Dancing Queen

It’s a stupid thing to get misty-eyed over.

In our Sunday classes we usually do a song and then sing it together with karaoke. Last week we did Mama Mia and somebody in the class said they really like Dancing Queen, so this Sunday we’ll do that. I was grabbing a good copy of it, and decided on this one: https://youtu.be/G8O79uP0JmM

I have to admit I wasn’t all too familiar with it, but like all ABBA songs I was aware of it, and knew the melody, because most ABBA songs are catchy.

This song was released in 1976, so I had just turned 20 years old. I was still in undergraduate school. Somehow I was never the type to go clubbing – too busy with even more meaningless things – and watching this I suddenly got teary eyed. Over a stupid ABBA song!

Like – where has everything gone? When did I have a young life? I got to feeling like life is passing by too quickly. I came to Japan almost 34 years ago. 34 years from now I almost certainly will not be here. It’s all gone in a moment. And yet, there was a time, when people played like this.

It’s an upbeat song, not serious at all. I’m genuinely surprised it caused such a reaction in me. Particularly because it wasn’t a song I listened to when I was young.

I suppose it’s because it is evocative of an time in our lives gone by. A time I feel I somehow missed. I guess younger people wouldn’t feel this way about a dumb ABBA song.

Apple Music, and help I got from Tim Cook

I was interested in trying the new Apple Music subscription service. In fact, I gave a demo to the Hibikinokai group last Sunday.

But I ran into a strange problem when I tried to create my own three month free trial in my main US account.

After signing up, I noticed I was charged $9.99 for the first month, even though it’s supposed to be a three month free trial.

I thought that was strange, so I emailed iTunes support and they promptly refunded me the $9.99.

But… After that, I was not able to sign up for the free three month trial. At the last step, I would get a warning telling me that since I had previously paid for Apple Music I was no longer eligible for the free trial.

I contacted iTunes support, and they told me there was nothing they could do about it, because that’s just the way it is. It didn’t matter that I was accidentally charged to begin with and refunded. The system saw that I had previously paid, and as far as it was concerned that was that and I just could not have the free trial.

That didn’t make sense to me, so I sent an email directly to Tim Cook. His email address is easy to find.

Within less than a day, one of his assistants got back to me to help.

We tried various things. First she tried to reset something, but when I went into try I ended up with the same warning at the last step that if I pressed the button I would be charged $9.99.

She also had me try from a different device, but it was the same result.

Finally, she emailed me back to say that she had deposited $30 credit to my iTunes account and I could use that for my three month free trial. Or for whatever. Sure enough, when I checked, there was $30 waiting for me.

So problem solved.

Now I can say I’ve written directly to both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook and gotten a response both times. Of course with Steve Jobs, he actually emailed me back directly. With Tim Cook he had an assistant write back. But that’s fine.

Now I can check out Apple Music and see if it can improve my mood. I’ve been rather down lately.

Dave on the ukulele

My friend Dave, who recently turned 95, has been studying the ukulele for a long time now. Here he is recently performing “Sakura” with his teacher.

He said if you  live in Japan, and are interested in playing the Ukulele or Guitar, he can introduce you to Acousphere in Nishi Ogikubo where he studies.

I think it sounds beautiful.