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Thursday, March 16

I like people
I've written in the past about hating everyone, so now I'm feeling the love, I should probably write a bit about liking people. The thing is, I'm the sort of person who rates other people as important. I want to be liked by people, I think I set my self-esteem by how well-liked I am. That's not necessarily something to be proud of, but it's probably true. So, people are clearly important. The things I enjoy the most are things created by people. I'm currently listening to some music, which required someone (or someones) to compose it, play it, record it and deliver it to my ears.

I've written on this blog before about the fact that human beings are odd in that we seem to defy nature's selfishness. Perhaps our chances of survival lie in the human race as a whole, rather than in just ourselves. The simple fact that comes out of this is that people do favours for each other for no reward, other than a thank-you. Overall, we like to help each other out. Holding the door open for someone is a simple example of this.

We do things for our friends too. For the sheer hell of it. That's what friends are for, right? So, when some friends of mine were having a weekend away, I decided to try to get hold of some music for them to play while they were away? Why? Because I'd heard this particular track on the radio twice in the same day a few weeks back and it had immediately brought my friends to mind. I knew that they would, for various different reasons, really enjoy this particular piece. So, I had to get a copy of it for them. Unfortunately, it was quite a rarity. Ebay was the answer.

Sadly, the item on ebay ended long after I wanted the track on CD and in the possession of my friends at their weekend away. So, I contacted the seller. Perhaps he could end the auction early? Perhaps he could arrange me a cheeky CD-R of the disc? He wouldn't do either, but offerred to email me a single track if there was just one I was after. I bid on his CD, in the hope that I'd be able to receive a genuine copy of this recording, but asked if he could email me one of the tracks. He did. My friends were very happy indeed with their recording.

So, this fellow did me a favour. He had nothing to gain from it. Ok, so I'd bid on his ebay auction, but that was a self-contained thing. If I won, then I had to pay and he had to deliver a disc. The story doesn't end there. After the auction ended, I was offered the tracks from the disc I didn't win - purely for backup purposes in mp3 format on CD-R... then I received the disc and it had a further 4 or 5 discs' worth of what can only be described as smashing instrumental music on it. What a nice guy! This surely beats the person who let me have some of her sellotape in a post-office once.

So, thank you to that man - if you are reading this you know who you are.

Sometimes this is a busy blog and sometimes not. The sister site Around The World In 80 Websites has been a lot busier, as I've tried to find sites and think of countries. I nearly have 80 countries. That doesn't mean I have 80 websites - it's about 45 at the moment - but part of the battle is finding the ideas for where to search. Google is a dear friend at the moment. This article is proving to be a lot of work. Still, I think I've got enough material to warble about. As always, I'll accept feedback on the project on the site in question.

Backing up
A while ago, I bought some new webspace with the intention of moving my websites and maybe having some smart content. I still haven't managed this. However, last night, I decided to, at least, take a backup of my website. If you're planning to do this, then may I suggest that CuteFTP would make a good friend. Admittedly, I only used the trial version, so it may become my sworn enemy in 30 days! Still, from the point of view of reliably downloading about 20Mb of assorted guff from my website, it was very good.

From the Album
I forgot to blog about this particular photo, which I snapped back on my birthday in February. If you read the blog entry for 24th Feb, it may mention that I spent the morning in a heap of traffic. While in that traffic, I spotted this car:

Hard to miss

The photo was taken from the window of a moving vehicle - albeit the open window - and I missed the perfect angle. Shame. What you can't see is that there's a silly yellow bead on the aerial of the car, that it has a sign in the back which reads "Princess on board" and that the registration was something like "PR22CSS". Yes. This car was being driven by the world's most hopelessly stuck-up idiotic pointy-nosed precious princessy... words fail me. Who needs a Flat Eric in their window, a huge yellow sunflower in their in-dash-board vase (yes, I know that they're standard for the VW Beetle) and a big fuck-off yellow car! Of all the things on the traffically-jammed road that morning, this was the most irritating. Had I not been in a borrowed car, I might have been very tempted to steer into this car and damage it in some way - "Oooh, sorry love, I didn't see you there in your big stupid yellow car!".

Makin' sweet music
I spent the other night with an interesting creation. See, that already sounds pervy and it's not actually meant to be pervy at all. I'm talking about Finale, some music authoring software. I have played with this before and it's pretty good. It seems slow for me to use, which I think is partly a product of their user interface and the fact that I'm not accustomed to reading/writing music on the page. This package is intended to help you create written sheet-music. However, it plays the results and also accompanies the moving of notes about the stave with the sound of that note. I hope to master this process. I have songs that I need to write down for various purposes?

Writing Songs?
There's a chance that The Musical! may be getting a new incarnation. Some lads from a youth theatre group in Southampton want to put on the show. I think it will need a certain amount of rewriting before that can happen, which will also give me the opportunity to insert some new material, which I wrote for the show since August 2004, when these lads saw us perform it in Edinburgh. The up side is that I get to work on the show's script again, and that it gets performed to people who haven't seen it. As a proud progenitor of the material, I am thrilled to think of it having a new lease of life. The down side is that I will have to spend many hours transcribing the music that Chris and I played off the top of our heads once, committed to memory, improvised to a polished state and then performed, into a form that someone other than us can use to recreate the end result. Another down side is that I've never been very good at letting go of my material and I think it would be quite important to let go of it if I release the performing rights to another group. There may be some things which I consider immutable - the notes, the script and so on, and those considerations would have to be agreed as part of the performing rights... but once released, it's important for the performers to make the show their own.

I'd go and watch.

I suppose my worry is whether I'd watch it the same way that I watched the movies of Phantom of the Opera and The Producers... with a nagging sense that the show had been ruined? Or will it be the way that I watched The Little Shop of Horrors on Broadway? In that situation, I noticed all the differences, but was really pleased to be seeing a production... and quite thrilled with some of the new touches.

It will be a learning experience for me either way. If this project goes ahead, then it will make me a better person. However, I'll only go for it if it seems like it has a fair chance of success. The original show was quite likely to fail, but didn't. It's a hard show to do. I want it to be more ambitious this time around and I don't think it's fair to set up some virtual strangers for a fall. However, these guys saw the show twice in Edinburgh, August 2004, and they got it. They liked the show and they understood what it was all about... this space.


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