Virus Pie

Two weeks before Christmas I received an email claiming that if I clicked the link within I’d receive a free mince pie.

Though doubtful of its authenticity I clicked the link.

Two days ago I received a small package at work.

I didn’t know what to expect when I opened it (having long since forgotten about my mince pie email).

To my delight inside was a mince pie and a note.

Dear Mr Greaves:

Thank you for taking the time to download and install our MSN Messenger 8 Beta Software and/or malware.

Please find enclosed one mince pie as a token of our appreciation.

So there.

Next time you receive an email promising you a mince pie if you click the link; click it.

The pie doubters laughed, I laughed last.

Virus Pie
Virus Pie

Naughty me

I got told off by the ticket inspector on the train to Swindon yesterday for travelling on the wrong ticket.

Apparently my ticket was not valid on trains that left Paddington before 8.30am.

As I only joined the train at Reading I was ignorant of this fact.

However, my friend (who I met on the train) who had joined the train at Paddington pointed out that the train in fact left Paddington at 8.50am.

A-ha, the ticket inspector said, that’s because it was running late.

So, even though the train was late and left Paddington after 8.30 it was still classed as a pre-8.30 train.

That’s crazy.

When we pointed this out to the inspector he agreed to “let me off” and warned me “not to try it again”

Air Miles not crap

Who said Air Miles were crap?

Actually, it was me – even though I have loads of them – they’re so overpriced that by the time you factor in your discount you’ve only saved £20 (on a £500 flight).

So last night I was booking my flights for a holiday in a few weeks time.

I had checked prices and found the best deal was booking direct through BA.

Then I received an email from airmiles, telling me of special offers on BA.

So I decided I should check it out – just in case.

So I did, and to my surprise I found that I could use around 2000 miles and save around £400.


So I went with them – I even managed to get car hire for two weeks and still pay less than I was going to pay just for flights with BA.

So, they’re not so crap after all I’ve decided.

I miss that little radio

Once upon a time, I bought a radio – a portable digital radio no less.

Life was good – I listened to that radio on the bus to work – and at work – and on the bus on the way home too.

Then, I moved out into the sticks and started catching the train to work.

The commute was longer but the radio served me well.

6 Music was my station of choice.

A station for people that are too old for Radio 1 and too cool for Radio 2 as The Guardian once called it.

The station that once played the full version of Marquee Moon by Television on the breakfast show (I was sat on the train grinning like an idiot when they did that).

Completely advert and shite music free – I really enjoyed it.

Then one day, South West Trains introduced new trains.

New comfortable trains – with comfier seats, and aircon and all that kind of stuff.

That and some clever “feature” that completely blocks the signal of my radio.

At first it was the occasional train – that I could deal with.

But now nearly every train I catch is the new style 🙁

Eventually I gave up using my radio, it now sits at home, gathering dust.

It has occasional outings – like when the cricket is on.

And I’ve since bought an iPod.

But it’s not the same.

I really miss that little radio.

Shiny new iPod

Woohoo, shiny new iPod.

The people in the Apple store replaced it without hesitation and the new one is scratch free (although they do scratch very easily so that won’t last long).

Still got to try out the photo storage feature – I bought the iPod camera connector which I will connect my camera to.

The minor annoyance is that I shoot RAW and the iPod won’t display RAW files.

However, I can set my camera to shoot RAW and small JPEG too and the iPod will display them.

So I’ll do that from now on – it’s not a big deal.

I did a test of all this with my camera before buying so I’m confident that it all works.

Gonna get me one of them iPods

I’m thinking of getting an iPod.

But, just like everything else in life I have to do things differently.

I am about 75% of the way through ripping my entire CD collection to FLAC (lossless encoding).

The benefit of this is converting to any format from FLAC is a simple matter of writing a script.

So; should I convert to AAC (does a Linux tool even exist to encode AAC) or MP3?

What quality setting should I be using? Remember, I’m fussy.

Do I need to worry about ID3 tags? I’m setting album, artist and track only at the moment.

What directory structure should I set them all up as to keep iTunes happy (currently I do “Artist – Album/01 Track.flac” but I can script it to use a different structure if needs be)?

I want to store photos on the iPod (a 60GB one) from time to time so don’t want to fill all 60GB with music – I estimate it’ll be around 7000 tracks when I am done though.

I’m sure somebody knows the answers to all this; Simon?

See you on the Dark Side…

I made a mix CD for some friends.

Obviously I can’t put the actual files I created on here, but I can provide the track listing for anyone who wishes to recreate said mix in the confines of their own homes.

Most of the time was taken doing the artwork and printing:

The background artwork is from some candle photos that I took.

Track listing:

1. Jaga Jazzist – Lithuania

2. Carmen McRae – How Long Has This Been Going On? (MJ Cole Remix)

3. Shirley Horn – Return To Paradise (Mark de Clive-Lowe Remix)

4. Air – Sexy Boy

5. Avon – Attack the Federation

6. Mandrillus Sphynx – Pigeons G-Spot

7. Bentley Rhythm Ace – Bentleys Gonna Sort You Out!

8. Roots Manuva – Witness (One Hope) (Walworth Road Rockers Dub)

9. The Go! Team – Ladyflash

10. Mylo – Destroy Rock & Roll

11. Fun Lovin’ Criminals – Scooby Snacks (Schmoove Version)

12. Pigbag – Papa’s Got A Brand New Pigbag

13. Mr. Scruff – Champion Nibble

14. Proyecto Uno – Latinos

15. Outkast – Hey Ya!

16. Polysics – My Sharona

17. The Dears – Lost In The Plot

Initial feedback is positive.

“…it has a consistent vibe…” and “…it’s got a nice peak in the middle…”

So far, nobody has said “What the fuck is this shit?”