Making my own CDs

After much printing, cutting and sticking¹, the CD of Mink15’s ‘Pebble Beach is now finished. It doesn’t look as professional as the last release (it’s not in a CD jewel case for a start) but it seems more ‘real’ now it has physical form and is not just a load of zeros and ones on the internet somewhere.

I’ve had many problems with  this – the CD labels are slightly different to all the other CD labels I’ve ever bought, so they don’t align properly. Which I didn’t notice until I’d printed a couple of sheets. Also my printer decided it didn’t recognise the new cartridges, or even the old ones (made by the same company) and I thought I’d have to buy a new printer at one stage.

But now I’ve got  back into the swing of it, I think I’ll make CDs of my other music.

Pebble Beach CD

‘Pebble Beach’ is on sale at the bargain price of £2 including postage (£2.50 for international/intergalactic orders²) you can afford to splash out. Or if you can’t afford that, you can download it for free.


¹ My gods, how I hate my Epson printer.

² Apologies, but we can not currently deliver to Andromeda for technical reasons


The joy of Parcels



Isn’t it great to get stuff delivered? Even when it is something you ordered yourself, it is nice to have to open the door to the postman who has a large parcel for you. It’s pleasant enough opening the mailbox to find something from Amazon, but  something that is too big for the letterbox or is ‘important’ enough to require a signature is something else.

In this case ‘something else’ was a new router (to replace the brand new  BT  router which is rubbish). Not very exciting, a box that sits on the bookcase in the lounge, but the box was a lot larger than I expected. In fact the box is a lot larger than it needs to be, by maybe three times. If it’s in a big box, it must be worth more money, might be the reasoning behind that.

Of course one reason it is exciting to get the parcel, is that if you miss the doorbell you will have waited quietly all morning for nothing. It is a massive sense of relief.

Memory Stick Overload



I seem to have a problem with memory sticks. I have too many of them. This photo is just of what I found on my desk just now, there are more lurking somewhere (and not all of the lurkers even work, and one ancient thumb-drive requires drivers installing which kind of defeats the object).

I don’t need them all, the novelty USB drive in the shape of a well-known brand of razor is just plain stupid (The boss at work had been given it by a rep, he thought it was just some kind of eraser, but then he is not very good with computer technology). The one I got free with a trial of The Economist acts strangely if I store more than 500MB on it. The silver Texet thumb drive only hold 256MB so is pretty useless, same with the white thing front left.

The others all hold either 4 or 8GB of data so they’re ok.  BUT WHY DON’T I JUST HAVE A CLEAR OUT? I could format these drives and then recycle them, or give them away. Or maybe sell the novelty one on Ebay.

I’m sure this is a bloke thing, this obsession with gadgets, and the hoarding of gadgety things. Such as having quite a few key-ring torches.* Another example: Somewhere under my bed a have a box of about a dozen USB leads, just in case…

*Not that I do. No. Not at all. I only have 6 or 7, and one day they will come in handy for something.

A Right Mess

My room is in a right state. A lot of that  is my PC, which is playing up and I am trying to troubleshoot, which is edging out into the room day by day. Currently it occupies the bit under my desk where my legs go, so I am typing this in a slightly uncomfortable position.

Until I get that sorted out, the rest of the stuff is sort of … everywhere.  I’ve had a case of beer since the weekend, and those bottles need to be taken to the recycle point. The clean laundry is folded, just not put away. ‘Clean my desk’ has been on my to-do list for about a month now, and nothing has happened.

If I put my mind to it, and stop playing with the novelty of having a proper internet connection, I could get this all sorted THIS AFTERNOON.  So I shall…


Losing the will to live (with network troubleshooting)

There’s nothing like spending two hours trying to troubleshoot a wireless network for spoiling my afternoon, and sucking all the joy and happiness out of the world.

I thought the USB WiFi dongle might be faulty, so I bought a WiFi PCI card (which was on special offer) confident that this would work, and I could take the ‘faulty’ one back for a refund.

What happened: A connection that died on me ever hour or so (last week) became one that cut out on me about once a minute (this week) and I ended up with a PC that wouldn’t connect to the router at all (today).

I am not a happy bunny.


Too many leads!


some of the wires

There are too many leads and wires in this flat. Connected and ready to go at the flick of a switch are:



Powered loudspeakers


External hard-drive (3)

Microphone pre-amp

Minidisc player

CD player

DAB radio


Christmas lights (2)

Phone charger (2)

MIDI keyboard

This isn’t all plugged in all at the same time. And this is just in my room, the crazy tangle in the lounge is pretty bad, too. Problem is, I need all these things.


…and this is what some of the audio leads look like!

What I did in 2011, part 13 – Started blogging again

In 2011 – right at the end, almost so late that it was 2012 – I stared blogging again.

Ok, this is only 14 blogs, but it is a start.  I think I can build on this. I think I can maybe use the WordPress app on my phone to start draft ideas for blogs as I get them, rather than wait until i get home by which time the idea has evaporated. I think I can improve on my writing, hone it. I might go on and on at length about my music, jogging,  beer, random things.

In fact, that sounds like a plan.

What I did in 2011, part 12 – Went Android

The price of mobile phones has now gone so low, that I went and got me another, so I have two contracts running at the same time. Since they each cost me about £10 a month, this is still pretty cheap. And I wanted something that I cold run ‘apps’ on (even though Nokias have been running apps for years now).

My new phone
My main phone is my Nokia which I use for making calls, texting, and so on. My new phone isn’t being used as a phone at all, I am using it for Facebook, Twitter, Email and things like that. This is my Android phone, the first time I have got a phone that isn’t a Nokia.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having this new portable web device. Advantages are that I pay a flat rate for the data and don’#t have to worry about that at all. It had a nifty touch screen. It is shiny and new. I can do the social networking stuff curled up in bed listening to music and not hunched over my PC keyboard every time I want to tweet.

Disadvantages, so far I have noticed: Nifty touch screen is a pain in the arse to do much typing on. The battery only lasts for about 25 minutes on full charge (ok, a day more-or-less, but it is already starting to annoy me). I have my social networking sites on hand 24/7 – I AM WASTING SO MUCH TIME NOW IT IS STUPID, I should be making music, reading, anything instead of tweeting that I should be making music, reading or etc.

My Nokia might not be so exciting, but I know the charge will last for several days, and when I send a message I won’t spend 50% of the time fixing typing errors because of the tiny virtual touch-keys (although Swype is rather clever way to input text on Android, it is still hit and miss with my normal-sized hands).

In conclusion: I like having two phones