Henk-Jan’s soundtrack to 2018: 1-10 February

I added ten new songs to Henk-Jan’s soundtrack to 2018 in Spotify. A memorable song each day. Enjoy.

Thursday 1 February: Charlie Straight – Someone With a Slow Heartbeat

I visited Red Cross / Sanquin Blood Bank again today for a blood plasma donation. Heart rate at 50bpm during the medical check-up is the inspiration for today’s song.

Friday 2 February: Handsome Poets – Make It Better

The Dutch band Handsome Poets are back with a new 4 song EP since 2015. Make It Better is the title track from the first of three albums in a series.

Saturday 3 February: The Midnight – We Move Forward

Walk on this Saturday. We move forward with a instrumental trance tune.

Sunday 4 February: Chvrches – Get Out

Wow, a new single by the Scottish synth pop band CHVRCHES.

Monday 5 February: Dallas Kalevala – Moon Makes Me Happy

Monday was called after the Moon. And why would it be a blue Monday? Dallas Kalevala helps you through the day.

Tuesday 6 February: The Horrors – Something to Remember Me By

Smooth synth pop for today. The Horrors don’t scare me.

Wednesday 7 February: Eels – I Need Some Sleep

Flu’s creeping by since Sunday. Sleep, lots of sleep were needed so far to keep me up and running during office hours.

Thursday 8 February: The Cardigans – Sick & Tired

I had to give in today to the flu. No 5 AM wake-up call to get to Brussels for work, but multiple layers of clothing to keep me a little warm. Sick & Tired, yet the mood’s OK. I cannot modify circumstances.

Friday 9 February: Fireflight – I Won’t Look Back

Yes, Fireflight still can rock! Today, the band released I Won’t Look Back. Hopefully more new music, a full album will follow soon.

Saturday 10 February: Caro Emerald – Whatchugot (PiSK remix)

This is a catchy tune!

Philippa Hanna – Come Back Fighting

Voor de financiering van haar nieuwe album Come Back Fighting maakte de Britse zangeres Philippa Hanna gebruik van het crowd funding platform Rocketfuel. Haar 6e studioalbum markeert het alweer 10 jaar meedraaien in de muziek en meer dan 1.000 live optredens achter de rug. Voor de opvolger van het poppy Speed of Light (2016)  trok de Britse naar Nashville om liedjes te schrijven. Country pop van het gezellige soort is het resultaat in de eerste helft van het album met het titelnummer als opener, Off the Wagon en Dorothy.

Bij de opnames in West Yorkshire zijn Britse vrienden meegenomen zoals BBC Radio 2 presentator Paul Jones op harmonica, John Dowling op banjo en van tijd een gospelkoor. Laid back R&B in Let ’em Fly. De productie is fris en vrolijk dankzij gitarist Roo Walker. Er zijn rustpunten ter bemoediging als The Hero en Getting on With Life. In het laatste deel van de collectie vind je de praatpop in Do The Unthinkable, de ballad Million Flowers, gospelkraker I Saw the Light (origineel uit 1948 van Hank Williams) en de goede cover van de Elvis Presly zwijmelhit (You Are) Always on My Mind. Prettige luisterervaring.

A. J. Ullman – Drifting, Falling: Diary of a Call Girl Suicide

Ripley Luna has four names. Second to the name she was given by her parents, as high-class escort girl her clients know her by the name of Justine. The third and fourth names – Greek – she sort of nicknamed herself. In Drifting Falling – Diary of a Call Girl Suicide the reader follows Ripley in the months leading up to her perfect way to commit suicide, leaving her variety of clients and her post-graduate career behind. Failure is not an option. Being smart and beautiful, sexy and tempting doesn’t tell the whole story. And the whole story isn’t what she tells her psychiatrist Dan Truscott. Traumas from her youth, dreams of becoming an astronaut, and a deliberate path towards the suicide make this narrative a peculiar kind of diary. Sarcasm, as the protagonist, she explains bit by bit to herself and the reader of the diary, jumping back and forth, referring to Greek mythology, popular astronauts, physics, and turning intimacy to good sex. I’ll save the plot’s ending for you to discover. A.J. Ullman did a great job unearthing the wandering mind of a suicidal girl.

About the author

A.J. Ullman grew up and still lives in Southwest Ohio. Those experiences and settings color his work of fiction. A.J. has worked in a variety of endeavors, from restaurants to libraries, to law offices, to community mental health centers to family practice medical offices. A.J. is a lawyer as well as a certified family nurse practitioner concentrating work these days in the medical field, treating patients in a primary care setting, including mental health disorders.

Experiences with psychiatric nursing have left indelible impressions on A.J. and these concepts are explored in both previous novels, One in a Million and Hit or Miss.

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Tips for Travel Luggage

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EpicTraveller.co asked me a while ago to test drive a few of their cool travel gadgets – must have travel equipment and gear. With several international flights on our family’s schedule this year, I agreed. Here are my findings.

Cabin Baggage Carry On Travel Bottle Set

Plastic bottles to contain fluids to clean lenses, after shave, etc. are available everywhere. I didn’t see bottles for drinks that can be brought on board an airplane as cabin baggage. This package of three (1.25cl; 2cl; 3cl) will meed that requirement. Handy, no leaks thanks to the tightly fitting bottle caps. A nice transparent bag contains the three travel bottles. Let’s have a drink!

Travel Luggage Lock with Cable (Pack of 3)

These padlocks are useful when your suitcase hasn’t a lock. The three-digit PIN can be set, instructions come with each of the three locks. Cable should be strong enough to keep unauthorized people of your valuables. Keep your belongings secure and safe using a travel luggage lock with cable. The package contains thee locks, hopefully enough to protect all your travel luggage.

James I. Bond – The Secret Life of Fathers – An Unexpected Guide to Understanding Men and Fathers

For this second edition of The Secret Life of Fathers – An Unexpected Guide to Understanding Men and Fathers behavioral expert James I. Bond collected 101 interviews with fathers of daughters and added advice and questions to be asked by daughters if they really want to know their dads. This quite unique book reveals the answers fathers of various age categories, married and divorced, in all kinds of relationships, gave to these personal, heartfelt questions.

Not only Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., former US President Barack Obama, but also Winston Churchill, current US President Donald Trump, and Paul McCartney showed very different behavior or outed a distinct emotional, conviction once they had one or more daughters around. Quotes and excerpts from the interviews are eye-opening and relatable. Feelings and emotions are exposed, hardly shared anywhere else. Divided into age categories alongside the development of newborn kids (becoming a father for the very first time) up to the awareness of having your daughter as caretaker the book doesn’t read as an average nonfiction work. Snippets of the interviews are introduced, shown, and summarized again. It makes reading superficial after a while. I missed a more readable, consistent narrative, and could really do without the short profiles of the father who threw in a couple of lines. I would have valued lengthier full interviews with perhaps fewer fathers.


About the author

Jim Bond is founder and president of the Father Daughter Project, a collaboration of individuals and organizations that have come together to help improve the relationships between fathers and daughters worldwide. Jim is a behavioral management specialist. For more than twelve years he led Leadership Management Associates of California, Inc., as president. He has also been involved in the regional leadership for the Mankind Project, a non-profit men’s training, and personal development organization.

Most significantly, Jim is the father of four children, a son age thirty-five and three daughters age twenty-give through thirty-three (he is a father-in-training – he hasn’t quite gotten it right yet, but he’s training). Jim and his wife of 38 years, Pam, reside in Thousand Oaks, California.

I got a complimentary review copy from the author in exchange for my personal, unbiased opinion upon reading.