Archive for June, 2009

The Greatest And Best Jeans In The World… Tribute

June 30, 2009

Just been reminiscing about this amazing pair of jeans I used to own. Ahh, the times we’d have, those jeans and I – they travelled all over the world, and I’d had them for years. By their prime they had amassed an amazing ventilation system of holes and tears which made them perfect for wearing during the kind of insanely humid hot weather we’re having here at the moment, at the (to me, perfectly acceptable) cost of being ragged and tramp-like, so my wearing them was generally much to the horror of all my female family members. Which, I suspect, was eventually their downfall…

Hang on, I’ll see if I can find a picture of the Best Jeans In The World…

Hmm, only one I can find doesn’t really do them justice, and contains gratuitous nudity, so you have been warned!

Cookin in Lyon

Sadly, at some point during the chaos when my parents were moving over to Chicago, they vanished, never to be seen again. The end of a tattered era. I still suspect conspiracy of the highest order 😉


Dream Virus

June 30, 2009

Would it be possible to create an illness in a dream that becomes part of your subconscious, then manifests itself as symptoms when you’re awake? Probably not, no, but I was thinking about this idea for a story about a dream virus. Imagine if you woke up having brought a dream-created virus with you; no-one would have any immunities to it, so it would spread and spread, and the only time one might be safe is when the mind is in a dream state. So then, there’s a desperate rush as people are put into comas to keep them safe from this virus, maybe to wait until everyone who has the virus has died off.

You could build a whole fictional technology around it; scientists researching how the virus made the transition from concept to reality, then developing other stuff like using the method the virus uses to spread itself through consciousnesses and adapting it into a way to pass thoughts from one mind to another…

… Argh, it’s way too hot today. Calls for an emergency beer + freezer combo!

Oh, on topic, my dream diary on the path to lucid dreaming is going pretty well. I can accurately remember at least one dream per night now, so the obvious next step is ratcheting it up to at least two!


June 29, 2009

Untitled-1 copy

Three cheers for iRepo! A badass little program that managed to retrieve most of my lost playlists from the iPod! Great stuff. After the last few weeks of half-heartedly scrolling through my vast iTunes dungeon, the infrastructure is back in place and it feels like all is right again 😀

Earlier today I told someone that I didn’t think their writing is very good and that they shouldn’t write their novel yet; rather their time would be better spent working on the basics of structure, grammar, spelling etc. and being able to construct consistently ‘accurate’ pieces of writing. Then when they do go in for writing a novel, they will be much better prepared, and the result would be a lot better than if they were to write it now.

Is it wrong to piss on a person’s creations like that? It was on a writers’ forum, but I still felt like a bit of a bastard. The guy didn’t take it to heart though – just ignored my comments and carried on, so at least it didn’t break his soul or anything ¬_¬

I just find it hard to be subtle about stuff like that – if someone’s writing isn’t great, I think it’s much better to try and persuade them to take a step back and work on the basics so that in the long run their talents will develop further, rather than encouraging them to go ahead and write a sub-standard work when so much of the groundwork is still behind them. But, I suppose, we all want to rush on and hit the big stuff. I mean hell, I’m not even published myself, so who am I to judge, but I have to admit the chap hadn’t endeared himself to me either. He just waltzed onto the forum and started a WIP thread for his novel, then snubbed offers of help with a structured novel-writing plan by rudely brushing them off and belittling the offerer.

Part of me just wanted to bring him down to size, ungrateful bugger. Or maybe someone needs to do that to me…

The Saving Of Silvanus

June 27, 2009

Time was running short. Only a few hours more and Silvanus would be no more than a sinewy Dr. Pepper container.

Listening to his sporadic communications, we could all imagine the sound of the liquid rushing through grimy plastic tubing and into his veins, as we huddled round the small receiver and pored over the nuances of every spoken sentence. It was his sole means of communication with the rest of us, and as it crackled into life again our shoulders tensed as one.

Malef… I wouldn’t put it past her…

The mysterious hacking of the town’s PA system had directed our, by now desperate, attentions to the artistic souls among our number.

‘First literature, now art,’ I remember thinking. ‘Do Medpro’s claws grasp even wider than we thought?

Then came a splinter of hope; news from one of our number about somewhere we had missed…

Silv’s art studio. All but forgotten, the wooden building lurked at the far end of his extensive garden, windows three-quarters shuttered like narrowed eyes, as if intentionally turning its contents away from view. As I was going to discover shortly, that was for good reason.

Cindy Sue and I kicked the front door down with a satisfying crunch, and surveyed the interior. To the left, I caught a glimpse of something pink. Remembering Silv’s previous mention of the colour, I craned my neck to peer into the room.

“Oh, awesome. I’ll… check in here.”

Cindy shrugged, and moved off into a hall full of manuscripts as I marvelled at the… ‘feminine’… pictures lining the room.

“Nice,” I muttered, making a mental note to come back later.

Nice, maybe, but not what we were looking for… and then I spotted it: A trapdoor, tucked away in the corner of the room.

I prised it open, and stepped down into a small area, not so much a room as a hollow, that it seemed the owner had been using to store correspondence, of which there was a great deal. At least, there had been at one time.

Almost all of one wall was now missing, in its place a large, jagged hole, as if the wall had been literally eaten away. Beyond this, a rough passageway stretched away out of sight, and my heart leapt. A breakthrough. Heh.

My fists clenched in anticipation, I ducked my head and raced down the passageway. It was a serpentile thing, curving and coiling round and round, until I had no clue which direction I was heading in. It darkened as I progressed and, cursing my lack of foresight at not bringing a torch, I took out my phone.

As I flipped it open and began to make my way forward by the light of the screen, I thought – no; I know – I saw something flicker in the shadows just out of the blue light’s weak radius.

The shock of this was doubled by a sudden sound up ahead. But the sound was familiar, and put all other thoughts out of my head – the crackling of a shortwave radio.

I pounded round the next corner, and barged through a flimslily crafted door, emerging into a basement room. I was expecting to see Silv, but there was nothing in the room save a load of dusty old art canvases. I noticed some steps leading up to another door, but the radio crackling continued from down here – through one of the walls. Pulling away the sheets and pictures from the direction I suspected the noise to be coming from revealed one final door.

This must be it.

The handle turned with a soft ‘click’, and I stepped through into a room that was the very epitome of dank, dark and dirty. And Silv was in the middle of it, tied to a crudely fashioned intravenous unit, a sugary, fizzy liquid seeping slowly down one of its many tubes… A shocked glance at the timer revealed that less than six minutes were left – had the timer been intentionally shortened? Did someone know we were getting close?

I yanked the tube out of Silv’s arm – time for apologies later – and untied his malnourished wrists. As he rose from the table and turned to hop down, I couldn’t help but wince at the sight.

This is what I saw

The mystery continues…


Watched In Bruges last night – amazing film, really took me by surprise. Then hit the mean streets of Leicester with a mate and we had a couple of pints bemoaning the lack of decent women, trying to figure out why there aren’t any around before eventually realising that, of course, we’re probably just too lazy to look for them.

Celebrity Powered…

June 26, 2009

Oof, Michael Jackson and Farah Fawcett in one day. Sad stuff indeed. Is it me or do celebrities seem to be dropping like flies at the moment?

Hmm, flies…

*strokes chin in exaggerated fashion*

That makes me think back to my previous post…

(Okay, you can see I’ve been lining this up)

So, I wonder how much energy one of those microbial fuel cell thingumies would produce if you stuck a celebrity in one. Especially legends like MJ and Charlie’s Angel… hell, chuck those two in and you could probably power Africa for centuries.

We are the world’, after all.

But seriously; what about it? Celebrity batteries… we live in a pop culture; think of the sense of local pride it would instill to be able to say “Our town’s powered by Jimi Hendrix’s little finger, yessir!” (Or you know, Chis ‘Drearybones’ Martin or whoever passes as a contemporary maestro these days)

The technology and the fuel is there, they’re both just waiting to be used for the good of humanity…

Ahhh it’s been a long day.

[As an aside regarding MJ –  I only hope his primary thoughts towards the end were of the staggering amount of happiness his music has inspired in people, on a scale rarely matched, if ever. A true legend, whatever the personal slide may have been. As for Ms Fawcett… well, I honestly don’t know much about her. Insert your own angel joke here.]

Edit: Michael Jackson’s ‘Primary thoughts’ perhaps a poor choice of words, though.

Goodnight 😉

Mouse Powered Furniture

June 25, 2009

But we’re not talking little critters running round in wheels…

The table above acts as a mouse trap, table, and LCD display in one. Inside it is a microbial fuel cell, and via the mouse-trap hidden in the ‘L’ shaped leg, the table lures in mice, uses sensors to detect and kill the creature and then digests the body to power the trap door and LCD screen.

This little gem is a clock that powers itself by catching household flies, sucking them inside it and using their bodies to power its own fuel cell. According to the inventors, two British chaps, even if the entire human race were to be wiped out, these (and a few other pest-fuelled items of furniture they’ve come up with) will carry on feeding themselves and would, in a way, ‘outlive’ us.


Seriously; give one of those an intelligence and it’s going to look at humans and think “om nom nom, looks like a tasty battery to me“…

In other news:


*scratches chin*

Ah yes; Silvanus, a member of the Fifthwind forum, has been taken prisoner, spirited away while investigating the address in my post a few days ago to some unknown dungeon and hooked up to a horrific device – an IV filled with Dr. Pepper – that is, in turn, connected to a timer counting down from Forty-Eight hours. At the time of posting, we have around twenty hours left to figure out where the hell he is…

Thanks to a shortwave radio left next to him, so far we have been able to glean that he’s strapped to a stone table in the dark, with rats running around the floor and strange, indistinct colours flashing around him occasionally. During the night he thought he saw hallucinations of his family, and, slightly more unnervingly, a phantom of some kind, but these are most likely just delusions brought on by a lack of food.


Jurassic Earth

June 23, 2009

Hop into your DeLorean, Phone Box, or time machine of choice, and travel back 65 million years.

The Dinosaurs, who have been the dominant animals on the planet for roughly 165 million years (compared to our current measly few thousand), are about to become extint. The exact nature of the event that wipes them all out is still unknown, but that doesn’t matter.

I sometimes wonder what would have happened if this event never had occurred at all – our mammalian ancestors only had the chance to grow and diversify because the food chain had been reset, resulting eventually in our first ancestors – so if the dinosaurs had had another 65 million years to evolve, would there have emerged a saurian intelligence? We know that all dinosaur species had the kinds of social patterns that were present in our own furry four-legged ancestors, so what would the world look like now if mankind had failed to take the stage? Dinosaur society? Or was the special spark of intelligence only something that could have emerged from a mammal-origined brain?

Presumably, the technology this hypothetical intelligent dinosaur race would have come up with would be very different to our own, and it poses the question of whether, under the dominion of the dinosaurs, our planet might not have fared better. If, however, they had fallen to the same failings as us, with their tens of millions of years ‘head start’, the planet would presumably have been overfarmed/overmined/over populated long before the time we find ourselves approaching now. Maybe Earth is actually better off for having us, and has managed to buy itself a bit of time…

Another thing I wonder about is the slightly disturbing idea that in a few tens of million years time, we will all be gone too, and some all-together different sentience will find, in humans, the same source of fascination and intrigue of ages gone that the dinosaurs hold for us today.

Enough rambling methinks. And yes, The Land Before Time is one of the best films ever ¬_¬

The Importance Of Tidying Your Garden

June 23, 2009

Never a dull moment living in the middle of a murder investigation, let it be said. Only yesterday, a briefcase was discovered in my back yard, hidden beneath the admittedly large amount of fallen leaves kicking around back there. Amber says that her mystery attacker was carrying just such a briefcase, so could it be the same one? If it is, heaven knows what it was doing in my garden… Whatever the (brief)case, inside it was a piece of paper with the number ’18’ written on it.

The mystery only gets deeper, as I discovered earlier today.

I was at home, catching up on the latest adventures of Nancy Nocturn, my favourite TV sleuth, when a text message rattled my attention. Checking the screen, it was from none other than the investigator Othello Atticus! How he got my number I’ve no idea, but clearly the man’s skills are as devious as the rumours suggest. The message told me he was engaged in some pressing business, but that an informant of his had some potentially important information, finishing with the instruction to ‘meet the informant at the corner of Inherent Drive.’

Indeed, there it was, ten minutes later, that I found a rather rough looking chap, sporting a battered fedora and a slightly slimy half-smile.

As I made to greet him he gave a curt shake of his head, and beckoned me, with a twitch of his hat, to come closer. I did so hesitantly, as the man’s odour was less than savoury, and as I fought from gagging he pressed his mouth close to my ear and whispered in a meaningful tone;

“Tidy your back garden. I recommend a Leaf-Blower 5000.”

I had barely time to register my surprise before he had tipped his hat and walked away down the street. I thought about what this could mean; why would Atticus send me to someone to be told that my garden was untidy? Nancy had just been about to reveal that she was, in fact, the Prime Minister’s daughter! Not very polite either, I thought, making disparaging remarks about a fellow’s garden!

Then again, it wouldn’t do to have word get about that I cannot keep my private grounds in order, and I do not particularly want my back yard to become the habitual dumping ground for murderers who need to conceal their mysterious trinkets, so I decided to head to Ben Karr’s Garden Centre and see what they had in stock.

As it happened, the Leaf-Blower 5000 was on offer! Perfect, though packaged in an inconsiderately hard to carry box, with no handles!

On my way back home, hauling the damn thing over my shoulders down Fahd avenue, I saw a familiarly dishevelled individual materialise from around a side-street; the informant. He gave an approving nod as he approached, and once again leant in close.

“I’ve been checkin’ a place out that I think Othello Atticus might be interested in regarding the nasty goings on o’ late. It was always abandoned, this house, see… but just yesterday I caught sight of a shady sort…”

He paused, as if daring me to make a comment. I did not, as holding the Leaf Blower was beginning to make my arms ache and would have preferred him to get to the point as quickly as possible.

“A particularly shady sort, lurking around inside the upstairs windows.”

He then made a slight rustling movement and produced a small piece of paper from somewhere. He gave me a quick grin, tucked the note into my jacket pocket and once again turned and walked briskly away, without even offering to help with the large box so clearly weighing me down!

Thusly, curiosity burning, I had to wait until I was safely home and my hands were free before I could fish the note out of my pocket and look at it. Hmm – now that I think about it, it seems Mr Atticus’s associates are perhaps almost as cunning as the man himself…

I flattened out the crumpled paper in my study to reveal a single line of script; an address:

4080 Elmbrook Street

I imagine it’s worth investigating…

Murder Most Mysterious

June 21, 2009

Things have been taking an unpleasant turn over at the Fifthwind recently. A series of strange happenings, one person dead – possibly more – and an attempt on Stone~Amber’s life last night by a black-clad figure!

With a spot of quick thinking Amber fortunately managed to fend the knife-wielding assailant off and send him or her packing, but it sounds like it was a pretty close call. In any case, someone is being sent to investigate, and should be arriving soon according to the telegram detailing his arrival. Dr. Othello Atticus by name, and dreadfully thorough by reputation, I wonder if he really has what it takes to get to the bottom of this. The past horrors of the Grimmsgate Murders play heavily on my mind…


June 19, 2009


I’ve been knocking up a little extension of sorts; something to hold the gribbly bits of writing I have and will come up with. I’ll keep it updated with bits and pieces every now and again as things claw their way out of the cobbles of my mind / my writing folder!

Other than that, I’m still riding high on PGCE euphoria, and this weekend will be one of reading through forms and leaflets to try and get to grips with everything I should be getting to grips with. It feels fantastic to have a sense of purpose and stability to keep me grounded and to look forward to. Not that I don’t get that with my novel, but you know what I mean. This is a purpose that gets me paid 😉