Month: August 2003

Ola!

Posting from beach, toes being tickled by the cool waters of the med. In other words, weather’s here, wish u were lovely! Adios.

Oops

Mega busy day.

Doctors to ear syringed (wasn’t too bad).
Barbers to get hair cut (holiday romp, severe!).
Clyde Valley with a friend to get her out of the house (poor soul isn’t well).
Various shops to get items from the ‘list’ sent by my father-in-law (tea-bags etc).
Glasgow Green for 5-a-side (didn’t injury myself either)
And now I’m doing the work I didn’t do during the day. I managed 4 hours, so only 4 or 5 to go… which means I’ll still be here at 1 a.m. (nothing new there then!)

And no, I’m not sure why I’ve used so many brackets (but I have an idea…).

Ohh and thank you for all your well wishes for our holiday and anniversary. I’ll do a last round of visits to you all tomorrow and then it’s no web for two weeks. Ohhh that’s scary.. might have to find an internet cafe… just once or twice though…

3 days and counting

We fly on Saturday morning at 7:30 pm. I get the feeling that the next couple of days may drag a little so I’m doing my best to fill my time (and the iPod still!). I’m looking forward to it but there are a few reasons that make me ever so slightly unsure about how it will turn out.

1. We are staying with my in-laws. I’ve stated before that I get on very well with my in-laws so it’s not really an issue, more to the point is the fact that we are staying in someone else’s house for two weeks. Will our routines clash? Will they mind me wandering about naked when it’s too hot (at night of course)? Will they have shreddies or just weetabix for breakfast?

2. Our wedding anniversary is in the middle of the holiday. We will go out for a nice meal to celebrate and then… er… not celebrate it that ‘other’ way… unless the beach is quiet of course.

3. This is the first holiday abroad that Louise and I have had in seven years (our last being our honeymoon). I’m not sure that either of us remember what to do… I’m guessing sit by the pool, read books, get a tan, coupled with the occasional wander round the local market and visiting the local attractions… hmmm yeah that sounds about right.

4. Spanish! My spanish is awful. Having only ever been to France until I was 20, I still find myself reverting to the tried and trusted “I’m in a different country, I must speak French” method (which is very confusing when I visit friends in England…). Now where did I put that phrasebook?

Actually, it’s not really much to worry about, is it. Truth be told I’m soooo looking forward to this holiday that I’d happily sleep on the floor of the local jail. It’s amazing what some people will do for two weeks off work, isn’t it. So, any holiday tips for me? Been taking Vitamin B1 (to keep away the mozzies), have plenty of lotion and after sun, the E111 will get stamped tomorrow, and have narrowed the book choice down to 10. What have I missed?

Listening to: Lemon Jelly – Elements

Note this

I’m a compulsive note taker, especially at work. However as I’ve never really found a system that ‘works’ for me I find myself swapping between various downloaded ‘note’ applications, using text files, using Outlook notes (never stick with them for very long), and this strange new 3D medium I’ve found called pen and paper (it’s quite effective if a little prone to damage when you spill your coffee on the paper). The closest I’ve got to my ideal application was/is TexNotes.

So it was with some intrigue that I heard about Microsoft OneNote. The online demo seems to suggest that it will be useful, but then why do I need a spell-checker for a ‘notes’ application? Hmmmm I’ll stick my neck out and say this will be a good addition to the Office Suite (ohh sorry it’s not part of Office it’s part of the new Office System Products).

And yet, whilst I’m sticking my neck out at this awkward angle, I can’t help thinking that I’ll be looking back in a year’s time and laughing at myself. Again.

Listening to: U2 – Wake Up Dead Man

Cheap CDs

Number of albums bought hits new high . However, from the same article: “High street competition and increased discounting meant that profits from the album sector of the recorded music industry – much the healthiest, with the virtual collapse of singles – were actually down over the year by 2%.”

So whilst we are buying more CD albums the profit margin has decreased because we are paying less. You can see where I’m headed with this already, can’t you…

It’s kind of annoying that, whilst the RIAA in the States is still on the attack, and several ‘commentators’ are pitching ideas about how to manage and control the distribution of electronic formats (not to mention Microsoft launching “Music Club“), this kind of news doesn’t make the same kind of splash. Consider this little snippet from June of this year:

“The British Phonographic Industry (BPI) has reported a 4% slump in UK music sales, the biggest downturn since the launch of CDs in the early 1980s. It blames piracy, including illegal duplication and distribution by international criminals, for the decrease.”

Hmmm, so which is it? Is it piracy or competition that is to blame for lowered profits? And is the music industry really surprised that, when lowering prices, we buy more albums?

As an aside:
Consider FOPP. This record store has 14 outlets through the UK, and posted the following profits late last year: “December trading figures show a like for like sales growth of 8.45%, with a total sales growth reaching 60.64%.”

Now whilst that growth is not wholly because of CD sales (they go on to state that it is their ‘unique features’ that helped) I would imagine that they have one of the healthier CD sales totals due to their continuing policy of selling older CDs at discount prices. In fact, doing some rough arithmetic, I reckon that of the last 50 CDs I purchased 40 of those were from FOPP and 35 of those were discounted (?7 or less) older albums. Was I encouraged to buy more CDs because they were cheaper – hell yes!

Listening to: Jurasssic 5 – Acetate Prophets

The Big Easy returns

Speakeasy appears to be a blog again. This is good and bad news. Good in that it was one of the first blogs I really got into, bad in that the old style magazine format is gone.

Either way, reading what Carey writes is ALWAYS good.

Listening to: Radiohead – No Surprises

At last

Middle Lane Morons.

YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!!!!

Why? Is there something wrong with the left-hand lane? I’ve heard a few excuses for this, but the usual seems to be a ‘comfort zone’ thing. The middle lane driver prefers driving there as there is plenty of room round them and they can overtook some cars without having to switch lanes.

If you don’t have enough confidence to overtake on a motorway I would suggest that you shouldn’t be driving on it in the first place. Of course as the majority of drivers took their lessons many years ago, it would be before the introduction of motoroway lessons. Another argument for regular testing?

And for future reference, when I deliberately pull into the left-hand lane, then swerve over into the outside lane (missing your rear bump but close enough to worry you) and then swerve back across your nose (again close but not dangerously so) all the way back to the left-hand lane again I’m trying to make a point! Pull-the-feck-over!

Listening to: Coldplay – Daylight

Building music

There are several building works near our office, one of which I walk past everyday. There is a sign on the gate that says “17 days since the last reportable accident on this site”. Which only serves to make me wonder what the definition of a ‘reportable’ accident is, a broken fingernail perhaps, or a builder caught short 5 storeys from the portaloo?

In other news, in preparation for our upcoming holiday I spent a few hours dumping some music onto our iPod (OK, it’s her iPod… pah…). It’s a 10GB model, and as I have over 30GB of music on my PC I didn’t think I’d struggle to fill it, but of course it’s almost 30GB of MY music, so I ended up recording more stuff for HER and have still got 5GB to go! And the chances of us actually getting close to listening to even a quarter of the tracks are of course slim to none, but that’s not the point is it…

Listening to: Rolling Stones – Sympathy For The Devil