jetpack technology

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Here's a video made by my Russian fan Valentin and his girlfriend doing some latenight work in a beauty salon. Music is by yours truly. I think it goes well!

click for free food!

It's a very strange time for me at the moment. The house is nearly empty. Mr Argentina went home last night and I actually miss him quite a lot more than I probably should (we did have a nice hug though). I'll really miss seeing him at the end of every day and having a chat over dinner and watching Friends each night (his taste in TV shows is not that sophisticated considering he'll be a professor very soon at the age of 30). It's the end of a (pretty short) era. Laura Ashley has moved out most of her stuff and will be gone in a few days. Then on Saturday I'll be moving out too. I just hope the stuff I've got left will fit into mummy and daddy's people carrier - and that the letting agency who are so eager to take my money will finally tell me I can move into the nice place round the corner next month. I still don't know for sure where I'm going to be living though I'm surprisingly calm about it. I hope kittycat comes by to say goodbye.

click for free food!

Friday, February 22, 2008

I'm so 1978 right now - this is my favourite record at the moment. I had the cd sent from the US (for £5 less than getting it from this side of the pond)

I'm surprised this record hasn't been ripped off by Daft Punk already like all those dozens of others they nicked.

I've often thought that there's such a huge legacy of pop and rock music nowadays that there are probably whole genres which I've never appreciated and which are just waiting for my delectation. Well thanks to the cornucopia provided by Screamer radio I'm pretty keen on Progrock radio now, and bought quite a few cds of obscure bands I've never heard of and would never see on MTV or Channel 4, and I get a bit of a kick out of the fact that it's so untrendy and non-contemporary. I suspect I'm turning into an old fart.

click for free food!

Friday, February 15, 2008

most of this year has been preoccupied with finding a new place to live, cycling around in the pitch dark and cold, trying to read house-numbers and generally agonising over the whole depressing process. Fortunately I found a great place just in the area in which I wanted to stay (just around the corner really). The people are really nice and they seemed to like me too. However the scumbag letting agency are now giving me an ulcer. Seeing as I have the dirty secret of having leprosy being unable to work and depending on housing benefit and DSS benefits, this makes me far less easy to home. I've given them all the details of my income which are more than adequate to cover the very low rent, which is less than I'm currently paying. I could pay the rent they require twice over and have some money left, but they say I can't afford it (they don't seem to understand that housing benefit is calculated in such a way as to ensure you can afford to pay whatever your rent is, provided it's a reasonable amount and you don't require numerous extra rooms). This is presumably because most of their clients need an extra 500 pounds a month to spend on cars and holidays and champagne, which of course I don't. So it seems quite likely that I'm suddenly going to be homeless again because of some silly mathematical formula that states that I can't afford the lifestyle to which we all should be aspiring. Grrrr! I'm going to try the cat's home...

I'm going to miss the regular visits from miss Kitty Cat (ain't she pretty?)

by the way, I tried again to get my stuff printed at Staples. They didn't reply to my email or return my call as promised, and still took four days to tell me they can't figure out how to do it right. Oh dear. I can't believe their complete crapness... Fortunately a friend of a friend is a printer (an Epson I think) so he's currently trying to sort me out (so to speak)

click for free food!

Friday, February 08, 2008

you know how annoying it is when you get greasy marks on your computer screen, especially with TFT monitors. I find that I wipe one away and it just leaves a bigger one. Anyway, here's a site that finally has the solution - yay!

click for free food!

just after Christmas I finished my new CD, I paid to set it up on CDbaby and Itunes and get a UPS (barcode) and got some very nice looking discs printed. That just left the artwork to get done before I post off the CDs to the US to sell in the CDbaby store. So I spent a few days designing the artwork on the computer and finally decided on a finished design with all the right dimensions and dots per inch etc and I just needed to get it printed. So I took the files to my handy Staples store just down the road. I was eventually served by a girl who was so frustratingly timid and slow it was like giving instructions to a mouse who had been nibbling on Valium. Anyway, I managed not to lose my patience and showed her the mock-up which I'd printed on my inkjet printer of exactly what I wanted, just so she'd know exactly how it should look. I recklessly decided to opt for the expensive heavy glossy paper which I later calculated was going to work out at £1.60 per CD just in paper (a bit hasty methinks). I went back a few hours later to collect them and the manager handed me a big wodge of very slick shiny prints but with all the dimensions completely wrong - they obviously didn't even look at my mock-up or if they did they must be a bit thick. The CD inlays looked more like 7 inch recordsleeves - doh. He said "that's £16 please, are they ok?" so I said "erm, no they're completely wrong and I can't use them". I showed him my mock up and pointed out that the pictures had not been printed at 100% scale but had been stretched to fit the page. He shrugged and said "sorry mate, we'll do it again for you". I didn't have the digital files on me so said I'd come back. The next day I decided there must be an easier way than trying to explain to Staples employees how to print things correctly so found a place online that does disc duplication as well as print the artwork and have it all cut ready for insertion into a cd case. I emailed them saying I didn't need the discs just the artwork and they sent me back a quote which was very good and much cheaper than Staples. So the next day I emailed them the artwork and a few days later I got a cd case in the post with a sample of the finished artwork just to make sure that I was happy with it. The finish was great but (unlike the printing from Staples) the colours were not quite right, there was a slight pink hue to everything. I know how tricky it can be to get the levels of red, green and blue just right so emailed them back saying if they could just fix the slight colour problem I'd gladly send them payment in advance of them actually doing the printing. I got an email back with words to the effect of "sorry, we're not going to calibrate our printers just for you, if you don't like the sample then we can't help". So, I can't help but wonder what exactly was the purpose of them sending me the sample if they had no intention of taking on board my criticisms and ensuring my satisfaction. And also I wasn't asking for special treatment and for the printers to be calibrated specially, but to be calibrated correctly - I'm sure their other customers would appreciate it too. So I decided they were a lost cause. I did find another place that did disc duplication and artwork but when I asked for a quote it worked out at over £5 per disc, just for the paper! Hmmm, how do they make a profit. So I decided to go back to Staples seeing as the finish was so nice and the colours just right, and the fact that plain paper lasercopies are currently only 29p each. I took back my mock-up and explained to a different girl that the artwork has to be printed exactly the way it is. She took away my data cd and said she'd do a test print. She brought over a sheet and said "I don't think it's the right size" - which is wasn't. So I said "can't you just print it at 100%, the specified size of the actual image files - it's very simple" and she said "well no, the software is very basic and only has two settings. There's a wizard which only allows us to print something to fill a whole page or half a page". So basically their computer decides on some arbitrary size and prints it at that size no matter what and you have no say in the matter. I felt like saying "can I come over that side of the counter and do it myself?" Can you believe it? I think it's mind-boggling that they can't do a simple printing job like that... Anyway, in an attempt to finally get this bloody artwork printed, I've tried creating some A4 sized jpegs with the artwork sized just right in the middle so hopefully if they print them on A4 paper then the cd artwork just may come out the right size to fit in a cd case - but I'm not counting on it. I think in the future I shall do all the artwork myself with a marker pen and a rubber stamp...

click for free food!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

sorry, couldn't help it:

click for free food!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

well I've seen some nice places, and another one tomorrow hopefully, so I'm hoping that I'll actually be offered one of them above all the inevitable dozens of other applicants for each room. One place I went to had about 5 people show up to the view the place at the same time and I met another one on the way out. I told him it was like Picaddily circus in there and he said he'd come back later. Also it's kind of awkward when you're having a conversation about the suitability/affordability of the room when there are several "competitors" standing right there listening to your every word. I felt sorry for the current tenants whose landlady was sending all these people round at the same time... is a great place to find rooms for rent though there's a paysite called who are spamming the boards and placing bogus ads which simply redirect you to their site when you make an enquiry about the place - cheeky eh. I might send them some rude emails. I wish there was a forum where I could expose them for their terrible netiquette. At least I can moan about it on here.

click for free food!