Friday, September 29, 2006

Peter Grant

Tonight I saw Peter Grant in concert at the Forum in Billingham. The first half was Terry Webster - a "man of many voices". Terry was very entertaining, singing in various styles of performers from Cliff to Buddy, and pulling them off very well. Comedy was a large factor in his performance and we were in tucks of laughter with his false teeth.
Peter Grant, a small man, but then again he's only 18, has a belting voice. Not a bum note through the evening. His band were brilliant, and their jam sessions were particularly enjoyable. My personal favourite was their rendition of "I get a kick out of you" which they'd arranged for their performance at Ronnie Scott's in London earlier in the summer. A speedy version of "That old black magic" trotted along at an incredible pace.
The brass section comprised sax, trombone and trumpet - all excelled. Fabulous energetic drummer and percussionist. Pianist (who looked like Declan Donnelly) was slick, bass guitarist and the rhythm guitarist, who looked like he was still at college, was having a whale of a time singing along and bouncing to the rhythm. They all looked like they really enjoyed performing, and it was fab to listen to.

Lyle's Golden Syrup

This is a great article about Lyle's Golden Syrup (yum!) being the oldest brand in Britain, with packaging unchanged since 1885. Great!

Sweet success for 'oldest brand'

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

The rudeness of strangers

I provide free voice tracks for certain markets so that I can develop my showreel to use various styles and examples of my work. So far, I have had two people request tracks. One was a Christian radio station in Ohio whose script was, frankly, appauling and difficult to read. However, I recorded it, made the best of it I could, and emailed it to them. They didn't even respond.

I provide them to US and Canadian radio stations. So some dyslexic DJ from a gay club in Blackpool wants one. I was doing a session for this Christian one, so I thought I'd do this one too, you know, being nice and all, - it was only about 10 words, even though it didn't fit with the criteria for a freebie. Again - no response to say thanks. Since then, he and his friends have sent requests for about 9 more wants. He'll be waiting a loooong time for them.

People who actually pay for them are more grateful than those who receive them for free.

I wonder how long I will do this for...

Cat spam

There's a couple of things I really hate at the moment. Spam and cats.

Spam because I spend so many hours trying to set up filters to get rid of the infernal stuff.

Cats because, aside from the fact that they aren't even mine (I don't have cats) they shit in my garden, they scratch my car's paintwork, they kill whatever birds are left in the area that they haven't scared off already, and they scream and make cat fight noises at 3am whilst sliding off my bonnet with their claws. They have no regard for property boundaries.

Dogs are man's best friend and are faaaaar more interesting and loyal.

Put it this way, you never see a "guide cat", do you?

If a dog owner let their dog shit in your garden, walk all over your car, rip open your bin bags, etc. you'd consider them an inconsiderate owner, wouldn't you? Cat owners seem to believe it's their right to allow this to happen.

I suppose what I'm trying to say is, if every cat on the planet exploded, I would cheer.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What a day!

I felt all set to sell my business after today's catalogue of distasters. I won't, but if I was considering it before, today would have been a deal clincher!
1. My supplier quoted me a price for some cannons of £300 RRP. I worked out trade price and gave someone a quote for 4 of these units at £226 each. It turns out that they are actually £470 RRP each and I can't even buy them at trade price for £226. No wonder the customer said he doesn't mind waiting until November for stock to arrive!
2. A US customer orders a unit. I order a 110v version from the supplier. I book and pay for courier collection. I re-read their order whilst preparing the receipt, and they want a 240v version. I cancel the courier. I email the customer asking why they don't want a 110v version. They say OK, they'll have a 110v version now. It's more expensive but they don't mind paying. Actually, this was all my fault, but the customer was quite laid back about it.
3. A US university ordered a big special order last month. They email today to ask when it will be sent off. It was received by them on 12th September and signed for by someone who added the note on the docket "What is this?"! They have now found their order. They then tell me it's the wrong fluid I sent, even though they want a fluid that is not suitable for their application. They want it as quickly as possible (even though they spent 4 months arranging payment and sending over 30 emails of questions).
4. A US fire department (can you see a pattern here?) wanted testimonials and contacts of other users of some units. I'm not sure where the Data Protection Act comes in here, but they want their phone numbers to talk about the products. Maybe I'm being a bit English about it, but I feel past customers should be left alone rather than harranged by indecisives.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Howard Stern Show Tapes

I was reading about the CBS filed lawsuit to Howard Stern and this snippet of info I found fascinating.
As a result of the CBS lawsuit settlement, Stern announced on June 7, 2006 that Sirius gained exclusive rights to his entire back catalogue of radio shows from his days at CBS (about 23,000 hours). The shows cost approximately $2 million, which equates to approximately $87 per hour of tape. Sirius has the rights to the tapes until the end of Stern's current contract with Sirius and then all ownership rights will return to Stern
The fact that you can even do 23,000 hours of unscripted talk is staggering.