It's Sunday 29th February 2004, and fresh back from holiday, it's straight on with getting those 50p's in as several have turned up in my absence. Before I do though, did you know that traditionally, this is the one day of the year (the extra leap-year day, that is), that ladies are 'allowed' to propose marriage to their blokes - how sweet! No one proposes to me though. Ah well, perhaps in another four years time they will. (I've got a thing about weddings by the way).
Anyway, I wondered why this was, and found this page about leap years and the the traditions behind it. Also, I found out that in Greece it's meant to be bad luck if you marry during a leap year, and over 20% of engaged couples avoid marrying during these years.
Also, as people have already asked me if I was going to be collecting 50p's whilst on my hols (50p is about 6 Rand and 50 Cents in South African currency), then I should point out that I actively did not ask anyone that I met on my travels for 50p's as I decided that I wanted to have complete break from it all, and allow myself some quality time to clear my head.
But now that I'm back, and super-relaxed, I can see that my inbox had filled up quite nicely with a few emails whilst I've been away. So it's time to go thru 'em.
And we'll crack straight on with some PayPal donations that I got in whilst I was away. So - first up is John Neeson (251), from Hastings in the UK. He chooses Feeders excellent "Forget about tomorrow" as his nominated song. Cheers John, appreciated.
Stuart Barthropp (252) from Vauxhall, London and his mate Laurence (253) send me a Paypal mail next, along with nominations for The Beatles "I am the Walrus" and Ringo Starr's "Beatles Snookeroo". Ok! (Where the hell am I going to get copies of those from!?).
They found my site here from a link at diamongeezers blogspot, which is worth a read.
Next is contributor Morgan Jones (#161) who wants to contribute again because he liked my philosophical wanderings on the previous page, but I point out that he can only contribute once.
But by the time I've done that he's already PayPal'd me another five dollars! In the end, we agree on me taking one more dollar from him, but this time it being from his 1 year old daughter, Cecilia (254) instead, for who's Morgan nominates the song "Picture in a frame" by Tom Waits on her behalf.
Welcome to Monday 1st March 2004 , and there's a good story on the BBC news website today about a UK judge who not actually knows what an iPod is - but he owns one too! The article comments that judges are not usually 'up' on popular culture, and yet here is one who is with it at the cutting edge of technology.
It says: "The idea of a be-wigged member of Her Majesty's judiciary downloading banging tunes off the internet is somewhat at odds with the traditional image of the profession"
I wonder what would appear in his 'most played' playlist? Anyway, non-contributor, but iPod owner Michael at work reckons I should email him asking for a contribution, so I did! Am still waiting for a reply though.
Then I check my physical snail-post-mail and discover that non-contributor Dave who works in the office next door had been collecting my post for me! He's sent me an email about it.
Realising that people have been sending me 50p's in the post and rather than leave them lying around on my desk whilst I'm on holiday he's hidden them away for safe keeping - only he's not in today and he won't tell me where he's hidden them! He's back in tomorrow though, so I'll be able to grab them then.
Back at home that evening I check my emails. I have a lovely mail from Eleanor Hinch (255) who got in touch several weeks ago, asking me if I had any surplus money at the end if I'd consider giving it to the Merton Music Foundation (who are near me), we ended up chatting, and as she knows fellow tube challenger Jack Welsby, she's now decided to get on board and she PayPal'd me 50p. Thanks Eleanor!
She tells me that she lives in Wakefield here in the UK, home of Fox's Biscuits, a company from which I've been known to buy a packet or two in the past. Oh, and she nominates the French national anthem as the tune to go on my iPod when I get it! And that was my Monday.
Welcome to Tuesday, 2nd March and I get an email from contributor Matt (#78) who has used my picture of the iPod in the 'Saddam Hole' on his companies stag-weekend planning site lastnightoffreedom.com - have a look, it's most amusing.
At work, I retrieve my snail mail from Dave, and somewhat disappointlingly, it's just the one piece of mail, with one 50p. I was kinda expecting a few more than that! Ah well. It's from Simon Pang (256) in Watford, Hertforshire who emailed me back last year, and he's eventually got round to sending me 50p in the mail - cheers Simon! Don't forget you can nominate a tune as well!
And welcome to Wednesday 3rd March where things finally pick up at last.
I'd been worried about my FFPD rating (Fifty Pences Per Day) which as you can see had been falling steadily since the burst of high activity when I got mentioned on the ipodLounge.
So it was nice when my day started with a lovely card that was sent to me with a picture of Shakespeare on the front, with the famous "Some men are born great..." quote from Twelfth Night. Oh, and inside was a 50p sellotaped down inside from Sal Brown (257) who's from Hull here in the UK.
"I can't think of a particular song for your iPod" she writes, "As I tend to go for Chopin and Baroque stuff more than songs."
Well that's no problem Sal - there must be a Chopin track that I can get my hands on if you like, and that's the whole point of the nominated tunes part - I really will put on a copy of your choice of music, not mine - so that I will have a reminder of each and every contributor for evermore!
Ah, but then further down she's written - "But if you felt like it, you could add the Goldberg Variations to your playlist", which I will happily do Sal, so thank you!
Next, I call in some promised donations from another chap at work in the office next door. So thanks to Steve Padmore (258) and his wife Taryn Padmore (259) for their donations, along with one for their colleague Carl Williams (260) who all contributed.
Did you know that Taryn is South Africa's sixth most popular female name? Compared to it being a lowly fifty-seventh in the rankings here in the UK. Fascinating what you can learn from the internet if you're prepared to poke around for long enough.
Then lunchtime comes and goes, and some snail mail turns up in the afternoon, bringing with it a 50 pence piece from sixteen year old Kirsty Walker (261) from Birmingham.
I've been swapping emails with her for the past couple of days, since she discovered me after looking up stuff about 50 cent on the internet and stumbled across my site. Methinks she loves 50 Cent a lot and she writes "He is the king!" in her note to me, and chooses one of his track - 'Many Men' as her nominated tune.
So cheers for your contribution Kirsty. Now go and tell all of your mates to chip in as well!
It's Thursday 4th March 2004 , and I get to work and find a contribution from someone I was expecting in the internal mail. Actually, from the outside it felt like FIVE fifty-pence pieces were taped down inside, but upon opening the envelope it rather amusingly turned out to be five 10p pieces sellotaped down.
Anyway, it came from a very nice chap by the name of Matthew Seager (262) who has the inimitable honour of being the only contributor so far that's taller than me, as he's 6' 5" in height! (See photo). If you're taller than that and would like to contribute, the come on - email me and let me know!
Anyway, Matthew had posted me his contribution through the internal post as he works in another building 5 miles across town, but it just so happens that I was going past that building later today - and so after he'd made all the effort of making me a nice package to send in the post, and taping down the five 10p pieces, I ended up catching up with him and getting a photo with his money that he'd sent me, still taped down!
"You're a nutter!" he says when me meet up. Thanks mate! And we chat, and get a passer by to take our picture, oh, and he chooses a song too - Elton John's "I guess that's why they call it the blues". Nice one. And thank you Matthew.
I then wander over the road to another building and catch up with another colleague, Tim Harness (263) - well, not that I can actually remember what he looks like as I haven't seen him for about three years now as we just communicate by email now and then, so it's lucky that he spots me when I walk into his office. Mind you, I also spot him straight away largely due to the fact that the room is devoid of any other people except for him, which is quite helpful.
He's sitting playing with quite a nice gadet - a new Sony Vaio PCV machine which is a multi-media PC with a built in TV application on a flat panel screen - and it's very nice! And a snip at £1,400 too. I think Tim's a bit of a gadget boy like me, as he then starts showing me his holiday pics too which he's got stored on a USB dongle device. Neat.
As we're chatting away Tim's colleague Alison McCarthy (265) walks in and takes the photo of us, and so whilst we're at it, I managed to nobble Alison for 50p too, although she's not overly keen on having her photo taken, so once again I have to plump for the the infamous "hand" shot again of the dosh being passed over. Cheers though Alison, it's appreciated! Oh and Tim chooses the Motorhead classic "The Ace of Spades" as his nominated tune, whilst Alison goes for "The Milkman of Human Kindness" by Billy Bragg.
Tim then decides that his 12 year old daughter would like to get on board (although I think that's mainly due to the fact that he only had a pound coin on him and not a 50 pence piece and so it was easier to make two contributions then to fish around for change), so thanks must also to Josie Harness (264).
So I must say Josie - if you're reading this now, then there is no way that you should you let your dad deduct that 50p from your pocket money. (12 year old kids, still get pocket money nowadays, right - or am I completely behind the times?), you can make him pay it on your behalf, ok! (Sorry Tim!).
At that point Alison decides that her & Tim's other colleague who sits with them but isn't here right now - Wes - should also contribute, so thank-you Wes Curtis (266) for chipping in even though you only got told about this after you got back to your desk!
So... not bad for a lunchtimes effort - I was only expecting to collect one 50p, and I come away with four instead!
By the time I'm back at my office and desk in the afternoon, Tim has emailed me through some pictures of Josie (as a "Brave Viking warrior" - excellent!) and one of Wes as well for me to use, along with their tune nominations.
And welcome to Friday 5th of March where I head into work wondering if there any more colleagues that I haven't yet picked on in the BBC. Actually, according to the internal email address list there are over 26,000 people in the BBC which by my calculations is enough people to buy 52 iPods, if only I could convince everyone to give me fifty pence. Ah well.
One of those 26,000 is Susan Robinson (267) who I bump into as I'm on my way back from the toilet, and she's on her way up to the canteen. We get chatting about something else, and then I casually drop in yet another request for 50p. She refuses. Arse. So I ask her again just to make sure she meant it. And she refuses again. Double arse. Actually, she's been refusing for about the last two months as I've asked her quite often but she'd yet to submit to the ways of the iPod fund.
So many thanks today to the BBC Canteen - infamous over the years for how bad it's cups of tea are - for not having any decent food in stock for Susan to buy with her last two pounds that she has on her, for a few moments later she wanders back down clutching a bag of Walkers crisps and chucks 50 pence on my desk! Hurrah!
Apparently, there is no other decent food available to buy, so she's only bought a bag of crisps and as she's therefore still got some change left over and decided that it would be better to give me 50p now, rather than have me bug her continually every time I see her - thanks Susan!
She doesn't want her photo taken, but does allow me to take a picture of her packet of crisps - which I should point out are salt and vinegar flavour, even though they are in a GREEN coloured packet. I hate this! Everyone knows that Golden Wonder set the standard for colour-coded crisp packets years ago. Navy blue was salt & vinegar, green was cheese & onion, red was plain, pink was prawn cocktail and brown was beef/barbeque - oh and a mustard yellow colour for chicken flavour.
In fact, I found this splendid page idling away about the different variety of crisps that have been available through the years.
But oh no.. ! Walkers Crisps then come along and confuse everyone by changing the long respected and established colour scheme by making green packets salt & vinegar, and blue packets the cheese & onion. Cheeky bastards! How confusing is that? Come on - hands up - who's ever bought a green packet of Walkers crisps thinking that they were cheese & onion only to discover that they were salt & vinegar instead ... I bet it's happened to us all at one stage in our lives.
Oh, and she chooses the Sugababes "Too lost in you" as her tune choice. No problem, cheers Susan!
The afternoon progresses on, and just when I'd given up on some people disappearing down the pub completely (what with it being a Friday afternoon and all), some of them decide to stumble back, looking a little worse for wear, including Ed Padmore (268), who's been over in our office shadowing for the last couple of weeks.
Ed is actually an iPod owner, as is his brother Chris Padmore (269) and although they're both going to contribute, before they do Ed makes me listen to a song on his iPod that he's got with him - "Your mothers got a penis" by Welsh band Goldie Lookin Chain.
Let's just say that the song isn't entirely serious, it makes me laugh, as well as reminding me of my eighties roots at it samples the main synthy bit of the Eric Clapton classic "Behind the mask", and I'm convinced. As is Ed, and so him and his brother Chris pose for a photo. (Think about the photo carefully for a moment...) Oh, and Chris's chosen song is "Hurt" by Johnny Cash.
You'd think I'd be running out of people in my office at work to ask now, wouldn't you? Well almost .. but I've been doing this so long now that contributor Shaun (#3) actually quit a few weeks ago, and whilst I was away on holiday, he was replaced by Bambos Eleftheriou (270) who I decide it's time to go and ask if he'll cough up to as he's been here long enough now to settle in.
I'm not sure if he really knows what's going on at first when I try and explain it to him, so in the end I just make out that giving me money is just some bizarre initiation ceremony that he must go through, and what do you know, the nice man that he is, he coughs up fifty pence. Thanks mate!
Finally to round the day off, I catch up with one more person. No - not to take me to 271, but those of you who have been following this might have been astute enough to realise that I never caught up with Tony Long (250) to get me to that exact halfway stage. (Tempted to do a pun here about reaching the Fifty-per-cent mark, but I won't...)
I do eventually bump into him this evening, and we have a (admittedly not very good) photo taken, and discuss what song choice to have. It's at this point that I remember that Tony sings himself and plays in a band, so surely he'd like to nominate one of his own songs and plug his own band website or something?
He gets back to me the next day, indeed his band is called Malone but he doesn't have a website for it. He does though however have his own personal website at www.ellongo.com which has got some fun stuff on it. He also gives me a CD full of his bands song, and he says I can pick any one I like! Cheers Tony.
Hello, if you're reading this on Saturday 6th March then you must be checking this extremely frequently, because I only posted this up here at 11.30pm in the evening, on a day when I helped some friends move house (I got to drive a van oh yes! I was so king of the road today), and move furniture, and even got myself a nice new sofa to sit on, in the progress of which I caught up with contributor Phil (#104) who gave me a 50p from a friend of his - Liz Noble (271) who is in charge of the SCILL centre in Sutton near where he lives, their website is at www.scill.org.uk.
Thank you Liz!
Sunday 7th March I had a very lazy day including sitting on my arse a lot watching TV, eating, drinking, playing on my computer, a few domestic chores, food shopping in Sainsbury's, made a few calls to friends, and er.. that was pretty much my Sunday! See what an exciting life I lead? And no 50p's collected! I know that's not much of an update, but I'll get nagged by certain people (#17, Marco) if I don't add things up here on a daily basis.
Monday 8th March 2004
I was in John Lewis this morning, having a look at the iPods in there, as this is the store that I will probably end up buying the iPod from.
They've got a whole load of off add-on gadgets in stock for the iPod as well, including a headphone splitter, so two people can listen to one iPod at once, and a memory-card adapter so that if you're on holiday with your digital camera and your iPod and your camera CF card fills up, you can transfer your pictures to the iPod, and then carry on using your camera - brilliant!
Oh, and they had some of those nice colourful iPod adverts too in the form of postcards, so I nicked a whole bunch for the hell of it.
It's at www.ipodlaughs.com and it lets you submit songs which you're ashamed to have on your iPod, get a virtual iPod engraved (including the new mini ones too!) as well as having a gallery and a T-shirt store which they encourage you to buy by saying that you'll become 'extremely unpopular'. Umm.. ok!
My lovely contributors (special mention to Kirsty and George) keep emailing me things now that are all things iPod related.
Brought to my attention today was the BBC news website article 'More than just a pretty interface', at news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3542391.stm which argues that you don't like iPods because of the way look, but because they allow you to regain control of your personal space.
And then most bizarre is when contributor Ross (#13) emails me with an article about a software company who have written code for a 'virtual iPod' - software that runs on a pocket PC to emulate the iPod - www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,62542,00.html and it emulates it perfectly AND works as a proper MP3 player! But how long before Apple get the hump over it and intervene? Not long, surely.
And no 50p's! Oh dear ...
The longest I've gone without collecting any 50p's since I started this was four days - a barren spell back in November, but unless I get one by Thursday then it looks like I could be in for my second spell of non-regular contributing. I have still got various friends and family that I have yet to catch up with, so more will come, but for the moment .. nothing !
Wednesday 10th March 2004
Ok, strictly this was a contribution I got yesterday but I just feel like writing it up as part of tonight. I caught up with my mate Chris last night, and also saw contributor Julia (#92), who some of you may remember got her cat Fourpaws (#208) to contribute.
Well it occured to us all last night, that actually she could get her other cat to contribute - that's right, she's got two cats, and so Zefram (272) - named after Zefram Cochrane from StarTrek got in the act and just about posed nicely for this picture with me.
Julia also want me to let you all know that both her lovely cats are up for vote on the 'Rate my Kitten' website! You can do Zeffy here, and her other cat FourPaws here. Go and vote! Oh, and Zeffy's song 'choice' is The Firm's "Star Trekkin", because of the StarTrek link. Thank you Zef!
Contributor George (#172) who now regularly emails me, sends me a whole list of new iPod specific words this morning in an email.
He says: "I believe that the iPod will generate a new vocabulary that will soon become the norm, over and above the name as an icon" e.g. similar to 'Hoover' now being synonymous with a vacuum cleaner (well, here in the UK anyway) although I believe that a similar thing happened in the US, when the word 'Scottie' became used instead of 'tissue' as that brand won out over all others.
Also, George thinks that the 'i' in iPod will be dropped by people, and just the word 'pod' will be used instead. And on that basis, he sends me the following list of words!
pod -an iPod
podder - an iPod owner
podding - actually using an iPod in public
podette - a young female iPod owner
pod 2 pod or P2P - exchanging the earphones from your pod to another persons pod
pod parties - hook them up to speakers
hot pod - a stolen iPod!
So.. Anyone else? Can you think of any words that you think will become part of the standard 'iPod' lingo? email me and let me know, and I'll put them up here.
Then, I get another 50p! But it's off somone that's already contributed. But that's ok, because it's not really from them, it's for something that they wanted and I was selling to them. Confused? Ok, let me explain...
The work 'club bar' here at the Beeb (i.e. a place to drink beer!) is closed for refurbishment for the next few months, and all members of the club have instead been issued with vouchers on a monthly basis - worth £7 - to spend in a local pub.
Now it's not that I don't drink, but I know what I'm like, and I reckoned that I wasn't going to spend my vouchers this month, so I put them up for sale on eBay instead, emailed all my colleagues, (starting bid 50p), and let them bid away.
And I got four bids! And they went for 65p. So Matt Lebideneuse (#99) won them and paid me in cash straight away. That's right - he got £7 of beer vouchers for 65p! A bargain or what.
And so the contribution officially comes from the Yorkshire Grey pub (273) just around the corner from where we work. I'm not sure what to do about a song contribution though - any suggestions?
First up, Happy Birthday to my sister. Excellent. Having got that out the way, can I say thanks to someone just calling themself 'Raf' who sent me the above link to a story of an iPod being used in a homicide! Panic not, it's just a hoax but I think it's quite amusing.
Contributor Leanne emails me today with some 'pod specific lingo for the new iPod generation ...
pod2pod or P2P - could also mean using infrared to transfer tunes from iPod to iPod (if it ever supported that functionality)
podless - non iPod owner
podman –“with it” male teen iPod owner
OAPod - A Geriatric iPod owner
Friday 12th & Saturday 13th March
Hello, I'm ill. I feel like shite. I didn't go to work on Friday and i'm worse today (Saturday) which means this is the only update you're going to get!
Sunday 14th March
Hello! I am not Geoff. Repeat - I am not Geoff. Which is why he's dictating this to me and making me type it in.
Yes, he really is quite a bit ill at the moment, and so whilst he's tucked up in bed coughing his guts up, getting through boxes of tissues and having Lemsip directy pumped into his arteries, he's got me to update todays entry for him.
Some excellent news to report on. He's got another plug on a site which he hopes could be as a big on the one on iPodLounge. This time, he gets an nice email from Sam McLoughlin (274) who is the editor for the site PalmAddicts, and having discovered Geoff's webpages, he's posted an entry up for this site asking people to get on board! Nice one Sam, Geoff thanks you. So he contributes, shortly followed by Cindy Aten (275) from Dorr in Michigan, who also works on the PalmAddicts site.
Whilst Cindy says that she doesn't want to nominate a tune, Sam opts for Massive Attacks "Unfinished Sympathy".
Sam says - "I'm a frequent visitor to the Big Apple, old New York and when I have been clubbing I wear my iPod and play this tune at 4am in the morning walking through the streets back to my NY pad, and thus the song reminds me of NY at night..."
So at 275, thus endeth this batch of 25 people, and we move onto a new page ...
Contributors 201 to 225