Friday, 31 December 2010

Are you sitting comfortably?

The story is written, subject to final tinkering, but before it begins I thought I should explain a couple of points. My initial, unconsidered plan was to try to avoid using duplicate words so that every day was unique. Then I started writing and found it next to impossible. I suppose it can be done, but it wouldn't sound like normal English.

I was also planning to use as few 'boring' words as I could get away with - illustrating a load of ands or buts didn't seem like an exciting prospect, but again I found them unavoidable when it came down to it and frankly I haven't given myself long enough to tit around with it. There are in fact a great deal of dull words - some would say all of them - but then I reasoned that it's hardly the most exciting project anyway and who's going to complain that it's worse than they expected?

Finally, I'm not much of a writer. You aren't likely to be slowly dazzled by the prose. As long as you realise that, no one should get hurt.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A mammoth task at any bit rate

I have treated myself to a new mp3 player. My old one is in good working order but I wanted more capacity in order to do something I've wanted to do for ages - have my entire CD collection on one portable device.

I don't buy many CDs these days. Spotify has helpfully removed the gamble of buying a record on spec, and whether or not that encourages bands to try harder I'm calling it a good thing.

If an album passes its streaming audition I'm still only likely to buy a hard copy if it's a band or artist I really like. You know, out of respect. I do have the genuine (if fairly lame) excuse that I'm running out of shelf space, but I remain one of those nasty hypocrites who downloads most of his music while bemoaning the death of the high street record shop. I really can't explain myself - the idea that one day there will be no physical albums at all makes me want to cry, vomit and then cry into the vomit but there I am, helping to nail down the coffin lid. I still have a turntable though, if that offsets the heresy at all.

Anyway, back to my daft desire to compress my entire collection. I haven't counted lately, but there must be almost 900 discs, a very large proportion of which I haven't listened to in years. So why not be more selective and avoid shelling out for a 64GB player? Well, I've got about 150 albums on my existing 8GB device and I always find myself wanting to listen to something that's not on there. So I thought, Sod it, I'm going to eliminate that possibility. But you can't do 90 per cent, it has to be all or nothing, which is why I've spent the better part of the past two days ripping CDs in Windows Media Player, including those I know with certainty I will never listen to again. For some reason I don't find it tedious - I like challenging the online database with obscure titles, though it's annoying to have to enter track listings manually. I've also made some interesting discoveries, namely albums I had no idea I owned. Remember The Electric Soft Parade? Six By Seven? The Distillers? No, neither did I.

The really daft thing is that I usually listen to mp3s when I'm in bed. The player almost never leaves my flat.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

I have actually given this thought

Hey reader! How would you like to be told a story, one word at a time, with 24 hour pauses inbetween, over the course of an entire calendar year?

Well Graham, that sounds like one of the worst ideas I've ever heard. Why do you ask?

Because it's going to be my new project, starting on January 1st!

Ha ha. You're joking, obviously.

No I'm not! It's better than it sounds though - each word will be artistically rendered to give the whole thing some visual oompf!

Nope, still among the worst ideas ever.

You really think so?


Fuck it, I'm doing it anyway.

Good for you. [deletes bookmark]