There's just a little over three weeks until my half marathon run (Sponsor me here - if you all just gave one pound I would hit my target) and today my training began. Three weeks is plenty of time to get fit, right? I went for a three mile run to see how everything was holding up and aside from a few aches and creaks I found it pretty much OK. I don't think I could have done another 10.1 miles at this stage, but luckily I did enough exercise in Edinburgh to mean that I am not quite starting from scratch. But it's going to hurt. A pound for my pain?
It was only when I got home that I realised that I had put my track suit bottoms on back to front (and run the whole way like that) which is quite impressively stupid. But it did mean that I was essentially running the whole thing backwards, which is a lot harder than forwards, so maybe I'll be OK after all.
It's good to have an incentive to get healthy though. I am quitting drinking until after the race and going to try and shed at least half a stone (which will make the run a lot easier). I did have plans to get straight back to work today, but what you forget on holiday is all the stupid bits of admin and stuff that your daily life involves. I had to sort out my receipts for the taxman and tidy up all my post-Edinburgh stuff (boxes of unused programmes and DVDs had to go down to the basement) and I tried to pay in the last of my SCOPE money (but annoyingly the coin machine broke down). But the good news is that with a bag full of coins still to pay in the collection total is just over £6000 (from the Edinburgh shows and previews). So thanks very much if you donated.
I browsed in HMV whilst I was at the shopping centre, as I am still old-school enough to buy content rather than steal it from the internet (apart from Breaking Bad, which I am going to buy when it's out and anyway their whole show is about crime, so they can't talk). The struggling shop was pretty empty, though I did find a box-set of Deadwood, which I was going to buy as my new script is loosely based on it. HMV wanted £25 for it, which seemed steep for an old show. So I went online and found it for £18 and bought it on my phone, whilst standing in front of the HMV display. Which is the reason, of course, that HMV is going down. I think I saw a copy of Christ on a Bike in there for £30 (£12.50 more and one disc of extras less than you'd pay from gofasterstripe and you can get the 2 disc set for even less if you don't want to reward Chris Evans - not that one).
If I was Ian HMV, I would pay armed goons to attack anyone checking prices on line and smash their phones. Or just bring my prices down a bit. But of course, Ian HMV has to pay for the retail space and staff and security and tax that many of these online companies don't have to worry about. No wonder he is fucked.
I felt bad using the shop as a 3D browser, like it's some virtual reality addition to Amazon. But what can you do when faced with such financial realities. If I had needed the DVD immediately then I would have had to stump up. But I will have it tomorrow. Will shops cease to exist? Or just become showrooms where you can view an item before ordering it online? And even though I felt a little bad I am still one step up from the new generation of comsumers who will watch all this stuff for free on Project Free TV or wherever.
Then what happens? No one makes TV shows any more because they can't make money from them? Or only the shows that are commercially viable immediately from TV advertising will make it through. Will our choices be limited?
Or will shows thrive on the internet if people are prepared to pay a tiny amount to invest in them, like with the whole Charlie Chaplin/Charles Dickens model I am keen to explore.
It would be a shame if good TV shows and music just ceased to be because people stole them. I know with my DVDs that they can only exist because a few people will pay for them. If no one did then we just wouldn't be able to make them any more. I think enough people understand this at the moment, but will a new generation who expect everything to be free buy into that?
Talking of which, I don't usually like people uploading my videos on to Youtube, but this Russian translation of Someone Likes Yoghurt is all kinds of awesome. It must have taken a lot of work to translate it and then sync it up so it roughly worked. Russian doesn't sound like an easy language to go fast in, but this guy copes admirably with my machine-gun delivery. How bizarre that there are Russian people watching this esoteric stand up show - only a couple of thousand, but still. The modern world is amazing and terrible in equal measure.