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Quirkiness is an option

Someone said to me yesterday that they thought that my blog “Didn’t contain much personal information”, as it was more just about things I’ve seen and thoughts that I have. So just when I was getting over by blog-freak-out week, I got back to thinking that I was not living up to supposed expectations by dishing the dirt on some more interesting things.

It’s tricky, because whilst it would be fun to be a little more direct about certain things concerning myself and other people, you always find that these things have a nasty habit of coming back to haunt you, especially as you start to learn and realise who looks at your blog. It’s just a shame this isn’t anonymous really, otherwise I probably would be more direct. In the meantime, I’ll just have to stick to being ‘quirky Geoff’, as apposed to ‘give away loads of personal information Geoff’. Such as :-

I had another abortive attempt to get to seeing Baddiel & Skinner : Unplanned yesterday evening, for which I’d got tickets for just on Saturday (they’re like gold dust) but then the people I was supposed to be going with then decided about two hours before that they didn’t want to go after all. So yet again, I didn’t get to go and see one my favourite TV programmes. Humph. Still, it’s back on ITV2 & 1 as from tomorrow night.

I could have gone after work by myself of course, but rather than be a Billy No-Mates (Or is that a ‘Nobby no mates’?), I pissed off down the pub instead to catch up with my “tube-partner” Neil and a few others (who didn’t want to come, before you ask), and proceeded to get quite pissed instead.

After everyone had decided that me & Neil act like an old married couple when we’re together, someone picked up my iPod which I’d put on the table alongside my mobile in that time-honoured tradition of ‘spill all your gadgets on table of the pub when you arrive’, and after a few moments they said “What are all these playlists that are just one or two letters?”, and I had to explain what I’d done.

In quite a few of my favourite songs in iTunes, I’ve sat down with my keyboard that I have and worked out what key the song is in, or is in for the majority of it anyway (curse those multiple-key-changing songs!), and have used the ‘Comments’ field in iTunes to write it in. e.g “D”, “F#”, “Eb” – that sort of thing.

Then I’ve made up smart playlists which only contain songs that are all in the same key, so that you can have a seamless listening experience, as playing lots of back to back songs that are all in the same key makes for very pleasurabe listening. (e.g Play Maroon 5’s “Must Get Out” and follow it immediately by Green Days “When September Ends” – go on TRY IT – as it’s a sexy pants segue in the key of ‘G’ if ever there was one.) As I looked around the table at the quizzacle looks I was getting, I tentatively asked “Am I the only person that would even think of doing this then?” “YYYEEEESSS!” came the (in-key) chorus of replies. Oh. Ok then.

So that left me quiet and pondering for a moment whilst I thought about what else might be a “Only the sort of thing that Geoff would do” type thing, and quite quickly came up with another one which I wasn’t going to reveal until I started picking on Neil who’s been looking like recently that he could do with eating a few less pies and spending an hour or two a week down the gym instead – if you get my drift – and the conversation turned to people’s weights.

So I casually mentioned (having thought it already just a few minute before, you understand) that I regularly weighed myself (like, at least once a week) and kept an spreadsheet of it all with a graph … surely that’s not so unusual is it?

“You whhhaat!”, came the general response.

Oh, apparantly that is unusual.

So in the spirit of tring to be quirky and a little personal all at the same time, I figured I could post the graph up here from Excel from the past couple of years which shows that I’ve been getting slowly fatter. And yes – it’s all in Kilograms , so I apologies to all you oldies out there that can’t cope with such a modern scale.

And that makes me just under twelve and a half stone if you can’t be arsed to do the conversion …

Final thing: A quick game for today which is at www.foon.co.uk/farcade/hapland/

Of course, when I say ‘quick’ … it’s not. Don’t do it! You will waste far too long having fun with this, unless you cheat and Google for a walkthrough of course …

31 responses to “Quirkiness is an option”

  1. F5™ Chris says:

    It’s all very well organising playlists by key..

    But what about when you encounter a truck driver’s gear change?

  2. geofftech says:

    The old “less is more” issue Aman, yup… And yet what i post is usually after I’ve gone back and trimmed it down!

  3. Carina says:

    Well, I weigh myself every day and keep a graphic of it in Excel…

    That makes me more sad lol…

  4. Yorkie says:

    My dad has a spreadsheet detailing all the fuel he’s ever put into the car, how much it cost, and what the mileage was – it’s quite useful when selling cars, as you can say how many miles per gallon it does. It’s rather frightening to see how much you’ve ever spent on fuel for the car in the box at the bottom though.

    The key thing sounds like a great idea, maybe the next version of tags should include such stuff like Beats per minute (maelzels metronome mark) and key.

    Tell us then Geoff, are you a musician?

  5. Neil says:

    Geoff!

    “until I started picking on Neil who’s been looking like recently that he could do with eating a few less pies and spending an hour or two a week down the gym instead”

    Say what you mean why don’t you?

    Or is this part of the “I want to say a few things about people but I can’t because everyone knows who I am” thing you’re going through at the moment?

  6. geofftech says:

    Yorkie.. you’re alive!! I thought you might have got flooded out a little. Are you on dry land and well, yes?

    Am i a musisican? No .. ! ha ha har. But I did pass my Grade 1 at piano once (!), which was enough to teach me musical scales and be able to work out (usually) the key of a song my thumping away on a keyboard. I do what a lot of people do – get a MIDI keyboard and some software and thignk “Well this is gonna be easy then, writing a song isn’t it?”, and of course it isn’t. So I just fiddle a bit never really doing anything constructive. I think iTunes DOES already have a BPM field.

    Oh, I also have a notebook in my glove compartment where I write down the date, mileage, price per litre and total amount spent on fuel for our car. This is getting terribly sad, isn’t it?

  7. P says:

    With you on the weight xls. I have one starting in 1999. (Didn’t know it could also be spelt “wait” !)

    I also have one for petrol (litres, price, total cost, mpg, etc etc etc), with lots of lovely graphs. That one goes back to 1998.

  8. I love graphs and stuff like that. I think I’ll have to start one of those for the petrol when I eventually get my own car (when I’m out of London!).

    Also, if I had some scales to weigh myself on every day, I could do the weight XLS too… splendid ideas!

  9. geofftech says:

    Put a pair of scales down on your Christmas list then Anthony, and join the club! I’m glad it’s not just me.

    And i know it’s called ‘weight’. calling it wait.jpg is just my idea of a gag, and seeing how observant some of you are .. very observant, it would seem!

  10. Neil says:

    Actually, I’m more bemused by the fact that I am now your “tube-parter”.

    That conjures up all sorts of images …

  11. geofftech says:

    Typo corrected!

  12. pixeldiva says:

    But “tube-partner” is better than shaft partner, surely?

  13. Jono says:

    This is all getting a bit smutty if you ask me.

    Oh, and Neil, don’t think you’re the first. Ask Geoff about the Steps concert…

  14. Neil says:

    Apparently, we’re supposed to be going to Girls Aloud togeether as part of an arrangement to do with proper music etc etc ..

    Steps … I ask you.

    Tubes, shafts, they’re all the same.

  15. geofftech says:

    Jono, that was supposed to be our little secret. 😉

    Ok, so he didn’t come .. but I did go with someone else, only because they had a spare ticket at the last moment due to someone else dropping out…

    … and I really enjoyed it!

    [Awaits sarcastic comment from Ian, here]

    Neil, seeing as I am seeing Pink Floyd at Live8 this Saturday, we really should arrange to go to a Girls Aloud concert together, yes. I’ll just go and check their website now …

  16. Andrew says:

    My parents keep accurate logs of all the phone calls they make (with the help of a program I wrote on a PSION Organiser II about 10 years ago). From time to time when a well known teleco tries it on, they’re there with the facts!
    I keep a log of my current-account banking, cashpoint withdrawals etc. (and then have to make my account match the bank’s at the end of the month).
    I also log the gas, electric, and water meters at least once a month. I don’t see why I should save them the effort, but estimated bills are a greater evil.
    Since he retired, my dad also keeps his own log of the weather, for cross reference to the household energy consumption!!!
    I wrote a program to analyse my web hits (including the referrer fields) on a monthly basis, and maintain a summary of that information.
    Face it: we don’t just hoard old toys and memorobillia – as a nation we are now becoming “digitally obese”!

    Looking at your weight graph, Geoff, I’d say you had a “lifestyle change” in summer 2003; did you cease to be a student, change jobs, or move out of your parents house???

  17. geofftech says:

    Oh, that’s a point, yes .. i use MS Money as well to log every transaction that I make, and keeps all bills, reciepts and cash-point withdrawal slips .. yup, and then balance it nicely! So sometimes I maybe broke, but at least I know exactly how broke I am!

    Lifestyle change? Well, er.. (could you all please recognise the fact that i’m about to divulge some personal information here) I got quite thin and guant towards the end of 2001 due to a certain “lifestyle change”, yes … which then continued througout 2002, and I only became happy again at the beginning of 2003, at which point, my healthiness picked up again, yup!

  18. Wayne says:

    Something “only I” used to do was cut my nails on the 10th of each month, you know, so I wouldn’t forget…

    I used to do the car/petrol list-keeping thing, in the days when I a) had a car and b) didn’t have a PC. Also in the ancient days of paper, I used to note all the football matches I went to (got to 89 of the 92 clubs), and gigs (venue, support act, who I went with, etc). Nowadays I keep track in Excel of all the Ultimate frisbee tournaments I go to.

    Which reminds me, Geoff, whatever happened to that plug about the London Ultimate League? Wednesday or Thursday would be a good day for all you London types to visit Clapham Common or Clissold Park and watch some quality Ultimate frisbee…

  19. Mikey says:

    A curious question Geoff, how much does it cost to keep this website going, and what features do u get for that? not being nosey…

  20. geofftech says:

    Wayne –

    lol! ok, i can plug frisbees at somepoint.. you can actually enter HTML code and put a link in yourself in the comments!

    if you went to 89 out of 92 clubs, don’t you have a burning desire to do those final 3? I know I would…

    Mikey –

    Claranet (www.clara.net) are my hosts, and that’s pertient question because they’ve just charged me circa £230.00 for a whole years worth or something, when it should only cost either £199 a year (annual fee) or £19.99 a month. I’m still currently waiting to hear back from their accounts department who aren’t returning my calls or emails.

    e.g currently not very impressed or happy with ClaraNet!

    it used to cost me just £9.99 a month, but to have an SQL database so that I could have WordPress, I had to upgrade.

    Their ‘host matrix’ (for comparison), is here:

    http://www.uk.clara.net/clarahost/comparison.html

    and you can see what you get for your money! (webspace, POP boxes, SMS, SQL, telnet access, etc…)

  21. geofftech says:

    I’ve just realised that £199.99 is the price, PLUS vat. which equates to around the £232 figure which i mentioned.

    but they’re still sneaky bastards because they went ahead and charged me for a whole year instead of debiting me monthly, which is what they used to do before I upgraded.

  22. Brian says:

    You might want to shop around a bit there Geoff. I host with Dreamhost and apart from the corny name, I have found them really good. Certainly their base plan seems to offer a lot more than Clara. I suppose, you might prefer to host with a company based in the country you live in, but if you can break that barrier then there are multiple other options open to you.

  23. Brian says:

    Ack! Can this blog allow editing of posts?

    I forgot to say that I hope Clara does not allow telnet access to their boxes! You should run screaming in the opposite direction from any host that allows users unencrypted access to their network (especially with shared hosting plans etc.)

  24. F5™ Chris says:

    I’m not sure who I’m with.

    But it’s costing me £35 a year. Which aint bad..

  25. Yorkie says:

    I should point out that I am safe and well, I was not flooded out; I don’t live in the wettest part of Yorkshire. (No doubt somebody will bring up a website with a list of rain guages in different parts of the wonderful county to tell us all how wet it actually is)

    Simply been busy, and away from a decent net connection. No news is either good news or it means I’ve been tweaking computers again…

    Apologies for almost beginning to treat this comment box like a forum.

  26. geofftech says:

    Yorkie – A website to a list of rain guages to set how wet different parts of the country are can be found here:

    http://www.see-how-wet-yorkie-is.com/

    Forum? Now there’s an idea…

    Brian – I would consider changing, but for it to happen seamlessly would be nigh on impossoble – tranferring the domain and all the data now tied up in the SQLdatabase, etc.. that’s not a straightforward task!

    And Clara do allow telnet access! Eek. Which i understand is unusual, yes…

  27. Neil says:

    Like Brian (and Pixeldiva) I use Dreamhost too and I have to say it’s not bad at all.

    (I was converted to the light).

  28. ” I got quite thin and guant towards the end of 2001 due to a certain “lifestyle change” ”

    To quote Chaucer:

    Yet one man stoode all pale and wan,
    For he was a vegetariane.

  29. Andrew says:

    Another good UK-based web hosting company is WebFusion, now owned by Pipex. Their Linux-hosting comparison tables can be found here: Linux hosting

    I’ve been with them for about 4 years now. The webmail is a bit flaky, but you would probably use POP anyway. They’ve also made a couple of minor administrative cock-ups (or perhaps just not made properly clear what they were going to do before they did it). Other than that, they seem pretty good. 1.5GB webspace and 10GB monthly bandwidth (0.5p/MB thereafter) seems quite good for £99+vat per annum.

  30. geofftech says:

    Well I rang Clara today, and I said “Can I pay monthly please instead as you’ve charged me for a whole year”.

    “Sure” she says, “That’s done”, you’ll now be chared £23 per month.

    “Ok, and you’ve given me back my £230, yes?”

    “Ooh… no.. i’d better go and talk to my supervisor”

    Yes, I think you better had dear.

    So they say they’ve sorted it. Whether they have or not remains to be seen. Time to keep an on my online banking over the next few days…

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