Tuesday, 24 January 2012

2120122 - spotified

Well, on  advice, and frankly it was becoming  obvious that Warp records supply an awful lot of good bands we spotified Warp and played whatever came up.

And by golly i think everyone needs to listen to:
  • PVT - window
  • Grizzly Bear - he hit me
it is slightly worrying  that somehow we missed the 2008 grizzly bear album Friend, considering  that we know half the songs already, but somehow we did - and it is very good.

But to continue on  with a playlist of goodness, some oldies:

  • Can - vitamin c
  • The Breeders - cannonball
  • Death i  Vegas - dirge
i know, a  bit of a 90s wallow there, but it has to be done sometimes.

I thik the art of a good playlist is not the amusing  juxtaposition Ramones/Sinatra, which just gets annoying, but a more relaxed and interesting 3-in-a-row idea, where you play, unbelieveably 3 or so in  a row from someone and then slide into something that follows neatly in, gradually taking  the listener to new lands and back.

I dont know what the order would be of the following: Lord Creator, Washed out, grizzly bear, st vincent, XX, Bon Iver, Beach House, Girls, Awkward I, PVT, Metronomy, metric, seefeel, tv on  the radio, broken social scene, twin sister, wild beasts, andrew bird, animal collective, bonobo, bowerbirds, cat power , devandra banhart, james blake, janis joplin (really, and i seem to have gone alphabetical now, so this must be older stuff), mogwai and violent femmes. at a guess. for a start. perhaps. keeping  the oldies to a minimum.

Monday, 16 January 2012

SPotify 16 01 12 - and others

Things got pretty bad before christmas. I was, once again, short of a book to read and sniffing  round my bookshelves trying  to rememebr what i had and hadn't read. I was left with 2 Bill Bryson  books and Mary Ann by Daphne du Maurier. Went with the latter, i just can't face Bill Bryson, no idea who he is or why he's famous.

But christmas hit and books came in  a flurry, Mary Ann made it to France, or maybe died, i wasn't paying  much attention at the end just counting  the pages. Now i'm reading  Aurorarama, and frankly any book with an airship on  the cover gets my vote. I knew i would love it from the first line. Nothing  too exciting (maybe something  will happen in  the sequel), but its good.

Music, well i got Marley's Kaya, from my mother ('its sort of jamaican folk music'). Which will always make me smile, has done since i first heard it in '83 while sleeping  on  the floor of a house in  Edinburgh for 9 months (thanks greville).

Actually, we did manage to fire up  Spotifyon  Hogmanay and again  begun  with Lord Creator, who interestingly our friend asked if he was modern/now, whcih goes to show something about LC or perhaps the sound of some current music. He then suggested Caada and Camille, both or whom were pretty good, and i can kind of see why he suggested them after the Lord.

Oh and we have to learn how to make gnochi and buy celery salt.

But to slip in  the exciting  news - i watched (hired) Troll Hunter last night which was just as good as i had hoped it would be. Its a handheld movie set up, just as good as Cloverfield, in  Norwegian, about, well believe it or not, a Troll hunter. A bit funnier than Cloverfield. Brilliant After the film we got out before that mind you  anything  would have seemed brilliant. I can't remember what it was called. Whats her face from the black swan and star wars was feeling  glum a lot. I cried, obviously, but still. I thought it was a horror movie at first, and then a pink dvd case film, and then i gave up  thinking  for a bit.

Its freezing up here, Snowdrops are finally appearing  and after 3 years of meaning  to do it i finally spread the conetnts of the 2 compost bins over the garden beds. Apples and plums for all!

Well there you  go, the start of a year, still listening  to the Bon  Iver album, and broken social scene.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Debt Recovery Insurance is what??

I have been self-employed for 4 years now and the money i am owed by clients varies a lot. These last 12 months it has gone up - people seem slower to pay (though i have to admit when i start chasing  them a few point out that they have already paid, if i would just check my bank statements, and embarrassingly they are often right).

Currently the amount i am owed floats around the £5000-£6000 mark. I suppose i am in  the lucky position that most of the time i can, eventually, threaten to turn off theor website, not renew the domain name, generally stop offering  the service that they are not paying  for.

But other people are not in  such a strong position: once you  sell a bag of sweets on  credit  and those sweets are eaten, then you  can't really get them back, not without some fairly swift and unlikely surgery.

So, what are the options? The one i always hear about is The Small Claims Court. But when i do a search for Small Claims Court, nothing  comes up  that says 'i am your local small claims court'. In fact the only thing remotely like that is the .gov site/page: Making a court claim for money: an introduction. And its not very helpful:

Taking legal action should be a last resort if other options don’t work. First see if you can:
- speak or write to the person or organisation you’re in dispute with
- try an alternative to court, such as ‘mediation’

I am guessing  taht if you  are thinking  of the Small Claims Court then you  have already asked for your money - a few times.

There is a Guide: Recover debts owed to you - a guide. But again nothing  that particlularly helps you. A bit of advice, it points out that solicitors are expensive!

Where am i headed with this?

I build a site recently: Nexum Debt Recovery Insurance  (its not the most beautiful site i ever made, but its not a beautiful topic, in  fact its a really boring, don't ever want to really have to think about this topic). The gist being:
  1. You Buy Debt Recovery Insurance for £450pa
  2. You then get Nexum to chase your debts for you
  3. This does not involve scary thugs, but scary letters
  4. It may end up  in  court but you  get a discount??
And this is where i get a bit muddled (i designed it, i didn't write it!).

  1. There is some sort of limit for the amount of debt you  can chase - £4500.
    Is that per year, or at any one time?
  2. Scary letters? really - does that work?
  3. No thugs - promise?
  4. Court? How much will i have to pay? Do Nexum want it to end up  in  court so they make loadsamoney?
  5. Court? if i win does that mean that there are no fees - as the loser pays?
  6. Court? Do i always win?
  7. Court? Does that take a long time - years?
  8. Court? Do  i have to pay for costs until i win or is there no fee until the end, when there is no fee in  which case why mention fees?
There is also talk of some online system - but there are no screen shots or instructions, or online demos to try, so who knows what happens there.

Debt recovery is a bit of a minefield. In  a way i don't know what the problem is - beyond "X is being  slow to pay me". I don't know what my options are. I am very suspicious to do with anything that involves solicitors, but maybe more worried about something  that does not involve solicitors - what is a para legal and should you  give them money??

If Nexum Debt Solutions works, if you  pay £450 and get your debt recovered for you easily without using  heavies, maybe using  a nice online system, then that could be great.