they'd pop in for a quick hello. At least that would put some of them there crazy religions to bed.