Monthly archives: November 2002

After reading the fucking article, I decided to take the How English Are You? quiz. I am ‘practically French’, which is fuckin’ brilliant. Mais, je ne parle bien le Francais. Mon Francais est tres merde. Whilst I’m on the subject of French, can anyone give me a translation of nom d’un chien!. I’ve got a pretty good idea, based upon the context of its appearances in the comics I bought in Chamonix, but I’d be interested in a literal and an equivalent translation.

I just remembered that my mother reads this blog, so I should really shut the fu…… Erm, cut down on the expletives. Even the foreign ones.

I’d been ignoring the BBC’s Great Britons thing, until I discovered today that Brunel is a serious contender. You should vote for him. In the days of I’m a Celebrity Popstar’s Big Brother, Give Me Some Money it’s vitally important that someone who actually did something should come out on top. Darwin and Newton are second and third on my list. They should place high to show the importance of learning. Churchill was a great leader without a doubt, but we shouldn’t encourage the politicians by putting one of theirs on the top spot. And Diana? I’m not much of a republican, but to see a non-entity who married into a privileged and dysfunctional family lauded as Great is a bit pathetic. If it’s possible, she should be voted off the island.

Vote for Izzy! Do it now!

It gets better. I just tried to claim payment protection- which I’ve been paying for on my loan repayments- for the period I was unemployed. Because I was a temporary, I’m not eligible. I was in that job for four years, a better, more productive (and more sarcastic) employee than most of the permanent staff. I was shafted out of over two grand of payments on the relocation (Council Tax and insurance when my bikes were stolen) that they verbally promised then denied [they claimed that even permanent staff didn’t get those payments, but when a perm I knew went down to the same department she had everything but the phone bill covered], I couldn’t get in on the sharesave and there was no pension scheme. And now Egg tell me that, far from being sensible in taking out payment protection, I was actually being fleeced when they sold me the plan (though they didn’t sell me it, because I selected it when it was recommended in my online application.)

You can tell I’m pissed off, I’d never used italics before these last two posts.

Never ever, under any circumstances, tell the Benefits Agency the truth. They say they want the truth, but getting it just screws their whole delicately balanced, generally useless system. I feel like Jack Nicholson, hissing out, “You can’t handle the Truth.”

Yes, nearly five months after signing on, and four weeks after finding a new job, I still haven’t received any Housing Benefit. The reason- I actually admitted that I wasn’t going to turn into a daytime TV watching vegetable and would devote the time I wasn’t jobhunting toward projects that might, one day, pay out.

The last- until the second draft brings more bridging parts out of the woodwork- piece of part one of Seeds. If you go back the the very first chapter and the prologue, that I’ve got all clever and wrapped back to something right at the beginning.

All the wing bombers had been grounded. Command couldn�t risk losing any more of their flagship planes. They didn�t seem to understand that the planes were only a threat when they were in the air.

Stuck on Karn island, with Cora and Munss locked down in preparation for a security crackdown, Harren and Karn had taken up fishing. Neither of them was very good at it yet, but they were mastering the whip needed to get the lures out beyond the breaking waves. The sea floor shelved away rapidly on this, seaward, side of the island giving them the dream of large fish and eels awaiting capture.

�That is a big empty space.� Karn commented, �Looking out over it, I think I can understand how the mountain folk feel when they come down to the plains.�

�Five days out of the air and you have turned into a philosopher.� Harren laughed. He wedged the end of the pole he held into a crack in the rocks. �How would you feel about flying across it?�

�Over the ocean? We would never make it all the way, or have mere counts over the target. Even if we had the range- to get there and back- it would be such a waste. Why bother with that when we can just as simply fly over the mountains?�

�Ah, but they would never expect it, precisely because it is so unexpected. Imagine the psychological impact, even if none of the planes came back.�

�A waste of good men and equipment. You could only justify it if you followed it up with landings or some sort of sea borne assault.�

�True. True.�

They watched their floats bob on the swell. One of the smaller patrol boats rounded the island and raised its bow as it neared maximum speed. A pair of Corkscrews passed overhead.

�It is a good thing we do not have to depend for food on what we catch.� Harren sighed. We would have wasted away by now.� He studied the horizon. A large thin cloud was heading their way. It moved strangely, stretching up into the sky a long straight line. There were another three, each running parallel to the first.

Karn realised at the same time as Harren what they were seeing. They dropped their rods and set off at a run for their trikes. �Rockets!� Karn announced, �I always knew they had rockets.�

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I went to see Bowling for Columbine today. This is Michael Moore on top form, highlighting the lunacy of gun culture and raising other issues that aggravate the problem of violence. It made me incredibly angry, even though I’m on the other side of the Atlantic.

I’m currently reading about how the military weapons manufacturers lobbied and helped distort American policy just so they could keep on feeding at the trough, even after those policies were shown to backfire so horribly in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. Perhaps the NRA is just the small arms industry’s way of keeping business flowing, arm them all and damn the consequences so long as the balance sheet looks good.

If you can hypnotise chickens, then surely you can hypnotise other animals. I set out to find out which ones. (All searches were done in Google using the Americanised ‘hypnotizing’ and limited to the first four results pages returned)-

Ducks There was nothing about mesmerising waterfowl, but I did get links to Buffy fanfic written by someone called Ducks, the Mighty Ducks and Scrooge McDuck.

Sheep I don’t know why I didn’t think of this one first. If you are going to shave your sheep you first need to hypnotise it, which is done by dancing the Lambada. (One of the most disturbing noises in nature is the sound of a sheep laughing.) In a nasty turn of events, the YuGiOh trading card game has A monstrous sheep with a long tail for hypnotizing enemies.

Goats Nothing on hypnotising goats. This is only right and proper as goats are so much smarter than sheep. A goat will escape from its field to go and have a look around, a sheep will escape so it can stand on the other side of the fence bleating that it wants let back in.

Pigeons A Pigeon Hypnotizing Machine has been suggested as a less expensive and more humane alternative to setting up anti pigeon turrets outside your bedroom window.

Rats Nothing for rats, apart from a suggestion that the Pied Piper was mesmerising them with the sound of his flute.

Lobster Hypnotising a lobster is not, whatever you may think, the most humane way to prepare it for boiling.

Dogs Small Yappy Dogs (Schnausers) can be hypnotised so their teeth can be cleaned without using anaesthetic.

Cats You wouldn’t think cats were susceptible, being such willful little buggers, but Nostradamus hypnotised them into jumping off bridges. They got their own back by breeding radioactive hypnotising kittens.

And, finally, How to hypnotise small lizards.

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Two and a half to three hours a day commuting is really taking it out of me, hence the three days a week Seeds schedule lately. Next week, in fact with the next instalment, I’m wrapping up part one. Part Two starts next January. The break gives me time to get a few buffer instalments done, edit Out of Fashin and A Trifle Uncool and get it out as an e-book and work on a couple of other projects. There’ll also be a redesign of the site, with everything going onto different strands.

Only a little bit of work then.