Monthly archives: February 2010

Script Frenzy 1

Shall I do Script Frenzy this year? It’s run by the people behind National Novel Writing Month. The idea is to get a hundred pages of script- for play, screen or comic- done in the month of April. It doesn’t sound as hard as the 50,000 word target of NaNoWriMo, which I’ve yet to hit, and I’ve an idea for a comic.

Sounds of Soldiers is the story I wrote for NaNoWriMo 2008. Any script I produced would have to take less than a year and a half to get released.

Current state of the Sounds of Soldiers cover

Sounds of Soldiers cover

I’m still not happy with it, and it’s missing blurb on the back and the title and author on the spine, but it’s getting there. I’ll still be unhappy with the version which goes to print, but I’m trying to adopt a policy of getting stuff done and released.

Yesterday I pencilled and inked two pages of Point of Contact. They’re not detail rich, and there’s a lot of shading to be done to them before they’re complete, but it’s better than spending days worrying about layout and stuff. Point of Contact will premiere here on March 1st with a page a week until I’ve got enough pages in hand that I can move it up to two a week.

The commute’s better by bike

I only work part time, but two days a week I cycle to work. There’s no way I could do the same journey by public transport, at least, not without having to set off 30 to 45 minutes earlier, and I’d hate to have to do it by car. As one regular cyclist found out when she had to use the car for a few weeks, cycling is faster, less stressful and better for you.

Perhaps there should be an extra bit added onto any congestion charge which forces able bodied people who drive 3 miles or less to work (my commute’s seven and a half each way) to pay even more.

The usual rubbish from the Daily Mail

Petronella Wyatt’s mother was hit by a cyclist, so she’s spun a piece full of the usual anti-cyclist nonsense out of it. I sincerely doubt she’d have come out with all that drivel if her mother had been hit by a driver.

I’ve left a comment, but the Mail has a habit of losing stuff that doesn’t agree with them, so here it is-

I hope your mother gets well soon, but everything else in your piece is nonsense.

Let’s start with simple numbers. It’s a bad year if one person dies because they were hit by a cyclist, whereas it’s a good year if fewer than 4000 are killed by cars. If you want to make the roads safer you don’t start by attacking one of the least dangerous groups on them.

Your mugger rode a bike? Many muggers escape on foot, should we ban trainers?

I couldn’t find the statistic you quoted on the TRL site, but I know that one of the motoring organisations has admitted that 3/4 of car/bike accidents are primarily or wholly the driver’s fault. The EU law doesn’t say drivers must always be at fault and is open to evidence of cyclist wrongdoing, but it is based upon the balance of probability.

Cycle training should be taken up more. It sounds like you didn’t take any, so you’re being hypocritical about it. Drivers need it mor than cyclists, if only to show them how dangerous they can be.

Did I say 5000?

I posted about hitting the 5000th Spinneyhead post the other day.

I’ve deleted that post. I was wrong.

I should have known not to trust such a conveniently round number so soon after migrating to another platform. There are actually 9,700ish posts in the archive, but Blogger would only let me look at, and thus import, 5,000 at a time. The problem has now been solved and I think I have all the posts going all the way back to 2001 imported and, as far as possible, attributed to the correct authors.

On the subject of which, if you have posted on Spinneyhead in the past, or would like to in the future, please get in touch and I’ll see about sending you login details.

Next week I shall think about a better template and maybe some widgets.

Trailer Time

The Last Airbender.

Cannibal Girls. Resurrected 1973 horro comedy. In order not to offend those in the audience of a squeamish or prudish disposition…. The sound of a bell in the theatre will warn you to close your eyes or turn away so you can avoid witnessing certain scenes of an especially erotic or gruesome nature.

Greenlit. The travails of making a green film.



Black. Of course, I’ll have to find a version with subtitles.

The Dungeon Masters.

Killers. Mr. & Mrs. Smith [2005] [DVD] with younger pretty actors?


Centurion. Looks like it should be better than King Arthur at least.

We can all be industries now

Reading this article about the revolution in small scale manufacturing and industry in Wired reminded me that I haven’t uploaded anything new to my Shapeways shop for a few months.

It’s time to reinstate the rule that Mondays are for 3d modelling, whether for upload or background details in the comic. I have a commission, of sorts, to design door and window surrounds for the station on Dad’s model railway. Tomorrow I think I’ll pick up an Airfix Ford Escort, because I have ideas of bits to do for it. Then I need to get the Italeri 1/24 Land Rover and see what I can do for that.

Hello WordPress!

Spinneyhead is now running on WordPress.  Please bear with the bland theme for a few days as I go looking for something better.  More changes will come along soon.

Update Those of you folowing Spinneyhead through Feedburner should still be able to.  I have no way of knowing how many people are following the basic rss feed on Blogger, so there’s not a lot I can do about that.

Point of Contact page 1 rough pencils

Page 1 pencilled, originally uploaded by spinneyhead.

I finally got off my arse (metaphoricaly, I had to sit down at the drawing board) and made a start on Point of Contact. This is the rough pencil of page 1. Don’t be too impressed by the anatomy, it’s all traced from print outs of Poser work. Next I have to tidy up the middle and bottom rows and add some background details, then ink it.

This was taken in low light using my phone, the panel borders aren’t really that distorted.

Leaping from tree to tree on the West Didsbury branch line 1

I keep getting distracted from the main aim of the day (making a start on the first page of Point of Contact, since you ask). But at least it’s by good content.

When I popped out for a quick food shop I ummed and ahhed about which direction to go. I’m glad I headed for Burton Road.

Clearing West Didsbury branch line

I’d seen the Save Our Trees signs, but hadn’t realised how urgent they were.

I’m a big kid, and I’m so glad I got to see these grown up Tonka toys in action.

Clearing West Didsbury branch line

First through, but the last I got a picture of, is the one which does the actual cutting. They were on a break when I got this picture, but as they didn’t call the Police when I asked if I could take pictures it would be ungrateful to complain.

Clearing West Didsbury branch line

I may have missed the machine which strips the smaller branches off the trunks and cuts the big sections into more manageable lengths. This John Deere beasty comes through after that work’s been done, picks up the thinner branches and bundles them into convenient lengths.

Clearing West Didsbury branch line

Then this folows and picks up the big trunks.

Clearing West Didsbury branch line

I couldn’t get down to platform level. This is it from up the embankment after cutting but before clearing.

Last train to West Didsbury station

This is a platform level shot of roughly the same spot which I took last year. And here’s a post from a few years ago about a wander along some of the line they’re clearing out. The cover of Global Weirding used a photo I took at one end of the old station platform. I have some other pictures, but they’ll take a bit of digging out.

Tracked radio vehicle/ armoured personnel carrier Tracked radio vehicle/ armoured personnel carrier

Entirely unrelated, but I saw this in the car park of the Four in Hand. I haven’t got a clue what it is, but I know enough war geeks that I might be able to get an answer. The yellow panel on the side is a warning about high voltage radio equipment.

Word of the day- Burking

Burking was a very specific form of murder for money- the killing of suitable specimens for medical research. No doubt it comes from one of its most famous practitioners, William Burke of Burke and Hare fame.

I found out about the name because of a historian’s claim that two of the most highly regarded pioneers of obstetrics, William Hunter and William Smellie (what is it with the Williams, Hare was one as well), may have ordered freshly murdered pregnant women to help their research and run up a body count greater than Burke and Hare and Jack the Ripper combined.

On the subject of Burke and Hare, there’s a graphic novel about them which has been getting some good reviews. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s going on to my (admittedly long) list of books I should get. Buy Burke and Hare from Amazon.

Myebook - Burke and Hare - click here to open my ebook

Political blogs- let’s get local 2

John Ottewell writes for the Manchester Evening News and also posts on their political blog. His is an informed and relatively neutral (the paper ran a campaign against the BNP during the European elections, which he has defended) voice on the politics of Greater Manchester.

But what of the many candidates for Manchester seats?

There are 28 constituencies in Greater Manchester, to become 27 in this year’s election.

Let’s start where I live-

Manchester Withington’s MP is John Leech, the first Liberal or Liberal Democrat to win a Manchester seat since 1929. His blog is

The Conservative candidate is Chris Green. I can’t find a blog from him.

Lucy Powell, the Labour candidate, has a website with a news feed. Which is almost a blog.

James Alden is the Green candidate. No blog though.

Bob Gutfreund-Walmsley is standing for UKIP.

Yasmin Zalzala is a former Lib-Dem now standing as an independent who has claimed that she was run out of the party by racists.

There may be other candidates, from parties even more minor than UKIP, but these are the ones I found listed.

Manchester Gorton, where I used to live.

The incumbent is Gerald Kaufman. No blog, or even website as far as I can tell.

Caroline Healy is the Conservative candidate.

Qassim Afzal is the Lib Dem candidate. He has an official site, but it’s a bit sparse.

Justine Hall is standing for the Greens.

Oddly enough, the BNP don’t seem to have a candidate in the constituency that includes Longsight. I guess even people who are that stupid aren’t that stupid.

This is, unsurprisingly, taking a while to compile. Let’s round out this post with the constituency of another high profile MP. I work in Hazel Blears’ constituency, and end up reading the Salford Advertiser more often then my own local paper, so it’s probable I know more about what’s going on there than here. As part of the boundary changes, Salford becomes Salford and Eccles this year.

Hazel Blears is an odd looking little woman best known for causing trouble for Gordon Brown. Nothing that looks like a blog on her official site, but there’s an RSS feed so maybe the news items will get pulled in by my reader as they update.

Matthew Sephton is the Conservative candidate.

Norman Owen is a Lib Dem councillor standing for MP.

Robert Wakefield is the UKIP candidate. The Salford UKIP blog‘s one and only post dates from 2007 AND IS ALL CAPS AND TOO PAINFUL TO READ. It’s possible that Mr. Wakefield is the author of a novel about the crusades. He should talk to my UKIP candidate, who’s a bookseler.

Tina Wingfield is the BNP candidate. No site or blog that I could find, but I did subscribe to the BNP blog, because the ulcer doesn’t make me feel queasy enough.

Steve Morris is standing for the English Democrats. I don’t think the Steve Morris I’ve found results for is the same person.

David Henry has been chosen to stand on the Hazel Must Go platform. His site’s minimalist at the moment.

Joe O’Neill is standing as an Independent, though he’s a Lib Dem councilor. He hasn’t even bothered to write over the placeholders on his official Salford Council page, so I’m not expecting any web presence.

Last, and certainly least, is Richard Carvath. He’s standing as an Independent, on the More Self Righteous and Homophobic Than Anyone Else platform judging by his blog. Everything’s a conspiracy, it would seem, intended to turn our children into French speaking Muslim homosexual perverts or something.

I’ve subscribed to the feeds I’ve found, but I’m using Bloglines, which can be temperamental, so I don’t know how many of them I’ll be able to follow reliably. I’m not a wonky political blogger, I won’t be loading Spinneyhead down with policy discussion. It’s more likely to be anything outrageous that candidates say that’ll make it here.

Further constituencies may be added, these are the three that mean the most to me. If you’d like me to look at yours please tell me. Likewise if you know of any candidates I’ve missed out.

A Withington architecture wander 3


When I saw that the scaffolding had started to go up around the White Lion I decided I should get some pictures of it before it went the way of Cine City.

Withington-architecture-3 Withington-architecture-4 Withington-architecture-5 Withington-architecture-7

As I was out, I figured I’d take a few more pictures around Withington. Mostly I shot decorative bits and pieces-

Withington-architecture-1 Withington-architecture-8 Withington-architecture-17 Withington-architecture-12 Withington-architecture-11 Withington-architecture-13 Withington-architecture-15 Withington-architecture-20 Withington-architecture-19 Withington-architecture-21

I know it’s not architecture, but I was impressed with this tree.


And finally, a few institutions.

Withington-architecture-2 Withington-architecture-14 Withington-architecture-18

These are amongst my first attempts to use my camera’s raw format and edit them in Photoshop Elements. Hopefuly I shall improve as I take more. I’ll also be wandering further afield.

Camera- Canon PowerShot G11

Software- Adobe Photoshop Elements 8

Who the fuck is Nick Griffin?

A third of people asked by the website MyVoucherCodes said a picture of the BNP leader showed Peter Griffin. The makers of Family Guy haven’t commented on their character’s sideline as the leader of a bunch of racist arseholes.

In the same survey more people recognised a non-entity who’s best known for marrying a reality TV star than did the Prime Minister. It’s possible that Brown prefers it that way. And, if I’m honest, I’d have a hard time naming Nick Clegg if you showed me a picture of him.

via Pickled Politics

Trailer Time

King Crab Attack. I’m not sure this is a real film. If it is it’s a torrent-and-watch-after-a-couple-of-beers movie. (via io9)

Clash of the Titans. Release the Kraken!

Universal Soldier: Regeneration. Straight to dvd goodness from JCVD.

Ong Bak 3. Which reminds me, I haven’t seen Ong Bak – The Beginning yet.

I’ve removed the Kick Ass trailer because it started automatically every time the page opened, which was annoying. I may search out a version that’s better behaved.

Harlan: In the shadow of Jew Suss. Powerful stuff. Not an Orange Wednesday film, that’s for sure.

The Scenesters.

Cop Out. Directed by Kevin Smith, of whom I’m a fan. The previous trailer made it look dire. This one had me swinging between, “Yeah, it could be fun.” and “Oh dear, it’s going to be dire.”