Fun with iTunes

I generally try to avoid anything with the dreaded 'Apple' logo on it, as I despise Apple. Unfortunately I was forced into buying some music from iTunes since they were the only website which actually had the music I wanted. I would have bought the CDs if they existed, which they don't. I could have downloaded the music illegally but my Dexter-like 'moral code' would not allow it. I now have new-found respect for illegal downloaders who would rather use torrents and thus expose their computer to all manner of nasties than be forced to use what is perhaps the most over-complicated and convoluted process I have ever had to undertake, and all in order to get my hands on 2 poxy songs. Below, I have compared my standard music purchasing experience, to the rigmarole I faced when having to use iTunes.

Purchasing and downloading music through any website in the world other than iTunes

Find song of interest
Add song to basket
Go to checkout
Pay for song
Download song
Put song on mp3 player

Purchasing and downloading music through iTunes

Find song of interest
Add song to basket
Go to checkout
Get informed that you have to download iTunes to download music (why?)
Download unnecessarily large file containing iTunes executable file
Wait 5 minutes
Install iTunes
Wait 5 minutes
Check on installation progress
Make a cup of tea
Uncheck all tick boxes which allow iTunes to take over all files remotely associated with media files
Continue with installation
Make another cup of tea
Restart computer
Wait 5 minutes
Open iTunes
Find song of interest through iTunes
Get informed that you have to create an iTunes account to proceed
Spend 10 minutes trying to find a vaguely memorable username that isn't already taken
Enter address, credit card information, sexual orientation, blood type
Sign up
Pay for song
Download song
Find that song is in .aac format, and as such will only work with iPods and other over-priced devices beginning in 'i'
Trawl through forum posts from various Apple 'experts' who recommend the following method to convert .acc files to .mp3 files which is as follows:
Burn the .aac files to CD using iTunes!
Rip the CD to .mp3!
Decide that the people on the forums are absolute luddites as are the majority of Apple users and instead look for a free .aac to .mp3 converter that does not install a million viruses onto your computer
Download said converter
Install converter
Re-encode .aac file to .mp3 file
Add all id3 tags to .mp3 file (so mp3 player does not just call the song 'unknown' by 'unknown')
Put song on mp3 player (hooray!)

Things I will not miss about getting the train to work

I'm hoping to stop using the train to commute to work during the next few months. 12 years of using an increasingly crap and overcrowded service have taken their toll, and it is now not possible for me to sit on a train without contemplating slaughtering everyone on board with a rusty axe. I say 'sit' but really I've forgotten what that word means in the context of a train. For sitting is something only those who board in deepest, darkest Surrey get to do, as by the time the train trundles towards my stop it is already full to capacity with the walking dead. I get my train at 07:25.

There is so much to hate about the train. The jostling and jockeying for position. The spread-eagled stance so that if the train stops a few feet further along the platform you can quickly shuffle along to where the doors are. The shrill voice of a bossy and uppity idiot ordering everyone to move down when there is infact insufficient room for an atom between the crushed shoulders of the various depressed and angry passengers. Whenever someone aggressively asks us sardines to 'move down please' I will them to die. I really do. I'm just upset that, so far, none of them have dropped dead mid-sentence. The stinky tramps who are big fat liars - we all know that you're not trying to get some money for a coffee or a bed for a night ok? so Just be honest. I'd be more inclined to give them money if they just admitted they wanted 4 cans of special brew and some crack. I can buy into that.

There is one particular train which I have never seen leave on time. If you are interested (and I honestly don't blame you if you're not) I refer to the Syon Lane to London Waterloo service, which allegedly departs Syon Lane at 17:21. I have never seen this happen. There is talk of an old, mysterious traveller who apparently saw it leave on time once, but then he's senile so not a reliable witness. It invariably arrives at 17:24 or later, meaning a mad dash through the throng of assembled zombies when it eventually arrives at Clapham Junction to traverse half the length of the station in the vain hope of catching my connecting train, attempts at which are usually foiled by the commuters South West Trains must hire to stand around on stairwells, picking their noses. What an odd lot they are.

There is an obese woman who gets on my train that is annoying. You're left with a one-bumcheek seat at best if you are so unfortunate as to have to sit next to her. She looks incredibly tall sitting down (as all fatties do, thanks to their in-built travel cushions) It's only when she eventually alights from her seat, after hours of considerable effort and inconvenience to everyone that has the misfortune to be trapped in the aisle behind her that it is clear she is 5' if she's lucky. She must be at least that wide. True story - a small advert in the Metro today, looking for healthy overweight people. What? the only thing healthy about an overweight person is their imagination, honed after years of denial and stuffing their fat faces with cream cakes while tears roll down their vast cheeks.

The excuses given for cancelled trains would make me laugh, if they didn't make me want to murder everyone who works for South West Trains with a helicopter-mounted minigun. A friendly automaton politely informs the assembled throng of passengers that their train which is due in approximately 2 minutes in fact will not be coming as previously advertised, due to one lie or another. The fact is, that trains are mostly cancelled early in the morning. This is simply because the kind of morons that end up making a career of 'driving' the same train several times every day in perpetuity in their stupid little uniforms whilst dribbling have difficulty kick-starting their synapses of a morning, particularly when it is dark and cold. They rely on the sun to tell them when it is wakey time. Thus, they just bunk off or can't be arsed to get up on time, which causes everyone who has got up on time to be late.

Sometimes a train is so late that they just decide, mid-journey, to not bother stopping at all the stops they are supposed to stop at. I imagine this is so that the train arrives at its final destination 'on-time' or at least within 10 minutes of it's expected arrival time. Thus, South West Trains profess to have a decent punctuality record, when in fact what they do is eject everyone who is already late and leave them freezing their balls off at Barnes. I would say that their shoddy treatment of passengers is biting the hand that feeds them. But that isn't strong enough. What it actually is, is raping, pillaging, and murdering the occupants of the family home of the owner of the hand that feeds them, burning that home down, and then giving the hand a rabies-infected bite for good measure.

By now you may have surmised that I hate the train. I really, really, really do. I cannot emphasise that enough. If this were not a blog and you could actually see me, I would be holding aloft a sign as big as a house, reading simply "I HATE THE FUCKING TRAIN SO MUCH, IT MAKES ME WANT TO EVISCERATE MYSELF WITH A POTATO PEELER". If I didn't have to work, I would spend my entire day waking around Waterloo station, parading this sign. I know I spend a good portion of my life saying I hate things, but they pale into comparison for the bilious, retching disgust I feel every time I have to get on a train, which, inconveniently, is 4 times per day. Adolf Hitler. Ian Huntley. Maxine Carr. Jimmy Carr. Nonces. Children. These are all things that I amazingly hate less than the train.

What else do I hate about the train? Cyclists. You drag your bike onto the train, at rush hour, clattering your wheels and pedals into the shins of your fellow passengers, tutting if anyone has the audacity to come within 200 metres of your underused velocipede. You are all idiots. You have a bike. That means you should cycle to work. Not cycle a mile to the station and get on a train. Then you have the audacity to wag your sanctimonious fingers at motorists, who you apparently blame for everything from the holocaust to James Blunt. I also hate the 'guards' of the train, who, despite all the literature stating the cycles are NOT allowed on trains at rush hour, do absolutely nothing about the utter bastards who make everyone else's life a misery so they can selfishly get their lycra-clad arse along with their £500 waste of money onto the already-packed carriage.

I hate the schoolkids on the train. They are all girls. I'm guessing that means there are only girls' schools along my route, and all the boys have been put to work since the age of 12, scurrying up and down chimneys like the feral rats they are. The girls all say 'like', like, all the time. They are incapable of not using that word in any given sentence. Even 'yes' and 'no' answers are preceded with 'like'. Why are they so incredibly inarticulate? Also, the stupider they are, the louder they are. As interesting as it is, having to listen to an entirely fabricated story about 'getting fingered by some lads' as told by a 13-year old mountain of a girl with a monobrow can be a little bit distracting when it is broadcasted to the entire carriage at 1,000,000 decibels and punctuated by 'like' a hundred times.

I also hate the builders who seem to have either lost their van or sold it for some goulash and potato Vodka who see fit to lug all their various tools and other paraphernalia onto the train. It's great when you are wearing black trousers to have a thick-necked ape covered in plaster dust come and practically sit on you. Some mornings certain carriages look more like a builders' yard than a passenger train. I, of course, hate the people who have to broadcast their great taste in music with everyone, by wearing headphones that are surely in the wrong way round, such is the tinny clarity of their relentless aural onslaught. I find middle-aged men are the worst culprits for this type of behaviour, given that most 'youths' now have those headphones that feel like your ears are being raped, but are otherwise mercifully quiet for those around you.

So, within the next few months I hope to bid the incompetent arseholes at South West Trains a fond farewell. I will drive to work instead. I will have to cope with slow drivers, angry drivers, confused drivers, uninsured drivers, boy racers, buses, the dreaded cyclists, an vastly increased chance of death (someone was killed in a collision outside my work just yesterday) and potholes, not to mention traffic, car tax, ever-rising petrol prices, wear and tear, breakdowns, fender-benders, the government's unrelenting punishment of the motorist, Subaru Imprezas, motorbikes, scooters, 'Quadrophenia'-type scooters that just scream 'wanker', pedestrians, animals, rain, snow, ice, blinding sunlight, frost, obesity and tutting green party liberals, but at least I won't have to use the bastard train.

People who walk slowly are stupid and I want to kill them all

People who walk slowly need to be killed because they are clearly stupid and thus killing them is as morally justifiable as slaughtering a cow. Slow walking people have no sense of urgency because they have no idea what they are doing. They set off for work in the morning only to seemingly forget what's going on mere minutes later. At this point they either slow down or grind to a halt altogether.

This behaviour normally happens at a human traffic bottleneck. People behind them then frantically dart side to side trying desperately to pass and catch their train or run away from the swiftly approaching meteor. There are 3 types of slow-walking person - these are 1) fat people 2) amputees and 3) able-bodied idiots. Only amputees should be allowed to walk slow as at least they have a disability and are not just stupid or have a pretend disability like a fat piece of shit.

Ways to address the issue of people walking slowly

- Sheepdogs

- Equip non-slow walking people with cattle prods to keep them moving

- Replace all paving slabs with hot coals

- Instruct slow walking people that they are no longer allowed to use the pavement and will have to use cycle lanes instead. This will mean that lots of them will be killed or injured (and hopefully a good proportion of cyclists too)

- Make them join a conga line with Usain Bolt at the front

- Use them to make a low-budget zombie film

- Cut their legs off - if they're not prepared to use them, they can't fucking have them

New Years Resolutions for 2011

Hate more people for even pettier reasons

Kill myself

Hunt down and kill everyone who I have said I hate during 2010

Stop making silly internet death threats that might be misconstrued by any agencies with too much time on their hands

Destroy Sony

Burn my eyes out with a rusty poker so that I never have to watch Jools Holland smugly look back over his shoulder as he plays a terrible jazz fusion number with his sycophantic cronies EVER AGAIN

Vow to stop giving any money to TFL on a regular basis, they are all wankers

Fix my car so it can propel itself with an engine instead of my legs

Spend less time with humans and more time with animals

Do some gay stuff

Build an exoskeleton with loads of missiles and that on it, and then attack Primark

Eat more soup

Learn to write joined up

Fart more

Play more XBox 360