I was trying to book a rather complex trip taking in Leeds for Malek’s birthday, and then time to catch up with Jonathan and Aleks (separately) in Birmingham. A single train ticket from Edinburgh to Leeds was going to be about £45, a return to Birmingham about £60, but if I go from Edinburgh to Leeds, travel from there to Birmingham and then back to Motherwell it works out as £41. Next I looked at planes, to travel from Leeds to Edinburgh was £75 but to go from Edinburgh to Leeds was £245. I have, therefore, drawn the conclusion that there is some kind of surcharge simply for leaving Scotland. It’s like trying to leave Glasgow at night by taxi, or cross the Thames at night in a London cab: the fare is instantly upped when you cross an invisible line.
Last week I was fired up to look through some of my own music projects again, because if I finally finish some of the pieces in progress then I could actually have some music to play people when they ask me what kind of stuff I do – even if that just involved putting it on myspace or something. Work paused temporarily when the firewire bridge on my music work disk stopped working. I had tried swapping the external power supply units around and changing firewire cables to no avail, so I fired off an e-mail to Lacie tech support. They took a while to get back to me, so in the meantime I opened up the drive and realised that if I simply removed the drive and mounted it in a new firewire enclosure I could access all the data without a problem. So I ordered a drive enclosure and a fresh firewire drive to copy everything on to, then I received the e-mail from Lacie telling me that if I sent my drive back to them they would sort it. I’d already violated the warranty by opening the drive to see if it was possible to remove the actual disc…. Oops. Mind you, I wouldn’t have been happy sending my drive full of music work and my sample library back to Lacie.
Some of my friends tell me that technical problems such as the hard disc one happen more often when the planet Mercury is moving away from the Earth… I’d normally pay attention to such things but not actually set much store in them, but the last time Mercury was moving in that direction was also when my Powerbook hard disk stopped working. Things like that make me wonder about attempting complex train journeys. I’ve downloaded a widget for the OSX Dashboard to tell me when Mercury is in retrograde and I’ll be sure I’ve backed everything up just before then.