Rick’s birthday

Last Friday was Rick’s birthday, so after work there was a general party-type congregation at his place. Quite a few people from work, and many that weren’t, or at least that I haven’t met. I didn’t get around to meeting everyone, though.

For the days prior I’d been idly trying to come up with a good present idea. We’re all in that stage of our lives (plus factors on occupation and whatnot) that if we want something affordable we just buy it, and the things we really long for are cars and houses and things that you don’t typically give as a random birthday present. :)

So, naturally, I tried to think of something that’d at least get a laugh. All I could come up with, though, is tremendous quantities of Skittles. Rick has something of an affinity for them – they’re among the selection of snacks we keep stocked at work, and Rick’s office bin will invariably contain at least one empty wrapper, at any given time.

Thus I figured the natural gift was one cubic metre of Skittles. Naturally. :D That should be enough to fill a bath tub, or a significant portion of a car. :D Unfortunately, I didn’t think about it early enough to really get them wholesale, so that would have been massively expensive. As it was, I settled with nipping up to Costco after work (kudos to Keith for his membership) and grabbed half a dozen boxes. That’s 216 individual packets of Skittles – sadly they didn’t just sell them in big, kilo+ bugs, which would have been more economical. (though they did have M&Ms in 2kg bags… :D ) I think it worked out to be about 15 kilos of Skittles, or something in that vicinity. Certainly enough to keep him on a sugar high for quite some time.

I think that went down pretty well, for what it is as just a gag gift. And now maybe we won’t have to restock the work supply every week. :P

Naturally there was a bit of discussion of the iPhone during the evening, given many of the people there had just received theirs earlier in the week. And from there we went to perusing YouTube on the AppleTV. That reminded me of a clip I’d seen a week or so earlier doing the email circuit, Groovy Dancing Girl. I think that’s pretty impressive, although sadly it was filmed at about two-thirds speed, which is kinda cheating… there was much discussion as to whether or not anyone could dance like that in real time, with my opinion being certainly, but, no resolutions wavered.

Anyway, the point of this tangent being, after I got home I went and watched it again, and decided I liked the song, so I jumped on the iTMS and bought it (and Fatboy Slim’s Greatest Hits, but we’ll get back to that). Now, when I was thinking about it, I realised that the YouTube clip is probably what the record industry would consider a blatant copyright violation. They’ve reproduced the entire song in it’s entirety, unaltered. Even if the courts were partial to fair use, I doubt they’d accept that. Yet, if it weren’t for that clip, they would never have gotten my $13. I’d be surprised if I were alone in this.

For whatever reason, the clip has been on YouTube for a long time, so I guess the copyright holder(s) are actually okay with it… hopefully because they’ve realised it does them far more good than harm.

And yes, while for some reason I just can’t get myself to like Fatboy Slim as an artist, as such, I quite like many of the songs. The one which got me to buy the whole album was Wonderful Night, which is the one song used in some Apple promo video I saw 18 months ago, that had been stuck in my mind the entire time. I’d never been able to find anything about it, despite searching for ages. Eventually I somehow stumbled across it through some chance. That revealed there was half a dozen remixes of it, so my quest wasn’t over… :) But anyway…

I’m still not sold on the YouTube-on-iPhone thing, though. I find 99% of the stuff on YouTube is absolute crap, and I never peruse the site itself; I only ever go their via recommendations from friends. And given the practical issues – i.e. the fact that EDGE is slower than dialup from last century, as I previously noted – it doesn’t seem like something I’m actually ever going to use. Except at the occasional party, when I want to show people the Groovy Dancing Girl. But of course, that video hasn’t been recoded in H.264 yet, so you can’t watch it on your iPhone or AppleTV anyway. Grrrrr…

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