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Top 10 songs to Reminisce about Glory Days to!




dolly parton playboy magazine
Dolly on the cover of Playboy magazine

Top 10 Songs to Reminisce About good (or bad) times too!


Sometimes a song comes along that is upbeat and full of life. Musically they are killer diller, dressed to the hilt with riffs and hooks to die for.

Lyrically they focus on times of the past, reflecting on past glories, happy days and better times. They might be of bitter sweet memories. They are often sung from the singer's perspective of looking back, fondly reminiscing.


Or, it may simply be a song that causes the listener to think about times from the past.

These are the Top 10 songs to Reminisce to!


10. Summer of '69 By Bryan Adams

Supposedly about the sexual position the song is about various individuals buying guitars, joining bands and getting the girl. The singing is soaring and it's backed by one of rock's most memorable rock riffs. It's a shame Adams later released, Everything I do (I do it for you) and thus ruining his cred. Here's the vid on Youtube.

9. Hot Summer Night by Meat Loaf

Marion, I bet you say that to all the boys

This song is about reminiscing the hot summer night you got some sweet poon tang. And it has cool hand clapping. Nuff said. Meat Loaf rules, hang cool teddy bear!

8. Sweet Child 'O Mine, Guns 'N Roses

GNR's only number one hit, this song looks back on a happy time of childhood memories. Supposedly it was inspired by Axl Rose's wife. One of rock's greatest efforts, this song is popular in so many situations, especially in bars on a Saturday night sing-a-long. Here's the vid.

7. The Living Years, Mike and The Mechanics

"Every generation, blames the one before". I think everyone knows that line. The Living Years combined features of both members of the band's relationships with their fathers; it dealt with Mike Rutherford's (Genesis) strained relationship with his late father and the birth of co writer Robertson's son three months after his father's death. Heavy subject matter, but comes with a slight touch of looking back with fondness about dad. Here's a live version.

6. I will always love you, Dolly Parton.



You're an idiot Jimmy Jangles, Whitney Houston sang this song! Um no. Dolly Parton wrote it in 1974 herself and released it first. Whitney only made it mega famous. It's not completely a reminiscing song if you take the lyrics in a straight forward sense as its about an immediate relationship break up. The reminiscing occurs when people are remind of their own past relation ships and feel a kinship to the song. If you click one link today, you better make it this one.

Legend has it that Dolly also wrote her classic song Jolene on the same day she wrote this one.


5. We built this City  by Starship

Admit it, you know the song and you love it. Why? You love rock and roll and any rock and roll song about rock and roll rules. The key is why? Though it's 80's rock, it's good AM radio rock and everyone knows AM radio rock rules! The lyrics were written by Elton John's better half, Bernie Taupin and are a nostalgic nod to American radio stations of the 1970s. Le video.

4. Don't Look Back In Anger by Oasis

Who really knows what this song is about? All I know is that when I hear Don't look Back In Anger I feel happy about my life. It's one of those inspirational songs that say nothing and everything at the same time. Here's the vid.

3. Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

The ultimate song, in thinking about people how have did and fondly reflecting on their life. Not that you'd get this from the lyrics, they are kinda depressing. Here's a vid.

2. Don't Cry by GNR

That's right,two entries for GNR, cos they rock. Every person that feels sad about a relationship can listen to this song and feel sadder and happier at the same time. It's the same trick again, sad lyrics mixed with happy, epic music.  Where's Izzy?

1. Glory Days by Bruce Springsteen

The number one song about glory days can only be called Glory days! The song is a 'seriocomic' tale of former 'all american' star high school athlete who now ruefully looks back on his so-called glory days. It's not a happy song but the trick with it is that the music is so happy! Sung with a knowing phrasing, Springsteen also pulled this trick with Born in the USA which was about a soldier's problems on returning from a tour or two in the Vietnam war - except it was one of the most up beat, anthemic songs of the 80s. Here's a live vid.

What are your favourite songs to reminisce to?

Careful, cute baby hedgehogs ahead


Move over kittens! The internetz no longer needs your cute pictures of cats requesting cheezeburgerzs.

There's a new kid in town and he's cute with spikes! Jimmy Jangles brings you cute baby hedgehogs for the win! I'm mean seriously, you could bet the farm on these cuties!

Careful, cute baby hedgehogs ahead.

cute baby hedgehog
Baby Hedgehog reporting for duty!
Oh hai there, I'm the cutest baby hedgehog! I'm all little!

cute baby hedgehog
Cuteness: Evolved and Spikey!
I can haz the cheezeburger and da milkshake? How cute am I?

cute baby hedgehog
Hmm, your hand smells nice!
My milkshake tastes better than yours! It brings all the hedgehogs to the yard!

cute baby hedgehog
Cutest Hedgehog ever?
I might be wrapped around your thumb, but like you know the reverse is true cos I'm too cute!

For more interesting pictures of animals, visit Animals Eating Animals, but trust me, it's not cute.....

Mount Ngauruhoe covered with snow


volcanoe ngarahoe covered in snow

Here's a sweet photo I took of Mount Ngauruhoe in 2011.

I love the shot of the chair lift just creeping by!

This photo is taken from the Whakapapa Skifields on Mount Ruapehu which is in the Tongariro National Park.

Keen Lord of the Rings fans will also note the mountain ranges found in this park served as Mordor in the Peter Jackson films.




U2's best love songs



bono with bikini girls
Bono, looking for some fast love?


U2's best Love Songs


The Beatles sang that All You Need Is Love and just about every band since has as well so it's no surprise that U2 have song a few songs that ponder the wondrousness of love and all it's ins and outs.

Here's the top songs that either features the subject 'love 'in their lyrics or are clearly love songs by U2.

Love is Blindness

A haunting tracking that closed the mighty body of work that was Achtung Baby - the lyrics suggest a quite desperate love where nothing else matters but that love - a deep play on the phrase love is blind but the neighbours aint joke perhaps?

When Love Comes to Town 

Some men are afraid of love. They'd prefer to hit it and quit before they have to contend with their feelings. At least that's what this duet between Bono and the legendary bluesman B.B. King might leave you thinking...

Love Rescue Me

A desperate man calls out for love. It's a man that's hurting that sings this aching ballad from the Rattle and Hum album.

Love And Peace Or Else

A rocker from U2 from the How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb album, this is U2's Give Peace A Chance effort - it's basically Bono asking why can't we all just get along in peace and harmony with some peace loving mung beans thrown in for good measure. Or something.

The deluxe edition of the album has a liner note which says 'don't become a monster in order to defeat a monster' which I think sums up the lyrical intent behind the song and it ties in with Bono's Coexist mantra

So really it's not a love song per say but one that promotes love?

So Cruel

Not all songs don't need to be of a happy kind of love. So Cruel's lyrics tell of a person in love with another whom is bending and breaking their heart with their thoughtless ways. As I listen to the singer's lament, I can't help but feel some sorrow for them.

Hawkmoon 269

Allegedly 269 takes were required to record this song - the character seems to be a love drug addict and needs some love badly and Bono lists the ways he needs it.

Sweetest Thing

This U2 love song is definitely one inspired by real life events for Bono  - it was written for his wife Alison as an apology for missing (or forgetting) her birthday during the recording of The Joshua Tree record. I wonder if Bono owed Alison another song after the featured picture of Bono above with the two bikini girls came out?

Originally featured as a U2 b-side on the Where the Streets Have No Name single, The Sweetest Thing was revamped and released as a single to support U2's first Greatest Hits album. 

One Love

A strident, upbeat love song that celebrates the characters' love for his woman - or indeed possibly love for his god. That's a classic song writer's trick - making the lyrics open to interpretation helps increase the song's broad appeal amongst listeners.

The lyric "I was born I was born to be with you " is a nice romantic line to tell a woman - however, the verse below is suggestive of praise to the character's creator..... 

"I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn't have a choice
But to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to"


The first verse of this song suggests sentiments of falling in love for the first time or perhaps truly, madly, deeply falling for someone - the lyric "I have a lover, a lover like no other" suggests the later perhaps is true - indeed that line would be a great compliment to any woman (or man!).

The second verse refers to the love of a brother who would do anything for his sibling - the word brother could easily stand in for a friend here as well.

The final verse talks about the love between a father and son that perhaps has gone sour. Collectively these three different settings make for a great story and makes you wonder what kind of person is telling this story and how do those elements relate to one another?


A love song made famous by the Righteous Brothers, this was covered by U2 as a b-side on the With or Without You single. My wife and I played it at our wedding so enough said!

There plenty of other U2 songs out there that refer to love or sing about it without saying the words - what are your favorites?

Sick of love and lust? Want to bite your teeth into something more serious? How about some U2 songs's with lyrics about nuclear politics?

Update: U2 have released an album called Songs of Innocence, featuring Song for Someone. They might also do an album called Songs of Experience.

Brewing simple tricks for beer kits


beer kit brewing tricks

Some simple tricks to making great beer


In 2019, you still want to get the best quality beer you can make with your beer kit and so here’s the best tips and trips we have to help you make great tasting beer. 

While often seen by many beer snobs as the ‘stupid homes schooled cousin’ of those who make all grain beer, those snobs are simply wrong.

You can make great beer with kits. Especially if you demonstrate patience and a commitment to good practices. 

This is a great guide for first time novice beer brewers but seasoned pros may find a nugget of gold to help you make better homebrew!

  1. You've chosen your beer kit and are ready to begin. The first thing you are going to do is ‘Keep it Clean’. This was the same for 1917 and it will be for 2117. If you are making beer, your gear needs to be cleaned and sanitized. Your fermenter and the gear you use to prepare your wort must be in a tip-top state of cleanliness. Sure, you can get away with not cleaning your beer bottles but you can’t get away without having a clean and sanitized fermenter. Sure, the Vikings who made lager in barrels in caves had never heard of using sodium percarbonate but you have and you need to use it to prevent your beer getting infected. The best part about using sodium percarbonate? You’ve probably already got some as it’s found in ordinary laundry soak) I’ve had brews get infected and I know it was my fault as I did two kit brews and the same time and both got infected. I am a 1000 percent sure if I had of done a proper job of cleaning my gear (including stirring spoons and washing my hands) I would not have ruined 80 bucks worth of malt and hops. That said, don’t stress too much about accidental contamination….
  2. Use a beer enhancer. There’s no easier way to making better beer kit beer. Beer enhancers are made of basic ingredients, being a mix of fermentable and non-fermentable. They usually contain a mix of dextrose and maltodextrin. Such beer enhancers work by the dextrose being the food for the yeast and are thus used in the fermentation process. Some beer enhancers also have hops added to match the kind of beer style so if you are ordering from an online store, check that the particular enhancer's hops matches the kind of beer you are trying to make. If you want a good creamy mouth feel, beer enhancers that have a high percentage of malt or DME will do the trick. This is because you are adding more ‘unfermentables’ in your beer. The more malt you add, the 'creamier' your beer will be. This is in the sense that your beer will be more viscous, making it feel thicker in your mouth.
  3. Brewing temperature will have a massive effect on your beerFermentation is a process that requires just the right kind of temperatures and the right kind of times. Different temperatures suit the differing kinds of beers. A very rough guide is that you should aim to brew lagers between 10-14 degrees, and get those ales done between 18-21 degrees. A constant correct temperature is also very important as the yeast can react to a temperature variance in ways that are not good for tasty beer! So when doing your first brews, make sure it can be done in a warmish area and one that's going to keep that temperature. I often use blankets to ensure that the beer is kept at a fairly even temperature. 
  4. Be a patient beer brewer. Your wort will take about a week to properly ferment. You can tell when fermentation has finished by taking readings with a hydrometer. When you get two or three consecutive days of the same reading, fermentation is probably complete. And if you are properly following the instructions of the beer kit (don’t), you might think it was time to bottle your beer. It’s not. Wait another week. While the yeast may have eaten all the sugars, it will move on to other parts of the wort and in doing so it will clean up your beer, helping to remove unwanted products of the fermentation process. The yeast will slowly drop to the bottom of the fermenter thus improving the clarity of your beer
  5. Hops are like the magical ingredient of beer. If you just used malt and sugar and yeast you would get beer. Add hops and you get BEER! Different hop varieties suit different kinds of beer. After hundreds of years developing beer, there are now some well-established rules of thumb for what kinds of hops brewers should use. This guide to using hops will help you find the hops that are right for you.
  6. Want clearer beer? Trying using gelatin as a fining agent. It combines with the 'leftovers' of the beer brewing process and they fall to the bottom of the fermenter thus clearing the beer. You can add it any time after fermentation and word on the street that it actually works best when the beer is quite cool. A common timing is to add it a couple of days before you intend to bottle your beer. But just remember gelatin can come from the hoof of a horse, so if you are trying to make a beer suitable for vegans, think again. You can always do some cold crashing of the fermented beer.
  7. Making lagers can be a tricky business as they don’t have a strong flavour that can mask problems like a strong stout can. A way to improve the chances of a successful lager brew, you may want to consider discarding the standard yeast that comes with a beer kit you might want to order the lager yeast known as WL833 - it's a popular yeast for lager brewing and is proven amongst the beer brewing industry.
  8. When bottling your beer, ensure that you use the right amount of sugar. If you use too much, you will no doubt suffer the pain of beer gushers. These happen when you open the beer and whoosh! It blasts out like a volcano going all over the place. Another handy trick to reduce the chance of a gusher beer is to have chilled your beer for at least a couple of hours before you intend to drink it. I have personally experimented this with a troublesome batch and cooling your beer before you consume it definitely reduces the chances to too fizzy beer. Using carbonation drops is a handy way to make sure you get the right amount of sugar in the bottles.
  9. Oxygen exposure can impede the bottle conditioning of your beer, giving it a quality that you may not want in your beer. Too much oxygen can allow any organisms left in the beer to flourish, giving an unwanted vinegar like quality. While not a massive risk, you can reduce the change of it by using a beer bottling wand. By adding it into the tap of you beer you are able to easily fill your beer without causing too much oxygenation. Make sure you firmly install the wand as I’ve had personal experience where I haven’t and spilled beer all over my garden shed floor…. Bottling wands also make bottling easier and faster as the valve at the bottom means you do not need to turn the tap on and off for each bottle when filling. If you don’t use a wand, we suggest you fill your bottles by angling them so the beer pours down the side of the bottle to reduce agitation. 
  10. Once you have bottled your beer, that’s not the end of the matter. It's often best to initially store your beer in a warm place. This will encourage secondary fermentation to commence (this is sometimes described as bottle conditioning). The ideal temperature range is between approx 18 - 25°C for 5 to 7 days. After that period, you should leave them in a much cooler place with a temperature range between approx 8 - 12°C. You should then leave the beer for a total minimum of three weeks since bottling date before some well-deserved tasting.
  11. Keeping a record of what you have been brewing will give you an insight into what has worked, what didn’t and what your personal preferences are.
Now you're an expert, take the time to watch some Star Wars and brush up on your Darth Vader quotes.