Pocket Operator, Europe, and #52whiteboards

For a recent birthday, I was gifted a Pocket Operator PO-12, and I’ve been annoying the family with it ever since. It’s essentially a pocket sized drum machine and, although its limited feature set would suggest that it won’t be at the centre of any EDM albums anytime soon, it’s a simple, and very effective way of creating some cool drum patterns.

There are a number of models, each of which has their own particular speciality, and can be synced together to enable the creation of multi-levelled tunes.

Great fun.

Speaking of fun, Euro 2016 has been underway for just over a week now, and I’ve enjoyed watching football again – after a break of a couple of years.

Unfortunately, however, it has been marred by a number of incidents involving fans from a number of different countries. From the (allegedly) Putin-approved skirmishes between Russian and English fans, to their Stadium battle, and then Croatia’s ludicrous in-fighting.

It’s all been rather unpleasant and a reminder that Europe is not really a fun place to be of late:

It’s in this context that the UK heads to the polls on Thursday to decide if it wants to continue being part of the European Union. Friday is sure to be an interesting day!

#52whiteboards is a colleague’s ongoing project to complete – you guessed it – 52 whiteboard drawings over the course of a year. John Lloyd is the supremely talented artist and I love seeing what he does each week.

Two Dots, Hamilton and Euro 2016

Taking a leaf from the Safe as Milk podcast (iTunes) – currently one of my few must-listen podcasts – I’ve got a few things here that have been in and around my head for the past couple of weeks.

Two Dots is a join-the-dots puzzler that I’ve been playing for a few weeks now. It’s very addictive, and while it can be very challenging at times, it seems to have its skill level pitched exactly for me. Not too difficult that I get (so) frustrated, and not so easy that I rattle through the levels.

Speaking of levels, I thought I was doing well, getting to (around) level 150, but a quick check of Wikipedia tells me that as of June 2, 2016, there are 710 levels.

If you love it, then there’s plenty to go around.

Lin Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton

Hamilton, the hip-hop musical which charts the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton is an astonishing piece of work and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s tour de force. If you’ve heard of it, you love it already, but if you’ve not, go read about it, and listen to the soundtrack (which is the show in its entirety). Then, if you can, get a ticket to the permanently sold-out show on Broadway. (I say sold-out, but if you fancy paying $2000 – $4000 for a ticket, Ticket Master will see you right).

Euro 2016

Euro 2016 is almost upon us. And yet again, Scotland will not be there. But fear not, there are more teams, more games and (probably) more excitement than ever before. I must admit to not watching much football over the past couple of years, but I’m looking forward to seeing the best in Europe do their thing.

Both the Guardian and the BBC will be good places to visit over the next few weeks. And if you are interested in joining my prediction league, the PIN is kzjj7t